Tag Archives: Adult

Is it Bad that I liked Allegiant?

 

What would you rate this book?

This book gets 3.5 stars about everywhere you look. To me that indicates a bad rating. I don’t know about you, I don’t typically buy something on amazon with 3.5 stars. I understand why some people hated how this book ended. I mean HATED it, some of those reviews come off livid, even offended at how the author could write what she wrote.

I wasn’t offended, nor did I hate, the acts of the story that ruined it for others. Tris’s big ending was very appropriate for her head strong, ill advised decision making character. I don’t want to spoil it if you have not read it (but we can certainly talk about it in the comments!)

SOOOOOO is it weird that I enjoyed it? Yeah the story has some holes, characters just don’t think things through, I can get past that. Some reviewers said tone and having 2 narrators was an issue, and a means to an end; reviews said the characters sounded exactly the same, but I don’t agree…… well let me add that I listened to the whole series on CD, and I think this might help attribute to why I enjoyed the book so much.  A male narrator was added for Four in addition to the Tris narrator. Both narrator really capture the voice of their perspective characters very well.

I particularly love how Roth writes scenes. She has this knack for using smell to perfectly set a scene. Smell is such an underused sense in writing, and when it is used it is not often used well. I marvel at her ability to tap into this unused literary sense so keenly.

 

 

 

 

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Hybrid

Here, Learn some more about this book:

The 1-line Review:

Great characters and plot within an exciting story, but with some structural issues.

The longer review:

I really like the story, characters, and the new take on well used fantasy roles, but give the book a tough critique when it comes to structure.

Hybrid is the debut novel from author Venus Morales. Its a fresh take on fantasy with a uniquely  diverse array of characters; Greek Gods, Vampires, Demons, Angels, and a new take on phoenixes attribute to a cast of characters I have never seen together. I really enjoyed the authors portrayal of the Greek Gods, Ares and Hera. Greek Gods have been dominated by Rick Riordan fiction (some of my favorite books), and Morales created Godly characters I didn’t expect.

Ultimately, Hybrid is a love story and concentrates on Ari, the main character, and her relationship struggles with others and within herself.  Ari, is a kick butt, do-what-I-want-when-I-want-t0 loner type. She kills demons to let off steam and has no problem doing it with her god-vampire-phoenix ancestry. She has  an inner evil alter ego, Rheain, who is in a constant fight for control of Ari. The back and forth relationship between the two of them was my favorite in story relationship. They can’t live with each other, but can’t live without, and at times they get the best of each other.

There is a love triangle relationship that Ari has to come to terms with through the novel. I don’t want to give more away here, you’ll have to read to see who wins in this Edward vs. Jacob relationship struggle.

I think the middle of the book was the strongest. And there is an excellent story arc where Ari has to fight for the right to remain phoenix royalty while fighting her own demons. I think this middle piece had the chops to be it’s own story.

Bottom Line:

I think this is a strong showing from a new author, and believe the next book in the series will be an even stronger sequel.

….Where the book lost a stars:

This is the hard part, I liked the book plot and story line over all, but felt it had structure weaknesses.

While the story content had a YA feel, I think the writing and verbiage fit better into the juvenile fiction genre. (The book is definitely not meant for the juvenile age range though.)

The books starts with a blunt and unnecessary  prologue. It gave way too much detail away. The prologue could have been left out entirely and the reader would have been able to discover all that info naturally.

While the middle of the book was very strong over all. The beginning happened suuuuuper quick and i felt the ending was rushed.

Alaris- he was supposed to be supreme evil, but I never got more that a bad boy from the wrong side of town vibe from him. His evilness really didn’t develop enough.

I think Alaris was introduced (very quickly) and the main antagonist in the first few pages. Through the middle of the story he all but disappeared.  The middle story are I referred  to as strong is the fight for Ari’s nobility. It felt like a really good story within a story. During it I kept wondering if the Alaris thing was going to resolve at the end. The ending came back to Alaris, but ended very quickly.

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A Badass with Yellow Wings

Here, Learn some more about this book:

The 1-line Review:

A completely unique story and super thrilling read.

The longer review:

 Fledgling is very captivating and hooked me from the beginning. The plot instantly stood out as unique and is different remind me of anything I have read before. Quick spoil free plot- Murdered girl turned archangel in training on quests to save innocents by mind dumping conscious(es) into  evil doers. Cool, right? Author Katrina Copes spin on angels was a real refresher on you typical archetype.

Its all about angels, but I wouldn’t call it christian fiction. This is definitely a 13 and up read due to gruesome fight scenes.Cope really paints each scene very vividly in your brain, and that includes very detailed fight scenes. You can definitely feel the action jump off the page. The bone crunching and cartilage ripping pushed my (relatively low) limits for that kind of action sequence, some will like the realness of it, the faint of heart might, well… faint.

The main angel (no name dropping, kind of a mini spoiler. You’ll understand when you read it) is likable in that annoying kind of way. Her haste and haphazard choices really turn the pages. I can tell if I loved not liking her, or hated liking her. Either way she kept the story going.

Bottom Line:

Great scenes, excellent action.  Highly entertaining, very engaging page turner. Could be the start to a a very worth-reading series.

Where the book lost a half star:

Main angel was the most real feeling character, but she became a bit one tracked, especially in her decision making. One male angel had some decent enough depth. The rest of the small character cast were ambiguous (some by design) or felt very one dimensional.

The gruesomeness pushed the limits a bit. Like I said above, some will love it.

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Magyk plot hinges on coincidence

 

 

The Quick Review:
Magyk is a clever story, riddled with many shortcomings. The plot hinges on happenstance and lack of communication. One smart move by the antagonist and the book would have been over at any point. Yet somehow I still enjoyed the story overall. But the story from start to finish is a little microscopic in setting, and the plot hangs largely on coincidence and chance. It is one of those stories that could have been extinguished very early if characters said the right things or a few more soldiers were thrown at the problem.
That being said, I enjoyed the dynamic between the characters and the quirkiness of the book. The magic system is unique and could be expanded into something very intriguing in the later books.

The Longer Review:
The Book largely happens in two places; the main town and a cottage on a marshy island. There were a couple other places, but all in all most of the protagonists waited out the book in a witch’s cottage. The main protagonists send assassins called hunters and an apprentice wizard boy to apprehend upwards of 5 or 6 people. Sending a small team of people or an inept apprentice to capture 2 powerful wizards, a handful of less powerful wizards, and a princess seems kind of strange. He could of sent a small platoon of men and overwhelmed the small group pretty easily.

The protagonist should have an army, but very few adult soldiers ever show up. There is a ‘young army’ comprised of children, and we can confirm there have been at least 412 soldiers in it, but we hardly see any force try to overwhelm the protagonist refugees like you would normally suspect.

Despite one of the protagonists being the ex-head wizard. Most of her magic is mundane, and she was easily captured in the middle of the story for a spell. So being that the magic is not portrayed as very potent, a group of lackluster soldiers could have ended this book quick, or at least made it more interesting.

A lot of coincidence/destiny occurs throughout the story. These moments are easily foreshadowed, and some could have ended the book in the protagonists favor if the characters worked on their communication skills.

The culmination of the story, which felt like it happened about a chapter or two before the end, was exciting. More magic is used, and some fancy ancient ‘stuff’ (for lack of a better word to give it away) is found and coincidentally (or by destiny) linked with all the main characters. After that the story tied up loose ends. These read like the credits at the end of a movie where they tell you what happened to all the characters after the movie finished. It was interesting but too specific. The author gave us a prologue for virtually every character, right down to ‘washroom girl’ and ‘five travelers from the tavern.’ Honestly, she gave prologues to characters I don’t have any recollection too.

Conclusion:
It is definitely geared toward the 8-12 range, and I think they will enjoy it. I just think the plot line hinges too largley on happenstance and lack of communication. I got this book from the library and I will get the next from the library. The series is worth one more read to see where it goes.

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Winter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney

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Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX5yYhX7lwQ

Release Date: July 15, 2014

 

Giveaway:

includes 5 autographed posters and 5 keychains

Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e9353/

The Story:

In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.

When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul.

Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?

 

The Quick Review:
Winter in the Soul is good story not to be judged by its cover. The cover doesn’t reveal much, but the story is a great adventure-high fantasy, with magic becoming a focal point toward the end. I really, really liked the story line, it is fresh take in the high fantasy/magic genre. The second half of the story read at way too quick a pace.

The main characters are 13-14 years old. The story feel more geared in the juvenile age range (8-12yrs) rather than the young adult genre (13-16yrs.) I think young readers just getting into high fantasy will really enjoy this book. This book hits the juvenile reading level right on the mark.

The Longer Review:

Jennifer Novotney puts a fresh take into high fantasy. The region/town naming convention is based on seasons. The magic system introduced has the potential to be beautifully simple or very complex in later books. Either or, the magic did not feel typical to previous stories I have read. I feel like Winter in the Soul is only scratching the surface on magic and this series could really “blossom” into it. Some pun intended there 🙂

The relationship between Lilika and Talon starts quick, but seems appropriate. Talon is pure chivalry. I like his character and we got to know some about him, but i want to know more and get a little more into his character. Lilika is flighty and is a doer before she is a thinker. Best way to describe her personality, is “on a whim.” She is curious and brave, and her personality shows off well start to finish. She wants to be responsible, but her actions are often misguided and create much of the adventure of the story.

The story started off with good detail and set up. Lilika is introduced and immediately finds the locket, she goes to school and does chores and we get a decent feel for her. She accompanies her father to the market in the town of Summer Harvest, about a half days carriage ride away. Talon, the other main character, is introduced at his home, an inn in summer harvest. We get some background to him and his story. Some detail aside, they get to the market for trading day and then shortly after that the story slams on the gas pedal from there till the end.

The book is 130 pages according to my e-reader. I think the story needed another 100 pages of minor details; segues and transitions and minor and background details. The second half of the story felt like an outline of the major events taking place in a bigger story. I wanted more ‘in between’ content to link things together and provide some continuity.

The first 11 of the 21 chapters were paced well and had good detail; the second half of the book is those 100 pages need to be added. Take chapters 12-13, 11 pages total, as an example. I felt like 6 major story events happened in these 11 pages, pretty much a major event every page and a half. The very end met the same speed up, where I though the culmination of the story spanned too few pages.

My other critique is there were a few inconsistencies and some unanswered questions for me on the reader end; most of these stem back to the fast pace and my want of more minor detail. An example would be how far is Winter in the Soul from Summer Harvest? The characters walk there over the course of those 11 pages, which indicates it is very close, and Lilika and Talon do not rest or eat along the way. Everyone speaks as if it is a hard place to get to, and I got the impression it was far away. The rest of my questions come with the ending chapters, so I will omit them to not to be a spoiler.

Conclusion:
I’m curious to see what towns lie past the few we were introduced in book one, since there are only 4 seasons, and three have been used. I also want to learn more about the magic. How are the protectors of the lockets bound to them, the extents of magic use in WITS, and so on?

The point is, I’m curious and want to know more. I hope there is a second book at some point, as he ending to this one suggests. Big things could happen and would be exciting to read.

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Author Bio:

Jennifer Novotney was born in Burbank, California and lived in Los Angeles for most of her life until settling in North Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She attended California State University, earning a bachelors degree in journalism, and Northern Arizona University, earning a masters degree in English. After college, she spent several years writing and teaching, including at Pennsylvania State University.

Website: www.jennifernovotney.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jennovotney

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jen.novotney

Links:

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20869515-winter-in-the-soul

Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/winter-in-the-soul/id898049246?mt=11

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00LT8DMV6

B&N: STILL WAITING

Kobo:http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=Winter+in+the+Soul

iTunes: STILL WAITING

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/452937

Giveaway:

includes 5 autographed posters and 5 keychains

Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e9353/

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Learning How to be a Vampire

 

The Quick Review:
Count Dracula’s series Teenage Daughter is the first book in what could be a very exciting series. The start of the Transylvanica High series has a mix of Vampire Academy and True Blood (minus all the rated R stuff), but is a unique story and in no way a copycat to either. The first book is geared toward female readership, not to the level of Twilight though. There is a possibility that it take a turn away from the love story and move more towards action in later books, but we have to wait and see.

Story Summary
Sixteen-year-old Kula Lockhart has been living in the town of Harbor Heights, Michigan, for two months now, after moving there with her adopted mom from Cheyenne, Wyoming. She attends Transylvanica High School–one of several integrated pilot schools across the country where human and vampire students peacefully coexist.
Kula has no problem with the human-vampire bonding because she has always believed in equality among the living and the living dead.
But she is caught completely off guard upon learning that she is the half human daughter of Count Dracula, leader of the oldest and most powerful vampire clan.
She soon discovers that there are some sworn to protect her and others out to get her.
Someone is killing vampires and Kula fears she may be on the hit list. Staying alive becomes a priority as she adjusts to her birthright.
She also has a hot human boyfriend named Eriq. Will he accept her for who she is?

The Longer Review:
I want to see where this series leads. I think book one was good. It felt like a well written build up to start off a series. I anticipate the second in the series ramping up the action at a faster pace now that the grounds have been set for the series.

The Transylvanica high series mixes classic vampire lore with a fresh take on vampires in society. Count Dracula’s Teenage Daughter is not another rehash of stories I have read and is very different from the popular Vampire Academy Series. It has the whole school with vampires feel like Vampire Academy, but with a True Blood like version of Vampires being accepted into society. (It does not have any aspects of True Blood Adult aspects, the book is safe for young ages!)

Flowers did well introducing a cast of characters and adding in level of personality and relations ships. Most of the book focused on builds these (antagonist and protagonist) relationships, as well as Kula’s entry into the world of being a vampire. Some suspense and mystery is involved, with a decent surprise finish in the end.

The Vampires seem pretty standard. Fangs retract, silver and wood kill them, and they have to feed on blood. They can compel humans, and anyone they turn into a vampire becomes their sire: pretty standard stuff. What is different is the school. Transylvanica high is not your standard hush-hush secret vampire school. It is one of the first human-vampire integrated schools in America. Vampires have made a treat with humans, blood drives supply the vampire’s food sources, and they can become function members of society.

The story centers around new student Kula coming to Transylvanica high for the first time. As the title implies, she finds out she is Count Dracula’s Daughter and gets roped into two possible feuds. One feud vs. the rival vampire clan, and one vs. human opposition to vampires in society. It is yet to be seen if both these story lines develop at the same time or at different speed. Either will be exciting and I hope for a mix of both.

Conclusion:

Nice opening to a series. Definitely a series that can stand out from others later in the series.  I would recommend this book for girls preteen to teenage girls.

 

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COVER REVEAL: Winter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney

The first cover reveal for Zero2fiction! Jenn Novotney’s first Novel Winter in the Soul. Check back here for a review and release date!

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Story:

In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.

Displaying JennNovotney.jpg

Author Jenn Novotney

When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul.


Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?

Author Bio:

Jennifer Novotney was born in Burbank, California and lived in Los Angeles for most of her life until settling in North Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She attended California State University, earning a bachelors degree in journalism, and Northern Arizona University, earning a masters degree in English. After college, she spent several years writing and teaching, including at Pennsylvania State University.

Website: www.jennifernovotney.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jennovotney

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jen.novotney

 

Links:

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20869515-winter-in-the-soul

Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

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