Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Splintered Souls (Flames of Time #1) by Erica Lucke Dean

4 stars!

After her father’s unexpected death, Ava decides to move with her mother and younger brother and attend University of Maine, rather than Georgetown.  Set in more of a high school atmosphere than college, Ava finds herself befriending a clique of girls who enjoy nothing more than gossiping about, or kissing, hot guys.

Ava is drawn to a mysterious hot guy herself, and when he finally introduces himself, Ava’s world quickly spirals out of control.  Caught in the middle of a centuries-old curse, which is revealed slowly throughout the book, she finds herself caught between twin time-traveling brothers, Maddox and Laith.  There are twists and turns along the way, leading to a surprise cliff-hanger ending.

‘Splintered Souls’ was a quick and easy read.  I enjoyed the tension between the clique-ish girls and battling brothers.  Best of all was the connection between the main characters and the involvement of soul-mates as a way of explaining the supernatural link between them.  Looking forward to the next chapter in the Flames of Time series!

Perfect for fans of Rysa Walker's 'Timebound' book series and the CW show, 'The Vampire Diaries.'

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Splintered Souls on Goodreads!

Splintered Souls on Amazon!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Crystallum (Primordial Principles #1) by Laney McMann

4.5 stars!

'Crystallum' was an exciting page-turner.  Devoured in 3.5 days, I could hardly bare to part with this book when real life got in the way of reading.  I often needed to know what happened next, needed to re-read the last paragraph because the most recent twist revealed didn’t sink in the first time, and now I need to read the next book!

With 'Crystallum,' McMann has dreamt up a detailed and intricate world, complete with its own rules and alliances within the different factions of the Primordial race.  This YA novel includes romance, action, and decent character development.  I only wish the author had not created an insta-love between two characters and then spend time later in the book justifying why they were so good together.

McMann’s writing style is different than I’m used to; the book begins with an action scene and dialog between two main characters, harmless and clever banter between two guys who have clearly known each other for ages.  But the dialog and the action from the first scene isn’t explained clearly until about 20% in.  The rest of the book contains both action and romance and typical high school drama, and every once in a while, another big-explanation or big-reveal bomb is dropped.  Maybe I’m just used to more subtle reveals or more set up at the beginning of a book.

I really enjoyed the story, despite the female lead, Kadence, always needing help from Cole.  The characters and the mystery of the Primordial race were very intriguing.  I recommend this page-turner to any reader who enjoys YA, supernatural, and fantasy.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

5 stars!!

A magical page-turning tale set in Victorian times.  Captivating and charming re-imagining of ‘Cinderella,’ from an Ugly Stepsister’s point of view.

When Kat accidentally tears a page of the hardcover copy of ‘Cinderella’ in her attic, she is magically transported to the beginning of the story, and finds herself in the body of the uglier of the stepsisters. This excellent YA fairy tale is 445 pages of beautiful world-building, vivid descriptions of places and attire, and a story that didn’t want to end any more than you or I wanted to put it down.  Devoured in a few short sittings, I wish the tale hadn’t ended and I look forward to reading any future entries in the Unfinished Fairy Tales series by Aya Ling.

This is a different spin on ‘Cinderella,’ including some unexpected plot points involving themes of children’s’ rights and workers’ rights movement in old-fashioned Story Land.  Equal rights for women and an involved governing body that looks out for the impoverished are also touched upon.  These plot additions made the tale more enjoyable for me, as it sets Ling’s work apart from the other, stricter re-tellings.

Currently part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hook by K.R. Thompson

3.5 stars

‘Hook’ follows the adventures of Archibald Jameson, educated fourth son of a London businessman, as he gets kidnapped by pirates under Blackbeard’s orders and placed on the Jolig Roger.  This was a fun and enjoyable light read, narrated from Hook’s point of view, as he adjusts to pirate life.  Familiar elements involve navigating a ship by stars, Smee the surgeon who enjoys rum a bit too much, a more fleshed out Tiger Lily, a flying Peter Pan, and a hungry crocodile.  While this book focuses more on Hook's time at sea and does not follow the typical chain of events that Disney’s ‘Peter Pan’ does, I enjoyed it just the same.

Currently part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Never Never by Brianna Shrum

3.5 stars

‘Never Never’ begins as 12 year old James Hook prepares for his first year away at Eton School in London.  He meets the one and only Peter Pan in Kensington Park and agrees to come away for a one week holiday before he becomes an Eton man.  But Peter Pan has something else in mind…

Readers follow as young James transitions into one of Pan’s Lost Boys, though he continues to dream of going home one day to his parents and growing up.  As the anti-Pan, a boy who *wants* to grow up, Peter is not satisfied with him for long.  Hook escapes from the Lost Boys and their strange past times, and has some adventures on his own before taking his rightful place as Captain of the ship he himself dreamt up as a child in London.

As a big fan of all things Peter Pan related, I was ecstatic when this book arrived in the mail from the publisher.  This is a delightful, different spin on the characters and plot, and I enjoyed learning Hook’s motivations for disliking Peter Pan and Peter’s reasons for wanting Hook dead.  It was a fun read, even if the story did start a little slow and end in familiar territory.  The unexpected events and characters in the middle were most enjoyable for me.  Definitely a great read for fans of Peter Pan and fairy tale retellings.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.