Apr 13, 2014

"Taste of Darkness" by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Taste of Darkness

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Series: Healer, #3
My rating: 3 of 5

(Book read from April 8th to April 13th, 2014.)


She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?
Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.
But there's a more immediate threat: The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.
Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.


My Thoughts on the Book:

Taste of Darkness is the final book in the Healer trilogy. I loved the first two books: Touch of Power & Scent of Magic, and I loved the characters & the world Maria V. Snyder had created in them. But, unfortunately, Taste of Darkness wasn't as good. Both as a fantasy book, and as a finale of a series, it was on the disappointing side. There's a good possibility there will be spoilers in the review below.
The whole story was kind of a mess, to be honest. The characters kept running around, not knowing this or that, looking for this person or that person, everything happened on the spur of the moment, and to be honest, I didn't really care anymore. I just kept reading so I can finish it & get it over with. I still liked it, but I was annoyed with the fact that characters I loved in the previous books started to annoy me, and they kept getting on my nerves more & more as I was reading, and I'm sad to say that Taste of Darkness was quite an average read for me.

I think that I would've preferred if the author decided on the whole war path, without the whole Skeleton King storyline, which I think it was quite unnecessary. Tohon was evil enough, and the Skeleton King was only crazy & a psycho, but not really scary. Oh, so he's a cannibal, wow, I guess I should be scared. Sick, sure, but scared, no. So, he bored me, even though he was one crazy guy.

And Tohon, oh how you irritated me with all of your dreams. And that was another thing that bored me. Yeah, they were vital for the storyline, but they were repetitive & boring. But, in the end, I still loved seeing him in person, and I loved hating him then. Tohon is brilliant, too bad he was an evil one, and he was too arrogant, but that made him the perfect villain.

I wasn't a big fan of the new magic Kerrick had. It was cool at first, but I preferred his original one. Also, Kerrick lost his charm, and started to irritate me most of the time, but not always. The same goes for Avry. I didn't like her anymore as a character, as for the rest of the gang, at the beginning they made me laugh as before, but soon they stopped being funny, and started to irritate me, and soon I didn't care about any of them. The only one I still cared at least tiny bit before this book was over was Flea, and of course I still loved Danny. I wish there was more of him & of Noak & the northern tribes.

That being said, this book wasn't bad. Some parts were pretty good, but some quite average, and it seems while the author tried to tie together all of those loose ends in one whole, the story ended up being a mess, because she probably didn't want to leave anything unresolved. So, kudos to her for doing that, for wrapping up everything nicely.

The story itself & where she was going with it (as well as the ending) was interesting enough, but before we got to that part - I didn't really care anymore. I wish it was executed better, and it flowed better. But, if you enjoyed the previous books, you should definitely read this last book & see how everything wraps up for Avry & the rest.

Taste of Darkness is a nice conclusion to the series, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Maria V. Snyder's books!




"The Purple Girl" by Audrey Kane

Title: The Purple Girl

Author: Audrey Kane

Illustrators: Tory & Norman Taber

Publisher: Wakefield & Quincy Press

Publication date: January 8th, 2014

My rating: 1.5 of 5

(Book read on April 6th, 2014,  from a review copy received from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)  

CAUTION! Violet lives within the pages of this book. 
And her purple spreads to everything she touches...

Violet lives behind garden walls. Is she magical? Is she the devil's child-or simply cursed? When the lonely thirteen-year-old embarks on a dangerous journey to find the one boy that dared to befriend her, she travels at night ... in the dark ... to keep people from seeing her purple skin. But no one is more surprised than Violet when she unlocks her mysterious gift.

Go where adventure, discovery and magic meet! 

Although this fun read captures the imagination of middle grade readers, discrimination is at the core of the novel ... but so are possibilities, and they appear everywhere.

My Thoughts on the Book:


I really, really wanted to enjoy The Purple Girl. It actually started quite interesting, but soon the story itself fell apart for me. The story wasn't fun, the characters weren't interesting, and it wasn't imaginative, and that ending, it was just so plain awful. It could've been good, but it wasn't :(

I know that it's supposed to be a book about discrimination, ok, but it felt forced, and a little bit preachy, and the story itself mostly didn't make any sense, and just wasn't good :( Even with such a short read I was thinking about giving up & not finishing it, but in the end I made myself read it until the end.

The only thing I liked about this book were the illustrations. They were quite lovely, and it would've been better if there were more of them.

I can't recommend this book, because it didn't work for me, and I really, really did not like it, and I'm kinda sad about it, but then again, we can't love everything...


Apr 12, 2014

"The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules

Author: Julie Kagawa

Series: Blood of Eden, #1

My rating: 4 of 5

(Book read from March 15th to April 3rd, 2014.)  


To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness… 

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them — the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters. 

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend — a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again. 

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

My Thoughts on the Book:

The Immortal Rules is an interesting post-apocalyptic YA novel. In it we meet Allie. She's a survivor, and to stay alive as long as she did, you have to be able to get by & to be smart about it, but she's also an amazing friend & person.

But, soon, her world turns upside down. She doesn't want to die, so she accepts an offer from a vampire to become one, because obviously, she still wants to live, even as one of the monsters she hates.

The world-building is done quite well. I loved how through Allie's eyes we got to learn about her life as a human (and all the human) in a vampire city, and then about her life as a vampire. There's just something compelling about Allie as a character & about her voice, that made me want to read more.

I also quite liked Kanin as a character & I wish there was more of him. He was interesting one, even though I knew immediately who he is.

The story at times was often quite predictable, but still it didn't diminish my enjoyment, there's just something that will make you want to read more. So, yeah, great characters + good story + great world-building = pretty good book.

Zeke was such a nice & sweet guy. I mean, he's just so good, and hopeful, but almost naive. And than there's Jackal. To be honest, I don't think he's an evil one, but not quite good as well. I'm kinda afraid that there's a love triangle on the horizon, and even though the romance between Allie & Zeke didn't quite work for me (and I didn't really care about it, it was more like I felt sorry for Zeke, and a tiny bit about Allie), I don't really want a love triangle, but still I will continue the series, because I'm interested in seeing what will happen next, especially with Kanin.

Also, I have to point out how different this book is from The Iron King. I wasn't a fan of that book. The idea of the Iron Fey was quite interesting, but the not so interesting story & unlikable characters didn't do it for me, and if you felt about it the same, still give The Immortal Rules a try, because it's much, much better, so I recommend it!



"Texas Hold 'Em" by Christie Craig

Title: Texas Hold 'Em

Author: Christie Craig

Series: Hotter in Texas, #3

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

Imprint: Forever

Publication date: January 28th, 2014

My rating: 4 of 5

(Book read from April 1st to April 7th, 2014, from a review copy received from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)   


The last thing veterinarian Leah Reece needs is a man in her life. They're nothing but trouble-and not even the fun kind. But when her apartment is broken into and Leah suspects Rafael, her dangerous half-brother, of foul play, she can't deny she could use a little help. She just never expected that help would come with twinkling blue eyes and a sexy smile...
All PI Austin Brook wants is to nail Rafael DeLuna, the man who framed him for murder. He'll do anything for information-even lie about his identity to charm Leah, DeLuna's half-sister. But her sweet dimples and fiery spirit soon make her more than just his only lead. Leah becomes his every desire. As Austin closes in on DeLuna, it's clear he won't go down without a fight. Now the only way Austin can protect Leah is to reveal all of his secrets and risk losing her for good.

My Thoughts on the Book:

Texas Hold 'Em is the 3rd & last book in the Hotter in Texas series. In this last book, Dallas, Tyler, Austin & Roberto finally get the revenge they deserved, and it was great conclusion to the series. That epilogue was just so sweet & perfect, loved it.

Texas Hold 'Em is Austin's book, he's the main character, but it's also Roberto's book. Actually, in this book, there are two developing romances, between Austin & Leah, and between Roberto & Sara, and I loved them both, they were fun & sweet.

I really liked both Austin & Leah as characters, and I loved them together as a couple. All the interactions between them were so entertaining & so funny, from the moment they met (that scene was hilarious), to the very end. They were really perfect for each other.

As for Roberto & Sara, their romance was really sweet, but heartbreaking, too, though they had their funny moments as well. And I was happy for them both, they really deserved some happiness.

My favorite character in this book was actually Leah. She's so amazing. She has been through a lot in her life, but she keeps going forward, still taking care of her little brother, and just doesn't give up.

Her younger brother Luis was quite sweet & likable, and good, too. But, her older brother Rafael DeLuna, now that's one evil guy! Seriously, I'd be scared of him as well if he was my family, and I loved seeing him get what he deserved. The same goes for Cruz - I especially hated that guy!

What I especially loved about this book was the perfect blend of humorous situations & fun dialogues, with the edge-on-your sit suspense & danger, and sizzling romance, as well as the way everything resolved.

I highly recommend this book & the series to every fan of contemporary romances. I'm definitely going to continue reading Christie Craig's books!



Apr 11, 2014

"Beauty Awakened" by Gena Showalter

Title: Beauty Awakened

Author: Gena Showalter

Series: Angels of the Dark, #2

My rating: 4.5 of 5

(Book read from April 10th to April 11th, 2014.)  


His name is Koldo. He is scarred, powerful, his control legendary-and he lives only for vengeance, determined to punish the angel who viciously removed his wings. But if he yields to the forces of hatred, he will be kicked from the heavens, eternally damned.

She is his last hope. Nicola Lane was born with a defective heart, yet this fragile human shows surprising strength as demons stalk her every move, determined to end her. She is the key to Koldo's deliverance...and his downfall. Though he fights duty, destiny and his first addictive taste of desire, his toughest battle will be the one for Nicola's life-even if he has to sacrifice his own...

My Thoughts on the Book:

First of all, I have to mention that I'm a big Gena Showalter fan. There's just something about her books that appeals to me. I know I will be entertained a lot, I know she'll make me care about her characters, despite all of their flaws, and slowly get me hooked on the world she created.

I'm not a big fan of adult paranormal romances. I've tried a lot of the popular authors, but Gena Showalter seems to be the only one that got me addicted to her books, and I keep coming back for more. 
When I read her first Lords of the Underworld book (which wasn't my first Gena Showalter book), I thought that it was fun & the world & the concept was quite interesting, so I gave a shot to the 2nd book, and that's when I got hooked on the characters & the world, and it seems she did the same to me with this spin-off series. 
I'm not a fan of books with angels (no idea why, especially because I love books with demons, and more often than not, they're connected & present in the same books), so I wasn't sure about the Angels of the Dark series. The only reason I read the first book Wicked Nights was because I saw a lot of Zacharel in the Lords of the Underworld series, and I wanted to see what his story will be, though I didn't have big expectations. But, Wicked Nights was actually really good, better than I expected, and I enjoyed it a lot, and I was quite intrigued but one of the other characters (Thane), and his book will be the 3rd one, so I decided I'll read at least that much, and because I'm such a stickler for reading in order, of course I had to read Koldo's story first. And now, I'm totally & absolutely hooked on the series, so yeah, Gena has done it to me again.

Beauty Awakened was Koldo's story, and I pretty much loved every second of it. It wasn't perfect, but it was perfect for Koldo & Nicola, and it just made me feel all happy inside before it was over.

From the beginning, seeing what had happened to Koldo when he was just a sweet little boy, he got himself a special place in my heart, making me wish that he will heal, and just be happy for once. And even though he wasn't perfect, he was possessive & over-protective, and wanted revenge, it wasn't done over the top, and it totally worked for him & his personality, he was actually  sweet and made me like him quite a lot, and love him for Nikola as well.

Nikola was quite a likable character. She's strong (even though she didn't realise how strong she actually is), and she wasn't annoying, or too pushy, or too jealous, and all of that stuff. She was quite perfect for Koldo, and exactly what he needed. From the moment they laid eyes on each other & their first interaction, it kinda clicked for me, and it wasn't love at first sight, I just felt the connection. Weird, right?

Anyway, the story was quite interesting, and I couldn't stop reading. Once again the author has expanded the world (it's quite magnificent, actually), and she made me laugh & smile, and cheer for all the characters, and she broke my heart, and got me interested in all of those secondary characters, wondering whose story she'll decide to tell next. So, yeah, I'm totally hooked on the series now. My favorite new character is Axel, I loved him, he was so funny & entertaining. And then there was a hint about something about him, and yay for that, can't wait! And of course, I can't wait for Burning Dawn, which will be out soon, but in the meantime I have The Darkest Craving to keep me company ;) That's Kane's story, and his mention in this book (as well as William's glimpse), made me excited about delving back into the Lords of the Underworld world.

If you're a fan of entertaining paranormal romances, with haunted & tortured heroes &/or heroines, set in exquisite worlds, full of dangers & action, than Beauty Awakened & the Angels of the Dark & the Lords of the Underworld are the books for you, and I highly recommend them!