Nicole delivers another great addition to the Shaw Family Saga. I could not put this book down. It seems l...moreSo much drama and loving every minute of it!
Nicole delivers another great addition to the Shaw Family Saga. I could not put this book down. It seems like there is no end to the pain and family drama Charlene and Raven have to go through. But that's what makes these books so fun. There is never a dull moment.
Expect more secrets to be kept, more blackmail to be dispensed, and more heartbreak to be had. But through all that there is a sense of family throughout the whole novel. They may have their ups and downs, but they do have each other.
In Miss Perfect you will kind more suspense and some twists and turns that will keep you reading. I want more already. (less)
At A Glance Gilded Destiny is a very odd book. So much happens in such a short amount of time (it's a novella) which was exciting, but the ending made me want to curl up into a ball and cry myself to sleep.
The Good The perfect word to describe Gilded Destiny is odd. It is unlike anything I have ever read. We meet Calli with a forgotten past and Nycholas who is both scary and caring. He's a vesper, a half-human, half-snake being. Somewhat similar to a vampire. But vespers are WAAAAYYYY scarier than vampires. They are strong, vicious, and relentless. They may look human, but their ideals are not healthy for the humans they meet. We are food. Done deal. They will eat us. And in the most horrific way possible. *shivers* But Nycholas doesn't want to eat Calli, he wants to be with her, in every way imaginable.
Calli was a very strong character in the beginning. She handled her dismal situation with confidence and poise. Nycholas didn't hide who we was, and for all intents and purposes he was monster. But he asks this fragile woman to spend what may be his last days with him. He was actually very passionate and caring. You felt so bad for him, for his past and his possible future. My heart went out to Nycholas, which is hard to say about someone who eats people.
The writing was pretty good and the concept of the vespers kept me turning the pages. I actually wanted to like this book more, but by the end, everything changed.
The Bad It really comes down to personal preferences. I am not into sad, depressing endings and Gilded Destiny has one. I felt so down after finishing this book. Not even chocolate made me feel better. I know! Crazy, right?
Another thing is that Calli's obsession with Nycholas was just that, an obsession. Her unnatural connection with Nycholas is explained later, but before that Calli's I-will-die-without-him attitude put me off.
Also, the majority of the book we follow Calli and Nycholas around, but by the end we skip to another character and it felt very disjoined to me.
The Snuggly There is some sex (somewhat rough sex) and it's pretty hot but nothing over the top. The romance was a little odd for reasons I can't really mention without giving too much away. But I did like Calli and Nycholas together.
Final Thoughts This is not a bad book. It is actually doing VERY well on Goodreads as of now. So maybe it's just me. I just couldn't get over the ending. A girl can only take so much. I do feel like others may like it though. So not recommended to people who hate sad endings, but recommend to people who don't mind them. I may pick up the next book in the series. Not sure yet.
Quotes "When I tell you not to look," he said, "do not look. If I tell you to run, run. And when I tell you it's time for you to let go of me, you do it, without question. Is that understood?"
"I might not have a type, but if I had one, it would look something like that stranger in my shop. At least, that's what I thought...until he raised his head and I realized this gorgeous man was not human."(less)
At A Glance I just think Children of Sun and Moon wasn't for me. Some parts I enjoyed, but the rest left me unsatisfied.
The Good Chandi was a very interesting character in the beginning. She was both strong and determined. She often put herself in danger to protect her people. I couldn't imagine having to live with the "enemy" for years and not be a big ball of nerves. But Chandi handles her job as protector and spy very well.
Naresh had a very interesting past but his convictions made him weak. I actually liked his flawed character. He was so stubborn you just wanted to slap him. But he also had a big heart.
Malin was the most intriguing character for me. I felt bad for him, for how his race was treated, but he was no pushover. He takes his revenge from the people that have hurt him very seriously. Malin may be a little bad sometimes, but you have to respect his tenacity.
I think the action was the best part. The fighting scenes were very well done. One scene was very similar to the fighting scene in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I like off the wall (and I literally mean off the wall) fighting like that.
The Bad I don't read a lot of epic fantasy but I know it should be heavy in description and detail but Children of Sun and Moon just wasn't. I often felt lost since the world wasn't explained for a long time. I felt little for the characters since their history or past took way to long to be explained.
The scope of the story was too large to be accurately portrayed in 256 pages. There was too many main and side characters and sub plots that weren't fleshed out in the short amount of time. It all got jumbled and confusing at times.
I really liked Chandi in the beginning but love turned her soft. She blamed herself for everything even if it wasn't her fault or if she had good reason. I don't like reading about characters that feel bad for themselves all the time.
There was a lot of waiting around for the inevitable big fight to happen but no real prevention on the characters part. There was evidence of bad events to come but no one ever did anything about it until it was too late.
The Snuggly There is some romance but nothing to write home about. It was all very odd since Chandi and Naresh never really wanted each other at the same time. Naresh was just too stubborn to let Chandi love him. And Chandi spent too much time feeling sorry for doing her duty because Naresh despised her for it even though he did the exact same thing for his side. Freaking double standards.
No sex scenes.
Final Thoughts I don't think this is a bad book, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I waned more. More everything. But I was only given the bare minimum. I think some people will like this book, but I wouldn't recommend it to my readers unless the things I mentioned don't bother them.
Quotes "You've been crying," he said as she drew near.
"Because I love you." She blew out a hard breath and drew her toyaks. "They always say the Moon Blessings have a price. Hard to believe, sometimes. Until it comes to this."
Anusapati laughed, but where the laugh held humor one moment, it turned to wrath the next. Chandi recoiled from the fire in his eyes as he assumed a fighting stance. "You dare stand against me, beloved? Then come."
Chandi opened herself to the energies nestled within, drew her Moon Blessings, making herself stronger and faster than any human. "Forgive me." She launched a series of lightening fast strikes. (less)
At A Glance Renhala was an odd one for me. The first part was sooo boring, but once things picked up, I was amazed at the vivid imagery and world Lutchen came up with.
The Good What Renhala offers is amazing fantasy elements and a fantastical world. I don't think I have ever read a book with such creative descriptions of creatures and surroundings. Even when something seemed impossible, Lutchem made it feel possible. In Renhala you meet wood spirits who look like mini people, vicious bunny creatures, pixies who can transform into anyone, cat people, and a big, stinky monster thing with a protective and kind personality. And this is only skimming the surface of all the creatures in this book.
This is an adventure type book, so be ready for thrill ride. While recovering from a brutal attack, Kailey learns that she is has an important part in saving the mystical world of crazy creatures that she is connected too. She is almost killed a million times, but Kailey has a great group of friends who are there with her every step of the way. The start of this book broke my heart. I can't even imagine what Kailey went through when she was being attacked. The memories of the incident haunt her throughout the book. But Kailey grows stronger through her journeys and with the support of her friends. I respected Kailey for taking on such daunting tasks even when she was just learning her powers. I had fun finding out who she really was and how important she was to saving the realm of Renhala.
The love interests were actually pretty fun. Conner is both sweet and passionate. Kailey and him hit is off right away but he gets easily jealous of Ladimer and throws fits sometimes. I thought his pouting was kind of cute. But Ladimer really caught my eye. He is such a mystery. He means more to Kailey then even Kailey knows. His history is complicated and his powers are amazing. There is something very special between Ladimer and Kailey but it seems like something is always holding them back. I really don't know who I want Kailey to end up with.
The secondary characters were just as interesting as the rest: Bu, the large, smelly other realm creature with the heart of gold. Kioto, Kailey's trusty dog. And Gunthreon, the leader of the ragtag crew of travelers. They all made this book more fun to read.
Really, it comes down to the creativity factor. This book is so creative in it's world, history, and characters it's hard for any book to compete. There are so many elements in Renhala that it was almost too much but also just perfect. I also loved the bad guys. I can't say who they all are because it would give a lot away, but some are right under our noses the whole time. The writing was good and the magical feel just gave it enough spice to keep me reading.
The Bad Renhala was too long and dragged on forever. I was so bored in the beginning. I'd say a little under half way it started picking up, but still it slowed down in certain spots. I found myself putting this book down a lot. Much could have been cut out and this book would have been the stronger for it.
Some of the dialogue and the characters got very crony. I would laugh at how cheesy things got sometimes.
The Snuggly Love triangle alert. It actually wasn't too bad. I liked both men and I understood Kailey's struggle to choose. And though some hot kisses and more (sexual situations) were shared, I found the romance started to lag the last 1/3 of the book. I wouldn't have minded the lack of romance at the end if the beginning and middle didn't set the precedence of romance being so prominent.
Final Thoughts I did like Renhala, it just took some time for me to get into it. This book could have been better with a good trimming. But the vivid magical elements made everything not seem as bad. I would recommend this book to people who love fantasy books.
Quotes At this level, I can see that the fog is about a foot off the ground, so I get on my hands and knees to see if I can see anything. And I do see something--something that could possibly be very big feet, yards in front of me, but I have trouble wrapping my mind around the concept. When I squint, I see three feet--not two, but three brown, dirty, hairy feet, with toenails the size of bear claws.
Now I can hear it clearly.
"Kailey, Kailey, come and play with me. Kailey, Kailey, come and slay with me." (less)
At A Glance Shadow of the Blood Moon kept my interest but I was rolling my eyes half the time because of the immaturity of the characters and their actions.
The Good I think what makes Shadow of the Blood so interesting is that even with its faults, I still found myself glued to the pages. I hated most the characters but still felt emotionally involved in their lives. I don't know how Robin does it.
Shadow of the Blood Moon is great when it comes to suspense, action, and drama. So much is going on all at once, you never know where the story is going to turn next. And Gen has that kind of voice that makes everything feel so intense. I felt like I was knocked off my feet many times. You know why? Because people DIE in this book. People we care about. It was so horrible I wanted to throw the book across the room. But I respected Robin's ability to not hold back and surprise us to such an extent. There were also many changes and many new characters in this book. I wonder where this is all going to go? Book three couldn't come out sooner.
I love the new bad guy. He's straight up creepy, insane, and indestructible. I kept asking myself, "How the hell are they going to defeat him?" It seems like none of the crew will ever be on board to work together. There is so much animosity, guilt, and resentment in this group of people that you can tell it's hard for them to truly work as a team. They try, but it seems like someone is always either dying or sacrificing themselves to stay behind. It was both frustrating but fascinating to read about.
Some of the secondary characters really shined in this book. Unfortunately, I can't mention many of them because they are new and you need to be a surprised when you meet them. But I can talk about Joseph. Though Joseph infuriated the crap out of me, he also made this book so much entertaining. I love that he has some options other than Gen and how Gen reacts to it all. Sweet jealousy. Serves her right, lol.
The Bad First, I really hated some of the actions of the characters this time around. Gen was all around stupid and whiny. Sometimes she deserved the hate others felt towards her and sometimes she didn't but she still did the whole martyr thing and said how everything was her fault over a million times. But she never learned from her mistakes. She made them over and over again. Then she would yell at people, then feel bad when they made a sad faces, then apologize. This happened about 20 times. So childish. She even apologized to kidnappers and murderers when she was mean to them. Ummm, yeah, Gen, you can probably yell at them without apologizing. That's when it's okay to lash out.
William is no longer a likable character for me. He treated Gen horribly. I wouldn't be with someone who doubted and blamed me for harming people as often as he did Gen. Plus, they did that whole makeup/breakup thing about five or six times in this book. And even when they got back together it was for no reason at all. No true "I'm sorry" or "I was wrong." They just had to get back together because they "belong together." Way to build a healthy relationship...not!
The love triangle is no fun at all. I found Gen's back and forth between William and Joseph to be annoying and repetitive. I don't even care who she ends up with. Gen doesn't deserve either of them anyway.
The plot was a little all over the place. There were a lot of abrupt changes and character introductions that seemed awkward. I wish things went smoother overall.
The Snuggly Not much romance in this book. We get some thick sexual tension, but that's it. I am so over this love triangle.
Final Thoughts I think the youngins will like this book more than adults. There is too much immaturity to handle sometimes. But despite my bitching, I still want to read the third book of the series. Damn cliffhangers. You got me, Robin, you got me. Recommended to YA readers.
Quotes "My heart belongs to you, Genevieve. The way it has since I first met you. The way it always will." I felt his blood heat up and rush through his veins when his fingertips grazed my cheek.
A wonderful heat surged through me and I wanted to turn my head so that our lips would collide in a passionate kiss. Then, I thought about William. Kissing Joseph might mean the end for William and me. Before all this happened my heart felt as if it had always belonged to William. Like we were somehow destined to be together. But, now I had doubts. Spending this time with Joseph made me do some soul searching. My heart yearned for them both. It divided right down the middle. Half belonged to William and the other to Joseph. (less)
At A Glance This is not a book for everyone but I really, really enjoyed it. I am totally into fight to survive type of books.
The Good Okay, so there is a lot I can't say without being all spoilery. This book packs punch after punch of surprises and twists. All the characters have these mysterious and complicated pasts that bring them together and create a bond. I think this series is only going to get better from here because there is so much left to be discovered.
The Monster Show was so horrific. Jace doesn't hold anything back with the gruesome reality of this world. If you can't conform to what the government deems as perfect (unquestioning drones), then they will teach you a lesson, a very publish lesson that scares everyone else into formation. These people want high rankings so bad they don't even see what's really going on. It's all about control. And what better way for the government to maintain control than to publicly kill off the teenagers who are considered Monsters--low rankers--rebellers--free thinkers. It's a horrible world, but a very entertaining one as well. It's simply fascinating in its cruelness.
Decca was an interested protagonist. She shocks us from the get-go and keeps on leaving us unstable throughout the book. I never really knew what to think about her. She doesn't have all the answers. Her way of thinking is questionable, but she has the power to change. She slowly becomes the heroine we want. But she is still only 16 and doesn't know where she fits in in the world. I like that Decca second guesses herself and makes sporadic decisions that are both insane and brilliant.
Leo was such a mystery. You know from the beginning his story is complex. Only by the end do we get to see the true Leo and even then we are left scratching our heads with more questions. Who is Leo? Does he love Decca? What is his role in all this chaos? I can't wait to learn more about him in the next book.
Almost all the side characters have great dimension. You can tell each one has a horrible or interesting story buried somewhere deep inside them. Not all of them are heroes, but that's what makes them unique.
Sweet Zany Pop Culture References Batman! I loved the mixture of today's culture with a messed up version of the future's. The use of the letter Z and how it was used in names of things like ZooTube, Zwitter, Americaz, and so on was freakin' awesome. And how the Burning Man statue is pretty much the God of this world. I am dying to find out what's behind all these things.
I Am Alive does not necessarily have an original theme but I think Jace takes this concept and creates a great story that sucks in the reader. I found myself entranced with each page, and with every page the suspense and mystery keeps building. I can't wait for book two.
The Bad The grammar is not great. It's noted that I Am Alive was fixed up by a professional editor but he or she must have missed a lot. But I got over it as I continued reading and getting drawn in.
Really, it's the writing style you have to get use to. It can be garbled and short. Not a lot is explained to us so you have to try to figure things out for yourself. Also, the plot structure felt...forced. Like instead of letting the story flow out on it's own, it was driven in directions that sometimes made it feel disjointed.
The Snuggly The romance is minimal. Leo and Decca are so cute together because they constantly push each other away. Which makes sense since they are trying to fight for their lives. They don't want to admit their feelings for different reasons, which leaves us in an odd spot for the next book. There was also hints of a coming love-triangle, so that should be interesting.
Final Thoughts You have to love this concept to love this book. It's not executed perfectly, but that doesn't take away from it's overall entertainment value. Very much recommended.
Quotes I am not my heart rate. I am not my skills. I am not my sleeping problems. I am not my stress. I am not my fears. I am not how I look like. I am the very essence of me. I am my will. I am my passion. I am my beliefs. I am how much I can give and receive love. I am infinite and possible. I am my soul. (less)
At A Glance I enjoyed the story but it was too short to be truly satisfying.
The Good I was literally enthralled by the first few pages of A Shade of Vampire. It started out brutal and frightening. Sofia is snatched up and imprisoned by a demented vampire who wants to do harmful things to her. But she is promised to the vampire Prince Derek. And when they meet, fireworks explode. It's like they were made for each other. Derek's dark past and reluctant future fascinated me from the get-go. I wanted to know more and more about him as the story progressed. Sofia was so strong and resilient for someone so young. I would have been scared out of my mind if I was in her position, but she made the best out of her situation.
Lucas, Derek's brother, was the perfect villain. He is straight up terrifying. Like psycho, rapist, killer terrifying. Sofia handled herself as best she could with Lucas always threatening her. I do wish he was handled better near the end, but I can't help but be excited to see what other evil things he has in store for the future.
The imagery and world were the best parts of this book. The mysterious island that all the vampires dwell on makes me interested to know its origins and location. And the homes built high upon tree tops, simply whimsical. The world is also brutal. Vampires are enslaving humans on their island as laborers and blood cows. But you can tell Derek doesn't like the way they live, killing humans at a whim. I wonder how things will change as the story goes on.
The Bad A Shade of Vampire is somewhere between a novella and a novel. I would have liked it so much better if the story had more time to develop. It really rushed near the end and so much was left unresolved. I prefer more build-up in my stories.
There was a very bad decision near the end that made me lose respect for both the main characters, but mostly Sofia. She just further endangers her life and it was unnecessary. Some people need to be killed, Sofia should have never stopped what needed to be done.
The Snuggly I actually really liked the relationship Sofia and Derek had. It was an odd arrangement since in reality Sofia was Derek's slave in every way imaginable. But Derek never treated her like a slave. Sofia never really felt like a slave either. They respected each other for different reasons and through that respect grew love.
Final Thoughts I am very interested in following this series. I think more could have happened in A Shade of Vampire to make it feel like a more complete story, but I don't mind waiting for the next book. Recommended for vampire lovers.
Quotes “No. In my eyes, she was most beautiful because at a time when she had every right to be terrified, she managed to show comfort to another person who needed it.”
“Because I don’t believe that you are a slave to what you’ve become. I don’t believe that you simply can’t.” (less)
At A Glance The concept of this Trilogy still fascinates me, but the plot really needed to be more focused in Seeds of War.
The Good I was excited to read book two of the Eden's Root Trilogy because I have been dying to see what was going to happen next. For the most part I wasn't disappointed. I was truly shocked by the developments in this book. The Truthers, the religious group who are strongly anti-technology, are gaining followers and are taking drastic measures to spread their version of what the world should be like. The Lobos, a dangerous gang, also make appearances. They still scare the crap out of me. They are as vicious and violent as ever, and this time, they have goals. A group of killers with a goal to accomplish can make one hell of a force to be reckoned with.
We also learn how the famine came to be. OMG, the stupidity of some people is limitless. Believe me, that's how you will feel when you find out the cause of all this. It was a twist I didn't expect.
Fi was the same strong leader we have come to love. But she goes through some issues of faith in Seeds of War. Because though the Truthers go about it the wrong way, their message sometimes rings true to Fi. I was surprised to see Fi waver in her convictions, but it was interesting to see her work out her problems. Asher was there with her every step of the way. And though Fi and Asher don't always see eye to eye, they always find a way to compromise and do what's right or for the best.
I was more excited to see Sean and and Sara become close. Sara was an interesting character. We see her as a somewhat shy but friendly person in Eden's Root, but in this book her ferocious side comes out. She trains to become a part of the Seeders along with Fi, Asher, and Sean. She turns out to be one of the best fighters of the group. Sara has a fire inside her because of her past, and she doesn't let anything hold her back. I both respected her and was fearful for her because at times it seemed like she let her past eat away at her.
I was so excited this time around because we start to see the rebuilding of communication, government, and cropping. Life is slowly starting to get back to normal. Of course there is a lot to still fix but the small steps taken so far look promising. The reality of this topic makes this Trilogy fascinating. All this could easily happen to us. Scary, right?
If you were waiting for the answers to the many questions we all had after Eden's Root, then Seeds of War will not disappoint. You leave this book with a sense of understanding and hopefulness. The Truthers are still a major obstacle to overcome, which makes me anxious to read book three as soon as possible.
The Bad Though I enjoyed Seeds of War, I also found a lot of stuff that bothered me. First, the plot. There was no focus, it was a little all over the place. There was really no set goal or main conflict. This is a book of sub-plots.
I loved the romance that Asher and Fi finally had, but the build up was non-existent. They did no more than kiss and spend some time together then all of a sudden they are getting married and having a romantic wedding night. I wish we got to see their relationship build more.
Then last, the pacing. It was so odd. We would get all this lead up to this dangerous mission that will last months, then once the mission starts, it ends in a matter of a dozen or so pages with nothing huge happening, just minor set backs. I just don't understand all this tension being built up for a limp conclusion.
The Snuggly Despite the lukewarm relationship building, I did love Asher and Fi's relationship right before and after the wedding. They were very sweet together and though the sexual tension was YA-ish, it was still steamy in it's own right.
Final Thoughts The plot was not focused they way I hoped it would be and the pacing was sometimes off, but I still enjoyed Seeds of War. We get both hope for a better future and the ominous feeling of something bad to come. How much worse will it get before it gets better? Who knows. But I will for sure be there to find out. Recommended for those who love the concept of this book.
Quotes "Fi, ordinary people pushing themselves to become extraordinary is our only hope if we're going to pull together and reconnect this broken world."
"Mr. Grey," her voice wavered. "Would you be so kind as to help me out of my dress?"
He was grateful that it took only two steps to reach her, because his legs seemed to have turned to mush. He nestled behind her, so close that his body skimmed hers in places, each touch sending little shocks zinging through him. Fi dropped her hands with a shy smile as he reached for the clasps. (less)
At A Glance I really enjoyed the concept and dark elements of this book but the execution was a little off.
The Good With graduation looming, eighteen year old Aurora was finally going to get to leave Alaska. But almost dying in a car crash screwed that plan all up. Now the weird government agents who saved her life are telling Aurora that she works for them. Why? Because she has unique blood that incapacitates vampires. Doomed to stay in Alaska and let vampires chew on her neck then slay them, Aurora tries to assimilate to her new life by making friends with vampire groupies and dating one of the sexiest guys at school. But her knew boyfriend has some secrets of his own.
The Alaska setting was a nice change of pace. As well as the fact that the vampires weren't necessarily super strong. Sure, some of their senses are enhanced but they aren't amazing killing machines. The vampire hunters are just as strong as them. The concept of a vampire hunter having unique blood that once altered incapacitates vampires when consumed was very cool. But dang, being the undead's chew toy would really suck, right?
Aurora was an interesting character. I found her reaction and mannerisms after the crash quite intriguing. She pretty much went catatonic and became almost zombie-like. And can I just say, the way she dealt with her v-card had me cracking up. Aurora does slowly gain her fire and will to live back. I felt so bad for her most of the time because she had to deal with some creepy government agents who pretty much now control her life. They often threw her into situations with little training. It was all so frustrating. Dante made the whole situation a little better once he came into the picture. He is a fellow vampire hunter who is suppose to mentor Aurora. Though he may be a little laid-back when it comes to mentoring, his easygoing, fun personality was a great counterpart to Aurora's moodish personality.
But my favorite character was Fane. You think he is just a horny jerk in the beginning. Well, he is both of those things, but he is also really sweet and caring as well. I loved how Aurora and Fane's awkward relationship came to be. They didn't fall madly in love with each other at first sight. They just grew closer together after every meeting. It was nice to see Aurora start to really feel something for someone. Too bad Fane's secret could pull them apart. I saw it coming, but I was still heartbroken when everything was revealed and Aurora had to make some tough decisions.
Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter did a great job of mixing the dark with light. This book has some very horrific scenes as well as scenes that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. I think this series has potential. I for one would love to read book 2.
The Bad I think the writing as a whole and the transitions were somewhat awkward. Some parts felt stale and some of the characters needed more fleshing out.
There was less vampire hunting than I expected. I wanted more action and less high school drama type stuff. Maybe next book.
The Snuggly We get an awkward kinda sex scene then some hot and heavy petting between Aurora and Fane. This is between a YA and New Adult book to me.
Final Thoughts I think the idea was very refreshing when it comes to the vampire genre. Fane made the whole book for me. I want to see more of him. I just wish the execution of the book was a little more cohesive. Recommended to vampire fans.
Quotes "Fane took my arm and led me down the hill. "Here we go———back home."
"I don't want to go home. She'll want me to decorate and eat cookies."
Fane laughed. "Clearly you come from a dysfunctional family."
The clammy lips on my neck felt like a suction slowly draining the life from me.
I was spinning out of control, lapsing into darkness. With a sudden jerk, I was released.
The thing, whatever it was, began to spasm beside me. It thrashed and gasped as though in agony. Its eyes widened until they looked like they would pop out of their sockets.
I lay spent across the floor, like a bloody human rag. I looked toward the mirror. "What did you do to me?" (less)
At A Glance I wasn't blown away but I thought Guardian of Fate was an overall enjoyable book.
The Good I was drawn into this story straight away. Cassandra has had a rocky life. It is her responsibility to save the souls of people in her visions from the damnation of hell. But all of a sudden her visions are going haywire and two mystery men try to insert themselves into Cassie's life. One of those men, Hunter, has been a fixture in her dreams for years. Soon Cassie finds out that the people she is closest to have been lying to her and the mystery men have brought her into a war between good and evil. But who can she trust? And will her soul be saved from a fate worse than death?
I think the premise was interesting and fresh. I always find the idea of hell to be truly frightening. Kentowski takes hell to a whole other level. Demons can damn any soul they want, and only a Guardian can save people from an eternity of burning. It's a war of good versus evil, and Cassie is right, smack-dab in the middle. She is special and both sides want her. I really did enjoy watching Cassie be pulled one way and another as both sides tried to persuade her to join them. The lengths the evil side went to was limitless which resulted in Cassie making some difficult decisions.
Hunter was a fun little mystery throughout the story. He seems like the bad guy at first, then he's good, then he's bad...and on and on. I see why Cassie had a hard time trusting him. You want to believe him but his past is just too sketchy.
I loved that I was genuinely surprised by the twists and turns of this book. I didn't know the answers to the mysteries until Kentowski wanted me to. And the ending has set up the next book in the series very nicely.
The Bad First off, the punctuation was often odd, off, or just plain wrong. There were also many info-dumps, and you guys know how much I hate those. The dialogue was often interrupted by inner thoughts. It was extremely annoying. Sometimes I forgot what the characters were even talking about once we finally got back to the conversation.
Cassie was a major crybaby. I don't mind emotional characters, but really, Cassie was crying through at least half this book, if not more. Give it a rest, lady. Your life is crappy, suck it up. But more than that, Cassie was not the strong protagonist I hoped she would be. She was a pushover.
The ending, where Cassie lashes out at Hunter for keeping a certain secret, was way over the top. Cassie's overreaction put me off.
The Snuggly We definitely get some passion and sex in this book. Cassandra and Hunter are explosive together but I did feel like Hunter was too aggressive. When he kept touching and kissing Cassie even when she said no, it made me feel uncomfortable.
Final Thoughts I think the concept of this book has great potential as a series. I need to see Cassie grow as a character for me to want to continue reading though. The writing wasn't perfect but the mystery of Guardian of Fate kept me interested. Recommended to some paranormal readers.
Quote There was no doubt in my mind that the man next to me was the same one who had been in my visions for the last six years. He was real, and he was at Luke's buying a whiskey? I almost felt cheated. For so long, I wondered what this vision was all about, feeling that it held some deeper meaning I would someday grasp. Yet, here I was at some seedy bar and the man in my dreams shows up and orders a whiskey. Now what? Save him from dying of inebriation? (less)
At A Glance Um, wow. I want to read it again, it was that good.
The Good All Malcolm wanted to do was find his own kind. Running away from home after finding out he is fey, he sets out to find others like him. He wants to know more about his race. But all he finds is betrayal, imprisonment, and torture.
OMG! I am still reeling from this one. I was taken on a freakin' emotional rollercoaster. We meet Malcolm covered in dirt and living on the streets. He has just found out he is fey and now he wants to know what that means. Drawn to a strange shop with books about the fey, the seemingly nice shop owner directs him to another fey. But this fey, Rand, is not so good. He has plans for Malcolm, ones that mean hours of pain and degradation.
You could not help but feel horrible for Malcolm. He is an innocent 17 year old kid who just doesn't know any better. Gullible and hopeful. What he goes through is unspeakable. It feels like he will never get away from his captures. The goblins who guard him are almost the worst part. They find his screams amusing and taunt him mercilessly.
While all this is going on, Donovan, who we met in Aftershock, is still building his army of fey while also trying to save the few he can. He looks for Malcolm but all hope seems lost. It really feels like he is never going to find him. But I had faith in my ol' pal Donovan.
The writing, as always, was beautiful and descriptive. Archer and Ravynheart know how to draw a reader in and take them on a scary but thrilling ride. I cannot recommend this series enough.
The Bad NOTHING! It was just awesomeness all around.
The Snuggly No romance in this one. There is a vague idea of sexual assault going on in one scene.
Overall This was a great addition to the series. It opened our eyes to the horrible and beautiful world of the Sidhe. I can't wait to see what is going to happen next. Highly Recommended.
Quote Flora kicked out at Malcolm, but missed. "No! Don't Touch me!"
Malcolm leveled a deadly stare at her. How could she, who never showed mercy, expect mercy from him? From him, of all people? Because of her everything was stolen from him. He had nothing but pain and fury. All because of her. She'd seen him, a homeless kid, dumb as a stump. Trusting. An easy victim. That kid would never hurt her. That kid was gone now. Beaten to death long ago. (less)
At A Glance Except for the slow beginning, The Edge of Never rocked my book socks off. I want more already.
The Good Here's The Story... Camryn has had one of the worst few years of her life. Her parents got divorced, his brother is in jail, and her boyfriend, someone who might have been the love of her life, died in a car accident. Trying to move on with her life, she planned to move in with her best friend and start a new job. But after one fateful night at a club that went horribly wrong, Camryn just has to get away. She knew she always wanted something more in her life, and she is determined to find that on the road. With just a few belongings, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus to anywhere and nowhere. But she never expected to find Andrew on her journey. Camryn has closed her heart to love, but Andrew is slowly wedging his way in. Now on a road-trip together, Camryn is finding it harder to ignore her growing feelings for Andrew as he makes her feel alive for the first time in a long time. But Andrew has secrets that can ruin everything. Will Camryn be able to live through another heartbreak?
Laughing and Crying... Just. Wow. This book kicks you in the stomach, rips your heart out of your chest, and runs away laughing. Seriously. I had to sit alone for a little while after finishing The Edge of Never and just process the whole thing. There is such raw emotion emanating from each page. I wanted to laugh half the time and cry the rest. I am a little sad that it's over. I want to spend more time with Camryn and Andrew. I miss them.
Camryn... Camryn's past broke my heart. She has had bad thing after bad thing bring her further down into a spiral of sadness. She really does try to continue on with her life, but the sense that something is missing, that sense of adventure that has been stirring in her won't go away. And after what happened with her best friend, I think Camryn felt like it was the last straw. When Andrew came into the picture, Camryn was so grumpy and standoffish it was cute. Andrew thought so too. I totally understood why she kept Andrew at arms length. Letting people in after so many have let you down or left you is hard. But it was also frustrating. I just wanted to yell at her, "Love him already, you both deserve it!"
Andrew... When I first found out we also got to experience this book through Andrew's POV, I squealed like a little girl. Andrew opened my eyes to so much more of the world than Camryn did. Without his POV, this story would not have been as compelling. Andrew had so much passion, but he also had a past that had affected him greatly. I felt for him every step of the way. Especially when he was waiting for Camryn to finally admit that she loved him. When his secret was revealed, I wanted to punch him and hold him at the same time. I was genuinely surprised, I never guessed this twist.
Bone Deep... The writing was well done and the story was beautiful. The characters all made me feel something bone deep. The relationship between Camryn and Andrew built slowly from friendship to lovers to something so much more. These two are so intense it was hard to handle sometimes. Andrew pushes so many boundaries I was often left giggling or red with embarrassment.
In The Moment... The message behind this book is inspirational. To live in the moment. To never let love pass you by no matter the heartbreak that can come from it. To live everyday like it is your last. I want to be more like Camryn and Andrew. I admire them and respect the paths they chose. The Edge of Never is like a breath of fresh air.
The Bad The only part that really sucked was the beginning. It was soooooo slow. It finally picked up around 40% the way through. So yeah, be ready to grit your teeth and bare through the beginning before you get to the good stuff.
The Snuggly Though the feel of this book is New Adult, the sex is Adult. Well, I think so anyways. Andrew does not hold back anything and he loves to talk dirty, and it was SO FREAKIN' HOT! I loved how Andrew drew Camryn out of her sexual shell. I ended up blushing as much as she did. Hehehhe.
Final Thoughts I would love for there to be a book 2. I want to know even more about Camryn and Andrew. They fascinate me. Their love is so raw and consuming it made this story that much more amazing. This is a very highly recommended read.
Quotes “Heart always wins out over the mind. The heart, although reckless and suicidal and a masochist all on its own, always gets its way.”
“I don’t think you ever really fall out of love with someone. I think when you fall in love, like true love, it’s love for life. All the rest is just experience and delusions.”
“I think if past lives are real then we have been lovers in every single one of them. I've known you for a short time, but I feel like I've known you forever.”
"She looks slightly relieved, until she realizes I was making fun of her and she sticks her tongue out at me and crosses her eyes. Not sure why that made me want to do her in the backseat, but to each his own, I guess." (less)
At a Glance Another great installment in this twisted sub-series, which is one/third of a super series. I like where these authors' minds go because they simply don't hold back.
The Good I have to admit, Lugh was not my favorite character in this super series. He was arrogant in the first book, End of the World. But as his world collapsed by the fall of the fey mounds, I think his determination to bring life back to his race is admirable. Sure, he is still arrogant, but as this book proves, he has every right to be. He is working hard to find a way to stop his race from fading away by finding a way to restore fey magic. This book only hints to what is to come on his journey.
I was both appalled and excited while reading Champion of the Fey. Knowing the first artifact he needs is hidden in a seemingly average house, Lugh seduces the girl who dwells within. But this girl, Ariel, is more than what she seems. This house holds secrets, secrets even Lugh can't help but wish he could unsee. But Lugh will fight anyone and anything, no matter how horrible, for his people.
I loved the slow build up. We start out all flirting and kissing and end up in a very dark place where humanity is obviously absent. The pictures Archer and Ravynheart created gave me the chills. And that's why I enjoy these books so much. The authors' descriptive writing style helps me picture each scene in great detail. It's almost like magic. I get drawn into their stories so seamlessly that I never want to come up for air.
The Bad I found nothing I disliked about this novella other than I always hate how short these books are because I just want to keep reading. This is more of a novelette than a novella.
The Snuggly Not much snuggly here. Just some kissing and petting of a sinister nature.
Overall I really recommend this book as well as the whole super series to urban fantasy lovers. It's different. It has more grit and imagination than I have seen in a while. Very recommended.
Quote Ariel unlocked the front door and guided the way inside. The atmosphere within weighed with a sickly familiar dread. As Lugh crossed into the entryway, nothing overtly proved the misgivings that tightened within his chest. Instinct and experience neither backed off their alarming presence, unconvinced by the cleanliness of the abode or the domestic touches of family pictures and fresh flowers. Not even the perfumed candle could disguise the underlying hint of rancid meat. Ariel closed the door behind them, the latch caught and locked automatically with the metallic clink of the tumblers. Her wide smile appeared quite feline in hunger and her eyes practically sparkled with undisguised eagerness. (less)
At A Glance This is not a stand alone type of novella. You have to start this series from the beginning, and if you do, you will be hooked.
The Good London has been cursed with the Sidhe Touch. It's like a drug addiction, you can only function so long without another hit. London will do anything to get her magic fix through the touch of a sidhe. She will even leave her morals at the door and become a hired gun to a not so nice Changeling. But London might find she has bitten off more than she can chew this time around.
I was sucked in from the beginning. I am obsessed with London's journey. The injustice of the curse that has taken away most of her free will is unbearable. I both hate and love the sidhe. They treat London like trash, like a thing to play around with, and all I want her to do is get her revenge. But in the other two series that intertwine with this one, I find myself cheering on the sidhe. I am so conflicted.
There was a great mixture of action, sex, and conflict. Like always, the writing drew me in and never let go. I'm interested in seeing how far London will go to feed or rid herself of her curse. I consider her one of the good guys so I only hope she doesn't fall too far, but she does deserve her revenge.
I liked the addition of Joe. He is hard and merciless, as well as a well trained fighter. He's almost like a darker version of London. Now that they are helping each other find more sidhe, I'm hoping they can work together to find a cure or some kind of solution. But I think there is more than meets the eyes when it comes to Joe. I guess we will see.
I can't wait to see where this story goes. I get excited every time the next book comes out, this book was no different.
The Bad The only thing I can complain about is that the book ended. It's hard to read these novellas when they are a part of a series because they end way to fast. I just want to keep reading. Then again, this could be considered a good thing.
The Snuggly There is definitely a steamy moment that will make you blush but nothing is overdone.
Overall If you are looking for a complex urban fantasy that intermingles the lives of a few people in a supernatural world that is falling apart, this is the series for you. The writing is descriptive and engaging, and the storyline just gets better and better with each novella. A recommended read.
Quote Her hands moved and she could have sworn it was either by their own accord or because they followed the unspoken summoning of the Sidhe’s lure. London brushed the brunette locks from his face without touching the skin of his forehead, just fingering aside the soft silk of his hair so nothing blocked her view of those amazing eyes that drew her in with unnatural magnetism. With trembling hands, she cupped his smooth face, intending for it to be an introductory contact, something small and nearly innocent. Instead, London jolted as her palms locked into place as if by electricity. Her entire body jerked with the instantaneous pleasure of the Touch. The Sidhe’s magic flooded through her hands, up her arms, and burst through the rest of her body so violently that she cried out. No build up at all, just immediately intense and utterly shattering. (less)
At a Glance Water is the kind of book that drove me a bit crazy. I never knew how I felt about it. I kind of wanted to dislike it, but then I loved it at the same time. After I was done, I was shocked by what I just read. And even though there were many things that bothered me about this book, I couldn't help but think about it long after I put it down--in a good way.
The Good Here's the Story All of Kaitlyn's escape attempts have failed. This organization will not let her go because of the secret they have kept from her. Kaitlyn is no normal human being, she is special, and she holds the Earth's survival in her hands. Relenting to these hippie/military people, she finds herself training to become what she is meant to become. Then Kaitlyn starts finding out some disturbing thing about this weird organization that does not sit well with her. Not all the members want her there. Some would risk all just to have her power. And even the ones she cares about might just be using her. Feeling alone amongst friends, it's up to Kaitlyn to fight against the man that wants to control her, possess her, and kill her.
I Want More... This book started out with a bang. I was enthralled from the first scene and my eyes were glued all the way till the end. This is one of the most roller coaster reads I have ever set my eyes upon. The array of emotions that Water made me feel were boundless. I am itching to get my hands on the second book of the series. Harmony definitely knows how to leave us wanting more.
Kait and Her Fate... In the beginning, I loved Kaitlyn's tenacity and resilience. She's a fighter. But she also does what's best for everyone, even if it puts her in some screwed up situations. She tries to take her new life in stride, even while everyone keeps messing with her. When I felt bad for Kaitlyn, she never felt bad for herself. She never broke down, she just planned and focused on the best way of getting away from the new threat. Out of all the authors I have ever read, Harmony is the meanest to her characters, which makes things more exciting.
Redeemable? The characters around Kaitlyn bothered me, but sometimes in a good way. Micah was mostly sweet and caring in the beginning of the book. Even as the story went on, and I started to dislike him, I did truly believe that he wanted to love Kaitlyn, not hurt her. I am hoping he does some redeemable things in book 2 because he has potential.
Shocker! The bad guy in Water is really bad. You won't really be surprised who he is revealed to be because it's pretty obvious throughout the novel, but the lengths he goes to are just shocking. Harmony does not hold anything back when it comes to twists and turns. You know they are coming but the level of violence and hate is astounding. I was often reading with my mouth open, stunned by what I was reading. I haven't had a book do that to me in a long time.
Eco-Friendly? In the end, I was happy I read this book. It's gritty and has a no holds barred type of plot. I never knew what to expect, what horrible thing would happen next. It was actually exhilarating. I also have to give Harmony props for her awesome explanations and descriptions for the eco-fantasy part. It was quite fascinating. You can tell this author did her research.
The Bad Since there is much about the book that bothered me, I am just going to list everything instead of going into too much detail (there will be some spoilers, that cannot be helped):
~Kaitlyn's reactions seemed unrealistic at times. ~Micah and Kaitlyn had a weird intimacy that did not feel natural. ~One minute Kaitlyn is escaping, the next she is promising to stay, but there is no logical reason behind her change of mind. ~Kaitlyn is carved up with a knife by a bad guy who is suppose to be a good guy and nothing is done to the bad/good guy, even though he is caught in the act. Even the man that cares about her does nothing. He walks in, says "Hey, what are you doing?" and stands there while his lover is left cut and bleeding. Then tells the bad/good guy that they will discuss the matter later. REALLY? ~ She forgives someone she cares about who almost rapes her because he gives her a necklace. Wow, this girl is easy. ~Once Kaitlyn starts feeling bad for her capturers, people who hold her down to be tortured, I lost respect for her. ~She laughs and plays around with her rapist/torturer. ~The ending really couldn't be called an ending.
The Snuggly There is sex in this book, and there is also rape and torture. This is not a book for everyone. I am not one to be skittish from violent books, but even I was a little uncomfortable with how far this book goes with the sexual violence. So be prepared.
I for one did not like Micah very much, so him and Kaitlyn together wasn't my favorite part of the book.
Overall As you can see, I have a love/hate relationship with Water. It had some parts that made me jump up with joy and other parts left me saying, "What the HELL?" But I know one thing for sure, I will be continuing the series one way or another. I have to know what is going to happen next. Recommended for those who can handle books with physical and sexual violence.
Excerpt "Bitch!" he screamed. "You will bear my mark before this is over."
I snorted with laughter at his exclamation.
Laughter subdued, I grabbed the knife and made three quick cuts on his back. Blood seeped through his shirt instantaneously in the shape of the letter K. Not one to be outdone with tacky declarations, I announced, "But not before you bear mine." I stepped back, releasing my grip on him, feeling entirely too pleased with myself.
It was short lived; four hands grabbed me. I had forgotten about the remaining two guards, significantly bigger men, who now had me sandwiched between them, keeping me all but immobile.
Shawn took his time getting up from the ground, dusting himself off before turning to face me. His eyes bore into me, burning with pure hatred. He twisted my wrist, the same maneuver I used on him, confiscating the knife. My eyes followed its tip as he ran it past my face. (less)
At a Glance I loved the humor in Aladdin's Samovar. I was on the edge of my seat laughing and biting my nails the whole time. Sweet has a way with words that I haven't seen before.
The Good Here's the Story... Amber just knew it. When she saw that damn genie smoke his way out of her samovar, she knew that accepting the offer for one wish would be a bad idea. But did she listen to her instincts? Noooo. One simple wish, to have a relationship with her father, blew up in her face...in a big way. Dear, old dad is on the run from the mob. And he just so happens to have a computer drive the mob is willing to do anything to get back. Now Amber has to deal with a thieving father who was never there for her, a sexy genie who is always causing trouble, and a hippie mom who is pretty much naked half the time, all while trying to keep everyone out of the clutches of the bad guys.
Looking for a Laugh? I had so much fun reading Aladdin's Samovar. It wasn't what I was expecting. So few writers have a sense of humor that really catches my attention. This book is pure entertainment. If you are looking for a laugh and a suspenseful story, this is the book for you.
Amber the Determined... I felt so bad for Amber. She really gets the short end of the stick almost every time. All around her people keep spewing lies, and she is finding it hard to discern truth from fiction. She tries to live a normal life, but the people around her are driving her crazy. She's already had to deal with a mom who rather be naked, chanting to mother earth while smoking a little somethin' somethin' than getting a job and respecting authority. Then that tricky genie, with his ever-shrinking clothes has to make things even worse. With his sexy smirk, irresistible eyes, and muscle, oh god, the muscles. Woah, okay, getting off topic. Sorry, I got distracted by the yummy pictures in my head. Anyways, Amber can only be described as strong, determined, and caring. Even as the world crumbles around her, she supports her family as best she can, even when she wants to hate them. I have to admit, I don't know if I could have kept my cool in the situations she was put in.
The Parental Units... My favorite character was the mother, Indigo. She was so free-spirited, flighty, and hilarious. She had me cracking up every time she came on scene. She was also mysterious. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to Indigo. Amber's dad, on the other hand, was not my cup of tea. He was a manipulator and a liar. Even when Sweet tried to shine a good light on him, I couldn't find myself liking him. I think Amber would be better off without him.
Just Jasper... Then we have Jasper. Oh, Jasper. So pretty, so mischievous. You can't trust a genie. But who can say no to a sexy man in very little clothing? All I knew by the end of this book was that I wanted a genie of my very own. No, I wanted Jasper for my very own. Sure, he's not trustworthy at all, but he is so nice to look at and he did help out occasionally. Jasper even broke a few rules to help Amber with the naughty mob people, even if he did it in unconventional ways. I liked watching Jasper gain a little humanity bit by bit. Especially because he did it for Amber.
Iggy Not So Biggy... I don't want to get too much into Iggy the dwarf because I want that to be a surprise. for when you read this book. But let me just say, even though he was only in the book for short spouts of time, he left an impression on me that I will never forget. Ha ha, how's that for mysterious?
All-Nighter Type of Book... Sweet has a fine hold on her story telling abilities. She knows how to mix equal parts of humor and suspense, which is what makes Aladdin's Samovar a all-nighter type of book. The plot was well thought out and the pacing was pretty good. But it's the characters that made me like this book so much. I was often surprised by the twists and turns and the truth behind all the lies Amber kept getting fed. This book has a refreshing concept for the paranormal fiction world, which made it that much more fun to read.
The Bad Many of the descriptions in the book were a little too much for me. Sweet describes some mundane things that could have been taken out to help the pacing.
Though I love humor, especially during frightening parts, it got kind of annoying. The serious moments got underplayed because of the humor. I wanted to be scared but never really got there.
The Snuggly There is a lot of sexual tension in this book that I just loved. A lot of flirting, some touching and kissing. But no actual sex...yet. Jasper is just fascinating to watch. He's so smooth and loves keeping Amber on her toes. I can't wait for whatever it is between them to evolve.
Overall I am very happy that Sweet contacted me to review her book. It's nice to step away from the vampires and werewolves and step into a world of genies. This book captured my attention right away. Sweet had me laughing out loud for half the book and left me satisfied by the last page. Now I must wait impatiently for the next installment of the series (I hope there is a book 2, Sweet, because there are a lot of potential story lines left untapped in the world you have created). Highly recommended.
Excerpt He stepped forward. Amber, never taking her eyes off him, grabbed for one of the steak knives still lying on the table. Her fingers closed around the handle, and she waved it threateningly. “All right, that’s far enough. Put your hands in the air and back slowly towards the door.”
The eyebrows went up again. He put both hands in the air, and Amber could have sworn she saw the corner of his mouth twitch. “Please, o homicidal one, not the pickle fork. Anything but the pickle fork.”
Amber looked down at her hand. Not a steak knife. Crap. “I’ll have you know there are fifty-seven documented ways to maim a person with a pickle fork.” (less)
At a Glance I had so much fun reading this book. It got better and better with each page. Gifted has an original concept that makes you sit up and take notice.
The Good Here's the Story... Lucy is finally home. Going back to the circus after the death of both her parents seems like the perfect idea. It's a place where she can be herself once again. No more hiding her fiery gift. She will finally fit in among people like her, the gifted. Just as her life starts to fall into place--new friends and new love--everything falls apart. Gifted circus members start showing up dead--burnt to a crisp--and the troupe can't help but point fingers at the new firestarter, Lucy. Lucy has no choice but to find the murderer and clear her name. And in her pursuit of the culprit, she uncovers some hard truths about her family and the circus she has come to love.
A Hidden Gem... I love finding gems like this book among self-published authors. Gifted had a unique premise and amazing characters. The idea of people with gifts joining the circus intrigued me. Why not use your ability out in the open when everyone will just assume it's a carnival trick. Brilliant! And the array of abilities were fascinating to discover. We meet firestarters, empaths, earthshakers, runners, shapeshifters, and the list goes on.
I Love Lucy... Lucy is kind of like your average girl...who can control fire. She has spent her life holding back her emotions in fear of bursting into flame from too much anger or happiness. Even entering the circus, she holds back, never meeting her full potential. She doesn't want to hurt someone by accident. Watching her emotions start to spiral out of control was actually exciting. The men of her life constantly keep her on her toes. The bad people out to get her never leave her a moment of peace. And the secrets revealed only intensify everything she has been feeling.
Lucy is a sweet girl with a feisty side. She is also naive and defensive, which made her a more realistic character. All she wants is a "family" she can be herself with, but with the murders hanging over her head, and most people blaming her, Lucy has not found the acceptance she was hoping for. But at least her close group of friends are always there for her.
A Cute Jerk... Though I loved Keegan--he really is the sweetest guy ever--watching Gabriel and Lucy banter back and forth was the best part of this story. Gabriel is sexy and frustrating. He's a jerk most of the time, but the way he says things is both hilarious and cute. Lucy does a good job of sticking up for herself, but Gabriel really knows how to rattle her. I never knew what to make of Gabriel. You want to trust him but his mysterious side is just too...well, mysterious. I spent most my time wanting to punch him in the face for treating Lucy the way he did, but it gave a great dramatic/comical flare to the story.
Friends... I loved the array of characters we got to meet. The upbeat best friend, the gay couple, the sweet boy Lucy should probably end up with, and the jokester who doesn't take anything seriously. I was smiling every time they showed up on scene.
Refreshing... The twists and turns were well done. We are often thrown red herrings that make us think one thing but the truth is a whole lot worse...or better. Long knows how to keep a reader on her toes. Lies and deceit run heavy within the circus and you can't help but feel bad for Lucy when the world she thought she knew starts to crumble.
The pacing was well done. I rarely felt bored. I hated putting the book down when I needed to sleep (stupid sleep, always getting in the way of my reading). The action was good, especially the parts with fire. Long gives just enough description to draw a vivid picture of each scene without overdoing it. I actually felt refreshed after reading this book.
The Bad Sometimes the conversations were too long and explained too many things in one shot. They felt a bit forced and I got a little bored (this was the only time I got bored).
The beginning was a little slow. It didn't represent how great the rest of the book was.
Serious moments often got brushed off with humor. I love humor, even in scary/sad moments. But sometimes certain events need to retain their seriousness to make an impact or just to make it more realistic.
The Snuggly There is some sexual tension, kissing, and unwanted sexual advances, but overall it's a YA-ish clean book. If it wasn't for the cursing and violence, I would have labeled Gifted YA. Also, all the characters are in their 20's, though they act pretty young.
I enjoyed the love triangle between Lucy, Gabriel, and Keegan. Keegan is so sweet and reliable, while Gabriel is a total jackass, but in an adorable way. He has passion that Keegan lacks, but that might be a good thing, since Gabriel is also dangerous and unpredictable. I don't know how Lucy is going to choose between the two because together, they make the perfect man.
Overall Though Long left the love triangle open-ended at the end (grrr, why Long, why?) I was pretty much satisfied from beginning to end. Anyone looking for something new in the fantasy/paranormal department, Gifted is the book for you. The characters were likable and the plot was interesting. A highly recommended read.
Excerpt "It's too bad you're so hot," I mumbled. I kept my eyes on the ground to prevent tripping up again. Or maybe it was to keep from looking in his eyes and ripping his shirt off, I couldn't be sure.
"Why is that?" Drunk or not, his smug expression was easy for me to read. The smile didn't reach his eyes, but I could hear it in his pleased tone.
The Good The World According to King Henry... If any book is going to give someone insight on how my brain really works behind these innocent brown eyes and girly long hair, this is the book to do it. I have a weird kind of thought process that takes the most mundane things and either over analyzes them to the point of hilarity or makes them into something naughty and ridiculous. This is what King Henry does. He has a way of viewing the world through King Henry goggles and only a few could really understand the genius of it. Once you get pulled into the world of King Henry, there is no going back.
In a Nutshell... King Henry was totally minding his own business, thinking about his Taco Bell burritos he was going to grub down on. It's not his fault that some thugs were harassing a girl--we all know King Henry hates bullies. So of course he beat the living crap out of them. It's also not his fault those thugs ended up being werecoyotes and under the protection of one of the most influential and dangerous people in the city, the head coyote Horatio Vega. Oh, and Henry's long lost sister JoJo just happens to be married to the jerk. So yeah, not King Henry's most shinning of moments. Things only get worse as the coyotes plot revenge upon King Henry, and now he is caught between starting a war with the Coyote Nation or saving himself and his friends butts and leaving his sister to an unknown fate.
This Means War... I love how King Henry threatens years of peace between the Mancers and the Coyote Nation in a matter of minutes. All for a sister that he's never had a close relationship with. I don't know if I should respect him or roll my eyes at his antics. He really doesn't have limits to the lengths he will go to save his sister and settle a score. Now that I respect. I too hate bullies, and watching someone make people accountable for their actions is extremely satisfying. I have a feeling this storyline is not over, and I can't wait to see how far Raley will go with it.
Young King Henry... One of the reasons I love The King Henry Tapes series is the second plot line in which we get to see snippets of young King Henry at the Asylum (It's a school, people, not a mental institution. Get with the program.). This time we get to witness what the Mancer school was like and how Henry dealt with all the changes. The camping trip was pure brillance. It was both frightening and hilarious. King Henry's natural skepticism and suspicious nature made things even better as the mystery of whether the camping trip is a test by the school or a real disaster unravels.
King Henry's Subjects... King Henry is the same smart-mouthed, sarcastic, painfully truthful guy we have all come to love. But it's his friends that I want to talk about. Tyson (or T-Bone as Henry likes to call him) often made me smile. Why he has stayed friends with King Henry, who is often purposefully raciest and insulting, I have no idea. Henry only does it to get a rise out of Tyson and it always works. Next is Pocket, Henry's childhood friend. I think he is the perfect counterpart for Henry: loyal and logical. He finds Henry hilarious--which is always a plus--and becomes more brave with Henry's support. Then we have Valentine. I can't wait to hear more about her. We know that King Henry eventually dates her but there is more to the story that Raley keeps dangling in front of our faces but wont elaborate on. It's both frustrating and exciting. I hope we will get to the good stuff between Val and Henry in the next book.
Creepy... Now we get to the bad guy, Horatio Vega. This guy is Creepy with a capital C. He comes across reasonable and kind, but in his eyes you see your painful death. It's just freaky. I don't know what to really think about him just quite yet, but I know that when he first arrived on scene, I got the chills.
A Fresh Idea... The plot was interesting and well thought out. The action was gritty and entertaining. I like how Henry analyzes everything during his fights. I was entertained the whole time. Raley has a different style of writing that really appeals to me. His concept is fresh and new. I have yet to read a book similar to this one. Even his ideas on supernatural creatures is unique. Raley has a handle on his craft that is very admirable.
The Bad The parts in which we get into the technical analysis of magic or wereanimals gets a little confusing. I had to read them twice to fully understand what was being said and what everything meant.
Though this is a series, I still felt like this book was a little unfinished. I see why Raley is saving the good stuff for later, but I wished for a little more closure at the end. Maybe I am just being selfish because I always want more King Henry and his adventures. Write faster, Raley!!! ;)
The Snuggly This is not a romantic book. We get glimpses of who young Henry dated while growing up and the girl who got away type stuff, but there is no romance or sex in this book. Okay, there is nudity (this is a book, people, it's not like you see anything, it's just slightly described) and references of a sexual nature.
Overall Though I really loved The Foul Mouth and the Cat Killing Coyotes, I did like the first book a little more. But overall, this was a great sequel. I found the storyline entertaining and the new characters fascinating. I can't wait to see what Raley has in store for us next. A highly recommended read.
Excerpts Smith flipped around so fast he almost poked me in my eye. “Who are you?”
A few of the kids groaned, Welf the loudest of them all. Standing next to Smith I felt smaller than I usually did but I still glared him down . . . or up. “King Henry Price,” I told him.
Smith winked at me. “Our late arrival.”
“I was busy.”
“Do you know that you’re the only Artificer attending this school, King Henry Price?” Smith asked me.
“So I’ve heard.”
“Guess it means I should give you the name Snowflake on account of being unique.”
I shook my head at him. “No . . . I think King Henry is name enough for anyone.”
Smith’s smile got all twisted up in a smirk. “King Henry and Pocket . . . and I don’t even have to do any work, it’s not fair, it’s not fair! So . . . King Henry . . . what’re your hobbies?”
I smirked back at him. “Fighting, stealing, f**king, and smoking . . . in that order.”
It started Smith into a laughing fit that ended up in a coughing fit. When he could breathe again he just shook his head. “I love this job . . .”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “You better hope Valentine is dead, King Henry,” Miranda told me, “because if she’s alive and if I get to see her again, I’m talking her into burning a hole into you.”
“Kinky . . . you never know when you’re going to need another hole . . .”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “But,” Hope growled, her hands bony, whitened fists, “you wanted to stay here!”
“Only I’m not into barricades; it’s not the zombie apocalypse, is it? Which brings me to my next point: Welf’s a necromancer, Pocket’s a floromancer. Trees is what this fine son-of-a-bitch does. You see his stick?” I asked. “Look at that stick. Big ol’ stick. Bet you ask nicely he’d let you touch it.”
Pocket blushed crimson.
Thank the Mancy for Valentine, she’s the only one who laughed.
The Good A Good Direction... I started this book not knowing really what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find great characterization, an interesting story, and a spunky heroine. I really like the direction this book went because it both satisfied me and raised some questions I hope will be answered in a second book.
On Fire... Aideen Cassidy, or Cass, has an awesome power that she unfortunately hasn't quite learned to control. That's why she can't find a job. The rumors have spread and people just don't like being set on fire, so they all stay clear of Cass and her pyrokinetic ability. But the head of PsychTeam (a group of psychics who use their powers to help local authorities catch bad guys) has taken an interest in Cass, so they give her a chance. But Cass starts having second thoughts as things go from bad to worse in a matter of days. A little girl has been kidnapped and will die if Cass can't find her in time and an ancient evil has reappeared and is targeting all of Cass's friends. Can Cass learn to control her powers enough to save the ones she cares about?
A Firecracker... I think Cass was an all-around quirky character. She was uncoordinated and emotionally unstable. She cried at the drop of a hat and embarrassed herself more times than I can count. But I think this mess of a person actually made Firecracker fun to read. She was far from perfect and wore her uncool badge proudly. Her appearance also cracked me up. I could easily imagine her red hair poking out every which way and her freaky red-orange eyes almost always full of tears, and the insistent red flush she adorned when she was embarrassed. I pictured her a bit geeky and awkward, which fit her personality. I liked that she was ruled by her emotions, constantly setting things on fire because of her Ninja fast highs and lows. We meet her when she is at an all time low-point in her life and as the novel went on, she grew in strength, determination, and bravery.
Yin and Yang... Agent Li was an interesting yin to Cass's yang. He was the cool cat: onfident, gorgeous (and he knows it), and kick-ass. But he does not like Cass, well, not at first. He sees her as a menace to society and PsychTeam and would like nothing better than for her to quit. But he never knew how bull-headed one girl could be. He slowly comes to admire her for she has strength that not many possess, strength that might actually save his life.
Shocking... The tension and suspense was very well done. I felt all the emotions I was suppose to as the bad guys went after the characters I grew to care about. The climax was very big and satisfying. I was shocked by some of the events, which is always a nice change to the easily predictable plots I have been reading lately.
A Complex World... I like the world Verhey created, a world I think has some true potential in growing into a great series. The backstory on how these psychics came to be a part of society was especially intriguing. It's a complex world that we only get to see a glimpse of though. I can only hope another book is on the way because I was left with many questions by the end.
The Bad I found that this book had a lot of lulls in it, times where I could easily put the book down. I was expecting more action.
The description and backstory were way overdone at times. Made it a bit boring. Again, I just wanted to get to the action.
One thing I couldn't stand was the POV shifts. It's something you rarely see in traditionally published books because it's hard to do seamlessly. And by seamlessly, I mean I should not even notice it is happening till after the fact. I noticed the "head-hopping" right away.
There was a part of the story in which a character asked someone who just betrayed him if they would still be friends when they saw each other again. If you saw what this betrayer did, I think you would agree that you wouldn't be asking if you could still be friends, you would be beating his face off. This character's reaction just irked me and I had to walk away from the book to calm down.
The Snuggly Not much romance in this book. Cass has a major crush on Li and he kind of plays around with her, but that's it. But this is no YA book either. Expect profanity, which I thought added to the feel of the book very nicely.
Overall By the end, I was very glad I read this book. The characters really drew me in, even if their actions were a little frustrating at times. When the action was present, it was very well written and the slow to come revelations were worth the wait. A recommended read for urban fantasy lovers.
Quotes "He's really not so bad, once you get to know him." There was something about Neda's sophisticated British accent that was so appealing. She probably could have said I'm going to shit my pants now, and to Cass's ears it would have sounded regal. ~~~~~~~~~
He headed to the bar to pour himself a Crown Royal on the rocks. "Want one?"
"No." Actually, yes, but "I can't. I'm not allowed to drink."
"Federal rule, by order of the United States Fire Safety Commission." ~~~~~~~~~
Any man who could instantaneously trigger her laughter g-spot was someone she wanted to get to know better (less)
The Good When Paranormal Seems Normal... I realized this time around what I like about Murray's writing. He has a way of making the paranormal seem normal. Sometimes I forget that I am even reading about shape-shifters because the concept is so expertly interwoven into the story. In that, I have to applaud Murray on a job well done.
My Summary... Adri and Alec's relationship is still at a stand still. Even with Alec's rival shifter pack effectively taken care of, no longer in the way to ruin their relationship, Alec can't help but fear his shape-shifter touch will addict Adri. An addiction that has been proven through other human-shifter relationships. But their shaky relationship has to be put further on hold when an even bigger threat rolls into town. One that tests and weakens the bond between Alec and his pack. And this new threat might just be the last straw for Adri's willingness to wait for Alec to become what he was meant to be: a true leader and protector.
It has Teeth, Maybe Alec Can Borrow Them... I was really into the viciousness in Splintered. The fighting between the shifters was awe-inspiring. It really amped up my adrenaline, and I simply couldn't look away (or stop reading as it were) at the ferociousness that took place in the world Murray created.
I feel like Adri is finally finding out who she is and what she wants in life. She takes a more active role in maintaining friendships instead of pining for Alec. It made me respect her a whole lot more in this book. Alec was a different story. This was the first time I didn't like him. He just didn't handle any situation very well, and I wanted to yell at him to grow a pair. But I liked that Murray had Alec become a little more human. Alec made mistakes and let fear control his actions. While I disliked him more, I also liked that he wasn't perfect and that he could mess up his life as easy as the rest of us.
A World With No Limits... The bad guys were simply perfect. I literally got chills every time they walked into the scene. In this world, shape-shifters have many rules but all the rules tend to make life harder to live and cause way more bloodshed than needed. And the people in charge, who happen to also be the bad guys, are the worst kind of people. They use their power for their own good and to spread fear amongst their brethren. I'd like to see a lot more of their kind in future books because they add that needed dread that makes this series so entertaining. You just never know what is going to happen when they are around because they have no limits.
Second Verse, Luckily Not the Same as the First... All my complaints about the two previous books were wiped clean in Splintered. There was less writing focused on school and mundane things and more on action and relationships. We also got to learn a little more about the other pack members which was nice. They have interesting stories all on their own.
The Bad Since this series does lean a little more toward paranormal romance rather than urban fantasy (though this book was way more in the urban fantasy area), I was sorely disappointed by the lack of romance and the ending, which was left very much open. I understand why Murray thought it was best to end it the way he did, but it does not negate the fact that I was left dissatisfied.
The Snuggly I am getting hugely annoyed with Alec's reluctance with Adri. I understand why he wants to protect Adri from his addictive touch, but this cannot go on. He either needs to get over it or end the relationship. That being said, there was very little romance in this book and I wish there was more. When it comes to sex, this is the cleanest young adult book out there.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It kept my interest the whole time and the character development was superb. Though I didn't like the ending, I like the direction this whole series is going. I for one can't wait for the next installment. A recommended read.
Quote Marco leaned down and whispered into my ear. "How about you and I get a little more friendly? I can show you things Graves hasn't even thought of yet."
My voice came out even and strong. "If you touch me I'll do my absolute best to kill you. I'll probably fail, but you're going to have to kill me to stop me. Trust me, you don't want to be the guy who kills me. Alec will tear you apart regardless of what else it might cost him." (less)
The Good Consumed... I was swallowed into the world Wright created from the get-go and then spit out at the very end, left wide eyed and out of breath. Fire Baptized is jam-packed with action, sex, and violence. The perfect cocktail for a great read. This is one of the better urban fantasy books I have read this year. I only wish I had book 2 of the series on hand because I am itching to see what Wright has in store for her characters.
Whom the Angel's Named Lanore... The summary above does an excellent job of summing up what to expect from this book, so I wont rehash. Let's get right down to Lanore. Even though she is no saint, I admired her. She was strong, intelligent, independent but also vulnerable and sensitive which made her relatable. She was a perfect balance of what I look for in a well-rounded protagonist. She also has an almost unhealthy sense of justice because she never once relents in chasing down this supernatural serial killer. The cops are pretty much useless in the caged city that supernaturals are forced to live in. And when the killer starts leaving presents of the bloody kind for Lanore, she can't help but try to solve these gruesome murders before she is the next victim. And sure, Lanore has the fiercesome ability to create fire and use it as a weapon but she still can't do this on her own.
Shack Up with MeShack... Enter MeShack and Zulu. MeShack is Lanore's childhood friend and ex-lover. They know everything about each other and have gone through the worst times of their lives side by side. MeShack fascinated me the most. He was so raw and animalistic that I couldn't wait until he appeared on scene. His attitude was both frustrating and endearing. He does not like when he doesn't get his way and makes sure everyone is aware of it. But he would tear down heaven and Earth to keep Lanore safe. His magnetism rivals that of the male leads I have come to love in other urban fantasy novels. So it's easy to see why Lanore finds it so hard to resist him.
Zulu... Then we have Zulu. I little more calm and collected than MeShack. But he has his own inner animal to contend with. He is the leader of the Mixbreeds for Equality group that is trying to stop the discrimination and brutality most supernaturals bring down on mixbreeds. But his position can also bring about a lot of problems for Lanore, so is it really worth it for her to get involved with him? He may have strong feelings for Lanore, and vice versa, but he also has some secrets that need to be brought to light before Lanore can even consider being with him.
Hot, Hot, HOT! The plot was very well done. I never knew what was coming next, which made it impossible to put the book down. The pace was fast and exciting, and the characters were well developed. I felt a sense of danger and mystery the whole time and could only hope Lanore, Zulu, and MeShack would find the murderer before it was too late. This book was also pretty gruesome which I thought was perfect considering the gritty feel of the book. Fire Baptized is simply HOT in every aspect. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
The Bad I guess, if I want to be picky, I could say there was some inconsistencies in action or object/body placement that caught my eye but it didn't take away from the story.
The Snuggly This book is smoking. It has some sex which is red hot but not overdone. And we also get this love triangle. But the biggest problem is that I wanted Lanore to end up with both MeShack and Zulu. Or at least throw the one she doesn't choose my way because there is no reason to waste such fine...specimens.
But don't expect romance per say, it's more like reading about raw need and sexual charisma that will make your skin tingle.
Overall I love this book in every way. The action, the sexual tension, and the violent topic that came alive on paper. The supernatural world was intriguing and original. The characters were realistic and fun to read about. The ending made it obvious that this series has a lot of adventures to come and I for one will be there to read every one. Highly recommended.
Quotes "You have one minute to see who it is or I'm taking you on the kitchen floor," MeShack said.
"That's so romantic. You should write poetry." I turned around and spotted him, standing in my bedroom doorway. ~~~~~~~~~
He closed the distance between us and clasped his huge hands around my waist. His wings rapidly flapped back and forth. "Hold on and close your eyes. If you vomit on me, I'll drop you."
The Good Psychological Warfare... I was very surprised by the amount of depth Bonds of Fenris had. This is not your average werewolf novel. The action is not the focus. This novel is about the downside of being a werewolf. The aggression, the loneliness, and the inability to be around humans without wanting to eat them. Then we get into the psychological warfare a werewolf must go through to overcome the vicious part of the their animal. It really opened my mind to a new type of werewolf, one that must learn the real meaning of being an animal and a human.
It's a Hard Knock Life... Talia's life made my heart ache. She was so lost. Her soul sad and wanting. Desperately wanting her old life back. Just the idea of being able to be around her family without wanting to maul them or being around her old friends without wanting to eat them helps Talia keep living every day. Even though the life she has now is incomplete, a half life of sorts. And her fellow werewolves only make life less worth living. The constant bickering, fights, desperation, and unwanted sexual advances. Living in a filthy place of hostility has almost crushed Talia's spirit. Until she meets Corwin.
On the Brink... Corwin has found a way to live a real life but is reluctant to teach Talia his way of living. The trial she must go through to learn to live with peace in her heart is one that can very well kill her. But Talia feels that if she continues down the path she is on, she is already as good as dead. It may sound a little dramatic but once you read Talia's story, I think you will wholeheartedly agree. Fearing that you will one day eat someone by accident is no way to live. And though she loves her pack, for they are the ones who taught her at least a little control, she can't help but feel like they also bring her closer to the brink of insanity.
What a Character... I was actually enthralled by each person in this novel. Talia was sad but optimistic. She was a great combination of weak and strong. Corwin was thoughtful and patient. He had a gentleness about him that made you love him. Pierce was immature because of his age but surprisingly admirable for his ability to bring the pack together. Bo wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed but he had a huge heart. Leroy was the peacemaker. His goal was to bring the pack closer together and live in harmony. Marlene thought she knew best, but even she had problems she needed to work out. Each character had their own unique personalities that drew me further into their stories.
Human, Animal, or Werewolf? Bonds of Fenris is a well written book. It has a lay back feel to it. But the theme of self-discovery is very powerful. Bell takes us into a world were werewolves can't just learn control, they must dig deeper into what they really are. Are they humans, animals, or werewolves?
The Bad The story was a little up and down, so sometimes I had my eyes glued to the pages, and other times I could easily put it down. I felt like it took a long time to get to the part were Corwin and Talia work together to control her beast. I would have liked to get to that section of the plot a little earlier. It's the best part after all.
Though the psychological depth of the book was very interesting and original, I wish there was a little more action on a consistent bases. We get action in the beginning then the end, and that's about it.
Sometimes the philosophical part of the book got a bit much for me. It made sense, but I did roll my eyes once or twice.
The Snuggly We do get a little romance but it's not a romance novel by any means. We get to witness a relationship between Talia and Corwin grow. The sex is more behind the scenes, so it is a pretty mild book when it comes to sex and romance. I liked that Talia and Corwin did not fall into insta-love. They took their time, made sure they were meant for each other.
Overall Are you looking for a different kind of werewolf book? One that expands on the psychological and philosophical parts of being half wolf and half human? Then this book is for you. Bell has developed great characters that anyone could sympathize with. I enjoyed reading Bond of Fernis. It surprised me, and that's hard to do with the many paranormal books out there these days. A recommended read.
Excerpts The truly awful thing about full-moon nights is, they feel good. It’s almost like a drug. Yes, you’ll wake up the next morning feeling rotten about yourself for enjoying the blood, the murder, the loss of your humanity. But in the moment it’s euphoric, an indescribable sensation of freedom and power. You run free, king of the wild lands, all creatures within it submissive or powerless before your fast legs and sharp, killing teeth. No need for any thought but pure instinct. No need to do anything but just be.
Not the first time, mind you. The first time is pure, unadulterated hell. ~~~~~~~
As we trotted off, noses alert for any possible prey, Pierce nudged up against me, apparently not ready to give up. I ignored him, even when he progressed to licking my cheek apologetically. My disdain only made him more insistent. He nudged me again, more forcefully, as if chastising me for insulting him. When he nudged me a third time, almost hard enough to shove me off balance, I’d had enough. I turned with a growl and snapped at him with my jaws. He snapped back at me, indignant and angry. We barked at each other for a bit, and then I started nipping at the tip of his nose, indicating that he should back of now. Instead, Pierce lost his temper and lunged at me, sinking his teeth into my side. ~~~~~~~
Our lives are what we make them, Talia. We have the things that we do because we work for them, or because we fail to work for something better. I mean, take your own example. You want to be in love, so you’re kissing frogs like mad to find it. (less)
The Good Aftershock is book one of the Rise of the Unseelie series, which is one branch out of three in a serial series called The Sidhe. All three series are set in the same world with interconnected characters. In this book we get to see what happened in End of the World from Jhaer's (Unseelie leader) point of view.
Jhaer is none too happy when he finds out his people, the Unseelie, plan to relinquish their authority to the Seelie court. But when he goes to confront the Seelie fey, all hell breaks loose. The fey mounds start to crumble for unknown reasons. Jhaer, with the power of Earth magic, survives the big collapse of the only home most fey have ever known. Though devastated at first, Jhaer is not one to wallow in self pity. Sure, the fey needed those magical mounds to survive, but there are always other options out there in the human world. So in order to stop the fey from Fading, Jhaer devises a plan of action. He begins to create his own fey haven in the hopes that other fey will come and learn to live off the Earth, as many exiled fey have done for years. He wants to lead these fey, protect them, teach them a new way of life, and start again. And him being the leader of these lost fey just happens to be an awesome side benefit. To represent this new beginning Jhaer renames himself Donovan. (I will be referring to Jhaer as Donovan from now on.)
I love that Donovan is creating a new world for his people. A place where all are welcome, especially the earthborn fey. He is determined not to Fade and his plans for his people are extensive. I was already initially impressed by Donovan's heroic ability to hold the mounds as long as possible so many of his people could escape with their lives. Then his resilience in picking up the pieces and starting anew only makes me admire him more. But he also has this bad boy side that I find sexy as hell. Donovan is the kind of man that will not be tamed, and hell, who would want to tame him? He's perfect the way he is.
The world building in the story was amazing. I walked away from this book and felt like I was still immersed in the fey world. The action was fast-paced and had my adrenaline pumping. The magical side was very intriguing and the characters were well fleshed out. Aftershock had that similar gritty feel as Cursed did, which I liked a lot better than the somber feel of End of the World.
I love the set-up for future problems with the wizards, vampires, and changelings. Each creature wants to possess the fey for different reasons, but Donovan wont allow this. He has no qualms in killing to keep his people from slavery, and I can't wait to see how much further he will go to save his people. Donovan's interactions with Dawn and Trip interested me the most. Dawn, who so looks like a fey but has the mannerisms of a human, and Trip, with her tortured past in slavery. I can't wait to see what Archer and Ravynheart have in store for Dawn and Trip.
Archer and Ravynheart's writing style is what pulled me in from the beginning and kept me glued to the pages all the way through. It is both beautiful and dynamic. I love the start to this series.
The Bad You have to be prepared for the shortness of these books. Each book can be read in one sitting. I am getting use to it but it can be a little frustrating at first.
The Snuggly No sex and pretty much no romance. But there is a hint of possible romance in the future.
Overall I truly get excited every time I read one of Archer's (and Ravynheart's) books. I don't know how everything is going to be brought together, but I'm happy to be a part of this journey. I am already invested in all the character's lives and now have a little crush on Donovan. If you love a great urban fantasy book, then I highly recommend Aftershock and the Rise of the Unseelie series.
Excerpt All hope shattered, leaving only fatalistic determination. Through raw force of will, Jhaer held aloft the vast cavern ceiling, allowing as many fey as possible the chance to escape, the stronger ones via teleportation, the lesser fey certainly crowding the portals that might whisk them to the surface. Alone, Jhaer balanced each rock, each clump of dirt. For miles. Sweat ran in rivulets down the strained muscles of his body. Holding. Binding. Unyielding. And yet fissures snaked through the cavern under the oppression of tons upon tons of earth overhead. Fissures Jhaer could not mend. Fissures that sheared as chunks broke free and rained from the sky. Chunks that slipped through his shattering strength. Jhaer dropped to his knees, giving all his power to the failing magic. The edges of the cavern crumbled, creating a cascade as each lost rock freed those above it. Rockslides like waterfalls poured down in a roaring that could not completely annihilate the screams of terror. Down the ceiling fell in ever greater pieces until the entire cavern plummeted down like a mountain to entomb everything beneath, burying alive everyone who had not already escaped. Including Jhaer. (less)
The Good I am so happy I decided to read more young adult books. Ties to the Blood Moon was an adventure and a half that kept me enthralled from beginning to end. I just wish book two was already out because I can't wait to see what Waldrop has in store for her characters.
After her mother's death, Genevieve moves in with her aunt in Alaska. Everything may seem normal at first, but slowly Gen finds out that not all fairytales are myths. And as her world takes a turn for the weird, Gen finds out that her role in the chaos is vital to bringing peace amongst supernatural beings. And through all this, Gen falls in love with one guy while feelings for another start to surface.
This book was really fun. I read it in two days, staying up pretty late both nights. I couldn't help but turn the page to see what happened next. It kind of starts out a little slow but picks up pretty quickly a few chapters in. Even when it was frustrating as hell, I loved the constant mystery throughout the whole book. It kept me guessing.
Gen was a very interesting character. For a seventeen year old she is slightly immature, but I thought it gave everything a little more humor. Even when you feel bad for Gen and her many humiliating moments, her reactions cracked me up. I've never seen someone cry so often. But it worked with the circumstances of the book since Gen is going through some very terrifying and emotional changes. But she manages to keep on going, no matter the obstacles and many secrets constantly surrounding her.
William was a very mysterious sort of character. You don't know his true motives until the very end, which made it a little hard to really like him. Doesn't mean I didn't fall in love with him just as much as Gen did. There is something about him that makes me want to smile. I got all giggly every time he showed up and charmed Gen (and me, apparently) once again.
Gen's best friend, Luna, was very hot and cold. At first she is like the best friend everyone wants, then she has major jealousy issues. But considering this is a young adult book, it's to be expected that teens have their ups and downs and emotional dramas. I actually thought it was all very entertaining. Now Joseph, Luna's twin brother, was my favorite character. When you get to know him, he is a really sweet guy and you only hope for his happiness. But his feelings for Gen have only brought him grief since she is obviously in love with William. It's hard to watch Joseph's pain, and I can only hope he has something to look forward to in the future.
The fighting scenes were very fast-paced and exciting. I liked that at first Gen couldn't really take care of herself, but as she accepted her destiny, she became a better fighter and more skilled. I hate when books portray their main character being instantly strong for no reason. Gen is still growing into her new powers, which is how it should be. I still can't believe how many twists and turns this book had. When I thought I had things figured out, Waldrop would find a way to surprise me with each chapter.
I can't stress enough how much the mystery behind every action and dialogue between the characters really made Ties to the Blood Moon an intriguing read. If this is what I should expect from most young adult reads, then I am on the path to becoming a young adult junkie.
The Bad There were some inconsistencies in this book that were a little annoying. Sometimes places or movements were described in an odd way and did not hold true the whole scene. Transitions were sometimes awkward and confusing, and I had to reread parts to understand what just happened.
I felt the ending was a little too convenient. Like Waldrop had to find a way to ensure a second book of the series, so she kind of threw things together to make everything fit. But it just felt forced to me. But it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book overall.
The Snuggly The romance was a little more like an obsession at first, but eventually things begin to take a more loving turn. I, of course, like the love triangle in this book, even when I was sad when one guy gets left behind. There is a little sexual content which gets heavy near the end, but nothing over the top; it is a young adult book after all.
Overall I can guarantee you that I will be reading the next book in this series one way or another. I loved the teen drama, the love triangle, and the unfinished business that will hopefully be solved in book two. The characters are interesting and I know they have the potential to grow into even stronger, mature characters. I recommend this book to all young adult book lovers. And be on the look out for a giveaway of this book, an author interview , and a guest post from Waldrop.
Quotes All during class I sat with my head propped on my hand and kept catching myself staring at William. You know, one of those open-mouthed stares. Then, the most embarrassing thing of my teenage life happened.
“Miss Labreck,” Mr. Donovan snapped at the same time as he slammed his pointer stick on someone’s desk in the front row.
I jerked and sat up straight. “Huh … uh, yeah?”
“You can worship your Romeo after class. Right now we are talking about Juliet’s Romeo.”
A burning flush flew over me when the entire class busted out in laughter. I pulled my hoodie further over my head and sunk down into my seat as far as I could go. I would have gotten under my desk if I could have fit.
A couple hours later I woke up, my head felt like lead, and I had an awful taste in my mouth. It was cold and the wind was blowing. I cracked my eyes open and glanced around. Everyone was still asleep, except the pilot. His seat was empty and the back door was wide open. It took longer than normal for everything to register. I even looked behind me, thinking he might be in the bathroom, before it finally hit me … we had been drugged. (less)
Do to my review policy, this book will have no rating or review. This does not mean this book was bad or good. If you want my opinion on this book, fe...moreDo to my review policy, this book will have no rating or review. This does not mean this book was bad or good. If you want my opinion on this book, feel free to message me. (less)
The Good After reading Jhaer's story in Aftershock, book one of the Rise of the Unseelie series, I had to read this book to see the other side...more3.5 stars
The Good After reading Jhaer's story in Aftershock, book one of the Rise of the Unseelie series, I had to read this book to see the other side of the story. In End of the World, we get to see what happens to Lugh as the fey Mounds fall. And boy, was is heartbreaking.
For those who don't know, Archer has created three interlacing series that focus on different characters that live in the same world. All series, Touched, Rise of the Unseelie, and Champion of the Sidhe, interconnect somehow to create an amazing super series.
This series and book focuses on Lugh and his adventures after the fall of his beloved fey mounds. Lugh has spent his entire life protecting the Sidhe. And when a battle between Seelie and Unseelie begins to brew, Lugh is willing to do anything to defend his territory and people. Especially when something threatens to stop the attempt at unifying the two sides of Sidhe. But after a murder of a very important fey, things begin to unravel.
Lugh has this sense of entitlement that I actually find attractive in a character. He is so completely sure of himself that when something doesn't go his way he kind of crumbles. But you can't really blame the guy since the fey race is in grave danger of fading after the horrible events proceeding the fall of the fey mounds, the fey's home and magic source.
I love the direction this series is going. Lugh has already formed a plan of action to save his people and I can only guess what sort of obstacles he is going to face.
The tale about how the mounds were created really intrigued me, and I can't wait to see how Lugh is going to fix the mess his people are in. Expect action, a fast-paced plot, and oodles of drama in this read.
The Bad There was nothing wrong with this story. I just found it too short to thoroughly enjoy. I don't mind short reads, but not enough happened in this book for me to really get into it. So far, I like the other two series a lot more, but then again, this is only book one of this series so I am hoping for something substantial for book two.
The Snuggly No snuggly or romance in this book. Just action and heartbreak, which can be just as fun if you're sadistic like me. :)
Overall I really did enjoy this story, I just found the beginning of the other two series a little more interesting. This is a fun little story that will leave you wanting more. I can already see Lugh being a very entertaining character. A recommended read.
Quotes Heart pounding, he used the handrail to catapult himself as he raced up the long, curving stairwell to the second level. No one need tell him where to find the All-Mother. All fey connected to the Mounds possessed a sense of her. No guards manned the watch outside the throne chamber. No bodies strewn about to explain their absence. No blood. No dropped weapons. Fear for friends and lovers kindled behind the greater dread that brought him to a sliding stop on the dust-covered floor just inside the chamber. http://readingandwritingurbanfantasy....(less)
The Good Let me start off by saying that the author let me know that there is a movie of this book in the making and that Drew Barrymore is slated to direct. I want to congratulate Morgan for this huge step in her amazing career. I wish her the best.
I was heartbroken from the beginning of this story, sweated from fear and trepidation in the middle, and wanting to cry by the end. Drowned Sorrow was a rollercoaster ride of mystery, horror, and overall creepiness.
Megan has always put her job before her family. But after the death of her son and proceeding divorce from her husband, all Megan wants to do is try to rekindle her relationship with her daughter, Jenna, and save the family she so long neglected. Megan and Jenna have drifted apart since the tragedy and a vacation is just what they need to let go of past hurts and move forward. But Moonlight Creek is not all they hoped it would be. It's a town where the townspeople only come out of their houses during overcast, rainy days and where the general store only sells water, not food. After some odd and downright frightening experiences, Megan realizes Moonlight Creek is not safe for outsiders. But when she and her daughter try to leave, that's when all hell breaks loose.
Though the beginning was a bit slow for me (I will admit that the suicide of Megan's son in the first chapter of the book did evoke some strong emotions that kept me reading), once the book picked up, it REALLY picked up. I couldn't put the book down after the halfway point. More than a few times goosebumps showered my skin as the most eerie things I have ever read occurred in this freakish town. I couldn't help but put myself in certain situations and wonder what I would do. Probably die from fright, to be honest.
Megan was a hard character to like. She has a hard time caring about her family as much as she cares about her job. But she truly does try to do the right thing after her son's death. She wants to save her family and has taken steps to ensure this. Unfortunately, she picks the wrong town to vacation in. She tries to be strong for her daughter, and you can't help but admire her determination to survive.
I feel Jenna was the better character in this book. She had emotion that pulled you in, she had a strong will that was fun to see in action, and she even had a bit of mystery around her. She loves her parents but knows that her brother's death might have changed the dynamics of her family forever.
The horror in Drowned Sorrow was undeniably terrifying, and the townspeople were downright disturbing. I didn't know what to expect from them, and the unknown always makes me nervous. The paranormal aspect was very original and the twist at the end really took this book to a whole new level of intriguing.
The Bad Though I liked the story overall, I just didn't like the disjointed feel of so many points of view. It got a little hectic, and I started wanting to put the book down because I got bored with some people's point of view. It made the story drag a bit.
Megan just seemed a little idiotic to me. She had so many warnings and creepy things happen that when she continued to stay in the weird town, I just started hoping something bad would happen to her because of her stupidity. Megan, as a character, was not likable. Though it didn't bother me too much, I just thought I would mention it for those who hate unlikable main characters.
There were some inconsistencies in this book that may cause you to read a page over again in confusion. A little more editing was definitely in order.
The Snuggly Nothing really romantic in this paranormal suspense. No sex either. It's pretty clean. But there is love between characters, a type of caring that causes bad things to happen.
Overall I had fun reading this book. The suspense was intense and the horror was abundant. Megan isn't my favorite character of all time, and the inconsistencies where a bit annoying, but the overall story was interesting. I know for a fact that when this book is made into a movie, I will be there the first day it comes out. Suspense fans will enjoy this book very much.
Quotes Megan gasped as something brushed against her back. Startled, she flipped over and treaded water, glancing down into the water around her. She turned in circles, didn't see anything. She glanced again at the shoreline, content to see Jenna still there on the beach. She turned to look around her once more, surprised to find a man's head and shoulders emerging from under the water. She hadn't seen anyone swimming this close to her, but then, she hadn't really been paying that much attention as she'd floated. The man's face seemed awfully pale to her, and he stared wide-eyed and unblinking at her.
Seconds later, another face popped up to the surface, followed by yet another. Her heart began to pound. She offered a tentative smile and turned around, intending to head back to shore, but yet another man blocked her view of the beach. The hair on the back of her neck rose, and incredibly enough, the water seemed to grow even colder.(less)
The Good Cursed is the first of five short stories from the Touched series. The Touched series is actually one of three series of The Sidhe, a...more4.5 stars
The Good Cursed is the first of five short stories from the Touched series. The Touched series is actually one of three series of The Sidhe, a linear set of stories that interweave the Champion of the Sidhe, Rise of the Unseelie, and Touched series.
In Cursed we meet London, an investigator of paranormal problems, who may have bitten off more than she could chew with her next assignment. After Rico curses London to crave his Touch, London has no choice but to let Rico drag her into a war among the parahumans. It is her job to gain the information Rico desires because without his Touch, London may be forced to make some decisions that will change her life...or cause her death.
I don't even know where to begin. This book was brilliant. I was sucked into this dark world of magic and paranormal creatures and pretty much didn't want to leave. I don't know how he did it, but Archer created an amazingly fantastical story that said so much in so little words.
London is a tough chick who's been put in a rather crappy situation. But she takes it all in stride as she does what needs to be done to save her bacon. She kicks ass and takes names, then kicks more ass. It's awesome!
Oh, and the Fey. The creepy, beautiful Fey that have no limits and will doing anything for their brethren. I both hate and love them. I hate what Rico did to London, but I soon found myself seeing his side of things and understanding why he takes such drastic actions.
I loved the action in this book. The fights were fast and gritty. London not only utilized her amazing skills with a gun, she also knew how to use her body as a weapon. A girls gotta be multi-talented this day in age. Especially living in the world London does.
I loved the assortment of creatures and species. A dash of mischievous wizards, a trickle of crazy changelings, a dollop of sexy Fey, and a drop of blood thirsty vampires. It was all so very exciting and terrifying at the same time. I don't know how Archer had me so nervous and eager to continue reading with such a short story. He even had time to supply us with some important history that helped the world building. Oh, and I can't forget the writing. Archer knows what he is doing when it comes to a flawless writing style and structure. Cursed was a seriously dark adventure, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
The Bad The only part that bothered me was how short it was. But I can't really fault the author since that was his goal the whole time. But it does take some time getting use to the abruptness of some of the scenes in the novelette.
The Snuggly We definitely get some sexy scenes but no real sex. Expect some bumpin' and grindin'.
Overall Even though it was very short, something I will have to get use to, I really loved this story. No doubt in my mind, I will be reading this whole series and the two companion series that go with it. If you like urban fantasy, adventure, and some good fighting scenes, then you will love this novelette. Highly recommended.
Quotes The scuttling sound of claws and scales against stone came from above. London searched the shadows overhead. As the creature hung upside down from the rafters, its huge eyes glistened wetly. Humanoid in basic anatomy, the thing was skeletal thin. Arms legs half again as long as a human’s and oddly jointed so the knees and elbows angled backward like a mosquito. The flesh, as best as she could make it out, was a nearly black green. The ears pointed a full hand span above the top of its bald head. The rows of teeth it bore in its gaping mouth were needle sharp and inches long. Show… No… Fear… http://readingandwritingurbanfantasy....(less)
The Good If I was going to write a one word review, it would be WOW. Just like the previous book, I was speechless when I finished What Our Eyes Have W...moreThe Good If I was going to write a one word review, it would be WOW. Just like the previous book, I was speechless when I finished What Our Eyes Have Witnessed. Litore once again surrounds us in a world so realistic, so horrific that you want to shield your eyes from the words that so effortlessly paint a picture of hope, despair, and hunger.
Father Polycarp has seen the withered souls of the walking dead in their sightless eyes. He knows what causes the dead to rise and devour without thought. It is the very people of Rome that curse themselves. In a time when Rome was fresh with rising power, its people appeased their dead ancestors with food while men, women, and children wasted away on the streets for circumstances beyond their control. Their dismal placement in the caste hierarchy dictates their future. A future of slavery, of hunger, and of death. But if the people of Rome could only see that it's this very separation, their rejection of people who they consider lower than themselves that has brought the very destruction they so helplessly want to end, then maybe Rome could thrive. Polycarp sees this. His followers see this. Regina, his closest friend, follower, and insula manager sees this. But the person who could do the most good, initiate the most change refuses to see. Cauis has lost too much already to yield. No, he will see the destruction of Polycarp no matter the consequences.
You can't help but admire Polycarp's determination and courage in this story. He looks the dead in the eye, sees their true selves, and sets their tortured souls free. He helps those who others throw away. He provides for those who cannot provide for themselves. And he stands up to his convictions even when faced with the possiblity of a horrific death by fire. And even when it is obvious that Cauis and the jury of his peers refuse to see the truth, Polycarp holds firm to his beliefs and faces the prospect of death with stoic calm and grace. This is a man I could truly admire.
I wanted to hate Cauis. A man with power who refuses to do what's right. But I found that I could easily sympathize with him. Because to him his acts of violence and unreasoning are the right solutions. Forcing himself to be blind to alternatives, he truly believes that the destruction of Polycarp, the desecrater of Rome's ancestors, the man who spreads his mass delusion to the youth of Rome, is the answer to silencing the dead that bang on the doors of the living. He is driven by the atrocities in his own life, and he truly wants to save Rome and its people. He is simply ignorant and rigidly set in his ways. To change the very social structure of Rome is unthinkable. He would rather hold onto the lies that Rome lives on while Polycarp would rather face the truth head on and find a resolution that benefits all. Cauis will always do what he thinks is best for Rome's aristocracy, even if it dooms them all.
Personally, I think this story is truly about Regina. The freed pleasure slave that has found a home in Polycarps insula. There she is domina, the head of the household. Her love for the man who freed her, Polycarp, is a love of depth, gratitude, and admiration. Though Polycarp may struggle with his attraction to Regina, he never allows such lust to come to fruition, even though Regina may wish it otherwise. In Polycarp's eyes she sees a better future for herself and all of Rome. I fell in love with Regina's character very easily. Her emotions are so strong and heart-wrenching that I almost wept for her pain. Her faith in Polycarp and his God may be tested, but she never fails to amaze me with her courage to stand up for what she believes in when it is most important. I loved the underlying tone of female empowerment in this book. In a time when women were considered almost worthless, Regina shows that women can also have the power to make a difference.
Litore has created a cast of characters like no other. They all have honor, strength, and devotion in their own way (well, almost all of them). Their faith, valor, and love are all tested, and in the end, each one comes out a hero (even Cauis in a small way) through their actions and words.
Though What Our Eyes Have Witnessed provides us with an alternative biblical history, it is not a religious story. It is a story of poverty, injustice, human frailty, as well as hope, courage, and belief in oneself. Oh, and zombies. Can't forget the zombies. Litore has a way of writing action scenes so chilling and real that you can feel the breath of the dead warm the back of your neck. There were many times that I couldn't help but hold my breath as zombies made their presences known. Their moans becoming louder as they neared. The sight of their disfigured bodies as they reached for another victim. This book was definitely chock full of zombies to satisfy any zombie-loving reader.
The historical content was abundant and obviously thoroughly researched. The characterization was superb, as well as the detailed description.
The Bad There really wasn't anything bad about this book. I loved reading every minute of it. I don't know how Litore did it but it even surpassed the first book of the series, Death has Come Up into Our Windows.
The Snuggly I loved the sexual tension in this book. It was nothing risque, it was actually quite charming.
Overall I still can't get over the beautiful horror of Litore's writing. This is a story of tragedy but with a glimmer of hope for the future. Regina was a breathtaking character that stole the show for me. She, and people like her, are what Polycarp is fighting for, and I can only hope that his teachings will show up in Litore's future Zombie Bible books. What Our Eyes Have Witnessed was another awe-inspiring take on the zombie genre that truly changed me as a reader. Even as I write this review my eyes mist over because Litore has created a world that even today slightly holds true. Looking past the zombies, you will find that Litore writes about the very core of human error and it has both humbled me and made me appreciative of the life I live. Highly recommended.
Quotes The alley was filled with dead. The light of the lamp Polycarp held brought them out of the dark, showing the gashes and bites in their gray skin in stark detail. For a moment, his hand shook, and the light guttered. The dead slouched and slid along the wall of the insula toward him; several milling at the outlet to the Via Aquae Bruneae turned their heads with unnatural slowness, and their eyes reflected back the lamp. Their mouths opened, filling the alley with the low groaning of their hunger.
The guardsman slid his captives from his shoulders; Regina felt the pavement hit her back and rump hard, and sucked in her breath. The fourth walking corpse bent and snatched at her hair. But the guardsman’s knife slid from its sheath in a song of metal, and he drove his blade into the creature’s chest. That did not slow it. Regina cried out as she felt her head lifted by the hair, her wrists tied helplessly beneath her. The thing’s face a shadow above her, its teeth reaching for her. She tried to speak, to beg, to scream – no sound came.
"We are all on trial,” he cried. “Our dead are here to demand answers, and we are out of time. We have to choose, now, this day. Will we have a City divided into the eaters and the eaten – a City populated in the end only by the hungry dead! – or will we build a City where we break bread together, all of us, Roman and Greek and Syrian, male and female, master and slave, not feeding on each other but feeding and sustaining each other? Give me your verdict, please, then let me rest. The past few days have been more exhausting than any in my life. I will admit that I would rather die in my bed than in a fire. But now, if you can’t manage to look at the truth and decide what to do about it, I am done talking with you.” http://readingandwritingurbanfantasy....(less)