Monday, May 25, 2015

THE DARK WORLD by Cara Lynn Shultz

Rating: B
Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.

My thoughts on the book:
I really enjoyed Cara Lynn Shultz's previous duology, so I figured I should give this novel a try. I was pleasantly surprised as I'd heard mixed reviews for it. I really liked Paige and the world that Shultz created. I was easily able to achieve a willing suspension of disbelief, and while the info dumps were a little annoying, the amusing and interesting characters and their fun interactions more than made up for that. The plot itself was pretty fast paced, and I was hooked from page one. This was a cute light read, and I am looking forward to the sequel. 

I really liked Paige and enjoyed reading from her perspective. I could relate to being the outcast and trying like hell to protect yourself. I also understood pushing away the people who actually mattered in an effort to do just that. I didn't like her grouping all demons into the "awful and must die" category, but I understood it. She was scared. However, she was also a strong female lead, and I admired her tenacity. I really adored Logan, too. He was just adorable. We all need a guy like that in our lives. He was a little dramatic and almost girly at times with it, but overall, he was a great male lead. I would have liked to learned more about Ajax, but maybe in the next novel. He was intriguing. Dottie was a cute BFF for Paige go have, and their interactions were a lot of fun. 

The plot was pretty fast paced and there was quite a bit of action for a first novel. There were info dumps, which took me out of the story for a bit because I'd just skim them - I feel like there must have been some way to disperse the information more evenly - but the world Shultz created was complicated, and for the most part, she did a great job describing it. Everything made sense as much as it could for a first novel. The romance was just adorable and cute and sweet. I really loved Logan and Paige together. Nothing felt forced. They had a great, yet awkward chemistry. The ending was a really overly dramatic cliffhanger, and I wasn't fond of it, but I'm still looking forward to the next installment. 

Overall, I'd say give this book a try. This isn't your typical angels and demons fare. It's something unique and really fun. 

Order The Dark World

Friday, May 22, 2015

DESCENT by Tara Fuller

Rating: A
Release Date: 6/3/15
Easton doesn’t believe in love. He believes in Death. Darkness. Sin. As a reaper for Hell, it’s all he’s known for over four hundred years. When he gets slapped with the job of training the boss’s daughter, an angel who knows nothing but joy, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble.

Though he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her outside of work, Gwen would do anything to get closer to the dark and wounded reaper—even taint her angelic image and join the ranks of her father’s team of reapers. But in all her planning, she forgot to factor in one thing—how far the demons Easton doomed to hell would go to get revenge.

When the dangers of the Hell threaten Gwen, Easton will do whatever it takes to save her. But as the darkness closes in on them both, will he be able to save himself?

My thoughts on the book:
Descent is by far the best book in this trilogy. I absolutely loved getting to know Easton and Gwen. They developed organically throughout the story. The plot was full of suspense, and the pacing was spot on. Fuller's descriptions and world building were fantastic, and her writing was top notch. I'd recommend this book to just about anyone. 

Gwen was a really cute character, and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. There was much more to her than one would expect. Easton was also incredibly complex, and I was glad we finally got to know him better. He was such a tortured guy, but still good, somehow. Scout wasn't my favorite secondary character, but he was okay. The rest of the characters weren't incredibly developed, but they didn't really need to be. They each had their own personality, we just didn't get to hear much about them. 

The plot was fast paced and full of adventure. I was on the edge of my seat most of this novel, and Fuller did an excellent job of painting the horrors of hell. Her descriptions made it to where I could clearly picture how horrifying that place was. Also, her world building was top notch. Everything made sense, and I was easily able to achieve willing suspension of disbelief. The ending tied things up nicely and was a fantastic conclusion to this trilogy.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys angel and demon stories. It's a little bit different, and you can read it as a stand alone or as part of the trilogy.

Pre-order Descent by Tara Fuller

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CRASH by Eve Silver

Rating: A-
Release Date: 6/9/15
A thrilling action/suspense novel for fans of The Fifth Wave about contemporary teens pulled in and out of an alternate reality where battling aliens is more than a game—it's life and death.

Miki’s life is falling apart around her. Her dad and best friend are lying in the hospital. The Game is glitching, making missions more frequent and more deadly. And someone close to her is waiting for the right moment to betray her. 

Miki feels like she’s hanging on by a thread and the only thing keeping her tethered is Jackson’s hand in hers. Yet telling him how much she needs him, how much she loves him, feels like the biggest challenge of all. And if Miki really wants the missions to end for everyone, she’ll have to let go and be ready to fight when the walls between the Game and reality come crashing down. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that she’s got a whole lot left to lose.

Crash is the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Game trilogy fans won’t want to miss.

My thoughts on the book:
Crash is a fantastic ending to this trilogy. It's fast paced and full of action and adventure. The characters grow even more, and the ending itself is satisfying. The romance is sweet, and there are a lot of plot twists. I've been a fan of this trilogy from the beginning because of its unique premise, and Silver finishes the series as strongly as she started it. 

Miki is a great narrator and a completely relatable character. She is flawed and battles with depression and anxiety, which I love. She shows her strength differently than characters who don't have these problems, but she is still very strong. I think it's so important for people to know you can be strong, even if you do have to fight a mental illness. Sometimes you're stronger because of that than you would be if you didn't have the illness. Jackson opens up some in this book, and I really enjoyed getting to know more about him. Lizzie is an intriguing character, and she added some mystery to the last two novels. 

The plot itself is full of twist, turns, and action. There is a lot going on in this book, and Silver does a good job keeping the mystery alive. The big reveal didn't surprise me that much, but it wasn't completely obvious either. It made perfect sense. One part bothered me, and that was when Jackson changes his mind suddenly. I don't want to say more than that to spoil it for anyone, but that part doesn't seem very realistic. Other than that, the plot was solid and the ending was satisfying. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who is looking for a fun, exciting, and unique sci-fi read. 

Pre-order Crash

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Rating: C
Release Date: 5/26/15
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

My thoughts on the book:
As you guys know, I'm not a huge fan of contemporary lit. Reading is my form of escapism, and when I escape, I want to visit worlds that don't really exist. However, Katie McGarry is one of the few contemporary authors I really like. Her characters always have fantastic chemistry, and her stories tug at your heart strings. Nowhere but Here didn't stand out to me like the Pushing the Limits series did, though. The characters aren't quite as likable, and the world they reside in isn't as captivating. That being said, the chemistry and wonderful writing make up for the things this story lacks, and I did enjoy this novel. 

I wasn't a huge fan of Emily, and that was part of why I didn't like this book as much as the others by McGarry. I just felt like Emily was too much of a goody-goody, and Oz was too much of a bad boy. It was just too much of a clash. However, there were tons of sparks between the two, and even though I couldn't stand their personalities that much, the chemistry between them really did make up for their annoying habits/personality traits.

The plot was pretty run of the mill for teen romance. Good girl meets bad boy. They fall in love. No one wants them to be together. They "rebel" against society and do what they want. Happy endings for all. Regardless of that, it's still sweet to read stories like that some times. They do tug at one's heart strings and let's face it, there are a lot worse things out there people could be reading and watching. 

Overall, this book was okay. It wasn't what I'd come to expect from McGarry, but it wasn't a complete disappointment, either. 

Pre-order Nowhere but Here

Monday, May 18, 2015

THE MEMORY HIT by Carla Spradbery

Rating: D
Release Date: 6/4/15
On New Year's Eve, Jess's life is unrecognizable: her best friend is in the hospital, her boyfriend is a cheater. A drug-dealing cheater it would seem, after finding a stash of Nostalgex in his bag.

Nostalgex: a drug that stimulates memory. In small doses, a person can remember the order of a deck of cards, or an entire revision guide read the day before an exam. In larger doses it allows the user detailed access to their past, almost like watching a DVD with the ability to pause a moment in time, to focus on previously unnoticed details and to see everything they've ever experienced with fresh eyes. As Leon, the local dealer, says 'it's like life, only better.' What he fails to mention is that most memories are clouded by emotions. Even the most vivid memories can look very different when visited.

Across town Sam Cooper is in trouble. Again. This time, gagged and bound in the boot of a car. Getting on the wrong side of a drug dealer is never a good idea, but if he doesn't make enough money to feed and clothe his sister, who will?

On New Year's Day, Jess and Cooper's worlds collide. They must put behind their differences and work together to look into their pasts to uncover a series of events that will lead them to know what really happened on that fateful New Year's Eve. But what they find is that everything they had once believed to be true, turns out to be a lie ...

'A pleasingly dark teen thriller with fun, fresh characters. Spradbery is a debut author to watch.' James Dawson

My thoughts on the book:
I feel like The Memory Hit tried to be Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and failed miserably. That's not to say there was nothing good about this book. It just wasn't captivating enough. It jumped around so much, it was hard to keep up with what was happening and what character we were supposed to be following, and the characters felt a little like stereotypes. The ending was a shocker, though, and I did read it all the way through because I wanted to see what happened, so at least I was able to get invested in it, even if the story's potential wasn't fully realized. 

Jess and Cooper were okay characters. I didn't feel much for them either way. They weren't as defined as they could have been. The rest of the cast (Leon, Luke, Scarlett, etc.) all just felt like stereotypes to me. Leon the drug dealer whose dad was in jail was the biggest cliche. I just couldn't take any of the characters seriously because of their pasts. I did feel some sympathy for Scarlett, even though she had cheated with her best friend's boyfriend. That doesn't mean she deserved to be in the hospital severely injured like she was. 

The plot was disjointed and jumped around too much. There was no flow to it at all, and that made the story seem longer than it was. I lost interest a few times and had to put the book down and come back to it later because of the ADD-style writing. The ending shocked me, but it made sense, at least. I didn't feel much emotion other than shock at the big reveal due to the fact that I couldn't get invested in the characters.

Overall, I didn't really enjoy this book. That doesn't mean that other people won't, though. The jumpy plot just really ruined it for me. If you try it, I hope you like it more than I did.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

THE CAGE by Megan Shepherd

Rating: A- 
Release Date: 5/26/15
The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

My thoughts on the book:
The Cage is the weirdest book I have read in awhile, and I mean that in a good way. It was so strange, and I felt like the Kindred were messing with my head, too. Shepherd created a really complex and creepy world, and she was able to give each character his or her own voice when a chapter was being told from his or her POV. The switching viewpoints didn't bother me like they often times do, and the plot was full of twists and turns. The characters were complicated, realistic, and flawed. I'm really looking forward to this sequel.

The character development was pretty top notch, in my opinion. Each character had a distinct personality and their own voice. Furthermore, they all had complicated and messy pasts which formed how they interacted with one another. None of the main or secondary characters really felt like stock characters to me... not even the Kindred, even though they weren't supposed to show emotion. I thought that Cora was really strong, though she struggled with being brave sometimes. That made her seem more realistic than someone who was constantly strong. I also adored Cassian, even though I probably shouldn't. I can't wait to get to know him better, though. Lucky annoyed me quite a bit, and I really hope the author isn't planning to set up a love triangle. 

The plot was complex, and the big reveal actually shocked me. That rarely happens for me in books, but this one was surprising. Looking back, it made sense, but I definitely didn't see it coming. The pacing was pretty fast, and I flew through the ending. Shepherd did a good job with the world-building, too, and I could clearly picture the different biomes. The rules of the world were a bit confusing, even at the end, but answers were slowly being given. I feel like the next book will answer a lot more questions. The ending tied up a lot of the issues in the novel, but was also kind of a cliffhanger, which I didn't care for. I hate cliffhangers, and now I have to wait a whole year to see what happens. Sigh. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something unique in the YA Sci-Fi genre. This is an enjoyable book, and it will definitely keep you on your toes as you try to figure out what, exactly is happening and why. 

Pre-order The Cage

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Rating: F
In Portland in 1983, girls are disappearing. Noah, a teen punk with a dark past, becomes obsessed with finding out where they've gone—and he's convinced their disappearance has something to do with the creepy German owners of a local brewery, the PfefferBrau Haus. Noah worries about the missing girls as a way of avoiding the fact that something's seriously wrong with his best friend, Evan. Could it be the same dark force that's pulling them all down?

When the PfefferBrau Haus opens its doors for a battle of the bands, Noah pulls his band, the Gallivanters, back together in order to get to the bottom of the mystery. But there's a new addition to the band: an enigmatic David Bowie look-alike named Ziggy. And secrets other than where the bodies are buried will be revealed. From Edgar-nominated author M. J. Beaufrand, this is a story that gets to the heart of grief and loss while also being hilarious, fast paced, and heartbreaking.

My thoughts on the book:
As someone who moved to Chicago in the early 2000s because of the resurgence of the punk scene (though it was different and more of a pop punk scene, it was still glorious), I generally love books about the original US punk scene. Novels like this are usually gritty and realistic and speak to a part of me that the fantasy books I adore can't. However, this book didn't speak to me at all. It was lacking in all aspects: character development, plot development, writing, descriptions. This concept had the potential to be a fantastic story, but instead fell flat. Needless to say, this book was a big disappointment. 

This novel was told from Noah's perspective. It was his first person account of his life, and while a lot of things happened that should have made his life exciting, the whole thing was dull, probably because he was dull. For a punk, Noah was extremely boring. He didn't really have a personality, and the way he spoke was forced. It seemed like the author just read some dictionary of punk words and tried to make boring and plain Noah use them. It didn't work for me. Evan also didn't grab me, and I couldn't make myself care about his well-being because he didn't seem like a real person. He was very flat and one dimensional. Ziggy wasn't half as exciting and mysterious as the author intended, either. Sonia was a cliche of what non-punk guys think punk girls should be/are. Everything really just made a mockery of the whole US Scene. 

The plot was ridiculous, and with Noah's details - or lack thereof - about his plans, there were times that it was hard to make sense of what he was thinking. Also, with missing girls and whatever, you'd think that there would be some excitement or tension in the plot. Nope, not really. It was so flat that it took me forever to get through this novel. I just couldn't bring myself to care. However, I kept reading in hopes that it'd somehow get better and be the book I knew it could be. The writing was pretty forced and terrible. The descriptions were lacking. I wasn't able to really achieve a willing suspension of disbelief, and I wasn't invested in the book at all. The ending even bored me. 

Overall, I'd say skip this one. It doesn't do the memory of the US Punk Scene any favors, and it doesn't reflect it accurately. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

THROUGH FIRE & SEA by Nicole Luiken

Rating: D
Mirror mirror, hear my call…

In the Fire world, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm's most powerful lords. She's hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods that either bless a civilization or destroy it. But then Leah discovers she's a Caller, gifted with the unique—and dangerous—ability to “call” her Otherselves in mirror worlds. And her father will do anything to use her powers for his own purposes.

In the Water world, Holly nearly drowns when she sees—and interacts with—Leah, a mirror image of herself. She’s rescued by Ryan, a boy from school with a secret he’d die to protect. Little do they know, his Otherself is the son of a powerful volcano god at war in the Fire world…and he’s about to fall.

As Leah and Holly's lives intersect, the Fire and Water worlds descend into darkness. The only way to protect the mirror worlds is to break every rule they've ever known. If they don’t, the evil seeping through the mirrors will destroy everything—and everyone—they love…

My thoughts on the book:
I had high hopes for Through Fire & Sea. It was a brilliant concept, but poorly executed. I loved the idea of two worlds and mirror versions of ourselves. However, the characters fell flat, the plots were underdeveloped, and the pacing either dragged or felt rushed. The world building was okay, and that's the only reason this book didn't get an F from me. I had to force myself to finish this one, and it took a long time. I was just so bored and uninvested in the outcome that I couldn't make myself care. 

The characters, Holly, Ryan, Leah, Gideon, the whole lot of them, were underdeveloped. None of them felt like real people. They were cliches at best. I think Holly was supposed to be somewhat interesting with her pink streak in her hair, but that just seemed like a tired attempt at originality. The characters were dull and I could not relate to any of them. I had no feelings about them at all because I felt as if I were reading about paper dolls instead of people. Very two dimensional. Also, their actions didn't make sense, often times. They'd just do random weird things, which made it hard to keep up a willing suspension of disbelief. 

The world-building was extremely well done, and I could picture the Fire World clearly. Our world also was nicely painted. The mythology behind the mirror worlds was a bit vague, but it made sense. That's where the good things stopped, though. The plots (there were two, one in each world) were severely underdeveloped. I felt like I was reading two partial stories, but those two stories didn't fit together to form one cohesive tale. The romance was rushed and unbelievable, not to mention weird. There was no passion at all. The pacing went from rushed to a snail's pace in the blink of an eye. Also, the changing POVs (third person limited) gave me a headache. Since neither Holly nor Leah were well developed, it was difficult to tell them apart. The ending felt extremely rushed and was not satisfying. 

Overall, I'd say skip this book. I know a lot of people liked it, but I'm not sure that we even read the same book as it really did not set well with me at all. Maybe it takes a certain type of person to appreciate this writing style. I'm clearly not that type of person. At best, I'd say check it out from the library before buying. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

CRIMSON BOUND by Rosamund Hodge

Rating: B
When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)

My thoughts on the book:
Crimson Bound was an extremely interesting retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. This novel blew me away and kept me reading until the very last page. The mythology behind this story was different from any fairy tale retelling I'd ever read. Hodge wasn't afraid to explore the darkness that was inherent in the original fairy tales (before Disney got ahold of them), and that showed in this book. The character development was fairly well done, though a little lacking. The plot was full of twists, turns, action, and romance. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. 

Rachelle was a complex and flawed character, and I really enjoyed reading about her. The POV was third person limited, and it followed Rachelle's journey. She had a tough go of it, and she fought so hard to be good. I really enjoyed all of the different layers to her, and I couldn't help but root for her. I also enjoyed Armand and Erec. They were both extremely interesting and well-developed, too. Erec more so than Armand, in my opinion, but both men had their own personalities. The remaining secondary characters weren't incredibly well-developed, but authors can't spend tons of time on every single character. All of the people in the novel felt real enough, though, and that's what matters.

The plot was full of twists and turns. The major plot twist at the end actually shocked, me, even though I feel like I should have seen it coming. I love when that happens. There was also a ton of action in this book. The pacing was pretty fast, but nothing felt rushed. The world-building was done beautifully, though I didn't get a really good feel of what the Great Woods really felt and looked like. The romance was confusing and I didn't really buy some parts of it. I didn't feel the two characters falling in love like I usually do in books when the romance is well-written. However, it worked well enough. I was able to achieve a willing suspension of disbelief, and I couldn't put this book down thanks to the twisty plot. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves a good fairy tale retelling. The world Hodge created is dark and full of surprises. You won't be disappointed.

Order Crimson Bound today!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lie Down with Dogs by Hailey Edwards

Rating: B+
With tentative peace established in Faerie, Thierry returns to her job as a conclave marshal in Texas while the countdown to her coronation begins. But what happens in Faerie doesn't always stay in Faerie. A crown wasn't Theirry's only souvenir from her trip. Her new husband, Rook, is scheming again, and this time his plans are invading her dreams.

When her best friend throws a beachside going away party, Thierry is grateful for the distraction from Rook...and from Shaw. But her presence in Daytona rouses an old evil, one who wants the future queen as the crown jewel of his private collection.

My thoughts on the book: 
I enjoy most books by Hailey Edwards, and this novel was no exception. I think this series is actually my favorite of hers, so far. Lie Down with Dogs was a lot different than the first two books in the series, and it took a little while to adjust to Thierry's new life circumstances. However, I was quickly captivated by the world and characters and couldn't put the book down. I'm looking forward to the sequel, but also dreading it since it will be the last book in the series, and I hate to see such a good story end. 

Thierry is a likable and strong heroine. I really love reading from her perspective, though her stubbornness irritates me sometimes. No one is perfect, though, and I like that she is flawed. In this novel Thierry made some pretty big mistakes, but I was rooting for her the whole time. Shaw also redeemed himself in this book, which helped the story progress. We didn't get to see much of Rook, which kind of sucked because he was an interesting character. I really loved Diode, and Mable's had a couple of cameos, but not enough to develop any more than she already had. 

The world-building had already been established for this series, but Edwards was able to explain new occurrences in a way that made them fit perfectly with the story. The plot itself was intriguing, even though the pacing and feel of this book was very different from the first two. The ending was a cliffhanger, but it answered a lot of the questions raised in this novel. The writing was wonderfully done, and the character dialogue was realistic. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who wants to read something a bit different about the fae. I'd also recommend any of Hailey Edwards' books to people who haven't read her before. She really is a fantastic author.

Order Lie Down with Dogs today!

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Rating: B
First in a new fantasy series from the author of the Novels of the Half-Light City.

Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival.…

The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth—ensuring good harvests and predicting the weather. Any magic more dangerous is forbidden.

Lady Sophia Kendall, thirty-second in line to the throne, is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed—or perhaps cursed—with magic. When a vicious attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector by happenstance is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guard, raised all his life to be fiercely loyal to the Crown.

Then Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. As a witch unbound by marriage rites, Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power.

My thoughts on the book:
After reading the reviews about this novel, I was a bit apprehensive to start it, but I actually really enjoyed it. Yes it's an adult novel, but I have been wanting to read some adult fantasy, and this was a good place to start. I really enjoyed Sophie as a character, and Cameron was an excellent leading man. The plot was intriguing, and the world-building was fairly well done. The pacing was pretty spot on, too. I think that as long as you're aware that this is an adult book and sex scenes are present, then you'll like it just fine. If that offends you, then skip this one. 

Sophie was a fairly strong character, considering this book seemed to be seemed to be set in something akin to the Middle Ages. Women were oppressed, but she stood on her own very well. She was well-developed, too, and pretty easy to relate to. Cameron was also decently well-developed, and I really respected him as a leading man. The secondary characters weren't as fleshed out, and I would have liked to have gotten to know all of them a bit more. 

The plot was intriguing, but the climax wasn't that thrilling. There was no huge sense of urgency at all in this novel. A lot of it was world-building, and for the most part, the world makes sense to me now. I didn't feel that anything was over explained. The pacing was pretty spot-on, though a couple of places dragged. The ending set up the sequel, and didn't really answer any of the questions raised in this novel, which I didn't like. However, I will be continuing the series. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to people who love adult fantasy. I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is high fantasy, since there were no dragons or anything. It just seemed to be set in an alternate world that had magic. Either way, this series is worth reading. I say give it a shot.