Caged in Darkness by J.D. Stroube

I have mixed feelings about this book…the amount of material in this book was amazing.  It was just SO much in such a short amount of time; I felt overwhelmed from time to time.  It was definitely dark with dealing on witches, demons, Nephelim, drinking blood, etc.  Just when I was on a happy book streak…

Title: Caged in Darkness (Caged #1)

Author: J.D. Stroube

Summary (by Goodreads):

A witch raised in a cage of darkness…

Savannah Cross was born into a life of isolation and abuse.
As a child, she witnessed her parents perform acts of malevolent evil, and now feels permanently tainted by their dark deeds.

When a coven discovers a tear stricken child,
wounded on their elders lawn, they offer her a sanctuary she has never known. Savannah spends the next several years shattered, continuously looking over her shoulder, waiting for the darkness to claim her.

On her 16th birthday, Savannah’s life takes a drastic turn. She is consumed by overwhelming power that forever alters her emotionally and physically.

She must choose between two loves; the one who taught her to smile or the darkly seductive stranger who tempts her towards another path.

Savannah must decide between the coven that was her haven and another one vying for her initiation. Just as Savannah begins to grasp what fate has in store for her, an evil looms over her loved ones; coming to claim an unbreakable debt.

How will she survive the greatest evil she has ever witnessed… long enough to have a choice to make?

My take:

The story starts with a girl named Savannah who has been caged in her parents home.  Her mom and dad had started out seemingly normal, but their thirst for power and hunger for more pushed them in the dark witchcraft.  In order to sate their hunger they would often times perform dark magic on Savannah.  You sure you wanna continue reading?  It’s not a happy book.

She manages to run away and finds a safe haven with a coven of witches who do not delve into dark or evil witchcraft.  There she meets Maye, a kind woman who takes her in as her own daughter, and Ash, Maye’s son who is a year or two older than Savannah.  Time progresses and Savannah starts to heal but still carries emotional scars and is afraid to let people into her life.

This book had SO much information regarding witches, dark arts, demons, etc, it just seemed all thrown in there at the same time.  The book alternated between Savannah, Ash, and Liam and it was not a seamless transition.  Events would occur to Savannah while you were reading Liam’s point of view and you would think you missed a chapter of a book somewhere because you never read about the event and end up confused.   I know I read fast, but I couldn’t have missed that many events and be THAT confused!  I couldn’t fall in love with the characters and the ending was CRAZY!  When I say crazy…I don’t mean shocking.  It literally makes you want to go “what was the author smoking when she wrote that?” 

I think if the author would have lengthened the book out, took her time explaining things, and cleaned up the grammar errors/indention errors/word errors…it would have been a decent book.  I’m trying to do this as nice as possible!!  I just … *shrug*…couldn’t get into it and really didn’t love it.  I wanted to.

I’m sorry it’s not a “happy dance” review.  I feel bad publishing a negative review…I almost didn’t want to do the review, but with the good ones come some bad ones.  Maybe it just wasn’t my “cup of tea”.

Myst~

Intuition by Amy A Bartol

I. Have. No. Words.  Epic?  Hot?  Adventurous?  This book…was almost the death of me.  I finished it on Valentine’s Day and had to calm myself down since the third book isn’t out yet.  I wanted to weep.  Actually, I wanted to sob with snot running down my nose, but I had to put on my big girl panties for Valentine’s Day.

Title: Intuition (The Premonition #2)

Author: Amy A. Bartol

Summary (by Goodreads):

I don’t open my eyes so I can’t see him, but I can smell him. He thickens the air I breathe, choking me with his scent…his aroma. I shiver. I have to resist. If I’m not strong, then I will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects me even now. But now, I crave him and he knows that; he has been counting on my need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor my surrender. I’m alive, but how much longer will it take until I beg him not to be?

My take:

Ok, I don’t mean to be rude, but that summary really doesn’t do this book NEARLY the amount of justice it needs.  I tore through this story with neck breaking speed.   It’s got an adventure like none other, romance like none other, and some major quotability like none other.   Last time I say “none other” that many times…sorry!

The book starts with Evie, Reed, Buns, and Zee headed out for a New Years Eve party that basically gets crashed by some crazy big Powers.  Evie’s own evolution is continuing and with the help of Russell and Zee, she starts being trained to fight or to possibly defend herself.  Not long after this, Evie finds out she and Russell are a magnet for the Divine and the Fallen and it puts not only her and Russell at risk, but also Buns, Brownie, Zee, and more importantly Reed.  Evie’s need to keep them safe from harm, forces her into a decision to runaway with Russell to keep the rest of them from being hurt.  *shakes head…what a girl thing to do!  

We get a great story from her actions though and actually get a few chapters from Russell’s POV. Which, I was dreading the read…but thought “huh, it might be better than reading about Evie moping…” and read it with some gumption.  It turned out to be good…like really good.  It makes me feel for Russell to the point I aaaaaaalmost changed from Team Reed…I said almost.

The romance is so good.  Like GOOD good.  It made my heart happy and left me doing a happy dance in my chair.

After finishing the book…I soon ended up with a feeling like depression…this feeling was because I realized I had worked myself into a frenzy for the third book…which wasn’t out yet.

Where’s the third book?  *stares into camera* Amy, it’s your fault if I gain 50 pounds from eating this many Doritos…

I digress…To keep with the good feelings…one of my favorite funny quotes from the book:

“I don’t know what just happened, Reed, but I can tell you, that if she touches you one more time, she’s going to wind up with a fork sticking out of her.”

and then of course,

“Well, he had to tell you what kind of warrior he is.  You know…’I will eviscerate your enemies and sear them in the fires of agony’ blah, blah, blah, – ‘if they dare speak your name I will cute out their tongues’ blah, blah, blah’…”

I smile just reading that!  I seriously love this twisted family!

Myst~

PS: Amy, I know you may not read this, but *on my knees* I would love to get an ARC of Indebted and *waves hand dismissively* …then we can just forget about that Doritos comment…

Update: To get a better understanding of just what the heck I’m talking about…visit my review page for “Inescapable“, the first book in this amazing series.

Inescapable by Amy Bartol

I was confused and a little stand off-ish at the beginning of this book…but the book gets SO good in the middle.  The ending leaves a little hint of a cliff hanger and the romantic triangle I walked into…mmmm.  *hands up*  I did so willingly.

Title: Inescapable (The Premonition #1)

Author: Amy A. Bartol

Summary (by Goodreads):

My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me–my freshman year of college. I had been hoping that once I had arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t.

I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he is near, I feel an attraction to him–a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would–if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But, get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life.

What is the secret he is keeping from me? I’m hoping that it is anything but what I expect: that he is not exactly normal…and neither am I. So maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I have been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.

My take:

Evie is a girl whose parents had died when she was young.  She was then raised by her Uncle (her mother’s brother) and is now an incoming freshman at college.  She met a guy during the summer for college visitation named Alfred (whom she nicknames as Freddie) and more recently, during freshman orientation, meets a cute southern gentleman boy named Russell.  She also has the fortunate opportunity to meed Reed…who unfortunately acts like a total jerk.  He’s the strong, silent jerk type…but extremely hot.

So like I mentioned above, I was a little stand off-ish in the beginning.  Reed had been able to do a “Jedi mind trick” on Russell and it seemed like Evie was completely cool with the idea.   Plus, accepting the fact that she wasn’t normal, even though she felt normal all her life.  Then there’s the fact that Reed’s downright rude to her and tells her she needs to leave and go away immediately…but she still has these amazing feelings because he’s so hot.  If the beginning was written a little different then I think I would have been a lot more accepting…  enough about that though…let’s get to the good stuff!!

After you get past the beginning though….the romance that blossoms and the love triangle that happens made me feel all giddy and girly.  I love a good romance in my ya fiction!

*no kidding…that’s what I felt like doing while staring in my iPad… hey…don’t judge!

This book was good at balancing how she finds out about “the mystery”, while choosing between Russell and Reed, and making friends while being a freshman in college.  Normally in ya fiction, it’s just about the girl ditching everyone she knows for the sake of her new boyfriend, but the author was able to help keep her character connected to her new friends while building the story.

Evie has these nightmares that started once she got accepted to college…she doesn’t understand it, but it’s terrifying.  I feel like I should write more about the story, but if I do…it gives away the secrets and when you read WHAT exactly is going on…*sigh.  I can’t say anymore.  Oooohhh…but I want to.  No spoilers…it’s too good to spoil.

So…I paid a total of $2.99 at Amazon.com for the book and it was such a great investment…I paid $3.99 for the next one IntuitionJust a forewarning…the second book…*giddy grin*…has some good romance to it.  Remember…I did so willingly.  I wrote the author and told her I felt like a junkie…dying for her second book and having the same reaction waiting for the third.  …I probably shouldn’t have used that terminology huh?

Just remember:

“Friends don’t let friends get nekkid with professors.”

Myst~

PS: Intuition (the second book) is going to be reviewed on Friday, released at noon as always… 🙂  You won’t want to miss it!

Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

I really liked this book!  Taking a detour from angels and vampires…how about mermaids?  A great slow simmering love story between a surfer boy and a girl who found herself a mermaid.  Throw in a few mean girls, some really cool cars, and Prada purses and you’ve got yourself a story!

Title: Between the Land and the Sea (Marina’s Tales #1)

Author: Derrolyn Anderson

Summary (by Goodreads):

Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep waters off the coast of Aptos, California. A few weeks after moving to the charming beach town, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can only manage to survive increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might be able to unlock the mystery of her past and learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her… And maybe even find true love along the way.

My take:

First of all, thank you to the author, Derrolyn Anderson!!  She was cool enough to give out free copies of her book on Shut Up & Read in exchange for critique and reviews!  How brave is that??  So kudos to her!

Onto the story!!

Marina’s mother died when she was a baby, so all she has is her father, who gets sent on assignments all over the world.  His latest assignment is in Afghanistan and he tells Marina that he can’t take her with him for safety reasons.  Thinking it’s the end of the world…Marina is sent to live with her Aunt Abigail and her cousin Cruz.  Which I really enjoyed Cruz’s character…he made me laugh from time to time!

Since Marina has followed her father around the world, she’s only been tutored.  She goes into high school with some fears and hesitations, but soon gains the attention of a cute boy named Ethan (who happens to be the hottest guy in school).   But although she’s got a cute boy interested in her, it means she’s also gained the hateful stares from the girls that have been dying for just a glance from him.  It’s always a bunch of mean girls….it’s like they all took lessons together… on how to be ho bags together.

In the mean time, Marina has gone down to the beach to visit the ocean and has seen a pair of eyes which turns out to be a mermaid…named Lorelei.  Only she can understand what Lorelei says and due to Lorelei’s “naiveness” of humans, Marina almost gets killed a couple of times due to her impulsive actions.

The only complaint I had about the book was that the tension builds and builds, but the final showdown is a really quick couple of pages.  It’s “resolved” seemingly too quick…the ending leaving no trace of a cliff hanger, but after you read the excerpt from the next book at the end of the book….it will leave with a big cliffhanger. Haha!  Doomed to read it now huh?

Enjoy Ethan and the good little romance between him and Marina! 🙂  It’s an ooey gooey goodness of a ya fiction romance.  You can find the book for the Kindle and it’s also on Smashwords for only 99 cents. There are two other books out The Moon and The Tide and The Fate of the Muse …the 4th is set to be released later this year.  So although it’s yet another series….I picked one with the series well under way and almost finished! 

Myst~

Wanderlove by Belle Malory

I liked the idea of the book and the characters were great!  It just was written soooo…”weird” isn’t a good word for it, but I don’t want to use the word poorly either.  It just was roughly worded…it seemed like the author was a little impatient to get it published and just sent it without making a few changes that would have seriously helped the writing out.  That is my only complaint though.  I loved the love story in this book!!

Title: Wanderlove

Author: Belle Malory

Summary (by Goodreads):

Lola Moori is hiding a secret she doesn’t know she’s keeping.

She begins to remember someone. Someone important. His name is Gabe…and whatever they shared, she could feel that it was epic.

Yet it seems Gabe wanted her to forget him. Forever.

The curse that repressed Lola’s memories for the span of several lifetimes is coming undone. But unfortunately for Lola, she discovers that some secrets are better left buried.

My take:

This is a self-published book from the author…I found it on the kindle for 99 cents.  It had gotten some good reviews and some mediocre reviews, but it was in that “If you liked…you will like…!”  Which I did “like” this book…the plot and the idea of it was great!  The way the book was written was just so rough.  One commenter on Goodreads mentioned that it was poorly edited…which is a great way to put it.

It’s a story about a girl named Lola.  She and her family are gypsies and in the beginning of the book, she is running away…from her father.  Her father had made a deal with a madame (aka: a lady pimp) to sell Lola once she is 18…what a horrible dad!  A get rich quick off of his daughter…and he doesn’t see it that way!

The main idea is that gypsies remember their past lives, who they were, who they loved, spouses, families, etc…except Lola can’t remember any of hers.  After running away from her father, she goes to her grandmother’s house where she meets a guy named Gabe and she’s got this sense that she’s known before … like “BEFORE, before”…  Being around him seems to do the trick and she starts remembering her past lives and most importantly…him.  After you find about him you can’t understand how she would forget him in the first place!

I loved Lola’s grandmother, Miriam.  She was hilarious to read!  First she’s on a dieting kick with no carbs, then she’s saying things like:

“He’s two bricks short of a load.”

Or

“She doesn’t have the sense God gave a goat.”

She seriously made me giggle at some of the stupid little things she would say!  Miriam’s character was just written so well!  I wish she was a real person!!  She’s was an amazing grandmother who, you could tell, loved Lola and wanted to see the best for her.

The way the author wrote about the gypsies, their way of life, they way they did things, was fascinating to read about.  It was like they truly possessed magic!  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was completely about gypsies, so it was a good read!

I would recommend this book on the basis that you look past some of the grammatical flaws and rough writing.  Once you read it, think back through the story line and you’ll realize how great the book really was and how original the plot is.   It has a minor cliff hanger in the epilogue…but other than that, it’s safe to read!

~Myst

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

This book had a great adventure!  I started it and felt the writing come from a male pov and it was nice (seeing as I had been reading all these books about girls and their love triangles).  It didn’t deal with the girly gushy feelings and had a great portrayal of what a guy goes through to protect himself, his “dad”, and his girl.  But he’s an alien…dun dun dun!

Title: I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1)

Author: Pittacus Lore

Summary (by Goodreads):

In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I Am Number Four is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.

My take:

I loved the adventure in this book.  You know how books will get up to that crucial fight and it seems to be over in 2 pages?  Not this one! The author made the ultimate showdown last a couple of chapters.  It was definitely a nail biter!!

What I also liked too, was the fact that although the author wanted you to believe in aliens, he pulled out some awesome alien theories.  So in order to keep the character’s cover,  they come up with the most ridiculous ideas about aliens that makes you wanna do a snort giggle.  Seriously, a snort giggle.

Example:

“Well, did you know that dinosaurs really didn’t go extinct? Aliens were so fascinated by them that they decided to gather them all up and take them to their own planet.”

aaaaaaaand….

“Did you know that the Loch Ness monster was really an animal from the planet Trafalgra? They brought him here as an experiment, to see if he could survive, and he did.  But when he was discovered the aliens had to take him back, which is why he was never spotted again.”

How did he come up with that?  …wait are those really conspiracies?

Number four is aka: John Smith.  Taaaaaaaalk about name creativity.  He and his “guardian”, Henri, are moving from their current location to a new town, new school, new home, and new identities.  The reason for their move is that Number One, Two, and Three have been killed…they are now after him.  Some crazy tattoo shows up on John when each “person” has been killed.  Kicker is…they have to be killed in order, so John knows for sure the Mogadorians are after him next and laying low is numero uno on his list of things to do.

John starts to make friends, gets into a few tiffs with the jocks, and finds himself a girl that he falls hard for.  All in all, he sounds like a normal guy, except his Legacies (superpowers) start kicking in and John starts being able to do some crazy cool things which almost get him into the headlines of the newspapers.

The author made the superpowers seem believable and the fact that it’s like he has to wait for them to show up or mature in order to gain the powers was a cool concept for me.  Normally it’s like Superman and he’s just been flying around since he’s been in diapers.  The author did a great job with the relationships aspect and seriously major props to the final showdown.

This is part of a series.  *ducks behind couch*  I know I’ve been doing a lot of reviews on books that are in a series…but it’s not my fault!  Tell the authors not to be so greedy and I wouldn’t have to pass along great books that you have to sit around a year to find out what happens next!  Although, this book didn’t have a cliff hanger…the next book is about Number 7, I believe.

Lemme know what you think.  This one has been different than the other books I’ve been reading recently.

Myst~

Halflings by Heather Burch

You know what I smell??  A LOVE TRIANGLE!  It’s like the Bermuda Triangle big… it makes you have to choose a side.  *gasp*  Team Mace or Team Raven??   Just those names alone…  I’m usually not a fan at ALL of love triangles, but this one…it was good.

Title: Halflings (Halflings #1)

Author: Heather Burch

Summary (by Goodreads):

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

My take:

This was a book I got from NetGalley to review and I absolutely loved it!  Thank you to Zondervan, publisher of this book for granting my request for a read and review!  *bows* 

*rubs hands together*  Now where to begin….ok, let’s start basic and work our way up, shall we?
Nikki, is a girl who in the beginning is being chased down by hell hounds.  You read it right…Hell Hounds.  A pair of “cerulean” eyes saves her before she blacks out.  Not kidding…cerulean was my favorite crayon color…*crosses heart*  We soon learn that those gorgeous pair of eyes belong to Mace, a halfling.  (A halfling is a child from an angel father and mortal mother.)  He along with two of his “halfling brothers”, Raven and Vine, are on a mission from the Throne and they don’t know exactly what’s going on, but at every turn, they always seem to find the need to intervene to save Nikki’s life.

Now…Raven and Mace are described as handsome young men, blonde hair, blue eyes, even goes as far to say that they have perfect “Michaelangelo” noses and”a mouth that looked capable of pleasing any girl’s lips”…basically:

…..where was I??? …. umm …. oh yeah…

So Raven, Mace, and their “younger brother” Vine are trying to keep Nikki safe from crazy gunmen, hell hounds, and mad scientists.  They’re also wanting to figure what exactly their mission is exactly.  In the midst of it all….Mace and Raven fall for Nikki.  AND Nikki while having amazing feelings for Mace has a few feelings of her own for Raven…but who wouldn’t with halflings looking like Thor/Chris Hemsworth?  Therein lies the “Bermuda Triangle” of love.

This book leaves you with a HUGE cliffhanger.  Like the author has a character make a crazy decision and start running…..and the book ends. Literally ends.  Over.  Done.

Overall, when I think about the story line, I’m more focused on the romance part and not so much on what is going on with her parents, the scientists, etc.  You’re probably like…scientists? What?  Yeeeah…there’s more to the story than Mace and Raven…

But Mace and Raven….all I’ve got to say is:

Myst~