Book Review: Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance

Title: Claimed by Shadow
Author: Karen Chance
Series: Cassandra Palmer #2
ISBN: 978-0451461520
Publisher: Roc
Pub. Date: April 2007
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance/Time Travel/Paranormal
Pages: 374
Rating:  2/5

From Goodreads: Clairvoyant Cassie Palmer has inherited new magical powers-including the ability to travel through time. But it’s a whole lot of responsibility she’d rather not have. Now she’s the most popular girl in town, as an assortment of vamps, fey, and mages try to convince, force, or seduce her-and her magic-over to their side. But one particular master vampire didn’t ask what Cassie wanted before putting a claim on her. He had a spell cast that binds her to him, and now she doesn’t know if what she feels for him is real-or imagined.

My Reveries and Ramblings:   Cassandra Palmer escapes the Senate with a duffel full of weapons only to be attacked by the Circle.  Pritkin and Cassie are forced to become allies due to a common goal-although she never truly trusts him.  Besides Pritkin, Cassie is helped by Billy the ghost and Mac, a tattoo artist mage.  Cassie’s Pythia powers drag her into the past to save Mircea from Myra who is set on making sure Cassie never lives to get her powers.  By going into the past, Cassie accidentally sets the geis, a bonding spell Mircea had cast, in the future on the past Mircea strengthening their bond.  This becomes problematic for both of them since they can’t seem to keep their hands off eachother when together and when separated are in total physical pain (a pain that has led others under the same circumstances to commit suicide).
After reading the first book in the series, Touch the Dark, I thought this can only get better.  I was a bit disappointed. I mean, yes it was action packed.  And yes, there was never a dull moment. But the plot didn’t really progress until the last 10 pages or so.  Also, I love Mircea, and I hated how he was barely in this book.  He showed up briefly in the present, but only for short periods of time in the past.  Also, the whole thing with Tomas at the end was weird.  I did like Cassie’s spirit in this book.  No matter how many times she was knocked down, she just got right back up again.  All she wants is to find her father, kill Tony, and live a normal life.  But everyone else wants something from her.  They are all one-step ahead of her.  Even though the odds are in no way stacked in her favor, she keeps on fighting for what she wants.  Honestly, I like the series so I’ll keep reading.  I want to find out how it ends.
I felt rushed through the book, and I found myself confused several times wondering if I missed something but after rereading realized I didn’t miss anything.  By the end of the book I got the gist of what happened, however I was still lost.  Both in this book and the first I felt like I was thrown into the middle of it and was left to figure out what was going on.

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Claimed By Shadow (Cassandra Palmer, #2)

 

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Book Review: Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

Title: Touch the Dark
Author: Karen Chance
Series: Cassandra Palmer #1
ISBN: 978-0451460936
Publisher: Roc
Pub. Date: June 2006
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal/Time Travel
Pages:  320
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads:  In the hot-blooded vein of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake saga and Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series, Karen Chance’s debut novel is a contemporary dark fantasy revolving around a gutsy female protagonist with supernatural abilities that blends mystery and romance with hair-raising horror.  Cassie Palmer, a powerful clairvoyant who works part-time at an Atlanta club reading Tarot cards, is finding it difficult to escape her past. Orphaned at a young age and brought up by the undead, Cassie has the ability to communicate with the spirit realm, and her powers were abused time and time again by a ruthless master vampire named Tony. It’s been three years since Cassie — a self-described “ghost magnet” — has been free of the centuries-old bloodsucker, but now he’s back and eager to reclaim his human possession. Forced to turn to the Senate (a group of “really old vamps” who make laws for the supernatural community) for protection, Cassie is thrown into a complex conflict where control of the entire supernatural world is at stake. Rasputin (yes, the Mad Monk himself), a power-hungry vampire, is killing off the Senate members one by one. Aided by some impressive allies — including Dracula’s older brother, Mircea — Cassie must use everything in her paranormal arsenal to fight the encroaching evil — and somehow stay alive.  Fans of authors like Hamilton, Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, and Charlaine Harris will undoubtedly enjoy this fast-paced, blood-sucking romp through the supernatural underworld — yet another noteworthy addition to the ever-growing subgenre of fantasy/romance/mystery hybrids. Paul Goat Allen

My Reveries and Ramblings:  The Cassandra Palmer series is really interesting.  Karen Chance does a wonderful job of combining paranormal with mystery and romance.  Touch the Dark starts with the protagonist, Cassandra Palmer, nicknamed Cassie, living in hiding.  She has been on the run for three years from her vampire “master,” Tony.  He killed her parents and took her in as a clairvoyant when she was a little girl.  Now, in her 20s, Cassie works as a tarot card reader at the same club as her roommate, Tomas.  One night Tony’s men come to find her, and kill her.  She manages to escape, thanks to a mysterious tattoo and Tomas.  Cassie is now in the hands of the vampire Senate and Lord Mircea.  All Cassie wants to do is be free-she doesn’t want to belong to Mircea, Tony, or the Senate.  Simply running away isn’t going to help.  Those who don’t want to control her, want her dead because she has inherited the powerful pythia’s power.
Touch the Dark is filled with time traveling, sexy men and vampires, and a lot of action scenes.  Cassandra Palmer has one goal in mind-to get her father’s ghost from Tony and be free.  Everything she does is to get that done.  She doesn’t want power.  She doesn’t want to be under the protection of Mircea and the vampires.  By inheriting the pythia’s power, Cassie finds herself thrown back in  time. This is mostly because Myra, the girl who was supposed to become the next pythia, has decided to mess with the timeline.
Lord Mircea, a very sexy vampire, has appointed himself as Cassandra’s protector.  He knew where she was when she “ran away.”  I’d love to believe that he loves Cassandra, but I’m not sure.  His actions show that he does.  But at the same time he’s a first class manipulator so I’m not sure.  Same thing with Tomas, I think he has feelings for Cassandra, but at the same time, not too sure.
Karen Chance made sure the reader is never bored.  There is so much going on that you feel like you ran a marathon by the end of the book.  The only problem I had was that I felt thrown into the middle of everything.  There were so many action scenes, I would have loved it if the story slowed down for bit.  The time traveling scenes were a bit confusing, but still quite interesting to read.  The series is quite interesting-mixing mages/magic, vampires, fey, and even historical figures into a series of books.  I will definitely keep reading the series.

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Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1)
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Book Review: The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

Title: The Native Star
Author: M.K. Hobson
Series: Native Star #1
ISBN: 978-0-553-59265-8
Publisher: The Random House Publishing Group
Pub. Date: August 2010
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance/Historical Fiction/Steampunk
Pages:  387
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: In the tradition of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, this brilliant first novel fuses history, fantasy, and romance. Prepare to be enchanted by M. K. Hobson’s captivating take on the Wild, Wild West.
 
The year is 1876. In the small Sierra Nevada settlement of Lost Pine, the town witch, Emily Edwards, is being run out of business by an influx of mail-order patent magics. Attempting to solve her problem with a love spell, Emily only makes things worse. But before she can undo the damage, an enchanted artifact falls into her possession—and suddenly Emily must flee for her life, pursued by evil warlocks who want the object for themselves.  Dreadnought Stanton, a warlock from New York City whose personality is as pompous and abrasive as his name, has been exiled to Lost Pine for mysterious reasons. Now he finds himself involuntarily allied with Emily in a race against time—and across the United States by horse, train, and biomechanical flying machine—in quest of the great Professor Mirabilis, who alone can unlock the secret of the coveted artifact. But along the way, Emily and Stanton will be forced to contend with the most powerful and unpredictable magic of all—the magic of the human heart.

My Reveries and Ramblings:   Take an old Western then add some magic, a pinch of paranormal, and a sprinkle of romance and you get The Native Star.  This was one crazy steampunk adventure.  The Native Star follows a 25 year old witch, Emily.  She and her adoptive father, Pap, own a magic shop-mostly for home use; however, it is being run out of business by a larger company.  In an effort to ease Pap’s life, she casts a love spell on her friend for money hoping that after they get married she will grow to love him.  However, her spell goes wrong and a poor drunk warlock, tells Emily about suspicious events occurring as well as accusing her of using dark magic.  After going to check on his suspicions, Emily gets a native star stuck in her hand.  With the help of Dreadnought Stanton, the most aggravating Warlock ever, she goes in search of removing it.  Their journey across America is filled with problems.  Almost every magical society is after them, including the government.  Apparently the native star is much more valuable and deadly then Emily originally thought.
What an adventure!  I felt like I was there.  When Emily and Stanton were tired, I was tired.  When they were scared, I was scared.  It was so much fun.  This novel takes place in 1876.  Their journey takes them from California all the way to the east coast.  It is an America where magic is used everywhere, even in the government.  This magic is powered through faith and belief in it.  You do get the occasional anti-magic religious town.  This world is filled with secret societies, radicals, zombies, and flying machines.  The story has an old western feel to it-so much so that I visualized some of it in sepia.  No joke, it was almost like watching a blockbuster western film.  Epic.
The characters were so well-written (the whole book was!)  At the beginning of the novel, Emily made a choice. It was the wrong one and everything that happens to her after that is the consequence of one small decision.  Hobson explores choices and their consequences throughout The Native Star, for almost every character.  Emily is a very human character.  She makes mistakes and she is not perfect in any way.  But she tries to do the right thing.  Emily gets stuck with the “insufferable” Stanton, who has made it his life mission to show off his magical knowledge.  Stanton was a fascinating character.  At the beginning, I agreed with Emily on his annoying and supercilious attitude and comments.  I remember thinking “It’s going to be a long ride.”  But over the course of the book, the reasons for his actions and personality are revealed and I (and Emily, of course) started to fall in love with him.  The romance wasn’t overpowering though.  It started out as hate then turned to love over time-basically a growing attraction.  Stanton reminded me of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre.  He’s definitely the strong smart guy, but there is no doubt that he is tortured.  These two are the central characters of the novel.  There are a whole bunch of others including an Indian Holy Woman, an evil soul that possesses people, a radical warlock who happens to run the American military, and a paranoid feminist witch.
This is the first book in a series.  The Native Star is an exhilarating adventure that will leave you wanting more.  I give it 4/5.

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The Native Star (Veneficas Americana, #1)

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Book Review: Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Title: Tyger Tyger
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Series: Goblin Wars #1
ISBN: 0547330081
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy/YA/Romance/Adventure
Pages:  320
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads: Teagan Wylltson’s best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures–goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty–are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn’t worried. Her life isn’t in danger. In fact, it’s perfect. She’s on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She’s focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.
     Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn’s a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he’s crazy or he’s been haunting Abby’s dreams, because he’s talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby’s right. The goblins are coming.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Tyger Tyger follows the adventure of Teagan, her brother, Aiden, and Finn into Mag Mell to rescue Teagan’s father from Fear Doirich, the goblin king.  That’s basically the gist of the whole story.  Hamilton put together a wonderful story.  The mythology was well crafted/researched.  It really brought the story to life.  However, I felt that there were just so many names and places that I could barely pronounce that I found myself having to reread certain parts to get the back story correct.  I did like how Hamilton incorporated the Gaelic phrases.  Finn’s dialogue was interesting to read.  He was confident in everything he did-from fighting to flirting.  His character was a bit flat though.  I just didn’t get that spark of a three dimensional character from him.  I didn’t feel that he was real.  In fact, most of the characters didn’t seem that three dimensional.  Since this is the first book in a series, I’m really hoping Hamilton explores them more.  Although I really liked Aiden and his singing ability.  It made for some very funny moments, especially in Mag Mell (Kiss the Girl scene-wish he kept singing). Oh, and Ms. Skinner, a very obscure character, made me so angry, she needs to get a life instead of trying to control and judge others’.
I was a bit frustrated at how both Teagan and Finn have the whole love-at-first-sight moment, then Finn goes away for a while, and she’s not upset.  What bothers me is that they barely had a conversation and he’s in love with her.  Also, throughout the book there aren’t any serious romantic moments-there are a few cute ones, though. Also, Abby, Teagan’s best friend, kept warning Teagan about how the goblins are coming for her in the beginning, but then when they finally do show up, Abby doesn’t believe her.
Tyger Tyger is like a modern day fairy tale-without the fey.  It was a good book.  Hamilton included Irish folklore, religion, goblins, and a really cool car chase in her novel.  That car chase was very fun to read- most of the books I read don’t include one so that was interesting.

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Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, #1)

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Book Review: Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Title:  Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Series: Dead Beautiful #1
ISBN: 1423119568
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Library
Genre: Romance/YA/Mystery/Paranormal/Horror
Pages: 464
Rating:  2/5

From Goodreads:  On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she’d ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.
After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”
It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.
Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.
Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Dead Beautiful centers around Renee and her life after she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest.  Throughout the story Renee tries to solve the mystery of their “death by heart attack” which seems to be a reoccurring theme/death of students who have died while at Gottfried Academy.  Of course, everyone tells her she is looking too much into their deaths and that it is perfectly possible for two people to die of heart attacks at the same time in the woods.
Besides her investigation into the mysterious deaths, her growing attraction to Dante, a student who causes her to literally go weak in the knees, has left her with more questions than answers.  I liked Dante’s character and how unselfish he was but he just didn’t give me that I-want-him-gotta-have-him feeling.  Honestly, I really really really wanted to love this book.  I really did!  But sadly, the idea of the Undead creeped me out.  Even though they specifically stated in the book that the Undead are not the same thing as zombies, to me, they basically were; and I’m not a huge fan of zombie anything.  But I tried.  Also, I did not like Renee.  I thought she was rude and was selfish most of the time.
This book wasn’t my type of book.  However I think it was well written.  The world Woon created was detailed.  The mythology surrounding the Undead was original and put together nicely.  The mystery was good.  In fact, it was what kept me reading even though I wanted to stop because of the whole Undead thing.  I wanted to find out who was behind all the murders.  The end was not what I expected and I was a bit disappointed.
Overall, it was a good book, just not for me.  Although I can understand why so many people really liked it.  It was kind of like Twilight but with Zombie-like people instead of vampires.

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Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1)
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Book Review: Juliet by Anne Fortier

Title: Juliet
Author: Anne Fortier
ISBN:  978-0345516107
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Library
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Mystery/Treasure Hunting/Shakespeare
Pages:  464
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads: Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.

This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?
From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.

My Reveries and Ramblings: I had seen this book on B&N’s coming soon page and had to get it as soon as it was released-which I did at the end of August 2010.  This book brought me into a month long obsession with Italy.  I grilled my parents for days about our family which came from Italy.  I was secretly hoping that there was some sort of cool mystery, death, or curse or something that would allow me to go on the same kind of adventure as the protagonist, Julie, did in Juliet.  I was so disappointed when there was nothing-but I’m not giving my hopes up until I step foot in Italy and find out for myself 😉
      Juliet begins with Julie Jacobs finding out about the death of her great aunt, who raised her and her sister, Janice.  After she is told by Umberto, the butler, and her aunt’s lawyer that the estate was left for Janice, a broke Julie goes to Siena, Italy to find the family treasure that was left for her by their mother.  In college, Julie Jacobs went to Italy with a group of peace activists only to be kicked out of the country and asked to never return.  This time she enters the country as Giulietta Tolomei, her birth name.  On the plane she meets Eva Maria Salimbeni who informs her to be careful about who she tells her name to.  She begins to tell Julie, or Giulietta, about the history between their two families.  What follows is 400 pages filled with a treasure hunt for Juliet’s eyes, a gold statue with very very valuable jewels for eyes.  However, this statue is said to be located at the grave of Romeo and Juliet, which no one has seen since the black plague.  Led by only her dead mother’s notes and a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Julie sets out on a wild treasure hunt.  There is another thing-a powerful curse that all started with the Friar Lorenzo, who was the friar responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s romance all those years ago.  As he was being tortured he cursed the Tolomei (Juliet and Julie’s family) and the Salimbeni (Eva Maria’s family-and the evil man who tore Juliet and Romeo apart’s family) family.

“A plague on both your houses
You shall all perish in fire and gore
Your children forever wail under a mad moon
Till you undo your sins and kneel before the Virgin
And Giulietta wakes to behold her Romeo.”

      Of course Julie doesn’t have an easy time trying to end the curse and find the treasure- what with Alessandro Santini wanting her to stay away from him and his godmother Eva Maria.  Then when he finally befriends Julie, he starts doing some very suspicious things.  Then there’s the issue of someone on a motor cycle who keeps following her everywhere.  And to top it off, the Maestro painter who she befriends and who owns the painting of the original Juliet from all those years ago, tells her that Romeo comes to his studio almost every night to drink a glass of wine and look at the painting.  And no, he is no ghost- for ghosts don’t drink wine.
Take The Da Vinci Code, National Treasure, Romeo and Juliet, and Anne Fortier’s imagination and writing and you get Juliet, a beautiful love story spanning centuries and a treasure hunt.  This is one of my favorite books.  I opened it to skim through before writing this review and ended up rereading it completely -I did not expect to stay up until 5 AM.  And now all I want to do is go to Siena.  Having been to Italy once before (about 4 or 5 years ago) I have to say it felt like Italy, I was right there.  Not only that but I remember seeing the places that she describes in the book, which make it all the more real.
The middle chunk of the book alternates between the past and present.  The past being the “real” Romeo and Juliet in 1340.  The story is sad and tragic.  In my opinion, it’s even more tragic than the Shakespeare version.  Now many years later, their decedents are cursed and trying to break it.  But will Romeo and Juliet of today’s world find love or tragedy?
Julie Jacobs, or Giulietta was a great character.  I truly related to her.  I hated her twin sister, Janice, so much.  But eventually grew to like her.  Alessandro Santini is a hot Italian man.  He is the head of security for the local 500 yr old bank, very hot, and a tortured soul.  Who doesn’t love all that?  Plus he’s got some secrets.
I URGE you to read this book.  Juliet is a passionate tale of love, death, secrets, fate/destiny, and finding oneself.  It will have you believing that Romeo and Juliet existed and that this curse is for real-which of course both aren’t true.  You will be transported to Italy and will never want to leave. You will wish/pray/hope/beg that you can find your Romeo.  You will beseech your parents to let you go to Italy to find love and adventure.  You won’t know what to do with yourself when it ends.

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Juliet

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Just because I think Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest (albeit tragic) love stories of all time:

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Book Review: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Title: Low Red Moon
Author: Ivy Devlin
ISBN: 9781599905105
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Library
Genre: YA/Paranormal/Mystery/Romance
Pages: 256
Rating:  5/5

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. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  When I first picked up this book all I knew about it was that it was a book about a girl who falls in love with a werewolf.  Which seems to be a popular plot element in most paranormal YA books along with vampires and angels.  But since I’m obsessed with love stories I picked it up anyway.  I do not regret it one bit!   It’s a short book so it didn’t take me that long to read.  The book was fast paced and heart racing.  Seriously, my heart was actually racing.  It was beating so hard I had to stop reading to calm down-that’s how suspenseful it was-especially the ending.

The story revolves around Avery Hood, whose parents were just brutally murdered.  She witnessed the murder but can’t remember it.  The only thing she remembers is a flash of silver and blood.  Haunted by nightmares and forced to live with her grandmother, Avery buries herself in the pain of losing her parents.  Strange things start happening to Avery as she tries to remember who murdered her parents- her hair starts changing color (to blood red), her love of her old home draws her into the woods, the murderer is out to remove his only witness, and a cute new student arrives at the local public high school (which Avery attends).

Ben and Avery have a seriously intense relationship.  I love it!  They can sense/feel each other’s emotions which makes it difficult to hide things.  They both know what the other is feeling.  Imagine how amazing it would be if you could feel the love and know with out a hint of doubt how much they loved you.  That’s how Avery and Ben’s relationship is.  Of course both have secrets that they keep, even ones that they don’t even know they have.

Ivy Devlin did a beautiful job with the writing.  I felt the pain that Avery felt when she mourned her parents.  She truly loved them.  She didn’t have that typical “teenager hates parents” relationship that I’ve seen in a lot of YA books.  She was close to her parents.  Also, in the book whenever the word “moon” came up, the word was printed in red-as well as the cover.  The color red was seen throughout the book, not just the typography but also in the story.  It fit perfectly with the story since red symbolizes both love and blood.

Low Red Moon was a sensational debut novel that had me flipping through the pages.  This modern day paranormal retelling of the popular Little Red Riding Hood will leave you wanting a sequel.  I really really really hope Ivy Devlin writes a sequel.  So far I haven’t read anything that says she is-but I’m hoping anyway. I give it 5/5.

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Low Red Moon

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Book Review: Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

Title: Glimmerglass
Author: Jenna Black
Series: Faeriewalker #1
ISBN: 978-0-312-57593-9
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal/Romance/YA/Urban Fantasy
Pages:  294
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads:  It’s all she’s ever wanted to be, but it couldn’t be further from her grasp… Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble.  When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn’t just an ordinary teenage girl—she’s a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie. Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone’s trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does.  Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again…

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Glimmerglass was entertaining.  Dana runs away from home to Avalon, where her faerie father lives.  When she arrives, she is kidnapped by her aunt.  Following is a whole string of kidnappings, attacks, and betrayals.  They all have to do with the fact that Dana is a faeriewalker which means that she’s either wanted to be used or wanted dead.  Ethan and Kimber, faerie siblings, befriend Dana.  Well, Ethan wants to be more than just friends.  Then there is also Keane, Dana’s “bad boy” self defense coach.

I enjoyed reading this book.  It’s not very long, but I was still absorbed in the world.   There were a few things that bothered me.  Although, none had to do with the writing-it was very well thought out.  Many of them revolved around Ethan.  I have such mixed feelings about him.  I hated what he did to Dana (twice!) in the beginning.  I wouldn’t trust him

again.  But then what he did at the end kind of made up for his actions earlier-but still.  I like Keane so much better.  I actually hope she ends up with him.

Dana annoyed me with her stubbornness.  First of all, her father is trying to help and protect her-she ran away so she didn’t have to act like the only adult in the family.  So why is she just ignoring her father’s wishes?  He wants her to stay put so she’s protected and what does she do? She runs away when there are faeries who want her dead…smart.   I mean, her father definitely did some things that I (and Dana) didn’t like and has some opinions that I ( and Dana) seriously don’t agree with, but still he’s got her best interests at heart.  I think Dana made a bunch of really dumb choices. But, she’s only 16, and making mistakes is all apart of being a teenager.  Those mistakes will influence how she makes her future choices.  Black did a great job writing the voice of a teenager who was forced to grow up too soon.

I was drawn into Black’s world of faeries.  There is no way I’m leaving-I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.  I give it 3/5.

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Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, #1)
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Book Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Title: On the Edge
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #1
ISBN: 0441017800
Publisher: Ace
Pub. Date: 2009
Source: Paperback
Genre: Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
Pages:  309
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads: The Broken is a place where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is nothing more than a fairy tale. The Weird is a realm where blueblood aristocrats rule and the strength of your magic can change your destiny.Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, the place between both worlds. A perilous existence indeed, made even more so by a flood of magic-hungry creatures bent on absolute destruction.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Ilona Andrews crafted a fantastic world that combines our mundane world with an alternate world filled with magic.  The mundane reality is known as the Broken.  The alternate realty of our world is called the Weird.  Between the two is a long strip called the Edge-not quite mundane and not fully magic.  People that inhabit this area are kind of like the much less rich and powerful people of the Weird.  Basically everyone there owes allegiance to themselves and their families first.  The story centers around Rose, a twenty something yr old who lives pay check to pay check while raising her two younger brothers-one who is a shifter and the other who can raise people and animals from the dead (taking years off his life).  Rose also has a talent- she can flash white, which is very rare.  Ever since she flashed white during her high school graduation, people in the Edge have been trying to sell her to nobles in The Broken.  Her ex-boyfriend attacked her and tried to sell her-but she was able to get away.  Ever since then Rose doesn’t trust nobles, or anyone else for that matter.

When Declan, a noble, arrives in front of their house, Rose emerges with a gun, jumping to conclusions, and telling him that she will not marry him.  He manages to make a deal with her and ends up living with them.  Since she lost her job, she does not have much of a choice but to let him pay her to stay.  While there, Rose has to give him three challenges.  If he is able to complete the three challenges then she has to leave and go with him back to the Weird.  But Rose seems to have other things on her mind than the challenges-the wolves that have started attacking people in The Edge and internal family problems.

I loved this book!  The villain didn’t really scare me-he could have been more threatening but it bother me too much.  Rose was such a strong character.  She had a really hard life.  Her ability to take everything day by day, hour by hour, problem by problem was really impressive.  Her selflessness was shown throughout the book, mostly in the care she gave to her brothers.  She did everything she could so they could live comfortably.  She was basically like their mother.  Declan, oh boy!  I thought he was an arrogant jerk in the beginning-kind of like how Rose felt.  But then he started to show his soft side.  He loved Rose so much.  He helped her even when she was rude to him. I don’t want to give anything away, but what he did for Rose was so awesome and just heartwarming.

I couldn’t put this book down!  After I finished it, I went back and re-read all my favorite parts.  I so badly want Ilona Andrews to continue with Rose and Declan-even though the end is a kind of “happily ever after-the end” ending.  The world was wonderfully crafted and fun to read.  Everything was just so different from the paranormal/fantasy/romance books out there.  I would definitely recommend this book to all who love a good romance, magic, action, and a bit of mystery.

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On the Edge (The Edge, #1)
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Book Review: Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Title: Marked
Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Series: House of Night #1
ISBN: 0312360266
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pub. Date: 2007
Source: Borrowed Hardcover
Genre: Paranormal/ Romance/ YA/ Fantasy
Pages: 320
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads: The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire–that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny–with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  The day Zoey Redbird was marked changed her life forever.  However, it didn’t change for the worse.  It changed for the better.  At home she had to live with her stepfather, who was a member of a religious group that made her life very difficult.  He thought of Zoey as going down the wrong path in life.  Her mother, of course, listened more to her husband than her daughter.  The day she was marked causes her parents to want to keep her from going to the House of Night, a school for fledgling vampyres-the only chance she has of surviving the change.  With her grandmother’s help, she arrives at the House of Night, but not before having a strange vision/dream that seems to have affected her mark.  At the House of Night, Zoey meets a group of friends who become the family she never really had.  Her time at House of Night isn’t all that easy.  Zoey starts being haunted by ghosts of students who didn’t survive the change.  She also has attracted the attention of school hottie, Erik, and his ex-girlfriend, Aphrodite.   Zoey also has to deal with the fact that her ex-boyfriend, Heath, refuses to be an ex.  Oh, and her markings/tattoos seem to be growing and changing everyday.

I was very hesitant to pick up this book/series.  I had read many mixed reviews on the series as a whole-people either loved it or hated it.  I thought I’d get about halfway through Marked before putting it down; so I never started them.  That is, until my sister-in-law lent me the first 5 books in the series and told me that they were amazingly good.  I didn’t love it.  But it was really interesting and I found myself wanting to find out what happened next.  The world is well-crafted. It is a world filled with pagan rituals, vampyres, and special powers.  The People of Faith reminded me of the Fellowship of the Sun from True Blood.  Zoey is forced into a world that from the outside looks like a curse, but to Zoey its much better than before.   Her friends are great and help her throughout the book.  Zoey’s thoughts on characters and situations is shown through the narration-Zoey’s POV.  I felt like I was in Zoey’s head, seeing everything through her eyes.

Overall, I enjoyed it.  I will definitely be picking up the next in the series.  I give it 3/5.

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Marked (House of Night #1)
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