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Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn {5 Stars}

Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn {5 Stars}

Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn (Whisper Hollow #1)
Published by Penguin on Oct. 27th, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Page Length: 292 pages
How I got my copy: BookLender
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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In an all-new series, New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn invites readers to Whisper Hollow, where spirits walk among the living and the lake never gives up her dead…

Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and when I returned, I inherited my grandmother’s house—and her gift. As a spirit shaman, it’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried.

When I was little, I was told my mother ran off. But now it looks like she was murdered. With the help of my mysterious neighbor Bryan, we begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and in doing so, unearth a dark force seeking to bury Whisper Hollow. Now I must work with the dead, rather than against them, because our enemy will do whatever she can to destroy the town, and she means to start with me.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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City of Light by Keri Arthur eARC {3.5 Stars} + Giveaway!

City of Light by Keri Arthur is the first in a new sci-fi/urban fantasy mash-up series starring a genetically-modified heroine name Tiger in a future devastated by war between humans and shape-shifters with some Otherworld alien-ghost things thrown in for good measure. If you are looking for a story with the feel of urban fantasy, but in a sci-fi setting, this is a great place to look. Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

Note: I received an advanced copy of City of Light from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This book has adult content.
City of Light by Keri Arthur eARC {3.5 Stars} + Giveaway!

City of Light by Keri Arthur (Outcast #1)
Published by Signet on Jan. 5th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Post Apocalyptic, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay....

As a déchet—a breed of humanoid super-soldiers almost eradicated by the war—Tiger has spent her life in hiding. But when she risks her life to save a little girl on the outskirts of Central City, she discovers that the child is one of many abducted in broad daylight by a wraith-like being—an impossibility with dangerous implications for everyone on earth.

Because if the light is no longer enough to protect them, nowhere is safe...

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Night Shift Anthology {3 Stars}

Night Shift is an anthology with stories from Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane consisting mostly of urban fantasy/paranormal genre stories with one exception. Night Shift claims to delve into the stories that happen after dark and I guess a fair amount of screen time is spent at night, but it’s a bit of a stretch at times ;-). What Night Shift does do well is give you a chance to try out several authors’ styles and possibly find a new series to try out! I know I certainly did :D. If you’re looking for a sexy and fun introduction to four worlds of magic and grit, Night Shift might just be perfect for you.

Note: I received a copy of Night Shift from the publisher. Also I’m structuring this review a bit differently because the individual stories impacted me quite differently.

This book has adult content.
Night Shift Anthology {3 Stars}

Night Shift by Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane, Nalini Singh (Kate Daniels, Psy-Changeling, SPI Files)
Published by Berkley on Nov. 25th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 378 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight , as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella,Magic Steals , when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.

It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms.

3 Stars

Secrets at Midnight by Nalini Singh
[Read more…]

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson eARC {2 Stars}

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson is the first in a new paranormal romance series focused on a coven of witches living out in California. Amber Benson is of course Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I had high hopes for a story about witches, but things in The Witches of Echo Park just never really came together for me. It was fortunately a fast read, and had potential, but I ended up feeling that a lot would need to change for me to enjoy this story.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Witches of Echo Park from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This book has adult content.
The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson eARC {2 Stars}

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson (The Witches of Echo Park #1)
Published by Ace on Jan. 6th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…

When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.

Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last…

2 Stars

Strengths:
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Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell eARC {4.5 Stars}

Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell is a story about love, family, death, and what it really means to live that happens to be set in a world with coyote and wolf shape-shifters, Seers, Thaumaturgics, and Immortals. I’m not generally a fan of character-driven stories but Joshua and Ada were such amazing main characters, and assisted by my many favorite characters from Destiny Binds and Infinite Harmony’s companion novel, Fragile Brilliance, that I find myself converted to the character-driven novel as long as the writing is as strong as Blackwell’s ;-). If you haven’t read any of Blackwell’s previous books, that’s really okay! Infinite Harmony stands alone very well and is also a good intro to the many cool magics that exist in this world. You will spoil a couple of things from the first trilogy by starting here, but I don’t think you’ll lessen your enjoyment at all :).

Note: I received an advanced copy of Infinite Harmony from the author. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell eARC {4.5 Stars}

Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell
Published by Author on Oct. 14th, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 227 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Ada Jessup lives for the moment, knowing the promise of tomorrow can be all too easily broken.

Joshua is an Immortal, a heavenly warrior who will still be fighting long after the rest of the Alpha Pack have turned to dust.

When a gunshot wound forces Joshua to tell Ada the truth of what he is, there is more at risk than the safety of the Alphas he's sworn to protect. For Joshua, the real danger is the way he feels drawn to the human girl. After all, what can the future hold for a girl whose days are numbered and a boy whose life has no end?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule {3 Stars}

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule tells the story of Sing as she starts at a music conservatory and gets pulled into a world where creatures from stories have come alive even though she’s just trying to get the lead role in the upcoming school opera. The fantasy elements of Strange Sweet Song are pulled from a fabled opera written by the conservatory’s founder and the setting evokes imagery of mist-covered woods and bright eyes shining in the dark. If you enjoy stories involving music and singing, you definitely have to check out Strange Sweet Song.

Note: I received Strange Sweet Song from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule {3 Stars}

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 11, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Paranormal Romance, YA
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A young soprano enrolls in a remote music academy where nothing, not even her mysterious young vocal coach, is as it seems

Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.

Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school's production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary?

Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.

3 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell eARC {4 Stars}

Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell is the start of a new series set in the same world as her Timber Wolves books. This means more awesome werewolves, werecoyotes, and Seers, plus new characters and college :D. I read Fragile Brilliance at the perfect time since it’s pretty heavy on the romance and I was very much craving happy relationship feelings ;-). I like that Blackwell is branching out from her original style and I think that Fragile Brilliance will appeal to YA readers looking for more of a paranormal romance feel with witty writing and female characters with backbones (shocking right??)! I very much recommend that you read the Timber Wolves series before Fragile Brilliance though, since otherwise you really won’t have a good grounding in all the heavy events the characters are dealing with.

Note: I received Fragile Brilliance from the author in exchange for an honest review. I read an advanced copy and some things might be different in the final version.

Purchase on Amazon: Fragile Brilliance

Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell eARC {4 Stars}

Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell (Shifters & Seers #1)
Published by Author on Nov 26th, 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 339 pages
Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Maggie McCray has worked her whole life for the opportunity to attend Sanders College. It’s her one chance at becoming a world-renowned artist, and she’s determined nothing will get in her way. But when a murder brings Maggie and her powers to the attention of the Alpha Pack and the tragically handsome Charlie Hagan, her carefully planned future hangs in jeopardy.

Charlie Hagan isn’t happy when the Alpha Female assigns him as Maggie McCray’s personal bodyguard. Just being near the Thaumaturgic threatens to unleash the primal instincts he’s been suppressing for so long. Charlie knows if the coyote is uncaged, then the person he’ll most need to protect Maggie from is himself.

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • Maggie is our new MC and I loved her so much. It’s great to see a POC as a lead character first of all, but Maggie is so much more than her ethnicity obviously. She has her own fashion style, loves her grandmother, is an amazing artist, and, oh yeah, has magic powers :D. She’s also strong in her own way, too smart for all the rich kids at her college, and determined to make her own way in life. Love this girl!
  • If you’ve read the Timber Wolves books, you’ll know Charlie is a severely broken person at this point. Even if you haven’t read the other series, Fragile Brilliance makes this clear right away. While at first he freaked me out a bit, I quickly transitioned to wishing so badly that I could help him somehow. Blackwell captured the profound lack of emotions that goes along with deep depression quite well. I enjoyed the fact that all the characters from Timber Wolves, including Charlie, were obviously deeply affected by previous events and didn’t just get over it all, which seems to happen in a lot of series.
  • We’ve heard very little about Thaumaturgics previously and we finally get to find out more in Fragile Brilliance :D. How you ask? Mwahahaha, just wait ;-).
  • The feels! Fragile Brilliance has a very central romance plot line and while I’m normally not all that into romance-heavy stories, I ate this one up! Charlie and Maggie felt like friends of mine and at times I just wanted to lock them in a room together, but it was that connection that made me happy to boot up my eReader and sink a couple more hours into their story each night. Maggie is a very different character than Scout and I loved cheering her on.
  • Speaking of Scout! Scout is of course in Fragile Brilliance as a side character and she still is always able to entertain me. There is a whole lot going on for her given the events of the Timber Wolves books and it was interesting to see her new life from an outsider’s perspective. I hope things work out *sniffles*.
  • I freaking love ceramics for the record. When I realized that Maggie was a ceramics specialist, there might have been some bouncing. I have only gotten to throw pots once in college, but it was a lot of fun reading about Maggie’s studio work and living vicariously through her work >.>.

Weaknesses:

  •  I normally enjoy Blackwell’s pop culture references, but there were a few too many for me in Fragile Brilliance and I feel old because I didn’t get some of them >.>.
  • Fragile Brilliance is much more of a romance story than the Timber Wolves series was, so just be warned that it has a different feel than those previous books. I hadn’t quite been expecting this, so I don’t want others to be blindsided.
  • I get kind of annoyed when all the characters are beautiful…. At one point when Maggie is first encountering all the shifters and seers, she’s describing all our old friends and basically declares every single one beautiful. Is this a shifter and seer thing? I mean, I love that Tally isn’t model thin and is still considered beautiful by Maggie and everyone else, but can’t we have some not gorgeous characters that are awesome for their strength and charisma?

Summary:

Fragile Brilliance is an excellent paranormal romance in that it has a romance-heavy plot but still introduces us to new aspects of this world and has a deep and disturbing mystery to solve. I really enjoyed being in Charlie and Maggie’s heads while they figured things out, though I’m hoping that we get to find out more about Maggie and her family in the subsequent books. Definitely pick up Fragile Brilliance if you enjoyed the Timber Wolves series, but be in the mood for a romance ;-).

4 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell

Alienated by Melissa Landers eARC {3.5 Stars}

Alienated by Melissa Landers is the first book in a new series that tackles the question of what might happen if a peaceful alien race stumbled across our little planet. Alienated is on the light and fun side, though it definitely shows a grittier side from time to time. While Alienated falls into the typical trap of sexy alien boy and special human girl falling in love and trying to save the world, it also tackles some much more serious themes of discrimination and the extent to which people will go when they are filled with hate and fear of the unknown.

Note: I received and ARC of Alienated through Netgalley for an honest review. Somethings might be different in the final version.

Alienated by Melissa Landers eARC {3.5 Stars}

Alienated by Melissa Landers (Alienated #1)
Published by Disney Hyperion on February 4th, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • Alienated quite impressed me with a realistic story of how the meeting between our species and an intelligent but peaceful race of aliens might go. I found myself playing through scenarios while reading to decide if I thought the human governments would actually do what they do in Alienated and I have to say yes. It was fun to read a story that required much less suspension of disbelief than normal for my preferred genres ;-).
  • The writing in Alienated was quite readable and amusing with plenty of quippy dialogue. I didn’t find myself laughing out loud, but there was definitely a pleased chuckle or two.
  • When I first started Alienated, I expected it to be fairly fluffy (the cover doesn’t really help this expectation….), but Alienated proved to be more intense than I gave it credit for at first!
  • You know how we always talk about absentee parents in YA? Well, Alienated has supportive and adorable parents who are a bit PDA, hehe.
  • I find myself frequently rolling my eyes at the portrayal of teens in YA, since they are often way more mature or way too dramatic than really is typical. Alienated didn’t have this problem, since while there was some teenage love angst and drama, it was not any less than I experienced when I was that age. Everything is the end of the world during those years ya know? ;-)

Weaknesses:

  •  Alienated tackles very significant discrimination against the alien foreign exchange students and some of the dialogue around this discrimination left a bad taste in my mouth. I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the treatment of the alien students and the treatment of black students in the civil rights days as well as the treatment of LGBT students today. This means that when Cara didn’t call out her “friends” for hating Aelyx the alien just for being an alien, I got a bit uncomfortable. That’s not really the message that I want to be reading about ya know?
  • The scare quotes around friends is because there is some major friend failing in Alienated. I got quite pissed off at the ease with which Cara’s friends abandoned her just for not being a bigot and the ease with which Cara seemed to forgive them despite them continuing to be openly discriminatory.
  • The romance got a bit cheesy with all the alien courting rituals, haha.
  • There is a momentary reference to how the alien race L’eihr and humans share DNA, but it’s written off as a myth. If the L’eihr are so evolved and intelligent, I really would expect them to be interested in how it’s possible that two species from different planets share genetic code, given that biologists are quite convinced that all life on Earth evolved from one source due to all life sharing the same A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s. The L’eihr and humans pretty much have to be related based on our current understanding of biology.
  • The ending was a bit convenient, tying back to the light and fluffy feel of Alienated, after getting my hopes up :(.
  • The cover completely white-washes Aelyx, since he’s described as looking multi-racial with brown skin and brown hair. Also his hair is supposed to be long enough to pull into a ponytail and it doesn’t look like it is on the cover.

Summary:

Alienated is both a fairly well thought out alien story and a fluffy and fun romantic sci-fi. Hardcore sci-fi fans will probably not enjoy Alienated as much, however if you tend not to be interested in sci-fi and aliens, think about giving Alienated a try, since I think there are elements that many different kinds of readers can enjoy. I’m interested to see where the Alienated series goes, since at this point it could latch on to those grittier aspects or it could stay amusing and light.

3.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Alienated by Melissa Landers

Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane {1.5 Stars}

Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane is the first book in the Believers series. While Indigo Awakening had a promising premise, everything else was either annoying, confusing, or just plain boring. The cover is fairly pretty though, curse pretty covers and their deception!

Note: I borrowed Indigo Awakening from my library; all opinions are my own.

Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane {1.5 Stars}

Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane (The Hunted #1)
Published by Harlequin Teen on Dec. 18th, 2012
Genres: Paranormal Romance, YA
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.

1.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • I love the premise of children being born with psychic powers and a secret organization trying to hunt them down. Indigo Awakening even seemed to take a new spin on this fairly standard story with the blue flames and auras element.
  • I found myself with some lovely mental imagery while reading Indigo Awakening. There are fireflies conjured and I love fireflies!

Weaknesses:

  •  The psychic powers that the Indigo Children had were freaking all over the place. We only got details about a couple of kids’ powers, so I don’t even have a good idea of what the rule system is for this magic, but it very much seemed like powers were being made up as Indigo Awakening progressed for whatever was needed in the plot. This is one of my huge pet-peeves in fantasy stories! Rules are important for magic to be interesting.
  • On top of that, there are a couple of scenes during the epic battle that involve magic that makes absolutely no sense given what has been done previously and is never explained. This irks me unbelievably.
  • The church that is hunting these children is never given any background. How did this church emerge, how does it sit with the general populace, what are the tenets of its beliefs? The big bad organization needs to actually be something other than “those people who are hunting our MCs down, grrr on them” ya know?
  • The dialogue is sooooo cheesy. I’m all for people talking normally, but Indigo Awakening took teen slang to a whole new annoying level on top of teens saying cheesy romance lines.
  • Speaking of the romance: insta-love!
  • You know how we hate when animals are in stories just to be killed and make you sad? It’s even better when human characters are so obviously placed in the story just to die and make you sad. Except I wasn’t sad, I was really really angry at how cheap of a trick this was.
  • There are subheadings within the chapters that specify time and place, but some of them say “Minutes Later” or “Seconds Later.” This was so disruptive and unnecessary while I was reading. If there is a blank line, that very much implies that there is a slight break, such as to transition to a new scene, but not a huge one since that would be a new chapter. I’m not dumb okay!
  • The big reveal at the very end of the book is just freaking stupid. I didn’t see it coming because it’s just too unbelievably cliche, and that is not a good was to surprise me.

Summary:

Honestly, there are more weaknesses listed in my notes, but I feel like this list is too long as it is. Indigo Awakening is almost certainly not worth your time. If you don’t care about a complete lack of world-building, character development, interesting plot development, or dialogue and the premise sounds awesome, go for it! But maybe borrow it from the library or keep that receipt. I definitely would have DNF’d Indigo Awakening if I hadn’t stupidly requested the sequel for review before realizing it was the sequel to this one…. I swear I thought Crystal Fire was a first in series! Why did I do this to myself???

1.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane

Waterfell by Amalie Howard eARC {1.5 Stars}

Waterfell by Amalie Howard is the start of the Aquarathi series and I have to admit that I’m once again disappointed in a mermaid book. Though mermaid isn’t exactly what the Aquarathi end up being, the point still stands ;-). As an evolutionary biologist I was close to throwing my Kindle across the room with the misrepresentation of science in Waterfell. Further (and probably more interesting to you), the characters irritated me, the insta-love made me cringe, and that ending was just… ugh. I was going to go with 2 stars and then realized that “okay” does not describe my feelings for Waterfell unfortunately.

Note: I received an eARC of Waterfell through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Some things might have changed in the final version.

Waterfell by Amalie Howard eARC {1.5 Stars}

Waterfell by Amalie Howard (The Aquarathi #1)
Published by Harlequin Teen on Oct. 29, 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, YA
Page Length: 360 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright-the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon-until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday-the day she comes of age.

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?

1.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • I didn’t like Riss to begin with, then she grew on me in the middle of Waterfell, and then it all went to hell. But I liked her for a bit there.
  • Jenna is the human best friend and she is the only character I could stand! Well, her boyfriend Sawyer was also lovable in a goofy way, but those two are it.
  • Waterfell isn’t actually about mermaids, it’s about critters way cooler than that, and it had so much potential!

Weaknesses:

  •  Info dumps for the first half everywhere! Riss just does a little aside for the reader to explain everything about her race in the middle of scenes. Why Riss, why??
  • The romance is cheesy and so cliche. Riss tries to hate the annoying boy that keeps getting under her skin, until she realizes she doesn’t actually hate him! Who would have guessed?
  • There are some pretty annoying inconsistencies in Waterfell. Sawyer is described and both outgoing and not talking to many people. Various things about the origins of the Aquarathi definitely didn’t fit together. These little things just kept cropping up.
  • I am so tired of love saving the day. SO TIRED!
  • The attempt at a plot twist was so obvious (because it’s so cliche), that I’m pretty sure only Riss was surprised.
  • Waterfell has cutesy lessons for you to learn about friendship and forgiveness and it will bash them over your head with a mallet! A Lesson Mallet!
  • I am generally okay letting some scientific slip-ups go because science fiction has fiction in it. However! Waterfell attempts to back up the Aquarathi and the plot with science and IT IS SO WRONG! Lamarckian evolution, seriously??? (Google it, it’s interesting, but wrong.) That is not how DNA works, that is not how recombination works, that is not how mutation works, that is not how adaptation works. The thing that pained me the most is that Waterfell could have actually gotten things mostly right (though the plot would need to be smooshed around a bit), but it just didn’t. I was going to let it go the first time, but again with the mallet! D:

Summary:

Whew, I’m calm, I promise. Waterfell really annoyed me (obviously >.>) because it hit some buttons that probably won’t bother most people, but also because it was so painfully cliche and trope filled. I’m actually really proud of myself that I pushed through to the end. I kept hoping for certain someones to die or something, but I was disappointed. (Well, there is some dying, or is there?? No spoilers for you!) So unless you are looking for some complete fluff, there are probably better books to read. Also please know if you do read Waterfell, that is not how evolution works.

1.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Waterfell by Amalie Howard