Category: Young Adult

Review: Shattered Pack (Alpha Girl Book 6) by Aileen Erin

I began the Alpha Girl Series with the first book a few years ago. Once I start a book, I hate not finishing it. With Becoming Alpha, I remember nearly putting the book down. Gasp! Thankfully, I persisted, and this series has become one of my favorites!

 

 

Title: Shattered Pack (Alpha Girl Book 6)

Author: Aileen Erin

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC via NetGalley

Release date: March 2017

Pages: 240

ASIN: B0167DZKVM

Rating:   

 

DESCRIPTION:
Meredith Molloney never thought she’d find a mate, let alone someone like Donovan Murry—one of the most powerful Alpha werewolves alive. Now that she’s no longer cursed and the evil Luciana Alvarez has been taken care of, she thinks life will finally settle down. Boy, she has never been so wrong.

In the middle of the night, Donovan gets a call telling him that his pack has gone to pieces. The news that his second in command has been found brutally murdered has Donovan packing his bags for Ireland, but the last thing Meredith wants to do is go with him. Cosette just warned her that the Irish pack isn’t so happy about Donovan’s choice in mates.

But Meredith’s never let a few angry wolves stop her, and she’s not about to start now. She’s faced down much worse the past few months. But when she gets there, she finds that it’s not just an angry pack that stands in the way between her and her Full Moon Ceremony with Donovan.

Meredith is thrust into a deadly game of pack politics, one a fey beast has happily joined. When the magic and dust settle, she knows she’ll either have everything that she wants or lose it all.

 

REVIEW:
I’m a huge fan of the Alpha Girl Series, but I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the series now that it has moved away from the main couple that we’ve come to love. I shouldn’t have worried. Like the last two books, Aileen Erin managed to pull it off!

Meredith and Donovan are a great couple! I love the way the author wove Meredith’s troubled past throughout the series. Her character growth made me instantly empathize with her—she doesn’t know the meaning of defeat! She was the perfect mate for Donovan. I love the mystery of Donovan. Unfortunately, I expected to learn more about him, but he came off as more of a secondary character. *pouts* He was supposed to be the most dominate alpha werewolf ever, but Meredith showed him up in every scene. While I understand this was her story, it was his as well, and his lack of alphaness was a little disappointing. Thankfully, Aileen Erin managed to expertly combine action and fantastic characters with an unforgettable love story to redeem the book.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and gobbled it down in one sitting. The story might have developed a little slow, but I found the ending was well worth the wait! If you enjoy the Alpha Girl Series, you won’t want to miss this edition. I can’t wait for the next book, where we move back to the main couple…releasing next year! *whimpers*

 

Previous books in the series:

 

Review: Quanta Reset (The Shadow Ravens Book 3) by Lola Dodge

I binge read the first two books in this series, so when book three became available, I snatched it up. I love the possibilities in these stories…who doesn’t want to have super powers!

 

 

Title: Quanta Reset (The Shadow Ravens Book 3)

Author: Lola Dodge

Genre: YA Science Fiction Romance via NetGalley

Publisher: Self-published

Release date: September 2016

Pages: 388

ASIN: B015GI4B46

Rating: 

 

DESCRIPTION:
Quanta has escaped her laboratory prison, but that’s where the good news ends.

 

Life at the Shadow Ravens’ compound is a disaster. She’s drowning in visions of the dark pasts and darker futures of her fellow Ravens and is plagued by her own panic-inducing memories, but Lady Eva still expects her to “train” and “participate in missions.” Plus, the food tastes like burnt plastic.

 

The only bright spot is her genetic pairing to the brilliant Altair Orpheus. As their relationship grows, she’s positive that chemicals aren’t the only things drawing them together—although chemistry is definitely involved.

 

While they test the limits of her game-changing new ability to reset time, word arrives from Eva’s agents: Doctor Nagi is still experimenting with her DNA.

 

 

REVIEW:
I read this book three weeks ago, but the thought of writing a review has left me conflicted. Quanta and Altair were great characters…in the last book. Unfortunately, I don’t think they needed a second book. More than half the story dealt with Quanta and Altair struggling to understand and control her powers. The same issue was repeated over and over and felt redundant. Added to the fact that they solved the problem in one page made me feel the book was a bit superfluous. Worse, the solution wasn’t something that they figured out or solved on their own, it just fell into their lap. Very disappointing. I think it tainted my view of the whole book.

 

Don’t get me wrong—the writing was great. I loved getting to know more about the Ravens and exploring everyone’s unique abilities. I even loved their missions and the new characters introduced in this story. I highly enjoyed the action scenes, so much so, that I wished there were more of them.

 

So, I’m not sure if I just hit a reading slump with this book or if I didn’t just *love* it as much as the first two books in the series. I wanted something new and shiny to fawn over, and it never really happened. If you enjoy this series, by all means, read Quanta Reset. If you’re not hooked on The Shadow Ravens Series, I would suggest you skip this book.

 

 

Previous books in the series:

 

Review: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Book 1) by Zoraida Cordova

I love the image on the cover, but what sold me was the blurb. I really liked the possibility of a dark Wonderland mixed with magic! How cool, right?!

 

 

Title: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Book 1)

Author: Zoraida Cordova

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley

Release date: September 2016

Pages:336

ASIN:B01ENNQ24M

Rating: 

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION:
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

 

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

 

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

 

 

REVIEW:
The beginning of the book began a little slow. I had a hard time connecting with Alex, but once they traveled to the land in-between, the story really began to take off! Think a wicked version of The Wizard of Oz mixed with Alice in Wonderland. *Score!*

 

I adored the world building and the unique characters that populated this fantasy world—all except for Alex. Unfortunately, she seemed very selfish at times, and I just couldn’t sympathies with her.

 

The romance portion of the book started off shaky, then quickly fell apart. The love triangle felt forced. Not only did it come out of nowhere, it just didn’t ring true. It’s a shame, because the romance could’ve really made the story so much stronger.

 

So, while I enjoyed Zoraida Cordova’s vivid imagination, the characters ultimately didn’t work for me, which is a shame, since the book could’ve been awesome. Very disappointing.

 

 

Review: Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade Book 3) by Jennifer Estep

I’ve been hooked on the Black Blade series from the start. Not only are the covers gorgeous, the writing is top notch. If you enjoy young adult urban fantasy, check out this series – You won’t be disappointed!

 

Title: Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade Book 3)

Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Kensington via NetGalley

Release date: April 2016

Pages: 368

ASIN: B0138NHG02

 

Rating:

 

 

DESCRIPTION:

Bad Things Always Come In Threes. . .

 

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

 

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

 

 

REVIEW:

Lila Merriweather has had a hard life, forced to live on the streets after her mother was brutally murdered, stealing to put food on the table. Things changed when she met and fell in love with Devon Sinclair, the son and heir to the powerful Sinclair Family. Now she lives in luxury, spending her days protecting Devon…only it turns out to be a full-time job to keep him alive. Victor Draconi wants to own Cloudburst Falls. The only way that will happen is by killing the other Families and destroying everything Lila holds dear. Not going to happen. Lila is determined to do whatever it takes to keep her new family alive…even if she has to sacrifice herself to do it.

 

I’ve been enchanted by the Black Blade series from the first book and not just because of the beautiful covers. The characters are so well-developed, I could easily imaging them as real people with real problems. Even the quirky secondary characters were a hoot. I love the innocent romance between Lila and Devon. You can actually see them falling in love on the page. Devon is a sweetheart and really adores Lila. He’s strong enough to let her be herself, even if it means that she has to save him at times. I adored the monsters and their unique personalities. Lila’s connection to the beasties made them so very real that they jumped off the page. You would think with all that going on – great world building and romance – that the urban fantasy part would suffer. Do not fear, there was still enough action for me to get my violence fix. Bright Blaze of Magic is a very innocent, very nice young adult urban fantasy, proving that Jennifer Estep is a master at her craft. I’m sorry to see this series end. I liked how Estep wrapped up the series, and I sighed in pleasure and sadness when I closed the book on these wonderful characters and beautiful world.

 

These books should be read in order for maximum enjoyment.

 

 

Previous books in the series:

 

 

Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black

I have a couple books from Jenna Black in my library, but I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. When I learned she was starting a new YA Horror series, I jumped on the chance to find out more. Just look at the creepy-beautiful cover! Horror is right up my alley…a city that comes alive with magic—how could I resist?!

 

 

Title: NightStruck

Author: Jenna Black 

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Publisher: Tor Teen via NetGalley

Release date: April 2016

Pages: 303

ASIN:B010M278AU

Rating:

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION:

The night is the enemy, and the city of Philadelphia is its deadliest weapon.

 

Becket is an ordinary teenage girl, wrestling with the upheaval of her parents’ divorce. A studious high school senior, her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents’ ambitious expectations for her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend’s boyfriend. But that all changes on the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong.

 

Unbeknownst to her, Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds, allowing a dark magic into the mortal world. As the magic trickles in, the city begins to change at night. Strange creatures roam the streets, and inanimate objects come to life, all of them bloodthirsty and terrifying. The city returns to normal when the sun rises in the morning, and no one can capture the strange changes–such as potholes turning into toothy mouths and wires turning into strangling vines–on film, which prompts the government to declare that the city has been infected with some kind of madness and must be quarantined. Meanwhile, venturing out of one’s house at night has become a dangerous proposition, and the moment the sun sets, most of the citizens of the city shut themselves up in their houses and stay there even in the case of dire emergencies.

 

The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some individuals it seems to covet, trying to lure them out into the night. While Becket struggles to protect her friends and family from predatory creatures of the night, she is constantly tempted to shrug off all her responsibilities and join them. Joining the night world means being free of not just responsibility, but conscience, and it means no longer caring about the fate of others.

 

 

REVIEW

Becket is a loner, struggling through her senior year of school, when she began to notice odd things happening around her. It all started when she’d tried to help a stranger, and they vanished before her eyes. With one drop of blood, she’d accidently opened a portal between worlds and allowed dark magic to escape. Now, magic has infecting the city, turning it deadly. Anyone who ventures out at night is at risk of dying or worse…being turned into one of the creature of the night. In order to save the boy she’s falling in love with, Becket must decide what she is willing to sacrifice…or loose everything.

 

The book started off slowly, the mystery taking a long time to develop as we’re dragged step-by-step into Becket’s mundane life. When I read this book was horror, I was really excited, but Becket didn’t really work for me—she was just too young and naïve to carry the weight of the story to do it justice. While she did display a few sparks of courage, there was nothing daring or kick-ass about her to keep me interested. Once the creepy-crawlies of the night word came to life, I found my interest peaking. I loved the imagination, but just when it felt like we were getting somewhere, the tension vanished with Becket’s lack of courage. The city has been under siege for months, but Becket seemed to be a bystander in her own story, only taking action when forced and not even then. Major disappointment. When it looked like the book might turn around, the story ends abruptly in a big cliff-hanger. So, while I really enjoyed the unique horror ambiance, I’m not sure I care enough about Becket to read book two. *bummer* Wonderfully creep world! Too bad the characters failed to live up to the adventure…