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The Mayfair Moon (The Darkwoods Trilogy Book 1)
The Mayfair Moon (The Darkwoods Trilogy Book 1)
Price: $1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the Fairest Moon of All..., August 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Before I even begin to explain the five-wing review I gave this novel, I need to make one statement: I am not a fan of werewolf books. There are even a few series by well known authors that caught my attention on the first book, but not enough to make me want to move on toward the second one. I am however a fan of werewolf movies. Odd...right?

I believe what makes the difference for me is the ability to see the emotion in the characters on screen which in turn gives them the appearance of truly feeling like humans that have turned into these gigantic dog-like creatures that will rip you apart. That element is what's missing in some of the werewolf books I've read. The Mayfair Moon takes that movie element, the art of making the characters feel real, and places larger than life emphasis on making sure the reader connects with the world the author has created. That's what kept me turning the pages on this one and that's what made me go ahead and purchase the sequel as well. For the first time in my history of reading, I am anxious for the sequel to book 1 of a werewolf book. Let me take this review a level deeper.

What I loved:

1) Isaac, my dear sweet Isaac, how do I love thee? Let me count thy ways. LoL This guy has absolutely zero douche factor. And he was still sexy even with the absence of that particular character trait. Woot! Finally a book where the guy impressed me on the first try. It didn't take three-fourths of the story to get to the part that justified why he had to be such a crappy person. Why? Because there was no rudeness in him, yet he was still bad boy enough to keep me enthralled. After all, the world does not have to be populated by guys who throw a middle finger up at a girl to make her like him.

2) Xia and Adria: two of the main female leads. There was no TSTL factor present in the main characters. There were a couple of things that Adria did to make me raise an eyebrow but not anything drastic. You have to remember she is a young girl so she will make some questionable decisions or she won't feel like a teen. She would be more like an adult.

3) A host of likeable/memorable minor characters: the aunt named Beverlee, Adria's best friend Harry, the mysterious leaders of the packs, Viktor and Trajan, who were evil to the core but portrayed so well that they had likeable qualities too. Their personality traits were written in a fantastic style. Even though they were werewolves, I still thought they were sexy. There were others but I don't want to write a book in this review.

4) The plot: what can I say? There aren't too many out there that haven't covered the same topic at least a hundred times. It's the aithor's job to make sure you don't realize that. The werewolves in the story are unique, the mythology surrounding their existence is well drawn. And I believe that crucial element is what hooked me in the first place.

Things that muddled me little brain:

Not much at all. There was one chapter where a lot of names were thrown at me and I got pretty confused. But Ms. Redmerski does such a fine job of sorting out their personality traits throughout the story that you soon find yourself knowing each one of them personally.

What I don't agree with:

People that compare this novel to Twilight. I just don't get it. Why does every YA book have to be compared to Twilight. I have read some novels that are true rip offs of that formula, but this one just isn't one of them. There are no string of classroom scenes in this novel. Adria doesn't annoy the heck out of me the way Bella does. And remember what I said earlier: the guy in this novel is sexy and he doesn't even need the douche thing to be that way. Edward...well that's a different story. There's not a war between two groups of supernatural creatures; instead, the feud exists within two ancient houses of werewolves. There are no sparkly relatives that look like diamonds when they get in the sun. The list could go on and I think I've made my point here.

Overall, an excellent read that will present a world so realistic that you will not want to leave. I purchased the Mayfair Moon on a whim thinking I probably wouldn't get around to it. Wrong! I'm just glad that I did. And it's just in time for the sequel. Pick up this gorgeous lush novel and I promise that you won't be disappointed. Well, you might be if you're looking for sparkly creatures of the night that drink blood. I would recommend the Mayfair Moon to both adults and young adult lovers of paranormal romance, urban and gothic fantasy, and of course those who love werewolf books.

Fantastic job Ms. Redmerski! My rating: a rarely given 5-wings! Sorry for the long post.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1)
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An Angel Book at Its Mesmerizing Best, July 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First I need to say that this was an outstanding read in Cassie Clare's Mortal Instruments Series. As a creative writing tutor and author of When Copper Suns Fall, I'll say that I speak from experience when I mention that it is VERY difficult to create an entirely new world of celestial creatures without someone feeling confused about what just happened. In my humble opinion, Ms. Clare has created a well-drawn world in City of Bones. Not once did I feel confused or lost and I didn't feel that the pacing was off. Yes, you must read carefully, and yes, you will enjoy the story if you don't get wrapped up in deciphering each and every detail. I've seen numerous posts that mentioned the pacing problem and I'm sorry, but I just don't agree.

The book contains demon slayers and angels and strange races that are hard to pronounce, but in the end Ms. Clare won me over. Angel books don't come with a guide on how to read them. These books come in all flavors: entirely clean, very violent, or ambiguous so that it's hard to tell who is on what side. In angel books, that's what makes them so much fun. Jace had me worried about this throughout the entire book. I didn't know what he was all about, or what he would do to Clary. And I kind of didn't like him at first because he was so very cocky. But Clare's ending made it all come together. I was finally able to come off the edge of my seat. But that's what made this book so much fun. I gave in to my imagination and went along for the ride.

I recently purchased this book again for my kindle app. It was $.99 and that was a steal. Thank you Ms. Clare and Amazon. I'm going to re-read it. I loved it that much and Ms. Clare's world of angels is that good. If you're open to a wild ride with vivid and rich creations then you'll feel the same way. 5 solid stars.

Paradox - The Angels Are Here (Paradox series Book 1)
Paradox - The Angels Are Here (Paradox series Book 1)
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Move Over Vampires...the Angels Are Here, February 19, 2012
** spoiler alert **

Move over vampires...the angels are here! Patti Roberts' venture into the world of angels is a captivating one. She offers a point-of-view from within the eyes of several different characters that each provide a unique take on the world. I enjoyed following the innocent Grace during her journey to cversome grief and understand more about who she is. While at the angelic end of the spectrum, you have the mighty Grigori clan ready to offer the reader a glimpse into the world of celestial royalty.

There are historical moments along with plenty of modern-day events to balance the plotline for readers of all tastes and ages. Paradox is the kind of novel designed for the reader to just sit back, relax, and enjoy. But watch out! The angels in this story are liable to wrap you up in their spell if you're not careful. My advice? Just let them do it. I did. A highly recommended and deliciously fun gem.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games)
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games)
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.73
1714 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Defense of a Songbird..., September 2, 2010
An author's life is a difficult one. But now I see a successful author's life can be almost an impossible one. Too much romance and there's instant comparison to Twilight. Too little romance and we say the story is depressing. Too much presto magic and we say the story's unrealistic. Where is the happy medium? These observations are what led me to post this blurb about the latest installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay.

The author set out to accomplish what she intended to do in the series. Period. There's no fluff. No over the top romance. No gimmicks. No holds barred. We all knew when we opened the book that what we were about to experience wouldn't be nice or gushy. This isn't romance, fantasy, or zombie land. The people are real. Circumstances resulting from a world at war are perhaps too realistic. Maybe that's why so many feel as if Collins failed her readers. I do not feel that way. As I plowed through the book, I didn't skim as I have done so many novels these days. I took my time. As a person who has not lost a loved one to war, but know plenty of people who have, I feel I've pretty much lived in a bubble compared to what the characters experienced in this novel. By the end, I was...enlightened.

Having read all three novels, I thought this one was the saddest, but also the most true to purpose one of the series. Maybe I'm alone in this thinking, but I thought Katniss' love for Peeta matured in this novel more than the other two. True, they were apart and not slobbering all over each other every other sentence. But isn't that what wives of soldiers at war experience all the time? Love for someone thousands of miles away? Someone they have to watch over a video screen, or even worse, see tortured by the enemy while they can do nothing but watch? Remember, love is emotional as well as physical. So in a sense, the author succeeded in portraying the perils of love in war. The romance is still there. You just have to be willing to see how it affects Katniss in an entirely original light.

I like that Collins didn't leave dangly questions carried over from the last novels. Even small things were answered. And for a meticulous reader like me, that means more than an ending cooked up to satisfy...well, me. Even though I found myself sitting at work teary eyed. Was a bit upset the meat of a good subplot happened in the epilogue. And hope that someday, we might get to see a companion novel that details the years in between the ending and epilogue, I'm still satisfied. Maybe it didn't end the way we wanted it to. But perhaps it ended in a way we needed to see. Five Stars!!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2010 8:30 AM PDT

Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1)
Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1)
by Lili St. Crow
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.18
172 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange but good..., October 26, 2009
When I first began reading Strange Angels, I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought `here we go on yet another boy meets girl tromping through romantic horror land' complete with the commonplace vampire element again. But somewhere around page 50ish, I quickly found out this wasn't the usual formulaic story ruling the teen sections these days. The plot is engaging and successfully created an ambience of a world different from the normal one. The lead female character, while over the top confidant at times, is streetwise. None of that `old whoa is me, because I'm in the midst of the undead' action. Dru Andersen is that rare combination of likeably strong and vulnerable without overemphasizing the point.

-spoiler alert-

Her unintentional sidekick `Graves' lent an air of aloofness and good humor. I found him very likable in spite of the `half breed' comments. The djamphir, Christophe brought in a familiar bad boy, eye candy persona. The redemption factor where this character was concerned? He didn't plunge headfirst into `Cullenism' where pretty boy rescues china doll who doesn't really need assistance because we already know she has superpowers.

One thing I noticed midway through the book is that Graves takes up a smoking habit unmentioned in previous chapters. At times, Dru's inner voice chimed in at inaccessible moments. After two or three pages of inner reasoning, I became distracted from the plot and skimmed through most of these sections. I kept waiting to see the advertised knife throwing spring onto the pages and didn't. Due to a heavy emphasis on character development, some scenes dragged along. I found myself fighting the skimming monster. Also, the `half breed' statement so prevalent in the novel turned me off, being considered bi-racial myself. I hope the phrase receives a proper burial in upcoming Strange Angels novels.

The bad guys surprised me when they arrived, but the author delivered them in true young adult style. There's also a couple sub storylines, that I felt added substance to the book's main plot. Add to the mix secret societies, a blossoming love triangle (not sappy in the least, so far), and a credible bad guy to carry the storyline along through several more novels. The result? A brand new series with guts to go accompany the eye candy.

Hush, Hush
Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.34
257 used & new from $0.01

74 of 95 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Roller Coaster Ride..., October 26, 2009
This review is from: Hush, Hush (Hardcover)
Hush Hush sweetheart...I found this novel in the Barnes and Noble and picked it up because of the hypnotic cover and my love of fallen angel stories. I sat at the small, round tables donning the Starbucks and began devouring the book right away. An hour and eighty pages later, I knew Becca Fitzpatrick's introduction to the unexplored territory of fallen angels hit the mark in my hook factor.

But, Hush Hush left me with a sensation similar to riding a new, well advertised roller coaster. I just wasn't sure how I felt after plowing through Nora and Patch's story in one sitting. The story follows the somewhat unbearably gullible Nora, her best, at times annoying friend, Vee, the object of infatuation, Patch, and two new kids on the block, Elliot and Jules, through an introductory style plot where the setup rings of a sequel. The chemistry between the main characters, Patch and Nora, was fair because he kept putting her down in every imaginable bad boy manner. By the end of the novel, I felt as if Nora deserved better and didn't care very much for Patch at all. The novel's slippery execution through Acts I and II are vindicated at the end if you stick with it.

-Spoiler alert-

In my opinion, some portions of Hush Hush felt formulaic. Much of the love triangle rivalry reminded me of the ending scene of Evermore. As other readers pointed out, there were many phrases Patch used with Nora that gave me the feel of Twilight déjà vu. By the time I got to where the intruder broke into Nora's house, I'd begun to feel the weariness associated with too much mystery and not enough revelations, literally.

Overall, I did enjoy Hush Hush's coverage of my favorite subjects. For me, this is where the ambivalence factor comes to play. Though the characters seemed somewhat detached, the plot line has great potential. Maybe Patch will redeem his over the top, bad boy ways in the sequel. Nora just might pop him one next time he humiliates her in class. As previous reviews have indicated, the reader will either love or hate this novel. Pick it up and see for yourself.

Cleopatra's Daughter: A Novel
Cleopatra's Daughter: A Novel
by Michelle Moran
Edition: Hardcover
58 used & new from $0.34

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kleopatra and Marc Antony Live On..., October 21, 2009
The tragic yet intriguing marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra of Egypt continues to dominate numerous literary works spanning many genres, age groups, etc. Though the compelling story spans thousands of years, enrapting us in its ancient, sensual embrace, the mystery had begun to ring with an air of commonality so to speak. There must be more to this erotic union than the general portrayal of a sword to the belly, and an asp to the breast. Thankfully, Michelle Moran's vision offers delicious insight into the lives of the three beautiful children, who are taken to Rome by Octavian after Cleopatra's suicide, and raised by his sister Octavia.

The meticulously researched story of Kleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios springs to life in glorious detail inside the pages of Cleopatra's Daughter. Through Selene's feisty and age appropriate voice, we're transported to the life and times of Rome under Caesar Augustus. Moran's account offers fresh insight into historical characters typically found on the sidelines such as: Octavian's unhappy and conniving wife, Livia; Liva's humorless son, Tiberius; Octavia's son and rival for the throne to Livia's son, Marcellus; the historically downplayed and compassionate ex wife of Marc Antony, Octavia; and the charismatic and future husband of Selene, Juba who takes center stage as an indirect character by flowing into your heart before you realize he's taken hold.

Selene at times felt a bit too feisty and modern in her goals and ambitions inside the novel, but the overall effect played a vital role in keeping within modern reader expectations. Selene's exploration of her feelings about losing her kingdom and family was portrayed in a believable and realistic manner. The reader is given accurate insight into various aspects of Roman culture such as education, architectural development, politics, gladiator portrayals, and social issues prevalent during the times.

The only reason I gave Cleopatra's Daughter four stars instead of five, is because I felt the relationship with Juba could've been explored on a deeper level before the last few chapters. It felt rushed a bit. Overall, Cleopatra's Daughter is a gem. A long awaited story sure to offer fresh perspective to captivate both historical and non historical buffs alike.

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