ARC Review: Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody

Queen of Volts

Author: Amanda Foody

Published: September 1, 2020

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Format: eBook

Source: Edelweiss+

Return to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin…and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.

After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly.

Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.

Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…

And monsters.

I went out of my way to read the preceding two books in the series because I’d heard marvelous things about them.  Of course, I was hooked from the first few pages of book one when Enne is trying to find her way through this incredibly seedy underworld place with casinos and dancers and so many other things.  In a world of talents and favors and debts and crime, it seemed like the perfect blend of magic, mobster gangs, and overthrown royalty to quench my thirst! 

I loved both books 1 and 2, so picking up Queen of Volts has honestly been satisfying.  This book came out last month and I’m just getting to writing a review, but I did enjoy this book.  The characters continue to develop, to learn about themselves, to see the future they can possibly make for themselves as well.  I really want to avoid spoilers, so this is more a plug for the entire series.

The high stakes world of New Reynes is incredibly interesting and captivating!  I’d say this is firmly upper YA, just due to the content – lots of gambling, drinking, drugs, maybe a splash of prostitution.  These things can be appropriate for younger YA audiences, but I felt like they belonged in the upper range for this series.

My only complaint with this book is that the plot has gotten so incredibly detailed and convoluted – there are three times as many characters as the first novel and I can’t keep them straight sometimes.  I still really liked it, it just became hard to remember what I was reading at some points or to track what stage of whoever’s plan it was and who they were double crossing to get to whatever end they wanted.  Also, the POV switching just kept happening and suddenly I had 6 or more different POVs to read, which made it even more difficult. 

Overall, I loved this book and I would recommend that fans of upper-YA literature with complicated worlds, magic systems, technology (because guns do exist here), crime, and a distinct 20s gangster meets Victorian morals vibe would really enjoy this book!  It’s out now, so get a copy! 

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Blog Tour: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

A Golden Fury

by

Samantha Cohoe

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction

Publication: October 13, 2020

Age Group: YA

Set in eighteenth century England, Samantha Cohoe’s debut novel, A GOLDEN FURY (Wednesday Books; October 13, 2020), follows a young alchemist as she tries to save the people she loves from the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone. The streets of London and Oxford come to life as this historical fantasy unravels. Weaving together an alluring story of magic and danger, Samantha’s debut has her heroine making messy decisions as she toes the line between good and evil while it becomes blurred.

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

A GOLDEN FURY and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.

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If you’d told me this was a debut before I began reading, I would say you were crazy!  A Golden Fury is a very strong debut novel from Samantha Cohoe.  This is a firmly upper-YA novel that carries the weight of it’s narrative and features superb writing!  Immediately, the reader is introduced to our main character, Thea.  It’s a bit trope-y, but Thea has worked in her famous mother’s shadow for a long time and is thrust into an odd situation after her mother suffers from a breakdown.  Thea is sent to her father, who, of course, has no idea he is her father, and many things ensue! 

While some new releases this year have very strongly relied on the YA tropes of old, I felt like this novel took a used trope and successfully built a narrative that I became wrapped up in, almost from the beginning.  Thea is incredibly well-written and well-developed, even in the first few pages, I found myself wanting to know everything about her and the strange art of alchemy!  She has quirks and nuances, which are revealed in ways that absolutely worked for me!  My only quibble with Thea is that she put a lot of faith and trust in people, which may not have always been the best idea in this story.  That’s a minor thing, though.  Truly, I enjoyed Thea.  I did notice in a few other reviews that others felt that some of the character traits weren’t quite suited to the narrative, but I think that may have been more of a deliberate action on the part of the author, given the time period.  As a fan of historical fiction, which this is loosely historical fiction, I really liked that! 

Certainly, the romance between Will and Thea is strained at times (that trust thing again), which became a bit grating at some point, but I don’t think it ultimately detracted from the narrative.  I felt that their romance kept the plot going, but wasn’t overly intrusive.  Being less of a romance fan, I also appreciated this fact.  The setting was incredible and Thea accomplishes much with the hand she is dealt through the story.  Being a longtime fan of spooky season and also a fan of anti-heroes, I felt this book was what I was looking for right now.  This isn’t a typical YA novel and certainly not a typical YA debut.  I enjoyed the gloomy setting, dire consequences, and potential failure that linger with the reader throughout the narrative. 

Once again, this was a book that was just right for me!  I would encourage any fans of historical fiction, YA fantasy, alchemy, or a non-traditional YA novel to read this!  This is also perfect for fans of other Wednesday imprint authors like Adrienne Young, Emma Lord, Allison Saft, Romina Garber, among others.

My thanks to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review!  Thanks also to Wednesday Books and their amazing team for having me along on this blog tour!

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.

Review: A Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan

A Curse of Gold is the sequel to Annie Sullivan’s A Touch of Gold.  I won’t spoil all of the plot of the first book, but King Midas is featured heavily in this duology and the action is seen through the point of view of his daughter, Kora.  I picked up A Touch of Gold before reading this and I really did enjoy it.  I can see why it is geared more toward the 13+ age group.  I have been a lifelong fan of YA novels and firmly believe that they can still be enjoyed at any age.  The one thing that pushed this one firmly into YA was the romance.  I liked it, but is was maybe too sweet. 

The relationships and characters were built up more from the first book, which I appreciated.  Although a few other reviews have mentioned that the pacing was not great, I found it to be great.  The action began from chapter one and it felt like it didn’t stop.  Kora not only went on a journey to save the kingdom, she also learned along the way how to rule.  Her father is in failing health and she understands that no matter the outcome of her journey, she will one day take up the mantle as leader of Lagonia. 

One of my favorite lines was about love:

…remembering that wise Queen Teragram wrote that there is no ocean that can separate love, for it is a feeling and not a location.

Quotes like this pop up often in the narrative and I think they really drive home the notion that Kora needs to learn from the past so she doesn’t repeat the mistakes of those that went before her.  Kora wants to make the world a better place and save her people, to do that she must learn from other kings and queens.

In both books, I enjoyed the story and the exploration of mythology!  There’s an oracle, islands were monsters live and of course some swashbuckling.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes mythology and firm YA novels.

A Curse of Gold is out on September 22nd!  Pre-order your copy now using the links below and follow the author on social media for book updates and more from the Curse of Gold duology!

I received a galley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you to NetGalley and Blink for a copy of this book!

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ARC Review: Fable by Adrienne Young

Fable

Author: Adrienne Young

Published: September 1, 2020

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

Filled with all of the action, emotion, and lyrical writing that brought readers to Sky in the DeepNew York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Fable, the first book in this new captivating duology.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive. 

Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue and adventure.

I’ve seen a couple of reviews that said this book is flat, and I get that.  It’s not a deep book.  The premise is simple and the plot isn’t crazy, but I really enjoyed this!  I’ve read a couple of books this summer that have had either rave reviews or incredibly low DNFs.  This is another one of those books.  Again, I really liked this.  It’s got pirates, ships, traders, a fight for survival, a daughter scorned, and a slow romance that doesn’t overtake the narrative.  Many YA novels out there are so focused on the romance that the rest of the plot falls very flat.  This was the opposite, incredible plot development with just enough romance.  Honestly, I didn’t realize it was happening until something romantic happened. 

Loved Fable as a character.  She learned from her past, became stronger, and ultimately pursues the thing for which she is destined.  Lots of female main characters wallow in pity at their plight, but Fable soldiers on and adapts.  The crew of the Marigold were fantastic people with which to go on an adventure.  West was probably my favorite character, though just edging ahead of Fable.  He was interesting, had enough secrets to keep me guessing, and in my head he is fine as hell.  Very good character development in this YA novel.

I was all in on this world.  The Unnamed Sea, the Narrows, Ceros, Dern, Javal….all such great place names!  I almost wanted more lore about Saint, his shipping operation, and the political structure of the world.  This is duology, so that may be forthcoming in the next book, Namesake.  I felt the world building, though a bit minimal, was very well done.  Not a lot of information dumps and the bits of information the reader learns are tactfully presented through the narrative.  It definitely helped that one of the rules was that everything is partly true or at least based on truth.  This made me interrogate the information I was learning, just like Fable did in the narrative! 

Overall, this is a solid seafaring YA adventure that I would recommend to fans of Adrienne Young (the author), Leigh Bardugo, V. E. Schwab, Sabaa Tahir, and others!  A great book and I am looking forward to the thrilling conclusion!  Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the eARC!  I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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ARC Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono, Translated by Emily Balistrieri

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Author: Eiko Kadono

Published: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

Nostalgic fans of the Miyazaki film and newcomers alike–soar into the modern classic about a young witch and her clever cat that started it all! 

Half-witch Kiki never runsfrom a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she’s eager to follow a witch’s tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year.

Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places.

Blending fantasy with the charm of everyday life, this enchanting new translation will inspire both new readers and dedicated fans.

Given that I am a Studio Ghibli fan, I was very excited to pick up this ARC!  I’ve seen several reviews that point out that this book is not the same as the movie.  I think it’s fitting to point this out, but it’s also a good point to say that this book doesn’t have to be the movie.  There is no need for the book to match the movie, particularly because this is the book that inspired the movie adaptation.  Originally published in 1985, this translation by Emily Balistrieri captures the heart of the original Japanese text. 

This is just the uplifting story that I wanted to read in the middle of quarantine and in a place where hope feels lost.  The message of this book is that while humans are annoying, there is good in all of us.  There is no ‘evil’ in this book, but there are mean-spirited people.  Fans of the Ghibli film will feel a level of nostalgia for this book, but will also find fun new story elements.  This is wholesome and perfect for YA readers!  It would also be fun to read this book as a family and watch the Ghibli film to see the differences and talk about the translation.  Great book, beautiful story, stellar translation, and a great read in a trying time!

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book and to the publisher for releasing it on NetGalley!  I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Starting with this review, I am doing something new! Each review (non blog tour review) will have a recipe based on the book included with it! Kiki’s Delivery Service takes place in Japan and Kiki lives near a bakery! It seemed only fitting to feature a recipe for Japanese Milk Bread! This is adapted from King Arthur Flour, click here to get the original recipe. Have you made Japanese Milk Bread before? How was it? Embarking on this new recipe? Leave a picture in the comments or send me an email! I’d love to see how your adventure turned out!

ARC Review: Twin Daggers by MarcyKate Connolly

Twin Daggers

Author: MarcyKate Connolly

Published: August 25, 2020

Publisher: Blink

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

Aissa’s life is a web of carefully constructed lies. She and her twin sister, Zandria, are Magi spies, magic users most believe to be extinct. And they’re on a mission for revenge. 

This action & adventure spy thriller–a fantasy spin on Romeo and Juliet from 
New York Times bestselling author MarcyKate Connolly–is perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Elly Blake and is about to become your new obsession!

By day, Aissa and Zandria play the role of normal young Technocrats eager to fulfill the duties of their new apprenticeships. By night, they plot their revenge to retake their city from the Technocrats. But then Aissa is given a new mission: find the heir to the Technocrat throne, who is rumored to be one of the Heartless, and kidnap her. Born without a working heart, the Heartless survive with a mechanical replacement.

Aissa is more likely to be caught than to be successful, but she’s never been one to turn down an assignment, even if the hunt is complicated by a kind Technocrat researcher who is determined to find a cure for the Heartless. But when Zandria is captured by the Technocrats, Aissa will do anything to get her sister back. Even if it means abandoning all other loyalties–and missions–and deciding whether or not it’s worth risking everything on getting help from her sworn enemies. 

There is so much that I want to say about this book, but I’m going to keep it short because it doesn’t actually matter.  Twin Daggers is a book that I requested because the synopsis seemed so promising.  Something like Renegades, futuristic like Bladerunner, soft magic system, spies, intrigue, romance reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet.  This was so promising and I wanted to believe in it so much.  Unfortunately, I was wildly disappointed.  This was mostly due to the fact that the synopsis overpromised what I read.  The narrative moved along so slowly and I felt the romance was flat. 

I had a lot of hope for this, but it wasn’t my thing.  I wanted to believe in this book, but I ultimately couldn’t.  This needed a few more developmental passes.  A few more critique partners and a good dose of plot accelerant.  That’s my hot take. 

I would still encourage you to try this book.  It wasn’t my thing, but it might be perfect for you.  Check out a copy from your local library.  Buy a copy for yourself.  Buy a copy for a friend.  It’s a beautiful cover, nonetheless.

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ARC Review: Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Where Dreams Descend

Author: Janella Angeles

Published: August 25, 2020

Publisher: Wednesday books

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

I was so excited when I was approved for this ARC and I think the cover is beautiful.  It was pitched for me as Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge with magic.  I think these are appropriate descriptions because I can absolutely identify the prevailing themes from those works in this story.  We’ve got a love triangle, lots of side characters who interact with the main plot almost as much as the main characters, there is magic, a strong female character who is almost infallible but no one else can even begin to touch her, and there’s a mysterious guy with a lot of power.  It’s all there and it’s all deliciously complicated. 

I found a decent amount of similarity with Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge, but also I saw a lot of similarities with the Shadow Game series.  It’s a bit dystopian with lots of people with different talents, maybe a bit of gang-ish activity, and lots of magic as usual.  I also saw some similarities with the Shades of Magic series, specifically book 2 with the tournament.  I found these similarities, but I think that’s all they are, ultimately.

The characters have depth and the writing is breathtaking.  I had no complaints about the narrative structure or the characters themselves.  I thought each one had a well-rounded motivation for their interactions in the plot, but also they belonged.  I’ve read a few YA books recently in this same genre that have completely unnecessary side characters, but these were all appropriate in my mind. 

The pacing was fantastic, I felt it went quickly and the narrative/magic system/political system was very interesting and fun!  I did not get sucked into this book like I have in other books.  Though the writing was incredibly descriptive and I enjoyed the style, I think it may have been just a bit too disjointed in some chapters for me.  Overall, this is a great new addition and debut in YA fantasy.  I really enjoyed reading it and I am looking forward to the sequel to complete the duology!


Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the chance to review this book!  I received a complimentary eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Blog Tour: Child of Destiny by M. K. Adams #silverdaggertours

Child of Destiny
The Rising Saga Book 1
by M.K. Adams
Genre: YA Fantasy
A young orphan on the run from the King. A warlock with the power to protect her. And, the fighter holding them together.
The Rive, a realm ruled by the iron grip of a war-hungry King, is on the brink of rebellion and Lyvanne, a young girl who has witnessed a vision of his downfall, is the key to victory, whether she wants to be involved or not.
Forced to leave her loved ones behind, her life becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse. With the King willing to stop at nothing if it means finding the one who threatens his reign. But when a defiant insurgent group known as The Spring takes her into their protection, Lyvanne is offered something she never could have dreamed of before. The chance to fight back, the chance to make a difference.
Embark on a journey of self-discovery and political upheaval as a common street rat takes the first steps of her great journey along the paths of love, magic, and war.

**Only .99 cents!!**  


Child of Destiny is the debut YA fantasy from M. K. Adams that is intense, filled with complex characters, and interesting story development!  I am an avid supporter of indie and self-published books.  This YA fantasy is absolutely deserving of praise.  Steeped in high fantasy, this adventure tale has everything you want to see in a well-rounded novel.  We have an orphan with a higher purpose, a warlock destined to save a life, and a fighter who keeps the whole gang together!

Though it has a bit of a somber tone through the story, I found this book to be compelling and well worth a read.  My only real complaint is that it took a short while for the book to get going.  Clocking in at about 300 pages, this novel is exactly right for a couple of afternoons of reading.  A lovely writing style and interesting characters all wrapped up in a sweeping world of new magics and mysteries kept me reading from page 1.  Again, a great YA high fantasy with so much to offer!  This is billed as the start of a series and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

Thank you to Silver Dagger Tours for having me along and to M. K. Adams for a fantastic book!

M.K.Adams is a new author within the fantasy genre. He works in politics by trade but writing is where the heart lies, and he’s been concocting worlds and stories since he was a child. He carried out his degree at the University of Kent, Canterbury, before moving into the private sector in London.
M.K. also has an unhealthy obsession with collecting Funko Pops and can often be found listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack when locked away working on his next novel. An avid reader of fantasy and all its sub-genres, M.K. is always on the lookout for the next great story.
Able to find inspiration in the smallest of details he is a firm believer that creating new worlds from scratch is one of the most fulfilling past-times. That belief also led him to the world of Dungeons and Dragons, a hobby that he believes perfectly compliments the creative outpouring of working on a new fantasy novel.
His favourite author is J.R.R.Tolkien, and he found great inspiration when he visited Tolkien’s hometown (and local pub!) in Oxford.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

@sot_tours Blog Tour: Kings & Daemons by Marcus Lee

Kings & Daemons

by

Marcus Lee

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Publication: May 25, 2020

Age Group: Young Adult

A tale of conquest, dark kings, and daemonic heroes. A spellbinding story that will enchant you with its plot of ambition, love, betrayal, sacrifice and redemption.

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.

Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.

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 Kings and Daemons is the first book in a new series by Marcus Lee!  This interesting and original Young Adult fantasy/romance is the story of a rag-tag group of people who band together to defeat a great evil!  One of those ‘misfits’ is Maya, a girl with extraordinary powers.  Also Taran, a telepath with a penchant for anger and Kalas, an incredible warrior.  I felt this fit exactly into the young adult genre and it is a fantasy book with all of the classical elements that readers love!

The world building through the first few chapters is well-done through character point of view vignettes.  I loved the imagery of the forest, the Free States, and the Witch-King’s lands.  Though the book is near 400 pages, I found it went rather quickly and I was engrossed in the plot from the beginning.  This is a fantastic introduction to a new fantasy world from author Marcus Lee! 

I enjoyed the rich character building for Maya, Taran, and all of the other main/side characters.  I thought the character arcs tied up nicely along with the narrative.  Of course, being a series, there is more to come and I am absolutely excited for a continuation of this story!  I would recommend this to any YA fantasy fans and any general fantasy fans.  There is something for every reader in this book, plenty of action, a bit of romance, all of the fantasy elements, and an easy to follow plot that hooks you from the beginning!

Thank you to Marcus Lee and Storyteller’s on Tour for having me along for this tour!  I appreciate all of the work that indie authors put into their novels and I am so glad to have the opportunity to read them!  Thanks to the team at Storyteller’s on Tour as well!  This is my third or fourth tour with them and they are always top notch!

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me … but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.

So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.

However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be the first of many. I genuinely hope so.

Who knows, now these creatives juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.

Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and The Illiad as a seven-year-old. Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others.

Blog Tour: The 8th Island Trilogy – Inside the Sun by Alexis Marie Chute with iRead Book Tours

Join Us for this Book Series Tour from Jul 7 to Aug 10, 2020!
A Wrinkle in Time meets The Princess Bride.” – Review by Lee Lee Thompson, The Perpetual You Magazine

“Chute’s novel weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for booklovers of all ages.” – US Review of Books

Fast and bizarre… Never a dull moment. – Foreward Reviews

SERIES DETAILS:

Series Title The 8th Island Trilogy by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs) (368 to 448 pages)
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Jun 2018; Oct 2019; Apr 2020
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.



Series Description:

The 8th Island Trilogy
includes Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. Over the three books, we follow the adventures of a quirky family, the Wellsleys. The main characters are frumpy senior citizen Archie, his daughter-in-law, Tessa, and his ill fourteen-year-old granddaughter Ella.

Archie, searching for his missing son, accidentally transports his family—and a cruise ship full of people—to a magical planet. There, they uncover the truth: all worlds are dying. Yet hope is not lost. A way to restore all that will soon be destroyed is revealed, along with the realization that Ella will play a role no one could have imagined—especially not her.

On the mysterious island of Jarr-Wya, many races of creatures battle for dominion and magic lurks around every corner. When the world falls dark, that is when bravery must shine the brightest, and the Wellsleys will reveal the strength they never knew they possessed—as well as the power of love to save the day.


Books in the 8th Island Trilogy:



Book Details:

Book TitleAbove the Star by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 368 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Jun 2018
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.


Book Description:

When frumpy senior citizen Archie goes in search of his missing son in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: locating a magical cure for his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a stone-headed creature named Zeno are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magnificent yet terrifying island in a connected realm―along with Ella and her strong-willed mother, Tessa, who accidentally stow away on this not-so-secret quest.

What they find on Jarr-Wya is an island tortured by a wicked Star anchored in the sea, and a raging three-way battle for dominion between the stone-wielding Bangols, the fiery Olearons, and the evil Millia sands. Ella’s wit and resourcefulness emerge in this new world, while Tessa is forced to confront her long-buried secrets and a confusing new love triangle. When Ella is captured, Tessa and Archie―with the help of a company of peculiar allies―set out to save her and unravel the terrible mystery of her cure. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night adventure of three unlikely heroes, Above the Star reminds us that even the smallest act of bravery can transform our lives and the fates of the worlds around us.




Book Details:

Book TitleBelow the Moon by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 448 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Oct 2019
Content Rating: PG: Battle scenes and death depicted.

Book Description:

Ella Wellsley is not your typical teenager. Cancer left her mute, but not powerless. Trapped in a parallel dimension, Ella rallies her strength to join her family―her mother, Tessa, her grandpa Archie, and her magical boyfriend―in locating the cure to her illness. This cure is entangled in the fate of all worlds, and threatened by the presence of an evil Star anchored in the sea. The Star has thrown life everywhere into chaos―and it is Ella who holds the key to unlocking its mystery.

Caught in a web of betrayal, mistaken identities, secrets, and love triangles, Ella, Tessa, and Archie must overcome their troubled pasts to ensure a future for all worlds. On this journey―armed with unearthly abilities and unexpected allies―each member of the Wellsley family will learn the power of love in the face of their greatest fears.


Book Details:

Book TitleInside the Sun by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 384 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   April 2020
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.

Book Description:


All worlds are dying, and it’s up to one broken and dysfunctional family from Earth―the Wellsleys―to save the day.

Cancer-ridden Ella celebrates her fifteenth birthday beneath an enchanted mountain, but it is what lies even farther below―the mysterious Star in the sea―that demands she grow up quickly. While Ella grapples with the sacrifice she must make and the lies she is forced to tell, her mother, Tessa, is hell-bent on protecting her.

Through bizarre encounters, love-sick Tessa realizes that she is not the lonely orphan she believes. Her husband, Arden, and father-in-law, Archie, are not the only ones with magical bloodlines. This revelation changes everything. As Archie chooses to embody his unexpected ancestry, he learns that leading the charge in the ultimate battle against evil won’t be as easy as he thought. He’ll need his family―and the strange allies he has gained―by his side to give Ella enough time to set things right.

Can they defeat the unstoppable Millia sands―and another unexpected foe―before everything they hold dear is destroyed? Or will their adventure tear them apart for good? The finale to The 8th Island Trilogy will hold you spellbound until the final page, and long after.

This review is part of a series blog tour for the 8th Island Trilogy by Alexis Marie Chute. 

Inside the Sun is the final installment of Alexis Marie Chute’s 8th Island Trilogy!  I am so glad to have been able to be a part of this three book tour with iReadBookTours!  Through the first two books, I was enamored with the characters and this wholly original fantasy world.  This is truly an eclectic and original fantasy book with amazing elements of love, loss, grief, understanding, family, and so many other things! Told from the perspectives of the main characters, this book takes you through the gamut of emotions while leaving you breathless at it’s conclusion.

As before, my favorite character is still Grandpa Archie.  The intricacies of Jar-Wya, portals between worlds, and the intense relationships between our characters make this a one of a kind narrative.  There are intense battle scenes, mixed with tough moments in relationships between mother and daughter, king and countryman.  By the time I was finally ready for Inside the Sun, I felt like I’d been through so much struggle, so much pain, and so many small victories with these characters.  Ella is wonderfully written.  Having a terminally ill character who claims her own agency and risks herself for the ones she loves, all while losing the ability to speak, is heart-wrenching and wonderful all at the same time.  Tessa harbors so much anger at Ella’s dad for leaving, yet she finds a way to continue to provide a family for Ella through Grandpa Archie and the other side characters.  Ultimately, there is a sacrifice to be made and in a classical fantasy way, the author provides the most unlikely character to make that sacrifice. 

The setting of these books bounces between vivid worlds and takes the reader on an epic journey to ultimately attempt to save the worlds.  I found the descriptions incredibly detailed, but written in a way that I didn’t feel overwhelmed.  There is beautiful artwork throughout, which Ella uses to communicate her feelings and thoughts.  I found these to be interesting and lovely added details! 

As with the other books in this series, I would recommend this book to any YA reader who enjoys epic fantasy/science-fiction quests!  This is an emotional, but incredibly heartfelt series that needs to be read.  The originality here is unmatched and it is a refreshing break from the trope heavy YA novels hitting shelves recently.  It has been an absolute pleasure to read this series for this tour and I am forever grateful to Alexis Marie Chute and iReadBookTours for the opportunity to read them!

Meet the Author:

Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning author, artist, photographer, art curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work. Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE PRINCESS BRIDE” by The Perpetual You magazine, and “Fast and bizarre… never a dull moment” by Forward Reviews. The 8th Island Trilogy “weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for blooklovers of all ages” – US Review of Books. Chute’s bestselling memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was a top Kirkus title of 2017 and received a plethora of other literary distinctions. The memoir was accompanied by the feature documentary of the same name, which has screened internationally for the last three years. Chute received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA. Chute is a highly regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings info@alexismariechute.com When not in her art/photo studio or at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in frosty Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband and their three living children.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter   Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ YouTube ~ LinkedIn


Tour Schedule:

July 7 – Splashes of Joy – series spotlight / guest post / author interview / giveaway
July 7 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 7 – fundinmental – series spotlight / giveaway
July 7 – Corinne Rodrigues | Booksnista – series spotlight / giveaway
July 8 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 8 – Book Bustle – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 8 – Living in a Bookworld – series spotlight / giveaway
July 9 – Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 9 – I’m Into Books – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 10 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 10 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 13 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 13 – Books and Zebras – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 14 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 14 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 15 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 15 – Blooming with Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 16 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 16 – Books and Zebras – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 17 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 17 – Writer with Wanderlust – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 20 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 20 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 20 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 21 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 21 – Stephanie Jane – series spotlight / giveaway
July 21 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 22 – T’s Stuff – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 22 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 22 – Blooming with Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 23 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Inside the Sun / guest post / giveaway
July 23 – Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 24 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 24 – Books and Zebras – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 27 –  Book Bustle – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 27 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 28 –  Working Mommy Journal – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 28 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 28 – Library of Clean Reads – series spotlight / giveaway
July 29 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 29 – Blooming with Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 30 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 30 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 31 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 3 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 4 –  Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 4 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Inside the Sun / guest post / giveaway
Aug 5 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 5 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 6 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 6 – Olio by Marilyn – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 7 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 7 – Jazzy Book Reviews – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 10 – Books for Books – series spotlight
Aug 10 –Book Bustle – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway

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