Book Review: Adorned by Georgeann Swiger


Adorned by Georgeann Swiger
Release Date November 4, 2013
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Rush Imprint

Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif (4.5 rounded up to five

The Summary:

When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she’s actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with wings and haloes. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death—her death.

Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn’t as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya’s hidden angelic light.

With her secret out, Hell’s legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell’s minions are the least of Micah’s worries. He’s more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he’s developed toward Anya. Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings, could mean dire consequences for them both.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Adorned for review purposes by the pr unit of the publishing house. I am not affiliated with Entranced Publishing and I am not receiving compensation. All thoughts are my own.

The Review:

If you’re looking for something a little unexpected and a lot different in the YA world, pick this book up. It’s a great start to what’s looking to be a promising series. It took me a couple times to get past the first chapter, I haven’t read a lot of first person/present tense books, but don’t let that deter you. This story sucked me in so quickly, and I really grew to love Anya. She’s a great character who finds that the life she’s had, isn’t what she expected. The story itself is a set up for her to become a protector of humanity. The catch being her death. Enter Micah, the heavenly solider who is to aid her transition from the mortal coil to something greater. I really love the interaction between Micah and Anya, it’s believable and sets up for some really amazing chemistry. I like their scenes together, and I like what’s started to take form between them.

I like this take on angels and the ever present struggle between good vs. evil and humanity caught in the middle. It’s a great read, and one that I really recommend. It sets up the series well, the characters are believable with great chemistry. Sam and Celeste were great characters, and all around, I really liked this book. So when you get the chance, pick this up. You won’t regret it.

Purchase Adorned:

Amazon
B&N
Kobo

Connect with Georgeann
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Giveaway code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Reunion (Wunder #2) by A.R. Von

Reunion (Wunder #2) by A.R. Von
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Self through Amazon.

Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: Wunder’s life has been far from perfect, being part Zombie in a world devastated by the plague of the walking dead. Still, she knew there was something special awaiting her, someone out there who could change everything and she did find him. Pete is everything she dreamed of and more, as she discovers passion and fulfillment for the first time in her life.

Now her life turns into a journey of discoveries. Secrets from the past come full circle and her world is changed forever. In the coming chaos, can she keep her new found happiness and the man of her dreams?

The Review: I’ve been a fan of Wunder since I read the first chapter. I thought it was an interesting world, and something that could very well be expanded upon. The erotica was a different touch, but something that was well written and done properly. I read part 0.5 and wanted even more. I sat down right after I purchased Wunder #2, and read it and really had the series connect and click for me. Part two has a different pace than the other parts of the Wunder-verse, and I think it’s here that we really get to see the extent of A.R’s writing abilities. I’m a fan of her work, but Wunder #2 made me really love it even more.

There’s character development, and even more world expansion. I really love how Wunder has grown, and how she’s slowly starting to find her place. Pete gets a little lost in the shuffle, and his reaction is not only believable, but it’s done really well. This series was already atypical for the zombie genre, but what AR is doing, is creating something really substantial and frankly, something I really like. I want more, as the Wunder releases are short, Wunder #2 is a bit longer, but it still leaves me wanting for more, (which is why I can’t get into too much detail about it, as I don’t want to give anything away). I want more. And I want more Tank. Because everyone needs a Tank.

Purchase the Wunder series available all together: Wunder on Amazon

Connect with A.R. Von: Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis.

Release Date:September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

The Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

The Review:
I am in love with this book. I finished it in a matter of hours, and it’s still just pulling me in. I want to sit down and read it all over again. Not A Drop to Drink is a really interesting take on a YA post-apocalyptic world. Lynn is a great character, who can and does stand on her own. She’s grown up in a harsh world, where the water supply is strictly controlled by the cities. Raised by her mother, she lives on a piece of land that has a pond. She and her mother defend this land, and live off of it, doing okay for themselves. Lynn continues to grow as the story progresses, suffering loss and coping with it. She has little knowledge of the world outside of what her mother has taught her, and her world expands and grows, she changes along with it.

I really loved the writing in this book. It’s fast paced without being rushed, there are a few points that I would have liked to see expanded, but for the most part the pace is great. The description of the world, and how it’s changed, and the people in it are stellar. It’s the kind of writing that transports you to the setting. You’re there with Lynn and the others, going through what they go through. What I love most about Lynn as a character, and this is something shaped by her world, is she’s a badass simply because she has to be. She hunts, defends herself, and kills without question, because she has to. Otherwise she’ll die. The side characters were really great too. Stebbs was really well written, and I love the mentor/pseudo-father figure he provided. I actually liked Eli and the relationship that he and Lynn were building. It was a cute breath of fresh air, and I really appreciate that Eli didn’t push Lynn into anything at all.

My only complaint about this, is the last few chapters progress really quickly. I appreciate the epilogue and the further development of Lynn and her relationship with Lacey–I just wish there was more to it rather than a large time jump. I would have loved to see how things changed after the last chapter. Overall though, this book blew me away. It’s amazingly written, and just one that I want to throw at people and tell them to read it.

Let’s talk more! Tell me about a book that stood out in particular genre-wise for you. Have you read Not a Drop to Drink? If so we can talk about it more too!

Classic Book review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary
Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

The Review:
My copy of this actually came from my high school. My younger brother brought it home to read (which he didn’t) and didn’t return it to the school. It wasn’t on my reading list when I was in high school, and it shuffled around on the bookcases in the house until I decided that I was going to read the book. I didn’t. I just kept shuffling it around and around bookcases, until a couple of months ago when it got placed at the top of my TBR pile. I don’t think I ever paid too much attention to it due to Frankenstein not being one of those old Hollywood monsters that I felt a connection to.

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein)

Can we just talk about that quote for a moment and the brevity that it holds? The absence of fear can create both terrifying and wonderful things, and I think this quote contributes to Shelley’s overall message with this book quite nicely.

I really fell in love with this book, and I’m planning on re-reading it every October now. It’s spooky and terrifying, not because of the monster, but because of the man who created the creature. Frankenstein is a character that will stick with me for a very long time. This isn’t a simple book by any stretch of the imagination. It plays on so many themes and the balance between light and dark, good and evil and the characters that don’t fit neatly into any of these boxes. As a reader I like to have a clear antagonist and a clear protagonist, but with this book the creature and Frankenstein walk the line and cross it several times.

Overall I really loved this book. The narration style isn’t something I’m entirely used to, but I think it worked well. The writing is beautiful, and the characters, the myth, the story, and the warnings within the story are something that will continue to hold the test of time. And frankly, I’m kind of upset that Mr. Covich didn’t assign this to be read in a classroom setting. The discussions with my honor’s or AP English class would have been golden.

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern.
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday
The Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

The Review: I fell in love with this book, and I wasn’t certain I was going to. I’ve had it sitting on my shelf for nearly a year now, and I’ve started and re-started it countless times. I sat down yesterday and powered through it in one go, and I have to say I’m hooked. I love the world that Morgenstern has created. It’s lush, full of description and really really beautiful. At times I felt that it was real, tangible and the setting and the world that this story takes place in caught a hold of me.

I really enjoyed this book. There were just a couple things that caused me to shake my head. The random lapse into second person narrative. This is not something I’m fond of at all, and probably one of the reasons why I kept starting/stopping this novel. The insta-love aspect is also something I’m not fond of, but it didn’t distract me too much. The promised fierce competition was a touch anti-climatic, but again, I don’t mind too much.

Honestly, I can see where people have issues with this book, and the amount of just polar opposite reviews makes me laugh. The time jumping, the point of view changes and the sheer amount of prose can be a lot for some to handle. It really did take me a while to read this, and since I did start and stop so many times that when I did finally sit down to read it, I had to start over. I think this is a book that needs more than one read through. There’s so much going on, and so many layers that it’s almost impossible to catch everything the first time through.

Plus, the writer in me goes bananas when I realize that she wrote this as a NaNoWriMo piece. Clearly it’s been edited and reworked, but I just love being able to read it like this.

Purchase The Night Circus Wherever books are sold. I bought my copy at Target.

Have you read The Night Circus? How did you feel about it? Let’s talk about this book.

Review: Elixir Bound by Katie L. Carroll.

Elixir Bound By Katie L. Carroll.
Release Date: August 31, 2012
Publisher: MuseItUp Publication.
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary:Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this to read and review. I am not influenced or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

The Review: Elixir Bound introduces a lush fantasy world and some really interesting characters. I had a hard time connecting with Katora at first, finding her a bit too whiny and indecisive, but as the book goes on and the story progresses she starts to grow and change. The group accompanying her on her quest to retrieve the flowers is made up of family and the very attractive son of a magical mapmaker. Katora and Hirsten have great chemistry and their relationship unfolds slowly, in fact Katora refuses to acknowledge her own feelings for the boy until after the quest is over.

This is a high fantasy book, the world has humanoid creatures, and other beings that are less than humanoid. Magic is a way of life, used in the healing elixirs that Katora’s family produces, the magic in the map-maker’s craft. The map is one of my favorite things in this story. The map makers have the ability to attach memories to various locations and they play out like movie scenes for those who view the map. Magic is also used as a weapon used by the antagonists who are trying to stall Katora and her group from getting to the flowers.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a quick well written high fantasy book. High fantasy isn’t normally something I’m drawn to, but in the case of Elixir Bound I didn’t mind it. The story is really well written with a great ‘voice’ as a main character. The romance is cute and doesn’t distract from the main story. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a good introduction to high fantasy in the YA genre.

Purchase Elixir Bound on: Amazon

Review: Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske

Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske.
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Self through Amazon.
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: After her mom’s sudden death, twelve-year-old Shannon McLean has to move from the US to the English countryside to live with her mysterious father, Connor McLean, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a baby. Soon she discovers that he doesn’t want her around and her moving into his huge manor, Greyman Hill, is nothing more to him than a compulsory deal. But if he does not exactly give her a warm welcome, his servant Robert is most likely an incarnation of evil. He runs the house with an iron touch and makes everyone who works there his little puppets.

Weird things start to happen and the whole place scares the crap out of Shannon. Her dad can control her just by looking at her. The walls are full of secret passages and apparently she has the talent to awaken the ghosts in them. Every day is worse than the day before and she wants badly to run away but discovers it’s impossible. If she wants to stay alive she has to do exactly as her dad says or else she will not only jeopardize her own life but also the lives of the people around her.

While Shannon struggles to find the magic inside her, Connor is slowly turning into a demon. One carelessly spoken word from her could either save or destroy them both. In the end she has to decide whether to save herself and her loved ones, or lose her dad to the darkness and evil that threaten to eat his soul.

Disclosure: I was gifted a copy of this book to read and review. I am not being compensated, nor am I influenced in any way. All opinions are my own.

The Review:

“Magic is all about words and believing. If you believe then anything is possible.”

I’m at odds with this book. I feel as though it’s a decent story, and has some great writing in it, but I didn’t really get into it. My main problem is that a lot of the details are spelled out word for word. It’s a classic story of telling rather than showing, and that really pushed me out of the story. I may sound a little harsh, but the potential for the story is there. It’s rushed at times and twists on itself becoming a little too convoluted for what it is.

It’s an interesting premise and a fun take on good vs. evil. Shannon is a great character, with a strong voice and she fits well with the story. She grows as the plot moves forward and learns as she does. I like that she’s not handed all of these abilities straight off the bat, it’s a journey of discovery and learning. I like the way the magic is presented, and the rules that go along with it. The world that Loiske has set up is amazing, and Greyman Hill is probably one of the creepiest settings ever. A lot of the characters are more than they seem and there are some really good points in this book.

Overall, it’s an okay book with some major potential. I actually rated this up to a three umbrella rating–I’d consider it more like a 2.5 rating. Some might really enjoy it, but in the end it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Purchase Black Diamond here Amazon

Review: The Last Policeman by Ben Winters

The Last Policeman by Ben Winters.
Release Date:June 10, 2012
Publisher: Quirk Books
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

The Review: The cover initially drew me in, but it wasn’t until my mom tossed this book at me and told me to read the back, in her words “It’s a Shelly book”. From the first sentence of the premise I was hooked. I’ve been on such a big post-apocalyptic/pre-apocalyptic kick right now that I read this in a matter of hours. It’s a great mystery story, walking the line between obsession and the pull of duty, Palace is determined to find the person who got away with murder. Palace is a wonderful character, one who sticks to his guns and doesn’t waiver despite the world literally crawling closer to destruction. His narrative drives the book, and it’s a voice I really like. A bit dry, very sarcastic and just something that one day I hope to write.

It’s an interesting read. I love how characters respond to the news of the asteroid coming closer, and the frenzy fueled paranoia to complete a bucket list, or to just up and leave all responsibility. Societies paranoia and reaction to the asteroid become characters as much as Palace and the other members of the police force. This book is gritty and raw, and stark. It feels so incredibly real and it’s something that is still bouncing around in my head. I’m searching for the second book. I really should have picked them up together, because it really is a “Shelly Book”.

This is a book that left me stunned, even at the end when a few new plot points were introduced. Winters has created a story and a world that I’m jealous of, and it makes me wish I had thought of it first. This is a book that motivates me to write, and I’m really glad I picked it up.

Purchase The Last Policeman:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Review: Escaped by J.C. Mells

Escaped by J.C. Mells.
Release Date: May 20, 2013
Publisher: Self through Amazon.
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: Oscar Alvarez de Sevilla was living the American dream. Attending a prestigious law school in New York City and madly in love with the girl downstairs, who he was pretty much going to marry as soon as he graduated. Everything was going as planned and life was good.

Twelve years later he is the centerpiece in a daring plan to help two young girls escape from the ruthless psychopath who has had them locked up for most of their lives. The same man for whom Oscar has been working for several years now.

His actions will guarantee he will be dead in less than a year, regardless of whether or not he and the girls are recaptured.

How did things go so wrong?

The Review:
I picked this up a few days after I finished Pierced. This novella lends a bit more back story to the events that lead up to what happens in Pierced. Escaped is a dual story, with the narrator, Oscar, telling how he aided Pierce and Mia’s escape and the story of his love, Sarah. I liked this story a lot. The duality between the two plot lines was interesting to me. Oscar would recall something between him, Reyes and Sarah and it would be reflected in the present time actions of Pierce’s and Mia’s escape. It was really great to see how Oscar builds trust and friendship with Reyes, and how heavily both Oscar and the girls depend on him.

Escaped is well written, fast paced and rich in details. It gives more history, and more insight into what’s going on, and why Pierce and Mia are so determined to escape from Dorian. Oscar is a great narrator, and a good protagonist who only wants to have the people around him safe. Be it two people younger than him, one who he’s madly in love with–two people that Oscar is willing to protect from their own father, or two younger girls, one who is so much more than she seems. He’s a strong character, and one that I enjoyed reading about. His final actions and request and the end of this novella made me tear up. Despite the length of this, I really felt a connection with Oscar. I would like to know more about Reyes especially since he’s so much of a ghost character in Pierced.

Though the events in Pierced take place after Escaped, read Pierced first. Escaped will spoil one of the massive plot points in Pierced. The novella doesn’t rehash the events that Pierce mentions when she’s talking about her and Mia’s escape. Escaped is a story in and of itself and one worth reading. Pierced for me has a larger pull, but Escaped is still a wild ride, and something that lingers in my head.

Purchase Escaped on Kindle

Review: Pierced by J.C. Mells

Pierced by J.C. Mells.
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Publisher: Self through Amazon.
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: Imagine the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Betty Crocker.

That’s Pierce in a nutshell.

Pierce has been on the run for two years from the man who held her captive in a vampire compound for almost a decade. Life on the run would be a lot simpler if she didn’t suffer from several social disorders and ‘quirks’, have a ten-year-old brat in tow, as well as have two characters from a 1945 classic film living in her head and guiding her at every turn.

Disclosure:I was sent a copy of this book as part of a read and review group. I am not compensated for this review, nor am I influenced in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Review: I finished this book two days ago, and I cannot get it out of my head. It is mind blowing and simply one of the best things I’ve read this year. The characters are amazing. Pierce is a character that I haven’t encountered in all of the books I’ve read. Her compulsions and her delusions are as much characters as the rest of the cast of this story. The book itself is labeled Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, and it is indeed urban fantasy. There’s not a lot of romance (thus far) and I’m glad there isn’t. Pierce’s background and her current character– to force a love interest at her would cheapen the story. There are hints, subtle ones and with time I can see something developing with the character Pierce is starting to show a glimmer of interest in. But for now? I’m really liking the way this story is in terms of ‘romance.’

The story is fast paced, without being rushed. Pierce’s paranoia and constant vigilance adds to this aspect of the story. It’s extremely well written, with a complex plot, full of twists and turns and a couple of massive bombshells that I didn’t see coming until the end. This book is fantastic. I cannot express this enough. It’s also really hard to talk about without spoiling anything, and I’m trying really hard not to just type over and over “go buy and read this book”.

On that subject while I want everyone to read this book, it’s not for everyone. There’s violence, explicit drug use, offensive language, child abuse– and while they’re there and out for the reader to see and the other characters to interpret and experience they don’t take away from the story. Pierce is heavily flawed, and has many issues, none of which she uses as a crutch. She’s a strong, well written character and one that will stick with me for a very long time.

There’s a novella to this series, and there’s a second book listed on amazon, which I’m incredibly grateful for because the book ended in a cliffhanger, and I am craving the second part of this series. I loved this book and I know a couple of people that need to read it right now.

Purchase Pierced on Amazon On sale for .99 until August 21, 2013!! Snatch this up while you can.