Showing posts with label 48fourteen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 48fourteen. Show all posts

Friday, December 23, 2016

[Review] Fire of the Sea - Lyndsay Johnson: Mermaids and Magic Jewelry






In FIRE OF THE SEA, mermaid Aeva falls in love with a human and has to battle her evil nemesis again.

What intrigued me: I haven't read a decent mermaid book in ages!

Less telling, more showing please!

I had high hopes for FIRE OF THE SEA. Being advertised as a mermaid story mixed with Norse mythology, I was absolutely intrigued.

The world building is truly very extensive and well-thought out, but this novel severely lacks in execution and structure. Especially the beginning, 8-year-old Aeva fighting against the evil enemy of their kingdom and winning, doesn't even tell us much about what this story is going to be about. In general FIRE OF THE SEA very much feels like a sequel to a much more interesting book. 

FIRE OF THE SEA awkwardly flip-flops between character introductions and narration and I really have to admit that the first 50 pages of this were very boring and difficult to read. Johnson doesn't quite manage to put this undoubtedly very intricate world into words, mostly because nothing really is explained much. The reader almost completely has to rely on what they think they know about mermaids and then just awkwardly try to create an image of this world on their own.


Weak World Building

FIRE OF THE SEA really could have used less telling and more showing, and also fewer characters. I truly couldn't disinguish all the people from another and in the end it sort of reads like everyone has the same personality.

Aeva's magic armlet plays a huge role in FIRE OF THE SEA and honestly, it tired me so much. It's like a Deus Ex Machina permanently attached to her arm. It knows all answers, it has emotions and can communicate with her, and of course it can also defeat any and every enemy. This again ties in with the biggest problem of this book - the lack of world building. So many things in FIRE OF THE SEA would've made for fantastically unique story elements, even the Deus Ex Machine bracelet, if they were just explored and explained better and with more care. 


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

FIRE OF THE SEA was a disappointment because of the lack of world building. I just wasn't swept up into this world as I hoped and simply didn't care much for Aeva and her story.



Additional Info


Published: March 24th 2014
Pages: 424
Publisher: 48Fourteen
Genre: YA / Mythology / Norse Mythology
ASIN: B00JCZQUGM

Synopsis:
"Sharp, sleek, and golden. Like the dagger she has worn since childhood, eighteen-year-old Aeva is all three of these things. But there is something else that this mermaid and her prized weapon share – they are both hunted.

Hidden within the caves off Iceland’s dark shore, Aeva waits to take her place as the next ruler of the Mermaids. But when Aeva uses her potent and alluring song to save a drowning human, she disrupts a delicate balance. Realizing she has unexpectedly bound herself to Gunnar, Aeva is torn between duty and love.

Aeva severs one life to begin another, and soon finds herself not only rejected by the sea, but also stalked by an old enemy. As the worlds of myth and man intertwine, Aeva will challenge fate to protect her own sacred relic and the man she loves.

But legend and lies cast an intricate net. With time and safety quickly unraveling for Aeva and Gunnar, there is only one clear course: Find and defeat Delphine before she can shift again."(Source: Goodreads)



Do you like books about mermaids?

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Monday, April 25, 2016

[Review] Forewarned (The Near Deaths #2) - Holly M. Campbell: Serial Killers and Psychics




In FOREWARNED, mind reader Hope and her death-seeing boyfriend Lance are on the hunt for the kidnapper that tried to abduct Hope and her friend Claire in FORESHADOWED.

What intrigued me: I liked the first book!

The serial killer is back

The first book initially left me a bit disappointed that the kidnapping storyline isn't completely resolved but picked up again in the second novel. What could have possibly ended in a dragged out disaster actually proved to be a smart decision. 

Where FORESHADOWED still introduced characters, FOREWARNED absolutely compliments the series by concentrating more on the action. I grew very attached to all the characters and am an absolute fan of the protagonist Hope. 

Her narration is so essentially teen and relatable that it's just fun to read her story. The mind-reading part that I initially was very skeptical of, because it's hardly done well, became one of my favorite things about this series. Campbell flawlessly manages to capture the thoughts of her characters.

Fantastic ending ... where's the sequel?!

FOREWARNED is a typical transition novel and it shows in the plot. Because of Campbell's light and easy writing style it doesn't quite bother me as much, but I really would have loved for things to get ugly in this one. FORESHADOWED hints at all the action and I was really hoping to see the showdown in this novel or at least get a little bit more information of the killer that would make it easier to pinpoint who he exactly is. Well, in the end I did like the sequel than the first, which is mostly because of the great ending that had me longing for more. 

In both FORESHADOWED and FOREWARNED, the last thirty pages were by far my favorite part of the books. Campbell is exceptionally talented at fast-pace narration, building up tension within a couple of pages, and really, deeply making me worry for her characters' fate. FOREWARNED yet again surprised me with a devastating and fantastic ending, and made me want to immediately continue the story and read the sequel. 

Full of surprises, relatable and thought-provoking, FOREWARNED is truly a reading pleasure!


Rating:

★★★½☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

I liked FOREWARNED better than the first and am very much looking forward to continuing the series and I would absolutely recommend it!



Additional Info

Published: April 26th 2016
Pages: 398
Publisher: 48Fourteen
Genre: YA / Thriller

Synopsis:
"Death is not finished with her…

With a little help from her death-seeing boyfriend, Lance Hampton, Hope Murdoch has already defeated fate once. Doing it again—and stopping a serial killer in the making—shouldn’t be too hard…except she hasn’t healed from her last brush with the psychopath, Lance is struggling with his personal demons, and she’s grounded. Tracking down a murderer is not easy when you’re basically under house arrest.

Yet, the seventeen-year-old mind reader isn’t about to let those trifling obstacles slow her down. So what if she has to lie to her parents and sneak out of the house to catch him? She is not the only one in danger.

Once again, Hope is faced with the burden of choosing between saving her own life and the victims starring in Lance’s visions. Getting past her parents’ house alarm is a walk in the dark compared with trying to get a murderer behind bars…or in the ground. With only a few clues to piece together, every path looks like a dead end—literally. 

This time, the cost of changing her future may be too much to bear."(Source: Goodreads)


Do you like books about mind readers?

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

[Review] Foreshadowed (The Near Deaths #1) - Holly M. Campbell: Mind Reading and Boy Trouble




In FORESHADOWED, Hope has the ability to read minds. When she meets Lance, who sees the way people will die when he looks at them, and learns of her own death, she's determined to stop it before it happens.

What intrigued me: I was in the mood for some good old paranormal romance!

I approve of the characters!

FORESHADOWED sounds like your average girl meets mysterious boy and they fall in love story. I was expecting a cheesy romance, but was surprised to find a somewhat different approach. 

The heroine Hope is a wonderful main character and very fun to read about. She's sassy, she's witty, and she's actually funny. I especially enjoyed the banter between her and her next-door-neighbor and crush Bryce. He's such a fantastically funny douchebag that you can't help but love him. I love their relationship and I absolutely adore accurate portrayals of unrequited love.

I think having Bryce and Lance, the token mysterious new guy, in this love triangle actually works. Even though I would argue that Hope should choose neither.

Not a Paranormal Romance

I also love how Campbell introduces us into Hope's world directly and we get to actually experience what her mind reading ability is like with little cursive inserts of the thoughts of the people surrounding her. This is undoubtedly very well done and probably the only time that I've seen mind reading done well without it seeming ridiculous.

However, there isn't really much more to FORESHADOWED than being a story about a girl who reads minds. She does meet Lance, a boy with the ability to see death dates, but I was hoping for more world building. Most of the novel takes place at school, in very mundane scenes and to me it was absolutely lacking the certain spark, the magic. It reminds me a little of NUMBERS by Rachel Ward.

The problem isn't really with the novel itself, but with the premise. Everything about the setup suggests a love triangle paranormal romance, when in reality it actually is a thriller involving murder and crime. FORESHADOWED doesn't let you know that it's not a sweet, cheesy romance until 75% in, which frustrated me a little. I did enjoy the novel overall, once I got into the story - I was invested. 


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

The writing is nice and clean and Hope is such a sympathetic character that I think I can't tell you not to read this.



Additional Info

Published: December 29th 2014
Pages: 314
Publisher: 48Fourteen
Genre: YA / Thriller
ISBN: 9781937546380

Synopsis:
"Hope Murdoch was born dead. The doctor brought her back, and now she’s an almost-normal sixteen-year-old. Normal: a hopeless crush on the boy next door, a negative body image, and a (mis)diagnosis of ADHD. Not-so-normal: an exhausting and distracting ability to read minds. And high school is hard enough without hearing what everyone really thinks of you.

Lance Hampton used to be normal until a car accident killed him and his parents. Paramedics brought him back to a life he doesn’t want: orphaned, uprooted and living with his uncle, and suddenly able to see how people die. At his new school, he tries to keep to himself. Seeing how complete strangers die is torture enough, let alone friends.

At first glance, Hope doesn’t think much of Lance (though a lot of the other girls do). He looks like the typical bad boy. No thank-you … but then she meets his eyes and everything goes dark. She hears labored breathing. Rapid footsteps. And then a thud as someone falls to the ground. Inside Lance’s head, Hope just witnessed a vision of murder … her own.

Together Hope and Lance try to catch a killer before he’s red-handed. A killer who could be anywhere. Anyone. Sure Hope can read minds and Lance can see death, but they still can’t see in the dark.(Source: Goodreads)
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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

[Review] The Human Cure - Tracy Auerbach





In THE HUMAN CURE, Kate gets kidnapped by the vampire Hunter and held captive in an underground city to become a breeder for him.

What intrigued me: As if I could ever, ever say no to a vampire book, guys.

Old school vampires!

Sometimes books seem to find you at the perfect time. THE HUMAN CURE looks like a scary vampire read, possibly with a side of romance. But what it actually is, is a flat out hilarious, incredibly witty, and captivating fun urban fantasy story. This is fast-paced, strangely funny, and a delight for any vampire lover.

I loved all the characters. I seldom say that because there's always one I despise, especially with a dual POV (which is almost never done well). I love, love, love how this isn't your average "girl meets swoony, mysterious boy. they kiss. they are in love now. but wait, he's a vampire!!!" story. It's actually quite the opposite. The vampires in THE HUMAN CURE are reckless, mean, rude, and absolutely perfect. This is how I like my vampires - old school and angry. I'm so very glad I decided to read this.

All the basic ingredients for the perfect fun vampire read

The biggest issue I had with this is the length. THE HUMAN CURE is truly a fun and entertaining read, but I struggled a little with connecting to the characters up until the end, just because this is such a short novel. Sometimes it felt like the characters were rushing from one scene to the next, and I just wanted it all to slow down a little, give the reader more time to fall in love with the undoubtedly unique concept and great characters.
The novel doesn't do itself a favor by being so fast-paced. The writing style and sentence structure mirrors the pace of the novel - it's quick, it's down to the point, it's devoid of metaphors and anything that doesn't bring the story forward. That's not a bad thing necessarily, it's very easy to read, but it makes getting attached a little difficult and doesn't compliment the world building (which has so much potential!).

What I cherished most about this is the very unexpected hilarity. I grew very attached to Hunter's vampire cousin Chase, whose dead-pan tone and dislike of humans is definitely the highlight. The protagonist Kate has a bunch of lines that almost made laugh-cry, too! THE HUMAN CURE is really entertaining and that's exactly what I wanted from this - a short distraction that made me laugh. You can't argue with that, it's a great read.


Rating:

★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

I do. It's quick, it's fun, it won't hurt to read this. If you like your vampires mean and gore-y, you're going to love Chase just as much as I do.



Additional Info


Published: 5th November 2014
Pages: 167
Publisher: 48fourteen
Genre: Adult / Paranormal / Vampires
ISBN: 9781937546366

Synopsis:
"Kate Plesser is leading a dead-end life as an office assistant with a penchant for bad relationships. She is lost. When Kate is kidnapped by Hunter, a gorgeous stranger, she assumes he is just some sick psychopath. She never suspects he is actually a vampire, and that she is about to be plunged into a world stranger than her wildest dreams. In the underground city where Hunter lives, she encounters his otherworldly cousin Chase, who holds the key to her freedom. She is thrust into a village where humans are farmed for feeding and breeding. In this mysterious new world beneath Queens, New York, Kate finds something she never expected."
(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite vampire novel?

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