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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars


After the drowning of her best friend, Maya is left to mourn with her friend Daniel.  Because he feels he failed to save Serena, Daniel seems to be dead set on keeping Maya safe both physically and emotionally.  After a new guy named Rafe shows up in town, strange things begin to happen making Maya suspect Rafe and his sister, Annie.  Maya discovers they may have more in common with her than she realizes and have answers to her past.  There may also be more going on in their quiet town leading Maya and Daniel to suspect that Serena’s death may not have been an accident. 


The Gathering is a very character driven story allowing thorough development of the characters and their world. While there is not a lot of action, the story is interesting enough to keep the reader entertained. This is the first book in Darkness Rising series. I have heard this series connects with the Darkness Powers series but believe it was written so you can read either first. You can certainly read this first book by itself and be captivated by the story.

This is the first book I have read by Kelley Armstrong and am in no way disappointed. This author really knows how to build a story, characters and world. This is a continuing story so you need to read this book before picking up another one.

The teenage characters were very believable and I enjoyed reading about them. The dialogue had me laughing in all the right ways. Parts of the story reminded me of my teenage years in fact. But even though this story is intended for a younger audience, adults will enjoy it as well.

Maya was a very entertaining character that I enjoy seeing more of in the next book. She’s strong, independent and has a great sense of humor. All things that make up a great lead character. She begins to discover new things about herself in this book and it is shaping her character. Michael is her best friend and feels the need to protect her. He is a strong, good natured and quiet kind of guy. Unlike Daniel, Rafe is a direct, humorous and rule breaking guy. Although Rafe has his flaws, he is a good guy deep down trying to do the right thing. There were just too many good characters in this story to discuss.

As I said before, there is not much action in this story and little conclusion. I assume this is because the story picks right back up in the next one and I hope there are some answers to the mystery surrounding Maya. Although the story has a paranormal element, it reads more like a science fiction mystery.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Gathering and look forward to see where the next book, The Calling, takes the characters.

Recommend to fans of Young Adult and Paranormal Fantasy

Favorite Quotes:

“The cougar-a ragged-ear old tom I called Marv-just stared at her, like he couldn’t believe anyone would be dumb enough to climb a tree to escape a cat.”

“I’m not afraid of cougars, but I am suitable respectful of their ability to end my existence with one well-placed chomp.”

“Oh my God,” I said.  “What are you guys? Twelve?” “No,” Brendan said. “Just really, really immature.”

“Hey, if you’re okay with me imagining myself as a pine marten, I’m okay with you sensing unseen assailants.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: Rival Demons by Sarra Cannon

Rival Demons (Peachville High Demons, #5)
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My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After the Order of Shadows threatens Harper, she must seek refuge and plan her next course of action. While training, she discovers that she has some hidden abilities, strengths and some shocking truths about herself. With new information gathered, she must decide the best way to face the threat of the Order.


I know I said Shadow Demons was the best book yet but this book surpassed it. Rival Demons is a story full of love, heartache, facing ones inner demons and discovery of self. This is by far the best book the author has written. The emotion was so intense and deep that it boosted Harper’s character to another level.

After feeling helpless, Harper has made the decision that she will not allow herself to feel like a victim ever again. She is dead set on fighting when the time comes. In this book, she starts training and learns more about her inner strengths than she thought possible. She becomes very isolated in this story so we get to see a lot of her inner struggles allowing us to see deeper into her heart. Personally, I have grown rather fond of Harper’s character and will be sad when this series ends.

Some readers may be a little discouraged from the story in this book because so much of it is the characters stationary while they try to plan their next move. But believe me, it is definitely worth it in the long run. When I finished the previous book, I was wondering how the author was going to bring the story together in just two more books because there seemed to be so much left to wrap up. But in this book, you see everything come together and it becomes clear how the next book will be the last.

I love the direction the story has taken with the shadow world and learning how everything started as well as what they must do to end it. We finally get to see why Harper is special and what role she will play in ending the war. This book has a great ending and now I am dying for the last book, Demons Forever, to come out.

Highly Recommend to Fans of Young Adult and Paranormal Fantasy

Favorite Quotes:

“Why did I feel so different? Maybe it was because I’d been reborn. Given a second chance at life. Or was it third or fourth at this point? Either way, I wasn’t going to let this one go to waste. I had never been so sure of my own death as I had been in the ritual room that day. I had never felt so helpless. Hopeless. And I never wanted to feel that way again.”

“What gave them the right to steal our lives and our power? What gave them the right to steal our choices?”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Silver Moon by T.L. Mitchell

Silver Moon
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Silver Moon is a short story about a woman named Jennifer. After working late one night, she wants nothing more than a night of soaking in the tub. But the night has other plans for her. On her way home, she passes by a broken down truck and decides to help an old man walking along the road towards the gas station. While driving to the station, the man tells her about reports of animal attacks that have recently been reported along the road they are traveling. After discovering what the man believes is behind the attacks, she gets a closer look than she believed possible.


Silver Moon is full of suspense, action and a small pinch of love interest. Although the story could be considered urban fantasy, it also had a horror feel to it. I really enjoyed this short story but would have liked for it to be longer even though it was not necessary. I guess I just did not want the story to end. Overall, it was a nice quick read with a neat ending.

Recommend to fans of Urban Fantasy and Horror

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Shadow Demons by Sarra Cannon

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After narrowly escaping an attack, Harper is still on edge while trying to go back to her normal routine.  Every sound of a bird’s wings or new face in town, has her looking over her shoulder.  After escaping a few puzzling attempts of attack, she begins her magic training with protection spells.  The road of discovery leads her to the understanding of her mother’s past and who may have had a part in it.  It begins to become unclear who she can trust and who the bad guys are.  One way or another, she will have no choice but to finally pick a side.

Shadow Demons, the fourth book in the Peachville High Demon series, was my favorite book so far.  I could barely peel my eyes away from this book.  The story flowed very well and had constant suspense throughout.  The basic formula for most of the previous books was also changed opening up new directions for the story to go. I did not see the ending coming and now I am really intrigued to see what happens next.
There are a lot of things in this book that the audience has been waiting for.  Jackson finally opens up briefly talking about his world and his feelings for Harper.  As well as, a closer look at Harper’s mother, Claire.  I enjoyed reading about Claire and seeing how everything unraveled in the past between Claire and some of the town’s residents.  Harper is able to get some background on her mother that begins to help her see things as they really are.  She becomes conflicted about who to trust and which side to choose.  But in this book she faces the hard truth and is given no choice but to pick a side.
The ending of this book has opened up so many directions for the story to take.  I have heard there are only two books after this one and I find it hard to see how the author is going to conclude everything in just two more books.  This makes me a little nervous because I love this series and want to see in concluded in the right way.  I will definitely be continuing the series with the fifth book, Rival Demons.

Recommended for fans of Young Adult and Paranormal involving Magic and Demons

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Bitter Demons by Sarra Cannon

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After sacrificing her own safety to save Jackson, Harper is being put on lockdown by the Order of Shadows. They continue to find ways to try to bind her to them and dodge answers to the questions she desperately needs. When another future Prima comes to town, Harper and she become friends.  While sharing information and magic with each other, they get the idea to glamour into each other at a party. What starts out as an interesting experience turns into a nightmare when the future Prima, disguised as Harper, is kidnapped. Now Harper must figure out who was trying to kidnap her and what they’ll do to the future Prima when they discover she was not the intended victim.


In this third installment of the Peachville High Demon series, Bitter Demons, the readers finally get some of the back story they have been waiting for.  If you have been waiting to find out more about Jackson’s past or what happened to Harper’s mother, than you must read this book.
After finding out Jackson’s position with the town, you begin to see the complexity of the situation that Harper and Jackson are in.  Harper is a very believable character that I enjoy watching grow with each book.  With the increasing stress of her new life, I sympathize with her character and look forward to seeing what situation she will end up in next.  Her reactions seem very real to me.  Jackson, the main love interest, is an interesting character that I never seem to see enough of.  Although he was in this book more and part of his past was revealed, I am still left wanting to know more about him.  The same goes for Harper’s mother. I hope the author includes more of her history in the next book.  This story also introduced a few new characters which led Harper to begin to learn to use real magic.
One of the things I love the most about this series is the world the author has created.  It is a world full of magic which Harper briefly begins to learn in this book.  The ways magic can be used in these stories seems to be almost limitless which is very interesting.  I cannot wait to see how far the author will go with the magic in her books.  There are just so many directions this story can go. I will definitely be moving on the next book in the series, Shadow Demons.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: A Smudge of Gray by Jonathan Sturak


A Smudge of Gray is a quick, interesting thriller.  The story is told through third person perspective allowing the reader to see the plot unfold while flashing between two characters, Brian Boise and Trevor Malloy.  Brian Boise is a man who decided to follow in his father’s footsteps ten years ago and is now a Detective.  But being a detective has taken a toll on his personal life as he hardly sees his family anymore.  After connecting a few murder victims he is investigating, the trail leads him to a suspect known as Trevor Malloy.  Trevor leads a similar life to Brian’s.  The only difference is that Trevor has secrets.  He is a hitman among other things and now the two men must face each other.


Jonathan Sturak has a way of describing and portraying things in his writing.  I feel this is both the strength and the weakness of this novel.  A Smudge of Gray is presented as a psychological thriller but I wonder if it would be better classified as literary fiction.  Expecting something different automatically lowers your initial opinion.  This is a good story for people who can appreciate deeper internal meanings instead of constant action.  What I mean by this is if you are expecting an action packed story with a detective and hitman going at it, than this is not the story.

This story is full of metaphor and symbolism. An example of this is the reoccurring symbol of a man’s shoes as they travel throughout the story.  The shoes seem to represent the man’s life as well as reflect inside his mind.  The symbolism is this story was great and will have you thinking outside of the box to connect the dots.

I do not know if it is because of the type of books I read but I had the story figured out pretty early on.  However, I do not think everyone will and the ending will be a treat for those who do not see it coming.  I would like to say more about the characters, story and climax but I do not want to give anything away.
Overall, I think the author has great potential and the only real weakness of this novel is that it is labeled wrong or fits half in half out of two very different genres.

Recommend to fans of Literary Fiction and Thrillers.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Covers Revealed

A Fractured Light (A Beautiful Dark #2)
by Jocelyn Davies

When she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, Skye knows something terrible has happened to her. But it's not until she hears Asher, the dark, rebellious angel she fell in love with, that the memories come flooding back. She tries to put the past behind her, but she knows she'll be forever haunted by the ruthless betrayal that almost took her life.

Skye returns home, but with the knowledge of who she really is, nothing can ever be the same. As she tests the limits of her newfound powers, Skye discovers that she's capable of far more than anyone could have imagined. Both the Order and the Rebellion want her for their side as war between the factions looms. She can't forget the terrifying truth she now knows about the Order, but something holds her back from embracing the Rebellion. 

A Fractured Light picks up right after A Beautiful Dark's shocking cliffhanger ending and is perfect for fans of Lauren Kate's Fallen and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush saga.

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright #2)
by Gabrielle Zevin

“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone,The Godfather

Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.

Everbound (Everneath #2)
by Brodi Ashton

Two months ago, the Tunnels of the underworld came for Nikki Beckett. That night, Nikki's boyfriend, Jack, made the ultimate sacrifice. All Nikki wants is to save Jack before it's too late. All Cole wants is to find his queen - and he thinks Nikki is the one. Both determined, both desperate, Nikki and Cole form a tense alliance, leading them on a dangerous journey to The Heart of The Everneath.

Boundless (Unearthly #3)
by Cynthia Hand

Expected publication: January 22nd 2013 by HarperTeen

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kindle Freebies

Until Next Time (The Angel Chronicles, #1)  Solstice: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse  Meant to Be 
Promise (Soul Savers, #1)   Sora's Quest (Cat's Eye, #1)  

*I found these free kindle books on Amazon today. Make sure before you buy that they are still free and not free to only prime members.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Inner Demons by Sarra Cannon

Click here to go to Amazon

Now an official member of the Demons cheerleading squad, Harper soon learns that things are not as they seem and something may be horribly wrong.  While seeking answers, she discovers she may have put herself in a very dangerous position that she may not be able to get herself out of.
Inner Demons is the second book in the Peachville High Demons series and it does not let the fans of the first book down.  While the first book was more about Harper discovering the town and the local’s weird obsession with sports and cheerleading, the second book begins giving answers to the much anticipated questions.
Parts of this story seemed a little slower to me because the author was taking the time to build the characters we did not see much in the first book but it did not take away from the suspense.  That is one of the things I love about these books.  They are very suspenseful and easy to fly through because you are dying to see what Harper is going to learn next. I have to say, this series keeps me interested and is a nice surprise for me to have stumbled across.
The story was as good as the first one.  Maybe even a little better.  It is told through Harper’s point of view so we see everything she does.  Although, as I said, parts seemed a little slower, I did enjoy meeting the new characters.  I have been dying to see more of Jackson though and this story had him in it mostly in the second half.  We also get some answers about Jackson and little of his back story which was a nice treat.
I have to say, these stories have some pretty dark paranormal elements in them for young adult.  If you think these stories contain the typical high school drama based on the description talking about cheerleaders, then you are wrong and missing out.  Sure on the surface they are teenagers but they are going through so much more behind the curtain. Sarra Cannon has created a nicely made dark world full of magic and conspiracy. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Recommend for fans of Young Adult and Magic

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kindle Freebie: The Fallen Star


For eighteen year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she's around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life. But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma's life is turning into a chaotic mess. This that shouldn't be real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past become a matter of life and death.

The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen has been rating very well. This is the first of four books in the Fallen Star Series.

3.97 out of 5 rating on Goodreads

Young Adult Paranormal

Cover Reveal: Newsoul Series

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)

I thought the first book, Incarnate, had a beautiful cover but...

Here's the even more beautiful cover for the second book in the series, Asunder, which is listed to be released January 29, 2013.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review: Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon

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Beautiful Demons
by Sarra Cannon
Kindle Book,  136 pages
Published October 29th 2010 by Dead River Books
Series #1

Goodreads Synopsis:

Harper Madison isn't like other girls. She has extraordinary powers, but her inability to control them has gotten her kicked from so many foster homes she's lost count. Shadowford Home is her last chance, and she hopes Peachville High will be the fresh start she needs. But when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, Harper discovers this small town has a big secret.

My Thoughts:

Beautiful Demons surprised me and what a great surprise it was. I downloaded this book for kindle for free so I guess I was not expecting much. I was very wrong. If I had not picked the week of July 4th to read this book, I probably would have finished it in one sitting. With the book only around 136 pages and having an intriguingly flowing story, it makes for a fast enjoyable read. The characters seemed real to me but this story is just a taste of the world the author created. What is good about this book is it appears to always be free for kindle so you can check it out to see if you like where the story is going before continuing any further or buying. I look forward to reading the next one so much that I am planning on buying it as soon as possible.

Young Adult with Dark Paranormal Elements