This was a very interesting book. What stood out most to me was how confusing the story was in the beginning. And once I got into the story, I realized it was so confusing because our protagonist, Allison, was also very confused. She wakes up in a psych ward with no memory. She slowly regains bits and pieces of her past, which point to the demise of a classmate, Tori, at the hands of…her? I enjoyed learning about Allison and her past right along with her. Interesting perspective. She also remembers how different she is from others. You see, Allison’s senses work differently. To her, sounds makes colors and shapes, have a distinctive taste and she can sense color by touch. Her senses are in overdrive, and then some. It is wicked cool to read these descriptions.
I was drawn to this book due to the setting, and well, that is linked to my profession. I really enjoyed the mental health speak, mainly because I can now say “Hey! I know what flat affect and poverty of speech is!” or “Man, Kirk is having a manic episode.” And the Rights Advocate that Allison, meets with – I want that job! She was a mental health advocate and helped Allison understand her rights as a patient, and helps her navigate the system and looks out for her best interests so she isn’t screwed. I want to do that! :)
The first half of the book was way interesting as Allison regains more of her memory and tries to piece together what the heck actually happened to Tori. A researcher begins to work with her and helps her to understand her ’sense’ sensitivity. There is a major turn of events about 75% through the book, one I certainly did not see coming, and one I did not enjoy. It really veers from the psych ward setting, and the storyline got a bit hokey for me at this point. Up until this moment, I really liked the book. I’ve read other reviews that liked this major turn in the plot, so maybe you will too. If this premise sounds interesting to you, give it a go!(less)
Smashtastic Synopsis: The year is 1996, when the internet is still a new fad. Meet Emma and Josh, best friends and neighbors since they were in diapers. Emma receives her first computer, a gift from her father, and an America Online CR-ROM from Josh. They boot up the PC and log on to AOL, only to discover themselves on Facebook fifteen years later. Things gets complicated when they try to alter their future with their choices today. Will their destinies change for better, or for worse?
Interest in the book: Yani first told me about this book, and then one day, it magically appeared in my mailbox (I LOVE when that happens!). I was a high schooler in the late 90s, and definitely remember the AOL craze, so I was all over this one.
Characters: Emma and Jay are your typical teenagers, dealing with school, friends and romantic blunders. Two kids, two destinies. I did enjoy their relationship, and really thought they looked out for each other throughout the story. I enjoyed the growth and maturity they both experienced, especially Emma. The secondary characters, Tyson and Kellan, were a bit more interesting and dynamic, in my opinion. I always seem to like secondary characters more! Worldbuilding: I LOVED the 90s throwbacks, like “Welcome” and “Goodbye” via AOL, the noise a modem makes when it’s logging on to the net. A discman! Dave Matthews and Green Day. Wayne’s World. The nostalgia was intense! There were some really fun Facebook status updates from the future, as well, that were quite funny when put into context of this story.
“Glee + Netflix = My Life.
I also loved the little bits of information that proves how far society has comes since the 90s. It also proves just how much further we still need to travel.
“We just learned in sociology that they don’t allow same-sex marriage anywhere in the world. Isn’t that crazy? That’s what my next editorial is about.”
Lasting Impressions: All in all, the story was light and easy to digest. It isn’t an amazing book, but is was entertaining. I think the story really drives home the importance of living for today. As my favorite musical states…
NO DAY BUT TODAY!
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Great Potential
"I have a computer in my car? Josh is going to freak out when he hears this. And if Kevin saved a life, maybe he’s a doctor. Or a paramedic. Or a fireman! That’d be cool because firemen have great bodies."
b>Interest in Book: Duh. It's a zombie book! And then I opened it and read the dedication. SO MUCH WIN. I knew immediately I would enjoy the author's voice. It turned out to be exactly what I expected: quirky, dangerous, campy, highly entertaining and just plain fun. It's not your typical serious zombie post-apocalyptic book, but it definitely has some gory moments as a band of teenagers try to figure out just what the tittlepop is happening in their little slice of America. Of course, underneath all the silly fun are some heavy themes, mainly corporate monsters and the food industry, which are one in the same, I suppose.
World-Building: Nick, aka Nero, is a normal teenager living with his perceived deadbeat of a father, The Dude, and his younger sister, Amanda, who has Asperger Syndrome. Nick works for a major chicken production plant and after a serious(?) incident, he ends up at the "Inward Trek" camp for juvenile delinquents. I think the incident was silly, but it connects the plot later on so I guess it gets a pass. On the way to camp, Nick notices odd occurrences but writes it off strange human behavior. Once at camp, the zombie infestation lands right outside their tents, literally. From there on out, lots of chaos, death, funny one-liners and tough chicks grace the pages as Nick and gang try to save humanity.
The zombie encounters were wicked fun and a tad gory. The zombies appeared to have some sort of rational grasp on reality, as they were able to use strategy a time or two. I absolutely love the groups' descriptions of the zombies, as camp counselors, camp mates, joggers and random people become flesh-eating hellions. The source of infection turns out to be connected in a big way to Nick, and his stance at the end of the book was unexpected.
Characters: Nick was the protagonist and as always, it's nice to read from a male's perspective. I really enjoyed the flashbacks where we learn more about his family. He also has a constant back and forth with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in his head that was ridiculously fun. however, Nick stood out the least. The author brought life to the supporting characters in a big way because they are all memorable. Every single one of the delinquents that Nick is unfortunately stuck with during this bizarre adventure had serious personality. When the zombie outbreak finally reached the group of misfits, I was laughing hardcore at their reactions. Idle and Billy start dropping beats, yo! And they use yo. Love!
I adored little sis Amanda. I've been around Asperger kids, and have a few friends whose children have been diagnosed. I think the author really captured the personality characteristics of this disorder. The author used a lot of question marks when Amanda was speaking, in between her words, to evoke emotions or maybe her constant questioning and wondering? I'm not sure. It was hella annoying at first, but then I realized it was only with Amanda and it made more sense.
Lasting Impressions: I really wish I could post some quotes, as this book is highly quotable. This was my first book by the author and I really enjoyed his style, commentary and phrasing. I loved the use of Zombrules throughout the book, which were just downright hysterical. My favorite spoke of Ztockholm Syndrome. Scary shit, people. The chapter titles were also really creative, as well as the Fresh Bukket Menu and the Incident Reports. The blood splatter at the beginning of each chapter gets bigger and bigger, too. All of this supplementary material and creativity really brought the story to life. Unfortunately, the ending fell flat for me, but it really didn't detract from my enjoyment throughout the book.(less)
The story opens up as Dylan and his mother make a road trip to his grandmother’s house, who does not even know of Dylan’s existence. It seems as though mom hasn’t spoken to her parents since his birth. We soon learn that Dylan’s mother is not of strong-will when she abandons him. Dylan is used to his mother’s issues, however. She falls in love at the drop of a hat and when the relationship falls apart, she picks up her life and her son and moves them elsewhere. Yet, this is the first time she’s left him behind. To say Dylan’s life has been tough is an understatement.
Dylan gets to know his grandparents, who are my favorite people in the story. While in their care, a reoccurring dream is slowly becoming reality. He’s been dreaming about the same girl his entire life, and while the two never speak to one another, their draw is undeniable. Dylan can’t believe his eyes as he peers out into the forest overlooking his grandparent’s property and catches a glimpse of her! Needless to say, the hunt is on as he searches through the leafy wonderland in search of this elusive lady. And that, my friends, is when the story gets to gettin!
I enjoyed the author’s take on fae lore. While she never actually refers to anything in her book as fae – her creations are called firsts - she does mention the sidhe, and there is an aversion to cold iron. The magical beasties are pretty cool. The author created some naughty creatures! Millispits, which remind me of TrackerJackers from The Hunger Games, are deadly oversized bugs that hunt in packs. Creepy!
"Millispits. Tiny, winged amphibian-type creatures with sharp, serrated fingers, no mouths, and large, glowing eyes. Imperfectly created from magic to do two things: kill anything that moves with their serrated fingers and long, venom-filled tail, then die."
And the pux are a bunch of mischievous, dangerous Tinkerbell-sized creatures. They sneakily sprinkle their dust over you head and send you off to count sheep so they can do all kinds of not-so-fun things to you! And lastly, the villain in this book is foul, and I would gladly strangle him for Dylan. :)
The characters throughout the book are very likeable. I loved the grandparents, as well as Dylan’s meathead friend, Jason. Kera, the elusive lady, is very admirable. And Dylan, who doesn’t think things through before acting from his heart, is a very realistic teenager who you can’t help but want to hug. I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the 2nd half. However, the 2nd half is definitely the one that is full of danger and action. I am not sure I enjoyed how the book ended, but I definitely look forward to finding out more about Dylan’s past and future.
What an amazing character Cas is! Cas is a brave, determined soul who feels he is responsible for the safety of mankind from maniacal ghosts. He starts off as a loner because he realizes that socialization does not come with the territory of his occupation. I felt his situation was so unfair. Cas feels like he does not have the option to ever settle down and have relationships. People need people! I admired his steadfast attitude and focus. He doesn’t find himself to be special in any way and takes his “job” seriously.
“I’m not a superhero,” I say. It’s an awful tag. It’s egotistical, and it doesn’t fit. I don’t parade around in spandex. I don’t do what I do and receive accolades and keys to cities. I work in the dark, killing what should have stayed dead. If people knew what I was up to, they’d probably try to stop me. The idiots would take Casper’s side, and then I’d have to kill Casper and them after Casper bit their throats out. I’m no superhero. If anything I’m Rorschach from Watchmen. I’m Grendel. I’m the survivor in Silent Hill.
SPOILER: However, Anna changes the rules of the game for Cas. She’s aware that she’s dead and therefore, has regret. Once Cas learns of this, his perspective changes and it forces him to accept others into his circle. /SPOILER: I loved watching him evolve throughout the story.
I adored Tybalt the cat, as well as Cas’ mother. And Anna. We can’t forget about Anna! Firstly, Anna is not to be messed with. Something right out of your worst nightmare. Anna will leave your bladder empty as she takes your head clean off. However, once you learn Anna’s story – right along with her! – you completely understand why she’s pissed and cannot “move on.” It’s a horrific scene that leaves your head spinning, and really adds to the dread and sadness of this book. However, it’s also a major turning point for Anna, and you begin to see a serious transformation in her. I loved the author’s ability to make us feel both horror and pity for Anna, as she is a character that will both scare the pants off you and make you want to hug her. The relationship that emerges between Cas and Anna is magnificent and really becomes the driving force of the story.
This book is not for the easily spooked. It’s a chilling tale of a young girl who finds her way back to humanity 50 years after her demise with the help of a young boy who is bound and determined to keep humanity safe. I was surprised by the language in this book. While it didn’t bother me, be aware that there is cursing throughout. In my opinion, it fit Cas’ personality, which is full of sarcasm. Win!(less)
Val Shapiro is part succubus demon, part human, and loves using her bad ass skills to hunt down and kill blood suckers. She just turned 18 and was swi...moreVal Shapiro is part succubus demon, part human, and loves using her bad ass skills to hunt down and kill blood suckers. She just turned 18 and was swiftly kicked to the curb by her mother and step-father because she brings to much chaos to the party. They’re worried about Val’s lifestyle rubbing off on her younger sister. Can I just state what asshats her parents are? Her mother couldn’t handle Val’s succubus side, mainly because she was pissed at herself for being seduced by Val’s incubus father. It was a good lesson about how ignorance breeds fear.
Val is beyond hurt but uses that anger to kick some arse. While out on the hunt, she runs into a dog who eerily seems to understand her. Well, that’s because he does. Meet Fang. Half Hellhound. Half Pooch. 100% Awesome. All around snarky, which is why he’s definitely my favorite character in the book. Val and Fang become a team of win as the pair up to bring down the night.
Val is nothing short of feisty and independent, which is why I like her so much. She is not a fan of her succubus side, which she refers to as Lola, and does her best to keep that part of her packed tightly away. However, when she meets Dan, a P.O. on the supernatural crime unit and becomes his new partner, Lola perks up. These two have a rough journey ahead as they battle creatures of the night together, as well as their feelings for each other. Conflict occurs between them but the continue to work together because they make a good team.
The rest of the book is a mysterious, dangerous romp through the city as Val, Dan and Fang try to figure out what vampires are behind the sudden increase in human deaths and if the local all-about-peace coven can be trusted. Character development was pretty superficial and the story moved too quickly to really connect with anyone. However, the characters, snark and mystery kept me interested. Fun read. :)(less)
I requested this book from Scholastic because I loved the premise. I have a soft spot for refugees. Sprinkle in some fantasy and you’ve got my interest. I clearly remember reading the first few pages and scratching my head. I struggled with the language and writing, and after books like Blood Red Road and The Reapers are the Angels, I figure I'm pretty adaptable to weird ass language and writing styles. I read about 50 pages and put it down for a few weeks. I picked it up again and started to become more interested in the story, but again, the writing was hindering my enjoyment. Also, I started to realize that I was not connecting to the characters because of this jumbled writing. That is why I chose not to pick the book up for a 3rd time.
Now, I have to mention something great about the book that makes me sad for not continuing it. I was really enjoying the world-building, though it was hard to figure it all out. Above is above ground, the city, and these refugees are all “different” physically or otherwise, and live below in Safe. Something tragic occurs that leads to a swift evacuation from Safe to Above, where is very unsafe for these unique individuals. The villain that is so briefly introduced was scarier than hell, too, but once the story moves to Above, I started to become bored. I wish I could continue the story to see this world expand and more of the villain, but alas, I’ve chosen to DNF this book because the connection is nonexistent and the language of the characters is just too irritating to follow.(less)
Interest in the book: After reading Abandon, I was surely going to follow Pierce's journey into the Underworld. The book leaves off right where Abandon ended, which made the story seamless. I am pleasantly surprised and entertained by this retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth.
First Impressions: The book opens with a horrific nightmare that Pierce wakes up from in terror, and suddenly realizes those curtains aren't familiar. Oh, right. Pierce is not in her bedroom. She's in John's. In the Underworld. And he's next to her. On the bed. This is not a situation that Pierce is ready to encounter. Oh, the woes of teen love!
Characters: Pierce is still that same odd young lady who doesn't quite fit in with others, but she has matured greatly due to events in Abandon. She remains fiercely protective over her family members and is distraught at the thought of never returning home to tell her mother that she is ok. Pierce meets some new characters that live in John's home. They all seem to think he's a captain and they kind of act like seamen. This may or may not be related to a major hurricane and sunken ship and all this other lore that surrounds Isla Huesos.
Pierce becomes more curious about John's true origins and learns more about him throughout this installment. Of course, John fears the worst and believes Pierce will see him as a monster. While I disagree heavily with John removing Pierce's choice and free will, he does his best to see that she is happy, even though he is seriously afraid of the dangers she faces. His conscience is on a constant give-and-take and I would hate to have to deal with that! But still, Pierce forgives him way too easily...
I have to mention the Mourning dove that John gifts her in the beginning of the book. The bird is very symbolic to Pierce and her relationship with John, and it also symbolizes something else for Pierce: Hope. So yea, that's what she ends up calling the bird, even though she is against the name in the beginning. The thing about Hope, you see, is that she pops into existence when Pierce is in trouble or needs assistance. Of course a bird can't do much to assist a human, but she is great at alerting Pierce to danger. Not only that, but Meg Cabot gave her the sauciest, sassiest little personality, and trust me when I say you will adore this bird!
World-Building: I really enjoyed the time spent in the Underworld. Despite the title, a lot of time is spent "above ground" as Pierce and John try to save her cousin's life. Of course, the Furies have a different agenda and they face perils of all shapes and sizes. What time is spent in the Underworld, however, really moves the plot forward. I enjoyed Pierce's discoveries of the other characters and the changes that have occurred in the Underworld due to her compassionate heart.
Lasting Impressions: This series is entertaining, and while the romantic relationship between Pierce and John is not quite right, what relationship is perfect? He is the caretaker of the dead and she is a teen girl who has been chosen as his consort. Things are bound to be less than ideal, though these two do their best to understand the other. The action was great, the secondary characters were fun and the plot has definitely moved forward. I look forward to Awaken!
“...Did you see him? I know the photo was grainy, but he looks like one of those death metal goth heads, or whatever they’re called. All dressed in black with long hair —”
I took umbrage at my mother describing my boyfriend this way. John was the Lord of the Underworld. How else was he supposed to dress?”
Interest in Book: I started talking to the author on Twitter, and next thing I know, I have the opportunity to review her book. I had not yet heard of this series, and I am so happy that I know of it now. I love Shifter and Were books, and well, with a lone female wolf who is feared by the supernatural community, I was definitely game to find out what is so special about Jessica McClain.
World-Building: The book opens up with a bang as Jessica is woken up out of a dead sleep when her body endures its first shift into wolf form. This comes as a serious surprise to her, for many reasons. Firstly, she should not even be alive, as females born to weres never, ever occur. Secondly, a shifting female? Say what? She is an anomaly that has sparked much interest and fear since her birth, and with a pesky prophecy hanging over her head, let's just say that Jessica's life is now on the fast road to danger and hardship.
This book set up the world quite nicely. The Pack dynamics and politics were very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed the brotherhood and camaraderie between the members. Other supernatural beasties are prevalent in this world, such as witches, vampires and other were animals. Vampires play a pivotal role leading up to the next book, and they were creepy to experience. Definitely not your shimmering type.
Characters: Jessica McClain is the daughter of the North American Pack Alpha, Callum McClain. Pretty much the baddest bad ass of his kind. Her brother, Tyler, is as dedicated to her and her father, and their relationships were endearing and heartfelt. Jessica has been living as an alias for the past seven years so she could live a normal human life away from the pack. Unfortunately for her and the rest of the supernatural community, her first shift has put into motion some serious treachery and a supernatural showdown is imminent. I enjoyed Jessica's character development. She is a fierce chic who does not back down due to possessing boobs instead of balls. She is a courageous as they come, though her new found powers and abilities are not quite known to her, or anyone else, which puts her in serious danger.
Packmates James and Danny, as well as best friend and business mate, Nick, are rocksauce. Danny is adorable with his accent and confidence. He has some of the best lines of the books, most of them aimed at Jessica's buxom chest or tight ass. James is Callum's second and a powerful, rockhard, sexy beast! His devotion and dedication to his pack and protecting Jessica are evident in his bold actions. And Nick is just fun and always there when Jessica needs him. Her only gal pal, a witch named Marcy, also delivers some light commentary and has a great personality.
And then we have Rourke. *rawr* Rourke is a deadly mercenary who ends up in town, seeking an audience with Jessica. After a series of events, Jessica finds herself alone with Rourke as they flee to safety deep in the Ozarks. Some revelations are had and some battles are fought. Rourke is an ancient werecat of some kind, though no one who has seen his were form has lived to tell about it. His raw energy is enough to light up the night sky and he is about the size of a boulder. I am hoping that we get to witness his cat form. The guess Jessica made about his were-form has me SO intrigued! That would ROCK!
Lasting Impressions: I was really impressed with this book! It reminded me of Rachel Vincent's Shifter series, which is a mega favorite of mine. I really love reading about Pack life and experiencing the harsh politics and extreme dedication among pack mates. Plus, there is an uber strong female lead who is trying to figure out her role in the world. I also loved the inner monologue Jessica had with her Wolf. It was humorous as hell watching the two as they got to know one another. And the author made me giggle profusely anytime Jessica's Latina neighbor, Juanita, made an appearance. Her thick Spanish accent was hilarious to read. The romance is minimal with a few damn sexy scenes, but the romance is the numero uno catalyst for book two, Hot Blooded! All in all, a fab start to a UF series!
If you love weres, pack life and politics, sexy, strong characters and great action, put this one on your TBR!
This retelling of the Greek myth about Persephone and Hades is set in modern day and in no way feels like the famous myth that I know and lov...more2.5 hoots
This retelling of the Greek myth about Persephone and Hades is set in modern day and in no way feels like the famous myth that I know and love. However, the subtle influence is there and I thought this reimagining of a really interesting mythical tale was ok. It was hard not to compare Henry to Hades. I know it’s a retelling, but it would have been nice to see a bit of fierceness or enthusiasm. Instead, we get a whole lot of melancholy (understandable, but over the top nonetheless) and indifference. While Henry is a very genuine, honest soul, he was not a very dynamic character. I really wanted him to pack a punch, but he seemed so deflated throughout the entire book.
Kate’s initial reaction to Henry and his otherworldly abilities was completely unbelievable and that annoys me above nothing else. She finally questions him but by that point, I would have been long gone or in the psych ward. I know it’s a book and the rules are different, but just once, I would like our protagonist to flip out!
I was skeptical of one character throughout the story, but in the end, I was completely surprised by many characters. I enjoyed that mystery and surprise, and I’m still very unsure of one character’s motives. The best part of the book, to me, was the relationship between Kate and her mother. It was heartbreaking at times, and I really thought Kate’s emotional turmoil was portrayed well. It felt real, and Kate’s desperation was palpable. On the other hand, I didn’t necessarily feel the love between Kate and Henry. It felt contrived at times, and I couldn’t connect to their story. I do think their love is one that will grow with time, however, so I’m interested to see what becomes of them(less)
SMASHTASTIC ENTERTAINMENT QUICKIE: A very interesting story about a young man that wants to share his story and feel connected.
INTEREST IN THE BOOK:It sounded interesting so I requested it from Scholastic.
WORLD-BUILDING:The world-building is not extreme, as it is set in a typical present-day American city. The real world-building is what occurs inside Mal himself. The alien piece is the driving force of the story, but it is in the background throughout.
CHARACTERS:Mal’s a teen boy who is pretty reflective of his environment and irritated through most of this 150-page story, but never comes off as a jerk, in my opinion. My social worker side came out and I felt for him, big time. His mother is not able to cope with the reality that her bastard ex-husband is no longer in the picture, so she spends most of her waking hours drunk. We see a softer side of Mal as he ensures she is safe and fed.
Mal feels completely out of place in his community, yearning for acceptance and being able to relate to others but realizing he will never achieve that feeling. He appears years older than he is, as his environment and depression have led him to become jaded and desensitized to life. Due to being abducted, of which the reader is never really quite sure of through most of the story, he does not feel any connection to people in his community. He remains at a distance, feeling disconnected and uncomfortable on Earth.
LASTING IMPRESSIONS: I really enjoyed the author’s writing style and layout of the chapters. I thought the disjointedness worked well in a story about a boy he also feels disconnected. All in all, it was a quick read and while I’m not interested in stories about abduction, this book is more about an adolescent boy yearning for acceptance and meaning in life.
Experiments. It seems unbelievable to me that school teaches us to be the experimenters. The observers. The prodders. The measurers. The destroyers.
We are never taught what it would be like if the tables were turned.
We are never taught what it would be like if we were the rat in the maze.
I could tell immediately that I would enjoy this book. Someone mentioned on Twitter not long ago that they enjoy the Dystopian genre but really wanted to read something post-apocalyptic. In other words, they wanted to read a book that took place right after major catastrophe that changes the world forever. Well, I gotta say…this is the book! It was refreshing to read a post-apocalyptic storyline, even though I love the dystopian genre.
We first meet Jenna Barclay, daughter of nutty end-of-the-world prophet, Mitch Barclay, as a mysterious man holds her to gunpoint and kidnaps her. A crazy way to begin a story, but you soon learn that the kidnapper, Mason, isn’t a maniacal rapist. He’s only keeping a promise to Mitch, the same nut-job who provided him with the only semblance of family. Mitch asked Mason to keep Jenna safe when the shit hits the fan, as she will prove to be invaluable in the new Dark Age. And let me just say, the shit hath hitteth the fan.
Holed up in a cabin on the outskirts of town, Jenna slowly realizes that Mason might be speaking truth, as he produces a letter from her father, addressed to her. In the letter, Mitch explains everything. The Dark Age of Magic is real, and Jenna must survive it. Jenna and Mason are anything but friendly towards one another in the beginning, and even less so when Jenna cannot turn away a group of desperate people that Mason otherwise feels are dead weight. The group eventually decides to find the one sole survivor broadcasting over analog radio, which means leaving the safety of their cabin into the terrifying and extremely hazardous-to-your-life unknown. The party of characters have a dangerous, horrifying trek ahead of them, and their numbers undoubtedly dwindle. They fight their way through terrifying beasties in order to stay alive and save the human race.
The magical, twisted, foul creatures in this story were quite horrifying, and the scenes where human and beastie meet are nail-bitters! There is a serious twist to the story and it hit me like a Mack truck. I was not expecting it, whatsoever, and I must admit that I really enjoyed the turn in the story. It worked. It felt right and made this interesting, terrifying story even more intriguing. In the midst of mayhem, love blooms with passionate ferocity. I really enjoyed as Jenna and Mason fought their feelings for each other, and then I really enjoyed their fight to remain together. Great chemistry.
This book has a bit of everything: horror, romance, action, desperation, suspense, gore, tragedy, sex, and humanity. If you like post-apocalyptic / dystopian fantasy fiction, I think this one will be a great addition to your bookshelf. I thoroughly look forward to the sequel.(less)
Interest in the book: The books does sounds interesting, no? I was really attracted by the main character being stuck in a year after his girlfriend is fatally shot, knowing he will somehow figure out how to rectify the situation. It seemed like a very dramatic story to tell.
Characters: Jackson is our main character. He’s 19 and in his first year of college. He’s filthy rich with a non-participative dad and a hole in his heart that his sister Courtney once filled. As you learn things about Jackson’s past, you feel pity and sadness for his present, but you also admire his positive outlook. He’s in love with Holly, and with the help of uber-geek Adam, he’s beginning to test his time jump abilities. And that’s about as interesting as I found him. Holly wasn’t an extremely exciting character either, though I did enjoy their time in the past together much more than the present. Adam, Courtney and Jackson’s father were my favorite characters. Jackson’s father is extremely intriguing and throughout most of the book I detested him, but I found him so very interesting. I placed my self in his shoes at times, trying to figure out his motives. I may have felt some empathy a time or two. The moments Jackson shares with Courtney in his jump to the past are uber sweet and some of my favorite scenes.
Worldbuilding: This is my favorite part of any story and I was quite disappointed with the world building in Tempest. I recognize that my confusion with the time jumping probably led to my disappointment, but it still brought the enjoyment factor down for me something major. The flashbacks were set in the past that is now the present, but there were a lot of flashbacks and jumping and the pacing was fast. It became convoluted and disorienting for me.
Lasting Impressions: I really enjoyed the male narrator. We need more of these in YA! The heart and passion behind this story is solid. I felt it. It’s there, but I didn’t buy in to the love story as much as others. My connection to Jackson, Holly or their relationship wasn’t strong. The final 50 or so pages of the story were very exciting and I enjoyed them more than the rest of the book! I think where the story is headed may be enough for me to pick up book 2.
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Great potential. (less)
Smashtastic Entertainment Quickie: Interesting mystery with entertaining, likable characters. And Grims, peeps!
Interest in the book: When Teen Book Scene sent out the request for this blog tour, the synopsis immediately drew me in. Grim Reapers FTW! And the justice bit interested me, being who I am and all.
World-building: This book starts out in a boring little town with a teenage girl full of angst and screw the world attitude. She’s getting into serious trouble with her peers and in school, so the family sits down and discusses options for Lex. Spending a summer on her Uncle Mort’s farm, shoveling horse manure and milking cows, is bound to teach her a lesson or two. Ha! See how much you know, mom!
Lex is sent to Croak, a town the size of a Piggly Wiggly (which surprisingly does not have a Piggly Wiggly). Croak does, however, have streets called Dead End and Slain Lane and menu items at the Morgue diner called Mad CowBurger, HomiCider and Salmo-Nilla Ice Cream. FULL of win, I say! And death. Of course, Croak is not your typical backwards podunk town.
The Afterlife, filled with everyone dead and gone, was an enjoyable piece of the story. We get famous greats like Abe Lincoln, the Wright Brothers, Benjamin Franklin, and Edgar Allen Poe, who wander around the Afterlife in bliss. Or not so much. Some are still stuck in their moments on earth, trying to figure out how to make anything fly or light something else on fire. Their personalities and interactions with the characters were light and humorous.
Characters: Lex is hardcore teen angst in a fearless package and her M.O. is busting balls and making your daddy weep. Lex feels misunderstood and out of place in the real world. Of course, so do all the other miscreants in Croak and around the Grimsphere, so that sense of belonging brings out a different side to Lex. She becomes bearable but never loses her edge. I loved Driggs so much because he gave Lex attitude right back. He was her equal in many ways and I loved their banter. How can you not love Driggs?
“Did I just blow your mind?” Driggs asked. “I think I just blew your mind.”
Uncle Mort, Cordy (Lex’s twin sister) and the rest of the cast where entertaining and enjoyable.
Lasting Impressions: This book was fun. I can’t say I was too caught up in the mystery. I found it odd and the outcome was a bit meh. However, I enjoyed the story because of the world-building and characters. I also like where the story is headed. I am interested to see just how unique Lex really is!
“Michael Thorley turned out to be an assclown, the rest of this place is nothing but a barren wasteland of undateability. The only guy who’s shown the slightest amount of interest in me this summer is Mr. Papadopoulos on the third floor of the nursing home. He says I have the ass of a Russian call girl.” -Cordy.
Tempest Rising is my first experience with mermaid fiction. I love the ocean. I wanted to be a marine biologist my entire childhood / adolescence. I’m...moreTempest Rising is my first experience with mermaid fiction. I love the ocean. I wanted to be a marine biologist my entire childhood / adolescence. I’m not much of a beach goer anymore because skin cancer runs in my family, which means I’m pale as a ghost. However, I love to walk on the beach, watch the water ebb and flow, listen to the waves. It’s very peaceful and serene. Yet the ocean is also a very deadly, menacing environment, as the author so well portrays in Tempest Rising. I loved the author’s description of life under the sea. It was magnificent, and made me yearn for it.
Tempest was on OK protagonist. She was a fairly typical adolescent, who was self-absorbed and all “woe is me.” I’ll give her that though, as her seventeenth birthday was quickly approaching, and along with it, the inevitable decision: to be or not to be (a mermaid)? Tempest has put a lot of time and effort into hating that side of her heritage due to her mother’s abandonment of the family for the ocean life.
What did bother bother me was Tempest’s attitude toward her boyfriend. She was quite rough with her sweet, invested yet jealous guy, Mark and had a hard time remembering his name when Kai made an appearance. This was a bit annoying and put a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, she’s a teenager and teens are egocentric. However, she constantly told herself she was being an asshat but continued to do it. I can only take so much teen drama sometimes.
As far as Kai goes, he was the most likeable character, for me. I found him mysterious, mature and masculine. While I was not sold on the connection between Tempest and Kai, I ended up enjoying them together. I definitely feel that Kai brings out maturity and sensitivity in Tempest, and he urges her to do what is right, even if it is a hard choice.
The author threw some other ocean mythology into the story, and I absolutely loved it. This made the story more interesting, for me. All in all, the second half of the book was more interesting and exciting, as I enjoyed the underwater scenes the most.(less)
If you did not already know, I love Angel Mythology. I am uber happy that it has made such a splash into the writing circuit! I was excited to receive a book from an unknown-to-me author writing a new series on Angels, and I feel honored that Pocket (Simon & Schuster) contacted me! A MAJOR moment for lil ole me.
Kristina delivers the reader with a very detailed description of the world right up front, and does great to keep the reader informed throughout the novel. The Fallen were cast out a millennia ago and cursed to live off blood and ferry souls to Heaven or Hell, via Uriel’s order. Uriel is the last archangel, handed the reigns by God himself. He is a twisted SOB and would like nothing more than to rid the world of the Fallen, whom he despises for their defiance. He also rules over the Nephilim, a nasty, evil sect of flesh-eaters who are seriously gruesome!
Raziel crosses paths with Allie minutes before she dies, as he is the one who will cart her soul to its proper resting place. However, when Raziel arrives at the appropriate destination, only to realize that it is Hell, he impulsively rescues Allie from eternal damnation at the last possible second. This is a no no, as the Fallen are never to interfere. And Raziel doesn’t understand why he saved her, especially since he put his own existence at risk. You see, Raziel was burned during the rescue and fire is the ultimate killer of the Fallen. As Raziel fights for his life, Allie does the only thing she can think of. She asks God for help. And so the fun begins…
I really enjoyed the resistance between Allie and Raziel. There was no possible way that either of them were going to admit their feelings before the other, and it became quite amusing. Raziel pretty much despises her for waltzing into his life for a reason unbeknownst to him and his people, inadvertently lifting the magical veil over his homeland and placing a flashing beacon overhead that reads “Hey, Nephilim, over here! Come eat us! Yay!” However, once he gets a taste of her, there is no looking back.
Allie is a spitfire with a strong voice. She is brave, stubborn and speaks her mind. She lives to tease and annoy Raziel, especially when she realizes that he can read her mind. Her thoughts are anything but wholesome, and Raziel is sent into a rage every time he has to fight down his lust for her. Funny!
The book started out a bit slow for me and I was afraid that I was not going to enjoy it. However, the novel definitely changes speed and the reader receives great romance, fantastic sex scenes, gruesome action and a serious cliffhanger! The series has a lot of potential and I look forward to the next one!(less)
Firstly, I have to blame Ashley of The Bookish Brunette (her review link is below) for my unbelievably fun time with this book. You see, I would never have chosen to read a book about zombies with a conscience. It’s just so…wrong. I need my zombies to have red eyes, decomposing bodies and brain-lust! But due to her great review and my subsequent chat with the author on Twitter, the book landed in my hands (Much thanks!) and I enjoyed it thoroughly. So, thanks a lot for making me read about zombies who can think, Ash! ;)
That being said, this book was way fun. The silly humor and the characters’ reactions work because the book doesn’t take itself seriously. I sometimes have problems with fantasy/paranormal books because of how unbelievable the reactions of characters are when they are confronted with otherworldly creatures. Well, that didn’t bother me one bit in this book because all you do is laugh through it, as their reactions are quite comical.
After Maddy is tragically turned into a zombie, she’s inducted into the, er, species via the Elders Council and given The Manual. Yea, I said council and manual. Someone has to keep those zombies in check! Rule #1 in the manual is Zombies don’t date Normals. Ah hell, this completely sucks because Maddy has been trying to get frisky with Stamp, the new super hot jock in town, and now it’s forbidden. Boo.
But that isn’t all that troubles dear Maddy after her, um, resurrection. Bones & Dahlia, super miscreants extraordinaire, are stalking her like bears stalk honey. And in that exact “I shall eat you when I get my grubby paws on you” way, too. Maddy has always found these two to be uber creepy, but when she finds out that they are bad zombies, aka Zerkers, the story turns from “I’m a nice zombie and buy my brains from the local deli” to “holy shit, zombies eat other zombies’ brains?!”
Maddy befriends two otherwise unlikely confidants, Dane and Chloe, who are eerily similar in paleness and arctic body temperature. Maddy and gang have one hell of a wild ride as Maddy tries to finish her junior year of high school while keeping her undead situation on the down low, protecting her loved ones from Zerkers and possibly snagging a kiss from Stamp…
As Ashley mentions in her review, the chapter titles are friggin fantastic.
Chapter 5: Raindrops keep falling on My Dead Chapter 10: The Proper Care and Feeding of Zombies Chapter 13: Cloudy with a Chance of Gray Matter Chapter 30: Zombies in the Girl’s Room Chapter 32: A Pimp Called Death
The ending of this book is left wide open for a sequel and I am very curious if the author plans to write one…??? :) If you’re looking for a book that will have you giggle out loud, take your mind off life while not making you think too much, then pick this one up. It’s ridiculously fun.(less)
For those who aren't in the know, Rusty Fischer is kinda funny. He takes the zombie genre and pokes fun at it, but keeps his stories interesting and entertaining as hell. I read Zombies Don't Cry and was greatly amused, especially be the mean, spineless, snarky asshat Zerkers. I received Panty Raid @ Zombie High from Rusty and completely forgot to review it for him. I'm a terrible book blogger, I know, but I am now highlighting it because it is worth reading.
Toby, our geeky, awkward protagonist, is desperate to find his love interest best friend, Molly, who has gone missing. Toby and a group of teenagers set off to find Molly, whom they believe has been turned into a zombie and is now being rehabilitated at Zombie High. Toby is anything but brave, but has put on his big boy underoos to save his gal.
Toby's internal monologue was insecure and funny, in only the way a teen boy's internal monologue can be. The group of misfits that tag along with him offer pure entertainment. Along with Toby and Spud, an annoying, weird little dude whose father runs the facility, are two jocks and their two bitches girlfriends. These morons tag along for what they believe will be a night of panty-raid partying. You see, they plan to snag a pair of electric undies that the zombies wear. Think cattle prod. Or that scene from Face-Off in the prison. You remember those wacky metal shoes that kept them glued in place on the metal floors? Yea, these panties remind me of those shoes. Anywho, those 4 idiots think they are visiting Zombie High for a panty raid because Toby hasn't been exactly honest with them. The resulting escapade through a facility that is nothing at all what they expected is full of laughs, spooks, gore and adventure.
The book is totally campy, tongue-in-cheek, silly, *insert your favorite word here.* It is quick and easy, as any panty raid should be, and will totally take your mind off life for a few. Next time you need a pick-me-up, give this one a go. How can you go wrong with a panty raid?
Quotes to prove my point
"Well, they've never made it that far because they never took me along," Spud brags uncharacteristically, avoiding my penetrating glare as I give him major WTF face from ground level.
Oh God, I think. This is becoming a really bad late-night Scream Channel B-movie, complete with dancing thugs and trampy skanks in mini-mini-skirts who lick soda off their fingers while zombies prowl the halls.
I turn, inch even closer to Spud and hold my house key like a weapon.
Don't hate. Mom saw it on 20/20 or something, and I've never had a chance to try it out until just now.
My first fight is going to be with an eight-foot-tall living dead cage fighter with a thigh for a neck and a tree trunk for a thigh?
Interest in Book: It's Rusty Fischer writing zombies! That's always an entertaining combination. I will admit that this was not my favorite Rusty book, mainly due to lack of character connections on my part, but it was entertaining and full of his fun phrasing. His books always make me smile! Emotion = Win.
My Thoughts: The world-building was simple yet fun. A strange bunch of kids in detention get turned into zombies. Some can think, others...not so much. They retain their personalities but are entertainingly different. Their entire school is wiped out, when a SWAT-like team shows up on the scene. Next thing you know, this group of misfit brain connoisseurs has a new teacher. Who asks them to read. Yea...what? Things just get more zany from there on out!
Rusty handed out the gore in this book, but it was gore in a fun way. Yes, there is such a thing. Why? Because I said so.
And then suddenly it's bedlam: blood is spurting out of jugular veins left and right and splattering the walls like in one of those forensic mysteries shows Dad watches late at night on Gavel TV and suddenly everybody is biting everybody else. It's kind of like a big pillow fight - with teeth.
See? Fun gore. Win.
The characters are where I had issues with the book. I could not connect to them and was not really invested in their outcome. They did have some redeemable qualities, however, and I enjoyed their banter back and forth with one another, too. There's always drama when teenage zombies congregate. The Teenage Zombie Drama Queen crown goes to...
I highlighted half the book. Seriously. You should see my Kindle. There are endless amounts of quotes that I highlighted because the Rusty's phrasing is just so fun and entertaining. THAT is why I love his stories. He is witty and funny and full of one-liners. I've yet to be disappointed with his creativity and zany imagination.
In a voice as detached as his purposeful footsteps, Proctor says, "Zombies don't cry," simply, with no further explanation.
The the one who's been chuckling looks at me and says, "It's a shame, this one. She doesn't seem angry like the rest we bring in here." And oh, do I want to correct him and say, like the rest we brought in here, moron, brought in here...
I totally thought of Amanda and Isa, who I hope never become zombies, but if they do, I know they will be slinging grammar tips like the pros they are!
(Okay, okay, so maybe it's four-hundred-percent wishful thinking, but, hey, a girl can dream, can't she? Even if she's waterlogged and underwater and sitting on a slimy rock that's putting barnacle-shaped dimples in her rump?)
Shoot, she could definitely do worse. The movies I watched growing up, every zombie I ever saw looked like utter crap. But these two, they could definitely pose for the Aber-zoombie and Fitch catalog, if you know what I'm saying.
Smashtastic Entertainment Quickie There are just no words to explain the culmination of a hellish, heart-breaking and HOPEFUL journey.
Interest in the book Of course I had to finish the series. Trust me, you will understand when you start The First Days...these characters creep their way into your heart and you have to endure their horrific journey alongside them, yearning for their safety and happiness. As Rhiannon has done with every book in this series, she grabs you by the throat with the opening scene, and your jaw is left hanging through much of the book.
World-building Firstly, read this: World-Building, Rhiannon Frater-style. Welcome back. I have to say that Rhiannon really infused this series with the heart, soul, good, bad and ugly of her community. I've never been to Texas, but from what I think I know about the state and its population, I really felt like I was there. The scenery, the people, the customs and mannerisms, it all fit my imaginary Texas. Aside from that, the zombie lore is just perfect. Rhiannon knows her zombies. :)
Characters One thing is for certain, Rhiannon Frater knows how to build characters! It was evident at the end of The First Days that I was super attached to the fate of the characters, and I pretty much held my breath through Fighting to Survive as they struggled to build a new home and retain some semblance of humanity in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. I literally cried at multiple points in this book because the story unfortunately led to the demise of characters I did not want to let go. It was hard to swallow and I admit to hugging my husband close after a certain scene because I needed the comfort. I was that affected. I mean, even Jack the dog cried, people!
I am a fan of the changing view-point in stories. While I appreciate one person's POV, I really appreciate the honor of knowing how many characters are feeling at certain moments, especially when emotions are high, zombies are loose, people start taking some pretty heroic action and lives are lost. Jenni and Katie, along with their fantastic mates, Juan and Travis, are incredible in their steadfastness, dedication, devotion, fierce passionate love for their family and friends. Ken, Lenore, Nerit, Kevin, Calhoun, Rune and countless others all touched my heart in some form or another. They all played an integral role as this growing group of survivors prepares to face their biggest threat yet. I admire them all something fierce.
But I'm not kittens and rainbows about all the characters. Blanche + Paige = stab! stab! stab! That is all.
Lasting Impressions The anticipation and terror that follows you throughout this story is incredibly poignant. As I've said in the other reviews, I really felt like I was watching a movie! Rhiannon Frater brought the emotion, the intensity and sorrow, the laughter and love, the rebuilding and remembering, the pain and the tragedy, but at the end of it all, she brought the hope. She delivers big on the most basic of principles: humans need other humans. We are a social species and without the support and love of others, we will never thrive. Oh, and Flying Toaster FTW!
Calhoun rubbed his big nose and frowned. "Whose idea was it to blow up the gawddern fuel tanks?"
Yours," Rune answered.
"Gawddammit! Why do people listen to me? I'm freaking nuts!"
"And that, sir, is why they listen to you," Rune said, laughing.
Interest in Book: After the ending in Pretty When She Dies, I definitely needed to know where the story would take Amaliya and Cian. The book ended on a good note, but there was a lot left up in the air. And, in true Frater form, she doesn't make it easy on her characters or readers!
World-Building: The world-building just gets me all giddy and excited in this series! I think Rhiannon is pretty masterful at this process, but I just love the little twist she throws into a seemingly normal, gritty vampire tale. Cian rehashes his vampiric history and I truly loved the lore expansion. We are introduced to a were coyote, a dhampir and a witch, and Samantha gets more than she bargained for when she decided to hang out on the wild side. The world expands nicely, but it doesn't make your head spin. And we get a taste of Amaliya's new life and powers right along with her. What an experience!
Characters: Rhiannon introduced more POVs during this installment, with many interconnecting story lines. Some of the characters are very tricky and treacherous. The bad guys are seriously bad, yet some might surprise you. Some characters make you laugh out loud, some make you sob, and others make your heart soar with love. Rhiannon has incredible characterization skills. She can build relationships up, break them down, smack them around and reel them back in. There is a lot of grey area with her characters, which keeps both the characters and the readers on their toes.
There was some growth with all of the main characters. Amaliya is learning more about what she is and controlling the power she possesses. Cian is opening up to the idea of expanding his family. Samantha's life becomes overwhelming and unbearable but with the help of her friends, she's able to gain control. I think this leads to some soul-searching and compassion-feeling, and Samantha's characters becomes a little less annoying. She does, however, have quite the mouth on her and she made me laugh numerous times. As did Eduardo, a new addition to the story who has eyes all over Amaliya. Amaliya plays it up, which makes Cian squirm. Fun times.
Lasting Impressions:The ending was an epic WTF and I just loved how it all played out. I truly love this series! It's gritty and entertaining. There is a lot of action, great lore and great smexy time! There is heart-break, revelations, soul-searching, romance and ass-kicking! It's got a little bit of everything that makes a book fun to read.(less)
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents. Humanity is rearing up for one hell of a bumpy ride!
Interest in the book: Rhiannon Frater invited me to be part of the blog tour, and being a major fangirl, I could not say no. After the cover reveal, I was even more excited to read the book. Isn't that cover ridiculously awesome? At first, I thought it was a series, but then she corrected me. I am actually glad it's a standalone. The ending works. It felt right.
First Impressions: In true Frater fashion, the prologue sets the scene and grips you tightly by the throat. Humanity is dangling by a thread because the last Bastion has been cut off from its food sources due to the Inferi Scourge breaking through a pretty impenetrable gate. The Bastion sets out on its final mission to save humanity, and as with any zombie book, they don't make it easy on you!
Characters: Vanguard Maria Martinez is a bad. ass. mama. jama. She is fierce, protective, loyal, inquisitive and compassionate. She is also broken, physically and mentally, but is not afraid to lay her ass on the line to save the last of mankind. Maria is in love with officer Dwayne Reichardt and their secret love affair is her only form of happiness. Maria was part of the last mission to rid the valley of Inferi Scourge, a mission that ends on a serious sour note. When she is contacted to be part of a secret mission as the final attempt to rid the world of the infected, Maria jumps at the chance to save humanity, even though it may cost her everything. She is such an admirable, courageous woman! She faces fears pretty damn personal throughout the mission but she always keeps her eye on the prize.
Dwayne surprised me with his dedication to Maria. He is left back home while Maria is in the field, but with the assistance of Maria's dear friend and tech geek, Lindsay, he is able assist Maria behind the scenes. You see, not all is what it seems in this game. Discovering the truth about everything, along with the characters, is incredible. You feel the intense feelings right along with them, and the deception and surprises will make you gasp!
World-Building: Ohhh. The world-building was rich in this book. It's set in the future, and a virus has infected most of the human population, turning them into mindless Inferi Scourge whose sole purpose is to spread the virus by biting their victims. In other words, they do not eat flesh. They merely bite your ass and welcome you to the family. These zombie-like creatures do not decompose, so their human-like appearance plays psychological havoc with the military personnel sent to destroy them.
The Last Bastion is the final safe place for humanity, and it is surrounded by millions of Inferi Scourge. The Bastion is slowly dying because the Inferi Scourge has cut them off from all renewable resources and food. The future is bleak, the current living conditions are poor, the ammunition is running low, but the government officials have something up their sleeve. The government's super secret mission is their last hurrah before humanity dies out, and it is full of devious, treacherous, scandalous twists and turns. But as is typical with zombies and viruses, in general, they deliver a set of surprises all their own. Booyah!
Lasting Impressions: The ending worked. I was expecting something different, as I am sure others will, but I'm glad Frater decided to surprise us. I finished the book with hope and a smile on my face. And trust me, there is no time for smiles with the Inferi Scourge breathing down your neck! Frater lights up the plot with conspiracies, treachery, coups and a bucket load of political fucktards to last through a nuclear explosion (since, you know, they are like roaches). She also delivers a touching love story that stands strong through a milieu of WTFckery!(less)
I adored this book. The minute that I met Christy and Adam, I wanted to be the third wheel. I adored their personalities, and more importantly, their mutual love and support. I think it’s rare to find people who are so dedicated to another person in the way that these two friends were dedicated to each other. So epic, this friendship. The excerpt below shows a preliminary glimpse into their everlasting bond. All of the characters leapt off the pages and into my life. They were SO engaging and entertaining, that I found myself wanting to read the book at any free moment just so I could be in their presence.
Firstly, we have Christy with her unwavering loyalty, disappointment in her slowly but surely emerging witch abilities, and her good-natured soul. She rocked an Evil Alice costume for Halloween, which made me SQUEE. Twinsies! Then there is her bestie, Adam, with his gentle soul, bruised self-esteem, and yearning for love. Christy’s parents were damn memorable with their uncanny ability to be there when they were needed most. Chrsity’s dad was a riot. I would be his daughter any day, just so he can glamour himself into wicked hilarious costumes when he comes to save my ass from evil. Adam’s mother, Ashley, was so entertaining. She really reminded me of a character in Frater’s As The World Dies series. This character is also similar to a certain real-life Ashley that I adore hardcore. Turns out, the character in this book was indeed modeled after The Bookish Brunette, and it was totally her. Right down to the stiletto fetish and energetic personality. So much win.
Then we have the friends. Olivia, a town noob, falls in step with the outcast duo and ends up being a seriously entertaining piece of the puzzle. Panda bears FTW! Drifter, a mutual friend, was in the background for the most part, but he was someone I respected because of his ability to fit in with any crowd. He was liked by all cliques and was able to remain neutral and level-headed. I like people that can be friends with all types of people. Next up is Mark, who was dreamy and all the things you would ever want in a man, but be careful what you wish for! Nathan came about near the end of the book, but he had such a strong presence and I want MOAR. And lastly, I cannot forget the star of the book, for me: Callie the cat. Have no fear, this feline truly has a personality larger than any human I’ve ever met. I adored her protectiveness, sassiness and down-right boldness. Cats = ♥.
The mystery behind a certain character was REALLY fun and had my noodle working. I loved trying to figure out just WHAT this character really was. I picked up on the subtle hints but I was still perplexed because nothing quite fit. And there was a seriously scary scene thrown in there, and I don’t think I breathed until it was over. I was totally wrapped up in the moment, wishing I could turn myself invisible so that creature would not eat me! Also, there were some great pop culture references in this book that had me giggling profusely. Hocus Pocus was mentioned. Win!
Ok, I’m done rambling. Sorry for the incoherent run-on sentences. Did I like this book? That much is obvious. It was truly fun and entertaining, and that is exactly what I look for in a book.
”Whatever! I still think you should’ve been planning your party!”
“With who? Me, my two friends and a cat?”
“Callie? Sure! Why not? She’s a party animal from what you told me.”
“I said she’s was a slut, Mom. She’s always in heat.”
Our protagonist, Gwyneth, is a normal teenage girl born into a family with the time travel gene. You heard me. It’s genetic. Cool, or not cool? Hmmm. I’m still undecided. Her cousin Charlotte has been training her entire life to time travel, as she is the one destined to be the next in line to do so. Or, so we think. Yes, you guessed it. Gwyneth is actually the next in line, unbeknownst to her and the entire family. This is particularly dangerous for Gwyneth, as time jumping is sporadic and uncontrollable, unless you have been prepared and know the “in” people.
Gwyneth's first few sporadic jumps in time are my favorite scenes in the story. One night, Gwyneth jumps into the past and ends up being chased through the home because they think she’s a burglar. Needless to say, Gwyneth needs proper training on this newly unwanted talent, so she tells her family, and this is when the meat of the story unfolds.
I haven’t read many time travel stories but I admit that they are tons of fun. This particular YA Fantasy novel is set in present-day London, and they travel back in time to different eras in London. The really cool part of the time travel piece is that the people in question travel back in time to the very spot they are currently standing. As you know, structures change over time, so a bedroom in the present day could be a dungeon in the past. I found this interpretation of time travel pretty interesting, and it made the novel more fun and suspenseful. I enjoyed the imagination behind this book, as well as the creep factor of the assumed bad guy. I am intrigued as to what we will uncover in Sapphire Blue…(less)
I really enjoyed the premise of this book. There are sociological, religious, and political themes. The story revolves around justice, the human condition and free will, how the choices we make always have consequences. Great concepts to be explored, for sure.
Devin is sent to The Company after he falls trap to his feelings about his wife’s murder and takes justice into his own hands. Apparently, he’s applied for a Sales position, unbeknownst to him. As you can easily guess, The Company is Hell and The Boss is Satan. His job? To sell The Formula, aka Revenge. Retaliation. Retribution.
Devin was not a very interesting character, to me. It’s easy to understand where he’s coming from, but it’s not easy to relate to the experience or his choice. And his naivety was annoying. However, I did enjoy his progression throughout the story, though I never saw him as “evil” to begin with. The poor guy is thrust into the war between Good and Evil, lied to, tricked, physically and mentally tortured, yet he presses forward, albeit mostly for selfish goals.
At first, the introduction to Nadine bothered me, even though it’s done in a creative fashion that really ties into the entire book. However, later on the creativity of that transition and subsequent ones really interested me. Nadine’s a creative soul and I found her imagination amazing! She’s in an ugly spot due to certain experiences and is overwhelmed with grief and depression. Drawing anime was a catharsis for her. I found her to be the best part about the book and she wasn’t in it enough, even though the story revolved around her. I would’ve like some more insight into Nadine via her own eyes, and not everyone else’s thoughts.
Natalia, an Angel who is watching over Nadine, wants him to witness firsthand what The Formula does. She is trying to prove to Devin that he is being played and is working for the wrong team. So she transports him back in time to Rwanda where he has to witness the carnage of the genocide that took place there in 1994. [This scene fueled my passion for human rights advocacy all over again. I was an anti-genocide advocate during my undergrad, and Rwanda holds a dear place in my heart. The genocide that occurred there in 1994 and the movie made about it, Hotel Rwanda, is what shaped my ambitions. During my undergrad, I wrote many papers on the genocide and the inaction of the world. I will adopt a child from that country one day.]
The plot was interesting but after the Paladin entered the story, it all went downhill for me. I did not enjoy any part of their involvement in the story. I also found the main plot regarding Nadine and her importance to be odd. The ending of the story was creative but it didn’t work for me. I just found it a bit convoluted and weird. However, as stated earlier, I enjoyed the premise and themes presented. It was definitely a thought-provoking book that made you question your values about certain issues of justice and the like. I think the author has great ideas.(less)
I am loving the Greek mythology explosion in books as of late. I love Urban Fantasy and was attracted to this book because of the spin on Greek mythology. The authors decided to use the entire pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, the Fates, the River Styx and Charon, Tartarus, Cronus, etc., while adding vampires, lychens and witches into their mythical story. Our protagonist, Kyana, is a hybrid vampire/lychen, which means she is pretty bottom of the barrel in this world. However, because of her mixed heritage, she has the superior skills of both species and thus, becomes Artemis’ best tracer. Tracers work for the Order and find the Chosen, those who have been marked to absorb the power of the pantheon, as they are dying out.
Kyana is a tough pill to swallow. She is Alpha Female to the core and will not accept any help, comfort, etc. Her hard outer shell is soon explained, and as the reader, you are equally heartbroken and horrified by her experiences. As a social worker, I’ve begun to look at people differently, and this definitely crosses over into book characters. My perception of Kyana from the start was accurate, and my heart opened up to her as the story progressed. Aside from being spat upon by all other races, Kyana’s mixed heritage brings about some other, more personal issues. Vampires are not known for their commitment, and Lychens mate for life. Not a predicament I’d like to be in.
Ryker is the bastard son of Ares, God of War. Ares isn’t known for his gentle ways with women, and Ryker grew up hating the SOB. He’s only involved in his world at all because Ryker’s anger led him down a path of destruction, and his exquisite fighting skills attracted the attention of his father. Due to Ares’ treatment of his mother, Ryker vows to never become involved in a casual relationship. He’s in it for love or not all. Kyana and Ryker have an icky past that is relayed to us gradually and there is much bickering and strife between them throughout the book. However, the POV switches between them, so the reader is allowed a glimpse into their vulnerable sides. This allows us to feel some compassion for their situation and connect with them, all the while wanting to bash them on the head and scream “get on with it!”
Per Artemis’ rule, Kyana and Ryker unhappily team up to find out who the hell opened the door to Tartarus, letting all the big, bad uglies out into the world. More importantly, how did they get the key from a long dead and exiled Cronus? All in all, I enjoyed the book, albeit it took some time to become engaged. I thought the ending provided a nice segue into book 2. This book is Urban Fantasy, not Paranormal Romance. While we do get some tender scenes and a few hot, steamy ones, sex is not a major part of the story. A few prominent book bloggers did not finish the book, so you can see how widely varied our opinions and interests are. We can’t like them all!(less)