Tag: paranormal

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Posted January 13, 2017 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17th 2013
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Goodreads
five-stars

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

I had every intention of doing a video review for The Dream Thieves after I read it but then got nervous, since it was so close to the release of The Raven King, that I would get spoiled for later books in the series. Whether blatant spoiling or simply from people dropping subtle hints about later developments I’d be speculating about in my review… So I put it off.

I’ve already done a video review on The Raven Cycle here, and a lot of my thoughts remain the same for The Dream Thieves. The world feels magical and dark, and that atmosphere carries into everything about the reading experience. I actually liked this book far more than the first one, one of the main reasons most likely being that it was less scary for me. I walk a fine line with these books and they can creep me out at times, so I feel I have to be on guard and can’t fully connect with the story. Since The Dream Thieves takes a bit of a break from the main plot, it allowed me to connect a bit more. That may either be a plus or a minus for some people, as I know some reviewers hated that it strayed from the main plot too much. I personally liked a lot of the back story we got on various characters, and delving more into dream magic and it’s ramifications. I also found the villain enigmatic yet tragic, and the entire tone of this installment is something I wish we’d be getting more of. But sadly, for me, we will be returning to the main plot in the next book. And I’ll return to being on edge.

This second book stays true to the tone of the overall story, and the deep focus on this band of characters and their relationships. Fans of the series will enjoy this book, even if it meanders a bit more than some may like.

five-stars

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Everneath by Brodi Ashton | Review

Posted January 4, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Everneath by Brodi Ashton | ReviewEverneath (Everneath, #1) by Brodi Ashton
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 24th 2012
Genres: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 370
Goodreads
two-stars

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.
Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.

I’m always on the search for good Hades and Persephone retellings. This summary gave me hope. It talks about a girl who survived the underworld and comes back to the surface. Even without the obvious Persephone themes, those are some of my buzzwords. The marketing and design of the cover also scream Hades and Persephone. Unfortunately… that was all a ruse.

This is not a Hades and Persephone retelling. This is more of an Orpheus and Eurydice retelling, with a random “love triangle” thrown in. Except I wouldn’t even consider it a love triangle, because, to me, that implies that both love interests have an equal chance. They don’t. It’s very obvious from the beginning who Nikki has chosen. Which is fine, except it makes the whole love triangle thing even more pointless than it usually is.

If this was marketed like the Orpheus and Eurydice retelling that it is, I think it would be more successful and would have gotten a higher rating from me as I would have had realistic expectations. I know Hades and Persephone is pretty marketable right now, but it’s not as if Orpheus and Eurydice is unpopular. In fact, there are plenty of people seeking retellings of the myth as well.

Aside from all of that, the writing style isn’t anything to write home about. Although it’s a quick read, there are a few things used that I don’t tend to enjoy. Most prominently, the always annoying Capitalization Of Random Words To Denote Importance In This World. For example, Everlings. Eveneath. Feed. The author then chooses to not really explain these things at all, just uses the capitalization to show they are ~important~. The reader is very much thrown into the story with no explanation.

Overall, I considered this story a letdown. The characters weren’t anything to write home about, the writing is fairly mediocre, and I don’t find the romance very compelling. I have continued with the series, because it’s easy and I do plan on reading anything even vaguely “Hades and Persephone”, but it’s not something I’d recommend to most people.

two-stars

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Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout | REVIEW

Posted May 8, 2016 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout | REVIEWOnyx (Lux, #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Entangled Teen on August 14th 2012
Genres: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 366
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarre connection. I’ve sworn him off even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But against all common sense, I’m falling for him. Hard.
Our relationship issues aren’t out biggest problem…
The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And when a new boy shows up a school with a secret of his own, things get complicated fast. I need to choose between my own instincts and Daemon’s.
But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. Daemon’s never going to stop searching until gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies.

I picked up Onyx during Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in 2015 because Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing is so quick to read. Her books are like cotton candy to me. Delicious, fun, and an occasional indulgence, but not something I can live off of.

Onyx picks up right where Obsidian left off. Katy and Daemon continue with never-ending “will they won’t they” dance for the majority of the book, which is a little tedious. I enjoyed and appreciated their reluctance to get together in the first book, but after events of the first book, that back and forth lasted a bit too long in Onyx. It is very obvious to us, as readers, that they are going to get together so what is the point in prolonging the inevitable?

With that being said, I still enjoyed their dynamic. Daemon is much more likeable in this book, although he’s still not someone I would personally want to date. Armentrout’s writing continues to be fun and easy to read. With Katy being a book blogger, there are nods to bloggers sprinkled throughout that I always enjoy.

Ultimately, this series continues to be one I’ll reach for when I need to get out of a slump or want something to inhale read.

three-half-stars

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | REVIEW

Posted October 26, 2015 by Samantha in reviews / 1 Comment

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on September 18th 2012
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 409
Goodreads

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

 

 

 

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Rogue by Rachel Vincent | REVIEW

Posted August 27, 2015 by Samantha in reviews / 1 Comment

Rogue by Rachel Vincent | REVIEWRogue (Shifters, #2) by Rachel Vincent
Published by Mira Books on April 1st 2008
Pages: 394
Goodreads
two-stars

Okay, so cats don't always land on their feet.
I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I've made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I'm working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty.
But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We're beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...

After all the fun I had with Stray, I was expecting to love Rogue just as much. Sadly, I found it disappointing.

First off, although this one is smaller than the first book, I found it to drag. I thought the plot was very predictable, and we were missing all of the character interactions that I loved from the first book.

Also, Faythe’s character wasn’t what it was in the first book. I found her rashness to be more annoying than enjoyable. There were also times where a plot point was very obvious, and it took her some time to figure out. This is not the perceptive character I loved in the first book.

Lastly, I found the relationship in this book to be problematic. What was an equal power dynamic in the first book switched to a relationship that read as very emotionally abusive. I expect these alpha male type characters in a book like this, and I can enjoy them. But the love interest crossed the lines in a lot of ways in this book and Faythe did not have the power that she had in the first book, which rubbed me the wrong way.

Overall, I found this book to be a completely different experience than the first book. I do plan to continue on with the series, but I am going to take a break before continuing, as this book left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

 

two-stars

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Stray by Rachel Vincent | REVIEW

Posted August 23, 2015 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

Stray by Rachel Vincent | REVIEWStray (Shifters, #1) by Rachel Vincent
Published by Mira Books on June 1st 2007
Genres: Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Pages: 618
Goodreads
five-stars

There are only eight breeding female werecats left...
And I'm one of them.
I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.
Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.
I'd been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.
This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back... for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...

I had a really good time with Stray. Some of my favorite series of all time are from the urban paranormal genre, and I spent my time re-reading those books over and over throughout high school and college. So this book felt like a return home. It had all of the tropes of the genre that I know and love, making it feel familiar and nostalgic to me.

Faythe is a character that I really enjoy. She is stubborn and rash, but she also is very perceptive and strong. She is from a group of people that are very animalistic in nature (since they kind of are animals) and as such, she is surrounded by misogyny. But she as a character is not okay with that, and is always trying to subvert that. I found myself pulling for her throughout the story, even when she was making decisions that were less than thought out.

There were parts of the plot that I found a tad predictable, but that could be because of the amount of this genre that I have read. Having said that, I didn’t really read this book for the plot. I really enjoyed the world building and being introduced to all of these new characters and this new mythos surrounding shifters. I enjoyed all of the characters interactions.

The romantic elements of the plot I really enjoyed in this installment. Faythe has a pre-page one love interest who has come back into her life, as he is an ex, and I enjoy their relationship. I found it to be realistic, with a lot of back and forth, and that is what I like. Faythe gave as much as she got, and I really felt that she held her own in their power struggle.

Overall, I really enjoyed this first book. I read it in one sitting and found it to be the perfect start to a series.

 

five-stars

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The Wanderers by Kate Ormand | Waiting on Wednesday

Posted July 8, 2015 by Samantha in waiting on wednesday / 0 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday bannerWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

thewanderersStats:

Title: The Wanderers
Author: Kate Ormand
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Young Adult- Fantasy/Paranormal
Release Date: September 1, 2015

synopsis (From goodreads)

A unique twist on shapeshifters with high-pace action, thrilling adventure, a bit of mystery, and a beautiful romance.

Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shapeshifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into panic.

In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. Shifters have heard stories of their kin taken to labs for testing—a place they will never leave—while hunters deem the others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving, and keep themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.

When the elders notice four specific hunters have been attending the show each night, the tension in the camp rises. Believing she brought the attention to the group, Flo feels the dread and anxiety the most, causing her to make a mistake during her performance—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.

Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, a bear shifter who loves her, the annoying elephant triplets, and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand. They unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives and discover an unthinkable betrayal by the people they trusted the most.

my thoughts

I’m not going to lie… I was originally drawn in by this cover. I am always on the hunt for books that will remind me of the magic at atmosphere of The Night Circus. But when I stumbled upon this, I thought it sounded like an original story. I haven’t read a book focusing on shapeshifters in some time, and I’d like to get back to my urban fantasy roots a bit. This sounds like it could be a very fun and unique read.

Samantha Signature

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Syrena Legacy Trilogy by Anna Banks | REVIEW

Posted April 20, 2015 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1) by Anna Banks
Published by Feiwel & Friends on May 22nd 2012
Genres: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 324
Goodreads

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

 

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