L.G. Castillo is a psychologist/author and it was a treat to read this psycho author's novel about a naughty angel and the...moreEmotional Supernatural Tale
L.G. Castillo is a psychologist/author and it was a treat to read this psycho author's novel about a naughty angel and the humans he affects.
Lahash (Lash) is a guardian angel sent on a mission years ago to save a boy from a plane crash. When he took matters into his own wings and saved another life on the plane, he messed up the natural order of things. That poor decision got him banished to earth, stripped of his angel duties.
Thirty-five years later, Lash feels forsaken by God. He channels his bitterness into smoking, drinking, and employing prostitutes. But he still manages to come across as appealing, which is one reason I love this story. Lash has a humor and vulnerability that endears him to the reader despite his occasional arrogance and mistakes. When one of God's angels finally gives Lash an assignment, I was pulling for him not to mess up this second chance. A big challenge for him is dealing with his palpable attraction to the woman he's assigned to protect: Naomi.
Naomi is a 21-year-old woman who has suffered many losses in her life. Her mother died years ago, and the story opens with her father's fatal car accident -- an accident involving the human Lash wasn't supposed to save years ago. Now some bad men seem hell-bent on killing Naomi. Luckily she has Lash, as well as some plucky family members. Naomi's grandmother Welita is a fantastic character; loving, sarcastic, and direct. Welita sees right through Lash, and tells him:
"I know you'll take good care of Naomi, and I know it's not because she's an assignment to you." Lash swallowed. "I will, I promise." Welita placed a hand on his cheek. "I see it in your eyes as I see it in hers. Remember, there is always light where there is love and if that is what is meant to happen between the two of you, then it was destined."
How lovely! I want a grandmother like Welita. The Latino culture fascinates me and it's great to get an authentic view in this novel.
A couple of aspects amused me in the story. One is that the devil owns a fracking business. In the battle between Republicans and Democrats over fracking's effects on the environment, that cracks me up. Another tongue-in-cheek moment was when the psychologist turns out to be EVIL. Lash's mentor describes the psychologist:
"He works on Lucifer's behalf, which is why he has his powers. He's highly skilled, able to put on many faces to deceive the humans he controls... That is why he works as a psychologist. It's a well-respected profession and is a perfect cover to complement his talents. He can use his inherent gifts of mind manipulations and hide them behind the skills humans refer to as psychodynamic therapy."
Hehe! I always wondered about those Freudians with their psychodynamic techniques.
My one complaint was that the plot became a bit convoluted at the end of the story.
Supernatural stories aren't my favorite but this story drew me in starting at the prologue. Highly recommended!(less)
Kelsey Ketch is one of the sweetest authors around! When the opportunity to read and review her debut novel arose, I...moreThe Son of Set Is a Son of a B*tch
Kelsey Ketch is one of the sweetest authors around! When the opportunity to read and review her debut novel arose, I snatched it. I rarely stray from my preferred genre of contemporary romance, and the fact that I enjoyed this Egyptian YA paranormal romance so much speaks volumes for the entertainment value of this story.
Natara “Nattie” Stone has the unenviable task of starting twelfth grade not only in a new school but in a new country. Her mother died when she was five, and her father moves Nattie from London to the Californian desert following the murder of her beloved Egyptian grandmother.
“Brit-Chick” Nattie encounters some kind friends at her new high school:
”Well, how else do you explain Seth’s weirdness?” Jen snapped. “Every girl drools over that guy, and no mortal human can look that good.” “I’m mortal,” Kevin pointed out. Jen’s eyes wandered over him. “Case in point,” Jen concluded. “So, Seth has to be supernatural.”
But the classmate who really stands out in Natti’s mind is the one who has slept with about half the female class: Seth. The other half wishes they were so lucky. He’s definitely a charmer…except to Nattie. She gets an intense headache every time he’s around (LOL) which definitely intrigues stalker Seth.
Nattie is a likable character, earnest and intelligent. I would prefer Natara’s nickname to be Tara or Nata because Nattie seems more reminiscent of a southern maid than a British daughter of Isis. But my favorite character is Seth. His behavior is despicable at first, which is understandable given his slimeball father. Seth is a son of Set—a descendent of an Egyptian god who’s all about lust, destruction, and chaos. (I love the idea of one’s sole purpose in life being to create chaos.) From these evil beginnings, Seth really matures in this story. There’s a reason Nattie’s feelings evolve for him over time.
At first the plot seemed too similar to Twilight, but then it found its own rhythm. The pace continued building to the exciting conclusion, which leaves room for a sequel. One mystery yet to be revealed is why Nattie’s father moved them to this small town in California, with its Egyptian symbols. And what is up with the book her father is writing? How much does he know about her mother’s and grandmother’s death? I’m guessing we’ll learn more in the next book. *claps*
Nicki Elson, author of the fun and flirty college romp Three Daves, heads in a different direction for this adult spiritual romance....moreDeep and Affirming
Nicki Elson, author of the fun and flirty college romp Three Daves, heads in a different direction for this adult spiritual romance. I loved the realistic characters, the suspense, and the deep questions this novel provokes.
Maggie Brock is reeling after her husband Carl divorced her. Together they have a daughter Kirsten and a son Liam, and Maggie has to figure out how to proceed as a single mother. She takes a job as administrative assistant at her Catholic church, and tries to tolerate Carl's new girlfriend establishing a relationship with her children.
Nightly dreams of an angel visiting her bedroom intrigue her, until she awakes one night and realizes this male angel is real. Quiet, lean, and handsome, he invites Maggie to give him a name: Evan. It's not clear why God sent Evan to protect Maggie, but it is clear she is in some sort of danger. Eek!
Complicating matters is the arrival of a prissy, suspicious priest to oversee the workings of the church, aka the Monsignor. Maggie gets bad vibes from him. Is he the malevolent force Evan is supposed to thwart? When Maggie runs into the monsignor and he questions her, she keeps Evan secret.
For all she knew, the monsignor would attempt to incarcerate Evan E.T. style to study him.
Ha! Maggie struggles with her attraction to Evan, knowing God would disapprove of her getting it on with one of His angels. I have a little crush on Evan too, I must admit. Poor Maggie!
Evan provides this heavenly advice: "Stop trying to control what you feel and just feel it. Trust."
Meanwhile, ex-husband Carl woos Maggie back into bed. I wonder how common it is for divorced couples to sneak sex again? That happened in a recent read Blue Shoe but I enjoyed Divine Temptation far more than Blue Shoe. Maggie and Carl's sexy reunion leads her to think that maybe they can make it work again, until Carl bursts her bubble. Their ensuing argument is painful to read:
"You know what?" Maggie fumed. "Thank you, Carl. Thank you for reminding me of all the reasons we didn't work. You're absolutely right---we're so much better apart. Because you never ever did anything wrong. Ever. I t was just mean old Maggie telling you things were wrong. I just made it up in my crazy, little mind, but really, you were perfect in every way."
I love the shades of grey in the characters. Maggie's no saint--she's just trying to do her best--which makes her imminently likable. I'm impressed how Evan comes across as both sweet and powerful, matching my view of divinity. Kirsten is a whiny pre-teen who pushes the limits like a teenager but needs those limits like a child, and Liam adores video games like Mario Bros. Maggie's friend Sharon is direct and funny. Even Father Tom and the Monsignor have their obvious faults.
The plot twists and turns, leading to a creepy showdown between good and evil. This is one of my favorite quotes from the story:
"You might not believe in the devil, but do you believe evil lurks in this world?"
Wow, that gets to me. I view God as a loving force, and at times I question the presence of hell and the devil. But I have witnessed evil in this world--no question.
You can tell how much this angel story affected me. I encourage you to let Maggie and Evan into your heart as well!(less)
Despite paranormal romance not being my favorite genre, I've been wanting to read this book forever due to praise I've heard from Goo...moreLingering Longing
Despite paranormal romance not being my favorite genre, I've been wanting to read this book forever due to praise I've heard from Goodreads friends. And it didn't disappoint.
Grace is an old soul stuck in a teenager's body. She and her parents live in the frigid Minnesota wild, on the border of a forest where she sees wolves watching her. One yellow-eyed wolf stands out in particular -- maybe he saved her once from the pack killing her?
When the wolf shows up on her back stoop, naked in his human form after being hunted in the woods . . . that's when the fun begins. Sam and Grace already have a deep connection and they barely know each other.
I loved Sam's poignant, vulnerable voice:
I was suddenly struck by how dissimilar we were. It occurred to me that if Grace and I were objects, she would be an elaborate digital clock, synced up with the World Clock in London with technical perfections, and I'd be a snow globe -- shaken memories in a glass ball.
Describing yourself as a snow globe? That is so cool. The descriptions in this story are lyrical and vivid:
His lips tasted cool and sharp, peppermint, winter, but his hands, soft on the back of my neck, promised long days and summer and forever.
It was as if I had thought all along I was a complete picture, and Sam had revealed that I was a puzzle, and had taken me apart into pieces and had put me back together again. I was acutely aware of each distinct emotion, all fitting together tightly.
Including the temperature readings under each title was a nice touch since temperature played such a big role in the werewolf lore of this story.
Other readers have told me this series disappointed them after book one, so I'm not sure I will continue. If you've read all three books, what did you think?(less)
So what happens to a human who lives with vampires?
This is the question of the Black Dagger Brotherhood's fourth book, featuring Butch--the tough cop...moreSo what happens to a human who lives with vampires?
This is the question of the Black Dagger Brotherhood's fourth book, featuring Butch--the tough cop we meet at the beginning of the series.
Butch still pines for Marissa, a dainty and proper member of vampire royalty. He tries to drink his troubles away one night only to land in the clutches of the lessers. He comes face to face with the Omega, who inserts some of his blackness into Butch. (YUCK!)
As the knife came up and hovered over Butch's abdomen, Butch screamed. And he was still screaming as a shallow slice was made into his belly. The the Omega picked up the little part of itself, the black digit...and inserted its fingertip into Butch's gut...The skin sealed up, the flesh knitting together. Immediately, Butch felt the rotting inside him, sensed the evil worming around, moving.
*shudders* Infected Butch's blood is now black. I had to laugh when Buggy warned me that his blood wasn't the only thing turning black, as we later learn in an intimate scene. The blackness threatens to take Butch's life.
V rubbed his face. What the hell was he going to do without that smart-ass, tough-talking, Scotch-sucking SOB? The rough bastard somehow smoothed the edges of life, probably because he was like sandpaper, a scratchy, persistent wrong-way-rub that left everything more even.
What a unique and accurate description of Butch: sandpaper.
Parts of one character's transformation into vampire were fascinating, like the incessant word "Mine" pulsing through his brain:
His mouth opened of its own accord, and he let out a deep, rhythmic purr that ended in a growled word: Mine.
But the actual process was a bit confusing. The individual bleeds out until his heart stops? And then vampire blood is injected into his heart? But if that doesn't work he needs to feed?
J.R. Ward is just so cool. I love the Brothers' dialogue and the stream-of-consciousness thoughts by characters like Butch:
The sequence that came next was quick and efficient, proving that crime, like his Southie accent, was something he'd never quite lost...When he got to the stop sign, he came to a full-tire halt: Following traffic laws when you were in a stolen vehicle was mission critical. As he hung a louie and headed down Ninth, he felt bad for whatever Joe he'd just royally f'ed over. Losing your wheels was not fun.
And what was he doing now? Going after a female whose life was already a mess. Just so he could join the shit parade that was marching all over her...
Christ. Lately, it was like his body was a Glad PlugIn that couldn't make its mind up. But at least this spicy scent he liked...
Marissa grew on me as she experienced a transformation of her own, but she's not my favorite heroine of this series so far. Havers can go screw himself, along with the others who want sehclusion for the females.
Concessions is a short story by Robin DeJarnett. Her romantic suspense novel Whirlwind was fantastic and I couldn’t wait to read her foray into parano...moreConcessions is a short story by Robin DeJarnett. Her romantic suspense novel Whirlwind was fantastic and I couldn’t wait to read her foray into paranormal romance.
The story features Lindsey, a bored young adult concessions worker at a movie theater in Las Vegas. The typical customers for matinees are local Goths who dress head-to-toe in black despite the intense heat of the city. One such Goth is Clyde, who takes Lindsey back to the control room and begins kissing her. His kisses make her remember that he’s really Devon, sexy vampire, gradually turning her into a vampire as well. His gentle bite mixes their blood and erases her memory until their next rendezvous.
I love the idea of Goths as hidden vampires, and once again Robin weaves an interesting story around family relationships, creepy bad guys, and sweet romance. (less)
Starstruck is an awesome short story by Lisa Sanchez.
Amberly gets a flat tire and handsome boy “T” stops to help her out. She’s been unlucky in love...moreStarstruck is an awesome short story by Lisa Sanchez.
Amberly gets a flat tire and handsome boy “T” stops to help her out. She’s been unlucky in love but has a blind date that evening, and he’s so smoking gorgeous she wishes he could be her date. They’re changing the tire when a brilliant meteor crashes nearby.
Deciding to check out the crash site, T encourages Amberly to make a wish on the “fallen star”. That’s when the meteor explodes, covering them in green goo and turning the story into an other-worldly romance.
I liked how we get both Amberly and T’s perspectives, and T’s mysterious identity makes for a great ending. Lisa’s writing is sexy and fun. (less)
I do love a tortured hero, and based on so many readers telling me Zsadist is their favorite brother,...moreWe Must Be Masochists for Loving Zsadist So Much
I do love a tortured hero, and based on so many readers telling me Zsadist is their favorite brother, I'm not alone. There's just something about a man who's so damaged he believes he's beyond redemption. When his loved ones refuse to let him succumb to his misery and instead push him to be the good man they know he is, it's beautiful to watch him emerge from his pain, scarred yet strong.
But wow, Zsadist's path is arduous. I grew frustrated by how many times he pushes Bella away due to the demons in his head.
My favorite parts of the story are Zsadist's interactions with his twin, Phury. Through the twins' flashbacks we learn piece by piece of his harrowing background. Because Zsadist feels so unworthy, he keeps trying to convince Phury to take Bella, the woman who loves Zsadist.
"Pretty damn soon she's going to snap out of this post-traumatic whatever she's got going on and she's going to want someone real."
Phury shook his head. "Z, you're crazy. How can you say you want me to be with her? It'll kill you."
Zsadist's face changed and the expression was a shocker. Such sorrow, Phury thought. Of a depth that seemed impossible.
And then the male came forward. Phury braced himself for . . . God, he had no idea what was coming at him.
When Z's hand lifted, it was not in anger or with violence. And as Phury felt his twin's palm land lightly on his face, he couldn't remember the last time Z had touched him with any gentleness. Or touched him at all.
Zsadist's voice was low and quiet as his thumb went back and forth on an unmarred cheek.
"You are the male I might have been. You are the potential I had and lost. You are the honor and the strength and the kindness she needs. You'll take care of her. I want you to take care of her."
Speeches like that made me grab the tissues! And Phury got me crying too:
Phury knelt beside Zsadist and stroked his face. "I've only ever had you to live for. If you die I have nothing. I'm utterly lost. And you are needed here."
Zsadist tried to reach out, but couldn't lift his arms as Phury stood up.
"God, Z, I keep thinking this tragedy of ours is going to be over. But it just keeps going, doesn't it?"
How awesome that J.R. Ward acknowledges the need for therapy in this series. The scenes with John are heartrending. Tohr and Butch are wonderful father figures.
It's taking me a while to understand the character of "Rehv" but I did find it cool how heroin affected sympaths differently than other vampires (numbing pleasure instead of increasing it). I don't quite understand why sympaths are ostracized yet.
I find myself rather disinterested in the scenes involving the lessers. I guess it's difficult to create emotionally compelling characters when they don't have hearts.
Thanks for introducing me to the amazing character of Zsadist, goodreads friends!(less)
Cherie Colyer's debut Young Adult novel was quite a pleasure to read. It's a page-turner that's sweet and mysterious at the...moreMagical Tale of Young Love
Cherie Colyer's debut Young Adult novel was quite a pleasure to read. It's a page-turner that's sweet and mysterious at the same time. The reader doesn't know who to trust, and the identity of the villain surprised me.
Madison is a high school student living in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I've been to Boston a few times but don't know much about the area and I thought the setting was interesting and eerie. Madison meets a handsome newcomer: Isaac. She is longing for her ex-boyfriend Kevin, and Isaac seems like the perfect antidote. But is Isaac safe boyfriend material?
I liked how strange events keep happening at the beginning of the story, like near-death car accidents and Madison's best friend Kaylee suffering from a psychotic break. Is this simply bad luck, or is something more sinister going on? The mystery clears itself up bit by bit, keeping the reader in suspense.
Cherie uses some interesting similes:
There is only more darkness. It's like swimming in a pool of oil.
The characters' emotions come alive in this story, aided by Madison's sensory gifts. She can smell and taste emotion.
The air reeked of power---strong and pungent. Kevin's bitter jealousy and Isaac's rage mixed with Paige's sudden remorse and Emma's sweet joy. It tasted oddly delectable as it eased the burning in my lungs and the pain in my throat.
I hear Cherie is working on a sequel to Embrace and I look forward to it! I want to see what happens between Madison and her ex-friend Paige, and of course what's in store for Madison and Isaac. Great job, Cherie!(less)
I didn't want to stop to write this review before I started reading Lover Awakened, so I'm finally getting to it when I'm almost done with Zsadist's s...moreI didn't want to stop to write this review before I started reading Lover Awakened, so I'm finally getting to it when I'm almost done with Zsadist's story in book 3. (Zsadist is all he's advertised, hee hee.)
Lover Eternal tells the story of Rhage, the ferocious brother who literally has a beast living inside of him as the result of a curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. When Rhage gets really ticked, he flips into a vicious scaly monster that destroys all in its path. He's terrified of hurting his brothers, so he tries to keep the beast at bay by having lots o' sex. He's a blond hottie nicknamed Hollywood so it's not like he has a problem attracting women. What he does have a problem with is all the meaningless sex in his life. He wouldn't mind a real lover.
Enter Mary, a human who's endured such trauma that she once considered suicide. Now she works at a suicide hotline as a means of giving back, but sadly the trauma in her life isn't over--her cancer is back. A sweet mute boy named John lives across from the hotline center, and he calls Mary often just to hear her voice. John's involvement in Mary's affairs brings the brotherhood into her life.
I enjoyed the characters of Rhage, Mary, and John, and I'm glad John's story continues in book 3. The effect the beast has on Rhage is really cool, especially when the tattoo of the beast comes alive and seems to peel itself off his back. Here he describes the feeling when the Scribe Virgin lifts the curse for a period of time:
Rhage took a deep breath. There was the most amazing...emptiness in him. No background buzzing. No itchy drive. No burning.
This description reminds me of individuals who suffer from racing thoughts, delusions, ADHD, eating disorders, OCD, or other illnesses. They can't get away from the buzzing and chaos in their minds, and it's interesting how Rhage learns to live with his beast (with Mary's help).
This novel also sets up the story between Zsadist and Bella, and here's their first meeting:
"You're sorry," he said, tilting his head to the side and focusing on her neck. When he smiled, his fangs were long and very white. "Yeah, I bet you are." "I am very sorry." "So prove it." "How?" she croaked. "Get down on your hands and knees. I'll take your apology from there."
Ha ha! Bella definitely has her hands full with Z. Now I must get back to reading!(less)
Taking place in a bleak future, The Guardian’s Wildchild is a mystical journey starring Guardian Sidney Davenport and US Navy Capt...moreWild, Spiritual Ride
Taking place in a bleak future, The Guardian’s Wildchild is a mystical journey starring Guardian Sidney Davenport and US Navy Captain Sam Waterhouse. The Guardians are a powerful people who oversee and care for the planet and humanity. They secretly live among us, exerting their subtle influence. Some of us are “sleeping” Guardians who haven’t realized our power.
When the Guardians catch wind of an evil plot that will destroy life as we know it, they send Sidney to steal a computer file containing the sinister plans from the Naval Base. Sidney is a beautiful young woman with fiery red hair, perceptive green eyes, and sass galore. Unfortunately the Navy captures Sidney before she can complete her mission, and she’s sent to a ship to be executed.
The ship’s captain will have his world thrown asunder with the arrival of his ginger prisoner. Captain Sam Waterhouse feels like a prisoner himself since the underhanded admiral is basically holding his sons hostage to ensure Sam does his bidding. His wife was recently murdered, bringing some depth to his character. I love that Sam is a Japanese-American and I can picture actor Ken Watanabe in this role:
Sidney’s observations of life away from the Guardians’ island are intriguing. Here two seamen escort Sidney to the captain’s office.
Interesting, she thought when she realized she was copying their movement. She felt a sense of power and unity, of belonging and security. It would be so easy to let go of one’s own personal drummer and step to the beat of another.
She certainly goes to the beat of her own drummer! Sam is quite puzzled by Sidney, especially after conversations like this:
”Sidney, for the last time. Is there anything you can tell me that would give me enough reason to reject this execution order?” She got up and went to the window. He swiveled his chair to watch her. She gazed at the ocean’s horizon. “No.” She glanced back at Sam and grinned. “Unless you resign from the Navy.” “You mean if I were to step out of this uniform?” “Please, Captain. You know how easily I blush,” she teased. “How can you make jokes when you’re just hours from being executed?” She returned her focus to the ocean. “Trust me, Captain, I’m not looking forward to it. But I see the death of the body only as a release of my attachment to the physical world. I’d simply return to my true home.”
My favorite part of the story is the appearance of the child Savannah. The visions and the mysticism of the story really make her appearance beautiful to both Sidney and Sam.
I love the nickname Sam bestows upon Sidney during an intimate scene:
He kissed her lips, caressed her, wove his fingers into her hair and down her back. She teased him with her kisses and held her body close to his. Finally Sam spoke. “Tonight I’ll hold you in my arms, my precious witch.”.
The action and adventure of this story are entertaining, and I enjoyed the twists. I didn’t connect to the characters as closely as I would’ve liked, but readers who get into fantasy, romance, and mysticism will be big fans of this novel. (less)
This series came highly recommended to me by Buggy and Lisa Sanchez. I thought Dark Lover was very good and I definitely plan on continuing with the s...moreThis series came highly recommended to me by Buggy and Lisa Sanchez. I thought Dark Lover was very good and I definitely plan on continuing with the series, but I still have some reservations about paranormal romance in general which I’ll share at the end of this review.
Beth is a likable character, a serious journalist who hasn’t had much luck with men. She immediately finds herself in trouble walking home alone late one night, and it’s evident she’s no shrinking violet. Unbeknownst to her, she has some major changes coming up in her life, changes which bring her in contact with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
The brothers are six leather-clad bad-ass super-vampires who protect all vampires from the “lessers” trying to kill them. Wrath is the brother in charge, and Darius asks him to help his daughter. Wrath was just okay to me. It’s interesting he’s almost blind and he has decent depth to his character, but he didn’t make me swoon. Maybe the other brothers will? I just kept thinking how unwashed Wrath must be in his leathers and long hair and sunglasses. ;)
When Wrath and Beth meet, they’re both overwhelmed by their intense physical chemistry. I enjoyed their unlikely romance, even though it proceeds rather quickly. The sex scenes are somewhat explicit but not over-the-top and there seemed to be the right number of them.
Are there plans for movies to be made of these books? I found myself imagining the characters in my head to look like some movie characters. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Foul Play with Goldie Hawn, but Mr. X totally reminded me of the albino baddie in that movie *shudders*. And the scribe virgin reminded me of a little old Italian lady dressed in black lace, like Johnny Camareri’s mother in the movie Moonstruck hee hee.
One of my favorite characters is the human Butch, especially when he meets the brothers. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” (Butch is lucky he’s still alive after that comment). It was great when Butch and Vishous bond over baseball, and I didn’t see Butch’s romantic interest coming at all but I loved it.
There are some really clever lines, like the one describing Mr. X feeling thwarted by the cops: His jones for torture had a serious case of the blue balls.
Regarding the wedding ceremony, I thought the brothers should’ve definitely used “Beth” instead of “Elizabeth” for the back tattoo, yikes! Good thing her name wasn’t Anastasia Gwendolyn.
I have a thing for tortured heroes and I can’t wait for Zsadist’s story (or maybe he should be named Nmasochist?)
Overall it was highly entertaining and I’m glad I read it. And now a few words about paranormal romance.
Paranormal Romance: How do you like it? I realize many readers LOVE paranormal romance, but there’s something about vampires and werewolves and demons (oh, my!) that doesn’t resonate for me like human stories do. I’m so freaking fascinated by human nature that I don’t need the supernatural to enthrall me, I guess. Sometimes I even find the paranormal to be silly, rolling my eyes at a creature going *poof* or an elf casting spells. I think vampire purists might like The Black Dagger Brotherhood series better than Twilight (maybe having to do with the sparkly vampire business), but for some reason I really connected with Edward Cullen so at this point I favor Twilight. Mostly I really want to connect with the characters, and paranormal creatures make it hard for me to relate.
I don’t mean to be a hater – it’s just my opinion. I read somewhere that we might be attracted to paranormal or fantasy as an escape from the crappy economy and all the problems of real life. For those of you who love paranormal, what do you love about it? (less)
I love Carol Oates' lush writing. She delivers another powerful YA story with Ember, exploring teenager Candra Ember's awakening to the world of angel...moreI love Carol Oates' lush writing. She delivers another powerful YA story with Ember, exploring teenager Candra Ember's awakening to the world of angels (and perhaps demons).
When an evil red-haired beauty throws Candra off a roof, it's the mysterious Sebastian who comes to her rescue. Candra thinks she's concussed when she first sees Sebastian's wings, but their second appearance convinces her that what she saw was real.
Sebastian had wings. When they stretched out behind him to their full majestic size, the fine plumage looked luxurious and soft as satin. They trembled gently in the light breeze, thinning out to golden tips at the very edges. Something about it reminded her of swans rising proudly from water.
Unfortunately it's unclear if Sebastian wants to kiss her or kill her, and another group of angels tries to persuade Candra away from Sebastian. From the moment Candra meets Draven, it's obvious he's someone special.
When he stepped back, his lips pulled in a delicious lopsided grin. His eyes were the most unusual color: a deep, penetrating midnight blue, framed in the longest jet black lashes she'd ever seen. It was absurdly endearing the way his mouth was slightly uneven when he smiled, revealing a perfect set of Hollywood-white teeth. Candra found herself toying with the idea of asking him if he wanted to have a drink, a dance...or to be the father of her children.
Ha ha! Draven has a sense of danger about him that's both alluring and off-putting. Who to trust?
I really like the complexity of Cambra's character. She's wise beyond her years yet she has a playful side too, like the time she gets Sebastian to roll down a hill for the sheer joy of tumbling out of control. He enjoys the experience almost as much as she she thrills from flying with him:
Up and up they went, with Sebastian's face lifted to the sky above them, but she could see he was smiling widely, each whoosh of his huge wings pushing them higher and higher. This was his rolling down a hill, she realized. This was where he felt free, and he was sharing it with her.
The ending surprised me in a very good way. Can't wait to read Iridescent which also has a gorgeous cover.(less)
What a unique YA story that crosses many genres, including steampunk, fantasy, dystopian, and romance.
It's the year 2040, and Destiny (De...moreDez for Prez!
What a unique YA story that crosses many genres, including steampunk, fantasy, dystopian, and romance.
It's the year 2040, and Destiny (Dez) Harkley is a sixteen year-old descendent of an ancient Egyptian shape-shifters -- the Kythan. She's quite a likable character with just the right mix of spunk and vulnerability. As a competing race of shape-shifters (the Narcos--great name) encroach upon her world, she has to decide to stay with the old or go with the new (or maybe she can have both?) Her cool blue-eyed friend Jace represents the familiar Kythan, and red-eyed hothead Reese represents the Narcos.
This was my first steampunk novel and I found the gas lanterns, corsets, and steam-powered vehicles to be an interesting world. It seems reasonable to me that aspects of the past re-emerge in the future--just look at Dexter topsiders coming back into fashion!
I like Dez's best friends being a set of triplets: Lana (her best friend), Jace (the afore-mentioned blue-eyed cutie-pie), and Nick. Nick sometimes seems superfluous though and I wondered why he was in the story.
It's a wow moment when Trisha Wolfe provides a clue about Dez's secret past:
Staring back at me from the mirror was one glowing, violet eye -- the color I tried so desperately to conceal.
Holy cow! Perfect set up.
Jace thinks Reese is bad news and tries to protect Dez from this interloper. But Reese has an allure of all his own. He even meditates!
"I honestly didn't take you for the meditating type." My lips twitched into a small smile. "Narcos are supposed to be all hot tempered, not yoga masters." "Stereotype. We ARE pretty hot, though." Reese grinned. "Now focus. Close your eyes. Hear the river and clear your thoughts."
Do you like love triangles? If done well, they can add to the story, and I think Trisha Wolfe did a masterful job of making me fall for both heroes. Jace is a childhood friend but Reese has a deep understanding of Dez due to their hidden histories. I enjoyed how my feelings changed for each throughout the story.
Furrowing my eyebrows, I gnawed the inside of my lip and wondered why everything with guys was so complicated.
This is a well-written and engaging story. Excellent job, Trish!(less)