I've been a fan of this series from the beginning, love Mercy as a heroine, truly enjoy the cast of cha...moreREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
I've been a fan of this series from the beginning, love Mercy as a heroine, truly enjoy the cast of characters Briggs has created and the way they interact with each other. The deeper insight into Mercy and Adam's relationship was one of the high points of this book for me and I enjoyed seeing them grow in their respective roles, both within the pack and with each other. We also received quite a bit of new information about beloved characters: the design, and reason behind same, of Kyle and Warren's home; a more detailed explanation of Kyle's devotion to family law; the reason behind the stalemate in Sylvia and Tony's relationship... All of this information was interesting though none seemed entirely necessary to the story.
While everyone who has read my reviews knows I'm largely a character driven reader, the slow reveal of the supernatural world Briggs has brought to life in these books has kept me intrigued and turning the pages just as much as each book's individual story line. That didn't happen for me this time; I feel I know less about Mercy's world after this book. The plot seemed to jump around more than usual and left me confused. The storyline was impossible for me to follow and seemed forced, not a natural happening caused by the interaction of so many different supernatural beings. The combination of fae strategies, vampire politics, werewolf rules and pack disputes left me dazed and confused. There was an overload of characters, many of whom didn't seem to have any part in the actual storyline, which only added to the confusion. Even when the machinations were explained I still felt as if I'd missed something.
I enjoyed the book overall, but that was due to specific scenes and characters not the complete story. I look forward to the next installment in this series, and truly hope that the confusion and dissatisfaction I felt upon finishing this story was merely a fluke and the next will pull me even deeper into the fascinating world Briggs has crafted and filled with such likable characters.
A search for the mythical “gates of Hell” leads Cheyenne, an adrenaline junkie and chronic virgin, to Ic...moreREVIEWED by Karen for Between the Covers blog:
A search for the mythical “gates of Hell” leads Cheyenne, an adrenaline junkie and chronic virgin, to Iceland and into a world of demons and mythology.
Erias is the guardian to the gates of Hell, the leader of the Brotherhood: warriors who trade their soul to Persephone, wife of Hades (i.e., Satan, the devil, the angel of darkness, get my drift?), in return for vengeance for their deaths. Virtually immortal, the Brotherhood serves Persephone in the mortal world. When Cheyenne and her group of hikers actually stumble upon the entrance to the gates, Persephone dispatches Erias to handle the situation.
When Erias meets Cheyenne they feel an immediate attraction, yet they can't seem to have a simple conversation without pissing each other off. Erias finally succeeds in scaring off the team because they think he is some kind of crazed serial killer. But he feels that the stubborn woman warrants watching, since he doesn't believe that she's really given up on the expedition yet - at least that’s what he tells himself. It couldn’t be because he is interested in her. So Erias enlists the help of his fellow Brotherhood member, Behr, to guard the entrance while he checks up on Chy and her group. Erias has always been a kind of “I got mine, you get lost” kind of lover, and he is confused by the attraction he has for Cheyenne. His bungling attempts to befriend and seduce her only lead to more distrust and anger, but he can't ignore the desire he feels for her.
Cheyenne tells her companions about Erias, mistakenly believing that he intended to attack and rape her. Kris, her cheating ex-boyfriend who is still hung up on her, confronts Erias, but Erias convinces him that Chy just misunderstood what had happened and that she had been drinking. Cheyenne is angered and hurt by her friends’ apparent betrayal, and she rushes off towards her room, when she encounters Erias in the hallway and confronts him. They inevitably end up in yet another argument, and just when you think they'll never get their act together, they finally *hallelujah* have sex.
Behr, in a fit of jealousy that Erias can love again, spills the beans about Erias' feelings for the “human” to Persephone, who isn't amused since she considers all the Brotherhood to be her possessions. When she confronts Erias, he lies and says that Cheyenne means nothing to him in order to protect her from Persephone. Cheyenne overhears the conversation and believes that Erias is a cheating ratfink. But Persephone disappears with Chy, and dumps her in Tartarus - literally the pits of Hell, where she is tortured repeatedly.
Behr regrets his betrayal and in an effort to regain Erias’ friendship agrees to accompany him and Kris on a quest to obtain the “Helm” - an artifact that will ease their passage into Tartarus - and rescue Cheyenne. Erias makes a deal with Hades in order to obtain the Helm, swapping the rest of his soul for Cheyenne's freedom.
This book was well written, and I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their interaction. The ending of the book was a classic cliffhanger: a basic no-ender, but with the promise of more. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find even a mention of a follow-up book, though this reads like the first of a series. I eagerly anticipate that there will be a sequel, and hope that the next book will resolve Erias and Cheyenne’s relationship, and also feature Behr, the smart-assed guardian sidekick, and Kris, the ex-lover who may yet have redeeming qualities - two characters that wormed their way into my head and won't leave.
NOTE: As with many ebooks, I noticed several grammatical errors in the manuscript that spell-check would miss, but hopefully were caught by an editor before publication.
I am always looking to try new types of books. I, like everyone, have my favorite genres and authors, an...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
I am always looking to try new types of books. I, like everyone, have my favorite genres and authors, and there are a few genres that I just never really give a thought to. The mystery genre is one of them. So when the opportunity to review a new paranormal mystery novel called It Takes a Wish by Heather Blake came about, I couldn’t refuse. My desire to expand my reading tastes won out, and I was willing to try something that I wasn’t that versed in.
Darcy Merriweather has just found out that she and her sister come from a line of Wishcrafters, a type of witch that grant wishes to the pure of heart. Darcy and her sister move to Enchanted Village, a little town overflowing with Crafters, to learn their craft and to help their new found Aunt Ve run her wish shop. While struggling to get a handle on her powers - and keep them secret - Darcy finds herself tangled up in a murder investigation when her aunt’s boyfriend becomes the prime suspect.
As I said, I am a mystery novel novice. But I found myself totally engrossed in this book. Heather does a find job building a new world, giving you just enough information so that you are not lost, but not so much that you solve all of the plot twists. She has created a type of witch I have never read about - a Crafter. A Crafter has a specific skill that they are devoted to, such as wish granting. The author built a very nice background for the Crafters and gives little pieces of their history throughout the book.
The mystery aspect of this book was very well done, in my opinion. Heather created a nice set of twists and turns, and I honestly did not figure some of them out until I read them. There were a few moments when I was truly shocked with the results. If this book is any indication of what most mysteries are like then I am game for more.
Overall I was extremely pleased with It Takes a Witch and will be looking forward to the subsequent books in the Wishcrafter series.
Witches, magic and vampires – what more could you want? In this debut novel by P.A. Lupton, we are intro...moreREVIEWED by Karen for Between the Covers blog:
Witches, magic and vampires – what more could you want? In this debut novel by P.A. Lupton, we are introduced to Brianna Reece, a kick-ass FBI agent assigned to the Denver division of VICAP (Violent Crime Apprehension Program). Brianna has empathic abilities - can sense emotions and get impressions - which makes her the perfect lie detector, a useful interview skill for an FBI agent. But she is unaware of her legacy: that she is descended from an ancient bloodline of witches. Along with her new partner, Todd Morrison, Brianna is tasked to solve a series of disturbing murders where the victims are completely drained of blood – and who all physically resemble Brianna. The primary “person of interest” in the investigation is Nathan Donovan, head of a security firm, who has had contact with all the victims. When they meet, the chemistry between Brianna and Nathan is immediate and intense.
Brianna reveals her empathic abilities to her father, who reluctantly reveals her heritage shortly before he dies of a heart attack. At her father’s funeral, she discovers that Nathan is the key to harnessing her gifts. As she works with Nathan to unlock the full potential of her powers, Brianna comes to trust and respect her new partner Morrison, and together the three hunt down the serial killer
Bound by Blood is a great read, and I was hooked from page one. Lupton built a complex paranormal world filled with vivid characters, great interaction, and hot sexy scenes. Throw in a few great plot twists, and you’ve got yourself a great debut novel.
One thing I must mention though: the electronic version of the book that we received from the author had so many run-on sentences, misspellings and grammatical errors that it made for difficult reading. I realize that proper grammar, syntax and spelling are like a sickness with me, but the amount of errors was distracting to the flow of the story. All in all, I loved Bound by Blood, but the ebook we received could benefit from an editor’s touch.
Hickey of the Beast is a quick, enjoyable read that redefines freshman year. Sure, there are the typical cl...moreReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
Hickey of the Beast is a quick, enjoyable read that redefines freshman year. Sure, there are the typical classes to deal with and cute boys to admire, but there's also something more, something...sinister.
As the head's kid, Connie has grown up at Springden, so starting high school there feels fairly natural. Even still, it's a new experience; so when the first nightmare happens, Connie doesn't think too much of it. But her brother is having nightmares as well. And each time Connie has the dream, she is able to experience more, to learn more about this...force. There are other signs this isn't a typical year at Springden as well. Various girls start becoming ill - even ill enough to leave - and nobody seems to know why. With the help of her friends, Connie realizes these two things may be related. And if they are, she has to stop them - but how? In the midst of soccer practice, trying to pass classes, and worrying if someone will ask her to the Red and White dance, Connie suddenly finds it her job to protect her school from this unknown predator. After all...nobody ever said freshman year was easy.
This story is told as letter from Connie to her friend Amanda (originally released by Candlemark & Gleam as a serial story). Because of this, the novel has a much more conversational, friendly feel than a typical book, and that definitely worked for this story. The reader almost takes the place of Amanda as one of Connie's good friends, and through Connie's asides and recollections the reader learns more about her. Connie has a strong personality, by turns funny and insightful, and she makes for a great narrator. I enjoyed the different dynamics in this book - there was an emphasis on family and friendships rather than romance, which was refreshing. Also, the mystery and requisite building clues kept the plot from becoming stagnant.
However, there were a few elements of the mystery that were a bit predictable. While the original premise and the "mysterious evil" were certainly not traditional, the descriptions left something to be desired. I felt as though Connie didn't truly understand everything, even in the end, and therefore the final revelation and explanation wasn't as full as it could have been. Despite this, though, the book was still enjoyable.
Overall, Hickey of the Beast is a fast, entertaining read, and one with a new and interesting premise. I will look forward to reading more from this author!(less)
The countdown widget for this book, as well as the trailer, both seemed to promise a story that was delicio...moreReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
The countdown widget for this book, as well as the trailer, both seemed to promise a story that was deliciously creepy. Cryer's Cross did not disappoint.
"The smaller the town, the bigger the secrets." So the cover of Cryer's Cross proclaims, and how true it is. Kendall Fletcher's entire routine is shaken by the disappearance of Tiffany Quinn. Despite her OCD, Kendall tries to move on as best she can; after all, she has soccer, Julliard, and her quasi-boyfriend Nico to think about. But then Nico disappears as well, and Kendall's mind is permanently locked on overdrive. When another search turns up nothing, she tries desperately to distract herself - even if it means spending time with Jacian, the seemingly rude, brooding, and yet undeniably hot new senior in town. Eventually Kendall notices something strange, courtesy of her OCD: The graffiti on Nico's desk is changing. New messages are there, and what's more, that's the same desk that Tiffany Quinn sat in before she disappeared. Kendall is strangely drawn to the desk, to the voice that must be Nico's. If only she can learn enough from the messages, she knows she can save him. But in a small town, things are never what they seem...
Even though I'd heard about Cryer's Cross from fellow bloggers and seen good reviews of it, I kept thinking of it as "one of those books I'll read when I have time." Then I went to the Lisa McMann signing and heard her read the first chapter. And I was hooked. I read the book in a few hours one afternoon, because, once I started, I couldn't put it down. Kendall is such a relatable character; even people without OCD suffer from recurring thoughts and preoccupations. I loved that she was interested in both athletics and arts and that, even though she became close with Marlena, she could still be one of the guys. And then there was the creepy/paranormal factor. The comments from "WE" were, in a word, chilling. Piecing them together as Kendall tried to unravel the secrets of the desk and the town definitely made for a compelling read. I had my suspicions, but I would never have put everything together quite the way it was in the end.
The only thing I wanted from this book was more - I wasn't quite ready to let Kendall and Jacian go at the end. And while Lisa has a very clean, effective writing style (and one in which present-tense definitely works), occasionally I wanted more description, or perhaps a bit more of the character from the "WE" sections in the rest of the book.
Overall, Cryer's Cross is a great mystery with just the right amount of paranormal elements and a dash of romance added in. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't read the Wake trilogy, but I will definitely be reading that soon, and I cannot wait for Lisa's new novel, The Unwanteds, that will be released in September!(less)
Once again, I'm a sucker for angel books - especially when the angels aren't exactly what t...moreReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
Really 3.5 stars
Once again, I'm a sucker for angel books - especially when the angels aren't exactly what they seem. This novel, written in a refined style and incorporating some previously-untapped angel lore, makes for a quick, enjoyable read.
Ellie's always been a little different - never one of the popular girls, more content with her friend Ruth - not to mention she spends her summers in various parts of the world, working with her parents for different agricultural projects. At night, she dreams of flying around her town, dreams that she always seems to remember in the morning. And then she meets Michael - or meets him again. As it turns out, she'd met him one summer, but for some strange reason cannot recall anything about him. Yet she is oddly drawn to him. And as she spends more time she spends with him, she comes to realize that her dreams of flight are not dreams at all, but reality. And Michael is just like her. And if they are angels, what does that mean for their future? Are they the good angels - or the bad, the fallen?
It's true that certain elements of this book have been seen (and perhaps overused) in other books - love at first sight, the intensity of the first kiss, the dreams, the single best friend. But once you get past that, the book becomes quickly engaging, so much so that I read it in a day or two. What made this book interesting, however, was the incorporation of biblical angel lore - not only the stories of the Nephilim from Genesis, but also the stories from the Book of Enoch. I loved the history and connections between angels and vampires that existed in this book; they definitely gave a new spin to both fantastical creatures. And I would be lying if I said that the romance between Ellie and Michael wasn't fun to read.
While a few things in this book were either unbelievable, predictable, or just a little too convenient, the story still remains strong. The book ends on a cliffhanger - and I'm definitely looking forward to reading the sequel to see what other historical/biblical information is included and reinterpreted.
Heather Terrell has an enjoyable writing style, and Fallen Angel was a good young adult debut for her. I'm looking forward to reading some of her other books as well (The Chrysalis and Brigid of Kildare), as well as the next installment of Fallen Angel - Eternity.(less)
With so many paranormal books on the market right now, it was very refreshing to see one in which almost all of the characters have a supernatural abi...moreWith so many paranormal books on the market right now, it was very refreshing to see one in which almost all of the characters have a supernatural ability, not just the male or female lead. The premise of Haven sounded very promising, and it definitely did not disappoint.
Violet McKenna has always been plagued with visions of the future, usually visions of unfortunate or even tragic accidents occurring in the lives of those she cares about. To make matters worse, she can't even warn them - nobody would believe her, and so she hides her gift. But all that changes when she arrives at Winterhaven, a school that, for some inexplicable reason, she feels drawn to. She quickly learns that she is not alone in her psychic abilities, and she can even develop them further. Then there is Aidan Gray, the most irresistible guy at Winterhaven, and he seems drawn to her - an attraction that is definitely mutual. But a school like Winterhaven wouldn't be complete without its secrets, as as Violet's visions become increasingly intense, she realizes that she and Aidan may have more to learn about themselves after all...
Haven was a quick, enjoyable read. Cook's writing easily engages the reader, finding just the right balance of description and action and refined style and teen voice that brings the story to life. The characters were all very believable, and I enjoyed watching their development throughout the novel. Moreover, the relationship between Violet and Aidan found a convincing balance of tenderness, tension, and romance. Between character interactions and plot developments and revelations, Haven is an interesting read throughout.
I will say, however, that throughout the novel, there are a fair number of similarities to other comparable books. In addition, while some events come as a surprise, others are rather predictable. Despite this, however, Haven has enough individuality, as well as questions left unanswered, to make this book worth reading and to make me intrigued as to what will happen next.
Overall, this was a great debut novel for Cook. I will look forward to reading more from her in the future!(less)
The second book in a trilogy is typically seen as weaker than the first, but this is definitely not the case with The Well of Truth. And with such a c...moreThe second book in a trilogy is typically seen as weaker than the first, but this is definitely not the case with The Well of Truth. And with such a cliffhanger at the end of the first book, reading the sequel is a must. Starting just where the first book ends, The Well of Truth immediately launches into action, and its fast pace continues throughout the book.
Kaden and his friends have travelled to the Vatican City, the city forbidden to vampires, as part of a deal with the Iustitia, a group of vampire hunters associated with the church. But the issues plaguing Rome are not as simple as they seem. As Kaden begins to uncover secrets, he finds other people in the city that he would rather never see again, and realizes that some things are best left secret. But once set in motion, events continue to unravel, threatening the lives of vampires and humans alike.
This book continues the momentum that was built during the previous one. Yet amidst all of the action and tension created in this book, the characters are up to their old antics, especially Flo and Stu. In addition, I'm curious to see how the new characters introduced in this story will figure into the final book. And then there are Kaden and Lyn. Their relationship has just the right combination of romance and angst; they always seem so close, and yet so far. Again, I wonder how things will end for them in the next book.
As with the first book, I still found myself wanting more of the backstory - more history on the new characters presented, and (just for my own curiosity) more history of the Iustitia. But with so many familiar characters, as well as the fast pace of this book, the story comes together much more seamlessly.
The Well of Truth ends with an even bigger cliffhanger than The Flash of a Firefly. I am very curious to see how things will end for everyone in the Kindred Blood Trilogy - if the second book is any indication, the third one will be great!(less)
When I read the summary, I thought that this story had a great deal of potential. The premise of the book did turn out to be quite good, but throughou...moreWhen I read the summary, I thought that this story had a great deal of potential. The premise of the book did turn out to be quite good, but throughout the book I was left wanting more.
Kaden has escaped his former, brutal life, carving a niche for himself in New York City. Occupying himself with running a successful night club and collecting antiques, his life is relatively quiet - until he suddenly finds himself acting as an escort to a young, beautiful human girl. To make matters worse, his enemies from his former life have caught up with him, and they aren't so ready to let him go. Faced with protecting not only a human life but also his own, Kaden finds himself at the center of a conflict that may be bigger than it seems.
It took some time to get through the exposition, but once I got to the middle of the book, the story really picked up the pace. Even though these are traditional vampires, this wasn't a traditional vampire story. The vampire hierarchy, the individual abilities, and what seems to be the overarching plot for the series gives this book its unique voice. And though there are some similarities to another vampire series, I think the next book especially will diverge from that.
The characters in this book were quite enjoyable. There are very nice moments between Kaden and Lyn, and it was amusing to read the interactions between Kaden's vampire family, especially Flo, Stu, and Alex. I felt for Sullivan, and I'm curious how he will act in the next books. And then there's the Marquis - I can't say that I liked him, but I have to admit...I'm a little intrigued. The book ends with a fairly big cliffhanger, but it serves well to set up the next book in the triology.
The one thing I really wanted from this book was more - more details, more of the backstory, more development. The story definitely has potential, and I'm hoping to see it developed more in the next book, The Well of Truth!
Welcome back to Gatlin, where the sweet tea contains a pound of sugar, gossiping is the favorite town activity, and Casters walk alongside Mortals.
I l...moreWelcome back to Gatlin, where the sweet tea contains a pound of sugar, gossiping is the favorite town activity, and Casters walk alongside Mortals.
I loved returning to the world that Kami and Margaret created in Beautiful Creatures. Everything is so descriptive that the setting truly comes alive when reading. It was also great to see the same cast of characters back - to see how they had changed, and to see how they reacted to the new characters.
The way that the history of the Caster world is woven into the history of Gatlin is brilliant. That things are hidden in plain side, and nothing it what it seems, makes for very interesting reading. Woven with the suspense are moments where the reader gets to learn more about the characters' inner thoughts and feelings. I wondered and worried along with Ethan about how things will work out between him and Lena. I sympathized with Link, who's not over Ridley but suddenly has to see her all the time. Lena has to deal with more than any sixteen-year-old girl should, so while her actions are frustrating (especially through Ethan's eyes) I couldn't help but wonder how I would react in such a situation. And although Liv was new, I couldn't help but be sad with her when she sacrificed not one but two things she wanted to help others.
I will say that part of the middle of the book seemed to drag, but as events began to spiral in the Caster world, the book quickly picked up again. And though some things were predictable, plenty of others were not. Beautiful Darkness shows just that - an even Darker side to the Caster world, while still retaining some aspect of the Light. Even in the Darkness, there is Light, and it is this balance, as well as the blend of Mortal and Caster, that makes Beautiful Darkness such a compelling read.
Given all that unfolded at the end of Beautiful Darkness, I will be impatiently awaiting the third book in the Caster Chronicles!(less)
Evermore has been on my to-read list for a while, and because of the Smart Chicks tour I finally picked it up. And I'm glad I did!
This book was a qui...moreEvermore has been on my to-read list for a while, and because of the Smart Chicks tour I finally picked it up. And I'm glad I did!
This book was a quick, fun read. Despite a few similarities to other books, the world that Noel has created, as well as her writing style, was new and refreshing. While telling the story, Evermore address several common teen issues without sounding cliche. I was kept guessing and waiting until the end to see exactly how everything fit together, which I enjoyed!
While Ever's abilities might not be normal, her character is definitely relatable. Damen is still somewhat of a puzzle, and I can't wait to read more about him in the next book. Miles provides comic relief, and who hasn't known a Haven and Stacia?
The world of The Immortals is definitely intriguing, and I'm looking forward to Blue Moon!(less)
I loved the premise of Firelight. In a paranormal market that is inundated with stories of vampires and werewolves (not that those stories aren't grea...moreI loved the premise of Firelight. In a paranormal market that is inundated with stories of vampires and werewolves (not that those stories aren't great), it was refreshing to see a book about dragons. Sophie creates a wonderful world, drawing the reading in and weaving fantasy and magic into believable situations. I wish that we had learned more about the draki, their culture, and their talents, but this leaves something else to look forward to in the sequel.
I really enjoyed Jacinda's character throughout this book. Her inner debate between what she wanted to do and felt she needed to do was very relatable. I also liked Tamra, Jacinda's sister; though I found myself wanting to shake her sometimes, I found that I could understand her easily and wanted to know more about her. It was interesting to see the decisions they both made as they tried to adapt to the human world.
And then there are Will and Cassian. I'm really curious to see which aspect of Cassian's nature will win out in the end. The interactions between Jacinda and Will were both sweet and - I'll make the bad pun - smoldering (in a YA way); and I can't wait to see the role Will will play now.
Firelight has a little bit of everything: great characters, romance, fantasy aspects, and a good plot. Though some situations were a bit predictable, the book was nonetheless enjoyable. The ending of the book leaves something to look forward to while at the same time offering closure for the events that have happened. I am definitely looking forward to Vanish!(less)
When I started reading this book, I thought, "These names sound familiar..." As it turns out, All Just Glass is the sequel to A...moreRounding up - 2.5 stars
When I started reading this book, I thought, "These names sound familiar..." As it turns out, All Just Glass is the sequel to Amelia's much-earlier novel Shattered Mirror, part of the Den of Shadows series. I remember reading the Den of Shadows series years ago and really enjoying it - so much so that I still have the books. But for some reason, this book was not as good as I was expecting it to be.
It took me almost the first 100 pages to really get into this book. I spent most of these pages trying to remember the history of the different lines of witches and vampires as well as pertinent and distinguishing features of each character. Although it is a sequel, because it has been years since the last book (and because it is not marketed as a sequel), a few more refresher details would have been nice.
Eventually, however, I felt I knew the characters; moreover, the plot progressed with some very interesting developments. I enjoyed finally being able to understand Dominique and Zachary; and watching Adia's war between what she felt she had to do and what she felt she should do was quite relatable. However, the fact that this entire story took place within 24 hours was not quite believable; I saw no reason that it could not have been extended at least over a period of a few days and worked just as well.
I will say that thought the ending was handled well, and I found myself smiling at eventual outcome. Given how much I enjoyed reading Amelia's works in the past I would not discount reading future works from her; I would just hope that they would be more in line with Den of Shadows.(less)