All posts by Tracy Auerbach

I am an avid reader and writer. My favorite books to both read and write are high fantasy, paranormal, and urban fantasy. I have a huge soft spot for YA and NA, but also usually in those fantasy-type categories. Regular, plain old young adulthood wasn't so magical, so I figure why not add some oomph? Some of my favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson, L.J. Smith, and JRR Tolkein. For middle grade, I think Diana Wynn Jones and Susan Cooper are just brilliant. I am a mommy to two fun, adorable and crazy-making boys who keep my hands quite full. I am a wife. I am also a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) coach and curriculum writer in the New York public school system. If someone has a really obscure bit of science trivia that they are curious about, that only a real, true nerd would know the answer to, they usually come to me. And I'm not gonna lie...I'm proud of that. I love to step into fantasy worlds during my down time. I have always been a reader and writer. I have published several articles and short stories. My first novel, "The Human Cure" was published by 48fourteen publishing several years ago, and reformatted and rereleased in print in November of 2014.

Waaahhhh! I can’t read the present tense!

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So, just wanted to put it out there…finally admit…accept the fact that…

I HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM WITH PRESENT TENSE NARRATION IN BOOKS!!!!!

I guess I’ve been told to live in the moment, and that’s a great motto. But reading in the moment is an entirely different beast. It seems counterintuitive that present tense makes me feel so much less connected to the characters and story, but there it is.

I wonder. I seek. I turn each page trying to understand…

Why doesn’t that work for me the way: I wondered. I sought. I turned each page trying to understand?

Ansolutely. No. clue.

Now, don’t get me wrong…some amazing  writers write amazing books in present tense. They’re just not for me. Then there are books like the Fever series, which I loved! The only issue was that occasionally my lovely, comfy past tense place in the world would suddenly sift all fae-like to present tense? -all Willy-nilly. The nerve!

 

Anyone else with tense issues?

 

And on that note: The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.

Sorry! 😂😂😂 Couldn’t help myself.

Review -Riders by Veronica Rossi

Riders (Riders, #1)

Riders. A new fantasy adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi.

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen–Conquest, Famine, and Death–are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now–bound, bloodied, and drugged–Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for–not to mention all of humankind–he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

My Review – 

2.5 or 3 out of five stars on Goodreads just about sums this one up. Just sort of meh. It had a ton of potential and I LOVED the concept of the four horsemen personified, but the character development fell a bit flat. I understand it’s going to be a series, but I really felt that I only knew Gideon by the time the book ended. Sebastian was a great character, and Marcus and Jode were cool too, but I didn’t feel that I really got to know them as people, through their actions. There wasn’t enough dialogue and ‘moments’ between the characters.

I understand that since this is a story being told by Gideon, there’s a lot of ‘telling,’  but the way the character interactions were very blatantly told rather than shown kept me at an emotional distance. I would probably read the next book in this series, because it wasn’t awful, but it was really just okay for me.

bored boring evil willow buffy the vampire slayer willow

Review of Inception (The Marked Book 1) by Bianca Scardoni

 

Inception by Bianca Scardoni

Be careful who you trust, for even the Devil was once an Angel.

My name is Jemma Blackburn, and I have a secret. I know vampires are real. I watched one murder my father eight months ago, and even though they tried to convince me it didn’t happen—that I’d lost touch with reality due to the trauma, I know what I saw was real.

Hollow Hills is now the place I call home. It was supposed to be my chance at a normal life. My chance to bury my secret and start over. But everyone around me is keeping their own secrets, whispering lies into my ears like promises, and one of them is about to turn my entire world upside down.

I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I had the answers. I thought I knew who I was. The truth is, I didn’t even know the half of it. There’s a reason these vampires are still after me. There’s a reason they will always hunt me. Because I’m not human.

I’m the devil they fear and the angel they crave.
Only problem is, I don’t know it yet.

INCEPTION is the enthralling first installment in The Marked series. A YA paranormal romance full of atmosphere, supernatural adventure, and jaw-dropping twists that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

 

My Review

This was just sooooooooo, so bad. I assumed since it was so widely read that it was going to be okay, but then when it started to become apparent exactly how awful it was, I looked it up and realized that the author must be an advertising genius. She should be a publicist. Because the book itself was probably one of the most difficult to finish books that I’ve actually finished.

And I WILL give it that. I actually finished. There are many books on my DNF shelf.

First the positive…

  1. The cover is stunning (which reinforces the old adage…)
  2. Some of the characters, and the story itself really had potential. I liked Dominic and Gabriel, and thought that had the potential for an interesting dynamic.

Now the negative…
1. The characters didn’t stay true to their own personalities. They randomly said and did things that made no sense throughout the story. and it wasn’t about them evolving…it was about blatant inconsistency.
2. EVERY cliche was in this book. Repetitive, overused metaphors, fluffy descriptions, and forced emotional connections did not help already flowery writing.
3. The main character never does anything. She remains a weak, fearful, complaining, selfish twit throughout the book. The story keeps hinting about her changing, but it just never happens.
4. Everything is told rather than shown.
5. The other main character (the love interest) has zero consistent personality traits or likable attributes, but the protagonist loves him anyway….because she’s dumb.

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

12813630Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

My Review:

This was definitely the most unique take on the vampire genre I’ve read in a long time. There were a few things about the book that I had a hard time with. For example, a lot of the characters were really great, but they’re kind of just used on and off, and not given enough ‘screentime.’ But that comes back to a positive. I LOVED the characters. Tana was a heroine that I didn’t get bored with/sick of, etc. I could’ve done without Midnight and Winter who ANNOYED THE CRAP out of me, but otherwise I really loved everyone.

I am really hoping that Black writes a sequel (which most likely won’t happen) because I’d love to spend more time with these characters in this world. With that being said, the book needed to end where it did. It really gave just enough to keep it enticing and delicious.

The Human Cure Review – by Metaphors and Moonlight

Book Review: The Human Cure by Tracy Auerbach

Thanks so much to Kristen Burns of the “Metaphors and Moonlight” blog, for her review of The Human Cure! You rock, Kristen.

 

Book Review: The Human Cure by Tracy Auerbach | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires

*Book covers are Amazon affiliate links. You can support this site by clicking them! For more info, click here.*

Kate meets a gorgeous man at a bar who seems interested in her and goes out with him only to wind up getting kidnapped, brought to a strange underground village, and told he’s actually a vampire. It’s not until Kate spends some time with Hunter, the vampire who has chosen her, and Chase, her vampire bodyguard who’s just as likely to lose control and eat her as he is to protect her, that she realizes she wasn’t happy before and that she may actually get something good out of this afterall.

Book Review: The Human Cure by Tracy Auerbach | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires
Title: The Human Cure
Publisher:
My Book Rating: 4 Stars

More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher

Review:

*I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

This book was such a pleasant surprise!

I have to admit, the cover didn’t give me the highest of hopes, and I try to stay away from books with less than 200 pages as it’s usually just not enough time for me to connect to the characters or really get into the story. But I am so glad I gave this book a chance.

First of all, the it was funny, mostly thanks to Chase. He killed so many people, being a vampire and all, and pretty much just thought of humans as food or slaves, but it was because of those things and his general irritability and disgruntled-ness that he and his POV were so funny.

Second, I don’t normally go on about vampire books being “different” because I read vampire books for a reason—I like the tropes, some of them at least—but this book really did manage to put a unique and different twist on the usual while still not straying too far. The underground village was kind of inspired, and the octopus theory (though maybe a tad too literal) was original, but it was the romance that really took me by surprise. *SPOILER ALERT* Show Spoiler *END SPOILER ALERT* Also, just a note, there were no sexy, intimate biting scenes; there was an off-screen sex scene, but the biting was all about feeding for these vamps.

Third, that ending was also not what I expected, but I liked that the author stayed consistent and true to the story and went in that direction rather than forcing everything to be perfect. I also liked how it kind of brought things full circle in a way. It made me see the whole vampire village differently and actually understand the burden of the leader (the antagonist).

But ugh, the book was too short! I really liked it, which is why I would’ve liked to spend more time with the characters, gotten to know them better, delved deeper into their emotion, etc. It’s like the depth was there, but I was only allowed to swim at the surface rather than dive all the way to the bottom. And there’s no sequel as of the day I’m writing this, but that ending had so much potential for an intense sequel. Really I just wanted more of this book, and that’s my only real complaint.

(Ok, maybe the love happened rather quickly, but I honestly can’t call that a complaint because it still worked well enough and didn’t actually bother me.)

So overall, though this was a very short read, it was funny and a refreshing, unique twist on usual vampire romance tropes. I really enjoyed it!

Book Review: The Human Cure by Tracy Auerbach | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires