Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

These Shallow Graves

Want to read a great review from another author? Check out Shawn McGuire’s review on my website: http://i1.wp.com/authorsfbenson.com/

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Read the review at: http://authorsfbenson.com/2016/01/14/flying-to-the-rescue-a-review-of-flying-away-by-caroline-a-gill/

 

26802017Goodreads.com Description: Sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery, daughter of Zephyr the Magnificent, the great magician, can only reminisce of better times. Before the Superiors. Before the uprisings. Long ago. Before the dying Earth ripped the family she loved away from her.
In this desolate dystopian future, the Greenleigh orphans are “privileged” with the task of building mechanical trees for Bygonne, so their world behind The Wall can breathe another day, and so the Superiors may continue their malevolent reign.
Lured by a yearning for freedom, tenacious curiosity, and hunger for adventure, Joy discovers hope and magic amid the misery, and power in her promise to care for those remaining, whom she loves enough to risk her life for. To save them, herself, and the boy she adores from the abuse and slavery by the Superiors, Joy must entrust the aid of an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret.
With an intriguing stranger at the helm, Joy and the treemakers embark on an intense and terrifying, yet liberating quest for the truth about the existence of the forbidden paradise beyond The Wall.

This is the first book in the Treemakers Trilogy. This series is intended for mature YA audiences, as there are certain mature themes (abuse, character deaths, etc.,) which may be too emotionally intense for younger readers.

About the Author

8186790Adverb addict and alliteration activist. Daydreams and chocolate. Caffeine, check. Sleep, sometimes. Raold Dahl, Effie Trinket, Tim Burton, Stephen King, Daryl Dixon. Dubstep. Scars. Fire. Darkness. Love above all else.

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My Review

Ever pick up a book that intrigued you from page one and then disturbed you after a few pages, but you continued to read it because you couldn’t put it down? That sums up Christina L. Rozelle’s The Treemakers. This book was like reading a mash-up of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield and Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza.

The plot of The Treemakers was unique and had me hooked. Rozelle weaved in elements of science fiction and science news–Earth’s depleting ozone layer, global warming, the Fountain of Youth, and even Star Trek’s holodeck experience.

Rozelle’s characters really made this story work. They were carefully crafted with plenty of layers.

My favorite character was Joy. She wasn’t your atypical 16-year-old. She didn’t want to be a beacon of strength nor a warrior. Joy was just a worker in a factory trying to survive. When her situation changed, she evolved. But this character wasn’t a perfect specimen. She made mistakes. She showed poor judgment. She was a teenager.

At first I thought Jax was going to be a great love interest. Well, he turned out to be a cad (you’ll have to read the book to understand why). I went from liking him to loathing him in about 60 seconds. I loved how Rozelle did not set up the atypical love triangle.

I loved Smudge. She was insightful and intelligent. She was the voice of reason so desperately needed with this ragtag bunch of orphans.

I found Mateo interesting. He was like a refreshing breeze after a sweltering summer day. But if you stand in that breeze for too long, it’s no longer comfortable. I have a feeling that Mateo might be like that breeze over time. We’ll see how he develops in book two.

If you’re looking for something different in the dystopian genre and you can handle mature concepts in your reading, I highly recommend The Treemakers.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

 

26844893Goodreads.com Description: “Hailey Devareaux, inexperienced yet “all-knowing” 19 year old Necromancer, couldn’t care less what the world had to offer her. Five years after her mother encountered a powerful seer—albeit a dead one—they uprooted their entire clan and moved to New Orleans for a rare supernatural conjunction. Dangerous didn’t begin to describe the reality of Necromancers living in a city so rich with history involving the celebration of the dead, but Hailey didn’t have to worry. Her abilities hadn’t matured.

What good was Necromancy when she couldn’t save her mother? Hailey hadn’t been strong enough to bring her back—not even to say goodbye.

While Hailey moped around during her family’s celebration of the Day of the Dead, she met Bobby; if only she had realized he was dead before she started talking to him. Robert “Bobby” Duval died one year ago. When he died, the veil between this world and the next was at it’s thinnest. It should’ve been easy for him to cross over, but something kept him from doing so. On the day he met Hailey, he prepared to finally move on, but a moratorium was placed on departing souls—the veil, too volatile to pass into the great beyond. His chance at his afterlife once more denied.

Based on a cryptic letter her clan received, Hailey is elected by the Necromancers to embark on the dangerous quest to restore the veil. Bobby joins Hailey and helps her understand her powers.

Will Hailey give up her bitterness against the craft and her own fear of death, and forgive herself in order to embrace her purpose—to be the next leader of their clan? Will she embrace her power as well as help save the supernatural community by sealing the veil once more and will she help Bobby cross over to finally be at peace?”

About the Author

61d9b25243b8a78f-morgan600x450Morgan Wylie published her first novel, Silent Orchids, one year after moving across the country with her family on a journey of new discovery. After an amazing three years in Nashville, TN and the release of two more books, Morgan and her family found their way back to the Northwest where they now reside. Still working everyday with great optimism, Morgan continues to embrace all things: “Mama”, wife, teacher, and mediator to the many voices and muses constantly chattering in her head… where it gets pretty loud!

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My Review

The Supernatural Chronicles: The Necromancers by Morgan Wylie was very interesting.

This installment did not have a typical love relationship. Instead Wylie gave readers a strong, heartfelt relationship between a ghost and a necromancer. The ghost named Bobby was my favorite character. He had accepted his death and was ready to move on but didn’t know how. His selfless nature was endearing.

It took me a minute to warm up to the main character, Hailey. She was the second supernatural in this series who didn’t want her powers. And, much like the succubus, Hailey had no idea of just how powerful she could be. Once she started embracing her strengths, Hailey became more likable. Instead of wallowing in her own issues, she realized she could help others.

The mysterious dark stranger, Rafe, was intriguing. I’ve read other books with characters named Rafe and they have all been angels. I’m interested in reading more about this particular character. Will he be an angel or just a dark spirit?

The Necromancers is the first book I’ve ever read by Wylie, and it won’t be my last. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more about these characters.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

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26791918Goodreads.com Description: “Ash Sabien, a born mortal witch, was meant to be an immortal guardian, as was Soren Wade. But they were never meant to be lovers, which is why Ash fought the pull to him, sometimes venomously.
Days before the sacred holiday of the Day of the Dead a message was sent to their coven: diairoúmeno aíma enós epistrofí̱ sou.
It was a call to rise, a call to hunt what was revered by their coven and use it to stop evil. The honor of the hunt was given to Ash and Soren. When Ash rushed to tell Soren of the mystery before them the last thing she expected was to walk in on Soren with another girl. She bolted. He chased her.
Neither one of them saw the truck.
Neither one of them felt the pain.
Death came like a thief in the night.
Ash knew as she stared at the tragic scene that she’d failed her fate, they both had. She let herself feel, care—and now there was no telling what could happen because she had.

In death could they rise? In death could they finish the hunt and save more than them, more than their coven…?”

About the Author

4200019 I’m an obsessive daydreamer. Lover of loud alternative music. Addicted to Red Bull. I love to laugh until it hurts. Fall is my favorite season. Black is my favorite ‘shade.’ Strong believer in the saying: there is a reason for everything, therefore I search for ‘marked moments’ every moment of everyday…and I find them. Life is beautiful!

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My Review

The Supernatural Chronicles: The Witches by Jamie Magee was the oddest (in a nice way) installment in the series. I was totally surprised by how this story played out.

Magee was ingenious, creating the characters. Imagine developing a character and giving her your name (Reveca Beauregard is another alter ego for Magee).

My favorite character, however, was Soren. Yes, he was distant and rather cold towards Ash. Although it wasn’t divulged, I suspect his attitude was an attempt to give Ash time to come to grips with their reality.

Ash’s character was admirable. She wanted to do the right thing by her sister, but in doing so, she was putting her own life on a backburner. It took a tragedy (and having to keep reliving it) until she realized how desperate her situation had gotten.

Most of Magee’s installation was about Ash and Soren instead of fixing The Veil. The story was intriguing and left me wanting to know more about this coven of witches.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

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26844892Goodreads.com Description: “When a cryptic letter is left at the doorway of her dormitory, nineteen-year-old succubus Skylark Quinn is sent in place of her nemesis, Alexis, on a top secret mission. Why she has to go with Kragan Kane—the biggest jerk, and hottest incubus on campus—is beyond her, but the decision’s well above her pay grade.

All Skylark knows for sure is the ancients are keeping secrets and the supernatural community is on edge. Rumors claim immortals’ powers are at risk, but burdened by a supernatural power she despises, why should Skylark even care?”

About the Author

c3b652_f70fe6107d984ece8119840e3ce7b12aJulia Crane dreamt of elves and teen androids long before she captured them and put them on paper. She’s written and released over fifteen young adult and new adult titles over the past two and a half years. From science fiction adventures to succubus, Julia’s fresh voice is easy to read and imaginative. Widely known for her Keegan’s Chronicles and IFICS series, she’s hit numerous best selling list on Amazon.

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My Review

I loved the Supernatural Chronicles: The Succubi by Julia Crane!

The characters were phenomenal. I just loved the interaction between Kragan and Skylar. It was the hottest read, so far, in the series. Both of them were strong-willed characters. The interesting twist was that Skylar did not want to be a succubus. She knew what it meant to be her kind and she didn’t embrace the powers or what she needed to do to sustain them. Kragan, on the other hand, relished his powers. He wasn’t crazy about their situation, but refused to ignore what being an incubus was about.

Crane’s installment in the series was the second book that wasn’t totally focused on saving The Veil. It was just as important for these two supernaturals find a way to enjoy their own future apart from saving all supernatural beings. Just proof that even ‘Otherworld’ types can be a little selfish.

The end of The Succubi was heartbreaking. Skylar was remarkable in her strength and selflessness. I don’t know if I could have thrown away the future, I desperately wanted for the good of others.

I want to read more about Skylar and Kragan. There are plenty of loosends to tie up–Skylar’s confrontation with Raquel, Kragan’s search for a ‘way’, and the ultimate question, is there a future for Skylar and Kragan.

Fortunately, there will be a sequel! Click here to pre-order.28144348

I highly recommend this installment of The Supernatural Chronicles.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

 

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26529926Goodreads.com Description: “Adeen has always known she was destined to save her people, the dragons, thanks to a visit from a princess when she was a small child. That one visit changed everything. Fearing the crumbling of the veil that protects the dragons, her clan took away her childhood and made training her top priority.

Now, no longer a child, Adeen is again visited by her princess and receives her task. She must make the trek to New Orleans to save her people. Her solo mission doesn’t stay that way long, and she is soon joined by an ancient fae, a not-so-extinct extinct phoenix, and a super hot dragon — who happens to be her fated mate. The mission is nothing like what she had prepared for, nor is it what she expected. This mission will take more than just skill. It will take a great sacrifice. Is Adeen ready to give up everything she just found?”

About the Author

8288688Delphina has been writing since she can remember and has always had a love of the paranormal. She is an avid reader and a self proclaimed shifter crack addict. Delphina currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and four kids. Her novel, Unless You Can Be A Unicorn, is set to release early October. You can get a glimpse of Scout’s world in “Always Be Yourself”, which is a part of the anthology, Certain.

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My Review

Supernatural Chronicles: The Dragons by Delphina Henley was a first on two platforms–the first book I ever read by Henley and the first dragon shifter book I’ve ever read. Yay on both accounts!

It took me a minute to get into the story. I attribute that to my unfamiliarity with dragon shifters, but once I got into the story I was captivated by it.

I found the characters of Kai and Adeen intriguing. Their mating bond was very strong and compelling. The relationship between them seemed more important, in this book, than the issue behind the Veil.

Henley created very interesting personas in The Dragons. One of my favorites was Nicola, a phoenix shifter. He was an old soul I wanted to know more about. Of course, the idea of a phoenix shifter grabbed my attention.

I enjoyed reading The Dragons. I want to know more about these characters apart from the Veil! Thank you Henley for introducing me to a whole new race of shifters as well.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

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27850934Goodreads.com Description: The only two things that seventeen-year-old Solara longs for, are the very things that she can’t have. True love isn’t an option when you’re told who to marry. Freedom isn’t possible when you’ve been held captive your entire life.
Just when things in her life seem to be falling into place, she learns that she’ll never be free to live or love as she would like. She is a prisoner of prophecy. The dead have been resurrected to guide her. The fallen angels who prowl the Earth want to manipulate her. And the most frightening monsters of all are human.
Can Solara love the one boy prophesied to betray her? Will she learn to embrace her destiny, or will she be crushed by the weight of the world on her shoulders?”

About the Author

Casey L. Bond resides in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.

Find Casey online at…

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My Review

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I found Casey L. Bond’s Prisoner of Prophecy to be a creative take on religious doctrine. If you have read scripture, you are familiar with Doubting Thomas and Judas. Bond gave a different spin on their stories by couching them in a prophecy. Genius!

I loved the characters in this story, especially Solara, Riven, and Faric. Solara was an innocent girl who evolved through the course of the story. She developed along with her destiny being revealed. I came to admire her strength and concern for those around her. Riven and Faric were a pair. I didn’t know whether to like them or hate them. In the end, Riven became my favorite. He put his own safety aside to take care of Solara. Let’s say it together now…. NEW BOOK BOYFRIEND!

The supporting characters in Prisoner of Prophecy were prophetic–Ruth, Jacob, Matthias (Matthew), Rafe (short for Rafael), Rachel, Rebekah… Pull out your Bible for references to these names. Very fitting characters for a story based loosely around scripture.

Besides creative characters, the plot was imaginative. I liked how Bond plucked the idea from religious doctrine and built a fantastic piece of fiction.

This was the FIRST book I’ve read by Casey L. Bond. It definitely will not be my last. I liked her writing style and character development.

I highly recommend Prisoner of Prophecy for everyone. It’s a story full of hope and the possibility of second chances.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

 

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27838623Goodreads.com Description: “After weeks spent on the road tracking down Immortals still in hiding, Amelia and Aidan are finally ready for some down time. Holed up in a cabin at the base of Mt. Shasta, they prepare to celebrate their first Christmas together.

While Aidan makes secret plans for the celebration, he and Amelia create their own holiday traditions, finding surprises around every corner as they embrace each other and their future together.” 

This is book 3.5 in the Bound series!

 

About the Author

Profile Pic Low ResStormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

My Review

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was the perfect holiday story!

If you’ve read any of the “Bound” series (if the answer is no, put this book down until you’ve read the rest of the series), you are aware of all the turmoil the main characters have experienced. This book was like a vacation in their lives. It was the normalcy that they needed. But, it was also the chance for readers to see the characters in a different, much appreciated, light.

This novella was a quick read. It didn’t offer any new characters (it wasn’t supposed to). This little “side piece” to Aidan and Amelia’s story was welcome. We have enough drama in our day to day lives and so did they. It was nice to have a non-traumatic read.

I totally enjoyed every heart warming moment. Of course, I’m looking forward to reading more about Smith’s great characters. This story will tide me over a little longer.

Thanks for an early Christmas present!

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

 

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How’s that Christmas shopping going? Need another gift idea? How about a great book?

26252833Goodreads.com Description: “Melophobia: fear or hatred of music.

The time—now; the place—America, but in a world where the government controls all forms of art and creativity. Any music sowing the seeds of anarchy is banned—destroyed if found—its creators and listeners harshly punished.

Merrin Pierce works as an undercover Patrol officer assigned to apprehend a fugitive musician who threatens the safe fabric of society, only to confront everything she thought to be true – her values, upbringing, job, and future.

Can love survive in a world without music?”

About the Author

a1hm3tlmn-l-_ux250_James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.

Find James online at…

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My Review

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

James Morris’ Melophobia was an excellent, well-written suspense story.

The setting for this speculative tale is our world, Los Angeles, with an alternate history. Morris’ Los Angeles is clean and devoid of real music. The colorful Venice boardwalk doesn’t exist. There are no footprints or handprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese theater. Muzak rules the day.

Morris painted a world that seemed perfect on the surface. In reality, it was a world which lacked rhythm and spirit. What an intriguing tale.

There were great quotes throughout Melophobia about music. One of the best ones was “… music’s considered a doorway to sin. Excitement’s a disease. A calm society is a productive society. A safe society. And a damned boring one.” It really sums up the type of world the characters lived in.

Outside of an excellent plot, Morris created complex characters. My favorites were Rowan, a creator of Muzak, and Merrin, part of the morality police force. Rowan was strong and creative, a person feared by society. He had his beliefs and would not waver from them regardless of what it might cost. Merrin was determined, but needed to find her strength. I love how she discovered the truth while questioning years of rhetoric she’d been fed.

Melophobia is a book about hope, possibilities, and what happens when people take something innocuous and make it evil. I highly recommend this novel, and I look forward to reading more by Morris.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

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