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The Confectioner Chronicles: The Complete Fantasy Mystery Series by Claire Luana – Review by Sarah Oakes

The Confectioner Chronicles: The Complete Fantasy Mystery SeriesThe Confectioner Chronicles: The Complete Fantasy Mystery Series by Claire Luana
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great series about luck. In the Confectioners Guild, Wren is a simple confectioner who gets the chance of the lifetime that comes with a terrible price when the guildmaster is killed and she is blamed for it. In the Confectioners Coup, an army arrives on Maradis and guildmasters start mysteriously disappearing and Wren and her friends search for the truth. In the Confectioners Truth, a new enemy rules over the land and Wren and her friends go on the run trying to flee the new regime. Can Wren and her friends survive it all
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Wren wanting to belong somewhere or Lucas’ kindheartedness or the humourous Hale or the stern Callidus.
A brilliant example of world building in a fantasy world with its rules and societies and geography and history that was detailed with care for the audience to imagine. The idea of magic bakers was a fun and fantastic idea and was a brilliant addition to the fantasy genre. The passion for baking in Wren was a lovely touch. Fast paced action and high stakes in a wonderful fantasy world made for a captivating read. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars

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Rebel Jewel (The Jewel Chronicles Book 3) by Natalina Reis – Review by Sarah Oakes

3Rebel Jewel (The Jewel Chronicles, #3)Rebel Jewel by Natalina Reis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about rebellion. Milenda and Jaali have lived in peace in Isvarld for a few years now. But nothing is ever constant and soon they are called back to Afrika. They return into murky waters in order to save both the Natalans and the Fjordens who have been enslaved for years. Can they survive long enough to see long term peace in their lives and their nation?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Milenda courageous but caring underneath or Jaali stubborn but anxious underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the sweet Johari or the Mama Nyeusi as the voice of reason and humour or the sarcastic gods later on.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the jungle with its ferns and fronds and river full of sights and sounds so vivid it’s as if you’re actually there. Or the marketplace full of life and people and colourful fruits and cloths beautifully written. Or the scenes in the shrine with the little love seat and the flowers a small spot of paradise wonderfully written.
The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of events and was easy to follow with names in the sections. Fast paced action and high stakes made for a captivating read. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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The Time Traveler’s Magic (Magic Bound Saga Book 1) by Anna Applegate – Review by Sarah Oakes

The Time Traveler's Magic (Book 1 of the Magic Bound Saga)The Time Traveler’s Magic by Anna Applegate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about time. Ember is struggling to cope with her mother in hospital and the bills piling up. Things get strange when she is attacked by a man in a garage and he and his friends start following her to work. But events unravel and things get even stranger as she finds herself amongst pirates and ships. Can she make it back home to save her mother in time?
A great read. Well developed plot. Well developed characters like Ember standing up for herself but vulnerable underneath or Rane strong and stubborn but caring underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the innocent Destin or the gruff but kind Rick.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like the dream with the fog and the monster and the magic and the purple gem mysterious and colorful wonderfully written. Or the hospital full of life and people but contrasted eibt the white walls wonderfully written.
I loved how the book started off in the mystery, grabbing the reader attention from the start. I loved the sense of unease with the shadows and the feelings so strong its as id you’re actually there. also liked the time travel element of the book as a good idea but the jump to the past felt jarring to the reader and felt confusing as to what time period it was set in with no dates or signifying aspects making the characters and time travel hard to visualise and hard to relate to. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars.

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Out Bad (Sinners or Saints Book 1) by Janice M. Whiteaker – Review by Sarah Oakes

Out BadOut Bad by Janice M. Whiteaker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read about determination. Joe hasn’t let anyone into his life lately due to his mysterious and dark past. He sees Gwen at a party and that all changes. He wants her but she is closed off and cold towards him. Can he break down her barriers and win her heart?
A great read. Well developed plot. Well developed characters like Joe determined to get what he wants but caring underneath or Gwen standing up for herself but vulnerable underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the cautious Heath or the supportive Gabbi
I loved the visual detusl throughout the novel like with the scenes with the party full of life and people and colour and sights and sounds so vivid it’s as if you’re actually there.
I liked the mystery with their pasts with little details revealed slowly to keep you reading to find out what they did. I liked their worries of trying to put the past behind them was powerful and emotive but sometimes had repetition which could be reduced. The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in chapter titles. The only issue I would raise is that these first person narratives often felt like they went off tangent into thoughts and were hard to follow. Overall, a great read and I would give it four stars

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Monty and the Monster by Rhonda Smiley – Review by Sarah Oakes

Monty and the MonsterMonty and the Monster by Rhonda Smiley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about friendships. Monty always has trouble making friends. When he moves house again, he struggles to fit in and finds bullies everywhere. Whilst exploring his new house, he finds a trapdoor in the attic leading to underground chambers full of old crates and notes about old experiments. Full of excitement, Monty decides to literally make a friend. his friends turns out to be a furry monster with mysterious abilities. Can Monty keep his monster hidden from the world before scientists get to him?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Monty standing up for himself but vulnerable underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the mysterious and bubbly Houdini or the creepy Dr Petrovic
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the rickety house full of cracked floors and spider webs and lofty attic for a sense of the gothic. Or the scenes in the underground with the rope ladder and tunnels for a sense of adventure, dark and dangerous and exciting wonderfully written. Or the scenes in the skate park full of life and people and a sense of wonder as a place away from it all for Monty. Or with the monster and giant size with its colourful fur and teeth and claws and the green slime straight out of a sci fi novel, strange and weird and wonderful.
the combination of horror with monsters and experiments and a child’s story with school and bullies combined perfectly to make a captivating read. I loved the sense of the horror genre existing in a kids narrative, a place you wouldn’t expect it and makes it fresh and exciting. I also liked the nods to horror stories like with Hyde and the hints to Frankenstein later on was a lovely addition. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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September Breeze (Cinnamon Bay Romance Book 2) by Nikki Lynn Barrett – Review by Sarah Oakes

September Breeze (Cinnamon Bay, #2)September Breeze by Nikki Lynn Barrett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about feelings.. Tess Dixon is a songwriter working for a movie set in Cinnamon Bay. She arrives finding no accommodation ahs been provided for her but a local woman offers her a solution with a live in job position to a small family. Curious, she goes to the house and accidently lands herself the job. She promises the father she wont stay long in the position. But over time feelings grow and health issues appear, making Tess question her want to leave. Can she stick to the plan or will her feelings make her want to stay after all?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Tess determined but unsure underneath or Brian as a good father but with his worries underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the sweet and silent Tatum or loud and boisterous Alice or the three eccentric ladies in Birdie, Hattie and Trixie
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the house itself small and tucked away but homely with the cypress trees and white stone. Or the scenes at the beach with the sea calm and blue as a space away from it all for the family wonderfully written. Or the storm later on with its sights and sounds so vivid its as if you’re actually there beautifully written.
The switch of perspectives was written well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in the sections and asterisks to separate them. I also liked the Mary Poppins feel to the story like the strange advert and a nanny coming from nowhere who loves to travel and also the want to leave which were all excellent additions to the story. I also loved the respect toward peope with disabilities in the novel like with Tatum’ mutism just accepted and not criticised. I also loved the portrayal of visual impairment in the novel later on with Brian’s worries and fears emotive and relatable and perfectly written. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Time Tourist Outfitters, Ltd by Christy Nicholas – Review by Sarah Oakes

Time Tourist Outfitters, Ltd.Time Tourist Outfitters, Ltd. by Christy Nicholas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about urgency. Wilda just wants to live her life running her outfitters shop for time travellers. But life seems to have other ideas for her when a time traveller collapses in her shop due to a mystery illness. The contagion spreads to every other Temporal Agent who has Travelled recently and Wilda finds herself and her team as the only ones unaffected. Pulled out of retirement, she and Mattea Travel into the past, following three men for a cause of the illness. Can they return to the present with answers before its too late?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Wilda sarcastic and stubborn but caring underneath or Mattea kind and naïve but stubborn underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the supportive friend Tarren or the condescending Lady Xanthippe.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the Temporal Shifter with its brass and copper and steam like something out of a sci fi novel strange and antique but with a sense of beauty and wonder. Or the scenes in Mali with the desert and the impressive palace and its caravans, full of life and colour and people wit the animals and the vibrant dress colours with sights and smells and sounds so vivid its as if you’re actually there, wonderfully written.
I loved the idea behind the story of the outfitters shop for time travellers, fantastical but realistic at the same time and wonderfully written. A wonderful example of world building with the Temporal Agents living alongside other humans with their own rules and laws and customs clearly explained to the reader and wonderfully thought out tot he smallest detail, a lovely touch. I also liked the use of the past, with historical figures and cultures given the respect they deserve. I also loved the use of pronunciations at the start of the novel to make the names more easier for the reader to understand, a lovely addition. I also liked the sense of mystery throughout with the disease and the three men, with details revealed slowly to the reader, making you want to keep on reading to find out the answers. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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The Season Finale (Paranormal Talent Agency Book 6) by Heather Silvio – Review by Sarah Oakes

The Season Finale (Paranormal Talent Agency, #6)The Season Finale by Heather Silvio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about a story. Elizabeth “Liz” Addison is a journalist who is never scared off a story. She is tasked with investigating into Catherine Rodham, an ordinary empath and head of the Paranormal Talent Agency. But there seems to be more to the story as events unravel and Liz finds her life threatened by a mysterious force. Can she and her friends find the truth before it’s too late?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Liz confident but scared underneath or Tony as funny but kind underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the sarcastic Mia or Catherine unsure of herself.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the cafe with its homely feel with the booths and soft chairs wonderfully written. Or the vivid colours with the scenes with Rowan and the mist and lightning with sounds and smells so strong its as if you’re actually there. Or the church chapel later on with its dark and empty interior for that sense of unease wonderfully written.
A great example of world building with fantatsical beings living alongside humanity with their own rules and laws and societies. I also liked the use of Rowan as something new to the fantays genre, fresh and exciting and dangerous. I also liked the use of Liz as a main character, giving her a chance to shine instead of just being in the background with her own drive and fears. I also liked the feel of the series coming to a close, bringing all characters together and tying up loose ends wonderfully done. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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Siren’s Call: Cursed Seas by Amy McKinley – Review by Sarah Oakes

Siren's Call: Cursed SeasSiren’s Call: Cursed Seas by Amy McKinley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about the sea. Nerissa is a fisherman’s daughter living in ancient Greece. One day, her father returns home with no fish, sparking rumors of a legend and bad omens across the village. While he is gone, Nerissa faces the prospect of finding someone to marry before she is forced into a marriage with an abusive man named Cete. Can she find a solution to her problems?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Nerissa standing up for herself but anxious underneath or Zeer mysterious but caring underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the fun friend Eirene or the cruel Cete.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the storm and its rain and wind for a sense of danger and foreboding events and also a sense of beauty to it aswell. Or the sense of the grecian town with its cobbled streets and colourful markets full of sounds and smells and wares. Or Poseidons kingdom later on with its hidden world full of magic and wonder with colourful jewels and marvellous palaces wonderfully written.
The switch of perspectives was done well to display both sides of the story and was easy to follow with names in the chapters. Also loved how it brought the reader straight into the action with the storm in the prologue I .
grabbing the readers attention from the start. I also liked the sense of mystery with the legend, giving it a magical sense and making you wnat to read on to find out what happens. A wonderful example of world building with fantatsical beings and gods living alongside humanity with their own rules and laws and societies. I loved the use of mythology with Poseidon and mermaids and sirens given the respect they deserve and true to their origins. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars

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Legacy of Luck (Druid’s Brooch Series Book 3) by Christy Nicholas – Review by Sarah Oakes

Legacy of Luck (Druid's Brooch #3)Legacy of Luck by Christy Nicholas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read about love. Eamonn is a traveller in the horse trade. Whilst at a fair, he falls for a young woman named Katie. To his horror, she is forced to marry another man who she doesn’t love. Desperate to save her, he races against time and across the sea to unknown lands with nothing but luck and some close family members. Will it be enough to win her back?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn’t put down. Well developed characters like Katie standing up for herself but vulnerable underneath or Eamonn sure of himself but devoted underneath. Great cast of supporting characters like the supportive Ciaran or strong and silent Ruari.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel like with the standing stones in the bog with the mist for a sense of magic and mystery wonderfully written. Or the scenes at the fair full of life and people with small stalls and trades giving a feel of the historical setting so vivid its as if you’re actually there. Or the vibrant sense of colour throughout with the dancing lights or the brooch or the wedding dresses bright and bold and wonderful.
The switch of perspectives worked well to display both sides of events and was easy to follow. I also liked the use of the weather throughout, giving a feel for Ireland and also foreboding bad events at points aswell wonderfully written. I also loved the use of the Irish names and places and pronounciations was a lovely touch. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.

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