The Immortal City – Blog Tour

 

 

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GoodReads:
In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

 

My Review

Hey guys, hitting you up with another book review on this lovely Saturday. If lovely for you means, cold, slightly damp, and having cleaned up a spider graveyard in the bathtub of your new house.

Anywho!

I was lucky enough to get to do the cover reveal for this book and now here I am reviewing it as part of the blog tour.

The synopsis really had me with Venice, but then I saw Atlantis and it was like I was 9 again looking over maps wondering where Atlantis could have been. Shhh. I was a very curious child with a love of archaeology.

So right off the bat, I wanted to read this given the premise.

Well, there wasn’t as much Venice I would have liked but there was certainly cool dark magic and occult things going on so that placated me.

As far as Atlantis content goes, well, I think/hope there’s more of it to come, it is the first book afterall and this was setting up the world and plots and so on.

I loved the Magician characters I thought they were fun and mysterious and I just wanted to go hang out in their ‘crib’ and drink wine with them.

Unfortunately, I had little love for Penelope. I think she must have been so much younger than I would have thought. This reads more as YA, though Penelope herself is old enough/brilliant enough if she’s still a teen, to have her doctorate. I think the reason I didn’t like her is that I found the romance aspect for her rather dull, but, I did enjoy her hunger for knowledge and her curiosity. I love it when characters are as big as history lovers as I am, haha.

Another Character to enjoy is Marco the inspector, he is just the best in my opinion haha.

The magic was actually very neat, and the ties with Atlantis were something I can’t wait to learn/read more about in the next book.

I mean there is little to fault with the premise and ideas, I thought they were awesome, I just found it lacking with Penelope’s character growth/development so at times it made it hard for me to love it as much as I wanted to. Still a good start to a series, enjoyable to read, and I look forward to reading book 2!

Thank you to BHCPressBooks for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review

 

About the Author

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

Author Links

Website| Twitter | GoodReads

 

The Girl The Sea Gave Back

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Synopsis:
“But what did these warriors know about fate?
It was the curling, wild vine that choked out the summer crops. It was the wind that bent wayward currents and damned innocent souls to the deep. They hadnt’ seen th stretch of it or the way it could shift suddenly, lik a flock of startled birds. Fate’s hand was something they said because they didn’t understand it.
That’s what I was for.
Set ten years later int he same vividly imagined world of Sky in the Deep and featuring an adult Halvard, The Girl the Sea Gave Back promises to be a refreshingly new, yet familiar addition to the captivating series.
For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast, the rune stones and see into the future. Tova has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.
For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect ther newfound power? And when their chieftan looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again – a home.

Book Information:
Written By: Adrienne Young
Published by: Titan Books [UK]
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Format: Paperback & eBook
Price: £8.99
9781789091298|320 PP

My Review

I think this book is so different than its predecessor, as in that it feels like it’s there for the pure love of prose and I am completely there for that. This is set in the same world as Sky in the Deep but ten years later. This means the world has already been set up in a large fashion. Still though, Young makes it easy for someone who hasn’t read her previous novel to dive right in. [Pun intended]

Tova is a character who has always been on the outside looking in of the people around her. We’re allowed to dive deep into her mind and insecurities while we are also shown Halvard, switching between the two all the while being tugged along by this almost mystical connection that seems to lay between them.

The battle scenes were some of my favorites and Young has a true talent for writing them.

While the story switches between Tova and Halvard, it was truly Tova’s story in my mind, the girl that washed up in a burnt-out funeral pyre. She constantly shows an inner strength despite the self-doubt and insecurities and that made her feel so real and I loved her for it. [I do have to admit though, haha, Gunther was actually my favorite character.]

I would have liked to explore Halvard as he has aged ten years since the last book but I did appreciate that the focus was on Tova’s story that just happened to revolve around him in its own way. You did feel his motivation and the love he had for his. family and that was quite poignant.

Halvard is a strong warrior but he’s also someone who still observes and listens and that was his true strength, especially in his connection to Tova.

Lost in a world that is not her own, but unable to remember her own, Tova has dealt with the hand she assumed life had dealt her, living a parallel life to a clan that resents and fears her, not knowing the true love of family, and yet still retaining a heart capable of empathy and kindness.

Though Tova is a Truthtongue, she has weaknesses and other strengths and the fact that Young explores so much of Tova in so little time is pretty impressive.

This was a slower-paced novel with fates intertwined through the power of rune stones though Tova tries to make sense of it all.  Despite the fact she can read the stones, the future is never clear.

Four cups of coffee from me!

Thank you to  Sarah Mather/Titan Books for a copy of this for me to honestly review!

 

 

About the Author

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun. Adrienne is the author of the New York Times bestseller Sky in the Deep and the forthcoming The Girl the Sea Gave Back.

 

The Awakening Aten – Blog Tour

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Blurb:

The Awakening Aten envelops the reader in an Egypt of whispers and fears, of webs within webs, deceit upon deceit. Its themes of murder, intrigue, political and religious conflict, corruption, tomb robbing, war and executions are set against a background of fundamental ideological change.  
Ancient Egypt is seen through the eyes of two families; one royal, the other commoner. Yuya, whose tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, is a foreigner who rises from slavery to become Regent to an infant Pharaoh and thus, the most powerful man in the world’s wealthiest empire. His children and descendants will remain at the very heart of the country’s destiny. Kha is a tomb painter and builder who experiences both the despair of imprisonment and the horror of war. As Overseer of the King’s Works he restores the Great Sphinx, and inscribes the ‘Dream Stela’ placed between its paws, still visible today. Through tragic and deathly events his family and that of Yuya become entwined.  
This is the fictional tale of real people, whose possessions and artefacts can be seen in museums throughout the world. It gives a voice to those people, inspired by their personal items, buried with them 3,000 years ago.

Book Information:
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Troubador Publishing (21 May 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1789018757
ISBN-13: 978-1789018752

Where to Buy

Amazon UK

 

My Review

I haven’t been able to read much fiction set in Ancient Egypt, I tend to stick with nonfiction on this ‘subject matter’ and I’m pretty passionate about history and for years as a child, I wanted to be an Egyptologist, but that’s just me fangirling over Egypt. So, let’s get to the heart of the matter.

The Awakening Aten. This is a promising start to a generational saga. Morrissey obviously did his research for this book, I was really impressed by the dedication shown in the history of this book. There are characters that were straight from the pages of history, many real, some purely fictional but all flowed seamlessly together and unless you recalled the list at the start that stated who was ‘real’ and who was fictional, they all blended together.

Some of you may be familiar with the story of Joseph, a biblical figure who rose from slave to being a respected and powerful man in Egypt. If you read this you’ll see similarities between him and Yuya, the man who he could have been based on. [Also a cool DreamWorks film that I really like haha]

Yuya rises from slave to the most powerful man in Egypt but he keeps his own ideology and faith while supporting those of family and friends who worship as most do in Egypt at this time period.

There is a long cast of characters for this, from all walks of life and backgrounds. An older generation their children and grandchildren those surrounded in their world.

Yuya’s friend Kha was one of my favorite characters and I really enjoyed his arc and the others as well. Being recalled to a world over 3000 years gone, it doesn’t lessen the connection I had with these characters. They were men and women who loved, toiled, and went through tragedies and triumphs no matter if they were Royalty, powerful men risen from their circumstances, or just artists who were passionate for their work.

There is a question of faith whether mono or polytheistic, and it’s interesting to see how Morrissey has taken the shift of many gods to one in Egypt’s history.

The ending has left me unable to contain my enthusiasm to read book two and I am already waiting for its release.

A rich and in-depth novel on Ancient Egypt and characters who connect to us across the ages.

I’m a huge fan and know I will return to Yuya, Kha, and the others again and again. Thanks to Anne Cater, Aidan K. Morrissey and Troubador publishing for a chance to read and honestly review this as part of the Random Things blog tour.

 

About the Author

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I am of Irish heritage and was the first member of my immediate family to be born outside of Ireland. My professional life has caused me to travel the world. I am now looking forward to settling in the North East of England, to concentrate on writing.
A graduate in Law from Leicester University, after working for some years in a commercial environment, I qualified as a Solicitor in 1981.
My career developed in an unusual way and I have lived and worked at various times in Italy, Brazil, the United States, India and Germany.
I have always had a love and fascination for history. A holiday in Egypt sparked a particular passion for Ancient Egypt, especially the latter part of the 18th Dynasty. A history, which Pharaoh Horemeb (Djeser-Kheperu-Ra circa 1319-1292 BCE) tried to destroy and which only came to light following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.
‘The Awakening Aten’ is the culmination of many years of research.
I have built up a substantial collection of academic books and novels on Ancient Egypt, its customs, traditions and daily life. I am fortunate to have been able to visit all of the major museums containing artefacts from Egypt throughout the world, as well as spending months in Egypt itself studying the funereal valleys and other sites. All of this supplemented by internet research.
This novel is the first in a plannned five book series, looking at the fictional lives of real people through a period of major political and religious change, spanning approximately 130 years.
My hobbies are reading, which I enjoy as much as I do writing, and taking bracing walks along the North East Coast and in the Northumberland Hills.

Author Links

Website Twitter

 

Rest of the Tour

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Dream Angus


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GoodReads:

Part of a series of books containing myths as retold by first-rank contemporary authors, this is Alexander McCall Smith’s telling of the Celtic myth of Dream Angus, a god of love, youth, beauty, and also the bringer of dreams. He is cherished by all, but fated to love only Caér, the swan maiden from his own dreams. Smith spins five charming stories of Dream Angus with five tales of his modern alter egos.

“…what is life but the pursuit of dreams?”

Thank you to Canongate Books for sending me a copy of this, I was so excited as I love takes on mythology.

[So excited in fact that my email said Revew Request in my haste to type. Let that sink in. Revew. I’m still mortified.]

Admittedly I’ve never read any of Alexander McCall Smith’s works before, I’d heard of him and had been interested but just hadn’t gotten around to it until now.

Dream Angus gives us an interwoven work of short stories that spans the ages to give us a more modern day retelling of the Celtic God of Dreams, Angus.

One thing that impressed me from the start is rarely do a read an introduction unless it’s an academic work, if it catches my eye I will and McCall Smith’s intro was actually very enjoyable to read. It’s hard to know how to introduce your own work when you’re tackling legends and myths and we all know many authors do it well, but it’s still always nice to know that even the prolific authors understand the delicate work they’re doing.

Onto the real meat of the book however I have to say this is just one of those books you read in an almost dreamy manner -no pun intended- it is something to be read as an experience rather than trying to just gobble it up, devour it, and analyze it. That comes later. Half jk.

Rather than trying to give an epic tale, threaded through various times and places are the stories of the small and wondrous gifts bestowed on people by the dreams and powers of Angus, there is love, there is peace, and of course most importantly there are the dreams.

My favorite parts were actually the tale of how Angus came to be, and how he confronted his Father eventually. [Would say more, but, spoilers!] There’s just always something about a good origins story to me.

This is a rather languid and flowery work, it’s not meant for those looking for a clear cut collection of short stories and/or a Michael Bay version of mythology.

Anyway, if you’re into a rather thought provoking novel that’s a leisurely [and rather short] read, I highly recommend Dream Angus to you. Don’t forget The Canons has a whole series of books done by well known authors, ‘The Myths’ and it includes works by Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt, and Philip Pullman as well!

“But Angus does more than that: he represents youth and the intense, passionate love that we might experience when we are young but which we might still try to remember as age creeps up. Age and experience might make us sombre and cautious, but there is always an Angus within us- Angus the dreamer.”

-Alexander McCall Smith, 2006

 

 

 

The Path Keeper Blog Tour

Hey everyone! That’s right, I implemented my new schedule, there was no post yesterday. It was pretty nice considering I was totally dead to the world after being in the car for a good chunk and picking one of my besties from the airport!

I was also reading the last bit of The Path Keeper as well! Funnily enough I got this one off NetGalley and then signed up for the tour forgetting I already had it on my tbr, so, this is doing double the job for me haha. Also thanks to BHC Press for the copy and to Anne Cater for letting me join the tour!

[Just in case, I received this eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.]

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Synopsis:

What if our lives were mapped out before birth? Does anyone have the power to change their destiny?

Ella hates London. She misses her old life in Spain and is struggling to get over her past—until she meets Zac. He’s always loved her but isn’t meant to be part of her story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense. A world full of danger, lies and magic.

The Path Keeper is a passionate tale of first loves, second chances and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?

Book Information:
On-sale: May 28, 2019

Imprint: BHC Press Formats: Hardcover/Trade Softcover/Ebook Page Count: 416 Hardcover/392 Softcover Library of Congress Number: 2018948480

Hardcover: $26.95 ISBN: 978-1-947727-80-9 Dimensions/Binding: 5.5 x 8.5/Dustjacket

Trade Softcover: $15.95 ISBN: 978-1-947727-81-6 Dimensions/Binding: 5.5 x 8.5/Perfect

Ebook: $7.99 ISBN: 978-1-947727-82-3 Ebook Formats: Epub/Mobi/PDF

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance Distribution: Ingram/Overdrive/Publisher Rights: Worldwide Author Resides: Netherlands & Spain

Media Contact: Joni Firestone Phone: 248-982-9069 Email: books@bhcpress.com

 

Trigger Warning

My Review

An enjoyable read that I was not expecting to be so engrossing! Oh sure I was intrigued but N.J. Simmonds knows how to build up to the end and she weaves multiple lives and pasts in such a great manner, the show of a talented storyteller in my opinion. Honestly, I found this a refreshing take on some old ideas. It’s not often that something makes me pause and think ‘ah, you know what, I really like the way they did that, it’s not something done a lot or at all!’ I’m not trying to gush but after a bit of a slow start I thought this really picked up the pace.

There’s reincarnation, hot mysterious boys, a girl with a pretty face and a ‘sailor’s mouth’ and layers to the lives depicted by the characters that Simmonds brings to life.

There are not enough flashbacks in my opinion because I think that’s where Simmonds shines the most in her writing skills, also I love how she describes Spain, it’s as if she’s painting a picture with her words and you can just close your eyes and imagine you’re there. The lore/mythology/religious knowledge she uses, she uses with a great personal twist. Like I said earlier it’s not often where someone gets me to go ‘yay’ with the reinvention of an old idea and I think Simmonds did this well and did her homework!

Not to mention I couldn’t get enough of the flashbacks and with an ending like that, I really can’t wait for the next book!

This was a solidly enjoyable read, the only reason I didn’t give it four stars is that I, unfortunately, was not a huge fan of Ella our MC, but I loved her background and I didn’t hate her, I just didn’t always find her believable, though I can say I liked her so much more at the end than I had the first 25% of the book. When we focus less on her being seen as a celebrity and more as herself. The Ella behind the superficial layers is someone I want to know more of. [And I found that I didn’t believe she could have been a celebrity but then I remember…Paris Hilton, so like, it’s not that far fetched really!]

It’s a rather steamy YA read! So if you like scenes like that, you’re in for a treat! I didn’t mind them but as usual, in my case, there are other things I look for in a book to make or break it for me.

Content warning necessary, and showed in the book’s picture, to expound upon it: Rape, sexual assault, attempted suicide.

 

About the Author

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Natali Drake, who writes under the pen name of N.J. Simmonds, has written articles for various UK newspapers and online publications. In 2015 she co- founded the online magazine The Glass House Girls and is a regular contributor. Originally from north London, she now divides her time between her two homes in the Netherlands and Spain with her husband and two daughters.

 

Rest of the Tour Schedule

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