First up, I just want to say that to any UK based book reviewers or book bloggers, you can assess NetGalley! I thought that NetGalley was only available to American/Canadian bloggers but it's not so both of these books were very kindly sent to me from the Publisher/Author via NetGalley. NetGalley, if you didn't know, is a site were reviewers/bloggers can browse upcoming book releases and request to review them for free from a wide range of publishers such as Penguin Random House, Harper Collins UK, Pushkin Press, Pan Macmillan and many many more - it's amazing!
Hero Born by Andy LivingstoneI have both books as e-books on my Kindle app on my iPad which I don't really prefer but I'm so glad and grateful that I've been able to read these books as I don't know if I would have come across them otherwise. I love the covers, they're simple but striking! I instantly loved the writing style, it's so incredibly quick and easy to follow and I also immediately loved most of the characters in this first book, especially Brann, Gerens, Grakk, Einarr and Konall. I think as a basic description, it's a traditional adventure novel with coming of age elements; it features bandits, pirates, kings, fighting and not so nice themes of murder, human mutilation, cults (of a sorts) and slavery. I love the relationships between the main characters, although not Boar! The pace of the book was enough to keep me wanting to read on and on and on; it's such an entertaining and fun read! The friendships and adventures in the novel are a refreshingly positive and I found myself really hoping the main characters would survive. The only minor points I wasn't a massive fan of was the term 'maggot' which I think is a bit cliche; additionally this last negative point is something I really hate and it is when the same character is referenced to by numerous terms/names - for example, Konall is termed, 'the tall boy', then 'the noble boy', then 'the white haired boy' - why can't the characters just be referred to by their names? I find it difficult to know when how much information about a book is too much but I just want to say that this book is one of my favourites of the year so far as well as it's sequel. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.
Hero Grown by Andy LivingstoneThis second book follows directly on from where the first book ended and again it has an amazingly assessable and easy to follow writing style that makes the book quick and enjoyable to read on a hot summers day - which today definitely is as it is the hottest day of the year at 31 degrees celsius which is unheard of in Manchester! The story follows the same cast of characters as well as some new and memorable ones. The locations in the first book reminded me of nordic/Scandinavian countries as well as england and in this book the main city seems to definitely be inspired heavily by Rome and the Roman Empire which I love. This story seemed to have more twists, turns and description compared to the previous book which I loved but I hated what happened to the lovely main character about 40% through the book which made me not want to pick it up as much but I finished the book yesterday and I loved the ending now I cannot wait for the third book which I presume is Hero Rises?Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.
If you haven't read these then definitely buy them, they are so entertaining and quick to read - I love the worlds/locations as well as the main cast of characters in both books and I ended up rooting for them all throughout both books so much so that I wanted to be part of their gang of misfits and fighters!
The e-book Hero Born is also £1.99 on amazon which is incredible and the second book Hero Grown is also £1.99 and it will be available on the 28th July but you can pre-order now...which you definitely should ASAP!
Have you read either of these? Do you like action and adventure novels? What are you reading?