The Thirteenth Gate: Book One Review and Giveaway



The Thirteenth Gate
Kat Ross
(Dominion Mysteries #2)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: June 26th 2017
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Young Adult

Winter 1888. At an asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who’s interviewed their patient and isn’t sure he’s a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she’s ever encountered.

As Jack rampages through London, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he’s searching for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…

Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Sabelline’s death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?

As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?

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Book One Summary: 

It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.

But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.

From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?

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My Rating: 4/5

The Daemoniac Review:

Book one in this series is unlike anything I have ever read before. Think Sherlock, but it’s a girl investigating by the name of Harry with her life long friend John, a doctor. Harry’s sister, whom takes on several odd cases is gone for a few weeks when a new case lands in Harry’s lap. She pretends to be her sister, unable to refuse the people that need help and sets herself to find out exactly what happened to a person that has gone missing.

As far as characters go, Harry is quick on her feet and utterly brave. To uncover the truth she puts herself in these sticky situations that honestly had me biting my nails. I also really loved John. He is Harry’s rock, always there to help her, always there for her. John is definitely Harry’s Watson. They are a formidable team and I found myself more than once hoping something would spark between the two of them.

The world building in this is magical. It’s like falling into the time of Jack the Ripper. Kat Ross really draws you in with this brilliantly crafted historical fiction with it’s edge of supernatural and mystery. She paints a perfect picture of her world, one I could easily get lost in with her descriptions and cleverly crafted characters.

The Daeomoniac is charming, witty, and suspenseful. A must read for fans of Sherlock Holmes!

Author Bio:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

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TS901:Anomaly Review

TS901
By Stacey Rourke & Tish Thawer
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult

Synopsis

Tainted water for the good of the people. Fluoride and vitamins to sustain the health of the human race. Added ingredients to extend and elevate the quality of life. All good things, right?

Wrong.

Thia Kelly has been changed by the TS901 chemical in the world’s water supply. Now, forced into hiding with the other inflicted outcasts, she struggles to survive as her powers emerge.

Evan Daniels hunted for others like himself, and finding Thia suddenly brought meaning back into his life. Love blossomed between the strange couple while they searched for a way to reverse the effects. Unfortunately, the Government had something else in mind.

Super-soldier creation on a mass scale was their end goal, and thanks to an unfortunate family tie, Evan became Patient #1.

Good-guy? Bad-guy? The world isn’t sure, but Thia is left with only one choice––save the ass of the world’s first Anomaly who just happens to be her boyfriend.

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Review

From the very beginning of this book, you are thrown into a heavily tense and brewing war between Naries(Ordinary) and Malies(Anomalies). Thia starts her days angry, in pain, and missing her boyfriend. A boyfriend that is considered dangerous and a threat by being Patient One. While vicious attacks are blamed on him, she knows the full story. That he was just a boy that wanted to make his father proud. Except, in doing so, he left her and their people and his image now puts everyone at risk. Still, Thia is seen as relatively normal on the outside and is a bridge of communication between both sides. Struggling with her own inner demons about her ability, she tries to bring some semblance of comfort and normality to the people she loves. One thing clear about Thia is that she has a big heart and discovers what power this gives her.
This book is dizzying, surprising, action-packed and literally will make you want to run around afterwards. It has an X-men vibe but is also so gritty and real. Even the occasional crude humor and camaraderie between the characters will make this book fly by. You’ll understand that pun later…
The pace of the book will encourage you to read faster and I barely kept up with everything happening. This was written by two authors so, at times, can get a bit chaotic. I actually enjoyed this style of writing, as it really exhibited the uncharacteristic writing I enjoy. Thia’s goal in the beginning is to rescue her boyfriend(ish) Evan and through the help of some powerful Malies, they spark a revolution. I loved every distinct character in this book. Especially Gigi!! What was very clear was how incredibly supportive they all are of each other and their differences. It had a beautiful underlying story amongst all the action. Even their flaws are accepted, the choices they make, and who they have become to survive is a strength. By the end, they band together and seem like a family by the end. They are determined to save people and, in doing so, show their true heroic colors.
A wonderful start to a series! I eagerly await the next book.

About the Authors

Tish
2017 – #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction (Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 – Best Cover – Penned Con (The Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 – Readers Choice Award – Blogger Choice Awards (The Witches of BlackBrook)Bestselling and Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, Reader’s Choice, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery).Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Colorado with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.You can find Tish on Facebook.

Stacey

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.
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Amid Stars and Darkness: Review and Giveaway

Rating:

Amid Stars and Darkness
Chani Lynn Feener
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 4/5

Book Synopsis:

Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.

Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.

No pressure or anything.

Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.

Get lost Amid Stars and Darkness, in this YA sci-fi romance from debut author Chani Lynn Feener.

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Book Review:

This book is probably one of the cutest books I have ever read. Feener pulls you in from the beginning with an amazing problem: Delaney’s body has been turned into that of an alien princess and the princess’s body guard, Ander Ruckus, takes Delaney from Earth, thinking she is the alien princess, to bring her back home. Of course by the time he realizes his mistake they are already across the stars and almost to his world. As they near the planet Ruckus realizes how he needs Delaney to at least pretend she is the princess in order to keep a war from happening. She agrees to help, but of course, nothing is ever that easy. Someone wants to kill the princess Olena. But who has ordered the hit?

Do I have you reeled in yet? Doesn’t this book sound like a must read?

What can I say about this book besides it’s so damn cute?  As I write this review I’m finding it hard to explain how awesome this book is because of all the cuteness that is wrapped up in a perfect package for a star-cross love story. There’s mystery, suspense, futuristic coolness, a love story that makes your toes curl and leaves you wanting more. Ruckus was perfect for the main love interest. I was drawn to him instantly with his protectiveness and noble demeanor. As for Tristan, Olena’s betrothed, I love how he was all rough edges and coldness. As the story continued I found myself more and more intrigued with Tristan, the alien prince. And I’m very eager to see how this interesting love triangle plays out.

Feener has given us a true charm with her first book of the Xenith trilogy. Amid Stars and Darkness is a must read for anyone looking for that super cute love story that makes you smile when you least expect it and leaves you wanting more and more. I am very much looking forward to Feener’s sequel to Amid Stars and Darkness. Be sure to check it out!

Author Bio:

Chani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade story time. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont, and graduated in 2012. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is the author of Amid Stars and Darkness and the teen paranormal series the Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on Goodreads.com.

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Rise of the Sea Witch: Review and Giveaway

Rating:

Rise of the Sea Witch
Stacey Rourke
Publication date: June 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 3/5

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.

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Review:

Rise of the Sea With is a very imaginative and captivating retelling of The Little Mermaid. The Sea Witch hadn’t always been…. well… a witch. And Rourke spins a beautiful and charming tale of how the Sea Witch grew those tentacles. Right from the beginning, Rourke pulls you in by giving us a glimpse of the villain to be. Then she pulls you back in time as she unravels the tale of how the Sea Witch goes from a mermaid that no one pays attention to, to the villain we all know and love.

One thing I felt that was truly wonderful in this tale is how much as a reader I could connect with Princess Nessa. You really feel for her, her father Poseidon ignores her. Her brother, who obviously doesn’t want the crown, is heir to the throne. No one listens to her. And simmering underneath the wave’s surface is a powerful dark magic inside Nessa.

Nessa is no innocent, and she often times makes questionable decisions concerning her morale, but isn’t that part of the point of the Sea Witch? She’s not exactly the most kosher of people. I’ve read several tales of a persons transformation into a villain, and I’ll be honest, they aren’t necessarily for me. But perhaps because I already love all there is to The Little Mermaid, and I couldn’t help but think of the Sea Witch that I love, it made me love this tale even more. Not everyone can craft a good villain story, because villains needs to have redeeming qualities. I think Rourke gives us just enough in Nessa that we truly do see and feel and understand what brings her to her ultimate demise.

If you’re a mermaid fan and enjoy dark tales from the villains point of view than be sure to check this book out! I look forward ot future reads by Stacey Rourke!

Author Bio:

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a

Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

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Breakwater: Review

Rating:

Breakwater

By Catherine Jones Payne
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mermaids
Release Date: May 30th 2017
Fathom Ink Press


Summary from Goodreads


A red tide is rising.

As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she’d ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean’s fragile peace.

Can the city’s divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?

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Review

Colorful haired mermaids and water manipulating naiads are a recipe of everything I wanted to read right now. Breakwater did an excellent job of bringing me an entirely different underwater world and keeping things very relatable. Tensions are high between the mers and the naiads with injustice and prejudice. It’s something we see everyday in reality. I’m sure with every story we read, the reader will always see similarities to their own world. Nothing is ever quite simple but this book brings something to light that is. Compassion.

The others characters like Pippa show that even with great loss, we can still find something for which to smile. Or Alexander who doesn’t fit in but works hard and eventually finds a home he enjoys. Even Jade’s mother shows acts of kindness despite the complicated position it would bring her. These characters and more come together in tragedy and upheaval and still persevere.

Jade’s compassion shines through a bleak and troublesome war brewing in her city and it what really drove me to loving this book. At one point, Jade describes heroic women from the past that jeopardized their lives but still persisted. This book is a great example for everyone, and especially young girls, about embracing differences and standing for what’s right. Even if you’re afraid. Well done Catherine Payne.

I enjoyed how mature this book could be while still keeping simple elements to the plot. It was an easy to read, fast paced, and thrilling story that I believe many will enjoy.

About the Author

 

Catherine Jones Payne is a Seattle native who loves the written word, international travel, crashing waves, and good coffee. Her earliest memory involves pulling up a rolling chair to her parents’ old DOS computer—while wearing a tiara, naturally—and tapping out a story of kidnapped princesses. By day she’s the managing editor of Quill Pen Editorial and the editor of Splickety Magazine. She lives in Waco, TX with her historian husband, Brendan, and their cats, Mildred and Minerva.

 

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Feel Me Fall Review

Rating:

Genre: YA, Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: Inkspot Imaginarium
Date of Publication: May 2nd, 2017
Review Rating: 5/5

Books Synopsis:

Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

My Review:

Emily wakes in the drowning waters of the Amazon, not able to recall what had just happened to her. Then to her surprise, she’s not alone. There’s a small band of survivors that managed to live through the horrible plane crash. They set out to find a village, desperate for help. They trek through the Amazon, unaware that the real danger isn’t what creatures are found deep inside the deadly rainforest, or the starvation that gnaws at their bellies. The real danger is much worse than that.

This book had me hooked at page one. Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash. We’re first introduced to Emily as she is healing from her encounter deep in the Amazon, a place that brought out much more than fear in Emily. James Morris tells the story through a series of flash backs, giving us bits and pieces of the story as it unfolds. Throughout the book I couldn’t help but keep asking “What happened to Emily?” “What happened to the other survivors?” Eager for the answers, I finished this book in one day. These characters literally transformed on the page, from who they were, to the survivors on the Amazon. And their transformation is truly the beauty in Feel Me Fall. Not to mention it had quite a marvelous ending.

This survival story is gripping and intense, with quite a few unexpected turns. Layer by layer, James Morris reveals to us just a little more of each of the characters that has you questioning their morality and honesty as you race to finish the ending. This book is fast paced, and places you on the edge of your seat. Each character has their own story to tell, and each of them demands to be heard. Their past, their present… They’re the kind of characters whose story seems to leap of the page.

If you like stories that are suspenseful and intense, filled with amazing characters, a captivating survival story, and a kick ass ending, then be sure to check out Feel Me Fall!

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The Glitch: Review

Rating:

Author: Ramona Finn

Narrator: Genevieve Kaplan

Length: 6 hours 28 minutes

Publisher: Relay Publishing⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: The Glitches, Book One

Book Summary

On the brink of extinction, being human means more than just surviving.
In Lib’s world, it’s dangerous to stray from the Norm. In fact, for someone who doesn’t live up to the AI’s standards, it’s practically a death sentence. Lib learns this the hard way when she wakes up with her memories erased in a barren wasteland, and only one thought lodged in her mind:


It’s all her fault.


Lib is a Glitch—an imperfect human component of the utopian Norm. Utterly alone, she’ll have to team up with her fellow Glitches Skye and Raj and the mysterious Rogue Wolf and his clan to survive. Wolf only cares about the survival of his group, but Raj thinks they can hack the AI and change the Norm for the better.


Now, Lib will have to decide which path to choose—whether to go with handsome loner Raj or stay with Wolf and his tight-knit group. Her heart is drawn to both, but she’s carrying a deadly secret that could jeopardize them all. Will she be able to save her newfound family and stop the AI before it’s too late?

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Audio Excerpt

 

 

My Review

I love audiobooks for all the benefits it has. I can listen to an entertaining story while doing other things like driving and cleaning. This book, however, floored me and I spent a good portion of the end completely involved in listening and nothing else. Despite it’s fast pace, it offers a variety of genres in action, mystery, betrayal, and love. It definitely leaves the listener, or reader, wanting more in the sequel.

Lib is an interesting character. Although she wakes with no memory of who she is, her instincts immediately help her and keep her focused. She soon finds out she is a Glitch and the brief memories of a voice tell her to find the other glitches. With this goal, she observes her new and sometimes unwelcoming surroundings and does her best to determine the person she will become. Her own reactions to the leader, Wolf, confuse her and start a chain reaction to branching off and distracting her from her mission. This book has an interesting play between human and machine. For a while, when it described the AI that controls the Norm, I believed it to be run solely by machines. Instead, it is filled with people and even families that serve the AI. Willingly or unwillingly it seems. Lib discovers there is so much more than just a war between the tyrant AI and the Clans.

Lib continues to stay with a Clan after saving a fellow Glitch and quickly shows her value to them with her efficient skill at hacking the Norm. Just when it was starting to development these characters more, the action starts. I am not kidding when I say this book is a whirlwind. When I first started listening, I thought it was actually longer and assumed where it was going. In a flash, another Glitch named Raj convinces Lib to go with him back to the Norm and fix the AI. Together they set off into the Norm and Lib discovers more about herself and her mission. Kaplan does a great job at narrating. While there are certain errors like volume changes, she continues to speak clearly and attuned to each character. I especially liked the subtle ways she brought excitement to each scene and the action as well. I only wish it had been longer so we could get more character development and backstory. I will definitely be getting the next installment!

 

About the Author

Ramona Finn

Ramona Finn writes about courageous characters who fight to live in broken, dystopian worlds. She believes a person’s true characters is often revealed in times of crisis, and there is no greater crisis than the worlds that she drops her characters into!

She grew up sitting cross-legged on her town’s library floor–completely engrossed in science fiction books. It was always the futuristic world or the universe-on-the-brink-of-extinction plotlines that drew her in, but it was the brave characters who chose to fight back that kept her turning the pages.

Her books create deep, intricate worlds with bold characters determined to fight for their survival in their dystopian worlds–with a little help from their friends. And, of course, romance is never out of the question.

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About the Narrator

Genevieve Kaplan

For the past fifteen years I have received extensive training in lyric diction and classical voice. Various experience includes lead roles in multiple opera production through Santa Clara University with semi-professional recording obligations. For a minor in Lyric Diction at Santa Clara University I was required to take 6 units of Lyric Diction learning the correct pronunciation of languages including Italian, German and French (and of course English) as well as four years of private vocal training. Outside of musical endeavors I have experience with various characters and voices of my own creation included in my stand up comedy set.

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Traveler Review

Traveler 
By L.E. DeLano 
(Traveler, #1) 
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Book Summary
A teen writer discovers that every mirror is a portal into an alternate version of her life in this romantic YA fantasy by author L.E. DeLano.Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all teacakes, pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.

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My Review

 

Jessa spends her time dreaming of traveling the world and being a world renowned writer. She gets a taste of her wish when suddenly she’s traveling to parallel realities of her life. With some twists. Suddenly her dreams, including a green eyed boy named Finn, are her reality. After being weary of him at first, he explains that she’s in danger. As a Traveler that can go to different realities, Finn discovers the Jessa’s are being targeted and killed.

Something I immediately noticed and enjoyed is Jessa’s perceptiveness. As a writer, she’s very observant and it was very entertaining the way the book was shaped around her own observations and narrative. The pacing starts out slower and then really picks up. I liked the air of mystery at first and then the craziness that ensues.

Another aspect was Jessa’s love for her older brother who is autistic. It was handled very well from the beginning and had great variation from the main plot. Her relationships and dynamics between the people in her life were well written. Especially considering the changes with each new reality.

It was such a refreshing plot! I don’t think I’ve read anything with pirates in it since a children’s book. This had amazing fantasy elements and action to keep me turning ‘digital’ pages as fast as I could. I did want to see more on how the romance would develop between her and Finn. Finn is protective and becomes quite lovable throughout the book. I’m not a big fan of love triangles (which comes later) but the characters were compelling and I look forward to the next addition. I liked the surprises of not just one character but their parallel self as well. It made it really interesting and I became really invested in the characters. Plus, a shocking ending! As someone who loves writing cliffhangers and starling ends, I felt particularly close to L.E. Delano’s desire to make us want the sequel right away.

About the Author
L.E. DeLano is a YA novelist rep’d by Barry Goldblatt Literary agency, author of the upcoming “Traveler” (Swoon Reads/MacMillan 2017) and lifelong writer. Her work has been featured on various online outlets and she lives in Pennsylvania with two very adventurous kids and two very ridiculous cats. In her spare time, she writes (of course) and binge-watches way too much Netflix.

 

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Birthright Review

  

Birthright

By Jessica Ruddick

Genre: YA Supernatural

Release Date: March 20th 2017

Book Summary

 

How do you live with yourself when you decide who dies?

 

Ava Parks would have killed for an iPod for her sixteenth birthday. Anything would have been better than coming into her birthright of being a seeker for the Grim Reaper, an arrangement made by her fallen angel ancestor in exchange for his re-admittance to heaven. And she isn’t just any seeker — she finds souls that have the potential for becoming angels and sentences them to death. A year and two souls into her role as a seeker with her conscience overflowing with guilt, Ava comes up with a plan to thwart the system. When it goes awry, she is forced to submit the name of a classmate, Cole Fowler, an ornery, rough around the edges guy who always seems to come to her rescue, whether s he likes it or not. Her feelings for Cole prompt her to intervene, and she saves him from death, upsetting the Grim Reaper’s agenda.

 

While Ava schemes to find a way to save Cole, she learns he has some secrets of his own. She lets him believe he is protecting her, and not the other way a round, until a final showdown with the Grim Reaper forces Ava to make choices Cole may never forgive.

 

 

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My Review

Birthright is a very consistent and well-paced book. It was very easy to get lost in Ava’s struggles and bravery in her wish for freedom. She is quite literally trapped in her life but continues to stay defiant against Xavier despite the destructive power he holds. I found it very easy to instantly like Ava. She is a very self-aware character who knows her own flaws and tries to improve herself despite everything going against her.

I particularly found her relationship with her mother moving. While she is angry with her mother for keeping the Seeker secret from her for years, she stills tries to push past her anger and be close to her. Both of them are trapped as Seekers, a job that requires them to name a person of pure white aura and therefore dooming them to death. The catch is that it is for the purpose of them possibly becoming angels. Possibly. While there is no guarantee and they never find out, they both struggle with being responsible for their deaths. In many ways, I could tell the subtle examples of anxiety and PTSD that Ava experiences. Biting her nails, nightmares, and a feeling of detachment are consistently in the book. She struggles with the guilt of the past people she’s named and desperately tries to figure out how to escape Xavier’s demands.

This book balances between a darker theme and the straightforward narrative of a young adult. Ava is mature for her age and keeps to herself but is still a teenager. Ruddick does a great job of giving Ava very mature experiences and then showing her own teenage urges for a normal life and feelings towards Cole. The only critique I would give is the age difference between Ava and Cole. While Cole is only two years older and still in high school, I thought having them a closer in age or moving slower towards a relationship would have been better. At times, I wanted them to become closer in getting to know one another instead of kissing as it felt more meaningful with Ava’s actions to save him. Of course, teenagers tend to be a bit more distracted towards other things. Overall, great book! Engaging moments and dynamics between characters and the rising action to the epic climax was perfect. I look forward to reading the next one!

About the Author

Jessica lives in Virginia with her college-sweetheart husband, two rambunctious sons, and two rowdy but lovable rescue dogs. Since her house is overflowing with testosterone, it’s a good thing she has a healthy appreciation for Marvel movies, Nerf guns, and football.

 

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Awakening: Bloodline Review

Awakening: Bloodline Book One 
by Tiera Rice 
Publication date: October 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

Book Synopsis

Antanasia knows better than anyone that being royal comes with lots of expectations. Born into war as a Vampyre Witch, she has to battle the ultimate enemy: her own blood. When she has a terrifying Vision, Antanasia fights harder than ever to prevent it from coming to pass. Will she succeed? Or does she die trying?

Nadia is an average teenager celebrating her nineteenth birthday. But her day turns upside down when she starts developing unusual abilities that make her question everything she knew. Searching for answers to her predicament, she finds herself trusting Nicolae, a stranger with a familiar presence. Why does she feel so drawn to him? Will Nadia find answers to the questions about her past and take on her new role willingly? Or will she choose to remain in the dark and deny her destiny?

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My Review
I don’t usually admit it but the cover is what really first appealed me to read Awakening. It turned out to be a great decision as this book navigates through the perspective of two appealing characters. Nadia, a girl in present day who just celebrated turning nineteen and falls into a completely different world. Then there is Ananstasia who lived centuries ago and also happens to be a Vampyre with magical abilities.
From reading the summary, I had my own sort of theories about how these characters connected but there were plenty twists I didn’t expect. While the idea of such a drastic time jump between characters would seem confusing, Rice structured the elements of each time to keep the reader entertained. You’re thrown headfirst into this chaotic world. I really appreciated the amazing history you sensed in this story. References and subtle details were revealed that easily tempted you into wanting more.
The changing course of past and present was something I haven’t often experienced before and was really impressed with. Not only was the personalities of our two leading ladies an interesting constrast but so were the very different times. Magic, war, folklore, and family drama were just part of a blended mixture to this story. Overall, Awakening was a thrilling and suspenseful read that was an great beginning to this series. This is best for a mature audience that enjoys a fast-paced and action filled novel.
About the Author
Tiera Rice was raised in Rockland County, New York and is a realtor in Rockland, Westchester, and Orange Counties. She earned her degree in criminal justice from Temple University, is the founder of Laughter and Lemonade: a project that focuses on motivational posters for those experiencing a chronic illness, and co-founder of #26forTiera: a foundation that provides financial resources to single parents battling life-threatening illnesses.
A creator of poems and short-stories for many years, Tiera challenged herself by leaping into the world of novels. Having recently survived a battle with cancer, Tiera decided to use her writing to entertain and motivate her readers. When not writing or selling houses, Tiera can be found spending time with her friends and family, especially her young daughter, fish, and kitty cat. Her other interests include singing, drawing, and dancing.
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