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Review: ‘Elemental Cascade’ by David Staniforth

Genre: Fantasy.
Length: 315 pages.

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: This book is the final instalment in the Fuel to the Fire series. In this book, Davran not only has to face her biggest and most dangerous enemy yet (which, by the way, is the most disgusting character I have ever read about), she also has to witness the prophecy, which names her Fuel to the Fire, come true. Will she survive? Will she be able to protect her friends and family? Will she defeat her biggest enemy? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Review: Wow. What an end to the trilogy! Beautifully written and very descriptive, Staniforth, as in the previous two books, transports the reader to the wonderful (and the not so wonderful) places that Davran visits, effortlessly.  The places that Davran visits, particularly the Onktor Valley, really came to life on the page and made me feel like I was experiencing it for myself. I found this book impossible to put this book down as I wanted to continue my journey with Davran and her friends and family.

We really see Davran grow as a person in this book. At just 16 years old, the fate of the world and all that she loves rests on her shoulders. Despite this burden, Davran remains a strong female character that is loyal to her friends and family, but willing to do the right thing, no matter how difficult. I really felt like I was taking the journey with her; I was happy when she was, sad when she was, and fearful when she was.

I also loved that my favourite characters (particularly Khalil!),as well as some new faces, appeared again. Every character in this book is beautifully constructed and believable; yes, they have flaws, but it makes them seem real. Avoiding spoilers, there was one event with Ronyn that had me screaming at the book and wanting to hunt down the author, but after further reading (that involved staying up wayyy too late), that event was resolved.

Without giving too much away, I thought that the ending was extremely fitting, and a perfect place to say goodbye to my favourite characters. While Davran lived in a world that I would definitely not want to be a part of, I really felt that I knew her and the other characters. I’ve been with her when she had to dress as a boy to survive, I’ve been with her as she faced up against Saurian, I’ve been with her as she fell in love, and I’ve been with her as the prophecy finally unravels. If I’m honest, I am sad that my time with this series is over.

★★★★★ – An extremely fitting end to a beautifully written trilogy. Descriptive with believable characters, I cannot recommend this trilogy highly enough. 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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‘The Return’ by Carter Vance

I have awarded this book 2 stars.

Summary: The Return tells the story of Peter and Sarah, a young married couple who discover that their unborn child is the next messiah. An ancient following called the Templars are desperate to ensure the survival of Peter and Sarah’s offspring, but their enemy is desperate to prevent it’s entry into the world at all costs.

Review: I thought the plot of this book was interesting and though that the mix of world history and fiction was good. However, this book got 2 stars from me for two reasons.

Firstly, it annoyed me that the characters (particularly Peter and Sarah) were so understanding and accepting of their position from the moment they found out. This made them seem largely unrealistic to me. Secondly, the story moves so fast that I found it impossible to get to know the characters. Because of the story moving so fast, the characters lacked personality and dimension.

★★ – an interesting story line, but I found the characters to be unrealistic and I didn’t get a chance to get to know them, making them very 2D.

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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‘Hunted’ by Tim Arnot

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: Hunted is the second book in the Flick Carter series, and things really aren’t going well for Flick in this instalment. Still in 23rd Century Britain but devastated by the loss of her family, Flick turns to alcohol to drown her sorrows. However, when her friends turn up dead and attempts have been made to kill her, she realises that she must do everything she can to stay alive, even if it means things that she really does not want to be a part of.

Review: I really enjoyed reading this. From the first three chapters that were released online as a teaser (found here) I knew it was going to be a good read. There was lots to enjoy about this book, from how well written it was, to the enjoyable flow of the authors writing style. I ended up reading this book in one sitting! There was a lot happening that I just didn’t expect and left me wanting to know more.

I loved how real the characters felt; the dialogue was believable, and the characters took time to learn how to do things, rather than being brilliant at it first time. I enjoyed seeing the way that Flick handled each situation, and felt genuinely sorry for her on multiple occasions. I also thought that Shea was a well written and likeable character and hope to see more from him in the future.

Also, there is a release party for the book on Saturday! (Details can be found here) There will be give-aways and competitions, so please check it out!

★★★★★ – well written with believable characters. Can’t wait for the next book, and hope to read more about Shea. Also a cool launch party on Saturday! 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘Ruler’s Desire’ by David Staniforth

FttF2 front small rgbLength: 154 pages
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: In the second instalment in the Fuel to the Fire series, Davran returns to her world, along with Ronyn, in an attempt to overthrow the evil ruler, Saurian and save her world, while fulfilling the prophecy. Davran and Ronyn accept that this may mean their death, but continue anyway. Davran only has one wish – to die as herself, without the disguise that she had been wearing her whole life. Will Ronyn and Davran succeed? What will the prophecy bring about?

Review: Wow, there is so much that I want to say about this book, it’s difficult to know where to start! Just like Fuel to the Fire, this book was really well written, with believable and well rounded characters, but just… wow!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, even more so than the first! We really see Davran find herself in this book, which was lovely. Rather than accepting the prophecy as it is, she takes control of it (I wont spoil it, but there is one moment in particular that had me cheering her on). I also enjoyed the interactions she had with Ronyn in this book; one scene was particularly heart felt and beautifully written. It was great to see my favourite characters again, though I didn’t realise when reading the first book just how small Khalil is! We were told of him fitting in Davran’s bag, but he is so much smaller than I imagined!

The descriptions in Ruler’s Desire were really well written, creating a vivid picture in my mind (sometimes too vivid!) which really brought the story to life. I felt like I was learning about everything right alongside Davran, which made me cheer her on and feel sorry for her. I was desperate to know what was going to happen next, and found it impossible to put the book down. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was proven wrong. The ending is proof of that! It really blew me away. Not only did I not see it coming, but it explained so much! It was very clever.

I can’t wait to read the final book! However, while I am dying to know what happens, I am sad to no longer be apart of the world that David Staniforth has created (though I am very glad that I am not literally living in Davran’s world!). I would definitely recommend this book!

★★★★★ – Well written, believable characters and vivid descriptions. Impossible to put down! Very highly recommended. 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘Fuel to the Fire’ by David Staniforth

Genre: Fantasy.
Length: 166 pages.

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: This is the first instalment in the ‘Fuel to the Fire’ series. Fuel to the Fire belongs to the fantasy genre, and tells the story of Davran, a 15 year old girl who has spent her life pretending to be a boy, in an attempt to avoid becoming a sexual toy to a ruler interested in torture. Having been transported into another world, she quickly finds herself living as part of a family, who used to be dragon trainers, but are now millers. It is up to Davran, with the help of this new family, to prevent evil from taking over not only the world they are in, but Davran’s world as well.

Review: I actually read this when I was staying overnight in hospital, and it definitely kept me entertained! Written in a very engaging way, something that this author seems to have a knack for, with some good descriptions, I found it quite difficult to put down (I wanted to tell the nurses and doctors to leave me alone because my book was just too gripping!). I loved how the author introduced us to a lot of information, without it feeling overwhelming, and left no stone unturned. While the story did switch between different perspectives, I did not find this at all difficult to follow, and thought it was a very effective way of introducing the reader to new information.

Davran was a beautifully crafted character. From the very start of the book, it was extremely difficult not to feel sorry for her. I loved how the character grew throughout the book, and the innocent way she saw the world only added to this need to protect her. The interactions between her and Ronyn were also really well written, and were a beautiful addition to the new way that Davran was seeing the world. I found that as well as the characters that it was impossible not to love, there were also characters that made me want to jump into the book and deal with them myself!

★★★★★ – Really creative and engaging fantasy novel. Beautifully written characters and hard to put down. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘Snort and Wobbles’ by Will Macmillan Jones

Genre: Fantasy (children’s)
Length: 67 pages.

I have awarded this children’s short story 5 stars.

Summary: Wobbles (real name Lisa) is obsessed with dragons. So, when she meets a real life Dragon (Snort) at the bottom of her garden, she is extremely happy and excited, finding it really hard to keep it a secret! When her brother goes missing though, she knows that she needs to ask her new found friend for help. Will they rescue Jeremy?

Review: I found this story really fun to read! Well written and with easy to follow language, I can see it being a hit with children for generations to come! I even read it to my brother (aged 8) and he loved it! Plan to read it to my cousins next.

This story reads just like a tale a young child would tell you, with enough truth to make it believable, but enough craziness to make it sound like the workings of a child’s mind. The illustrations were a lovely touch, too. Highly recommended!

★★★★★ – a well written, easy to follow children’s story, with lovely illustrations. I will definitely be buying the paperback when it’s available!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘Alloria’ by David Staniforth

Alloria new xsmallGenre: Fantasy (Children’s / Young Adult)
Length: 347 pages.

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: Having found out on her tenth birthday that her parents aren’t really her parents, and she was found in their cellar wearing a magic amulet and carrying a doll, Alloria is desperate to find out who she really is. Realising that her amulet opens a portal into another world, right there in the cellar, she and her best friend Nathan enter in search of answers. They end up finding out more than they could ever have imagined!

Review: I really enjoyed reading this. Although technically a children’s story, it would definitely appeal to all ages. The story was interesting throughout, made even more so by the twists and turns. The characters were also well written and well developed (my favourite character has to be Bainberry, due to his loyalty). I also enjoyed learning about Alloria’s background along with her.

I found the story to be written in a thought-provoking and engaging way, with an easy to follow style. The situations that Alloria and Nathan found themselves in were interesting and had me wondering how they would get themselves out of them. The information about magic and the other worlds were also interesting and gave the story good depth. I would definitely recommend this, and can’t wait for the next Alloria story.

★★★★★ – Well written, interesting and would appeal to all ages. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)