Book Review: Descended

DescendedTitle: Descended (Fallen Guardian Saga #1)

Author: Debra Ann Miller

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Destiny has two ways of crushing us…by refusing our wishes…and fulfilling them.

Vie had no idea when she descended into the small town of Newcastle, Wyoming that she’d find herself mesmerized by the mysterious and alluring eyes of one Carter Stone. And Carter believed he knew everyone that lived in his rural town until the day he locked eyes with Vivian Thorne. He couldn’t help but wonder what was different about this girl he had known all of his life.

He was right, Vie was the beautiful young Guardian that had been sent to their world looking for Carter and she did so merged in the vessel of the Thorne girl. Their meeting sparks a passionate romance between the two and soon after they embark on their journey to uncover the secrets of a past that they begin to realize they both shared. Their forbidden connection unleashes a war with disapproving parties and the lovers find themselves on a mission to uncover the truth of their not wholly human existence and their unbreakable bond. Darkness falls as Lucian returns to settle a score with them and their lives take a thrilling and terrifying turn. The only way for Carter to stop Lucian and save the one he holds most dear is to unlock the secrets of his past and unleash the powers within him. What are the chances that two raindrops, flung from the heavens, will merge on a windowpane? Gotta be fate!

Deeply passionate and extraordinarily suspenseful, Descended captures the struggles between doing what is expected of you and unleashing your destiny, between fulfilling prophecies and desires, between loyalty and love.

My Review: So… I started reading this novel feeling a little lost. Let me be honest, it had been a while since I read the blurb and I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Well that being said, the preface drew me and was a total distraction once chapter one started. It was a kind of over-anxious attempt to complete a puzzle while only having one piece. Make sense? I was in over my head. I managed to maintain this sense of confusion for the first couple of chapters…

Then I completely fell in love. The story is well set up and once the story telling starts I was completely swept up into it. It is an impossible to put down, action packed, romantic, suspenseful read that is captivating. Miller manages to always maintain the element of the unknown that allows for many surprises and constantly keeps the reader guessing. I love how Miller does high school drama. It is unique, well done and never boring or dull. I love Vie’s wit and her quick and smart responses. I love the wide array of well-developed characters, the attention to detail and a very well done third person narration.

All in all, it is an excellent read. I was completely captivated and am looking forward to the sequel. I love the resolution to this novel- It ends well yet it left all this intrigue and a few unanswered questions which make reading the sequel a must. I love the romance in this novel and how utterly spellbinding Descended is. This is a read I definitely recommend.

*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

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Book Review: Guardians of the Akasha

gaurdians of the akashaTitle: Guardians of the Akasha

Author: Celia Stander

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Eighteen-year old Keira Wilde has finished school and is determined to make her own plans for her future, thank you very much. She wants to be a photographer; not go to Oxford, like her parents want, or be a hero, like her aunt wants. But Keira’s plans go flying out of the window when she is attacked on the streets of London and she is forced to use her powers in self-defense.

Unfortunately, her actions attract the attention of a predator intent on using her…or destroying her. Preferring to be neither used nor destroyed, Keira takes charge of her destiny and enters the hidden world of the Guardians of the Akasha.

Fighting side by side with the battle-scarred Marco Santana, they race from London to Argentina and a castle in the forests of the Czech Republic to find the source of all knowledge and prevent the fabric of time from unraveling.

My Review: Keira Wilde has just graduated from high school and wishes to fulfill her dream of traveling the world with her camera in tow. This is all a possibility if she can manage to confront her parents and break out of the mold they have created for her. But fate intervenes and she is forced to face a destiny she never imagined possible.

Guardians of the Akasha is a great action adventure novel. The story, although frequently being told from multiple points of view, revolves around Keira. Which by the way, I really enjoyed her character. She was a pretty strong character that even through betrayal, attacks, loss and isolation never loss her sense of self. She was a joy to read about and she constantly impressed me.

As I said, there were multiple POVs. The story is mostly narrated by Keira but there are constant shifts so that the reader has a kind of birds eye view of what’s going on in the story. Truth be told, it was something I really liked- most of the time. Overall, the effect of shifting POVs was a definite bonus for me as a reader. I loved knowing what was happening on such a wide scale. However, there were plenty of times that I was really into the story- the romance, the action, and then the narrator would change and so would the pace of the story. It created a lull in the story that I came to dislike. So if you haven’t picked up on it yet, I definitely had a love- hate relationship going on there. Yet to be fair the closer the story gets to the climax, this ceases to be an issue. Plus, although all of the above is a fact for me the biggest truth here is that I hated the spotlight being taken from Keira and Marco. I loved their story so much and I hated being diverted from it- at first.

So… Yeah. Marco. Pretty hot stuff. If I assigned grades to authors, Stander would have scored an A on HOT love interests. I loved Keira’s attraction to him and their chemistry. The tension between the two was entertaining to say the least and their developed trust in each other was sweet. At the end of it all, I wish the book had been longer. I believe Keira’s character was very well developed but her relationship with Marco was not. The chemistry was there and I loved that. Yet they had a romance that could of rivaled that of classics and I feel that Stander just barely scratched the surface.

Ok, as my last complaint for this novel, there were ALOT of characters and I had difficulty keeping up with all of them. Seriously, it was like a game of Where’s Waldo for me. I would have to sit there blankly staring at the page trying to jog my memory to remember a name. It was mostly a successful venture. Yet here I am having finished the novel and am still asking myself ‘who is Chetan?’ I don’t blame Stander as I could be to blame for rushing through the beginning. I truthfully think that if I were to read this novel a second time I would probably fall on love with it and be raving about it with 5 Stars.

I believe Stander has done a great job with this novel. With an array of great characters, an epic battle of good vs evil, a spark of romance and a unique premise Stander leaves you satisfied yet yearning for more. Stander is a great storyteller. I am looking forward to the sequel and reading more of her work.

*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: Swords & Sails

Title: Swords & Sails: The Legacy of the Red Lion

Author: David McAvoy II

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Edward Reynolds hates his life in the seaside village of Danscum and spends his time trying to figure out a way to see the world on the high seas. Then, one night, Edward finds himself taken aboard the pirate ship the Cerberus, captained by the feared Captain Wolfang. Edward soon finds himself sailing the world searching for a mysterious treasure his father left behind, a treasure Edward is determined to find if he can survive long enough to do so.

My Review: Imagine a world where Harry Potter meets Pirates of the Caribbean. Picture a Harry Potter like boy. One who’s only living relatives treat him terribly and is clearly unwanted. One who yearns to escape and when he finally does finds himself in a magical world. No not of wizards- of pirates. In Swords & Sails McAvoy writes a magical tale of a young man loving and hating, making friends and enemies, finding himself and learning his heritage. All in a impossible to put down, action packed package.

Swords & Sails has a wide array of great characters. Some you love, some you hate and some you have no idea what to think.

  • Edward, the protagonist, is a strong character. He is honest and headstrong and fights for what he believes in. He reminded me a lot of Harry and is an easy character to like and understand.
  • Wolfang was my favorite character. He has a notorious reputation and is feared and/or respected by everyone. He comes off as crude and mean but as the novel progresses we see that there is more to him. He is a man full of contradictions and I came to really enjoy and care about his character.
  • From the very first page, McAvoy captured my interest and through out the novel- I not once found myself bored or frustrated. Swords & Sails is a novel that can be devoured by both teens and adults. As magical as the world McAvoy presents to us is, it’s breathtaking and oddly realistic. He does a great job of transferring the reader into this world and we live these adventures along with Edward.

    *I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

    Book Review: After the Fall

    Title: After the Fall (Clash of the Otherworlds #1)

    Author: Elle Casey

    Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

    Blurb: The Light and Dark Fae have come together, a tenuous peace formed at the urging of the Overworld. Potty-mouthed teen, Jayne Sparks, and her fellow changeling friends find themselves once again in the middle of a maelstrom of conflict, mystery, and magic that they must struggle to not only understand but to overcome. Jayne Sparks Blackthorn hereby cordially invites you to follow her into the Gray…

    *Clash of the Otherworlds continues where Elle Casey’s War of the Fae series left off

    My Review: I find myself having a tough time reviewing books that come from a series. I feel limited in the sense that it’s harder to not provide spoilers. Like me being particularly emotional in Bella and Edwards wedding from Breaking Dawn and writing something to that effect. For someone who has read Eclipse they are already expecting this. However this will be a total spoiler for those who have only read Twilight or New Moon. Uhum… So I hope you understand my dilemma and my usual hope of not providing spoilers. Which for those of you who are unaware is why I tend to keep reviews about sequels short. However, I’ll admit I can’t help myself on this one. Those of you who have yet to finish reading the War of the Fae series or don’t enjoy **SPOILERS**, stop here. You have been warned.

    After the Fall begins where War of the Fae ended. I was pretty much left not knowing what to expect. The Light and Dark Fae have united, Jayne and Ben got married and now they have a war with the Otherworlds to deal with.

    In regards to Ben and Jayne, we all know how stubborn and head strong Jayne can be, but I was left feeling hopeful that things would work out between them with their steamy kiss, a few heartfelt promises and overall attitude at the end of New World Order. However, this book highlighted all of their problems and it seems to me that their relationship may not work out. First, Jayne is having a tough time getting over Chase. Then Ben can’t seem to make up his mind as to whether he is a possessive a-hole or a sweetheart. He changes moods as much as you would expect a PMS-ing girl would. The jury is still out on Ben. He needs to pick a side like who do his loyalties lie with? There is such a shroud of mystery around him and I’m honestly not sure if he’s a good or bad guy. But then I remember that Chase sanctioned their union and spirit has blessed it. Surely Chase would never marry her off to a traitor to their race right? Well, I guess we can say I keep going back and forth on this. I think we just need to learn a little more about him before we make up our mind about liking him.

    Casey reveals more of Jayne’s heritage and she does in the most unexpected way. Then in regard to the ever hilarious Tim the Pixie, he is dealing with having his wife around and getting to know his son. I absolutely love his character and cannot possibly count the laughs I’ve had on his account. His son Willy is pretty awesome too and is also pretty funny; Especially with his spider nakie stuff. I seriously couldn’t get enough of it.

    It turns out that Jayne has more potential that anyone could of ever imagined. Like… How about a major **SPOILER** now? Again, MAJOR SPOILER!!!! Our Jaynie girl can wield all four elements. That was a wowsers moment and the scene was exciting as hell. I’m still grinning like a madman over that amazing action scene.

    After the Fall is a pretty intense book. The pace is fast, the action is intense and it is hilariously funny. I truly think that I would have ended up in a mental institution had I read this book in front of anyone outside of my family. I looked absolutely crazy with my wild reactions, burst of laughter and in my general excitement over this book. Good thing my family is used to me turning into a madman when there is a book in my hands… 😉

    *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

    Book Review + Giveaway: The Changelings

    Title: The Changelings (War of the Fae #1)

    Author: Elle Casey

    Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

    Blurb: Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her best friend, shy and bookish Tony Green, have a pretty typical high school existence, until several seemingly unrelated incidents converge, causing a cascade of events that change their lives forever. Jayne and Tony, together with a group of runaway teens, are hijacked and sent into a forest, where nothing and no one are as they seem. Who will emerge triumphant? And what will they be when they do?

    My Review: The main character Jayne and her best friend Tony end up as runaways in Miami after a series of crazy events. They find shelter among a group of homeless teens and are trying to figure things out while being penniless. They soon find an opportunity to make $500 in a medical study and they all jump on it. After an unorthodox test and an interesting interview, they are invited to what they are told will be a physical portion of the test. Up to this point to story is pretty good. Jayne is a strong character who is wittingly funny and the first to say what’s on her mind so you are never bored. However, it is after this point that the story really starts.

    They are dumped in a forest in an undisclosed location and are told to find their way to four waypoints. To complete the task they have to tie one of their four flags to each waypoint. They are told that upon completing the physical portion of the test not only will they receive the promised $500 but they would also have an opportunity to earn a bonus. Sounds easy enough right? Well except for the fact that they are told that whatever rules or laws they were taught to follow don’t apply and they are each given a weapon. They soon find that there is more at risk than the money they were hoping to earn. After all, at every turn they are fighting for their lives.

    The characters are all great and I have no complaints about them. With so many dynamic characters, there is never a dull moment.

  • Jayne is a very strong character. She has a big heart and a terribly funny sense of humor. She is big on tough love and very perceptive.
  • Tony is Jayne’s nerdy best friend. He is her support system and I love how easily he reads Jayne and seems to be the only one capable of reining her in.
  • Spike is the character Jayne is immediately drawn to. He is handsome, musical and very charming.
  • Chase is the strong and silent type. He rarely speaks and Jayne keeps hoping that he will be one of those silent but deep characters and I’m still kinda waiting for the deep part of it. 😉
  • Ok. There are actually a few more that make up their band of runaways but I’ll be stopping here. What can you expect from them? They all bring something to the table. They are honest and fun and I enjoyed getting to know them.

    This book is incredibly addictive and I found it impossible to put down. It is funny, action packed and you are left guessing after well placed plot twists and plenty of betrayal. This is an amazing book that will leave you desperate for the sequel. Elle Casey is known for ending her novels with cliff hangers… Well in The Changelings she leaves you with a WTF moment and desperate to know what happens next. With this being said, my review for Call to Arms will be up very soon.

    Giveaway: Elle Casey is once again, generously, giving away two copies of her novel to two lucky guys/gals. This is the first installment of a series of four. For your chance to enjoy the first book in this great series just fill out the form below. The giveaway ends Monday October 29th 2012. The winner will therefore be announced on Oct 30th. Good luck!

    Book Review: Apocalypsis: Book 2, Warpaint

    WarpaintTitle: Apocalypsis: Book 2, Warpaint (Apocalypsis #2)

    Author: Elle Casey

    Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

    Blurb: My name’s Bryn Mathis. I’m seventeen years old, and I live in Kahayatle, otherwise known as The Everglades. I live with my three best friends and a tribe of Native American teens, because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world.

    We’re creating a whole new world for ourselves, but this world has problems. The biggest threat to our survival is not starvation anymore … it’s the gang of kids who lives nearby that has become more vicious than anyone could have imagined possible. The soulless demons have gone too far, and it’s time for us to rise up and do what needs to be done to set things right.

    Alone, it might have been impossible; but now I’ve got friends. I’m worried though, that I won’t be able to get them ready to fight in time, and that we’re taking on more of a challenge than we can handle right now.

    And I have no idea what might be waiting for us when we arrive on their front doorstep.

    My Review: As many of you know I read and enjoyed Apocalypsis Book 1. So I anxiously jumped on it’s sequel. Did I have expectations? Absolutely. I was expecting some more full out laughs, a lot of action and to see more of what appeared to be a budding romance. Well, Casey does not disappoint.

    Warpaint picks up where Kahayatle left off. Bryn and her family of four have found a home in the safety of the Kahayatle or in English: the Everglades. They have become friends with it’s natives but now have more on their minds than simply surviving. As the cannibals that filled readers with dread and suspense in book one, get closer to their home, Bryn must prepare them to defend themselves and fight.

    Bryn continues to be the strong heroine I came to know and love. She is the same badass who keeps kicking ass and taking names. 🙂 Casey keeps us laughing throughout the book and the reader is continuously treated to front row seats to great action scenes. The romance is definitely budding. It was sweet, and honest and very steamy. For those of you who are queasy about reading books with sex in it… Don’t worry, although steamy the happy couple don’t have intercourse.

    I recently mentioned that the mystery surrounding Bodo left me with a feeling of foreboding… Well Bodo reveals all of his secrets in this novel and no, it’s not at all what I expected. He continues to be sweet, romantic and protective. Peter continues with his OCD tendencies. He also makes new friends and becomes an even stronger character than he was in Book 1.

    I will be stopping here in the hopes of not spoiling this book for anyone. It is a great read. It is funny, action packed, romantic and a great story of survival and friendship and love.

    *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review