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arielavalon

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Wicca For One: The Path Of Solitary Witchcraft
Raymond Buckland
Wicca for Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice
Thea Sabin
Fake Boyfriend
Kate Brian
Siberian Huskies For Dummies
Diane Morgan
How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond
Cesar Millan
Faking It
Cora Carmack
Recalled
Cambria Hebert
Real Men Don't Break Hearts
Coleen Kwan
Fields of Elysium
A.B. Whelan
Blood-Kissed Sky
J.A. London
Covet - Melissa Darnell review incoming

Red

Red - Alison Cherry Being a redhead is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power and popularity and everyone knows it. Felicity’s life has been devoted to building her status in the redhead society. She is popular, has the perfect boyfriend, best friends, and is well on her way to winning the Miss Scarlet pageant, just like her mother before her. But her life starts tumbling down when she receives a note in her locker: “I know your secret.” Because Felicity’s hair color comes right from a bottle. If anyone found out she was really a “strawbie”, everything would be ruined. Her life, her friendships, her relationship, her mother’s expectations of her, her chances at art school, all of it, gone in an instant. But as the blackmailer’s demands begin to hurt her friends and loved ones, she has to wonder, how far is she willing to go to protect her secret? And will it even be worth it in the end?
I expected this book to be entirely ridiculous. I wasn’t holding out much hope for it in the beginning, but it actually turned out to be quite enjoyable.

Felicity is borderline unbearable in the beginning. Her vanity is annoying and it feels like her worries should be unfounded until you really start reading through things. I wasn’t a fan of her boyfriend, Brent I think his name was? He was such a dull character that I didn’t find him memorable in the least. It was obvious she wasn’t meant to be with him and who she should be interested instead. Plus, she even said herself she wasn’t fond of Brent, so why should I care if she doesn’t? Her friends, Ivy and Hailey, are really sweet. I liked them a lot, especially Ivy. And Jonathon was such a cutie. I was rooting for him from the start. I couldn’t dislike Gabby. I knew there had to be more to her, and sure, once figuring her out I still didn’t adore her, but I understood her.

The plot is simple, but the flow is just perfect. Granted, it gets a little predictable. In the end, I knew her plan wouldn’t happen. I knew what she would end up doing. I had a feeling what the outcome would be, and I was right. But it didn’t matter because even with the predictability, I was entertained the whole way and actually rather impressed with how smoothly it was written. The build up of the town is perfect and you really begin to understand how important being a redhead is. She could really lose everything if she is discovered. It wouldn’t seem like it would be much out in the real world, but when the only world you have ever known is Scarletville, it’s hard to think about the outside world. Scarlet has been so sheltered, that she doesn’t know what is out there. It’s nice of her to start realizing what it really is that she wants, especially when she decided to go for it.

This was an easy, simple read with a nice, well-written story. Perfect for a rainy day or a desperate need for some contemporary drama. It was shockingly entertaining. Recommended.

Read this and other reviews at my blog.
Anyone But You: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - Kim Askew, Amy Helmes By request of the authors, this review will be posted closer to the release date. Check back on January 18th, 2014!

Tempest Revealed

Tempest Revealed  - Tracy Deebs Traveling back and forth between the sea and shore, Tempest is trying to have it all. She is trying to be there for her merpeople as the next in line for the throne under their aging merQueen, all while spending time with her family and long time boyfriend. She knows her happiness can’t last forever, and when Kona arrives to tell the news of the merQueen’s death, she leaves for the sea, this time forever. But returning to Coral Straights, she finds that ascending the throne isn’t as easy as she expected it to be when an old enemy returns and makes it clear they will rule the kingdom, with or without her. As she gathers her forces and prepares for the battle to end all battles, Tempest is losing faith that they can win. Even if they can, she isn’t certain she will live through it to see their victory.
I knew this love triangle would be my undoing with my love for the characters. Tempest showed more strength here than ever before, but she also made choices that left me wanting. She kept choosing Mark, always, even when she needed to back up Kona in a way that had nothing to do with their personal relationships. She was clearly not meant to be merQueen when she couldn’t stay diplomatic about anything for longer than a second when Mark was around. And the romance angle for Kona in this book? No. Try again. It was completely out of left field and was basically a cop-out. People loved Kona, give him something to be happy about. I was almost insulted with how things went.

The story wasn’t as good here either. It fell flat for me. Really flat. The whole thing was marred with teenage drama, and Tempest’s time in the dungeons were actually the most entertaining parts of the book. Before she left Mark and her family and up until she met back up with Kona, I was really enjoying things. The love triangle killed any story that was there. Even the ending lacked impact because her gorilla love interests had to pound their chest and fly off the handle. It brought the entire climax down for me and left me horribly underwhelmed. The final battle was boring, which wasn’t what I expected.

The series showed such promise, even with it’s flaws and I just did not enjoy this ending. This book killed the series for me. While I still feel it makes for a nice read, if you are looking for something amazing, skip it. You will only be disappointed.

Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Taking Back Forever (The Kindrily, #2)

Taking Back Forever (The Kindrily, #2) - Karen Amanda Hooper Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Maryah has done the impossible She is remembering things from her former lives after she chose to erase after her last one. While she would like nothing else than to indulge every moment in her love her Nathan and her new family, time is a luxury she does not have. Harmony’s soulmate, Gregory, is missing, and Maryah is the only one who can find him. She has to rush to strengthen her abilities so she can find him. But Harmony isn’t pleased with the idea of waiting, so she takes things into her own hands. What she finds, isn’t what she had expected.

This book was just as perfect as the first one and a brilliant continuation. I found much of it to be beautifully written. I especially liked this one passage talking about the loss of innocence and how perfect intercourse can be between two people when they really take the time of things. It’s not much of a spoiler, but behind a tag just in case you don’t want to read it.
“I’m amazed and disheartened at how quickly adolescents lose their innocence nowadays. Everyone is in such a rush to give themselves over to someone physically without truly knowing the person to whom they are entrusting with their body and emotions. Unfortunately, it’s the only way you understand right now because it’s all you have experienced.” [...]
“People used to be much more romantic and patient. The world moved at a slower pace and so did relationships. Sex is a sacred act which sadly, over the past few decades, has been demeaned and demoralized until it means almost nothing to most people. Very few still appreciate the emotional and spiritual connection that can and should take place when two bodies and souls are joined together.”
[...] “When your heart and soul are in it, making love is not just special, Maryah— it’s magical. I would never deprive you of experiencing how incredible it can be. You need to know me first, and I need to know you— this you, not the memory of whom you used to be.”


The characters were the same wonderful people that you met in the first novel. The character interactions are fantastic and wonderfully written. I did find that the long wait between the novels made me forget a few of the characters, even more so when their roles in the story were really minor. I have a general handle on who is who, but seriously, there are a lot of characters in this story to keep track of. That alone is what caused me to take off half a star.

The story continues to be wonderful. It has times where it is confusing, but most of that is because it is being drawn out so you learn things slowly. It wouldn’t be fair for you to know everything and Maryah not. It would make her impossible to deal with while you sat there wondering at her obliviousness. The climax happens far earlier than you would think it would, which leads to some confusion on the reader’s part. You need to just come to grips with the fact that it is being written with it’s own rules, and not the rules that govern other books in it’s genre. After the climax, the story is calm, but not boring. You see the consequences of the climax and see where things will be going. The book ends on a calm and loving scene between Maryah and Nathan. Or at least, it sort of ends calmly. At least until you reach the letter from Karen.

Karen does something completely unusual for an author and gives her readers a choice. You can either stop reading where you did, or continue on for a few more scenes that will end on a cliffhanger. She says not to worry, because you can always catch up in book three, which I expect will open with these few scenes. The scenes are perfect and a better suited ending to the novel. I didn’t find the cliffhanger to be as heart-stopping as one would expect from a cliff-hanger, though that might be because I was warned beforehand that the cliffhanger was coming. It does set up a significant amount of drama for the next installment and I can’t wait for it’s release.

This series continues to be addicting and is a wonderfully unique read. I highly recommend it to anyone fond of the supernatural, large loving families, romance, and danger.

Exposure

Exposure - Kim Askew, Amy Helmes Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Skye is a bit of a wallflower, a shutterbug who prefers to see life through the lens of her camera instead of from the center of the action. When a student is found dead at a party Skye attends and she knows who might be involved, she has to deal with the idea of being an accessory to murder. As relationships shift and change around her, Skye starts to really take a look at her life, and she doesn't like what she sees. Can she really change herself now, or will harboring her secret destroy her first?

While not as good as Tempestuous was, Exposure was another great retelling of an old classic. Macbeth is probably one of Shakespeare's more difficult stories to try to modernize. While subtle, the homages to Macbeth were cleverly woven into each page. If you go looking for a flashy retelling, then you might be disappointed. Exposure was written in such a way to make a Shakespeare buff smile without alienating someone who has never read Macbeth. I believe that it was done well enough to make it easier to understand if you can match these new characters to their old counterparts.

The characters weren't as nice as I wanted them to be. Skye felt unlikable to me. For her to be "stunning" and not know it, and for her to be so tall and people to just overlook her, it didn't feel realistic. If you are "stunning" and tall and have model potential with a little bit of makeup, then how do people not notice you? Skye actually asks this same question in the book at their Prom. Everyone kept telling her how she was so beautiful and how they didn't recognize her, but what, she was ugly the day before? It's one thing to be withdrawn, but she just didn't feel as realistic as I wanted her to. She was also really hard to like. It wasn't until well into the story that I started to like her at all. I didn't understand what she saw in Craig. Not once. From A to B, I never saw Craig's appeal. Beth was seriously unbalanced. The rest of the characters were just alright. They didn't hold enough importance for me.

The story was nice. It held mystery and did well at capturing the essence of Macbeth as it went along, but the plot was lacking. Or maybe it just fell for me. I feel like most of the elements in the story served very little purpose, and yet I enjoyed every page. I loved the whole story and everything that happened. I just couldn't see the point of many things that happened and it left me uninvested in the story. It all wraps up in the end. The ending is unsettling. It isn't tragic by any means, but it is a bit of a downer. There is promise for joy again, but it's left on enough of a downer to leave you upset with things. Not enough to rage or cry, but enough that you might be disappointed.

While not as great as it's predecessor, it was still a good read and I did enjoy it. But if you are looking for warm fuzzies, look elsewhere.

Of Triton (Of Poseidon, #2)

Of Triton (Of Poseidon, #2) - Anna Banks Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Learning that her mother is the long lost Syrena princess that everyone believed to be dead was just the beginning. Now, the two kingdoms of Syrena are pitted against each other in a political struggle while Emma struggles internally with an identity crisis. As a half-blood, she is a freak in the human world and an abomination in the mer-world below the sea. When tensions below reach epic proportions, Emma must decide if she will honor Galen’s request to keep herself safe and unknown, or if she should reveal herself and her gift to save the Syrena below.
I was not as impressed with this book as I was with the first one. I still like the series, but this book was enough to take it off my favorites list. It had barely made the cut, but this one just secured the idea that it was presumptuous to add it to that list so soon like I did.

The characters are mostly the same. The mother does a one-eighty on her personality, but with her secret revealed, that was to be expected. Grom basically had no personality and it was very very late into the game that I even started liking him a little bit. The villains and side characters felt rather hollow. If this weren’t a second novel, I would feel like no one was fleshed out. That characters just all became non-impressive and easily faded into the background.

The story had some issues, but it was still entertaining. It was enough to keep me reading despite the issues I had with the characters. I clearly remember in the first book that Emma had trouble breathing for that long under water, and then in this one she can suddenly stay under for hours? That felt wrong to me. The story was interesting but felt a little thin. That could be because of the characters or their motivations feeling garbled.

I almost feel like I should give it less stars, but I just can’t because I really did enjoy it. It felt almost rushed to me. There were just too many issues that I don’t associate with Anna Banks. The fact that it was still told from Emma’s point of view in first person and Galen’s in third was annoying. It’s almost jarring while you are reading really. Then there were a few scenes from Galen’s pov that were written in both first and third and left you confused for a few pages as to whose point of view it was.

I think the worst part of this though, was that there was a pointless death at the end. The death is basically hinted to, but never really led up to. There is no emotion with it. I expected to be bawling like an infant and I was hardly moved at all. But let’s add to that, there will be a sequel. This is working out to be a trilogy. This book had a nice clear-cut ending. It was vague and left things open to a continuation, but it really isn’t needed. So the idea of another one doesn’t feel right. I will still read it, but I can’t help but feel disappointed by it’s existence.

Prophecy Girl (Lacuna Valley, #1)

Prophecy Girl (Lacuna Valley, #1) - Faith McKay Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Samantha and her family have moved around the country all her life, supposably searching for better weather for her father's severe allergies. Lacuna Valley quickly shows itself to be different than anywhere else. She meets a boy who seems to know more about her and her family and she does, and her sister's praying is starting to look like she really can make things happen just by wishing for them. As Sam learns more about her family, she has to wonder, does her mother really want to kill her?

This novel was really hard for me to review. I was on the fence about a lot of it. The characters were hard to get attached to. I honestly couldn't tell you what Nick looks like. If his description was there, it was rushed so quickly to make it unmemorable. I was able to get more of a visual for some of the side characters than I could for the main characters. But beyond that, Sam and Nick especially were really poorly fleshed out. There were boring. I didn't hate them, but I couldn't root for them either. I just didn't care. I found myself more interested in Violet and Zach than anyone else. Danielle was the hardest to figure out. One minute it felt like she was just mentally unbalanced. Then the next it would seem that she was nothing more than a self absorbed, heartless, monster. She was too hot and cold and it made her difficult to deal with. She felt very one dimensional at that. You could've put in a cardboard box with a knife and you would have just as much of a villain.

The story was nice. Muddled and felt poorly thought out or executed, I'm not sure which, but it was still nice. The plot is intriguing. You want to know what happens. However, when you get to the end of the book, although you kind of want to know what happens next, because of the weak characters and the thin plot, you don't care as much as you should. The plot only feels thin because of the writing. If it had been better written, I think it would've been amazing. But instead it jumps around, confusing you. It was also really really slow to start. You have all these scenes or whining and that characters going back and forth, arguing about the same thing they were in the previous chapter with no new information coming out of them. It wasn't until the last quarter of the book that things really pick up, but by then, it's too late to save it. Not enough can be fit into that remaining section to satisfy you. You finish the book and are left with far more questions than you should have and a sense of frustration at the lack of resolution.

It had it's moments, and I will still read the next in the series, but I hope that some of the flaws are fixed for it, because a little gem of a story is hiding in here just waiting to be shined.
Everlost - Brenda Pandos Read this and other reviews at my blog.

**Beware of possible spoilers**

Tatiana's world changed with a single kiss. Torn between her hatred for Azor and her unwanted love for him, she must fight through the bond's effects and decide what she really wants. But lies and deception run rampant in the kingdom, and if she doesn't find out who she can truly trust, and fast, she might not live to see things change. Everlost takes place at the same time as Evergreen, only from within Natatoria.

This book was really hard for me. The characters were the same as ever, although the entirety of the book until the very very end followed Tatiana and her bodyguard Jacob's point of views. The two of them, joined with Azor and a few supporting characters are the bulk what what you are exposed to until they very end.

The story and writing were amazing. There were a few plot holes, which have lingered throughout this series and never been fully addressed or fixed, but otherwise it was perfect. The writing is compelling and fast paced and leaves you wanting more with every turn of the page.

What didn't work for me, really was the point of views. In my review of book #2, Evergreen, I had said that not having an eye into the kingdom made the book unsettling for me. After reading Everlost, I can understand why the book didn't flop between the land and sea. It would've made the story too incredibly long and wouldn't have been possible to split between two novels because of the fact that the conflict would have taken far too long to build. Everlost was no different. Not having any knowledge of land, although you already know what happens there, was unsettling. This started out as Ash and Fin's story and then Everlost steals it and makes it Tatiana's story. I feel like the end of the novel didn't have enough resolution and stole the story away too extremely. There should have been a better balance.

Aside from those issues though, this was still a wonderful read. It attaches itself to you right away and you cling to the words, desperate to make it to the next page and see how things go. While I enjoyed every moment, I was left disappointed in the end. I'm not sure if this is the end of the series, but if it is, I am left saddened and unfulfilled.
Ali's Pretty Little Lies (Pretty Little Liars, #0.5) - Sara Shepard ***IMPORTANT***
Although this is listed as book #0.5, DO NOT READ IT FIRST!! It will RUIN the whole series for you. Read it after book #8. That is a good place for it.

Seriously, the more of these I read, the less I like them. This was just, boring. I don't feel like I learned anything new. Perhaps it was meant to make you like or understand Ali and her motives more, but it only made me dislike her more.

Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2)

Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2) - Elizabeth Norris Read this and other reviews at my blog.

For four months, Janelle has been trying to rebuild her life from the horrible catastrophes around the world, the loss of her father and best friend, and Ben Michaels left. He promised to return to her, and now time is passing and she is wishing and wishing it would happen soon. People in her world are coming up missing, and when Taylor Barclay shows up, she knows that the cases are more than she expected. Someone is running a human-trafficking ring and Ben is the IA's top suspect. Can her and Barclay join forces and prove Ben's innocence, or will Ben and everyone he loves be executed? When the evidence piles up, she begins to wonder if she really knew Ben like she thought.

First things first, I highly recommend that you go read the novella Undone before you read this. It will help you out quite a bit in the way of not spending most of this novel hating Ben Michaels with a passion.

The great thing about these books, is really the writing style. They are written based on time stamps instead of real chapters, which is rather cool honestly, but it's the tone of things that makes them amazing. The tone of Unraveling was more upbeat. It was a fun story that quickly changed as the plot thickened and the suspense increased. Unbreakable didn't have that upbeat mood. It was dark from the start. If you weren't really paying attention and appreciating things, you would almost think that it was boring to read. But the tone that is set is amazing when you really look at it. It's a dark story and the tone of the novel really reinforces that.

The characters are changed. The world basically fell apart. They have all had to grow and mature faster than they should have. They are all still the characters that we know and love. I think the best part of this novel for me though, was Taylor Barclay. You want to hate him because of what you know of him in Unraveling, but I just couldn't. The more of him I saw, the more I liked, until I reached the point where I kept hoping for some romance between him and Janelle. I adore Barclay now.

The plot was very dark and wonderfully told. Pieces were perfectly woven together so that you had trouble predicting things. The character interactions and conflicts were perfectly timed and never took over the plot unless they were meant to.

If you are just reading through and not the type of person who really gets into a novel, you aren't going to like this. If you are the type who analyses things and commits to a novel until the last page, you will appreciate the nuances and writing style the whole way through. This series seems like it will only keep getting darker, and that might not be for everyone. I, however, will be reading the next installment as soon as possible upon release.
Undone (Unraveling, #1.5) - Elizabeth Norris Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Undone is a novella to help give you more insight into the series, namely, into Ben. Undone is composed of three parts. The first part focuses on Ben's life before Unraveling, showing a bit of his family life and setting up his unquestioning devotion to his friends. I knew that his devotion to his friends was important, but you really don't understand fully how strong that bond is, or why until you really get to see things here.

The second section is, by far, the shortest. It shows some of the scenes from Unraveling from Ben's point of view. These are scenes that he finds to be important to him, things he will always remember. It helps to show some of the tension that Reid and Eli has when it came to Janelle. You could put the pieces together on your own, but this really helps to lay them out for you and set you up for things.

The third, and final, part is the longest and most in depth. This section talks about Ben's life after Unraveling, when he returns home. It quickly becomes apparent to Eli and him that they don't belong in their world anymore. Just as they are making plans to return to Janelle's world, something happens to change their plans.

This novella was actually really somber and heartwrenching. You are left feeling so sorry for Ben. I found it to be a great refresher to set me up to read Unbreakable, but it also leaves you desperate for the next installment. Surely Ben won't be left in such a state. Certainly things will change and a happy ending can be found.

I really find this novella to be an essential read for the series. It gives you such an understanding about Ben and his friends that it will only help you to like them more. Unraveling being told from Janelle's point of view made it harder to like Ben and his friends, and this fills that gap in the character display. You really would be best to read it after Unraveling though. I read a few reviews of people saying they read it first. It isn't listed as #1.5 for nothing. You will spoil yourself horribly if you read it before Unraveling.

ReAwakened (Angel Creek, #2)

ReAwakened (Angel Creek, #2) - Ada Adams Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Weeks after the tragic death of her father, Dawn's life is coming back together. While she is still dealing with the pain, her and her team of misfits have been officially inducted as Guardians and a new President sits in the Scarlet House. When Sebastian and a beautiful vampire from his past disappear on a rescue mission and Born are being abducted and the President won't do a thing to help, Dawn knows she must act. Teaming up with Razor, a smooth talking rebel, and her team, Dawn sets out to solve the mystery of the missing Born before anymore can be taken. But it soon becomes clear that everything is coming back to her. Someone wants her dead and will do anything to make it happen.

I love when Sophomore novels are better than their predecessors. Just when you think a series couldn't possibly get better, it does and then you have to curse the limiting five star rating system. I did notice that this novel wasn't written as linear as the first one, and that might not even be the right word. ReVamped was written in a fairly straight-forward fashion. It like like walking down a straight road. Now, this road might have had hills, valleys, random roadside explosions, and gone from perfectly paved to rocky in a heartbeat and made you wish you were wearing hiking boots instead of wedges, but it was straight-forward all the same. ReAwakened was not like that. You know when your GPS starts recalculating? That was ReAwakened. Now before you run off screaming into the night, that isn't a bad thing. The writing was frustrating. It was frustrating to the characters and to the reader. Just when you thought they had a real solid clue about what was going on, it became apparent that they knew nothing. Each time you thought you knew where the story was going, it proved you wrong. This works out perfectly with the story. There are questions of health and sanity in this novel and the writing just accented those issues. It made it better. I can't get into detail without spoilers, but it works. It really does.

The characters are still fabulous. You get to really learn a lot about Hunter, Brooke, Sebastian, and especially Dawn. I loved getting to discover more about these side characters and watch their relationships change and grow. Sophie really gets her chance to shine as well, which I loved. She deserves that chance. Then there was Razor. I had seen a bit about Razor thanks to a teaser that Ada Adams had posted on her website which piqued my interest in him, but he was nothing that I expected. His relationship to another character was surprising when it should've been so obvious. Although it will get me shot, I actually found myself liking him more than Sebastian. I know!! Blasphemy! He was a perfect addition to the series and I am so happy he was there. He added the right touch of humor and mischief that was needed to keep the darker tones stable. ReAwakened would not have been as good if not for Razor. He was a necessary balance.

The story was intense and enlightening. I found myself focusing more on the darker tones and background story than I did on the immediate story. The immediate story is the Born kidnappings. I barely paid attention. They weren't exactly a Red Herring, but they were the gentle foundation for a much larger and intense story. The ending revelations were insane. Just as I started to suspect them they twisted by being much worse than I thought they would be. Books that make me scare me cat by yelling out "OMG really?!" are always good ones in my eyes. That is until they end on a cliffhanger. I can name one other series who used such an unfair cliffhanger (*cough*Archers of Avalon*cough*). Cliffhangers are evil. They hook you and force you to read the next installment. Bah, as if Angel Creek needed it! I was addicted already!

This series is proving itself to have more twists and turns than many I have found in a while and I am ensnared into it. If you haven't yet given it a chance, you are being foolish. This series is amazing and Ada Adams is brilliant for writing it. Recommended to all.
Hope - Theresa M. Jones Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Alison's story continues. With Damien dead, Lilith has taken over the Rising and is now set on making sure Alison dies for her crimes against them. With Alison's new marriage to David, Samantha's powers due to come in any day, and a new baby on the way, Alison has far too much to worry about than focusing on Lilith.

Sophomore novels are difficult. They are hard to master because you have to convey a certain amount of information in a short period. Hope is helping to prepare for a time skip, and it needs to set things up to allow for that to happen. Hope does a decent job of it, but there was some lacking.

The characters are all the same. You get to read more about Lilith and meet a few of the other Rising members, but otherwise the characters have not changed at all. They are still very likeable and leave you wanting to hate the bad ones and root for the good ones.

The story was nice as well. It's a really good set up for the third novel. Information is conveyed nicely. It was the writing that stunted me. This novel felt rushed to me. I noticed quite a few errors that the editor obviously missed or that weren't fixed before publishing. Descriptive words were repeated in sentences too closely to one another. Scenes were either rushed or not described well enough. It didn't read nearly as smoothly and this was a final copy unlike the preview copies I read for Power. The mistakes are all tiny little things, but they are unfortunately noticable. I feel like it needed a few more read-throughs before handed off to the editor. I had expressed my thoughts to Theresa that I thought the release was a rush, but now I feel like a horrible friend for not reading this sooner and encouraging her a bit more to wait. Power sets you up to expect a certain level in her writing and Hope doesn't deliver it.

The story is what is most important, and it really was wonderful. I can't say much without spoiling it flat out, but I did really enjoy it. I just found that I couldn't lose myself in the story as much as I did before because I noticed the lack in the writing that I didn't expect. I hate to have to judge the novel by that, but people do judge those things. I would still recommend this story to anyone who is intrigued by the first book. It was a great story with wonderful characters.
Otherborn - Anna  Silver London was the first. She was the first to dream, the first to create. Now it's spreading to her bandmates. But dreaming, and creating, those are things of the old world. They have no place in the current world. When two people close to her are murdered, and a third goes missing, London knows there is more to this than she can easily see. But what she will discover is more than she ever imagined.

I should not have liked this book as much as I did. I'm usually not a fan of dystopian novels. I have trouble with thinking of a future world where everything is destroyed for one reason or another. Books are an escape to me. Dystopian worlds are too often bleak. That isn't what I want from a novel. But when Anna Silver sent me the first chapters to see if I would be interested, I couldn't look away. I was kidnapped by this book from the beginning, and it still hasn't let me go. I may have finished it, but this is like, playtime in a prison yard more than actual freedom.

The characters are intriguing. You don't fall for them right away. The more you learn about them, the more you get hooked on them. London and Rye are the main ones, which is nice enough, but I wouldn't have minded seeing more of Kim and Zen. Maybe they will have a slightly larger role later in the series. The characters were nicely fleshed out and flawed. Everything you really want in a character. They aren't annoying or grating, but they aren't overly fantastic either. They just are, and that works.

The story and writing are what really sealed this book for me. The plot is so original and intriguing. It leaves you with so many questions, wanting more that you just can't get right away. A lot of questions get answered, but they only open more. The writing style was my favorite of anything though. The writing is almost lyrical. You feel like you are floating on the wind as you read through it. The writing is perfect and effortless. Never was there a spot where I wanted to stop for some reason. There weren't any jutting edges between chapters. It all flowed together in a perfectly, unbroken line.

All around, just pleasantly surprised with this novel. If you are a fan of dystopians, you will love it. If you aren't, but are a fan of the supernatural, dreamwalking and such, then you should give it a shot too. I bet you will find it worth it like I did. Highly recommended.
Power - Theresa M. Jones Read this and other reviews at my blog.

Alison is a young single mother who has just had her Power awakened. A descendant, born with the Angel's Power in her, Alison is thrown into the world of the Order. Training with Order member, David, so that she can face the leader of their enemies, the Rising, she discovers her strength and Power as she learns to control her abilities. The Rising leader, Damien, fears her to be the Descendant, the prophesied one who is descended with all the Angel's powers, and the only one who can kill him. He will stop at nothing to see her dead, but Alison isn't going down without a fight.

Being that I have known Theresa Jones since she was about 10 years old, I was granted the pleasure of cheating. I was allowed to read the very first draft of this novel, and I have to say, the changes since then are fairly large. This novel has truly transformed. Seeing my name in the acknowledgements was the best gift I could have gotten.

This novel is really easy to read. The writing just flows, taking you on the journey. I would have liked to see a bit more emotion building. I got a tear in my eyes once or twice, but I would have really liked to be consumed by the novel. I thought at first, that maybe since I had read it before, that I was uneffected, but enough had changed that I feel I should have still been more moved. The lack of it wasn't enough to kill anything, just to make me miss having it there. I also would've liked a bit more uncertainty. There is a point where things are slightly predictable, thought that might be confidence leaking off the pages.

I really like the characters. Alison is a sweetheart who is just so full of love. Her reactions to things can be a bit heated, but she seems like the type who feels all her emotions quickly and strongly. Although she was forced to mature early for her age when she became a young mother, she still is the type to feel an emotion first and ask questions or find rational thought later. David is wonderful, though felt stiff at times. It might have to deal a lot with his age though. Samantha is precious, and I really would've liked to have seen more of her, but I know that this wasn't her story. I felt like Damien could've been more fleshed out as a character, but I was generally happy with him.

The plot is really easy to follow. Things are explained well, in a way you can grasp them easily without it making you feel like you are being talked down to. The story was really nice. Angels and Demons aren't usually my thing, but they are there in the history of this novel and not so much in the pages of it. I loved the way the powers were explained and described. It was really easy to imagine it in your head and just made me happy. More characters need awesome magic like this. The basis of things were simple. I feel like there will be much more to this, but that it will unfurl more in the future installments. I wish the tension building for the climax had been a bit more drawn out. While it was needed, the set up of the novel was just a little long compared to the climax, and the climax started off right after a short time skip, giving the tension less time to build up. The climax was well written, once again, would've liked a bit more tension, maybe a some more action, I was just left longing for it.

This was a really good start to the series, a great novel, and a fabulous debut. Completely worth picking up. Definitely recommend this to everyone.