Merminia

MerminiaTitle: Merminia
Author: Emm Cole
Series: Merminia #1
Genre(s): Fairy Tales, Folklore, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 264
Published by Emm Cole on 7 September 2012
ISBN: 978-1479219216
ASIN: B008VJ938C
Format: eBook
Source: author

FTC Disclosure: Regardless of how I received this book, this is an honest review based on my own opinions. Read my full disclosure here.

 
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From the back cover...

In an underwater world that is as beautiful as it is ruthless, the mertribes are not about to make peace with each other. Selinne is a mermaid who is certain she can take care of herself. But when she is captured by the bloodthirsty Litiants, she finds unlikely help from Gabriel, a warrior who appears as indifferent as he is handsome. As Selinne struggles to make sense of the good and evil around her, she discovers that there is no escaping love or her place in the raging war of the sea.

My Review

There is something about the word underneath the waves that is so alluring to me.  The salt water, the sand, the beauty of a world so deep that those of us with legs rarely get to experience it.  This book had all of that and so much more.

Merminia is the story of Selinne, a Merminian mermaid who is the sister of her tribe’s leader.  Their tribe is at odds with another, the Litiants, a rather bloodthirsty tribe on a quest for an object long lost to the undersea kingdoms.  Selinne finds herself in the middle of it, caught between two tribes and two loves.

The mythology of this undersea world is creative and inventive.  The differing tribes of mermaids have not only differing ideologies and traditions, but they are physically very different.  Some of the mermaids are portrayed in a more whimsical way (like Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid), others like the merpeople in Harry Potter, and others that are the warriors of the ocean.

Selinne is headstrong and powerful in her own right, but there are moments of “mermaidy” behavior (picking up a shiny piece of jewelry after a battle) that make her a more traditional mermaid.  Gabriel is a warrior, a member of the enemy Litiant tribe who walks into Selinne’s life at the worst possible moment and turns it on edge.  He is a bit cagey and conflicted and often a complete contraditction, which gives him a lot of depth as a character.  Aramis is a fellow Merminian and Selinne’s other potential love interest.  I am thoroughly on Team Aramis, although the triangle makes Selinne’s story.  He is completely devoted to Selinne, but he is not the self-pitying, stalking, or mopey kind of guy.  He is there for her no matter what and in any capacity he can be  I love him!

Things to love…

  • The alternating 3rd person POVs.  I like being able to get in the heads of different key characters.
  • The world and the mythology.

My Recommendation

I loved the blend of new and traditional mythology to create an entirely new world!  A great read!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.1

About Emm Cole

Emm Cole is the author of two fantasy YA books, Merminia and Keeping Merminia. She lives with her husband and two spunky children. When she’s not writing, she is often highlighting favorite passages in books.

According to Emm, authors Laini Taylor, Maggie Stiefvater, and John Green are pen-wielding super heroes. Don’t share your Sour Patch Kids or Swedish Fish with her, because she’ll eat them all. Emm is a fan of everything supernatural and finds that drama in stories is always more entertaining than the real kind. She also enjoys thought-provoking art and is an admitted TV series junkie who has The Vampire Diaries and Friday Night Lights memorized. If a pop culture reference wasn’t acknowledged on Gilmore Girls, she probably finds it irrelevant.

Although she will always have a love for her underwater characters and warring Mer clans, she’s currently writing for dysfunctional witches with a flair for magical theatrics.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Double Major

Double MajorTitle: Double Major
Author: Catherine Gayle
Series: Portland Storm #4.5
Also in this series: Breakaway, On the Fly, Light the Lamp, Delay of Game, Taking a Shot
Genre(s): Contemporary Fiction, Love & Romance, Sports Fiction
Pages: 97
Published by Night Shift Publishing on 2014-09-18
ASIN: B00MQ2182E
Format: eARC
Source: author

FTC Disclosure: Regardless of how I received this book, this is an honest review based on my own opinions. Read my full disclosure here.

 
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From the back cover...

This is a novella of second epilogues to books 1-4 in the Portland Storm series. It is approximately 35,000 words long.

It’s the NHL’s draft day, but the whole Portland Storm team is back together for an entirely different event. Complete with a double wedding, an unanticipated guest, overdue apologies, unexpected goodbyes, and fresh starts, this big day has the potential to get them all called for a Double Major.

My Review

I have loved every book in the Portland Storm series and this one is a great addition to the series!  It is a collection of epilogues to the first four books in the series, so we get to revisit some of our favorite couples.  And the story lines are just as emotionally driven as ever, with real issues and with all the messiness that comes along with real life

The novella gets everyone back together, but this time it isn’t for hockey.  It is for a double wedding within the Portland Storm family.  I love that each section is from a different perspective, each telling their own story while adding to the main event.  There are parts that had me on edge and other parts that had me in tears.

Things to love…

  • The emotions.  They aren’t sugar-coated and the reality really draws the reader in.
  • The story lines.  Not everything is perfect, with perfect endings.  I love that because that is real

Things I wanted more/less of…

  • More everyone, which is why I can’t wait for the next book!

My Recommendation

If you love hockey, this is a fantastic series that really brings the pro hockey world to life.  The story lines are those of real life, messiness and all,  Books 1-4 should definitely precede Double Major.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.8

About Catherine Gayle

Catherine Gayle is a bestselling author of Regency-set historical romance and contemporary hockey romance with a New Adult feel. She’s a transplanted Texan living in North Carolina with two extremely spoiled felines. In her spare time, she watches way too much hockey and reality TV, plans fun things to do for the Nephew Monster’s next visit, and performs experiments in the kitchen which are rarely toxic.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Reading Speeds

This is a fun test!  I got 808 wpm, 223% faster than the average American with 100% accuracy.  According to this test, this means…

  • I read faster than high-level execs (under 600), college professors (under 700), and high-scoring college students (800), but less than speed readers (1500 wpm).
  • I could read Tolstoy’s War in Peace in 12 hours 7 minutes.
  • I could read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone  in 1 hour 35 minutes.  ←  (I actually read it in less than that.)
  • I could read Tolkein’s LoTR in 9 hours 52 minutes.   ←  (I don’t think so.)
  • I could read 2.8 books on my Kindle Fire before I needed to recharge.

Take the test yourself by clicking the link below.  It is a page of timed reading, followed by three questions for accuracy.

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

Taking a Shot

Taking a ShotTitle: Taking a Shot
Author: Catherine Gayle
Series: Portland Storm #2.5
Also in this series: Breakaway, On the Fly, Light the Lamp, Delay of Game
Genre(s): Contemporary Fiction, Love & Romance, Sports Fiction
Pages: 86
Published by Night Shift Publishing on 2014-09-04
ISBN: 978-0990412670
ASIN: B00MR9FUM0
Format: eBook
Source: personal purchase

FTC Disclosure: Regardless of how I received this book, this is an honest review based on my own opinions. Read my full disclosure here.

 
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From the back cover...

Katie Weber has lost her health due to leukemia, and now her chemotherapy treatments have taken her hair. She’s not about to show up to her senior prom bald and let her classmates steal her dignity, too. Prom is no place for a girl who looks more like an alien than a high school student, especially when her so-called friends all dropped her like she had the plague at the first mention of the word cancer. Katie could never get up the courage to ask Jamie—her crush for almost two years, ever since he joined her dad’s pro hockey team—to take her. Not with the way she looks now. Besides, her dad would absolutely murder him.

Jamie Babcock knows its bad news to fall for his Portland Storm teammate’s daughter, but he’s had a thing for Katie since the first time he met her when he was just a wide-eyed, eighteen-year-old rookie. Now cancer might take her away before he ever grows the balls to do anything about it, though. Her father won’t be happy about it, but Jamie has to take a shot and ask to take her to her prom. It seems like Katie has just about given up, and he can’t let her go without giving her some good memories…something to hold on to. She’s still got her whole life ahead of her—she just has to keep living it. If he can convince her of that, nothing her father might do to him will matter.

My Review

This is the book/novella I have been waiting for!  This is the story of Jamie/Babs and Katie, two of the characters that I fell in love with in the second book, On the Fly.  I love these books for so many reasons… hockey, romance, and real issues and emotions.  This one is no different.

Even as short as it might be, there is so much emotion packed into it.  Katie’s story alone is heart wrenchingly poignant and cry-worthy.  Jamie is everything I could ever want in a Book Boyfriend.  He is kind and caring and completely grounded in the important things.

I absolutely love this storyline and I am thrilled that they will be back in April 2015 in Dropping Gloves, Book #7 in this great series!

Things to love…

  • The intense emotional pull of the story
  • Babs… he is NOT what the stereotype of NHL players may be.

Things I wanted more/less of…

  • Babs and Katie!!

My Recommendation

This is technically Book #2.5, but it can really be read any time after On the Fly and before Double Major.  It is a fantastic addition to the story!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.9

About Catherine Gayle

Catherine Gayle is a bestselling author of Regency-set historical romance and contemporary hockey romance with a New Adult feel. She’s a transplanted Texan living in North Carolina with two extremely spoiled felines. In her spare time, she watches way too much hockey and reality TV, plans fun things to do for the Nephew Monster’s next visit, and performs experiments in the kitchen which are rarely toxic.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

A Knight of Witchwood Park

A Knight of Witchwood ParkTitle: A Knight of Witchwood Park
Author: S.W. Develin
Series: Witchwood Park #2
Also in this series: A Tale of Witchwood Park
Genre(s): Children's Fiction, Fantasy & Magic, Middle Grade
Pages: 83
Published by S.W. Develin on 2014-06-23
ASIN: B00M2HTT7Y
Format: eARC
Source: author

FTC Disclosure: Regardless of how I received this book, this is an honest review based on my own opinions. Read my full disclosure here.

 
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From the back cover...

Jimmy, the reformed school bully, has accepted his first challenge as the new Knight of the Witchwood. He rides into the swamplands armed with only the Hero’s Sword and his own determination. But the evil Grey Mist hides terrible secrets, from swamp-goblins to a forest made of petrified people – including someone he loves more than he knows. When the swamp goblins attack, Tree Stump the troll and a feisty young girl Jimmy knows as “Ping” ride to his rescue. Together they head for the fabled Witch’s Tower, led by flickering images of a little girl running ahead in the distance. If Jimmy can wake the Witch of Creation, he just might be able to save them all before the sinister Grey Mist consumes them…

My Review

A Knight of Witchwood Park is the sequel to A Tale of Witchwood Park, a fantasy series written for younger readers.  This is a short novel, just over 83 novels and it is full of adventure and magic.  I loved the premise behind the first book and I am happy that it continues in this installment.  The heroes of the story are elementary school-age children, providing a great message that kids can be heroes, too.

This book centers around Jimmy who has recently been given the title of Knight by his queen, Kendra.  This is a new role for him, a kid known for his bullying ways in their elementary school.  There is a lovely message there about changing one’s ways.  He is on a quest to find the Wizard and, with his friends, ends up on an adventure against the evil that lives in the woods.  His dad makes an appearance, too, and there is a touching story that revolves around the two of them.

Ping is on the adventures with Jimmy and Tree Stump and she is a great foil for Jimmy.  She doesn’t let him take himself too seriously, even being a little mean to him sometimes.  She is strong and loyal and is a good example for little girls about their ability to be strong and to contribute.

Things to love…

  • Elementary school kids as heroes.
  • The messages imparted.

Things I wanted more/less of…

  • Still more Tree Stump.  There was more of him this time, but I just love him!

My Recommendation

There is a bit more violence in this book, but it is not out of hand.  Although the narrative surrounds children about 10yo and younger, I would say the violence level probably makes this a good read fo 9-10+.  I, however, am NOT 9 or 10 and it was also an enjoyable read for me!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.5

About S.W. Develin

S.W. Develin lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania with his wife, Julie, and their three children: Brigid, Jack and Garrett. He has a dog named Pink, a cat named Floyd, and a small kitten disguised as a cow.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: