Saturday, November 30, 2013

Eternal by Kristi Cook

Series: Winterhaven (bk. 3)
Genera: Paranormal Romance
Subjects: vampires, vampire hunters, supernatural, psychic ability, premonitions, boarding schools, New York, abilities
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 408 pgs.
HC/PB: Hardcover
List Price: $16.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster: Simon Pulse
Summary/ product description: “True love and destiny collide in the conclusion to the Haven trilogy, which Booklist called “a blend of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Twilight saga, and Lois Duncan’s thrillers.”
Forced to endure the violent punishment of the Tribunal for murders he has no recollection of committing, Aidan is slowly rotting away in a Paris dungeon. Violet is all but an unreachable dream to him now.
But unlike Aidan, Violet has not given up hope as she works tirelessly with Matthew, her guardian and protector, to prove Aidan’s innocence and unravel the haunting vision that plagues her thoughts—the death of someone closest to her.
Determined to set Aidan free, Violet discovers that a dangerous vampire war is brewing—and that Aidan may be at the center of it all. It’s only when the war reaches the doors of Winterhaven and tragedy strikes the school that Violet has to finally accept her fate. But that could mean losing Aidan—forever.
With no other option, Violet must choose between true love and fulfilling her destiny…unless she can find a way to have them both.”

My Review: This book was epic and the ending completely resolved the series. I loved every minute of it, even though the beginning of it started out slow due to the lack of Aidan. Once Aidan returned, everything was just full of awesome and of course, romance. I loved this series from the very beginning. When I first saw Haven I wasn’t aware that I was looking at a book with vampires. When I found out that there were vampires, I was hesitant thinking it would be just another vampire book with a boarding school. Not true. It was not just another vampire series, though if you love Vampire Academy, I’d recommend it. This book is unique. It’s like if Vampire Academy and X-men combined, kind of.
Violet is a Sabbat. She is a born vampire huntress. Aidan is a vampire, so you can see the dilemma. Matthew is her Megved, which is kind of like a Sabbat sidekick and guardian. Suppossedly a Sabbat and Megved have a deep soul-mate connection and usually become lovers, but Violet feels like Matthew is more of a big brother. He’s about 26 and she’s only almost 18. He’s a professor at Winterhaven. Their psychic connection is kind of inconvenient. I love how there isn’t a love triangle at all. Aidan does occasionally feel jealous when another guy is with Violet, but Aidan is such a gentleman. He believes that he can find a cure for his vampirism with science. He’s not a carbon copy of Edward Cullen, but they do share a few personality traits. Aidan is much better than Edward ever was. Aidan was the son of a king of England, but was a Viscount, not a prince. Aidan sometimes slips into a British accent. Aidan is pretty much one of my favorite vampire characters of all time. It must be the Aidan Effect.
I also love all the side characters. They all have cool powers and different personalities, but they’re Violet friends and truly care about her and help and support her. Cece has astral projection and she spies for Violet once in this book. Sophie can sense a person’s injury or ailment by touching them.  Other characters have psychic powers like telekinesis and empathy. I kind of forgot who had what, but remember after a while. I suggest you refresh your memory of who’s who before reading. Violet of course has premonitions beside her Sabbat abilities. Pretty much all of Violet visions from the previous book are realized in this book, but some have changed outcomes.
I love this series and now that it’s over I’m going to miss it. I always hope for spin-offs and novella after a series ends and sometimes they happen, but usually not. This book had it’s twists and turn and moments when you feel like you’re going to cry. This whole series gave me the feels and sometime I actually felt like I was Violet and that Aidan was my boyfriend that I cared about so much. I felt her pain. I must be a book empath or something. This is such an emotional read and it’s probably because the writing style is both simple and descriptive. It’s this lush, romantic story with its sexy part too. I don’t think any adult PNR could ever get to my heart the way that YA PNR like this has.
I recommend this series to fans of Vampire Academy, House of Night, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, the Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter, the Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep, Talents series by Inara Scott, The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey, and I guess if you liked Twilight, this series could work for you. Anyone who enjoys paranormal romance and psychic teens, read this book series.
Cover Art Review: I love the title, colors and the simplicity. The butterfly and the hourglass seem so awesome and minimal. Angela Goddard is the designer and she’s really into typographic and minimal. She also designed the Possession book covers and the Immortals series covers.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Beautiful and the Damned by Jessica Verday

Series: Companion novel to The Hollow trilogy (spin-off)
Genera: Paranormal Romance
Subjects: revenants, demons, angels, supernatural, possession, New Hampshire
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 266 pgs.
HC/PB: Hardcover
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster: Simon Pulse
Summary/ product description: “Cyn’s blackouts have deadly consequences in this sexy, suspenseful spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Hollow series. Cyn and Avian are far from a perfect match. She’s a witch who casts spells on men so she can steal their cars. He spends his time being judge, jury, and executioner to the truly evil in the supernatural realm.
When the blackouts Cyn’s been having ever since her time in Sleepy Hollow start escalating, she finds herself unable to remember where she’s been or what she’s been doing. Frightened, she seeks guidance at a local church, and it’s there she meets Avian.
The unlikely pair soon discovers that her blackouts are a side effect of what she truly is—an Echo—a conduit for souls of the dead. The only way to prevent Cyn from losing complete control is to return to Sleepy Hollow and vanquish the source of her power—but she may not survive the process. And if she does? She won’t ever be the same...”

My Review: I recommend reviewing what happened in the Hollow series before reading this. I completely forgot who Cyn was and what characters were what. You do eventually find out, but it’s nice to refresh you memory. I loved the Hollow series, so I was excited when I found out about this spin-off. I was hoping that it would be set in Sleepy Hollow, but most of it was set in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. I don’t think I ever read a book set in New Hampshire, and this book didn’t really describe the setting much. The opening of the book was Cyn working at a diner as a waitress.
We also get to meet Avian a.k.a. Thirteen. He’s half demon, half angel and also a revenant. I love book with angels in them. I loved the part when Cyn found out he had wings and when she made a comment about how it would be impolite to touch them. We find out early on the Cyn is a Echo, and she’s constantly getting possessed by souls, and now Vincent, who we met in the Hollow also, is inside her. Cyn’s memories of Sleepy Hollow are foggy, but she vaguely remembers Abbey. Cyn’s on the run because she killed her boyfriend Hunter and now a cop whose Hunter’s brother is after her.
The story is a really fast paced, short read. You could easily read it in one sitting because the lines on the paging have a very open leading. This book make a great companion to the Hollow trilogy and is does it justice. We get to meet other paranormal creatures, including Hellhounds and vampires.
It’s really awesome, and if you enjoyed The Hollow, you’ll love this. Also, if you’re a fan of the Sleepy Hollow TV show, you should read the whole series. I wondering if there’ll be anymore spin-off, but it works well as a standalone. I can’t wait to read whatever Jessica Verday is writing next.

Cover Art Review: It fit with the Hollow series. I like the wings and the embossment of the gold edges.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

In My Mailbox 11-24-2013

I ordered World After and Afterglow from Barnes and Noble. World After is the sequel to Angelfall.

I also bought The Fiery Heart and Horizon.

These I got from the library booksale for 50 cents.

I also had a lot of book on hold at the library. Some of these I am so excited to read. Especially The Trap and Revelations.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Wicked Within by Kelly Keaton

Series: Gods & Monsters (bk. 3)
Genera: Paranormal Romance/Dystopian
Subjects: Greek mythology, supernatural, magic, gorgons, gods and goddesses, curses, witches, vampires, shape-shifters, Louisiana, New Orleans
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 280 pgs.
HC/PB: Hardcover
List Price: $16.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster: Simon Pulse
Summary/ product description:Ancient lore leads to present danger in the final book in the dark and sexy paranormal romance trilogy about a descendent of Medusa, set in a richly reimagined New Orleans.
Her fate is not set in stone.
Having temporarily defeated Athena, Ari races to break the gorgon curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries. Her one lead sends her on a quest for the Hands of Zeus, an ancient relic last seen in the charge of New 2’s ruling elite, the Novem. But if there is one thing that Athena desires as much as revenge, it’s the Hands of Zeus—and Athena always gets what she wants.
Before either can locate the Hands, the statue goes missing, and a trail of blood follows those who once protected the relic’s secrets. Ari knows that her city, her friends, Sebastian—her life—depend upon her finding the statue before Athena. And with rumors an ancient power is on the rise, that may not be her only concern…”

My Review: With the epic amount of mythology and paranormal creatures, this book series is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Richelle Mead and Tera Lynn Child’s books. Vampires, witches, shape-shifters, demi-gods, Gods and Goddesses and so much more. I love the New Orleans and bayou setting. It’s set during Madi Gras, which is a prime time for New Orlenes, also known as New 2 in this book. It’s also a bit dystopian, without the sci-fi. It’s creepy and mysterious and enchanting. I read the previous book and this final book back to back, so it’s hard to believe that this series is over. The books are pretty short and faced paced. I love the characters, as I mentioned in the review of A Beautiful Evil.
Ari is kick butt, and her relationship with Sebastian has become complicated. I never doubted their love for each other, but he did become a vampire in the last book. It really sucks that her needs blood now. He’s keeping his feeding habits from Ari. We get to see some of Bastian’s perspective in this book. It’s the italicized chapters and they’re written in 3rd person. They weren’t as exciting as Ari’s parts, but there weren’t that many Bastian chapters.
I really think that Ari’s pursuit to remove her curse was complicated and exciting. Athena want her child to not be stone anymore, and will cure Ari is she revives her child. So many crazy things happen along the way. Many questions are answered through out the book. We also get to learn about gods from other cultures, specifically Egyptian gods. There’s also this character that raised Violet, known as the River Witch.
A small spoiler is that Menai and Heni kind of have a thing for each other, and they’re both my favorite side characters. Toward the end of the book, we find out secrets about Violet, Menai, Pandora, and Athena’s child. It’s an epic conclusion that leaves room for a spin-off series. I really hope that a spin off is written. I want to now if the Blood Wars really start with Athena’s child.

Cover Art Review: I like the Mardi Gras mask. The girl looks like she could be Ari.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton

Series: Gods & Monsters (bk. 2)
Genera: Paranormal Romance/Dystopian
Subjects: Greek mythology, supernatural, magic, gorgons, gods and goddesses, curses, witches, vampires, shape-shifters, Louisiana, New Orleans, monsters
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 287 pgs.
HC/PB: Hardcover (and now in Paperback)
List Price: $16.99/$9.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster: Simon Pulse
Summary/ product description:Myth and mayhem inhabit a richly reimagined New Orleans in this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her. After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari.
Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine…”

My Review: It’s been over 2 years since I read Darkness Becomes her (June 2011). I finally decided to read the last 2 books in the series. I have to admit that I did enjoy this even more than the first book. Ari is a likable main character. I remember comparing her to Maximum Ride. She’s kick-butt and brave. She’s got a unique look with her white hair and teal eyes.
She has a relationship with Sebastian (Bastian) who’s half warlock, half vampire. I love Bastian. He very kind and gentle and caring. I’d like to add him to my list of book boyfriends. I love how there’s a strong, yet gentle romance between Ari and him. Ari put a lot of trust in him
My favorite side character is Henri. A spoiler that revealed very early in the book is that he’s a shape-shifter. He can turn into a hawk. Henry the hawk! I love that. And he uses French words a lot and reminds me of Jules from Die For Me. I love hawks and birds, and bird shape-shifters. It was totally awesome. The best fight scenes are the ones where Henri turns into a hawk. I do like the other characters too. We get to meet some new people, and see a lot of Bastian’s dad and Bran, who’s training Ari.
The thing that I love about this series is that it melds paranormal with dystopian (non-sci-fi). New 2 is New Orleans after it was destroyed by 2 hurricanes and then have the French Quarter restored by the Novem. There are all kinds of paranormal creatures and beings. Witches, vampires, shape-shifters, demi-gods, god and goddesses, other monsters and one girl who’s a gorgon. It’s a awesome mix and it’s done so well. Think Vampire Academy meets Divergent meets Percy Jackson and the Olympians. (Not really Maximum Ride meets Twilight meets Percy Jackson). Ari decided to attend the Novem school, which is where I get the Vampire Academy comparison. Ari is a lot like Rose, (and Max).
Athena did a lot of torturing and was a total b-word. She likes to play with her prey, and toy with people. I like Athena better in Percy Jackson because she was Annabeth’s mom, but here she’s a complete sociopath bent on getting her way. She’s overly cunning and seems like the ultimate supervilliness. Think of the Evil Queen on crack. That’s how she is. Ari gets into trouble and Athena tests her and pushes her to the limit. Ari wants to learn everything she can about ways to stop Athena and get Violet and her father back. She goes to Mount Olympus to save them. Lot of crazy stuff happens. Athena throws her own Mardi Gras party and parade, but she calls it something else. The ending was kind of awesome. I’m sure my questions will be answered in the next book.
Fans of Vampire Academy, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs will love this. Mythology and monster are pretty awesome.

Cover Art Review: Different from the 1st book’s hardcover version. The snake coming from the hair does fit with the story, although Ari doesn’t have snake hair yet. Her hair is white.