What lurks in darkness cannot hide from the light.
Jasce Farone, previously known as the Angel of Death, has returned to Orilyon as commander of the Paladin Guard in hopes of locating his long-lost sister and settling down with his fiancée, Kenz. But now that peace has come to Pandaren, Queen Valeri is hosting the Gathering—a meeting of five kingdoms, and among those invited are the Vastanes, whose war crimes have not been forgotten. And though the rulers of each kingdom claim they want peace, ulterior motives hide in the shadows.
As the Gathering begins, lethal magic-hunting creatures terrorize the people, and Spectrals are reported missing. Jasce is forced to choose between the search for his sister and the survival of the kingdom he has sacrificed everything to save.
In this second installment of The Darkness Trilogy by award-winning author Cassie Sanchez, Jasce, Kenz, Kord, and Amycus return and are joined by a new cast of characters to battle political intrigue, foreign magic, and mystifying beasts. Jasce will need all his magic—and more—to defend those he loves, while resisting the familiar embrace of the Angel of Death, who demands blood at any cost.
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Delilah Recovered by Amelia Estelle Dellos tells the story of Delilah Smith, who lives a dull and uninteresting life as an accountant. Her world turns upside down when she meets the handsome Samuel Solomon, who introduces her to the exciting realm of fairies, witches, angels, and witch hunters. Delilah quickly learns that everything she thinks she knows about her ordinary reality is wrong. Her authentic memories reveal that she will play a pivotal role in this world. Delilah discovers that many of her memories have been sealed from her. She begins to learn about her prophesied destiny and that many aspects of life have been hidden from her. The world she uncovers is dark, extraordinary and ominous.
The world that is constructed by Amelia Estelle Dellos in this enthralling fantasy novel is imaginative and enchanting. I enjoyed how the author articulated the contrast between Delilah’s mundane existence as an accountant in an office and being thrown into a chaotic dark fantasy realm with danger and excitement. The book has a compelling story line and a fascinating protagonist. The story delves into the colorful and dynamic lives of the characters and I really enjoyed watching how their actions impacted one another; sort of like a paranormal melodrama on television. There is no shortage of action and intrigue to lure readers into this richly imagined world.
The author brilliantly integrates elements of the Samson and Delilah story into the book and shows how the past can have a profound effect on the present. Romance, mythology, magic, and an intriguing mystery all coalesce into an exciting journey. I was enthralled with the surreal theme of this book and reveled in the unique supernatural and time travel elements. I recommend Delilah Recovered to readers who are looking for an imaginative urban fantasy novel with a protagonist that goes through a massive evolution.
Pages: 276 | ISBN: 1639885145
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Annihilation by Kaylin McFarren is a story that explores the age-old issues surrounding light and dark or good versus evil, the balance between the two, and the blurred edges between distinguishing them. Following the central family of Ariel, once an angel now trapped in a demon’s body, her husband Crighton, a half-angel half-demon, and their children living between Heaven and Hell. As both realms are on the brink of the ‘Red War,’ it becomes clear that their family, especially their children, are going to be vital in the outcome, and Lucinda, the Queen of Hell, is not going to take any chances.
This novel is scattered with references to well-known myths, legends, and fables such as the ‘eternal fire from hell,’ angels, demons, and werewolves. These are all prominent symbols of the battle between good and evil, and they assist the reader in understanding some of the stories. However, throughout the story, things are not always so clear, which enables people to think more about their perception of where the line between the two would be.
McFarren has done an excellent job of telling the story from various perspectives through short chapters dedicated to specific characters’ points of view. It is easy to follow, ad each storyline overlaps. Imagery is another element that has been successfully used, for example, ‘belied by the unshed tears glistening in her eyes or ‘sheets of bubbling flesh.’ These are powerful images that allow you to see the story as you are reading it.
McFarren is imaginative and explores themes such as the power of women and how everyone is constantly battling internally with good versus evil. From the wonderful use of dialect to the flow of the story itself, this was an excellent read, one I would read again and recommend to others.
Annihilation is a gripping paranormal fantasy novel that explores good vs. evil and shows that things are not always split down the middle. Readers of occult horror will find this book thrilling and different from your usual dark fantasy novels.
Pages: 428 | ASIN : B09KMNBNQG
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Ascension follows the leaders of the different races of Midstad, who are fighting to free their homeland from the evil that is taking over. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I tried writing a short story from a villain’s point of view a few years before I started writing Ascension and I liked it so much that I just kept expanding the story and the world until I had this massive playground to pick where I wanted to play. Ascension was where I chose the story to start.
Did you plan the tone and direction of the novel before writing or did it come out organically as you were writing?
Some of the story was planned, I’d say the main plot lines at least. A couple things changed and a lot was added but I would say the tone and direction were fairly planned out before I started writing.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
A big theme that I tend to go to with all my stories is mental health and the realistic effects it has on a character. I also really enjoyed showing how a villain thinks, and how different villains can be villainous for different reasons. Some may not even really be evil at heart, it’s just the cards they were dealt. Character development is a big theme with my writing as well, and I like to think that every character moves in a direction throughout the story. No character remains fully the same. That goes for the world too! I count my world as a character, making sure it changes along with the characters.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Well, right now I’m working on a collection of short stories as a small project before getting to work on the third and final book in this series! Vengeance, book two, is already available on Amazon. The goal for book 3 is fall of 2023!
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Taiwan Butterfly is a riveting gothic fantasy novel that begins in December 1949 in China when 35-year-old British missionary Jonathan Woods is in the middle of a battlefield and finds his mortally wounded friend, Chen Ming-Yu. On his dying breath, Ming-Yu asks Jonathan to go to safety, to his homeland Taiwan and find Ming-Yu’s daughter Chen Mei-Ying. Before he dies, he vows to Jonathan to use the enchanted butterfly book for something greater. Eventually, Jonathan gets to Taiwan, transferred, and injured. His path to Mei-Ying leads him to experience love, loss, and magic.
Taiwan Butterfly offers readers a unique fantasy world with a backstory that is well thought-out and lore that feels deep. Set during the Chinese Civil war this rousing book combines historical fiction with fascinating magical elements that keep readers intrigued throughout the narrative. I enjoyed this book because of the clear writing and mystique surrounding the elements of the storyline. This was a fun book to read because the characters are easy to follow and understand, but also because we get glimpses of the mystery throughout the story and those glimpses are so compelling. What is the secret Book of the Butterfly and which purpose does the book have?
The authors writing style is succinct and gives the narrative voice a unique quality, making this an easy book to read and makes it perfect for young adult readers. But even with this we’re still treated to gripping scenes with vivid descriptions, imaginative world building, and creative use of magic.
Taiwan Butterfly is a fast-paced teen fantasy story that cleverly combines romance, mystery and magic to create a dark magical realism story that kept calling me back every time I put the book down.
Pages: 184 | ASIN: B0B74Q82BN
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The Curse is another outstanding novel in Shana Congrove’s Breedline Series. This rousing dark fantasy novel follows the Breedline Covenant as well as Joseph Parker, who is possessed by a demonic spirit called the Shadow. We also follow Carrie Randall, an unlucky-in-love counselor who’s world collides with Joseph’s. While trying to track down Joseph, the Breedline Covenant finds out about illegal experiments being done on humans and about vampires.
The world in the Breedline series is well established at this point but if you haven’t read the other books in the series then the author provides plenty of backstory at the beginning of this book to bring you up to speed. The book focuses on setting up the world and the characters first before launching into the heart of the story, and the action.
The story also takes time to describe what the character looks like, so they are clear in the mind of readers before the story moves on. Readers are also reintroduced to Breedline characters as well. Each character is described so that we understand who they are, what they do, and what their power/ability is. This provides a lot of information that new readers will find helpful in understanding the world that has been built in the Breedline series, but longtime fans of the series will find information they’ve picked up in previous books.
I enjoyed getting into Jena’s head. I was pulled into the story during this section, which made it extremely enjoyable to read. I also found the vampires interesting, although I would have liked more information about them so that I could understand them better. The ‘biters’ are the evil ones, and we also have the good ones that are ‘Daywalkers’ or hybrids. I found this division interesting, but I would have liked to have seen their roles more clearly defined in the story.
I enjoyed the premise of this paranormal romance novel. I loved the werewolves, vampires, battle angels, shapeshifting, and the fight against evil. I enjoyed that this is set in the modern world as well. The Curse takes a slow-burn approach to story telling that utilizes most of the pages to build character and the world before jumping into the action.
Pages: 447 | ASIN: B0B5B6DGQK
Ascension, by Marc R. Micciola, is the first book in the Age of Shadow Saga. This story follows the leaders of Midstad as they fight to gain control of the empire.
The novel begins with Otti and The Black Light. Otti is determined to get her beloved, Kemryr, back from imprisonment. She works with Iver to bring people to their forces, The Black Light, and gain control of the kingdom. Einar, Prince of Hestferd, and Elouera, the Queen of Skedia, work together to protect the kingdom from The Black Light. When Karina, Queen Eloueras’s daughter, is targeted by an assassin, the Hestferd rulers help the family hide with elves. Her family’s safety is instrumental in maintaining control of the kingdom and preventing The Black Light from taking over.
The writing style in this book is excellent throughout. Multiple POVs give depth to the story. Each character has its own development and storyline. Having numerous POVs allows the reader to understand the overall plot. The development behind Einar’s character was the most interesting to read and essential for the story to move forward.
This captivating book had a lot of varying elements for the first installment in an upcoming series. I wish there was more background information and world-building given to the reader so there is a better understanding of the world the author has built. There were bits and pieces of background given with each character’s POV, but it’s like putting together a puzzle.
Ascension is a riveting adventure and dark fantasy novel that gives readers a sense of nostalgia for similar worlds that are seen in Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time. As the first book in the Age of Shadow Saga, it pulls the reader into the world created by Micciola, and they will be waiting for the next installment to see where the action leads next.
Pages: 303 | ASIN : B08BTMF46Z
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America is hit by an unprovoked nuclear missile attack by North Korea. While NATO works to deescalate the Nuclear holocaust, a mother, a mechanical engineering expert, and her two children race through panic-stricken cities in an attempt to reach their atomic bomb-resistant shelter in the mountains.
A second air blast over New York knocks out all the car’s electronics except for The Beast, the mother’s armored, custom-made, Dodge Durango Hellcat.
Can they make it through the marauding gangs who have taken advantage of the cities abandoned by the cops to protect their own families? Will the prototype regenerative fuel cell she developed last until they reach the Catskill Mountains and safety?
Hang on for the high octane, action-packed, death race to safety from the Next Name in Horror.
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