Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume


Before I go any further… The author allowed me to share some exclusive content and you, the readers, are now the first ones to know – a NEW COVER is coming out in a week or so. More than deserved for a book as great as this one, if I may add. 

price
Kindle: $4.26
Paperback: $11.95

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Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal.

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of people who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.

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“The surroundings may be new to you, my boy, but walking I’m sure is not – don’t let what your eyes tell you disrupt what your heart already knows.” – Master Grimoire

Okay, before I grabbed this book from the author, I looked it up on Amazon. There was this certain quote in the description:

“If you’re suffering from HARRY POTTER withdrawals, then look no further! This detailed, intriguing and touching story is the answer!” – Independent Reviewer

To be perfectly honest, I thought it was a load of crap, and it seemed childish to me that someone would compare a rather unknown book to Harry Potter. But then again, the description seemed interesting enough, so I grabbed it. And boy am I glad I did.

We follow the story of Evan, who has been an outcast since his young age, due to his ability to see Creatures. He has moved through many foster homes before eventually finding a home at Lyceum. I am not going to summarize it and spoil it for you guys, I am just giving you some detail, so I can proceed to my next point, which is…

It is nothing like Harry Potter, but it is right there next to it. The story is a totally different thing, and we cannot draw any comparisons whatsoever. The points that do connect the two, however, are in friendship, loyalty, mystery and home. Just like Evan, you will find a home at Lyceum. I think the latter is very important. It sucks you up into the story and makes you feel like you are right there, walking the same corridors as every other student. Make this book into a movie and it WILL BE Harry Potter of the new, younger generations. I am sure of that.

Let us touch friendship and loyalty first. When Evan arrives at Lyceum, he meets a girl named Mathilde, who offers to help him and show him around the Lyceum, as he was brought there a month late. Evan then proceeds to meet a whole bunch of other people and makes friends, who do not let him down, and are always there for him whenever he needs them. And they do come in handy throughout the book. As you would imagine, Evan is the one that does not seek trouble, but trouble always seems to find him.

What about mystery? One of the most amazing segments of the book. The book itself splits into more stories. The one where you follow Evan is the central story. But behind it (as you read about it at the very beginning) is another story that up until the end, does not influence the flow of the central story, even though the events of that story make their way into the central story. This is an absolutely beautiful execution by the author. And this is not all. We also have the story of the White Wrath that, again, catches the flow of the central story, and unleashes when the time is right. But not only that, we also have the starts of the stories about Creatures, Evan’s parents, dreams and so on and so forth (I do not want to say too much because I do not want to spoil it). The book is absolutely filled with secrets and mystery and you will not uncover all of them. Some of them just wave their hand at you and disappear, probably waiting for us in the second book.

The character development is great. We get to know Evan as a boy, who doesn’t really exceed in anything in particular. By the end of the book, he grows out of that and becomes as skilled as the rest of the first grade students. At the end of the book, he is much more mature and ready to face what the second year will bring. But again, it is not only about Evan, even the other characters that surround him, get their fair share of development. For example Mathilde. She manages to break free of the shell that surrounded her, finally lets down her guard and talks to Evan honestly, sharing her own darkest secrets.

The book is also filled with humourous moments and characters. The Pyro professor and his poor chemical mixing skills will give you an absolute blast (see what I did there?). I always think that humour is important. It supplies the necessary comical relief at the right time, so it does not ruin the momentum of the story.

I did my best to not spoil anything for you guys. On another note, even though the author sent me a free copy, I will also buy the paperback one (as soon as the new cover is released). I loved the book and I could not put it down for days, as soon as I had some free time, I went back to reading. I sincerely hope, the author can make enough money, to release the second part. And that right there is up to us, readers. If you can afford it, buy it.

I just cannot seem to find anything wrong or bad about this book, so…

Book recommendation: 10/10, OUR FIRST ONE!

Hunt for the Last Wizard (Chronicles of Novarmere: Dark Wizard Quartet #2) – Melanie Ifield

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price
Kindle: $1.21
Paperback: $9.99      

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In the second book of the ‘Chronicles of Novarmere: Dark Wizard Series’, Daniel faces more sorcery, even more danger and magical forces than ever before as the sirens of the Glass Sea attempt to drag him into a watery grave. With angry dragons and hungry goblins who would like nothing more than to eat the companions alive, travel in the Land of Novarmere is not for the faint-hearted!
What else will happen as the companions journey north on the hunt for the last wizard of Novarmere?

review

If you start to see betrayal in everyone you meet, soon you will be unable to spend any time in the company of others. You’ll be confined by your own suspicions. – Nilofar

The first word to come to mind – Amazing. I loved the first book, but this one took it to another level. I truly believed that if someone were to make a movie out of this, it would be at least as successful as Narnia.

The book starts off with a revision on what happened in the previous book. Now to be honest here, this was not done well. It was more complex than it should be. Instead of trying to connect it in the story, the author should have just made a paragraph in a style of “previously on”.  I remembered what went on in the first book even though it has been some time since I have read it. So if someone was to jump into this one immediately after the first, it would bore him out and make him skip a few pages, and nobody wants to do that (unless you are reading centuries old books for your school project, you are excused to do that then).

The story picks up where it left off. Our little protagonist Daniel is still trapped in Novarmere and his brave heart is still there to assist his friends on the new adventure. Following the events in the previous book, the search is on to find their friend and last wizard, Poe. Nilofar, the little dragon, that we also met in the first book and grew fond of, is still present and still flapping his wings and puffing smoke. We do however meet a few new characters, that still need to earn our trust. After the turn of events in the first book, we just do not like to give it away as easily. You will meet a fewer selection of new characters and creatures, which is not a bad thing. The author took a step back and gave us just enough material for us to comprehend and remember. It is a good way to make us care for and cherish every single character in the book.

As we are used to by now, action and mystery is just around the corner in Novarmere. Our friends have to fight to stay alive and so does our protagonist, Daniel. There is a sense of maturity kicking in, because for the first time in his life, he has to know how to handle himself and how to protect others. So we can account for character growth throughout the book (and probably even series). The book teaches us that we should go over and beyond for our friends and never give up, no matter what danger crosses our path. You never know, your friends might have to do the same for you one day (write this down somewhere, probably the smartest sentences to come from under my fingers).

If we compare it to the first book in a sense of quotable lines, you will not find that many in this one. This book, compared to the previous one, is a bit more serious. They are searching for their friend after all and with so much going on, there really is no time to be a philosopher. You will find some tho and those are more than enough to get you through.

I loved the book and I am off to buy the next part.

Book recommendation: 9/10

Blood Tide – Brian Burt (OLD REVIEW)

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Opening your heart takes far more courage than battling your enemies.

One word that can describe the book – Amazing. This is the most action packed book I have read in years. If you think that you can compare it to the first part then you are highly mistaken.
This second part of the Aquarius Rising takes the whole story up a notch. It takes what the first book had to offer, but amplifies it immensely. It does not fool around, the action starts a few pages in, and it will just draw you in and make you want to turn page after page to see what happens next. If you think the first book had an awesome story then hang tight, this one will offer that and much more in each and every chapter. The climax of the book is so intense I found myself unable to put down the book.
Like in the previous part, chapters are divided in a sense that you are able to see the whole story from every angle. But that does not mean that you know everything. Far from that. You will need to connect some ties together too.
You are able to experience the story even more deeply because you know the setting already and you know your characters, the ones that made a bond with you in the first book. Like in the previous part, some bonds will be broken, and you will feel a void that cannot be quite filled. You will also see that the book offers many new characters so you should not go into the book thinking you know each and every one of them to their core.
I probably forgot to state a few important things but I will just let it be. I cannot say too much because I, as usual, do not want to ruin the book for other readers. But I can say this – read the book. There will be no time wasted here, you will like if not even love it.

Book recommendation: 9,5/10

Aquarius Rising: In the Tears of God – Brian Burt (OLD REVIEW)

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There’s always light in the darkness. It may be hard to find, but you can’t stop looking just because you’ve grown accustomed to the gloom.

To be honest here, I did not expect the book to hit off like it did. The beginning was really nothing special, I found myself trying to accustom to the setting and the beings I was reading about. There is a bit too much information and detail at the beginning and you are not sure exactly who is who. This causes no problems later in the book, as soon as you catch the flow, you are ready to rock’n’roll.
If you are a fan of having many descriptions of the things you are reading about, then this is also a book for you. The author shows his descriptive skills right off the bat. Even if you find descriptions boring, do not turn away from this book. They are not over complicated. They are here to help you imagine the setting better because, just like the story, the world is immense. It is not just set in the ocean, but also on the land.
After you dive into what Mother Ocean has to offer you find an impressive story that just draws you in and does not let go until the very last page. The story is so immensely deep that you could easily make the book into a movie (if it were not for the fact that human-dolphin hybrids would be hard to recreate). It will take you through friendship, shame and death all while being wrapped up in a blanket of mystery.
You will develop a bond with the characters and will sympathize with them through their journey. Many bonds will be broken, but many will stay with you to the end of the book.
I have to thank the author, Brian Burt, for sending me a review copies of not only this book, but the second part as well. Thank you for inviting me into the vast Mother Ocean and showing me all the beauty it has to offer. I cannot wait to start reading the second part.

Book recommendation: 8/10

At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft (OLD REVIEW)

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This is going to be a very short review. There is nothing much to say here, sadly. I would like to state that I have and will defend H.P. Lovecraft as one of the best writers ever, but this book is definitely not up to his standard. I went into this book expecting to experience some real horror and mystery that would not let me put down the book. I got everything other than that.
There is just so much describing going on that you would think, in the first few pages, you are reading a geography book about the history of different kinds of rocks. You would think that he is just trying to set the scene so you can imagine the place better, but this just goes on throughout the whole book. Descriptions after descriptions, even the monsters could not escape the real horror here. It just ruined the whole story, because the story itself was really not that bad, but the realization was awful.
It is awfully tiring to read this book. If you are a fan of long descriptions of things that you do or do not care about, then this is most certainly a book for you. If not, stay away.

Book recommendation: 3/10

 

The Candlestick Dragon – Melanie Ifield (OLD REVIEW)

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“Sometimes not being where we are meant to be and being where we are not, is just the thing we are meant to be doing.” – Nilofar

Let us make it perfectly clear – this is NOT a book for kids. It is far more than that. If you want your kids to learn the real values of life, give them this book.
I can not remember the time I have last read a book so easy to read, a book that does not waste time and gets you straight into action from the very beginning. But this does not mean that it makes it a book that is only scratching the surface. The story has an immense depth, one that you are not familiar with at the very beginning, but as the story unfolds you can start connecting the dots. There is a huge back story to the story that you are reading, and everything is happening for a reason. It is not a book of violence. It is a book that teaches what respect, equality and friendship are. The obstacles that we are able to overcome, if only we put our faith and good heart into it. No matter what race or creature you are. On the other hand, it also deals with tougher subjects, like the loss of a friend and betrayal.

What surprised me the most was the amount of quotable sentences (like the one included at the beginning of this review). I found myself marking them, not knowing which one to use when I started to write this, because there are just so many that you can relate with in your life.

I must also thank the author, Melanie Ifield, for providing me with a review copy of this book. A book that I will now most certainly buy, with all the sequels. You have managed to restore my faith by showing me that there are still books out there, that do not need violence to teach important life lessons, and I thank you for that.

Book recommendation: 9/10