Tag Archives: Caroline Peckham

Bleeding Snow by Caroline Peckham

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bleedingsnowcoverBleeding Snow (Rise of Isaac book 2) by Caroline Peckham, e-book, 212 pages, published in 2016.

In this sequel to Creeping Shadow, Oliver, May and their friends have burst through the gateway to Glacio, only to be immediately captured and imprisoned by the Queen’s men. The Queen’s son has been kidnapped by the horrible gem trolls of the mountains, known as Grolls. She forces the group to accompany a band of hunters led by Hector Rook on a perilous journey in an attempt to retrieve the young prince. They must travel through ice and snow, and face murderous beasts, huge Grolls and soldiers led by an insane commander. Even if they survive, gain their freedom and their Gateway keys, the delay might still cost May her life.

Another fast-paced installment in The Rise of Isaac series, Bleeding Snow had me intrigued right from the first chapter. I was excited to get into this book, and I wasn’t disappointed! There was a lot of action, some of it rather gruesome and violent, but exciting none the less, along with magic and a little romance. I really enjoyed the description of their mountain journey, and the fight scenes. The whole story is well written, and the characters are complex. And I just love the book’s cover!

I feel like I really know the main characters. I like most of them immensely. I am beginning to like Quinn a lot more now too, and even Larkin has shown some improvement through this story. I’m not saying I like him yet, but there is potential for him to become a better person. The addition of the hunters was interesting and welcome. Despite his gruffness and dislike for magic I became rather fond of Hector, and I’m hoping to learn more about him in the next book.

Commander Xen was pretty scary. Cruel and powerful, he was a formidable enemy, and not one I would like to meet in a lonely mountain pass. It seemed incongruous that he cared for and even showed tenderness towards the boy Nex, but perhaps evil villains do need a sidekick! I liked that he was hampered by his magical illness, otherwise he would have been far too powerful. The Queen was pretty evil too, but in a more hands-off kind of way. She was conniving and manipulative, and I didn’t care for her at all.

In this book we learn more about Isaac and William, and what happened to Alison when she disappeared. Isaac reminded me a bit of Voldemort in his pale and sickly appearance from his exile in Vale. I didn’t like or trust him, I feel that he is capable of doing anything to gain his objective, no matter what or who he destroys in the process. William is acting rather despicably too, but I didn’t get the same evil loony vibes from him that I got from Isaac. Both him and the Vark, Kogure, were able to send shivers down my spine.

Bleeding Snow is suitable for high school students, and is perfect for fantasy fans. It is the second book in The Rise of Isaac series, following on from Creeping Shadow. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series!

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Falling Fire (Part Two) by Caroline Peckham

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fallingfire2coverFalling Fire (Part Two) by Caroline Peckham, e-book novella, 43 pages, published in 2016.

This novella picks up where Falling Fire (Part One) left off. Rogan and Quinn have always been expected to marry, so they have never had the opportunity to date other people or even to explore how they feel about each other. They both have reservations about their relationship, so they make a deal to kiss some one else to see how it feels. Due to their fame the whole deal must remain a secret, but will the people they choose to kiss see it the same way?

More from the wonderful world of Aleva with all its magic, I love falling into this world. This is a captivating novella that I read in one sitting. At the end, I immediately wished for more! The plot is quick with good detail. Overall these two novellas are very entertaining.

All the characters are interesting and complex. I’m back to being annoyed with Quinn, she’s far too self-centred and selfish. She acts like Rogan isn’t in the same situation that she is, but she doesn’t talk to him about it, she slinks off to Larkin, who she barely knows. Larkin is so vain, so annoying, so jerkish, ooo I just want to slap him! I can’t see why Quinn would want to be friends with him, let alone kiss him. And then he goes and does something noble. I still don’t like him, but at least now I know he has a human side.

I enjoyed Rogan’s defence class, and his interaction with Katrina. Making fire balls into the shape of animals is amazing. I liked that Katrina wasn’t fawning all over Rogan too.

Lovers of fantasy and young adult novels should love this! Read this wonderful novella after Falling Fire (Part One) and then check out the other books in The Rise of Isaac series, they are well worth your time. It is suitable for high school students and up.

 

*I received this advanced reading copy as a digital version from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Falling Fire (Part One) by Caroline Peckham

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fallingfire1coverFalling Fire (Part One) by Caroline Peckham, e-book novella, 42 pages, published in 2016.

Set a couple of years before Creeping Shadow, this novella introduces Quinn Thorn and Rogan Ganderfield, two of the most famous young mages in Aleva. To protect the magical line, mages are paired off in arranged marriages. Quinn and Rogan are one such pair, becoming engaged at sixteen because it is expected of them. Now they are starting university, they must develop their magical skills, make friends, and maybe even fall in love.

Novellas are so short, but there is a lot packed into this one. I loved coming back to Aleva! Meeting Quinn and Rogan at a younger age allowed me to know them more thoroughly and to appreciate them for who they are and how they grew up. I found Quinn rather rude and snobby in Creeping Shadow, but now I actually feel sorry for her. Her life is hard, even though it glimmers on the outside. She is famous, rich and beautiful, but she has to act a certain way and there are many expectations placed upon her. She doesn’t really get to be herself because people are always watching (and often staring), and she never knows if people want to spend time with her for her, or because of her fame or money. Rogan also endures similar pressures, but handles them with more aplomb. I really like him as a character. Despite his fame, he is quite down to earth and approachable. I still want to punch Larkin, but I suppose every story needs someone to hate!

It was exciting reading about the magical lessons Quinn and Rogan are taking at university. I wish I had the ability to heal injuries like Quinn! Though using magic to make her hair sit perfectly or move clothes into the closet seems a little overkill, but when you grow up with it, it’s probably just second nature. While magic must make life move more smoothly most of the time, it is also a huge responsibility and in some cases, a burden. I have a much greater appreciation for Quinn and Rogan now.

Falling Fire (Part One) is suitable for high school students and up. If you enjoyed the other books in The Rise of Isaac series, you should definitely check out this wonderful novella. I am very happy I have Falling Fire (Part Two) to go on with!

 

*I received this advanced reading copy as a digital version from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Creeping Shadow by Caroline Peckham

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image1-1Creeping Shadow (The Rise of Isaac #1) by Caroline Peckham, e-book ARC, 341 pages, expected publication 10th December 2015.

Oliver and May Knight find themselves alone in the world when their mother mysteriously vanishes from their home. The authorities ship them off to live with a grandfather that they have never met, and don’t know anything about. He lives in a strange house and is keeping secrets from them. When May awakes screaming under the pain of a powerful curse, some truths must come to the surface. The earth is but one of seven worlds connected by gateways, there is real magic and mages who can control it, dark creatures, and more family secrets. Oliver and May must accompany their grandfather into the next world, and as they discover more about their family and themselves, they find that there may be danger lying ahead for them, and perhaps for all of humanity.

Creeping Shadow was an intriguing and complex novel that captured me right from the start and hooked me to the very last. It was a real page-turner, and so so hard to put down at bed time! The plot was fast, well constructed and gripping. The creation of seven worlds is interesting, and I love the idea of being able to travel through them via gateways, though passing the challenges to be allowed to travel through sounds a little daunting. The landscapes, new animals, plants and food are all described beautifully, making me feel like I could just step into Aleva myself.

The Race of Aleva reminded me of The Hunger Games, though with less murder. It was physically and emotionally challenging, with each task coming to life through the pages. It really tested the competitors, revealing their true selves. I felt like I got to know Oliver and May intimately, sharing their hopes and worries. All the characters were so well written, they came to life as I read. I became invested in the characters, always a good sign of an excellent story. I cheered Oliver and his team on during the race, my stomach lurched at signs of danger, I smiled at Ely’s concern, laughed at Rogan’s and Quinn’s attempts at disguise, and I wanted to punch Larkin in the face. I felt a thousand emotions as I ripped through Creeping Shadow. And I will be thinking about it for a long time to come.

I don’t normally get hung up much on the covers of books, however, I just love the cover for Creeping Shadow. It would definitely grab my attention from across the bookstore!

Suitable for high school students and older, Creeping Shadow is perfect for fantasy fans. It is the first book in a new series called The Rise of Isaac. It is due to be released on the 10th of December 2015 on Amazon, and would make an excellent Christmas gift for a teenager (or young adult fan of any age!). I can hardly wait for the next installment in the series!

 

*I received this advanced reading copy as a digital version from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.