close

The Qwillery | category: reviews

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

SPFBO 5 Semi-Finalist Review - Lykaia by Sharon Van Orman


The Qwillery is pleased to announce our third Semi-Finalist: Lykaia by Sharon Van Orman.


This also means that the following books have been eliminated:

Heart of Dragons (Chronicles of Pelenor 1) by Meg Cowley;

The Pact by Adam Craig;

Bloodlight by Edward Nile;

Litany of Wrath by Levi Pfeiffer;

and

A Time of Turmoil (In the Eye of the Dragon 1) by N. M. Zoltack.



Lykaia
Sophia Katsaros 1
Lir Press, March 7, 2015
Kindle eBook and Trade Paperback, 292 pages

SPFBO 5 Semi-Finalist Review - Lykaia by Sharon Van Orman
"We are the terrors that hunt the night.And we have never been human"

In Greek mythology there’s a story of King Lykaonas of Arcadia and his fifty sons who were cursed by the father of the gods, Zeus, to become wolves. The very first Lycanthropes. Forensic pathologist, Sophia Katsaros, receives a cryptic phone call from Greece telling her that her brothers are missing and leaves to search for them. With the help of Illyanna, her brother’s girlfriend, Sophia examines the evidence but cannot accept a bizarre possibility: Has one or both of her brothers been transformed during the Lykaia, the ceremony where Man is said to become Wolf? Who is Marcus, a dark stranger that both repels and excites her? And what is the real story behind the 5000 year old curse of King Lykaonas?


Jenn's Review:

Lykaia is the first installment of the Sophia Katsaros fantasy series by Sharon Van Orman, and is the story of Dr. Sophia Katsaros, or Dr Kat as she is often called, and her search for her two missing brothers, Dimitri and Ciro. This search takes her from her job as a forensic scientist in America all the way to the homeland of her ancestors, Greece. Along the way Sophia discovers things about the world and about her family that she never could have imagined possible, things that challenge her belief in reality and go against everything she knows as a scientist.

The main plot of the story is Sophia’s search for her two missing brothers, but she quickly discovers that this might not be an ordinary missing persons case, that her brothers may have in fact have been taken or even killed by something that she can’t fathom, something that makes no sense to her as a serious and methodical doctor. Her brothers may be involved with werewolves. Sophia delves into local werewolf lore scientifically as she tries to disprove what her senses are telling her is true. She meets various characters that either helps or hinder her in her search for the truth. Most notably Illyanna, a girl her brother Ciro seems to have been involved with, and Meleanus, a strikingly handsome and extremely mysterious local resident.

The story alternates between present time and the distant past, showing the reader glimpses of how werewolves may have come to be and what this might have to do with the brothers disappearance. This is done in a way that is cohesive and organic. The characters are easy to relate too and exchange thoughtful and realistic dialogue. The pace of the story moves well, building to an epic cliff hanger at the end. Normally I am not a huge fan of book cliff hangers unless very well done, but in this instance it was wonderfully done, and definitely leaves the reading wanting to rush to read the second book in the series.

Lykaia is a fun and fast paced fantasy that any fan of werewolf stories can enjoy. I for one have already gotten the sequel, Erato, and am very happy that I did. The story continues exactly where Lykaia left off and instantly captures the reader’s interest, and is a wonderful novel in itself.

SPFBO Finalist Review: Orconomics by J.Zachary Pike


Orconomics
The Dark Profit Saga 1
Gnomish Press, November 22, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 389 pages

SPFBO Finalist Review: Orconomics by J.Zachary Pike
A disgraced Dwarven hero. A band of deadbeat adventurers. His last shot at redemption could get him killed.

If Gorm Ingerson really wanted to drink himself to death, he never should have helped the Goblin. When his good deed lands him in a bad contract, Gorm finds himself entangled in a quest that will pit him against business magnates, the king of the Freedlands, and a mad goddess trying to fulfill a suicidal prophecy.

But Gorm’s tarnished circumstances may be hiding a golden opportunity. If he and his half-baked party can overcome deep conspiracies and dark magics, he just might redeem himself and his career enough to be a professional hero once more.

Orconomics: A Satire is the first book in The Dark Profit Saga, a trilogy so funny it’s epic. If you like down-and-out heroes, sidesplitting misadventures, and ingenious world-building, then you’ll love J. Zachary Pike’s dark and delightful ribbing of high fantasy.

Buy Orconomics to join the campaign for a high-energy, hilarious fantasy adventure today!



Melanie's Review

Are goblins ruining your crops? Wyrm nesting in your shrubbery? You found a map to buried treasure but don't have time to find it? Look no further than the Hero's Guild to solve all your problems and to turn a tidy profit in the process. In Arth, speculating on the success of a hero's quest is big business. The success of your business and your shareholders can all depend on the heroics of a single individual. Gorm, used to be the best of the best, a dwarven hero with no rival until a job went bad and he lost his reputation, his clan and his livelihood. When he is offered the opportunity to redeem his fortunes he can't really say no....well the gun held to his head helped make that decision. The next thing he knows Gorm is joined but a motley crew of misfits, all of who have something to prove and something to gain. Orconomics is well and truly an epic adventure with heroes and villains galore, a tale of self discovery and a cracking good mystery to boot.

Orconomics has restored my faith in self-published fantasy. I absolutely loved this book. It was funny, the plot was original and the characters were well developed. When I describe this book as an epic I am not kidding, it really is. It took me ages to get through so many pages. It can be really challenging for me to stay interested in a book that is as long as Orconomics but Pike kept a solid pace that mixed action, adventure and storytelling.

Gorm Ingerson, this story's hero, has a great group of characters to interact with. Gorm is supported by a cast of characters that could only be described as supporting cast in your favourite dungeons and dragons-esque video game. The story is largely told from Gorm's POV, however, there are a few chapters where the story is told from other perspectives which all help to enrich the plot. While I am sure that many readers loved Gorm's goblin companion, Gleebek, it was actually the ogre Thane and his unrequited love that made me giggle the most. I feel that I need to warn you not to get attached to any character as Pike doesn't play it safe with his characters.

Hats off to Pike as he has written a truly original story that is drenched in sarcasm and wit. I never quite knew what would happen next which made Orconomics a real page turner. I can hardly wait to find out what happens next to Gorm and his friends. I loved this booked so much that I could easily give it a 9 out of 10. If you like fantasy, have a sense of humour and need a nice meaty read then be sure to get Orconomics on your TBR.

9 out of 10

SPFBO Finalist Review: Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc


Out of Nowhere
Immortal Vagabond Healer 1
Ink and Bourbon Publishing, July 2016
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 294 pages

SPFBO Finalist Review: Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc
An urban fantasy, pacy, funny and compelling to the last page…

Healer Sean Danet is immortal—a fact he has cloaked for centuries, behind enemy lines and now a paramedic’s uniform. Having forgotten most of his distant past, he has finally found peace—and love.

But there are some things you cannot escape, however much distance you put behind you.

When Sean heals the wrong man, he uncovers a lethal enemy who holds all the cards. And this time he can’t run. It’s time to stand and fight, for himself, for his friends, for the woman he loves. It’s time, finally, for Sean to face his past—and choose a future.

A story of love, of battle—and of facing your true self when there’s nowhere left to hide.



Deb's Review

Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc lies somewhere in the borderlands of contemporary fantasy and urban fantasy. It may also appeal to those who enjoy military history and medical procedurals. The story is, in almost every sense, a mixed bag.

Sean Danet is an immortal with extraordinary healing powers. Working as a paramedic, he quietly uses his gifts to lessen the severity of his patients’ injuries before they arrive at the hospital. A long life stretches out behind him, but his memories are murky. He doesn’t know his origins, has no family, and lives the life of a common man, populated only by his ambulance crew friends and the “world’s oldest cat.” What Danet does remember about his past is that he’s lived his life as a soldier, under siege, and constantly running from the truth. Knowing that people fear what they can’t understand, he keeps his powers a secret. Everything changes when one patient reacts oddly to Danet’s subtle assistance. After this chance meeting, Danet must figure out who this stranger is, and then decide whether to run again, or stay and fight for the life he’s built.

LeClerc engages the reader with colorful tales of a city riddled with drugs and crime, all told in an authoritative voice. He spares little detail of the physical and emotional suffering surrounding rescue medicine, and the magical elements of the story benefit greatly from LeClerc’s expertise. Danet is believable as a healer.

This is a quick read with characters always in motion. That said, the first half of the book, while filled with interesting vignettes that set the scene and round out our hero, does little to advance the plot. The second half is packed with action and twists, but there are weaknesses in how the main conflict is delivered, and this sometimes slows the story’s pacing. The fight scenes are intricately choreographed and told in rapid-fire fashion to great effect.

While there’s a lot of good in Out of Nowhere, there were problems with the characters that undercut its strengths. While the majority of the dialogue is natural and carries the story, the banter between the paramedic crew members is cringeworthy and feels like it’s straining for laughs. The main characters present as racist, sexist, homophobic, and often disdainful of other first responders and the people they all serve. I’d expect dark and biting humor from people who work in this field, but the casually intolerant language makes it hard to relate to most of the characters.

Additionally, Danet’s repeated objectification of female co-workers makes the rapidly developed love interest feel more like a plot device than a romantic epiphany. I would expect a man who has the capacity to feel love — one who has has lived for centuries bathed in blood and battle — to have developed a more empathetic and mature worldview. With his schoolboy attitudes, anything more substantial than a fling would’ve been more believable as a slow burn.

Out of Nowhere is the first book in LeClerc’s Immortal Vagabond Healer series, which feels like a fresh and exciting concept, but this first installment suffers too much from underdeveloped characters and a reliance on cheap, offensive laughs. LeClerc clearly has the skill, the background, and the imagination to tell compelling stories, so perhaps the characters will evolve across the series in a more positive direction. Sexual situations and graphic depictions of violence make this an adult read.

5 out of 10

Review: Beyond the Pool of Stars and Through the Gate in the Sea by Howard Andrew Jones


Beyond the Pool of Stars
Author:  Howard Andrew Jones
Series:  Pathfinder Tales29
Publisher:  Tor Books, October 6, 2015
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
List Price:  US$22.99 (print); US$7.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780765374530 (print); 9781466842656 (eBook)

Review: Beyond the Pool of Stars and Through the Gate in the Sea by Howard Andrew Jones
Mirian Raas comes from a long line of salvagers, adventurers who use magic to dive for sunken ships off the coast of tropical Sargava. When her father dies, Mirian has to take over his last job: a dangerous expedition into deep jungle pools, helping a tribe of lizardfolk reclaim the lost treasures of their people. Yet this isn't any ordinary job, as the same colonial government that looks down on Mirian for her half-native heritage has an interest in the treasure, and the survival of the entire nation may depend on the outcome...

From critically acclaimed author Howard Andrew Jones comes a fantastical adventure of deep-water danger and unlikely alliances in Pathfinder Tales: Beyond the Pool of Stars, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Role playing Game.



Through the Gate in the Sea
Author:  Howard Andrew Jones
Series:  Pathfinder Tales 37
Publisher:  Tor Books, February 21, 2017
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
List Price:  US$14.99 (print); US$9.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780765384386 (print);  9780765384393 (eBook)

Review: Beyond the Pool of Stars and Through the Gate in the Sea by Howard Andrew Jones
Deepwater salvager Mirian Raas and her bold crew may have bought their nation’s freedom with a hoard of lost lizardfolk treasure, but their troubles are only just beginning in this sequel to Beyond the Pool of Stars.
 
When Mirian’s new lizardfolk companions, long believed to be the last of their tribe, discover hints that their people may yet survive on a magical island, the crew of the Daughter of the Mist is only too happy to help them venture into uncharted waters. Yet the perilous sea isn’t the only danger, as the devil-worshiping empire of Cheliax hasn’t forgotten its defeat at Mirian’s hands, and far in the east, an ancient, undead child-king has set his sights on the magical artifact that’s kept the lost lizardfolk city safe all these centuries.

Pathfinder is the world's bestselling tabletop role-playing game—now adapted as a series of novels.




Branningan's Thoughts

Howard Andrew Jones is an inventive and talented author that has created sea and land-based fantasy adventures. Beyond the Pool of Stars and Through the Gate in the Sea are two stand-alone novels that share the same cast of characters. If you’d like to read them in order start with the Beyond the Pool of Stars, but truly you can read either book in any order.

Mirian Raas is the protagonist for both books. Mirian grew up in a family of underwater ship scavengers. With her inherited magical items that give her some awesome powers, she leads a life of adventure fighting off pirates and monsters with her crew on the ship Daughter of the Mist.

In Beyond the Pool of Stars, Mirian’s father dies, leaving her to finish his last job reclaiming a treasure that has the potential to leave two group of civilizations at war. This one kept me on my toes through the entire read. It’s full of adventure and exotic locations. I have to say that I’ve never read a book with underwater treasure hunting before and I really enjoyed experiencing something new. It’s rare these day to be surprised by stories.

Jones continues to expand on the adventures stories in Through the Gate in the Sea. This time, Mirian Raas picks up a new Lizardfolk crew member and helps him seek out the long lost homeland that has captured the attention of an undead ruler.

The best thing about Jones’s style is that it reminds me of a modern-day pulp writer, which for me is the highest of compliments. I love the quick pace of the story, the nonstop action, and imaginative cast of characters and storyline. I never got bored and I was left wanting just a few more chapters. I’d recommend either book to any fantasy reader. There is nothing in the content of either story that would keep me from recommending it to Teens to Adults.


On a Completely Separate Side Note: This will be my last review of new to current books. I’ve loved the last six years of reviewing books for The Qwillery, but now that my children are getting older, my free time is dwindling. I will, however, be submitting RetroReviews from time to time, so I hope you’ll keep your eyes out for those. Thank you for your support and keep reading.

Review: Dark Sky and Dark Deeds by Mike Brooks


Dark Sky
Author:  Mike Brooks
Series:  Keiko 2
Publisher:  Saga Press, July 11, 2017
Format:  Trade Paperback, Hardcover and eBook
List Price: US$16.99 (Trade Paperback); US$26.99 (Hardcover);
     US$7.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781481459563 (Trade Paperback); 9781481459570 (Hardcover);
     9781481459587 (eBook)

Review: Dark Sky and Dark Deeds by Mike Brooks
In the sequel to the thrilling Dark Run, which Publishers Weekly called “a terrific debut,” Ichabod Drift and his crew sign on for a new smuggling job that soon goes south when they are separated and caught up in a dangerous civil war.

When Ichabod Drift and the Keiko crew sign on for a new smuggling job to a mining planet, they don’t realize what they are up against. The miners, badly treated for years by the corporation, are staging a rebellion. Split into two groups, one with the authorities and one with the rebels, Drift and his crew support their respective sides in the conflict. But when they are cut off from each other due to a communication blackout, both halves of the crew don’t realize that they have begun fighting themselves…



Dark Deeds
Author: Mike Brooks
Series:  Keiko 3
Publisher:  Saga Press, November 14, 2017
Format:  Trade Paperback, Hardcover and eBook
List Price:  US$16.99 (Trade Paperback); US$27.99 (Hardcover);
     US$7.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781534405448 (Trade Paperback); 9781534405455 (Hardcover);
     9781534405462 (eBook)

Review: Dark Sky and Dark Deeds by Mike Brooks
In the third book of the “entertaining” (Kirkus Reveiws) Keiko series, Captain Ichabod Drift and his crew find themselves in another mess as a ship-wide vacation leads to their second-in-command taken hostage by the planet’s criminal mastermind.

After the riotous civil war in Dark Sky, the crew of the Keiko decides to go on vacation at an illegal gambling port for a little fun. What they don’t realize is that the casinos are run by an ex-client who didn’t get his shipment due to the war. The mob boss decides to take Tamara Rourke, the Keiko’s second-in-command, and hold her hostage until the crew raises enough money to pay him back for the lost shipment. If they don’t pay up in time, Rourke will be killed.

Captain Ichabod Drift and his crew agree. But as they find a way to get the funds, one will betray everyone and one will die…



Brannigan's Review

It’s impossible for a layman not to compare Mike Brooks’s Keiko series to the much beloved Firefly series by Joss Whedon. It’s a space western. For those of us who are more familiar with this type of subgenre within Science Fiction, we don’t immediately start comparing the two, but if you’re a fan of one there’s a very good chance you’ll really enjoy the other.

I received both Dark Sky and Dark Deeds together so it only makes sense in my mind to review them together. Personally, I never enjoy jumping into a series with book 2, but as a reviewer I find it useful as it immediately shows how much care the author takes to put the reader at ease if they haven’t read book 1. Brooks does a wonderful job of introducing the reader to his characters right from the start. Captain Ichabod Drift and Second-in-command Tamara Rourke have an immediate connection that draws you in, as well as the rest of the crew on the ship Keiko: Apirana Wahawaha, Jia and Kuai Chang, and Jenna McIlroy. Brooks does an awesome job of making sure the Keiko has enough diversity that it keeps everyone from merging into cutouts.

Captain Drift used to be a pirate, but has now moved on to being a smuggler. It was while being hired for a job that they find themselves on a planet on the brink of civil war in Dark Sky. I really enjoyed the fact that instead of having Drift and his crew take on the big bad corporation, he actually finds a way for the crew to split up and unknowingly take both sides, which leads to some great conflict. In Dark Deeds, we see the crew being punished for failing to finish the job they were given in book 2 by Sergei Orlov. Tamara Rourke is held hostage until Drift and his crew pay their debt. One again things don’t go as planned.

The best parts of this series are Brooks’s worldbuilding and character development. The plot points weren’t as interesting to me as much as how the characters interacted and dealt with the struggles. They were far more engaging. This can be a very long lived series if Brooks wants it to be, just because he’s created a crew that is fun to spend time with.

The worst parts of this series is when Brooks gets lost in the stereotypical locations and villains. There were too many salons and fist fights for my liking. Just because it’s a Space Western doesn’t mean we have to spend all our time in saloons and brothels. It’s just been done too much. The villains were too predictable and frankly not as fun to spend time with as the crew.

Mike Brook’s Dark Sky and Dark Deeds are the type of Space Western you want to read and really get to know and love the crew. I truly hope Mike Brooks keeps the series going for years to come. There is Violence, some Language and Adult Situations. I would recommend it to older teens and adults. This series is perfect for those of you who enjoy a little YeeHaw! in their Sci-Fi.

The Snowflake Blog Tour - Excerpt From and Review of Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant


The Snowflake Blog Tour - Excerpt From and Review of Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant


      The following scene from Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant is where Lori first meets Ashbert. She doesn’t yet realise that he’s the man she has accidentally brought to life from a collage that she made as a teenager. We join Lori as she has been baking with her friend Cookie...


      Cookie took the bread out of the oven while I wafted smoke away from the smoke detector in the ceiling. The bread had overcooked a bit while we were putting out the fire, but my stomach still rumbled. The burning smell was unpleasantly sharp and acrid, but it was hard to tell if it was from the bread or the fire in the lounge.
      Cookie tapped the base of the loaf. “You can tell when bread is cooked because it will sound hollow when you do this,” she said.
      It didn’t sound hollow, it sounded dead and solid. I took it off her wordlessly and banged it on the counter to see if it made a better sound, but I was a bit worried that we might shatter the granite.
      “The road of trials is littered with obstacles,” she said with a frown.
      “And rock-hard loaves,” I said.
      “I need to think on this.”
      Cookie took herself into the lounge. I placed the loaf on a plate, found a long, serrated knife and attempted to cut a slice. Five minutes sawing produced a lot of shard-like crumbs but made virtually no impact on the bread. I tried to break the loaf with my hands, but I just wasn’t strong enough.
      Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry anymore.
      I went through to the lounge. It turned out that having a think meant passing out on the settee. A joint burned in Cookie’s right hand and a glass of raki lolled toward the cushions in her left. I tutted slightly and took them off her, keeping them well apart to avoid igniting the powerful spirits.
      I was wondering whether it was worth trying the bread again when I heard a sound. It was a light creak, coming from outside. I crept over to the window and looked out into the rear yard of the building.
      It was a naked man.
      Definitely a man and definitely naked, his body pale and golden in the streetlights from the next road over. And he was coming up the fire escape.
      I went into the kitchen to look out of the window, turning out the lights as I entered to improve my   view of what was outside. Was the naked guy returning to one of the other flats? Why was he naked? In the moments that it took me to get to the kitchen window he’d disappeared. He’d either climbed up to the next floor, gone down to the ground, or entered the building. I swallowed hard as I realised that the most likely explanation for him vanishing so quickly was that he’d entered the building somewhere.
      The lounge window was open. I had left it open. I had stupidly left the lounge window open. Was he inside the flat? This flat? My flat? I crept back to the door to the lounge and put my ear to it. I could definitely hear some sort of movement. I willed myself not to panic, took out my phone, dialled 999 but didn’t yet press the call button. Cookie was asleep in the lounge. If a crazed naked man was in there, she was in danger. It didn’t really cross my mind that it might be a sane naked man. I’m not sure there are such things.
      I risked opening the door a crack.
      Oh, God! He was there! A white and – oh, yeah – definitely naked torso moving slowly across the room.
      I hit the call button and backed away.
      “I think there’s an intruder in my flat,” I said, when I got through. “I mean, I know there’s an intruder in the flat.”
      In a voice that suggested they received naked intruder calls all day long, the operator asked me for the address.
      “Can you get out?” he asked.
      “No, not without going past where they are,” I said.
      “Try to secure yourself or hide,” said the operator.
      “But my friend is in the lounge.”
      “Secure yourself and hide. We’ll be there very shortly.”
      Secure myself and hide? Even if there was somewhere to hide in the kitchen, could I leave Cookie in the clutches of a nude lunatic? Of course not. I crept back to the door and peeked through the gap. The lounge was empty and there was Cookie’s foot poking over the edge of the sofa. I had to go and wake her. But I needed protection.
      I momentarily considered the bread knife but then the headline ‘LOCAL WOMAN SENTENCED TO LIFE FOR UNPROVOKED NUDE STABBING’ flashed through my mind and I thought better of it. A non-lethal bludgeoning weapon would be much better.
Ten seconds later, armed with a rock-hard loaf of bread, I crept into the lounge. No. No naked men lurking in corners. He must have moved on. My limbs shivering with fear, I took hold of Cookie’s knee and tried to shake her awake.
      She gave a small grunt and shifted position.
      “Wake up, damn you,” I hissed.
      There was the sound of something being dropped. The door to the largest bedroom, which opened directly onto the lounge, was open! There! This was an old building with many of the original features, including interior doors with locks and bolts. All I needed to do was to pull the door closed and lock it and the man would be trapped until the police arrived.
      “You can do this,” I told myself.
      I stole quickly across the room and tugged the door shut. The handle rattled from the other side as I turned the key in the lock.
      “You’re trapped now, mofo!” I shouted and turned away from the door.
      And, as I did, I realised I had trapped my onesie in the door. A section of leg material caught in the gap.
      The man started to pound on the door from the other side. I’m not normally one for whimpering but I let out a trembling cry.
      The pounding continued, shaking me with each blow. It was a solid door, but I could hear a splintering sound coming from somewhere. I had to get away. There was only one solution and I had no choice. Down came the zip and I wriggled free. I headed across the room. I hadn’t gone two steps when the door gave way and the man burst through like that man with the axe in that film. You know the one. I turned to him with my only weapon: the remains of the indestructible loaf I let out a primal roar of pure, bear-flattening rage and swung the loaf with all my might at the attacker’s head.
      The bread connected with his head with deadly, bone-shattering force and he dropped like a stone. My arm even ached from the impact.
      Two thoughts collided in my mind: the first was that I’d surely killed him. The second was that he looked familiar. Bizarrely familiar.
      The doorbell rang.
      His face was one I’d seen in the very recent past.
      There was a thump at the door.
      “Police! Open up!”
      In fact, his face was my own creation. Robert Pattinson’s eyes. Ashton Kutcher’s smile. Channing Tatum’s jawline. He was the man from the picture I had made as a teenager. He was teen Lori’s dream man, so very recently cast into the fire.





Snowflake
Authors:  Heide Goody and Iain Grant
Publisher:  Pigeon Park Press, July 20, 2018
Format:  Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  US$12.99 (print); US$4.59 (Kindle eBook)
ISBN:  9780995749764 (print);  ASIN:  B07F3X4XF2 (Kindle eBook)

The Snowflake Blog Tour - Excerpt From and Review of Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant
Lori Belkin has been dumped. By her parents.

They moved out while she was away on holiday, and now, at the tender age of twenty-five, she's been cruelly forced to stand on her own two feet.

While she's getting to grips with basic adulting, Lori magically brings to life the super-sexy man she created from celebrity photos as a teenager.

Lori learns very quickly that having your ideal man is not as satisfying as it ought to be and that being an adult is far harder than it looks.

Snowflake is a story about prehistoric pets, delinquent donkeys and becoming the person you want to be, not the person everyone else expects you to be.


Melanie's Thoughts

Lori arrives back from her holiday in Crete to discover her parents have moved away without telling her. Now she has to go it alone with only her wits and her brother's luxury flat to keep her safe. Little did she realise that a straw goat, mouldering sausage and a bottle of raki weren't the only things she brought back with her. Lori thought it was just a pretty necklace that she bought in a random store in Crete but it turned out it had the power to bring to inanimate objects to life - like the magazine cut out of her ideal man, a long extinct bug, foxes, and so much more. At the tender age of 25 Lori has some serious 'adulting' to do and there is a lot of trouble she can get into the meantime.

Snowflake by the writing duo of Heide Goody and Iain Grant is another lighthearted romp through the trials and tribulations of being a millennial with a magical necklace. Lori's name should be officially changed to Trouble Belkin because, boy, she gets into enough of it. From almost burning down her brother's flat to chasing a donkey through Ikea Lori has more exploits than the normal 20 something. In fact Lori can barely cross the street without triggering a major disaster. Goody and Grant are experts at getting their characters into ridiculous situations and giving them hilarious lines. One specific scene where Lori and her magically created perfect man Ashbert go to the theatre was very amusing, especially the Iron Man reference. There are a number of English 'in jokes' and I am not sure whether you will get all them if you aren't from the UK but it's worth a go.

This is a very good book if you want a lighthearted read or need to be cheered up. My one tiny criticism is that Lori was a bit too ignorant of almost everything and the number of outrageous situations she got herself into was relentless. I felt a bit exhausted when I got to the end of the book.  I feel this situational 'naivety' worked well with Goody and Grant's former prince of darkness Clovenhoof (funniest books ever!) but with Lori she came across too self-involved and borderline inconsiderate. Some of the jokes make up for Lori's personality quirks so if you are looking for something funny, quite kooky and with a happy ending give Snowflake a go.
SPFBO 5 Semi-Finalist Review - Lykaia by Sharon Van OrmanSPFBO Finalist Review: Orconomics by J.Zachary PikeSPFBO Finalist Review: Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClercReview: Beyond the Pool of Stars and Through the Gate in the Sea by Howard Andrew JonesReview: Dark Sky and Dark Deeds by Mike BrooksThe Snowflake Blog Tour - Excerpt From and Review of Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×