Review ~ The Scorch Trials

scorch

Title: The Scorch Trials

Series: The Maze Runner #2

Author: James Dashner

Publication Date: Oct. 12, 2010

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

The Scorch Trials picks up right where The Maze Runner left off. If you haven’t read The Maze Runner then you probably won’t want to read this review as it will probably contain spoilers.

As I did with the first book, I read this book aloud to both my youngest and middle child. My daughter occasionally gets interested but her excitement often wanes. I think that has to do with her age, though. Now my son, he is all excitement over every chapter. The book is full of action and every chapter ends with something that begs you to turn another page. There are tons of twists and it’s completely unpredictable. We’ve enjoyed coming up with lots of theories along the way.

There are some things concerning Theresa in this book that will leave you questioning everything. People are pit against each other. Not all will survive. Who’s really good? Who’s just playing the game of survival?

This second book ends in a similar fashion to the first and begs you to pick up book 3. To appease my daughter, we’re currently reading a different book for now, but I think as soon as we’re done, we’ll be back to book 3 for our next read aloud. My son & I are really curious how this trilogy will end!

Happy Reading,

Alison

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Review ~ Angelfall by Susan Ee

angelfall

Title: Angelfall

Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1

Author: Susan Ee

Publication Date: Aug. 28, 2012

Genre: YA / Sci-Fi/Dystopian / Paranormal

It’s been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back…

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4 Star**** Review

We’ve all seen our share of zombie apocalypse stories over the last few years. Oh, but I haven’t seen or heard of a zombie story that has come close to this angel apocalypse tale.

The first chapter was interesting, but not amazing. BUT, I was quickly hooked and couldn’t put the book down. Towards the end of chapter 3, Susan had me aching for a character that I hadn’t even really been introduced to yet.

Penryn is one tough girl. She reminds me a little of Katniss in the Hunger Games. She’s taking care of her younger handicapped sister and dealing with her schizophrenic mother. She has a great strength of character. Her ability to deal with her mother is beyond me!

Raffie “plays” the tough guy. You get the sense that he’s JUST playing that role, though. Angels aren’t supposed to be with humans, so maybe he’s putting up a front to Penryn. The angels that broke this rule produced the evil nephilim spawn, and Raffie has spent centuries tracking these creatures down.

I love the writing style. Susan strongly appealed to my emotions through the senses. There’s some absolute brilliance displayed in some of her words.

The rosy love I’m supposed to feel for her is slashed with black and splattered with various shades of gray.

You can expect some funny moments. And then some adrenaline pumping moments. And a little bit of mystery. It’ll take a while to figure out who the bad guys are.

It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger but the ending leaves you begging for more. 4 very strong stars! So unique and unpredictable. I’ve already read the second book, World After, and I have to say that this series just keeps getting better! Watch for my 5 star review to come! I absolutely cannot wait for the third book, End of Days, set to be released May 12th.
*I received a copy via Netgalley and Amazon Children’s Publishing in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Author ~ Susan Ee

susan

Susan Ee has eaten mezze in the old city of Jerusalem, surfed the warm waters of Costa Rica, and played her short film at a major festival. She has a life-long love of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, especially if there’s a touch of romance. She used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her imagination to bust out and go feral.

Goodreads * Website * Twitter

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The One

the one

Title: The One

Series: The Selection #3

Author: Kiera Cass

Publication Date: May 6, 2014

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian Romance

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

Goodreads * Amazon

My *****5 Star***** Review

LOVED this series! Oh, there were definitely plenty of times that I wanted to jump in and knock some sense into both America and Maxon, but hey, that’s expected.

What I didn’t expect was some of the high-intensity moments of violence that added so much to the plot.

Oh, but we all know the heart of this story revolves around America, Maxon, and Aspen. I won’t spend a lot of time talking about the other stuff.

So, I’ve read from a lot of reviewers that America frustrated them most in this book. It wasn’t that way for me, though. While she certainly had me pulling my hair, it was Maxon that I really wanted to stand up. It’s always been clear to me that America has just been waiting on him to do so, and I’m old fashioned like that – I agree! He steps up, she follows. Anywhoo, this all built and built to one powerfully dramatic climax where Maxon had me totally swooning! He’s just AMAZEBALLS like that!

Now back to the other, we get a lot of new explanations and answers as to the revolution, but we’re still left with lots of questions. The ending reminded me of Twilight like that. But, with The Heir coming out, I expect to get more of those answers. Can’t wait!!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Selection Stories by Kiera Cass

selection

The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard

Series: The Selection #0.5 & #2.5

Author: Kiera Cass

Publication Date: Feb. 4, 2014

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian

Two novellas set in the world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series are now available in print for the first time. The Prince and The Guard both offer captivating views into the hearts and minds of the two men fighting to win America Singer’s love. This collection also features exclusive bonus content, including a sneak peek at The One, the eagerly anticipated third novel in the Selection series.

Before America arrived at the palace to compete in the Selection, there was another girl in Prince Maxon’s life. The Prince opens the week before the Selection begins and follows Maxon through the first day of the competition.

Raised as a Six, Aspen Leger never dreamed that he would find himself living in the palace as a member of the royal guard. In The Guard, readers get an inside look at Aspen’s life within the palace walls—and the truth about a guard’s world that America will never know.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

When I picked up this book from the library, it had been quite a while since I’d been engulfed in the world of the selection. But, I was immediately reminded why I love this series!

The first novella in this book is The Prince #0.5. This is a brief story of Maxon’s life prior to the beginning of the selection. But, you also get a few bonus chapters that show his perspective in meeting America. This story does NOT disappoint! This story will just solidify your love for Maxon, leaving no doubt he should be king – both of the castle and of America’s heart!

The second novella in this book is The Guard #2.5. This story is all about Aspen’s life inside the castle. I’ve seen that a LOT of people haven’t liked this story. I personally think that’s just because of Kiera’s awesome writing. She makes you feel some serious love for Aspen when you soooo don’t want to! I mean, America’s supposed to fall for Maxon, right?!? Well, this story will leave you second guessing yourself. But, it will also give you a glimpse into another possible future for Aspen.

I loved both of these stories. They might have been short, but they quickly tugged at my heartstrings! I couldn’t wait to dig right on into The One after reading these.

I also want to draw your attention to that fact that there are some special features added into this combo book. My personal favorite was the Q&A with Kiera Cass. I loved hearing about where she got the idea for the book!

So, now I’m looking forward to reading the other novellas, and I’m anxiously awaiting The Heir!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Opposition

Opposition

Title: Opposition

Series: Lux #5

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: Aug. 5, 2014

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Paranormal Romance

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can’t believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

My *****5 STAR***** Review

Is it okay if I take a moment to mourn before I start this review? Seriously? It’s been 13 days since I’ve finished Opposition, and I am so missing Daemon. I knew this would happen. I’ve been dreading the separation books ago, knowing the end would eventually come.

Aside from Daemon, this book was an exciting read. It’s loaded with action and Kat has grew into this serious kick butt, take no prisoners chick worthy of admiration! Oh, and she still loves her books.

This book doesn’t skimp on the intensity of the previous one, either. I went into full-fledged freak out mode in this one! I almost think I could have gotten away with suing JLA for the heart attack she about gave me!

Seriously, though, I have to give Jennifer some serious love for all the awesome book blogger love happening in this series. I’m a forever fan, for sure! I can’t wait to read more from her! Oh, and if you’ve stumbled onto this review without reading any of the series yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON!?!?!?!?!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

*WARNING ~ this post contains images that may not be appropriate for children.*
Obsession

Title: Obsession

Series: Stand alone spin-off of Lux series

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: May 31, 2013

Genre: Paranormal/Sci-fi Romance

This is a stand alone novel that is an adult spin-off of the Lux Series You do not need to read a Lux book to read Obsession and vice versa.

He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something… unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?

My ****4 Star**** Review

As you can pick up from the blurb, this is an ADULT(I’m talking lots of steaminess) stand alone spin-off from JLA’s Lux series. However, I highly recommend the WHOLE Lux series, and that you read this book right before the last book in the Lux series, Opposition.

So let’s talk Hunter. I can start with saying that if he was a real man, I’d be pressing some charges if I was Serena. BUT, somehow he still comes off as totally hot and sexy in the book. There were multiple places in the book that I was astounded at how I was still pulling for him.

Oh, but the sexual tension between the two of them is so very strong. It permeates the whole story, and I have to admit that there was a time or two where I wanted it to become less of the focus. When they do come together, though, it’s so very spicy!

Aside from that, I really enjoyed the little bit of parallel happening between this story and Origin. I liked getting another perspective about what was happening. Then of course there are clues for the final book in the Lux series.

So, this was a constant page turner for me, as is every other book I’ve read from Ms. Armentrout. No shocker there! If you’re into paranormal romance, then I couldn’t recommend this or her Lux series enough!

Happy Reading,

Alison

5 STAR Review ~ Origin (Lux #4) @JLArmentrout

origin

Title: Origin (Lux #4)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: Aug. 27,2013

YA/NA Paranormal/Sci-fi/Romance/Urban Fantasy

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

My *****5 STAR***** Review

OH. MY. GOSH. I cannot believe she went there, and I NEVER saw it coming! I mean she had me all gushing, I mean I was MELTING!!! and then WHAM! WHAT?!? Yes, she did! And I NEVER saw it coming! How did I NOT see it coming? Looking back I can see a bit of foreshadowing, but I still would have thought that there was NO FREAKIN’ WAY! Now I’m totally freaking out!!

Ok, let me go back to the beginning. If you read Opal then you know how that ended in totally dramatic fashion and made up for any flaws that book may have had. If you didn’t read Opal, then you shouldn’t be reading this unless you’re looking for spoilers of the previous books. My advice – GO READ THE BOOKS!!! Okay, so this book picks right up where Opal left off. It is action-packed from the start. There is NEVER a dull moment in this book. It’s one heart pounding moment after another.

Oh, but then there’s just a small little moment of peace that leaves you melting, melting, melting. No, not like the wicked witch. Trust me, you’ll be perfectly happy staying wrapped up in your ball of mush!

You won’t stay there. Nope. Ms. Armentrout apparently thought that would be BORING! So, insert more drama and some highly upsetting losses. Oh, but if your heart is hurting here, that isn’t even a smidgen of what you’ll feel in the end. Because, in the end you’ll be searching the floor for the scattered pieces of your heart everywhere.

MASTERPIECE. Oh, and I might add here that if I actually had to wait for the release of the next book, I might be ready to kill someone…

Go read the books!! There’s nothing more to say.

Warnings: There’s sex in this book, but it doesn’t head towards erotic. There’s some language, but its use is rare.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Black Moon Draw by Lizzy Ford

green dreams

A reader gets sucked into the book she’s reading and is trapped, unless she convinces the hero of the story to send her home. Just her luck – the book is unfinished, and its sexy hero is far more alpha male than she’s prepared to handle.

What Naia doesn’t know: the story – and its hero – have been expecting her for quite some time, even though she has no idea what she’s doing there.

Naia must learn quickly how to navigate the dangerous, magical world of Black Moon Draw and find a way to woo the unlikely, uncooperative hero of the story, who holds the key to returning her home.

Pre-order Now ~ Releases Nov. 9th

My ****4 Star**** Review

This was a very interesting read and despite the author taking her ideas from a number of other story lines, it was still very original. I think bringing together the different parts of the other stories really made for an intriguing tale!
I was 20% in before I determined for sure who the hero would be in the story. That was funny because Naia, the girl sucked into the “story,” is trying to figure out the same thing.
Once things get heated up between Naia and her alpha, though, the steam is always rising! There’s a lot of spicy build up, but the book never crosses into the erotic. Besides the heat, there are some hilarious moments between the two main characters, too.
I really liked that there was a nice message to the story. Naia has to stop feeling sorry for herself and to start believing in herself! The only thing related to Naia that I didn’t care for was the cover of the book. The cover just doesn’t at all fit with the description of Naia in the pages.
I loved the fun ending to the story, and I look forward to reading more from Lizzy!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Author ~ Lizzy Ford

Lizzy Ford is the award winning, internationally acclaimed author of over thirty five books written for young adult, new adult and adult romance readers, to include the internationally bestselling Rhyn Trilogy, Witchling Series and the War of Gods series. Considered a freak of nature by her peers for the ability to write and release a commercial quality novel in under a month, Lizzy has focused on keeping her readers happy by producing brilliant, gritty romances that remind people why true love is a trial worth enduring.

Lizzy’s books can be found in every major ereader library, to include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords. She lives in southern Arizona with her husband, three dogs and a cat.

Goodreads * Website * Twitter

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ When Lightning Strikes

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A single act of kindness…a mysterious gold coin, a bolt of lightning…a touch of gypsy magic: the recipe for love across time. Sarah Douglas is 23, beautiful, smart and about to marry the perfect guy. Level-headed, nice-looking, honest and intelligent, David du Bois is not only the son of her father’s business partner, but the kind of man any mom would want their daughter to marry. Right? Or so she thought…until her mother gives her a mysterious “good luck” charm on the eve of her wedding, telling her that it’s a family tradition and if she keeps it with her all night, she will know her heart’s true desire. Sarah thinks it’s all just a bunch of silly “Gypsy hocus pocus” but she soon discovers that a walk in the night air and an eerie bolt of lightning is all it takes to sweep her out of the world she knows and into the arms of Dominic du Barbaronne-the handsome blue-eyed leader of a band of Romanies in the year 1363.

Dominic is everything Sarah has come to distrust in men…too good-looking, too sure of himself and way too passionate to ever be faithful to one woman. But stranded in the world of medieval France, with its lack of creature comfort and where women are treated as nothing more than chattel, Sarah finds she must place her trust in him to care for her basic needs and see to her protection until she can figure out a way home. Now if she could just figure out a way to stop feeling the things she is feeling for Dominic….and convince him that he must let her go despite the fact that he’s as determined to keep her with him in the 14th century as she is to go back to her own time.

When fate deals a hand that may separate them forever, Sarah soon finds she can no longer deny the searing white hot love that spans across time itself. The kind that only comes in that special time and place When Lightning Strikes.

My ****4 Star**** Review

When Lightning Strikes is a fun time-traveling romance set mostly in the 1300s in France. Sarah was given a galbi the night before her marriage to David. Her mother said it would show her what her heart’s desire was. Sarah was sure it was David, but that all changed literally overnight as she’s rescued from a lightning strike by the very handsome Romany Dominic.
I found myself intrigued from the start. Once Dominic entered the picture I really wondered how on earth the author would make him appealing, but I found myself falling for him just as quickly as Sarah did!
There were a few spots that I found myself scanning rather than reading, but it was usually because I was too anxious to find out what was going on. There were a few things that wouldn’t logistically make sense, but the story was still fun for me. I think the worst thing for me was the many editing issues – things as simple as no end marks and missing words. I kept getting tripped up. However, the story was still gripping enough to keep me turning the pages.

About the Author ~ Cynthia Lucas

After reading countless romance novels, Cynthia Lucas decided to put her love of writing and ‘the desire to inspire’ to good use and write her own.

Her first self-published novel, When Lightning Strikes, combines her love of exotic culture, time-travel, swashbuckling and heated romance. It has garnered excellent reviews from readers who want more of her enchanting writing style that leaves them feeling as though they’ve lived the story. The book has been enjoying a lengthy stay in the Top 20 of Amazon.com’s Top 100 Best Sellers in Time Travel Romance and has recently reached #1, and after countless requests for a sequel, QUICKSILVER MOON was released in the fall of 2012.

An avid blogger who often writes short articles for her own and others sites, Ms. Lucas says she finds one of the greatest pleasures in life, is helping other artists and writers to ignite their creative spark, and get their ‘inner glow’ going so that they too, may reach for their star.

Cynthia is also an accomplished singer/songwriter in the musical act NORTH 2 SOUTH and is an international songwriting competition Song of the Year nominee and award winning vocalist and lyricist. She currently resides in Largo, FL with her husband of twenty years, their daughter and several pets, including exotic birds and wildlife that she rehabs as a hobby.

Other titles by Ms. Lucas: Blood from a Stone (2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Second Round Pick); a modern-gothic romance sprinkled with a bit of paranormal intrigue, plenty of humor and is a touching story of redemption and the power of the human spirit. It has received glowing reviews from readers and reviewers alike.

Website * Goodreads

Happy Reading,

Alison