Book Review: Kasali’s Africa

Hey bookworms.

Guess what?! I got to do a book review for an author in Africa! This book was called Kasali’s Africa by Feyisayo Anjorin.

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Synopsis: Kasali’s Africa is the story of Kasali Adebayor’s struggle with the encroachment of the modern on the domain of the ancient in West Africa of the late 80s and 90s, as the states struggle in the treacherous waters of local politics; the time of the Liberian civil war, and the Sierra Leone diamond wars, and the military government’s devastating grip on power in Nigerian.

Kasali Adebayor, a barely literate farmer, who lives in the distant end of Akure, his home state’s capital city with his five wives and numerous children, gets a unanimous vote from all the farmers in the state as the head of the state farmers’ union; this happens at a time when government policy direction favours the agricultural sector.

The popular farmer, unprepared for the burdens of fame, becomes a hit with the press for his charisma and the myths attached to his name, and soon gets the attention of Liberia’s dictator, President Samuel Glay, who tries to match the desperation of persistent coup plotters with his own desperation to hold on to power by any means necessary.
Glay’s government is soon swept away, ushering in an unbridled reign of blood, tears, ruin, and rot.

And with the passage of time, Liberia’s national crises appears to unravel as Kasali’s family tragedy, as the farmer’s obsession with his youngest wife turns out fatal.

This is the story of humanity; the best of us, the worst of us, and everything in-between.

This book was interesting. It followed this farmer Kasali and the life he chose to live. He had about 5 wives and was working on a 6th. All of his children were put to work on his farm to work away their days. It was his form of homeschooling his children because he believed that they should follow in the footsteps of their father.

The storyline was ok because it switched it up a bit to give you different perspectives of other characters but I did find that at times I would get bored. Kasali’s life was definitely different from say your life or my life. He drank pretty much every evening and flaunted that he had lots of money (however, he did give some of his farms produce to charity).

There were parts where the story would pick up and it would have a little action in it. These parts I liked a lot and were what kept me going. The ending is very abrupt and not what I expected so I was also a fan of that (I hate when you know exactly what is going to happen).

Overall, it was decent and I would give it a middle rating. There was enough to keep me going through it. I also found it interesting how when characters were speaking to each other, they would end sentences with “o”. Example: “What are you doing o?”. I’m not sure if this is a cultural thing or not but it was cool.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find the book on Amazon! You can also find the author on Twitter and Instagram. He promotes the book a lot on these platforms.

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.


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Book Review: The Telltale Tattoo

Whats new bookworms? I have another review from Sara MacTaylor. Oh, and by the way, she has a shop on Etsy that she sells these cool little craft creatures. Check out her Etsy page called AdorkableLilCrafties!

Now, to the book review. This one was called The Telltale Tattoo by John L. DeBoer. See what Sara had to say about it below 🙂

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Synopsis: The Telltale Tattoo begins with following the story of Chinh, a man who watched both of his parents get murdered during a raid on his village during the Vietnam War. He has become a successful businessman, and finally has the means to track down the soldier who committed the murders. The story then begins to involve a web of characters whom all become connected in the pursuit of the one awful man who committed the murders, as well as many other immoral things since his time as a soldier. Clay Archer, a private investigator, becomes one of the several main narrators in this story. He helps track down and put the pressure on Taggart, the man at the focus of the story, which accelerates the storyline.

DeBoer’s writing is entertaining to read, and adequately shares the story with the reader. Unfortunately, having several different narrators doesn’t allow for much character developments, so we only become superficially acquainted with the characters. It is interesting to read where the story will go, as there are many twists and turns, with many characters having their effect on where the story goes.

Overall, I found the novel an acceptably interesting read, but nothing to brag about. It is a simple mystery novel with a variety of characters and an interesting progression through the story. I didn’t become overly invested in any of the characters, or the result of the chase, as we know that Taggart won’t get away, but we don’t know which of the many interested parties will be his downfall.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find the author on Twitter and this book on Amazon!
Have any of you read this book? If so, tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.


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Author Interview: J.L Mulvihill

Hey bookworms, I joined a book tour and decided to do an author interview! This author is promoting her new Steel Roots Series.

About the author:  A California native born in Hollywood, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past seventeen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaging fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of Steampunk, published through Dark Oak Press in 2011. The sequel to this novel is presently in the works.

Her Most recent novel, The Boxcar Baby of the Steel Roots series, was released in July 2013 through Seventh Star Press. Steel Roots is a young adult series based in the Steampunk genre and engages the reader into a train hopping heart stopping adventure across America. Book 2, Crossings released December of 2014.

She is also the co-editor of Southern Haunts; The Spirits That Walk Among Us which includes a short story of her own called Bath 10, and a fictional thriller involving a real haunted place. Her poem, The Demon of the Old Natchez Trace, debuts in Southern Haunts part 2, Devils in the Darkness.

J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.

And now on to the author interview that I conducted with her!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. How did you start writing?
I have been writing short stories and poems for as long as I can remember I just never saw myself as a writer so I never did anything with them. One day I had a very queer dream about being chased through the woods by a giant spider. That bizarre dream turned into my first novel, The Lost Daughter of Easa, which sold out at DragonCon in 2011 at its debut. I have been seriously writing ever since.

2. Who is your favorite author?
I have way too many favorite authors but I can tell you the authors that have influenced this series is L. Frank Baum who wrote The Wizard of Oz books and Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote The Little House On The Prairie series. Some other great authors I admire would be Robert A. Heinlein, Mike Resnick, Terry Brooks, Nevada Barr, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, David Blalock, Kimberly Richardson, Michael West Alexander S. Brown and Stephen Zimmer and. Those are just a few of my favorites like I said I have so many it really is hard to pick.

3. What goes into your writing/planning process?
If I am writing a novel and/or series I plan out at least an outline of plot points. After that, I just go with it because I want the story to be as free and organic as possible. I do tend to do a lot of research of places, people, and things. Though I am writing fiction, I try to make the story as real and plausible as possible. Of course, there are no children eating trolls living in America, as far as we know but if you do your research you will find it is very possible that a carnivorous race of beings could very well have crossed the ocean hidden on the boats with the immigrants and settled down in caves and eventually abandoned mines in the United States.

4. What do you like about reading?
I like reading all genres as you can tell by the wide variety of authors I like. Any kind of a book that can take me away on an adventure either on earth or in space I love. Any kind of a book who can take me through a mystery and engage me in the game of who done it I enjoy greatly. Any story that can send shivers down my spine and quicken my heart with anticipation thrills me. Any kind of a book that can make me think about the world around me and the possibilities of what is and what could be amazes me. So, I pretty much like reading just about anything as long as it holds my interest which it will if written well.

5. Where is your favorite reading spot?
I don’t have a particular reading spot just anywhere quiet where I can immerse myself into the story. A good cup of tea and a cuddly blanket in my easy chair of my office is good. I do a lot of driving so Audiobooks work great for me as well, especially if it is a large series of books, for instance, The Game of Thrones series got me across the country and back.

6. What words of advice do you give to readers of your book?
Never stop reading because it opens the minds and feeds the soul. If you want to write then read everything you want to write about and then write your version of a story. Also, pay attention to your characters but they are so real and sometimes they will lead you down a better path of the story than you had planned on. Always be true to yourself and don’t jump on the bandwagon. Enjoy the adventure and find yourself along the way.


That’s all for this author interview! Feel free to answer some of the questions yourself in the comments below because I would love to know 🙂

You can find J.L Mulvihill on Twitter and Facebook.

Talk to you later bookworms.


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Book Review: Betrayal of Justice

Book Review Friday!! Oh wait, I don’t think that is a thing….well now it is. This one was called Betrayal of Justice by Mark Bello (if you remember, my last review was for Mark’s other book Betrayal of Faith). I enjoyed some cider while I read this one on the backyard patio.

Synopsis: High-profile attorney Zachary Blake returns in this action-packed legal and political thriller, representing a desperate client who tried to solve a crime, only to find herself charged with murder.

A new president, determined to “make America pure again,” is elected and inaugurated and a white nationalist, inspired by the new president’s hateful rhetoric, firebombs a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan. After Arya Khan, a young Muslim woman, believes that the local police are not serious about solving the crime, she does some investigating of her own. Arya identifies a suspect and follows him, only to become a witness to his brutal murder after police find her standing over the body, holding a bloody knife. When Arya is arrested for the murder, she and her family turn to Zachary Blake.

Blake races against time to prove her innocence before the police complete their investigation. At the same time, a white supremacist group tries to cover up any connection to the crime and the new president seeks to use the case to jumpstart his Muslim deportation effort.

This was the second legal thriller I have read and I have to say I am really being drawn into the genre. Mark Bello continues to keep me entertained with his character of Zachary Blake. In fact, almost all the characters from the first book made an appearance in this one.

There was a very obvious villain which was the new president of the United States. He was essentially Trump ( I am fairly certain the author created this character based on Trump) and made all the same promises during his campaign. The white supremacist groups wanted to help this president achieve his goals by carrying out some of them on their own. One being the firebombing of a Muslim mosque.

The main character is Arya Khan. She gets herself in quite a mess when she tries to follow the potential suspect of the firebombing to his home and witnesses him being murdered by another white supremacist. She goes to help him and gets caught by the police hovering over his dead body. Enter Zachary Blake to save the day by representing her in court.

The novel takes some intense turns and has quite a finale. I was loving all the technical law terms again. It feels like I learn the process of the judicial court system as I read this book :).

I was very fond of the theme of the book which was inclusivity. Basically, it was anti-Trump and stating that we should treat each other equally because we are all mankind and life is better without discrimination. I fully support this notion and will get behind a book that fights back against bigotry.

The only con I would have for this book was that Arya was spelled “Ayra” a couple times at the beginning of the book so at first, I had no idea if her name was Arya or Ayra. But after Chapter 2, she was called Arya the rest of the book so it settled itself out.

Overall, it was a great book that was captivating from start to finish. I won’t say anything about the outcome of Arya’s case so that you can read it and find out for yourself!

What are your thoughts on legal thrillers? Have you read this genre before? If not, I think you should try it out 🙂

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find the book on Amazon!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


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Goal Achieved: 200 Followers!!

Hey bookworms!

I just wanted to write a quick post because I am so grateful to all of you for reading the blog! I have reached 200 followers on the blog (it is up to 211 right now) and this was a personal goal of mine. I like to set goals to make myself push to achieve them and it is so cool when I do. But I wouldn’t have got to this point without all of you and for that, you have my thanks 🙂

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And stay posted because I will have another review coming this week from another of Mark Bello’s books!

What are your goals? How do you stay on track with your goals? Tell me in the comments below!

Talk to you later bookworms.


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Loop Giveaway

Hey everyone!

I am part of a loop giveaway that is being hosted on Instagram so if you have that app, go and check out this giveaway!

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Here are the full rules to enter:

It’s FriYAY also known as Friday to some! So in honor of surviving yet another week, I have teamed up with 11 amazing people to offer you 12 awesome prizes to 12 lucky winners!  I am giving away a free book that the winner will select from some options.

How to enter:
1. You must follow @breakevenbooks and all 12 people in the loop.

2. Like this photo, comment “me” and like and comment on the photo from the other accounts. “That’s your entry!” Psssst- you can tag 2 friends for extra entries 😉

3. Tap this photo to see where to go next in the loop.

4. When you get back to this page you’re done and entered in all 12 chances to win!
The giveaway ends on Sunday at 8pm EST. Winners will be announced within 24 hours.  Your account must be public for the entire duration of the contest to play. Good luck!

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Please note that this loop is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram,Inc. By entering, you are confirming that you are indeed 18+ years of age, release Instagram from any and all responsibility and you are adhering by Instagram’s term of use. Spam and ‘giveaway accounts’ will not be counted.

Good Luck everyone and make sure to check out all the cool shops that deliver handmade bookish stuff!

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Book Review: Betrayal of Faith by Mark Bello

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews! I currently have 3 different books on the go but I managed to finish one of them. This one was called Betrayal of Faith by Mark Bello. Just look at the cover of the book and I’m sure you will guess what the book is about. I took a picture of it beside a candle to give it that ominous feeling (the candle smells amazing by the way).

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Synopsis: “Betrayal of Faith” is an award-winning novel by Mark M. Bello. It is a riveting story of a lawyer’s struggle for redemption, a sinister organization’s attempt at a cover-up, and a mother’s fight for justice for her sons. Zachary Blake is a down-on-his-luck lawyer with little hope of turning his career around. That is until Jennifer Tracey calls with the case of a lifetime against one of the world’s largest religious organizations. Jennifer discovers that the parish priest has harmed her two sons. She recalls the attorney who handled her husband’s industrial accident case – Zachary Blake. But Blake is not the same man he was three years ago; he has fallen on hard times, divorced and living case-to-case, handling traffic tickets. Despite some reservations, Jennifer takes a chance on him. As Blake and his private investigator, Micah Love, dig deeper into the case, they discover a clandestine, sinister organization within the church tasked with the responsibility of taking care of such incidents quickly and quietly, at all cost. Traveling across the state line, Blake discovers that two families have disappeared after an encounter with the same priest; and the one person who may provide some answers has died under mysterious circumstances. While the courtroom drama heats up, the action outside the courtroom spirals out of control. Will Blake be able to resurrect his troubled career and obtain the justice Jennifer seeks for her kids? Or will the church, the Coalition, and its mysterious leader circumvent justice and cover up the depraved acts of this rogue priest? Betrayal of Faith is dedicated to survivors of abuse and the lawyers and advocates who fight for the justice these victims deserve.

I wasn’t sure what to think about this book when I busted it open and started reading but I have to say that it definitely drew me in. What happens to the Tracey boys is tragic and I would not wish that upon anyone. Child Molestation is no joke and a very serious problem that needs to be dealt with. In this case, the priest was the one doing the molesting. The boys feel so guilty because the priest uses the Bible and religion to make them do the things he wants. He tells them it is what God wants. It was so sick that he did that too them and I felt like I was in the jury on this court case while I was reading this book.

Legal thrillers are a rather new genre to me but I am glad I started with this one. It was entertaining and fun to see the entire legal process from start to finish on how one gets the justice they deserve against a true monster.

Zachary Blake was a very likable character as you see him start off the story in a slump and then progress back into the brave, intelligent and courageous lawyer he once was.

The only thing I didn’t like was the format of the book. It was shaped like a textbook (very wide) so it was awkward to hold at times. I have no complaints about the story itself, just the way the book was formatted. I checked online and the newer versions of the book are formatted to novel size so I approve of this (easier to hold in one hand while you drink a coffee :)).

All in all, a great book to keep you on your toes as you root for the Tracey family (at least I hope you root for them, otherwise well….ewwww) in the intense trial case to take down a predator.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find the book on Amazon!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format to read and give an honest review.


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Book Review: Fred’s Funeral

New book review! This one was called Fred’s Funeral by Sandy Day. It was a quick read at only 114 pages but oh so interesting 🙂 The author even sent me a bookmark which was quite a nice little surprise when I opened up the book and it was tucked in there.

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Synopsis: Only at his funeral, does a family come to know a long-neglected and shell-shocked soldier from WWI. Based on a true story. It’s 1986. Fred Sadler has just died of old age. Seventy years after he marched off to WWI.

As his ghost hovers near the ceiling of the nursing home where he’s died, Fred listens in dismay as the arrangement of his funeral falls to his loathed sister-in-law, Viola.

Fred’s ghost follows his family, eavesdropping on his own funeral, and agonizing over his inability to set the record straight.

Did old Uncle Fred really suffer from shell shock? Why did his family lock him away in the Whitby Hospital for the Insane? Couldn’t they have done more for him?

Fred remembers his life as a child, his family’s hotel, the War, and the mental hospital. But his memories clash with Viola’s version as the family gathers one rainy October night to pay their respects.

This book was fantastic! I loved it. It was so cool to see the perspective of a ghost looking down on his own funeral and know what he was thinking. Poor Fred had such a hard life.

He was in the war and when he got back from the war, he was experiencing PTSD but this wasn’t even a thing yet so everyone called it Shellshock. He was constantly in and out of a home for the mentally ill because no one could diagnose his disorder and just assumed he was crazy. The poor guy eventually gave up on escaping the home and just accepted what everyone was telling him (that he was crazy).

The book went back and forth between the present where the family is all together reminiscing about Fred’s life and the past where Fred’s memories take place. It was set in Ontario, Canada and it was really cool for me as a Canadian because I knew of all the places and locations mentioned in the book. I have swam in Lake Simcoe multiple times so I can relate 🙂

There was one part of the book I was not fond of. It was a little traumatizing, to be honest. They have a kitten that kept showing up on the property and the kids loved playing with it when it was there so the father put it in a box then put a pipe into it and connected the other end of the pipe to the car exhaust to kill the kitten (not in front of the children but still). I realize this may have been something that people did back in the day (its the first time I have encountered it) but I would not be ok with this at any time in my life. All part of the story though, which was a very quick and enjoyable read for me!

I would recommend this book to all the Canadian readers out there. It is a good wholesome Canadian book about the life and struggles of a man who survived the war and dealt with the aftermath as a PTSD victim without being properly diagnosed.

I even put my new Canada mug in the picture that I just got from Indigo because the book had such a Canadian theme!

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find the book on Amazon and Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by the author in physical format to read and give an honest review.

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Book Review: Taken with a Dark Desire by Dennis Scheel

Another book review from yours truly! This one was called Taken With A Dark Desire by Dennis Scheel. It is a story involving angels and demons so naturally I was intrigued.

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Synopsis: Never trust a deal with the Devil. Lucifer wants Denida’s ring though he promised not to interfere in Denida’s world. He sends Claus to kidnap Daniel to force Denida to trade. Daniel tells the story of his Dad’s secret past to unsettle them. Nina, Denida and the Colonel use all the resources of the Underworlds to find Daniel. Neither they nor the Devil knows there is another person interested in Daniel for their own reasons.

I had many things I liked about this book and many things I didn’t. I will start with the pros. It was about angels and demons so PRO right there. Fantasy books are the best. They always have so much potential and can go in any direction which makes for an exciting read.

I really bonded with the character of Michelle. She was a badass and very powerful in ways the other characters couldn’t even imagine. I tend to like the evil characters more so that is probably why I like her. Lucifer was pretty fun too. Of course I am drawn to Lucifer’s character 😛 *insert evil laugh*

It was pretty cool how Daniel was a side part of the novel where he is telling a story about how his father came to power. This made it split the plot into two storylines, one in the present and one in the past.

And now the cons. First off, the character names. They were all so similar that it was hard to distinguish who was who at times. Some examples are Denida, Nina, Dan, Daniel, Danyel…. they all sounded similar and a lot of the time I had to really concentrate to know who was speaking. I feel like it would be much better if the names were a little more diversified.

There were some grammatical errors which bugged me a bit. The worst thing is when you are deep into an exciting adventure and then all of a sudden you are ripped out of the fantasy due to person “petting a house” instead of “petting a horse” (this is not one of them, just an example). There were only a few so it wasn’t too bad but still brought me out of the fantasy every once and awhile.

*SPOILER ALERT* – skip this part if you plan to read the book

The ending was very anticlimactic for me. The entire time you are expecting this big fight between Denida and Medusa and don’t get me wrong, there is a fight but it lasted 2 and a half pages. This book is 400 pages and the final fight was a mere 2 and a half pages. I was hoping for destruction and mayhem. At least a whole chapter of it. But nope, just like that, it was over. And if Denida had all this power, why didn’t he use it earlier.

*SPOILER ENDED*

All in all, it was a decent book. This book is for the fantasy lovers out there. I had very mixed feelings on it but I would still say to give it a read so I could hear others thoughts on it.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: We were sent this book by the author in physical format to read and give an honest review.


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Book Review: Kingdom Come by Justin Coogle

Hola bookworms. Guess what!?

I made it to 400 followers on Twitter 🙂 This has been one of my goals for awhile and I am super pumped to have surpassed it. Also, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I doubt they read the blog but hey if they do, this will make their day. Anyways enough about the socials and down to the knitty gritty as Scott would say from HQ Trivia.

Another review by our external reviewer @saramact !! This one is called Kingdom Come by Justin Coogle. It is a Christian fantasy. Pretty cool as I am reading a book about angels and demons too right now. Read on to see what Sara had to say!

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Synopsis: In this book, our protagonist Jason Collins is a Demon Hunter, as a part of an organization sanctioned and funded by the modern Catholic Church, headed up by the new Pope, who initiated the organization. Their tasks range from defending the Vatican against demon invasions to hunting down and eliminating demons around the world. Jason, as the newest member of his team, struggles between earning his place in this life he wants so badly, and feeling like he belongs in his faith as well.

Because of his heroic antics, Jason is on thin ice with the DH, and must prove himself in the upcoming mission: a mysterious graveyard that appears out of nowhere, with several missing crews of DH agents within. What comes back with the team from this mission will forever alter the way that the world sees the DH, as they are soon confronted with an evil they never expected, that attacks where they least expected.

I found this book very enjoyable. It did a good job of developing characters in a very natural way, and the book itself progressed very fluidly, without being predictable at all. I also found that Coogle did a very good job of blending the Christian with the Fantasy. I am not very religious and was a bit worried about how the faith aspects of the book would impact the story for someone who isn’t interested in that bit, but it came off much more like just a regular trait that the characters have rather than a central focus of the book. Even the religious aspects of the demon-fighting were very minimal, and so as a non-believer I still found it very enjoyable. I imagine if the reader was religious this would be an even better read, as you could relate to the characters on a deeper, spiritual level.

My only complaints would be that my copy had a few minor spelling errors, though sometimes that happens as a result of conversion to e-book format. I also might have liked to see a bit more detail in a few places, just to flesh out what I was visualizing a little more, like character descriptions, or even more setting etc., but this is mostly just preference. Overall I really enjoyed the book, and I was slightly surprised by this, because of the genre. It was a good fantasy/supernatural read, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find the book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in e-book format to read and give an honest review.