REVIEW: Death Wish by Megan Tayte

24873066Title: Death Wish
Author: Megan Tayte
Series: (Ceruleans #1)
Pub. Date: February 7th, 2015
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Formet: Ebook
Source: A Giveaway from a while back.

GoodreadsAmazon

IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE.

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.

To believe the impossible.

Rating: 4/5 Stars
★★★★✰

      Death Wish is an intriguing young adult book infused with secrecy, romance, and a dash of mystery that keeps the pages turning. In it, we follow Scarlett as she goes off on her own for the summer to try and understand the actions that her sister took. Along the way, she finds love, friendship, and most importantly, herself.

This book has beautiful, lyrical writing that you just can’t help but get lost in. There are multiple places within the novel where you will be sucked in by the flow of well crafted words and poetic musings, where you just can’t get enough. I was left wanting more of that lyrical flow, more of that deep musing and poetic wording. Those parts of the novel are my favourite. The author did a wonderful job with each scene, those especially. I felt a deep connection, like she knew just what to write to hit me where it would leave an impression.

“I would once again sit astride a surfboard on surging, rollicking, crashing waves. Not by choice -I was deeply frighted of the sea; always had been- but out of heart-crushing need. To answer the question that had echoed in every beat of my heart for the past two months-“ (3%).

The bonds Scarlett formed are absolutely lovely. You won’t be able to hat Cara. You’ll have no problem adoring her because she’s outgoing, generous, fun, optimistic, and even with her legs the way they are she’s a ray of sunshine no one can look away from. She’s hope, and she’s the thread that brings Scarlett back, that lets Scarlett find herself. Luke is a character you’re going to want to love because he’s caring, passionate, understanding, strong, and he lets Scarlett see her strengths instead of her flaws and how she isn’t her sister. Bert is a lovely old man who you will like very much despite not getting to know him well because he’s more of the comic relief, though I’m sure he made Scarlett value life just a bit more.

The romance is not instant (you don’t know how happy I am about this)! There wasn’t much build-up to it, it was more of a-month-went-by-and-my-feelings-bloomed-past-friendship thing, but even so I enjoyed it. I wanted them together. They made each other better. Reading about them as their relationship progressed was enjoyable, and after the way this book ended, I can’t wait to see how much farther they get.

The mystery. This whole story is about finding out why Scarlett’s sister killed herself. It’s a search for answers, figuring out the truth through all the lies and vague emails. It is intriguing, infused with this mystery of why why why. Unfortunately, with all the promise it had, it fell a little flat. Scarlett never really found out anything. She found out why -through a doctor and not even thinking about if it’s the real, true reason-, but not all the details, and she just let it go. It’s a bit predictable as well, though that isn’t always a bad thing.

“For the first time since that day I had been summoned to the headteacher’s office, I understood. The relief was overwhelming. The weight that had been pressing in on me for all these months, haunting me, was gone,” (53%)

The paranormal/magic intrigue in the synopsis? It’s underdeveloped, raw, and it makes a very late appearance. We get little hints of it, ones that I love because they seriously made Scarlett question herself among other things, but it’s never really explained or acknowledged until near the very end. It means that the next book holds a lot of promise for this paranormal aspect, but that this first book lacked just a bit to get it ready.

Overall, Death Wish is a wonderfully written book that kept me eagerly turning pages until the end.

REVIEW: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

*I received a free uncorrected digital version of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (I’m aware I’m very late in getting to it)

21524446Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Published: October 6, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling
Format: Ebook
Goodreads | Amazon

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

      A Thousand Nights is a beautiful story about a young unnamed female character who could not bare to lose her sister to the king who had killed 300 brides already, so she purposely made herself into a vision of beauty so she’d be taken instead. The entire tale is full of bravery, cleverness, and a strength that really brought the whole story together to make it feel as real as it possibly could. It’s infused with magic and love and darkness, though in the end, it all comes together.

The prose was elegant, and incredibly well done. The world-building was on point, too and very real (I assume, since I have never lived in a desert before). The desert tribes, their lives, were brilliantly written. I almost wanted to find one and join in! They work hard, they have tough lives, but they never complain and they are so strong. They sing and dance and have such lovely traditions, and they are incredibly wise from all that they have lived through. If our unnamed bride had not come from her home in the desert, I doubt she would have fared so well against the king. In fact, she probably would’ve died, but since her family had prayed for her since she took her sister’s place, she grew a strange power.

The King has a power too, though. It kills, and it destroys. He claimed at one point that they were the same, but she does not destroy or kill, she fixes things and tries to help to the best of her ability. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of her, but it became very clear early on that she is loyal, strong, brave, and clever. She was not bitter or angry with her life, even if her sister had a shadow she was supposed to live in.

      “I am not you,” I said to her. I was not bitter. She had never made me feel the lesser, and she had only scorn for those who did.

She couldn’t, for the life of her, allow Lo-Melkhiin to take her sister away when everyone loved her so dearly. She wanted to protect her sister, and her love for her was so fierce that she made sure she would be the one taken.

    “Lady mother, we must be quick if we are to save your daughter.”

My sister’s mother looked up and clung to the silk I offered to her.

“How?” she said to me, an I saw a desperate hope burn in her eyes.

Lo-Melkhiin took a little longer for me to really form an opinion on. He was cruel but clever, strong but weak in wanting power so much. He didn’t care about the lives he took, nor did he care that he took so many. He got power from it, so who was he to deny more? And yet there were glimpses of a kind man, of who he used to be. And it wasn’t until I read of how he was in the desert and came back changed that I realized what had happened. There were many twists that I did not see coming, and it kept the story fresh and me intrigued. I had a hard time putting the book down.

“It was never enough for me. I craved more.”

The magic never felt separate to the story, as it tends to. It was entangled in the stories told, entwined with each word spoken and unsaid, and it was a part of both King and unnamed bride. There were wonderful creations, lives destroyed, lives given back, and there was a strength that came from it. If Lo-Melkhiin decided to mess up the women’s crafts, she fixed it. If Lo-Melkhiin decided to make one of his guards carve stones with eyes that are wrong to everyone but him, so be it, but she will do her best to help the carver. And if Lo-Melkhiin decided to bring out his kind to take down many, she fought him until there was no more war.

The author did a magnificent job with this book, and I definitely intend to buy A Thousand Night and the companion novel when it comes out. This book is worth a re-read, which I almost never do. I definitely recommend reading it!

REVIEW: Cutlass by Ashley Nixon

*I received an ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Cutlass
Author: Ashley Nixon
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.

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5
      Cutlass wasn’t only about pirates and revenge. Oh no, it was about Elves and Lyrics, death and deceit. It was about learning the truth and letting go of and anger and revenge because it only makes you bitter and lonely. It’s about falling in love and being loyal! It’s about freedom.
      Everything in this book from the action on the sea, to the romance on board, to the shocks of betrayal and the fantasy aspects were simply brilliant. Yes, Barren oftentimes was controlled by his anger and need for revenge, but he’s young and still learning! He’s a force to be reckoned with and has a sharp mind, he’s a man holding such a weight as murder, revenge and pain! He lost his father because his brother killed him, his mother for something he couldn’t remember! Barren could never understand why; he didn’t want to understand. And so he stalked the shores of Maris and attacked ships in hopes of luring William out to sea so he could act on his revenge. But William wouldn’t dare and so months later of no change, Barren learns of William’s engagement and kidnaps his wife. But Lady Larkin is not docile and quiet and fearful. No, she’s strong and Barren’s equal with a sword. In fact, she almost killed him the night he kidnapped her. If it hadn’t been for Leaf, his best friend, who knows if Barren would have found a way to live?
      The writing was great, though I did sometimes find myself uninterested. It flowed nicely and yes, at times it was cheesy and parts were slightly cliche, but it still intrigued me. Especially since it’s all one big adventure that no one can deny enjoying. Especially the action. I love the action!
      Overall, Cutlass is a read I recommend to fantasy lovers. Especially those who love pirates.
~Sage<3
(It’s short I know. Sorry!)

REVIEW: The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow

* 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

Goodreads || Amazon || B&N


Synopsis:
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.

And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5
      The Dreamer is a very well written story about a 24-year-old woman who was struck by lightning. Now she suddenly has these dreams, theses seriously vivid dreams, that leave her questioning her sanity and yearning for someone she’s sure isn’t real. By day she’s just Molly, a normal woman resting and recovering from her recent accident (being struck by lightning), usually hanging out with her best friend Becca, and sort-of boyfriend Jared (they’re untitled, not labelled, but together). By night she’s Molly, The Dreamer with crazy cool powers who’s discovering a whole new wave of feelings with Dev, and a whole new world full of a bunch of new people.
      So, I just want to get this out right now. Molly irritated me a lot. It’s not because she was a bad character or anything, because she is actually a pretty good one, but because of her… situation with Jared and Dev. Jared is a nice, handsome young man who is clearly in love with Molly. He understands her, always makes her feel at ease, and things with them are just so in touch that it makes you want what they have. Jared adores her, he’s there for her and wants to be her forever. And Dev, well, Dev is a handsome man in her dreams. He’s strong and odd in a sense that he comes from a whole new place where everything is so new and different to Molly. He’s a jerk at times, never answers her questions, flirts with her a lot, and he obviously likes her. And so the reason she irritates me? While she’s basically dating Jared, who is a nice and brilliant guy in the real world, she’s also experiencing feelings for Dev and kissing him and flirting and touching. When she’s with Dev, she forgets all about Jared. In fact, she hardly spares him a thought while she dreams! And while she’s with Jared, she has a hard time forgetting Dev, forgetting his touch and his kiss. It irritates me because she’s basically cheating in Jared, and it’s like she doesn’t even care! Until she has sex with him and feels guilty for thinking of Dev. But seriously, she’s Jared’s whole world and she doesn’t even love him. Not yet, at least, but she’s sure she can some day. It’s safe to say I’d rather she be with Jared. I mean, Dev’s great and all, but she only sees him when her eyes are closed. And Jared’s more open.
      Whew. Okay, so not that I got that out of the way…
      I’ll start off with the world building. It was amazing. I could visualize most of what was described and I really liked the feel we got of the workings of Terra. However, there were times that while things were described really well, I just couldn’t visualize them. And so while reading, there were points where I had a blank visual because I just couldn’t picture it in my mind. Though I really love the people. There were the Nocturna, who all wore black, and there were Vigil, who wore fancy robes and the likes. The Vigil are the leaders, the council, basically, and they know a lot that they keep from the Nocturna. I really like how they had the two different groups, much like us normal citizens and then the government. I also like how the author balanced between Terra and the real world. I was never bored or sick of wither world, and I actually eagerly awaited to get back to the other while I was reading of one. I was so invested in both sides, that Molly’s decision (which I’m sure she’ll have to make) about Jared or Dev, is really tearing into me. I want her with Jared, but then Dev will get all sad and empty again and Rae will probably be very angry with her…
      I also like how Molly thinking she’s going insane was portrayed. It really felt like she was losing her marbles. She definitely changed since meeting Dev. She wanted to sleep more, she was zoning out a lot. She even took sleeping pills at one point just to get answers from Dev. Which may or may not have worked, I won’t say because it’s be a spoiler.
      Which brings me to characters. They all play a big part in Molly’s life and how things go. I adore them all. I can’t think of a single character I didn’t like. And while at times they may have irritated me (Molly), or made me want to punch them in the face for potentially ruining something great (Dev), I loved them more than I didn’t.
      Overall, I liked this book and all the characters, the world building, and the feelings it makes you feel. I recommend it to you lovers of romance and fantasy.
ButtonXBT
~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

BLOGTOUR/REVIEW: Wolfskin by W.R. Gingell

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

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

WolfskinTourBanner1

Wolfskin

Title: Wolfskin
Author: W.R. Gingell
Publication date: May 1st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
‘If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .’
At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest. She thinks it will be all enchantment and excitement, and not so much fuss about baths. The reality is much more sober and practical- that is, until she meets a mysterious wolf in the forest and is tricked into stepping off the path . . .
In young, naive Rose, Bastian sees a way of escape. Cursed to remain in the shape of a wolf after running afoul of a powerful enchantress, he has lived many decades under a spell, and now he is both desperate and ruthless. But by breaking part of Bastian’s curse, Rose has caught the attention of Cassandra, the enchantress who cursed him: and Cassandra is by no means ready to forgive and forget.
Meanwhile, wardens have been disappearing from the forest, one by one. Rose is certain that Cassandra is behind the disappearances, but can she and Bastian get to the bottom of the matter before Akiva disappears as well? And are Bastian’s motives entirely to be trusted?
Sometimes the little girl in the red hood doesn’t get eaten, and sometimes the wolf isn’t the most frightening thing in the forest.
And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
Stars: 5/5
      Wolfskin is full of magic, witches, curses, power, action, romance, a cursed wolf, a bitter Enchantress, spells, growth, strength, trust, and bravery. It’s about a young girl seeking out adventure who becomes an apprentice to a witch, who ends up breaking the first part of a wolf’s curse, who learns spells and magic, and tries to figure out who is behind the missing Wardens and why they’re doing it. It’s about a fourteen year old girl maturing and growing into a young woman who finds love, friendship, and family. It’s about Rose’s adventures and the situations she gets into because of her naivety. It’s a tale you’ll surely love.
  • Characters:
    • Rose is feisty, adventurous, and wants to be a Pirate so she never has to marry. She’s strong and brave but also young and naive. She’s a very believable character. She also tends to act without thinking. So watching her grow up, fight Cassandra, try to save Bastian from his curse, and try to solve the mystery of the missing Wardens was very satisfying and enjoyable.
    • Bastian is probably my favorite. At first, he’s a conniving, vicious wolf who’s about to eat Rose on their first meeting. But when she breaks the first part of his curse he isn’t so bad. He’s a cursed man in the form of a wolf because of what he did, and he’s playful, protective, kind, thoughtful, and I loved reading about his interactions with Rose. Sure, at times he was slightly scary and his behavior was unsettling (mostly when the black surrounded the gold of his aura) but overall he was a character I really love.He’s also tortured and brooding, but he’s quick witted and definitely entertaining, especially when with Rose. Their banter never bored me and was very entertaining.
    • Akiva is a Warden who took on Rose as an apprentice. She’s not your typical lovey, dovey, coddle-you woman. No. She’s a tough, no nonsense old lady with a hard fist and scolding eyes. She makes Rose work for everything and gets her to figure out things on her own since Akiva was never told anything whilst she was young; she had to figure it out herself.Akiva shows her emotions in odd ways, but once you get to know her it’s easy enough to tell when she’s happy, relieved, pleased and so on. She teaches Rose about magic and responsibility and she plays a major role in who Rose grows to be.
  • Pacing:
    • To me, I feel the pacing was perfect. Though at times, with all the parties Rose went to because her sister, Gwendolen, is obsessed with them (basically), it was a little repetitive. it was great seeing Rose interact with Gilbert at those points, as well as Liz and Harry, but I feel like maybe we could go without the party? Things happened at the parties that really worked well with the story, which it needed, but I wasn’t that big of a fan reading about dancing and Gwen’s little minions and Rose just talking to Gil or being forced to dance. It was well written, but not something I myself loved.
  • Writing:
    • It flowed well, kept me hooked, and allowed me to visualize everything fairly easily. The dialogue between characters never felt forced or unreal. It’s pretty much perfect.
    • I love how Bastian and Rose didn’t fall in love right away, as most stories would’ve played out. It helps that Rose was still a young girl when they meet, and that she treats him as more of a friend while Bastian tries to woo her for his own gain. But I love how gradual it is and how it’s not only for her, but him too.
  • World-Building:
    • Everything was easy enough to visualize and was incredibly well written. I feel like the world was flushed out well and I very much enjoyed talk of the forest because it was easy to see how much it means to the characters and why. It was like the forest was pulsing with it’s own life and that it felt emotions, which is great because the author really let all of it come through the writing.
    • I like how each Warden had a specific piece of the forest to claim as their own and care for. It really allowed you to understand the forest more because Wardens have to make sure the land is happy and healthy and the forest tens to act out or try to fight back when dying and uncared for.
    • The laws of the forest really made it feel so much more real. And we really get to explore the forest more since Rose loves adventure and tends to slip away from the path. We learn of what lives in the forest (somewhat) and why the forest allows them to do certain things. We learn of the forest’s magic and how much life it really holds.
    • The magic was fantastic. The gradual growth of Rose’s powers really helped us try to understand her magic. I like how she wasn’t instantly powerful, or holding this epic power just waiting to burst. I enjoyed reading as she tried day after day after day to see the forest lines without closing her eyes. It made everything feel more real because she had to work hard to get to where she wanted to be.
      Overall, I loved reading Wolfskin and I recommend this to everyone. Especially if you love to read about witches, wolves, magic, and fantasy.
WRAUTHOR BIO:
W.R Gingell is a Tasmanian author who enjoys reading, bacon, and slouching in front of the fire to write.
Author links:

THE TOUR STOPS

July 6th
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Excerpt
Books and Ashes >> Review
Girls With Books >> Excerpt
Author & Book Spotlights >> Review

July 7th
Book Nerd Paradise >> Review
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves >> Interview
happy tails and tales >> Review

July 8th
Coffee & All Things Random  >> Review {me}
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Bea’s Book Nook >> Review

July 9th
Bookwyrming Thoughts  >> Guest post
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Review
Kimber Leigh Writes >> Interview

July 10th
Mandy’s Books and Beauty >> Review
Blog for readers, writers and bloggers by Daniela Ark >> Excerpt
Just Us Book Blog >> Review
Mythical Books >> Guest post

ButtonXBT

~Sage<3

{If you click on the Xpresso Book Tours button it’ll bring you to the tour page}

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/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