The Sparrow Review

The Sparrow (Emaji Nation #1)

The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis is a novel about a 16-year-old girl named Amanda whose grandparents send her through a magic portal to the Emaji Kingdom for the summer. She is told by a boy named Solomon that she is the fated Sparrow, the hero that will save them from their evil king Zorn. Solomon also claims that he is her soulmate as well, and she meets many people along her journey.

I wanted to enjoy this book, but the storyline was so confusing that I couldn’t keep track of or differentiate between the characters. No one was unique enough for me to remember why they were important to the story. The only thing I enjoyed about this book were the addictive action scenes, the rest I could do without.

I won’t recommend this book but I won’t totally write off this author. I think that she could probably write well for different types of books, or maybe books with a smaller host of characters to keep track of. This was simply not the book for me.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

BBN_BOOKBBN_BOOK

The Smoke Thieves #1 Blog Tour Plus Review

The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves, #1)

Smoke Thieves

A shrewd princess whose father is plotting against her. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his family. A streetwise demon smoke hunter in desperate need of money. A charming thief whom everyone is hunting. They are four teenagers whose lives would never intersect, until a war between kingdoms bubbles up, and the dangerous truth aboutdemon smoke intertwines all their fates. It’s a tangled web of political intrigue, shifting alliances, and forbidden love, in a world where sometimes no amount of magic can keep you safe.

Pre-order Here:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551385/the-smoke-thieves-by-sally-green/

In The Smoke Thieves, you learn the stories of three different pairs of people. First, you have Catherine and Ambrose. Catherine is a princess who is about to be forced into a marriage that she doesn’t want to be in, but she is in love with her best friend and personal guard Ambrose. Her brother Boris is a spy for her father and wants to make sure she stays in line until she is married off to a foreign prince. Then you have Tash and Gravell, a young girl and an old man who hunt for demon smoke to sell. Lastly, you have March and Elyon, the servent of a prince and the charming thief. These stories will overlap for one another, but they will mostly take place in these pairs for the majority of the story.

My favorite character in the story was probably either March or Catherine. March was one of the last of the Abasks, and he found out what had really happened on the day that his family was massacred. He didn’t know much about his culture and was the odd one out in the prince’s court, so he has a lot to learn. Catherine was in love with Ambrose, but she didn’t act foolishly about it. Her country came first, and she was determined to do her best to keep her kingdom safe. Even if it meant that she would have to go against her father.

The only reason why I rate this book 4 instead of 5 stars was because things really started to slow down in the middle of the book. I read the first 200 pages in around 2-3 hours, but the next 150 pages took me over 5 hours of intermittent reading to get through. If it wasn’t for the drag in the middle, I would have loved every minute of this novel.

Everything else in this book was great. The characters were all unique and everything connected well. I never got confused as to whose POV it was as I read through the book. There was romance but it didn’t take over the novel until I didn’t want to read it anymore. And the action scenes were addictive and yet realistic.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new upper YA/NA novel to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

BBN_BOOKBBN_BOOKBBN_BOOKBBN_BOOK

Demon World

A princess. A soldier. A servant. A demon hunter. A thief. When we last saw them, this unlikely group was heading into the Northern Territory of the kingdom of Pitoria, on the run from the sadistic and power-hungry King Aloysius of Brigant. The Smoke Thieves have discovered that demon smoke is not only an illegal drug used for pleasure, but in fact, when taken by children, demon smoke briefly gives its users super-human strength. Aloysius’ plan is simple and brutal: kill the demons for their smoke, and use that smoke to build an unstoppable army of children to take over Pitoria, Calidor, and then the rest of the world. The Smoke Thieves are the only ones who understand this plan–but can they stop it? Catherine, Aloysius’ daughter, is seen as a traitor from all sides; Tash is heartbroken after the loss of her one friend and sees nothing left for her in the human world; Edyon is wanted for murder; March is carrying the secret of his betrayal of his new love; Ambrose is out for revenge–and all the while, the demons have plans of their own…

Pre-order Here:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551386/the-demon-world-by-sally-green/9780425290248/

AUTHOR BIO

Sally Green lives in Cheshire, England. She has had various jobs from her first paper-round to a career as an accountant, but in 2010 she started writing a novel and that changed her life. She still runs most days despite several attempts to give it up.

Ben Galley Ultimate Blog Tour Spotlight!

@BenGalley

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

The Written

Book one of The Emanska Series

His name is Farden. 
They whisper that he’s dangerous. 
Dangerous is only the half of it. 

Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options. 

Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn’t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await. 

Welcome to Emaneska.

Affiliate Link

Chasing Graves

Book one of The Chasing Graves Trilogy

Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning.

Bloodrush

Book 1 of The Scarlet Star Trilogy

Prime Lord Hark lies dead in a pool of his own blood.

The Empire is in turmoil. The Emerald Benches are leaderless. Queen Victorious calls for justice. But none of this matters to Lord Hark’s thirteen year-old son, Tonmerion, who abruptly finds himself orphaned and now in the charge of an estranged aunt. An undertaker, no less, who lives far across the Iron Ocean, at the very brink of the Endless Land and all known civilisation. In a place they call Fell Falls, Wyoming.

In the dusty frontier town of Fell Falls, Merion finds no silverware, no servants, no plush velvet nor towering spires. Only dust, danger, and the railway. Tonmerion has only one friend to help him escape the torturous heat and unravel his father’s murder. A fae warrior named Rhin. An embittered, twelve-inch tall outcast of the Undering whose past refuses to let go of him.

But there are darker things at work in Fell Falls, and not just the railwraiths or the savages baying for blood. Secrets lurk in Merion’s bloodline.

Secrets that will redefine him.

Affiliate Link

Heart of Stone

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

Affiliate Link

Binti #2: Home

Home (Binti, #2)
Affiliate Link

Home is the continuation of the Binti series. Binti has been at Oomza for over a year, and she has managed to make somewhat acquaintances with the Meduse Okwu. Now, Binti must travel to her home town and go on a pilgrimage with her people. She brings Okwu to her home planet to meet her people, and she struggles to find her place as a foreigner in a place that she once called home.

Okorafor does include some thoughts of Binti having panic attacks and having to go to a counselor because of the attack on the ship a year ago, but I felt like Binti and the world still don’t care about what happened on that ship! Okwu is allowed at the school as some sort of exchange student, and no one ever really questions him. He was on the ship when the attack occurred, but no one is even put in jail for killing all of those innocent students. Sure, they wanted the chief’s stinger, but surely there could have been a more peaceful way of getting it back rather than killing a ship full of students and then keeping one hostage as an ambassador. I don’t understand how they just forgave the Meduse for this and just moved to allow them into the school so easily. How are they explaining this to the parents of the children who were killed? Nothing makes sense.

On top of that, did you know Binti has turned half Meduse? Because I sure didn’t! It came as a complete shock to me when all of a sudden, her hair was some sort of tentacles. And the book doesn’t even discuss her hating herself for becoming (at least partially) one of the killers that had taken so many lives. It would have been interesting banter, but it isn’t even discussed. Clearly, she doesn’t view the Meduse as her equal though, as she repeatedly calls Okwu an “it” throughout the book. It would make sense if Okwu was called “them” for being gender non-binary, but it? IT? Okwu is clearly a sentient being worth more than just the pronoun it. So, I call Okwu he in this review and in my head as that is how other characters refer to him in the book.

It is so disappointing when Binti meets her family. I wasn’t expecting her to be welcomed home with open arms, but they are outright cruel to her at times. It’s like everyone has forgotten that she totally could have died in the previous book with the rest of the kids on that ship. Speaking of the ship, the ship is alive. Again, would have been interesting to see how a living creature would feel about having hundreds of students killed inside her own body, but that isn’t discussed either.

Overall, I would not recommend this trilogy. I am going to read the last book, but then I am not going to read it again most likely. I wanted so badly to enjoy it, but I simply cannot, unfortunately.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

BBN_BOOK

The Gate Trilogy #2: The Nowhere Gate Review

The Nowhere Gate (The Gate Trilogy Book 2)
Affiliate Link

The Nowhere Gate by K.T. Munson is the sequel to the Sixth Gate. It follows Elisabeth and Ki from the previous novel and continues with the events after that novel. Nanette and Ethan are getting closer every day, but the is the species issue with Nanette being human and Ethan not. Ethan has to protect Nanette with his life, but Nanette wants to help him on his fight as well. Ki has landed on a strange planet and doesn’t know how to get home, and others are telling Elisabeth to give up on him but she refuses to do so.

This book suffers from some of the same issues that the previous installment did, one of them being the POV switches. I struggled for the first 100 pages or so of this novel, trying to figure out who was who and what exactly was going on. After the first 100 pages, the story starts to truly come together and I became more invested dint he individual characters.

Most of my favorite parts of this story have to do with spoilers, so I am just going to say that the last 100 pages were absolutely action-packed and were what made me sure that I wanted to read the final installment of the series when it eventually comes out. One of my favorite non-spoiler parts of the novel was the romance between Nanette and Ethan. I loved seeing how they grew together, but they weren’t so impulsive as to put one another in danger like many other book couples that I read about. Instead, they had each other’s best interests at heart, and were truly ready to wait.

The jail scenes were also pretty intense. I have to say, K.T. Munson does not shy away from having a few more graphic action scenes. Nothing so much that I would physically cringe and want to stop reading, but enough to keep me on the edge of my seat to see what could happen next to one of the characters. I couldn’t stop reading!

Overall, this was another great installment in this series. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new upper YA or NA fantasy novel with a nice side of romance to enjoy.

I received a copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

BBN_BOOKBBN_BOOKBBN_BOOKBBN_BOOK

Born Of Fire Blog Tour Plus Review


Rina Z. Neiman’s

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR

OF

Born Under Fire

Tour Begins May 20th

Born Under Fire
Affiliate Link

Book Summary

Born Under Fire is a historical novel that tells the story of a girl coming of age and her drive to excel despite the devastating effects of long-term war. Born in Jerusalem under British rule in 1928, Shula grows up in a world in turmoil as Hitler rises to power and nations enter into war. Amid a landscape of ancient stone ruins next to modern Bauhaus architecture, and desert scrub ending at newly verdant farmlands, Shula grows into her independence as the State of Israel is born. Based on historical documents and events, Born Under Fire is also about the context surrounding the founding of the State of Israel, as well as the horrors and dangers of growing up in a conflict zone. Shula battles grief and depression due to the shattering events affecting her, her family, and the entire world. Despite this struggle, her resilient spirit enables her to reach great heights as a concert pianist..

Born Under Fire is now available to purchase on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Thrift Books.

Praise for Born Under Fire

Born of Fire by Rina Z. Neiman is a historical fiction coming-of-age story about a young Jewish girl named Shula growing up during the founding of the State of Israel. Jewish people are being targeted throughout the world, and soon her hometown of Jerusalem is not even safe. Shula just wants to be able to live peacefully with her family, especially her best friend and older brother Avraham, but he wants to go off to be in the first Jewish Air Force. When her town starts being bombed, her family realizes nowhere is safe. Shula tries to make the best of this horrible situation by continuing to pursue her dream of being a concert pianist.

I didn’t know anything about this war between Arabs and Jewish people in Jerusalem and Israel, and so I came into this book completely blind. This book can be a bit confusing when explaining events, as everything is told from the POV of Shula. When the adults hide things from the children in order to not scare them, the reader doesn’t know the complete story behind what is going on either. I wish that there had been at least one or two adult POVs in the story so that I could have learned the truth behind some of the events going on in that time of history.

I loved that Shula was not some lovesick young teenaged girl. There was a love interest in this story, but he was not the main focus at all. He wasn’t even involved in the story for quite a few chapters. This was Shula’s story about her family and her dreams, and it was not hijacked by any random love interests. I also loved Shula’s parents. They were so selfless in the name of their children. When Shula wanted to learn how to play piano, they made sure that she got a piano and piano lessons. They wanted to give their children their best lives even though they were quite literally living in a warzone.

Even though this novel was historical fiction, I felt as if the characters were real by the time I got to the end. I wanted to learn more about their lovies after the novel ended, I wish that there was a sequel to this book!

I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for an emotional and realistic historical fiction novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

BBN_BOOKBBN_BOOKBBN_BOOKBBN_BOOK

“I went to high school in Israel in the late 50’s and heard many personal stories about the early years and the struggle for independence. Your book makes these years really come alive. Also, most of my relatives’ tales were set in Kibbutzim and rural Palestine. Your book describes life in Tel Aviv as just as heroic. Lastly, I share your mother’s love for Yemenite embroidery and am happy that your book calls attention to this beautiful art form.” 

Vita Hollander

“This lovely coming of age story provides a view into the challenges, conflicts and dilemmas facing the European Jews fleeing Hitler’s reach and trying to make Palestine their home. It pulls no punches and honestly acknowledges the dilemmas posed by the creation of this new country, but as it tells the story from the eyes of a young girl, we see those intricacies as she would have seen them, allowing the reader an understanding not only of historical events that readers may not be aware of (the proposed partition, the ethical dilemma posed by Jewish terrorist groups, etc.) but also of the emotional journey of these refugees and their children. This story is an important reminder of the effects of war and provides a critical piece of history necessary for understanding the world today.”

Nima M. Vincent via Amazon.com, 5 out of 5 star review

This story drew me in from the very first page. The vivid descriptions of smell, sights and taste, longing, disappointment and joy, evoked real emotion and made me wish I were sitting at the kitchen table with Shula and her aunts. I appreciated the many history lessons tucked into the adventures, and was relieved to discover details about this time period without being burdened by the author’s politics.”

Lisa Fliegel via Amazon.com, 5 out of 5 star review

About the Author, Rina Z. Neiman

Rina Z. Neiman is a writer, event producer and public relations professional. Born Under Fire is based on the true story of her mother, Shulamit Dubno Neiman, a Sabra, a musician and one of the first generation of modern-day Israelis. Rina lives in Marin County, California with her husband and son. This is her first novel.

You may find out more about the author and her book by visiting the website https://www.bornunderfire.com/. Also, you may find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

— Blog Tour Dates

May 20th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin! So, grab your coffee and join us today as we celebrate the launch of Rina Z. Neiman’s book BornUnder Fire. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

May 21st @ Karen Brown Tyson Blog

Make sure you stop by Karen’s blog today where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how to manage time and distractions during the book writing process. If you are writing a book – or thinking about writing one – this one is a post you don’t want to miss!

May 22nd @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog today where you can read her review about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

May 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where you can read the author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about why researching primary sources is so effective.

May 23rd @ Bri’s Book Nook

Looking for a new book? Make sure to stop by Bri’s Book Nook and find out why you need to add Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire to your reading list.

May 24th @ One Sister’s Journey

Today is a can’t miss review by Lisa over at One Sister’s Journey blog. She’s sharing her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

May 26th @ Reading Whale

You won’t want to miss today’s stop at the blog Reading Whale where you can read this Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about when you can finally start writing your book after all that research.

May 27th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf

Fill your bookshelf with good books! Stop by Veronica’s blog and read author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about writing biographical fiction and when to dramatize real events.

May 28th @ Helen Hollick’s World of Books

Join Helen Hollick’s Tuesday Talk over at her blog and read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how videos can reinforce your historical novel.

May 28th @ Book Collab Blog

Make sure you stop by Morgan’s blog Book Collab where you can find out what she has to say about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

May 29th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

If you love historical fiction, make sure you visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he features author Rina Z. Neiman’s blog post about how she researched her historical fiction novel Born Under Fire. You won’t want to miss this!

May 31st @ Jess Reading Blog

Are you interested in writing history for young adults? If you are, you will absolutely want to visit Jess’ blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman talks about writing history for young adults and what grabs them and what loses them.

June 1st @ The World of My Imagination

Come by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire and enter to win a copy of the book.

June 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Can’t resist a good book? Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog today when he reviews Rina Z. Neiman’s incredible historical fiction book BornUnder Fire.

June 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Looking for your next great read? Make sure you stop by Bev’s blog today and catch her opinion on this fascinating historical fiction novel Born Under Fire.

June 4th @ Amanda Diaries

Today’s stop is at Amanda’s blog where you can read what she thinks about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire. 

June 5th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog today where you can not only read her review of Born Under Fire but also enter to win a copy of the book!

June 7th @ Bookworm Blog

Feeling bookish today? Make sure you stop by Anjanette’s Bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s powerful historical fiction book Born Under Fire plus read an interview with the author.

June 8th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Today’s tour stop is a fantastic guest post written by author Rina Z. Neiman about how to make stories interactive. A must-read for all the writers out there!

June 9th @ Jess Bookish Life

Need a new book in your life? Stop by Jess’ blog today where she shares her opinion about the historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

June 10th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Are you doing research for your novel? Make sure you visit Bev’s blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman is talking about top 5 ways to research secondary sources.

June 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Get to know author Rina Z. Neiman at today’s stop over at author Anthony Avina’s blog where he interviews the author.

June 14th @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog today and read a guest post by the author who talks about making your story interactive and why adding music is so effective.

June 15th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog at Strength 4 Spouses where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about the importance of writing during deployment.

June 17th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog over at 12 Books and find out her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

June 21st @ Choices Blog

Interviewing someone for your book? Make sure you visit Madeline Sharples’ blog today where Rina Z. Neiman talks about how to conduct interviews with people who are (and who are not) willing to talk with you.

June 23rd @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog

Need a new book? Make sure you stop by Wendi’s blog where she reviews Born Under Fire by Rina Z. Neiman.