REVIEW: Heir to the Crown by Ember Shane

*I received a physical copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Heir to the Crown
Author: Ember Shane
Series: (The Doyle Hawthorne Series #3)
Publication date: August 12th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis [from Goodreads]:
Doyle Hawthorne has two choices. He can sit idly by and watch his grandfather, fueled by revenge and hatred, destroy the world via a tidal wave of infection… Or he can form a temporary alliance with his nemesis in order to stop it…

Give him a minute. He’s thinking.

Heir to the Crown is the third novel in The Doyle Hawthorne Series and continues to follow Doyle and company as they navigate their way through the volatile atmosphere of royal subculture. Intended for audiences 18+ due to language and sexual content.

Format: Paperback
Rating: 4.5/5
      Heir to the Crown is the third installment in the Doyle Hawthorne series, and it definitely didn’t disappoint! I love the action, the writing, and I especially enjoyed how we got to read from multiple POVs: Chuck, Addy, Kai, and Doyle. I love this particular group of friends, and so delving deeper into their sides was something I liked instead of just endured. It wasn’t choppy or boring either; I was engaged the whole way through.
      What I noticed right away in this book, is how much Doyle has changed. He’s taken control and while he’s still fairly awkward about his position, he fits into it pretty well. He isn’t overcome by power or lost in greed, but he does take the action need when called for. In fact, many of the decisions he makes he thinks through, whether it has to do with his family, Addy, Chuck, or just keeping up appearances so problems don’t arise. He loses his composure some times, but honestly, with a bunch of people after you and another colony hoping to overtake the world with a vengeance plan, who wouldn’t?
“I don’t care. Leave. Her. Alone.” Doyle’s tone was a low snarl and I knew he was giving me a command as opposed to his opinion. [page 2]
      The next thing I realized is that this is probably my favourite in the series concerning romance. Instead of a more love-at-first-sight type of romance as we see in the first book, we really get to see the characters prove their affections and ease into a relationship. While they still struggle and have problems from time to time, it all comes together nicely and I was definitely rooting for a certain couple. It actually hurt my heart to see one particular character try so hard to fix his mistakes only to be turned down every single time. He’s changed too, but definitely for the better, as is obvious by the end.
      I can’t say much about the story itself as it would be considered a spoiler, and so I’ll just leave it at this: This series is fantastic, and I definitely recommend reading it. It’s full or action, romance, suspense, and zombies. What more could you want?
~Sage<3
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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

REVIEW: Of High Treason by Ember Shane

*This is the sequel to Of Royal Descent
**I received this book from the author. (Thanks Ember!<33)

Alright, I just need to get this off my chest before I get on with the review: WHAT THE HECK IS JENNY?! Like, my first thought was Vampire (I mean, obviously. My first ever obsession was Vampires, so duh d:) but I don’t even know right now because I mean, there were hints but they weren’t solid enough to be sure. Like, I’m 95% sure she is. I think.

Now that I sorta got that out of the way, let’s get on with the review shall we?

Of High Treason may be significantly shorter than Of Royal Descent (which I was really bummed about at first but now I totally get it and it’s all good), but it’s BETTER THEN THE FIRST ONE. Not by much, obviously, because the first one was pretty awesome, but in Of High Treason we get more action and determination and character growth and it’s just so great and I love it.

Okay so I can’t give too many details (because of this thing called spoilers) but I’m still going to share some information. This is my attempt to subtly convince you to read this series. Like, now. So first, key reasons of why you need to read this series: zombies, action, zombies, fantastic character development, zombies, romance, family and friend bonds which are very touching at times, zombies, some drama, zombies, lies and deceit, hope and bravery, zombies, the supernatural, action, and have I said zombies yet? d: So second: IT MESSES WITH YOUR EMOTIONS. Like, after reading the first book, I was so sure I could trust almost all of the characters, and I thought I had Bradbury all figured out. And now I realize, well damn, I WAS WRONG. Like, man. I’m still so messed up about it. That twist though, personally, I never saw it coming. Or, well okay I sorta did, but only like, moments before it happened? I don’t know. It just messed me up bad because I had no idea who I could trust, and I was freaking out when Doyle pushed the button and whoa. I was so immersed in the story that I felt as if I was right by the characters’ side during it all. I trusted, and then I was betrayed, and man. Gimme a minute. I need a minute to collect myself. To accurately express myself:

I was going to have a reason 3, but like, if you don’t want to read this series by now then it’s obviously not for you. I still suggest you give it a try though. Because ZOMBIES. d: Basically, the writing is fantastic, the character development is fantastic, the action and the twists are fantastic (I barely saw, if ever, the twists that occurred and made my feelings so confused, like why Ember, why?! d:), and I love it so. Yep. Although, okay so there are some… dirty scenes. In the first book, they’re not graphic, and they never go far. In this one though, there’s once where it’s not graphic, and then at the end where it is. I know not everyone will enjoy this series, and that not everyone is okay with what I just said, and so that’s okay. But if you are okay with it, definitely give this series a go!

This is me begging you:

But yeah, so that’s my feels. I don’t usually have so many feels in a review. I apologize.

Oh, and rating: 5/5 stars. You should’ve seen that coming if you’re surprised. d:

~Sage<3

REVIEW: Of Royal Descent by Ember Shane

Title: Of Royal Descent
Author: Ember Shane
Series: (The Doyle Hawthorne Series #1)
Publication date: September 9th, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But sometimes, under extreme circumstances, it’s exactly that which kills you that makes you stronger. And faster. And a member to a new, elite race of zombies.

Armed with a current address for his biological grandfather and a slightly unusual, yet loyal best friend, Doyle Hawthorne sets out to discover the truth about his past. But answers don’t come easily, and the closer Doyle arrives to his destination, the more confusing things become. Disturbing alterations to his physical appearance as well as to his personality flicker on and off as Doyle searches for a logical explanation.

Despite the increasing severity of these uncontrolled flare-ups, Doyle is determined to keep his first date with Addy – a beautiful, young woman he has met upon his arrival into town. After narrowly subduing his raging impulses, Doyle quickly decides not even death itself can keep him from her. Unfortunately, he is about to test that theory.

Once initiated, nothing can alter the process of shading – the term given to the three distinct phases of becoming a higher classification of zombie, commonly referred to as “royals”. Doyle must learn to control his tendency toward violence as well as his newfound royal powers if there is any chance of protecting those he loves from a mad scientist, the government, the colony of royals, and most importantly… himself.

Format: Paperback
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Source: The Author

Doyle Hawthorne is a 21-year-old college student  who sets out with his best friend Chuck Johnson to  search for his biological grandfather. Along the way  they uncover more then they ever could have  bargained for and realize a darker entity lives among  them.

      Of Royal Descent is full of action, deceit, love,  bravery, humour, and the best of all: Zombies. What  more could you ask for? This is the perfect  combination of everything I love in a novel. The author  knew what she was  doing when writing this, no doubt.

The writing flows well and kept me immersed in the  story as it was so easy to fall into. The way Zombies  are described, their origin, and what they are to everyone else around them is so intriguing and not something I’ve read before. Especially how they act and the process of turning into one once the disease has been activated.

Now, characters. I love them all. Well, okay maybe not Bradbury. He’s horrible to everyone and he takes darkness to a whole new level. But other then him they are all easy to love. I especially love Doyle and Chuck’s friendship. They have such a great bond, and Chuck stays by Doyle’s side the entire time even when Doyle was an ass and it’s just great. I just really love how bonded they are, how much they care. They aren’t afraid to tell each other they care. In fact, all of the characters are ones with large hearts (with the exception of Bradbury, MZs [mindless zombies], and soldiers under Bradbury’s orders). They all help in some way and you can tell they only want what’s best for the people around them.

      Of Royal Descent is now one of my favourite books, and I hope to get my hands on the second book soon. So I recommend this to everyone. As long as you don’t mind violence. Or slightly sexual scenes (it’s never explicit or too bad). But yes, please read Of Royal Descent. I’m sure most of you will love it!