Posted in book reviews

Ultimate Blog Tour – Chasing Graves by Ben Galley

Hello, everyone!!! It’s my birthday AND Day 2 of the second ever Ultimate Blog Tour hosted by The Write Reads. This time around, the tour is even bigger and it’s spotlighting author Ben Galley. I chose to review the first book in his Chasing Graves Trilogy and I’m so excited to share this review as my birthday post with all of you!!!

Ultimate Blog Tour – Chasing Graves by Ben GalleyChasing Graves (The Chasing Graves Trilogy, #1) by Ben Galley
Published by BenGalley.com on December 7, 2018
Pages: 300
Source: The Write Reads
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Synopsis

Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.

"To say that the concept of Chasing Graves is grimdark would be an understatement... The world building is fantastic and reminiscent of Michael Moorcock’s Elric series.”– Grimdark Magazine

“Chasing Graves might well be one of the best releases not only for December but for the entirety of 2018.”– BookNest

“Galley has created a fascinating world that feels rife with stories… its history is rich with detail and there’s so many avenues to be explored.”– Adam Weller, Fantasy Book Review

“Dark, tense and surprisingly hilarious.”– Laura M. Hughes, Author of Danse Macabre

"With detailed characters, a twisting plot, and a heavy dose of gory darkness, Ben Galley has once again produced a fantasy you can sink your teeth into.”– The Grimmedian

“There’s serious grounds here for building something spectacular.”— Emma Davis, Fantasy Book Review

“A great first book to a series I sincerely can’t wait to complete.”– Novel Notions

————

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning.

————

From award-winning author Ben Galley comes a new dark fantasy trilogy. Inspired by Egyptian mythology and packed with dark humour, action, and intrigue, the Chasing Graves Trilogy is perfect for fans of Michael Moorcock, Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie.

————

“Chasing Graves is a dark, compelling entry into a trilogy.”– RockStarlit Book Asylum

“I enjoyed this book immensely, there rarely ever being a moment when I felt ready to put it down before I finished it.”— Diogo Capelo, Goodreads Reviewer

"Chasing Graves, with its well paced and tight plot is complex, intricate and rewarding. I can’t wait to put my hands on the sequel.”– Lukasz P, Goodreads Reviewer

“The characters are fantastic, colourful and well-rounded.”– Al Burke

I received this book for free from The Write Reads. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m used to stories where being among the undead is a good thing…like centuries old vampires. And I’m not really into zombie tales, but that chick in iZombie seemed to be alright.

But in chasing graves, the undead are basically slaves to the living in a city where the only way to get ahead is to kill or be killed so your murderer can claim not just your property, but your soul!

Basically, this is a totally different kind of undead story…

Your thrust into this world where a wife is crossing the desert with her dead husband’s ghost in order to bind him to her and claim his property. The woman’s name is Nilith and I absolutely loved her! (Actually, there weren’t many characters I didn’t love) I spent almost the entire book thinking what does this woman and her dead husband have to do with the rest of this story and when I got to the part where it told me I literally screamed out loud! I shouldn’t have questioned it though, because literally everything is tied together somehow in this book!

After the intro where you meet Nilith, you’re introduced to a thief who’s been lured to Araxes (the City of Countless Souls) with the promise of silver only to be murdered shortly after arriving. Caltro manages to get himself into all kinds of not so great situations with the living, the dead, and even some dead gods…

The world building in Chasing Graves is probably some of the best I’ve read in fantasy lately. There are even short snippets of history thrown in at the beginning of every chapter and I felt as though as I was reading about a real place.

There is SO much I want to talk about this book, but I have no idea how to say anything else without spoilers, so I’m just going to say I definitely recommend picking it up and giving it a read!

four-half-stars
Posted in book reviews

After the Green Withered – Blog Tour Review

It’s Day 7 of The Write Reads‘ Ultimate Blog Tour! That means it’s FINALLY my turn to talk about After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward!!!

About the Book:

After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward
on May 18, 2018
ISBN: 9781982900731
Genres: General (Adult) Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 283
Source: the author
Goodreads
four-half-stars

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Synopsis

They tell me the country looked different back then.

They talk of open borders and flowing rivers.

They say the world was green.

But drought swept across the globe and the United States of the past disappeared under a burning sky.

Enora Byrnes lives in the aftermath, a barren world where water has become the global currency. In a life dominated by duty to family and community, Enora is offered a role within an entity that controls everything from water credits to borders. But it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. From the wasted confines of her small town to the bowels of a hidden city, Enora will uncover buried secrets that hide an unthinkable reality.

As truth reveals the brutal face of what she has become, she must ask herself: how far will she go to retain her humanity?

I received this book for free from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Buy on AmazonBuy on Book Depository

My Thoughts on After the Green Withered:

I was hooked on this book from the very beginning!

It starts with a description of the world Enora has grown up in, and the little bit she’s aware of how it got to be this way. The way everything played out was so believable it gave me chills! I could totally see this happening in real life and it terrified me.

The Story:

Basically, we’ve destroyed the planet and now there’s not enough water or other basic resources for us to survive on. Years go by without a drop of rain. Water credits are now the world currency and most families are given barely enough to survive on.

Enora is 17 and is about to graduate from school. Upon graduating, she must choose a job from her limited options (none sound appealing to her) and start working – probably in the mill like her parents. At least, that’s what she expected to happen…

Instead, Enora is recruited by the DMC, the organization that “saved” the world from it’s population of destructive humans. The DMC is a global powerhouse that started out small, but now governs the entire world. Enora doesn’t want to work from them. It’s the thing she never saw as a possibility and thought of as the worst possible outcome for her future.

But no one really cares what she wants.

And no one says no to being recruited by the DMC.

So she’s thrust into a whole new world as she begins preparing for her new life. She loses touch with her only friend and starts a path to becoming someone she doesn’t recognize. But her parents are much better off and she does make some new friends, although she still feels like an outsider.

Even though things aren’t all bad, Enora continues to be plagued by a feeling that things aren’t right. However, she rationalizes all her doubts away, ignoring the warning signs until she can’t ignore them anymore.

Themes:

There are a couple of different themes that run throughout the book and I feel like I could write a whole series of posts on them! But I’ll spare you from my ramblings and just break them down real simply here.

Enora, like many others, want to resist the pull of the DMC, but can’t see a way out. The consequences of resistance are just too severe. The phrase “resistance is futile,” while never actually used in After the Green Withered, ran through my head continually during my reading.

This is the bleak reality that I need to face. Beyond the fence of every community is nothing. No water, no food, no chance of survival. The Company knows this, depends on it. I suppose that there are some who live beyond the borders. God knows not everyone was rounded up as the Company swept through, but where those people live and how they live is beyond my imagining.

Enora, After the Green Withered

There’s also a major theme of the haves vs. the have nots. I won’t expound on that since it’s a pretty simple concept.

Of course, the underlying message throughout the entire book is basically “take care of the earth now before it’s too late.”

Also, don’t allow a single entity to become so powerful that it dictates everything for every person in the entire world!!!

The Writing:

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this story. After reading the synopsis, I was excited about getting to read it for the Ultimate Blog Tour, but the writing style wasn’t what I expected – or what I normally enjoy.

My preferred reading experience is heavy on the dialogue. But After the Green Withered actually has little of that.

Somehow, I found myself pulled more into the story than I ever have with a book written in this way. I wanted to point this out because I think it shows what amazing skill the author has in spinning a tale!

There was only one negative thing I could find in the whole book that bothered me… It happened pretty far in and so I was already hooked and fully immersed in the world and then suddenly I was thrown back into reality like I’d rode in on lightening!

About halfway through the book, there’s a place where Enora and her partner, Springer, have parked and are walking through a parking garage type structure. They’re far away from their vehicle when suddenly I read “He parks the jeep outside a large building…” It took me a good 10 minutes to get past that point and be able to jump back into the story. This isn’t something that may have bothered anyone else as much as it did me. This is the only time that happens, so it’s not a reason to ditch the book,
but if this is one of your reading pet peeves… you’ve been warned!

Final Thoughts:

I loved reading After the Green Withered and I recommend it for just about anyone! It’s thought-provoking and entertaining and I just loved it!!! I will say though, it’s caused me to feel some guilt about how much water I use!

What do you think? Have you read “After the Green Withered?” Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Kristin Ward has loved writing since middle school but took thirty years to do something serious about it. The result is her Best Indie Book Award-winning novel, After the Green Withered, followed by the sequel, Burden of Truth. She lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and many furry and feathered friends. A SciFi geek to the core, she is fueled by dark chocolate and coffee and can be heard quoting eighties movies on a regular basis.

four-half-stars