on Mar 13, 2017
It's London 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital.
Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain.

When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper's dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity's worst nightmare.

Genre: Young Adult Historical Mystery

5 out of 5 Stars


I am so excited to share this phenomenal book with you all today! 

I first noticed this book on display at the library a few months back, at the time I was reading several other books and wasn't ready for a new one just yet, so I set the book back down and went on my way. Cut to about a week ago when I suddenly remembered this book and became anxious waiting for someone to return it to the library. I checked it out as soon as it returned and read it over the span of two days. Seriously...it's that flippin' good. 

A Taste for Monsters is an exciting and thoughtful read. I am actually sorry I didn't read it sooner, which I guess is silly since I've read it now, but hopefully my fellow bookworms will understand. ;)

This book came at a perfect time for me, as I recently started watching Ripper Street, an exciting detective show set in—you guessed it—the time of Jack the Ripper, so I was already a bit more familiar with the main topics of this book: Ripper, the Elephant Man and matchstick girls.

The characters are so vivid and engaging. I loved Evelyn right from the start, she's strong and determined. It may seem odd but I really liked having a girls perspective of this time period in London. Most books and T.V. shows are from a male perspective and while they hint on the danger and peril that girls faced at that time, it was much more meaningful to have a female MC experiencing it. Joseph is also interesting, I must admit to not knowing very much about the Elephant Man but I love what the author has done with him, his gentle manner, innocent mind and hopeful spirit make a spectacular character. Together these two are a force to be reckoned with and a delight to read. The ending had me crying but in the good way, when you love characters so much that you're sad to leave them.

I can't say enough good things about this book and I'm already looking forward to re-reading it! 
on Feb 11, 2017
All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They've enraptured her mind and spirit and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family's inn, Liesl can't help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious ma who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

3 out of 5 Stars


Just in case I haven't yet mentioned it on this site, I am a huge fan of Labyrinth. David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King is perfection! So as soon as I heard about this novel I knew I absolutely had to read it.

I can't stress enough how very different this book is from the Jim Henson movie. It takes the initial concept: a girl on the cusp of adulthood, whose sibling is stolen by a fascinating, enigmatic figure from the Underground. From there, however, we find ourselves in a much darker, more adult story.

This is one of those books that started off good, I was quite liking it. However, it goes down hill fast and even though I appreciate what I think the author was trying to do, the final product left much to be desired. That being said, every reference to Labyrinth had me fangirling like mad.

Our main character Elisabeth is set up as a typical fairy tale heroine, the hard working, plain, dutiful sibling to a beaufitul sister and an accompolished brother.

I think this novel will resonant more with musicians, I don't play an inststrument, therefore the many (seemingly endless) scenes of Liesl playing her instrument, of her talking about music and thinking about music were... boring to me. I understand that part of her connection with the Goblin King is through music but personally I don't think it helped their lack of chemistry at all.

The love scenes (and I'll add here that I'm still unsure how I feel about love scenes in YA books) in this story are awkward and painfully cringe-worthy, think Bella and Edward. Personally I don't think Liesl and the Goblin King have any chemistry so the drawn out love scenes were uncomfortable and unnecessary. Also can we just stop with the teen books where the girl wakes up with bruises, can we stop, please?

There was a strange religious aspect to the novel, the author and MC seemed quite unconcerned and unimpressed with religion, yet a significant amount of the novel is spent engaging with the Goblin Kings as he goes through "rituals" typical of the Christian faith. So the king of the underground prays... I don't really know where to go with that. And neither does this book.
on Feb 4, 2017
Rune Germain, whose voice has been compared to that of an angel, has a mysterious affliction linked to her talent that leaves her sick and drained after each performance. Convinced that creative direction will cure her, Rune's mother ships her off to a French boarding school for the arts at a renovated opera house, rumored to have ties to the Phantom of the Opera

Shortly after arriving at the RoseBlood conservatory, Rune starts to believe something otherworldly is indeed afoot. The masked boy she's seen frequenting the graveyard beside the opera house doesn't have any classes at the school, and vanishes almost as quickly as he appears. When Rune begins to develop a secret friendship with the elusive Thorn, who dresses in clothing straight out of the nineteenth century, she realizes that with his musical guidance she feels cured. Thorn may be falling for Rune, but the Phantom haunting RoseBlood wants her for a very specific and dangerous purpose. 

As friendship deepens to romance, Thorn is faced with an impossible choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or save her and face the wrath of the Phantom, the only father he's ever known. 

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance / Classic Re-tellings

3 out of 5 Stars

Review: I love the Phantom of the Opera so I was really excited when I heard about this book. I've been following the author since reading her Alice in Wonderland re-telling Spintered series. There has been quite the buzz made about this book, and much hype. 

This novel for me, did not live up to the hype at all. 

We start out with a stomach churning, information dump as our misunderstood lead, Rune, is sent away to boarding school in another country (are you choking on YA cliches, yet?) Rune's father is dead, she and her Mother have trouble communicating, yet they are magical best buddies when the plot demands it. Rune has the voice of an angel but when she sings opera she suffers. An interesting concept, a horrible execution of it. The story flips from Rune to Thorns perspective, Thorn is infinitely the more interesting of the two. The set up takes way too long and the reveal is ultimately lackluster. The story is really more of an imagined sequel, than a re-telling, something that I think should be made more obvious to the consumer. 

Rune is just so annoyingly predictable. She is for the most part every other YA heroine; smart, mature, a bit of loner, doesn't really fit in. Rune spends most of the novel having random epiphanies that don't really lead anywhere.  I really wanted to like her more, but I didn't. Also I didn't like how the first kids she meets magically become instant life-long friends who would risk their lives for her—only in a YA novel right? 

Thorn is fascinating right from the start. He has a tragic backstory that helps you to understand his complex relationship with Erik. But he also wears a mask when he doesn't have a deformity, which is just weird. 

Can I briefly mention how insane the "two halves of the same reincarnated soul thing" is? Because it's stupid, sooooooo stupid. 

The plan to lure Rune in is so far fetched, it's hard to imagine the Phantom coming up with such a faulty maneuver. It's actually sort of insulting to his character, I think. That is one of my biggest pet peeves of this book. That the seductive, powerful, magical figure of Leroux's novel (and several musical) is reduced to a haggard, boring old man clinging to the body of his dead love and prepared to blow up a school. I did not care for her version of Erik at all. 

The ending is abrupt and has little resolution, Howard just decides it's over, nearly everyone survives, and murderous Erik is sent away to live with others of his kind in Canada. Which I guess he's suddenly okay with??? 

My advice: Skip this awful novel entirely. 
on Jan 27, 2017
The Brontes have always been close. After all, nothing can unite four siblings like life in an 
isolated parsonage on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict,
 spartan upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering 
Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? 
As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives 
ebbing away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their 
characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

5 out of 5 Stars


Worlds of Ink and Shadow is a beautiful, intricate adventure! 

I was so very curious about this novel because the premise is just too cool. Four siblings traveling to the fictional worlds they create...yes!

Perhaps my favorite part of this novel was the connections it made to the published works of the Brontes. 

The Bronte siblings are bright and creative. Branwell is the only son, and bears the pressure that comes with that. He enjoys escaping to Verdopolis and playing renowned thief with his criminal companions. 

on Jan 21, 2017
Willow Lamott's best friend is a convicted killer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. Over four long years, she's tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The monent their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton's mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he's a villian, a savior, or both.

Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow Lamott stepped back into his life. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton wonders if his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves.

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

5 out of 5 Stars


Gilt Hollow is a thrilling, suspenseful adventure! 

I was drawn to the intriguing premise of this novel, despite it not being my usual pick. The alternaing perspectives between Ashton and Willow keep the reader turning pages. 

Like all the characters of this story, Willow pops off the page. She stays by herself mostly with the exception of her best friend. The stress of her situation leads to panic attacks, that make her stand out even more. Because of standing up for Ashton's innocence, she has lost jobs and friends. Willow has a strong heart, and contiues to help Ashton even after she is threatened. I will say that Willows abrupt relationship with Brayden didn't really make sense and felt very random. 

Ashton is tormented by the betrayal of his friends, and the resulting abandonment by his parents. It;s sort of adorable when he gets jealous. He ultimately chooses protecting the people he loves instead of revenge. 

The town of Gilt Hollow is quirky, full of open-minded artistic sorts. I love how the author tied in elements of faith without this being a religious novel.

The mystery is so beautifully woven, like an intricate puzzle. You don't know who to trust. There are many layers that slowly reveal who the true murderer was. 
on Jan 9, 2017
After a near-death escape from the chilling heart of Markus King's Hawkspear society, becca Hatcher is finally safe at home in Toronto. But her battle isn't over, because Markus is till after the Bronze Codex—and he's not the only one. Unseen magical forces wage war in a faraway world called Mytica, and Becca may be the only one who can stop it.

Crys Hatcher is growing more protective of her little sister, even going so far as to keep a major, life-changing secrets from Becca that might put her in harm's way. But she has her work cut out for her: a chance encounter with Farrell Grayson puts Crys back in his sights—and and puts Farrell one step closer to cornering the Hatcher family and bringing them as prey to his master, Markus.

Little does anyone in Toronto know that behind the scenes in Mytica, Maddox's necromancy magic has begun to influence the magic in the codex—and the fate of everyone involved.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 

3 out of 5 Stars


I like this series, in fact unlike most reviewers I prefer this series to Falling Kingdoms. Which started out good but in my opinion has gone on far too long and needs to just end. Seriously. 

This book was alright, but it wasn't as good as the first, which I really loved. The author repeats plot lines over and over. And while book 1 had exciting mystery and secret elements. They weren't really any big reveals in this novel that the reader didn't already know. 

I enjoyed the unique cast of characters, even if some seemed really out of character. I'm enjoying Crystal much more than book #1. Her personality has really turned around, almost in an unbelievable way. Farrell is so desperate for affection, you feel so much sympathy for him despite his misdeeds. That being said he became very tedious in this book. He also went a little too evil for me personally. Also I found it weird that the author set up potential romance between Farrell and Crystal, and then took it nowhere in this book.  

Maddox is my favorite character. He is so earnest, and brave, fighting to control his power. He wants so much to be useful and protect the people he cares about. Becca is really sweet, sassy, and curious. In this second installment she is becoming more confident and taking control of situations.

The first half of the book is quite full of arguing and back and forth. Most of the main characters were  keeping secrets from Becca. Which was a waste of time because the reader as well as most of the characters already knew who Becca's parents really were. The last few chapters picked up a bit in pace, if only the whole novel could have been like that. 

Ultimately I'm glad to hear that this series will only be a trilogy. I'm looking forward to the end.

~Important Links~
Read my review of book #1

Thanks for reading! Check back next week for a review of a book I LOVED! :)
on Jan 2, 2017
In a land where those with magic are esteemed and revered, Janir guards a secret that would
send her to a headman's block at a word. As one of the reviled Argetallams, she
has the power to destroy enchantments and steal others' magic—an ability
that has caused bloodshed for generations. 

Raised as the illegitimate daughter of an influential lord, she was determined to turn her back
on her heritage, but when her power manifests, leaving a nobleman dead, she has no choice
but to flee her adoptive home. In exile with the help of a fearless young enchanter
and an elf sworn to protect her, she finds herself entangled in a quest to
hide an ancient artifact from the kingdom's enemies.

But they are not the only ones after the relic and soon their paths cross with a rival from Janir's distant childhood. With no hope of help or rescue, the fate of nations will depend on
a fifteen year old girl and her mastery of powers she doesn't understand.

Young Adult Fantasy

5 out of 5 Stars

Review: The Key of Amatahns by Elizabeth Wheatley is a spellbinding fantasy adventure! 

The story starts off with a prologue, a very good one. I know prologues aren't to everyones taste, but when it comes to fantasy I think they add so much to a story. I feel like they're necessary in a way.  Wheatley's prologue is executed to near perfection, at establishing the story and introducing her world before the main action begins. 

There is something very special about this story. For starters it is very well-written, especially considering how young the author was (only 15 when the first edition was published, I believe.). It reminds me of older fantasy stories, such as the Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. It has the same sort of quirky, realistic, indirect path of the quest. It doesn't just jump from confrontation to confrontation, there's some stopping, some snacking, and some treasured restful moments. An occasional interruption to the quest. There's a realness to that, that makes the quest more believable and gives the characters more depth. 

Janir was a captivating main character, very contemplative and thoughtful. She has very strong heart, despite all the trials of her life so far. Like most teenagers she is trying to figure out who she is, although in her case this is made more difficult by her circumstances. However, my favorite trait that she possessed is mercy. Janir has the opportunity to abandon someone who has hurt her numerous times, but she makes sure he makes it out of danger and speaks up against killing him.

Janir's friends and allies are no less engaging. Her best friend, an elf called Saoven, is cool just for the simple fact of being an elf (elves are automatically awesome). But he is a good friend, especially considering the negative view that most of his people have of Argetallam. Janir's most unlikely ally is Karile, who is...unique. Okay, so he can be really annoying, but after while he grows on you. And he is a loyal friend, even if he doesn't seem like it at first. Armandius, Janir's adopted father is everything a dad should be, kind, and compassionate, and supportive. I love how he treats Janir with as much consideration as he would his own daughter. 

Now onto the villains of our story. Janir's brother, Lucan is a jerk. A big jerk. And yet despite the awful things he does, the reader (and Janir) still feel sympathy for him. After all, having the Lord Argetallam as your role model is bound to screw anyone up. Speaking of the Lord Argetallam, grrr...I really, reaallly don't like him. Dude is straight up evil. 

Wheatley's world is so enthralling, I love all the details and the intricate history of the different lands and peoples. Also the creatures, like the Mazag, who are scary. Nothing worse than a creature that wants to have a conversation before it kills you. That being said they are very interesting and I hope to see more of them as the series continues. A favorite scene of mine was the market, reminiscent of Hellboy, with all sorts of various creatures and wares, I loved it! 

This story has plenty of magic, loyal friends, and exciting quests to captivate fantasy fans! (Especially if you like Eragon or Merlin!) 

~ Important Links ~
Read my review of book #2 (coming soon!) 

Happy New Year, runaway readers!
Make sure to check back here next Monday for a new book review! ^_^
on Oct 13, 2016

 In celebration of the Virtual Fantasy Con, fantasy author Melissa Sasina is holding a giveaway for the three available ebooks in my Chronicles of Midgard series: Falls the Shadow, Melody of the Dark, and Opening of Lost Doors!
This giveaway will run from Thursday, October 13 until October 19th!
Three winners will be chosen on October 20th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
on Sep 30, 2016
Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared throught the Fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of  the evil Fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.

Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana's memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she's about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecogniable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.

The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater dangter awaits: the human and fae words may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life....

Genre: Young Adult / Historical / Fantasy / Steampunk

Review: After book #1, The Falconer, ended with a heart pounding cliff hanger, I was eager to read the next in the series. The Vanishing Throne is every bit as magical and exciting as book #1, if not more! 

After failing to stop the fae from invading her home, Aileana has to put the pieces of her shattered world back together. During the story she is nearly destroyed, first by the confines of Lonnrach's faery prison, then by her overwhelming guilt about the remnants of her world. This book deals more with the internal struggle, which is written wonderfully. We know that Aileana is strong and capable, but it's nice to see her vulnerable side, too. Despite the painful trials she goes through in this book Aileana keeps fighting and really grows as a character. I'm looking forward to seeing where she ends up in book #3. 

The first book in this series was amazing and book #2 does not disappint. The thrilling, exciting adventure continues as we venture to new cities of the fae. Each setting is masterfully described as well as extremely different and creative. From the scary to the beautiful, the homes of the fae are as unique as the creatures themselves. The author has a wonderful imagination.

We learn more about Kiaran Mackay, known in the faery realm as Kadamach. The biggest revelation about Kiaran blew me away. I was not expecting it. As we readers know from book #1 Kiaran did many awful deeds in his day, but honestly every time he revealed something bad he had done in the past  I just wanted to hug him. I don't want to give away his back story but he has come so far as a character. His feelings for Aileana , make him a better person, more human, and I just love him. His tenderness to Aileana is truly endearing. We know that he has a hard time with emotions so the fact that he is so sweet and caring towards her (and almost no one else) speaks to their deep connection. 

We are introduced to Kiaran's sister, Aithinne. A witty, mad-as-a-hatter, badass warrior. Her presence reveals a different side of Kiaran, and the history between the two is fascinating. Also, some familiar faces from Aileana's past, the human survivors fighting against an unrelenting enemy. 

In this installment of the series an abundance of faery secrets are revealed, as well as long held alliances, betrayals, and a fascinating history that brings to light the motivations of friends and enemies. 

At the end Elizabeth May hits us again with a rockin' cliffhanger. It's going to be a painful wait for book #3, however completely worth it because I can't wait to find out what happens next in this awesome story! 

~ Important Links ~ 

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson (aka PrincessMab) is a book reviewer, fangirl, bookworm, and writer. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books as 1/5 of the team behind the runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and listening to ASMR Boyfriend roleplays on Youtube;)  She can most likely be found reading and fangirling about her current read on the various social media sites below. ^_^           Instagram & Twitter @theprincessmab 
on Sep 22, 2016
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sithichean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them. 

Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother. 

The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacaring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first. 

Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal / Fantasy

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May is the best book I've read all year! I was so happy to spot this book at the library, what a perfect novel to get me out of my recent reading slump. 

The Falconer is a beautifully imagined story that combines faeries, history, a little romance, with steampunk wonder. The story starts off very quickly right in the middle of an average night of faery hunting for Aileana. As the plot unfolds Aileana is forced to face her destiny and fight with a motley group of friends to protect the world from the fae. 

Aileana is a resourceful inventor and warrior, hiding as a normal lady during the day. At night she hunts for the faery who murdered her mother. I like how Aileana is aware of some ridiculous customs of the day, and hates the part she plays. She has to hide who she is and how she feels and I think many readers can relate to that. During the novel she struggles with balancing the warrior parts of herself with the more feminine and that was interesting to read. 

He would probably hate my saying this but, Derrick is soooo adorable. I love that Aileana has a little fae friend that supports her and trades information for pots of honey. They bicker like siblings, and its good for Aileana to have a friend who knows her secrets. 

Kiaran MacKay is my new book boyfriend and I'm claiming him as mine. ;))) Seriously, he is a fascinating character, incredibly mysterious and intriguing. He teaches Ailenana to hunt his own kind (for reasons unknown). You're never sure of his motives, and neither is Aileana. I really enjoy his relationship with Aileana, even though he is kind of jerk, he seems to care about her, and she can be herself around him. I'm excited to learn more about him in the next book, especially his hidden past. 

The steampunk elements were so interesting, they really added an extra spark to the story and blended well with the fantasy side of the story. My favorite were the "stitchters" mechanical bug-like things that stitch a person up after injury. You don't often find too many books with fae and steampunk elements. That particular combination pleasantly reminded me of The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. 

The ending! Arggghhh! Right in the middle of a highly suspenseful situation, bam, cliffhanger! I'm not as upset as I usually would be because book #2 is available now and I have a copy in my possesion ready to devour immediately after finishing this review. ;) 

~ Important Links ~

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson (aka PrincessMab) is a book reviewer, fangirl, bookworm, and writer. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books as 1/5 of the team behind the runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and listening to ASMR Boyfriend roleplays on Youtube;)  She can most likely be found reading and fangirling about her current read on the various social media sites below. ^_^           Instagram & Twitter @theprincessmab | Tumblr -  http://princessmabblr.tumblr.com/ | Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/princessmabwrites/

on Sep 20, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016 -
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Where: From the comfort of your own home or anywhere with a wi-fi signal
When: All day
About: Virtual FantasyCon 2016 is an online 8 day Facebook event celebrating Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror! Come along and meet with authors, artists, bloggers, cosplayers, and more! It's just like a regular convention, except its free, you don't have to travel, and you can participate from anywhere you can get online. There will be giveaways, a blog hunt, and much more! The event will feature the following sub-genres:
Sunday, October 9th: Epic/Sword & Sorcery (Includes High Fantasy)
Monday, October 10th: Sci-Fi/Sci-Fi Fantasy/Time Travel
Tuesday, October 11th: Faiytale/Punk (Includes all versions of Punk)
Wednesday, October 12th: Paranormal/Urban 
Thursday, October 13th: Series/Short Stories
Friday, October 14th: Dystopian/Apocolyptic
Saturday, October 15th: Dark/Grim Dark/Horror
Sunday, October 16th: Children/YA Fantasy
Fantasy author Melissa Sasina will be participating on Thursday for the Series/Short Stories event, although keep an eye out for your chance to win e-copies of her books and even bookmarks and swag throughout the event! 
 Links to each sub-genre will be posted closer to the beginning of the event. 
Until then, join the Reader's Corner (https://www.facebook.com/events/1757708664480385/) to learn more about the authors participating and join in on fun games leading to the event kick off. 
This event is run and hosted by Fantasy - Flight of Imagination. Be sure to check out their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AFlavourOfFantasy/ 

on May 31, 2016
The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. 
He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king's approval to be his guests at Thornbeck 
Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character. 

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true indentity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn't select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent be the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina's best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can't deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. 

Genre: Historical / Romance

Review: Since reading my first Melanie Dickerson book last year I have become a huge fan. Her writing is so smooth and well-paced, and completely right for the type of stories that she writes.  

This is the second book in the Thornbeck series and the main characters from the previous book, Jorgen and Odette, play a significant role in this book and it was wonderful to revisit these lovely characters again. Jorgen is now the Chancellor to the margrave, and both he and his wife care for their friend, Reinhart and hope to see him happily married. 

While this book is marketed for adults, simply I believe for the sake that the main characters are over 18, there are no love scenes or anything of the like that would prevent an older teen from reading and enjoying this book. 

Reinhart begins the novel very cynical of love. A product of his parents arranged, advantegoues but ultimately unhappy marriage. He also lives with a crippled leg, walking with a cane, regretting his lost days of knighthood, doubting that any woman would ever want him. Surrounding him are rumors that he killed his older brother so that he himself could rule Thornbeck castle. Throughout the story Reinhart softens and exhibits growing care towards those under his charge and the woman he wishes to make his bride. 

I liked Avelina, but found that she often acted too young, if that makes sense. Often second guessing herself and giving into others. While I believe her to be above 19, we are to the best of my recollection never told her exact age. Though, I'm not sure if that is simply because she is a servant and used to bowing to greater authority. Or maybe she just seems that way because Odette, the main character of book #1 was of a higher social rank and therefore was more confident, maybe its just a comparison.

Over the course of the novel Avelina realizes her value and importance. She ultimately stops comparing herself to born ladies. In addition the margrave, Reinhart sees her true value as a person for her compassion, respect, and courage. There love story is wonderful to read. 

While The Beautiful Pretender doesn't surpass the total amazingness of book #1, it was still an enjoyable and recommended read. :) 

Find The Beautiful Pretender on Goodreads
Find The Beautiful Pretender on Amazon
Find The Beautiful Pretender on Barnes&Noble

A Note from the Reviewer: Hello, Runawaypen readers! I'm excited to present my 50TH BOOK REVIEW at The Runaway Pen!!! Ahhhhhhhhh! It makes me so happy to share my love of books with you all. In celebration of this milestone I'll be posting a whole bunch of book reviews in the month of June, so keep checking back here! And as always thank you so much for reading! :)

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on May 30, 2016
Pia has always known her destiny. 

She is meant to start a new race, a line of descendants who will bring an end to death. She has been bred for no other purpose, genetically engineered to be immortal and raised by a team of scientists in a secret compound hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. Now those scientists have begun to challenge her, with the goal of training her to carry on their dangerous work. 

For as long as she can remember, Pia's greatest desire has been to fulfill their expectations. But on the night she turns seventeen, she finds a hole in the seemingly impenetrable fence that surrounds her sterile home. Free in the jungle for the first time in her life, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Unable to resist, she continues sneaking out to see him. As they fall in love, they begin to piece together the truth about Pia's origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction / Romance

Review: Let me start by saying that Origin is not a book I would typically read. I generally don't venture farther into science fiction literature than Star Wars or Star Trek novels. Recently however I was visiting a cousin of mine who was reading this in her school book club and she spoke so highly of this book that I knew I had to check it out. 

The concept for Origin, the quest for immortality obviously isn't a new storyline, but the way it's presented here is so unique and enthralling. Immortal Pia knows nothing of the outside world, (she has never even seen a map) other than the scientific journals that are cleared by the head of Little Cam, Uncle Paolo. She lives a remote world filled with what she thinks are her family but soon discover that the people she trusts most having been lying and keeping dangerous secrets. 

The main character Pia is the perfect balance of intelligence, curiosity, and naivety. Personally I tend to have trouble finishing a book if the MC is constantly making stupid decisions. That was absolutely not an issue in this book. Pia is mature and clever, and ultimately compassionate and unselfish when push comes to shove. Her courage in standing up for what is right, even against her family is truly admirable. And yet there is a sadness about Pia because she knows that sooner of later the people around her will whither and die, while she will live on forever and ever. 

The boy from the jungle, Eio, is mysterious and courageous. His mother was Ai'oan, but his father is one of the scientists in the foreigner town of Little Cam. Because of this he shares Pia's feelings of being an outsider and not belonging. As much as I enjoyed the romance between Pia and Eio, it did feel a little forced at times. That being said they still had a real connection and both were willing to stand up for each other. 

Possibly my favorite thing about this novel is how it masterfully it illustrates the fall from good, the line between doing what would be considered a small wrong, to doing something considered evil. We see this everyday but this novel pushes it front and center and shows how easy it is for people to compromise on morals. There's a line from a song that goes, "It's a slow fade, when you give yourself away", that line really resonated with me while reading this book. Spoilers. How ordinary people could become complacent with kidnapping and killing people. It is honestly terrifying and will most likely give you chills as you read. End Spoilers. 

The entire novel is filled with suspense, but the last 100 pages will have you on the edge of your seat. The tension and uncertainty is just perfectly portrayed. The ending was a surprise for me, and I suppose I'll leave it at that to avoid any spoilers. Ultimately Origin was a thrilling adventure into the quest for immortality. 

A Note from the Reviewer: Hi runawaypen readers! Thank you for reading my review. I hope you enjoyed it! I'm currently reading the second book in this series and hope to post it soon. :) To keep up to date with the books that I'm reading and upcoming reviews follow me on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab

on Feb 29, 2016


Opening of Lost Doors (The Chronicles of Midgard #3)
"In the snow covered mountains, Odin's spear lies within a forgotten slumbering city...Maeja and her crew must find the relics of the gods before the Empire does, but acquiring Odin's spear will be no simple task. First they must escape from the Empire's capital city, then gain entrance into the long forgotten palace of Ostegard deep in the icy mountains. There, Odin's spear remains securely hidden in a dangerous, trap-filled labyrinth beneath the fabled Shrine of Ages. Before the city will wake and yield its gates, Maeja must first prove her worth as a Valkyrie. Only then will she be able to lay her hands upon the spear. With an army of walking corpses ravaging parts of the Midlands and the great serpent Jormungand tormenting the seas, Maeja and crew are running out of time..."
Kindle: http://amzn.com/B01BUPHXXK
Amazon Print: http://amzn.com/1516928865
Nookbook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/opening-of-lost…/1123465582…

B&N Print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/opening-of-lost…/1123386135…

on Feb 7, 2016
Blurb: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.

The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Genre: Young Adult / Romance

Review: Before about a month ago I had no idea this novel even existed. Then I started doing some monthly challenges on instagram and it seemed as if this novel/series was EVERYWHERE. It would seem nearly everyone has read this novel but me, so on a recent trip to Barnes&Noble I figured I would find out what the big deal was. Long story short, barely halfway through I was already completely obsessed.

The Selection is a grand sweeping romance, familiar yet completely unique. The writing is fast-paced and engaging, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This story is set in a future after war has destroyed what we know and something strange and new has come forth. 

America is such a great main character. A perfect blend of strength and vulnerability. Honest and brave. She is so easy to relate to, you'll be cheering for her the whole way through. Her relationship with Aspen was pleasantly less hormonal than I anticipated, they love each other earnestly and that was lovely to read. As was her friendship with Maxon, in Pride and Prejudice style fashion, America and Maxon start out on rocky terms, but they soon see the goodness in each other. 

I'll admit the concept is a bit far-fetched but I think that's what makes it so...enchanting. This is the perfect story to read as a vacation from the real world. Cass' entire novel is magical and romantic, encased in a world of dreams and endless possibilities. 

Now if you'll excuse I have to make a trip to Barnes&Noble and purchase the rest of the series ASAP!

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and ardently shipping RumBelle. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab

on Feb 6, 2016

The hunt continues for the lost treasures of the gods in the snowy mountains of Midgard.

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on Oct 14, 2015
Blurb: The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and 
Odette Menkels spends her nights poaching his deer to feed the hungry orphans of Thornbeck.
By day, Odette is a simple maiden who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty
has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave's forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too 
willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him. . . a man who was
murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection
during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one mas she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his 
cunning target. . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher?
What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review: Before reading this book I had no idea who Melanie Dickerson was. Shortly after finishing this book I knew I had to find her other books ASAP because her writing is incredible! 

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is an exciting and enchanting tale from start to finish. A beautiful blend of Robin Hood and Swan Lake full of noble characters, a brilliant setting and true love. 

I must embarrasingly admit that I assumed this book was a fantasy based on the title and cover, when its actually historical fiction set in Germany in the year 1363. I still believe this will appeal to fantasy lovers as it does have a unique otherworldly-ness to it. 

Odette is the type of MC I love to read. She is kind and compassionate, spends her time bringing food to starving children. She's an orphan saved from the streets when her Uncle took her in. She wrestles with guilt about the food she steals and wonders if she is doing the right thing. 

Jorgen is a fantastic male lead. He is also famalier with living on the streets and going hungry. Unlike others around he doesn't long for power but to do good work, provide for his adopted family, and to the honor the memory of his dead mentor. 

These two together are one the sweetest couples I have ever read. From the moment they meet they have such respect and admiration for each other. Through lies and many dangers Odette and Jorgen make it through by keeping to what they know is right. 

This was a truly magnificent fairy tale! I look forward to reading more of her books!

Interested in this book?

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She enjoys reading, drinking tea, writing, and dreaming of owning a tiny house. M lives in Upstate New York, and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab :)
on Oct 13, 2015
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods,
 a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land
she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

      As Feyre dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility to a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance / Fairy-Tale Re-tellings

Review: Let me start by stating that I am a fan of Sarah J. Maas. I love the Throne of Glass series (Shout out to Elisabeth Wheatley, I honestly started reading this author because Elisabeth was and I don't regret it) I'm also a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast, the original fairy tale and the Disney version. Seriously Belle is my favorite disney princess. From the huge library in the beautiful gothic castle, to the prince, and the talking dishes, I wanted to be Belle. Anyway you can imagine my excitement when I found out that this re-telling was in the works. So much squealing!

A Court of Thorns and Roses is an exciting, unique fantasy re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. Maas has expertly crafted her own tale while keeping the essence of a beloved story alive within this world she has created. The Fey have claimed most of the island of Prythian for their own leaving the much weaker humans to cling to life in a dying land. The land of the Fey is divided between the different courts each with their own ruling Lord/Lady. I found the Fey to be the most interesting and well thought out part of this novel. Maas writes these otherworldly creatures with great skill. 

Feyre has lead a difficult life, poor and starving she is her familys only means for finding food. She has been hardened by life and isn't very friendly though she does indulge her family. I liked Feyre alright, on occasion (much like Maas' other leading lady, Celaena) Feyre has a tendency to strut right past "I'm a strong independent woman" into "I have a chip on my shoulder and the whole world must suffer along with me because of it" territory. I'm not sure if that makes sense. There's only so much sympathy I have when characters act self destructively. 

High Lord of the fey and Feyres love interest, Tamlin was good, but not as good as he could have been. I feel that the author was holdng back with Tamlin. Trying to balance him being bad, as in scary to Feyre at first, but also have him be good because later on another fey comes into the picture and he fills the role of the "bad boy". So poor Tamlin ends up being sort of ordinary, he does have a somewhat troubled childhood, but really he just sort of hangs around while other much more interesting creatures do things and engage with Feyre. On a side note I really wouldn't mind if Feyre ends up with "bad boy" Rhysand instead of Tamlin. 

What held this back from five stars for me ultimately was the complete lack of chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin. I was not feeling their love story at all. Which sort of breaks the whole fabric of the story itself apart. They hardly spent any time together and then they jump into bed together before Feyre even says she loves him. I know this is YA but do we really have to do the we're-adults-everyone-sleeps-around-and-hates-everyone-thing. Can we pretend that people only have sex when they're in love, and then stay together forever? Do we have to be all cynical and jaded now? Do we really have to read about Feyre and the local farm boy getting busy in the haystacks? I think not. Also the book ends in a way a little over halfway through and then we go to a new place and a new set of circumstances occur. It was very strange. Just a warning for people who don't like multiple endings and that sort of thing.  

In spite of those last points, A Court of Thorns is good read. For fans of Beauty and the Beast its certainly worth giving it a try. 

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, gaming, drinking tea, writing, and shopping for fandom merch. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab