rebeccacrunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

basically obsessed with books

https://rebeccacrunden.com/tag/book-reviews/





Authored Stories:

The Man and the Crow by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

Some witches curse, others are cursed. And sometimes, the cursed want revenge.

A Game of Wings and Marks by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

When Octavia Coal goes to the mountains to clear her head, she doesn’t expect to find an angel in trouble. He tells her his name is Tamiel and he’s one of the Irin – the army of angels tasked with keeping demons from overwhelming humanity. But Tamiel broke a sacred law – he fell in love with a human – and now he’s being hunted by the same angels he once served. With nowhere else to go, Octavia and Tamiel – along with Jack, the human in question, and her brother Caleb – appeal directly to Zev, the Demon of Games. A trickster of unparalleled power, Zev gives nothing for free, and the gift he offers Octavia to keep Tamiel alive comes with a confusing catch: He makes her the Healer of Raphael, archangel and Commander of the Irin. Suddenly a target for both angels and demons, Octavia quickly learns that the only way to survive is to play the game better than they do. The only problem is, she doesn’t know whose game she’s playing …

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

In the near future, humans have gone beyond simple space travel. By the year 4054, multiple solar systems are inhabited, and taking a spaceship is as commonplace as taking an aeroplane. Unfortunately, not everything about the future is so advanced. The central planets, led by Earth, have risen high at the expense of cheap labour on distant worlds. Dissent is widespread and arrests are common. Sometimes prisoners are released; sometimes they disappear without a trace, sent to labour camps in other solar systems. When Ames Emerys receives a letter telling him that his brother Callum has died en route to the remote planet of Kilnin, he takes the first ship he can off Earth, desperate for answers. But the secrets Ames uncovers prove far more dangerous than he could have imagined. And trouble isn’t far behind.

Haze by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

When Eliza Owens gets a phone call in the middle of the night from a girl she’s never met, she doesn’t know what to think. The girl introduces herself as Paige, and says she used to date Erik Stern, Eliza’s fiancé. What’s more, she has something important to discuss. The only problem? Paige has been dead for years. Believing it to be a sick prank, Eliza tries to force it from her mind until Sam, Eliza’s older sister, tells her she met Paige only a few weeks before. And, according to Sam, Paige has nothing nice to say about Erik. The fight which follows shatters the lives of everyone involved, and Erik disappears without a trace. Five years later, Erik returns to town after his father’s death. Old wounds quickly resurface, and with them several burning questions. None the least of which is: Who spoke to Eliza and Sam if it wasn’t Paige? And why?

A Time of Prophecy by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

In the years since Kitty, Nate and Thom escaped the Kingdom, the Plague has ravaged the population and the rebels have seized two of the northern countries. In an attempt to bring order to the chaos, the leader of the rebels, Nate’s old friend James, has agreed to hold trials for those responsible for intentionally leaking the Plague. Unfortunately, the rumour in the Kingdom is that Kitty is responsible. To make matters worse, Blaise tells Kitty that the Council, who still count her father as one of their own, are once again experimenting on Radiants. It’s a horrifying realisation that hits too close to home, and for the first time in her life, Kitty thirsts for vengeance. It’s a thirst that’s matched by the one person who has always been her mirror — her Complement, Thom. On the other side of the Wall in the Outlands, desperate to bring Kitty home and finish the Council once and for all, Thom begins plotting, using the skills he’s long honed to outsmart those with more power. But outsmarting his enemies might turn Thom into the very thing he’s always feared becoming, and war soon seems the only possible solution to stopping the Council and the Hangman. But with more than a few looking to the ancient prophecy of peace, Thom searches desperately for a way to circumvent more bloodshed. Yet the weight of the years have taken their toll, and as Thom’s physical and mental health deteriorate, Nate struggles with the fallout of past crimes, both the ones he did commit, and the ones he didn’t …

A Dance of Lies by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

A year into the Outlands and life has only become more dangerous and complex for Kitty and her friends. Not only are the Outcasts hunting them, but Charles and Ciara are adamant about returning to the Kingdom to help, forcing everyone to take a side. To make matters worse, the leader of the Outcasts, Quen, has an unrelenting fascination with Thom and Nate that soon reaches horrific heights. As tensions mount and the group begins to splinter, Riddle comes to Kitty with an unexpected request. A secret. One that makes them inseparable. Kitty soon finds herself spending more and more time away from Nate and Thom, learning to fight and increasingly drawn into the ways of the Radiants. But Kitty and Riddle's new bond doesn't come without complications, and a decision made by the two of them threatens more than Kitty's relationship with Nate ...

A Promise of Return by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

When Thom Anteros is arrested after breaking into the Building of Historical Records, he demands to be taken before the King. A laughable demand for anyone else, Thom's request is granted and the King spares his life. Yet what's to become of him is left in the hands of the one person Thom truly fears – Mickey Taenia, the King's Hangman. Infuriated by Thom's refusal to reveal the whereabouts of Nate and Catherine, the Hangman sends Thom to one of the worst places in the Kingdom – the slave markets of Muntenia. It is there that Thom is bought for the Red Arena: a barbaric, gladiator-type competition where the children of convicts and other unlucky souls are forced to fight to the death. Twenty wins is release. One loss is death. With the help of Charles Thoreau, a fellow captive, Thom begins not only to survive, but to thrive. A master of words becomes a master of death, and Thom's prowess in the arena frightens even him. But death isn't the only thing haunting Thom. As the days go by, he dreams of his brother, and the promise he cannot forget. I will return.

A History of Madness by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

The four remaining fugitives are now spread across the Kingdom. And with the fate of the others unknown to him, Nate Anteros prays for a fast execution. Yet execution does not come. After a meeting with the King which leaves Nate questioning his sanity, he’s sent to a workcamp in Argon Basin for five years of hard labour. It’s there that Nate learns what became of his friends upon their arrest. And as his strength returns to him, and he’s plagued by dreams which are much too real to be ignored, Nate decides five years is far too long to wait …

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden ✓ author, ✓ book blogger

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears. A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him. Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.


Recent Reviews:

The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: Did some research after reading
Cover: Adequately represents the story

In Kepos, the story’s setting, our MC Kala is less than delighted by her mother’s remarriage after her father dies under questionable – at best – circumstances.

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The Century Blade by Rob J. Hayes

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: Did some research after reading
Cover: Matches the story well

This short story was a good teaser for the series and I can't wait to dive into Never Die.

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The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point by Michele Schultz

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

Great pictures and fun alliteration, too!

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Golden Threads: Collection of Poetry by Stjepan Varesevac Cobets

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Unrelated to the story

These poems are fantastic! Like, freaking awesome. So many lines grabbed me!

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Scarlet Shadows by Scylla Grand

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Adequately represents the story

Honestly, I am blown away by this collection of poetry. It’s quite short, but the poems are positively exquisite.

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There was Histrionic Laughter at the Clown's Cadaver by N. Alexsander Sidirov

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Mostly clear
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

This is a unique and imaginative collection of poetry and prose in a variety of original styles.

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The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon by Benedict Patrick

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Mostly clear
Characters: Some more thought out than others
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

For those who love plot driven adventure fantasy stories without romance, this is definitely up your alley!

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Paper Castles by B. Fox

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Adequately represents the story

The real world problems James faces are immensely, and painfully, relatable i.e. debt, your place in the world, love, family and loss.

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Of Blood and Deceit by Rachel A. Collett

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Mostly clear
Characters: Some more thought out than others
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

Castiel and Ilianna start making heart eyes at each other from minute one and I freaking adored their interactions. Ilianna is such an easy character to root for and I liked her instantly. Riaan (the king) and Castiel have great bro banter as well.

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Into The Dark by Robert Hookey

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Mostly clear
Characters: Some more thought out than others
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Adequately represents the story

This is a very witty novel by Robert Hookey! So many one-liners left me giggling and I kept being reminded of the humour of Good Omens.

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Tales of Solomon Pace by Alan Scott ✓ author

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

This was a wonderfully narrated collection of tales that draws you straight into Scott's rich, fantastical world, with a focus on the character of Solomon Pace.

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The Gift Of Life II: Darkness Follows by Sean Stevens

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: Focus on the story solely
Cover: Adequately represents the story

There’s some truly fantastic writing in here, along with some lovely photography!

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The Razorblades in My Head by Donnie Goodman

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Mostly clear
Characters: Some more thought out than others
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

Great for horror fans, for sure!

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Trail Markers by Cym Aros

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

Rather than a typical Western with characters as bank robbers and bandits, this book is more a long form character study, with lots of conversations and musings from different points of view.

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I Love You S’more by Wendy Dalrymple

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

Adorable, sweet and made me so hungry!

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The Girl in White by Shannon Reber

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

Oh my gosh, I was not expecting this novel! Reber weaves a wonderful contemporary mystery with rich characters.

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Untouched by Jayme Bean ✓ author

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: Did some research after reading
Cover: Matches the story well

I'm so impressed by Jayme Bean's debut novel! The rich imagery and detail is amazingly well actualised and the characters are excellently developed.

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The Murder Next Door by Sarah Bell ✓ author

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: Did some research after reading
Cover: Matches the story well

Bell's writing and attention to detail shines throughout - very impressive for a debut!

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On the Edge of Salt by Dixon Reuel

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

Reuel's writing is crisp and polished, and the characters are engaging. Very intrigued about the rest of the series! Definitely worth checking out!

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Gathering of the Four: Book One of the Serrulata Saga by A.E. Bennett ✓ author

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Satisfying, fulfilling experience
Emotional Response: Engaging
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

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Boyfriends For Now by Imogen Markwell-Tweed

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Balanced
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

I really just want to draw hearts around this book. If you're looking for a lovely little romance, check this one out!

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No Love Lost by Rachel Bowdler

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: New ideas came up
Cover: Matches the story well

What a great second chance romance! Will and Taryn are a great couple and I really liked how Bowdler played out the conflict, the romance and the angst. A lovely read!

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May Day by Josie Jaffrey

Worldbuilding: Aided the story
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: Did some research after reading
Cover: Matches the story well

The characterisations in this story are done so well, and I really enjoyed the dynamics between everyone, especially Jack and Killian. BRING ON BOOK TWO, YO!

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