Book Review: ‘Dyrwolf’ by Kat Kinney

‘Dyrwolf’ is a highly original and very compelling story of a young woman learning who she is and what matters most to her in the face of challenges and adversity. 

Lea Wylder is a complex and interesting character who has much to learn about trust, plagued as she is by questions of identity and loyalty, and caught up in the struggle for survival that encumbers the village in which she lives. Although she definitely has her flaws, her loyalty, resilience and integrity make her an admirable hero and a positive role model for teens and young adults, a demographic that is often confronted by questions and  issues similar to those explored in this book.

A very engaging and thought-provoking read that captivated me from the start, ‘Dyrwolf’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn. 

Find your copy here. 

Book Review: ‘Starblazer: Through The Black Gate’ by Reiter

A really enjoyable sci-fi epic.

Reiter Starblazer
‘Starblazer’ is a genuine sci-fi epic, action packed and loaded with conflict, power struggle and suspense. The world building is incredible, immersing the reader in a realm that is both fantastic and believable at the same time. The writing is clean and the story is coherent and really well developed.

The real strength, though, lies in the characters. Their flaws balance their abilities and strengths in a way that makes them believable and still complex enough to remain unpredictable. The subversive humour that emerges in certain characters is refreshing and very engaging.

In contrast to the stereotypes of science fiction, which I acknowledge as the main reason I read less of it that I otherwise might, I really liked the fact that the female characters are central to this story, They are intelligent, self-sufficient and powerful in their own right.

This is a big book, but it’s a real page-turner with an entertaining story and lots of action and energy.Acorn Award I Golden

Starblazer has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Rose Thief’ by Claire Buss

‘The Rose Thief’ is a book that I just wanted to keep reading.

Claire Buss The Rose Thief

 

‘The Rose Thief’ is a quirky fantasy adventure that makes compulsive reading. It is entirely delightful and captivating.

 

Laced with humour and loaded with vivid, unique characters, the story is set in the kingdom of Roshaven, where someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. This sets off a chain of events in which the reader discovers that things are not always as they appear to be, and there is always more to someone’s actions than what is observed on the surface.

 

Buss has crafted the story with a high degree of originality: while it includes many standard fantasy elements, the author has shaped and combined them in her own way so that their qualities and abilities are all quite individual and delightfully idiosyncratic.

 

The reader is quickly engaged by the opening scenes, and then becomes invested in the characters and the challenges they face. The story is well-developed and moves at good pace, with the author demonstrating excellent control over the reader by accelerating and slowing them down at various stages without the reader being conscious of this happening until later.

 

The unfolding mystery and the development of the characters within the narrative is enhanced by the humour, which is at sometimes very cleverly saucy and at other times subversive, which made this reader chuckle quite a bit, but it is never inappropriate, nor does it overwhelm or distract from the story that is being told.

 

‘The Rose Thief’ is a book that I just wanted to keep reading. I really hope there is going to be a sequel.

Acorn Award I Golden

Because it’s absolutely brilliant, I did wonder for a moment if there’s any higher award than a Gold Acorn— but there’s not. So a Gold Acorn it is!

Get your copy here.

Book Review: Waking The Dragon by Susan Day

A delightful and fun read for kids and families.

‘Waking the Dragon’ is a fun and exciting adventure story for kids, revolving around a group of dogs who work undercover as dog rescuers in an organization that is the kid-friendly canine equivalent of CSI.

The story is written with good humour that kids will enjoy, and a plot that will keep them guessing. The characters are engaging and likeable — even the cats, who harbour less-than-honourable intentions!

One aspect of this book that I really appreciated is the Australian element that appears in both the settings and the storyline. In a world full of books set in America or major world cities, it’s very refreshing to find a kids’ book set in one of my favorite regional Australian cities. This is great for Australian kids, but should also add interest for readers from other countries in which Australia is a source of interest and fascination.

Waking The Dragon is Book 10 in theAstro’s Adventures series by Susan Day.  This book – in fact, this series of books – would make a great addition to any school or local library, and would be a wonderful choice for both individual and family reading at home.

Find ‘Waking The Dragon’ on Amazon.

Absence of Colour: Spectrum of Colour Book 1 by Susan Wee

‘Absence of Colour’ is an engaging and intriguing tale of escaping the past and searching for identity and justice.

‘Absence of Colour’ is an engaging and intriguing tale of escaping the past and searching for identity and justice.

 
Susan Wee 1 Absence of Colour

The band of characters in this book are quite well developed, and the reader is drawn into a strong feeling of empathy with Conny, Frankie and Twig in particular. The villain is well-drawn and distinctly odious: there are times when  his actions do make the reader uncomfortable and quite angry. This sets the action of the story in motion: each of the main characters and a number of the minor characters must work together to achieve justice and to reclaim that which has been taken from them.

The book brings some resolution to the conflicts faced by Twig and Conny, along with a sense of relief in the immediate circumstances, but the reader is also very aware that there are still questions and problems that remain unsolved. In this way, the reader is strongly motivated to read the second book in the series – ‘The Colour of Evil’.  The title itself is both enticing and ominous, leaving the reader intrigued and eager to know more.

I’ve given this book a good solid 4 stars.

You can find Absence of Colour Book 1, and the rest of the series, on Susan Wee’s Amazon page.

Book Review: ‘Call of Sunteri’ by Missy Sheldrake.

Missy Sheldrake’s wonderful magic continues in this second book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series.

Missy Sheldrake’s wonderful magic continues in this second book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series.

‘Call of Sunteri’ has multiple narrators whose stories and perspectives blend seamlessly to tell the tale of the Sunteri fae and their struggle to survive, alongside the continued story of Azaeli Hammerfel and her companions as they seek truth and justice in the face of the powers of evil.
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So vivid and compelling is the storytelling that the reader is fully engaged in the action as it unfolds, with a strong sensation of being confronted with questions about personal integrity and the nature of truth alongside the characters. There are some absolute heart-in-your-throat moments, and some that fill the reader with dread.

The ability to conjure such powerful effects on the reader is a true sign of masterful writing.

‘Call of Sunteri’ delivers action, magic and quest by the bucketload in this book. I can’t wait to finish reading the whole magnificent series.

Book Review: ‘Fallen Into Bad Compay’ by Kayla Jindrich

5 stars, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum for this rollicking pirate story.

What a ripping yarn! I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of the man who fell into bad company. It’s a story that explores the contrasts between guilt and innocence, and between conscience and volition in a world populated by pirates, privateers, and settlers in the New World.
The characters were well developed, especially the main character, Matthew Blackwell. The author does an excellent job of evoking sympathy for Matthew, William and Stephan, and of crafting the hardhearted world in which they live.

5 stars, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum for this rollicking pirate story.

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