The Khehemni Chronicles: Book 1 – Dragon of the Desert by Jean Lowe Carlson (ARC Review)

Dragon of the Desert marks the beginning of a prequel trilogy in the same fantasy realm as Jean Lowe Carlson’s earlier Kingsmen Chronicles trilogy, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Set 1,000 years before events in Blackmark book 1 of the Kingsmen Chronicles, this book tells the story of the Khehemni.

With the King deemed unfit to rule and the nation gearing up for battle, it is up to the Heir Leith Alodwine, to pass his trials of kingship in order to take his rightful place as successor to the throne. Will Leith survive, or is the royal line in jeopardy? Read Dragon of the Desert now to find out.

I like that there is an appendix attached to the book with a pronunciation guide for the names and phrases, as it can be difficult to work out how to pronounce them properly otherwise. However, as usual with digital books, any maps attached – no matter how pretty they are – are almost impossible to read.

This action-packed epic fantasy from Jean Lowe Carlson will leave you breathless and wanting more, with its fast pace and thrilling story, this is everything you could ask for. Written in similar style to George R.R. Martin’s Ice and Fire Series (Game of Thrones) this is definitely a book fantasy fans don’t want to miss. It blends war and strife, with hope and magic. Gives us characters to root for, and inspires emotion as we travel on their journeys across the desert with them, fighting for their homes and families. With great descriptive details, you almost feel like you are right there in the desert with them, so immersed in the story it’s almost like you’re playing a part, side-by-side with your favourite characters.

At 5 out of 5 stars, I’m eagerly anticipating the release of book 2 in this trilogy, Wolf of the Resistance. While you’re waiting though, if you haven’t already, I recommend catching up on the other series and reading the Kingsmen Chronicles trilogy: Blackmark, Bloodmark and Goldenmark.

Also, for the record, I received a complimentary copy of Dragon of the Desert directly from Ms. Carlson herself and have voluntarily chosen to write this review.

See also:

Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 1 – Blackmark

Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 2 – Bloodmark

Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 3 – Goldenmark

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (Book Review)

For my first book review of 2022 I’ve chosen Anansi Boys, the sequel, or rather companion novel to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. You can read my review of American Gods here.

…beware of possible spoilers…

Continue reading “Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (Book Review)”

Supernatural: The Roads Not Taken by Tim Waggoner (Book Review)

The Roads Not Taken is a fantasy novel based on the cult TV series Supernatural which was created by Eric Kripke.

Tim Waggoner’s idea behind this TV tie-in novel, coupled with illustrations from Zachary Baldus, is to allow ‘YOU’ the reader a rare opportunity to decide the fate of your favourite characters, Sam and Dean Winchester. This interactive book provides four different inter-connected tales of supernatural terror and during each story there are numerous hunter style decisions that the brothers must make: Use a gun or a knife? Holy water or salt? Go in alone or wait for backup?

Each tiny decision can seal the fate for our heroes. Now ‘YOU’ the reader can make those choices and decide for yourself how you want them to end, as you travel across the back roads of America as a passenger in the Impala, during the following four adventures:

  • Here Kitty, Kitty
  • Shulman’s Model
  • Hollow Town
  • Let Us Prey
Favourite Quotes:

 “Crazy cat ladies, there’s at least one in every town.” – Dean. (pg19)

“Cat, you have five seconds to get off my car before I start shooting. And so help me, if you scratched the paint with your claws…” – Dean. (pg24)

Sam: “Heart attacks in otherwise healthy people. And the victims were found with expressions of sheer terror on their faces.”

Dean: “So? Dying is scary. We ought to know; we’ve done it enough times.”

(pg63)

“It’s cold out today, even homicidal maniacs need to stay inside and keep warm.” – Dean. (pg100)

“Crazy in life, crazy in death.” – Sam. (pg126)

Ever wondered how you would fare if you lived the life of a hunter like Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural? You ever wish the brothers had made a different choice? Well here’s your chance to seal their fate, based on your own decisions.

During The Road Not Taken, ‘YOU’ the reader have the opportunity to make each difficult choice, when you reach the pivotal moments in the story. Will the good guys win? Should you save the life of the innocent victim? Can you wait until the cavalry arrives or blunder on and hope for the best? You decide!

At 4 out of 5 stars, I’m sure the supernatural hunter inside you will love this fun little book of four short novellas and its rather unique and delightful premise. I only wish this book was a little longer.

 

See also:

Supernatural: Carved In Flesh

Supernatural: Mythmaker

Supernatural: Children of Anubis

Supernatural: Joyride by John Passarella (Book Review)

Joyride is book sixteen in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is the fourth to have been written by John Passarella. It takes place during season twelve between episodes 19 (The Future) and 20 (Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes).

…major spoiler warning for this review, as well as for those not familiar and up-to-date with the TV series…

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Supernatural: Children of Anubis by Tim Waggoner (Book Review)

Children of Anubis is book seventeen in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is the third to have been written by Tim Waggoner. It takes place during season twelve between episodes 5 (The One You’ve Been Waiting For) and 6 (Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox).

…major spoiler warning for this review, as well as for those not familiar and up-to-date with the TV series…

Continue reading “Supernatural: Children of Anubis by Tim Waggoner (Book Review)”

Barren Waters: The Complete Novel by Julia Shupe (Book Review)

Sorry everyone it’s been quite a while since I posted any new reviews, I got a bit distracted with other things recently. However, here is a re-post of a book review that I originally did back in 2017.

Barren Waters is a post-apocalyptic tale of survival in a dystopian future where the world’s oceans have become barren and stagnant due to mankind’s pollution of their environment. As the human race continues to pump toxic chemicals into rivers, streams and waterways across the world it is not difficult to imagine the possible effects that Julia Shupe presents in this novel, and the scary thought is that it could come true.

In the 22nd century the pollution has reached intolerable levels, and the efforts of mankind to clean up their act and attempt to preserve their home, is too little too late. Plankton in the deep oceans have died out, leaving a wide variety of aquatic animals without food. Starvation becomes rife and mass extinctions leave the oceans dead.  Shrinking levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, further restricts the survival of both plant and animal life, including those of human kind.

Julia recounts the lives of two scientists with the foresight to prepare for the coming disaster, and the trials of their surviving family, a son and grand-daughter 50 years later, struggling with daily life in their harsh, unfortunate circumstances.

Favourite Quote:

“Jeremy had always believed luck was a double-edged sword. Good luck could easily turn bad. And fast.” – (p2)

The author, Julia Shupe kindly offered me a free copy of her novel, Barren Waters in exchange for an honest review.

The narrative jumps back and forth quite a lot between its descriptions of the unfolding apocalypse and of the resulting consequences, and the dates of the events don’t run consecutively, instead forming part of the story at the necessary time. It does not detract or confuse the story too much, but for those who attempt to follow the proper timeline from beginning to end will find this incredibly difficult and somewhat confusing. However, Julia has crafted a well thought-out and imaginative tale, which both intrigues and entertains the reader, while also provoking thoughtful scientific stimulation.

My only other niggle is the usual issue which pertains to most self-published books, the high number of annoying spelling mistakes within the Kindle copy. However, at 4 out of 5 stars, don’t let those errors put you off from enjoying this otherwise wonderful tale of human survival.

I may now be tempted to delve deeper into this author’s world, by reading her fantasy series The Sentinels of Kiln.

Maze Runner Series: Book 4 – The Kill Order (Book Review)

The Kill Order is the original prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy, having been released many years before The Fever Code.

…spoiler warning… Continue reading “Maze Runner Series: Book 4 – The Kill Order (Book Review)”

Maze Runner Series: Book 0 – The Fever Code (Book Review)

The Fever Code is a prequel to the original Maze Runner trilogy, and I was led to believe that it would provide backstory and general information, which would complement the series as a whole.

I remember reading the original prequel, The Kill Order, years ago and really struggling with it. This was because it was centred on a completely different cast of characters, had a tedious story and didn’t really correspond to the other books. My hope was that The Fever Code, would provide the answers and insight that were missing, in regards to Thomas, Teresa, Newt and Minho.

As you would expect, all the regular and much loved characters from the trilogy play a part in The Fever Code, and it’s nice to have some of these familiar faces return. However the never-ceasing list of WICKED guards and employees that keep cropping up, eventually becomes too frustrating to try and keep track of.

The book has far too many inconsistencies with the main trilogy, often contradicting events and the memories that conveniently return to Thomas, just at the right key moments. Unfortunately, the story also doesn’t provide any further information than what we’ve already been told. The questions, such as why WICKED changed all the kids names, are still never answered. Instead just re-hashing the same old facts that we’re already familiar with.

Unlike the other novels, The Fever Code lacks the action and intrigue that makes readers want to keep turning the pages. It lacks oomph and mystery, which made it difficult for me to read. And I found the attitudes of the adults to be infuriatingly hostile, irritating, downright repetitive and infuriating.

At 2 out of 5 stars, I had high hopes for this book but it just didn’t match up with my expectations. It provides a very basic background story for those interested in learning more about Thomas and the origins of the maze, but don’t expect it to wow you with any answers to those burning questions you might have.

See also:

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 1 – The Maze Runner

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure

Maze Runner: Book 4 – The Kill Order

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure (Book Review)

The Death Cure completes the main Maze Runner trilogy, continuing on from the point where The Scorch Trials leaves off.

…Warning: this review contains spoilers, proceed with due caution…

Continue reading “Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure (Book Review)”

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials (Book Review)

The Scorch Trials continues the story of Thomas and his friends, which began in the first book of the series, The Maze Runner.

…Warning: this review contain spoilers, proceed with due caution…

Continue reading “Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials (Book Review)”