Tuesday, 6 December 2016

REVIEW - ASSASSIN - INSURRECTION SERIES BY A. DEEN

Title: Assassin
Series: Insurrection
Author: A. Deen
Genre: Sci-Fi
Release Date: 3rd October 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
Mankind has heard the voice of the Albatross speak against the Establishment for years. The resistance sees him as their leader, their symbol of freedom from oppression. No one knows he was once an assassin, a shadow of fear and torment wielded by the Establishment as a weapon of death. Until now. But there are secrets more horrifying than the Albatross’s past, deceptions interconnected with the Establishment and the alien enemy that humanity believes it defeated.

When Everett awakens on an abandoned outpost in the asteroid belt, he is desperate to find Ellie and warn the resistance of the Locusts’ impending return. Neither may be possible, especially when Everett faces an old adversary who knows he’s hiding more than just a savage past. But when intruders enter the outpost, they’ll have to work together to escape with their lives or lose everything they’ve fought for.


PURCHASE LINKS

INITIAL THOUGHTS
As this is the fourth book in this intriguing series I was looking forward to reading it. I really wanted to know what had happened to Ellie, one of my favourite characters in this series.

THOUGHTS WHILST READING
Still loving the characters, thinking the Albatross aka Everett will make gret book boyfriend material. Then again so would Gemson!

COVER THOUGHTS/COMMENTS
This cover perfectly matches all the others, with just the different novella/episode changed.

REVIEW
This book starts with Everett aka the Albatross hearing his name being called out in the distance. At first the voice calling seems far away to him but as he regains full consciousness it becomes closer. Then the pain hits along with the memories of what happened with the Butcher. Once totally aware, Everett can feel an IV in his arm. Not being one to lay and wait for answers to come to him he sets about finding out what, where and who he is with. As he discovers he is in some sort of large hangar type building, his memories all come rushing back and he is filled with terror as he recalls what the butcher told him he would do to his beloved Ellie. Everett is filled with a sudden urgency but is equally torn. His head demands that he needs to warn the resistance of the locusts attack plans, where as his heart is urging him on to find Ellie!
The torture he underwent in the last book (no spoilers!) is still affecting him very badly, it’s a struggle to think and even harder to get his body to obey his instructions to move. So when Gemson arrives in the hangar directing a barrage of questions at Everett, he decides he needs to co-operate. The first question Gemson barks is to demand to know “What he is?” a difficult question but Everett replies honestly that yes he is human but a human changed. Again I can’t reveal much more of their conversation as it would reveal spoilers. Gemson then leads Everett to believe that Ellie has been mortally wounded. 
This novella covers a lot, there’s the brotherly protectiveness of Gemson, the hurry to contact the resistance. . .that’s if the resistance will even believe him now they know the full truth of his past as an assassin. . .can he make the new leaders of the resistance believe him?
Asassins are sent to kill Everett, his former “brothers” M-Six, L-Nine and Eight-Zero. It doesn’t matter that the human in them agree the Everett (formerly One-Seven-Five) though they fight their implants as much as possible there are some great fight scenes within the book. Also though not totally human there are some brilliant emotional scenes between the Assassins, their resignation at what has to happen. One of the assassin reveals a vital piece of information to Everett which make him meeting up and getting the resistance to believe him vital if earth is ever to fight and win against the alien locust intruders.
We get to meet Yaren in this novella too, whom Gemson refers to as a cyborg. His attitude is to look down on Yaren as non human and some sort of freak. His mind set soon changes as they all have to fight together against the establishment to escape to a hidden place to meet up with General Ortega.
I loved the dialogue, and verbal sparring between Yaren and Gemson. Yaren is prepared to sacrifice everything to fly her passengers to safety and to take them to meet General Ortega.
Everett also finally has some time alone to talk to someone he really cares for. He is concerned at what she will say about hi idea to bring down the locusts. It’s pretty sad really as they have quite literally only just found each other. Though they are both determined to make the very most of what little guaranteed time together on their journey to the rendezvous with General Ortega.

FINAL THOUGHTS
So to sum up here are just a few of the questions I have for the next novella.
I am eager to find out if General Ortega will believe and welcome Everett back into the resistance. Will the resistance get organised quickly enough to fight the locusts? Can the resistance win? What will he think to Everett’s idea to fight the locusts, what could well end up being a suicide mission. I found this novella Another engrossing episode! Certainly leaves you wanting more! 

THE INSURRECTION SERIES




Tuesday, 29 November 2016

REVIEW - MONSTER ISLAND: THE NOOSE - MONSTER ISLAND SERIES BY KATIE FRENCH

Title: Monster Island: The Noose
Series: Monster Island
Author: Katie French
Genre: YA, Action, Adventure, Thriller
Release Date: 12th November 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
My name is Kat Voss. 
I was kidnapped, along with other teenagers like me, and dropped on an island where creatures stalk us in the night. 
Then someone hung my twelve-year-old baby sister from a tree like bait. 
The voice on the other end of the camera tells us we have one hour to find her. 
What if I’m too late? 


Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

REVIEW
I received a free copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for my honest review.
I was certainly eager to read this one, wanting to know more about Kat, Lucca and Dev. As well as being super curious about the reasons why the teens were where they are and who had kidnapped them and taken them to this island. I had so many other questions after finishing reading Monster Island: Taken.
The cover of this book is very similar to Monster Island: Taken other than obviously the title "The Noose". This time we have a brown hue for the background colour. The trees are still there and this time though the title font has remained the same the colour is blue. Could this be suggesting the teens situation is improving? Is more light being shed on their situation?
I think specified genres of YA, mystery, thriller are still right but personally I feel it also has a bit of a dystopian, and horror edge to it aswell, maybe thats just me or because I have read other books by Katie French that are dystopian. I'll be interested to read what other readers would say on this. 
Monster Island: The Noose instantly picks up where Monster Island: Taken had left us and a certain character quite literally hanging! I felt immediately pulled back into the mystery, intrigue, and horror of the book as well as the characters dragging my back into their feelings of confusion and disbelief that they are in this situation at all. So we know that one of the younger characters is dangerously suspended from a tree in the forest somewhere. Kat and Lucca watch in horror as she is lowered towards whatever monsters are circling below her. Obviously petrified of being mauled by the animals she does as she is instructed to do, which is to look straight into the camera and scream hers sisters name whilst crying.  The electronic voice informas the teens they have on hour before the girl is lowered to the forest floor and the awaiting beasts!! Kat's reaction is naturally to run right out into the dark wilderness they are in, to attempt to find her sister. Lucca tries to use a more reserved common sense approach, that they need weapons, warm clothes etc.
We also get some flash back scenes from Lucca in The Noose. We learn he and his mother have recently been forced to leave and sell their beautiful home and most of their treasured possessions because "things have gone bad" for Lucca's father where he works. Lucca is annoyed as the move has of course upset his mum, whom he loves dearly and as his father is away for the majority of the time feels very protective towards. Lucca's relationship with his father is what at best I would call poor. 
In this book we have chapters from the point of view of four out the five characters featured in it. Five chapters of the story are told from Lucca's point of view so it makes sense we learn more about him, his interests, his family and begin to see he may have had a small clue or two that can explain just a little of clues that are being left around for the teens to find. We, the reader, also have two chapters from Kat, one from her sister Joslyn and a rather disturbing chapter from the perspective of Dev as he is tricked by a new character the teens meet on their search for weapons to defend themselves. Dev finds himself in the postition of meeting one of the teens captors, though not discovering their identity as they are masked. We do leave Dev in a really precarious situation, so we now have two characters lives "hanging" in the balance and their fates in the hands for the prople who kidnapped them. 
Again I found my favourite characters to be Kat, who continues to be a strong teenaged girl even in the face of the horror of seeing her sister being dangled above strange beasts in the forest. The other character I have taken most to is Lucca, you really do feel his emotions during his flashbacks. As we meet Lucca's family in the flashbacks, it also makes you think about what his mother may be going through, has she realised he is missing yet? Or because Lucca was allowed to leave school early, is his mother still oblivious to the danger her son is in?
Some of the questions I had from bk one, Monster Island Taken were answered, some of the answers are still fascinatingly obscure. I think for ever little clue to an answer the reader is given there are maybe another five questions that arise. So yes aspects in Monster Island: The Noose are still shrouded in mystery and secrecy.
I read this book in just one sitting and as I came to the end have to admit to shouting (silently in my head) "You cannot be serious! You can't be leaving this book here, now?" So to say Monster Island: The Noose left me wanting more is an understatement!! 
What else can I say about this series other than I am enthusiastically, though a little impatiently awaiting more! I certainly recommend this series so far!




Tuesday, 22 November 2016

REVIEW - MONSTER ISLAND:TAKEN - MONSTER ISLAND SERIES BY KATIE FRENCH

Title: Monster Island: Taken
Series: Monster Island
Author: Katie French
Genre: YA, Action, Adventure, Thriller
Release Date: 29th October 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
My name is Lucca DiVitas. I woke up in a burlap sack in a dark shed, and outside someone is screaming. 

In my pocket is a note: Pay for your sins. 

Escaping my bonds, I realize I’ve been kidnapped. Tall trees and snow-capped landscapes tell me I’m far from suburbia. And then there’s the ocean crashing angrily against the rocks. I’m on an island with no way off. 

Rushing toward the screams, I find Kat Voss, a scared teen, who claims she’s running away from a “snake with arms.” I decide she’s in shock until we find cages large enough to fit the world’s most dangerous animals. The cages are open, and they’re empty. 

We uncover more mysteries—an observation room with cameras, a bloody operating table, and a fully stocked torture chamber. 

Then we realize we aren’t alone. 

A voice over the loudspeakers begins directing us, like a guide on the world’s most sadistic tour. The voice tells us to smile for the cameras. Blood is good for business. 

If we can’t figure out who is doing this and why, it’ll only be a matter of time before one of us, or ALL of us, ends up dead. 


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I don’t normally read this genre but have read other titles by this author and loved them so decided to give this one a go.
The cover has tall trees, a forest with a dark background to represent the night. So not a place you’d like to be in the dark. The title is in a bright green, so you’ll see this one on the bookshelf, and you really don’t want to miss this one!
I agree with the description of "action, adventure" but think that there are some spooky, scary, horror bits in there too!!
When you start reading this one you are pulled straight in, and held there until the last word on the last page. I hated having to put the book down to do other things and would have loved to have had the time to sit and read it all the way through. The book is from the point of view of the two main teenage characters within the book, Lucca and Kat. I thought the way the author builds the tension slowly is really great, it keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing along with the characters themselves. I was pleased by the fact that as a reader we only know what the teens know, so we are as puzzled as them as to where they are and why they are there. 
The book begins with us meeting Lucca, a brown eyed, long haired rock and roll type of guy, into music such as Jim Morrison. Lucca wakes up or should I say regains consciousness and soon concludes he isn’t where he is supposed to be. The last thing he can remember is taking his last exam and his teacher Mrs Knight allowing him to finish school earlier than normal so he could “rest his brain”. As he moves about he works out that he is in fact in a sack! How on earth did he get there? Whilst he is attempting to fathom his strange situation out, he hears a girl screaming! It sounds like she is in danger or like someone is trying to murder her! Lucca quickly wriggles and struggles out of the sack to discover he is inside a shed. Before he gets chance to take much of a look round the girl is screaming again. He immediately decides he needs to help this screaming girl and runs out of the shed to find himself in the bitter cold weather and standing in snow. . . the exact opposite weather conditions to those he was in earlier at school in Michigan. Lucca runs towards the screams and finds a girl attempting to claw her way up a tree! The girl is Kat, a green eyed crimson haired teenage girl and she is screaming because she is in danger of being attacked by what initially looks like an Amazonian Snake, but it turns out to be something even more unusual and bizarre. Kat panics, and sets off running blindly in the opposite direction to the snakelike creature. She suddenly feels an arm grabbing her and pulling her back. She thinks she is going to be attacked but Lucca was merely saving her from toppling over the edge of a steep cliff. Kat pulls away and runs off again, but Lucca persists in following her, wanting to know if she knows where they are and why? Lucca puts his hand in his pocket searching for his phone but finds a mysterious note with the peculiar message of “Pay for your sins”. He shoves it back in his pocket and continues after Kat. The two teens don’t get off to an easy start with Kat thinking Lucca is going to attack her. Both of them are scared, they don’t know where they are, or how they got there either. As he looks back up from his pocket he sees Kat has suddenly stopped and is transfixed by something in the distance. Lucca follows her gaze and sees what she is staring at. There are eight large cages, the metal doors to them are wide open. The two teens discuss what could have been in the cages and where it or they could be now. Worried about being out in the open they notice a cinder block building and head towards that hoping for some way to contact someone, anyone that can help them solve this unsettling position they both find themselves in. The building is dark but they brave going into it. They compare stories. Kat was snatched from her home where she had been alone with her younger sister Joslyn. Neither of the teens are dressed particularly appropriate for the environment or weather condition of this mystery place. They find a room that is full of monitors, each with different dark fuzzy images on them. Then they notice a boy on one of the monitors, and he is running, he is being chased by something, and the two stare in silent horror as a large. . . no really large animal of some sort catches the boy! They are horrified and begin to think at least they are safe inside. . . when they hear a door creaking.. . .and that’s the only the beginning of their problems. 
I liked how both Lucca and Kat try to think if they have done anything bad enough to warrant them being kidnapped from their homes and dumped in this isolated, potentially dangerous place that shows no signs of civilisation.
The teens do discover cryptic sayings or quotes in the same handwriting as the note Lucca found in his pocket such as “If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not REVENGE?” Kat instantly recognises it, not that it really reveals anything to the two teens.
I should say I grew quite fond of both of the main characters Lucca and Kat throughout the book, they both seem like normal individuals. Neither comes from an especially wealthy family, so at this stage I personally don’t think they have been kidnapped for ransom money. I am still perplexed on what anyone could do to warrant the punishment or revenge of being put on such a dangerous, horror filled place.
If I had to choose just one favourite character it would have to be Kat, she is quite secretive and so cautious around Lucca to begin with. Then she seems to really warm to him, after all they are both stuck here together, but I think there is a lot more to learn about her. What is she hiding from Lucca? . . 
I really enjoyed this book a lot! Which being 100% honest with you I wasn't sure I would, as this book is not my in any of my usual favoured genres. I can't wait to read more. . . I’m wanting to know what is going on, and why it is that Kat thinks she may have done something to deserve this level of punishment? What could a teenage girl have done to deserve this revenge? Love the almost immediate friendship between Lucca and Kat (though Kat took longer). I have so many questions!!
I’m looking forward to learning more about the weird, exotic monsters/animals. As well as fathoming out what they are, they could be animals from a foreign land, or maybe some eccentric scientist has played with genetics and created hybrid monsters!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

REVIEW - ALPHA - MACKENZIE GREY SERIES BY KARINA ESPINOSA

Title: Alpha
Series: Mackenzie Grey
Author: Karina Espinosa
Publisher: Black Quill Press
Genre: Paranormal,Werewolves, Vampires, Witch's, Roomance
Release Date: 15th November 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
It’s hard being a Princess.

Mackenzie Grey never felt as vulnerable as she does now—but that won’t stop her from getting what she wants: revenge. Kenz and her friends journey to a new land where everyone has a motive and everyone is a suspect.
The Lunas find their voices after the massacre but question still stands—who is the real enemy? If Mackenzie wants to free herself, she will need to free them all; and it won’t be easy. As she approaches her 24th birthday—in the middle of a web of lies, deception, and murder—Kenz has to weave her way to the truth before she’s next on the chopping block.

With her companions, Mackenzie will make her final stand and change the course of the Lycan world forever…
 


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

REVIEW - PENNSYLVANIA - PENNSYLVANIA SERIES BY MICHAEL BUNKER

Title: Pennsylvania
Series: Pennsylvania
Author: Michael Bunker
Genre: Sci-Fi
Release Date: 3rd April 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Jedidiah Troyer just wants to start a farm and homestead on some affordable land in a new Amish community, but... what if the only good, cheap, available land was on another planet? So now Jed has signed up for an emigration program that is intent on colonizing the distant planet of New Pennsylvania. He faces a despotic government agency at war with rebels, the caprices of interstellar travel, a shadowy futuristic insurgency on his new planet, and more mysteries than he can count as he tries to fulfill his dream of owning his own farm. Space pioneering isn't as easy as it sounds when you're "plain." Things might work out for Jed... if he can ever get to his new home.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
This series was recommended to me by another author after I read and enjoyed his book. As Phillip Harris’s book The Girl in the City is set in the society/world created in the Pennsylvania Series by Michael Bunker. So I decided to give reading the first part of the series a go. I am quite fascinated with the Amish culture so that was another point that drew me to the book.
I was quite quickly drawn in and my attention was definitely held throughout this book. I really didn’t want to put this book down and read very late into the night on a few occasions.
The cover depicts quite a barren looking isolated landscape, and there’s the Amish carriage on the winding road. 
The genres I’d personally say this book falls into are dystopian, and science fiction with some post apocalyptic aspects thrown in as well. It will be interesting to see how the Amish featured in the book cope with the genre aspects within it. On one hand their plain ways, and self sufficiency should make it easier for them to do without technology, however on the other hand there are science fiction parts in the book so how will they deal with what technology may be forced upon them. Will they continue to isolate themselves and keep to their own kind or will they reach out and help the non plain/Amish community.
So the actual book is a great introduction to what I personally hope will be a fascinating series. The setting is sometime in the future with advanced technology such as airbuses and the colonisation of other planets than earth. Earth has become over populated with less and less land to be purchased and worked. The Amish have to an extent been exempt from certain rules in this society such as having compulsory TRID’s fitted. TRID’s are an identity chip that is installed and does away with the old identification, passport papers. The Amish went to court and won their appeal against having them having them compulsory fitted like the English and rest of the society. The Amish also do not use the new currency that is placed on a card. This system is explained in detail within the book and was originally called Unilets which were derived from LETS. LETS = Local Exchange Trading System. The English keep their LETS on a card and pay for things electronically. Which to be totally honest is not a million miles away from our own contactless credit card system. Another popular technology that is widely available is B.I.C.E. which is a Beta Internet Chip Enhancement or as Jed refers to it as the “Internet in your head”. Not everyone is rich enough to pay for this chip and some still have to go to a place called an “Insta” where they can access the internet. Quadrille is a popular, and legal drug that the English seem to take in large quantities on a regular basis. 
The book begins with the main character of eighteen year old Jedidiah Troyer (Jed) who is attending to the chore of milking a cow on his family’s farm with his fourteen year old brother Amos Troyer. Amos asks for what must be the hundredth time if Jed will tell him about the journey he will be beginning later today. Jed is a patient older brother and it seems he is secretly pleased to tell his younger brother what he wants to know over and over again. Jed goes on to explain the whole journey or as they call it a pilgrimage and the colonisation process too.. 
Jed is going to inhabit a new planet called New Pennsylvania which is almost the same size as earth, and lots of the Amish people are making this move, which when you think of the Amish culture means that even they are having to adapt to continue their way of life.
Saying that the whole trip does not go to plan is somewhat of an understatement! First there seems to be something wrong with the amount of LETS on Jed’s card but a Transport station operative conveys that he should not question this, so he rather naively just goes with the whole situation that becomes more strange as his pilgrimage progresses. The book covers the small mindedness and discrimination of the English as Jed is bullied on one of the airbuses he travels on. It is nothing for them but when another English man named Jerry comes to his aid he feels warmed by the actions, not all are prejudiced against the Amish. 
Unfortunately for them it seems that Jed and Jerry have been unknowingly pulled into a much larger plan of resistance against the government. They also discover that New Pennsylvania id not as idyllic as they have been told.
I love the character of Jed, the brave and curious eighteen year willing to leave everything he knows and loves at a chance of working hard and eventually purchasing his own land. Jed is described as being a younger version of his father who believes in hard work. Working on the farm has made Jed a strong, lean and sturdy man, prepared to work hard for the prospect of a new life. He has long term plans, hoping that when old enough his younger brother will come out to join him on his land in New Pennsylvania. I did also like the younger character of Amos, and hope to see him, featured somewhere in the future of the series. Jed shows he is adventurous going to a new country but that he dearly loves and will miss his family and their love. There are some quite poignant, emotional moments within this book. One is the moment when Jed thinks back to the old barn window he broke when he was younger and the punishment his father gave him was to fix the window. Jed did fix it, just not with glass. He found a tin can and flattened it our filling the gap the glass breaking had created.
I loved reading this book and can’t wait to read even more of it soon! I really liked the mix of the society and cultures. I could go on and on about this book! Oh wow! what a place to end! What a cliff hanger! loved it, loved it, loved it! I want to read more... much more of this series.

Monday, 7 November 2016

BLOG TOUR - FOR SALE BY OWNER BY MARLENE BATEMAN

BLURB supplied by the Author
Filled with plans, McKenzie Forsberg returns to her hometown to spend Christmas with her family. Stressed by a year of intense, ongoing problems, she quit her high-powered job to move back and rebuild her life.  Kenzie desperately needs the peace and security she is sure will come from buying the home she grew up in. But when she arrives, Kenzie discovers that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, has already put an offer on the house. However, he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve.


When Kenzie unexpectedly runs into a couple who are considering buying Jared’s house, she unthinkingly gives them information that changes their mind. Jared is more than a little interested in Kenzie, but has second thoughts when it appears Kenzie may have attempted to sabotage the sale of his home. Feeling bad, Kenzie apologizes but the damage may be too much for their relationship to overcome. Despite themselves, sparks of attraction grow into something more. Then, a few days before Christmas, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past. In that moment, everything changes. Will the power of love be enough to bring Jared and Kenzie together and allow them to find their happily ever after?

PURCHASE LINKS
Seagull Book; https://goo.gl/yQboNh
GoodReads;  https://goo.gl/ksPihN

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah.  She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS, non-fiction books:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die. 

BOOK EXCERPT

“What made you decide to move to Lake Forest?” Kenzie asked.
“I’ve always loved it here,” Jared said. “It’s a beautiful area, and there’s a special atmosphere here. People are so friendly. I guess part of the reason I came is because I needed to go someplace new and kind of start over, you know?”
            Kenzie did know. That was exactly what she was doing now. She’d gotten over Larry, but she needed to go someplace new and reinvent herself and her life.
“Now let me ask you,” Jared said. “What made you decide to come back?”
            “A lot of reasons. I need a fresh start too. I’m tired of the hectic pace in Chicago.” Impulsively she added, “Also, I had to get away from my job at Midwest. A guy was causing some real problems for me—” She stopped. Their eyes met and lingered. Jared’s compassion was evident and the expression on his face kind. She felt so comfortable talking with him—as if they were kindred spirits. Something in her heart softened into a spreading pool, and she smiled at him.
Tearing open his packet of Oreo cookies., Jared took one and dunked it in his hot chocolate.
Kenzie frowned. “Figures. You’re a dunker.”
“And I bet you’re a twister.”
Snatching up a cookie, Kenzie twisted it open and took a bite of the creamy middle. “Ummm.”
Jared shuddered. “That’s wrong in so many ways.”
Picking up her mug and warming her fingers, Kenzie sipped her hot chocolate. “This is wonderful!”
“It’s a secret recipe—been in my family for generations.”
            “Really?”
            “No, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?”



Friday, 4 November 2016

FILM REVIEW - THE HUNTSMAN WINTERS WAR

Title: The Huntsman Winter's War
Distributed By: Universal
Age Rating: 12
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale, Re-Telling
DVD Release Date: 15th August 2016
DVD Run Time: 109 minutes

CAST
Eric the Huntsman - Chris Hemswoth - Been in: Neighbours & Ghostbusters 2016.
Queen Ravenna - Chalize Theron -Been in: Italian Job & Snow White & the Huntsman.
Freya (Queen's sister) - Emily Blunt - Been in: Devil Wears Prada & Queen Victoria.
Sara the Huntsman -Jessica Chastain - Been in: Interstella & The Help.
Nion - Nick Frost - Been in: Shaun Of The Dead.
Gruff - Rob Brydon - Been in: Gavin & Stacey & voice over in The Gruffalo.
Doreena - Alexandra Roach - Been in:Being Human & Testament Of Youth
Bronwyn - Sheridan Smith - Been in: Two Pints Of Lager & A Packet Of Crisps & Mrs Biggs
Andrew - Colin Morgan - Been in: Merlin, Humans & the Living and The Dead. 

INITIAL THOUGHTS
Not sure what to expect from this one really. I have heard it is a prequel to another film called Snow-white & The Huntsman which I'd like to watch. So it makes sense to watch this one first.

COVER
This cover is dominated by the pictures of four main characters, Queen Ravenna, her younger sister Freya, and the two Huntsman Eric and Sara. Also featured in the background on the cover are shards of glass and what looks to be a mounted army in the bottom left hand corner.

REVIEW
I purchased this on from Amazon UK. So once I began watching this one I began thinking certain parts seemed familiar but weren't from Snow white as I had expected. By the time I got to the end of the videa I realised that this was a mish-mash of parts of Snow-white written by The Brothers Grimm and the other parts were from Han Christian Andersons Snow Queen, which I has in book form as a youngster and had always loved the story.
So the main gist of the story is that Eric is tasked with retrieving the famous Mirror. Along the way we learn more about Eric, how as a child he was kidnapped and trained to become a Hunstman. Whilst training Eric falls in love with the female Huntsman Sara who is also traning. When they are found out they are separated "forever" so that's the romance part of the dvd, because of course Sara and Eric meet up on the search for the Mirror and end up on another more personal quest of does love still exist between Eric and Sara? I think Chris Hemsworth as Eric and Jessica Chastain as Sara make a believable couple. I like the fact Sara is allowed to be as "kick-butt" as Eric, in fact at some points she looks and performs as a Huntsman even better than Eric. She proves on many occasions that she "never misses her target". 
The other character's the pair meet up with are what I'd describe as a couple of "double acts". There's a couple of male dwarve's, Nion & Gruff, and a couple of female dwarve's called Doreena & Bronwyn. The two sets of dwarve's end up having their own "love stories" which is quite funny and cute.  I think Charlize Theron is perfect casting as she is very believable as Queen Ravenna.
Does love survive? with any of the couples? Will love conquer all? Can the unlikely group of friends get the Mirror? Does good overcome evil? well you'll have to watch it to find out!
I fell I should mention that there is "bad language" within the DVD used by Bronwyn which in my opnion could have easily been left out with no detriment to the plot or characters at all. I suppose that's partly why the DVD is rated a 12.
I did enjoy the DVD, I think it will probably make even more sense and become more relevant when I get around to watching Snow White & The Huntsman.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Yes, I enjoyed the DVD and I guess it will appeal to those who love fairy-tale re-tellings. It has also made me interested in watching the next film/films to see how much of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson will feature in it.