Book #23: Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.

Oh. My. God.

Seriously, this book is a literary theorist’s wet dream. A theorist in the school of feminist theory’s wet dream. No joke.

For anyone who instantly thinks Young Adult is a good category for this book, you are sadly mistaken. This book deals with hard issues that teens should know about but I feel the way the book is written is too advanced for a younger teen. Older teens would understand the language better.

The book is written with an introspective narrative style. Which is very similar to the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (another favorite of mine). You are seeing the abuse and control through the eyes of the victim and you aren’t given a very strong victim at first. I could go into it more and I am thinking I actually will in my own literary essay of Damsel. But, suffice to say, this book is more about the cycle of abuse and how you could easily be taken in.

You will dislike the characters and what they stand for. You will be wondering why this book was ever made. You will probably toss it to the side if there is nothing moving towards something.

But then you will be giving up to the abuser.

That’s right. I said it. By setting aside this book (and I am a big supporter of DNF-ing), you are pushing aside the uncomfortable feelings the book gives you without finishing and seeing that this book is more about inspiring people to talk, to listen, and support. DO NOT STOP READING THIS BOOK. FINISH IT.

I can’t even begin to describe everything about this book. Arnold purposely uses the color scheme, the animals, the way the characters are. Everything has a meaning, a symbol, a reason for being in this book. This is not a story that was made to entertain. This is an onion with many layers and each layer is shown piece by piece.

I’ve made a decision. I will be writing an essay about this book. And, Elana K. Arnold, if you are reading this, I am in awe at the intricate crafting of this piece of art. This is art.

Final Rating: 5/5

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BOOK #19 (REVIEW): Guild by Terry W. Ervin II

You can’t hide in an RPG forever.
Eighteen years ago Tom, a barber college student, got trapped in the Monsters, Maces and Magic game world as Josiah the thief.
The first two adventures saw all of Tom’s party members, also trapped within the game world, perish within the fetid depths of the Dark Heart Swamp. His subsequent stint adventuring with NPCs proved short lived. He preferred survival.
Over time, Tom became Josiah, adopting a life blending in with the game world’s NPCs. He gave up advancing as a thief, trained as a lay healer, and works as a barber, cutting hair, pulling teeth, lancing boils and functioning as a low-level operative within the local thieves’ guild.
But life, even one lived as a faux NPC, can get interesting. Such happens when a young half-goblin thief named Gurk shows up in Josiah’s shop, looking for information.
Little did the pair know that the unobtrusive barber shop would become a focal point in a brewing guild war.

Praise for Monsters, Maces, and Magic
“Exciting and hilarious! It feels like a true game with friends.” Dueling Ogres Podcast

I received an Audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.

I love fantasy. Give me a five man band, a quest, and an elaborate world any day. Give me intrigue. Give me action. Give me D&D. Yeah, I play D&D, so what? (if you care, I prefer my fighters and barbarians. Usually humans and male. One day I’ll get to play a half-orc).

Anyways, when I see a fantasy audiobook about a person stuck in a RPG, I was won.

Guild is a short action packed story that feels like a single campaign day. It isn’t the first in the series but it can be used as a standalone. I was pulled into the world and could see the rules of the world unfold. Like the comment about this book just under the blurb, this really does feel like a game. A fun game that I am going to have to continue.

If you love fantasy and action, this is a fun quick read that keeps your attention. I was able to listen to it while working and it made the work day very enjoyable. I did have a few weird looks with my random giggling though. So, beware on that.

All in all, I’m going to be listening to the other two one day.

Final Rating: 4/5

BLOG TOUR W/ GIVEAWAY: Damned by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor

Print Length: 427 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 3, 2017)
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Language: English
ASIN: B073QYW64Y



Praise for DAMNED


“… seamlessly blends mystery, magic and matters of the heart to create and enthralling read.” ―RT Book Reviews

“Damned is absolutely riveting, an absolute page turner. Just when you think the carnival ride is over you discover it’s barley begun… If you only read one book, this should be it.” ―Tracy Riva, Midwest Book Review

“Damned is full of intricate characters, voodoo, and a luxurious setting that will steal your breath away. You’ll want to follow Magnus and Lexie to Hell and back, and that’s stunningly likely.” ―Mercedes B. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author of Little Dead Red

Over a hundred years after the death of Magnus Blackwell, Altmover Manor sits abandoned.

Lexie Arden and her fiancé, Will Bennett, are determined to rescue the neglected Mount Desert Island landmark. They want to make Altmover Manor their home. But Magnus has other plans.

A spirit bound to his former residence, Magnus finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young woman. She has a supernatural gift; a gift Magnus wants to exploit.

As Lexie and Will settle in, secrets from Magnus’s past begin to surface. Compelled to learn all she can about the former owner, Lexie becomes immersed in a world of voodoo, curses, and the whereabouts of a mysterious dragon cane.

Magnus’s crimes won’t be so easily forgotten, and what Lexie unearths is going to change the future … for everyone.

 

MY REVIEW

I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Jean Book Nerd for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

Damned is the second book I’ve read from Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor. The first one is a YA thriller. Damned is a horror/thriller that centers on a couple and them moving to a house that has more than just a bit of faulty wiring.

I am a sucker for a ghost story. I love the ambiance of a haunted house and the twisted tales that are within the walls. The creepier and more interesting, the better. Damned has both of those qualities. Altmover Manor is a mansion on a cliff and begs to be in a ghost story. Add in the spirits of a previous owner and another person, you get a juicy start.

The book itself is well written and does keep you entertained as you are reading. However, I felt it may have been better separated into two separate entities. There is a lot of information and there is a change of tone in the mid-way mark. That said, the second half doesn’t pull away from the story. It just expands on the world. Like a sequel would.

The book can be a bit slow moving but I feel this was designed to add to the suspense. There is a lot of interesting detail and though I did dislike Will in the beginning, the characters were believable. No worries, by the way, Will gets better personality wise and there’s a reason why he was the way he was.

All in all, I did enjoy the book and wouldn’t say no to reading the second or even the prequel. I actually have a feeling that if I read the prequel first, this book would lose the slow-moving feel.

Final Rating: 3/5

 

You can purchase Damned at the following Retailers:
       
Photo Content from Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

Lucas Astor is a multi-award-winning author from New York. He has resided in Central America, the Middle East, and traveled throughout Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is a writer and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

 
Weis and Astor’s first collaboration was the multi-award-winning Magnus Blackwell Series.

        

PART ONE

MARCH 11th MONDAY BookHounds EXCERPT
MARCH 12th TUESDAY Random Bookish Banter REVIEW
MARCH 12th TUESDAY Bookriot REVIEW
MARCH 13th WEDNESDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW
MARCH 14th THURSDAY A Dream Within A Dream EXCERPT
MARCH 15th FRIDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW 


PART TWO
MARCH 16th SATURDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
MARCH 16th SATURDAY FUONLYKNEW EXCERPT
MARCH 16th SATURDAY Kelly P’s Blog REVIEW
MARCH 17th SUNDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
MARCH 17th SUNDAY Stephanie’s Life of Determination REVIEW
MARCH 17th SUNDAY Lisa-Queen of Random EXCERPT

 
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Book #15: Little Killers A to Z by Howard Odentz

Bad things come in small packages . . .
EPIC Award finalist Howard Odentz has penned twenty-six disturbingly fascinating horror stories about the youngest predators among us.
From Andy and Boris to Yuri and Zena, this eclectic anthology is filled, A to Z, with psychopaths, monsters, and murderers!
So turn on the lights and huddle under your blankets because murder isn’t just for grown-ups anymore. Come meet our gallery of little killers.
After all, they’re dying to meet you!
Author and playwright Howard Odentz is a lifelong resident of the gray area between Western Massachusetts and North Central Connecticut. His love of the region is evident in his writing as he often incorporates the foothills of the Berkshires and the small towns of the Bay and Nutmeg states into his work.
5 Stars “a relentless, thrilling ride” – Court Street Literary, on Bloody Bloody Apple.
“Howard Odentz takes this mis-mosh of dysfunctional characters and puts together a wonderful story that is equal parts horror and love.” – Scared Stiff Reviews, on Bloody Bloody Apple.
 

I received a copy of this book via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone.

From the first chapter, I was a bit hesitant about this book. The first chapter is a poem that hints at what each character’s story was about. It worried me for two reasons. I was a bit worried that every story would be in some kind of poem form. Which is a cool concept but I have some trouble reading things in poem form. The other reason was that I had just realized how many letters were in the alphabet and despite the Audible app saying that the book wasn’t very long, I was envisioning a long book.

These worries were silly.

Each story is well written, unique, and pulled you into their own world. I found myself trying to fit them all into my own headcanon universe, and, I still think it could work. There are some darker ones, some lighter ones, some that are supernatural, and others that make you question sanity.

Another thing I liked about the stories is the broad range of ages, racial identity, and sexualities. It made even the most unusual story that bit of possible.

As for the narrator and audiobook as a whole, it was well executed. The narrator’s voice didn’t sway me away from the story and the background music between stories only helped the experience along.

All in all, Odentz wrote a great collection of short stories each one able to hold on their own and be entertaining. I might reread this one in October. It is definitely an October read.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book #11: Princess by Candace Ayers & Kathryn Kohler

Welcome to Fantasyland Park and Resort.
We put the ‘subpar’ in Park, and the ‘sort-of’ in Resort. 

I’m Lucy. I’m a princess… 
…or a tavern wench, depending on the day. 

Just a normal girl living a normal life, until three hot men enter it… 

There’s Julian, the brilliant doctor who skillfully treats all my aliments 
There’s Cole, the burly firefighter who rescues me when my apartment building mysteriously burns to the ground. 
And, there’s William, the enigmatic Black Knight who haunts my dreams when we’re not co-working at the Fantasyland theme park. 

I’m about to find out a few things… 

1. None of the men are who they seem.
2. Each is devoted to me, both as lover and protector.
3. An ages old spell binds us all.
4. I’m an enchantress with magical powers. 

Oh, and… 
5. There’s actually nothing normal about me or my life 

THIS BOOK IS INTENDED FOR ADULT READERS. 

This is a Reverse Harem, Paranormal Fantasy Romance. It is intended for adults only. It may appeal to fans of authors K.F. Breene, Ava Mason, Linsey Hall, G. Bailey, Sarah Piper and Alex Lidell. 

I was participating in a 24in48 readathon where you read for 24 hours in a 48 hour period. I didn’t make it to 24 hours. Really, I barely made it to 12. But, I did finish quite a few books. I wanted to kill off the short reads I had and this happened to be one of those books.

Unfortunately, it didn’t grab me.

The main character was decent and the love interests were as well, but in the case of an actual storyline, it kind of lacked. It was just a woman who finds three hot guys and ends up with three hot guys. The urban fantasy element to it was almost nonexistent. There was no battle against a bad guy. Really, there was no real conflict at all.

It was sort of boring.

I liked the characters enough and I wish there was more of a conflict in the story than what was given. But, yeah, I wouldn’t say this was a good read.

Final Rating: 2/5

Book #8: A Temple of Forgotten Spirits by William F. Wu

A young guy named Jack Hong hitchhikes throughout America following the keilin, a mystical unicorn out of Chinese mythology. The keilin leads him to ten adventures with ghosts and other supernatural figures. These experiences reveal to him not only parts of American history he never knew, but also his own identity and the role he will choose for his life. 

~~~~~ Description ~~~~~ 

The moonlight was still strong, and Lo Man Gong still sat up on the overhead window, where few people and no old men could ever get. 

“Feel better, Chinaman?” he asked mildly. 

The night before, my resistance had been low, and his presence had somehow seemed tolerable, if not rational. Now I was more clear-headed … yet he was still here. I didn’t like him as much. 

I let my eyes drop closed again. Once I was cured of malaria, I’d be free of him. I had eaten twice today; now, if I slept well, I’d be in sound shape pretty soon. 

“You know the keilin, Chinaman Jack?” 

That was the Chinese unicorn, a mystical animal whose rare appearances were highly auspicious. In the Cantonese I normally heard, it was pronounced “keilun.” It wasn’t like European ones, though. This unicorn had the body of a deer, the hooves of a horse, the tail of an ox, and a fleshy horn. I knew that much. 

“The unicorn?” I opened my eyes and looked at him. As before, the moonlight glowed through his shape. 

“Ah, you know the keilin. He smiled and nodded thoughtfully. “The keilin means good things happen. It’s very powerful.” 

I watched him silently. 

After a while, he looked into my eyes again. “Nobody remember me, Jack. Some people remember, some of my frien’. A few of them. Most, nobody remember at all. No children, no relative. You, Jack. You like me. Unless you change.” 

Yes, I knew that. I had already come to understand that. And I knew that he had come for me, here in the middle of the country, away from his home as longtime Californ’. But I didn’t know why.

I received an audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

A Temple of Forgotten Spirits is a full-length novel that is comprised of multiple short stories. It tells the story of a Chinese-American man and his journey across the United States on his search for a mythical unicorn. He is introduced to the history of the Chinese in America little by little.

I am a third generation Filippino-American (25% Filippino, if we get nitty-gritty). Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about that part of my family and what I do know is just the history that my grandmother remembers. I don’t know the culture and I’m still undecided about learning it. After all, is the history that rich in American culture?

So, I asked for this book because I already felt some kind of connection with the main character. He doesn’t know his family background or the culture. He doesn’t understand the intertwining history of being Chinese and Chinese-American. Just like I don’t know anything about that part of my family.

Now… I honestly didn’t start liking the book. The main character, though having a similar cultural ignorance as me, didn’t feel like there was any emotion behind him. I didn’t like him as a person. I did like the other characters we meet in each story. They had substance, there was a struggle with them. Jack was… a witness.

And in retrospect, I think that was Wu’s intention. He wanted Jack to be a blank slate. If Jack wasn’t, he would fight what is new to him just like we fight what is new for us. By making him into a blank slate, Wu not only made the reader into the character but was making a point that Jack was on a journey to a rebirth of sorts.

With each passing story, Jack grows a personality. We may not know the Jack of the past but we are learning about the Jack of the present and future. It is the past of Chinese America that is important, not the vehicle we are using to view it.

It was because of this that I needed to sit back and think. I couldn’t write a review right away because I would have made it into a 2 (because of Jack’s lack of personality) or a 3 (because the stories we learn). Now, I think a 4 is more appropriate.

The narrator does a decent job, though I did have trouble listening to him from time to time. The literary prose is good, it pulled me in and the minor characters meant something to me. But it is the emotional realization I have gained that seems to make a bigger impact for me. I’m growing more and more interested in learning about my own hidden culture after listening to this audiobook.

I recommend this for someone who doesn’t know as much as they think about Chinese American history and for the people who don’t know the history that is in their own blood and soul.

Final Rating: 4/5

BLOG TOUR: The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Suspenseful and vividly imagined, The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.  

Praise for THE COLD IS IN HER BONES

“A dark and enchanting tale about friendship, pain, revenge, and the power of love, The Cold Is in Her Bones is the perfect read for Greek mythology fans and YA readers alike.” ―Bustle

“Fiercely written and beautifully feminist, The Cold is in Her Bones reminds us of the power of loyalty and love in the face of ignorance and fear. I loved this tale of dangerous girls with wild hair and tangled hearts.” ―Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician

“A fresh, eerily compelling tale of betrayal, revenge, and the ties that bind. When van Arsdale paints a world, you can feel the fog against your skin.” ―Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Frostblood Saga  

MY REVIEW
I received an ARC for an honest review for this blog tour. Everything that follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.
There are few books that hit you in the soul. The words and world just somehow sink into you, working its way into your psyche. They remind you of historical events, personal experiences, or even literary works that hit you just as hard.
The Cold is in Her Bones did that to me.
On the surface, this book is labeled as Young Adult, a retelling of the Medusa myth, a story about a group of girls forced out of their homes, feared, and tortured. All of this is true, but it is something more. This book is not just a Medusa retelling, it is the retelling of the witch trials, it is the retelling of the hardships of women who were just too strong-willed, and it is the retelling of the mental patients in past asylums.
All of these real events were going through my mind as I read this book. It makes it hard for me to properly grasp the emotions I’m trying to convey. This book isn’t a typical YA. I honestly feel that this book deserves to be featured in literary courses. It has so many parallels to our own history that I can’t help but think that this book could have some reality inside its pages.
Because of that, let me just describe the stories and events that came to mind with this book.
  • The Salem Witch Trials. This was during a time when people lived in constant fear. Women were supposed to remain docile and obedient. Those who weren’t could have been accused of witchcraft.
  • The short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is about the slow declining mental faculties of a strong-willed woman. It is about how a family member would lock away a female loved one for her “safety”. The story is also a take on postpartum depression.
  • The mental asylums that began in the 1700s and kept going up to 1970s and 1980s. We all have heard stories about the “treatments” these facilities were known for. But did you know that one of the first investigative reporters actually posed insane and went through the process of one of these hospitals was actually a woman? Nellie Bly was ahead of her time and though her experiences helped the system a bit, the system was still not great.

These were just some of the things going through my mind as I was reading. This isn’t a lighthearted book. It’s about inner strength, acceptance, and society’s way of hurting what they are afraid of instead of listening and learning. We are always fighting against one another. We should instead fight the fear and pain and learn from it.

That was the take away I had from this book and if I could rate it higher than a five, I would. I want to thank Peternelle van Arsdale for this book. It is like looking at a painting in an art museum; you have so many different things to look at that just one aspect unfolds another.

The only downside is that I feel all of this might go past some readers. I’m not sure they will see the historical parallels and I’m not sure they will go through the pages and feel a profound moment. This isn’t a journey where a chosen girl goes to find romance and saves the world. This is a girl who just tries to save the one person she was close to and learns to forgive.

Final Rating: 5/5 but so much more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Peternelle van Arsdale grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where she attended public school through the eighth grade. After that she attended three high schools in three different towns in four years, was deeply unpopular, and counted the seconds until graduation. She majored in English literature at Bryn Mawr College, and then landed in book publishing, thinking it was a good way to be paid to do what she liked to do anyway (she was only partly wrong). She worked her way up from editorial assistant to executive editor of adult fiction and nonfiction, and eventually struck out on her own as an independent editor.

Her first young adult novel, The Beast Is an Animal, is being developed by Amazon Studios for a feature film produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free and directed by Bert & Bertie. Her essays have been published by LitHub, Hypable.com, and Culturefly, and her short fiction has been published by The Whitefish Review.

Her second novel, The Cold is in Her Bones , will be published in January 2019. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to edit and is at work on her third novel.

PHOTO CREDIT: ELENA SEIBERT 

WEBSITE: http://www.peternellevanarsdale.com/

A GIVEAWAY!

 

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT FEBRUARY 13, 2019

  • Giveaway is open Internationally
  • Must be 13+ to enter

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY CLICK HERE!

~CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR HERE~

 

Book #1 of 2019: Enhancer 2 by Wyatt Kane

Having superpowers can be awesome, but they always come at a price. 
Ty Wilcox didn’t really believe in superheroes before he became one himself. Now, he has an incredible power he’s just beginning to understand, lives in a mansion, and is in a relationship with two of the most amazing women alive.

But when a flying, teleporting demon-woman appears outside his work, the price of his new life becomes apparent.

There’s a supervillain after the device that gives Ty his power. This villain will do anything to get it, and has an entire army at his command.

The price of Ty’s new life is never-ending danger.

Warning and minor spoilers: Just like book 1, “Enhancer 2” is an 18+ book intended for mature readers. It contains sex, violence, and nudity. It includes very light gamelit elements, occasional bad language, and is set in a cyberpunk alternate future. Within its pages you will find threats, battles, destruction of property, evil plans, betrayals, wrongful imprisonment, major violence, death, and the unfortunate realities of living in a world dominated by mega-corporate greed. The malevolent boss from book 1 is still there, as is the monstrous bad guy. But so are the gorgeous superheroes who are comfortable with unconventional, polyamorous, harem relationships, and there might be someone new in that mix as well.

If you don’t enjoy a good time, this book isn’t for you.

I received an Audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. It wasn’t compensated in any way.

I had listened to the first book a while back and I did like it. It was a fun take on superheroes, had great geek references, and I like the relationship between Ty and the girls. So, when I saw that Audiobook Boom had Enhancer 2 in its list for books needing reviewers, I jumped at it. The first book was a fun and simple 3-star rating. Nothing too exciting but enough to keep me intrigued.

Enhancer 2 had pretty much the same feel. There were less geeky references but it closely follows the events of book one. In fact, it starts on the next day. I actually liked that tidbit. It gave a sense of how superheroes work. Their work is never done with and they are always on.

In this book, the main conflict is that the demoness we meet in book one is actually not the villain we first see. She needs Ty’s help.

To not get too far into the storyline, the book centers mostly on Ty working through his abilities and his relationship with Dinah and Tempest. There is the introduction of a crime boss as well as the theory of who the big baddie is.

In all, it is a fun book to listen to just like the first. I have no complaints with the chosen narrator (same as before) and was able to get into the world. There is a third book on the way and I hope to one day listen to that as well. I’d recommend it to someone who just wants to have fun with their reading.

Final Rating: 3/5

Book #104: Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

I want to begin this review by stating I received an Audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.

Now, I want you to look at the cover. It doesn’t look very interesting, right? Just a girl who looks like she may have a skin issue. Well, this girl doesn’t need to speak with a dermatologist, she needs someone to keep her anger in check and this girl is angry. Bryn McKenna had a pretty normal life and didn’t have much to worry about. That is until a stalker comes into her life and she learns a few things. Turns out, she’s not human and when someone angers her, they can get burned.

Going Down in Flames starts pretty predictably. You get your normal girl turned powerful and you have your angry people who don’t like it. That said, It turned around close to the 15% mark. I found the story itself enjoyable and the world interesting. What I loved most about this book though was the main character.

Bryn McKenna is a strong and stubborn young lady. Despite most books with the “powerful girl” trope having a powerful girl who only seems to pretend to be stubborn, Bryn definitely felt like it. She is kicked hard and low but keeps coming back up and kicking hardcore ass. She holds her own in the world she is thrust into and I found her relatable.

The narration isn’t bad though I do think the narrator was a bit slow. This is easily taken care of if you just speed up the reading in the audible app. For me, it works at 1.05 speed. So, it didn’t take much to help it along. The narrator herself wasn’t exciting at first, but once the world really started going, so did the voice. I feel the narrator was a good match for this book because of that.

In the end, I found myself being disappointed that the sequel is not in audio yet. I want to fly into this world more and see Bryn’s evolution as a dragon. I would recommend this for young adult readers and readers of urban fantasy shifter fiction.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book Release! MIND by Mary Duke

Mind
Series: Of the Faye
by Mary Duke

BUY HERE

#YoungAdult #Paranormal #Fantasy #Dragons #Faye #Gods #Magic

Blurb:

Sno is no ordinary Faye, nor is she a mere daughter of the moon. She was born with birthmarks that mirror the Goddess Ayana herself. For some, the birthmarks represent a blessing, a savior of the Faye. But to those who fear her power, the marks are a sign of a curse. For Sno, the marks represent who she is and serve as a constant reminder of what she could become.

Sno finds herself at the center of a war. On one side are the Demons, led by a notorious Karter family. On the other side is every single race within their realm that ever stood against them.

Release Party and Live Reading 12/13 from 230-930 PM EST Live reading starting at 9pm