Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Curse Keepers by: Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Keepers is loosely based on the Lost Colony of Roanoke. It can be described as "one person's version of what could have happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke".
For 400 years two families, one side- descended from the Indian family that befriended the first English settlers at Roanoke, VA, and the other family- the original English family that first settled the Roanoke Colony, protected the secret of what really happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. The story passed down through the generations of both families told of the secret of the Gods and demons that were "locked" behind the gate to hell by the founding father of each family. Each generation the oldest child became the "Curse Keeper" upon their 18th birthday. Each Curse Keeper learned the sacred words, symbols, and story to pass on to their children. It is told that if  the Curse Keeper from each family meet and touch, the gates of hell would open and the Gods and Demons held in prison for so long would be released and many lives would be lost. The Curse Keepers would then have until the dawn of the seventh day to close the gate and trap the Gods and Demons back in hell.
This is a very fast paced story. It begins with the Curse Keepers meeting and goes full force from there. It has a mystery for the reader to try and figure out beyond the Gods and Demons. It has romance and betrayal, family and friendship, love and heartache. It will draw you in, keep you guessing, have you rooting for the characters, and for those interested in hot romance-yep, there's even some of that. But what I was drawn to most, is how Miss Swank used her imagination to put a fantasy spin to a real life mystery. It almost has you wondering "Could this be what REALLY happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke"???
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read mysteries, romances, and fantasies.

Dead Weight: The Tombs by M. Todd Gallowglas

I was very generously sent an advanced reader copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mr. Gallowglas for this opportunity. Dead Weight: The Tombs is about Boy Scout, a Bard in the Marines during the Faerie War. It's about a man trying to survive while running from the magic world as well as the human world. This is a story that begins in the middle and as the story progresses, the main character reflects back to the past in explanation of what is currently happening to him and his companion. For Boy Scout, being a Bard means writing is creating reality. When he writes a story on paper, it becomes reality, or if he looks at a dead person long enough, their life's story will come flowing out of his pen onto paper. He is a creator of life and a bringer of death. This is his story of the Faerie War. I very much enjoyed this story. Mr. Gallowglas' writing style flows with just enough description to help the reader visualize the scenes, but not so much that the story is overwhelmed with descriptors. The story begins with the main character fighting for his life and then by using magic everything stops and a journey into the past begins. The transition from present to past is effortless. By using a real city in his story, Mr. Gallowglas has created a world that the reader can not only relate to, but can actually feel a bond with. I was drawn into the story and to the plight of the main character. I looked forward to each new page, wanting to see what came next in the story and for the main character. I look forward to the next book in the series. I am very eager to know what happens next. There was only one part of the story that confused me. Before every chapter there were multiple quotes from different people. Some were literary geniuses, some were characters from movies, and I must confess, some were from people I did not know. These seemed random and misplaced and in my opinion just detracted from the story. I highly recommend this story to readers who enjoy the Fantasy genre.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The League of the Delphi by Chris Everheart

I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher for this opportunity. This is a story is about a teenage boy, Zach who was tucked away in a boarding school after his father dies in an accident. Before his mom leaves him at the boarding school, she tells him to never let anyone know his real name. After graduation, he finds himself drawn back to the town he lived in during elementary school. There he hopes to reconnect with his past. While working in a coffee shop he becomes interested in a girl he remembers from grade school. As time goes by, he becomes attracted to her younger sister who is somewhat of a rebel. The town that Zach is drawn back to is full of secrets. The "Library" is in the center of the college. It is the epicenter of all that controls the town. The people that run the town decide which of the teenagers will rise through the ranks to take over running the town. Zach finds himself drawn to the "library". Determined to learn what is being hidden in the library, he and his girlfriend learn that the library, the town, and the people are hiding a sinister secret. Zach and his girlfriend learn that the town and the library are a small part of a secret international conspiracy. They learn that his girlfriend had been experimented on without her knowledge, but with her parents permission. The League of the Delphi is book one in a trilogy. It is a very slow story line. Mr. Everheart has talent, unfortunately this particular story line took a little too long to develop for my taste. I would be very interested in reviewing other works he produces. He has a clean, clear way of developing his ideas.

DEFY by Sara B. Larson

I received an advanced copy of this book for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher for this opportunity. DEFY is a story about a young girl, Alexa, living in a world torn apart by war. Alexa and her brother lose her parents to a "dark" sorcerer's fire. To protect her from being forced into the "breeding houses", Alexa's twin brother cuts her hair and transforms her into Alex. With their ability to fight, they become members of the highly respected Prince's personal guard. With her superior fighting skills, Alex earns the second in command position. So here is "Alex" a teenage girl, literally living among males as a male, to save herself from a life of rape and pregnancy like all other female of child-bearing age as decreed by the King. She and her brother carry the secret of her identity while serving the Prince. The Prince, Alex, and a fellow member of the guard is abducted by a powerful sorcerer and taken through the treacherous jungle, deep into enemy territory. During the trek, her true identity is exposed and a love triangle between Alex, the Prince, and her fellow guard ensues. DEFY is a story full of adventure and intrigue. It is a story of a girl who has had to learn to be a boy. She then is having to learn how to be a woman without a mother to guide her through all the confusing feelings. Sara B. Larson is a wonderful storyteller. She has a gift for drawing you into the world she creates. Her words help you visualize everything. I can't wait to see what she creates next.