Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Future Reads #3

What's coming out soon that I can't wait to read (and that you should read, too)?

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication date: July 12, 2011

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater.

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

I'm currently reading Shiver, the first book in this series, and I totally love it! Now that I know the third installment is ready to be released very soon, it made sense to me to make it the subject of a "Future Reads" post. This series is so amazing!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Boyfriend Is a Monster #1 by Evonne Tsang

My Boyfriend Is a Monster #1: I Love Him to Pieces
by Evonne Tsang; Janina Gorrissen (Illustrator)

Genre: Paranormal Graphic Novel
Reading Grade: YA
Publishing Type: traditional
Publication Date: April 2011
Source: public library
Rated: Teen (13+)

Can love survive the zombie apocalypse? Maybe Dicey's first chance at a real relationship was dead from the start. She's the star of her high school baseball team, and Jack's the star of the science program. Her idea of a study session includes sleeping in the sun, and his idea of a good game involves dungeons and dice. But opposites start attracting when they're assigned to be partners in a class project. Now an outbreak of a weird infection—it eats your brains and leaves you hungry for more—might not mean just the end of their first date. It might mean the end of everything. Will their relationship fall apart faster than zombies in the Florida sun, or can Dicey and Jack beat the odds and find a happy ending?

My Review 

I Love Him to Pieces (the first book in a series) takes place in Florida where baseball star Dicey Bell is paired up with her fellow high school student, Jack Chen, for a Health Ed project. She is a jock and he is a nerd. Somehow they end up liking each other and Jack Chen asks her out on a date that turns into the worst date imaginable because the zombie apocalypse breaks-out in their area during their date. 

This is my first review of a true graphic novel (not a manga), which I love to read along with regular ol' fiction. Nice thing is, NO superheros in tights. Thus, I Love Him to Pieces is a very cute little romantic zombie apocalypse story that could easily function as paranormal romance fiction. 

There was nothing particularly earth-shattering about the story-telling, nor the characterization (but, what happens is earth-shattering to the characters' lives, of course). There's nothing here that I haven't seen done before somewhere else, but it is a nice way to turn off your brain and read a brain-eating zombie story before you turn in for the night, assuming that sort of thing relaxes you. 

I will say that it is very sweet and romantic, but I just didn't buy Dicey's and Jack Chen's very quickly burgeoning love for each other. Seriously, it was way too fast to make such confessions to each other, since they barely knew each other before being paired up for their Health Ed project. But, I did like Dicey as a character. She was lively and tough enough to be the only girl on the boy's high school baseball team. Jack Chen was cute in a geeky sort of way. 

The art is very good, although I usually prefer manga-style art. But, the art in this volume is very professional-looking and pleasing to the eye. It's worth reading if you already like zombie fiction with a side of romance, or already like reading graphic novels. 

My score: 3 out of 5 stars

Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Haul #4

Here are a few e-books I got recently that I can't wait to dig into! Hopefully, I'll be able to post reviews for them one day, but if not, you know I've got 'em...

by J.A. Konrath

All hell is about the break loose. For real.

In reality, Satan is not a handsome gentleman as portrayed by a Hollywood leading man. Viewing him through the Plexiglas, he's a frightening beast, massively muscled, with hoofs the size of washtubs and the serrated teeth of a carnivore. The demon can be pleasant, even chatty, and delights in showing off his power of resurrecting the dead sheep he dines upon. To some of the staff studying him at the secret government compound, he's even likable.

That is, until he escapes...

Konrath is a big name in the self-publishing industry and I sampled a bit of this book from the beginning, and it seemed very well-written & engaging right-off-the-bat. I just hope it doesn't scare me too much!

Out of Time: A Paranormal Romance
by Monique Martin

New York in the 1920's is the world of Prohibition, speakeasies and an underground run by the underworld. Vampires and mobsters vie for power in the seedy underbelly of Manhattan. 

A mysterious accident sends Professor Simon Cross and his assistant, Elizabeth West back in time to face demons real and imagined. 

Simon Cross has spent his life searching for vampires and now that he’s found one, it just might take from him the only woman he’s ever loved. Simon’s life has been a ritual of research into the occult and stoic solitude. He prefers it that way. Until he meets Elizabeth West. 

A gambler’s daughter, Elizabeth knows a bluff when she sees one. Behind Simon’s icy glares and nearly impenetrable armor beats the heart of a man in desperate need of love. 

Trials of murder, intrigue and danger push Simon and Elizabeth to the edge of sanity. 

This is another indie author read that sounded interesting to me since I love historicals and mad scientists. Well, even if the main male character isn't "mad", he's still a scientist.

Wings (Wings, #1) 
by Aprilynne Pike

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words. Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever. 

I got this e-book for free on my Kindle when it was first released back in May of this year (kind of recently!) during its early Kindle e-book promotion. It seems like everybody likes this title and it looks to be a good read. After all, the first book in the series was free, so naturally I'd try out this paranormal romance...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Download FREE YA Audiobook Titles All Summer!

*Ignore that is says "2010" on the banner ad*

I've got some great news! is giving away 2 FREE YA audiobook titles EVERY WEEK ALL SUMMER LONG! 

This week they're giving away an audiobook version of SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater (June 23 - June 29). We all know that is a popular YA paranormal romance read!

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater

the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

I haven't read this series yet, so image how excited I was to see I could get not only a free book, but a free audiobook at that! You can be sure a future review is coming out of this, even if the book is a couple of years old already... 

And, if you love reading non-paranormal/fantasy books, they'll be giving away plenty of YA titles in other genres all summer long. 

Happy listening!

Book Blogger Hop #1 (6/24/11)

Book Blogger Hop

A social book blogging meme hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books

Today's "Book Blogger Hop" question is:

“When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?”


When I was sixteen, I had to read a lot for my high school English class that year, but I didn't want to bother with it. I didn't really like reading back then and only did what I had to for homework. Although, that year, I didn't even bother to read for homework assignments! Of course, my grades started slipping dangerously too low and my parents got after me for it, so I decided I'd better just do as I was told and read those pesky books.

That was during Christmas break, which lasted for two weeks. I didn't have to read anything for school, thankfully, but my mother decided to buy me some teen paperback books written by a popular author who belonged to my church. I went ahead and read them--they were just fun fiction, after all. Nothing to analyze and brood over. But, I realized while I read them just how interesting the stories were, how much I liked the characters I read about. I was genuinely loving to read for the first time in my life! 

After that, I always loved to read and decided to major in English when I was in college. I even realized I wanted to write novels when I was around twenty-one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Future Reads #2

Time for my weekly blog post featuring a yet-to-be released paranormal/fantasy novel that I am wanting very much to read!

Dead Iron (Age of Steam, #1)
by Devon Monk

Release date: July 5, 2011

Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears...

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother's death. Then he's offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth.

In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only things a man can count on are his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he's going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all.

This looks really promising, I must say. Steampunk, magic, western all rolled up into one read. How fun! I can't wait to read this. And, that cover... "Steam-HUNK" anyone?

Early review from a reviewer 

5 out of 5 stars from Andreiuta:

"This book was such a page-turner.... Uncomplicated, filled with magic and evil-steam-machinery, it is very fast paced and it has no downtime....

"...But what I liked most about it was the very subtle literary style: at the first glance it seems simplistic. However pay a little more attention and you'll find out that Devon Monk likes to use the words in a quite unusual manner, not without a certain poetry to it. It is powerful and vibrant without being overly elaborated."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Haul #3

...In which I blog about a recent physical print book haul!

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)
by Cassandra Clare link

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2)
by Julie Kagawa link

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. 

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)
by Julie Kagawa link

My name is Meghan Chase. 

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Indie Spotlight #1

This post highlights self-published "indie" paranormal/fantasy novels (or short stories) that I haven't read, yet, but they are already available for purchase.

I've heard some really good things about this series, which has two installments as of now. Once I get a chance, I'll be reviewing the first book. I'm excited to get to it!

Ethereal (Celestra, #1) 
by Addison Moore link

Reading grade: Young Adult


Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. 
When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds. Skyla discovers Logan holds the answers to the questions she’s been looking for, but Logan’s reluctance to give her the knowledge she desires leaves her believing Logan has a few secrets of his own. 

Skyla’s bloodlines may just be connected to the most powerful angelic beings that roam the earth, and the more she knows, the more danger she seems to be in. Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels wants her dead, at least she still has Logan, or does she? 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Haul #2

In which I do an e-book only version of a recent book haul. just recently had a "Sunshine Deals" sale on many of their Kindle e-books, so I couldn't resist buying some reads I've had my eye on that suddenly became SO cheap!

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1)
by Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith

Reading grade: Adult


Vampire predators run wild in this exciting steampunk adventure, the first in an alternate history trilogy that is already attracting attention. In 1870, monsters rise up and conquer the northern lands, As great cities are swallowed up by carnage and disease, landowners and other elite flee south to escape their blood-thirsty wrath. One hundred fifty years later, the great divide still exists; fangs on one side of the border, worried defenders on the other. This fragile equilibrium is threatened, then crumbles after a single young princess becomes almost hopelessly lost in the hostile territory. At first, she has only one defender: a mysterious Greyfriar who roams freely in dangerous vampire regions.

This looks like a really fun book series! I can't wait to get into this adult series, which will be added to in September with the second installment. It sounds really epic, and the cover is so radical! One of my faves.

House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings, #1)
by Robert Liparulo

Reading grade: Young Adult


When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.

They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.

Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.

Gotta say, 'hidden hallways with portals leading off to far-off places, in long ago times' sounds really COOl to me. This series already has quite a few books in it, but it's never too late to start a great read.

Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, #1)
by Jenna Black

Reading grade: Young Adult


It’s all she’s ever wanted to be, but it couldn’t be further from her grasp… 

Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble.  When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.  

Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does.  Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again.

This e-book was actually not one of those Amazon "Sunshine Deals", but it was a very cheap first book in the Faeriewalker series. I was pretty happy to discover the great deal they give you on the e-book version.

Marked (House of Night, #1)
by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Reading grade: Young Adult


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

This wasn't a "Sunshine Deal" either, but is a very cheap first e-book in the House of Night series. Everybody's read this book, except me, so I suppose I have to get with the program...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Switched by Amanda Hocking

Series: Trylle Trilogy, #1
Genre: Paranormal
Reading Grade: YA
Publication Date: July 2010
Source: Kindle store
Rated: Teen (13+)

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.

My Review

Switched starts out with a very intriguing problem between Wendy, the protagonist, and her mother, who is completely convinced that her 6-year-old daughter is not her baby, and that she had given birth to a boy, instead. This leads her to try to murder Wendy, which lands her in a state mental institution. Wendy is then raised by her aunt and older brother, moving around constantly, as Wendy becomes something of a problem student in just about every school she attends. She learns to deal with being strange to people, and rarely makes any friends.

Fast forward to her senior year of high school. A new boy in school named Finn can't take his eyes off her. Later, he admits he's a “tracker” from a place called Forening, the land of the Trylle trolls. His job is to track down changeling trolls raised by humans, once they are ready to return to their true home. When she moves there, her new home seems ideal, but only on the surface. Yet, this new life leads Wendy down a path that ultimately answers her most burning questions about who she really is, and why she's different from normal people.

I really love this story and its characters! Hocking gives Wendy a really snarky, sarcastic attitude, which I adored right away. I was constantly asking questions, which Hocking answers in sprinkles throughout the book, so it made me want to keep on reading.

Wendy is an irresponsible teenager, but very likable. Without her I-feel-out-of-place attitude, the story really wouldn't progress. And, although I find Finn a bit boring, he's a good guy. Still, so many awesome characters are in this book, like Matt (Wendy's brother), Rhys and Tove, just to name my top 3 faves. I can't tell you how much I fell in love with Rhys! He is the cutest thing ever, for a teenage boy. The charming characters really sold me on this series.

I also find the back-story on the trolls fascinating, as the book explains how the Trylle society functions, and why they depend so much on their changeling babies. It's such a smart idea. And, in regards to the romance, there is some, but the plot doesn't revolve around it. I will admit that the ending was rushed—I would have liked to have seen the last scene fleshed out more. But, Switched is a great piece of story-telling, and I'm eager to read and review the rest of the books in the Trylle Trilogy.

My score: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Haul #1

So, here are the books I got recently that I really hope I get a chance to review on this blog someday. But, if not, then y'all know I got 'em, anyway...

Torn (Trylle Trilogy, #2)
by Amanda Hocking

Wendy thought she finally understood who she was and what she wanted, but everything changes when the rival Vittra come after her.  

She's caught between two worlds, torn between love and duty, and she must decide what life she is meant to lead.

I really liked Switched, the first book in the Trylle Trilogy series, so I definitely needed to get the next installment. I also bought a physical paperback book, rather than the e-book edition.

The Kensei
by Jon F. Merz

Meet Lawson. A cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans, he is part cop, part spy, and part commando — James Bond with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home. In The Kensei, a battle-weary Lawson heads to Japan for a little rest and some advanced ninja training. But he no sooner steps off the plane than lands in the midst of a Yakuza turf war orchestrated by a shadowy figure known as the Kensei. With the help of Talya, a former KGB-assassin, Lawson must put a stop to the Kensei’s organ trafficking networks, prevent the creation of an army of vampire-human hybrids, and save his own skin in the process.

My interest in this book comes from a few of my favorite things all wrapped up into one shiny book (well, not literally. It's a matte paperback). Vampires + Japanese swords (aka katana) + Japan. All that pretty much means = I'M GOING TO READ THE BOOK. You don't have to twist my arm, hun. Subarashii!

 Maximum Ride, The Manga, Vol. 1
by James Patterson & NaRae Lee (Illustrator)

Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare--this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb--now her betrayed and greatest enemy--that her purpose is save the world--but can she?

Well, I really love to read Japanese manga, so reading novels adapted into American mangas is a no-brainer for me. I haven't read the Patterson novel this is based on, but I'm sure I will if this story ends up interesting me enough. I look forward to what looks like very beautiful manga artwork in this book.

Aww... Book hauls are so addictive... If only they weren't so expensive! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #1

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a book blogger meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine...

I discovered this book last summer/fall (2010) after watching a video of its really handsome and hilarious author. Someone that charming must be just as charming a writer, right? I hope so... And, the book cover... To. Die. For.

by Karsten Knight
Publication date: July 26, 2011

Synopsis from

Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Dark-Hunters, Vol. 1 by Sherrilyn Kenyon

& Claudia Campos (Illustrator)

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Reading Grade: Adult
Publishing Type: traditional house
Publication Date: July 2009
Source: store purchase
Rated: Teen (14+)

In the war against vampires, mankind has only one hope: The Dark-Hunters. Ancient warriors who died of brutal betrayal, the Dark-Hunters have sworn themselves into the service of the goddess Artemis to protect us.

Until Kyrian meets the most frightening thing imaginable. An accountant who's being hunted by one of the most lethal vampires out there. If Amanda Devereaux goes down, so does he and no offense, he doesn't want to die (hence the whole immortality thing). And he doesn't want humanity dead either which is a good thing for us since he and Amanda are all that stands between us and oblivion. Let's hope they win.

My Review

This review is for the MANGA version of Kenyon's adult novel Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter Novels), which encompasses the first half of the novel version of the first book. Or, so I've read, since I haven't read the book this manga was adapted from. So, I'm not able to compare it to the novel.

This story is about Amanda Devereaux, a young woman living in New Orleans who has quite a few “paranormal” relatives who all have supernatural abilities. Amanda's completely unimpressed with 'all things paranormal', and has chosen to be the black sheep of her family by taking a boring accounting job while searching for a normal husband.

She also has the tendency to date jerks, so she's not initially happy to meet the main male character, Hunter, aka Kyrian, who is a vampire called a “Dark-Hunter”. Hunter's not too polite, although he is extremely hunky and blond. Amanda and Hunter meet when they both get kidnapped by a vampire named Desiderus, who actually meant to kidnap Amanda's identical twin sister, Tabitha. Oops. She ends up hand-cuffed to Hunter for a while, and discovers his past and why he chose to become a Dark-Hunter. Hunter decides to stick around to protect her from Desiderus.

I'll just say that I think Amanda is funny and there's more to her than meets the eye. She has a good reason for choosing to lead a normal, dull life. And, at first, I thought Hunter/Kyrian was just a bit too annoying as he tried to act so cool, saying “babe” every other page, but he seemed to stop that about halfway through the volume, thank goodness. In fact, he becomes far more likable in the second half when his past is revealed as to what drove him to become a Dark-Hunter.

There is a lot of information crammed into this volume about the Greek gods and goddesses and the ancient Greeks and Romans. It all relates to these people who are gods living amongst us modern day humans. That concept is pretty cool, and the origin of these vampires is very unique. It might interest anyone into vamps just to discover how it all works in this series. But, all that info was overwhelming to me. It's probably easier to digest when reading the novel, since there's more room to go into.

Still, I thought this manga was enjoyable and funny in many places. It was very romantic comedy-like, but with a dangerous edge. Hunter kisses Amanda several times (it can get SO corny), but they don't go beyond that. The art is splendid (drawn by Claudia Campos), so if you enjoy manga-style art, you'll get a feast for the eyes. If you love bishounen (Japanese for “beautiful boys”), you'll no doubt find a few to ogle other than Hunter/Kyrian, although, he happens to be the most ogle-licious one.

My score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa

Series: Iron Fey, #1.5
Genre: Fantasy/Faerie
Reading Grade: YA
Publishing Type: traditional
Publication Date: August 2010
Source: Kindle Store
Rated: Teen (13+)

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl … until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck—Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon—who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter—a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat.

My Review 

Winter's Passage is a sort of novella/short story that is four chapters in length. Obviously, it's a very quick read that gets you from book #1 of the Iron Fey series, The Iron King, to the beginning of book #2, The Iron Daughter. 

Meghan Chase has already vowed to go back with Prince Ash to the Unseelie Court. She made this deal with him back in Book #1, and he came to claim her at the end. So, this novella picks up where that story left off. But, Meghan is worried about Puck, her childhood best friend. 

On the way to Ash's homeland, they discover, through all the barren, frozen wasteland, that they are being hunted down by very ancient predator that every reader will already be familiar with. It's a great character that lives up to the notoriousness of the famous faeries introduced in the first book, those faeries we have known about in human folklore for centuries. What a great twist! 

I love The Iron King, so this novella was a must-read for me since I was already planning to read the rest of the books in the series. You will want to read it if you expect to follow the story more fully from Book #1 to Book #2. We get to see a lot of good interaction between Meghan and Prince Ash. It gives the reader yummy insight into Ash's state-of-mind, as he has no choice but to lead his new girlfriend to what could possibly be her death. Oh, his tormented soul! Gotta love that Ashy-poo …. 

My score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Beginning...

This blog will feature reviews of recent paranormal fiction (novels, short stories, manga, & graphic novels), and anything that falls under "light fantasy". 

Read the "About Me" section for information on me and my review policy. 


Looks like I've got A LOT of reading to do...

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