Sunday, 27 January 2013

Phoenix Rising by Lisa Morgan

Title: Phoenix Rising
Author: Lisa Morgan
SeriesMaggie Henning & The Realm Book 1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Phoenix
Source: Kindle
Pages: 379 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Maggie has lived the last ten years with a woman who isn't her mother and carrying the label "Daughter of John Henning", a man sentenced to live out his days at Sunnyview Psychiatric Hospital after his conviction of fire bombing a church...

and killing the 8 people inside.

What Maggie learns will change her life.
She is the last of a race of creatures known as "The Phoenix", a race of supernatural beings with the ability to wield and control fire.

And she will need that power now...

Revenants- walking, living, skeletal creatures who have waged a war against an unseen, parallel world known simply as The Realm- need Maggie's blood to bring them to a full power...a power that will give them an unbeatable edge and offer the deciding weapon in this war.

Maggie is not alone as she learns not only what she really is, but what it is her destiny to become..

My Review:
The book I'll be reviewing today is Phoenix Rising by Lisa Morgan with a short paragraph mentioning the second book Phoenix Burning at the end of the post. So lets get to it.

I had great hopes for this book. It was about a PHOENIX! How many fantasy novels, with the exception of brief scenes in Harry Potter, have you read with a Phoenix? And not the bird kind either. A living breathing human-like being that bursts into flames with different emotions. To say I set the standards a little high for this one is an understatement. Unfortunately, I set them a little too high, because the book turned out to be the usual, 'girl finds out that she isn't human, introduced into a new magical world where she find her life isn't as black and white as she though it was, get in the middle of a love triangle, and discover your powers so you can defeat the big bad guy before everyone in the Realm dies' kind of story. Obviously, there was a lot more to it than that though.

I will give credit where credit is due. Given such a huge cliche, Lisa Morgan did a fantastic job of trying to make it her own. If the story was 100% new and unique, I would be jumping up and down right now, barely able to contain the joy of the story. The characters were hilarious, especially the main character. With a lot of books like this that I read, the biggest mistake I see is the author adapting the main character too quickly. All throughout the first, and even the second novel, Lisa Morgan writes Maggie (the Phoenix) as a completely relatable character. You can understand and feel her reactions, because they make sense. She is this girl who has been ripped away from everything she has known to be true and told all these people are after her because she is this great and rare being. That would be scary as hell, and Lisa Morgan writes Maggie in exactly that way.

The biggest flaw with the story, other than its cliche story plot, was the fact that once she leaves her 'normal' life, you never see the characters again. They are briefly mentioned in areas in the book... but there is no contact from them what so ever. I hear that Lisa Morgan wrote a novella telling the story of Stephanie, Maggie's best friend... but I have yet to read it. I would have liked to see them a little more in the story. Additionally, she adapts to her new life, ridiculously fast. 

Now, saying all of that... this book also contained one of the most emotional, tear jerking scenes I have ever read (near the end of the book) that had me reaching for tissue after tissue. It was beautifully written and gave me something to look forward to in the sequel. For all these reasons, I give Book One in the series 3.5 stars. That tear jerking scene boosted it a star. Not the best book I've read, and definitely not the most original, but a great piece of teen fantasy fiction that Lisa Morgan made her own.


 As promised, a brief mention of Book Two in Maggie's adventure, Phoenix Burns. I have to say, Book 2 was exactly what I hoped it would be on so many levels. It had adventure, and revealed so much in Maggie hat I simple fell in love with her character.. but it wasn't only her. You get so much more in depth with Luc, you get to read scenes from his point of view and get to look inside his inner psyche and fall in love with him even more! Not to mention that we get to find out more about the Prince's past... both of them. And we get to learn a few things about Maggie's mother... but not nearly enough if you as me ;) I give it a good 9.2/10. It was definitely a step up from its first book. 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight

Title: Embers and Echoes
Author: Karsten Knight
Series: Wildefire #2
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Romance, Adventure
Source: Kindle
Pages: 480 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Ashline Wilde may have needed school to learn that she is actually a reincarnated goddess, but she’s ready to move beyond books. She leaves her California boarding school behind and makes for Miami, where she meets a new group of deities and desperately seeks her sister Rose, the goddess of war. But she’s also looking for love—because even though her romance with Cole had to be snuffed, Ash is a volcano goddess—and she doesn’t get burned.

This sequel to the edgy and action-packed Wildefire continues a fiery drama on an immortal scale.

My Review:
This is going to be a very brief review because 1) I don't want to spoil the book. 2) There is way too much to put in the review to list it all out here. So, let me start off by saying that this was a beautiful sequel to continue a beautiful first novel in the series. You can read my review of the first book, Wildefire, HERE.

The sequel continued exactly where the first book left off. We learn a crucial part of the 'prophecy' ( if you can call the scroll that Jack gave the gods a prophecy) and a character gets seriously heart broken. On the up side, we get to meet two really great new characters (who are also Gods) and see the unraveling of a potential new relationship... one I was sitting at the edge of my seat to read any piece of information the author gave me. We only briefly get to meet our old characters from the first book, Wildefire and we get to know a little bit more about Ash's little sister, Rose. Lastly, we get a new set of villians with this book, and I DO say villians because, afterall, true villains from myths and fairytales always have super powers. You guessed it guys, they are gods as well! Well, all except for one ;)

If this hasn't convinced you to read the sequel to Wildefire then let me give you my assurances. This book was just as good as the first, if not better. We get to experience Ash using and mastering her powers and see a whole new range of different relationships emerge, be they friendship, hatred, to romance. We get to learn so much more depth within Ash, and thanks to a CERTAIN character, we get to learn alot more about Ash's past lives. This was a magnificent book and I praise Karsten Knight once more on a job very well done. 10/10  for sure. I can't wait to read Afterglow the third and final book to the Wildefire trilogy coming this November.. I'll Keep Y'all tuned!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Series: Wildefire #1
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, 
Source: Kindle
Pages: 393 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her.

But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own.

With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time…

And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

My Review:
Love. Pure and simple love. Love, love, love, love, love. This is the single feeling that Karsten Knight's Wildefire left me with. I haven't read a book this well written, this captivating, or this riveting with a plot that is so cleverly intertwined that I didn't see a lot of what happened coming. The ending even left me in tears, it was FANTASTIC!

Wildfire had everything going for it for me. Mythology from several different civilizations, a great plot, and a subtle love tale that gets thrown in your face at the end and has you thinking, OMG. I really loved Knight's writing because he wasn't afraid to break novel etiquette. He killed off some characters, gives you all the hints as to whats happening, but so subtly that you don't realize it until well after the secrets been told. I've got to say, knowing what I know now about the book, some things should have been obvious... The main character, Ash Wilde, has a very clever name and a very witty personality to match. If there is one thing I love its a witty main character; full of sarcasm and bad jokes and puns that make you laugh despite yourself, Ash was the embodiment of this type of character.

I loved how Knight didn't go with any of the really well known Gods in the story. We didn't see any of the usual Greek, Roman, Norse, or Celtic characters from myths that we have grown accustomed to and have been severely over-played. I simply loved every aspect of this book, especially the cliff hanger at the end.

I don't want to say too much and give anything else away. This is a MUST read. 5 stars easy. This book exceeded all my expectations. On a funnier note, if you go to Karsten Knight's website, he gives you 5 hilarious reasons why you MUST read the series to avoid being a despicable human being. Check it out:

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Title: Sweet Evil
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Angels, Demons, Fantasy
Source: Kindle
Pages: 453 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My Review:
Everyone knows that Angel books aren't my favourite, however, I was pleasantly surprised by Sweet Evil. It wasn't exactly like other Nephilim books I had read. The half angel, half human creatures that are Nephilim weren't tortured souls that were pure of heart and needed saving. On the contrary! They were evil little devils, with some heart, that (for the most part) liked the evil they spread. All save for our main heroine that is, but she wasn't any old Nephilim, was she?

I loved the characters in the story. I wish i got to see more of Kopano though. I felt his character was under played. I am going to start on the second book tomorrow and I truly hope that I get to see more of him in it. I LOVED seeing the relationship between Anna and her Fallen-Angel father. Especially the scene where they first met after 16 years. It touched my heart a little bit. If I had to choose one scene out of the whole novel, without giving to much away, that would be it.

Another thing I loved is how it wasn't another cliche best friends fall in love story. The author tells us straight up in the beginning of the book that nothing was going to happen between them and I was so glad it didn't. I had read enough of those books.  

The only thing I wasn't psyched about was time in proportion to the plot line. Time seemed to move extremely quick. We learn at one point that Anna is upset and depressed, but the weeks she is down in the dumps is described in three pages. I would have loved to see a whole chapter on it. Especially because Anna is such a innocent and good natured protagonist, despite the amount of evil in her, it would have been nice to see those insecurities and evilness show on the surface and read about it for a longer length of the novel. Saying that, the book was over 450 pages, so I understand that there was probably a page restraint.

Over all, the book deserves 4.5 stars on the angel loving book scale in my opinion. However, since I am not a fan of angel stories, I'm going to knock it down to a 8.8/10 out of my personal taste.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Scent of Magic
Author: Maria V Snyder
Series: Healer #2
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Medieval, Magic, Fantasy
Source: Kindle
Pages: 400 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.

My Review:
I have this thing about sequels, although they are usually well written, I don't usually like them. Especially in the romantic department. Scent of Magic is the sequel to Snyder's Touch of Power, which I will link a description at the end of this review.

Let me start of saying that I LOVED Touch of Power. I loved the dynamic of the love relationship and how it wasn't love at first sight. I am SO SICK of love at first sight. It was something that developed and had its reasons, like a real life situation. But, like all sequels after the couple gets together in the first instalment, you don't see a lot of love between the couple anymore. Usually, some sort of problem develops between the characters. In this case, they simply had to travel apart and thought the other was dead on numerous occasions. That being said, my favourite part of this series is the love aspect, so I was very disappointed that I didn't get to see a lot of it in the sequel.

In Scent of Magic we discover that there is a cure to death essentially. It's much more complex than that and has a bunch of situational loopholes and such, but nevertheless, there is a cure. Now Avry has some people she cares for die in this instalment (I wont tell you who, but some do) and the cure doesn't work on anyone who died in this book. I don't know if I like or dislike this fact. I really liked the characters that died, and would have loved to see more of them, but at the same time I feel that it would have been a cop out to just conveniently discover the cure in time to save all her friends. This point was a hit and miss for me.

What I loved was we got to see Kerrick's point of view. I loved him from day one, and I was glad that we got to see the novel through his eyes every so often in the book. Not only that, but opening the reader to his point of view allowed the plot to thicken and develop in a way that I hadn't anticipated. This is a rarity for me. I can often anticipate the ending of a book within the first five chapters max.

Lastly, I want to just mention how well written the book was. Although, in the long run, I found that the lack of romantic development toward the love interests made the story less enjoyable, the book was well written and I really enjoyed it in an over all matter. 4 stars