REVIEW: Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider

*I received a digital copy of the book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Fractured Memories
Author: Jo Schneider
Series: (Jagged Scars #1)
Publication date: May 2oth 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.

Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.

The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5
Fractured Memories is an action packed, fast paced, dystopia. It’s a world where a disease called ‘starvation’ (because once you eat ‘bad food’, you starve no matter what you eat) kills half the world’s population and turns many into ‘Skinnies’ (they’re basically zombies. They eat raw meat) until they too die. It’s where said Skinnies attack Wendy’s compound on the day of her 16th birthday and kill everyone she knows. At least, she thinks so. She can hardly remember the event after being rescued by people of another compound lead by a man named Mike. And from there begins Wendy’s plan for revenge.

The Skinnies were downright creepy. At one point, they talk and it gets clearer that they’re not in their minds. Who would be after suffering such a disease? But either way, they’re much like a pack of rabid wolves, lurking in packs and attacking any food source they come across. Even if that food source stands on two legs and a had beating heart.

Which brings me to say that the action? Yeah, it was <b>fantastic</b>! Just from reading I’ve learned so much more about fighting. Mainly because the main character, Wendy, is best at fighting (since she’s had to fight practically every day of her life by either training or protecting her compound when she was old enough) and so her observations and new techniques are something we really pay attention too. Mainly because we’re rooting for her the entire time. We also get to see different styles of fighting though, during training and during the fights Wendy takes part in. She’s skilled in thinking quickly and finding a way out of a bad situation. She can flip men thrive her size! She’s strong but weak as well, breaking down at times and having all those flashes mess with her sanity. That’s what makes it easier to connect with her and envoy the story.

Wendy is actually a really great character. She’s practically overcome by the need for revenge when she realizes she’s the only survivor. She wants whoever did this to her to pay and she ready has an idea of who did it. They won’t be getting away this time. She has a fantastic hold over her emotions and control, and she can easily take five men down. How badass is that?! She’s also really strong both mentally and physically. She’s terrifying when angry though. Which helps her in the long run because no one sees her coming when she’s angry. They hardly see her coming when she’s in control.

I also really liked the other characters. Especially the group Wendy grew to call her friends. Cal, Kev, and Arie are probably the best group of friends for Wendy to be a part of. They’re loyal, they care, and they even followed her in the end because they wanted to make sure she was all right. They’re good for her and have helped her a lot. I’m definitely excited for the next book just to see them all together again!

Overall, I really enjoyed Fractured Memories and I definitely recommend this to you lovers of action, dystopia and post apocalyptic books.

~Sage<3

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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

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: Like Candy by Debra Doxer

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

LikeCandyTourBanner1

Title: Like Candy
Author: Debra Doxer
Series: (Candy, #1)
Publication date: July 28th 2015
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Revenge is sweet, just like candy.
Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.
Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.
Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.
Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.
And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      I enjoyed Like Candy a lot more than I thought I would.
Why?
      Because It was so incredibly easy to fall into the story! When I started reading it, I only meant to read a chapter or two to get a feel for what I’d be reading the next day (because it was late and I needed sleep but I wanted to know anyway) and instead I’ve suddenly read six chapters and I don’t want to stop! (I did anyway, but I definitely didn’t want to.) And then I picked it back up the next morning and proceeded to finish it. Just like that. It’s because the writing flowed well the story hooked me easily.
      It was full of mystery, suspense, twists, and the likes. The mystery was who kept breaking into their home (even though they had an alarm set up and a locks), who wanted to hurt Candy and her father (because her father’s job is… sketchy), and who wanted to hurt Candy to get to her father (because of his job)? And then it turned to who is Jonah really? Because he’s obviously a pretty secretive person when it comes to himself, so why wouldn’t he be hiding something? Which brought the thought, who else is lying or hiding something? The suspense was trying to figure out who the person wanting to harm them was, what they would do next, and why exactly did they want to hurt Candy’s father. The twist was at the very end. Jonah’s secret, what he hid, wasn’t so shocking; the fact that people wanted to hurt her father also wasn’t shocking (because really, he kills people for a living. Who wouldn’t want to get revenge on him for killing their father or brother?); and the man’s identity (the one who wanted to hurt them) wasn’t so shocking either (because we hear of him, but are never introduced to him which inspires the question: why? And he’s good with computers, so who else could it be?). But it’s the fact that while her father was being chocked, she decided to do something her father never wanted her to do. And I won’t say what because it’s pretty much a spoiler, but her father was both disappointed and defeated in that moment.
      Like Candy also has a connectable female lead. Candy. And she is strong in the sense that while with her father she may at times back down, she always has a plan to try and get him to see her point of view, and other times she fights him until she no longer can. With others, the ones who betray her, back stab her, purposely try to hurt her, or just want to mess with her, she never lets them get the better of her without getting back at them. She always gets her revenge. She’s insecure in a way where at times she really does wonder if anyone can really love her. When she’s having a bad day or just feels like crap, she wears revealing clothes because at least no one will think she’s as miserable as she is if she looks good. Also, she’ll get attention, even if it isn’t the good kind. She’s kind because she feels bad for the kind boys who try to get with Parker or Lea and end up dismissed or hurt, she cares about her father even when he’s being nothing but cold and distanced from her, always worried about whether or not he’s in trouble, and she cares deeply about Theo and worries about him because of his chemo withering him away. She’s thoughtful in a way that while at times she may not always see it at first from other’s eyes, by the end she sees what they mean and puts herself in their shoes. She always ends up understanding or seeing why they might think or feel in that way. She’s also very eager for acceptance. She wants to please her father, to have him love her in an affectionate way although she knows he’s not like that. It’s rare to get a hug from him, and she feels alone because of that. If she is having a bad and just needs a hug, she can’t count on her father to comfort her. In fact, at times he tells her she’s being unreasonable or childish. She’s mischievous too, though, always quick to think up a plan for revenge. Her pranks are ones she thinks of quickly and can still pull off perfectly. She’s that determined not to let others get away with doing wrong by her.
      In this book, there’s a romance all girls yearn for. We all want that guy in our life who looks at us like we’re his world, the guy who’ll research places all night long just to find the perfect place to take us, the kind of guy who is a gentleman but also has a devious side to keep us on our toes, a guy who is nervous but confident, thoughtful, and always seems to know our thoughts and what’s best for us. We want the kind of guy we can connect with on a deeper level who will love us for who we are, even if we try to hide ourselves. And that’s what Jonah and Candy are, what they have. They get each other on a lever beyond one I can comprehend, and they just work. And while I hate that he lied to her and was at times pretty rude, I don’t want to see them apart. That’s how well the author wrote them; the author made us love them, rendering it almost completely impossible to hate them or think, I hope they ruin each other. I love it.
      The only things about this book I don’t like? The cliff hanger (obviously, because this book isn’t even published yet(or, it wasn’t when I read the book and wrote this review), so now I have to wait longer for the next!), and the utter importance for her to follow in her father’s footsteps. I get that she wants his love and acceptance, but to eagerly want to kill people? Even if you think they’re bad guys? Candy has a heart, a big, good heart. But her need to be like her father might ruin her. I don’t think she can kill someone in cold blood and then not regret it or relive it ever other moment after. And I don’t want her to have to.
      Overall, I really love Like Candy and so I recommend this to everyone. But mainly lovers of mystery and romance.
 Debra

AUTHOR BIO:
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.

THE TOUR STOPS

August 3rd
Book Snacks
A Bookish Escape
The Boundless Book List
Evermore Books
Bad Bird Reads
Mortal Moments

August 4th
Books Can Take You There
Bookworm for Kids
Library of Books {Me}
Musings of the Book-a-holic Fairies, Inc.
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August 5th
Cat’s Guilty Pleasure
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~Sage<3

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
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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
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June 13th
Head in the Clouds, Heart in the Books
My Bookshelf is yours !
A British Bookworm’s Blog
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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
 →
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

REVIEW: Apex Rising by Tom Wright

*I received the ebook version of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Apex Rising

Author: Tom Wright

Series: (Talker #1)

Genres: Fantasy, Action

Format: Ebook

4/5 stars


Synopsis:
Revenge, power, and love in a world where men and women commune with animals.

Revenge: After a treacherous attack, former spymaster Katria promises to find who betrayed her. The thought that keeps her going, night and day, is vengeance.

Power: Unbeknownst to Prince Neru, Katria still lives. In her absence, he struggles to help a far-off village in his kingdom. He placates his father, the king, but knows his people live under the brutality of the Apex.

The Apex movement gains ground, openly recruiting and openly attacking.

As Neru races to stop the Apex, Katria moves against her past enemies. Political turmoil erupts into bloodshed. Constant danger looms over the kingdom.

Love: Against the odds, each must complete their deadly tasks to ever see the other alive again.

      Apex Rising is an action packed fantasy novel full of magic, revenge, battles, bravery, deceit, strength, and even romance (though thankfully, not much).

What I like/What I Had Problems With:

The magic- 1) it really stands out, with each individual person being bonded to a specific type of animal (they’re called Talkers). The concept is an interesting one and something I really enjoyed reading. 2) Unfortunately the background wasn’t really explained: how is it possible, how are the animals chosen for each person, why is it possible ect. I feel like it should be better explored and explained.

The Characters- 1) Katria is a strong female lead, and most definitely is not your average female heroine. At the very beginning you learn of how she suffered from disfiguring burns and why she speaks in such a harsh rasp due to her damaged throat. From then on, since we now know her reason for motive, we follow her as she journeys to the city that was once her home and attempts to seek out justice and revenge for the damage inflicted upon her. She kills, as well as finds out the true reasoning for what happened to her; it’s quite the adventure. And let’s be honest, it was really refreshing to have a strong female lead who, for once, isn’t ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ or ‘gorgeous’ or any of that nonsense. 2) I feel like if we had more time with her, more of a look in her head, we would be able to understand and connect with her better.

Neru is the son of the king, and prince of the realm. He’s fairly flat as a hero, but an interesting character nevertheless. He takes it upon himself to deal with the problems The Apex creates, and in doing so he gets entangled with a problem bigger then he originally thought. Which obviously ends with a lot of action because who doesn’t love action?

Nalia is a bitter old trainer with some snark and sass lined up and ready to fire. Honestly, I saw her more as a warrior, as someone who fights, then how she actually was in the book. She was more of a supporting character though, and so I feel like we didn’t get to really see much of her true ability and character. I’d definitely love to see more of her in the next book of the series.

The World Building- The world building was fairly well done, but I feel like it took more of a backseat position and so it was more difficult to get a hold on the world. While much of it is hinted throughout the book with descriptions, it’s mostly an afterthought as the action and issues presented take the lead.

The Romance- See, the thing I love most about Wright’s writing is the fact that in every book I’ve read from him so far, the romance is kept at a low, if at all. It refreshing. I like how there’s more action than romance, how the two the romance is between don’t meet again until the end.

That said though, the ending was a bit of a disappointment. I won`t share too many details (because spoilers), but it really did seem rushed and painfully cliché. I played it out differently in my head, with there being more hesitation and shock.

The Writing- The action and issues were well presented and the final conflict was well written (especially the action). The few twists there were I enjoyed and there’s nothing all too wince-worthy.

However, I feel like some parts could have been stronger, and possibly even made more of an impact. Other then that though, it was an interesting, enjoyable read.

If you enjoy books full of fantasy and action, I suggest Apex Rising.

Decided to try something a little different. I don’t know if I’ll continue with it, but yeah.

~Sage<3

REVIEW: Broken Lies by Claire Vale

*I received the ebook version of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Broken Lies

Author: Claire Vale

Series: (Broken #1)

Publication Date: March 10th, 2015

Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Format: Ebook

4/5 stars


Synopsis:
Scientists predicted it would take seventy years for the Arctic Shelf to completely melt. In the end, it took less than five. We lost thirty percent of our land to the oceans and a big chunk of our structure to panic and anarchy.

The Melt crippled us.

But it was the Arctic Virus at the bottom of The Melt, trapped for millennia in the darkest depths of ice strata, that broke us. The real flood was the Living Corpses. A population of billions turned to soulless, rabid shells within months. That’s what washed away the human race as we know it.

Born into a post-apocalyptic world, Lake has grown up in the last city standing. Governed by what used to be the Queen’s Cold Stream  Guard, vaccinated against the threat, life in Windsor City is both harsh and fair. The rules are designed to strengthen the city and ensure survival.

Lake’s future is planned out with opportunities and unfair advantages and then there’s Ash—her best friend and hopefully more. Things could be worse, considering she’s living past the end of days. And, sometimes, she could definitely do with being a better person, which was what drafting into the Guard for two years of service was supposed to be about.

But she has no idea what she’s signed up for. The city is more vulnerable than she’d ever imagined, on its knees at the mercy of a megalomaniac organisation, and she’s just been chosen to pay the price.

Broken Lies is full of strength, bravery, survival, growth, deceit, friendship (there’s some seriously strong bonds), and even a dash of romance (perhaps a little too much for my taste, the way it was written, but even so it wasn’t so bad). We mainly follow a group of four friends, also considered as two couples: Lake and Ash, and Ava and Ralley. All four are very important characters, and then add Thomas to spice things up a little, and suddenly you have more humour, a love triangle, and growth in a certain character.

To be honest, the love triangle was a little… eh. It didn’t really work for me. I mean, Ash is a great guy and all, but he felt more like best friend material. The way he was always making Lake feel as if she should be better as a person, as if she didn’t deserve him, as if she should be stronger and take certain things more seriously because he wants her too, just didn’t make me want to root for him as a romantic interest. He was better playing her friend, always concerned and supportive and just being there. He hurt her, too. Which honestly, I think was pretty unnecessary in the way it panned out, as yeah okay sure, it broke them up, but it was never really explained. And from all we know of Ash up to that point, he would never do something like that, and so instead it felt like something thrown in just so there’d be a huge distance between them. Either way, I definitely prefer the other love interest. He’s by far a better choice. Lake herself says that being with him makes her feel as if maybe it’s okay to be herself. And that’s what she needs, what would make her happier in the long run.

But anyway, the overall plot and content was very enjoyable. I loved the action (during actual fights and even the training), the world-building, the survival training course, and the characters. I enjoyed the zombie-like aspect, the -as they call them- LCs, or Living Corpses if you like. They proved to be very dangerous and I believe they play a rather large part. That being said, though, I must admit that I feel like the book focused more on the relationships of the couples and the troubles between them, than on the surviving and the threats (the LCs and many more) and how they could possibly fix their problems. The romance part of the book seemed to take the lead, with everything else a lingering shadow of what should be more pronounced. That’s another reason why the love triangle really didn’t work for me. I still enjoyed the book, though, as the training and the survival and the attacks were all very intriguing and engaging.

At the end, however, a certain twist was revealed and all I could think was: Hunger Games. It’s different, yes, but it still is very similar and so I’m not entirely sure about the next book. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, as I really want to see who Lake ends up with (if it’s who I’m hoping then things are about to get a whole lot better), if Ava and Ralley get back together, and if the three boys (Ash, Ralley, and Thomas) will really go through with what they’re being forced to, or if they will find some way out. I’m already thinking it’ll be full of action, and loss, and romance that’ll actually work. I’m pretty excited, actually. Out of all the ways it can go, which path will the author take? But I’m still hesitant, because what if it resembles the Hunger Games too much?

But yes, overall I really enjoyed reading Broken Lies. If you’re a fan of dystopia, action, romance, and maybe even zombies, then I suggest giving this book a try!

~Sage<3