I think this book is a bit twisted: I didn't like it because of its lack of details and that feeling that events happened at random it gave me, but if I dig a bit deeper into the story I can actually see what the author wanted to communicate. The whole story is boring, without any doubt, and I was glad the book has only 144 pages. I think that more attention to details, and some more development to the plot could have been made this book better.
I received an free copy from the author/publisher for this book in exchange of my honest review. The free copy I received didn’t influence my review, and I gave it my honest opinion.
The story, if looking at it just like a sort of documentary, could have been good; but the way it is told isn't able to reach the reader. I didn't feel a single thing reading this book and I didn't feel close to the characters. I still imagine each character, Hailey included, like some human-shaped figures with no face and without emotions. For me it was like characters were just plain names doing plain stuff, while I guess the whole purpose of the story was to actually transmit something through its characters. Well, it didn't happen for me.
I believe that characters weren't well built, and I think that spending some more time developing them and the plot would have helped.
Things I liked: This isn't a thing I liked actually, because I wasn't able to find it reading the story, but the only good thing I can think about is the message Chris Tusa wanted to transmit. It was there, and I saw it emerging at some point, but it didn't get further than that. I'm talking about how complex life could be if just one thing isn't in place or just doesn't go as it was supposed to. I guess that was the message, and maybe even that life is hard and you have to sacrifice sometimes, but I'm not sure because the story seemed too plain to me.
Things I didn't like: I didn't like the book, as I said before, because of its lack of details, a story going nowhere and that seemed just a list of events happening for no apparent reason, and its characters being just plain. I want to feel characters when I read a book: feel sorry when they are sorry, happy when something good happens to them. In this book this feeling never appeared.
I would recommend this book: No, I wouldn't recommend Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa. I do like what that story could have been, the idea was there, but since it didn't show up I really don't feel like to recommend this book.
I so loved this book. Period. Yes, Magick Marked by Chauntelle Baughman was one of those books you wouldn't put down even if your house was on fire: you would take it with you and run! :P Anyway, what I'm saying here is that I loved this book, but I said that already, so let's just review it.
I liked the writing and the language: it was all very realistic, like if I was actually there too, even while having a story set in some magical world surrounded by mythological creatures. The way the story is told is engaging, captivating, full of mystery and (let me breath, please) so intense that I almost cried when I was done with the book!
Characters like Rho are rare: the badass female lead character is used very often, but the way Rho is described, how she acts, what she is, is something I rarely see in books with strong female leads. When creating a character like our Rhowen Vasile, I think one could easily end up with just a bunch of vampire strenght, some coarse language, and stuff like that combined with a physically pretty yet empty minded body. The mix would give us just an empty and boring character, but what I found in this book was the exact opposite: Rho is badass, tough, strong, stubborn; but she also has a story behind what she is, or the way she acts. Chauntelle Baughman was able to create an intriguing character, a little fragile girl turned into a lethal creature by life events, still able to feel emotions and even fall in love. In one word: brilliant!
While I really loved Rho, what really made me love this story the way I do is how well Baughman mixed fabled creatures together. I'm used to see vampires always against werewolves and stuff like that, but here we've got something really different. The author was able to perfectly mix each member of the team. Make you mad at each of them when they were arguing with another one and then make you want to punch in the face that one you felt sorry for when he's the one fighting with the others. I think that it was perfect, how Baughman was able to make me feel each character so close and so real.
The only thing that felt a bit strange was that, while the story is told by a third person (the author), it seems like the characters were talking. I think that the way the story was told was just brilliant, but the way the author commented and put her characters' thoughts in the narration while she was the one telling the story felt a bit weird. Judging by the way Baughman told the story, I believe it would have been better if she used her characters to narrate the it, instead of doing it herself like if she was one of her characters. This is just a minor detail I would have changed, nothing too bad to make me change my mind when I say that I loved this book, but just something that would have made it 110% perfect in my opinion.
Things I liked: Rho and Eldon's relationship since the very beginning, Rho herself, how the language is used in the story, and those little jokes the author put here and there. How well Chauntelle Baughman created the whole setting, rich of details and feeling almost real. I loved the team, no member excluded, and I liked how much their relationship changed during the story. One other thing I really loved was Rho's interest in tattoos and what they meant to her. I felt so close to her way to think about tattoos, and I loved this detail the author put in her story!
Things I didn't like: As I said before, I would have preferred that the story was narrated by characters and not in third person. Not because I don't like stories told in third person, but just because for me it was like the author was a bit too much involved into her characters' thoughts. So, yeah, maybe viewing the story through characters' eyes would have been better.
I would recommend this book: Yes, I'm recommending Magick Marked by Chauntelle Baughman. I loved the story, the characters, the writing and I believe this would be a great read even for those that aren't big fans of paranormal and fantasy!