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Xaghra’s Revenge

Xaghra's Revenge by [Nelder, Geoff]

Xaghra’s Revenge by Geoff Nelder begins with a family on a Maltese island circa fifteen hundreds that is torn apart by a barbaric pirate attack. The pirates take the island’s people captive, split up families and destroy lives in the process. I was pulled in by the fine historical detail and the emotional human experience. It starts as a historical fiction novel, but then you are catapulted into modern day where we follow two people; Zita and Reese. Paranormal forces bring these characters together and events they cannot control set them on a dangerous and thrilling journey that I enjoyed reading.

I enjoyed Zita and Reece’s characters. They were multifaceted and well developed. Their love story, although a bit contrived, is emotional and believable once events start to unfold. One thing that I really enjoyed about this novel, as I’m sure many historical fiction fans enjoy, is the depth of detail in the story’s setting and the experiences of those in the past. Reading about what happens to the captives is heartbreaking and really makes you feel as if they were real people, or at least these things could have happened to real people. I felt like I was reading a Dan Brown novel at times. The descriptions were exceptional and I felt like the author really did his homework and has the technical ability to transport me to exotic places without slowing the pace of the book. When I review books I try to take mental notes while reading, but I often got so caught up in this book that I forgot to, and found myself several chapters in before I remembered. The connection between the past and present is not immediately apparent, and lends to the overall mystery and enables some fascinating plot twists.

When the spirits of the past seek revenge, Zita and Reece are left with little choice, although they don’t know it. This novel was fun to read and getting swept away was easy. It’s hard to nail down this books genre; is it historical fiction, paranormal, romance, mystery? I think it does a magical job of blending all of them into one thrilling novel. I highly recommend this book as it has one of the more unique plots that I’ve read this year.

Pages: 360 | ASIN: B0746PHZKR

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Welcome to Deep Cove

Welcome to Deep Cove (Vellian Mysteries Book 1) by [Reed, Grant T.]4 StarsGrant Reed’s Welcome to Deep Cove is an energetic tale that involves intrigue, action and fantastical adventure. The first in a series, but using characters from another, we start off our adventure with an elite military unit infiltrating a potential enemy country. We immediately meet Jack, a crazy and entertaining prisoner. After things begin to go horribly wrong we switch our attention to our main men, Garret and Merle. To call Merle a man is a stretch as he is actually a dragon. The mix of fantastical creatures delivered as if they are completely normal and expected is quite well done. As the story goes on we meet an ogre, a robot named P.C. and some minotaurs. Garret is a former military man, part of an elite guard for the king, who has traded in his sword for a private investigators license. Garret’s new occupation draws him into a possible war with the Syndicate: the mafia arm of this world.

While the story starts off with some awesome punch it gets slow pretty fast as we watch Garret mosey about in his mediocre life. It’s not until part way through the tale that the energy picks up and we’re on for an exciting ride.

Reed does an amazing job with his descriptions and it’s easy to picture what everyone looks like in your mind as you read. The hair on the minotaurs and the scales on Merle are all described with such detail you could almost touch them.

If there were to be any criticism it would be regarding the lack of gender. Ninety five percent of the characters in this particular volume of the tale are men. There are around three women who we actually meet: a drunk girl at a bar, an older homemaker who has seemingly misplaced her husband and Coral. Coral is the only woman we meet who has a name. There is another woman who is referred to, but we never meet her. Even though she has a name and seems to have importance to the story we don’t see Coral very much and the first time we do she’s very cold. Her role is only briefly explained and her purpose is not entirely clear.

Aside from the lack of strong female characters this book is very well written and the story is thoroughly engaging. This is exceptionally high praise for a book that is published by an indie-author.

Welcome to Deep Cove is a great introduction to the characters and power balances of Deep Cove. The maps at the beginning of the story add to the visualization of the tale and make it that much more believable. The tale is expertly woven and it does indeed leave you ready and excited for the stories to come.

Pages: 289 | ASIN: B00J1KUXH0

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