A blog dedicated to reviewing and promoting the books I love.
It looks like I missed a few important events by not finishing 'One Second', but that isn't going to make me go back and try to push through it for the third time. I adored the small tidbits this novella provided in past stories and the beginnings of one or two.
I loved getting insight into Trevor and William. In the series, they were always in the background. This novella was great because it "checked up" on so many people. It wasn't anything set in stone, but it was something I had been waiting for for the past few books and it finally happened.
This novella also got me interested in a possible Lakota spin-off series. He seems sweet and capable. Though I'm not sure I'm a big fan of Melody, considering her brilliant idea of going to look for a cat in a snowstorm close to nightfall.
The one thing I wish I did know the details of was the Ben situation. After what happened in Wheeler's story (Book #5 in this series) I thought that was the last I'd ever see of him. I don't think he deserves a happy ending and I'm not quite sure how to deal with him and the situation.
In conclusion, I liked this not quite "ending" to this series. It was sweet and almost every character seems to have a purpose or a possible story to tell in the future if the author so chooses. This was a great series and I can't wait to continue reading novels by this author!
The Audio Book:
The narration was great! Though the men seemed to have very similar voices but considering they're brothers it's something I expected. I've listened to a few of their individual stories and they do sound similar all around. It just makes it tricky in this novella because, for the most part, there are usually 2 or 3 brothers together at all times in most scenes.
* This review contains a few minor spoilers for this story.
My expectations weren't too high for this novella and that's probably what saved it from ending up a DNF. I liked how the story started out in the first book of this series, but this one was just a rushed and disjointed series of coincidences.
I liked Legend, but I can't overlook the fact that he "found" star by refusing a "trade" which had consequences an ancient vampire, as he calls himself multiple times in this novella, should have seen coming.
Star wasn't around enough for me to get to know her. We're informed, by her, of the trauma she's gone through, how her mother is somewhat at fault for it and her current circumstances. Other than her miraculous survival at the end and her power there isn't much to say about her. She'll probably have a big role in the next few books because of the storyline she's so intricately a part of. I'd like to see more of her.
I don't like that the author relied on sheer luck to pull this story together. There should have been better planned twists and turns to get Legend to that castle. This story feels like a rushed cop-out, but for the purpose of moving the overall storyline along and giving the reader an "origin" story for Star, I can't say I hated it.
My Favorite Quotes:
"The only thing to see in life is darkness and light. Nothing else exists or matters."
"I just wish I were completely free."
This was a surprisingly enjoyable novel. I can't put into words as to why I went into this book apprehensively. I've been in a book slump as of late so due to that circumstance I've been DNFing books left and right. I'm glad this was an exception.
Jules was one of the brighter characters in this novel. He's smart, sweet and caring, but ruthless when push comes to shove. He was one of the more sane character's and I appreciated his presence overall.
I guessed/saw most of the "twists" coming from miles away, which was disappointing when I was finally proved right. I like stories that keep me guessing and unfortunately, this was not one of those stories. I liked it nonetheless, but I wasn't blown away by it. The next novel (based on the last few pages of this one) seems to be Legends story and I can't help but be excited about it.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Emotional scars, they take time [to heal]. Sometimes more than physical wounds."
"(...) cruelty exists everywhere."
"[We're] running from the past and chasing a future I hope we can find."
I adore this series and I'm so glad it's still living up to my expectations from the first time I read it. This time around the secondary characters left a big impression on me. I especially liked Vlad in this book (too bad his series made me despise him).
I love Cat. She's stubborn, protective of what's hers and a kick*ss fighter. Her relationship with Bones' can get rocky at times, but she doesn't back down easily or martyr herself. I like how she's grown and evolved from the first book when she used to go to a bar to seduce and stake a vampire a night.
I like Bones overall, but he can come off as too overprotective in quite a few situations. That's not what I would consider a quality and it sometimes annoys me to no end. Other than that, I like how he's brutally honest especially when it comes to making difficult decisions.
I consider this series to be a classic in the vampire genre. If you like vampires (that don't shine) with a dash of romance and gore, I recommend this series to the ends of the earth and back.
The Audio Book:
I liked everything about this book except Bones' voice. It's not at all what I first imagined when I first read these books (before the audio books released). My gripe with his voice is the overall pitch. I've never met a guy that spoke in that high of a pitch. Other than that, the narration was awesome.
Now that I've had a few months to forget my dislike of certain aspects of this series I can say that I enjoyed this novella very much. My dislike was mostly directed towards Logan and Silver and the situations they'd get themselves in. All the other characters were very likable and entertaining.
I like how this novella was set up to give a glimpse into the lives of so many of the characters. This story has me invested in a happy ending for Logan's brothers and Finn. If only writing books was a fast, painless and easy process.
Silver and Logan's happily ever after was cute and that's coming from someone that doesn't necessarily like kids in the books she reads. There are exceptions to every rule and this novella turned out to be one of them. Though I wish I had read this authors books in the order that makes little tidbits in the story more visible to me because, if I'm going off of what happened in the end of this novella, I missed a lot.
In conclusion, the family dynamic in this series is amazing. I love how this story and its characters are accepting of others that aren't like them. Their group accepts that love is love, regardless of species, gender, and ethnicity. No one should be ostracized for showing their true selves and being outside of what everyone considers the "norm". It's a beautiful message that deserves recognition!
The Audio Book:
This narrator's voice has grown on me over the course of this series and a few other books. I love her range in accents and believable male and female voices. She's made me look forward to many other audio books when I see her name mentioned as the narrator. Her narration was awesome in this novella!
* This is a review of the audio book that was released in 2011. All the physical novels in this series have recently been updated. I don't believe the audio book narration has. Please keep that in mind while reading this review.
This book has not aged well and my younger self is very disappointed. I've also realized how my tastes in books have changed. I used to love eating up these superficial vampire stories. The difference is that now I know there are much better novels available to me.
It's a shame I had to start this series over a few years later for me to see an ending to it. I read this series when it was first releasing (2010). This book got involved in a bit of drama when it came to the conclusion of the series. Readers were, unfortunately, sending hateful emails to the author because they didn't agree with the direction she was taking the love triangle in, so the author ended up not concluding the series at the time. The last book in this series has finally been released. That's what spurred me into rereading this.
This time around I found myself on the complete opposite side of the love triangle. Then again, I couldn't care less about the heroine, but if I HAD to pick a side it'd be Jack. Jack is an all-around nice and geeky guy. He loves cracking jokes and rolls with the punches life seems to love to throw at him.
Peter is such a brooding and over the top *ss. I don't know what I once saw in him. He's controlling and seems to think he's an exception to every rule. I wouldn't want him next to me even if you paid me.
I had so many problems with Alice. She's a doormat, hates school and seems to be suicidal. I strongly believe in getting an education. She's so dense that it took Jack saying what he was to her face even after she had all the clues to figure it out herself. I wouldn't have minded what happened if this book were about obscure mythology that isn't a huge part of pop culture, but she had no excuses for not guessing vampire first. I also don't understand why her life, all of a sudden, revolves around this family. No one in their right mind would go over to someone's house for 3 weeks straight and not think to themselves "Maybe I'm imposing myself into their lives a little bit too much."
I'm aware that I'm being hyper-critical of this novel. That's due to the fact that I'm disappointed that even nostalgia couldn't make me overlook what I think are factors that could be improved on. At this point, I'm tempted to just skip to the last book, but I have barely any recollection of this series beyond the first book.
The Audio Book:
I only picked this up as an audio book because it was convenient for me (I was suffering from the common cold with allergies and blurry vision at the time of reading this book). Though this passed the time, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. There was barely any difference between male and female voices. I will say that the narrator's voice was very relaxing though.
* If you are thinking about committing suicide or have gone through any abuse (sexual, verbal, or otherwise) please get help. There are places dedicated to helping people going through the same thing you're going through. Remember you are not alone! Please visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
This novel deals with very serious subject matter and as much as I respect that, I didn't necessarily like the way it was told. Something was off about it. Maybe it was the writing style or the way the author set out to tell it. Unfortunately, I didn't love it.
There were times when the dialogue was robotic and excessively wordy for no apparent reason. There were other times when the character seemed to have verbal diarrhea because they wouldn't shut up about how they were feeling when the original question was the equivalent to "how's the weather today?".
Though I can respect a good and sometimes elaborate monologue this book, at times, had too little of it and other times too much of it. Things were getting over explained from different point of views and didn't have the effect that the author was hoping for from me. The story started to drag on in some moments and speed up at other moments.
On a better note, I really liked Cy. He had a horrible series of events happen to him and to top it all off his mother never believed a word he said about it all until drastic measures were taken. He's earned my respect especially when he made it a point to get help. I would have loved to see a scene of one of his therapy sessions in the book. The only turn off was in the beginning with him bullying the heroine. Everyone makes mistakes, but had I been in Eve's shoes I wouldn't have cared about what could have happened to him.
Eve was a very likable character. She was bullied when she was younger and she claims that it made her the person she is today. I can agree that a few bad situations can build character, but I wouldn't want to be in the same room as the person who has hurt me up to that point in life. I liked how she was the bigger person and forgave Cy. Their relationship was cute, if not a tad bit overbearing and overprotective on Cy's part.
The ending was too perfectly predictable. When I say that I'm referencing the letters from Risa. What if the complete opposite had happened and she was just reading too much into the situation? Some moms are known to do that. I knew that was the way it was going to end up eventually, but those letters were the straw that broke the camel's back. As dark and twisted as this story was I didn't like how it was executed overall.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Because your life is worth more than my hurt feelings. Because as much as you don't think so, you matter to me."
"It's possible to go through life on autopilot. I've done it many times."
"Once I escaped this h*ll, there was no returning."
This was the first book by this author that I read without skimming in years. If you visit my review of the last two books in this series you'll recognize the theme of me asking: "Why couldn't this be just one story". Though I still wish that each character had their individual books I loved these stories in particular. All the breaks in-between were stress inducing and harsh, though everything tied beautifully in the end.
Novo was such an exciting character to get to know because she's always been mysterious and closed off in past stories. I like how she does things and deals with things in her own way. She doesn't need anyone but welcomes Peyton in anyway.
Peyton proved to be a good person throughout the story. It's sad that it took that horrific accident in the field to make him realize that who he "needed/wanted" wasn't Paradise after all. I liked seeing him evolve and I would love a side story about him and Novo a few books from now.
Saxton and Ruhn was such an adorable couple. I liked the continued respect they had in their peer groups before and after they became a couple. Though it was the second main storyline in this novel I was very invested in their happy ending. Ruhn reminded me of Zsadist in a few ways and made me root for him even more. The almost end had me on the edge of my seat hoping the author wouldn't do to Ruhn what she did to Doc Jane (V's shellan), which to be honest, I hated.
The ending was amazing for quite of few characters and showcased Oskar's inability to act and say no to something he clearly didn't want. I don't feel any sympathy for him because of what he did to Novo. I don't want to see a happy ending for him. Though I would adore another novel in this series featuring Romina or someone else from this new group of fighters!
My Favorite Quotes:
"Truth, like trust, had to be earned."
"Life, after all, was so much more than nostalgia e regrets."
"In order to move forward, you had to let the past go - and sometimes that meant mental shifts that happened on the inside [...]."
This book is just my kind of humor. I loved everything about the story and the somewhat of a character arc that was sneakily inserted every now and then. It was a cute read with some stern talking-tos in between.
Broody is so full of himself and it's strangely endearing. He's very up in his head all the time and seems to think that things never change/evolve. I liked how Blondie would derail him in some very important aspects.
Blondie made me rethink every single evil ex-girlfriend character I've ever read about. She made very good points about women's roles in books always (most of the times) being dependent on the hero and his actions. She also mentioned how minorities are underrepresented in main character roles and as authors. It's a good thing the bookish world is evolving, it'll slowly and surely get there.
The ending was cute. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it did leave me feeling accomplished for some reason. I would love for this to be a series of some kind. Maybe the next novel could be about life lessons with Blondie as the "narrator"/main character?
"All authors are powerful, godlike beings, who are capable of doing horrible things to characters."
"You're always a main character, remember? Ignore anyone, and any story, that doesn't make you feel like one."
"The route clearly symbolizes how there is no straight path through the future."
This was the story I never knew I wanted, but I'm so glad to have! I love the Shifters series and this spin-off series has been a dream come true! The universe the author created is incredible and complex. I want to get to know the intricacies of it all. The characters are also so fun to get to know.
I didn't remember Kaci from the Shifters series because of how much time has passed since I read those books. Though I am very impressed with how she turned out and how overprotective Marc is over her. Her reality was somewhat sad and dull. It was clear no toms wanted her. She took the first opportunity she had to do something drastic and I love her for it.
I mentioned in my review of the second book in this series that I wanted a happy ending for Justus and I got it! I was so excited when I realized this was also his story! I like how he was patient, caring and adventurous. He would do any and everything in his power to help Kaci and he's proved it a time or two already.
For the next few books in this series, I'd like to see more of Titus's pack (Mississippi Valley Pack). I'd love it if a few of his enforcers/people could fall in love with a tabby or human. I love the world this author created and I want to continue reading more about it!
My Favorite Quotes:
"Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes home isn't where you always thought it would be."
"Having something and losing it is worse than never having it in the first place."
"She's not traumatized. She's...scarred. Healed. She's strong, and she's smart."
This was a very nice story. Everything moved at a steady pace and was overall well written. I wished there was more of a transition between events though. There were times where I had to go back and reread a few paragraphs for me to realize why things weren't making sense all of sudden. Only for me to comprehend that the characters were in a new setting (that hadn't been specifically pointed out) and I was lost for a page or so.
Naomi was an interesting and smart character. She was level headed in hard situations and liked to take the rational road to solve things. She also liked asking for advice instead of jumping to dramatic conclusions. I can respect someone like her.
I liked Sean (for the most part). I loved how he handled Naomi's medical condition in the beginning of the novel when most people wouldn't have. I liked how caring and sweet he was toward her. The hot and cold relationship thing was (for most of the novel) his doing. I understand that all the "accidents" that kept happening to Naomi would be a reason to be alarmed and would cause him to protect her, but it felt like a filler for the sole purpose of adding drama to the story.
The capturing of the bad guy moment in the novel was so anticlimactic. I don't know what I was expecting to happen, but it wasn't what was presented to me. The way it was handled made me think that something even bigger was being set up (with only about 4 short chapters left in the book) which made me stay on the edge of my seat waiting and have nothing happen. Overall the ending was sweet and they got their happy ending.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Life has never given me lemons. It's given anger issues, a love for alcohol, high blood pressure, and an extreme dislike of stupid people."
"I've reached an age where my mind says, 'I can do that.' But my body says, 'Try it and die [...]'."
"You don't have to be crazy to be my friend. I'll train you."
Though things started off rocky (in the first book) this series has grown on me and I'm loving every minute of it. The authors writing and narrating style has gotten better with every novel. I liked how this story was structured.
I don't remember Bennett being introduced in the last few books in this series, though that could be because he belongs in one of the other intertwined series by this author. I can't say I'm mad about it though. I liked how willing to talk things out he was and his level of rationality.
I liked how the heroine was trained in karate and how headstrong she seemed to be with everyone except her brother. On a completely separate note, I started out sympathizing with her, but I ended up getting tired of her waterworks. I can understand (to a point) the amount of tears considering what happened to her and the situation she was left in. If every small detail makes you cry, shouldn't you eventually try and get help or talk it out with someone?
My one criticism should be taken with a grain of salt because it's mostly a personal preference: Would it kill someone to write in a condom in some part of the story? Why was it that the talk of babies was brought up even before they were officially together? Why does everything revolve around having kids? It can't be only me with this rationale.
"I wasn't losing hope. I'd lost it."
"She'd made me want to be better. She'd made me want to become someone that she'd be proud of."
"Everything I'd ever wanted was slipping away before I had a chance to grab onto it."
This is the first book in years that has made me shed actual tears. The ending was absolutely perfect. Annette Marie's ability to weave a story is stunning. Her ability to provoke such strong emotions with fictional characters is incredible. I'm SO glad I gave this series a chance.
Emi continues to be strong and fierce in this novel. The story moves at a steady pace. Though I will say, some things come way too easy for her and fell into place a little bit too perfectly. I was so invested in the characters and the story that I simply chose to overlook those details.
Shiro proved to be as deceiving and conniving as his reputation said he'd be, but in a good way. He saved Emi on pure luck and that made the moment that much more gut-wrenching. I adore Shiro.
I'm SO glad I was wrong on all my conspiracy theories. I was hoping that everything would be okay for everyone (especially Emi), but I didn't see that coming and I loved it! I can't say enough good things about the ending. It was so sweet to finally think that after all of his extended lifetimes Shiro would finally know happiness and it all started because of a girl in the woods that he helped.
The Audio Book:
The narration was very good, though there were times when I couldn't tell the difference between male characters because the voices were so similar and talking consecutively. Though it was my own fault, I did get lost on what characters were who. The narration, at times, didn't help with my confusion. I would recommend audio books narrated by Emily Woo Zeller considering half the problem was my own fault.
This sequel was amazing! I love how the mythology is playing such a big part in the story with all these powerful beings. I also love how dynamic it's grown because it shines a light on how almost human and petty these, for lack of a better word, "gods" can be for world domination.
I like Emi's feisty nature and her quick retorts, but everything seems to come almost miraculously to her. She's also on death's door a lot. Her adventures, or should I say misadventures, move the story along, but it's something that's easy to overdo and I've met my quota for it.
Shiro has his true identity revealed in this novel and it was both exciting and devastating. His story is way more tragic than was visible in the first book. At this point, he almost seems to literally have battling personalities inside his head. I'm shipping Emi and Shiro, so it's bittersweet, to say the least.
I have a few theories as to how this series will end and I'm hoping I'm wrong on everything. I've never wanted a happy ending for a pair of characters like I want a happy ending for Emi and Shiro, preferably together.
The Audio Book:
The narration was great, but I still wish Emily Woo Zeller had a larger overall range of male voices so I could tell everyone apart easier.
I picked up this book because I loved the Steel & Stone series by this author. I love how she weaves a story and how intricately everything seems to be intertwined with something else throughout the story. With that said, I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did! The mythology around everything was very interesting and well done.
Emi was a multifaceted character and the writing helped translate that. Underneath it all, she's still a young girl who hasn't gotten to experience life because of something she was chosen for and accepted. I hated how everyone talked down to her even though they were the ones that ended up keeping a huge secret. Her choice to, essentially, "serve" was made on false pretenses and that broke my heart. Walking into that kind of situation blind and changing the direction of your life for it is the deepest betrayal.
I really liked Shiro. As secretive and standoffish as he was in the beginning, he eventually warmed up to Emi. Is it bad of me to want him and Emi to have a chance at a relationship? I know there are so many extenuating circumstances, but they're so cute together.
The one and only thing that bothered me in this novel were the names. I went through the same thing when I first started watching anime. I could remember the characters faces and the purpose they had in the story, but I couldn't, for the life of me, commit their names to memory. I haven't watched anime in a long time, so I seem to have regressed in that aspect. By the end of the novel the names were getting jumbled up in my head and I would find myself lost for a few seconds or so trying to understand the scenes. It's my own fault (which I will admit to). I'm just not used to it anymore, but I'm hoping to get better at it as the story progresses.
The Audio Book:
I liked the overall narration, but Emily doesn't have a very big range of male voices. There were characters that sounded like they were the same person by voice in a single conversation (which only helped with my difficulty in remembering the names of everything and everyone in this novel).
This was a cute ending to this series. I still wish that the author would have published full books instead of novellas after the first one released. Overall, I'm satisfied with the way the story was finalized.
I like Mickey's humor and how she usually pushes back on wasting money (even though Cale seems to think it falls from the sky). In this novella, we finally find out how she and Cale ended up meeting, which was something that never crossed my mind after I finished the first book. I wish the author had elaborated on the situation between Mickey and Richard (the blackmail and her having to work in his building). That would have made for some plot enhancing twists and turns.
Cale is incredible. He doesn't let life get him down, even with the hand he was dealt. I like the dynamic he and Mickey have. He seems to be insecure about their relationship and that was surprising because of everything they've gone through together.
Even though this ending was beautiful, I still keep catching myself thinking up of 'what ifs'. This could have made for a much longer and more exciting series without all the time jumps and more content. I will say though that the dialogue in this novel was way better when compared to the other 3 books in this series. The witty banter was on point throughout the story.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Today, I wouldn't fight the inevitable. I'd surrender willingly."
"She challenged me, lured me to the edge of reason, pushed me off the f*cking cliff... And caught me every single time."
"She was my once-in-a-lifetime. My too-good-to-be-true."