Category Archives: Reviews

Review – The Half Bad Trilogy

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*Warning: This review contains spoilers

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)

by Sally Green

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy #2)

by Sally Green

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run–but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy #3)

bySally Green

The Alliance is losing the war, and their most critical weapon, seventeen-year-old witch Nathan Byrn, is losing his mind. Nathan’s tally of kills is rising, and yet he’s no closer to ending the tyrannical rule of the Council of White Witches in England. Nor is Nathan any closer to his personal goal: getting revenge on Annalise, the girl he once loved before she committed an unthinkable crime. An amulet protected by the extremely powerful witch Ledger could be the tool Nathan needs to save himself and the Alliance, but this amulet is not so easily acquired. And lately Nathan has started to suffer from visions: a vision of a golden moment when he dies, and of an endless line of Hunters, impossible to overcome. Gabriel, his closest companion, urges Nathan to run away with him, to start a peaceful life together. But even Gabriel’s love may not be enough to save Nathan from this war, or from the person he has become.

My Review:

Where to begin? If the best books are the ones that evoke emotion in us, then this was a powerful piece of work. With that being said, there was a definite bell curve of quality, that peaked in the second book. Half Bad took me a little while to get into. Nathan is a great character, and I really enjoyed being inside his head. He speaks with unparalleled honesty, in an interesting stream-of-consciousness style, with a strong voice. Still, it took some time for the story to really begin to a point where it held my interest. I kept reading for Nathan.

Half Lost rocked my world! It was action from start to finish, and the relationships between all of the characters got richer and deeper. Nathan stayed true to who he was as a character, and the psychology of him was fascinating! I would read a whole book about Nathan’s thoughts on the world. Marcus was also great to meet, and that was a fun relationship to explore. And Gabriel… well, what can I say, except I’d fall for a love like that (sorry hubs!). I KNEW things had to turn tragic for Nathan. I just felt it coming from a mile away. But here’s the thing… I knew it would hurt me, and I almost wanted to stop reading because of it. He’d worked too hard to overcome his obstacles, and I couldn’t bear to see him lose himself after all that…

…which he did (insert huge frowny face), in Half Wild. The ending is DEVASTATING. The book seemed to lose a bit of steam here, as the bell curve of greatness reached its apex and began to plummet once again. I won’t tell you what happens, but suffice it to say that I hated the ending. Okay, one thing… a tree? Are you f*#@ing kidding me?

All in all,  4/5 stars

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Human Cure Review by Fani

Human Cure Review by Fani

4/5 Stars  Image result for 4 out of 5 stars

fani
Reviewer
I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this story! I didn’t felt bored in any part of the book, the plot was fast paced and it kept me entertained from the beginning to the end. “The Human Cure” might have vampires in it but it uses this theme in a unique way and gives its own twist for these creatures. I loved all the main characters, Hunter’s kindness and altruistic personality was so touching, he might be the one who kidnapped Kate but as we read on and learn more about him it is obvious that he was one of the better characters in the underground village. We see the way he sacrificed himself for the happiness of other people in many parts of the story and I think it was such a shame we couldn’t see more about what he was thinking and feeling when he made those sacrifices especially a very important one. Thankfully we see a bit about his emotional turmoil in the very end of the book. A nice contrast to Hunter’s character was Chase, he really didn’t fit in the vampire community and that is evident when we see that the only person who is spending time with him is Hunter. His interactions with the heroine were very entertaining to read and I loved his cynical and a bit bitter personality. “There was something special about endings, even bad ones. In his own life, nothing ever ended.” Kate was also an enjoyable heroine, her life was a dead end but we experience through her how some people have the biggest improvement in their lives after ending up in an environment with even harsher conditions than where they lived before. I was afraid after reading the premise of the book that this story would have a love triangle were Kate would being confused and would love two people at once but I was happy to see that the story didn’t take that direction instead, Kate was always clear about who she had feeling for. One thing I would have liked to see was more world building, this story was a bit short and I think it still had some space for world exploration without losing its fast pace. I would have liked to see the main characters interact with other vampires and witness what kind of similarities and differences they had compared to Hunter and Chase. I would have also liked to see how everyday life is in the underground village, beyond the few scenes where we see the villagers run away when the vampires enter the village we don’t see any interactions between them when they are all by themselves without the presence of their masters. If the author had added more details about the life in the underground village the world in “The Human Cure” would have felt a lot more complete.

Review – Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising, #1)Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My Review – 

Oh, thank you Red Rising for coming to me at just the right time! You did a better job of exemplifying the societal divide that tried to come across in Red Queen, and had just enough Hunger Games in you without being too much of a rip-off. And… wait for it… you were so well written that I didn’t mind reading you in the present tense!

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I thoroughly enjoyed the voice of this book. Darrow spoke from a really sincere place, and the voice remained true on both sides of his transformation. It was a nice change of pace for me to see through the eyes of a male protagonist (it’s been awhile). The secondary characters were also well thought out, for the most part. I love Sevro! And Pax! And Mustang was enjoyable as well.

While Brown’s writing was sharp and definitely dragged me right into this world, some of the battle scenes were a bit drawn out. The plot took a long time to evolve somewhere around the middle of the book. There was constant action, and I wanted some more downtime and dialogue with my man Darrow.

First book in quite awhile that is: Image result for 5 out of 5 stars

Review – Red Queen

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

My Review 

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When I opened this book and saw that it was first person present tense, I had to laugh at the irony after my last blog post. My first instinct was slam it shut with a “Damn you, present tense!” But I hung in there.

Aveyard’s initial worldbuilding was impressive. I really got the feel of the downtrodden reds nd the elite silvers. Despite the present tense, I was hooked.

***************SPOILERS BELOW***********************

Continue reading Review – Red Queen

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.

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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

Review – Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

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In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

 

Review:  4/5 Stars ****

I was seriously in the mood for some hard-core paranormal romance when I picked up this book, so it was perfect for what I needed. I really enjoyed the characters (except for Beth…but in all fairness, it’s got to be really tough to write a female protagonist who stands a chance against the backdrop of all those fascinating males). Honestly, Marissa intrigued me more.

I HATED the lessers, which is great, because that’s the way I’m supposed to feel. So dang skeevy and nasty. Loved Wrath and also Rhage (although it’s tough to get past the names). The character dynamics work really well. I give it four stars, because I found it a bit too sudden how Wrath and Beth are suddenly madly, deeply in love. There wasn’t quite enough of the slow sizzle (and yes, I get that with them it’s more chemical, but i still wanted to see the build-up).

Definitely going for the next book in this series.

Review – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

 

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4/5 Stars

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Review:

This book had things that I loved and things that I wasn’t into. The writing was excellent, and I was super invested in the plot. I had a bit of a difficult time buying into the characters and their relationships. It was in many ways a book riddled with metaphors rather than interactions. I suppose I would’ve liked more interactions to breathe life into the characters. But overall, a worthy read.

The book was rich with description and world-building, and the character of Gansey seemed to come to life more than the others. I enjoyed being inside of Blue’s head and seeing Gansey through her eyes, but I found myself having difficulty picturing her. I couldn’t bring myself to get too attached to Adam. The bits about Declan Lynch seemed superfluous.

I’m going to take a break and then read the next book in the series.