Book Review: Blue Violet by Abigail Owen

15980706Title: Blue Violet
Author: Abigail Owen
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 3 stars

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

When Ellie Aubrey leaves her only remaining family and moves to Colorado, she knows she’s risking her life. But she can’t ignore the possibility of what she might find there. What she didn’t expect to encounter was a bewildering connection to one smolderingly sexy Alex Jenner. But when Ellie’s worst nightmare comes true and threatens to destroy everything she holds dear, she must fight to save those she loves most. Even if it means sacrificing herself by revealing a terrible truth… sometimes not all monsters are make believe.

Exceptionally imaginative and magically romantic, Blue Violet delivers equal parts fantasy, romance, and suspense.

Ellie and her twin brother Griffin aren’t typical teenagers. They may look like they are, but in fact they’ve been around for over a hundred years. They’re part of the Svatura, a supernatural race who live a prolonged life. But most of the Svatura, at least the tribe Ellie and Griffin belonged to, have been murdered a long time ago by their natural enemies, the Vyusher. The Svatura normally live in tribes, because each other’s presence enhances their powers. Unfortunately the Vyusher have made that impossible since the more Svatura are together, the easier the Vyusher can track them down.

Ellie and Griffin have spent their entire life hiding from the Vyusher, even since they saw their tribe slaughtered by their enemies. But now they have a chance to unite with other Svatura, a chance Ellie is more than willing to take. Griffin on the other hand is wary of the danger, but he’s not about to leave his sister alone on this dangerous quest.

While befriending the new Svatura, Ellie learns a lesson or two about love, friendship and the meaning of family.

I liked Blue Violet mostly because it was different, for a change. It’s YA paranormal romance, but unlike any I’ve read before. The Svatura and their powers were an original concept, and Ellie, who has the power to absorb other’s powers and use them herself, is quite a cool character. She’s resourceful and intelligent, although at times I thought she acted a bit too much like a real teenage girl, especially since she was already over a century old. I also thought the romance could’ve been a bit better. The characters fell in love easily, no real obstacles, and no real attraction. It didn’t take time to build up the romance: it was just there. Right away. I wish there had been more of a build up, rather than love at first sight.

The writing was all right, but sometimes the novel jumped from one scene to the other quite fast, without properly wrapping the previous scene up. That was a bit annoying, and hard to get used to. I feel like the book should’ve been fleshed out more, especially in the beginning.

I liked the plot and characters, and would like to see more of them. I would definitely like to read the second novel, because I was happily surprised with this one.

Teaser Tuesday (18)

Teaser-TuesdaysTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. In this meme, we grab our current read, open it to a random page and share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page with our readers.

Click HERE to view all my ‘Teaser Tuesdays‘ posts.

Here is my teaser:
8713500“Then what is it? You want me to make a thorough investigation, yet you’re banning me from key areas.”
“I wasn’t joking. It really is for your own safety.” HIs shoulders jerked as he suppressed another chortle. He did his best to regard the investigator seriously.
“You see, Mr. Ash, underground…Well, underground is our containment area. It’s where we keep our lunatics…”
~ p. 252 “Ash” by James Herbert
This book is the third book in a series, but can be read as a stand-alone. So far it’s been pretty amusing, besides the overly long prose going nowhere, the strange and unbelievable setting and the lackluster main character. I find it strange I think it’s amusing, but heck, I do.

Book Review: Marking Time (The Immortal Descendants #1) by April White

16122623Title: Marking Time (The Immortal Descendants #1)

Author: April White

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 5 stars

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Seventeen-year-old tagger Saira Elian can handle anything… a mother who mysteriously disappears, a stranger who stalks her around London, and even the noble English Grandmother who kicked Saira and her mother out of the family. But when an old graffiti tag in a tube station transports Saira to the 19th Century and she comes face-to-face with Jack the Ripper, she realizes she needs help after all.

Saira meets Archer, a charming student who helps her blend in as much as a tall, modern American teen can in Victorian England. He reveals the existence of the Immortals: Time, Nature, Fate, War and Death, and explains to Saira that it is possible to move between
centuries – if you are a Descendant of Time.

Saira finds unexpected friendships at a boarding school for Immortal Descendants and a complicated love with a young man from the past. But time is running out for her mother, and Saira must embrace her new identity as she hides from Archer a devastating secret about his future that may cost him his life.

Marking Time is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever. Seeing as this comes from the girl who averages between 150 and 200 books read a year, that’s saying something. April White has a remarkable talent for creating strong, realistic characters, amazing fantasy settings and intriguing, surprising plots. Needless to say I’m more than a little amazed by the author’s ability to combine all three of these elements into one book. I read Marking Time in about three days, in the middle of university exams, so that’s saying something. I longed for my breaks simply because I wanted to read this gem.

Our main character, Saira Eilan has it tough. Her mother vanished into thin air, but that’s not what she’s worried about, since her Mom happens to do this approximately every two years. No, she’s worried about a strange fellow chasing her around while she’s exploring the catacombs underneath Vienna. She’s worried about the strange but somehow familiar symbol she finds there. As a tagger and free-runner, the city has been her playground for years, but in one night, it turns into a jungle, and she becomes the prey. When she runs into the police who takes her home only to find her home ransacked, her Mom nowhere in sight, she knows she’s running out of luck. The only way to escape child protective services is to hang out with her grandmother, a woman she barely knows and who kicked her Mom out while she was pregnant.

Traveling to London brings more secrets than answers for Saira. Not only does she discover her family is filthy rich and lives in one of the most gigantic old mansions she’s ever seen, she also finds out she’s different than she could ever imagine. When the same guys who chased her in Vienna turn up in London, she barely escapes with the help of a handsome stranger who introduces himself as Archer and claims he’s no stranger at all. But even with Archer’s help, Saira runs into the wrong crowd again, and this time she ends up in London…in 1888. The London of Jack The Ripper, a terrifying, gloomy version of the London she’s come to know. Having no clue what’s going on, Saira bumps into Archer again. Except he’s now Archer in this time, in the nineteenth century, and he has no clue who she is or what she’s doing this far away from home. What’s even worse is that, just before she managed to travel back to the present using a strange marking on the wall, she sees her Mom, dressed like a proper Victorian lady.

For Saira, the secrets pile up, burying her underneath. Who is she? Why can she travel to the past? She hopes to find answers with her family, but is instead sent to an Academy for Immortals, where she meets two Seers who can see into the future, and can instantly predict they’ll be friends. She also meets a friendly teacher, Mr. Shaw, who can transmorph into a bear. And at the academy, she reunites with Archer, now a Vampire, who’s been waiting for her since they first met in London 1888.

But if Saira wants to rescue her mother, who is being held captive in the folds of time, she’ll have to find a way to travel back in time and meet an ancient evil. But doing so may risk Archer’s life, and the lives of her new-found friends.

As you can see even from the brief synopsis I tried to give, this book is long. Long and complicated, and kick-ass awesome. Let’s start by taking a look at the main character, Saira, who isn’t your typical girl. She prefers to stay as far away from others as possible, mostly keeping to herself. It’s been her and her Mom against the world for as long as she can remember, yet she adapts quickly when necessary. She’s witty and sarcastic but not in an over-the-top way. She’s brave, but not foolish, and she’s intelligent enough to figure out what’s going on. She accepts she’s traveled back in time the moment actual proof is given, which to be was a big bonus. Nothing worse than a character complaining about their powers and how this can’t be happening when they have heaps of proof it is happening. All this together makes Saira quite unique, a refreshing, well-developed, multi-dimensional character I would love to read more than one book about.

Secondly, the other cast of characters. Archer was amazing, except I would’ve liked him to have a bit more backbone. I mean, he loves Saira, and tells her. Great. But I expected, if we went back in history, to see more explanation for this. Of course I understand he liked her back then, but it takes a lot to keep on loving someone for over a hundred years, so I would’ve liked a bit more explanation there, or a bit more love. Anyway, apart from that, Archer totally ruled. As a human in 1888, he’s your typical charming gentleman who blushes when he thinks about sleeping in one room with a girl. In the present, he’s a bit more badass, and I liked the constract. It’s not often that we see a book portraying the changes a human goes through when turning into a Vampire, and what hundred years can do to one’s personality and beliefs. I loved this addition here.

Then there’s Adam. All right, I have to admit, I was kind of cheering for Adam and Saira to end up together. But hey, more books, more hope. Adam is a bit arrogant, a bit cocky, but all in all, a good guy. He knows he’s good looking and charmin and isn’t afraid to use it to his advantage, but that’s all playful and innocent. Underneath is the kind of person you can trust upon, the kind of friend everyone wants to have. And he’s a Seer. I mean, what’s cooler than being able to see the future (except wandering back in time of course). Right, nothing! So Adam definitely has my support. With this, I’d also like to give a thumbs up to Mr. Shaw, who wins the teacher of the year award for saying no to all the rules and doing what he thinks is right. Then there’s also Ringo. I loved him. He’s so genuinely good, especially for a ‘street rat’. I wish I would’ve seen a bit more interaction between Saira and her mother though. I had the feeling we didn’t once see her Mom, only heard about her.

The setting was, of course, amazing. How could it not? We have Clockers who travel back in time, Seers who see the future, and age-old family lineages intertwining and fighting. We have a hatred for mixed bloods, which kind of reminded me of Harry Potter, but was still freakingly awesome. The people with special abilities are descendants of time, and I loved the entire legend behind how they got their powers. I also really liked how the author used the names of streets in London, and used an actual historical figure, namely Jack The Ripper. It made me feel like I was actually thrown back in time.

The plot ruled. When you throw all these awesome things together, it can’t go anywhere other than awesome. I was genuinely surprised by how much this plot sucked me in. I was glued to the book until the very last page, and whenever I couldn’t read, I wanted to read. Badly. That’s what an amazing book will do to you, and Marking Time definitely belongs under the category ‘amazing’.

I can’t wait to read the second book in these series. If I could hold Mrs. White’s pen myself and make her write, I would, that’s how good this is. If you want to read one book and one book only in the new year, pick this one.

Starter Day Party Destiny’s Mark

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I’m hosting the starter day party for Destiny’s Mark, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy novel by author KH LeMoyne. I’ve read and reviewed some of KH LeMoyne’s work, and I can’t wait to read this newest volume in the Guardian series.

Tour Schedule

January 7th: Starter Day Party @
I Heart Reading

January 8th: Guest Post and Giveaway @
Oh Chrys

January 9th: Book Review @
I Heart Reading

January 10th: Guest Post and Giveaway @
Reading Romances

January 11th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @
Night Owl Reads

January 12th: Book Review @
Forever Book Lover

January 13th: Book Excerpt @
Hollow Readers

January 14th: Book Review, Guest Post and Giveaway @
MKay Forever

January 15th: Book Excerpt @
The Book Daily

January 16th: Guest Post @
Frankie Blooding

January 17th: Author Interview @
Marsha Moore’s Blog

January 18th: Book Review @
I’m an Eclectic Reader

January 19th: Guest Post @
Brenda McCreight’s Blog

January 20th: Book Review @
The Single Librarian

January 22nd: Book Review, Guest Post and Giveaway @
Book Lover’s Hideaway

January 23rd: Author Interview @
Majanka’s Blog

January 24th: Guest Post @
Writers and Authors

January 25th: Author Interview @
Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

January 26th: Book Review @
Bookaholic Ramblings

January 27th: Guest Post @
Bookworm’s Avenue

January 28th: Promo, Excerpt, Book Review and Giveaway @
The Wormyhole

January 29th: Promo Stop @
Blooding Book Reviews

January 29th:Book Excerpt @
Bianca2b

January 31st: January 31st: Book Review @
Blooding Book Reviews

January 31st: Book Review and Guest Post @
Black Lillies are Deadly

February 1st: Author Interview and Spotlight @
Books and Tales

About Destiny’s Mark

5.5"X8.5" Post Card TemplateTitle: Destiny’s Mark (Guardians of Eden #3)
Author: K.H. LeMoyne
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

The only difference between fate and destiny is choice.

Tsu Halan, Guardian defense master, has honed his skills and waited patiently over the centuries for the covenant’s promise of a mate to share his soul and a family to cherish. Close enough to taste fulfillment, the dark echoes of the past threaten with danger and death.

Jai Dashkov harbors her own painful secrets of harsh betrayal and tender loss. Her desperate search to reclaim her life doesn’t allow room in her heart to deviate for love.
Together they are stronger than apart, but the promise of the covenant is a perpetual test. One that Tsu and Jai must conquer in time or suffer an eternity for their failure.

THE GUARDIANS OF EDEN:

A race of beings created in a Sanctum at the far edge of Eden. Co-existing with mankind, they safeguarded human souls and the promise of eternity—until a virus killed all over the age of eighteen. The surviving children fled to the Sanctum for protection, children raising children without the full legacy of their history and knowledge. Two hundred years of solitude have produced a race of semi-immortals fortified with powers and intellect but lacking the mates who will make them whole and allow them to fulfill their covenant with mankind.

Author Bio

A former technology specialist, KH LeMoyne now writes romance fulltime with series in urban fantasy, high fantasy, and scifi/futuristic. She lives in Maryland with her wonderful husband and corgi. Much to her dismay, she rarely encounters supernatural beings other than on paper. Visit her website or blog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter: @khlemoyne

Purchase from: Amazon | Smashwords

Giveaway

There will be two giveaways during this tour!
One lucky commenter will receive a $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card (winner’s choice)
Two lucky commenters will each receive a copy of the Guardians of Eden Anthology
All you have to do to participate is comment! And leave a valid email.
Easy as that! All blogs during the tour are participating in this giveaway.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (20)

itsmondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. It’s where book bloggers gather to talk about what books they read and reviewed last week, what books they’re currently reading and what books they’re planning to read. This is a great way for me to plan my reading week, and to take a sneak peek at what others are reading.

Click HERE to view all my ‘It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?‘ posts.

Finished Reading Last Week

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Currently Reading

BnT(1)  5.5"X8.5" Post Card Template  16166400

In My Mailbox (44) / Mailbox Monday (53) / Stacking The Shelves (9)

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The purpose of this meme is to share the books that came into our house last week with our readers. These can be ARCs, books we purchased ourselves, books requested for review by authors and publishers, eBooks, free reads we stumbled upon and audiobooks. The only thing that doesn’t count are library books.

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Click HERE to view all my ‘In My Mailbox’ posts.

In My Mailbox

   

Thanks to April White, Jen Minkman and Daniel Clausen for the review copies.

   

Thanks to Jen, Jonathan and M.K. Alsulaimani for the review copies.

   

Thanks to A.J. Scott-Ryder and Jack England.
What’s in your mailbox this week?

Book Review: Destiny Rising (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters #3) by L.J. Smith

8960483Title: Destiny Rising (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters #3)

Author: L.J. Smith

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 1 stars

Destined for danger . . .

Elena has faced countless challenges—escaping the Dark Dimension, defeating phantoms, discovering she’s a Guardian. But nothing compares to choosing between the two loves of her life: Stefan and Damon Salvatore. Elena has reunited with Stefan, while Damon, hurt by the rejection, has become dark and unpredictable. Now Elena’s torn between saving Damon’s soul and staying true to Stefan.

But before Elena can decide who her heart belongs to, Dalcrest College’s campus is overrun with vampires determined to resurrect Klaus, the wicked Old One who will stop at nothing to destroy Elena—and everyone close to her.

As Elena learns more about her destiny as a Guardian, a protector against evil on earth, she realizes that before she can defeat Klaus, she has to sacrifice someone close to her. Elena must decide how much—and who—she’s willing to give up before it’s too late. . . .

To start right off the bat, I pray to God and all that is holy in this world that there will never be another Vampire Diaries book, except if it were one to set right every crap-tastic thing that happened in this one. As you probably know from my previous reviews, I’m a huge Delena fan, and this book completely ruined every chance Damon and Elena ever had. Very well, I could’ve lived with that. What I can’t live with is that in the nine or more books this series has taken, nothing ever changed. Elena starts out falling for Stefan, knight in shining armor, but ever since that moment, her life has been a rollercoaster of action and disaster, yet at the end she comes up with these amazing, over the top, unbelievable powers, a stronger connection with her friends that has turned into an almost unbreakable bond, and yet she’s still in love with Saint Stefan. I thought they were gross in the first book, but that was nothing for what comes up in this book.

The story is pretty simple. Klaus and Katherine come back from the death, because why would someone come up with original villains if they can just summon the old ones back? Originality is so overrated anyway. In the previous book, this Ethan fellow came up with a ritual, and the purpose of said ritual was to bring back the Old Ones. Klaus is still the epitome of all evil, but apparently now he’s also developed some crazy weird crush on Elena, because at some point he kisses her in a totally pscyhopathic way. Can we say “ewww”? Katherine comes back as well, but not to kick some ass, instead she’s regained her sanity by, you know, dying, and is now working for the good squad. There’s a large bomb dropped on us at the end involving Katherine, a bomb I saw coming about seven books ago, but who’s keeping count. Stefan makes some crazy assumptions as to how Katherine doesn’t really resemble Elena completely since her hair is paler, and Elena is this beautiful shining golden orb. I was ready to puke.

The amount of pages wasted on Elena telling Stefan how much she loves him and the other way around, is astonishing. The amount of WTF-moments is almost hilarious. The only good thing is that Elena has finally chosen a match for life, and of course, it’s Saint Stefan. Because the only logical choice – of actually trying to date Damon first, and figure out her feelings for him, since she literally admits she has feelings for him several times over the course of the book – would be too difficult for our little nitwit to understand. While Elena and Stefan are ready to live happily ever after, of course Damon is up to no good again. Being angry because he’s lost the supposed love of his life TWICE to his own brother, he starts drinking human blood. I doubt I was the only one screaming ‘about time!’ and jumping up and down in my chair hoping to see a glimpse of the old Damon Salvatore. Ah, no luck so far. Damon is still a goody-two-shoes, and in the end, as opposed to letting Elena wither and die like he should if he was half the man he was back in the first book, he still goes out of his way to save her, risking himself over and over again. I was sort of hoping he’d open up his eyes and see that girl really isn’t worth the trouble. Heck, even Katherine would make a more suitable match.

Bonnie is barely mentioned, but she does seem to get more useful screentime now she’s dating this werewolf fellow who is so uninteresting I always forget his name. Caroline and Tyler make a brief but disturbing appearance. Matt falls for this girl, Chloe, who gets turned into a vampire and eventually walks into the sunlight, turning into ashes. Damon leaves town, with no plans or hopes for the future. WTF, ghostwriter? So nobody except Stefan and Elena get their happy ending? I’m feeling sorry for poor Matt who finally finds another girl to pine over that isn’t Elena, and then you decide, on a whim, to let her kill herself? Not that Matt was terribly sad – which makes no sense, and shows sloppy writing – but still, did you have to hand him the bad card again? Then next comes Meredith. At some point, I wanted to rip her neck off. When Damon is off feeding on humans again and re-earning some of his lost self-respect and dignity, Elena and the gang stumble upon him and his latest feed. Then Meredith goes all heroic and mentions how next time, she’ll kill him.

What?

No, seriously, what?

You just made me laugh out loud and rip out the page at the same time. Meredith may be a skilled vampire hunter, but in all previous books it was mentioned time and again she was no match for experienced, century-old vampires like Damon, Stefan and Katherine. So what the hell is this? Since when has Meredith, boring old Meredith become the most powerful member of the gang? So Damon, instead of doing the only sensible thing – which would be, rip her head off, or at least threaten to kill her, and then perhaps make a move to kill Alaric since he’s so bloody useless anyway – does absolutely nothing, because he’s reduced to a puppet, like the rest of the gang. Queen Elena rules with an iron fist, especially now she’s supposedly a Guardian. Another great joke. Who in their right mind would want the earth to be guarded by a teenage girl who took seven books and more to decide between which vampire brother she wanted to date for, oh, all eternity? Right. Not me, in any case.

Strange to say my favorite character in this madness-galore, was Katherine. At least she had some dignity. Except at the end, she should’ve ripped Elena’s head off. All right, I may be a bit in a murderous mood today, but at least it would’ve been a better, more happy-ever-after ending for everyone. Or at least, go off into the sunset with Damon or something. But once again, for the ghostwriter and the publisher or whoever orchestrated that L.J. Smith be kicked out and replaced, has decided it’s for the best if nobody except Stefan and Elena have their happy ending. May I note that this is Stefan, the Ripper, who goes ten thousand times more berserk than Damon whenever he doesn’t get what he want? Hypocritical Saint Stefan who dotes over his little Elena and is willing to sacrifice anyone standing in their way to be together, including his own brother, but isn’t honest enough to fess it up. And Elena, superficial high-school prom Queen who doesn’t care if her best friend Meredith lost her vampire hunter buddy, or Damon lost his will to be alive, or Matt lost his new-found girlfriend, as long as she and Stefan are together for all eternity.

I can’t believe I paid ten bucks for this crap. I know I shouldn’t have bought it, since after the disaster called Moonsong, I wanted nothing more to do with these books. But there weren’t many books in the bookstore, and I wanted an ending, and I hoped that, by some Godly miracle, the ghostwriter had redeemed himself/herself and managed to make this into something halfway readable. Not so. The plot has been used before (same old evil to fight, with the same old traits and function, namely next to none). Klaus is hardly as powerful as he appears. The “epic fight” is anything but epic. In fact, I would have had more fun watching YouTube advertisments than reading through those scenes. The characters are cardboard figures meant to annoy us to death. Elena is the most awful, horrible, annoying main character I’ve ever read about. Stefan’s only purpose is to tell her how much he loves her. He’s even more annoying than ever before, and that’s saying something. I could live with the guy, if only he had a personality. So far, I’ve seen nothing.

Even Damon doesn’t manage to keep up appearances. He falls down to the same cardboard-figure level of the rest. His usual plans and schemes and manipulations have vanished, and he’s just a broken, rejected little vampire boy without any real purpose. Pathetic. I wish Katherine had an ounce of evil left in her and had told him to man up, and who knows, maybe they could go kill some humans together. Damon eerily reminded me of Spike from Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, when he was stripped of all his awesome vampire-qualities and reduced to a whining wreck in the name of great, almighty love. Ugh.

This series has turned from something that was mildly interesting, even if the characters were cliché and Elena a superficial maggot, into an abomination, a disgrace for the YA genre in general. This book is garbage. It’s not worth the stars I gave it. It’s not worth whatever money you want to waste spending on it. Go buy something else. Give your money to charity. Hell, throw it in the garbage bin, it has more purpose there than being wasted on this book.

Feature and Follow Friday (5)

FF_2012

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read. Each week, they ask bloggers a question they respond to in their Feature and Follow post.

I would like to be followed through Networked Blogs, Linky Followers or Google+ Circles. You can find all three of these in the sidebar.

This week’s question is: What New Years Blogging or Writing resolution have you placed on yourself?

Answer: I’ve come up with several resolutions for the New Year. First of all, I’m going to try and read and review 150 Books in 2013. I nearly made it last year, so I’m hoping I get there this time around. Secondly, I want to revamp my reviewing system. The way it’s now, it sometimes takes me several weeks between reading a book and reviewing it, which isn’t ideal. I want to keep this at a week tops. I can’t review a book right away after reading, because I like to think it through first, but still, several weeks is way too long. I want to go back to blogging every day here, and participate in my weekly memes. And most of all, I want to have fun and discovers lots of new, exciting books!

Please comment if you followed me and leave a link to your blog so I can follow you back!

Book Review: Destiny’s Mark (The Guardians of Eden #3) by K.H. LeMoyne

5.5"X8.5" Post Card TemplateTitle: Destiny’s Mark (The Guardians of Eden #3)

Author: K.H. LeMoyne

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 5 stars

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The only difference between fate and destiny is choice.

Tsu Halan, Guardian defense master, has honed his skills and waited patiently over the centuries for the covenant’s promise of a mate to share his soul and a family to cherish. Close enough to taste fulfillment, the dark echoes of the past threaten with danger and death.

Jai Dashkov harbors her own painful secrets of harsh betrayal and tender loss. Her desperate search to reclaim her life doesn’t allow room in her heart to deviate for love.

Together they are stronger than apart, but the promise of the covenant is a perpetual test. One that Tsu and Jai must conquer in time or suffer an eternity for their failure.

GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

THE GUARDIANS OF EDEN:
A race of beings created in a Sanctum at the far edge of Eden. Co-existing with mankind, they safeguarded human souls and the promise of eternity—until a virus killed all over the age of eighteen. The surviving children fled to the Sanctum for protection, children raising children without the full legacy of their history and knowledge. Two hundred years of solitude have produced a race of semi-immortals fortified with powers and intellect but lacking the mates who will make them whole and allow them to fulfill their covenant with mankind.

I’ve reviewed a few of K.H. LeMoyne’s books before, and enjoyed reading them every single time. K.H. LeMoyne succeeds to bring something new to the table in every book. It’s obvious, in Destiny’s Mark that once again, she’s done her research and has come up with an unique, original story that kept me on the edge of my seat. She doesn’t deliver sloppy work: what you get is a strong, detailed, realistic setting with three-dimensional characters with their own sets of flaws and insecurities, exciting lore and background story, a fast pace, and excellent writing skills. I doubt these features were even more prominent in this book than in the previous ones in the series.

There are two main characters this time around. The first is Jai, who didn’t have a happy childhood so far. She got pregnant while she was still a teenager and her father, against her wishes, sold her baby. Now she’s trying to find her daughter, but that’s not as easy as it sounds. The private investigator she wants to hire costs heaps of money, and even though she’s worked hard for years to earn that money, it still may not be enough. Then on her way to work she gets mugged, all her money stolen, her dreams of finding her daughter shatterd. She’s saved by Tsu and his sister Quan.

Tsu is a Guardian. That means that he’ll only find one soulmate during his lifetime, and if he has children with said soulmate, they’ll become future Guardians, fulfilling an ancient prophecy. He’s waited for centuries to find that perfect mate, meanwhile perfecting his skills. But it’s beginning to wear on him: he longs for someone to love and cherish, and for a family of his own. From the moment he meets Jai, he knows she’s destined to be with him. But he also knows that Jai is reluctant to accept other people’s help, and it may not be easy for him to find a way into her heart.

Quan wants to open a refuge house for abused women, and she hires Jai to help her, thus allowing Tsu and Jai to grow closer, and discover their feelings for each other.

The settting is China, Hong Kong mostly. And I loved it. Why? Because it doesn’t happen very often I get to read a book taking place in China. And it’s obvious the author has done her research, from the typical names to the work ethics to the way Chinese society differs from Western societies. Even though the book is fantasy, it had a contemporary setting that made me feel like I was standing right in the middle of Hong Kong at times. The fantasy part of the book was really well-done too. I like the lore behind the Guardians, and I was glad to discover even more about them in this installment.

I loved Jai’s personality and how she developed into a stronger character as the book progressed. I also liked how she was unwilling to give up the search for her daughter, no matter what happend. She was my favorite character, even though I liked Tsu a lot as well. He didn’t have an overly dominant personality, like we sometimes see with ‘alpha males’ in adult romance novels, and it was refreshing for once. He didn’t try to tell Jai what to do every other page. He wasn’t your typical hero, but he made a great hero nonetheless.

I would recommend this book to all fans of original, unique adult urban fantasy / paranormal romance. It’s a great, thrilling read with a heartwarming romantic story at its core.

Book Review: Blood and Thunder (The Grimm Chronicles #5) by Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine

BnT(1)Title: Blood and Thunder (The Grimm Chronicles #5)

Author: Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine

Genre: YA Fantasy, Fairytales

Age Group: MG/YA

Rating: 4 stars

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Upon making a surprising discovery in a Corrupted’s lair, Alice finds herself torn between her responsibilities as the hero and her desire to live a normal life. She’s been granted a unique opportunity to leave the entire world of the hero behind. But before she can make her ultimate choice, her nightmares return …

A ship is coming. And aboard that ship is one of the most terrifying Corrupted creatures Alice has faced yet. In order to face her foe, Alice will have to do without the help of her scorned friend, Br’er Rabbit.

At school, a miraculous recovery by the star of the baseball team prompts more questions, all of them bringing Alice back to that fateful encounter at the orphanage of doom. To make matters worse, a school bully has taken his terrorizing too far, a friend is in trouble, and the mysterious ship in Alice’s nightmare holds a terrible secret …

Blood and Thunder is the fifth installment in The Grimm Chronicles by authors Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine. I didn’t read the previous parts – although I fully intend to, after reading this one – and I had a bit of a tough time understanding the story because of that. But here’s what I gathered.

Hundreds of years ago, the Grimm brothers unleashed fairytale characters upon the world. For a while, everything went great, until the characters began to get Corrupted. Since they didn’t belong in our world, they slowly turned evil, and by then, the brothers Grimm couldn’t destroy them anymore. It was time for a hero to come and save the day. Every generation, a hero would be chosen to fight against the Corrupted. And this generation, the hero title belongs to Alice, a teenage girl who has more than enough on her mind already.

Sounds awesome so far, right? I mean, with that in mind, I can’t help but wanting to read the book. Isn’t that one of the best plots you’ve ever come across?

In Blood and Thunder, Alice is already full-on fighting the Corrupted, but this time around, she gets the chance to say goodbye to her status of hero and go back to being a regular school girl. Since she dropped off the social ladder from popular to zero, it’s a tough choice to make. There are some very typical high-school dynamics in this book that promptly made me feel like I was back in high school myself. While Alice tumbles down the social ladder, her best friend is busy on her rise to the top, distancing them, and making them question their own friendship.

What I liked the most about Alice is her intelligence. She’s clever enough to find her way out of tough situations by using her brain, and that’s something I greatly admire in a protagonist. No over the top powers, but a good brain and a fiesty, sassy personality. I also loved the appearance of the other fairytale characters. This installment focuses a lot on Moby Dick, which isn’t necessarily my favorite story ever. I only read it once, and was glad when I was done. But here, the events take a new, much more interesting twist, and instead of annoying, I found the references to Moby Dick hilarious and I kept trying to figure them out.

The read was short, but hilarious. I laughed out loud sometimes. The fairytale characters are dark – well, since they’re Corrupted, that makes sense – and I enjoyed this ‘dark’ interpretations, that probably resembles the original fairytales a lot more, and not the fluff versions we’ve been telling children for years. And I like that, I like that they’re dark, but that there is still room for some jokes and hilarity in the book.

This was certainly a thrilling read, and I’m looking forward to diving into the other books in the series once I have a bit more spare time on my hands. Highly recommended to everyone who enjoys fairytale adaptations, interesting heroines, and references to other books.