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    Review: Silence

    Silence

    SILENCE by Becca Fitzpatrick was released in the U.S. on October 4, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats, and paperback format, at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 448 pages.

    SILENCE is the third book in Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. The fourth and final book, FINALE, was released on October 23, 2012.

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    Goodreads description…

    WHEN SILENCE IS ALL THAT’S LEFT, CAN THE TRUTH FINALLY BE HEARD?

    Nora Grey can’t remember the past five months of her life. After the initial shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks – with no one knowing where she was or who she was with – she tried to get her life back on track. Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge mom’s creepy new boyfriend.

    But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch. Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.

    And this unshakable feeling that a part of her is missing.

    Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to. He seems to hold all the answers…and her heart. Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love. Again.

    ***

    SILENCE is the fast-paced, wildly entertaining, and absolutely riveting third book in author Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. As with its predecessor, it starts off with a captivating prologue that draws readers back into the world.

    And it continues with a story that will keep readers glued to the page as Nora struggles to remember the past five months of her life. Not only the months she has been missing, but months that encompass her entire relationship with Patch. A boy she can no longer remember even exists.

    Even as Nora remains in the dark about the world she had once been a part of, a world of Nephilim, fallen angels and archangels, she cannot seem to escape it. And even without her memories intact, when she learns of their existence, of Cheshvan, of the Black Hand’s plans for war, of her friends’ roles, of hers, she can’t sit idly by.

    Because not only does she have a stake in the outcome of the Black Hand’s nefarious plans, she has a vital part to play in them. One that threatens her very existence. And one that could cost her everything if she fails.

    SILENCE takes Nora’s story in an exciting new direction. Instead of immediately continuing on with the love story and the struggle between the immortals, it’s almost as if it’s a new beginning for the characters and for the reader.

    With no knowledge of her recent past, Nora must try to rebuild her life from where she last remembers it. Before her discovery of angels. Before she met Patch. And before she became aware of who she really was. All of which creates a new trajectory for the story, a new opportunity to discover a different – and far more likable – Nora, and a chance at a brand new love story.

    This twist to the story gives readers the advantage as their awareness trumps that of the main character. It puts them in the position of knowing when she’s being deceived and of when she’s in danger. And it creates moments of tension and nail-biting suspense, heartache and heartbreak that would not otherwise have been part of the reading experience, making for an immensely entertaining read.

    And with new hurdles for the characters to overcome, new enemies for them to defeat and even more obstacles in the way of a happily ever after, with SILENCE author Becca Fitzpatrick delivers the most exciting, most suspenseful and most gripping installment yet in her Hush, Hush series.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    Rate05

    On a personal note…

    From the moment I started reading SILENCE I was transported back into the world of fallen angels, dangerous foes, and heartbreaking love stories. Even though it had been years since I’d read CRESCENDO, I was able to pick right back up with Nora and Patch’s story.

    And oh my gosh the way this installment starts out was even more jaw-dropping than the way things ended in that last book. It practically broke my heart to hear what happened to Nora and what she lost. And that was all right at the beginning.

    I could not tear my eyes away from this book once I started reading. It was that addictive. There was a comfort to returning to a story I’ve loved after having been apart from it for so long. It also gave me some distance from some of the things that frustrated me about the main character in those first two books, but especially in CRESCENDO.

    In SILENCE – finally – I grew to like Nora Grey. She was still insecure and slightly jealous, but it wasn’t all she was anymore. In trying to regain her memories, she somehow found a strength she didn’t have before. She was a character that I could sympathize with and by the story’s end grew to really like.

    Even though this book released ages ago I still don’t want to be too spoiler-y about the plot. But I loved that SILENCE focused on finding ways to stop the Black Hand and on recovering Nora’s memories rather than miscommunications and hurt feelings.

    While this story wasn’t perfect, it was pretty close. There were a few inconsistencies that jumped out at me, and a few moments that didn’t quite feel believable to the story, but they were only minor distractions. And they didn’t keep me from falling crazy in love with this book.

    Patch seems to have done a complete 180 in SILENCE. And while he wasn’t too perfect, thankfully – yes he retained a bit of his bad-boy edge – his behavior wasn’t of the devastatingly heartbreaking variety. More the swoon-worthy one.

    I got so caught up in this story that when it reached its end I just had to dive into the final book in the series even though I had planned to wait a few weeks. But after the way things ended, I just had to know what was in store for the characters in the series conclusion.

    There is no question that, for me, this is my favorite book of the series. It was fast-paced, exciting and riveting. It made me feel all the feels. It was suspenseful. It was heartbreaking. And yeah, I may have had more than my normal share of sighs throughout.

    It also made me want to go back and re-read the first two books in the series so that I could fall in love with the story all over again.

    Favorite passage…

    It may be a very short one, but for me this one is my favorite.

    A memory stirred inside me. Angel, I seemed to hear a smooth voice whisper. You’re mine.

    The Trailer…

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    Review: Wings of the Wicked

    Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton was released in the U.S. today, January 31, 2012, in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Katherine Tegen Books, the print edition is 528 pages.

    Wings of the Wicked is the sequel to Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. The third book in the series, Hymn to the Fallen, will be available in 2013.

    Goodreads description:

    Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
    Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

    She’s been warned.
    Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

    She’ll be betrayed.
    Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.

    ***

    After learning the shocking truth about who she really is and what her purpose is, Ellie Monroe still wants to try to live a normal life – go to school, go to prom, graduate and go to college. But with Bastian sending even more bloodthirsty reapers after her, trying to be normal is becoming nearly impossible.

    When she learns that his plan to destroy all of humankind has been set in motion, and that she is an integral part of that plan, she will do everything within her power to stop him. Even if it means putting her trust in someone she isn’t sure she can trust. Even if it means forging an alliance with someone whose motives may not be entirely pure.

    And even if it means tapping into her powers and becoming someone she’s not sure she wants to become.

    Because if Bastian were to succeed, not only would it be her life that is forfeit but everyone’s. And the result would be hell on earth. Literally.

    ***

    Wings of the Wicked is an utterly mind-blowing sequel that is packed full of heart-stopping action, tension, suspense and heartbreak. With an opening that shoves readers right back into this deadly world where angelic and demonic reapers battle for supremacy and where the Preliator is tasked with ensuring human safety, this book will be unputdownable.

    The battles are fiercer, the dangers greater, the enemies deadlier and the heartbreak more devastating than ever before in this second book in the Angelfire series.

    As Ellie desperately searches for answers on how to stop Bastian before his plan becomes a reality, she is forced to defend herself against an onslaught of even more lethal opponents that Bastian has sent to retrieve her. And with their attacks becoming much more public, she’s finding it extremely difficult to keep that part of her life a secret.

    To complicate matters, things between her and Will have been strained since he found out who she was, Cadan keeps surprising her with unexpected visits warning her of Bastian’s actions, she still hasn’t been able to recall all of her memories, and life at home hasn’t been getting any easier.

    Courtney Allison Moulton has yet again written a story that is positively addictive. Readers will be riveted by this incredibly fast-paced, emotional rollercoaster of a story as Ellie faces her enemies in battle, is tormented over her relationship with Will, experiences a heartbreaking loss, is at risk of losing herself, and tries to recover her memories before it’s too late – to save herself, to save her friends, to save all of humanity.

    Wings of the Wicked is unquestionably a must read for fans of the first book in the series as well as for readers who are looking for an exciting story, with a unique world, lovable characters and a cliffhanger ending that will make waiting for the next installment in the series absolute torture.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    On a personal note:

    I didn’t think I could love the sequel more than the original. I really didn’t. Meeting Ellie, Will and Cadan for the first time and learning about who they were, what they could do and taking that journey with them was flipping amazing. There was no way a sequel could top it. Yeah, I was so wrong. I don’t think I could possibly have been more wrong.

    I was worried when I started reading Wings of the Wicked because it had been so long since I read Angelfire and I was fuzzy on some of the details from that first book. And while I wanted to re-read Angelfire I didn’t get the chance to and had to just dive right in.

    I think I was lost for about thirty seconds, if that. While not everything was spelled out, and most of it not immediately, the little reveals throughout the book made everything come rushing back in… much like Ellie’s memory.

    I loved Ellie, Will and Cadan equally in Angelfire, even though Cadan was the bad boy and they’re usually my favorite characters to read about and fall head-over-heels in love with. But in Wings of the Wicked I loved Cadan so much more, even with all the surprising new things there are to know about him. And even with the very different side of him that is revealed.

    I am definitely worried about just where things are headed with Ellie in the next book in the series, because she was very emotional throughout this book. She had a lot to be upset about and a ton of things to be heartbroken over, but she seemed more fragile somehow. And that makes me nervous. Even though I know just how strong she can be.

    And Will. Oh Will. Half the time I wanted to hug him, the other half I wanted to smack him. He was all sorts of maddening and yummy and he twisted me up inside, made my heart drop right into the pit of my stomach and he put me through the wringer over and over and over again.

    But it was those demonic reapers and the even scarier bad dudes and the oh so dark direction the story was headed that made me practically speed-read through this book. There were pages I was dying to devour so quickly that I had to actually go back and re-read them just in case I might have missed something in my haste to see how a scene ended.

    Yes this book kept me on edge. I was a total wreck. From everything that was happening between Ellie and Will, to the unwelcome appearance of Ava, to the situation with Ellie’s Dad, to Ellie’s still missing memories, to the constant threat of the demonic reapers, to the even greater danger posed by the Enshi, I was tortured right up to that last page.

    Speaking of being tortured, as if that build-up to the end wasn’t enough, the way this book ends was so unbelievably cruel. I just knew it. I just knew the end would be tormenting and torturous and heartbreaking. In fact, there was heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak in this five hundred some-odd page novel. I’m not sure I actually survived. I may just be a ghost of myself right about now.

    I would love to re-read Angelfire and get to experience both books back-to-back without that long wait between reads. I’m super curious to see just who I’d love more – Will or Cadan – after a second read. And I wonder if reading both books again would change who I think is more perfect for Ellie, who I believe is hotter and whether I’d still believe that Ellie made the right choice.

    So what does Wings of the Wicked have? Everything. It’s got a kick-a** heroine. It’s got two swoonworthy boys. It’s got action, action and more action – those battles are seriously insane. It’s got heartbreak and despair and anguish. And then it adds in some more heartbreak and quite a bit more anguish. It has a mystery or two or three. And that ending…. Calling it killer would be way too nice.

    So, yes. I loved this book. Yes, I definitely plan on re-reading it. And yes, I’m sad that I can’t re-read it right now.

    ***

    I have quite a few long passages that were some of my very favorites, most involving Ellie and Will, but this one just makes my heart skip a few beats…

    Cadan to Ellie:

    “No,” he said softly, reaching forward to slide his fingers along my jaw toward my chin. The gesture was soothing, and in the frigid cold, his hand was surprisingly warm. The cold never affected reapers. “There’s nothing wrong with you. Throughout your lifetimes, your humanity has grown stronger. Your human passion is taking over your angelic heritage, and I don’t think it knows how to handle all that divine power. Once you understand and can balance the two sides of yourself, you will be unstoppable.”

    Book trailer for Wings of the Wicked:

    This review is based on an ARC I received from the publisher, HarperTeen in exchange for my honest review

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    Review: Hallowed

    Hallowed by Cynthia Hand was released in the U.S. on January 17, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 416 pages.

    Hallowed is the sequel to Unearthly, author Cynthia Hand’s 2011 debut.

    ***

    Goodreads Description:

    For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

    Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

    Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.

    ***

    Clara Gardner is not sure whether the nightmares she’s been having are just dreams or whether they’re visions. All she knows for sure is that they fill her with incredible sorrow and the only thing that helps is Christian’s presence.

    Unsure of just what her purpose is, or if she even has one, Clara is desperate for answers. Answers no one seems to have or is willing to share with her. But without answers and without a clear purpose, Clara feels lost.

    Especially since she keeps feeling drawn to Christian even though her heart belongs to Tucker. And while Christian may be the one she should be with, Tucker is the one she wants to be with.

    But if her dreams are a sign of what is to come, then she has much bigger things to worry about than who to choose. Because if they are real, then she will lose someone she cares about.

    And it may just mean she won’t have a choice to make after all.

    ***

    Cynthia Hand’s sophomore novel, Hallowed, is a gorgeously written, incredibly moving and absolutely captivating sequel that will keep readers on edge as they try to interpret the meaning of Clara’s dreams and will break their hearts when they learn the truth.

    This enchanting and heartrending story will invite readers back to Jackson, Wyoming, where Clara Gardner struggles with discovering her purpose, understanding just what her actions during the fire mean for her future, being in love with one boy and yet feeling drawn to another, and uncovering the reason why one particular Black Wing is so interested in her and her mother.

    Hallowed picks up shortly after the events in Unearthly. Everyone, and especially Clara, is still trying to recover and figure out what will happen next. And while Clara wants everything to return to the way things were, everything is about to change. And not necessarily for the better.

    As Clara tries to find answers, sort out her feelings for Christian and Tucker, practice using her powers and keep her distance from Samjeeza, time is running out. And if she can’t quickly figure out who she needs to keep safe, then her nightmares may come true.

    Author Cynthia Hand has written a beautifully touching and suspenseful story, filled with surprises – both good and bad – heartbreak, loss and love. Her writing makes it easy to get absorbed into the world she created. And her characters are the perfect mix of wonderfully flawed, flawless, lovable, detestable, strong, not so strong, brave, loyal, selfless, frustrating and incredibly determined.

    Hallowed is a simply amazing follow-up to Unearthly that existing fans and readers new to the series will immediately connect to and fall in love with.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    On a personal note:

    I always find it the most difficult to write reviews for books that were heartbreaking. When I read books that just reach in and squeeze my heart so much so that I can barely breathe and where my heart just aches for the characters, it takes me ages to try to express just what I thought about the book.

    Well, that’s what happened with Hallowed. I finished it over a week ago and I’ve been trying to sit down and write my review, but every single time I do, I tear up. Just thinking about the events that unfolded and just how much they affected me, makes it nearly impossible to think, let alone write a coherent review.

    I knew this book was going to be sad. I read the description and was worried about just what would happen. I thought I’d prepared myself. But I got caught up in the story. I was enchanted by the writing. And even though I knew something bad was coming, I wasn’t ready. Not for what happened. Not for how beautifully the author wrote about it.

    And I did not expect to be as affected as I was. As I still am.

    Hallowed is sad and beautiful and breathtaking. It completely changed my feelings about the two male protagonists – Christian and Tucker. It introduced me to a new character that I absolutely adore – I won’t say his name, but it is a he, and he is gorgeous and he is quite the surprise. And it made me even more suspicious of another.

    I forgot just how much I loved Clara between the time when I read Unearthly and now. I forgot how independent she was. I forgot just how much she wanted to do what was right, but also wanted to do what was right for her. Hallowed reminded me about exactly who she was and why I loved her and it made me love her even more.

    And it was also nice to see just how selfless she could be. How her need to protect those she loved was greater than her need to be happy. And how strong she could be when she had to be. By fighting her purpose, by standing up to the darkness and by being willing to take comfort and strength from those willing to give it even if it was from someone she didn’t want to lean on.

    I was worried when I started reading Hallowed that I would be totally lost because it had been quite a while since I read Unearthly. Over a year. But the author did an amazing job in filling in those gaps, adding in the details from the first book subtly and only when they were needed. So, I did not feel lost. At all. And I was not confused at any point during the read. Though now, more than ever, I want to go back and read Unearthly.

    I love the world the author created with the White Wings and the Black Wings. I love the idea of having a purpose. I love the different types of angel-bloods that she included in her book.

    And I love that she puts her characters in difficult situations, forces them to make the tough choices, allows them to make the wrong ones, gives only some of them enough strength to pull through, and is willing to break their hearts and her readers’ hearts when she has to.

    This series is one that I can and will read again and again. And most definitely again.

    ***

    I actually have three favorite passages. One is way too spoiler-y and the other one is kind of hot. But this one just made me grin:

    “You must think I’m an idiot,” he says then.

    I look up, startled. There are a lot of words I’d use to describe Christian Prescott: mystery, enigma, conundrum, destiny, terrifying, and, well, just plain hot, if I’m being honest, but the word idiot has never crossed my mind. Except maybe that one time at prom.

    Book trailer for Hallowed:

    This review is based on a printed ARC I received from the publisher, HarperTeen, in exchange for my honest review.

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    Giveaway: Hades

    Hades, the sequel to Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, was released yesterday, August 30, 2011, in the U.S. in hardcover, audio and eBook formats.

    To celebrate its book birthday, the publisher has released this yummy new trailer and has offered a copy for giveaway.

    I have not yet read Halo, but I’ve owned it since it’s eBook release and plan on reading it soon so that I can read and review Hades. I discovered Halo as one of the Amazon recommends when I was in my angel phase after reading The Mortal Instruments series. While it wasn’t yet available, I had it on my wishlist until I could pre-order it.

    Of course as soon as it downloaded, I moved, and it got lost in the shuffle. And once I started blogging, well, you know…

    A Peek Inside

    If you hadn’t had a chance to read the first book in the series, Halo, the publisher has offered a long look inside, HERE.

    And if you want to take a peek at Hades, courtesy of the publisher, CLICK HERE.

    The Trailer

    About Hades

    “Heaven Help Her. 

    Bethany Church is an angel sent to Earth to keep dark forces at bay. Falling in love was never part of her mission, but the bond between Beth and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier Woods, is undeniably strong. But even Xavier?s love, and the care of her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can?t keep Beth from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, the demon Jake Thorn bargains for Beth?s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well.”

    The story that Alexandra Adornetto built in her bestselling debut, Halo, comes alive in action-packed and unexpected ways, as angels battle demons, and the power of love is put to the test.

    Places to stalk

    The author’s fan page on Facebook

    The author’s fall tour schedule on Facebook

    Macmillan’s author page or book page

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    One copy of Hades by Alexandra Adornetto.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. You must be 13 or older.

    3. Giveaway is US and Canada ONLY.

    4. Book will be shipped directly from the publisher.

    5. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on September 9th. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on September 10th. Winner will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow. But if you’d like to spread the word that would be awesome!

    To enter, fill out the form below:

    Stay tuned. I’ll be choosing the winner shortly.

    Random has spoken and we have a…

    Congratulations Charlene! You are the winner for the Hades giveaway. I’ll be contacting you by email for your details and you will have 48 hours to respond or I will have to choose another winner.

    Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. I’ll be having another one really soon. Still trying to clear off those shelves.

    UPDATE: I have not heard back from Charlene within 48 hours and the publisher’s deadline is tomorrow, so I have gone to the next name on the list.

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    Review: Original Sin

    Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers is the second book in the Personal Demons series. It was released in the U.S. on July 5, 2011 in paperback, eBook and audio formats.

    It is currently available to order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in all formats.

    Published by Tor Teen, the print edition is 400 pages.

    Goodreads description:

    Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.

    Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.

    Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.

    And not everyone will get out of it alive.

    ***

    Just because Luc got away once doesn’t mean that King Lucifer is ready to give up. Hell wants Luc back and they’re prepared to do whatever they can to bring him back and make an example of him.

    But with Heaven standing in their way, they will have to pull out all the stops to tag his soul once again. And that means going after the only person that Luc cares about. Frannie Cavanaugh.

    And if Frannie is too strong and too protected then they’ll just have find someone close to her who isn’t – one of her friends or maybe her new Guardian. Whatever it takes. Because not everyone can resist a demon’s lure, not even an angel.

    ***

    Original Sin is the absolutely riveting, seductive and irresistible sequel to Personal Demons. In this second book in the series the story is even more gripping, with a new character that will keep readers on edge, the intensity is elevated to a whole new level, and the ending is an exquisite torture.

    Even though Frannie loves Luc, enough to have saved him from Hell to keep him with her, she is still torn. She still loves Gabe. She still needs the peace he offers, his comfort and his protection.

    But even Gabe knows that she should be with Luc. As much as that thought tears him up inside, he knows that as a Dominion he and Frannie can never be. And so he chooses someone to be her Guardian. Someone he knows cares about Frannie and will make sure to protect her just as he would.

    Just because her Guardian is new doesn’t mean he can’t protect Frannie, even with Hell’s demons coming after her to get to Luc. But Gabe never expected King Lucifer to send the most prized weapon in his arsenal.

    And he never knew just how wrong things would go or he would have stayed, no matter the risk to himself. Because being claimed by Hell would have been far less great a price to pay than the one that was exacted.

    Lisa Desrochers has absolutely done it again. Original Sin is even more intense, more provocative and more electrifying than Personal Demons. The story is a nail-biter and will keep readers tied in knots, long after they’ve reached the final page.

    The story switches between each of the main character’s perspectives, giving readers the greatest insight about what’s going on. The author drops enough hints to make readers aware of all that is happening while the characters remain in the dark, building tension and making this an even more torturous and anxiety-filled read.

    The story ends in a major cliffhanger that will keep fans of this series in torment until the final book in the series is released.

    Original Sin is an absolute must read for fans of stories about dreamy angels, delicious demons, steamy love triangles, and ones that will keep them on edge from beginning to end.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    “Oh, for the Sin of Satan.” Lisa Desrochers is trying to kill me. Absolutely kill me. I would have thought that reading this book twice would take away some of the tension and make me just a little less tortured at the end. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

    This book was fan-freaking-tastic. The first time I read it I devoured the book in one night. It was so worth the sleep sacrifice. And with this second read, which I savored over the course of a couple days, I loved it even more.

    I don’t know how I’m supposed to wait another year for the next book in the series. Talk about leaving me hanging. That ending is so totally demonic.

    Through both reads I was in complete agony. Because the story is told from the different character’s viewpoints, it made it even more torturous. I had all this information and there was nothing I could do about it. I don’t know how many times I screamed for certain characters to just reveal what they knew so that they could figure out what I already had.

    It was easy to put the puzzle pieces together to figure out something it took the characters a while to do, but the author dropped a major hint fairly early on, which I caught both times I read it.

    I cannot believe how cruel the author was with that ending. If it was just the one part that was left hanging that would be bad enough, but in the last chapter she added in a completely new surprise element.

    I could go on and on and on about the ending, but I’ll stop now. And I don’t want to talk about the story itself as anything I mention will be spoiler-y, but I have to talk about a few of my favorite characters. But before I go into a full on ramble, I have to warn you that I am a Luc Cain fan all the way.

    I was really nervous before I started this story that Luc would be missing some of the charisma he had in the first book. Even lacking some of his demonic powers, he was just as delectable as ever. And every single moment reading from his viewpoint was a total thrill. He may have been a tormented soul, but he was sexy, brave and still so totally hot.

    Frannie was still frustrating, but I love her. But by the end of the book I really felt like I understood her a lot better. What I love about her is that she really tries to do the right thing, usually fails along the way, but comes out on top in the end. She’s not perfect, but she is both strong and fragile and she loves her family and friends.

    She got herself into some pretty “interesting” – and by interesting I mean eyebrow raising – situations in this book. And I’m dying to find out about this one thing the author hinted about her, which is yet another total teaser for the next book in the series.

    Though Luc is my first love, I do also love Gabe in all his angelic glory. He is not immune to Frannie and is always at risk of a big fall, which makes him much more swoon-worthy. Who wants total perfection? Not me. But as much as I like Gabe, I still really want her to ditch the angel and pick Luc. Sorry Gabe.

    Then there was the new Guardian. Can’t say too much about him without being revealing, but I am not a fan. He’s supposed to be a protector. Well, hello epic fail.

    I will definitely have to re-read this as I don’t think I can wait a whole year before diving back into Luc, Frannie and Gabe’s world. But I think I’ll start from the first book so I can experience it from the very beginning.

    This story is definitely not all full of sweetness and innocence. But, as long as you are prepared to fall in love with a demon and don’t mind a little heat and a little violence in your stories, then this is an amazing book and a definite must read.

    ***

    To read an excerpt courtesy of the publisher, Tor Teen, CLICK HERE. (You must be registered.)

    Book trailer for Original Sin:

    This review is based on an ARC I received through a contest on the author’s website.

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    Review: Mercy

    Mercy by Rebecca Lim was released in the U.S. on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online in both formats at Amazon and in hardcover format at Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of the Disney Book Group, the hardcover is 288 pages.

    The Australian edition, first published by HarperCollins on October 28, 2010, is also available online at Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

    Goodreads description:

    A fallen angel haunted by her past. Yearning for her immortal beloved. Forever searching for answers. Who will show her Mercy?

    Mercy has lost herself. She can’t count how many times she’s “woken up” in a new body, and assumed a new life, only to move on again and again. During the day she survives in the human world on instinct and at night her dreams are haunted by him. Mercy’s heart would know him anywhere. But her memory refuses to cooperate.

    But this time is different. When Mercy wakes up she meets Ryan, an eighteen year old reeling from the loss of his twin sister who was kidnapped two years ago. Everyone else has given up hope, but Ryan believes his sister is still alive. Using a power she doesn’t fully comprehend, Mercy realizes that Ryan is right. His sister is alive and together they can find her. For the first time since she can remember, Mercy has a purpose; she can help. So she doesn’t understand why the man in her dreams cautions her not to interfere. But as Ryan and Mercy come closer to solving the dark mystery of his sister’s disappearance, danger looms just one step behind.

    Will Mercy be able to harness her true self and extraordinary power in time?

    The first in a dazzling new series, Mercy masterfully weaves romance, mystery and the supernatural into a spell-binding tale.

    ***

    I woke up again. But this time feels different. The girl whose body I’m currently occupying, Carmen, isn’t anything special, but somehow this time just feels unlike those other times and those other girls.

    I wish I could remember more about them. I wish I could remember more about me. I know that I’m not this petite, or this plain looking. It feels strange occupying the shell of someone so much smaller than I know me to be. And I know I’m not as shy and awkward as I can sense this girl is.

    This time it seems I’m headed to a small town called Paradise. Something about the name triggers a memory, but I’m confident I’ve never been here before. Well, as confident as anyone who doesn’t really remember too much of her past.

    There’s a reason for her, this Carmen, to be here – some kind of singing event. Do I even sing? What’s my reason for being here now, with this girl? Carmen isn’t like those other girls. I don’t feel that same sadness. I don’t sense any threat to her. So, why am I here? What has changed this time around?

    If only Luc would just tell me. The dreams I have of him offer me no insight into what’s happening to me and why. His words only leave me with more questions. His visits bring me no closer to knowing the truth. But I do know, with everything inside of me, that I want to find him.

    Maybe my time with this Carmen, here in Paradise, will finally give me the answers I need.

    ***

    Mercy is a superbly written and rather unique paranormal mystery. The main character, Mercy, knows little of who, and what, she is or the reason why she’s being made to take over each of these girls, again and again. She is forced to move from one to the next when her time with them is up, with no notice of each departure, and only a vague recollection of where she’s been.

    This first book in the trilogy begins when she “wakes up” as Carmen Zappacosta, a soprano, headed with a bunch of other students to Paradise to prepare for a performance.

    Mercy slowly gains awareness of what has happened, but with only an inkling of she who really is. What she does know is that she must figure out her purpose for becoming Carmen and surmises that it has little to do with Carmen herself, but rather the Daley family who Carmen is staying with in Paradise.

    As Mercy tries to solve the mystery of Lauren Daley’s disappearance she is also determined to find out just who she is.

    While little is revealed about Mercy in this first installment, enough of a glimpse is given to tease readers into wanting to find out more. The mystery behind Lauren’s disappearance is the focus in this story and is both engaging and heartbreaking as Mercy tries to find answers to help this family who is torn apart by the not knowing, the mistrust and their loss.

    Mercy is a story that starts out somewhat unconventionally, but settles onto a path that is easy to follow and will keep readers engaged. Once the backstory is established, the pace picks up and the tension builds as it heads toward a climactic finish with a cliffhanger ending.

    Author Rebecca Lim’s writing style is beautiful, but may not be one that all readers will connect with at the outset. But as the story continues, the cadence of the author’s writing makes sense and works in harmony with the storyline.

    There are several characters who remain a mystery in this first book, but will likely play a larger role in subsequent books. And while Mercy starts out as a very difficult character to relate to, she ends up being one who is very likable and sympathetic.

    Mercy is a great beginning for a trilogy that promises an even more elaborate mystery, a real battle for Mercy to regain what she once had, and a heartrending love story.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=4]

    On a personal note:

    Mercy was a book that I grew to love more and more as I read on. About one-third of the way in I was hooked on the story, and by the end I was dying to know more.

    I wish I had read the description more carefully before I actually started the book as it would have helped me out during those first five pages that make up chapter one where I felt completely lost.

    By the end of the third chapter I was able to get into the rhythm of the author’s writing and was completely pulled into the mystery of not only the missing girl but of who exactly Mercy was.

    There was just something about the author’s writing style that I connected with. The way she crafted each sentence, each passage, just made this story so easy for me to become immersed. It might not be a style that every reader will relate to, but was one I really loved once I got further into the book.

    I was able to get lost in the story, even with the British words and punctuation in the version I had for review. I’m not sure how much will be changed in the version released in the U.S. but I am curious to see if those changes alter the feel and pace of the story.

    This first book in the trilogy does not reveal much about Mercy’s past and only touches on the paranormal elements to the story. But what was teased is very intriguing. I would definitely have liked to know more about Mercy in this book, but am hopeful that the next book in the series, Exile, will be more revealing.

    I loved puzzling together this mystery and discovering that my guesses were right. And I like the hint of a love story that starts to develop. I hope that continues into the next book. And I really loved this completely different approach used by the author in having Mercy sort of take over someone’s life for a short period of time for reasons unknown, even by the character herself.

    This book was completely unexpected, in a good way, and is a series I will be following to its end. I’ve just got to find out what happens next and learn more about Mercy. And I definitely suggest reading past the first few chapters before making a determination about this book.

    ***

    Book trailer for Mercy:

    ***

    Thank you to Hyperion Books for Children and NetGalley for the eARC for review.

    Note: The eARC received for review was written using British punctuation and spellings and seems to be the published 2010 Australian version.

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    Review: Angel Burn

    Angel Burn is the first book in the Angel trilogy. It will be released in the U.S. on May 24, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats.  (It was released as Angel on October 1, 2010 in the U.K. in paperback and eBook formats.)

    It is currently available for pre-order in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Goodreads description:

    Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars.

    Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does.

    Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil.

    In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L..A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip — and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.

    (If you’d like to read the Goodreads description under the U.K. edition, click here.)

    ***

    What if angels weren’t the benevolent beings depicted on the domed ceilings of churches? What if they weren’t even the fierce warrior heroes of so many stories?

    What if instead they were beings who took pleasure feeding off the life force of humans – more vampiric than angelic in nature? What if they were the cause of cancer. Heart attacks. Pain. Death. And all for what? For their survival and pleasure.

    And, what if their feeding off your life force made you feel admiration for them and left you in awe and indebted to them for their graciousness?

    What if they made you desire the very thing that was killing you?

    Would you erect churches in their honor? Hunt down their enemies just for the privilege of being near them to be fed on like cattle? You would. Because to feel angel burn is to know bliss.

    ***

    Angel Burn is an incredibly inventive and immensely entertaining thrill-ride of a read that will suck you right up into the action, starting off with an explosive prologue that will completely alter every preconceived notion about angels you have held.

    Alex Kylar is a killer. A hired assassin. It’s his sole purpose in life to find and kill angels before they destroy the entire human population with their angel burn. Isolated and alone, he receives his orders by text and executes them flawlessly.

    But when Alex meets Willow he begins to question everything he believes in and learns that although he may have wanted to give up on love, his heart says otherwise.

    Angel Burn is the story of two people who must come together to fight against a common enemy and save humanity from an unimaginably dismal future.

    Angel Burn moves with such fluidity as you are carried through the story, which alternates between Willow’s perspective, told in the first person, and Alex’s perspective, which is in third person. The characters journey is filled with moments that are both beautiful and torturous.

    This story is a must read for anyone looking for a very different take on the angel theme, and a story filled with adventure and true love.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got approved for Angel Burn from NetGalley. I had it on my wish list for a long time at Amazon because it was about angels, but I knew little else.

    When I finally had a chance to open it on my eReader I was blown away. The prologue was such an amazing surprise. It really was the epitome of cool. And from that moment on I just knew that I would love this book.

    The action and the pace kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the story, except for the lovey-dovey mountaintop scenes, which were sweet and heart-warming.

    I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book in this series. I think I’m a little bit in love with Alex Kylar. And while it’s not a complete cliffhanger, things are looking pretty bleak.

    ***

    Teaser excerpt from my favorite passage (which I hope makes it to the final version) – if I included the entire it would be hugely spoiler-y:

    The lantern light made his eyes look darker, his hair almost black. He started to smile, a grin spreading across his face. “Yes, that would be extremely OK.”

    ***

    To read an excerpt of Angel Burn from Usborne, the UK publisher, CLICK HERE.

    Book trailer for Angel Burn:

    Book trailer for Angel from the U.K. publisher – reveals much:

    Thank you Candlewick Press and NetGalley for the advance eARC.

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