The Eternal Banquet – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, we’re up to the last book in the series and I can’t believe I’m finally done with the series!

Those little things that frustrated me in the last book were all corrected in this book while Ashley, Alexander and Plexis found their way through the rest of their lives.

The focus of this book is on their travels home from the land of the Eaters of the Dead. There were several revelations that, for the first time in this series, made me think about something philosophical. Normally I’ve found this series to be a great relaxation read rather than a reflective and learning kind of book.

The moment that hit me was when they were leaving Carthage for Rome. If you read the book, you’ll know what I mean with that moment. I was left wondering if maybe she was always meant to travel back in time to ensure that history played out exactly as it was meant to. Maybe every time traveller that got stuck back in time had a vital role to play in the history of the world and the Institute of Time let them make changes while also keeping up the reputation of wiping them from the Earth to discourage too much control.

As much as I loved the story, the style of the writing felt a touch off at a few points. Even the last couple of chapters felt a little bit rushed. Yet I can’t see how the ending would have been satisfying any other way.

Given the difference in the whole story compared to history, I can see why we needed the wrap up of what happened to Ashley’s children and where she ended up. I’m not sure if the main reason I didn’t like this was because I didn’t want the story to end, or because there really was something missing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week that last instalment of The Circle Opens quartet will be reviewed. After that, I’ll be starting a new set of series to replace this one.

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Soul of Time – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, today’s review is the second last book in the series. We’ve moved on from the filler book and it’s now full of action and everything I love about this series!

We pick up the start of this book right where we ended the last book, Chants to Persephone with everyone heading into the Eaters of the Dead territory. One of the best things about this book is that it’s full of suspense, action and surprises.

The prophecies Alexander and Ashely heard in the previous book start to make sense, bit by bit.

I found myself held in suspense for the majority of the book wondering what would happen. So many questions were raised and answered one at a time in this book. Yet, if I tell you any of them, I’ll probably ruin the story for you.

Although I loved the story and the action and how it all played out. There were a few small details that were a little bit off to me. One of them was how many pregnancies Ashely had had. In the first 4 books she’d been pregnant 5 times (possibly a 6th, not 100% sure without going back through them) yet in this book they said 4 times.

It might have been a mistake. They do happen. But it did throw me for a minute, and I had to go back through my memory and count all her pregnancies.

The other thing that started to bother me in this book was Ashely getting prophetic dreams. She hasn’t had them in any of the previous books (except maybe a brief introduction to them in the previous book) and I don’t feel like this is something that someone would develop all of a sudden.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be picking the Tamora Pierce series again. So stay tuned!

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A Shape on the Air – Julia Ibbotson

Welcome back everyone, after so many romances I’m ticking off my first sci-fi/time travel kinda book for the year.

When I signed up for this tour, I was very much on the fence about whether I’d love it or not. Now I’ve finished it, I can assure you that I managed to fall onto one side very easily. Even with a few things that I didn’t like, I still found myself really enjoying this novel.

I liked that Julia created a reason for the time-slipping and created her own rhyme, reason and method. It made this element uniquely hers. The fact that Viv was able to speak to others about what was happening and get their help and support through the confusing time was amazing.

Also, the slow build towards a relationship (remember, this is not a romance!) for Viv was really well done. It didn’t feel forced or weird like they sometimes can. If you’re not a fan of romance, then you don’t need to worry with this one. There’s only a couple of small sections that talk about the romance aspect that you can easily skip over as it doesn’t really impact the story.

There were a couple of things I wasn’t a fan of. Given how descriptive Julia’s writing is, I felt the naming of the friends in both times the same was a bit overkill. Julia could have named them differently in each time and let their personalities and loyalties do the talking. I actually found myself rolling my eyes and thinking “duh” when it was revealed because it was just too much.

Also, Pete’s actions in the early part of the book just felt odd to me. I’m luck enough to have never experienced domestic violence so I don’t know if my perception is off. But it felt like there would have been signs to point towards him acting the way he did. Even if that was a first and only time, it felt more like he’d been possessed, or someone had replaced his personality or something. Although that’s all based on limited knowledge and how it was written.

In the grand scheme of the book, those little annoyances were nothing. They had no real impact on the story. Only on my experience reading it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Wednesday (I told you this was going to be a review heavy period, didn’t I?) I’ll be reviewing When Adam Met Evie by Giulia Skye. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Acclaimed, award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then an academic as a senior university lecturer and researcher. As well as medieval time-slip, she has published a number of books, including memoir/history of food (The Old Rectory), children’s medieval fantasy (S.C.A.R.S), a trilogy opening in 1960s Ghana (Drumbeats), and many academic works. Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Check out Julia on her socials and Pinterest.

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of The Old Rectory, bookmark, postcard, key ring and handbag fob (UK only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK  entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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A Crown In Time – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, it’s officially time to start the crazy few months of Rach Random Resources tours! Today’s is one from Jennifer Macaire, a little over a yr after I first read one of her books.

Although this is set in the same universe as the Time for Alexander series you don’t have to have read them to understand what’s going on. Jennifer has skill at writing a story and repeating information that those who have read the books will know, but new readers wont, in a way that doesn’t feel repetitive.

This is great as it ensures all readers know what going on without boring regular readers. There were even some differences in the reason and way Isobel was sent back in time. This was emphasised at the beginning of each chapter as a nugget of information from her Correctors Handbook was quoted before moving on.

I need to add that I want to talk about a spoiler coz it was part of what made this story so good for me!

The fact that Isobel couldn’t save his life had me thinking that that was going to be the end of things for her. Yet the fact that she was pregnant and able to continue his line after all meant that the key thing that he needed to do, have kids, was achieved.

But it left me wondering what the Institute saw in the history books when they compared the results. Like, did they see that he still died but his line continued? Did the books even record that?

I wanted to know more!

Ok, that’s the spoilers done.

As a stand-alone book using the same universe as the Time for Alexander series, I love the way this story was so different, and had so much emotion and backstory involved in such a short space.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Wednesday I’ll be doing my first Wrap Up post for the yr and on Friday I’ll be reviewing Lillian and the Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath (book 4 in the same series as Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquees by Jenni Fletcher). Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in France. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Website

Blog

Giveaway – Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Chants to Persephone – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, I’m finally back into my series reviews so I hope you’ll forgive me for kicking it back off with The Time for Alexander series. I couldn’t help but come back to it!

Last year I read the first four books in the series and I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy the rest of the series coz I loved them!

After the ending of the last books I was desperate to see what Ashley would do next. Since I hadn’t read any of the blurbs for the remaining three books, I had no idea who was alive, who was dead and where the stories were set. Given how much travelling Ashley and Alexander did in the first four books I assumed that there’d be more travelling.

The overall feel of this book was that we needed context and background on the latest adventure to understand the future books. I know series need these, but it also makes me feel a little dejected when I do read them.

As we’ve seen in previous books the oracles prophecies tend to guide the actions of those in the past, but they are just plain weird! I honestly don’t know how people back then managed to decipher anything to be able to go about their lives. Yet they somehow manage to do it and find their way through horrible times.

The final thing that felt different to me was that we had a clear direction for the next book. The other books had a general direction, but nothing set in stone. This time we were left knowing exactly what we were working towards, who was going to be involved and a general idea of what the outcome is going to be.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I restart the Tamora Pierce reviews and in two weeks I’ll be reviewing Legend of Love by Lisa Kessler.

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A Different Time – Michael K. Hill

Welcome back everyone, we’re stuck into another massive tour with The Write Reads Ultimate Book Tours. There’s a hint of sci-fi in this one compared to most of the books I read, although I’d love to read more sci-fi in the future coz I know I love that genre in my TV shows and movies.

The first thing I’m going to say is that reading this felt like reading a cross between The Lake House and The Notebook. Both are great romantic stories with tragically sad endings. If you do choose to read this one, I should warn you to have a box of tissues ready because you’ll need them.

The two main characters are set 30 years apart (hence the hint of sci-fi) yet manage to fall in love with each other. Lindsey’s story spans a good 30 years, while Keith’s (after you finish the prologue) spans all of like one month. The prologue is important, and I’m not sure if I was super quick or super slow but I totally keyed in on one tiny little detail and my mind was like “OMG! That’s an anagram of **** and ***! That’s so cool! OOOOOO!!! That means *******!”

I bleeped those out because I doubt you want spoilers for this kind of story. You really do need to read it yourself to realise the genius of it. I literally stayed up 3 hours past my bedtime and 2 hours past my sleep time to read this book in one night. Let’s just say my work colleagues were NOT impressed with my body’s response to the lack of sleep!

On a different note, the day after I finished reading it (same day I’m writing this) I was chatting to Dave from The Write Reads about the story where I mentioned I wasn’t happy with the ending. I really feel like this story deserves a sequel to finish it off. Purely because I have so many questions that I can’t even share with you!

Michael, if you’d like some fan ideas for a sequel let me know! My creativity damn seems to have been well and truly burst open in the last few months so I have a few ideas I think could really work to close off this story without it being overkill.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this really vague review, next week I will be reviewing The Perils of Autumn by Rusty Blackwood brought to me by author request. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Make sure you check out what everyone else thinks too!

Author Bio

Beginning as a sketch comedy writer for American television, Michael K. Hill progressed to become an internationally published writer of fiction and non-fiction. His short story anthology, Anansi and Beyond, published in 2017, and his debut novel, A Different Time, is available now. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, kids, and 7 rescued animals.

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The Road to Alexander – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, this review is an extra sneaky special one for a couple of reasons. The first is that I lost track of how many Blog Tours I signed up for because there were so many books that sounded interesting on offer!

And secondly, I love ancient civilisations and I’m fascinated by how others see them and then convey them to others in their books.

Story overview

With this one we start of in the future, roughly 2300 (I
don’t remember exactly), where time travel is possible to the point where they
send one person once a year to go back in time to interview someone famous.
Only problem with this is that you can’t do anything to change history in any
way otherwise your time there will be erased.

So our main character Ashley is sitting in the chair
preparing to travel back to interview Alexander the Great before he went and
conquered all the way to India. As she’s sitting there waiting for the storm
and for the time travel to occur, we learn a little bit about her life up until
then. And boy does it not sound pretty!

After a not so successful interview of Alexander the Great,
Ashley walks back to where she came in ready to be taken back to her own time.
Only problem is, Alexander decided he liked her and wouldn’t let her go and
inadvertently stopped her from returning to her own time. And this is where it
starts to get really interesting!

Up until this point it’s been kinda standard kind of time
travel going back in history kind of themes. But now we’re solidly back in
Alexander’s time with no possibility of getting back to the future, but every
possibility of being erased from history forever. From this point I really felt
for Ashley. It’s one thing to keep a secret for 20 hours, quite another to do
it for a lifetime. Especially when she doesn’t know the customs or languages.


My thoughts

As we progress through the book, we start to learn why
Alexander was so determined to travel east and conquer everyone in his path.
But remember this is a work of fiction, not fact! I found it easy to get
wrapped up in the story and found myself wishing I could travel back in time to
see the world as it was then. But the sad reality is if that technology does
get invented, it won’t be in my lifetime.

There were quite a few points in the book where Ashley’s relationship with Alexander made me wish she could tell him everything. To see how he’d react to that kind of news. I can’t even begin to image how hard it would have been keeping your entire history before you met someone a secret would be. I’m pretty sure my partner knows pretty much everything about me, including how much credit card debt I stupidly wrack up!

As I creeped towards the end of the book, I began to wonder how we could possibly get back to the point in time where the prologue was set. And I got my answer when I finished the book and it said, “End of Book 1”. So bad news was, I didn’t get all the answers I wanted. Especially to the driving force of the story. But the GOOD news is that there will be a second book! Yay! Hopefully I get to participate in that tour too!


Thank you for taking the time to read another review today
and I hope you enjoyed it, on Monday I will be reviewing Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow.

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.

She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

               

Check out the other reviews on this Blog Tour

Giveaway to Win a $10 Amazon gift certificate (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Things We Learn When We’re Dead

Welcome back everyone! I was incentivized to grab a copy of this book thanks to Bookmark That who posted on Twitter saying how good this book was and that at the time it was free to download on Kindle. Me being cheap decided “hey why not? sounds interesting and it’s free!” So I grabbed a copy and looked forward to reading it.

So this one was a little confusing to follow as it jumped between various stages of Lorna’s life. We begin at the end of her life on the night that she dies, and then jump to what feels like her teenage years before jumping to the “present”. I got the sense that the whole point of this was for Lorna to choose life, to choose to be the person she always wanted to be but lost in the journey that is becoming an adult. That journey from “I want to save the world” to “I need to just pay the bills”.

I really liked that we learnt about Lorna’s past by her reliving her memories and then being with her while she reevaluated those memories with the perspective of hindsight. We could see what she was feeling at the time, but then also how those experiences impacted her further down the line in her life. This is something I believe many of us struggle with, myself included. And I believe learning the ability to view events that have happened with perspective and hindsight are important for us to be able to move forwards and progress. This can be as simple as realising we spoke in anger and apologising to a loved one, all the way through to putting your foot in your mouth during an important work meeting and needing to go back and fix this with multiple people before it has a negative impact on your career.

During this reflection time we are struggling with the belief that Lorna is dead an in Heaven. With God and his 2IC personally helping Lorna through this transition she’s able to work out what really happened to cause her death. Reading about some of the things Lorna experienced and at such a young age, you gotta feel for her. She had her brother die at a young age and an alcoholic father as a result to deal with while growing up.

On a regular day each of those are traumatic enough, let alone the other emotionally challenging circumstances that occurred throughout her young life. Learning about each of these and how she responded really gave me clarity into who she was and therefore how each of these events impacted her as a person.

By the end of the book I really felt for Lorna, and everything that she had gone through. I really liked how this story was told. Even though it was a bit confusing at times. After reading this book I really hope that there is a sequel to answer all my unanswered questions. If there is a sequel I really hope I find out about it and get to read it!

Next week I will review “Secrets of Agent 13” by Chidi Duru. As always, if you liked this post please like, comment and share!

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