20 Feb 2018

Review - Pirate's Curse by Leigh Anderson and Rebecca Hamilton

Title: Pirate's Curse (The Berkano Vampire Collection, Division 1)

Author: Leigh Anderson and Rebecca Hamilton

Rating: 4/5 

Synopsis:

In the Division of NOLA, Catheryn Beauregard fears her burgeoning magical powers. Hiding as just another slave in the home of the Hoodoo Queen, Catheryn hopes her simplistic powers will simply go unnoticed. And her plan seems to be working...until the Hoodoo House is attacked by a ruthless band of vampire pirates.

Captain Rainier Dulocke and his crew need humans to feed on. In an act of desperation, they beset the Hoodoo House and take ten slaves to sustain them. Rainier takes a girl named Catheryn for himself, but her blood is giving him terrible side effects. Still, he refuses to give her up. Even when the Hoodoo Queen demands her return.

The NOLA Division is in danger. The waters are rising. Food is running out. And the Hoodoo Queen is about to destroy everything that's left if the pirates don't meet her request. Now Catheryn must choose who will die: the humans who sold her, the witches who bought her, or the vampires who stole her. If she fails to decide, everyone could die.

My Thoughts:

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

When Leigh Anderson agreed to send me an e-copy of the Pirate's Curse I was over the moon. I'm positive that vampire stories will never stop attracting me and this book seemed special because there aren't only vampires in it, there are vampire PIRATES and that fact just doubled the level of my excitement.

With Pirate's Curse I received a nicely packed bundle of adventure with twists and turns at every corner. It was a highly enjoyable read.

Catheryn has been a slave to the Hoodoo Queen most of her life. However, when the pirates come to ransack the Hoodoo House she'd rather stay, because there are worse fates than serving the Queen. But when she catches the eye of the famous Captain Rainier she doesn't have a choice. She is dragged onto Rainier's ship and she is expected to give her blood to prolong the Captain's life.

She doesn't expect him to be as civil as he is.

He doesn't know that she cannot satisfy his hunger.

What I enjoyed the most was that the story never slowed down, there wasn't a boring part in it. One moment Catheryn and Rainier are battling at sea, the next they are stranded on a deserted island, the next they are fighting off a pair of giant spiders in the jungle... And all the while we get to know more and more about both characters. It turns out Catheryn has starnge abilities and she has to learn how to use these new-found powers. Rainier starts feeling worse and worse and he has to come to terms with the changes that are going on inside him...

Of course eventually the girl and the vampire will have a joined purpose but in the beginning they don't know that and they bicker a lot, obviously. Later, when they realise they should work together, Catheryn and Rainier support each other through every hardship and are so open towards one another that I became addicted to reading about the relationship that formed between them.

I especially approved of how Rainier mentored Catheryn when her abilities surfaced and how lovingly concerned he was because the girl couldn't see herself for who she was. He wished Catheryn to believe in herself like he believed in her and that was extremely romantic.

I loved the feminist undertone that manifested itself throughout the book. Catheryn saves Rainier's life countless times and by the end of the book she is physically stronger than the Captain and the writers made sure we notice that. Yet, this doesn't influence the quality of their relationship in any way, on the contrary, Rainier is proud of Catheryn's achievements.

A world where humans, vampires and witches live together must not be the safest place ever, nevertheless I liked to escape to NOLA from my safe little nook whenever I had the chance to push reality in the background. 

Even though the ending felt a bit rushed, I had so much fun reading through this story that I found it didn't really matter after all. Once again, thank you, Ms Anderson!

Goodreads | Amazon

Pirate's Curse is a standalone contribution to the Berkano Vampire Collection. Stories can be read in any order. To learn more, visit http://fallensorcery.com/

19 Feb 2018

Goodreads Monday #6

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren @ Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back to Lauren’s Page Turners and link up to the inlinkz so others can see what you picked!

Since there are witches in the book I'm currently reading, I thought I'd intorduce you to another series-starter that includes witches. It's very fresh on my Goodreads TBR, I came across this title only a few days ago. I can't wait to read it!

(How to Hang a Witch #1)
by Adriana Mather


Synopsis:

The more things change in Salem, the more they stay the same.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous Witch Trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam is not exactly welcomed with open arms. She is a descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those Trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that wasn’t enough, Sam finds herself face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff.

Soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting everyone with ties to the Trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first alleged witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

What do you think? Have you ever read a book about the Salem witch trials before? 
Can you imagine yourself curling up with this book on a rainy day?

18 Feb 2018

The longest book tag

Don't worry, this is a short tag about long books and not the other way around. The original idea is from Bewitchingly Paranoid.

What you have to do is very simple:

1) Make a list of the 5 longest books you’ve ever read
2) Select 2 of the longest books on your TBR
3) Discuss
4) Tag others

I wasn't tagged by anyone, but that doesn't stop me from doing this because I'm a rebel, haha. 

The longest books I've ever read are the following:


Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer 754 pages

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett 782 pages

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell 1037 pages

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 1088 pages (kindle edition)

A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin 1184 pages


The two longest books on my TBR are:


The Cider House Rules by John Irving 730 pages

The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough 1076 pages


Long books don't intimidate me, I actually cherish long novels that are well-written and have a good plot because they last longer and I as reader have more time to immerse myself in the story.

Of course you have to invest more time to finish them but in my experience it is more often worth it than not. Many of my favourite books are over 500 pages long and that's why I'm among those who encourage people to pick up thicker works. There is a chance that more pages hold more magic, you know...

People I tag:



  

 How do you feel about long books? Do you often go for them or do you rather tend to put shorter novels on your to-read list?

17 Feb 2018

If a genie were to grant me three bookish wishes...

https://media2.giphy.com/media/NwmdhClL0Upck/giphy.gif 

 
 If a genie were to grant me three bookish wishes...
 
I would be in trouble, guys.
 
https://media2.giphy.com/media/NwmdhClL0Upck/giphy.gif  
 
 
 
 My initial reaction would be: 
 
Who? Me? Really?????
 
 
 
And then my brain would do this:

https://media.giphy.com/media/l0MYJZbQQ8vFmmdLq/giphy.gif    
I'd be excited, of course, but I have a lot of bookish wishes... A LOT, and it would be insanely hard to prioritize.
 
The three wishes I'll list here for you are my decisions at this very moment but if you asked me tomorrow, I'd probably come up with new ones.
 
So here's my here-and-now-list of potential wishes:

 
1. To have an only-English library in my town full of books from my TBR.

I've recently moved back to Hungary from England and even though there are a few English books in my local bookshops, they are expensive and not the ones I'd like to own. If I purchase a book online, it takes two weeks for it to get here. So yeah, I wish I'd have the luxury of having an only-English library or bookshop nearby. It might seem to be a small thing, but it'd make me very happy.


2. To spend an afternoon with Neil Gaiman

He is my favourite contemporary writer. It would be nice to have a coffee with him, chat, ask him to give me some writing advice, have my copy of Stardust signed etc.

I once heard him speak about his work in person at an event (he was touring with his non-fiction book, The View from the Cheap Seats you can read about that amazing evening here), but there was no opportunity to have a conversation with him there unfortunately. Anyway, just to hear him talk was a treasured experience for me.


3. To have enough money to go on a literary tour in England.

I like visiting places where famous writers/poets lived, because in many cases I'm interested in their lives as well as their work. I'd be so excited if I had the opportunity to visit Haworth (where the Brontë sisters lived) or go on a guided Jane Austen tour. The village of Helpston where John Clare, the 'peasant poet' lived is also on my list of places to visit. 

I know that in time I'll be able to make this wish of mine come true, but I am so impatient, I want to go now, haha.


That's three, and now I have to stop my hands because they want to go on writing...

What would YOUR three wishes be? You can let me know in a comment or if you like challenges you can write a similar post yourself. I'd be happy to read it!
 
Have a nice weekend!

16 Feb 2018

Book Beginnings on Friday and the Friday 56 #4


Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56 are weekly memes hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda's Voice.

Rules: 

Book Beginnings: Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. 

The Friday 56: Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in you eReader. Find any sentence (not spoilery) and reflect on it if you want.

The book I'm currently reading is:


Division 1: The Berkano Vampire Collection
by Leigh Anderson and Rebecca Hamilton


Synopsis:

In the Division of NOLA, Catheryn Beauregard fears her burgeoning magical powers. Hiding as just another slave in the home of the Hoodoo Queen, Catheryn hopes her simplistic powers will simply go unnoticed. And her plan seems to be working...until the Hoodoo House is attacked by a ruthless band of vampire pirates.

Captain Rainier Dulocke and his crew need humans to feed on. In an act of desperation, they beset the Hoodoo House and take ten slaves to sustain them. Rainier takes a girl named Catheryn for himself, but her blood is giving him terrible side effects. Still, he refuses to give her up. Even when the Hoodoo Queen demands her return.

The NOLA Division is in danger. The waters are rising. Food is running out. And the Hoodoo Queen is about to destroy everything that's left if the pirates don't meet her request. Now Catheryn must choose who will die: the humans who sold her, the witches who bought her, or the vampires who stole her. If she fails to decide, everyone could die.


Book beginning:

Don't breathe, Catheryn thought. If you breathe, you're dead.

I like a good in medias res start when we land right in the middle of a tough situation. The main character's Catheryn's life is already in danger at the beginning of the story. There is a good chance that the girl is a real trouble magnet.

The Friday 56:

Rainier kicked the body over the side of the ship but picked up the head by its hair and showed it to the crew. 

"Who's next?" he asked.

This vampire pirate captain isn't joking. That's just as well, because I expect the vampire pirates to be fearsome. Since they are vampires AND pirates anything less wouldn't do.


What do you think of these lines? Do you have a similar post? Please share it with me by leaving a link below.

15 Feb 2018

(Short) Review - The Dark Unseen by Andrew C. Jaxson

Title: The Dark Unseen  (Unseen Series #0.5)

Author: Andrew C Jaxson

Rating: 5/5 

Synopsis:

Hud and his friends are camping in the mountains to celebrate finally finishing school. Tonight, he can finally make his move on the girl he’s been in love with for four long years. But something lurks in the darkness, something Hud has encountered before and can't quite remember. When tragedy strikes the night turns to chaos, and Hud makes a terrifying and world-shattering discovery. As the teens run for their lives, old memories resurface, and an impossible evil will reveal itself. 


My Thoughts:

The Dark Unseen is a teaser novella that introduces Andrew C. Jaxson's new series, The Unseen. And what a fantastic prequel it is! It will chill you to the bone and once you are finished with it, you will want to seek answers!

Hud goes camping with his best friend and the girl of his dreams but he never dreamed the night would end the way it does. Something is out there; among the trees, in the night something unexplainable with an unappeasable hunger.

I am hooked! I guess these days I'm craving horror, I can't help it. This little taste of Andrew C. Jaxson's writing convinced me I need to read the first book in the series. The way the night was described, how he built the tension slowly, then led us through a series of unexpected actions... it was like a roller coaster ride that you want to repeat over and over again. It sure gave me an adrenaline rush... I loved it!



Good news!

This prequel novella is now available for free on the author's website!


Next in the series: 

The Fire Unseen


Happy reading!

14 Feb 2018

Review – The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

Title: The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle #2)

Author: Peter V. Brett

Rating: 3.5/5 

Synopsis:

The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that prey upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind half-forgotten symbols of power.

Legends tell of a Deliverer: a general who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. But is the return of the Deliverer just another myth? Perhaps not.

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the desert tribes into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar'Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons--a spear and a crown--that give credence to his claim.

But the Northerners claim their own Deliverer: the Warded Man, a dark, forbidding figure.

Once, the Shar'Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends. Now they are fierce adversaries. Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent—and deadly—than any that have come before.
 

My Thoughts:

This was a fun ride again, however a bit bumpier than I expected.  

Demon Cycle is a high fantasy series in which humanity fights against demons for survival. I adored the first book, The Painted Man, for its interesting characters, the deliciously detailed fantasy world it presented to me and how it could spook me out occasionally despite not being a horror novel.

The Desert Spear delievered everything its predecessor did, so in a sense there is nothing to complain about. Having said that I have to add right away that it was still lacking somehow: lacking in progress.

The only area where I felt the evolution was the character-writing of Mr. Brett. There was a lot of character developement indeed. Leesha herb gatherer and village leader became more badass (if that's possible), Rojer did everything to get over his unrequited feelings for a certain person, and Arlen (the main character of the first book) reached another level of self-knowledge by the end of the story. I have to say I appreciated the signs of inside growth my beloved trio showed.

The plot was not so strong. The first third of the book was practically a retelling of the same events that took place in Krasia (the Desert Land) in the previous book, only now from Jardir's point of view. And even later, when I was past that part I didn't feel we were moving anywhere plot-wise. 

At the end of the book we still had the same unresolved situation: two man standing against each other, both rumored to be the Deliverer, both hating the other. The only difference was that Jardir left the Desert Town with an army (which we knew he would, it wasn't a big surprise).

Since I've heard that the third book starts yet again with telling the same events from another character's POV, the question rises: what does the second book add to the grand scheme of things?  Does it add anything at all? I'm sure it does and I'll see it in retrospect...

Altogether let me say again that I don't mind at all that I continued with the series. The writing is still superb, I basically fly through the book and, since I care about the characters, I like reading the more character-driven parts. Hopefully I'll see more action in book three, and then I can give The Daylight War a higher rating.


Read my review of the first book in the series, The Painted Man, by clicking on the image below!


Next in the series:

The Daylight War

 

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