A Book Vacation

Biography

I read and write reviews as a hobby. I try to read a book a day, though sometimes life gets in the way.

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Smashwords book reviews by A Book Vacation

  • The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women, and a Life-Changing Day on a River on April 22, 2011

    This is a really well done novelette describing life through an angry fourteen-year-old’s eyes. I enjoyed it immensely, especially the superb imagery and description Kadish provides in regards to fly-fishing. I never was much of a fisher, but I enjoyed it as a little girl. The thrill of catching a fish still weighs heavy in my mind, and through Kadish’s prose I was easily able to envision Amanda as she trekked along the river, dredging up my memories of carefree summers and the palpable heat. Although I’ve never been in Amanda’s shoes, I believe Kadish does a superb job capturing her thoughts, feelings, and overall struggle as she attempts to cope with her mother’s betrayal and her grandmother’s sickness. I enjoyed the story, though some of the incidents do seem far-fetched, and while there is some discussion of religion, it is not an overbearing topic within the novel, but rather a touch upon the philosophical side of humanity. Three and a half stars.
  • Inklings on April 30, 2011

    I really enjoyed reading this collection of short stories. What I love the most about them is that they range from profound to humorous, incorporating all genres in-between. There is an underlying meaning behind each piece, and though it may take a second look, a closer reading, to get to the heart of each story, it is well worth it. Warrier has selected profound topics for her flash fiction, such as humanity, love and relationships, coming of age, politics, and change, to evoke further contemplation among readers. Though the selections may be short, they speak volumes and push the reader further, philosophically, as the stories take hold of the mind. On more than one occasion, the reader may need to re-read sections of the text in order to grasp all aspects of Warrier’s reflective prose, as each selection incorporates multiple ideas, but as each piece is fairly short, a close reading of the text is easily manageable. I especially enjoyed “So What,” as it is such a short, yet profound blurb about society. Originally, I laughed, but as I thought about it, and then re-read it, I began to see multiple meanings and underlying messages that are incorporated in this two-paragraph story. “The Revolt of the Coconut Trees” is another favorite of mine. Warrier’s writing style is beautiful and she takes a look at humanity and its presence in the world in this humorous telling of coconut trees fighting back. “Greenie” was a wonderful coming of age story that transcends all cultures and is very touching, and I love that all readers, on some level, are able to identify with this story. All in all, Warrier is an exceptional writer and her flash fiction is a must read. Four stars.
  • The Second Fly Caster: Fatherhood, Recovery and an Unforgettable Tournament on May 01, 2011

    This is a very interesting short story about a young man coming to terms with his reality. As a child, we all believe our parents are perfect, but as time goes on, we begin to realize that they too have their faults. This is a nice, short, coming of age story in which the main character takes longer than puberty to come to terms with his father’s flaws and then, overcoming those of his own. The imagery in this short story is, again, breathtaking, just like that of Kadish’s novelette, The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women. Whether you are a fly-fisher or not, this is a wonderful short story with great themes for all ages. Three and a half stars.
  • Dirty Blood on May 08, 2011

    Dirty Blood is a really great YA novel, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was enamored from the very first page and found the overall story of hunters and weres fascinating and fast paced. I love a good story with plenty of action, and Dirty Blood does not disappoint. Tara is a very head strong protagonist, and though I wanted to shake her a few times, due to her ill decision making skills, I love that she is, in fact, a wonderful representation of many teens today. Her self reliant, stubborn demeanor creates a very strong female lead juxtaposed with the tall, dark, and handsome Wes as he tries to help Tara understand her hunter instincts and the danger they bring—to her, and everyone she knows. Of course, like all of us thrown into a situation we do not understand, Tara struggles with herself and her newfound abilities, and I loved watching her come of age as the novel unfolded. The action was ever present and I had a hard time putting the novel down to attend to life duties, as I was so enamored with the novel. While I did find some similarities to the Twilight series, I think Hildenbrand does a great job making this story her own and creating wonderful characters and situations for readers to latch on to. The idea of a half were, half hunter was intriguing, and I really enjoyed it. Four stars.
  • Quest of the Demon on Aug. 16, 2011

    Sawyer has created a non-stop action piece in which Darci, accidentally transported to Nahaba, must go on a quest in order to get back home. What I really enjoyed about this novel was the immense characterization. All the characters are extremely in-depth and well rounded, giving the reader the feeling of personally knowing them all. I also enjoyed that this is not a traditional good versus evil story. I’m not going to give away the ending, but I will say that I was surprised by what transpired. This novel is refreshing and original, leaving the ending open for both interpretation and a sequel. Although lengthy at times, overall, I enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it for MG and YA readers alike. Three stars.
  • Death Whispers (#1) on Aug. 25, 2011

    I really like this novel. I especially love that the main character is male, as more often than not, lead roles in YA literature are female (why is that?). I’ve been looking for something along these lines to promote reading among my male student for a while, and thankfully, I’ve now found it. With a main character that can raise corpses, how can you go wrong? It is obvious that Blodgett spent a lot of time writing Death Whispers, perfecting the scientific and technological aspects of this futuristic dystopian novel. I was reminded of one of my favorite TV shows, Heroes, as I read. While many young adults will come into their special power during puberty, not all will choose to use their powers for good. And, with many new powers coming to light each year, the government, of course, is going to be on the lookout for any powers that may be politically important. One main difference, though, is that all young adults know that they may manifest these powers, and they are, therefore, subjected to a mandatory AP test to determine their placements in high school—which I think is a really ingenious idea that Blodgett incorporated into the novel, as it creates suspense in the terms that “big brother is watching you.” As the synopsis states, Caleb has a very rare talent, as do a few of his friends, and it was really fun to follow the characters as they discover their different abilities and learn to control and hide them, especially as the ever looming government could easily swoop in at any moment. What I really love about these powers, especially Caleb’s, is that Blodgett doesn’t sugarcoat them. For instance, the corpses don’t come back as they were in life, but rather in their various stages of decompose, including the smell. It was really interesting to read about this, and Blodgett writes in such a way that the reader can easily visualize it (though thankfully not smell it!). This novel takes place over a few months, and another aspect I really enjoyed was that I was able to keep pace with the timeframe. Keeping the reader on point with elapsed time can be very difficult for writers, and I’ve read many books in which the events all seem to happen within a day, and no timeline is ever provided for the reader, causing confusion. Blodgett, however, easily guides the reader through the story without having to state the time and, because of this, the love story portion of the novel becomes feasible, as it obviously doesn’t happen “overnight.” The dialogue in the story, as well as the action, was also very well done. Caleb and his friends banter back and forth much as my students do every day in the classroom, and I catch them doing very strange things in class as well, such as sticking things in their nose and ears… Blodgett captures the true essence of adolescents in her story, making her novel that much more enjoyable. As the story unfolds, events seamlessly build off each other, capturing the reader’s attention until the very end. I know that my favorite character should be one of the main ones, but actually, my favorite characters is Ali, Caleb’s mother. Why? As I’m an English teacher and older adult, I find we connect. She has a strong love for her son and also a strong love for English. She is constantly correcting Caleb’s language and, as exasperating as that can be to others, I love it! I do it all the time too; I see myself in her, and I see my students in the young adult characters, solidifying Blodgett’s capability of creating very real characters that we can all connect with in some manner. Something else I absolutely adore about this novel is the Caleb’s relationship with his parents. Caleb goes to his parents, first and foremost, when he realizes he’s in trouble. Most YA novels deal with characters that feel they need to hide everything from the adults in their life, and I loved that this was different. I’ve read many YA novels in which adults are excluded or deemed untrustworthy, and it was refreshing to finally read a YA novel in which an adolescent trusts his parents. Caleb goes to his parents on many occasions, and though they can’t always help him, the moral support that is there is awesome, and it portrays parents in a positive light, whereas, more often than not, YA literature portrays adults negatively. I like this positive reinforcement because that’s an aspect that teens need in their lives—adults who listen and care—yet Blodgett doesn’t paint all the adults in her novel as such, in order to keep with the reality of the world. Not all the adults (or other teenagers, for that matter) in the novel can be trusted, and Caleb and his friends aren’t obtuse. They see the warning signs and give their trust sparingly—they have a great sense of “street smarts,” as my parents would put it, and I enjoyed that very much. Of course, the technological aspect of this novel was amazing. As it takes place in the future, technology must be vastly different, and Blodgett does not disappoint! She has taken our current technology and morphed it, creating “pulse” technology in which cell phones read our thoughts and send them virally. Hence, texting and calling are obsolete. I loved reading about this, and how the characters used it, and I would live to see “pulse” technology actually come to fruition someday—though that could be a nightmare to us teachers in the classroom… Overall, this novel was great, and I highly suggest adolescents and adults read it alike. You will not be disappointed! Four stars!
  • Across The Galaxy on Sep. 24, 2011

    Originally, I thought this book was going to be like I Am Number Four, but it’s not. It’s better. Hildenbrand has created a great novel for all ages, and I was captivated from the very beginning. It is obvious that a lot of time and energy went into creating this novel, and it flows so perfectly that it’s impossible to put down. I really liked the character of Alina; I highly enjoyed watching her come into herself, finally able to make friends and fully discover her potential as the empress of her galaxy. She is a well-rounded character with a wonderful disposition, and I feel like I’ve made a friend through her. Likewise, Ander is to die for. He is a beautiful character, and the romance between Alina and Ander was fascinating to watch. Though at times I feared the worst for the budding couple, Hildenbrand did right by me in the end, though that’s as much as I’ll say about that… I really enjoy novels that create separate worlds and galaxies, showing the creativity of the author, and here Hildenbrand has done just that in Across the Galaxy. Her descriptions and explanations are vivid and entrancing; part of me wants to move to Alina’s world and leave my world far behind… all in all, this is a wonderful novel, and I highly recommend it to all readers. Four stars.
  • The Accidental Lover on Sep. 24, 2011

    This was a fun read. I enjoyed getting to know Freddy and his accidental lover, Jill (the Stradivarius). Freddy is a quirky character with some issues, and I thought he was hilarious, especially when it comes to his love for his stolen violin. While on the outside, this is a quirky novel about Freddy’s love affair with a violin, the novel actually takes a deeper look into the human psyche and how far one will go to hold on to that which we love—inanimate object or not. All of the characters in The Accidental Lover were very well written and the many twists and turns within the novel kept my attention as I read. It is fast paced, and Freddy goes from one crazy incident to the next: stealing a violin, attempted murder, being “mugged,” being hounded by the police… there was never a dull moment and I liked the novel a lot. Music lovers will especially enjoy this novel! Check it out! Three stars!
  • A Singular Gift on Oct. 01, 2011

    Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. This is a true coming-of-age novel in which Jean must learn what true friendship is, as well as decide to do right by those around her. I must admit that, in the beginning, Jean was quite obnoxious and her bad decisions made me dislike her quite a lot. However, she does have many redeeming qualities and, as we later find out, not all of her decisions were of her own volition, which helped make me like her much more as the story progressed. I’d like to say that I would have behaved differently had I been in Jean’s position, but truth be told, I would probably have behaved just as badly as her, especially since power can quickly consume a soul, causing one to act completely different, usually for the worst. I think part of this revelation is why I was so disgusted with her in the beginning, but as I said previously, she does redeem herself, which is good, because the story itself is very well done. Santore has created a very interesting tale involving magic, a world Jean didn’t know existed until her grandmother passes on, leaving her a box full of mysterious items. I enjoyed learning about the magical realm and watching the characters thrive, learn from their mistakes, and set new courses for themselves. There were a lot of twists within the novel and while some of the events were obvious in coming, others were much more shocking. I enjoy a story where I feel like I know what is happening but am also blindsided by certain situations, making me second-guess myself and the characters on the whole. I really did enjoy this novel and am hoping for a sequel to continue Jean’s fight for what is right. Four stars.
  • Blood Calling on Nov. 18, 2011

    Patterson doesn’t disappoint with his latest novel, Blood Calling, a new take on vampires and vampire hunters, one that is so unique and different that it had my attention from the very beginning. Lucy’s life is spiraling out of control and the last thing she needs is to find out vampires really exist, or to meet one in the flesh. Yet, these vampires aren’t exactly what she expected and Lucy finds herself in over her head, in more than one way. I really enjoyed this novel. Not only does the reader get to step into the world of vampires, but Patterson also gives the reader insight into their past lives, in small increments, spurring the reader on until the end. I really enjoyed the back stories that Patterson creates for the vampires throughout the novel, especially as he takes history and intertwines it with vampire folklore, creating an interesting “historical” aspect for the novel. As the story unfolds and both Lucy and the reader learn more about the world of vampires, both good and bad, the characters begin to come alive right off the page, making this a must read novel. I highly recommend this novel, especially for any vampire lovers out there. Four stars.
  • Guardian of Time, Book 2 of The Prophecies Dystopian Trilogy on Nov. 24, 2011

    This modern day 1984 is just as riveting as Orwell’s novel, but if I had to choose, really choose, I’d take Hawley’s series over Orwell any day. Why? Not only has Hawley created a unique futuristic novel, but she’s also done much research into current events of our time, weaving them into her story and making it even scarier than 1984 ever was. The future Hawley represents isn’t that far away; 2015 will be here before we know it and the multiple references to current leaders, epidemics, and catastrophes makes this all the more real for the reader. Multiple times, as I read, I pulled up short and thought to myself, “that’s right, the U.S. is trying to pass this law,” or “That just happened,” causing me to wonder what the real outcome will be if certain laws are passed, etc. Books that cause me to question my own here and now are one of my favorites, and Hawley really doesn’t disappoint in this sequel to Dreams Unleashed. I actually liked this novel even more than the first, partially because its main focus is the future, whereas much of Dreams Unleashed concentrates on the past and the future, jumping back and forth a bit. I highly enjoyed this main focus of Guardian of Time as the events are much more continuous and, as I’ve said before, scary. I also feel like it was a bit easier to read since it mainly stayed in one timeframe, though, don’t get me wrong, I loved Dreams Unleashed as well! I really enjoyed the paranormal aspects of this novel. Hawley has added this one twist to our future—and, in my opinion, it’s paranormalcy at its best. I love the fact that Ann can invade dreams and change events, both past and future, by adding or taking away key elements within the dream. I may be the minority here, but I’ve always wished I could make my dreams a reality, and Ann’s dreams actually are, which is just too cool. Honestly, this novel really will take your breath away. I can’t wait for the third installment in this series, especially as this novel ended on such a cliffhanger!
  • Tallen on Dec. 24, 2011

    Tallen, a character briefly met in Quest of the Demon, is back and the center of attention in this new book by M.L. Sawyer. A much darker book than the original, Sawyer dives deep into the world of a young woman betrayed and looking for revenge. Though I felt terribly sorry for Tallen throughout much of the book, I found her to be an extremely strong, very well written character. And, though I didn’t always agree with her choices, I completely understand where she is coming from and how grief and anger can cloud a person’s judgment. Sawyer has created a very real character in that of Tallen, and I truly enjoyed reading her story. Again, Sawyer has left the ending of the novel open for a sequel, and I am very interested to know what happens next for Tallen, especially as there is much foreshadowing throughout the novel. I also really enjoyed how Sawyer tied events from Quest of the Demon to those with Tallen, and I am excited to read more of both stories. 3.5 stars.
  • Veronica and the Cave of the Wind on Feb. 12, 2012

    This is a spectacular novel; it’s the second novel of Hamilton’s that I’ve read, and it won’t be the last. Hamilton is a phenomenal writer, creating vivid worlds that pull the reader in, making it nearly impossible to set the book aside until the very last page has turned. I really enjoyed the characters of Billy Swift Fox and Veronica. Their ability to communicate without speaking, and Billy’s ability to appear wherever he wants to be is really interesting and captivating—I think all people wish they had some special powers, and Hamilton allows his readers to live vicariously though these children as they take on the powers inside the Cave of the Wind. Upon entering the Cave of the Wind, both Veronica and Billy are tested beyond their imagination, and they must learn to harness new powers and trust their instincts if they plan to ever leave the cave again. This is a fast paced novel, following our two protagonists as they begin to come of age, hoping to stay together but ultimately learning to thrive by themselves. I really enjoyed the many adventure of Billy and Veronica, and though their family is wracked with fear for their children’s lives, especially as they can’t enter the cave to help them, their story easily intertwines with that of the children. I also loved how Hamilton created the cave to become its own separate world, complete with tribes and even a wicked witch set on forever trapping the children. The characterization was great and so were the many different adventures, and I loved watching the children come of age throughout this novel. This is a really great read and I I am excited to read the sequel, which Hamilton begins to set up in the ending on The Cave of the Wind.
  • Blood Passage on April 04, 2012

    If you love murder mysteries, police dramas, and a few elements of the supernatural, then this is the story for you. Four years ago, Martin Liu was found dead in a backstreet alley, a drug deal gone badly, or so police thought. Now, with a young child making claims of remembering who killed him in his past life as Martin, the case is reopened with renewed fervor as not only the police try to find the killers, but Martin’s cousin, Peter Mah, also seeks revenge. This just blew my mind away, especially the references to reincarnation. I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, but McCann’s novel will definitely make you think, and as creepy as it may seem, the elements of this story aren’t too far-fetched at all. This is a very well written crime novel, full of suspense and intrigue as Hank Donaghue and Karen Stainer work diligently to uncover the truth. I loved the different factions coming to a head, Chinatown versus the police, in a race to see who can find the killers first. I also really enjoyed the complex characters in this novel as well. Not only are the main characters, Donaghue and Stainer , fleshed out into intricate beings, but even Peter Mah and the deceased Martin are given strong identities, making them easily likable. I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good read. Four stars.
  • Marcie's Murder on April 06, 2012

    Donaghue and Stainer are back in McCann’s latest crime novel, expertly unraveling the mystery surrounding Marcie Askew’s murder, the police chief’s wife. A woman with many secrets, Donaghue and Stainer have their work cut out for them as the scour the town for answers, interview reluctant witnesses, and dealing with a small town police division set in their ways. I really enjoyed watching this novel unfold, especially as Donaghue and Stainer are the perfect team and their witty remarks make for a very fun read. There is an art to writing crime novels, and McCann has perfected it, giving the reader just enough insight to allow him/her to make educated conclusions about the murder, only to throw new information into the mix, changing the pathway of the novel completely. Donaghue and Stainer are also fleshed out more in this second novel of the series, giving the reader more background information, especially about Stainer and her love for guns. While there is a little more technical talk about guns and police business than I am interested in, it is blatantly obvious that McCann knows his material and has really done his research, adding validity to his story, and his characters, as the novel unfolds. I definitely recommend this novel. Four stars.
  • Gordy on July 05, 2012

    This is a very short story that follows a young boy as he realizes the truth about his parents. The story picks up somewhat in medias res, as Gordy attends a party at his aunt’s. Less than pleased with his attire and the people surrounding him, he ventures out of doors, where he meets a dog, Donut, and as the story unfolds, he eventually learns that he must rely on others in this coming of age tale. I must admit, this story wasn’t at all what I expected, but it is very well done, though completely different from all of Hildenbrand’s other work. I think this is something that younger readers will enjoy, especially as it’s short and Gordy is very young. Of course, as a short story, there isn’t much room for character development, but I think Hildenbrand captures the feelings of the characters very well.
  • Lastborn on July 08, 2012

    This story had a very interesting concept, but I personally found it a bit slow and hard to follow. There are many characters introduced throughout the novel, and I had a hard time keeping them all straight, especially the more minor ones. Likewise, the plot tended to shift around a bit, from a huge, epic battle where Nara-Ya shows her true colors, to months of the characters sitting around doing nothing but waiting. And so, the pacing would speed up and slow down constantly, which was difficult for me, since I’m one of those readers that likes the pacing to be the same throughout a novel. However, Donovan and Nara-Ya were very interesting characters, and I feel like they were fleshed out very well throughout the story. They are total opposites, and Forde did a phenomenal job creating them. I liked them very much when they were together, and following their budding relationship over the many years within the novel was nice. I would have liked even more information about them and their love life, which, in my opinion, was all too short, but is indeed the makings of a good sequel. This novel deals a lot with political uprisings, war, love, redemption, and of course, there are some paranormal/sci-fi elements as well, such as a unicorn and the like, so I think that readers who enjoy books of this caliber will really enjoy it.
  • Eligere (Seranfyll, Book 2) on July 20, 2012

    This was a phenomenal read. Daley takes a very in-depth look at the atrocities of slavery in her novels, and I just love how well written and interesting her books really are. Rain and Snow are my favorite. They’re the epitome of teenagers everywhere. They’re looking for adventures, bored by mundane schoolwork, and intent on having as much fun as possible. But they’ve also got strong heads on their shoulders. Having been slaves at one point in their lives, they are all too aware of the evils that penetrate the world and want to work to fix it as much as possible. And so they do as they embark on some amazing adventures, full of joy and perils, and I was captivated from the very start. This is a great sequel to Seranfyll,and I just loved it! The story is very fast paced and I highly enjoyed the voyage to the Amyrania jungles. Although full of fantasy and epic world building, the story is extremely real, and I love how Daley is able to make the story stand out so much from other novels out there. Full of poignant themes regarding self worth, the atrocities of slavery, coming of age, and having hope/faith in oneself, this is a must read for all ages. Five stars.
  • Bad Blood on July 29, 2012

    This was an interesting story dealing with lycanthropes. If you like werewolves, I suggest taking a look into this novel, especially if you’re partial to young YA and MG reads. Basically, the novel begins around a campfire and a battle between good and evil ensues. Val Sherwood is bitten, and it then becomes her job to protect her friends as the evil werewolf in question attempts to kill everyone in the Ecology Club. At the same time that Val must attempt to protect her friends, she must learn to live with her new condition, and her interactions with others while she’s attempting to do so provide enough humor to make the story comical. I thought the characterization within the story was very well done, though the story moved very quickly, making it difficult to connect on a deeper level with the characters. I liked Val well enough, and her friends were interesting, though that fact that they couldn’t just listen and take orders irked me a tad bit. Overall, though, this is a pretty good read and I think those who enjoy werewolf tales will enjoy it.
  • Unlikely Allies on Feb. 07, 2013
    (no rating)
    Once again, King has blown my mind with another beautiful young adult novel that sucked me in from start to finish. I absolutely adore King’s books, all of them, and Unlikely Allies is another gem that I highly recommend to any who enjoy a sound, realistic plot line, swoon worthy characters, a bit of drama, and a triumphant ending. Kimberly, our protagonist and a highly engaging character, is visiting her father for the first time, having just found out about his existence. Whisked away from California to the Rocky Mountains, she is in for a “rude awakening,” but in my opinion, Kimberly handles herself extremely well. Though she doesn’t necessarily fit in with those around her, she shoulders the animosity of some campers/staff extremely well, while quickly making friends with others. I really enjoyed her happy-go-lucky attitude, and though I’ll say the book moved a bit faster than I would have liked (I so wanted more of Mason and Kimberly), I really loved every moment of it, especially the witty banter. Mason, nicknamed “Greeky” for his Greek god physic and attitude, is to die for. Though he is downright nasty in the beginning, I found his search within himself to be extremely real and well written. Mason’s life hasn’t been peaches and cream, and the appearance of Kimberly brings extreme thoughts of jealousy to the forefront as, in my opinion, they should—we’re only human, after all, and if someone walked into my life and laid claim to the only person who’d kept me grounded throughout everything I experienced, I’d probably react the same way Mason does. But with time, all things heal, and I loved watching both Kimberly and Mason fight their attraction only to realize their true feelings for one another… though the timing couldn’t be worse as they’re thrust into a battle to survive… (and I just loved this… my heart was in my throat for the remainder of the story). King’s story is highly engaging, bringing to life not only the characters, but also the Rocky Mountains. I’ve never been there, but through the descriptions of the wilderness and the harsh realities of an unforgivable terrain, I was easily able to imagine it every step of the way. I love novels where I’m drawn into the scenery as much as I am into the characters’ lives, and King achieves both in this latest release.
  • Unlikely Allies on Feb. 07, 2013

    Once again, King has blown my mind with another beautiful young adult novel that sucked me in from start to finish. I absolutely adore King’s books, all of them, and Unlikely Allies is another gem that I highly recommend to any who enjoy a sound, realistic plot line, swoon worthy characters, a bit of drama, and a triumphant ending. Kimberly, our protagonist and a highly engaging character, is visiting her father for the first time, having just found out about his existence. Whisked away from California to the Rocky Mountains, she is in for a “rude awakening,” but in my opinion, Kimberly handles herself extremely well. Though she doesn’t necessarily fit in with those around her, she shoulders the animosity of some campers/staff extremely well, while quickly making friends with others. I really enjoyed her happy-go-lucky attitude, and though I’ll say the book moved a bit faster than I would have liked (I so wanted more of Mason and Kimberly), I really loved every moment of it, especially the witty banter. Mason, nicknamed “Greeky” for his Greek god physic and attitude, is to die for. Though he is downright nasty in the beginning, I found his search within himself to be extremely real and well written. Mason’s life hasn’t been peaches and cream, and the appearance of Kimberly brings extreme thoughts of jealousy to the forefront as, in my opinion, they should—we’re only human, after all, and if someone walked into my life and laid claim to the only person who’d kept me grounded throughout everything I experienced, I’d probably react the same way Mason does. But with time, all things heal, and I loved watching both Kimberly and Mason fight their attraction only to realize their true feelings for one another… though the timing couldn’t be worse as they’re thrust into a battle to survive… (and I just loved this… my heart was in my throat for the remainder of the story). King’s story is highly engaging, bringing to life not only the characters, but also the Rocky Mountains. I’ve never been there, but through the descriptions of the wilderness and the harsh realities of an unforgivable terrain, I was easily able to imagine it every step of the way. I love novels where I’m drawn into the scenery as much as I am into the characters’ lives, and King achieves both in this latest release.
  • Destiny's Kiss: a Darkworld novel on Jan. 09, 2014

    Destiny is a magik running from a very dark past; a past her own parents sold her into in order to protect themselves. Finally free, yet living in constant fear, it seems that Des’ luck is about to run out as her past begins to rear its ugly head, sending her life spiraling out of control once more. This entire plot line really sparked my interest, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Destiny. She’s a strong character and I can’t image all she’s gone through in order to get to where she is today. Thankfully, it’s not graphic, but readers do learn fairly early on that slavery is an accepted practice among magiks and that the trade of young women is rampant in some circles. While it’s sickening to think about, Wolanski does an amazing job setting up the scene, showcasing the truths of human trafficking and slavery. But like I said, graphics are not involved, making it a little easier to read, but it’s still harrowing. Wolinski intertwines her story with both the present and past experiences of Destiny, focusing mainly on the present, but giving glimpses into her past and her choice to run when the coast finally cleared. I liked the back and forth narrative, though it was a bit jarring the first time it happened because of the name change, but it was still obvious who the story was about. There are many magiks within this novel, from vampires and werewolves to gnomes and druids, the list is extensive. Perhaps the most interesting but also jarring addition to this novel is that they all co-exist with humans–humans bending to magiks’ policies and customs, having special branches within their forces, such as the police, to deal with magiks, and to also honor their laws. The fact that the humans just seem to roll over whenever a magik showed itself made me a little queasy, but at the same time, it makes sense. If you can’t fight it, and you can’t beat it, the next best thing is to befriend it, right? Even if you disagree with their values and practices? Well, maybe not. The one aspect of this novel I really struggle with, though, it was it was all a little too fast paced for me. I actually feel weird saying that because I usually love fast-paced books, but in this case, it just was too much too fast. So many characters are introduced to us right off the bat, and I never felt like I was able to wrap my head around it all. Each group has its own powers, customs, laws, and traditions, and once politics came on the scene, I found myself quite lost. The story itself made sense for the most part as it focused on Destiny, but whenever the politics came into play, I personally had a hard time following along. I think a little less information overload would have helped me follow the storyline a little better, but overall, it was a good read. Three stars. I was given this novel by the author in exchange for an honest review.