In Mirror, Mirror, Adelle Hendrix doesn’t believe in hocus pocus, or in happily ever after. When an enchanted mirror shows her the reflection of her best friend, Ben Jackson, who is supposed to be her soul mate, she doesn’t believe she and Ben are meant to be more than friends. After all, he’s always been a player, and although he’s her best friend and she always thought he was attractive, that’s just it – right? Wrong.
This was a fun, entertaining and fast read. The story kept putting the characters in hilarious situations. The writing was excellent and fast-paced.
Anyone who enjoys a funny, quirky paranormal romance read should definitely pick up this book....more
It’s tough to review Deliverance without giving anything away in regards to the plot. Let’s start by saying that I loved it! The story is told from the dual POV of Tiger and Kristina. Tiger is an intriguing main character, a clever mix of a naive, almost gullible young man, and yet he can also be strong and determined. At the beginning of the story, we learn he’s not human, and that he’s locked up – and he’s never set foot outside his jail. But if he wants to save his peers and his own life, he needs to escape and find the one person who can help him achieve his mission.
That person is Kristina, and soon enough, the two of them start falling for each other. The romance is interesting because Tiger, having grown up very sheltered, is very unlike other YA heroes (who tend to be over-confident and ‘cool’ rather than sweet). Tiger is just adorable, and very innocent, making him an unique character.
The storytelling is excellent, and the author does an excellent job with the world building and crafting the characters. The interactions between Kristina and Tiger were very engaging. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance....more
After reviewing the first book in this series, I wanted to read the second book. I wasn’t dissapointed. This was a creepy ghost mystery, along with time travel, excellent settings (like Versailles!) and great characters. The author did a good job on the French history....more
An excellent YA read, in which the author manages to transport us to New Orleans, setting the atmosphere sublimely. The story is refreshing, original, and boiling with suspense. Some unpredictable twists, and the diary entries from Adele’s ancestor added an extra layer of depth to the book....more
An intriguing ghost story and gay romance mixed in one. Finlay was an interesting ghost, and his background story made me compelled to understand him better. All characters were realistic, and the writing was very gripping....more
In A Slaughter of Angels, Rian MacCaren is the owner of the Midnight Agency, a private investigation company specializing in the kind of cases the police can’t solve. He’s a Nephilim, and he deals in the paranormal. His latest case is nothing out of the ordinary, for him at least. Girls from a local club have gone missing, and Rian has to find them. When the girls turn up dead, and the culprit appears to be something more than human, Rian might be in for more than he bargained for.
I absolutely love books that mix detective novel with paranormal. Rian’s unique abilities, such as being able to connect to what the dead girls experienced by touching them, brings an extra layer to the book. Rian isn’t afraid of swearing, and he does fit the brooding loner type. He reminded me of the detectives in noir novels, except of course with the paranormal element.
The plot was entertaining, the pacing was spot on, and overall, I really enjoyed this book. The author did a great job describing the setting, and introducing the reader to the characters....more
Haunting Violet is the first historical YA paranormal I’ve read in a while, and I must say, I’ve missed the genre. Violet Willoughby doesn’t believe in ghosts, and with good reason. Her mother is a famous medium in London, except that…it’s all fake. And her mother has enlisted Violet’s help, and the help of Colin, an orphan she took into her home, to keep up the pretense.
As Violet’s mother gets invited to the estate of Lord Jasper to do a seance, Violet is sucked into a murder mystery of paranormal proportions. A year ago, Rowena, an earl’s daughter, drowned, and now her ghost has chosen to visit Violet, and wants Violet to solve her murder. Along with Colin and her best friend Elizabeth, Violet has to find out who killed the persistent ghost, before the murderer sets eyes on her.
The book has a lot of strong points. Violet is an amazing character. She’s strong, intelligent, and sarcastic when need be, but she also fits perfectly in the time era, and she doesn’t overstep (some books set unrealistic heroines that sound way too contemporary despite the historical setting, but not so here). Colin is a cute and charming love interest. He was always there for Violet, and he really loved her, that was obvious from the start. The romance was another strong part – it wasn’t really sizzling, but it was heartwarming.
The murder mystery was all right. I had my suspicions about the culprit, but I wasn’t entirely sure until I finished the book. The historical setting is well crafted, and Harvey has created a lush, intriguing world. The writing flowed well, and I was entranced by the plot. I also liked Violet’s relationship with her mother – although in a way, I hated how Violet’s mother treated her, it was good to see the author spend a lot of time building this relationship and showing it to the reader. Often, YA characters have barely present parents, so this was a welcome change, even if I didn’t like Violet’s mother at all.
Now, for the downside. The characters didn’t have much personality, and the middle part dragged a little. Violet, Colin, Violet’s mother, and Elizabeth had personality enough, but all the other characters lacked personality traits, and didn’t really stand out.
Despite that, if you’re looking for a good YA historical murder mystery with paranormal elements, I wholeheartedly recommend this book....more
I have a hard time putting my thoughts about The Fall to paper. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it, but on the other hand, some minor parts of the book annoyed me.
Madeline Usher is doomed. Her house, the famous House of Usher from Poe’s classic, is haunted. The house itself is sentient, a being with a mind of its own, and while Madeline at first thinks the house loves her and wants to protect her, now she’s not so sure. Her brother Roderick claims the house isn’t haunted, that it’s all in her mind, but her Mother and Father knew about the curse too, and tried to protect them from it. Her Mother managed to send Roderick away, but for Madeline, the house’s favorite, running away isn’t that easy.
The book jumps from Madeline as an eight-year-old to Madeline at age ten, fourteen, eighteen, and as such, the story is a little disjointed. But then again, with an unreliable narrator like Madeline, whose own mind is equally as disjointed, this actually added to the suspense of the story. Soon enough, I was just as confused as Madeline was. And as macabre, weird things start to happen, I understood Madeline’s constant fear, and her inability to do something about it as the House of Usher controlled her.
I enjoyed how the book one time blamed everything on Madeline’s growing insanity, but then again mentioned the curse and ghosts, leaving it to the reader to decide what to believe. The book was creepy, but not as creepy as I had hoped. The ending was a bit abrupt, and I didn’t really understand what had happened until I read it again.
What annoyed me was Roderick. He barely protected his sister, and overall, he was lacking as a brother, refusing to believe Madeline when it mattered the most. Despite that, I really enjoyed the book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, although not extremely creepy, horror story....more
I was surprised by how short Twisted Stars was, and despite that, it still managed to pack a punch. Ashlee is your average college student, except she’s not too keen on the partying, and much more keen on studying and working. Her life lacks excitement, and she could use some romance… But an unconventional date at the edge of the woods leaves her wishing she hasn’t ever hoped for some more excitement. She gets attacked by a wild animal and wakes up in a hospital bed the next day, confused, dazed and scared.
But the attack has more consequences than she thought possible. Suddenly, animals seem drawn to her. When she meets Jayden on campus, he wants nothing to do with her at first – that is, until he learns about how she was attacked. Jayden isn’t entirely human, and if Ashlee wants to be with him, she’ll have to survive quite a few hurdles.
For a book at barely 100 pages, this one packed a lot of plot, character development and mystery. The romance was cute, and I liked that it wasn’t insta-love but that it took a while for Jayden and Ashlee to connect. The settings worked great, and the author did a great job explaining the world-building too.
An interesting, well-written book that I would recommend to fans of YA paranormal romance....more
All right, so first, everyone on Goodreads seems to love The Silent Twin. It has five and four stars reviews, and at the time of my review, not a single three star or lower. Ehm, well, I struggled to rate it. Basically, I’m the exception, and since everyone else seems to like it, don’t write it off just because I didn’t.
Jennifer, DCI Knight, is the family liaison for a distraught family whose daughter, Abigail, has gone missing. Abigail has a twin sister, Olivia, and the family lives on a farm that is supposedly haunted. The investigation starts, family secrets are uncovered, and some ghosts come into play.
Basically, I should love this book. This kind of plot, a missing child / possible murder mixed with ghosts? That’s heaven for me. That is my absolutely favorite kind of book.
Except… I didn’t like this one.
Now maybe it’s because I didn’t read parts one and two, but I struggled to connect with Jennifer. She seemed a bit too logical, too cold and distant for me. Even worse were the other characters – the only one really relatable would have been Joanna. At least once could understand the struggle she went through. Maybe Nick too.
But the main problem I had was not the inability to connect with the characters. It was the plot. Which was basically one over-the-top thing on top of the other. First she’s there, then she’s not, then this secret is revealed, then this other secret… How much bad luck can a family have? The plot was basically waaaaaaay over the top for me. I don’t want to hand out any spoilers, but especially the Nick secret mixed with the Joanna secret and then the meditation thing? Yeah, I couldn’t buy all that, not when put in one single book.
Also, I knew who the culprit was from the first time that character was introduced. It was obvious. A lot of people didn’t think so, but I certainly thought so. I even figured out how everything was related before the book even reached the mid-point, which completely ruined the experience.
On top of that, the ghosts. Now I love love LOVE ghosts. But they’re not used here. The farm is supposedly haunted but we don’t get more than a few “bad feelings” and objects moving on their own. Why throw in the history of a haunted farm if you’re not going to utilize it properly? I at least expected the ghosts to play some role in the story but instead it focused more on the telepathic connection between the twins – slightly dissapointing too.
The writing was all right, but not great. I did read the book to the end, but I took frequent breaks and it didn’t really engage me. Paranormal mystery is usually my favorite genre, so I had high hopes for this one. Alas, it didn’t deliver....more
Three unlikely allies advertise their services for paranormal investigations, and their first case is Melmerby Manor. The book is a bit of a mixed bag of genres. You have the ghost story, which was without a doubt the most interesting part of the book, but there’s also a detective story, and even some romance going on. It seems like the book itself doesn’t really know where it’s going. The humor was fun at first, but becomes tedious after a while. The mystery wasn’t that complicated either; I had expected more....more
I’ve had it with the Asylum series. When I picked up Catacomb, I at least expected it would somehow be connected to the other books, but apart from having the same main characters, there is no connection at all, except an extremely loose one. The mystery doesn’t build on upon the storyline already set out in book one and two. Instead, we get a new location, a new villain, and whatever ties there still are to Brooklyn and the asylum, they’re so disjointed they make no sense and make for some extreme coincidences that aren’t believable at all. Since this is fiction, I’m willing to stretch my imagination but this is too far-fetched, even for me. On top of that, we find out more about Dan’s past and it’s so utterly and totally ridiculous. Dan sure is some special cookie – now he has a crazy great-uncle who did terrible experiments on people in an asylum, but his parents were journalists murdered on the job by some strange cult that enjoys using human bones in their insane rituals.
Instead of continuing on the legacy left behind by Dan’s great-uncle and exploring that more, this book takes place in New Orleans, where our three friends hang out because Jordan is moving there. On the way there, some stuff happens that is supposed to be freaky but isn’t, and there, they stumble upon the Bone Artists, and a sinister connection to the past. They also meet some people who are so boring and one-dimensional I’ve already forgotten their names, and I finished the book last week.
Everything that happens is so unlikely I just wanted to rip my hair out. That is, along with how disjointed the plot is, my major issue with this book. It just screams deus ex machina. Things happen randomly and Dan happens to be where he needs to be every freaking time. I can forgive a coincidence or two, but this was just too much.
The lack of overarching plot is so annoying. Every book you pick up reads like a new book. Well, fine, but I’m not willing to buy that every city has some crazy cult running around. I can buy that once, but not twice.
On top of that, Dan and his friends just get flatter and flatter. They had sparks of personality in book one, but by now they’re so dull and one-dimensional you might as well replace them by cardboard figures. They don’t develop. They don’t change, they don’t grow. I barely got to know them, and I spent three books by their side.
All in all, this series started out great for me, but went downhill fast. I wouldn’t recommend it, especially not if you’re looking for horror! Despite the creepy cover, there’s not an ounce of creepiness anywhere in this book....more
Focusing on the Olympian Gods but while providing sufficient original elements to keep the story wholeheartedly entertaining, Child of War – A God is Born starts with Alena’s difficult pregnancy. She’s married to Ares (yep, the God of War), and the pregnancy is anything but blissful. She’s haunted by terrible visions of her son, Raven, and what he will do as an adult. Alena also has to deal with the elitist behavior from the Olympians who look down on her simply because she’s not like them – she’s Fey.
Meanwhile, Zeus hatches a plan to get rid of Raven, and Alena, all in the same breath. To protect them, Ares must enter into a Blood Oath with Zeus, an oath that could cost him everything…
I felt sorry for Alena, who went through a horrible pregnancy and then had to continue being strong, for the sake of her son, and herself. The gods were intriguing and they all acted the way I thought they would based on what mythology tells us. Ares and Alena were my favorite characters. The plot was the best part about the book, though. I was never sure what would happen next, and could only keep guessing.
I love serial killer stories with a paranormal twist, and “Time to Die” certainly didn’t dissapoint. Jennifer Knight is one of the most intriguing detectives I’ve read about lately, and despite being strong and intelligent, I enjoyed how she also had some flaws. The serial killer in question was intriguing too, and I enjoyed how the author included tarot cards into the story. As a tarot reader, I loved seeing my two hobbies mix! The story was suspenseful from start to end, and I’m already looking forward to the next book. ...more
A surprising read filled with twists, that jumps from 1893 into the present seamlessly. It offers excellent characters, especially Abigail Foster and her crew, who move into the town of Abandon. All characters have quirks that make them stand out, and all of them have a past they bring to the table. The book had a clautrophic vibe, and definitely gave me the chills a few times....more
I hadn’t read “Sweet Unrest”, the prequel yet, when I started this book. However, I could follow most of the story. Chloe was an all right character, but it took a while before I could connect to her. The story itself was intriguing though, and I finished this in one sitting. If not for how flat the characters were, and how hard it was to connect to the heroine, I would’ve given this a higher rating....more
The plot of speaking to the dead has been done over and over again, but not often as bad as here. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t read the first book (although I doubt it) but I had trouble connecting to the characters. All of them were bland and boring, and Pearl was just a drama queen. The dialogue made me cringe a few times, and didn’t seem appropriate for teens at all, it just wasn’t very realistic....more
I used to love Heather Graham’s books when I first picked one up, but now I find myself liking them less and less. The plots are just so predictable. In this one, it was obvious what was going to happen next, and it almost seemed like a recap of a previous book. The characters were flat too, and difficult to connect with.
I loved, loved, LOVED this book. Lyrical, haunting prose, amazing characters that all seem to hide something, a sizzling romance, and a creepy, foreboding sense. It had all the elements I love about YA paranormal wrapped into one book....more
The concept was all right, but the plot and characters left much to be desired. Think Twilight but with mermaids and you pretty much have a good synopsis for this one. The writing wasn’t stellar either, and the main character was plain annoying....more
What an entertaining read! For an adult, the characters are a little flat, and some of the plot parts aren’t all that original (a haunted camera has been used just about a million times already) but I’m sure kids will love it. The story flows well, it’s fast-paced, the characters do have little quirks that kids enjoy reading about, the book uses local legends which makes it seem more realistic, and whenever it gets too creepy, the cartoon-like illustrations will help dissolve that fear....more
In The Journals of Bob Drifter, protagonist Bob Drifter isn’t your ordinary substitute teacher. People around him keep on dying, for a very good reason, but this could make Bob’s life surprisingly complicated when the cops become suspicious of the high amount of dead people that cross his path. When his secret becomes endangered, Bob struggles to accomplish his task, fulfill his mentor’s wishes while at the same time protecting his students and just about everyone else.
What a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat read. It’s an amazing, fast-paced book that doesn’t slow down until the end. Bob is an intriguing character, very brave, cares a lot about others, and I also loved the fact he’s a teacher. The world building was intriguing and I enjoyed getting to explore this world.
If you love paranormal thrillers, I highly recommend this one....more
A book filled with fun, danger, action, and basically everything that makes urban fantasy delicious. The world building was excellent, leaving us with a vast, detailed and complex world to explore. The two love interests were great too, but Ash was my favorite. Piper is an interesting character and I enjoyed reading about her struggles. The sequel definitely goes on my to read list....more
Main character Jenine lacks personality – she’s about as interesting as a cardboard figure. Everything happens to her, and she doesn’tset anything in motion herself. Her best friend Bree is far more interesting and should’ve been the main character. The story is all right but a little predictable....more
I’m still struggling to review Broken Monsters and it’s been a few days since I finished it. In truth, the book isn’t bad, and if it were up to writing style alone, it deserved more than three stars. Lauren Beukes is an excellent writer, and knows her craft.
However, books are about more than writing style. There’s also plot, and that’s where the book drops the mark. In theory, the plot is great. A murderer connects the upper half of a boy to the lower part of a deer, and that’s only the first murder he commits. The murders grow increasingly more strange, and one of our main charcter, Gabriella Versado, a detective with the Detroit police department, has to solve the case. In theory, it sounds good. There’s also a connection with the art community, and the city of Detroit is described in great detail, giving the book more credibility and causing a better writing experience.
Then the book warps from a murder mystery into a paranormal thriller, with the mention of doors serving as gateways. Now I’m the first person to admit I love police procedurals that morph into paranormal thrillers, but here it just totally unraveled the plot. No longer were we hunting for the killer, we were trapped in a paranormal nightmare that read more like a bad acid trip. Instead of enhancing the plot, the paranormal aspect weakened it, and the murders suddenly lost most of their importance.
Then there’s the characters. Gabriella is all right. She’s your stereotypical struggling working mom who also happens to be a detective, divorced and unable to have a healthy love relationship with anyone except her daughter. Said daughter, Layla, a teenager, gets a POV too and turns out to be a major part of the plot. Next up is TK, a homeless man who we don’t really learn all that much about, and Jonno a struggling author turned film maker who is a despicable human being and does everything to become famous, even if it means not giving vital evidence to the police. Each of those characters also seemed to have a subplot going on, and that took a lot of the focus away from the main plot. I don’t mind a few subplots, but we just got too much of those here. The many characters made it hard to connect to one. I could connect with Gabriella somewhat, and if the whole book had been from her POV, I probably would’ve liked it more.
If you like paranormal thrillers or just plain strange murder mysteries, I’d recommend to give this one a shot. It’s not bad, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea either.
You don’t often get to read a YA horror book that manages to be so original as this one. Albeit having some technological mumbo-jumbo I had to wade through to understand the book, I really liked it. The prose is beautiful, the characters kick ass (how can you not if you’re a descendant from Van Helsing?) and the way these guys track down ghosts and exorcise them is in one word: awesome. I’d definitely recommend this one to all fans of YA horror. On the downside though, the book could’ve done with some more wolrd building, and the characters weren’t flawed enough. But don’t let that hold you back from giving this one a shot....more
I’ve read so many paranormal books already that it takes a lot to surprise me. Eye of the Storm: Eilida’s Tragedy managed to do just that. With an original plot, a character relationship that kept me guessing and dropping hints along the way without ever giving away the big reveal, this book is a little gem, the kind of read you just have to love.
Eilida’s curiosity gets piqued when she hears a disturbance at her neighbor’s house. Instead of minding her own business, she decides to investigate. But the scene at the house is so shocking she runs into the mountains, while a thunderstorm breaks out overhead. After slipping on the wet floor, she plummets down and slams into a large boulder. Then she’s transported to Lyden, where a woman named Sunshine becomes engrossed in her story, and their lives become more entangled than either of them thought possible.
The book left me guessing until the end. Both Eilida and Sunshine are engaging characters, but it was the plot, and the questions piling up that was most interesting to me. If the author can come up with any more of these gems, I’ll gladly read them....more
In The Color of Clouds, Pedro is a spirit guide who helps conveys messages from the deceased to the living through a psychic named Gwen. Pedro usually doesn’t interfere much in the affairs of either the living or the deceased (besides conveying the messages) but that changes when he meets a young boy who passed away just recently and is very troubled, and Pedro decided to help him. His psychic friend, Gwen, agrees to go on a cruise that could help Pedro with his quest to aid the boy.
Deanna and her husband Paul are on a relaxing cruise trip together. Or at least, “relaxing” was the point, but now they’re seated with an elderly couple and a table, Ernst and Sylvie (who keeps on calling him Ernie) and Gwen (aforementioned psychic) and her sister Jo. The six of them quickly become acquainted and realize they might have more in common than they at first thought. But when Gwen gets a message about “danger” ahead, a strange light slips past the ship, and two passangers fall into a coma, the six of them soon find themselves in danger.
As a fan of everything related to ghosts, I enjoyed The Color of Clouds. The book focuses on the six characters: Gwen and Jo, Ernst and Sylvia, and Paul and Deanna. They all have a different personality and are unique enough to merit a POV of their own. The POV sometimes shifts to other characters to, like Herman Lunz, head of security on board of the ship. All the POVs blend nicely, providing a few plot twists I did not see coming.
The writing is fast-paced, and once you start reading, it’s hard to stop. The book manages to blend science-fictoin and paranormal in a story that kept me on the edge of my seat....more
The Changeling offers compelling writing, a complex story and an engaging main character. Aoife – the nickname of Eva – is an ordinary teenager who likes texting with her BFF Carla, chatting about boys and doing all the things ordinary teens do. But when one of her friends, Sinead, invites her to the movies, en route Aoife sees a little girl hopping between the trees. She goes out to look for her, along with Carla, but the girl doesn’t show up and the others suspect it’s just in Aoife’s imagination.
But afterward, Aoife starts to develop strange powers, and when she kisses Shay, the only boy who believes her story, she discovers she can flying. After jumping / flying off the cliff, she and Shay end up in a mysterious underworld where nothing is as it seems and some of the local folklore might turn out to be real after all.
Aoife was an engaging character. I liked her fun friendship with Carla. They’re obvious best friends and I feared Carla might dump Aoife after she saw a girl no one else saw, but Carla remained a good friend. Aoife was a bit stubborn at first though, and a little slow. I wondered how many more signs she wanted that she had special powers. The pacing picked up once they entered the underworld. Her personality became more developed, she grew stronger and overall more likeable.
I loved Shay from the start and I only started loving him more as the book developed. He’s a genuine good guy, and I liked how there was no love triangle for once, like you see so many times in YA books. The romance between Aoife and Shay seemed just as geuine as either one of them was on their own. Genuine good people who deserve a relationship filled with love and care.
What I enjoyed the most were the little details: the Irish folklore, the setting, the dialect. This made the book sounds all the more real and made it all the easier to connect to Aoife and the other characters....more
Whereas the TV-series for “The Originals” focuses on the present life of our Originals family, in particularly Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah, this spin-off book series focuses much more on the past, on their history of the first time when they came to New Orleans in 1722. The book is an enjoyable read, much more so than the Vampire Diaries books that inspired the series to begin with (although, since they’re written by a different author, that probably shouldn’t come as a surprise). The characters are a little different than in the show though: Klaus is in love, for example, and he could destroy an alliance by falling for her. Klaus in love is a different kind of beast. Overall, the Originals seem a lot more hopeful and less angry and bitter than they do in the TV series. An interesting start to the new series....more