At first I didn't think I would like the book, but then the story finally drew me in and I am hooked. I want the next book out now!! I really want to know what the heck is going to happen next!
Magic using is a part of the world in this book and there is also a disease that is taking the magic away, kind of. This disease makes the person feel all of the other magic users and overwhelms them in a way that they want the magic very badly and the person can either control it or they end up killing the person and absorbing their magic. The world then detests the magic disease because everyone is scared that it can't be controlled and the people with the disease will murder anyone else for their power. Ria and Paula are best friends and start at Magic Academy and meet boys they feel they love, then a problem presents itself for Ria and she gets closer to figuring out the secrets behind the magic disease that the world hasn't told anyone. BTW, there isn't actually a whole lot of magic usage in this first book. Just hints of it as the story revolves around students who have not exactly been through practical study of their magic yet.
At first I thought Ria was a F*g bitch and couldn't connect with her narrow minded views. I thought Paula was a bit too silly about her boyfriend and Michael was just too good.
There were some problems with editing where a word was missing or misplaced and sometimes I had to read a sentence once or twice to get what was supposed to be there.
The whole storyline! I thought it was interesting and a different take on magic than what I've personally read before.
Ria sort of redeemed herself by realizing some of the things she thought were incorrect and she didn't seem a silly as Paula about some other things.
I absolutely enjoyed the story and can't wait to read the next installment. I recommend for anyone interested in a college type setting with some romance and an different take on magic.
Maybe more like 3.5 stars. Free author copy provided thru book groups via goodreads. Review also posted on goodreads and amazon.
things I liked
that she wasn't the awkward outcast who didn't think much of herself, she liked who she was even if she didn't necessarily have a large group of friends.
Ethan was a good strong character [and the experiences the author gave him surfing made the reason he believed her story a bit more understanding, otherwise it'd be like really? why the f does he believe that? ]
Cruz was great and so was Megan as side characters. I liked that she made Cruz's outward appearance not match his personality at all, i dunno why i like that but i do
things that I didn't like
The writing style, I don't know what it is about it....but it didn't absorb me into the story. I wasn't on the edge of my seat or totally entranced. I could stop and take breaks from reading and was totally fine with it.
The story is good and wraps up nicely. There is only one real loose end that I saw and she probably left it loose just so that there could be other books, but I don't see the need for other books. This was a perfectly nice story and I enjoyed it. It doesn't, however, lead me into really caring about the next book. I'm sure the next story will also be perfectly nice, I may or may not read it.
***This review does contain some spoilers***
Okay don't hate me here because of the two star rating. I will say that the story and plot line were good and worthy of 4 stars, however the writing just wasn't up to par.
Linda's parents died when she was around 4 and she's been living in an abusive home in England, her aunt in Hollywood sends for her when she is 17 and Linda is now living a grand life. She meets tons of interesting and historical movie figures from the 1930s (the time frame the book takes place). She has a love interest and also she is having horrible nightmares that are starting to take a toll on her daily life. There are issues in the book surrounding rape, racism and small but important part about a crime family. The story was good and I definitely enjoyed that part.
The Writing....dun dun dun
Okay, I had major issues with the writing. It was clinical sounding at times and not engaging. I never felt for the characters because the writing style didn't pull me in. It was like being in a criminology class and discussing a case where the facts are laid out in a clinical and professional manner, it just so happens to also have a few sex scenes (but those also felt clinical or weird)
Parts that I found odd or ridiculous or unnecessary
Okay so the story goes like this....this happened and so and so did that and then we went here and that happened. Well okay, I am happy for ya. No connection!!
Linda is always talking about conflicting emotions....wtf are your emotions conflicting about. Am I supposed to guess or assume? I understand that there are some clues but books are tricky, man, I don't like to suppose something because then the author will tell me later and the whole time I was on the wrong track. Then I have to backtrack and read the whole scene over again with the correct emotions. This might also be a problem with the writing style, maybe I just missed it. An example tho is "she struggled with conflicting emotions and rubbed her forehead." I couldn't figure out what those emotions were until 2 sentences later, but the place where it told us what these emotions were are 2 or 3 paragraphs before this conflicting emotions line.
[*spoiler*Also, there was a big scene where she had this nightmare and revealed to Sara that she didn't know what was going on. Lasted all of two paragraphs. This is where the author
could have went into more detail. So she woke up and she was soaking wet with sweat and didn't want Sara to clean it up so she stripped her bed and ran a bath. Then Sara came in to wash her back and Linda said she didn't know what the dreams were about cuz she couldn't remember them. That's it basically. I seemed to need more and def wanted more for this scene as these nightmares are very important to the story. *end spoiler*]
"The sea voyage was uneventful. They landed at Baltimore Harbor and took the train to Union Station in Washington. A taxi drove them to the Willard Hotel." These three sentences are completely unneccesary. They arrived at the hotel in NY would have sufficed. There are a bunch of these and I believe that they are just filler sentences to fill the book, when these spaces could have been used for character depth or emotion or something.
Sex Scenes --
[*spoiler*sex talk: When he found her clitoris (are we being clinical)? He felt the strong, rhythmic spasm of her orgasm....maybe this line just felt wrong because of the weird rest of the scene....he gave her a second orgasm by a slow and gentle arousal....horrible. I read these lines to my gma (weird i know) and she was all, it sounds like it was written by someone who has
never had sex before. "..entered her smooth warmth"??? really? As a suggestion, read some Laurell K Hamilton, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole....hell even Bella and Edwards Twilight sex scene was somehow more interesting (but maybe that because we had been waiting for it for so damn long). Read these authors and see how they deal with the sex scenes and bring out emotion in the reader and don't sound so evasive and clinical. Seemed like you wanted it to be extreme but couldn't get the right wording out because you didn't want to sound over the top or something (i could be way off but it's how I felt it sounded when I read it.) *end spoiler*]
There were two times when I actually laughed out loud though because I could see it actually happening. [*spoiler*when George is making fun of Alex after he caught them having sex, the mom tells alex to have Linda come over again, and George whispers to Alex "and again and again and again"...ha ha, freakin brothers!! Also, when Linda says something like wow I didn't know it could be like that and Alex responds "glad I could make you come"...ha ha, seriously i laughed out loud *end spoiler*]
Conclusion (if you made it this far)
The story is good and interesting and dark, what with the abuse, but the writing just didn't pull me in and I really wish that it had. I would say that if you can get past the writing then read the book, it's good. I was not okay with most of the writing though which is why I had to give it the two star rating.
First of all I'm trying to figure out what genre to put this in. Sci-fi, absolutely. YA...not in my opinion. There is an 8 year old smoking ciggs and then other kids start smoking, plus he and his group are then talking about how he has girlfriend and if he is gonna get laid (this part may put him at 9 or 10 years old). If this is supposed to be YA for under 14 I just don't find that appropriate (and btw, I am single with no kids and over 25, but I do have a 13 year old brother). I recognize that my brother, at 13, would understand that this is fiction but I believe these topics with such a young child as the main character should not be in a YA book. The synopsis for this book led me to believe it would be a YA sci-fi book which is why I'm bringing this concern up.
Moving on to the other issues I had:
it was stated that they wanted the kids to be at their prime of 18 for when they finally fought. Okay fine, but having the main kid be 8, I get it super smart for his age, but couldn't you have had him be at least 10? the other kids are already around 12-13, was it necessary for the main kid to be 4 years younger?
the editing for the .mobi version which is the one I downloaded was all messed up and it was very distracting.
The following sentences are examples:
How did rate getting put in charge? (Really? I didn't know we had anybody that young on the ship, much less in charge of it. How did rate getting put in charge? Do you know somebody?)
Can ask you a question?
It always won't be this way, so take advantage of it.
a spelling error here and there
hard to understand concept
If a person wasn't raised on military language some of the concepts may be hard to understand. Including the part where he is talking about dress right dressing and parade rest. These concepts are hard to picture in your head if you don't know what they are and I don't believe people without military backgrounds or watch/read military movies/books are going to understand this.
For the type of book this is, a sci-fi military book, then this is a decent book. I have read other sci-fi books with military involvement and have enjoyed them, but for some reason I didn't enjoy this one. There was too much military attack procedures and planning and battle tactics, get to the f*g point already. We got it, they trained in simulators and they got hurt in the physical simulators. There is battle planning, got it...it took too long to get to the real battles, I started skipping battle training parts. The simulated battles were cool, but there weren't enough of them. Lastly, I didn't like the concept of including the bible as a present to the aliens...I think it was too soon and a bit contrived. I do read books with religious concepts too, like all of Ted Dekker, but at that point in the story it just felt all wrong and set up specifically to do that, so forced.
The book is just more planning and talking and not enough of the action sequences. There were some and those parts I liked, but I just didn't like reading this book. I enjoy multiple genres, this author just didn't pull me in.
This was a great book!
Sarah knows that she is half human and half vampire, but she has been suppressing her vampy side for her whole life and thinks that it is bad. William is connected to Sarah as he is the only other half human half vamp in existence, he's lived his whole life using both his vamp instincts and his human. Sarah has dreamed of William all her life and when she finally meets him in real life she is thrust into a world that she didn't know about. Demons are after them because of their special abilities and the whole future of the world is at stake if they cannot keep themselves protected.
-The story itself, I loved the concept of serums and prophesies and witches and shapeshifters.
-I also liked how the romance worked. Yes they weren't physically there knowing each other very long, but they knew each other their whole lives via dreams and stories.
-The writing was well done and the author knew how to make the story flow for the most part.
--I didn't wholly understand the concept of the serums. Like, I didn't quite get how they worked exactly or why they had to use orchids and not anything else.
--Every once in a while I had to stop and reread something to make sure I understood what was happening, only about 3 times though so not too big of a deal.
I enjoyed this story immensely. So much so that in the last 25% of it I was reading as fast as I possibly could just so that I could get to the outcome.....I was thinking aaaaahhhhh just tell me what happens already!!! I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre. :)
The star rating is solely based on my personal enjoyment of this novel. It has nothing to do with the writing style or the very good story that was weaved. I did not read this whole book cover to cover, after reading it straight for about 25% I started skipping around and I also read the last few chapters, so cumulatively I read about 50% of the book.
Two realms, Earth and the Dream Realm. A witch and a young girl from the Earth realm and many characters in the Dream Realm. This young girl has had a very sad thing happen to her and this sort of creates her way into becoming the person needed to save the world. There are prophesies about an evil entity that will be released to the Earth and apocalyptic doom from there, but an ancient coven and a trapped sorcerer and the young girl are the ones who will be the center of saving or not saving Earth realm.
-The writing was great. Metaphors and riddles and rhymes, oh my. Also, the depths that the author went into describing and creating this other world was amazing.
-I liked how the author gave little hints as to what Wicca really is and showed that there are misconceptions. (I am a believer, though not a practitioner)
-I also liked that the story showed the paths of "enlightenment" basically. Going through the things that made Alice and Magog realize the things that they did that were not necessarily good and having them realize them.
-I didn't really like that around every corner it kept reminding us of how horrible the human race is (or at least that's how I took it). Some of us have redeeming qualities but we should all be ashamed at how horrible the human race really is. Which seemed to me to compete with the "everyone has the potential to be good or bad" thought that was also brought up.
-I actually, personally, didn't enjoy all of the details....it seemed too too much at times and some scenes didn't seem like they were going to be necessary at all (though I ended up skipping around so I don't know if this is true)
-The story seemed to drag out and then end abruptly with a cliffhanger.
- It had so many different "real" thoughts and points of view in it that I ended up not enjoying it or wanting to enjoy it. Like it was an opinionated report that was made into a fantasy novel.
-During the "enlightenment" path, some parts were just super crazy sad (i.e. the part with Magog meeting the old man/kid).....this is a dislike because I don't want to read a fantasy book and be sad about something like that. That part was all kinds of fudged up and I didn't like reading it, wish that woulda been a part that I had skipped. Every time I think about the story with Magog and the old man/kid I get sad and then mad that I read something like that.
I will not go back and finish reading the gaps that I skipped in this story any time soon. This is all personal for me though. I would suggest reading other reviews as well and seeing if this book is something that you may be interested in because the writing really is good and the story well thought out. A fantasy book for sure, just not my particular cup of tea.
**free copy provided for review
I'm giving this book 3 stars, which is as objective that I can be because, personally, I didn't so much like it.
I thought the synopsis of this story was way off base, so here is what I think it's about. This is a faith based book, not faith in the traditional sense, God and Hell, but faith nonetheless. Willow is the main character and ever since she was a child she has felt a presence with her, her parents said it was the bogeyman when she was a child and then thought she was crazy with keeping an imaginary friend as she grew up. Willow is now 22 and has moved from Chicago to England and a small cottage so that she can pursue Boon (her childhood boogeyman, though he was never scary and always loving, so not really the boogeyman). Once there she meets Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby and Hugh, these people eventually show her what Truth is and what the Truth is behind her love for Boon and the Truth about mankind.
--The reason for the 3 star rating, objectively: the writing flowed well, was crazy descriptive and you knew EXACTLY what to picture, the author had a point and plot that was explained and understandable
--Hugh, as soon as he was introduced into the book I wanted to read all of the parts with him in it.
--The old Victorian way that Hugh spoke.
These are all personal reasons:
--The synopsis was completely misleading or at least I took it wrong, I thought there was going to bee a fight for love and truth and blah blah, some paranormal aspect going on, Urban Fantasy, excitement. NO...no excitement what-so-ever...none. This was a book about a girl and her faith in herself and mankind. It was paranormal/urban fantasy in the way God and Jesus are. Which is to say, to some people not at all and to others completely.
--It’s way way too descriptive. I’m skimming over two or three paragraphs at a time because I just don’t care how green the grass is, or the fact that the ground was sun warmed and the butterflies flew past the window. It makes for the beginning of the book to be very slow and I just want the story to start already.
--The way the author wrote Mr. Willoughby’s accent. It was too hard to read, I don’t think the accent needed to be pronounced in every other word he spoke. A couple accented spelled words and I can imagine the accent in my head from there. Half the time I had to read the damn things he’s saaid two or three times to understand what the heck he said and it pissed me off.
--I understand that the concept of her connection to Boon is hard for her to explain to family; however it shouldn’t be hard for the reader to understand. It sounded confusing and I didn’t get it either.
--Boon, I didn't care for him...never got attached to him as a character (view spoiler)
--WTF (view spoiler)
--When we finally get the answers to our questions about what the heck is going on, it is in one gi-freakin-normous info dump. Like a chapter and a half long info dump!!! bleh..
--Didn't like the ending at all
I have no idea. I would not recommend this book to anyone that I know in real life. It is a very slow paced book. Three stars based on the flow of the writing, the fact that the characters were developed with back stories, the world building and descriptive writing style (though that's not my cup of tea).
1. wish he woulda been Arthur and Hugh woulda been Lancelot
2. Hugh was Judas? that pissed me off, not in the religious fact what-so-ever, but really? that's who the author chose him to be??? someone who killed himself (for, in this story, doing what was asked of him) and then becoming a gardener who found his True love only to not be able to be with her and now he's lost and waiting on Earth (well in Avalon) for his love to return? what??? WHAT THE HELL??? I didn't get it and didn't understand it. This pissed me off sooooo royally too because he was my fav character. Could have at least also made him be Arthur, no?