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Unearthly Magik (Black Cauldron Detective Agency Book #1) by Matilda Reyes – Review by Angela Hayes

Unearthly Magik (Black Cauldron Detective Agency Book 1)Unearthly Magik by Matilda Reyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

4 Stars

 

Unearthly Magik is the first book in the Black Cauldron Detective Agency series by Matilda Reyes. It is a superb urban fantasy full of mages, action, adventure, drama, magic, the supernatural/paranormal, suspense, danger, agendas, wonderful world-building, crime & investigation, tension, secrets, and mystery.
I really loved the premise of the story, and having read a few of Ms. Reyes other books, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one. I loved the characters, the whole supernatural detective agency trope, the missing (powerful and dangerous) grimoire, the plots and agendas, the wonderful world-building of the hidden ‘world’ within New York City, the friendships/banter/quips/antics, the adventure that results from the search for the grimoire, the other ‘jobs’ the agency investigates, and the fact that there is more to come in this series- as I am definitely hooked by Ava and co.
Whilst I did enjoy the story, there were quite a few editing issues with this book that I am sorry to say definitely detracted from my overall appreciation of the whole story. Little things, like missing words, wrong words, unfinished sentences, and repeated info, meant that I was regularly ‘pulled out’ of the story- which left me frustrated. This should/could have been a 5+ Star read, but unfortunately it was let down by simple editing issues.
The story does have a lot going on in it, and has a fairly fast pace, which the author does choreograph quite well. The story easily captured my attention and imagination, and pulled me into a wonderful adventure (minus the editing issues). I also appreciated that the characters were really well-developed individuals with their own unique personalities, quirks, and flaws- who continued to evolve, develop and grow over the course of the story.
I am looking forward to seeing where we go from here. Bring on Book #2!
Happy Reading!

Thank you, Matilda Reyes!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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From Brick & Darkness by J.L. Sullivan – Review by Angela Hayes

From Brick & DarknessFrom Brick & Darkness by J.L. Sullivan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

4 Stars

 

Wishes don’t always turn out the way you hope…
From Brick & Darkness is the exciting debut novel from J.L. Sullivan. It is a wonderfully woven YA urban fantasy with mystery, magic, action, adventure, suspense, puzzles, manipulation, agendas, angst, drama, folklore, friendship, and more.
A yearning for a better life, an unusual ring, a sinister djinn, and plenty of danger- Dax is about to discover that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
An engrossing and fun read. Looking forward to seeing what Mr. Sullivan does next.
Happy Reading!

Thank you, J.L. Sullivan!

 

Reviewed by @angelahayes

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Tale of a Body Thief (Rovena Silvex Chronicles Book 1) Review by Shelly Kittell

Tale of a Body Thief (Rovena Silvex chronicles Book 1)Tale of a Body Thief by Kristy Centeno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rovena has her hands full. She must keep the dead man alive. Yep, he arose again but this time with a new soul. And it isn’t as easy as she may think. Rovena is a strong and touch chick that will do what she needs to to survive. She is a hunter. I found this book entertaining. It is wildly unpredictable, and I love this. This is a large factor on what pulled me in. From page 1, I was sucked in by the action (demon fight, anyone?). The characters are well developed. The story has a little of everything in it: humor, mystery, fantasy, paranormal, romance. This is one of the best paranormal books I’ve read this year. I literally couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.

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Diabolical Sword: An Urban Fantasy Mystery (The Charm Collector Book 1) by Melissa Erin Jackson – Review by Jeannie Anderson

Diabolical SwordDiabolical Sword by Melissa Erin Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Diabolical Sword” wasn’t my favorite as it seemed to take too long for there to be what felt like real peril for the main character.  I’m used to reading books that are extremely fast paced from page one.

I did really enjoy the premise of the book. Everything was well described, the characters, their actions, the magical beings e.t.c.  My favorite part was the last few chapters as they were so exciting and full of action.

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Diabolical Sword: An Urban Fantasy Mystery (The Charm Collector Book 1) – Review By Krystal Gregory

Diabolical SwordDiabolical Sword by Melissa Erin Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Diabolical Sword: An Urban Fantasy Mystery (The Charm Collector Book 1)
4 out of 5 stars
This book one in the Charm Collector collection and I adored this urban fantasy. Harlow is hysterical and the constant commentary between Harlow, Caspian and Welsh alone was enough to keep me going. Harlow is a simple girl, just trying to live her best life. But don’t let anyone tell you that, that life is on the gray side of the criminal. When Harlow ends up with a sentient sword, she is fast wanting to get rid of it, only to find out, that the sword has taken a liking to her, and has made her life, a living nightmare. Soon Harlow finds herself on the run from the cops and other crazy shifter creatures.
This book was super fun. The characters and world were so detailed and incredibly thought out. Lovers of sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery will love this book.

Reviewed by @kgregory

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AWAKENING THE GODS (RISE OF THE CELTIC GODS) by KRISTIN GLEESON – Review by Christine Taysom 07/18/2021

Awakening the Gods (Rise of the Celtic Gods #1)Awakening the Gods by Kristin Gleeson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow this novel is by far one of the best books I have ever read, and I feel like I have a consistent history of finding, picking and reading novels that turn out to be just fantastic reads. I sat down and finished this book in one session and let me tell you I could not put this book down! I have had a long standing interest in the myths and legends of Celtic, Gaelic and Irish origin. My maiden name is McCarty and my ancestors immigrated from Galway, Ireland leaving the surname McCarthy in Galway and switching to McCarty upon arrival to the United States. I got such a kick out of reading this book that was inspired by legends and myths of gods and goddesses that have always interested me, set in the parts of Ireland my family originated from. Then to top it all off Kristin wove this beautiful tale that just kept me intrigued and in love with the characters she created. Saorise is an amazing protagonist and I loved learning about this urban world seeped in myths and legends through her eyes and mind. I am eagerly looking forward to November to read the next book in this series because I can’t wait to see how this story and the characters continue to develop and unfold. In the meantime you will definitely catch me rereading this book! Awakening the Gods (Rise of the Celtic Gods #1) isn’t a book you can only read once for satisfaction, it necessitates the re-reading of it in order to surround oneself with the magic for a little while longer.

Reviewed by @prettybird-marie

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Nite Fire: Smoke And Mirrors Book 3 – Review by Roxsanne Lesieur.

Smoke & Mirrors (Nite Fire #3)Smoke & Mirrors by C.L. Schneider
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dahlia Nite is back to up her old tricks again and this time, she is chasing a banshee through the streets of Sentinel City, something very unusual must have brought it there, but after she and her Sidekick Casey Evans take it out and they succeed despite its best efforts to kill them in return, but no sooner than they are done that they are called in to another gruesome scene at the riverbank, a lot of body parts have been uncovered by the recent storms and not all of them are human, neither are the bits of tanned skin they find at the scene either, but it isn’t just an animal attack, there are also precision cuts where the parts have been removed and it is in a place where nobody really goes and hasn’t done for many years, but when they are called over to a nearby sewer where there are more body parts floating around, the two decide to go into the tunnels and take a look around.

What they find there looks like a converted jail cell, complete with bars, but it also looks abandoned and smells like it too, as Casey checks out all of the cells, Dahlia hears something moving further down the tunnels and goes to investigate it. They know that she is tailing them and that they are leading her somewhere specific, but she has no idea where, until she enters the basement of an old steel works where rumours of toxic waste and man eating mutated piranhas abound, but what she finds there is more sinister, multiple gurney’s covered in blood where it looks like the victims were strapped on while they were tortured and dismembered, she can sense the horror which lies in wait for her as well. She spies the person running along a skywalk being followed by another three people, but more are on their way as Dahlia is showered in bullets and only just avoids them before being engaged in hand to hand combat, again! She is surprised by the speed and agility, they look human, but she has a feeling that they aren’t, but there is no telltale smell or other indication telling her what they are, but she does her usual, but gets no further information from any of them before she is forced to set the place alight, hoping that there are no more victims being caged there as well.

As she tries to explain away the destruction and get Casey out of the way of it, Detective Creed doesn’t believe her, again and tja Captain of the force wants answers yesterday. The only lead they have is the van tyre tracks which they found and as it is the only solid thing, it means that they will be doing their best to track it down. Just as they finish the meeting Casey informs them of a crime at a past crime scene of an altercation which may have a non-human origin, so all three head three due to its proximity to the steel works. When they get there, Creed interviews the witness and Dahlia goes to look for clues to what happened and what creatures were involved, she finds some blood and some fabric, one she shares and one she examined and keep for further tests, but what she initially finds explains the mystery of how she wasn’t able to smell or use her senses to identify her assailants earlier. She also sees the evidence of a struggle and works out that it probably isn’t prudent to stay in the dark as it is in the backyard of the criminals they are looking for.

Later that night, Dahlia is running tests and comparisons to try and find out what type of creature the suspect is when the alarm in her gym goes off and when she gets there, she knows exactly who and why, she talks to Casey again about the dangers he was just walking into and although she understands that he just wants to feel close to and find his sister, she still tells him off until they are interrupted by someone being attacked, they try to help, but the victim doesn’t speak their language and as they are trying to decide what to do, they escape, now they have to worry a out then becoming a victim of a different type, these worries are put onto the back burner when a new lead appears and when it shows other connections, the hunt is in for her and Creed.

Will they be able to figure out who is behind the abductions and dismemberments, or will they fall foul of more than they can handle as the tangled web of secrets is revealed? This is another whirlwind of a tide across realms where revelations are not always what they seem and which hook you into their mysteries as well.

Reviewed by @roxsannel

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Nite Fire: Chain Reaction Book 2 by C.L. Schneider – Review by Roxsanne Lesieur.

Chain Reaction (Nite Fire #2)Chain Reaction by C.L. Schneider
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dahlia Nite is back in the next installment of this series and yet again, she has another crime to solve, but this time she has to overcome her own personal barriers as well as professional ones, although having Casey Evans around to talk to us helpful and her partner Detective Creed is as much of a thorn in her side as ever, but they all make a good team. This time, Dahlia is on one of her nighttime forays into the darkness and the seedier part of town, she is interrupted by a familiar scent, when she follows it she finds a young women who doesn’t belong there covered in blisters and peeling skin, but there is nothing she can do to help her when she combusts right before her eyes, but when the same thing happens at the gym the next day after her a d Casey have been sparring, there aren’t just blisters this time, the woman in question is mutating and as Dahlia is trying to help her, she combusts again, but this time it is in the middle of the street where everyone can see.

When Detective Creed arrives on the scene, he is frustrated and also slightly annoyed that is on Dahlia’s doorstep again, but not surprised either, however when he learns it is another spontaneous combustion case, he is not happy either, but at when it is revealed that Casey knows this woman, they start on tracking her movements for the last few days to see where she may have contracted whatever caused her death and to see if it uncovers any other victims. A few days later, some calls have come in about someone attacking their girlfriend in a club and then going on a violent rampage around the city, but when Dahlia and Creed finally chase the person down, it is clear that it is another victim, but this one is not easily put down and when Dahlia has chased him to the top of a building under construction, Creed is right on her heels, but she cannot get any information from him apart from one word before he falls to his death in a fiery ball.

Dahlia has no further ideas on what is causing the outbreak, but when a friend screams for help when he starts to report a crime, she is shocked to hear that he stole and came into contact with some of whatever was causing the problem, so as she sets off for another late night hunt, she runs into an old enemy, but she does find a name and a possible connection, however nothing goes as smoothly as planned, but as the bodies keep appearing and the mystery deepens, will Dahlia be able to keep a lid on what is happening and find out who is behind it, or will the city be swarmed by these rage fueled and mutated humans and in some cases, can they even still be called humans? This is another action packed thriller with a whirlwind of twists and turns throughout which will leave you guessing until the very end.

Reviewed by @roxsannel

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Nite Fire: Flash Point (Volume 1) By C.L. Schneider – Review by Roxsanne Lesieur.

Flash Point (Nite Fire, #1)Flash Point by C.L. Schneider
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dahlia Nite is a woman who moves around a lot ever since she escaped from her home and her execution, all because she paused while carrying out her duty when she was startled by something she couldn’t easily explain, so she ran in the middle of the night leaving everything and everyone she knew behind and escaped to the human realm, but her past has caught up with her now she has moved back to Sentinel City and not just when she is reliving her pain and fear in her dreams whenever she goes to sleep. When she uncovers a nest of otherworldly creatures who have been killing the humans in the city she currently calls home, she has no choice but to exterminate them, although it isn’t easy and she has to hide her true form while doing it, she completes her mission, but while working out how the creatures made it there, it is what they say which troubles her more, this and the fact that these particular creatures normally live alone, but here there were five of them, just another thing to add onto her list of strange things happening in Sentinel City.

The next day she is contacted by her contractor saying that there has been a murder, but that it is so unusual in the way it was commited that she is being called in to help and so keep the humans from finding out what truly happened there, but when she arrives at the scene, she is shown in by a police officer who looks like he doubts what he is seeing as she doesn’t look old enough to have experience of dealing with these types of investigations. The brutality of the murders is the first thing she notices and the manner in which they were killed is devastatingly familiar and that is before she has even properly looked at the bodies, but she knows exactly what did this, the thing she needs to find out now is why this family is dead. When she meets the captain of the police force there, she learns that she is being assigned a partner to investigate with, but after she requests to be alone with the scene, she confirms her original suspicions, even though she doesn’t want to. Later on in the day, she goes to a favourite haunt to have a drink and think about what she had found out that day, however, she senses someone nearby who could be involved and gives chase, however, when she gets close to them, they attack and this leads to more bodies like the ones at the house, but she loses sight of the person when they escape out of the back of the building.

Things start to get more complicated after she meets her new partner and that is when she realises that this one is going to become a thorn in her side, especially when the bodies start to pile up and any leads she has are either dead ends or things she can’t explain to the other officers on the team, she knows she is running out of time to figure it all out, but that doesn’t make it any easier on her. Will Dahlia be able to figure out who is killing these people and why while also covering it all up at the same time, or will the cat get out of the bag and reveal everything she has been trying to hide? This action packed urban fantasy will leave you wanting more as you are pulled in all the same directions as Dahlia as you try to figure things out with her.

Reviewed by @roxsannel

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The Saint of Liars (The Lucky Devil series Book 2) by Megan Mackie – Review by Netania Lim

The Saint of Liars (Lucky Devil #2)The Saint of Liars by Megan Mackie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the first book so I was highly anticipating this one. There’s lots of action and magic in this one, and the world-building is complex and detailed. I love the mix of urban fantasy, cyberpunk and paranormal elements, as it adds a lot of tension and keeps you guessing.

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