REVIEW: The Dark of the Moon – E. S. Bell

35719003Title: The Dark of the Moon (Chronicles of Lunos Book I)
Author: E. S. Bell
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I requested this book, but I’m enthralled by what I read. The Dark of the Moon is an expertly written novel that is sure to please any lover of epic fantasy and nautical adventures.

The world created by E. S. Bell is wonderfully crafted. Lunos was once a solid land mass, but now is comprised of many different islands. The descriptions of the world are vivid and inventive, and it was easy to imagine myself there. The different religions and gods were intriguing to read about, as were the aspects of magic. In addition, the inclusion of other fantastical creatures and species added greatly to the complexity of the world the author created. The Vai’Ensai are one example of such and I greatly look forward to learning more about them in the future books!

All of the characters were well developed and complex. Selena was a wonderful protagonist and I felt myself rooting for her throughout the entire novel as she embarked on her quest. She was fierce, kind, unwavering in her faith, brave, and real. I also really enjoyed Sebastian as the other main character. Once driven by his need to avenge his family, he now wants to move beyond his dark, dangerous past. The taciturn, brooding man was easy for me to love, despite his menacing nature. The cast of secondary characters were engaging and delightful to read about also, and each have their own distinct personalities and backgrounds. 

There is romance in the book, and from the blurb you can pretty much figure it out, but I absolutely adored the way it unfolded. It was very believable and well-developed, built slowly throughout the story, and didn’t take away from the plot but rather added to it. This book is not without its twists turns, however, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how events unfold in the next one.

I want to comment on how excellent the writing is. I was in the middle of reading another series when I started this and had to stop because it was just too good to put down. Before starting, I actually was not aware the E. S. Bell was a pseudonym for contemporary romance writer, Emma Scott, and I honestly never would have guessed. Not many authors can go from writing one genre to the next so seamlessly. The Dark of the Moon reads like the work of a seasoned fantasy writer and I am very, very impressed.

The Dark of the Moon is a captivating novel that readers of fantasy and adventure books will absolutely love. I highly recommend it and I promise you will it will not disappoint!

P.S. Right now it’s free on kindle unlimited! 

REVIEW: The Last Magician – Lisa Maxwell

30312855Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Rating: ★★★★★

That cover is completely stunning, and I’m not even a little bit ashamed to say that it’s what originally drew me to the book. Thankfully, I was pleased to discover that The Last Magician is just as magnificent on the inside, as it is on the outside. No one should make the same mistake I did: this book needs to be in your TBR pile.

The Last Magician is like a magical Ocean’s Eleven set during the gilded age New York. Other than magic, the book also features a badass heroine (who also happens to be an accomplished thief), time travel, warring gangs, murder, betrayal, plot twists, handsome men wearing cravats, and a romance that develops slowly over the course of the book and doesn’t overshadow the story. The author crafts a wonderful novel with intriguing characters, great world-building, and superior writing to tie it all together. A really excellent read and I cannot wait for the sequel!

REVIEW: Godblind – Anna Stephens

32072924Title: Godblind
Author: Anna Stephens
Rating: ★★★★★

This book was nothing short of amazing. I have to confess that this was my first grimdark fantasy book, after trying and failing to read the works of both Mark Lawrence and Brandon Sanderson, but I absolutely devoured it. Godblind was utterly fantastic and completely engrossing to read. As all the other reviews have mentioned, this book is very dark and not for everyone, so I felt that I should point out that it does contain torture, rape, graphic violence, human sacrifice, mutilation, and other things of that nature, for those who may be bothered by it.

I typically don’t care for multiple POVs, but each character had a distinct voice and it was very easy to tell them apart. Not only that, but I became engaged in a few of the different characters’ storylines. Each character was unique and I enjoyed that more than a few would be considered morally grey. I loved reading from the narrations of Rillirin, Dom, Crys, and Tara. Godblind contains excellent worldbuilding, great writing, and a plot that was both very fast-paced and gripping. The romance was present, but not overly done, and added another strong element to the story. For some reason, I went into this book believing it to be standalone, but thankfully it is a part of a series, especially with the cliffhangers we were served at the end. I’m looking forward to reading more about this world and these characters and can’t wait for the next one!

REVIEW: Final Girls – Riley Sager

32796253Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

I love a good thriller/horror book and I’m glad I was approved for this! Final Girls is a very compelling story that will have readers itching to find out what happens next. I don’t usually get freaked out from reading, but there were definitely a few moments that sent chills down my spine. Since I read a lot of thrillers, I started to become bored in the middle because I thought I had it all figured out and was beginning to find the book was too similar to others to really enjoy. And then I read the twist at the end. Honestly, I probably sat there mouthing the words, “what the f**k” over and over for a good couple of minutes. The fact that it took me by surprise that much says a lot, so kudos to Riley Sager. I gave the book an extra star for that ending alone. Final Girls is a captivating thriller that will have you hooked from the beginning!

REVIEW: Nyxia – Scott Reintgen

27426044.jpgTitle: Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Rating: ★★★½

ARC received through NetGalley.

I’m always looking for more science fiction novels set in space and the synopsis for Nyxia sounded so intriguing. From the first chapter I was completely pulled into the story and had trouble putting it down. The competition between our main character, Emmett, and all the other recruits vying for a spot to go to Eden was full of tension and kept the plot moving at a fast pace. All the characters are diverse, complex, and interesting. I loved the way Scott Reintgen portrayed all the different ways relationships could evolve from that kind of environment: friends, enemies, allies, rivals, and everything in between. 

My only complaint would be that I had been expecting them to arrive to the new planet, Eden, but now I will be looking forward to reading the next book in the series to continue the adventure. Nyxia is an action-filled, science fiction book that will have you turning page after page!