Friday, May 29, 2020

Monthly Wrap-Up — May 2020



1. High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning — 4/5
2. Fourth a Lie by Pepper Winters — 4.5/5(My Review)
3. Mansa Musa: Emperor of The Wealthy Mali Empire by History Titans — 3/5(My Review)

4. The Bishop by Skye Warren — 3/5
5. Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece by Paul Cartledge — 4/5★ (Review to come)
6. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Re-read) — 5/5

7. The New Achilles by Christian Cameron — 3/5(My Review)
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How many books did you read in May and what was your favorite out of them?


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Review: The New Achilles by Christian Cameron

Title: The New Achilles
Author: Christian Cameron
Series: Commander #1
Publication: April 18th 2019 by Orion
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo
Rating: 3/5

Meet the greatest Greek general you've never heard of: Philopoemen. In his day, a leader as skilled and as dangerous as Hannibal: a ferocious fighter, a superb general, and credited as the inventor of modern 'special operations'. More importantly, he was a brilliant political leader.

He commanded Greek forces at the turn of the third century BC, when mighty Rome, fresh from the destruction of Carthage, and Imperial Macedon, the greatest power of the day, chose Greece as their battlefield. In a world of rival empires, slave-taking cartels, piracy, terrorism and failed states, will Philopoemen be able to hold anything together?

Why are books rated with three stars so hard to review? I didn't dislike this book but I also can't say that I enjoyed it enough to end up as a favorite of mine, you know? There were both good and not-so-good qualities this story had and in this case I'm not entirely sure if the good or not-so-good wins out.

To start, it was a bit of a hard book to get into, initially. I did, however, made a lot of progress easily so it wasn't something I had a tough time to get over. Only a chapter or two, I think. My favorite thing in the book by far were the battle scenes. I always tend to love battles scenes in historical fiction books that are set in the ancient world so I wasn't surprised by this at all. 

My least favorite thing were the characters. I just felt like I couldn't connect to them very well and there were a lot of them so it could be a little hard to remember who was who. The story featured a lesser known Greek general, Philopoemen. But it was all told in the point of view of Alexanor, a marine who joined the priesthood to become a healer instead of a killer.

Even though I couldn't connect to the various characters, I did like most of them well enough to continue reading about them. Especially main characters like Alexanor, Philopoemen and Phila for example. A favorite of mine it won't be but I am interested in reading the next book to see what will happen in that one. 

About the author:
Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa, and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.

After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto (that’s Ontario, in Canada) with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice, currently age seven. He attends the University of Toronto when the gods move him and may eventually have a Masters in Classics, but right now he’s a full time historical novelist, and it is the best job in the world.

Christian is a dedicated reenactor and you can follow some of his recreated projects on the Agora. He’s always recruiting, so if you’d like to try the ancient world, the medieval world, or the late 18th century, follow the link to contact us.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monday, May 25, 2020

Review: Mansa Musa: Emperor of The Wealthy Mali Empire by History Titans

Title: Mansa Musa: Emperor of The Wealthy Mali Empire
Author: History Titans
Publication: March 15th 2020
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Rating: 3/5

If you're familiar with Mansa Musa you might expect the headline to read, 'Mansa Musa - the wealthiest person that ever lived.' But in reality, he was more than just a rich person. Every source or article would either emphasize the subject of Mansa Musa and his wealth, or his famous pilgrimage to Mecca. Even though his Hajj expedition was fascinating due to the numerous events that occurred during the journey, there are many more interesting stories about his life.
This book is about how he took over the throne, how his rule influenced the economy of the Mali Empire, and how his empire accumulated more wealth after his return. The book also covers the grandeur of cities like Timbuktu and Djenne that were converted into cultural and educational centers.
Mansa Musa was a generous king who contributed a lot of his wealth and efforts towards the development of the Empire of Mali. He brought a lot of people with him to build universities, schools, and mosques to spread educational values and make Timbuktu a learning center. He also played an important part in spreading the religion of Islam. If you're intrigued about his life tales and his impact on West Africa and the world, this book is the right source for you.

It's kind of hard to write a proper review of this book that will be useful to other readers because I didn't completely love it but altogether it wasn't a bad book either. So you see, I'm a little torn up about it all. Was it an okay read? Yes. Would I re-read it? No. Would I recommend it? Not really, unless you're already fascinating by this kind of history.

This book is about Musa I a.k.a. Mansa Musa, who was th tenth ruler of the Mali Empire. To be honest I thought I'd be more interested in the subject and everything but I've got to admit it couldn't entirely hook me. But at the same time this doesn't mean that there weren't intriguing things that I learned from the book. I will list those below. 

So again I'm going back and forth with it all. So let's just say that it was an okay read with some interesting facts about the history of the Mali Empire and leave it at that. I also want to say that although I didn't entirely love this book that doesn't mean others won't enjoy it more. West African history is a fascinating subject for sure, but it isn't something I'm drawn to naturally. Others might be, though. 

Some interesting facts I learned from the book:


  • It's believe that Mansa Musa's total worth was around $400 billion, which is a lot more than any billionaire in today's world.


  • He is known for his praiseworthy devotion to Islam and how he inspired trade, economic growth, and culture in Timbuktu.


  • The main religion of the Malian people was Islam, but everyone has the choice to follow the religion and belief system that they preferred.


  • The Mali Empire started to regress in the 1400s and was completely ruined around 1600 CE




Thursday, May 21, 2020

Review + Release Promotion: Fourth a Lie by Pepper Winters + Givaway!

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  “There was a truth once. Truth we shared in the dark and scribed scars upon our hearts. There was a lie once. A lie that shattered our hard-earned truth apart.” Eleanor Grace did the unbelievable. She fell for a man who trades in women, dabbles in myth, and has the morals of a cold-hearted beast. However, love isn’t enough where past sins are concerned and only pain can follow. Sully Sinclair did the impossible. He gave his trust to a goddess who has the ultimate power to break him. Unfortunately, paradise is just an illusion, his islands aren’t impenetrable, and now he has to pay the price. A fledgling connection. A war they can’t stop. A future that doesn’t bow to fate.

In this fourth book, Sully's despicable brother Drake finally made his way to the island intending to take everything from Sully, the island, the elixir, the goddesses and even Eleanor. From how the previous book went I had pretty much anticipated that something like this would happen but I wasn't prepared for the unslaught of it all, to be honest. There was a lot of fighting, people getting hurt and the ending makes me both crave and dread the next and final book. And yet I loved it all. 

Sully and Eleanor... what can I say about these two characters that I haven't said before. They just have my heart. They both are exactly what the other one needs but of course it isn't that easy. It never is in a book by Pepper Winters. I've also come to really care for some of the secondary characters. Jealousy, who is one of Sully's goddesses but also his friend, especially is one I adore. I've even come to like Cal, who before I wasn't a fan of. It's just another talent of this author, making me care for more than just the two main characters that the story is about.

So after the ending of book three I knew this would be a very intense book and I was completely right. Everything happening in this book was much like Sully himself; merciless and unyielding. That's what made it such an incredible and thrilling read. It's no wonder that I finished this book in only two days. I really couldn't stop reading, it was such a good one!

Fourth a Lie was way more unpredictable, more dangerous, even more sensuall and erotic than I originally thought it would be. I mean, I knew it would be another great addition to the series because I've enjoyed all the previous books but this latest installment definitely kicked things up a notch and I was soooo there for it all! 


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Calling all audiobook lovers!

Listen to books 1-3 today!
Once A Myth:
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Twice A Wish:

Audio Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Twice-Wish-Goddess-Book-2/dp/B085FSP4J6
Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Twice-a-Wish-Audiobook/B085FY5HN3
Apple Books Audio: https://apple.co/39wOtjG

Third A Kiss:
Audio Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Third-Kiss-Goddess-Isles-Book/dp/B086WQ8V4B Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Third-a-Kiss-Audiobook/B086WRMLZH
Apple Books Audio: https://books.apple.com/us/audiobook/third-a-kiss-goddess-isles-book-3-unabridged/id1507293061?mt=11

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Read the first chapter here!

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  I WAS A SCIENTIST—not because I’d been born into the lineage—but because I had an obsessive need to chase the impossible. I didn’t accept that a human body was at its full capacity in its current pathetic state. I believed we were a battery—a machine working at thirty percent—and all we needed was a compound or chemical…something to trigger a new state of being. A stronger state, an invincible state. Medical advances had gotten me closer to that goal. Trials and failures had inched me closer to achieving what no one else had before. But it was fury that shattered the threshold of evolution. 

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Pepper Winters is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller. With a catalogue of over twenty titles, she’s hit the bestselling lists over thirty times.  She loves romance, star-crossed lovers, and the forbidden taboo. She strives to write a story that makes the reader crave what they shouldn’t, and delivers tales with complex plots and unforgettable characters. After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s an #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. She’s also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestseller. After releasing two books with Grand Central, Hachette (Ruin & Rule and Sin & Suffer) Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work. Represented by Trident Media, her books have garnered foreign interest and are currently being translated into numerous languages, including already released titles in Italian, French, Hebrew, German, and Turkish. Audio Books for her entire back-list will be available soon

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