I was jumping up and down with excitement for Avoiding Alpha, the second book in the Alpha Girl series. I was so addicted to the first book, BecomingI was jumping up and down with excitement for Avoiding Alpha, the second book in the Alpha Girl series. I was so addicted to the first book, Becoming Alpha, that I pre-ordered the second and counted down the days until it downloaded onto my Kindle. Even in my excitement, I had a brief flash of worry that it wouldn't live up to the first book. Hades below, I was not disappointed at all!! Okay, maybe a teeny-tiny bit, but only because I finished it so darned fast that I was craving the next one the same day was released! Avoiding Alpha is a delightful and devious second book that leaves you craving more. I'm not sure what is so good about this series to me. Maybe it's the depth of characters? Or the simple fluid storyline? Or even the simple love between two people (thank gods, no love triangles).
A brief overview:
Tessa has taken well to being changed into a werewolf, though she's still avoiding everything to do with the actual shifting. Dastien is gently romancing her to distraction. Not so much that Tessa doesn't notice her best friend getting sicker and sicker. Meredith, a werewolf cursed years ago to be stuck in human form and unable to changed, has been hiding from everyone that the curse is slowly getting worse. When Tessa finds Meredith collapsed on the bathroom floor, she knows she has to do something. Turning to her witch roots, Tessa goes to visit her grandmother, who tells her that only she has the power to save Meredith. Still not knowing what to do, she turns to the local witch coven, the one she was supposed to become coven leader for before she was changed. Unfortunately, the local coven leader is crazy and only wants Tessa's power. The question becomes, can she learn enough from the coven to save Meredith? Or will she lose herself trying?
I want to address the major complaints I've seen regarding Avoiding Alpha. Many people are disappointed by not getting more magic or that the book is all about Tessa trying to save Meredith or not enough romance. This book was clearly meant to gradually expand the series, I think we'll see more about the magic in future books. I also don't think a YA book should be "all about the romance/sex/relationship" that so many people are screaming about. If you want smut, go read it, don't pick up a YA book and expect it. And the complaint about saving Meredith? Would you do anything you could to save your best friend? I would. I would give up a lot to save her. Think about that for a minute. Then re-read this book. Or read it for the first time. It's a good book. It's a fun book. It's a scary book. But most of all, it's a book about friendship and the bonds that tie people together....more
Becoming Alpha was recommended to me from one of my best friends. She knows my reading style and true love of all things werewolf (she's the vampire jBecoming Alpha was recommended to me from one of my best friends. She knows my reading style and true love of all things werewolf (she's the vampire junkie). If you want me to I will happily gush praises on Becoming Alpha. I went into this with only this little tidbit, "it's witch turned werewolf self-pub (self published or small press published), so expect some grammar errors, other than that you'll love it." I devoured this book. I sat down and I didn't stop. Bathroom break? It will wait. Hungry? Not now. Thirsty? It can wait. I loved this book. LOVED IT.
Why did I love it? It's a young adult urban fantasy. Seems simple, straight forward, and teen angsty, right? It is, but it's so much more. There is a depth to the characters that is rarely seen in a self-pub first novel and a superb storytelling ability. Usually those first novels or world builders are a little rough around the edges. They are trying to give you enough info to understand the world, while still telling you a decent story that hooks you in for future books. Ms. Erin not only snags you, reels you in, and joyously smacks you with a delightfully vicious and romantic story, she sets it up for multiple adventures and leave you craving more.
A tiny (really, just a smidgen) bit of the story:
Tessa McCaide sees visions when she touches anything. Growing up in California she's been known as "Freaky Tessa" because of those visions. Her Father, a prestigious lawyer, has been offered a job at St. Ailbe’s Academy in Texas. Part excited and part nervous, Tessa and her brother Alex are looking forward to a new life and a new start. Trying to be normal and fit in, Tessa goes to a mixed party hosting both townies and academy kids. At the party, one kiss and one tiny bite sets Tessa on a course that will change her life as well as everyones around her. Suddenly, Tessa finds herself the newest attendee of St. Aibe's Academy, a hidden school for werewolves. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV), this also means Tessa is changing into a werewolf. Bitten against her will by Dastien Laurent, one of the strongest Alpha's attending St. Aibe's, she doesn't know if she should be angry or happy. On one hand, she's changing into a werewolf, on the other hand she's no longer trapped by her visions. She still has visions, but it's much more controlled. Add this to Dastien's belief that she is his bondmate and Tessa's world view really is shifting. Can she accept what is happening in order to hold back the tide that is about to break over all of them? Or will she crumble under the pressure of everything new?
A majority of this book is Tessa coming to grips with changing into a werewolf. There are other things that are introduced to provide a long-term story arc, but I don't want to give them away. I'm selfish, I want you to read the book so Ms. Erin will publish more! This book is good enough to devour in one sitting. It's great enough to re-read. This book is simply terrific. Read it if you like werewolves. Read it if you like strong female characters. Read it if you like strong male characters. Just read it. ...more
The Key was recommended to me as one of those "if you liked...try this." As a result, I finished re-reading a favorite summertime book and decided toThe Key was recommended to me as one of those "if you liked...try this." As a result, I finished re-reading a favorite summertime book and decided to give this one a shot. I'm of two minds as a result. It took me about three hours to read, this includes stops for restroom, food, and drinks. I want to love it and say it's an amazing book, but it's not. It's a very good first book (meaning it feels as if it's a novice writers first publication). It has great bones. It has solid pacing for a fantasy novel. What it lacks is maturity. It felt as if Ms. Davis wanted to hold my hand through the whole book, pointing out, "look here this is important" and "over here will come into play in just a bit." She doesn't foreshadow as much as she offers up the information. I also felt the characters could have used a little more depth. Each character is a solid archetype: Rema, the lost sheltered princess who grew up thinking she was a commoner; Darmik, the second son of a king searching for acceptance from a vicious uncaring father; Lennek, the spoiled cruel crown prince; Mako, the hidden protector; and Neco, plucky second to Darmik.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It had a good price and it's a solid book. I've even picked up the second and third books (which I will be starting later today). The story is solid. As I said, it's got good bones. If this is Ms. Davis' first book, kudos to her! It can only get better from here. I'm hoping the second book will have a bit more depth and a little less pointing out the obvious.
Here is a brief overview:
The Key begins with the death of the current ruling family, considered by the entire populous to be fair, kind, and wonderful. Insert new ruler who is cruel and greedy. One surviver, an infant girl, spirited away by the head of Royal guard and hidden in the countryside. Fast forward 15 years. Darmik, second son of the cruel greedy king is commander of the kings army, trying in vain to protect his cruel family while still trying to be a protector of the common people. He has a run in with an uncommon girl who captures his imagination. Unfortunately his elder brother, the crown prince Lennek, notices his interest in the girl and decides to take her for himself in an effort to prove to his brother that he can have whatever he wants. Rema, the girl in question is much more than she knows and ends up in a lose-lose situation. Trying to escape, Rema's Aunt & Uncle give her a key necklace (literally) and tell her to never lose it. Capturing her as she tries to escape, Lennek does unspeakable things and forces Rema into an arranged engagement. Returning to the capital, Rema is out of her depth and locked in a room (mostly). Even locked in a room she starts making tiny changes in the kingdom. Because of this the people around Rema (servants, guards, commoners) begin to feel strongly for her and want to protect her or help her. Enter Darmik, who tries to show Rema kindness and a tiny bit of freedom. Love begins to bloom. From that point on everything goes sideways and smacks you with a cliffhanger ending....more
For anyone reading this, Vision in Silver is the third book in Anne Bishop's Others series. It's set in an alternate reality earth, where humans are nFor anyone reading this, Vision in Silver is the third book in Anne Bishop's Others series. It's set in an alternate reality earth, where humans are not the dominate species. The Others series began with Written In Red, a book I could not stop reading. I finished reading Written In Red, waited one day and started over. I read it three times in a row. The story was addicting. Bishop's world building is so crafty that it snares you in with it's brutality, it's curiosity, and it's naivety. In the two years since Written In Red's release, I've read it over two dozen times. Needless to say, I gave it five stars. I would have given it more. When A Murder of Crows came out in 2014, I devoured it. But A Murder of Crows was not as addicting as Written in Red. Now, I'm not saying that the second book wasn't five star material, because it was, but A Murder of Crows was a breathing point. A natural pause to look around and really get a feel for Namid and the terra indigene. It offered more depth…so much so that you couldn't help but immerse yourself. You had a good long breath and some cool clean water. Then Vision in Silver snuck around the corner, grabbed ahold, and brutalized you. At the very end, it gave you hope. A small blooming from Spring, a gentle rain from Water, and a good explosion from Fire. Vision in Silver has been out one week, I've read it twice. If it doesn't get Fantasy Book of the Year, I'll be shocked. I would love to give you a great review of Meg and Simon's evolving world, but I'd give away to much. I will tell you, at 20% into the book, I set it aside to cry. Really, bawl my eyes out, sop up my nose, then I picked it back up and kept going. I had to know. I had to have more.
Damn you Anne Bishop! Why? Why must you gut us and leave us bleeding fodder for wolves? Please, do it again. Please....more
I was teased with a preview of Beth Cato's book, Clockwork Dagger. Way back in July 2014, the first three pages came in an email about upcoming booksI was teased with a preview of Beth Cato's book, Clockwork Dagger. Way back in July 2014, the first three pages came in an email about upcoming books from the publisher. I always skim the previews to see if anything catches my eye. It took less than six paragraphs to hook me. A newly graduated healer, hiding what she is from the world as she traveled to the town where she would be employed, stumbles upon an injured dog. In a moment she makes a choice. The choice to heal the dog. Very quickly, out of sight and using a small fortune in healing herbs, she saves the dog. As she returns the dog to the emaciated child who lost it, she realizes she saved the families meal. That simple truth shoves us forcefully into the heart of a war torn, starving, beaten land. The healer, Octavia Leander could have made no other choice. Her calling as a healer is her life. The herbs and her connection to the Lady, her tools. Now if she can only survive the dirigible voyage to reach the town she will try to save.
That small snippet. Those few words, made me crave. I wanted more of this world. More of this woman who's choice were sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Trust can be a double edged dagger, so who should Ocatavia trust when she learns that she is the target of an assassin? I had to wait until September 2014 to find out. I pre-ordered the book and got caught up in life. Then, in the beginning of January 2015, I was looking for something to read, there it was on my kindle. I was so excited, I dove right in. It's an amazing world building book. Somethings are tantalizing and some are not fleshed out yet (thankful, Ms. Cato has at least two more upcoming books in the series). I loved this book with it's simple, fresh plot full of political machinations and healing touch. I cannot wait for more....more