Indie Book Review: Salted by Aaron Galvin

Salted (Salt series, #1)

Review:

This book had a really interesting idea to it: selkie urban fantasy! The ‘salted’ humans could be traditional leopard seal-selkies, massive elephant seals, dolphins, and even sharks! Each animal determined the person’s social status in the ‘salt’ (ocean). Honestly, the whole concept had me intrigued right from the start, throw in a coming-of-age/self-discovery subplot about a teenager who discovers his own heritage, and I should have been sorted.

Despite the novel concept, the execution didn’t hold my interest all the way through. It’s hard for me to pin it down to something specific – I think the main plot of tracking down runaway slaves was dragged out too much. I did get a little lost with the large number of characters, and for some reason I just couldn’t care for any of the characters apart from Garret. Lenny was a strangely dislikeable character, and I couldn’t sympathise with Chidi’s story. It sounds cold, but my feelings did not change throughout the book, and it’s hard to get invested in a story when you don’t care what happens to the characters.

Still, I am curious as to how the series plays out. This was the first book so maybe if I read the second the characters might be fleshed out in a way and I could connect to them.

Recommended for those wanting a twist on the selkies legend in a modern setting.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Amazon buy link.

Author goodreads page.

Salted, by Aaron Galvin (Salt #1)

Book Length: 358 pages

Urban Fantasy (Young Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Life isn’t better under the sea. Lenny Dolan is all too familiar with this reality. A Selkie slave in the realm beneath the waves, he has no choice when charged with leading a crew ashore to capture an elusive runaway. If unsuccessful, the loved ones kept behind will pay for his failure with their lives. But when their target leads Lenny and his crew to deeper, darker secrets, the Selkies are faced with a moral dilemma. Secure their own freedom at the expense of others, or return empty-handed to face the grisly consequences? How Lenny and his crew answer the question will teach them the harshest truth of all. Only through the loss of innocence does one become Salted.

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Indie Book Review: Lover’s Intuition by Noelle Greene

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Review:

Ah, to be back reading! And Noelle Greene’s writing style was exactly what I needed to get sucked back into this wonderful pastime.

Camille is a great main character: the perfect mix of strength and, by her own honesty, messed-up-ed-ness (what? I can make up words for my review). It was easy to become invested in her story, to feel her fear, her sadness, her passion… and her depression.

Honestly, that woman is put through the wringer. Every time she gets a little win… but I won’t spoil it for you. This book is a great mix of drama, romance, mystery & intrigue. Camille & Will’s relationship is passionate and toxic, so much so I was fearful it would end in tragedy. The story went in some really dark directions, and sometimes I felt it was getting too dark or too sad but I could not stop reading! I was exhausted by the end! But I was rewarded. I like my endings to be satisfying, and maybe a little gratifying, so I was glad the book didn’t just ‘drop off’ at the end. I will admit, I was lost a couple of times (especially through some of the forest scenes… but maybe that was the point), but I didn’t mind that. I guess I was little disappointed there wasn’t more to Camille’s ‘gift’, but then again it was nice to read a story were the paranormal side of things was a bit closer to how it might work in the real world.

Recommended for those wanting a dark, dramatic spin on their paranormal romances.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Amazon buy link.

Author goodreads page.

Lover’s Intuition by Noelle Greene

Blue Mill Series #1

Book Length: 344 pages

Paranormal Romance/Mystery (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

A psychic must use her gift to save the skeptic she loves.

Camille Jorgensen is starting over in a small town after a heartbreaking loss. On the night she meets reclusive billionaire Will Holloway, her sixth sense suddenly goes haywire. Although Camille’s intuition whispers that evil will strike, she doesn’t know when, why, or where.

Sweet, sexy, and possibly delusional Camille is Will’s New Age nightmare. She’s the only woman to detect deep passion beneath his cool facade. But tenderness checked out of his soul long ago, and logic—unlike the people he loved—has never abandoned him.
After a friend is brutally murdered, Camille resolves to use her psychic gift to help find the killer. Now she and Will are in the crosshairs of a sociopath with powers of his own and a shocking secret. Camille must outsmart both the sociopath and the drug cartel thugs tailing him, or she and Will won’t survive to find the love they deserve.

Children’s Book Review: the Gift of the Quoxxel

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Review:

This was a delightful read, the kind where the reading experience is just as fun as the plot. As you can probably tell by the book cover, this story screams ‘quirky’, and I don’t think I could adequately describe the book any more than the blurb (see below). It reminded me a little of Terry Pratchett’s tongue-in-cheek style (which I love) so I was so glad I decided to read this (after receiving a request from the author).

The ending was a little disappointing, but I suspect it’s being set up for a sequel, or at least another book set in the same universe. Although kids of 10-12yrs will love this book, it’s my kind of read too J

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

If you are interested in reading this book, the author is accepting requests for those interested in posting a review. You can contact him at richard.p.titus <at> gmail.com

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Amazon buy link.

The Gift of the Quoxxel, by Richard Titus (author and illustrator)

Book Length: 121 pages

Humorous Fantasy (Children’s Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

King Norr of Nibb was not content. He longed to know of the world beyond his tiny, island kingdom. Why travel elsewhere, said his people. What place could possibly be more perfect than Nibb?

What frustrated Norr even more, outsiders never came to Nibb. Foreign ships approached, hesitated, then sailed away. Why was that?

And that wasn’t the only mystery.

Who was the little girl who sang, but would not speak?

What kind of monster lurked in waters along the shore?

Had Dr Hinkus been devoured by woolly drumbkins?

And most importantly, what’s for lunch?

Drearily perfect Nibb was about to turn upside down. As King Norr often said, it’s enough to give one “haddocks.”

Book Review: Giant Thief by David Tallerman

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Review:

Giant Thief started out well. The beginning was fast-paced, set up an interesting fantasy world and protagonist, and running off with a giant seemed interesting enough… until it wasn’t.

It just didn’t do it for me, and I think it’s because the book ended up being one big long chase sequence. There was not enough room for the characters to breath or for the major plot to even be exposed properly (a power-hungry warlord who was conquering cities and towns that refused to unite properly against him due to stupid politics).

I liked how the story started. I liked the giant. I sort of liked the thief. I found the world-building and the descriptions of the landscapes to be well done, if overdone for me. But then, I know people who really enjoy poetic descriptions of the countryside and I have no doubt that David Tallerman can write – he definitely proves that. I just think plot and character development should have a higher priority over ‘storytelling’, you know? The ability to spin a yarn is great, and the author’s grasp of the English language is far better than mine. It’s just that to me, storytelling is a podium to put a STORY on, and Giant Thief was less of a story and more of a keeping-the-protagonist-and-the-reader-in-the-dark-for-too-long. There was a bigger story there, and we get a summary of it by the end, but honestly I found the main character the least interesting character to follow around in this particular tale. Estrada would have been far, far more interesting. Hell, the giant would’ve been a more interesting protagonist, as we find out later in the book he’s much more than he seems.

So even though I didn’t particularly like it, I expect others might and I didn’t find it a chore to finish. Can’t recommend it, but I don’t feel like it was a waste of my time since I like trying different things.

Giant Thief

By David Tallerman

Tales of Easie Damasco #1

Book Length: 364 pages

Medieval Fantasy.

According to the Blurb:

Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer.

Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help.

Big time.

Book Review: Murder in the Boughs by Jamie Sedgwick

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Review:

I loved this book. It started out with a bang and I worried it was going to peter out, but it never did (that’s not to say it made me dizzy – I should point out that the pacing was excellent). I was wrapped the whole time through this book. Now, it hasn’t gotten perfect reviews on Goodreads, but this book was honestly perfect for me. A wonderful blend of urban fantasy, humour, action, mystery, and heart. The characters were well fleshed out and the setting was real and, at times, really surprising. The giant snake that controls the elevator was a favourite of mine 🙂

The two mysteries were interesting and multi-layered, and although I felt the murder wasn’t resolved as well as I would have liked, I can appreciate the unique direction the ending took, which leads Hank Mossberg into a precarious future where he can longer rely on certainties. The book did justice to the fairy-tale inspired setting, and I just loved the lore, I really did.

I shall definitely be reading the sequel. Recommended to anyone looking to be swept up into mystery, murder and mayhem.

Murder in the Boughs

By Jamie Sedgwick

Hank Mossberg, Private Ogre #1

Book Length: 264 pages

Crime Urban Fantasy.

According to the Blurb:

Detective noir fiction and Grimm’s Fairy Tales collide in the “Hank Mossberg, Private Ogre” detective series. The series takes place in the gritty streets of San Francisco and in the undercity, the massive underground cavern where thousands of fae creatures secretly make their homes. Here, nymphs walk darkened streets, imps are slave traders, and gnomes are elite hackers.

In “Murder in the Boughs,” Hank Mossberg is a hard-boiled San Francisco detective who must race against time to rescue a kidnapped girl, expose a ring of “pixie dust” dealers, and find the killer of a high-elven San Francisco kingpin. Hank is also the last living ogre in the world.

Hank’s troubles begin when he stumbles onto a briefcase full of the illicit drug known as pixie dust. He finally has the evidence he needs to bring down the notorious Kaisers, an elven crime family, but then the gang’s leader is murdered and the pixie dust disappears. Hank is hot on the trail of the killer when he gets an urgent call from a desperate woman whose daughter has been abducted… only the kidnapper is no ordinary criminal, and even Hank’s unique skills might not be enough to bring the girl home. Hank juggles both cases while navigating the complexities of fae-world politics and real life relationships, none of which ever seem to come easy.

Indie Book Review: Arafura – Unfinished Business (Book 2) by Susan Lattwein

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Review:

This book starts off with a bang, and it keeps on delivering. Nicely paced with good doses of action, drama and romance, I absolutely recommend it. After reading the first book, I knew it couldn’t end there, and the sequel takes everything that was great and builds on it, raising the stakes to a thoroughly satisfying ending. I loved all the supporting characters, who each had their own quirks and stories to tell. Kat’s world was wonderful to dive back into, and the tropical setting of Darwin was as prominent as in the first book. Isn’t it nice to venture into a different part of the world?

While I found it difficult to classify the first Arafura book in terms of genre, this one falls neatly into suspense romance. It’s the first I’ve read of that genre, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and so I’m open to reading more!

Author website: https://susanlattwein.wordpress.com/

My review of book 1

Arafura: Unfinished Business

By Susan Lattwein

Arafura #2

eBook Length: 235 pages

Suspense Romance

According to the Blurb:

Love is patient. Love is kind. Sometimes love is explosive ….

Schoolteacher Katherine is kidnapped by terrorists outside a supermarket one balmy evening after being stalked by an unconnected, odious suitor – a police officer.
Soon Kat is caught up in a plot to wreak havoc in Darwin, her unruly emotions over the man who rescues her, and an ex-fiancé who refuses to move on.
As time runs out, how can they convince the authorities to take the terrorists’ plans seriously?
Arafura – Unfinished Business is a gritty romance with a bit of sex, dynamite, and hilarity – not always at the same time …

This story follows on from Arafura – Blood, the Wet and tears.