Review: My Neighbor Totoro The Novel

My Neighbor Totoro: The Novel

Title: My Neighbor Totoro The Novel
Author: Tsugiko Kubo
Illustrator and Original Concept: Hayao Miyazaki
Translator: Jim Hubbert
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Publisher: Viz Media (7th November 2013)

The beloved animation classic by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro, is now a novel. This edition features original illustrations by Miyazaki himself, accompanying a story by veteran children’s author Tsugiko Kubo.

Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. Soon, in the woods behind the spooky old house, Satsuki and Mei discover a forest spirit named Totoro. When Mei goes missing, it’s up to Satsuki to find her sister, and she’ll need help from some new, and magical, friends.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO THE NOVEL by Tsugiko Kubo is literally what it says it is: the novel version of Hayao Miyazaki’s film of the same name. The book tells the story of eleven-year-old Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei. The sisters move with their father to the country so they can be closer to their mother, who is ill and resides in Shichikokuyama Hospital.

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Review: Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong (UK edition)

Title: Empire of Night (Age of Legends, 2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Atom (1st April 2015)


Moira and Ashyn have lost everything except each other. Betrayed, orphaned and kept under close guard at court, they are desperate to find help for the children of their village, kidnapped by a terrifying enemy.

But their quest is tangled in a much greater battle – for the fate of the empire itself. Torn apart by violence and intrigue, the sisters will learn a great deal about their powers and their potential. But they will also learn the heartbreak of betrayal and loss, as those they love reveal their dark secrets . . .

The second volume in the Age of Legends trilogy, Empire of Night is a breathtaking dark fantasy from international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

EMPIRE OF NIGHT by Kelley Armstrong is the second book in her Age of Legends trilogy. The book continues the tale of twins Moira and Ashyn – Keeper and Seeker. After the events of SEA OF SHADOWS (review) Moira and Ashyn are kept at court, but they long to know the fate of the children from their village. Both sisters feel trapped, and want to help the children but war is brewing.

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Review: Circles of Stone by Ian Johnstone

Circles of Stone by Ian Johnstone

Title: Circles of Stone (The Mirror Chronicles, 2)
Author: Ian Johnstone
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: HarperCollins (2nd July 2015)
Source: Publisher

Two halves of the same soul, forced to seperate again . . .

Two worlds that must be saved . . .

Sylas has made two monumental discoveries: his lost mother is alive, and he has found Naeo, his Glimmer – the other half of his soul living in the mirror world of the Other. As his magical powers grown, Sylas is desperate to return to his own world and find his mother. Naeo is also searching for her father, captured by the dark lord, Thoth, who is raising an army of unspeakable monstrosity.

As they are pursued by creatures of darkness, Sylas an Naeo must seperate to survive. But to defeat Thoth they will need to come together again . . .

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

CIRCLES OF STONE by Ian Johnstone is the second book in his impressive series The Mirror Chronicles. The book continues the adventures of Sylas as he attempts to be reunited with his mother, and of Naeo who longs to be reunited with her father. Events set in motion in the previous book, THE BELL BETWEEN WORLDS (review), start to reach a head as Thoth begins to make his move.

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Review: The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

Title: The Iron Ghost (The Copper Promise, 2)
Author: Jen Williams
Genre: Fantasy, Swords & Sorcery
Publisher: Headline (26th February 2015)
Source: Bookbridgr/the Publisher

Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith are experienced in the perils of stirring up the old gods. They are also familiar with defeating them, and the heroes of Baneswatch are now enjoying the perks of being very much in demand for their services.

When a job comes up in the distant city of Skaldshollow, it looks like easy coin – retrieve a stolen item, admire the views, get paid. But in a place twisted and haunted by acient magic, with the most infamous mage of them all, Joah Demonsworn, getting ready to return, our heroes soon find themselves threatened by enemies on all sides, old and new. And in the frozen mountains, the stones are walking . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)

THE IRON GHOST by Jen Williams is the second book in The Copper Promise series. It continues the adventures of Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith – the Black Feather Three. When they decide to take a job returning a stolen artefact, things rapidly become more complicated.

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Review: Lover Unbound by J. R. Ward

Lover Unbound by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Unbound (A Black Dagger Brotherhood Novel, 5)
Author: J. R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Piatkus (7th October 2010)

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war ragin between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now, the cold heart of a cunning predator will be warmed against its will . . .

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, possesses a destructive curse and the frightening ability to see th future. Tormented and abused while growing up in his father’s war camp, he now has no interest in love or emotion, only in the battle with the Lessening Society.

But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time – until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him towards a future that cannot include her . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)

LOVER UNBOUND by J. R. Ward is the fifth instalment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It tells the story of Vishous, a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood who played a large part in the previous book in the series, LOVER REVEALED, as he formed a close bond with Butch. In LOVER UNBOUND Vishous has to deal with a few issues that have been building-up in the last book, he also has a chance encounter with a Dr Jane Whitcomb.

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Review: Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong by Kelley Armstrong

Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tachyon Publications (15th September 2015)
Souce: Publisher

With her signature twists and turns, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld, Cainsville, Darkest Powers, Age of Legends) always gives a fresh spin on city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies. She is equally exciting when traveling further afield, to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even feudal Japan.

Here is the first time that urban fantasy, young adult, mystery, and crime author Kelley Armstrong has had her stories collected from Otherworld and beyond. From humorous to heart-stopping, and including two original tales, Led Astray showcases Armstrong at her versatile best.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

LED ASTRAY by Kelley Armstrong is a new collection of twenty-three short stories. The stories feature new and familiar characters, as well as new and familiar worlds. This collection brings together some favourite short stories from previous volumes, as well as two new pieces.

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Review: Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

Title: Breaking Nova (Nova #1)
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Sphere (3rd September 2013)

Nova Reed used to have dreams about becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she’s getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next, until she meets Quinton Carter.

Quinton once got a second chance at life, but he doesn’t want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he’s done, what he’s lost. He’s sworn never to allow happiness into his life, but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he’s too damaged to get close to her, yet she’s the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

Rating: ** (2 stars)

BREAKING NOVA is the first book in a new New Adult series by Jessica Sorensen. The book follows the stories of Nova Reed and Quinton Carter; both are struggling to deal with tragedies that have affected their lives, and the summer that their paths cross.

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