Tag Archives: book tour

Speechless in Achten Tan Tour-Banner

Speechless in Achten Tan, by Debbie Iancu-Haddad

I accepted a review copy of Speechless in Achten Tan, by Debbie Iancu-Haddad, through R&R Book tours. The book was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can hop over there for an excerpt, an interview with the author, and the schedule for the rest of the tour.

speechless with ants

Sometimes Magic leaves you…Speechless!

Eighteen-year-old Mila hasn’t spoken in the five years since she became an Onra, a first level Everfall witch. After failing the test to reclaim her voice and control her magic, her mentor sends Mila to Achten Tan – City of Dust – a dangerous desert town, built in the massive ribcage of an extinct leviathan.

To reclaim her power, Mila must steal a magical staff capable of releasing it, from the sky-high lair of the Bone Master, Chief Opu Haku.

Her only resources are the magical luminous elixirs of the cursed caverns where she grew up, and a band of unlikely allies; a quirky inventor, a giant-ant rider, a healer, a librarian’s assistant, a Tar-tule rider and the chief’s playboy son.

But in the City of Bones, enemies & friends are not who they seem and trusting the wrong person can be deadly.

If Mila fails she will never speak again and her bones may be added to the wasteland.

 


Review:

I have mixed feelings on this book. On the one hand the writing is really quite good. The characters are likeable. The world is interesting. There’s some fun diversity in the characters. It concludes (no cliffie), and I see lots of room for expansion in future books. Plus, we have gnomes as main character, without it being all cutsie-cutsie! So, on that one hand I really enjoyed it.

On the other hand, however, there seems to be a disconnect between the tone of the book and the actual events of the plot. The book feels like an older teen high school drama, of the ‘who’s going to win the big team rivalry,’ or ‘take down the school bully’ sort. (I mean, I literally started to visualize Geb in a letterman jacket every-time he slung his arm over Mila’s shoulder or waist.) But the things happening in the story are literally life and death. This left the tension…not lacking, exactly, but discordant. Plus, every near-death felt jarringly our of place.

I liked the book enough to read the sample of book two at the end (something I don’t usually bother with) and am interested in continuing the series. I liked Kaii a lot, as a character, and am interested to see what happens to him.

Speechless in Achten Tan photo


Giveaway:

Click the link below for a chance to win a copy of Speechless in Achten Tan and a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


WITCHBLOOD banner

Book Review: Witchblood, by Matthew Erman

I accepted a copy of Witchblood for review. The graphic novel was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can hop over there for the tour schedule and for information on the author Matthew Erman, artist Lisa Sterle, colorist Gab Contreras, and letterers Jim Campbell and Andworld.
witchblood cover

A modern, Wild West road trip about a witch named Yonna cruising the Southwest as a band of bloodthirsty biker vampires, The Hounds of Love, hunt her scattered coven for the source of all magic: witch blood. From the critically acclaimed creators of The Modern Witch Tarot Deck and Long Lost comes Witchblood, a blend of action, lore, and Americana—perfect for fans of Buffy and American Gods.

my review

I liked the art a lot. And, while I know it’s an itty-bitty little thing, I cannot tell you how much I loved that Yonna had armpit hair! I liked some of the way the world is changed. Women in the confessionals and Mother Superiors giving orders, for example. It also blends humor and horror, with a punk-ish dystopian Wild West vibe. If I say it felt super Tank Girl-like, will I be showing my age too much? Actually, now that I’ve said that, Lori Petty would make a great Yonna, IMO.

But the whole things sags on story. I wouldn’t say I disliked it. But I wasn’t blown away by it for a few reasons. For one, the pacing is off. It meanders through the first half and then rushes through the second, where arguably the more important action happens.

But the real issue for me is that here you have a story full of powerful women— a female deity, all of her female witch descendants, some female hex hunters, and a female vampire with important knowledge. But the story hinges on a man. The vampire with knowledge doesn’t use it herself. Noooo, she gives it to a man. And he becomes the cliched villain while she clings wordlessly to his back through out the story. Where this graphic novel had an open opportunity to do something interesting, it instead trod the dull, well-worn path. It just felt cheap and unoriginal.

All in all, I’d call this a middle of the road read. I merely enjoyed the graphic part more than the novel part.


Other Reviews:

 


Giveaway:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of WITCHBLOOD, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The KC Warlock Weekly Accused Tour Banner

Book Review: Accused, by M.N. Jolley

I accepted a review copy of Accused, by M.N. Jolly from The Write Reads. However, I later was looking for an audio book to borrow from Hoopla—to listen to as I did chores—and when I saw Accused, I thought, I might as well just listen to it. So, I went the audio book route instead. I should probably note that this book was a bronze medal finalist in the 2021 BBNYA competition, since that’s the reason for the book tour. However, I wasn’t part of the judging.

acused audio cover
My name is Levi. I’m a journalist, I’m autistic, I’m bad at magic, and I swear I didn’t kill her.

Research for the paper usually falls into a few basic patterns. Someone in the city says there’s a troll under Buck O’Neil Bridge, or they’ll call just so a friendly ear will listen to them complain about a pixie infestation.

That sort of content carries me through slow news weeks. It’s rare that I uncover a murder.

Being framed for murder, though? That’s a first.

With the Wizard’s Council hunting me for a crime I didn’t commit, I’ve got no choice but to solve the murder and clear my name. If I don’t unravel this case, nobody will, and I’ll go down for it so hard I might never see the light of day again.

my review
Some aspects of this book I really liked. I loved that Levi was on the autism spectrum and gay, but they’re just aspects of his character, same as being brunette or riding a motorcycle. There wasn’t a plot-related excuse for it or any particular drama about it. He was just allowed to be as he was. I also just plain like Levi as a character and thought the world interesting.

However, I was a little iffy with Ben—the magical equivalent of a Tinder date—being all-in for the danger and law breaking, after their first meeting with Levi. It just felt like there was a lot more trust there than there should have been. And I never quite grasped if the crime committed that led to the murder was business as usual or if anyone within the system was outraged over it. Not to mention if the perpetrators were actually caught and punished. And this left me feeling a little uncertain.

All in all, however, I liked a lot more than I didn’t and will happily read another Jolley book. (How dad-joke cheesy would it be to say it was a jolly good read?) Plus, Nikola Hamilton did a great job with the narration.

accused photo


Other Reviews:

The KC Warlock Weekly: Accused by M.N. Jolley – #BBNYA2021 Book Review!

#TheWriteReads #BBNYA Blog Tour Review – The KC Warlock Weekly: Accused by M.N. Jolley

BLOG TOUR – Review: M.N. Jolley – The KC Warlock Weekly: Book One: Accused