Review: Ignite The Shadows by Ingrid Seymour

*I received a free ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

IgniteTitle: Ignite The Shadows

Author: Ingrid Seymour
Series: (Ignite The Shadows #1)
Published by: HarperVoyager
Publication date: April 23rd 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. However, she’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy.

Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth.

Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse.

She’s infected.

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      Ignite The Shadows is fast-faced and action-packed so it was definitely easy to fall into. Right away we jump into a scene of action and adrenaline, which makes it intense right from the start. It definitely makes you want to keep reading. I had a hard time putting it down. This is also a sci-fi/fantasy novel that seems incredibly real and has a lead female character so gutsy, sarcastic, and strong, that you can’t get enough of her. Which means you can’t get enough of the story. Which means you’ve just been hooked and you don’t want to be free.
      Marci is a very intriguing character. For as long as she can remember, she’s had to fight these shadows that swarm her mind, these shadowy specters that try to take over her body. She has to fight them everyday on her own, and is left thinking she’s crazy. She thinks she’s the only one, but that’s not the case. She meets the leader of a group called Ignite after a failed attempt of secretly spying on Xave’s brother with Xave (her best friend). They definitely get more then they wanted out of the night when the leader of Ignite recognizes Marci’s struggles and asks her to join him. He is like her and reveals a new world to her, one where there are many more just like them; people who have been infected by monsters known as Eklyptors. She’s strong and independent, with sharp sarcasm and the ability to defend herself whether verbally or hands on. She tends to speak her mind, and yeah she makes mistakes but she always realizes them and tries to make it better. She’s a pretty caring person, although she keeps people out. She’s an overall great character,

      I also liked James’s character. He’s a bit mysterious as he tends to give answers later and orders now (he’s the leader of Ignite, he knows the risks and so it’s no surprise eh doesn’t trust easily), and there were plenty of times where I wasn’t sure I could trust him. Overall though, he’s a very likable character and Marci looks up to him. He’s strong, thoughtful, caring, always thinking of plans and strategies. He’s passionate about his cause and that makes it easy for Marci and the others to follow him. He’s a great leader and a great character.
      All the characters were great, actually. Though I do wish we knew a bit more about her twin brother they just found. I definitely don’t trust him yet, especially after the twist at the end that could possibly ruin all Marci has accomplished since joining Ignite, but he hasn’t done anything worthy of being declared a villain yet. Though I do still wonder why he was at her computer that night (was he really checking his email?) and why Marci had an off feeling about him being in her room at night with her. There’s just these little things that really make me wary of him. It’s also how he seemed to accept the lies of his life so easily too.
      Now, onto the romance. So yes, I enjoyed the slight romance in the book between Marci and Xave. However, being how things are, I almost feel like she’ll end up with Aydan instead. Aydan knows more about the secrets she’s keeping, although Xave knows more about her overall. I mean, I really love Xave and Marci together, but I just have the feeling it may not work out and I hope that feeling is wrong. Either way, I definitely am eager to see how it develops in the next book.
Overall I loved Ignite the Shadows and definitely recommend this to everyone.
~Sage<3

BLOG TOUR/ REVIEW: Before Vengeance by Louisa Lo

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Before Vengeance Blog Tour. I received a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.

BeforeVengeanceTourBannerBeforeVengeanceCoverSmashwordFinal
Title: Before Vengeance
Author: Louisa Lo
Series: (Cosmic Balance #0.5)
Publication date: TBA 2015
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:

What if everything you’ve ever known, down to what you are, was a lie?

Growing up in the enchanted kingdom of Dualsing, seventeen-year-old Lady Serafina has always known she’s different. Her fae power never manifested itself during puberty, and her parents treated her like a tolerated houseguest rather than family. Even her childhood sweetheart, Crown Prince Eldon, distanced himself the moment he was old enough to know the secret about Serafina that everyone in their world seems to know—except her.

Now her upcoming birthday is being treated as a national holiday by the very people who’d neglected her, Eldon is in for a political battle of his life that she’s somehow being dragged into, and Serafina is developing abilities that feel terrifyingly right, but aren’t fae power at all.

As she starts to investigate her origin, Serafina has no idea she would be setting in motion events that would have far-reaching consequences not just for herself, but for all the planes.

Note: BEFORE VENGEANCE is a prequel of VENGEANCE BE MINE.

And Now For My Review:
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5
      I haven’t read Vengeance Be Mine, the book this one leads up to. However, if it’s at all like Before Vengeance then I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. This is a good start to the series, in my opinion, and I do really want to read the rest of this series now. Though I am slightly disappointed to hear that the rest of the series follows Megan and not Serafina, mainly because I really liked Serafina’s character and we only briefly met Megan.
      I like Serafina because she felt real and it was easy to fall into her world, her feelings. I like how we got to see her intelligence, confusion, and fear as her powers awakened and got her into situations she always ended up feeling guilty for. Mainly because she tends to hurt others, even if all she wishes to do is help not harm. I also like how she’s not evil or too bitter over the fact that she never felt like she fit in and was treated differently for not getting Fae powers when everyone else did. No matter what world she was in, she wasn’t accepted.

      And while we didn’t get to know too much about Eldon, he was a pretty good male lead. He knew of the deceit and secrets his parents kept, of what the others kept from Serafina, and while he himself couldn’t tell her he still made time to see her. It had to be in secret because she was basically an outcast, but he never failed to be there for her. His utter need for the crown however, it changed how things could have turned out. I like how it works out though, because it makes for more opportunities in the next books. He is also protective and loyal, but not above certain dirty deeds. Which I won’t spoil. What I loved most though would probably have to be his bond with Trust, his pet dragon. I love how they work together and have a loyal friendship. I also like that while Trust is a pet, his has a mind of his own and isn’t afraid to question Eldon. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of both of them in the next books.

Now, world building. I rather liked the details and structure of the world. It’s unique and I would love to see it be more developed in the next book.

      Overall, Before Vengeance is a great start to this series and I definitely recommend reading it!
LouisaAUTHOR BIO:

“Louisa Lo has an exciting new voice to bring to urban fantasy and a fun and breezy writing style that kept the pages quickly turning well into the night! I need more!” –Michelle Rowen, National Bestselling Author

Louisa Lo lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, an aristocratic cat, and more cardboard boxes than she cares to unpack. She decided to write about vigilantes, because it seems like a better life choice than trying to become one and landing herself in jail. She just has that kind of luck.

Please visit www.louisalo.com to learn more about Louisa and her books.
Author links:
THE TOUR STOPS

August 10th
Bambi Unbridled >> Review
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Excerpt
Book Snacks >> Review
Lore Lush Books >> Guest post

August 11th
Book Stop Corner  >> Review
Books and Authors >> Review
Padme’s Library >> Interview

August 12th
Mythical Books >> Guest post
Evermore Books >> Review
Authors You Want to Read >> Excerpt

August 13th
happy tails and tales >> Review
Library of Books >> Review
Brooke Blogs >> Guest post

August 14th
Black Words-White Pages >> Excerpt
Two Ends of the Pen >> Interview

ButtonXBT
~Sage<3

REVIEW:The Echoed Life of Jorja Graham by Brynn Myers

*I received a free ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Jorja2

Title: The Echoed Life of Jorja Graham

Author: Brynn Myers
Series: (Jorja Graham #2) 
Publication date: April 9th 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:
 Two books, two lives, one destiny.

“Follow my echo and I will lead you to the still point at the center of it all.” ~ Jorja


Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      The Echoed Life of Jorja Graham is the sequel to The Life & Death of Jorja Graham and it did not disappoint. It differs greatly to the first in the duology, as the characters go through more changes, action, and growth, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less great. I, for one, enjoyed the action and little battles that played out, as well as the great changes Jorja and Cat went through. Especially because in the end, both ended up stronger and all loose ends were tied up smoothly.
While in the first book not much action was written out (the only time any action was really present was near the end during a possession),The Echoed Life of Jorja Graham is made almost entirely of action. There’s fights between pesky demons (we see some more witchcraft and are awed by the powers one holds), Quenton (which has ling since been coming), and more pesky demons (who really need to learn that when they say they’re loyal, they need to stay loyal no matter if you think the other side has better benefits, like seriously). The battles were detailed and maybe a little rushed (I get that they’re powerful and all, but I think the ending could have been a little more drawn out or harder, maybe?) but I could visualize them and I loved every moment; especially because I got lost so fully in the book that it was if I was there watching it all play out.
We also get to uncover some secrets certain characters hold, as well as go into one’s mind. Which I loved because we got a new perspective for a brief time and really got a more solid feel on that character. And, we got to see a new romance bloom! While I wish the male of that relationship didn’t accept it so quickly at the end (only days before he had still been pained over his lost love) I really enjoyed how the two characters got to know each other and started getting along only to have their lives be brighter because love is in the air.
I love how easy it was to immerse myself in this book as well. The author has a talent of weaving complicated plots into an easy to follow story line with fantastic characters and a feel of everything being real.
Overall, I really love this duology and I suggest you give it a try! Especially if you enjoy well written paranormal romance books full of action, romance, demons, mystery, and just overall great and likable characters.
~Sage<3

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: We Are Watching by M. Stephen Stewart

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours We Are Watching Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.
WeAreWatchingTourBanner2
WeAreWatching
Title: 
We Are Watching
Author: M. Stephen Stewart
Series: (Mindshare #1)
Publication date: December 16th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult


Synopsis:

Henry Malone’s childhood was shattered by the unexplained suicide of his father. Now a teenager, his days are spent studying to become a Neural Implant Technician for Planetary Link Corporation, helping them maintain an iron grip over his walled country and every iota of knowledge contained within—but he leads a double life. Henry’s nights are spent helping his mother wage a cyber war against them in her quest to find the truth behind his father’s death.

He’s managed to keep his two lives separate, a delicate balance that’s endangered after he repairs the neural implant of a stranger. He finds she’s in possession of illegal memories from the outside world, unauthorized knowledge of his father, and a message: speak to me later and tell no one. Henry has a choice to make—ignore the message and maintain his double-life, or answer and risk everything to uncover secrets Planetary Link would kill to keep buried.

And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
4/5

      We Are Watching is a well written sci-fi novel full of action, strength, bravery, growth, secrets, deceit, and a chance to make everything right. Henry Malone has had a tough life, losing his father to a rumored suicide and having everyone use him to get shares and fame without caring about Henry and how he might feel about that. Because of that, Henry has an ill temper and tends to lose his cool at any mention of his father or mother. Which is also why he only has one real friend, Mark, who is there for him and doesn’t try exposing his secrets so he can benefit from them. Other than Mark, Henry only has his mother left, who stays in bed all day long on her NEX, and John Alford who treats him like a son and tries his best to be there for Henry. But while most of the world has moved on from trying to pick the truth from lies about Henry’s father’s death, his mother still works tirelessly to get to the truth. And it costs her.

     While I liked the characters, they weren’t quite fully developed. I would’ve loved to see more of Riya and Mark. While they are both characters that are in the novel almost always with Henry, we still don’t really know about them or have a good, solid feel for them. I want to know more about their backgrounds, their personalities, things we didn’t get to see. I mean, we all know Mark is strong, loyal to Henry, a great friend, and doesn’t like getting into trouble like Henry has a knack for. And we all know Riya is a strong, tough, determined young woman. She’s vulnerable and good at acting like all she ever does is cry when she needs to, she’s also good with a gun and she’s very knowledgeable. But what do we really know of her? She fought to get to Henry because of a vision her father had and risked her life to do so, she can mask her emotions fairly easily, she’s lost a lot like Henry, and she believes Henry can help her and her family. That’s just the surface of them though, I would’ve loved to see more of what lays underneath.

      Aside from that, I enjoyed how the information was spread out in the novel, and how much we came to learn without really feeling too overwhelmed. The information was given when we needed it and only when we needed it. But I also feel like we only really got to know Jeppe and Ourai’s sides. We never got all that much information on Planetary Link even though they’re clearly the bad guy. We get such a small glimpse of them, that honestly, Jeppe seems like the worst enemy they could have; though we all know that’s not true because of what little we do know of Planetary Link. Plink (Planetary Link) suppresses information, suppresses everything actually, that they feel the citizens of Gulf Market don’t need to know. In fact, the citizens only know what they for their jobs and their knowledge ends there! Plus, they’re spied on, always being watched and listened to. They have no privacy! Can you imagine that?

      Overall, I enjoyed reading this book despite the few issues. I would recommend this to lovers of sci-fi, and distopia.

M.
AUTHOR BIO:

M. Stephen Stewart is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He makes his home in Indianapolis with his wife and two dogs. In his spare time, Matt is an avid sports fan, gamer, and reader, who loves to connect with new people. You can usually find him around town with his wife, exercising, or in front of his computer working on a new project.
Author links:

THE TOUR STOPS

ButtonXBT
~Sage<3

REVIEW: The Life & Death of Jorja Graham by Brynn Myers

*I received a free ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Jorja1Title: The Life & Death of Jorja Graham
Author: Brynn Myers
Series: (Jorja Graham #1) 
Publication date: January 20th 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance

   Synopsis:
      All my life I’ve been referred to as the quintessential southern bell: blonde, stunningly beautiful, and overtly enchanting, but that was only the face I shared with the world; no one ever knew the hell I truly endured.
      After returning to Savannah, I had everything I ever wanted: a new home, a handsome suitor, and the job of my dreams as an antique dealer. Little did I know that the choice to move on with my life would be the last decision I’d ever make.
      My name is Jorja Graham and my story is proof that not every romance has a happy ending.
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      The Life & Death of Jorja Graham is full of demons, romance, witches, lovers of history (Jorja adores historic artifacts and even helped her aunts with a shop in which they sell and action off historic pieces), ghosts, Hell, Eden, and even mystery. It has scary moments, action and everything flows brilliantly. It definitely wasn’t at ll what I expected it would be, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed reading this book.
      While this book is immersed with paranormal aspects, it’s also mixed with a bit of romance and thrill and suspense. It’s mysterious and edgy and at times makes the hair on the back of your your neck stand because of how creepy some parts are, what with the little paranormal occurrences and the possession and all. In fact, I would’ve run for the hills with my first encounter of the unthinkable! Just the way one scene worked out where the fog rolled up as Jorja was leaving the house that night and felt like tiny spiders crawling over her arms just made me itch, and the fact that no matter how many times Jorja swiped at her arms, the feeling just wouldn’t go away. That made me shudder because it’s the middle of the night, you got a chill and a paranoid feeling, and suddenly there’s this fog and these things crawling all over you but no matter how much you rub your arms the feeling won’t leave. That’s not normal!
      Which brings me to say that I adored how the author added the paranormal aspects and made sure to keep things even a little but creepy. It made it really easy to love the story and enjoy immersing myself in Jorja’s story and feeling what she did, seeing it all play out in my mind. I was never bored, and I only wanted to keep reading.
      The writing flows extremely well, the transitions are smooth and the descriptions were fairly easy to visualize. Despite this being a paranormal read, it couldn’t have felt more real! The situations and how the characters react are easy for readers to connect to because maybe we reacted that way too or we saw that in a movie or maybe a friend did that! It was easy to forget the paranormal parts in this book couldn’t actually happen. Except for Corbin. He can’t really happen, so when he is his… other self?… you are reminded of how unreal it all is. I needed the reminder though, so I never minded. Plus, Corbin is just a great character overall.
      Actually, all the characters were great. They were all real and easy to connect with. Well, okay so maybe not the more evil of the characters, but they played pretty great villains so I’m not complaining. Overall though, the characters were very likeable.
      Which brings me to this: I recommend this book to you lovers of paranormal romances! And anyone else who wants to give it a go. d:
~Sage<3

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: Sleepless by Michael Omer

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Sleepless Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.
**This is also posted on Coffee & All Things Random.
SleeplessTourBanner1Sleepless
Title: Sleepless
Author: Michael Omer
Series: (Narrowdale #1)
Publication date: January 10th 201
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Don’t fall asleep. Don’t dream. Don’t get caught.

At the beginning of her freshman year of high school, Amy can think of nothing worse than moving to the boring, suburban town of Narrowdale. And that’s before she starts having the same nightmare over and over again, waking up every night to a creepy whistle outside her window and being haunted by a mysterious, menacing presence. Getting used to the new school becomes the least of her problems.

As she delves deeper to uncover the truth, she unknowingly edges closer to mortal danger. Terrible events that took place years ago threaten to happen again, but now Amy’s life is on the balance. Unfortunately, the one guy who is supposed to protect her, nineteen year old Peter, doesn’t believe her.

Some things seem to happen only in Narrowdale, where dark secrets hide beneath the surface…

As she confronts the mysteries of Narrowdale, Amy documents her experiences in her blog. The book contains live links to this blog.

Now for my review!
Format: 
Ebook

4.5/5

      Sleepless is full of bravery, friendship, creepily intelligent  homeless men, weird neighbors, consistent nightmares, darkness, kidnappings, and investigations. It’s basically Scooby-Doo, but less cartoonish and childish and more realistic and scary. It’s about Amy and how in her new home located in Narrowdale, weird things keep happening. It’s about the friends she makes and what they hear or see together. It’s about them trying to figure out what Amy’s nightmares are about and searching for clues and trying to solve what no one else did. Plus, it’s infused with paranormal-like aspects. It’s great!

      I’ll start off with what I don’t like, since there’s very little.

What I Didn’t Like/Had Problems With:

  • The beginning.
    • I wasn’t really sure about Amy in the beginning, because it seemed like she was always complaining (why did we even have to move, I miss LA, the air conditioning guy should know how to do his stupid job, it’s so hot, I can’t sleep, I don’t like most of the girls in my math class) and she seemed a little dull. Her character definitely grew on me, though.
    • The pacing, for me, seemed slow. She moves in, spends a week with nightmares and unpacking and talking to her friends over the phone. She starts school, the girls are mean, she doesn’t fit in, a nice girl keeps talking to her, she doesn’t understand the math, she can’t sleep, she forgot her lunch. I just wasn’t a huge fan of the beginning because it didn’t really capture my interest. I realize now though that it was needed for the story and was a rather great way of introducing the characters and getting us ready for what will soon come.
    • uh, that’s about it, actually.

What I like:

  • Her nightmares. The way they were introduced each time was really interesting. You could feel her mind fog and as her mind turned to that of the other girl, it was a smooth transition and almost eerie.
    • It’s dark. My head is pounding. Someone hit it, I suddenly remember. I’m shivering. It’s so cold in here, in this dark room. How long have I been here? A day? Two? How many times did he walk in, whisper in my ear? How many times have I tried to talk to him, beg for my life, muffled by the rag stuck in my mouth? (Chap. 26 at 67%)
  • The characters.
    • Amy: She’s brave (although some may call her stupid because she knowingly broke into a house of a kidnapper), determined (she wouldn’t stop trying to figure out what her dreams meant until she finally got the answer), and fairly easy to connect with (she’s a 14 year old girl moving to a new place and trying to fit in and make friends, she thinks boys are cute and she’s normal {if you don’t count the nightmares which are basically of the past she knew nothing about}).
    • Shane: He only just met Amy, but he’s there for her. He’s kind, thoughtful, likes to take videos and photos, and he’s basically her confident because he can hear what she heard too. He makes her feel like she isn’t crazy, basically.
    • Coral: She’s the nice girl who kept trying to talk to Amy at first. She ends up also being there for Amy, and though she didn’t hear what Shane and Amy did that night, she still sticks with them. She tries to help Amy keep up with her studies, she goes along with Amy’s ideas even if they’re crazy, stupid, or dangerous. They’re like the Scooby-Doo gang, alright? They’re a group of close friends (it doesn’t matter that they just met, they’re all friends) who hear and see paranormal things and decide to investigate.
    • Edger: He’s the creepily intelligent homeless man. Basically, he spews random things to those he meets, and Amy thinks it’s because he knows things no one else does. He knew she’d become friends with Shane and that Shane liked the moon, he knew she had money (even the exact amount) even though she told him she didn’t have any, and he knew about her nightmares. He even gave her clues on how to find out what they were about and so Amy, Shane, and Coral then looked it up and thus their investigation began.
    • Alex: He’s the weird neighbor. At first he was kinda creepy, because he seemed to know things she didn’t (you shouldn’t go out at night, there’s thing the come out; bad things. things are best left in the past). He was a cool character though, ending up being someone who helps. I like him.
  • The writing.
    • It flowed well, had a great tone, definitely had me feeling scared and anxious at some points, and had a great pace (after the small part in the beginning).

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Sleepless and I would recommend this to everyone. Especial if you love thriller or paranormal books.

MichaelAUTHOR BIO:
My name is Michael Omer, and I’m a writer, journalist and game designer. I wrote and published my first novel when I was sixteen, and figured I’d keep at it. Since then, I have published two more novels, and wrote… who can even count how many? I’m happily married to a woman who keeps pushing me to write more, and have three kids who insist I should stop writing and come play with them. I also have two dogs.

THE TOUR
ButtonXBT
~Sage<3

July TBR

Hi, so, I actually have a large TBR this month. I had a time line for all of these books, and so they have to be done this month. They’re all from Xpresso Book Tours. d:

Here we go (you can click the covers to go to their Goodreads page):

Wolfskin WeAreWatching         

Yeah. So, that’s that. Wolfskin, We Are Watching, and Wish for Me are all tours I’m taking part in. Just though I’d say that.

Have a good day/afternoon/night!
~Sage<3

June Wrap-Up

Hey, so this is my sad little Wrap-Up for this month.

I’ve only read 6 books this month. Not counting Wattpad. I actually read so many books on Wattpad this month that it isn’t even funny. It got me really distracted. Otherwise I’d have read more books this month to review.

But anyway, just click the cover if you want to go to my review. 🙂

Reviewed:

     


I’ve decided to add in any blitzes that I do, because I mean, why not? I’m thinking about adding Cover Reveals as well, but I don’t think I will. That’s about it, for now. 🙂

Blitzes:

   Spectacle

 

~Sage<3

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: Sarina, Sweetheart by Megan Carney

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Sarina, Sweetheart Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.
Sarina
Title: Sarina, Sweetheart
Author: Megan Carney
Publication date: March 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

Her name is Sarina Wocek. Her breath is poison. She was not born out of love.

Twenty-three years ago, government officials traced the budding epidemic of hemorrhagic fever HF186-2A in south Florida to the Wocek family and their adorable six-week-old daughter, Sarina. Her father, Gregory, admitted his role in genetically engineering a biological weapon with pride. She was taken to a lab hidden in a rural area of New Hampshire. She hasn’t left since.

Her government keepers could cure her, but they won’t. Genetically engineering a child to be a weapon of mass destruction, that’s unethical. Refining a weapon of mass destruction that someone else created? That’s just being clever.

After twenty-three years of captivity, she escapes. She crosses an ocean to put her father and the lab behind her, but it’s not enough. When she sees the first bleeding sore, she knows she didn’t leave the virus behind either.

The only way she’ll be free is by destroying every trace of the lab. She only has one advantage; she doesn’t care if she makes it out alive.

And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
4.5/5
      Sarina, Sweetheart is full of action, bravery, survival, self-discovery, romance, experiments, and evil military leaders working to make weapons out of young girls! It’s full of pain, regret, revenge, and learning to trust as well as love. It’s a tale in which Sarina carries a virus that kills all she comes in contact with once the trigger is activated. It’s about her escaping the laboratory, discovering herself, getting experience, figuring out who is in charge and what the trigger is, and getting revenge. It’s a beautiful and painful story that’s incredibly realistic and easy to connect with.
      It’s cleverly plotted, well-written, has a brilliant (and easy-to-connect-with) heroine, and is full of raw emotions. Sarina, despite being locked up in a laboratory without much human socialization for all of her life and having been a lab rat (she was studied, tutored via live chat or books, had undergone involuntary surgery multiple times), is still a compassionate and thoughtful character. She hates the fact that she’s killed (either because she contaminated them or they were killed because they had helped her) and she hates the fact that she puts so many people in danger being out in the open.
      She is brilliant and strong though. During her time locked up, she managed to forge secret survival skills and plans that could help her avoid killing others. Just from reading magazines or watching television (which had all gone to supervisors to be checked first) she had learned tricks on how to preserve water and how to survive in the wild. She stored information about making homemade pepper spray, and even learned how to get what she wants without killing just from observing others. She is a quick learning and is incredibly intelligent. She can also speak multiple languages.
      She knows her education was only provided so she could be the perfect weapon, but she uses it against them. And so her plan of revenge, and her escape was partially thanks to them (the evil military man and those who work for him).
      I recommend this to all who like a realistic story with great characters and a clever plot. And sci-fi lovers!
MeganAUTHOR BIO:

Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”

Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.


THE TOUR STOPS

June 29th
Got Nikki? >> Interview
Weezled >> Review
Books Can Take You There >> Review
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt

June 30th
Authors You Want to Read >> Excerpt
4covert2overt ~ A Place in the Spotlight >> Guest post
Bea’s Book Nook >> Excerpt
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Guest post

July 1st
Books That Hook >> Excerpt
Just Us Book Blog >> Guest post
Glorious Panic >> Excerpt
Word to Dreams >> Review
Girls With Books >> Excerpt

July 2nd
Coffee & All Things Random >> Review {me}
Mythical Books >> Guest post
Us Girls & A Book >> Review
Escape Into A Book >> Review
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Review

July 3rd
The Bookwhore Diaries >> Review
Random Redheaded Ramblings >> Review
Author & Book Spotlights >> Review
Desert Rose Reviews  >> Interview
The Boundless Book List >> Review

ButtonXBT

~Sage<3

(It’s a pretty short review, but it’s all I got. d:)

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW/EXCERPT: Scar of the Downers by Scott Keen

*I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Scar of the Downers Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.

**This is also posted on Coffee & All Things Random.

ScarOfTheDownersTourBanner1

~

Title: Scar of the Downers
Author: Scott Keen
Publication date: February 27th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


Synopsis:

Branded on the slaves in the Northern Reaches beyond Ungstah, the scar marks each one as a Downer. It is who they are. There is no escaping this world. Still, strange things are stirring.

Two foreigners ride through the Northern Reaches on a secret mission. An unknown cloaked figure wanders the streets of the dark city of Ungstah. What they want no one can be sure, but it all centers around a Downer named Crik.

Crik, too scared to seek freedom, spends his days working in his master’s store, avoiding the spirit-eating Ash Kings, and scavenging food for himself and his best friend, Jak. Until he steals from the wrong person. When Jak is sold to satisfy the debt, Crik burns down his master’s house and is sentenced to death.

To survive, Crik and his friends must leave behind their life of slavery to do what no other Downer has ever done before – escape from the city of Ungstah

An Excerpt:

Crik smiled. “I brought something for you.” He pulled out the torn piece of bread and handed it to her.

“Where did you get it?”

“A simple thank you is all I need,” said Crik. She gazed at him, and it felt as if he knew what she was thinking. “I’m careful. I’ve lived this long.”


“I didn’t say anything,” said Tinker. “But since you mentioned it. Thank you. You’re such a nice Downer . . . and that’s saying a lot. Some of them are crueler than their masters.”

Tinker took a bite of the bread and chewed slowly.

“Is it good?” Crik asked.

Tinker nodded. “It’s fresher than the ones Morta serves to her customers. I hope you didn’t go through a lot of trouble getting it.”

Crik thought about it and just said, “Not too much.” Then he picked a crumb out of her dirty, matted hair, which she brushed behind her ear.

“You had something in your hair,” said Crik, slightly embarrassed.

“Just one thing?” said Tinker.

“That I could see in the dark.”


They laughed. They always did when they met. All the grime on their skin, tears in their clothes, and lice in their hair disappeared when they were with each other. Crik didn’t feel like a Downer with Tinker. He felt like a young man; he felt brave, as if he could conquer the city. With her he wasn’t afraid of Kilvar, of the rats, the Ashes, or even the Gaunt King himself. The dangers of the city and the world melted away when they were together.

Getting up, Crik walked to the ledge of the roof and looked eastward into the darkness, past the torches and walls. He searched for the words to say, his gaze burrowing into the wall of night. Crik’s voice was quiet when he spoke.

“I heard something yesterday when I was in Briars and Thickets.”

“You went in there?” Tinker got up and crossed to him.

“That’s not the point.” Crik looked at her. “Some men were talking. I listened to their conversation. They spoke of something . . . something called the Avarah.”

Tinker’s brow furrowed, and her face turned serious. “The Avarah?”

“Yeah. You work in an inn. Have you heard people speak of them? Do you know anything about what they are?”

“I haven’t heard a lot,” said Tinker. “What I have heard isn’t very good. But they’re mainly just in stories. No one believes that they’re real. Why?”

“What were the stories about them like?”


Tinker grew quiet again as if she were deep in thought. “I’ve heard they were some kind of powerful being who used to live here long ago. But for some reason they don’t anymore. I guess the people in Ungstah killed them or something. Why? Why do you ask?”

“One man said they’ve returned.”

“Returned?” Tinker gave a little laugh. “I don’t think they’re even real. He was probably crazy. A lot of strange people come through the city.”

“That’s the thing,” said Crik. “This man is the Captain of the City’s Watch.”

Tinker crossed her arms. “Why do you ask me all these questions?”

“I was hoping that if the Avarah have returned . . . I was hoping they were good.”

“Be careful,” said Tinker, grabbing hold of his hand.

“Careful of what?”


“Hope can be dangerous thing for a Downer.”


“Hope is all I have.”


And now, on to my review!
Format: Ebook
4/5 stars

Scar of the Downers is an interesting new fantasy book. It is full of survival, strength, growth, trust, and the fight for freedom. It involves the Downers being treated like slaves, barely ever being fed and always having to do as their master asks. They are treated so poorly and cruelly, but then they have help and suddenly everything is looking brighter. It’s about friendship and trust and it’s a tale written to make scared characters a little braver, a littler more trusting, and a lot more loving.

What I Like:

  • The World-Building || The world building was well done, in my opinion. I mainly enjoyed the description of the evil lurking within the land and the cursed King, how Ungstah is described as darker than other cities so much so that travelers can feel the change once they’re close enough. It made for a much more scary type of vibe, and really helped the mystery grow where the King and his Guards are involved.
  • The Action || I love action, period, but I especially loved it in this book because of the magical elements. Aniel has this sword, right? And so, it can turn into water and end the lives of the Ash Kings, and it can also turn into fire. How cool is that?!
  • The Characters || Well, most of them. I enjoyed reading about Crik (he’s probably my favourite), Jak (or maybe he is), Tinker, Chaser, Aniel (she’s wicked cool), Talorc, Edem, and Gabril. I wasn’t so much a fan of Kilvar, Bhoor, and the other cruel Downer owners. I know they have to be cruel in order for the story to work as it does and I can understand that, I just don’t like them because if they were real I’d want to punch them in the face so bad. Overall though, the characters were great and I enjoyed the different voices us readers got to hear as we read. The visual we got was much richer because of that.
  • The Writing || It flowed well, and despite the filler-like vibe I felt most of the time, it was still a very enjoyable read because the writing really lured me in.

What I don’t like:

There’s not much; It’s mainly the pace. Throughout most of the book, I felt like it was all  a large filler. Not much seems to happen. I kept reading and all I got was that they were treated poorly (they were always hungry, thirsty, and dirty, always scouring the streets for whatever they could find), they needed to get money so Jak wouldn’t be sold (because their owner has a dept he needs payed but refuses to part with the silver he gained from killing a man, and so they stole from a house down a street), they aren’t that fond of some of the other Downers (Slink especially, since he always seems to sneak on them when they’re walking down the street), the Ash Kings almost killed them multiple times (since they were out on the streets during curfew trying to get food and money), and their owner is a cruel, cruel man. And yet, as you should realize, most of it happens in the same streets over and over again. It worked well with the story, but made the pace more slow and akin to that of a filler chapter.

I also didn’t like how quickly Slink changed. At first he’s this annoying, slightly creepy Downer that Crik and Jak weren’t fond of, as he was always sneaking up on them and even stole food from them once. Then suddenly when Aniel saves him he’s all nice and supportive and gets along with the others real well. I think there should have been more time taken to develop his change. Other than that though, I really enjoyed reading Scar of the Downers.

So, overall, Scar of the Downers was a very enjoyable read, despite the slow/filler-like pacing. I would recommend this to you lovers of action and fantasy.


ScottAUTHOR BIO:
Scott grew up in Black River, NY, the youngest of three children. While in law school, he realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer. So he did the practical thing – he became a writer. Now, many years later with an MFA in script and screenwriting, he is married with four daughters, two of whom he homeschools.
Author links:

THE TOUR STOPS

June 22nd
Kara the Redhead >> Review
Suzy Turner, YA Author  >> Guest post
Padme’s Library >> Excerpt

June 23rd
Mom With A Kindle >> Interview
Dowie’s Place >> Review
Mythical Books >> Guest post

June 24th
ConvergenceBookReviews >> Review
We Do Write >> Interview
Authors You Want to Read >> Excerpt
Just Us Book Blog >> Top 10 List

June 25th
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile >> Guest post
Coffee & All Things Random >> Review [me]
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Excerpt

June 26th
Classy Cat Books >> Review
Brooke Blogs >> Top 10 List
Crazy Beautiful Reviews >> Excerpt
Fandemonium Network >> Interview

ButtonXBT

~Sage<3