Eubeltic Descent by Nadine C. Keels

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About the book:

Your soul will remember…

As a woman who wasn’t born to wealth or privilege, Abigaia has mastered the art of thievery. And she’s come to hate it. Not only is she plagued by guilt, but her shadowed upbringing and silent ways cause most of her town to question her sanity.

Yet, Abigaia’s eccentric father always taught her to be proud of her heritage. Her ancestry lies across the sea, in a prominent realm she’s read about but has never seen.

The man who desires Abigaia’s hand in marriage doesn’t share her hope of seeing the Eubeltic Realm. But disaster erupts in their path, and Abigaia’s dream may have a greater purpose—if that famed domain of her ancestors is now in crucial need of her.


My review:

This was an interesting read. I was intrigued by the way the author was able to make her main character a mute (and I was heartbroken by the tragedy that brought her silence), and somehow manage to convey her use of sign language so clearly that I could picture it as I read.

There were, however, moments when time moved strangely for me, and I found it difficult to figure out how much time had passed in the plot. I think that may be the reason that it took me longer than usual to read this book, since it didn’t flow super smoothly for me.

But overall, it was a decent read with relatively interesting characters and a good message. I would recommend this book for teen girls, especially if they are searching for a way to fit in and trying to discover what is most important to them.

Thank you to the author for the copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

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Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig

 

Thirst of Steel

About the book:

Dismantled centuries ago, the sword of Goliath is still rumored to thirst for its enemies’ blood. Cole “Tox” Russell only wants to begin his life with Haven Cortes, but he must first complete a final mission: retrieve that sword and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order.

The AFO, however, is determined to claim the sword. Wielding their father’s life over Tzivia and Ram Khalon, they threaten to expose Ram’s long-held and dangerous secret while demanding Tzivia locate the sword. With the Wraith team slowly being torn apart, things only worsen when Mercy Maddox, a new operative, emerges with the stunning news that the sword is tied to both Ram’s secret and a string of unsolved serial murders.

Tox, Ram, and the others are forced to set aside fear and anger to focus only on the enemy. No matter the cost, Wraith must stop or take the enemy down with them.


My review:

Ronie Kendig definitely knows how to wrap up a trilogy! This third and final installment of the Tox Files is non-stop and filled with just about every feel you can imagine. Secrets are revealed, questions are answered, hearts (especially mine!) are broken, all while the plot keeps you flipping pages so fast, you risk paper cuts (or for your e-reader to be unable to keep up!).

Tox and the crew may be separated, but their bonds grow stronger throughout the book. They trust each other, even when it seems that they are turning away from the right path. What an awesome picture of true friendship and faithfulness!

I have so enjoyed reading The Tox Files, this military-action-thriller series with a supernatural twist, and am sad to see it end. However, I can’t wait to see what Ronie Kendig has for us next and plan to savor her fantasy series (Abiassa’s Fire) in the meantime 🙂

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

The Last Motley by DJ Edwardson

Last-MotleyAbout the book:

Motleys. Candy-colored creatures with dark powers to drain the souls of men. That’s what Roderick always thought. Until he met one. Now he’s not so sure. But with seemingly everyone in the province hunting the motley down, he must quickly decide which side he’s on.

Is the motley the living nightmare the legends say? Or just a child cursed by magic? Should Roderick save him from an awful fate, or turn him in? Either way, it seems like everyone wants to make sure that this will indeed be the last motley.


My review:

I discovered this book a while back while traipsing through a blog tour, and it so intrigued me that I immediately added it to my “Want to Read” list. Then, an online book club that I’m privileged to be a member of chose it as their selection for August! Lucky me, I finally got a chance to read it! And I’m so glad I did.

Roderick the tailor is a finely embroidered character (pun definitely intended!), stitched with sturdy threads of love, faith, and a determination to do what is right. He leads a cast of motley characters (literally in Jacob’s case), all deftly sewn into the colorful fabric of a beautifully woven world.

The pacing of the plot is swift and the action builds constantly, making this one of those books that keeps you turning pages well past your bed time. But it’s worth it, because the story is great! I definitely recommend you pick up a copy of The Last Motley. 🙂

What Blooms from Dust by James Markert

 

what blooms from dust

About the book:

Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the path back to Nowhere.

After one jolt in Old Sparky, Jeremiah sees things more clearly and begins to question the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murders he was accused of. On his journey home, he accidentally rescues a young boy who follows him the rest of the way, and the pair arrive at their destination where they are greeted by fearful townspeople. When the Black Sunday storm hits the very next day, the residents of Nowhere finally begin to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust.

Unlikely heroes, Jeremiah and his new companion, Peter Cotton, try to protect the townspeople from themselves, but Jeremiah must face his nightmares and free himself from the guilt of flipping the coin on those men who died.

Filled with mystery and magic, What Blooms from Dust is the story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness.


My review:

Though I’ve wanted to for a while, I’ve never read James Markert before. I knew that he wrote historical fiction, which I thoroughly enjoy reading, so I thought I’d give one of his books a go. Wow! I was overwhelmingly impressed by this book and can’t wait to grab another of his.

What Blooms from Dust is so much more than just a historical fiction set in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl. It’s a story of looking beyond the surface to the heart, of the freedom found only in truth, of the beauty of redemption. Markert’s writing reminds me a bit of Billy Coffey—that relaxed, Southern rhythm, mixed with a dose of the supernatural, and shaken with a twist of the unknown. In other words, beautiful!

One of the most impressive characters (in a loose sense) in the story for me was the dust itself—the power it wielded over the people and how it could so change someone was both mind-blowing and heart-breaking. Although this was definitely a fictional account of the Dust Bowl, it still granted me a deeper respect for those who persevered through that time in America’s history.

This is a powerful story that will leave you almost as breathless as the characters battling the Dust Bowl. I highly recommend you pick up your own copy of What Blooms from Dust and a box of Kleenex.

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and the BookLook Blogger Review Program for the copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

Salt by Pauline Creeden

Salt

About the book:

Her kind treats her as less-than-human, but she’s always been so much more.

Mermaid life has never been easy for Verona. Her scars give evidence of her abuse. When her day of reckoning arrives, she is determined to endure exile. According to her father’s experience, exile is better than becoming a land-walker and risking her life among the humans.

However, when she saves the life of a drowning human boy, she inadvertently sets off a chain of events which force her to choose a path: stay with the humans she has become attached to or return home to a life of scorn. A savage hunter draws closer, threatening even the humans. Her only hope is to keep everyone safe until the next full moon, but those around her devise their own plans.


My review:

This was an okay read, but I honestly can’t say that I loved it. It was your typical mermaid story, a modern version of The Little Mermaid. I like mermaid stories, but this one just wasn’t able to keep me wanting to find out what was going to happen next or how the characters would react to the obstacles the author threw at them.

In fact, I found that most of the obstacles were to be expected, fairly typical mermaid tropes. And the villains…oh, the villains. The villains felt to me as if she needed bad guys, so she picked some random evil characters (werewolves & witches) and threw them in. There was no real substance to them, so I couldn’t even summon the energy to really dislike them or fear for the characters’ safety.

I never like to give a less than happy review, but unless you can’t get enough stories about mermaids, I just can’t recommend you take time out of your already busy day to read this one. Bummer!

 

Blind Betrayal by Nancy Mehl

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About the book:

Deputy U.S. Marshal Casey Sloane has worked at the St. Louis marshals office for two years and is given a routine assignment to help transport a reporter to D.C. to testify before a grand jury. Valerie, the reporter, was writing a story about an up-and-coming environmentalist who suddenly disappeared and, she later discovered, whose backers purportedly have ties to a terrorist.

When the seemingly ordinary assignment suddenly takes a shocking turn, Casey is forced to put aside her own feelings about the unexpected reappearance of a man from her past as she and two other marshals take Valerie on the run. And as it becomes dangerously clear Valerie’s testimony has even bigger implications than they knew, they’ll do whatever it takes to make it out alive.


My review:

Nancy Mehl always manages to keep me turning pages, and Blind Betrayal is no exception. Her writing is light and easy-to-read, while still crammed with tension and drama. I read this one while waiting for my mom to graduate from physical therapy (yay!), and it made the time fly by.

Her characterization is top-notch, and her delivery of that background information, that deep-down motivation, creates a wonderful blend of sympathy, empathy, and “Seriously?” that keeps the reader wanting more.

Now, to be honest, there were some parts of the plot that seemed way too convenient, and reminded me that this was fiction and all had to be wrapped up. But overall, I was entertained by this read.

I have not read the first two books in the series, and I wonder if that may have given me deeper insight into some of the tertiary characters. Yet, I don’t feel it’s is absolutely necessary to read them first, since I did enjoy reading Blind Betrayal, and I think you would enjoy it, too.

Many thanks to Bethany house for the copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

 

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep

captured bride

About the book:

Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.

Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?


My review:

Having been slightly disappointed by the first two books in the Daughters of the Mayflower series, I was leery about wasting time reading the third book. But I was pleasantly surprised by Michelle Griep’s addition to the series!

Griep’s writing is beautiful. Her descriptions swiftly transport the reader to upper New York in the 1750s in the midst of the French and Indian War. I was surprised at how quickly I fell into the story, and how I really did want to know what caused Mercy to be captured (as the title suggests). Griep did a wonderful job of building tension; of layering and slowly revealing backstories and motivations of her characters; of creating possibilities then tossing in challenges; of developing trust between her characters; and of maintaining a realistically harsh, yet still engaging atmosphere for Mercy and Elias to work through.

I did enjoy this story and plan to read more of Michelle Griep’s work. If the rest of the series is written like The Captured Bride, I will gladly read them all! I’d recommend you grab your own copy. (*Note: you do not have to read the series in order to be able to understand the individual stories!)

Many thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for the digital copy of this novel. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂