**REVIEW** Amethyst’s Incredible Journey by Lisa Bland

Amethyst's incredible journeyFantasy adventure

For ages 11yrs+

Synopsis: Amethyst is a witch with extremely evil and powerful parents. Amethyst is terrified that if she don’t stop her parents soon it will be too late, and they will gain control of Golden Dragon City and the Fountain of Magic. Amethyst knows that she has only got until her next birthday to stop them!.Amethyst has to travel through different realms to collect the blood red rubies that she needs to stop them.

REVIEW

Amethyst’s Incredible Journey is a magical fantasy that will enchant the younger reader. Children will love the magic, spells, witches, dragons and worlds that Amethyst encounters.The author has great imagination that allows the reader to escape, with Amethyst, to all of the magical realms she visits.

The story opens up well and the reader is given a clear picture on Amethyst’s father, Andrew Shadow’s background. This allows the reader to understand how he thinks and why he does the things he does. Amethyst grows up in Forest Falls, where her parents have gained control of most of the magic that others previously possessed. Their aim is to take the magic from all and gain control of Golden Dragon City and the Fountain of Magic. This will make them the most powerful people in the realm and they can then take full control. Anyone who gets in their way is killed or harmed.

Amethyst, being born into this, knows no different. Although she does have a best friend and as she grows older, she soon realises to what lengths her parents will go. It all comes to a head for Amethyst when her father has her best friend killed. This she cannot forgive and decides to leave Forest Falls, after she realises that if she can collect the four red rubies and add a drop of her father’s blood, at Dead Witch Mountain, her father will be wiped of all his power and will no longer be able to control the power of others.

Lisa Bland demonstrates how strong Amethyst really is, to go against her own parents. She certainly has her morals in check, but will she be able to complete her mission before her parents catch up with her? To help her on her journey she meets up with, Grog (also able to use magic), who quickly becomes a friend to her and travels with her to help.

As well as providing a story of escape, Amethyst’s Incredible Journey also provides some realism and a chance for the reader to relate to Amethyst as she is flawed, as are many of the characters and the relationships they have. It is a nice reflection on reality that connects to the reader. For example, despite how close Amethyst and Grog are they still have their disagreements.

Although the storyline and characters are a pleasure to read, there are many issues with the punctuation, grammar and sentence structure. Whilst I understand that this story is self-published it would really benefit with a proof-reader and/or editor. The first page alone has punctuation errors. That said, I did finish the book and found myself reading through the story fairly well as it was easy to follow. And again, the magical lands that the author has created, as well as the characters and the main storyline is super. I will be giving Amethyst’s Incredible Journey 3 stars on Goodreads and Amazon, however once edited to a more readable level I would give this a 4 star.

A copy of Amethyst’s Incredible Journey was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US(Please note that this book is showing as currently unavailable, possibly due to editing. We do hope that it is available as soon as possible.)

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

 

Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon – HALLOWEEN HORROR!!!

PumpkinSteve Vernon’s ‘Tatterdemon’ is a horror like no other! It is more than appropriate to read at this time of year during the harvest and Halloween season! Highly recommended for adults only due to its violent, gory and horrific theme, Tatterdemon is full of terrifying tales as well as being one complete horrifying nightmare based in the small town of Crossfall. TatterdemonThe town’s people have all been cursed by Thessaly Cross, a witch, 300 years previous and now after a wife-beating husband is killed by his wife he returns from being buried in his field as a zombie scarecrow – the Tatterdemon! Many of the local folk begin to take their personal matters into their own hands and face the ones they feel ridiculed or belittled by. As each person is killed the Tatterdemon is able to have them buried and then begins to raise the dead for more mayhem and to destroy the town of Crossfall for good!

The prologue introduces the reader to Thessaly Cross, a witch who has been condemned by the townsfolk and is being buried alive, after many various methods of trying to kill her has failed. She accuses them of trying to take her land and as she is being buried she ensures that she leaves the people of Crossfall with a curse for their descendants to encounter some 300 years later. We then fast forward to the present where Maddy Harker has had enough of her violent and abusive husband and kills him spontaneously with a frying pan after he comes home late complaining about his dinner or lack of it. Maddy then buries her husband, Vic, in the very same field that Thessaly Cross had been buried in all of those years before. Only for Vic to be raised from the dead as a demon of the witch, the Tatterdemon, a somewhat strange and scary vision of a scarecrow mixed together with mud, straw and of course Vic.

From the very beginning the reader is introduced to the atmosphere of Tatterdemon. It is dark and horrific, tense and terrifying with a great deal of violence and gore. Tatterdemon is certainly not for the young reader or those faint of heart, however it provides a story complete with action and evil depths that provides readers of the horror genre something profound to become gripped with instantaneously. It is a nail-biting and under-the covers type of read and works brilliantly late at night with the lights dimmed! Steve Vernon also shares his sense of humour which really relieves the tension and calms the blood in between the most tense scenes before it begins to boil with adrenalin again for more fear.

One of my favourite aspects of Tatterdemon are the characters. Many of them seem to be going through their own personal ordeals, however they are familiar with each other and as their paths cross their own troubles do too. From the victim of an abusive husband, Maddy, to the grieving husband of a suicide victim (who just so happens to keep his wife’s body in his freezer at home – and that is the Chief of Police for you), you can already begin to imagine what life might be like in Crossfall. From the creepy peeking mailman to the reclusive circus freak living reclusively in a trailer and to many, many more wonderful and weird characters. Tatterdemon in many respects is a fascinating read from the vivid imagination of Steve Vernon. If this genre is for you, Tatterdemon will tick all of the boxes that intrigues you and draws you in to this surreality.

Within each chapter the reader visits the different characters of Crossfall. And even though they have their own story to tell they are not too dissimilar from each other. The chapters themselves are broken down into smaller sections so that the reader can discover which character is doing what. In this way there is no waiting pages or whole chapters to find out what your favourite character is up to. The chapters have been put together cleverly and carefully in this manner. I also found this method to be faster to read and keep up with the story, especially with Vernon’s style of writing that is direct and easy to follow, allowing for plenty of momentum and horror to build up!

To make Tatterdemon the perfect horror story Steve Vernon hasn’t missed a thing from this genre. Tatterdemon holds it all, from witches, ghosts, zombies and killer scarecrows and complete with resurrections, spells and voodoo. There is no shortage of crime with murders and suicides taking place regularly. Yes, Tatterdemon is very disturbing but for all of the right reasons in this fantastic fun and gruesome horror!

Tatterdemon was provided by the author, Steve Vernon, for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

The Kindle version of Tatterdemon is available at Amazon.com for $1.24 and at Amazon.co.uk for 77p! (Prices correct at the time of posting.)

Reviewed by Caroline Barker