Friday 18 July 2014

Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro (Dark Paradise #1)

Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: July 1st 2014
POV: Alternating - First-person, Present tense
Smut-O-Meter: 3 out of 10
My Rating: 2 out of 5


Mala LaCroix has spent her whole life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of "witch women," she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala taps into powers she never knew she had. She's haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance.

Landry Prince has always had a crush on Mala, but when Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual, he wonders if all the rumours about the LaCroix family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to identify his sister's killer, he starts to form his own bond to her . . . a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything—their families, their love, and even their lives.


I really did not enjoy this book. At first I enjoyed Mala and Landry, but the story just did not draw me in at all. The magic was introduced really oddly, and I hated Mala's mother and George, both secondary characters to Mala and Landry. I hated the whole town and how they ostracized Mala because of her mother's reputation. It was all really infuriating.

Mala and Landry's relationship was odd and seemed to progress in awkward jerking motions. At first they seemed to not get along very well, and then suddenly they are making out and I was like, "Whoa! What's going on?" But then they start yelling at each other again. But I still like them as individuals and as a couple. Landry was extremely troubled by his home life, but still funny and cocky. And Mala was pretty spunky and I love my heroine's with spunk. And they seemed to calm each other and help them deal with all the shit in their lives.

But all the shit in their lives still refused to leave them alone, and their families could not accept their relationship and it got in the way. Unfortunately it left Mala and Landry torn apart and introduced a love-triangle in the end, which really makes me angry, especially since I hated George. Although the book featured alternating POVs between Mala and Landry, so I am fairly certain that she will still end up with Landry in the end. But I don't think I have the energy to continue with this series. 

Thursday 17 July 2014

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time #4)

Genres: High Fantasy, Adventure
Publication Date: September 15th 1992
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 4 out of 5


The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind.

In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken?

In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn.

In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plans the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland.

In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve.

Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn.


The fourth book in the Wheel of Time series was probably my least favourite so far, but I am still addicted to this series. This one was just really long and focused too much on the Aeil. I am loving Mat and Perrin more and more with each book, but I cant wait until Mat goes off on his own and develops his own story as Perrin is doing right now.

I enjoy watching all of Rand's machinations and his attempts to keep Moiraine and Egwene out of his business. But I really don't like the Aeil and their preoccupation with honour. They remind me way too much of the Elves in Eragon. And I really can't stand Aviendha. She reminds me way too much of Ygritte, and I always hated Ygritte.

What is with this series and the woman treating the men they claim to love so badly? In the beginning of the series, Egwene would always call Rand wool headed, so I can say good riddance to her. Although falling out of love with him has not stopped her from calling him wool headed. And now Aviendha says, "You really know nothing," which isway to close to "You know nothing, Jon Snow." Give him a little respect! He is not a moron! Faile does the same to Perrin, but I still like her for the most part.

My favourite young woman in this series is by far Min. Actually I rather like Nynaeve too. Either Nynaeve or Faile would be my second favourite young woman in the series. Elayne is hardly worth mentioning. She is so dull. Maybe I am biased but the men are so much more interesting. I am very grateful for Min's story. I am enjoying her and Siuan and Leane and am excited for where their story will go. They are older and wiser women, and along with Min, don't annoy me at all.

The ending was a bit anticlimactic to me. I was expecting more the happen at Al'cair Dal. Rand just announced himself and then ran off to fight Asmodean. He didn't do that great of a job of disproving Couladin. And when he returned he didn't tell them anything or make any explanations. He just rode off.

I am excited to see more of Min, and more of the personal stories of the three ta'veren. Rand's plan to take all the Aeil with him does not bode well for me, but he now as Asmodean as well which could be interesting. And Moiraine and Egwene are leaving him, which is good because they are so annoying. So there are a lot more things that are annoying me now than before, although they are just my personal quirks. I am still anxious to find out what happens next.

“You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones. Remember this, on this journey you insist on making. If you die, I will not survive you long.”

Sunday 13 July 2014

Weregild by Carole Cummings (Wolf's-Own #2)

Genres: Adult, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: March 26th 2012
POV: Alternating- Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 5 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


The amorality of gods makes it hard to tell bad from good and right from wrong. Fen Jacin-rei doesn't care. All Fen cares about is saving his family, and he'll sacrifice anything that gets in his way. Including his own soul. No longer willing to wait for the machinations of the gods' minions, Fen accepts the trade Kamen Malick offers. Together they set out to rescue Fen's family and kill the man who betrayed them. But Fen is an Untouchable, one whose mind hosts the spirits of long-dead magicians, and with Voices of the Ancestors screaming in his head, Fen finds it harder and harder to stave off madness. Malick has his own reasons to hand over everything Fen wants and equally compelling reasons to withhold everything Fen needs. In over his head with his timing as bad as ever, Malick must devise a way to do his god's bidding without breaking his god's laws-and keep Fen sane and on Malick's side in the bargain.

I enjoyed this one a bit more than book 1, but its still too confusing to get 5-stars from me. The story developed a bit more and the more I understand the more invested I get. More happened in this one than in the first.

"Chaste. Intimate. Meaningful, somehow, but Malick couldn't guess at the meaning inside it all. Didn't' want to."

I also enjoyed the addition of Fen's siblings as characters. Morin turned out to be way cooler than I would have imagine possible. Joori and Yori were cute. But then again, so were Joori and Madi. ;)

I am still totally in awe of Fen. Gosh, he is amazing. By far the main thing that brings me back to this series, despite not knowing what the hell is going on half the time. He is so broken but strong at the same time, and the best big brother in the world. Ok, maybe he is a little too distant, but the things he goes through for them! They all know he loves them.

"Malick reached up and gently fingered strands of matted chestnut out of Fen's eyes. Almost enspelled."

I liked the ending to this one. It actually felt like it had a beginning, middle and end, until book 1. A climax and resolution. They accomplished a clear goal. I was also really glad that Fen decided to accept his relationship with Malick. He still seems a little uncertain about what he wants, but at least now he can admit that he doesn't want to be alone.

I also enjoyed Malick a little more in this one. I had no complaints about him in book one, but in this one I really appreciated how he treated Fen. He understands him better now and knows what he needs. I really look forward to where their relationship will go from here.

"[Malick] didn't move when Fen leaned in again, slowly closed his eyes, slid his hand up to cup Malick's cheek and replaced his fingertips with his lips again--light and sweet and warm, and so...private. Profound, maybe." 

Thursday 10 July 2014

The Vast and Brutal Sea by Zoraida Córdova (The Vicious Deep #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, Fantasy/Mythology
Publication Date: July 1st 2014
POV: Male - First-person, Present tense
My Rating: 2 out of 5


This epic clash of sand and sea will pit brother against brother-and there can only be one winner

In two days, the race for the Sea Court throne will be over-but all the rules have changed. The sea witch, Nieve, has kidnapped Layla and is raising an army of mutant sea creatures to overthrow the crown. Kurt, the one person Tristan could depend on in the battle for the Sea King's throne, has betrayed him. Now Kurt wants the throne for himself. Tristan has the Scepter of the Earth, but it's not enough. He'll have to travel to the mysterious, lost Isle of Tears and unleash the magic that first created the king's powerful scepter. It's a brutal race to the finish, and there can only be one winner.


I found this series over all rather tedious. It was ok for the most part, but not good enough to keep bringing me back. I got really impatient with it most of the time. I just wanted to find out how it would end and didnt really want to do all the work to get there.

I read two other books on the side during the time it took me to read this one. And I fell asleep on this book on numerous occasions. As I have said in my reviews for both The Vicious Deep and The Savage Blue, I liked Tristan but I never really swoon over guys when the book is from their POV. I have to see them from the POV of a woman, to see them as the woman sees them and loves them, then I start to pick up those feelings myself.

I enjoyed most of the supporting characters, but I don't know if there were too many, or if I just didn't care about them enough, but I could never remember who was who. Who the hell is Kai? She was with Tristan for most of this book, but I have no idea who she is or when he met her. I just cannot remember.

I am glad with how things turned out for everyone. I don't know why, but for some reason I suspected the ending would go down something like it did. No tragic fates are hanging over anyone's heads. And I am glad that this series is over and I can move on.

Sunday 6 July 2014

Ghost by Carole Cummings (Wolf's-Own #1)

Genres: Adult, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: February 16th 2012
POV: Alternating- Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 5 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Dwelling in the land of Ada and defending magic users called the Jin, Fen Jacin-rei is a trained assassin and an Untouchable, one whose mind hosts the Voices of the Ancestors, spirits of long-dead magicians. His fate should be one of madness and solitude, yet Fen Jacin-rei desperately clings to his sanity and ferociously protects the family he loves. But how does Fen do it? Kamen Malick has every intention of finding out.

When Malick and his own small band of assassins ambush Fen in an alley, Malick offers Fen one choice: join us or die. Determined to decode the intrigue that surrounds Fen—and to have the Untouchable for himself—Malick sets to unravelling Fen’s past while Fen delves into the mysteries surrounding Malick.

As Fen’s secrets slowly unfold, Malick is drawn into a crusade that isn’t his, one surprisingly similar to his own quest for vengeance. Yet irony is a bitter reward when Malick discovers the one he wants is already hopelessly entangled with the one he hunts.

I picked up this book because I was in the mood to try something new. M/M romance was something I hadn't tried yet and this one was recommended to me. But I ended up enjoying it for mostly different reasons. Fantasy has always been one of my favourite genres so it was pretty easy for me to get into this. I love stories that introduce new worlds to me, and especially worlds with their own mythology and forms of magic.

I enjoyed the idea and the story, but it wasn't as good as it could have been. There are so many things that I still don't understand about what was going on. Who some of the characters were, what their involvement is, what the magic means, who is supposed to have it, and several other things. I just let it slide for the most part because I assume that it will make more and more sense as I continue to read. Some things I didn't understand at the beginning of this book made sense by the end, and I still have three more books to grasp the rest. But I would have been able to enjoy this more if it had been introduced to us more smoothly. The characters never paused in their narration to explain things to us. Its the complete opposite to info dumping.
I also didn't enjoy the alternating POVs. The POV alternated between the two leads and the villain, and those all make sense, but also three supporting characters which were unnecessary, and their input didn't really add anything to the story. It wasn't just a little bit either. There may have been a bit more of Malick than the others, but the three supporting characters were featured nearly as much. The flashback chapters, however, were more useful and necessary, and I felt like I learned a lot from those. But I was still annoyed that they were so frequent and so long. The information that we got from them could have been given to us in brief flashbacks rather than 20 page segments.

But I was still very interested in the story. Even if I am not entirely sure what it is that Malick and Fen are fighting for, besides saving Fen's mother, I felt invested in their success and I am excited to read the next book. The most important factor in any book for me is the characters, and I really loved Malick and Fen. Most of the book was from Malick's POV so we really got to see Fen through his eyes and it was really amazing and sometimes heartbreakingly beautiful. The way Malick would just stare at him as if he was a paragon in everything he did. And knowing what Fen had been through and how unworthy he felt made it all very sad at the same time. Malick was a more complex character than you may at first think, and I long for him to help Fen and be what he needs, but Fen is the one that really won my heart.

The romantic elements of this story really just skimmed the surface and introduced the possibility, so I ended up enjoying this for the characters and the world more than anything else, which are what I have always looked for most in a book. It was easy to enjoy, although maybe not easy to understand. But I look forward to reading the rest of the series and learning more not only about the story and world, but the characters and what they are capable of and what they will be able to do for each other and their world.

“Have it your way, then. Pretend that your deepest, most secret wish isn't that someone would love you like you know Malick can, if you let him.”

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