A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary via Amazon:Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends. But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.”

My Review: A fun, fast paced YA retelling of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. 

Save for a few long-winded paragraphs of narrative, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. I really liked Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson together. It’s great Holmes is a girl in this story. And though some readers criticize her as having the same personality and characteristics of Sherlock, I think that’s what I liked most about her. 

For those who know the Holmes and Watson stories well, this might not be as exciting to read–or maybe you’ll like it even more. I can understand the desire for something new in a retelling. But, for me, this was a riveting adventure. I didn’t mind how it followed some of the original stories, since I didn’t know them well to begin with. 

I picked this book up, read half of it in a day and finished it in only a few hours. The pacing is phenomenonal and the writing style makes it easy to read. There were a few info-dumpy paragraphs I skipped, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

Kiss Me Kill You by Larissa C. Hardesty

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary via Amazon: “Emmy Duivel believes in true love: heart-stopping kisses, candlelight dinners, and a connection that lasts forever. But not the kind of kisses that land your date in the hospital. Emmy always knew she was different, but not in the supernatural sense. Not in the succubus sense.

Paul Andinn had only one job: watch over Emmy and make sure she doesn’t expose the supernatural world. It should have been easy, but the moment he looked away, she kissed that boy, and everything changed. He should be more upset. But he can’t. Not when he’s falling hard for her.”

My Review: This is definitely for a younger audience, and there were moments I wanted it to be more mature–especially since there are club/dance scenes, lots of physical contact, and the occasional mention of sex. I would have loved for this to be geared toward a more mature YA audience, and those moments to be expanded upon. 

I enjoyed the tension between Paul and Emmy the most. It’s great they work with each other, in a sense, but are also pitted against each other. I would have loved to see one more dangerous scene between these two before the climax. 

This book lacked more discovery, narrative and dialogue on The Powers. There’s mention of “religion”–what Emmy’s mom and Lily call it, but I was left with questions about The Powers. Even with Paul’s POV, there were times it wasn’t enough backstory. 

Speaking of Paul, I don’t think his POV did much to move the story along. It was interesting to see his view of things, but it didn’t really reveal anything to me that couldn’t have been shown or discovered by Emmy herself. I almost wish this story was purely Emmy’s. 

What I really liked was Lily’s plot twist. And without giving away spoilers, I can’t explain why. But this was great. If Paul didn’t have his own POV, his character would have worked in a good plot twist too. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. As much as I love the cover, though, I thought this might be about Vampires, not a succubus, before I read the summary. I look forward to seeing the difference in this book vs. the second-to-come, to find out more about The Powers and how Emmy will save her friends and family. 

I won this paperback and kindle version in a free giveaway. 

Prescient by DS Murphy

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary via Amazon: “What if I told you you’d be dead in a year? That a food corporation would experiment with genetic modification, and nearly destroy the human race. Would you believe me? Sounds crazy, right? Because nobody can see the future. Nobody but me. And what I see isn’t pretty. A dystopian wasteland. Bodies rotting to nothing in the streets. Humans on the brink of survival. The wilderness eating away at what used to be my hometown. A shadow organization rounding up children. Bands of warring tribes. And let’s not forget the modifieds – the zombie-like remains of what used to be the human race…

My Review: I loved everything about this story except the ending. It was perfect; the pace was great, keeping me engaged up until the mini-cliffhanger. I despise cliffhangers, even if it is trying to pull you into a second book. I suppose the overall conflict of this first book was wrapped up by the end, so that makes up for it. But, I felt it ended too abruptly for me to feel satisfied. I’m left with this urge to keep reading, but the irritation of how the first ended… it’s all very conflicting. 

That being said, the world building was great, the backstory and explanations didn’t get in the way of the action or dialogue. 

The beginning was a bit too slow. Starting the story with the teens sitting around the room smoking might have been a better way to go. There was a lack of build-up to this moment, and it didn’t keep me engaged as much as the rest of the book did. Throwing me right into the tension, conflict, and then suddenly–woah, something strange is happening–would have hooked me in quicker. 

I’m not sure what I feel about the protagonist. There are so many questions left unanswered in this book, I’m kind of frustrated with her by the end. She’s been told exactly what she needs to do to stop the apocalypse from happening, but is in denial or scared and won’t do it–even though she’s consistently looking for a way to fix the future. It’s in front of her, handed to her. So, she’s whining to/about, and frustrated with, her side characters, her sister, and herself, looking for a way to fix things, but refuses to do the one thing that will. This drags on, and it’s maddening. It makes her a little weak, in my opinion. I know she’s just a kid still, but she doesn’t have a choice at this point. 

Time traveling books are really irritating sometimes, especially if things are on a loop–a paradox. I’ve never been a huge fan of time travel (this excludes historical fiction), but this book made it a little more intriguing and unique. The reason behind the apocalypse was also unique–at least, I’ve never read anything like this before, so overall, I enjoyed it. 

Sovereign Spirit Saga by David Forsyth

Rated: 5/5 stars

Short Summary: Scott won the lottery and decided to spend the money on a private cruise ship, on which he, his family, and his friends are well equip when the zombie virus beings to spread. While Scott and his guests are safely on the water, Carl is stuck at the airport with his wife, struggling to survive. Voyage of the Dead follows the story of both men on their journey to create a well-protected safe-haven for the survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse.

My Review: One of my favorite authors, Hugh Howey, recommended Voyage of the Dead through twitter, and I snatched it up pretty quickly, finishing it on June 17th, 2012. You can find my review and 5-star rating on Amazon and Goodreads.

What I love about this book is the main character, Scott. He is just an average man, who basically got lucky. He won the lottery, and with that came a lot of toys. On his cruise ship he has a private helicopter, an SUV, a mini sub, a laboratory and tons of weaponry, not to mention plenty of food and rooms available for guests. He is clearly prepared for whatever comes his way. Though he seems to have everything, he is the least selfish character in the book. He is willing to go out of his way to help those in need, though he looks out for his own guests’ safety first. Scott is organized, knowledgeable, and well equip to take on multiple tasks, as well as be able to fight off some flesh-hungry zombies in the process.

This book kept me entertained. Every time I thought there would be a pause in the pace, something else would happen to stir up problems for the characters. Since reading Voyage of the Dead, I’ve been constantly searching for new zombie themed books to read. This one isn’t too gory, and I was able to stomach the zombie killing scenes. However, I am hoping that the third book will have more disgusting, descriptive events that the characters must face. It seems that the characters have gotten their civilization pretty well organized by the second book, now I’m just waiting for more disaster to happen.

I was lucky enough to have David Forsyth message me on Goodreads shortly after I read this book, expressing his gratitude for my 5-star rate and review. He is very dedicated to his fans, and has an amazing imagination. I’m glad someone finally wrote a popular zombie apocalyptic book where the characters are stranded on a boat because who wants to be stuck on land with nowhere to go? Great book!

This book was free on Amazon when downloaded. I purchased it for my own enjoyment.

My Rating: 5/5

Second book in the Sovereign Spirit Saga.

Short Summary: The second book follows the characters from the first book, Voyage of the Dead, as they continue to search for the cure to the Zombie virus. The growing Flotilla that begins to take in more survivors is an attempt at creating a new civilization.

My Review: This is why I didn’t want to finish the book because now I’m aching to know what happens, and I have nothing else to read to distract me of my suffering. I give it five stars. It’s just as good, if not better than Voyage. I don’t know if it’s just that I have an active imagination, but from the beginning of Voyage I was able to foresee where Flotilla would be headed. I was glad that I was correct, but also still surprised at events that I had not expected.

Scott is such a bad-ass leader, which I love. His character is kind, sympathetic, and loving, but at the same time he knows how to stand up for himself and his followers. His confrontations with outsiders, especially government officials, were hilarious and uncomfortable. He always knows exactly what to say and when to say it. So, I guess now I’m wondering what his major character flaw is. His sympathy might get the better of him, but I just can’t really see him failing at this point unless he gets killed, which would piss everyone off. Looking into the future of the story, I’ll keep my thoughts about what will probably happen to myself, but I’m anxious to know what ends up happening to Clint.

This book was a little slower for me than the first, however it was still so gripping. I love the story, all of the characters, the idea, and the author. I have recommended this over and over again to friends, who love zombies as much as I do. It’s also gotten to the point where I’m having zombie dreams after reading at night, and I love it when a good book isn’t ready to let go of my mind even when I have finished reading it. These are books I will revisit over and over again.

I bought this book for my own enjoyment. I wrote this original review months before the third book, Deluge of the Dead, was released.

My Rating: 3/5

Third book in the Sovereign Saga

Short Summary: The continuation of Flotilla of the Dead. Scott and Carl struggle to keep the survivors of the zombie apocalypse safe as they begin advertising the safe haven to others who can make it to the shoreline. The virus continues to spread as they attempt to find the cure through the blood of those immune.

My Review: I understand the different approach that the author took in this book and appreciate the change. I honestly just got a little bored with the conversations between characters. That was mainly the reason I had a hard time getting through the book. The constant planning between each of the characters just didn’t keep my attention. That may be my own fault though. The politics and the military planning, which I know are necessary in a crisis, just bore me in any story. So, it may just be my taste this time.

Still in love with the characters, and I like the new perspective of the situation through the actions of those who are truly cruel. I think this was a great addition.

My favorite part of the book was the end when Billy and his mom are struggling to survive. This was the main event that sped up the pace of the book and kept me wondering what would happen next.

I am also the type of reader/writer that likes to kill off most of my beloved characters, so I’m always wishing authors would kill more of them instead of them living happily ever after, but I know a lot of you would hate your favorite authors for it. It’s just my taste. Very tragic. Very Shakespearean. There were a few characters that I hoped would die or find their love ones killed and be devastated in this book and didn’t.

Looking forward to continuing the saga. I’m hooked at this point. There’s no turning back for me!

I bought this e-book from amazon for my own enjoyment.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Prequel to the Sovereign Spirit Saga

Very Short Summary: In this prequel, the reasoning behind the zombie apocalypse is revealed, along with the masterminds behind the virus.

My Review: I’m so glad that a prequel was made. There aren’t too many zombie stories that explain how the virus actually spread, or analyze the mad men behind the infliction of the horror they cause.

The only thing I wanted to see happen in the end was the slow deterioration of the main character’s mind as he slowly turned. This might have been impossible, since the character is writing a personal entry, but it would have given the ending a different feel.

Other than that, it was really interesting to see how the virus was spread all over the world. I do wonder if anything written in the prequel shows up in the books themselves. I can’t remember if some of the places that the main character went in this prequel were mentioned in the books or not, but I’m curious to know if the prequel included pieces of the books themselves or not.

I really enjoyed this short prequel, as well as the books that follow.

I bought this book for my own enjoyment.

Rhyn Eternal (Books 1-4) by Lizzy Ford

My Rating: 5/5

First book in the Rhyn Eternal Series

Short Summary: Deidre’s world gets turned upside down when she suddenly becomes aware of the supernatural events and characters around her. She struggles to understand the part she has to play in this new world, especially after meeting Gabriel, who has just earned the position of Death and claims she is his mate.

My Review: I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I was worried when I picked it up for free on amazon, after seeing many, many, MANY books with the same type of cover. Don’t let the sexy man on the front fool you, this isn’t just a romance series. In fact, the first book express more of the fantastic world around the main characters rather than their actual relationship. While I like a good romance, this book has a little bit of everything in it. The twists of the events and character relationships keeps the pace of the story constant and surprising.

I loved it so much that I had to hurry and buy the second book in the series. I’m curious to see what happens to the humanity of Deidre as she is forced into the world of angels and demons.

I found this book for free on amazon and recommend it to the many of you supernatural/fantasy lovers, who enjoy great plot twists and romance.

stay tuned for books 2-4