• Dan

#BookReviews - #Fantasy + #Thriller + #Booktok


books


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Before discussing the reviews, I have some exciting news to share. Dragons Walk Among Us is now available on the Kiss App. To celebrate, I'm giving away redemption codes to use in the app to 4 lucky readers. If you'd like chance of winning, check out the rafflecopter.




 




Today I review three books. One I decided to pick up after reading that it is a #booktok sensation. Another I read after reading a review by author Ginny Frost. The third is a short story anthology included on my must-read list for 2022.

So without further ado, on to the reviews.

 

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
Synopsis

Six magicians are recruited to join a secret society, but only five will survive the recruitment process.

My thoughts

I picked up this book after reading that it's a #booktok sensation. I wanted to like it. The concept seemed interesting, and Blake generates a good deal of suspense by keeping the reader guessing who won't make the cut to join the society. The world-building is also first-rate.

However, the novel ultimately fell short, in my estimation. The characters, who we are told are anywhere from early-20s to mid-30s in age, behave like a bunch of self-absorbed teenagers. For me, this made them all unlikable and uninteresting despite their tragic backstories and fantastical magical abilities. On the other hand, readers who are either not bothered by the characters or like them will likely find this novel amazing.

What can the aspiring author learn?

Blake's world-building is exceptional. The alternate Earth she creates is fascinating and easy to grasp for fantasy fans. She also generates tons of suspense that kept me reading, if not enthusiastically. If I had found the characters appealing, I would've loved this book.

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield
Synopsis

What? A moon mission story full of murder and mayhem by an actual factual astronaut? Tell me more.

My thoughts

I picked up this book after reading Ginny Frost's review.


This is a solid book about a moon mission gone wrong. It includes murders, space battles, and geopolitics. At its heart, it's a thriller, and it is just thrilling enough to the very end for me to enjoy and recommend it.

What can the aspiring author learn?

Hadfield shows that blending history with fiction can create a fascinating tale. The details he drops about the space program create a sense of realism many readers will enjoy. Studying how he accomplishes this is a worthwhile endeavor.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King

King book cover

Synopsis

This anthology is a collection of four novellas, all with haunting supernatural twists from the master of horror himself, Stephen King.

My thoughts

This book by The King made my must-read list for 2022. It did not disappoint. All the stories in this collection will delight Stephen King fans and make fans out of the casual reader. Mr. Harrigan's Phone is a tale of an unlikely friendship that continues beyond the grave that will make you rethink the magic of technology. I found The Life of Chuck downright creepy for how King shows the world falling apart, especially in the wake of the pandemic. If It Bleeds kept me in suspense to the very end as Holy Gibney races to stop an evil creature from killing again. Rat is the weirdest of the bunch but is still a fascinating read. I'd be hard-pressed to name my favorite…

What can the aspiring author learn?

What King does exceptionally well is keep the reader hooked. Even when the pace of a story slows, he continues building suspense to keep the reader curious enough to flip the page to know what will happen next.

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