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

Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire – Jillianne Hamilton (OLD REVIEW)

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Now this is something that we do not read much about – a professional thief!

We follow the story of Molly Miranda who is a thief for hire. While she may in fact have been in the business for years, she also does not seem to have much luck on her side. And this is what the whole book is all about. When I am talking about luck I am not talking about her being clumsy and getting caught on every task, but I am talking about her life outside her job. She is a well-built character that keeps to herself most of the time, afraid of opening up to someone. That is until she meets that “someone”. And if that is not enough, she also takes a job offer that might doom her. From there the story takes a big roller-coaster drive.

Molly as a character does not develop much throughout the story. While we know here as a strict professional from the beginning of the book, we also learn about her soft side a couple of pages later. But that is basically it. She has inner conflicts, but at the end she stays true to herself. It is also worth mentioning that we are able to see what Molly thinks. Her thoughts are written down ninety percent of the time, so we know what is going through her head at all times.

The author also included humour in just the right places so it brings a smile to your face but does not ruin the story for you. It is mostly made up with Molly’s thoughts or witty comments. Molly’s knowledge of Geography is just the cherry on the cake.

“Have you ever been to Barcelona?”
I thought for a moment.
That’s in South America, right?

All in all, if you are looking for a fun, humorous and, at the same time, deep story then you should take this book into consideration. It is truly a fun short read and one that will not waste your time.

Book recommendation: 8/10

Malevolent – Jana Deleon (OLD REVIEW)

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SPOILER ALERT

I have always liked reading mystery and detective stories, so when I got the opportunity to read this book I welcomed it with open hands. Malevolent is the first book in the Shaye Archer series. It is a mix of not so good detective work and a much better suspense and mystery aura.

The book starts with Shaye, the main protagonist, accepting a new client at her private detective agency. We know right of the bat with what case the book will be dealing with. The case is a detective cliché, dealing with stalking due to murder. That is a bit disappointing; this topic has been covered in detective books from top to bottom already and is certainly nothing fresh. It reeks of death, as a matter of fact.

As far as detective skills go – we are told at the beginning that Shaye is just starting in the whole detective business. While that prepares us for a few beginner mistakes, which is fine, it does certainly not prepare us for the apathetic detective. Shaye is made out to be a very smart woman, but her actions disprove that. While she is posing as an interior designer, she picks up the envelope left by the stalker and puts it in her bag, like a complete amateur. There is just nothing there that would make her stand out more as a detective than a random person passing by. Her solving skills are really bad, which brings me to the next point.

Shaye caught the wrong guy. Rings a bell? Yes, another familiar tune. Somehow all writers manage to implement catching the wrong guy in their books without fail and it is annoying.  As a reader you will be able to see that before anyone else in the book does. And that does not make it a fun read whatsoever.

Plot twist without any background is pointless and stupid. You will find out at the end, that the person behind the stalking is actually a character that had five lines in the whole book. It was like the author thought it would be really interesting to do that and screw with us readers. I do not mind screwing around but making the main antagonist someone who was not involved in the main story whatsoever is just dumb. You cannot even relate to that character because of that and when the moment of revelation comes you are just left unconcerned and uninterested.

All in all, it is a good enough read if you have nothing else to read, and you just want to waste some time on a book that you will not remember or regret reading.

Book recommendation: 5/10

No Good Son – J.L. Vaughan (OLD REVIEW)

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If you are looking for action in a book then you need to read this one. The author managed to squeeze so much action packed events and character development into such a short book that I must applaud him for that. Amazing.
The story picks up right off the bat, you are thrown into an event already planned and unfolding right in front of your eyes. You get to know the characters and get into the flow of who they are and what they do. You might find yourself cheering for them a couple of pages in although you may feel that what they are doing is not right. Later the story slows down, but not to the extent of it getting boring. It is written like life itself. You may have some events in life where you think that life is just passing you at insane speeds and at other times you just feel like time is dragging like chocolate candy filled with caramel. The author knew when to speed up the pace and when to slow it down, so the flow of the story is actually changing but not losing the quality of the story.
The characters at the start feel like they are molded already and there will not be any changes made to them. Wrong. As the story unfolds the characters develop immensely which is, again, hard to achieve in such a short book. Especially subdued to the change is the main protagonist Mike. His personality changes as his life goes up and down like a roller coaster.
While I do feel that just maybe the book could use a couple of pages more, just to extend the story and get a bit more detail into it, there is no stopping me on giving this one a high rating.
Big thanks to the author for sending me a review copy of the book. I am looking forward to the next books.

Book recommendation: 8/10

 

How to Raise a Good Kid – Starbuck O’Dwyer (OLD REVIEW)

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When I first got this book I was expecting it to be some sort of a guide on how to raise your child, but it proved to be much more than that.
The book is filled by short stories told by the author about his childhood and how he was raised. Now that may seem like a boring thing to read, but it is far from that. Most of the short stories are filled with humor that had me giggling like a little girl at the first (!) page. Not every story is told in a humorous way tho, some are quite serious. It all depends on what the topic or the main point of the story is and what the author is trying to tell and the issues he is trying to portray (racism for example). The stories are not your average “read one time and never again” type of stories. You will definitely find yourself returning to the book and reading that one story, that managed to sink in, again and again.
This book has it all, the good and the bad, and while it is not your typical guide on how to raise your children, you will see that every single story is basically the advice on how to do it. You will see that the values portrayed are something that you need to teach not only your children but also yourself. If we would all read and learn from stories like these, the world would be a much happier and friendlier place.
I must thank the author for sending me a review copy of this book. Thank you for this amazing book. The humor and the topic choices are excellent. This is one book that I will definitely hold on to because I feel like I am going to need it in the future.

Book recommendation: 9/10

Venessa’s Hope – Ty Findlay (OLD REVIEW)

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The start of the book is very promising, we follow Venessa as she slowly unveils the dark secrets of her life and how she ended up as a high-class escort. Accompanying on this journey is Eric who is a successful businessman and got caught up in this emotional roller coaster because of his big mouth.
Then on the other hand, the characters are hard to relate to. You can feel sorry for Venessa at certain points in the book, but at the other points she just gets on your nerves with the classic “I need you with me because I am mentally unstable” kind of thing. I know full well that is how it is meant to be, to show how vulnerable she is,  but on the other hand it will just cause a headache reading about it in almost every chapter.
The story itself is, as stated before, fairly promising but it does not live up to the expectation. There is just so much more topics that could be explored here to make the book much more interesting. What certainly does not help is the fact that the book is unedited. A quote missing here and there can upset the reader’s rhythm because it leaves you wondering whether the person is still talking or if you have slept through half the page and did not see when the quote ended. You will also notice many repetitions of certain words or phrases which could have been simply left out and it would have sound 30% better instantly.
I do feel that there is some potential here and it being the first book to come from under the author’s pen it is quite solid. The idea, not the execution. There is a lot of room for improvement and I am certain we will see it in the author’s next work.
Big thanks to Ty Findlay for providing me with a review copy!

Book recommendation: 3/10

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