Book Review: Illusive Echoes (The Greatest Sin Book 4) by Lee French & Erik Kort

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Illusive Echoes (The Greatest Sin Book 4) by Lee French & Erik Kort

A Fantasy Novel published by Tangled Sky Press (06/28/16)

Summary:

“I do not require coddling.” He sighed and turned away from her. “You’re so difficult.” (Kindle Locations 2568-2569).

Chavali is tasked with finding the killer of her friend and recovering the cat statue he was supposed to deliver. Was Harris just a friend to Chavali? She will have to work out her feelings amidst the new mission that proves more complex than it at first seems.

Keywords:

Fantasy, Clan, Family, Loyalty, Prophesy, Seer, Close-Knit, Sacrifice, Strength, Evil, Friendship, Mystery, Thriller, Healing, Leadership, Illusions, Betrayal, Intrigue, Gangs, Connections

My Review:

Again and again in the Greatest Sin Series Lee French shows the reader an intriguing and wonderful character in Chavali. Chavali is wise, logical, skilled, stubborn, attuned to the nuances in human behavior, and just a little bit antisocial. She is a fascinating character.

The mystery in this fourth book, as in the previous three Greatest Sin books, was complex and multi-layered. I was not able to figure out all the twists and turns, but they kept me engaged in the story and the mystery.

Two characters were missing from most of this book. Harris showed up briefly only to be murdered and I really can’t wait to see more of him and his relationship with Chavali. Karias also had a minor role in this book and I really love his character and can’t wait to get more from him in future books as well. I’m waiting patiently for Colbi, Karias, and Chavali to have an in depth heart to heart.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this story in exchange for my honest review.

This novel was published by Tangled Sky Press on June 28th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

 

Links for more information:

Lee French on Facebook

Lee French on Twitter

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Book Review: Backyard Dragons (Spirit Knights Book 2) by Lee French

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Backyard Dragons (Spirit Knights Book 2) by Lee French

A Fantasy Novel published by Clockwork Dragon (03/11/16)

Summary:

“Everything about her was different from every other Knight. She had a different build, a different weapon, a different sprite, and different challenges.” (Kindle Locations 2034-2035).

Claire is a Spirit Knight and even though she still isn’t accepted by everyone in the male-dominated group, she wants to show them that she is really a Knight. After she gets a dragon as her sprite and has won a weapon from the Heart of the castle, Claire is ready to begin training. But, before she can truly prepare, things start to go wrong. There are mysterious things going on and Claire and Justin must figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.

Keywords:

Spirit Knight, Fantasy, POV Change, Fighting, Responsibility, Unsafe, Strange Things, Horse, Trust, Hope, Death, Problems, Taking Charge, Discovery, Personal Sprite, Dragon, Friendship, Family

My Review:

I found the pacing good, the tension good and storytelling solid, but there were a few characteristics of this book I didn’t like. Justin felt almost like a villain when he was supposed to be supportive of Claire. There were a few scenes where his thoughts about his family were less than positive and that made me uncomfortable. I thought he was supposed to be the hero passing the torch to the new girl? I believe that there are outside forces that influence how he perceives the things he loves, but I wish he had remained the underdog hero instead of the villain’s assistant. Justin is your average knight, but even so, he was easily manipulated and seemed to get caught in the simplest of traps that Claire was able to figure out immediately! How can one be a Spirit Knight, when one is so easily undone! This did let Claire be the hero and this is her story. I did like that there were average knights like Justin and that he tries to be valiant, that he tries hard all the time.

I liked most everything about Claire. The scenes between her and the Heart of the castle were awesome! I loved how in every situation she found herself in, she didn’t give up, even if she had no real weapon. She wasn’t afraid to use her fists!

Dragons. Super cool. I liked how the dragon actually had his own backstory and personality.

I found the twist of the main plot to be obvious. The clues were so good that I guessed what was going to happen quickly. All new information led directly to this obvious ending, which was still satisfying even though I knew it was coming. It was the logical ending.

This novel was published by Clockwork Dragon on March 11th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.00

Links for more information:

Lee French on Facebook

Lee French on Twitter

Goodreads

Seattle Specific Saturdays: I Heart Books Event in Renton, WA Saturday, February 13: 3 PM – 10 PM

From the Facebook event page:

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We’re back! And this time we have even more fun and excitement than we did before. Join Jeffrey Cook, Lee French, A.J. Downey, Bibi Rizer and more for a book selling event that will not only make you look good for your sweetheart, but will help show the love to an organization that helps abused kids!

That’s right, this time I ♥ Books is doubling as the launch party for Biker Chicks! An anthology of hot MC romance where the women are in charge.

All proceeds from the sales of any of the Biker Chicks anthology goes directly in support of the Lake Washington Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse in support of their mission to help the littlest victims. B.A.C.A. is a non-profit organization that provides victim support and services to children who have been the victim of abuse be it in a domestic capacity or otherwise.

So join us, the day before Valentine’s Day to score your copy of Biker Chicks before anyone else, and to maybe, just mayyyybe, score some points with *your* other half. 😉

We can’t wait to see you there!

Seattle Specific Saturdays: AFK Renton Multi-Author Event Must Read! Today!

I love finding new local authors and Jeffrey Cook has set up another great AFK event you simply must check out! For more information, see the flyer below or visit the event’s facebook page here.

 

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Book Review: Damsel In Distress by Lee French

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Damsel In Distress by Lee French

A Fantasy Novel published by Tangled Sky Press (3/1/14)

 

Summary:

“There was a way out of this, she just had to find it and take it and not wait like a mewling kitten for someone to come along and pick her up. Keric couldn’t save her, Darius couldn’t save her, Connor, Rae, and Evi couldn’t save her, no Disciple could save her. This was her problem, and she was going to fix it. All she needed was a plan.” (Kindle Locations 3481-3483).

Sabetia was trained to be a damsel in distress from the very beginning. Her mother taught her the obedience that would become her downfall in the silence of her suffering at the hands of a new husband. Abuse is tricky when it is wrapped up in caring and love, but in the end it is never love if it comes with hurt, domination, and pain.

 

Keywords:

Damsel, Distress, Abuse, Violence, Magic, Mage, Elf, Myth, Old Legend, Female Main Character, Strength, Finding Inner Power, Struggle, Domestic Violence, Wife Beating, Gossip, Friendship, Loyalty, Protection, Healing, Forgiveness, Saving Yourself

 

My Review:

The message was told in an agonizing story. You have worth. You have value. You are not just a toy or a passing obsession. You matter. You can take control. You have power even in weakness. Damsel in Distress passes through each of these messages in the story of abuse and power Jason has over Sabetia. She is the product of her upbringing, taught to acquiesce, do what she’s told, and take what any man gives her. When Jason gives her pain and torture mixed with a sliver of what she thinks is love and caring, she bears it. She thinks her value is in bearing the pain and doing what Jason tells her.

I agonized with Sabetia. I yearned for her freedom and safety with her. She was a compelling character. Her story was the story, wrapped up in a larger story that was also her story. She was the center of everything and was a strong enough character with a strong enough story to carry the book. In other words, I enjoyed every word of it.

Parts of the plot seemed a bit hurried, but most of these parts occurred at crucial moments where there was a lot going on, so they might have seemed faster than they really were.

This was a powerful novel that told of a girl becoming a woman who must learn to value herself and her talents above all the lies her abuser has told her every time he hurt her.

This novel was published by Tangled Sky Press on March 1st, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

 

Links for more information:

Lee French on Facebook

Lee French on Twitter

Goodreads

My Favorite Indie Authors 9 – Lee French

Indie Star Badge

Lee French

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 I met Lee French at the AFK I Heart Books event at the beginning of the year. Read about all the books I discovered here. In a world where most print books are $15 – $30, the first book in her “The Greatest Sin” Series was only $8. My favorite color used to be purple and is now blue. Most of her books feature blue in their covers and her Greatest Sin Series features quite a bit of purple. I was intrigued by the colors and the price tag and bought the book. I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book as it was a world-building type fantasy and I typically go for the low-fantasy could almost happen in our world type fantasy. But I fell in love with Chavali, the main character, and have since read every single book Lee French has currently published and am eagerly awaiting more books.

I like the way French weaves fantasy into her story and makes the reader wonder, what is the greatest sin? French has a way with words and phrases that is mesmerizing. Her writing style is elegant and captivating. You can tell she is a professional and knows what she’s doing. She gives Chavali a bite to her words. I love the quick wit Chavali exhibits and the way she talks back without trying to usurp anyone or prove she’s better.

Lee French continues to deliver good writing and great story with the second and third books in The Greatest Sin series. Just like The Fallen, Harbinger was full of great quotes, quippy dialogue, fun and larger than life characters, and a female kick-butt main character who took no nonsense from anyone.

Soon to be published by Lee French is “Al-Khabar”, of which I was honored to receive as a beta read book and will give it another read before posting a five-star review.

If you purchase any of Lee French’s books, be sure to enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card from my blog’s contest, see Contest page for more details. If you post your review of 3 stars or higher you can enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card from my blog’s contest, see Contest page for more details.

links for more information:

Book Review: Dragons in Flight (Maze Beset) (Volume 3) by Lee French

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Dragons in Flight (Maze Beset) (Volume 3) by Lee French

A Fantasy Novel published by Emily French (2/14/14)

 

Summary:

Everything is chaos, but Bobby has one dragon free. The safe haven was not so safe and was infiltrated and all the people with peculiar eyes and peculiar talents were kidnapped again. This time, it won’t be a picnic to escape or free them either. This time, there is a new weapon. This time, Bobby won’t be able to go it alone.

 

Keywords:

Dragons, Superheroes, Fighting, Powerful, Government, Experiment, Testing, Survival, Friendship, Vampire, Helping Others, Conflicted, Disaster, Ulterior Motives, Mind Control, Leadership

 

My Review:

This final book in the Maze Beset Trilogy is super exciting. French tones down the philosophical musings of Bobby and focusses on the immediate danger for the group. Bobby once again must free them all, but this time it’s different. This time they are up against something completely different, yet working for the same people. This time, Bobby will truly learn what Maze Beset means and where they all came from, who gave them their unusual eyes. Everyone has their theories, but Bobby will finally learn the truth.

This book was a whirlwind of commotion and action. Bobby is his usual charming self, which apparently makes him very dangerous to his enemies. Someone who only heralds the truth and will always jump in to save those in need is truly the most dangerous individual indeed, especially against an organization that is rife with lies and manipulations.

I thought the ending did well tying up the loose ends and fully revealing the big picture. However, there could be more. A world open to children and young adults with powers such as bursting into a swarm of dragons has so much more potential. Perhaps Lee French will write a second trilogy to chronicle Bobby and his friend’s journeys as they integrate into society or segregate themselves apart. Who knows? A world like Maze Beset has never been seen and can only be imagined.

This novel was published by Emily French on February 14th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Lee French on Facebook

Lee French on Twitter

Goodreads

Book Review: Dragons in Chains (Maze Beset) (Volume 2) by Lee French

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Dragons in Chains (Maze Beset) (Volume 2) by Lee French

A Fantasy Novel published by Emily French (10/04/13)

 

Summary:

“Purpose rushed through his veins, a more potent drug than anything he’d ever tasted before.” (Page. 154).

Bobby has pulled together most of the 35 people with super abilities, but the missing 11 (the 11 that were kidnapped by the government and might now be experimented on while Bobby and the others settle into their base of operations) are continually on his mind. He can’t forget about them. They are his half siblings after all. Bobby and Stephen decide to go on a mission of their own, not even informing the others of what they’re doing, in an effort to find out where the missing 11 are and how to free them. Bobby and Stephen end up in Afghanistan, working for the very people who are most likely holding the missing 11 hostage somewhere. Will Bobby be able to deal with real war and death?

Keywords:

Dragons, Superheroes, Fighting, Powerful, Government, Experiment, Testing, Survival, Friendship, Vampire, Helping Others, Slaughter, Conflicted, Afghanistan, War, Mission, Torture

My Review:

This second book is just as exciting as the first book, but it gets a bit heavy in the conflicted thoughts of Bobby because of the killing he’s done. Lee French puts Bobby through a whirlwind of chaos and has him asking if he is a monster. Bobby doesn’t know if he has control over himself. Is he a hive mind? Are his dragons in control or is he? What does that mean when they/he kill someone? These are all interesting questions, but the book takes too long pondering these questions and focusses too much on Stephen the Vampire and Bobby the Dragons and almost leaves behind the rest of the characters for another story.

Finally Bobby and Stephen return to their home base and Bobby questions even more what he is doing and how it makes him feel. The first book was about the group and the premise and the setup, but the second book is more on Bobby and his feelings and emotions and how he’s handling being who he is and doing what he does.

The book ends on a high tension note with a great cliffhanger to propel readers into the third and final book of the Maze Beset Series (or maybe there will be more books…)

This novel was published by Emily French on October 4th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

 

Links for more information:

Lee French on Facebook

Lee French on Twitter

Goodreads

Book Review: Dragons In Pieces (Maze Beset) (Volume 1) by Lee French

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Dragons In Pieces (Maze Beset) (Volume 1) by Lee French

A Fantasy Novel published by Emily French (6/30/13)

 

Summary:

“Yes, it is a little disturbing to realize the only thing really preventing you from taking whatever you want is your own commitment to morality.” (Pages 153-154).

Bobby didn’t really have much going for him, but when the feds picked him up for a crime he didn’t commit, he used his upbringing to calm himself. Southern boys are polite, that is, until he was accused of being a terrorist, locked away, and experimented on like a lab rat. After discovering an unusual ability and meeting others with similar eery eyes, Bobby joins together with them to escape. But they find a list with more names then their own, and they can’t leave anyone to go through the hell they went through as lab rats, even if only for several days, and they make it their mission to save all the almond shaped eyed superheroes.

Keywords:

Dragons, Superheroes, Fighting, Powerful, Government, Experiment, Testing, Survival, Friendship, Vampire, Helping Others

 

My Review:

Dragons in Pieces starts with a focus on Bobby. He seems normal. He acts normal. He talks normal. He does normal youth-ish type things. There is a key difference, though, as Bobby is a Southern boy and he was never well off. He is quick to anger when something sparks the Southern Gentleman in him. His story starts when he takes it upon himself to tell off his mother’s boss and punches him right in the face. He is cooling off when he’s picked up as a terrorist. They must be wrong, Bobby didn’t do anything, just punched one guy.

Waking up hours or days later, Bobby doesn’t know, he is confronted by something quite unusual. Bobby and three others were being experimented on like lab rats and it won’t take long for Bobby and them to figure out why. They have super powers.

I loved Bobby. He had so much character, even if all that he said and did weren’t the best choices or the most smart decisions. Bobby has Southern charm and it’s apparent he has a Southern upbringing and grew up quite different than I did and I found him fascinating for these differences. It’s downright adorable that Bobby says “Heckbiscuits” as a curse word and tries to do what his momma done told him about being polite and how to handle himself in social situations. Bobby is rough around the edges but an extremely likeable main character.

The story was also fascinating and the choices Lee French made for the super powers was interesting. French gives is interesting characters, a compelling story, and a hint at something more going on than Bobby and his friends know.

This novel was published by Emily French on June 30th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Lee French on Facebook

Lee French on Twitter

Goodreads

Local Event: Destination Staycation at the AFK Renton, WA June 27

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8 local independent authors come together for one event. Selling and signing books all afternoon and evening.
AJ Downey, Sechin Tower, Lee French, Connie Jasperson, Lindsay Schopfer, Stephen Matlock, David Moore and Jeffrey Cook are the featured authors this time around.

at 2:00pm – 9:00pm
AFK Elixirs & Eatery

3750 E Valley Rd, Renton, Washington 98055
I’m excited to see some authors I’ve been reading and meet some new ones! Who’s coming down for burgers, beers, and/or books???