Thursday, October 31, 2013

Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.

Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned?


* * *
 
I loved the premise of this book, and I've always been a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. It was actually really hard for me to get into this one, however. It's written with an air of the original Alice, similar wording and feel, but for some reason that initially took me out of the story instead of drawing me in. It felt a bit forced, a little over done. A few chapters in though I started really getting into it. Ryley is an interesting character, who was fleshed out really well. We really get a feel for who he is. I also really liked the twist Alice took. Now that she's a teen, she's changed a lot from that little girl we read about in the original story. I love how it was obvious how and where Wonderland changed her and affected the person she'd become. She's a little off, which is exactly what you'd expect from someone who spends time in Wonderland. Mr. Ruth was an adorable addition, who added a nice angle to us discovering Alice. Those moments where she talks to him, even when they're in the middle of a classroom, show us that she's still the curious and bold child from the original. The author was able to develop the character, while keeping important traits we all know and love. This story takes a lot of twists and turns, reading made me feel like I was spinning down the rabbit hole. Every time the two main characters interacted I rooted for them. All in all, if you're fan of story retellings, or even of just a good fantasy book, I definitely recommend this! I'll for sure be checking out more work from this author.
 
 
 

Asphodel (The Undeworld Trilogy, #1) by Lauren Hammond

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Persephone has been running for her entire life. Running from the humans to keep her immortality a secret. And running from a man who haunts her dreams. Not a man but a god, who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. And what he wants most, is her.

Trapped in the realm of the dead, Persephone plans to return to the land of the living. The underworld is a terrifying place where ghosts roam freely, three headed dogs patrol the gates, and it’s a living grave where the rules of earth and the warmth of the sun no longer apply. But then, something unexpected happens. Persephone finds herself falling for the god who abducted her, the god who has chased her for five thousand years, a god who is none other than death himself, Hades.

Ripped out of the underworld by Zeus, Persephone must find a pomegranate to return to the realm of the dead and to her beloved. Consuming only a seed of the fruit of the dead would bind Persephone to spend her life beneath the earth’s core with Hades. But Zeus has reduced every pomegranate tree in the world to ash. Except one. Persephone must locate that one remaining pomegranate tree, a quest that could ignite a war between the two mightiest of the god’s. A war that could cause Persephone to lose the only family she’s ever known or give up a love that comes only once every five thousand years.


* * *
 
I was really disappointed in this book. It's been on my TBR pile for a while now, so I was super excited when I finally got my hands on a copy. Little did I know that my excitement would be short lived. And I do mean short. This book is not only riddled with inconsistences, it's also written so poorly that at times I had to guess at what the sentence was actually supposed to be implying. Basically, this book read like the rough draft version of a story, the kind scribbled in bits, pieces, and short hand on cocktail napkins soiled with spilled coffee. Oh. There's another thing. Any semblance of a story was completely drowned out by the over abundance of metaphors and similes. Seriously. A couple here and there is the mark of a good writer. It's impressive, and helps to paint a vivid picture. One every other sentence (sometimes every sentence) does not. All that does is cloud the readers mind with a bunch of useless jargon that completely detaches us. Sometimes there'd be one that seemed clever, until the author continued it on for an entire paragraph killing it. The plot half the time didn't make sense because we weren't given proper knowledge of the world or the characters in them. Gods live forever, are immortal, ok, that goes without saying. However, why the heck would they have multiple seventeen birthdays? They aren't actually seventeen. And was this her birthday every year? I believe it was mentioned that she had one every seventeen years, so does that mean that once it happens the next year the clock gets reset to birthday number one? Huh? And what about aging? Wouldn't she and her mom look an awfully lot a like age wise if they continued to look that young for basically ever? That was never described, or explained. Now that the mom's been mentioned, on to her. You've got to be kidding me. Yes, the Demeter from the original myth has always been considered over protective, and possibly over bearing, and Persephone has been portrayed as the na├»ve waif of a daughter, but this book took it way too far. First of all, how the heck could she control her kid that much for so long without there being at least one rebellious stage before this one? It's supposedly been five thousand years. There's just no way Persephone would have stuck around dealing with her moms rules for that long, at least not the ridiculous ones. She can't have friends, can't date boys, can't go to dances...Basically, they travel the world in order to stay hidden (which also makes no sense and I'll get to in a minute) and she can't do anything. There really wasn't even a point in having Persephone go to school. It was a useless thing in this book. It also doesn't make sense because they don't actually need that as a cover. It's called home schooling. It's not ideal, but it's common enough. She can't actually hang out with anyone she meets at school anyway, after all. There's an easy way to tie in her neighbor even if she's home schooled. Which also, Adonis? Be subtle why don't you. And if you're trying to stay hidden and blend in, you're gonna have to change a lot more than just your last name. Try your first for instance. If they were really hiding, she would be going by something other than Persephone, a name which also detracts from their "goal" which is to remain unnoticed. On their whole hiding thing: Hades can literally find them any time. Any time. Persephone proves this when she's in the Underworld and she says her moms name into a weird computer thing. Instantly she can see her mom and where she is. Even with the cloak up that Zeus had blocking that machine (if that's supposed to be the case, though it was never explained as such) all Hades has to do is search for a girl named Persephone. He's clearly got high tech machinery. I'm sure he can do it. Then there's the instalove that occurs. She hates him, then he tosses her up against a wall and suddenly BOOM. She basically loves him and never wants to leave. Wow. She doesn't even go a whole three days with him after that before she actually says the word. Not that I believe she would even know what that means. She acts like such a child. Unless her brain ceased developing somewhere over the course of the last five thousand years, there is no way Persephone, a goddess, would be talking and acting like a four year old child. She actually gets in his face trying to annoy him by asking "Why" to everything he says. Like a little kid. Really. Honestly, the only good thing about this book was that it was short, so I somehow managed to stomach my way through it. There needs to be some major character development, plot development, and world building done to this before it can be considered even a good story. I'm a huge fan of the myth, and the premise was a good one, but the execution...I wouldn't recommend this.     
 
 
 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bride of Fire by Charlene Teglia

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Captive for his pleasure…

Hades, Lord of the Underworld, rules the realm of darkness but his kingdom has no queen. He burns for Persephone who lives in the world above. If he could only lure her below, she would taste the passion he alone can offer and agree to stay and rule by his side.

Persephone falls into Hades’ trap and becomes his captive. He offers her his bed and a throne, but will he offer her what she truly wants—his heart?


* * *
 
I've wanted to read this book for a really long time and it took me forever to find it! But I'm so glad I did. It's a shorter piece, so the ending is a bit abrupt, but that's not too big a deal. The rest of the book is worth it. I've read Charlene Teglia's work before, and I almost always love it. She's got a great way of expressing characters without having to give away too much. It's easy to see the darker depths of Hades, for instance, without us having to constantly be reminded he's the god of the Underworld and he rules the dead. I also like how in this book it's made clear that he's in love with Persephone, why he is, and how if he thought she wasn't into him he'd back off. The way he reacts when she leaves...it was very well played out. Completely believable, and he was just so sweet throughout while still maintaining that bad-boy-king-of-the-castle air. Persephone had legitimate reasons for holding herself back, and I like that she was portrayed as a strong character here instead of the meek child like one she usually is in retellings. She had pride and she was intelligent. All in all, I thought this was a great read with steamy scenes and hot characters. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because of the length. The ending was pretty abrupt, even for a short story, and I really would have liked to see this developed into a longer work. I think there's a lot of material here for the author, and that lengthening it would be completely possible.
 

 

Love and Magic by I. Grobler

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

A compelling story about a girl in the eighteenth century, who was brought up by her absent father who gambled and was forced to sell his daughter to a mysterious rich gentleman.

Vivian's life came crumbling down when she caught her best friend betraying her, and she decides to commit suicide after finding out her father had sold her to clear his debts.

Little does she know that soon enough, her life will change when she becomes the property of a coven leader of witches and wizards, who saves her broken body, when he magically binds them as one.

Vivian meets Naomi, who hated her for taking her place beside the coven leader. She also meets Bell, who is taken with her from the moment they've met.

Soon enough, Vivian's life is torn between good and evil, and faces that aren't real.


* * *
 
Unfortunately, despite sounding really interesting, this story sort of just feel flat for me. Not nearly enough happened, and the few things that did either didn't make much sense or were rushed. I would have liked to see more happen between Vivian and her father. The little that we did get to see followed the blurb pretty well; he is clearly a terrible dad, and it's no wonder she hates her live, especially considering what happened with her best friend and crush. With that, however, I wasn't really fully on board with her. Was it terrible that her friend hooked up with the guy she knew she liked? Yes, of course. But at the same time, Vivian had never actually done anything with him, and I don't think she even ever told him how she felt. She really should have attempted it, in the least. Helena was such a terrible friend, so full of herself, that I don't see why Vivian bothered with her at all, or was even surprised when she found out her betrayal. Of course she'd go and do something that like. I really wish the scenes with Chevelle were extended. We barely get to see him, or learn very much about him. It's hard to fall for a character if we don't actually get fully introduced. I wasn't committed to him, or to his and Vivian's relationship because we were never really told all the reasons he'd fallen for her. He just says that he did and she's secretly a witch. That's not really good enough. I would have liked to actually see them falling in love, seen things happen between the two of them and not just between her and a wolf (which by the way, was obvious). Even in the end when she finally falls for him, I was left a little puzzled. Why? Why does she like him? Other than the fact he saves her life a couple times and took her from her evil dad, they don't really have enough interaction with one another for the two of them to bring the "L" word into play. The reason that I gave this book three stars instead of one was the scene in the woods. The villain is super graphic, and I really like the details that went into creating the scene. It added mystery to an otherwise dry story, and I think if the author focused more of her attention fleshing those scenes out and maybe even adding more, the story would be ten times better. There were a lot of grammatical errors and what not, but still, those fight scenes were enough to prove that this author does have the ability to write compelling stories. I just feel other parts needed more attention. Also, it was a fast read, so there's that.
 

 

Unhinged (Underworld, #1) FREE for Review!

Alright, for those of you who still haven't gotten a chance to get your copy of the first book in my Underworld saga, here's your chance! The Goodreads group, Paranormal and Horror Lovers, are hosting a Read to Review of the book! Sign up to receive your copy! Below is the link, and the blurb for any of you who haven't yet heard about it! :)
 
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1536301-unhinged-paranormal-for-review#comment_85153242
 
Spencer Perry lost everything the day her boyfriend died. Even when he came back as a ghost, she was never able to return to her old self. Determined to find a way to bring both of them back--him from the dead and her from her depression--Spencer hops a ride with a Reaper across the river to the Underworld where she meets the god of the dead. Hadrian isn't what she expected Hades to be like, but when he agrees to a deal that can get her Micah back, she puts all caution aside and accepts. Too bad she didn't realize that she'd also just accepted a lot more then one gorgeous yet frustrating god. Bad things are happening all around her, and now she not only has to worry about keeping Micah's ghost status a secret from their friends, but also figure out who's behind all of the accidents. All signs point towards Hadrian, but something about that just doesn't feel right to her. Something that she hopes has nothing to do with her growing attraction towards him.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Coven News for Tempest C. Avery!!!

Hi all! So for a while there I didn't have a computer, which was terrible! But now I'm back! Just want to update you on what I've been working on, and what's in the works for the future. I am hoping to post more reviews as I haven't really been able to do much of that the past few months. I have been reading as often as possible, just haven't found the time to actually review, so there are a bunch of them that I have that just haven't been shared yet.
 
For those of you who are awaiting the third book in my Underworld Saga, Unbound is about halfway written now! Still a long way to go, but it is a work in progress and trust me, Hadrian is better than ever! ;) Oh, Micah's good too, for those (few) Micah fans out there. I'm not exactly sure when the release date will be, sorry about that. There's just too much going on in my life right now for me to be able to give you an exact date, or even a round-about one at this point. Keep checking back for updates.
 
For those of you who are awaiting the second book in the Coven trilogy (and have been for a very long time now) THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!!! Yes, the second book will be written. No, it's not actually anywhere near close to complete yet. Unfortunately, I never actually intended for the first book to actually go anywhere. Truthfully, I wrote it only because the current series I had been working on had given me writers block and I didn't want to just stop writing all together. Because of this, it has taken me a lot longer to get back into the series. I only released the first book because it had garnered some positive attention on WattPad, and therefore I thought it would be nice to offer it as a free ebook so that fans from there would be able to download. I never thought others would be interested in it, especially considering it was written long before I began taking college classes. Also, it wasn't run through a proper editor, so there's that. Anyway, back on track, in order to ensure that this book actually gets written, I've decided that it will be my NaNoWriMo submission this year! So, starting November 1st, all other projects will be put on the side lines so that I can focus on Caley, Shia, and, of course, Bane. Here's the actual important part: IF YOU'VE READ THE COVEN READ THIS: there's going to be a name change. Yes, the original title is now better known, and generally changing a title would be a bad move, however, in order to get back into this series, I've decided that I need to revamp it a little, and the best way to do that is with new titles and new cover art. So, below is a cover reveal of the first book, originally titled The Coven: Uninvited. The new title is now called The Coven: Shadow Spell. Following this will be the second book, The Coven: Shadow Spark, and the last book, The Coven: Shadow Slain. Anyone who has any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below, or message me through Goodreads. I do have an account and I am generally very active. Now that I have a computer once more, hopefully this will start being the case again. Throughout the course of the next few weeks I'm going to be going through the different places The Coven is already up and change the title. Please help spread the word so that people know what's happening and don't think that the book is gone for good.