Sunday, 1 December 2013

Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Half Blood (Covenant Series #1)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Spencer Hill Press
18th October 2011
 
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals--well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck
 
OH-MY-GOD. Seriously this book is just…WOW. I read the whole thing in one sitting because I literally couldn’t put it down. I knew after the first few pages that I was hooked on the world of pures and half-bloods.
"It was him - Aiden St. Delphi."
Sighs: Oh Aiden.
I loved that this book picked up right where Daimon left off. I was thrown straight back into the action and even though Alex’s life is still spiralling out of control from everything going on she doesn’t have time to sit around and cry, the daimons are still after her. Then in comes Aiden St Delphi, swoon worthy, lovable Aiden to the rescue. She’s taken back to the covenant and after some Alex style jokes and a bit of convincing she’s allowed to stay and train instead of being placed in servitude. The one problem? She’s training with the one and only Aiden, who she’s been in love with since the first moment she locked eyes with him, the other problem? Relationships between pures and halfs is forbidden, let’s just say sh*t’s gonna go down.  But when Alex learns about a secret everyone’s been keeping from her, the feelings she has for Aiden are the least of her worries. Now she has to face a harsh truth if she hopes to survive long enough to become a Sentinel.
I can see why this story is compared to The Vampire Academy but the setting in which Alex and Aiden find themselves aside, the story is completely different! Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing is incredible and just when you think you know something she throws in a plot twist that has you screaming at the pages. I love mythology and I love the whole concept of this book, I can’t wait to see where this story goes.
Alex is an amazing character, she’s kick ass and it’s so good to see a female protagonist with a bit of bite, she doesn’t let anyone walk over her and will never be a girl that hides away from the action. Everyone will love her, she’s got a great sense of humour and a badass attitude. Her snide remarks and jokey attitude will have you laughing out loud.
Aiden, oh Aiden with your lean body and muscled arms. I fall more in love with you the more I read. Alex and Aiden’s relationship will make you laugh and make you cry. Starcrossed lovers in a world where slavery is the punishment puts real tension on their relationship and makes every little thing even more emotional. Although at times I was annoyed by his typical self-hating attitude, I couldn’t help wanting him and Alex to just screw the rules and get it on!
Oh Seth. Seth, Seth, Seth. You are my favourite, I am on your team. Why? Honestly I know in my heart that there's something not quite right with his character and I know he's not everything he seems to be but something about his fierce protectiveness of Alex has made me fall head over heels for him and I hope JLA explores their relationship further.
Jennifer’s writing is extraordinary and will have you laughing out loud and crying with every reckless move Alex makes, read this book and you won't be disappointed! Every plot twist was a complete shock and had me going really? Did that actually just happen? It has been so refreshing to read a book with an original story that had me laughing out loud and crying when things just got too much.  
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- Stephanie
 
 
 

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Daimon (Covenant Series #0.5)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Spencer Hill Press
10th May 2011

"Love in my world usually ended up with someone hearing 'I smite thee ' as she was cursed to be some lame flower for the rest of her life." For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals--pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty. According to her mother, that's a good thing.But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return-the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death... because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill. The daimons have found her.

I really enjoyed this book, it was short and sweet but gave me enough to want to read the next in the series. It was a great prequel that didn’t just feel like an introduction to the story but more like a small segment of what’s to come.
Alex is a half blood. Her father is a mortal and her mother is a pure-blood. This leaves her with two options, spend her life on elixir as a slave for the pure bloods or become a Sentinel, a guard and protector for the Pures and fight against the Daimons, the pure bloods who have gone bad.
Now Alex is trying to live a normal life in the mortal world after her mother pulled her out of the Covenant, away from the pures and the halfs and away from the only world she knew with no explanation.  Alex only knows one thing- she is never to go back but even her hot mortal boyfriend doesn’t stop her thinking about the boy with thundercloud eyes from her old life who she can’t forget and when tragedy strikes and the daimons find her, she finds herself alone with no other choice but to go back to a world that she can’t forget.
I think this is a definite must read before beginning the series because you have a better sense of what is going on and the storyline becomes much more emotional after beginning with Daimon. This is definitely the best prequel I’ve read, it’s action packed, fast paced and will have you reaching for Half-Blood before you’ve put it down. I can’t wait to see where things go from here.
Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout’s website here
 
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- Stephanie

Saturday, 21 September 2013

I'm back and feeling very nostalgic...



Hi Guys,

So it's safe to say I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus...a very long hiatus.It seems that life just seemed to get in the way! I've finally finished my Journalism degree and I'm still working full time but now it feels like I have more time for the blog.

So I've updated the theme, moved a few things around and I am back and ready to start reviewing again!

I've been feeling very nostalgic lately so I have been reading past books again and discovering things about the stories that I had previously forgotten, it's been eye opening and I have loved every minute of it. There will also be reviews from books that are brand new to me.

So over the next few weeks you can expect reviews of The Vampire Academy series, The Starcrossed series, The Morganville Vampire series and one of my all time favourites... The Covenant Series! I am especially excited about that one with the release of the final book Sentinel in December!!

So I'm back and I hope I still  have the love and support of all of my followers. I love you all and I'm sorry for going off the radar for so long!!

- Stephanie 







Sunday, 28 October 2012

Being Human by Patricia Lynne

Being Human
by Patricia Lynne
Createspace
8th September 2011

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he'll learn there's more to life than simple survival. He'll discover being human doesn't mean being a human.



I cannot explain how much I LOVED this book!!

Patricia Lynne is an amazing storyteller and this book is one of the most thought provoking I have read in a long time. Her take on the vampire genre was completely unique, she created a species that we are meant to fear and that fear remained until the very last page and at its core this story is about the prejudices that we face as a society today. This book is fast paced, exciting and completely heart-breaking.  This isn’t a story about love, it’s a story about humanity and what it takes to be human. Lynne also covered topics such as child abuse, rape, self-harm and depression in a respectful way and I have to admire her for that. 

I loved that Lynne created a story that made me question humanity and whether survival really is more important that love. It also had me asking the question, Is it right to fear something because we don’t fully understand it? I also loved the twin bond which became the sole reason Tommy didn’t lose all of his humanity, it was an amazing concept and it completely blew me away.

Tommy’s character is unique and I was shocked over and over again by his thoughts, feelings and actions. He kept me guessing until the very end. I loved that Lynne made Tommy the bad guy in the story and had all the other characters fear him for a time and then she threw in a human that Tommy described as a monster, which created the question; if vampires truly existed, would their crimes be any worse than human crimes?
He was almost childlike in nature because once he awakened as a vampire, he had to start from scratch and learn how to be human from the very beginning, he discovered what it was like to love, feel betrayed, hate, fear and the difference between right and wrong. He had to learn all the lessons that we do from birth and Lynne made each situation Tommy found himself in completely believable and relatable. I loved being able to watch Tommy grow as a character over several decades, it wasn’t a ridiculous amount of time and it was easy to see how his character changed emotionally even when he didn’t change physically. He realised that sometimes love is more important that survival.

The only part of the book I didn’t fall in love with was the ending and only because I didn’t feel completely satisfied. I feel like I still need closure on Tommy’s story and I still need to know how it ended for him, including his thoughts and feelings. Although I did love how the ending was written from another POV, it was refreshing and gave even more of an insight into the world Tommy found himself living in. This book will have you laughing and crying along with Tommy and the wonderful, strange and sad situations he finds himself in.

 Check out Patricia Lynne's website here


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- Stephanie

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Dear Followers, I love you






I know I've been completely M.I.A for the last few weeks and I'm sorryyyyy! Forgive me? Things have been pretty hectic with work and my laptop has died!! :( . However I am back and I promise to keep posting regularly! I have missed the world of blogging :)
You're all amazing :)
- Stephanie

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Prowl by Amber Garza

Prowl
by Amber Garza
20th January 2012
Createspace

Seventeen-year-old Mackenzie Smith is sent away to spend a boring summer at her grandma's. But then she meets Wesley. He tells her exactly what she wants to hear and has information about her past that no one else knows. It's almost like he can read her mind.

Only Wesley isn't who he seems.

By the time Mackenzie discovers his true identity it may be too late. She's in too deep and he won't let her go. Now Mackenzie must call on the strongest power of all in order to save her life.

I didn’t enjoy this book and the reason for that isn’t because it is based around religion, I have nothing against Christians or Christian literature. The reason I didn’t enjoy this book is simply because of the plot and the main character Mackenzie. I felt that throughout this book, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for something to happen… and nothing did until the last few pages.

This was only a short book but Garza made it feel never-ending by dragging out the plot, I was expecting a big surprise at the end but found that when the story came to its conclusion I had already guessed how it was going to end. I had also already guessed who Rhiannon really was and what her ‘hobbies’ were, I found that Garza made everything too obvious and this only made me more and more frustrated with the plot.

I also found the main character Kenzie annoying because of her relationship with the spirit/ghost Wesley, it was clearly obvious that he was not nice/good/honest and yet she couldn’t see that until the last couple of chapters. The themes in this book are very real for a lot of women out there and because Garza has brought them to life in this book in such a real way, I have a lot of respect for her and I understand that obviously Kenzie had to be depressed/gullible for the story to work and develop but she never developed any kind of backbone. Even her attempts to get rid of Wesley were half-hearted and weak. I don’t feel that she grew as a character in any way other than finding religion and even then it wasn’t a big deal – Which I feel it should have been because this book was a story of good and evil.

I hope the next in the series shows a different side to Kenzie but unfortunately it won’t be on the top of my to-read list.

Check out Amber Garza’s website here

Rating * *

Stephanie

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti

Other Systemsby Elizabeth Guizzetti
48 Fourteen
1st April 2012

Ten large ships race toward Earth, broadcasting in every language: "Brothers and sisters, we come in peace and in need. We have found our way home." The fear of a coming invasion begins the worldwide riots of 3062.

Yet, not all Earthlings fear attack. The newcomers, long lost descendants of Earth, speak of a paradise ninety-four light years away. Kipos is a land of plenty where there has never been hunger, murder, or war. However, they need more healthy young immigrants for the colony to thrive.

Many accept their offer to be tested. After assessment, Abby Boyd Lei is among the chosen. She leaves the protection of her family with dreams of higher education, a good job, and a kind-hearted spouse.

Will Kipos be everything she imagined? Abby is about to discover the cost of utopia

I am not a sci-fi fan. I’m not familiar with space stations, wormholes, deep space, or the solar system and aliens and the like do not appeal to me in any way but throw in a teenage girl, a bunch of heartache and a space crew looking for a planet to call their own and I was hooked. This book was nothing like I imagined it would be. It was a hundred times better. Guizzetti’s writing is really stunning and despite not understanding a lot of the terminology, it was an easy and enjoyable read. The way in which Guizzetti covered issues such as rape, suicide, homosexuality and abuse was breath-taking and I believe that this book required an impressive amount of research to complete and I have nothing but praise for her. Guizzetti created a completely new and believable world and her descriptions are beautiful, I could see every detail in my mind’s eye. I almost believe that Kipos is out there somewhere just waiting to be found.

Abby Boyd Lee was a character that completely blew my mind because despite all the suffering she endured and all of the heartache, she still came out on top as a strong independent woman and I have nothing but respect for her. Guizzetti wrote her beautifully and she was a believable and lovable character. In the beginning I couldn't help but be annoyed with how naive she was and how unrealistic her dreams for the future were but I realised that without her naivety the plot would have fallen apart. She dreamt of a better future for herself and made the ultimate sacrifice by leaving her family behind to travel through the stars. Unfortunately for her, not everything was quite as it seemed. She suffered trauma, loss and heartache before she found the space crew that would ultimately become her family. It took a long time for her to truly see herself as others saw her and be at peace with everything she went through.

Harden was one of my favourite characters and I couldn't help but love him, despite the fact that he barely shows any emotion besides anger and annoyance. He has suffered in different ways to Abby but like her, he came out on top. I believe this is why he forms such a sweet relationship with her. She looks to him as a father figure, always seeking his approval and in the beginning it seems that he wants nothing to do with her and despises her for even being allowed to become a part of his crew but in the end he treats her like a daughter, he protects her and tries to get her to reach her full potential. I love how this book became very much about him and Abby as opposed to being solely focused on Abby. The ending is sweet and emotional and shows a completely different side to Harden that I didn’t expect.

I really loved that this book was NOT a love story, there is romance and Abby has quite a few crushes (some that are really strange) but it isn’t solely based on two people falling in love and living happily ever after. Abby finds that although it was her dream to find a husband that loved her, she found something she never realised she needed. A family. Every character in this book is relevant and although they weren’t always at the centre of everything and some were only mentioned briefly, they were the elements that really made this book really come to life. I loved each and every one of them.

I can’t wait to read more of Guizzetti’s work and I really hope there will be a sequel to this amazing book.

Check out Elizabeth Guizzetti’s website here.
Rating * * * * *

- Stephanie