I've been hooked on Tim Lebbon's Toxic City series from the very first: London Eye. With each subsequent novel I became more and more impressed with t...moreI've been hooked on Tim Lebbon's Toxic City series from the very first: London Eye. With each subsequent novel I became more and more impressed with the author's ability to keep me coming back for more, even as it seems like there is no hope for Jack and his friends. Contagion is one of those novels that keeps you in suspense until the final page, and even then, the final word. I never would have imagined such a bittersweet ending to the story, but there was also a rush of relief that Lebbon did not follow a path easily predicted.
The characters are lively and dynamic, ones that aren't easily forgotten. While the series primarily focused on Jack and Lucy-Anne, there's something about the way Lebbon keeps their friends close to the action that gives the story more heart. If there's one thing I'll remember most about this series it will not just include the action and awesome powers that emerge. Jack and his friends made this series one to which I always eagerly awaited the next installment. The Toxic City series will sit proudly on my bookshelf for years to come!
*ARC provided via publisher in exchange for an honest review*(less)
I have always considered J.A. Huss a brilliant author, but with her latest release, Tragic, I believe she's more than brilliant! From her action-packe...moreI have always considered J.A. Huss a brilliant author, but with her latest release, Tragic, I believe she's more than brilliant! From her action-packed science fiction series, I Am Just Junco, to her steamy New Adult contemporary series following Rook and Ronin, Huss is showing her talent for entertaining readers no matter the subject.
Rook is at her lowest in life: living in a shelter and recently finding herself unemployed. A chance encounter with models in a coffee shop lead her to photographer Antoine and his upcoming TRAGIC campaign. She lands the role that turns her life around for the better despite finding herself out of her comfort zone and modeling exotic shoots with charming Ronin.
I'm usually not a fan of New Adult stories with both a hero and heroine's point of view, but Huss doesn't upset the balance by keeping Ronin's thoughts to a minimum and focusing more on Rook. Their connection is spot on because they have different upbringings but a mutual understanding of each other. The first of the Rook and Ronin series is emotional and filled with reality. I can't wait to see how their story continues to unfold. I know that with Huss' style it'll be an unpredictable but entertaining experience!
*eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*(less)
Astarte's Wrath started out as a full blast of tension: war, fear, uncertainty. However, Trisha Wolfe lightens the story with a beautiful romance like...moreAstarte's Wrath started out as a full blast of tension: war, fear, uncertainty. However, Trisha Wolfe lightens the story with a beautiful romance like no other, filled with hope and strength.
Astarte is a Kythan guardian, charged with the protection of the Queen of Egypt's son, Caesarion. While Cleopatra is overseas fighting the King Octavian's Roman forces, Astarte wars within herself. Her race, along with the Naroclym, have been slaves to Pharaohs for centuries. It's in her blood to obey every command even when it comes from her best friend. As Astarte struggles with her forbidden feelings for Xarion and her determination to loyally protect and serve him, she learns of a new foe against Egypt.
As Astarte's Wrath continues in Wolfe's flowing and passionate writing style, the story comes alive with meaning and purpose. Though I have yet to read Destiny's Fire, another Kythan Guardians novel, I can feel that I won't be lost when I finally delve into it. The whole dynamic between Egypt and Rome, the Shythe, Narcolym and Kythan people becomes clearer as Astarte's story takes off. The intro was a very intriguing starting point to introduce one of the main concerns of the plot, but I felt so lost jumping into so much of the history of the story so quickly. I really didn't understand at first, but I loved that Wolfe kind of breaks down the situation further along so as to not keep readers confused.
Astarte and Xarion's romance was every bit of tragic, but I would not ask to have anything about it change. It had all the emotions of a classic forbidden love but with a twist stemming from the story's mythological set up. Do not hesitate to jump into the Kythan Guardians series at this point! I truly believe that readers will experience a world that will leave them begging for more!
* ebook provided via author in exchange for an honest review*(less)
Kristie Cook spices up the popular subject of souls, romantic reincarnation, of love that spans lifetimes. The first in her all new Book of Phoenix se...moreKristie Cook spices up the popular subject of souls, romantic reincarnation, of love that spans lifetimes. The first in her all new Book of Phoenix series, The Space Between, is another addition to the new adult genre that the world will embrace with willing arms.
Leni's last day in Italy, when her dream of dancing on stage comes to a close, she comes face to face with Jeric Winters. Their meeting seems like fate but the connection is instant. When Jeric and Leni part ways they never expect to see each other again, especially not in Leni's hometown in Georgia. When life starts getting weird for them both they find that they only have each other, a locked journal, and mysterious tattoos.
The Space Between is more contemporary romance with supernatural elements than an all out adventurous fantasy. Though the story takes readers back to the past, to show the connection between Leni and Jeric's past lives as Jacey and Micah, it didn't feel like the story took off until the last ten to fifteen chapters. Reincarnation can be a tricky storyline to get into more so when readers have to relive the same story twice. Even with tweaks and differences, it takes the edge off the excitement of the plot. I really had a hard time getting through Jacey and Micah's chapters, especially knowing that I was reading something completely similar to what I'd just read about Leni and Jeric or what would be coming.
Despite the structure of the story, there are elements of characterization that spoke volumes about the uniqueness of Cook's writing style. Jeric and Leni have tough pasts, tragic and complex. Cook's characters have depth that shows in their actions as well as their thoughts and feelings. I loved that the most solid aspect of their connection was sign language. Jeric had to learn to sign because of hearing loss and Leni learned to better communicate with an older family member. It's not often that I get a chance to find a story like The Space Between that presents characters with physical challenges or some other aspect that's makes them more relatable as real, every-day people.
Cook is an author that charms her readers with thoughtful plots and tantalizing characters. The Space Between is especially perfect for readers who strongly love stories about souls and reincarnation.
*eARC provided via author in exchange for an honest review* (less)
Tim Lebbon set the stage for Lucy-Anne and Jack's frighteningly supernatural version of London in London Eye. He drew us in with a chilling premise an...moreTim Lebbon set the stage for Lucy-Anne and Jack's frighteningly supernatural version of London in London Eye. He drew us in with a chilling premise and excellent execution of a city come undone. Fans of the Toxic City series will revel with its latest installment, Reaper's Legacy!
Reaper's Legacy is a grand extension of the first novel. The plot presents so many changes in the characters and the city itself. Lucy-Anne is following the enigmatic Rook to the North in search of her last familial connection. Rook, a mysterious character who also has a story of deep loss, fits in perfectly. I'm actually quite excited about Lebbon expanding his character because he adds a dark intensity to an already attractive set of characters. On the other side of London, Jack faces his own moving challenges along with Sparky and Jenna. The effect of Jack having been touched by Nomad begins to reveal that he's physically changing. Jack is coming into his own supernatural power, more than one it seems. While the Irregulars are dying from a suspicious sickness, Jack is bent on reaching out to his Superior father, Reaper, to implore that he join forces with Irregulars. The main goal is to save his mother and sister while bringing peace to the toxic city.
Lebbon has truly outdone himself. The pacing, tone, and style of the novel is consistent, but the plot will truly captivate readers. Lucy-Anne's prophetic dreams are brought into greater focus while Lebbon begins setting up a very explosive future for the series. While Lucy-Anne's side of the story is left clouded in obscurity, readers will end the story with something to ponder over until the third book in the series, Contagion. The fate of Lebbon's destroyed London is going to be even worse, but there's no predicting the events to come. Reaper's Legacy proves itself to be just as ingenious and intense as London Eye, perhaps even more so! No doubt, every reader who picks up this series will be gripped by it's adventure and dark mystery. *ARC provided via publisher in exchange for an honest review* Also posted on (less)
Martha Wells introduces the newest fearless heroine in teen literature: Emilie. Wells takes readers on an adventure that braves a new world and rivals...moreMartha Wells introduces the newest fearless heroine in teen literature: Emilie. Wells takes readers on an adventure that braves a new world and rivals the Journey to the Center of the Earth!
Emilie is running away from her Uncle Yeric and Aunt Helena to Silk Harbor when she accidentally boards the Sovereign, a ship designed to travel on aether currents. In the midst of the ship’s attack she finds that even the passengers are out of this world. Emilie meets Kenar, a creature called Cirathi, who was sent to lead Vale Marlende and her hired crew to find her father. Emilie has always favored reading adventure stories, but when the Sovereign’s rescue mission to the Hollow World gets underway she decides that she could actually get used to living the life of adventure.
Emilie and the Hollow World is steep with action and adventure that’s not distracted by pointless drama. It’s one aspect of the novel that increased my opinion by the end. Another was Emilie’s character. As the story progressed Wells’ writing style seems to loosen and each character’s characterization became either more impressive or simply more defining. When the plan to rescue Dr. Marlende quickly falls apart and the crew on the Sovereign encounters danger after danger, Emilie steps up. She takes her role as rescuer with stride and puts her own fears aside to save the lives of others. By the end of the novel, Emilie is a walking, talking confidence machine.
The pace of the novel is a little slow at first, but once you warm up to the subject and the characters it seems to move a bit faster. The science-fiction and magical elements of the novel are unique, but the explanations sometimes went over my head. Maybe it was the technical wording, but my eyes kind of glazed over on scenes that referenced how the aetheric engines ran. Even so, the plot was overall easy and fun to follow.
Emilie and the Hollow World is worlds different from most stories currently on YA shelves, but it’s the beginning to an exciting series that I wholeheartedly recommend! *ARC provided via publisher in exchange for an honest review*(less)
Allison Parr's debut new adult romance is absolutely amazing! Rush Me is a refreshing contemporary novel that will have readers immediately wrapped up...moreAllison Parr's debut new adult romance is absolutely amazing! Rush Me is a refreshing contemporary novel that will have readers immediately wrapped up in the lives of its characters. Rachael is a saucy lead with a determined outlook on life. She wants to make it in the publishing industry and she has plans to stick with her unpaid internship until she finds her dream job. Ryan is is the misunderstood and underestimated pro football player that gets under Rachael's skin and will charm every reader.
I enjoyed every second of reading Rush Me. The plot is realistic and at the same time it's a storyline that will make you think it could only happen in dreams. Parr manages to bring Rachael and Ryan together even after their relationship started on rocky grounds. With a pacing smooth as butter and a high emotional drive, Parr has created a very engaging and entertaining story.
Between the characters with quirky characteristics and vulnerabilities and the fantastic romance, Parr will gain fans something to talk about. Many stories have been published under this newly popular genre but not all of them have that spark of connection, like Rush Me. It's officially one of my favorites so far and I'm also hoping to read more from Parr in whatever genre!
*eGalley provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* Also published on (less)
Linda Stasi gives readers food for thought in her chilling mystery. The Sixth Station follows intrepid reporter, Alessandra Russo, as she traverses th...moreLinda Stasi gives readers food for thought in her chilling mystery. The Sixth Station follows intrepid reporter, Alessandra Russo, as she traverses the world looking for proof that might not exist. Proof that alleged terrorist Demiel ben Yusef is the 'Son of the Son'.
ben Yusef's many followers believe that he is a second Jesus. When Russo is singled out by him on the opening day of his United Nations Tribunal, she becomes a part of his story. She must find proof that he truly is the man of peace he claims to be. The central idea that Jesus was cloned is pretty out there, and still quite unbelievable by the end of the story. But, Stasi's writing style is impressive and engaging. She doesn't cross the line between embellishing a 'what if' situation and pushing on readers that Jesus could ever be cloned.
I really loved that The Sixth Station put me right back in European History! The religious conflicts, like between the Templars, Cathars, and the church, that Stasi ties into the story are extremely interesting. Alessandra, with a skeptical nature that forced her to deny every piece of information handed to her, traveled through Turkey, France, and Italy to find the little pieces of the big picture. Each stop brought more insight to readers and Alessandra alike and made getting to the end a lot easier.
While the story isn't riddled with shocking twists and turns, I found that certain scenes threw chills down my spine. The thrill of the mystery will suck readers in despite the unusual topic. The Sixth Station undeniably shows Statsi's ability to completely captivate her readers! *Book provided in exchange for an honest review*
The Baby Bargain is an awesome romance of a determined mother who will do whatever it takes to do right by her child. According to Jennifer Apodaca, e...moreThe Baby Bargain is an awesome romance of a determined mother who will do whatever it takes to do right by her child. According to Jennifer Apodaca, even if doing whatever it takes involves Megan Young, a successful young veterinarian, telling her son's ex-Marine, and absolutely against commitment, father that he has a son, well then...she'll do it.
This Once A Marine novel may be set in the small town of Raven's Cove, but it's packed with a variety of characters and touching experiences. Apodaca makes it so easy to feel involved in both Adam and Megan's lives, their choices and consequences of their actions. The hint of suspense that threads through the plot enhances the emotional aspect and draws us further into their story.
I can't imagine someone reading The Baby Bargain and just completely hating it. It has a mildly heated romance and a relatable theme. With its cozy feel, I recommend it for a rainy summer day when you can just curl up inside and take your time reading it. It's an absorbing read that will definitely take you away! *eARC provided via publisher in exchange for an honest review*(less)