Book Review + Giveaway: Soul’s Child

Title: Soul’s Child

Author: Dianne Gray

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Aurora Jones dreams in pictures that depict tragedy and death. After the death of her mother and sister, Aurora’s father, Merv, moves them across the world from Australia to LA, where he forges a new career as a celebrity ghost hunter, thanks to Aurora’s dreams. But Aurora sees her father changing into a character she doesn’t recognize – his alter ego – Clive Soul.

My Review: After a car accident that took her mother and sister from her, Aurora and her father Merv Jones were all that were left of the family. However, this accident not only gave Aurora the (gift or curse?) of precognitive dreams it also gave her the ability to sense her dead mother and sister. Merv recognizes what these dreams are and acts on them. By the third time he saves lives, his “gifts” as he has everyone believe, earn him a Hollywood career. At which point he has already lost himself to the fame and riches and becomes his alter ego Clive Soul. His lies and deceit lead to an ultimate showdown of good versus evil.

Soul’s Child is an absolutely brilliant novel and I loved it. Aurora is a strong character that I grew to easily love. Her father on the other hand, you learn to hate him. He is a liar and manipulative and I hated what he stood for and the way he treated Aurora.

I was so engrossed in this novel- you know the type where I said I would only read a few chapters then three hours later I’ve finished it and realized I completely devoured the novel. I am known for being a speedy reader but even so, Soul’s Child was a quick read.

I once again loved Gray’s narrative style. Gray does a great job of spoon feeding the reader Aurora’s story and leaving us wanting for more. Before I even finished the first chapter Gray had me in the palm of her hands. Mind you I started reading this in early morning and it seemed to have become a battle of wills by the time I was half way through the novel. ‘I’m really hungry but I can’t just stop here. I’ll read until the end of this chapter.’ Then when my stomach would growl again I would realize that I already read another two chapters. Suffice it to say this novel is extremely captivating and addictive. Good thing it is not a long novel as my curiosity was stronger than my hunger. 🙂

I truly loved this amazing novel- The battle of good vs evil, Aurora’s strength and the idea that amid even the worst situations there is a silver lining. Dianne, you’ve done it again… Another great novel and you’ve truly made a fan out of me.

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

Now, for a chance to see why I’ve fallen head over heels for this novel, be sure to enter the giveaway below. Dianne Gray is generously giving away an ebook copy of Soul’s Child to one lucky person. The giveaway ends Nov 29th 2012. Good luck!

Book Review + Giveaway: The Brown House

Title: The Brown House

Author: Christy Sloat

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Some secrets should never be revealed…
Brylee Branson begrudgingly made the excruciating move with her family from the warm sandy beaches of California to small town living in New Jersey. As if she wasn’t miserable enough, they’ve moved into a creepy old house that everyone in the area claims is haunted. Brylee dismisses the idea of ghosts and hauntings, until she begins to see and hear things that can’t be explained…

Brylee has no choice but to seek the help of new friends to unlock the secrets of this place she now calls home. But some secrets should never be revealed. Can the teens find a way to release the spirits imprisoned within the walls? Or will the curse claim them, too?

My Review: I gotta say, I really enjoyed this novel. From the dark curses, evil witches and angry ghosts to the honest friendship, budding romance and the inherent good in the characters.

Sloat weaves a great story of a girl who’s family lose everything and get a chance to start over. The protagonist, Brylee doesn’t want to move but she wants to see her family happy and understands the importance of the move. She plays nice and doesn’t complain although her parents know she doesn’t want to move. So when she finally comes forward about experiencing some paranormal activity in her new home, her mom screams at her thinking that it’s some ploy to return to California. Needless to say that the house really is haunted. I love how Sloat presents the paranormal activities to the reader. I feel as if she eases us into the creepy factor of it. From the get-go its creepy but on a minimal scale. Yet towards the end of the novel I was seriously creeped out and testing my hubby’s patience. All the lights on and becoming his shadow until the goosebumps faded.

I loved Brylee’s strength. She is someone who knows who she is and who she wants to be and she sticks to her guns. She has a lot of spirit and is a character I really came to love. She is strong and honest and very relatable. I loved her inner struggle in remembering who she was and remaining who she wants to be. I loved the honest friendship portrayed in this novel, the budding romance and how realistic the marriage of her parents is. In speaking of marriage, from the very beginning Sloat tugged at my heart strings. She has one of the most beautiful dedications I have ever read in a novel . “For Joe. You have showed me that this is where I want to spend my life. Forever in your arms and by your side. Family is forever.” The romance in this novel is just as sweet and beautiful as this dedication.

The Brown House is a great novel with lots of intrigue and suspense. Sloat revels the story to the reader a little at a time. It mostly leaves you in a state of suspense until the entire story is revealed. She does this in a great way. This book demands your attention: it’s a novel that will keep you reading and thinking about it when you’re not. Again, it is a great read and one I truly enjoyed.

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

Now, for the fun part, Sloat is generously going to giveaway one paperback copy of this novel. For a chance to win a copy of The Brown House fill out the form below. The giveaway ends November 22, 2012. However, a couple disclaimers must be out into place first. 1. This giveaway is limited to the US and Canada. 2. As this is a physical book and giving your mailing address will be necessary, be sure you ask your parent/guardian for permission before entering if you are under 18. Good luck!

Book Review: Onyx

Title: Onyx (Lux#2)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

My Review: In picking up Onyx, I don’t know, the truth of it is that although I didn’t know what to expect- I had high expectations. For more than half of the book I was disappointed. The book is good, there is no doubt about that. But after reading Obsidian that was a little slow to start but after a point it was nearly nonstop action, I was disappointed with this novel’s beginning. It wasn’t so much that it has a slower pace because the story actually progresses well. It’s more that I, as the reader, could clearly see Armentrout setting up the scene and the storyline. I found this to be the case up until half way through. However, when that ceases to be the case, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by plot twists, amazing action scenes, swoon worthy romance and so much intrigue and suspense that I didn’t know what to do with myself.

The biggest and best thing about this book can be summed up in one word: Daemon. Well besides the fact that he gets ALOT of airtime (I know that’s not exactly accurate, but I know you get my point) the reader also gets to see a whole other side to him. In Onyx he is trying to prove to Katy that his interest in her is true and sincere. For those of you who haven’t read Obsidian, she thinks he’s only attracted to her because of their new alien connection. I am tempted to say that we no longer see his asshole side… But that would make me a liar. The difference between this book and Obsidian, is that it is now rarely directed at Katy. So here is disappointment number two for me in this book: the new character Blake. He becomes Katy’s BFF and Daemon doesn’t trust him one bit. To be honest, nether did I. Well back to what I was saying, Daemon is such a jerk to him and I absolutely love it! I thought it was genius that Daemon would call him any name but Blake. Always names starting with B: Ben, Brad, Bob, Bozo. Daemons treatment of Blake is mean to say the least, but I respected him for doing everything in his power to protect Katy because he thought Blake would be a danger to her. I know a dude being an a-hole is usually a negative thing… But here, I found him to be sexier. He is keeping true to himself by not denying his jerk gene and every step of the way he is proving just how much he really does like Katy. Not to mention, the kicks and laughs I got out of hearing his nicknames for Blake.

Something else I enjoyed is that both Katy and Daemon’s characters are further developed. I feel as if my review is turning into some major essay so I’ll do you guys the favor of trying to keep it short. Katy, we saw in Obsidian is trying to find some inner strength. She doesn’t want to be a push over or a weakling. Well in Onyx her moments of weakness are rare. She becomes physically and mentally strong. I loved seeing this new kick-ass Katy. However, at some point, I started to dislike her. I love that she sticks to her guns and is trying to be a better person. But she seems to be blind to everything except what she wants to see. I found her reasonings to be more and more idiotic and was seriously disappointed. Though admittedly, that didn’t last too long. Next, Daemon does a total 180 in this book. I hope it will suffice to say that he picks his priorities and sticks to them. I loved the improvement in his character and completely understand why everyone is going gaga over him.

Everyone seems to say that Onyx is better than Obisidian. At first I wasn’t entirely sure that was the case… However the second half of this book more than makes up for the slow start. I truly understand all the hype behind the Lux series and am steadily becoming a fan of Armentrout’s work.

Book Review: Obsidian

Title: Obsidian (Lux # 1)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My Review: I should begin by saying that the only reason I picked this book up is because everyone and their mother was swooning over this book on Goodreads. I decided to finally pick it up and find out what all the hype was about.

When I started this book, I was already curious and by the first chapter I was intrigued. But I’ll admit that up to that point I had yet to even read Obsidian’s blurb so I had no clue what the book was about, just that Daemon is one of Goodreads favorite bad boys. So after the first chapter, I still had no clue what it was about and decided to finally read the blurb. In my About Me I describe myself as enjoying books dealing with the paranormal. This is without a doubt true. However, in my saying this, I do not include alien life forms or extraterrestrials or whatever. I have never read books dealing with them. Not because I’ve never found any, I am simply not drawn to them. Even the ones people tend to rave about don’t draw my attention. But here I am reading a book about aliens. I pride myself in seeing books through once I start them so I set out to finish it. Although I was dismayed, I was already intrigued.

The first half of the book I was mostly dragging my feet through. It wasn’t necessarily boring but it wasn’t exciting either. It was interesting and I could feel the story building up. I was quite literally waiting for the pin to drop and for the story to really start.

So here’s the story: Katy moves to a small town with her mother attempting to start fresh and move on from a terrible loss they experienced. They end up moving in next door to two teenagers Dee and Daemon. Dee and Katy have a lot in common and instantly become friends. Daemon on the other hand is truly something sexy but is a total jerk. Katy is attracted to him and all but hates him. Well truly dislikes him.

Daemon comes off as such a jerk. He is confrontational and always seems to provoke Katy. He humiliates her and belittles her. But then he turns around and is sweet, thoughtful and charming.
Which leads Katy to have mixed feelings for him. She dislikes him for the way he treats her but manages to get butterflies every time he’s near. I loved the chemistry and the anticipation I felt as the reader, waiting for them to finally admit their feelings.

Katy, I really enjoyed getting to know her character. She is strong and honest and I love how she doesn’t back down from a fight. Which led to so much bickering between her and Daemon- which I totally loved. It was funny and romantic at times but always entertaining.

I tend to stay away from alien books, if that’s what they are called, but this one I fell in love with. It is truly romantic- which I loved. Daemon and Katy are always arguing and bickering but have such chemistry… By the end of the book I was positively craving the sequel. The quick pace and action packed scenes of the second half of the book more than make up for the slow first half.

So all in all, I see what the hype is about. If you enjoy romantic, action-packed and suspenseful books; you will love this one.

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood

Author: Kendare Blake

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Synopsis:Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

My Review: Many of you, who know me and what a scary cat I am, are probably wondering what I was thinking picking up this book. Well I was actually intrigued by a few reviews I read on Goodreads a few months back. There was one thing in particular that I read that really got to me. I don’t remember who the review belonged to and therefore cannot properly quote it but it was along the lines of reading and reading and getting really into it. Then all of a sudden you realize that you are all alone and how scared you are. So this got me thinking, “What book can be so subtle or so addictive that the reader didn’t even realize how scared they were becoming?”

So now that you know what it was that caught my interest and that on most days I am scared of my own shadow I think you can fully appreciate my review.

Just as the mentioned reviewer said is exactly as it happened. It’s creepy- with all the ghost stuff, action packed- Cas the protagonist is a ghost hunter after all, and impossible to put down. Sadly, it doesn’t last long. The first few chapters completely drew me in. Here I am reading, totally into it when all of a sudden I realize how hard my heart is pounding and that I’m in my room, all alone. So after I run into a more populated room I start reading again….

However, the pace of the story slows down. There are probably two more action scenes (that is me being genereous as there is really only one major scene and a hint of action before that), some suspense (nothing major. Seriously, scary cat me was barely impressed). However, there is a great plot twist in there that again lends to the horror theme. Next, I personally disliked most of the characters. The only exceptions were Anna, Cas’ mom, and Morfran. As the reader gets to know Cas better, the more I came to dislike him. I dislike his rationale and how quickly he changes his mind with his convictions.

So next I’ll warn you that you might find *SPOILERS* in what I will say next. It turns out that a romance forms between Cas and Anna. It is was quite nice to see how that came about. How they bonded and got to know each other while Cas was trying to figure out how to kill her. So again the romance was nice I just wish there had been more of an emphasis on it.

To summarize, it isn’t a bad book. Its actually quite good. I just wished it was more consistent. More horror, more romance, more suspense, more action…. More of everything expect the trivial high school bickering, high school nemesis and I honest could have lived with a little less dialogue. Wow! I never thought I’d say something like that. Let me explain, I didn’t always enjoy the dialogue but the reason for my previous statement simply deals with the fact that I wished there was more doing and less talking.