Tag Archives: fantasy

The Rescue of Vincent by Bob Doerr – book review

Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.. All opinions are my own.

Earlier this year I reviewed The Enchanted Coin by Bob Doerr and I have now received a free e-copy of The Rescue of Vincent, the second title in the series to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Rescue of Vincent by Bob Doerr

Here is the book blurb.

Fourteen year old Ricky Street discovers a magical coin in a small creek near his parent’s Florida home. The coin has his name inscribed on it along with directions that he toss it into the fountain by the Tree of Life. He does so and suddenly finds himself transported to a strange world where he encounters two other teen agers from two separate worlds who had also been transported there by magical coins that they had found. The three soon meet Vincent Wollitzer, whom they save from drowning in quicksand, and learn that if Vincent doesn’t reach civilization soon his world will be thrust into a terrible war. The exciting adventures the four experience in their efforts to get Vincent back to civilization include surviving attacks by dragons, sea monsters, and other strange creatures.

Adventure and tossing a magical coin into the fountain by the Tree of Life at Disney World is the link between this book and The Enchanted Coin, the first title in the series. But all the characters are different.

So the story starts with 14 year old Ricky finding a coin during a storm. Just like in the first book, the coin is engraved with a personalised message “Ricky Street, throw this coin into the fountain in front of the Tree of Life!”. He shows it to his Mom and together they plan a trip to Disney World. But when he tosses the coin into the fountain, everything goes dark.

He can’t see anything. Where is he? Where is his Mom? A girl speaks to him in the darkness. She is Lexus and she too has just thrown a coin into a lake. Then a scream and another boy, Bebo arrives, who also tossed a coin into a river. They have all been transported to this dark cave, but why?

When they reach daylight, they observe how different they all look. Lexus has blue skin and hair, whilst Bebo is hairless and very short. They are all from different worlds. Soon they also start coming across dangerous creatures and poisonous plants, but they use their varied abilities to work togther as a team.

When they hear a call for help, is that why they have all been brought here? They discover  another boy trapped in quicksand. This is Vincent who was in a plane crash, enroute to becoming leader of his world. Vincent lloks different too, being very furry. If he doesn’t get there, a terrible war may ensue. Can they all pull together overcoming the challenges, to get Vincent there in time? And will the others be able to return to their own worlds?

I really loved how this story celebrates the diversity and teamwork of the 4 main characters. But I would have preferred a bit more variation between the covers of both this book and the previous title.

The Rescue of Vincent is another brilliant fantasy adventure read, which I highly recommend to teens and children aged 9+.

And for those of you like me, who hadn’t heard of it, here is some information regarding the Tree of Life at Disney World. Sounds an amazing sculpture with over 300 carvings of species including some extinct, plus a theatre at the base.

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The Enchanted Coin by Bob Doerr – book review

Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.. All opinions are my own.

I received a free e-copy of the book The Enchanted Coin by Bob Doerr to review. It is the first title in a series of 4. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Enchanted Coin by Bob Doerr

Here is the book blurb.

We have all heard of tales of UFO’s, ghosts, people who say they can talk to the spirits, ancient curses, and magical talismans. Most of us automatically dismiss them as false, figments of people’s imagination, and understandably so. However, might not just a few of them be true? I don’t know, but I heard this story from a young man the other day who swore the fascinating tale I have set forth in this book really did really occur, because it happened to him. You be the judge.

Fourteen year old Greg Worling’s life changed the day he found an eight sided coin along the edge of a pond on his parent’s farm. The coin sparkled as though it reflected the sun’s light even in the shade. Drawn to it, Greg discovers an inscription on the coin that read, “Greg, drop this coin into the fountain in front of the tree of life.” Weeks later, his little sister by his side, Greg tosses the coin into the small fountain and is instantaneously transported to a strange land.

The story begins with 14 year old Greg and his family heading on holiday to Disney World. He is particularly excited as he has a plan to execute there. This is regarding the coin he recently found, not just any old coin but one which is inscribed “Greg, drop this coin into the fountain in front of the Tree of Life!”. His research online has identified that there is a Tree of Life in the Animal Kingdom Park at Disney World. He has kept it secret from his parents but shared his plan with sister Cindy, who watches as he tosses the coin into the tiny fountain under the tree.

But where is he? And where is Cindy? He is alone in a dark uninviting tunnel behind a waterfall, so he darts through the waterfall into the daylight. A sheer rock-face below so he starts to climb up, when a girl crashes down the cliff on top of him. She is fleeing from the evil Denza, so they retreat into the tunnel.

The girl is Princess Fawn of the Cheerakoo and this is the start of an adventure in a strange land as he assists Fawn with her dangerous mission to save her people’s land, learning about the different tribes here. He is even more startled when they come across a sabre-toothed tiger and pterodactyls. Not only does it seem like nowhere on earth, but a totally different timeframe too.

So how will the adventure play out? And will Greg ever get home again?

The Enchanted Coin is a great fantasy adventure read, which I highly recommend to teens and children aged 9+.

Not having heard of the Tree of Life at Disney World, I looked it up. Sounds an amazing sculpture with over 300 carvings of species including some extinct, plus a theatre at the base.

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Cover Reveal – Talisman Series volume 5 by Brett Salter

I’ve posted over 400 book reviews on my blog, but this is the first time I’ve done a cover reveal. Author Brett Salter is gearing up to publication of his fifth title in the Talisman series. You may find out more about the author on his website.

So far, I’ve only read the first book, The Search for Synergy, and you may see my review of that title here. An entertaining fantasy read, targeted at young adult readers. Suitable from age 11 upwards in my opinion.

The fifth book in the series will be called Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures and here is the book blurb.

After a few minutes, Julian and his friends walked to the portal. In the middle of a large standing pond, there was an area of overgrown swamp plants and a few strewn rock piles. Immediately, the group saw the oval-shaped portal, which had been activated by the returning Nocturn, however, no dark energy seeped out of it. Rome, the fire dragon from Volcana stood atop Scarabadon peering down. His giant claws pinned the fragile Nocturn to the soggy ground. A deathblow imminent.

Looks like our heroes can finally put an end to the nightmare that was Scarabadon, The Juggernaut. And it seems everyone’s favorite Synergist Knight and Master Dragon have fixed their Talisman issue too. Having thwarted every attack The Tyrant King has thrown at them to this point, The Alliance believes that they can endure any challenge as long as they remain together. Now, having the upper hand seems like the perfect opportunity to seek out more allies and even more of the realm’s mystical Talismans. Could this be a “happily ever after” for our ensemble of motley heroes? Or is this peace just a fool’s hope and just as temporary as the changing tides?

The Talisman series will reveal the clandestine workings of the dragons and their knights who embrace the role of protecting our world from The Tyrant King and his evil minions. Whichever side controls the Talismans and their magic will determine the destiny of the world. The question is, what are these Talismans, and how can they be used for the good of humanity and the dragon dens?

Without further ado, here is the cover.

Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures by Brett Salter

This image conveys a sense of fantasy and mystery to me. Do you like it? Would you pick it from the shelf to read?

You can find Brett Salter on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Instagram

Plus you may find out more about the series and characters on the The Talisman Series Wiki Fandom website.

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The Search for Synergy by Brett Salter – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Search for Synergy by Brett Salter to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

The Search for Synergy by Brett Salter

Here is the book blurb.

“The Search for Synergy” is the story of two young men who are brought together by design to help save the world from the evil that lurks in The Void. Rome and Julian will have to join their fledgling powers and become a fighting duo of knight and dragon, working to fulfill a primordial destiny. This will be especially hard for Rome who, up until now, thought he was merely human.

This is the first title in the Talisman series, but works perfectly well as a stand-alone read, although you can tell towards the end that it is setting the scene for a follow-up to be set in England.

The story starts by introducing us to 13 year old Rome, who whilst messing around, accidentally sets a tree on fire, just looking at it. Meanwhile another boy Julian has seen this and recognising Rome’s abilities, takes him to meet elderly Mr Jones.

The pair try to convince Rome that he is not a human, but a dragon, explaining that Julian is a knight and that the two boys need to train for the Great Synergy to combine their powers. But Rome initially doesn’t believe them.

Weaving in myths from King Arthur’s time, there is a destiny to fulfil.

Portals, monsters, magic all abound in this tale. The roll of the die is crucial.

However I did  have to look up Hackey sack which I discovered to be rather like playing football but using a bean bag instead of a ball. Sounds a fun game that Rome and friends enjoyed.

The Search for Synergy is available on Amazon in paperback, hardback and Kindle format. An entertaining fantasy read, targeted at young adult readers. Suitable from age 11 upwards in my opinion.

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Dragon’s Future by Kandi J Wyatt – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I downloaded for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Dragon’s Future by Kandi J Wyatt to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

Dragon's Future by Kandi J Wyatt

Here is the book blurb.

Trapped in a boring life, Carryl longs for something different. With the death of a dragon rider, she realizes her dream of becoming a rider herself. But first she must save the despondent dragon’s life.

Ruskya has settled into his new role as a dragon rider. A sinister rider has attacked the colony. The fate of all that Ruskya holds dear lies in his hands.

Ruskya and Carryl step into leadership roles to defend the colony and their village. Now they battle dragons and their own insecurities. They’ll need the courage of a dragon to defeat their enemies or die trying.

Dragon’s Future is the fabulous first book in the coming of age fantasy series Dragon Courage. If you like enticing worlds, captivating stories, and a new twist on dragon lore, you’ll love Kandi J Wyatt’s fantastic series.

This is the first title in the Dragon Courage series.

The story begins with a prologue set 15 years earlier when twins Duskya and Ruskya, then aged 10 were both selected at the annual procession by the dragons Wryn and Wyeth to become their respective riders. They leave their mother Meredyth and village home to go live at the Three Spans Canyon dragon colony where Glendyn will train them as riders.

Now it is Ruskya’s turn to train Kyn, the latest youngling to join. At the same time he is also developing his mental control, mind reading and communication powers, plus learning what his father’s role with the dragons was.

Meanwhile riders from another colony attack both them and the village. Why are they under attack? One of their group is killed. Can Carryl, a healer save the grieving dragon? More deaths of villagers follow. As they try to defend, one of them is kidnapped along with a dragon. How will this all end?

A good story, but I did find it difficult to remember whose dragon was who’s as all the dragon names are fairly similar. And I did feel that the way the riders continually addressed each other was just superfluous padding to the book, eg “Honoured Rider, may your dragon fly straight and true”.

Dragon’s Future is available on Amazon free in Kindle format, or alternatively may be purchased in paperback or audiobook. A fantastical adventure read for older children and teens.

I’ve also previously read the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy by this author and here are the links to my reviews of those titles.
An Unexpected Adventure
An Unexpected Escapade
An Unexpected Exploit

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My Three Warlocks by Robert H Cherny – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book My Three Warlocks by Robert H Cherny to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

My Three Warlocks by Robert H Cherny

Here is the book blurb.

Three Warlocks, brothers, triplets, run a ranch where they train horses for cowboys and cattle ranchers. They use their special powers to keep their ranch solvent and, despite the recent death of their adoptive mother, are content with their lives. All that changes when a pre-teen equestrian shows up with her father to buy a horse. On the same day, triplet witches and their mother are directed to the ranch by a mysterious stranger.

The witch’s mother and the girl’s father have a history, and only he knows that none of this is a coincidence. Within two days, the warlocks, the witches, their mother, the girl, her father, and some friends and family use their powers to fight a forest fire. They are then recruited by the mysterious stranger, an ancient wizard, to protect a rape victim. The woman was raped by a magical being who intends to steal the baby and kill her. This wholesale rape of indigenous populations has been going on for a long time, and the wizard believes he finally has the team to stop it. The wizard quickly loses control of the team, and it completes the mission without him.

The team takes on missions without the wizard, relegating him to advisor status. After several missions on their own, the team emerges far more powerful than anything the wizard could have imagined. Even though he created the team, he does not control them, and, in some ways, the “battle group” he created controls him.

I read all of this story but I really struggled with it. Set in modern day American ranching / rodeo with plenty of fantasy elements thrown in, it just did nothing for me. I liked the characters and a few bits of the storyline, but certainly not enough overall to draw me in. Even the cover is off-putting.

It also mentioned a legend of Paul Bunyan with a blue ox who I had never heard of, so I looked him up on Wikipedia. Apparently he is a giant lumberjack who features in American and Canadian folklore.

My Three Warlocks is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. An unusual fantasy read, targeted at young adult readers. Not a book for me, but maybe others will enjoy more.

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The Power of the Pearl by William Edmonds – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Power of the Pearl by William Edmonds to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

The Power of the Pearl by William Edmonds

Here is the book blurb.

Thirteen-year-old Alaric Swift lives a tough, lonely life. He’s never known his parents, nor had any friends.
However, everything changes after his adoptive parents attempt to eat him, and he’s taken to live on the magical island of Harramore. The reason? Alaric is the son of the most powerful being to have ever existed—the King Guardian, Rei.
So begins a magical adventure as Alaric learns to master hidden extraordinary powers, meets creatures beyond his imagination, and gets caught up in a plot to steal the world’s most dangerous object, the Golden Pearl.
The Power of the Pearl is a captivating opening to the Miracle Prince series and a page-turning debut..

This debut novel by William Edmonds is the first title in The Miracle Prince series.

The story starts with Mr Solomon taking 13 year old Alaric to John and Sue, another set of foster parents in a long line. Alaric always seems to end up doing something which makes things go wrong with each foster family, but this time it is the other way round. John and Sue transform and try to eat him. Alaric is rescued in the nick of time by Mr Solomon and magically transported to Harramore, Land of the Nephilim.

Turns out Alaric is one of the Nephilim, in fact he is the Miracle Prince, son of assassinated King Guardian Rei. He fits in much better with his next foster family, the Trolleys and soon is on the Rei basketball team at school, which in Harramore is a totally different experience to what Alaric and you and I are used to.

Lots of magical mythical adventures then follow for Alaric, along with his friends Laurence and Lucy.

The Power of the Pearl is available on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle formats. A great adventure which will certainly appeal to fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Suitable for older children and teens.

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An Unexpected Exploit by Kandi J Wyatt – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book An Unexpected Exploit by Kandi J Wyatt to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

An Unexpected Exploit by Kandi J Wyatt

Here is the book blurb.

Protect a mythical realm or his family? Sixteen-year-old Franklin follows a Sasquatch through a portal to the realm of Shinwano and discovers a world full of mythical creatures he never expected to actually exist. Upon returning to Myrtle Beach, Oregon, he vows to protect the land, not realizing how difficult it will be to keep his promise, especially when a poacher, a NSA agent, and his friends are interested in the portal—and all for different reasons. When the poacher threatens his family, Franklin must reconsider his vow to protect this new world to keep his family safe. The consequences of his decision reach further than just a rift in the space-time continuum. Can Franklin live up to the trust placed on him and save this new world from an even greater danger?

This is the third title in the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy, set in the small town of Myrtle Beach in Oregon. They can be read as stand alone reads, but I found them better to read in sequence as they do refer to happenings in earlier books. However the main protagonist Franklin is a new character.

Here are the links to my reviews of the first two titles.
An Unexpected Adventure
An Unexpected Escapade

The story starts with Franklin out hunting in the forest when he spots a creature larger than a bear but with a human-like face, which almost immediately disappears. Could it be a sasquatch, bigfoot or yeti? Franklin investigates and discovers a portal. Throwing caution to the wind, he steps through but Ladaku is waiting and knocks him out. When he awakes he finds he is in an alternate world Shinwano full of mythological creatures.

Whilst the dhoka (portal) is closed, Franklin agrees to train as a keta-manisa to protect the dhoka from other humans. Meanwhile back in our world he has been declared missing and teams including Will, Ana, Harley, Cherise and Winston from earlier books, are out searching for him, worried because bad guy poacher Jack Collins is hanging round town again.

When the dhoka finally reopens, Franklin reluctantly leaves his new friends to come back home. But soon he faces a difficult situation when he discovers Jack Collins has tied up his mum and brother Jeremy and is giving them electric shocks.

How will Franklin react and what will ensue? Certainly a page turner and my only small complaint is that the series titles are too similar.

The book also contains a glossary of Shinwano words.

An Unexpected Exploit is available on Amazon in Kindle format or paperback. A great adventure fantasy read for older children and teens.

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Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy Breedlove – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J Breedlove to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

Screamcatcher Web World by Christy J Breedlove

Here is the book blurb.

When seventeen-year-old Jory Pike cannot shake the hellish nightmares of her parent’s deaths, she turns to an old family heirloom, a dream catcher. Even though she’s half blood Chippewa, Jory thinks old Indian lore is so yesterday, but she’s willing to give it a try. However, the dream catcher has had its fill of nightmares from an ancient and violent past. After a sleepover party, and during one of Jory’s most horrific dream episodes, the dream catcher implodes, sucking Jory and her three friends into its own world of trapped nightmares. They’re in an alternate universe-locked inside of an insane web world. How can they find the center of the web, where all good things are allowed to pass?

I’m doing things in reverse here, as last year I read and reviewed book 2 in the Screamcatcher YA series. Having enjoyed that, I’ve now gone back to read the first title.

The story starts in the normal everyday world where we are introduced to four teenage friends Jory, Choice, Lander and Darcy, all aged 16-18, along with Jory’s Chippewa grandfather Albert. Choice has purchased the most ancient dreamcatcher from Albert’s shop as a gift for Jory. This is believed to have been passed down the generations since the dawn of time filtering good dreams from nightmares which get caught in it.

Jory’s parents had died a few months earlier in a car crash and her friends are staying for a sleepover so she is not alone overnight, but her inevitable nightmare of the car falling into the canyon causes the dreamcatcher to implode and the four teens are dragged into the web world which is full of trapped nightmares that they have to navigate.

Are they able to work as a team to reach the centre to escape? Can Jory draw on her Chippewa folklore to help? Will they all make it? Many challenges, scary creatures and a riddle.

A gripping read indeed, which you never know may include your own worst nightmare too.

Screamcatcher: Web World is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. A good dystopian fantasy read, targeted at young adult readers. Highly recommended.

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Malamander by Thomas Taylor – book review

My latest personal choice of read, rather than a requested book review is Malamander by Thomas Taylor. To find out more about the author you may visit his website. I discovered there that he illustrated the original cover for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Here is the book blurb.

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger…

This is the first book in the Eerie-on-Sea series.

When you open the book, there is a map of Eerie-on-Sea, a seaside town, which I kept referring back to as I read the story. I do love a map to illustrate a tale.

The story draws you in with fabulous descriptive language right from the start as we get introduced to young Herbie, who is the Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel. His usual remit is lost luggage but the mysterious girl Violet Parma comes especially to see him, declaring she is lost and wants to be found, although obviously not by the scary Boathook Man from whom she hides.

Mystery, adventure detective story, myth, legend, monster, fantasy – this book has it all. The characters and settings are all portrayed wonderfully.

Malamander is a great book, targeted at readers from about age 9-12. A captivating read. I’m certainly looking forward to finding out what happens in Gargantis, book 2 at Eerie-on-Sea. And the author is currently writing the third title Shadowghast, which will be published later this year.

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