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review 2016-10-31 20:11
Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard
Beyond the Rising Tide - Sarah Beard

Kai died while saving Avery from drowning and now his spirit continues on, healing people where he is assigned to. During his down time, he watches Avery. In the many months since that day she nearly drowned, her life has been fraying at the edges. She’s obsessed with finding out the identity of the boy who saved her life, only to have his lost and his body never recovered. She feels she can’t move on with her own life until she can locate his family and let them know how his ended. Kai, seeing that her life is not so much of a life anymore, risks much to help her heal her frayed emotions and move on.

This was a very enchanting story that surprised me in several ways. First, I’m not usually one to venture into contemporary romance, but lately I have been dabbling my toes in it. So I was quite surprised to find myself really wishing the two main characters would find a way to have a happy ending, one where love conquers all. Second, I know nothing about surfing and that sport features heavily in this book, but it’s done in such an approachable way. Now, I want surfing lessons. Lastly, YA is not something I seek out. If it happens to be a component of the story, then that’s OK, but it’s not a label that I look for. For this book, the coming of age coupled with young love was perfect for these characters.

The author did an amazing balancing act with this tale. Her writing brings up my own recollections of teenage parties, friendships, anxieties, hopes, and first loves. Yet she never goes overboard with any one component. For instance, there’s just the right touch of teen angst here and there but not so much as to make me think it’s there for drama’s sake alone. Young love plays a critical role in the plot, but, again, it’s not over worked. It was a joy to read these parts instead of being something I felt I had to plow through to get to the real story.

Kai, who technically is an angel (though the word is not lightly used in the story), is a very interesting character, and not just because he’s dead. We don’t learn everything about him upfront. Like Avery, we have to pull one secret after another out of him as the story moves forward. Before his heroic act, he had big dreams, family, a rough past. However, we meet him when those things are no longer in his grasp. Through him we learn about the place in between the Briar and Elysium, where others like him take on assignments to assist those in the mortal world in one way or another. I really liked these parts of the story with all their imagery. Also, there is Charles, Kai’s mentor from real life and his mentor in the afterlife. Charles was key in showing young Kai how to be a good person in life and he continues to give Kai that love and support after death. I think we all need a Charles in our lives.

Now Avery is also an interesting character but in different ways. Her life is more open and her secrets don’t have to be gently teased out of her, at least not for us readers. To some extent, she has been part of the adult world for a few years now. Her mom suffers from mental illness and she’s been working a regular job at her dad’s chocolate store for several years. At this point, she keeps her own schedule so long as one parent or the other knows where she’s at. She’s been a competition surfer for years but since that fateful day where she nearly drowned, she hasn’t been back in the water. Also, her boyfriend Tyler, who she was serious about, broke off their relationship after the accident. Additionally, her parents have separated, though she still sees each weekly. She’s been through trauma and change in short order.

There was a delicious build up to the end. Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how things would play out, but I had definite ideas about how I wanted things to end (because I cared about these characters). Kai has some serious things he has to do before he can move on to Elysium and Avery has some serious things she has to do before she can move on with her life. I was really hoping to see them end up together somehow, but I wasn’t sure until the very end whether that would be or not. Without giving anything away, it was a very satisfying ending. Indeed, this tale was a weight to it that I didn’t expect to find in a romantic surfer YA story.

The Narration: Quite frankly, when I saw that Punch Audio had a hand in the making of this audiobook, it heavily influenced me to give it a try. I have listened to several Punch Audio productions and they always put forth a quality story. Dana Dae was a great pick for Avery. She sounds like a young lady on the cusp of full adulthood. She did a great job imbuing the characters with emotion without making them sound overly dramatic. Zachary Webber was also great, a really good match for Kai. I loved his voice, being deep enough to evoke images of a man grown. He also did a very good Hispanic accent for old Isadora.

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review 2016-09-29 23:29
Rising Tide (Threat from the Sea #1) (Forgotten Realms)
Rising Tide - Mel Odom

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: Rising Tide

Series: Threat from the Sea

Author: Mel Odom

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 356

Format: Kindle digital edition







A young woman, a Sahugin throwback [which means she looks like a human instead of a pure Sahugin], frees an old sorcerer from his imprisonment, thinking it means he will side with her, extend her power and punish the surface dwellers for their encroachments on the sea. Little does she know that the sorcerer has his own plans and while conquest is on the menu, he plans on conquest of all.


At the same time, a young man, who is the son of an infamous pirate and with some other hidden life secret, is trying to find a life on the sea. Things just don't ever seem to work out and he's been hearing voices, which seem to be leading him towards a collision with the aforementioned sorcerer.



My Thoughts:


For a Mel Odom book, this was pretty good. Unfortunately, the young man is a guilt ridden, rule obsessive, completely self-centered brat. Everything, and I mean everything, must center around him. And he always puts the worst light possible on it.

The young woman really isn't much better as she is consumed with self-doubt and inadequacies because of her throwback status.


The idea of a world class sorcerer that used to hang out with gods awakening and starting a campaign of world domination never gets old. But it takes a good author to make it work. I'm not convinced that Odom can handle this.

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review 2016-07-11 19:35
A Life for a Life
Beyond the Rising Tide - Sarah Beard

Avery used to be happy, carefree and spontaneous. All that has changed since she had a brush with death and an anonymous boy gave his life for hers. Now the grief is overwhelming and the depression is taking over. Until a mysterious guy comes into her life and shows her that her life is still worth living.




- The theme of this novel was quite an interesting one. This was not the first book I have come across that introduces what the afterlife can be. But Beard did a great job on not focusing on the traditional Heaven or Hell. Instead, she described places that are realistic and not permanent. The souls shift from one place to another depending on the state they enter the afterlife. Also, souls are given the option to have a job in which they can help the living on earth or there in the afterlife.Such as the mysterious miracles that happen are explained by these souls being sent down to heal.  


- Avery and Kai's relationship was one of the best I have read so far. They started out as friends and Kai's main objective was to show that Avery had the strength to keep living. Through his companionship she learns that her life is worth living. What I was impressed the most with was the huge theme that Avery was in charge of her own happiness. This is the main concept that Kai wanted to show Avery. That she had to find her happiness not in someone else but in herself. Which is a lesson I believe everyone has to learn?


- This book deals with a lot of heavy topics, such as death and depression. As well as peer pressure and addiction. Beard does a superb job in making the reader feel all these emotions and fully understand the character going through them. Beard makes the reader feel the anxiety and stress that Avery is going through because of the near death experience as well as Kai's issues with his family. Beard also does an excellent job of giving the reader a view of how it's not easy to just return to the person someone once was. It takes every individual a different amount of time to heal.




- As the book progressed it seemed the major theme started to focus on Avery healing herself/ being in control of her own happiness to the romantic feelings with Kai. The relationship was well written but I would have liked for Avery to be able to find her strength within herself and not in an external entity. This would have made Avery develop more into an adult and fuller character. 


-The ending was a little cheesy for me. I do like happy endings and root for people to stay together but I think that it was too happy ever after. Maybe if there was an explanation of why it ended this way I would be a little happier.




-Get Up. Get up and keep going


- It's the moments I've feared most that have come right before my greatest experiences


- Just be you. Who you are today, right now. It's enough


- When questions are like daggers, I dodge


-Breaking up means unlearning old habits, living by new rules


- Excuses only take our power to set things right


- It's the pain that makes us compassionate


- That someday he'll see me not as a weight, but as the buoy I'd once been to him

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text 2016-07-08 20:27
Reading progress update: I've read 128 out of 304 pages.
Beyond the Rising Tide - Sarah Beard

"Just be you. Who you are today, right not. It's enough."....... swoon

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review 2016-01-28 07:01
Rising Tide: Dark Innocence (The Maura DeLuca Trilogy #1)
Rising Tide: Dark Innocence - Claudette Melanson


Rising Tide will sink its fangs into you, keeping you awake into the wee hours of the night

Could Maura's life get any worse? ...turns out it most certainly can.

Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura's never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.

Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?

When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother's lies—become obstacles in Maura's desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.





Sorry I took so long to leave a review, I must say Maura is someone I enjoyed reading about, okay there's  something strange going on, this story made me laugh and say things I cannot repeat.  The power of restrain duly noted almost funny too.  Being a teenager is stressful but add the stigma "Children Of The Night, you can already guess how good this story ended up to be.  The author wrote this tale to the delight of my paranormal fantasy and the characters were so good and quite likeable yet at times I went, 'geez whiz,' enough!  The writing flowed smoothly and moments of tension was truly felt because the writing made all the difference.   Cute,  coming of age human/vampirism story.  Wonderful read.  Thank you, I received a free book, winner Booklikes Book Giveaway. 

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