Book Review: Seers of Light by Jennifer DeLucy

Title: Seers of Light
Author: Jennifer DeLucy
Series: Light #1
ISBN: 978-1936305032
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Pub. Date: February 2010
Source: Kindle
Genre: Paranormal/ Romance/ Fantasy
Pages: 396
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads:  Lillian Hunt has never truly lived. Always sensing more to the world than is easily perceived, she fears that her instincts are stubborn flights of fancy, or worse, mental instability. But some things—disappearing strangers, tangible dreams, and visits from malevolent creatures—cannot be ignored. Before it’s too late, Lillian is ripped from the only existence she’s ever known and thrust into a reality that she always suspected, but could scarcely believe. She must learn the truth about who she is, the powerful beings that wish to destroy her, and the two men who would die to protect her.  Jennifer DeLucy has created a unique, enchanting tale of destiny and the ageless power of love in her debut novel, Seers of Light. DeLucy’s novel charms readers with quirky characters, while sketching a haunting portrait of one woman’s journey on the path of the supernaturally gifted. But be prepared. Once you’ve entered the world of Seers, you will never be the same.

My Reveries and Ramblings: Jennifer DeLucy’s Seers of Light is a journey of love, hope, and courage.  The story follows Lily, a pathcrosser and empath, who is saved by Christian from a vampire attack.  After a brief explanation from Christian, he takes her to Georgia to Abram and the other endowed people.  There she discovers who she really is and her destiny, to battle evil spirits and beings.  She trains with William, the vampire with a soul.  Before their first training session Lily decides to hate him for what he is not who.  He expects and puts up with her attitude stating that she can hate him all she wants just as long as she learns what she needs to survive.  As the training sessions continue, she starts to see the humanity in William.  Christian, seeing that Lily is being less hostile with William, becomes very clingy, even though they are not dating.  He starts to follow her around like a “golden retriever.”  When a coven of vampires located near her hometown starts to threaten Lily’s new happy life, she along with her new family, must defeat them, or die trying.
All the characters in Seers of Light were real.  I found I had a lot in common with Lily.  Although, I don’t think I’m quite as stubborn as she is.  After spending most of her life seeing spirits and being empathetic, Lily is more than happy to go where she is accepted and even admired for her abilities.  She is very kind, but also judgmental and a bit gullible.  Her love interest in the story is William Maddox.  I could talk about William for the rest of my life.  In fact, I’ve reread Seers of Light so many times that I’ve actually lost count, all because of William.  Even after reading it X amount of times I still feel my heart beat erratically whenever he walks in the room, or speaks, or is brought up in the conversation.  Jennifer DeLucy did a marvelous job writing his character.  William is a vampire who got his soul back.  Everything about him is human except his body.  The sentients, other endowed people, around the world aren’t too fond of him, nor is Christian.  Christian spends most of his time voicing his hatred of William to his face.  Poor William.  He is so tortured but still strives to do what is right.  Unlike Christian, William allows Lily to make her own mistakes and decisions.  All I can say is that every time William did something or said something especially cute or witty I pretty much swooned- which was quite often.  Christian bugged me.  There were so many times when he interrupted William and Lily moments that got me out of my seat screaming “Shut up, Christian!” or “Go away, Christian!”  But to be fair, Christian has problems of his own.   By the end, I thought Christian was okay.  Abram was kind of like the head of the house.  If I had to pick an actor to play him it would be Morgan Freeman.  He’s wise and very grandfatherly.  The rest of the characters are beautifully brought to life and fill the novel with an amazing story.
Jennifer DeLucy explores love and courage in her novel.  Love is a huge, and I mean gigantic huge, theme in Seers of Light.  She forces the characters to examine their hearts and what it means to love.  Love takes courage-it is a leap of faith.  As a reader, I felt the love wrapped around the characters.  To love someone, sometimes sacrifices must be made to keep or save that love.  Seers of Light contained every form of love as well as the ups and downs of it.
Seers of Light is one of those books that I can’t recommend enough.  I’ve read this book more than three times (lost count after that).  After every reread, I dreamt about William.  I’m not exaggerating.  I did.  This is the only book that I’ve dreamt about more than once.  It will stick in your mind.  It will make you reflect about your own life and how love has affected you.  The smooth and easy flow of reality and the paranormal is proof of Jennifer DeLucy’s skill at story-telling.  The paranormal aspect takes up a huge part of the book, but it is so completely believable that you barely notice it.  There are so many books where the paranormal is just too unbelievable that it ruins the book for me.  I’m so glad my library didn’t have this book.  By buying a copy (kindle!) I am now able to bring it with me wherever I go.  Which means, William goes with me everywhere 😉   Goodness!  Seers of Light is an exceptional novel.  The characters are memorable, the dialogue is absorbing, the suspense is thrilling, and the romance is truly beautiful.  I adored this book!

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Seers of Light (Light, #1)
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Book Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Crescendo
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush Hush #2
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8943-1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Pub. Date: October 2010
Source: Library
Genre: YA/Romance/Supernatural
Pages: 432
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads: Nora Grey’s life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn’t pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He’s more elusive than ever and even worse, he’s started spending time with Nora’s arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.
Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Path hadn’t been acting so distant. Even with Scott’s totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him – despite her lingering feeling that he’s hiding something.
Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she trusts

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Crescendo begins shortly after the events of Hush Hush.  Patch is now Nora’s guardian angel and their relationship is starting to move forward.  Well, that is until Nora confesses her love to Patch.  Instead of saying “I love you” back, he quickly drives away leaving Nora feeling hurt and rejected.  Determined not to dwell to much on what happened she buries herself in her studies for summer school, which she happens to be taking alongside Marcie, who loves to remind Nora that her father is dead.  Patch seems to be spending a lot of time with Marcie, knowing how much Nora hates her.  When Nora confronts him about it, he becomes evasive, not giving her an answer.  When Scott, Nora’s childhood “friend” has moves into town.  He takes an interest in spending time with Nora.  To piss Patch off, Nora starts spending time with Scott as well as pulling reckless stunts, including scaling a roof and stealing a car.
Everything in Nora’s life is starting to fall apart.  I actually felt really bad for her.  I’m surprised she didn’t have some sort of mental breakdown.  Between seeing her father walking around town to managing to be in the middle of a feud among the fallen angels, archangels, and nephilim, Nora has a lot on her mind.  Her romance with Patch also has become forbidden, leaving them in a Romeo and Juliet situation-which is kind of romantic, I think.
Even though I think Becca Fitzpatrick wrote a great book and I’m definitely reading the 3rd one, I still don’t like Patch all too much.  Although I did like him more in Crescendo than I did in Hush Hush.  He’s too sketchy and seriously needs to start being completely open with Nora.  I loved the use of motivation in this series.  Characters are so flat without it.  Each character, even the obscure ones, have motivation backing up their choices.  This makes the pop up surprises and plot twists all the more fun because then you’re like “OMG! I can’t believe that happened!….Oh.  Now I see, of course.”  Scott creeped me out from the beginning, even though his character surprised me at the end.  I loved how Vee kept calling him “Scotty the potty” and “Scotty the hottie.”  I would love to have a best friend like Vee.  She is hilarious.
Crescendo’s climactic ending had me on the edge of my seat.  Just when I thought it was all over and the last page would read “The End,” Becca Fitzpatrick pulled the strings that brought the curtain down a few minutes later, leaving us with a cliffhanger.  That last page had me reeling with questions.  Now I will have to wait until Silence comes out to find out what happens next.

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Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)
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Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush Hush #1
ISBN: 978-1416989424
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Pub. Date: October 2009
Source: Kindle
Genre: Supernatural/Romance/YA/Fantasy
Pages:  417
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads:  For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her…until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  I read Hush Hush after reading Fallen by Lauren Kate.  Once I realized that there are paranormal/supernatural books about things other than vampires I eagerly grabbed my kindle and bought this book.  I liked it.  It wasn’t for me though.  It was interesting, which is why I read CrescendoHush Hush revolves around Nora, a teenaged girl who lives with her widowed mother.  Her father was murdered before the book begins.  When Patch, a fallen angel posing as a high school student, gets paired up with Nora for class, she tries to make the best of the dim situation.  He makes her uncomfortable and refuses to answer any of her questions.  With Nora’s grade hanging in the air, she follows him and finds out that he is, indeed, one not to be messed with.  Trying to have a normal high school experience, Nora wants nothing to do with Patch.  But with Nora’s life in jeopardy, Patch becomes a necessary part of her survival.  Even if it means giving up what he wants the most.
I started this book hoping it would blow my mind away.  I was a bit disappointed.  Hush Hush was creative and suspenseful.  The only problem I really had with it was Patch.  I just didn’t like him.  He was the typical bad-boy-does-good character.  Patch’s sketchiness was just too much for me.  Sketchy creeps me out. I liked him a bit better at the end.  Although all his secrets still made me question whether his intentions were all good.  Patch’s decisions aren’t so much based on right and wrong but on what he wants and how to achieve that end no matter the cost.
Nora is your typical teenaged girl.  Although I don’t know many teenagers that would go out at night to a part of town they’ve never been in just to get answers for a school assignment.  Some of things she did, I would never do.  It was fun to read, though.  I really admired Nora’s determination and refusal to just sit and let things happen to her.  The scenes that involved both Nora and Vee were fun to read.
Hush Hush was engaging.  The end was very suspenseful and had me page flipping (or kindle swiping) until the very end.  The end took me completely by surprise.  The twist redeemed the book for me.  Patch and Nora’s actions towards the end were touching and dramatic.  Hush, Hush isn’t my favorite book in the world, but still an entertaining read.  It had a bit of everything-love, suspense, mystery, action, and the supernatural.  Becca Fitzpatrick wrote a story about love, sacrifice, and what it means to be human.

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Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)

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Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #1
ISBN: 978-1423121305
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Pub. Date: March 2010
Source: Library
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Paranormal/Magic
Pages:  336
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

My Reveries and Ramblings:   First of all, let me start off by saying that this book was so much better than I expected. To prove my point, when I was about ¾ through the book I fell asleep (it was 3 AM) and I dreamt about Hex Hall. My dream was exactly like the book except for the location of Hecate Hall. Instead of being in the US, the school was located in Brazil. And of course I was Sophie.
Sophie, the daughter of the head of the Council, is sent to Hecate Hall, also known as Hex Hall, for using magic irresponsibly. She hates it. She doesn’t fit in and everyone seems to know more about her than she does. It probably has to do with the fact that she has never actually met her father. The teachers, in an effort to avoid showing favoritism, treat Sophie more harshly then the other students. This means getting thrown into detention three days a week for the whole semester. But its not that bad-she has the super hot Archer to keep her company. When the girls of the coven, the super popular and powerful clique of girls, start getting attacked, everyone starts blaming Jenna, Sophie’s vampire roommate. Throughout the book, Sophie is trying to prove Jenna’s innocence as well as trying to discover who she, herself, is.
Hex Hall was very entertaining. It was suspenseful, funny, and enjoyable. Sophie is very go with the flow. Her voice was fun to read. Her opinions were very real. She wasn’t trying to be the teenaged adult. She was a teenager and acted accordingly. Sophie followed her instincts when it came to dangerous situations and didn’t sit there and overestimate her abilities. Ah, Archer. I’m not sure how I feel about him. Those of you who read the book know what I mean. I think he’s hot. His attitude made him even more attractive. There’s just something about him. I never got that “I want him” feeling that I find necessary in the male love interest. Now Cal, I’d much rather he be the love interest in this book. I don’t know why but I really liked Cal. I mean I really liked Cal. He’s got healing hands 😉 Plus, he’s what, 20? 21? His character is obscure which is a bit disappointing. Hopefully he has a larger role in the upcoming books.
As I read Hex Hall, I visualized it like a Disney movie. A PG-13 Disney movie. I’m not sure why, but that’s how I saw it unfolding in my head. Don’t get me wrong-it was a great book. Rachel Hawkins did an exceptional job. The writing was easy to read. There was never a moment where I was confused or rereading to see if I missed something.

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Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)

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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: 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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