The Boy Who Stole Time by Mark Bowsher Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for The Boy Who Stole Time by Mark Bowsher and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

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Mark is a proudly dyspraxic writer and filmmaker who has made over 100 book promos for a certain publisher named Unbound. He wrote and directed his first full-length play, Not the Story of Me, at 20 and went on to make three shorts which won Best Short awards (plus one Best Screenplay award) at festivals in the UK and the US. The last of these, Only One Person Will Like This Film, was picked by the BFI as one of their ’10 to try’ out of over 300 films at LSFF 2013. He has written short fiction (The Pitch and I Killed Tristan Metcalf and Here’s How I Did It… ) for Lionsgate’s Fright Club ezine as well as articles for Den of Geek and Cult TV Times. Since going freelance in 2013 he has created video content for Santander, Pearson, Choice Support, The Big Issue and MyLex as well as music videos (all based on concepts he pitched to the artists) for Nisha Chand, Ekkoes, Good Work Watson, Morgan Crowley and Go-Zilla. He recently wrote and directed the pilot episode for a sitcom based on his previous career in film marketing entitled It’s All Lies. He isn’t married and doesn’t live in Surrey but he did once climb a mountain dressed as Peter Pan.

About the book:

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When 12-year-old Krish finds out his mum is dying, he is desperate to give her more time to live. This leads to a deal with a devil-like creature to travel to another realm, Ilir, and collect the Myrthali – the essence of time itself.
Ilir is a tiny desert world where the days are a handful of hours long and there is magic and treachery on every corner. Here Krish is set three impossible challenges by the brutal King Obsendei to win from him the Myrthali. He joins forces with the razor-tongued, young girl-wizard Balthrir, who hopes to free her parents from the Black Palace; a living, breathing structure built entirely out of those subjects who have incurred the wrath of the King.

But as Krish battles these impossible tasks he may be about to learn that there is more than his mother’s life at stake as he gets embroiled in a blood-thirsty fight for power in Ilir that will push his friendship with Balthrir to its limits.

The Boy Who Stole Time by Mark Bowsher

Ellen’s Review:

The Boy Who Stole Time may be aimed at younger readers but I really enjoyed it. Fantastic characters, world building and depth of story were spot on also the cover is so beautiful! It’s definitely an eye catcher which I find an important aspect when my daughters are choosing their next read in the book shop.

The main character in the book is Krish, a 12 year old boy who is confronted with every child’s worst nightmare of their parent being ill and the fear that they may not recover. Krish has always been told how precious time is and becomes more aware with his mum’s sickness; what if he could buy (or steal) her a little more? His desires to have more time appear to summon a devil type creature who tells Krish an ancient tale of a magic powder called Myrthali which is the essence of time itself. The devil persuades Krish to enter into a deal – he will travel to another realm, Ilir, and retrieve the powder from the clutches of the brutal King Obsendei. Of course this was never going to be an easy task and Krish is sent on a magical, terrifying adventure from then on and must complete three seemingly impossible tasks before the King will hand over his treasured Myrthali.

The Black Palace of King Obsendei really grabbed my imagination; a living, breathing structure built entirely out of those subjects who have incurred the wrath of the King. These poor people are forced to clamber and stand on each other to construct the walls and floors of this awful “building”.

Along the way Krish teams up with the awesome Balthrir – a young girl-wizard with a cutting sense of humour and heart of gold. I think that Balthrir was one of my favourite characters. She is seemingly pretty hardcore but carries secrets and heartache of her own. Krish and Balthrir’s worlds collide and they must learn to work together to complete the tasks and survive the cut throat, power-hungry island of Ilir.

This story reminded me of the stories of Arabian Nights/One Thousand and One Nights that I loved to read as a child. There are elements of The Boy Who Stole Time that will appeal to everyone. This book is the first in the series and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next!!

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Blog Tour: Anarchy by Megan DeVos

Hi guys,

I’m back with another blog tour review today, YAY! I’m taking part in the blog tour for Anarchy by Megan DeVos and I also have a guest post for you all too!

About the author:

Megan DeVos grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she currently resides. She graduated from university with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and have been working as a surgical nurse for the last two and a half years. She has always loved writing, and finally dedicated herself to it during university, where she wrote her first published novel, Anarchy.Connecting with readers worldwide has been the greatest outcome of writing, and is something she will continue to pursue during the rest of her career as a writer.

Side-note: Megan shot to fame on Wattpad, where she wrote Harry Styles fan fiction, and I AM HERE FOR THAT as I’m a huge fan of HS. Needless to say I was sold on Anarchy from the PR sheet 🙂

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About the book:

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The world is different now.

There are no rules, no governments, and no guarantees that you’ll be saved.

Rival factions have taken over, fighting each other for survival with no loyalty to anyone but their own. At 21, Hayden has taken over Blackwing and is one of the youngest leaders in the area. In protecting his camp from starvation, raids from other factions and the threat of being kidnapped, he has enough to worry about before he finds Grace.

The daughter of the head of the rival camp Greystone, she is slow to trust anyone, much less the leader of those she has been trained to kill.

This is danger. This is chaos. This is anarchy.

Available NOW, click HERE to order your copy!

My thoughts:

Anarchy is the first book in the series featuring Hayden and Grace, rivals from Blackwing and Greystone respectively. Hayden is the well-respected leader of his camp, and when he meets Grace everything he has known is thrown into chaos.

Taking place in the aftermath of an event, Anarchy details the survival of those left alive and the lengths to which they will go to survive. It has a really interesting story, and it is written in such a way that it is actually impossible to put down. I read Anarchy in just a handful of sittings recently, I genuinely couldn’t stop reading.

The comparisons to The Hunger Games series are well-warranted as it has very similar ideas, but for me, Anarchy is better. There is something at its core that made me invested in the fates of the characters, a humanity and a vulnerability that the reader can empathise with.

Hayden and Grace are great characters too, and well supported with other characters along the way. I really enjoyed seeing the progression of the story told through their own chapters. The author gives a good glimpse into their emotions and it was interesting to see their growth as they met with obstacles and challenges throughout the book.

I don’t want to say any more about it because I think you should just read it. It’s a fun story. Its got passion, strength and plenty of action to keep you reading. Definitely one to add to your list if you enjoy YA and dystopian fiction! I can’t wait to read the next books in the series!

Highly recommended!

5 Tips for Aspiring Writers from Megan DeVos

1. The first tip I always give to aspiring writers is to write something you’d want to read. If it’s something you’re interested in, chances are, someone else will be as well. If you feel passionate about the story you’re creating, you’ll end up writing the best version of the story that you not only want to create, but also to read. Loving the story you’re writing keeps you motivated, and in the end allows you to create something you’ll always enjoy no matter what.

2. The second tip I have is to know where you want your story to go. This can be as vague or as detailed as you like, but knowing the general direction of your plot is important. For me, the first thing I always do is write out a general outline of the plot, including major and minor points and character development. Some writers like to have their main plot thought out and develop the rest as they go. Some like to have every single detail planned out down to the tiniest one. Some are somewhere in between. How you write it is up to you, but I think knowing what you want to accomplish with your story is essential.

3. Imagine what it would be like if you were in the story. Maybe you imagine yourself as the main character, or maybe you imagine what that character would be like if they were real and standing next to you. Imaging the characters as real people helps to understand their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Get to know them in your head. The more you think about them as real people, the easier it is to write their specific character traits, and the easier it will be for readers to connect with them and make them feel real.

4. Read your work, then reread it, then reread again. Read it until you have it stuck in your head. Knowing your story is essential to creating continuity and keeping the story flowing in a satisfying and believable way. It helps you know when to include details that will be important to the future. It helps you recognize things you may want to emphasize more, and things you maybe can lighten up on. Rereading your story as much as you can, because every time you do, you’re making your story that much better.

5.Finally, my last tip for aspiring writers is simply to write because you love it. If it’s something you truly feel passionate about, go for it! Don’t write because you feel like you should, or because of some other reason. Write because you love it, plain and simple. True passion shows through in the work, and only makes you better with each page you write. If you love it and enjoy it, that’s the most important factor of all.

Huge thanks to Megan for these brilliant tips!

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Blog Blitz ~ The Girl in the Storm by Ceri Lowe Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog blitz for The Girl in the Storm by Ceri Lowe and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

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When Ceri isn’t writing, she’s a self-employed project management consultant specialising in financial services. She lives with her partner in Bristol, England and has various obsessions including all things Spanish, travelling and, of course, writing.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cerialowe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cerilowepetrask

Website: http://www.cerialowe.com/

About the book:

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A gripping and heart-pounding story filled with mystery, suspense and danger, about one girl who braves her life to discover the truth. Fans of Bella Forrest, Divergent and The Hunger Games will be enthralled by this explosive and addictive dystopian novel.

The silhouettes of the watchers stood stark against the glinting metal fence. No one could get in. And no one could get out.

As the storms rage around her, 15-year-old Alice Davenport is trained by the rulers of the new world, Paradigm Industries, to reach the highest levels of command. Life within the Community is supposed to be perfect, with the Barricades keeping the population safe from the toxic wasteland and savage people outside.

Rebellious Alice has never felt easy with Paradigm Industries’ plans for the future. Determined to investigate their secrets, she makes a shocking discovery: disturbing experiments on how to create life itself are taking place in underground laboratories, establishing a new order for society that will impact generations to come…

The First Generation Scouts will rule.

The Second Gen will obey.

And the Lab Made will serve.

Knowing she can’t live in this brutal regime, Alice has nowhere to turn. Until she encounters a boy from beyond the Barricades, who seems to have the answers for a better life. If what he says about the outside world is true, Alice realises it’s up to her to take on the power of Paradigm Industries alone…

In her journey to find freedom, Alice’s courage will be tested to the limit, but she’ll stop at nothing to do what’s right.

 Click HERE to get your copy!

Ellen’s Review:

Having loved the first in The Paradigm Trilogy (The Rising Storm) by Ceri A Lowe, I was delighted to be asked to read and review The Girl in the Storm. It was fantastic to catch up with Alice and Carter and see where they were at in their separate voyages of discovery! Carter has been cast outside the safety of the Community and is at the mercy of whatever exists in the Deadlands. From strange creatures to delicious fruit and the mysterious Others, there is much to occupy him and force him to reconsider what his life has really been like up until this point. Alice is also having her eyes opened to strange truths back in the past and the origins of the Community which she helped to create. It appears that she isn’t being told the full story behind what Dr Barnes is actually up to in the labs beneath the surface and when she discovers what is happening her life may be in danger. She comes to the realisation that the Community is dividing people not uniting them.

As I have mentioned before, Dystopian/YA is one of my favourite genres and certain parts of The Girl in The Storm reminded me of The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. The Industry is intent on creating new life and if that creation is not perfect it is cast out into the Deadlands like a piece of rubbish. Carter discovers this when he is taken to a village in the Deadlands and is disgusted by the behaviour of those he once respected.

Alice and Carter are both fantastic characters and I’ve enjoyed the process of getting to know them; imagine what they could achieve if they were in the same timeline….

A fantastic addition to the trilogy and I can’t wait for book three!

Previous reviews:

The Rising Storm by Ceri A. Lowe Ellen’s Review

Check out the blitz:

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Blog Tour ~ Shattermoon by Dominic Dulley

Hi everyone,

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Shattermoon by Dominic Dulley, and I’ll be sharing my review with you all a little further down. First though, here’s the all-important bookish information 🙂

About the author:

Dulley, Dominic - credit Wendy Marie Photography

Dominic Dulley is a British science fiction writer whose first novel, Shattermoon, is the start of the fast-moving space opera The Long Game.

His short fiction has appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, Far Orbit: Apogee, The Novel Fox SF Anthology I and Bastion Science Fiction Magazine among others.

He lives in Warwick with his wife and two children.

Twitter: @DominicDulley

Website: dominicdulley.com

About the book:

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Orry’s father is the best conman in the quadrant, running elaborate heists with Orry and her brother Ethan to target the ruling families of the Ascendancy. This time should be no different: straight in and out with a fortune in spice paragon in hand . . .
. . . until Orry goes off-script and everything falls apart. Less than an hour later the Count of Delf’s only grandson is dead and she’s on the run, accused of a murder she didn’t commit.
Turns out, the pendant Orry stole was crafted by the mysterious civilisation who once lived on the Shattermoon – and a lot of powerful people want it. It doesn’t take ruthless space pirate Morven Dyas long to track her down, and he’s not the only one on her tail. When she’s unexpectedly rescued by loner Jurgen Mender and his spaceship, Dainty Jane, Orry knows there’s only one thing to do.
It requires all of her powers of persuasion to get Mender to agree to her plan, especially when even she can see the madness of pitting an inexperienced young grifter, a space-dog long past his best and an obsolete spaceship against the Imperial Fleet, the worst of the space pirates – and the alien Kadiran, who are getting bored with their uneasy truce with humankind . . .
But what other choice does she have?

Shattermoon by Dominic Dulley

My thoughts:

Shattermoon is the first in a series featuring Aurelia (Orry) Kent, and it definitely packs a punch as a series opener. Orry and her brother Ethan help their conman father run his plays but when a young member of the Ascendency is killed and a pendant is stolen, Orry becomes the number one suspect. What follows is a high-octane chase through space with plenty of action and intrigue.

I found Shattermoon to be a really easy read. There is something happening constantly so the reader is flung into the drama right from the off. When Orry meets a space pirate called Mender, that’s when the fun really begins as the quest for the pendant takes precedence over everything else!

I don’t want to go into the plot, partly because there is a hell of a lot going on, but also because I don’t want to give away anything of the story. It weaves through space and time at breakneck speed and it will definitely take the reader on a thrill ride.

I really enjoyed Shattermon. It has great characters, and I really liked the world that has been created in the book. The action never lets up, and I found myself racing towards the end to find out what was going on.

Highly recommended for a fun space-opera read!

 

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Obscura by Joe Hart

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About the author:

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Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota, where he still resides today. He’s been writing horror and thriller fiction since he was nine years old. He is the author of eleven novels and numerous short stories, including the books The River Is Dark, Lineage, and The Last Girl. When he’s not writing, Joe enjoys reading, working out, watching movies with his family, and spending time outdoors.

About the book:

She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Out May 8th from Thomas & Mercer, click the link below to get your copy:

Obscura by Joe Hart

My thoughts:

After seeing a glowing recommendation for Obscura from Brandon (The Behrg), I bumped Obscura to the top of my TBR and I am so glad that I did. I was hooked immediately, and read it at every available opportunity, including staying up reading late into the night to finish it!!!

Dr. Gillian Ryan is researching a new and terrifying strain of Dementia called Losian’s Disease, and it can affect anyone of any age. Having already lost her husband to Losian’s, when her young daughter begins showing the terrible symptoms, she becomes increasingly desperate to find a cure.

When her funding is cut, Dr. Ryan is given a unique opportunity to travel to a space station, where the crew appear to be exhibiting symptoms of Losian’s. What follows is a nail-biting and extremely tense story. More than once, I found my heart racing a little because Joe Hart has injected this story with dread and menace, and this is amplified when in the complete isolation of space.

Obscura is a very clever novel. It takes the reader on a journey, along with Dr. Ryan, as she tries to find a cure for her daughter she left back on Earth. It is tense, dark, and very suspenseful, and I read a lot of it fearful of turning the page for fear of what would happen!

What I loved most about Obscura is the misdirection that Joe Hart has created. I wasn’t expecting the story to go the way it did, and towards the end I was frantically turning the pages to see what was going to happen.

A terrifying read, but with innately human issues at its core, I loved Obscura. It is thrilling, claustrophobic and really engaging. Not a book I will forget in a hurry!

Highly recommended!

Artemis by Andy Weir

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About the author:

ANDY WEIR built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time.

He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail.

He lives in California.

 

About the book:

WELCOME TO ARTEMIS. The first city on the moon.
Population 2,000. Mostly tourists.
Some criminals.

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. She lives in a poor area of Artemis and subsidises her work as a porter with smuggling contraband onto the moon. But it’s not enough.

So when she’s offered the chance to make a lot of money she jumps at it. But though planning a crime in 1/6th gravity may be more fun, it’s a lot more dangerous…

Artemis by Andy Weir

My thoughts:

I have yet to read The Martian, but when I got a copy of Artemis I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I was looking for a book that would capture my attention and keep me turning the pages. I found exactly that with Artemis!

Artemis is a city on the moon, and home to the main character, Jazz Bashara. Jazz is the daughter of a master welder, and she herself works as a porter in Artemis. Having lived on the moon since leaving Saudi Arabia at 6 years of age, Jazz knows all there is to know about life in Artemis. But all of that changes when she gets a job offer (read; commit a major crime!) that she can’t refuse!

In agreeing to this job, Jazz finds herself in much deeper than she could ever have imagined. There is a battle for control of Artemis raging, and she has unwittingly placed herself square in the middle of it. What follows can only be described as scientific bedlam.

Weir has created a superb cast of characters, each with their own quirks and idiosyncracies that make them more likeable (or not, depending on who you’re reading about!). Packed to the brim with science-y (Not a word, I know, but you know what I mean!!!) stuff, I found Artemis to be highly engrossing. I wanted to know more about what was going on and the author has a great storytelling ability!

Unexpected, fun and pacy, Artemis had everything I was looking for at the time when I picked it up. Science fiction is still a new genre for me, but I will most definitely be going back to read The Martian after this one!

Highly recommended!

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey

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About the book:

NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.

When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey

My thoughts:

Obviously I had seen the hype surrounding The Girl With All The Gifts at some point, as I had a copy of the book on my TBR shelves so I must have been intrigued to read it. As I said, I had see the hype, but I hadn’t read anything about it so I essentially went in blind when I started it.

Focusing on Melanie, The Girl With All The Gifts is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel but it has a real sense of heart and humanity at its core. Melanie gets transported to class daily under armed guard but initially the reader is kept in the dark as to the reasons for this treatment.

It is really difficult to review a book with such a short blurb. I mean, clearly they want the reader to have no preconceptions going in, so I am very mindful of that and therefore not going to go into any details with this review.

I enjoyed The Girl With All The Gifts as it was something different to what I would normally choose to read. Excellent characterisation, a very intricate plot and plenty of action made it very easy to keep turning the pages. I reveled in the escape to a different world, and it definitely had me gripped.

Recommended.