ARC REVIEW: Enchanters – by K.F. Bradshaw @ReadingAlley

Title: Enchanters
(Enchanters #1)
Author: K.F. Bradshaw

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic
First published: March 1st 2017
Publisher: Wishbox Press
Finished reading: May 9th 2017
Pages: 590

“We don’t get to decide what we bring into this world with us. But you have a gift, Andrea, and you should consider using it for something useful.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I enjoy reading a proper high fantasy read every once in a while and the cover and blurb of Enchanters managed to catch my attention immediately. It somehow took me longer than expected to finally pick it up, mostly because I wasn’t in the mood for the genre and I didn’t want that to be a bad influence on my experience with this story. I’m glad I finally decided to give it a go though and I have to say I really like the idea behind the worldbuilding and plot in Enchanters. The worldbuilding of the fictional Damea is extensive and I like the clash with the ‘real’ world that represents Cassie’s character. This without doubt adds a whole different dimension to the story and I like how K.F. Bradshaw portrays this difference in worlds and customs in the characters. That said, I do think the story itself is overlong and I feel it would have been more enjoyable with more focus on the action and less on the ‘insignificant’ details and dialogue. These elements slowed down the pace considerably and sometimes even distracted from the plot itself. I also wasn’t completely convinced by the characters and some of them even started to annoy me; especially the bantering between Cassie and Andrea. I did appreciate that it’s a YA high fantasy read with a proper glbt angle though; it’s something you don’t see every day. In short, I ended up having mixed thoughts about Enchanters. The worldbuilding and plot is without doubt interesting, but I did feel the story was overlong and I had some problems with the (sometimes) forced dialogue and characters.

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The people of Damea have had access to magic for centuries, using it to improve their everyday lives. The so-called enchanters have the power to wield it and magic has been woven into their societies for a long time, but now everything has changed. The magic is dying, and Damea is slowly dying with it… Nobody seems to know how to reverse this, but Andrea is determined to find a way to bring it back. She is an enchanter’s apprentice and has been helping another enchanter for years… But it might take a stranger from another world to actually try and restore the magic. Will they be able to?

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I was looking forward to read Enchanters, but I ended up having mixed thoughts instead. While I liked the worldbuilding, plot and general idea behind this story, I still think it was also overlong and even dragged at points. That might just be because the dialogue didn’t feel all that natural and I didn’t really like some of the characters in the first place though. The pace did pick up in the second half and there was a lot more action… All in all an interesting read, although I did have my problems with it.


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WWW Wednesdays #136 – May 10th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m about to start Roses Of May by Dot Hutchison; another Netgalley ARC and a title I’ve been looking forward to. I read and loved The Butterfly Garden last year and I didn’t realize it was a series until I saw this sequel on NG… Can’t wait to dive into this disturbing story again! I also started reading Aurabel by Laura Dockrill, a NG fantasy ARC with mermaids, but I had to put it on hold after 5%. Why? I felt like I was reading a story written in a foreign language I could just barely understand. Things just didn’t make sense at all… And after investigating, this story apparently takes place in the same world as a previous book which I didn’t know about. That could probably explain the lack of worldbuilding, but does make it extremely difficult to properly enjoy it without reading that one first (which I don’t have time for xD ).

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first book I finished since last week is Anything For Her by Jack Jordan, which turned out to be an excellent psychological thriller and even better than his other title My Girl. It’s fast, it’s entertaining and it manages to catch your attention right from the first page… And the whole mystery around ‘that night’ is intriguing and definitely makes you want to keep on reading. More in my review.
* I then read All The Good Things by Clare Fisher, another ARC I was really looking forward to. Unfortunately I ended up having mixed thoughts about it, mostly because I couldn’t connect to the main character Beth. Which is shame, because she’s a truly fascinating character and I really wanted to love this story. More about my mixed thoughts in my review.
* I actually wasn’t going to continue this series after my experience with book three, but I gave in since already had a copy on my kindle and it would mean I could cross off another series. Unfortunately, The Murder Of An Angel by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro continued down the same road as book three, and the only reason I made it to the end is that the prose at least reads superfast. Want to know why I didn’t like it? Here‘s why.
* After two mediocre reads, I decided to play it safe and pick up another Bookouture thriller. And I wasn’t wrong, because I’ve now added The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite to the growing list of Bookouture winners. This story started out strong and stayed that way until the very end. Not every character is all that likeable, but you will forget all about that as you find yourself trapped in the same web of lies and secrets as the rest of the town. Many many plot twists and a surprising ending! Find out more in my review which will be posted later today.
* I then continued Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw, a high fantasy read I had been posponing during the last few weeks due to its length and wordbuilding. I’m glad I finally continued it and I really like the idea behind this story. That said, I do think the story itself is overlong and would have been more enjoyable with more focus on the action and less on ‘insignificant’ details and dialogue. In fact, some of the main characters were starting to become really annoying; especially the bantering between Cassie and Andrea. I love that it’s a YA fantasy read with a glbt angle though; you don’t see that too often (or at least in the stories I’ve read so far…)
* The last book I was able to finish is Room by Emma Donoghue, which has been on my TBR for way too long. The worst part is that I kept hearing great things about it, but somehow I never actually picked it up… I’m regretting this now, because it was such an excellent read! I literally flew through the pages and finished it in less than a day. I love that it’s told from the POV of a 5-year-old; it makes the story that much more powerful (Think The Boy With The Striped Pajamas, which has a similar effect.)

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

After I finish my current reads, I’m planning to pick up the other titles on my Bout Of Books TBR. One of them is another one that has been collecting dust for way too long: Stardust by Neil Gaiman. It will be one of the exceptions were I’ve already seen the movie before reading the story, so we’ll see how that goes. The next ARC I’m picking up will be Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel, which I’ve heard great things about and can’t wait to finally pick up. Also on the ARC list is Heartborn by Terry Maggert, which is another fantasy read. Last up is One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus, which I requested after a recommendation and I’m really excited about. I wanted to pick up the thriller Be My Killer by Richard Parker first, but it doesn’t have a pagecount yet and I need that for it to count for the readathon. xD


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Teaser Tuesdays #139 – May 9th: Enchanters

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

It’s day 2 of Bout Of Books today!! I’ve been reading Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw, a Reading Alley ARC and high fantasy read I’ve been posponing too long. It’s quite a big read (almost 600 pages!) and I feel the story is actually a bit overlong and it drags at points. The worldbuilding and idea behind the story is interesting though, although I also feel the dialogue doesn’t really sound natural in general. I’m just about to finish it and will move on to my next read afterwards…

My teaser (35%):

“Diana,” Jacob called after her. When she stopped to face him, he continued. “I meant what I said. Back in the Southland Woods. Every word.”

What are you reading right now?


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WWW Wednesdays #135 – May 3rd

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’ll probably finish Anything For Her by Jack Jordan later today, which has been a very good thriller read so far. I’m definitely glad I finally picked it up! And as soon as I’m finishing that title, I’ll be diving into another Netgalley ARC: The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite. I’ve heard great things about that title and it has all the signs it’s going to be another Bookouture winner! I’m also still reading Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw, although it’s still temporarily on hold until I’m in the mood for (high) fantasy again.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first title I finished since last week is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, which turned out to be a brilliant read. I’m still kicking myself for not picking it up sooner! From the writing style, character development, plot to it’s very important topic; I just couldn’t find one detail I didn’t like about this powerful story.
* I then read The Car Bomb by T.V. LoCicero, which I ended up having quite a lot of issues with. It took a long time for the chapters to connect, the plot felt chaotic and there was excessive swearing, but that was only minor compared to my biggest problem with this story: the main character. I absolutely despised him and it was really hard to enjoy a story involving such an arrogant, cheating, drunk, womanizing bastard. Definitely not for me…
* Afterwards I decided to try my hands at fantasy again, especially since I enjoyed the first book of The Hero Rebellion series last year. Riven by Belinda Crawford was without doubt an entertaining read and the best part is that it’s a YA sci-fi series that is actually 100% romance free. Yes, you read that right, there’s no romance in this series and the story focuses on the worldbuilding and action instead. It took me a bit longer to adapt to the worldbuilding and some of the unique features and the plot wasn’t as strong as the first book, but there is definitely a lot of potential for what is still to come. Action-packed and very entertaining!
* The last book I picked up is Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh, one of my most anticipated releases this year. I still can’t believe my request was actually approved!! I had high expectations after reading a teaser earlier this year, and somehow this book managed to be even better than expected. I practically devoured its pages and LOVED it. The setting, the writing style, the characters (Mariko, Okami!!!), the plot… It doesn’t happen often I have two 5 star reads in a week, but I just couldn’t give this one anything lower than perfect rating. The wait for the sequel is going to be painful though…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Like I’ve said before, I still have a huge pile of ARCs pending so I’ve made May into another ARC month. I have the following four ARCs lined up to be read next, depending on the genre I’m in the mood for... Be My Killer by Richard Parker and The Roses Of May by Dot Hutchison are both Netgalley ARCs and titles I’m looking forward to. Heartborn by Terry Maggert is another pending fantasy ARC I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I also want to pick up the ARC Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel, which sounds like a fascinating read.


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WWW Wednesdays #134 – April 26th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m finally making good progress with Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and I will most likely end up finishing it some time today or tomorrow. I’m still kicking myself for waiting this long to pick it up, because it’s without doubt brilliant. Well written, intriguing story and a very important focus on racial problematics and racism as well as an interesting mix of characters. I’m also about to start another ARC, The Car Bomb by T.V. LoCicero, which sounds like an action-packed read. I’m also still reading Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw, although I have put temporarily on hold until I’m in the mood for (high) fantasy again.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first title I finished is the travel memoir Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray. Unlike other non fiction reads about Cuba, this memoir focuses mostly on the personal experiences of the author during her various trips to Cuba and what she could see of the daily life of the Cubans rather than on the complicated political and social-cultural situation. It’s a well written and enjoyable read and the descriptions of the various locations in Cuba made me feel as if I were visiting the country myself.
* I then picked up The Millionaire’s Wife by Shalini Boland, which has turned out to be yet another winner. I’ve been a fan of her work ever since I picked up The Girl From The Sea last year… This is my third suspense thriller and my opinion hasn’t changed a bit. This story is well written, filled with many plot twists, unrealiable characters and a very intriguing plot. The POV switches between past and present and the Swedish nationality of one of the main characters is very well used. Gripping until the very last page!
* Next up was (The Original) Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig, which I had heard lots of excellent things about. Ginny is without doubt one of the most original and interesting characters I’ve came across lately, although I do have to say I was a bit confused in the beginning. It took me a while to get used to the voice of the autistic Ginny, and while I feel the author did an excellent job of describing autism and what it is like to live and interact with someone autistic (I’m not surprised since he has personal experience), I did understand why her ‘Forever’ parent got so frustrated with her. I felt the same frustation as well and it made me enjoy the story slightly less than I thought I would, although like I said before I feel the author did a brilliant job of putting autism in the spotlight it deserves.
* The last book I finished is This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack, another memoir. I was surprised my request was actually approved last Saturday, especially since the publish date was that close (yesterday). I decided to give it priority since I was in the mood for a non fiction read anyway, and I ended up really enjoying this bundle of coming to age essays. The writing style really stands out and combined with the honest and personal tone and just the right dose of humor this is a very enjoyable read.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m slowly catching up with my pending ARCs, but I will probably be making May into another ARC month just so I can deal with most of the still pending backlog. Both Anything For Her by Jack Jordan and The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite are pending Netgalley ARCs and thrillers I’ve been looking forward to. I also want to pick up the ARC Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel, which sounds like a fascinating read. And I want to read The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware soon as well, although I have been reading a lot of thrillers lately and I might read something of a different genre instead.


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WWW Wednesdays #133 – April 19th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading three books, although I’m going to finish the ARC Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray first. It’s a non fiction read about Cuba I’ve started last night and I’m only a few pages into the story so far… It will be interesting comparing the experiences of the author with one of my best friends who went to Cuba back in January. I’ve also finally started reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, a story I have been wanting to pick up for ages now and decided to just pick up even though I have more ARCs pending. The last one is Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw, which I’ve put temporarily on hold because I wasn’t in the mood for (high) fantasy.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first title I finished is What Doesn’t Kill You by Ed James, the third book in a detective series and one that unfortunately didn’t live up to the previous two books. It took me a while to warm up to the story, the amount of swearing crossed the line to excessive and I felt that both the ending and the whole progress of Fenchurch’ personal life was a bit rushed. Not bad, but definitely not as good as the first two.
* I then picked up The Start Of Me And You by Emery Lord on a whim, trying to put an end on the list of ‘mediocre’ reads. I really enjoyed When We Collided last year, but this one was a little too sweet and cheesy for me. Probably also because of the annoying love triangle, although I did adore Max as a character.
* Afterwards I picked up what is going to be probably my last vampire story ever: Life Sentence by Lily Luchesi. It’s the third book of the Paranormal Detectives series and I enjoyed it better than the sequel. No more annoying love triangle and again I enjoyed the many flashbacks to the past. Fast-paced, entertaining and full of supernatural creatures; if you like the genre you will probably enjoy this series!
* I then decided to read Castle Of Water by Dane Huckelbridge, which has SUCH a beautiful cover! I just love that color combination. The story itself is just as wonderful; both the character development and plot are brilliant and I loved the writing style. A very interesting read about how two unlikely characters end up on an deserted island together and how they manage to survive… A modern ‘Robin Crusoe’ twist and I loved loved the characters bantering and the many French elements!
* The last book I finished is The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger, another gorgeous cover. This one started out a bit slow and it took me some time to connect the different storylines, but as soon as the pace picked up… BAM! Instant psychological thriller. Fascinating story!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m going to make the most of April ARC month and try to read these four ARCs before the end of this month. First up is The Millionaire’s Wife by Shalini Boland, a title I have been looking forward to especially since I loved her other two thrillers. I also want to read The Original Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig, Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel and The Darkest Lies by Barbara Coppertwaite, which I’ve all heard great things about.


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WWW Wednesdays #132 – April 12th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading three books, although I’m going to finish the Netgalley ARC What Doesn’t Kill You by Ed James first. It’s the third book in a detective series and so far without doubt fast-paced and entertaining, although I feel part of the ‘spark’ of the previous two books is missing. The other two titles are ARCs as well. The first Life Sentence by Lily Luchesi, the third book in a paranormal romance series. It’s also probably the last time that I’m reading a vampire story, because this series has yet again confirmed me I seem to be allergic to those fanged creatures. Luckily this series has other creatures as well, but that doesn’t take away my feeling that these kind of books just aren’t for me and to keep reading them wouldn’t be fair to the authors. The other title I’m about to start is Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw, another fantasy read and a Reading Alley ARC.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first title I finished since last week is The Color Purple by Alice Walker, a modern classic I decided to pick up for various challenges. I had high hopes for this one as I had heard a lot of things about it, but I guess this was another case of unpopular opinion for me. I struggled a lot with the writing style in the beginning; up to the point that I even considered DNFing it. The plot itself is without doubt both intriguing, shocking, in your face and full of raw emotions, but I had a hard time with Celie’s POV. Not because of the shocking/graphic elements, but because her dialogue was really hard to read with all those broken sentences, bad grammar etc. I know it’s because she is an uneducated child wife of the South and it does feel authentic, but it doesn’t take away I struggled a lot to keep reading.
* I then read Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell, the second book in the Detective Ruby Preston series. It took me some time to warm up to the main character in the first book, but I had no such problem in the sequel. I was hooked right from the start and it was one hell of a ride! Well written prose, interesting characters, twisted serial killer, possible Jack The Ripper reference, lots and lots of plot twists… What’s more to ask? I’ll definitely be waiting impatiently for the next Ruby Preston adventure.
* Afterwards I decided to pick up another pending ARC: Miranda’s Rights by Lily Luchesi. It’s also a sequel and a paranormal romance story with lots of supernatural creatures, although the main focus is on vampires. And those fanged creatures might be the main reason I liked this story less than most other readers… Although it does have a love triangle as well. It is a fast read though and fans of the genre will probably enjoy it a lot better than I did.
* The last book I finished is Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken, another sequel and part of my Beat The Backlist challenge. To be honest, I enjoyed this sequel a lot less than I thought I would. I found it overlong, almost boring and the plot a bit thin. Basically it’s about Ruby trying to find someone and messing up a lot along the way, with various people betraying her or not being what they seem to be… Not at all as good as the first book (which I really enjoyed), and Ruby started to annoy me with the whole ‘I’m dangerous/I can’t be around others/I need to be alone’ thing. The writing style is as good as ever, but it sure took me a lot longer than expected to finish this one…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are three more ARCs… All for the April ARC month. Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray was sent by the author and sounds like an intriguing travel read. Both Castle Of Water by Dane Huckelbridge and The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger are Netgalley ARCs and are a case of coverlove and intriguing blurb combined. I also still want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult; I’ve been mentioning this title for way too long now and I’m picking this up as soon as I finish this months Netgalley titles!


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