Matchbox Girls (Senyaza, #1)
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Matchbox Girls (Senyaza Series)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Marley Claviger is just trying to get her life together. Stumbling into an ancient conflict between celestial forces is going to make that a whole lot harder...

When Marley wakes up to a phone call from a pair of terrified children, she doesn't expect to be pulled into a secret war. She rescues them from an empty house and promises to find their missing uncle. She even man...more
Paperback, 326 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Candlemark & Gleam
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April Steenburgh
It starts out mundane enough- a call from the children of an acquaintance asking Marley to come over, that their uncle is missing and they were told to call her should anything happen. The mundane ends there, shifting seamlessly into a world peopled with angels, demons, and their offspring- all of which seem to have an unhealthy interest in the kids Marley now finds herself in charge of, and determined to protect. A celestial war is unfolding, and the children are at the center of it all.

What ca...more
Urban fantasy with angels and halfbloods running around the world is nothing new, but Tzavelas manages to bring some fresh energy to the genre. Marley is a mess of social anxieties and aimlessness, and her two best friends are only slightly more on top of their game. Watching Marley pull herself together as she puzzles through situations that she would have sworn would have broken her has a poignancy and an urgency that keeps the pages turning.

The twin girls are particularly well written--it's r...more
Chrysovla Tzvelas did get my attention with her novel "Matchbox Girls."
This author was able to make one feel like they were with her in every move in the story. The story opens when Marley Claviger awakens from a frantic phone call from two scared twins that needed her help. Their uncle Zachariah
was missing and Marley soon found out that she was to care for the twins until he was found.
The story was full of excitement of one disaster after the other and was played out in so many celestial surpri...more
I received this book as part of a Kickstarter pledge. Since I was in an Urban Fantasy slump, I didn’t read it immediately. Which I regret, since this is a really good Urban Fantasy novel. The intriguing worldbuilding takes the standard tropes of angels, demons and fairies, and twists them around a couple of times, until the end result is something unique. The writing starts with a bang, or a phone call to be more correct, and it doesn’t slow down. Marley’s reaction to the events were refreshing...more
This book was not at all what I expected. Fairies, Angels, Demons, Mortals, all in conflict over twin girls for reasons none of them are certain.
I liked this book because I get tired of the same stereotypical archetypal roles - angels are good, demons are bad, faeries are mischievous. This book really tured all of those on their heads. Each of the characters is motivated differently and good and evil is really dependent on where you stand in terms of your motivation.
I am usually not one who li...more
Chris Gwinn
I was a little apprehensive about picking this up. I've known the author since high school and hadn't read anything she'd written since then. What if I hated it? I've hated friends' books before. And it's full of fairies and magic children and angels. Oh s***. I'm going to hate this and have to pretend I don't.

What I had forgotten to keep in mind is that Chrysoula's smart and talented and just as bored by the cliches of contemporary fantasy as I am. And it took about 10 pages to get from concern...more
This is an atypical urban fantasy. As much as it's a story about sexy supernatural bad-asses wielding the weapons of Creation at each other, it's also a story about parents and children, and learning to take responsibility for others. If you like urban fantasy with actual substance to it, you should read this book.

There are no vampires. There are, however, angels and demons. The book also features one of the best smart-ass villain/anti-hero characters I've read.

(Note: my review is based on the u...more
May 24, 2012 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: looking for something different, fantasy lovers
Who knew two little girls could change your whole life - especially when they aren't even yours!!

This book started off pretty slow for me, but by about page 30, I was really into it. Unfortunately, I think the author tried to go too in depth with some of the explanations of things - the site that was given to Marley for instance. I think there could have been a better way to describe what she was seeing, how she saw it, and how she did it. But as it was, I had to read and reread it several times...more
A Book Vacation
This is a very intense story with great world building and characterization. Marley, a young woman struggling to keep herself afloat, suddenly finds herself in the midst of a battle between good and evil, throwing her already chaotic life into even more disarray.

I thoroughly enjoyed Marley’s character, especially as she matures throughout the story, going from a woman full of anxiety to a more self-assured person willing to do anything to protect those she cares about. She is a very believable...more
It’s early in the year. So what? I already know that Matchbox Girls is going to make my list of “bests of”.

This title is a perfect score in characters – and, as you know, that’s one of the most important things for me. I need to be able not to sympathize with them, not to like them... but to believe them. If you make me take that step, the rest is almost done, because in order to make a character believable an author needs to make it understandable and genuine, which takes care of the sympathy a...more
Urban fantasy from an author I sort of know, in an online sense; years and years ago we both were on a roleplaying MUD based on the White Wolf's "World of Darkness" setting. At that time in the newish interwebs, there were a lot of those around. The one I spent time on was notable primarily because the administrative staff insisted upon people actually being able to write in a way that showed basic grasp of spelling and grammar, and also because it didn't involve a sea of BDSM bars that people w...more
Right! This book is a Kickstarter project I recently backed that has turned out to be one of the best books I have read in a very long time. The characters are real and engaging, the mythos is believable and intriguing, the story line keeps you turning pages and guessing throughout the entire book. You have to love a book that lets you giggle at the antics of very powerful demons while still feeling afraid and worried for the characters because their antics don't detract from how dangerous they...more
Matchbox Girls has a good storyline. The writing of Tzavelas is very different from, well, all authors I've read. That fact alone did not prevent me from finishing the book. Matchbox Girls is a great urban fantasy story with angels, demons, & faeries. It all combined to make a great read. The details in this story were unbelievable!! I haven't had visuals like that in such a long time. Like epic fantasy, just toned down for urban fantasy. Love it. As I said earlier, the writing style was dif...more
Emily (Heinlen) Davis
Chrysoula Tzavelas has a very accessible writing style, which makes this book just fly by as you read it. I loved the characters, they were so unique and well-developed that you felt instantly connected to them. I loved the story as it was just different enough to be unlike anything that I had previously read. The author gives you just enough clues throughout to make you think you know what's happening and then she sucks you in with the unknown. Great book!
Stevie Carroll
This was a lot of fun. Marley is a female protagonist with a proper network of friends, which made me very happy, although I'd have liked to have got to know some of them better. I also had a lot of love for her starting point of low confidence and competence, some of which (possibly most of which) is connected to the world she discovers as the story progresses. Basically my one complaint was that I wanted more of everything.
Free goodreads giveaway book. A good story overall. The supernatural side of things was not well explained, and it bugged me when the main character seemed surer of things than the reader, who, in this text, is supposed to be the next closest person to her mind. Of course, it didn't help that there were so many grammatical mistakes from the printing - I hope someone edits the book before publication.
Very much enjoyed this book. The characters were great, their personalities real.
If you enjoy Urban/Paranormal fantasy I would highly recommend reading this one, especially if the focus on "romance" in many of these titles annoy you. This is a real story, with a real plot not riding on a relationship.
Henry Lazarus
Chrysoula Tzavelas tells us about a young slacker woman in Los Angeles who has a friend raising twin pre-school girls. When the girls call her frantic because their uncle has disappeared, it seems he left Marley Claviger as the girls emergency contact before he literally disappeared into his den. She gets the girls and finds one of them has the ability to magically open locks. Then a lawyer accuses her of kidnaping the Matchbox Girls (trade from Candlemark & Gleam). Then someone shoots her a...more
I can't think of anything to say about this book that wouldn't be a spoiler... suffice to say I enjoy it when a book manages to creep up on me and surprise me. Full stars for that.
M. Fenn
As you can see by the publication date, I’m a little late to the party with Matchbox Girls. But, then again, books don’t really go bad (for the most part), and I reviewed one from the nineteenth century last year, so, you know? I’m not going to worry about it. Just wanted to point out that this book has been out for a little while.

And I’m sorry I didn’t get around to reading it sooner.

Matchbox Girls is Chrysoula Tzavelas‘s debut novel. It’s a contemporary/urban fantasy tale about a troubled woma...more
Kissed by Ink
I am not really sure where to begin with my review, but I guess I can first say that I liked the concept of the book. Marley started out being a character who demanded that we pay attention to. Her high anxiety and inability to function elicited pity from me. Once the twins called on Marley to be their “safe person,” she quickly rose to the occasion of being a woman of strength. Chrysoula really developed Marley into a hero from the ground up. The young twins, left by their mother as Marley was,...more
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: One phone call can change everything.

When Marley receives a phone call in the middle of the night from her friend Zach's neices, she knows something's very wrong. Zach loves the kids and would never leave them alone for so long, but his prolonged absence is starting to worry her. With nothing else to do but pick up the kids and take them back to her place, Marley takes up the...more
I wasn't sure I would like this book, but Kate insisted that I would love it and she was right. I fell head-over-heels early on and haven't looked back.

Similar to Pilgrim of the Sky, another C&G book I fell absolutely in love with, Matchbox Girls features a main character who is not at her best when we meet her, but becomes more than she thought she could be by the end. Marley's anxiety feels real, not a mere character flaw or plot device, but real -- the kind that sits on your chest and clo...more
Cassandra (The Book & Movie Dimension blogger)
--Full, non-spoiler review courtesy at Book & Movie Dimension a Blog--

Matchbox Girls's premise thought when first approaching to read that it may be interesting but for the most part was disappointed.

Marley was a girl with certain anxiety problems who it appears has become close to twin sisters Kari and Lissa. They become really close and then when for some strange reason their guardian, Zachariah , disappears Marley becomes the person they must turn to , Marley, really doesn't want to get i...more
Vanessa Wolf
A NetGalley first reads
The author of this review received an advance copy for an honest review

Definitely one of the better urban fantasy books I've read. The story is sort of a cross between Neil Gaimen's universe with a Jim Butcher-esque plot, only with girls and a protagonist who doesn't whine about their lack of abilities. The story starts with the basic above synopsis and moves quickly into the action. The main protagonist Marley, suffers from anxiety attacks, but not bouts of self-doubt (...more
Marley grew on me – as did the rest of the book. But I spent the first chapter or two wavering between really liking it and being put-off by the unusual style. The longer I read the more the style grew on me.
I still think I would have liked the story even better if the writing had been slightly less esoteric – but even that couldn’t take away from the draw of the story.
Chrysoula Tsavelas has created a vivid reality in “Matchbox Girls” that feels well thought out. The angels/demons/humans idea ha...more
Matchbox Girls threw me a loop, I tell you what! Not in a bad way at all. It starts off a bit like a book from the Series of Unfortunate Events. Two precocious young girls (who are eons ahead of other people their age in terms of intelligence) wake Marley out of a dead sleep to come and save them. Their Uncle has vanished, and they were instructed to call her if that ever happened. Doesn't bode well does it? Well rest assured that if that was your assumption you are right! What ensues is a story...more
Catherine Sharp
Matchbox Girls is the first in the Senyaza series and it's the story of Marley Claviger, a mostly ordinary girl who's recently been befriended by twin four-year-old girls, Kari and Lissa, and their guardian Zachariah. When Zachariah disappears one day, the girls phone Marley - as they'd been told to, in an emergency - and Marley is pulled almost immediately into a world of supernatural powers and beings. And she pulls us along with her.

Against a backdrop of wildfires threatening Los Angeles, Mar...more
I was not entirely sure what to expect, since I am a bad friend and had not popped by to take a look at Chrysoula's web serial. I had nothing -- NOTHING -- to worry about. Matchbox Girls grabbed me from the get-go and didn't let go.

Chrysoula has a way with character. I am a character-biased reader, I freely admit that, so there was no way I wouldn't want to know about Marley, the book's incredibly strong yet far from perfect protagonist. It wasn't just about her, though. Every secondary charact...more
This book starts out feeling very familiar for folks who are hep to modern urban fantasy, with the young adult whose life is unsatisfying and frustrating finding herself thrust into a frightening and action packed situation when she opens a door that shouldn't exist. Enigmatic characters suddenly emerge who know more than she about what's going on, and they display murky uncertain motives.

Characters are fun and real, and occasionally frustrating in the way that real people are. The twenty-someth...more
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I grew up as an Air Force brat, so I read a lot, mostly from libraries. I started with animal stories and moved onto magical animal stories, and ended up in fantasy. I've also gone through science fiction phases but I find fantasy more consistently entertaining.

When I was a small child I wrote an earnest letter to the creators of He-Man, suggesting they give him a twin sister named She-Woman, with...more
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