I'm a recent graduate who spends most of her free time reading, reviewing and talking books. I love Young Adult, Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy books the most.
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Smashwords book reviews by Deea A.
- What Kills Me
on Aug. 03, 2012
This book was so bad@ss! That's the best way to describe it if you want a one-word description. Filled with wit, adventure, suspense, drama, romance, kickbutt characters, lots of twists and turns and non-stop action, What Kills Me is a one-sit-read that keeps you on the edge of your seat and gives you a great, interesting story and awesome characters that you will definitely get attached to and want to read more and more about.
The beginning of the story may be a little misleading: we have a teenage girl who goes to Italy to study for the summer. All is nice and dreamy - beautiful setting, summery atmosphere, witty heroine trying to have some fun and a sweet romance in vacation. She even meets the perfect, handsome, gallant boy and everything seems too good to be true. Well, that's because it is - soon her dreamy adventure turns into a nightmare she can't escape.
As if someone trying to kill her wasn't bad enough, Axelia wakes up in a scary place with some weird people who claim she's now a vampire. She doesn't even get a chance to come to terms with that crazy idea and to make her escape, because suddenly some dangerous looking men barge in and take her away for being "an abomination". Her becoming a vampire was very unusual and apparently poses a danger for the entire vampire race, so she must answer to the Empress, their ruler, immediately.
She's much stronger that she realized, so she manages to escape the blood sucking soldiers the first time, but then they're always after her. And that's when the true adventure begins. Always on the run, scared, far away from her family and with no way to contact them, surviving and evading all the soldiers and mercenaries who are after her is a real struggle. But she runs into Lucas and though they don't meet under the best circumstances, he becomes the only person she can rely on. They both set out on a journey filled with tension, danger, action, unpredictable situations and thrills that will change them and get them really close to each other.
>> He always looked brooding and preoccupied, but I could never tell what was going through his head. I didn’t know how he was dealing with this ordeal. I chose to interpret his silence as strength. I needed something to believe in. He was all I had left. > I should have never trusted Paolo. My entire life I had been a good, cautious person. Just this once I had wanted a little adventure—and now this. Why? Why me? > I expected to crash onto the pavement, the concrete scraping off patches of skin. Except that time seemed to slow while I was in mid air. Landing with one foot on the street and letting the momentum carry me forward, I put my right hand down and did a frontward flip. I stood and turned to look at the truck speeding away. > Desperate, I searched for a weapon, a distraction, and I picked up the car door. They [the mercenaries] were closing in on me. With a cry, I launched the door at them. It sailed through the air like a disk. They both leaped to avoid it, but it caught one of them in the midsection. The vampire appeared to jump over it, but just his top half flopped over and he fell to the ground in two parts. The door kept flying through the air, and a split second later embedded itself into the side of the black sedan with a crash.
- Witch Born (Witch Song #2)
on Sep. 15, 2012
Wow. If Witch Song was amazing, Witch Born was downright mind-blowing! Usually, I'm not one to dwell on the ending of a series; if the characters get their closure and/or their HEA, I'm OK with it and I move on; this time though, I really, really feel like stalking Amber Argyle and begging her to write more books in this world. I didn't want the story to end!!!
If you loved Witch Song, but you're worried that Witch Born might have some second-book-in-a-series-syndrome symptoms... Do. Not. Worry. In fact, read it as soon as possible, because Witch Born is so much MORE! (After reading the first book, I didn't think the second one could get better, but I was wrong). More tension, suspense, intrigue, mystery, action, adventures, drama, heartbreak, but more power, magic, wonderment, beauty, love and hope as well. The plot thickens, the stakes are higher and everything changes: the characters, the world around them, the power of the elements, and nothing and no one is what they seem anymore. You never know what to expect, if you can trust or believe anyone. There are twists, turns and dangerous, scary, unpredictable situations all throughout the book. Phew, what a ride!
Senna thought that once she saved Haven and the Witches, all was going to be well. But she was wrong. There's no peace and happily ever after at Haven. Actually, living there is not easy at all: there's tension everywhere: the Witches don't trust her, some of them fear her and she still has a lot to learn. But she does her best to adjust and to recover after the events from the previous book. Not an easy thing to do, when her life is in danger (again!): there seems to be a new, bigger threat on the horizon, there might even be a traitor in their midst and everyone keeps secrets from her, even the people closest to her. Some new powers and old legends surface and no one is safe anymore. She knows something huge, dangerous and life changing is going to happen, but she doesn't know what. Yet. Her powers are changing as well, but, unfortunately, "her power came with a price—a burden every Witch born bore, especially one as strong as her." She feels helpless, overwhelmed and out of control, but, as always, she's fierce and determined and she's set to do anything to figure it out and to put an end to all the chaos around her: “I refuse to live in ignorance and helplessness."
But when she digs deeper, she finds out scary things that should have never been uncovered. Things that could change everything. Things that could be the answer to all the weirdness that's been happening lately. Things that could threaten the balance of the entire world - and once again, she's caught in the middle and she seems to held the final answer.
And like that wasn't bad enough, things with Joshen are not going well either: he loves her, he wants to protect her and he would do anything to keep her safe, even if that means to stay in her way and to try to stop her from getting involved in anything that could threaten her life.
“So I’m just supposed to accept that I might lose you?” His voice was thick with anger.
She rubbed her face. “I am Witch born. It’s what I am.”
He took a step towards her. “What you are is my love. ”
But all she wants is to keep fighting and trying to make things right in the world again.
“I spent too much time on Haven doing the smart thing,” she replied. “Now I’m going to do the right thing.”
Like I said, in Witch Born the stakes are even higher. Senna's powers grow and grow every day, no one trusts her and she can't trust anyone either - there's danger, secrets and conspiracies everywhere around her and there's something more powerful and dangerous than anyone ever imaged even existed coming from some higher forces. Obviously, she has to act. Fast. But at least this time around, she's not alone when she sets out on her journey to save the world. That doesn't mean she's safe though; she makes new allies, as well as new enemies, and when the situation gets seriously dire, she has to turn to unbelievable sources for help.
There were so many twists, surprises and "OMG I would have never seen that one coming!" moments in the second part of the book, they made my head spin. While reading the last chapters of the story, my stomach was twisted into knots, my mind was reeling, my emotions were all over the place, I was gripping the edges of my seat and I even got teary-eyed at some point. When something totally unpredictable and heartbreaking happened, I literally wanted to scream "WHY??? HOW COULD YOU DO THAT???", but I kept reading, my heart in my throat, my fingers crossed, hoping for the best. And of course, I loved every second of it. :D
The ending was bittersweet: full of action, tension and impossible situations, yet emotional, sweet, and heart-melting; it brought the hope and closure the characters and their story needed. It was perfect.
I really liked how the characters and their relationships developed. They went through a lot, changed and learned a lot about the world and about themselves. With every new challenge, Senna grew and learned to believe in herself, in love, in a better future.
Just like in Witch Song, in Witch Born the nature, the magic and the elements are as much characters of the story as the Witches and everyone else:
"Wind was like a half-wild colt—full of wild energy. Earth reminded her of an old man with arthritic bones—slow and sleepy. Water was like a temperamental woman—full of secret moods and hidden places. Sunlight was a playful child—subject to sulks and fits of laughter. And plants…"
Add to all that the beautiful, lyrical writing, the stunning world building, the fast-paced plot, the strong characters, and you get a magnificent (and no, I don't think I'm exaggerating at all saying that) story that will stay with you for days!
I feel like my review doesn't make the book any justice, but I highly recommend it! Also, if you like books like The Iron Fey series, Born Wicked or The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one.
Oh, and I need to mention the scene from the cover. It was so beautiful, so magical, yet so vivid and realistic, I could only stare in awe at my screen:
A soft touch startled her. She looked down to see a moth skimming along her palm. Another landed on her wrist. She brought the insect close, studying the intricate patterns on its wings. A third moth clung to Senna’s smallest finger, its tiny legs tickling so she had to fight to keep from wiggling and scaring the moths away.
The rest of the scene is kind of spoiler-y, but it was all amazing and played an important role in the story.
Review copy provided to me by the author. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review.