Category Archives: Supernatural

*Review* The Murmurings – Carly Anne West

The Murmurings Cover The Murmurings

Carly Anne West

384 pages

ISBN: 9781441798

Read 7-23-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…

Well, the cover looks kind of nice and creepy and the synopsis sounds like it would be a bit spooky, but…it just didn’t live up to what I was hoping for. The writing was okay, some of the descriptions were really good, but the dialogue could have been better since it didn’t feel very natural at some points.

Sophie was an okay character, she had a lot to deal with from the death of her sister and Evan was a good guy, but I didn’t see any kind of build up to a relationship or any kind of connection. I have no idea why they liked each other or why Evan decided to start hanging out with Sophie.

There were several instances were I don’t know how they came to conclusions on things, like who the “insider” was. They were talking about going somewhere and that the insider was there and suddenly Sophie somehow knew exactly who it was. There was also no explanation as to how Dr. Keller knew that Sophie was hearing the murmurings since she didn’t tell anybody.

The ending was kind of anticlimactic and also had no real explanation. I don’t really like unclear things like this. I like to know why it worked and how they knew this important information. I hate to say that this book was pretty disappointing.

No explanations, not creepy, no romantic connection, good descriptions.

2.5 bookmark

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Filed under 2.5 Stars, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Review, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* The Awakening – L.J. Smith

Awakening Struggle Cover The Awakening (Vampire Diaries #1)

L.J. Smith

276 pages

ISBN: 9780061020001

Read 6-6-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror… 

Elena: Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Stefan: Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Damon: Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

Well, this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be.  I watched the first 3 seasons before I read this book.  I love the TV series, but I wasn’t in love with the book.  At least not this first one.  It is quite different from the show!

Elena was very different between the book and the show.  In the show she is a caring person who puts others before herself, but in the book she was the queen bee at school and manipulated people to get whatever she wanted.  I just didn’t like her very much.

And this book was the worst I have read on insta-love.  It was unreal how fast the insta-love was.  There was no real connection between Elena and Stefan for me.  I understand why Stefan would want Elena, but I don’t know why she wants Stefan other than she feels the need to take whatever she wants.  There was no relationship development.

Stefan on the other hand I actually did like.  He is very mysterious and wants to protect Elena.  We get a good history on him and he is a deeper character than Elena and has a better attitude.

There was soooo many things that were different between this book and the show, I really wouldn’t know where to start with it.  There are characters in the book not in the show and vice versa, characters who have totally different personalities and names where changed and mixed around.  Gotta say I like the TV show better than what I have read so far.  I will keep reading however because I want to see more of Damon (I’m Team Damon all the way) and hopefully I won’t be so annoyed with Elena past the first book.

Annoying main female character, good writing, major insta-love, enjoyed the TV show better.

3 bookmark

 

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Filed under 3 Stars, Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Black Heart – Holly Black

Black Heart Cover Black Heart (Curse Workers #3)

Holly Black

296 pages

ISBN: 9781442403468

Read 5-4-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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In a world where Magic is illegal.

Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object – including a person – into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he’ll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?

For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She’s the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can’t stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn’t keeping Cassel’s mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can’t remember where she put it.

The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?

Time is running out, and all Cassel’s magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.

I thought this was an excellent conclusion to the Curse Worker series!  It was the most suspenseful of the three and really showed Cassel’s powers off.  Cassel is quite witty and sly and takes a lot of risks.  If I was in position, I know it would be very hard to trust anybody and make a huge decision like the one he faces.  In the end, I like the way he handles things and takes care of a few issues.

I felt so bad for Cassel at several points because of how much he cares about Lila, but he thinks she can’t love him back because of his mother working her.  I like Lila, even if she is the daughter of a crime boss.  Cassel’s mother on the other hand, I never cared for through any of the books, but I guess you’re not really supposed to.  She is so selfish and manipulative and shallow.  Sam I also still like and he is still very loyal to Cassel, even though there is some danger for him being Cassel’s friend.

I really like the way this one ended, and thought it was a good wrap up for the trilogy.  I kind of wish there would be another book for the series, but even if there never is, I would still be satisfied with the way it ended.  I own the first book, and I will be buying the 2nd and 3rd books as well since I enjoyed them so much. I love the dotted cover art and hopefully I will be able to get the author to sign them like my first one if she comes to YallFest again this coming November.

Good characters, exciting, good descriptions, good ending.

4.5 bookmark

 

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*Review* Girl of Nightmares – Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares Cover Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

Kendare Blake

332 pages

ISBN: 9780765328663

Read 11-29-12

Format: Hardover

Source: Own

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It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on. 

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

This was the book that was chosen for my first Random Reads with I’m Loving Books, and it was the perfect selection since I was wanting to read it anyway!  Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite books last year and  wasvery excited for the sequel.  Kendare Blake is an excellent writer and makes wonderfully sassy female characters.  There probably isn’t any characters in her books that aren’t well-written and she does an amazing job of making them all feel like real people.

I enjoyed the way the story wrapped up and my heart went out to Cas with everything he had to go through.  The only real complaint I have is that we don’t get to see much of Anna, aside from the visions Cas has and the last 30 pages of the book, she is nowhere else in it.

The ghost scenes are great with incredibly vivid descriptions.  I loved it!  The hell that Anna is trapped in is such a strange and horrible place, and the Suicide Forest is quite creepy.  I can’t stress enough how great of a writer Kendare is.  If her other books are anything like the Anna books, I will get everything she writes.

Incredible writing, wonderful characters, fast read, not much Anna.

4.5 bookmark

 

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*Review* Something Strange and Deadly – Susan Dennard

 Something Strange and Deadly

Susan Dennard

388 pages

ISBN: 9780062083265

Read 10-24-12

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

Ok, so I know I am behind on my reviews, but NaNoWriMo takes up a lot of time!  Apparently more time than I am able to put toward it since I am only at 20k words and unless I get a ton of time to get the other 30k words out, I am not going to be able to finish it, sadly.  Though, I figured I probably wouldn’t be able to, but my story is about 70 pages started, so that’s a big accomplishment for me!  We will see what happens by November 30th 🙂  Now, on to the review!

I read this book while participating in the read along with Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide, and I really enjoyed it.  This was my 2nd zombie YA book and my first book with steampunk elements.  I really liked the world of 1876 Philadelphia that the author showed us; there were really good descriptions for everything.

Eleanor is definitely like no other high society girl.  She is not afraid to get her hands dirty and certainly isn’t worried about how others see her life like her mother is.  I really didn’t care much at all for Eleanor’s mother; she was very materialistic and made her moves based on how she thought others would react.  Eleanor is very strong and does what she feels is right, even if she has to sneak around to do it.  And with how often she ends up making decisions that land her in danger’s way, she is either incredibly brave or incredibly dumb.

Daniel was kind of rude, but I eventually did warm up to him.  He has some secrets and we don’t get to learn too much about him until the second half of the book.  The second half also had a lot of surprises and twists.  I was actually quite surprised by a number of things that happened and I like it when an author can surprise me.

Romance is definitely not something you are going to find in this story, so those who dislike insta-love, no worries with this one.  But I am hoping for romantic development in the sequel.  I really like this cover and the overall darkness and feel of it.  The cover to the sequel is fitting and continues the same kind of style.  I am definitely looking forward to continuing this series.

Surprising, fast read, great descriptions, no romance.

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fiction, Horror, Review, Steampunk, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Alice in Zombieland – Gena Showalter

 Alice in Zombieland

Gena Showalter

404 pages

ISBN: 9780373210589

Read 10-22-12

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

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She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I’d tell my sister no.
I’d never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I’d zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I’d hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I’d tell them I love them.
I wish… Yeah, I wish.

This book was so awesome!  It is definitely not your ordinary zombie tale.  Instead of the usual sluggish, walking dead physical zombies, these are actually spirits that are infected and they are strong and fast.  Also, you can’t just shoot them in the head to kill them, it’s much harder.  It was definitely a book I could not put down, one of my favorites this year and I want the next one NOW.  Why must I wait an entire year?!

This book was very exciting in several different ways and there is so much more to learn and uncover.  The action scenes were really well-written and not at all confusing.  The whole thing reads so fast and I would have finished it sooner than I did if life had let me sit down to it more.

There are so many characters I liked.  Ali of course was awesome.  She had to deal with a huge tragedy and she bounces back well.  Her friend Kat is quite a character.  Incredibly upbeat, incredibly fiesty, and an awesome friend.  Ali’s grandparents were funny old folks who had some hilarious lines where they try to talk slang.

“You’re smart, pretty and you’re not a douche purse.”
If I’d had food in my mouth I would have spewed it.  Douche purse?  She must mean douche bag.  But okay, I could roll.  I was getting used to her filthy, funny mouth.  Pg. 265

As for Cole, I wasn’t too crazy about him at first.  I do like a confident, strong male lead, but in the beginning, he was a bit too forceful and a jerk.   It was like he was two different people at first, but eventually we got to see who he was and I definitely warmed up to him.

The cover of this book is one of my favorites because of the details in it; the little skulls, the symbolds of the card suits, and the skull & crossbone design on the inside of the hardcover.  All I have to say is READ THIS BOOK!  A great book and a great Halloween read.

Zombies, action, great characters, witty banter.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Action, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Review, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Jinx – Meg Cabot

 Jinx

Meg Cabot

262 pages

ISBN: 9780060837648

Read 8-2-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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It’s not easy being Jinx.

Jean Honeychurch hates her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just . . . Jean). What’s worse? Her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfortune seems to follow her everywhere she goes even to New York City, where Jinx has moved to get away from the huge mess she caused in her small hometown. Her aunt and uncle welcome her to their Manhattan town house, but her beautiful cousin Tory isn’t so thrilled. . . .

In fact, Tory is hiding a dangerous secret one that could put them all in danger. Soon Jinx realizes it isn’t just bad luck she’s been running from . . . and that the curse she has lived under since the day she was born may be the only thing that can save her life.

Tory’s secret wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, and neither was the book really, but not in a bad way.  This story was a quick, enjoyable read; it would make a good book to sit and read in a day. Continue reading

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Chime – Franny Billingsley

 Chime

 Franny Billingsley

361 pages

ISBN: 9780803735521

Read 5-17-12

Source: Borrowed

Format: Audiobook

Before Briony’s stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family’s hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it’s become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

 Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He’s as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she’s extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn’t know.

This book was wonderful!  This one will definitely find it’s place on my Favorite Reads page.  Chime is an amazingly written tale that weaves a magical world and mystery throughout it.  There are so many secrets to unlock in this story with some surprising turn of events.  I did figure out a big discovery, but it didn’t make it any less enjoyable when the secret was revealed.

The writing was beautiful for this novel and the author is a painter with words!  It was perfectly written to give you the feel of being in an old town back in the days of witch trials and magic.  Briony’s voice is so rich and honest; she was a great main character.  She is a very strong female and looks out for others she cares about, especially her sister Rose, who was also a great character and brought a lot of quirkiness to the story.  As for Eldric, he was quite chivalrious and was so protective over Briony, you couldn’t help but like him.  And Cecil was one of the characters that you like to hate.

The reader for this book was fantastic as well and probably the second best reader I’ve heard so far.  Her English accent really made it feel like I was in way-back-when England and her voice changes were great for the different characters.  There was no point that I felt she was flat or boring.

The language usage was very unique.  There was a lot of purposeful repetition that made points more powerful or made things stand out better, and the descriptions were unlike a lot of what I’ve read, so it was new and great.  The story itself was incredible!  There was a lot to it that was powerful and beautiful and nerve-wrecking.  I look forward to the author’s other works.

Great characters, awesome story, powerful, beautifully written, wonderfully witchy tale!

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*Review* The Near Witch – Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch

Victoria Schwab

282 pages

ISBN: 9781423137870

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.


If the wind calls at night, you must not listen.

  The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

     These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.  But when an actual stranger – a boy who seems to fade like smoke – appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.


The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion.  As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know – about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.


Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

This was a fantastic novel!!  I really loved this book and the voice in which it was written.  I felt like I was in an old village with these characters and was being told the tale of the old scary witch.  The writing of the novel is strong and feels like a voice from long ago, and it is filled with wonderful descriptions.  The language is simple, yet very elegant and rich.
I loved the characters.  Most of them anyway, except for the ones you aren’t supposed to love of course.  Lexi is a very responsible and be-herself character, even though her uncle constantly wanted her to do the things girls are supposed to do.  I would have liked to have seen a touch more from Cole, though, but he was a good character as well.
As for the cover of the book, I found it very appealing and inviting.  The way the subject is peering from behind the curtain gives a mysterious air, making you wonder what she is looking at.  I also like the fact that it isn’t a dark cover, instead it is mostly white with dark font, which is a fancy older looking script.
This story is old and new at the same time.  The plot was great, the dilemmas were great, the idea was great, and the voice was great.  The only complaint I have against the book is that the resolution was a bit anticlimactic.  They are running around trying to solve these problems and find the children and finally when the big final scene comes, it’s really quick and over.  I did a “that was it?” after I read it, but that’s the only grievance from me on this book.  Wonderful, wonderful read!

Elegant, incredibly descriptive, fairy tale feel,  engaging, simplistic resolution.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fiction, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* The Poisoned House – Michael Ford


The Poisoned House

Michael Ford

319 pages

ISBN: 9780807565896

Read 11-8-11

The year is 1856, and orphan Abigail Tamper lived below stairs in Greave Hall, a crumbling manor house in London.  Lord Greave is plagued by madness, and with his son Samuel away fighting in the Crimea, the running of Greave Hall is left to Mrs. Cotton, the tyrannical housekeeper.  The only solace for the beleaguered staff is to frighten Mrs. Cotton by pretending the house is haunted. 


So when a real ghost makes an appearance – that of her beloved mother- no one is more surprised than Abi.  But the spirit has a revelation that threatens to destroy Abi’s already fragile existence: she was murdered, and by someone under their very own roof.  With Samuel returned to England badly wounded, it’s up to Abi to nurse him back to health, while trying to discover the identity of the killer in their midst.  As the chilling truth dawns, Abi’s world is turned upside down.

With this book, I was hoping for something scary that might keep me from sleeping soundly since I am trying my best to find a book to scare the bejeezus out of me, unfortunately, that was not the case with this book.  Though it was an OK, mostly enjoyable read, it wasn’t what I wanted.  The book was pretty slow and it wasn’t scary at all.  The main point of the book wasn’t even the ghost, it was more of what happened to her, and she seldom showed up.
The book was well-written and the author did well portraying the more formal language of the older days of London.  I also thought the imagery the author created was very strong, but I really would have liked creepier ghost scenes.  If I had been able to sit and read it (work got in the way), I would have zoomed right through this book even though it was a slower story.
Another unfortunate negative for this book is that it was very predictable.  One of the major secrets of the book I guessed within the first few pages I read.  I hate to say that the book was a letdown for what I was trying to find, but it just didn’t satisfy what I was looking for.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a mostly enjoyable read, but it wasn’t overly so.

Predictable, slow, not so creepy, well-written, good imagery.

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Filed under 3 Stars, Fiction, Supernatural, Young Adult