by April | Dec 9, 2018 | Book ReviewsThe Flame and the Arrow
by Emigh Cannaday
Published by Createspace on October 22, 2010
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
"Don't do it, Annika," he taunted. His eyes were no longer bright and charming but dark and intense, yet they still twinkled. He was tempting, but was he harmful?
Aspiring rock star Annika Brisby thinks she knows where her life is going until she steps through a broken portal that leaves her stranded in a realm of fairies, vampires, and other mythical beings. Unable to return until it's repaired, she's rescued by wood nymphs who believe her sudden arrival is no accident. After being taken in by a prominent family of elves, Annika finds herself struggling to resist the seductive spell of their youngest son, Talvi. Equal parts arrogant and alluring, the notorious heartbreaker seems like the perfect distraction for her homesickness. Her new friends warn her that she'll probably regret ever laying eyes on him, and what begins as a casual fling quickly burns too hot to handle. By the time Annika learns the consequences of their forbidden trysts, Talvi's already under her skin and dangerously close to her heart. But on the journey home she discovers that there's a mountain of secrets that he's not telling her, and Annika can't help wondering who's really in danger.
* Previously titled Balkan Magic, The Misadventures of Annika Brisby
The Flame and the Arrow is the first novel in the Annika Brisby series by author Emigh Cannaday. The story follows Annika Brisby, an aspiring rock musician who is thrust into an alternate realm that is home to various magical beings- i.e. wood nymphs, elves, vampires, druids, etc. While Annika navigates this new world and tries to figure out a way home, she also must contend with her feelings for the dark, amusing, and alluring Talvi- the youngest son of a prominent and large family of elves. Annika becomes embroiled in the mystery and turmoil of this new realm and embarks on an action-filled journey fraught with danger, intrigue, passion, and love.
Annika is a strong, independent, and adventurous character that handles being in a new and magical world fairly well- all things considered, I probably would not have reacted in the same manner she had. Talvi, while narcissistic, arrogant, and somewhat manipulative, really starts to grow on you the more you read. Talvi’s character development throughout the novel really balanced out the flaws in his personality- after all, as much as I’d like to think otherwise, no one is perfect. Annika’s friendship with the wood nymphs and Talvi’s family added a layer of warmth that I truly enjoyed. And Annika’s interactions with Talvi? Purely poetic! Their witty banter and sexual chemistry practically sizzled from the pages and made it impossible for me to put the book down.
Normally, when a story has a large number of secondary characters, I find it difficult to keep track of who is who and their place in the plot. However, the many characters in this story not only added to the whimsical and fluid storyline, but were easy to remember. By the end of book, I already couldn’t wait to grab the second one and become reacquainted the Annika, Talvi, and the others. The Flame and the Arrow was a compelling and imaginative read filled with fantastical beings, grand adventure, explosive passion, and a generous dash of humor.
by April | Mar 31, 2018 | Book Reviewsdissent: RENEGADES
by R.J. Furness
Published by Createspace on October 16th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy
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Ideal for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent!!
"Settle in for daring leads, vicious enemies, and an immersive world. Intriguing twists unfold a well-paced tale of survival and the age-old question, who can you trust?" Emily R. King - Author of The Hundredth Queen Series
R.J. Furness brings you his debut novel, and the first in the DISSENT series. RENEGADES is here!
The Great Freeze changed everything…
“Ellie loved riding the orgo. She had often dreamt about it since being a small child. Now that her father wasn’t around to voice his opinions, she finally could. Twenty years had been a long time to wait.”
Centuries from now, during a new ice age, only three human colonies are known to exist. Scorr Tanta, the first city, is vast and resourceful, whereas Eklips is more desolate. Ellie, on the other hand, works in Port Harmony; a harbour town. As an apprentice orgo-keeper, the only highlight is getting to ride the animals that she cares for. Then, a chance skirmish at the market draws her closer to Haylee and her friends, and everything begins to change. Desperate to join them, Ellie has heard many tales about Haylee and her group of renowned warriors. What she doesn’t know, is how much danger follows them. Ellie is soon tugged into a much different world than she had first assumed. A world built on dissent, and filled with secrets.
‘The story has me gripped and wanting more. I can’t believe I have to wait for the next installments!’
'Thrilling, enthralling and immersive. Dive into a world you won't want to wake up from.'
Dissent Renegades is a novel by author R. J. Furness. The story takes place on Earth- though many years into the future after most of the planet froze over- and follows Ellie- an undercover warden from Scorr Tanta who poses as a caretaker for Orgos (a large creature that can be ridden like a horse, though reminds me of a smaller version of a long-neck dinosaur). During Ellie’s time as an apprentice for an older gentleman named Cedric, Ellie bonds with one of the orgos named Sage. It is also during this mission in Port Harmony that Ellie meets a young man named Evan, a market trader. And while Evan is easy on the eyes, fair mannered, and steady- his sister Haylee hold all the qualities of a fearless leader- strong, dependable, passionate, and loyal. Her followers- Tik, Ditto, and Morrigan are the perfect reflection of her attributes as a leader with their unwavering faith in her, and steadfast loyalty.
This futuristic, post ice-age world is broken into different colonies- Port Harmony, Scorr Tanta, Eklips, and the caves. Dissent Renegades takes you through most of this terrain- which I absolutely loved, as I enjoy a good story that provides an imaginative setting. These different locations also provided an opportunity to bring different characters into the story. The mix of characters was refreshing- for example, this wasn’t a story that focuses strictly on good vs. evil- one set of “good” guys fighting one set of “bad” guys. We were able to see the good, the bad, and the murkiness in between. Rada- the cold, domineering ruler of Scorr Tanta constantly tries to exercise her power and control over her people. She operates behind this veil of strength and competency- though these machinations are really a bid for complete dominion (which Ellie begins to see beyond, thank goodness). Then there’s Kayden, another ruler with a sick appetite for controlling people by making them slaves- and punishing them severely when he sees fit to do so. Finally, Ermine is a warden operating with fierce indignation, anger, and cruelty.
My favorite part of this story? The fact that there really aren’t too many “damsels in distress” who need the guy to come swooping in to save them. On the contrary, the females in this story hold their own and often do all the saving. Ellie is naturally curious, fearless, and begins to see beyond all the lies she was raised believing. She proves her loyalty to Haylee on more than one occasion by saving her life. Though, I suspect Haylee would have managed to make it through some of those situations had she had more time to think of a plan of escape. Haylee knows how to hold her own in a fight and remains strong and confident even in the face of insurmountable odds. Her desire to care for and protect the Elrupe (a different species of beings) also made her a favorite of mine. Ditto also saves the life of a slave girl named Pandra and pays a price that still makes my heart ache to think of it. Also- Pandra with a mace…eh, not something you’re going to want to be on the receiving end of. And Morrigan is fiery and loyal as well. All things considered, the females of this story really carried the true strength and power needed to succeed (sorry Evan and Tik!). And Widget? This little guy cracked me up (seriously though, I need a widget in my life).
The dash of something brewing sweet and beautiful between Ellie and Evan was the perfect little cherry on top of a story that was brimming with adventure and intrigue! Dissent Renegades was an exciting adventure filled with imaginative creatures, breathtaking settings, nail-biting action, and unforgettable experiences! I can’t wait to see where the next adventure takes these characters! And thank goodness for a good story that involves STRONG female protagonists!
FIVE STARS for Dissent Renegades!