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REVIEW: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

18081228 Title: The Orphan Queen
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: (The Orphan Queen #1)
Release Date: March 10th, 2015
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Format: Ebook

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

Rating: 4/5 Stars
★★★★✰

      The Orphan Queen is an enjoyable, engaging, wonderfully-written high fantasy read full of action, magic, and secrets. In it, we follow Wilhelmina as she disguises herself as a dead Duchess to infiltrate Skyvale palace in order to gather the information she needs to take back her kingdom.

I was definitely drawn in by the world and the premise of this book. I didn’t want to put it down, and when I did I was still thinking about the possibilities of what could happen and how it would all work itself out. I imagined battles and arguments and mystery! That helped me overlook some of the flaws this book has, and so in spite of them, I enjoyed reading it.

The writing is light and dark, soft but loud. The characters each have a voice, and though some, namely the prince, are barely heard because they’re not all that interesting, others seem to scream and yell just to get their point across because they are that well written. I was eager to immerse myself in their world and explore why magic was banned and how they plan to take care of the Wraith. There were a lot of compelling discoveries and secrets that only made me want more and more.

Wilhelmina made this book work for me. She was the typical fantasy heroine, ready to fight, strong, impulsive, intelligent, but she still helped the pace move forward and I enjoyed reading her thoughts and opinions. She is one amazing fighter, and I loved reading the scenes with her in action! She was raised to take back her throne, so she knows what she has to do and how she has to do it, but while she develops as the story progresses, she realizes that she depended on Patrick to do everything for her and if she is to be Queen, that has to stop. Seeing her grow and learn was an enjoyable experience.

There was a lot of unanswered questions, however, that made this book a little less amazing then it could be. We never really got a proper build-up of the world or the history and the background. I wanted more, I wanted to explore the reasons and the mystery and the intricate webs of lies that have to be undone! But we got a simple explanation with little proof instead. The build up was executed well, but the solution fell flat.

I am a lover of action and gore and war. I knew there would be little of that in this book, but I still expected gritty action and loss. What we got was this huge build-up, this anticipation of war between the two Kingdoms, which was well executed and definitely left me eager to read the scene where it finally happens! And again, the solution fell flat. There was action (yay!), but there was no epic war. Other than that, though, everything was fairly predictable, and while they were enjoyable to read and gave the plot a push, it took away a bit of enjoyment and surprise.

Overall,  The Orphan Queen is an intriguing high fantasy read that, despite its flaws, had me hooked and kept me eager to turn the pages.

REVIEW: Submerging Inferno by Brandon Witt

18337479Title: Submerging Inferno
Author: Brandon Witt
Series: (Men of Myth #1)
Date Published: August 19th, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, LGBT
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads| Amazon

A Men of Myth Story

Brett Wright and Finn de Morisco come from vastly different worlds. Disowned by his family for being gay, Brett builds both a life on his own terms and walls around his heart. But nothing can prepare him for the evil that stalks him in the night or from discovering the dark secrets of his heritage.

The youngest of a doting family, Finn lives a sheltered life that allows him to trust easily and makes him quick to jump to the rescue. While using his knowledge of the supernatural world to help Brett uncover the truth of his ancestry, Finn learns neither his magical life nor falling in love is as simple and risk-free as he believed.

New knowledge comes with a price—one that may prove too high for them to pay.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
★★1/2

“No matter what memories came flooding back, the ocean could never be tainted.” (1%)

      Submerging Inferno had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, it fell a little flat. The beginning had so much promise! It was a great start, intriguing and it had a great flow to it. But then an attack kick-started a path to overwhelming sadness and a romance that is almost completely instant.

      My main problem with this book is the plot. At first, it seemed like it could lead to great things, and I was really excited and ready for epic action and mind blowing discoveries! But that didn’t happen. After the initial attack, Brett stayed with Finn and his family, learning more about the supernatural (lots of information all at once, tbh), about the dangers in the world, and about himself. And then someone got killed and he landed in a depression of sorts. And then he got out and was always mad, but trying to focus on his relationship. And then someone else got killed and he took off, suddenly so sure of who he was. Basically, romance was #1, full of Brett being angry and happy and then scared, and #2 fell to the vampire who appeared what? Three times in the entirety of this book? Where is the plot, the buildup, the epic battles?!

      More on the romance now. There was honestly no real development for it. Brett and Finn hardly know each other. They know they’re supernaturals, Finn’s insecure, Brett’s gorgeous, and Brett has killed anyone even though he should have by now. The romance wasn’t even all the exciting anyway. Since there was no real development or buildup, I didn’t really care about it. Plus, it was hard to tell the difference between the two a lot as well, since the tone set them so similarly.

      As for characters, other than being all so similar, they were also called brave, selfless, and strong, though we were told that, not shown. Which didn’t really prove anything and made them seem  underdeveloped. They didn’t develop or grow much either. I was disappointed, to say the least.

      The writing however, was really good in multiple parts of the book though. The mystery/intrigue in the beginning was well done. It’s one of the main reasons why I had such high hopes at first. It sucked me right in and I loved it.

“He had green eye. Emerald-green eyes. Clear as glass. Bright and shiny as glass. I couldn’t tear myself away from his eyes. I wanted to, but they held me, denying me the right to choose.” (9%)

“A scream cut through the night. Pure terror and anguish laced the sound. Wave after wave of emotions washed over me. His fear was increasing to a level that was nearly impending my ability to move.” (12%)

The descriptions for Brett’s sadness were well worded as well. There was a point where I was actually in love with hearing how he put certain things together. It was one of the only times where I could really tell the difference between Finn and Brett.

“I knew that if I stood up, if I lifted off the blanket, if I unwrapped my arms from around my torso, that my chest would rip open, my heart would crush into thousands of pieces and fall out in a cascade of ashes onto the floor.” (47%)

“The sobs wracked my body until it felt as if not only would my head splinter, but my entire being would fragment, every particle splitting and ripping asunder.” (47%)

      So while the plot and characters and romance could have been better, the writing made it enjoyable.

REVIEW: Hell Is Coming by N.P. Martin

*I received a digital copy from the author from a giveaway.

Title: Hell Is Coming
Author: N.P. Martin
Series: (The Watchers #1)
Publication date: October 24, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

Foster kid, Leia Swanson is eighteen and just getting her life together after a turbulent past that included losing both her parents when she was seven years old.

Then when people start turning into demons before her eyes and she feels a strange new power grow in her, Leia’s life begins to unravel, prompting her to visit her childhood home for answers.

Convinced a demon took her mother and killed her father, Leia soon uncovers her mothers secret past as a Watcher—a Nephilim demon hunter—and that she herself is also a Nephilim—half angel, half human.

When her twin brother, Josh is kidnapped and her foster mom is murdered, Leia is forced to enlist the help of her Uncle Frank, a man she has never even met before. Despite their rocky relationship, Frank agrees to train Leia as a Watcher and help her get her brother back while she tries to work out his shady past.

In the meantime, a powerful demon has been kidnapping Nephilim kids for his own evil ends, intent on unleashing a plan that threatens everything in existence.

Hell is coming for Leia and the rest of the world, but is she willing to give her life and possibly her soul to stop it?

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      Leia and her twin brother Josh grew up in foster homes due to their mother and father being killed by demons. No one believed Leia as she made her statement as a little seven year old though, and so she learned to keep her mouth shut. However, ever since turning eighteen, she sees things: the demons and their true faces even when they’re walking around in human bodies (which are called meat suits). She thinks she’s gone crazy. After following a trail her mother left her and scouring for answers, Leia’s world is rocked and hanging by a thread. Her brother’s missing, her foster mom is dead, and all she has left is the hope that an uncle she never met will help her fight demons and save her brother.
      If that doesn’t sound even a little intriguing, then you obviously won’t like this book as much as I did.
      I’ve actually had this in my possession for some months, and I have no idea why I waited so long to get to it. This book is amazing! It’s an action packed, fast paced, and full of supernatural creatures! It has great characters, awesome action, and a fantastic world!
      And so I’ll start with the characters.
      Leia is a great character. She’s strong, brave (so much so that she always gets face to face with danger), and yeah, she makes stupid choices at times, but she never gives up. She tries to, but she is always thrust right back into the action and realizes that she has too much to lose and she can’t stop now. She has a clear voice and I was rooting for her the entire novel. I can understand her character, why she couldn’t kill Kasey, why she let herself be tricked at times, because I feel like we really got to know her and that really helped. I can’t wait to see how she develops in the next book!
      Now Frank. After learning about his existence due to the trail her mother left her, Leia goes to stay with her uncle Frank. He’s a really great character as well. He’s strong, brave, kind, and while he doesn’t always show it in the best ways (he’s fairly awkward and anti-social around people, having been living in a secluded cabin for who knows how long all on his own with his only company a dog), he definitely cares about Leia. He helps train her and toughen her up, and I really loved seeing their relationship develop. And while at times anger and secrets were on the verge of breaking their relationship, Leia always came back because Frank is the only chance she has at getting her brother back, and Frank always let her because she’s family and he cares about her.
      Now, onto the world. It was infested with supernatural beings and I love it! There were clubs owned by demons in the ‘Perv District’, as they call it, abandoned houses where serial killer Vampires lurked in the basement, and even a place where vampires got high on human blood. It was weird, strange, and most definitely intriguing! All the normal places in our world, but instead of humans there were demons. Is that not a great world to read about? And I mean, obviously there were still humans, but the world seemed to almost be run by the supernatural, as they were everywhere and I love it! It was well written and I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it.
Overall I love Hell Is Coming and I recommend this book to everyone, especially if you love paranormal, action packed, fantasy books.
~Sage<3

REVIEW: Cutlass by Ashley Nixon

*I received an ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Cutlass
Author: Ashley Nixon
Series: (Cutlass #1)
Publication date: Novenber 13th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Synopsis:
Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5
      Cutlass wasn’t only about pirates and revenge. Oh no, it was about Elves and Lyrics, death and deceit. It was about learning the truth and letting go of and anger and revenge because it only makes you bitter and lonely. It’s about falling in love and being loyal! It’s about freedom.
      Everything in this book from the action on the sea, to the romance on board, to the shocks of betrayal and the fantasy aspects were simply brilliant. Yes, Barren oftentimes was controlled by his anger and need for revenge, but he’s young and still learning! He’s a force to be reckoned with and has a sharp mind, he’s a man holding such a weight as murder, revenge and pain! He lost his father because his brother killed him, his mother for something he couldn’t remember! Barren could never understand why; he didn’t want to understand. And so he stalked the shores of Maris and attacked ships in hopes of luring William out to sea so he could act on his revenge. But William wouldn’t dare and so months later of no change, Barren learns of William’s engagement and kidnaps his wife. But Lady Larkin is not docile and quiet and fearful. No, she’s strong and Barren’s equal with a sword. In fact, she almost killed him the night he kidnapped her. If it hadn’t been for Leaf, his best friend, who knows if Barren would have found a way to live?
      The writing was great, though I did sometimes find myself uninterested. It flowed nicely and yes, at times it was cheesy and parts were slightly cliche, but it still intrigued me. Especially since it’s all one big adventure that no one can deny enjoying. Especially the action. I love the action!
      Overall, Cutlass is a read I recommend to fantasy lovers. Especially those who love pirates.
~Sage<3
(It’s short I know. Sorry!)

BLOGTOUR/REVIEW: Wolfskin by W.R. Gingell

*I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Wolfskin Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.

*This is also posted on Coffee & All Things Random.

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Wolfskin

Title: Wolfskin
Author: W.R. Gingell
Publication date: May 1st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
‘If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .’
At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest. She thinks it will be all enchantment and excitement, and not so much fuss about baths. The reality is much more sober and practical- that is, until she meets a mysterious wolf in the forest and is tricked into stepping off the path . . .
In young, naive Rose, Bastian sees a way of escape. Cursed to remain in the shape of a wolf after running afoul of a powerful enchantress, he has lived many decades under a spell, and now he is both desperate and ruthless. But by breaking part of Bastian’s curse, Rose has caught the attention of Cassandra, the enchantress who cursed him: and Cassandra is by no means ready to forgive and forget.
Meanwhile, wardens have been disappearing from the forest, one by one. Rose is certain that Cassandra is behind the disappearances, but can she and Bastian get to the bottom of the matter before Akiva disappears as well? And are Bastian’s motives entirely to be trusted?
Sometimes the little girl in the red hood doesn’t get eaten, and sometimes the wolf isn’t the most frightening thing in the forest.
And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
Stars: 5/5
      Wolfskin is full of magic, witches, curses, power, action, romance, a cursed wolf, a bitter Enchantress, spells, growth, strength, trust, and bravery. It’s about a young girl seeking out adventure who becomes an apprentice to a witch, who ends up breaking the first part of a wolf’s curse, who learns spells and magic, and tries to figure out who is behind the missing Wardens and why they’re doing it. It’s about a fourteen year old girl maturing and growing into a young woman who finds love, friendship, and family. It’s about Rose’s adventures and the situations she gets into because of her naivety. It’s a tale you’ll surely love.
  • Characters:
    • Rose is feisty, adventurous, and wants to be a Pirate so she never has to marry. She’s strong and brave but also young and naive. She’s a very believable character. She also tends to act without thinking. So watching her grow up, fight Cassandra, try to save Bastian from his curse, and try to solve the mystery of the missing Wardens was very satisfying and enjoyable.
    • Bastian is probably my favorite. At first, he’s a conniving, vicious wolf who’s about to eat Rose on their first meeting. But when she breaks the first part of his curse he isn’t so bad. He’s a cursed man in the form of a wolf because of what he did, and he’s playful, protective, kind, thoughtful, and I loved reading about his interactions with Rose. Sure, at times he was slightly scary and his behavior was unsettling (mostly when the black surrounded the gold of his aura) but overall he was a character I really love.He’s also tortured and brooding, but he’s quick witted and definitely entertaining, especially when with Rose. Their banter never bored me and was very entertaining.
    • Akiva is a Warden who took on Rose as an apprentice. She’s not your typical lovey, dovey, coddle-you woman. No. She’s a tough, no nonsense old lady with a hard fist and scolding eyes. She makes Rose work for everything and gets her to figure out things on her own since Akiva was never told anything whilst she was young; she had to figure it out herself.Akiva shows her emotions in odd ways, but once you get to know her it’s easy enough to tell when she’s happy, relieved, pleased and so on. She teaches Rose about magic and responsibility and she plays a major role in who Rose grows to be.
  • Pacing:
    • To me, I feel the pacing was perfect. Though at times, with all the parties Rose went to because her sister, Gwendolen, is obsessed with them (basically), it was a little repetitive. it was great seeing Rose interact with Gilbert at those points, as well as Liz and Harry, but I feel like maybe we could go without the party? Things happened at the parties that really worked well with the story, which it needed, but I wasn’t that big of a fan reading about dancing and Gwen’s little minions and Rose just talking to Gil or being forced to dance. It was well written, but not something I myself loved.
  • Writing:
    • It flowed well, kept me hooked, and allowed me to visualize everything fairly easily. The dialogue between characters never felt forced or unreal. It’s pretty much perfect.
    • I love how Bastian and Rose didn’t fall in love right away, as most stories would’ve played out. It helps that Rose was still a young girl when they meet, and that she treats him as more of a friend while Bastian tries to woo her for his own gain. But I love how gradual it is and how it’s not only for her, but him too.
  • World-Building:
    • Everything was easy enough to visualize and was incredibly well written. I feel like the world was flushed out well and I very much enjoyed talk of the forest because it was easy to see how much it means to the characters and why. It was like the forest was pulsing with it’s own life and that it felt emotions, which is great because the author really let all of it come through the writing.
    • I like how each Warden had a specific piece of the forest to claim as their own and care for. It really allowed you to understand the forest more because Wardens have to make sure the land is happy and healthy and the forest tens to act out or try to fight back when dying and uncared for.
    • The laws of the forest really made it feel so much more real. And we really get to explore the forest more since Rose loves adventure and tends to slip away from the path. We learn of what lives in the forest (somewhat) and why the forest allows them to do certain things. We learn of the forest’s magic and how much life it really holds.
    • The magic was fantastic. The gradual growth of Rose’s powers really helped us try to understand her magic. I like how she wasn’t instantly powerful, or holding this epic power just waiting to burst. I enjoyed reading as she tried day after day after day to see the forest lines without closing her eyes. It made everything feel more real because she had to work hard to get to where she wanted to be.
      Overall, I loved reading Wolfskin and I recommend this to everyone. Especially if you love to read about witches, wolves, magic, and fantasy.
WRAUTHOR BIO:
W.R Gingell is a Tasmanian author who enjoys reading, bacon, and slouching in front of the fire to write.
Author links:

THE TOUR STOPS

July 6th
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Excerpt
Books and Ashes >> Review
Girls With Books >> Excerpt
Author & Book Spotlights >> Review

July 7th
Book Nerd Paradise >> Review
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves >> Interview
happy tails and tales >> Review

July 8th
Coffee & All Things Random  >> Review {me}
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Bea’s Book Nook >> Review

July 9th
Bookwyrming Thoughts  >> Guest post
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Review
Kimber Leigh Writes >> Interview

July 10th
Mandy’s Books and Beauty >> Review
Blog for readers, writers and bloggers by Daniela Ark >> Excerpt
Just Us Book Blog >> Review
Mythical Books >> Guest post

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~Sage<3

{If you click on the Xpresso Book Tours button it’ll bring you to the tour page}

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW/EXCERPT: Scar of the Downers by Scott Keen

*I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Scar of the Downers Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.

**This is also posted on Coffee & All Things Random.

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~

Title: Scar of the Downers
Author: Scott Keen
Publication date: February 27th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


Synopsis:

Branded on the slaves in the Northern Reaches beyond Ungstah, the scar marks each one as a Downer. It is who they are. There is no escaping this world. Still, strange things are stirring.

Two foreigners ride through the Northern Reaches on a secret mission. An unknown cloaked figure wanders the streets of the dark city of Ungstah. What they want no one can be sure, but it all centers around a Downer named Crik.

Crik, too scared to seek freedom, spends his days working in his master’s store, avoiding the spirit-eating Ash Kings, and scavenging food for himself and his best friend, Jak. Until he steals from the wrong person. When Jak is sold to satisfy the debt, Crik burns down his master’s house and is sentenced to death.

To survive, Crik and his friends must leave behind their life of slavery to do what no other Downer has ever done before – escape from the city of Ungstah

An Excerpt:

Crik smiled. “I brought something for you.” He pulled out the torn piece of bread and handed it to her.

“Where did you get it?”

“A simple thank you is all I need,” said Crik. She gazed at him, and it felt as if he knew what she was thinking. “I’m careful. I’ve lived this long.”


“I didn’t say anything,” said Tinker. “But since you mentioned it. Thank you. You’re such a nice Downer . . . and that’s saying a lot. Some of them are crueler than their masters.”

Tinker took a bite of the bread and chewed slowly.

“Is it good?” Crik asked.

Tinker nodded. “It’s fresher than the ones Morta serves to her customers. I hope you didn’t go through a lot of trouble getting it.”

Crik thought about it and just said, “Not too much.” Then he picked a crumb out of her dirty, matted hair, which she brushed behind her ear.

“You had something in your hair,” said Crik, slightly embarrassed.

“Just one thing?” said Tinker.

“That I could see in the dark.”


They laughed. They always did when they met. All the grime on their skin, tears in their clothes, and lice in their hair disappeared when they were with each other. Crik didn’t feel like a Downer with Tinker. He felt like a young man; he felt brave, as if he could conquer the city. With her he wasn’t afraid of Kilvar, of the rats, the Ashes, or even the Gaunt King himself. The dangers of the city and the world melted away when they were together.

Getting up, Crik walked to the ledge of the roof and looked eastward into the darkness, past the torches and walls. He searched for the words to say, his gaze burrowing into the wall of night. Crik’s voice was quiet when he spoke.

“I heard something yesterday when I was in Briars and Thickets.”

“You went in there?” Tinker got up and crossed to him.

“That’s not the point.” Crik looked at her. “Some men were talking. I listened to their conversation. They spoke of something . . . something called the Avarah.”

Tinker’s brow furrowed, and her face turned serious. “The Avarah?”

“Yeah. You work in an inn. Have you heard people speak of them? Do you know anything about what they are?”

“I haven’t heard a lot,” said Tinker. “What I have heard isn’t very good. But they’re mainly just in stories. No one believes that they’re real. Why?”

“What were the stories about them like?”


Tinker grew quiet again as if she were deep in thought. “I’ve heard they were some kind of powerful being who used to live here long ago. But for some reason they don’t anymore. I guess the people in Ungstah killed them or something. Why? Why do you ask?”

“One man said they’ve returned.”

“Returned?” Tinker gave a little laugh. “I don’t think they’re even real. He was probably crazy. A lot of strange people come through the city.”

“That’s the thing,” said Crik. “This man is the Captain of the City’s Watch.”

Tinker crossed her arms. “Why do you ask me all these questions?”

“I was hoping that if the Avarah have returned . . . I was hoping they were good.”

“Be careful,” said Tinker, grabbing hold of his hand.

“Careful of what?”


“Hope can be dangerous thing for a Downer.”


“Hope is all I have.”


And now, on to my review!
Format: Ebook
4/5 stars

Scar of the Downers is an interesting new fantasy book. It is full of survival, strength, growth, trust, and the fight for freedom. It involves the Downers being treated like slaves, barely ever being fed and always having to do as their master asks. They are treated so poorly and cruelly, but then they have help and suddenly everything is looking brighter. It’s about friendship and trust and it’s a tale written to make scared characters a little braver, a littler more trusting, and a lot more loving.

What I Like:

  • The World-Building || The world building was well done, in my opinion. I mainly enjoyed the description of the evil lurking within the land and the cursed King, how Ungstah is described as darker than other cities so much so that travelers can feel the change once they’re close enough. It made for a much more scary type of vibe, and really helped the mystery grow where the King and his Guards are involved.
  • The Action || I love action, period, but I especially loved it in this book because of the magical elements. Aniel has this sword, right? And so, it can turn into water and end the lives of the Ash Kings, and it can also turn into fire. How cool is that?!
  • The Characters || Well, most of them. I enjoyed reading about Crik (he’s probably my favourite), Jak (or maybe he is), Tinker, Chaser, Aniel (she’s wicked cool), Talorc, Edem, and Gabril. I wasn’t so much a fan of Kilvar, Bhoor, and the other cruel Downer owners. I know they have to be cruel in order for the story to work as it does and I can understand that, I just don’t like them because if they were real I’d want to punch them in the face so bad. Overall though, the characters were great and I enjoyed the different voices us readers got to hear as we read. The visual we got was much richer because of that.
  • The Writing || It flowed well, and despite the filler-like vibe I felt most of the time, it was still a very enjoyable read because the writing really lured me in.

What I don’t like:

There’s not much; It’s mainly the pace. Throughout most of the book, I felt like it was all  a large filler. Not much seems to happen. I kept reading and all I got was that they were treated poorly (they were always hungry, thirsty, and dirty, always scouring the streets for whatever they could find), they needed to get money so Jak wouldn’t be sold (because their owner has a dept he needs payed but refuses to part with the silver he gained from killing a man, and so they stole from a house down a street), they aren’t that fond of some of the other Downers (Slink especially, since he always seems to sneak on them when they’re walking down the street), the Ash Kings almost killed them multiple times (since they were out on the streets during curfew trying to get food and money), and their owner is a cruel, cruel man. And yet, as you should realize, most of it happens in the same streets over and over again. It worked well with the story, but made the pace more slow and akin to that of a filler chapter.

I also didn’t like how quickly Slink changed. At first he’s this annoying, slightly creepy Downer that Crik and Jak weren’t fond of, as he was always sneaking up on them and even stole food from them once. Then suddenly when Aniel saves him he’s all nice and supportive and gets along with the others real well. I think there should have been more time taken to develop his change. Other than that though, I really enjoyed reading Scar of the Downers.

So, overall, Scar of the Downers was a very enjoyable read, despite the slow/filler-like pacing. I would recommend this to you lovers of action and fantasy.


ScottAUTHOR BIO:
Scott grew up in Black River, NY, the youngest of three children. While in law school, he realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer. So he did the practical thing – he became a writer. Now, many years later with an MFA in script and screenwriting, he is married with four daughters, two of whom he homeschools.
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