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Best of the Bunch is an awesome end-of-month meme created at Lyrical Reviews and now hosted by Sally at Always Lost in Stories. All you have to do is pick your favourite book of all the books you've read that month and post it.
My favourite book for May is Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
This was one of those books I never expected to like but ended up loving. I grabbed it from my TBR shelf thinking I'd read for a bit but ended up finishing the entire book in a single day, and then going out early the next morning to pick up a copy of the sequel.
I loved Amy and Elder and I was glued to the page trying to figure out the many mysteries and secrets aboard the Godspeed. This is kind of a science fiction/dystopian cross and it is an incredible read that I adored :)
Author: Beth Revis Publisher: Razorbill ISBN: 978-0-141-33366-3 Pages: 398 Series: Across the Universe #1 Type: Young Adult Science Fiction Source: Purchased Goodreads
Amy has left Earth and her life behind, cryogenically frozen and bound for a new
home 300 years in the future. But Amy is violently awakened 50 years before
schedule and she finds herself trapped aboard the Godspeed. The ship is
controlled by the Eldest and his successor Elder. When it becomes clear that
Amy's awakening was an attempted murder, she must turn to Elder to discover the
many secrets hidden in their world.
This is the first in a new trilogy
and, despite all the great things I'd heard, a book I approached with
trepidation. I'm not really a big fan of science fiction so I was concerned I
wouldn't like the spaceship setting but I was happily surprised to be wrong and
finished the book in a day. The plot is cleverly written and with lots of twists
and turns (although I figured a big one out pretty early on) and kept me glued
to the page. The narration is split between Amy and Elder which means we get the
benefit of both perspectives.
There is a heavy dystopian angle to the
storyline which I loved. Everyone on Godspeed is monoethnic, everyone has a
purpose, everyone is satisfied by their life - but by having Amy act almost as
our "normal" person on the Godspeed the reader gets to see just how strange the
society there has become. Elder's impressions also help show this, especially
when he starts talking about historical events which are very different to how
we know them to have been.
Amy is a great lead character managing to be
strong and independent while still remaining vulnerable, especially about her
past and her parents. Elder compliments her really well, picking up her
questioning nature but also helping her to explore the strange new world she has
found herself in. Eldest is a creepy leader and I pretty much disliked him from
the start, especially as it is clear he is hiding a lot of secrets. My favourite
character though has to be Harley who lives in the Ward with the other
psychologically different individuals. His passion for art and relatively normal
perspective on Godspeed adds another dimension to the story.
I was a
little surprised that there wasn't a huge amount of romance between Amy and
Elder. The appropriate sparks flew, but the characters got so caught up in the
events around them that it wasn't developed. This works in the books favour
though as it means more focus is given to the creepy fascinating secrets being
The ending is brilliant, managing to be surprising (despite me
having figured out a major twist) and action packed. It also ties up the
storyline in such a way that you are ready for the characters to continue but
feel that most of the issues have been resolved.
All in all this was an
awesome read and I can't wait to read A Million Suns.
When the charasmatic Reverend David Goode moves to Stillbrook he singles out
Sacred Balance and Yoga Meridian as the root of evil. According to him, yoga is
a heathen demonic practice. AJ isn't the only person whose livelihood is at risk
- her ex-partner Lily is the new manager of Yoga Meridian. But when the Reverend
ends up dead and Lily is arrested, AJ feels she has to prove Lily's innocence.
But with the Reverend's distinctly unreligious habits and the appearance of the
Jersey Devil, this case may be AJ's strangest yet.
This is the fourth
book in the Mantra for Murder Mysteries (after Corpse Pose, Dial Om for Murder and Murder on the Eightfold Path) and I really enjoyed it. I struggled through the last
installment as there was so much going on at once, but now AJ's life is more
settled the book was a great read. The densly plotted storyline was packed with
twists and turns and kept me glued to the page. The ending is well thought out
and gives a surprisingly upbeat conclusion to the story.
The idea of
covering the debate between religion and yoga was a fascinating idea, partly
because I've seen arguments against yoga from various religious figureheads in
the real world. AJ comes up against a Reverend who is convinced that yoga is the
work of the devil and they have several interesting conversations where AJ tries
to explain her perspective and he railroads her. The author manages to show that
it is closemindedness that is the problem, rather than blaming religion
I was a little concerned that I wouldn't really care about Lily
being accused of murder as I didn't really like her in the previous books, but
my attention was drawn into the case by AJ's mother Elysia. Now the star of her
own mystery TV show Golden Gumshoes, Elysia turns up with her fellow castmembers
and plunges straight into the case. Also the threat of Lily coming back to
Sacred Balance had me rooting for AJ proving her innocence.
also some great supporting storylines, including AJ and Jake's increasingly
serious romance and also Elysia's new relationship with her costar Dean. The
latter is great because it brings the attraction between Elysia and town lawyer
Mr Meagher to a head. Yoga also gets more page time with AJ's own practice and
it's impact on grumpy teenager Mocha. However my favourite part of the book has
to be the appearance of the Jersey Devil. I've loved folklore on this for years
so to see it take a leading role in a book was brilliant.
At the end of
the book there is the usual yoga and recipe section. This time it features a
guide to three yoga poses (sideways bend, forward bend and cobra pose) alongside
recipes for Baked Manicotti and Chocolate Clementine Cake which were both
mouthwateringly described in the book.
All in all this was a great read
from a fun series.
AJ Alexander inherited her aunt's yoga studio, moved to small town New Jersey
and started a relatively quiet life...with the exception of reluctantly solving
a few murders. But when AJ literally trips over the body of her mother's current
beau Dicky right outside Elysia's house, AJ finds herself drawn into her most
important case yet. This time AJ is fighting to prove her mother's innocence but
with business and relationship problems as well as a back injury, AJ could be
biting off more than she can chew.
This is the third book in the Mantra
for Murder Mysteries (after Corpse Pose and Dial Om for Murder) and deals with the death of Dicky who was briefly introduced in
the last book. The plot is cleverly written and packed with false leads but for
some reason I found it really hard to keep my interest on the book and so I kept
picking it up and putting it down. I think my attention kept getting distracted
as there is so much storyline aside from the murder.
AJ spends a lot of
time away from Sacred Balance and can't do yoga because of a back injury, so
it's a little ironic that this book contains quite a lot about both yoga and the
studio. Since the beginning of the series Sacred Balance has played a key role
and in this installment the friction between AJ and her co-manager Lily finally
comes to a head with some dramatic scenes. AJ's relationship with Jake Oberlin
is also on rocky ground with a new character stirring up trouble and AJ doubting
whether the relationship has a future.
Elysia's life and her old friends
also get a lot of page time as this time the case is all about Elysia. It's been
great watching her and AJ grow closer over the previous books, and this
continues that helping AJ see that her mother is no longer the drunk from her
childhood. There is also some resolution to the bitter relationship between
Elysia and AJ's neighbour Stella. This also means that a lot of the supporting
cast are older which adds a different dimension to the book.
At the end
there is a guide to two back-strengthening yoga exercises (Happy Baby Pose and
Cat Stretch) and two recipes for Barley Soup with Porcini Mushrooms and Chicken
All in all this was a fair read and I'm looking forward to
Death in a Difficult Position.
Shelf Candy Saturday is an awesome weekly meme hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews where each Saturday bloggers defy the saying "never judge a book by its cover" and showcase one that really catches their eye. Covers play a huge role in the books I choose so it's great to have the opportunity to showcase the pretties :)
My shelf candy for this week is Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott.
On my fourteenth birthday when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us. We saw them come, Aimi and me. We were excited, because we did not know how to be frightened. We had never seen soldiers before.
Suzume is a shadow weaver. She can be anyone she wants. Except herself.
Only one man sees through her illusions. Only one man loves the girl within. And he will not give her up. Not even to a prince.
This has to be hands down one of the most gorgeous books on my shelf. It's just sooo pretty! I love the cherry blossoms bordering the photo and they just emphasize the oriental setting really well (the book is set in a fictional country called the Moonlit land).
The only downside is while the cover image is pretty, the book is outstanding in real life. The text is shiny and looks even cooler when you move the book and catch the light. The other thing you can't see from the front cover image is that the face continues on the back cover, as do the cherry blossoms.
Title: Dial Om for Murder Author: Diana Killian Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime ISBN: 978-0-425-22705-3 Pages: 271 Series: Mantra for Murder Mystery #2 Type: Adult Cozy Mystery Source: Purchased Goodreads
A.J. only two A-list students in her yoga studio, but they are more than enough
to handle. Leading actress Nicole Manning and reality-show star Barbie Siragusa
aren't just divas, they are viscious rivals too. A.J. tries to keep the peace
but when she discovers Nicole's dead body, all fingers point to Barbie. Pushed
into investigating by her mother, A.J. soon learns that Nicole's life was more
complicated than she ever dreamed.
This is the second book in the Mantra
for Murder Mysteries (after Corpse Pose). After really enjoying the first book I was eager to get stuck into
this and I must say I wasn't disappointed. As with the first installment the
mystery element is tightly plotted and cleverly written with just the right
amount of red herrings. There were also a few twists and turns that caught me
completely by surprise.
While the yoga angle ensures that this is unique
amongst other cozies, it doesn't overpower the mystery. A.J. is still running
the Sacred Balance studio and her love of yoga shines through. The book even
concludes with a guide to sun salutations and a recipe for salmon salad. The
other unique aspect of this is the secondary mystery which is a minor plot that
links in to the main case. In this installment AJ's ex-husband turns up bruised
and unwell on her doorstep after leaving his partner but won't explain what's
The romance subplot between AJ and Detective Jake Oberlin. Unlike
in other cozy mysteries though, Jake absolutely objects to A.J. having any part
in the police investigation and her determination to investigate puts their
relationship in jeopardy. Most cozies seem to have a clueless cop grateful for
the amateur's assistance, but this seems far more realistic.
I found the
ending was a little disappointing because it came together very quickly and
without much explanation. As with the first book the ending was quite tense and
action-packed but while I didn't predict the killer's identity, there wasn't
much reasoning behind it. It seemed very much a case of "voila, here's your
All in all this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Murder on the Eightfold Path.
Since A.J. Alexander's husband left her for another man she's been feeling lost,
but when her favourite Aunt Di is found brutally murdered A.J. seizes the
opportunity to escape her Manhattan lifestyle for rural New Jersey. Diantha was
a successful yoga guru with a lucrative yoga studio, but her strong opinions and
determination to see her wishes carried out caused a lot of tension within the
town of Stillbrook. A.J. soon finds herself under suspicion from a hunky local
detective, so she decides to limber up and track down the killer
As a fan of both cozy mysteries and yoga I have no idea why this
sat on my TBR heap for over a year before I finally got to it. I absolutely
loved this book, and am now kicking myself for not reading it before. A.J. is a
great lead character who is believable and realistic, and who is a yoga novice
(like me). She hasn't seen her aunt for a few years before the murder due to
some tension with A.J.'s now ex husband, which means the reader gets to
familiarise themselves with the setting of the book along with A.J.
I also found A.J.'s British ex-actress mother Elysia to be well
written and hilarious. The British slang and terms of endearment (e.g. 'Pet')
also seeemed normal, unlike many books by US writers who get this horribly
wrong. The hunky Detective Jake Oberlin is great as the police character who
always shows up in cozies - thankfully he is well written (no cookie cutter
characters here) and the only possible romantic interest in the book. A.J.'s ex
husband Andy does appear in the book, but this doesn't come anywhere near the
often tedious love triangles that are becoming more commonplace in
The mystery is well developed with gradual clues that I didn't
put together until the very last minute. There are also several plot twists that
I didn't see coming, and also lots of mini stories going on at the same time -
like what is happening between Detective Oberlin and A.J.'s dog when her back is
turned? The only thing that affected my enjoyment of the book was a couple of
mistakes that had slipped past the editors (a neighbour lives both a mile and
five miles away, and a chai latte suddenly becomes a cup of tea), but these were
minor and rare (I only noticed the two).
All in all a fabulous cozy read
that I thoroughly recommend to fans of cozy mysteries, yoga or both! I'm looking
forward to reading Dial Om for Murder.
Title: Curses! Author: J.A. Kazimer Publisher: Puffin Books ISBN: 978-0-7582-6912-6 Pages: 292 Series: F***ed-Up Fairy Tales #1 Type: Adult Humour Source: Received for Review Goodreads
RJ is no hero, in fact he is quite literally a card carrying villain. Until
recently he was constantly plotting evil deeds and the downfall of young maidens
but now a horrifying curse has shattered his dastardly life. Now, no matter
what, RJ has to be nice. So when Cinderella is murdered and her not-so-ugly
sister Asia calls on RJ for help he has little choice. Soon RJ finds himself in
the kingdom of Maldetto trying to discover who (besides himself) would want a
beloved princess dead.
This is one of those books that as soon as I heard
about it, I knew that I would love it. I'm a big fan of fairy tales and will
happily read pretty much any take on them so when I heard about a parodied
version from the perpective of a villain cursed with niceness, I had to have it.
The book is incredible and totally lived up to my expectations. The storyline is
packed with twists and turns, most of which I didn't see coming and I was glued
to the page throughout.
Obviously humour is incredibly subjective and in
writing this review I am aware that what I find hilariously funny may not be
even slightly amusing to someone else. That said the author does an incredible
job of twisting every fairy tale possible to give a fresh angle on an old
classic. The three deaf mice (notorious cousins of the three blind mice), an
entirely new take on the ugly sisters, a questionable Prince Charming and even
villains using bluebirds as murder weapons. I laughed out loud multiple times
and found the entire book to be outrageously funny.
RJ is a great lead
character with a great perspective. The curse only means he has to act nicely so
it's brilliant to be able to read his villainous thoughts and then see how the
curse changes his actions. He can't even shake someone - it turns into a hug.
Asia was awesome as the ugly stepsister who is also dealing with a curse of her
own and potential love interest for RJ.
All in all this was a great read
and I'll definitely be picking up a copy of the sequel (Froggy-Style) next
Title: Generation Dead Author: Daniel Waters Publisher: Simon and Schuster ISBN: 978-1-84738-327-3 Pages: 392 Series: Generation Dead #1 Type: Young Adult Paranormal Source: Purchased Goodreads
All over America teenagers who die aren't staying dead, they're coming back. Goth girl outcast Phoebe finds herself drawn to hunky funny jock Tommy Williams, but Tommy is already dead. Not everyone is as accepting of the 'living impaired' as Phoebe, and some are trying to rid the community of these individuals and will stop at nothing to reach their goals.
I got this book in a 5 book set for just under £10 in WHSmiths, and I have to say I'm glad I didn't pay more for it. I hadn't heard much about these books although I had seen them in stores, and as I'm not a massive fan of zombies I doubt I would have read this were it not in the set.
A large portion of the plot of the book is given over to exploring the prejudice between the living and the living impaired. While it draws interesting parallels to racial and disability discrimination, it's covered to the point of being overdone here and I ended up becoming very bored with it. It also overpowers the rest of the plot which means that the reason why American teenagers are coming back from the dead is never fully explained and the romance is poorly developed.
I wasn't thrilled with Phoebe as a main character as she seemed to be quite stereotypical. I don't know much about Goth culture, but I doubt it involves continually pointing out what bands you're into or slipping off to write overly emotional poetry. A love triangle is quickly set up involving Phoebe's lifelong friend and boy-next-door Adam and the newly dead Tommy. However Phoebe never really figures out what she feels for Tommy and is completely oblivious to Adam so the love triangle is more like boring dates and dull conversations.
The plot doesn't really flow, and it seems more like the author is setting up the series than writing a good book. The book flounders about until the inevitable cliffhanger ending. From the blurb this book seems like it has a lot of potential, but it has been sacrificed in order to create a world where a series of books can be set. Some incredible series have grown out of books that suffer from first-in-a-series-itis, but after reading this I'm reluctant to give any other books in the series a chance.
All in all this was an okay read, and while I may eventually read The Kiss of Life I doubt it'll be any time soon.
Title: My Way to Hell Author: Dakota Cassidy Publisher: Berkley Sensation ISBN: 978-0-425-23443-3 Pages: 323 Series: Hell #2 Type: Adult Paranormal Romance Source: Purchased Goodreads
Marcella Acosta managed to do the one thing forbidden to demons - she defied
Lucifer and ended up banished to limbo, a boring shop-free zone which she refers
to as Plane Drab. Marcella stood against Lucifer to save her friend Delaney, so
when she finds her now ghostly self summoned back to earth by Delaney's brother
Kellen all she wants to do is check in on her friend. But Delaney has other
ideas and ropes Marcella in to help Kellen with his newfound mediumship
abilities. Marcella and Kellen have always clashed, but they're about to
discover that beneath the surface they aren't that incompatible after
I recently read and enjoyed Kiss & Hell so I was really looking forward to this and it didn't disappoint.
If anything I actually enjoyed this more than its predecessor. Marcella and
Kellen are more fun than Delaney and Clyde, and the love/hate banter they have
throughout the book is hilarious. Marcella is adjusting to being a ghost after
being a reluctant demon, and finally all the hints about how someone who would
sacrifice themselves for a friend in the last book could end up as a demon are
revealed. I also liked how the attraction/repulsion between Marcella and Kellen
was carried forward from Kiss & Hell.
The supporting characters are great and become key to the
storyline very quickly. Delaney and Clyde return with small roles, as do Mrs
Ramirez and Delaney's ghost dog Darwin. Mrs Ramirez's grandson Carlos is a big
part of the book as a young medium who is being tormented by demons. I actually
liked how this storyline was played out alongside the romance as it really gives
the book depth. The storyline also moves a bit faster (though still at quite a
leisurely pace) because of this. There's also a new reluctant demon Catalina,
who I would love to see in her own book.
The only thing that bugged me a
little about the book is that I figured out the connection between Marcella and
Carlos quite early on, but I didn't figure out the specifics so I was still a
All in all, this is a fun and highly recommended
Shelf Candy Saturday is an awesome weekly meme hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews where each Saturday bloggers defy the saying "never judge a book by its cover" and showcase one that really catches their eye. Covers play a huge role in the books I choose so it's great to have the opportunity to showcase the pretties :)
My shelf candy for this week is Endure by Carrie Jones.
Okay so technically, my shelf candy is a series based pick this week. All of the covers for the Need Pixies books are awesome and I had the hardest time picking out a favourite to be my main pick. I ended up settling for the newest installment, Endure. However because this is the conclusion of the series, the description is really heavy on the spoilers.
The other three covers are just as awesome:
I love the interplay of black and gold on these covers and the sparklies just add to the awesome. They manage to be simple but also really emotive. I love all of them, but Endure stands out based on the swirls and the eye looking out of the cover. It really makes you question why her iris is gold and what she's thinking.
That said, all of the covers are thought-provoking getting the reader to question what exactly is going on. Usually I'm not the biggest fan of people on covers, but the simplicity of these covers works really well and caught my attention. The faces give the covers structure, and the simple colour scheme gives them a unique appeal.
Intrigued? Here's the description for the first book in the series Need:
Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.
She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.
So what's your shelf candy this week?
Delaney Markham is a medium who has turned into a hermit because, well, who
actually wants to be friends with someone who thinks they can talk to the dead.
She makes ends meet by holding the occasional seance, and it's during one of
these that an incredibly annoying ghost appears...and refuses to leave. Turns
out this guy Clyde isn't just a ghost, he's actually a trainee demon who has
been sent to bring Delaney down to hell for Lucifer. But if Clyde and Lucifer
think Delaney is going down with out a fight, they have another thing
This is one of those books that sat on my TBR for ages before I
got round to reading it. It wasn't because I wasn't interested in doing so, I
just kept getting distracted. I've now finally read it and I have to say I loved
it. I'm a big fan of Dakota Cassidy's Accidentally Paranormal series (starting with
The Accidental Werewolf) and I love her snarky self-aware style. This is exactly
what I was expecting - funny, sweet, romantic and a major page
Delaney is hilarious - from her super-healthy lifestyle to her
Ghost Whisperer obsession to her collection of random disabled dogs. I liked her
from the start, and her spunky attitude meant I kept liking her throughout the
book. Clyde, although I don't really like the name, is a great guy. He seems a
little cookie cutter at first - the hot geek, who has no idea how hot he is -
but that's literally only for a page or two. He quickly develops into an all
around awesome guy: romantic, understanding of Delaney's medium skills and very
The supporting characters - Delaney's brother Kellen and her
demonic best bud Marcella are the leads in the follow up book My Way to Hell. I'm thrilled and can't wait to read it as these two really stood
out for me here. As bad as it may sound, I also want to know what happens next
with Lucifer as he really comes across as a bit of a maniacal drama
The plot is develops gradually, which isn't a bad thing as it
allows the characters to fully develop and so the storyline doesn't take big
jumps. The ending is awesome, really bringing the whole book together. The only
story threads not completed are those of Kellen and Marcella, but I'm guessing
they'll be tied up in the next book.
All in all, this is an awesome funny
paranormal romance and I can't wait to read My Way to Hell.
Moira Byrne has grown up hearing hushed whispers about her mother, the great
Morgan of Belwicket, and the awesome powers she is said to possess. Moira just
knows her as Mum and has only ever seen her work as a witch and healer. But when
strange dark signs begin to plague Morgan and her daughter, Morgan fears that
the darkness of her past has once again arisen to be fought once more and Moira
begins to realise just how dangerous her mother can be.
This is the
fifteenth and final book in the Wicca series (which began with Book of Shadows) and it set twenty years after the end of the previous installment.
Morgan now resides in Ireland with her daughter Moira having been contacted to
help rebuild her ancestral coven of Belwicket. Morgan thought she'd left the
darkness behind, but this rollercoaster of a story proves her wrong.
the tragic heartwrenching beginning, through the many unexpected twists and
turns to the incredible conclusion this is a thrill ride of a book with heaps of
tension. One thing that stood out for me in an outstanding way was the parallels
between Moira's life and Morgan's. Moira is drawn to a young witch Ian Delaney
whose mother is suspected of working dark magick and their relationship
parallels Morgan's relationship with Cal in a fascinating way.
herself is more like her mother than even she herself thinks, struggling with
the balance of morality and discovering secrets her family had hidden for her
whole life. It is also interesting to see how different Moira's life at sixteen
is from Morgan's as she has been brought up surrounded by magick and is studying
for her initiation. I loved seeing how Morgan managed to achieve her goal of
becoming a healer, even if certain events are not what she wanted to
The only thing that bothers me, and it is a tiny thing, is
that while pretty much all the major characters from the previous books get
updates Alisa does not. Whether this was to leave her storyline open for the
possibility of continuance I don't know but a quick 'Alisa is doing...' could
have easily been worked in.
All in all this was a great read and I
heartily recommend the entire series.
Title: Full Circle Author: Cate Tiernan Publisher: Puffin Books ISBN: 0-14-131710-8 Pages: 190 Series: Wicca/Sweep #14 Type: Young Adult Paranormal Source: Purchased Goodreads
Morgan has battled great evil and found great joy since discovering Wicca and
her own inner magick. She's come to terms with her heritage and learnt to
balance the magickal aspects of her life with the mundane. Now she is looking
forward to a bright future. So when Morgan begins having nightmares she ignores
them at first. But when Morgan realises that she has been sleepwalking she
realises that some dangers from her past aren't as defeated as she
This is the fourteenth book in the Wicca series (which began
with Book of Shadows) and returns to Morgan as a narrator although this role is once
again shared, this time with Hunter. It is interesting that the narrative is
shared by a couple as it gives additional insight into the romance angle, but
also Morgan and Hunter are beginning to formulate their future plans which gives
the book a sense of movement.
Morgan's nightmares are an ideal way to
build the tension in the book, of which there is a steadly building amount from
the start through to the shocking conclusion. There are many twists and turns
and it is interesting to see just how deadly something so mundane as a nightmare
can become when magick is introduced. Even Morgan herself initially dismisses
the danger as just another nightmare. Instead the danger grows out of sight
until lives are threatened and life-altering choices must be made.
liked how Morgan and Hunter are looking to the future. This is the last book
before a large time jump and so it is great to see them deciding what their
individual paths will be. It also impacts their relationship in a realistic way
as most couples will eventually have to deal with the possibility of separate
futures and whether their relationship is strong enough to survive. As it is, it
is fascinating to see how Hunter brings Morgan to an unusual situation and helps
further both their life plans.
All in all this was another great read and
I'm looking forward to Night's Child.
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
"I was happy, lying there in the sun and dappled shade. It felt normal, natural, light. I hoped that the rest of the year would be more like this and that the darkness we'd been facing had finally gone for good."
Alisa Soto grew up thinking that she was a normal girl and her biggest worry was
the impending marriage of her father and his young pregnant fiance. Then Alisa
discovered Wicca and with it a world of temptation, beauty and fear. With it,
Alisa discovered that she is incredibly unique - a talented half-witch, unheard
of even in the magickal world. Now Alisa is determined to seek out her mother's
family and learn more about her heritage.
This is the thirteenth book in
the Wicca series (which began with Book of Shadows) and is narrated by Alisa. The previous installment was jointly
narrated by Alisa and Morgan and it's great to have a book purely from Alisa's
perspective as she's a really great fascinating character. This is probably one
of my favourites of the series as I really like Alisa's voice.
setting of the book has also changed as Alisa goes to Gloucester, Massachusetts
in search of her mother's family. Turning up on her uncle's doorstep she is
thrown in at the deep end, and in doing so she soon discovers that her family
need her just as much as she needs them. Strange telekinectic incidents have
haunted the family for generations and Alisa may just hold the solution within
I really liked Alisa's family, especially her Uncle Sam and her
reunion with her family is particularly well written. Some family members are
thrilled by her presence, some take it in their stride and others are reluctant
to acknowledge her. It is also great to see how someone with a mundane childhood
reacts when introduced to a family immersed in magick. The other thing I loved
is that Alisa manages to use her experience to grow as a person, becoming more
focused and centered in herself and using it in a positive way.
romance angle is also a little different. Alisa finds herself irrevocably drawn
to Charlie Findgoll, a geeky witch who is open and friendly from the moment they
meet. But Charlie is Alisa's newfound cousin's boyfriend and so the attraction
becomes something they both resist from the beginning even as their friendship
All in all this was an awesome read and I'm looking forward to Full Circle.
Morgan Rowlands has discovered much about magick and love, but when strange
events start happening Morgan isn't sure what to do. It is like a cloud of
darkness is hovering over the heads of her and her friends, and soon Morgan
comes to fear the worst. Putting on a brave face she tries to hide the
possibility of danger but there's a problem. Alisa isn't fooled by Morgan's
pretence and she too can feel the darkness surrounding them...the question is
how is she able to?
This is the twelfth book in the Wicca series (which
began with Book of Shadows) and sees another change in style. The narration is now split
between Morgan and Alisa, who previously has been a member of Kithic and a good
friend of Morgan's sister Mary K. This is really well written and both voices
are distinct, allowing the reader a great view into the events in Widow's
Alternating between Morgan and Alisa also means that the two
stories can be both intricately intermeshed and also completely unique. Morgan
is dealing with the lengths her biological father will go to in order to either
win her to his side, or remove her from his path while Alisa is beginning to
realise that her family tree holds just as many secrets as Morgan's.
also found the story of Hunter's father Daniel's recovery to be very
interesting. He questions Morgan's loyalties and his gradual trust parallels his
improving health. There was a possibility Daniel would magickally recover and
I'm really glad the book chose to take a more mundane route to health.
this point it is important to have read the books in order (even the previous
somewhat disappointing Origins)
as the dark wave plays it's most pivotal role yet. Alongside this there are
loads of twists and turns that I didn't expect and an outstanding action-packed
All in all this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Reckoning.
In 1682 Rose MacEwan lived in dangerous times, more so because she was a witch.
The daughter of her coven's High Priestess, Rose always felt that she was being
held back from her magick by her mother. So when Rose meets the mischevious
Diarmuid in the woods, she seizes the opportunity to work greater more powerful
magick. But Rose's choices have consequences even she could never have
This is the eleventh book in the Wicca series (which began
with Book of Shadows) and again is from a perspective other than Morgan's. In this
installment, Morgan's ancestor Rose narrates the tale of the creation of the
dark wave. Morgan and Hunter appear briefly in the prologue and epilogue but
otherwise the entire book is given over to Rose's story.
The movement of
the story to seventeenth century Scotland is an interesting choice. I enjoyed
the opportunity to discover how and why the dark wave was created, and the
circumstances fit well with the morality issues raised in previous installments.
However, I didn't really warm to Rose as a character and the pace of the book is
quite a lot slower than before. To this point the rest of the series is set over
around four months, whilst this book is set over the course of almost a year.
This means that a lot of the tension depends on the witch hysteria rather than
The romance angle between Rose and Diarmuid was also a
little disappointing as she uses magick to capture his attention which always
makes the relationship seem unbalanced. Rose's determination to maintain their
connection is understandable but I have to say I wasn't really surprised when
Diarmuid's true intentions are revealed.
All in all this was an
interesting read and I'm looking forward to Eclipse.
Hunter Niall's parents disappeared eleven years ago, trying to save their
children and outrun a mystical dark wave. Hunter was left with a lot of
unanswered questions and has been looking for his parents for years. Now he has
finally tracked his family down and he is travelling to Canada in search of
answers. But all is not as Hunter expects and soon he finds himself with more
questions than ever before, questions that place his dedication to the
International Council of Witches in doubt.
This is the tenth book in the
Wicca series (after Book of Shadows, The Coven, Blood Witch, Dark Magick, Awakening, Spellbound, The Calling, Changeling and Strife)
and is the first book to be written from Hunter's perspective. A change in
narrator like this can often spell trouble for a long-running series, but I
liked Hunter's voice and found it interesting to see things from his
perspective. Morgan's diary entries are also included so the reader can also
keep track of events back in Widows Vale.
The mystery of where Hunter's
parents are has been a key part of his character development and plotlines since
his introduction and now there are finally some answers. To me, the most
interesting part of this book is Hunter's internal struggles with what has
become of his family and whether he is happy with the direction his life has
taken. Hunter has always seemed very self-assured and confident in his role as a
Seeker so it is great to see that he has doubts sometimes.
morality is a big part of the storyline, although this time it is focused more
on the question "is the wrong thing done for the right reasons still the wrong
thing". Morals become clouded, choices aren't clear cut and the characters all
deal with this dilemma in different ways. Hunter strives for the right thing to
do while his father Daniel no longer cares about right and wrong.
all this was a fun read and I'm looking forward to Origins.
Morgan has experienced both the beauty and the terror that magick can bring yet
she has managed to find a place of peace within herself. With her boyfriend
Hunter by her side she is looking forward to learning as much as she can about
the craft. But when strange telekinetic events start to occur around Morgan, a
dangerous question arises. Is someone deliberately targeting her, or are the
events somehow being caused by Morgan herself?
This is the ninth book in
the Wicca series (after Book of Shadows, The Coven, Blood Witch, Dark Magick, Awakening, Spellbound, The Calling and Changeling)
and causes Morgan to take somewhat of a step back and leaves her without her
magick. The threat in this book is more insidious than before as no-one can
determine it's origin. Morgan has drawn the attention of powerful dark witches
but the randomness of the events doesn't seem to fit. This means that the
tension is brought up a notch and the unseen foe adds an air of
One thing I liked about the storyline is that as Morgan begins
to doubt her magick, her parents force her to look at what her interest in wicca
has cost her. Her life is out of control with her grades freefalling and a lack
of connection with her family. It is the first time Morgan has had to work at
her mundane life and it is great to see how realistically this is dealt
There is also more of a focus on Alisa, the youngest member of
Kithic and one of Mary K's closest friends. Alisa is terrified of Morgan's
powers and so there is the introduction of witch hysteria into Morgan's world.
This, strangely, also leads Morgan to connect with her healing gifts adding a
new dimension to her studies.
All in all, this was a great read and I'm
looking forward to Seeker.
Morgan Rowlands has discovered a terrible secret about her origins that has
thrown her entire life into doubt. She pushes her beloved Hunter away,
determined to isolate herself so as not to threaten the lives of those she
loves. But as soon as she does Morgan is contacted by the International Council
of Witches. It turns out she is uniquely qualified to help them deal with a
dangerous witch...but doing so could cost her her life.
This is the
eighth book in the Wicca series (after Book of Shadows, The Coven, Blood Witch, Dark Magick, Awakening, Spellbound and The Calling) and it picks up shortly after the last left off. Morgan has broken
up with Hunter and distanced herself from her friends and so this story takes a
more introverted view. A large part of the story comes from Morgan's inner
thoughts and, with her family away on vacation, this guides her choices
The morality of good versus bad has been covered before in
the series but this installment takes it one step further by looking at how much
personal choice is involved. Can a person be predestined to be either good or
bad, or can they choose their own path? For that matter is it a one time choice
or something that must be repeated? Heavy themes but well handled so that the
characters and reader can come to their own conclusion.
With Hunter and
Morgan separated the romance angle of the storyline is less than previously and
this gap is filled with tension, not only from Morgan's work with the council
but from the strained relationships throughout the book. Killan makes a welcome
return and he manages to spread both joy and chaos in his wake, giving the book
some lighter moments to balance the dark.
All in all this was a great
read and I'm looking forward to Strife.
All reviews state the origin of the book. The majority of my reviews are for books that I have purchased for myself. Some are borrowed from libraries or friends, others are given as gifts. Any books received for review are given in exchange for an honest review. I do not charge for reviews and receive no monetary dispensation from Project to be Read.