Another week of reads has come to an end. I have to say that I thought for sure I would get more reading done while on vacation then I did, but what can a girl do, right? So here are my reviews for this past week:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I want to thank the author, KaSondra Leigh, for providing me with an eARC of this book to read and give an honest review. Getting this book for free in no way influenced my review.
Blurb from Goodreads:
"Mom always says the angels walk among us. She forgot to tell me that sometimes they're not all fluffy and nice."
Seventeen-year-old Caleb Wood has seen people he calls the walkers since he was a baby. It didn't take long for him to realize something…no one can see these strangers but him. They never stuck around or tried to touch him. And they never said a word. That was until one day on the first day of class in his senior year when an incredibly gorgeous girl strolls into his life…and things are never the same again.
Soon Caleb realizes he has stepped into the middle of a growing conflict between two ancient groups. And his ability to see the invisible ones, the half-breeds that want to modify the human race, just might be the only hope both he and the mysterious, but infuriating, Gia, have of making it out alive
First I must let you all know that I am a huge fan of KaSondra Leigh's writing. She just has that "it" thing going on. She creates characters that you grow attached to. She creates scenarios that you can jump right into. So when given the opportunity to read this book, I jumped at the chance. Because I knew for sure that I would absolutely love it!
The first thing I have to say about this book is that I love the cover. It is dark and mysterious. The cover model is very handsome and has these eyes that just pull you right in, making you want to open the book and read it! And I love the girl in the background, how she's shaded from our view, hiding behind him, and enigma to us all (including the cover model). It's a perfect set up for this book!
The characters are really awesome. They are so typical high-school, teenage kids! They are easily relatable and believable. And Leigh writes the characters so well you feel their emotions as if they are your own. You felt their frustrations, their sorrows, their fears. Amazing.
Caleb is awesome. He's kind of this cocky guy who also strikes me as a sort of dork. He's into sports, and martial arts, but he doesn't seem to think he's worthy of the attention he gets from others. He's sweet and caring. And good looking, well, yeah, that's an understatement. I love that the book is written from his POV. I haven't read many books written from the male POV, and it's nice to see it from Leigh. He does have a tendency to say things how they are, which can hurt people at times. But I liked his ability to be so forthcoming.
Gia is completely mysterious. I could not figure her out at all. I had no idea what she was and was surprised when it was revealed, that's for sure. She frustrated me a bit with her advancing and pulling away from Caleb. I understood in the end why she did these things, but I was getting annoyed with her for leading him on. I wanted to give her a little push here and there so she would just make up her mind!
And Caleb's friends are supportive, despite the fact that they might find him strange at times. They are the perfect supporting characters.
The storyline was very different for me. This is the first time I have read a paranormal book of this specific creature. Leigh's writing certainly made me want to keep reading. It was mysterious and pulled me right in. It wasn't slow at all and I found myself wanting to keep turning the page. And the storyline was totally different from anything else I have read, so it helped to keep me wanting more. I certainly did not see where it was going and I loved that!
And Leigh's writing is really quite fabulous. I love how it's so easy to read and flows right through the book (no chinks, no confusion, just a storyline and writing that keeps going).
Again, Leigh's writing is awesome. If you want to read books that are interesting and fun, entertaining and flow well, you want to pick up her stuff!
4 out of 5 stars from me!
View all my reviews Amarok by Angela J. Townsend
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I am a huge Spencer Hill Press fan! I want to read everything they publish, because they really know how to pick them! So, when I heard about this book, I was bound to pick it up for sure.
I have to say that I was drawn to this book as soon as I saw the cover. I mean, look at this awesomeness. I really love the color scheme. The girl is beautiful. And the mysterious wolf up in the corner, well, it drew me right in and I wanted to know what this book was about!
Emma is a strong, charismatic character that I connected to immediately. She is brave despite her hard life (with both mental and physical abuse). She is certainly a troubled soul who is just looking for relief from her pain. She has a strength and determination that I can certainly admire.
Amarok (Tok), well, I don't want to give things away, but he's a lost soul who is a perfect fit as a friend for Emma. What he really wants is to experience love in it's true form.
These two rely on each other. Give each other support and hope where there was once none.
I love how the storyline encompasses elements of Native American lore. This drew me right in. And the paranormal element, well, I love paranormal, so I am not surprised to have loved this aspect of this book. The storyline is unique from all other wolf stories I have read. It's not your typical "werewolf" story at all. And it kept me wanting to read so I could find out what was going to happen. I do have to say that I had an idea of where it was going, which was a bit disappointing because I prefer to be a bit shocked or kept in the dark when it comes to story twits and turns.
Townsend has a beautiful flow to her writing. Her descriptions are spot on and I really felt cold when the characters were out in the elements, fear when the characters were in trouble, and warmth when the characters were connecting.
I do have to say that although I loved the storyline, I did find it a bit slow at times. And I wasn't completely satisfied with the romance aspect of this story. I felt like there should have been a bit more to it but it never got there. And there is the insta-love factor which bugged me a bit as well.
All in all I enjoyed this story. It was a fast and light read.
3 out of 5 stars from me.
Make Believe by J.A. Belfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I recieved an eARC of this book from J. Taylor publishing to read for an honest review. This in now way has influenced my point of view on this book. I want to thank them for providing me with this ARC.
This book is a compilation of six magical short stories from various authors who are published or will be published under the J. Taylor label. Each author took you into a new world, past, present, future, fantasy, dystopian, paranormal, etc. It was nice to be able to watch each story come to life in the span of such a few short pages.
I really loved reading these little stories from the authors. I have not read anything by any of them up until now. All their writing styles are unique. I particularly enjoyed these three stories the most: Petrified by Kelly Said, Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton and Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield as they captured my attention and kept me wanting to read to find out what was happening. I can also see how all the stories in this anthology can be expanded upon and made into novels of their own!
The first two stories, Sacrificial Oath and The Amulet of Ormisez, as well as Petrified, are set in more of a fantasy world. These stories reminded me of movies such as The Hobbit or The Princess Bride, maybe even Lord of The Rings. You probably get the idea. Fantasy, long flowing dresses on the women, men on tall steeds, the works. The characters for these stories were interesting and the visuals really pulled me into the time and place. Each had a good amount of world building to them. I found Sacrificial Oath to be a bit on the slow side, but the story was interesting, nonetheless.
Birthright was interesting as it takes place in modern times, but has a hint of the paranormal surrounding it throughout. Until if finally climaxes and you realize the main character is not at all who you think she is. This story had mystery written all over it. I loved the overall witch theme. This particular story was quite mysterious and I would love to see where it might go as a full length book.
Last Winter Red was probably my most favorite story. I am really into dystopian literature and this definitely had that underlying theme. I loved the world building that went on. And I liked the separation of the "classes" in the two different worlds, which is something you see in all dystopian novels. I could definitely see this story sprouting into a book or even a series. And I loved the twist to this story, it was one I was not expecting!
The final story, Escort to Insanity, had the best writing of the six short stories. Belfield drew you and and pushed you along so you wanted to know what was happening next. I loved the underlying paranormal theme, and with creatures I never would have guessed about! The characters in this piece were quit witty and sarcastic, humor I am all too familiar with and enjoy immensely. The main heroine was touch and could definitely hold her own. She kind of reminded me a bit of a female James Bond! And the hero is definitely swoon worthy. I loved the romance that budded, although I did get the "insta-love" factor a bit, which I don't normally like.
All in all I very much enjoyed reading these short stories. I would love to see each of these stories expanded upon to see where they would go! They were just the right length that I could read one right before bed, without falling asleep! It was nice to have an anthology such as this to read. Thank you J. Taylor for the opportunity to read and review this piece of work.
4 out of 5 stars from me.
The Queen's Army by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really loved this story.
The story of how the wolf is born, how the wolf becomes Alpha. Completely related to Little Red Riding Hood, as I have heard Scarlet is based on that. I cannot wait to read Scarlet and see where this goes.
As always Meyer has a knack for drawing you in and keeping you reading. I read this straight through without putting it down. It flowed well. The descriptions were spot on allowing me to really picture the world building. And the end fight scene was perfect.
I can't wait to learn more about Z and The Queen's Army!