I wanted to like this book. I really did. And while I enjoyed the basic premise of the book and some of the world building elements, some of the histoI wanted to like this book. I really did. And while I enjoyed the basic premise of the book and some of the world building elements, some of the history stuff was just overloaded and info-dumpy, where as some of the more unique world building elements (portals, vortexes, the entire demon realm) where just sort of glossed over.
But as this is the first in a series, I can get past info dumping and slow world building. However, the romance just was not believable. It felt entirely too forced. The insta-soulmate bond was weak and I just couldn't root for Ivy and Adrian. I rolled my eyes at them because I wasn't buying it on either side. There was very little character growth. Sure, Ivy grows in that she learns to use her powers, but emotionally? Eh. I didn't see it. At least, I didn't see it enough to justify her actions at the end (see spoiler at end of review).
I finished the book because I kept wanting it to get better. But it just fizzled and never regained it's initial spark. 1.5 stars, rounded up to two.
She spends the whole book looking for her sister, finds her sister, and abandons her to save the man she loves. The man who has kidnapped her, lied to her, choked her (I don't care if that was to get her to use her powers, I was not OK with that) and punched out a car window to keep from sleeping with her (which Ivy wonders is really romantic -- it's not).
And at the very end, we don't even get much of a resolution between her and her sister. Ivy leaves her sister to rescue Adrian, and we don't hear from/see the sister again, despite the HUGE HUGE HUGE ordeal she's gone through...I also don't know that I would believe the sister *knew* it was Ivy just because in giant lizard glamor she flipped her off. But whatever. The sister was not important in the end anyway. She was just a weak excuse to bring Ivy and Adrian together.
This is the second book in the Dark Age Dawning series (the first is "Nightfall"), but you don't necessarily need to read book one to understand bookThis is the second book in the Dark Age Dawning series (the first is "Nightfall"), but you don't necessarily need to read book one to understand book two. It helps, but book two follows a different set of characters -- only of which is introduced in the first book. Of course, fan girl that I am, I highly recommend you read book one first. ;)
"Midnight" is as explosive as "Nightfall", though I didn't find it nearly as gritty or dark as the first book. That disappointed me a little bit and it's the main reason I gave "Midnight" 4 stars instead of 5. Where book one explored a world turned to chaos in an "every man, woman, child for themselves" kind of way, "Midnight" is more about groups of people coming together and building their own mini-civilizations.
This is what Rosa has done in Valle de Bravo. She's in charge and her word is law. She's got cojones, and everyone knows it. With the help of her bravos, she brings in food, whiskey and other supplies. In return, everyone swears fealty to her and lives in relative safety within the borders of Valle de Bravo.
I really liked Rosa. I loved that she was tough and had a set of steel cojones that put her above all the men around her. Still, she wasn't without her flaws. Because she's had to be so tough, she doesn't trust the changes that are coming with the new world. She's got a strong prejudice against shifters -- which we saw in book one aren't all bad -- and she has to keep herself at arms length from the men around her. That means no steamy one-night-stands and definitely no relationships. She can't afford to be seen as weak and emotional and she sacrifices herself for the good of her people. You can't help but admire her for that.
But even tough-as-nails Rosa can't deny her attraction to Chris, the doctor who appears in Valle de Bravo after traveling on his own for so long. Their attraction is near-instant, and it's strong, but Rosa can't trust Chris right away. He could, after all, just be using her as a stepping stone to be in charge of Valle de Bravo himself -- he wouldn't be the first to try. But Chris is patient, which we saw a bit of book one. What we didn't see in book one was Christian's flirty bad-boy side.
For some reason, I had Chris pictured as a scraggly, kind of dumpy type of professor. I certainly did not imagine him looking like the man on the cover. I do now, though. Ha!
For tons of action and a slight "wild-west-in-chaos" feel, "Midnight" is definitely the book you want to read. There may not be as many hellhounds as in book one, but the dust pirates are definitely a threat and there are more characters to become involved with.
I never hide that I'm a huge fangirl for Ava Gray (AKA Ann Aguirre). But I confess, where I give the rest of this series a solid 5 stars across the boI never hide that I'm a huge fangirl for Ava Gray (AKA Ann Aguirre). But I confess, where I give the rest of this series a solid 5 stars across the board, this one fell a star short for me.
Let me state very clearly, though: For fans of the series (or fans of paranormal romance in general), this book was amazing. Steamy smexy bits with lots of action made this another great addition to the Skin series.
Gillie was a strong heroine for being so innocent, and I liked that about her. On the same token, I found it really hard to swallow that an innocent virgin would be as dirty talking and forward as she was. She lived in captivity for most of her life -- it just didn't feel like a realistic response for her. But Taye is tortured and hawt. Maybe he makes all girls talk dirty.
And OMG. Points to Gray for the hottest game of "Truth or Dare" ever. Seriously.
This book, however, also had some heartache. Gray introduces some new characters and sheds more light on side characters introduced in earlier books.
Without giving away any spoilers, yes, you can expect happy endings, but they may not happen the way you think. *gets all cryptic and shifty eyed*
This book would have been another 5 stars if it wasn't for one incident that happened with one character. Oh man, I can't say anything without giving stuff away, but when you read this (as you should)...gah...I mean. Really.
I love you, but did you have to do that? I think you know what I'm talking about.
I don't know how many post-apocalyptic romances you've read, but Nightfall by Ellen Connor isn't going to be your average one. It's not an average romI don't know how many post-apocalyptic romances you've read, but Nightfall by Ellen Connor isn't going to be your average one. It's not an average romance by any stretch of the imagination. Oh sure, there's a hot hero and a sassy heroine and a HEA, but after that, things get really different.
Despite the lack of walking undead, this book reads like a zombie movie. The way it unfolds slowly, building on that nervous tension that something bad is going to happen until BAM! Shit hits the fan.
Electricity has stopped working and much of the western US is in denial (because this stuff just doesn't happen to us) until it's too late. Mason, in keeping with a promise he made, kidnaps Jenna (yes, kidnaps, because time is a factor and explanations can wait until later) and hightails it to his cabin in the woods. Naturally, she mistrusts him -- it isn't until she's faced with you-can't-ignore-this-anymore proof that she believes the stuff he's been trying to tell her.
So when she hears five strangers floundering around in the dangerous woods, she goes after them to offer help. Safety in numbers right? Not always. Because even though she meant well, it isn't until everyone is in the cabin that she realizes that wanting to help others, while noble, isn't always very smart -- particularly when food in the cabin was only meant to last for two people, not seven.
And though you'd think that this kind of book would be nonstop action and heart-pounding moments, it's not. It certainly has those moments, but much of the book is slow paced and tension filled. Normally a slow-paced book would grate my nerves, but with Nightfall, it only added to the scariness of the world. Imagine being trapped in a basement, listening to demon dogs pound on the door for hours and all you can do is wait it out, hoping you'll live to see another day.
The romance between Mason and Jenna is slow building and has a lot of pushing on both sides. Mason is hell bent on survival, with no time for emotions to come into the play. Jenna is the opposite. She wants to survive, but she also wants some reassurance, too. And even though this is classified as a romance, I did not feel like the romance dominated the book at all.
Aside from the amazing world building and the sexual tension, you are introduced to other survivors. Each survivor is different and unique in their own way, and it was Tru -- the surly gothic teen -- who really impressed me. You saw him become a man under very harsh, stressful situations and I liked reading about him. There's also Penny, the small child who barely talks --- there is something about her, and I can't wait until the third book releases in December to learn more about them.
Dark, gritty, full of blood and guts...this is a very different type of paranormal romance, but it's too good not to read....more