Tagged: Book Reviews

Full Tilt Boogie

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit Full Tilt Boogie Review
TRB reviews Leslie Scott’s Full Tilt Boogie

About the Book

Full Tilt Boogie; Leslie Scott
New Adult; Romance; 262 Pages

Publisher – Date published

Breanna Casey has only ever wanted two things in life: to race and to get the hell out of Arkadia, Texas. Stifled beneath her family’s turbo-charged reputation, she’s got her thumb firmly on the self-destruct button. A night of hyper-driven racing and rebellion leads to a one night stand with the one guy who knows how to press all her buttons: Noah McKay.

Torn apart by the toll of his high-intensity enlistment in the Marines and guilt-ridden by what he’s seen, Noah McKay left the military to find peace. A chance encounter sends him working for the parents of a raven-haired Amazon goddess with a tongue that cuts sharper than any knife. Quiet is the last thing he’ll get.

Finally, she gets her chance. Calloway Racing wants her to drive for them. But that’s not all they want. A good friend of her father’s, Calloway insists she take Noah along for the ride. Suddenly, her dreams are feeling more like a nightmare. Will they be able to help each other, maybe even find love, when living life full tilt boogie?

About the Author

Award winning author of Two Hearts, One Stone and the Arkadia Fast Series, Leslie Scott has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. The happier the ending, the better. Currently, she lives and writes amidst her own happily ever after with her soul mate, son, and domestic zoo. http://www.lesliescottwrites.com

Reviewer’s Review

The good folks at Casey Performance are back in the third installment of Leslie Scott’s Arkadia Fast series. Strap in and hang on for the wild ride that is the love story between Breanna Casey and Noah McKay.

Breanna’s the baby of a family that revolves around racing. Her big sister’s getting married. Her brother’s getting married. It seems that everyone she loves is changing and moving on – leaving her behind. What’s worse, her father refuses to let her do what she truly desires: racing.

Noah wants peace. Quiet. A refuge from the dark memories playing havoc in his brain after the violence of an Army deployment. He seems to have found a home with the Casey family business, and he’d rather not lose what little peace he’s found.

Except that Breanna’s on a path to self-destruction. When Noah steps up to stop a drunken assault on Breanna, things between the two heat up. And like the street and drag race cars they work on,  their relationship goes from zero to too-fast… overnight. Too bad the two get along like cats and dogs.

Fast paced and well-executed as the first two books in the series, Full Tilt Boogie will pull you along (yeah, it was another late night as I read this one in a single sitting). Breanna’s fate has been three books in the making, and Noah is entirely lovable for all his quiet calm and broodiness. This novel can be read as a standalone, but some events will be more relatable if you read the previous two novels.

TRB Pins for Full Tilt Boogie Review
TRB reviews Leslie Scott’s Full Tilt Boogie

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

Also by Leslie Scott

Two Hearts, One Stone (Standalone Cowboy Romance Novella)

The Finish Line (Book 1, Arkadia Fast)

Hot Lap (Book 2, Arkadia Fast)

Interview with Leslie Scott, 2019

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A Knife’s Edge

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB STR Twit A Knife's Edge Review
Sam reviews Eliot Parker’s A Knife’s Edge

About the Book

A Knife’s Edge; Eliot Parker
Adult; Thriller; 277 Pages

Headline Books (October 12, 2018)

Six months after a drug cartel infiltrated Charleston, Ronan McCullough continues to fight the drug war that plagues the city. His investigations are halted when the body of a mutual acquaintance, Sarah Gilmore, is found in the trunk of a burning car. In an investigation that takes him deep into the professional and personal life of the victim, McCullough discovers secrets lurking in her past, and a tangled web of personal and professional conflicts, suspicion, and betrayal. Was Sarah killed for those reasons or something larger? As Ronan seeks answers, his life and the lives of those closest to him are used as pawns in a deadly game that has no ending.

Thrice Read Books is pleased to be part of the blog tour for Eliot Parker’s A Knife’s Edge, hosted by Blackthorn Book Tours

About the Author

Eliot Parker is the author of four novels, most recently “A Knife’s Edge”, which was an Honorable Mention in Thriller Writing at the London Book Festival, and is the sequel to the award-winning novel “Fragile Brilliance”. His novel “Code for Murder” was named a 2018 Finalist for Genre Fiction by American Book Fest. He is a recipient of the West Virginia Literary Merit Award and Fragile Brilliance was a finalist for the Southern Book Prize in Thriller Writing. He recently received with the Thriller Writing Award by the National Association of Book Editors (NABE) for his novels.

Eliot is the host of the podcast program “Now, Appalachia”, which profiles authors and publishers living and writing in the Appalachian region and is heard on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network and Blog Talk Radio. A graduate of the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University with his MFA in Creative Writing and Murray State University with his Doctorate in English, he teaches English at the University of Mississippi and lives in Oxford, Mississippi and Chesapeake, Ohio.

Sam’s Review

Dark, slow but steadily paced, and well written, A Knife’s Edge will place you on the edge of your seat as you discover twists and turns that reveal not all is as it seems, and you shouldn’t trust everybody. But, keep in mind I’m not saying you shouldn’t trust people. I’m just saying be careful with your trust.

Ronan McCullough, one of Charleston, West Virginia’s finest cops, has witnessed one of many events that trigger a chain of deaths and puts his nephew and boyfriend in danger. However, they aren’t helpless. And Ronan can’t do this alone. Not when he’s more at stake than the others.

A Knife’s Edge is enrapturing, brilliant, and surprising, as it keeps you in suspense, and fills you with the necessary feelings needed per scene. I love this book as it kept up an even pace, but didn’t resolve itself right away. It makes you question who to trust, who not to trust, and where Ronan’s loyalties should lie in general, as a good murder mystery should.

However, POV changes are often in this book, which tends to drive me crazy. But maybe that’s a “me” thing. Another issue I had with this was the opening scene. It didn’t really serve any purpose to the plot that I saw. Maybe I’m missing something, but I still don’t know how it affected anything in the storyline or setting, as it was never brought up again.

TRB STR Pin A Knife's Edge Review
Sam reviews Eliot Parker’s A Knife’s Edge

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook and Paperback editions here.

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit A Curse So Dark Review
TRB reviews Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse so Dark and Lonely

About the Book

A Curse so Dark and Lonely; Brigid Kemmerer
Young Adult; Fantasy; 507 Pages

Bloomsbury YA; 1 edition (January 29, 2019)

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

About the Author

Brigid Kemmerer is the New York Times bestselling author of dark and alluring Young Adult novels like A Curse So Dark and Lonely, More Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury), as well as paranormal YA stories like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water (Kensington). A full time writer, Brigid lives in the Baltimore area with her husband, her boys, her dog, and her cat. When she’s not writing or being a mommy, you can usually find her with her hands wrapped around a barbell.

Jenn’s Review

Beauty and the Beast gets a modern makeover in Brigit Kemmerer’s A Curse so Dark and Lonely.

Harper’s life is definitely not rosy in modern New York – her father ran away, lung cancer is slowly killing her mother, and her brother is trying to placate the mobsters their father ran afoul of, by harassing other unfortunate folks that owe these evil men money. And because life is so fair, Harper is doing her best to live a full life despite her Cerebral Palsey.

TRB Pin A Curse So Dark Review
TRB reviews Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse so Dark and Lonely

While playing lookout for her brother, she witnesses a man who appears to be abducting a woman. When she attacks, hoping to prevent the stranger’s kidnapping, she ends up falling into the kidnapper’s realm, on a plane of reality far different from her own.

It is here that she meets Rhen, the cursed crown prince who, of course, needs her to fall in love with him to break the curse before the season ends and the Beast he is cursed to become is unleashed on another bloody killing spree.

As such things go, Harper tells him in the blandest of terms that she won’t fall in love with him, and of course, she tries to run away; and from there the story becomes less and less predictable. Harper and Rhen devise a plan to save his kingdom, and together, they manage to rally his subjects to defeat the invading forces from the north.

The world-building in this story is beautifully crafted and consistent. Characters are sympathetic and realistic, and plot twists are carefully woven throughout. The hero is strong, and while he’s a bit of a jerk at the beginning of the story, his character arc offers redemption. Harper is also flawed, but she is strong and determined, her physical challenges are more of a driver to prove her abilities than an excuse to be the wilting princess.

Well-told and well-written. Two enthusiastic thumbs up for this YA romance.

Sam’s Review

Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse so Dark and Lonely

One of my favorite fairy tales turns dark as Harper, a fierce girl with Cerebral Palsy, is used to being treated like glass. Her mother has been fighting cancer and has three months to live. Her brother deals with a gang to hold them all together.

Rehn is the crown Prince of Emberfall. Every Autumn he turns into a beast and kills his people with no memory. When he changes back, he turns eighteen again. And again. The evil sorceress Lilith taunts him and his last guard, Grey. As war looms on the horizon, he must find love to break the curse.

Harper isn’t easy to woo. She isn’t a delicate flower. Rehn has a dark past. He is afraid to hurt her. Can they find love and break the curse before time runs out for both of them?

I love the disabled heroine, and how she has a bite to her. The story was written with a sense of reality and it wasn’t a sappy fast burn smacking lips kind of read. It was an earning of trust and defending each other kind of read.

I didn’t like how it was a little confusing in places, but other than that, it was wonderful and possibly the best adaptation of Beauty and the Beast I have ever read. The ending was well tied together and left me hungry for more

.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, hardback and paperback editions here.

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Boon on the Moon

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB STR Twit Boon on the Moon
Sam reviews John Huddles’ Boon on the Moon

About the Book

Boon on the Moon; John Huddles
Children; Sci-Fi; 216 Pages

 Notable Kids Publishing (March 4, 2020)

When ten-year-old Byron “Boon” Barnett boards a rocket-ship for a move to the Moon with his family (and his irritating robot, José Ignacio), he’s expecting the time of his life in the lunar colony of Cosmopolis. What he’s not expecting is a stellar disaster that’ll demolish Cosmopolis before lunch. Boon insists he knows how to survive it, but people tend not to believe him about stuff. His parents have been lecturing him on the dividing line between using his imagination for fun and using it as an excuse for bad behavior. Suddenly it’s the dividing line between life and death.

About the Author

John Huddles is a Los Angeles-based screenwriter and director. Filmmaker Magazine called his sci-fi drama, The Philosophers, “sneakily beautiful, remarkably thoughtful … [an] adventure film of ideas … [with] bravura fantasy sequences.” In Boon On The Moon, the first book from The Booniverse, John extends his love of sci-fi/fantasy into storytelling for the page instead of the screen. John studied moviemaking at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles; international relations at Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington D.C.; and history at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island—where he was editor-in-chief of the school’s student magazine and was named one of Brown’s first ever Undergraduate Writing Fellows.

Sam’s Review

Imagination can be both a gift and a curse.  And for Byron, or, “Boon”, it is very much both. But one day, it goes too far. And he ends up getting temporarily banned from his home state of Arizona. Now, on his way to the place of his dreams, the moon, he makes friends and learns things about the moon he never knew. But his happiness is in danger. And so are the lives of his family and his friends. But, with a little imagination, and a little rule-breaking, he can save them. Right?

Boon on the Moon is lighthearted, incredibly funny, and absolutely adorable. The characters are well developed, and each has their own separate personalities. The only problem I did have was I couldn’t tell if it was in the past or the present, until we got to head to the moon. Which, I’m assuming, means that it’s in the future. But I couldn’t really tell, other than that.

TRB STR Boon on the Moon
Sam reviews John Huddles’ Boon on the Moon

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and hard back editions here.

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Dead Man’s Number

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit Dead Man's Number Review
Jenn reviews Matthew Cox’s Dead Man’s Number

About the Book

Dead Man’s Number; Matthew S. Cox
Adult; Science Fiction; 398 Pages

Division Zero Press (September 1, 2018)

Safety is at best a relative thing in 2073, fifty-one years after nuclear war scorched the world.

Kevin found a quiet little place to hole up with the woman who came to mean more to him than his lifelong dream, and a little girl she took in after the Virus wiped out her home. They’re well defended against bandits, raiders, and the occasional stray Infected.

But walls don’t face the sky, and all the guns in what’s left of the world won’t do a thing against a biological weapon dropped from an Enclave drone.

A message from a dead man disturbs this tenuous peace with a chance to stop the Virus for good, but it would send them right to the Enclave’s back yard. Tris can’t say no, and Kevin refuses to leave her side again, but they won’t bring a child along for such a dangerous ride.

Knowing it’s not only their lives, but the lives of everyone outside the Enclave at stake, they decide to hit the road once again, hoping their home―and their daughter―will still be there when they return.

About the Author

UTHOR BIO:
Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, The Harmony Paradox, the Prophet of the Badlands series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place.

His books span adult, young-adult, and middle-grade fiction in multiple genres, predominantly science fiction, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, developer of two custom tabletop RPG systems, and a fan of anime, British humour, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of humanity, reality, life, and what might happen after it.

He is also fond of cats, presently living with two: Loki and Dorian.

LINKS:
http://www.matthewcoxbooks.com/wordpress/
https://www.facebook.com/MatthewSCoxAuthor

Jenn’s Review

Matthew S. Cox delivers a stunning finale to his Roadhouse trilogy in Dead Man’s Number, with fantastic worldbuilding, stunning action scenes, and a sweet little twist at the end. Fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, if you haven’t read this series yet, why not?

Kevin and Tris are back in the third book in the series. Tris is still reeling from a heartbreaking disappointment, Kevin has relinquished his dream of having his own Roadhouse in favor of the little family they’ve developed into, and their “daughter,” Abby, is coping with the aftermath of Amarillo.

TRB Pin Dead Man's Number Review
Jenn reviews Matthew Cox’s Dead Man’s Number

A cryptic message from a past contact lures the trio out of the safety of their new home, Nederland, back into the Wildlands, where radiation and Infected still lurk. That message forces Tris to come to grips with her own past, and she and Kevin make the difficult decision to leave Abby behind to chase after this last clue. Which, of course, leads straight into the throat of the Enclave.

Mr. Cox does a fantastic job of tying up the loose ends amidst fight scenes and long drives; then throws a sweet little bow on the end. As much as I like series novels that can stand on their own, Kevin and Tris’s story should be read from the beginning. The books flow seamlessly from one to the next. Binge-worthy from start to finish. Four stars!

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

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The Girl Who Found the Sun

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit Girl Who Found the Sun review
Brian reviews Matthew Cox’s The Girl Who Found the Sun
Thrice Read Books is pleased to host a stop on the book tour for The Girl Who Found the Sun

About the Book

The Girl Who Found the Sun; Matthew Cox
Adult; Sci-Fi; 424 Pages

Division Zero Press (December 7, 2019)

It started with the insects.

The mass die-offs had been a warning unheeded. Before society realized the danger, the Earth had inexorably begun a transformation into a place where life could not survive. A small group found shelter in the Arc, an underground refuge safe from the toxins ravaging the surface.

After centuries of darkness, humanity’s second chance is running out—and Raven Wilder knows it.

Her job fixing the machinery in the Arc makes her aware of how close everything is to breaking down. When the systems fail, the last survivors of the human race will suffocate in the tunnels meant to protect them from the deadly air outside—starting with the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, in an example of history repeating itself, those in charge dismiss her concerns.

When her six-year-old begins showing signs of oxygen deprivation, Raven refuses to go quietly into oblivion.

She will break every rule to keep her daughter alive.

About the Author

AUTHOR BIO:
Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, The Harmony Paradox, the Prophet of the Badlands series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place.

His books span adult, young-adult, and middle-grade fiction in multiple genres, predominantly science fiction, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, developer of two custom tabletop RPG systems, and a fan of anime, British humour, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of humanity, reality, life, and what might happen after it.

He is also fond of cats, presently living with two: Loki and Dorian.

LINKS:
http://www.matthewcoxbooks.com/wordpress/
https://www.facebook.com/MatthewSCoxAuthor

Brian’s Review

Always a little leery when there’s a post-apocalyptic book to read cause many times the author doesn’t take into account time and the effects it has on the items of the world.  Well, Matthew has nailed it.  That alone is a great reason to read this book.  In The Girl Who Found the Sun, Mr. Cox worked in what would naturally happen perfectly into this book of the future.

Not only did Mr. Cox take this into account, but he also wove it into his story majestically.  Everything from cars being just a pile of rust to buildings collapsing, rusting or just plain dry rotting, depending on the material used.  Unlike many stories told about massive disasters and the centuries after, Cox avoided things like gasoline being used, unmaintained power plants up and running, or food still sitting in houses just waiting to be used by the starving survivors.

TRB Pin for The Girl Who Found the Sun review
Brian reviews Matthew Cox’s The Girl Who Found the Sun

Again, the fact Mr. Cox kept it as real as one could expect when predicting the future like this, was one of the main reasons I kept reading.  I wanted to see just how deep he’d take the reader into this world, and by the end, I was completely impressed. For world-building I give this story 4 Stars.

Character development was crafted pretty well.  The main character, in my opinion, was the one I had a hard time coming to have any feelings, positive or negative about.  This could have just been a “me” thing, but she didn’t move me like some of the other lesser important characters.  Without giving spoilers, I will say, loved the way he portrayed her daughter, and really loved the way he portrayed the antagonist.  Though there weren’t a lot of characters in-depth, those two, Kinsley and Noah’s development in this reader’s opinion was amazing.  For character development, I give The Girl Who Found the Sun 3 stars.

Not only was the story building great, character development pretty good, I thought the story was excellent.  Yes, the above would have probably kept me reading to the end, but what keeps me most reading is the story, and Mr. Cox, was dead on with the plot and flow. The story progressed wonderfully and makes the reader want to continue to read.  In my case, I may not have been rooting for the hero of the story, but there were others he made me root for and care for and made me want to see just what happens.  Sadly I didn’t get the ending I wanted, but that was just based on my own personal feelings, not anything to do with the way the story went, and there’s no way I could dock points because the author didn’t write the ending the way I wanted.  So again without spoilers, I have to say, Cox hit a grand slam with this story, and Mr. Cox, if you read this, I would be first in line to read Tensley excursions next.  I give the plot of the story 4 stars with an overall rating of 4 stars for the whole kit-n-kaboodle.

Sam’s Review

After pollution destroys the world, Raven is stuck working the vents of the underground civilization that is keeping humanity alive, albeit failing. Her daughter, Tinsley, is dying due to a lack of air. And so is the rest of the small population. And going above the ground is forbidden because rumors have spread saying that going above will melt you. But Raven goes above. And she sees a world that people can live in. The only problem now is convincing the rest of the people that the world is safe.

Rich, immersive, and humorous, while giving one an idea of where humanity might be headed in the near future if humanity doesn’t treat the world the way it needs to be treated. Well written, I loved it from start to finish. An interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world, The Girl Who Found the Sun will take you to a time that we try to pretend may never happen, even though it’s fully possible that it might, and we may forget parts of our lives today.


Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

Also by Matthew S. Cox:

One More Run (Book 1, Roadhouse series)

The Redeemed (Book 2, Roadhouse series)

Dead Man’s Number (Book 3, Roadhouse series Coming soon!

Prophet’s Journey


Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

Princeling – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit Princeling Reveiw
Jenn reviews Donna Migliaccio’s Princeling

About the Book

Princeling; Donna Migliaccio
Young Adult; Fantasy; 237 Pages

Donna Migliaccio (November 29, 2019)

DISCOVER HOW THE GEMETA STONE SAGA BEGAN.Little Kristan Gemeta never imagined that his simple act of kindness would end in disgrace. Now he’s being punished by a harsh regimen meant to toughen him into the heir his father the king demands. Bullied and friendless, Kristan finds an ally in Simeon, who teaches him not just letters and numbers, but the forbidden magical lore of Wiche. But there’s someone else in the kingdom who wants the secret Wiche knowledge for himself. The youth known as Daazna is as pitiless as Kristan is compassionate – and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

About the Author

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres. KINGLET, FISKUR, STONEKING and RAGIS, the first four books in her fantasy series THE GEMETA STONE, are available exclusively on Amazon, along with her recently released prequel to the series, PRINCELING. Her short work is featured in the anthologies MEDUSA AT THE MORGUE and THE ART OF LOSING. For more information, visit her website at www.donnamigliaccio.com.

Jenn’s Review

Finally! After two long years of waiting, and four other books, Donna Migliaccio shares the origin story of the hatred between Daazna and Kristan Gemeta (the long-standing feud that fuels the war between the two men in the Gemeta Stone series). In a nutshell, this fantasy prequel is heartbreakingly profound and well-told, despite the very young age of our protagonist, Kristan.

Kristan Gemeta is just a little boy when Mumma passes away. Her final words to him, “Always be kind,” become a promise he makes to her and a guiding principle that stays with him through the coming storms. His father, the king of Fandrall, holds young Kristan at a distance as he copes with his own grief and trying to raise two young children without a mother.

TRB Pin Princeling Review
Jenn reviews Donna Migliaccio’s Princeling

Kristan’s childhood is brief – at a young age, his days are filled with tutors and brutal lessons that will dog him through life. One of the worst: how powerless he feels when a tutor’s apprentice, Daazna, is wrongfully accused and sent packing from the castle in shame.

Daazna will never forget that lesson, either. His thirst for knowledge and hunger for magic skills will shape his misadventures and dark deeds.

Considering the very young age of the protagonist, (Kristan is only 4 when his mother passes away), I am deeply impressed by Ms. Migliaccio’s handling of a parent’s death and a child’s grief. No one really bothers to try to explain to the boy what’s happening, and the reader gets an intimate perspective on how a child processes the loss and draws his own conclusions.

The entire series is a must for fantasy fans, and it isn’t necessary to start with Princeling to understand the rest of the series. However, for those who enjoy stories in chronological order, this book will get you hooked on Kristan’s adventures.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.


Also by Donna Migliaccio

Kinglet (Book 1, Gemeta Stone)

Fiskur (Book 2, Gemeta Stone)

Stoneking (Book 3, Gemeta Stone)

Ragis (Book 4, Gemeta Stone)


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The City of Brass

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit The City of Brass Review
Jenn reviews S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass

About the Book

The City of Brass; SA Chakraborty
Young Adult; Fantasy; 569 Pages

Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (November 14, 2017)

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty perfect for fans of The Golem and the JinniThe Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.

On the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, Nahri is a con woman of unsurpassed skill. She makes her living swindling Ottoman nobles, hoping to one day earn enough to change her fortunes. But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, during one of her cons, she learns that even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

Forced to flee Cairo, Dara and Nahri journey together across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire and rivers where the mythical marid sleep, past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises and mountains where the circling birds of prey are more than what they seem, to Daevabad, the legendary city of brass.

It’s a city steeped in magic and fire, where blood can be as dangerous as any spell; a city where old resentments run deep and the royal court rules with a tenuous grip; a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound—and where her very presence threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.

About the Author

S. A. Chakraborty is the author of the critically acclaimed and internationally best-selling The Daevabad Trilogy. Her work has been nominated for the Locus, World Fantasy, Crawford, and Astounding awards. When not buried in books about thirteen-century con artists and Abbasid political intrigue, she enjoys hiking, knitting, and re-creating unnecessarily complicated medieval meals. You can find her online at www.sachakraborty.com or on Twitter and Instagram at @SAChakrabooks, where she likes to talk about history, politics, and Islamic art. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and an ever-increasing number of cats.

Jenn’s Review

An epic fantasy set in a mythical city filled with magical beings, deep in the sands of Arabia? Complete with magic carpets, djinn, and its own Prince Ali? Welcome to The City of Brass.

Nahri doesn’t know the first thing about her roots – only that she can sense and heal illnesses, and that she has a gift for understanding languages. She has never heard her native language on anyone else’s lips, has no idea how she knows it… And she’s Cairo’s foremost pickpocket and con artist. At least until she accidentally summons a daeva during an exorcism and all hell breaks loose.

Enter Dara – he’s dark, brooding, rude, and arrogant. And a whole lot baffled by the young woman that summoned him, when she shouldn’t have been able to. She has abilities that haven’t been seen in his world in decades, and he assumes that she is a half-breed djinn. The only appropriate place to stash her and keep her relatively safe, is Daevabad, his own home, and a place that equals certain death for a centuries-old daeva guard.

The pair have to band together to survive the journey, only to be parted when they finally reach their destination. Nahri has no experience with royalty, and has to learn quickly, lest her missteps bring her to a quick end. And Dara needs to find his way back to Nahri, less because of his curse than because of his feelings for the young woman.

This epic reads a bit like a Middle Eastern Game of Thrones, with political intrigue seeded liberally throughout. Dara and Nahri have some amazing chemistry, and I found it difficult to not cheer for them to find a way to overcome obvious racial and caste differences that hold them apart. To confuse the matter further, Nahri develops feelings for the second-born prince (who was tasked with getting to know her and sway her favor for a match with the crown prince).

This is book one in a trilogy and a debut novel, and I’m looking forward to book 2, hoping that the developing, complicated romantic theme gets untwisted. Chakraborty’s writing is concise, describing colorful, intricate settings and characters with an effective economy of words. The plot simmers, steadily cranking up the intensity, and it was hard to put this down.

TRB Pin The City of Brass Review
Jenn reviews S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, hardback and paperback editions here.

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When Worlds Begin

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB STR Twit When Worlds Begin Review
Sam reviews Megan O’Russell’s When Worlds Begin

About the Book

When Worlds Begin; Megan O’Russell
Young Adult; Dystopian Fantasy; 796 Pages

Ink Worlds Press (February 14, 2020)

“I really enjoyed this novel! It’s on the same level as The Hunger Games.” – BookBub Review of Girl of Glass

“It’s the magic we loved in Harry Potter, but happening right here and right now in the US.” – Amazon review of The Tethering

“This reminded me of Doctor Who, except from the standpoint of the Doctor’s assistant.” – Goodreads Review of The Girl Without Magic

“David fights Goliath that will pass the Bechdel Test!” – Amazon review of Ember and Stone

When Worlds Begin offers four full-length novels by Megan O’Russell. From breathtaking adventures to dystopian darkness, this collection has something for every fantasy fan.

Included in this collection: Ember and StoneGirl of GlassThe Tethering, and The Girl Without Magic.

Ember and Stone (Ena of Ilbrea, Book One)

Ena never hoped for a peaceful life. She never dreamt she’d become a killer either.

After her home is reduced to ash, Ena is swallowed by a world of secrets and magic. Legends warned of dark shadows hiding in the mountains. They didn’t warn of the dangers of falling in love with a myth.

Girl of Glass (Girl of Glass, Book One)

The world is ending, but Nola has been chosen to survive.

This young adult dystopian novel looks at the apocalypse from the point of view of one of the few who has been chosen to survive. Blended with romance and a hint of paranormal, Girl of Glass asks the reader what the obligation of the privileged is to help the suffering.

The Tethering (The Tethering, Book One)

A dark spell may separate them forever.

When fate binds Jacob and Emilia together, war threatens to destroy all they hold dear.

Wizards are under attack, and Jacob and Emilia find themselves at the center of a battle that will decide the survival of magic.

Facing an enemy that can shatter their souls, will they find love or be devoured by flames?

The Girl Without Magic (The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, Book One)

Death would have been easier, but the Siren wasn’t through with her.

The Siren dragged Maggie Trent out of a battle and into her Realm, a land where secrets hide in the shadows and pleasure comes at a price Maggie is unwilling to pay.

With the promise of adventure in new worlds, Maggie leaps into a journey of blood and romance.

About the Author

Megan O’Russell is the author of several Young Adult series that invite readers to escape into worlds of adventure. From Girl of Glass, which blends dystopian darkness with the heart-pounding danger of vampires, to Ena of Ilbrea, which draws readers into an epic world of magic and assassins.

With the Girl of Glass series, The Tethering series, The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, The Tale of Bryant Adams, the Ena of Ilbrea series, and several more projects planned for 2020, there are always exciting new books on the horizon. To be the first to hear about new releases, free short stories, and giveaways, sign up for Megan’s newsletter by visiting the following:

https://www.meganorussell.com/book-signup.

Originally from Upstate New York, Megan is a professional musical theatre performer whose work has taken her across North America. Her chronic wanderlust has led her from Alaska to Thailand and many places in between. Wanting to travel has fostered Megan’s love of books that allow her to visit countless new worlds from her favorite reading nook. Megan is also a lyricist and playwright. Information on her theatrical works can be found at RussellCompositions.com.

She would be thrilled to chat with you on Facebook or Twitter @MeganORussell, elated if you’d visit her website MeganORussell.com, and over the moon if you’d like the pictures of her adventures on Instagram @ORussellMegan.

Sam’s Review

Sam’s Teen Read Corner features Megan O’Russell’s When Worlds Begin Box Set

Ember and Stone

Healing. A forbidden practice in Ena’s world. Punishable by death. And yet, she practices it, learning from the village healer and ink maker. Ena, a girl with a broken family, a lying brother, and a village now gone. And with a newfound adventure beyond her wildest thoughts with a man born with stone magic in his veins, her world shifts beyond the tyranny of her land’s so-called “leaders”, and with every healing gift, comes the gift of death, one she can create with the right berries and the right help.

Another great read by Megan O’Russell, Ember and Stone will captivate you and leave you wanting more. There is no hope of love for her, an uncommon find anymore, but it is well balanced by the amount of pluck and guts Ena has, making her the perfect role model. I was a little confused by the sudden mood change Ena went through near the end, as she went from good girl to flirting to get her way. 

Girl of Glass

Dystopian meets Twilight in Girl of Glass a story about life behind glass, a way of preserving life, or well, all the best aspects of it. Within the domes, only the best of bodies, minds, and personalities live in luxury and safety. Outside the domes, drugs that change you, change your body, your abilities, and all the failures that came with the drugs are barely surviving. For Nola, she has everything she could want as the daughter of a botanist. Until an offer comes across her path, the chance for more. All she has to do is leave the domes, and find Nightland, an underground group of Vampires.

She is told that all they want is some medicine for their leader’s dying daughter. If she doesn’t, she will have the guilt of knowing that she could have saved a life. If she does, and she’s caught, she will be marked as a traitor to the domes. Naturally, she makes the most sensible choice: she steals the medicine. Now, she has been tossed into a world of betrayal and danger. Love is hiding behind the least expected places, and familiar faces aren’t as familiar as she thought.

Girl of Glass is ensnaring and immersive and is a well written dystopian. Danger lurks in every corner, and it is very descriptive. If you enjoy dystopian novels and love triangles, I recommend this book, along with the entire series. There weren’t a lot of things that I found wrong with this story, and the entire series is pretty much one big book. A well-written series, indeed.

The Tethering

This may sound like a horror story, but honestly, it isn’t. There are, however, massive Harry Potter and Beautiful Creatures vibes coming off of this book, and allow me to explain why. Jacob has lost his best friend(psst he totally doesn’t like her romantically) years ago, and now his family. The initial shock causes him to lash out in a fit of magic, a gift he had no idea he even had. So, of course, his childhood crush and bestie  returns for him, we have this whole moment of, “you’re a wizard, Jacob.” To top it all off, he gets accused of a crime.

But there are evil forces afoot(Duh)! Dark forces, that will stop at nothing to kill us muggles, er, humans, called the Dragons, want war with the humans and plan to kill all who defy them! Yeah, pretty common trope but it’s well played out. Jeeze! Jacob just wants to learn magic, not accidentally get tethered to his crush who has an (ex) boyfriend during the start of the war!

This book is well written, however, a few problems I have is the way it felt very off at times. For instance, he messes up with magic one time, and is instantly accused of a crime? I mean sure, he suspiciously bore witness to a Dragon attack, but come on! He didn’t even know he had powers! Yeah, probably not my favorite book, but a worthwhile read nonetheless.

The Girl Without Magic

I, honestly, have no idea if I’ve done this already. I might have, so sorry in advance if so. But, as part of the box set, I must review it, so here we go! 

Maggie Trent, a magic-user, has died in battle. Or has she? When she wakes up in paradise, nothing seems impossible. Why, with the right amount of magic, one could do anything. But magic is like money. It runs out in the Siren’s Realm, and the Siren demands payment. So long as you have magic, you are safe from her storms that cleanse all she no longer wants.

Maggie learns this the hard way when in order to survive and not be swept and robbed, she needs to keep up the lie of having never possessed magic. A shame she couldn’t keep that secure longer before Bertrand Wayland figured it out. With the mysterious man, comes the offer of replenished magic: slipping through the threads in the Siren’s Realm, and going on grand adventures. Never one to back down from a fight, she accepts.

With her journey comes a new land, one of many attached to the Siren’s Realm. With the land comes love, danger, and new experiences. But can she defend a wandering group of magic teachers who have no intention of fighting?

I remember this book. And it never ceases to amaze me with how well it was written. I think this was the first Megan O’Russell I read or at least one of the first, and it brings a wonderful sense of nostalgia back to me. Definitely worth the read, and really wanna read the other books in the series. The pacing sees me a little off at points, but that was the only true fault I had with it.

TRB STR Pin When Worlds Begin Review
Sam reviews Megan O’Russell’s When Worlds Begin

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.


Also by Megan O’Russell

Child Wound in Gold (Maggie Trent, Prequel)

The Girl Without Magic (Maggie Trent, Book 1)

Girl of Glass (Girl of Glass, Book 1)

Boy of Blood (Girl of Glass, Book 2)

Night of Never (Girl of Glass, Book 3)

Son of Sun (Girl of Glass, Book 4)

Death of Day (Girl of Glass, Book 5)

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

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Prophet’s Journey

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB STR Twit Prohet's Journey Review
Sam reviews Matthew S. Cox’s Prophet’s Journey

About the Book

Prophet’s Journey; Matthew Cox
Young Adult; Science Fiction; 370 Pages

Division Zero Press (August 18, 2019)

Althea struggles to adapt to an unexpected twist in her life—not being kidnapped in six whole months.

The strange police from the faraway city claim the abilities she thought of as magic are really ‘psionics,’ and say she is far stronger than anyone they have ever seen. Despite their curiosity, they let her remain in the Badlands to protect her from an evil they call corporations.

Of course, Althea knows all too well how powerful her healing gift is. For most of her life, she’d been a prize taken in raids. Tribes have killed to own her, and she let them.

But the Prophet is done being passive.

Having a family changes everything. No longer afraid to use her powers to protect herself, Althea refuses to be taken again… even when corporate mercenaries find her.

About the Author

Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, The Harmony Paradox, the Prophet of the Badlands series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place.

His books span adult, young-adult, and middle-grade fiction in multiple genres, predominantly science fiction, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, developer of two custom tabletop RPG systems, and a fan of anime, British humour, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of humanity, reality, life, and what might happen after it.

He is also fond of cats, presently living with two: Loki and Dorian.

LINKS:
http://www.matthewcoxbooks.com/wordpress/
https://www.facebook.com/MatthewSCoxAuthor

Sam’s Review

Althea is the prophet. A girl with glowing blue eyes and a troubling past. A teenager(almost) with the mind of a six-year-old. And she is far from her new home. Far from her new family, and scared of the chance she may be sold into back into slavery and forced to heal people for a price. Don’t let the description fool you. Her innocent mind describes things much, much more adult than she lets on.

Definitely a post-apocalyptic book, somewhere in the post robot takeover, with a hint of fantasy from what I can tell. I have no idea if there is a predecessor, sadly. I do believe that there is, and I really look forward to continuing Althea’s journey.

TRB STR Pin Prohet's Journey Review
Sam reviews Matthew S. Cox’s Prophet’s Journey

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

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We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.


Also by Matthew S. Cox:

One More Run (The Roadhouse series, book 1)

The Redeemed (The Roadhouse series, book 2)

Dead Man’s Number (The Roadhouse series, book 3) (coming soon)

The Girl Who Found the Sun