Quick & Dirty: Hauntingly beautiful love story filled with lots of creepy moments, sweet romance, fun charact...moreReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: Hauntingly beautiful love story filled with lots of creepy moments, sweet romance, fun characters and a very unique story.
Opening Sentence: The grease-slicked hair is a dead giveaway—no pun intended.
Cas Lowood has a pretty crazy job. He comes from a long line of ghost hunters. Cas inherited the job when he was 7 years old and his father was brutally murdered by a ghost. He never truly got over what happened to his father and he vowed to one day return to finish the job his father started. He is now 17 years old and travels the country with his mother, finding and disposing of the dead. He gets a new tip about a rather vicious ghost living in Thunder Bay. Cas figures it is going to be just like any other job, but what he finds is something he never expected.
Anna Kova, or locally known as Anna Dressed in Blood is unlike any ghost Cas has ever met. When she was 16 years old she had her throat slit. She still wears the beautiful white dress she was murdered in but now it is stained with her blood. Now she haunts the house she once called home and kills anyone that enters it accept for Cas. She is no normal ghost, she is filled with rage and immense power, but there is also an underlying sense of innocence to Anna. Cas will have to travel outside of his comfort zone to defeat her. He will have to ask others for help and protect the one thing he never thought a ghost could affect; his heart.
Cas is the hero in our story and the book is also told from his POV. Cas knows how to get what he wants. He is charming, easy on the eyes, and a ghost hunter. He doesn’t allow himself the pleasure of having friends. He has never really seen the point, because as soon as his current mission is complete he will be moving on to another place. Ghost hunting helps him to connect with the father he barely got to know. It is something that they had in common, and the unresolved murder of his father keeps him motivated. He knows that his father’s killer is still out there, and one day Cas plans to destroy the monster that took his father from him. Cas was an easy character to connect with. He has a strong voice and a likable personality. He is funny and witty, but also loyal and kind. I loved his character and I am excited to get back inside his head in the sequel.
Anna is a very interesting character. In a way she is the villain of the story, but she is also a victim. She was brutally murdered and now she haunts the one place she hated most in life — her home. Anna’s life story is a tragic one and now she has become a monster. She is forced to kill anyone that enters her house and she has been dead for over 50 years. Cas is the first person in all that time that she is able to resist killing, and she finds him intriguing. He brings out the human side to her and it turns out she is a very sweet and caring ghost. I loved the complexity to Anna’s personality it made her very unique and different.
This was a very creepy, enjoyable read. First off, I am going to say that this book is really scary. There are some scenes in the book that made me want to run and hide because they horrified me so much. I don’t usually like any kind of scary movies or books, but Anna Dressed in Blood won me over. With its wonderful cast of characters, action packed plot, and the unexpected romantic twists this book is a must read for any fans of YA paranormal books. The writing is engaging and the book was really hard to put down. The ending was very satisfying, but I am interested to see where the story goes in the sequel. Also the cover of this book is perfect, not only is it gorgeous, it also fits the story perfectly. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is a fan of horror or paranormal books, but beware you will get a pretty good scare from reading it.
Anna has pulled Mike through the window and into the house. He’s screaming and bawling like a caught animal, twisting in her grip and trying to keep from looking at her face. His struggles don’t seem to bother her. Her arms are as immobile as marble.
“Let me go,” he stammers. “Let me go, man, it was just a joke! It was just a joke!”
She sets him on his feet. He’s bleeding from cuts on his face and hands. He takes one step backward. Anna bares her teeth. I hear my voice coming from somewhere else, telling her to stop or just screaming, and Mike doesn’t have any time to scream before she thrusts her hands into his chest, tearing through skin and muscle. She pushes her arms out to the sides, like she’s forcing her way through a closing door, and Mike Andover is torn in half. Both halves fall to their knees, jerking and skittering like insect parts.
FTC Advisory: Tor Teen/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Anna Dressed in Blood. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.(less)
Quick & Dirty: A very different spin on a vampire tale where a young woman trains to survive.
Opening Sentence...moreReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: A very different spin on a vampire tale where a young woman trains to survive.
Opening Sentence: I looked around my room for the last time.
There are many paranormal stories for young adults that are based on vampires. What sets Isle of Night, by Veronica Wolff, apart from other stories is the basis of the story. It isn’t every day that you have a world where males are categorized as the vampires and females are The Watchers. It intrigued me, that’s for sure.
Isle of Night is set on an island where females survive to be the best of the best. To become a Watcher, chosen females must train, learn, and defeat their opponents. Annelise was on a road to start fresh from a not-so-happy childhood. She finally has what she wanted, until a dark and mysterious man promises her a brand new life worth taking a chance on. Annelise quickly learns that it will be a long road to victory, and in order to do so, she must beat every other recruit. If she doesn’t, failure would only mean death.
Annelise was an interesting heroine to get to know. She is a very opinionated main character. Annelise is described as brilliant, bordering on genius. I feel that Annelise’s actions don’t always reflect that trait. She is quick to react, with a wit to match, but doesn’t always think about the consequence. Annelise is a little reckless, and definitely filled with bravado. Wolff writes her in a way that a reader relates. In this insanely competitive world, actions have to come first and Annelise definitely proves that point time and time again.
I didn’t particularly love or hate any of the supporting characters. A few I liked over others, but there wasn’t one specific thing that made them stand out. There were obvious villains, the good guys, and a couple characters that I just didn’t know what side they were on. I think my expectations of this book were high, demanding something that my reading preferences and I unfairly needed.
Isle of Night has its own world set within a contemporary setting. Most of the story takes place in this mysterious island, not fully explored within this book. There are many variables, including the weather, strange creatures, and even unique locations.
Isle of Night is promising. I want to know more about the Watchers, this mysterious island, and the about the people who inhabit it.
A whistle blew.
I lay there trying to catch my breath. I heard eager stomps rushing out. Suddenly the air seemed more open. I was vaguely aware that the stinging spray of the shower had stopped.
Rough hands gripped under my arms, pulling me to standing. What was my punishment? I braced myself. Whatever it was couldn’t be worse than the steam.
But then I heard Masha speak. “Need some fresh air, Acari?”
I forced myself to look at her. I knew I should nod, but wasn’t sure if I managed more than a twitch of my head.
“Oh, poor little Acari,” someone crooned. Initiates surrounded me. “Let’s get these hot clothes off you.” Hands pulled off my kit bag, unzipped my parka, removed my hat, my gloves.
The hands grew rougher, tugging the wool sweater over my head. It caught on my chin, tore over my ears. “It’s time for your cooldown.”
FTC Advisory: NAL Trade/Penguin provided me with a copy of Isle of Night. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.(less)
Quick & Dirty: There are two sides of evil, and a girl must choose which side she belongs to. A good fantasy,...moreReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: There are two sides of evil, and a girl must choose which side she belongs to. A good fantasy, filled with promises of forever.
Opening Sentence: “Your father’s ring is gone!”
The Mephisto Covenant has a gorgeous cover. I remember when this first came out. It was something that I had to have and it looked like it belonged on my shelf. The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen is a great read. Paranormal is one of my favorite genres, and I think Faegen did a good job balancing the realm of good and evil.
Hell has two sides. One with death and destruction, and the other living life in purgatory. Of the two, the sons of Hell live their lives battling against their oldest brother. Jax looks to redemption from God, from a promise that he will find peace if he has found the love of an Anabo. Sasha does not know of this world. But the death of her father has opened her eyes to things she was never aware of. Promises of love, pledging her soul, Sasha must choose. And as for Jax? He must keep her safe, even if it means that he won’t be able to have his forever.
I enjoyed Sasha. At times, she was a bit bothersome, but that is the case for most teens her age. Given that she’s lost her father, about to lose her mother, it’s okay to question and be agitated. She lives with family that doesn’t necessarily want her, and that must hurt. Her voice was realistic, despite anything thrown her way. There were a few moments where I had to glaze over her scenes, but I felt that it became repetitive. Her actions weren’t something that I wanted to experience at that moment, but it has a lot to do with my age and less about the character and/or writing.
Jax was a perfect character to introduce me with! He was someone strong-willed and tenacious, but had this soft spot. The history behind Anabo’s and the sons of Hell is interesting, and looking at the story from Jax’s point of view made it much more enjoyable. His growth as a character was one of my favorite parts of the story. (As well as some steamy scenes that include him!)
I loved the mythology and lore behind The Mephisto Covenant. The religious theme behind Hell, Lucifer, the Anabo and the sons was a good twist. It made the content seemed updated, fitting for the young adult genre. Sasha and Jax stood out as a couple, but also as characters. Each with their own troubles, it was nice to see their parallels and contrasts.
At times, I felt that the content was a little too advanced for this specific genre. I worried about the context of the situations and wondered if I was overthinking the situation or if I had a valid thought. There were definitely scenes that were hot and racy, but as The Mephisto Convenant’s mythology dictates, things were bound to happen. They were some of my favorite scenes, but wow.
Faegen’s writing is beautiful. Her words flow so well that time passes by. Her world building is magnificent and I enjoyed each detail within. Her characters captivated me, demanding my attention. I cannot wait for the rest of the series to unfold.
Sasha hurriedly finished the rest of her peas, then scooted her chair back and excused herself.
“Melanie,” Mr. Bruno said, “surely you can find something more for her to eat? We can’t have our new student fainting from hunger, can we?”
“Would you like some flaxseed cereal?” Melanie offered, halfheartedly. Yeah, and maybe a side of dirt to go with it. “No, thank you.”
“It was a great pleasure to meet you, Sasha, and I look forward to getting to know you better. I take special pride in my friendships with my students. It’s the whole reason I organized the Ravens.”
… but deliver us from evil.
She ran for the stairs, taking them two at a time to the landing, then down the hall to her room. She barely made it to the bathroom before she lost the peas, his voice repeating in her head. Ravens. Ravens. Ravens.
FTC Advisory: EgmontUSA provided me with a copy of The Mephisto Covenant. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.(less)