Throwback Thursday: Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn

Our Bloody Pearl (These Treacherous Tides #1)

Kindle Edition, 229 pages
Published July 26th 2018 by Avos Publishing

 

I received a physical book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks, Danny!

The author first approached me back in August of 2019, I think. And, after reading the synopsis, I agreed to review this book with no specific time in mind as I was pretty booked on other reviews for the rest of the year.  Honestly, I’m a bit behind with new release reviews, but decided I had waited long enough to read this one.  Turns out I really liked it!  And I’m mad I waited so long to pick it up.

This book is LGBT+ friendly.  At first the they/them pronouns threw me off, but once I got into the mindset, I almost didn’t notice. This book tackles a lot of heavy subjects like gender, sign language/language barriers, and physical handicaps. Survival versus Living is also a big theme for such a small book. The best part was that none of these took center stage, but there were discussions and plenty of well-written communication between characters that flowed with the story in a very positive way. This was a great book about sirens and pirates! I look forward to seeing if a volume 2 can be acquired 🙂

Summary:

The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear.

That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs.

Perle was the first siren captured, and while all since have either been sold or killed, Kian still keeps them prisoner. Though their song is muted and their tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it?

Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping their newfound human companions will fight with them.

Audiobook Review: Chosen Champion by Elise Kova

Chosen Champion (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles, #2)

Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published July 8th 2019 by Silver Wing Press

I received an audio copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Elise!

I finally finished it!  And I think I know why it took so long.  The narrator.  I liked the story and couldn’t find much fault there (although I suspected who the betrayer was in book 1!), but I wasn’t looking forward to listening to the audiobook as much as I usually do.  I even sped up the reading, which helped a little bit.  The narrator’s voice was lovely, but I think she was giving a lot of care to pronunciation of each individual word.  Which is good for understanding, but not so great for my enjoyment.  I think to finish the series, which I definitely want to do, I will buy the paperback books to read.

Now that I’ve tackled why it took me so long to finish this one, I want to talk a little bit about the story itself.  I liked the character growth in our protagonist, Vi.  And the family reunion was a treat with all the posturing and learning how to interact with people who are your family but you really haven’t seen in person.  Elise does a great job with characterization and emotions.  I also thought the pacing was done well.  Like I stated above, the betrayal hinted at in the synopsis was something I had seen in coming all the way back in book one, but I definitely felt all the emotions poured into that scene.

There are a few things that jumped out at me as possible call backs to the original Air Awakens series, but I can’t confirm that until I read that series all the way.  And I think I might wait until I’m done with Vi’s story before starting that project.  What I’m trying to say is, you should definitely read this series even if you haven’t read Air Awakens yet!  Totally worth your time 🙂

Summary:

A princess on the run, with enemies on all sides…

Vi Solaris is on the eve of getting everything she’s ever wanted—her family, her home, her throne—and to save the world she’s going to have to give it all up.

The Empire sees her as their Crown Princess, returning at long last. But Vi only sees visions of fate guiding her to the world’s gruesome end. Across the sea is a man who holds the keys to deciphering her premonitions and thwarting the ancient evil ravaging their world. But to get to him, Vi will have to contend with enemies of the crown, romance she didn’t expect, sorcerer pirates, and a betrayal she never saw coming.

She will learn the hard way that some evils never die… They only bide their time…

Return to Solaris in the second book of Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles, a young adult epic fantasy filled with even more magic, adventure, and romance. Get ready for twists you never saw coming that will keep you up all night reading!

Book Review: Fae Hunter by Sarah K.L. Wilson

Fae Hunter

Ebook, 222 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Sarah K. L. Wilson

I was sent a free earc of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.  I want to take a moment to state that this type of fae is very appealing to me.  It’s not your Disney, sugary sweet kind of fairy.  It’s more like the Irish faerie tales from history that show how proud, crafty, and non-human they are.  It really works for my love of dark, dangerous men that normally become a love interest at some point.

This story does a great job using that archetype for fae and asking what makes a monster.  And why does being different make you the enemy.  I liked this subtle undertone that carried throughout.  It wasn’t overly in-your-face with the commentary, just flowed naturally based on the characters and the situation.  And I liked the characterizations.  The author did a great job with a large secondary cast without bogging down the story.

My small complaint would be that there were some dialogues that seemed to go a little too long.  Those instances felt like the characters were looping around their point too long.  And it killed the build up for the next reveal.  However, I haven’t read the final copy of the book, so the author could have done some cleanup before publication.  And it really didn’t detract from my enjoyment that much.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes the darker side of fae.  Or if you enjoyed Peadar O’Guilin’s The Call.  This book shared many similar traits to the things I liked about it.  Definitely check it out!

Summary:

Think you know fae? Think again.

From USA Today bestselling author Sarah K. L. Wilson comes a deliciously trope-filled young adult romantic fantasy about a viciously humorous mortal girl and her quest to hunt, trap, and conquer powerful fae.
Our lives are nursery rhymes and faerie stories now, Allie.
When Allie Hunter’s twin sister steps through a magic circle into the Faerie realm, she opens the door to deadly fae, bent on causing havoc and harm to Allie’s village.
Rendered blind to all but the spirit world, Allie is frustrated and angry but determined to bring the fae down. No matter what that might cost her.
But in a world where lies are truth, power is sustenance, and every action ripples into violence, how can one mortal stop all of Faerieland?
For lovers of The Cruel Prince and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a world of violent fae royals, trickery, and magic. Grab the first book of this hot new series today!

A Decade of Books in Review: 2010-2019

I wanted to take my time and try to narrow down my favorite book releases for each year of the last decade, which meant this post is only now ready to share!  As you can see that kinda worked and each year has anywhere from 5-10 featured favorites depending on how much I felt like the titles NEEDED to be on my list for the year either because of the impact of the story or just how well written it was.

These are all books that were released in the year, but I didn’t get them all read the year they came out.  That made more sense to me, hopefully it does for you as well 🙂  I almost didn’t include sequels on this list, but then I decided there were too many good ones!

Disclaimer: About half way through making this list and the graphics, I realized that I might not have the original release year for some of these, but instead the release year for a later edition.  Please excuse any mistakes related to this error as I’m too lazy to go back and redo all that work!

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Book Spotlight: The Seeking Serum by Frank L. Cole

The Seeking Serum (Potion Masters, #3)

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Shadow Mountain

Book three of the Potion Masters series is here!  I haven’t had a chance to read this series, but the covers are quite magnificent, and they sound intriguing.  This post is part of a blog tour that the publisher, Shadow Mountain, contacted me about.  I knew my January was going to be particularly full of review reads, so I committed to a spotlight post instead of a review.  Check out the summary below and let me know in the comments if you’ve read this series yet!

Summary:

Mezzarix has stolen the Vessel, the source of power for all potion masters, and is preparing to launch his final attack on the potion-making community—which includes his own family.

Gordy and his family have gone into hiding, but when his mom uncovers some new information, she takes Gordy into the underground network known as the Swigs, a haven for renegade potion masters and black-market potions, to secure support in the fight against Mezzarix. But when Scourges, rebel potion makers acting on orders from Mezzarix, attack the Swigs, Gordy barely escapes with his life and is forced to leave his family behind.

As the fight intensifies between B.R.E.W. and the Scourges, it falls to Gordy and his friends—Max, Sasha, and Adilene—to locate Mezzarix’s hidden headquarters, retrieve the Vessel, save the world, and unite the potion-making community.

The world of Potion Masters is full of fantasy and adventure as Gordy and his friends learn the power of friendship and loyalty, and to trust in their own individual talents.