Month

January 2016

Hanover House – Brenda Novak

Hanover House

Hanover House

2.75 Stars (2.75 / 5)

This novella is a prequel to a new series by Novak. I must admit I was a little disappointed with the story. I liked it, and I can see a lot of promise for the series. But this one left me feeling a little deflated.

So our main character in this novella and for the series is Dr Evelyn Talbot. Talbot is a psychiatrist who has worked to secure the opening of Hanover House, an psychiatric institute to house the worst of the worst psychopaths. Her motives are personal, she wants to know what makes them kill and attack without remorse,  as she once survived a brutal attack from Jasper, her psychopathic ex boyfriend. The house is currently under construction near a small town in Alaska, and the residents are not happy about having it so close to their door. Even state trooper Amarock is not keen on the facility being nearby. However he is slightly more keen to have Evelyn nearby because he has developed some feelings towards her. Unfortunately she is so damaged from her assault years ago that she is unable to get close to anyone. Will she be able to make an exception for the police man? Meanwhile, Jasper tracks her down, and wants to finish what he started all those years ago.

I think my main issue of this novella was the rushed romance. They had already met each other when the novella begins, and were already attracted to each other. I just didn’t particularly believe the chemistry between them and the whole romance fell a bit flat for me. And her getting drunk and coming on to him just felt unrealistic.

I also had a few problems with several parts of the storyline. If I was attacked by a psychopath who then escaped, there is no way I would keep my current name… Let alone publicly open a psychiatric institute with her story out there for anyone to know.  And her parents leaving a return address on an envelope? Really??? I felt these things could have been approached in a totally different, somewhat more believable way.

However, I did like the characters. I loved the idea of Hanover House and I am interested to see where it goes.

Would I recommend Hanover House?

It was an interesting introduction to what will hopefully be a good series. I will have to wait for the first full length book to make my mind up though!

Many thanks to author Brenda Novak via NetGalley for a copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review.

ADD TO GOODREADS


If you enjoy Hanover House, you may enjoy:

Lost Girls   the girl with no past

Big Rock – Lauren Blakely

Big Rock

Big Rock

3.75 Stars (3.75 / 5)

Okay, I’m not sure exactly why I bought this book. Apart from the naked guy on the cover obviously, I’m only human… I think it had such a good review average and I was in the mood for a good contemporary romance… Plus to my recollection it was dirt cheap. And it was sitting on my kindle for ages before I decided to read it. When I started I must admit I thought “Oh there goes another few bucks to a crappy book”.. It sounded a LOT like Tangled – Which I hated. So imagine my surprise when I stuck with it for another few chapters and was pleasantly surprised.

Told from his point of view, Spencer is God’s gift to women, quite a few women in fact. A gentleman, attractive, sweet, charming and endowed with a big ummm “personality”. When his father begs him to tone down his womanising ways for a week while he tries to sell his business, Spencer finds himself “fake engaged” to his best friend Charlotte. What starts out as a bit of a fun game between the two of them, quickly turns into something more and he finds himself crossing the line and falling for his best friend. What’s he going to do when his week is up?

Totally corny, cheesy, at times cringe worthy, but at the same time wonderfully light and fluffy. Spencer annoyed the hell out of me at the start, but I soon began to like him, even though most of the time I felt the portrayal of this guy was totally unrealistic and stupid at times.

What made it for me I think was the witty dialogue and decent sexual tension between the two main characters Spencer and Charlotte. Their friendship was (mostly) believable, and even the fact that they were both irresistibly good looking and had never even thought of the other person in “that way” before didn’t make me roll my eyes too much.

Would I recommend Big Rock?

Absolutely if you are a contemporary romance fan. It was extremely raunchy at times, as I am sure you can tell by the front cover. But the romance was still the star of the book. It was a light, fun, sexy (OVER 18) read without too many brain cells required!

ADD TO GOODREADS


If you enjoy Big Rock, you may enjoy:

tangled   Practice makes Perfect - Julie James

The Girl You Lost – Kathryn Croft

The Girl You Lost

The Girl You Lost

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Another hit by Kathryn Croft. She is absolutely on my list of authors who I will just read without question now, as I have enjoyed every single book she has written. The Girl You Lost is no exception.

Simone and Matt’s daughter was taken 18 years ago. They have been dealing with the loss and grief all the years and suddenly a young woman called Grace shows up claiming she may be their daughter. Then Grace disappears. Simone must discover the shocking truth as she searches for daughter yet again.

I was totally sucked in to this novel. I sat down and started it and couldn’t stop until it was devoured. As always, I really enjoyed the damaged characters and how the story slowly becomes weaved together by only giving us small parts of the it until the whole truth suddenly becomes clear. I really enjoy psychological thrillers that do this. I love not knowing what is going on or going to happen. And I LOVE a good twist!

I really enjoyed the way the book was set out, with Simone’s story, and then also the narrator who we didn’t know. I loved how it slowly came together.

Simone and Matt were great characters. I enjoyed their relationship and their story. I enjoyed most of the secondary characters, and I felt it had a lot of action and suspense.

I did have a few problems that brought it down from a 5 star read to a 4 star one.

Firstly, and most disappointingly, I found it to be extremely predictable. It was before I even hit halfway that I realised the twist in the story, and even though I was secretly hoping I was wrong, it became more and more clear that I wasn’t. I am not sure how any seasoned psychological thriller fan could miss it. I also felt it had too many characters, especially because even though I was so engrossed in it, I still got confused a few times about who was who. It was also a bit too unbelievable, but I didn’t mind this so much because I love far fetched plots that still work. And this one really did work.

These are my only problems with the book though, as always Crofts writing is superb and even though I knew what was happening before I should have, I still LOVED the ride! She does a really wonderful job of keeping you at the edge of your seat.

Even though a lot of the story had some pretty awful and graphic subject matter, I feel it was done really well, it made an impact without being TOO graphic, and I feel people who are a bit more sensitive would not find it too bad. However I am not sensitive at all…

Would I recommend The Girl You Lost?

Absolutely! I would recommend anything that Kathryn Croft has written so far and can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!

Many thanks to author Kathryn Croft via NetGalley for a copy of The Girl You Lost in exchange for my honest review.

ADD TO GOODREADS


If you enjoy The Girl You Lost, you may enjoy:

the girl with no past   Little Black Lies

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Magic Strikes – Ilona Andrews

Magic Strikes – Kate Daniels #3

Magic Strikes

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Okay Okay… I’m sold! When I read the first two books I liked them, but I didn’t LOVE LOVE them. If you get me… Well after this book I am happy to announce that I do in fact LOVE LOVE this series! Absolutely fantastic book! The best of the series so far! WOW! — Just letting you know in advance that there are going to be many exclamation marks and words expressed in capital letters in this review!!!

Kate is back yet again in book 3 of The Kate Daniels series. Something strange is going on with her old partner Jim. He is hiding something from Curran, the lord of the shapeshifters. And when Derek is found near death, she finds herself coerced by Jim into taking part in the Midnight Games, a fight-to-the-death gladiator style arena combat competition. Meanwhile Curran is after Jim for disobeying him, and he is after Kate too… But for other reasons…

I am officially ADDICTED to this series! Seriously! How FREAKING FANTASTIC was this book!???? I can’t believe I haven’t read this series earlier!

Action packed! From start to finish! And that is fantastic, however that is not what makes this book. What makes this book is the increasing tension between Kate and Curran. HOLY MACARONI!!!! I swear I needed a cold shower after that hot tub scene!!! I like that it was slightly graphic, but not overly so… Enough to get the heart racing a little bit but not enough to hide it from others on the train. Although I do admit I hope it does get even hotter in future books.. Because… TENSION!!!!

I really enjoy their relationship. Its not the typical urban fantasy romance, where the girl swoons and all of a sudden they can’t live without each other and they will never love anyone else ever… Its SO not like that. Its a relationship based on mutual respect, admiration and hilarious flirty playfulness. And Kate’s character is by no means brought down because of it.

I’m really excited to see where the rest of the series goes! Especially with Kate’s character and her family stuff!

Would I recommend Magic Strikes??

YES! Read this series! Remember it doesn’t get super good till number 3!!

Now I have the next 3 on order hopefully arriving in a week or so, but I am seriously tempted to buy them on my kindle just so I can read them NOW NOW NOW!!!!

ADD TO GOODREADS


If you enjoy Magic Strikes, you may enjoy:

Midnight Burning   Magic Bites   Clean Sweep

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Magic Burns – Ilona Andrews

Magic Burns – Kate Daniels #2

Magic Burns

4 Stars (4 / 5)

This is the second book in the Kate Daniels series and another really enjoyable tale!

Kate is back in Magic Burns and she takes a “quick” job with Jim, and confronts an adversary who can teleport into thin air, and he has stolen a bunch of maps off the shapeshifters. On her quest to get back the maps she discovers a lot more than she bargained for about her foe and things that lurk under the city. And she has a handsome lord of the beasts beginning to take some serious interest in her… (Swoon).

The characters are definitely what makes this series so good. Kate in particular, she is absolutely fantastic! So often we are subjected to “strong” female characters that seem all strong until they come across a handsome werewolf (or vampire) and suddenly life is only worth living because of them… Their strength flies out the window and they become totally and utterly boring. Well not Kate ladies and gents! Kate is such an awesome character. She isn’t going to let some pesky lion let her go weak at the knees that easily!

I must admit though, with Kate’s strength and setting up of the storyline for this series, I really longed for a bit more heat in the romance/sexual tension department. However its better than just superficial lust, because I can see they are setting up the scene for a very intense relationship between Kate and Currin. And I’m totally cool with that! And there were some tense moments that left that warm belly feeling. And I can tell things are going to get better and better with those two!

Loved the secondary characters, and that Kate took on the motherly role of Julie. Derek is also one of my favourite characters. Great to start learning a bit more about Kate’s past too!

I really enjoy books that don’t exactly have a happy ending, and although it wasn’t a bad ending at all, lots of people still died… And some that you don’t expect. I like that.

Again, I love the magic encrusted world of Atlanta. Everything works just like the first one.

Would I recommend Magic Burns?

Yes, but read them in order or you will miss some serious character and relationship development between the two main characters.

ADD TO GOODREADS


If you enjoy Magic Burns, you may also enjoy:

Magic Bites   Clean Sweep   Midnight Burning

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Magic Bites – Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites – Kate Daniels #1

Magic Bites

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I have lost count of the number of people who recommended this series to me! I don’t have many friends on goodreads who rated it less than 4 stars! And Hooray! I really enjoyed the first one!

Kate Daniels is a mercenary, living in an alternate world ruled by magic and the supernatural. When her guardian is murdered, she goes on the hunt for the killer, which leads her into confrontations with necromancers, shapeshifters, and a sexy human plastic surgeon… Or is he human?

What a fantastic introduction to what I am sure is going to be a really enjoyable series!

I really enjoyed that the vampires weren’t romanticised in this one. They are controlled by the necromancers and are pretty much just dead puppets, and I liked that about Kate’s world! I’m getting a bit sick of sexy vampires fighting over sexy werewolves for the affection of the strong female lead character. So this was really refreshing actually! Sure, there are shape shifters, but the witty dialogue and lack of a love triangle really helped me enjoy this one. I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES!!!

There probably was a little less romance than I generally like in these types of books, but there was some, and the scene is absolutely set for more!

I love the humour in Magic Bites! Sarcastic and witty, I enjoyed Kate’s interactions with pretty much every other character, especially Curran and Derek. She is one of the better strong female characters I have read about, and I enjoy her character a lot more than say Anita Blake or Sookie Stackhouse! I can’t wait to read future books and see what on earth she is hiding about her magic and her heritage!

Love the magical world they live in! Its all really clever and original. Having to ride on horseback because magical flares occur and stop all the electricity for example… Thought it was really well thought up. And I love all the magic and creatures.

Would I recommend Magic Bites?

Absolutely! Fabulous way to waste away a couple of hours, and left me wanting more!

ADD TO GOODREADS


If you enjoy Magic Bites, you may enjoy:

Clean Sweep   Midnight Burning

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No Rain Today – Kristen Iten

No Rain Today

No Rain Today

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I love finding books to read with my son. Being 2 years old now, he is beginning to understand and comprehend the meaning of books a lot more, and he just LOVED No Rain Today!

No Rain Today is the story of a little cloud who got very upset because nobody liked his rain. Not the squirrels, or the cats. And even all the little children stay inside because they don’t like it when he rains on them. So he decides to hold in his rain to make everybody happy. But it has some unexpected consequences.

First of all I thought the illustrations in this book were just divine! The cats and the squirrels were especially cute and I think the illustrator David Overholt is extremely talented!

My son absolutely loved the little cloud! I loved watching him react to the illustrations! He was very upset to see when the cloud was upset, and he loved the animals and the little girl! And he was super cute trying to say “Umbrella”.

I really enjoyed the positive message this book conveys! I took it as the importance of being yourself and not holding back, but there are also many other subtle meanings such as the importance and beauty of rain, that playing outside, even in the rain can be a lot of fun, and I am sure that “don’t hold in your rain” can also be a metaphor for “Don’t hold in your pee!” I will be sure to use this as we toilet train!

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely for any toddler, or young child. We had a lot of fun reading this book together!

Many thanks to author Kristen Iten for a copy of this book for my son and I to review!

ADD TO GOODREADS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

As founder of k10conceptions, Kristen works tirelessly to produce high quality children’s literature. As a child she experienced firsthand the wonder that is a parent reading to their child. Now as a mother herself, she has committed to providing unique stories that parents around the globe will use to build lasting family memories of their own.

Kristen started her writing career as a freelance writer. Most of her time was spent writing informativKristen Itene nonfiction content. “That was pretty unfulfilling on a creative level,” she remarked. “There was the satisfaction of a job well done when I would finish a piece, but as a whole, the job became such drudgery that I began to question whether or not I even enjoyed writing.”

She soon realized that she was writing the wrong kind of material. “When I switched over and began to write from the imagination things really began to pop!” Kristen is now a successful author with several children’s books awaiting release. She manages k10conceptions and is working to build a vibrant community on facebook that supports parents in their efforts to find creative and developmental playtime activities for their children.

AUTHOR LINKS 

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Poison – Lan Chan – BLOG TOUR + Giveaway

PoisonTourBanner1

 So excited to be part of the Poison blog tour! What appealed to me most is that it’s a YA dystopia novel and its written by an Aussie author and set in post apocalyptic Australia. What I wasn’t quite prepared for was how much I enjoyed it!

Poison by Lan Chan 
(Wind Dancer #1) 
Publication date: OUT NOW
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Since the night her mother was murdered, sixteen-year-old Rory Gray has known one truth: There are no good Seeders.

In post-apocalyptic Australia, the scientists known as Seeders have built a Citadel surrounded by food-producing regions and populated with refugees from the wars and famine. To maintain their control, the Seeders poisoned the land and outlawed the saving of seeds.

It’s been six years since Rory graced the Seeders’ circus stage as the Wind Dancer and still the scars on her body haven’t healed. Even worse are the scars on her heart, left by a Seeder boy who promised to protect her.

Now the Seeders are withholding supplies from Rory’s region for perceived disobedience. Utilising the Wanderer knowledge she received from her mother, Rory must journey to the Citadel through uninhabitable terrain to plead for mercy.

However, the CitadelPoison isn’t as Rory remembered. The chief plant geneticist is dying and rumours fly that the store of viable seed is dwindling. The Seeders are desperate to find a seed bank they believe Rory can locate, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

To defy the Seeders means death. But Rory has been close to death before–this time she’s learned the value of poison.

Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, strong protagonists, minority characters, circuses and nature!

ADD TO GOODREADS

MY REVIEW OF POISON

What an unexpected surprise! What an absolutely FABULOUS book!

I won’t go too much into the plot because its outlined very well in the synopsis above. It is quite complex and when I first started the novel I was a little lost and confused. It goes straight into the storyline and refers to characters you know nothing about, but it wasn’t long before I got my bearings and it set off!

Im going to start by talking about the BEAUTIFUL cover! Just GORGEOUS!!! My favourite cover of the year so far! (I know its only the beginning!)

I found this book to be such a refreshing take on the post apocalyptic YA genre! Yes, it had similarities to the hunger games at the beginning as they are making their way to the citadel, and at some other points of the book, however it was totally original and refreshing in its own right.

This book was FULL of excitement! Blood, guts, violence, romantic tension, betrayal, I really enjoyed it!

It was extremely fast paced and action packed! I really enjoyed all of the characters. I thought Rory was a great heroine, at times I feel that she was quite careless, however the story moved so quickly and she had so much happening at once that she was just trying to keep her head above water. I enjoyed that even though there was a hint of a love triangle, that it wasn’t exactly a love triangle (because I HATE them). I thought the boys were great, Aiden and Gage – I love how they all had a history with Rory in some way. And what a history they all had. What an awful world they live in!

I also found it really refreshing that you never knew what was going to happen and who was going to die or turn out to be the good or bad guy! And towards the end OH MY GOODNESS!!! WHAT THE HELL!!!??? I DID NOT SEE THAT TURN COMING!

Loved that it is set in Australia! I haven’t read many dystopia novels set in Aus so that was really appealing to me, plus I love finding talented new Aussie authors! I will certainly keep an eye on Lan Chan and her future work!

The only thing that I didn’t like about Poison was that sometimes it was TOO fast paced (Yes I know, I’m usually complaining of the opposite) but I did get a little bit lost at times, only briefly mind you! And not enough to take away much from the story.

But man, strange creatures, killer jumping piranhas… I had such fun with this book! Can’t wait for the next one!

Would I recommend it?

Yes for any YA fantasy/dystopia fan who likes their stories action packed!

Many thanks to author Lan Chan via Xpresso Book Tours for an advanced copy of Poison in exchange for my honest review!

4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

 

Purchase:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lan Chan is a writer, gardener and professional procrastinator based in Melbourne, Australia. She is still waiting for Lan1her super powers to manifest but until then she writes young adult novels featuring strong female protagonists, minority characters and has a particular interest in dystopias and urban fantasy. Lan’s debut novel POISON, the first in her WIND DANCER series is due for release in September 2015.

Author Links:

iconwebsite   icontwitter   icongoodreads   iconfacebook

 

 

Poison Blog Tour Hosted By:

XpressoBannerTours

Schedule HERE

Click below to enter the tour giveaway! (International)
GIVEAWAY!

 


 

If you enjoy Poison, you may enjoy:

Melophobia   The Threat Below   Floor 21    the darkest minds

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Black Mountain – Greig Beck

Black Mountain

Black Mountain

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 I LOVE THIS SERIES! Mr Beck I salute you! What an exciting ride!

Alex Hunter is back in the 4th instalment of the Alex Hunt/Arcadian series. After surviving the horrible virus he contracted at the end of This Green Hell, Alex awakens in Israel with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Meanwhile back in the USA at Black Mountain, there has been an earthquake and the movement of the mountain has opened a doorway to an ancient cave, where a monster is released from its prison.

OH MY GOODNESS! What a FABULOUS read! Think Matthew Riley on steroids! Absolutely action packed and FANTASTIC!

This is only the second book I have read written by Greig Beck, and it is going to be the second of many I predict! This Green Hell was extremely impressive, and Black Mountain was even better!

Non stop action, thrills, blood, guts, gore, a bit of romance and angst, violence, monsters.

WOW!

Loved the characters! I have a bit of a book crush on Alex Hunter, I just think he is fantastic! But where was Aimee??? I hope she comes back into the story in subsequent books! But it was nice to have a different focus I guess.

Really enjoyed all the different plot lines throughout the story and one of the things I really like about Black Mountain, and find really refreshing, is that it doesn’t exactly have the happy ending vibe that a lot of books have. People you don’t want to die, die… Gruesome and grizzly deaths.

I don’t know what else to say! Black Mountain is just great! If you are a fan of action books absolutely check this series out. I started at the third one and haven’t read the first two yet so you don’t HAVE to start at the first one – Enough of the story is set up throughout the novel so you are not lost at all. However the beginning is always a great place to start.

The audio version?? FANTASTIC!!! Sean Mangan is SO GREAT narrating this series! One of my favourite narrators ever!

Would I recommend it?

YES YES YES!!! Remember where I said non stop action? Thrills? Blood and guts? Gore? Romance and MONSTERS?? If you like that you will love this series!

ADD TO GOODREADS

If you enjoyed Black Mountain you should enjoy:

This Green Hell

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Floor 21 – Jason Luthor – BLOG TOUR

Floor 21 Banner

And here we are, another blog tour. I have only been doing these about once every two months or so because I am super busy, so a book has to REALLY grab my attention for me to want to sign up! Floor 21 did as soon as I saw the cover!

FLOOR 21
by Jason Luthor
Release Date: OUT NOW

Summary from Goodreads:

As humanity lives out the remainder of its existence at the top of an isolated apartment tower, young Jackie dares to question Tower Authority and their ban on travelling into the tower’s depths. Intelligent and unyielding, Jackie ventures into the shadows of the floors below. But will her strong will and refusal to be quiet—in a society whose grFloor 21eatest pride is hiding the past—bring understanding of how humanity became trapped in the tower she has always called home, or will it simply be her undoing?

 

MY REVIEW OF FLOOR 21

I’m not sure what appeals to me so much about the YA dystopian genre! I have read quite a few of them lately. Some were good, and some didn’t quite hit the mark. Thankfully Floor 21 was a win for me!

What’s left of humanity lives in a high rise tower, unable to get into the lower levels because of “the creep” a black growth of tissue, muscle and sludge that causes hallucinations when touched and is taking over the tower. Jackie is a 17 year old girl who lives with her parents on floor 4, the forth highest level of the tower. Although they are not supposed to be inquisitive, and asking questions of what happened to the world before and what is outside the tower is forbidden, Jackie finds herself wanting to know what is down in the lower levels of the tower and beyond.

I really enjoyed the complex layers of this story. Despite the usual dystopian “what happened to the world before, are we the only ones out there?” vibe, I found the storyline to be extremely original. It does have a vibe similar to the silo series, although aimed at a younger audience. It also had the feel of novels such as the hunger games and the divergent series, being that the residents of the tower didn’t have much freedom and were oppressed by those of the higher levels. However I found the creep and the set up of the tower itself made it stand out differently for me. It was not particularly better than the above series, but I was surprised how original it felt and it was certainly extremely enjoyable.

The format was refreshing, the voice recording transcripts from the characters. At times I felt it didn’t quite work as it seemed a little too unbelievable that they would be recording their voices after certain events of the novel. HoweverFloor 21 promo image it worked really well overall.

I enjoyed the switch in character halfway through the book. It was where I really began to get into the story. And I LOVED the creep! I thought it was really original and I am super excited to find out more about it and the tower and what happened to the world in the next books!

There was one thing that brought it down from a 5 to 4 star rating for me. And unfortunately that was the main character Jackie. I understand that she is only young, but she annoyed me SO MUCH. She was supposed to be beyond her years in intelligence and inquisitiveness, but her immature dialogue annoyed me so much that the book took me much longer to get through than it usually would have. I love a strong young female leading character, but I really disliked Jackie. I’m hoping that she will grow up and grow on me in the next book.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely for any YA dystopian fan! It was a mix of the silo series and the hunger games, with a touch of Snowpiercer. A solidly enjoyable read and I will not hesitate to pick up the sequel.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Many thanks to Jason Luthor via YA Bound Book Tours for a copy of Floor 21 to read in exchange for my honest review.

ADD TO GOODREADS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

jason luthor

About the Author
Jason Luthor has spent a long life writing for sports outlets, media companies and universities. His earliest writing years came during his coverage of the San Antonio Spurs as an affiliate with the Spurs Report and its media partner, WOAI Radio. He would later enjoy a moderate relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, writing lore and stories for potential use in future games. At the academic level he has spent several years pursuing a PhD in American History at the University of Houston, with a special emphasis on Native American history.

His inspirations include some of the obvious; The Lord of the Rings and Chronciles of Narnia are some of the most cited fantasy series in history. However, his favorite reads include the Earthsea Cycle, the Chronicles of Prydain, as well as science fiction hits such as Starship Troopers and Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?

Author Links: iconwebsite   icontwitter   icongoodreads   iconfacebook

 

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