Copper Veins (#3) by Jennifer Allis Provost

Published: 26th July 2016
Goodreads badgePublisher: Spence City
Pages: 264
Format: ebook via Netgalley
Genre: Romance/Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Sara’s pretty sure her life is perfect.

Not only are she and Micah finally married, her father, who’d been missing since the Magic Wars, has been found. Actually, he just strode up to the manor’s front door, but whatever. Sara knows better than to look a gift horse in the mouth.

But Baudoin Corbeau isn’t content to return to family life. He’s decided that he will be the force of change in the Mundane world, and lead the Elemental resistance to victory with his children at his side. What’s worse, Baudoin doesn’t approve of Sara’s marriage, and makes every attempt to separate her from Micah.

After a visit to the Mundane realm leaves Sara, Max and Sadie imprisoned by the Peacekeepers, Sara’s doubts creep to the surface. Is her father right? Does she belong in the Mundane realm, not the Otherworld? Is Micah really the right man—make that elf—for her?
Was marrying him a mistake?

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book for review.

 This is the third book in the Copper Legacy series and it’s still such a delight to read about Sara and Micah and this fascinating world with Elementals and Mundanes.

Though only a few months have passed since the first story, a lot has happened. Micah and Sara’s relationship have gotten more serious and there are consequences and aftermaths of the previous book to deal with. Provost draws on past events and brings together existing ones wonderfully and previous books aren’t treated as separate things entirely. Conversations, situations, and scenes of past novels are still referred to and are important; they are treated like living memories rather than events of a different book. Provost does a wonderful job of filling in the previous book events without making it clunky or tedious, and aside from the Prologue that brings you up to speed, there are still numerous references blended throughout to fill in additional details.

Not all the story is tied up with past books, with the return of Sara’s father there is a new direction taken and a whole new set of things to explore. There is a different kind of drama this time. Not that there isn’t excitement or suspense, but it has a family focus that ties in with bigger things. Provost threads these all together naturally and the seamless transition of events really feels like real life, interruptions and best laid plans falling to the wayside, family drama and serious problems colliding and tangled together.

I have to admit it was slightly predictable at times, but also with a few surprises. We learn even more about the Elementals and their abilities and seeing Sara and Micah settle into their new life was great. Their relationship isn’t overdone, nor is it bland. Provost balances their affection and love for one another without making it cheesy or unbelievable. Both Sara and Micah have responsibilities and the contrast and conflict between their love and their duty makes for great reading.

Whether this is your first read of the Legacy series or you’ve been in it from the start, this is still a good read. From the beginning I was engaged and knowing the stories already I was instantly back in the world of Elementals and Mundanes with the magic, politics, and war. If I didn’t know the story I think Provost does an excellent job of introducing it while still moving the story forward. You could easily pick up this book and start reading without having read the previous two. The writing is descriptive and draws you in, and though the story isn’t action filled or intense all the time, you still find yourself eager to see what happens. Provost brings drama without making it seem dramatic.

With another book yet to come, Provost directs us towards the next one well, without making it too obvious in the lead up. The story is allowed to conclude naturally while still feeling like there is somewhere to go. I think book four is going to bring even more excitement and surprises and I can’t wait to read it. I’ve enjoyed this series and loved these characters from the start and I’m eager to see where it goes.

You can purchase Copper Veins via the following

Amazon | Amazon Aust

Angus and Robertson | Booktopia

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (spoiler free) by Jack Thorne & John Tiffany, J.K. Rowling

Published: 31st July 2016 Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Little Brown UK
Pages: 343
Format: Hardcover book of the script
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

I had mixed feelings about reading this script. I was excited for a new Harry Potter story, but I was also unsure how it would be treated. After years of Rowling feeding us new information and revealing more of the story I was eager to see how the kids of the famous trio were getting on. How the original gang were all enjoying their adult lives and new jobs. I was, however, also worried that it would ruin the magic and the near perfection of the original series. I was worried that it would be a half hearted extension that didn’t have the same depth and feel and immense pleasure of reading. How wrong I was. Don’t get me wrong, there are things about this that make it not perfect, but I stayed with the five stars because while the faults are there, I did so incredibly enjoy it.

From the first page I was back in the Harry Potter world, I could picture it, feel it, it was like we’d never left. I fell hopelessly into the story and fell in love with characters new and old. My heart was overjoyed and breaking for so many reasons and I was barely ten pages in. For a script it felt so much like a story, I have no doubt the one actually used was a bit different again, and no doubt will be changed as the performances go on, but for now I like to imagine this is the one that will be seen on the stage.

A few stage directions are included, as a script would have, and it was fascinating to try and picture how this would be performed on stage, but when I wasn’t doing that I was picturing it in my mind as a novel, the back and forward of my imagination wasn’t an issue, and it was remarkable how a play script could be as evocative as a fully fledged novel that has scenery and more detail given to surroundings and character thoughts.

There are old names I would have loved to have seen included, but understandable this is the next generation’s story and you can’t include the old guard just for nostalgia purposes and to satisfy the long time fans. But those that are included are a joy to read about.

There are surprises, wonderful surprises, and less wonderful surprises, and I can already see opinions divided about the story, but as I say, I loved it, I devoured it. I loved every character for so many reasons, they have come across complex and full as any novel could make them, and it’s wonderful in a way to see the idiolised characters with faults and human mistakes of their own, even in the wonderful wizarding world.

Overall I think the writers did a wonderful job capturing the original Rowling style, and Thorne’s play reflects the amazing world Rowling spent so long creating. I was surprised, delighted, shocked, and concerned about so much in the story and it has certainly provided enough new material and controversial topics for lengthy debating to occur. Whether that is a good thing overall I’m not sure.

I hope your own Harry Potter experience has been spoiler free, and that you derived some enjoyment from the story if you were one of those who were not thrilled at the plot, or the fact it exists at all. Personally, I’m glad it is a play and not a new book, and I’m glad, that while I won’t get to see the play, I could experience it all the same. I could easily and happily see this as a fitting end to Harry’s life and story, but whether that is to be the case, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Ceruleans Print Party + Giveaway

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death.

Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

The Ceruleans is a fantastic YA series from Megan Tayte with a fantasy and paranormal element that captures your attention early on. There are now five books in the series, the last one released in February this year. The series follows Scarlett Blake, a teenager seemingly haunted by death, and is filled with serious questions about life and death, but is also filled with humour and fun and wonderful friendships.

In honour of the series being released in print, and with amazing revamped covers, Megan is offering a chance to win the entire series! It’s very hard to insist you must read The Ceruleans when I have only published one review for the series, but I’ve read more and they are addictive and amazing, and all kinds of wonderful. Plus, with a chance to win all five books, this is the best time to dive into the series (total pun intended).

The giveaway has been running since the start of June, but work, illness, and life has stopped me making this post sooner, but there are still ten days to get in your entries and make sure you’re in with a chance to win these incredible books. I have plans to post reviews of them all to complete my list, but for now, I can only ask you trust me when I say you should read these books.

To find out about the series check out Goodreads and discover these amazing books!

My review of book one, Death Wish

Ceruleans poster

Giveaway

To go in the draw head to the Rafflecopter page and complete the form.

 

Buy links

Amazon UK

Amazon Aust

Amazon

Megan Tayte bio

Megan TayteOnce upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did. Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award. Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in the village of Standish, Greater Manchester. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

 

You can find Megan online at:

Website | Goodreads

Facebook | Twitter

Instagram

 

Risen (#1) by M. T. Miller

Published: 13th January 2016Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Self Published
Pages: 87
Format: ebook
Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
★   ★  – 2 Stars

In the middle of nowhere, a nameless individual rises from the dark. With barely any knowledge apart from how to speak and how to kill, he finds himself in a world gone mad. Worse off, nearly everything that moves is out for his blood. 

Not knowing where to turn, the wanderer traverses the desolate landscape of a ruined continent. Along his travels, his mind and body are pushed to their limits as he desperately tries to make sense of what is going on, what he is, and why he exists. 

Foe after foe meets their end at his hands, yet each kill only serves to raise more questions. Is he even human? What has happened to the world? Where does his path lead?
The answer lies beyond the blood-stained horizon.

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

From the start Miller fills you with curiosity with a main character with no memory and a target on his back. From then on it leads you into a strange story filled with mutated people and a society that has fallen apart.

Unfortunately, I just could not get into this book. I could see where Miller has left room for the continuing series which is great, there is a curiosity to finding out exactly what happened to Nameless and more about this dystopian land he’s found himself in. But while it was an ok read, I couldn’t engage very well with the characters or the story. I feel like I’m the only one because other reviews are giving out three and five stars so maybe don’t just take my word on it.

There was a lot I liked, Miller’s writing is evocative and clever, the opening pages are vivid and descriptive; the story certainly opens on a surprise and there are a few good twists. You become used to Nameless and his strange ways, you also settle into the story and learn alongside Nameless as he discovers where he is and what he might be. With a back story provided by a beggar Nameless befriends, a brief rundown is given about how the continent has ended up the way it has. This brief explanation is actually enough for now as there are other pressing matters happening, and the vicious Skulls hunting Nameless are their own mystery to focus on.

Miller has been clever in that through Nameless’ escape from these menaces we’re shown a bit more of the world and where it’s ended up. We also discover more things about Nameless on the way in interesting and mystifying ways. Being the first in a series it’s evident that there will be more revealed later on, and Miller offers just enough to satisfy while leaving room to reveal more further down the track.

It is action packed which reinforces that idea that Nameless is always being hunted, and the scenes change quite quickly but I didn’t mind that. To me it suited this strange new world where danger is everywhere, and the more you see of the Skulls you realise they are relentless in their chase and there’s never a moment of peace.

It’s intriguing and not without charm, there isn’t a great deal of suspense or draw that keeps you reading, it’s more idle curiosity to see where it will go. The mystery of Nameless is a mystery worth solving on its own; whether this is enough to propel you onto the next book I’m not sure. It’s a short read which works in its favour so perhaps with each installation and more of the story is revealed an alluring tale will be told.

You can purchase Risen via the following

Amazon | Amazon Aust

 

The Princess Companion by Melanie Cellier

Published: 2nd January 2016Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Luminant Publications
Pages: 244
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Fairy Tale
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

One dark and stormy night, lost and alone, Alyssa finds herself knocking on the door of a castle. 

After a lifetime spent in the deep forest, Alyssa has no idea what to expect on the other side. 

What she finds is two unruly young princesses and one very handsome prince. When Alyssa accepts the job of Princess Companion she knows her life will change. What she doesn’t know is that the royal family is about to be swept up in unexpected danger and intrigue and that she just might be the only thing standing between her kingdom and destruction. 

This retelling of the classic fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, reimagines the risks and rewards that come when one royal family goes searching for a true princess. 

Danger and romance await a woodcutter’s daughter in a royal palace.

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

Fairy tale retellings are some of my favourite books and fairy tales themselves are one of my favourite genres. I love everything about them, their universality, their ability to become any story possible while still being recognised at a level as being a fairy tale, and I love that there are one hundred ways to tell the exact same story and have it come out one hundred different ways.

Cellier’s story is exactly this. It is The Princess and the Pea story we all recognise, but told in a way that it becomes a whole new story on its own. There is still so much of a fairytale in this story: woodcutter’s daughter, godmothers, princes and kingdoms, but Cellier manages to create something more intricate and complex than the original tale. It is sweet, creative, incredibly clever, and even sneaks in another fairy tale reference and shows us what happens at the end of a happily ever after.

The writing feels really honest. Cellier easily could have fallen into the trap of having misunderstandings resulting in the stereotypical drama caused by miscommunication, but she doesn’t. Alyssa is upfront and honest about mistakes and even though it doesn’t always work it, she is never is dishonest or deceptive.

The narration stays with Alyssa for the majority of the book which is a wonderful move as we get to see the palace life and her experience through her eyes and thoughts. You really can’t ask for a better character than Alyssa. She is honest and intelligent, filled with wisdom but also delightfully innocent at the same time. Where readers can see the affection between Max and Alyssa, she always comes to the wrong conclusion. It’s so sweet, and it is a nice change than having her pine for a prince she can’t have.

Alyssa’s role as a Princess Companion brings about all sorts of adventure and danger, and seeing her develop and change, along with all the other characters, is quite rewarding. When the romance emerges it is beautifully told; Cellier doesn’t spring it on us, she weaves it through, misdirection and ignorance throughout. I can’t go on enough about how well this is written.

The original Princess and the Pea fairy tale is not an overly popular retelling compared to Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast, but Cellier has expanded on this incredibly short fairy tale phenomenally, giving depth and fullness to every character and creating a solid and emotionally stable story all within the beginning and end of the traditional fairy tale.

Reading this novel gives you the warm fuzzy feeling that a well-told story produces, and this simple fairy tale has been filled with so much, so many details and complexities, tiny moments that add so much meaning but seem so innocent. It’s fantastic. Cellier truly has written an enchanting, enthralling, and brilliant novel that still feels like you are reading a classic fairy tale.

You can purchase The Princess Companion via the following

Amazon

Amazon Aust

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