Book Review: Earth Angel by E. Van Lowe

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Welcome to my stop on the Earth Angel blog tour hosted by YA Bound.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Title: Earth Angel (Falling Angels Saga #2)
Author: E. Van Lowe
Genre: Paranormal, Angels, Demons, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: White Whisker Books
Publication Date: December 2011
Pages: 190
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Just because Megan Barnett recently defeated Satan, has a fantastic new best friend, and has won the love of deliciously
handsome, Guy Matson, doesn’t mean her troubles are over. Far from it. For Megan doesn’t realize it, but in her possession is a powerful weapon, a weapon sought after by both angels and demons and everything in between. They will do ANYTHING to get it.

In E. Van Lowe’s humorous, romantic and thrilling sequel to Boyfriend From Hell, Megan winds up in a gripping life or death battle to save herself, the boy she loves, and all of mankind from unthinkable evil.

My Review:

Megan Barnett doesn’t waste any time  – she’s just saved her mother, lost her best friend and is about to enter the serious stage of the school year – and already she’s back facing another supernatural enemy. Her formerly angelic boyfriend Guy Matson is heavenly and is everything she could want in a boyfriend but his former life as an angel is starting to take its toll on Megan. He has secrets that he can’t divulge and when mysterious people from his past pop up Megan isn’t quite sure how to handle things. When demons start appearing in her backyard Megan knows that something is up… and knows that she’ll need help in order to beat the beings of Hell again…

I love to see characters grow and Megan has matured quite a bit since Boyfriend From Hell. She’s still a little self-absorbed but deep down her heart is in the right place. When it comes down to it she will sacrifice all she has in order to help those she cares for. Her friendship with Erin is practically non-existent but I really liked that Megan didn’t just forget about her friend and move on. She’s trying. And the evolution of her romantic relationship with Guy is fun to read.

There’s new characters in Earth Angel that I loved reading about – Rocky and Harrison. And despite cringing every time Harrison spoke (I swear – us Aussies don’t sound like that!) they brought something new and exciting to the story. Maudrina is a fantastic BFF for Megan to have and confide in regarding the supernatural activity and Maudrina’s aunt is the kind of mentor that every Satan defeating heroine needs in her corner.

I would have loved to have seen more Guy in this story – but completely understand why he was on the down low. The romance was sweet and I liked where the author is taking this couple.

This is a quick and fun read where the angels are sinfully delightful and the heroine is trying to save the world whilst still muddling though high school. The third book in the trilogy, Heaven Sent,  is available now.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

E Van Lowe was born in the Bronx a long time ago, back in the days when children were supposed to be seen and not heard. Fortunately for E, his parents allowed him to speak freely. Unfortunately for his parents and older brother, E had a lot to say. He was speaking quite freely until one day, while his mother was trying to watch her “stories” (which is code for soap operas), she suggested that instead of speaking freely, he write all his important thoughts down. E wrote down many important thoughts, such as: crayons melt when you leave them on the radiator, or toy soldiers melt when you drop them in the muffin batter before mom puts it in the oven. His brother thought he was weird, but E was only ten years old at the time. What did he expect, Shakespeare? E liked writing things down so much, he decided that when he grew up, he was going to become a professional writer.

 

E has gone on to write for many award winning TV shows including: The Cosby Show, and Even Stevens. He also co-wrote the Academy Award nominated short film, Cadillac Dreams. Never Slow Dance With A Zombie was his first teen novel.  Boyfriend From Hell is the first in the Falling Angels Saga.  The second novel in the saga, Earth Angel, will be coming out soon.  It seems E still has lots of important, and weird, thoughts to share with readers.

 

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Book Review: Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer

Title: Natural Born Angel (Immortal City #2) 
Author: Scott Speer
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Angels, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 23 April 2013
Pages: 360
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Life turned upside down for Maddy Montgomery when she found out she was half-Angel and was catapulted into the scene of flashbulbs, paparazzi, and the fervent adulation that comes with being in the celebrity Angel world. She’s trying to juggle her ordinary life—high school, family, friends—with the intense demands of being in the public eye as heartthrob Angel Jackson Godspeed’s girlfriend.

And now Maddy must face the most difficult choice of her life. She’s been offered the chance to become a Guardian. This means entering into dangerous and high stakes training, with no guarantee that she can succeed. But more than that, it would mean leaving her mortal life behind—forever—and allying with the Angels at a time when their relationship with humans is heading for war. . . .

My Review:

After slaving away at her uncle’s diner and studying hard to get the marks required to get into college, Maddy Montgomery is faced with a choice. Her dream school or the chance to train at the top-secret Guardian school. Going from the anonymous high school student to being the world’s number one It-Girl in less than a year, Maddy also has to navigate her new-found popularity and balance her new professional life with her relationship with the oh-so dreamy, Jackson Godspeed. Life will never be the same and Maddy needs to work out what she wants and where her allegiance lie before the war between Angels and Humans decides for her…

Natural Born Angel has so much going on – it’s fantastic! We get to see some Guardian training, the rise of a new dangerous enemy and the fantastic Former Angel, Detective Sylvester, is around again trying to save the world (this time with some help from Mark and Jacks). I loved the way that this novel managed to be describing a fantastical concept (like Angels on Earth) and have it mirror modern-day life – prejudices, terrorism and elitism. This book reminded me of a film in terms of  how it is set up and in some ways I think this would make a better film than novel. There isn’t a lot of emotion evident and I think had I been watching actors they would have been able to bring the intensity that these characters in the novel couldn’t.

I had high hopes for this novel. I loved the concept of Immortal City and the dark underbelly of the Angelic world. This book is a breath of fresh air with regards to the action. There is no chance of getting stuck in a characters thoughts because this book is about what’s happening now – happening to Maddy, to Jacks and to the world in general. And whilst I liked the different style of storytelling I felt like it was a missed opportunity. We skip a year from where the first novel ended to a time when Maddy is well established in a relationship with Jacks. She’s almost come to terms with her new-found Angelic state and she’s handling the fame like a professional.

What disappointed me most about Natural Born Angel was the romance. I don’t need romance to enjoy a good book and this is one of those stories that I think was trying a bit too hard with the relationships. Maddy and Jacks have lost any sort of chemistry they shared in the first book and there’s a new element that made this book go from a suspenseful action fantasy novel to just another clichéd teen romance… but even then the romance was unbelievable and flat.

Overall – there are some great things about this book and some not-so great things too. IF you loved the first book I think you’ll enjoy where Speer takes Maddy and the others in this instalment. Will I be reading the next Immortal City novel? Absolutely! But I think I’ll go in with slightly lower expectations than I had for Natural Born Angel.

 

Thanks to Penguin Teen and netgalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

Title: The Collector (Dante Walker #1)
Author: Victoria Scott
Genre: Urban Fantasy, paranormal, demons
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: April 2013
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
He makes good girls…bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

My Review:

Dante Walker is so bad he’s good. Good at his job working for the Boss Man ‘downstairs’, good at training fellow collectors and good with the ladies. He gets in, gets the job done and gets out. Until Charlie Cooper. With her gawky smile and limping leg – it shouldn’t be a problem to get her to be bad with him. Ten days to claim her soul? Piece of cake!

Except Charlie is nothing like anyone Dante has ever met before. She’s just so… good! The challenge gets even tougher when Dante starts falling for the plain jane and Dante is faced with a dilemma more difficult than anything he’s faced in life – or death.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Victoria Scott’s Dante Walker for a while now. The man’s man, ladies man, man about town whose swagger is to die for. He’s one of those characters that grew on me. At first I thought he was entertaining but about as deep as dishwater. But the more I read and the more involved I got with Dante and Charlie’s story – he surprised me on a number of levels. This character has a lot going for him – and not just the sex appeal and charm that he is oh-so-well aware of. He’s got heart.

Charlie Cooper. I’m a fan of alliterative names and Charlie is one character that I was shocked to like so much. She’s one of those people who are perfect. Perhaps not physically (and lets face it flawless appearances are a bit of a turn off for me so many be that’s another point in her favour) but she’s a all-round do-gooder. There’s no one she wouldn’t help even if it was at a disadvantage to herself. She’s just that nice! When tragedy and adversity had the chance to make her bitter and twisted, Charlie took the high road and tried to be the best person she could be. Sounds like she could be sickeningly sweet but when meeting and getting to know her through Dante’s eyes – she’s just adorable.

Plot wise – there’s a lot going on. Some twists I expected, some I never saw coming but they worked well with the rest of the drama unfolding. There were a few surprises and I have to admit the ending has left me so very curious as to where Scott is going to take Dante, Charlie and the rest of the crew in the next instalment of the Dante Walker series.

Purchase the novel from:

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Book Review: Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Title: Wicked Kiss (Nightwatchers #2)
Author: Michelle Rowen
Genre: Paranormal, Angels, Demons
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: February 26th 2013 
Pages: 440 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
MY KISS CAN KILL. 

I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that’s changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone’s soul…or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don’t…I hurt myself.

Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I’ll kill him. Then there’s another boy, one I can’t hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They’re both part of a team of angels and demons that’s joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I’ll be able to help Bishop-or if I’m just another part of the darkness he’s sworn to destroy….

NIGHTWATCHERS 

When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising…

My Review:

After the Hollow unleashed hell on Earth in an all ages club only two weeks ago – Sam has been busy. The Grey Girl is on the lookout of Stephen, the grey who sucked her soul out turning her into hungry soul sucking nexus. Add to that a mysterious memory blocked gorgeous angel who can only think straight when she’s around. Too bad Sam can’t keep her thoughts straight around him!

Dark Kiss laid a lot of groundwork but it was well worth the read for I devoured Wicked Kiss like a hungry grey would a soul. Sam and her misfit warriors from Heaven and Hell still have a mission to carry out. Sam needs her soul and to save her bff Carly from the Hollow. Bishop, Kraven and the others need to rid Trinity from the evil mess that Natalie unleashed. I liked these characters so much more the second time around. They’re still slightly stereotypical and a little predictable in many ways but this time – but it worked for me. I loved the drama added from the new characters (like Cassandra) and getting to know some briefly mentioned ones from Dark Kiss a little better.

There’s a lot going on in this book. Romance and evil supernatural villains are underfoot everywhere. I liked how the relationships evolved. Not just the romantic ones but the friendships and the way Kraven and Bishop’s brotherly interactions evolved.  Sam is developing as a character too. She’s finally got some street sense kicked into her. She’s embracing her nexus and grey-ness to the hilt and is becoming a force to be reckoned with in her own right.

The mythology of Angels and Demons are interestingly explained in this book. There’s not too many religious overtones that sometimes overload books about Angels. But instead the angels and devils seem to just be concerned with good vs. evil. I wanted some facets to be explored in more detail but there was enough explained to understand Sam’s situation.

I can recommend this book to anyone that liked the first instalment – but also those who were slightly ambivalent.  This book is a satisfying ending to an interesting take on zombies, angels and demons.

Purchase the novel from:

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Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

This review will contain slight spoils of the first book in the series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) 
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: fantasy, angels, young adult, demons, supernatural
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (an imprint of Hachette), Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: November 8th 2012
Pages: 513 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.
And its snap split the world in two.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

My Review:

Karou is still reeling after Akiva and the wishbone revealed their secrets. Her family gone, her heart-broken and she’s now stuck in a war between Angels and Chimera. Feeling betrayed and lonely, Karou tries to find some piece and purpose in the world.

Much like it’s predecessor, this book is beautifully written. It makes reading every page a pleasure. I love the emotions of the characters that come across in thoughts and interactions. The plot is epic. It’s interesting and creative with twists that make perfect sense and yet I never saw coming. This book involves more than just Karou and Akiva – there are scenes with Chimera and Angels along the way that add to the brutality of the war that’s taking place. And there’s also Zuzana. I love the pocket-sized dynamo. She adds comic relief and a few laughs when the tension Karou thrives on gets to be almost too much. Her interactions with Mik are both humorous and delightfully romantic.

Karou is a little darker in this book. The things she does are taking a toll on her soul and she’s devastated about her feelings regarding Akiva. I loved getting some more insight to Akiva and his background. By the end I was feeling equally heartbroken on his behalf as I am for Karou. The world of the Chimera is an interesting one to be a part vicariously though her. There are some truly evil characters in this novel and their actions are at times truly scary.  The Angels are equally fascinating to read.

I have loved every moment I have spent reading this book and am a little devastated that I have to wait till 2014 for the next instalment of this fantastic series.

Many thanks to The Reading Room for providing me with a copy to review

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository

Read for the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge


Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) 
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: fantasy, angels, young adult, demons, supernatural
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (an imprint of Hachette), Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 432 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):

Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

My Review:

Karou, the girl with blue hair and mysterious tattoos, has grown up always knowing she was different. Her guardians are part human, part animal creatures anyone else would find scary but she just knows them as family. She’s a girl of two worlds but doesn’t quite fit in either one.

When her worlds collide, Karou finds there more to either of her lives that she ever expected.

The first thing I want to say about this book is how beautifully written I found it. The language is lovely. Reading it was an absolute pleasure. I love Laini Taylor’s style and whilst I could have devoured this book in a matter of hours I wanted to savour the words and make it last.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an original story. With a monster collecting teeth for possibly nefarious purposes, a stalker ex-boyfriend who larks around Prague pretending to be a vampire and a best friend who may be lacking in stature but a giant in soul. The fantasy world in which this book is set is remarkably detailed and beautifully described. I loved following Karou and finding out the secrets along with her.

The characters were fantastically interesting – from the humans Kaz and Zuzana to Brimstone and Issa. Even the mysterious and impossibly beautiful Akiva. These are characters I loved reading about and couldn’t wait to find out what came next for them. Karou is a someone with whom I have next to nothing in common and yet as I read on I found myself seeing myself in her – she’s strong with moments of weakness, scared and yet fearlessly brave. She has her secrets and finding out about her history and present was a fantastic journey.

In this novel, Laini Taylor has written a beautiful tale of fantasy and adventure. There’s romance, heartbreak and a plot that kept me enthralled long after reading the final page. The second book in the series, Days of Blood and Starlightwas released in November 2012 with the third book expected to be published sometime in 2014.

Many thanks to The Reading Room for providing me with a copy to review

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository


Book Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Reckoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #3)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, magic, werewolves, witches, ghosts
Publisher: HarperCollins; Atom
Publication Date: April 2010
Pages: 391
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
My name is Chloe Saunders. I’m fifteen, and I would love to be normal.

But normal is one thing I’m not.

For one thing, I’m having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother–who just happens to be a sorcerer–but, between you and me, I’m leaning toward the werewolf.

Not normal.

My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us–permanently.

Definitely not normal.

And finally, I’m a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.

As far away from normal as it gets.

My Review:

The troubled teens are still on the run from the sinister Edison Group; Chloe’s necromancy skills are getting stronger and stronger, Tori is able to perform magic that witches many times her age can’t achieve without incantations and Derek’s changes are getting more intense and more frequent. Add her romantic entanglement with both Simon AND Derek – things couldn’t get much more complicated for Chloe Saunders.

After holding up at a safe house but not feeling all that safe at the moment, Chloe has to cope with an evil teenage ghost haunting the house and a necromancer mentor who doesn’t believe Chloe’s skills. Along with the threat of the Edison Group hanging over them, the teens grow more and more suspicious of anyone and everyone until… at last – one way or another – they get to the bottom of the Lyle House mystery…

I’m always anxious when I get to the last book in a series/trilogy that I’m enjoying. I want to know just how it’s going to end but at the same time I don’t want to have to leave the characters.

Chloe has grown so much since the first book. Her powers are developing experientially and she’s come a long way from the stuttering fearful girl into the woman who overcomes her fears when it comes to protecting the ones she loves.

The other characters are great in their own ways too – I’m not sure after the first book I ever thought I could like Tori but she’s grown on me and I’m glad that the others accepted her into their merry crew of adolescent misfits.

I loved the amount of action that occurs throughout this book. There’s evil angry ghosts, get away plans, werewolves and so much more. This was a fantastic instalment in the trilogy however – I didn’t love the ending. Or rather, I didn’t like that the trilogy was ending. There’s so much more I want to know. But I did love how all the drama came to climax and the resulting resolution was fitting to the series.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository


Book Review: Rapture by Lauren Kate

Title: Rapture (Fallen #4)
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Angels, 
Publisher: Delacorte Press for Young Readers (an imprint of Random House)
Publication Date: June 2012
Pages: 448
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

My Review:

Rapture is the fourth and final instalment for the Fallen series by Lauren Kate and one that I’ve been anticipating since finishing Passion. As with all the books in this series – the cover is gorgeous! Luce has just returned from her time-travelling tour of her past lives and now only has nine days to prevent the fall and cause all those years, all those past lives with Daniel, to be written.

In order to stop Lucifer (otherwise known as Bill the Gargoyle) and his announcer to finish falling and rewriting time, Luce, Daniel and the rest of the fallen angel gang have to find three artefacts that when brought together will somehow show the destination of the Fall and help them prevent it from re-happening.

There were times when I loved reading this book and other times when I wanted to throw the book across the room. It’s definitely one of those books where you have to be in a certain mood to appreciate all that’s happening. The romance was sweet – at times too sweet. I felt like I was going to get a sugar high that was bordering on a toothache. Luce and Daniel are an adorable and loving couple that are lovely and romantic but at the same time sometimes I felt like it was over the top and just too cute and too much for me to take.

The plot sometimes felt a little confusing as to why each of the characters did the things that they did – They have only a few days to save the world and yet instead of thinking things out and approaching things logically they rush in and do things that end up with them being in dangerous life-threatening situations that miraculously end up going okay for the main characters. There were many things that were a little too coincidental and/or convenient happening a lot of the time.

I think these fallen angels could have benefitted from a google search or two when trying to track down the artefacts – instead they rely on a book written by one of them a few hundred of years ago. Then they take the most vulnerable and fragile member of the group – who also is the most important and valuable person in the entire series – and put her in dangerous situations without taking proper precautions… The whole thing just felt a little unbelievable and frustrated me with how unprepared everyone was.

I did, however, love the ending. This is what the entire series had been building up to and despite some things getting on my nerves, I adored how everything came to a head in this novel. Overall this is a beautiful story of true love and angels. I’d love to read a spin-off series if the author ever decides to write one about Cam’s story.

If you enjoyed the previous stories in the series then I definitely recommend Rapture. At times it was a little hard going but I felt like it was worthwhile in the end. It’s a fantastic way to leave Daniel and Luce and they definitely deserve the ending that they get.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title: Infinity (Chronicles of Nick #1)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Genre: Paranormal. urban fantasy, zombies, shifters, vampires,
Publisher: Atom 
Publication Date: May 2010
Pages: 306
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn’t hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

My Review:

I’m a socially awkward mandork.

Nick Gautier is considered to be a loser. Born to a mother who has to work as a stripper just to make ends meet, he’s been looked down upon by everyone he’s ever met. When his friends decide to mug an elderly tourist couple, Nick has to decide whether he wants to be the street scum that people think he is or to be the bigger man who his mother has raised him to be.

Unfortunately for him, his friends don’t take too kindly to his interference and Nick now has the gunshot wound to prove it. Enter Kyrian Hunter, tall dark and mysterious stranger who not only makes sure that Nick gets the medical attention he needs as well as paying for it and giving Nick an after school job as his assistant which pays more in a week than his mother makes in months.

But there’s something strange brewing in Nick’s school. The star-footballer just tried to take a bite out of his best friend and the coach tried to snack on the principal’s brains.

Between the zombie apocalypse at the high school and the crazy cast of characters that Nick’s been introduced since working for Kyrian, things have gotten deadly and a grounding from his mother is the least of his worries.

I enjoyed this book. Zombies aren’t something I’m all that familiar with and I did enjoy reading about just how scary they can be when they’re on mass and backing their prey into a corner. Nick is a very engaging lead character. He’s sarcastic and somewhat angry at his circumstances. He’s not always politically correct and he’s somewhat charming in spite of all this. I enjoyed his rapport with his mother – despite finding Cherise’s nagging and over the top protectiveness a little overwhelming at times.

Bubba was a very pleasant surprise. A computer tech guy who runs a gun shop and has two pieces of advice that he advocates for: “Shoot first then ask questions” and “Double tap just for good measure. Better safe than sorry“. I think his side-kick, Mark, was just as amusing. They added some much-needed humour and comic relief when the threat of zombies was getting a little too much.

In some ways this was a strange novel to read. I have prior knowledge of Nick from reading Kenyon’s Dark Hunter’s series – an adult paranormal romance series. So many of the characters were familiar faces as well as their supernatural secrets. But this book is so much more than just a prequel telling Nick’s story. It’s a chance for Nick to redeem himself and to change everything that’s happened in his other future – which I’m glad of because things were looking extremely dark for him.

I do wonder if someone with no knowledge of the adult series would be able to keep up with the whole cast of characters who are not quite they seem but you’re not quite let in on the secret of their special ‘skills’ just yet.

This is a series that I think I’ll be continuing with. IF not just for Nick but for the brief cameo appearances by Kyrian, Ash and Tabitha.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository


Book Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, 
Publisher: HarperCollins; Atom
Publication Date: April 2009
Pages: 360
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl — someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. I’m a living science experiment — not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization call the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters. I’m a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends – a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch – and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

My Review:

I think the Darkest Powers trilogy is going to go down as one of my favourite YA paranormal series.

The Awakening picks up at the exact moment that the first book in the series, The Summoning, finishes – with Chloe stuck in the institution after a somewhat failed break out attempt from Lyle House and the heartbreaking betrayal from Chloe’s aunt.

Now, with her every move being monitored by the staff and no escape routes visible, Chloe needs to deal with the ghosts that won’t leave her alone and her anxiety over Simon’s health and Derek’s “condition” whilst they are on the run. Not one to sit around and pout, Chloe – with the help of Liz’s ghost – needs finds a way to get out, find the boys and get to the bottom of what the sinister scientists are up to.

For me, this book had what The Summoning was lacking. It was exciting, fast paced and suspenseful. I picked this book up when I couldn’t sleep, vowing only to read a few chapters… next thing I knew it was 3am and I’d finished it.

I complained about Chloe coming across as a little bland in the first book but she’s completely redeemed herself in my eyes. I found that I enjoyed getting to see her embrace her ghost busting powers more and more as well as not letting anyone who was bigger and badder than her push her around.

Derek is a character that I adored after the first book and now I like him even more. He and the other supporting characters have issues and complicated pasts. It makes them somewhat real in an unreal and paranormal world. Tori, Simon and the others are an incredibly mismatched group but their bickering entertained me and I loved the fact that they were flawed and kept their grudges despite their current circumstances.

As a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, I was thrilled to read the slight crossover that occurred in this novel (Clayton’s reputation precedes him!) and makes perfect sense to the plot of this story.

This book is not one that can be read as a stand alone – there is a lot that is assumed knowledge from the first book in the series – but is a fantastic story that includes some of my favourite supernatural creatures, exciting plot and interesting characters.

I jumped online and bought the third book as soon as I finished reading….

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository