**spoiler alert** As soon as this book hit my Kindle at 2am in the morning, I was reading. I fell asleep at some point, woke up a few hours later and...more**spoiler alert** As soon as this book hit my Kindle at 2am in the morning, I was reading. I fell asleep at some point, woke up a few hours later and kept reading until the end. I completely jacked up my sleep schedule, but it was worth it to read the new installment of the Sirantha Jax series. I love this series so much that I actually reread all the books to be ready for this newest installment.
So what do I have to say? This book was perfect. So good in every way. Even the parts with March (I don't like him at all) were well done.
As always, Jax gets herself into trouble and there was plenty of excitement in this novel. I always love the action in this series and this one provides it in spades. I wasn't too sure where this book would head after the ending of the last book and Ann definitely surprised me more than once. She's such a good writer and has a firm grasp on the world and characters she created. Though full of surprises, this book feels the natural progression of the series. In some ways it is very hard to see how much Jax's life changes, but that is the reality of life. Jax has evolved and her decisions have a significant impact on not only her own life and those she loves, but the galaxy. Seeing her cope with the fallout of her choices was hard, but at the same time it showed us how much the character had changed. Honestly, if this had been the last book in the series, I would not have been disappointed.
I'd like to go into specific developments that I enjoyed.
Hit & Dina- It's nice to see a same sex couple make it through some terrible times and remain together. They feel real and their love is touching. I was glad to see how their lives together evolve.
Baby Z - After his terrible death in the first book, it was nice to have the little one back (cloned) and in the mix. I thoroughly enjoyed his reunion with his people and how it affected Jax. I look forward to seeing how he evolves as a character in the next book since he's now a grown up jumper.
March & Jax - It's always been pretty obvious that though Jax and March may love each other (still can't figure out why), they can never quite get it together. A happy ending has never seem to be in their cards. The events in this book make that even more unlikely. March has always had a tendency to put others in front of Jax and he does the same thing in this book. He's just not capable of meeting her on her level. And truth be told, she can't meet him on his. They're very different in what they want out of life and its very clear in this novel how far apart they truly are. I won't lie. I don't like March. I think he's the weaker of the two people and he pulls Jax down and hurts her an awful lot. The progression of their relationship in this book felt very natural and I hope Jax doesn't sacrifice herself in some way in the last book to make him happy.
Vel & Jax - As a huge Vel fan, I loved this book even more because of his presence. Vel has always been very loyal to Jax and once again he is her staunch supporter in everything she does. I love his alien nature and how it evolves in each book. His evolution matches Jax in that they are not quite the same person they started out to be in the first book. Their friendship definitely has deepened into a committed relationship of sorts and in this book the sweetness between them is heart-wrenching. I admit it. I cried. There is a deep love and a lot of honesty between the two characters that surpasses sex and romance. It's really beautiful. The idea of these two flying off together in the last book to chart the beacons makes me smile, but we'll see if that ends up happening in the last book
In closing, this series has not let me down once. Now I have a year to wait for the last installment in this wonderful series. (less)
With the massive glut of zombie novels on the market, it's often difficult to weed out the best from the mundane. It's even more difficult to find a f...moreWith the massive glut of zombie novels on the market, it's often difficult to weed out the best from the mundane. It's even more difficult to find a fresh new take on the genre. Derek Goodman delivers on both points. The Reanimation of Edward Schuett delivers a unique take on the genre and is one of the best zombie novels I've had the pleasure of reading. It's now one of my absolute favorites.
The characters are well-developed, the world building is fantastic, the scenario is heart-breaking, yet excitingly fresh, and the suspense that builds over the course of the story will keep readers anxiously flipping pages to find out what happens to poor Edward.
This book is hilarious! That was one of the things I really, really loved about the story. It's just made me giggle with glee. It isn't...moreWhere to start?
This book is hilarious! That was one of the things I really, really loved about the story. It's just made me giggle with glee. It isn't as scary as some of the other books in the series (though the sharks made me both laugh and flinch), but it has some absolutely mind-blowing set pieces in the land of Faerie that just had my mind in a whirlwind of glee. Oh, my God! Seriously, so much fun, so much imaginative eye-candy, and such great fun humor.
This is a must read series for me. I can't put the books down once I start. I really, really love it. I can't wait for the final and fifth book to come out.
Again, an awesome book in JL Bran's fairy series. I truly love this YA foray into the world of fairies and rock and roll. Like the first two books in...moreAgain, an awesome book in JL Bran's fairy series. I truly love this YA foray into the world of fairies and rock and roll. Like the first two books in the series, we have fabulous characterization, plenty of laughs, beautiful descriptions of the fairy world, magic, music, and truly epic moments of action and mayhem. JL Bryan's horror roots do show up in some of the scenes, but nothing too jarring or grostesque for teens. If you have a vivid imagination, there may be a few scenes that geniunely frighten you. But overall...an awesome, fun, exciting book.
Again, it is easy to cheer on the teens with the stolen fairy instruments AND the fairy band that so desperately wants them back. The "bad guys" in this book are even scarier and there were some truly magnificent moments with our villainess.
I can't wait for the next one. Seriously, if it was already out I would be downloading it to start it right away.
One final note: JL, in Texas we don't have freakin' pot roast festivals. We have chili cookoffs. Or barbecue competitions. Pot roast is a YANKEE dish. We hardy Texans like taking the toughest meat and making it into mouthwater,, delicious, melt in your mouth brisket. Or burning your insides alive with chili. We do NOT have pot roast cook offs. Seriously....almost took a star off. (J/K...maybe. Texans take our cookoffs seriously...)
P.S. trying to write this review on a mobile device. Forgive typos...etc...(less)
What can I say? Jessica Meigs can write a kickass zombie story! The second book in her THE BECOMING series picks up about a year...moreThis is a 4.5 review.
What can I say? Jessica Meigs can write a kickass zombie story! The second book in her THE BECOMING series picks up about a year after the first book ends. The leap forward threw me off just a little, but she brings the readers up to speed very quickly on the changed dynamic of the characters from the first book. Once the reader has a good handle on just what is going on in the world of the survivors, Jessica upends the whole thing and sends our characters scrambling.
One of the truly terrifying aspects of this story is that once the survivors lose their safe haven, supplies, etc, they are quickly at the mercy of the dangerous world around them. It's very difficult for the survivors to regain any sense of security once they lose it.
There is a lot of character development in this novel, maybe more so than the first. You really get a deep look into the psyche of several of the characters. The newest character in the book never becomes a real personality, but her role is more of a plot device. Personally, I kept hoping someone would feed her to the infected.
Also, the death toll in the book was much higher than I anticipated. Death is a constant threat in the book and not just from the infected. I lost a few of my fav characters in this one, which broke my heart.
The action sequences are awesome. The character development is handled with a deft hand. There are some very nice twists and turns in the plot that I thoroughly enjoyed.
At first my only issue with the story was the reasoning behind the group risking their lives to go to Atlanta. But by the end, I realized, they never really did have a good reason at all. Basically, one character decides she's going and everyone else falls into line behind her because they don't want to be alone. They don't want to be the one to stay behind. They don't want to be apart from the person (or persons) they love. They all act ridiculously stupid because they actually care for one another. Which is completely realistic!
The Becoming: Ground Zero is a great followup to Jessica Meigs's debut novel The Becoming. It's an action-packed, heart-wrenching, blood-churning tale of zombie mayhem with a good dose of heart.
There are some disturbing themes in this book, but it was very addictive and I could not put it down. It hooked me enough for me to order the rest of...moreThere are some disturbing themes in this book, but it was very addictive and I could not put it down. It hooked me enough for me to order the rest of the series.(less)
This one was so dark and scary! Oh, my GAWD! *shivers* The lack of Dex made me sad, but he does show up at last!
I'm really terrified o...moreThis one was so dark and scary! Oh, my GAWD! *shivers* The lack of Dex made me sad, but he does show up at last!
I'm really terrified of possession stories. They wig me out on so many levels. I don't even watch movies about possession, and I love horror! I was truly impressed on how Karina wrote from the perspective of someone who is possessed. It was engaging, terrifying, and at times, infuriating. Perry's personality gets seriously twisted in this one and I loathed some of the things she does (Maximus...ugh), but then it becomes increasingly clearer that she's not really in control of herself. It was interesting to see how she attempts to rationalize her behavior.
I loved Ada in this book, it was good to see Bird again, and Dex did not enter the story fast enough for me!
After reading the rest of the books published at this point, I have revised my ranking from 4 to 5 stars.(less)
I absolutely loved this book and devoured it within days. First off, the plot is not only realistic (a man trying to get to his family), but full of n...moreI absolutely loved this book and devoured it within days. First off, the plot is not only realistic (a man trying to get to his family), but full of non-stop action, kick ass zombie gore, and fantastic characterization. It was very hard to put this book down and get some sleep at night. I was so hooked it was hard not to keep reading to find out what came next.
Joe McKinney is a real life police officer (he is a homicide detective) and fellow Texan. He brings the flavor of Texas to the novel and gives great insight into the world of a police officer. I also liked the fact that his main character reacted like a normal person to the zombie outbreak. The emotions Eddie is overwhelmed with at times were gut-wrenching. I was really glad that despite his training and desire to survive, the character never devolves into a Rambo-type alpha male with grandiose posturing.
This zombie novel has definitely jumped to the top of my list of personal favorites in the genre.
The second book (which technically contains two books) in THE UNSEEN series is even darker than the first one, which surprised me. It's also much more...moreThe second book (which technically contains two books) in THE UNSEEN series is even darker than the first one, which surprised me. It's also much more mysterious. I kept turning pages hoping to glean another clue from the narrative about what exactly is going on.
Even though the reader is given glimpses into the mind of the Big Bad and his evil plot, we're just in the dark in many ways as Lucy and Dakota are. I loved that Lucy had Dakota as a faithful friend who is there to support her in any way possible. Of course, it becomes quite apparent that anyone that Lucy cares for is in dire danger from the evil that is stalking her.
Again, there were plenty of genuinely creepy and scary scenes that I enjoyed tremendously. I also liked the added fact that the Big Bad is a shapeshifter, so you're never quite sure Lucy is dealing with the person she thinks she is.
As for the end...wow. I set the book down and pondered over all I had read to come to my on conclusion as to what the end actually meant. And frankly, any way you slice it...*shiver*
My theory... DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK (view spoiler)[I believe we're under the impression that one of the brothers has to be the good guy. Lucy is, too. She's constantly trying to figure out if Nicholas or Jared is the evil that is stalking her. When we read from the viewpoint of the evil that is stalking her, I think we're reading about BOTH brothers. It's evident from the journal that Lucy found that there are two brothers fighting for dominance of their pack and kingdom. The journal says that the leader must drink from a chosen Bride (which is Lucy)and she must be WILLING. Since the brothers are locked in battle to be the "king," they both must claim Lucy to extend their lives and power. Jared and Nicholas are BOTH evil. They're BOTH after her blood. When Jared ruins Lucy's blood for Nicholas, it's not to save her, but to make sure he can claim her as his. The journal says Lucy MUST willingly give herself to the Big Bad so that he can maintain his power. So Jared pretends to be the "good" brother, and Lucy, believing that he saved her and loves her, gives herself willingly to him. Yeah...evil wins. Because there were TWO evils. I honestly think the only two characters that really loved Lucy were Byron and Matt. If you have read the novels, what do you think? (hide spoiler)]
In the end, I really enjoyed this series and I think it's a damn shame that most of this author's works are now out of print. I hope she regains her rights and self-publishes them. I would DEFINITELY buy them.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a good solid scary/creepy read.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm not going to lie. I bought this book and its sequel on a whim while at Walmart shopping on night. I loved the covers, especially how they fit toge...moreI'm not going to lie. I bought this book and its sequel on a whim while at Walmart shopping on night. I loved the covers, especially how they fit together to form one full image on both the main cover and the spine. I have learned the ways of the "cover whore" (as Ashley of The Bookish Brunette would say) and snagged the books immediately. They've been sitting on my shelves for a few months and I finally decided to dive in.
These are a real true horror story. There are no punches pulled in this series at all. People die...gruesomely. The villain is terrifying in his power and mystery. There are incredibly creepy scenes that linger in your mind long after you read them.
It's so rare that I find a book that feels so genuinely entrenched in the horror genre. I seriously, seriously loved this book.
A few specific thoughts...
I can see where people may become frustrated with Lucy. She makes a lot of very bad decisions and tends to go against her own instincts. Yet, I could understand this because she comes under the influence of the Big Bad very, very quickly. The story is also about a loss of self.
I really liked the character of Byron a lot. The beginnings of the tender relationship he forms with Lucy was really sweet. Some of the best scenes in the series were with Bryon. That being said... (view spoiler)[Though I understand the reason for his death, I wish he hadn't left the story so soon. (hide spoiler)]
I loved when Dakota entered the story. I felt her friendship with Lucy was one of the things I truly enjoyed about the book.
Also, I loved how things are hinted out, clues are dropped, but nothing is laid out in a crystal clear manner so you keep guessing as to what is really going on.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This is a great little story that bridges book 2 and 3. Do not skip it! It had some absolutely wonderful and chilling scenes, plus Dex and Perry are a...moreThis is a great little story that bridges book 2 and 3. Do not skip it! It had some absolutely wonderful and chilling scenes, plus Dex and Perry are awesome as always.
Updated Review: Upgraded the review to 5 stars. In retrospect, this one really stuck with me.(less)
This is a short novella, so don't pick this up expecting a lengthy story. That being said, this is a well-developed, well written tale.
The world buil...moreThis is a short novella, so don't pick this up expecting a lengthy story. That being said, this is a well-developed, well written tale.
The world building and characterization are the strengths of the story. You quickly get a good idea who everyone is and the rules of the world they inhabit. It's hard to give a really detailed review without spoiling it.
The strict rules of the werewolves creates a very scary, nail-baiting scenario for our heroine. I loved her determination to create her own destiny by making her own decisions. This runs adverse to werewolf societal rules and things become very dangerous for Gemma very quickly.
The two main leads, Gemma and Adam, have a great opening scene and their relationship builds from there. This is a story with erotic elements, but not an erotica per se. It's definitely somewhere between urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
Even though the novella is not very long, it does have a complete and fully realized story. Since I enjoyed the characters, world building, writing style, and that it's set in Texas, I give it five stars.
The second book in a trilogy has to bridge the first and last book while keeping the readers interested in the evolving story line. It can be a real c...moreThe second book in a trilogy has to bridge the first and last book while keeping the readers interested in the evolving story line. It can be a real challenge. The plot and the characters must continue to develope in a dynamic way while not robbing the third book of its big ending. The sophomore entry is always a little under-appreciated. Even in film, second movies in trilogy are not often given a lot of love. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is one example. Of course, there is always The Empire Strikes Back that completely upends the sophomore outing curse.
I have to say Closed Hearts follows in the vein of The Empire Strikes back in many ways, but doesn't quite overcome Open Minds. This is 4.5 stars in my mind. I more than really like it, but I don't love it as much as the first
THE PLOT First off, the plot was quite different from what I had anticipated, but this works for and against the book. The author had already surprised me quite a lot in the first book by doing the unexpected. There were genuinely shocking moments in Open Minds that had me literally gasping. I also couldn't stop reading the first book because it was so fresh, exciting and surprising.
Those moments in the second book came more toward the end of the story. And when they happened, I was happily shocked. The author really delivers a brutal blow that was so perfectly terribly I wanted to stand up and applaud. Susan Kaye Quinn is very brave in her writing and I love her for it.
Where the second book kind of slips for me is the plot. In some ways it's a little similar in parts to the first book, so the fresh factor diminished a bit. The basic plot is not anything really new, but it was definitely necessary because of our lead character's actions.
Which brings me to the lead character...
CHARACTERS I loved how Kira developed as a character in Open Minds. She grew stronger as the book continued and I was cheering her on throughout the story. In the sequel, Kira is a little bit of a disappointment because she seems to have stagnated in her development. She clings desperately to her old life, family, and friends even though she knows that her actions from the first book has put them all in danger. In many ways she is being very selfish. Yet, it makes sense. She's a teenager, she wants a normal life, and she has no desire to be a action hero/revolutionary. This is even pointed out by one of the newer characters in the book. She's a disappointment to him as well when he realizes she's not the rebel he anticipated.
Julian is an interesting new character, but he doesn't have quite the mystique that Simon had in the first book. He has a major impact on Kira, which was a good thing, and his motley crew of jackers was interesting. It was VERY neat to realize that Kira is not a special snowflake per se. There are other jackers that can still make her life a living hell.
The villains in the piece were quite chilling and very well-done. At one point I was swearing to myself as Kira struggled with one of them. It's good to hate the bad guys, and boy did I hate them.
FINAL THOUGHTS This is really a great followup to Open Minds. It's exciting, it advances the plot, it's heartbreaking, it perfectly sets up the next book, and it pushes Kira into the position of heroine once again...whether she wants to be, or not. There are some truly heart-wrenching scenes in this book and plenty of exciting ones as well. Again, Susan Kaye Quinn knocks my socks off in so many ways, she leaves me breathless. The end of the book was PERFECTION.