Where the Waters Turn Black (Yarnsworld #2) by Benedict Patrick

Summary

When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

The Crescent Atoll is a remote string of tropical islands, connected by long canoe journeys and a love of stories.

When Kaimana, a young ocarina player, discovers the lair of a taniwha – a legendary monster – she finds herself inspired. The song she is composing about their encounter will be her masterpiece, but her disturbance of the beast attracts the ruining gaze of the god of war. She must convince the taniwha to trust her if they are both to survive.

Where the Waters Turn Black is a standalone novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Inspired by the myths and legends of South Pacific island cultures, this book is perfect for those seeking fantasy stories with a hint of the unfamiliar.

Characters

Kaimana is a likable character but more importantly she feels real. Her decisions aren’t always perfect but there is something of a dreamer in her that is to be admired. Rakau is the tanwha and has a big personality. He reminds me of a big intelligent dog. The supporting characters are varied but most seems to be morally reprehensible characters. From her parents that can’t understand to her ‘mentor’ Eloni (who is a real twit).

Plot

This book was such an array of themes. At its core I felt this was about the power of love/friendship. That it doesn’t matter how different  you may be from another person/creature, sometimes there is a connection that only you and the other person/creature can understand. It was a beautifully refreshing novel. There wasn’t any romance, it was just the story of a girl and her monster.

There were Gods, and constant threats from all sides, and awesome scenes. The concept of the Knacks are back in this Yarnsworld novel, which was pleasant. The author took a completely different but enjoyable feel/plot without completely leaving the writing style or world that I loved in They Mostly Come out at Night. A fantastic adventure that not everyone will come out of the same or even survive.

Overall

The world building was breathtaking and the transitions clear. I was a little disappointed that the fairy tale like stories didn’t connect back into the story more, but it did well enough to be fantastic. The Gods were varied and complex in their own right. I cannot give this book enough praise. I don’t want to give anything away, you’ll just need to read it!

Rating

5 stars

If you love Folklore stories even a little this is a must read! I couldn’t put it down and once I started reading it I had to finish. A must read!

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review.

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Xan and Ink by Zak Zyz

Summary

Banished from their homeland, two disgraced brothers, a fanatical priest and an escaped slave who venture into the foreboding Kalparcimex, an uncharted jungle teeming with an incredible variety of wondrous and murderous insects. When the legendary ranger Xan refuses to help the adventurers on their quest for redemption, they enter into an ill-advised pact with Ink, a cursed sorceress who stains everything she touches. Caught in the conflict between the two powerful figures, the four banished heroes must confront their darkest desires to escape the Kalparcimex!

Characters

Super unique characters. Just from the dialogue you could pick out who was who. Each is likable and not in their own way. I personally loved the story between Ink and Xan better. Like two superpowers fighting but it was more a battle of wills. However, the hapless 4 were just as interesting – the brothers very well tied together. Sandros with all his flaws a force to be reckoned with. Something to be aware of is the shift in POV – it is a little jerky and unexpected at times.

Plot

Let me start by saying, this is a weird book. Weird but oddly good. Very unique – particularly the Kalparcimex. Although some of the plot felt inevitable and predictable, it was not all predictable. Sometimes I wasn’t 100% sure what was going to happen, and one story line I didn’t see coming at all. This is for sure an adult book, from the language, to the violence and gore, to the explicit scenes.

Overall

Despite its weirdness, adult content, and a somewhat non-ending ending, it was very good. The writing was very easy to follow, and if you weren’t interested in getting to know the characters until later, perfect. There is lots of action with character development peppered throughout the book. This is like a fine wine, some people will love it, some will hate it but it is still worth trying. The Kalparcimex is awesome – giant insects!

It starts off a little rocky, there are parts that leave one wanting, but once Ink enters I really started to love the book. The sorceress adds a complexity to all the characters – from Xan to Sandros. Once she enters that is when things get really interesting! There are a few plot twists – some of which are hinted out subtly and some a little more openly. Also some well written sex scenes.

Despite everything I liked about this book there was something missing. It took me a while to put my finger on it. I thought it was the non-ending at first because I only like books that stand alone – as stated on my review policy and this was pitched to me as standalone – but that wasn’t the only problem. There was something else that was making me just not love it. I realized the author keeps too much hidden about the characters. The reason I liked Ink so much was because we get information about her – she is unique and we get some history on her so we can connect with her. I get having mysterious characters, but there is a fine line between mysterious and flat.

Rating

4 Stars

I liked it! Unique story, great actions scenes, but this does not stand alone and it needs a little more character development. Don’t get me wrong, love the characters! I’m actually more upset at how much is left unanswered and kept hidden, which makes this book feel incomplete. Beware of an ambiguous ending but worth the read!

 

251 Things to Do in Tofino: And it is NOT just about Surfing by Kait Fennell

This is a non-fiction book – Travel Guide.

Summary:

Welcome to Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the surf capital of Canada and much, much more. They call this the “end of the road” for Western Canada, but you are going to be calling it the start of the best time of your life. All you need is this eBook, an open mind, an open heart and the sense of wonder and adventure to embark on the journey of a thousand lifetimes.

Whether you are here to find out why this is the Surf Capital of Canada or to check out the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve or to find something entirely new and exciting, this is the book that will help you start your journey and this is the place to find the magic that you seek. 251 Things to do in Tofino indeed does have that many suggestions (and more).

This eBook also includes:

•First Nations history, local artists & galleries
•Amazing outdoors and fun kids’ activities
•Annual events, entertainment and local gourmet eats
•Great tips to make unforgettable memories
•Voices of 100 local contributing authors
•A comprehensive, detailed directory of Tofino
•Foreword by the Awesome Mayor Josie Osborne

Overall

If you are traveling to Tofino you need this guide. The Kindle version is chock full of suggestions and links that open right on your cell phone. The first part of the book is full of suggestions, everything from places to hike, adventures to go, and what to eat. If you don’t want to take the author’s word for it, there were pages of testimonials to read over which includes what they recommend if you ‘only have 1 day in Tofino.’ The most important part is the back of the book – the detailed directory of Tofino. It is a how to Tofino correctly guide and I was thoroughly impressed by the level of detail!

Rating

5 stars

This is exactly what you want in a travel guide and it is perfect for the modern person who wants to find this out on the go. If you are traveling to Tofino, you better get this!