Book Review: The elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian

Book Review: The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian Review by Dawn Thomas 336 Pages Publisher: Midnight Ink Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Alchemy, Women Sleuths, Culinary Zoe Faust is an alchemist trained by Nicholas Flamel. Dorian, her gargoyle friend, is turning back to stone. In an effort to reverse the action, she travels to Paris, France in search of a backwards alchemist. The owner of a bookstore, Lucien, tells her about a book created by backwards alchemists. He promises to ship it to her as soon as he locates it. While visiting Notre Dame Cathedral to investigate a missing gargoyle, a woman from her past spots her. Madame LeBlanc accuses her of murder and has her police officer nephew interrogate her. Zoe flees Paris and returns to her home in Portland, Oregon. Upon her arrival, Zoe finds Dorian in worse shape and confides in him about the encounter. He agrees she was right in leaving France. Brixton, a teenage friend, tells her about a spy he found peeking in windows. Zoe is afraid the man is the French police officer looking for her. When the mummified remains of a man are found in an abandoned shed, Zoe fears…

Book Review: The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker

Book Review: The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker Review by Dawn Thomas 350 Pages Publisher: Palladino Books General Fiction (Adult), Sci Fi & Fantasy, Historical Fiction The book takes place in 1899 and is narrated by Tomaso Labella, a sixteen-year-old photographer. During a séance, Tomaso takes a photo of Alessandra Poverelli levitating a table. When Camillo Lombardi, a wealthy skeptic, sees the photo, he travels to Naples to discredit her. After attending a séance, Lombardi becomes a believer and finances a European tour for Alessandra and Tomaso. During the tour, Nigel Huxley, the grand inquisitor for the London Society for the Investigation of Mediums, confronts Alessandra. He believes she is a con artist and tries to prove she is an impostor. The story was inspired by the true-life story of Eusapia Palladino (1854 – 1918). She was an illiterate woman from Naples. She was able to levitate tables, ring bells, and materialize body parts and full forms. The story was well written and the characters were well defined. I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more from this author.

Book Review: Love the Witch, Hate the Craft by Nora Lee

Book Review: Love the Witch, Hate the Craft by Nora Lee Review by Dawn Thomas Pages 250 Publisher: Masterful Books Publication Date: October 15, 2015 Women’s Fiction, Sci Fi & Fantasy This book is the first in a trilogy of the Witches of Secret Hallow. The town is full of witches and is in a perpetual autumn season. Rowan is a college student returning to her home after a six-year absence and the recent break up with her boyfriend Garrett. She is the strongest earth witch in Secret Hallow but does not have control over her power. She has not used magic since the accident with her grandmother. When she arrives home, she meets a stranger, Caedmon McFarland. He tries to convince Rowan to marry him so he can become the High Priest and take over the coven. Rowan does not trust him or his motives. Her friend Orianna has a five-year-old daughter named Fern, who has extraordinary powers. Rowan tries to teach Fern how to control her powers without hurting others. Rowan’s grandmother senses she needs help and sends for Garrett, who is unaware of the recent breakup. When things get out of hand, Rowan must reach deep within…

Book Review The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat

Book Review The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat Review by Dawn Thomas 288 Pages Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Middle Grade, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Magic, Faeries This is a story of two girls, Izzy and Hen (11 and 7 respectively). They move with their mother to their father’s childhood home. Izzy is not happy about the move especially since there is nothing to do in this small town. The clerk at the grocery store tells them to be careful of the witch that lives next door to them. Izzy is curious and goes back to talk with the clerk to find out more. Izzy and Hen want to find out more about their neighbor, Marian. While sneaking around her house, Marian catches them and invites them in. She begins to tell them about their grandmother and her love for them. When Hen goes missing, Izzy goes to Marian for help. She describes the flute music she heard. Concerned, Marian goes looking for Hen in the woods. She tells Izzy not to follow but of course, she does not listen. When Marian goes into a hole in the ground, Izzy is not far behind. She lands on the ground and is amazed by…

Book Review RavenStorm Witches by Misha McKenzie

Book Review RavenStorm Witches by Misha McKenzie Review by Dawn Thomas 126 Pages Publisher: Icasm Press Sci Fi & Fantasy, Witches & Wizards The book tells the story of nine women who happen to be witches. Maeve wants to protect Grayson from a manipulator. The coven meets and decides the woman needs to learn how her actions hurt others. Every time she tries to tell a lie, the truth comes out instead. Hildie loses her job because a coworker said she was selling company secrets. The coven gets together and casts a spell for the woman to come clean and confess. Everything she does reminds her of what she did to Hildie. Malise had bad taste in men. She wants to teach her ex-boyfriend Travis a lesson. When he wakes up the next day, he is a woman. He sees how his words and actions offended women in the past. Tatiana works at an animal shelter. When she learns about a man mistreating dogs, she wants to do something about it. The women in the coven write a spell so the man will feel what his dogs feel. When the dogs are hungry, he is too. In each story, Sheva…

Book Review: Finches of Mars by Brian W. Aldiss

Book Review: Finches of Mars by Brian W. Aldiss Review by Dawn Thomas 202 Pages Publisher: Open Road Media Science fiction, Post-Apocalyptic The book began with two explorers searching the surface of Mars for water. Once they found an underground source, they reported their findings and began their return to earth. Finding a new planet to colonize was critical since the earth was dying due to war and disease. The selection process for the colonists was thorough to exclude people with mental or physical disorders. There was no religion in Martian colony. In honor of their new beginnings, the colonists chose new names. The concept of marriage does not exist on Mars. Live births are a problem. The children are either stillborn or die shortly after birth and most had some type of deformity. The scientists and the doctors try to determine the cause. One suggestion was to install a centrifuge to create a gravitational pull. Unfortunately many of the women could not stand the spinning. This was a difficult book for me to review because it seemed to drag at spots and had too many characters. The author created a detailed environment for the colony but I had a…

Book Review Love the One You’re Witch by Randa Flannery
Fantasy , Icasm Press , Romance , Sci Fi , Uncategorized / January 20, 2016

Book Review Love the One You’re Witch by Randa Flannery Review by Dawn Thomas 131 Pages Publisher Icasm Press Romance, Sci-fi, Fantasy We begin in a world where vampires and other paranormal beings live and work with the rest of the world. Anatasia Gregor is a witch with a witty tongue working at a supernatural firm. She has an assignment to break a love spell on a vampire. After a bad experience with a vampire in which she almost lost her life, she is hesitant to take the case. Reluctantly, she visits the vampire’s home and finds a wicked love spell that has gone wrong. Lucas, a very handsome and single guy is the target. Unfortunately, his sister, Erica, has fallen under the spell instead. Anastasia is immediately attracted to Lucas and must fight her feelings. She removes the love spell and agrees to finish the job by finding the witch that cast the spell. After a hilarious visit to a sex toy shop, Anastasia finds the key to unlocking the mystery. She just needed to stay alive long enough to finish the job. The book was short and an extremely fast read. I enjoyed the characters and the story…

Book Review: The Choice by Cindy Cipriano

The Choice – Book Two of the Sidhe by Cindy Cipriano Book Review by Dawn Thomas Publisher: Odyssey Books 275 Pages Sci Fi & Fantasy, Children’s Fiction At the end of the first book Laurel’s brother Daniel returns from the Sidhe. They saw Finley but before they could get him out Brownshire, a brownie, says something and Finley disappears in a puff of smoke. Calum is determined to find out where Finley is. Laurel begs Calum to give her and Daniel the Talents. Laurel’s mother catches them and stops them. Laurel’s parents are angry at the Sidhe and the part they played in Daniel’s abduction years ago. Calum and Hagen miss spending time with Laurel. Her father has made it impossible for the boys to interact with Laurel or Daniel. Laurel finds a way to meet Calum she tells him she has the Talents and needs his help. Something has been trying to get in the house to steal her new baby sister, Mary. At one point she traps Brownshire but he gets away without telling where he sent Finley. Calum’s grandfather tells him that Laurel is the key for Finley’s return. Part two of the book focuses on Finley….

Book Review: Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea by Diana Marcellas

Book Review: Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea by Diana Marcellas The Witch of Two Suns, Book 1 Review by Dawn Thomas Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media Release Date: April 1, 2014 Pages: 416 Sci-Fi & Fantasy When the book begins we meet Brierley Mefell. She is one of the last shari’a witches. She lives in fear of being discovered as a witch since in the Allemanii lands witches were perceived as evil and forbidden to live. She has lived on her own since she was twelve. She is known as a healer and midwife to the locals. She sits in the cave where other shari’a witches lived and writes in a journal to a child she does not have and wonders if she will ever have. Earl Melfallan Courtray has only been the Earl for six months after the mysterious death of his uncle Audric. The doctor said it was a problem with is digestive system but Melfallan knows better. He believes his uncle was poisoned and that he is next on the list. The list of people that want him dead is growing longer and he begins to distrust everyone close to him. One day Captain Bartol arrived telling stories…

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tower by Sara C. Snider
Fantasy , Sci Fi , Uncategorized / December 19, 2014

Book Review The Thirteenth Tower by Sara C. Snider Review by Dawn Thomas Publisher: Double Beast Publishing Sci-Fi & Fantasy ISBN: 9789187657016 The story begins with Emelyn, a housemaid getting ready for a large party. She goes about her day, when she hears music. She wants to see where the music is coming from and finds most of village following a creature. She tries to get Mrs. Cook, the head cook, to return to the house but the hold the music has over the cook is too strong. Things begin to spiral out of control when the dancing begins. At that point a man comes to Emelyn’s aid and together they leave the village. On their way from the village they meet two Magi. These men are magical and offer to tell Emelyn about her parents. Emelyn is intrigued since she was orphaned and raised by Mrs. Cook and the big house. The Magi travel through the forest and when Emelyn tries to rescue a Hawk she meets one of the tiny forest folk. She makes a bargain that will change the atmosphere of the group. As they continue their journey Emelyn begins to connect with the forest. She continues…