Farley Hope is still dealing with the fallout of her mother's disappearance when Daniel, a mysteriously sexy guy, and the Reavers turn her world upside down. There is an entirely different world of super humans living beneath the city? Farley is a part of some ancient prophecy? What's a girl to do when all she wants is to find out what happened to her mother and get back to her normal life?
Sovereign Hope is definitely one of the best indies I've read this year and truthfully one of the best in the genre I've read in awhile. Mainstream YA has really let me down the past few years and it is a relief to read something where the characters and their reactions feel realistic and where the heroine doesn't play the damsel in distress. Farley may not be a sneaky ninja, an irresistible vamp, or an all-powerful slayer, but she still manages to contribute to the group. She doesn't just suddenly find out she has supernatural roots and become insta-cool. Her character arc shows that she has worked at and earned her badassery. And the best part is she remains relatable.
I'm not gonna lie, Daniel was what got me to start reading this and although I enjoyed the book for its many other assets, he really made the book for me. He's snarky, and sexy, and tries to keep his distance from Farley and not because, "he is no good for her," but because he can't let himself get to close without risking blowing things for himself. I guess what I'm trying to say here is it's not all about Farley. Too often the heroine dominates the book as far as importance. No other character could possibly be as important as her, she's a super special snowflake, blah blah blah. In Sovereign Hope Farley knows her worth and the worth of her comrades and doesn't take that for granted.
This was a nice start to a new series that has a lot of potential. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Eternal Hope to see what happens to Farley, Daniel, and their companions!
I was provided a review copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for the views stated above. All opinions are my own. (less)
I had lots of fun reading this book so I intend to have a good time with the review as well. I got my copy as a kindle freebie thanks to my Wigs telling me about the deal. Thanks Wigs!!!
This review is brought to you by the Godking himself! He is ever so excited to be involved in a review of a book that is about his absolute favorite subject... himself.
Let me start off by saying Mike Vasich has truly captured the unique flavor of Norse mythology that is adventurous and fantastic, but at the same time quite bizarre. The Trickster figure that spans across multiple mythologies and belief systems has always fascinated me and Loki is no exception. This short story collection recounts many of Loki's most famous tales, and opens up a whole new perspective on the god of mischief's reasoning. If you are not familiar with Norse legends let me give you a quick lesson on the general structure of your classic Norse myth.
Yes, Loki my love. That is the injustice you are faced with. Take comfort in the fact that your fangirl army is strong and keep reminding yourself that...
Whether you love him or love to hate him, Loki is without doubt one of the most fascinating characters to come out of mythology in general. This shapeshifter and master of magic spans genders and even species (sometimes both at once!) in order to perpetuate his trouble-making and, more often than not, to save his own ass from pissed off Norse gods. Oh and he's sexy as hell.
This short story collection advertises itself as "naughty" and indeed there are some delightfully indecent tid-bits, but it wasn't quite up to my wicked standards. I'll be the first to admit I'm a perv having enjoyed my fair share of bawdy fiction, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I was hoping for some decidedly more steamy Loki time. I mean, the man is just scintillating with unbridled sex appeal!
Of course my king! After the review...
Despite my disappointment in this area, I enjoyed this collection a great deal. Vasich's characterization of Loki is devilishly charming. I think I should note here that, while I've been using Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki in the visuals, the Loki readers will find in this book does not resemble him in physical appearance nor does he suffer from major daddy issues. The core personalities are fairly similar, but in Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster you get a much broader picture of Loki's character arc. In fact, I was massively impressed with how the sequence of the tales shows the evolution of Loki as the Trickster figure from playfully mischievous to spitefully destructive. Vasich stays true to the essential classic depiction of the trickster while putting his own spin on why Loki did the things that he did.
Ok Loki... not helping.
While the sequencing did wonders for the character development of our favorite mischief maker, it flubbed quite a bit in its consistency. Loki's monstrous children are actively present in one story, but then they are suddenly just born in the next? I think this will be terribly confusing for readers who are not familiar with Norse myths.
And Hel being depicted as a dark beauty from the waist up? Not quite accurate, but I assume the author was taking some artistic license with this detail. While these flubs were distracting for me, I did appreciate the author's note at the end of the book that gives readers a bit of an explanation for why he took that particular path.
Finally... THAT ENDING! This was by far the most creative and risky interpretation that Vasich throws at us. I will not go into it in order to avoid spoilers, but I will say the risk definitely paid off in my opinion.
Nope, sorry you're just going to have to go check it out for yourself!
If you have any interest in Loki or Norse mythology at all, I would highly recommend this book, although I think brushing up on some of the actual myths first would be beneficial. Marvel Loki's fangirls should do their research on the trickster's origins and exploits if they haven't already. Marvel has taken some heavy liberties with this character and assuming they are generally the same would be a mistake.
Looking forward to reading Mr. Vasich's full length Loki novel for sure! Thank you kind sir, you have indulged my Loki fascination with your writing. Now! All of you reading this review, go pick up your copy and...
Chelsan is a young girl with the power to raise the dead. When tragedy strikes, she finds herself in the midst of a frightening conspiracy and discovers the truth about her past. Along with her gang of friends, Chelsan tries to uncover the whole truth and reveal it to the world.
I really thought this was going to be my kind of book. All the reviews have described it as a dark and gritty dystopia novel. While there is darkness involved, it was definitely muted by all the inane teenage drama. YA writers of science fiction, dystopia, fantasy, and paranormal romance are constantly having to balance their epic, heart pounding story lines with the everyday concerns of their teenage protagonists. Dating, mean girls, and homework are all things we expect to see these characters dealing with if they are living in a futuristic or contemporary world. The problem comes in when these things pop up in awkward moments. This happened a lot in Riser. Caught up in a life-threatening situation? Who cares! Let's go shopping! Or better yet, let's worry if my crush like, likes me. Yes, that term is actually used in this book by persons older than 11 years old. This part of the book overwhelmed the potentially gritty plot and just left me feeling like the book was just silly overall.
The main character Chelsan is your classic Mary Sue. She lives in a trailer park with her parents, has average looks, goes to a school for rich kids, and has two hot, wealthy guys vying for her attention. Wow, go figure. I'll give Chelsan this, at least she knows who she wants and isn't ping-ponging back and forth between the two. She makes a definitive choice early on and sticks with it. For that I definitely have some respect for her. Other than that I was a bit annoyed with her inner commentary that was constantly throwing me off of the dark vibe I so wanted out of this book. She sure says "ewww" a lot for a girl who has been playing with dead things her entire life. More often than not, the light-heartedness of the dialogue and narration just ruined any grittyness the book had. Here are some examples:
"I couldn't see his face, my sight was too blurred and the angle of the light made him look like a walking black shadow of doom coming toward me." (Black shadow of doom? Sounds like the name of some Dr. Doom wannabe)
"'Sleep.' He sounded like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz." (Honestly, this quote made this particular bad guy much less scary for me)
"He was so cute when he was thinking." (Oh dear lord...)
"It was like walking into a safe haven of awesomeness."(Seriously? This from a straight A student at a prestigious academy of the wealthy who managed to get in based on her academic achievements alone?)
The characters are fairly two-dimensional for the most part and I never really felt a connection to any of them. However there was a scene with Chelsan's love interest, Ryan that got me pretty steamed. The mean girl of the school, Jill, finally gets on Ryan's last nerve. What does he do? He punches her in the face so hard she falls on her ass and has a nasty shiner the next day. Regardless of how cruel teenage girls can be, I think we can all agree that this is unacceptable behavior. So what does Chelsan do? She is totally gaga over the fact that Ryan is willing to beat on other girls for her. As this is a YA book and predominately directed toward teenage girls, I guess the thing that steams me the most is that this is teaching them (1) they do not have to fight their own battles and (2) to romanticize violence towards women. I'm positive this wasn't the author's intent, but the message is loud and clear. Beating on girls is sexy.
Another thing that really put me off this book was the poor editing. If there was actually any editing done on this book at all. I was constantly coming across grammar errors and incorrect vocabulary. I cringed every time I came across a sentence in which the author uses the completely wrong word. It was made even worse by the fact that I could tell exactly which word she had meant to use. Here are some examples:
"They were inhumanly pitch black and they began chanting illegible words." (Speak up! I can't read the words that are coming out of your mouth!)
"He was going to gauge my eyes out." (Obviously she meant gouge... Unless there is some new body modification fad I'm not aware of?)
"Would everyone stop obsessing about my bowl movements..." (Can I buy a vowel please?)
"Perfectly coifed grass separated the parallel lined mansion-sized houses." (No, no, no, no!)
coiffed: past participle, past tense of coif (Verb) Verb:
1. Style or arrange (someone's hair), typically in an elaborate way. 2. Style or arrange the hair of (someone).
As my good friend Wigs said, "What is this English? How does it work? Does it have rules?" This had to be the most frustrating, and admittedly entertaining, part of the book for me. And before all the 4 and 5 star reviewers start jumping all over me, check out the FTC disclosure at the bottom of this review.
The Final Verdict
Riser has an interesting idea that is unfortunately executed poorly. The concept of a character with the power to raise the dead is far from new. If you want to read a YA necromancer story that balances the gritty and fluffy elements well, I would suggest you check out Kelly Armstrong's Darkest Powers Trilogy. Riser still needs some work and a thorough edit.
I was provided with a review copy of this book by the author and IO Tours in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.
Update Shout out to Becca C Smith for taking this review like a boss. It takes a truly awesome person to enjoy a negative review of her own book. Thanks again for your kindness and understanding.(less)
Dahlia is a hardworking young lady who compulsively paints the angelic subjects of her dreams that torment her nightly. These aren't your everyday chubby cherubs, these angels are dark, vicious , and downright dangerous. Little does she know that her dreams are actually suppressed memories of another lifetime, and her new friend Belial and her crew are a group of Fallen angels Dahlia used to know very, very well.
I think I'll start off by discussing the kinds of things I look for in a great read. My ideal book is dark, dangerous, exciting, sexy, and thought provoking. I also love when an author can round these elements out with humor. Now, let me explain why Morningstar just didn't do it for me.
While there are darker core story elements, they are overwhelmed with the excessive lighthearted humor. Every time there was a flashback or talk of Lucifer and Dahlia's past, I would get excited and think I had finally reached the meat of the story, only to be disappointed when the silly romp continued on. I can see this kind of thing working for readers looking for a light, zany read, but for me The Fallen spent too much time being hyper and baking cookies, and not enough time being sexy bad-asses. All madness with very little direction made Morningstar a frustrating read. I just wanted to get to the good stuff!
A good romp can do wonders for your character development. Sending your characters off on a shopping trip, having them cook something together, or even letting them throw a house party allows the reader to become better acquainted with the aspects of their personalities that may not be visible in your current plot line. However in this case, Morningstar suffers from too much of a good thing. These character building vignettes shouldn't detract from the overall plot progression, or become the focus of your book and unfortunately in this case, both of these are true.
Of course, this book isn't without it's merits. For the first third of the book I enjoyed the writing style, well delivered one-liners and tender moments between Lucifer and Dahlia that pepper the narrative occasionally. I'm not talking about the gratuitous amounts of PDA. The scenes I'm referring to are the real heart-to-heart moments they have when they are, for the most part, alone. The tenderness of Lucifer and the wide-eyed wonder of Dahilia make for a truly beautiful combination.
The narrative is well written for the most part with the exception of the battle scenes which come off painfully technical.
"A knife came soaring at them. Lucifer caught it and threw it back at the attacker stopping him in his tracks. Furcas jumped on a man to their left. Dahlia kicked at another as he grabbed for them. A soldier stabbed Lucifer in the back. Dahlia screamed. Lucifer pulled the blade out and tore open the man's throat."
As you can see, any excitement these scenes possess is greatly overshadowed by the bland, "He did this and she did that" format. There are very few transitions or descriptors throughout. To be fair, battle scenes are very difficult to write without becoming repetitive if you don't have extensive practice, but with some blocking and the helping hand of a more action oriented writer, these scenes can become pivotal to your reader's emotional investment.
While reading, I mostly struggled between hope and frustration. There were moments when I could see a glimpse of what this book could have been. The material, characters, and history of this mythology that the author had to work with could have made for a truly epic story. I saw potential in the poeticlly written memories and flashbacks, and in my favorite line said by Lucifer near the end of the novel.
"This I deserve but you do not. Within you, you posses the power of Hell. Rage Dahlia. Tear Heaven down."
The Final Verdict While the characters are likeable and the core conflict is interesting enough, there just isn't enough real story. There are very few noticeable plot progression points and the action of the last twenty percent comes much too late.
If you are looking for a lighthearted read filled with colorful characters that is devoid of heavy themes, Morningstar could be the book for you. Unfortunately, it just wasn't my thing.
FTC Disclosure I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for the views stated above. All opinions are my own.(less)
I just could not get past the very poor quality of writing and extremely confusing perpetual shift of narrative tense. It was just too distracting....moreDNF
I just could not get past the very poor quality of writing and extremely confusing perpetual shift of narrative tense. It was just too distracting. I was never able to feel connected to the story because I was so busy deciphering the shifts from past and present tenses. It was like one of those bad dreams where you seem to be separated from everything by a thin veil, making what is truly happening fuzzy and difficult to comprehend.
I hope I can enjoy this author's Of War series better. (less)
Whitney Forbes is your average 15 year old girl about to turn 16. She goes to high school, has awesome friends, and is being pursued by IT boy Reid Wallace. While she enjoys her adolescence to the fullest, there is one thing that lingers at the edge of her happiness giving it a bittersweet taste. When Whitney turns 21, the CIA will own her and force her to work for them as a remote viewer, a psychic who uncovers the secrets of hostile nations.
There are just so many wonderful things about Sundial I hardly know where to begin. First off, it is very well written making it a smooth enjoyable read. The authors obviously put a lot of thought into how Whitney and the other psychic's abilities would work and how the American government would be able to put them to use. The Clarion program fits seamlessly into what the average American perceives the CIA to be and doesn't feel made up or forced. On top of being totally awesome, the psychics of this book also have food allergies as part of their genetic makeup. In Sundial, people who have a food allergy are more evolved and develop psychic abilities. The science is actually pretty well developed and explained throughout the book. What a neat way to highlight a condition that has become more pronounced throughout the years!
I think my favorite part of the world the authors have placed their heroine in is the unique use of Kung Fu in Whitney and Reid's training. I haven't seen this in any of the YA books I have read recently and felt it was both appropriate and really neat to learn about. It was a treat to see such clashing cultures twine together to make such capable people.
The characters in Sundial are strongly constructed and very likable. Whitney is really like no other YA heroine you will read about. She knows exactly what she wants from life before the CIA gets their hands on her and she is determined to have no less. She is confident, capable, and far from the often self-destructive example we see in today's YA books. If you are a parent, and want a good read for your teen where the heroine isn't completely self-centered, whiny, and out-of-control, I would highly recommend Sundial. Don't get me wrong, I love YA fiction so much, and enjoy the racier books immensely,, but I am also an adult and understand how to separate fiction from fact. Let's be honest here, a good majority of YA fiction features teen girls ready to give up their lives, futures, and even families to be with some hot, sparkly, Emo vamp. While this is all fine well and good in a fictional world, it sends a bad message to impressionable teens who have yet to figure out what a real, healthy relationship entails. Sure, we all have to make sacrifices for the ones we love at one point or another, and it is pretty romantic to think someone loves you so much they would sacrifice everything for little old you. However, when you love someone, you don't expect them to give up everything they love and value just so they can be yours. This is where Sundial gets it right. Whitney and Reid's relationship revolves around their mutual attraction for each other of course, but also contains a respect and intelligence that teen relationships often lack. The authors offer a healthy and realistic example of what teens should expect out dating.
As for pacing, the book begins out slow and doesn't quite get to the action until the last third,, however once I got to the action, I understood exactly why. The authors are setting up Whitney's world and getting the reader familiar with the characters, how they think, and the way the interact with each other. This is the first book in a series, and like any other first, needs to take the time to set up the world and its characters.My only real complaint about this book was that things seem almost too easy and what I mean by this is that Whitney and Reid seem to always have the answers. Things almost always go without a hitch and that irked me a bit. I understand these people are psychics and can see what is going to happen and all, but everything can't go perfectly all the time. At some point, something has to go wrong. Obviously this wasn't a big enough problem to keep me from enjoying Sundial, but I do look forward to things not always falling perfectly together in book two.
I was approached by the authors to read and review Sundial. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to be a reviewer for such a neat book. The authors had this to say about their debut novel, "We have tried to show girls in a positive and capable light and to give a boost to kids who feel socially isolated because of a food allergy through an exciting mainstream adventure." Well, with that being said, Fruzzetti and Pearsall succeed in this endeavor brilliantly. I recommend Sundial to all of you YA lovers and to teens looking for something that has both supernatural excitement and substance.(less)
Mara just can't seem to catch a break. Her witchy ways are getting her into trouble left and right and just when things start to look up, she realizes the cozy country cottage she inherited from her Aunt Tillie has a few dark passengers. Will Mara be able to survive her legacy with the help of her own power, a tricky toad, and a flamboyantly fearless best friend?
This was so much fun to read I didn't want it to end! Christiana Miller weaves a captivating spell with a whole lot of humor, a generous portion of thrill, and just a dash of heat.
By no means would I call this a paranormal romance, however I feel it fits into the urban fantasy category nicely with its magical and chilling elements.Right from the start I knew I was going to love this book. The humor, sometimes quirky, sometimes dry, is non-stop and often offers relief from some of the scarier moments of the story. I had to stop reading this at night because Mara's dreams and her interactions with the cottage's other inhabitants were seriously creeping me out.
Miller's grasp of creating memorable and nearly palpable characters is incredible. As much as I love Mara, I'd have to say Gus was my favorite character. He is honestly just so funny and crazy you never know what he's going to do next. Gus is also a great friend to Mara. I teared up when they had to part ways for our girl to go live in Aunt Tillie's house. I missed Gus right along with Mara and felt her joy whenever he popped back into the story.
If you are looking for a paranormal story that has it all, this is it! You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll probably pee your pants at some point whether it be from laughter or fear or both. I just can't begin to emphasize how well this book integrates humor and drama in just the right amounts. Whatever emotions, or bodily functions, this book evokes in you, there is no doubt you will have a great time. (less)
David and Danielle James are your everyday brother and sister; they argue, David bugs the crap out of his big sister, Danielle treats her brother like a nuisance, and underneath it all they really love each other. What these two don't know is that their normal lives are about to be turned upside down as they discover their hidden roots.
Shrouded Secrets reminds me of an old school fantasy book in that McGrath takes his time building up his characters so that you notice the subtle changes they go through that foreshadow the kind of person they will end up being. The world and culture of Eruditus are carefully constructed and introduced to the reader as if they too are a passenger on this fantastical ride. The problem I had was that I felt like this was a draft rather than a final product. Some of the dialogue and description was a bit wordy and could do with an edit. Shrouded Secrets has the potential to stand up there with titles like The Lightning Thief, but lacks a certain sparkly final coat.
This is a book parents will want their pre-teens to read. The situations and characters are very YA, but unlike other YA titles, you can trust that your kids are getting something really good out of their reading experience. The dialogue is relate-able, yet wholesome and the underlying messages of self-awareness and responsibility wrapped in a sci-fi fantasy package will leave them with concepts they can use in everyday life.
Overall, Shrouded Secrets is a heartfelt first installment to a series that has the potential to become a classic. Certain scenes really grabbed me on an emotional level. Without spoiling the main plot points, McGrath creates such a innately evil, totally dislike-able character in Madison that I whooped when she finally got what was coming to her. Also, I cried when I thought my favorite character was going to die. The character really became that real for me that I feared for his/her life. So now Mr. McGrath, you can say you made me cry, which is a difficult thing to do when it comes to books and movies. You see, McGrath's debut novel is no mindless read like most YA books today, which is why I recommend it. However, it may not appeal to more adult minds until it gets that final coat. (less)
This was a Barnes & Noble ebook freebie. I enjoy these short little stories that I can read when I'm in the mood for one and Hysteria is a bit bet...moreThis was a Barnes & Noble ebook freebie. I enjoy these short little stories that I can read when I'm in the mood for one and Hysteria is a bit better than the average. Hysteria creates an erotic story around the 19th century method for treating madness or "hysteria" in women. Pretty creepy when you think about it, but this short story manages to make something erotic out of it.
At first you think the main charcter is an insane person recieving weekly "treatments" however, you later ocme to find her life is completely devoid of love and affection. A handsome docor eventually takes over her therapy and romance ensues. Good for a short smut. (less)
The Pearl at the Gate is a short erotic tale set in the 1800s. Captain Roake Barbenoir picked up some dirty habits from his time at sea, now that he is settled down with his beloved wife Jenesta, he has vowed to keep his dark urges to himself, but Jenesta has some secrets of her own. Find out what happens when Jenesta explores the forbidden room and is caught by her husband. Sometimes the consequences of our actions can lead to the answers we needed all along.
This is a very saucy short-story, and may be a little too saucy for some who are unaccustomed to more primal sex. There is light BDSM and honestly some of the dialogue is a little ridiculous. The author was trying a little too hard at times to input British slang. This is a decent read for smut lovers, however may not be for everyone. (less)
I'm not even sure if this is supposed to be a serious attempt at writing...
This book was free on the Barnes & Noble Nook market place and as a su...moreI'm not even sure if this is supposed to be a serious attempt at writing...
This book was free on the Barnes & Noble Nook market place and as a supporter of indie authors I thought I would give it a shot. It is obvious that this is a first attempt at writing. The only other review on Goodreads understates it could use some editing. In my opinion, this person's forte isn't writing. Writing takes time, skill, and creativity and is most certainly not for everyone. While reading Two Lives...One Diary I felt like I was reading the creative writing assignment of a middle school student. It is often confusing and the main character is constantly using phrases that don't make sense. There is a point in the story where a girl gets stabbed with a needle by a homeless guy she is giving food to... While this is strange in itself, the main character suggests she will die if he doesn't remove it and cut off the blood flow. Ok, from a needle? I get that she could get AIDS if the guy was infected and was using it for drugs, but come one, the girl is not going to die from loss of blood due to a needle.
Although I cannot accept this as an actual book/novella, I will say the author came up with an interesting concept. The main character lives two different lives, one in the real world and one in the dream world. I think Array would be more successful at selling ideas for stories rather than writing them. (less)