The Tree of Mindala (Elle Jacklee) Book Review

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening) all, and here we are with my latest book review: The Tree of Mindala, by Elle Jacklee. I’m sorry this book has taken me the two weeks to read, but it’s a fairly sized book at 306 pages, and hey, I’m not technically working to any deadlines here; reading takes time! You see, before I started reviewing on request predominantly, I would review books I’d read before, so I could just skim-read through them to remind me of the plot and so forth, bringing all my feelings on reading it for the first time back to the fore. When reading these new books though, I get to sit down and read through a story that’s new to me, and that takes time as it rightly should. So, lets get going.


The Tree of Mindala is the story of siblings Miranda and Marcus Moon, two normal children going to a normal school. One thing though – Miranda’s obsession with adventure and her runaway imagination tend to land her in trouble, and having gone one step too far, she’s been suspended from school. Miranda’s parents decide to take the children on a holiday, of sorts, to a cabin in the forest owned by their late grandparents, Truman and Sunny. It’s halloween time though, and everything is not as it seems. Miranda finds a glass snow globe in which a little house is depicted. Miranda turns the globe upside-down, and that’s when things really get weird.

Miranda and Marcus both find themselves in front of the very stone house that had been in the snow globe. Little did they know that they had just entered Wunderwood, a land of trees and magic – and they had just freed the worst warlock of the lot – Thornton.
Continue reading

Forever Burn (Adrian Smith) Book Review

Sorry it’s been a little while folks, but all my exams are over now! So I should have a lot more time to read and write, which will be lovely. So, this book ‘Forever Burn’ was sent to me for review by one Adrian Smith, and I’m very glad to have had the privilege of reading it. It is the first in a series, which will be gaining a prequel soon. Right, I best get on with a review!


Forever Burn is the story of James Matthews, a firefighter trying to make a difference in the world. Trained to stay calm in dangerous situations, James is a professional. However, she is having recurrent dreams; dreams about a girl she pulled from a fire years ago. They aren’t just normal flashbacks, and James has a feeling something is wrong. That’s not all though. Her secret love at the fire station is pressuring her for a more open relationship; but it doesn’t take long for that relationship to open James up to a world she’s never imagined, and a world she is inexplicably part of. Continue reading

The Language of Stones (Robert Carter) Book Review

Right then, let’s get this show on the road! I have now finished the most recent book I’ve been commissioned to review by an author; ‘The Language of Stones’ by Robert Carter, the first book of a trilogy set. In fact, I came across Robert’s work myself, on the Goodreads website. I read through his biography and tre book description and I was enthralled, it sounded great. I sent Robert an email if he’d like a review of the book, and to m delight he said yes. And what a journey it’s been for me through this book.


The Language of Stones is, as Robert himself describes it, a story about a boy becomes a man. Young William (or Will, or Willand, or even Willy-Wag Staff) is a boy from a small village called Nether Norton. That’s what he thinks anyway, but a certain wizard knows more than that, and reveals even less. Master Gwydion appears at Will’s house at the dark of night, and whisks him away with all but no explanation.
A magic flows through the land, through the ligns, channels of power connecting many stones together. Stones of power. For these are the Ancient Stones, in which is contained much of the harm of the realm. Times are changing though, and the power of the lorc flows. The battlestones begin drawing men and etching out suffering to the world. Master Gwydion believes that he has the key, the young boy Willand, to prevent the calamity of war. However, Maskull, an evil sorcerer akin to Gwydion himself plots against him, and threatens to use the battlestones to wreak havoc. Gwydion and Willand must move quickly, for the third coming of Great Arthur is at hand!

Note: I have found it very difficult to summarize The Language of Stones, for it is a very deep and complex novel, and I can’t quite seem to pin it down in words. It is a tale of epic proportions; of magic, heroism and the love and loss of many. For a full description, read the author’s words on his work here. Continue reading

The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien) Book Review

The Silmarillion is another of Tolkien’s books set in The Lord of the Rings universe. Most of his books are, of course, and all are brilliant. Every regular to this site knows of my love affair with Tolkien literature, so if you don’t want to read a review brimming with affection and enjoyment. Alternatively, if you found the Silmarillion too difficult to read, and are now searching the Internet for a bad review to make you feel better, you can leave too.


The Silmarillion is the story of Arda, the world, ranging from its creation through its elder history, the awakening of the elves and the coming of men and dwarves. It tells of the gallon of Melkor, who was the master of Sauron, and on through all the history of Arda – the world, through the Lord of the Rings trilogy era (summed up in about a page) ending with the last ship leaving the Grey Havens, as it does in the Lord of the Rings. Continue reading

The Tower’s Alchemist – The Grey Tower Trilogy (Alesha Escobar) Book Review

Well, how’s that for a long title? Anyway, no matter. Now, I’m very excited about giving you all this book review. The reason being, it’s my first requested review! Ms. Escobar contacted me at datbookreviews.gmail.com to ask I I could review her book. I put up the ‘What Can I Do For You?’ page ages ago, but haven’t had any interest. Until now, yay! I’ve really enjoyed speaking with Ms. Escobar, and I’d love for you to visit her blog here. It’s been a pleasure chatting with Ms. Escobar via email, and she has very kindly provided me the second book for reading as well!


Isabella is a trained wizard – an alchemist by distinction. She’s working for the Allies’ Special Operations, and it’s World War 2. She’s tired though. She’s had enough of fighting, and hands in her resignation saying this mission will be her last. The mission? Extract the Warlock Veit Heilveig from where he is creating chemical weaponry for the Germans. Under the guises of Emelie and Noelle, Isabella makes as many enemies as friends as she strives to find Heilveig. When she finds him, though, he is not the person he is thought to be – and nor is she. As secrets of her dead father begin to circulate, Isabella has more and more to contend with; and love not least.


The plot of this book runs well. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy read, but it doesn’t chop around so as it doesn’t make sense. The book is written in the first person narrative voice, which means that the whole of the book is shown through Isabella’s eyes. This means that we aren’t confused by swapping perspectives and hopping around, which can make a book difficult to read. The plot moves at a fair pace, and you won’t find yourself getting bored! I myself was compelled to keep reading. I didn’t feel like the ‘romance subplot’ was a major element of the book, more a subtle undertone. However, the book isn’t a romance novel, so I think that this is right. Whether or not the author will choose to expand on this or not I’m not sure, but I found it to be an interesting part of the novel. It is kept on edge which way Isabella will go, so it isn’t a drab “yeah, she’ll choose the unlikely one”. Another subplot that Ms. Escobar has going is that of Isabella’s father. Thought to be dead, Isabella is beginning to not be so sure. It begins as a small thread of the story – a subplot if you will – but towards the end of the book it becomes more and more entwined with the solid plot, and it’s set to be a main string of the next book (I love my rope analogy – the story is a rope, and the subplots that make it up are it’s fibres. Loose ends are the frayed ones that stick out of the end, and weaker parts of the story is where the rope is worn). Either way, this plot will definitely keep you hooked.


Writing in the first person voice can be a risky manoeuvre. If you can’t feed the constant thought and emotion into the character, then it can feel like a cutout paper character with no depth. This doesn’t happen here. One thing I’ve found is that in writing first person, the perspective character seems to draw off of the personality of the author or somebody the author knows well. Let me say this; Ms. Escobar either has, or knows somebody with a very interesting personality! Unfortunately, I don’t know her well enough to say. Isabella is a very interesting and depthful (it’s a word now) lady and a pleasure to read about. You can very much tell that she has strong feelings about how she no longer wants to play the game, and the hate she has for the warlocks, especially the vampiric Cruenti. We feel her pain as she loses two of her friends, and it is all very real. There are quite a few different characters that can get a little confusing, but if you’re on the ball then you’ll manage just fine. It’s just the small difference between Brande and Bernarde (I thought it might be a nickname, but they’re separate people). I also thought Ernest and Gabriel were one person (they aren’t). It’s not something that takes from the book, just something you should watch out for. It also doesn’t help that most people go by other alias names for their spy-work, so just keep on top of it all.


I’d just like to write a little about new authors. This book has opened my eyes to the fact that a book doesn’t become a bestseller off of the printing press. The authors all start somewhere. Just because you haven’t heard of the author, doesn’t mean that it won’t be as good as a printed published author. The Tower’s Alchemist is better than a good few of the books that I have on my bookshelf that are sold physically in major chain stores. This book has no reviews on iBooks, and before now I would have glided over such a book as a risky purchase. On Amazon.com most of the reviews are very good, and the overall rating is 4.5 stars. Some nut on Amazon.co.uk has given it a 2 star rating which I feel is highly unfair as it is a very good book. Shame on you, Bob. Therefore, I’d like to say thank you to Alesha for opening my eyes to the fact that authors are real people, and it isn’t popularity that makes a book, it’s the book that makes the popularity. Thenceforth, I am going to try and take this blog in a new direction in helping new authors gain publicity. Subscribe and watch the blog for more information on this.


Now, for the rating! I hope you can tell that I think thi has been a greta book, and I dearly hope you’ll all read it. It’s $2.99 for Kindle – that’s like a packet of cigarettes you don’t need, or a coffee, or maybe a McDonald’s burger. I don’t believe there’s anybody who can’t afford a coffee for a good read and to help a great writer keep writing. I promise you won’t regret this book. I’m not a big reader of spy-books, but I really enjoyed this one.

The Tower’s Alchemist left me wanting more, so I’m giving it a 9/10. What a book.

Oblivion (Anthony Horowitz) Book Review

First of all, my excuses. This is, as you may remember, the book I have bought my brother for Christmas. The thing is, the damned boy went and borrowed it from the school library, We’ve already dissuaded him from buying it in shops on the count that it’ll be cheaper when it comes out in paperback. Well, when he’s borrowed it free you can’t use that one. He actually asked me whether I’d like to read it or not, as he doesn’t have to give it back until January. I haven’t touched the copy I bought for my brother, so I didn’t really read his book. Therefore, I haven’t gone back on what I said about not reading it before he (he read the borrowed one first, too). Pat Blair – please don’t take that gold star away!


Oblivion is the last book in the Power of Five ‘quadrilogy’, and it’s a hefty book. Over twice the size of Necropolis, and probably three times the size of the first two books. This is a good thing, as it lasted me a bit longer and allowed me to get really stuck into the book. I haven’t hand a big long book to get into recently, and whilst I probably should have left it for the Christmas break I still appreciated it. Anybody that enjoys Horowitz and/or thee Power of Five books should be getting excited now, as it’s a real pleasure to read and get into.
Continue reading

The Saga of Larten Crepsley (Darren Shan) Series

The Saga of Larten Crepsley is an offshoot from the Saga of Darren Shan, Shan’s longest series of novels. There are four short novels in the Saga, adding to the current twelve. In fact, all of Shan’s novels are fairly short, and these are only slightly shorter than he normally writes; so if you’re a fan you probably won’t mind. Anyway, I think that they are a worth addition to the saga(s) and I’m glad I read them. Here we go.


The saga (in saying this I refer to Crepsley’s, not Darren’s) is the story of Larten Crepsley’s history; how he became a vampire and rose through the ranks to become a general and so on. It does also tie in with the SODS (Saga of Darren Shan) and the war of the scars (vampires vs vampaneze). There’s also a bit of Larten’s romantic side, what with humans and with the gorgeous Arra Sails. This won’t be lacking in Desmond Tiny either.. Continue reading