Review: The Demonists by Thomas S. Sniegoski

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The Demonists by Thomas S. sniegoski

The Demonist #1

April 5, 2016 – Roc

Purpose: Review

Source: Requested for Review

 4.5 stars

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Click on the image for Goodreads summary.

It is the hope that in the end, good will overcome evil. John and Theo are one of the many defenses that keeps the demons from overstretching their domain. Theo becomes a literal and physical defense as the demons have taken up residence inside of her. John’s search for a way to save his wife takes him across the globe, and into deeper darkness than he was aware possible. But there is so much more going on, and it may be more than the couple can handle.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have been wanting to pick up something by Thomas S. Sniegoski for a long time, and I am glad that I finally did. This is a blend of fantasy and horror, heavy on the horror. Especially depending on your own personal beliefs. With stories about vampires and werewolves, it’s easy to dismiss. But stories of demons? These hellish entities are written in the core of almost every religious belief, even if the practice of exorcism has disappeared from our modern eyes. Paranormal stories of ghosts, benign and malevolent spirits are especially creepy, since most everyone has experienced something that defies logical explanation at some point in their life. And it’s this familiarity that Sniegoski uses to makes it easy to accept Theo’s situation and the potentially real danger that the missing kids face.

The world in this book is our world, the only difference is that the spiritual veil has been removed for certain people. We are able to see behind this veil through their eyes. And it isn’t pretty. Scaly demons. Inhumane strength. Undulating flesh. It’s all here within the pages, waiting to feed on fear and twist dreams into nightmares. Fast paced and characters that invest you  in the story and the fate of the world.

If you’re looking for a good story, that keeps you on the edge of your seat I would recommend this one. I would also recommend it if you enjoy reading the works of someone with a very twisted imagination. I can’t wait to start the second book in the series and I am sure that I will be reading his other series sooner rather than late.

Always Shine!

 

Review: Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley

Steeplejack

Tomorrow is my stop on the Firebrand Blog Tour.  And you should definitely come back to see my thoughts on that one, and enter the giveaway.

Today though, I will be sharing my thoughts on Steeplejack, the first book in the Alternative Detective series.

SteepleJack By A.J. Hartley

Alternative Detective #1

June 14, 2016 – Tor Teen

4 stars

I was given a copy of this book, free, In exchange for my honest opinion.

Anglet Sutonga is a seventeen-year old steeplejack, a person who climbs talk buildings to do work. She is comfortable dangling over the city at ridiculous heights. The story starts with her waiting for her apprentice to show, but he never does. She is uneasy and discovers that this is due to the beacon, the jewel of Bar- Selehm, missing. Soon she discovers that Berrit did show up, but was murdered.  Her desire to seek justice and uncover the person responsible for Berrit’s death leads her to places she never imagined she be. Hired to investigate, she uncovers strange connections between the growing number of deaths, the missing beacon and other strange things happening around the city.

To be honest, when I first started reading this I didn’t think I was going to like it. I thought that I had made a mistake in signing up for the blog tour. But, as I continued the story grew on me, Anglet grew on me. Still, it wasn’t until the end of the book that I was truly enjoyed it for what it was. The mystery that carries the story from the beginning to end was masterfully unfolded, and the problems that I had with the story had nothing to do with that. Though I was able to guess some of the key players early on in the story, I wasn’t able to put it altogether until the end. The characters were well developed and interesting, though some of their appearances weren’t truly explained.

This story is dependent on the culture, politics and racial tension of Bar-Selehm. The only problem with this is that it shifts from the strange to the familiar. Is Bar-Selhm a real place somewhere in history? In our history? This is the problem with the story, some of the words and races are foreign to the reader (or at least to me). But when they are further described its done so with things that are familiar to us. It was disjointed and pulled me out of the story.

The ending was the best for this story. I liked the way that Anglet grew as a character throughout the story. Surprisingly, even Rahvey’s grew throughout the story, in a way that kind of made me proud of her. In the end, I enjoyed this story. Though I am not sure what else can be done in this world, I am definitely looking forward to book 2.

Always Shine!

Sexytimes Romance Report: Omega

Omega (Penton Legacy, #3)

Omega By Susannah Sandlin 

The Penton Legacy #3

David Jackson’s back slammed into the wall with enough force to crack the plaster, sending a cloud of dust, splintered lathing and blood-covered plaster chips pluming outward.

Challenge: #readmyowndamnbooks and Complete a series

I picked this book off of my shelf as a reading palate cleanser, as the previous book left me with a bad taste. I have been meaning to get to this book for a while. A really long  while. I read the first and second book of this series almost four years ago. (I can’t believe that it’s been that long, but that’s what Goodreads says….) While normally I wouldn’t recommend going 4 years between books in a series, at least not without rereading from the beginning, I wasn’t lost with this book. This is in part because each book is in itself its own story within a bigger story.

For those who have not read the first two books, I won’t go into this book with too much detail. But this series follows a scathe of vampires who are trying to survive the blood shortage caused by a human vaccination. Aidan Murphy started this scathe between vampires who are willing to live by a strong moral code and unvaccinated humans who agree to be feeders in exchange for living in peace. In short, the Penton scathe is an anomaly in the vampire world, and not vampires are happy about it. The vampire tribunal, the vampires’ governing body, at best, is passive about the Penton Scathe. Until a power hungry, morally bankrupt and twisted vampire, Matthias, starts whispering in their ear. This starts a chain of events putting the Penton scathe on the defensive, not just with assaults led by Matthias, but with the tribunal as well.

I am not sure if I did a good job explaining the series, but I promise you that it’s really really good. While  the overall story is about the Penton scathe trying to convince the tribunal that they are innocent and that Matthias is the bad guy, each book focuses on a particular couple. Redemption  is Aidan and Khrys’ story;  Absolution is Mirren and Glory’s story; Omega is Will and Randa’s story.

Will and Randa have had a rocky relationship, both carrying huge bricks from their past on their shoulders. Both are certain that the other hates them, but the grudgingly do what they have to since Aidan has made them patrol partners. Then things begin to change, and they realized that the other was carrying some baggage and their public personas was just a way to cope and deal with those issues.  As they are digging deeper with each other, for the sake of their partnership, they begin to uncover (or admit) the growing attraction between them. In this book, both will have to confront the truth of themselves as well as the truth of their fathers.

But this is not just your average romance. Ir’s not just hot and steamy. This love story is full of some blush worthy sexytimes.  There is almost sex, definite sex and loving sex. But don’t get me wrong, the sex scenes are done with great taste and it’s done between two people who deeply care for each other, even if they do not realize how deep their feelings go. While it is graphic descriptively, it is not smutty.

What I really, really enjoyed about this book is that the story could have stood on its own without the sex.  What I mean is that the scenes didn’t just set up the next sex encounter,  they were a part of the whole. And while the story would have been a great story without the sexytimes, it was also made much richer with the sexytimes.

This is a series that I would definitely recommend. I found the story engaging. I found the characters lovable and I am still invested in all of the characters, well all of the good guys. I found myself laughing out loud, because despite the danger that they are in, they’re still funny as hell at times.

5 Stars 

He leaned over and kissed her long and hard, ignoring the throbbing pain in his chest and the fact she’d accidentally beaned him in the head with her cast.

If you want to learn more about Susannh Sandlin and her books, you can check out her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Always Shine!

Review: A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter

A Mad Zombie Party (White Rabbit Chronicles, #4)

A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter 

White Rabbit Chronicles #4

September 29, 2015 – Harlequin Teen

448 pages – Young Adult, Fiction, Zombies, Series, Retelling

Gena Showalter

Facebook: yes

Twitter: @genashowalter

Purpose: Series Challenge

From Goodreads:  The battle rages on.
Ali Bell and Cole Holland’s crew of zombie slayers thought they’d won the war against Anima Industries, the evil company responsible for capturing and experimenting on zombies in an effort to discover the secret to immortality. In the last epic clash, the slayers lost many of their crew and closest friends. But Frosty, the ice man himself, has not recovered from one casualty in particular—the love of his life, Kat Parker.
On the path to self-annihilation, Frosty receives a message from beyond—Kat’s spirit returns, insisting he partner with rogue slayer Camilla Marks. Frosty will do anything for Kat. Except that. Camilla is the one who betrayed them all, leading to Kat’s death.
But when Anima rises from the grave to become a force the slayers may not have the strength to overcome, Frosty, Camilla and all the slayers will have to work together to survive. And one broken slayer will learn that sometimes, the line between hate and attraction is blurred…and the road to redemption isn’t through revenge, but letting go of the past and grabbing hold of the future.

My Thoughts:  I wasn’t sure of how I would like this one since the story is told through Frosty and Camilla’s perspectives. But, I am glad to say that it was still enjoyable. Now, it has been a while since I read the last book so I can’t say whether or not Frosty  and Camilla’s voices are distinct compared to the other three books. There was zombie fighting, hot and steamy attraction and humor. All of the things that you’ve come to expect from the series.  I also enjoyed learning more about what happened to Frosty and Camilla.

As a series ender, I enjoyed this book a lot. It brings it all together and ties up the loose ends. Not that there was a lot, if any. For some reason I want to say that this was originally supposed to be a trilogy.  There was a sense of contentment at the end  of this one, and I am not sure if it was there at the end of the last one. I think that this was a good way to end the series.

5 stars 

Always Shine!

Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red (The Others, #1)

Written in Red by Anne Bishop 

The Others #1

March 5, 2013 – Roc

487 Pages – Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Anne Bishop

Facebook: Yes

Purpose: Personal Library, Bookshelf Challenge

From Goodreads: No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

My Thoughts: I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. I was only hoping to enjoy it, and I did – a lot. This is a shove-this-down-your-friend’s-throat kind of book. I love this book. It had me cheering out loud, curious and emotional. The world of the Others slowly unfolds as you get deeper and deeper into the book. The Others is everything that is not human. Though there are some who wear the human skin, they would never be mistaken as human. They are wild, they are violent and the literally carry the life or death of humans in their hands. As to be expected,  there is an us against them vibe to this story. But, humans being naive at times, stupid at other times, and selfish for the most part, makes you root for the Others in a way that may be unnatural (who would root for the end of their species?!) but completely familiar.

This is the first book , but the writing and character comes from the pen of someone with much skill and loads of talent. Being the introduction to the characters and this world, there is so much to be discovered. Initially, the story bbegins with the mystery of Meg Corbyn, what she is and who she is. She isn’t quite human but she’s also definitely not Terre Indigene. When the Others discover that she’s a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, they understand better who she’s running from. But it’s too late. By that time, though, they have claimed her as one of their own. With new trouble brewing in the west, Meg has changed their lives in more ways then they fully understand. I could go on and on. But I won’t. This was well written, the characters were engaging and diverse, the plot had enough build up, tension and relief. I am just going to go pick up the next book and be grateful that I don’t have to wait for it to come out.

5 stars *****

Always Shine!

*I still haven’t read the second one :(*

Review: Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury

A Brush of Wings (Angels Walking, #3)

Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury

Angels Walking # 3

March 29,2016 – Howard Books

352 pages – Adult, Fiction, Christian, Fantasy, Contemporary

Karen Kingsbury

Purpose: Series completion, Review (Howard Books)

I was given a copy of this galley, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

From Goodreads:  From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes the third novel in an unforgettable series about divine intervention and the trials and triumphs of life for a group of friends.
Despite needing a heart transplant and against the advice of her doctor, Mary Catherine moves to Uganda to work at a new orphanage. Whatever time she has left, Mary Catherine wants to spend it helping children—especially since there will be no children of her own. The only problem is Major League Baseball player Marcus Dillinger, the man she never meant to fall in love with. Neither Marcus nor Mary Catherine’s other friends—Tyler Ames and Sami Dawson—know just how serious her heart condition is.
Still, Marcus is sure in the depths of his soul that something isn’t right. Ultimately his correspondence with Mary Catherine leads him on a desperate life-or-death mission to rescue her and get her to a US hospital before time runs out. Meanwhile, Sami and Tyler struggle with issues of their own. In a season when Tyler plans to ask Sami to marry him, the very core of their relationship is in jeopardy.

My Thoughts: One of the most refreshing things about the Angels Walking series has been Mary Catherine’s faith. In the third, and final, installment, it is Mary Catherine’s faith that is tested and stretched. This time, it is her friends and family that pray, love and support her. Her very life, despite (or in spite of) her own actions, is a testimony of God’s grace. Looking back you can see the faint fingerprints of His divine intervention.

There were moments that were a bit corny or unrealistic at times. But they really added to the moments instead of taking away. This was an uplifting read, and I quickly made my way through it. It was a breath of fresh air and in the end, the book leads with a message of hope and love.

5 stars *****

Blog Tour and Review Post : The Calling by Rachelle Dekker

I am excited to be participating in the blog tour for Rachelle Dekker and her second book in The Seer series, The Calling.  She participated in a Q &A, which I have posted a part of it here, on my blog.

Q: The Calling is the second book in The Seer Series. Does it pick up right after The Choosing leaves off? No, a year and a half

RD:No, a year and a half has passed when we rejoin the characters in The Calling.

Q: This book is written from Remko’s perspective. Did you face any challenges writing from a male point-of-view?

RD: There was definitely a looming pressure as I started to write the book. As a woman writer, I wanted to make sure Remko felt masculine and authentic, so I was constantly aware of how he sounded, and how he reacted. Once I got into a flow with his character though, it started to feel more familiar I didn’t have to think about it as much.

Q: The theme of identity from The Choosing continues in The Calling. Carrington reminds herself, “When you know who you truly are, you realize there is no war left to fight at all.” How does this statement apply to our Christian faith?

RD: For me this is simply a reminder that God is still God. Regardless of my circumstance or how I view the world, the Father is constant and hasn’t changed. He has already won the fight, already conquered death, already set me free. It’s only when I forget who He calls me and who He is that I feel the need to fight against life instead of surrendering to Him and letting Him be God.

Below you can find out more about the book and my thoughts about it.

The Calling

The Calling by Rachelle Dekker 

The Seer #2

March 8, 2016  – Tyndale house

464 page – Young adult, dystopian, fiction, christian, fantasy

Rachelle Dekker

Facebook: yes

Twitter: @RachelleDekker

Purpose: Review, Tyndale

.I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Click here for the Goodreads summary, if you would like to know what this book is about.

My Thoughts: I did something I normally would not have done. I attempted to read the second book in the series without having read the first book. Only because I have the second book for review, and I am part of the blog tour.

Yesterday’s post was my DNF review for The Choosing, the first book in The Seers series, so I will not get into detail about that one. Normally, I wouldn’t have gone on with the series if the first book didn’t compel me to. But, I am part of the blog tour, and was told that the author would be visiting each tour stop and would be expecting a review. Having the author visit my blog is always an honor and gets me excited, but it doesn’t really affect my feelings/thoughts on the book. This time, that knowledge did convince me to give a book a chance it normally would not have gotten.

I made it much further in book 2 than I thought that I would. While there were parts that I liked (it had nice action scenes), there were a whole lot more parts that I just couldn’t get behind. This book is told through Remko’s perspective. Remko is now married to Carrington and they have a daughter together. For all intents and purposes, he is the leader of the rebels. But, I didn’t buy it. I am not saying that every hero is without faults. It’s their flaws that make them that much more human and believable. If the hero is human, than it is normal and expected of them to be afraid. But in Remko it alternated between being weak and being more feminine than what was probably intended.

 I wish that I could say that I was invested in either the characters or the story/plot. While parts of what I read was interesting, there was still something missing, something that kept me from believing in this story. I struggled with making it as far as I did. It took me a week to make it through the 145 pages that I did  get through.

DNF

Always Shine!