I have to appreciate when an author can take a character from the first book, who I found extremely unlikeable, and manipulate me into maybe, kinda, a...moreI have to appreciate when an author can take a character from the first book, who I found extremely unlikeable, and manipulate me into maybe, kinda, actually caring about him. This is a great novella because it gives some important insight into Lucas's character. Hey, he's not evil; he's just got issues. Even though the story takes place with Lucas in Purgatory, it was still well-paced with some great action scenes. Also, it has some very significant developments for the series, so it cannot be skipped just because it's a novella. I even have a hunch about an element that was introduced but not yet fully explained, and I'm looking forward to seeing if I'm right! But I won't say what and give anything away.(less)
I loved Souled, the novel this book is a companion to, so reading Alyx's story was a real treat. She was one of my favorite characters, so it was nice...moreI loved Souled, the novel this book is a companion to, so reading Alyx's story was a real treat. She was one of my favorite characters, so it was nice getting a story from her perspective. Also, I love tales of people finding themselves. Alyx's search for her own identity, and not molding herself to others expectations, is one I think everyone can relate to and root for her on. Looking forward to the next book in the Souled series.(less)
Riveting. I was sucked in right away and on the edge of my emotional seat the entire time. I actually read 70% of it in one sitting. At first, just th...moreRiveting. I was sucked in right away and on the edge of my emotional seat the entire time. I actually read 70% of it in one sitting. At first, just the bizarre situation of Kate discovering she has a family she never knew about, and Ryan discovering his dead wife isn't dead, is gripping enough. Then the emotional turmoil everyone goes through as they try to piece their lives back together. I found every character compelling. As the story progresses, the mystery of how all this happened starts to come to the forefront, along with increasing danger, and it's a thrilling race to the end. I loved this book.(less)
One of my favorite series. I laughed, I cried, I wondered how it could possibly have a happy ending. It was a whirlwind read, and yet I read it too fa...moreOne of my favorite series. I laughed, I cried, I wondered how it could possibly have a happy ending. It was a whirlwind read, and yet I read it too fast, because now it's over. I don't know if I have ever been so emotionally invested in characters before. Will and Jem...in the beginning of the series, I was Team Jem, but now, in this conclusion to the trilogy, I love them both. I was both satisfied and heartbroken, as great tales of tragedy and hope should be. And now, I'm left with the overwhelming desire to go back to the beginning and do it all over again.(less)
Another great installment. Many long series I've read seem to decline in writing quality, as though popularity means an author doesn't have to try as...moreAnother great installment. Many long series I've read seem to decline in writing quality, as though popularity means an author doesn't have to try as hard. Kim Harrison just keeps getting better. And I love Rachel and Trent together, especially in light of where they started and how far they've come.(less)
I really enjoyed this book. It had an engaging opening and I liked the main character, Jameson, right away. The story follows James as she leaves the...moreI really enjoyed this book. It had an engaging opening and I liked the main character, Jameson, right away. The story follows James as she leaves the big city in favor of a small town and settles in there. If I hadn't known from the book description that this was a mystery, I might have been confused, because aside from a few subtle hints at people being "off," the actual hinky stuff doesn't come into play until about 35-40% in. However, that's not a real complaint because I was perfectly satisfied reading about Jameson and her interactions with the quaint townsfolk. Once the mystery part gets under way, it doesn't bore either, and I felt it refreshingly not-predictable. (Although, I did have a couple hunches, but I attribute that to watching too many Criminal Minds.) Regardless, the whole story was very entertaining. One of the things that stuck out to me was the dialogue, which felt very natural and witty. I like smart writing, and this was it for me.(less)
Can you call a book a dramedy? That's what comes to mind for me with The Fourth Channel: a nice mixture of serious urban fantasy action and magic with...moreCan you call a book a dramedy? That's what comes to mind for me with The Fourth Channel: a nice mixture of serious urban fantasy action and magic with laugh-out-loud antics. Most of the characters have some kind of quirk that gives them that added dimension and provides for some humorous interactions. And the talking knives are a riot! The other dimension of The Floor is really cool too, giving me a nice slice of a foreign, mysterious fantasy realm alongside a supernatural version of our own world. The story also wraps up nicely (no cliffhangers, thank goodness!), but there's plenty about the characters and the world for future exploration. I want to see more of Stubby!(less)
I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Souled and I loved it from the beginning. The descriptions and writing are clever, and some of them from...moreI was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Souled and I loved it from the beginning. The descriptions and writing are clever, and some of them from the very first chapters are still with me. I also loved how even though it's YA, the story didn't contain all the drama I'm finding more and more prevalent in YA books. Yeah, there's the mean kid in school, but the interactions and the tension between the characters felt real, and not like an over-dramatized soap opera. The story was paced really well, and I felt for Seth as he slowly weakened against the power of the dark soul inside of him. Then the action and suspense ramped up until the very end. I would recommend this book to adults because it's a great story without the teenage angst you might find annoying.(less)
Sugar Crash is about more than a mother and daughter learning to live with diabetes; it's about learning to lean on others in times of need. As a Type...moreSugar Crash is about more than a mother and daughter learning to live with diabetes; it's about learning to lean on others in times of need. As a Type 1 diabetic myself, I definitely related to the daughter's struggle, but I was surprised to find that it was the mother, Darci's story that broke my heart. Knowing my own mother must have gone through the same emotions gave me a new perspective on one of the most emotionally wrenching times of my life. Most people can't understand if they haven't been there, but just as the people in Darci's life band together around her, I hope this story will touch many more hearts, and give us all a little insight into what is a very real story for so many children and parents out there.(less)
I loved this book. It captivated me from the beginning and kept me interested right up until the very end. It's not suspenseful like say, murder myste...moreI loved this book. It captivated me from the beginning and kept me interested right up until the very end. It's not suspenseful like say, murder mysteries are, but I definitely felt on the edge of my seat. The characters were also very compelling, though I don't want to say too much and give anything away, but this story is about more than just Megan and her family. In stories like these, you want a bad guy, someone to blame, but I was surprisingly touched by everyone involved.(less)
This was a fun, sweet read full of girlfriends and chocolate. There’s no better combination. Wynne’s struggle of faith is also one that I’ve known qui...moreThis was a fun, sweet read full of girlfriends and chocolate. There’s no better combination. Wynne’s struggle of faith is also one that I’ve known quite a few women to go through. Wynne wants to surrender her life to God’s will, but she also longs for a husband and a family. What happens if her dreams and God’s will don’t align?
She’s also got her girlfriends to get her through these trials–a variety of women with their own quirks and vibrant personalities. My only disappointment was there were hints at some of these girlfriends having their own issues, and though Wynne had the opportunity to support them briefly, it felt like it was in passing and nothing was really explored or resolved for them.
I don’t know if I could call this a Christian romance, simply because the romance is not main stage throughout the book, but comes up much closer to the end. It’s really more about a woman trying to hold herself up in the midst of emotional trials, and it’s her journey and growth that gives the rest of us inspiration.(less)
Lady Catherine is a noblewoman in the 1500s. Though promised to a valiant knight who has loved and served her for years, a chance meeting with a hands...moreLady Catherine is a noblewoman in the 1500s. Though promised to a valiant knight who has loved and served her for years, a chance meeting with a handsome merchant sends her on a whirlwind journey of passion she never knew she could experience. Jonathan makes her feel alive, but it can never be between them, for she has a duty to uphold, and there are those who will do anything to keep them apart.
Eryn Rexford is a photographer, married to a wealthy and handsome businessman, and living the life most women want. But something's missing. Eryn lives a life without passion, unsure how to find it when her husband fails to connect on the level she desires. Then the dreams start, hinting at another life, another love, another man. Will the dreams destroy the life she's made, or will they hold the answer to her freedom?
Though these two women are connected by their souls and reincarnation, each story is distinctly individual. Every chapter alternates between the timelines, which made it very easy to follow each story, and though they were separated by centuries, each transition felt smooth and connected.
I loved the romance between Catherine and Jonathan. I don't tend to read straight romance, but a combination of something else like urban fantasy or suspense; however, I found theirs to be so sweetly developed, like a courtship. It didn't feel slow at all, but kept me going the entire time.
In contrast, Eryn's story is less a romance and more about a woman struggling to do what's right for herself versus always sacrificing for other people. Though unhappy, she feels obligated to her husband, which never ends up being healthy for that person. (I could definitely relate.) I enjoyed getting to know her and her situation through the first half, but when her supposedly best friend starts complicating the situation, I began to get frustrated.
Brandi and her past counterpart are horrible people. I really hated her/them, and it might be because I know someone just like that. And while I don't typically enjoy having such feelings from a book, you could also say that the fact it creates such a powerful response is a testament to the author's writing.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. I noticed other reviews called it a "tragic romance," which I suppose is accurate. The HEA is not typical of what you would find, and actually I wouldn't call it an ending at all, but a beginning.(less)
Fifteen-year-old Nya is able to draw pain out of people. Unlike most with this ability, she is unable to put it into the pain absorbing metal, pynvium...moreFifteen-year-old Nya is able to draw pain out of people. Unlike most with this ability, she is unable to put it into the pain absorbing metal, pynvium. What she can do is shift that pain into other people, making her a wanted fugitive from the Duke. Nya knows the Duke is responsible for horrible experiments on her people in Geveg and she wants to stop him. But she and her friends are in hiding after exposing the horrible secret of the Healing League, working in the shadows to find and rescue the remaining Takers from being recaptured and experimented on.
Nya’s face is becoming more well-known, and it eventually leads to her capture. When she’s brought to Baseer, the home of the Duke and her hated enemy, Nya manages to escape and make contact with an underground movement fighting the Duke. Nya has a hard time believing Baseeri would rebel against their own Duke, but it seems the tyrannical ruler is up to even more than the heinous acts in Geveg.
Soldiers with pynvium armor terrorize the city, unable to be killed. Even worse, Nya’s sister Tali has been captured as well, and Nya doesn’t know where to find her. Nya will soon realize that in order to save her own people, she might have to join forces with those she’s vowed to hate.
I really enjoyed the first book, The Shifter. Nya continues to struggle with many of the same issues–does right and wrong exist in the middle of war? How far will people go in desperation, and is there any way to hold on to one’s values in the midst of such overwhelming odds?
Nya’s struggle is heart-wrenching and real. Yet as with any great heroine, she possesses a strength that even the severest trial can’t destroy. I loved this book as well, and while some crucial points were not resolved, it once again ended with a sense of finality, and with a revelation that leaves me eager to see what happens in the third.(less)
I read this book over and over. It's the one I'd pick to have on a desert island. The way Tozer talks about faith and living the Christian life--he ta...moreI read this book over and over. It's the one I'd pick to have on a desert island. The way Tozer talks about faith and living the Christian life--he takes what religion has turned into complicated and noncommittal routines and returns to the blessed simplicity of what it means to pursue God, to fully engage your heart with His. I can't write a review that will do the book justice. It's a short one and can be read in one day, so see for yourself.(less)
Nya is a Shifter. She is able to draw pain out of people. This should make her a normal healer like so many others, except she can also push that pain...moreNya is a Shifter. She is able to draw pain out of people. This should make her a normal healer like so many others, except she can also push that pain into other people. It’s a secret she’s had to keep close, for the ruling Duke has made it clear that any with such unusual abilities are to be brought to him.
Nya and her sister, Tali, are survivors of a war that left their people under the conquering Duke’s occupation. Tali, also able to draw pain, has been accepted as an apprentice at the Healing League. Nya, unfortunately, because of her secret, can’t risk such a good life, which leaves her taking odd jobs or stealing.
When healing apprentices start going missing, Nya’s afraid it sounds just like what happened in the war. When Tali goes missing as well, Nya does everything in her power to find her sister. She finds something much more sinister than kidnappings and war, and her quest to save her sister will become a fight to save her own people.
This is the first book in a YA fantasy series. It explores the desperation of a people conquered by war. The struggle to find work and feed one’s family is harsh. In this kind of environment, how far are people willing to go to care for their loved ones? Nya knows desperation and often finds herself unable to see another way out. Yet she is not a product of war, but a survivor, which means she remembers enough of her life beforehand to have morals. But what happens when doing the wrong thing looks right?
Nya will struggle with this, as her ability to shift pain is highly sought after. Is it really wrong to heal someone and transfer their pain to a willing, paid donor? Nya’s own desperation to find her sister will also dictate her actions, but even though she feels trapped in the beginning, her journey will lead her to take a stand. Part of the young adult’s journey is to solidify one’s convictions in the face of conflicting beliefs. This is the kind of high concept readers can connect with.
Also, applause for the first in the trilogy not ending on a cliffhanger. The first book has finality to the story, yet it is also the launching point for the next book, the kind of episodic division I like. I will be getting the second book, Blue Fire.(less)