Tag Archives: YA

Review of “Rogue Legacy” – Jeffrey L. Kohanek

(Prequel to the fantasy trilogy The Runes of Issalia)

A powerful organization, a dangerous magic, a dark plot…and the girl who stood in the way.

When tragedy strikes, Lyra runs for her life…directly into the hands of fate. Destiny places her at the heart of a plot to overthrow the rulers of Issalia, a plot she must help thwart. Led by a man armed with powerful magic, and joined by a single soldier who wields an enchanted weapon, the three must face the most fearsome army the world has ever known. Even if they survive this epic confrontation, the future is not secure…for the threats surrounding Lyra do not end there. 

History often forgets the details, and sometimes, history forgets the truth. Meet Lyra: an orphan, a thief, a liar, a bard, a warrior, a princess…a rogue. Her story reveals what truly happened hundreds of years before The Runes of Issalia series takes place. Within these pages, resides her legacy.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

You ever have a day that starts out great but quickly turns to hell? Lyra had such a day. It all started when she went out to play Knucklebones (Tali) for a bit of excitement and to gain some coin in her purse.

For those who are unfamiliar with the game, you might know it now as Jacks.

 

Knucklebones

 

Jacks

Anyways, after Lyra left the tense game with Sully, this is where everything takes a dark turn. In a span of two chapters, Lyra saw more death than any one person should. It was in those moments I saw her for whom she really was… a  survivor. She evaded death on numerous occasions. She didn’t break when death seemed to follow her. No, she trained hard. Fought hard. She prevailed. 

And, she did live happily ever after.

Though Cal was the character with magical abilities, Lyra was the one who seemed to possess extraordinary abilities. 

One last thing: I agree with Grandma Jane… “History can be interesting.”

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…

Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to a life below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire’s ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.

As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.

Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, growing into a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.

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Link to my review – 1/07/17

 

 

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As they strive to become Masters within the Ministry, Brock and his friends resume their training at the Academy, an institution founded on magic, science, knowledge, law, and combat. They soon discover an expansive web of conspiracies and deceit within the Ministry, hidden behind a veil of benevolence and piety. The exposure of one of those secrets forces Brock and his friends to flee the institution with their lives in the balance.

Joined by a fierce Tantarri warrior, the group embarks on a quest to locate a mysterious throne that has been lost for centuries. Guided by the cryptic words of an ancient prophecy, and backed by a forbidden magic that they are still learning to wield, they journey across the continent to save humanity from extinction.

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Link to my review – 1/27/17

 

A Long Forgotten Magic That Might Save the World …Or Destroy It

Led by a boy named Brock, a small team of teens urgently assembles a force to confront an army of monsters, one that ravages and destroys anyone or anything in its path.

In a race against time, Brock attempts to train a group of recruits to wield the powerful magic known as Chaos, a magic that he himself is still learning to master. All the while, they must remain vigilant against a secret organization within the Ministry that will do anything to prevent the return of Chaos.

As foretold by an ancient prophecy, the human army must face and defeat their ancient enemy on the Tantarri Plains. For if they fail, all will be lost.

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Link to my review post – 5/18/17

 

 

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Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all.

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Review of “Kingdom of Honor” – Tricia Copeland

Volume 3: (Kingdom Journals)

Jude’s Story

Jude only knows one thing: he must rescue Camille. It doesn’t matter what must be done to save her from the evil coven, he will do it. But once she’s recovered, what will his role be? How does he fit into the trinity’s prophecy? Find out in this urban fantasy adventure novel that finds the Kingdom Journals characters traversing the globe in search of Camille, and the key to breaking an age-old curse.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

Kingdom of Honor, third book in the Kingdom Journals seriespicks up precisely where Kingdom of  Darkness ends: a rescue mission going awry. This lose-lose situation enabled readers to witness Jude’s powers in action. Cloaking, melting metal, invisibility, and telepathy are just a few skills Jude possesses. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, he knows martial arts too. For sure, Tricia created one badass character. The only thing I wish she would’ve created was a spell for easier traveling. That special talent would’ve saved Jude, Camille, Grady, Tyler, Janine, and others much time/aggravation/heartache/etc. However, that probably would’ve shortened the book by 100 pages so…. maybe it’s a good thing it took them a long while to find Camille. 

Speaking of Camille, her character didn’t capture my interest as much as Jude’s role. I can’t exactly tell you why. On the other hand, I was hoping Helene would’ve stuck around. I liked her and saw great potential with her character and contribution to the storyline. 

Now, a Kingdom book wouldn’t be a Kingdom book without a few twists. In the past, we learned who witches were descendants from and NOW….. Tricia discloses some interesting, unique facts about vampires. 

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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READ THE ENTIRE SERIES FROM THE START!  

Volume 1 (Kingdom Journals)

He wouldn’t understand. He didn’t live in a pretend world. In truth, he did. Most beings, pure humans, walked around thinking they were the only type of people that existed.” –Alena

As a creature forbidden by both vampire and witch cultures, Alena is forced hide her identity. Her mother moves them from city to city searching for answers. When Alena finds Hunter everything changes. She believes their bond may be the. But her mother finds Theron, an equally handsome and mysterious suitor. Will the truth of his intentions be uncovered before it is too late? Or will her Mother’s kingdom be reduced to embers?

 

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 Volume 2 (Kingdom Journals)

“… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together.” – Camille Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?

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BUY ALL 3 NOW WITH JUST A CLICK: Kindle Purchase Link (US)  / Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

Kingdom Journals 4 – Hunter’s Story

 

 

Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest, and on her website.

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Author Showcase – Tricia Copeland (Drops of Sunshine) (Spellbound)

With a job as a camp counselor, sixteen-year-old Nina heads to the wilderness for summer break. With her year all she wants is an escape. But some special kids can hear her thoughts and she can’t hide her head in the sand like she planned. Can Nina come to terms with all her swirling emotions? Sometimes all it takes is a drop of sunshine!

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I texted Aiden but it’d been over a week since he’d seen her. He had a knack for reading people and I asked him to check in on her. Eleven days without seeing my big brother started to feel like a long time. I felt a nudge on my mattress and turned my head so see Lily looking up at me.

I pushed up on one elbow. “Hi, Water Flower, what’s up?”

“You miss your brother.” I fought the urge to react. She couldn’t know I’d been thinking about Aiden. Again, she’d made a statement, and I wondered if that was just how she talked.

“Sometimes. Do you have a brother?”

“No.”

“A sister?”

“No, I used to have an imaginary friend.”

“Me, too. What was your friend’s name?”

“Lisa.”

I swung my legs over the end, climbed down, and sat on her bunk. “Want to talk about Lisa.”

“No, I was just thinking you were sad because you miss your mom and brother.”

“Well, don’t worry about me. Being a little sad sometimes is fine. Missing people you love is normal.”

 

 

 

 

REVIEW

There are a couple things that set apart Drops of Sunshine from other teen/young adult books. It’s not the location — summer camp. It’s not the teenage love triangles. It’s not the teenage drama in general. This book differs from other teen stories in the following ways…..

  1. The campers attending Camp Green Lake live life being blind, visually impaired, deaf, near deaf, have down syndrome, etc. Tricia shows the readers that these campers might be “impaired” but they are capable of doing amazing things. Horseback riding, archery, canoeing, nothing stops them from enjoying life and that’s the way it should be. 
  2. The campers have exceptional talents and I’m not referring to their arts and crafts skills. They could read minds and, in doing so, they helped Nina feel less alone — which is usually a role of the counselor. In her sadness and her determination to focus on the camper’s needs above her own, she formed a bound with each extraordinary child. 

 

Now as for Nina, honestly, she wasn’t my favorite character in the world. Really, no particular counselor held my interest more than another. With that said, I am strictly basing my score on the two points above and the uniqueness of the campers and the plot. 

If you are looking for a book for your teenager, pre-teen, then I do suggest adding this one to their reading list. I think they’ll enjoy it. I did and I’m well past my teens. 🙂

 

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Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

 

 

“Drops of Sunshine” can also be found in Spellbound: a young adult paranormal novella collection featuring 5 new YA stories/authors!

 

Part of Your World by L.A. Starkey – When two worlds collide at the edge of the sea in a measure of desperation, a prince will bow before a commoner and a lost soul will finally be found. Part of Your World – Where love is waiting just beyond the edge of what you can see.

Glistens by Chess Desalls – Marian Spritz won’t gain guardian fairy status if she fails her summer school project. But when she hears a call for help—a song felt only by Glistens—she must choose between not letting her schoolwork and teammates suffer and protecting a ward who faces grave danger.

Tethered by Kelly Hall – Life had been simple for vampire Jayden Blackwell until he met the runaway Emmaline Grey. One taste of her blood revealed that not only is she a fledgling vampire on the cusp of her transition, but she’s also his bondmate and the granddaughter of his family’s biggest enemy. Will family feuding keep them apart or is it Jayden who compromised Emma’s survival? 

Drops of Sunshine by Tricia Copeland – Working as lifeguard at a camp for the blind seems like the perfect escape for Nina. But a few perceptive kids can hear her thoughts. Can embracing her truth help her heal and reveal possibilities she never imagined? 

Feathers and Fireflies by Melanie Rodriguez – Seventeen year old Rory of Vanora Village dreams of capturing the sacred summer solstice ritual of the animal shapeshifters with her trusty charcoal and parchment. But with only legends and tales to guide her, she cannot even convince her childhood friend, Lucas, that the ritual is real. On the night Rory follows the fireflies, she gets far more than she bargained for.

 

 

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Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers at any of these fine locations: 

 

Facebook

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Twitter
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Review of “Travel Glasses” – Chess Desalls 🕶️

2016 IAN OUTSTANDING YOUNG ADULT WINNER
2016 NEW YORK BOOK FESTIVAL YOUNG ADULT RUNNER-UP
2016 READERS’ FAVORITE HONORABLE MENTION IN YA MYSTERY

 

Calla Winston’s mobile devices sit in a corner of her room, covered in dust. Weeks ago, she shared photos and laughs with her best online friend. Now, after having felt the sting of betrayal, she prefers being hidden and friendless. She equates privacy with security and technology with pain.

Then she meets Valcas, an otherworldly time traveler who traverses time and space with a pair of altered sunglasses. When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas uses the Travel Glasses to help her escape. He offers his further protection in exchange for a promise. Intrigued by Valcas and the possibility of time travel, Calla accepts. That is until she learns that his search for her was no mere coincidence.

Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her. Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations. The Travel Glasses take Calla’s mistrust of technology to all new levels. But without them, she’ll never make it back home. With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.

The Call to Search Everywhen is a serial series of novel-length installments. Travel Glasses is YA fantasy filled with metafiction and other literary twistiness. It’s a thought-provoking narrative about trust, relationships, reality and illusion.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

Whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, you’ll find yourself captivated by this time travel novel. Unlike cult favorites such as Doctor Who, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and the Back the Future franchise, migrating through the eras has been simplified. Forget the phone booths, the DeLorean, and say hello to teleporting glasses.

Oh, the very notion of donning a pair is enough to ignite a reader’s imagination. Where would you go? What year? Whom would you like to spend a brief moment of time with? If no location were off limits, would you embark on a voyage?

For me, I’m not sure if I would. Not because I wouldn’t want to visit a certain person or location. No, I’d be afraid of changing one small event in history and the ripple event becoming disastrous. In Travel Glasses, there was an organization that policed time and space travel. TSTA was needed to keep the present visitors from disrupting the past.  Violators are held accountable for their blunders. It’s the only way to ensure history is not altered in the slightest bit. Of course, accidents still happen and the toll of traversing through time alters a traveler. Chess Desalls shows the reader the effects the voyages take on a person, mentally and physically.

Science fiction lovers, I do suggest you give Chess Desalls a chance. It’s a book the whole family will love and will be eager to discuss at the dinner table. 

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

 

GET ALL 3 FULL LENGTH NOVELS in the The Call to Search Everywhen series.

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 BONUS NOVELLA 

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Chess Desalls is the author of award-winning young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has been included in academic and industry publications, with a focus on law and technology. She’s also a contributing editor for WritersTalk, South Bay Writers’ monthly newsletter. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

 


Books by Chess Desalls are available at AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo, and more!

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Author Showcase – Tricia Copeland (Kingdom Journals)

Volume 1

He wouldn’t understand. He didn’t live in a pretend world. In truth, he did. Most beings, pure humans, walked around thinking they were the only type of people that existed.” –Alena

As a creature forbidden by both vampire and witch cultures, Alena is forced hide her identity. Her mother moves them from city to city searching for answers. When Alena finds Hunter everything changes. She believes their bond may be the. But her mother finds Theron, an equally handsome and mysterious suitor. Will the truth of his intentions be uncovered before it is too late? Or will her Mother’s kingdom be reduced to embers?

 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

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 Volume 2

“… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together.” – Camille Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

People, of all ages, are fixated on vampires and witches. They are moneymakers for retailers, book stores, movie theaters and add allure to some touristy spots. Admittedly, back in the day, I was addicted to cult favorites such as The Craft (1996), Charmed, BladeBuffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Lost Boys (1987). As a grown up, my love for the paranormal world hasn’t wavered a bit. Truth to be told, I have watched every Harry Potter movie (more than twice), never missed an episode of True Blood, and I always root for the evil witches/sorcerers in fairy tales. 

No doubt about it… People love the supernatural world. The endless possibilities of what if certain magical beings were real and what it would be like to harness their power. For me, I think possessing the ability to levitate, control the elements, mental telepathy, and invisibility would be amazing skills to have in my arsenal. Jude and Camille really did put their newly discovered powers to great use. They were on a mission to save the witches and their respected fathers. 

Before they go on the great adventure, they attend a camp focusing on helping those dealing with mental problems. Before the camp, they each thought they were just two teenagers who were delusional, schizophrenic. When you don’t realize magic is real, how else is your mind supposed to explain the unexplainable?! Visions. Hallucinations. Those are scary things for any person to face — especially a young child/teenager. Tricia Copeland tapped into those fears from a bearer’s perspective and from their family members.  

After Jude and Camille realized they weren’t schizophrenic, really 1/2 witches, that’s when the real magic begins. It’s where readers will be treated to scenes where Jude and Camille learn about their powers and how to master them. We also fear they might be in over their heads.

The ending especially had me on the edge of my seat. It was one helluva cliffhanger. 

In summation: Solid plot, great character development, lovely pace, and great set-up for Kingdom of Honor (book 3). 

Oh and on a final note…. wait until you read whom the witches are descendants from… MIND BLOWN

 

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Released September 6, 2017

Jude’s Story – Jude only knows one thing: he must rescue Camille. It doesn’t matter what must be done to save her from the evil coven, he will do it. But once she’s recovered, what will his role be? How does he fit into the trinity’s prophecy? Find out in this urban fantasy adventure novel that finds the Kingdom Journals characters traversing the globe in search of Camille, and the key to breaking an age-old curse.

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

UK Amazon Link

 

BUY ALL 3 NOW WITH JUST A CLICK: Kindle Purchase Link (US)  / Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

 

Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her website.

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