It's taken me a while to write this review because of various personal issues but here goes! I loved this book to bits! I found this to be a rare and...moreIt's taken me a while to write this review because of various personal issues but here goes! I loved this book to bits! I found this to be a rare and wonderful piece of escapism that sucked me in from beginning to end. As if the story line wasn't enough to draw me in; the descriptions of Niemela and the Mer people made it even better.
Florence was an inspirational character and I felt I could relate to her a lot, It was very easy to imagine how it would feel to be in the background to then be thrown literally in the deep end without any warning (please pardon the terrible sea related pun) I loved reading about her relationship with Rolan; my personal favourite of the two brothers and I can't wait to see how their relationship progresses in the sequel (something I will most definitely reading, i might add).
Filled with action, a bit of mystery, romance and one of my favourite mythical creatures of all time I knew this book would be a fantastic read before I even picked it up and I have to thank the author for giving me the chance to read it. I am currently hounding my sister to read it and now I'm harassing everyone reading this to read it too.
If you love your books filled with mer-folk, strong female leads, with a well thought out plot and romance then this is definitely a book for you and I highly recommend reading it. The writing style is fantastic and at no point (I promise you) will you get bored whilst reading this, something that I find is rare in books today.
Dawn of Eden: I was thrilled with Dawn of Eden and I found it a unique insight into the world of The Immortal Rules before Ali's adventure begun. Kylie...moreDawn of Eden: I was thrilled with Dawn of Eden and I found it a unique insight into the world of The Immortal Rules before Ali's adventure begun. Kylie made a sympathetic caring, yet tough protagonist and I was pulled into her story and her reasons for fighting the Red Lung Virus without much trouble. The story even took a romantic turn and featured a cameo from a pretty important character from The Immortal Rules. The ending was pretty well done, which is usually difficult with a Novella and overall, with this story, I was very impressed. Not only did it give additional background on the vamps and Red Lung Virus, but also an insight into how difficult life was during the breakout.
Thistle and Thorne I was really surprised with this novella. I have books by Ann Aguirre on my to-read list but have yet to read any of them; needless to say this will have to change very soon because she is an exceptional writer. Mari and Thorne made a brilliant twosome and I really hope Miss Aguirre writes a full book based on these characters because I really want to know what happens after this novella ends, especially as it ends with the suggestion that there is more to come. There is a little tinge of romance in this, but very little and the plot and action certainly takes centre stage. The post-apocalyptic background is well thought out, and so different from most others I've read since I've never read anything about a chemical spill before. Overall, this is a cleverly written novella but with quite a bit of violence and gore though not without the emotional undercurrent with the characters which make them feel more human.
Sun Storm This is unfortunately the short story that let me down and by this point I was actually pretty hopeful that all three stories would be made of win. Don't get me wrong, the idea of solar flares and the end of the world is realistic enough, but what failed to capture me was the idea of developing powers when hit by the sparks from these flares. Having said that, It's no more unbelievable than zombies I guess so I gave it a chance. When I got to a certain part half way through though, I thought the following: 'that could never happen in a million years' even my huge imagination has a limit and it reached it. Having said that, some people may take to it though to me it seemed a bit silly. Character wise, though I loved Sarah, Ian just didn't gel with me and I didn't really feel his relationship with Sarah. Add what felt like a much too rushed ending and when I finally finished I was ready to admit that I didn't personally enjoy it.
All in all for the first two stories this is worth reading, but honestly, I did not get on with the third. Having said that, I'm sure some people will disagree with me. Give it a go when it's released!(less)
The main problem with writing this review will be doing so without spoiling the main secret within Pantomime, but I have to do so because I won't spoi...moreThe main problem with writing this review will be doing so without spoiling the main secret within Pantomime, but I have to do so because I won't spoil this book for anyone. This is so much more than a fantasy and it deals with issues that a lot of people won't even consider in there lives, let alone seriously think on or debate.
Having said that this book also struck a personal cord with me because I know someone who is pretty alike to Gene in more ways than one and this perhaps led me to think more deeply of the issues in this book than I more normally would have. Gene and Micah's journey is both harrowing, emotional and truly incredible. The magic of the circus comes to life in all it's beautiful brilliance, making the dark side seem even more shadowy in comparison.
Micah and Gene's story was beautiful told and I have been left longing for another book so I'm hoping to God that there's a sequel. There were so many twists, turns and unexpected events that I was left breathless and I wanted so much to be in that Circus swinging from the trapeze I've been left with so many questions. But most forward in my mind is this: What is inside those Penglass domes? I really want to know. It's killing me not knowing. Maybe that's the curious child in me :)
And what will become of Micah and Gene?! Ah why must I be tortured so? Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. But go read this when it's out. Totally amazing. I am in awe of the author and her writing talent. She hasn't just written a book, she has a created a magical world, fascinating characters and broached subjects in this book that few have dared and she totally nailed it. Brilliant. (less)
When I first started reading this I was enjoying it immensely and then the Religion heavy content kicked in and it started overshadowing the Historica...moreWhen I first started reading this I was enjoying it immensely and then the Religion heavy content kicked in and it started overshadowing the Historical Romance side of the story. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against religion in novels or in general. In fact i read the Amish Romance stories but they are a lot less Religion heavy than this book (odd considering they are set in a religious community). I also think it prudent to point out that I am NOT an Atheist just to make it clear that this is not an anti-god splurge.
At the beginning of the story it is the peril and romance that takes center stage, followed swiftly by the threat of war and some fighting. But then the religious side creeps in, sneaky and not so there at first, but then it hits you like a hammer and I found it hard to focus on Gisela, John and there budding romance. One part that particularly annoyed me was that John seemed more alarmed at the thought of the church splitting than losing the woman he loves and the lives that would be lost during a war that would cause said split of church. Now I understand that this was a different time period but still, it bugged me a lot.
If you can get past that and focus on the romance and the complicated military plots and betrayals then there is a good story underneath it all. And I was thrilled with the ending. The idea that Love will conquer all has always been a big thing for me and I love the idea. So for that reason this book still gets three out of five, because it is, underneath it all, a compelling love story. It helped that the characters were well fleshed out and with personalities that could be related to. I could understand the reasoning for John and Gisela trying to avoid there feelings even if i didn't like there stubbornness.
Maybe I'm a good old fashioned romantic but if you love someone, really love someone, then they are most definitely worth the struggle to be with. (less)
I loved this story to pieces :) I could leave my review there, but I won't. I'm a sucker for happy endings and an even bigger sucker for fairy-tales s...moreI loved this story to pieces :) I could leave my review there, but I won't. I'm a sucker for happy endings and an even bigger sucker for fairy-tales so you can imagine I was enthralled by this enchanting retelling of Snow White.
Some parts of the story remained the same for example, the mirror, the evil Queen and Snow White herself. But everything was twisted in such a great way. Kat is not the vulnerable Disney character who lies waiting to be kissed, the dwarves are not little men who go out and dig in a mine and the story itself is much harsher in parts with the stark realism the original tale lacked. Danger follows the characters everywhere and the reader is given a constant reminder of exactly how dangerous a woman with an all-seeing mirror can be with all her hunting down of the 'rule breakers' in her kingdom without having to witness the rule breaking in person.
The romance side of it was brilliantly done and I loved the twist regarding Kat and Jeremy and the link between Kat and the man trapped in the Queen's mirror was amazing. I never saw it coming, nor did I guess the mystery surrounding Jeremy. Some of my favourite scenes though were between Kat and the Dwarves and my personal favourite was Pokole (such a sweet little dude) and there were some scenes with those guys that nearly had me in tears.
All in all this story has a lovely ending with some cleverly thought out plot twists, a healthy dose of humour and some heartwarming romance that I think will be just perfect for these cold winter months. Grab a hot chocolate, some nice biscuits and curl up with this book :) (less)
This is only the second Amish/Christian romance I have read and I have to admit I will definitely read more of them. In a world where love is complica...moreThis is only the second Amish/Christian romance I have read and I have to admit I will definitely read more of them. In a world where love is complicated and filled with a lot of betrayal and pain it's refreshing to read a heart warming romance that is purely based on the feelings involved. Having said that, that wasn't the only reason I like reading these sorts of romances. I find there's something comforting about reading about a lifestyle that is much more people focused. In a world of technology it is too easy to forget the people in our lives and forget to talk to them (face to face, not via facebook!) and it was nice to read about such a lovely community where people help each other out during bad times and are always there to lend a hand as opposed to just looking out for themselves.
The romance was beautifully written, it unfolded at such a natural and gentle pace and nothing between Sarah or Levi felt forced; the chemistry was perfect between the two of them. The hesitation for Sarah, after losing her first husband was believable and Levi's commitment to Sarah throughout everything was heartwarming. With a beautiful supporting cast of friends, families and a warm and cheerful sounding town, Hope Springs has made my list of 'fictional places i'd love to visit'. Whether you're reading about the tension between Sarah and Levi, the crazy matchmaking going on between characters or about the Twin's ridiculous pranks this book will keep you engaged.
One final thing I will say about romance novels, is yes, you do know the ending. And yes, if we thought about it we all know who will end up with who by the end of the novel, yet this doesn't take away any of the enjoyment. The reason being is that it isn't the ending that surprises you, but the journey the characters take to get there, and Levis' and Sarahs' journey is not one to be missed. (less)