Posted in Arc, Mythologoy, NetGalley, Supernatural, Young Adult

The Marked Son Review

themarkedsonThe Marked Son by Shea Berkley

Published: August 1st 2011 by Entangled Publishing

I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what. When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. He’s felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power. Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…

This book had a good premise. It started off interesting, slowed down a lot, and finally picked back up near the end. The plot was decent, I just wished it developed more quickly. Maybe if I liked the characters more I could have gotten into the book more. It took me a lot longer to get through this book than normal.

Characters: Dylan was abandoned by his mother at his grandparent’s house in the beginning of the book. I felt very sympathetic towards him in the beginning. As his story unfolds I begin to think of him as a whiny character who thinks everyone is out to get him and who has a lot of temper tantrums. Reminded me a lot of Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not only is his angry at everyone and throws fits (like at Faldon’s house), he is also obsessive over Kera. From the beginning we are told that they dream of each other ever since they are little, but other than that connection we don’t know why he suddenly loves her. “Faldon was right—my obsession is out of control. I only see Kera. Only want Kera. If I don’t free her from her realm, destroying anyone and anything that gets in my way, I’ll go crazy. I don’t even recognize myself.” At least he finally realizes near the end that he is obsessive and needs to control his anger.

Kera on the other hand started off as a very strong character. She is trained in self defense and in how to use her powers effectively. But, as soon as she sees Dylan, it’s like she has no backbone whatsoever. “At my sudden withdrawal, her eyes well with tears, and though she tries her best to stop them, they slip down her cheeks. Wow. That looks real. I watch a single teardrop fall to the ground and splatter onto a dead leaf.” Really? Tears?? A boy steps away from you, and you resort to waterworks? At this point I really started to dislike Kera. She redeems herself when she smuggles supplies to the half-breeds who are in hiding from Navar. But then she has a conversation with her friend and ruins everything. “’You’re wrong. Wherever we go, he’ll make it safe. He’s amazing. It feels like he has unlimited power. I don’t know where he gets it, but I’ve seen it, and I just know he’ll do anything for me. For us.’ ‘And that sounds normal?’” Now that she is in love with Dylan, the only choice they have is apparently to run away together. At least at the big battle scene, she realizes she can’t leave because all of her friends are dying. There was a lot of back and forth with this character, in thinking that she is a strong individual to a girl just letting her guy do everything. Other than the fact that she is pretty, we don’t really get to see what other traits Dylan sees in her for him to love her completely.

Setting: I liked that there was the human world and then the world of Teag. Although, I wish it was explained why Teag was set a few hundred years ago whereas the human world was modern times. It just seems as if people who have magic abilities would be more advance than the humans. It is never said that the people of Teag are faries/fae, but they have a lot of similarities.

Plot: The pacing could be better. I did really enjoy the ending, although I do not know if I want to continue this series. At least Dylan saw what the major flaw in the firsts were when everyone else was condemning him for being a half-blood (very Harry Potter-esque). All the nobility follows Navar, only because they think he is the most powerful and it’s his way or the highway. And his way is to destroy all the half-bloods and assume the throne the Lost King left.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book, but if asked I would say give it a chance. Who knows maybe you’ll enjoy it more than me.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Posted in Mythologoy, Supernatural, Young Adult

Teardrop Review

I believe I should have trusted my instinct and stayed away from this book. I read most of the Fallen series, but I couldn’t really tell you what happened. I have a feeling that this series is going to fall into that category.

Teardrop has a beautiful cover and from the synopsis I thought it would be a pretty decent book. Bus alas that was not to be, it was just mediocre. I was drawn in by the synopsis about a girl who is told to never cry who finds out about an ancient story about a girl who cried an entire continent into the ocean. Sounds promising right? Well I waited almost the entire book to see how both things are connected. Seriously, almost 75% of the book went by before events started to escalate.

When Eureka (what kind of name is that? Nice try on the nickname too, Reka?) is told to never cry ever again, she listens to her mother and holds everything back. No questions, no wondering why, she just does it. I don’t know how someone could train herself not to cry, I can’t even watch The Notebook without sobbing at the end. After Eureka’s mother dies, does she cry then? Nope. Eureka is a very whiny judgemental character. She is always quick to condescend on other female characters in the book and is just not a good friend in general. The only person she says good things about is her mother, and that is until she finds out about all the secrets Diana kept from her.

All the other female characters in the book are not portrayed in a good way as well.

Cat the supposedly best friend is viewed as the token African American friend who thinks about sex way too much. “‘You think everything is about sex.’” (p. 167)

Rhoda is referred to as the “stepmonster” and I can see that. All the dialogue between Eureka and Rhoda are harsh and very unloving. We don’t know why Rhoda doesn’t like her stepdaughter and why she treats her this way. I get that we have a Cinderella theme going on with the evil stepmother, but Kate could at least give us some background as to why there is such animosity. “It looks like you were just bumming around with Brooks. You know it’s a school night. What happened with the therapist? I hope you didn’t do anything to embarrass me.” (p. 102) The only redeeming quality for Rhoda is at the end. (I won’t spoil what happens but at least something happened)

Maya Cayce is the girl that used to be friends with Eureka, but for some reason hates her now. So what does Eureka do? Hate her right on back and always calls her a slut.

Okay, so enough about the characters, because I could go on all day. Let’s talk about the love story part of the book. I mean is she for real?? Obviously, we have our love triangle and instant-love situation going on. Typical. First Eureka meets Ander after he rear ends her car at a stop sign. Her response is to yell at him, and then get into a car with him. “He was the hottest guy she’d ever yelled at. He might have been the hottest boy she’d ever seen.” (p. 34). At least she thought how could she be mad at him one moment and then smiling at him the next? Throughout most of the novel we see Ander popping up a few times until near the end where he finally stays. And what do we find out? He has been watching Eureka since the day she was born! This is stalking gone bad. And how does Eureka handle this? Oh, she just kisses him for a very long time because while he was professing his undying love to her, this was the only response she could give. “‘Every moment of your life, I have fallen more deeply in love with you.’” (p. 394) Eureka responds by trying “to transmit the words she couldn’t find with a kiss” (p. 394) So that is our instant lover portion. Now on to our love triangle. Brooks apparently has been in love with Eureka since they were kids. I did like them together, because it wasn’t a cliche and they actually knew each other. At least that was natural. Eureka and Ander? Not so much. She goes from butterflies, to feeling weirded out, to viewing Ander as a stalker, to falling in love with him. Talk about a roller coaster.

A little aside. If Eureka and Brooks are such good friends, then why didn’t she notice him changing? I mean everyone else saw it, why not her?

The pacing of this book  could have been a lot better. Probably 5% of the book was spent on the plot and figuring out who Eureka was and why she is important. The first 75% of the book with a bit of the 5% are spent just on Eureka’s daily life and her feeling miserable about everything. Then finally we get the full story of who Eureka is, why she is important, and what Atlantis has to do with her. Then the big battle scene happens and then the book ends. I would have really enjoyed the book if it was just the last 25% of the book with maybe about 10-15% of the build up.

I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Posted in Horror, Supernatural, Young Adult

The Dead House Review

theDeadHouseThe Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Published August 6, 2015 by Orions Children’s Books

I give this 5 out of 5 stars!

Wow. Just wow. This story was hauntingly beautiful! At first I was a little confused by how the story was being told. We are about 25 years after the “incident” that the entire story is revolved upon. Everything unfolds through diary entries, video clips, medical transcripts, and police records. Just to make things even more confusing, we are given snippets of records and interviews after the incident as well. After I got used to the going back and forth from past and present, I really started to get into the story.

This wasn’t just your typical novel, and I liked that a lot! I checked this book out on a whim because the description looked very interesting. I am so glad that I did! Nothing was what I expected it to be! First off our main character(s) by themselves would be enough for a story, but to add in the paranormal as well was just the icing on the cake. Kaitlin and Carly are sisters, who are two souls who share one body. Carly is the light half who only comes out in the day time, and Kaitlin is the dark half who comes out at night. Everyone believes that Carly is the real person and that Kaitlin is her alter ego created to help her get past her parent’s accident that caused their death. Throughout the entire story Kaitlin and Carly are a rock and they believe in each other, but when Carly disappears Kaitlin starts to waver and begins to think she is crazy. Almost everyone tries to convince Kaitlin that she isn’t real, and through her journal entries we get a sense of the crazy! Kaitlin begins as a sane person trying to connect to the world and as the story goes on she gets more and more frantic. We never knew what was real and what was going on inside her head.

Kaitlin begins to suspect everyone, I had my suspicions on who the culprit is, and tries to figure out which of her friends has betrayed her. But when the reveal came, I couldn’t say that I was surprised. It all started to make sense!

If you enjoy horroresque books, then I would definitely suggest you check this one out! It kind of reminded me of the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose, only I enjoyed the book a whole lot better than the movie. I don’t typically like horror movies, but books on the other hand I can handle. I guess because I can always stop and pick it back up later.

Whereas I wouldn’t really say this book was “scary”, I mean it had its moments, by psychologically it was scary. It had you thinking is Carly/Kaitlin real or just a figment of Carly’s mind?
theCreeperMan
I enjoyed Kurtagich’s debut novel very much, and I will definitely check out her second book that will be published in 2016!

The Creeper Man

 

Posted in Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Young Adult

Velvet-Temple West

 

Velvet: A Swoon Novel (Kindle Edition)Velvet

Author: Temple West

asin: B00Q4TH2MK

format: Kindle Edition

Published May 21st 2015 by Macmillan Children’s Books

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don’t fall in love.

After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.

Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?

Synopsis:

A recently orphaned girl moves in with her aunt and uncle in a little remote town in New York. She is discovered by a demon and the vampire offspring saves her and becomes her bodyguard.

I was very quickly drawn into Cait’s world and was right with her through all of her roller coaster emotions. Caitlin is a very sarcastic, roll with the punches, 17-year-old who has to learn how to grieve the death of her mother. In the beginning she is very depressed and angry and throughout the book we see a lot of personal growth. Okay, so the personal growth really didn’t happen until near the end but that is alright. At least she changed and didn’t stay stagnant the entire time.

Adrian, on the other hand, is the perfect boy next door who just happens to be a vampire. I was afraid that we were going to get the typical vampire story that has been over done in the YA genre. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. Adrian tries to be a good guy, and he explains everything to Caitlin as best as he could. Although, I felt as if this could have been explained in a better way, than throwing out all the scientific terminology and then dumbing it down for Cait. I felt as if the author was saying that Caitlin is incapable of understanding even the simplest of explanations without having to dumb it down to her level (although that isn’t really what I think I want to say, but I can’t think of the correct way right now). Adrians scientific explanations sounded very convoluted. I understood that Cait is more into sewing than science, but he could have still explained everything to her without the scientific terms, or dumbing it down to a two year olds level.

“Science words,” I warned. “When you say ‘hemoglobin’ I just think of little Irish tricksters who live in caves, or Lord of the Rings.”
“You mean ‘goblin’?”
“Yes.”

Okay, new topic…

The plot. It didn’t move quickly, but I didn’t feel as if it was taking forever to reach the climax. I enjoyed the pace and most of the little scenes that led up to the big moment. After the big moment happened, I was left wondering what the heck happened! We were given a lot of questions and very little answers. So Caitlin is special, okay why? Adrian was supposed to fail, okay why? Caitlin spends hours outside in the snow, and doesn’t freeze to death? Okay…

“Deal with my weird; I’m dealing with yours.”

When I found out that this was Twilight fan fiction, it all made sense. I could finally see all the parallels between the two.

1. Remote town in a big state. Check

2. Girl meets perfectly looking loner boy. Check

3. Boy turns out to be a vampire. Check

4. Girl and boy start to have a relationship. Check

5. Boy has to save girl from another supernatural. Check

6. Girl and boy falls in love. Check

7. Vampire sparkles. Uncheck

Thank god Adrian doesn’t sparkle. I would have stopped reading at that point no matter how much I enjoyed the book. I did enjoy the Twilight novels, but that was the one big aspect that always bothered me. Vampires just shouldn’t sparkle. Ever.

I really enjoyed the banter between Caitlin and Adrian, it had me laughing to myself quite a bit throughout the entire novel.

“I scoffed. “Why would I fall in love with you? You’re just a hot, closet-nerd vampire with a bazillion dollars and a Harley. There’s absolutely nothing attractive about you.”
“I’m repulsive, I know.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I would recommend this book to someone else, especially if you like vampires. The author said that she wrote this book to fix all the problems she had with vampires, and for the most part I agree with her.

 

Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Supernatural, Young Adult

Deadly Sweet Lies- Erica Cameron

 

TitleDeadly Sweet Lies Series: The Dream War Saga, Book 2
Release: December 1, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-633920-11-8
PublisherSpencer Hill Press

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:

Nadette Lawson knows when you’re lying.

Every night for the past two years, the Balasura have visited her dreams, enticing her to enter their world. And every night she’s seen through their lies. Now, they’re tired of playing in the shadows and they begin to stalk her in the waking world. It’s no longer just an invitation; if Nadette doesn’t join them, they’ll take her family. Forever. She needs help, and the haven she’s seeking may be just out of reach.

Julian Teagan is a master of deception.

To survive, he has to convince the world his mother isn’t useless, that everything’s fine, otherwise he’ll lose what little he has left in this life. He knows the lying won’t be enough to keep him and his mother in the shadows, but it’s all he knows. The only light of truth is Orane, a Balasura who sees past Julian’s facade and challenges him to face the darkness.
Then Orane is killed, and Julian learns his mentor was far from innocent. The Balasura have hunted children like him for centuries, and their next target, Nadette is his one chance at finally being a part of something real. If Julian can just convince her to trust him…

The cover on the left was taken from Erica Cameron’s personal website that was published, and the second cover was taken off of Goodreads. I much prefer the cover from Goodreads, since it fits in with the theme of the first book. You can tell that this is a continuation on the story that was introduced in the Sing Sweet Nightingale (Dream Wars Saga #1). With the actual cover, I feel as if Alice is about to walk out the door and into Wonderland. I can see how this one fits though, since the Balasura typically opens a doorway to their world with a nature scene behind them to lure you in. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

On to the book, short synopsis:

Deadly Sweet Lies starts off about a week before Mari’s birthday. We get two points of view throughout the entire novel, just like in the first one, which I think is great. Julian is visited by Orane, just like Mari, he believes that Orane is the best friend he never had. Nadette on the other hand is different, instead of going into the dreamworld and being seduced by Paradise, she tells every single one of them no. But, instead of giving up and just letting her live her life, the Balasura hunt her and try to weaken her resolve. The main reason they want her is because they want to collect her gift of being able to tell when someone is lying. Which I think is a pretty cool skill to have, she would make a great police detective. So she then runs away to find a safe place.

I just read book 1 recently, so I remembered the events that took place on Mari’s birthday, which also had a big impact on Julian (since he was being used by Orane) and Nadette (I guess because she is special and we need to connect her somehow). It was interesting to see another perspective on the same event that happened 100’s of miles away! After Orane never shows back up, Julian is told that Orane was using him for his power of deception by another Balasura who claims to be on the side of good. For someone who is exceptionally well at lying, I thought he would be able to see the lies that the new Balasura in his life was telling. Especially after he was given a necklace that tells you when something isn’t what you think it is. I figured out the plot twist as soon as the new Balasura came in the picture.

Plot wise, this book moved a lot slower than the first one. It has the same basic plot from the previous but we had more world building in this one. Basically, we have a person with a strong skill go to sleep, get seduced by the Balasura to join their world, person agrees and falls into a coma. That is what the Balasura want, our hero/heroines on the other hand fight them off and gain some if not all of the powers of the Balasura they defeated or got away from. This book was the first one to a T, with a slight variety. A lot more down time, and more relationships are formed.

The main characters were great. I liked getting to know Nadette and Julian. Julian was a relatable character for the most part, maybe not the hustling in Vegas (at least for me), but the just trying to survive one day at a time is. I related more towards Nadette, family wise. You never know how great you have things, until you hear stories from other people who are worse off than you. The supporting characters were decent. I did not like Joanna and her self appointed title of boss. Maybe if we had more background on her and why she is the way she is instead of a bigot I would like her. But as of right now, I don’t. She is very quick to blame someone rather than try to solve the problem at hand.

I appreciated that there was not a normal love triangle, or boy and girl falls instantly in love type of situation. I never really like those stories (some love triangles work out, but most just don’t) and the way that Lexi and Nadette get together is just great. It seems as if every book these days have to have some type of love interest and I am glad that this one didn’t fall into the norm. Although, I think with Julian’s situation, it could have been handled a little bit differently. It just seemed a bit random that all of a sudden one person throws out psychology and he is labeling himself as asexual.

The ending left on a cliffhanger, I will read the third book (hopefully there is one) to find out what happens to Julian and Nadette!