REVIEW: Hell Is Here by N.P. Martin

*I received a digital copy from the author.

Title: Hell Is Here
Author: N.P. Martin
Series: (The Watchers #2)
Publication date: March 7th, 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

When Leia Swanson sold her soul, she knew it would only be a matter of time before the demon she sold it to came to collect.

Six months down the line, the demon who owns her soul has come calling. Not only does the demon want to drag Leia to Hell, it wants her to undertake a dangerous and impossible mission while she is down there in exchange for getting her soul back.

With no choice but to take on the mission, Leia finds herself thrust into the terrifyingly insane world of Hell where it will take every ounce of her strength and guile to survive the unspeakable horrors she must go up against there. And as if that wasn’t enough, she must also try to locate her mother, who is still trapped there in a world of damned souls, eternal punishment, crazy Hellion’s and dangerous demon politics.

Leia must play the damnation game to win, the only people helping her a little girl born in the fiery pits of Hell itself and a stranger she meets along the way.

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      Hell Is Here is the second book in the Watchers series, and it’s all about Leia going to Hell (because she sold her soul), and having to complete a seemingly impossible mission for a chance to get her soul back. Or, well it actually starts with her waiting around for the Crossroads Demon to collect her, and so she spends her time hunting demons and getting into old habits. She also visits Josh, however they aren’t nearly as close as they used to be and Josh is obviously the darker twin, which leaves her worried, even while Leia tries her best to survive in Hell. When the demon finally comes to collect her soul, though, he offers her a choice, a chance to get her soul back if she does something for him, or stay in Hell for all eternity. Naturally she agreed to the chance of getting her soul back, and so they come up with a shaky plan and then she’s in Hell, trying to make that plan a reality.
      Leia is overwhelmed and unsure of how to get where she needs to be, and being in Demon form, she also has to worry about not giving in and losing control. She meets a little girl who she finds out was born in one of the deeper, darker parts of Hell that she names Alice though, and suddenly she has a guide. A friend. And Alice, although having never known kindness or love before, is a kind soul who can only give. She can do wrong, she was born in Hell after all, but she only helps Leia and the two form a bond. I came to admire Alice for her strength, for her bravery and for her loyalty. She’s an admirable character. She sticks by Leia, convinces Leia to leave her when she has to, and still stays standing after all the horrors she’s been through in Hell.
      Hell is brutal. That’s probably not even that great of a word to describe it. It’s a red hued world filled with nasty, horrible demons of all sorts, types, colours, shapes, and sizes. There’s so many different demons, and yet each were horrifying and most probably made of what nightmares originate from. The descriptions were cringe worthy, so were the demons and their actions. It was brutal to see the way Leia was treated, how the others were treated and how they acted. It’s a ‘dog eat dog world’ as Edward would say, where demons steal, eat each other, rape their meals, and have the unfortunate curse of never being able to die. They always regenerate. I have to say though, that I really love the world. It was raw, brutal, horrifying, and most definitely brilliantly written. As harsh as Hell is, I loved the author’s vision and the way he wrote Hell.

      The torture scenes were horrific, and hard to read, yet not hard at all. They flowed so well that you just got sucked in, and while you hated and was disgusted by the torture, you couldn’t help but keep reading. Like I said, it’s a brutal world. It just made me reevaluate Leia’s strength though, as she kept moving. She didn’t stop and cry, or curl up in a ball only to be miserable and get tossed in depression. No. She got back up after healing (she had help) and kept on with her mission.

Overall, I loved reading Hell Is Here and I’m definitely excited for the next installment. The ending shot a twist our way and then Leia was back to being tortured and wow! I just can’t wait to see where the author brings us next.

~Sage<3
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BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: An Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours An Absence of Light Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.AnAbsenseOfLightTourBanner
AbsenceOfLight~
Title: An Absence of Light
Author: Meradeth Houston
Published by: Evernight Teen
Publication date: October 31st 2014
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult
 Goodreads || Amazon || B&N

Synopsis:

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.


And now, on to my review!
Format: Ebook
4/5 stars
      An Absence of Light is a book full of action, growth, bravery, romance, and perhaps even horror. I honestly didn’t find it scary, however if I were to deal with something like that in real life, then yeah, I’d be pretty terrified. We follow Leah in the beginning after the tragic death of her family, and then she runs away and stumbles upon a man who can also see the shadows. It all begins unraveling from there, learning more of her special abilities, of the shadows, and of how to possibly solve the problems the shadows’ mere presence create. In the midst, there’s romance, action, and a whole lot of twists.
What I Liked:
  • The writing. It was easy to follow and get immersed in the story line. I had only planned on reading a chapter, maybe two, and then I ended up finishing it so… That speaks for itself. d: But it also flowed well, and the interactions between the characters were often slightly amusing. Though sometimes it felt a little too unrealistic.
  • The abilities of the shadows. I enjoyed the twists and the new information Adam, Manuel, and Lee kept discovering. Some felt a little like they were thrown in, but nevertheless the twists kept me on my toes and I was surprised more then once. I especially love the way the shadows are explained. Their description just makes you imagine this creepy, slimy, black thing with no particular shape that can easily blend in and mess with you. It’s a little scary, right?
  • The characters. I enjoyed how they each portray their own way of protection, how they all seem to bond so well. They are each strong and determined, having lost so much to the shadows. I was rooting for them throughout the book and with each moment they felt hopeless I felt even more hope that they’d get through it. I loved the emotions because of that.
  • I like how not all of the shadows are bad. I won’t go into further detail though, as this is already partially a spoiler (sorry).
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What I Didn’t Like:
  • The ending (I won’t go into further details because of spoilers) seemed far too quick. Possibly rushed. My heart wanted to break, but with how quickly it happened, I didn’t really feel anything…
  • The specific relationship that is formed happened so suddenly. I get that they’re afraid that they’ll die and so they want to make sure they know how they feel, but to just climb into bed and be all touchy-feely after so long of going back and forth between friends and enemies? I feel like we should get more of them slowly leading up to that point, because before that we pretty much only have protective instincts and seemingly not any real emotion.
  • Adam’s sister’s condition, how she got like that, isn’t explained and I feel like it should be further explored. Perhaps then we could feel a deeper terror and be able to immerse ourselves deeper in the story?
  • Considering Amy had been possessed for so long, you’d think they would have noticed others as well. But instead, they all show up once they realize what Amy is. That, well, it just makes it seem as if it was thrown in there as a second thought. I think we should’ve seen more like Amy beforehand, and then when they realize what she is they can piece it together based on what they saw before, instead of there suddenly being groups of them after Amy is discovered.

Overall, I enjoyed reading An Absence of Light and I would recommend it for you fans of horror, sci-fi, and romance. Oh, and action!


MeradethHoustonAUTHOR BIO:

Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:

-She’s a Northern California girl. And now is braving the cold winters in Montana.
-When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
-She’s also an anthropology professor and loves getting people interested in studying humans.
-If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.

Author links:

THE TOUR STOPS:

June 8th
The Bookish Angel
Girls With Books
Abby J Reed
Lindea on Books & Writing
I Feel the Need, the Need to Read

June 9th
Twisted Book Junkie
Captain Swan Bookishhh
Lisa Loves Literature
Jeni’s Bookshelf, Reviews, Swag, & More!
The Best Books Ever

June 10th
Nerd Girl Files
Dreams Come True Through Reading
Swords and Stilettos
We Do Write
A Thousand Words A Million Books

June 11th
Adventures in Bookland
Mia in Narnia
Mom With A Kindle
Reader Girls
Us Girls & A Book
Word to Dreams

June 12th
Movies, Shows & Books
Stephanie Faris
Beauty Brite
Author Tracker: YA and Adult Books
The MissPhyre Library
Coffee & All Things Random [me]
Books Can Take You There

June 13th
Head in the Clouds, Heart in the Books
My Bookshelf is yours !
A British Bookworm’s Blog
Livre It To Me
Weezled

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~Sage<3

REVIEW: Lure by Tarynn Kerr

*I received a free ebook version of this book from XpressoBookTours in exchange for an honest review.
Cover
Title: Lure
Author: Tarynn Kerr
Series: Don’t know the title, but I know the second book is currently in the works
Publication date: March 18th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
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Format: Ebook
4.5/5

Synopsis:
Her lips just barely moved, and I heard faintly on a breeze, “I will come back for you.”

David was looking forward to doing some hiking on his family camping trip. That is, until he’s lured into another world. Now he has to hike through the fae world, where fairies, hellhounds, and all sorts of magical creatures are lying in wait. These aren’t nice, fairytale creatures. No, everything here seems determined to kill David and his family. He has to escape this dangerous realm, but the one fairy that can help him may be the one that keeps him here.

      Lure definitely wasn’t what I expected. It had been on my TBR for a while, ever since I requested it, and when I realized I needed a review by the end of the month, I decided to start it. I didn’t bother reading over the synopsis as I had a few months back, and so without really remembering what it could possibly be about I just dived right it. So I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was about Faes. I honestly haven’t read many books about them, but I loved all the ones I have read, from what I remember. And this one is hardly any different.
      Lure may start off slow, but once it picks up it’s a ride of intrigue, curiosity, action and a possible romance. It’s full of secrets, powers, fighting, creatures like Unicorns, Kelpies (they’re like horses, but they have fins on their feet and they can swim in water like fish!), Hobs (they’re these tiny little brown people who live in the earth in these tunnels and they basically help clean and cook) and the likes. It was nice to get into a world like that again; they’re among my favourites in books.
 What I Liked:
  •       The world building/Writing ||
    • The human world, before David and his family end up in the Fae world, is described well with the surroundings and I enjoyed the hints during that time of what their mom is so paranoid about. The camping grounds remind me of all the times I’ve gone camping, and it was nice to connect so early on.
    • The fishing was especially easy for me to visualize, because I myself may or may not have tried to catch a fish with my bare hands once.
    • The Fae world was well written too, with the different lands and the layout and description. I liked how easily I could visualize the bright flowers David’s mother loves so much, how I could imagine them growing as the power touched them. I enjoyed being able to visualize the raging storm and winter snow, the change that took about a second before their surroundings were completely changed.
    • How the magical beings were introduced and their history never left me bored or thinking, ‘wow, when the heck will this info dump end?!’ I especially love how the Hobs are introduced, with Eric poking it’s head after his finger entered it’s tunnel. Which he didn’t know until the little Hob came out and starting yelling and scolding Eric (it was pretty funny).
  •       The Pacing ||
    • It starts off pretty slow. I honestly didn’t see the importance of David graduating and talking about a party before going to camp the next day. Which is where they meet Boden and where things start picking up after the trail and fog.
    • After the initial slow pace, things get a lot better. The mystery and suspense you feel while David and his family are walking the new, mysterious and peaceful trail really hits you. You just know something is going to happen soon because that part was pretty predictable and then when it does, you’re left screaming thinking ‘I KNEW IT!’ And then looking forward to some action because why wouldn’t there be action? Which brings me to:
  •       The Action ||
    • You should all know by know how much I love action. And considering David and his family escaped a Fae prison, you can definitely expect some in Lure.
    • The only issue I have with it is that it didn’t last nearly as long as I wished it would. d: Oh, and the fight at the end seemed kinda rushed… action should never be rushed, like why would someone do that?
  • The Characters ||
    • I really like Cearo. She’s a quick thinker, a seriously wicked fighter, a compassionate though lonely girl, an old soul, and a broken person. At least to me she is. I liked seeing how she went from a cold, unsure fae to a smiling, happier fae. She’s also very knowledgeable and she knows how to survive. She’s probably my favourite character.
    • David is another character I like. He’s kind, compassionate, and pretty understanding. He always has such faith in others when he needs to be, he’s pretty strong. He fights when he needs to (though he’s honestly not very good at it d: ), helps whenever he can, and seems to only see the good in others. He can comfort someone when the situation arises, and he’s also fairly quick in his thinking. Or, well he learns to be sharper in mind and quieter in sound as he travels with his family and Cearo to the gate.
    • Eric is a lot like Willa, his mother. They’re both easily suspicious and paranoid. They don’t give their trust easily. In fact, even though they had Cearo’s help for most of the book, they seem to distrust her as much as the other faes who want to kill them. Cearo doesn’t really help them with that though, since she basically only cares about David… But in the end, she earns their trust. I think. d:

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The slow pacing, as stated above.
  • The rushed ending.
  • That’s about it.

So, overall, I really enjoyed reading Lure. If you’re a fan of paranormal or fantasy books with Faes, action, and slight romance, then I definitely suggest giving Lure a go.

~Sage<3