Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Review of Among the Shadows

Among the Shadows
(Ash Grove Chronicles, Book 3)

By Amanda De Wees


Just hours after Joy and Tanner’s daughter is born, Tanner finds himself in a world where Joy doesn’t know him and their baby doesn’t exist. But when he thinks he has found the source of the magic that has undone reality, a heartsore Maddie makes a wish that alters history even further. With time now growing short for Tanner, he must try to win Joy’s trust and convince her that they have a future together—even though their past has vanished.
As the fabric of reality begins to fray, an old enemy arises amid the chaos... and Joy and her Ash Grove friends find themselves fighting to save the world as they know it. This thrilling sequel to The Shadow and the Rose and Casting Shadows will keep readers guessing as it races toward its astonishing conclusion.

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 5/5

My thoughts:

Reading the Ash Grove Series has enabled me to see Amanda De Wees develop as a writer and it’s great to see how as each book progresses there is so much more to offer to the reader. I believe Amanda saved most of the magic until last. My point is that this book was completely fantastic. There were so many twists and changes I became dizzy from the rollercoaster ride.

Among the Shadows demonstrated how one event can have a domino effect on subsequent events and the corresponding story. For example, I completely forgot that is was Sheila who dared Joy to pick the rose from the grave in the first place, triggering Joy and Tanner’s relationship to begin.

Usually I can guess what will happen next with most stories but Amanda kept me on my toes. Just as I thought Joy and Tanner’s problems had finally resolved, one technicality would change everything.

In previous reviews of Ash Grove Chronicles I have been quite harsh towards Tanner but I felt so sorry for him in the third book. This was probably because he suffered the most this time, yet he kept fighting for his family. First his wife forgets him and his past, his new-born baby is removed from existence, then his arch-enemy, Melisande, is revived and torches him so he goes blind and ruins his appearance. Not to mention the shape shifter Raven takes along Tan’s appearance and pretending to be him whilst staying with Joy and baby Rose.

I was glad of Raven’s change and to see him leave Melisande and opt for a less evil life. I am curious to know what became of ‘Ray’s’ alternate life.

Maddie has always been my favourite character in the last two books but her place at the top is now tied with Cavanaugh’s ghost. The ghost was unintentionally funny and I’ve noted a couple of my preferred quotes below.

As always I recommend the Ash Grove Chronicles to everyone, and now I recommend even more so after reading Among the Shadows. I look forward to reading more from Amanda’s work as I suspect she has many more surprises up her sleeves!
Zed (:

Quotes I liked:
  • That’s the nuisance about gardens” said Melisande. “There are always pests invading them.”

  • “No, Melisande,” came the calm reply. “I no longer find life with you pleasurable. And after living as a human with the girl and her child, my curiosity has been piqued.” The ironic note that was usually present in everything Raven said was gone; instead he sounded almost thoughtful. “There was something rather sweet in that life that was new to me, and I want to try more of it. To see what it is about being human that elevates their little lives into something almost poignant.”

  • He had removed his top hat, evidently cut of some deeply ingrained gentlemanly reflex to go hatless indoors, even when he and his hat were equally insubstantial.

  • Joy had started: “We have something important to tell you.” “We’re pregnant,” Tan blurted. “And we’re in love,” Joy added. To Tanner she said under her breath, “Maybe we should have opened with that.”

  • “The best precaution would have been not touching my daughter.” Tanner looked at Joy adoringly, “Not possible, sir.”

Friday, 5 April 2013

Review of Tolomay's World

Tolomay’s World And The Pool of Light
By M.E. Lorde

Author M.E. Lorde creates a gripping story set in the earth’s future, where the youth of the world have the privilege and burden of saving humanity from extinction.
Years before an apocalyptic event, a new means of travel is discovered. The modern technology comes just in the nick of time. Though none can return to a past-time in order to fix what men have destroyed, some candidates can now move forward to begin anew.
Highly intelligent, Tolomay Ramey was trained since birth to do one thing… to lead others into the future of the ‘clean earth’ where both nature and mankind are given a fresh start. Leaving the pod community behind, she arrives as the only living ‘Original’ from the first team of candidates. The clean world, abundant with plant and animal life, is covered in green for the first time in hundreds of years.
Unfortunately for this young girl and despite the beauty of the replenished earth, nothing she experiences from the moment she arrives is as expected. Alone for three years, until others finally join her, she learns to survive off the land, but that will not be what she’ll find most challenging. What will happen when a strong-headed young man arrives with the mindset that he should have been the first in this paradise? Can independent Tolomay and fiercely confident Kenter meet in the middle? Can the clean world become what it was intended to be for the new community, or will all thoughts of peace be left a thousand years in the past?

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 3.75/5

My thoughts:

April must be the month of Sci-fi reads since here is another futuristic book I am reviewing. Reviews of Tolomay’s World made comparisons to Harry Potter, which is why I was interested to give it a try.

It took me a while to get into the story, perhaps because I prefer shorter paragraphs and this book started off with much description. However, I continued reading because I felt that there was more to this story, and I’m glad my hunch was correct.

For me, the second part of the story was where the fun began; when Kenter and his twin Lethia enter the clean world to meet Tolomay; the first. Tolomay is depicted to be a strong, very intelligent and kind hearted character, although her anger gets the best of her at times. I particularly enjoyed her arguments with the fairly arrogant Kenter, who had always been used to ladies fluttering around him and was surprised by Tolomay’s commanding behaviour. It was funny to see Kenter do the chasing, rather than the other way around.

My favourite was probably Lethia. She appears meek at times, preferring to listen than get involved with Kenter-Tolomay’s arguments, but always gives sound advice. Her loyalty to her brother is sweet, but I liked the fact that she was not always the good little girl, and therefore can stand up to others when need be.

The story became more and more interesting, the further I got into it, and the ending was especially eventful. I feel that the ‘war’ Tolomay fears will come sooner than anticipated now that Sandra, Kenter’s former lover, has arrived into the clean world.

 Happy Reading (:


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

New Adult Science Fiction Romance

The Crimson Hunt (Eldaen Light Chronicles #1)
By Victoria H. Smith


College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.

The Crimson Hunt is a New Adult Science Fiction Romance.

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4/5

My thoughts:

I read the first chapter of this book and was curious to find out more so I contacted the author, who then provided a free ecopy in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first New Adult Science Fiction Romance that I have read and reviewed and at 340 pages it was a little longer than I expected. However, the story was detailed, giving the reader a thorough understanding of the change Ariel’s life takes at the arrival of the mysterious Luca.

I enjoyed reading the first half more than the latter, and was sorry to see Piper go seeing as she added humour and fun to Ariel’s life.

From the beginning I knew Ariel’s necklace was important and I wished she would have it fixed sooner, but alas that was not how the story was meant to be.

The names in this book were ones not often used, which made the characters easier to remember. I found that the names used were what set this book apart to others I have read: Luca, Ariel, Ara, Gemini, Piper…

Overall, a recommended read (:

Monday, 1 April 2013

Review of Sky Blue

Sky Blue (Ruby Blue #3)
By Julie Cassar

Something strange is brewing in Lake City… as the summer comes to a close, Ruby finds herself caught in a torrent of trouble when a stranger blows into town. Relationships are put to the test, lines are drawn and a choice is made when the ways of the Royal Sky Court rain down upon Ruby and the gang. Weathering through a storm of secrets, spells and yet another life-changing adventure… who will survive in its wake? Find out just what mysteries are revealed in this third, magical installment of the Ruby Blue Series!
Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4.5/5
My thoughts

**I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

Reading the Ruby Blue series is always a delightful experience but Julie has outdone herself with Sky Blue. I liked seeing Ruby mature as a young lady, and having to make difficult decisions in terms of her relationship with Nik, aka Mr Hotness. We get to glimpse Ruby’s developing abilities, the most interesting of which is when Ruby starts floating!

As always I love the way Jeremy livens up every situation, with his wacky comments. The author truly knows how to surprise her readers. Out of all the possible characters there could be, Julie brings Big Foot (“Chewbacca”) into the story.

The ending of this book was fantastic, I cannot wait to see how the celebrations progress and I am looking forward to Ruby and Jeremy’s visit for the Fey festival. I’m sure there will be plenty of adventure and new mythical characters in Fey to see.

A highly recommended read (: