Review: It’s a Bears Life: That’s No Picnic by Astrid V. J.

Where are my urban fantasy, shifter story fans? I’ve got a treat for you today. Fancy getting stuck into a brand new series about animal shifters set in inner-city Sweden? This is a prequel novella introducing us to some of the characters that will feature in the full length series that, if you ask me, can’t come soon enough!

Title: It’s a Bear’s Life: That’s No Picnic (The Last Vasa #0.5)

Author: Astrid V. J.

Rating: 5 stars

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Its-Bears-Life-Thats-Picnic-ebook/dp/B0B25J5H1P/


Blurb

There’s nothing much more life-changing than a bullet to the neck…

While he contemplates death and the consequences his will bring for his family, Bashir is offered a chance at a new life by the Swedish police officer who finds him in a dark alley of Gothenburg’s infamous north-eastern suburb. Bashir’s new life comes with the surprise that nothing is as he previously believed: magical creatures exist, and preying on the weak are forces far more sinister than the drug dealers he’d contended with before.

But if becoming a part of Sweden’s hidden underworld of shifters weren’t enough, Bashir’s discoveries are upended when he meets Milena: the last Vasa.


Review

This was a great introduction to an exciting new urban fantasy world, one set in Sweden and based in reality, but with a secret community of shifters and magic. Being a prequel novella and therefore quite short, the book doesn’t delve too deep into the lore or details of the shifter abilities or magic system, and I’m really looking forward to finding out more when the first book in the main series is released.

Astrid did manage to weave together elements of history, folklore, politics, religion and culture into this story, hinting at so much more to come.

Bashir’s experiences as an immigrant were so well portrayed and gave the story an added layer of tension and credibility, it was heartbreaking to see his physical reaction to authority figures like the police and the train ticket collector due to his past, negative experiences.

When the mysterious figure of Milena was introduced I desperately wanted to find out who and what she was, but I suppose I’ll have to wait until I get my hands on the first book in the main series, as the trilogy will focus on Milena’s life, with Bashir as a secondary character.

I’m so intrigued by the world of these bear shifters and the part the Last Vasa has to play in the forthcoming series. I can’t wait to read book one now!

You can grab a copy of It’s a Bear’s Life now for just 99c!

Lyndsey

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The Solitary King is FREE until 2 July!

*klaxon sounding*

The Fair Chronicles are on sale!

From 30 June to 2 July, The Fair Queen is just 1.99 and The Solitary King is FREE!

Need a reminder of what’s in store for you when you dive into the Fair Realm?

Get both books now for less than $2! And the final book, The Fair War, is coming later this year!

Happy reading, folks!

Lyndsey

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Cover Reveal: A Fair Deception & A Fair Vendetta

I’m absolutely in love with the new covers I’ve commissioned for my Fair Tales novellas! If you’ve seen the original cover for A Fair Deception, that was always supposed to be for the complete collection, I just used it as a placeholder when I decided to publish the first story separately. Now my second novella is almost ready to be published and I realised I would need some new individual covers for the two novellas.

I wanted the individual covers to tie in with the main Fair Tales cover, and to be honest, the designer has knocked it out of the park, creating two new covers that use purple and navy shades to keep the series in the same colour palette whilst making sure they’re all eye-catching in their own right.

Ready to see the new covers? Okay, here is the original, series cover for Fair Tales:

Fair Tales short stories from the Fair Realm

I still love this cover, and it will be the cover for the collection paperback and ebook (if I’m able to reuse it, Amazon might not like that, and I might decide to make the full collection a paperback exclusive).

And here is the fresh recover for A Fair Deception:

How gorgeous is Daya, the sharp-tongued huntress and future Gnome Queen? (It’s not a spoiler if you’ve read The Fair Queen, or know that it’s a loose Cinderella adaptation… otherwise, sorry?).

Click on the cover to check out the blurb and grab the ebook on Amazon. OR, you could read it for free when you sign up to my email newsletter. And the best part about joining my email list is that you’ll be the first to know when A Fair Vendetta is available, and you’ll also get that one for free! And the following three Fair Tales stories, which I’m hoping to publish in 2023.

Ready to see the cover for my upcoming novella, A Fair Vendetta?

I am so excited to share this story with you once it’s ready for public consumption. It follows Mena, a Sylph (air-magic) who was orphaned years earlier at the hands of Celeste soldiers (aether-magic), and is now on a mission for vengeance against the man who stole everything from her.

It’s a sweet, clean sapphic romance about two girls from opposite sides of the tracks, and I’m really enjoying writing it! Plus, how incredible does Mena look on that cover? If you’re a fan of the Throne of Glass series, particularly The Assassin’s Blade, then I’m sure you’ll love A Fair Vendetta.

I’m planning to have this novella out by August, so join my email list now and you can be reading A Fair Deception while you wait!

I know, I know. I’m too good to you.

Happy reading, friends!

Lyndsey

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