Alpha Landon (Alpha: Book 1) by Midika Crane

Alpha Landon (Alpha#1)

Title: Alpha Landon

Author: Midika Crane

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: July 16th, 2017

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Supernatural

Series: Alpha

Alpha Landon – Book 1

Alpha Kaden – Book 2 (review here)

Alpha Grayson – Book 3 (review here)

Alpha Jasper – Book 4

Alpha Malik – Book 5

POV: Alternating 1st person

Where you can find Alpha Landon: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

You can’t love him, you need someone who you’re more compatible with,” he insisted. His arms moved suddenly, his palms slamming against the wall beside my head, his arms locked into place.

“You wouldn’t know,” I gritted out in frustration. Landon sighed, leaning in further till his soft lips pressed against my neck lightly, briefly, making me gasp.

“Trust me, I know exactly who you suit,” he whispered.

“Remember the night at your house after dinner?” He asked, his lips leaving soft kisses up to my ear. I shuddered, nodding. He smiled gently against my skin.

“I did want to kiss you.”

Trigger Warning: None

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The Son’s Path by Hildebrand Hermannson

The Son's Path

Title: The Son’s Path

Author: Hildebrand Hermannson

Publisher: The Poet’s Truth

Date of publication: July 16th, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Number of pages: 234

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Seeing one side of wealth and power, Sunu, the Slayer of the White Aurochs, has set his eyes on greater fame. For his envy of others’ glory is clouding the truth of who he is and what he was meant to be…to the point of disappearance. With the warnings of his austere father falling on deaf ears, it will take more than a man for Sunu to see that glory is not the only thing awaiting him outside his humble village. After striving against his father during a bullish storm, a dazzling rainbow draws Sunu out of his longhouse into a sacred oak grove, where he hears the whispering of a horse made from the sun. “There is more than what is seen.” This horse was sent by a mysterious friend, who gives it secret counsel, to help Sunu see the truth and the enemy unseen. In a journey that reveals the mystery of life, the horse must shed light on everything Sunu has to lose and everyone influencing his decisions—how they’re affecting the Sons of Man—so he will choose the right path to imperishable fame.

My review:

I love reading less known books by lesser known authors. Don’t get me wrong, I like popular authors too but I really enjoy giving the unknown authors a chance. Which I did with The Son’s Path and I was greatly disappointed by this book. A magical horse who talks to a teenager and takes him on adventures, sign me up. What I read, though, really didn’t live up the hype in my mind.

This book turned out to be one of the most boring, tedious books that I have read in a while. While it was pretty interesting in the beginning, I found that the characters really didn’t fit into the mold for Germany in 109. While the raids of Germany (ie the Saxons) were historically accurate, the mannerisms and vocabulary of Sunu seemed to model after a modern-day 15-year-old at points in the book. Which was kinda at odd with the historical setting in the book.

I had a very hard time getting through the book. If the author had just focused on Sunu and his coming of age story or even Sunu and Runa/Mystery’s adventures, I think that the book would have been a lot better. But, instead, the coming of age story was woven in with Mystery’s story and it just got confusing at points. I can’t tell you how many times I had to back up and reread a page because I felt that I missed something.

Sunu was very difficult for me to connect to as a character. He just didn’t come across as a nice person in the book, even at the end….when everything was revealed and he was supposedly changed for the better. For some reason, as a reader, I didn’t believe that and that, among with other things, ruined the book for me. I couldn’t get past his actions and his greediness in the book.

What I did like was that the author did have a glossary at the back of the book. I didn’t know it when I was reading and struggled with some of the words/names of people, place, and religions that were used in the book. But it was there and I was happy about it after the fact.

The end of the book was just as confusing at the rest of the book.

How many stars will I give The Son’s Path: 2

Why: I am actually being very generous with a 2-star rating. I gave it that because of the historical facts that were used in the book. It was very well researched in that regard and that is why I bumped my 1 star up to 2. Other than that, I found this book very tedious to read and had a very difficult time finishing it.

Will I reread: No

Will I recommend to family and friends: No

Age range: Older Teen

Why: Violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land

Title: The Waking Land

Author: Callie Bates

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Date of publication: June 27th, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Number of pages: 400

POV: 1st person

Where you can find The Waking Land: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Lady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

My review:

The Waking Land is one of those books that pull you in from the explosive first page and will not let you up for air until the intense end. A book with vivid writing, memorable characters and a storyline that will stir your imagination.

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Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume

Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith

Title: Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith

Author: Shaun Hume

Publisher: Popcorn & Rice Publishing

Date of publication: July 31st, 2013 (Original publication date: October  31st, 2012)

Genre: Fantasy

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith: Barnes and Nobles | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

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 peoples who can alone see the real ‘Creatures’ which 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 Ewan, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.

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Demon Lights (Blackwater Lights Trilogy) by Michael M. Hughes

Demon Lights (Blackwater Lights Trilogy)

Title: Demon Lights

Author: Michael M. Hughes

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Hydra

Date of publication: May 23rd, 2017

Genre: Paranormal, Horror

Number of pages: 253

POV: 3rd person

Series: Blackwater Lights Trilogy

Demon Lights – Book 3

Where you can find Demon Lights: Barnes and Nobles| Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the cult-favorite author of Blackwater Lights comes the finale to a dark paranormal horror trilogy in the cosmic horror vein of H. P. Lovecraft.

The world is collapsing. Governments have fallen, and anarchy reigns. Yet a greater danger looms imprisoned in ancient objects from distant space: bodiless aliens with an all-consuming thirst for freedom . . . and human blood.

They have a strong ally in Lily, a powerful sorceress, and leader of a globe-spanning cult. In an isolated compound deep in the frozen north, Lily cultivates a group of children whose paranormal abilities can be harnessed to unleash the alien apocalypse. Now she has acquired the final pieces to the puzzle: a gifted young boy named William and his mother, Ellen, whose safety is the bargaining chip Lily needs to compel the child’s obedience.

Once again, William and Ellen’s last hope is Ray Simon. Every time Ray and Lily have crossed paths, she has come out on top, and even now she is one step ahead. But this time Ray is not alone. Accompanied by Claire and Mantu—devotees of the enigmatic Brotherhood of Eleusis, who possess psychic abilities of their own—Ray sets off on a desperate mission of rescue and revenge. Only the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance.

My review:

This is my first book that I have read from Michael M. Huges and I got to say, I really enjoyed reading Demon Lights. It struck the perfect balance between horror, science fiction, and action. I couldn’t put the book down and I think I read it within a couple of hours. Any book that engrosses me that much is a keeper. The fact that it is the 3rd book in the Blackwater Lights Trilogy didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for Demon Lights. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know how much I dislike picking up a book mid-series or even the end. Demon Lights could be read alone if needed to. While the past books were mentioned (and piqued my interest) but they did not overwhelm this one. Just enough background was given to understand the main characters and how they came into the situations that they were in. Then the book takes off.

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Fata Morgana by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney

Fata Morgana

Title: Fata Morgana

Author: Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Date of publication: June 13th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: 3rd person

Series: No

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wise cracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world.

Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder—and finds a love seemingly decreed by fate—as his bomber becomes a pawn in a centuries-old conflict between remnants of advanced but decaying civilizations. Caught among these bitter enemies, a vast power that has brought them here for its own purposes, and a terrifying living weapon bent on their destruction, the crew must use every bit of their formidable inventiveness and courage to survive.

Fata Morgana—the epic novel of love and duty at war across the reach of time.

My review:

This book made me a little sad in spots because my grandfather was a gunner on a B-17. He didn’t serve in Europe, though, he served in the South Pacific. It wasn’t until my son, then 5, started expressing an interest in airplanes, that he started talking about the war. Of course, he didn’t tell my son everything, just the names of the planes he flew on and he had pictures of “the ladies” as he called the planes. My son was fascinated that planes had people painted on them and was fascinated that Papa shot guns out of the back at the bad guys. He didn’t understand why Papa got weepy eyed when talking about people he served with who were KIA.

When he passed in 2015, we found his medals as we were cleaning his apartment. Among them was a Purple Heart….that was buried in the bottom of a draw. My mother wasn’t surprised and said he was injured during the war. We also found the pictures he had hidden away of his squadron with the dates of death and names written on the back. Everything was saved, I believe my mother has the pictures and the Purple Heart in a bank deposit box.

What I liked about Fata Morgana is that it was on point with everything that my grandfather had told my son and myself. From what the crews wore, to how the gunners were strapped into the shortwave radio operator to the people who handled the bombs, 100% accurate.

The science fiction aspect of the book was well written too. I liked that the Fata Morgana was taken 200 years into the future. A very bleak future, might I add, where the remnants of human society are forced to live in two domes in a crater. They are also fighting each other in a war that is as old as the domes themselves. Very surreal.

The B17 crew had to be my favorite characters to read. The personalities of each one come across the pages and make you smile. What I also liked is that the authors stayed true to how men from that era acted and their views on women and people of nationalities/color. I also like that they all smoked like chimneys.

I did like the romance between Captain Farley and Wennda. It was innocent, with only a kiss but it was real and I liked it.

There are a couple of twists that are thrown into the book that took me by surprise as I read it. One of the twists was big and it changed how I viewed the world that Wennda lived in. There was so much action and at one point, I was on the edge of my seat chanting “You are going to make. You are going to make it”. Want to know why I was chanting that? Read the book!!

The end was very bittersweet. I have a theory about what happened at the end of the book but I refuse to ruin the book for people. It is best that you read the book for yourself. Because I feel that people will have the same theory as I do.

How many stars will I give Fata Morgana: 4

Why: This is a book that will go on my keep shelf. It was action packed with memorable characters who quickly got under your skin. The storyline was pretty good too. It did lag in a couple of spots but the authors did a great job of getting the book back on track.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older teen (16+)

Why: Violence and some language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Tales from Ara: Into The Unknown by Irena de Wardin and Isabella de Wardin

Tales From Ara: Into the Unknown

Title: Tales from Ara: Into The Unknown

Author: Isabella and Irena De Wardin

Publisher: AFNIL- ISBN (International Standard Book Number)

Date of publication: March 9th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Number of pages: 451

Where you can find Tales from Ara: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Single and hopelessly romantic, Harlette is your everyday girl who dreams only of two things: falling in love and finding her place in the world.
Her relatively uneventful life takes an unexpected turn when she is transported into another world, Ara, without so much as an explanation or even a decent pair of trousers.
Wearing nothing but underwear and stilettos, she finds herself in Nimrod’s forest, just to be captured by the elven king Karayan and his guard. Nimrod is Ara’s strongest kingdom, and Karayan is the most powerful of elves.
Despite developing a keen interest in her, humans are a rare sighting in Ara and usually a bad omen; this makes Karayan suspicious of Harlette and even, disagreeable…
Thrown into the middle of a rising interdimensional war, marked as a trespasser and with no way of returning home, Harlette is dragged into a series of adventures and soon finds out that this fairy tale – no matter how cruel or beautiful – is no longer the fruit of her imagination. Love is not as easy as it is in romance novels and she will need to harden her heart and mind if she wishes to survive the upcoming whirlwind of events that will befall her.
Will Harlette discover the purpose behind her sudden arrival in Ara, and will she be strong enough to face the challenges thrown at her?

My Review

I enjoyed reading Tales from Ara. The overall plot, which reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, was great at first. Young, innocent girl falls through a mirror into a strange land and ends up having the adventure of a lifetime while trying to figure out why she ended up in Ara. I loved it and couldn’t read those chapters fast enough. Then Karayan found her and the plot started to get a little less great. By the end of the book, I was a confused mess because the plotline did so many switches that my head was spinning.

While Harlette was one of my favorite characters in the book, she also kind of annoyed me. She came across, in some scenes, as amazingly immature and she kept getting herself into situations that made me go “Seriously why didn’t you listen!!”. She was also very naïve and didn’t heed the advice of Karayan or Bernard, her cat. But, like I said, I did enjoy her character. She was kind and she believed the best in people. She also brought out the best in her companions….mainly Karayan.

Oh, let’s talk about Karayan. Honestly, I thought he was a controlling jerk who kept jerking Harlette around by her emotions. But there were some glimmers of a decent elf underneath all of that. He cared about his people/kingdom and would do anything to keep them safe and I also think that he did care for Harlette, even though she was a human. Again, glimmers and if the author could extract those out, I think the next book would be 100% better.

The whole storyline with Christine was well weird and I couldn’t get into it. I wish that more was given into Christine’s background, other than being Harlette’s foster-sister. I mean, it is revealed that she is a witch, that has almost no powers, and she is the one who sent Harlette into Ara. When I say that the storyline is weird, it is almost like it was put in there to fill in space because, to be very blunt, other than revealing the identity or Harlette’s mother and father, it added nothing to the storyline. Also, she and Harlette’s parents kept referring to Harlette as “The Daughter” but no explanation was given, which drove me absolutely nuts.

The main storyline with Harlette and Karayan really threw me for a loop. I loved it up until they stumbled upon the beanstalk. Harlette and Karayan were actually getting along until she decided to take the giant queens challenge to defeat the spirit and had to get Karayan out of the chains. Which they did by sharing an amazing kiss. It was after that when Karayan decided to teach Harlette what she was missing, that the book kind of went sideways and backward. Not going to get into it but I didn’t like the total idiot Karayan became to Harlette. It bothered me on so many levels.

The ending of the book was a cliffhanger and you all know how I feel about that.

I do have some questions and a repeat of one already asked above that I hope will be answered in book 2:

*Why are the mantises so bad? I know that it was touched upon in the book but I am beginning to think that there is a more personal reason that Karayan doesn’t like them

*Why did Harlette’s parents leave her on Earth? Just saying, because now, my opinion of them isn’t that great.

*Who is Christine, really?

and the burning question that I really wanted to be answered:

*Why is Harlette called The Daughter!!

How many stars will I give Tales from Ara: 3

Why: While I did say that I liked the story (I did), what brought my rating down from the 4 that would have given it to a 3 is this: I couldn’t relate to Harlette or Karayan. Also, I was left very confused by the end of the book. Not because of the cliffhanger but because of the 180 Karayan did with Harlette. It confused the heck out of me.

Will I reread: Maybe

Will I recommend to family and friends: Maybe

Age range: Adult

Why: Violence and one very explicit sexual scene

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**