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The Path Keeper by N.J Simmonds (Review)

I am delighted to be participating in the tour for The Path Keeper by N.J Simmonds by bringing you a review! The book is out now in Kindle, Paperback and Hardback editions and is the first book in The Indigo Chronicles. I received a copy of this book for free as part of the tour. Please do check out the other tour stops below!

Firstly, I’d like to mention that this book is Young Adult and does have a trigger warning at the start of it as it contains scenes of sexual abuse, death and mental health issues. It also contains scenes of a sexual nature. Personally, I was fine with those parts, but some people may not be. I was a little surprised by the sexual scenes in a YA book – it’s definitely for the more mature young adult.

The book currently has two covers as shown in the tour banner, I absolutely adore them, and I opted to feature my favourite of the two – the paperback version in this post.

Ella is a university student in London, but she was raised in Spain. She’s also sort of famous, thanks to her parents. Her mum married a legendary owner of hotels, a man who is nice enough and seems to care for the family, even though he’s not actually Ella’s father.

One day, Ella steps off a bus, dropping books everywhere and consequently, means a guy who will change her life enormously. This guy is named Zac and he is not a human.

This book is not my usual genre but I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. Entirely compelling, I enjoyed the entire thing and my criticisms are few. There was a small thing that bugged me which was just a minor inconsistency that didn’t effect the story or anything. The second thing that bothered me is I HAVE TO WAIT TO READ THE NEXT BOOK. Aha. ha. Seriously. I also wish Ella’s Spanish upbringing came through more mid-late book but there’s a whole lot going on and the story is complex, it wasn’t necessary, it’s just something I’d have personally liked to have seen.

Past and present are woven together. We get some tales of people from the past and tragic events (some of which actually occurred) and find out how and why they matter in the present day and to our current characters. I really enjoyed how the story would flip to past lives of people and their history. Like short stories tied together by fate. Ella and Zac – the guy who changed the course of her life – are really strong characters. I found myself really cheering for them and hoping for the best outcome for them.

The plot, was absolutely wonderful, it captivated me and I just had to keep reading and find out what would happen as Ella and Zac’s romance blossomed and more obstacles ended up in their path. The book ends entirely set up for the next installment in the series – Son of Secrets which I can’t wait to be able to read! I can’t wait to find out what happens next. N.J Simmonds has entirely captured me through her storytelling.

About the Book

What if our lives were mapped out before birth? Does anyone have the power to change their destiny?

Ella hates London. She misses her old life in Spain and is struggling to get over her past—until she meets Zac. He’s always loved her but isn’t meant to be part of her story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense. A world full of danger, lies and magic.

THE PATH KEEPER is a passionate tale of first loves, second chances and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?

About the Author

Natali Drake, who writes under the pen name of N J Simmonds, is an accredited member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. When she’s not busy working on her YA fantasy romance series she is also a freelance writer and brand consultant. She has written articles for various UK newspapers and online publications with two of her essays appearing in THE MOTHER BOOK published by Selfish Mother. In 2015 she co-founded the online magazine THE GLASS HOUSE GIRLS and is a regular contributor.

Originally from north London, Natali studied Feature Writing at City University and began her career in corporate publishing and marketing before moving to Spain to write, and to raise her family. She now divides her time between her two homes in the Netherlands and Spain with her husband and two daughters.

Bookish

Ways of the Doomed by Moira McPartlin (Excerpt)

Today, I am pleased to be bringing you an extract from Ways of the Doomed by Moira McPartlin, out now in both Paperback and Kindle editions, published by Fledgling Press.

I smelled the fear. Not from the old man: this was his domain and his confidence shone brighter than the buttons on his coat. It could have been my stench, but more likely it was seeping from the abyss ahead.

‘We must pass some prisoners’ cells to reach my private quarters. This will be the only time. After today you will never be permitted access to the Penitentiary.’   

What about when I leave?   But the question stayed cradled in a pocket of worry at the back of my mouth.

‘Walk by my side,’ he said. ‘Don’t make a sound. Don’t even breathe.’

I nodded. It seemed my voice had packed up and left with Ishbel.

Emerging from the shadows at the other end of the corridor a Military style guard stood rigid. His uniform was flat black and he carried an old fashioned automatic rifle.  A riot baton hung on his belt. His eyes never wavered from some fixed point above our heads, even when he clicked his heels in salute. My grandfather ignored him and poked me in the back with a sharp finger.

‘Move!’

Blood thundered round my body and I put my hand to my chest to try to catch the pulse to quieten it. Could the prisoners hear it or did they have their own sounds?  I imagined huddled beings, behind doors, ears pressed to cold metal, listening for our footsteps. The temptation to flop to my belly and crawl the length of the corridor was so strong I hunched to keep low, afraid of disturbing the pregnant air. The sound of my heels clattered like rocks on a snare drum. The locked doors crowded me, the corridor stretched, narrowed and with each step the guard seemed to move farther away. A voice from somewhere sizzled and singed the hair on my nape, Grandfather’s step missed a beat, I lost my footing and tripped.  He grabbed my arm before I fell my length and jerked me forward like a naughty child to be punished and sent to bed early.

Sweat soaked my oxters and groin and by the time we reached the guard I wanted to pee, but to ask to pee at this stage would be impossible, I probably couldn’t do it anyway.

About The Book

Book 1 of The Sun Song Trilogy.

It’s the year 2089 and everything is altered. The revolutions of the early 21st century have created a world divided – between the Privileged few and the Native (Celtic) underclass. Sorlie is enjoying a typical carefree Privileged teenage life until it is smashed apart by the cruel death of his parents and he is spirited away to live with his ice-cold grandfather at a mysterious island penal colony. Sorlie’s discovery that the captives are being genetically altered to remove all trace of their Native origins triggers a chain of shocking events that reveal his grandfather’s terrible secrets and, ultimately, the truth about himself.