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...
Allison Sekemoto has spent her life surviving day to day in the Fringe of New Covington, a sprawling vampire city. When she is ravaged by rabids, Kagawa's version of zombies, she is given a choice between death and becoming what she hates most.
This first book in the Blood of Eden series was a likeable read that fell a bit short of my expectations. The idea of mixing dsytopia with vampires caught my interest right away, but while The Immortal Rules is set in the future, it's dystopian aspects mirror another popular series a bit too closely. The beginning of this book is very similar to The Morgainville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. Vampires have contracted with humans to provide them with protection, food, and work in their cities in exchange for keeping the vamps supplied with blood. The exact same statement can be made for Caine's YA vampire series, except the vampires' power extends to the boundaries of the city of Morganville. There is also another key element to Kagawa's vampire lore that is also exactly the same in Caine's series, but it is a spoiler for both so I won't discuss it here. The likenesses between The Immortal Rules and The Morganville Vampires series will be painfully obvious to fans of the latter. This could have ruined the book for me, but thankfully the core structure of the dystopian element isn't the focus of the novel. The story Kagawa tells once Allison leaves the city is one worth reading.
Once Allison gets past New Covington, the story becomes more unique and enjoyable. She spends some time surviving in the outside world alone for a time, but it isn't long before Allison meets up with a wayward group looking for the legendary Eden, a sanctuary for humans devoid of vampires and the threats they bring. This was by far my favorite part of the book. Allison is constantly covering up her vampire nature as she tries to maintain her tenuous alliance with the people and their formidable "man of God" leader. I definitely bonded with these characters and experienced some heart-wrenching moments throughout their journey.
Allison is a breath of fresh air in the YA heroine category. She isn't your average sweet, but misunderstood, pretty princess. Allison begins her journey by becoming what she most hates and proceeds on a progressive and satisfying character arc. This girl is tough and often times stoic in her need to disguise her nature. The best part about her is there is not once an instance of whiny, pathetic damsel in distress syndrome! She is hardly perfect, but she soldiers on and doesn't rely on others to save the day. I'm looking forward to future books staring this badass, lone wolf heroine.
My only complaint about Allison? There is a scene at the beginning of the book that was so cliche I cringed. Allison's vampire sire asks her to pick a weapon from an abandoned museum and what does she pick without fail? Of course! the Asian girl picks a katana as her weapon of choice even though she has no identification with or knowledge of her Japanese heritage. Given, a katana is a generally perfect weapon of choice for any situation, I thought this was just way too obvious and was left shaking my head.
Finally, the book's version of zombies suffer from an unfortunate title. Rabids and rabidism remind me too much of Raving Rabbids.
I couldn't help but imagine a bunch of these crazy cute little guys every time the "rabids" appeared in the book, regardless of their vicious and frightening natures. This is obviously hardly the author's fault, it was just something that messed with my overall enjoyment.
The Final Verdict
The Immortal Rules is a decent start to a new and exciting dystopian series. While the painful similarities to The Morgainville Vampires series are unfortunate and a bit off-putting, the characters, running plot, and lethal heroine will keep readers coming back for more. This could be the start of something beautiful if Kagawa keeps up the excellent character writing and puts a more unique spin on her dystopian world.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for stating any of the above views. All opinions are my own. (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)
Calder is enjoying himself in the Caribbean when he is abruptly called back to the shores of chilly Lake Superior by his sisters. Their blood calls them to avenge their mother, and it just so happens they finally found the man who can satisfy their blood lust. Calder is recruited to seduce Jason Hancock's daughter Lily in an attempt to gain his trust and get him alone on the water so his sisters can strike. Everything is going fine until Calder develops feelings for Lily and must fight between his emotions and his animal instincts, or risk losing the only warmth he has ever felt.
Murderous mermaids indeed! This dark take on possibly one of the most fanciful mythical creatures is breathtaking in its morbidity. Lies Beneath was a first for me in a couple of ways. First, it was my very first paranormal romance about mermaids. I hadn't yet taken the plunge into mermaid fiction as it seems to have been met with mixed reactions, but when I saw the cover for this one and read the blurb, I had to give it a go. As a friend recently pointed out to me, I tend to lean towards darker fantasy as opposed to fluffy fairy stories. With that in mind, this really was the perfect introduction to mermaids in popular fiction for me.
The other first that Lies Beneath presented me with was a first-person perspective, starring the male lead. I have read fathoms of paranormal romance from the perspective of the naive, human girl, but never have I come across a YA story told by the seductive otherworldly guy. A tale told by the predator has an entirely different tone. Had the narrative been more traditional, Calder's initial murderous intentions would have been unrelatable and could have very well made this more disturbing than darkly delightful. Thanks to Brown's foresight on this, you get to see their violently beautiful existence through his eyes, rather than discovering a completely alien way of life as experienced by another clueless teen.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about Lies Beneath was that the author stayed away from the Disney incarnation of mermaids and even poked a bit of fun at Ariel. Brown seems to have molded her merpeople around the dangerous sirens found in Homer's The Odyssey; those tantalizing, yet vicious creatures who lured sailors to their deaths in the murky depths. Calder and his sisters thrive off of absorbed energy from humans they drag beneath the waves. Creepy? Oh yes, but the author's well developed mythology and vivid writing style make this a tale about how truly transformative love can be for the soul.
The only issue I had with this fantastic first title in the new YA series was that there were some continuity problems. Especially near the end of the novel when the hectic climax was in full-tilt, I found that certain events weren't explained enough or were just dropped entirely. I don't know whether this was because they will be expanded on in the coming sequel, or if the author lost sight of them during the frenzy and hoped readers wouldn't notice. Regardless Brown's writing style, while wonderfully depictive, reveals that it is still in need of development.
The Final Verdict An impressive debut that fans of dark fantasy will delight in.
FTC Disclosure I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for the views expressed above. All opinions are my own. (less)
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)
Paige is a shy librarian who spends her free time steeped in the lore of the ancient Celts rather than living it up like other young women her age. Her world is turned upside down when she meets Cael, a vampire with a tragic past. Soon Paige finds herself not just studying the lore she so loves, but living it in this sexy new paranormal romance.
I'm a long time lover of vampires, but lately I've been feeling the whole thing has been a bit over done. So what convinced me to pick this one up? Two words; vampire highlander. That's right not only is Cael a sexy vamp, but he's also got the whole super alpha Highlander attitude. *swoon!* There was just no way I was going to pass up a tantalizing concept like that! I have to say Cael had quite a few lines that made me shiver.
"Shh... lass," he crooned. "Let me love ye; I was meant to love ye."
Although shy and a bit subdued, Paige never hesitates to stand up for herself and fight for those she loves. I adored that about her! She had her plate full with finding out her half-vampire heritage and becoming a target. I can't stand a wimpy heroine and was very pleased with Paige's ability to evolve throughout the story even as she was going through her transition from human to vampire.
"I cannot keep running.
The thought was freeing because she realized that she did not want to run from this man.
Ye couldna escape me if ye tried lass."
Although I enjoyed Paige and Cael I felt like the one downside to this story was that there was so much going on. I didn't get near as much time as I would have liked with the hero and heroine. There were so many side stories going on with secondary characters that I became easily distracted from the main story. I think this story would have been a 4 star for me if it had been a bit less cluttered.
In the same breath, the plethora of intriguing secondary characters did spark my imagination and I found myself wanting to know more about each of them, but within their own stories. Luckily, I got the chance to interview Nadja and ask after any potential sequels or novellas. She confirmed that these characters have also had her brain spinning and she is tossing around some ideas! I can't wait to spend some more time with those mischievous Garrow brothers!
Although this book in itself wasn't amazing for me, I still enjoyed it. I see a lot of potential for future tales within this lore and look forward to reading them! I always say you have to give any series a two to three book chance before passing judgment. Thus far my final ruling is Nadja Notariani is a romance author to look out for! I plan to follow her releases with giddy anticipation. (less)
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland meets Greek Mythology when Teenager Cora Alexander falls through a sinkhole during her abusive father's funeral and finds herself in the Underworld! Together with her strange and not entirely trustworthy guide, Minotaur, Cora must navigate the Underworld to find her genius brother Lucas. But what's a living girl to do in the land of the dead?
The White Oak suffers from a raw narrative riddled with short, choppy sentences. However, there is an undeniably captivating quality regardless of the overall unpolished feel. From start to finish I was pulled into the strangely wonderful world White has created. The chapters are a reasonable length making it easy to read one chapter at a time during a busy schedule, but you may find it difficult to stop. Cora's surroundings are so unique and fantastic that you will devour many chapters at a time just to see what comes next. Despite its obvious Alice roots, the entire reading experience fondly reminded me of Jim Henson's movie Labyrinth with all the bizarre and fiercely beautiful creatures and locations.
My main problem with The White Oak is that it felt more like half of a book than a whole one. Just as the conflict with Minos began to reveal itself, the story ended. I felt like the moment I began to truly love this tale, it was over and I was left feeling like I had been majorly jipped! There was just not enough actual story and there is no real character development in sight. I never felt like I got a chance to really know Cora as a person. I understand this is going to be a series, but this felt more like a novella companion than an actual first novel in a set. I really would have liked it to be much longer
Although this book didn't match up to my standards with length and polish, I still can't deny there is something magical about this book. An immense potential lingers in the background showing itself in brief spurts throughout the novel. I kept waiting for it to reveal itself during my read, but just as I thought, "Yes! Here it is!" the book abruptly ended. Regardless of my disappointments, you can bet I will be reading the next book in this series. This author has the potential to be amazing, and I want to be reading her books when that happens. (less)
I'm terribly conflicted in my feelings for this book. You see, I was so excited to begin reading. I received this book in a Secret Santa exchange and immediately fell in love with its gorgeous appearance.The hardback version of Miss Peregrine's is stunningly beautiful with its superb dust jacket artwork, inclusion of vintage photographs and letters in each chapter, and smooth, luxurious pages. The publisher succeeded in making the packaging alone worthy of today's high prices. However in the growing cover lust market it seems more focus is being put on making an outwardly beautiful book with less emphasis on the quality of its content. The old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover," could not be truer here and ultimately leads to an experience that is downright disappointing.
Theintriguing premise along with the deliciously macabre vintage photos makes for perpetually limitless peculiar plot possibilities. Yes, I'm a fan of alliteration. With this seemingly bottomless well of literary wealth, how the hell did Riggs completely miss the mark? Let me explain.
I'm the sort of reader who loves a deeply visceral and emotionally engaging read. The superficial appearance of Miss Peregrine's along with all the sparkling reviews led me to believe my experience would be like this:
When in actuality, It ended up being more like this...
Scary monsters huh? Cool...
So what happened? The storytelling is at first pleasantly creepy and the inclusion of the strange and disturbing photos made it that much better. I anticipated being drawn in deeper and waited patiently for the core plot to be revealed. To my surprise, and dismay, the actual action/conflict doesn't begin until the last 100 pages! This subsequently led to the author shoving me down a hill and leaving me with brief glimpses of depth as I tumbled toward the end. The first half of the book sets you up and slowly reels you in with cleverly deceptive photographs that never quite pay off and are often awkwardly placed. This ends up slowing the story down considerably rather than enhancing it. The farther I got into the story, the more I cringed each time Riggs planted another photo op. If that wasn't frustrating enough, certain plot twists happen way too late in the story cutting off any actual character development.
Speaking of characters, I enjoyed Jacob's snarky wit and general dry attitude up until he turns into one of the freaking Hardy Boys (with much less sleuthing ability) halfway though. Jacob takes the express route from charmingly cynical to dauntingly featherbrained. I won't go into depth on the shallow secondary characters and their even shallower relationships with Jacob, but yeah... Very unconvincing to say the least.
The sporadic and often random spurts of gore miss unsettling and go straight to just plain awkward. I don't mind gruesome details, but if you are going to do graphic then be consistent! The majority of the book is spent picnicking, making out with an eighty year old teen, and arguing the pros and cons of terrorizing a sweet little village in a time loop. So when out of the blue disemboweled sheep (and people) appear, the general impression comes off as an afterthought.
Finally, I have to say...WHERE THE F*** ARE ALL THE CHILDREN? We are tantalized with creepy photographs of the peculiar children from beginning to end and are introduced to barely any of them! This wouldn't have been such a big deal if I had just gotten even a whiff of the disturbing clown faced twins! There are two separate instances where Jacob finds a picture of them and they are just so damn creepy you would think Riggs wouldn't pass up the chance to use them to his advantage. But no! Not even an honorable mention is made throughout the entire book. Some of the more off-the-wall peculiars are a real treat and helped keep me interested, but this fact alone was not enough to save Miss Peregrine's for me.
The Final Verdict: A promising premise is poorly executed. If only an actual writer had written this... (less)
Jax is a young witch on the run. She does not want to live her coven's black magic lifestyle and dreams of a normal teenage experience. Then she finds Baker's Gap, a tiny little town where everyone knows everyone else, and Jax settles in. Can she keep her powers under the radar and avoid being tracked down by her coven? When things get crazy, will she stay and protect her new found friends, even if the price is death?
When we first join Jax as the story opens, she has already flown the coop, bought a used slug bug and a small RV, and has procured herself a campsite to live in. She already has a plan for getting herself enrolled into the local high school in Baker's Gap, after failing numerous times in other towns. This is also where she gets her first sight of the local supernatural hunter who ends up being the school hottie. Don't worry, that wasn't really a spoiler as you find this out almost immediately. That was one of my problems with this book, there was very little mystery. Most of the plot is straight up with only a few minor plot twists. It was very easy to feel like absolutely nothing was going on.I would have liked to have experienced the escape with Jax and gotten a better feel for the hostility of the life she was leading rather than just being told, "this is this, and that is that."
The awkward toss of the reader into the already executed escape was a rough start, but really the whole book feels rough and underdeveloped. There is just not enough world building for the reader to feel either comfortable in the story, or confident that it is going somewhere. This is not helped by the fact that the meat of the book is made up of silly teenage stuff. Jax gets a crush on her super hot hunter, Jax gets a BFF, Jax goes to local dinner and gets milkshaked by local bitch, Jax pines over hottie hunter, Jax goes to homecoming! It just goes on and on and it was disappointing for me because I was looking forward to a fun YA paranormal experience not teen time with residual magical effects. This felt like a story about a contemporary runaway landing in a new town and doing silly teenage stuff. The witch aspect plays a very small role until the very end of the book.
My other main problem with White Witch was that I never really connected with any of the characters. There were plenty of fun, likeable characters, but this book was so short, and there was so little development, that these characters just felt like faces put there for the direct purpose of furthering Jax's journey. Although this is exactly what characters are in relation to a hero/heroine, the reader should never recognize them as such. A reader should be so lost in the story that they see supporting characters as people, not tools to move the story along.
That being said, there were things I enjoyed very much. I loved Jax's new bestie Toni. She's a tough young lady who isn't afraid to be who she is. As a fellow Buffy nerd, I had a lot of fun with all the references to the show and definitely though Hostile 17 would have been an excellent name for Toni's band. Although I still couldn't quite connect to these nearly transparent characters, Toni was my favorite. I think this really sums up how I felt about the entire experience; fun, cute, but just not quite completely there.
The bottom line is, this was a cute but lacked direction. The story and characters were rough, underdeveloped, and felt more like a sketch of what this could have been rather than a final product. White Witch could use some more action and a final polish, but definitely has potential behind it. There is a stronger version of this story somewhere and I would be glad to read it once it is found.(less)
This companion novella to Firelight fills in that three year time lapse at the beginning nicely. Readers who enjoyed the first book in the Darkest London series, and couldn't get enough of Miranda and Archer will find this informative. There were many things left unexplained about Miranda and Archer's time apart in Firelight like (view spoiler)[Miranda's failed engagement and her deflowered status (hide spoiler)]. I definitely wondered about these things and was glad to have gotten a decent explanation thanks to Ember.
I think my favorite part about this though was getting to experience the beginning of Miranda and Billy Finger's friendship. The development their was very sweet and often times chuckle worthy.
I'm only giving this 3 stars as it really is only a bite of the original and doesn't necessarily offer us a new story. Enjoyable, but read Firelight first. I observed that it would have been confusing for me otherwise as they leap over key plot points in expectation of the reader already being aware.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
After being saved by, and feeling up, a shadowy man in the alleyway behind her home, Miranda dreams steamy dreams of him every night. Three years later, the destitute status of her father forces her to marry The Dread Lord Archer, a darkly eccentric nobleman whose face is perpetually covered with a mask in public. He makes ladies faint in fright at the thought of what deformity he is hiding, but really he cares only for the affections of one lady in particular. The young lady he saved in that alleyway three years ago. The beauty marries the beast in an attempt to pay back her father for ruining him forever as a merchant with her dangerous gift. Can this beauty ever truly learn to love a beast?
I will begin by saying I absolutely adored this book! As a fan of historical romance and urban fantasy, I about died when I read the description for Firelight. A sassy heroine with supernatural skills forced to marry a mysterious masked man with a frightening reputation in Victorian London? Yes please! Usually, I bounce back and forth between a saucy historical romance and a gritty urban fantasy, however in this case, both of my cravings were equally and undeniable satisfied. Callihan's ability to place the reader directly in her world without getting too into the often tedious societal explanations is astonishing. I literally felt like I had jumped straight into Victorian London from page one. The world building is done flawlessly throughout the span of the novel as Miranda and Archer attempt to keep their secrets from each other. The third person perspective jumps from Archer to Miranda nicely offering readers intimate insights on each of the characters and their back stories. I ended up soaring right through this book and was left desperate for more. Not to say Miranda and Archer's story isn't wrapped up, it is, and very nicely so. Now to discuss my new favorite couple...
The chemistry between Miranda and Archer is incendiary! I can honestly say I have never been that hot and bothered over a near-kiss scene before. I mean, they don't even really kiss and I was fanning myself due to my furiously flushed face. The tone set between the two of them left my skin tingling in anticipation of the next heady moment.
“With the suddenness of a cat leaping upon its prey, he leaned forward and caught up her wrist. "Tread lightly, Miranda Fair." His thumb moved lightly over her fluttering pulse, as she stared with her mouth assuredly hanging open in shock, her heart beating furiously within her breast."You know, it's never wise to tempt the devil." His gaze lowered to her hand, still locked in his grip, her fingers glistening with pear juice. "Had I not this mask, I should be of a mind to suck that juice right off of your fingers.”
After ridiculously sexy scenes like this I was dying to get to the good stuff. The frustration Archer and Miranda felt at being so close to each other, but still kept at arms length due to their secrets was so palpable, I ended up writing this short poem to express my own longing.
Oh sweet frustration!
Oh agonizing fascination!
Oh desperately desiring delight!
Oh despair for I am doomed to die without Dread Lord Archer's dark dalliance!
And oh what dreams may come!
Archer's secret was definitely not what I was expecting, and a tad bit disappointing, however I think it is fair to say given such a wonderfully intriguing tool as a masked man, it is easy for what we imagine to be much wilder than reality. All in all, I am thoroughly impressed and delighted! Calihan has been added to my list of must have authors. I don't have too many series or authors that I will go right out and buy without seeing if the library has it first, however anything Callihan releases from now on will be sure to appear on my bookshelf!
To Be Continued? Absolutely! I will be impatiently, agonizing until book two, Moonglow, comes out in August! (less)
Diana Bishop is a scholar of alchemy researching at Oxford. Inadvertently, she calls up an ancient, magical text from the stacks of the Bodelin Library; Ashmole 782. Once returned, it sets off a chain reaction that attracts the attention of every witch, daemon, and vampire nearby. The major players of each preternatural group have been seeking the book for centuries in hopes of understanding the origins of their species, and now they are seeking Diana. Can she elude them with the help of a sexy vampire scholar? And what will happen when what develops between them is expressly forbidden?
I know a lot of you loved this book, so it is with great sadness that I admit I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. I think my main problem with it stems from the fact that it is so strongly advertised as a literary urban fantasy. I was expecting an intellectual take on witches and vampires and got a "twilight for adults" The scholarly portion of the book takes up the first third and then appears sporadically throughout, but the main focus of the book seems to be the relationship between Diana and Matthew. This would have been much more enjoyable and easier for me to swallow if it had been advertised to me this way to begin with. Don't hand me a sickeningly sweet vampire romance and tell me it is "Equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense..." It would be more accurate to say it is a tale of vampire-witch insta-love sprinkled with history and science. Matthew and Diana know each other for less than a month, but end up so in love with each other, they are willing to put their families in danger in order to be together. Plus their love becomes so overly sappy, I ended up struggling to finish the book.
Now, I am not totally hating on this book. From beginning to middle, I was actively engaged and had an enjoyable read. I loved reading about the Oxford atmosphere and yoga classes. I also was delighted by the premise of Matthew researching witch DNA and being able to identify the markers for different inherited powers. That part of the book was wonderful.
I had the opportunity to read this book as a buddy read, and one of the women I read this with, Nichole pointed out it was also much longer than it needed to be. I have to agree with her here. There were quite a few scenes and details that could have been shaved off the final product. This would have made the read feel more smooth and less tedious. I always become wary when I sigh in relief after finishing a book. I feel this wouldn't have been the case if it hadn't been so unnecessarily LONG1 This was honestly a case of too much fluff and not enough solid plot.
Recommendation: I would definitely recommend this to romance lovers. You will find much to love in a read of A Discovery of Witches. However, if you are more of an urban fantasy person, I think you will find it leaves a lot to be desired. (less)
John and David end up working as reluctant paranormal investigators after a crazy, homicidal trip to Las Vegas. Apparently these freaky fiends never got the memo on shit staying in Vegas.
What can I say to you about JDATE? Yes, my brother and I found out that the abbreviation for the title spells out the name of the illustrious Jewish dating site. Coincidence? I think not. This book is one hilariously zany, hellish ride from cover to cover. I spouted off lines constantly to friends and family, who had no idea what I was talking about, before I realized, you really just had to be there. This was the most I've laughed at a book in probably EVER.
John Dies at the End seamlessly combines horror and humor with just the right amount of mind-fuckery to keep masochistic readers like myself interested. The monsters are often remembered by their biggest lines and catch phrases, i..e. the monster made of meat, "So, we MEAT again!" Yes, a bit cheesy, but the timing and follow up were flawless making this a crack up instead of a fail.
The character were my favorite part of this book. David is the reliable narrator, the kind of guy you can trust and relate to. You want good things to happen for Dave. Now...John is, well, a bit off his rocker, but you love him for it. With absolutely some of the best lines in the book John very seldom makes sense, but I think if he did, we would all be doomed anyway. The character that surprised me the most was Amy. She really isn't an important character until near the end, and her development completely surprises you. I loved this about her and felt the way the author takes her from one end of the spectrum to the other perfectly reflects the way people's preconceptions can completely distort the image of who that person really is. Well done.
So why you may ask, did I give it a 4 out of 5 if I loved it so much? Here's the thing. Regardless of the wonderfully screwball humor and creepy horror elements, Wong, who is actually the main character of the book, jumps his reader around so much that it seems there is no plot at all until the end of the book when it all comes together. After the trip to Vegas, my pace of reading slowed down quite a bit as David and the crew settle back into their normal lives, only to be shoved back out of it a chapter or so later. That wouldn't be so bad if the chapters weren't so long at this point in the book. Little details that absolutely made the book 50 pages ago, just slow the entire thing down and make a great read a bit tedious.
However, once it picks back up, the book doesn't let go until the last chapter, which plays a bit like the end of the last LOTR movie Return of the King. You keep thinking "Wow that was great!" and stand up when the screen blacks out only to sit back down again when a new scene opens up to let you know more about where the characters are going from here. A bit frustrating, but worthwhile to say you experienced the whole book.
So, does John Die at the End? I guess you'll have to read and find out!
Recommendation: I would suggest reading this book if you are into campy, bizarre humor. If you are a horror fan, please give this a try while attempting to not take yourself too seriously because trust me, this book doesn't. You will get your fair share of gore and gross out moments, usually accompanied by a one-liner. (less)
It's unfortunate when the first thought that comes to your mind once you've finished a book is "Thank God it's over!"
The entire experience was painful. Hold Me If You Can is a paranormal romance so coated in sugary silliness I literally think I got a cavity. There wasn't a single moment in this book I could take seriously. The fierce warrior hero uses flower shaped throwing stars... Okay... and if that wasn't weird enough the villein's power that seems to be causing all the problems is called smut and it isn't the only thing smutty about this book. Don't get me wrong, I love trashy romances especially ones with paranormal themes, but this was just over the top. Towards the end I didn't have to read entire sentences as every other word was love. It was like my annoying Aunt Marge was pinching my cheeks and reciting, "You are such a lovey wovey lovekins!" Love was crammed into this book like nobody's squishy lovey business. Did I mention the heroine is a Sweet? No, not scrumptious dessert! Her mystical race is actually called Sweet and she actually owns a dessert shop named Scrumptious. The only cool part about this situation was that she made virility balls, a magical chocolate treat that gives men nearly perpetual erections. That was pretty cute.
Although I didn't enjoy this book very much, I did feel it had a decent message squeezed to death by all the suffocating love. Throughout the book, the heroine is encouraged by her friends and her hero to love herself, no matter how scary that may be. Self-acceptance is a powerful, wonderful message no matter what the packaging.
I really wouldn't recommend this to anyone, unless they had really off the wall tastes. I'm going to have to read something really mature and serious to cleanse my pallet after this. I may just have to resort to Stephen King, and I'm really not that big of a fan. (less)
I'm just going to start this review by saying I enjoyed the book overall. The series was starting to lose it's momentum, but like any good author, Mead writes her series with an end in sight. I can't stand when a series goes on forever just to squeeze out some extra money, but I won't get into that here.
If you are a fan of the series, but haven't had a chance to pick this one up, you are probably aware of the infamous ending. I don't do spoilers in my reviews so I will just say this. I was very disappointed in Mead and Eugenie. Mead has every right to finish her series the way she wants to, but it did not endear me to Eugenie in any way. Also, I think Eugenie should cut her loses with Dorian. As soon as he finds out what she did at the end of this book, well, let's just say I don't see a relationship for them in the future. Being conscious of who Dorian is and what he desires most from life, I would think it would be obvious how he will take the news.
What I did enjoy about this book, was that we got to spend more time with the characters and see Eugenie have her babies. I felt the plot was well thought out and the writing was still as good as ever I was just bummed about how it all came together at the end. In no way was this a bad read for me. As a fan, I had expectations going in and unfortunately they were kind of slapped in the face during the last chapter.
This is still my favorite series of Mead's, and I hope she has some spin-off planned in the future to sate my curiosity about what happens next. Maybe a series about Jasmine? (less)
When I first started reading this, I was a bit put off by how rushed it felt. Much of the time the characters spend together is off page leaving weeks unaccounted for. I felt disoriented, almost like there wasn't enough thought put into the actual events of the book, but once I hit about a third of the way through, the story really opened up to me. Details about the world, the catastrophe it has suffered, and its characters are revealed slowly as Avry travels, a bit against her will, to heal a sick prince who could save the fifteen realms, but has left a scar on more than one aspect of Avry's life. Her traveling companions must convince her that Prince Ryne is worth saving, and worth giving up her own life for.
I was intrigued by the magic woven throughout Avry's world and ultimately how the rare healers came to be. The mystery of the Death and Peace Lillies kept me interested, and when I finally found out what they had to do with the overall plot, I was pretty impressed. Some aspects of this book were easy to anticipate, but I seem to get that with almost every book I read.
The thing that really makes or breaks a book for me are its characters and Snyder does not disappoint. Avry's band of misfits were so endearing, especially Poppa Bear. Their interactions with Avry and slow but satisfying development are what really invested me in this story.
What I genuinely appreciated about this book is that it wasn't focused on forcing the romance between Avry and Kerrick. It just fell into place while Snyder focused on the goal of saving the realms, introducing fantastic characters, and offering the reader a genuinely enjoyable experience. Although the book could have stood on it's own, I can say that I am truly looking forward to further installments of this series. (less)
I really wasn't all that impressed. I was expecting something seriously epic. Something I would never see coming, I mean it's the last book for cripes' sake! The unfortunate truth was I spent the majority of this book waiting for it to get epic and had guessed the real bad guy by the last third of the book.
I was disappointed, however this series overall hasn't been that amazing for me. With all the rave reviews out there I was expecting much more from the series while only receiving a handful of the epicness promised.
I won't even get into the fact that almost everyone gets a happy ending. What I'm the most frustrated about is the fact that Richelle Mead seems to require each of her heroines to cheat on or with someone at some point in their respective series. I wonder why this is? It's almost as if she feels it is a rite of passage in a woman's life. Rose spouts the adage, "You can't love someone unless you love yourself." I think with each series she rights, Mead is saying to her readers, "You can't love someone until you've cheated one people you supposedly care about."
I still enjoyed this series for what it is and will always enjoy reading one of Mead's books. I just wish her heroines could keep their shit straight. (less)
A stunning conclusion to an overall completely enthralling series.
Mac's story is the most impressive example of character development I have come across to date.I began the series utterly disgusted with her selfish, narcissistic attitude and ended it cheering for the strong, and capable woman she had become. I will always have my issues with her, e.g. her insistence that southern woman are better than woman from any other region of the U.S., however I have accepted that, that particular quirk is just part of who she is.
I think the Fever series is the perfect example of why a series should be concise and limited to a reasonable number of volumes. There was an excellent set-up and each book had its individual tale to tell that contributed to the larger underlying plot. I like having the series wrap up nicely in one 5 book package. Some of these series that go on for ten, twenty, or even thirty plus books are wearing on me with each volume contributing little to nothing to the overall value of the series. Moning and Richelle Mead seem to understand what I need in a series, and that is a foreseeable, epic conclusion. (less)
So many people seem to love this series, but unfortunately I just can't be said to be one of them. I very much enjoy the urban fantasy elements of Georgina's world, but everything else leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I was able to brush off most of the things that have happened in this series so far, but I can't disregard the callous infidelity in this book. Georgina is completely selfish and is a horrible friend. Sleeping with her friend's boyfriend because she conveniently loses her powers and is now capable of having sex with Seth without the succubus consequences. She even justifies it as, "It's ok because we are in love."
I have been a fan of Mead's books for a while now and I still think she is a very talented author. However, I have been completely put off by the events of this book. Why is it that Mead's books always seem to involve love triangles and infidelity? Why is it that her heroines settle when they can't have what they want, and then end up hurting people they supposedly care about in the pursuit of their selfishness? All I can say is this to you Georgina, he cheated on you, then cheated on her with you. Use some common sense here girl.
I am invested enough to want to finish up the last two books, but I am incredibly dissapointed with Richelle Mead. Not only was I not surprised by the ending of this book, but I also spent most of the book being disgusted with the choices of the characters I had just been getting used to. (less)