Saturday, January 30, 2016

‘The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos’ (Enlighten Series, #1) by Kristin D. Van Risseghem

4 stars

Author Van Risseghem has brilliantly created a rich, supernatural world with angels, nephilim, fairies, werewolves, and various demons.

‘The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos’ Follows the story of Zoe, a typical 17-year-old high school girl, as she is introduced to the hidden world of supernatural beings.  She learns the people closest to her have been assigned to protect her from birth; as she will fulfill a prophecy on her 18th birthday.  She is the prophesied ‘Redeemer’ and her abilities will be critical in the upcoming war to keep the devil from ruling Earth.

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 due to the injection of instalove and soulmates.  Granted, these characters are high school teenagers, but in a story about angels and demons and a plan set in motion by up-on-high, there’s no wiggle room for ‘emotional teenagers’ where instalove is concerned.  That being said, their clean romance was charming and cute.

Recommended for fans of YA fantasy and supernatural beings!

Thanks to author Kristin D. Van Risseghem for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

'The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos' is currently on sale for $0.99 on Amazon!

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals #1) by Michelle Madow

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

About Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows:

Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Series: Elementals #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook and paperback
ISBN: 2940152448849

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

Book Review: The Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals #1) by Michelle Madow

4 stars!

When Nicole Cassidy’s family moves from Georgia to a biting cold Massachusetts town near Salem, she is in for the surprise of her life.  A sophomore in high school, Nicole is placed in a special homeroom in the back of the library, away from the humans that dominate the school’s population.  The members of her homeroom are ‘witches,’ descendants of Olympian gods who wield control over the energy that the universe puts forth.

‘Prophecy of Shadows’ is reminiscent of ‘The Secret Circle’ when an Olympian Comet grants special abilities to only five of these ‘witches.’  They have come together for a purpose; to control elements (not just energy) and to fulfill a prophecy.

This is a Young Adult series, so naturally there is either a love triangle or an unattainable love interest.  Blake is the resident bad-boy with a jealous girlfriend who takes special interest in Nicole right from the start.  Though he is instrumental in her learning about her abilities, Nicole is smart for not wanting to be involved with him until he breaks up with the girlfriend.  That the couple is part of the Elementals group makes things a bit awkward.

All in all, a fun and easy read about 5 teenagers with special abilities and a prophecy involving the gods from Greek mythology.

Thanks to Michelle Madow, Barclay Publicity, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Links:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

Add to your TBR List:  Goodreads

Rafflecopter for Release Week Blitz Giveaway:
Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7”! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter! 

About Michelle Madow:
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

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Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

‘The Hybrid’ by Venus Morales

3.5 stars

There was a lot of potential for this supernatural debut from author Venus Morales.  She incorporates vampires, phoenixes, demons, angels, and Greek Mythological Gods into an action adventure/romance.  Though the setup of various types of paranormal creatures in New Orleans did remind me of the CW’s ‘The Originals,’ Morales has created a truly fresh and imaginative storyline.

That being said, there were some structural and formatting issues with ‘The Hybrid.’  I wanted to give this book more than 3.5 stars, but really couldn’t.  The introduction is beautifully written and prepares readers of YA supernatural for a feast, but I felt the rest of the book did not deliver.

Perhaps I am being picky and YA supernatural fans will enjoy.

The Hybrid’ is currently available as part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited Program.

Thanks to author Venus Morales for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

‘The Gathering Darkness’ by Lisa Collicutt

5 stars!

Captivating tale of reincarnated soul-mates as they live normal teenage lives, unaware of the centuries-old threat from an evil demon witch.

Lisa Collicutt’s story begins when 16-year-old high school junior, Brooke Day, is sent to Deadwich, MA to live with her Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin, to begin the new school year at a small-town high school.  The family has also arranged for her to join her cousin, Sammy, working part-time at the creepy Ravenwyck Inn.

At first, Brooke is sad to leave the city and her friends behind in Boston, but Sammy’s group of friends are welcoming and inviting; including gorgeous fraternal twins, Evan and Marcus Knight.  Despite Evan’s persistent attempts to woo Brooke, it is Marcus who captivates her attention and lands a starring role in her dreams. 

As Deadwich and the Ravenwyck Inn slowly reveal their mysterious natures, Marcus and Brooke discover that they share the same dreams at night.  Their connection grows, much to the dismay of Evan, Sammy and the other girls.

Inexplicable and supernatural danger looms; something is definitely ‘off’ about Maggie, the creepy old lady who owns Ravenwyck Inn, and Brooke wakes up with real scratches and bruises from her strange dreams when Marcus is unable to save her. 

Eventually, Knight and Day discover that they are reincarnated soulmates, and Evan, Sammy, and the girls have been reincarnated as well.  Centuries ago, they formed the Coven of Seven, and an evil demon witch has caused their premature deaths twice before.  Determined to live past the age of 16 and share a life together, Brooke and Marcus set out to destroy the evil demon witch, discovering surprises along the way.

‘The Gathering Darkness’ is well written and its plot is well paced.  Brooke and Marcus share an enjoyable and clean teenage romance.  Collicutt utilizes the perfect amount of flashbacks and story building to develop the characters’ past lives and motivations.  Evan’s pursuit of Brooke served as an effective plot device to bypass the usual ‘instalove,’ instead allowing Brooke and Marcus to develop feelings for each other slowly and naturally.

I recommend this fun and easy read for YA supernatural fans.

‘TheGathering Darkness’ is currently available as part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Unearthly Series by Laura Thalassa

5 supernatural stars!

With her series of 5 books, ‘The Unearthly,’ Laura Thalassa has managed to combine many different types of supernatural beings into one coherent YA love story between supernatural soulmates and the devil that seeks to tear them apart.

Though the tale begins in a familiar way; our leading lady, Gabrielle, has strange dreams and is about to begin a mysterious boarding school for supernatural beings, author Thalassa skillfully takes us in a new direction.  At the school’s Awakening, each students’ inherent powers are revealed; there are seers, fairies, demons, conjurers, witches, nymphs, shifters, werewolves, ghosts, mediums, incubi, fates, vampires, and Gabrielle, the last of the sirens and the first vampire to ever have been born rather than turned. 

After the Awakening, it is revealed why the 700+ year old Andre, gorgeous, international celebrity, and King of Vampires, is so drawn to Gabrielle; they are soulmates.  The challenge for Gabrielle isn’t so much in dealing with an old-fashioned chivalrous vampire as it is fending off the Devil who seems to have the hots for her as well.

Unearthly’ sets the stage and identifies the major players for the series, and establishes the tone of spunky and modern-woman Gabrielle’s relationship with the rich, handsome, and used-to-getting-his-way Andre.  Gabrielle’s friends at Peel Academy, a responsible seer and a hysterically loose-lipped fairy, make highly entertaining secondary characters.  Wonderful supernatural YA fun! 

~~ Spoilers for books 2-5 below. ~~

‘The Coveted' follows Gabrielle as she works with the supernatural police, the Politia, to solve a string of murders occurring near Peel Academy.  Being both a siren and a vampire means she is a suspect in the eyes of the public, and so to keep the uneasy truce between vampires and the Politia, she must reach out to Andre for help.  Gabrielle has learned, the hard way, that avoiding your soulmate for two months is no picnic.  Their reunion, and investigating the crime spree, is great fun for readers. 

‘The Cursed’ brings Gabrielle to Romania to investigate another string of murders while Andre answers to his vampire coven in Romania for his actions in the first two ‘Unearthly’ books.  Andre has been hiding the fact that Gabrielle is his soulmate, in order to protect her from the vampire covens’ wrath, meanwhile Gabrielle must deal with demons and other dark supernatural beings as they refer to her as the Devil’s Consort.  While ‘The Cursed’ is more of an action adventure than the prior two installments, the YA love story and humorous friends remain.

After her last interaction with the Devil, Gabrielle becomes ‘The Forsaken.’  She and Andre are on the run as the entire supernatural community chases them, seeking to kill Gabrielle.  The ‘good guys’ believe she is evil and want her dead, the ‘bad guys’ want to deliver her to their boss, the Devil.  All sirens seem to have short lifespans to begin with, but now Gabrielle’s vampire traits are more predominant and her human body is slowly breaking down.  She knows that death will be upon her soon, and with death comes the Devil.  Even as Andre pulls every supernatural string at his disposal in attempt to save her, death is unavoidable.

Gabrielle has become ‘The Damned.’  Though dead and bound to an eternity in hell as the Devil’s consort, Gabrielle soon learns that death is not the end.  Just as the three sisters who embody Fate prophesized centuries ago, she is Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, and spends only half her time in hell.  For the other half of each day, Gabrielle is back on Earth, back with Andre and her friends, and unwillingly and unknowingly aiding the Devil in his devious plans. 

Fate insists that she has a choice; between good and evil, between the Devil and Andre, between saving the whole world or saving herself.  This book follows her discoveries and adventures as the battle between angels and demons takes shape.

The complete Unearthly Series is currently available as part of the Kindle Unlimited Program.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

‘The Vanishing Girl’ (The Vanishing Girl #1) by Laura Thalassa

4 stars!

Our story begins when main character (and Vanishing Girl) Ember Pierce is discovered by the government.  Her ‘frustratingly handsome’ pair, Caden, helps to bring her to a secure facility where she can train and assist with dangerous and mysterious missions.  The interactions between Ember and Caden were the best part of this YA novel.  Teleportation itself is also pretty cool, but what kept me turning pages (quickly, I might add) was the bickering, bantering, training, and eventually romance between Ember and Caden.

‘The Vanishing Girl’ is a well-written and solid book.  Started reading its sequel immediately upon finishing!

Friday, January 1, 2016

‘UnHappenings’ by Edward Aubry

5 stars!

Incredibly well-narrated and full of the science type of sci-fi time travel, yet never boring or too geeky.  ‘UnHappenings’ is a time travel adventure with the right combination of mystery, humor, romance, and science.  Highly recommended!