Saturday, November 1, 2014

FREE read!

Hey guys, been a while, got lots of reviews to post, but it's NaNoWriMo again! This year I've decided to do something a little different with my book and posting it up on! So, follow the link below and read it for FREE! There's also a blurb so you know what you're getting into ;). The more people who read, the more often I'll post chapters, so spread the news!

Mila's lived her whole life with one goal: destroying the upir, and sometimes their lesser evil cousins, vampires. She's fought and trained for almost all of her eighteen years so that she'd be ready to lead the Ouroboros order, a society of hunters that has been around since Dracula was known simply as Vlad the Impaler. She's successfully executed many kills, led hundreds of hunting parties, and honed her abilities as a runemaster. But something's coming, something that even a life like Mila's couldn't prepare her for. Hunters are dropping all around her, and monsters are doing the unheard of. Working together.
Rogen's second life has been about one thing: protecting his people. He's long since accepted his role in the vast supernatural world, and what's more, he's learned to relish in the power. Which is why it pisses him off so much when something shows up announced, screwing with the order of things. With only one option left to him, Rogen undergoes the unthinkable, guising himself as a moroi hunter in the Ouroboros order. There was a time when he respected their services, but having been corrupted some centuries back, his opinion of them has since altered. He's going to have to convince them to join forces if they're ever going to stop whatever's coming. The only problem is, doing so might actually be more impossible than stopping the biggest evil the world's ever seen.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bared to You (Crossfire, #1) by Sylvia Day

Review by Tempest.


Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness… He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...

* * *
Having read Fifty Shades, I saw this book and pretty much thought 'why not'. There are a lot of comparisons on the outside, such as the initial change in the male main character (Christian Grey-Gideon Cross) or Ana and Eva for that matter. Before I started reading this, that annoyed me a bit. I didn't want to have to read the same book, or a watered down version of the original, but curiosity had gotten the better of me, so I already knew I was going to subject myself to it anyway. Obviously, what I'm trying to say is I went into this book already expecting to find major fault with it. INSTEAD I found all of the little details/comparisons that usually bug me/did originally bug me, no longer did. Gideon can be really stony, and yet I found myself completely enraptured by him, and way more so than I'd ever been by Christian Grey. I hate comparing things like that in a review, but I feel that it's necessary because it looks like others might skip this one for the same reasons I almost did. Don't. It was worth it. I love how Eva has strength and experience. She doesn't come off as meek or mild, and standing next to a character like Gideon that's hard. Is she perfect? Hell on. She makes just as many mistakes throughout the book as he does, but it's interesting to watch, and you can see where she's coming from in most cases. She also has a pretty complex past that makes reading about her all the more entertaining. You want to know more backstory, want to know why she is the way she is. It also touches base on some pretty heavy stuff. Another aspect I liked about this book was that it wasn't an explosion of entering the BDSM world. At the first sign it was going to be, I actually got annoyed because to me that'd be pushing it too close to Fifty and by then I'd already really been enjoying the story. However, it only touches base on that side of things. Gideon is an alpha male, sure, but the sex scenes are a lot less BDSM and more just him taking control. I have no problem with BDSM, I like reading about it, but I really liked how this book didn't go down that route seeing as how there were already so many outward comparisons that could be made with Fifty. Gideon's past is also more twisted. We can't really get into it, but it's there always teasing us. Basically, this book does a good job of making you want to find out what's going to happen next. They're both a little nuts, but they work well together, and by the end you'll be scrambling to buy the next installment. The supporting characters are all also very distinct. They're well written and even their backstories are interesting. All in all, I would highly recommend this.

Just as a note, I have read the second and third books in this series now. I don't think I'll be writing a separate review for either however, simply because I waited about a month too long to be able to supply many details. I will say this, that I liked the second book but only gave it four stars. I also liked the third book, but only gave it two. I'm also fairly annoyed with the fact that this was originally intended as a trilogy but has now been extended. On the one hand, that's great that she feels there's more of their story to tell, on the other, it feels like now this is being stretched for all it's worth. I would have much preferred it to remain a trilogy. I loved it, and the characters, but there's only so much fighting and craziness you can see them put through before it becomes tired and you lose interest. I would still read the next two books, but letting you know that it is longer than a trilogy now.


The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom, #1) by Clare B. Dunkle

Review by Tempest.


In nineteenth-century England, a powerful sorcerer and King of the Goblins chooses Kate, the elder of two orphan girls recently arrived at their ancestral home, Hallow Hill, to become his bride and queen...

* * *
Well, as you can probably tell by the terribly short blurb, I didn't really know what I was getting into with this book. Honestly, if I hadn't found it at the local book barn, I probably never would have pursued it. However, I do love books about goblins, there are just so few that are done right--in my humble opinion. This one had an interesting storyline, with a lot of detail. It was vivid, especially the descriptions of the goblins. It definitely made discovering more of that world catching, keeping me reading despite the issues I had with the rest of the story. For one, I understand the characters are supposed to be young, and that that is most likely meant more as a preteen book than a teen one. But still. The characters act a little too immature, even the eldest who is supposed to come off as this strong main character. I suppose in many ways she does better then most, but it still got tedious and annoying listening to her whine. This is before she even gets kidnapped, mind you, because everything after that makes perfect sense. I wouldn't exactly be pleased myself. That's another thing however, if this was meant as a preteen book, they touch base on some pretty dark/deep stuff. We get to see that she falls for the goblin kind herself, but there's still the implication that had she not, he'd still impregnate her. That's basically like a sugar coated version of rape. For the story, it makes sense, and the legend, but that's more of a reason I would have preferred for the writing to be stylized for a slightly older audience. The adventure aspects are great, and the second half of the book once the goblins come in full force is much better than the first. It's catchy and had me reading straight through to find out what happens. That is probably what made me give it three stars instead of the two I originally intended. Just as a fair warning, though, if you're interested in the romantic aspect of this book, be aware that the goblin king is not some hot teenage-looking dude. He's the opposite of attractive in fact. Even on the inside at times. If you're looking for a quick read with goblins and magic in it, then I'd give it a shot.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Review by Tempest.


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

* * *
I loved this book. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales, and this retelling didn't disappoint. It took the classic and without a doubt made it it's own. Hodge has a great way with words, and describes the different rooms of the castle so well it's like I'm standing in them myself. The characters also all have distinct personalities, right down to the demon Ignifex and his shadow, Shade. The whole things feels just as dark as the original classic, or really just as dark as some of the similar classics are (there's really more than one version of Beauty and the Beast--classic stories from different cultures that are too similar to consider them anything but). For starters, her dad made a deal before they were born that he'd give one of them to Ignifex to be his bride. That's terrible enough as it is, but he also forgets to include in the deal that he wants his wife to survive labor. Stupid. Throughout the story you're not too fond of her father, which gives you somewhere to direct your anger when you find yourself oddly smitten by Ignifex, the demon who you're sure you should dislike. Of course you don't, or you can't, for me it was the latter. He's quirky and mysterious and intelligent. Somehow whenever he wasn't on the page I was sad and wondered where he was. Though, none of those points were ever boring. I was just as pleased to follow Nyx throughout her journey around the castle. She's got an inquisitive mind and she's tough, which I really liked about her being a female lead. The ending was sweet, if not a bit rushed, which is really one of the only reasons I couldn't force myself to give this book a full five stars instead of four. The ending seems way to convenient, and it happens far to fast for me to buy into it without a little grumbling. Another issue, is that insta-love factor. I hate when books do this, as do a lot of other people. I'm glad that it didn't really happen with her and all of the characters, but it was upsetting that right off she was like oh I love this character (I won't give away who) and he loves me. That's ridiculous, even if we're told at the start of either that chapter of the previous one that she's been there for five weeks that we just haven't seen. That may be, but to us, it's still only been the turn of a page. There needs to be more involved then a few conversations and the two of them sitting really close for love to come into play. And I understand that she's obviously been starved from it, given her whole family is terrible (more on that in a moment) but really? She's far to strong a character to fall for that, "this must be love" in a second crap. Onto her family, which was the last point that made me deduct a star: her sister. Her sister convinces her to turn on Ignifex far too easily. It's a handful of words and the whole thing is done, and then Nyx is stupidly going off and doing exactly what she was told. Again. She has this sense of obligation, sure, but even she was thinking what she should have told her sister in that moment. She's reminded who killed their mother, and that they need revenge. Hello, remember how your dad is the idiot who forgot to ensure your mom was safe? Yeah. Him. That's the guy who actually killed her. Everyone knows making a deal with Ignifex comes with more consequences then just the spoken ones. If their dad really cared, he would have remembered this and thought to add he wanted his wife to survive as well. But he didn't. So, really, sure, Ignifex sucks because he makes these terrible deals and bad things happen, but he's not secretive about that. He warns everyone, in fact. Everyone knows, and yet they come to him anyway. Call me a cynic, but to me, that makes them the bad guys, not him. I mean, he's no knight in shining armor or anything, he's still pretty bad, but after everything that he and Nyx have been through by that point, you'd think being the strong female lead she's been, she'd make these realizations herself and stand up to her family. But she doesn't. It's the same old story from the first few chapters of the book, where she's following their orders like the dutiful little daughter. I would have preferred at least some resistance beforehand. Even a little. Still, because of the colorful characters and the eventual happy ending (as farfetched as it may be) I still highly recommend this book! It's also not a trilogy, so there's no waiting for the next one, being left unsatisfied, and dreading that the second book will be a flop like so many others that will ruin the whole thing for you. Among all of those, this book is a breath of fresh air, and I most definitely plan on reading more of Hodge's work in the future!

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2) by Lauren DeStefano

Review by Tempest.

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

* * *
I loved Wither, loved it so much in fact, that I even read the book twice. When Fever first came out, however, I wasn't even interested by the blurb on the slip cover, so I put it off. Part of me is glad that I did, the other part is upset that I didn't put it off even longer. As much as I loved the first book is probably how much I hated the second. Fever can almost be considered a waste of space. Almost nothing important really happens, other than her brother not being where she last saw him. For the first hundred pages, they're captures all over again, and it's like I'm reading a worse version of Wither. I just wish something else could have happened in the beginning to draw us in, something that didn't include such a similar concept. Yes, I like the character Maddie, and I'm glad she's in and she is a vital piece of it all, but the rest....seriously? Rhine came off stuck up and a know-it-all, but not in a good way, and I didn't like the way she treated Gabriel, who literally just gave up everything for her. She isn't open or honest with him, and it just seems like if he were any boy she'd react the same around him. It was also a bit vague in the tent scenes when they're "birds" being displayed at the carnival. Did they sleep together there, did they not? It dropped off so that it could be implied that they did, but I'm just not sure. I somehow doubt it, which means Rhine got off super lucky. Again. And again, she somehow reminds her captor of a dead loved one. It's Rose all over again. Linden doesn't come in until the very end, and while I always liked Gabriel more, I would have liked to have more of him in the story. There was just a lot of wandering for nothing, learning nothing, and then a big "reveal" at the end which isn't even all that big. She could have figured that out halfway through the book in fact, and the next half could have been used in convincing Linden. That would have been so much better. This book could have really been condensed, and maybe mixed with the last book, though I haven't read Sever and honestly, after this, I don't plan to. I want to know how this trilogy ends, but I think I'm just going to check some of the reviews for the last book and piece it together myself so I don't actually have to sit through another one. The thing is I love Lauren DeStefano's writing. She's got great prose with lovely descriptions that always draw me right in. But the plot of this book...terrible. I wouldn't recommend it, unless you really really want to see for yourself.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass

Review by Tempest.


Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

* * *
What happened? I was debating whether or not to give this book two stars, but couldn't bring myself to do it. That's probably because I loved the first book, and the flow of this one was still just as fast. I read it in a night, so to me that says something. For those of you who've read my review on Crescendo, you know how upset I get when the second book in a series isn't nearly as good as the first. While this doesn't compare to how bad the second installment of Hush, Hush, was, it's still gone pretty downhill, in my opinion. Just a heads up, this review WILL contain SPOILERS, so if you haven't yet read the book, don't read on. If this is the case, I will say you should still read it, despite my opinion. I do still want to read the third book, after all, so even though there was a lot about this book I didn't like, I still clearly enjoy Kiera Cass's voice. Ok, now to the review. I can't even begin to tell you guys how disappointed I am in America. As a character, it feels like in this book she fell by the wayside. She wasn't smart, she wasn't altogether kind, and she was selfish. She claims to care about both Aspen and Maxon, and yet she treats them like door mates. When she's with one she can't imagine being with the other, and vice versa. That's not fair, and frankly not really at all how romance should go. She makes out with Aspen in secret, then get's all pissed off when she finds out Maxon is starting to develop feelings for Kris. I can understand her being upset about Celeste, because let's be honest, that girl is a troll. However, I can also see where Maxon is coming from there. He's been waiting for America to finally tell him that she loves him, and it's probably making him feel like crap. He feels inadequate, and so he turns to the one girl he knows he can get a little meaningless seconds from. In retrospect, America is still the one here who's in the most wrong. She's been going around behind Maxon's back with Aspen for weeks, and not only that, but she actually loves Aspen. Maxon doesn't care about Celeste. Even after what happens to Marnee, she still fools around with Aspen. How selfish is that? And careless! I thought that she was taking the whole situation far to lightly. She was upset at what happened to her friend, but not enough to be cautious and call the whole thing with Aspen off. She's putting his life at risk too, and his family's considering they rely on his income to survive. She was far too judgy, and spoiled in this book. She expected Maxon to place all his attention on her, and even though he did special things for her that he did for no one else, she still accused him of lying and messing with her emotions. Hello? You're the one who's dangling him! Not that I was a huge advocate for Maxon this book either, because I wasn't. He seemed much weaker in this book than the first, and he also came off a lot more standoffish. He's only really kept one girl around that he liked, because it wasn't until later that he noticed Kriss. All the rest he kept because he was told. Not very princely. And figuring out what the rebels were after? Cake! It was so obvious that I kept shaking my head every time they appeared. It was obvious from the FIRST BOOK in fact, since her dad's history text book was mentioned a few times. Kind of stupid that they couldn't come to that conclusion. Speaking of the book, America was such a selfish person there. She's got this opportunity to show the country, and us the reader, that she's truly capable of making a change. All she has to do is come up with a good philanthropy concept. This would have reestablished some of my faith in her, but what happens? She can't think of anything. And when she does, it's out of anger. Should the caste system be abolished? Of course! But it doesn't take a genius to know that that can't be done over night. Suggesting on national television that the entire countries infrastructure should be changed is not a successful way of doing things. She didn't protect anyone, or help them in any way. If anything, she just made the idea of abolishing the caste system even more ridiculous sounding to those in charge. It was stupid, and it was petty. She did in part to piss people off, so that she would get sent home because Maxon refused. BUT THEN she's all surprised when people actually get pissed?! That makes no sense. Especially when she used the secret book (the one she didn't even tell Aspen about!) on camera, in front of everyone! Of course you're going to get Maxon in trouble! That was just a horrible thing to do, something worthy of Celeste in fact. I don't see why either guy is still interested in her at this point, which makes it hard because for some strange reason I still really love this series. I want to know what happens, I still plan on buying the third book, and I still want her to end up with Maxon. However, I want proof that she can be a good leader, not just an entire book of her whining that she doesn't think she can be. Really, what was that about? All this book was was her complaining she's not good enough to be a princess. In the first book, the number dropped from thirty-five girls to Six, in this one it went from six to four. See the difference? This book should have been condensed and then added to the first book instead. An entire book was just not necessary, and nothing really happened to further the story. Apart from a bunch of judgmental jargon, and then her self doubt, there wasn't really anything in here except filler. I hope the third book wraps the series up nicely, and I'll be able to chock this book up to the middle book blues, which seems to happen to authors writing trilogies a lot. I do still recommend reading it, like I said it's a quick read so it's not like you'd be wasting a ton of time. And I still like the story, it's interesting enough to keep your attention, though mostly just because it makes you want to read the third book and see that all this crazy has been corrected. I really hope our faith in America is restored in the next installment, because despite everything I liked her a lot in the first book. Still, unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.

The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass

Review by Tempest.


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

* * *
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. That's a big part of the reason I've put off reading it for so long. Kiera Cass creates a world in which caste systems rule the lives of everyone, and the country as a whole is run by a monarch. The main character, America, is convinced by her secret boyfriend to enter the Selection, which is basically a drawing for an episode of the Bachelor, where the Bachelor is the prince. Obviously, based off of the blurb on the back of the book, she get's chosen as one of the thirty-five candidates. Throughout the book she's torn between her growing feelings towards prince Maxon, and her old love Aspen. Half the time she's bold, and unafraid of what to say, which I really like. Her meeting with the prince starts off this way and it's was a great way to get the two to meet in my opinion. She comes from a lower caste, so certain things are new to her and a huge luxury, like the food and the clothes. This is where I had a slight problem with the story, in that if she's such a low caste, and food is still hard enough for them to come by (it's mentioned they can't afford for anyone to have seconds at the dinner table) then how come they have popcorn? And why does she have her own room? How big is this house they live in? What kind of neighborhood do they live in if Aspen is able to sneak past curfew into her backyard without being seen practically every night? These questions don't get answered, and it detracts from this visual that her family is really going through such a hard time. I would have at least liked it mentioned that popcorn was cheap, or something like that. And that they're house was small but because her two older siblings were gone she was able to have her own room. Another thing that bugged me was how Aspen ended things with her, and why. He got upset because he's the male, and men are the ones who are supposed to be providing. Huh? In a society where literally every family member's income counts (including a teenager daughter--America gives her money to her family for food and supplies) how could this still be such a huge thing? Especially to someone like Aspen?  Yes, it's mentioned he likes taking care of people and takes all the responsibility on his own shoulders. But, he comes off as the type of guy who respects people, meaning I doubt he'd disrespect her so much. Ok, it moved the plot, so while it's upsetting, I still don't hate it. Still, it was annoying. I liked Maxon a lot. He's nothing like the stuffy prince that America thought he was, and I like that he's willing to give her time instead of trying to force her to make a decision. He tries to understand, and he treats them all well. It is a little weird that he calls them, "my dear", because he is still a teen, and apparently bad with women, so that comes off a little creepy....But that's not too important. Basically, I liked it, it flowed well, and I read the whole book in one night. I think America could be a good leader, because she notices things about the caste systems and about people that others over look. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a fast, fun and light read. It's not literary fiction by any means, but it's a cute story with an interesting world and interesting characters.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Struck (Struck #1) By Jennifer Bosworth

Review By Jacey.
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction.But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.  

When I first picked it up, this book earned about fifty points for originality within the first two pages with the curious and simultaneously powerful statement, "My name is Mia Price, and I am a lightning addict." Not only have I ever heard someone desiring to be struck by lightning (unless it's been a pretty rough day) the fickleness of lightning itself is something that has terrified me for years. Though Atlanta is by no means the south, I still remember stuffing my ears shut as a child and gazing out our porch window as lightning snaked along the roof, creeping closer to the wooden rails that would surely alight and burn the whole house down. So I guess you could say originality and terror drove me to read it. All 373 pages of it. For its better parts and its worse parts.

I'll start with the better; Bosworth sets up an incredible pre-apocalyptic atmosphere; though LA has been pretty much been blown out off the map, its survivors limp along,trying move past the overwhelming loss of life. The struggle for normalcy is palpable and the circumstances, if a major city had been decimated, pretty realistic. There isn't one united struggle to rebuild civilization, no one can really afford to save them as the rest of the world is busy trying to save itself. Most people just want to look after themselves and their loved ones, which realistically would come first to anyone in a pre-apocalyptic setting. Also, as a huge fan of sci-fi, I kind of loved how Bosworth intertwined science, religion, and mysticism in this novel. After the first hundred or so pages, I realized what she was doign and I mentally congratulated her for being able to pull it off without coming off too muddy as some sci-fi apocalyptic writers would. Additionally it definitely reignited some memories back in bible class. I know a lot of people didn't really like Mia all that much as a Heroine, but I actually loved how much she cared about her family and looked after them. Plus, her mom had to to be one of the best developed post-trauma character I've read. Scenes between Mia and her mother brought me to tears several times.

And yet, there was the whole not-knowing-what-the-f***-was going on bit. The setting was fantastic, the action was compelling, which was probably why it read so fast. But instead of being slowly and subtly fed answers through the book, such as "who are the seekers? do they brainwash the same way as the prophet does? Why does Mia hate them so much if they want to stop the world from ending?" I mean, I appreciate plots were there are no bad guys, but instead of focusing on Mia, I felt that half way through the book Bosworth focused more on Mia just running away from either of them rather than explaining what exactly they were about. Furthermore, we never really found out why the hell Mia's lightning abilities came to her, what and who she is exactly, and most importantly, where the HELL does Mia stand in all of this? She never really does pick a side. Just Jeremy. Which is sweet...but seriously look at the bigger picture, girlfriend. There were just too many unanswered questions in this book that though the action was excellent and the first half enjoyable, it just fell flat by the time to fulfill the "prophecy" came around.I definitely think if this book were work shopped a bit more, even just a few informative paragraphs here in here explaining some of the workings in the book, it would have been more enjoyable and less vague. I'd recommend it if you're into an interesting combo of religion and sci fi, definitely some interesting action going on, but don't expect too many answers for some very important questions. If a second one comes out, I'll be definitely giving it a look, but only to glean some solid facts about what the hell I just read.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Anything He Wants (Dominated by the Billionaire, #1-5) by Sara Fawkes

Review by Tempest.


Lucy Delacourt's temp position isn't quite her dream job but it pays the bills. The highlight of her day is riding the elevator in the mornings with a handsome stranger. Tall, dark, and sexy as hell, Lucy knows he's way out of her league, but a girl can look, right?

Everything changes the day the stranger seduces her. Completely out of character, she yields without a fight, but she has no idea her wanton acts with a man whose name she doesn't know will change her life forever. Because the sexy stranger is none other than Jeremiah Hamilton, billionaire CEO of Hamilton Industries, and one taste isn't nearly enough to satisfy his need.  As the billionaire pulls Lucy deeper into his world of high stakes business deals and ruthless takeovers, he demands nothing less than her complete surrender.  But even as enemies seek deadly revenge against him, she’ll discover that her greatest threat is falling for her fiercely guarded boss…and yielding to her own darkest needs.

* * *
Just as a note, this was originally published as a 5 part e serial novel. Also I actually read this before reading Fifty Shades of Grey , and I liked it, which is probably why I ended up reading Fifty.
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, especially with all the one star ratings. Oddly, however, I did. Sure, there are things I could have done without, but I personally liked how it jumped right in. It did a good job of drawing me in with the sex scenes, and then it dwindles down and gives mostly plot later on. The same can be said about the second book (which has only been released in pieces at this time) but we're not talking about that! :) Anyway, I won't get to in depth with this one, but, I liked Lucy. She was interesting enough and I didn't mind being in her head and seeing things from her point of view. She also didn't seem to mind too much the deal that Jeremiah was giving her, despite her internal complaints. I'm not sure I would have fallen so hard for him if I was in her position, but for the most part I can see the appeal. However, I hated how Jeremiah was constantly a control freak jerk. I get that with lives in danger he has to look out for others, but locking them up in anything-even if it is a giant mansion-and then not understanding why they're going stir crazy is just over the top. He also can't admit to even having feelings for her, which is annoying. I mean, you don't expect the guy to come right out and confess his undying love or anything like that, but at the end there...I can see why she got into that car. Which brings me to Lucas. Love him. Not really sure why, considering he's kinda a dick like his brother. Still, he's interesting and I like how the author was able to give them distinct personalities by giving them polar opposite ones. Even though they're brothers, it's easy to see where their lives took different turns and why each of them is the way that they are. I liked that and felt that it gave the story a certain depth that held my attention. The action scenes were well written, and they kept me invested. While this does start out with sex, sex, and more sex, there is a general plot. You've got to read a bit further in to get to it, but in my personal opinion, it's worth it.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) by E.L. James

Just a quick hello to anyone who's been here before and noticed that we've been absent for....a while. Sigh. I have TONS of reviews to write, just not very much time to actually do so. Sorry :/ Hopefully I can pick up my game and get back to posting. :) Hope you all had a great holiday!

Review by Tempest.

Blurb (is this even necessary? I'm sure EVERYONE's heard of this book):

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

* * *
Again, for anyone who's ever been here before, you know that I review some pretty...smutty books sometimes. I read almost anything, literature, teen fiction, romance, grotesque lit., poetry, classics, and yes, erotica. There are a few books that I reviewed for this blog where I actually sat in front of my computer for a few minutes (or days) putting it off and wondering if I should even chance it because they're so dirty, I might not even want people to know I read it. That being said, this book, did not fall into that category. I'm not saying I expected it to be all smut, but I did expect a little, well more. Still, I DID really like the book despite that.
I decided to pick this book up after hearing filming for the movie was going to start and that they'd chosen Jamie Dornan to play Christian. Honestly, I put it off for a while because of all the hype (a bit hypocritical of me because I hate even people do that. It's a great way to miss out) but I'm glad I finally got around to it. Don't get me wrong, in my personal opinion, there were flaws and things I didn't like, but there were also things about this book that really worked for me. I'd like to start off by saying, though, in my personal opinion, this was more of a romance book than an erotica. I mean, as far as sex scenes go, it's not like we got much more than we did in, say, Sherrilyn Kenyon's, Night Play. Sure, it touched base on some of the more taboo aspects that we find in erotica, like tying people up and getting kinky, but I still wouldn't have labeled this as erotica. However, I have read some pretty smut focused erotica before, so maybe I just wasn't affected by this book in the same way others who were newer to the genre were. There was a story here. It wasn't overly complex, and there weren't very many unseen twists and turns, but there were questions that needed answering, and things that by the end of book one we still don't have the answers to. It did manage to keep my attention, and despite the fact that Christian is super moody, I was into his character. Clearly he is damaged goods, something rooted in his past, one we don't know everything about yet. Does that make him the type of character that sometimes does things I don't like? Yes. There was a somewhat skewed depiction of the BDSM lifestyle, in that it sort of applied without actually doing so that Christian's way is the only way, which just isn't the case. I would have liked for Ana to have done some research on the differences and have shown us, that way the reader's could see the truth of that as well. It doesn't necessarily have to blend into their every day lives, nor does there have to be a strict eating/workout/sleep schedule either.  Does it sometimes happen that way? I'm sure. But is it the only way? No. I did like how Christian came off like this always in control-take-no-crap guy, yet throughout the entire book he does always (albeit in little ways) Ana take charge. As for Anastasia, unfortunately I do have to admit I know of actual people who are 21 in this day and age who have absolutely no knowledge of sex, despite the fact that practically everyone has to take sex ed in high school. So, that wasn't as nearly unrealistic for me as it was for some other reader's. I think it's easy now-a-days for people to assume that anyone who is over the age of fifteen and doesn't no or partake in sexual things don't exist. That's not true. There are still a lot of people who haven't masturbated or tried anything, and there also isn't anything wrong or weird about them because of it. HOWEVER I do find it weird and annoying that Ana is so blind, she doesn't realize that a ton of guys have the hots for her. That's just plain dumb. They don't exactly make it subtle either, there's even a part in the book where she says that the boss's brother asks her out A LOT. It's like the whole thing just goes right over her head. There's also the issue that if she were a virgin in all ways (i.e. she hasn't done anything) there's no way she'd be "just sore" after having sex with Christian the first time. I did like that she had a personality, and attributes. Sure, the whole "I love to read and I'm quiet" thing has been used a lot, but that's because it works. There are a lot of people out there who are quiet and read. So what if she happens to be another one of them? I do have to say, though, I hated the ending. Full on hated it. It happened way too quickly, so it felt totally rushed, like the author got tired of writing it or too eager to start the second book, so just jotted it down and ended it as fast as possible. It made both characters seem stupid. It also emphasized the fact that Ana never really listened to a damn thing Christian ever said, though, in retrospect, I suppose the same could also be said about him in this instance as well. All in all, I ended up liking the book despite my doubts, though I don't really feel like it should be considered an erotica (I even think that might be slightly misleading). I'd recommend it to anyone who maybe wants to ease into the erotica genre however.