Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Review: The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)The Legacy Human

Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Series: Singularity
Publisher: Self
Pages: 412
Release date: 2nd March 2015

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Spiritual successor to the bestselling Mindjack trilogy… 

When transcending humanity is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

The Legacy Human is the first in a new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

First things first! How awesome is the cover, I absolutely love it and it suits the story within perfectly.

The Legacy Human is the first book in the Singularity series and unfortunately started off quite slowly for me so I originally put it aside and started it again recently when my mood suited which I’m pleased I did because it is an interesting, creative world Susan Kaye Quinn has created.

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton is a legacy human, kept because of his genetic code, he is fiercely loyal and has a passion for art. His dream is to become an Ascender so that he can possibly get the medical assistance that his ill mother urgently needs. Eli was a great character, I usually like my male leads with a little bit more self-assurance and strength but what I felt he lacked here he made up for with intelligence and devotion. There is also something a little ‘different’ about Eli that was hinted at in the beginning that I was quite eager to learn more about, I found this aspect interesting and was explained well.

When Eli is given an opportunity to compete in the creative Olympics, he is more than willing despite the fiercely competitive opponents, as well as political games from the Ascenders. The plot is original and thought-provoking, what started as a slow paced read for me picked up and kept me thoroughly entertained.

The richly detailed world Susan Kaye Quinn has built is imaginative, intense and unique, I enjoy a good sci-fi dystopian, the Ascenders who are part human part machine are now the dominant species and the humans are more or less their slaves, the Olympics that the Ascenders held were competitive and thrilling.

All of the side characters were interesting and played an important role overall, I found the Ascenders and their unusual ways to be interesting but I never quite knew whether or not they could be trusted. I loved the friendship Eli shared with Cyrus.

Susan Kaye Quinn’s writing is crisp and engaging, the world-building is unique and the plot once it took off became an action filled adventure. The Legacy Human is a nice start to this futuristic dystopian series.


Susan Kaye QuinnAbout the author:

YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION
Singularity Series
The Legacy Human (Singularity 1)

Mindjack Saga
Open Minds (Mindjack #1)
Closed Hearts (Mindjack #2)
Free Souls (Mindjack #3)
WATCH the award-winning live-action Mindjack Book Trailer!

STEAMPUNK FANTASY ROMANCE
Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1)
Second Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #2)
First Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #3)

ADULT URBAN FANTASY WITH A CYBERPUNK TWIST
Debt Collector Season One
Debt Collector Season Two
WATCH the Debt Collector Book Trailer

ANTHOLOGIES
Synchronic-13 Tales of Time Travel
Telepath Chronicles-Stories of Mind-Bending Awesome
AI Chronicles

MIDDLE GRADE
Faery Swap
WATCH the Faery Swap Book Trailer

Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. Her teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated her stories a couple times.

Susan left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees, but she was drawn back to writing by an irresistible urge to share her stories with her niece, her kids, and all the wonderful friends she’s met along the way.

She doesn’t have to sneak her notes anymore, which is too bad.

Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as a much as she can handle.

CONTACT SUSAN
Susan's Website/Blog | Susan's twitter | Susan's Facebook Page
Susan's Email: susankayequinn@comcast.net



All images/blurb/author details etc. have been copied from GoodReads

Monday, 20 July 2015

Review: No Kissing Allowed by Melissa West

No Kissing Allowed (Entangled Embrace)No Kissing Allowed

Author: Melissa West
Series: -
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Release date: 28th July 2015

Synopsis (Goodreads)

No kissing. No touching. And definitely no falling in love...

Armed with her besties, an embarrassing number of shots, and her list of 10 Wild Things To Do Before Adulthood, recent grad Cameron Lawson is partying it up before she starts her dream job at New York's biggest ad agency. Her last task? Hook up with a random guy. And while it's so not her style, the super-sexy guy sitting next to her is definitely game. No names. No details. 

At least, that was the plan.

On her first day of work, Cameron discovers her hook-up is none other than Aidan Truitt—her new boss's boss. Talk about failing the “no fraternizing with coworkers” policy on an epic level. Especially when Aidan makes it clear their one night was only the beginning. Falling for him could cost her everything, but sometimes the only way to get what you want is by breaking a few rules..

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

I am such a huge fan of author Melissa West so I was really eager to read No Kissing allowed, I always enjoy storylines that follow a couple who get together thinking it is a one-off only to run into one another again a short time later and begin to pursue a relationship.

Our main characters are Cameron Lawson and Aidan Truitt, on a night out with her friends Cameron sets out to complete their list of 10 Wild Things To Do Before Adulthood; each of the girls are starting a new job – Cameron as an account manager at an advertising agency so when she meets a guy she knows only as UT guy she was thinking it was just a one night stand, never having done anything like this because she is a commitment girl she is shocked to discover a few days later that UT guy is her new boss.

Aidan is a one off kind of guy, not someone looking for forever because of a fear of commitment; he doesn’t want to end up like his cold-hearted father so he keeps everyone at a distance, but when he meets Cameron she makes him believe there is more to life than his ready thought out, non-negotiable plans.

Cameron was such a likeable character, she reminded me of myself! I could really relate to what she was thinking and going through. Aidan was a sweetheart, such a gorgeous, kind-hearted guy; Their road to a relationship and happiness was filled with many hidden moments as Aidan has a strict no fraternizing rule so there is a fair bit of sneaking around which was a bit of fun. It has great, witty banter, lots of sweet, endearing moments and some great characters! I am really hoping Grace gets her own book.

No Kissing Allowed is a light-hearted, feel good romance; it comes without unnecessary angst and drama which is always welcomed but in saying that there was also that needed ‘something’ to keep things interesting which didn’t eventuate.

Melissa West’s writing is crisp and engaging; she is a wonderful storyteller and writes fabulous characters; the NY and southern setting was also really enjoyable and written well, I liked the contrast of the fast pace to the more relaxed feel. Thank you to Entangled Embrace via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review No Kissing Allowed.


Melissa  WestAbout the author: Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and YA sci-fi romance,all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing?. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. 

Connect with Melissa atwww.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West.


All images/blurb/author details etc. have been copied from GoodReads

Friday, 17 July 2015

Review: BURN (Rephaim #4) by Paul Weston

Burn (The Rephaim, #4)BURN

Author: Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim
Pages: 432
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release date: 24th June 2015

Synopsis (Goodreads) The final book in The Rephaim series. Due out in June 2015 for Australia/New Zealand; August 2015 for UK; and June 2016 for US/Canada.

Gaby remembers everything. 
For a year she believed she was a backpacker chilling out in Pandanus Beach. Working at the library. Getting over the accident that killed her twin brother.
Then Rafa came to find her and Gaby discovered her true identity as Gabe: one of the Rephaim. Over a hundred years old. Half angel, half human, all demon-smiting badass—and hopelessly attracted to the infuriating Rafa.
Now she knows who faked her memories, and how—and why it’s all hurtling towards a massive showdown between the forces of heaven and hell. 
More importantly, she remembers why she’s spent the last ten years wanting to seriously hurt Rafa.

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

Have you ever read a series that you never wanted to end, for me its The Rephaim series by Aussie author Paula Weston. I honestly don’t enjoy angel/demon books – more the angel aspect but this series has been amazing and Burn is so far my number one favourite book for the year! I am completely and utterly satisfied with the ending but also so sad that it has all come to an end.

The last book ended on a huge cliff-hanger so the wait has been excruciating! I don’t want to give away any spoilers at all, this is a series you need to read from book one to fully grasp what has happened, to appreciate the wonderfully developed characters and to enjoy the fabulous world that Paula Weston has created.

Gaby/Gabe is a complete badass, the life she has lived for the past year has been completely fabricated and she is now beginning, along with her brother Jude to understand why. Her memories were planted and she remembered nothing of her old life until Rafa {swoon} re-appeared in her life.

It has been a huge mystery what had happened between Rafa and Gaby and I was completely shocked! I knew it would be something big but I could never guess and I was quietly devastated but also a little more smitten by the revelations (a little vague but if you read you’d understand why). Told in a series of flashbacks it was nice to get their ‘complete’ history.

The romance hasn’t played a huge role in this book but the chemistry and the attraction has been off the charts! I love the interactions between all of the characters and there are quite a few of them.

The world-building in the Rephaim series has been top notch and completely flawless - Burn takes us on a journey of the imminent attack on Pan Beach by demons and the preparations for the brewing violence. The mystery, intrigue and the politics have been a secret throughout and I never quite knew what was going to happen, the element of surprise has kept everything interesting. The fast-paced action packed plot is filled with a lot of destruction and with the appearance of Semyaza and the 200, it was great to see it all play out in their final battle.

Paula Weston’s writing is fantabulous! Burn is a book that I couldn’t put down; it was amazing – the revelations, angel politics, great characters; each with unique and likeable personalities and the romance kept me wanting more.

I can’t offer enough praise for Burn and the Rephaim series, it has been an amazing ride and I am devastated it has come to an end! I can’t wait to see what Paula Weston comes up with next, I’m certain it will be just as amazing.


Paula WestonAbout the author

I'm the author of the Rephaim series.

I'm also an avid reader and blogger, a huge fan of Australian literature and fantasy/paranormal stories, a closet comic reader and TV addict...and I'm borderline obsessed with the Foo Fighters.


All images/blurb/author details etc. have been copied from GoodReads



Shadows (The Rephaim, #1) Haze (The Rephaim, #2) Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Review: Eyes of Ember (Imdalind #2) by Rebecca Ethington

Eyes of Ember (Imdalind, #2)Author: Rebecca Ethington
Series: Imdalind #2
Pages: 380
Release date: 6th April 2013
Publisher: Self

Synopsis: Joclyn is in hiding, hunted by the man she still desperately loves. Ryland is gone, his mind erased, no memory of Joclyn remains. But, Joclyn’s heart desperately begs her to hold out hope. While, in reality the black eyed monster that possesses him, attempts to kill her over and over.

If it wasn’t for Ilyan, Joclyn would be dead by now. 

Ilyan. The man who once stalked her, is now Joclyn’s protector, the only thing she has left. He protects Joclyn from the men who seek to end her life, and while she is haunted by dreams where Ryland begs her to break the bond between them. 

Ilyan is there. Always there.

Ilyan trains and prepares her, teaching her everything she needs to know in the hope that one day she can avenge Ryland, if not protect herself from him.

And then there is her father.

The man who has never been there, is suddenly responsible for everything. And who he is has made Joclyn into something she never wanted to be.

The Silnį»³.
 

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Contains possible spoilers from the first book

I instantly purchased this book after finishing the first book, Kiss of Fire; it continues straight on from where the first book ended.

Joclyn is now on the run with Ilyan as her protector, she is learning more about her abilities as well as the world she has had thrust upon her. Her heart is broken after suffering a terrible loss and she is also recovering from horrific injuries, my heart was breaking along with hers; it was quite emotional what she was having to go through.

My fears from the first book are coming to light! We have a dreaded love triangle; we also have a character that was built up at the beginning of the first book (Ryland) for us to love that has turned into a completely batshit crazy psycho! There is a reason for this but I can’t say I’m not disappointed. Ilyan has turned out to be awesome – fiercely protective and extremely loyal, we find out more about his world and his purpose. I am still completely baffled about the romance situation though and what will come of it all.

We see a lot of character growth in Eyes of Ember, Joclyn showed a lot more weakness in the first book, she was realistically flawed but she now has a purpose and she’s training to seek revenge and to learn more about what she can do. My heart continually broke for Ryland, he seemed like a completely different character to the kind sweetheart we were first introduced to and my fingers are tightly crossed he comes out of this nightmare unscathed but I can’t see this happening because of what he has been forced to do (I apologise for my evasiveness) I am completely and utterly confused by his character.

We are also introduced to a few new characters, gruff Thom was interesting, I'd like to know more about his backstory and Dramin the Drak was great! we also get the strange mix of characters that I can't quite work out such as Cail, Ovalia, Talon and Edmund.

The plot was more evenly paced in this book but I felt there was too much going on and it did become repetitive and confusing. It is still extremely creative and I am enjoying learning about the world of the Imdalind, Drak, Trpasliks etc. but there are still so many unanswered questions. I am liking the blend of magic, romance and thrilling action.
  
The ending has me stumped! I have no idea what Ryland is up to or who we can trust. The next book, Scorched Treachery is told from Wyn’s POV so I’m eager to read this and hopefully get some answers.



Rebecca EthingtonAbout the author: Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then on stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn’t found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Review: Kiss of Fire (Imdalind #1) by Rebecca Ethington

Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, #1)Author: Rebecca Ethington
Series: Imdalind #1
Pages: 354
Release date: 30th October 2012
Publisher: Self

Synopsis: Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to.
The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.

Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

I was intrigued by Kiss of Fire, being in the mood for some magical YA; I stumbled across this book whilst browsing Amazon. This is the first book in the Imdalind series which at this stage will have six books in total.

Joclyn Despain is a bit of a loner, hiding behind baggy clothes, she has a hoodie obsession; this is because of a mark she has on her neck which she received as a toddler after being bitten and falling ill with an unknown illness. No-one knows of her mark including her long time childhood best friend and she wants to keep it that way.

Joclyn was a likeable character, she wasn’t without her faults but she was level headed, had a wonderful relationship with her mum and was realistically flawed. Her best friend is Ryland LaRue, the son of very wealthy Edmund LaRue who Joclyn’s mum cooks for; his family was extremely strange and I had no idea why, at first I thought it was because of the class difference but we soon find out there is a lot more to it.

On a movie night with Ryland, Joclyn’s life forever changes, she is thrust into a magical world that she has always been clueless about and pushes her further away from Ryland, the one person she thought would be her constant.

Ryland was a great love interest but very protective, probably a little too much as well as too showy with his wealth which did annoy me. But otherwise I adored the friendship he has with Joclyn. We are introduced to a few side characters, I adored Joclyn’s mum, Wyn was great and Edmund was evil creepy! I’m curious to learn more about this guy and his purpose.

The plot was slow moving until the half way mark; it was all about the friendship between Joclyn and Ryland which I thought would definitely lead to more but what was revealed was a huge shock! A welcomed shock because it moved the whole storyline in a whole new direction where Joclyn’s every move was now monitored at every moment because of what she was but the way it all came about was very surprising and creative.

Watching over Joclyn whilst she was on the run (I won’t reveal spoilers to avoid who/what she is running from) is Ilyan, I originally thought this guy was a little stalker creepy but he became Joclyn’s saviour; I can definitely see this series turning out to have a love triangle which is a shame because I loved the build-up at the beginning of the book between Ryland and Joclyn so it will be disappointing to have us fall for Ryland only to have him quickly replaced by another.

I enjoyed Rebecca Ethington’s writing style, although there were parts that I felt were repetitive and dragged out, there were also obvious editing issues, typos etc. but nothing I couldn’t overlook.

Kiss of Fire was a nice start to the Imdalind series, I am definitely keen to learn more about the Imdalind and their purpose and also to see what will come of Joclyn and Ryland.



Rebecca EthingtonAbout the author: Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then on stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn’t found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.



** All images used are from Goodreads,