The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

BLURB~

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she

finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.
To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?”

 

REVIEW~

This story reminded me a bit of a Sleeping Beauty meets Rumpelstiltskin meets The Hazelwood meets Pan’s Labyrinth. Completely mesmerizing, the writing is literally emotive. I was transfixed throughout the entirety of the book. This was a most unusual story for me. The narrative is exquisite and moving. Wees’ prose was nothing short of wondrous, transporting the reader to a world that is highly unique, magical, and descriptive in its detail. So descriptive in fact, that you are spellbound by it.

The plot is beguiling. Told in alternating POV, Rhea’s and the witch’s -it’s hard to describe without giving away any spoilers, but it is just so entrancing that you keep turning page after page, addicted to the story. Utterly fascinating and bewildering at the same time. I suppose you can tell that this one is a MUST READ, IMHO. You won’t be able to fully understand how captivating this dark, fantasy novel is, until you have it in hand, and are reading it for yourself.

The pacing seems slow, but is actually perfect for the story, introducing characters and merging them with perfect timing on the author’s part. The characters are diverse and richly drawn and their humanity makes them relatable. I love the exploration of anxiety the characters feel in this book.

All in all, this is a magnificent tale that is written poignantly and beautifully. I will definitely be reading more from this gifted author. 5/stars.

I was given this eBook by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross

 BLURB~

“A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France–and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . .”

 

REVIEW~

 

This is NOT a Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. In fact, it’s rather dark, IMHO. It is told from the Beasts POV and there is no Belle, in this version, we have Isabaeu. The premise of this book was very intriguing. Especially since Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales.

 

The author’s writing was skillful, with careful attention to detail. The pacing, however, was a bit off for me. It was kind of slow. I did enjoy the book and characters. I like the fact that even Isabaeu had flaws as well as the Beast. I was pleased to read a version of what the Beast might’ve been thinking in this story. I have to say, however, that I was a bit put off with this retelling. It didn’t have antagonist as far as I could guess. Though I found it character driven and written well, I felt it was lacking in some way.

 

Overall, it was enjoyable read, despite the pacing. The author did a wonderful job at giving insight into the possible inner most thoughts of the Beast. I do believe it is worth reading. 3/5 stars.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

Second Star (A Neverland Transmissions Novel Book 1) by J.M. Sullivan

BLURB~

“Wendy Darling worked her entire life to rise through the ranks of the prestigious Londonierre Brigade. Now as a Captain, she has everything she’s always wanted, including a ship and crew of her own. But when the Brigade receives a strange transmission from the legendary James Hooke, lost a hundred years earlier in uncharted space and presumed dead, Wendy is willing to risk it all to rescue her hero. She races to the planet known only as Neverland; her mission to find the long-lost crew and bring them home.

But there is more to Neverland than meets the eye, and more to Hooke than what was written in history books. When Wendy crash lands on the ominous planet, she quickly discovers Neverland’s dark secret; a malevolent being known as The Shadow that’s looking for a host body to escape its eternal prison. To fulfill her mission, Wendy must decide whether to trust the dashing Hooke or the mysterious Fleet mechanic who goes by the name of Pan–and she has to decide quickly…

Before the darkness consumes them all.”

REVIEW~

This novel is an absolutely brilliant take on a beloved childhood classic fairytale. I loved this retelling of Peter Pan. The author’s unique adaptation of carrying the story into the future and into space is sheer genius. I mean, how original is the concept behind this account? Who would have even thought of this??? It’s ridiculous how inventive this version of the tale is. I am rambling. Gushing even. Did I mention that I LOVE this book? I digress.

The author’s creativity is obvious but the writing and word building is wonderful as well. Perfectly paced, the characters and this amazing, adventurous realm were fashioned in such a way that you are completely drawn in. Wendy and Peter have an immediate and intense chemistry that feels tangible. The author wrote them beautifully, with witty banter and a passionate connection. The two bring such energy to the novel. In fact, ALL of the characters were so so so inventively conceived. I want to tell you but I also don’t because I hope for you to be as amusingly surprised as I was at how the familiar characters are reimagined. I will admit that there were a few minor editing errors that were noticed but those didn’t detract from the story at all.

This was such an amazing read. If I say again how much I thoroughly enjoyed it, you may shoot me, but –WOW!  I really did.  This is such a great book y’all. I mean, seriously. You have GOT to read this if you love Peter Pan. Or fairytale retellings. Or space. Or strong & fierce female MCs. And if you don’t love those things. Read it anyway. It’s quick, fun, and delightful. 5/5 stars from this entranced reader.

I was given this eBook by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

BLURB~

“Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin is not destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.”

 

REVIEW~

 

Told from multiple POV, this author uses a unique and different style of writing that, TBH, I found a bit confusing at times. I found myself flipping back to previous pages to try and understand what the heck was going on. That being said, I was completely mesmerized by this story! It is an epic fantasy that I could definitely see being made into a movie, or better yet, a Netflix series or something like that. It is supposed to be the first in a series of five books, I believe. So, there is great potential for propelling the story forward. I can see why it has been compared to Game of Thrones, because of the complexity of the plotline and the many characters. There are so many elements to this tale.

 

The author is a brilliant at description and detail. The writing was striking and powerful. Lyons even includes footnotes and a glossary. The word building was nothing short of magnificent. Lyons’ storytelling style in this book is innovative and distinctive. The quality of writing is absolutely astounding. Jenn Lyons is an extraordinarily gifted and talented author.

 

The flow was hard to follow, and as I mentioned- it was confusing at times. There so many voices and characters that sometimes switch bodies and I was wondering who was actually who sometimes. I caught on easily though. The characters were richly drawn and dynamic. There were humorous exchanges between supporting cast and characters that gave comic relief to the intensity of the novel. The world of the book was immense and vivid. Wondrous even. It was a fascinating storyline that kept me riveted despite the convoluted elements. Definitely interesting enough to be anxious for the next installment. (Oh Jenn, please don’t be a George!)

 

Trigger warning- I don’t’ think this would be a book for younger readers as it has slavery, torture, human sacrifice, rape, and incest. Id go so far as to say this should be considered more adult fiction than YA.

 

This must have been quite the challenge to write, which speaks to the author’s skill IMHO. A quick and enjoyable read, this one packs a punch. There’s a lot story in this relatively short book. It was entertaining with loose endings that keep you begging for answers. I am conflicted about the rating because it was such an amazing read but it WAS very confusing, though I did enjoy getting lost in it. I highly recommend, if you have time to put the pieces together. It is a brilliant and captivating book. 4/5 stars.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

BLURB~

“First in a duology, this darkly thrilling page-turner set in the world of the best-selling His Fair Assassin series is perfect for fans of THRONE OF GLASS, RED QUEEN, and GAME OF THRONES. Told in alternating perspectives, when Sybella discovers there is another trained assassin from St. Mortain’s convent deep undercover in the French court, she must use every skill in her arsenal to navigate the deadly royal politics and find her sister in arms before her time—and that of the newly crowned queen—runs out. 

When Sybella accompanies the Duchess to France, she expects trouble, but she isn’t expecting a deadly trap. Surrounded by enemies both known and unknown, Sybella searches for the undercover assassins from the convent of St. Mortain who were placed in the French court years ago.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she no longer knows who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. When she discovers a hidden prisoner who may be of importance, she takes matters into her own hands.
 
As these two worlds collide, the fate of the Duchess, Brittany, and everything Sybella and Genevieve have come to love hangs in the balance.”

Review~

I hadn’t realized this was a spin-off from a previous trilogy, “His Farr Assassin” until after I’d read this book. I will say it can be understood without having read the trilogy prior, but I AM going to read that series. I am certain it will link back enough to add to this novel. “Courting Darkness” is the first in a duology and I can hardly wait for the next installment!

To me, it seems to be a dark fantasy set within almost-historical fiction. It also has a delicious blend of political intrigue, suspense, and romance. (There is some writing with LGTB characters.) One thing I love best: a strong and bad A female MC. In fact, this book gives us two. This story was wonderful to read.

The quality of writing is masterful. The La Fevers has an intuitive ability to write with detail and description effortlessly. You become immersed in French Court and fearful for the MCs as they traverse their ways through the precarious, very true to life scenes. The author keeps you dangling with this one. Even if delighted from cover to cover.

The characters were constructed in such a way that, even though you know and understand their flaws, you find yourself cheering them on. All of the main players felt genuine and robust despite their misgivings. I love how the author used her superior skills to forge a world in which the reader could see and feel come alive! Robin’s acumen for telling a story is apparent throughout the book.

This was such a relishable novel to read. It was easy to follow, even without having read the previous trilogy. I just wish I had waited to read it until it was closer to time for the next one to be released. Highly recommended with 5/5 stars!

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

Enchantee by Gita Trelease

 BLURB~

Paris is a labyrinth of twisted streets filled with beggars and thieves, revolutionaries and magicians. Camille Durbonne is one of them. She wishes she weren’t…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille must find a way to provide for her younger sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on magic, Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille pursues a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into a baroness and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for magic. As she struggles to reconcile her resentment of the rich with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille meets a handsome young inventor, and begins to believe that love and liberty may both be possible.

But magic has its costs, and soon Camille loses control of her secrets. And when revolution erupts, Camille must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality of magic—before Paris burns.”

 

REVIEW~

 

This historical fiction book is escapism at it’s best! Set in the French Revolution during the early 1790s, this author has managed to capture in writing, what French court must have been like. In college, I‘ve studied the French Revolution with a fair amount of depth and Trelease has succeeded, IMHO, to bring realism to her creativity and has obviously done her research. Historical facts, people (Marie Antoinette, King Louis, and other nobles), and occurrences are interwoven with her story of fantasy and magic. For me, it was such an original piece, and the book was written so very well that I was immersed in it. I didn’t want to stop reading to participate in that intrusive thing they call “real life.” I will admit, that I did have to look up the meaning of some words, but it was not detracting. I wanted to stay within the rich and atmospheric world Gita has given to us through this book. Was this a debut??? Surely, not!

 

The author’s expertise with “the pen” is noted throughout the book. So descriptive and striking, the paranormal was brought in so very adeptly, that it almost seemed a true normality and not at all whimsical. The superb word-building and dedication to the period was absolutely entrancing. Yes, this story has magic, forbidden and ostracized by society, but it also has heart, struggle, intrigue, and sedition. The MC, Camille is a pariah by simply her existing.

 

Speaking of Camille, and the other characters- Sophie, Alain, Lazare, and (OH MY GOSH) our villain, Viconte Seguin! They are adroitly penned and wonderfully captivating. I have to say that the inner struggle Camille goes through is felt profoundly by the reader, and though she makes some poor decisions, you find that you actually empathize with her. She and Lazare are both such a complicated and endearing characters. One of my favorite characters, however, was Viconte Seguin. (hmmmm, what does that say about me?) He was a perfect antagonist in this novel and his presence was brilliantly placed. He was such a, dare I say, gratifying villain?

 

The pacing of the book was sheer genius on Trelease’s part. The building tension of the characters and the revolution- it was all timed so well. This story captures you and you are victim to the author’s imagination throughout the entirety of the tale. (Or is it true?) I digress. I am in love with this book; I can’t deny it. I will gobble up everything this author writes just as if it were the cake Marie said to let the peasants eat.

 

Delightful and engrossing, Enchantee is a clever and immensely enjoyable story. I would very highly recommend this book to any historical fiction/fantasy fan. 5/5 stars from this reader.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

Fallen Mountains by Kimi Cunningham Grant

BLURB~

When Transom Shultz goes missing shortly after returning to his tightly knit hometown of Fallen Mountains, Pennsylvania, his secrets are not the only ones that threaten to emerge. 
 
Something terrible happened seventeen years ago. Red, the sheriff, is haunted by it. Possum, the victim of that crime, wants revenge. Chase, a former friend of Transom’s, is devastated by his treacherous land dealings. And Laney worries her one thoughtless mistake with Transom could shatter everything she’s built.
 
As the search for Transom heats up and the inhabitants’ dark and tangled histories unfold, each must decide whether to live under the brutal weight of the past or try to move beyond it. In Fallen Mountains, even loyalty, love, trust, and family can trap you on a path of tragedy.”

REVIEW~

I live in a town called Cowpens. No joke. So I know small towns and Grant has done a superb job at giving readers a pretty good idea what life is like living in one. The story is told in parts of BEFORE and AFTER Transom’s disappearance. It was an easy to follow and not confusing at all. The quality of her writing is amazing. I would venture to say flawless. Grant spins a tale so realistically, I was blown away. She has a gripping style of drawing you into the story, the characters, and the secrets.

Perfectly paced, she gradually introduces the characters with an approach that connects you to them and each individual arc. You get to know these characters and their backstories in such a way that you feel attached to them. They are flawed, with both favorable and erroneous characteristics, that are realistically portrayed.

Perplexing at times, because there are so many suspects, the plot is one of mystery, suspense, and intrigue. You are kept suspense until the very satisfying end. I read this book and if life hadn’t have gotten in the way I would’ve read it one sitting. It is utterly fascinating. Grant has masterfully developed a novel that will keep the reader wondering and guessing until the conclusion. 5/5

Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

BLURB~

“We live in an age of wonders. Modern medicine has conquered or contained many of the diseases that used to carry children away before their time, reducing mortality and improving health. Vaccination and treatment are widely available, not held in reserve for the chosen few. There are still monsters left to fight, but the old ones, the simple ones, trouble us no more. Or so we thought. For with the reduction in danger comes the erosion of memory, as pandemics fade from memory into story into fairy tale. Those old diseases can’t have been so bad, people say, or we wouldn’t be here to talk about them. They don’t matter. They’re never coming back. How wrong we could be. It begins with a fever. By the time the spots appear, it’s too late: Morris’s disease is loose on the world, and the bodies of the dead begin to pile high in the streets. When its terrible side consequences for the survivors become clear, something must be done, or the dying will never stop. For Dr. Isabella Gauley, whose niece was the first confirmed victim, the route forward is neither clear nor strictly ethical, but it may be the only way to save a world already in crisis. It may be the only way to atone for her part in everything that s happened. She will never be forgiven, not by herself, and not by anyone else. But she can, perhaps, do the right thing. We live in an age of monsters.”

REVIEW~

Oh MY GOSH! That cover! This would be a total cover buy for me. I wouldn’t even read the synopsis. Truly. I’d pick this one up, drop it in the basket, and be on my merry way. This is an …a… I don’t even know what to say. Is there a better word for amazing? It’s a short, but extremely powerful and thought-provoking book. I can’t even begin to explain the complexities of this novel (novella maybe- it is short- only about 130 pages.) But it packs a punch! Right in your gut and in your sense of what you think you’d do in a similar, and may I say, plausible situation.

You have to know that I have been a registered nurse for nearly 10 years, and this story’s plot is within a medical setting. Naturally, I am watching for mistakes. There aren’t any, as far as I could tell. The author did a wonderful job of ensuring that. She is an extremely talented writer with nearly flawless word building skills. She writes in such an evocative way it leaves you stunned.

The basis of the story was exceptional and fascinating. This is an inimitable but convincing tale that draws upon our fears and makes you wonder just how far you’d go to ‘do the right thing.” Just so brilliant. From beginning to end, this book was unwaveringly intense. The ending will catch you so off guard. What a shocker! I read this book in a matter of a few hours and was enthralled the entire time.

The characters were so real. Grant has written them so thoroughly. Their humanity and the array of situations and emotions they go through are just magnificent. I can’t speak highly enough about this character development. These characters feel authentic, like people you could know in reality.

This was a short and splendid read. It is provocative, but easy to read. I highly recommend this to all sci-fi/ medical mystery lovers. 5/5 stars.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

 

All That Wil Burn by Judd Mercer

BLURB~

From the ashes, a legend will rise. Amidst an eternal war between good and evil, headstrong Sofia explores the afterlife in search of her lost past in this illustrated dark fantasy epic. . . . Washed ashore on a desolate beach, Sofia arrives in the afterlife with no memories—only nightmares, and a darkness within her she cannot explain. As Sofia wanders the timeless world of the Orvida in search of answers, she discovers it is no eternal of paradise. Within the shadows of sprawling vistas amass the imuertes, the lost souls of the damned. After a chance encounter with the Ebrahym, a mysterious, winged Sanguinir warrior, Sofia is drawn into a conflict a millennium in the making. Now, caught between the wary eye of the angelic Host, and the growing threat of the imuertes driven to war by a newly ascended lord, Sofia must find the strength to face the enemy at the gates—and the demons that lurk within.”

REVIEW~

All I can say is that this book is nothing short of amazing. Epic? Absolutely! It is not your typical dark fantasy. Set in the afterlife, our protagonist, Sofia, traverses between good and evil in a story arc that takes her, and the reader, through a midst of emotions. I felt her longing to find answers, her fear, her expectations and wishes. She was truly a dynamic and perplexing MC. I loved her internal struggles and the development of her character!

I am getting ahead of myself. I am just so excited about this novel. The word building and quality of writing is wonderful. The author paints pictures of worlds, both literally and figuratively, that you can become submersed in. There is a talent here that is solid and the author is truly gifted.

The pacing was consistent and cogent. In fact, it was perfect and time elapsed quickly as I read. I hate cliché terms but I literally could not put this book down. (I burned dinner because of it.) The characters were so vivid and convincing, I believe this may be a new favorite book for me. I can hardly wait to read more from this author.

I could go on and on about the premise of the book, but the blurb surmises it well.  The plotline is uncommon and exceptionally cultivated. The afterlife presented is sui generis and unexpected. It is good vs evil, but so much more. It explores the journey of Sofia from lost and unsure, to confidant and assertive.

I’ve already touched on the character development, which was phenomenal, IMHO. Thusly, suffice it to say that the characters were quite detailed. The setting was rich and spectacular. The author’s watercolor illustrations lend themselves well to the telling of the tale. And they are beautiful!

This was escapism at it’s best and such a joy to read. The subject matter, though caliginous, was so intriguing that I found myself visualizing and speculating myself, what it must be like. This story took the MC and the reader on a journey and it was brilliant.

5/5 stars for this imaginative and unorthodox novel.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

Boundary by Victoria Johnson

BLURB~

“Never try to open the locked doors. Never question what you are told. And never attempt to cross the Boundary. Kept inside an eerie estate for their entire lives, Penny and her five friends have had no contact with the outside world, with their only windows being a handful of books, a sinister master and a secretive housekeeper. Fed up of living a mystery, Penny begins breaking all the rules and finally tries to escape; but what she uncovers is far more devastating than she could have imagined. It rapidly becomes a deadly struggle for the truth in a world where nothing is what it seems, and friendship can be either your greatest weapon…or your biggest liability.”

REVIEW~

The premise of this book was very intriguing. It is the first in The Other Horizons Trilogy. I don’t want to give too much away, so suffice it to say the blurb does a good job of reeling you in and letting you know the basic plot outline. I am not sure the cover does the story justice. I would probably have looked this book over, but it is quite an interesting read.

The writer uses very descriptive language throughout the story.  You can become immersed even in the mundane experience of the youth’s lives in the manor and their feelings.  There were a few typos but none distracting enough to keep my mind wandering from the plot. The plot, by the way, was very thought out and it drew me in almost immediately.  The mystery and suspense were great.

The characters were endearing and compelling though they seemed a bit younger than 15. I attribute this to their sheltered life. The menacing manor master was portrayed very well, as were the cook/nanny, Ms. Beatrix. I like the characters and became engulfed in the story when the action really got going.

It was an easy and enjoyable read that I was able to finish in a day, off & on. I found that when I left it to go attend to a chore, I wanted to get back to it. I am looking forward to the next book to see what happens and how some things wrap up and some questions can be answered. The author certainly has a talent for mystery and suspense writing as she leads you right to a point where you want to continue with the books.

Definitely worth the read. I would recommend it to younger audiences as well. The writing is not so that it would be “above their heads” and there aren’t any naughty scenes or anything like that. I could actually see it being made into a film. Overall, I will give this book a 4.75.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White