Book Stop – ARC Review – Vampire Hearts by Katie M. John

Vampire Hearts: Book One of Bathory Academy by Katie M. John

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

Publish Date: July 27, 2018

Series: Bathory Academy #1

Genre: Older YA, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think 3-3.5 stars for me. The premise and the uniqueness of the backstory really made the book for me. I am loving how really rich the world building is here, pulling together some of the oldies with a whole lot of newbie made for a really great read. The very clever and subtle name drops made me feel like I belonged. I had no trouble sinking right into the world and scenes and honestly there was enough going on that I remained invested from cover to cover; however all that being said it really did take us a while to really get anywhere and by the end of the book I really don’t feel like we made a lot of progress plot wise. If we really break it down there was a back and forth of scenes that instead of keeping up moving forward kept us kind of stagnant throughout the first book. This is interwoven with backstory and some reveals here and there as well as introduction to new characters so I never really felt bored but I can definitely see where the repetition of certain actions could loose some readers.

Alex, our MC, has just found out he is a born vampire (inter generational – meaning his parents were not vampires but the gene passed to him from his grandfather.) Rushed off to Bathory Academy school for supernatural, Alex is thrust into a hierarchical Vampire system that doesn’t quite sit well with his millennial upbringing nor his hero complex. He also is having a hard time with self acceptance, refusing to feed. Scarlet our FMC is the darling of Bathory Academy, also with some “revolutionary” views herself. Scarlet comes with her own drama and has conflict with how she was raised and her belief system herself. Alex and Scarlet have a somewhat instant connection which slowly reveals itself to perhaps being more than just fate. As Scarlet becomes a target from a religious group hell bent on destroying all vampires especially those from her line, and the Supernatural community becomes embroiled in more and more turmoil as the fascist system they have been living under for centuries reaches closer to a breaking point, the students at Bathory Academy as well as Alex and Scarlet must come to realize their parts in the future of supernaturals as well as deal with this mysterious connection.

I think we are store for a healthy amount of problems as the students aren’t in possession of all the information like the teachers/adults. The withholding of information always causes issues and drags a story out longer than necessary so I’ll have to keep that in mind for when the next book comes out. All in all though I thought this was an interesting and entertaining read and am looking forward to book 2 hoping we really get somewhere there.

I requested and received an ARC of this via NetGalley and the Publisher BooksGoSocial in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Stop – Requested Review – Legend of Griff by Richard Sparrow

The Legend of Griff by Richard Sparrow

Publisher: Independently Published

Published: December 27th 2018

Series: Legend of Griff #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Humor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars for me. So just to start off with the feel of the book I was getting “The Black Cauldron” vibes the entire time. I am not sure why.. maybe the pig farmer thing? The orphan and sword thing? I couldn’t shake it throughout the story. I really loved the “spoof” factor in the book. The author seemed to take popular fantasy tropes and basically make fun of them in a very entertaining fantasy story. Instead of the handsome young hero with a tortured past off to save the world with his magic sword that just appeared out of thin air, the reader basically get an anti hero. A foul mouthed Goblin with a penchant for thievery and a very healthy dose of survival skills who just so happened to accidentally kill the hero and now has to somehow find a way to weasel his way out of becoming involved with this journey.

In terms of originality I’d give it 5 stars lol. I think what kept me off that 4 star is the fact that though we are having an entertaining jaunt and a very detailed world building and backstory, the first book didn’t really feel like it got anywhere for me. I am not quite sure where we are headed plot wise. I feel like we never really reached the climax so to speak, however there are definitely things simmering on all the burners.. there are a lot of burners it seems. We have a complete cast here and get a whole heck of a lot of viewpoints. It was a little difficult to finally get everyone separated in the respective corners but by the end I felt like a had a pretty decent grasp. I’m afraid if too many more ingredients join in however the pot will be overflowing.

All in all this really was an entertaining flip on the popular tropes of the world of fantasy. The book was really well written and very easy to sink into. This is seeming to be a story that’s not about the destination but all about the ride. I’m down with that!

I was contacted by the author and asked to take a look at this book and leave an honest review.
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