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COVID-19 Update: April 2020

Hello there, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to check out or follow my blog, read my reviews, purchase a bookmark or like, comment or share my posts. Every interaction is appreciated and keeps me motivated to continue writing these reviews. So once again thank you very much for your help and encouragement.

However, I’m sure you’ve all heard of this coronavirus or COVID-19, and in truth probably sick of hearing about it and look forward to the day when the lockdown is over and you can return to whatever now passes for normal. So I’ll skip the pre-amble and just jump straight to the point.

Due to recent circumstances it is no longer viable for me to continue a sales based business in crafting hand-made bookmarks. As these are luxuries and not essential items, I have made the difficult decision to close my online stores on Etsy and Ebay. As a result I’ll be heading back to a bookkeeping or accounts based day job, or at least hopefully I’ll be able to once the current chaos calms down a little.

I’ll still be posting book reviews here on the Sci-Fi Kingdom blog, as well as on a number of other platforms including: ​Goodreads, Amazon and sometimes over at OnlineBookClub.org. However, these posts may be a bit sporadic, depending on other commitments.

Once again, thank you for all the support and encouragement.

Take care, stay safe and best wishes,

Sarah

The Drahiad Chronicles Prologues: Book 4 – Siege of Draestl by Randall Seeley (ARC Review)

Siege of Draestl is the fourth book in Randall Seeley’s Drahiad Chronicles Prologues series, and is the first to be a full length novel. It continues the events from the second novella, Alderidon Wolves, following our favourite major characters Waydsyn Scot, Owen Delmsmith and Thraegar Thornclaw.

To get the best out of this series it may be a good idea to have at least read Alderidon Wolves first, to become acquainted with the characters, locations and story, which underpin these two books. If not necessarily all three of the previous novellas in the series, however it isn’t absolutely necessary.

…potential spoiler warning…

Continue reading “The Drahiad Chronicles Prologues: Book 4 – Siege of Draestl by Randall Seeley (ARC Review)”

Supernatural: Night Terror by John Passarella (Book Review)

Night Terror is book number nine in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is the first to be written by John Passarella. It takes place during season six between episodes 18 (Frontierland) and 19 (Mommy Dearest), in which the Winchester brothers face their worst nightmares in Colorado.

 

…possible spoiler warning for those not familiar with the TV series…

Continue reading “Supernatural: Night Terror by John Passarella (Book Review)”

The Branches of Time by Luca Rossi (Book Review)

Having fled the Northern Lands, the inhabitants of the remote island of Turios, protect themselves with ancient magic.

This very same magic prevents King Beanor, ruler of Isk in the Northern Lands from leaving his kingdom and trading upon the southern seas. For 2,000 years the people of Isk have been forced to live in isolation, prevented from trading with foreign shores.

Keen to remove this barrier Beanor enlists the help of the wizard Aldin to remove the residents of Turios, so that he can succeed where all of his ancestors have failed, break down this magical force field and re-open the trade routes of the sea.

Unfortunately, the wizard fails in his task, leaving three survivors: the Priestess, Miril, a woman, Lil and her injured husband Bashinoir. Can Ilis, the young apprentice wizard, succeed where his predecessors could not, and appease his king?

Meanwhile, the three residents of the Temple on Turios have an added problem, besides the failing barrier, someone has travelled to the past and messed with the branches of time to try and remove them from existence. Will this person succeed? Or can the Priestess find a way to protect them from their fate?

 

Favourite Quotes:

“The life of all of the inhabitants of this island depends on the protection provided by magic. If the priests fail, if they don’t fulfil their duties, the consequences may be very harsh indeed.” – Priestess Miril. (p37)

 

“Get to the point before I cut off your head and throw the rest of your body down the toilet.” – King Beanor. (p54)

 

“Just be a shadow and a voice in his mind: that’s all you need to drive a man mad, anyway.” – Obolil. (p99)

 

“Life gives us gifts and brings us pain when we least expect it.” (p102)

 

The Branches of Time is a very well-written science fiction fantasy novel in which time travel is used to wipe out a colony of islanders and end magical spells that have been in place for 2,000 years. There is also a little mystery to the narrative that both keeps you guessing and whets your appetite for more.

Luca Rossi writes in a simple, easy to read prose that flows nicely as the characters develop and the story gradually unfolds.

The inclusion of an insatiable sex crazed bigamist king however, in the form of Beanor, makes The Branches of Time a rather adult novel with some explicit details, and therefore unfit for any younger readers.

A short book at only 159 pages, it is a quick read and the story ends rather abruptly and with no conclusion, leaving me frustrated and yearning for more. It may have been better had the author waited and completed this story as one novel, rather than splitting the narrative into smaller bite-sized novellas, but I will refrain from being too judgemental in this matter however, until I have read the follow-up novel, Volume II.

Luca Rossi offered me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My summary: At 4 out of 5 stars this is a great concept that is very well executed, but obviously incomplete.

 

Those interested in checking out The Branches of Time by Luca Rossi, can do so via Amazon.co.uk here.

Olympian Challenger: Book 2 – Olympian Heritage (Book Review)

Olympian Heritage is the sequel to the urban fantasy romance novel Olympian Challenger, written by Astrid Arditi.

It’s been almost two years since I read Olympian Challenger, but this time I’ve veered from my usual routine of re-reading preceding books in a series, and while the major story arcs are returning to mind, I’m a little fuzzy on the fine details.

 

…warning: spoiler alert for those who haven’t read Olympian Challenger

Check out my review of book one here.

Continue reading “Olympian Challenger: Book 2 – Olympian Heritage (Book Review)”

Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss by Christa Faust (Book Review)

Coyote’s Kiss is book number eight in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is written by Christa Faust. It takes place during season six between episodes 10 (Caged Heat) and 11 (Appointment in Samarra), and takes the Winchester brothers on yet another hunting trip across America.

 

…possible spoiler warning for those not familiar with the TV series…

Continue reading “Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss by Christa Faust (Book Review)”

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Book Review)

Although not previously acquainted with the authors work, I took an interest in reading Agatha Christie’s mystery novel And Then There Were None after watching the TV adaptation.

The story revolves around ten guests who are seduced by nefarious means to visit a private house on Soldier Island, off the coast of Devon. Once they reach their destination however, circumstances take a very mysterious turn when their hosts are nowhere to be found.

It soon becomes apparent that the guests were not chosen at random, but rather have been selected specifically due to a particularly disturbing incident in their past.

The mastermind behind the rather odd situation at this secluded, seaside house wishes to impart his own rather unusual form of judgement, upon the unsuspecting guests.

One by one, the ten occupants of the house begin to drop dead, but which one of them is actually the murderer?

 

And Then There Were None is a gripping mystery novel from Queen of crime, Agatha Christie. It is a very unique tale that does incredibly well to keep the reader guessing all the way to the very end.

Loaded with bewildering twists and misdirection, And Then There Were None is most definitely one of the VERY best mystery novels to cross my bookshelf, and while it is not a genre that I usually tend to lean towards, I feel that I may be inclined to delve a little more deeply into Agatha Christie’s immense catalogue in future.

At 5 out of 5 stars I promise that you won’t be able to stop turning those pages, or prise this book out of your hands, until you discover the intimate confession that awaits you at the novels conclusion. To pick up a copy of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, just follow this handy link to Amazon.co.uk.

 

 

As previously stated And Then There Were None is also available on DVD as a 3 part TV adaptation, featuring top performances from Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Burn Gorman and of course the delectable Aidan Turner. The DVD can be found on Amazon.co.uk here.