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Book Review: In the Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

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Amazon.com – In The Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

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Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the author, Cory Barclay, for an honest review

Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Supernatural/Adult

Plot: It’s 1592. Europe is in chaos. Religious factions have torn the region apart and witch-hunts have become a part of everyday life.

In the Company of Wolves follows three groups of travelers – a fearless female pirate roaming the North Sea, a priest and his wife escaping to England to avoid persecution, and a young thief from the slums of Germany looking for a better life. Each has a different reason for venturing out in such tumultuous times – fear, greed, family secrets.

Is the Werewolf of Bedburg still alive, roaming the countryside and killing innocent citizens? Many believe he’s still out there—that religious and political leaders have forsaken the truth in their cunning quest for power.

As each traveler searches for individual answers, these three seemingly separate stories converge in a place which may hold the key for them all. Based on true events involving one of the deadliest witch trials in European history, this tale of adventure, mystery, and the search for truth reminds us that, ultimately, no one is safe . . . in the company of wolves.

Opinion:

It’s September kids, and you know what that means! Eerie moonlight, creatures waking from the dead, torture chambers and stealing. Witch hunts and religious persecution, prostitutes and pirates. Poison, potions and pillaging!

Tis the season to be demented and murderous!

Welcome to Europe in 1592, where you can be burned alive for false accusations and having your own beliefs! Say hello to book 2 in the Of Witches and Werewolves series, In the Company of Wolves. OoOoOoOo…*dramatic fanning*…it’s gunna be a whirlwind!

With Europe in a religious tug of war for control and regular accusations of witchcraft and sorcery, no one is safe. Sybil Griswold and her husband Dieter have fled to England with their family, in hopes of starting a new life after escaping jail and killing a man. Hot on their trail is Gustav Koehler, a man hellbent on avenging the brother that Dieter killed and bringing Sybil and her family to trial. Back in Germany is Hugo, the younger brother of Sybil, who was left an orphan after the wrongful conviction of their father Peter Griswold, who was accused of being the Werewolf of Bedburg. Now living as a petty thief, Hugo’s life begins down a dark path as he is thrust into the throngs of murder and manipulation. Across the sea, we come to a ship called The Lion’s Pride. Rowaine Donnelly has just assumed the role of captain after castrating her predecessor, all the while searching for her father that is thought to be dead. Though living separate lives, these people are more intertwined in their own pasts and futures than they realize. Through turmoil and murder they are forced to trek in order to meet their goals, while learning more about themselves than they knew, along the way.

Due to this being the second book in the series, and the reader needing to read book one to know what’s happening, please see my review HERE to see how this series begins.

When I read The Devil in the Countryside I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive. Usually religious driven historical fictions are NOT my cup of tea, but as I started reading…I got HOOKED. Cory Barclay has such a talent from writing descriptive and “old-timey” stories that have a little fact twisted into every bit of fantasy he throws at the reader. With no surprise on my end, he did a fabulous job extending this addicting story with In the Company of Wolves. This series truly has what every dark mystery needs. It’s a who-done-it with carnage, accusations of sorcery, pirates, thieves, religious turmoil, shocking twists and a touch of romance. A ton of blood will be spilled during this read, but never fear, it isn’t THAT graphic.

Sybil and Dieter have started a new life in England, with the hopes of practicing Dieter’s newly shaped faith by means of a new church. They have made new friends and work towards living a simple life in peace, but that of course isn’t going to happen to these poor characters. Enter: Gustav Khoeler. Gustav has been tracking the couple for some time, unbeknownst to them, seeking revenge for the death of his brother Johannes. Gustav is a vile and disturbing character, and it seems that the crudest and most despicable acts happen in his company. Gustav is the true picture of a man that would do ANYTHING to get what he wants. By capturing the couple, Gustav plans to bring them to his father Ludwig Von Bergheim in Trier, where they will be put to trial and burned alive for their crimes. So ensues a chase, a capturing, another chase, and another capturing. Eventually running the group into a fearsome female pirate, by the name of Rowaine Donnelly.

Rowaine is a  truly fierce, empowered, and BADASS female. Not only does she castrate her own captain in order to take his place (yes, you read that correctly) but she has little to no fear and a whole lot of charm. Rowaine’s mission is to find her adoptive father, a man that is thought to be dead. Along the way she finds herself protecting Sybil and Dieter, who share various connections from their pasts. In agreement to help each other, Rowaine, Sybil and Dieter head back to Bedburg to find Rowaine’s long lost father. But being back in Bedburg is a risky place to be for Sybil and Dieter, considering they are still fugitives on the run. But what is interesting about the return to Bedburg, is that many characters from book one now believe that Sybil’s father WAS actually wrongfully labeled the Werewolf of Bedburg. Which of course continues the search for the real werewolf. Hmmmm….who done it, indeed.

While all this is happening, the reader also follows Hugo, Sybil’s younger brother that stayed behind in Bedburg. Hugo is by far my FAVORITE character this time around. He is young and fresh, but has a strong sense of morals and loyalty. But a few turn of events land Hugo in a place that he didn’t expect from himself, the apprentice to the torturer of Bedburg, the famous Ulrich. If there was a book based on Hugo’s travels alone, I would be on it before you could even give a release date. This kid has guts and spunk, and he will SHOCK you with what he does. He eventually ends up in the pit of this never-ending religious power struggle, and the role he takes on is an interesting one.

I feel like I am leaving you guys completely hanging here because there is SO much that happens in this story. There are some epic gun fights and show downs, especially near the end. There are new characters who make this story amazing, and some old ones who make it even better. Now this book focuses more on the select characters rather than the Werewolf of Bedburg, like in book one. But I imagine that book three will tie everything back together, giving the reader a nice assortment of both stories. I truly cannot express the level of writing and detail this author has given this series. Though it may feel like a long read, you will get hooked and won’t want to put the story down. This second installment has left me NEEDING to get my hands on book three, because I have to know what the author is going to me up with next!

5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: The Quantum Ghost by Johnathan Ballagh

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Amazon.com – The Quantum Ghost by Johnathan Ballagh

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Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the author, Johnathan Ballagh, for an honest review

Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Adventure

Plot: On a cold autumn night, twelve-year-old Remi Cobb makes a startling discovery—a mysterious object floating on the pond in her backyard. With no idea where it came from, or how it got there, Remi is compelled to unravel its secrets. Her quest for answers takes her on a perilous journey across realities, where she finds a crumbling world—and the dark forces behind its ruin. Here she learns the truth about her connection with the strange object, and of those that will stop at nothing to destroy them both. But even if she can find a way to survive, can she find a way home?

Opinion:

Advert:

Are all those fairy and assassin stories getting you down? Too much pumpkin juice in your mortal cup? Not enough A.I. in your glass palace?

WELL LOOK NO FURTHER!

A few 3D printers, alternate dimensions, and an absurd combination of 1’s and 0’s is all you need! Not sure if black holes and quantum physics is your thing?!?

NONSENSE!

The Quantum Ghost guar-an-tees a safe and reliable journey into another world, with the protection and guidance of a metal dog and a slightly amnesia ridden robot child.

CONCERNED? DON’T BE!

It’s ONLY the fate of a thirteen-year-old girl and an entire world in your hands! Yes, there may be a few virus ridden robots trying to kill you along the way, but that’s the fun part! Right?

Strap on those goggles and space boots kids, because we’re walking into another dimension.

AGAIN!

No “actual” or “official” guarantees of safe travel to another dimension have been made by this author.

Doctors orders have required thirteen-year-old Remi Cobb to be separated from friends and stuck in her house until she gets better. But a strange encounter one night by the pond in her backyard forces Remi out of her home, and into the depths of danger. After finding a strange orb and waking up unconscious outside with no memory of what happened, Remi begins receiving packages and instructions to build some type of machinery. To her surprise, this machinery turns out to be a robot that changes her life forever. Soon Remi finds herself in the company of a young girl named Nova, a metal dog named Achilles, and a young robot named AJ. On the run from infected robots called Leaks and a dangerous leader named Kore, Remi works to find a cure for the virus that is spreading across her new friend’s world.

Peel back my preferences and call me a traitor, but I think I just jumped ship from Faeries and magic to demon robots and coding.

In all my dizziest daydreams (that was a HARD HP reference guys, look alive) I never thought I would want two books to be made into films as badly as I NEED The Quantum Door and The Quantum Ghost to be. I am praying OBSESSIVELY to the Book Gods to make this happen, because I just can’t take it! I NEED to see this on the big screen. Now if you haven’t read my review for book one of this two-part series, The Quantum Door, click here and have yourself a lovely time. For those of you who HAVE read that review (you little overachievers) then you will know how much I adore Johnathan Ballagh’s writing and imagination. I have not come across many writers that can write a Fantasy/Sci-Fi story without it being the length of a textbook, but Johnathan knows just how to get to the readers to end without leaving them feeling rushed or confused.

So here’s the low down kids: There is a world, in an alternate universe, that is filled with robots called Artifex. These Artifex were created by humans, and ironically the advanced Artifex called the Elder Minds, were the cause of the demise of the humans on this planet (see book one for that story). But the “regular” Artifex adored humans and some even went a little crazy trying to imitate them and become them. But now a virus is spreading across this planet, infecting the Artifex by turning them into zombie robots, which are called Leaks. The only chance of their survival is a cure for the virus which entails the knowledge of the “Primer Code”, which very few know about. Enter: Remi.

Remi is a young girl with a mysterious sickness that has kept her at home for some time. She is a curious and smart character, and to say that she has gone a little stir-crazy is an understatement. For her to go from being bored out of her mind day by day, to finding a floating orb by her pond and then being shipped parts to build a robot is QUITE the change of events. Wouldn’t you say? Obviously, we can guess that this young girl is the key to the survival of the Artifex, and OH BOY is she!

But our main character doesn’t do this all on her own, she is accompanied by a few of my favorite characters from The Quantum Door. A fiery girl named Nova, a metal/robotic dog named Achilles, and a “child robot” named AJ. These characters, in my opinion, are what really holds these books together and makes them so enjoyable. Robots with very human-like mannerisms and thinking is a common concept, but Johnathan Ballagh has given it a twist by giving these robots depth and emotions. The contrast between all of them gives the stories a lot of layers, and the author does an amazing job of making the reader forget that they are reading dialogue between robots and not humans.

I think one of the best aspects of these books are the visuals the reader gets in their mind while reading. I felt like I was watching all of these moments play out, rather than just reading them on a page. I was transported to another world with these characters, and all I want is to go back and be with them. I can’t help myself, I feel a bit of loss finishing this story. But let’s also not forget how truly spectacular the three drawings that we are blessed with are:

This is one of those sequels that doesn’t make reading the first story a requirement, but it might be helpful to give the reader a bit of background. One of the greatest things about The Quantum Ghost is that it’s a new story with a new main character, but we still get to see some amazing people and robots from book one. The Quantum Ghost is another story that provides and epic adventure, and gives readers of all ages a feeling of wonder and endless possibilities. This story makes me feel nostalgic and like I am a child again, and that is really all that I can ask for in a book.

5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review: Shatter (Glitter Book 2) by Aprilynne Pike

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Shatter (Glitter Book 2) by Aprilynne Pike will be available for purchase on February 13, 2018.

Pre-order a copy through the links below:

Amazon.com: Shatter (Glitter Book 2) by Aprilynne Pike


Barnesandnoble.com: Shatter (Glitter Book 2) by Aprilynne Pike

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Random House Children’s, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Science-Fiction

Plot: Danica planned to use beauty, blackmail, and a glittering drug to control her own fate. Her escape from the twisted world of the Palace of Versailles was perfectly orchestrated and paid for. Or so she thought.

Betrayed by the man who had promised her freedom, Dani is now married to the murderous king. It’s a terrifying position to be in . . . and yet it’s oddly intoxicating. Power may be an even stronger drug than Glitter–a drug Dani can’t resist, in the form of secrets, manipulation, and sabotage.

In her new position at the head of the court, Dani must ask herself who she really is. Can she use her newfound power to secure her real love, Saber’s freedom, and a chance at a life together outside the palace? Or is being queen too addictive to give up?

Opinion:

OoOoOo can you guys hear that?

It sounds almost like…like…ravenous courtiers inebriated on Glitter rouge and lipstick. Or maybe it’s the whimsical musings of backstabbing, and one or two dead bodies? Perhaps robots? Or even more likely, crushed dreams of freedom and public displays of forced affection and bliss?

One thing is for sure, some s**t just hit an eight-tier chandelier at the Palace of Versailles.

As Danica’s plans to escape the Palace of Versailles slips from her gloved fingertips, the realization of her new life sets in: she is to marry Justin and become Queen. Danica knows that there is no other way for her now, and so she begrudgingly takes the role. As she begins to gain control of her court, the demand for her beauty products known as Glitter are at an all time high. Danica begins to throw herself into her duties, but losing herself along the way is just part of the process. In Shatter, Danica searches desperately for another way to leave Versailles and for a way to free Saber from his slavery. But Danica is getting in deeper than she expected, and the role of being Queen is a drug all on its own. Time is running out, but the Glitter isn’t.

WHAT. A. WHIRLWIND!!!

I want nothing more than to jump into this world that Aprilynne Pike has created! As I had said in my review for book 1 (Glitter), Shatter takes place in Sonoman-Versailles at the Palace of Versailles. Sonoman-Versailles reflects the fashions and dialect of that of the 18th-Century, but the technology they possess surpasses present time. Danica resides in the Queens quarters, which is the exact quarters that Marie Antoinette resided in during her time. But for Danica, being Queen is the last thing she wants. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what she gets. After Reginald refuses to help her flee, Danica is forced to marry Justin. Now stuck with the task of trying to navigate her new roles, she is also forced to sit back as Reginald takes control of her Glitter business.

Danica is a WHOLE new person in this book. She has transitioned into something truly amazing yet terrifying, and I am OBSESSED with it. In Shatter Danica is still doing everything she can to find a way for her and Saber to escape, but the role as Queen starts to drastically change her. The reader follows Danica as she makes RUTHLESS decisions and power-plays against the King, Reginald, and even a few members of the court. The King even goes so far as to say that he and Danica are alike, which honestly is NOT an exaggeration. She has blossomed into a calculating and manipulative character, but really…can we blame her? She is surrounded by horrible people, and all she wants is to be free. Bottom line, the girl is a savage and I commend her for it.

None of this is funny,’ I say, straightening my arm with my finger on the trigger. ‘No, of course not,’ he says, sobering. I shoot him in the leg.”

As for our other characters, Saber is still kind of lame and Justin is still an ass. Saber has become a minor role next to Danica, and especially now that she is Queen and being a badass. But with that considered, he still isn’t much of a character to be cared about in my opinion. In Shatter Saber had one role: try to be the voice of reason for Danica as she makes some SERIOUSLY CRAZY moves. But that’s about all he was there for. I honestly wouldn’t have noticed if he just disappeared halfway through the book, and frankly, I would have preferred it.

JUSTIN…still sucks in book 2. Although, you can’t say the guy is bland! He is such an arrogant piece of work, always playing mind games with Danica and acting like a spoiled brat. But, I kind of…like it?

Okay, I love him.

I can’t help it; the guy is downright horrible, and I’m so overly entertained by it. The more ruthless and snobbish he is, the more I hope for encounters with him. The banter between Justin and Danica is PURE gold. The author has created an intricate dance that these two participate in when they converse. They speak in carefully constricted sentences, and the only goal is to manipulate and play the other until one of them comes out champion. I LIVE FOR THIS! Though the end of Justin and Danica is to be expected by the end of this book, I am a little saddened by the way things turned out. For some reason, I just wanted Justin to prevail.

All in all, I think book 2 followed up book 1 nicely. There was A LOT more going on, and there even a few more twists and turns that the reader won’t expect. If you haven’t had the chance to get your hands on book 1 (Glitter) yet, then I SERIOUSLY suggest that you do. These books are hidden little gems and I haven’t seen much buzz about either, WHICH I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. There is so much happening in these books that it is impossible to lose interest. Death, manipulation, royalty, 18th century fashion, and a ton of sarcasm and wit. Trust me guys, you will LOVE Glitter and Shatter.

4-stars

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Book Promo: Release Day for Until by Anna B. Doe!

Forever Valentine PR and More is proud to partner with Anna B. Doe for the Release Blitz for 

UNTIL (New York Knights, book #2)!
Title: Until
Series: New York Knights, book 2
Author: Anna B. Doe 
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Cover Design: Emily Wittig, Emily Wittig Designs and Photography
Release Date: January 5th, 2018
 
In the war of wills, broody football player finds his match in a beautiful supermodel. What could go wrong? 



Until is kind of darkish and sexy story about two people who don’t believe in love, yet can’t escape falling.

I was betrayed by those who I loved. Those who I believed in. It was the first and the last time I let myself love someone outside my family. A little girl grew up and opened her eyes. Love makes you weak. It makes you wish for the thing you can’t have. It makes you vulnerable, and I swore I will never again go down that path.
 
Until I met him—Jack Daniel Shelton. 
 
She left me. She ruined me. The day I found her gone I promised myself I’ll never let anyone have that kind of hold on me. Especially not a woman. Now she is back. No matter how much time has passed, no matter what I tell myself, her hold on me is still strong. There is also a secret she’s been keeping from me. A secret I can’t escape from, but a secret I can’t turn my back to either. A secret that could ruin everything I worked for.
 
And then, there is her—Sienna Roberts—everything was just as it was supposed to be. That is until she walked in my life. 
 
Can two souls that lost faith in love find it in one another?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36872963-until

ONE-CLICK Until for $0.99 or read for free with KU!

AMAZON US: http://a.co/hlME2mo  

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.eu/3C0BdrE  

AMAZON CA: http://a.co/5WTHqJM

Exclusive excerpt from UNTIL 
“We meet again, baby doll.”   
“I’m no doll or princess, hot shot.” I lift my chin into the air. 
A soft chuckle falls from his lips. “What are you then?”
“A rebel, all sass, and attitude.”
His fingertips slowly touch my cheek. “For me, you’ll always be a doll.”
His words are soft caresses against my skin. I take a step back to break the spell his words left me under and narrow my eyes at him. 
There hasn’t been a man that affected me like that in … ever.
I don’t know what it is about J.D., but every time he’s near I lose myself to him. 
Johnny calls out and breaks our staring contest. He leads us through different poses, every one sexy but sophisticated. 
J.D.’s hands move over my body—it’s nothing like it was that night. They are on my waist, back, or somewhere on my arms. It’s simple and professional.
But his hold is like I remember it—firm and strong. 
The palms of his hands are not soft and taken care of like most of the male models, they are rough and chapped. Hands of a man that actually uses them for a living. When they trace my skin, in the most innocent of touches, they make me shiver in delight and my insides clench. Awaiting.   
He can feel it. I know he can. I heard that bastard chuckle softly behind me.  
I can feel the heat of his body all around me, it’s radiating off of him, and sometimes, when he has to stand right behind me, I can feel his hot breath on my skin. 
We don’t say anything at all, we just do our job. But I can feel it. This something building between us.
Sexual tension. 
Lust. 
I never sleep with the same man twice, but something about him calls to me. 
Makes me want more. 
One more touch.
One more kiss.
One more night. 
Until this passion inside me is extinguished completely. 
 
EARLY REVIEWS
You’re hooked from the get go, two broken people find each other and boom! A spark is formed and you’re a goner. A love story, you’ll be thinking about long after the book is done.” – Socially Book Nerd
 
This is their story… it has secrets. It has hurt, betrayal and broken hearts. Determined to never feel. To never love. Until…..each other” – Emergency Book Blog
 
I loved this story. I was hooked and didn’t want to put it down. They both had baggage but in the end it made them grow closer together. What an amazing love story. Can’t wait for the next book.” – Jade
 
Captivating book about trusting yourself and finding love.” – Author Stephanie Gresham
 
You can read first two chapters for #free here: https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/133802210-until

What to know how it all started?
Lost & Found (New York Knights, book #1) 
One-click or read for free with KU! 

ON SALE FOR $0.99 FROM DEC 24 – JAN 4!

I don’t know what I want to do with my life. The only thing I am sure of is that this is not what I imagined my life to be. So, instead of staying and trying to figure out what is wrong, I choose to run away. I choose the unknown. I choose the adventure.
My name is Anabel Majer, and I’m lost.
 
What readers are saying about Lost & Found:
 
 What I really admired about this book was the romance. It wasn’t an immediate fall into bed and declare their love for each other. It was realistic, rough on the edges, and slow burning. This isn’t something you see often in the sports romance genre (at least I haven’t found many like this) and Lost & Found is unique with the pacing, the story line and the honesty between all of the characters.” – Ashley 
 
Anna B. Doe is an indie author of the contemporary romance novel Lost & Found and Until (coming January 2018). She has bachelor’s degree in Education Science and Spanish from University of Zadar. She works full time in an office and gives English and Spanish classes in her free time. When she’s not working for living or writing her newest book you can find her reading books, watching TV shows, or traveling the world. She is addicted to coffee and a big lover of dogs. Anna writes what she loves to read, which is romance. She is currently working on various projects. Some more secret than others. 

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Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday: Until by Anna B. Doe

Forever Valentine PR and More is proud to partner with Anna B. Doe for this exclusive teaser of 
UNTIL (New York Knights, book #2)!
Title: Until
Series: New York Knights, book 2
Author: Anna B. Doe 
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Cover Design: Emily Wittig, Emily Wittig Designs and Photography
Release Date: January 5th, 2018
 
Sign up to take part in the release blitz HERE
I was betrayed by those who I loved. Those who I believed in. It was the first and the last time I let myself love someone outside my family. A little girl grew up and opened her eyes. Love makes you weak. It makes you wish for the thing you can’t have. It makes you vulnerable, and I swore I will never again go down that path.
 
Until I met him—Jack Daniel Shelton. 
 
She left me. She ruined me. The day I found her gone I promised myself I’ll never let anyone have that kind of hold on me. Especially not a woman. Now she is back. No matter how much time has passed, no matter what I tell myself, her hold on me is still strong. There is also a secret she’s been keeping from me. A secret I can’t escape from, but a secret I can’t turn my back to either. A secret that could ruin everything I worked for.
 
And then, there is her—Sienna Roberts—everything was just as it was supposed to be. That is until she walked in my life. 
 
Can two souls that lost faith in love find it in one another?
What to know how it all started?
 
Lost & Found (New York Knights, book #1) 
One-click or read for free with KU! 
I don’t know what I want to do with my life. The only thing I am sure of is that this is not what I imagined my life to be. So, instead of staying and trying to figure out what is wrong, I choose to run away. I choose the unknown. I choose the adventure.
My name is Anabel Majer, and I’m lost.
 
What readers are saying about Lost & Found:
 
 “What I really admired about this book was the romance. It wasn’t an immediate fall into bed and declare their love for each other. It was realistic, rough on the edges, and slow burning. This isn’t something you see often in the sports romance genre (at least I haven’t found many like this) and Lost & Found is unique with the pacing, the story line and the honesty between all of the characters.” – Ashley 
 
Anna B. Doe is an indie author of the contemporary romance novel Lost & Found and Until (coming January 2018). She has bachelor’s degree in Education Science and Spanish from University of Zadar. She works full time in an office and gives English and Spanish classes in her free time. When she’s not working for living or writing her newest book you can find her reading books, watching TV shows, or traveling the world. She is addicted to coffee and a big lover of dogs. Anna writes what she loves to read, which is romance. She is currently working on various projects. Some more secret than others. 

 

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Book Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

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Bookoutlet.com – Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Amazon.com – Glass Sword (Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads.com – Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Barnesandnoble.com – Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Bookdepository.com – Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Genre: YA/Adult/Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Opinion: As I sit in my desk chair at work, obviously not working, I can’t help but wonder why I don’t stop to write a review before moving onto the next book in a series. Once again I have read book 2 and then immediately rushed to book 3 without even a second’s hesitation. Now I am sitting here with the misfortune of having to decipher WTF happened in books 2 and 3, because they have COMPLETELY blended together now. Obviously my need to know what happens next overshadows my responsibility to share my thoughts with you guys, but you are just going to have to suffer due to my selfishness. Book obsessions are a fickle mistress my darlings ❤

If you read my review for book 1 in this series, Red Queen, then you know that I was having some deep deeeeeeep issues with the fact that I couldn’t connect with the characters. Reading that a character is sad/guilty/happy/blah blah blah is COMPLETELY different than feeling what the characters feels. I don’t want to be TOLD that Mare is disappointed in herself for getting more people killed, I want to know it and feel it. As I was hoping would happen, the author has only improved in this while she has continued to write. After reading Glass Sword I was finally starting to feel the things that Mare, Cal, Kilorn, Farley and various other characters were feeling. As the story started building into a darker and more cutthroat story, the personalities and actions of the characters grew as well. Though I still feel as if Mares emotions aren’t translating as well as they could, I definitely am noticing an improvement and growth in the writing.

For me, halfway into this story is where it really starts excelling. Mare and her “team” have begun the search to recruit/rescue newbloods, and the abilities that these new characters show are KILLER! Their skills range from manipulating sound, teleporting, playing with gravity, changing ones physical appearance to match another, or being able to kill someone or something with only touch. Here is where the reader is introduced to some amazing new characters, and where I think the story actually comes into its own. As they start training the newcomers to fight and control their abilities, it starts to become clear that we are in for some epic battles in the next few books.

I am all for action scenes and cutthroat battles happening in a Fantasy story, but I am really starting to tune out of these sequences in this series. I keep finding myself skipping over a lot of these scenes, and I mean just flipping pages and not even looking back. I think there is a way to detail a battle without using so much wording, because this is what keeps losing my interest. In the Throne of Glass series there is a TON of fighting and killing happening, but I never lost interest once. I think this is because Sarah J. Maas really knows how to describe a moment in detail, but in a way that you are hanging onto her every word and not feeling as if you are being thrown too much information. In the Red Queen series this just wasn’t happening, and I couldn’t help but skip past these parts.

Glass Sword is where we also have a heart attack moment in which the author hints at a love triangle. But then again, there’s already a weird love triangle happening between Maven, Cal and Mare isn’t there? Well for those of you who love a nice romantic drama full of heart ache and emotional woes between three people…sorry. That’s not really happening here. In saying the least amount possible: some emotions are expressed, some emotions are respectfully shot down, and some other emotions are…emotional. J But fear not my romantic readers!  Book 2 is where the heat begins between Cal and Mare, and by heat I mean a very VERY dim flicker of flame on a tealight candle. Yes, it’s kind of a letdown. Though now I think we are all starting to realize that Victoria Aveyard has decided to focus more on the story, less on the romance. Which I can full on respect. You go girl!

With that said, I think this is a nice step towards what is to come in this series. I always see book 2 as the stepping stone for everything else that is building up in a story, and I feel like that with this one as well. I was glad to see that some of my concerns from Red Queen had improved in Glass Sword, and I can’t wait to see if things only get better. Though this series still hasn’t hit the WOW factor for me and has left me a little disappointed, I still find it an enjoyable read. If an author is keeping at least part of me interested and I am speeding through the series, then they have to be doing something right. I have already finished King’s Cage and hope to have a review up soon, so keep a look out guys!

3-5-stars

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Books · Reviews

ICE KISSED (Book 2 in The Kanin Chronicles) by Amanda Hocking

 

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Bookoutlet.com – Frostfire (Book 1 in The Kanin Chronicles)

Bookoutlet.com – Ice Kissed (Book 2 in The Kanin Chronicles)

Amazon.com – Crystal Kingdom (Book 3 in The Kanin Chronicles)

Genre: YA/Adult/Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: In the majestic halls of a crystal palace lies a secret that could destroy an entire kingdom…

Bryn Aven refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal enemy that’s been threatening the Kanin, and Bryn is there to help. Being half Skojare herself, it’s also a chance for her to learn more about her lost heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing the mission, but as their undeniable attraction heats up, their relationship is about to reach a whole new level―one neither of them is prepared for.

As they delve deeper into the Skojare world, they begin to unravel a long-hidden secret. The dark truth about her own beloved Kanin kingdom is about to come to light, and it’ll change her place in it forever…and threaten everyone she loves.

Opinion: Here we are, book 2 in The Kanin Chronicles. I swear I have been reading this series so fast that all the books are starting to blend together, but in a fantastic way. Ice Kissed begins right where book 1, Frostfire, has left off. Due to this being a three part series, and this being the middle book, I am probably going to run through this review rather quickly. It’s usually a bit easier to summarize the entire series as a whole in the last books review, so watch out for that one!

After Bryn and her boss Ridley return home from Storvatten, Bryn copes with the sense of failure at not locating the missing Skojare Queen; as well as, letting Konstantin Black escape again. As the threats on the Kanin kingdom grow, so do the threats at the kingdom in Storvatten. Bryn, along with a Högdragen guard named Kasper, are then sent back to protect the Skojare people and the kingdom. Due to the royal family feeling that there is corruption among their guards, Bryn and Kasper work to find out what was really behind the disappearance of Queen Linnea. Soon hidden secrets start to surface, and more than one mystery starts to intertwine as the kingdoms move closer to war.

So there is A LOT happening in this book, and there is no way I can touch on everything without this review taking at least two hours to read. Therefore, I will try to summarize the book in its entirety, without giving too much away. This book starts off with Bryn and Ridley just arriving back to Doldastam. Bryn is having some serious regrets about not being able to find Queen Linnea, and for letting Konstantin Black get away again. But Bryn being Bryn, she is determined more than ever to set things right and protect innocent people and her kingdom. Once again, Bryn finds herself at the Skojare palace with Kasper, a Högdragen guard, where they work together to find out what is really going on in the kingdom. After talking to multiple guards and the royal family, they feel that they keep hitting dead ends. But after the Skojare King is almost killed, they start to find clues as to what is really going on.

I really enjoyed this story, and think it was a great follow up to book 1. The main character is in a new setting, working with new characters, and there is another mystery intertwining into the already major issues that are happening. I think Bryn is developing into a great character, and in this installment she has proven to be a highly likeable and real person. The author has been doing a great job of keeping the reader on their toes about what the conclusion will be, and this book was no exception. I had started off having a VERY strong inkling to who was behind everything, but the author throws in all these extra “scenes” and problems that kind of started to throw me. At the end of the book I was completely shocked (but in some ways, not too shocked) about what happened to Bryn, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on book 3…which I just received in the mail! SCORE!

The relationship between Bryn and Ridley heats up in this book, and I mean it seriously HEATS up. It’s so hot it’s dipping over that line of PG-13 but kind of R rated…kind of. I will say, their wishy-washy-ness with each other was starting to get on my nerves in this book. Sometimes I wish I could just grab those characters, shake them, and make them get over their weird insecurities. Honestly guys, were all adults here!

I know I sped through this one, but it is all leading up to book 3 so that I can summarize the series as a whole. Book 2 is usually, in most cases, a book that sets up for the final book that brings everything together. The refreshing thing about this series that I am finding is that these books flow so perfectly together, and they each have their own special thing going on. I am really recommending this series to all of you, it has gotten me addicted for the past three days and I am going to be so sad when it’s over.

4 Stars

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