Review: Sterling by Dannika Dark (Mageri Series: Book 1)

Tags

, , , , , ,

Zoë Merrick lived a less than ordinary life, until late one night, she was brutally attacked and left for dead.

A man named Adam spotted her running down the road covered in blood, and took her under his wing. Zoë didn’t just survive that night – she underwent a physical transformation and acquired strange new abilities. Severed from her old life, her frustration grows as she tries to comprehend what’s happening to her.

Serendipity leads her to Justus. He’s handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. Zoë learns the truth about what she is, and just how dangerous their world is for a young Mage. The only way she will understand her power is by putting her trust in this man, and accepting the protection he offers.

When her immortal freedom is threatened by the one man who has a right to claim her, Zoë learns the price of freedom…and the value of loyalty.

I picked up Sterling because of the same friend who recommended Angelfall.  While she hadn’t read the book, she was curious about it and I decided to be the guinea pig this time around.  I’m still quite pleased with my decision.

The book starts off following Zoe, who’s character was a bit hard for me to pin down at first.  She is written very sharp and sarcastic in one scene and then seems almost sullen in the next…like there was no clear sense of identity.  I just didn’t feel that the character was very well developed going into her transformation.  BUT…what a transformation it was.  Dannika Dark did an amazing job of introducing the new Zoe after her near-death experience.  Somewhere during Zoe’s transformation, the book experienced one as well.  Her character became solid (and still sarcastic-a-plenty) and her world opened up to me, albeit a new, mysterious, and secretive world. The world of the Mage.  Not the typical magic and spells kind, either, but a world where energy could be harnessed and borrowed and then utilized when necessary.  The fabulous part was that the supernatural didn’t get in the way of the story, but rather enhanced it.

Speaking of supernatural and enhanced…can I dish about Adam and Justus???  The leading men in this story are fascinating indeed.  Adam is the handsome savior from the night of Zoe’s attack who may or may not be more than he seems.  Justus comes into her life later and speaks a word that will forever transform her existence.  I know what you’re thinking…a love triangle.  It’s what I was thinking.  But Dannika Dark outwitted me, and I love being outwitted…

Dannika Dark’s writing style is fast paced and laced with sarcasm, both of which I adore.  My only issue with the book, other than the character development early on that I already mentioned, was the editing.  There were quite a few grammar and punctuation errors that made me a little nuts (and I’m normally the sort of reader who hardly notices that stuff).  Her writing style was very similar to Amber Lynn Natusch of the Caged Series and Karen Marie Moning of the Fever Series.  Overall, I really enjoyed Sterling and have already downloaded the sequel, Twist, to my Kindle.

This book is a 4 star read!     

Sterling (Mageri Series: Book 1) at Amazon: Sterling (Mageri Series: Book 1)

Advertisements

Review: Chosen by Denise Grover Swank (The Chosen)

Tags

,

Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma’s never needed help before. And even though she’s learned to trust her son, it doesn’t mean she trusts Will.

Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma’s freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake’s proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn’t know she has.

Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will’s overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his paycheck and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it’s too late.

I found this book by browsing through the “recommended for you” section on Amazon. I read the synopsis and it sounded promising, so I bought it. It did not disappoint…

Right out of the gate Chosen grabbed me by the balls (figuratively, of course) and didn’t let go until the last page. It took me on a wild ride filled with action, adventure, emotion, confusion, and, my favorite, witty sarcasm. The plot and the characters were developed fabulously and the book was well written.

Details can make or break a book. Too many and I’m going to get bored. Too little and I’ll probably get confused. Just the right amount and I get sucked into the fantasy world the writer has creates and my brain envisions scenes as though the story were happening right before me. Swank has the perfect amount of detail and I was thoroughly engrossed. My stomach twisted in anticipation every time the “bad men” were chasing them. I cried with Emma over the seeming hopelessness of her situation. I love the wrenches Swank threw in the plot and I love the fact that I had no idea where the story was going. There’s some predictability to a point, but honestly, there is always going to be a degree of it. Obviously they’re going to be chased and they’re going to run, but what about Emma and Will? Does their connection run deeper than the tattoo? When Will’s finished protecting Emma and Jake, will they part ways or will they stay together? Where are they going to go? My fingers were on fire burning through pages to find out the answers to these questions. In the end, I discovered some of them can only be answered by reading the next book in The Chosen series, which of course, I now have to do. 🙂

Overall, an excellent read. I give Chosen a solid 5 stars.

Chosen at Amazon: Chosen (The Chosen #1)

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Tags

,

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

It pains me to say that Angelfall sat on my Kindle for nearly three weeks after I bought it before I actually started reading it.  Luckily, a friend had already “cracked out”, as she likes to say, on Susan Ee’s brand of heavenly goodness and made sure that I got my a$$, er wings, in gear.

I’ll start with a little disclaimer that if you can’t handle reading material that is a sometimes more than a little dark and disturbing, this might not be the book for you.  Having said that, though, I must also say that Ee writes in such a way that even the disturbing is beautiful…a feat not undertaken by many but mastered by this amazing new author.  Her characters are believable and remain true throughout the story and the plot is fresh and gripping – sometimes in a loving chokehold kind of way.

Penryn is not the dominant female voice that I usually love in a lead. I’m not saying that she’s weak…she’s definitely not…I just didn’t feel like I necessarily knew her as well as I would have liked by the end of the book. Surprisingly, though, I totally didn’t care.  The dire situation with Penryn’s family and her complicated relationship with Raffe (who has one of the greatest lines I’ve read in a book recently, by the way) were so captivating, that I found myself at the end of the book only hours after I started, desperate to prolong the journey.  And, as I’m all for impossible romance and completely against spoilers of any kind, I’ll just say Angels plus Humans equals Big No-No.  I know, you’re excited already, right???  Me too, only I’m excited for the second book (due this summer)!!

Angelfall is a stellar post-apocalyptic novel with plot twists I definitely did not see coming…dystopian hasn’t looked this good since The Hunger Games.

I eagerly rate this book 5 Stars    

Angelfall at Amazon: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1)

Review: CAGED by Amber Lynn Natusch

Tags

,

After the death of her parents, Ruby awakens from a lifetime of shadows and finds herself alone, thrust into a world of lies, deceit, betrayal and the supernatural. As her quest for truth continues to come up short, she realizes that maybe some questions really are best left unanswered. When her true identity is finally unveiled, she is forced to choose between two of the mysterious men who continually seem to crop up in her life.

She chooses poorly.

Now abandoned, Ruby must learn to call on the darkness within to survive, or spend a hellish eternity imprisoned because of it.

I have a confession.  You are now reading a review by someone who is not above choosing books solely based on their covers.  Give my eyes an ethereal, captivating, or disturbing image to burn into my mind and I’m in.  Yep, I’m superficial.  But, this shallow girl scored big time using that selection criteria with CAGED, the first novel in The Caged Series by Amber Lynn Natusch.  Amazingly, the inside was even better than the outside as I found CAGED to be a well-written novel with fabulous character development, brilliant dialogue, and a gripping plot.

It’s next to impossible to talk about this book without giving away spoilers…it’s one of those books that grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go until the very last word.  Ruby is easily the coolest protagonist I’ve ever read…and I’m not just saying that because I totally identify with her.  She’s sarcastic as hell, she doesn’t deal with her emotions, and she’s into music and shoes.  What’s not to love?  Throw in the incredibly yummy men that Natusch has written into Ruby’s world (one of whom is my new book crush) along with the supernatural element…and you have a recipe for sheer reading bliss!

While reading the prologue, my husband made the ridiculous mistake of trying to ask me a question.  I held up a silencing finger and shook my head in an attempt to nonverbally communicate to him that I would answer his question later. Poor guy.  Later never came.  I stayed up night all glued to Ruby and company.  I laughed out loud more times than I could count and ended up with whiplash from the OMG plot twists.  Despite the fact that I was carrying luggage for a European vacation under my eyes the next day, I could not shut up about this book.  I was talking about it to everyone and my husband.  Literally.  Not since the Fever Series, have I been so enthralled.  CAGED is one of those books…it just sucks you right into its world without warning and by the time you realize what’s happened, you don’t want to come back to reality…you enjoy life in Ruby’s head.

If it sounds like one amped up rollercoaster ride of amazing, that’s because it is…CAGED is an original, fast-paced,  character driven paranormal romance that had this reader ignoring the pull of reality in order to find out what would happen next.

I give CAGED a solid 5 stars!   

On a side note, once I finished CAGED, I was desperate to read HAUNTED, the next book in the series.  I found the authors website at http://www.amberlynnnatusch.com and emailed her.  Amber was fabulous when she responded and she even was gracious enough to allow my bookclub to interview her via Skype for our discussion of CAGED, which was fantastic!   I highly recommend CAGED and will be reviewing HAUNTED in no time!
The Caged Series at Amazon: CAGED (The Caged Series)

Welcome to Redheads Read!

I’m nearly giddy to be sitting here typing away on this blog right now, which is pretty typical. You see, as a redhead, I’m known for having two settings: absolutely fabulous and downright evil. When I’m doing the things I love (reading, writing, dancing, running, etc.), I’m a happy girl. Otherwise…well, you get the idea. So, it is with much delight that I introduce you to my…hmmm…I was going to say humble endeavor, but we redheads just aren’t humble by nature, so I’ll say it is with much delight that I introduce you to my exciting endeavor that will be a book review for MOSTLY indie books. I’ve recently discovered quite a few amazing novels out there being published by the very people that write them…who knew?? That’s not to say that I won’t occasionally read and review a mainstream work, or that one of the other Gingers won’t, but my main focus will definitely be the indie market. And, on that note, I’m off to read…

So…stay tuned for lots of fun reviews and be sure to check out the rest of the site for info about the rating system, review policy, and more about redheads, of course! 🙂

Happy Reading!