Tag Archives: 2017 release

Book Tour + Guest Post: Year of the Knife

Welcome to The Year of the Knife Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

Title: The Year of the Knife
Author: G.D. Penman
PublisherMeerkat Press
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Genre: Adult Thriller and Urban Fantasy
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Agent -Sully- Sullivan is one of the top cops in the Imperial Bureau of Investigation. A veteran witch of the British Empire who isn’t afraid to use her magical skills to crack a case. But Sully might need more than a good education and raw power to stop the string of grisly murders that have been springing up across the American Colonies. Every one of them marked by the same chilling calling card, a warning in the form of a legion of voices screaming out through the killers’ mouths: -It IS tHe YEAr oF the KNife.-

Sully’s investigation will drag her away from the comforts of home in New Amsterdam, the beautiful but useless hyacinth macaw that used to be her boss, and the loving arms of her undead girlfriend, in a thrilling race against time, demonic forces and a shadowy conspiracy that will do anything to keep its hold on power and ensure that Sully takes their secrets to her grave, as soon as possible.

G.D. Penman’s imaginative The Year of the Knife is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy mystery with an engaging set of characters, most notably Agent Sully of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation.

Guest Post by G.D. Penman – A Few of our Favourite Things

I am not saying that every single one of these characters is an unrepentant liar, but they live in a slightly oppressive Empire and they aren’t always free to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Which is why instead of each character telling you their favourite thing, we are going to have to pry open their brains a little bit and steal the real answers.

Sully would tell you her favourite thing is: A nice Sloe Gin, a pub with wooden panels on the walls, something deep fried and nobody trying to kill her for five whole minutes.
But her favourite thing is actually: Marie.

Marie would tell you her favourite thing is: The unparalleled majesty and wonder of musical theatre.
But her favourite thing is actually: Sully.

Raavi would tell you his favourite thing is: Whatever magical monstrosity is on the table in front of him awaiting vivisection at any given moment.
But his favourite thing is actually: Bowling night.

Colcross would tell you his favourite thing is: Peace, quiet and order across the colony.
But his favourite thing is actually: Nobody calling him all day so that he can smoke his pipe without being disturbed.

Pratt would tell you his favourite thing is: Fine dining, fine wine, tasteful music and good company.
But his favourite thing is actually: The exact moment that he can see the spark of sedition planted in the mind of one of the students that he is lecturing.

Chloe would tell you her favourite thing is: The beautiful diamond engagement ring that her fiancé gave her.
But her favourite thing is actually: The seven seconds a week that she gets to stare at Sully as she walks across to the director’s office.

The Director would tell you his favourite thing is: Grapes
But his favourite thing is actually: Not being magically transformed into a Hyacinth Macaw.

Ceejay would tell you his favourite thing is: Rock and Roll.
But his favourite thing is actually: Mongolian Barbecue

Axis would tell you that their favourite thing is: Bluegrass
But their favourite thing is actually: Axis

Eugene would tell you its favourite thing is: TO WATCH THE PAINFUL DEATH OF ALL MANKIND, TO TEEACH THEM NEW WAYS TO PERCEIVE THE PAIN THAT THE WORLD WILL BE WRACKED WITH
But its favourite thing is actually: Pornography.

About the Author:

G D Penman writes Speculative Fiction. He lives in Scotland with his partner and children, some of whom are human. He is a firm believer in the axiom that any story is made better by dragons. His beard has won an award. If you have ever read a story with Kaiju and queer people, it was probably one of his. In those few precious moments that he isn’t parenting or writing he likes to watch cartoons, play video and tabletop games, read more books than are entirely feasible and continue his quest to eat the flesh of every living species.

Author Links:
Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway:

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Open internationally. Ends Nov 23, 2017.

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Book Tour + Excerpt: Spell Book and Scandal

Welcome to the Spell Book and Scandal Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

Title: Spell Book & Scandal [#1]
Author
: Jen McConnel
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Shelby King is tired of living in her sister’s shadow. Just because Christina is the most powerful caster in school doesn’t mean Shelby’s any good at magic; she’s a scribe, like her mom, and everyone expects her to write spells for her sister, the way her mom always has for her dad. But Shelby’s spells fail spectacularly, and by the time she’s a sophomore, Christina won’t touch them with a ten-foot-pole; their parents aren’t much better. Shelby is fed up, and she decides to show the world she doesn’t care if she isn’t as good as her stuck-up sister, or as talented as their powerful parents. In fact, she decides it’s time to break all the rules, magical and otherwise, and she starts sneaking out to meet Jeremiah Smallwood, the second-best caster in school at illegal pop-up spell battles around town. She may not be able to scribe for him, but she doesn’t mind letting him think that she could; Shelby’s been half in love with Miah as long as she can remember, but he’s never paid attention to her until now, and she’s not going to risk her chances worrying about a pesky thing like the truth. But when Christina rats her out to their parents, Shelby can’t control her anger, and words come pouring out of her that she can’t take back even if she wanted to, threatening Christina’s future…and Shelby’s own chances with Jeremiah. It’ll take more magic than Shelby’s ever dreamed of to set things right, but no scribe has that much magic…right?

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Excerpt:

I glance around at the milling crowd of casters and scribes, but before I can ask another stupid question, a bell chimes and everyone falls silent. Their eyes swivel to a bench in front of the lion enclosure, where a tall, slender girl dressed in a black leather jacket over black skinny jeans stands looking out at the crowd. She grins, a wicked glint in her eyes. “First up, Sampson and Delilah.”

Sampson groans. “The names don’t mean anything!” He calls, but people around us are already laughing as he and Manuel break off from our clump and move toward the girl on the bench. A petite girl with curly auburn hair is already standing there, next to a guy with more piercings than I can count in his face. I take a step closer to Jeremiah. “Are you going to tell me what this is, or do I have to guess?”

He looks down at me with surprise, like maybe he forgot I was there. “Spell battle. Totally illegal, but wicked fun.”

I’m still completely confused, but Jessica slides her arm through mine and tips her head close to my ear. “You know how normies do stuff like poetry slams and rap battles?”

I nod. Our English teacher showed us a video of two poets eviscerating each other with their words at the end of last year, and it had been pretty amazing to see the power that non-magical words could hold. “This is like that? Only…with casters?”

She smiles. “Exactly. You can see why our boy here wants some of your spells; with a King on his side, Jeremiah would blast the competition to smithereens.”

Or get blasted by one of my crappy, backfiring spells. I lick my lips, hoping she can’t read my mind, and wonder why I let Jeremiah talk me into coming tonight.

While we talked, Sampson had been conferring with Manuel, their dark heads close together, shuffling through the stack of papers Manuel is holding. They’re his spells, I realize, and suddenly I understand his nervousness. I’ve never let anyone handle my notebook but me, but here he is, surrounded by people, with his spells ready to blow away in the first gust of wind. The girl, Delilah, hasn’t said a word to her scribe; she’s too busy examining her nails to seem like she’s paying much attention to anything around her. But when the girl in black leather claps her hands again, Delilah barely acknowledges Sampson’s polite nod before her lips are moving, casting the first spell.

Sampson tries to speak over her, but his spell is still half-formed when he begins to lift off the ground. It’s like there’s a rocket strapped to his back; he shoots into the air above us, and a few people clap and whistle, cheering for Delilah. I can’t hear what Sampson says, but clearly, the spell works, because in an instant, he stops flying and hovers in place, like he’s standing on a glass platform over our heads.

Delilah opens her mouth, but before she can get her next spell out, a blast of purple fire knocks her over. She summersaults and lands on her feet in an instant, but I can tell by the way she clenches her fists that she’s mad. “Sampson shouldn’t have done that so soon,” Jess murmurs next to me, and I can tell that she’s worried, too; the red-head may be small, but she’s clearly a powerful caster.

Just as that thought crosses my mind, the girl flicks her hand and Sampson begins to fall through the air. He doesn’t fall straight down, though; it’s like he’s caught by some powerful wind, and he falls sideways. With horror, I watch as he plummets into the lion enclosure. The crowd around me inhales sharply in excitement, and a few people whistle.

I grab Miah’s arm. “Shouldn’t we do something?”

He looks down at me quizzically. “He’s got this. You don’t think that girl would actually hurt him, do you? This is all just for fun, Shelby.”

But somehow, I’m not sure.

Sampson staggers to his feet and shakes his head like he’s trying to get rid of a bug, and over his shoulder, I notice one of the sleeping lions twitch. My heart is pounding in my throat, but Miah is right; by the time Sampson has taken stock of the situation, he’s already started to cast another spell. This time, he flips through the air like a gymnast, landing in front of Delilah outside the lion enclosure. She has a smug expression on her face, but her smile turns to a grimace as Sampson lashes out with his magic, pulling her legs out from under her. She lands in a puddle, and a few people chuckle.

Sampson raises an eyebrow, like he might ask the girl if she’s ready to give up, but before he can say anything, she lifts both hands and blasts him with a spell. Manuel sees it coming and hollers, “Use the counter spell! The one I wrote last week!” But Sampson is too slow. A whirlwind tears at his clothes, ripping the fabric and tossing him around in its embrace, even though there isn’t so much as a breeze where I’m standing. In an instant, the wind dies down, and somehow, Sampson has been stripped down to his plaid boxers, socks, and shoes. He flushes from the tips of his Mohawk all the way down to the waistline of his underwear, and then he hangs his head in defeat.

Everyone cheers, and Delilah takes a prissy bow. Sampson immediately casts a silent spell, and he’s dressed again like it never happened, except for the tell-tale blush on his face. Miah crosses to him and claps him on the shoulder, probably saying something encouraging, but I’m not listening. I glance behind me at the lion enclosure, and my eyes meet the golden gaze of a lioness. She’s awake, and she’s watching the people around me with a calculating expression. I almost imagine that I can hear her thoughts, sizing up the casters and deciding which ones might make the most delicious morsels, and I swallow my fear. After a moment, the lioness looks away and puts her head down on her paws, closing her eyes as if she’s asleep. Before I can worry needlessly about what could have happened, Jess gives my hand a squeeze.

“Not everyone fights like Delilah,” she says softly. “The next round should be fun.”

And she’s right; the rest of the battles are fast, furious, and frighteningly fun, and nobody else gets tossed in with any of the sleeping animals, but I stick close to Miah and his friends, knowing that I’d be toast if anyone decided to fly me in with the lions. Sure, the casters are the ones who are battling, but a little voice inside my head warns that things could turn ugly fast if anyone in that crowd had a score to settle with a caster… or a scribe.

About the Author:

Award-winning author Jen McConnel writes NA, YA, and nonfiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Visit http://www.JenMcConnel.com to learn more!

Author Links:
Website | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway:

Enter to have your name in Book 2! Open internationally! Ends Nov 23/2017.

 

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Book Tour + Review: Choosing Hope

Welcome to the Choosing Hope Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

Title: Choosing Hope
Author: Holly Kammier
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Genre: Adult Romance Thriller
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Choosing Hope is a harrowing story of passion and deceit, the things we do for love and the rabbit holes we tumble into chasing elusive fairy-tale endings. Dark around the edges with a shocking twist I didn’t see coming, this is the kind of book you’ll be passing around to your friends so you can talk about it. Holly Kammier delivers romance, suspense, and a strong, smart heroine who turns out to be nobody’s victim. Don’t miss this one! – Kat Ross, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea

A broken marriage.
A love affair.
A lie that changes it all…

Hope Rains Sullivan is living the dream—a successful husband, two beautiful young boys, and a charming home in Northern California. She should be happy. She almost convinced herself she was, until Adrian came along.

Adrian, appears to be everything her husband isn’t. He works with his hands, and is even willing to use them in a fight. He’s sexy, strong and fit, with warm brown skin that alludes to his Spanish background. Best of all, he lives for spending time with his kids. Feeling alone in her marriage, Adrian offers her a way out

Hope’s affair is just the beginning. Her journey inward will require untangling her complicated past and surviving an astonishing revelation. Her lover is not who he pretends to be.

She’s searching for her happily-ever-after, and no matter how painful the journey, she’ll find what she’s been looking for all along—the chance to choose Hope.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBook

Review:

I will say this now, this book has some importance to it. In the end, the lesson is worth learning and it shows that everything in life has consequences. That being said, this book wasn’t at all what I had expected. Let me break it down for you.

This book was hard for me to get into. It made it hard for me to like the characters or to even sympathise with them. A lot of it was the narrator telling us about her problems, about what’s wrong with her marriage, about what’s right about her new man, but we don’t get to see, experience, and breathe it. We follow Hope’s story over a span of ten months, and what we’re given is very surface level. We get her perspective on her husband, but we don’t see much of the behaviour. We see how some things affect her children, but much of it is told to us. It’s hard to connect with her and her experiences without really getting to know the characters on a personal level.

That being said, I really liked her mother. Hope’s mother made the book for me. Everything she said was accurate and important and a lot of this book wouldn’t exist if Hope had just listened to her mom. That lady knew what she was talking about. From the beginning until the end, her mom is the voice of reason, and if someone were in this situation, she’s who they should listen to.

Onto the story itself – I’m not sure that one kind of almost thriller-like scene makes this book a thriller. I understand the idea behind this aspect of the book, but it was seemingly random. I wish we had seen a little more of this behaviour to fully understand the impact of this behaviour on Hope. A part of me believes it may have been better and more impactful had it been from Lisa’s point of view. The romance and courting is a mix of cute and whiplash-y. Hope is indecisive and she jumps back and forth, which also adds to the unpredictability of the book. It also added to my indifference and lack of commitment to the whole story. After the fourth or fifth switch, I began to turn the other cheek like, “Okay girl, I believe you.”

There are a lot of people who are in a similar position as Hope, where she’s fallen out of love with her husband, I think. While I don’t think her way of dealing with it was necessarily the best, I do think that it was important for her to acknowledge the brokenness of her marriage. As a whole, the lessons here are important, and I’m not going to deny that the twist was a surprise. However, I don’t think the book had as much as an impact on me because of the writing. Do I think this book is worth the read? Maybe. Do I think the lesson is something that is important to learn? Definitely.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 2/5
World Building: 4/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Pacing: 2/5
Overall: 3/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.27/5

eBook obtained via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBook

About the Author:

Co-owner of Acorn Publishing, Holly Kammier is a UCLA honors graduate and an accomplished content editor. With a background in journalism, she has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon.

Holly is the best-selling author of the novel, Kingston Court, and Could Have Been Hollywood, a memoir. She recently completed her third book, Choosing Hope, a spin-off from Kingston Court. Choosing Hope is a harrowing story of passion and deceit, and the things we do for love.

Holly resides in her hometown of San Diego, California, close to family and friends. A world traveler in her younger years, these days when she isn’t writing or working with new authors, she spends much of her time hanging out with her two boys, Josh and Alex. Holly is an avid reader with a passion for timeless books and beautiful writing. She also enjoys long walks with her Jack Russell Terrier, romantic movies, and making her mischievous sons smile wider.

Author Links:
Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway:

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Open internationally. Ends Nov 16/17.

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Book Blitz: Haven

Welcome to the Haven Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

Title: Haven
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
GoodReads

Synopsis:

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Buy Links:
Teasers:
Buy Links:
About the Author:
Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.

Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

Author Links:
Giveaway:
Enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card! Open internationally – end Nov 2, 2017.

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Book Blast: Game Changer

Welcome to the Game Changer Book Blast, hosted by I Am A Reader!~

Title: Game Changer
Author: Charissa Stastny
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 5, 2017
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Meridee Mansford wants nothing to do with the popular crowd. She’s comfortable being invisible. But that doesn’t stop her from dreaming about the hunky football player who visits the campus ice cream shop where she works. Still, she’s smart enough to know he’d never notice a girl like her, and she’d never want him even if he did. Too much unwelcome attention.
Parker Harrington basks in the glory that’s been his since the game-changing passes he caught that pushed his team into the national spotlight. Sticky Fingers is his media moniker now, and the cheerleaders who used to ignore him when he sat the bench have become his most devoted fans. But when he accidentally crashes into a quiet coed and covers her in orange chicken, it throws off his offensive game.
As fate, ice cream, and orange chicken throw the opposites together, will Parker continue keeping company with women he knows are only using him for his fame, or will he change up the game and risk his heart on a genuine girl who despises the attention he craves?

Buy Link:
Amazon

Praise for the Book:

“A fun and flirty new adult romance. It’s a sweet indulgence that keeps you turning pages. The start to what is sure to be a great new series. – Jennifer Peel, author of Pianos and Promises series

“Opposites attract when the overlooked sweet girl lands herself the popular football star in this quasi-Cinderella story. It’s the perfect read to keep you up way past your bedtime…”Taylor Dean, author of Chasing Fireflies

Book Trailer:

Excerpt:

Parker waggled his brows at me. “I’m waiting.” When I glared, he leaned over to whisper. “Call your man, or I’ll know you’re lying and be by to pick you up tomorrow night for our date. Tara told me where you live.” His blue eyes crinkled at the corners.
Tara had what? I folded my arms. No way would I let him ruin my first date in over three years. “Fine. I’ll call him.”
He raised an infuriating brow. “Thanks, Mare. I can’t wait to meet your soul-mate.”
“It’s Meridee.” I stomped into the break room and sent Danny out to handle the teenage rush with Bryce. <em>Soul-mate.</em> What a moron.
Pulling out my phone, I hit speed dial. On the third ring, my big brother answered.
“What’s up, Mare?”
“Thanks for answering.” I released the breath I’d been holding. “I need a huge favor.”
“Name it, sis. You know I’m here for you.”
I frowned at the pity I detected in his voice. But pride had no place at the moment, not with Parker Harrington waiting in the shop. “There’s this guy bothering me at work. Stalking me.” If he suspected danger, Mark would rush right over to save me. “Can you come to the shop and pretend to be my fiancé so he’ll leave me alone?”
“Ew. You’re my sister.”
“It’d only be for pretend. Please? I need your help, Mark.”
“You don’t expect me to hold hands or kiss you, do you?”
“Oh, shut up. Just get over here and let me introduce you to him. He doesn’t believe I have a boyfriend.”
“You don’t.”
I gnashed my teeth. “I know. That’s why I need your help.”

Buy Link:
Amazon

About the Author:

Charissa Stastny is an avid reader, happy writer, wasp-hater, iris-lover, and food connoisseur (especially sushi and chocolate, but not together). She was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, but has never pulled a handle of a slot machine and can’t shuffle cards to save her life. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has four children that make her smile and laugh all the time. She called Idaho her home for years, but has recently moved to Utah, where she was thrilled to discover dozens of flavors of hot chocolate to keep her happy in the winter. The cherry one might be her favorite (this week). She is the author of five books and ‘imagine-eer’ of many more.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Blog

Giveaway:

Enter to win a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card OR $100 of Paypal Cash!

Ends 11/5/17

Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

To enter, click on the image below!

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Book Blitz: Just Friends

Welcome to the Just Friends Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

Title: Just Friends [The Agency #1]
Author: Elizabeth Grey
Genre: Adult Comedy Romance
Publication Date: September 15th 2017
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Why did her heart have to choose him?

Violet Archer has her dream job at one of London’s top advertising agencies, and the fact she gets to work with Ethan Fraser every day makes it even better. He’s the best friend a girl could have. And she’s never even noticed how hot he is. Nope. Definitely not.

When a big night out deteriorates into a great big mess, Violet’s world starts to wobble like a drunk giraffe on stilts. She’s caught in a web of secrets, none of which are hers. And maybe she is starting to notice how hot Ethan is, after all. And sweet and kind and… oh dear.

Has Violet fallen for her best friend? Can their friendship survive yet another secret? And, the question Violet is most scared to ask, could Ethan have feelings for her too?

This raunchy, hilarious rom-com is the first in The Agency series by Elizabeth Grey.

Buy Link:
Amazon

Buy Link:
Amazon

About the Author:

Elizabeth Grey spent a sizable chunk of her childhood in North East England locked away in her bedroom creating characters and writing stories. Isn’t that how all writers start?

Following a five year university education that combined such wide-ranging subjects as fine art, administration, law, economics, graphic design and French, Elizabeth entered the business world as a marketing assistant before moving into operations management.

Marrying Chris in 2007, Elizabeth now has three young children and runs a small, seasonal business selling imported European children’s toys and goods – www.tildaandtom.co.uk. During her time as a stay-at-home mum, Elizabeth rekindled her love of writing and thinks herself lucky every day that she is now able to write full time.

When not working, Elizabeth finds herself immersed in her kids’ hobbies and has acquired an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter (thanks to the big boy), Star Wars (thanks to the little boy) and Barbie (thanks to her daughter). She loves European road-trips, binge-watching Netflix series and doing whatever she can to fight for a nicer world.

She’s been told she never loses an argument.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Blitz-Wide Giveaway:

Enter to win a sign copy of Just Friends! Open internationally.

 

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Game Review: Tooth and Tail

Title: Tooth and Tail
Developer: Pocketwatch Games
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Website

Synopsis:

Lead the revolution with an army of flamethrowing Boars, mustard gas-lobbing Skunks, and paratrooper-puking Owls. Tooth and Tail is a Real-Time-Strategy game featuring Single Player, Online Competitive Play, Split Screen, Replays, and more.

Build a base, lead your army, eat your enemies!

The War for Meat

The Longcoats, the Commonfolk, the KSR, and the Civilized are in the midst of a Civil War over who gets to eat, and who has to be the meat. A darkly humorous tale of riots and revolution is told through an extensive Single Player campaign.

Review:

When I first saw the images for Tooth and Tail, the first thought that came to my mind was Redwall. However, the more I played it the more I realized it shared more similarities with Animal Farm than it did with Redwall. Whereas Redwall was run by mostly innocent animals living in peace, Tooth and Tail chronicles several different animal factions as they war over the dwindling food supply. The twist here is that animals have recently taken to eating meat, and consider eating vegetables to be beneath them. The losers of this war will be eaten by the victors, and the animals are fighting to not starve to death. Adding to the Animal Farm similarities are the appearances of a Tsarina, secret police, and the constant references to a revolution. These dark plot points are balanced out by moments of levity which ensure that the game is never too morbid. Having said that, this game is most certainly not for animal lovers.

In-game screenshot.

In the game, you take control of the four different factions: the Longcoats, the Civilized, the KSR, and the Commonfolk. Each faction has unique missions, and their stories all intertwine. The Civilized are the ruling class who deemed the Commonfolk lowly enough to consume. Then there’s the Longcoats, another faction, which revolts under the Civilized rule, and the KSR, also known as the secret police. Unlike other strategy games, you only control one character- the commander. As the commander, you’re able to rally troops and direct them to attack specific enemies. By only allowing you control over one character, Tooth and Tail simplifies the strategy experience so that you don’t have to worry about micromanaging your entire army. Moreover, Tooth and Tail only has one objective: destroy the opposition’s farms to win. Through streamlining the experience, Tooth and Tail is incredibly easy to pickup and learn, yet difficult to master. Matches tend to only be around 10 minutes each, making the game perfect for quick sessions. Further, between mission, you have the opportunity to return to home base and interact with your army and start new missions. Through these interactions, you’ll gain a sense of the larger picture and the different opinions within each faction.

In-game screenshot.

The graphics in Tooth and Tail are simple but very informative. Each faction has a distinct colour to make them easily distinguishable from the others. Specific types of units are matched up to specific animals: ferrets are infantry, birds are air units, snakes are artillery, etc. This is a clever use of the animal motif that also helps the player easily identify the different units in a crowded battle. Another positive side effect of the simple art style is that the game runs smoothly on most computers, even older laptops. The settings are limited, but only in the sense that you should be able to hop into the game without adjusting anything. There weren’t any noticeable bugs, and the game ran without any issues.

In-game screenshot.

Tooth and Tail’s dedication to simplicity means that the amount of tactical options in engagements are limited, with strategy mostly restricted to what type of units to use. Because you control the leader, all you can really do is order units to charge in and fight. Another issue I had was the length of the campaign. I was hoping that Tooth and Tail would have a longer campaign to explore all the different factions and flesh out (no pun intended) the setting and the story. I was a huge fan of Pocketwatch Games’ last title Monaco, a cooperative heist game, and that contained a massive campaign filled with memorable twists and turns that this game doesn’t quite reach. Lastly, there is no option to play the campaign cooperatively, which was a slight disappointment given Monaco’s large emphasis on cooperative gameplay. However, this is understandable given that the games are completely different genres.

In-game screenshot.

All in all, I would recommend Tooth and Tail to anyone who is interested in strategy games but is not a fan of complex controls or micromanagement. The streamlined approach and intriguing story kept me hooked, while the multiplayer gives the game replayability. Here’s hoping this game leads to an actual Redwall game in the future!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Graphics: 4/5
UX: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

Steam Code obtained via Pocketwatch Games in exchange for an honest review.

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