Author: Stacey Rourke
Author website: http://staceyrourke.com/
Published : May 26, 2014
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Reading Challenge: Goodreads
Format: E-book (.pdf) *For Review*
Genre: New Adult
Category: Urban Fantasy
The Horseman is unending, his presence shan’t lessen. If you break the curse, you become the legend. Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep. What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?
Crane was the novel I was screaming to be released. After I first laid eyes on the cover I knew I had to read it. So here is my honest review of Crane! Crane is told not only in 2 person views (Ichabod & Ireland Crane) but also two different time periods (past & present). In the past we have Ichabod Crane's report of what happened in Sleepy Hollow after he, Washington Irving, and Rip Van Winkle came to the small town. Ichabod tells of a horrific tale of a headless horseman, a love he never thought he could know, and a longing he could not bare. In the present we meet Ireland Crane, a young woman reeling from an awful breakup and wanting a new start. Ireland Crane moves from New York to Tarrytown and that is where the story gets interesting! What I enjoyed about this book other than the cover is how I could relate to the characters, especially Ireland Crane. We have all had a breakup that just kicked us to a point of no return. We have all wanted to have a fresh start after something of that magnitude happens to us. But what we never expect is to realize you are haunted by something that you have only read in books and been told was a fabled tale. The funniest of characters was Rip Van Winkle, his character presence stole the show more times than not and I hope we have not seen the last of him in the series. The one character I wish had a role in the present day telling was Washington Irving and maybe he haunts where we have not explored yet.
If I was to describe Crane in three phrases they would be:
Eerily Suspenseful | Sarcastically Funny | Thrilling Action!
Author: Pauline Creeden
Author website: http://paulinecreeden.com
Published: March 31, 2014
Publisher: AltWit Press
Format: E-book (.mobi) *received for honest review*
Reading Challenge: Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal Fantasy
Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben.
Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she's wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?
*A Young Adult Paranormal Romance - Urban Fantasy with a blend of Mystery*
First Impression begins as your typical high school where there are the popular kids and the those that are given names that do not necessarily portray who those people really are, but to stay off the radar of bullying and such the main character Chira Grimes and her best friend Tasha Brown just let the popular kids and the rest of the school believe what they want to believe. Then enters a mysterious, aloof new boy with a pet owl, an old schoolhouse building that used to be the original place of prep school Jackson Hall, a rumored ghost, mischievous and curious high school students. What is the common denominator of all these things, that would be Chira Grimes. She befriends Ben, our mysterious boy with an unusual ability and his pet owl named Steve and she is persuaded by her best friend Tasha to follow several others into the old schoolhouse to find a ghost.... First Impression emphasizes the social issues that arise in teenagers, as far as bullying, stereotyping, and self-esteem. It also, shows how one can overcome such judgements and be individually themselves. First Impression is a story about friendship not only between two best friends Chira and Tasha but also friendship through letting your guard down and trusting that someone has your well being in their best interest, Chira and Ben. Additionally, First Impression is about not everything you see or think you believe is always what it seems. Ten students entered that old schoolhouse, they split up into two groups and went to go look for a ghost.... After that night five of the ten will never be the same; of the five two die, the rest well read the book and find out that not everyone is who they say they are.... In this novel you will have friendship, a simple kind of love, mystery and even times of creepiness and all those elements make for a GREAT story!
Author website: http://www.christinemanzari.com
Published :August 9, 2013
Reading Challenge: Goodreads Reading Challenge
Format: E-book (.mobi) *For Review*
Genre: Young Adult
Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom. Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control. When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago.
How would it feel to be a sophisticate but not know who your parents were, or where you came from. All you know is that you are part of a government program. Meet Cleo this is all she knows about herself but her curiosity and knowledge of computers has intrigued her into looking for her parents and information about her existence. These small actions do not go unnoticed by The Program and soon she is locked out of her computer and this is where we realize after a temper tantrum, a room caught on fire we find that Cleo may be a little more special to The Program. Deviation was a little surprise for me, where I thought I was going to just be reading another dystopian novel where we rebel from the government, which I love. However, I got a story of a girl in a dystopian world trying to find her identity of where she belongs within the government program. Cleo is uprooted from the University, her best friend and is sent to St. Ignatius, school for the mandates best known for the army of The Program. Here she finds enemies, friends, and a mysterious guy, Ozzy, she is drawn to but does not trust. At St. Ignatius she finds more about who she is and what she is capable of doing, and why her room at the University went up in flames, that faithful night before everything changed in her life. Deviation moved at a great pace with wonderful undertones of trust or lack thereof, secrets, and friendship between other mandates. Cleo learned how to be strong physically and mentally and she was a good female protagonist. There was a lot of romance between her and Ozzy, which I am not used to in dystopian novels but for this particular story it worked and should not be taken as a negative. I will make sure to continue this series to the end because the ending was disturbingly intriguing.
Favorite Character: Arabella - she is "special" also she has her secrets like Cleo. But she is fun and spunky and her sarcastic, brash comments throughout the story makes you crack a smile often. She definitely is a strong character and can't wait to see how she develops as a supporting character in the rest of the series.
Author website: http://www.kimberlyderting.com
Published: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Reading Challenge: 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Format: Hardcover pp. 304
True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy. Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks. When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom. But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.
The Offering was slow in the beginning of the book and I was completely confused, but I was already invested in the characters: Charlaina (Charlie), Brooklyn (Brook), the evil queen, Sabara and all the others that I wanted to know their outcomes in the series so I pushed through my confusion and kept reading.
Then in the middle of the book everything became clear, the story began to develop and the action ensued! I was hooked for the rest of the story and the ending was tied up nicely. I think the highlight of The Offering was how all the supporting characters became more fleshed out and their stories were more fascinating than in the previous books.
Favorite Character(s): A tie between Casper & Sage. Both were supporting characters and their courage to fight for what they believed to be the right thing in not so perfect situations made them compelling and irresistibly magnetic in the story. They drew me into their stories and I wanted them to both get what they rightfully deserved.
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children
Genre: Young Adult/High Fantasy
pages combined: 1,386
Throne of Glass, is our introduction to building a intricate world where we meet Celaena Sardothien, the Adarlan assassin. A ruthless, manipulative and confident character that is determined to not forget who she is. Throne of Glass, begins with Celaena being a slave in the Endovier mines where she ends up after being betrayed and captured. Celaena refuses to be broken and controlled while enslaved here, We capture the character's self reliance and pride in the beginning of the story. Soon she is being released into the custody of Prince Dorian of Adarlan and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall on the premise that she will be the Prince's champion in his father's competition. The end result if she wins the competition is to be the champion for so many years and then receive her "freedom." This is the story that we think we will fall in love with.
The story I fell in love with that made me want to devour the series was the story of Celaena and her love of knowledge, determination to prove herself in the competition, her curiosity that got her in more predicaments than one would think possible, the friendships that she excepted and grew to rely on and lastly, her vulnerability and growth as a character throughout the series.
Crown of Midnight, continues with solid consistency from where Throne of Glass left off. We find that Celaena Sardothien proved herself and became the King's champion and now is carrying out her role as the King's death dealer basically. The friendships and relationships she established in Throne of Glass have now been more defined as who fits in what roles in her life. And she finds herself in a quest to find out how the King is gaining so much power in so little time. She has been given insight through the spirit of Queen Elena, as to how the King ripped magic from the continent but is somehow obtaining great power with some sort of dark magic and it has been quested to Celaena to find out how this is so. Remember where I mentioned her curiosity got her in more predicaments than one would think possible, this is one of those. Also, in Crown of Midnight the love story I wanting so bad to develop in Throne of Glass finally happens, and we see that vulnerability becomes the forefront of all the good and bad that happens in this book and starting with that relationship specifically and we see Celaena grow into the character that becomes this fierce and passionate hero. By the end of the Crown of Midnight, Celaena has revealed who she really is, the person she has buried deep in the depths of her soul, denied love, found regret, and has lost and been betrayed by the one friend she felt she could truly trust. Celaena's brokenness and heartache is what makes the third book so RAW and beautiful and so far my favorite of the three in the series.
Heir of Fire, is where we find out who Celaena Sardothien really is and how she has been hidden from the world all this time and probably for good reason. Heir of Fire, is the book that will make you feel every raw and vulnerable emotion you think you can muster while reading a story will happen while reading Heir of Fire. I do not cry while reading books much, but I found myself teary eyed too many times in this book alone.
The Throne of Glass series gave me a new heroine to love!
Favorite supporting characters: Chaol and Princess Nehemia: both loved Celaena, but both had a hard time accepting her true nature or her lack of stance on causes. Both these characters played significant roles in shaping who Celaena wanted to be and who she becomes.
Surprised likable character: Manon the Blackbeak witches heir. She was cruel and horrible and then their was this softness that seemed weirdly out of place but also, seemed perfectly situated in the plot thickens aspect of the story. I am curious to see how her role will develop in the coming novels.
Published : September 9, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Format: Paperback pp. 328
[Synopsis: back of book]
Magic haunts her... Raised by a old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest a long time ago.... and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have some haunting.
I read a lot about the novel Forest of Whispers and was so intrigued to read it, especially with my recent move to Germany. Forest of Whispers takes place in the Black Forest in Bavaria, Germany. The story dates back to 1627, where the story portrays a time when accusations and assumptions of peoples' intentions (especially women) were questioned. A time when religious leaders had too much say in politics of the land and who lived and died because of how one chose to live their lives. The unexpected part of Forest of Whispers is that it is told in two points of view and where that is sometimes hard to follow, I have to say author Jennifer Murgia did a wonderful job in this story. I really enjoyed this novel. The twists and turns kept you guessing what this was all about, who is in the wrong and who is in the right? The author wrote with such great imagery that there were times I was too spooked to turn to the next page. Rune, the main character was timid in the beginning of the story but grew as the story unfolded and became a girl that one had to admire in that she had every adversity against her and yet she persevered with knowledge, strength and emotional stamina to find the truth and set herself free and the truth itself so that those in the village could not be afraid of her home, the Black Forest and let them understand that things that can't be understood or explained are not always evil, sometimes there is more to the story....
and yes there is more to the story....pick it up and begin reading it soon.
Author: Lila Felix
Author website: http://authorlilafelix.blogspot.com/
Published: January 3, 2014 - March 18, 2014
Publisher: Self published
Format: E-book (mobi.) *For Review*
THIS IS A NOVELLA SERIES The United States has collapsed. Those citizens who are left are in one of two classes. One: Citizens who have undergone forced lobotomies, as mandated by the United Nations. Two: Those who fight against their tyranny. Petra Kingsley falls under both classes. She falls in line with the drones, pretending her procedure worked. She’s existed among their ranks, hiding in plain sight, being worked to the bone and starved almost to death. Lawson is a bounty hunter of sorts. His target isn’t the guilty, it’s those who are lost in the folds of a broken society. When he spots Petra working in the masses, he stops at nothing to help her escape. But he has no idea who exactly he’s helping—and who will now be hunting them both?
This is a series I can not get enough of, in Forced Autonomy the United Nations have taken over the United States and now the U.S. looks like and is run like a third world country. After the president is assassinated the U.N. begins lobotomies on the people to control them. But there is those few that either escaped the cities before they were caught or those that the lobotomies did not work on. Forced Autonomy is told in two-character views: Lawson and Petra. In phase 1 we are introduced to Lawson the guy who looks for those people in the cities that are hiding out or going through the motions in hope to not get caught, Lawson's job is to find them and hope they will follow him out of the city to what he feels is freedom. In Phase 1, Petra is his target and when he finally finds her she tries to shank him, but ends up believing him when he says freedom is just a short drive away. In Phase 2 we find that freedom is not always what we think it is and possibly just as worse as being under U.N. rule. Phase 3 is about finding the truth however far one needs to go to get it. What I love about this novella series is it is fast paced, a great love story that meshes well in the story and does not take it over, and the mysteries and dangers that lurk throughout the story. When I describe this novella series to people I tell them it is similar to the show The Walking Dead without the actual zombies, meaning there is a group of people running and dodging either the U.N. or people with different interests that could harm the group, funny, one may be within the group itself.
So worth reading! Great writing and just pulls you in and refuses to let you go! I can't wait to get my hands on Phase 4!