First Impressions: The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne

The Paradise Prophecy

The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne 

July 21, 2011 – Dutton

Purpose: Review

Source: Netgalley

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

DNF

This is about the war in heaven continuing on Earth. It sounded really good when I read the synopsis. When I finally started reading the book though, I knew that I wasn’t going to finish it. Within the first twenty pages there were two sexual encounters for no apparent purpose. It was awkward and pulled me out of the story.  I have no problem with sexy times in a story, but if it’s not a romance then there should be a reason why it’s there. It should fit into the story and not ” Oh I don’t know what else to write so I’ll throw in a sex scene!” Maybe there was more to this story, but I lost interest in finding out.

Always Shine!

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Featured Book Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

Featured Book of the Month: Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

August 8, 2017 – Amulet Books

Purpose: Review

Source: Publisher, Netgalley

 5 stars

Goodreads Summary

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

Genie Lo is your typical seventeen-year high school student. She studies extremely hard and is doing everything that she can to ensure that she can go to a top-tier school and get herself out of the Bay area. Then she meets, Quentin, a very strange new student who has set his eyes on her.  And the multitudes of demons that are trying to overtake her town. Quentin than begins to clue her in that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Okay, so the premise of a teen suddenly discovering that they have powers and are expected to become the savior of the world is not all that original. Do not let that deter you. Because this book is so much more than that. This book had me laughing out loud while reading this. Even if I was in public. Genie Lo is, by far, one of my favorite characters this year.  Her biting humor pulled me into her orbit, making me wish that she was a real person. Then there is Quentin, the monkey king has returned to Earth because of the increase of demon activity in the Bay Area and because he recognizes Genie Lo’s aura. This story is steeped in Chinese folklore and culture. Sometimes discussing the culture, or the stereotypes of the culture with humor.  Genie Lo bumbles around destroying demons as she re-discovers her powers. Quentin is awkward initially, but we soon see it’s just a ruse.  Genie’s interactions with Quentin were hilarious and warm, like joking around with a long -time friend. He’s an awful teacher, but a pretty decent friend. Even if he is a bit stalker-ish and creepy at times. It’s okay because it’s Quentin, and as you get to know him, this explanation makes sense.

In this story, the side characters had their own distinct personalities and added their own bits of humor.  They flow in and out of the story the same way that they flow in and out of Genie’s life. But they are no less important. They make this book, Genie’s purpose, a little more grounded.

This is one of the few books that impressed me and made me want to read it over immediately.  I wish that I had so many copies of this books so that I can hand it out to everyone I encounter. I am looking forward to this release so that I can add it to my own collection.

Since this is August’s featured book, there will be other posts inspired by and related to Genie Lo. So stay tuned for those.

Always Shine!

Review: Dark Exodus by Thomas S. Sniegoski

dark exodus

Dark Exodus by Thomas S. Sniegoski

The Demonists #2

July 11, 2017 – Roc

Purpose: Review

Source: Netgalley

4.5 stars

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Mild spoilers for the first book

Wow! This book turned everything that I knew or assumed on its head. In this installment, John and Theo have realized that what happened the previous Halloween wasn’t an accident, someone had manipulated them to be at the house and to find the jar of demons there. Now they are trying to find out who it was and why, while other infernal incidents vie for their attention. New characters join John and Theo’s team, old characters have bigger parts and the infernal side gathers new followers and minions.

But, everything isn’t as it seems.  In this one, as the story progresses we get more backstory for a couple of the characters. This allows us to see more of the bigger picture, and all the reasons that we make it to the ending the way that we do. We also see that the clear line between the infernal and the divine is not as clear as we suspect it to be. Each of the characters are faced with their own set of challenges and obstacles, as the infernal manipulate and move along in the background.

And I loved every minute of it.  I was surprised at some of the things that were happening, wondering how I had missed so much. While almost everything seemed to be wrapped up at the very end, it’s not. There are seeds for what is going to happen, some of the challenges/temptation that the characters will face in the next book. And I have to say that I can’t wait for it. This was just as engrossing as the first book, if not more so. More emotional strings were pulled and while other sides may or may not be clear, I was still rooting for John and Theo’s unconventional group to save the day.

 

Always Shine!

Review: Haven of Swans by Colleen Coble

Haven of Swans (Rock Harbor #4)

Haven of Swans by Colleen Coble

Rock Harbor #4

May 2, 2017 – Thomas Nelson

Purpose: Review

Source: Netgalley

3 Stars

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

Full disclosure, I read this book a long time ago. It was originally titled Abomination. I wasn’t sure until I had started reading it, and then it was déjà vu than actually remembering.

Bree is driving down a dark road when she comes across a woman with her daughter. The woman has been injured and obviously scared of something or someone. But, she has no memory of who it was or what has happened to her. Nick is devastated to learn that his daughter is missing and his ex-wife has been killed at the hands of the serial killer called Gideon.

This is the fourth in the series, but I haven’t read the first three in the series. (I didn’t know that it was part of a series the first time I read it.) For the most part, it reads as a stand-alone. I did enjoy this story, I found it a nice balance of suspense and mystery. It was well-written and perfectly paced. Eve struggles between not remembering and surprising instincts. She knows that she is running from someone, but no idea who or why. She has made friends and feels safe in Rock Harbor. Nick turns his grief into focus and is determined to catch Gideon. This book is about more than finding a killer and a past one can’t remember. It’s about faith, love and finding one’s way back.  I am interested in continuing with this series.

Review: Hunt by Maggie Stiefvater

Hunted (Spirit Animals, #2)

Hunted by Maggie Stiefvater

Spirit Animals #3

January 7, 2014 – Scholastic

Purpose: Review

Source: Netgalley, Publishers

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

4 Stars

This is the second book in the series. The story continues with the 4 kids and the great beasts trying to get the talismans firsts.  As the story progresses each character is facing their own set of challenges. But, they’re also learning more about themselves, each other and their spirit animals.  We enjoyed this installment of the series. The stakes are raised, there’s more action and we learn more about what’s going on. Doubts about the Greencloaks are raised. Glad we already have book 3 ready for us.

Netgalley Review: One Was Lost

One Was Lost

Netgalley Review: One Was Lost by  Natalie D. Richards

October 6, 2016 – Sourcebooks Fire

Source: Netgalley

4 stars

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

6 students and 2 teacher chaperones go into the forest for wilderness survival mandatory senior trip. After a flash flood the group is separated, 3 on one side and 5 on the other.  When Sera, Emily, Jude and Lucas wake up they find their chaperone, Mr. Walker, drugged and words etched on their wrists. Deceptive, damaged, dangerous and darling.  Each one has been labelled and no one knows what it means.

I’m  glad that I finally picked this book up. It kept popping up at bookstores and I was drawn to it. The mystery was very well developed and paced. As I tried to figure out who was behind everything, I found myself becoming more and more paranoid. Like the characters were.  The character growth that happened was believable, as well as relatable. Because there are some seriously twisted people in the world, the plot isn’t too far from being realistic. We watch as the characters begin to take on a new understanding of labels that they have put on one another. We also see them embrace and accept themselves, and one another, for who they are and not the labels that were applied to them (literally since they have been written on skin).

 

Always Shine!

Review: The Progeny by Tosca Lee

The Progeny (Descendants of the Blood Countess #1)

The Progeny by Tosca Lee

Descendants of the Blood Countess #1

“My name is Emily Porter . I am twenty-one years old and I am renting a tiny cabin in the north woods of Maine, for reasons I no longer remember.”

What if you knew of a secret that would destroy the world that you lived in? It was so dark, twisted and powerful that people would kill those you knew and loved just to get to you? Would you choose to forget it all and leave that life behind, knowing that you would also have to lose the people that you love to keep them alive?

This is what Emily Porter does.The memory erasing procedure is so complete she has no idea why she chose to do this to herself.  She awakens as a new person, with no memory of who she was or what she is.  Though it is awkward starting life on her own, she begins to embrace it. Then she meets Luka and Rolan. Two men that eventually tell her that they know her past and one is here to kill her while the other is here to protect her.  She doesn’t know who to trust and soon realizes that  no one is to be trusted until she can rediscover who she is and why she chose to forget. Emily soon learns that Luka and Rolan are not the most dangerous people out there and more powerful people are after what she has chosen to forget.

I love love loved this book! It kept me guessing, and I didn’t figure anything out.  To be completely honest, I am not sure if I fully understand everything that was discovered. Luckily, I don’t think you have to. Emily/Audra also doesn’t understand everything either. She is thrust into a world where trusting the wrong person can get you and your loved ones killed. Her people and her enemies both want something from her, and both sides are willing to force her into giving it to them. She has seen death way too many times to be comfortable. She has to have someone (multiple someones) tell her who she is. In the end she does learn why she chose to take the chance and erase her memory. But by the time she figures it out, she has been threatened, her loved ones have been threatened. She is at the end of her hope. But she is ready to fight. AND THEN IT ENDS!!! Yes, this ends on a cliffhanger. I am pretty sure that when I reached the halfway point, I knew that it would. I hate cliffhangers.  But there wasn’t a better way to end this book.

“My name is Audra Ellison and I am twenty-one years old.  I am Utod, from the noble and long line of Bathory. I remember who I am . . .those I died for, those I love.  And I am ready for the fight of my life. “

I am really looking forward to the next book. But, in the meantime, I will check out the rest of Lee’s books.

Always Shine!

The Progeny will be available May 24, 2016.

You can contact Tosca Lee or find more information about her books on her website , Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

My opinions and thoughts are my own, but I was given a copy of The Progeny, free, in exchange for sharing my thoughts.