Tag «Ongoing Series»

Series Review: Crossfire by Sylvia Day

book4 book5

Series: Author: Sylvia Day
# of Books: 5 (Bared to You, Reflected in you, Entwined with You, Captivated by You, One With You)
Complete?: No, One with You, has a publishing date TBA
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Drama, Dark
Heat Rating: hot (BDSM: mild)
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I won’t lie: I will admit that I read Bared to You because it was linked to Fifty Shades of Grey. As much as some people didn’t like Fifty Shades, I actually enjoyed the romantic suspense and drama that it brought–I just could have done without all the sex. But what interested me about Bared to You was that it stars two dark characters that have tragedy filled pasts that the reader gets to uncover.

As expected, there are some parallels between the two series in terms of the events the two leads find themselves in (read: jealous exes, insecurities and tormented pasts) but they do differ once you get past the first novel in the Crossfire series. Overall I would say the BDSM element is stronger in Fifty Shades than Crossfire which for me is an added bonus because I’m not the biggest BDSM fan.

The relationship dynamic between Gideon and Eva is also easier for me to see. I could see why they both were attracted to each other and love each other more so than Anastasia and Christian (in Fifty Shades I think it’s clearer why Christian needs Ana in his life more so than why Ana needs Christian in hers).

What I liked about the Crossfire series that Fifty Shades develops more in the second and third books is the suspense. It’s present right from get-go in Bared to You and continues into the next books. Also, Reflected in You takes a turn I never expected and gives this series a much darker feel than Fifty Shades.

When I grabbed Entwined with You I thought two things: one) was that we were going to learn more about Gideon as a whole (possibly his point of view) and two) it was end of the series. Turns out we didn’t get either of those hypotheses. Before this book was published, the series got extended for two more books. As a result I really felt like this book was filler more so than anything. I think the series totally could have concluded within three books and people would have been satisfied and happy. From my point of view, there was no need to extend it two more books; a fourth book would have been a bit of a stretch but a fifth is a huge stretch. I also found that Eva was grating on my nerves throughout this book which really disappointment me because I had really liked her character in the previous two books. She just became so whinny and seemed to me like she was suffering from Bella-Swan-I-can’t-live-without-him syndrome when her character had been so much more independent in the last two books.

Conclusion:

Bared to You and Reflected in You were great books. Entwined with You was a disappointment but I’m not ready to give up on this series quite yet. I think if you want to read a series about two flawed romantic leads, the Stark Trilogy is the better choice than this one as of this moment in the sense that it’s story does get dragged out (well is does in the novellas but the actual novels don’t really do that). Captivated by You shows some promise and I really want to know how this series ends–so I am not going to condemn this series as of now.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1) and Release Me (Stark Trilogy #1) by J. Kenner

Synopsis for Bared to You (from Goodreads):
Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart…

Series Review: Unforgettable You by Beverley Kendall

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Only for You by Beverley Kendall | Unforgettable You Series

  book3 book3

Series: Unforgettable You
Author: Beverley Kendall
# of Books: 4 (Only for You, All Over You, Always Been You, Forever With You)

Technically, All Over You is a novella and #1.5 of the series but is to be read like a sequel

Complete?: More novels planned
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: December 2012 – ongoing
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

My Expectations:

I discovered this series after finding All Over You as a free Kobo eBook and decided to buy Only for You to get the full story. I was really excited to read Only for You because I normally love these type of stories. Much like Mad for You, it promised the meeting of unrequited loves in college and that always provides some reading entertainment. Now you will noticed that I said “normally” because lately I seem to be out of luck with these unrequited high school love stories and this is one I can add to the pile.

Thoughts on Only For You:

It never helps a story when you don’t like one of the main characters and I just didn’t like Olivia. I’m not sure why when I look back at it, but I think it’s because I get the impression that we would never be friends in real life. I just didn’t like her thought process and she seemed really immature. Her problems seemed really petty and while I know that they just left high school, I felt like I was still there with them based on the way they handled things.

Josh was alright. I liked that he was a decent guy and seemed to genuinely like Olivia but again, not the sharpest tool in the shed. His reasoning for not acting on his true feelings felt a little far-fetched and overly dramatic when it didn’t need to be. There is also one scene where I sincerely doubt his intelligence because how did he NOT know that about her?! I have a feeling it would be noticeable and he should be able to put two and two together.

Based on the synopsis you would think that they spend most of the story in Paris, but they actually don’t. So don’t expect to see a lot of action from Paris as most of it takes place in the States. If you want a novel about two people falling in love abroad, read Meant to Be by Lauren Morril instead.

One thing Only for You succeeds in doing is getting me acquainted and excited for the other character’s stories. Truth be told by the end of the book I was mostly reading for updates about Scott, April, Troy and Becca.

Thoughts on All Over You:

After reading Only for You I couldn’t wait to start All Over You because there was just so much buildup. It didn’t disappoint and I really enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one. I just liked the characters more and their past actually made sense and was a lot more realistic which made it more enjoyable. I wish this book was longer and not as rushed near the end as it was.

I’m looking forward to Always Been You and hoping that it will be as enjoyable as All Over You when it comes out.

updates

–February 29, 2016– Book #3: Always Been You

I was really excited to read this one after the little hints we got in the previous book. I’m not usually a fan of romances between BFFs–I hate when they go unrequited and the usually lead to love triangles–but I do enjoy romances where two BFFs are unknowingly in love with each other…such is the case here.

Unfortunately, the “angst” went on a little too long in this one. I wanted more plot besides “he/she doesn’t know” and sabotaged new relationships. I found the synopsis to be very misleading as well. The whole thing about Playboy doesn’t become an issue until 60+% through the book which is when we start to get some drama not of the romantic variety. Just seemed a little late for something that was featured in the synopsis and I wanted to spend more time on the other drama aspects introduced later.

I am, however, very curious for the next novel. Seems like some juicy stuff is about to be revealed and I can’t wait!

–September 13, 2017– Book #4: Forever With You

I was really excited to see how the events would unfold in this novel. We are left in a lot of suspense for Emily’s story at the end of Always Been You and I was eager to uncover the secrets.

It’s an interesting choice to reveal the past right at the start. It begins with a bang and watching the aftermath is intriguing. However, you lose some of the mystery and suspense as the story progresses. I found the middle of the novel to be a little stale since it was them simply rehashing their hurt feelings again and again.

I wanted more interaction and moments where it was reaffirmed to me that they belonged together–not just arguing pack and forth. Yes, they have fabulous physical chemistry together but I needed more “talking” time to prove to me that they were a good fit.

It’s a cute second chance romance and it builds up perfectly for sequels with the introduction of new and interesting characters.

Series Rating: 3/5

Only Been You 3/5 | All Over You 4/5 | Always Been You 3/5 | Forever With You 3/5

overall

These are cute stories but there are a lot better books out there that have a similar plot line. But if you enjoy series that interweave character stories together, try this one out!

Read if You Like: stories about true love, more romance focused
Avoid if You: want more steamy romance scenes

similarreads

Synopsis for Only for You (from Goodreads):
College freshman Olivia Montgomery is thrilled at the chance to start over, escape the rumors that plagued her in high school. And she can finally put her juvenile crush, Zachary Pearson, where he belongs–in her past. Then her unrequited love strolls into her French class, shattering Olivia’s newfound peace, and the feelings she’d thought buried for good come rushing back. Now she can’t shake her unwanted attraction to the one guy who can twist her stomach into knots with just a smile…but has never given her the time of day.

Zach’s good looks may have always gotten him his pick of girls, but it’s the star quarterback’s skill on the football field that gives him his pick of the Big Ten colleges. To escape the crushing demands of his win-at-all-costs father, Zach opts for a private university in upstate New York where…his present and past collide. And the one girl he’s always wanted but can’t have–and a class trip to Paris–turn out to be the ultimate game changer that has him breaking every one of his rules.

readingchallengesbook

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Fresh Fridays: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin (Low Red Moon Series)

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin | Low Red Moon Series


Other books in the series:

Series: Low Red Moon
Author: Ivy Devlin
# of Books: 2 (Low Red Moon, Moonrise)
Complete?: No, Moonrise will be released January 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Heat Rating: warm

Thoughts:

This is one of those books that gets my special “judged by cover” tag on my Goodreads account because truthfully, the only reason I randomly grabbed this book off the shelf was the shiny red cover. Of course, I then read the plot and it seemed interesting enough for me to pick up.

I’m glad I did because I really liked this book. It was part mystery and part romance and I think Devlin does a great job of blending the two together. When it comes to the mystery, I was sucked in. It was suspenseful and I liked trying to figure it all out as I went along. It was a darker read but nothing that would scare you to stay up all night; it just felt like it wasn’t afraid to get nitty-gritty in the details which I really liked.

And when it wasn’t the mystery of Avery’s parents, it was the mystery of Ben and the excitement of their romance that drove me further into the book. I have to say that their romantic moments were steamier than most young adult scenes and that added another depth to the story. I think it is pretty obvious that this book never really seemed to have a dull moment and that is what really impressed me.

As for the werewolf aspect to the story, it wasn’t anything overbearing which I appreciated. Werewolves aren’t really my thing so I tend not to enjoy books about them. But I find you have enough to think about with the murder and the romance that it isn’t a book that focuses specifically on werewolves–it takes a bit of a backseat but it definitely adds to the story in a good way.

When I first read the book (back when it was first published in 2010) there hadn’t been a plan or announcement for a sequel so I was left really disappointed in how the book ended. While we do learn the truth behind Avery’s parents’ murder, I just felt like so many things were left unanswered between Avery and Ben and the town as a whole and I would have liked more closure if Low Red Moon was going to be a stand-alone novel. But luckily for me, it isn’t and I’m really excited to see where this sequel, Moonrise, will go because it has been long overdue!

Conclusion:

A refreshing read for those who enjoy Young Adult novels. It has a great blend of mystery, romance and paranormal activities so there is never a dull moment! Plus, it makes for a very quick read!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade, #1)

Synopsis for Low Red Moon (from Goodreads):
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can’t, and there’s nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she’s ever experienced. When Ben reveals he’s a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she’s not the only one who can’t remember the night her parents died. Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans.

Fresh Fridays: For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund | For the Darkness Shows the Stars Series


Other books in the series:

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Reads of 2013
Series: For the Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
# of Books: 2 (For the Darkness Shows the Stars, Across a Star-Swept Sea)

There are also 2 novellas: #0.5 Among the Nameless Stars and #1.5 The First Star to Fall

Complete?: No, Across a Star-Swept Sea will be published October 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Romance, Dystopian
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This novel is a retelling/adaption of Persuasion by Jane Austen. I have never read Persuasion though it has been on my to-read list forever and after reading this book, I really want to read it even more so.

There is something about this book that just sucks you in. I started it and then quickly realized I was 50 pages in before I knew it. I think it is because I enjoyed Elliot’s character. She is like every Jane Austen heroine–that woman could write GREAT heroines that all girls can respect and admire, even decades after their publication–in that she is independent, tough and cares for her family. She was great to read about and a refreshing heroine when you look at some of the other offerings out right now in the young adult world (ie. whiny, spoiled, “I need a man to complete me” heroines).

I also really liked the jumps/flashbacks to the past using the letters written between Elliot and Kai. It helps to build up context about the world itself (which is a cool spin on the regular dystopian worlds often seen but still true to the era of Jane Austen’s novels) and the relationship between Elliot and Kai.

The relationship between Elliot and Kai is adorable. You fall in love with them as you read (and the other characters as well). I think it is fair to warn potential readers that this isn’t a book where there are stolen kisses behind the barn or late night rendezvous so if you are looking for that you won’t find it here–and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The romance is very Jane Austen–mostly talking and meeting at events but I found it very refreshing to read a book where there isn’t PDA around every corner and instead you see why they once loved each other.

The prequel eNovella, Among the Nameless Stars (ANS)–which is free on Kobo and Amazon–I recommend you read AFTER you read For the Darkness Shows the Stars (FTDSTS). I liked that when I read FTDSTS that Kai was a bit of a mystery and I didn’t know his feelings towards Elliot. Also, some things that were revealed as you read FTDSTS were mentioned in ANS and I think it takes away from the mystery of FTDSTS when you read it first. Overall though, the book is really interesting and it helps shape the world–and when it’s FREE, it doesn’t get any better than that 😉

Conclusion:

For the Darkness Shows the Stars is easily one of my favourite reads of this year. The book is beautifully written and manages to be unique all while capturing the atmosphere of Jane Austen’s work. I loved Elliot and Kai and while the next book may not deal directly with them I am excited to see more from this author in this fabulous world she has created! However, it probably isn’t for everyone; especially those who like more exciting romances and faster moving plots as this is a little slower and it isn’t a steaming romance.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky, #1)

Synopsis for For the Darkness Shows the Stars (from Goodreads):
It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it

Series Review: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

book

Series: Beautiful Bastard

This series crosses over with the Wild Seasons Series in book 4, Beautiful Secret.

Author: Christina Lauren
# of Books: 4 (Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, Beautiful Player, Beautiful Secret)

There are 4 novellas #1.5 Beautiful Bitch, #2.5 Beautiful Bombshell, #3.5 Beautiful Beginning and #3.6 Beautiful Beloved

Book Order: Connected but Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Erotica, Drama
Heat Rating: Smokin’, Kink: mild, BSDM: light
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

This series peaked my interest for three reasons: 1) the title (it isn’t every day you see “bastard” in a title); 2) the enemy to lovers plotline (I’m a sucker for this type of romance plotline) and 3) the fact that it was fan-fiction before being republished.

Now, the fact that it was fanfiction, specifically Twilight fanfiction, would rightfully deter people away from picking up Beautiful Bastard. I mean, Twilight fanfiction brought us Fifty Shades of Grey and that presents a bias for all fanfiction that is published after its initial posting. So, needless to say I was a bit skeptical about this book, but I did like Fifty Shades when all is said and done so I decided to give this a shot.

I have to say, this book wasn’t very “Twilight-y” in its delivery. Unlike Fifty Shades where you can pick up the obvious parallels between its story and Twilight, I really didn’t get that here. After I finished the book and read the authors’ biographies, I realized that this published version was different than the original fanfiction they created. So if you are worried that this is just a reworking of Twilight, it isn’t so go into it with a fresh mind.

As for the book, Beautiful Bastard, it was a quick and cute read. Nothing wholly original but I was entertained nonetheless. I wish there was a bit more tension between the characters before they started sleeping together. I kind-of wanted more of a buildup to the eventual “moment” but they do give some flashback and insight to their past relationship so that helps. But I still don’t really understand why they are drawn to each other besides the sex (which happens a LOT, nearly every chapter). I suppose it is expanded upon a bit later on but I could have used a little more details.

The book also ends rather abruptly I think. I like a nice little epilogue or wrap-up at the end of my books; especially when the next full length novel in the series doesn’t deal directly with those two characters. So the way it ended was a bit of a disappointment but the nice thing is the Beautiful Bitch novella picks up from the end of Beautiful Bastard and closes up some of those gaps. However, it also ended abruptly (it is a novella after all) but I did feel like I got some closure. I was lucky to borrow a copy but if I had paid the $6 to buy the book from Kobo, I would have been severely disappointed in this novella. But when all is said and done, I enjoyed it and it did get me excited to read Beautiful Stranger.

Unfortunately, Beautiful Stranger was a bit of a disappointment. It is really a shame because I really did like the characters and wanted to really like this book. There were two issues that caused me not to enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. One was the same problem I have with Beautiful Bastard: I don’t understand why these characters fall in love with each other. Sure, they have amazing sexually chemistry but again, I would have appreciate an expansion on the things they have in common and their connection because I do think it was there, it was just tucked behind the scenes. The other issue would be the “kink” factor these two share. By no means is it as kinky as some erotica novels out there but I really don’t understand the fascination with taking photos of yourself–especially when you know the risks involved. Just doesn’t float my boat and it took me a long time to get over that. Overall, I liked Beautiful Stranger, but not as much Beautiful Bastard and I wish there was an epilogue!

I’m looking forward to the next eBook, Beautiful Bombshell and hoping for some resolution with the previous characters and also hoping for some more insight into the characters of the 3rd book, Beautiful Player.

Updated (Jan 9/15): I won’t lie–this series slipped to the back of my mind in 2014 and that only reason I remember I read it was because of my library adding the last few works to the online catalogue in December. So I put my holds on them and waited.

I actually read Beautiful Player before I read Beautiful Bombshell just because of how my holds at the library worked out. I don’t feel like I missed out on much because it really had nothing to do with the leads in Beautiful Player (maybe two little facts about the hero) and everything to do with the leads in the previous two books. Beautiful Bombshell is basically just reading sex scenes involving the last two couples in various places in Vegas. I actually skimmed a lot of it because it was almost a sex overload — though I thought the last chapter was really cute.

As for Beautiful Player–hands down my favourite book in the series! I loved loved the two leads, loved their relationship and loved the plot line. Hanna reminded me so much of myself in her everyday life and she had my laughing throughout the book. Of course she had her little dumb moments but nothing that stopped me from loving her. And Will was just plain swoon-worthy. I never had to question why these two liked each other because their chemistry and connection was apparent from the start. They didn’t jump into bed together but actually had a relationship before all the sexual stuff came into the equation. But the sexual tension was there from the start and it made that moment when they actually crossed that line that much sweeter. I just thought it was really well done even if there wasn’t much else going on plot-wise other than their relationship growing.

Updated (March 28/15): I read Beautiful Beloved and really enjoyed it. Unlike Beautiful Bombshell, I didn’t feel like I was reading extended sex scenes of all the characters–it actually had a plot and an intriguing one at that! It raises good questions for the modern woman: how do you balance your work life with your obligations as a mother? And while I may not necessarily be in that place in my life at the moment, I think a lot of older women (and guys too!) will relate in some capacity to the couple here.

But perhaps the best part of Beautiful Beloved was the brief introduction to the hero in Beautiful Secret! I cannot wait for this book–I already have my name on the hold list at my library and am counting down the days!

Updated (April 1/15): I will admit that I didn’t give Beautiful Beginning the time it deserved because I had to return it to the library and read another book before it expired on me too. Like Beautiful Beloved, I thought it was a great way to wrap up these characters’ stories and it would have been a great way to end the series had they not decided to write Beautiful Secret (the crossover with their other series). It’s not sex scenes every two pages and it made me appreciate these two characters and their relationship a lot more. It was fun, touching and overall a great novella!

UPDATED (May 6/15): Despite getting Beautiful Secret on its release day, I didn’t get a chance to read it until now. While this book didn’t blow my away like Beautiful Player, I simply adored it! I was worried it was going to be a British regurgitation of Beautiful Bastard (the premise is slightly similar with a young intern as the female lead) but they are drastically different. It was fun and sweet and sexy–everything I want (and have come to expect) in a Christina Lauren novel! I loved that instead of a naive young girl, we get a male lead who isn’t too sure of his sexual prowess and who hasn’t been sleeping his way through London. It made their connection more realistic to me than this “magical” connection that makes him change his ways after a mind-blowing “shag” (you know the stories I’m talking about?).

Right now, there are no plans for further books in the series and I am OK with that. Christina Lauren have shown that they can write other stories with their Wild Seasons Series (which I immensely enjoy) so I would like to see them expand their catalogue a bit. But that isn’t to say I wouldn’t read the next novel in this series if there were to be one. You can definitely count me in!

Definitely not the greatest books ever written–though all things considered, they are written well–but if you are looking for a cute quick read that is filled with lots of sex, look no further than this series! It’s a great modern, contemporary erotica romance series without all the dark, alpha males in the traditional contemporary erotica series.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Bared to You by Sylvia Day (Crossfire Trilogy, #1); Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James (Fifty Shades Trilogy, #1); and Worth the Scandal by Karen Erickson, (Worth It, #1)

Synopsis for Beautiful Bastard (from Goodreads):
An ambitious intern.
A perfectionist executive.
And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.

Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over two million reads on fan fiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release

readingchallenges

book 

Series Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence | Mystic City Series

book3

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite read of 2012 (Mystic City)
Series: Mystic City
Author: Theo Lawrence
# of Books: 3 (Mystic City, Toxic Heart, Body Electric)
Complete?: No, Body Electric will be published TBA
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: cool

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

I won’t lie, the only reason I picked this book up or at least considered reading it was because of the “fans of X-men” line–I can’t help but be a little curious about a book when a publisher uses that line. So I went in with weary expectations, only to come out of it all with my mind blown and me counting down the endless number of days until the sequel.

This book was FANTASTIC! One of my favourite reads this year for sure!

It just had everything I want in a book: A rich, twisting plot full of drama that wasn’t very predictable (there are clues along that way that you pick up on but there were some things that I happened that surprised me!); a dash of romance; a strong female lead; mystery and a whole lot of suspense and action. I had a very hard time putting this down at the end!

It can be worrisome when a book is compared or suggested to fans of another series. I often find the new books are carbon copies of the “fans of BLANK” books so it can be disheartening when you actually read it and it doesn’t meet your high expectations. I can happily say that this book was unlike anything I have read–sure it takes similar plot concepts from other stories but the way that they are weaved all together makes this book totally original and a joy to read.

UPDATED (July 24/14): I finally was able to get my hands on a copy of Toxic Heart after a very length wait (only know I will have to wait for the third book :P). While the plot isn’t as intricately woven as it was Mystic City, I found it managed to keep my attention right from the get go. It does suffer a bit from the “book-two-of-a-trilogy-slump” but there were still some mystery elements and good plot developments. Aria started to irritate me just a smidgen at the start of the novel but I quickly got over that once I was a few chapters in. Overall, it was a good followup to its predecessor and sets the stage for some awesome plotlines in the next installment!

Conclusion:

I know that this book gets mixed reviews on Goodreads but I think for those who want to try something a little different, this one is worth a shot! It is hard to say anything else without giving too much away but fans of dystopian who love a good mystery plot will LOVE this! If you get a chance pick it up so you can join me in the misery that is waiting for the sequel 😛

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Black City Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for Mystic City (from Goodreads):
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

Connect: Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Series Review: Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

book book book book book

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Dark Lover (from Goodreads):
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams

breakdown

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Author: J.R. Ward
# of Books: 18 (View a full list here)
Complete?: No
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Adult
Heat Rating: Hot

thoughts

NOTE: As of October 8, 2018, I have only read the first four books in the series (up to and including Lover Revealed). The following review is based on the trends and commonalities I had seen after reading the first two novels. I will not be continuing with the other sequels in the series.

Why I Picked It Up:

This was one of those series that appeared everywhere I looked for books. Every time I logged onto Kobo to find see what was new, the Lover at Last cover stared back at me. For about two weeks, I looked away until my curiosity got the better of me and I had to search the book on Goodreads. I then learned that Lover at Last was book 11 of a romance series and one that was consistently rated as 4 out of 5 by 80,000 readers. Typically, that means it’s a good read because so many people can’t be wrong, right? I was also intrigued that a few of the authors I follow on Goodreads had also rated the series with high reviews. So, I decided to put the book on hold from my local library and soon Dark Lover was in my grasp.

The Concept / The World:

I will admit that the glossary of terms that graced the first couple of pages of my Kobo freaked me out. I like when authors have a glossary of terms about the world they have created–it helps me to remember what things are and provides a reference point that is easy to find later on in the book. But I was expecting this to be a typical romantic vampire read–ie nothing complex and a light read (kind of like Lynsay Sands Argeneau vampire series)–yet that is not what we get here.

This is definitely a vampire book for adults and not just because of the sex scenes. The world is dark, the characters are older and mature and the vampires are how people expect vampires to be (no glitter here folks!), blood drinking (though not human blood but other vampire blood), incredibly strong and good-looking creatures who can’t walk in the sun. Also, the vampires of the brotherhood are all alpha males–and by alpha I mean ALPHA. They are typical I-protect-what-is-mine men that apparently women readers love. I personally, find it a little creepy and annoying to some degree but I guess it works for a majority of the target audience. It isn’t enough to turn me off of the books completely though, it just makes me raise an eyebrow or roll my eyes at times.

The Characters:

What does turn me off is how the heroines act sometimes because of the males’ personalities. I am a feminist–I am all for gender equality and the like–I’m just not a zealous feminist so don’t think I have some supreme biased about this or am approaching it from only a single viewpoint. I just find that the women start off strong and then become a little idiotic in their actions. Like they know they should be afraid of this random stranger who suddenly wants to jump their pants and is everywhere they go and they are–at first. Then they end up giving into the sexy stranger less than 48 hours later. From what I understand of the world (based on the two books I have read so far) is that the males exude a chemical that gets both parties “excited” so the scientist in me goes, “ok, it’s basically a hormone reaction” but I still find it a little worrisome that these strong females swoon within two days. But, I digress, this is fiction and NOT real so I shouldn’t get too hung up on it 😉

The Romance:

Though I will say, I like how the relationships progress once they get passed that initial lust. I like stories where love heals and that seems to be the trend in these books. The redeeming thing is that these relationships progress enough to be something more than just physically chemistry which I appreciate.

The Plot:

As for the plot, I both love and hate the setup. The POVs alter between the heroine, the hero, other characters and the Lessers (who are the “bad guys”). I like the alternating POVs though it can get annoying when a particular storyline is cut up into pieces by a random Lesser POV–but it forces me to read ahead and before I know it, it is an hour later and I am no closer to putting it down ;). The “hate” part of this setup is the Lesser POVs. While I do enjoy seeing how the “evil side” works, I find that the pieces are a little dry and too long to hold my interest at times; especially when something exciting is happening with the main characters. I mostly skim those sections just to get on with the story though in some books they are more interesting than others. Overall, with these alternating POV we get a lot of insight into the multiple plot lines that are occurring simultaneously so there is rarely a dull moment in these books which is great.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Another bonus of these alternating POV is when they focus on the “secondary” characters in the novels. Particularly with book 2, Lover Eternal we get a bit of interaction between the hero and heroine (as well as a few other matches that will happen in the later books) who are set to take centre stage in book 3, Lover Awakened. I am so excited to read this next book that I think it is safe to say I am addicted to this series 😛

Do you Have to Read them in Order?

I feel it is important to note that this series is one that you could probably get away reading the books in any order, but I recommend that you try to read them in order to get the full experience. I think it just adds to the characters’ stories and understanding and it makes you excited to read what is going to happen your favourite characters in the later books.

overall

Based on the first two books, this series is starting to get really addicting and showing a lot of promise. Those who enjoy romance; dark, sexy and often tormented heroes; and want a “real” vampire world will enjoy this series immensely.

Read if You Like: alpha males, paranormal romances, vampires
Avoid if You: dislike erotica, paranormal fiction

similarreads

A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands (Argeneau Series, #1)

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Series Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

book3 book4 book5 book6 book6

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Throne of Glass (from Goodreads):

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined

breakdown

Series: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order Here)

There are five prequel novellas in the series. Find out more here.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Romance, Fantasy, Magic
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: August 2012 – October 2018
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook & Hardcover

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up:

I find that it is really hard to find a book with a strong female lead nowadays. And by strong, I mean a girl who doesn’t need a man to complete her, who can fight for herself and it helps if she can kick some literal butt. After completing the Vampire Academy Series, I have been on the search to find said leading lady. So when I read the promise of a female assassin in these books, I jumped at the chance and I am happy to say I think I found the girl for the job (or should I say “hit”? ;)).

Initial Impressions:

These books aren’t just straight action though. There is also a dangerous game of politics afoot as well as romance, mystery and drama so there is rarely a dull moment. There were also some plot twists along the way but I think a few were a little predictable (at least in Throne of Glass) so that is disappointing.

I only have two “peeves” about Throne of Glass. One “peeve” would be the lack of a particular character from the novellas in the novel–I just felt like said character played such an important role that they should have been mentioned more than they were in the book. My second “peeve” is the love triangle. I am not a fan of this “plot twist” so I would rather do without it; though I didn’t find it as “consuming” like it is in some novels. Basically, it isn’t the main focus of the book so bonus points there. I also want to say that Throne of Glass started a little slow and it did take me a while to get into it. Unlike the novellas that jump right into the action, this one takes a while to build so just be prepared.

I’m not sure where the next 5 books are planning on going, but I am excited to have another long-running, action packed series on my to-read list now. If only they could be released sooner!

updates

–December 7, 2013– Book #2: Crown of Midnight

I finished Crown of Midnight about a week ago and it’s taken me that whole week to grasp what just happened. When I said I wasn’t sure where the next few books were going I wasn’t lying. I didn’t see what happens coming and I am SUPER excited for the next book!

First, I have to say that the two peeves I commented on before are no longer an issue. Said character is mentioned more than enough to satisfy my requests and the love triangle is “resolved” for a lack of a better term. Unlike Throne of Glass that focuses on Celaena becoming the champion and kicking butt, this book focuses on the magic present in the kingdom and what is happening in their world. While there is still plenty of action, we learn a lot about all the major players and learn what game is truly afoot in this kingdom. Celaena especially has some great character development but still retains her kick-ass heroine status.

This book also hits the ground running. Lots of plot twists and developments that kept me guessing and putting off other aspects of my life just to read the next chapter. Definitely a strong sequel and the best book of the series so far!

–May 23, 2015– Book #3: Heir of Fire

I’ve never anticipated a book as much as I had Heir of Fire. So you can imagine my disappointment when Heir of Fire turned out to be…well…a slight disappointment. After waiting forever on my library’s waiting list, I tried to read this book in November 2014 and just couldn’t get into it. I got halfway through before I gave up in defeat and had to return it, vowing to try again later.

Well, the 2nd time was the charm! Despite getting halfway through the last time, I started Heir of Fire right from the start. This one starts slow and it’s been so long since I read Crown of Midnight that despite my killer book summary (I write down what happens in each book), it took me a while to get back into the groove of things.

I guess I expected it to be like Crown of Midnight which had me from the first word. This one was just a lot of wallowing and it was a tough time for Celaena, so it was a little depressing to read. The critic/analyst in me understands the need to slow things down and let things develop in this book but it just bored me; especially when I was expecting high action given the ending of the last book. But once I got past the halfway mark, it really was non-stop and I had a hard time putting it down.

Overall, I liked how things developed and I am SUPER SUPER excited to see what happens next. I feel like this book was the little speed bump that usually happens in book 2 of trilogies and I don’t discount the need for it in the grand scheme of things: it just wasn’t what I was expecting initially but it definitely improved as I read!

Catch my spoiler filled rant on Heir of Fire Here!

–October 9, 2015– Book #4: Queen of Shadows

I was terrified the hype monster was going to kill this one for me so I dutifully ignored all reviews of this book before I read it. I’m glad I did because I went in with a fresh mind and was really able to enjoy it.

Queen of Shadows has much better pacing than its predecessor, though the page length really got to me. I was in it right from the start, felt a little drag in the middle but really felt like it pulled it socks up at the end. It still doesn’t beat Crown of Midnight for me in terms of a favourite, but it’s pretty close.

I really liked the plot twists and LOVED the character development. I also really liked that characters who were prominent in the novellas finally were brought in. More so than in the previous novels, the plot was really tied to the prequel novellas. It almost makes me wish I had read them more recently than when they were first published because all these characters would have been fresher in my mind.

Can’t wait to see where this story goes next! My faith has been officially restored in this series!

–October 25, 2016– Book #5: Empire of Storms

So I went from having my faith restored to being more than a little bored with this instalment…

I felt like the first 60% was filler–which makes for a slightly dull read when this book is 576 eBook pages long. While the plot does move forward in that time, it definitely dragged while doing so. It’s been a long time since I read the previous instalment so trying to get all those details page in my head (despite the killer notes I took when reading Queen of Shadows), specially the family trees (I swear everyone’s name starts with a G or an A or an E), didn’t make this enjoyable for me.

The last 30% was great! We get more action; the greater plot schemes get revealed and we finally get some drama! And I’m glad to see how the prequel novellas tie into this novel! Made me glad I read them all those years ago.

I’m excited to see how everything wraps up!

–March 23, 2019– Book #6: Tower of Dawn

It wasnt that this book was bad per say: I just wonder about the necessity of it. I think we can all agree that the lead needed some major redemption after the last few books so it was nice to get that. However, could we have achieved that in half the amount of pages? You betcha! This could have been condensed considerably and still made an impact in the series.

I skimmed most of it, especially in the first half when it was so repetitive. Maas does have a beautiful flow to her writing (it’s not a hard book to read by any means) but she adds far to much detail and monotony to her work. Honestly, if I hadn’t invested so much time in this series over the years, I would have just skipped this.

When to Read the Novellas:

I am of the camp that recommends you read the novellas before you pick up the first book in the series. By doing so, I feel like you get a get a better understanding of the world and why Celaena acts and thinks the way she does. I think if you don’t, you might think her character is a little too jaded (which can be irksome) and you won’t understand why she does the things she does. Sometimes that little bit of a background story makes all the difference in your impression of a character.

But I most definitely recommend you read the novellas prior to Queen of Shadows–because there are a lot of allusions there that you won’t understand until you read the novellas.

My Rating: 5/5

Throne of Glass 5/5 | Crown of Midnight 5/5 | Heir of Fire 3/5 | Queen of Shadows 4.5/5 | Empire of Storms 3/5 | Tower of Dawn 2/5

overall

Great for those who like strong female leads who kick serious ass 😉 or want a huge world fantasy to get immersed in.

Read if You Like: strong heroines, ruthless characters, fantasy
Avoid if You: don’t like long series or long books

similarreads

readingchallenges

everythingya book 

recapbutton

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact