Friday, March 30, 2012

Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellcaster (Spellbound, #2)
Spellcaster is cute and sweet just like book 1 was. The focus was less on Brendan and Emma, though they were obviously still central, than it was on Emma learning her witch abilities. 

Let's start with the most obvious: Brendan and Emma. They are so adorable. I wish Brendan was real just so that I could stare at him. God, he's so delicious. In this book, we see more of his soft side, and it is just too much. He is so unbearably sweet. Where do you find guys like this? Mail order? Online order? I'll do whatever it takes to get one like Brendan. Emma is still that quirky, amusing character. What's really nice is that she doesn't spend the entire book saying: Oh, he's too good for me; I'm not pretty enough for him; I'm sooo insecure about our relationship. While she still marvels at his hotness-who wouldn't?- she has no problem accepting that she is pretty enough and good enough to be with Mr. God of Beauty. Way to go Em, you tell everyone you deserve His Hotness and rub it in Kristin's face ;) 

The story was a little darker with Ms. Psychotic witch out to gain power through the blood of true love. We see Emma dealing with her powers and learning to control them. The ending is just what the last one was: cute and sweet with that way of making you smile. 

So, if you liked Spellbound, you'll like Spellcaster just as much. Now any word on if there will be a book 3?? 

4/5

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2)
OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
I cannot even begin to explain my emotions at this book. And that ending! I cannot believe what happened. Oh my dear god, this is just unbelievable. 

Okay. *takes a deep breath* 
Now that I have marginally calmed down (not really) maybe I can actually sound coherent. 

Wow, that was just...a roller coaster of emotion to say the least. I went from suspense to anger to confusion to heartache to joy to grief to frustration to ecstatic to horrified. You could say I'm just a little emotionally overwhelmed.

Let's start at the beginning. The day Kate returns, the day she is supposed to have her coronation, Cronus decides to crash the party with the help of Calliope and we find ourselves in the middle of a second war between the Titans and the gods. The worst part is, without Calliope's power in this war, the gods have little chance to succeed. And so begins the drama. 

If there is one thing I can say frustrated me, it would be Kate's whining. I understood why she was confused, I mean Henry wasn't exactly welcoming when she returned, but she was a little too insecure. I didn't get too annoyed with it because I felt it was fairly justified, even though I know some people were really irritated with it. But especially after a certain part, when I have to tell you I almost screamed like a banshee, where...let's just say Kate's doubts are only strengthened. This does last for the majority of the book. Kate and Henry have some communication issues but they're fairly excusable with all the complicated dynamics of their relationship. 

We get to know the gods more, which is interesting. Some of it isn't a revelation if you know Greek mythology (for example, I already knew Aphrodite and Hephaestus were married) but even those were fascinating because we got to see how this form of the gods felt about their past. Ms. Carter took some creative liberty to add more dynamics to each of the gods and it turned out be extremely cool. 

Henry was frustrating for the first chunk of the book. He was...ugh, I wanted to shake some sense into him. But by the end, I had fallen even more in love with him. Oh, he is just...beyond words. I adore this man...good...whatever. 

But the best part, the part that made me want to shout and caused an EXPLOSION of emotion to erupt is the ending. Oh my dear god, that ending...it's epic. You will not see any of it coming. And that cliffhanger...please write fast Ms. Carter. I am DYING to find out what happens next. I swear that cliffhanger is making me go insane. I am going to die of anxiety before the next book comes out. It's just unbelievable, so shocking it will just change your world, I swear it will. 

Ms. Carter, if you happen to be reading this, PLEASE get The Goddess Inheritance out ASAP. I just HAVE to find out what happens. The anxiety is already unbearable and it's been ten minutes since I finished Goddess Interrupted. 

If you at least like the Goddess Test, you will LOVE Goddess Interrupted. Read this. You won't regret it. 

I would give with a million/5 but since I can't: a definite 5/5

Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert

So today's the day for the Emerald City blog tour. Are you excited? 
Good, you should be.



Emerald City 

Let's start off with the intriguing summary, shall we?





Olivia Tate is a broken shell of a girl haunted by the tragic events that fill her past. She has closed herself off from the world, each day grasping at something—anything—to live for. Convinced there will never be a way out, she seeks solace in the depths of her medicine cabinet. When she wakes up days later in the hospital she is introduced to Jude, the quiet stranger responsible for saving her life. She never could have guessed then that her mysterious rescuer would end up saving her life a second time, while simultaneously turning her world upside down.






Spine-tingling isn't it? I know; gave me shivers (the good kind) when I first read it ;)

Now for what I thought about this fabulous book:

I actually really liked this book. It was a sweet romance and a story of healing. Olivia goes from suicidal to bringing her life back together. She is the definition of strength in her courage to repair her broken life. She was a little clingy with Jude at some points, but it was understandable. I mean, she was abandoned by everyone in her life, of course she would be constantly worried that he would be next,so I didn't mind. 


Jude is very sweet and VERY handsome (what can I say; I'm a sucker for dimples). He knew that he would get in trouble for saving Olivia and staying to take care of her, but he still did it. It was adorable. He is the perfect love interest. 


The romance in sweet but not overbearing. While it's the base of the book, it doesn't get to be too much. The plot is unique. It's a sweet story, one that just makes you feel good inside when you read it. 


There are only a few things that I had a problem with that knocked off one star. First, Emerald City was a little preachy in it's mythology. The whole issue of God doesn't come up a lot, but at a few points it got to feel like I was being lectured in religion. It wasn't too bad, but I'd rather have seen that avoided completely because some people get bothered by it.


Otherwise, Emerald City was brilliant. I loved the romance and the story. There are some darker elements in it that gave it a slightly more serious edge, but it still remains a sweet story about the healing power of love. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a lovely story about sweet romance. 


4/5 


Now for the best part.....The author interview!



Please welcome Ms. Alicia Leppert!




Your story is rather unique? What was the inspiration for it?

It was a combination of an overwhelming desire to write a heart-wrenching romance, a powerful story about a girl who suffers from depression, and a last-minute decision to jump on the paranormal bandwagon!

Emerald City takes a look at a rather sensitive topic: suicide. Was it difficult to write about it?
Not as difficult as you'd think. There were a few times I had to word things very carefully so as not to offend anyone or seem insensitive, but when I wrote the suicide scene, it actually came very naturally, even though I've never experienced it myself. I think because of the way I chose to play it out, where it wasn't planned or even necessarily a conscious decision Olivia made, it didn't feel like this horrendous, tragic thing I was writing. But maybe that's because I knew she would survive. :) 
(That would definitely lessen the stress; I was positively frantic during that scene!)

Was there a certain scene that you particularly enjoyed writing?
My favorite scenes to write were all the romantic milestones between Jude and Olivia: the first night he stayed over, their first kiss, each step they took toward a relationship. Deep down I'm a mushy, gushy, girlie romantic, so really the rest of the story was just a means to write about two people falling madly in love.

There is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end. Do you plan to write a sequel or continue into a series? If so, can you give an idea of what's in store for these lovely characters?
Yes, there will definitely be a sequel and most likely a series. I can't give anything away, really, except that their relationship will continue to progress even as they fight to preserve it. And there will be more insight into both their pasts. 
(So excited to hear that! I can't wait to see what happens!)

Just to be random, what's your current favorite book?

I don't know that I have a favorite, but the last book that really got my heart pounding and had me dying for the sequel to come out was Delirium by Lauren Oliver. (I just finished the sequel. Can't wait for the next one!)

(I'm with you there Alicia...I nearly had I heart attack when I finished Pandemonium!)


Thanks Alicia! I can't wait to see the genius you come up with next :)


And thanks for coming everyone! I hope you love Emerald City when you read it as much as I did. Counting down the days until April 10th!






Monday, March 26, 2012

Night Marchers by Courtney Nuckels

Night Marchers 

(Beautiful cover...absolutely gorgeous!)


I got this for free on amazon, so I didn't expect it to be good. I was surprised to find it was a fairly good book. There are a few things that I didn't like, however. 

First, there were a few grammatical errors. It wasn't a big deal, but I'm somewhat OCD about grammar, so that was just a minor irritation. 

The problem was the love triangle. It was...I don't know. It just didn't sit well with me. The two guys are Tristan, a local Hawaiian, and Kai, an immortal-by-accident who knows quite a lot about the Night Marchers. While I loved them both, it was a little strange to me that Emma was close to admitting her love to Tristan and once she's with Kai, she decides to has a little crush on him, too. I don't know, I felt like it just wasn't handled all too gracefully. It felt like the guys were just switched, one for the other, and Emma didn't take much notice. She mentions feeling guilty about Tristan a few times and she wasn't mean or airheaded about the situation but I just didn't understand how love seemed to sprout out of nowhere. I don't normally mind insta-love but this was just a little extreme. There were also some parallels to Twilight that I wasn't very fond of(the part where she goes off to meet the bad guy even though her hottie tells her it's too dangerous...sound familiar?) 

Otherwise, I loved the characters and the look into Hawaiian culture and mythology. It was brilliant. The ending came with a plot twist that I never saw coming. I was in shock when it happened; I hoping to get my hands on the sequel soon so I can find out what happens after that massive cliffhanger. 

So a very nice 4/5 

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

A Temptation of Angels
(By the way, I have seen this pictures used as a cover for 2 other books. Hmmm....)
So, I was a little torn about this but after a little time to let it sink in, I decided that I did like A Temptation of Angels. There are definitely some negative aspects to it, but they end up overshadowed by the positives. 

Let's get the bad out of the way, shall we? 
In the first portion of the book, maybe the first third or so, I felt really confused. I didn't understand what was going on. I didn't get the mythology of the angels. It was kind of frustrating. 

What's worse is that the mythology is never fully explained. I don't know if there is going to be a sequel, I haven't heard anything about it yet, but if that's all that's going to be explained, then I didn't fully grasp the mythology. Only the basics were explained; it never elaborated. By the end I had begun to piece together the whole thing, but I still didn't understand the full picture. 

Also, angels didn't feature all to prominently. That's somewhat justified because Keepers are meant to stay earthbound but they didn't even have special powers other than light jumping and quasi-immortality. Otherwise, they didn't show angelic qualities, which I though was a little strange. 

Finally,there's Raum. I didn't quite know what to make of him. I get that he had his reasons that somewhat justified his actions but I didn't think that they got him off the hook. He might be tall, dark, and handsome as well as the bad boy but I still didn't get why Helen loved him. Yeah, he was that little boy you had tea parties with but he was also responsible for the death of your parents. If I was her, I could never find it in me to forgive him. I may cooperate with him, but I could never forgive him. It's a little difficult for me. On one hand, Raum is guilty of murder, on the other, I pitied him. At least Helen didn't just fall into his arms; she was reasonable about it, other than loving him. He really falls into both positive and negative. I didn't like that Helen forgave him but I loved his character and the dynamic conundrum it created. 

That brings us to the positives. 

I really liked Helen's character. She was strong, clever, and determined. She did't let the brothers take care of her; she was insistent on taking care of herself. It was really nice to see a heroine that strong; they don't come up all that often. She is definitely not the stereotypical, whiny, weak female lead that we have all come to know and hate. She's tough and she's not afraid to prove it. 

Griffin and Darius were lovely. While they are brothers, they are polar opposites of each other. Griffin is calm, kind, and gentle. Darius is sarcastic, volatile, and harsh. Even though Griffin is content to let Darius lead, he's not afraid to take him on when their view clash. On more than one occasion, Griffin makes it clear that he won't let Darius have free reign if he can help it. Despite their difference and Darius' determination to antagonize Helen, both were committed to protecting her and finding the person killing all the Keepers. I adored them both.They're both awesome in their own way. Griffin is sweet and adorable; Darius is dynamic and interesting. I definitely understood why Helen fell in love with Griffin, he was sooo cute. 

Once I understood the mythology, the last 2/3 of the book were excellent. I was on the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could to find out what was going to happen. The ending left a lot open so I'm wondering if there will be a sequel because it feels like a few loose ends could be tied. Hopefully there will be, because I'm incredibly curious to know more about the mythology and to find out what happens to the characters. 

Overall, I'm not sure A Temptation of Angels is for everyone. If you have the patience to read through the confusing first section, you will definitely be rewarded with a fabulous rest of the book. If you don't have the patience to wait through that part, then I would say to proceed with caution. 

I definitely liked this book. It had it's flaws but it redeemed itself. Here's hoping there's a sequel. 

After much deliberation, 4/5 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Emerald City blog tour

Emerald City

I'm going to be posting for the Emerald City blog tour on March 29. So, again there will be an author interview.   If you have any questions, just leave them in a comment below.

See you March 29! :)

Upcoming blog tour for Shapeshifter's Secret

The Shapeshifter's Secret
Hi!
So, I will be posting for the Shapeshifter's Secret blog tour on May 18. It will include an author interview so if anyone has a question they would like to ask, just put it in a comment below and I'll pick out a few to use.

See you May 18 :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe
This book is so cute! It's a light, fun read that kept me entertained the entire way through. 

WCTIS isn't in any way a dark or heavy read. It's fluffy and good-humored. That's not to say that it's entirely thoughtless because it does tackle a few issues: Duncan's mother and her neglect along with Brie's cruelty and a crime. However, the majority of the book is simple fun combined with some harsh realities to produce a fresh take on high school. 

So, basically, Chloe needs something to do for her junior project. Her original idea was rejected by the new guidance councilor and she is placed with the school radio, which is about to be shut down because of a lack of listeners and funding. While helping out the show, she moves into the group of misfits and meets the absolute sweetie named Duncan (more on him later.) 

First, Chloe is a fun lead. She is kind, quirky, and loves to get attention. At the beginning, her love for attention seems superficial, but it's justified later. She's talkative and insistent on being nice when you try to push her away. It was fun to see her navigate through the trials of the radio show as she tried to save it. 

Duncan...wow, he is adorable. He's definitely a broken spirit kind of guy. His mother is neglectful and he's often left to fend for himself. He's so sweet, though. He is so nice to Chloe and just...just ADORABLE. From his gray eyes to his multitude of ratty scarves, I adore him. 

Brie, Chloe's old friend who ostracizes her, is so MEAN! God, I couldn't stand her. I don't know how Chloe handled it with grace. If I was her I would have hit the awful shrew. Ugh, she was just terrible. But in a way, she spurred Chloe into hanging out with the radio crew (and Duncan) so I grudgingly thank her for that. 

WCTIS is totally awesome. It's a light, fluffy, cute read that will leave you smiling. LOVED it! 

5/5 

I obtained a copy of this from Netgalley

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers

Dying to Know You 

Dying to Know You follows the story of Karl as he struggles to find himself. It's told through the perspective of a famous author in his late sixties or seventies. Karl enlists the author's help to write a letter to his girlfriend, but things don't turn out the way he planned. 

Dying to Know You was magnificent. Quite honestly, it was not what I expected it would be. The coming of age story was emotional and beautiful. The writing was smooth and rhythmic. The characters each had a mind of their own and the story grabs you in. 

The fact that this was written from the writer's perspective was interesting. It gave it a more objective quality as he observed Karl's struggles. Though the writer grows to care for Karl, his views gave greater insight into the story. 

Karl is the definition of a troubled character. Ever since his father died when he was twelve, he has struggled to find himself. He is withdrawn and prefers people to read him to figure him out rather than spelling himself out for everyone. The direction his life took was unexpected and I really enjoyed seeing him grow into his own person 

There were a couple of things that I didn't like about this book. For one, the story moved at a slow pace. While I realize this was deliberate and it gave greater meaning to each event, there were a couple of times that I skimmed because I got bored. It wasn't too bad, but I would have liked to have avoided those less than interesting parts. 

One more minor problem was the dialogue. The author left out most of the "I said's" and "he/she said's". While it gave a flow to the writing, I got confused as to who was talking a few times. 

The most frustrating part, however, was Fiorella. I didn't like her at all. She was mean and nasty and horrible to Karl. She was manipulative and....Ugh, she was just awful. I didn't like her and I didn't like when she was so much as mentioned. Seriously, Karl deserved to much better than her. She was so mean and he was a sweetie. She so didn't deserve him. 

Overall, Dying to Know You was a brilliant coming of age story. If you like stories of overcoming challenges and growing as a person, than you will love this book. 

4/5 

I obtained a copy of this from Netgalley 

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

The Peculiars 

That was surprisingly good; I didn't expect to like this book so much. 
The Peculiars starts out slowly. Lena decides to find her father, ends up spying on Mr. Beasly for Thomas Saltre, working as an assistant to Jimson Quiggley. Things move slowly until the aerocopter escape, then the plot, pardon the pun, takes off. 

The concept of Peculiars is and interesting one. The one part of the book that I took some issue with is that their not really explained. I don't know if there will be a sequel to expand on that, but in this book I didn't fully understand the Peculiars. 

Everything else about this book was spectacular. Lena is decisive and does what she believes is right no matter what. She can admit she's wrong, however, and does on several occasions. She was a nice character to read about, though not particularly unique. 

I loved all of the secondary characters. Jimson was sweet. The romance with him a so light it's almost nonexistent but there are a few tender moments. It was adorable how he accepted Lena the way she was. Mr. Beasly was interesting. He was a doctor turned inventor. He's and eccentric, to say the least, but in the best way possible. He was a fun character. And, I have to say, I loved Mrs. Mumbles, the cat. She was a character all her own. She had that cat way of stealing the show. Or maybe that's just for me ;) 

The story was fast paced and action packed after the flight from Zephyr house. Though it wasn't an entirely unique story-line, it was definitely interesting. 

So, after getting off to a shaky start, the Peculiars turned out to be amazing. It's not an earth-shattering, live-changing kind of book (like If I Die) but it's definitely worth a read (or a few) so I would recommend it to anyone. 

4/5 

I obtained a copy of this book through Netgalley 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi

Tomorrow Land
Okay,so when I first heard about Tomorrow Land, I didn't think I would like it. When I finished it, I fell totally in love! This book is fantastic, truly amazing. 

First, I'm a little wary of the whole zombie apocalypse idea. So why did I even look at this book? I just thought, what the heck, let's give zombies a try. And I am so glad I did. 

The world Mancusi creates is one where your best friend can become a cannibalistic monster and you'd have to take them out. She doesn't make everything doom and gloom, however. She characterizes the world as still vibrant, still with hope. 

Peyton was definitely tough. She has implants that allow her to see better and move faster, as well as razors in her hands. She's been through a lot and you can definitely tell she has a chip on her shoulder. She sometimes acted downright mean, but it was never annoying because her harshness was totally justified and she didn't bring it into the realms of unreasonableness. 

Chris/Chase is awesome. He underestimates himself in his strength, but he can definitely handle just about anything the zombie apocalypse throws at him. He strives to be a better person and a better leader to the orphans so that he can be worthy of Peyton. You can't tell me that's not adorable. He isn't perfect and you see him work through a lot of resentment and weakness, but he remains a worthy hero. 

The ending was awesome. There is a twist that you would never see coming. I sure didn't and I was shocked beyond belief at the plot twist. I'm not going to spoil the magnificent ending, but I will say that it was perfect. 

Tomorrow Land is a fantastic book. Even if you feel a little unsure of the whole zombie thing, I would definitely recommend this book. It is pure, zombie-infested, blood-and-guts perfection. 

Definitely 5/5 

Halflings by Heather Burch

Halflings (Halflings, #1) 

So, the concept of Halflings isn't new. The idea of angels and half angels has been used before. But Halflings takes on the familiar mythology in a whole new way. 

The use of angels was well done. For once, the heroine wasn't unknowingly a half-angel or the reincarnated love of an angel (yes, I'm talking about you Fallen). Nikki is simply a human seer. Obviously, she has a greater role to play, one that isn't revealed yet. 

The characters were great. Nikki was self-reliant, Mace was so sweet, Raven was delightfully dangerous, and Vine was endearing. The three Halflings won their way into my heart. I adore each of them. 

However, there were parts of the book I didn't like. For one thing, Nikki was a little frustrating for me. For one, she was so adamant on going for Mace and pushing Raven away at first and at the end, she suddenly does a complete one eighty. On minute she rejects Mace to save him from punishment, the next she's kissing Raven. I didn't quite understand that. The other big issue was that very little seemed to happen. Haflings is very first book; it really serves only to introduce the characters and mythology and didn't really bother trying to do more. While it set things into motion, very little actually occured. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I still liked Halflings, I just didn't love it. While the plot is sparse, it does set up a solid base for a fantastic series, so I'm definitely going for the next book. 

Overall, Halflings was a pretty good book. While not spectacular, it is a fun read and it promises an epic series. I recommend that anyone who likes light romance and still has hope for the angel YA genre. 

So a solid 3/5  

Interrupted by Rachel Coker

Interrupted: Life Beyond Words 

4/5 

Interrupted is a beautiful coming of age story. Allie's mother died of a brain tumor when she was fourteen. Now, four years later, she still pushes everyone away. She can't let people into her heart. Over the course of the story, we see her grow up and open herself to love. 

The story was beautiful. Allie would come off as mean sometimes, but it seems justified by her troubled past. Sam was so sweet; he got her to finally open her heart and I must say he got into mine, too. 

The time period is well depicted, especially by the historical references to WWII. 

So why didn't I give it 5 stars? It wasn't really my thing. While I clearly saw the brilliance of the book, it wasn't my preferred genre. Of course, that definitely doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the book. It was a gorgeous story and I did enjoy it. I would recommend it to anyone who likes historical or coming of age books. If that's your thing, definitely read this. If not, I would still recommend it; it's definitely a lovely story.  

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

The Merchant's Daughter 

I obtained a copy of this from Netgalley 

The Merchant's Daughter is a beautiful story of a timeless love. Taking a theme of Beauty and the Beast, the story explores the growing relationship between Annabel and Lord Ranulf. I LOVED this book; it was positively gorgeous. 

First of all, the writing is beautiful. It flows smoothly and the alternating perspectives from Annabel and Ranulf is skillfully done. While the author does incorporate some old language, she weaves it together in a way that keeps the writing easy to read. It was flawless. 

The characters were wonderful. Annabel felt very real. She gradually fell in love with Ranulf in a way that seemed natural. Her conflict about love and religion was realistic. I felt like I could relate to her situation. She was very smart and committed to her faith and her obligations. She wasn't one of those characters who seem stupid beyond the realm of possibility. She was clever and responded to situations in a way that any normal girl would. When she met Ranulf, she didn't fall into insta-love. Her love developed slowly. 

That brings us to the amazing love interest, Ranulf. He was a total sweetheart and the ultimate tortured soul. He is scarred from saving a servant girl from a wolf attack. His first wife was disgusted by his scars and made no secret of the fact that she only married him for the money. His past caused him to feel that no one could love him disfigured as he was. The parts of the book in his perspective give clear insight into his initial denial of his love for Annabel and the gradual fall into love. It was tender and sweet. Even when he felt like Annabel couldn't love him, he vowed to protect her and grant her dream of joining a convent. He was spectacular; I swear, I fell in love with him along with Annabel. 

The other characters were lovely. Eustacia, the head maid at Ranulf's manor, is a sweet, matronly character that added an extra touch of tenderness and realism. She was the one who manipulated Annabel and Ranulf to spending time together in hopes that they would fall in love. Annabel's family doesn't really feature much. They only served to give a reason to Annabel going to work for Ranulf in the first place. The bailiff was horrifying. Dickerson did an excellent job of making him utterly repulsive. The other minor characters really served to foster the growing love in the story. Regardless, they all added a little extra touch to The Merchant's daughter. 

Overall, I adored this book. It was beautiful and timeless. I would recommend it to anyone, especially those with a taste for sweet romance. 

The Moonstone Series by Marilee Brothers

 

Okay so, this series started out with a lot of promise. It was an interesting concept with a tough, relate-able lead. The first books was full of potential. The writing was smooth, the characters were interesting and the plot was exciting. The only problems were slightly one-dimensional characters (Junior and Allie's two friends were very flat; they seemed to serve very little real purpose.) and a somewhat predictable plot (It follows the format of just about every other YA book and the magic involved wasn't as featured as I thought it would be.) But these problems didn't ruin the book. It was still a fun read. 

Book two was better. We got to know the characters better. The writing had improved and the plot became more unique. 

Then came book three...I'm not sure why the author tried to cram in so many forms of mythology together, but it got a little bizarre. That plus that addition of a third "love interest" made the third book a bit of a let down. 

And finally the forth book. Okay, so if book 3 was the overuse of mythology, book 4 was the absence. I felt like nothing significant happened until the final chapter. 

The series as a whole: 
The Unbidden magic series started off good. Just good. The characters were a little flat and the plot a little predictable, but overall I liked the series in the beginning. When a second love interest was brought in, I was fine with that, especially because it came in conjunction with an explanation of the whole Star Seeker magic. I thought that the way the love interests were switched[Junior leaving to Mexico to become a TV turned movie star to conveniently leave an open space for a new boyfriend (hide spoiler)] was a little strange, but at least the author was being original. 

My real problem in the series started in the third book, when the story line deviated entirely from the original mythology. In fact, it seemed like the series had skewed completely from its original start. First off, the entrance of faeries in addition to the Star Seekers. I don't mind mixing mythology, in fact I think it's awesome, but this didn't seem like mixing. It felt like the author piled on unrelated mythology and tried to make it mix with a hasty explanation, but didn't think it out properly and ended up failing to combine the mythologies smoothly. Second, the entrance of a third love interest was a little frustrating. I mean, it wasn't even done so that the various love interests throughout the series were handled well. It was more like Allie had one, dropped him; got another one; kind of dropped him; got a third one, rejected him; kind of got the first one back, really dropped the second one; and now she's in a weird on-and-off with the original, Junior. That's literally the story of Allie's lovelife in the first four books. It just didn't seem to fit right. It's like the author just made it up as she went along, rather having an idea of what was going to happen in the series. 

Then, in book four, things got even more bizarre. At the end of book 3, we randomly find out that Allie has a twin. Now, she suddenly now her name and needs her to fullfill the entire prophecy. Junior is suddenly back. A secret US government service if after Allie to exploit her power. And the whole Star Seeker business is long gone. 

It felt like the story line didn't fit, like the author had just strung it together without putting much thought into it. The mythology got mixed up; the love interests were jumbled; the entire plot felt like Frankenstein: pulled together with used parts. 

The good parts: Allie was a strong lead. Her mother was definitely an interesting character. Ms. Brothers definitely surprised me a few times. Some of the characters were truly lovable (especially little Chad). 

Overall, I would give the first four books a 3/5 as a whole. I enjoyed reading the series, I just didn't quite like the path it took. I'm not going to recommend it to everybody. I would only recommend it to those who like a conglomeration of chicklit, various mythologies, thriller, and drama. And only if they're looking for a quick, light, entertaining read. If you're looking for unique, magnificent books that go above and beyond the norm, this series isn't for you. It's a fun, light read and I would only say to read this series if that's all your'e looking for.  

Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) 

My first thought after finishing this: That was EPIC!! 

And it was! It is the best book I've read this year. The writing is eloquent and beautiful. The characters draw you in and the ending was perfect. Even though it's a rather lengthy book, I never felt bored. The complex court politics, tense romance, and constant urgency to save the duchess kept me on the edge of my seat. As I got nearer to the end, I found myself trying to extend the last pages as best I could in an effort hang on to the beautiful story. 

Let me start with our delightful main character Ismae. This chick is the definition of tough. She can take down a man twice her size and slit his throat before he has a chance to notice. She's not heartless, as much as she tries to be. Even though she is a trained assassin, she learns to listen to her conscience. Of course, that didn't mean she hesitated to take a guy down if he so much as made a threatening move. It was nice to see a heroine that never needs to be saved; in fact, she does most of the saving. 

Now let's move on to the love interest, shall we? Can I say, WOW! he is beyond swoon-worthy. He accepts Ismae's "occupation" as an assassin. He doesn't question her choices and treats her as an equal. He is absolutely devoted to protecting his little sister...seriously, it's the most adorable case of protective big brother I have ever seen. More than that, he never expects Ismae to give up her service to Death or the convent for him; he understands that she is determined to keep her vow to the god and never asks her to change. He is medieval perfection at its finest. 

The secondary characters are by no means disregarded in this book. Each and every one is fully developed and explored. I felt attached to all of them, but especially Duchess Anne and Beast. You'll see why when you read Grave Mercy. 

And the ending... I truly couldn't have imagined a better one. I will leave you to find out it's perfection, but until then I will just say that the author did a spectacular job with Grave Mercy. 

I cannot even put into words how amazing this book is. To put it simply, preorder it now...you will not regret reading it. And now I am left to wait in agonizing anticipation for book 2. Here's hoping it will be as epic. 


Definitely 5/5