Windwitch is the second novel in The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard and is a forward moving and fast paced follow up to its predecessor that draws readers once more into an exhilarating and dangerous world of magic and danger!
After the events of the first book, Safi and Iseult find themselves separated by land and sea with Safi held prisoner by the Marstok Empress and Iseult racing against time to find her Threadsister all the while finding herself haunted in dreams by the mysterious Puppeteer. Facing with limited options, Iseult finds herself forming an uneasy alliance with the Bloodwitch Aeduan; Aeduan will track Safi in exchange for the money Iseult has stolen from him but as Iseult and Aeduan work together to cross the Witchlands, there are dangers looming across the Witchlands no one expected…..Prince Merik is a dead man, or at least that’s what everyone believes. When an explosion left him burned, scared and gravely injured, Merik found himself embracing the anonymity being “dead” allows him to have. Wanting to prove his sisters treachery, Merik sets out with a close companion to prove her deceit, but when it becomes clear something more sister is going on in Nubreva will Merik be able to find the power to fight for his people, or will he be lost to his own misery and anger?
After the thrilling ending of Truthwitch, I jumped straight into Windwitch to once more become lost in the world Susan Dennard has created. I have to admit I was a bit perplexed by the beginning of Windwitch; mainly due to the changes in Merik and the shocking events that occurred to him in the week between when the last book concluded and when Windwitch began. It was almost like reading about a totally different character at times—so very different from the Merik I had met in Truthwitch, although if I’m being honest, I can see the reasoning behind it.
As Windwitch allows readers to discover more of Merik as the title character, and Susan Dennard to develop the storyline, Windwitch also allows readers to get to know some of the other characters a great deal more too including Aeduan and Merik’s powerful sister Viva, who is a surprise in many ways.
A rich and poignant fantasy story, I’m very much enjoying how this series is developing. I’m a romantic at heart, so I’m hopeful for a happy ending for Merik and Safi down the track and look forward to seeing something powerful develop between Iseult and Aeduan; the first hints of a budding romance between them are already there. But I’m also very intrigued by the other aspects of the story; the mysterious and powerful Puppeteer, this dangerous shadow man Merik has been dealing with, Owl, the Hell-Bards, Caden and even the empress of Marstok, Vaness….lots of different aspects coming together to make me want more.
Though Windwitch seemed very different to Truthwitch, it opens a lot of possibilities to the series and I’m beyond excited for the third book to be released, Bloodwitch. I really do love Aeduan, so I can’t wait to see him in a starring role and continuing to explore this world that Susan Dennard has so wonderfully crafted....more
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan & Brian Conaghan is a riveting and emotionally rich tale of two mismatched teens who find solace in each other when their mistakes see them brought together unexpectedly.
When both Jess and Nico are caught stealing in two separate incidents, it is decided they will perform community service as punishment. For Jess, this means escaping her troubled home life for a few hours while she picks up trash, while for Nico, who has recently moved to England with his mum and dad it means he can pretend he’s not being forced to move back home and expected to marry a virtual stranger in only a few weeks’ time. Jess and Nicu couldn’t be more different, but as they bond, both teens find comfort in the other and soon Jess and Nicu can’t deny how happy the other makes them feel.
You know what, We Come Apart was a really emotional novel at times. There were moments when this book absolutely slayed me; especially when Nicu experienced the painful and unnecessary bullying he did and Jess’s home life continued to be filled with abuse. Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan do a really good job with We Come Apart and managed to captivate their reader throughout the course of the story really well.
On the whole, I don’t generally read novels told in verse, nor would I typically seek them out, but for Sarah Crossan I’ll make an exception considering I’ve never had anything but fantastic experiences when reading her books and quite enjoyed her previous novel, One, also told in verse. And We Come Apart follows in this fashion, proving to be a wonderful reading experience with all its emotion, authenticity and characterization.
Jess and Nicu had two very different and distinct voices. I don’t know what the writing process was between Crossan and Conaghan was; whether they wrote one character each or shared the two personalities between them, but whatever it was, the end result was really impressive. And really worked. Nicu’s fractured, but still delightful English was interesting to read and reflected Nicu’s struggles to fit in and become a part of an English society very effectively. I liked Jess enough, but goodness did I love Nico. Nico just made me want to scoop him up and protect him from the world as the story unfolded.
Delightfully sweet, but moving and emotional, We Come Apart is a quick read that will really make you feel. The ending was bittersweet but true and still leaves me pondering what might have been and what might be for these two teens I've come to love. Sarah Crossan & Brian Conaghan create a wonderful tale in We Come Apart and I definitely recommend!...more
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard is a beautifully told story of first love, personal discovery and powerful social issues woven together with an uplifting storyline and adorable romance.
Sixteen year old Steffi has selective mutism. Her whole life has been a struggle to communicate and overcome her inability to talk to those beside her family and best friend. With her best friend attending a different school for the first time ever, Steffi is facing the school year by herself. And then she’s introduced to the new boy. Rhys is deaf and Steffi’s ability to use basic sign language means she's automatically asked to show him around and help him adjust. Rhys is the one person who doesn’t care that Steffi can’t talk and as the two quickly become friends, romance soon blossoms, with Steffi beginning to learn that her voice isn’t as silent as she first thought.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder was a really beautiful book to read. Though this is my first book by Sara Barnard, I was really impressed with how she detailed the story. I thought A Quiet Kind of Thunder was the perfect blend of entertainment and thought provoking social issues. The romance within the story was so very adorable to witness with Steffi and Rhys awkward, sweet and very endearing. Barnard paints first love so sweetly and honestly with the two teens genuinely falling in love and experiencing everything that comes with that throughout the course of A Quiet Kind of Thunder.
As the story unfolds through the eyes of Steffi, I thought Barnard managed to capture Steffi’s voice perfectly. She felt like an authentic sixteen year old girl, and I was easily able to follow and enjoy her story as she navigated all the typical things in life teenagers experience; boyfriends, friendship, kissing, parties, sex, relationships, as well as her own unique issues that came in the form of her selective mutism.
And Rhys! What a cutie! As Steffi’s love interest, Rhys was a wonderful character to get to know within the story. Not even taking into consideration his deafness, Rhys was kind, shy, adorable and so very loveable. I loved being able to see his addition to Steffi’s life and how he helped bring her out of her shell and made her happy. Rhys was a happy individual who seemed to really embrace all the positive things in life, rather than bad things---and I loved that!
I have to give Sara Barnard props for so wonderfully exploring the social anxiety that comes from selective mutism and highlighting how uncontrollable it is in A Quiet Kind of Thunder. The word selective is almost misleading when you think of selective mutism as Barnard details how encroaching it is in Steffi’s life and how illogical it can be. Steffi doesn’t want to be that way, she doesn’t want to be unable to talk; she’s not quiet because she necessarily wants to be that way….she just can’t control it.
Oh, and can I just say how fabulous I thought Steffi’s support system was in this book! Steffi’s parents are divorced and are both remarried but throughout A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Barnard often brings all four of Steffi’s parental figures together to help and support Steffi. It was fantastic to see how this all functioned and I found it very commendable that an author would write such a well-functioning family unit. It’s such a nice change from all the broken and dysfunctional families you read about.
Rich and poignant, A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a fantastic addition to the YA genre. There’s so many acts of growth and discovery throughout the story and Sara Barnard ends A Quiet Kind of Thunder in a simple, hopeful way that leaves me satisfied. Beautiful from beginning to end, I highly recommend this story. ...more
Reckless Rendeavous is a quick and easy novella tale in the Reckless Beat series by Eden Summers that follows band manager Leah as she heads to Vegas to escape the feelings she has for a man she knows she can never have.
Leah Gorman has been secretly in love with her best friend Ryan for years, even though her client and the Reckless Beat member was married and unattainable. Now Ryan has kissed her, heartbroken by his impending divorce and angry at his estranged wife. So Leah does what any normal person would do in her situation….flee. All the way to Las Vegas, and into the arms of the sexy inked tattoo artist she remembers from her last time there. Hoping to lose her inhabitations in some down and dirty sex, Leah quickly realises that though she’s determined to switch off for a few days, her heart won’t let her ignore it anymore and Leah’s going to have some tough choices to make…
A quick, easy and highly sexy novella that sets the stage for Leah and Ryan's story in the next novel, Undeniable Temptation, Reckless Rendezvous is one saucy read! I definitely recommend reading this novella. It's fun and flirty and easy to devour.
This tale is in no way a romance--it's about blinding passion, desire and lust. It's about getting to know a little about the inner workings of Leah's mind and discovering what makes her tick. With some hot as can be sex, seductive guys and a sizzling weekend away.
Eden Summers also introduces her readers to a few new enticing characters in this novella, none more so than Logan: the scorching tattoo artist who will have you got and heady and hoping he gets his own tale somewhere down the track. Hopefully with Emma!
Sexy from beginning to end, Reckless Rendezvous is perfect to read in the lead up to the final Reckless Beat novel, Undeniable Temptation and leaves me beyond eager to see Leah and Ryan get their well deserved happily ever after....more
Undeniable Temptation is the absolutely brilliant conclusion to the Reckless Beat series by Eden Summers and is an incredibly sexy, heart-warming and emotional read that is filled with all the sensuality, humour and friendship that make this series great!
Ryan Bennett was blindsided when his wife served him with divorce papers, but getting out of his loveless marriage has been a blessing in disguise; allowing him to finally acknowledge the raging attraction he feels for his band manager and best friend, the woman who has held is heart for years. Leah Gorman has been haunted by the kiss she shared with Ryan after he discovered his estranged wife’s plans for divorce, but can’t help the way she feels about the man she’s been in love with for years. It’s hard enough facing the backlash that comes from being connected to someone in the public eye, but with Leah’s management contract stipulating against an intimate relationship with a client, Leah and Ryan could be over before they begin if Leah’s bosses discover the connection between them. Will Ryan and Leah be able to have a future, or will work commitments and Ryan’s past keep them apart forever?
Having fallen in love with the series a little bit more with each and every novel, I was absolutely thrilled with this ending to the Reckless Beat series. I have loved reading about these characters and watching them fall in love with each novel and was very happy with the way in which Edden Summers chose to conclude the series—it couldn’t have been more perfect in my eyes.
Undeniable Temptation is the story most fans, like myself, have been waiting for—Ryan and Leah’s story. Finally. And boy does it entertain. Long awaited, Undeniable Temptation is Leah and Ryan at their best. I loved them before, but I love them even more after this story. Leah and Ryan just go so well. There’s chemistry, attraction and a lovely foundation of friendship. Summers has built them up for so long and us readers have just been dying to see the final result….
I mean honestly….Leah is a strong, capable and successful businesswoman who manages one of the biggest bands in the world and manages to keep all five men in check; a feat that isn’t always easy with Mason Lynch involved. But she does it, while managing to remain composed and poised—that’s a strong woman right there. And Ryan? Ryan was just the perfect gentleman….with Summers giving him a shakeup in this novel and allowing readers to see another side to Ryan Bennett. It was wonderful seeing him admit how he felt about Leah and finally acknowledge that she was the one for him—and then go for it; wholeheartedly and one hundred percent.
Sensual and thrilling, Undeniable Temptation saw all out favourite characters back with the Reckless Beat guys helping and supporting Ryan and Leah like never before. Mason proves again he’s more on point than people give him credit for as the adorable relationship he has with Leah stands out too in this instalment.
Ending the series in perfect fashion, Undeniable Temptation is a fabulous addition to a series that has only gotten better with every book. Eden Summers has won a fan in me with Reckless Beat! I can’t wait to see what she releases next!...more
Sultry Groove is the fourth novel in the sizzling Reckless Beat series by Eden Summers and is another deeply engaging and sexy read sure to please fans of the series!
Drummer Sean Taiden is tired; tired of living in the shadows of his bandmates success, tired of being the unknown member of Reckless Beat and tired of being in love with his best friend’s girl. All he wants is a little recognition and a distraction, and luckily for Sean, he may have found both when Sean is chosen to take the lead in Reckless Beats new music video and the chorographer he’s paired with makes him feel good for the first time in a long time. Melody Jenkins had it all; fame, popularity and a successful dancing career until an accident saw her scarred, physically and emotionally. Retreating into herself, Melody owns and operates a small dance studio but yearns for the days when she was confidant and whole. Agreeing to teach Sean to dance seems easy enough….until it becomes clear Sean is more interested in her than dancing. But with Melody’s fears and insecurities running as rampant as ever, will Sean be able to convince the woman he’s coming to adore to give him a chance? Or will Melody let her past define her?
Sultry Groove is another brilliant Reckless Beat book! Highly entertaining, sexy, thrilling and soooo addictive, Sultry Groove tells Sean’s tale; finally allowing readers into the heart and head of Reckless Beats drummer. Featuring a fun storyline full of sexual heat and sexual innuendos, Sultry Groove had all the snappy and sassy dialogue I previously enjoyed with this series.
I have to say I found Sean really sexy. There's something about this big guy with the wicked cheeky and flirty nature I really dig. But oh how my heart felt for Sean too in this novel. We discovered his feelings for Sidney in the last book, but I don't think anyone really had any idea of the depth of those feelings until this story. It was sad to see how much Sean struggled with his lot in life but I commend Eden Summers for the way she developed Sean and helped him come to grips with what he really wanted and how he really felt. I loved the moment when he saw what he felt for Melody for what it really was.
As Sean's match I did like Melody, although perhaps not as much as the other female leads in the series. I liked her vulnerability and that even though she was small, that she went barb for barb, bite for bite against Sean and wasn't daunted by his size, desires and attitude. I thought her self loathing was a bit tiresome and was really thrilled when she began to see her worth towards the end of the story.
Setting up the next story and including all the characters I've previously lived including the other Reckless Beat members, Sultry Groove was well worth a read and leaves me keen to jump straight into the next tale, stat!...more
Eden Summers takes the Reckless Beat gang on the road in Reckless Weekend, with all our favourite characters joining Alana and Mitchell on bachelor and bachelorette nights out in Vegas for a night full of fun, laughs and shenanigans.
With Alana and Mitchell’s wedding just around the corner, all our beloved Reckless Beat characters join the happy, if not somewhat stressed, couple as they head to Las Vegas for a weekend of challenges, excitement and alcohol infused dares in the lead up to their big day. What can go wrong as our beloved characters celebrate the upcoming nuptials with all the sex, sarcasm and tantalizing chemistry we’ve come to expect from this series?
I have to say I really loved the blend of fun and seriousness Eden Summers weaves into this novella. Reckless Weekend is a seriously fun tale to read. The challenge between the guys versus girls was laugh out loud funny at times and the cheeky dares came undone in spectacular fashion. However, Summers also mixes a lot of deep emotion and even loss into this tale as two of our beloved characters have a painful situation to deal with.
Told through the varying POV’s of multiple characters, there’s plenty of laughs amongst the tears in Reckless Weekend as we get to know some of the other characters in the series we haven’t previously followed. Leah’s, Sean’s and Ryan’s were three voices I enjoyed following and whose stories I’m very excited about reading in the future.
Coming into the series late means I have an idea of where certain plot arcs are going and who’s going to be paired with who, so I’m enjoying seeing Eden Summers set little things in motion. I love being able to jump from one book straight into the next and loved seeing our two past couples, Alana and Mitchell and Blake and Gabi feature in this story alongside all their friends.
Reckless Weekend also sets the stage for the next full length novel, Undesired Lust with our first glimpse into the mind of Mason and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave you wondering what the fate of Reckless Beat will be.
A great novella and addition to the series you won’t want to miss, Reckless Weekend doesn’t disappoint and leaves me raring for more! ...more
Erica M. Chapman's debut novel Teach Me To Forget is a beautiful and compelling tale of emotion, honesty and powerful themes all woven together with layered characters, sassy dialogue and a swoon-worthy romance.
Ellery Stevens wants to kill herself. She's bought the gun, decided on the day and even made arrangements for her funeral. Everything is going according to plan....until the gun she uses breaks on the day. So Ellery does what any sane person would do...she decides to return it and get a new one. Only customer service doesn't smile upon a seventeen year old returning a shotgun with the wrong reciept, and soon Ellery finds herself being escorted from the mall by a security guard. A security guard who happens to go to her school and is someone she knows. Colter Sawyer, jock and seemingly perfect individual, quickly discovers Ellery's secret and is determined to change her mind. Colter's got secrets of his own and is one of the few people able to understand Ellery's pain. He's refusing to give up on her even as Ellery is determined to fight her attraction to Colter and find another way to die. As Colter tries to convince Ellery to live, will another tragedy push her over the edge? Or will Ellery finally discover a reason to live and be able to move on from her pain?
Having devoured Teach Me To Forget, I have absolutely no hesitation in giving it the perfect five star rating I've given it. None at all. Erica M. Chapman details an incredibly written and powerful novel with this story. Teach Me To Forget deals with strong, important themes whilst managing to mix romance, friendship and sarcasm into a story that follows a strappy, strong voiced heroine. There's the perfect blend of entertainment and thought provoking situations blended together with lyrical writing and wonderful dialogue.
It's impossible to read this tale and not be completely won over by Ellery. She's guilt ridden and in pain but very determined. And she actually manages to instill a lot of logic into her attempts at suicide. Through Ellery, Erica M. Chapman highlights how easily it is to miss someone's pain and how it's often those who keep their intentions a secret that are actually the most serious about ending their lives. Throughout Teach Me To Forget, you will feel Ellery's pain, feel her uncertainly and feel her confusion as Colter begins to make her question her intensions.
There's no quick fix in this novel as Elley's pain is real and unbending, but Elley's chance at salvation does come in the form of Colter Sawyer who quickly makes it his mission to watch over Ellery and try to convince her to live. There was nothing about Colter I didn't like--he really was a beautiful soul who managed to be cheeky, honest and swoon-worthy all at the same time. As with Ellery, Colter felt real and I really did love him as a person as well as a love interest.
The relationship between Ellery and Colter is a big part of Teach Me To Forget, as what starts out as Colter trying to save Ellery from herself soon turns into an endearing, honest and emotional romance. There's so much authenticity to Ellery and Colter as a couple. Chapman manages to wonderfully capture the anticipation, uncertainty and awkwardness that comes as two people start to fall in love and begin to blossom, even as one remains determined to fight their feelings for as long as possible. There's a wonderful chemistry between Ellery and Colter and I thought they were such an adorable couple.
There's so much about Teach Me To Forget to love. Ellery has a snarky and sarcastic personality that bleeds through the story while Chapman instills a lot of heart wrenching emotion within the story alongside some fabulous minor characters who give the story depth and life.
Sensationally written, featuring a witty dialogue and a romance that feels real, Teach Me To Forget is a beautiful novel that I doubt my review will do justice for but can't recommend regardless! One of my favourite books this year! ...more
Passionate Addiction is the tantalizing second novel in the Reckless Beat series by Eden Summers and is a passionate and emotional romance that gives its predecessor a run for its money with its electricity, sass and flair!
Having connected through an online support group for individuals with addictions, Gabi Smith and Blake Kennedy have been best friends for years, speaking every day online and over the phone but never meeting face to face. The will happen when one of them are a member of an internationally renowned rock band and the other a humble girl from Australia still saddened by her beloved brother’s death due to drugs. Yet all that changes when Blake surprises the girl he’s loved for years and fly’s to Australia to crash her birthday party! She’s been his best friend, confidant and the most important person in his life since they first spoke, while Gabi has secretly fantasied about the unattainable rock star who owns her heart. Sparks fly as soon as they lay eyes on each other and as they embark on a whirlwind romance, have Blake and Gabi just begun their happily ever after or will the secrets of Blake’s past tear them apart?
My goodness does Eden Summers know how to write delicious, sexy, and emotion filled tales! Every part of this sexy book bled through to me; I felt the giddy anticipation as Blake prepares to meet Gabi for the first time in the flesh, I felt the deep, powerful love that burned between them as they finally acted on the years long love and desire they had for the other and I felt every painful thought and emotion Gabi went through when Blake hurt her. The characters came to life and the story were so well told and vibrant. I love these rockers and the gals in their lives—Blake, Mitch, Mason, Sean, Ryan, Leah, Alana, Gabi….they’re all such perfect additions to the NA world.
Considering how deeply in love with each other Blake and Gabi, in some senses the relationship and romance between them may have seemed too quick, but Summers give Blake and Gabi this solid foundation of friendship and years of correspondence online and over the phone. They fell in love before they ever met the other in person, so in Passionate Addiction, all we're seeing is them finally being able to be physical and intimate with the person they’ve loved for such a long time.
I thoroughly enjoyed all the interactions between Gabi and Blake as well as all the other characters throughout Passionate Addiction. Having met Blake in the first novel, he really was so much softer and sweeter than I was expecting. I loved the dedicated, determined side of him we met in this novel and honestly thought Gabi was a worthy match for him. I thought it was super sweet the way they met and loved how Eden Summers gave them an almost fairytale like story....with a lot of angst, emotion and drama woven in that is.
Finishing up nicely, Passionate Addiction sets up the next full length novel in the series, Sidney and Masons story Undesired Lust wonderfully and leaves me keen to read the short novella Reckless Weekend next! ...more
Blind Attraction is the first novel in Eden Summer’s Reckless Beat**spoiler alert** Find this review and more on my blog The Rest Is Still Unwritten!
Blind Attraction is the first novel in Eden Summer’s Reckless Beat series and kicks off a deliciously sexy and romantic tale right in the vein of Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive books and is perfect for those who love their men cheeky, devilish and oh, so addictive.
Alana Shelton grew up in a woman’s retreat run by her mother, sheltered and protected from the world around her. With little experience with the opposite sex and her mother’s fears and warnings ringing in her ears, Alana decides to take a chance and spread her wings; visiting her best friend and attending her first rock concert, never knowing her whole world is about to change….Mitchell Davies is the lead guitarist of renowned rock band Reckless Beat and has had his fair share of escapades with easy women and groupies. Tired of that aspect of the lifestyle, Mitchell finds himself captivated by one woman whose emerald green eyes gaze up to him at one of his concerts. Determined to convince Alana to spend some time with him, will Mitchell be able to sooth Alana’s fears or will his public image and rock and roll lifestyle keep him from the woman he’s deeply falling for…..
Wow! What a great book! This is my first novel by Eden Summers but she did absolutely not disappoint with this well written, sensual and oh so sexy novel. Blind Attraction caught my attention from the very beginning, and as with the rock star romances I’ve loved in the past, managed to really make me care and enjoy her characters. I’m already invested in lives of the other Reckless Beat members we met alongside Mitchell and am keen to read each and every one of their stories.
With Reckless Beats unfolding through Alana and Mitchell’s varying POV’s, I enjoyed the main characters Eden Summers introduced us too. Mitchell was just a solid and sexy rocker who was over the groupies and easy women and who found himself drawn to Alana. I also have to commend Eden Summers for giving Alana an innocence to the world, but actually giving this a reason in the form of the isolated childhood and life she had experienced. Alana had very little life experience thanks to her mother’s fears and neurosis, so visiting her friend in Richmond allowed for her to finally experience a lot life has to offer.
As a couple, I really liked Alana and Mitch. The chemistry was there between them and I thought it was seriously sweet how easily Mitch slipped into the role of carer and protector where Allie was concerned. He was determined to look after her and I thought that sweetness blended perfectly with the attraction and electricity between them!
Ending Alana and Mitchell’s tale perfectly, Blind Attraction was a saucy read and leaves me raring to jump straight into the next novel ASAP and discover the woman set to bring Blake to his knees! ...more
The Scorch Trials is the second book in James Dashner's exhilarating and cryptic Maze Runner series and is another fast paced mysterious tale full of danger, excitement and the unexpected.
Solving the Maze saw Thomas and his friends escape it's dangerous confines, but as the Gladers quickly realize their rescuers aren't rescuers at all, they'll soon be forced to embark on the next stage of the trials if they want to survive. Stuck in a barren and burning wasteland, the Gladers have two weeks to make it across this desert land to reach a seemingly safe haven. But nothing is as it seems. Friends may not be friends and there's new dangers around every corner. Forced to cross the Scorch, Thomas will have to be stronger than ever if he hopes to save his friends.
Having enjoyed The Maze Runner, I was excited to finally begin the next installment in Thomas's journey and was impressed with The Scorch Trials. I'm aware of a lot of mixed reviews where this series is concerned, but so far I'm really enjoying it. Thomas is a strong voice to follow and James Dashner has woven together a story that continues to be exciting whilst managing to keep you guessing and wondering all the way through.
Sometimes when following a protagonist, it seems like all the answers are staring them in the face, while in this series, I never know what's going to happen next or what everything means. I have no doubt all these little clues and developments mean something but right now I'm just along for the ride as Thomas and the Gladers stumble their way to safety, and hopefully freedom. And I like that. I'm enjoying only knowing as much as my main character and learning as they do.
In this riveting sequel, Dashner continues to develop the overall series, adding in new characters and new layers to the plotline. Personally I quite liked the inclusion of Brenda, who proves to be a shakeup to Tom and Theresa's relationship as Dashner utilizes the aura of mystery in this series to twist and turn them until even you as the reader have no idea whose motives are pure.
As far as sequels go, I thought The Scorch Trials easily satisfied. The story jumped straight into the action and danger as the Gladers continued to fight for safety. The ending was a bit perplexing and leaves me with more questions than answers as James Dashner sets up the next novel.
Fast paced and exciting, The Scorch Trials was a worthy sequel and leaves me ready to dive straight into the next novel in the series, The Death Cure. ...more
Infinity kicks of Jus Accardo’s Infinity Division series and is an exciting start to a promising new sci-fi series featuring danger, romance and interdimensional travel!
Seventeen year old Kori Anderson is an army brat, used to moving a lot due to her Amy general father’s job. It’s never been a problem, but with her mother having passed away two years before, Kori is lonelier than ever and now finds herself in trouble for public vandalism. Her dad’s response is to send two young recruits to watch over and shadow her, but there’s something about the two boys that Kori can’t quite put her finger on. Cade Granger ignites a fire in her like no other, and watches her with an equally hot look in his eyes, while Noah is surly and gruff and seems to take an instant dislike to Kori. Discovering the truth about Cade and Noah changes everything Kori ever knew about herself and her world. Now left connected to a device that allows its wearer to jump dimensions and will surely kill Kori if not taken off, Kori, Cade and Noah will have to outsmart an enemy driven by revenge if Kori has any hope of surviving…..
Having previously had mixed thoughts about Jus Accardo’s work in the past, I headed into Infinity loving the concept of the tale, but not sure what to expect. As a sci-fi geek, multiple dimensions is something I’ve always found exciting, but I find that authors sometimes turn fated loves such as the one I was expecting between Kori and Cade into my long standing pet peeve, insta-love. So I was perplexed….then Jus Accardo sucker punched me with this tale and blew all my hesitations out of the water!
Extremely addictive, Infinity was a really enjoyable story to read! It was fast paced, well told and very exciting. Introducing readers to an intriguing sci-fi world I’d keen to explore more of, Infinity follows a strong heroine in Kori who is fiery and passionate. Kori has plenty of attitude and personality, and is genuinely likable.
Jus Accardo supports Kori with two super awesome personalities in Cade and Noah, who are obvious highlights to the story with fantastic dialogue, interactions and an addictive connection between the three evident throughout Infinity. Cade was an excellent love interest for Kori. He was strong, capable and very sweet. He wanted to right wrongs and basically save the world. And Noah? Though grumpy and argumentative, I really liked Noah. He was entertaining and I did like his attitude. Plus, I want to give Jus Accardo a serious high five for stepping away from the stereo-typical jerk/nasty-guy-secretly-wants-and-then-gets-the-girl theme that gets around where Noah is concerned. His connection to Kori is one of a different nature, that I’m excited to explore further in the rest of the series.
I was really impressed with Infinity and found it highly entertaining reading. Jus Accardo introduces readers to an intriguing new world and a feisty heroine I can’t wait to follow in the next book. A great kick-start to a series that has a lot of potential, Infinity definitely left me craving more! ...more
The Boxer and the Butterfly is Sasha Hibb’s latest release and is a highly engaging and highly entertaining tale of forbidden romance and the power of love.
Autumn Chamberlain has always been the perfect daughter; she’s gotten good grades, done what her parents expected of her and kept up the appearances that come with being part of a wealthy family. Then Autumn participates in an act of vandalism against her school and the Principal’s punishment for the graffiti is to have Autumn tutor bad-boy Mickey Costello. Mickey is known for cutting class, his living on the edge attitude and his hatred of his teachers, but as she tries to persuade Mickey to accept her tutoring, Autumn can’t deny the growing attraction she feels towards Mickey. With both teens from opposite sides of the track, will Autumn and Mickey be able to stay together or will Autumn’s determined parents keep them apart? And when long kept secrets come to light, will Mickey and Autumn’s love be strong enough to last?
As someone who really enjoyed Sasha Hibb’s paranormal infused Vulcan Legacies, it was really refreshing to see her tackle contemporary romance and tackle it well. Perfect for those who have love Katie McGarry, The Boxer and the Butterfly was an emotion filled romance that will sweep you up into a tale of forbidden love, attraction and teen angst.
I’m always a sucker for the good girl/bad boy tale from different social standings in society. Rich versus poor will be something we all encounter and witness throughout our lives so it isn’t anything new, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to read about. The Boxer and the Butterfly was a fun contemporary read that hit all the boxes.
When The Boxer and the Butterfly begins, our heroine Autumn is somewhat naive and content with her lot in life—happy to be the perfect daughter. She doesn’t overthink things or consider the bigger picture until she meets Mickey and begins spending time with him. Being a part of Mickey’s world sees Autumn step out of her shell and discover how difficult life can be for those who don’t come from money. I liked the growth in Autumn Sasha Hibbs explores—she becomes a much stronger and grounded individual.
I thought the romance between Mickey and Autumn was sweet, although there’s no denying how strongly they felt about one another. They were all in regardless of their parents’ wishes and I commend Sasha Hibbs for giving them a reality check towards the end of the novel and forcing them to reassess themselves and what they both wanted in life—it felt more authentic and real this way.
Romantic and entertaining The Boxer and the Butterfly is an enjoyable contemporary romance by Sasha Hibbs well worth a read if you love your YA contemporary tales! ...more
Soul Finder is the second novel in Australian author Jacinta Maree’s ingenious Immortal Gene series and once again captivates with its raw, brutal dystopian setting, strong tangible heroine and addictive romance.
Having been discovered as Soulless, Nadia has found herself wanted, hunted and sort out by various organisations who want to study her or take advantage of her lack of a soul imprint. Torn between putting her trust in Diesel, the fractured and often frightening individual who ignites her blood, and her own insecurities, Nadia must decide whether she can place her faith in Diesel even as he continues to struggle under generations of insanity. In a world where madness inhabits the minds of almost everyone in existence, Nadia and Diesel must battle for sanity, love and trust but as they fight to discover a cure for the insanity that plagues their world, will Nadia be able to trust the most important person in her life, or will Diesel’s past destroy their future?
The first novel in this series, Soulless has been one of my favourite books of this year and I was happy to discover that I seemed to enjoy Soul Finder equally as much. There’s something so raw and gritty about this post-apocalyptic trilogy that author Jacinta Maree details so well and in the vein of all the great dystopian tales out there.
Through Soul Finder Jacinta Maree explores new branches of her dystopian world not previously touched on in the first novel. Having made a daring escape at the end of the last novel, Nadia finds herself outside her normal city limits and we as the reader discover more about the outer areas surrounding the city where Drifters are aplenty and poachers linger. And then later on Maree takes us briefly into the heart of the place the Elites call home, highlighting the differences those of wealth experience in the Immortal Gene world.
Wonderfully written, Soul Finder continues to follow a strong protagonist in Nadia. Nadia has been through a lot already, and has to make some tough choices in Soul Finder. Nadia does things she never expected herself capable of in her fight to survive, but continues to remain a character that is easy to get behind, like and root for.
Maree continues to shape the series well; introducing new characters and allowing us to follow previous ones. I’m intrigued to see Hiro’s continued presence in the trilogy and what it will all mean in the end, as well as Jacky and Logan who were interesting additions also. But you know what? As insane as it may appear to some, my favourite part of the trilogy is and remains, for no logical reason, Diesel…..
I just love Diesel. He’s one of those characters that will draw every emotion possible from you at some point or another during your reading experience. From one extreme to the next, Diesel is a complex puzzle of an individual with more personality than seems possible. He’s psychotic and he’s rash, he’s unforgiving and he’s cruel, he’s brutal and he’s fierce but ohmygoodness does he care for Nadia. And that really is his saving grace at times.
As the story unfolds, Jacinta Maree makes it clear that Nadia and Diesel really aren’t a healthy couple in most senses. Diesel is a fractured, struggling human being whose tendencies lean towards violence, cruelty and selfishness, but when he is with Nadia, the best in Diesel shines through. And he does genuinely want to be good for her. Diesel isn’t a bad soul deep down and he does have the ability to show kindness and understand empathy, but all his past lives and their personalities have led him down a path towards madness. Nadia cares for him in a way I think he needs and with Nadia needing someone to pick her up at times and stand by her in this unforgiving world, Diesel may just stand a chance at redemption and happiness if he lets himself love her as it's clearly evident he does.
A sequel well worth a read, Soul Finder packed a lot of excitement and development into its pages and leaves me eagerly anticipating the third and final book in the trilogy, Soul Reaper, to discover how Jacinta Maree plans to conclude this spectacular series! ...more
All Her Secrets is a standalone tale from author Kate Avery Ellison and is a mysterious tale of survival set in an alternate futuristic world that keeps you guessing until the very end.
Set in the not too distant future, All Her Secrets introduces readers to eighteen year old Victoria whose father is the world famous genius and inventor Bill Faraday known for his robotic inventions that now litter the world all around us. Victoria is a survivor, having survived an attempted murder four years before, but nothing could have prepared her to find herself kidnapped from her home and taken out into the wilderness by a group of individuals who plan to ransom her to her rich and powerful father. Sam’s just a hard working young man who grew up in a ruined city and is just hoping to put his younger sister through school and pay for is ailing grandmas stay in a medical facility. He never planned to get drawn into his cousin Craig’s kidnapping of Victoria or find himself a victim too when Craig turns on him. Imprisoned together in a deserted cabin, Victoria and Sam will have to work together if they have any hope of escaping, but with both teens keeping secrets, will their secrets be their downfall?
Having deeply enjoyed Kate Avery Ellison’s Secrets of Itlantis series, I was excited to dive straight into her latest release All Her Secrets and was very happy with the story I found. Perfect for fans of Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick, All Her Secrets is a well told tale of survival that mixes romance with mystery, secrets and the unexpected.
Unfolding through short, sharp chapters that bounce back and forth between Victoria and Sam’s POV, All Her Secrets introduces readers to a slightly futuristic world where robots have taken the majority of jobs from everyday people and are a fixture in everyday life, although they are vehemently opposed by certain groups of people. Personally I enjoyed that the world within All Her Secrets is very close to our current would but was tinged with advancements. If I was being picky I think I would have liked to get to know Ellison’s world a little bit more, but at the same time I appreciated that she focused around Victoria and Sam’s fight for survival more and that survival in the elements aura that surrounded the story.
I thought Victoria and Sam were personable characters, especially Sam who won me over with his kind-hearted desire to do the best for his family. Discovering that he works to put his sister through school and keep his unwell grandmother in the care made me love him even more. He really was just in a bad situation and fighting to do the best he could.
Imprisoned in a cabin in the woods, Victoria and Sam do bond very quickly as they realise they’ll need to rely on one another if they have any hope to escape. At first they’re both not sure if they should trust the other or if they should fake a sense of camaraderie to get what they want, but there is an honest connection there between them and I liked seeing Kate Avery Ellison build their relationship up as they shared details about themselves with each other to pass the time.
There’s this burning sense of desperation to Victoria and Sam’s plight as they fight to survive and escape. Readers will never expect the twist at the end when Ellison reveals the motivations and true natures of some characters. Unexpected and surprising, the ending was sufficient enough to wrap up the tale, but still left me with questions.
Overall All Her Secrets is an engaging tale of survival and the power of secrets that is well worth a read if you love survivalist tales with a twist or are after something guaranteed to keep you wondering until the final page. ...more
Audrey Grey’s debut novel Shadow Fall is a dangerously alluring dystopian tale that mixes elements of sci-fi, fantasy and plenty of danger with romance, action and edge of your seat suspense and deception.
Maia Greystone lives in world where the majority of society lives on borrowed time--a massive asteroid is hurtling towards Earth and those unlucky enough not to be a part of the Emperor’s Gold Court won’t be granted a seat on their space station when it finally makes contact. A lowly Bronze, Maia is the daughter of a traitor and someone who knows her place in life, locked in society’s most dangerous prison, the pit. Until a mysterious man offers Maia a chance to participate in the Trials and possibly win a highly coveted seat on the space station for her and her brother. Agreeing, Maia finds herself being altered and taking on a new appearance to take part in the trials, but with all the dangers clear as day, is the biggest danger to Maia falling for her fellow pit survivor Riser, a disturbing dark horse who is beginning to make Maia feel for the first time in years…..
Having caught my attention with its absolutely stunning cover, I can honestly say I highly enjoyed Shadow Fall. I know there are a lot of people who have compared it to The Hunger Games, and yes, I guess I can see that a bit of THG in Shadow Fall, especially in the second part of the book, but Shadow Fall also has its very own unique storyline. Audrey Grey introduces her readers to a very dangerous, destroyed world that I loved, with tangible characters who felt well fleshed out and who were insanely likable.
Featuring an Earth set to be destroyed by an asteroid, there’s an edge of desperation and hopelessness that encompasses the people of Shadow Fall. The dark, gritty aspects of Shadow Fall really appealed to me and I liked seeing two different classes of society mingle—the haves and have nots. The class structure and society within Shadow Fall was interesting to me and I liked the intricacy of it, even if the various groups of individuals confused me at times. I found it difficult to wrap my head around all the different rebel groups, but for the most part I was able to follow the storyline without getting too confused.
Heroine Maia was one of those main characters that starts out in a weakened state and in a hopeless situation and continually grows. She’s in a no-win situation unless she manages to successfully complete the trials and she fights for that. Personally, I quite liked her. I thought she was a well-balanced main character who has growth possibilities, but also manages to be a strong personality and individual when we meet her. Basically I’m very happy to follow her throughout Shadow Fall.
I found I really loved the characters that dotted Shadow Fall. Everyone from Maia, Flame, Caspian, Merida, Rhydian and especially Riser really struck a cord with me. They were tangible and full of personality and really brought the story to life. I’m absolutely addicted to Riser—he is such a surprising contradiction and I’m a real fan of his. Cheeky but darkly scarred, Riser is someone who lures you in and makes you want to know every secret he has.
Author Audrey Grey writes some wonderful chemistry between Maia and Riser and I thought they were perfect together. I’m definitely going to be on Team Riser, even if I am suspicious of a love triangle appearing within the series. Yet that being said, strangely enough I also really liked Caspian who is the second possible love interest for Maia. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed Maia’s heart and affections remain squarely in Risers hands, but only time will tell....
The last few chapters of Shadow Fall are especially action packed with developments and revelations that set the stage for the next novel. Audrey Grey leaves her readers at a highly climactic moment and guarantee’s you’ll be dying for the next book’s release to discover what is in store for Maia next! Highly recommend if you love fast paced and well developed dystopians! ...more
**spoiler alert** Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and author M.K. Harkins for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest revi**spoiler alert** Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and author M.K. Harkins for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
The Reader by M.K. Harkins is a deeply engaging paranormal tale that was full of intrigue, action and just enough romance to keep me eagerly reading along.
When eighteen year old Ann Baker wakes up alone in shallow waters on a deserted beach, she has no memory of who she is and how she managed to get herself shot and stranded without any recollection of what happened. Approached by two mysterious strangers who say they want to help her, Ann has no choice but to put her trust in Devon and Archer when someone opens fire on the trio and they’re forced to flee. Taken deep into a mountainous compound, Ann finds herself drawn to both Archer who is kind and friendly and Devon who acts like a jerk but makes Ann’s heart race. Discovering a group of individuals who claim to be a special form of evolved humans able to read minds, Ann discovers that not only is she one of them, but potentially someone long ago prophesied to arrive. But with someone still after her and her memory still missing, will Ann be able to trust her new friends? Or is the threat to her closer than she realises…..
Diving straight into The Reader, I found the story to be an easily enjoyable tale. It featured an interesting plotline, some great backstory and the perfect amount of romance and character chemistry to keep me satisfied. Plus, it’s a standalone tale that author M.K. Harkins perfectly wraps up!
I really like the concept Harkins introduces readers to in The Reader. The idea is that there are three races of people, the Readers, the Seers and the Highjackers---known as Jacks. The Readers are able to read the minds of those around them, the Seers—who have long been wiped out, were able to predict the future, and the Highjackers are able to highjack the minds of others and take possession of their bodies.
The Reader is told through the eyes of our heroine Ann whose voice is strong and easy to follow. I quite liked Ann. I thought she was kind, but strong and easy to like. Ann has lost her memory, but her personality shines through as the story progresses and she begins to discover just exactly who and what she is.
Harkins adds a little bit of a love triangle to The Reader, but for once I wasn’t overly concerned about it. It’s fairly evident who Ann was going to end up with romance wise from early on. Archer clearly liked her but there was no denying her connection to Devon. Personally I really enjoyed their connection and loved seeing them interact, although I think their being "in love" was a little too swift. They definitely had the connection and the attraction, I just think being in love came too fast for them.
The Reader is a fast paced story that is well told and well executed. There’s storyline developments and a betrayal you won’t see coming. Though this is a standalone tale, I’d love the opportunity to discover more of the world M.K. Harkins has introduced and would love a companion novel if the chance ever arose. At the same time however, I think Harkins wrapped up the novel well and definitely recommend it to those looking for an easy to read paranormal/fantasy tale! ...more
Quanta Reset by Lola Dodge is the third novel in The Shadow Raven’s series—the second to feature seer Quanta—and picks up where the last book concluded, taking readers on an exhilarating journey from beginning to end.
Having managed to escape Doctor Nagi’s lab, Quanta and Tair are currently safe; hidden away in the Shadow Ravens compound. However life in the compound isn’t easy for Quanta whose timeghosts haunt her now more than ever as she struggles to rein in her abilities and adapt to life outside the lab. Watching the woman he cares about deteriorate is a nightmare for Altair Orpheus, but just as Lady Eva wants to train Quanta, all Tair wants to do it keep her safe. Their pairing a bright light in dark times, Quanta and Tair will once again have to face off against Doctor Nagi and his unexpected experiments if they have any hope of staying alive.
Picking up not far after the last book left off, Quanta Reset is another deeply enjoyable and fast paced story that readers are sure to love. Exploring new dimensions of the series and new aspects of Quanta herself, Lola Dodge does a great job capitalising on what we already know and throwing in more twists. Plus, it was super fun to see Cipher and Knight again!
Having gotten to know Quanta in the first book, I found it really interesting seeing her attempt to adjust and struggle in this novel. The ramifications of all she’d been through had taken its toll and Lola Dodge doesn’t shy away from this fact—instead highlighting and showing the difficulties faced by Quanta. Our heroine has a lot of tough times ahead of her, but I love the strength she embraces as she faces them.
If I’m being honest and a little sappy, I really missed seeing a stronger amount of romance between Quanta and Tair in this instalment, although I did enjoy seeing them develop further as companions and confidants in Quanta Reset. Tair really is at a point where he’ll do anything for Quanta and its beautiful seeing the love he clearly has for her develop and shine through. All I’m saying is a little more kissing and snuggling will be definitely appreciated in the next book.
There’s tonnes of developments in this novel as Quanta and Tair face off against an unexpected enemy who is a replica of Quanta. I’m really keen to see what happens in the next book Quanta Rewind and I’m curious as to whether Devan will have a larger role in the series. Perhaps she will be our next heroine following Quanta?
Either way, I’m happy with how Quanta Reset played out and am looking forward to discovering what happens to Quanta, Tair and the rest of the Ravens when the next book releases in the new year!
Peadar Ó Guilín’s latest release The Call is a compelling and at times gruesome tale that mixes Irish folklore and mythology into a fast paced and dangerous dystopian style read perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent!
Ireland is a nation cut off from the rest of the world after a war against the Sidhe (also known as faeries) saw the Irish banish the Sidhe into the dark and colourless Grey Land. In retribution, the Sidhe now Call every Irish child at some point during their adolescence to last three minutes in the Grey Land where they are hunted down and slaughtered by the Sidhe. Few return alive and those that do are fractured shadows of themselves, often deformed and twisted. Having learnt the truth about the future that awaits her at ten years of age, Vanessa "Nessa" Dohtery has spent the last four years of her life, training, preparing and anticipating the moment when she will be Called. Affected by polio as a child, Nessa knows her chances of surviving the Call are slim, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to give up without a fight…..
I was actually really impressed with The Call and found it to be a truly engaging read. Peadar Ó Guilín's storytelling is really impressive—his writing is lyrical and descriptive as he paints an often dangerous scene with lives lost and deaths aplenty. Reminiscent of The Hunger Games as Ireland’s teens spend three minutes fighting for their lives, where in the Grey Land three human minutes can be realistically days or weeks, The Call is very exciting and riveting at times.
The Call is told in third person and predominately follows main character Nessa, although Ó Guilín often tells chapters through the eyes of other characters within the story, normally Nessa’s fellow students and victims of the Call. Witnessing the last moments of individuals as they fight for their lives is heart breaking and gruelling with Peadar Ó Guilín depicting various fight scenes that end bloody and painful.
If I correctly kept with the timeline of The Call, Nessa and her fellow students are supposed to be around fourteen years of age during the story, but really do read as older. Whether this is unintentional on the author’s part or a result of their growing up faster due to what awaits them in life, I couldn't help but picture the characters as older as I read the story.
Despite the often fast paced scenes within the story, The Call is a sombre book at times as Ó Guilín depicts a world where loss of life is an everyday occurrence that really can’t be helped. There’s some unexpected twists towards the end that see certain characters betray their people for the sake of themselves and a big battle occurs between the teachers and students of Nessa’s collage and the Sidhe.
For all that happens within this story, don’t expect an ending where the baddies are completely defeated and our characters living happily ever after….because you won’t find it within The Call. And you know what? I actually preferred to see Peadar Ó Guilín conclude the story the way he did. Sometimes there’s no fixable solution to problems; sure there’s a way to make them better for a time, but in the end all you can really do is continue on the best you can.
A great standalone tale, The Call is a thrilling read that takes you on one hell of a dark and dangerous journey. I wouldn’t mind venturing into Peadar Ó Guilín’s vivid world again down the track if the chance ever arose but right now I’m pretty satisfied with how the novel concluded. An enjoyable and vivid read well worth reading! ...more
Save Aether is the third and final instalment in L.M. Fry’s The Trinity Key Trilogy and is a fast paced and deeply enjoyable conclusion to what has been a highly enjoyable trilogy!
Having united the Trinity key, Julia, Theo and Valera must learn to harness and control the incredible powers burning inside them. For Julia, discovering her powers also means discovering family she never knew she had and learning to trust those around her; a feat that isn’t easy for a girl who has been alone for most of her life. As all three girls are haunted by terrible nightmares where the goddess Danu calls out for help, Julia, Theo and Valeria must decide whether or not they will listen to the Elders of Aetherland or go with their guts and set the goddess free. Either decision will be dangerous, but will their choice not only be deadly, but fatal?
L.M. Fry’s Trinity Key trilogy comes to a close with Save Aether, another fast paced and entertaining novel in the series. After the previous book, Julia has now got her abilities as one of Danu’s daughters, able to control ice and the aether around her. Continuing to unfold through the perspectives of all three heroines, Save Aether sees a lot of developments and revelations to the storyline. Readers may be in for a surprise as the sisters learn the truth about the Trinity and what it means for them.
I’ve really enjoyed following the Theo, Julia and Valera throughout the trilogy. They’re all so different, but have worked well together. Their different personalities and backgrounds meant that they brought new perspectives to the story and I liked seeing them connect with each other and really become friends, even if Julia got off to a rocky start with Theo and Valera in the beginning of the series.
All the characters that supported the girls in this novel were great to read about but I have to admit, the hopeless romantic in me loved seeing L.M. Fry pair off each girl with a love interest as the series progressed. And best of all—no love triangles! It was simply Theo and Victor, Valera and Gideon and Julia and Eli—the cheeky guy who won Julia’s heart in Save Aether.
I’ll admit, I was a little perplexed by the ending of Save Aether; mainly the final few pages. Overall L.M Fry leaves the story with enough to hope that the characters will pick up the pieces of their lives and Aetherland, but at the same time, I think I wanted just a little bit more. I wanted to see a bit more of what happened after the final showdown with Danu; what happened to Theo, Julia and Valera and their guys? What happened to those left displaced after the destruction of their homes? Not everyone escaped unscathed—how did those characters handle their losses?
And yet, I understand why Fry ended the series as she did, even if I’ll miss Theo, Julia and Valera. Weaving steampunk with magic, The Trinity Key Trilogy is well worth a read for those who like spunky heroines, romance and plenty of action. I definitely recommend!
Escape Aether is the second novel in The Trinity Key Trilogy by L.M. Fry and allows readers to explore the world of Aetherland even more as Fry continues to develop her exhilarating series.
Picking up where the first novel left off, Escape Aether sees Valera Stein kidnapped by the recently discovered Aetherland-born Julia who is desperately seeking her part of the Trinity Key. Agreeing to help Julia find her missing piece allows Valera to do the one thing she’s always wanted; escape Aetherland Isle and see the world. Yet as Valera and Julia journey through both Aetherland and the human world, enemies change and dangers increase until both girls must decide to work together if they have any hope of finding Julia’s piece of the key.
Having enjoyed Into Aether, I found Escape Aether to be a fantastically written and wonderful follow up to its predecessor. Escape Aether explored different parts of Aetherland and allowed us to discover new areas of L.M. Fry’s dashing steampunk world, as well as get to know new characters.
Unlike Into Aether which took place through Theo’s eyes alone, Escape Aether unfolds through the varying POV’s of Valeria, Theo and Julia, allowing readers to follow all three of Danu’s daughters and members of the Trinity throughout the book. The back and forth POV’s really do allow you to get to know all three girls and learn of their hopes, fears and motives as the story unfolds. Nothing and no one is completely black and white as we come to learn, especially Julia.
I really enjoyed getting to know Valera and Julia in this book. I knew I was going to like Valera and she doesn’t disappoint—she’s just a happy, sweet person, plain and simple, although L.M Fry certainly takes her on an emotional journey with Escape Aether. While Julia on the other hand surprised me; she really was just misunderstood—someone who had grown up simply wanting her father’s love and someone who was willing to do anything is wanted in order to facilitate that. Julia isn’t really a bad person. She just needs someone to genuinely care for her and I think Theo and Valera can be those people if given the chance.
Mixing all the characters from the first novel—Theo, Victor, Nessie, Vivi, Valera and more---with new and exciting additions—most notably Gideon as a love interest for Valera, Escape Aether is a fast paced and adventurous sequel that highly entertains and leaves me ready to read the next book in the series! ...more
Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend is the sequel to Kay Marie’s fabulous contemporary romance Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist and is a deliciously fun and romantic follow-up that will thrill readers with more Skylar and Ollie awesomeness.
Skylar Quinn is no longer a virgin sex columnist thanks to her fabulous boyfriend Ollie, but if Skye thought things would be easy now that she’s got the man of her dreams, she’s been sorely mistaken. Ollie is still driving Skye mad in the most ingenious, and sensual, of ways, but frightened to tell her best friend she’s dating, and totally sleeping with, her brother sees Skye form a plan to convince Bridget she’s getting back with her ex. A secret romance may sound good in theory, but the reality isn’t nearly as good and soon stolen kisses and secret nights aren’t enough. But with all of Skye’s lies starting to backfire, will the cost of keeping her romance with Ollie secret see Skye lose him in the process?
Having loved and devoured Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist, I was ecstatic to discover Kay Marie had a sequel in the works and Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend doesn’t disappoint. Skye is back with her own special brand of wit and quirk and relatable nature. One of the reasons I seem to enjoy this series—besides the delectable romance and brilliant dialogue---is because Skye is actually really relatable to me. I see a lot of myself in her, and that hasn’t changed since the first novel.
Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend explores the next stage in Skye and Ollie’s journey now that they have acknowledged their feelings and acted upon the desire that has burned between them. In this sequel author Kay Marie details how Skye reacts to finally being with Ollie and puts her characters to the test as they come to understand that being together isn’t always smooth sailing and they’ll actually have to fight for their relationship.
As sweet, adorable and utterly perfect Skye and Ollie are together, it was nice seeing them fumble at times and have problems like a normal couple. It made them real. Marie explores them in a relatable way that sees that delicious chemistry they share woven into life like situations as Skye faces telling Bridget, their families and the world around them that she and Ollie are a couple, while also attempting to overcome the fears she still has about their relationship.
Skye and Ollie continue to blaze in the chemistry department, and even though they’re intimate with each other now, Kay Marie keeps things fairly tame; instead choosing to temp you just enough with the chemistry between them as you know what happens between them as they sizzle together.
So very fun and sweet, Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend is an excellent sequel that easily satisfied this reader. I don’t know whether Kay Marie has plans to write any more books in the series, but with Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend ending the way it does, I’m pretty satisfied with Skye’s tale, even if I’d take more of her and Ollie if the chance ever arose.
A great contemporary romance, if you like wonderful chemistry between characters and a romance you can really get behind, this series is for you as Kay Marie will easily make you fall in love with Skye, Ollie and their adorable romance! ...more
Moon Chosen by P.C Cast is a lyrical and lusciously woven fantasy tale that introduces readers to a unique and promising new world of danger, romance, nature and the power of the moon!
Mari is an Earth Walker, daughter to her Clan’s Moon Woman and the person most expect to take her mother’s place within the Clan one day. Able to heal using a unique ability to harness the moons powers, as a Moon Woman Mari is expected to wash her people of a fierce infliction that leaves them raging monsters if left unattended. However, Mari is hiding a secret about her heritage, and when a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari finds herself with a new animal companion and a broken heart. It’s not until Nik, the son of the leader of her enemies tribe, the Tribe of the Trees, comes into her life does Mari realise that not everything is as black and white as it seems. Choosing to work with Nik will see Mari have to embrace her destiny if she has any hope of saving her people.
Moon Chosen is a really unique novel in my eyes. It’s meant to be set in a future world, drastically changed, but features a lot of attributes and elements you would expect to see in ancient times. Having read some of P.C. Cast’s House of Night and Goddess books, it’s clear to me that Cast is an obviously spiritual woman, something that comes through in her writing. Moon Chosen features a lot of spiritual aspects reminiscent of the Native Americans with a twist with our heroine relying heavily on nature and the earth around her.
I’ll be honest and admit it took me a little bit of time to be won over by the tale, but once I found myself in a rhythm with the story, I really enjoyed Moon Chosen. It’s a very long, wordy book---almost 600 pages with small text--and admittedly some of the content within the story was lost on me or failed to impress, but for the most part I was very entranced by Mari and Nik’s journey.
In the very opening chapter of Moon Chosen I found myself worried that Mari’s voice may have read too young based on her mannerisms and conversations shared with her mother. It quickly became apparent to me that Mari had potential and quickly began a journey of growth and discovery throughout the story.
I liked Mari and I liked the characters who joined her, including Nik, Rigel and Sora who were standouts. Rigel was adorable as Mari’s shepherd companion and of course Nik was enjoyable to read about as love interest and friend to Mari whose voice was the second most prominent one we had the pleasure of following throughout the story. Sora was reminiscent of House of Night’s Aphrodite in my mind; a flirty unfriendly individual who fights with the heroine but then becomes a true friend along the way.
I’m actually really intrigued by the Companion’s and their canine comrades. It’s really interesting seeing how P.C. Cast has instilled this fierce and undeniable bond of love and loyalty between the Companions and the dogs that choose them. It was very sweet and I’m as equally as eager to see the cat version and their Companions of other tribes down the track, especially if the next book is going to feature Antreas and his lynx companion as I’m hoping it will!
Moon Chosen is a rich and descriptive first novel, kicking off the Tales of A New World series that has a lot of potential and leaves me keen to see what P.C. Cast does with it next! ...more
The Gender Game is Bella Forrest’s latest release and is an absolutely brilliant and addictive dystopian read that will lure readers with its intense, intriguing world, strong protagonist and promising romance!
Nineteen year old Violet Bates lives in a world where a toxic river divides two different gender based societies; Matrus and Patrus. In Violet’s home of Matrus any violence is frowned upon and men have little to no social standing, while in Patrus women are expected to submit completely to their husbands and are considered little more than property. Having been caught attempting to help someone she loves escape Matrus in the past, Violet is already a prisoner when she commits two different acts of womanslaughter, an act punishable by death. Faced with choosing between death and an unexpected proposition, Violet finds herself agreeing to a mission that will see her forced to journey into the heart of Patrus. Living in Patrus sees Violet forced to go against her very nature but as Violet makes sacrifices in order to see out her mission she begins to consider the possibility of finding the one thing she never expected to find in Patrus; love.
Wow! What a read! When I first began reading The Gender Game, I had planned to read only a few chapters to bide some time, but quickly found myself devouring the book—in one sitting! And I very rarely finish books in one sitting. I loved The Gender Game; loved it. I adored the characters, the setting, the very feel of the novel---everything was just spot on!
Bella Forrest completely captured my attention with The Gender Game the moment I began reading. With descriptive writing, Forrest writes a really entertaining story in the vein of Divergent and The Hunger Games. I thought the world Bella Forrest created was so very clever and loved the part of it she allowed us to explore. I can only envision where she plans to take this series and what more she plans to do with it, especially considering the shocking ending of The Gender Game that readers most likely didn’t see coming.
The Gender Game followed a strong and personable main character. Violet has taken chances in the past for family and faced the consequences, but that doesn’t mean she’s shy about standing up for the underdogs, because as we quickly learn in the story, she’s not. Violet finds herself between a rock and a hard place when she agrees to go under cover in Patrus to get something back that was stolen from Matrus. This means Violet is forced to actually marry a double agent from Patrus and act the role of submissive wife in public—something that goes against her very nature. I genuinely liked Violet. She was a balanced individual who was easy to follow and had personality.
No story would be complete without a hint of romance and Bella Forrest gives us this in Viggo Croft. Ahhhh; Viggo, Viggo, Viggo. Viggo is a warden in Patrus and someone Violet and her husband set out to use as part of their mission. Viggo reminds me of Dimitri Belikov from The Vampire Academy series in the sense that he has shoulder length hair, wears a trench coat and is pretty damn bad-ass. Someone who has a past that makes him symphonize with and be intrigued by Violet, Viggo is a fierce fighter, but a quiet individual, whose relationship with Violet develops over time. Right now Forrest has only allowed the bare minimum to develop between Viggo and Violet, but I really enjoyed their chemistry and the connection they seemed to share.
Completely unassuming and with plenty of twists, turns and developments, The Gender Game is a wonderful read that races towards an explosive ending! I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good dystopian tale and can’t wait for Bella Forrest to release the sequel The Gender Secret so I can once more follow Violet and get to know more about this imaginative world! ...more
Queen of Chaos marks the thrilling end to the Fourth Element trilogy by Kat Ross featuring Nazafareen and Darius; a starkly exciting and passionate fantasy series that has been an incredible adventure from beginning to end, with all the action, romance and daring danger you could possibly want!
After the conclusion of the last novel, an army of Undead warriors sweep across the land, while Alexander and his Persian army march towards Balicia. Nazafareen, Darius and a few of their allies race into the shadowlands in an effort to find Neblis and rescue Darius’s father Victor. Stopping Nablis is an impossible task as her demons and necromancers continue to lay siege to the innocents they encounter. As Nazafareen faces untold horrors and traps along the way, Tijah leads a group of daēva children on a desperate mission to rescue the prisoners of Gorgon-e Gaz—the prison where the oldest and strongest of the daēvas’s are held. Both missions seem unconceivable, but with the final showdown against Neblis looming, Nazafareen and those she loves must do the impossible as the truth about the daēva's origins are discovered and the end looms near…..
One of the best fantasy series I’ve read in a long time, the Fourth Element has been an incredible reading experience and doesn’t disappoint readers with its exhilarating ending! Kat Ross continues her detailed, expressive and tangable writing and world building to tell Nazafareen’s final chapter. Secrets are revealed and surprises change the course of the story with Ross keeping her readers on their toes all the way to the end.
Unlike the other novels that were told through the eyes of primarily Nazafareen, Queen of Chaos unfolds through Nazafareen, Tijah, Lysandros and occasionally Balthasar’s POV’s. Considering that all of the characters are at different places and are not often together, this allows for a very well rounded view of what is happening across the land as everyone embarks on different missions or fights against Neblis.
I really have loved reading this series and have fallen in love with all the characters. Obviously Nazafareen and Darius have been strong fixtures, but in this instalment, I have come to care very deeply for Tijah, Lysandros and oddly enough Balthasar. Tijah is such a strong young woman and with her new connection to a daēva that shall not be named for the fear of spoilers, I just know there’s a whole range of options out there for them and potential storylines. While Lysandros continues to entertain with his cheeky nature, Balthasar, who started out as a villain and who grew so much in Queen of Chaos is on the path to redemption continued to intrigue me and has me excited that he can turn all the terrible things he's done around.
As someone who has really adored reading each book in this incredible series, I was so very sorry to know it was coming to an end, so Kat Ross absolutely made my day by indicating at the end of this novel that she still has plans to explore the series and world further. Whether it’s a spin–off series focusing around Tijah and a few of the other characters or a strict 4th book in The Fourth Element series, I for one will be doing cartwheels when the book comes out.
Fast paced, exciting and so brilliantly told, Queen of Chaos features an unexpected ending that leaves me ready for more of some of the minor characters and anticipating whatever Kat Ross does next! ...more
The Daemoniac is the first book in the Dominion Mystery series by Kat Ross and is a lush and vivid tale set in the 1888 that is a delightful blend of The Diviners by Libba Bray and Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Allison Goodman.
Harrison Fearing Pell is the younger sister of New York’s most famous female investigator and when Harry is approached by a client wanting to enlist her sister’s help in searching for a missing friend, Harry takes advantage of her sister’s absence to take on the client herself. A string of gruesome murders are shaking New York and with the police baffled, Harry and her best friend John set out to determine the connection between the strange deaths and Harry’s missing client. Supported by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make a name for herself outside her sister’s shadow. But when the case turns bizarre and bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession, will Harry and John discover the killer is of paranormal heritage or is the truth closer to home?
Having previously been familiar with Kat Ross’s work in the form of her Fourth Element series, I was delightfully surprised to discover how different, but equally well written The Daemoniac was. Perfectly presenting a vivid late 1800’s New York, Ross details a very mysterious and dangerous city. Weaving together aspects of the supernatural, murder and intrigue, Ross keeps you on your toes as our main character struggles to find a killer before more lives are lost.
I’ll admit I had been expecting Harry to share a larger connection to the infamous Arthur Conan Doyle, but that being said Kat Ross does a good job telling the story without him. Arthur Conan Doyle really is only mentioned in passing, although considering how the story ends, I do wonder whether he will make an actual appearance further down the line.
The Daemoniac does keep you on your toes and Kat Ross does a great job keeping the mystery surrounding the story's murders a secret until the final few chapters. As the reader, you’ll find yourself eagerly following Harry and trying to decide whether the killer is human or of a more demonic nature. Has possession played a part in why this individual is taking lives, or is it simply the actions of a deranged madman?
Fast paced and well plotted, The Daemoniac concludes well; finishing up on one mystery and setting the stage for the next. Perfect for those who are fans of 19th century detective tales, The Daemoniac is well worth a read and leaves me excited to read more when the sequel eventually releases in the new year.
Freeks is the latest release by Best Selling author Amanda Hocking and is a beguiling and magical standalone tale and will easily entertain and draw you in to a magical world of traveling carnivals and powerful abilities.
For eighteen year old Mara, Gideon Davorin’s Travelling Sideshow is home. The daughter of a necromancer, Mara and her mother have been with the carnival for years and travel alongside other supernaturally endowed individuals to different towns to captivate audiences with their unique and magical abilities. Unfortunately audiences don’t seem to be as plentiful as they’ve always been and with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow in trouble financially, the carnival members are thrilled when they’re invited to the town of Chaudry, Louisiana in what looks like a big payday. Amongst the magic shows and performances, Mara quickly finds herself drawn to Gabe, a local boy who seems to be keeping a secret of his own, but when it becomes clear that something dark and dangerous is stalking the carnival, will Mara be able to protect those she loves? Or will they find themselves victim to some unknown evil?
In the past, my experiences with Amanda Hockings books have always been positive and Freeks is definitely no exception to this rule. A well told standalone tale, Freeks draws you into a captivating world of magic and circus folk. It was really interesting to get a glimpse into the day to day life of a traveling side show and witness how the dynamic between them all works. I thought it was sweet how they all appeared to be one big family and like that Amanda Hocking wrote them so close.
Set in 1987, Freeks includes some cute throwbacks to the late eighties; VHS, cassette tapes and typical 80’s style of dress that will interest readers. I’m not sure I completely understand Hocking’s reasoning as to why Freeks was set in this decade—perhaps because traveling circus’s and sideshows aren’t as common in today’s day and age--but I don’t think it effected the story too much. Just made for something different. Does make me wonder what happened to all the characters up until now though….
With Mara being an easy heroine to follow and all the members of Gideon Davorin’s Travelling Sideshow so interesting, my only issue with this book is the ending felt a tad rushed and abrupt to me. And having finished the story, I find myself really wanting more. Sometimes it’s refreshing to read a standalone tale, but one novel doesn’t seem like enough time to get to know the characters—I’m left with a lot of questions about all the characters, not just Mara. Will Hutch ever tell Roxie he likes her? And is the feeling mutual like Mara suspects? What will happen to the performers after leaving Chaudry? Where will they go next? They’re were all just such interesting individuals. I’d have loved the chance to explore them all some more.
Overall though, Freeks was an engaging read. Entertaining and intriguing, I found myself eagerly turning the pages until the end and enjoying myself immensely. ...more
Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer is a deeply original coming of age tale that is quirky, unique and strangely funny while managing to highlight the perils that come with growing up.
Seventeen year old Mara Carlyle’s whole world changes the day one of her classmates quite literally blows up during third period. Boom. Gone. Sayonara Katelyn Ogden. Katelyn may be the first to explode but she’s definitely not the last, as the rest of the remaining senior class start spontaneously combusting with no warning and no explanation. As the rest of the world responds, people flock to Mara’s small New Jersey town to witness the phenomenon that is plaguing the teenagers. Scientists, FBI agents and experts can’t explain why these everyday teenagers are suddenly exploding, and with the death toll rising, Mara knows that any day now could mean the end for herself and those she loves.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Spontaneous is a unique novel. I mean, come on---teenagers exploding at random for no noticeable reason? Teamed with some sharp writing, that’s as unique as you can get….and then Aaron Starmer throws Mara Carlyle into the works who is sarcastic, silly and just stumbling along as teenagers do. She drinks, she does drugs, has sex and just basically lives her life with no promises and no regrets.
Mara was one of those characters I didn’t know if I loved or hated. There’s moments where she’s selfish and unthinking, but you know what? She a teenager. She’s growing and learning and making mistakes. As those around Mara explode, her life changes and Spontaneous sees her try to live her everyday life while a black cloud hangs over her head. No one can explain why teenagers are dying the way they are and no one can offer a solution. It’s intriguing to see Mara potter along, falling in love and hanging with her best friend Tess as teens explode all around her.
This novel is really true to its name, in a lot of different ways. I never knew what would happen next. Who would live, who would die and whose life was about to end. Aaron Starmer doesn’t shy away from introducing you to a character just to have them die down the track….quite the opposite. Almost everyone you meet (the senior class that is) is one moment away from being gone, and I actually felt quite emotional at times. The losses were hard-hitting and sad, and did hit me at times.
My only negative about this book was the ending. I felt like we were building to something—all these spontaneous combustions and deaths; I wanted answers and I don’t feel like Starmer ever really gave us any. Perhaps that was his intention, but after reading a novel like this, I would have liked a bit more closure.
Even though it’s often silly at times, Spontaneous did make me think; about life and the mark we leave on this world. Sharp and biting, Spontaneous is definitely going to appeal to those readers after something quirky and different. ...more
Fall of Thrones and Thorns is the third and final novel in Jennifer Ellision’s Threats of Sky and Sea series and marks the end of the trilogy in sensational fashion with a fast paced, exciting and stellar romantic conclusion that will hold your attention until the very final page!
Picking up almost exactly where the previous book left off, Fall of Thrones and Thorns sees Bree’s true identity finally made known to those in her life as she accepts her rightful position as Nereidium’s Queen. As war looms closer than ever before, Bree, Caden, Aleta and those closest to them struggle with their new positions as they must decide whether to stand back and wait for King Langdon’s forces to find them or take the fight to him. But with unexpected problems arising, the choice may no longer in their hands and Bree must rally as many allies as possible before King Langdon destroys everything she holds dear.
Wow--what an exhilarating ending to a highly enjoyable fantasy series! Kicking off the last book, Fall of Thrones and Thorns manages to utterly ensnare from beginning to end and continue to maintain a fast paced and exciting plotline. There is once again a lot of action and magic to be found in this instalment as well as friendship, humor and romance.
All the characters have come such a long way in the lead up to the final confrontation between Bree and the King of Egrian. I’ve loved following Bree and Caden, and very much enjoyed seeing this novel unfold through Aleta’s eyes at times too. They've both been strong main characters to follow and I’ve enjoyed seeing them grow and develop very much.
Bree and Caden have been joined throughout the series by a great cast of characters who Jennifer Ellison seemed to have slowly paired up over the series; Aleta, Tregle, Liam, Meddie, Lalia, Elena…I’ll be sad to say goodbye to them, but I’ve enjoyed all the fun and substance they’ve brought to the series.
My only fault with this book was actually the final chapter. Jennifer Ellison concludes the series by tying up most loose ends and leaving the reader hopeful for her characters futures, but I really wanted a little bit more. After everything Bree and Caden have been through, I wanted to know that they had gotten their happily ever after; that they managed to overcome the fact that they are now the leaders of two different people and actually be together. I also wanted to see what happened to Liam and Meddie, Lalia and Elena, and even Clift. Maybe Ellison will indulge us one day and write a spin-off series or a novella that allows us to see how the characters have fared further down the line…..
Still, as far as the final book in a series, Fall of Thrones and Thorns doesn’t really disappoint. Jennifer Ellison keeps her readers on their toes and eagerly following her characters as they gear up for their final showdown against the King that eventually takes place in spectacular fashion. A great fantasy series that I definitely recommend. ...more