Archive for the ‘paranormal’ Category

Review & Giveaway: Straight to Hell – Michelle Scott

Title: Straight to Hell (Lilith Straight #1)
Author: Michelle Scott
Publication date: September 9, 2011
Format: Ebook
ASIN: B005M3MQ84
Length: 179 pages
Genre: Paranormal / Urban fantasy
Age group: Adult
Source: Author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Smashwords | Amazon US

The moment Lilith Straight dies, the Devil appears to claim her soul and cash in on a family curse. Now, Lilith has no choice but to work for him. The job is bad, the boss is worse and she can’t imagine how she’ll explain her new reincarnation to her eight-year-old daughter. But then an arrogant, yet oh so yummy, incubus shows up…and hell heats up just a little more.

I first saw this book on Dani’s blog, Pen to Paper – and I have to say, I got hooked right away. I loved the synopsis and the fact that Dani rated it so high and seemed to enjoy it made me even more interested. Even though I don’t normally read indie books, Straight to Hell was an exception – and I’m so glad I did pick this up! It was a very pleasant surprise and I have to agree with Dani – it is a page turner.

The narration is just spot-on: it is Lilith who tells the story and boy, she’s a great character. She has a great sense of humour and she’s a bit sarcastic as well. (I always mention this but yes, I love sarcastic characters!) I loved Lilith from the very beginning – there’s something about her that draws you in and even though Michelle Scott did a great job with all the other characters, Lilith will still remain my favourite. I love the fact that even though the plot is a bit, well.., far-fetched (and I don’t mean this in a bad way) and definitely not something that would happen to any of us, she’s still a down-to-earth, everyday character, just like us. She’s worried about getting her daughter to school, paying bills, finding a job and all these everyday problems while she works for Miss Spry (i.e. a Devil-like creature who works in Hell) as a succubus. I loved how one minute she’s on a mission in Hell and she’s back to her apartment with her odd family and unpaid bills the next. The difference between these two worlds and the fact that Lilith is involved in both at the same time is incredible and for me, it made the book even funnier.

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Review: Awakening – Karice Bolton

Title: Awakening (Book #1 in The Watchers series)
Author: Karice Bolton
Publication date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Purely Persistent
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-615-53518-0
Length: 312 pages
Genre: Paranormal fiction

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Alone in snowy, remote Whistler village, Ana tries to build a new life since losing her parents. With a cozy condo, a sweet-faced bulldog and an evening job to leave the days free for the slopes, life slips into a great routine. If only she could shake the guilt for not remembering anything about her parents and banish the night terrors that haunt her every dream. On a whim, Ana goes out with Athen, a guy she’s just met in the Grizzly Pub… The only problem is that she feels like she already knows him.

Within 48 hours of meeting Athen and his family, Ana’s world implodes. She falls for Athen quickly and before she knows it, a past life begins to resurface. As thrilling as the revelations appear at first, she fights against the chilling information that Athen is from the underworld. Soon she begins to struggle as her own supernatural gifts are slowly unveiled, and she realizes that the nightmares she’s been having might be premonitions and not dreams at all. It is up to Ana to decipher between fact and fiction before it is too late, and her new love, Athen, follows in her same fate – one that is lost between two worlds.

All in all, Awakening was a good read and an interesting start of a new trilogy. What made me interested in the story in the first place was its mysteriousness, the fact that Ana (the main character) meets this guy but she feels like she already knows him. I was looking forward to finding out what happened and in this respect, the story didn’t disappoint me.

What I like about this book most was the fact that Ana asks the exact same questions the readers are thinking about. One day, soon after meeting this mysterious guy called Athen and his family, she learns that she belongs to them – they are fallen angels whose aim is to protect human beings from making bad decisions or be influenced by the dark demons. Which is a lot to take in all at once. Just imagine that you’re working as a bartender in a local pub one day when you meet three people and within two days, it turns out that you’ve known them for centuries and you are, in fact, a fallen angel. Bolton portrays Ana’s confusion very well and she asks questions we’re all wondering about.

Another thing I really liked about Awakening was the concept behind the story. The way the author describes the fact that these fallen angels can feel other people’s emotions is definitely thought-provoking. It’s interesting to think about life like this – that there are greater forces behind all of our decisions in life and there’s a constant battle between the good and the evil side.

Even though the concept was great, there were a few things I didn’t particularly like about this book. Ana falls in love with this really handsome guy called Athen – we can say it’s a love at first sight kind of thing. And then, all she can think or talk about is him. Her obsession with Athen and his family (ie. his sister and her fiancé) put me off, unfortunately. I know the point was that she felt like she’s known him for a long time and she felt an instant connection but it made me feel like I was reading the same thing over and over again. How great Athen is, how gorgeous he looks and how much she wants him.

Another thing I didn’t really like, or understand rather, is that the story seemed to focus on just four people having fun. Ana meets them, falls in love with Athen and she feels like she belongs to them. Which is all right but then the focus shifts to how much fun they have when they go dog sledding together. Then they go on a road trip to Seattle, they go shopping, they start decorating the Christmas tree… and I’m starting to wonder, where is this story going exactly? I felt like it dragged on a little bit, to be frank. The story ends with a cliffhanger which partly makes up for this lack of action in the first half of the book.

To sum up, although Awakening wasn’t as action-filled as I expected it to be, it was a great way to start the series and introduce the characters and the main idea behind the story. The ending definitely made me interesting in what is going to happen in the sequel and it looks like it might be a little bit more fast paced than Awakening was. If you enjoy young adult fiction with a touch of fantasy, this one might be perfect for you.

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Review: Fracture – Megan Miranda

Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
Publication date: January 17th 2012
Publisher: Walker Books
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781408817391
Length: 268 pages
Genre: YA fiction / paranormal

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By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead.

But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening….

Fracture, Megan Miranda’s debut novel, simply took my breath away. As a combination of amazing writing style, intriguing plot and easily relatable characters, it has all the ingredients of a perfect book. Miranda manages to grab your attention on the very first page and make you keep on reading until the very end. Fracture is a real page-turner from a highly talented debut author – a definite must have for the fans of YA fiction.

If I had to choose one thing about this book I loved the most, I’d be at a loss. The story is very intriguing and fast paced – it grabs you at the very beginning and doesn’t let you put the book down right until the end. It has everything an excellent story should have: a little bit of mystery, hidden secrets, and romance as well. I’m always a little bit scared when it comes to YA romance because sometimes it comes off a bit cheesy, but Fracture is everything but cheesy. Miranda’s writing style is just brilliant. She describes everything in such a way, in such details that it’s almost as if you watched a film instead of reading the book. It’s as if you were there with the characters and experienced everything they were going through.

In addition to a marvellous plot and writing style, Miranda’s characters are easily relatable and quite likeable. Delaney and Decker are a fantastic duo and they make the book even better. There’s something about him, something I can’t quite put my finger on that makes you love him even if he’s being rude or annoying. I found Delaney’s relationship with her mother how she was turning into her own mother quite interesting as well. Coming from a family where her father abused her and her mother didn’t care about her at all, Delaney’s mum does everything she can to get rid of her past and forget her painful memories. I found it interesting how she was always scrubbing the kitchen counter even if it was immaculately clean, almost as if she wanted to erase something from her life and how Delaney started doing the same thing towards the end of the book.

With a gripping storyline comes a surprising and thrilling ending – I seriously couldn’t have predicted what was about to happen and the author had me on the edge of my seat all along. I’m not lying when I say I loved everything about this book. Every single detail was perfectly written and I literally devoured it within 24 hours. A fantastic debut from a brilliant author whose work has completely taken me by surprise – I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

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Review: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

Title: Farsighted
Author: Emlyn Chand
Publication date: November 24th 2011
Publisher: Blue Crown Press
ISBN: 978-0-983-93080-8
Pages: 212 (ebook version)
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

Order from Amazon | Barnes &Noble | Smashwords

was over the moon when author Emlyn Chand contacted me and asked me whether I would like to take part in the Farsighted blog tour and be one of the lucky few who got to read her book before the release date. YA fiction is very close to my heart and even though I haven’t read much paranormal fiction before, I was more than ready to give it a shot. Thank goodness for that, because this book is simply unputdownable.

lex Kosmitoras seems like your average 16 year-old high school student who is bullied by the “cool guys”, who sits by himself in the school cafeteria and is hopeless when it comes to making friends or interacting with girls. Alex, however, is different. He has been blind ever since he can remember. And if it wasn’t enough, it turns out that he’s gifted – that is, he can see the future. As much as he would like to ignore this, he can’t. Especially when Simmi, a new girl from India moves into town and becomes Alex’s best (and only) friend – but the boy’s visions begin to suggest that Simmi is about to die. What can he do in order to save her? Can he put an end to these visions, change the future and save Simmi’s life?

f you are looking for a well-researched, entertaining and highly captivating read, then Farsighted was definitely made for you. Alex may be blind but it only makes the story more interesting. The way Chand works with adjectives is wonderful – you would think it is going to be hard to narrate a story from a blind person’s point of view but the author made it seem like the easiest thing in the world. I was really touched by how Alex described everything in so much detail – how her mother smelled like flowers and how Simmi reminded him of an Almond Joy bar. You’re thrown into the world of someone who doesn’t know what colours look like, how his friends or his home look like which makes the story really fascinating. For me the most moving part of the book was when Alex says that even though he doesn’t know how it looks like, the colour green is his favourite because so many of the best-smelling things are of that colour.

f I wanted to make comparisons, I would say that Farsighted is like The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and Harry Potter rolled into one – and do take it as a huge compliment because I love both series. Both Adrian and Alex grew up in a family that struggles to make ends meet and to earn enough money to get by. Chand gives a bittersweet touch to the story by describing how poor Alex’s family is. His backpack is starting to tear and his only pair of boots are scuffed, still, his parents would give anything to be able to buy him new clothes and new books. They both have a sarcastic sense of humour which is right up my street and which, in my opinion, makes the book even better. Alex’s mum reminded me a little bit of Mrs Weasley (who I absolute adore, by the way) – an overprotective mother who calls his son her “brave little oak tree” and her “little sapling” even though that little sapling isn’t that “little” anymore.

he main reason why I loved this story is because it’s so complex. It includes everyday characters, people we meet every day, people who are just like us – but there’s a magical side to the story as well. I love the fact that multiculturalism plays quite an important role in this book – as Chand puts it, “I don’t see why my characters all need to belong to the same culture or ethnicity. What fun is that?” And I agree. Why should all the characters be the same? It makes the story stand out and believe me, it works. In addition, the story is written in the first person – that is, Alex is the narrator. This was quite new for me because most books I’ve read used a third person narrator, but similarly to multiculturalism, it works perfectly.

t’s a very well written representative of the YA fiction genre – witty, fresh, entertaining and exciting. It keeps you on the edge of your seat all along and makes you want to find out what happens at the end. It’s a perfect read for a quiet night-in so make sure to get a copy and read it, you won’t be disappointed.

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