I had such a mix of emotions while reading this book that I wanted to both chuck it out the window and keep reading until the very end. Obviously I ke...moreI had such a mix of emotions while reading this book that I wanted to both chuck it out the window and keep reading until the very end. Obviously I kept my kindle, otherwise I wouldn't have finished it. Following the main character's relationships was like watching a train wreck, you know things can only go from bad to worse but you still stick around to see it crash and burn so magnificently. The best part is that the interactions, although a little crazy at times, felt pretty real. It literary took me about 5 hours to read through the whole thing; it was around 2:30am when I started and is currently 7:40am as I'm typing this. Yup, I really couldn't put it down and I officially feel emotionally exhausted. What a damn ride!!!
These are my immediate thoughts, I'll expand my review later on, after I catch up on some Zzzz...(less)
This book is classified as Young Adult Paranormal Romance, and although it fits the bill, the story itself pulls from a wider set of norms. In fact, t...moreThis book is classified as Young Adult Paranormal Romance, and although it fits the bill, the story itself pulls from a wider set of norms. In fact, the novel has many elements of the horror and the sci-fi genre. To begin with, the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a scientifically created virus has turned most of humanity into flesh –and brain– eating zombies. Sprinkle the mix with a healthy dose of mostly older sexy teenage aliens and inter-dimensional traveling and you have the recipe for great entertainment.
We follow Wisteria and Bach as they go back and forth between regular teenage problems –such as love, high school, mean girls, the outcast, family expectations vs. their own desires, etc. – and the more serious, much more pressing (and oftentimes depressing) matters of living in a zombie infested post-apocalyptic era. Wisteria is a strong minded teenage girl that has seen the worst of what humanity can offer. She believes in always being ready and never being a victim. For me, both qualities are huge pluses to have in a female lead; it just makes you love her and root for her even when she is being idiotic. This, coupled with her flaws, makes Wisteria a more believable and interesting character. On the other hand we have Bach, a conflicted, angsty, moody, and most times a downright jackass alien boy whom you’ll probably develop a love-hate relationship with his decisions. Throughout the tale he battles with his personal demons and his desire to possess and love Wisteria. As I was reading the book, half the time I was waiting for the plot to finally get them together, and the other half I just wanted to smack Bach hard enough to shake him.
I ask to review this book from the Innovative Online Book Tours’ tour catalogue and I can’t be happier that I did. I really enjoyed this story, and I’m looking forward to see how the series, as well as the author, grow and develop. If you enjoy reading YA books within the Paranormal genre or you just like your books with a good pace but very little to no smexiness, then you might want to give Wisteria a try.(less)
A story about sexual discovery, empowerment and the happiness achieved through self-acceptance and love. A surprisingly beautiful story that blends in...moreA story about sexual discovery, empowerment and the happiness achieved through self-acceptance and love. A surprisingly beautiful story that blends in everyday aspects with well preconceived taboos giving an almost puritan yet extremely curious woman the ability to see other people’s sexual experiences and the elated feelings that accompany such moments.
The Concubine’s Gift follows Bernice as she struggles to accept her inner most emotions and desires that contrast greatly with her strong, religious upbringing. As daughter of the town’s minister and the only charm school teacher with a rebellious brother, Bernice has spent her entire life avoiding confrontation, swallowing her opinions and making sure that she pleases everyone else at the expense of her own happiness and satisfactions. The only signs of Bernice’s true thoughts and ideals are encased in a very private, much hidden collection of erotica memorabilia.
The story contrasts the sense of decorum versus sexual liberation. I was surprised at how easily I was sucked into it. I enjoyed following Bernice and the other various characters as they made their journey to blissful love making; yes, not just sex –love making. That is ultimately the main theme of this book, love so instinctual that it’s reached its maximum through unrestricted carnal expression.
The story also juxtaposes the current believes and the new openness when it comes to, well, almost everything, versus the ideas and moral values engraved in our subconscious by our family, our community and our culture. This is most evident by the town’s division in opinions when it comes to the bordello.
The bottom line is that I really enjoyed this book, and even though it’s just a fiction story, it makes you reconsider your notions and your stance on sexuality.
“Bernice was fascinated by Trinket because she wore her sexuality as openly as a fragrant perfume. She was also amazed by the fact that Trinket found life so easy and satisfying.” (Kindle Locations 131-133)
In contrast with:
“She [Bernice] didn’t like anything that had an adult theme, with only one exception, her collection of erotic female memorabilia. They were all antiques, fragments of other women’s sexuality that was somehow easier to deal with than her own.” (Kindle Locations 143-145)
“It’s just as well,” she thought. “If I told them what I really think, they’d shit roses.” (Kindle Locations 159-160)
In contrast with:
“But Bernice also did not believe that hiding her true opinions and sexual feelings was dishonest. She thought it was similar to hiding a defect and Bernice felt that her defect was that she had too much sexual interest, too much excitability and far too much empathy for prostitutes. She never once considered that properly channeled, her sexuality might be normal or that her opinion might be right.” (Kindle Locations 245-248)
And this one simply because it’s pretty awesome:
“The erotic arts have the same goal as religion; to prevent men from acting like beasts.” (Kindle Locations 1430-1431)
Chelsan is an 18 year old living in L.A. in the year 2320. Although some technology breakthroughs have allowed civilization to have some wicked techno...moreChelsan is an 18 year old living in L.A. in the year 2320. Although some technology breakthroughs have allowed civilization to have some wicked technology, life pretty much remains the same. Except for one tiny detail… Immortality comes in the shape of a pill. You read it right; the secret for immortality has been breached and encapsulated for public consumption.
But Chelsan, our protagonist, has other things on her plate to be worrying about looking youthful forever. A high school student, Chelsan has to deal with the everyday hassle of being the “poor” scholarship kid at an elite, private school. And if that isn’t enough to give nightmares to most people, Chelsan has to also deal with a dark secret, a power that she knows little about, the ability to raise the dead.
I could’ve done better with less angst. Personally I don’t enjoy love triangles, I cannot think of a single one that hasn’t frustrated me (in a “I want to stop reading” kind of way). They just make characters feel shallow, even if they are not. I love romance in books; PNR is one of my favorite genres. That said, when you are in a character’s head and said character keeps debating the proverbial “loves me, loves me not” it distracts you from the story.
However, the thing that I enjoyed the most about the story was its social critic. Chelsan lives in a future where everyone can effectively live forever. They are lucky that society discovered Age-Pro (the miracle pill) when there was still time to save our ecosystems. The major issue, society wise, is overpopulation; and there are some serious drastic measures in place to ensure “quality” living worldwide.
Although this is a sci-fi novel, let’s remove the fiction elements for a bit and see what we are left with. Worldwide population has reached such an all-time high placing such a strain on natural resources that the priorities of all nations have irrevocably shifted.
Some quotes from the book:
“Once the International Law of 2142 was passed requiring the planting of a tree every twenty feet, most people decided to re-plant near extinct trees like the California Oak.”
“The first law to be passed was in 2068 that outlawed anything printed on paper.” “Only e-books were legal. But it just wasn’t enough. There just wasn’t enough plant life on the Earth to sustain the amount of people inhabiting it so they had to make planting more trees a worldwide law.”
This book was a challenge pick thanks to the ladies at Gotta Have Paranormal with a Kick. The challenge (a sort of secret Santa) was to choose three books that you know you enjoyed and hide them under a spoiler tag. After submissions closed, every individual was assign a number, the numbers where scrambled (so that none of us had our own selections) and the number stealing began. After everyone had “stole” a different number the books where revealed. I ended up with these three selections:
Wicked Nights (Angels of Darkness, Book 1) by Gena Showalter Alien Proliferation (Katherine “Kitty” Katt, Book 4) by Gini Koch The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld, Book 9) by Gena Showalter
Since I already plan on reading Gena Showalter’s books, and after reading all the descriptions of every first book of all three series, I went with the one that was a complete unknown to me but that it still hooked me. As per the rules, I grabbed book 1 on the series.
Back to the review
The book started with quite a bang in the short prologue and first chapter. That was all I needed to know that I was hooked to the story. That opening scene was incredible. But as the story progresses it becomes an information-dump-fest. More or less the first 65% of the book centers on delineating the world and its rules. It specifically centers on the creation of the alien world and lore. It’s needed; the author is building the world, setting the laws that will rule the story arc; this is book 1 after all, the foundation needs to be set. However, there is so much explanation compared to the action ratio that it drags at times.
I guess I should thank my penchant for finishing stories, as I’m glad I stuck around through the very end. Once the rules are set and the action starts to take over the story becomes engaging enough that I rarely put the kindle down. Now, the story has many, and I mean many, clichés. And enough pop culture references within its pages that I felt like I was going through an episode of the Gilmores Girls tailor made for Roswell lovers. Then again, I do love both shows ^.^
One thing that did bug me is that the main character is your typical almighty heroine; let me explain. Here we have Kitty (Katherine “Kitty” Katt, yup! that’s her name), who has live a normal, average life, she witnesses an argument turned deadly that triggers the ever present fight or flight instinct; she chooses to stay and fight. Now, I have no problems with that, I love my characters strong, kick ass and willing to stand up for what its right. This reaction throws her head first into the hands and world of aliens which is the reason for our story (and again, opening scene rocks).
Now my problem –and I will try to explain it as best as I can without giving away any major plot point– is that Kitty is a human civilian that ends up dealing with aliens and “superbeings.” She has no clue as to what is going on, nor she knows how to truly engage in the situation, yet she is somehow the only one with all the answers. This alien race is far more advanced than ours in many ways, including technologically and evolutionary. However, they have no way to stop the bad guys (bad guys which they have been fighting for years) regardless of the fact that they have the best of the best among them. Okay I can buy this, it can happen, just because they are more advanced doesn’t mean they are infallible. However, Kitty is the only one that can resolve every situation. Also, when she is not taking everything in strides, as if her world hasn’t been completely upended, without so much as blink; she is breaking down and crying like she is witnessing the Armageddon. She jumps back and forth between both extremes most of the book with a few instances where she is in “balance” of the emotional scale.
The rest of the characters are fun to watch, some of them bringing more than one WTF moment. There is a play for a love triangle. Now, I hate love triangles in general; I think they have been run to the ground extensively. That said, if I wore hats (which I never do) I’ll be tipping them to the author, the love triangle was so crafty, simple and kind of short, that I actually enjoyed the craziness that it ensued rather than being annoyed by it.
The bottom lines? I enjoyed the story, enough that will continue the series, but I will not jump right into book 2 at the moment. It’s good entertainment, the kind of book that one tucks into a bag or keeps on the kindle specifically for those times that you know you will be waiting for long periods of time. I mean, I did begin reading this book at the doctor’s office while waiting for my sister’s turn to get vaccinated. And if you add up my time reading it (ignoring the normal breaks one take), it took me about a day to finish it; so in all, a good read.(less)
This book is right up my alley, it has all the Urban Fantasy elements that I love:
Crafty and powerful Witches and Warlocks (check!) Strong and pret
...moreThis book is right up my alley, it has all the Urban Fantasy elements that I love:
Crafty and powerful Witches and Warlocks (check!) Strong and pretty friendly vampires (check!) Hot and steamy werewolves (check!) Deadly and somewhat unhinged fairies (check!) Unknown superpower as the main character (check!) Some nasty demons (check!) Action and adventure (check!) A good fast paced story line (check!) And a great city to host all the paranormal activity (check!)
Crimson Midnight is one of those books that once you pick up its hard to put down unless absolutely necessary. You know which ones I’m talking about, the ones that you eat while reading because you can’t stop; yup, one of those.
Rose Carmichael is a survivor. She was assaulted at age 15 and thanks to her father’s help she has come out of it a stronger person. Now, a 21-year-old, Rose is ready to move on with her life. She moves, with best friend in tow, from the country side to the busy city of London searching for her freedom and a chance to leave her past behind while forging a new future. Shame destiny has other plans for her.
Although the book revolves mainly around Rose, the other characters (and there are plenty of other characters) take the spotlight occasionally as the story goes back and forth between them. Upon reaching her destination Rose begins to hang out with her godmother’s son and his group of friends, who unbeknownst to her are all of the supernatural kind. But when she is attacked by a demon, she finds herself diving head first into a world she never knew existed. Unfortunately for her, her attack wasn’t the only one. Someone is kidnapping members of the supernatural community as well as humans. Rose and her friends are against the clock trying to decipher this unknown threat; and to make matters worse she is lusting big time for Roman, the sexy werewolf son of Flo, Rose’s godmother. If only Roman wasn’t Thistle’s boyfriend Rose wouldn’t be so worried about hurting her vampire friend’s feelings by actin on her own.
I enjoyed this book and love the setting of the story; London has always been one of the cities I want to visit at some point in my life. The fast pace keeps you glued to the kindle while the various scenarios make you want to know more about the characters.
I did have one small problem but I’m not sure if I should chalk it up to the ebook’s formatting. The story has various intertwined points of views (POVs) constantly shifting. Sometimes the point of view shifted mid paragraph or mid action which made it just a bit confusing, but as you read you could quickly get back in track. The rest of the times there is a clear (spatial) division from one POV to the next. It could be that at sometime during formatting a few spaces were skipped or something.
My favorite character of the entire book is in fact one of the one with the least screen time, but every single time has some of the best comic lines of the book. Flo, the mother figure in the book, is one of the few humans in the story and her attitude had me laughing or smiling in every scene she was in. She reminds me of my mother:
Erin’s shouts cut through the serenity. “NO! NO! NO!” There was a crash.
“Erin!” Flo stood hands on hips.
Erin came skulking into the kitchen. His face was red with anger “This stupid bloody game!”
“Don’t you dare swear in my house!” Flo yelled. “And don’t slam that controller on me coffee table!’
“You say bloody all the time,” said Erin matter-of-factly. “And anyway, bloody ain’t swearing.”
“I will do as I please. This is my house and it’s my rules. And bloody is bloody swearing. And its ‘isn’t’ not ‘ain’t’ remember?”
“You’ve just said it twice!” Erin cried in exasperation.
“I’ll have none of your lip. I’ll take the bleedin’ game away from ya if ya gonna be like that.”
Erin huffed and stormed out of the kitchen.
“Bloody kids. Sorry, luv,” Flo said.
Rose bit back her laughter. “It’s okay, really.”
“I’ll apologise now for the rows to come.” (Crimson Midnight; Kindle Locations 853-867)
The bottom line is that this is a great story that I truly recommend to all Urban Fantasy lovers. It has a great world construction that I can’t wait to see where the authors take it.
Downloaded this book for free today at Amazon. Is a very short, erotica novella that features a young, billionaire business man and a 26-year-old onli...moreDownloaded this book for free today at Amazon. Is a very short, erotica novella that features a young, billionaire business man and a 26-year-old online, fashion magazine editor. They have enough chemistry with one another capable of scorching the entire New York City in one single sweep.
I like the actual plot of the story, unfortunately is too short and rushed that there is no time for the characters to develop and in the end I really couldn’t care much for them.
Also, I don’t look at grammar when I’m reading for pleasure, but sometimes some errors just jump off the page. For example, right at the beginning of the story:
Cate swiped two glasses of champagne from a waiter that was passing by and our eyes scanned the room accessing the crowd. (Kindle Locations 15-16)
The emphasis is mine. I’m guessing that the girls were assessing the crowd. Then, almost three quarters into the story:
I nodded to each of them with a smile, and began fidgeting with my hands under the table. Carter noticed, and took his warm hand in mind, holding it in his lap. (Kindle Locations 333-334)
First time I read of a man capable of holding his mind on his lap, now that's a trick worth seeing. There really are not that many errors, but the few that are, are a bit obvious.
In all, I wish the story had been longer. I don’t mind a steamy erotica story, but I like them with a little bit more plot to them. (less)
The series keeps getting better and better. I struggled a bit at times because Atticus knows how to be a jerk, but for the most parts it's an awesome...moreThe series keeps getting better and better. I struggled a bit at times because Atticus knows how to be a jerk, but for the most parts it's an awesome story. Definitively worth the time.(less)
What a crazy ride, and worst is the cliffhanger. I mean, did the book had to end like that?
The story has lots of wild sex, drugs, and music. Even thou...moreWhat a crazy ride, and worst is the cliffhanger. I mean, did the book had to end like that?
The story has lots of wild sex, drugs, and music. Even though it has such strong themes, the narrative is done in such a great way that you are not repulsed by it, you just immerse yourself into the story. I definitively recommend this one. Read it in just a few hours.(less)