Tag Archives: Book Reviews

On Book Reviews – Reckoning

Hi all! It’s been a while, I know. My apologies. I’ve been trying to get back to our regularly scheduled program, but the merry-go-round’s been moving a bit too fast for me to keep up lately. I promise to get back on schedule soon!

As you may recall, I’ve been participating in the Spread the Word Virtual Book Blog Tours hosted by 2 Book Lovers Reviews. This week is the virtual book tour for Reckoning (Book One of The Breach Trilogy) by Katheryn J. Avila, and I’m really happy to be able to share this book with you.

Before we move on to the review, here are a few links on Reckoning, for your browsing pleasure:

  • Goodreads (book page)
  • Amazon (purchase link – try a free sample!)
  • Smashwords (purchase link)(Reckoning is on sale right now through Monday, June 8th, with Smashwords coupon code XZ65E)

After the review, keep scrolling down for a synopsis, author bio, author links and blog tour giveaway!

Reckoning
(Book One of The Breach Trilogy)
Written by Katheryn J. Avila
4 out of 5 Stars

Katheryn J. Avila’s Reckoning, book one of The Breach Trilogy, tells the story of Lexia Graham, a strong willed and determined heroine whose life is turned upside down when her aunt dies and all of the family skeletons come tumbling out of the closet. An orphan herself, she must now protect her orphaned nephews while they are all drawn, unwittingly, into a supernatural world that becomes its own kind of macabre inheritance.

Reckoning was a fun, dark and engaging read. For me, it felt like slipping into my favorite pair of jeans. I know that’s an odd thing to say about a book, but it’s the most genuine way I can describe the experience. Everything about it felt familiar, and that in no way is meant to imply that it was predictable; if anything, it followed a certain kind of tradition in story-telling that I’m always happy to see.

While the story is ultimately about loss, literally and figuratively (since the plot revolves around Reapers), it still managed to remain light and charming—a testament to a fantastic supporting cast (they were so good that I still can’t settle on a favorite). The imagery was great and left an undeniable impression. There’s a scene in the story—I’ll just say that it’s a scene at the Crossroads—that captured and expressed the essence of the story in such a beautiful and haunting way that I can still see it clearly in my mind. If I had to point to a negative it’s that I wish I knew more—sometimes (mostly in the first half of the book) the story seemed to move too quickly for me without delving deeper, but that’s just my own preference.

Synopsis

After discovering suppressed psychic ability, Lexia struggles to keep her family safe, learning more than she bargained for along the way.

As demons and wraiths break their way through to the human world, she does her best to stay in control – unaware that the supernatural war dates back to before she was born.

Author Bio and Links

KAvila_Profile

Katheryn has always dreamed of being a published author, and recently, that dream has come true! She loves reading, writing, and does what she can to find/make time to write when her day job as a programmer doesn’t take up all her time.

Here are a few links to help you get to know Katheryn a little better:

Giveaway

Enter to win a free e-copy of Reckoning here!

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On Book Reviews – Run

Hello everyone. I’m back state-side. My vacation was perfect, but I came home to a very difficult and unfortunate situation, which is why there was no activity on this site last week. For the past 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure and honor of having a little black cat as my constant shadow. I lost her last Tuesday, and I’ve been trying to find my way ever since. Suffice it to say I haven’t really felt motivated to do much of anything (other than eat ice cream). I promise to post the photographs of the St. Bartholomew Festival soon. Until then, I wanted to leave y’all with my most recent indie review. I read “Run” by Becky Johnson during one of my quiet afternoons in Mallorca.

Run
Written by Becky Johnson
4 out of 5 Stars

“Run” by Becky Johnson is a fast-paced, heart-pounding, visceral journey that takes the reader from distant observer to unwilling prey in a harrowing 126 pages. The first thing I should note is that I don’t normally enjoy first-person narrative and my genre preference very rarely leads me outside of the fantasy or paranormal realms, but neither predisposition (usually deal breakers for me) were an issue with this book. The first-person narrative was not only enjoyable but imperative to the experience, and the storyline was so gripping that I quickly lost track of my usual need for something otherworldly.

The book opens with our narrator and main protagonist, Charlotte Marshall, struggling to find her muse. Under contract for her third book, with looming deadlines and only a blank page to show for it, Charlotte suddenly recalls a news story from 20 years before. This seemingly innocent recollection leads Charlotte, and the reader, down the proverbial ‘rabbit hole’, setting off a 26-day chain of events that will change Charlotte’s life forever.

As a reader, I really enjoy being pleasantly surprised. “Run” did that and more. I had no idea what to expect when I began reading, but once I started I couldn’t put it down. The narrative drew me in completely, and I was determined to see it through as fast as I could. What I loved most about the journey was Charlotte’s quick thinking (lord knows that with those odds, I wouldn’t have been able to put two coherent thoughts together) and the book’s ending. As someone who spent several years as a prosecutor, I really appreciated the way Becky Johnson chose to end her story. In fiction as well as real life, we often forget about the scars left behind after a story ends.

You can try a free sample of Run on Amazon
You can follow Becky Johnson’s blog “A Word at a Time” here.

On Book Reviews – Rokula

Hello! Sorry for the radio silence of late. Between the day job, writing, promoting, getting things sorted out to go on vacation and reading, I haven’t had a chance to check in as often as I would like. Several posts ago, I reblogged an interview given by Courtney Wells, founder of Fringe Fiction – a Goodreads group dedicated to books published by indie and small press authors. As a member of the group, I have met some really amazing people and have found some of the “hidden gems and diamonds-in-the-rough” the group is devoted to. As I was writing a book review a few nights ago, I thought to myself that it would be great to share those books with you.

A little note before I kick off my adventures in book reviewing – keep your eyes open for some new posts in the next few days. I’m going on vacation to my favorite place on the planet (a small town in Spain where my grandfather is from) and I hope to be able to share a few pictures with y’all when I do (*crossing my fingers that the wifi connection will work*). And now, without further ado…

RokulaRokula (The Rokula Saga, Book 1)
Written by Sarah Roberts and Robert Gartner
4 out of 5 Stars

Sarah Roberts and Robert Gartner’s “Rokula” is a modern fantasy set in a world thirty years after the discovery of monster-kind. Subjugated by the Coven and treated like third-class citizens, monsters struggle to survive in a world where technology and force of numbers has given mankind the upper hand. The story’s reluctant hero, Drake “Roky” Rokmonov, a vampire and once proud warrior General in centuries past, now dances for the masses in the arena at the Coven’s behest. Aloof, proud, but resigned to his circumstances, Drake fights as the Coven’s pet champion to survive, until a storm that’s been brewing for decades breaks and he suddenly finds himself the unlikely hope of all monster-kind.

“Rokula” is an original and entertaining monster mash-up, with a great spin on familiar horror characters and a solid storyline. The writing was well executed, the plot creative and complex (just the way I like it), and the characters well developed. The beginning of the story felt a little choppy to me because of the constant alternating between narrators, but that’s of course just a matter of personal preference; the switching back and forth made it a little difficult for me to really get a good feel for the main characters until I was almost in the middle of the book. I definitely think the beginning would benefit from a little clean up, so that the rhythm/transitions feel a little smoother. That said, “Rokula” was a really entertaining read, with a cast of characters I won’t soon forget (Drake, of course, was fantastic, but I have a soft-spot for Hyde, Merl and Lucy). And I’m happy to say that I won’t look at a kaleidoscope quite the same way again (it’s always a beautiful thing when a story changes the way we see common place things).

You can try a free sample of Rokula on Amazon