A blog dedicated to reviewing and promoting the books I love.
Fourteen year old me is doing the happy dance right about now! A series she adores is finally getting a continuation! The re-read almost a decade later just went magnificently well! Things can only go up from here.
As mentioned above, this is a re-read almost ten years in the making. I'm SO excited for the fourth book in this series to finally be released! Before I can get to it I'm making a point to re-read the full series. It's proven to be just as amazing as I vaguely remembered it being!
Apparently, fourteen year old me was an adrenaline junkie with books because boy does this book/story keep things up in the air and then decides to pull the rug from under you while you're looking up. All the plot twists and the secrets being revealed made for one heck of a heart attack inducing book.
I like to think that maybe in a fantasy world I'd be Dez. She's cool, helps her friends when they need it and even puts herself in danger for the people she cares about. If that isn't a good kid then I don't know what is, though I should mention she parties like there's no tomorrow and likes to make her father angry with it. You can't get it all good with no bad, right?
Kale is so innocent and sweet! When you get to know a little of his background it is soul-crushing! How could someone treat this sweet and at the same time dangerous boy like that? No one deserves that treatment. I loved how Dez took him under her wing. I can't wait to re-remember how they grow both together and apart as people.
I thought I had a vague recollection that the ending was going to be sob inducing and I'm glad I was wrong. It was sweet and heart-pounding all at the same! I'm both excited and nervous about the next book because I know deep, deep down in my soul that the crap is going to hit the fan various times before it gets to the light at the end of the tunnel.
My Favorite Quotes:
"You're a human being, not a weapon. You don't belong to anyone."
"Every event in people's lives shape their future. You cannot change these things."
"I loved proving people wrong - especially myself. I thrived on it."
This series is magical and I never want it to end! Please give me all the books pertaining to this series, I beg you! The world is so fascinating and well built. The characters are complex and some walk in a grey area that makes the story that much more interesting.
Robin has been withstanding everything that's been thrown at her up to this point and it's amazing she's still alive. I've never seen myself so much in a character like I do with Robin. She's a bookworm who normally likes to stick to the outskirts of groups of people. She wasn't taught any of the survival skills she needs to have in this magical world she's found herself in much to her mother's dismay. Though I still wish I had her cooking skills. It's a fascinating balance Annette Marie strikes with Robin and the world she put her in and I love it!
Zylas is amazingly intelligent while also being a jerk half the time. There are moments when he has me thinking that he actually cares and then that all goes out the window after he calls Robin stupid in his native tongue. It's an entertaining dynamic and I'm excited to see where it's heading. I've said this before and I'll say it again I can't help but want Zylas and Robin to become a couple as dysfunctional as that may turn out.
There were a lot of action-packed scenes that had me on the edge of my seat with my hands over my eyes. There were way too many close calls for comfort. The ending had a bad feeling churning in my gut and I don't know how it's all going to be ok again. At this point, I just need some assurances that everything and everyone will be ok again.
The Audio Book:
There were one or two scenes where I did get lost in dialogue because the voices were too similar. Other than that the narration was good!
Unfortunately, this was the first book in this series where everything felt lukewarm until the very last chapter. That last chapter did SO much for this book and my heart. I'm so glad things got better though, but boy do I know how to pick em! I've been Team Erza since the beginning and I'm putting my foot down Annette Marie! You can't do that to Erza, you just CAN'T!
Tori was sassy as ever in this novel and I love to see how her fighting skills are improving little by little as each book gets released. Though in this novel we see her show more emotion than what is considered, at this point in the stories, normal for her. My heart was breaking right along with her because this is the moment I, as part of Team Erza, have been waiting 5 books for! Things just have to go right, they just have to!
The guys have been great companions to Tori in the magical world! I love how they each have distinct personalities and quirks. Though Aaron came off as a stuck up *ss in a few parts of this story I'm glad he was called out on his BS. Erza became a much bigger part of this story than I was anticipating and I'm both elated and terrified for the next novel.
The ending. Broke. My. Heart. We were finally getting to know Erza and things were starting to look up but then that happened and I refuse to let it come to pass. Tori has to find a way to work things out. Dare I say no matter the cost! I just need the audio book for the latest book in this series to become available already.
The Audio Book:
The narration was great as always! The voices and tones were good and distinct enough for me to not get lost in conversations between 3+ characters.
*Trigger warning:(show spoiler)
This book was a journey that started out frustrating and ended with a bang! I'm so glad I pushed through because I would have missed out on a fantastic story.
Megan had a not so great life after the death of a family member and eventually getting passed onto her aunt didn't help where she was at mentally. I found her naiveté and her denseness very frustrating in the beginning of the novel but it was understandable to a degree. It didn't help things when her classes didn't answer any questions outright and no adult would inform her of what her situation with magic was. It took over 10 chapters for information to start floating in and even then it was a very slow trickle.(show spoiler)
Griffin was great overall, though the way Megan dismissed why he was in the circumstances that he was in was troublesome, to say the least. He was overall a sarcastic and lovable guy with a dark and protective streak that would pop up here and there. I liked how communicative he was with Megan after things got serious between them. Though his age was never confirmed it made me feel kind of icky when Megan confirmed she was only 16 and I didn't know how much older he was than her.
Now onto what bothered me throughout this story: The overall pacing. This novel started off slower than I usually like. It took over 20 chapters to finish her first day at this new school. There were things that were mentioned with detail that didn't necessarily have to be there. There were moments when things got-going and they were fantastic until everything slowed down again. I understand this issue is a personal preference of mine but I can't help how it detracted from the story for me. Also having a glossary of terms would have been very helpful throughout the book.
The ending tied everything together and it was incredible! It was action-packed, fast-paced and magical *wink wink*. It made everything the author had set up in chapters past worth it. It also set up the next novel for this series which I'm still on the fence about.
My Favorite Quotes:
"People are so impressionable, they can die of imagination."
"Nobody can make you feel inferior unless you let them."
"And I wish, most of all, to protect you, no matter the consequences."
This was everything I wanted and SO MUCH more! Jennifer has done it again! Her writing has come such a long way since I read the Lux series. She knows how to write long books and keep me interested the whole way through.
Luc is now my favorite of all the book boyfriends I've encountered over the last decade or so! He's sweet and caring with a possessive streak that rears it's ugly head when things become dire. I also love that he's not afraid of a little something called emotions and feelings. I know it sends shudders through almost every book boyfriend I've read about in the past too.
Evie has been dealt a really bad hand and it just keeps getting worse as time goes by. Luc is the star that lights her way because without him this would have probably not even started (read the book and this sentence will make sense, I promise!). It's a breath of fresh air when something happens to her and she doesn't keep it a secret from Luc and they work on resolving the problem together with their friends. Their communication skills were fantastic in this book.
The author has been very trigger-happy in this series and that scares me a little for future books. People are dying left and right: bad guys, good guys and everyone else in between has been fair game.
My only point of criticism is how these books are released. I would rather have the author work on and release one series at a time than have her working to 2+ series and release only one book per year in that series.
I truly don't know what to expect from this series in the following books (which will be a total of 5). I'm excited and optimistic that things are just going to keep getting bigger and better where the books are concerned. Though their adventure needs to span a total of 5 books so it'll probably be getting worse for the characters until we get to that last book.
The Audio Book:
The narration was fantastic! She has a nice range of male and female voices and I didn't get lost in the dialogue because voices sounded the same.
This book was a nice breath of fresh air! The world-building was good and I have a feeling that it's going to become more and more prominent as the series progresses. The writing style and overall pacing of the story were also very good.
Daria was an interesting character to get to know! It's been a few years since I've read about a healer and I had forgotten how fascinating the powers can be. I liked that the author brought together an everyday paranormal creature with a less known/recognizable one. Though let's all just say how annoyed I was with her at ditching her security for a meeting that was sketchy from the getgo.
Logan was also a breath of fresh air when it came to his emotions. I still get taken aback when a book has a hero that actually emotes and has the maturity to have a conversation that mentions *gulp* feelings of any kind. I liked how attentive and protective he was with Daria and the people she loved. He was such a sweet guy with a controlling streak when things got dire.
Logan's packmates stood out in the story, which is a strange sentence coming from the person that usually lets the background characters blur together when they're introduced one on top of the other. Each one had distinct personalities and abilities. I hope we eventually get to read their stories when they find their respective mates.
The ending was bittersweet and emotional! I understand that their respective lives must go on, but I just want them to be happy together. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
My Favorite Quotes:
"It may take a few years, five years, ten years ... h*ll, maybe even twenty years, by at some point in the future you'll be able to remember them without it choking you."
"I don't operate on luck."
This book started off very interesting! I love mythology-based stories, it gets even better when it's mentioned that one of the creatures that are part of this story are gargoyles. Having more obscure creatures be a big part of a story is amazing to see.
The writing style is a bit too descriptive for my taste but that was lessened by speeding up the audio narration. One thing the author does well is create tension and angst between Eve and Asher. There were some points where it could be cut with a hacksaw and it still would have taken some work. Though it got frustrating towards the end because it was never explained why they couldn't be a couple in the first place other than "that's a no-no".
Eve started off very innocent and sweet and I don't mean that as a compliment. There was bearly any spunk to her at all. Her friends dictated her life in terms of going out and "being social". Personally, I wanted her to have a bit more personality. When things started going it didn't get any better because everyone kept everything from her always. There were small tidbits here and there that she would overhear but it never made much sense because she didn't know any background on anything anyway. This trope of keeping the main character in the dark with the reader is one of the tropes that can go so wrong when not done properly. I think the story would have been better had this been executed better.
Asher was a mysterious and standoffish character that I disliked at first. His tender moments eventually overpowered his bad moments and I concluded that he was the lesser of two evils. It's implied that he's still keeping a big secret from Eve and I'm close to pulling my hair out in annoyance due to all the secrets making up this story. Can everyone ever get on the same page?!
I had an inkling that something was going to go wrong with their idiotic plan at the end. I wasn't surprised if I'm honest. Most of the girls Eve hung out with throughout the novel didn't really stand out to me. They all blurred into one, except the B with an itch whose name I don't care to remember (she can go die in a ditch somewhere for all she adds to the story).
The Audio Book:
I've seen a lot of criticism thrown this narrator's way and I have to disagree. I really enjoy her narrations! She has a good enough range where each character has a distinctive voice and accent, which means I don't get lost in conversations with 3+ people. Personally, she reads at a slower pace than I find comfortable so I fixed that by speeding the audio book up to x1.25. What we can take away from this narration is that taste is subjective and that's totally fine! Everything will not be for everyone!
This book was worth the time I waited for the audio book to release and SO much more! This is the kind of book I want to read all year round! It was suspenseful and action-packed with quirky characters who shouldn't fit together but still find a way to make it work!
Robin was such a good character! She's the last thing you expect when you think of a demon contractor but her dynamic with Zylas is incredible! I love that she's an introvert who has a hard time standing up for herself. Her love of baking is adorable and made my mouth water multiple times throughout the novel.
Zylas was an interesting and mysterious character. His motives are still up in the air but the author still found ways to showcase his soft spot for Robin. There were quite a few times that I found myself grinning like a fool during the audio book because of those scenes.(show spoiler)
What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall of Annette Marie's mind right now! This was the best book to start the year off with! The universe this series is set in has proven itself to be fantastic and I can't wait for all the other books to come!
The Audio Book:
Cris Dukehart does a great job with the narration! I was surprised she even enunciated the alien language Zylas speaks. She seems to be expanding her range of female and male voices. I liked this audio book very much!
I wasn't expecting much from this book, yet it still managed to kind of bore me. The first 4 hours or so of this novel almost had me DNFing it. I'm glad I pushed through but I'm not sure I care enough about the characters to move onto the third and last book of this trilogy.
Reagan was only okay this time around. I still find myself liking her sense of humor but it's too played up and in your face. It's like she's waiting for a camera close up after a punchline in a sitcom so she can wink and the audience can laugh. She was as kick*ss as ever in this novel which is what keeps the story trudging along.
Darius is getting creepier and creepier with every novel that's gone by. He inserted himself in Reagan's life without her consent and even after she's told him to stop he's still in the same exact place. He a master at building these very perilous circumstances to pressure her into giving in to him or something bad with happen to both of them by external forces. He still rubs me the wrong way and I can't really defend him at this point.
The epilogue was eye-opening and intriguing but, like I've mentioned, I don't know if I'm invested enough in everything to pick up the next book. Only time will tell...
The Audio Book:
I adore Nicole Poole's narrations! She has an amazing vocal range for male and female voices with and without accents.
* I received a free copy of this book from the author via Booksprout.
This was such a good book! Even though the overall pacing to the story was on the slower side the writing enabled it to flow flawlessly until the end. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for more books in this series!
Nicki was presented as this kick-butt character who was into martial arts and running away from something even though she had no idea why initially. Her character is also into BDSM, which was a first for me considering I'd pegged this book as a UF. I can't say whether it was presented correctly or not because it's not something I'm educated on but it was an interesting concept in her character development and I liked how it wasn't just about her getting some with other characters. Even though I understand her thought process and can agree with her to some degree she came off as whiny and slightly annoying in the second half of the novel and it took away from the story a little for me.
Logan was charming and protective throughout the novel and it was overall sweet the lengths he went to try and keep her safe. Considering his age and supposed "wisdom" I'd like to have seen him give her more time to acclimate to the new world he presented to her and for her to open up to him. I liked him overall but there were some instances where I personally wanted to bash him over the head with a bolder or something.
The ending I was not expecting! I always had a niggling feeling that something was up but I never imagined what actually happened. This author proved herself to be an amazing storyteller. I'm SO glad I took a chance on her and this book! I'm personally invested in reading about Kurtis if/when there's a next book, so fingers crossed!
My Favorite Quotes:
"We are all broken. Everyone deals with the broken pieces of themselves in various ways."
"Love is a b*tch. All it brings is emptiness."
"To get over the past you must first accept the past is over. No matter how many times you analyze it, or regret it, it's over."
As of two years ago, I decided to challenge myself to read books that I normally wouldn't pick up, with the intention of broadening my horizons and maybe even finding something I liked in stories I didn't think I would like in the first place. This book was the first winner for me with this challenge.
Anti-heroes rub me the wrong way. I've felt like this for quite a few years. I've picked up books in the past that featured this kind of character and as enjoyable as the stories were they didn't captivate me. This book proved to me that maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. The writing style was awesome and the pacing, though slow at times, did great things for the overall story.
Eric was something alright. He came off as very menacing and angry in the beginning. I disliked all the violence but I enjoyed the moments when the heroine got the upper hand on a guy twice her size (even as improbable as it was). He ended up having a sweet and somewhat devious side that kind of redeemed him in some aspects. I'm not sure what to make of him but it was one heck of an entertaining story.
Anna was getting nowhere in her life because of an incident a year before that made her decide to switch careers to try and pursue some peace of mind. She was very skittish and overall unhappy with her life. The way her relationship developed does have stockholm syndrome written all over it but I'm still ok with it (if that makes any sense)? It was well developed within the story and she did try to rationalize it away if that helps.
The ending was kind of sweet! It's like Eric becomes a different version of himself with her by his side and it helped close out the story in a peaceful way just like how it all started.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Just because you can't relate doesn't mean they don't exist. You never know what hides beneath the façade of another human being."
"I live in a world where the monsters under the bed have all come to life."
"You gave me hope when there was none to be had."
I've been loving the last few releases in the Black Dagger Brotherhood and Legacy series. This one was no different! It broke my heart, punched me in the feels, made me angry and then tied it all up in a pretty bow.
Due to my lack of interest in certain storylines and characters, I chose to skip part one (which is the book called The Shadows - BDB #13) of this story and I'm regretting the moment I made that decision! This would have probably been so much more intense and heart-wrenching had I read that book.
Trez was such a heartbreaking character to read about! He was down so deep in his own sorrow due to circumstances beyond his control. It was hard to watch him go through what he did. I wish he had gone about Therese a different and more honest way but I can accept that with the way things worked out in the end.
Therese was a sweet and loyal person who had a great family until she reacted in anger to a situation that (in my opinion) should have never been kept from her in the first place. With that, she learned how to be her own person away from her family. I liked how she didn't jump on the help Trez offered from the beginning. She was looking to carve her own way in life regardless of the circumstances that left her in.
I was losing hope by the last few chapters but I'm SO happy that things worked themselves out with some help from a sassy character *wink, wink*! I'm excited about the future installments in this series and its spin-offs!
My Favorite Quotes:
"And besides, his grief was like the snow on his car. Blinding him to what was all around, rendering him cold and sightless as to the truths he was living in."
"[...] Once the past got a stranglehold on you, it was like an anchor with grasping hands, dragging you down, down, down, until you couldn't breathe and you didn't know where the surface was anymore."
"[...] Emotions weren't reasonable and couldn't be reasoned with."
This book made me realize something that I probably should have figured out while I was reading the Dark Elements series. My problem with those novels was always one character (Layla) and not the overall story because I ended up loving this novel. Even though it was more on the slow end of the spectrum it made for a fascinating journey!
The new heroine Trinity has a much better head on her shoulders. Maybe it's because she's 18 and more "mature". All I can tell you is that I gravitated towards her as a character. She fights for what she believes is the right choice, doesn't attract drama like the plague and *bonus* knows how to talk things out like an adult without whining or throwing a fit.
Zayn was very toned down from what I remember him being in the Dark Elements trilogy. Though that's probably my fault because I just couldn't take the drama Layla was causing and skipped the third book altogether. From what I pieced together from the information provided in this story I have a very vague idea of what happened to him and it makes that third book sound amazing, if only it weren't for Layla... Anyway, Zayn was very responsible and has matured quite well. He has a temper but is still respectful enough to let things go and converse about it later on.
Roth was a fantastic part of this book! Without Layla being present and the drama she brings with her, I really enjoy his personality! The more I think about it the more I realize that I disliked Layla not the story or the universe the author built in the Dark Elements series.
The twist at the end was like a knife twisting in my heart! Trinity and Zayn just found each other and now this happens. I want to know more about their protector bond and how they're going to deal with the consequences of having it and their possible blossoming relationship (maybe I'm being too hopeful!). Here's to a year-long wait!
The Audio Book:
I didn't dislike the narration but I think a different narrator should have been chosen. Lauren Fortgang has a decent range of male and female voices but she can only go so far. Roth's voice, in particular, was unfortunate and it felt like I was hearing her destroy her voice for an end product that was dubious at best.
* I received a free copy of the audio book for this novel from Free Audiobook Promo Codes. All opinions in the following review are my own.
What was I thinking when I decided I wanted to read this book? I'll tell you what, I wasn't thinking. Had I bothered to skim its Goodreads page we wouldn't be here now. This book wasn't for me, that's for sure!
Fen was whiny and annoying. She let herself be convinced way too easily by her so-called pack. She also "accepted" people into her inner circle way too easily for someone on the run. If I were her I would never have wanted to see Hunter's face again. Also, in what world is she considered an "alpha"? She bearly has control of her pack as it is.
Hunter was stoic and uninteresting. I didn't understand his appeal. Though don't worry, we all know he's an uber-alpha because it was repeated 800+ times during the 7+ hours of this audio book. I also don't understand why Hunter did what he did to Fen in the first place. What did he gain from setting her on her own? She was defenseless, to a degree, but she still welcomed him in.
Her "pack" was one big blur. None of them were memorable enough for me to remember their names. They were all kids (for the most part) and helped Fen make decisions that would involve the whole pack. The only one that separated herself from the others a little bit, at first, for being extremely annoying and later turned into a whole other situation was the "trouble twin" (it's how she was referred to by Fen multiple times throughout the novel).
What happened at the end of this novel would have come so much more easily and sooner had everyone stopped and had an actual conversation with one another. The pack loved to throw accusations but they ended up picking the wrong bad guy. It's a wonder how my eyes are still attached to my head considering how much I rolled them during the 7+ hours of this audio book.
The Audio Book:
The narration was magical compared to what this story put me through. Though be advised that this narrator doesn't have a nice range of male and females voices. Most of the characters sounded alike (especially when 3+ characters were having a conversation) and it did get confusing.
This book brought me back to the beginning of paranormal romance vampire books! This is what I want to see more of in vampire romance books period. I want an interesting overall storyline and a relationship rearing its head in the midst of problems. This is what, I consider, ground zero for what vampire books have become today.
Eleven was an interesting character in a harsh situation from the beginning. He was a mysterious character because no one besides the big bad actually knew much about him. It wasn't his own making and that just made it all the more intriguing. I'm hoping more tidbits from everyone's background will be sprinkled in future books of this series.
Ettie was an okay character. Considering my dislike of kids in novels, I actually thought she was more entertaining as one. As an adult, she made very poor decisions. Even when presented with option A or running and dying she has the gall to think she can run and not die. Did she not live through the nightmare child-her initially described or did I just hallucinate her backstory? Also, does she have a death wish?
The other guys make me think this series is going to be long and prosperous. This overall idea is reminiscent of the J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series but much more toned down, which I really enjoy!
My Favorite Quote:
"Small doesn't mean weak."
I adore this series and its characters but I didn't like that this was a novella-length novel. Personally, I would have preferred one bigger book with no cliffhanger than a full novel ending in a cliffhanger and a novella to tie things off.
I loved the glimpse we got into Gem's head in this story! She's such a fun character in all the other books, so it was great to see her in the spotlight. I'm still holding out hope that the characters in Keystone will eventually pair off and maybe get their own stories.
Niko was always an enigma. It was nice to have a light shined into his past. I understand him and his mannerisms better now because of it. I still am holding a grudge for the unnecessary cliffhanger from the last novel though.
Overall, this was a short and inciteful adventure! As much as I liked it I just wanted more after waiting out the cliffhanger for a few months. I hope the next novel is a full-length adventure for the Keystone crew!
The Audio Book:
Nicole Poole did a fantastic job with this narration! Her voice was clear and crisp. The accents and female and male voices were awesome. She's become my favorite narrator in the past few years!