Tag Archives: Dark Fantasy

Review – Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell @twigboat

Book & Author Details:

Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell
Publication date: August 9th 2017
Genres: Steampunk, Dark Fantasy

Rotten MagicDevin will do anything to win. Even resort to magic.

Devin competes to become the best artificer in the mage phobic Iron Empire. Who needs magic when you can master the art of machinery? The other apprentices envy his genius and skills . . . especially Benson. Every apprentice hones their craft building and fighting in crude prototypes of powered armor. Some add frills, others barbs or horns. When Devin transforms himself into a mechanical dragon to slaughter the competition, Benson steps into the role of dragon slayer.

But Devin harbors a secret as he claws his way to the top of the Artificer’s Guild: he’s a mage. These new abilities are thrilling and frightening, and the voices more so. How long can Devin be content wearing a steel dragon mask when the seductive promise of true arcane power whispers in his ear?

Experience the novella prequel to the Artifice Mage Saga: a fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody’s hands are clean.

review

Although this is described as a novella prequel to the Artifice Mage series, I didn’t find it particularly illuminating  as the start to a series.  And, as it appears that this addition to the series was released after Book 1, I’m not entirely sure that it was intended to be the series starter.

I confess that I found myself confused for much of this book.  There wasn’t much in the way of back story or explanation for the voices or the game or, well, anything.  As a result, it was a slow read and felt longer than 126 pages.

I didn’t particularly connect with any of the characters, and found some of their behaviours and reactions to be somewhat inconsistent.

Sadly, although I can see the promise in the plot line, I’m afraid that the delivery didn’t sell it for me.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (Universal Link)

About the author

Jeffrey Bardwell is an ecologist with a Ph.D. who loves fantasy, amphibians, and reptiles. The author devours fantasy and science fiction novels, is most comfortable basking near a warm wood stove, and has eaten a bug or two. The author populates his own novels with realistic, fire breathing lizards. These dragons are affected by the self-inflicted charred remains of their environment, must contend with the paradox of allometric scaling, and can actually get eaten themselves.

The author lives on a farm, is perhaps overfond of puns and alliterations, and is a gigantic ham. When not in use, he keeps his degrees skinned and mounted on the back wall of his office. Email at: jhbardwell@gmail.com

author links

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Review – Black Bullet by L D Rose @ld_rose

Book & Author Details:

Black Bullet by L D Rose
Publication date: November 9th 2016
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

black-bulletFledgling vampire Jonathan Kerr has just met his match.

Not even his past life as a former marine and FBI agent could prepare him for the battle against the monster inside him, struggling to take hold. After an old nemesis of the Senary surfaces in Brooklyn, unleashing chaos and terror in the battered borough, Jon sets out to take him down. Instead, he ends up with far more than he bargained for when he clashes with the beautiful half-vampire hybrid, Lawan Knight.

After escaping near death and suffering unspeakable horror at the hands of vampires, Lawan trusts no one, regardless of species. In between bouts of drunken stupor, her only goal is to exterminate all those who’ve wronged her, including every member of Jon’s vampire bloodline. But Jon’s soulful eyes and quick smile crawls under her skin, transforming her black and white world into a hazy shade of gray.

As the days rapidly grow darker, Jon and Lawan turn to one another, but their inner demons threaten to tear them apart. The only way either of them will survive is if they overcome their greatest fear–

Love.

review

 

I did something silly. I read this book out of order.  Do yourself a favour, and don’t make that mistake.  Read Releasing the Demons first (review to come next month).  I suspect that it will assist with the background nuances of the clearly established relationships referenced in this book.

That aside, I found this to be an easy read.  The pacing was fast, and that worked perfectly with the storyline.  The characters have real substance to them, and although here is a lot going on, each has his or her own very unique voice.  And despite the action which is packed into these (virtual) pages, there is a tangible sense of family which pervades the narrative.

An engaging story.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (universal link)

About the author

L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a PAN member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.

Sign up for her newsletter for the latest on the Senary, sneak peeks, giveaways, and other fun stuff: http://eepurl.com/bKvuXD. You’ll receive a free horror short story with sign-up!

You can also join her reader group on FB for more shenanigans. 😉 DEVOUR THE NIGHT

author links

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review – Thirst by R P Channing @RPChanning

BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:

Thirst by R P Channing
Publication date: November 26th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

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~ Kira Sutherland ~

After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her ‘boyfriend’), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated…), and being labeled as having ‘issues’ in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:

1. Continue her ‘therapy’ (where she’s told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often…)

Or

2. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for “Crazies and Convicts” (as the social media sites call them.)

She chooses the latter…

~ Cory Rand ~

Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother’s best friend…sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.

Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual – he has a weakness) he’s left with two choices:

1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks…)

Or

2. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he’ll get an education.

He chooses the latter…

It’s at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.

Things he’s always ignored.

Until now.

review

This book feels very much like a scene setter for the rest of the series.  There are lots of explanations and descriptions, and as a result, the story itself gets a little bit lost.

There is a point of the novel which is a battle/kidnap situation.  I confess, I found it extremely confusing, and had to re-read sections because it was so difficult to follow at points.

However, this is ultimately a good premise for a series, and the struggles I had with this book do not deter me from looking forward to the next release.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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purchase links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the author

R P Channing is the author of over a million words of fiction. None of it published.

Until now.

author links

Twitter | Website | Amazon