Review – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater



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.

Review: Bad Dreams by Kenneth Buff

bgad dreamsWe all have nightmares, but not all of us have to live them. Johnathon Clarke did. His bullies beat him. They humiliated him. They stole his life. So at the age of 17 he took it away with a bullet from a gun.

In Hell John finds himself working out his existence in the mailroom, until he’s given the promotion he died for—he becomes the forger of nightmares, the giver of bad dreams.

With his new position, John makes his assignments feel the fear he’s felt his entire existence. He does this until he’s assigned a young girl named Danielle. Danielle’s not much younger than John was, and the circumstances surrounding why she’s been assigned are troubling. They’re troubling because he disagrees. Now John must decide between continuing this life of torture and scares, or using this dark gift for something else, something that could help this girl who needs him.

My Review:

John Clarke is a cool character, and I wish I had gotten to know him better. Kenneth Buff’s vision of Hell was really creative and unique, and I enjoyed the imagery. The concept of this book had a ton of potential. We enter the story as John enters Hell, which is the beginning of a new journey for him. He quickly advances in the ranks and ends up being a sort of boogeyman; someone who weaves nightmares for the wicked.

I wish that we could have seen more of the struggle for John as he loses his humanity, and then fights to regain it for the sake of love. I found the rapid POV switches and the throwaway characters who are the victims of John’s nightmares to be more of a distraction than anything else. I feel that the story would have been more consistent if John’s point of view had remained the dominant one.

I also had a hard time with the throwaway characters, like the old man at the lake and the guardian. The characterization and their stories felt sort of rushed, and I didn’t really get to know anyone the way I would’ve liked. I feel like this story was a really brilliant, original idea, but a bit skeletal, and could have been extended into three fleshed-out books.


Review: Apollyon(Covenant #4)

9897164Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.

My Review:

Well, this was just a huge disappointment. Right after I finished talking about how things were getting good with Seth and the whole conflict/addiction piece,  what happens? He is completely absent from the book…as in, really not there at all.

So we are left with Alex…and Aiden. Toward the end, I was beginning to throw up in my mouth every time I read “His grey eyes shone a brilliant shade of liquid silver (I’m paraphrasing there)” or “The kiss deepened (unfortunately non paraphrasing).”

So for the Gods’ sake, bring back the action, keep the between-the sheets-action a bit less in everyone’s face, and let’s have some Seth aside from imaginary vision-quest Seth in Alex’s head.

Also, if Armentrout needs an editor I’m available.

Review: Deity (Covenant #3)


Fire flower

Deity (Covenant #3)

History is on repeat, and things didn’t go so well the last time.

Alexandria isn’t sure she’s going to make it to her eighteenth birthday–to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she’s a goner… and so is Aiden.

If that’s not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time “training”–which really is just Seth’s code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time–she ends up with anothermark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she’s caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed… and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate…

My Review:
Finally, some addiction and some evil! I’m doing my thing where I tear through the content just to get to the parts that I know will hit me where it hurts in such an intriguing way. Armentrout got this one right. She built up the tension to a point where the various falls the main characters took and the heartbreaking ways in which their weaknesses played out were…well, just delicious. The only thing better than a great villain, in my opinion, is a great chaotic character, because it’s so intriguing watching his internal struggles and conflict. Now, with two main characters having gone chaotic, my trigger finger is already on my kindle.

Human Cure Review – Phoenix

Human Cure review – Click Here

Thanks Phoenix! Holy literary Vampires!

Freaking awesome! Completely unexpected in a good way, a most refreshing take on vampires. Here, vampires are not seen through the romantic lens but are the monsters that they are. Even knowing this, the story is so compelling that I can’t help but sit glued to my Kindle. I think what kept me intrigued was the way I had no clue whatsoever what was going to happen. I guess it’s safe to say that this is not a romance, though there are romantic elements. It’s like one of those stories you read in lit class, but more fun.


Human Cure Review – Versasbookreviewsandstuff

Human Cure Review (click the link to read the review)

Thanks to  verasbookreviewsandstuff for the lovely review. Yup, I love to write gory, disgusting, intriguing vampires. They’re fascinating once you get to know them, but no sparkling dreamboats here.

Image result for sparkly vampires

How Do You Like Your Vampires? Loving, Kind, Scary, Cruel? Welcome To A New Vampire World!
Author Tracy Auerbach has created a vampire world I have never seen before. This is a tale of vampires in the down and dirty world they occupy below New York and the world where they hunt. It is raw, gritty, gory, and filled with monsters. It also a story of love and sacrifice.
STORY LINE: Kate Plesser is an office assistant that can not seem to find her niche in life or a boyfriend worth his salt. She drinks too much, has no friends and drifts through life. Hunter Bardock, given orders by Vampire Master Jonathan Bardock to breed, has kidnapped Kate. Hunter would be considered the good vampire of the story trying to eat human food and be more human. His back story was so sad and sweet.
Chase Bardock is Hunter’s vampire cousin and body-guard for Kate; handsome, compelling, unfeeling, and revolting. Chase is not the vampire you have seen in other book vampire novels. He is not the compelling, come here and kiss me vampire, while I gently feed from your throat, and promise to protect you forever as we walk off into the night; he is a down and dirty feeder on humans. His feeding habits are gross and disgusting; his emotions are nonexistent. Humans disgust Chase.
What follows is a journey you will not forget. It is addictive, intriguing, and leaves you wanting more. You will enter a vampire world I had not seen before; full of monsters. Kate enters a world of nightmares and so will you.
CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, AND DEVELOPMENT: Ms. Auerbach created a dark world filled with dark complex characters; from Jonathan trying to be more human, the farming of humans, Hunter’s theories of vampirism, and the complex relationship between Jonathan, Hunter, Chase, and Kate; this novel will hold your attention.
Kate’s character is developed skillfully from a down on her luck girl to a confident woman. I loved watching Kate become a secure person of her own, ready to fight and not give up.
Chase is one of the biggest character developments in the novel. It was wonderful to watch Chase develop from an unfeeling, human hating creäture to…., well I am not going to tell you. You must read the novel to follow this wonderful story of monsters, family, underground breeding farms, sacrifice, and love. This novel is a wonderful story, well written, paced well and developed skillfully by Tracy Auerbach.
The twists and turns in this story will hold your attention, and the presentation of the vampire world is definitely unique as it dispels vampire myths of old as you enter the raw world of the vampire. It has a bang up ending. It actually left me a little sad.
RECOMMENDATION: This novel contains gory descriptions of vampires and violence. I would recommend this novel for young adult to adult due to violent content. I hope Author Auerback has plans to expand this into a series, I enjoyed my journey into Tracy Auerback’s vampire world and was sorry to come to the end of the novel. I received this book from Readingalley in return for an honest book review. Books reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion; book reviews on line under my name and on my blog are my opinion. Show Less

Review: Pure (Covenant #2)


Fire flower
Burning hibiscus flower

There is need. And then there is Fate. Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome–especially when Alexandria’s other half is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom–so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do–and sacrifice–for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies–lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon–and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude–or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

My Review

The action slowed down a bit in this book. The awesome characters were waving their hands around in front of my face, and I just wanted to bite them, but then the plot dragged on, and it teased me for such a long time that I started to lose interest (book ADD again). A worthy read, and I’m pressing on to the next book.

Side note: What’s with the editing issues? Is it a Kindle formatting thing? My own book has fallen victim to demons intercepting its Kindle download. I sure hope that’s the case, because editing mistakes (mine as much as anyone else’s) make me want to rip my own face off.

Half-Blood Review


Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is.

If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Paperback, 281 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Spencer Hill Press
My Review
I read this book after reading the Lux series and then accidentally reading the first book in the Titan series, unaware that the Covenant series even existed. I am officially Jennifer Armentrout’s creepy stalker! These sort of books fulfill a need I must have to go back to being a teenager and be really unique and special and meet someone with great powers who is just too gorgeous for words, but for some reason worships me. Ah, well. Are there any thirty-something powerful god-like men out there?

As always with Armentrout’s writing, I devoured this book because I fell for the characters. Also, the great thing about my faux-pas with the series order was that now I get to go back and read Seth’s character development. I like Alex as the female protagonist, a bit more than I liked Lux’s Katy and a bit less than Josie. She has attitude to the point where I get annoyed with her, but I like the fact that she doesn’t get lost in her crush for Aiden. Some of the secondary characters didn’t seem to serve much purpose, and the story was a little slow. I give it four out of five stars, because although as a stand-alone it wasn’t the best, I see the potential in where it’s going and what it all leads toward.


When I am deeply involved in a book, the characters are my everything. I love, hate, and side with or against them. I pour my heart and soul into their outcomes and become more invested in their emotional well-being than my own. I fall into them. That is how a great character is written, like a temporary lover, enemy, or bestie.

I know I’m enjoying the book I’m reading if I’m unable to stop myself from yelling at my husband if he interrupts me.  For that brief tryst with the characters I meet, their world is more real to me than my own.

Never make the same mistake twice. There are far too many new ones to try out!

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