Blood Rebirth is the second novel in the Divine Series by S.M. McCoy. It picks up directly where Blood Cresent ends. Just like the first book, Blood Rebirth continues to follow Chrystal through her twisted and confusing life in the supernatural world. Though this time she has entered a school for other young supernatural people. Sadly, she gets about as much help there figuring out who she is as she did before. Though a few new friends pop up, the side characters from the first book also carry over.
Blood Rebirth does a good job of filling in the holes that Chrystal memory issues from the first book left hanging open. It also produces for us a collection of curious new creatures and issues for the main character. Some of Chrystals family issues can only be guessed at still however, though others are much more of a surprise, such as Chrystal’s father’s history, though I will not spoil that for you. I will leave it at. I was definitely surprised, and it was not a direction that I had expected.
The characters in Blood Rebirth remain interesting and well written, more so when you get to learn more about them. The various types of creatures in the supernatural world are better explained and more detail is given to the various family powers that the main character has inherited.
Blood Rebirth is a must read if you read the first book. It leaves you on a heavy cliff hanger through, and I am looking forward to reading the third book, Blood Queen, which I have access to thanks to Reedsy Discovery. I started it last night!
This blog post has an affiliate link which if you use and make a purchase will supply me, the owner of Books-and-Games.com a percentage of sales which will go to continuing to pay for the use of this website. You can find further information on my affiliate usage here: https://books-and-games.com/affiliate-disclosure/
Let’s be honest. Textbooks are expensive. Really expensive. You use them for one semester, and can only hope to try to sell them back for less than half the price you spent on them. And of course, if you made any marks on the thing, you’re stuck with the thing taking up space or just chucking it in the trash. You can’t even give it away because another edition will probably replace the darn thing next year. In short, textbooks are a hassle.
You are not doomed to suffer this, however! As there is RedShelf! Honestly, I wish RedShelf had been a thing in the time long ago, when I was a college student! RedShelf not only offers textbooks, but they are very useful. You can highlight without ruining a book (its digital after all!) define words, create flashcards and even have the book read to you! This is only a few of the options RedShelf offers. They really have everything you need to get your study on!
Also, even if you aren’t a student, RedShelf offers a collection of fiction and non-fiction. I plan on checking out their collection the next time I have to do some research!
Right now if you use my link to RedShelf, not only will you secure yourself an excellent study habit, but you will also help support Books-and-Games.com to continue to bring you honest reviews. You can find my affiliate link here! RedShelf Homepage
Blood Crescent by S.M. McCoy is the first book in the Divine Series. It follows teenage Chrystal as she navigates the exceptionally confusing world of the supernatural. She spends her days dragged through life as she tries to deal with aspects beyond her control, such as prophecies, genetics, and the attentions of two very attractive vampires. Unfortunately, Chrystal is ill and seems to have sizeable gaps in her memory, making life even more confusing as she looses large portions of her history, only remembering bits here and there.
Blood Cresent is a great story, though the main characters memory loss leaves large gaps of questions, which can make the story feel confusing. However, given the story is told in a first person view, this simply allows the reader to feel the main characters obvious discomfort and confusion. This can leave the reader with a confused feeling as some scenes seem to have large holes due to the main character’s memory lapses, but with that in mind it makes for a fantastic reading experience.
The characters are interesting, but as the story is written from a first person perspective, we only see as much of the characters as Chrystal sees, and again with her memory issues, she only seems parts of these characters. This leaves some of the supporting characters seeming rather one sided and a bit dull. Over all though the bits that we are given about the various characters leave the reader wanting to know more about them.
Over all, Blood Crescent is worth picking up for fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. If you want your sexy vampire hit, this is a good book to pick up. I will start reading the second book in the series, Blood Rebirth, as soon as I finish posting this review.
The Provenance (Book One of Astar’s Blade) is a history of a fictional world. Particularly the area of the Mid-Run Valley and a few other locations within the world. This fictional history is told through two time lines, the present period of the world and the distance past of the world. The stories follow both the actions of the world’s deities and their children, and the life of a young man whose family is cursed with the vision of ghosts.
As the story progresses, you learn about how the past worked to create the world that the rest of the story takes place it. You experience everything from flawed gods with an ancient Greek mythology feel to them, to a young man’s desperate climb of a mountain to learn what ghosts so desperately want him to know. Is he simply mad or is there really something waiting for him to learn?
The Provenance is a great story. It is not very often that an author offers such an in-depth history of the world they have built. Often you are merely given as much knowledge as a current plot requires you to know. Sneak peaks in to different aspects of the world the main character sits in. The Provenance, however, pours two histories at you which tie together in to a wonderful story line allowing you to learn much of the world. If other novels by Joe Lyon provide as much detail in to their stories as this one, I will be hooked to the series for life.
The story of The Provenance flows well until the end, where my one issue arises regarding this story. The ending seems far too sudden, as though it was thrown in rather quickly. Despite this single issue, reading about the journey that leads to this climax makes up for sudden ending, and also leaves one interested in future books of the series. There are some questions that I hope the other novels answer.
Fans of fantasy should pick up The Provenance and any other work by Joe Lyon they may get their hands on!
You can find out more about The Provenance on Reedsy Discovery https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/the-provenance-joe-lyon#review
Dark Creatures: A Simple Game is a contemporary fantasy novel with a bit of a twist. Computer gamers are given roles in a game that allow them to build the digital world based on their actions. However, playing the game has some affects on their own lives, seeming to allow strange changes as their roles lead to being more than just gamers. However, they may not actually be the ones in control.
When you first dive in to Dark Creatures it feels like your usual fantasy novel. Curious fictional creatures in a fantasy world, doing hero things, defeating the bad guy and saving the world. The usual. As you read, however, you find that this novel really has more layers than expected. You are not only reading about the adventures of two heroines but also their creator, and then beyond even that. This leads to a multilayered story that can feel a bit confusing but soon comes together towards the end of the book.
The characters are nicely made, though it felt as if more time was put in to making the antagonist unlikeable than making the protagonist likeable. This works out, however, as the villain is so unlikeable that you want to see him dead from the very point they introduce him. When you read the book, you will understand why.
In short, is Dark Creatures: A Simple Game worth reading? It is! If you are a fan of fantasy, pick it up! You will enjoy yourself! According to the back matter of the book there is also a squeal to look out for. I hope I get to read it soon! I really want to see the villain put in his place!
Short stories can be difficult to write, you are expected to get a lot of information and make people feel for your characters in a short amount of time. This is even harder to pull off when you do it in a second person’s point of view. Maria DeBlassie however, manages to produce an excellent story this way with Hungry Business. A story about dating, and zombies, that feels far too relatable to anyone who is in, or remembers, the dating scene. After all, how many times have we all gone on a really uncomfortable date with a person who is just staring at us like a piece of meat?
Hungry Business is well written. The main character walks you through their complicated dating life. Trying to cope with the loneliness of dating in a world where most would just be happy eating you rather than dating. Finding small ways to cope with the loneliness eating them away inside, the narrator talks about life as they desperately look for another warm body to cling to.
As touched on before, the story is old in the second person point of view, which is difficult to pull off in most narratives. Before this I have only seen it in game books, and choose your own adventure stories. However, the viewpoint works well with Hungry Business, giving it the feeling of perhaps a friend who is desperately trying to relate to someone they are letting their dating woes out to.
So is Hungry Business worth the read? It feels experimental, yes, and it may not be for everyone. However, I highly suggest this short story for anyone with half an hour to kill and a memory of their dating days. It is relatable and entertaining in the way it is told! Pick it up!
Separated by Evil is the newest addition to J.M Hart’s Chronicles of the Supernatural series. A fantastic book series and probably my favorite current series, following the adventures of a group of young people striving the save the world from the very forces of hell. A huge expectation for anyone, let alone teenagers. This series has always been an emotional ride, and this newest addition to the work is no different, in fact Separated by Evil seems to be the most emotionally packed of the series so far.
Bringing us back to the estate to focus on the adventures of Casey and Sophia, after the last two books, focused on the adventures of other members of their group. We are walked through the spiritual bond of the characters as they do their best to help a group that they seem to be led to aid by the will of God. Though demonic and paranormal difficulties, the pair strives to save the people in need.
So what did I think of it? Oh boy, this newest addition to J.M Hart’s amazing serious was hard to get through. Not because it was bad, far from it, but because of the emotional wreck the characters go through, which, after reading the entire series, I have become attached to. So watching the pain and death that strikes the characters at every angle leaves you both exhausted and excited to see what happens next. In that line, the climax of the story leaves one stunned, and for me at least, in tears and wondering what will happen next in this exciting series.
So is Separated by Evil worth reading? That would be a big yes! Much like the rest of this series, Separated by Evil is a fantastic read for fans of paranormal and horror novels. I have said it before and I will say it again. Pick up this series!
Web of Humanity follows Anna Venu as she tries to make sense of her grandmother’s complicated and unknown family past. On the death of her grandmother, Anna’s grandfather finds an old birthday card with a child’s handwriting. This card from an unknown person opens a floodgate of curiosity that sends Anna on a jet setting tour of Austria, Germany, and France where she encounters family, love and moral conflict.
Web of Humanity is one of very few books that can be said to be genuinely hard to put down. From the very start of this novel you find yourself wondering the answers to the questions posed. And even when those answered are given, you find yourself, much like Anna, posed with even more. The answers to these questions pour in slowly as memoirs written by Anna’s relatives, carefully filling each hole in the story until you have presented with a wonderfully equal tapestry of history and fiction to sit and consider.
The author Maria Turchin has combined what is, to many, little known historical fact, alongside her own wonderfully created tale surrounding her characters. The tie between history and fiction is done seamlessly allowing you to enjoy the story without the complications that often come with a work of historical fiction. There are no large holes leaving you wondering how characters are connected, as Turchin has made sure to tie up all the loose ends perfectly. The historical individuals covered in this novel are well researched, and if you are the type that needs to, can be easily fact checked to see the author did her research. The fictional characters in Web of Humanity are another wonderful aspect of the story. Each one is wonderfully described both physically and regarding their personality, making them easy to imagine as you read through their tales.
There is one trigger warning, there is a short rape scene mention in one of the memoirs Anna reads, though it makes perfect sense historically and to the development of the character it involved, it could make some people uncomfortable.
All in all, Web of Humanity is a wonderful novel, and any fan of historical fiction should pick it up. This is a wild ride of emotions you feel with Anna as you travel with her.
You can find out more about Web of Humanity here. https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/web-of-humanity-maria-turchin#review
So if you are anything like me you get pretty annoyed by how women are depicted in most spy or assassin movies and stories. They are often the unsuspecting honeypot or the villain’s girlfriend who later ends up falling for the hero and blah blah blah. So upon being asked if I could review Like Only a Woman Can, I was honestly excited to pick up a contemporary short story regarding a female assassin.
First this is a short story so there isn’t much in the way of character development to go over. So we’ll just focus on the main character. She is a self-assured woman who is good at her job and knows what she is capable of. She’s not usually given jobs based on her gender, but this guy needs a female touch. Now this consists of her taking off her cloths and tricking the guy in to getting close. I won’t go in to detail, it’s a short story after all, you can read it. But she knows what she’s doing.
Now aside from the well written main character who despite the short story is far from the cliche assassin girl, the story itself is entertaining. It is written from a first person perspective and the speech is crisp and to the point, as you would expect it to be with this kind of character.
Like Only a Woman Can is a solid short story with a solid lead character. Fans of the genre and capable female characters should pick this story up. It’s short word count makes it a quick and enjoyable read to get your fix. You will enjoy yourself!
Alchemist Assault is a fantastic sequel to Alchemist Apprentice. It picks up shortly after the conclusion of the first book. Sam, the main character, is continuing to try to adjust to life in the academy, though because of the damage to the library from the first book, he has lost his favorite place to spend most of his time studying. Aside from this minor conflict, the town the Academy is in has been attacked. As is prone to happen with Sam, he ends up tied up in a conflict involving these people. Some of which are much more closely tied to previous conflict than he could ever guess.
I enjoyed this story. Though unfortunately, I found I could guess some villains from the beginning of the story. This was slightly disappointing, as it seemed a bit too obvious. Aside from this issue I found I enjoyed the rest of the story. I enjoyed the further evolution of Sam and his friends and I have found I have become more and more interested in how alchemy and magic work in this world.
Over all I say that Alchemist Assault is a wonderful second novel, and I am looking forward to the next installment.