Non Fiction, Review, Traditionally-Published

Blog Tour (Book Review) – Kilo – Toby Muse

Kilo banner

Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Kilo’ by Toby Muse, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and to read this fascinating book – the first non-fiction review for this blog – and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*

KILO - jkt9781529106756

Book Summary

Join the deadly journey of cocaine, from farmer to kingpin.

Meet Maria. Maria doesn’t see herself as a criminal. She’s just a farmhand picking the crops that never lose money: coca.

This is Cachote. He prays to the Virgin of the Assassins that his bullets find their target. If he misses, he’ll have to answer to the cartel who pay him to take out their enemies.

Pedro works the coca labs. But this laboratory is hidden deep in the jungle, and he turns coca leaves into coca paste, a step just short of cocaine.

And finally, here is Alex. Alex is a drug-lord and decides where the drug goes next: into Europe or the US. And he wields the power of life and death over everyone around him.

Following one brick of cocaine from Colombia’s jungles to the Pacific Ocean as it races to join global underworld economy, Kilo is an unprecedented journey to the violent heart of the cocaine industry. On the way we will meet drug lords, contract killers, drug mules, cartel witches, as well as the Colombian police and US Coast Guard who are desperately trying to stop the kilo reach the consumers in the world’s richest countries.

Toby Muse has been on the ground in the drug war for over a decade, earning the trust of those involved on all sides. Telling the human stories of how the world’s second most popular drug gets from the Colombian jungle to the London street corner, Kilo is a devastating account of a multi-billion-pound business whose influence reaches across the world.

The Review:

    Kilo promised to be an exciting read from the moment I read the summary, but it turned out to be so much more. This book is a fascinating tour-de-force of the Colombian drugs world that most people could never imagine let alone experience. It brings it home to the reader through a combination of a personality and a well-paced, fluid writing style. Although it is non-fiction, the choice to follow a single kilo of cocaine on every inch of its journey creates a captivating story that carries the reader along with it.

What I enjoyed the most about Kilo, is that it takes such a broad, multi-dimensional view of the drug business, meaning that we get to see and experience all parts of the journey. From, those who are involved only briefly for one stage, to those who are a fixture of the process. You can see how it affects the life not only of them but broader life in Colombia and beyond, as the Kilo’s impact and travels go beyond borders. There is a wide cast of characters from the coca leave harvesters, to rebels and smugglers, and on the flip side those working to stop them, showing their experiences, motivations and their lives as a result of the drug’s trade, whether willing or unwilling participants.

The book does not shy away from the violence of this world. It doesn’t try to soften the brutality, or how hopeless the situation can be for those involved. Nor, does it try to absolve the participants of their roles in that world. Instead, there is a recognition of the fact that this is a different world, and that those who are involved, may not have a choice, and where what most of us only see in news reports or dramatized for tv – violence and murder and assassination – are in fact a part of daily life for these people. That understanding and the way Muse has approached the topic, and the big questions that arise from looking at the drug world without blinkers make this a very human story. So even readers who will never experience this world for themselves can emphasize with the story. And I finished the book very much with the feeling ‘but for the grace of God’ because these are real people, whose life took that path whether through choice, situation or desperation.

Kilo was a thought-provoking read and what that will remain with you for a while. The writing was fantastic, investigative but descriptive, bringing the account to life through skill and personality. The narrative does not let you go from start to finish, immersing you in this journey from the coca farms to the international market. I would highly recommend this masterful view of the drug’s world to anyone with interest in non-fiction, and or crime fiction. And I hope that many people will leap at this chance to take this journey.

 

About the Author:

Toby Muse Author Image

Toby Muse is a British-American writer, television reporter, documentary filmmaker and foreign correspondent. He has reported from the front lines of the conflicts in Colombia, Iraq and Syria. He has embedded with soldiers, rebels and drug cartels, producing exclusive reports from cocaine laboratories and guerrilla jungle camps. He lived in Bogota, Colombia for more than fifteen years, reporting across South America and the endless drug war.

Social Media:

Twitter | Facebook|Website

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK| Waterstones | Foyles |Book Depository |Hive.co.uk

The Rating:

Kilo – Toby Muse (Published in hardcover and digital formats by Ebury Publishing on 26th March 2020) – 5/5 (5 Stars)

**

If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.

Rowena

#Kilo @tobymuse @EburyPublishing @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

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Crime, Genres, Historical, Noir, Traditionally-Published

Blog Tour (Book Review) – East Side Hustler – Leopold Borstinski

East Side Hustler banner

Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘East Side Hustler’ by Leopold Borstinski, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and to this fascinating book, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*

Image

 

Book Summary

Alex lived through the war, but will he survive the peace?

Jewish gang member, Alex comes back from the Great War almost destroyed by the horrors he has seen. When he is plucked from certain death by an old friend, he commits to making so much money he’ll never know that agony again.

But the route to the top is fraught with danger and every time he helps one of his powerful friends like Al Capone, he acquires more enemies who want to see him dead. When organised crime financier, Arnold Rothstein dies, the turmoil caused by his loss sets in train a chain of events which means Alex must once more fight for his life. How far would you go to attain your American dream?

The second book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which tears through the Prohibition years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir pierces the heart of every reader like a bullet from Alex’s sniper rifle.

The Review

I haven’t read book one in the Alex Cohen series, ‘The Bowery Slugger’ although it has definitely been added to the TBR list. However, ‘East Side Hustler’ can easily be read as a standalone novel. I found myself quickly picking up the relationships between the characters, and a good idea of their past experiences, if not all the nuances.

I found the character of Alex fascinating, and the two main facets of his life – the war, and the trauma from those experiences, and his work for the gangs well beautifully interwoven. It meant that he never became defined by one thing and stopped him from merely being characterised as a gangster. Even with the violence and scheming that makes up a large part of the book, and later his devolving need for power and money. He’s an excellent lesson in characterisation, and you can’t help but emphasise with him, and while you do not always like him or the other characters for that matter over the length of the story, they are all the more believable because of it.

What made me fall in love with this book, though, is the historical aspect – the research and worldbuilding, that brought the fascinating world of the 1920s to life. The roaring ’20s and Prohibition are something most of us know about from school, but this story lets us live it and not just through the ‘glitz and glamour’ that many associates with this era. This book looks not only at the gangs themselves, but their interactions and exploitations, as well as the logistics of Prohibition and the threats to their business, without losing sight of the character and his personal relationships. Flawless writing, and the blending of actual historical figures such as Al Capone among others involved in the gangs during this period, give it a degree of realism that is fascinating and shocking in equal measure and creates a story that flows from start to finish.

I would highly recommend East Side Hustler to anyone who has an interest in this period, as well as to fans of crime noir.

About the Author

Borstinski

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media:

Twitter @borstinski| Facebook | Website| Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Nook

The Rating

East Side Hustler – Leopold Borstinski (Published in paperback and digital formats by Sobriety Press on 21st March 2020) – 4/5 (4 Stars)

**

If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.

Rowena

East Side Hustler (Alex Cohen #2) by Leopold Borstinski

#EastSideHustler #AlexCohenSeries @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

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Crime, Humour, Review, Traditionally-Published

Blog Tour (Book Review): The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize – Marco Ocram

 

The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize banner

Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize’ by Marco Ocram, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and to read a highly entertaining book outside by usual genres, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*

The Awful Truth About The Sushing Prize cover

Book Summary

Should I tell him about Sushing or play dumb?

Sticking in my comfort zone, I played dumb.

Writer Marco Ocram has a secret superpower—whatever he writes actually happens, there and then. Hoping to win the million-dollar Sushing Prize, he uses his powers to write a true-crime thriller, quickly discovering a freakish murder. But Marco has a major problem—he’s a total idiot who can’t see beyond his next sentence. Losing control of his plot and his characters, and breaking all the rules of fiction, Marco writes himself into every kind of trouble, until only the world’s most incredible ending can save his bacon.

Fast, funny, and utterly different, welcome to the weird world of The Awful Truth.

The Review

I knew from reading the synopsis of this book that it was going to be something different, which is what appealed to me, and it is undoubtedly a unique book. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it – balancing humour, crime/mystery and utterly shattering all expectations and the fourth wall in the process. It did take me a little while to get into this one. Partly as you have to get your head around the fact that the entire book is being written as you write, the character is the author, and the author is the character. As I said, it’s a very different book. However, once I got my head around that concept – as much as you can, as if you try to focus on it too much it will just send your mind spiralling into confusion (I know, I tried).

It’s not a book that will work for everyone.

Partly because of that concept, partly for the humour – which I adored – which was alternatively subtle lines that you had to read twice, and more blatant lines written for the laughs. Had it just been the latter, I think that it could have been overdone, but the subtlety in between made it and certainly appealed more to my sense of humour.

It’s also, in my opinion, very much a ‘writer’s’ book.

Some of the humour and the moments in the story are something that as a writer myself I am very familiar with – the urge to ‘re-write the sequence’, finding and ignoring plotholes, and discovering the story for yourself as you write it. I loved that. For me, it was the defining part of the book. It had been chuckling to myself whenever I came across those parts, but that was because I understood and emphasised with those difficulties. Non-writers who are reading this book might not get the same nuances, which would make the book harder to understand.

That said, if you can let go of any preconceptions and let yourself just enjoy the concept, then this is highly entertaining, hilarious read. It is absurd, it is cliché in places. Still, it plays on that beautifully, and for anyone who has ever wanted to know what it’s like to be inside an author’s head and watching the story unfold then this is the book for you. If you want a laugh, especially at the moment, then give this book a shot, just be prepared for how different it is and let yourself enjoy the ride.

About the Author:

Marco Ocram is the world’s first self-written author-cum-protagonist. First imagined in 2015, he has gone on to infect the world of literature with two awful anti-thrillers which subvert the tropes of mainstream fiction. Heavily dosed with nuanced intertextuality, the books make little literal sense, and will strike you either as hilarious spoofs or utter nonsense, depending upon your taste in such matters.

Social Media:

Twitter | Website

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones |Book Depository

The Rating:

The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize – Marco Ocram (Published in paperback and digital formats by Tiny Fox Press on 4th June 2019) – 3.5/5 (3.5 stars)

**

If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.

Rowena

#TheAwfulTruthAboutTheSushingPrize #MarcoOcram @denishaughnessy @TinyFoxPress @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

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Crime, Review, Thriller

Blog Tour (Book Review): Deadly Waters – OMJ Ryan

Deadly Waters banner

Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Deadly Waters’ by OMJ Ryan, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and to read a fascinating book outside my usual genres, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*

2019-1396 OMJ Ryan b03

Book Summary

Several young women have recently drowned in Manchester’s vast network of canals. A coincidence? Or something more sinister?

When star detective DCI Jane Phillips begins to investigate, her finely tuned instinct tells her these are no accidents. And when she discovers that each of the drowned women has a mysterious circular bruise on the back of her neck, Phillips is sure of it — she’s up against a very clever serial killer.

But how are the victims being chosen? And who will be next?

With the body count rising, Phillips and her team find themselves in a fight to the death with a shadowy figure who always seems to be one step ahead.

Can Phillips stop the killer before the next victim dies? Or will she herself become an offering to Manchester’s deadly waters?

 

The Review

This is the second Detective Jane Philips book but having not read the first one (although I will be looking for it now) I did not find myself at a disadvantage in the slightest. We are introduced to the main characters/core team in such a way that we learn everything we need to know, without it being heavy-handed or leaving us with holes in our knowledge that would detract from the pace or plot.

The characters themselves – whether the more nuanced main character or the supporting cast are well developed, and I really enjoyed their interactions and the bond between them. Tensions with the broader cast and personal dilemmas only added to the realism. I hope that some of the political/work tensions will be built on in future books, as they added a fascinating dimension to the story, and helped to add to the sense of urgency that was built throughout the book in the race to solve the case.

The plot was interesting, and even in the earlier chapters where the situation and story were being established, I was hooked. What I particularly enjoyed was that we were also given insight into the killer’s point of view, and their reasons for what they were doing – from the beginning, throughout the process – before it was brought into the open at the climax. It was cleverly done, and it makes you see the case from both sides, without slowing the pace or giving you answers too early in the game even as you moved between the two arms of the investigation.

The book also deals with heavy topics such as (CW) the sex trade and drug addiction, and the impact that can have on entire families. I felt that it was presented believably, and in such a way that it was very human, allowing for compassion and empathy not just from the characters but from the reader as well.

For me, the pacing of Deadly Waters was spot on, with peaks of tension surrounding the murders and the highs of the Police response, to the troughs and frustration of the investigation as they were confronted with dead ends or conflicting evidence. There was a steady rise in the tension and pace towards the end, that kept my eyes glued to the page right until the very end.

The climax was unexpected, and I was caught off guard by several of the twists and turns, which was fantastic and just what I want in a crime thriller. I might have liked to see a bit more of the aftermath, but for the most part, I found it a very satisfying ending in keeping with the pace of the rest of the book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an exciting, well-paced crime read. Especially if you want one based in the UK, and I would extend that recommendation to book one ‘Deadly Silence’ which will be getting added to my TBR in the near future.

About the Author

OMJ Ryan

Hailing from Yorkshire, OMJ Ryan worked in radio and entertainment for over twenty years, collaborating with household names and accumulating a host of international writing and radio awards.

In 2018 he followed his passion to become a full-time novelist, writing stories for people who devour exciting, fast-paced thrillers by the pool, on their commute – or those rare moments of downtime before bed. Owen’s mission is to entertain from the first page to the last. DEADLY WATERS will be his third novel published with Inkubator Books.

Social Media:

Twitter @OMJRYAN1|Facebook |Instagram | Website

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US

The Rating:

Deadly Waters – OMJ Ryan ( Published in digital format Inkubator Books in digital format on 15th March 2020) – 4/5 (4 stars)

**

If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.

Rowena

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Fantasy, Guest Post

Blog Tour: Guest Post – Magical Mayhem (A Noble’s Path – I.L.Cruz)

Blog Tour Banner

Hello!

Today I am delighted to welcome the blog tour for ‘A Noble’s Path’ by I.L.Cruz, organised by Rachel Poli (@RPoli3) back to my blog. Today I am hosting author content about magic and magic systems. It’s fascinating reading both as a reader and a writer, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

The Mayhem of Magic

It should come as no surprise that I love magic in books. I feel so strongly about it that I’ve written a series about magic that’s outlawed. When I started the series, I knew I wanted to include magic in my world, but I wanted to do it correctly. I’ve read more than one novel where the magic didn’t fit. My superpower is research, and this is what I learned.

Have a name.

It sounds silly, but it’s important to know what you want to call your magic wielders. Magic wielder is clunky, but it can be made to work depending on the tone of the book. Is it gender neutral? Are there grades like Boy Scouts?

Magic should always have a system.

While I love the idea of magic just existing like oxygen, it makes for boring magic and lazy writing. It’s so easy to fix any problem with magic instead of looking for other avenues to move a plot along. Magic should have rules. In my Enchanted Isles novels, I made clear that everyone had one magical affinity. That makes it impossible for anyone to be good at everything and if they are, there are consequences. Which brings me to…

Magic should have consequences.

Something that strikes me as unfair in some stories with magic is the ease with which it’s used after it’s learned. Powerful castings or potent magical objects should have a cost for use either physical or emotional not just for the person it’s used on but also for the person who uses it.

Decide on a magical outlet.

Some like elaborate hand gestures. Others prefer wands or staves. Chants. Potions. Blood. Whatever your jam is, it’s important to pick a way that magic can be wielded. If your magic wielders use elemental magic, it makes sense to have them use those elements in their spells or castings.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gets the ball rolling on thinking about the essentials of using magic in a story. After deciding on the main character’s name and the basic story, the first thing I do is sketch out my magic system. It’s the best part of being a writer.

For references:

Card, Athans, and Lake. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction. FW Media, 2013.

VanderMeer, Jeff. Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. Harry N Abrams, 2018.

https://mythcreants.com/blog/how-to-create-a-rational-magic-system/

https://www.well-storied.com/blog/how-to-create-a-magic-system-in-six-simple-steps

Cover

Book Summary

Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.

The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.

Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.

And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.

Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Guest Post – Magical Mayhem (A Noble’s Path – I.L.Cruz)”

Fantasy, Genres, Review

Blog Tour (Book Review): A Noble’s Path – I.L.Cruz

 

Blog Tour Banner

Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘A Noble’s Path’ by I.L.Cruz, organised by Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). I was delighted to participate in this tour, especially after thoroughly enjoying ‘A Smuggler’s Path’ (Mini review Here), and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

Noble by birth. Smuggler by trade. Mage by destiny.

Cover

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*

Book Summary

Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.

The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.

Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.

And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.

Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.

The Review

   I read ‘A Noble’s Path’ immediately after finishing book 1 in the series, ‘A Smuggler’s Path’ because I wanted to stay in this world as long as possible.  Probably, my favourite part of both books in the Enchanted Isles series is the worldbuilding. It is a fantastically written world, with breadth and depth, and where magic doesn’t solve every problem – in fact, you could argue that it causes as many issues as it solves, and that makes for a more interesting world and story. That magic (and the restrictions and debates around it) are woven into every aspect of the story. Including the history, the politics and relationships of the characters – give it a degree of realism and consequence, without detracting from the sometimes-whimsical nature of the magic, reflecting the almost fairy tale approach within the book.

I was delighted that this book continued following the main character Inez, because she was, without a doubt, my favourite character. A strong female lead (and Latina), who wasn’t infallible, and whose flaws and struggles made her all the more real and relatable. You want her to succeed because she is very human for all that she has her magic. She has hopes and dreams and fears, she wants and needs things for herself and from others around her, and that means that despite the fantastical setting you can’t help but emphasize with her, especially if you question how you would react in a similar situation. In this book, we see her develop even more both individually through the situations she finds herself in, and by virtue of her magic. But also, in terms of her relationships with the other characters.

Through following Inez, we, as the reader, discover the plot and the world at the same time as she does. We’re deep within her mind, experiencing her views and reactions as they happen, and again this helps to draw you both into her character arc, but the story as a whole. This focus on Inez does mean that not as much attention is giving to the fascinating cast around her. We have enough to understand them and their relationships with Inez as well as their goals, but there was not perhaps as much development of all the characters as you might want – I would love to know more about nearly every character that we met. However, this is in keeping with following a single, main character, and so it works for this story and does not detract in any way from the story.

As well as the fascinating worldbuilding, and Inez, I love the use of language in this book.  In places, it could pull you away from the flow of the story, but the beautiful descriptions and the detail painted such a vivid mental picture of the world that this is not really a complaint. And again, it built on that feeling of being with a fairy tale and swept you along.

I enjoyed both books in this series and feel that it is only growing in strength. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially that which is set in a magical world that has a touch of whimsy and childhood fairy tales to it. I will certainly be keeping an eye for the next book in the series when it comes out.

About the Author

ILCRUZ

I.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008. Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.

Social Media

Website: https://booksbyilcruz.com/

Blog: https://fairytalefeminista.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @ILCruzWrites

Purchase Links

Central Link: https://books2read.com/u/brvGdW

The Rating

The Noble’s Path – I.L. Cruz (Bosky Flame Press, 2020)

**** 4/5 Stars

**

If you’ve read it, or read it in the future please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Also, please check out the rest of the tour (the schedule is below), and the tour will be stopping here again on the 16th so keep an eye out for that!

Rowena

 

Tour Schedule

 

 

Childrens, Fantasy, Review, Thriller

Mini Reviews

Hello!

So, I’ve actually read a few books this week, so I thought I would share those smaller reviews here. Tomorrow, I am taking part in the Book Tour for ‘A Noble’s Path’ (The Enchanted Isles Book 2) by I.L.Cruz so watch out for that post.

Disclaimer: ‘All the books below except ‘A Smuggler’s Path’ were received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I also received ‘A Smuggler’s Path’ as part of the book tour for ‘A Noble’s Path’.’

Reviews & Ratings:

A Surprising Friendship – Andrew Wald and Tara. J. Hannon (Illustrator) [Deeper Well Publishing, 2020]

A Surprising Friendshup

Beautifully illustrated, and the story was lovely and heartwarming too. While the main focus was on friendship, and diversity, it is also educational about wildlife habits.

***** 5/5 Stars
Available Here

**

Broken Genius – Drew Murray [Oceanview Publishing, June 2020]

Broken Genius

I really enjoyed the premise for the book, and I feel that beyond a couple of points that required a suspension of belief, the plot was well thought out and developed. Where, I felt the book was lacking was in terms of the character development, as I felt little to know connection with the main character, and that detracted from my investment in the plot.

*** 3/5 Stars

Preorder Here

**

Britfield & The Lost Crown (Britfield Series Book 1) – C.R. Stewart [Devonfield Publishing, 2019]
Britfield
This was a fun read, and I very much enjoyed the premise although I wasn’t completely sold on the execution. There were a few pacing issues throughout the book, it took a little while to get going and there were a few places were the inclusion of history slowed the pace a little too much. However, I think that the target audience would enjoy it.

*** 3/5 Stars

Available Here

**

Soul Riders (Book 1 ): Jorvik Calling – Star Stable Entertainment AB [Andrews McMeel Publishing, May 2020]

Soul Riders
I absolutely adored the prologue, the language was beautiful, and the map at the start is something that I am always happy to see. I enjoyed the story, although I found it a little dialogue heavy, and in places that felt a little unnatural. However, I am not the target audience, and I think middle grade kids would thoroughly enjoy this book.

*** 3/5 Stars

Preorder Here
**

Fish-Boy – Vanita Oelschlager and Mike Blanc (Art) [Vanita Books, 2018]

Fish-boy

What a beautiful book. I absolutely adored the illustrations, particularly the use of colour. I also enjoyed the story, which was a wonderful introduction to Inuit Folklore as well as a fascinating story, with a helpful glossary at the back.

**** 4/5 Stars

Available Here

**

A Smuggler’s Path (The Enchanted Isles Book 1) – I.L.Cruz [Bosky Flame Press, 2018]
A smugglers path
I really enjoyed ‘A Smuggler’s Path’ from both a worldbuilding and character driven point of view. The world was fascinating, and I loved how inbuilt magic was in everything and the conflict that caused, and I was left wanting to know more. For the characters there were a few places where I feel development was a little lacking, but I absolutely adored the main protagonist Inez – she was strong, and independent, and yet we experienced her struggles, the choices she was torn between. Would highly recommend this book.
**** 4/5 Stars
Available Here

**

If you’ve read any of these, or read them in the future please feel free to shout at me about them.

Rowena