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Michelle has always loved storytelling. Her favorite stories where of monsters and things that lurked in the dark. Telling stories often frightened her classmates and got her into a lot of trouble with her teachers. They had no sense of humor.
As an adult, Michelle traded her love of writing for the corporate life where she was an IT professional. Today, she's doing what she loves best - writing and storytelling.
Michelle grew up in Chicago, but currently lives in NE Georgia with her husband and their two dogs. She loves scary books, funny movies, sports cars, chocolate, dogs, and changes of season.
on Nov. 24, 2012 :
The Book of Lost Souls is an exciting, humorous read with great characters and lots of laugh out loud moments. I'm giving it 4.5 stars!
Ivy, the main character is a witch who lives in Northwick where Regulars (humans) and Kindreds (supernaturals) live. Ivy has a major crush on Dean, popular guy in school, who seems to not know that Ivy exists. Ivy decides to change her friends pet lizard Spike into a human date, hoping Dean will finally notice her. Things start to go wrong from here. Ivy and her friends get into trouble when Spike goes missing. Their punishment is cleaning up the graveyard. This is where Ivy sees a mysterious man who seems to disappear into thin air. She also comes across two books and finds out there is a third book missing. Someone has the missing book that is pure black magic. Ivy has the other one. The book is spooky and full of black magic spells. Will Ivy turn to black magic like her father? Will they find Spike? You'll have to read The Book of Lost Souls to find out!
I could not and did not want to put this down. I was drawn in right from the beginning. If I was a Kindred I would love to have been a witch like Ivy. She has unique, interesting and fun friends. There is Raven and her brother Gareth, they are vampires. Shayde and Bane, twin werewolves and Nick, a totally hot demon. These characters and this entire story felt like it could be reality. I loved how Ivy and Nick could just send off spells quickly, sometimes with just one word. The lizard turned human, Spike, I really liked this character. He made me laugh a lot. Raven, love her name, is the kind of friend that you get into trouble with. Nick is just a complete hottie and a demon. I love the bad boys in books. These were my favorites in the book. I felt connected to these characters and this story, it just felt like I was right there, not reading about it.
There is always something happening. You won't get bored and will not want to put it down. Like I said it is humorous with lots of action and some romance. The ending was great but leaves it open so I'm hoping there will be a sequel. This was such a fun read, I was sad when I finished it. I will definitely read more from this author in the future. This e-book was given to me for review. This did not affect my review in any way.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
A Book Vacation
on July 03, 2011 :
Muto has written a beautiful debut novel that will charm the hearts of readers both young and old. From the very beginning, the novel draws the reader in as Ivy’s life quickly spins out of control when she changes Spike, her friend’s pet lizard, into a human for what is supposed to be an evening of fun. The daughter of a dark magician, Ivy is able to delve deeper into magic than is normal for a teen her age and, therefore, is regarded as potentially dangerous by those in her town, especially after the lizard fiasco.
I really enjoyed this book. There is mystery, intrigue, suspense, and romance all packed into this wonderful novel, gluing the reader to the pages as the non-stop action ensues. I thought the idea of regulars and kindred people living side by side was an ingenious idea and really added to the story. The fact that vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and regular everyday people all live together in the same community is enchanting and reminds me of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, which I love, but Muto’s novel is a much cleaner, YA friendly read.
Muto is a very talented writer, fleshing out all her characters and their struggles as they work together to try and stop the murderers set loose upon their town by an unknown foe through a book of dark magic. Throughout the novel, Ivy continually grows, coming to terms with her fears, though she must ultimately decide between her friends and the powers of the dark arts given to her through The Book of Lost Souls. I highly recommend this novel for all ages and cannot wait for the next book in the series! Four and a half stars!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on June 29, 2011 :
Michelle Muto's Book of Lost Souls was a great YA read for many reasons. There may be some parents who turn this book down for their YA to read simply because the main characters are witches, demons, vampires, werewolves, and other super natural beings, but that would be a unfortunate mistake. The main focus and lesson of this story depends on none of these things.
Ivy is a typical teenage girl. She is crazy about a boy who seems to not know that she even exists. She has very loyal friends who she is very loyal to in return. She makes some very serious mistakes and takes some wrong turns along the way, but she learns from them and they make her stronger and a better person in the end. Who couldn't benefit from a story like this one?
Michelle brings this all together in a wonderful way. Ivy is a very passionate young woman who has had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that her dad is gone. Because of the circumstances behind his leaving Ivy and her mother, she also has a hard time trusting anyone who seems remotely like him. There is also the fear that she is just like him, which is a fear shared by others throughout her childhood. Basically it is the love and support of her friends that help Ivy overcome these fears, and help her to move beyond them.
There was enough action, suspense, budding romance and mystery in this story to please just about everyone. The mythology of all of the supernatural beings involved fit with the characters in the story flawlessly.
In closing, I must confess that I did win this book and didn't purchase it. It was, however, a book that I had been following and intended to purchase regardless. At the price that it is currently offered at Amazon, it might as well be free and is well worth the dollar amount for the experience.
I am very happy that Michelle intends to continue Ivy's story. There are many places that the characters can go from where The Book of Lost Souls left off.
If you are looking for a story with strong characters, a great life lesson, with a little humor, mystery, action and magic mixed in, The Book of Lost Souls will not disappoint.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on June 09, 2011 :
Very Good, enjoyed it and hope more of a series prevails for us readers
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on June 08, 2011 :
The Book of Lost Souls starts out like a great joke. A witch (Ivy), a vampire (Raven) and a werewolf (Shayde), turn a lizard into a date for the witch. Given an opening like that, I knew this was the book for me. I became instantly immersed in this cool, fun world author Michelle Muto has created.
In the town of Northwicke, there are Regulars (humans), and Kindred (supernaturals). The Regulars and Kindred have warred in the past, but now peacefully co-exist. Their agreement is based on mutual trust. The Kindred trust the Regulars to keep their secrets. The Regulars trust the Kindred to keep them safe. The Kindred consist of a wide range of supernatural beings. There are varying from witches, to demons, to trolls. The main character, Ivy, is a witch. Her friends are Shayde and Bane, were wolf twins; Raven and Gareth, vampire siblings, Nick, a demon; Spike, who is Gareth's pet lizard-turned-hottie. And I must not forget Devlin, Ivy's Beezlepup, a fox-dog hybrid.
Ivy and company are terrific, fun characters to read. When Muto wrote the dialogue, she was absolutely spot-on. The conversation of the characters was real, did not feel forced or awkward at all. These teens were basically good kids. They get into some , or a lot, of mischief. They aren't annoyingly perfect. There is no hand-wringing, whining or brooding. Especially Ivy. Ivy is funny, smart and is able to get herself out of trouble (with some help from her friends). One of my favorite of her friends is Nick. Michelle Muto really hit a home run creating Nick. I was so relieved to read about a really good guy. He's funny, really cool. He seems to have no secrets or agenda. He is a guy who lays it all on the line, letting Ivy know exactly who he is and what he wants. The chemistry between Nick and Ivy had me on edge. Will Ivy ever give in to Nick's charm? Will she realize he's not the bad boy she's made him out to be? Will she ever fully trust Nick? Will the finally kiss???
The Book of Lost Souls is a funny book, yes. But it is a whole lot more than that. This is a book about friendship, trust, regret and believing in the good in one's self.
If there was ever an "indie published" book that you should read, it is The Book of Lost Souls. To quote the movie Mary Poppins, it is "Practically perfect in every way". I wish I had a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" type of thingy to give this book. Maybe I should work on that. In the meantime, I'll go work on begging Michelle Muto for Book 2.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
on May 31, 2011 :
Michelle is a genius when it comes to keeping her readers entertained.
I started the book late one night thinking I’ll read a tiny chapter then pick it up the next day when I wasn’t so groggy from lack of sleep. Wrong thing to do. I started the first chapter and ended up reading halfway through the book.
I truly enjoyed the uniqueness of Ivy’s predicament. Ivy, the main character, had me giggling and hurting right along with her. Ivy’s story - her life that was written by Michelle was enchanting and created a tale that had the best of a normal teen and a ‘kindred’ teen. Kindreds were anything that was supernatural in The Book of Lost Souls.
Michelle beautifully created a cast full of troubled, evil and good characters including a poor little lizard known as Spike when in human form. Beware Spike isn’t a shape shifter. He’s the poor thing that started a series of chain of events that changed Ivy’s life forever.
Imagine if superanaturals were real but humans didn’t know or pretended they weren’t around. Now picture a room full of kindreds and regulars. How would you feel when you watched a senile werewolf coming through the front door at a party for kids carrying a femur bone that he dug up out of a graveyard?
When the above scene happened, I knew I was in for one wild ride throughout the rest of the book.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)