#BookReview My Little Pet Dragon by Scott Gordon

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My Little Pet Dragon is a unique children’s read full of fantastical fun!

I really liked the cover page with the CD art of the dragon on a skateboard. To me, that really stood out compared to other children’s books I’ve seen around recently. The entire book is continues to pack each page full of the awesome 3D art that’s on the cover.

Each page has just a few words on it and a 3D picture that matches the plot that’s carrying on.

I’d say the general age group for this book would be between 2 to 9 years old. The story is rather simplistic, but is extremely cute.

At the end of my copy, which was an eBook I found via BookBub, it has a story about how Scott got into writing. While I thought it was a touching story to include, I felt that it didn’t need to be in a children’s novel that a child might read themselves on a parent’s tablet or phone. As an adult I loved reading it, but it felt out of place (in my humble opinion). It is a motivational and inspirational set of words though!

The version I was reading also included lots of sneak peaks at his other books! While it does a great job advertising these books, it didn’t feel right sitting in a book that a child could be reading. You’re introducing them to a couple chapters and then they can’t necessarily finish it. As someone who has studied marketing, I understand the need to market and advertise your books, but it just didn’t mesh well with the way this book was set up. Maybe put sneak peaks as links at the end or on your website? Not in the book that ends up taking WAY more pages than the story itself.

The final bit (I promise!)… It asks to support the author on Patreon. Again, I totally understand the need to support artists and writers, but it felt out of place.

Overall, this book was really cute and I’d love to read more by Scott Gordon! I think he has lots of potential and he appears to have quite the catelogue!!

Four out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about the author, Scott Gordon, on:

Goodreads – Scott Gordon

Scott Gordon’s Blog

 

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on Twitter or my Facebook and let me know what other books you’d like to see on my blog!

 

And if you enjoyed this book, why not check out another you might enjoy? Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

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#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1

It’s time for another collection of amazing books! This time around I am focusing on books that were full of fantasy. This is only part one of my fave fantasy reads, so don’t you worry if you don’t see your favourite! Let these 10 books fill up your TBR for the time being. These books are in no certain order, but I absolutely loved all of them!

Time to get started with my elevator pitches for these sweet, sweet novels!

 

1. #BookReview You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
I have loved Katie MacAlister since my high school years! I accidentally stumbled upon her in my local bookstore and ever since I’ve been infatuated with her novels. Her books are cute, silly, fun and full of ooey, gooey romance! This book series is my favourite of all of her books – Aisling Grey’s series! Aisling falls in love with a handsome Dragon named Drake, and hilarity ensues! If you’re looking for a fun yet fantastical novel full of romance, then this is the perfect book for you!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

2. #BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt
Bittersweet Symphony was introduced to me by the author, fellow Canadian Rebecca McNutt. This book fell well into my wheelhouse – horror, fantasy and Canadian roots! And man, did this book not disappoint! If you’re looking for something a little darker, then following this New York set novel full of kooky occurrences will meet your expectations! If I had to pick one book to describe this book, I’d use “gothic”.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

3. Omens and/or No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong
When you’re putting Kelley Armstrong on a list, it’s hard to pick just one book. I had a really hard time picking between these two books (because I absolutely love both of them) so I figured to add a “bonus” book to the list! No Humans Involved is Jaime’s story in the Otherworld universe. Women of the Otherworld is one epic series following strong, female leads who are witches, werewolves and necromancers. Jaime (the necromancer) has always been my fave and I have always been in love with Jeremy Danvers (the sexy, alpha werewolf) so I had to include it! No Humans Involved isn’t as cutesy as Katie MacAlister’s books, but it is a couple steps up on the staircase – it has lots of action, a splash of comedy, and some super sexy scenes. And then you’ve got Omens, which is a whole ‘nother ballpark. Cainsville has all sorts of weird and strange things going on, and is a little more R rated fantasy (and mystery). If you’re looking for some mystery in your fantasy novel, and something not so cutesy (but pretty dark), grab this book! I read these YEARS ago and I really need to jump back into these series soon, because I haven’t finished either and I love my fellow Canadian, Kelley Armstrong! Can you believe I missed the chance to meet her in my hometown years ago?!

Find these books on:
Amazon.ca – No Humans Involved
Amazon.ca – Omens
Amazon.com – No Humans Involved
Amazon.com – Omens
Kobo – No Humans Involved
Kobo – Omens

4. Quick Book Reviews: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
This list is just full of my old faves! Rachel Vincent was another author I stumbled upon in my high school years (just like Katie and Kelley) and I still love her! Her Shifter series started me out, but Menagerie blew my mind! This fantasy novel involves a carnival full of strange beings. The grotesque carnival puts these human “monsters” on display, but Delilah is a little different…
I’m disappointed in myself that I never picked up the sequel yet. When I got this book in my hands, I absolutely devoured the book. I was totally obsessed and needed to read more, but my local bookstores never got a physical copy in. Rachel Vincent is an author to look out for, whether you want some good old YA novels or some super eerie or romantic adult novels! Also, she’s been super nice to me on social media so I’ll root for her everyday of the week!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

5. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Add Richelle to my “discovered in high school and still loves” list! Vampire Academy introduced me to her, and Gameboard of the Gods made me truly obsessed with her. I’m still angry this series was never truly finished, but it is worth the read! This fantasy series is for adults (a step away from the YA Vampire Academy universe) and it’s absolutely insane! Religion meets fantasy meets military. Add a pinch of romance, a dash of suspense and a barrel of action and you’ve got one of my fave fantasies EVER. Maybe, just maybe, if everyone reads this book she’ll FINALLY release the last one… Maybe? Probably not. But a girl can dream, right?!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

6. #BookReview Blood by Ruth Miranda
Blood is the first book in the Blood series by Ruth Miranda, but let this book be the placeholder for the whole series. Ruth Miranda approached me to read her books, and MAN AM I SO HAPPY SHE DID. This series is absolutely R-rated wild with vampires, fantasy and magic. She’s a genius and her writing ability is insane! If you want a really dark and gruesome story that is addicting, pick this book up. It does have some touchy subjects, so it’s not for the faint of heart. It 100% deserves a spot on this epic fantasy list!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

7. #BooKReview Fast Backward by David Patneaude
Time to switch it up a little with David Patneaude’s intriguing YA. Fast Backward mixes time travel with historical fiction together when Bobby Hasting witnesses an atomic explosion. The history of Germany, bombs and the amazing intelligence of teenagers is expressed in this book. I thought it was super cool and the time travel worked really well in this book. It’s light-hearted despite being about such a touchy subject. It’s well worth the read!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

8. #BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver
Zombies. Yes, I have finally included a book about zombies on the list! Apocalypse the Memoir is a sarcastic yet wildly addicting ride through Canada. It’s R-rated, it’s gorey, and it has some hilarious one liners you wouldn’t expect in a book about zombies! The sassiness of this book is at Level 500, so all of you sarcastic little bookworms will get a real kick out of it!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

9. Quick Book Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Asylum is a creepy YA novel based in, you guessed it, an asylum. What makes this book even cooler is the fact that there are pictures in the book to give you some epic visuals. The book is full of horror and it’ll keep you guessing at every turn. I loved picking this book up because it’s the perfect mix of horror without the crazy R rated content. Sometimes, you just don’t want the excessive gore.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

10. Awakened by Harley Austin
Federal agents, government conspiracies and thrills mixed with fantasy? Heck yes! This book is your typical adult thriller with fantasy entwined all throughout. If you’re looking for a book but don’t want to fully commit to a fantasy novel, then this book will give you all the thrills and more! I really enjoyed Harley Austin’s book and it’s a real treat if you want something a little different.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

There you have it! 11 fantasy books to top up your TBR shelves. Have you read any of these books or authors before? Which was your favourite? What other fantasy books novels should I read and add to the lists? Also, what other lists do you want to see? Comment below and let me know!

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

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Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors, and not just because she’s Canadian! Her Women of the Otherworld series has always and will always knock my socks off!

This novel follows Elena yet again, but as the title suggests – this time she is “Stolen”. This book amps up the action, making it equal (if not better) to the original “Bitten” novel. I found this book so strong as a sequel, that it was really hard not picking up the third book immediately after this one! Elena and her pack, as well as the rest of the ladies that eventually lead this series, are a force to be reckoned with! Kelley knows how to write her characters strong and passionate!

This series is definitely for adults (although, there is a YA series if you’re interested…), due to some of the brutality the story can get into. It’s not an R rated novel, but the themes are better suited for adults (some mature YA audiences could easily read it, I know I originally read these as a teenager).

I also really enjoy Elena and Clay together. Their relationship isn’t the smoothest, and it has it’s rocky moments, but they work really well together. Knowing that their relationship builds well over multiple books, I can look back and be impressed with how Kelley built them over time. The other characters and their relationships are also very strong, but these two really shine in the Elena books.

Kelley will pull you in and have you hooked almost instantly. If you haven’t read anything by her, get on it! I love this author, and she always meets my expectations and surpasses them!

If there was one series I’d highly recommend, it’s this series! It has drama, action, adventure, romance and comedy all packaged into a fantastic Canadian series! It’s well worth the read, and worth every penny I’ve spent on this series (even when I accidentally bought doubles and triples of the books, because I forgot the order…whoops!). If I did have one recommendation, try not to read this series far apart from each other. I find it’s a great binge read, because the story is so full of lore and excitement!

And if you couldn’t get enough of this series, there’s a television show based off of the book (it’s pretty close for first season, but second and third are loosely based – but it’s still incredble!).

Five out of five stars! Can I make that six out of five? No? Darn. I guess it’ll stick to five!

 

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11922.Stolen

Or purchase this book on: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

 

If you enjoyed this review, why not check out another book you might enjoy? Quick Book Reviews: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

And while you’re at it, follow me on Twitter to stay up to date with my latest reading antics! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview The Stickman’s Legacy by Benjamin Appleby-Dean

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The Stickman’s Legacy is a fantastical, horror novel that will keep you hooked.

This book feels like something my friends and I would come up with when ad lib-ing stories together. It’s fantastical, it has some horror elements, and is packed full of mystery! It jumps right into the action (which makes me, a fan of action packed stories, very happy!) and very rarely moves at a slow pace. Sure, the book is mighty long, but every page is worth it. I will say though – it’s not a binge worthy book. This book requires a lot of mental effort to read (lots of terminology and story plots you need to follow) so I’d suggest reading this over many nights. If you spend your time with it instead of rushing, you’ll find this book way more enjoyable.

Mary Martin/Spindle is the lead character of this story. We follow her journey on solving the mystery of her father – Jeremy Spindle – The Stickman of this story’s legacy. We find out lots of interesting story elements along the way – he left her his house in London, her childhood flashbacks involving Uncle Hob, a past car accident, and strangers leaving her cryptic messages along the way. Uncle Hob and Mary’s various family members all give us explanations to help push this story along and fill in any blanks we are missing as readers.

I found this book to be quite unique – it didn’t fully feel like a pure fantasy, pure horror or pure mystery novel. Benjamin Appleby-Dean does a great job of weaving this story together and slowly introducing us to all the major plot points. Mary (being a slightly unreliable narrator) was also very interesting. Each chapter gave up a little bit more about her back story to make the reader more engaged with the story. Throw in some secret societies that are reminiscent of Scientology (if you want the info, you better join…) and some magical elements, and you’ve got yourself one wacky ride! Add a dash of swords, falling bookshelves and a name like Nimbleknock and you’ve got yourself an epic, fantasy, adventure too!

The worst part of the novel was one specific plot point – Mary is asking questions from some special characters within the story… AND THEY DON’T GIVE HER DIRECT ANSWERS. For a plot point, this is awesome! It opens up the story a little more to keep pushing Mary forward. But for me, as an impatient reader… I would never survive in this story. My impatience would lead me to a little temper tantrum if I would have been her. I wanted to throw the papers across my desk in animated frustration because it would have driven me insane as a person.

Overall, I think this book is really cool! It’s a unique story that has many different perspectives that could draw in a wide variety of readers. To me, it felt like a New Adult novel instead of a teen (Mary was a teenager, but this book didn’t feel like strictly YA) but it would be loved regardless. As long as you’ve got a mature audience who can focus on the bigger picture of the novel, you’re set!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author Benjamin Appleby-Dean in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Goodreads

Check out Benjamin Appleby-Dean on:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

 

**Photo courtesy of the author.

#BookReview Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

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This scientific dystopia is an excellent read for those who like apocalyptic stories!

The world is getting ready for the apocalypse, and Atom is at the center of it all. Him and the other teenage Genetic Systems must survive and help “restart” the earth when everyone is wiped out. Along the way, drama, romance and war ensues – all creating havoc upon the teens.

This book reminded me of a Young Adult novel – the drama and fighting definitely sat around a young adult audience level, in my opinion. I could easily see youth and adults enjoying this book. The plot itself was very reminiscent of many YA novels I’ve read – apocalypse, teenagers being the only ones who can save the world, and the YA romance tropes.

I did find the writing and conversations to be very simplistic. That doesn’t make the novel bad, but I’m a reader who likes complex words, not using “said” or the same words all the time, and lots of excitement. The writing style just didn’t match with my reading style! I feel like there is a lot of potential in this book, and maybe in a sequel (?? pretty please??) it could be enhanced to a much higher level.

I did like the plot itself – I think Aaron Denius Garcia put a unique and fun spin on it that made me want to continue reading this book. I was desperate to follow these characters (specifically Atom and Ev) to see where their adventure would go. Throwing in actual history was also a really cool part of this story, since it was looking at history from a different point of view. I also found the nuclear aspect to be extremely scary (due to the realism) in this fictional world. It did take me about half the book to get really into the story, but once I got there I was hooked and addicted. I absolutely HAD to finish this book!

I felt the book left off in a way that it could continue in some form, so I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book! I hope Aaron continues with this story because it has so much potential, it’s really fun and it has one epic story! Maybe one day a publisher will pick this book up and pimp it out to readers everywhere!

I’d highly recommend this book if you like sci-fi, apocalypse stories, young adult or just fun fiction! It’s a great book, even if it wasn’t the best book for me! I loved it and would definitely want to read more!

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

On a side note, I LOVE that Aaron signed my copy of the book AND spelled my name right! Authors (and anyone really… coworkers, family, etc) rarely spell my actual name right, and it made me so giddy!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Gene. Sys.

Amazon.com – Gene. Sys.

Amazon.ca – Gene. Sys.

 

Find out more about Aaron Denius Garcia on:

Goodreads – Aaron Denius Garcia

http://www.genesysbook.com/

Twitter – @AaronDenius

 

If you read this review, comment below with your favourite YA dystopian novel!
And… give me a shout out on Twitter! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview Light My Fire by Katie MacAlister

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Aisling Grey is by far my favourite of all of the women in this dragon universe by Katie MacAlister! She is cute, sassy and the perfect female lead for this comedic, fantastical romance!

Drake and Aisling are definitely the “perfect” pair, at least in my eyes. Their relationship is definitely not “normal” by any means, but they work well together! As characters, they have the perfect mix of getting along, sexiness, and generalized drama and sassiness. I honestly couldn’t see this pair with anybody else! However Katie made this pair, she did really well!

Aisling is becoming a Guardian, while her lover is a dragon. They have since “mated”, so the story builds and gets more interesting from here. This is the second last book in the series for now, but I do hope we get more! Since I’ve read most of the dragon books, I can say she appears in future books but she isn’t the lead.

The comedy in this book is spot on and amps it up from the last book. It definitely keeps the plot moving forward with lots of funny quirks, mixed in with the sexy Drake, super cute romance scenes and drama thrown in throughout. While the story does leave off in a place that feels like it doesn’t need to be continued, I wish it would! These characters bond way too well together for this to be the absolute end. Maybe, if we’re lucky, Katie will one day continue this series. So, cross your fingers!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who love romance with a lot of comedy in it. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, with an abundance of jokes (and a lot of Jim, the main source of comedy, present again) throughout the book. The book has many fantasy elements (obviously – dragons), but isn’t a purely dramatized novel. It’s very fun, is borderline PG-13, and has ooey, gooey romance that makes you squirm and giggle along the way.

Overall, I love this book! I’ve read it way too many times to count and I’ll keep reading it! It’s one of those books I like to read when I’m having a bad day because it’s just so much fun! Katie MacAlister is the QUEEN of dragon books!

Five out of five stars!

 

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com – Light My Fire

Amazon.ca – Light My Fire

 

Check out the entire Aisling Grey series (which is apart of the Dragon Sept series): on Goodreads.

Or find out more about Katie MacAlister, one of my fave authors, on:

Goodreads – Katie MacAlister

http://www.katiemacalister.com/

Twitter – @katiemacalister

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out more of my reviews of Katie MacAlister books:

#BookReview Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister

#BookReview In The Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

#BookReview You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister

Comment below – what is your favourite type of fantasy books?

And if you enjoyed this review, check out my twitter for urgent updates! @ReviewAlholic

 

 

 

#BookReview Scars by Ruth Miranda

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There is a BIG time jump (and by big, I mean two years) in this novel. There is a slight summary of the first book in this series, which is helpful, but if you haven’t read the first novel in a LONG time, maybe read a quick summary or a few reviews to get yourself caught up!

Scars follows Marcus and Cai as they search for their Father (Titus). Life is getting trickier with their abilities, but they are determined to track him down no matter the consequences. Has their Father taken on a new name? Will some ghosts from their past come back to haunt them? And will their new friends betray them? These are all worthy questions to ponder as you make your way through this book.

I have to say, I liked this better than the first one! I think this sequel ups the thrills and fun, especially with Marcus and Cai interacting. It is a bit darker than it’s predecessor, but I thought it was a great addition to this series! Although, the worst part of the book is the cliffhanger. Ruth likes to leave you hanging and desperate for the next novella! So, we’ll all have to wait and see what happens to our boys and their new friends and family in the final book of the trilogy.

The book is a fantasy novel, full of vampires, fey and witches. It’s not horror, but does have one sexy scene that makes it closer to R than you’d expect. There are dark tones and themes, but nothing that will scare you or disturb you too much.

It’s also rather fast paced. I felt myself easily reading this book and suddenly it was over! But it was a delightful read. So as short and quick as it was, the book turned out excellent! Some of the scenes are quite shocking, and I didn’t see them coming. Ruth has a real talent at throwing those twists and turns at you, throwing you off guard for the next scene.

On a side note, I love that the titles of these books actually play into the stories! Blood was a big scene stealer in the first novella, while scars are often discussed in this one. I always love seeing the titles having some relation to the book, but this one really worked well!

Overall, this book was a real gem! I’m definitely getting more into this series and I want to read more by Ruth Miranda! Her books are truly excellent!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Ruth Miranda in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Ruth Miranda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15263413.Ruth_Miranda

Find Scars on:

Goodreads – Goodreads – Scars

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Scars

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Scars

Find Blood, the first book in this series on:

Goodreads – Goodreads – Blood

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Blood

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Blood

Find some more reads by Ruth Miranda:

Amazon.con – A Study for Love / Amazon.ca – A Study for Love

 

Amazon.com – Ruth Miranda

 

If you read this review, use the hashtag #briarsreviews and give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.