Free Fiction Friday #232

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense!

THE FREE

fff1fff2fff3fff4fff5fff6fff7fff8fff9fff10

THE BARGAINS

bar1bar2bar3bar4bar5

Book Review: A Dragonbird in the Fern

review-cover-a dragonbird in the fernTitle: A Dragonbird in the Fern

Author: Laura Rueckert

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

amazon1GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

When an assassin kills Princess Jiara’s older sister Scilla, her vengeful ghost is doomed to walk their city of glittering canals, tormenting loved ones until the murderer is brought to justice. While the entire kingdom mourns, Scilla’s betrothed arrives and requests that seventeen-year-old Jiara take her sister’s place as his bride to confirm the alliance between their countries.

Marrying the young king intended for her sister and traveling to his distant home is distressing enough, but with dyslexia and years of scholarly struggles, Jiara abandoned any hope of learning other languages long ago. She’s terrified of life in a foreign land where she’ll be unable to communicate.

Then Jiara discovers evidence that her sister’s assassin comes from the king’s own country. If she marries the king, Jiara can hunt the murderer and release her family from Scilla’s ghost, whose thirst for blood mounts every day. To save her family, Jiara must find her sister’s killer . . . before he murders her too.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I adored A Dragonbird in the Fern by Laura Rueckert, though I’ll admit, I had some misgivings from the cover. The cryptic title and the cover of the book did little to persuade me to read the book – it didn’t look like any of the books I normally read, but the synopsis was intriguing, so when I picked up this book, I wasn’t quite sure what I was about to be getting myself into. I couldn’t have been more surprised or thrilled to discover this little gem of YA Fantasy.

Not only was the book exceedingly well written, but I fell in love with the characters and the rich worldbuilding. The contrast between the countries and the lore of their people was fascinating and just familiar enough in some ways to make it easy to digest. I liked that the main character was a fallible younger princess with dyslexia that gets thrust into a new role in life she neither expected nor wanted, but she still tried her best, despite how difficult things often were for her.

The story contains a lot of intrigues, ghosts, mystery, awkward political hazards, magic, mythology, romance, and personal struggle, and I think it’d be a great read for anyone who enjoys fantasy or the YA genres. I know I’ll certainly be looking forward to more from this author.

Free Fiction Friday #228

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is:  Young Adult Mystery, Suspense, & Thriller!

THE FREE

fff1fff2fff3fff4fff5fff6fff7fff8fff9fff10

THE BARGAINS

bar1bar2bar3bar4bar5

Book Review: The Ash House

reviewcover-the ash houseTitle: The Ash House

Author: Angharad Walker

Genre: Middle-Grade, Mystery, Horror

Rating: 4 Stars

amazon1GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

When Eleven-year-old Sol arrives at the Ash House, desperate for a cure for his complex pain syndrome, he finds a community of strange children long abandoned by their mysterious Headmaster.

The children at the Ash House want the new boy to love their home as much as they do. They give him a name like theirs. They show him the dorms and tell him about the wonderful oasis that the Headmaster has created for them. But the new boy already has a name. Doesn’t he? At least he did before he walked through those gates…

This was supposed to be a healing refuge for children like him. Something between a school and a summer camp. With kids like him. With pain like his. But no one is allowed to get sick at the Ash House. NO ONE.

And then The Doctor arrives…

Strange things are about to happen at the mysterious Ash House. And the longer Sol spends on the mysterious grounds, the more he begins to forget who he is, the more the other children begin to distrust him, and the worse his pain becomes. But can he hold onto reality long enough to find an escape? And better yet, can he convince the others?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

The Ash House by Angharad Walker was a chilling tale of friendship, memory, and terror. The atmosphere of the story was unsettling and eerie in a way that is hard to explain. I’m still not sure I even have a complete grasp of what was going on at Ash House.

The book was extremely well written. The narrative was clear and flowed well, and I only found a few small typos. I loved the characters and the heavy mysteriousness of Ash House and its residents. My only real caution is that even though this is a middle-grade book, it may be a little too dark and confusing for some younger readers.

Overall, I loved the story, and if you enjoy mysteriously spooky stories, I suggest you give this one a try.

Free Fiction Friday #220

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is:  Young Adult Mysteries, Thrillers, & Suspense!

THE FREE

fff1fff2fff3fff4fff5fff6fff7fff8fff9fff10

THE BARGAINS

bar1bar2bar3bar4bar5

Free Fiction Friday #216

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is:  Mystery, Thriller & Suspense!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

THE FREE

fff1fff2fff3fff4fff5fff6fff7fff8fff9fff10

THE BARGAINS

bar1bar2bar3bar4bar5

Book Review: October 32

reviewcover-october 32Title: October 32

Author: Larry Rodness

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Paranormal

Rating: 1 Star (DNF)

amazon1GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

It’s October 31, and insurance agent Alexander Malefant is sent to picturesque Elora during its annual Halloween festival. No sooner does Alexander arrive than he witnesses the near-drowning of a boy bobbing for apples. Shortly after that, a group of children are attacked by crows. Later that evening, all the children in the village suddenly disappear. Soon, every person becomes a suspect as residents frantically try to discover what happened to the children. Who or what is behind these disappearances, and can they get the children back before it’s too late?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I really wanted to like October 32nd by Larry Rodness. I Found the narrative voice personal and contemplative, and I thought, “this is going great!” But the farther I got into the book, the more the slow pace of the narrative felt like it was dragging. Not that I don’t appreciate the atmosphere, but 22 pages into the story, nothing had happened. I grew bored and started to skim, wondering when the story was going to begin.

And that’s it – the book wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t draw me in. I didn’t care about the main character, and I wasn’t interested in what was happening in the town. I think the book just missed the mark with it’s pacing and I don’t want to have to push myself into reading something I’m bored by. The book just wasn’t for me.

Book Review: Mortom

reviewcover-mortomTitle: Mortom

Author: Erik Therme

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 4 Stars

amazon1GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Andy Crowl barely knew his recently deceased cousin, Craig Moore, so he’s especially surprised to be named as the sole beneficiary in Craig’s will. Not that there’s much to inherit: just an empty bank account and a run-down house.

Once Andy arrives in the town of Mortom, however, he’s drawn into his puzzle-obsessed cousin’s true legacy: a twisted and ominous treasure hunt. Beckoned by macabre clues of dead rats and cemetery keys, Andy jumps into the game, hoping to discover untold wealth. But unsavory secrets–and unanswered questions about Craig’s untimely demise–arise at every turn, leading Andy to wonder if he’s playing the game…or if the game is playing him.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Mortom by Erik Therme was not quite what I expected. Honestly, I don’t know what I expected – but certainly not this rollercoaster ride of a mystery. The book was exceptionally well written. The narrative was easy to follow, flowed effortlessly, and the dialogue felt real. The back and forth between Kate and Andy was fantastic. I was drawn into the story right away, and several hours later, the book was over.

The author did a great job of weaving together what was ultimately a murder mystery, along with small-town gossip, an extravagant puzzle game, and a family falling apart at the seams. Andy’s descent into a sort of fevered madness over the puzzle game was particularly disquieting.

Overall, I loved the book. I think it was exceptionally well written, and if you enjoy mysteries, you’re probably going to enjoy this one, as I did.

Book Review: Bloodwalker

reviewcover-bloodwalkerTitle: Bloodwalker

Author: L.X. Cain

Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Mystery

Rating: 3 Stars

amazon1GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Lightning flashes. Another child disappears…

When Zorka Circus performs, its big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, there are fewer children in the European towns it leaves behind.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the international performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. Nevertheless, he’s determined to find the culprit and stop them before anyone else dies and the only place he can call home is ripped apart by the murders.

Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravediggers and ghoulish bloodwalkers. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict rules, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.

When more bodies turn up, the killer’s trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have mixed feelings about Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain. I almost feel bad for rating it 3 stars, but not quite enough to do otherwise. The book itself is written well – it flowed easily, had interesting characters, and the narrative voice was clear. The atmosphere was decent, as was the world-building, and the killer clown was downright chilling.

All that said, I just wasn’t drawn into the book. Although I love the horror genre and supernatural mysteries, I felt just so-so about this one. It wasn’t awful by any means, just not my cup of tea. I think there are readers out there that will enjoy this book quite a lot, and I certainly recommend it to readers of horror. I wish I’d liked it better.

Book Review: Dead Silver

reviewcover-dead silverTitle: Dead Silver

Author: Max Florschutz

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery

Rating: 5 Stars

amazon1GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Chupacabra hunting. Murder. Vacations aren’t supposed to turn out like this.

When Hawke Decroux gets an invitation from an old friend to come to New Mexico and help track down some chupacabras, it seems like a simple enough request. Hang out with a friend, enjoy some sun, help a few locals out, and maybe, just maybe, catch a live chupacabra and net a sweet fifty thousand dollar reward as the cherry on top of the deal.

But as Hawke arrives, he finds that his friend has turned up missing. The animal attacks are growing more violent and frequent, far more dangerous than any chupacabra attack seen before. Something strange is going on in Silver Dreams, and if Hawke can’t figure out what it is, the entire town might find itself facing a situation far worse than a few missing farm animals … a horror straight from their darkest nightmares.

WARNING  – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Dead Silver by Max Florschutz is a real gem of a contemporary fantasy/mystery story. The book boasts a colorful mix of detective story, adventure, horror, and magic. The narrative is well written and edited, with a clear narrative voice that flows effortlessly. The characters are wonderfully characterized and really drive the story on. I found the book engaging and was drawn into the story. It was easy to connect with the main character, Hawke, with his slow, contemplative way of approaching the events in the story.

I think that anyone who enjoys mystery stories or those of the supernatural will probably find this to be a fun, compelling read.