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Smashwords book reviews by Katherine Eccleston
- The Brown House
on Jan. 09, 2013
I really enjoyed The Brown House by Christy Sloat. The atmosphere Ms. Sloat developed and the suspense she built in the book were wonderful. And there were definitely parts in the story that gave me chills.
The main character, Brylee, was well developed and easy to relate to. Brylee's reaction to the move cross country from California to New Jersey and the feelings she experienced being the "new kid" in school were very realistic. And I loved seeing her friendships develop with Ephraim, Lyn, and Kayla.
I didn't love the ending - maybe because I didn't want it to end...lol. But I am anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to be released so that I can continue on this journey with the characters.
- Emerging Fates (a Maggie Henning & The Realm novella)
on Jan. 09, 2013
First, let me say that I am a huge fan of the Maggie Henning & the Realm books and I absolutely loved Book 1 - Phoenix Rising, and Book 2 - Phoenix Burning. If you haven't read them, then I highly recommend that you check them out. Emerging Fates is a novella that is a companion to Phoenix Rising and Phoenix Burning and it reveals what Maggie's best friend Stephanie is doing while Maggie is dealing with the Realm in books 1 & 2. I read this novella after reading books 1 and 2 but I think that a new reader would enjoy this novella as a stand-alone...and would definitely want to read Book 1 and 2 after reading this novella.
The main characters in the novella are Stephanie (Maggie's best friend) and Hayden (a mysterious stranger who befriends Stephanie). Everyone is convinced that Maggie is dead and Stephanie refuses to believe it. Stephanie starts searching for answers and discovers alot about her best friend, herself, and her family. She also develops a relationship with Hayden.
Lisa Morgan's characters are always great and very relatable and I loved the characters of Stephanie and Hayden. I sincerely hope that Stephanie and Hayden are in the next books in the series.
- Enchanted Hearts
on Jan. 31, 2013
Enchanted Hearts was absolutely enchanting! This is a wonderful read for all Fae and romance fans. The story focuses on the decision that Aithne must make between Hadrian, the Fae Prince, and William, her childhood friend who has grown to be something more. I absolutely loved the descriptive writing in this book and the character development. Aithne was such a sweet girl and my heart broke with hers as she tried to decide between her childhood fantasies of the fae and her future. And the two heroes were both swoon-worthy in their own special way. I highly recommend this book!
- Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles
on Feb. 01, 2013
I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review...and I honestly thought it was amazing! I started reading Coexist around 2pm and I finished it around 6pm. I couldn't put it down. I became totally immersed in this book and I am going to be buying the next book as soon as I finish typing this review...lol.
I loved the characters. Keegan is great - she's a typical teenager who just happens to be an elf. Rourke is the perfect hero - his love for Keegan is unfailing even from afar and he is always there to protect her.
I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.
- Teen Fury: Unleashed
on Feb. 09, 2013
Teen Fury: Unleashed by Amanda Torrey is a YA paranormal story that focuses on a young girl who was adopted at birth and knows nothing about her birth parents. Suddenly, at the age of 15, she discovers that her birth mother is a Fury and her birth father is a God of Mercy. This discovery is earth-shattering to young Felicia and causes a lot of complications in her life. It also brings her into contact with two mysterious guys, Zane and Ryder, who are pulling her in two very different directions.
This book was a refreshing break from vampires and werewolves and Ms. Torrey managed to put a unique spin on her YA paranormal novel. The whole idea of this teenager discovering that she is the real daughter of two mythological creatures was interesting. I loved the character of Felicia. She was a perfect teenage heroine. She was caring & genuine and she had goals - like getting a grant to help the troubled teens that she mentors...but she also dealt with real teen emotions - like her anger at being laughed at and her confusion over what boy to like. The love triangle between Felicia, Zane, and Ryder provided a lot of tension and also helped Felicia (and the reader) to understand the dichotomy that she was struggling with because of the fury side and the mercy side of her genetic make-up. But I have to admit that I was on team Ryder from the moment he came into the story!
This story had a great mix of mythology, powers, adventure, and romance. I really enjoyed it and I will be reading book 2 of the series when it is released *Note - I'm assuming there will be a book 2 because there were a few things that were left unanswered for me at the end and I'd love to see how Felicia continues to handles her powers and the choices that she made while also handling high school.
- Destine; The Watcher's Trilogy Book 1
on Feb. 19, 2013
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and I absolutely, positively loved it!! The story follows Michelle Cross during her senior year of high school...and not only does she have to contend with all the normal high school issues but she has a mother who is crazy, the four horsemen of the apocalypse show up, she falls in love with the fallen angel who is guarding her, and she finds herself battling the evils of Hell.
This book had it all - action, love, friendship, good vs evil - and I could not put it down. It had some real LOL moments and also some heartbreaking moments when I cried along with Michelle. The entire story captivated me and I cannot wait for the next book in the trilogy to be released.
Although the book has a religious premise it did not come across as preachy or attempting to convert anyone into believing in any specific religion. Katherine Polillo managed to weave religion with all the other components of the story and create a masterpiece. Her characters were realistic and I definitely felt a connection to them. The plot had enough twists and turns to make you feel like you were riding a roller coaster (and you definitely don't want to get off the ride)
on March 07, 2013
Kasadya tells the story of Kas, a teenager who finds out that she's not a normal teenager, in fact she's not even human. She is a child of the fallen and she is a hellhound, one of the most powerful of the fallen that God created to defeat demons.
I had a hard time getting into this story at first. But as the story progressed, I became more and more entranced by Kas's story. I loved seeing Kas grow from an immature teenage to a strong, powerful, confident woman. And I loved how kickass she became as she embraced being a hellhound.
Although Kas is the main character, there were some amazing secondary characters. Kas's friends Nanini and Lada were fiesty and fun. The characters of Kali became a wonderful complement to Kas's character.. And the guys in the story were to die for - Seth, the sexy & caring werewolf...Chax, the brooding vampire with a heart....and then Max, the human who fights demons. Kas is going to have a hell of a time choosing between those three.
I really enjoyed this book and I've already bought the second book in the series (I had to - the cliffhanger ending had me going to buy the second book as soon as I finished this book.)
- Dark Before Dawn
on March 07, 2013
Dark Before Dawn focuses on Dawn, a 16 year old girl who is forced to move from Boston to Maine because of her mother's marriage. Not only does Dawn have to deal with a new family, a new house, and a new school but she also has psychic abilities that scare her and have isolated her. She tries to keep her psychic abilities a secret but when she has a vision of a classmate's death, she feels that she must warn him. Soon she is being teased and tormented by the cool kids. And when her vision comes true, his friends spread a rumor around school is that she is a witch and she caused his death. She is befriended by another girl at school who also has psychic abilities and is introduced to her mentor. But Dawn soon starts to question the mentor's teachings and finds herself wondering if her initial bad feeling about evil was right all along.
I absolutely loved this book and read it in one sitting. The story was well-written and fast paced. I was interested from the first page to the very last. I liked that even though this was a paranormal book, it was very realistic. The interactions between Dawn and her mother were something that any teen girl can relate to and understand. The high school relationships and cliques were pretty much how I remember high school being. And in some ways, Dawn and her friends reminded me of myself and my little group of high school friends (except for the psychic abilities).
This book is very appropriate for teens and young adults, especially those interested in the supernatural. It is also an enjoyable read for adults of all ages. I highly recommend that you put this on your TBR and that you check out Stacy Juba's other books.
- Face-Off (Book One)
on March 07, 2013
Face Off is the story of twin brothers who are dealing with high school, hockey, family, and growing up. It is a hockey story, but it is so much more than just a sports book.
Brad and his twin brother T.J. were attending separate schools until financial difficulties forced TJ to attend public school with his brother. The two boys are very competitive with each other and the sibiling rivalry is intense. Throughout the book, the boys learn how to be teammates and brothers.
I am a huge hockey fan, so the cover and synopsis of this book caught my attention right
away. The hockey scenes in the book were important but the book focused on the twins
learning more about each other and themselves. In the beginning of the book, Brad and TJ could barely stand each other but by the end of the book they were working together and respecting each other both on and off the ice. I loved how the twins matured throughout the book and became confident young men.
I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. It's refreshing to find a YA book
that focuses on a male audience. I can definitely see why The Hockey Hall of Fame's Junior Education Program included Face-Off on its recommended reading list for the junior and intermediate levels.
on April 05, 2013
Sacrifice by Stacey Rourke is the 3rd story in The Gryphon series. If you haven't read Conduit and Embrace (books 1 & 2) then you NEED to read them before reading
This story continues with Celeste and her brother and sister saving the world from Demons...and trying to make sure that the wedding between Gabe and Alaina will be
perfect. But the demon world throws a huge problem at Celeste when it sends Titans to attack her. She can't kill any Titans without possibly killing her boyfriend Caleb
because of the Titan blood in him. How can Celeste keep Caleb safe and stop the demons? What will she have to sacrifice?
I am a huge fan of this series - I love the characters and the storyline. And it just gets better with every story that is published. I literally found myself laughing out
loud at times and crying at other times while I was reading this book. Just imagine - huge demon spiders attacking in a bridal store or a demon stripper named Officer Python...and those are just 2 of the many LOL moments.
I have to warn you that Stacey Rourke loves cliffhanger endings and this book ends with a huge one. I kept tapping my kindle trying to get it to turn to another chapter because I couldn't believe that she'd end it like that. So now I'm anxiously waiting for the next book to be released...and thinking about hiring someone to chain Stacey Rourke to her desk until she finishes the book and sends it to me.
on April 19, 2013
Willow by Amy Ritchie is the story of a 17 year old girl, Willow, who is struggling with trying to be a normal teen when she is anything but. Willow is a werewolf and as if that isn't difficult enough, she is given leadership of a pack of high school age male
I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a fun read. I loved the different spin on the werewolf pack dynamics - one female leader with a pack of males devoted to her...what girl wouldn't like that. I also really liked the characters in the story. All of the characters were well developed and had their own unique personality. I enjoyed getting to know the boys of the pack and I liked seeing how their personalities blended together and made the pack stronger. I really liked Willow and I thought that she was a great heroine. It was interesting seeing her grow from a teen who didn't want to be a pack leader to a strong leader who's pack stood behind her against enemies. I also enjoyed the interactions between Willow and Gage and her pack.
The story was a little predictable at times (for example, I guessed Gage's secret very quickly) but there were also some surprises (like the friendship that develops between Willow and Carlie).
If you enjoy YA paranormal stories and werewolf stories, then you should definitely check out Willow.
- Daughter of the Red Dawn
on May 27, 2013
Daughter of the Red Dawn begins by telling the reader about Fallada - a land of magical creatures that is cut off from mankind by a magical wall. The reader also learns that the seven princesses of Fallada were kidnapped and sent to the world of man. Now the Brothers Grimm, are searching for them in hopes of saving Fallada from the evil queen.
Selena is a seventeen year old living in Texas who just doesn't fit in. Unbeknownst to her, the reason she doesn't fit in is that she is one of the missing princesses of Fallada. Her world is suddenly turned upside down when Titus and then the Brothers Grimm find her. Soon she is back in Fallada and she has some important choices to make.
I loved this story and how well-written and descriptive it was. The characters were well-developed and had a lot of personality. The storyline flowed smoothly and had action, adventure, romance, good vs evil, and family & friendship.
I cannot wait to read the rest of this series and get to know the rest of the lost princesses of Fallada.
- My Dream of You
on May 27, 2013
My Dream Of You tells the story of Betty's life - from her teenage years to her mature years. The story begins with Betty as an old woman, thinking about her past. Then it transports us to when Betty was a teenager living in the English countryside. We learn about her cruel mother and her cousin & best friend, Maggie. The story focuses on spending time at the Fair with Maggie and meeting Joe. We learn about their relationship and how they fell in love so quickly and yet so deeply. Then we see how Betty is treated because of the consequences of one afternoon with the boy she loves.
I fell in love with the character of Betty - she was so young and she had to deal with an immense amount of cruelty by her mother and by society. She made some bad choices but the consequences of her choices definitely were harsher than she deserved. Yet through it all, she remained strong-willed and resilient.
I wish that the story had given us a little bit more information about the middle part of her life - it jumped from her meeting Albie after running away to her living life as a widow. I would have liked to know a little bit more about her life with Albie.
This book is very emotional and I found myself crying and hoping for a happy ending for Betty. I won't give away any spoilers (which is hard) but I can say that Betty was happy in the end and she resolved a lot of her worries and regrets.
If you are looking for a story about young love and undying love, then this book is perfect.
- Paranormal Days Gone Awry
on June 26, 2013
Paranormal Days Gone Awry was a fun collection of short stories. Each story had a paranormal theme and had some interesting things go wrong. The anthology was interesting and had some amazing authors that I love and it also introduced me to some new authors. I like that the anthology gave the reader a lot of different paranormal creatures and some really crazy things happening. I didn’t love all of the stories in the anthology but I did enjoy reading it.
- Bark: Origins of a Superhero
on July 16, 2013
Bark: Origins of a Superhero by Daniel Peyton is a fun, romantic, action-packed adventure....and it's a free read!! The story follows Joshua Henderson, a security guard and volunteer firefighter who is mutated into a half-dog/half-man by an evil scientist. After the mutation, Joshua cannot talk and has no memories of his past. He is found in a cave by Frost, a superhero. Frost befriends him, helps him to join a team of superheroes, and gives him the name Bark.
This story was a quick, fun read. It was an interesting concept and had a lot of action. The characters were great - I loved the friendship between Frost and Bark. I also liked the fact that the author included drawings of the characters throughout the book.
- Malevolent Gateway
on July 22, 2013
Malevolent Gateway by Dawn Gray was an intriguing ghost story. It takes place in a small town where evil is causing people to be mysteriously dragged into the swamp and never seen again. The S.P.I.R.I.T. team is called in to investigate and they meet Blake and Anna, locals who have ties to the spirit world and have knowledge about the town and the evil in it.
The story is interesting and has several scary parts. There's also a romance or two developing throughout the story. The characters were well developed and each character had a lot of personality.
I know that this is part of a series but I liked that it could be read as a stand alone novel. This story was a complete story, but it made me interested in the rest of the series and what other adventures the S.P.I.R.I.T team is involved in.
Note - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
- Snow Bound
on Aug. 09, 2013
Snow Bound (The More Than Magic Series #2) is the sequel to More Than Magic Semester Abroad and it takes place when Jen meets up with all her magic friends, that she met on the cruise in book 1, for a ski vacation.
The story is interesting and has a quite a few surprises. The plot line flows so smoothly and makes it hard to put this book down for anything.
I absolutely love the way that Ms. Kirke writes so descriptively - it makes it so easy to envision everything happening. I also love the way that she develops her characters and gives them each such a personality. After reading both books, I feel like her characters are friends of mine and I want to keep in touch and keep knowing whats going on in their lives. The interactions between the characters is so realistic. The banter and joking around had me laughing out loud as I was reading.
If you're looking for a great YA series, then you need to read this series by Elizabeth Kirke!
- The Unraveling of Avery Snow
on Oct. 02, 2013
The Unraveling of Avery Snow by Christy Sloat is the second book in the past lives series. It continues right after book 1 ends, so you should definitely read book 1 - The Many Lives of Avery Snow - first. Avery and her friends have defeated the demon guides and Landon has had his memory "shaved" so he doesn't remember his past lives with Avery. Avery & Dallas are together and happy. But then things start to go wrong. A female demon guide enters the picture, Avery is torn between her love for Dallas and he love for Landon, and Dallas is busy a starting his own restaurant. Will Avery find true
happiness in this life? And will she discover who she's meant to be with?
I'm a big fan of this series by Christy Sloat - which surprised me because I don't believe in past lives and reincarnation. But I liked how the author blended religion and past lives and angels together into a unique and understandable concept. The story flows smoothly and has an interesting plot line. There's a lot of excitement and drama and romance. And the characters are amazing. Every character is well-developed and realistic. As I read these books, I became invested in the character's lives and I wanted to know what was going to happen.
I highly recommend this book and this series to fans of YA paranormal romances.
on Oct. 21, 2013
Pulse by HJ Daly is a YA post-apocalyptic story with an interesting fantasy element as well. The story takes place after the pulse which removed the barrier between other realms and allowed humans to interact with magical creatures. The main character is Esa, a girl who has learned to survive on her own and doesn't trust others. Esa has had a hard life and she has a lot of walls put up. But throughout the book, Esa learns to trust other sand to make friends.
I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into this book at first. But about half way through I really became immersed in the characters and the world that HJ Daly created. I liked how fantasy elements were blended so easily with the post-apocalyptic world.
Rootu was my favorite character. He was such a fun character and he played a key role in helping Esa to let people in and care about others. And I loved his pets.