Book Review, Magic, Paranormal Romance

The Siren by Kiera Cass

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Short Summary via Amazon: Kahlen is a Siren, bound to serve the Ocean by luring humans to watery graves with her voice, which is deadly to any human who hears it. Akinli is human—a kind, handsome boy who’s everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. Falling in love puts them both in danger . . . but Kahlen can’t bear to stay away. Will she risk everything to follow her heart?

My Review: I was sucked into this spellbinding story from the first page, but expected so much more from this story than I got. 

Captured by the plot of this story, I fell in love with the sisterhood the sirens share, and Kahlen, the protagonist, as well as the Ocean herself. I don’t care much for the side character, Akinli, as a character on his own, but appreciate the conflict he creates for the main character. 

I definitely wanted more from the shipwrecked scenes. More detail, horror, sensory. Sensory details that would have made me sympathize with Kahlen and the other sirens, or side with the Ocean. I wanted to feel her emotions more–not just the teenage romance, but her love and hate of the Ocean herself.  

This book has a lot of potential, but there were so many questions I had left about the sirens and ocean history. Instead of the mopy romance, I wanted more from the fantasy, magical side of the story. 

That being said, it was a sweet, fast paced read. Definitely got me in a magical mermaid mood while I was lounging at the beach. My copy of this book is full of salt water and sand. 

Book Review, Fairytale, Fiction, Magic, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary: A retelling of how Peter’s favorite and first lost boy became his enemy, Hook. 

My Review: I read this book in a day. I couldn’t put it down. The pacing and excitement of Neverland mischief and battles doesn’t slow down. 

Getting into Jamie’s head, seeing his compassion for the boys Peter doesn’t care about, and feeling his anger over Peter’s betrayal was emotionally provoking. I was cheering on Jamie the whole time, routing for Peter to fail. 

The story is dark, like Barrie’s original Peter Pan, since it leads up to Pan and Hook’s rivalry. If you didn’t like Peter’s character in the original, you probably won’t like him in this book. Though, I have to say, I enjoyed this story ten times more than I did the original. If you’re like me, and Hook is your favorite character of the two and you like the dark twist of Peter Pan, then this is the perfect book for you! 

Overall, this is one of my new favorites I’m adding to my bookshelf. I bought the paperback from Amazon for my own enjoyment. 

ARC, Beta Read, Book Review, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal Romance

Water Spell by Lizzy Ford

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

ARC: Kindle Unlimited Version

My Short Summary: 

Sela, a powerful water mage, wants to be free. Free of the overwhelming pull of her magic, demanding she submit to the depths of an ancient ocean. Free of her savage protector, Tieran, who she’s bonded to. And, free of the kingdoms and those who would abuse her powers. If she is to survive, to be free, she and Tieran must learn to trust each other, or risk drowning in her magic and the rage of war.

My Review:

Lizzy Ford’s excitement over this book is palpable, and now I know why. Water Spell is an exciting fantasy adventure full of well-rounded characters. I didn’t want this book to end, and I was giddy to read the titles of the next books to come in this series. You’re going to want to add the beautiful hard-copy to your fantasy collection. Lizzy Ford is one of my favorite authors, and her characters are so memorable

I wasn’t sure I’d like Sela or Tieran, but I anticipated a deeper connection between them from the start. Their external display of tension masks their individual internal desires. Both have a clear goal, which becomes harder to reach as magic bonds them together. By the end, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering if their relationship would come together or break apart.
Sela’s need for freedom, to reach the water, made me thirsty. I ached to be in her world, reaching for the seas, the wells, the streams, etc. It made me want to go to the beach! I want to be her, controlling water with magic. This part of the book reminded me so much of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I loved it.
 
For Lizzy ♥ 
My only critique of this book is on the first chapter. As much as Sela’s previous mage-warrior influences her, I wasn’t captivated by his pov as much as hers. For me, the story didn’t start until Tieran took his oath and Karav left. I liked the tension caused when Tieran finds out his new ward is a woman. But, I didn’t feel Karav’s thoughts and worries over Sela aided me in feeling the bond between mage and warrior.
There is a lot of redundant thoughts from Karav on the Inlanders being barbarians. These descriptions and examples through his pov didn’t help develop Tieran. Tieran’s reactions and behavior toward Sela is enough, as well as her reaction to the people in his land. Experiencing this through Sela is more gripping without Karav’s scene set-up.
The world-building and back-story was overwhelming in chapter one, almost info-dumped. This flows well enough throughout the rest of the book through Sela’s pov, though, and I loved the map!
Thanks for letting me review the ARC of Water Spell! I enjoy reading, reviewing and promoting all of your books.
Book Review, Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult

The Waterfall Traveler by S.J.Lem

34468319._UY200_.jpgMy rating: 5/5 stars

ARC version — release date April 17th, 2017 (available for pre-order)

Summary via Amazon:

All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive with the power to travel through water—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressed city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.

My Review: 

Engaging YA fantasy with a beautiful cover. This book exceeded my expectations. I was thinking this would be in the younger spectrum of the YA genre, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Ri is driven by emotion, for sure, which means logic sometimes takes a back seat when she makes decisions. This can be a little irritating for some readers, but it’s why I like her character. That’s not to say she isn’t strong, though. She takes charge and makes quick decisions, even if they are impulsive at times.

My only real complaint is of Bryce and Ri’s relationship. It’s a slow build up; almost too slow. I don’t mind love triangles, and the fun humor thrown in from Carter too, but I wanted to see more between Bryce and Ri. Would have loved more conversations, flirt, jokes, or playful bickering. I saw pieces of jealousy here and there, but nothing came of it. Ri relates and responds to every other character well, but something is missing between her and Bryce, so by the end, I wasn’t jumping up and down, cheering for their relationship as much as I hoped. I was actually cheering on Carter, if you can believe it. I felt his frustration, flirt, and protective nature way more than I felt anything emotionally moving from Bryce. And, I LOVED what happens in the end, as it relates to Carter.

I was on the fence about how the story turns in the end, and I’m interested to see where it goes from here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a fun fantasy for all ages, not just YA. Readability is great, with minimal to no errors, and the pace is perfect!

I was asked to read and review this advance copy before the release date.

Book Review, Magic, Science Fiction, Uncategorized

A Soul Divided by Daniel M. Quilter

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Short Summary via Goodreads:
As the galaxy is torn apart by war between the Mystics and the technologically advanced Human Empire, Drake Ashbell finds himself caught up in a conflict that will take him to distant worlds, make him face his tragic past, and test the limits of his soul.

My Review:  Humorous, action-packed, sci-fi fantasy!

When I first started listening to the audio version, I wasn’t sold on this story because the audio lacked something…maybe it was simply the author’s unique touch, so I switched back over to reading the kindle version. I was able to go back and listen to the audio version again after getting a feel for the author’s writing, and enjoyed it immensely afterward.

Saying I love the character of Drake is an understatement. He’s a well-rounded character, funny and relatable, and not overly egotistical. Some of his dialogue made me laugh out loud; my favorite being: “Suck it Titus I stole it first.” I spent a good deal of time giggle about it before I was able to move on.

I don’t mind the “damsel-in-distress” characters in this book since everything was well executed, without being overly sappy or romantic; same can be said for Drake’s relationship with Angela.

Overall, I loved the action packed scenes, well-written characters, and Drake’s wit. I highly recommend this one to sci-fi fantasy lovers. It has a little bit of everything which makes up a good adventure tale. Both the kindle book version and audio get a 5 star review from me!