Review for The Warrior (Dante Walker #3) by Victoria Scott

The Warrior by Victoria Scott

TITLE: The Warrior
SERIES: Dante Walker #3
AUTHOR: Victoria Scott
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
PAGES: 352 pages
FORMAT: E-ARC / Paperback
SOURCE: NetGalley / Purchased
RATING: 1 bow

Before we get started on the actual review, I have something to say. First, this is the first book in a while that has actually inspired me to sit down and write and it’s obviously for all the wrong reasons. However, I have already tried writing a positive review to renew my review-writing passions and it didn’t work, so maybe it’s time to try the opposite. That being said, THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. Also, given the one-star rating, it should be apparent that I did not enjoy this book, but in case there is any doubt, I didn’t, so this isn’t going to be me being positive about how you could like it. This is going to be me being real about how I felt. Victoria, if you ever stumble upon this, don’t read it. Seriously, just skip it. I love you and I loved Fire & Flood, but Dante Walker just rubbed me the wrong way.

Summary from GoodReads:

War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.

Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.

Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Back at the beginning of 2013, there was a book that was EVERYWHERE on the blogosphere. It was getting so much love and people were ecstatic over the Daemon Black-esque character that had emerged in YA. The Collector by Victoria Scott was all anyone could talk about. Dante Walker was the new badass that absolutely everyone as in love with. So when I saw it up on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. I got approved and started reading it immediately. I am always in need of more Daemon Black style awesome, ALWAYS. But I quickly realized that Dante Walker was nothing like my dear Daemon. Dante Walker got on my nerves. Dante Walker was a jackass. I couldn’t really understand the appeal, but I kept reading. I have a difficult time DNF-ing books, so I pushed through. I ended up enjoying it enough to give it 4 stars. I never did understand the magical Dante Walker appeal, but to each his own. I should have stopped there and left well enough alone, but I like to think that authors expound on what I like and get rid of what I don’t further down in the series. So I read book 2….and I don’t love it. What irked me about Dante in the first book just gets worse in it. He’s cocky and mean and immature. He is supposed to be a demon from hell and yet the boy uses no swear words. He uses the fill-in, politically correct versions. Nothing can kill my love quicker. He has no redeeming qualities to me. Then I see book 3 is up for review and think “well, maybe this will be a big finale and things will be better” and I get it. Judging by the fact that it took me over a year to get around to start reading it and over a month to complete it, you can guess how that went. So, here are my thoughts!

As I said, Dante Walker is not the character for me. Everything the guy did just had me rolling my eyes at his antics. I didn’t find him endearing or amusing and I had enough of his shit pretty early on in book 1, so you can imagine how annoyed I was with him by the end of book 3. The boy just doesn’t know when to quit. He just keeps on and on like a moron.

The rest of the cast isn’t much better. Charlie is too much of a goodie-goodie for me to really love and the remaining liberators and collectors are all respective jackasses. And most of the die, so don’t get attached. Max, one of the few characters I enjoyed dies. Of course, Dante, Charlie, and Aspen come through fine…ish. Annabelle doesn’t die, but I found her survival unbelievable. During the epic end battle, she is apparently pregnant (WHEN THE FUCK DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!?) and she gets stabbed in the stomach, but somehow both her and baby survive.
Suits WHAT gif
I’m sorry, but you get gutted and YOU are lucky to survive. There is no way in hell that the fetus in your womb comes out unharmed as well. I’m sorry, I know this is a fantasy type thing, but I call BULLSHIT.

I think, beyond Dante being annoying, that was my biggest problem here. It all felt like bullshit. You are going to war with the collectors on the fate of Earth. Either the Collectors win and demons are set free to torment human kind or you win and it starts the Trelevator, a hundred years of peace. So the collectors have a massive army of sirens and quite a few collectors on their side. You have less than 50 people and over half of them are humans who have only had a few days worth of fighting training?
Veronica Mars headtilt gif
You expect to win like that? I knew from the moment the war really started that I’d have a hard time buying into them winning. And the way they win was very dues ex machina. Dante just asks for help and God gives it. Simple as that. I’m not the religious type to begin with so I have many a problem with that scenario, but on a strictly fictional level, couldn’t you think of anything better? You back Dante into a corner and then BOOM, God empowers him and he wins the thing? LAME.

Dante also just seemed too involved in EVERYTHING. I get it, okay? He is the golden boy. Even though Charlie is supposed to be the savoir, it’s played out a lot like he is a bit as well, because nothing happens without a little of Dante’s input. There is unlocking the scroll and creating a battle plan and recruiting Lincoln and training and actually interpreting the scroll and a million other tiny things. Are there not a bunch of other people involved? Can we not let them take on some of the workload? If Dante is a star player, we don’t want him exhausted before the big battle do we?

Another little thing? If you are going to shorten someones name into a nickname, can we please be consistent and use the same spelling? Don’t shorten Kraven into Crave please. At least make it Krave. There is no reason to change that consonant because they make the same sound.

Basically, this got on my nerves…a lot. In order to complete it, I had to read it in small bursts of a chapter or two at a time because that is all of Dante’s nonsense I could take in one sitting. I did want to see how it all wrap up, but it was so unbelievable for me that I find myself to be wholly unsatisfied. My advice to you? Go with your gut feeling on this. If you really enjoyed both The Collector and The Liberator, then you’ll enjoy this as well. If either of those annoyed you at all? Steer clear, because this will too.

****Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

1 bow
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Review for A Shimmer Of Angels (Angel Sight #1) by Lisa M Basso

A Shimmer Of Angels by Lisa M Basso

TITLE: A Shimmer Of Angels
SERIES: Angel Sight #1
AUTHOR: Lisa M Basso
PUBLICATION DATE: January 29, 2013
PAGES: 321 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 2 bows

Rayna has been seeing angels since her mothers death. Believing the visions are hallucinations, she is quickly shipped off the the mental hospital to get better. Now, she has been released with a clean bill of health (provided she take her meds) and is now starting high school. The problem? She has quit her meds and is now seeing angel wings attached to the new kid at school. Then a kid at school commits suicide and Ray’s life changes. The angels are not only real, but dark ones are responsible for the suicides. The angels need Rayna’s help to save her classmates, but is she up to the task?

Ray was a character I was on the fence about. I loved the fact that she thought she was crazy. It’s the natural response when you start seeing things that aren’t supposed to be real, but it’s one we don’t see in YA much. Most YA heroine’s just accept that the things are real with little to no convincing. My problem initially started when I learned she was off her meds. You are finally at a point that you have stopped “hallucinating” and you just decide it’s not worth it anymore? We don’t get much of a reason she stops the meds beyond the normal “bad side-effects” excuse. This always bugs me and it’s a decision I can’t understand. The meds are meant to help you and you are just giving up on that help. I get that for the plot of this novel to move forward, she has to be able to see the wings and discover that angels are real, but it was a flimsy reason for me. I know all medicine has side effects. My husband is bipolar, so trust me, I get it. But either you want to get better or you don’t and I have a hard time relating to a character that throws away her chance for better.

The males, Cam and Kade, are nothing new or excited. The same basic points in a normal YA love triangle. Cam is the good guy, the angel, and Kade is the supposed bad guy, the fallen angel, but who isn’t all that bad. These two were the start of another problem. I hate love triangles. I was pleasantly surprised when Ray’s male BFF, Lee, doesn’t make a play for Ray. I breathed a sigh of relief to avoid that particular cliche because I hate to see the nice friend character lose, but it’s not here. That avoided, I was sure the love triangle element would be avoided, but no such luck. Not long after Cam enters the picture, Kade shows up. Kade, by the way, is clearly the better choice. Cam is righteous and silent and just blah. I wasn’t a fan. Whereas Kade actually helps Ray when she needs him and pushes her to stay safe instead of pushing her to help with a cause that will obviously put her in danger.

The writing was decent enough, but the plot was wholly predictable. It starts off pretty interesting. The premise of the novel, with a “crazy” heroine was pretty attractive when I requested it and it starts off on that angle, with Ray fighting for sanity and completely believing she is crazy. Angels aren’t real. People don’t have wings. It’s just a hallucination brought on by the stress of her mom’s death and she needs to stay away from stressful situations (and stay on her meds!). I felt like that was a believable storyline, the type that would really happen if I started seeing blindingly bright wings attached to people that no one else could see. We get a crazy heroine, a spunky best friend, and the normal family drama that would go with the crazy. Great start, really, it was difficult to put down for the first 50 or so pages. And then it was like Basso forgot was she was doing. From that point on, it’s all the typical YA stereotypes shoved into one. We get the love triangle, the bad boy vs good boy, the “unexplanable” connection, the heroine’s need to sacrifice herself to save her friends/family, and several more wrapped into one. It felt like Twilight and Fallen had mashed together to create a new and boring tale. I don’t even understand how Ray manages to fall for Cam. He’s there a good bit in the beginning, but I didn’t feel them connect at all, whereas I could definitely feel the tension between her and Kade.

With this book I feel like the author set out to write a new and different YA angel novel and then either forgot that was her goal or became self-conscious about the ability of the idea to succeed. I feel like it was trying too hard to give people what they wanted as opposed to following where the characters lead. It has great potential, but there was just no follow through. It could have been epic and different and new, but instead feel prey to the same tired YA troupes we see constantly. I think people who loved Fallen or other basic angel stories will love it, but if you are looking for something different, this definitely isn’t it.

****Thank you to Month9Books LLC for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

2 bows
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Review for Pretty Dark Nothing (Pretty Dark Nothing #1) by Heather L. Reid

Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L Reid

TITLE: Pretty Dark Nothing
SERIES: Pretty Dark Nothing #1
AUTHOR: Heather L Reid
PUBLICATION DATE: April 23, 2012
PAGES: 321 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 2 stars

Quinn is being tortured by shadow demons. Normally they only invade her dreams, which is why she hasn’t slept in 23 days, but lately they are popping up when she is wide awake. She is failing in every aspect of her life, academically, romantically, and in health. When she pushes herself too far and collapses in the school hallway, Aaron swoops in just in time to save her. Aaron has always liked Quinn, but been too chicken to do anything about it. When he saves her from busting her head after the collapse, he accidentally enters her nightmare world and is left wondering what all this girl is hiding, and how he can possibly help.

I really wanted to like this novel. The premise was great, the cover was gorgeous, and, at least at the time I requested it, it was a stand-alone. Now, I see that there is a sequel planned. That’s a good fucking thing because this is another one of those novels where it just stops. It’s like the author is just like “Oh, my novel has 321 pages. That’s a good length for YA, so I’ll just stop here. What about the plot you ask? Well, that’s not important.”

Beyond the horrid non-ending, ****SPOILER****where we don’t even know if the main love interest is alive or dead****END SPOILER**** this novel still had umpteen problems. One of the biggest is the Mary Sue we get for a leading lady. Quinn is such a whiny pushover that I wasn’t actually overly upset when things fuckup. ****SPOILER****Your cheating ex, who you just got back together with and slept with after dumping the sweet guy who is pining after you, impregnated the slut he cheated on you with? ::pat:: poor you! Actually, bitch, you deserve it. What the hell did you expect?****END SPOILER**** She spends the entire first half of the book pining over Jeff, her ex-boyfriend. Jeff, a dick-headed jock who dumped her via text after cheating on her with her archnemesis. I get the whole “the heart wants what the heart wants” argument, but seriously lady, get some self-esteem. When we finally see her realize that there is better out there, it doesn’t last. Also, for the entire novel she is being tormented by demon creatures that no one else can see and she doesn’t mention it to any-fucking-one. Not the hot guy chasing her, not her best friend, not her oh so precious Jeff, no one. Look, either you’ve went off the deep end and are seeing things or these fuckers are really and out to get you. Regardless of which it turns out to be, you’re gonna needs some goddamn help.

Then there is Aaron. I’ll admit that his whole knight in shining armor role had me cheering for him, but really, I think he deserves better. Plus, he was a bit irritating, with the do I/don’t I actions towards Quinn. Every other page, he is changing his mind, just like her. I felt like the whole thing between was forced and fake. Unexplainable connection? Check. Need to “save” her? Check. It felt like I was seeing someone take what they thought were the best parts of paranormal YA (and what I think are the worst ones) and mash it together to see what happens. Not to mention the incredibly one dimensional side characters. Marcus? Can you say Emmett Cullen rip-off because that is exactly how he came off to me.

One thing is definite; this was not the book for me. I didn’t care for the characters, I didn’t fall for the writing style, and I found absolutely no humor in it. In a world where I feel obligated to finish any series I start, I can honestly say that I have very little intention of picking up the next book in this series. There are too many books out there than I am dying to read to force myself to suffer through another one of these, unless it’s a tremendous improvement.

****Thank you to Month9Books for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare

City Of Glass by Cassandra Clare

TITLE: City Of Glass
SERIES: The Mortal Instruments #3
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
PUBLICATION DATE: March 24, 2009
PUBLISHER: Margaret K McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Divison
PAGES: 541 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

You would think that after two full-length novels, Clary would have, at the very least, found a way to wake her mom, but that is just not the case. The third book in the Mortal Instruments series starts with Clary going on another quest to find a warlock by the name of Ragnor Fell who can wake her mother up. Then there is always the added plot of finding a way to defeat Valentine, which eventually seeps in.

I have to say that after reading this, though I intend to finish the entire series eventually, I cannot imagine it ended better than this did. Everything ties up in a neat little bow, giving everyone a happy ending…well, everyone who is still alive gets a happy ending. Therein lies the problem.

My first issue with this was the deaths. Yes, the war with Valentine has been bloody and there has been no skimping on the character deaths before this novel, but there was one that I found intolerable. ****SPOILER****And that was Max. Seriously, he was just a little kid who didn’t get much time in the series anyway, so why fucking kill him? Don’t say it gives Isabelle the motivation she needs later to go after Jace and Sebastian/Jonathan/whatever the fuck you want to call him, because that bullshit. Hodge’s death didn’t make me all warm and fuzzy, but I felt it was an acceptable loss considering the bad he had done in book one.****END SPOILER**** The deaths alone bring the star rating down. If a certain character had lived, I would have given it five, but I’m so fucking tired of pointless character deaths, in books, movies, and shows, that I just cannot give it five stars.

On the whole, the novel was just as enthralling and enchanting as the other two, with good writing, witty dialogue, and a big enough mystery to keep you guessing until the very end. I knew that the sibling issue between Clary and Jace would finally be revealed and I must say that I didn’t see the way it played out coming. Some plot twists were a bit more transparent, but not one really got me, so bravo Clare, bravo.

I think my two favorite things about this was finally getting Jocelyn’s history, from her perspective and all the couples finally getting together. The biggest is Clary and Jace finally being able to be together without feeling like it is an abomination. Jace really stole the show in this one, in my opinion. The way he confesses his love, despite everything else, and the speech he gives to Clary at the end was just….

…okay, so maybe I got just a little carried away there, but what can I say? I love Jace and though I know many people were against Jamie Campbell Bower being cast as him, I think he’s perfect for the role and exceedingly pretty, so bite me. Back to my original point, I loved that the main couples do end up together. We finally get to see ****SPOILER****Alec and Magnus be together, in front of the other Shadowhunters and the rest of the Lightwoods, which was amazing. I love Magnus, he’s probably my favorite character or at the very least, he ties with Jace for favorite. We also finally get to see Jocelyn with Luke, which we were all routing for. Simon doesn’t end up with anyone, but it’s obvious he has a choice between Isabelle and Maia, so it’s up to him.****END SPOILER****

This novel is an excellent conclusion to the storyline of the first three novels. I don’t know what the main conflict of the next three will be but I can say definitively that if you don’t like longer series, you can legitimately stop here and not be left wanting. As for me? I am planning on reading the next three, but I’ll be treading lightly because the longer a series continues, the more opportunity there is for it to go south. Wish me luck!

Review for City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

TITLE: City Of Ashes
SERIES: The Mortal Instruments #2
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
PUBLICATION DATE: March 25, 2008
PUBLISHER: Margaret K McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Divison
PAGES: 453 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

I’ll be honest, there is a lot going on in this sequel. I really don’t know how to summarize this plot, because, like with most middle books, there is just too much happening. The most basic thing I can say is that they are still battling Valentine and things get really complicated, really fast.

I had a hard time getting myself to both start this and continue reading it. Not, mind you, because of any problem with writing or character development, or any of the normal nonsense that gets in my way, but because I knew that still particular installment wasn’t going to end with Jace and Clary happily together. Reading my little sisters review told me quite clearly that, regardless of how well written and entertaining this book is, I just wasn’t going to love it. The love triangle aspect is played up even more in this one, where Clary obviously believes Jace is her brother and starts dating Simon. Can I just say that sibling thing is bullshit? I know it seems like they are and all the evidence points to that end, but just fuck no. I can feel it in my bones that it’s just not true and deep down, I think Clary and Jace know it too. But that doesn’t stop Clary from being horrified by the feelings she has for her “brother” and the whole dating Simon thing that just irritated the fuck out of me. I’m sorry, I love Simon, but we all know he is going to end up with Maia. That much is completely obvious after one fucking meeting between the two. Besides I want Simon to be happy and having Clary settle for him will never make him happy.

I really hate reviewing middle books, it’s so fucking difficult to put how I feel for them into words. This one manages to more or less escape that middle book syndrome, being entirely entertaining and action packed in its own right, but I just hate being dead center in the middle of the story, you know? Or better yet, still just at the being since now this tale is a now a six book series instead of the originally planned trilogy. There is so much that’s happened that I don’t approve of ****SPOILER****like Simon becoming a vampire****END SPOILER****, but there is still so much to come that I don’t exactly know how I feel. It’s hard to rate middle books properly because how I will feel about the series overall is entirely dependent upon how it ends. I can’t love it if Clary and Jace don’t end up together. Speaking of endings, I can just say that the ending of this one fucking sucked? The whole Jace/Clary/Simon triangle and the ending conversation in the epilogue between Clary and Jace and just….grh!

So, I’ll just say this, it was an enjoyable ride and I can’t wait to start the next one…in fact that what I’ll be doing this afternoon, before reporting to college for my first day of fall semester.

Mini Review for Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush: The Graphic Novel #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick & Jennyson Rosero

Hush Hush: The Graphic Novel #1 by Becca Fitzpatrick & Jennyson Rosero

TITLE: Hush Hush: The Graphic Novel
SERIES: Hush Hush: The Graphic Novel #1
AUTHOR: Becca Fitzpatrick (author) & Jennyson Rosero (Illustrator)
PUBLICATION DATE: March 20, 2012
PUBLISHER: Sea-Lion Books
PAGES: 120 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Library
RATING: 3 stars

This is going to be more of a mini-review rather than a full one. I won’t review the storyline because I’ll assume all of you who want to read this have already read Hush Hush and are as captivated by Patch and I was and just want to see more of his sexy face, which was part of my problem. This gets three stars because I did not like the art style at all. I understand on some level that graphic novels are supposed to be a bit overdone and sexualized but that doesn’t mean that every drawing of Nora needs to be complete with hard nipples clearly visible through her clothing. Some how she was more annoying here than I remember her being in the actual story. And poor Vee looks so top heavy that she might topple over. And their portrayal of Patch wasn’t at like I imagined him. I can’t say exactly what they got wrong, just that it was wrong. It’s also incredibly short, not even getting through a forth of the original storyline. Basically if you are a fan of the series, this might upset you a bit, but the bonus scene at the back was worth the trouble.

Review for The Sweet Dead Life (Sweet Dead Life #1) by Joy Preble

The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

TITLE: The Sweet Dead Life
SERIES: Sweet Dead Life #1
AUTHOR: Joy Preble
PUBLISHER: Soho Teen, An imprint of Soho Press Inc
PAGES: 244 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 4 stars

Jenna Samuels’ eighth grade year isn’t going exactly how she planned. She’s dying and the doctor’s cannot figure out what’s wrong with her. Then she has a seizure and on the way to the hospital, gets into a car wreck where she is sure she sees her brother die. But when she wakes up in the hospital, Casey is just fine, better in fact. He’s hair and skin have visibly improved and he’s belly has magically transformed into six pack abs. What the fuck, right. Apparently Casey is an A-word (Jenna cannot bring herself to say “angel” just yet) and he was sent back from heaven to find out who is poisoning her and why.

I’ve been avoiding writing this review just a little. It was partly because I was already caught up in another amazing book and wanted to continue with it and partly because I’m not exactly sure what to say. This book was very good and entertaining, but I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly why, even in my disconnected thoughts so having to put it into words is a bit difficult. I liked most of the characters. Jenna’s smartass attitude and slight potty mouth (she does cuss some, but never says anything truly foul, in my opinion) had me relating to her within the first few pages. She is a bit repetitive, but let’s face it, what 14 year old girl isn’t? Casey was a very interesting character and I loved that becoming an angel didn’t just magically solve all his problems. He still has to work and go to school and try to kick his pot addiction, but with the added bonus of being much more attractive. I loved the obvious affection between the two of them. In the beginning, Jenna complains about him quite a bit, but it’s clear that she loves him a great deal.

I think the reason that this is so hard for me is because it was intensely interesting and then quite a bit boring and then interesting again. In the beginning, when they were trying to figure out what was wrong with Jenna, I was addicted. Call me a House MD addict, but I loved that. Once you find out that she is being poisoned, which is pretty early on, I was bored. Who was poisoning her? Sure, I was curious, but it wasn’t a driving need. She whole plot sort of slowed and the self-deprecating death humor disappeared because Casey was in fact dead now. Then, you start to unravel the mystery of why her dad left and what’s wrong with mommy dearest and things got very interesting again, if a little predictable. ****SPOILER****I mean, let’s be honest, when they figure out mom is being poison as well, but with a different poison than Jenna and go into the search to discover what Mom consumed that Jenna and Casey didn’t, who didn’t know exactly what was poisoning her and who was behind it?****END SPOILER**** The ending was good, with all the mysteries solved, but I was so highly disappointed with their dad and even more disappointed that Jenna wasn’t angrier with him. ****SPOILER****Yes, his disappearance was beyond his control, with the whole memory erasing drug thing, but he started remembering MONTHS ago and didn’t even bother checking on his wife or kids. Not once did it cross his mind that mmm maybe my wife can’t afford all the bills and they are living in the gutter or maybe my son had to give up the things he loved just to keep them afloat? Worst. Father. Ever. Man the fuck up dude!****END SPOILER****

Really, this was an interest story with great characters and pretty amusing writing. If you want a pretty good mystery, this is for you!

****Thank you to Soho Teen, An imprint of Soho Press Inc for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

Review for The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria Scott

The Collector by Victoria Scott

TITLE: The Collector
SERIES: Dante Walker #1
AUTHOR: Victoria Scott
PUBLISHER: Entangled Publishing, LLC
PAGES: 352 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 4 stars

Dante Walker is living the dream. He’s a soul collector with an unlimited Amex credit card. Life couldn’t be any better….unless he got that promotion he wants and could walk the Earth unhindered by this stupid cuff that tracks his whereabouts for Boss Man. All he has to do is collect one soul in ten days, the soul of Charlie Cooper. Why the boss wants this particular soul, he has no idea, but it’s his job to deliver and he’ll do whatever it takes to secure that promotion. But then he starts to fall for Charlie and learn that maybe she’s more important than his wants. This can’t possibly end well.

I started this book rather irritated. Over half of the blogs I follow (and that’s quite a few) have been raving about how amazing this book is and how badass Dante is. I was overly excited to read about another Daemon Black type character (and if you don’t know who Daemon Black is, you need to fix that, like NOW) and quickly realized that Dante is nothing like Daemon. They both have that jackass cocky vibe, but that’s where the similarities end. The more I read, the more irritated with Dante I became. He acts like his the shit, but I don’t ever really see him back it up (well until right at the end), he thinks he’s a bad motherfucker, but he never curses (again, until the end and even then, only a little), and he talks like a gangsta. He’s opinionated, judgmental, and all around just seems like an overconfident jerk. And then, miracle of miracles, he started to change. The more he was around Charlie, the more we see something good shift in him. He even loses a bit of that gangsta attitude which is great, because that’s just unattractive. Then he starts getting protective of Charlie and I finally start to see the swoon-worthiness of this guy. Granted, he’ll never be on my list of top ten male characters, but I genuinely started to like him. Basically, it was something like this:


But then I was:

And maybe just a little of this:

As for Charlie, I initially didn’t like her either. I’m not too big on goody-goody’s and she reminded me too much of Anna from Sweet Evil and I was none too pleased. I like a girl with a little spunk. Just like with Dante, though, she grows on you. Her ability to stay positive after all the bad shit that has happened to her was admirable and she actually does have a bit of spunk buried in there. The more of her I saw, the more I wanted her and Dante to end up together. I wasn’t in love with any of the side characters, either…except maybe Annabelle who had that kickass girl vibe.

The plot was both predictable and not. I knew a few key things were going to happen ****SPOILER****like that Dante was going to switch sides and become a Liberator before it was over with****END SPOILER****, but there were definitely some surprises mixed in there too. Victoria Scott manages to make me eventually like a character I initially hated and that alone requires a great deal of talent. Add to that the fact that she doesn’t play up the love triangle aspect and the fact that she actually ends this book with a solid ending (not a horrible cliffhanger) and well, you can imagine my reaction…and just in case you can’t, I’ll give you some visual aids.

…okay, so maybe the Casper gif wasn’t entirely on topic, but I just love it anyway. So basically what I ‘m saying is that love or hate Dante, this book is a pretty great read and I think most people would definitely enjoy it. I certainly did.

****Thank you to Entangled Publishing, LLC for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Her Name Is Grace (Name Is #1) by Shidorr Myrick-Gayer

Her Name Is Grace by Shidorr Myrick-Gayer

TITLE: Her Name Is Grace
SERIES: Name Is #1
AUTHOR: Shidorr Myrick Gayer
PUBLICATION DATE: March 19, 2012
PUBLISHER: Orange Hat Publishing
PAGES: 259 pages
SOURCE: From Author
RATING: 4 stars

When Brooke finds out that she is pregnant, she tries to turn her life around. Unfortunately for her, things don’t work out as she had hoped and she dies before ever giving birth. It’s all part of the master plan though, because Grace, her unborn child, is taken to Mahlai to begin training to be an angel. Grace spends her life in angel training know that on her sixteenth birthday, she gets to choose whether she wants to become an angel or go on to spend her afterlife with God. But before she can even become old enough to give much thought into her choice, she stumbles across a well that changes her life, as well as the life of her best friend Max, forever.

In the beginning, this novel confused me more than a little. First you are in follow Grace and Sam as they look for his mom, then you follow Brooke as she discovers she is pregnant and is then murdered, then Aikim as he watches Brooke’s murder then retrieves her unborn child for Mahlai, then, finally, you are following Grace as she grows up. Once we get back to Grace, we stay with her and the story finally starts to come together. The different characters become connected and we are brought into the rich, gorgeous angel planet.

I’m still on the fence regarding how to feel about Grace. In the beginning she doesn’t seem so bad, but the further in life she progresses, the more I started to become a bit more irritated with her. In the very beginning, she says that she had one goal, besides the obvious stuff, and that was to prevent Lauren from leaving the house on a specified day to save her life and she fails at that. That fact in itself irks me. If you are assigned just a singular task, something as simple as preventing someone from leaving their home on a specific day, then I would have reminders everywhere and I would be sure to not forget about it entirely until it was too late, which is exactly what Grace does. She doesn’t realize that she has fucked up until it’s already too late. ****SPOILER****It also bugged me that she was willing to allow Aikim, her protector, to die in order for her to be on Earth with Sam for just a few scant years. It seemed very selfish. I get that love conquers all and that we are all willing to do crazy things for it, but I can’t say that I would sacrifice someone I love and cherish just for the chance to spend a handful of years with someone who may not even love me back.****END SPOILER**** She does some good things, but even more stupid things, so I guess I’m just in the middle about her. I don’t love her, but I don’t despise her.

Then there is Grace’s best friend, Max, who I adore. This boy marches to the beat of his own drum and I desperately wanted her to grow up to realize that she loved him and watch them ride off into the sunset happily ever after style. I won’t say whether or not that happens, but I will say that I loved the interactions between the two. He’s creative and imaginative and a little rebellious, just the right combination. When he and Grace discover the well together, their friendship was taken to an even deeper level because now they shared a secret that none of the other kids could understand. I am actually rather excited about reading book 2 because I think there will be more from his perspective. Sam is the other major male character and while I like him, I like Max more. Sam’s the steady, stay at home and protect my family type and while it’s honorable and great, it was also a bit boring.

Though I didn’t fall head over heels for most of the characters (except Max), I still found myself drawn into the story so completely that I just had to keep reading. It took me just a little longer to get into it because of the jumping perspectives in the beginning, but once I was in, there was no stopping me. The author does a beautiful job describing both the peace of the angel world and all the turmoil going on in the human realm as well. In the human world, a new form of slavery is on the rise where people are literally kidnapped on the streets and forced to work as slaves. Race no longer matters, nor does age, gender, sexual preference, or anything other than the fact that you were dumb enough to be caught alone in the streets.

It you are looking for an interesting new take on YA angels, this is for you.

****Thank you to Shidorr Myrick-Gayer for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Dark Seraphine (Seraphine Trilogy #1) by KaSonndra Leigh

Dark Seraphine by KaSonndra Leigh

TITLE: Dark Seraphine
SERIES: Dark Seraphine #1
AUTHOR: KaSonndra Leigh
PUBLICATION DATE: October 21, 2012
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 230 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 2 stars

Caleb Wood has always been able to see the Walkers. He doesn’t know what they are; he just knows that no one can see them except him. Then one decides to strike up a conversation with him and become corporeal and he can’t help but obsess over her. Then creepier Walkers start turning up and everything gets out of hand.

I feel like I have really missed something in this novel. My sister absolutely adored it and I have read several other reviews of people raving about its awesome-ness, but I just don’t see it. It took me a record amount of time to read this rather small book (almost a month) and the entire time I was forcing myself to go on and truly gearing up to write an overly insulting review and give the book a single star rating. I gave it 2 because right at the end (in the last 30 or so pages) the story truly got interesting. Reading this really made me consider starting a “did not finish” shelf because it was so fucking hard to get through.

The truth? I’m just too tired and frustrated to write a bitchy review. Yes, I want to warn people that this book has major issues and they might be better off staying away, but my usual fire is gone. I think this novel had many problems, the writing, the characters, the stop and go plot, the whole enchilada basically. I start with the characters because that’s what I ‘m best at.

First off, we have our main man, Caleb. The entire novel is told via his perspective and let me tell you that for the first time I would have rather it been in third person. Caleb’s personality fell beyond flat and his voice felt very much like a woman desperately trying to be masculine. This is not just because the lack of swear words or his overly censoring of his naughty thoughts (though it probably contributed just a bit), the way he processed things and the fact that he was always on the brink of tears just felt feminine to me. And seriously dude, learn to say fuck because “oh snap!” just doesn’t cut it. Seriously, those words were on every other goddamn page and it was about as believable as Zoey Redbird saying “bull-poop” all the time.

Then there were the female interests. Yep, I said interests, so love triangle land it is. Gia, the Walker/Angel/Whatever, so is all over the place that you can’t tell what the hell she wants. One minute she is saving Caleb and then next she is avoiding him, telling him that he needs to leave her alone. She makes me wanna sing Katy Perry ::sings:: ‘Cause your hot then your cold, you’re yes then you’re no::stops:: I hate Katy Perry. For being the main love interest, she sure was flaky as hell and I couldn’t bring myself to root for them at all. I honestly wanted Caleb to just forget about her and be happy with Erica, if for no other reason than so I could stop listening to his inner monologue of “why can’t I being with Gia? Why doesn’t Gia love me? Whine whine whine.” As you can guess, Erica is the other love interest. In the beginning, I really thought she was going to be the only one, but damn was I wrong. She’s that popular girl with a sweet side, you know the caring cheerleader. Her character was a bit to clingy, trying to force Caleb to like her when it was clear that he was hung up on someone else. I gotta give her props for being patient, but she would have been better off with someone else.

Almost all the rest of the characters felt one dimensional and didn’t really add much to the story. Caleb’s friends, the other Walkers, the bad guy, all feel very flat to me, so I’m not even going to bother with talking about them. The writing style in this was choppy and the plot was slow. I felt like none of it flowed well. You’ll get 200 pages of Caleb and Gia doing the whole on again off again dance that drove me absolutely bonkers, with Gia not revealing any real information about herself (so really, what is the attraction? Just because she’s hot? Dude, stop being so shallow) and Caleb panting after her, while keeping Erica waiting on the sidelines. Then after that, we get just a little bit of stop and go action and then it ends with your typical cliffhanger.

Okay, so maybe I got a little rantey, but really, it’s what I do. This novel was a big downer for me and I can’t say that I’ll recommend it to anyone. Those out there in interweb land, enter at your own risk. Maybe I missed something, but I really just didn’t enjoy this and I definitely won’t be reading the sequel.