Tagged: Fantasy

Hard to Handle – Book Review

Admittedly, I’ve only read two of the books in this series (Book 2 and Book 5 – this one being book 5), but I am in absolute love with Ms. Warren’s storytelling once more in Hard to Handle, A Beauty and Beast, Gargoyles novel. [Note: This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.com. When you purchase something after clicking on this link, I receive a small percentage of the total purchase as commission from Amazon, at no additional cost to you, the buyer. I thank you in advance for supporting us in this way.] 

When the world is coming to a Dark and nasty end, Guardians are summoned to hold back the evil that threatens to end life as we know it. It seems, though, that this time, things are not going according to plan or tradition, and as Guardians (hidden away around the world in the form of the ghastly gargoyles a la Notre Dame) awaken to stop this most recent threat brought on by the Noctorni and the Demons they serve, the Guardians discover a world much changed.

Not only have a few hundred years passed, but the Guild that supports and serves the Guardians has been effectively wiped out by the Noctorni. To confuse matters further, each of the awakened gargoyles to this point are male, and must overcome both a lack of information and a change in tradition as they find themselves partnered, one by one, to women of power (those with paranormal abilities) rather than to the men of the Guild they are used to working with.

Ash is brought into sudden waking by recent events, but her very existence shakes the foundations of all that the Guardians have ever been. Never has a Guardian been summoned without a Guild member, and never has a Guardian been… female. Ash has no idea what the implications are for herself, let alone the world she was summoned to protect, but time is short as the Noctorni gain in strength and advantage. 

Her only option is to partner up with a decidedly reluctant and stubborn Michael “Drum” Drummond and his youngest sister Maeve. Drum is content being a Dublin publican, and has no interest in getting caught up in the struggle or the politics of the Light’s battle against Darkness, yet he finds himself thrust into the very heart of it as events unfold and he and Ash discover that he is her Warden – a magic user assigned to a Guardian should one need to be summoned. 

His younger sister, Maeve, manages to track down another Guardian/Warden pair in America, but when Kylie and Dag arrive, things take a decided turn for the worst as Maeve is abducted to be used as a human sacrifice to summon one of the seven Demons that will bring human life as we know it to a brutal end.

Can Drum and Ash overcome the unusual nature of their relationship to work with other Guardians and Wardens, to hold back the Darkness and free Ash from her lonely existence?

Christine Warren tackles this story with her signature style of wit and creative storytelling, and for fans of paranormal romance, this is a tale not to be missed. As mentioned, I have only read 2 of the books in the series, and unlike some series, this one might be better experienced in order. 

This book can be purchased in either mass market paperback or Kindle format from Amazon here.

Happy Reading!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Book Review

About the Book: 

What did Harry Potter know about magic? He was stuck living with the decidedly un-magical Dursleys, who hated him. He slept in a closet and ate their leftovers. But an owl messenger changes all that, with an invitation to attend the Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches, where it turns out Harry is already famous… (From Amazon.com product listing.)

Brian’s Review: 

The Sorcerer’s Stone, is a brilliant start to a brilliant story. Rowling’s first book is geared towards the age of maybe 10 or 11, which happens be to the very age of Harry Potter himself at the start of this.  Her later books in this series though grow up with the characters.  Masterfully written, and have lead to the love of reading for countless children world wide. If you have a child, around the age, this is a great book.  I do give a fair warning though.  If you attempt to read this book before your child, you too will be hooked. So if you aren’t looking to start a series you won’t put down until the end of book 7 do not attempt to enjoy this book with your child.  You will fall in love with the characters. If you have seen the movies, I suggest you read the books, you won’t be disappointed.

Sam’s Review:

Hey, and I am back just as I promised, and today  we are doing the first Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For those of you who haven’t seen the other two Harry Potter reviews, it’s best that you start here, since I’ve been doing them backwards, I guess. If you have seen one or both of the other Harry Potter reviews, and are a little confused, that’s okay. Now, let’s get on with the review. Harry is the boy who survived Lord Voldemort’s killing spree, removing so much of the dark lord’s magic that Voldemort was forced into hiding. Harry, his parents dead, was given to his aunt and uncle, who were determined to take away Harry’s magic, if only they could. Now eleven years old, he gets the invitation for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and learns that he is the boy who lived. While at his new school, he makes two new friends, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Together, they learn that Voldemort is somewhere in the castle, and that if he isn’t stopped in time, Hogwarts might be no more. No pressure on them or anything, right? Wrong. Since they are the only ones that know about it, they take it upon themselves to stop the dark lord. Can they do it? Read the book to find out. I hope that you have a great weekend, and please don’t forget to check out the store link, subscribe, like, and enable notifications. See you next Friday. Bye!

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon in illustrated form in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook or mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

Bound to Blackwood – Book Review

About the book:

Would you surrender your soul for the love of the King?

Lena, a vampire and a Guardian of the Order, has been honour-bound to protect human souls all her life.  Acting first and thinking second is what’s saved her skin time and again in the war against the Fallen, but her disregard for orders soon catches up with her when her boss is seriously injured.  Forced to take responsibility for her actions, Lena is thrust into the path of her very own kryptonite; Thorn.  The raw power of his soul calls to her and his mere presence lights a fire within her that she cannot contain.        

With Vampire magic waning and the race in crisis, can either of them afford to ignore Nature’s call? If they do, the future of the race is in jeopardy. If they don’t, they will both lose the most precious part of themselves. Their souls. 

Jenn’s Review:

I gave this book 4 stars on the Amazon website. There is some sexual content, adult language and violence. A funny and engaging novel about a Vampire clan in an age where vampires are in decline; sly subplots to foreshadow coming stories, and a romp through the country side as a vampire king and his elite guard try to solve a centuries old mystery (spoiler alert: it is fairly easy to solve the mystery early on, if you’re watching for the clues, but it’s still fun to see how they get from mystery to solution).

Buy the book:

This book is available at Amazon in Kindle or paperback here. [affiliate link]

Canticle – Book Review

About the Book:

Canticle by R.A. Salvatore (Contains Affiliate Link)

A classic adventure from the creator of Drizzt!

“High in the Snowflake Mountains sits the Edificant Library, a place of scholarly study for priests, bards, and others. Now from the hidden vaults beneath the library a devastating curse is unleashed, and a young cleric must battle the terrifying creatures set loose by a malevolent, consuming essence that’s been released, before his own brethren turn against him. Cadderly must put his studies to the test and enter the catacombs far below to save his brothers and himself.” (From Amazon.com Listing)

Brian’s Review:

This book flow nicely, and you meet some of the more fun characters in Salvatore’s earlier books.  You can easily start this book without any knowledge of Salvatore’s other books, even though some characters are the same.  This is Book of the Cleric Quintet series and not linked to the Drizzt books.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You may also buy this title at Amazon in Kindle, paperback, library binding, audiobook or mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

Interview with Gabriele Russo – Author of INCOHERENT GODS

**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.**

Thrice Read Books presents an author interview with Gabriele Russo, author of the GODS, INC. series, and recent release, INCOHERENT GODS

Our guest this week is no stranger to the Thrice Read blog. Sam reviewed her first two novels in previous posts, and this week, we have the pleasure of hosting a promotional post for her newest release in the series. Today, we’d like to welcome Gabriele Russo to our blog!

Thrice Read Books presents an author interview with Gabriele Russo, author of the GODS, INC. series, and recent release, INCOHERENT GODS

Jenn: Welcome, Gabriele. Before we really dive into the books, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Gabriele: Yes, anything in particular that you would like to know?

Jenn: I gather from your name and where you went to university, that you have a rich cultural background, and that life has brought you a long way from where you started out.
Gabriele: I was born in Québec City, and I now live in Virginia, which is not that far, but not exactly where I thought I’d end up. I love it though – at least it’s warmer. I did live in Europe for a few years (my mother was German and so I still have family there), and South America, in Paraguay, for a bit.

Jenn: So, you’ve really been all over the world. What a fantastic experience! Have you always wanted to be an author? Or did you discover writing more by accident?
Gabriele: I did try writing a few times before these novels, but it never quite meshed… I never finished anything, anyhow. Then I discovered Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, and I thought “This! This is what I want to write.” Something quirky, where I can have fun with words and dialog. And so, when my life changed, I sat down and tried to write. It worked, even if I still had ways to go into perfecting my craft.

Jenn: What advice would you offer to would-be authors?

Gabriele: First, I guess I would tell them to be certain that’s what they want to do. It can be heartbreaking at times. You need a thick skin. Then I would advise them to take classes, maybe not as I did, but at least a few – and most importantly to verify the credentials of the person giving the class. Which brings me to my third item of advice: to be very careful. The world of publishing is now filled with scammers.

Jenn: Indeed. We see a lot of warnings to would-be authors and published authors seeking homes for their new work.
Alright… On to the good stuff. Book Three in the Gods, Inc. series comes out in just a few weeks. I know that Sam reviewed the first two books in the Gods, Inc. series, but could you summarize the series up to book 3 for our readers?

Gabriele: The series takes place in a world where the ancient mythological gods live alongside humans. They now mostly work at Gods, Incorporated, a huge multinational that polices the interactions between mortals and immortals, which is led by its CEO, Queen Louhi Pohjola, a mortal demigoddess turned vampire on a diet.

Jenn: A dieting vampire?

Gabriele: She doesn’t drink human blood, or at least tries not too. In the first book, Goblin, a bitter goblin with childhood issues takes over the company, to then take over the world and turn it into hell. In the second book, a fanatic atheist at the head of a powerful lobby/terrorist group has found a way to kill gods.

Jenn: The series plot sounds complex.

Gabriele: The thing to remember is that all the novels are independent stories. The third one is even more to the side. It takes place in the Gods, Inc. zoo, and pits Louhi and the gods against an old evil witch that doesn’t actually want to take over the world, just destroy it.

Jenn: Right.  How would you classify this series? I’m getting a Young Adult/Paranormal vibe here. Maybe with a dash of fantasy?

Gabriele: It is not Young Adult, that’s for sure. There are almost no characters younger than thirty, and most are centuries old. Paranormal certainly. Fantasy, of course – other dimensions, magic being omnipresent… And if you take the official definition of naturalizing the supernatural, that fits too. This mixed with a humor that is also probably not very juvenile, more social satire.
In fact, this third novel is the first one with a young character.

Jenn: Speaking of book 3, Now sounds like a great time to talk about that.

Gabriele: The story revolves around Hercules, Jupiter’s great-great-great-…-great-grandson. He’s the manager of the zoo, and lately, his charges (mostly immortal animals or gods in animal shape) have been going insane. When Louhi (accompanied by Jupiter, her fiancé Ba’al, and bodyguard Andrew) goes for her yearly visit, he tries to hide this from her but fails – let’s not forget to mention that he has a huge crush on her. When they investigate the matter, they realize that this plague of insanity is not natural and that the real target is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. And if Yggdrasil loses coherence, then so will the fabric of reality – meaning that there will be no more way to move between the planes of existence: the dead will be stuck on earth, souls meant to reincarnate won’t be able to come back, etc… All this because the evil witch Chiloe doesn’t want to go to hell, which she knows she richly deserves (she is quite the unapologetic villain).

Jenn: LoL… You have to love a villain who’s fully vested in her destruction!
As we draw closer to the end of our time, is there anything else readers should know before they embark on this witty, satirical, mythological journey that is Gods, Inc.?

Gabriele: I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers by inadvertence. Maybe just that I hope my books bring a little joy to them in these turbulent times.

Jenn: That’s a valid purpose to any book!
How can readers connect with you on social media, or follow you on a website or newsletter?

Gabriele: They can follow me on Twitter or on my facebook page. My website also has a contact form and quite a few links to articles and interviews.

Twitter     Facebook     Website

Jenn: Awesome! Thank you so much for sitting down with us and sharing about your upcoming release. We wish you all the best for your launch.

Gabriele: Thank you very much for having me. 

Thrice Read Books presents an author interview with Gabriele Russo, author of the GODS, INC. series, and recent release, INCOHERENT GODS

Buy the Book: 

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTORE     AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     KOBO

Related blog posts: 

Sam’s review of Incompetent Gods

Sam’s review of Inclement Gods

Incoherent Gods – Promo and Excerpt

**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.**

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

About the Book

Incoherent Gods, Gabriele Russo (GODS, INC.)

Adult, Fantasy, 276 Pages

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC (November 13, 2018)

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Hercules, guardian of the Lemuria Zoo, has a big problem: the Zoo’s divine animals have been going crazy. To make things worse, Queen Louhi, the CEO of Gods Incorporated, has just arrived for her yearly visit… with a new fiancé in tow (along with his yenta-minded grandfather Jupiter). Of course, the fact that Hercules is desperately in love with her doesn’t help his plight in any way whatsoever.

His attempt to cover up the situation quickly blows up in his face and they finally realize the animals’ madness is caused by artificial means. Cue in the bodiless god Mimir, who reveals that the real target of the mind-altering poison is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. And if the Tree loses its cohesion, then so will the barriers between the worlds, crumbling the foundations of reality. Who in gods’ names could be crazy enough to want to do something like that?

About the Author

Gabriele Russo

 Gabriele Russo was born in Quebec City amidst a family of book lovers – her father had dreamed of being a writer and both of her brothers are published authors. 

Since she earned her Bachelor’s in History, it was no surprise (except to her) that she ended up working in restaurants, eventually owning two, which almost drove her mad. She sold them and was nursed back to pseudo-sanity by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. 

That’s when she answered the family calling and decided to write. Armed with her ideas for the Gods Inc. series she went back to University and got her Master’s in Creative Writing.

She now lives with her husband in Virginia, where she divides her time between painting, teaching French and Creative Writing, playing tennis and, of course, writing more books.SOCIAL MEDIAWebsiteFacebookTwitter

Excerpt (Reprinted with Author & Publisher permission)

MIND OVER MATTER (reprinted with special character)

IÞs eye!

The pain!

IÞ’d never felt such pain!

How was it even possible? No one knew about the eyes except IÞs guardians.

Had one of them betrayed the secret?

Told it to that presence felt earlier?

Had IÞ felt a presence earlier?

Yes. Yes, IÞ had. IÞ was… almost certain IÞ hadn’t imagined it. So, which guardian? Ratatosk?

Yggdrasil threw the squirrel off. Foolish squirrel, always squirreling around.

Someone pulled at the syringes.

Pain seared through the eye. Sap leaked out, life seeped out.

Nephtys! Why was she hurting IÞ?

And Loki and the Monkey, not doing anything.

Who did they all think they were anyway? As if they could just replace IÞs usual guardians…

Yggdrasil waved a few branches around, perhaps IÞ could hit Nephtys, even pierce her with a tendril.

Damn! She was getting away.

Too bad Loki had gotten off IÞs roots, IÞ could have swallowed him whole, and the Monkey too.

Now they were all standing out of reach, looking at IÞ. Always looking at IÞ.

What about the guardians on the other planes? Could they be complicit?

Yggdrasil lashed out at them, but they were too quick to get out of the way. IÞ barely managed to slash at Heidrun’s side, pierce one of Sinmora’s eyes and nick Pegasus’s wing.

They must have been warned! Proof!

All were involved, responsible for this suffering!

IÞ would exact vengeance!

Despite the atrocious pain, the idea of retaliation brought

Yggdrasil a measure of happiness.

They would pay dearly.

And the best way to get revenge was to die.

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Jupiter stood with the others, watching Yggdrasil trash about with dismay. He’d seen Louhi approach; he’d tried to yell a warning. Stupid cone of silence.

Ratatosk was crying with big strident sobs. He didn’t seem hurt; was he feeling the Tree’s pain? Nephtys, back to human form, was holding out her hands in front of her and whispering with her eyes closed.

Was she conjuring something? She became transparent and some kind of mossy substance slowly took form in her hands. She was getting something.

With a final drooping shrug, the Tree finally stopped shaking.

Nephtys, solid once more, opened her eyes. “It’s a poultice made from the moss growing on the far side of the moon. It freezes the pain and heals wounds.”

“That’s great,” said Loki. “But how do we get it on him?”

“I’ll go,” said the Monkey.

He took the stuff from Nephtys’s hands and disappeared.

Reappeared on the far side of the clearing. Disappeared again. Reappeared outside the dome, and disappeared… Jupiter was getting dizzy.

Loki took him by the shoulder. “He’s confusing the Tree. Don’t look at him. He’s fast and wily; he’ll get it done.”

And suddenly, there he was, at the eye, putting on the poultice. The Tree reacted, but not fast enough. The monkey ran back to them, easily evading the thrashing branches.

There was a sigh that seemed to come from everywhere at once. Ratatosk stopped crying.

“So that’s the pain taken care of,” said Jupiter, “but what about the madness?”

As if to answer his question, one of Yggdrasil’s limbs shriveled before their eyes and fell to the ground with a tearing noise.

Another one began to shrivel. Ratatosk hopped as close as possible and started to sing. It went slower this time, but the result was the same: a dead, ashen piece of wood crumbling to the ground. Ratatosk closed his tearful eyes and kept on singing.

Nephtys turned to Jupiter. “I think you better go tell Mimir to hurry up with that antidote.”

Buy the Book

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTOREAMAZONBARNES & NOBLEKOBO 

Related posts: 

Sam’s Review of Incompetent Gods

Sam’s Review of Inclement Gods

Author Interview with Gabriele Russo