New Book Reviews Blog Pages

Tainted by Helen Macdonald

“Tainted” by Helen Macdonald is a contemporary, scifi fantasy that explores the dark side of the human experience.

The first few chapters of the book are available for purchase on Amazon.

One of the highlights of the available chapters is Macdonald’s writing.

With fresh, crisp prose, she captures a wide range of human emotions.

The fantasy elements in “Tainted” allow Macdonald to flex her imaginative wings. The result is some extremely creative ideas, such as the Alternate Realm Variator and interesting conceptions of genetic alterations.

Despite the fantasy elements, Macdonald does not neglect developing her characters.

Her characters are extremely dynamic, and their dialogue is true-to-life.

The chapters give the reader an idea of what is to come. For instance, the character Reagan talks about being chosen for combat at age 10, and the reader anticipates action.

The rich plot is shown through a variety of perspectives. Each perspective gives the reader a new insight into some aspect of the plot. This technique is particularly powerful in showing both sides of the characters’ relationships.

The story is written in first-person, present tense, which allows the reader to have an intimate connection with the characters.

Overall, the available “Tainted” chapters will have readers clamoring for more.

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Vampire Elite by Irina Argo


Irina Argo’s “Vampire Elite” wows with intriguing mythology, fascinating characters, and a tantalizing plot.

Set in a variety of exotic locations, such as Greece and Venezuela, the book, follows the ages-long battle between vampires and the Amiti, a race created by the Egyptian goddess Hathor to unlock the love of vampires.

One of the novel’s strongest points is its usage of the interplay between relationships and politics to drive the plot forward.

Case in point, it is Simone, the child of the former Queen of the Amiti and the King of Vampires, who takes the initiative to protect the new Queen of the Amiti, Arianna.

The story shifts perspectives occasionally, giving the reader a spectrum of viewpoints, truly allowing a connection with the characters.

Although the plot is fast-paced, Argo does not neglect the lore behind the Amiti and the vampires, fully explaining their history and capabilities, such as the blood-bond.

The government structure of each group, such as the Amiti’s Keepers, play an important role in the plot and are described in a way that keeps the reader interested.

The tie in between the Amiti, the vampires, and Egyptian mythology is seamless and adds a layer of realism to the story.

One of novel’s strongest points is its emphasis on capturing emotion. For instance, the novel explores the conflicted feelings of Simone, who is half vampire and half Amiti, and her reservations about the vampire practice of enslaving Amiti for use as bloodstock

The novel is such a complete package that it’d appeal to anyone who loves a story with a fast-paced plot and fascinating characters, whether they like vampires or not.

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The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling


With strong writing and a diverse cast of characters, J.K. Rowling looks into the dark side of human nature in her novel, “The Casual Vacancy.”

Set in the picturesque English village of Pagford, the book practically reads as a response to the Harry Potter books, with a lack of the imaginative.

The book starts with the death of councilmember Barry Fairbrother.

The death creates a casual vacancy in the council that causes some characters to reach for power, while others are victimized.

The plot rockets into orbit following the death, only to fizzle out a few chapters later.
The book’s ending feels premature and overly dramatic.

Luckily, Rowling’s characters, a group representative of the town’s demographics, keep the reader interested.

The characters often move to the dark side of human behavior, pursuing casual sex and drug use.

The novel’s cast of characters and sharp writing more than make up for the weak plot, and the book is perfect for anyone interested in the human condition.

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