In My Mailbox (24) / Mailbox Monday (33)

mailbox

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. (Library books don’t count, but eBooks & audiobooks do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring meme (details here). This month it is hosted by Let Them Read Books.

In My Mailbox

   

   

Thank you, Stephanie Void, Bewitching Book Tours and Dark Mind Book Tours for the review copies!

Premade WordPress Theme Giveaway

Enchanted Book Promotions has been completely revamped. We offer even more services than last year, and we hope to help more authors to promote their book in the new year! As a freebie to accompany our new launch, we’re hosting a giveaway for a premium WordPress Theme aimed especially at book bloggers and authors!

Book Blogger WordPress Theme

screenshot

Click here to see the working demo.

Book Blogger WordPress Theme is an ideal theme for book bloggers. Not only does the header feature a vector image of a girl reading, the design is also simple and straight-forward, yet elegant. Different div styles classes are incorporated to add book covers and book synopsis to your theme. Additionally, the theme offers a complete admin option panel. You don’t have to dive into the code – you can change virtually anything from this options panel. There are also 7 custom widgets, including a tabbed widget, styled gallery pages, a working contact form, sitemap, custom 404 error page and a featured slider. The theme is compatible with WordPress 3.3 and works in all major browsers.
Do you want a chance at getting this theme, or do you want to see a full feature list first? Go visit Enchanted Book Promotions! Everyone can participate!
By the way, please tell me what you think of the new design!

In My Mailbox (23) / Mailbox Monday (32)

mailbox
This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.

In My Mailbox

   

   

Book Review: Keridan’s Journey by Michelle Peterson

10792200Title: Keridan’s Journey
Author: Michelle Peterson
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: WBD Books
Publication Date: February 8th 2011
Rating: 1,5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Review copy provided by the author as part of a Pump Up Your Book! Book Tour.

Project manager by day and artist by night, Keridan Patrick’s simple world ended with the death of her mother. The father she never knew showed up after twenty-five years and introduced her to a new world cloaked in secrecy and myth.
While fighting to keep some semblance of normalcy to her suddenly unpredictable world, she chanced to meet the mysterious Sahaj. Sahaj had ran for hundreds of years from the one soul he was destined to be with but was transfixed by the one he could not live without.
Would old flames and new enemies stand in the way of love?

Argh, what can I say about Keridan’s Journey? This is one of those books that leave you very conflicted by the end of it. On the one hand, I enjoyed the imaginative story that is going on, with shapeshifters, sirens and other magical creatures having to keep the peace between their world and ours. But on the other hand, this book just isn’t enjoyable. All characters lack depth, the story itself is rushed, relationships are built within hours, I couldn’t give less about the main character of this book, there were more spelling errors than I could count on both of my hands and the pacing was just terribly confusing.

I want to give this book a high rating. Really, I want to. Because I have the feeling that the author put a lot of time and effort in coming up with the characters of this book, and to build a world that is intriguing to say the least. The problem is that this book doesn’t deliver. I mean, in chapter one a major bomb is dropped on the readers, saying that the main character’s Mom is dying in what is probably the most rushed and unbelievable death scene I’ve ever come across. Keridan’s Mom passes away, the doctors talk to her for a while, and then she goes for food. She even notices how a waiter who bumps into her start singing love songs right away or that the shop manager is hitting on her. Somehow I have the feeling that if my Mom passed away, I couldn’t care less about what was happening at the moment. Moreover, I wouldn’t bother stopping to get some Chinese. This is probably one of the most irrational and unlogical reactions to a parent’s death I’ve ever seen in a book. But hold on, it gets worse.

Before we very well realize it – a chapter later, I think – Keridan’s long lost father Alexo shows up out of the blue. The man went missing for twenty-five years, but now he shows up and happily informs Keridan that he’s a Siren, a mystical being belonging to another world. Moreover, Keridan is a half Siren. Now if it were me and some strange fellow I’ve never seen before comes and tells me that on the same tone Alexo does in this book, I wouldn’t hesitate to call the mental asylum right away. Keridan however accepts this as easily as if he told her he sold cars for a living. Moreover, in a matter of days she grows very much attached to her new-found father. She trusts him immediately, as if she’s still a little child instead of an adult and when he makes her float through the air, one of his many powers, she decides they’ve become buddies and she’ll call him Pops from now on. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. But what about her Mom? That poor woman who just died a couple of days ago – funeral is never mentioned by the way – and who raised Keridan for a total of twenty-five years? Well, I’m sorry to say it, but poor Mom is just forgotten. Apparently Keridan gets over people dying really fast. Really, really, really fast, which makes me wonder if she even has emotions to begin with. But hey, the fun isn’t over yet.

Her father Alexo introduces Keridan to her new ‘aunts’. Now I can get if it you want to love and trust your own father, but I don’t understand how Keridan can become so close and trusting with these ‘aunts’ practically overnight? On one page she just meets them, and on the next page they’re practically BFFs. This is just another example of how messed up the pacing of this story is. Some parts are dragged out when it’s completely unnecessary whereas important parts are left out completely. This leads to odd timeline jumps and character developments happening too quick for a reader to follow or deem believable.

Let me also introduce to you Keridan’s love interest: Sharaj. He’s not such a bad character. He’s actually pretty original, a prince from a foreign land once cursed to become a panther. When his beloved altered the curse so he would be able to switch between his panther and human side, priests cursed her as well. Now she is forced to kill him or he is forced to kill her, or something along those lines. Again, this was a bit too rushed for me to understand completely, but I thought Sharaj did have a very original background story. On the downside, he’s not such an interesting character. Compared to the others, he is fairly well developed – as opposed to Alexo who has absolutely no personality, or to the aunts whose names are only mentioned sporadically and who could be easily replaced with cardboard figures – but he lacks any outstanding quality. He falls in love with Keridan instantly. I hate it when that happens. When do you ever fall in love with someone right away? Sure, you can feel an attraction, but since you don’t even know the person, whatever your feeling can’t possibly be love. Additionally, he proclaims his love for her in every way imaginable, making him, at least in my opinion, rather pathetic. I didn’t hate him though, but I think he deserved a bit more backbone and a bit less sloppy love story. In my opinion, the other love interest, Robert, a university professor and long-time friend of Keridan was a much more believable option. I even liked him more.

The saddest thing is that the story, essentially, is great. It has so much potential. The setting is original, the storyline is intriguing, there are enough twists and turns to keep it interesting, but it just…lacks. If the book had been 400 pages instead of 250, the story was less rushed, the author had added more details giving us a more vivid setting and characters who actually have depth and personality and aren’t introduced seemingly at random, this book would have been amazing. Unfortunately this is one of those rare books that should’ve been longer. For the story Michelle Peterson is trying to tell, she simply needs more pages. Instead, she seemed to have rushed through most of it, leaving me with a very conflicted feeling. I like the story, I want to read more about this intriguing world, but I don’t want cardboard figures who get over their parent’s death in the blink of an eye and who immediately accept their newly-found father as a trustworthy figure. I want characters who behave like actual human beings. I want depth, personality, issues, troubles. I want this book, entirely rewritten, but longer and with all these aspects I just mentioned. And then, I would absolutely freaking love it. Now, I don’t. And it annoys me, because I want to.

And also, but this didn’t bother me that much, there are a lot of grammar and spelling errors in this book. The only trouble I had with them was that most of them seemed to just have been over-looked. I mean ‘wear’ instead of ‘where’ and those kind of things. This can happen once of course, especially with self-published books, but not as often as it happens here. I have the feeling this book wasn’t even proofread, and if it was, definitely not with enough attention for detail then.

All in all, I must say that this book leaves me with mixed feelings. I want to like it because I like the setting, the premises and the storyline, but it’s just not executed well. The characters have no real depth, the pacing is off, there are basically no descriptions and it just feels lacking in all those departments. I do see great potential in the author though – she has creativity and originality – but she shouldn’t try to rush it that much.

Book Review: The Realmsic Conquest by A. Demethius Jackson

THUMBNAIL_IMAGETitle: The Realmsic Conquest
Author: A. Demethius Jackson
Genre: Poetry, Medieval Fantasy
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: July 22nd 2010
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Author Website | Amazon
Review copy provided by Pump Up Your Book Book Tours.

Throughout its history, the kingdom known as the Realm has never known peace. From its establishment, it has possessed the gift of magic, which is a treasure that exists no other place in the world! As a result, the Realm has endlessly defended itself against conquerors, but now faces its greatest peril. As our heroes battle the wicked and unlock mysteries, they must also face overwhelming circumstances as they are guided by ancient lore on a quest to find the greatest treasure their kingdom will ever know…peace.

I must say that this book is one of the most original books I’ve read all year. Reason number one for this is that the book is written entirely in verse, like those medieval stories of Reinhardt The Fox, Lancelot and his quest and Beowulf. On the other hand, it’s also one of the most difficult books I’ve ever had to review. The first reason for this is once again that this book is in verse, and I’m just not familiar with that genre enough to find a way to compare it with other books. That said, I can only begin to imagine how hard it must be to write an entire story in rhyme. I have trouble even writing a story, I don’t want to think about how awful it would be if everything had to rhyme. Ugh.

Author A. Demethius Jackson does a good job with the verse though. What he’s even better at however, is making a fantasy world that leaves a lasting impression with its readers, and that has more layers than we could even begin to grasp. I liked the way the adventure he laid out in The Realmsic Conquest was pretty straight forward: Saraya and her army attack the Kingdom and most importantly, the dying King, without realizing that the moment the King dies their entire world will die as well. Then our heroes must find a way to cure the King, but unfortunately they come upon Damian, the most evil sorcerer the Kingdoms have ever known while trying to complete their quest. What follows is a battle of epic proportions. So we have the necessary setting: medieval scenery, a bunch of heroes, a life-threatening quest and an epic battle.

And although I thought all of this was very enjoyable to say the least, it left me feeling awkward. Because on the one hand, I was happy with the story as it progressed, but on the other hand, I wanted to know so much more. The journey of our heroes passed by in a hurry, and because of the verse-format, we never actually got to see our heroes’ personalities, or find out why Saraya was suddenly feeling tired of conquering Kingdom after Kingdom. I mean, that’s a major personality change, and I would have liked to know why. Additionally, I would have liked to know why Damian decided to play the evil wizard in this book and why he wanted the Kingdom all for himself. I had the feeling that, by the end of the book, I didn’t know any of the characters except superficially. I didn’t know what drove them, what their ambitions, goals or passions were, and why they did what they did. It annoyed me without end. Although I understand that this is a very unlikely goal to achieve when writing in verse, I would have liked to see at least some more characterization.

A bit along the same lines, but I would have liked to see more about The Realm itself as well. How did it come to exist? How does it function? We see glimpses of the way it does here and there, and we know it’s a world stuck in the middle ages, but that’s about it. I have the feeling that the world of the realm has a lot more potential than it’s currently given credit for. Part of me would have preferred it if this book had been an actual fantasy novel, not written in verse, but in actual paragraphs. It would have made it all so much more intriguing.

I’m definitely willing to give the author points in the originality department, and I must admit that The Realmsic Conquest was a fun and entertaining, albeit short read. I have the feeling that this is a perfect book for teenage boys who enjoy Arthurian legends, swordfights and real-life knights, but I would have preferred it in a regular format. Recommended if you want something new.

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

waiting_on_wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

I’m waiting for…

Teaser Tuesdays (14)

Teaser-Tuesdays

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!

Teaser

“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I didn’t mean love.”
Footsteps approached, making my heart thud against my ribs as I braced for the strike that never came.
“Ana.” Sam stood within arms’ reach but didn’t touch me. “Do you really feel that way? That you aren’t allowed certain emotions?”
I couldn’t look at him.
“You’re not a nosoul. You’re allowed to feel however you feel.”
~ p. 43 Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

In My Mailbox (22) / Mailbox Monday (31)

mailbox

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. (Library books don’t count, but eBooks & audiobooks do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring meme (details here). This month it is hosted by Let Them Read Books.

In My Mailbox

   

   

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

waiting_on_wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

I’m waiting for…

Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 24th 2012

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s…

What book release are you eagerly anticipating?

Teaser Tuesdays (13)

Teaser-Tuesdays
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!

Teaser

Chrysabelle’s eyes were prenaturally bright. “You want to play?”
She loosened her stance as if preparing to fight. Except she staggered slightly. “Or would you rather fight?”
“I don’t want to fight you.”
“Fight me or bite me.” She laughed.
~ p. 99 Blood Rights by Kristen Painter
What’s your teaser?