#BookReview The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone @OrendaBooks

Title: The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone

Publisher: Orenda Books

Date Published: 20th August 2020

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Running private investigator and funeral home businesses means trouble is never far away, and the Skelf women take on their most perplexing, chilling cases yet in book two of the darkly funny, devastatingly tense and addictive new Skelfs series!

‘Compelling, compassionate … just brilliant. This series gets better with every book. I cannot get enough of the Skelfs’ Mark Billingham

‘Confirms the Skelfs as a classic crime clan. I can’t wait for the next one’ Erin Kelly

‘I LOVE the Skelfs … The only problem with The Big Chill is that you’ll devour it so fast you’ll feel as bereft as one of the Skelfs’ clients … Doug Johnstone has murdered sleep’ Val McDermid

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that matriarch Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver’s shadowy life. 

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

 But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves sucked into an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Following three women as they deal with the dead, help the living and find out who they are in the process, The Big Chill follows A Dark Matter, book one in the Skelfs series, which reboots the classic PI novel while asking the big existential questions, all with a big dose of pitch-black humour.

Review:

I want to thank THE Book club Reviewer group and Orenda books for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read the first book in this series, A Dark Matter, at the beginning of the year and is still one of my top reads in 2020 so far, so I was very excited for The Big Chill! I can safely say it lived up to my expectations.

I will say before I get too far into this review, that you should definitely read the first book before reading this one as events from the first have a knock on effect in this one.

This story starts off six months after the first book. The Skelf women are still struggling with what happened at the end of the last book but they’re trying to push through it and carry on as normal, or as normal as their lives are as funeral directing private investigators. 

Dorothy is pulled into an investigation after a car chase ends in tragedy in the midst of a funeral she’s conducting. Jenny is still trying to put the pieces of her life together. Hannah seems to be suffering the most, shutting out her girlfriend Indy and becoming obsessed with the suicide of one of her professors.

What I love about this series is the way there’s several different storylines/cases that are woven together expertly, so they’re easy to follow without confusion and not one overshadows the other too much. Honestly, like the first there’s never a dull moment in this book.

The story is also strengthened by the relationships between the three generations of the Skelf family, Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah. They’re complex and just so compelling, I genuinely love these characters!

The Big Chill is a fantastic piece of fiction that kept me glued to those pages. I can’t wait for more! 

About The Author:

Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His tenth novel, Breakers, was published by Orenda Books in May 2019, and was shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. His previous books include The Jump, shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize, Gone Again, an Amazon bestseller, and Hit & Run, which was an Amazon #1 as well as being selected as a prestigious Fiction Uncovered winner. His work has received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, William McIlvanney, Megan Abbott and Christopher Brookmyre.

Doug has been Writer in Residence with William Purves Funeral Directors. He is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow, and was RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh 2014-2016. Doug was also Writer in Residence at the University of Strathclyde 2010-2012 and before that worked as a lecturer in creative writing there. He’s had short stories appear in various publications and anthologies, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature. He is also a manuscript assessor for The Literary Consultancy and Emergents in the Scottish Highlands. He has taught creative writing at festivals and conferences and regularly at Moniack Mhor, and he has mentored aspiring writers for New Writing North and Scottish Book Trust.

Doug is one of the co-founders of the Scotland Writers Football Club, for whom he also puts in a shift in midfield as player-manager. He is also a singer, musician and songwriter in several bands, including Northern Alliance, who have released four albums to critical acclaim, as well as recording an album as a fictional band called The Ossians. Doug has also released three solo EPs. He plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a crime writing supergroup featuring Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville and Luca Veste.

Doug has a degree in physics, a PhD in nuclear physics and a diploma in journalism, and worked for four years designing radars. He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wife and two children.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver #BookReview

Title: Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver

Date Published: 12th June 2020

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Literary Thriller

Description:

Five days in the history of a small rural town, visited and infected by darkness, are recounted by Evil itself. A stunning high-concept thriller from the bestselling author of Good Samaritans and Nothing Important Happened Today.

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.

Making them steal.

Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone.

Evil had a plan.

Review:

I want to thank the The Book Club Reviewer group and Orenda books for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

So I read Nothing Important Happened Today back in March and I was absolutely blown away by Will Carver’s writing so I was very excited when I got my copy of Hinton Hollow Death Trip.

What I didn’t realise while reading the previous book and this one, it’s actually part of a series but it’s easily read as a standalone. 

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is, well, a head trip a half! I mean I can’t think of another novel that’s narrated by evil itself.

The story follows Detective Sergeant Pace as he heads back to his hometown of Hinton Hollow, a small village of just over five thousand people. The story is set over just five days and my goodness what a terrifying ride it was! 

Beware before you going into this book, much like the previous book it’s dark and could prove upsetting as there’s some sensitive subjects like suicide, child deaths and animal creulty covered.

I have to be honest I didn’t find the style of this book a little choppy at times. Plus there were a couple of more minor storylines that I found a little distracting from the main story but of course that’s just my opinion.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is an original yet shocking read, perfect if you like your thrillers on the darker side. 

About The Author:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

Follow Will on Twitter @will_carver

Shadows of The Woods by Duncan Thompson @dthompsonauthor @PantherPubs @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: Shadows of the Woods by Duncan Thompson

Date Published: 6th June 2020

Publisher: Panther Publishing

Genre: Horror

Description:

Faceless shadows, a night that will never be the same, and a sinister force. If you go down to the woods tonight, you’re in for a sinister surprise.

When a stag party decides to camp in the woods, they soon discover that a malevolent force has them in their sights. As the unknown creeps ever closer, Joe and his friends must survive. To survive, Joe must learn to fight. If he fights, he could lose it all.

A rollercoaster ride of blood, sweat and tears, Shadows of the Woods will keep you hooked, all whilst throwing nostalgic homage to slashers of the late seventies and early eighties.

A Night Terror that you won’t be forgetting any time soon.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2BHrKX9

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3dY4UYb 

Review:

I want to thank Emma at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on this tour and Panther Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Joe and his friends decide to go camping for his stag do but instead of a nice lad’s night out, they find something sinister and end up fighting for their lives. Who will survive? 

Shadows of The Woods is a short sharp shock filled book! 

There was plenty of fast paced action, adventure and horrifying scenes for any horror fan to get their teeth into.

This very much a monster driven story and my goodness the monsters were a little terrifying! I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I’m very wary of shadows now.

The book did contain the old camping in the woods trope but I feel the author made it their own and took a fresh spin on it. 

There was quite a large cast of characters and with this being a novella, I felt we didn’t get to know the characters quite as well as I’d liked.

Shadows of The Woods is at times a gruesome and adventure packed novel that I genuinely couldn’t predict when I was reading it.

About The Author:

Duncan has spent most of his life in a small market town in West Yorkshire — the same town in which most of his stories are set under the guise of Ravenfield. Duncan has been writing works of fiction since the age of seven. In those early days, his stories often involved himself and his friends being transported to fantasy worlds. However, as a teenager, Duncan fell in love with horror movies and his writing took a whole new direction.

Duncan still lives in West Yorkshire with his partner and their two young children. He also has slight obsession with Spider-Man and the actor Bruce Campbell, as well as having an addiction to vinyl records, coffee and Lego.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dthompsonauthor 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duncanthompsonauthor/ Website: https://www.dthompsonauthor.com/

#BlogTour The Divide by Stewart Giles @stewartgiles @Books_n_all #BookReview #Horror

Title: The Divide by Stewart Giles

Date Published: 18th May 2020

Genre: Horror

Description:

From #1 best-selling author: Stewart Giles comes a bone-chilling horror story that will keep you up at night.

THE DIVIDE – Some things are best left buried.

Five teenagers head into Dartmoor’s bleak National Park for a final adventure together before they all go their separate ways after the summer.
These lifelong friends have no idea what terrible secrets this place holds.

One by one they start to realise something is not quite right about this moor. 

Something is lurking there – some malevolent and ominously primeval force is buried deep beneath this ground waiting to emerge.

The locals know the truth about what lies beneath this land but the five friends are met with a sinister silence everywhere they turn.

Then the Divide is split in two.

What is unleashed is hell itself and the friends know they need to find a way out before it’s too late. Lured into an ancient forest that appears on no maps, the friends’ fight for survival begins.

But who is the little girl in the white dress? With her hideously disfigured face and transfixing voice, why has she suddenly taken a keen interest in these teenagers?

The Divide is the chilling tale of five friends’ fight for survival against forces none of them could have imagined.

BOOKS BY STEWART GILES

DS JASON SMITH SERIES
Book 0.5-Phobia
Book 1-Smith
Book 2-Boomerang
Book 3-Ladybird
Book 4-Occam’s Razor
Book 5-Harlequin
Book 6-Selene
Book 7-Horsemen
Book 8-Unworthy
Book 9 – Venom
Book 10 – Severed
Book 11 – Demons
Book 12 – Deadeye

DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1-The Beekeeper
Book 2-The Perfect Murder
Book 3-The Backpacker

DS JASON SMITH & DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1 – The Enigma
Book 2 – Dropzone
Book 3 – The Raven Girl (coming soon)

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS
Miranda
Mistress

Blog Tour Banner - The Divide

Review:

I want to thank Jill at Books ‘n’ all promotions for inviting me on this tour and Stewart Giles for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

So I’ve pretty much read all of Stewart’s police procedurals and when I found out he was writing a horror novel, a genre which I enjoy, I was intrigued.

The Divide is a place that hasn’t been disturbed for hundreds of years until the owners of the land, overcome by greed decide to develop it. Five teenage friends, Quinn, Steve, Jack, Hannah and Louise stumble across it and find themselves in a fight for their lives.

The Divide is a nightmarish and imaginative read. I won’t deny, it gave me a few bad dreams after I read it.

This book still had Stewart Giles trademark fast pace and action, although it is a little more gruesome than his usual books.

I really enjoyed the atmospheric setting of Dartmoor, which in itself is a fascinating place, with the inclusion of some folklore, it just made it all the more sinister. 

I have to be honest the second half of the book got a little bit head trippy weird but as it’s horror you’ve got to expect that a bit.

The Divide is an eerie read that will both entertain and horrify you in equal measure.

About The Author:

After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off SG Author photo (4)travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live. 

In 2014 Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head and I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later. 

3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor: Cornwall series.

The Beekeeper was published and soon hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well. 

I continued to self-publish the Smith series and Unworthy hit the shelves in 2018 with amazing results.  I therefore made the decision to self-publish The Backpacker which is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series which was published in July 2018.

After The Backpacker I had an idea for a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers and The Enigma was born. It brings together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor. 

Miranda is something totally different. A stand-alone psychological thriller, it is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before. This was followed by the sequel Mistress in 2019.

The Detective Jason Smith series continues to grow and there are now 13 books including the introduction: Phobia. Book 12: Deadeye will be published in February 2020.

Website: www.stewartgiles.com

Twitter: @stewartgiles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stewart.giles.33

#BlogTour #Review The Tower by Anne-Marie Ormsby @AMOrmsby @rararesources

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Title: The Tower by Anne-Marie Ormsby

Date Published: 10th January 2020

Publisher: Darkstroke Books

Genre: Ghost Story/Horror

Description:

Sometimes the dead come back. And sometimes all they want is to hurt you.

When residents on an east London housing estate start dying in gruesome ways, housing manager Ada begins to worry that her past is coming back to haunt her.

Once a powerful medium, able to talk to the dead with amazing ease, she became more comfortable with the afterlife than real life, and with that openness she attracted something dark from the other side. Terrified by the experience she swore she would never communicate with the dead again.

Ten years later at the scene of an apparent suicide, her long closed-down connection to the dead is reopened, and she begins to receive information she shouldn’t know about the victims’ final moments.

Stalked in her dreams and in waking life by an angry male presence, Ada begins to relive the dark days when something from the other side wanted her to end her life.

But as the bodies stack up and the visions intensify, Ada realises that in order to stop more people from dying she has to let the dead back in to find out the truth of what is driving her residents to violent acts – and face up to her own ghosts.

The Tower Full Tour Banner

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ada was once a medium. She closed her connection to the dead but after the suicide of one of the residents in a tower block she manages, communications from the dead come back more powerful than ever. One in particular wants nothing more than to harm her and those around her. Can she stop him before he hurts anyone else?

The Tower is a gritty and dark ghostly thriller which I found quite moving at times.

Ada was a flawed and realistic character. She’s had such an unhappy life that I couldn’t help but feel bad for her, and I just wanted her to be happy with DI Harman. Of course it’s never that simple, especially when you’ve got a ghostly stalker like Michael.

Michael was so cruel and diabolical, genuinely one of those characters you’ll love to hate!

I will say this is not the most cheery read, there’s suicide, self harm and mentions of abuse, so if you’re looking for something light hearted you may have to find another book!

The Tower is a haunting and at times poignant read that will stay with you after you’ve finished the last page.

About The Author:

On a warm day in July 1978, a mother was admitted to hospital, awaiting the arrival of image1 (3)her new baby. She was reading Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and the midwives thought it a gruesome choice for an expectant mother. A story of a long forgotten murder and repressed memories. As it turned out her new baby, Anne-Marie would grow up and find herself drawn to all things macabre, and would one day herself turn out a story of murder and memories lost.

Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.

She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.

In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.

She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.

Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.

After ten years living in London, Anne-Marie moved to Margate where she lives with her husband and their daughter.

#BlogTour #BookReview Daylight’s Deadly Kiss by Jay Raven @JayRavenAuthor @rararesources

DAYLIGHT'S DEADLY KISS kindle

Title: Daylight’s Deadly Kiss – Blood Riders Book Two by Jay Raven

Date Published: 3rd April 2020

Genre: Horror

Description:

In 19th century Europe the most deadly vampire-killing weapon ever devised is up for grabs – and both the Undead and the living will stop at nothing to possess it…   

It’s a legend, a fairy story parents tell frightened children to make them sleep. Basium Lucis – Daylight’s Kiss – the fabled compound that recreates sunlight in a bottle, and incinerates bloodsucking monsters on contact.

Vampire hunter Anton Yoska doesn’t believe in its existence or the whispered rumours of its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci 250 years before.        

But when a mysterious Hungarian arts dealer claims to have uncovered the long-lost formula, Anton’s cynicism is shaken to the core as he is tasked to procure the pyrotechnic marvel for the Vatican’s centuries-old battle with the vampire sect known as the Brethren.

In a desperate race to beat nosferatu forces intent on destroying the wonder weapon, and cold-blooded gangsters who desire the Alchemist’s most prized invention for their own aggrandisement and riches, Anton is caught in a maelstrom of double dealing and lies..

Traps loom at every turn, and nothing is what it appears, but acquiring the Basium Lucis is the least of the his problems  – for the ferocious Modjeski vampire family want retribution for his slaughter of their clan chief a year before. And old flame and rival slayer, Nadia, has her own devious plans to thwart Anton’s quest.

As time runs out and predators circle, the beleaguered hunter realises he’s been tricked into a suicide mission. But Anton Yoska won’t go down without a fight – and he doesn’t care who he takes to Hell with him. 

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083V891T9

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B083V891T9

Daylightd Deadly Kiss Full Tour Banner

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources tour for inviting me on this tour and providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

So I read the first in this series, Crimson Siege, and enjoyed it so I was eager to read the second in the series.

Former lawman Anton Yoska is roaming the countryside, along with his crew of dwarf Quintz, his young helper Toby and of course their bear Samson. They are eking out a living getting rid of vampires until they get an offer from crown prince Leopold to track down the formula for Basium Lucis, Daylight’s Kiss, which has resurfed. It has the ability to create artificial sunlight and destroys vampires on contact.

Anton is cynical, Daylight’s Kiss has always been a myth but it’s an offer he can’t refuse. Things get even tougher when old enemies resurface hellbent on his destruction. 

Daylight’s Deadly Kiss is a fast paced mix of historical and supernatural adventure.

At the moment I’m finding it a little hard to concentrate on reading but I still managed to race through this book!

I really enjoyed that we got to know both Anton and Quintz a little better in this book. I feel like Quintz really can into his own in this novel. I liked him in the first book but now even more in the second and learning some of his history made my heart break a little for him.

Again like the first book, it’s not overly gory or scary but it may contain a few scenes that may be a little upsetting.

The ending dropped a bombshell, leaving me anxious for the next book!

Daylight’s Deadly Kiss is a well written Gothic adventure that will leave you breathless at times.

About The Author: 

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that Jay Raven 5the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveaways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at http://www.jayraven.com

Social Media Links – 

website www.jayraven.com   

twitter: @JayRavenAuthor
facebook: www.facebook.com/fantasywriterjayraven/ 

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza #BookReview @RobertBryndza

Title: Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza

Date Published: 1st November 2019

Publisher: Sphere

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

From the breakthrough international bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice, a breathtaking, page-turning novel about a disgraced female detective’s fight for redemption. And survival.

Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly became a nightmare.

Fifteen years after those catastrophic, career-ending events, a copycat killer has taken up the Nine Elms mantle, continuing the ghastly work of his idol.

Enlisting her brilliant research assistant, Tristan Harper, Kate draws on her prodigious and long-neglected skills as an investigator to catch a new monster. But there’s much more than her reputation on the line: Kate was the original killer’s intended fifth victim . . . and his successor means to finish the job.

Review:

Robert Bryndza is an author that has been on my to be read list for a while now, so I was very excited when I got approved for Nine Elms on NetGalley.

Nine Elms follows the story of Kate Marshall, who was once a promising detective but was scapegoated after the capture of the Nine Elms cannibal. Fifteen years later she’s finally got her life back on track when a copycat killer decides to recreate his idols crimes.

Nine Elms is a dark and twisty thriller that shocked and surprised me at every turn.

To me it felt like a part police procedural, part psychological thriller, combining these two made a really taut and tense novel.

Kate is a fantastic character. Troubled, she is battling alcoholism, yet trying her hardest to have a normal life and throwing herself into teaching criminology. She’s tested to her limit during the course of the book and you can’t help but root for her.

The original Nine Elms killer really made my flesh crawl! Genuinely one of the creepiest killers I’ve come across in a while, especially the weird relationship he has with his mother.

I will warn you there were a few gruesome scenes in the book that may not be for everyone but I personally thought it wasn’t overdone.

If you love a serial killer thriller, then I think you’ll love Nine Elms!

About The Author:

Hello, I’m Robert Bryndza. I’m a crime writer and my books have sold 3 million copies, and they’ve been translated into 28 languages. I’m British and live in Slovakia.robert bryndza

My new novel, Nine Elms, the first in my Kate Marshall private detective series has just been published!

I’m the author of the international #1 bestseller THE GIRL IN THE ICE, which is the first in my Detective Erika Foster series, and to date, it has sold over one million copies. There are six books (so far) in the Erika Foster series, and they can be read as a series, and also work as stand-alone books, so can be read in any order;

THE GIRL IN THE ICE

THE NIGHT STALKER

DARK WATER

LAST BREATH

COLD BLOOD

DEADLY SECRETS

In addition to writing crime fiction, I have published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. I hope you enjoy visiting my Goodreads page, and welcome!

Rob

You can find out more about me at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

The Children of Never (A War Priests of Andrak Saga) by Christian Warren Freed #Review #TheChildrenofNever #WarPriestsofAndrakSaga @ChristianWFreed @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: The Children of Never: A War Priests of Andrak Saga by Christian Warren Freed

Date Published: 30th July 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Description:

The war priests of Andrak have protected the world from the encroaching darkness for generations. Stewards of the Purifying Flame, the priests stand upon their castle walls each year for 100 days. Along with the best fighters, soldiers, and adventurers from across the lands, they repulse the Omegri invasions. 

But their strength wanes and evil spreads. 

Lizette awakens to a nightmare, for her daughter has been stolen during the night. When she goes to the Baron to petition aid, she learns that similar incidents are occurring across the duchy. Her daughter was just the beginning. Baron Einos of Fent is left with no choice but to summon the war priests.

Brother Quinlan is a haunted man. Last survivor of Castle Bendris, he now serves Andrak. Despite his flaws, the Lord General recognizes Quinlan as one of the best he has. Sending him to Fent is his best chance for finding the missing children and restoring order. Quinlan begins a quest that will tax his strength and threaten the foundations of his soul. 

The Grey Wanderer stalks the lands, and where he goes, bad things follow. The dead rise and the Omegri launch a plan to stop time and overrun the world. The duchy of Fent is just the beginning. 

The follow up to the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future award winning short: The Purifying Flame, the Children of Never is an all new novel set in a world of raw imagination. Get your copy today!

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Children-Never-Priests-Andrak-Saga/dp/1387986074/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ZTILN1AVQ06Q&keywords=the+children+of+never+christian+warren+freed&qid=1579528523&sprefix=the+children+of+never%2Caps%2C292&sr=8-1

 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Children-Never-Priests-Andrak-Saga/dp/1387986074/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+children+of+never+christian+warren+freed&qid=1579529018&sr=8-1

The Children of Never banner

Review:

I want to thank Emma at damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on this tour and providing with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

In the duchy of Fent, children are going missing, snatched from their beds by a man brought back to life by magic. After a ghostly vision, Baron Einos, the ruler of Fent has no choice but to petition the legendary Priests of Andrak for help but the missing children is just the beginning of his woes… 

The Children Of Never is a dark yet epic fantasy with plenty of magic, mystical beings, battles and even a little bit of mystery thrown in there.

I don’t read that much fantasy but I found reading this book it didn’t matter, it just pulled me in from the start with its air of mystery and intrigue. I also appreciated the fact that the story wasn’t overly convoluted and I found it easy to follow.

I have just found out that this is the follow up to a short story,The Purifying Flame, something I didn’t realise as I was reading it but I found it fine to read as a standalone.

The writing was descriptive and I could picture things vividly as I read. There was also a large cast of characters and points of view during the book but I managed to follow each of their stories easily, as they were well rounded and unique.

One of the strongest characters, to me, was Lizette. Grieving for her missing child, she uses it to fuel her determination to see an end to the once dead man and get the Baron, to take notice of the villagers plight.

I did have a couple of issues. There was a tendency to switch POV within chapters, even within the same paragraph on occasion, without any real warning. Also, I felt the ending was a little rushed compared with the rest of the story but of course that’s just my opinion.  

If you enjoy your fantasy novels with a dark edge to it, then I would recommend The Children of Never.

About The Author:

Christian W. Freed was born in Buffalo, N.Y. more years ago than he would like tonew author shot 1 remember. After spending more than 20 years in the active duty US Army he has turned his talents to writing. Since retiring, he has gone on to publish over 20 military fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as his memoirs from his time in Iraq and Afghanistan, a children’s book, and a pair of how to books focused on indie authors and the decision making process for writing a book and what happens after it is published.

His first published book (Hammers in the Wind) has been the #1 free book on Kindle 4 times and he holds a fancy certificate from the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. Ok, so it was for 4th place in one quarter, but it’s still recognition from the largest fiction writing contest in the world. And no, he’s not a scientologist.

Passionate about history, he combines his knowledge of the past with modern military tactics to create an engaging, quasi-realistic world for the readers. He graduated from Campbell University with a degree in history and is pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Digital Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He currently lives outside of Raleigh, N.C. and devotes his time to writing, his family, and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you drive by you might just find him on the porch with a cigar in one hand and a pen in the other. You can find out more about his work by following him @ https://www.facebook.com/ChristianFreed or on Twitter @christianwfreed.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristianWFreed

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianFreed 

Blog: https://christianwfreed.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8137590.Christian_Warren_Freed

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005HP3EOW

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