Review: Dream a Little Dream

Title: Dream a Little Dream (Silver#1) 21469090

Author: Kerstin Gier

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: April 14, 2015

Summary: Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what’s really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn’t possibly know—unless they actuallyare in her dreams? Luckily, Liv could never resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute…

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Dream a Little Dream starts of kind of slow, following sassy Liv and her little sister Mia as they move to London and start over with a new school. Not only a new school, but potentially a new family as her mother reveals that she is dating a professor with two kids. Though Liv is tired of moving, there are a few perks about their new life; mostly the intriguing new mystery that presents itself. Not to mention the professor’s hot son and his three equally hot friends. The only problem is that Liv starts having really weird dreams including the four hottest boys at her school, and it seems that her dreams are real.

The main thing that I enjoyed about this book were the fun dream aspects. I loved seeing all of the ways that different people dreamed and what it said about them. The idea in this book, of being able to walk through other’s dreams, is such a fun idea and I thought that the author did a really good job of making the dream scenes funny but insightful. The author also used the idea of doors to other people’s dreams actually being doors and with that, people can put locks and defenses on their doors to keep other’s out. I thought that was a fun way to say something about a person, by how their door looked and what sort of defenses they put up. I kind of wish that Liv had done more snooping through people’s dream, but I felt like we unfortunately didn’t get much dream time through the book, something that was my favorite part and I would have liked to see more of.

I also liked Liv as a main character, I thought she was fun and clever and I loved her constant desire to solve mystery. And I liked her relationship with her sister, the way that they were so familiar and played off of each other’s jokes and snark constantly made me laugh. Liv though, was constantly a weird blend of responsible and irresponsible, which drove me a little crazy. There were times when she would really think things through or make notes and charts, and I would be impressed with how levelheaded she was being about the situation. Then there were times where she would just act so stupid and jump into a situation without thinking. I wish her character would have been a little bit more consistent in her decision making.

My main complaint about this book was that it really felt awkward at times and the writing wasn’t my favorite. The pacing was off sometimes, randomly jumping around without warning and I had to go back sometimes to figure out what day or time we had jumped to because it was so abrupt. Then the writing just felt weird and choppy, which was really off putting. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about the writing just constantly struck me as strange. I’ve never read any of Kerstin Gier’s other books so I’m not sure if it’s just her writing style or this book in particular.

Unfortunately when it comes to this book, I can’t help but compare this group of boys to the boys from The Raven Boys and these boys pale in comparison. One of the things I absolutely love about the boys in The Raven Boys was the relationship they all have with each other and how they just felt so real. This book is definitely lacking those aspect, you never really feel like you get to know any of the boys on a personal level except for Henry, but that’s mostly because he’s the love interest so he gets more page time. Speaking of love, the romance in this book was another thing that felt pretty bland. Although I like Liv and Henry both as characters, I just was’t buying the romance between them. The banter between the two was great and I liked the similarities between them, but I still don’t believe that two people can fall in love so quick.

Overall, Dream a Little Dream has some really fun aspects, with the witty banter between characters and the interesting dream exploration. However, it was hard to actually get into the story with the awkward writing and not connecting with any of the secondary characters. Despite the slow start though, once the story get’s going, the mystery keeps you entertained and I found that I wanted to learn a lot more about the dreams and the demon that was in the middle of everything. The ending was definitely anti-climactic and felt a little random, but there were enough mysteries left unexplained to keep you intrigued and waiting for the next book.

RATING: 

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Review: The Fifth Wave

Title: The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave #1) 16101128

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher:  G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 7, 2013

Summary:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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I’m just going to start this review off by saying that damn, that beginning kicked some serious butt. This book had one of the most intriguing beginnings I’ve read in a long time and it really pulled me into this book. I loved the eerie, post-apocalyptic vibe going on at the start, where even though you don’t really know what’s going on or how the world got to this point, it really just gives you a cold shiver down your spine and a sense of apprehension. And maybe the start was just so good that my expectations were too high for the rest of the book.

Ultimately my problem with this book ended up being the middle chunk, which I had a really hard time getting into. At this point in time, Cassie encounters Evan Walker and then it turns into a sort of romantic drama. Obviously it wasn’t all just about the romance, there was other stuff going on, but the romantic aspect itself held little interest to me. I’m a huge fan on The Walking Dead and one of the things I really enjoy about it is the post apocalyptic setting and seeing what the world has become. I was really wanting those elements in this book, hoping that Cassie would meet up with a group of other survivors and they would have to fight to stay alive against the invading aliens. The beginning was perfect set up for that, but when she meets Evan and they start playing house, it feels really disconnected from what’s actually going on in the world.

In this middle part, we also get introduced to the other main character, Zombie, who was taken to a military base that’s still operational and gets trained as a soldier to fight against the alien invasion. While I did find the training aspect interesting and I liked seeing what the government was doing to fight against the aliens, I found the characters to be rather boring. I did grow to live Zombie for the last part of the book, but when he is first introduced, I found him to be a bit bland with the whole golden boy, savior of the weak thing he had going. Also the alternating points of view really slowed down the story for me, especially since I wasn’t particularly interested in the military stuff for Cassie snuggling up to Evan.

I did enjoy the last part of the book though, when Cassie and Evan decide to actually start doing some stuff and Zombie and his team start getting some action. I like the fact that this book really sort of does mind tricks where you aren’t sure if things are how they seem or not or who you should trust, so it constantly keeps you on edge and trying to figure out who’s telling the truth. The ending of this book was really intense and full of suspenseful moments and I loved seeing things finally coming together and starting to connect. That’s the thing I like about books like this with multiple points of view, that you know things are going to end up connecting in some way, you just don’t know how. And I actually really like the way the author brought our characters together in the end, even if it was a little too much of a coincidence.

Cassie was the character that really carried this book for me. Although I didn’t agree with all of the decisions she makes, I really respect someone like her with such determination to live, even when most people would have given up. I admired the spunk and steel that she has, even when she isn’t feeling confident or strong. But mostly I really enjoyed her internal dialogue, sharing her story and battling to learn to trust and to not give up hope. She felt like a very real character to me and I never had that feeling like she was trying to be a bad-ass or forcing the emotions she was feeling.

Ultimately I ended up really loving the concept and beginning of this book, but I went off in a direction that I wasn’t expecting and I didn’t really enjoy. However, I liked where the author ended up going with the relationship between Cassie and Evan, as well as the military base and what they were doing. Aliens aren’t something I read about often but I never realized how terrifying the possibility of alien attack was until I read this book and saw all the ways we could be wiped off of the planet. It was horrifying and unsettling, but I found myself weirdly fascinated with the idea. I just wish the book had focused more on how the world is now and learning to survive in it. The ending was still great though and left you feeling both anxious and excited to see where the next book goes.

RATING: 

Review: The Clockwork Scarab

Title: The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker and Holmes #1) 17084242

Author: Colleen Gleason

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Summary: Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

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You know, you’d never think that two teenage girls, one related to Bram Stoker from Dracula, the other related to Sherlock Holmes, could ever manage to work together to solve mysteries and save the day. And you’d be pretty much right. These two ladies definitely did not like each other and were not above making sure the other one knew it.

First we have Alvermina Holmes, who unsurprisingly goes by Mina, a young lady who was abandoned by her mother, lives with a brillant father who is never home, and is known to mostly because of her crime solving uncle, Sherlock Holmes. She is headstrong, just as brilliant as her uncle, unfortunately not very fashionable, and definitely socially awkward. Mina brings the brains and determination, the logically side to the duo. She is also my favorite out of the two. I loved seeing how her brain works, working out clues and determining all of the possible explanations. But I could still relate to her because she wasn’t just a robot, she was still an awkward teenage girl. And I loved how she had kind of the feminist streak in a time where women aren’t really supposed to do anything improper. She didn’t care about propriety, she just wanted to use her brains and help people, and was constantly annoyed when people underestimated her because she is a woman.

Evaline Stoker was a bit more difficult for me to like. She was beautiful, has super speed and strength, and has never killed a vampire despite her abilities. She made a few rash decisions in the book that she obviously didn’t think out, nearly getting both girls killed, and that annoyed me. I also didn’t like how she kind of seemed to put herself up on a pedestal because she was prettier and had more gentlemen interested in her than Mina. But I did like how she still tried her best to be a good addition to the team and use the strengths she had to help. I can appreciate when a character knows their strengths and weaknesses and can admit when they are a bit out of their league. I also found the whole vampire slaying thing to be really interesting, although we don’t get any of it since there are no vampires in London anymore, but I did like the few bits we got on her family history when vampires were still around.

As far as the romance goes, we have several cases of forced insta-infatuation and even a love triangle. Yep, the dreaded love triangle. Evaline falls for some guy that I can barely understand because he uses a strong Cockney accent, and wears a barrage of disguises. But the best part is that he is named Pix. Like a pixie. Don’t ask because I really don’t know. Then we have Mina who is getting all swoony over some Irish detective, but who could blame her with an accent like that? But she is also panting over some boy that is from the future of a parallel world. When she first sees the future boy, she immediately gasps over how attractive he is. Two second later the detective walks in, and she again gasps at how attractive he is. I’m pretty sure Mina is just going to become obsessed and insert herself into the lives of every eligible bachelor she meets. Really, with both girls, their relationships don’t really get to in depth, it’s mostly just a steamy attraction sort of thing, so it was of little to no interest to me.

I was actually really pleasantly surprised to see that this is a steampunk book. Very light steampunk for sure, but it’s still there and adds a little unexpected fun to this story. So this book looks kind of like a hot mess, considering just in the first few chapters we already have steampunk, vampires, time travel, and an evil Egyptian society, among other things. But I actually found that the author did a fairly good job of making things flow together well. She didn’t shove the steampunk stuff in your face or make it feel forced, so the little mentions we got of it were very intriguing.

The plot itself  was pretty fast paced and fun. The mystery wasn’t anything amazing, especially since it really didn’t even get solved in the end, which I’m sure will tie into a later book. But I did really enjoy the world, the steampunk parts were very interesting and I loved the more traditional historical London feel too. I did enjoy seeing the girls kind of dance around each other, not wanting to work together or cooperate, only to become a bit closer by the end. Their banter was really entertaining, as well as seeing their different lifestyles and how they were both kind of jealous of each other, even though they would never admit it. As for the time travel part, that mystery wasn’t figured out, a pretty stereotypical explanation was given and that was that. I’m convinced that time travel is only in the book so the author could bring a ridiculously attractive boy from the future for Mina to fall in love with, only for there to be a huge amount of drama once they find a way to get him back to his own time.

The villain in this book was really strange to me. I get that the author wanted them to be mysterious, but literally no one in this book could tell if it was a man or a woman. Mina at one point thinks she knows who it is, but even then, I don’t get how there is literally no way to figure out what sex the person is. It absolutely drove me crazy and I didn’t understand the relevance of having the villain be like that in this story. It seemed really random and confusing.

While this book wasn’t anything amazing, I would consider it to be a light, entertaining sort of read. If you just want to settle down with a fun mystery, attractive young men, witty banter, and a hint of supernatural stuff, this would be the book for you. Just don’t expect to have your mind blown by an ingenious plot or character development. I’m pretty sure you’d be rather disappointed.

RATING: 

Review: Sweet Peril

Title: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) 15768191

Author: Wendy Higgins

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: April 30, 2013

Summary: Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

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That’s right you guys, book two of The Sweet Trilogy. More of angel Anna and her relentless pursuit of Kai, the smoldering British lust bomb. More of that super awkward love triangle thing going on between the two of them and poor Kopano. More jealousy and cheating and all that wonderful high school drama that we’ve all come to love. Woo hoo.

In some ways, I actually liked this book more than Sweet Evil, and in some ways I liked it less. Something that I did like was seeing Anna kind of coming out of her shell a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, she was still sweet little Anna on the inside, but she was a bit more confident and sassy and fun on the outside and I liked that. In the first book, it didn’t seem like she was ever going to go through any sort of personal growth, but in this book, we at least get little hints of it. She still has internal struggles about being forced to do these things that she doesn’t want to do, being a party girl and drinking so much, but a small part of her still enjoys it and she doesn’t quite know how to handle that.

Another thing that I liked was seeing more of the other Nephilim. Anna and Kopano are going on a sort of quest around the world to try and gather allies in a fight that they know is coming, due to Anna potentially being some savior in an ancient prophecy. Yes, it is as cliche as it sounds. But it was cool to finally meet some new kids and see exactly how their powers work and how they use them to do naughty things. We get introduced to a daughter of the Duke of Hatred, which was really interesting and kind of sad to see how she used herself to make men hate her, then allowed herself to be punished for it. She was a really interesting character because she seemed entirely hopeless and resigned to her fate. We also get to spend a bit more time with Kopano, who I really liked but we didn’t get to see much of him in the last book, so it was interesting to see the contrast between him, a Nephilim who doesn’t have to work and is basically sin-free, and the other kids who are forced to do their parent’s work.

The main problem I had in this book was that there was the dreaded love triangle of death. As in, it kills any books it’s present in. The whole situation was pretty ridiculous just because everyone was beyond stupid and annoying. Kai would ignore Anna for months, tell Kopano to go for Anna because he doesn’t care, then get all jealous and bang other girls in revenge once Anna and Kopano kiss. Then innocent little Anna would get all smoochy with poor Kopano, knowing that she doesn’t like him in that way, then get all butt hurt when Kai turns to other girls to fill the gaping Anna-shaped hole in his heart. The only one that’s really not at fault is Kopano, who in turn gets the short end of the stick by having his friend mad at him and the girl he wants rejecting him. It’s all so aggravating.

I have to say though, something that I really like about these books is that the author isn’t afraid to talk about sex. These are YA books and most of what I read seem to stay within smooching and maybe a little tentative touching, or just very very implied sex. Which is totally fine, since it’s YA. But I really like that this author is not afraid to have teenagers talking about their sex lives, making sexual jokes, and other realistic things that peverted young men would talk about. And I like that Anna and Kai have to struggle with not having sex, since they are obviously attracted to each other and would go a little further than kissing. I guess I just admire Wendy Higgins by not really caring and writing some super steamy make out scenes where things are constantly on the edge of going to the next step.

As far as the plot went in this book, I found it more engaging than the first one, just because I was very intrigued by the other Nephilim that Anna and Kopano were trying to find. While I found the whole prophecy thing to be cliche, I am interested to see how everything goes down. I like it just because the idea that these kids are kind of screwed no matter what happens, since they are going to hell when they die no matter what, it seems so hopeless and kind of sad. But I like seeing them finding hope that they can be free of their parents and at least have a life worth living before they go to hell. While I’m not a huge fan of these books in general, I do really like that concept because it’s both bleak and hopeful at the same time.

I obviously enjoyed this book a bit more than the first one, so I have high hopes for Sweet Reckoning. And not to spoil anything, but I found the ending of this one to be ten times better than the last one, just because some things were resolved. I will say though, if there’s magically some more hot and cold crap going on in the next book between Anna and Kai, I’m going to pitch a fit. Sweet Peril was still and fun, easy read, but I enjoyed the darker undertones and new characters we got introduced to, and I’m excited to see the part everyone plays in the next book.

RATING: 

Review: Half Bad

Title: Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1) 18079804

Author: Sally Green

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Summary:

Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.

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This book was a little bit more disturbing than I expecting. Coming from me, someone who loves horror movies and gritty books, that’s saying something. I think I just went into this book with the wrong idea. Besides Harry Potter, all of the other books I’ve read about witches have been things like Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins… Pretty girls, silly powers, fun, lighthearted things. I was not expecting a book that actually made me upset and a little disgusted.

The book starts of with Nathan, a half blood witch, being imprisoned by a white witch, forced to sleep shackled in a cage and to do chores all day. We then learn how it is that Nathan comes to be in this cage, and it is not a happy story.

To start with, this book had some skewed ideas of justice and basic human rights. We have the super elitist White Witches, who rule over the witch community with an iron fist, condemning anyone they see fit. Then we have the half bloods, children with either a mix of White and Black Witch, or human and witch blood, who are forced to follow all sorts of awful rules to oppress them. They have to have permission to go anywhere, have to record any meetings with other witches and get tattooed. Nathan, whose father Marcus is the worst Black Witch alive, is forced to live in a cage and be a slave, gets nearly killed by White Witch boys when he is young, and is tortured and abused through a good chunk of this book, simply because of how he was born. It was despicable. The worst part though was that Nathan had a sister who, when he was little, told him all about how everyone hated him and their mother killed herself because he was born, all sort of wretched awful things that should never be said to a child. It literally made me sick.

While I did find their system interesting, the way that different witches were treated and how the White Witches ran the council, there was one thing that really disappointed me. The lack of actual magic. Now these aren’t like Harry Potter witches where you have a wand and can do a whole hodge podge of spells. In this book, witches are given three gifts on their seventeenth birthday, drink the blood of a relative, and they find out what their gift is. It could be potion making, turning invisible, controlling the weather, just about anything. This book is all before Nathan turns seventeen so the only magic we ever see him do is heal himself, but I would have liked to see more magic from other characters. I feel like though we won’t be seeing much magic usage in the next books, due to witches only having one gift. And I find that a little disappointing.

Nathan as a character was interesting. At first I hated how he thought all these great things about his father, but after seeing all the things he goes through, you can’t help but sympathize. If he doesn’t cling onto the hope that his father loves him, he will have nothing left. And I liked seeing how much of a survivor he was. He never lost his will to survive, not once, and you could always feel his desire to be free. He was angry and a little crazy sometimes, but when you look at all the child abuse and shit that he had to put up with, I’m surprised that he isn’t worse. I liked that he had a strong voice through the whole book, that his character and personality seemed very well developed.

The romance aspect with Annalise wasn’t a huge part of the book and I’m glad about that because it didn’t really work for me. She was sweet and everything, and I understand that Nathan probably latched onto the first person that was ever kind to him, but their time together wasn’t detailed enough for me to form any sort of feelings or attachment to her. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing more of her in the next book, and seeing them actually interact together so I can form an opinion about them and their relationship. To be honest, I felt more love and warmth in the relationship between Nathan and his half brother Arran, who really supported him and loved him as they grew up together. I really enjoyed their relationship in the earlier years of Nathan’s life.

While I did enjoy the writing style, I found the pacing to be really fast in general, but then certain parts felt so slow and boring. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but in this book I found it a little overwhelming. I felt like everything was moving at a rabid pace, then it would just slam on the breaks and go into slow motion.  Although  I did like how we start with Nathan in the cage, jumped back to his past, everything leading up to him ending up in the cage, then continuing with the story of him trying to escape. That was very effective and engaging to me. The writing in the book was very blunt and Nathan’s voice was strong, but the speed of the story-line threw me off.

So even though I did love Sally Green addressing this issue of awful prejudice in the witch community, traumatic as it was to read about, the book itself wasn’t the most interesting for me. Some ideas I’m really intrigued by, such as how his father kills other witches then eats their hearts to gain their Gift, or really anything about a witches gift in general, those weren’t elaborated on very much in this book. I feel like I’d read the second book just to learn more about it because I am very interested to see a bit more world building and hopefully more of Nathan’s father, who I’m very fascinated by.

RATING: 

Review: The Kiss of Deception

Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) 16429619

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Summary: A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

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A love triangle, a special snowflake princess, and lots of drama. Yay.

Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself. This book wasn’t all bad. There were actually some parts of it that I really enjoyed. But unfortunately the things that stuck with me the most were the bad and I have to rant for a minute before I can move on to the good components of this book.

Lia is our main character, a princess who decides to flee on her wedding day, potentially destroying a peace treaty because she can’t stand the thought of marrying someone she doesn’t love. Which I can understand. I think being married of for political reasons would be the absolute worst, and I can completely understand wanting to leave that all behind. So I support her decision, the problem is that I just didn’t really like Lia as a character. She wasn’t awful or anything, I just found her to be annoying. She willingly takes her best friend with her, risking her life as well, they ride to some town where they are going to disguise themselves and life happily ever after in. Except Lia is not very smart about it. She does literally nothing to disguise herself besides change her clothes. She doesn’t even cut her hair. Then she proceeds to loudly chew out soldiers in a very snobby and royal sort of way, discusses her situation with her friends where anyone listening could hear, and even keeps her name the same. But I enjoyed her strength and stubborn attitude and her snarky comments, and that she still had to work for things.

The two love interests in this book were Kaden and Rafe, one who is a prince and one who is an assassin. Problem is, you don’t know which one is which. And that was kind of cool, but also really frustrating. You literally go a majority of this book not knowing which is which. But at a certain point, you kind of make up your mind and decide who you think is who. The problem was, I picked wrong. Which I’m sure was probably the author’s intention except it just pissed me off. Because suddenly, everything I thought I knew about the prince was wrong. And everything I thought I knew about the assassin was wrong. It really just kind of ruined the characters for me, which in turn, make me dislike this book a little. Plus I felt like the author tried to confuse us on purpose, but it gave the guys certain attributes that didn’t seem to actually fit them.

Also, this book had the worst assassin in the history of forever. Seriously. This guy comes into town with every intention to kill Lia, sits down to have a drink, sees her and instantly falls in love with her and decides he is just going to super procrastinate so every day he falls more in love and the likeliness of him actually being able to kill her gets less and less. Bravo, that’s an awesome job you just did there Mr. Assassin. I’m confused though, aren’t you supposed to like, kill her? Maybe I missed something.

Logically, I had a problem with her escape and settling down in the town. She is a princess. A princess. Wouldn’t the king’s like entire army be out looking for her? I mean, the prince and assassin both had an easy enough time tracking her down, but for some reason, it’s impossible for everyone else. The author gave an easy excuse, Lia’s brother telling her that their father wasn’t actually pushing the bounty on her, he was just kind of keeping it within their city. But that’s totally lame and unrealistic. She is a freaking princess. People know she ran away, someone is going to try to find her and get that reward. but magically Lia, a complete amateur, is able to hide her tracks well enough that she can live in this city for months with only one person (besides the love interest) finding her. I might have to call bullshit on that one.

The plot wasn’t bad, minus as the mushy love triangle crap, I like the interesting mythology in the world and the war, even though we don’t really get much information about it. The world building was okay, I’m hoping we get more on the world and the war between the countries in the next book, since it seems like politics will play a bigger part. I was intrigued by the books that Lia stole and the weird prophecy she finds, although I don’t like that it implies that she is even more of a special snowflake then everyone already thinks.

I have to admit, despite all the problems I had with this book, I did enjoy it to a certain degree. Trying to figure out which guy was which was pretty fun and made the book a bit more interactive. The last third or fourth of the book got a lot more interesting, and I liked the introduction of new land and people. Even if I absolutely despised the love triangle and how the plot suffered because of it, I’ll confess that I found each guy intriguing in his own way.

Over all, this book did have some downfalls, but I still flew through it, eager to see what happened next. And even though I thought this book was going to be predictable, which it was in some spots, I was still surprised by certain things as I read. I wouldn’t consider this the best or the worst fantasy book  I’ve read in a while, but I enjoyed it enough that I am planning on reading the next one. And maybe rereading this one sometime just to be able to actually know who is who and see if that makes the story better for me.

RATING: 

Review: My Soul Immortal

Title: My Soul Immortal (Fated Eternals #1) 20727560

Author: Jen Printy

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC

Publication Date: February 15, 2014

Summary: An endless love, for an endless price.

Jack’s immortality is exposed when he prevents a liquor store heist, forcing him to flee to protect his secret—a secret not even he understands. But when he meets Leah Winters—a mirror image of his decades-lost love, Lydia—his very soul is laid bare. He begins to question his sanity. Is she real, and if so, what does that mean for Jack and his secret?

Jack’s not the only mystery man in town. A stranger named Artagan hints at knowledge Jack is desperate to possess. But can he trust Artagan, or does the dark newcomer harbor deadly secrets of his own?

As Jack’s bond with Leah grows, so does the danger to her life. Jack must discover just how much he is willing to risk in order to save the woman he already lost once.

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To start with, I would like to thank Jen Printy and Red Adept Publishing for sending me a copy of this book, I really appreciate it and you guys rock.

This book really hooked me in the beginning. The fact that the narrator is guy was a good start, since a majority of the books I read have girls as the main character so I was really excited with this refreshing change. Not to mention that the mystery level was at like a million after just a few pages. I was immediately interested by Death and how Jack referred to him like he was a person, and hated him for once again not showing up on time. That basically told me that Jack can’t die but he really wants to die, but none of the why. And the why was what matters.

Jack as a character though definitely wasn’t my favorite male protagonist ever. Now that’s not to say that I hated him, because I definitely didn’t, but I did have a few problems with him. First of all, he was a little whiny and mopey. Now, I obviously haven’t been alive for 170 years so maybe I’d be a huge rain cloud of depressing doom and gloom too, but it was a little annoying at times. I would think after that many years with no escape, he would at least start trying to look on the bright side occasionally. Plus, Jack felt kind of like a noob sometimes. I can’t believe I just used that word in a sentence but it fits here. He still would slip up sometimes and give away hints of what he is, and wasn’t really with the times which he showed several times with his outdated ideas and manners. You’d think he would have learned to blend in or adapt a little better after hiding for so long. But I did really enjoy how old fashioned and polite he was sometimes, I enjoy watching young men actually treat ladies with respect instead of being assholes like most YA love interests these days. And his devotion to Leah was heartwarming, listening to him explain how much she meant to him made him super swoony.

Leah I liked just fine. I actually wish we could have learned more about her, something I’m sure will happen in the next book. But I felt like Jack kept making references to things Leah was doing that reminded him of Lydia so it didn’t really stick to Leah, making her seem a little flat. One of the main problems I have with an insta-love scenario such as this, is that I feel like we miss a lot of critical time watching the characters get to know each other, and therefore learning more about them and adding depth. Leah was sweet and stubborn and funny, and I liked her spunk. Her insecurities with Jack were more than understandable, I can’t imagine ever being completely certain that my boyfriend truly loved me when I look exactly like his ex-girlfriend that he spent 170 years pining over.  I just felt like a lot of Jack’s narration about her was just swooning over her, so we missed a lot of her depth. I hope that in the next book, now with the insta-love sappy stuff out of the way, we can watch more of an actually relationship grow between them.

My favorite character in this book was Artagan. This dude was actually really cool. I loved his back story and how he was a lot darker than Jack, and how he embraced it. It was like seeing how Jack could be if he had let go of his humanity a little more. But Artagan was really clever and sinister, but in a way that made him likable, even when we didn’t know who he was. His quest for vengeance was more intense and interesting to me than the love story that was the main focus. I liked seeing a character with a tragic past that embraced it, accepted it, never forgot, and plotted their revenge while still retaining their humanity. I would absolutely love to see more of him in the next book and see what the next part of his life is going to be, especially after the ending.

The main thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the interesting lore and mythology surrounding Jack and Leah. I’m trying to not spoil anything, but everything concerning Death and the council and what exactly Jack and Leah are, it was really interesting and I really liked how it was done. I loved the tale that the author gave Artagan as his back story, and the explanation for Jacks’s prolonged life and Leah’s resemblance to Lydia was a great idea. I might be a little biased though because I love mostly anything that has to do with souls, but I thought it opened a lot of doors for this world they are being pulled into, and left a lot of potential for more interesting back stories.

I have some serious mixed feelings with the romance in this book. While I really liked Jack and Leah as a couple and felt their connection, I automatically want to hate any insta-love scenario. Which this was. I’m pretty sure Jack and Leah were saying the L word to each other after like a week. But the reason I have mixed feelings is because if any characters have a reason to be so sappy and committed after such a short period of time, it would be them. It’s hard because Leah and Jack technically only knew each other for the duration of this book. But they still kind of knew each other, so in a way, it’s unfair of me to call it insta-love. At the same time though, Jack keeps insisting that it’s Leah he loves, who he has only known a few weeks. Gah. I’m still undecided with how I feel about this.

There were only a few smaller problems I found that I had with this book. Mainly, I was disappointed with the villain choice. Vita had almost no page time in this book, so she never meant anything to me. Her motivation for wanting to kill everyone was literally just because she wanted to kill everyone, it didn’t really have anything to do with Jack personally and that was a little underwhelming. A good villain can add so much to a book, and while I’d say that was one of the weakest points of this book, I hope the author takes the clean slate with the second book and creates a more engaging and layered villain.

Overall, I enjoyed the writing of this book, it was pretty quick and easy, but the author writes in a way that’s really fitting for the more dark and mysterious parts of the story. Although I will admit that this book reminded me a little bit of mix of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, I found the mythology and supernatural concepts more interesting and complex than either of those. Characters usually really carry books for me and that’s where this one fell a little flat, but the ending was intriguing enough that I would definitely give the second book a shot, and hopefully learn a bit more about Jack and Leah.

RATING: