Thursday, 27 December 2012

Embers in a Dark Frost by Kelly Keaton

Title: Embers in a Dark Frost
Author: Kelly Keaton
Series: Fire and Frost #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Source: Kindle
Pages: 219 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
The Fire Breathers have come. The Underworld calls. A choice must be made…

With her feared half blood and flame-colored hair, DEIRA D'ANU is a constant reminder of human betrayal and the war that claimed the light from Innis Fail. Now, darkness and frost creep across the land, strengthening the Lord of the Underworld. War is imminent—an allegiance with the Fire Breathers is vital. When their champion, Balen, sees Deira, he believes she is the key to finding the light and stopping the dark frost.... 

But the Underworld calls to Deira, tempting her to turn her back on a world that never cared and betray the champion willing to sacrifice everything to keep her safe and save his world from darkness.
My Review:  
I feel like I have read something else by this author before... if I did, I am sure I loved it, because I loved Embers in a Dark Frost. I bought this book along with Reviving Bloom and let me tell you, boy am I glad that this book didn't suck as bad as the last one did. In fact, this book was Reviving Bloom's polar opposite. Where Reviving Bloom was torture to through, Embers in a Dark Frost finished before I knew it and had me wanting more.

I only had one complaint about the book, so lets start with that so I can get into the good stuff. As with all novels that take place in a fictional land and have foreign names, it was hard to remember who was who some times as well as what was what and where was where. It all kind of blended together. The fact that the author has a love for D names didn't help... There were a lot of gods and people with names starting with D... I had to actually stop and memorize the main characters names  over and over in my head so I wouldn't be so confused. My only other complaint, which is something I never thought I'd say, but the intimate scenes between the main characters were extremely brief and made it sound like it happened in 5 seconds... so it kind of dulled the romance there...

Now for the things I loved. I LOVED the main character. Born a halfling, and raised by people who hate her human half, she carries a big chip on her shoulder. A chip that Balen starts chipping away at (see what I did there?). Deira was an amazing main character with so much depth and personality, I was feeling for her the moment she appeared on the page. Balen was no exception either. I have this weird thing about fire. I LOVE books with fire in them. So when Kelly Keaton wrote the love interest as a sexy, selfless, fire-wielding King, I fell in love. No seriously, I almost wish I were in Deira's shoes.

After reading Reviving Bloom, I was SO happy to read a book that was written so beautifully. Keaton, unlike Michelle Turner, trusts her audience to pick up on the subtle hits she throws your way. The story had a smooth flow and I was withering in anticipation with every page turned. I didn't even realize I had reached the end of the book until I turned the last page to read 'About the Author'.

Everything from the plot, to the characters, to the flow was out standing. I have to give this book a good 4.5 stars. I absolutely cannot WAIT for the next book in the series... I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

UPDATE: After writing this review I looked into my library and discovered that I had, indeed, previously read another series by Kelly Keaton. The Gods & Monsters series, (Darkness Becomes Her, Beautiful Evil) was an outstanding series... I am still waiting for the third and final instalment in said series... but the jury is out on when that will arrive...

Reviving Bloom by Michelle Turner

Title: Reviving Bloom
Author: Michelle Turner
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Werewolves
Source: Kindle
Pages: 207 pages
Rating: 1 star. Maybe less. 

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Bloom was abandoned by her mother at birth, but thanks to her dad she never once felt unloved. When he is killed in a car wreck, leaving her without any close family, she spends a year mourning him. She feels as if her heart has been cut out of her chest and nothing is left but an empty hole that she doesn’t think will ever heal. Then one night after work she finds a wounded dog in the woods behind her house and takes him in, not realizing he’s more than just some stray dog but a wolf shifter, who happens to be her mate.

Pike is getting over the loss of his father by running full force away from his responsibilities. He’s getting ready to go back to face his new position as the Alpha of his pack when he catches the scent that can only belong to his mate. 

When Bloom finds out she may not be the normal human she always thought herself to be, she’s forced to search out the woman who abandoned her at birth.

My Review:
Keeping to my word, this morning I woke up and looked for a new book to read and write a review on. I stumbled across Reviving Bloom and after reading the description, I was ecstatic. It's been so long since I have read a good werewolf/shifter book and this looked like the perfect book for me to read. Even better, it was reasonably priced! a mere $3.00! It didn't take long after starting it to understand why it was priced so low. Reviving Bloom was probably one of the most painful books I have ever read through. I couldn't even finish it, it was that bad. I made it just past three quarters of the way down and I physically couldn't handle it any more.

Remember when I wrote a review on Morrigan by Lauren Deluca? In said review I mentioned how she had such great potential with her plot, but it was destroyed by its writing. This was another case of this. Michelle Turner had everything she needed to make this a great book. The characters were amazing, the plot line was sound, conflict was a bit lacking, but there, and she just threw it all away the second her fingers touched that keyboard.

In the novel, Turner assumes her audience is stupid, going into complete detail and history about trivial things that could have been left implied. She would use PAGES to describe what mating was, or how depressed the main character is after her fathers death. In addition, she writes her characters as if they were some what omniscient. The characters seemed to just throw in information when it was needed to further the plot line without any motivation, knowledge, or build up. I was so confused.

The last thing I wanted to address is more directed at the actual writing in a format matter. Almost the entire novel was dialogue. Whether the main characters were mentally speaking through their mate bond or talking out loud, the book was 90% conversational. There were almost no descriptive paragraphs, and a lot of the dialogue used could have been summarized in a few paragraphs instead. The worst part for me? My BIGGEST pet peeve ever... NO INDENTATION! there was no indentation at the beginning of a paragraph so I had to just guess when a new paragraph started. I commend my patience in getting as far as I did.

This book barely gets 1 star and that is being GENEROUS. There was almost nothing going for this book. Hardly any conflict, and the conflict that did arise was sudden and had no build up what so ever. There was almost no tension between characters and I just found the whole novel completely unrealistic. Thats saying something because, after all, it is a book about werewolves... I do NOT suggest you read this book. It is a waste of time and money. I returned this book, wasn't worth the space in my library.

Revival (The Variant Series, Book 1) by Jena Leigh

Title: Revival
Author: Jena Leigh
Series: The Variant Series #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Kindle
Pages: 284 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life.

If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is.

After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be... and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe.

Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real.

My Review:
So I am up late reading, no surprise there, and I figured since I only have a few days left of my winter break before I start my spring semester I might as well do as many reviews as I can before I am too busy to do them. I discovered this book on Christmas eve when I was trying to entertain myself so I wouldn't try and sneak looks at my presents.... However, I found that Revived was extremely predictable and lacked in originality. I am a sucker for cliches, but I didn't love this one. Surprisingly though, the writing wasn't terrible. Maybe I'm just at the point in my reading life where things cease to be truly original any more... does anyone out there have any books suggestions that will prove me wrong?

Anyways, lets start off the review with the least original part of the book. Its about a girl named Alex who finds out she isn't so normal after all when she developed a bunch of super powers! In fact, her only living relative, her aunt, tells her that her whole family were 'Variants' (which is just another name for someone who as a superpower). Sound familiar? And when she finds out, she is mad for like, two seconds, then is completely fine and accepts her new reality as it is... because thats what would happen...

As far as characters go, developmentally, they weren't bad. Not as horrible as some books I have read, but not as good as others either. The book is written in the different perspectives of the different characters, although it focuses mainly on Alex and Declan. This became a bit frustrating, especially when certain characters knew something, and it was their turn to narrate the story, but didn't elaborate to the reader any further explanation. One particular case of this was with Nate and Aiden and they seem to know something about Alex, but don't tell us what, why or how they know. The most annoying thing about the characters though was that ALL the guys were freakishly good looking and ALL the girls were beautiful... thats not how it is in real life. I know it's supposed to be teen fantasy/fiction, but come on... lets be a LITTLE honest here please?

However, the story wasn't without its good sides too. I do love when stories have two plots. There is always the more immediate plot, and the underlying one you discover later. This was the case with this story. Not that I am going to tell you what they are, you'd have to read the book to discover that ;)

Overall, I'd give the book 3 stars. Not the best book in the world, but a good simple read. Like I mentioned earlier, the writing itself was actually pretty good although the plot suffered a little. I'd suggest it for something to read when you are waiting for something, be it an appointment or dinner. Its easy to get into and easy to get out of.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Avow by Chelsea Fine

Title: Avow
Author: Chelsea Fine
SeriesArchers of Avalon #3
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Love Triangle, Magic
Source: Kindle
Pages: 407 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Scarlet remembers. Everything. Her past lives, Tristan, Gabriel, Nate: she remembers it all--including how to get to the Fountain of Youth. But time is running out. 

Heather and Gabriel have been kidnapped by Raven, while the curse that has plagued Scarlet and Tristan for centuries has shifted, putting the star-crossed lovers in more danger than ever before. Water from the Fountain of Youth is the only thing that can save Scarlet and her loved ones. But the water comes at a price.

With lives--and hearts--at stake, Scarlet leads her friends on a dangerous journey to the Fountain of Youth. Where eternal life is possible, but death is certain.

My Review:
Let me start off by saying that this series is probably one of my favourite series ever. Chelsea Fine is an AMAZING author that did so much with this series and I am SO happy that I found it and had the opportunity to read it. That being said, lets get to the review.

As seen in the title, Avow is the third and final book in the Archers of Avalon series. I loved almost everything about the book. The characters are always fun and interesting. They were extremely well developed (even if a little cliche in their own rights) and each character had a distinct personality, flaws and background so you loved each and every one of them for who they were. The author made the book (as well as the series) flow effortlessly and didn't make things complicated by going into too much detail all the time and trusts that her audience will have the presents of mind and intelligence to understand where she is going with the story.

This book is only semi-supernatural in my opinion. For those who don't know it deals with the line between mortality and immortality and characters who are scattered across that line. The infamous Fountain of Youth, of course, is the cause of all this mess. There was a bit of magic in it (as the main antagonist is a witch from the early 1500s where magic was real and feared by the people in that time) but I found that its only real purpose in the story was to have reason for the curse that plagues Scarlet, Tristan and Gabriel. Saying that, I found, with exception of the curse and a bit of necromancy, magic doesn't really play a huge role in the story line.

The only thing I found extremely annoying about this book was the flashback. In the middle of the story line, the author decides to go into detail about each and everyone of Scarlets lives and a bit in between her deaths. At first, I was extremely frustrated because I didn't see how it was furthering the plot line at all, but in the telling of Scarlet's last life it started to make sense. And the telling of all the lives before hand made everything a lot more clear, so, I suppose it was necessary. Saying that, these flashbacks took up literally half the book and was thrown in at such a random section of the story, so that could have used better placement.

Overall, I would give the book a 4.5 stars. It was such a great series and really, I don't have many negative things to say about it other than some minor choices the author took here and there, and those are strictly a preference thing for me.  I highly suggest this book to everyone, and the tidbit of an epilogue was extremely amusing in my opinion.

Here are the descriptions of the entire series:

Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery...until she met a boy with a familiar voice. 

Gabriel Archer has a voice from her past, and Scarlet's determined to remember why. She immerses herself in his life only to discover he has a brother he's kept hidden from her: Tristan Archer. 

Upon meeting Tristan, Scarlet's world becomes even more muddled. While she's instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she's impossibly drawn to Tristan--and confused out of her mind. As she tries to piece together her history Scarlet realizes her past...might just be the death of her.
385 pages

Sometimes love is meant to be. But is the death of you....

Seventeen-year-old Scarlet has just died. Only, dying isn't unusual for a girl under a centuries old curse that left her semi-immortal. 

This time, though, she comes back to her current life instead of awaking in a new one, and she realizes the curse is changing. Together with the immortal Archer brothers, Scarlet must piece together her life and try to break the curse before her impending death comes again.
495 pages

Monday, 17 December 2012

Breathing Fire by Rebecca K. Lilley

Title: Breathing Fire
Author: Rebecca K. Lilley
Series: Heretic Daughters
Genre: Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Dragons, Magic
Source: Kindle
Pages: 280 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Sometimes a head start has a price...

Jillian and her sister have been on the run for longer than either will ever admit to (a lady never tells her age) but sometimes even the most dedicated fugitives have to stop running, and start fighting.

I was already having the day from hell when two angry druids stormed into my shop. Druids in my shop was bad. Very bad. Their presence in my place of business was a disaster no matter how you looked at it, but the fact that I knew these two druids in particular was an outright catastrophe. The fact that they happened to hate my guts certainly wasn't going to help matters, though it was hardly surprising. Even druids who didn't know me cursed at the sound of my name...

My Review:
   Additional warning: This review has some minor spoilers. Read at your own risk. If you would like to scroll down and skip to the last paragraph that contains the rating, I won't be offended :p
This was probably the first good, cheaper book I have read in a long time. Usually, I when i end up giving books a chance, I find myself pretty disappointed. This was not the case for Breathing Fire however.

If you've read my reviews before you know that I have a pet peeve about lack of character development. Well, points for Rebecca Lilley because her characters were not lacking in development in the least. I enjoyed the main character, Jillian. She was sassy, quick with a comeback, and very confident. However, my favorite character was between Lynn (Jillian's sister) and Caleb (A close friend of the two sisters and a literal sociopath). My favorite scene in the book (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD) was when Lynn punched Siobhan in the face. Priceless, a show of the loyalty between sisters, and although completely unexpected, it was hilarious and a pleasant surprise.

Another thing I loved is how Lynn and Jillian's secret wasn't just revealed. It dragged out (in a good way) until it was necessary to the plot line for it to be know to each character respectively. A mistake a lot of authors make is once they reveal the secret to the reader, the rest of the characters closely follow. Even though the reader knew of the sisters secret from near the very start, the characters don't find out until much later. The fact that their secret was that they were dragon shifters? even better. You don't see a lot of books about dragon shifters, or at least, I don't.

Have I mentioned that Jillian's best friend is a dragon slayer? Yup, the one person, holding the one thing that can kill her and she trains him how to fight. The author reveals this fact at the very beginning of the book or I wouldn't have mentioned it, but boy, did the irony kill me. The fact that he is completely clueless of what his best friend is is astonishing. 

With this book, I can talk about a lot of things I loved, but I think it's important to talk about its major flaw. The thing I hated most about the book was the fact that Dom and Jillian couldn't be in a room together alone without a sex scene following. I think there was only one time where they were alone and didn't rip each others clothes off. I can kind of see where the author was coming from in writing the two characters relationship so that, even when they hated each other, they couldn't resist each other kind of thing, but it was definitely to a fault. I just started skipping those scenes after a while, they got old very fast.

So, now for the rating. I would probably rate this book a good 4 stars. It wasn't absolutely amazing, but it was very good regardless of its faults. Anyone who reads the book will LOVE it.

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Braswell

Title: The Nine Lives of Chloe King
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: The Nine Lives of Chloe King #1, #2, #3
Genre:Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Action 
Source: Kindle
Pages: 784- All books into 1
Rating: 1.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)

Chloe King is a normal girl. She goes to class (most of the time), fights with her mom, and crushes on a boy... or two. But around her sixteenth birthday, Chloe finds that perhaps she isn’t so normal after all. There’s the heightened night vision, the super fast reflexes – oh, and the claws.

As she discovers who she is – and where she comes from – it is clear she is not alone. And someone is out to get her.

Chloe has nine lives. But will nine be enough?

My Review:
You know how movies and TV series tend to ruin a book series? Yeah, not in the case with Liz Braswell's "The Nine Lives of Chloe King". In fact, the series fixed all the major places the book lacked. The saddest part is that the author had everything going for her, a great plot, good potential for characters, an interesting title... and it was all ruined the second she put her fingers on the keyboard.

The absolute worst of the series was the lack of character development. The characters were very flat and superficial. Chloe's relationship with her friends, mother and love interests were under development and most the conflict was brushed of with a preteen "whatever" attitude. Places where the TV show had shown strong internal conflict, book Chloe showed none. She kind of just ran around like a chicken with her head cut off doing whatever seemed like a good idea at the time. I was really disappointed in the book, needless to say. 

Now I am not here to trash books. Five years ago, I probably would have found this book interesting, and if you are a younger audience I think you may actually like this book. But now having read a broader range of genres, authors and writing styles, and as I get older and my tastes tend to be more mature (with a dash of cliche teen romance every so often) I am able to pick out the bad from the greats. So as a more mature, advanced reader, I would give this book a 1.5 stars. As a younger, mid-teen audience member just looking for a book to read to pass the time... I say try it out and make your own judgements.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Morrigan by Laura Deluca

Title: Morrigan
Author: Laura Deluca
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Source: Kindle
Pages: 320 pages
Rating: 1 star

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn't know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind, and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.

Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.

My Review:
This was one of the most painful books to get through I have ever read. Now, anyone who reads my blog now knows I love me my cliche stories. However, I only like the cliche stories if there is excellent writing to accompany it. Deluca's writing was just short of atrocious.

My biggest pet peeve in this book was the dialogue. It was immature, completely unrealistic, and majorly lacking development. This was especially apparent in any dialogue scenes between the two main characters/love interests. There are no words to express how bad some scenes between them were. That being said, some of those scenes would have been bearable if there was ANY build up to their relationship at all. This brought a whole new aspect to love at first sight in the worst way.  Hell, even Bella and Edward had some build up to their relationship, and if not that, there were conflict that constantly prevented them being together. This story had no major conflicts between the two main characters at all. When one, very uncreative and completely predictable, conflict came up, it was very quickly resolved and they continued with their happily ever after.

That being said, the only thing this book had going for it was potential for a really great plot. I do say 'potential' because the writing of the book destroyed any possibility it had to become great. Things moved too fast with very minor resistance and every instance of resistance was resolved without a hitch. I did like the whole 'who is bad, who is good' aspect of the story, but even that became to obvious half way through. One of the biggest disappointment for me was the lack of Morrigan (the main character) using her powers effectively. They were kind of just thrown in there for convenience. It would have been nice to see more development of her powers, or an instance where they failed her so utterly that something tragic happened. This ALMOST happened in the book, but her powers just BAM came back to save the love of her life before he could have been killed.

I know it is easy to criticize a book and I want people to realize I dont do it lightly. I have alot of great ideas for stories, but I know I don't have the writing skills necessary to do them justice. This book is one of those situations. I would rate this story 1 star, and thats being generous. It should be mentioned also that I returned this book after reading it. I felt no need to keep it in my library.