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review 2017-12-15 17:45
Don’t just read this book; ABSORB it...
Reign of the Fallen - Sarah Marsh

I waited with great anticipation to get my hands on an early copy of this book, and somehow when ‘the time came’ for me to read it, I had three early copies in my lap. I was obviously meant to read it, and it definitely spoke to me, just from the cover and description. It was definitely worth the wait!
This isn’t just a story about a master necromancer called Odessa (aka Sparrow), it’s so much more. The author Sarah Glenn Marsh, has done an amazing job of world-building, one of a land called Karthia, so vivid, I could imagine it up on the big screen.
The story is filled with dark monsters called Shades, the shrouded dead who live among the living, and a monarchy that is looking more and more fragile as the book precedes. There’s also a lot of blood and gore as these dark monsters must be slain, so there’s plenty of action, and as a reader, we find out some people have special powers according to their eye color, bringing us a very fantastical and superhuman element as well.
But what this lavish fantasy is really about, is a tale about love, grief, friendship, life and death, and loyalties. I was taken by surprise at the levels of loss Sarah wrote about. My own experiences with grief made me deeply feel emotional at some parts of this novel, bringing me to tears, and the lead character struggles with addiction to cover up her grief. I want to appreciate this attention to what loss can do to someone, because this is a vital part of the novel.
There are also deep friendships and new loves (between same sex characters) that are written about in this book, and Sarah does it with such tenderness and with her beautiful writing, that it’s seamless to the plot but something that many readers have been waiting for. She shows how complex both can be, and describes the ‘newness’ of this for one of the characters, and it’s delightful to read. Loyalty and trust are key elements running through the story with respect to these relationships.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Reign of the Fallen’ and since I do know there’s another book to follow in its tracks, I’m pleased that this world and its characters will be back. I didn’t so much as ‘read’ this book, I ‘absorbed’ it; I really hope that everyone else will love it as much as I did. Savor this one!
*I also have a tiny character part where I die on a page in the second book, so I KNOW there’s another one!

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review 2017-12-13 13:36
Creed: Fallen Angel's MC - Erin Trejo
  Free copy for an honest review.
One accident that changes the whole course of two lives, yet somehow they both end up in a similar life. Jada's is not good or healthy, it's violent, abusive and almost deadly. Creed is just surviving, not really caring if he lives or dies. He loves the MC lifestyle but at the same time it is just a living, the women he loves is missing and he doesn't ever expect to see her again. Quite by chance they do meet again, circumstances still not in their favour they go their separate ways again. You have the bikers, guns, violence, drugs and rivalry that comes with MC clubs/gangs. You also have this deep seated love that the two main characters have for each other, a love that started way back when they were kids and has never dimmed or died. Two clubs that have a history and a secret link that is a cause for hatred and fighting, becomes even more heated with the added history and relationship of Creed and Jada. I love stories like this that hook me in and keep me on the edge of my seat, not able to read it fast enough but at the same time not wanting it to finish. I haven't looked but I'm hoping this author has written more in this series.

 

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review 2017-11-02 15:56
V.C. Andrews - the Casteel series
Heaven - V.C. Andrews
Dark Angel - V.C. Andrews
Fallen Hearts - V.C. Andrews,Andrew Neiderman
Gates of Paradise - V.C. Andrews,Andrew Neiderman
Web of Dreams - Andrew Neiderman,V.C. Andrews

While I felt that the Flowers in the Attic was a excellent book, I think that the Casteel series is overall the best (at least, the parts written by VC herself) I have read Heaven 7 or 8 times, and I never get tired of it. And this book is only the beginning of a excellent series, so if you're looking to spend a good amount of hours reading something wonderful, then start with Heaven!

You can't help but feel bad for this poor girl since she is so mistreated by her father for something that was not even her fault! You wonder why things happen the way they do, but much like Flowers in the Attic, the story of Heaven continues through a series, and the Heaven series is just as enjoyable, with VCA's writing talent but a different story from Flowers in the Attic so that this series isn't repetitive or boring. Enjoy!

 

At 4.5/5 stars, Dark Angel serves as an excellent follow-up to 'Heaven' - a book that I have read at least 8 times already - and is a good chronicle of Heaven's further adventures. I am just sad that Kitty destroyed Leigh's doll in the previous book, but Heaven should have confronted Tony about it, it wouldn't have hurt to press the issue (especially after finding out what Tony and Leigh had done) More of the doll's origins are revealed in the fifth Casteel book, 'Web of Dreams', but it still would have helped this story to see Heaven ask Tony about the doll and seeing how he reacted to it.

Heaven's idea to screw around with Luke's mind was a great idea. After the mistreatment he gave her, he deserved it though I felt bad about what happened to Tom. Tony's revelations about Leigh are shocking, but the truth is revealed in future Casteel books, so this makes a good installment in the series. Overall a decent continuation of Heaven Casteel's story.

 

Doubtless Fallen Hearts might have been a bit different if VCA had been able to finish this story before her untimely death. Neiderman didn't keep all the facts straight from Dark Angel, as the exact details of Troy's death/return, and nearer the end of Fallen Hearts, the writing feels a bit more distinctly different.

However, this is still a decent continuation of the Casteel saga. Having the truth revealed (that Leigh wasn't the little tramp that Troy made her out to be) felt good. I know some VCA fans might disagree, but it felt somehow appropriate to me that Heaven would be with Troy one last time. I was disappointed that Luke suddenly died, though. It seemed like such an 'convenient' death so Neiderman wouldn't have to work with him anymore. A definite good read even if not up to the par of a 100% VCA book.

 

While not as good as the other Casteel books (possibly because it was finished by Andrew Neiderman after V.C. Andrews's death), this book is still an enjoyable read in some parts. The ending felt a bit rushed, but if you read the first three Heaven books and want to see how the saga closes, pick up this book. There's not as much action in here since it's supposed to be the end of the Casteel saga so the ending might feel cliched and I definitely think it could have been better, and this just adds to the tragedy of V.C. Andrews's death.

 

Personally, I find the title Web of Dreams a bit off, as it doesn't fit in with the rest of the series titles. But Leigh's story is good, and gives a LOT of explanation as to how Heaven's life turned out the way it did. Tony had told Heaven that it was Leigh's fault, that Leigh was the seductress, but this book shows that not only is Leigh a victim of Tony's unrestrained lust, she is also a victim of her father's neglect and her mother's willful ignorance. In Dark Angel and Fallen Hearts, it's hard to not feel sorry for Jillian as she falls into madness, but in this book, you cannot help but think that Jillian got what she deserved, for being so selfish to Leigh.

The business with Leigh's questioned paternity was a completely unnecessary detail in this book and would have been better left out. Two other things always bothered me - that in the beginning as Annie is going through her great-grandmother's things, she finds Leigh's diary. If Leigh ran away with Luke and took the diary with her, then Jillian wouldn't have been in possession of the book (and thus she would have known of the truth), and the letter at the end reveals that Tony was aware of Heaven's existence long before she came to Farthinggale Manor, since he had a detective track Leigh down. Why did he choose to leave the baby girl up there? Yes, Tony was a slimeball for what he did, but leaving his child up in the mountains without even checking up on its welfare?

It seems that these flaws are Andrew Neiderman's making, since VCA was unable to finish this book, and Neiderman had to finish it for her. He uses the snotty schoolgirl cliche in here that he has used in future books, and in this book, the school drama was really unnecessary. These flaws are what keep this book from being 5 stars, and it would have been great if Neiderman had paid more attention to VCA's detail to make sure he didn't contradict or retcon anything, but what's done is done and you'll just have to take this book as it is. At least it was better than Gates of Paradise.

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review 2017-11-01 20:15
Suspenseful page-turner
Fallen Halos: Watchtower 1 (Cursed Angel Collection) - Erin Hayes,Rebecca Hamilton,Cursed Angel,Charmed Legacy

I've never really quite know what to expect from dual authors. And this book was no exception. I was drawn in from the very first chapter and held in complete astonishment as the story progressed. This is a love story. And it's not just love between man and woman but love for companions. This is one of those books where all hope seems lost, every good character has their back up against a proverbial wall. You'll be biting your nails to the quick just in suspense alone, to see how it all goes down.

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text 2017-10-21 17:23
Reading progress update: I've read 200 out of 384 pages.
The Fallen - Ace Atkins

I usually love this series and this author...but man, this one is dragging! 

Going to take a break and check out the readathon hashtag before delving back in to this one.

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