A blog dedicated to reviewing and promoting the books I love.
I've tried and failed to read through quite a few books by this author. The stories and concepts she writes about are amazing but the writing style isn't for me. Her stories tend to be more on the description side with a slow and steady pace to everything. With determination, I overcame that for this story.
The overall story is very interesting! The world the author created feels big and ominous. The stakes feel real enough to drive the characters along without it feeling forced.
I like Alexis' sense of humor. She has the uncanny ability to drive people in circles all the while convincing them they're going in a straight line. Though the swear words disguised as silly phrases didn't really mesh with what was presented. It gets even stranger because her wards swear more than her.
I love to hate Kieran. He's just the right amount of caring and vulnerable to offset how creepy, stalkerish and domineering he can be. There were moments I wanted him to burn in a lake of fire but then he'd say something sweet or *gasp* apologize for something that he did. I just don't know what to think of him at this point in time.
I usually stay away from novels that have kids in them. I consider Malachi and Daisy children regardless of how old they are because they are in the care of Alexis. What ended up surprising me was how much I liked Malachi. I still want to know what ends up happening to him and his situation. Daisy's antics were also fun to listen to. If this series doesn't end up presenting a happily ever after for them I would love to get a spin-off series.
Overall this novel was only the tip of a very slow melting iceberg. There were a few really good moments and a lot of filler (for my taste). I'd like to know what happens next with Alexis and her team of misfits.
The Audio Book:
The narration was good. The voices were different enough for me to follow the dialogue throughout the story and not get lost on who was saying what. I will say that the narration is more on the slow side and even speed up to 1.25x it sounded completely normal.
I love the idea of this series of standalone books set in the same world while keeping the idea of what a vampire is consistent between all of them. This novel in particular, however, was not for me.
I understand that novellas are quick and short stories but I prefer them after I've read a full novel and have a grasp at who the characters are and what world they're in. This story felt too rushed. There wasn't much to anything if you exclude the mate bond. I wanted to get to know both characters, maybe have them share a full conversation and get to know each other apart from the bond for a period of at least 24 hours total before things progress any farther.
The action in this story was great, but everything got resolved so quickly to an unrealistic degree (even in fiction I have my limits). What could have been a recuse mission goes from kidnapped to wow-he-broke-the-door-down-and-the-other-guy-is-dead in the span of two pages.
I can't really comment on the characters because they didn't seem to have much of a personality other than I've-found-my-mate and your-mine-forevermore.
Maybe the problem with this book was me all along. I was expecting something with more depth and dare-I-say-it lore to the vampires this group of authors created. Everything felt surface deep and, try as I might, to understand I just wanted more than I got.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Even monsters can be heroes."
"Dying doesn't make anything special. Living does."
I may be biased but this is the best book in the series so far! I've been on Team Erza since the beginning and this book finally gave us a look into why he is how he is and so much more. For that alone, I consider this the best book to date in this series!
Now that I've gotten the fangirling out of the way, let's talk about the story. I can agree with a lot of other reviewers when they say Tori was in the background for the first half of this story, but it didn't bother me. She's human, she hasn't been training in any fighting style for most of her life like the warriors in the guild have. Unless we want her to get killed early on in the series I'm happy to let her take a step back every now and then.
I love how the author built this story up and organically introduced the main character for the spin-off series that will be intertwined with this one. I'm very curious about the new heroine and all the trouble she gets into with her demon companion.
The guys were awesome as always, especially Erza! I want to know more about his background and why he thought he had no other option than to become what he became.
The ending wasn't something I was expecting but it does make a lot of sense for the spin-off series to belong to the same guild. It'd be really interesting see how the author flips the demons-are-bad ideology this series has set up with the spin-off probably having one as a main character.
The Audio Book:
The narration was awesome! The voices were distinct enough to the point where I didn't get lost on who was who. This narrator is definitely growing on me!
I went through so many emotional highs and lows throughout this novel. I must applaud J. R. Ward's writing for having that effect on me because not many books do. For me, this was one of the books that featured multiple intertwined stories that I wanted to read regardless of if it was packed in one sole book or if it were a series of standalone stories.
The story I was most invested in, from the beginning, was Murhder's story. We met him briefly in a previous book for one scene and personally, I didn't find him very memorable, to begin with. This novel gave me a whole new perspective on him and his struggles. His past breaks my heart. The lengths he almost went through to get things over with was so sad. I loved that he finally got a happy ending with Sarah and the Brotherhood.
Sarah's story especially before she met Murhder was interesting all on its own. I really appreciated the head she had on her shoulders. It was fascinating to watch her life unfurl at the seams right before her eyes.
John Mathews' story was also heartbreaking but held my attention just the same (which was weird considering I still haven't read his book because I didn't initially love his character).
The ending was perfect! The most important storylines were wrapped up at a nice stopping point. There's still so much up in the air and I can't wait for the next installment of this series!
My Favorite Quotes:
"Grief is a cold stream you acclimate to."
"Destiny is not a straightaway. It's cluttered with corners and all of them are dark. We make the turns we do... and find ourselves where we are."
"[...] There was no unlearning the lesson that destiny was a douchebag and loss was more likely than gain."
I didn't know what I was getting into when I started this series, but OMG I need more and that cliffhanger was so evil! This novel was such a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows and I enjoyed it tremendously.
Everybody took so many blows throughout this particular book. I was amazed they were even standing by the end. The story keeps getting more and more complicated with, what seems to be, impossible odds. It's building up to something and I can't even begin to guess where we'll go from here.
Alana was slightly infuriating in this novel. I can stand the love triangle because the characters are well written but her need to keep secrets really effed everyone over in the end. At this point, it feels like everything she touches turns to dust. It started getting infuriating by the second half but then things started picking up speed and before I knew it the book ended.
I'm a little shaky in the team I initially picked but I'm still sticking with Team Liam. Let's be honest and say that no one is perfect and every one of these characters has done some sort of unspeakable or morally ambiguous thing either in the past or present. So I guess I'm saying I'll defend Liam until the end? Ahh...I don't even know how I feel at this point with how things left off with him.
Thom is a mystery to me, still. He's human and he's in the supernatural world regardless of his decisions. Honestly, I have no clue how he's even still alive (though the book does justify this a bit but it's spoiler-y so I won't mention it). He's a likable and understanding guy but I prefer the tortured soul for Alana in this particular story.
The ending hurt something deep down that I never knew books and/or fictional characters could touch. I can't wait for the answers that will come from the final book in this trilogy. On a last note, I loved the glossary of terms at the beginning of the novel. It was just what I needed.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Maybe we didn't need to fit into one of society's neat little boxes."
"When dreams fizzle out and reality bleeds into shadows, how can you tell if you're awake?"
"There is no forever. There is only here and now."
I'll start off by saying how not my style the relationship between Ren and Della was. When this book was close to getting released my Goodreads timeline was filled with reviews of this stating how amazing, incredible, beautiful this story was. All I can say is that I tried seeing where most people were coming from but I still feel way too icky to agree with it.
I found out a few chapters in that the writing style and pacing weren't for me. The writing style was too descriptive and detailed which ended up setting a very very slow pace to the story. There's too much detail in big chunks of this book where nothing happens. Things could have been summarized in a paragraph or two to cut down on the story. I only got through it because I sped up the audio book.
I can sympathize with Ren's situation and how hard and sad it was.(show spoiler)
I can also push myself enough to understand how he eventually cared for and raised her. The age difference doesn't bother me with their relationship. My problem is just the idea of falling in romantic love with your guardian/the-minor-you-raised crosses a line that I didn't know I had set in the first place. This is the second novel that features this type of relationship that I've read and I'm pretty sure it'll be the last.
Maybe it's just me but I wished we could have gotten more of Della's point of view after she was old enough to have coherent thoughts. The essay format her chapters had were weird and only took me out of the story.
The ending/cliffhanger was strange. Della essentially self-sabotages with the intent to cause Ren harm by proxy. Which, I'll be honest, I found quite dumb and foolish (but she is still a teenager I guess?) and it works a little too well.
The Audio Book:
Both narrations were great! I love it when audible does books in dual narration. That makes it so I can stand a male narrator with too deep of a voice that can't do a believable female voice reading to me because there's an actual woman reading lines meant for a female voice.
I keep getting surprised by how much I end up loving certain books and this is definitely one of those! The author does a great job of keeping me guessing and sprinkling information in strategic places to keep the story going. I liked the writing style very much!
Elidi was something alright! She's this supposedly powerful being and finds herself entrenched up to her neck in a world she didn't even know existed before the crap really hit the fan. I liked that she wasn't a woe-is-me kind of person or an I'll-stand-back-and-let-the-big-man-save-me kind of person. It made for a great story while moving at a steady pace.
I'm definitely on team Kol for this one! He's serious but he can joke around. Even though it's not officially official in their world he's doing what he believes is right. I like that quality in a character.
I loved the world the author built and how she made secondary characters so memorable and three-dimensional. It made for an even better and more realistic universe.
The one thing that bothered me in this book is deciphering whether or not this is a reverse harem novel. At times it seemed to subliminally swing towards that but then the heroine would state that she's set on one guy. It was weird. There's nothing mentioning it in the synopsis (as of scheduling this review) so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's not because it's not something I look for in the books I read.
A Note: After I finished the book I emailed the author inquiring about whether or not this series was going to be a reverse harem romance and her answer was yes. So it doesn't look like I'll be finishing this series even though I loved the world building and overall mythology the author created.
My Favorite Quotes:
"What's light without a little darkness?"
"The way to a man's heart is through his fourth and fifth rib [...]."
"You're the light. The sunshine. Remember that."
This book captured me in a way I wasn't expecting it to. I liked the overall dynamic the plot had in keeping the reader/the main character in the dark but it got frustrating by the second half. A few minor details did eventually come to light. The way the story left off makes it impossible for me to not pick up the next book.
Harlynn was an interesting character to a point. She usually finds herself at the right-place-and-time too often to be believable (even for a fictional piece of literature) for my taste. I liked the paranormal element the story had but, personally, I wish the author had punched it up more. It's barely there and when it really starts going the book ends.
Kingsley was the main reason I kept reading this novel. His secretive actions and overall shut-down demeanor did something great for this story. Though I predicted way too much of his actions at the beginning of the novel, I still liked seeing it all develop.
Foster was a jack*ss and I don't know everyone even liked him. After reading about him for 5 pages I could smell the BS rolling off him in waves. How anyone stands him would be my question to all the other characters in this novel.
One other problem I had with this book were the names for the male main characters. I couldn't get them right because they all sounded alike and pretty much blurred into one character in the early chapters. The names were identical to other characters this author has written about in other novels, so that also left me scratching my head. There are SO many names available why reuse the same names?
Overall this was a good book. It kept me intrigued until the end. Though the paranormal element could be put on a higher level I want to know more about what's going on.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Do you ever get the feeling that life is just one big, pathetic tragedy?"
"[...] Wanting something and getting it doesn't exist in my world."
"But what if there's more to death then just spirits."
The author's writing style does so much for her stories! I can't put my finger on what it is but it has a way of sucking me into a story and making it so enjoyable!
We met Genevieve in the Reckless novel and I was intrigued by her. She's very clumsy and rambles when she gets nervous (which is all the time). She's rather anxious because she seems to be grasping for control in most aspects of her life. I liked how when her temper would arise she would call out Sawyer on his BS. Though she should win a prize because her clumsiness and lack of luck got her into so much trouble, it's unreal!
Sawyer, on the other hand, is her opposite in most ways. He's stoic, needs control to function and doesn't like talking all that much, but he did have a sweet side that would come out here and there. Being very anxious myself I don't see how his controlling nature would help/do anything for her. They have a weird dynamic love-wise that shouldn't go together but it does anyway.
I gave up mentioning this a few books ago with this author but I liked that the hero was finally responsible enough to bring up protection and the pill. Even though the discussion was rapid-fire at best there was at least a mention of it.
This was one of the more action-packed novels in this series and I enjoyed it a lot! Sybil is getting better and better with every book she writes and I can't wait to see where she goes from here.
My Favorite Quotes:
"We get what we deserve. Remember that."
"She'd waged and won. Still standing, no training, no military support at her back, no family, no money, she'd navigated her own war zone and come out alive."
"Every second around you is a precipice I don't know how to navigate."
I have a history with this book, which is surprising considering how much I enjoyed it this time around. I ended up DNFing it in April of 2018 because things were moving too slowly for my taste.
The audio book helped immensely with that problem. I'm an impatient person so if I'm physically reading a book that's slow moving I tend to skim ahead and barely get a sense of the story. The audio book obligated me to slow down and just listen. I'm happy to say the ending even got my heart racing!
In the werewolf society that was set up, the outward image people have of you, your actions and other peoples actions towards you or a situation you're involved in matters a great deal. It's all about honor, prestige, and whatnot.
Winter's father put her through a lot in order to find her mate. I liked how she took it in stride and after that ordeal became who she truly was with Sterling. That is, a bad*ss with a backbone who will do whatever is in her power to protect the people that in return protect and defend her.
Sterling was a great guy that sometimes had a temper. I figured there was nothing special about him until the last chapter of the novel. Now I'm intrigued and I definitely want to know more. I would also love to know how this can/will(?) eventually come into play in future novels.
The world the author started fleshing out in this first book in a future series has proven to be fascinating! I don't know if this series is going to have a couple per book or continue on with Winter and Sterling. What ever direction she chooses to go is fine by me! I just really just want to know what happens next at this point. I hope that things move at a faster pace in future novels though.
The Audio Book:
I love Nicole Poole's narration! She has an amazing and realistic range of accents and voices (both male and female). She does any book she reads justice!
With every new book in this series Annette Marie seems to outdo herself! Every book that I've read so far becomes a favorite after I finish it!
This was the most action-packed and fast-paced adventure yet! That was probably due to the circumstances Tori found herself in but it was amazing none the less! Tori continues to be her snarky and sassy self in this story. She also has an astonishing amount of things go wrong and work in her favor at the same time. I also loved how she's finally found her second family!
The guys were awesome as always! Zak still stood out in this novel even with everything that was going on. He's growing on me. I hope we see him in a future novel. I'm still firmly on team Erza. I just want to know more about him and his secrets. We've gotten to know all the other guys in different ways. Erza needs his turn!
I loved the ending! I also loved how the author finally made Tori kinda-sorta official (I can't say more than that because it's a huge spoiler). I also laughed out loud when the Zak plot twist was revealed! I can't wait for their next adventure!
The Audio Book:
The narrator did a good job overall! There were a few voices that started to blend into one another in the end but it was fine. She has a nice range of voices but her male voices don't go as deep as I would like them to.
My Review Of Book #1:
This started off iffy and then grew into something I couldn't put down! I loved the concept with the powers and the different universe they came from. Though the six male characters did blur together for me, with the exception of Foster and Max.
Skylin is thrust into a not-so-steller situation when her parents disappear. Even though she only has a few months until her 18th birthday she's being obligated to move in with a family she's never even heard of. Her attitude, anger, and bitterness are understandable from the beginning. I liked how she developed a backbone of steel throughout the story. I also liked how she was still unsure about Foster after all the new information that was thrown at her in the first book.
I wasn't a fan of Foster from the beginning. The reason Max was one of the guys that stood out to me was because I liked how he treated Skylin and welcomed her even though the circumstances weren't ideal. Foster was standoffish and a complete jerk for at least the first half of the first book. It's later revealed the reason behind that but I'm still on edge about it. He also turned into a different person through those revelations. So we'll see how I feel about him in the next book.
Overall I liked this story! I love that the author released a non-reverse harm version of it. Reverse harm novels aren't for me. I always find myself liking the overall storylines of reverse harm novels so it was great to read the story and not have all that in between.
My Favorite Quotes:
"The truth sort of hurts like a b*tch, though."
"You're about as chill as a god damn pixie jacked up on faerie dust."
My Review Of Book #2:
This was a great continuation of the initial story! Everything felt like it started moving at a faster pace. Though I would have liked there to be more story in between Sky getting attacked or in trouble.
Sky still has her backbone in this novel. Though as kick*ss as she's supposed to be, things work in her favor way too many times by sheer dumb luck. I would love to see her get a handle on her powers and start living up to what everyone loves to say about her being so damn special and unique.
Foster has melted my heart in this novel enough for me to be open to the idea of liking him. His backstory is presented at the beginning of this book and I can understand where he's coming from and how he's had to live before finding Sky. He's actually very sweet and kind. He doesn't push her into anything she doesn't want and asks for consent on a regular basis.
Overall this is a good story and I'm very curious as to how this family and Sky save their worlds. The world building wasn't as prominent in this book but I still liked what was presented.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Trust. What a strangely foreign word. A strangely foreign word that is frightening to feel."
"But one day, you'll let go of the past and trust yourself."
"She said that love was like this wonderful but chaotic burst of emotions that consumed her."
This series is slowly starting to get better, but it's still barely averaging out as what I would consider a 3 star story. I appreciate how much bigger the world the author created is becoming but it still feels like something is missing somehow.
Mina still has the personality of a wall. Things seem to bounce off her because of how dense she is. Until she has an ah-ha moment and goes after/does whatever it is she intends to do. Though I will say that her conversations/disagreements with Dorian were the closest she ever come to having an interesting personality.
The love triangle seems to be over but I feel like I need to call BS or something. It was resolved WAY too easily and with no apparent consequences. The guy who "lost" almost seemed to have the ability to read minds or see the future. He was calm in an icky way (if that makes sense) and it's still making me apprehensive.
Eli was great as always! I like how he can joke around with Mina and still be serious and command authority when needed. Thebet they have is also very adorable and
I was SO glad to see almost nothing of Alec in this story. I despise the kid. Even more so now with the revelation of what his uncle did/does(?). He does nothing for this story or Mina. There doesn't seem to be all this chemistry Mina keeps talking about between them. It almost feels like wishful thinking of both their parts.
The mystery Mina and Eli have been trying to solve gets a few revelations in this novel. It's not much but it's a start. I think their plan going forward is ludicrous. Though I'm still invested in this series, it feels more like a trainwreck that I can't look away from at this point.
Overall this series and its characters are getting easier to read about because I'm somewhat invested in the mystery that's been presented.
The Audio Book:
This series as a whole continues to be on the list of the handful (as of now) books that I can only listen to sped up to 1.25x. The narrator just isn't for me. She doesn't have a good range of male and female voices. She also loves long pauses in between words that I can't stand for more than a few minutes at a time. Her voice sped up sounds completely normal, if that doesn't speak volumes I don't know what does. [spoiler][/spoiler]
This was a good book, but the synopsis led me to believe this was going to be much much darker than it was. I would categorize this under suspense bordering on contemporary before anything resembling "dark" (which is how a lot of people were describing this for some reason).
I was expecting Laiken's situation to be worse than it ended up being. The way this story gets set up makes it so it's tame nature works against it. Getting the story from Laiken's perspective makes it so you don't know the real impact of her dad's situation with this family. There isn't a sense of urgency from her where her dad is concerned. She's just happy to wait him out until, for her, the unthinkable happens. That's where things start to move somewhere at a very slow pace.
Dominic needed more development as a character. The only thing that kept me interested in him was his "big secret". He barely had a personality in between all that. I would have liked more witty banter between him and Laiken so I could have the semblance of chemistry between them.
The writing style was good but the pacing as too slow for me. The overall story was okay. I had an inkling that this was going to end in a cliffhanger and I wasn't proven wrong.
My Favorite Quotes:
"I know all too well what hope is good for: creating a happy glow that leaves a darker shadow in its wake when it's snuffed out."
"Being strong is all I have [...]. I have to trust that this is all going to pay off. If I don't what do I have left?"
"Your heart can't help you get home [...]."
I first found out about this book because it was nominated in the Goodreads 2017 awards in the Humor category. Before that, I had no idea who Whitney Cummings was or what she did for a living. What pulled me into wanting to read this book was the title. It reminded me of the type of humor I usually go for and like to read about. It's slightly dark and a little bit twisted.
The overarching theme to this book was mental health or more specifically how twisted someone's psyche can get due to how they were raised and society in general.
Before this book, I didn't know very much about the stand-up comedy world. Seeing a glimpse of it through the eyes of a woman who has made a carrier as a stand-up comedian was interesting. The author also hit on the note of life speeding up and how the biological clock ticks away and eventually takes the choice of motherhood from a lot of women who eventually want kids of their own.
This novel also made me realize how messed up life can get if you don't have the right support system in place at home and school. The damage those early years cause later in life in all departments is scary. I also had no idea there was a disease involving love.
Overall it was eye-opening to see how broken people are. It's also amazing to see them taking care of themselves and still making a point to live life to the fullest regardless.
The Audio Book:
The narration was great! There were moments where she would crack up while reading what she had written, and there were moments where she would tear up and prove how deep what she was saying truly went. She also misread a few sentences throughout the narration and kept her ramblings in the audio book and made fun of herself because for it.
I'm surprised by how much I liked this book and how much sleep I lost while making my way through it! The strange thing is that I usually dislike books that feature love triangles. I think I liked it because it wasn't the focal point in the story. Everything is up in the air at this point and there are more important things to deal with other than deciding who the main character wants.
Alana had her moments. Some kick*ss moments and other very whiny moments. I could sympathize with her enough to let most of it roll off but she pushed her luck on various occasions. I wish Alana had more of a sense of humor, preferably darker and accepting of sarcasm (but that's just a personal preference). The author did a great job at building the mystery up from her perspective. She's just as lost as the reader and it struck the right balance of mystery that didn't become unreasonably frustrating by the end.
I'm not sure which team I'm on but I'm leaning more towards Liam. Even though he's a demon and did really bad things both in the past and present. I like his dark demeanor, overall sarcastic sense of humor and dark outlook of the world. Though the hot and cold thing can go away if I have any say in it.
Thom, on the other hand, is human and I'm not sure how long he'll survive in the supernatural world. That's probably just my pessimism speaking considering he's been entrenched in this world for most of his life and he hasn't died yet, right?
I love the creature concepts and the overall world the author started building in this novel. I hope she continues to expand on it with future novels in this series. I also liked the creature definitions that would pop up when one was mentioned. Though maybe a glossary would be better suited for those in the future if the amount of different creatures starts to grow out of control.
This book ended in a good good-for-now ending, which is a very strange statement coming from someone who hates but has learned to accept any kind of open ending and the slightest of cliffhangers in books over the years. I'm very invested in this story and I want to know what happens next!
My Favorite Quotes:
"Ghosts and demons in fiction were funny or disgusting-looking but never scary."
"I used to watch supernatural teen dramas and hope I'd find my own dreamy hero."
"Starting over was hard but staying in limbo was worse."