Book Review + Giveaway: Unchosen by Michele Vail

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Title: Unchosen (The Reaper Diaries #2)unchosencover
Author: Michele Vail
Genre: Egyptian Mythology, Young Adult, Paranormal, 
Publisher: A Freeman Publication
Publication Date: 29th October 2013
Pages: 194
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
I thought the worst of my reaper training was behind me… turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong.

Molly Bartolucci has done a lot of growing up but after being accused of using illegal magic at her school for necromancers, reaper-in-training Molly is treading lightly. As the destined leader of Anubis’s Chosen, she needs to study hard, train harder, and stay out of trouble.

Uh, right.

It doesn’t help that she’s feeling more than academic about her melt-your-bones hot reaping instructor, Rath. And if her relationship drama isn’t enough to drive her over the edge, she has to deal with mother issues, nosy little sisters, suspicious friends, and an unnamed force stalking her at school.

Then her family is attacked, and her bio-dad ends up comatose in the hospital. Now, Molly has to uncover who’s trying to hurt her loved ones—and all without the help of Anubis.

My Review:

Keep Calm and carry your scythe…

Molly has been though a lot lately. Her first kiss – and subsequent first enthralling. Finding out her bio-dad is actually an ancient Egyptian God. Add to that her maternal ancestors all had Reaper powers and she was a legacy at a prestigious boarding school for necromancers. But things are just getting started for Molly.

She has to train to be the ‘Chosen’ Daughter of Anubis – despite the fact that she is in fact Anubis’ only living flesh girl child. She needs to somehow stay under the radar at school before whoever is trying to frame her gets her expelled. Oh and she needs to keep her wits about her even when sleeping because she keeps getting some possibly prophetic dreams spelling out death and destruction.

Wow she’s a busy girl.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book in this series, Undeadly. It felt a little too reminiscent of other books I’d read around that time. But I thought Unchosen was a great addition to this series. Molly is finding her feet among those who are gifted with magical powers – and she’s also doing okay coming to terms with the whole half-god thing. She’s growing on me as I can see that she’s growing up and she’s not the same girl in this book as she was in the last. I liked that she’s beginning to see the bigger picture and take responsibility for her role in the upcoming battle.

This book was so quick to read! I’d sad down to read a few chapters and next thing I know it’s a few hours later and I’m finished it! I loved how I was drawn into the story and didn’t want to stop. The ending has me anxiously anticipating the third and final book in this trilogy, Unbroken. 

Rath was my favourite character in the first book and I wasn’t as fond of him in this instalment. His relationship with Molly felt a little odd to me – I love the developments but the timing/pacing of it all just felt a little off. I felt a similar way towards all of the secondary characters. Because this book is fairly short and plot wise there’s quite a bit happening, we don’t get all that much character development. I wondered why some characters and some of their info were mentioned but I’m sure that it’ll all make sense in the next book.

Overall – I enjoyed the story. It’s quick, with quite a bit of action and a great take on Egyptian mythology – one that I’m not very familiar with. There’s romance and zombies (how cool are zombie?) and somehow it all comes together to deliver an entertaining story.

Thanks to Itching for Books Blog Tours for the review copy

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

AUTHOR BIO

michelevail

Michele Vail is the author of The Reaper Diaries, a young adult paranormal series set in the modern world with a zombie twist. The stories center on 16-year-old Molly Bartolucci, a reaper-in-training who’s learning to deal with love, destiny, and death.
Michele Vail is the pen name of national bestselling paranormal romance author Michele Bardsley (who also writes thriller mysteries under Michele Freeman). The Reaper Diaries consist of three books: Undeadly, Unchosen, and Unbroken.
Author Links:

Giveaway!

There’s a tourwide giveaway for Unchosen when someone has the chance to win a copy of Undeadly & Unchosen (US only) and a $15 Amazon giftcard (open Internationally). Click on the rafflecopter link below for the chance to win!

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Book Review: Sanctuary by Pauline Creeden

Today my review is a part of a blog tour hosted by Itching For Books. You can find the rest of the blog tour schedule here.

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Title: Sanctuarysanctuarycover
Author: Pauline Creeden
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Realistic, Fun
Publisher: AltWit Press
Publication Date: September 2013
Pages: 280
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):

In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be.
Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?

My Review:

When spaceships start popping up all around the world – Jennie isn’t fascinated like her friends. Rather she’s petrified. And with good reason too. By injecting alien chemicals into the human’s water supply, over a third of the Earth’s population die. And that’s just the beginning. Six weeks after the spaceships arrive, the world is inundated by hideous hybrid monsters attacking people left and right. What was once safe and comfortable is now plagued with terror.

I liked reading Sanctuary. It’s full of fear and zombies and the rather disturbing truth about human nature when things get tough. Jennie is a great character – I found her fear about the new reality she’s been thrust into to be quite realistic. Her mother’s been attacked, and Jennie is scared but manages to keep it together for the sake of the rest of her family. The other characters which share the point of view in this novel – biology teacher Hugh and womanising Brad – also do a great job of showing the terror of this alien invasion from different perspectives.

This is a Christian book with many of the chapters being preceded with Bible verses and many characters like Jennie and Paster Crawford having a strong belief in their faith however it’s handled in a way in which I think that even non-Christian would find the story entertaining and the religious factor not too overwhelming.

I did want to know more about the aliens and why they came to Earth in the first place but this book was a great zombie novel with interesting characters. There’s a bit of a cliff-hanger and I’m interested to find out whether this book is going to be a standalone or the first in a series.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

paulinecreeden

In simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Author Links: 
Book Trailer:
There’s also a tour wide giveaway for Sanctuary!  Click the link for the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win this great prize!
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Book Review: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Title: Until I Die (Reverants #2)
Author: Amy Plum
Genre: paranormal romance; urban fantasy; zombies
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date:  May 2012
Pages: 357 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.

My Review:

After reading and enjoying Die For Me so much, I was excited to read Until I Die. Picking up right where the first instalment left off Kate is busy navigating exactly what being the girlfriend of a Reverant means. Determined to find a way to help Vincent resist the call that puts himself in mortal danger, Kate uses her grandfather’s library and other slightly more risky resources to find answers to her questions. Vincent – in an effort to keep Kate in his life – uses his own methods to fight his destiny. With Vincent’s secret draining his strength and the Numas regrouping, the Reverants need assistance. With reinforcements being brought into Paris and the Numas still a threat despite Kate (with Vincent’s help) taking out their leader.

I love this series. When I read a book I normally take notes. About the characters, the plot, names (because I’m hopeless and forget how to spell half of them) and all sorts of other things. But for Until I Die I didn’t take a single note. I was that absorbed in the story.

The Reverants (both the good and the bad) are an interesting type of supernatural creature I’ve not seen before. They’re slightly dangerous, fascinating and I enjoy finding out more about them and their history as Kate gets herself more involved in their world.

At the core of this book is the love story of Kate and Vincent. They’re sweet and unlike in many young adult paranormal novels, I really feel like they deserve each other. Kate’s intelligent and despite trying to all she can to help Vincent, she has her own life and interests. She’s still there for her sister and trying to be a good granddaughter – even when things get tricky. Jules’ flirtatious banter with Kate is brilliant and cheeky but harmless. I love that there is no love triangle centred around the leads.

The supporting characters are what make this a five-star read for me. From Georgia to Jules, Violette to Arthur – they’re all fantastic in their own way. Their personalities and own stories add to the overall plot in a way that enriches the world in which the Reverants series is set.

Paris, fantastic characters and a plot that kept me interested right up until the last page – Until I Die was a pleasure to read. The last book in the series, If I Should Die, is released in May 2013 and I for one can not wait to find out how everything goes for the Reverants.

Purchase the novel from:

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Book Review: Die For Me by Amy Plum

Title: Die For Me (Reverants #1)
Author: Amy Plum
Genre: paranormal romance; urban fantasy; zombies
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 10 May 2011
Pages: 341 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

My Review:

Kate Mercer is devastated after her parents are killed in a car accident. Her sister (and now technically her guardian) decides that the best thing for the two of them is to relocate from New York to their grandparents’ house in Paris. Still reeling from the tragedy to strike her family, Kate becomes a shadow of her former self. Then she meets Vincent – strange and mysterious yet chivalrous Vincent. Feeling like she should hold her heart back from the odd gorgeous boy but not being able to resist his charm, Kate falls for Vincent only to find out she might not be able to handle his special kind of supernatural abilities.

I love books that are set in a far off distant land and the city is well and truly a part of the story. I recently read a book apparently set in Italy and it could have been set anywhere. But in Die For Me, Paris is almost a character itself. One of those books where after I read about the places Kate goes and the vibe of the city and it makes me want to go to Europe.

I loved the pace of this novel. I know, it might sound a little weird for the pace to be the first thing that comes to mind for me but some first in the series books can be a bit of an info dump – too much too soon with too many details that I keep feeling the need to flick back and re-read those sections all the time. But I really liked learning about Vincent and the others along with Kate and their specific supernaturalness. The secondary characters are brilliant – I thought the way they got to tell their stories and the way they interact with each other was fantastic to read. I loved seeing Kate evolve as a character but seeing the others flourish around her (like Georgia and Jules) was amazing.

Fun characters, interesting and fantastic zombies (and coming from a zombie hater that’s something) and not too much of that teen angst that some YA novels seem to be bursting to the brim with. It’s probably not surprising to hear that as soon as I finished Die For Me (at 1am) I instantly jumped online to buy a copy of the second book in the series, Until I Die.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

Read for the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge


Book Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Scent of Magic (Healer #2)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, magic, adventure
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: January 2013
Pages: 414 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Hunted, Killed—Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible … again

My Review:

After reading Touch of Power (the first book in the Healer series) I couldn’t wait to get back to Avry, Kerrick and the rest of the characters from the Thirteen Realms.

Avry, back from the dead, is a healer on a mission – to stop Tohon from taking over the Realms and experimenting on the innocent with his army of the living dead. After deciding to separate from Kerrick (and letting him fight his own battles in the North), Avry joins Astrid’s army in disguise and gathers as much intelligence as she can under her new assumed identity. Hiding in plain sight and showing just how good a soldier she can be, Avry manages to get close to both her old friends (the Monkeys, Belen) but also her estranged sister, Noelle.

Meanwhile, Kerrick is back in his own kingdom trying to amass an army of his own to fight against King Tohon. But things don’t go according to plan and Kerrick finds himself trying to stay one step ahead of enemies he didn’t even know he had.

There’s a lot going on in this book and I enjoyed the layout – every Avry chapter was followed by a brief overview of what was going on in Kerrick’s part of the world. Simultaneously we, the readers, were able to follow both their stories with ease. The only problem with this was it meant the novel as whole missed the spark of banter between the two leads that I enjoyed so much from the first novel.

I loved getting to see a new side of Avry – not just a healer but a warrior in her own right and a fairly kick-arse one at that. The training of her group of soldiers was interesting and I liked to see the camaraderie between them.

In many ways this book is a transition novel – bridging the gap between the first novel and the final novel of the series. There’s a lot of ground work being laid and stuff that doesn’t seem to be all that relevant at the moment but is just leading up for the next book. I enjoyed reading it – there’s A LOT of surprises and action, drama, betrayal going on but it fell a little short of my expectations.

I would definitely recommend this book for fans of the first one and can’t wait for the third book to be released in a year’s time!

Purchase the novel from:

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Book Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Touch of Power (Healer #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, magic, adventure
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: December 2011
Pages: 390 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The price of peace may well be her life…

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogue who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader – an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own – is unequivocal in his demands; Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

My Review:

Avry of Kazan – a healer on the run ever since the Plague started three years ago and the people turned against those with the power to heal. After an incident lands Avry in a jail cell and a date with her death in the morning, a stranger offers Avry a choice. She can come with him and save his friend or keep her appointment with the gallows.

Taking Kerrick of Alga up on his deal, Avry joins his warriors as they make their way though many of the Fifteen Realms facing assassins and magicians on an adventure Avry never saw coming.

This book is the kind of adventure fantasy book that I adore. There’s action and drama. Despite the time frame of this novel taking months and there being down time in between deathly feats, there was never a boring moment during the entire book.

Avry is a kick arse heroine. She’s strong in spirit and can hold her own against Kerrick and his bunch of merry men but she knows how to follow orders when completely necessary. The Monkeys (Quain and Loren), Papa Bear (Belen) and Flea are absolutely fantastic. They provide much necessary comic relief – not only to the reader but also to the other characters.

The magic in this book is fascinating. The eleven different types and the magicians who control them are well thought out. I thought the mages were especially intriguing. Jael, Tohon, Sepp and the others are characters that I loved reading about not just for their personalities but for their powers and how they worked.

There’s so much going on in this book – the current political power struggle, magic, the back story between the royals of the Realms, healers and the Plague – but Synder managed to write it all in such a way that made perfect sense. There were times when I felt like Kerrick’s group were wandering mindlessly for a while before something new happened and they had new purpose but for the most part I loved how everything come together.

Touch of Power is the first book in the Healer series with the second, Scent of Magic, being released in January 2013 by HarlequinTeen.

Purchase the novel from:

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Book Review: Undeadly by Michele Vail

Title: Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1)
Author: Michele Vail (aka. Michele Bardsley)
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, zombies, mythology
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 2012
Pages: 272 pages
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird…

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

My Review:

I stumbled upon this book a few months ago – almost by accident. But it immediately captured my attention. I’m a new convert to books regarding zombies and mythology books always catch my fancy.

Molly lives a fairly uncomplicated life. School during the day, working at her father’s zombie emporium most afternoons. That is until her sixteenth birthday party and Molly accidentally manages to mess with necro magic that she doesn’t understand. She also finds out that she’s not a Bartolucci – but rather the guy she’s always believed to be her dad is not her real biological father!

Her maternal grandparents enter the scene and inform Molly that she’s a Legacy at a fancy necromancy private school, Nekyia Academy, where she will have her own personal ghoul to run her errands and a secret society to be a part of.

There’s so much of this novel that reminded me of Marked (House of Night #1) – from the fact that Molly is some sort of ‘chosen one’ to the super sugary sweet southern new best friend. There’s even the boyfriend that the heroine somehow managed to enthrall with her new magical gifts is along for the ride too. There were just too many similarities between the two stories that I couldn’t help but think that one was a poor copy of the other.

What I did love about this book was the mythology used. I love the Egyptian angle as it’s not something I’ve read a lot about before. The gods mentioned are kind of bad-ass and I loved their involvement in the novel. I would have loved if there was less time spent on the events covered early in the novel and a lot more on the fantastic and interesting drama that occurred after the half way point as that’s where I found this book to be new and exciting.

It’s a fun and easy read where the magic and mythology used is something I’ve not seen much of before – I love the necro magic and I can’t wait to see what happens next for Molly (there’s a bit of a cliff-hanger). There are a number of interesting characters (Roth for one.. he’s my favourite by far but also Aunt Leila and Anubis himself) that do may this book more than just another teenage girl who finds out she’s magical and important.

Thanks to Michele Vail for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Title: Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1)
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, zombies, romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: October 2012 
Pages: 404 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I’d tell my sister no.
I’d never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I’d zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I’d hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I’d tell them I love them.
I wish… Yeah, I wish.

My Review:

Alice Bell only asks for one thing for her 16th birthday – for the family to attend her little sister, Emmaline’s, dance recital. Sounds simple enough but Alice’s father afraid of what goes bump in the night and refuses to let anyone out after dark. Ever.

But Alice promised Em that they would go to the recital. Not wanting to disappoint her sister, Alice isn’t above to resorting to using emotional blackmail to get what she wants.

Things seem to be fine – Em starred at the dance gig – until the drive home and an accident results in Alice being the soul survivor.

With her parents gone and still mourning the death of her precious little sister, Alice reinvents herself as Ali, starts a new school and new life with her grandparents. Being freed from her father’s crazy notions means Ali can live her life without being scared of what’s in the shadows until she meets Cole – a mysterious bad boy and leader of a gang of what appear to be juvenile delinquents and the guy that Ali keeps having visions about.

And don’t forget about the zombies…

I have to admit I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed this book. Alice comes across as being a little bit spoilt and oh-so manipulative but throughout the novel her transition into a strong and confident young woman who isn’t afraid of kicking some zombie butt to avenge the people she loves is evident. I loved the way her relationship with Cole developed as things went on – finally! No instalove! but a healthy dose of lust mixed in with a camaraderie that blossomed into something more.

The plot kept me hooked until the end. There were twists that I wasn’t expecting and an ending that has left me eagerly anticipating the next book in the series. I’ve never really being a zombie fan. I could never understand why people liked them. But I think this book has finally let me in on their appeal – they are busy drooling and trying to eat people with no hidden agendas so that the heroes can shine. And Cole’s lethal team of would be criminals are fantastic in their role of taking on the enemy. There were some parts of the novel that did seem to drag just a touch but even those were very important for setting the scene and leading up to the drama and action that I found so entertaining and enjoyable.

This is not another retelling of the classic Alice in Wonderland story (nor just another YA book with a gorgeous cover… although the cover is beautiful  but rather a fantastic novel that managed to combine contemporary teen issues with a good dose of the paranormal in a fun and interesting way.

 

Thanks to Harlequin Teen for the review copy.

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