Series: (Cutlass #1)
Publication date: Novenber 13th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Synopsis:Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.
Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.
But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.
*I received an ebook copy of this from Skyscape via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Series: (The Dark Cycle #1)
Publication date: July 1st 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.
In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.
With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?
I really enjoyed Darkness Brutal. It’s a fast paced fantasy novel filled with magic, demons, angels and so much more! I was intrigued and engaged, and at times I had to stop to collect my thoughts because so much was happening and I wanted to try to predict what would happen next. It’s safe to say it was hard to make predictions that came true; but that’s the beauty of it.
I especially love how the main character, Aidan, is a guy who is not seduced easily and into using girls (he’s actually quite the gentleman). He is a strong, but weak character all the same, in a way that while he spent so much of his life trying to do right by everyone, there are times he wants to give up. He has a rather shit life (he’s an orphan [maybe] living on the streets (in the sense that he doesn’t know his father or where he is and his mother is dead)), but overall he’s a nice guy trying to make the best of it all. He’s especially protective and devoted to his sister (because she was marked by a demon as a child and ever sense they have attacked every three years on her birthday, killing those close to her in order to get her, and so she’s bounced from foster home to foster home). and he’s got common sense. He isn’t normal though; he has unique abilities and powers that he was born with, though he doesn’t fully understand them. The great part about his powers? This book is well-written enough to make me feel like he’s a real character and not a special hero/strong and invincible guy. He’s fairly uncertain of his powers and tends to underestimate himself.
Jax brightens at the sight of me. “Ah, the Chosen One has returned!” he says in a very dramatic voice. “The One who shall be the most powerful!”
I give him a look that I hope says: Shut the fuck up, ass face.
I love how there’s not too much romance (though the attempt at a love triangle really wasn’t needed…). I also love the action and gore! It was all so well written and I easily emerged myself in Aidan’s world, never feeling like I want out. Which brings me to say that the world building was great! I could visualize everything I wanted to and I loved the descriptions by the author!
All of the characters had their own personalities, their own snark and sass and humour. It was fantastic!
But basically, since Aidan has to protect his sister from those dang pesky demons, he fears the nearing of her twelfth birthday (naturally). In his sense of slight helplessness, he takes Hannah’s advice (she and Eric help him earn money and get certain things to trap the demons) and calls up helps from a group of Ghostbusters (actually, he walks up to their doorstep and asks to talk to their leader). Actually they call themselves as Paranormal Investigative Agency. They hunt down demons and ghosts (though to them demons are not exactly the norm), and so Aidan falls in with a group of oddballs who are as strange as he is in the sense of having powers, led by a really weird guy. he also brings his sister along, trying his best to get her the protection she needs.
Honestly, this isn’t a perfect book (when is one perfect, really?). There was talk of rape, there was a fair bit of gore, and swearing can definitely be found. If anything though, it made the characters feel more real. And so I recommend Darkness Brutal to lovers of action, fantasy, and books with great characters. Or everyone. That works too.
*I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Wish For Me Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.
Title: Wish for Me
Author: A. Star
Three wishes. Two lovers. One destiny.
When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.
Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.
But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.
Wish For Me is different than I thought it would be. I was expecting the whole genie/djinn part with wishes (I was looking forward to it, actually), but not the whole hunters-out-to-kill-djin and djinn-have-their-own-world-with-royalty-and-politics. It was fantastic! I wasn’t expecting there to be a whole new world full of Djinn with their own rules, rulers, and history. I haven’t read many books about Djinn, but out of the ones I have, only Wish For Me really explored the Djinn and made a world for them that we could get to know. Which is why I loved learning about Shrinelyn and Irving’s family! The politics, rules, history, and overall workings of Irving’s world was amazing.
I also love the twist near the end. I mean, hunters? Madeleine? There were so many secrets that we didn’t even know existed until that meeting between hunter and Djinn! It makes you question what else the author has waiting to be revealed. Because honestly, I never saw it coming. And yet for some reason, it made so much sense when it was finally revealed!
What I like:
-the witty banter between characters and the way the characters were developed. It made for an interesting, entertaining read most of the time. Especially since while Irving and Glory weren’t exactly fond of each other right away, they were both obviously attracted to the other.
-Irving hates humans = judgmental for good reason. It made it interesting to see how his view changed and how he acted before it did. Also, it was interesting how just being with Glory made him see not all humans are bad.
-The world-building and detail of Shrinelyn is amazing! It felt real and mixed with the creations Irving made really made it that much more intriguing and enchanting.
-Twists I did not see coming. It was great! it was one curve ball after another and I didn’t catch any of them.
-Steampunk = Irving making animals out of metal and his lamp/Chronelier being a vase needing a key to summon Irving
-Easy to read and fall into.
What I Had Problems With:
-I don’t like how it was left as a cliff hanger. It doesn’t affect much for me, but I just really dislike it when a book ends on a cliff hanger. It’s frustrating.
-I don’t get why she took him to school with her. They weren’t friends nor did they really enjoy each others company, and it’s not like he’d have much to do there. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
-I also don’t get why he give her sabers she doesn’t know how to use. Won’t that be more dangerous? She could hurt herself or Irving, since I doubt she even knows how to properly handle one.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. And while I had a few problems, there wasn’t much not to love. I recommend this to lovers of fantasy, romance, and books involving Djinn. And steampunk!
THE TOUR STOPS
So, this review is dull and short. I apologize for that.
Series: (The Heartbreaker Chronicles #1)
Expected publication date: August 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
“When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music.”
Stella will do anything for her sister—even stand in line for an autographed
Heartbreakers CD… for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like…
Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music—to his face—he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life?
But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver—dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band—when her sister could be dying of cancer?
If you like quick, perhaps slightly unrealistic romances, then this is definitely the book for you. And, it’s pretty much the perfect summer read.
I had absolutely no doubts about this book. Why? Because I was lucky enough to have read the first draft on Wattpad before the author even began the process of publishing it. I loved it then and I love it now. Sure, there’s instant love between Oliver and Stella, but it works. And they don’t get together right away. They have so many issues to go through first, considering he’s a famous singer in a band and she’s just a normal teenaged girl trying to get through life with her photos and sister who is a cancer victim.
Heck, even Cara’s illness was a pleasure to read about! Sure, she was sick and so close to dying at times, but she was always so optimistic and full of life! She was never moody or brooding or just plain rude just because she was sick. She was energetic, bursting at the seams with energy that her body couldn’t seem to stand! She was a great character, and it was easy to fall in love with her, as well as the others.
* I received an eARC copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Dreamer
Author: E.J. Mellow
Series: (The Dreamland Series, #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.
Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.
There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.
But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?
Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.
*I received a free ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Season of Lightning
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Publication date: February 20th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Emma meets Robin Hood in this antebellum-esque historical fantasy set in the same fantasy world as A Gift of Poison.
Verity Elysius is the only daughter of a famous retired general and rich plantation owner. She lives in an insulated world of wealth and privilege, where she spends her time riding her horse, sassing her lady’s companion, and being tormented by the family’s handsome but irritating nobleman friend, Lord Roth. But when a mysterious, masked vigilante called the Hawk begins stirring up trouble and freeing silvras, the oppressed lower class, Verity’s world is turned upside down as she is challenged about everything she knows about her world and her place in it.
The Season of Lightning is a fantasy book akin to that of a historical romance type of novel, with the romance at the end (though there isn’t much romance, to be honest). The fantasy part doesn’t mean the book is infused with magic and spells and witches, rather, it’s the world itself with the different places and types of people (Tyyros, Silvra ext.). It feels so much like a historical book though due to the vibe the world gives off, reminding us of the 1800s with the way people speak and dress and how the world works. It made for a more interesting story, seeing as how Verity is a rich girl whom is supposed to be a proper young lady. But it isn’t just about a rich girl’s life, or how one with such money lived in those times. It’s about a rich girl with an improper attitude slowly realizing the world around her and the horrors within it. It’s about a young lady seeing the wrongs and wanting to right them, but not knowing how. It’s about freeing the lower class who are beaten and starved so the rich don’t have to do their work. It’s about growing and maturing and trying to do the right thing.
Which is why I’ll start off with Verity’s character. Verity is a noblewoman, rich and young,and stuck in a time where women are seen as nothing but pretty objects to brighten a room, where they’re seen as weak beings only concerned with parties and dresses and gossip. Verity is anything but dress obsessed and empty headed. In fact, she has a quick brain and a sharp tongue which drove her father mad, and tended to get her in trouble. She admits to liking parties, yes, but that’s definitely not all she thinks about. Instead, she likes to ride her horse, run around bare-foot, she wants to play cards with her father and the other men. Basically, she’s a lady doing things men do, and because of that she is improper. Also, she has a fire in her, a fierceness which is most definitely to be improper since it allows her to talk back and defend herself. It gives her strength and that makes her a character more lovable and likable. I also really enjoyed how Verity matured in this novel. Whenever she was faced with something unpleasant (like a man hating on her Silvra friend, Trilly, soldiers with guns threatening them, the Hawk), she doesn’t turn away. Instead, she learns from it and the more she learns from situations she gets herself in, the more she grows and matures. I think she grew the most in the camp and in Tasglorn though, which I loved reading about.
The reason for her growth however, all started when a mysterious person they called The Hawk, began to attack various rich plantations and free the Silvras and Tyyros (who are slaves, no matter how one might look at it). That is when Verity realizes the lives of the lower class, realizes the wrongs being done to them and begins to want to help and do all she can to make things right. And while I liked the Hawk for freeing the slaves and giving them a better life and his commitment to his cause, I wasn’t so fond of the way he went about achieving his goals. He was fueled by revenge and liked to burn down crops and home even though he didn’t need to. He wasn’t robbing the rich to feed the poor as Robin Hood did; he was taking down the rich and freeing the oppressed.
I liked Lord Roth from the beginning. He came across as sweet, intelligent, and charming, though he adored making fun of Verity for obvious reasons. He had his own way about things and while at times I wasn’t so fond of him for treating Verity like a child and being fairly rude, he was an overall great character. He grew as well, like Verity did, though not as much. He stopped treating her like a child and she saw and remembered the good things about him, the things he did so she didn’t have such a hard time. It was rather obvious how it would end between them, though I wish the romance was more developed because there really wasn’t much of it.
Which brings me to the world building! The world was very well-developed, feeling as real as our own as we got to see inner workings of politics as well as the outcome of chaos. We got to see how Verity’s world suffered and worked through the loss of money and crops and workers. We got to see the different worlds, the different workings of the different people and places (though not so much their politics, but their groups near Verity). It was a fantastic world and the author did a great job of describing it and making it feel real.
The writing was also very good. We got to see the world through Verity, so there were no big info-dumps, and we got to see the world change through her eyes. I was so invested and immersed in this book that I didn’t want to put it down. It was just so easy to fall into and so hard to get out! And while it wasn’t exactly fast-paced (which I have no problems with), it was so riveting that I can hardly complain!
Overall, everything about this book is great. And while I would’ve loved to see the romance be more developed, there’s not much to complain about. I would definitely recommend this for any of you who find in interestign or love fantasy and historical books.
*I received a free ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Something Like This
Author: Eileen Cruz Coleman
Series: (Secrets Series, #1)
Publication date: April 24th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Twenty-three-year old Jadie Santiago has a secret.
One morning on her way to work she stops to offer a homeless man a bottle of water. As she meets the man’s eyes, Jadie instantly recognizes they belong to her father, whom she hasn’t seen since she was sixteen. Unable to accept the truth of her encounter, Jadie flees, hoping eventually to forget the experience and continue leading a normal life.
But then she meets Reece, an aspiring writer with a mysterious past who is set on capturing Jadie’s affection. Jadie wants nothing more than to give her heart to Reece, but her broken past and crippling secret keep her from surrendering it to him fully.
Things won’t come easy to Jadie as she fights for her place in the world, but there is strength in her, and she is determined never to stop struggling for what so many others have: love, happiness, and a sense of belonging.
Something Like This is full of finding love, forgiveness, a place to belong, and family. It’s about facing your fears, your past, and not giving up even though things may be hard. It’s about a young adult trying to make her way through life with an emptiness she wishes could go away. It’s about her hopes and dreams she once had, but gave up on because she doesn’t think she’s good enough. Her own father couldn’t love her, he left her, so why would she ever amount to anything? Despite that though, she tries. She works hard to be where she is and she’s grateful. It’s about conquering her fears and realizing she is a person, someone who deserves to be loved. It;s about learning to love and be loved. It’s about opening up and being happy again. It’s something we all can relate to in one way or another.
Which is probably why I enjoyed this book so much. The main character, Jadie, is someone we can all relate to, because at one point or another we felt insecure or like we weren’t good enough. And while at times she tends to be a tad dramatic, you can’t really blame her because from the way she thinks, she’s not good enough for Reece. He deserves someone better, someone with less baggage. What she didn’t realize -what we don’t realize- though, because she was so lost in her own pain, was that everyone has a bit of baggage; everyone’s hurting. We tend to forget, just as Jadie did, that we’re all human and we all hurt despite the smiles we plaster on our faces; no matter how real one might look. And so that made her a character easy to relate to and connect with, which made for a better read.
While I really love the characters, the relationship between Reece and Jadie came on too fast for my liking. As Jadie herself said, they were already telling each other they loved the other only days after they met. It was too fast for my liking. Despite that though, the relationship was well written and real enough that it didn’t feel like they fell in love days after meeting. Sure, they still needed to keep getting to know one another, but they fit together so well and it felt real, especially because they got into fights like all couples do.
Overall (sorry, I don’t have all that much to add), the characters were great, the feelings too, but the pacing too fast. I do recommend reading Something Like This if you like contemporary reads with great characters.
Series: (Mindshare #1)
Publication date: December 16th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
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.
THE TOUR STOPS