I really enjoyed this story. I wanted to read it because I enjoy vampire stories but was pleasantly surprised by the twist near the end. I'm not going to lie, I wanted more when I finished it. I wanted to learn more about John's "gift" and really just what happens next. I really hope that Natasha Duncan-Drake decides to continue this story!
I found the concept behind this book to be original and very interesting. You have people, whether they were aware of it for most of their lives or just learning about it, who have magical abilities for which they can control the elements. Some may only have the ability to really affect one particular element and then there are others, called Gaias (aka. Mother Earth) who can control them all. Kaitlyn Alder is one such woman.
After what Kaitlyn believes to be a natural disaster that she gets caught up in, she wakes up in a locked room with no idea where she is or how she got there let alone who is keeping her locked up. It's after an escape attempt she meets Micah, whom she finds herself strangely attracted to even though she's basically kept to herself and avoided human contact for many years. With Micah's help, as well as an older man named Cato, Kaitlyn learns about herself and what she is there for. The Seven, which is the organization Cato runs, needs Kaitlyn's help to save the earth. But there is one person who has his own agenda and he also needs Kaitlyn's help and he'll do whatever it takes to get it.
I really enjoyed this book. I found Terra's writing to be very witty and I absolutely loved how sarcastic Kaitlyn was. She used sarcasm in some respects to deal with her situation and at other times, her sarcasm was purely to annoy people. The characters were all well written and likeable to some extent. One character in particular, which I won't mention the name so as to not point out who the bad guy is, is someone you'll love to hate. He is cruel and cold-hearted and only once shows any real emotion for which I found myself feeling sorry for him, albeit briefly.
The story is for the most part fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat, so to speak. The eco-friendly nature of the story is refreshing and informative. There is a bit of romance in there as well, which I love. And I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Air.
I feel I should mention that there are some grammatical and punctuation errors but I didn't find them particularly distracting while I was reading.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Water.
Although Keleigh is aware magic exists, she'd promised her mother that she wouldn't use magic nor would she remove a necklace that cloaks the real her from Ordinary people. But after receiving a message from her mother, whom she thought dead, from the OtherWorld, she is charged with locating and protecting a relic that neither her nor Locke know how to find. And they only have a limited time in which to locate it.
With the help of the Wyrd Sisters (the maiden, the mother and the crone) she is taught as much as possible about who she is and how to harness her magic. And between her, Locke, Madi (her best friend) and Wiz (Locke's best friend) they search for information that will help them in their quest.
I really enjoyed the magic and the mythology in this book. It's choke full of adventure, mystery, suspense, and a bit of romance. And plenty of magic!
The characters are great! There are so many characters in which to love and some you just can't help but hate. I love the interaction between Locke and Keleigh. Despite her best attempts at keeping Locke at a distance, Keleigh can't help but be drawn to him. And I love how cocky Locke is at times but yet, he's very sweet as well. Madi, Keleigh's best friend, is a fun character. She tells it like it is no matter who she's talking to. Plus, she can see and communicate with the Seer where Keleigh and Locke can not. There are just so many interesting characters in the book ... druids, vates, bards, cluricaunes, fairies, boggarts and other OtherWorldly beings. If you like paranormal and/or fantasy stories, I definitely recommend this!
Being that I never used to enjoy reading until a couple years ago, I really like reading a book that I feel I've learned something from it. With All's Fair in Vanities War I learned a lot! And not just about Celtic mythology either. I hate to admit it but there were quite a few words that I had to look up the definition of. LOL I don't know whether that would turn some people off or not but I certainly did not find the writing boring.
Now, I did actually find quite a few mistakes in the book. Maybe had there not been so many I may have actually given the book a higher rating. But I do feel that the story was interesting and exciting enough to make up for the mistakes. There were times, however, when I was a little confused because the story is told from the Seer's point of view and she's never named, other than being known as the Seer. So sometimes I would forget who's telling the story for a moment. But it was really just a matter of me remembering so that's my fault. :)
I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book when it is released.
NOTE: I received a copy of All's Fair in Vanities War from the author in exchange for an honest review.
If you've not read Water, book 1, it's probably best that you don't read this review as it's likely to spoil the story a bit. This is certainly one series that you need to read in order.
In this book, Kaitlyn is hiding the fact that she is pregnant from everyone except Susan, Micah's sister, because being that Susan's element is water, she could tell that Kaitlyn was pregnant. In fact, Susan was the one to initially tell Kaitlyn. But in book 1, Water, Shawn had kidnapped and raped her repeatedly while holding her hostage so she's afraid that the baby may be Shawn's and not Micah's. That's one of the reasons she keeps putting off telling anyone, especially Micah. With a little help from Susan, however, the secret is revealed not only to Micah but to Shawn as well.
Now Kaitlyn not only has to deal with being pregnant but her and the rest of the Seven are trying to locate Shawn and put a stop to his plans. While trying to train for battle and study up on anything that will help her learn how to control the other elements that she's not very familiar with, Kaitlyn does something that she thinks will help her greatly, but it has some negative side effects she didn't expect.
I felt that the book started out a little slow, perhaps, but apart from that I absolutely loved the interaction between Kaitlyn and Alex, who is the only non-magical one of the bunch. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the things Alex did or said. As for Kaitlyn, there was a time or two where I felt like she needed smacked up side the head for the things that she'd do that ended up backfiring on her. After all, she's pregnant and although she cares very much about her baby, she did things that really could have been harmful.
The book certainly picked up though and was a roller coaster of a ride. It's action packed with betrayals, secrets revealed, a serious battle, humor, romance, and a pretty major cliffhanger. I very much enjoyed the story and can't wait to read the third book in the series.
NOTE: I received a copy of Air from the author in exchange for a review of book 1 in the Akasha series, Water.
Sarah is young woman who was raised by her aunt Helen when her mother died after childbirth. She's always known that she was different. She's had to inject a serum her entire life to suppress the vampire nature, to seem more normal though she was never normal. Sarah has always looked younger than she really is, so she was always teased or made fun of, but with two unwavering best friends, Mira and Xander, she's lived a relatively normal life. But what Sarah doesn't know is that Mira and Xander are demons who were charged with protecting her since she was a baby. They could shape-shift their appearance so that they too could appear as if they grew up with Sarah.
William is the only other half-breed, and Sarah has had dreams of him her entire life. She's felt this strong connection and love for him that she couldn't explain. William knew all about her and knew that the two of them together were apart of a prophecy that would save both the humans and the vampires from the likes of a power hungry demon lord.
Although I think the book started out a little slow, it definitely picked up. It was kind of like an action movie in terms of everything that was going on. Sarah and William are on the run from seekers who do the demon lords bidding. They can't always trust those around them as they might be shape-shifters. In this book, shape-shifters doesn't necessarily refer to a man or woman that can change in to an animal such as a wolf. It just means that they can change their appearance. I found the story to be a rather exciting ride, and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
Since I'm such a fan of romance, I was a little bummed out about the fact that Sarah and William could hardly touch each other without causing themselves pain. There was a spell put on them to keep them apart. But I still enjoyed their journey to try to find a way to be together. And Sarah would flash back to dreams where her and William could be together without the pain, so it wasn't as if there was no romance between them.
Now, although I don't mind a book that is written from different perspectives, I found Two Halves to be a bit confusing at times because of it. That's only because when the perspective would change to someone other than Sarah, it was almost always clearly marked who's perspective I was now reading. However, when it would switch back to Sarah's perspective, it wasn't stated. So I found that kind of annoying because I'd be thinking about whether I was still reading the previous person's perspective or did it change back to Sarah's, and I shouldn't have had to wonder about it. It should have been stated at the beginning of the chapter or even at the break if in the middle of a chapter.
Over-all I did enjoy Two Halves and wished that it hadn't ended where it did. I would have loved more of Sarah and William's story. But as I mentioned before, it is rather action packed with demons, vampires, witches and warlocks.
** I received a copy of Two Halves for review as part of the Knights of the Round Table group on Goodreads.**
In order to create an alliance with a neighboring pack, Elise's father (the Alpha of her pack) arranges for her to mate with Kane, the new Alpha of the pack to the East. The thing is, Elise is in love with Bryan, one of your own pack members, whom she grew up with and who recently told her that he was going to ask her father for permission to mate with her. But knowing that it would be pointless to argue with her father, and knowing that it is for the good of the packs, she doesn't resist.
Once mated, Kane takes Elise back to his pack to get her settled in to her new life. Although Elise meets a lot of nice new pack members, there is one, Marla, who she doesn't trust or like. Marla seems to be after Kane's affections, despite the fact that he's already now mated with Elise.
Although a strong connection develops fairly quickly between Kane and Elise, Kane doesn't have much time to spend with Elise due to problems that he's having to deal with: an oil spill that contaminated their water supply, an Oil Company fighting to gain rights to part of their land for drilling purposes, and Kane's half brother who seems to be causing trouble for the pack after losing the right to become the new Alpha when the previous Alpha died.
With the pack in danger, from within it seems, Elise tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together before anyone else gets hurt.
I really enjoyed this book. I've not read a lot of romantic paranormal suspense, so this was a nice change. I've read plenty of paranormal romances, but I really enjoyed the suspense aspect. Granted, it seemed a little obvious to me who the bad guys were, and although I had one correct, the other I was wrong about. The characters were great. I really liked most of them. Can't say I was too fond of Marla, of course, but then again I hate people like her. So, needless to say, her character was written well or otherwise I wouldn't have this hatred for her.
About the only thing that kept me from giving the book a five star rating was the fact that I felt that certain scenes where perhaps cut short or that there wasn't quite enough written. There seemed to be more dialog than actual narration at times. Don't get me wrong, I've read books that had so much narration and very little dialog in certain scenes and wished for more dialog. But I just felt that there could have been a little more story building at times.
Overall though, I very much enjoyed The Mating, and since there is one part of the story that is unresolved by the end, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series to see what happens next!
The Order trains hunters to kill vampires, but they are aware of a demon (Eraticus) that kills hunters for their auras on their 25th birthdays, as that is when their auras become the strongest. The only thing is, the Order never warned any of the hunters of their fate nor taught them how to defend themselves against anything other than vampires. So when Emily Davis survives the demon, they think that she's their only hope of fighting off another demon (Morphus) that is headed their way despite the fact that Emily doesn't carry the mark of the ordained huntress on her body.
Emily met Abby Sorrensten on her 25th birthday when she was fighting off Eraticus. Abby helped her, which is why she survived. Abby is a huntress who was turned into a vampire by her guardian, Noel. However, Noel and Abby are pure blood vampires, not the mutated versions that the Order trains hunters to kill. Still, the Order is not aware that Noel and Abby are vampires. Although they are fearful of having Abby around because of what happened when she was originally being trained as a huntress, the Order calls her and Noel in to help with the Morphus situation.
During Abby's time at the school, she basically had no family, and because of that, the Order figured they could push her farther than any of the other hunters. She was basically tortured for 13 years. Forced to fight while broken and bruised. I tell you, when I initially read this book -- I read it twice -- I had tears in my eyes while reading about what Nathaniel, her advisor, did to her when she was 6 years old. Of course, that continued throughout her years at the school.
I really, really enjoyed Ordained. It was well written, intense, exciting and I really liked the characters. There were some sarcastic, funny comments that I loved. I actually wished that there had been more of that but it was mainly used to lighten the mood from time to time. And although the book isn't a romance, there is a tad bit of romance in it between Noel and Abby which I liked. There were some heartbreaking moments too.
Besides Emily and Abby's friendship, I rather liked the friendship that developed between Abby and Valerie, another huntress at the school who is clairvoyant. Despite Abby not making friends easily, there is a sort of bond between them. They are alike in some ways.
The only issue that I had with the book was that on occasion I would go from one paragraph to the next and it would be a separate scenario. A different time or place or person's story with no obvious break. So the flow was off for me in those cases, but it didn't happen often. Otherwise, the story flowed well.
I'm really glad that I signed up to participate in this blog tour for Ordained because otherwise, I might not have gotten around to reading it as soon as I have. There is so much to learn about Abby Sorrensten throughout the book. Her past unravels little by little. And although there is no cliffhanger ending, it does end in a way that leaves you wondering about some things. So I'm really looking forward to reading the next book.