Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











Stone of DestinyFrom Goodreads: Allison thought it was crazy enough when she found out her father, Liam, wasn’t entirely human. But now she has to join his magical allies to unravel his former mistress’s plans. Aoife wants to keep Allison’s parents apart forever.

Despite Allison’s efforts to keep Ethan, the only guy she’s ever cared about, out of this supernatural mess, fate keeps throwing him back into the mix.

Will Allison be able to find the amulet that holds the enchantment Aoife placed on Liam and destroy it? Are Ethan’ s feelings for Allison strong enough to endure the magic of the Tuatha De Danaan?

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Imagine a person so incredibly selfish she’d ruin lives just to possess the man she “loves.” Welcome to the world of Aoife, a faerie intent on possessing Liam forever, slowly forcing Allison’s mother, Elizabeth, farther into her schizophrenia as she keeps Allison’s parents apart. And now, the risks are even greater as Aoife has escaped her binds, intent on finishing the O’Malley’s forever, and claiming Liam as hers, wiping his memories and releasing the bind he has with Allison’s mother.

There is always the question of who to trust in the world of the fae, and Allison has her work cut out for her as she attempts to figure out where Aoife is and who might be aiding her. With Ethan by her side, she has more to worry about than ever lest he be used against her–true for all those she loves in the series. I really enjoy both Allison and Ethan, and their budding romance is swoonworthy-cute. They are indeed my favorite characters in the series, and I hope to see much more of them as the series continues.

As with the fae, there are a lot of names that are hard to pronounce in this novel, but thankfully there is a guide for readers in the front of the book. I, personally, would have really enjoyed a description alongside the pronunciation guide in order to try and keep them all straight, because there are a ton of characters in this novel, and at times I got them confused with each other. The good news is, Howard is thinking of putting together just that on her blog, so make sure you stop over and see if its up before you go to read this awesome series!

Stone of Destiny is the second book in the Danaan series, and the books do need to be read in order as book two picks up soon after book one, The Forgotten Ones, ends. Luckily, both are short, fast-paced, awesome reads that you’ll really enjoy, so if you haven’t yet started the series, make sure you begin with The Forgotten Ones. Four stars.

4 stars

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Heir of FireFrom Goodreads: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

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This novel, like the others in the series, in indeed very, very good, but it’s also extremely long. Even with series that I absolutely adore, there sometimes comes a time when reading that I tend to zone out a bit, and I’m sorry to say that that did happen with Maas’ third novel, Heir of Fire. Whereas the other novels tend to be a bit more action packed and, let’s face it, shorter, this novel is nearly 600 pages and there is a bit more down time than I personally can handle in a 600 pager. Don’t get me wrong, the novel is fantastic, but there were a few points in the middle where I personally felt like it was just dragging along. Thankfully, Maas would come in a spruce it up a bit with a fight scene or some other tidbit that would throw me right back into the pages with a vengeance, so the downtime was few and far between, but enough that it sticks out in my mind.

Heir of Fire follows four different stories at the same time, all including a new cast of characters to love, which was tons of fun. We are given an indepth look at events in both Adarlan and Wendlyn, following Chaol and newcomer Aiedan as they placate the King of Adarlan, Dorian and newcomer Sorcha as they work together to protect Dorian’s secret, Celaena and newcomer Rowan as he teaches Celaena how to harness her powers, and newcomer Mannon Blackbeak, an iron witch intent on fulfilling her duties to the King of Adarlan before retaking her homeland. I have to say, that out of all of them, Manon’s story was the most interesting to me. It is with Manon that we are introduced to the Wyvern, beasts I liken to a dragonish creature, similar to the black fell beast—sometimes known as a Hell-Hawk or Nazgûl-bird—we see the Witch-King of Angmar and his comrades ride in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. As the witch covens fight to tame the Wyverns, Manon seeks to win the games with her coven of 13 in order to lead the vast witch army—a group of cutthroat women who despise the other covens. Though I will admit that some of Manon’s story did feel like it could be cut out—I certainly didn’t need all the background information that was provided—readers will walk away knowing Manon and the Iron Witches quite well, and I am extremely interested to see what happens when Manon meets Celaena as some foreshadowing is at play that has me wondering just where Manon’s loyalties will lie.

Celaena’s story paints her in a much weaker light throughout this novel. In fact, all the characters are painted as weak as this novel unfolds. Chaol is not the same, unable to speak his mind to his best friend Dorian, and even Dorian seeks solace in the most surprising of places. I guess that at some point the strong characters must be portrayed as weak in order for growth to happen, as well as for the plot to thicken, but I found myself losing patience with them as the story unfolded as they continually backed down throughout the novel.

The end, however, was a wake-up slap to the face, and suddenly everyone we love, and I do mean everyone, is in danger, leaving me on pins and needles for the next installment, though I see that right now this series is slated for six novels, and we’ll only be at number four with the next—I do hope Maas picks up the pace in the next segment. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This title releases today.

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The Forgotten OnesFrom Goodreads: Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.

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If you love stories that involve mythology, then The Forgotten Ones is definitely for you. Howard brings to life the mythology of Ireland in this enticing story, with The Tuatha De Danaana taking forefront, a sect I knew nothing about going in, but learned so much about throughout the story.

The Tuatha De Danaana means “People of the goddess Danu” in English, and Howard’s story mixes these gods and goddesses in with the fae, creating an intricate story of otherworlds while focusing on Allison’s fight to save her mother.

Pregnant and suffering with schizophrenia upon her return from Ireland, Allison’s mother has never really been there for her save a few years when she was very little. Seeing the burden both she has her mother have placed on Allison’s grandparents, Allison has vowed to so everything in her power to take over the care of her mother, and that means forgoing her own wants and needs in the process. Selfless and driven by a sheer sense of protection, Allison will stop at nothing to protect her mother, and all those she loves, making for an intense novel as the Danaana and Fae make themselves know, and Allison is sucked into the world—a world that could easily kill her.

I really enjoyed the characterization of this novel. Allison is no wimp, and though hard pressed to believe the stories her long-lost father spins, seeing is believing, and she soon accepts the truth for what it is. I can’t imagine being in her shoes, first warding off the man I believe to have broken my mother’s soul, and then joining him on an adventure through perilous worlds, against tricky fae and gods and goddesses in hopes of saving my loved ones. Part of my thinks I would be up for the challenge, but the better half of my thinks I would run away and hide…

Howard is a great writer, and the story itself was interesting and action packed, and I really enjoyed it overall. With some awesome twits and turns, this novel is sure to keep readers glued to the pages. Four stars.

4 stars

I purchased this novel from Amazon.

Amazon | Kindle ($2.99) | Barnes and Noble

 



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