We 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.
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.
Fate 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.
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.
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…
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 (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.
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.
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 (Covenant #1)
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.
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.
I can’t help but fall in love with Armentrout’s swoon-worthy characters. Obviously, they are designed specifically for that in-your-face hotness factor, but what can I say…I’m still a sucker for a good old teenage crush. My own books are always delving into some aspect of battling one’s nature, or addiction of some kind, so the whole aether-addict aspect (how’s that for alliteration?) is right up my alley.
With that being said, I am no prude but for some reason the explicit sexual content annoys me. i feel like it takes away from the story rather than adding to it. Granted, this is just my opinion, but I prefer to use a bit more of my imagination with the sex scenes.
Definitely a worthy read, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the Titan series. series.
The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…
It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.
Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.
But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.
Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.
Book 1 in the new adult paranormal TITAN series, spin-off to the best selling COVENANT series. (less)