Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

Book: ShootingScars (The Artists Trilogy #2) 
By: Karina Halle
Published: August 20, 2013
Published By: Grand Central Publishing
Description: Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.

When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.

Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.

Told in dual POV from Camden and Ellie.

My Thoughts: If you have been a dedicated follower of my blog for at least a year, you know I absolutely love Karina Halle, and her books (going to one of her author events in Virginia shortly). So when this came out, it took everything in me not to drop everything I was doing and obsess over it until it was read. NaNoWriMo came in the middle of it too, and I had to pause my reading lest I be swallowed up in the lives of Ellie, Javier, and Camden. As soon as it was over though, I spent an entire day on finishing it, and I did just that.
Shooting Scars was just as great as Sins and Needles, I can’t even explain. I did prefer the Ellie POV’s over the Camden ones, but that’s just because I love Ellie and couldn’t stop seeing how she would deal with things. She’s definitely my fav character, hands down.
As is the norm for all of Karina’s books, our MC’s are extremely flawed, and in this one, it’s no different. Ellie makes a HUGE mistake (or not, depending on how you look at it) and feels bad for her judgment afterward. Camden tries to make her hurt, just because he hurts. Javier is abusive and aggressive, and just overall horrible and amazing. I mean, he literally referred to himself as Zorro! Love that movie, and love Javier (anyone else picturing him as Antonio Banderas?) He’s scary and I love him, though I don’t want Ellie with him at all.
“You’ve gotten wilder”
Have I?”
“Yes. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle you anymore.”
I smiled to myself but it quickly faded.
I didn’t know how I was going to handle myself either.
There’s just so much emotion, I can’t properly explain it all. Read this series if you haven’t yet. Start with Sin’s and Needles . It’s perfect. 5 stars for Shooting Scars and I’m picking up Bold Tricks  in about a week or so. I’ve got a bunch of books that have piled up that I need to read first.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: Codename Chimera by J.K. Percy

Book: Codename:Chimera   
By: J. K. Persy
Published: January 5, 2013
Published By: Self Published

Description: A famous millionaire dies under mysterious circumstances in the Brooklyn ghetto. What it was that made him go to such a dangerous place at night remains a mystery. The only clue is a book, Mythical Creatures of Ancient Greece, left on his body and opened at a page on Chimera. Private detective Kevin Kris takes on the case, helped by Penny, his trusty assistant, and Michael, his best friend. They soon uncover a chain of bloody events shrouded in mystery from the past. Little by little the private detective and his friends discover the real truth hidden by the Man With No Face.

My Thoughts:
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review:
I’m not a mystery person and I usually stay away from the whole genre, so when I was contacted to read Codename Chimera by the author, I was a bit hesitant. I knew I wouldn’t be able to appreciate it the way I should and I didn’t want to ,mess anything up. Regardless, the author said they would still like my review, so I decided to give this genre a try.
The description pretty much sums up the plot of the story. A famous millionaire dies, and our MC, Kevin is hired to take the case and prove that the millionare’s wife was the one who killed him. However, as he begins researching and looking at the events, he and his team learn that the wife is innocent, and that it may be related to a necklace, and an ancient text. The events following are their discoveries as the look deeper into the mystery and the ultimate resolution.
The story in and of itself wasn’t at all bad. It was interesting to try to figure out who was the one who did it. It even have me a bit of interest into mysteries as a whole.  (you’ll see a review on a mystery on my blog in the future.) That being said, I didn’t much like this particular book. Things didn’t seem to progress and sometimes it was a bit hard to follow. The detective just sort of uncovered things super easily and people spilled information. Things just always popped into his head without me being able to understand how he came to the conclusion. In my opinion, people as a whole know how to lie pretty easily, so for them to spill secrets accidentally so clumsily, it was just unrealistic. In addition, there was a bunch of unnecessary information and filller that didn’t seem to help progress the story along, and I eventually found myself merely skipping over this information. There were some cool riddles that were included but that I couldn’t figure out and they frustrated me, since even they didn’t seem to really belong.
I don’t necessarily think this was a bad book, just not at all for me. I didn’t like it, and had I not been ultra curious about the ending, I wouldn’t have been able to finish it. I give it 1.5 stars. It wasn’t at all for me. I should have trusted my gut from the beginning, though it did make me interested in other mysteries. I would suggest this to those who like to read mysteries, like lots of additional information, and enjoy solving riddles.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Book: Ender’s Game   
By: Orson Scott Card
Published: January 1985
Published By: Tor Science Fiction

Description: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

My Thoughts: Of course I picked this one up because the movie is coming out shortly and I wanted to know what to expect. I was also recommended to listen to the audiobook of it by my Fiancée’s future Best Man, Japp (Also known as J Morgan, author of EISI see review here
). Finally, I decided to do it, and I must say, I’m glad I did.

Ender’s Game is a book told from the perspective of Ender, a young boy who is a military genius. He has been accepted into Battle School to train to help defeat an alien attack. This story shows his process of becoming the leader the army needs and the resulting battle that ensues.

There was so much I loved about this book, I can’t even explain it. I love books where the characters are flawed or isolated and suffering. They’re more real to me. Originally, I was worried that this book wouldn’t be up my alley. It’s told from the POV of a young kid, younger than 12 with no romantic interests. Still, there was something about it that pulled my interest despite these things. Yes, Ender is young, but he doesn’t think like a child. In fact, I have no doubt he’s smarter than me. Yes, there are no romantic interests, but there’s so much else in this book that’s more important. There’s loss and anger and betrayal, friendship, bullying, everything people combat on a daily basis. It was enough. I must admit though, that I don’t think I’ll pick up the other books in the series, at least not for a while. This book was enough for me and I think reading anything else may ruin it somehow.

If you’ve been thinking about this book, I’d totally suggest it. It’s beautifully written and engrossing. The audio format is exquisitely narrated. Pick it up now! I give Ender’s Game 5 stars.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Book: Speak     
By: Laurie Halse Anderson
Published: April 1, 2001
Published By: Puffin

Description: Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

My Thoughts: I picked up Speak a long time ago mainly because of the many awards and glowing reviews it received. I had hoped to love it immensely. Unfortunately it fell a bit short.

We follow Melinda, a young girl ostracized by her classmates for calling the cops on an end of summer party. She spends the whole of the story depressed and attempting to block out the events that happened at the party.

I found the entire story to be extremely boring and bland. Melinda had seemingly no backbone and I just didn’t like her at all. The story was predictable, after all, what else could have happened at that party that caused her to call the cops and block the events from her own mind. I found myself reading just to find out if I was right instead of for actual enjoyment. I give Speak 2.5 stars. It wasn’t horrible, but it didn’t live up to the hype either.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

By: John Green
Published: January 10, 2012
Published By: Dutton Books

Description: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten

My Thoughts:  I gave in to the hype. Everyone said this book was the best thing since the wheel and I decided to decide for my own if it was true. I decided to determine for myself whether or not this book would actually make my cry and laugh and feel wonderful things inside. It was all that and more.

You know how you find those precious books that you begin to read, and almost immediately are drawn in. You become attached to the characters and your dreams become their dreams. You haven’t even gotten to the end of the book and already you want to tell the world about it. You want everyone to know how amazing it is and how perfect and beautiful. You want to share it with every little kid and every adult, and every time someone complains about how sucky their life is you want to smack them upside the head with that one perfect book? This was that book for me. I loved it. It made me feel absolutely everything. It was heartbreaking and amazing. 

I don’t want to give anything away because some of the majesty of this book is reading and meeting the characters for yourself. Do yourself a favor and read it, but be warned; if you’re one of those readers who get so connected to books that you feel exactly as the character does (kind of like a hypochondriac but with books…hypobookriac?) then I’d suggest you brace yourself. This book does interfere with reader moods. 5 Big Stars.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Come Alive by Karina Halle

Book: Come Alive (Experiment in Terror #7)  
By: Karina Halle
Published: June 23, 2013
Published by: Metal Blonde Books (Self Published)

Description: It’s one thing to bring the woman you love back into your life. It’s another to try and keep her there. For Dex Foray, con­vinc­ing Perry Palomino to open her­self to their bur­geon­ing rela­tion­ship has been more chal­leng­ing than hunt­ing ghosts, bat­tling demons and stalk­ing Sasquatch com­bined. Add in the fact that the only way they can keep their Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror show run­ning is to take on a third part­ner in the form of the mys­te­ri­ous Max­imus Jacobs — all while inves­ti­gat­ing a sin­is­ter voodoo sect in New Orleans — and you’ve got the per­fect South­ern storm and a recipe for dis­as­ter. Luck­ily, Dex has never been one to back down, even when his life –and heart — are on the line.

Come Alive is told from Dex’s POV.

My Thoughts: If you haven’t given at least one of Karina’s books a try yet then shame on you! She has so many books that meet various different tastes (though they’re all at least NA…no YA here folks) and all of her characters are flawed yet perfect. Since this book is a 7th in the series, I’ll keep this review short. If you’ve gotten this far you already know the quality of Karina’s books so my review will probably not affect your decision to read it.

This particular installment is told from Dex’s POV. Though I understand the need to have it in his POV, I missed Perry and I wanted to be back in her head. I found myself forgetting sometimes whose head I was in because I was so used to Perry. Also, Dex thought of sex a bit too much for my taste. I’m sure that’s probably how often guys really think of sex but I just couldn’t always relate. Still, this book was great and scary and had all the greatness one would expect to receive from a book by Karina Halle. I give it 4 stars. I can’t wait for the next installment, Ashes to Ashes.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Book: Monstrous Beauty
By: Elizabeth Fama
Published: September 4, 2012
Published By: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Description: Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

My Thoughts: Monstrous Beauty is  (quite obviously) a story about mermaids. In this story Mermaids are said to be monsters that lure humans to their deaths with their unearthly beauty. Our MC, has some weird connection to them, and to people on land who no one can see or hear. She soon learns about a curse upon her family, and is the only person who can break it.

This book was pretty predictable and often a bit unrealistic. I had to ignore some things, like parents who let a kid stay out all night, or museums who don’t have tougher security, or libraries who allow unknown people to read locked/secured books without proper identification or some kind. Still, despite its predictability, I still enjoyed the ride to see how everything was resolved. I give this one 3 Stars.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Book: Pandemonium     
By: Lauren Oliver
Published: February 28, 2012
Published By: HarperTeen

Description: I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

My Thoughts: Pandemonium picks up right where Delirium left off. And is told in a series of “now” and “then” where she explains her process of leaving the fence and joining the resistance, and her current assignment. There is a new romantic interest, despite the loss of Alex and Lena has really changed a lot from the timid , scared, weak girl in Delirium.

I enjoyed seeing Lena’s transformation into a stronger, smarter woman. Still, she doesn’t really seem to trust her instincts very well and often she gets caught because of it. This story held my interest throughout and I was often extremely invested in Lena’s actions.

I’m not sure if I’ve just read too many books recently, but lately a bunch of them have just been  predictable, and this one is no different. I expected all the big reveals, and so they didn’t surprise me. Still, it was pretty good and I will be reading the next book in the series shortly. I give it 4 stars.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Every Day by David Leviathan

Book: Every Day    
By:  David Leviathan
Published: August 28, 2012
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Description: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

My Thoughts: Every day is an interesting book told from the point of view of A. Neither male nor female, A floats through life unknown to all. A has no parents, no friends, no real identity other than the one “he” gave “himself.”

A lives by taking over a body every day, following each person’s normal patterns of behavior so as not to ruin lives. That is, until he meets Rhiannon.. Only then does A realize how lonely his life is. Only then does he realize what exactly he’s missing out on, and only then does he break all the rules he spent his entire life trying to carefully cultivate.

The book was at first hard to get into, jumping from one life to the next is hard to understand, and the sexless MC made it even more difficult. Still, once the love story gets in full swing, this story is heartbreakingly amazing. I loved seeing the intensity of first love and loss and sacrifice. Some say this book made them cry, and though I didn’t have that reaction, my eyes did prickle a little at the end. It was sweet and I loved every second of it.

If you’re a fan of contemporary romance and young love stories and you’ve been glancing at this one, I’d suggest you take a look at this one. It’s absolutely great. 4.5 Stars

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Random Rant Thursday: NaNoWriMo is about to begin and 99 cent books

Halloween is upon us, which means today is October 31, and subsequently (or rather, obviously) tomorrow is November 1, the day where Ender's Game is coming out (Which I'm going to go see tonight in an early showing) and the day that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) officially begins.

For those of you who dont know what NaNoWriMo is, its basically a project the whole month of November that a bunch of writers/wannabe writers set aside to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Technically you win if you reach the goal, so there are tons of winners at the end of the month, but realistically you win if you write anything at all during that month since those words are words that would probably not have been written otherwise.

Last year, I got a friend of mine involved, username: La'Mar Nelson, and he only made it to 18,724 words, but in my opinion, those are words that would never have been written otherwise. He's going to try again this year and try to actually win. I've also talked little sis, and my cousin into doing it. I'll add their usernames once they actually make an account.

The more I look at lasy year's novel, the more I dislike where it went. I started it before NaNoWriMo began, and only counted the words written during the month, but still, I had no idea where I wanted the novel to go, and as a result, I have a feeling the book goes almost nowhere. I havent given up on it, but I've decided to take a big break from it. This year, I'm taking a different approach. I've followed some of the tims for what to do the month before NaNoWriMo begins and outlined my story, and some main things I want to happen, and I'm going to follow that as much as possible. Perhaps that will help me, only time will tell.

This year, I think I'm more excited than I was last year. This is a new story I get to jump into and create; new characters to meet, and its all really exciting. It's going to be rough, as it always is, and I'm going to want to quit, as I did last year, but eventually I'll get through it, and I'll have something to show for myself, after all, how much can one really go through in just 30 days.

If you want to add me as a buddy on NaNoWriMo, my username is Beckoned By Books. If you can't find me that way feel free to use my email address to add me smleach540 at yahoo dot com.

I'll see you on the otherside (or rather, I'll see you on Monday....when my next review goes live.)

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? What's your username? Are you excited?

[edit] Oh and I have a random announcement that's completely unrelated to anything else in this post....I've just checked out one of Karina Halle's blog posts and it says that for the month of November, all her Experiment in Terror books are only 99 Cents.  Karina is one of my favorite authors, so this is the perfect opportunity for you to find out exactly why I love her so much.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Devis Reprise and The Murder Complex

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's picks are:

Book: The Devil's Reprise
By: Karina Halle
Published: October 29, 2013
Published By: Diversion Books

Description: Given a second chance, music journalist Dawn Emerson and guitarist Sage Knightly are reunited, only to have their lives threatened again by a demonic bargain. The sequel to THE DEVIL’S METAL, from USA Today bestselling author Karina Halle.

When Dawn Emerson got the chance to go on tour with her favorite metal band, Hybrid, she thought she landed the writing gig of the century. But what started off as a dream for the budding music journalist quickly turned into a nightmare that she and guitarist Sage Knightly barely escaped alive.

Now, months after they went their separate ways, Sage invites Dawn to accompany him on his first solo tour across Europe and write about it for Creem Magazine. But like the last tour, nothing is as easy as it seems. Sage is a broken man on the path to self-destruction and Dawn isn’t sure if she’s the right person to save him. And aside from having to pick up the pieces of their burgeoning relationship, they have to negotiate the mysterious new photographer assigned to Dawn’s story, as well as vindictive promoters and demonic groupies they thought they’d never see again.

Because this time, it’s Dawn who made a deal with the devil and the only thing worse than having to uphold a bargain with the prince of darkness is not remembering how you’re supposed to pay it back.

It may be with their souls.

My Thoughts: Yes, Yes, Yes. I know this book came out yesterday. I realize that WoW is for books that havent come out yet, but I just couldnt not feature this one, and since I'm participating in a self imposed book buying ban, (and somewhat failing...I just HAD to buy Allegiant) I'm forcing myself to wait until at least December, after NaNoWriMo to buy it.

So that's why I'm waiting....but since this is technically against the rules, I have another one for you all:

Book: The Murder Complex
By: Lindsay Cummings
Published: June 10, 2014
Published by: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Description: Your mind is not your own...
20-year-old Lindsay Cummings' debut novel, THE MURDER COMPLEX, is described as an action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic thriller set in the futuristic Florida Everglades, where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate, and follows Meadow Woodson, a 15-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, kill, and to survive in any situation, and Zephyr James, the orphaned boy she falls in love with, whose sole purpose is to keep her from discovering the haunting truth about her family, even if it puts them both in mortal danger.

My Thoughts: This is right up my alley, and reminds me a lot of the book I'm planning to write for NaNoWriMo, only in that both our MC's are trained by their father to fight, kill, and survive in any situation. I'm curious to see how this one turns out.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is from:

"'Naturally,' he went on, leaning forward and peering into my eyes, 'you have a right to be so. Eden White was far too trusting.' My head lolled back onto the seat."

OMG, so I've only gotten like 5% into this book but already I love it just as much as I loved the last one. I can't wait to see what happens. I'm so behind with this series. The third book has already been released and I'm only on the second.

What are your teasers this month?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Book: The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3)
By: Rae Carson
Published: August 27th 2013
Published By: Greenwillow Books

Description: The epic conclusion to Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.

Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.

My Thoughts: OMG. I’ve talked about this series time and time again. It’s amazing and I absolutely love it. This final installment into the series is no different. I don't even have a lot to say about it so this will be brief.

The Bitter Kingdom picks up where The Crown of Embers left off. Elisa is headed to rescue her love Hector from her enemies who have captured him to lure her into their lands and use her for unknown evils. Still, Elisa has a plan, and she is more powerful than her enemies know.
I enjoyed seeing the power and strength Elisa possessed. She has come a long way from the little girl we met in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. She became a true ruler here and worthy of her followers. We also learn more of the history behind the ongoing war in this novel.
I enjoyed this conclusion to the series immensely. I would suggest this book to those who enjoy fantasy and strong women. I give it 5 stars.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: The Bone Bearer by Lani Wendt Young

Book: The Bone Bearer (Telesa #3) 
By: Lani Wendt Young
Published: June 27th 2013
Published By: Self Published

Description: The thrilling, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to The Telesa Series.
Leila's selfless act at the closing of 'When Water Burns,' unleashed the demonic fury of Pele the Fire Goddess and now Daniel must fight an epic battle to free the one he loves. Unlikely allies come to his aid as a group of troubled elementals try to overcome their differences and work as a team to save their friend. But Pele's awakening has caused cataclysmic fear throughout the Telesa guardians of the Pacific and they are gathering their forces, preparing to defend the Blue Continent from the devastating threat of the Fire Goddess. Only one thing can destroy her - the Tangaloa Bone. The race is on to recover the three pieces of this ancient weapon and the question remains: who will wield the power of the Bone Bearer? And can Leila survive its apocalyptic fury?

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved the first and second books in the Telesa Trilogy, so when this one came out, I absolutely HAD to have it (nevermind the new covers that caused me to up and re-buy all the printed books, just because). I went into this one expecting much the same of what I got in the other two, but though I still loved it, it was completely different than anything I had imagined.

Before the primary story we read the story of Pele, daughter of The Covenant Keeper for the Telesa back in the day. Unfortunately, she was ungifted. Her mother loved her though, so she decided not to give her away, as was custom. Later, Pele became distraught about the fact that she was ungifted, and her mother sought to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, as we all know, power is not meant for everyone, and with just a taste, Pele became a bit of a (excuse the term) “power whore.” Later she went mad, and soon her body could no longer hold all the elemental power she owned so she was consumed by the earth, but not before she killed the only two people who cared for her.

We are then tossed into the story with the aftermath of the ending of When Water Burns. If you remember, Leila is in the hospital with Daniel, and Pele is lingering somewhere under the surface. At the beginning of this story however, things switch, and we lose all contact with Leila, and gain Pele instead. Pele is taking things over (literally) and no one can control her.

Feeling the change in the elements, many other Telesa from other Pacific Islands swarm to Samoa in order to destroy Pele. Meanwhile, Daniel, Simone, Keahi, and some other wonderful characters must band together to defeat Pele and save Leila.

This story has a lot more drama, a lot more characters, and a lot more myth. I loved reading every word of it. Unfortunately, Leila wasn’t much present, and that disappointed me, but there were plenty of the other characters we loved. Daniel is pretty much pathetic most of the beginning of the book, but things got better for him and I wasn’t as disappointed in him. As for my new love Keahi, I loved him even more in this one.

There was only one thing I didn’t like. Pele was a bit dense in my opinion. You’d think that for a woman as old as she is, she’d know when she was being betrayed, but she was a bit naïve. Then again, she never actually had friends, so I guess she wouldn’t know the difference. Also, there were a lot of characters, and sometimes it was kind of hard to keep up.

I don’t want to give too much away for the ending of this series, but I absolutely loved it. Though this story was much different than the others, I still enjoyed reading it. Lani Wendt Young is an amazing writer, and I can’t wait to read everything else she writes.
I give this one 4 stars.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Book: The Calling (Darkness Rising #2)
By: Kelley Armstrong
Published: April 10th 2012
Published By: Harper

Description: Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is -a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

In THE CALLING, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of THE GATHERING clamoring for more.

My Thoughts: I didn’t much like the first book in this series, but I tried my absolute best to give this series another chance, hoping that by the second book, I may be more invested in the series, and like it a bit more. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

The book starts off right where the last ends, with all the kids stuck in a helicopter after almost being kidnapped once before. Things happen, the plane crashes, and the kids are once again on the run in the woods.

My problem with this series is not that it’s bad. It doesn’t necessarily suck, though it is a bit predictable and anticlimactic. Still, it doesn’t suck. My problem is that I don’t see the real reason for it to be a series. What I feel so far is that this story is one large story that the author decided to make into three for no real reason. I feel like not much happened in the first or second books by themselves, but, if put together, the two may make me feel the same was I would feel were I 2/3 of the way through one book. (Does this make sense?) I just don’t get it, nor do I really like it. . There wasn’t enough that happened in each book to warrant the feeling of completion or wholeness I should normally get at the end of a book, even a series. It just bored me to death.

Unfortunately, I have to give this series 2 stars. I will not be reading anything else in this series.