Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT GIRL IN A GOLDEN CAGE by @lucyBranch11 #Alchemy #Italy

Today’s team review is from Judith W, she blogs here https://readandreview2016.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Judith has been reading Girl In A Golden Cage by Lucy Branch

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#RBRT: GIRL IN A GOLDEN CAGE by LUCY BRANCH @lucyBranch11 #BookReview #CrimeThriller

  • Title: Girl In A Golden Cage
  • Author: Lucy Branch
  • Published: 2016
  • Started: 19th December 2016
  • Finished: 31st December 2016

Girl In A Golden Cage is about Francesca Milliardo as she discovers she has an extraordinary and supernatural talent. She visits her rich father in Milan, and enjoys a life of glitz and glamour – a refreshing change from her home in the UK, but slowly begins to feel more unsettled.

From my understanding, Girl In A Golden Cage is the sequel to A Rarer Gift Than Gold, which I’m only just realising now. I haven’t read A Rarer Gift Than Gold, which, according to Amazon, is about Abigail Argent, a skilled craftswoman, who can enhance the beauty in metal sculptures. She discovers her craft is linked the art of alchemy, and uncovers a dangerous secret.

Although Abigail features in Girl In A Golden Cage, I don’t think I’ve missed out, despite not reading the first book. Francesca is a new character, and we explore the seemingly luxurious and wonderful Italian through her eyes – not Abigail’s – and watch her gradually uncover her father’s deception.

There are lots of Italian references (obviously) and a lot of artistic language and description. I didn’t really understand these parts – I’m not a very artistic or multi-cultural person, but I am confident Branch knows what she’s talking about. Amazon lists some of her achievements, such as studying at University College London, The Royal College of Art and Victoria Albert Museum and being a restorer of public sculptures and historic features.

My favourite aspect of this book were Francesca’s “out of body” experiences; they were supernatural, but not scary. While I don’t believe in “out of body” experiences in real life, I think it’s a fascinating subject to write fiction about, and made the storyline enjoyable.

While I liked the character of Lorin, I thought his motivations for involving himself Francesca were a little predictable. I didn’t feel that their connection was “real”, despite Francesca believing she was in a genuine and trusting relationship.

Also, I’m not sure what genre Girl In A Golden Cage is meant to be – it’s very difficult to pin down. There’s suspense, but it’s not wholly a mystery novel. There are some violent moments, and criminal activity does crop up, but I don’t feel like there’s enough to classify it as a crime novel. If anyone has any suggestions as to a genre which best fits this book, I’d be glad to hear them.

For me, the main let-down of Girl In A Golden Cage was a little too much unnecessary dialogue and the subsequent description of speech acts (e.g. he said/she said). I’m a strong believer in not overusing dialogue (or obvious narration) to convey basic information. For example (this is not lifted from the book, but an exaggerated example), I prefer to interpret a speaker’s body language, for instance, based on the way they speak and the character traits that have already been assigned to them, rather than a descriptive line of dialogue such as: “I am very annoyed” said the man, in a frustrated tone of voice, folding his arms and scowling.

On the whole, despite not reading A Rarer Gift Than Gold, I managed to enjoy Girl In A Golden Cage and thought it was a good book, although I can’t put into words exactly why that is!

Star Rating: 4/5 Stars

A Rarer Gift Than Gold is available to buy as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

Girl In A Golden Cage is available to buy as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

Book Description

She has an eye for detail but can she see the truth? Making decisions is not one of Francesca Miliardo’s strengths so when something mysterious starts unfolding in her father’s mansion in Milan – it’s no surprise that she’s unsure what to do. Francesca dreams of becoming a star in the contemporary art world and she has all the right connections, though what should be a summer of fun is turning out to be anything but.

Crippling migraines have always been a burden, now strange happenings are making her question whether they really are a curse. It’s not the best time to fall for someone, but who could resist a man with wolf’s eyes? Knowing who to trust is vital when those closest to you are suddenly not all they seem. It’s the time in Francesca’s life to make some hard choices: follow her own path or step into somebody else’s story.

About the author

Lucy Branch

Lucy Branch’s fiction has been featured on Radio 4, Timeout London and The BBC World Service. She is an expert in the conservation of public sculpture and has worked on some of the UK’s highest profile projects including Nelson’s Column, Eros and Cleopatra’s Needle. She studied at University College London, The Royal College of Art and Victoria Albert Museum. Her knowledge and passion for the art world is poured into her fiction which she weaves together with myth, conspiracy theory and fantasy.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

 

 

GIRL IN A GOLDEN CAGE by @lucyBranch11 #UrbanFantasy #Alchemy #Milan #WeekendBlogShare

Girl In A Golden Cage (Gold Gift Series)Girl In A Golden Cage by Lucy Branch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Girl In A Golden Cage is book #2 in the Gold Gift urban fantasy series, but is easily a stand alone book. I didn’t realise there was a book #1 until I had finished.

The setting is Milan, Italy. Francesca is visiting her father for the summer holidays. The book opens with one of her serious migraine headaches which leave her in a terrible state, she barely survives the flight from London.

Francesca’s father is very rich and life in Milan is luxurious. Here she can indulge in her love for caricature art, ans she has plans to tell her father that she has dropped out of her medical course at university and wants to study art.

There are secrets in the house and Francesca sees ghostly lights of a supernatural being. The projection is from Abigail Argent a girl being held captive. She begs for help.

Discovering an age old society which believes alchemy is possible, Francesca puts her own life at risk. Who can she trust? A jealous half brother, a young flamboyant artist or her father’s dark sultry assistant?

I enjoyed this book, with the richness of the surroundings, there is a sprinkle of light romance and the supernatural is more linked with a historical theme rather than a pure fantasy one. I believe the storyline will continue in the next book.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

She has an eye for detail but can she see the truth? Making decisions is not one of Francesca Miliardo’s strengths so when something mysterious starts unfolding in her father’s mansion in Milan – it’s no surprise that she’s unsure what to do. Francesca dreams of becoming a star in the contemporary art world and she has all the right connections, though what should be a summer of fun is turning out to be anything but.

Crippling migraines have always been a burden, now strange happenings are making her question whether they really are a curse. It’s not the best time to fall for someone, but who could resist a man with wolf’s eyes? Knowing who to trust is vital when those closest to you are suddenly not all they seem. It’s the time in Francesca’s life to make some hard choices: follow her own path or step into somebody else’s story.

 

About the author

Lucy Branch

Lucy Branch’s fiction has been featured on Radio 4, Timeout London and The BBC World Service. She is an expert in the conservation of public sculpture and has worked on some of the UK’s highest profile projects including Nelson’s Column, Eros and Cleopatra’s Needle. She studied at University College London, The Royal College of Art and Victoria Albert Museum. Her knowledge and passion for the art world is poured into her fiction which she weaves together with myth, conspiracy theory and fantasy.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookRview Team #RBRT WHAT HAUNTS ME by @MMillmore #Thriller #Supernatural

Today’s team review is from Babus, she blogs at http://ajoobacatsblog.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Babus has been reading What Haunts Me by Margaret Millmore

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My review of What Haunts Me by Margaret Millmore.

This first of a series, paranormal thriller introduces us to a world where ghosts haunt the living by plaguing them and a breed of people, known as ghost killers, have the special ability to see and kill such ghosts.

George Sinclair is an average man with a job and a mortgage, but after a bout of flu he starts seeing ghosts and discovers he can banish them. George takes a tour of the supernatural to find out more about ghosts and his ability and soon learns he’s not alone but he is unique in the strength of his abilities.

I really enjoyed this ghost story, which grounded the supernatural in the everyday as it introduced us to George, Justine, Billy and a host of characters that made this an engaging read for me.

The thriller comes to a climax as our protagonists face the evil Dr Vokkel, who is responsible for a host of dark deeds over the years affecting both George and Billys family history. I liked this aspect of the thriller too as the background story of the characters added another edge and grounded the paranormal element further.

This type of paranormal/horror read is something I look for frequently but don’t often find, it’s scary and stretches your imagination without drastically changing the world as we know it. I look forward to the next one.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Eli’s Coming by @DarciaHelle #Supernatural #Fantasy #Bookreview

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry chose to read and review Eli’s Coming by Darcia Helle

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Eli’s Coming by Darcia Helle

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on behalf of Rosie Amber’s review team

I chose to read this book from the review team list because I had read another of Darcia Helle’s books, underworld crime thriller Killing Instinct, and loved it. Eli’s Coming, however, comes under the genre headings of supernatural/dark fantasy; I’d mistakenly thought it was a psychological thriller with a supernatural slant, but the fantasy side of it is the main element of the story. My error!

Amanda becomes involved with the mysterious Eli who has secrets and demons, which are revealed to the reader gradually; I liked the way Ms Helle did this, highly effective, allowing just enough information to seep out at a time to maintain interest. It worked! I thought the characterisation of the tormented, isolated Eli was most convincing. There is a more real life element to the beginning of the story, too, with Amanda’s frustration about her domestic situation, and her relationship with her parents. Her mother has Alzheimer’s; this was represented with care and realism.

A hint: at 99%, ie, after the end of the book, there is an information section about the Native American people who were the inspiration for this story. I’d advise you skip to the end and read this as soon as they are mentioned, as it will make the story mean more.

Ms Helle is a competent writer and I would imagine that this book will fulfil all the requirements of dark fantasy addicts. Alas, I am not one, so I did not enjoy the book as much as I had hoped, but this is not a reflection on the standard of the writing. I enjoyed the first 20% very much, when it was more about Amanda and her father and friend, but the two elements did not mesh well together, for me. Having enjoyed Killing Instinct so much I would definitely read another of her books, but will stick to her crime novels from now on.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Letter Y on The A to Z April Challenge 2014

Today is letter Y on the April A to Z blog Tour. My book today comes from Tony Carnival and is the first book in his Over Odyssey Series called Yellow. Genre – Fantasy Fiction

Carnival Front CVR Final

As if being a teenager wasn’t tough enough, Exodus Magaba (Ex) must come to terms with the loss of his beloved older sister, the sudden disappearance of his father, and a move to another town in another state.  On the night of his thirteenth birthday, Ex has an unexpected meeting with a mysterious man.  This encounter reveals Ex’s supernatural destiny as an “Era Key,” the only one of his generation, who can move freely and mysteriously through time. Now, with help from his mother’s chronodelias—mystical flowers that let you watch memories as though watching tv—and his new group of zany but street-tough friends, Ex must piece together the truth of the mysterious man, the forgotten magical world of Odyssia wherein lie his roots, and the connection with a new and lavish videogame…and his future.

Amazon Links
Barnes& Noble Links
Smashwords 
People - Tony Sucking His Thumb
Tony Carnival is that rare author who comes along once in a generation.  Born with a penchant for storytelling and an uncanny ability to weave innovative ideas into cogent prose, he has developed from the nine-year-old short-story writer to the current epic fiction talent.  Over Odyssey: Yellow is the first novel in a sextet of epic fantasy, which has already been heralded as “lavish and captivating,” and as “an amazing roller coaster ride of excitement and thrills.”  A New Jersey native, he now lives in New York with his beloved family and is busy writing the second book in the sextet, Over Odyssey: Blue – a sequel that is already greatly anticipated by his fans.
Other Links
Twitter Handle: @Over_Odyssey

Here are some randomly selected links to other bloggers who are taking up the challenge, please find time to visit them too.

http://www.clairegillian.com/

http://welshbloggers.wordpress.com/

http://indiewritersmonthly.blogspot.co.uk/

http://elsieelmore.com/

During the challenge we are asking people to leave comments on as many blogs as possible, all supportive comments are very much appreciated, thank you.

AtoZ Banner [2014]