Review of ‘The Copper Scroll’ by Robyn Nyx

‘The Copper Scroll’ is the second in Robyn Nyx’s Chase Stinsen Adventure Series. I loved the first book, ‘Uncharted’, and never imagined she would be able to better it. I was wrong. ‘The Copper Scroll’ is an exhilarating, high octane, archaeological adventure, full of danger, peril, excitement and suspense. But it also has love, passion and friendship at its heart. 

Dr Chase Stinsen is an academic and stays on the right side of the law when it comes to finding archaeological treasures. The same cannot be said of Rayne Marcellus. Having spent her career on the shady side of treasure hunting, she begins to realise that it doesn’t have to stay that way. Her relationship with Chase means more to her than she could have imagined, so maybe it’s time to come into the light. When the Copper Scroll’s discovery opens up new possibilities, both women will have to decide where their loyalties and their futures lie. The chance that the Ark of the Covenant may be in sight is too good to miss out on. 

The character development in this story was wonderful. I thought I knew these women, but Robyn Nyx took us further into their lives and their motivations. It felt as if there was more at stake this time. She made me care about them. Their relationship was not all plain sailing, as the conflict between their different outlooks on life was always going to be a problem. How were they ever going to be able to reconcile their differences? There were a few twists and surprises that had me on the edge of my seat. This is the kind of book that doesn’t let the reader rest on their laurels. It’s exciting, intense and one helluva ride. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Golden Sea’ by Emma Sterner-Radley

Golden Sea is the second in the Mapmaking Magicians series by Emma Sterner-Radley. I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release, as I loved the first book, Silver Beasts.  The four friends are back at the Hall of Explorers, but things have changed. The King is determined to carry on with his agenda and is now less willing to stick to the original plan. No wonder the students are worried. As well as dealing with their forthcoming dangerous mission, their emotions cause them further confusion. Dealing with them will not be easy.  

Wonderfully descriptive language takes the reader into the world of Cavarra, a world that has been meticulously created. I loved how the story opened out and in some ways things became clearer. We learned more about the history and backstory, but the author also teased us with tantalising titbits of adventures to come. It’s a YA story, but its appeal goes far beyond that audience. The fantasy, magic and mystery within the story makes it a great read for a much wider audience. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next in the series. 

Review of ‘The Lost Temple of Psiere’ by K Aten

‘The Lost Temple of Psiere’ is the second in the Mystery of the Makers series by K Aten, and although I didn’t think it possible, it’s even better than the first. K Aten has imagined a world both familiar and foreign and her world-building is exquisite. Olivienne, Royal Connate and heir to the throne of Psiere, is on a mission to find out more about the Makers. Where did they come from, who were they – and what role did they have to play in the history of Psiere? Now getting closer to her goal, she plans another trip with her Shield team and her lover, Castellan Tosh. But threats to their mission and to the future stability of Psiere bring danger and peril.

I love the innovative use of language in the Psiere stories. It immerses the reader in the world and I’d forgotten just how must I enjoyed being there. The story is full of adventure, tension, wonder and passion. It is stunning. There were some amazing revelations and so much more I wanted to know. I must admit to gasping in surprise a few times. I can’t wait for the next in the series!

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Alsea Rising: The Seventh Star’ by Fletcher DeLancey

I have read the entire Chronicles of Alsea series and I am astounded at the talent of Fletcher DeLancey. Her writing is superb and the imagination that went into the plotting of the series is beyond belief. The final book is a fitting end to the series. ‘Alsea Rising: The Seventh Star’ was a truly satisfying and emotionally overwhelming book. So many threads were brought together and woven into a perfect tapestry. Each and every character played a part and they were given well deserved closure. It was about being with the people and in the place you are meant to be. About fulfilling a destiny.  It was an utter joy to read and I fervently hope that the author is not finished with this universe. I must also make a special mention of the wonderful cover art for this book and the rest of the series. It is stunning and looks amazing on my bookshelves. ‘Alsea Rising: The Seventh Star was a beautiful end to a masterpiece of a series. 

Review of ‘Alsea Rising: Gathering Storm’ by Fletcher Delancey

This book begins a new phase for our favourite characters and starts to bring some threads together. But there is so much more to this story and Fletcher Delancey has ensured that no reader will be able to resist immediately buying the finale. 

Ekatya’s life has never been easy since she first entered Alsean space. Some in the Protectorate do not regard her in the high esteem she deserves. And one particular Admiral is determined to make her life difficult. But not every aspect of her life causes stress. For all of the main protagonists, changes begin and realisations become clear. As the much needed space elevator nears completion, fears of a Voloth attack weigh on the minds of those responsible for the safety of Alsea. There’s a feeling of something important coming, of the culmination of destiny. For all of them. High drama and the most delicious cliffhanger will have you screaming for more. Be warned- you will want to have the next book ready to go. Completely and utterly wonderful. 

Review of ‘Uprising’ by Fletcher DeLancey

‘Uprising’ is book 8 in The Chronicles of Alsea series and another masterpiece. This time the overall theme is of different people learning about each other and realising we are all the same. It’s also about hate that could rip everything apart.They were brought together in war and mayhem. Now the repercussions start to play out as different groups live together on Alsea – Alseans, Gaians and Voloth. It’s about taking a stand and demanding change. There’s a sense of empowerment, of coming together. It was inspiring.

Review of ‘Resilience’ by Fletcher DeLancey

‘Resilience’ is the 7th book in the Chronicles of Alsea series. And it’s another marvel. Fletcher DeLancey takes us further into and her universe and the wonders within. Rahel is onboard the Phoenix and has to find a way to coexist with the Gaians serving there. It’s not easy. This story focused on relationships of various kinds, and the importance of communication. I loved getting to know Dr Wells especially. There was something so appealing about her – the gruff and the caring sides of her nature made her a wonderful character. I hope we get to see more of her in future books too. As for some other new characters, they made a deep impression on me. But to say any more would wander into the area of spoilers. An excellent story, with exquisite writing and imagination. 

Review of ‘Outcaste’ by Fletcher DeLancey

Rahel Sayana wants to forge her own path, but in a society where choosing your own caste is not easy, her wishes are disregarded. Seeing no other way out, she runs away to Whitesun and a life on the edges of society. A life fraught with danger. Struggles become part of who she is and lead her into battles not of her own making. 

This has been the most challenging, but the most satisfying of the Chronicles of Alsea books for me so far. I must admit some of the subject matter was difficult. But it had to be done. Fletcher Delancey’s masterful storytelling took me to the depths and then turned it all around. Rachel’s story was multi-layered, with fascinating connections woven throughout. Seeing the story of Alsea from a different perspective, a different point of view added a richness I could not have anticipated.New characters so unlike any in the previous books opened up my mind. There were a few surprises that made me sit back and wonder at the imagination and skill of Fletcher DeLancey.  Utterly outstanding. There’s no other way to describe it. 

Review of ‘Catalyst’ by Fletcher DeLancey

‘Catalyst’ takes us back to the aftermath of The Battle of Alsea and the true repercussions for Ekatya and Lhyn. The strength of their bond becomes more evident with each passing day. As the political ambitions of others begin to impact them, they are caught in a dangerous situation with a potentially deadly outcome. 

We get to find out more about Ekatya’s life on board ship and about the protectorate in this book. The plot involves a mission that was exciting and full of action and we get to see her in her element. I loved that it was so much about Ekatya. She’s become my favourite character in the series and I wanted to know more about her background and her life before Alsea. This gave us that insight. 

I think what really impressed me most about ‘Catalyst’ was the blending of a very emotional story set on Alsea and the action and adventure of Ekatya and Lhyn’s story. I found myself being surprised at some of the revelations and it changed how I felt about certain people. It was a powerfully emotional, visceral experience.  It was brilliant.

Lesfic Bard Awards Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Lesfic Bard Awards. I was delighted see such an amazing list of Lesfic authors honoured in this year’s awards. I’ve had the pleasure of reading many of these books over the past year and hope that their success in the awards will point more WLW readers in their direction.

In the Fantasy Section the winner was Alison Naomi Holt for ‘Duchess Rampant’. The Mystery Section was won by Anne Hagan for her fantastic story ‘Steel City Confidential’. Annette Mori won the Romance Award for ‘A Window To Love’, one of my favourites of last year. Elle Hyden won for Best Cover, for her debut novel ‘Lost & Found’. Iza Moreau won the Young Adult section for ‘Tank Baby’, and Jane Alden won the Fiction section with ‘Jobyna’s Blues’, a wonderful story told over two time periods, with a starring role for one of our favourite lesbian stars of the 60s. K Aten won in the Drama category for her powerful story, ‘Burn it Down’. Karen D Badger won two awards – the historical section and the Action Adventure category for ‘Over the Crescent Moon’. Madeleine Taylor scooped the erotica prize for ‘The Good Girl’. McGee Matthews won the New Author award for ‘Moving Violations’ and Rachel Ford took the Science Fiction award for ‘Black Flag: Safe Passage’.