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review 2014-09-15 00:00
Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy) (Volume 2)
Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy) (Volume 2) - Laura Howard I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.

Stone of Destiny was fabulous. I couldn't give it a full 5 stars because I need a bit more drama, but overall I was still impressed.

Allison is still a determined young lady. In this book she is more open to trusting Liam and is still working hard to help her mother be reunited with him without a curse. Allison has her moments where she afraid, but she never lets it overtake her mind and her "mission" -- she is definitely a strong female character.

Ethan is such a sweetheart! I love him and his relationship with Allison. They are such a perfect couple. He made sure to stay with Allison the whole time through her ordeal with the Dannans. His secret crush he had on her was super adorable. Ethan is definitely a hottie in my eyes.

Liam is such an amazing father. Even though he didn't know about his daughters he made an effort to get to know them and become the father he couldn't be at the time of their childhood. He definitely a respectable man and has kudos from me!

Samantha, the long lost secret daughter of Liam and Aoife, seemed fishy at first to me. I thought she was there to help her mother, but the more I read on I began to like her. She only wanted to meet her blood family and make amends with them. What she did towards the end to help Allison and Liam was very awesome.

Aoife is a crazy lady! I mean what woman gives up her child because she doesn't want the baby to steal the attention from her lover? I purely hate Aoife, but she played the deranged, jealous woman to a T.

Saoirse is freaking horrible! How could she help her daughter knowing what her daughter did is wrong. I kind of understand from the parent POV, but at the same time, whether she has emotions or not, she should have reprimanded her daughter. Not help her escape and destroy humans. Such foolishness. Even though she still helps Allison I just think she should have never helped Aoife, but simply keep her in that damn Fey globe.

I definitely need to know what happens next. Is Liam died? Where is Samantha? Does Aoife do the binding? Does Allison go back? Does Aodhan agree to be with Niamh? Just so many unanswered questions!
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review 2014-06-21 13:35
Review: The Stone of Destiny
Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy) (Volume 2) - Laura Howard

This review is for the second book in the Danaan series, it will contain spoilers for the first book, The Forgotten Ones.

This book continues exactly where the last one left off. Aoife has escaped and is planning on performing a bonding ceremony in the hopes to trap Liam forever. 

If Liam is permanently bonded to Aoife it means there will be no hope of Allison’ mom, Beth, ever getting better. They must retrieve an amulet to break the curse Aoife has placed on Liam and Beth.

Besides all this, Allison has to deal with discovering a half-sister that is also a mind-reading fae. And the fact that Ethan now acts like he hates her and she fears she’s lost her chance with him after she’s finally decided to be with him. 

This book takes Allison further into the land of the faeries, where she learns that Aoife has been destroying the lands with blood magic that is forbidden among the faeries. She doesn’t know who to trust and the King, Aoife’s bored father, has been messing with Allison by tricking her and trying to enthrall her. 

I have the same complaints about this book that I did the first one and the same compliments. I feel like we still don’t get a good grasp on who Allison really is. We do learn that she likes to read but still no insight on her career aspirations, or major, nothing. It still moves too fast and abruptly ends. 

I thought my favorite character (Ethan) was becoming a huge dick but there is a small twist. I still can’t keep all the fae characters straight but once again I was engaged by the description of the land of the faeries. 

So far, it’s not a bad series. It’s entertaining, short and sweet, and full of imagination. It kind of reminds me of fanfic, which isn’t really a negative thing. I’ll definitely stick with this one to the end. 

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review 2014-06-21 13:30
Review: The Forgotten Ones
The Forgotten Ones - Laura Howard

Allison’s mother, Beth, is schizophrenic and has been since Allison was a child, though her condition has grown worse over the years. Allison blames herself, because she’s under the impression that her mother wasn’t this way before she was born. 

Allison lives a quiet life with her cousin Nicole as her best friend. She rarely socializes, focusing on work, school, and most importantly, her mom. She only wants to be able to properly take care of her mother. 

She even denies herself a relationship that she clearly desires with Ethan, a boy she’s known since they were both children and has loved just about as long. She thinks he’s a player and that dating him will distract her from her goals. He surely tries hard enough to get her to change her mind. 

Strange things begin to happen, her mother’s fits are getting worse and crows had suddenly started showing up in the yard. The strangest is Allison’s father that she’s never met randomly showing up on her doorstep, not looking a day older than Allison’ is herself. 

Liam claims he didn’t even know Allison existed until recently. He also claims to be fae and that he can cure Beth. She doesn’t know whether to believe him but when her mom goes missing, she has no choice but to ask for his help.

I’ve heard a lot about this book, and I’ve had it on Amazon loan since it came out. I have to say that I was ever so slightly disappointed. 

First, we know next to nothing about Allison. We know she has a mom with a mental illness, her cousin is her best friend, and that she crushes hard on Ethan. Other than that? Nothing. We don’t know her interests, what she’s going to grad school for, what she wants to be when she’s done with school. There is a mention that she and Ethan kissed once before and she seemed to regret it but we don’t know why or what happened between then. 

She calls him a player but he pretty much ignores other girls when she’s around. She constantly turns him down so it’s only natural he would date other girls. Overall, Ethan seems pretty nice, though a bit cocky at times. It’s obvious that he’s really into Allison. 

The first half of the book was more like a romance and the second half is where it starts getting into the fantasy. The fae part was pretty interesting, using some Irish mythology. There were a ton of fae secondary characters introduced that I couldn’t keep straight. 

It was really fast paced, but it was under 200 pages. It felt a bit too fast, I felt like Allison accepted things too easily. Also, it just kind of suddenly ends. Based on the ages of the characters (early twenties) it could be a NA book, but it reads more like a YA. 

So why am I giving a 3 Star rating when there seems to be so many flaws? Because FAERIES. I love Faeries. 

Plus, the book did keep me engaged. It’s a quick read, and I will continue the series (more to see how things turn out with Ethan than anything. Lol). There were some things that hopefully will be explained in the next book (which I already bought!).

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review 2013-12-08 02:55
Review: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
The Forgotten Ones - Laura Howard

SERIES: The Danaan Trilogy, #1

BOOK BLURB: 
Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.


MY THOUGHTS: 
Though I did read the sample of this book first and was interested in continuing it, the story overall ended up being mostly underwhelming. The plot, the characters, and the dialogue were all on the  meh side. Then there is the ending if you can call it that. Besides being unresolved, it just didn’t make sense to me based on what happened and what was said earlier in the book.

So we have the heroine, Allison, an introvert who is focused on doing whatever it takes to take care of her mother, who is mentally ill for reasons that will be revealed in the story. Allison prefers to avoid social interaction (though her cousin is always coercing her to go out) and constantly rebuffs Ethan who she has secretly liked for as long as she can remember. I actually liked Ethan and I was getting very frustrated with Allison for constantly pushing him away. I didn’t see any good reason why she can’t have a boyfriend and also take care of her mother. They did have one kiss in the book and it was sweet and made me like Ethan even more. Eventually, her long lost father, Liam, shows up. Later, her mother and Ethan both disappear. Liam and Allison then go on a mission to Tír na n’Óg to find them with the help of a rapidly introduced group of fae, who appear to be sympathetic to Allison and Liam’s plight.  

I found most of the characters and their reactions/interactions to be bland. The dialogue often had me going “huh?” One example is when Liam, who is Allison’s father, suddenly shows up after 22 years and discovers that Allison is his daughter. There is barely any reaction from him.  Likewise, when Allison discovers what Liam actually is, she doesn’t seem to suffer from much disbelief and it doesn’t take much convincing for her to accept that Liam is of the fae world but once a human who lived in the late 1800s. The dialogue followed suit as well, it often seemed to lack emotion.  Besides Ethan, I also liked Aodhan, who seemed a little more interesting than the other fae. Like Liam, he was once human but has lived among the fae so long he is now more fae. He seemed to have a few more layers to his character to make him more interesting but they are yet to be peeled away.

The plot itself felt lacking. It just seemed like there could have been so much more happening. Even the climactic moment when Allison was confronting Aoife and Breanh seemed to be over fast and fell flat as a climax. There was more talking then there was action. And I question how Aodhan got out of the trap that was set for him by Breanh.  He just shows up suddenly after all the action (non-action) of Allison’s confrontation with Aoife. There were also some events that were glossed over like the reunion of Liam and Allison’s mother.  They haven’t seen each other in 22 years and the entire reunion happened completely off screen.

The fae names had Celtic/Gaelic spelling that I, for the most part, didn’t know how to pronounce. There was actually a pronunciation guide at the end of the story, which I did appreciate since I don’t often see that in books with difficult names/words and it drives me nuts not knowing how to pronounce them. On the other hand, because it was at the end of the book, I went through the whole book pronouncing most of the names incorrectly. It would have been nice to see that at the beginning.

The cover art is very pretty and has an ethereal feel to it. The book is labeled as YA even though the characters are in their early twenties, which is usually more representative of an NA book these days. But honestly, the characters and their interactions come off as feeling younger than their age in the book so it does have more of a YA feel. 

So I did finish the book and though it was not a struggle, it was not really compelling me either. I could have put it down and not missed it. There were some instances where I felt there were logic blips or continuity issues. The ending was unresolved and made no sense to me since something that happened earlier in the book seemed to contradict what is said at the end. Though I can see how some people might really like this book, I just needed…more. More characterization, more plot, more action and reaction, more emotion, and more resolution. 

Heat Level: Sweet
Word Count: approx. 47,000
Print Length: 197 pgs
Kindle Locations: 2140 (story text ends at 98%)
Source:  Review Request from Author

Source: indieparanormalbooksreviews.blogspot.com/2013/12/review-forgotten-ones-by-laura-howard.html
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review 2013-09-06 01:02
The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
The Forgotten Ones - Laura Howard

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Here’s to another good blog tour read from Xpresso Book Tours. I’ve been so happy with how these tours have been organized. Some of my blog tour experiences just haven’t been good, which is why I stopped doing them for a while. Giselle’s just so on top of things and organized. I hope you lovely readers don’t mind me doing more blog tour reviews in the future.

 

I enjoyed The Forgotten Ones. By the time I got around to reading it, I had forgotten what it was about. That’s good, though, since I don’t like to read a synopsis before I read the book. Sometimes it ruins the story or creates expectations the book doesn’t meet. When I started and remembered it was about fairies, I was excited. For some reason, I just love reading books about fairies. The plot is pretty straight forward. Allison finds out about her father and the fairy world. In a broad sense, the nuts and bolts are a little reminiscent of The Iron Fey trilogy. Looking deeper, this is a completely different story. I liked Allison. She bears a lot of responsibility. She wants to take care of her mother, and she puts her family first. Because of that she pushes her friends away, which is sad sometimes. I wanted her to live a little more, though I totally understand her reasons for playing it safe. I think there could have been a little more in the way of world building. I wanted to learn a little more about the fairy world, so hopefully there will be more to learn in the coming books.

 

Overall, I thought it was a good read. Well worth my time. I did expect it to be YA, but the characters were in their 20s, so it turned out to be a little more NA. That’s good though, because we need some original NA that isn’t just a 20s version of contemporary romance.

Source: www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/the-forgotten-ones
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