Book #53: Enlightenment by Reno Ursal

When Dorothy Dizon meets the mysterious Adrian Rosario and his alluring knowledge of Filipino history, her life takes an unchartered detour. Dorothy’s true calling is connected to the hidden history of the Philippines that Adrian must protect to keep her safe from enemies of his beloved secret society.

Together, they experience a confounding journey that tests their beliefs, their choices ultimately affecting the people they love, leading them to the brink of a new enlightenment they both never expect.

Enlightenment, Book One of The Bathala Series explores the forgotten history of the Philippines through the first-person perspectives of Filipino characters who walk the precipice between friendship and love.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

I was conflicted. On one hand, I want to really like it, but I can’t. I think I should begin at the beginning.

Well, the moment I saw a book with and about Filipino people, I jumped at it. I am a quarter Filipino and I know nothing about the culture or history. I’m not even in with any of the normal inside household things. I wasn’t raised with that. So, when I saw that the book has something I want to learn about, I went for it.

On one hand, I loved that part about this book. The cultural aspects and history inside was great. I didn’t care that we had to learn through a history lesson for Dorothy, because it felt off when we are already given a lot of information without the explanation during Adrian’s POV.

Aside from that, there really isn’t much in action. You get a nice piece when Dorothy is introduced but then it just sort of flat lines until later on. But, what really bothered me was the ending. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s one of those “how did that happen” kind of endings. Upon retrospection, I guess it makes sense, but I felt cheated and disjointed and confused.

All in all, the book isn’t bad, but it’s not for me. I found it to be a bit bland and I honestly tried to enjoy it.

Final Rating: 2/5

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Book #6: The Last Vampire Book One by R.A. Steffan and Jaelynn Woolf

There’s a smokin’ hot dead guy locked in my garden shed.
That part’s bad enough. But now, he’s trying to get out.

Growing up, my father always told me that I’d come to a bad end, just like my mom did when I was a kid. Hearing that kind of shit when you’re little eventually gets to a girl, but I can’t say I ever expected my ‘bad end’ to involve an angry vampire with a severe case of iron deficiency and a panty-melting English accent.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Ever since my mother was assassinated, I’ve felt like there was something vast and frightening hidden beneath the fabric of the world. Something none of us are supposed to know about.

So far, finding out I was right hasn’t been nearly as satisfying as I’d hoped. I guess the trick will be staying alive long enough to shout ‘I told you so’ from the rooftops.

But before I can do that, I really need to figure out if the vampire who just bit me is one of the good guys or not. 

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

The Last Vampire: Book One is the first in a trilogy about a 26 year old woman who is thrust into the paranormal world after a brief bitten encounter with a vampire. The last vampire in fact. Go fig.

The story is what I consider a slow burn. Our love interest and MC just barely know each other in the events of the book. In fact, they are only with each other in three solid instances. That says something there. It makes me label this book more on the urban fantasy versus romance field.

There is some sex going on near the last quarter of the book that I have read is more clinical than steamy. I personally found it to be both and I found the reason for that to be logical and interesting.

The MC is a “girl with unknown power” and does do the enigma trope well but I feel she could get better as the books progress. If anything, I’m not ready to pass judgment on her completely even if the book ended.

The writing is easy to get into and there were parts that were funny, as intended. I did find the book to be enjoyable and wouldn’t mind reading book two. There were moments I was scratching my head trying to figure out where the authors were going and I was super stoked at who the baddies were. Honestly, these guys are hardly ever the baddies… THANK YOU!

I did have an issue with the way it ended. It seemed to just end instead of having a climactic moment and solid resolution. That said, there is a second book and I do hope that book has a better ending in comparison.

All in all, it was a fun romp and I could see myself continuing the series.

Final Rating: 3/5

 

Writing Wednesday #3: OMG GUYS!

Last week, I anxiously waited on Facebook. What was I waiting for? The results of those accepted to the paranormal romance anthology I submitted to. I waited…

And waited… and then…

THAT’S RIGHT! I’m in an anthology!!

What’s even better is that it is up and ready for Pre-order.

Here on Amazon!

It officially comes out on my birthday, Feb.14. It is published through Enchanted Anthologies.  I definitely plan on submitting to more anthologies with them and other places. This is just so exciting for me.

2018 is definitely a good year so far and my big 3-0 is going to start on a great note! I can’t wait to see what else I can accomplish and show you guys what’s up.

Thank you, guys again for putting up with this blog. You guys rock!

Book #50: Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

From an acclaimed horror writer, a chilling tale of blood-hungry children who rise from the dead in this innovative spin on apocalyptic vampire fiction.

Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as readers are introduced to Herod’s Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave…and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were…but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds ten pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

This was a book I first found in a Goodreads Giveaway. I didn’t win it, but I did get this book in last month’s Nocturnal Readers subscription box (great box, btw). I decided to make this one of my many paperback reads this year.

The first thing that grabbed me was the genre. I love horror. Always have. Most of the books I read today are young adult or contemporary romances. I do open up a bunch of fantasy and I like to curl up every now and then to a paranormal read. That said, horror has always been my literary fave. I used to own all of the Goosebumps and Shivers books, which I read in first grade. I was even writing horror short stories in elementary school.

That said, my inner psychopath was in dire need of blood and disturbing emotions. I cracked open this book and I found it to be a good read.

Suffer the Children is separated into four parts. Each part signifies the change of tone in the prose. The chapters are further separated in different viewpoints. The viewpoints are stay at home mom (Joan), her husband (Doug), the pediatrician (David), and single mom (Ramona). The change of viewpoints aren’t confusing and only makes the story that much more real.

Reading the book made me think of a good horror miniseries. Each part could be an episode and the episodes would be broken down through the viewpoints.

The story centers on children coming back from the dead and the decline of humanity that follows. It’s a chilling story that I could see happening. As a mother, I was forced to wonder if I would be like Joan or Ramona if children in our world were taken in this fashion. I have no idea if I would do what the parents start doing or if I will somehow be able to do differently.

Though I wasn’t necessarily afraid, I chalk that up to me not finding fear in books or movies as much anymore. I can see the emotions the book invoked and I would love to see this book in another medium. A comic book or a tv miniseries would definitely spur that fear.

In all, I enjoyed the read and found it a creative take on vampires. I haven’t had a good vampire book in a long time.

Book Seventy-Five of 2014: Almost Lovers by Karisha Prescott

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Prussia’s boyfriend, Robert, is all up in their neighbor Lydia’s Koolaid. Despite living with Robert, Prussia can’t keep him away from Lydia. She never even sees Robert anymore—most of their communications are notes left on the kitchen table as they miss each other like missiles in space.

Furious that Robert stood her up on their date night, Prussia goes running in the park. Too angry, she doesn’t realize that running in the park is not a bright idea—especially after a series of murders has rocked the city—until it’s too late. She’s attacked by someone intent on choking the life out of her.

Just when she believes she’s one breath from death, she’s saved by the elegant Sebastian who then delivers her to her apartment and smoothly secures a dinner date for the next night. Not sure what’s happened, Prussia only knows that life for her has changed forever.

Prussia is shocked to discover that her handsome savior is some sort of royalty and his grandmother is royalty personified. Knowing that she has to be honest with Sebastian, Prussia tells Sebastian that she has a boyfriend and they’re having a few problems, but they’re going to work everything out.

Sebastian isn’t buying her spin, but she could care less. Just because he’s handsome, wealthy aristocrat doesn’t mean he can have her. But, little does Prussia know that oh-so-smooth Sebastian has secrets that could get them both killed…and in knowing Sebastian, she’s going to discover hidden facets of herself that will rock her world, shaking it to its very core! If you want to read a riveting book with exciting, unforgettable characters ever, pick up Almost Lovers —you’ll never put it down!

Almost Lovers is a vampire romance written by Karisha Prescott. The book is written in mulitiple point of views which are labeled in the chapters. I don’t usually care for the multiple character thing unless there’s something going on in a separate country/city/etc. (like Game of Thrones) or if it’s the point of view of the hero and the heroine (which is almost every romance). However, Almost Lovers distinctly do that. Instead, the reader is given a view of the opposition to the Queen and what the Queen is hiding from her own people. It’s for the purpose for readers to understand the world Prescott has made without having to introduce Prussia to it early on.

Prussia is a girl with no real history. From what I gathered, she doesn’t have parents and I assume she’s lived in the system. Despite that, she seems to not let that sway her from thinking that her boyfriend loves her. The reader is introduced very early on that the guy isn’t worth her time and yet, Prussia keeps doing it. I wanted to smack her on numerous occasions. I understand letting your first love blind you, but dang she was blinded. And continues to be so for most of the book until something big happens and she has to rethink her choices.

The change in her character isn’t a big one, but I wasn’t expecting it to be. Karisha Prescott has written many books involving Prussia’s tale and the only way for that to work is if the character changes just enough for you to want more. Luckily, for me, Prussia has.

Sebastian is the one who changes the most, but I’m not entirely sure if he’s as loving as he’s leading the readers to believe. It seemed rather quick (not quick as in early in the book, but quick as in once he decided, it was done) for him to change his opinion of her. I don’t know if it has to do with that something big or the other something, but either one would make a little sense. I do expect more issues to fall on their relationship though.

Even the vampires have a small twist. Prescott did very well to just give the reader a bit of the vampire mythology without telling us everything. Though the vampire origin story is very strange, I do want to know more.

Book Forty-Two of 2013: FLUTTER by Amanda Hocking

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Flutter – the third book in the My Blood Approves series…
Being undead doesn’t make life any easier for Alice Bonham.
Her younger brother’s love life is heating up, while hers is…more complicated. Mae is falling apart, her best friend Jane is addicted to vampire bites, and if Alice doesn’t get her bloodlust under control, someone will end up dead.
Alice volunteers for a rescue mission with Ezra. But going up against a pack of rabid vampires might be too much, even for him.

I am a huge Amanda Hocking fan. Ever since I started the Trylle Trilogy, I basically went for anything Amanda Hocking. I now have all of her current books and the rest of the MY BLOOD APPROVES series. Recently, I was in a vampire mood and decided to continue on with Alice Bonham’s life.

In FLUTTER, Alice is now a vampire. I love the way the transition is explained. Even though Alice seems to have better control than most vampires in their early days, she is still having issues. There’s bloodlust and she’s a bit clumsy. I found Hocking’s description different from other transitions in that there was more to it than in TWILIGHT, but was still PG rated compared to some other vampire transition books.

As the description in the back of the book describes, Alice and Ezra go out of the country to save Peter. This is basically the first third of the book. You get to see more of the vampire world than life with the Townsends and vampire clubs. You get to see the more rabid of vampires. These guys seem like really interesting villains, if only there was more of them.

The second third of the book centered mostly on Alice trying to boost up her self control so that she and Jack could get intimate. We learn a dark secret that flips Jack’s world upside down and we find out about Jane’s addiction. I love that Amanda Hocking puts in a difficult situation such as substance abuse in the book. She described the addiction of vampire bites very similar to actual substance abuse and it did tug at the heartstrings. For once, I felt bad for Jane.

The last third of the book ties the first third to the end. The rabid vampires are back and apparently didn’t care about the original agreement that got Peter, Ezra, and Alice out of trouble. Honestly, that’s why I love these guys. They don’t take crap and don’t care about previous agreements. They are bad.

There was an awesome epic fight scene (GO PETER!) and an ending that both makes you feel hopeful of the future and throws more drama into the mix.