Review ~ Arivaca: Guardians of the Light

Arivaca

Title: ARIVACA: Guardians of the Light

Author: John Poulsen

Publication Date: Dec. 13, 2014

Genre: YA/NA Sci-fi/Thriller/Adventure/Romance

Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime, and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.

Given superhuman powers, Jesse is suddenly thrust into a strange and perilous world of supernal treasures, killers and demons—battling the dark forces who desperately seek the sacred artifact. Thinking he’s on a one man mission, Jesse is shocked to learn that Cedar Lane, a girl who seriously despises him, may have spiritual gifts essential for keeping the relic safe. Without her help, he’s in jeopardy of losing not just the relic, but his life.

As Jesse unravels this secretive and dangerous world he learns the ups and downs of young love, and both the reward and peril of following his divine call.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ***3 Star*** Review

When first meeting Jesse, I felt sorry for him. I even wondered if it would be possible for him to have a big turn around in the story. But then I learned Jesse had a different side to him that didn’t quite fit with the stoner bad boy stuff. I’m not even sure that a person exists out in the real world like him, so it threw me off a little. Then couple that with the fact that the beginning of the story seemed to drag and the conversations seemed a little unnatural, and I just wasn’t feeling this story in the beginning. Oh, and the minor characters all fell flat.
But, I did slowly start seeing more depth to Jesse, and a slow change began happening in him. That seemed realistic. The book slowly started gaining appeal.
After 30% in it finally grabbed my attention. A good romance began to slowly build along with sexual tension. Exciting and dangerous adventures began taking place. There were some gruesome and violent situations that I think would appeal to male readers.
The ending is slightly cliffhangerish. You get the end of a storyline, but are still left hanging in many ways.

Summation and final thoughts ~ It took a while for this book to grab my attention, but ultimately it did and I would read the next book. I enjoyed the slow change in Jesse’s character and the slow romance building. However, I found it strange to be enjoying some sexual tension in a book about saving God’s relics. I didn’t feel like there was enough significance placed on the actual items Jesse was meant to protect. Ultimately it felt like you could have swapped out God’s relics for anything and made very little changes to the story and it would have still made sense. That might have been because I would have expected a stronger presence from God and/or a heart change in Jesse towards God, but those were nonissues in this story.
*I received a copy via NetGalley and Folded Corners in exchange for an honest review.*

Happy Reading,

Alison

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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

Review ~ World After by Susan Ee

world

Title: World After

Series: Penryn & the End of Days #2

Author: Susan Ee

Publication Date: Nov. 19, 2013

Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Paranormal

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Goodreads * Amazon

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

World After picks up right where Angelfall left off. You can check out my review of Angelfall HERE.

One thing I didn’t mention in my previous review is the development of minor characters. If you’ve read the first book, then you’re familiar with Dee and Dum. Let’s just say they continue to be entertaining.

I was less than 20% in before I came across my first violent, heart-pounding moment. Susan doesn’t back off in the action department.

Although this book is from Penryn’s point of view, you get a little treat from Pooky Bear in this story. Pooky decides to share Raffe’s point of view from a few incidents that happened during Angelfall. LOVED this! I was begging my kindle screen for more! Oh, and of course, I love the whole Pooky Bear thing in general. Penryn plays dress-up with Pooky, and it’s quite entertaining!

You can still expect to laugh through some scenes, and then be completely disheartened in the next. Oh, and of course I was thoroughly GIDDY at one point. I’m talking VICTORY DANCE!! I absolutely LOVE this story! I am soooo dreading the ending, though! I need a loophole for Penryn & Raffe. I NEED A LOOPHOLE!!! Okay. Rant over….maybe.

5 AMAZEBALLS STARS!!!!! I cannot wait for End of Days!!! Susan, I NEED an HEA here!!!!
*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 ~ 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 ~ Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout

shadows

Title: Shadows

Series: Lux #0.5

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: Feb. 21, 2012

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

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

Not reading this book until way after I was fully in love with Daemon, I didn’t know how I would feel about Dawson. I knew I wanted the story, though. While I didn’t fall for Dawson like I did Daemon, I’m still so glad I took the time to read it.
It’s the type of story that I’m sure would leave any high school girl swooning. There are times that you’ll completely forget that you’re reading about aliens because the scenes are so very real, and so very reminiscent of falling in love for the first time.
I didn’t find myself emotionally invested in Dawson and Bethany’s story like I was with Daemon and Kat, but this book was still filled with some great scenes! I was surprised at the length of it, too. Usually when you get a .5 version of any series, its length is brief. JLA didn’t do that.
I definitely recommend this book to all fans of the Lux series, and if you haven’t already read any of it, WHY NOT?!?

About the Author ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout

JLA

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don’t Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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 ~ Opal (Lux #3)

opal

Title: Opal


Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout


Series: Lux #3


Release Date: Dec. 11, 2012


Genre: Sci-fi/NA/Romance

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

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

The ending is what did it for me with this book. I honestly wasn’t feeling this book as much as the previous ones (although I still love the series as a whole), but the ending completely made up for the slow parts. I would be absolutely freaking out if I had to wait on the next book right now! I have to say that I’ve already read the next book, Origin, and it’s probably my favorite of the whole series, so keep reading if you’ve made it this far!

Don’t get me wrong either. This book didn’t suck. I just didn’t find myself as taken in on a whole. There are still some very exciting and intense moments. Kat faces some really big trials in this one. There’s also some heart-melting moments with Daemon. But, hey, almost all moments with Daemon are spectacular!

You can check out a little teaser from Opal HERE. I’ll be posting my review of Origin this Sunday, so be sure to check that out! I love to hear from other fans of the series!

Happy Reading,

Alison