BOOK REVIEW: The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader

The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader

THE ENCHANTED ROSE by NADIA NADER

The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader
Publication date: January 14th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

BLURB

When Vivian’s mother dies in a tragic accident, Vivian’s world is turned upside down. Her life, as she knows it, is over. A new life, full of her mother’s secrets, begins…

Sent away by her father to live with two eccentric aunts on the mysterious Tremaine Estate, Vivian comes to learn that a powerful curse  lurks over her family – one that only she may have the power to break. With each day she spends in Misty Hills, Vivian uncovers more unsettling discoveries about the town, her reclusive family, and herself.

Can Vivian let go of every truth she’s ever believed and discover who she really is, before the dark secrets hidden within the supernatural town threaten to consume her and those she loves?

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*MY BOOK REVIEW*

DISCLAIMER: The books/eBooks being reviewed were provided free of charge in return for an honest review.

When I first started reading The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader, I was unsure as to whether I would actually like this book. I found the characters hollow, parts of the story a bit too in your face (yeah, I get that the main character has lived in a heap of different countries already!) and there was a whole heap of telling rather than showing going on. But, after a while, the characters really started to grow on me and I was intrigued by the development.

I really loved the complicated mess that was Vivian and Rose’s relationship and I loved that it was never really resolved in this novel. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops in future books in this series. The aunts Vivian was sent to fascinated me and I could have read about them all day. Ditto for the townsfolk Vivian is introduced to. The author has a great flair for creating an eerie atmosphere and a creepy town.

At times this book just felt like a retelling of Practical Magic – the movie, not the book by Alice Hoffman. And there were even moments when I found myself thinking this novel would make an awesome hidden object game with all the creepiness going on and all the clues being laid out.

While I think this novel has potential, there were plenty of times where I just felt the author fell a little short, either in the way she told rather than showed the characters emotional journey or with all the cliches that were peppered throughout.

Overall, I am giving The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader 3 out of 5 stars. It will be interesting to see how this series develops.

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AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nadia Nader was born and raised in Kuwait.

You can find Nadia on her website: http://www.NadiaNader.com

In addition to writing, Nadia’s interests include traveling around the world.

AUTHOR LINKS

WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

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‘5 Minutes With…’ Author Interviews Will Start on My Blog Shortly

5 Minutes With... Author Interviews

Starting from Wednesday 22nd April, I will be hosting author interviews. Every second Wednesday will be dedicated to my 5 Minutes With…’ author interviews. This will be a great way to share some of my fave authors from all the genres I enjoy, not just the ones featured on this blog because, even though horror, dystopia, zombies and paranormal are my fave genres, there are still plenty of other genres I love to dabble in!

The very first author off the ranks will be the awesome Leia Madison. She writes will dropping in for a quick chat about her latest novel, Autum’s Lost.

Can’t wait to see you all there :-D

And, if you are an author and interested in being featured on this segment, then please check out all the details here.

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Vikings Season 3 Recap – Episode 8: To the Gates!

 

Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) prepares for battle in Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

To the Gates!

Boy, oh boy, am I glad this week’s episode picked up from last week’s. I think this one may even be my favourite for the season so far! Here’s what went down in Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel’s Vikings:

Most Epic Battle Scene So Far

It was about ten minutes in when I realised just how awesome this week’s episode really would be – and just how much it was all about the epic battle to claim Paris. This episode is hard to sum up in words because it was more about the visual enormity of it. Even with my love for Episode 8, there is actually not a lot to say about this episode other than the Vikings actually bit off more than they could chew in the form of Paris. While Athelstan (George Blagden) had given them some wonderful insights in how to scale the impenetrable and Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) had created a fantastic way to scale the high walls, this battle was always going to be a whole city against a small band of marauders.

Even so, the vikings fought to the bloody death trying to obtain victory.

The battle can be broken down like this (please excuse the order, the episode was crazy busy):

  • Holy crap! Look at those walls!
  • Let’s bash the doors down to create a distraction while Floki’s ships sneak in the back way and scale those walls.
  • *door bashing doesn’t work*
  • Let’s pull those doors out instead!
  • Crossbows are no match for bows and arrows, wooden shield walls or axes.
  • Blood, so much goddamned blood. Are there even any vikings left?
  • Floki realises he’s not cut out to lead a battle and goes a little more crazy than he already is.

Moral of the story: don't let Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) lead a raid. Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

  • Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) notices this and the viewers realise that Ragnar ALWAYS has a plan.
  • Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) finally steps up to the plate and does the right thing now he doesn’t have a lady friend to keep an eye on.
  • Rollo (Clive Standen) battles like a beserker, catching the eye of Princess Gisela (Morgane Polanski) in the process – is that a match made in annoying heaven or what?!
  • Whoops, Rollo looses his balance and falls over the high wall, plunging into the water below. Shit, is Rollo dead?!

Rollo (Clive Standen) falls down in Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

  • Speaking of fighting like a beserker, Ragnar takes over as crazy man, sticking his tongue out and throwing himself backwards off the wall. It is not pretty and it certainly isn’t nice to watch Ragnar Lothbrok bounce off every hard surface on the way down.
  • Shit, is Ragnar dead?!

Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) falls down in Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

  • Meanwhile, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and Kalf (Ben Robson) have pulled out the doors and are met with… nothing. Not a bloody person is in sight!
  • Forward they all march, not thinking it is a trap at all even though my 11 year old is shouting that very thing at the television.

It's a trap! Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

  • Yep, it’s a trap, but luckily Kalf works this out and knocks Lagertha unconscious, taking her out of the death zone just in the knick of time!
  • It’s about now that you realise just how hopeless this venture was.

Casualties of War

Besides the huge toll of vikings now drinking in Valhalla, there are few notable deaths. Rollo actually survives, as does Ragnar – even if he is spitting blood and appears to have a few broken ribs. It is Bjorn that comes as a shock to the viewer! It seems he scored two bolts to his back and at first we think he is dead. Ragnar drags him back to camp and it turns out the wounds are not life threatening.

Is Bjorn (Alexander Skarsgard) dead in Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

Ragnar is a Patient Man and Lagertha Gets a Sponge Bath

While most of this episode is bound by battle, there is a quiet moment or two. Firstly, we find Ragnar staggering into the forest to have a quick chat with Athelstan about game plan. It seems Ragnar does know Floki killed the priest and making Floki leader of the failed attack on Paris was very much in Ragnar’s plan of how to get back at him. While Ragnar claims to be a patient man, I am not at all impressed with just how many lives he is willing to sacrifice so that Floki can learn a lesson…

Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) chats to Athelstan in Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

Secondly, we find Lagertha and Kalf sponging each other off. Kalf is still trying to woo Lagertha but the bitter taste of her lost Earldom is still fresh in her mouth. While I am pretty sure Lagertha and Kalf will end up married, Lagertha is still claiming she will kill Kalf eventually. I don’t doubt her one little bit.

Remember Kattegat? Well, it seems Þórunn (Gaia Weiss) is done with it, abandoned her baby, Siggy, and blown that joint. Having Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) left holding the baby with the same name as the woman who lost her life saving Aslaug’s sons seems somehow poetic…

What did you think of Episode 8 of History Channel’s Vikings? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!

*ORIGINALLY POSTED ON Vikings News & Recaps*

(Photo Credits: History Channel, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.)

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BOOK REVIEW: The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner

The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner

THE LOST SWIMMER by ANN TURNER

The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publication date: Jun 1 2015
Genre: Fiction

BLURB

Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, traces the past for a living.

But suddenly, truth and certainty are turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair.

Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There’s too much at stake – her love, her work, her family.

But on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen goes swimming and doesn’t come back.

In a swirling daze of panic and fear, Rebecca is dealt with fresh allegations. And with time against her, she must uncover the dark secrets that stand between her and Stephen, and the deceit that has chased her halfway around the world.

A stunning debut about trust from a new Australian voice.

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AMAZON

*MY BOOK REVIEW*

DISCLAIMER: The books/eBooks being reviewed were provided free of charge in return for an honest review.

The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner starts with such dramatic descriptives that I was convinced I would end up disliking this book! But, once I settled into it and the author relaxed a little on these wild descriptions, I found myself falling in love with this book.

I originally picked up this novel to review because it had a main character who was an archaeologist and novels with that as an occupation are few and far between! However, I was disappointed to find that even though the story moves across the world and covers some areas of the character’s field, this novel is not really an archaeology novel. If you are expecting Time Team or Indiana Jones, than you can walk away now.

But I am certainly glad I picked up this novel. The characters are so rich they burst from the pages and the reader gets a real sense of living in their world and feeling all their pain. About the only character I couldn’t quite get into was Stephen, the main character’s husband. While he is a main part of the story, he just feels a little hollow to me. I think the author was too busy trying to develop an air of mystery and ‘did he, or didn’t he’ that she forgot to make him human.

Even though Stephen lost it for me a little, the characters are what makes this book. The way the author displays all their faults and all their normality to the reader is what made me devour this novel in only two sittings.

Overall, I am giving The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner 4 out of 5 stars.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Ann TurnerAnn Turner is an award-winning screenwriter and director, avid reader, and history lover. She is drawn to salt-sprayed coasts, luminous landscapes, and the people who inhabit them all over the world. She is a passionate gardener.

Her films include the historical feature Celia starring Rebecca Smart — which Time Out listed as one of the fifty greatest directorial debuts of all time, Hammers Over The Anvil starring Russell Crowe and Charlotte Rampling, and the psychological thriller Irresistible starring Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, and Emily Blunt. Ann has lectured in film at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Returning to her first love, the written word, in her debut novel The Lost Swimmer Ann explores themes of love, trust and the dark side of relationships. She is currently working on her second novel, Out of the Ice, a mystery thriller set in Antarctica.

Ann was born in Adelaide and lives in Victoria.

AUTHOR LINKS

WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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Vikings Season 3 Recap – Episode 7: Paris

Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) stars in Episode 7 (entitled Paris) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

PARIS

Here’s what went down in Episode 7 (entitled Paris) Season 3 of History Channel’s Vikings:

FLOKI SPIRALS EVER DOWNWARD

I have loved Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) for so long it feels like a stab to the heart what History Channel are doing to him this season. I truly thought I couldn’t be more conflicted than having one of my fave characters kill another of my fave characters last week, but it seems the misery bleeds through to this week as well. I am pretty sureRagnar (Travis Fimmel) knows who killed Athelstan (George Blagden). He would be a fool not too with all the religious zealotry spewing from Floki’s mouth this season. Still, I was left shaking my head when Ragnar turns over the attack on Paris to Floki. Ragnar is either very stupid or has a hidden agenda and I am not sure which one I am hoping for.

PRINCESS KWENTHRITH OF MERCIA IS NOT SO CRAZY

The more I watch Vikings, the more I fall in love with the tenacity of Princess Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey). This woman gets shit done! In this episode we find out the consequences of that small peeing incident – it seems she has, conveniently, born Ragnar a child. And she uses this child gallantly in her negotiations with Prince Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford). These scenes are among my favourites this week as we see the game of kings and queens played out perfectly.

KING ECBERT: THE KING WHO CAN’T LIE STRAIGHT, EVEN IN BED

For such a long time fans thought King Ecbert (Linus Roach) would be the one person in power who wouldn’t try to double-cross Ragnar. But, alas, that hasn’t come to fruition and Ecbert seems to be the most rotten apple in a barrel you couldn’t even sell at market. And he will go to no ends to prove his ruthlessness. After sending in his son to sort out the mess that is Mercia, he makes his move on his son’s wife, Judith (Jennie Jacques). Yes, that’s right, it seems he will do anything for Judith and her son to Athelstan, even at the expense of his own flesh and blooded son. Or is it just another charming game on his behalf?

PARIS

Emperor Charles of France played by Lothaire Bluteau stars in Episode 7 (entitled Paris) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

We knew Paris was the big shiny new thing for Ragnar to claim in Season 3, but now its shores are within sight. I must say, I was a little disappointed with how the city and its townsfolk were portrayed.King Charles of West Francia (Lothaire Bluteau) is less than the authority type having to bow to the whims and fancies of his daughter, Princess Gisela (Morgane Polanski) rather than Count Odo  (Owen Roe), a man who actually knows something about battle. It also seems like King Charles and Rollo (Clive Standen) have the same, my brother is better than me syndrome. To add insult to injury, the townsfolk of Paris are pretty flustered about the imminent invasion even though their fortifications are substantially grand. Honestly, I’m not even sure I care about Paris anymore…

Princess Gisla played by Morgane Polanski  stars in Episode 7 (entitled Paris) Season 3 of History Channel's Vikings

Þórunn is Not as Tough as She Thinks

Þórunn (Gaia Weiss) is a character I feel like I should love but, more and more, I find her character spineless. I have said it before, and I will say it again; what did she expect from battle? She gets one little battle scar and instead of wearing it like a badge of honour she sulks, pushing both her husband and her child away from her misery. Meanwhile, as a result of this, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) has turned to the arms of another’s wife, Torvi (Georgia Hirst).

It will be interesting to see how next week’s episode plays out and whether Floki really can lead the Vikings into victory over Paris.

What are your thoughts on Episode 7 of History Channel’s Vikings? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!

You can read my Episode 8 recap here.

*ORIGINALLY POSTED ON Vikings News & Recaps*

(Photo Credits: History Channel, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.)

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