Blog Tour Book Review: The Quest for Merlin (Magimakía Book One) by Rafael Lovato

mtqfmkindleTitle: The Quest for Merlin (Magimakía Book One) by Rafael Lovato
Genre: Fiction – YA Fantasy
Publisher: Howling Wolf, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Page count: 286 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: June 30, 2016
Rating – 3/5!!

“The Quest for Merlin” is the first book of the Young Adult fantasy series “Magimakía”, goblin word meaning “The Great Battle of Mages and Witches.”

Follow Oliver’s journey, a skinny, naive 15 year old boy who knows nothing about magic, let alone how to survive high school as a bullied and outcast teen, as he attempts to help save the Order of Mages from destined extinction.

Kidnapped by a midget goblin and his troll cohorts, Oliver’s only hope is to learn the whereabouts of the all powerful Merlin who has been missing for over 500 years.

With the help of two witches, Avery and Violet, Oliver begins his journey in a world full of potions, spells, and bubbling cauldrons, learning a lot about witchcraft and magic.

You will be spellbound as you are transported into this amazing landscape where anything could happen, as tragic events unfold that could keep Oliver from saving Merlin and the entire world of Mages and Witches!

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Good morning! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book!

Oliver has grown up thinking that he was just like any other kid. Little does he know that he comes from the bloodline of the famous wizard Merlin and is part of a magical world existing simultaneously with the not-so-magical world full of characters like wizards, goblins, demons and more. When this world seems on the verge of war, Oliver is taken and plunged into this unknown world in order to find his famous ancestor, who has been hidden away for years.

I have always been deeply fascinated by the wizard Merlin, so I was totally here for a story involving him.

The way the story was told felt a little weird to me and took a little getting used to. It jumped from the goblins telling the story to other goblins to our main character’s perspective and inner thoughts. That was a bit confusing to me and seemed a bit awkward but I was able to work with it even though I never quite got 100% used to it.

That being said there are definitely things I liked about the magic system and about this world. I liked the plot to this book, I thought it was entertaining. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the main character but I did enjoy following him on his journey and seeing him interact with some of the other characters he encounters. I was really interested in the idea of a character who was previously unaware of this world being confronted with ideas and seemingly “out of this world” things like demons, magic and the surprise of his famed lineage. Although I wasn’t crazy about the main character, I did enjoy that he wasn’t perfect – he was scrawny, awkward and insecure. That did make him more human to me even if I didn’t quite connect with him. I loved the use of color to distinguish between magics and I also enjoyed the use of portals to access worlds or dimensions. That really pulled me in.

I am giving this book a 3 star review as I liked and enjoyed this book. Fans of YA fantasy may enjoy it!

P.S. This is a really cool book cover, love it!

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rafaAbout the Author

Rafael Lovato is a Brazilian author with six books published commercially in Brazil, and one in Portugal, “Magimakía, a busca por Merlin”. This is his first book published in the US. In 2014, the prestigious Oxford University Press bought one of his award-winning short stories to use in their courseware as writing model to teach students, already published in the book “Portuguese language for 6th Grade”, by Oxford.

 http://www.rlovato.com.br

https://twitter.com/rlovatoescritor

AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/The-Quest-Merlin-Magimakía-Book-ebook/dp/B01EI2R4V8

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quest-Merlin-Magimakía-Book-ebook/dp/B01EI2R4V8

AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01EI2R4V8

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-quest-for-merlin-rafael-lovato/1123675514;jsessionid=3E933572BB6A6699C9EB512693D80A46.prodny_store01-atgap05?ean=2940153226026

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-quest-for-merlin

GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rafael_Lovato_The_Quest_for_Merlin_Magimak%C3%ADa?id=S7b-CwAAQBAJ&hl=en

iBOOKS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1105254907

CREATESPACE: https://www.createspace.com/6173524

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Blog Tour Book Review: The Takers by Amanda Bigler

TTBANNERThe Takers ART.aiTitle: The Takers by Amanda Bigler
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult – Paranormal
Length: 210 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date: November 25, 2015
Publisher: Howling Wolf, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Rating: 4/5

Thomas Feist’s only goal for the immediate future was to successfully graduate from high school. After a freak car accident and the appearance of mystery girl Anais, Thomas’ priorities change. Believing that Anais and his friend Z were somehow involved in the accident, Thomas becomes leery of Z and curious about Anais’ background.

When some of Z’s extended family members are found dead, Z attends the funeral where she confides in Thomas that she had, in fact, saved his life in the accident. Z explains that she was sent to protect Thomas, and she offers him an expense-paid trip to Paris to further his studies. Thomas learns that his hosts are unique and must feed from the emotions of others, in order to survive. 

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Takers by Amanda Bigler. I’d like to thank the author and Ravenswood Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for honest review.

When I started reading this book, I didn’t know anything about the plot. I had read the synopsis months and months prior to reading it but at the time that I picked it up to read it I could no longer recall what it was about so I kind of went in to this book blind, which is how I prefer to jump into a book. When I started reading it, I was hooked pretty much right away. A few of the books I have read so far this year have taken me at least fifty or hundred pages to get into the story but this one had me hooked almost right away. I think the writing is what it did it for me.

I really liked the characters and I especially loved the concept of the Takers and Givers. I am pretty certain that this is a first book in a series as this book definitely feels like it is setting up a pretty interesting story. One thing that I can’t wait to find out more about is how the Takers tie in with Celtic Mythology and how Thomas’ father may fit into the story as well. There were very subtle references to the fact that Thomas’ father may or may not figure into the world of the Takers but I am hoping that Thomas is able to find some sort of resolution on that front as my heart did ache for him when he thought of his father. I also would like to see more about Ana and Thomas and their obvious attraction to each other, as well as the shaky relationship/friendship between him and Z. I also can’t wait to find out more about Thomas. It seems like he is different than other Givers. I also feel like the side characters were all pretty interesting as well and I really want to learn more about them. Any book that makes me interested in not only the main characters, but also about the side characters is pretty great in my book.

Overall, I really liked and enjoyed this book. It definitely has me interested to continue the series and see where this plot and these characters go. After finishing this book, I have quite a few of unanswered questions that I am sure will be resolved in the following books so that’s exciting.  It is a promising first book in a series and I recommend for fans of YA paranormal series. I can’t wait to see where this goes and I really love the cover!

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ABAbout the Author

Amanda Bigler received her BA in English Literature with a Creative Writing emphasis from the University of Kansas in the United States. In 2010 she was awarded the University of Kansas’ Creative Writing award for her short work, “Tightrope.” She then completed her MA in Literature with a negotiated pathway from Loughborough University in 2013. Currently, she is a postgraduate research student at Loughborough University. Amanda’s research focuses on contemporary literature, humanist American and British literature, and technology’s influence on current literature in a post-postmodern era. Amongst her publications are: “Unorganis(z)ed Chaos” (You Is for University), “On the River’s Edge” (The StoryGraph), “Patriots, Lobsters, and Nudity: Exploring Situational Irony in Contemporary American Humorist Literature” (New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing), “Cloven” (Goldsmiths Literature Seminar (GLITS) e-journal of criticism), and “Cardinal” (Wicked Young Writers Award 2014.

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://lboro.academia.edu/AmandaBigler, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=18812863

 AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015UR7DS4

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015UR7DS4

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-takers-amanda-bigler/1122709762?ean=2940151155786

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-takers-2

GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Amanda_Bigler_The_Takers?id=RQacCgAAQBAJ&hl=en

SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/580323

iBOOKS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-takers/id1044896552?mt=11

CREATESPACE: https://www.createspace.com/5707245

 PAPERBACK: http://www.amazon.com/Takers-M-Bigler/dp/151711098X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443458403&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=The+Takers+amanda+Bigler

 

 

Book Review – The Wielder Diaries: My Crystal by Ashley Scheller

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Title: The Wielder Diaries: My Crystal by Ashley Scheller
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult –  Fantasy
Length: 329 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: September 10, 2015
Publisher:  Howling Wolf, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Rating – 3/5 – I liked it

At five, her presence alone could transform lions into human-like beings. At nine, she could manipulate everything inanimate, in turn, creating her surroundings to her liking. She is their Saqui, a precious child with awesome power.

Now, if she could only remember.

A 12-year-old girl awakens after a long sleep and, mysteriously, has no recollection of her past. Upon the insistence of four, who claim to be her guardians and friends, Kayla begins to read from a bizarre diary, hoping to gain her memories before she loses her kingdom. A journey of self-discovery, wonder and adventure begins when she opens the covers made of crystal.

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Wielder Diaries: My Crystal! I want to thank the author and Ravenswood Publishing for giving me the chance to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Wielder Diaries: My Crystal is about a young girl named Kayla who wakes up in a strange place with no memory of who she is or how she got there. The people in this place are basically shape shifting animals that are separated into tribes that peacefully coexist with each other like zebras, birds and lions. Kayla looks completely different from them and her presence caused them to change. Over time she changes as well.

This story is a fantasy story so I was excited to read it. I was intrigued by the prospect of reading about shapeshifting animals and magic. I want to make sure to mention the gorgeous cover of this book. Isn’t it beautiful? I have fallen in love with and just love looking at it.

I definitely thought that the story itself was promising. The issues I had with it were mostly editing issues but I think maybe it just wasn’t entirely for me, although like I said I did like it. There were a lot of characters which was a good thing. Each chapter was told from alternating perspectives which I typically fall head over heels in love with but it alternated between a lot of different characters at different timeframes. The narrative switched from like past to present and back again and that for me was a little bit confusing. I don’t know if I’ve read a book like that yet so it was interesting to experience but hard to get used to.

I can’t decide on my favorite character because there were quite a few that I liked and enjoyed. One thing about the alternating perspectives that I mentioned above that I loved was getting to know many of the individual characters and then seeing their thoughts about the other people and events in the story.

I ended up giving this book three stars because I liked it and found it to be pretty enjoyable. It is the first book in a series. I would definitely give the second book a read to see where this goes as it does end on a good cliffhanger. I think younger fantasy fans may enjoy this book as some of the characters are younger and grow in the story.

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About the Author

asAshley Scheller has always liked creating. Currently residing in Omaha with her family, if she isn’t sewing costumes inspired from medieval times or anime characters she is writing. Passionate about both hobbies, she loves to connect with fellow costumers and writers through social media. The Wielder Diaries: My Crystal is her first book and has planned an exciting trilogy for the title.

AUTHOR LINKS:
https://twitter.com/AshleyScribe
https://www.facebook.com/Joharicosplay?ref=bookmarks
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14226852.Ashley_Scheller

 Currently Available at
THE WIELDER DIARIES: MY CRYSTAL
AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
BARNES & NOBLE
KOBO
GOOGLE PLAY
SMASHWORDS
iBOOKS
PAPERBACK
CREATESPACE

 

 

Book Review: Thieves of Greatness by Emily C. Burger

TOGBANNER TOGKINDLETitle:  Thieves of Greatness by Emily C. Burger
Genre:  Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Howling Wolf (Ravenswood Publishing)
Length: 165 pages
Format: Epub (read on Microsoft Surface Nook App)
Publication Date: July 30, 2015
Rating – 4/5 – really liked it!

Elizabeth, forgotten daughter of King Henry 8th, is trapped in her own world of bitter hatred over the traumatic events of her past. She longs for greatness and is un-expectantly given the chance to chase down her dreams when a mysterious flying pirate ship lands on the palace roof. Soon she finds herself entangled in a monstrous injustice, forced to face dangers and step out of her comfort zone along with other famous characters from history against a tyrant who knows only cruelty. Together, Elizabeth and her new friends must stand up for their own futures before their dreams are snatched away from them forever.

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop today on the blog tour for Thieves of Greatness by Emily C. Burger. Thank you to to the author and Ravenswood Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

Thieves of Greatness is a Historical Fantasy book about a young girl Elizabeth, one of two forsaken daughters of Henry VIII. Although Elizabeth is a princess her life is far from a fairy tale and she spends her days and nights dreaming of a life with greater meaning and greater purpose. As the story progresses she finds herself being whisked away on a flying ship setting out on a time traveling adventure!

I ended up really liking this story. I gave it a four out of five star rating and found it to be a light, entertaining read, never boring. It definitely wasn’t what I expected, for some reason I thought this book would be more heavily historical fiction but it was a blend between the historical fiction, adventure, and fantasy genres which was really interesting to have in one book and worked rather well. I thought the plot and characterization were fairly simple and easy to understand which is why I think this book would also do well with a middle grade audience as well as a young adult audience. I really liked the sense of adventure in this story, I found it very easy to lose myself on the adventure with Elizabeth and various other characters that I liked such as Neil and the Captain. If I had to pick a character that intrigues me in this book I would certainly have to choose the Captain. Not only is he cool and loving he is also a bit cooky and courageous which was fun to have all in one package. I liked the time travel element in this story and the references to historical figures. I thought those were really great touches in this story that kicked it up a notch for me.

I have read ALOT of adventure books whose protagonists are younger males and for me it was very refreshing and satisfying to see a young female as the protagonist in an adventure story. I really enjoyed that aspect of my reading experience with this book. I wish I had read a book like this when I was younger. Also, did you see the cover? How gorgeous is that cover?! I’m in love with it.

I definitely think this is a great debut book, I enjoyed reading it and it was a super fast read because it was fun and short in length. I definitely recommend to anyone who wants to ease into fantasy or that love books that blend historical fiction and fantasy together!

About the Author

ECBBorn in 1997, I spent my earliest years living on the East Coast of South Africa in the town of Pietermaritzburg. I spent my days climbing trees, on the beach or writing short stories for my younger brother. When I was eight years old, our family moved to England where I was exposed to a whole new melting pot of cultures. We travelled Europe as frequently as we could, fuelling my growing hunger to experience the world around me. When I was ten years old my sister was born, and my love for children and writing combined themselves into my imaginations. We returned to the tip of Africa just as I was entering my teen years, and since then we have explored our own country as well as our neighbouring ones. I started writing ‘Thieves of Greatness’ when I was fifteen, finished it by 16 and have now published at the age of 17.

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