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18459932From Goodreads: Eighteen year old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your every day quasi-demon, half-demon and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she hasn’t lost a battle yet.

But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights aren’t enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it’s not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and doesn’t like the answers she finds. What happened seventeen years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is? Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what’s a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla’s not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla’s going to shake up Purgatory.

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I am so sorry to say that, while this novel started off interesting enough, it soon lost its luster, and at 535 pages, my lack of interest made this difficult to finish.  In my opinion, it was just too long, and not enough happened to hold my attention.  Instead, much of the text was repetitive, with Myla either fighting, lamenting about her life, or trying to find the truth.  Due to the repetitive nature of the text, in my opinion it could actually be paired down quite a bit, making the novel a much more manageable size at about 250-300 pages, and including only the most important, fast paced action.  I lost count the number of times Myla’s sickness during warp or the way the sand fell away to actual images during dreamscapes was referenced in the text, but I do know it was a lot, and this repetition of play-by-play, along with repetition of certain scenarios, took its toll after a while. As the novel stands now, there is just too much down time, in my opinion, and its choppy nature left me with many more questions than answers.  And at 535 page, I feel like I should have all the answers.

Myla is a great fighter with a huge chip on her shoulder, and to be honest, she didn’t impress me.  I got the feeling that the author really wanted to create a kick butt heroine who didn’t need anyone, someone who could take care of herself, but in truth, Myla just rubbed me the wrong way.  She’s rude to those around her, is obsessed with fighting, doesn’t listen to anyone, and was a bit comical in her relations to those around her, especially with her incessant fist pumps every time something made her happy.  Her best friend, one full of envy thanks to her demon half, was a complete jerk, and yet Myla repeatedly took the blame for their fights, which in my opinion, undermines her kick butt status because it’s plain to see her BFF is rude and using her, and I didn’t like either of the characters by the end.

Likewise, the insta-love relationship between Myla and Lincoln didn’t pan out in my mind.  To go from hating each other so passionately to being undoubtedly in love, well… that just didn’t work for me.  I think it had potential, but the execution of it all didn’t fit, which is unfortunate.

Myla’s mother’s story also had the potential to be enthralling, but it took so long to come out, chopped up in bits and pieces, that I lost interest before all was said and done. The dreamscape was a great idea, but as it was extremely repetitive in nature and went unexplained much of the time, I found it fell a bit flat.

Overall, I found that I wanted a faster pace, less repetition, a better scene flow with less plot holes, realistic characterization, and a shorter text.  So, while this novel had much potential and I really wanted to like it, it fell a bit flat for me.  Two and a half stars.

2.5 stars

INscribe Digital and Ink Monster LLC have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on December 17, 2013.

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{November 18, 2013}   {ARC Review} Sia by Josh Grayson

18482726From Goodreads: When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

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This is a very lighthearted and ultimately happy story, but seems to lack a bit in terms of character building and climax. It starts off extremely riveting, and watching Sia struggle to understand her identity and live with the homeless caught my attention right away—it’s interesting and there are struggles and hardships that abound.  However, as Sia is reunited with her family, I felt that the story lost steam, plateauing and focusing on all Sia’s good deeds. Suddenly, there really aren’t any true threats or adversaries standing in Sia’s way as she begins to make changes in her life, and she’s an all around good girl, which is great, but not so interesting.

It is almost as if Sia has a magical touch, changing everyone and everything she comes into contact with as she turns over a new leaf, having no memory of her previous misdeeds.  But the problem with this is that there is no adversary standing in her way to make it difficult. Sia wakes up not knowing who she is, she’s told about her past, revolts against it, and everything falls into place for her as she changes not only her life, but that of her family and entire school, as well.  Sound a little far-fetched?  Well, it is.  Sia tends to have an all too easy time of it all, making up her mind to do something and everything working out; even her issues with her former best friend aren’t really hardships because Sia drops her easily since there’s no true ties between them that she can remember.  Truth be told, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, for everything to come crashing down and the antithesis to take over, but that never really happens.  Instead, Sia accomplishes everything she sets her mind to, which in the end makes this a very happy go lucky story, but doesn’t add much in the area of real character development or hardships, which in my opinion, is what really makes a story. It seems, instead, that the biggest opposition Sia comes up against is that her newfound crush, Kyle, can’t commit to Sia’s changes as quickly as everyone else, but that’s not really much of an opposition, as far as I’m concerned, and so I thought it fell a little flat.  Two and a half stars.

2.5 stars

I received this an ARC of this novel from the author, via Netgalley, prior to its release on November 20, 2013



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