I'll come back and add a longer review later, but for now I'll just say that this book was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Put it on your to-read list no...moreI'll come back and add a longer review later, but for now I'll just say that this book was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Put it on your to-read list now. You won't regret it.(less)
Think Harry Potter. Now make it darker, older, and edgier. Now make the main character a girl – without any magical powers....moreReally more 3 1/2 stars...
Think Harry Potter. Now make it darker, older, and edgier. Now make the main character a girl – without any magical powers. You’re beginning to get the idea of Legacies.
The novel was good - I've already checked out the second in the series and look forward to reading more about Spirit's adventures and her friends, and I expect that her powers will manifest in the next book.(less)
It’s 1888 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, should be concerned with balls, her studies at s...moreIt’s 1888 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, should be concerned with balls, her studies at school, and attracting a rich and powerful husband. Instead she’s trying to hide her necromancy from her family. It’s a dark secret – and a dark power. One best kept to oneself. But Katerina accidentally raises a corpse – or two. Once her secret is out, various powers within the Russian aristocracy scheme to involve her in their intrigues against the crown. Katerina strives to remain loyal to the tsar, but that path may lead to the death of everyone she loves.
This historical paranormal novel is rich in detail and description. Katerina is an interesting character, quite headstrong and unique for her time. The fantasy/paranormal aspect of the novel develops gradually, slowly seeping into the realism of the plot. And yes, there’s romance - an unwanted suitor and an impossible no-win love situation. The ending leaves some loose ends, but that’s not unexpected with a series. Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and something a little different for fans of paranormal romance. (less)
When Ismae was born, she was marked with a horrid red scar. Not a birthmark, but the result of the potion the hedgewitch had given her mother in an at...moreWhen Ismae was born, she was marked with a horrid red scar. Not a birthmark, but the result of the potion the hedgewitch had given her mother in an attempt to abort Isame’s birth. That it didn’t work was all the proof needed to convince everyone that Isame was the daughter of St. Mortain – Death himself. Not that this protected her much. True, her mother’s husband was too afraid of St. Mortain to kill Ismae outright, but he beat her, and did nothing to protect her from others. And when she was old enough, he sold her into marriage to a man who, upon seeing her scar on their wedding night, beat Ismae within an inch of her life and threw her in the root cellar. If not for the hedgepriest, who knows what might have happened to her. But the hedgepriest came for her and handed her off to a hedgewitch, who tended her wounds a bit before handing her off to the next believer of the old faith. And so Ismae was secreted across the land to a remote island and the convent of St. Mortain. The sisters have been watching Ismae, waiting to train her as an assassin for St. Mortain. It is her purpose in life to become one of Death’s Handmaidens.
This novel is not at all what I expected. After reading so much paranormal and supernatural literature I expected this novel to be steeped in more of the same. Instead this is a rich, layered historical fiction novel set in Brittany in the late 1400’s. The plot centers around political intrigue and espionage of the high court, and Ismae’s orders to protect Anne, the Duchess-to-be, from the machinations of those around her. Ismae’s orders come from the Chancellor and her Abbess, neither of which trust Duval, Anne’s half-brother. But Ismae’s heart tells her something different. The problem is figuring out who to trust in this world of lies and double crosses.
The characters in this tale are believable and very well-drawn. The intrigues are plausible and could easily have been arranged by a savvy politician instead of an author. I highly recommend this book to fans of romance (because Ismae finds herself unwillingly drawn to Duval), complex plots, and books that require your attention. You will be rewarded with a satisfying read – this is no mind candy. (less)
In an alternate 1800s New England, sixteen-year-old Cate Cahill is a witch. So are her younger sisters Maura and Tess. Unfortunately, witchery is cons...moreIn an alternate 1800s New England, sixteen-year-old Cate Cahill is a witch. So are her younger sisters Maura and Tess. Unfortunately, witchery is considered devil-sent. “Women who can do magic – they’re either mad or wicked. Destined for an asylum at best, or a prison ship or an early grave.” So Cate and her sisters must hide their magic, practicing only where they cannot be discovered and learning more about control than ability.
When a nosy neighbor persuades Cate’s father to hire a governess, it increases Cate’s fear that their secret will be revealed. Not only that, but her intention ceremony is quickly approaching, and she must publicly and irrevocably declare her vow to join the Sisterhood or announce her engagement – to her choice or someone the Brothers choose for her.
Then there’s the diary, and the letter, and the prophecy…and there’s Finn.
This novel was absolutely riveting. The author has done an amazing job weaving all of the details and plot threads into a cohesive and fascinating read. I highly recommend this one to fans of romance, paranormal romance, historical fiction, and suspense. (less)
Just because Piper's birthday is on Valentine's Day doesn't mean she's a romantic. Actually, after witnessing her mother's two divorces and her best f...moreJust because Piper's birthday is on Valentine's Day doesn't mean she's a romantic. Actually, after witnessing her mother's two divorces and her best friend's messy breakup, Piper doesn't even believe in love. But even though Piper has given up hope her friends haven't. Jillian concocts crazy plans to bring the three of them perfect dates for Valentine's Day, and Piper goes along for the sake of friendship and to try and heal Claire's broken heart. But it's Piper's heart that is healed, and Piper's hope that's restored.
Hepler's novel is a fun read with loveable characters and an upbeat ending. I devoured this title, and place it next to her other book, The Cupcake Queen, as a highly recommended gentle romance.(less)
Alison wakes up strapped to a hospital bed, covered with scratches and bite marks, and with no memory of how she got there. She's told that she was ad...moreAlison wakes up strapped to a hospital bed, covered with scratches and bite marks, and with no memory of how she got there. She's told that she was admitted by her mother after she had a psychotic attack and attempted self-harm. She also confessed to murdering Tori, a student she had an argument with just before the girl disappeared. Alison's story, however, is unbelievable, and the timeline just doesn't add up, so the police are baffled. Alison is transferred to a care facility, and as her memories begin to come back she fears that she really did murder Tori . . . with the power of her crazed mind.
This novel is broken into three parts. The first two cover Alison's breakdown, flashback memories, and the time she spends recovering in a psychiatric care facility. It's there we learn about her synesthesia, her strained relationship with her mother, and the reasons for her anti-social behavior. There's also an element of suspense as Alison tries to put her memories together cohesively and find out if she did cause Tori's disappearance, and if so, how. The third part takes a bizarre left turn into science fiction as Alison is pulled through a wormhole and lands in a mostly abandoned alien research facility. Though all of the three parts are interesting and well-written, the small hints given in the first two parts really don't prepare the reader for the third. I finished it, but admittedly skimmed the last few chapters in disbelief.(less)
Recent high school graduate Jasmine Kiss (yes, that is her real name) has just left home for good after an argument with her father. He wants her to g...moreRecent high school graduate Jasmine Kiss (yes, that is her real name) has just left home for good after an argument with her father. He wants her to go straight to college. She wants to take a year off, join a band, and find out if she has what it takes for a career in music. Now she's stuck with no place to sleep, no job, and a beat up Jetta belching smoke. After perusing Craigslist she finds the perfect situation advertised: "Looking for a live-in lead guitarist (industrial rock)." The catches are "guys preferred" and must "be comfortable on stage." Jasmine is very much female, even if she does dress like a guy, and she's never played outside her dad's garage. Still, she gives it a shot and manages to get the room and a spot in the band. Now she just has to learn to trust her bandmates, and herself, before their big, career-changing gig in less than a month.
I absolutely loved this book. Jasmine is a very believable character and I identified with her fears and doubts, even if some of the music lingo went over my head. The realistic plot moved quickly but evenly, carrying me through the book at a rapid pace. I devoured this one, and recommend it to teens who love alternative music, quirky characters, and realistic fiction.(less)
After soundly trouncing the son of her employer Finley Jayne is once again jobless. Running from the scene of the beating she crashes into Griffin Kin...moreAfter soundly trouncing the son of her employer Finley Jayne is once again jobless. Running from the scene of the beating she crashes into Griffin King, who feels obliged to take the unconscious young woman to his home while she heals from her injuries. His unconventional friends and employees, brainy engineer Emily and the hulking metaloid Sam, as well as his psychic aunt, Cordelia are all wary of the Finley, who seems to house two personalities in her fragile human body. But before Griffin can assist Finley in uniting her two selves, the group must uncover a plot by an evil mastermind known as The Machinist. The dastardly devil is somehow reprogramming robots to wreck havoc in the streets of London. Griff and his friends must sift through the random pieces of information they've found to uncover The Machinist's true intent and stop whatever devious scheme he has planned.
This novel is great fun. It successfully combines Steampunk and plot elements from several classic novels (I can't reveal which ones or I might spoil the plot) to form a very readable teen novel with memorable characters. I highly recommend this novel to fans of adventures, thrillers, historical fiction and fantasy.(less)
This one snuck up on me. The tension of the story builds, ebbs, and builds again. So slowly that the reader doesn't realize the how tense things are u...moreThis one snuck up on me. The tension of the story builds, ebbs, and builds again. So slowly that the reader doesn't realize the how tense things are until the story's apex. I really enjoyed this one...much to my surprise!(less)
Charlie went to bed with a grin, staring at the phone number Beth had written on the back of his hand that afternoon at school. Charlie woke up beaten...moreCharlie went to bed with a grin, staring at the phone number Beth had written on the back of his hand that afternoon at school. Charlie woke up beaten, burned and cut, strapped to a chair in a room filled with torture devices....a year later. What happened in that year? The police say Charlie killed his best friend, was tried and went to prison only to escape a few months into his sentence. A stranger with a familiar face says Charlie's a Homelander, an American terrorist recruited by Islamic extremists. But Charlie knows he'd never murder anyone, nor would he do anything to hurt the country he loves. But even as he tries to uncover his memories he has to also evade capture long enough to uncover - and stop - an assassination plot. Can he make it on time? Or will there be another death on his conscious?
This excellently paced book is a full-on action adventure mystery. Charlie is a likable character and readers will believe him and believe in him, even when the police don't. They'll also be clamoring for the next title, because the plot doesn't end when you turn the last page.(less)