Sabina Kane has had one wild ride recently. She learned that all she ever knew, all she ever believed in was a lie. She will do anything to bring LaveSabina Kane has had one wild ride recently. She learned that all she ever knew, all she ever believed in was a lie. She will do anything to bring Lavenia the alpha of the Domniae and her grandmother down. She has been lied to since birth and nothing would be a bigger betrayal to her grandmother than to explore the mage side of her heritage. With the help of Adam, Gighoul, and long lost mage family members she hopes to learn to use her magic and beat Lavenia. She wasn't counting on an ancient prophesy getting thrown into the mix. Sabina's complicated life just became more complicated and more deadly. If you liked Red-Headed Stepchild, then you will love The Mage in Black! Sabina and her pack of friends pick up right where the last book left off. From the beginning the action is nonstop. Despite Sabina ditching the Dominae it's harder for her to ditch her kill first never look back ways. They get her into a few scrapes in this installment. Her growth as a character is more subtle in this book. The little things like how she treats Gighoul, her feelings for certain male characters, and a protective streak she develops all demonstrate her gradual change. I love how her change isn't over night, but a slow build up. Speaking of Gighoul...I wish he was my familiar. He is a combination of ugly-cute sarcastic cat and kind of naughty bad ass demon. He is much more present in this book, for which I am very thankful for. I was a little disappointed by the lack of page time Adam got. I really wanted to see how things between him and Sabina would play out, but he was really only in the very beginning and the very end of the book. Hopefully in the next installment we get to read more about his sexy mageness. The Mage in Black reveals some of Sabina's mysterious past and adds a little more spice to the mix as an old flame resurfaces. Add to that all of the new mage characters and readers have a whole host of new people to love or hate. That said, I didn't really like many of them; most of the mages were kind of snotty and the "bad guy" was easy to guess. Sabina's awesomeness makes up for it in the end. The big finish was a little abrupt and a past bout of arrogance from the previous book comes to haunt Sabina. I can't wait to read the next installment. Last but not least is the narrator. As usual Cynthia Holloway does an excellent job of voicing the right amount of snark and kick ass in our heroine. I give this book a 4 STAR rating. ...more
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini is a wonderful new look into the world of the gods and demigods. Helen is a quiet girl who loves living her life inStarcrossed by Josephine Angelini is a wonderful new look into the world of the gods and demigods. Helen is a quiet girl who loves living her life in relative obscurity. This is sometimes hard to do because she has super strength, super speed, and is drop dead beautiful. The arrival of a new family in town doesn't help matters any. When around them she feels an extreme violent urge. Helen's life is about to spiral out of control to heights of fantastical proportions. She leans who she is, what she is, and how vicious and vindictive the gods can truly be.
Starcrossed is the beginning of a new series that takes Greek mythology to a new level and expands on the fickleness of the gods. Helen is truly a unique character. She isn't the typical confident kick ass heroine that the young adult genre is used to. The awesome thing about this is readers get to see her grow throughout the book both in confidence and self awareness. Lucas and the rest of the Delos family add spice and excitement to the story. They know the world and ahve to slowly introduce Helen to their ways and customs. Each character in the family has their own stoic and honorbound personality, but each also has the perfect amount of smart assery mixed in. They truly make the book enjoyable. Perhaps the title gives it away as Starcrossed, but in case you didn't get it from the title or description Starcrossed has starcrossed lovers in it. Let me tell you... it is amazing, sexy, and sweet. Normally I'm not one for the back and forth between starcrossed lovers, but there is just something about Ms. Angelini's writing that made me love this part of the story line. Your heart gets all warm and fuzzy and you want to root for them. All in all Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini does justice to the fickle nature of the Greek gods and starcrossed lovers of old. This book gets a 4 1/2 STAR rating!
***This is an audiobook review. Devon Sorvari is the narrator and does a great job. Each character has the perfect voice and she moves the story along at a good pace. ...more
This book picks up in Half Moon Hollow made famous by the Jane Jameson series. Molly Harper introduces readers to Miranda Puckett. Miranda is a smartThis book picks up in Half Moon Hollow made famous by the Jane Jameson series. Molly Harper introduces readers to Miranda Puckett. Miranda is a smart aleck and has amazingly bad luck. I felt sorry for the girl. The wackiest and weirdest things seem to always happen to her. Now she is driving a cranky and anal vampire across the country on a three day deadline. The way she treats Collin had me constantly laughing out loud. Although born into a family of lawyers, Miranda is very down to earth and treats the pretentious Collin as a regular person. Along the way Collin's icy dead heart starts to thaw. He is a nice guy, but I didn't feel anything special about him. He slowly develops a personality and does a complete turn around. There wasn't a happy middle along the way. Maybe its because Miranda's personality is just so awesomely overpowering. The appearance of characters from the Jane Jameson series was a nice touch. This was a good book, but not as good as some of Ms. Harper's other books. If you are looking for a light hearted read and a good laugh don't pass this one up.
I did listen to this book on audio from audible.com. I have to admit that Amanda Ronconi is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators. She has a great pacing to her voice and does wonderful with books that have a little "snap" and comedy in them. I give this book a 3 1/2 STAR rating....more
Dark Kiss was a mixed bag of tricks for me. Going into the book I was a little leery about the angel/demon world, but was extremely looking forward toDark Kiss was a mixed bag of tricks for me. Going into the book I was a little leery about the angel/demon world, but was extremely looking forward to the romance. Surprisingly Dark Kiss was switched for me. Samantha was a good heroine for the story. She was funny and had flaws and quirks. These things contributed to making her a believable character. On the romance side was Bishop. Don't get me wrong he seems like a nice guy, but there just wasn't any spark in him. The whole time I couldn't figure out what made him so irresistible. Then there was Craven....I don't want to give too much away, but I'm hoping for a love triangle in the future. The thing that I liked about him was that he actually had a personality. He was sort of deadpan and sarcastic, yet you could tell he has a softer side.
This is a book about angels and demons, good vs. evil, and doomed love. As far as a storyline goes this has been done before. That said, there are some original surprises that have the potential to make this a truly unique series. There is also mystery added to the book in the form of the relationship and history between Craven and Bishop. I can't wait to learn more about them. The ending of the book is what really surprised me. It was one of those "oh no she didn't" moments.
This review does refer to the audiobook version. Amanda Ronconi did the narration for Dark Kiss. She has a great cadence to her voice and the characters all had distinguishable voices. None of them were too over the top and all sounded age appropriate. She did a wonderful job. Overall Dark Kiss was a good, but not great read. I give this book a 3 STAR rating. ...more
At first I was slightly apprehensive to read this book because of the description. For some reason I just kept picturing angels and reincarnation. DieAt first I was slightly apprehensive to read this book because of the description. For some reason I just kept picturing angels and reincarnation. Die For Me isn't about either of those things. I really enjoyed this book. Kate isn't a kick-butt action packed heroine, but she is tough when she needs to be in the face of danger. The fact that Kate isn't the typical "stoic" heroine also drew me in. She shows normal distraught emotion over the horrible things that she has went through recently. She is the type of main character that doesn't get utilized much in YA paranormal fiction. The fact that she is a semi-average girl was refreshing. Then you had Vincent. He is a pretty amazing guy. It would be hard not to fall for him. Vincent is tough, chivalrous, protective, funny, and has just a little bit of a dangerous streak. The only thing I found "faulty" about this couple was how hard and fast they fell for each other. The other characters in the story are also written perfectly. Each one has their own personality and identity. They were enjoyable and I don't think the book would have been as good without them.
The world of the Revenants is definitely a unique one. I know I've never read another book with this type of supernatural creature before. It isn't hard to make a "creature" up, but to have them actually make sense is completely different. If I believed in the supernatural I could see revenants existing. I can't tell you what they are because it is too good of a surprise. Making this book even more awesome was the fact that it takes place in Paris. I must admit between the Parisian places/sights and the smattering of French throughout the book I did get a little lost at times. Other than that this new world was an easy one to get immersed in.
This is an audiobook review so...the audio must be addressed. The narrator for Die For Me is Julia Whelan and she did an excellent job. She had to switch back and forth from French and English accents. I've never really been around many people with that accent, but it sounded good to me. I give this book a 4 STAR rating....more
One of my friends read this and I had heard so much hype about it, that I thought I would once again join the literary bandwagon. When I first startedOne of my friends read this and I had heard so much hype about it, that I thought I would once again join the literary bandwagon. When I first started this book it moved a little slow and was a tad bit confusing. I couldn't quite figure out if in Diana's world, humans knew about the supernatural creatures. Once I got past the first two chapters I really got into the book. I will say that this is a very long book. The author could have cut out some of the scenes between Diana and Matthew because at times they seem repetitive. An aspect of the book that might deter some readers is all of the historical references and biology. Me being the nerd that I am...I love it! I'm a history major who wouldn't mind giving a pint of blood or two to Matthew if he would let me ask questions. He is one interesting man! The people that he has met and things he has been a part of are extraordinary.
Onto the center, the heart, the plot of the story. The idea of relationships between witches, vampires, and demons is one that has been done over and over again. Ms. Harkness brings a newer, more intellectual and historical bent to the idea that completely sucked me in. The take on this topic wasn't the only thing unusual, the characters were as well. The main character/heroine, Diana, wasn't the leader in the story. Yes, she is powerful, but she is smart and acknowledges that Matthew and other have more experience than she does, and the she can learn from them. In many novels the heroine automatically knows how to use and control her powers or seems to pick them up over night. Diana struggles throughout the whole book. The ending of the book is a pretty good cliffhanger in my opinion. I can't wait until the second one comes out! This book is one that I see as a cross over between the adult and the older YA genre. There isn't really anything "bad" in the book and the supernatural aspect will appeal to many.
As stated in my other audiobook review, I stress how important the narrator is. Jenniger Ikeda does an amazing job with A Discovery of Witches. This was an extremely long audiobook with many difficult characters to give voice to. She has a tremendous talent voicing several accents (maybe 5 or more) and at least three languages throughout the book. This narrator really did a good job....more
Witchful Thinking by H.P. Mallory is the third book in the Jolie Wilkins series. Before the review I just want to say how much I love the titles of thWitchful Thinking by H.P. Mallory is the third book in the Jolie Wilkins series. Before the review I just want to say how much I love the titles of this series. The may be cheesy, but they are just so cute! Witchful Thinking picks up where Toil and Trouble left off. The events of the last book have left Jolie a boat load to deal with. Previously having traveled back in time, bonded with Rand, been killed, brought back to life, and declared Queen of the Underworld by the Prophetess have completely overwhelmed our heroine. Poor Jolie doesn't want to be Queen. She wants a normal life with Rand...too bad Rand doesn't remember their time together in 1876 and she is scared to tell him about their forgotten past. Complicating their relationship even further is her feelings for the sinfully sexy vampire Sinjin, Rand's enemy, and her new bodyguard. Add in the fact that Jolie is destined to unite the underworld against the Lurkers... Jolie is in for one bumpy ride. Where to start? I loved the first two books, but just sort of liked this one. There is little if any action, but the drama is non-stop. Drama, especially the love triangle kind is always a favorite, but between that and her not wanting to be queen...there isn't really anything else to the book. Let's tackle one thing at a time. Jolie becomes queen of the underworld. Not only does she not want to be queen, but she displays no leadership qualities at all. Then there is Mercedes the Prophetess who is constantly pushing her along on every little decision. She is wholeheartedly unlikable and somewhat shady. For the majority of the book I kept waiting for Jolie to punch her and tell her to shut up because she is queen. Now, onto the love interests. Rand and Sinjin vie/shun Jolie's affections for 90% of the book. Rand supposedly loves Jolie, but keeps finding the smallest reasons why they can't be together. I don't know about other readers, but he is starting to come off as uninterested and wishy-washy. Then there is poor Sinjin. He seems to constantly pine for Jolie and is always there when she needs him. The problem is she "loves" Rand and despite having feelings for Sinjin, she doesn't quite trust him. I honestly feel sorry for him. She constantly yanks him around and quite frankly if he turns out to be shady and turns on her...she deserves it. Despite what it sounds like, I didn't absolutely hate this book. I liked seeing Jolie's power grow and anything that involved Sinjin was great. Witchful Thinking just felt like a filler/bridge book. A bunch of drama to build up to the oh-no-she/he-didn't bombshell of a cliffhanger H.P. Mallory leaves us with in the end! I refuse to give up on this series and Sinjin. I will continue with Jolie, but this installment was a bit of a let down. This book gets a 3 STAR rating.
**The audio was pretty good. This is the first book narrated by Allyson Ryan that I have listened to. At first some of the characters sounded a little over the top, but I got over it....more
I bought this book a while ago and just never picked it up. Then I found it on sale in audiobook form and I was bored at work, so I bought it. THE BESI bought this book a while ago and just never picked it up. Then I found it on sale in audiobook form and I was bored at work, so I bought it. THE BEST DECISION EVER! Laini Taylor is a master storyteller. This book isn't just good, it is deep, beautiful, sexy, and will break your heart. Daughter of Smoke and Bone has the most unique take I have ever heard on the age old angel versus demon tale. The characters and world are unlike any I have ever encountered. The vivid imagery used in this book is simply beautiful. I could not get enough. Instead of just listening at work, I listened between classes, in the car, washing dishes, you name it until I finished. The main character Karou is a girl who's grit and determination will steal your heart. Akiva? Oh, Akiva! In him a my favorite male character of any book in quite a long time is born. Even the secondary characters are funny and simply amazing. The setting of this YA novel is unique also. It takes place in Prague! This is a country that I don't often think about, but if it's anything like Laini describes it, I want to go there. I cannot wait until the next book. Daughter of Smoke and Bone ends in a HUGE cliffhanger.
One of the things that made this audiobook amazing was the person who read it. Her voices for each character is one of if not the best I've ever heard. I've probably listened to around 25 audio books. Each character's voice is unique, not over the top, and is age appropriate. There is nothing more that turns me off of an audio book than a 60 year old woman voicing a 17 year old girl. This is one of the best books I have heard/read in a long time and is a definite must read. ...more
Going into this book I honestly didn't know what to expect. The first thing it reminded me of was The Bachelor ...and this is not a good thing. HoweveGoing into this book I honestly didn't know what to expect. The first thing it reminded me of was The Bachelor ...and this is not a good thing. However, The Selection by Kiera Cass pleasantly surprised me. America has grown up in a world divided by the caste system where she has to constantly work to help feed her family. This is a character that most readers will be able to connect to. America has strong ties and feelings about family, but at the same time she wants to be able to do something for herself. I won't say she grew as a character throughout the book, but more of her personality was revealed and a person was introduced. She isn't "good" all of the time. Sometimes she is petulant and "forgets her place", and I liked that. Her heart broken love affair with Aspen isn't something I understand. I just don't like the guy. Prince Maxon on the other hand is a true prince, if a little naive. This is a different twist on the story from normally having the girl be the naive one and I appreciated it. The machinations and personalities of the other contestants really made me think. Half of them were there because they wanted the crown and the other half were there because they were "in love" with the prince. It got me to thinking which is better, to want something in hopes of advancing your way of life or to be infatuated with someone you don't know and think it is love. I can't wait to see how this story progresses and how the rebels will come into play. The only "negative" was the ending of the story. It wasn't what I expected. In fact, I had to rewind it to see if I had skipped a chapter or if it had quit working. The ending wasn't the best in the world, but the rest of the story has left me wanting to read the next book. I give this book a 4 STAR rating.
The audio in The Selection was good. None of the voices were over the top, but it did take me a little bit to be able to distinguish some of the girl voices in the beginning.
I'm just going to clear the air before I get into the review and say that I LOVE Wicked Lovely! There I said it. This book is fantastic, Melissa MarrI'm just going to clear the air before I get into the review and say that I LOVE Wicked Lovely! There I said it. This book is fantastic, Melissa Marr is fantastice, and this series is amazing. I'm a Wicked Lovely fan girl and proud of it. The faerie world and characters of this book are complex and absolutely brilliant. Aislinn is strong, she knows what she wants, has high morals, and at the same time she's just a scared girl. The developement of her relationship with her best friend Seth is one of my favorite parts of the story. They match perfectly, two unique individuals in a fae fae world. Keenan is a faerie king who acts like he does because taht is al he has ever known. Aislinn and Donia bring a certain humaness to him, that despite his shortcomings allows you to root for him. As far as Donia is concerned she is one of my favorite character in the entire series. Her scenes are so sad and heartbreaking and Ms. Marr has a way of writing Donia's voice that just speaks to the reader. And let us not forget the Winter Queen, she is one evil villainess who has a genuine love of cruelty.
Onto the world of Wicked Lovely. I found myself entranced by the ins and outs of the faerie courts. Their rules, myths, and traditions should have their own guidebook. The imagery of the faerie world along with the various quotes about faeries at the beginning of each chapter drive home just how different and cruel their world is.
Now, this is a review of the audiobook narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan. She did a pretty good job. I didn't really like her reading voice (her voice she used when not reading any particular character), but her character voices were spot on (I really liked the guys). Will I get another audiobook outside of the Wicked Lovely series by her? I don't know. ...more