Guest Writer: J.E. Feldman
Hello, fellow readers! Here is a list of eight books I have read during this year that I believe you should add to your reading list for 2018. I’m an avid reader in my downtime, when I’m not penning my own novels. The following books are unique because I haven’t read anything like them before. They have been memorable and have given new insight into what can be accomplished with the written word. I’ve accompanied my reviews with each of the following, as well as a link for purchasing.
Disclaimer: I am not in affiliation with any of these books.
(1) Everlost by Neal Shusterman. The story starts off with death. Two deaths in fact, giving us the main characters – Nick and Allie. Their souls get caught halfway between life and death in a purgatory called Everlost. There are other lost children that run wild and there are even monsters. The antagonist is not who you are expecting in this book. The typical clichés are not there and certain events will leave you breathless. I had to read this entire book in one sitting. There was no way around it because it is so different than anything else I’ve read. It was action-packed, despite being the first in a trilogy and needing to establish the world these characters are thrown into. This series comes highly recommended because the next two books are just the same, if not incredibly better.
Link to purchase – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002NT3B6Q/
(2) A Plague of Shadows by Travis Simmons. The Shadow Plague makes its appearance on the hand of the main character, Abagail. The disease is dark magic and takes over each individual who is afflicted, creating a violent and dangerous husk of their former selves. The Light Guard burn these people at the stake without question. Fearful for her life, she is forced to travel through miles of rough terrain and legions of monsters to get answers from the only person who learned to control the dark magic. The entire time, she must resist the darkness. This is another book that took me by storm with the character and world building. I couldn’t put it down because I had to know the purpose of these creatures of darkness. The plot was well planned and left me demanding to know more. There are seven books in this series and I recommend them all because you will be on the edge of your seat.
Link to purchase – https://www.amazon.com/gp/B00OQ1XUAG/
(3) Blade of the Destroyer by Andy Peloquin. An assassin bonded to a cursed dagger that incessantly calls for bloodshed finds himself as the prey after accepting a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a young girl. He is haunted by memories long lost from his past and every step of the way, this mission seems to be hurtling him toward destruction. First off, this is not the kind of book I would normally read, but I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of this world along with the slew of characters attempting to survive in it. The imagery was extremely vivid with words such as “permeate, putrid, and inexorably” which brought the surroundings to life with eloquence. There is a lot of information within since this is the first book of the trilogy, but there is plenty of action to keep you begging for more.
Link to purchase – https://www.amazon.com/Andy-Peloquin/e/B00J9008MC/
(4) Sowing by Angie Grigaliunas. The Hulcondans are militarized soldiers with ruthless policies. Two sisters find themselves on opposite sides of the rebellion against them. Ariliah believes the Hulcondans are good and only conducting order for safety. Her older sister Rabreah believes everything about them is a threat and joins the underground resistance against them. This leads to serious complications and a whirlwind of events that will have you gasping and sitting on the edge of your seat. I could not put this book down and am impatiently waiting for the sequel to arrive in late March 2018.
Link to purchase – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1533667152/
(5) Kindling by Angel Blackwood. With magical warfare, mad rulers, and old scores to settle, how can anyone know hero from villain? And if the people who have been fighting for years can’t tell the difference, how can Zahir choose the right side? This story is told from different character point of views and has been compared to an easier-to-follow reminiscence of Game of Thrones. There is an intricate magic system in place and the author has captured the true essence of what it means to be human in this cast. Completely unpredictable and I couldn’t read this book fast enough. This book belongs to a trilogy and the sequel just came out!
Link to purchase – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N96PBL/
(6) Thorgil Bloodaxe: Enter the White Queen by Ralph E. Laitres. Thorgil is an aging mercenary who holds no allegiances to any land. With a hefty reputation, he now makes a meager living by providing protection to fat merchants or aiding in blood-feuds. The White Queen is seeking the warrior Bloodaxe who murdered her sister thirteen years earlier and to avenge her, unleashes a host of events that change the lives of many. Thorgil is forced into a perilous adventure that could cost him his life. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time as the White Queen hunted for Thorgil and the plot twists played out. This is part of a series and the sequel is already available.
Link to purchase – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005TKANQ2/
(7) Sygillis of Metatron by Ren Garcia. In the far distant future, man is awash in life-long youth, health, and Gifts of the Mind. Serving celestial beings known as the Elders, man formed the very dedicated League, which is a collection of Great Houses scattered on numerous worlds. Over the ages, children are told terrifying stories of the enemy – Black Hats, a sect of female Xaphan murderers eager to slay. Only the Sisterhood of Light is capable of countering their evil. The story starts as one is captured by the main protagonist. He, Captain Davage, has the Gift of Sight and despite everything, goes against protocol. This book is unique, adventurous, and hypnotizing! The way the author describes his characters, you almost expect to meet them walking down the street or to see them in a bar. The plot twists will keep you second guessing everything you anticipate throughout the entire story. This long series comes highly recommended!
Link to purchase – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KHTDHS6/
(8) Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina. Kara is a mercenary, the best of the best, and a member of the notorious Majat Guild. When her tenure as protector to Prince Kythar comes to an end, he accompanies her back to the guild to negotiate her continued protection. However, his sworn enemies have already paid the guild for Kara’s future services and demand she capture the prince. This is a fast-paced story with lots of serious combat and fractured kingdoms. Another book I was unable to put down because it hosts lots of political intrigue and danger along with unparalleled martial skills. The author has done a fantastic job keeping readers entranced page after page. There are more books available, but be prepared to dedicate time to read all of it in one sitting when you start.
Link to purchase – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EX42MQO/