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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Want to read Enchanted Forests for free?

Love reading free books? Want to help us raise funds for the Rainforest Foundation? And support some independent authors while you’re at it?

Then you’re in the right place! We’re looking for reviewers to read our collection of magical forest-themed stories and leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads and Bookbub.

Click the image below to apply:

In return, you’ll also get to choose an ebook from our pool of books as a thank you.

And the best bit is, sign ups before May 15 will have their name included in the Acknowledgements of Enchanted Forests!

The sign up form for an ARC of the whole anthology closes on June 10.

ARCs of the complete anthology are due to be sent out by June 15 at the latest and we’d love for reviewers to leave their review by 7 July at the latest.

Here is the direct sign up link for the anthology street team: https://forms.gle/6UZvte9VhnJv6rDX6

Then join our Facebook Fan Group to keep up to date with the release and find out more about our stories, as well as the Enchanted Anthologies authors.

And if you’d like to help, but you won’t have time to read the whole thing before release day on 1 July, I’ll be looking for ARC readers for just my story, One Fair Eve, very soon, so keep an eye out for the announcement!

Thanks for supporting me, my coauthors and our fund raising efforts!

Lyndsey

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Review: Court of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody

I just finished reading book one in the Fae of Bitter Thorn series by Kay L. Moody and I need to talk to someone about it.

Have you read it? Did you love it? Tell me what you thought in the comments.

Haven’t read it yet? Maybe my review will convince you…

Title: Court of Bitter Thorn (Fae of Bitter Thorn #1)

Author: Kay L. Moody

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Court-Bitter-Thorn-Fae-Book-ebook/dp/B089KT96RF/

Rating: 4/5

Blurb

Faerie wasn’t supposed to be real.

Tricked by a fae prince, Elora is stuck in the Faerie realm far from her young sisters who depend on her for survival. Under the terms of her bargain, she can’t go home to the mortal world until Prince Brannick becomes the next High King.

Or until he’s taken out of the running…

Sabotaging Brannick’s chance at the crown will be much faster than helping him win. The fae prince may be charming, powerful, and wickedly handsome, but that won’t stop Elora from selling his secrets to the highest bidder.

By day, she uses her master sword skills to train the prince. By night, she conspires with a rival king in a nearby court whose plans could destroy half of Faerie.

Soon, lives are at stake that she never expected. She’ll have to choose who to save: her beloved sisters or half the inhabitants of Faerie.

The choice would be easy… if a certain prince weren’t digging his way into her heart.

Court of Bitter Thorn is Book 1 in The Fae of Bitter Thorn. Don’t miss the other books in this enchanting fantasy series!

Prequel: Heir of Bitter Thorn (available on author’s website)
Book 1: Court of Bitter Thorn
Book 2: Castle of Bitter Thorn
Book 3: Crown of Bitter Thorn
Book 4: Queen of Bitter Thorn


This is a fun, fast-paced YA romantic fantasy and a brilliant beginning to the Fae of Bitter Thorn series.


I read the prequel novella Heir of Bitter Thorn first, and I’d recommend it if you can, as there were quite a few hints in this book at the events of the prequel, things I really appreciated understanding (it’s free when you subscribe to the author’s email list, but it’s not essential reading).


I loved Elora and Brannick, the chemistry and slow burn were brilliantly done, and I can’t wait to see more of their relationship develop in the next three books. They were really well-written, three dimensional characters whose motivations and characteristics were revealed slowly throughout the story, making it really satisfying to watch them be uncovered bit by bit.


The world building was fantastic, the author included lots of classic faerie folklore, and the modern updates just added to the richness of the setting.
It was a quick, enchanting read and I’m excited to continue with the series!

Lyndsey

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