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review 2016-01-28 05:40
Quick, Fluffy Post-Apocalyptic
The Girl's Guide to the Apocalypse - Daphne Lamb
Comedy meets apocalypse, in this new off-beat novel by debut author Daphne Lamb. 
The synopsis is spot on, and describes this book perfectly. The lead character is a modern slacker, reminding me of a mix of Ginger from Gilligan's Island, and any modern millennial stereotype. While her personality is off-putting, it's realistic for the outlined story, and adds a twist to a plot that usually has readers enthralled with suspense and darkness. Not this book - the story overall stays light and almost fluffy, focusing on one person's personal outlook, as opposed to the state of the world after disaster hits.
The depiction of the outward symptoms caused by the apocalypse, and the causes of the apocalypse itself, were entertaining. They were all fairly tangible, layered with a tint of humor and nonsense, that just may be more realistic in real life, than the darker novels of the post-disaster genre.
In this take of the apocalypse, the reader gets a glimpse of surviving as a "regular" person. As someone who doesn't necessarily rise to the occasion, and automatically become a bad-ass zombie fighter, or something of the like. We see what it might be like, as a couch potato or minimalist, simply going through a new set of motions in order to survive a new, rougher world. 
For fans of post-apocalyptic novels, who may be looking for a different take to the standard stories, this book may entertain you. 
*I received an eCopy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours, to read in exchange for an honest review. 
Source: desertrosereviews.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-girls-guide-to-apocalypse-by-daphne.html
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review 2015-10-08 21:31
Fantastic Side Addition to a Wonderful Series!
Madison's Song - Christine Amsden

Her voice is enchanting; his soul is black…


One haunting sentence, perfectly describing the entire underlying struggle in this book.  A story full of tension and suspense, and completely finger-wringing worthy.


Madison was a remarkably mysterious and interesting side character in the Cassie Scot series.  She was an important piece of that chess game, and it's wonderful to read more about her, exploring what happened after the dramatic ending of Cassie's story.  She was the character I found myself identifying with the most in that series, and was eager to have the opportunity to read more about her.


Scott was the same way.  I felt intrigued by his character, and kept hoping he would be explored a bit deeper during the original series.  I love that they have their own story now, and a final conclusion to their connection.  Understanding them each a bit more adds depth to the original story line, and answers several questions previously raised and left unanswered.


The book starts out intense, and honestly made me slightly uncomfortable and overwhelmed.  No light or subtle preamble about it, simply thrust into the depths of anguish and heartache.  We dive into the tormented lives Madison and Scott have each endured both before and after an agonizing turn of events, that leave the pair in excruciating pain.  The desire to feel both compassion and judgment for them is overwhelming, quickly pulling you into the raw emotion of this story.


I would definitely say this is a book for upper Young Adult, or New Adult readers.  The entire book is intense, with constant scenes of gore, violence, and mature content, as well as sexual scenes which, while not entirely graphic, are intense and overwhelming to the reader, leaving little to the imagination.  The mixture of religious themes from Catholicism, completely intertwined with supernatural (and unnatural) creatures, magic and folklore may also make some uncomfortable, but is a core part of this story.


Christine Amsden is definitely a writer with superb talent, and I've enjoyed every book I've read from her.  She is a gifted storyteller, never failing to pull me into her stories, connecting me with the world she's created, and the characters living, fighting and dying there.  This book is probably one of my favorites from her so far, and it has certainly left it's mark on me.


The ending though - agh, the ending!!  Exactly the opposite of what I was hoping for, but most likely what Madison would have wanted.  It did leave me feeling a bit let down honestly, after such an intense and emotional book.  An anticlimactic finish to thirty four chapters of build up and suspense.


Having such a disappointing ending however, is really the only thing I didn't like.  It's a wonderful read, especially for fans of this series.  I think a lot of the depth would be lost on someone reading it without first devouring the Cassie Scot series, and while the majority of the back story is explained, it would be difficult to follow if you don't know the original story.


It is a book I'd recommend to anyone, however, and I think can be enjoyed by any fan of this genre.


*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-03-04 18:34
Wonderful Fantasy Adventure
Destiny's Blood - Marie Bilodeau

Fantasy has always been a hit or miss genre to me. It's a difficult area to write in, and takes a great deal of effort and creativity to make a great fantasy. Marie Bilodeau certainly has a knack for this genre, and this book is a great example of her talent.

This story is filled with action, suspense, and adventure. It is well written, with worlds and details all very alluring and well developed. The attention to detail is impressive, with a plot deep enough to submerse yourself in completely.

The only reason I didn't give this five stars, is for the beginning of the book. It was a bit confusing starting out, being fairly confusing and wordy. Understandable, in the author's attempt to explain the complex world she's created, but it was a bit rough, and felt a bit like tripping a few times. Once you get a few chapters into it, it smooths out well, and it all makes sense, giving you a fantastic read.

I would recommend this book to any fan of fantasy, and would recommend this author as one to read something from at some point in your reading life.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.


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review 2015-02-10 06:35
Perfect Continuation of a Fantastic Adventure
Eric Elmoor and The Chalice of Cameron - Thomas A. Meyers

Following on the heels of it's prequel, this book pulls you back into Novogard, and Eric's adventure. The story continues with just as much adventure, angst, suspense, humor, wit and challenges every fantasy fan will adore.

Each character grows quite a bit in this book, and their individual and joint journeys give an already fantastic story depth and perspective. This book takes several interesting turns and surprises, keeping the reader on their toes. The writing is just as smooth and entertaining as ever, pulling you in and wrapping you up in this fantastic world. Even better than the first book, this story keeps getting better!

I would absolutely recommend this book to any fantasy fan. I hope there will be several more books to come in this series, and many more from this author.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-01-26 00:44
Not original, but decent story
Whispers - HK Savage

Troubled young girl meets troubled young guy. Typical story, before you add in the paranormal abilities, odd side characters, dramatic lies, and danger. Within the first few chapters, I figured it would be a four star book. Half way through, it went down to three, and stayed there.

My most consistent complaint and reason for removing a star, is the writing. You can most certainly tell that the author is intelligent, however when that is put into her book, at least in this case, she tended to be too wordy, and over-explain simple things. I went cross-eyed a few times while reading, getting lost in over explaining and excessive complicated medical and technical words and phrases. What it came across as, to me, was that the author was trying to show she knew a lot about things she'd researched, but went a little overboard. It didn't flow very well, for that reason, and pulled me out of the story far too often.

The biggest thing that pulled me out of the book though, was the idea that the main character didn't understand it was other people's voices she was hearing. She was supposed to be very intelligent, and had several instances where it was proven to her that she'd heard others' thoughts, yet she remained naive. She took them as "good guesses" which made her seem a bit dumb and oblivious, not intelligent. In any other instance, she was portrayed as a teen who, while medicated, thought of things on a deep level. She had the ability to figure people out quickly, understand why they did things, their motives and reasons for acting, and wasn't nearly as fog-minded and unsociable as the book tried to make her seem.

I guess that's mainly it: the book's description of her painted her in a very different light than she actually acted. The actual character would have been able to figure things out quite easily. Had her actions matched her mismatched description, she would have been dumb, she would not have thought of things like she did, and she would never have made friends with anyone. Ever. It wasn't believable, at all, and seemed as though this intelligent, gifted young girl was painted dumb so she could be rescued by the generic "troubled young man" in the cliche match-up.

While I do have my irritations with this book, it was still interesting. Once I chose to simply go with it, and not actually care if the character made sense, it was entertaining. There was a lot of emotion and drama, for those who like that sort of story, and while I'm not a big drama fan, it wasn't enough to make me cringe.

This isn't a very original story, and does have it's issues, but in my opinion, it is a solid 3 stars. For fans who like the cliche paranormal romance and characters with personal struggles, this would be an entertaining story, and I would consider recommending it.

*I was given this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

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