Grim Nora and the Secret of the Skull, by A.M. Albaugh

Hey guys! This is Kester! Before I start, I would like to say that because the school year has just started, and Sophomore Year is getting a little hectic, I might not be able to read as much as I can, but I will try to! If you are an author and have requested for a book request, it might take a little longer, but I will do my best. Just note that sometimes I have to listen to it as an e-book (you can get your iPhone to speak PDF files for you!) so the review could be a little under since I do not comprehend as great listening to an audio.

 

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. In no way will this affect my review.
In addition, I ask of all authors to subscribe to and help publicize the blog. I ask some authors for book swag. This is not part of the copy-review exchange.

 

Rating: 8/10 stars

 

“Grim Nora and the Secret of the Skull” follows Nora, a girl who’s father has recently died in a mysterious shooting, who is soon thrust into the middle of an ongoing magic war. She holds in possession a special skull clock, which actually leads to the world’s most powerful weapon. When her brother gets captured by the enemy, she, along with a ragtag group of magical beings and skilled humans, travel to another world to try and save him, but find themselves in the epicenter of an ongoing war between their enemy and the rebellion. Nora finds herself conflicted in trying to save her brother and surrendering herself and the weapon or defeating the enemy once and for all.

 

I found this book actually quite interesting. Although I am not a huge fantasy fan, this entertained me very much. I found myself quite hooked from time to time. This was well-written, but I feel like it could have been better.

 

I am a sucker for suspense and thrill, and this book has some nice action, thrills, and twists. Sometimes I’m like “What?” and other times I’m like “What just happened?” It grabbed my attention. From the beginning all the way through the plot twists and surprises to the ending that I feel like was nice, I had quite a ride.

 

The thing with fantasy I don’t like is the introduction of so many characters, and I mean a LOT of characters. BUT I feel like this book has done well with that, except for a few parts. The minor characters, like those who only appeared a few times, got me a little confused, but the rest of the characters were so unique in both personality and naming that I could tell who is who. Sometimes I am afraid to read through the “Lord of Rings” because I might go “Wait, I though Bilbo was Sam?” or “Which Gandalf is good, then?” or something like. In this, I didn’t have that problem a lot, which was good.

 

Now, because I did have to read this as an audiobook, I was not that interested as I thought I would be. It caught my attention at times, but sometimes I didn’t feel as attentive as I should be. Plus, there were a few things that were confusing, too. Sometimes, it might be details; other times, it’s characters. I was confused, but not too much, which is good. 

And a quick note, I would have dialed down the romance. Romance many times breaks books because it focuses too much on it. This book wasn’t one of those books, fortunately, but it felt too much for me. First, you have a love triangle, then it becomes a love square, and then that turns into a love hourglass! Then there was another romance! It felt too much. I would have tried to lessen the romance if I were the author.
Overall, this book is good for a debut. I think the author did well with some things, but honestly they could be improved upon. Just like Tom Twitchel and the “Benjamin Brown” series, this series has potential. I’m hoping the second one will be better than the first! Although I’m not big on fantasy, this I enjoyed. It might not be my favorite, but it was enjoyable in many ways. Good read to start off with!
Recommendation: Yes. 
If you want to buy A.M. Albaugh’s book, click here to check it out!

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