Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

18629340From Goodreads: Fame comes at a price. Some pay with their privacy. Others pay with their pride. Khloe Everest paid with her life.

Determined to get her pretty face in front of the cameras, Khloe Everest fakes an abduction only to make a grand entrance in the midst of a press conference held by Spencer’s Police Chief David O’Callaghan.

Three years later, after failing to catapult her notoriety into a long-lasting celebrity, Khloe Everest returns to Spencer upon her mother’s sudden death and seemingly finds another weapon to propel herself into the spotlight. Unfortunately, someone kills her before she can make this entrance.

In Lauren Carr’s sixth Mac Faraday Mystery, Mac and his friends come up against reality stars, politicians, has-beens, and wannabes. Mac also finds himself face-to-face with an old foe from his past who had managed to escape arrest during their last encounter. Now, Mac sees that his adversary has only become more powerful, and dangerous, with the passage of time.

Intent to not let this killer escape again, Mac and his friends need to put all of their talents together to put a stop to a cold blooded lady killer.


This story is a little bit different from the other Mac Faraday novels, or so I felt, in that we learn who the killer is fairly early on in the novel.  Thus, we are swept up into a cat and mouse game in which our heroes and heroines try to stop the killer before he/she attacks again.  But while the reason behind the murders seems clear enough, this is indeed where Carr springs her twist on her readers, flooring us as the truth, the whole truth, becomes known and it turns out not everything was exactly as it seemed.

Carr is a master story-teller, and her mysteries never cease to amaze and captivate me as I read. I have really come to love the Mac Farady series, and all the many characters, from Gnarly to Archie, and all those in-between; these are wonderful suspense novels full of witty banter, hilarious situations and, of course, enough mystery to enchant an audience from start to finish.

I always love with when authors cross their series, and in this novel, we have this wonderful cross over as Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates grace us with their presence, and I adore them!  They add a wonderful element to the already wonderful Mac Faraday series, and if you haven’t read any of the Lovers in Crime series, then I highly suggest you do to better get to know there awesome characters.

What really stunned me about The Lady Who Cried Murder is that is stems from Carr’s own experience with a bully, and her intense look at how people interact with one another provides an extremely eye opening and intriguing read.  Though it was a little different from what I’m used to with Carr’s writing, this was another great read, and I highly recommend it.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

9781470129361_p0_v1_s260x420From Goodreads: The Hermitage House Miracle starts with a deep hook. “I’ve given you the last six years of my life, and for what? To always be running from one town to another? Never having a life of my own just so you could live?”

As Jamie lay alone in bed, not knowing his mother had just been killed while driving drunk, he was filled with disturbing thoughts. His mother’s last words to him before going out did not make sense. He was even more confused when she had added, in a drunken slur, “If I had a lick of sense I’d have let old Ernie do what he wanted!”

Why had his mother said she had given him the last six years of her life when he was twelve years old?

After being sent to live at the Hermitage House for Children, Jamie begins to have a series of strange and troubling dreams. Each dream is about a little blond-haired boy who has a little sister and a mother and a father. But the mother is not his mother who was killed in the car accident and he had never known his father. Yet his dreams are always about the same family, especially the little boy and his dog. And the father programs computers and makes games, even promising to build the boy a video game so lifelike the boy will think he’s actually inside it…


This is a novel that seems extremely realistic and true to life, but then takes on aspects of fantasy and the paranormal, giving it an edge that can be a bit jarring should readers not be ready for it.  And yet, it’s a very well written story that warms the heart as it unfolds.  Jamie, now living in an orphanage, only remembers the past six years of his life, but as he begins to make friends and interact with others, a luxury he hadn’t known while his mother was alive, he begins to piece together his life through his vivid dreams and a video game that mysteriously appears in the arcade.

And as it unfolds, readers learn the truth behind Jamie’s lack of memories, behind the dog howling on the wind, and about his mother.  A quick read, this novel will leave you hugging your children close as you realize Jamie’s reality and note that the bond between parent and child remains long after the line is cut.  Three stars.

3 stars

Acorn Book Services has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel, via Netgalley.

17560444From Goodreads: Terror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the veil of a forbidden land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia and three others embark on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. But after her elder kinsman is attacked and poisoned, she and her cousin, Wynn, are forced to finish the quest on their own.

Lia relies on her powerful herbal wisdom and the memorized pages of her late grandmother’s Grimoire for guidance through a land of soul-hungry shades, trickster creatures, and uncovered truths about the origin of Brume and her family’s unexpected ties to it. The deeper they trek into the land, the stronger Lia’s untapped gift as a tree mage unfolds. When she discovers the enchanted root’s maker, it forces her to question everything about who she is and what is her destiny. Ultimately she must make a terrible choice: keep fighting to save her father and the people of the lands or join with the power behind the deadly roots to help nature start anew.


I’m not necessarily a science fiction or fantasy buff myself, but this is a very well written story that follows Lia as she embarks on a journey into the forbidden forest of Brume.  Within this fantasy world, evil exists in a very real manner, and it is ever encroaching on the people of Nemetona.  Filled with magical creatures and situations, the novel deals with many intense situations, but I personally didn’t really connect with the characters very well.  I honestly think this has to deal with the fact that science fiction and fantasy are usually hit or miss with me as my imagination lacks a bit when it comes to alternate worlds and universes.  As I can’t really see it in my mind, I sometimes struggle to see what the characters are experiencing if it’s not immediately tangible in my own life, and so I sometimes get lost in the mix of it all.  Truth be told, this isn’t any fault of the author, but rather a personal quirk, and I thought this novel, overall, was very well written.  Had I more of a liking for sci-fi and fantasy novels, I’m sure I would have enjoyed this one much more, but as it stands, I still really liked it and think that true sci-fi and fantasy lovers will thoroughly enjoy this novel.  Three stars.

3 stars

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

18402115From Goodreads: The first memory I have of my grandfather is of a moment that we share together.

I’m sitting on his knee looking out over the harbor. Grandpa is smoking a pipe. He points at the horizon. “Look, Walt. Our ships are out there. And one day, another even more beautiful ship will appear at the horizon. A mighty ship to take us all away. And Annabelle will be at the front deck with open arms, inviting us all to join her on board.”

“Why don’t we sail to her ourselves?” I want to know.

“Because she promised she would come,” granddad replies. “And in that promise we trust. It’s only the Unbelievers who think they can do everything themselves. They have no faith in the Goddess.”

Walt lives in Hope Harbor, an island community that has put its trust in salvation from across the sea. The townspeople wait patiently, build their ships to sail out and welcome the Goddess, and piously visit the temple every week. Horror stories to scare their children are told about the Unbelievers on the other side of Tresco.

But not all is what it seems. Walt has questions that no one can answer, and when his best friend and cousin Yorrick is killed in an accident, he digs deeper to find out the truth about the origins of Hope Harbor’s society… and the secrets of the temple.

Return to the world of The Island and discover what Walt’s life was like before and after he met Leia!


If you’re like me, then you probably really enjoy novels that give you the “other” side of the story—the same story from a different character’s point of view.  Take Stephanie Meyer’s Midnight Sun, or Marata Eros’ A Brutal Tenderness, for examples.  In Twilight we learn everything from Bella’s point of view, but in Midnight Sun (what’s available, anyway), we are given the same information through Edward’s eyes, which is fantastic, in my opinion.  The same is true in Eros’ A Terrible Love series, giving readers Jess’ point of view in A Terrible Love, and Cass’ in A Brutal Tenderness, bring the story full circle and allowing readers to ascertain the thoughts and feelings of the quiet and brooding Cass, even adding in some differing situations, and taking us back into the worlds we love so deeply.

The same is true for The Waves, the second novel in The Island series by Jen Minkman.  When I first read The Island this past Spring, I was a little disappointed because the story seemed a little pushed, though I liked it overall.  The characters in this first novella were a bit flat, and everything resolved itself just a little too easily for my liking.  However, with the publication of The Waves, Minkman fleshes out the original story, making it much more concrete and filling in the holes left behind by The Island, but doing so through the eyes of a side character in The Island, Walt.

On the island, there are actually two differing groups of people residing, set apart by a vast wall.  Both sides have extremely different ideology concerning where they come from and whether or not they will ever be saved, and they both put their trust in relics such as books.  However, the sides have grown so distant that no one really knows anything about the other anymore, and so they stick to their own knowledge and teachings, fearing the unknown.

Leia grew up on the “Unbelievers” side (though she and her people would never call themselves that).  They believe that every man is for themselves, that children must raise themselves away from The Parents, and that they are completely alone in the universe—there is nothing across the vast space of ocean, and no one will ever come to “save” them.  Walt grew up on the “Fools” side, though again, he and his people would never refer to themselves as that.  They believe that the goddess will one day send her people across the ocean and come for the people on the island, so they hold out hope and wait for the day they may glimpse a ship.

Sound intriguing?  It is, and The Island, book one in the series, focuses on the story of Leia as she questions all that she knows.  But, like I said, I thought that first novella needed a lot more explanation and fleshing out.  The Waves, thankfully, does just that, presenting the story from Walt’s point of view, a “Fool” on the other side of the wall, and it mirrors events in both stories, giving readers the “other side” of the story, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Picking up a few years prior to events in The Island, we meet Walt and his cousin as they begin to question all they know of Hope Harbor.  Why not build boats and try to see what’s on the other side, if anything, of the ocean? Why must they wait until a ship comes for them?  These questions, and information Walt’s cousin unearths in the vast array of books only a few chosen are allowed to read, ultimately lead to Walt’s cousin’s death… and the Unbelievers did it.  But did they?  As the novella continues to unfold, it begins to parallel events we read about in The Island, showing us what Walt was thinking when he first met Leia, where he took her book after returning home to his side of the island, who he spoke to, and how both the Fools in Hope Harbor and the Unbelievers on the other side decide it is time to confront their beliefs; after all, is it ever smart to only allow a select few the power and knowledge to lead a people?

Overall, The Waves adds a lot to the original story, and this glimpse into the other side of the island is exactly what was needed to make The Island complete.  I highly recommend you read both novellas together in order to get the entire story.  Four stars.

4 starsI received this novella from Netgally in exchange for an honest review.

18715353From Goodreads: Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.


If you’re looking for a feel good comedy full of snarky inner monologue and laugh out loud situations, then look no further than Eliza Gordon’s amazing debut novel, Must Love Otters.  This comedic women’s fiction/humor novel will leave you in stiches as Hollie Porter’s life spins hilariously out of control, gluing you to the pages as Hollie stumbles from one amusing mishap to the next.  Though the initial circumstances are almost tragic—breaking up with her boyfriend of two years and having to go on a romantic getaway solo—Hollie’s thought process and revelations about life make it a hysterical look at life and its many lemons.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and its entertaining look at life, I found that the story really took off for me once Hollie left home to go on holiday in Revelation Cove, British Columbia.  Here we begin to see a different side of Hollie, away from the job she hates, the ogre lady on the first floor, and the boyfriend from hell.  Finally, Hollie can let loose, but in the process she goes from one hilarious calamity to the next; from accidentally streaking to ending up oarless in the middle of the ocean, Hollie’s outlook on life is about to drastically change thanks to the lovely Concierge Ryan.

Gordon has a gift with words, gluing readers to the pages as this story unfolds, offering readers multiple laugh-out-loud moments as Hollie attempts to make sense of her life.  From a catastrophic nacho incident to an evil, territorial goat, the events that unfold will keep you snickering late into the night with this unputdownable read. Four and a half stars.

 4.5 stars

 Eliza Gordon is the pen name for the wife-husband duo, Jennifer Sommersby, author of Sleight, and her husband, Gary.

I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

12820228From Goodreads: Sammy’s life is a nightmare, and it’s all her fault. First, she is caught shoplifting-a big no-no in the hard-on-crime Dominion’s world-and is shipped to a prison-mine for women on a faraway desert planet. Then on her very first week there, she destroys a droid belonging to the prison… on purpose. So when she’s sent deep into the pit of the mine as punishment, Sammy doubts she’ll live to see her sixteenth birthday. After all, this is the diggers’ level, and they are the prison’s most violent criminals. To her surprise, she finds a new family in one of the digging crews. But she also makes a deadly enemy. Can she and her crew manage to escape the prison and regain their freedom?

This was a completely different and unique book from the ones that I normally read, and I really liked it!  Not only is the plot intriguing, but the story itself is also very well written.  Though a bit long for my tastes, with a few too many characters for me to keep track of, this underground adventure in the mines kept my attention and offered many fantastical creatures and situations that I truly enjoyed. From droids to gun fights and massive explosions, this novel has something for readers of all ages, and if you enjoy great world building and epic battles, then this is a novel for you.

Though I wouldn’t say that Sammy is necessarily a kick-butt heroine, she’s down-to-earth, has a good heart, and is more than willing to pull her own weight, which makes her impossible not to love.  And I really enjoyed watching her bond with the ladies of her digging crew, backing each other up and ultimately saving each other on multiple occasions.  With other factions of prisoners underground all vying for more food, the gangs underground are all pretty cutthroat, and I loved this in-depth look at prison life in this sci-fi world, especially when it comes to a daring escape gone wrong…

Mallet has done a great job creating a world unlike any other that I’ve read about and, though she does have many characters, in the end I think they all play an important part and the story wouldn’t be possible without them.  If you’re looking for something different with a flare of science fiction and some intense fight scenes, then I highly suggest picking this one up.  Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

13091560From Goodreads: Three strikes…you’re dead?

A Major League baseball team with a woman as manager? A starting pitcher who can not only throw a baseball with a the best but can throw a whole game to Las Vegas gamblers? A gang of drug smugglers who are attempting to take over the team for their own purposes? Las Vegas Gold is a novel that has all this and more.

Molly Malone is the red-haired manager of a group of American League baseball players all carefully chosen from the ranks of free agent and amateur players. Money for salaries is no problem. Mike Malone, Molly’s father and a former star Major League player turned billionaire business man, has obtained a franchise for Las Vegas. He names his daughter, a star and manager in women’s pro baseball as manager, hand-picks Larry Henderson as General Manager and gives them carte blanche to choose the players. He begins building a state of the art roofed stadium and tells Molly and Larry to be ready to play in two years. Molly gets her way with a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tabby, a pitcher with a great arm and attitude to match.

What the team isn’t prepared for is the trouble that follows the manager and soon invades their lineup. Previously, the worst any of the players had to deal with was striking out or blowing a catch. Now, they find themselves up to their necks in murder, thrown baseball games, Las Vegas gamblers and drug lords.

Combining a murder mystery with America’s national pastime, while covering such hot button topics as illegal gambling in the sporting world and the import of illegal drugs, Las Vegas Gold will keep readers of both baseball and mysteries riveted from start to finish.


This is a novella for baseball fans everywhere!  With a murder mystery, illegal gambling, a no-nonsense female manager, and a hand picked team of fictional baseball players with attitude to boot, this novella sets the stage for a great read, especially for the hardcore baseball fan.

I, myself, don’t know much about baseball.  I went to my first (ever) game this Spring, and while I enjoyed the entire baseball experience, I didn’t understand any of the terminology my friends were using while the game played on.  At my second game, I asked questions and learned more about the game that is America’s favorite pastime, and it’s a good thing too, because honestly, I would have been quite lost in this novella had I not.  If you hate baseball, or sports for that matter, then this novella isn’t for you, but if you know a little bit about baseball and enjoy sitting in the stands and the overall baseball experience, then I highly suggest you pick this up.

While a bit top heavy with baseball statistics and terminology in the beginning, an aspect that bored me a bit, the novel picks up with the revelation that someone is after Tabby’s head.  And, as murder hits the baseball field, more than once, I was surprised and intrigued.  Likewise, the characters really began to grow on me as they turn out to be, in truth, quite caring and involved, which is somewhat of the opposite of how I view professional sports players, so this was a nice twist.  With a manager who refuses to back down, murders to solve, and a series to win, this novella surprised me and I found that I really enjoyed it.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the published in exchange for an honest review.

9860895From Goodreads: They say crime doesn’t pay…but it can sure be funny Join Jim Newell as he takes you through an anthology of criminal caper short stories where the perfect crime goes horribly awry. In this book you’ll find everything from pampered cats to fat ladies singing, a woman on the run by way of bus to a woman fleeing it all by plane and go from cigar shoppers to bed hoppers. Just remember to leave your chicken outside (rest assured, the reason why is explained in this book), and you’ll be sure to enjoy these hilarious entries.


This is a novella full of short stories that deal with crime, the main focus being robberies. They’re well written stories, and many are a bit funny, though as with any anthology, the reader isn’t going to love every single entry. My favorite of the stories were “Never Use a Chicken!” because it was just so absurd.  Other than that, however, the stories somewhat blend together in my mind because I read them all in one sitting and they’re mostly about the same thing: a robber being taken advantage by another robber.

It’s always hard to review an anthology of short stories because I tend to like some stories more than others, and I felt like a lot of these stories were very similar, too similar even, so I suggest not reading the entire anthology in one sitting so as not to confuse yourself with the different entries.  Overall, some of it was an okay read, and some I liked, but I would have liked it more, I think, had the stories been more spread out, dealing with different topics.  Three stars.

3 starsI received this novella from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

12731861From Goodreads: 16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.


I really thought I was going to dislike this novel because, for a majority of it, I found the pacing to be slow, and Grace drove me absolutely insane. Grace cannot make a good decision to save her life, and I mean that quite literally. I yelled at her the entire book, and because I felt that not much was happening in terms of plot aside from treks through the trees, I was really thinking that this was going to be a two star review at the most. And this, dear readers, is why I always finish my books, because around 60% the novel really picked up; the mystery became extremely intriguing!  I suddenly couldn’t decide who was good and who wasn’t, and then my interest piqued to the point that I couldn’t put it down, instead reading far into the night.  In other words, read it.

I never did come around to liking Grace—I found her decisions to be stupid, childish, and mortifying all the way to the very end. While I understand she’s going through a lot, and that she’s highly independent, she constantly pushes everyone away from her and instead decides to put all her trust into a stranger she meets in the woods, the very place her father disappeared.  Ignoring the glaring holes in Mo’s story, she trusts him completely, even though he’s a 17 year-old college student living in the wild, unbeknownst to anyone, to study rocks, a revelation that should put Grace on edge.  It doesn’t, though it did put me on edge enough for the both of us, so I guess that evens it out a little bit.

Mo is a mystery, and as the pieces begin to click together, and Grace continually choose the wrong path (a path that constantly puts her life in danger and sends her back into the very woods where she knows deranged animal murderers reside), I have to at least admire her gumption, even though I’m not really a fan of hers in the least.  She definitely doesn’t allow anyone else’s thoughts or words to influence her decisions, and she’s hell bent on finding her father.  As the only person still convinced he’s alive, she has her work cut out for her, especially as the police and her own mother seem to thwart her at every turn.  So, it makes sense she doesn’t trust the people of her town, but at 16 I would expect just a little more common sense.  I mean, the fact that she constantly stumbles on evidence to back her claims, but fails to ever take a picture with her phone drove me batty…

My biggest issue with the novel, aside from Grace’s awful decisions, is the timing and occasional holes that crop up in the story. For instance, in a gun battle between two people, it doesn’t make sense to me that there’s time for other characters to stop running away, turn around, and have a conversation with the person who was just shot.  For starters, what about the person who shot the character?  They’re still in the picture, but for some reason, do nothing… I probably just confused you… it’s like when you watch a movie and right at the climax the bad guy stops and divulges his entire plan, giving the good guys more than enough time to hatch a plan and save themselves.  Does that make more sense?  Well, basically, there just seemed to be too many instances where everything was hitting the fan in the novel and yet Grace had time to stop and talk to people and try to figure out what to do next when bullets are flying all around her, and that made the story a little less believable for me.

But, Grace’s characterization and plot holes aside, the mystery of her father’s disappearance was great once the story began to pick up, and the end kicked me in the gut. Reader beware, Johannes doesn’t believe in happy endings, that’s for sure, and I found myself sitting in my room at 3am freaking out as the major climax of the story comes into play, killing off a number of characters, which was the last thing I expected to happen, to be honest.  And I cried I good bit then too, so I suggest you have tissues somewhere on the premises as your get closer to the ending.  But, to juxtapose the bloody end of some characters, there is a small shred of hope, even after all the tragedy, that makes me yearn for the sequel because, as much as I really dislike Grace, I really am invested in this story and the remaining characters.  Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

All Night Reads had been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel via Netgalley.

12970552From Goodreads: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.


My friends told me I had to read this book.  That it was one of the best they’d ever read, that I’d fall in love with the characters, that it’d leave me feeling broken and sad, but that I’d love it just the same.  And so, I put it off for quite some time because I don’t really enjoy being sad.  I also don’t like to physically borrow books from the library because they aren’t mine, and the ebook of this one was just too much money, in my opinion (at no point do I think ebook prices should be comparable to the paperback price).  But then there was a sale and the ebook dropped down to only $3.99 on Amazon (and it’s still this price), so I scooped it up and, one Friday evening not too long ago, started reading it.

Initially, it didn’t pull me in.  I wasn’t in love with the characters, the plot was like so many I’ve read before, and I just didn’t see what everyone was talking about (and I do mean everyone).  Hazel didn’t tug on my heart strings—in fact, she was presented in a way that made me dislike her.  Catty and unforgiving, she jerks her parents around and has all but given up, even though she has a second chance at life.  I couldn’t understand her.  Augustus was interesting, but he seemed unreal, almost forced to me, and I sighed and thought this was going to be one of those instances where I just didn’t feel the same as the whole world around me.

And then, at some point while I was reading (and I honestly can’t pinpoint it), I became irrevocably attached to the characters.  Augustus seems to bring out the best in everyone around him, and Hazel’s snark stopped getting on my nerves and I began to love her, and all those around her.  They jumped off the page and became real.  And then, as John Green has a tendency to do, he ripped out my heart and left me blubbering for hours into the night, blowing my nose, soaking my shirt in tears, hiccupping for breath.  The Fault in Our Stars is just that touching, and it truly left me breathless.  And while I didn’t fall in love with the story right away, I definitely did fall in love with it.  My friends were right, as they usually are.  This is an amazing novel and I highly suggest you read it if you haven’t.  I just hope the movie rendition does it justice, because this is a very powerful piece.  Five amazing stars.

5 stars

I purchased this novel from Amazon.

14416243From Goodreads: The last few grueling years of training have served Kaltor well. He’s learned to harness the magic within his body, overcome a stronger opponent, avoid capture, and everything else an assassin-in-training needs to survive.

Or so he thought.

But when those they protect at an excavation site release a demon from the Abyss itself, Kaltor realizes just how poorly prepared they all are for what’s coming. Within a single night, their mining camp of one thousand people plummets to a couple hundred terrified survivors, the majority turned against each other by the demon’s potent abilities. Then he turns towards Shaylis, the largest city in the region, for the next stage of his plan.

In a constant battle of both steel and strategy Kaltor and his friends struggle to delay, deceive and defeat their opponent, who’s spent the last thousand years planning out every detail of her assault to perfection. As the number of casualties mounts and her final plan comes to light, Kaltor is left with only one option. He must draw on the secret power within himself, knowing if his true identity is discovered, his life and the fate of the world, will be changed forever.

Welcome to the fantastical world of Varadours, Sight Seekers, and humans, a world unlike any other. When an amulet in an archeological dig sends prince Melshek over the edge, taking over people’s will, destroying families, and turning them into black veined humans controlled by webbed mouth women, Kaltor and the Varadour assassins must act to save the kingdom before Melshek’s presence spreads throughout the world, though this valor comes at a great cost to all.

Kaltor is a great young male lead, a Battle Born Varadour assassin in training, and a hero at heart. The Varadour assassins have many different powers that range from the ability to promote healing, to blending in with their surroundings, and even to being able to see things that are happening behind their backs.  Kaltor has many powers, but even more that reach far beyond those of his companions, a fact he’s had to keep hidden for years.  Now, fighting for all that is right against a world that doesn’t truly understand his powers, Kaltor will have to make the ultimate sacrifice if he plans to save those he holds dear.

With the advent of an ancient evil taking over the region, Kaltor steps up to the challenge of defending his people, and the epic fights that ensue will have any fantasy lover enthralled.  The creation of the black veined people and webbed mouth controllers was extremely intense, and the battle scenes and stealth against the hoards of black veined assailants held me captive as a siege against the crown rages on throughout the novel.  Although I found Kaltor’s thoughts to be a bit repetitive at times, I enjoyed his inner monologue as he tried time and time again to overcome the evil around him and convince the remaining people of the kingdom that he and the Varadour’s had their best interests at heart.

The Sight Seekers, with their vivid blue eyes and skills in stealth, create another intense barrier that Kaltor must overcome if he has hopes to save the people, and the many aspects of the world building that Sebrick adds to this novel were extremely well written and thought out.  While I’m not always a fantasy buff, Sebrick did a great job holding my attention and generating interest and feelings on my behalf towards the characters, and I highly suggest lovers of fantasy, world building, and epic war pick this one up.  Four stars.

4 starsI received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

15810401From Goodreads: Jake was just a normal kid who enjoyed hearing his mother’s bedtime stories. The stories became shockingly real when he discovered that he was a descendant of Dr. Jekyll and that he had his own Mr. Hyde living inside him. Driven by a desire to do good, he attempts to hunt down and kill the remaining Hyde monsters. Can he finish off the onslaught of Hyde monsters and keep the girl he loves safe from their retaliation?


This is a fast paced, short read focusing on the descendants of the original Jekyll and Hyde.  Jacob, the hero of this story, first learns of his ability to change between his two sides as a young boy when his mother begins to tell him the story of Jekyll and Hyde. However, his mother doesn’t stop with the final page of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novella, but rather continues the stories and lineage, explaining to Jacob that the stories are, indeed, true.  At first, Jacob is confused, but upon seeing the transformation of his mother in a fit of rage, Jacob learns the truth about his descendants, noting just how vastly different the Jekyll and Hyde sides truly are.  And though he thinks himself to be alone, our narrator soon learns that there are many more like him…

This story is the remnants of Jacob’s life, spanning from his time as a child through to his middle adulthood, including his reliance on, and disagreements with, his own personal demon, Hyde. Told through a confessional/conversational tone, readers are whisked away on an adventure that ends with the revelation that Jacob now has children of his own, and so while the story ends, there is room for more should Morris decide to pursue that avenue.  This is a well-written story that lovers of fantasy and Jekyll and Hyde will enjoy.  Three stars.

3 stars

I purchased this novella from Amazon.

16071620From Goodreads: In Every Day, New York Times bestselling author David Levithan presented readers with his most ambitious novel to date: Every morning, A wakes up in a different body and leads a different life. A must never get too attached, must never be noticed, must never interfere.

The novel Every Day starts on Day 5994 of A’s life. In this digital-only collection Six Earlier Days, Levithan gives readers a glimpse at a handful of the other 5993 stories yet to be told that inform how A navigates the complexities of a life lived anew each day.

In Every Day, readers discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day. In Six Earlier Days, readers will discover a little bit more about how A became that someone.

Fans of Levithan’s books such as Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, co-written with Rachel Cohn, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-written with John Green, will not want to miss A’s adventures in Every Day and Six Earlier Days.


This is a very short novella that gives readers a taste of A’s life prior to his/her appearance in Every Day, a book I absolutely adore. Six Earlier Days doesn’t really follow a sequential order, but instead gives readers glimpses into six other days of A’s life. For those who have read Every Day, it’s similar to those days that A wakes up away from the girl s/he loves and has to live another person’s life, but it’s not the long intricate days readers get to know in the full fledged novel, but rather those short ones A talks about, if that makes any sense? The ones where readers get a couple pages, a glimpse really, of the day as A moves through yet another day as someone knew.

Really, this novella is a cursory glance at the lives A invades for just a day, allowing the reader to understand how A feels and doesn’t want to mess with the person’s routine or body. Really, my ramblings don’t give it justice. You’ll just have to read it. It’s short, and not anywhere as detailed as Every Day, so it might not pull you in completely, but if you’re intrigued, then Every Day is a MUST READ, because that novel is epic.

I personally didn’t think this novel gave much insight into A that the novel Every Day didn’t already give, but it’s a nice jog back into A’s world, and I certainly hope there is a sequel to that lovely novel because it was so epic and different, and Levithan certainly did give an opening for a sequel. We shall see.

If you haven’t read Every Day, I suggest you check out Six Earlier Days just to at least get a taste.  Three stars.

3 stars

I purchased this novella from Amazon.

18372527From Goodreads: Adam Upton and Thomas “Lee” Harvey are plotting the next big school massacre at their New Hampshire high school. Nicole Janicek, who knew Adam in elementary school, tries to reconnect with the damaged teen at the start of their senior year. But will Nicole’s attempt to befriend the would-be killer disrupt the plot and turn Adam’s life around before the clock strikes 12:14?


This didactic novel touches on a very sensitive subject, but the message falls a little bit short for me on a personal level. From the character interactions and language that seems forced and unreal, to the attempt of the main character to “save” a young man based on a dream, I had some issues with the text.

Perhaps my biggest issue with this plot line is the fact that most of what the MC does throughout this novel goes against all the mandates and attempts to prevent mass shootings at schools, but it doesn’t stop there. Yes, Nicole has a dream that Adam Upton is going to shoot up her school, and she isn’t sure that she believes it to be true; it’s a dream after all. Trying to get to know him is a plus, and in this aspect, she’s doing the right thing. My issue then rises when she’s sure Adam’s planning the attack. Instead of going to the police (who would take an accusation like this serious, regardless of what the Nicole and her friend Candace think–the police don’t laugh this kind of thing off), she continually tries to make Adam change… but she only has about two weeks to do so. Therefore, it isn’t very likely. To top this, the Nicole tells the guidance counselor enough about what’s happening that the counselor has a very good inkling of the threat. She does nothing. Candace says something to both the guidance counselor and the principal, but neither do anything to question her fears, rather writing it off to fear of the unlikely, even when the evidence and threat is staring them in the face. The main character’s mother knows about the dream, and she knows of the extremely high risk that a shooting may indeed occur after certain events happen, but even she doesn’t do anything or say anything either, even though she, Candace, and the Nicole know that a certain event in the novel was in fact a very real test run. Yet, no one does anything.

Having worked in the educational system for a long time, this is not a factual representation of what would happen in this day and age based on my experiences in the classroom. The fact that no adult steps up with the information they have also paints a sort of picture for those teens reading it that promotes the undertone that adults won’t do the right thing, and therefore, teens should attempt to take on the burden of preventing an atrocity such as a school shooting all on their own. This is not a message they should be taking away from this. The message should be to tell someone, and if that person doesn’t listen, then tell another, and another until something is done. Again, a threat against school children is not taken lightly, and whether or not one has physical evidence won’t stop authorities from doing a probe to assess the potential threat.

Likewise, there is an instance in the novel when fighting seems glorified, and Nicole and her mother thank Candace for standing up for Nicole.  My issue here is that it’s done through fist fighting.  And, while a one day suspension does ensue, there is nothing else that shows readers that physical violence is not the answer.  Instead, Candace is allowed to eat a celebratory dinner at Nicole’s the same day as her suspension, and to be quite honest, a day off of school isn’t really going to teach anyone anything.  But, that’s a whole other can of worms.  Although perhaps unintentional, as a reader of YA fiction, and a teacher of young adults, I’m again afraid of the message potential readers might take away from this novel.

The beginning of the novel was a little jarring for me as I read because of Nicole’s dream, which I wasn’t expecting. I guess I was expecting a more realistic reason behind why Nicole begins to suspect Adam, but regardless, it works to get the point across and puts Nicole on the right path for prevention. Unfortunately, I do believe she goes about it the wrong way. There is no harm in befriending anyone, and the didactic nature of the story concerning friendships and reaching out to everyone, stopping hate and bullying, is a great one; I have no issue there. It is instead what happens once Nicole’s suspicions are confirmed, which happens much sooner than she admits to herself.

Nicole also seems extremely older than she is supposed to be in the novel. At 17, she is overly mature, and while I’ve met many teens that are mature for their age, it’s the way the characters, especially Nicole, talk in the story that made it less than believable. There is a lack of contractions within the dialogue, and regardless of maturity, everyone uses contractions in their speech, so the dialogue itself was a bit jarring on many an occasion.

I read much of this story mentally yelling at the characters as they all seem to make bad decision after bad decision, but regardless, this novel still made me cry throughout much of the ending, so have a box of tissues ready. Even though I don’t agree with many of the character choices and actions in the novel, and many of them are unrealistic, this novel is still powerful. I love the end message about people reaching out and being able to change, but I do think there should be more of a stress on telling others when we suspect others of committing crimes. The last thing I want is a reader walking away from this novel thinking the only way to handle something like this is through attempted friendship and keeping quiet in hopes their new friend might change their mind about murdering a flock of innocent children. Two stars.

2 starsJohn Cullen has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

12081764From Goodreads: Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.

As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family.

To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human.

Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.

Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.


This is a very well written novel that takes place in two planes, or worlds, if you will.  The beginning half of the novel centers around Amber and her life on the human plane as she gets ready for graduation and taking the next steps in her life.  Thomas fleshes out her characters, Amber and Gabriel, during this time, making the reader fall in love with them as we get to know them on a deep level.  Having grown up together in foster care, watching them thrive and fall in love was extremely gratifying, and I really enjoyed their characters.  I especially love Gabriel. He’s a great male lead and Thomas does such a great job making him believable and real, just like she does with Amber. I loved both leads very much, though Gabe steals the show, in my opinion.

Now, whereas this novel begins on the human plane, it ends of the Estilorian plane, giving equal time to both “worlds,” though they’re not technically separate worlds, from what I understand.  It’s more like equal existences in an alternate reality, if I understand correctly.  But, regardless, the world building is epic! I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Estilorian place, and while I don’t necessarily understand everything about the plane because I’m not really scientific, I’ve believe I have good enough sense of it all based on what Thomas reveals through Ini-herit and the other characters during the transition period of the novel, and from the prequel, The Prophecy, as well.

The ending of Becoming was a little rough for me as I was convinced that Thomas was going to do something drastic to the characters, and I nearly threw the book across the room in tears.  However, rest assured, Thomas doesn’t do anything to the plot that isn’t needed, though that probably don’t assuage potential reader fears… just know the end it perfect.

I’m very excited to read the next novel in this series because I liked Amber’s sisters, but didn’t feel I learned enough about them individually as this novel focuses mainly on Amber.  But, I believe Thomas has written this series to follow a different sister in each novel while still flowing in sequence, which is awesome! I first was introduced to this type of serial style by Brigid Kemmerer’s Elemental series, which follows a different brother in each book, yet spurring on the overall plot, and it’s an epic way to tell a story. Amber’s had her turn, and while we’ll still learn about her in the next segment, the focus will move to Olivia, which makes me really excited because she intrigues me. Four stars.

4 stars

I purchased this novel from Amazon.

13060190From Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Mara Westray has just lost her mother, and now, being shipped off to live with the father she doesn’t know is not how she imagined grieving. She’s already counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can leave the tiny island of Swans Landing.

But from the moment she steps off the ferry, nothing is as ordinary as it looks. Whispers of a haunting song on the wind make her see impossible things, and she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment about what is real and what isn’t anymore. Maybe she can’t even trust her judgment about quiet Josh Canavan, whose way of speaking in riddles and half-truths only confuses her more, luring her deeper into the secrets hidden beneath the ocean’s surface.

As she tries to unravel the events that led to her mom fleeing the island sixteen years ago, Mara finds that the biggest secret of all is only the beginning.


I’ve finally come across another book that has merfolk it in (or finfolk, as they’re called in this novel), and they’re not evil!  YES!  So many mermaid novels I’ve read have completely evil females and it has really turns me off of reading books dealing with merfolk, but Surfacing, alongside Of Poseidon, by Anna Banks, has restored my faith in this genre.

Mara is in for a huge surprise when she moves to the island with her estranged father, only to find that nobody on the island really wants her there, save an older lady and two young male teens vying for her attention.  Everyone else, even her father, it seems, wishes she wasn’t there, but she’s at a loss as to why.  While technically a story about finfolk, this novel tackles the theme of prejudice and racism in the form of humans versus finfolk, and it’s very tastefully done.  It’s impossible not to feel sorry for Mara and up in arms about the treatment she endures from those around her, and I think it really helps teach a vital lesson that our society still needs to learn.  Tolerance.  Why is it that we tend to blame an entire people group for one thing that someone did?  And yet, in society, this happens time and time again.

For Mara, it’s no different.  Thrust into the “you people” category by those around her, not even knowing what it means when people say that to her, Mara unwittingly stumbles upon the truth as she finally goes for a swim.  As a reader, this was a little difficult for me because it took Mara so long to figure it all out, even when all the signs were staring her in the face!  Who has an hankering for salt water?  Not me…  And, who lives by the ocean and doesn’t go in? I was dying waiting for Mara to put the pieces together, but once she does, the story really begins to take off as she must come to terms with her change, keep the secret of someone she holds dear, and navigate her feelings of unwant from her father and the intolerable people of the island.

Mara has a quick wit about her and her retorts were awesome, especially to those who treat her like scum.  It was hard not to cheer when she reacts with a little more force on one occasion, but even so, violence is not the answer, which the finfolk believe wholeheartedly.  If only the human population on the island believed it, too.  The ending leaves the novel wide open to the sequel, and I’m excited to see where it goes, especially with Mara’s relationship with Josh and Dylan, Sailor’s search for her mother (although Sailor certainly isn’t my favorite finfolk), and Elizabeth and her father’s vendetta against Mara and everyone not completely human.  Three and a half stars.

3.5 starsFiction Addiction has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel, via Netgally, in exchange for an honest review.

For Everly by Raine Thomas

Released: May 27, 2013

For Everly Tour Sidebar Button_AToMR Tours

Publisher: Iambe Books, LLC

Age Group: New Adult (17+)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tour organized by: AToMR Tours


EverlyecoversmallFrom Goodreads: **Mature Content Warning** This is a New Adult novel recommended for ages 17+ due to language, sexual content, and mature subject matter.

Determined to overcome a dark and tragic past, college student Everly Wallace is only months away from earning her degree in physical therapy. She’s consumed with school, caring for her ailing grandfather, and figuring out how to pay the next bill. The last thing she wants is a relationship, but it just might be the one thing she needs.

Major League pitcher Cole Parker hasn’t fought for anything in his life. He went from a privileged upbringing to a multimillion dollar All-Star career. But when his pitching shoulder starts to give him trouble at only twenty-four years old, he faces the possibility of his injury becoming public knowledge and costing him everything.

In a desperate bid to save his career, Cole decides to hire someone to treat his injury, someone who will keep things off the record and out of the media. He finds the perfect solution in Everly. As mysterious as she is beautiful, she provides an enticing distraction from his pain. Soon, physical therapy is the last thing on his mind.

When an act of betrayal brings the truths they both fear to light, Cole will have to fight for the first time in his life…not just for his career, but for Everly’s love.


For Everly is an absolutely beautiful novel that pulled me in from the very beginning, wrapped me up tight between the pages, and kept me glued to the powerful storyline until the very last page.  Both Everly and Cole are vivid, real characters that hold a presence that’s impossible to ignore; it’s as if they lift off the pages and come to life before the reader’s very eyes, and long after the end they still resonate in our minds and hearts.

Raine Thomas has written a pure gem in this tale of love and redemption, investing readers in the story from page one as Cole comes tearing onto the scene in a very literal sense.  Though it took me a little while to warm up to Cole due to his numerous mistakes and occasionally dangerous actions, his heartfelt remorse made him likeable and real.  And as the story unfolds, and he learns the truth about Everly’s past and heartache, his love and will to protect her from all harm make him just shy of perfect in my eyes.

But Everly certainly isn’t a push over character in need saving.  She has a strong will, works hard for a living, cares for her grandfather, and puts other’s needs before her own.  She’s exceptionally smart, doesn’t fool around, and she has her head on straight, which makes her instantly likable in my eyes.  Yes, she has a rather abrasive past, though no fault of her own, and Thomas’ compelling novel also promotes extremely important themes concerning depression, suicide, and abuse.  These are difficult and heavy topics to address, yet Thomas lays their reality bare in such a delicate manner that it isn’t overbearing, yet it speaks loudly enough to capture the readers attention and root for Everly, Cole, and her grandfather as set back after set back lands in their path, some of which have deadly potential.  Five stars.

5 starsI received a review copy of novel from ATOMR Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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Raine ThomasAbout the Author

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of a series of YA Fantasy/Romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy and the Firstborn Trilogy, and a New Adult Contemporary Romance, For Everly. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer’s Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing, or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

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17407237From Goodreads: The secret of having an adventure is getting lost. Who ever visited an enchanted kingdom or fell into a fairy tale without wandering into the woods first?

Well, Mary is lost. Mary is lost in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and that is a cruel and murderous story. She’s put on the red hood and met the Wolf. When she gives in to her Wolf’s temptations, she will die. That’s how the story goes, after all.

Unfortunately for the story and unfortunately for the Wolf, this Little Red Riding Hood is Mary Stuart, and she is the most stubborn and contrary twelve year old the world has ever known.

Forget the Wolf’s temptations, forget the advice of the talking rat trying to save her – she will kick her way through every myth and fairy tale ever told until she finds a way to get out of this alive. Her own way, and no one else’s.


I’m sorry to say that this novel just isn’t for me. I originally wanted to read it because I usually enjoy revamped fairy tales, but Mary completely turned me off from this story. I was expecting a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with a contrary heroine, which in my mind meant more assertive a deviating from the meek path of Red in the traditional stories. But in this story, contrary actually stands for vile, obnoxious, cussing, kicking, punching, and vulgar interactions that don’t really sit well with me, especially as our “heroine” is just 12 years old. From the very beginning, with her blatant disrespect of her mother, I had an inkling I wasn’t going to enjoy the story on a personal level, and when Mary began cussing at everyone and everything, it was basically over for me. Now, Mary does have a few redeeming qualities in that she really does care about people, but she’s hard pressed to show it, and she’d rather kick someone in their private areas first and ask questions later. Honestly, I think this was more of a “shock the reader” type of story where crazy situations evolve and Mary responds vulgarly to them. Which, truthfully, isn’t my type of story.  One star.


I originally requested this novel from Netgalley, but as a Kindle version was not available, I purchased it from Amazon, instead.

{September 3, 2013}   {Review} The Seed by Fola

12204117From Goodreads: Throughout our lives, many things may lead us to forget who we truly are. Result? Slowly yet inevitably, cages and chains enslave our thoughts and slay our freedoms.

Down the ages, men have thus fallen for hosts of illusions, confusions and fears – except for the seven dreamers whose stories this book contains. These mad truth-seekers (who oddly share the same name) did not follow others’ flow to slavery; rather, they heeded a voice in their heads that led them to obsession with an idea long thought extinct, buried beneath the sands of time: The Seed.

In this book you will take a rollicking metaphysical ride that starts in ancient Egypt, moves to the Grand Greek Era, then to Rome, Arab Alexandria, on piratic High Seas, to Switzerland and circuses, into a Christian era interlude, then to modern Egypt (2007) and lastly, to a sort of Garden of Visionary Epiphany that leaves you on and past the brink of enlightenment…


Unfortunately, this book is not for me. It is highly philosophical and scientific, and my brain just isn’t wired that way. All the characters are one person who lives across the centuries, morphing into different beings, be they male or female, young or old.  The tale begins in Ancient Egypt, and this is where I was lost almost immediately.  It begins with the main character, who is obsessed with numbers and inventions, launching into a diatribe about how his life changed when he began writing on walls due to his epiphany over the number two and was then thrown into the mad house for acting crazy (which he was). It’s told in a very choppy format with constant references to numbers and riddles, and it was all beyond me.   The main character’s narrative jumps from him being in the palace to being thrown into the Nile, living in the madhouse, being set free, drinking with the gods, and well… I just couldn’t keep up with he narrator’s cut and dry tone and constant changing of scenery.  I had no idea what point he was really trying to get across because of his constant changing of topic and referencing of numbers, truth be told.

When the main character becomes a young girl living in the middle east, the flow changed and the story became much easier to understand, but as her marriage barter comes and she finds out she’s being wedded to a gay man only because her teacher is blackmailing him and wants to sleep with her, well… that turned me off. And suddenly, she’s on a rock, or maybe a cliff, I’m not sure because this is where the text became full of more riddles and philosophy, and she becomes a pirate, shifting into another character all together.

The stories do become easier to read as the main character progresses further into the present, but some of the stories really turned me off, such as trial over sex and murder. That episode just wasn’t for me and I couldn’t stomach it. In my opinion, it was unneeded to further along the plot, more for shock value than philosophical engagement, but then again, as I’m not a philosophical thinker by any means (I nearly failed that class in college; seriously), it is possible that I just don’t understand what the author, Fola, is doing in this scene, or the many others.  Truthfully, I didn’t understand this novel, which made it impossible for me to enjoy, but I do think that those who like a philosophical debate and deciphering riddles, ones who like to chew over the materials in their novels, will really enjoy this novel.  I, personally, can only give it one star, though.


I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

13249985From Goodreads: Saraqael hadn’t intended to fall in love with Kate. It shouldn’t have even been possible. His kind didn’t experience emotion, and they certainly weren’t supposed to become attached to humans.

When he discovers that Kate’s dying and there’s nothing he or her human doctors can do for her, Saraqael realizes how deep his feelings for her run. And he understands just how far he’s willing to go to save her.

He vows to search until he finds a way to save her life. With the help of his best friend, Quincy, he embarks on a quest spanning the Estilorian plane…a quest that will forever change the future of his kind.


This novelette is a great short story to pique reader interest. About 30 pages in length, it tells the background story of Saraqael, an Estilorian, and his undying love for Kate, a human, a bond that’s unheard of, especially as Estilorian’s aren’t supposed to feel, let alone love.  This is a very fast read, my first taste of the series, and I’m definitely interested to know what happens next, especially with this glimpse of the Estilorian prophecy.  While this novelette isn’t long enough to make me fall in love with the characters, it is just a taste, afterall, it does give an overall sense of their dispositions and some insight into their background, though it raises a number of questions including that of who the Estilorian’s are, and where they hail from… and I can’t wait to learn the answers.  And, I can already tell that the world building Thomas will include in the full series is going to be epic based on this quick glance of life on Estilorian and what the people there are capable of.

Having read the bonus chapter from Becoming at the end of this novelette, I must say that I am glad I read the prequel first as it really helped, and I can’t wait to read the entire series. Three stars.

3 stars

I purchased this novelette from Amazon.

et cetera
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