Blog Tour: Love at the End of Days by Tera Shanley


Love at the end of days
Love at the End of Days by Tera Shanley

Series: Dead Rapture #2

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Format: Uncorrected arc

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: Fantasy

Score: 9/10

Exactly one year ago, I wrote about how much zombies scared me and for that reason, I never read anything about them. I think I also stated that because of Tera Shanley, I am now somewhat of a convert. She’s back with her follow-up to Love in the Time of the Dead and now we get to see where the survivors we met in book one have ended up.

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Review: Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley

SWC CoverSilver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Format: Kindle ARC

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: Paranormal

Final score: 9/10

 

Without getting too schmaltzy (being the cynical and anti-schmaltz Brit that I am) I have THE best hobby. I get to hang out on social media talking about books, connecting with really talented authors and again chatting about books! Last year I read Love in the Time of the Dead by Tera Shanley and even though it was about zombies (my bête noir) I was hooked! Ever since, I’ve been stalking her following her career and now I’m really happy to be able to share book one in her new series Silver Wolf Clan. It’s out today.

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YA review: Forbidden by Lori Adams

ForbiddenForbidden: The Soulkeepers by Lori Adams

Publisher: Flirt

Format: Kindle ARC

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: YA

Final score: 5/10

It’s no secret that from time to time I just love, love, love to dive into a good paranormal YA book. Done well it can be so much fun – there’s the folklore, the romance and the coming of age of the heroine that makes her rise to her destiny and come into her own. So I was pretty excited about this book when I saw it on Netgalley and when the author made contact on Goodreads.

Plot: (taken from the book’s blurb) When Sophia St. James learns that she’ll be moving from Los Angeles to a podunk town somewhere in Connecticut for her senior year of high school, she isn’t expecting an otherworldly encounter. But there is more to Haven Hurst than meets the eye: it’s home to a family of Guardian Angels, and she is the only one who can see them in spirit form. Sophia soon realizes she wants to see much more of Michael, an irresistible yet volatile Guardian who seems drawn to her too.

As Michael battles his forbidden desire for the beautiful young newcomer, one of Hell’s most notorious Demon Knights arrives. Handsome and charismatic, Dante has come to claim the reincarnated soul of his lost lover trapped in Sophia. Cursed with the demon of Persuasion living inside him, Dante will use his seductive charms to lure Sophia into a dangerous game that ends with the kiss of death—unless Michael, who has captured Sophia’s heart, can now capture her soul.

Review: So although I love a bit of fantasy, usually that love doesn’t extend to angels/demons. It’s just a bridge too far and not even I can suspend my disbelief to that extent. Forbidden made me believe the realm of heavenly bodies and demons – that was not the problem. Ok, so what was the problem I hear you ask? First of all, it was the action – or rather, the inaction. A large portion of the book is Sophia and Michael engaging in terse conversations, sharing heated and hateful looks and then…nothing. One of the main ingredients in a fantasy book (in my humble opinion) should be action and the plot needs to move along at a steady pace. If there’s conflict between the hero and heroine then there need to be sparks and the heat should leap off the page at you. It started well, I was fully engaged then it flatlined until approximately 70% of the way through the book. Then suddenly I started getting answers and finally there was some action!

My second problem was that the plot chopped and changed, certain passages weren’t described well enough to evoke exactly what was going on – which led to me getting frustrated. The dialogue of Sophia’s friends (who I’m guessing were supposed to be latino?) was really over the top and made very little sense to me. Sophia was a typical teenage character and her tendency to whine and pick arguments at the wrong time did alienate me from her at times. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with this book. Its stilted pace and dialogue wasn’t enough to draw me in, nor was the character development. Ironically however, there was enough action towards the end of the book to make me curious about book two, Awaken. So for these reasons I’m giving it 5/10.

Review based on the following:

How much I liked the heroine: 5 – I didn’t really. Sophia has settled with her father in a smalltown following the death of her mother. She’s worried about her dad who seems to have checked out of life completely and she’s nursing her own scars from an ex-boyfriend with anger management issues. I know she was a high school student who has been through stuff, but she was immature, judgemental and lacked grit. I need a fantasy heroine to grab life by the balls and get on with it rather than whine!

How much I liked the love interest: 6 – it was sweet once they started speaking to each other. A little Twilighty in places and unfortunately their ‘sparring’ did not work for me. But, I think their relationship will be better in Awaken.

How believable was the plot: 5 – Ok, not really relevant here, as we’re talking demons and angels, but in more experienced hands I doubt I’d have had such a hard time believing the story and caring about the characters.

How much I liked the writing style/editing etc: 5 – As mentioned above, I had real problems with the dialogue and the fact that some chapters made very little sense. I stuck with it, but it was really hard work. I’ve never written a book, so I don’t want to criticise too much, but it was a struggle to persevere.

Final score: 5/10 – an interesting premise, if the subsequent books drive the plot forward and develop the characters, then it will be a good series. Sadly, I won’t be pursuing it.

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YA Review: Aspen by Rebekah Crane

AspenAspen by Rebekah Crane

Publisher: In This Together Media

Format: Kindle ARC

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: YA

Final score: 9/10

 

Plot: Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor (yes, that’s not a typo) does not want to remember what happened that night in Boulder, Colorado. A devastating car crash killed Katelyn Ryan, the girl who used to sit in front of her in class, while she survived. Not only does she need time to heal physically, she doesn’t know what to do about Katelyn Ryan’s ghost, who insists on following her around and haunting her every moment. After the accident, Aspen finds herself the focus of (nearly) everyone’s sympathy. People she never spoke to before are suddenly asking how she’s doing and she’s being invited to social events. This, for a girl who went unnoticed for years and liked it that way is an adjustment. The only person who seems to understand her anxiety is Ben Tyler, Katelyn’s boyfriend.

With their attraction to each other growing and the class speculation about will-they-won’t-they, Aspen feels as though she’s living the dead girl’s life – fortunately she and her two misfit friends and stoner mother Ninny are at hand to keep her in touch with reality, if only she could share the truth with them about what happened that night. But the funny thing about secrets is they always come out in the end.

Review: Do you ever have those moments where you fancy a trip down memory lane and head back to high school? I do every so often and usually these kind of books deal with really serious ‘issues’ and are all reminiscent of how awful high school actually was. This wasn’t (I’m happy to say) one of those books. Aspen is a quirky, funny and touching book about loss and dealing with the consequences of our actions. There’s no bullying in this book, no students making others’ lives hell – the school community actually gathers around to help Aspen and those affected by Katelyn’s death. If anything, the funny parts of the book are where Aspen is almost killed with kindness from her classmates – she even gets voted Homecoming Queen!

I suppose my only issue with the story was the fact that Aspen’s secrets started to make her ill – yet she wouldn’t tell anyone. Not her friends, her family or her therapist. It annoyed and frustrated me, but it was totally realistic in many ways. That’s why I give Aspen 8/10.

Based on the following criteria:

How much did I like the heroine? 8: Aspen is a great character – she looks after her young, irresponsible mother, who’s always chasing losers and searching for her bong. She’s the responsible one who has to make sense of what’s happened. She’s smart, witty and I really liked her. She has her insecurities like most teenagers – her hair won’t stay straight and is mercilessly curly – she just wants to stay under the social radar, but her new-found popularity makes it impossible. She’s a very likeable heroine – and you don’t see that a lot.

How much did I like the love interest? 9: Ben was a sweetheart, the kind of guy we’d all have liked in high school. Popular without being a jerk, handsome, athletic and sensitive. He’s carrying his own secrets and anxieties and finds support and solace in Aspen. I liked the dialogue between he and Aspen – it rang true. This is how I’d imagine teens to speak to one another.

How believable is the plot? 8: Hard to answer this one – seeing ghosts isn’t my reality thank God – but the realism isn’t important here. It’s a great story and I wanted to keep reading to see whether Aspen was mad, having a nervous breakdown or had a brain tumour. The pace was consistent throughout and none of the story dragged.

How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc. 9: Rebekah Crane writes some seriously good-quality dialogue. I laughed out loud in places and felt all sentimental in others. I would happily read more from this author – she’s awesome.

How much did I want to keep reading? 9: I read and read and read until I found out what had happened and why Aspen was so messed up inside. I had guessed some of it, but this didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. There were plenty of secrets that came out at the end which made sense of everything.

Final score: 9/10 – a funny, thrilling story that made me smile, laugh and thank my lucky stars I wasn’t that popular in high school!

Aspen is out in June 2014.

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The Immortal Circus by A.R Kahler

immortal circus

The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels #1)

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc

Format: Kindle edition

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: Paranormal

Final Score: 8/10

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Blog Tour: Savor by Kate Evangelista

Savor Cover

Savor by Kate Evangelista (Vicious Feast)

Format: Review ARC

Publisher: Omnific

Review by: Onnica

Genre: YA Paranormal

Score: 7/10

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Blog Tour: Love In The Time Of The Dead by Tera Shanley

love in the time of the deadLove in the Time of the Dead by Tera Shanley

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Format: Uncorrected arc

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: Fantasy YA

Score: 9/10

Wow – zombies are huge right now – so when I was asked whether I’d like to review this book I couldn’t resist. As afraid of a zombie apocalypse as I am, add in some romance and high drama and I’m there!

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YA Review: In Too Deep by Eliza Jane

In too deep coverIn Too Deep by Eliza Jane

Format: Uncorrected review ARC

Self-published

Review by: Onnica

Genre: YA

Score: 8/10

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