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The Last Queen by Odette C Bell

Try to imagine this. Try to imagine that you’re the last of a dying, powerful breed. Try to imagine that you can’t live alone. You have to marry a modern-day king, or you’ll die.

That’s me – the Last Queen. As my life falls apart, I’m forced into a world of dark magic, death, power, and arrogant kings who will do anything to acquire me.

In this violent game, I will need to align myself to live. But, instead, I will choose to fight….

The Last Queen is the lovechild of two things: urban fantasy… and chess. A strange mixture, but it works surprisingly well. I had a couple of small quibbles with it – the main character’s internal monologue can be a little repetitive, for instance – but I really enjoyed the fresh concept and the action-packed ride.

I wish the book had built to a more satisfying resolution, but considering this is the first novella in a serial fantasy (is that what we’re calling these episodic stories?), it’s understandable. The second and third installments are already out, so you won’t have to wait long for more.

Odette C Bell is nothing if not prolific – by my count she has sixteen series openers available for free at the time of this posting. If you liked The Last Queen, check the rest out as well.

The Nitty Gritty

This book is free on Amazon as of September 20, 2017.

Length: 142 pages

Published: June 18, 2017

Author’s Website

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all the latest reviews

The Last Queen by Odette C Bell

Try to imagine this. Try to imagine that you’re the last of a dying, powerful breed. Try to imagine that you can’t live alone. You have to marry a modern-day king, or you’ll die.

That’s me – the Last Queen. As my life falls apart, I’m forced into a world of dark magic, death, power, and arrogant kings who will do anything to acquire me.

In this violent game, I will need to align myself to live. But, instead, I will choose to fight….

The Last Queen is the lovechild of two things: urban fantasy… and chess. A strange mixture, but it works surprisingly well. I had a couple of small quibbles with it – the main character’s internal monologue can be a little repetitive, for instance – but I really enjoyed the fresh concept and the action-packed ride.

I wish the book had built to a more satisfying resolution, but considering this is the first novella in a serial fantasy (is that what we’re calling these episodic stories?), it’s understandable. The second and third installments are already out, so you won’t have to wait long for more.

Odette C Bell is nothing if not prolific – by my count she has sixteen series openers available for free at the time of this posting. If you liked The Last Queen, check the rest out as well.

The Nitty Gritty

This book is free on Amazon as of September 20, 2017.

Length: 142 pages

Published: June 18, 2017

Author’s Website

The Werewolf Saga by Paisley Black

Twin sisters, Madison and Morgan have been through a lot in their life, but nothing prepares them for the night they run away from home. The night they come up against something they never believed existed – werewolves.

Madison is killed by the werewolves but before Morgan meets the same fate she is saved by a fantastic female warrior who takes her to Valanork, a mystical world, where she grows up and trains to be a Valkyrie warrior. The powerful women of Valanork, teach her everything they know and she excels.

Ten years after her first encounter with the werewolves, Morgan learns that the werewolves’ alpha, Serban Balin, is planning on attacking her new family and laying waste to Valanork. They must unite to take out this threat but Morgan is torn between her duties as a warrior and Jason, the man she has fallen in love with.

Will Morgan choose love over war? Will the werewolves take over Valanork? If Morgan chooses war will she succeed or join her sister on the other side?

Phew. This was rough. All of the action was told, not shown – even things that the main character couldn’t have known are just blatantly handed to the reader instead of letting us figure things out through Morgan’s eyes. It was impossible to connect with the characters, and the plot fell flat.

The Werewolf Saga is a neat concept – it just needs some more work. For now, though, skip it.

The Nitty Gritty

This book is free on Amazon as of September 20, 2017.

Length: 104 pages

Published: June 15, 2017

Author’s Website

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Lightburst: Love Like Gravity by Mike Sheriff

The Disruptions aren’t the only thing troubling 16-year-old Bex. A mysterious melody haunts her thoughts and tugs at her heart. Bizarre blue-violet coronas orbit the heads of her friends and family like miniature galaxies.

Are the anomalies somehow connected to her dead sister? Are they the byproducts of an unravelling world? Are they the signposts of an unravelling mind?

A strange woman holds the answers. For Bex, the answers reveal a connection between life and death that she never dreamed possible.

Love Like Gravity packs a lot of punch into just 71 pages. I’m a big fan of the world Sheriff built in this novella – both his take on a near-future apocalypse and the super interesting spin on science that drives the story.

I’m not sure if there’s more to this tale or if it’s a standalone, but I’ll be hoping for a few more installments. It definitely left me wanting more. Grab it while you can!

The Nitty Gritty

This book is free on Amazon as of September 19, 2017.

Length: 71 pages

Published: November 26, 2016 by the Appended Press

Author’s Website

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