Dangerous (Element Preservers Series, Book 1)
on April 17, 2012
I received this book for free through the Goodreads Read to Review author program.
Here's my review cross-posted on Goodreads:
Dangerous follows a unique concept of people born as magic users, with a select few that are infected with magic disease who turn people into killers. This concept drew me into the book and made me want to read more, reminding me of Rogue from Xmen.
I have to admit, the book was a little difficult to get into at the start. It comes off as a very teenage book, focusing mostly on Ria's relationships with her friends and boyfriend instead of the interesting world that has been created. A few parts had me cringing, like the hostility from Adrian and teenage parties and the pillow fight, but once you get past the first 40% of the book it starts to get more enjoyable.
AS it's a self-editing, there were a few typos and grammatical mistakes which kind of detracted from the book, but once I got past that, it was actually quite an enjoyable read. A few interesting developments at the end kept things moving at a fast pace and I was drawn in. I admire how the concept of magic disease is appreciated but wanted to read more about that.
Thanks for the review copy Alycia, I think the story you have created is very interesting and has great potential, I feel after a bit of practice and perhaps an editor the quality of your stories will improve :)
Meeting Destiny was totally not what I expected. From reading the description, I prepared for an easy young adult read with a paranormal bite. Instead, what I got was a wonderfully written realistic story about a girl named Lauren who has an extremely keen sense of intuition.
The story reads like half realistic romance and half thriller, there were some parts of it that had me on edge. The start of the story reaches out and draws you in with full-blown action. Lauren is working a restaurant when she feels an acute sense of danger about a man, and quickly acts in getting a child and her friend to safely. The man turns out to be an armed robber, and she gets shot in the leg, and that is where she encounters Max, a paramedic who she has been dreaming about for years.
What followed on from here was the unravelling of Lauren's relationship with her best friend, Seth. She handles this while trying to find out more about Max. What struck me about the writing from the very start was how detail-enriched it was. From the doctor's visit, to the injury, to the events that follow, the writer does not skip a beat or brush over the details. That's why I found it to be very realistic as opposed to paranormal. Lauren's abilities are not paranormal; she just has a very strong intuition which leads her to avoid some very hairy situations.
Some parts of the book dragged unnecessarily, particularly the start when Lauren was in the hospital after the injury. Nearly halfway through she finally gets out and the relationship progresses with Max, and that's where things turn exciting. She's had a dream about him for years, where he came to her and said he was her Destiny, and she needs to find out how to communicate this to him.
This self-published work is very impressive, with better writing than a lot of published books out there. The characters are very real, complex, and likeable. Their emotions are wrung out, and heart-wrenching at times. The twists and turns that follow are very unexpected, and you're left with a sudden jolt of an ending.
I am really impressed with this book, but think it should not be marketed as more of a contemporary romance/thriller rather than a paranormal YA title. It has more of an adult flavour to it (although nothing explicit) and I think it will definitely appeal to a wide range of readers. Glad this is a series!
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Water from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Like the fluidity of water, the story continually evolved from one simple concept of a girl being held captive, to her becoming a Gaia (a controller of the elements) in order to save the environment, and more. Environmental issues are a topical issue, and having a controller of the elements to deal with these issues is definitely a unique and relevant take on the paranormal genre.
I was hooked on the riveting story and the great ability of the author to convey the character's emotions. Scenarios and the complexity of the relationships between people within a secret organisation are pictured vividly. Kaitlyn, the protagonist who can control the elements, has a great refreshing quality about her, able to think on her feet and to handle her situation (however difficult it becomes) with evolving strength.
As an elemental magic user, I enjoyed the scenes where Kaitlyn learnt to harness her abilities and to tap into the power of nature. It's quite believable and not too technical (unlike Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series) and clearly depicts how the power is being used.
This is definitely not a YA story, but definitely an adult read, as there are some incredibly dark themes which are delved into later on. It was surprising as the first half of the book felt like a YA book evolving with the romance between Kaitlyn and some other characters, before it takes a turn for the darker half of the book. Without revealing too much, I felt quite disturbed at the circumstances which Kaitlyn had to endure (there was rape involved), and hope that justice makes its way to the sequel.
Featuring several twists and turns in the storyline, ulterior motives, and a host of interesting characters, I recommend Water to any mature reader out there who can handle the darker themes within this book. It really hooks you in and deals with some heavy emotional themes, and by the time I finished the title I was ready for more.
I really enjoyed What Kills Me, it's just so refreshing and fun to read! With the vampire genre being overdone so many times, the author still managed to breathe some life into the book to make it unique.
Axelia is just a normal girl living abroad when she bumps into a handsome man named Paolo. Looking for a bit of adventure, she decides to meet him for a late night date and unexpectedly gets turned into a vampire. But not just any vampire, it turns out she's the destined one in a prophecy that will mean the death of the vampire race.
What I really liked about this book, was the hilarious, spunky and charming heroine. She's a girl I'd like to be good friends with just from the funny things she says, especially in the midst of a serious situation. She's obviously thrust into a situation that is crazy and she just makes the best of it, while discovering her super strength in the mean time.
Lucas on the other hand, is not your typical prince charming. He pushes and prods the heroine with incessant teasing and snobbery, until she picks up that he might have feelings for her. I didn't much enjoy the typical romance that occurs afterwards but I suppose a bit of love creates meaning for them.
The book wraps the vampire mythology nicely with Vee's discovery of it. Unlike a lot of other urban fantasy books, there isn't a lot of info dumping to jar the story. It's quite fast-paced and hard to put down. I hope there's going to be a sequel!
This is a fun, enjoyable and action-packed read that I would recommend to others. I received a review copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review, thanks for this opportunity!
April Tate is a survivor amongst the post-apocalyptic world with a single goal that keeps her breathing – to find her brother and mother. A viral epidemic has sweeped the nations and turned the population into feral, mindless vampires who are solely out for feeding on humans. The feral vampires are very zombie-like in their demeanour, in fact throughout the first half of the novel I had a hard time differentiating them from actual zombies, except for the fact that they are repelled by sunlight.
Reign of Blood is pretty much I Am Legend in the first half of the book. April is a kick-ass, badass lone survivor who decapitates vampires with her machete. I absolutely loved the action and the tense, heart-pounding action here. Like the movie, the author creates a sense of building tension and horror that the zombies/vampires could jump out at you at any time, and that totally resonates with me.
The plot thickens as April discovers a new breed of vampire hybrids who are very human-like in their behaviour and are not affected by bloodlust, like the ferals. She discovers that everything she knew is not as it seems.
While I did love the premise of Reign of Blood, it was the insta-love later that made me grumble. It’s a pet peeve of mine, where there’s absolutely no build up or relationship building whatsoever. Luckily, it wasn’t enough of a focus to detract from the story.
Reign of Blood is not the most original story out there and it doesn’t try and be too complicated. It’s pretty much a survival horror with a twist on the zombie/vampire genre. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend that you read it if you love the sound of it!
I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for this opportunity, I look forward to reading your other work Alexia!
This has also been posted on my blog at http://happyindulgence.wordpress.com
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
I’ve never read a book about pixis before, and Oath of Servitude delivered an imaginative world full of these tiny little beings living among humans (who are giants to them).
Cailin is a defiant little pixi who is somewhat of an outcast among her peers. She has a lot of sass, wears heavy makeup, has fiery bright red hair, she’s also twice as tall as everyone else. As punishment for an unknown reason, her father has arranged for Cailin to live with the humans to serve out an oath of servitude, instead of going to the Darkness. She’s mortified of living with the giants but slowly becomes accustomed and even attached to them. She moves in with Teague, a foul-mouthed, alcoholic teenager who has lost his way since losing his sight in a horrible accident. His father Owen agreed to help his pixi friend as a way to hopefully help his son better his ways.
The world building and the setup of the book was really fresh and unique, mainly because of the pixi world. Because it’s a lesser known paranormal, the author really flourished with setting up the world, where pixis who disobey are sent off into the darkness. Cailin’s situation was also interesting too, as she’s a fairytale being living in a house with a blind person who doesn’t know what she is.
There was a degree of mystery set up from the start, such as why Cailin was being punished, why the pixi clan dislikes her family, and who Owen really is and why he knows about her mother. Interchanging Cailin’s learning experience with the drama of the pixi clan was an interesting way to keep us reading, but I was disappointed to get to the end and not get any of the answers that I was looking for. Although the sequel would definitely address this, it just didn’t feel like a satisfying enough read.
I really liked Cailin as a character, although she seemed to have a completely different personality when she was living with the humans. She’s stubborn, sassy and headstrong, but she was scared, fragile and docile when she first moved in with the humans. I didn’t really enjoy the relationship between her and Teague, as Teague is just such an unlikeable character with his arrogance, clinginess, sexism and rude behaviour. Even though he did end up changing his ways, I didn’t really enjoy him as a love interest.
Cailin learning to adjust to a new life kept me captivated, along with the mystery surrounding her family and why they are being punished for their unknown crimes. This kept me reading to find out more, and interchanging the pixi life back home with Cailin’s learning experience kept things moving at a fast pace.
Overall, I really enjoyed the world that the author has built, but it needed more consistency and answers to questions that were set up in the book. The book is also in need of a good editor, as often I would find phrases being repeated in several different ways. If you’re looking for a unique paranormal read, give Oath of Servitude a go, with the warning that you might need to read the sequel to find out more.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This review has also been posted on Happy Indulgence at: http://happyindulgence.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/oath-of-servitude-by-c-e-wilson-review/