Hidden Wings

Hidden WingsTitle: Hidden Wings
Author: Cameo Renae
Series: Hidden Wings #1
Also in this series: Descent, Broken Wings, Tethered Wings
Genre(s): Fairy Tales, Folklore, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 204
Published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing on 2013-01-16
ISBN: 978-1939769213
ASIN: B00B27GAC2
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...

Seventeen is a life changing age for Emma Wise.

As her family's sole survivor in a car crash, she is left with a broken arm and a few scrapes and bruises. But these are only outward marks; inside, her heart is broken and the pieces scattered.

Whisked away to Alaska, to an aunt she’s never met, Emma starts over. Secrets unveil themselves and now…she doesn't even know who or what she is.

A centuries old prophecy places Emma in the heart of danger. Creatures of horrifying and evil proportions are after her, and it will take Emma, her aunt, and six, gorgeously captivating Guardians to keep her safe. But, if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday... things will change.

My Review

Hidden Wings is the first in a new series by author Cameo Renae, based around the hidden world of angels.  Overnight, Emma’s world has totally shifted and she is thrust into a new world that she hadn’t known truly existed.

This is a book that I have mixed feelings about.  For the most part, I enjoyed the story.  The story line is interesting and some of the characters are fantastic.  But there was a bit of insta-love that just didn’t ring true for me, especially when it comes hot on the heels of Emma’s loss of her parents and total upheaval of her life.  There is a reason for it, which I understand, but it just seemed a little too easy.  I just don’t like the whole “there’s a hot guy, so let’s have our world revolve around him” kind of thing.

That being said, I enjoyed the plot of the story.  I love a good “good versus evil” battle and this book has all of that, mixed with some great characters.  I loved the Guardians, especially Dom!  He was hilarious, sweet, and obviously fiercely loyal.  Often, the Guardians seemed like competitive, good-hearted frat boys, rather than warriors of the world.

The mythology of the book mixes a bit of the real with a bit of the created.  I like that the traditional mythology forms the basis of the world of Hidden Wings but it is changed or added to in ways that make the story more contemporary.

My Recommendation

All in all, this is a good story with some great characters!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4

About Cameo Renae

My family is what keeps my heart beating, and my world a happy place to be.

I was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with my husband and children to Alaska.
I’m a daydreamer, a caffeine and peppermint addict. I love to laugh, love to read, and love to escape reality. One of my greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance, and sharing it with others.
One day I hope to find my own magic wardrobe, and ride away on a magical unicorn. Until then…I’ll keep writing!

Favorite quote: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” Albert Einstein

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The Long Road Home Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal

Welcome to the cover reveal for Megan Duncan’s upcoming new release, The Long Road Home!  This will be a contemporary romance and, as a Megan Duncan fan, I can’t wait for it’s release!

Expected Publication:  14 November 2014

DuncanTheLongRoadHome

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From the back cover…

Jenna had heard the phrase, ‘Home Sweet Home’, but she never really knew what it meant. Growing up with a neglectful mother who moved her and her brother from town to town, and a father that had been absent all her life she’d never had a place to call home; but she vowed to have one someday. Jenna had a plan in place, an escape for her and her brother, but when her mother’s bad habits turn her world upside down she has to decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save the life she’s always dreamed of.

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Audrey’s Guide to Black Magic

Audrey’s Guide to Black MagicTitle: Audrey's Guide to Black Magic
Author: Jody Gehrman
Series: Audrey's Guides #2
Also in this series: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft
Genre(s): Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 227
Published by Magic Genie Books on 2013-09-13
ASIN: B00F1ZYRBM
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...

Sometimes you have to fight black magic with blacker magic. But in trying to save the people she loves, will Audrey fall into the dark abyss that claimed her father?

In Book II of the Audrey's Guide series, Audrey learns about her witchy roots and continues to fight her nemesis; this time she must dig deeper than ever, experimenting with dark magic to combat the insidious enchantment that's invaded her newfound community. She travels to the magical compound on the Mad River, the home her mother fled twenty years ago. Here Audrey meets her grandmother, the powerful matriarch of the Clan, and a host of colorful characters, some friends, some foes. When a sinister force begins to take over the magical community, Audrey must decide how far she's willing to go to protect the people she loves.

My Review

This second book is definitely my favorite!  It is even more quirky and magical than the first, with a lot more action.

I love, love, love Audrey’s journaling.  She copies down anything and everything that she thinks is important and the titles she gives them are hilarious and often irreverant.  Audrey is magical, but I love that it doesn’t come easily to her.  She has to work at it and I think that is a great message.  Add to that the fact that, even in the magical community she has found, she exists a bit on the outer edge.  She wasn’t raised in the community and there are rules and lines that should be known and never crossed and she often straddles them.

There is a lot more darkness in this story, probably obvious from the title.  There is more romance, too, but I like that it adds to the story, yet isn’t the central focus.

My Recommendation

Even better than the first and I can’t wait for the next!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.9

About Jody Gehrman

Jody is the author of eight novels and numerous plays. Audrey’s Guide to Black Magic is her newest YA novel, the sequel to Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft. Babe in Boyland was published by Penguin’s Dial books and was optioned by Disney. She also writes stage plays and screenplays. Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She’s a professor of English at Mendocino College.

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Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft

Audrey’s Guide to WitchcraftTitle: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft
Author: Jody Gehrman
Series: Audrey's Guides #1
Also in this series: Audrey's Guide to Black Magic
Genre(s): Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 295
Published by Magic Genie Books on 2012-06-30
ISBN: 978-0615658445
ASIN: B008G7L6TS
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...

Falling in love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her mysterious "cousin" shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

My Review

Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft is a quick and fun magical read.  I love witchy books and this one had both a sweet romance and a good mystery to keep me engrossed.

Audrey is one of those main characters that is easy to like.  She is a smart and thoughtful person, but she has insecurities, too.  Her younger sister is everything she is not… outgoing, perky, a budding rock star.  Sadie, too, her eccentric and vivid “cousin,” also makes her feel a little tame.  It is the realization that she is more than she knew that really makes Audrey grow into her own.

The romance in this story isn’t insta-love, which I liked.  In fact, Audrey is so certain that he will fall for her more outgoing sister that she barely entertains the thought of liking Julian for herself.  I like that the romance didn’t come easily, but was something that developed over time. complete with some rather unusual obstacles.

I loved Audrey’s journal and I wish there had been a little more of it.  It was sort of a blend of recipes and witchy notes and it was a lot of fun.  I also wished we had had a bit more of her mother in the book to really understand their relationship, etc.

I do love the mythology of the witchy side of the story.  There were bits of realism mixed with the fantastical and it was a great blend.

My Recommendation

This is a fun witchy read!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.1

About Jody Gehrman

Jody is the author of eight novels and numerous plays. Audrey’s Guide to Black Magic is her newest YA novel, the sequel to Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft. Babe in Boyland was published by Penguin’s Dial books and was optioned by Disney. She also writes stage plays and screenplays. Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She’s a professor of English at Mendocino College.

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Reached

ReachedTitle: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched #3
Also in this series: Matched, Crossed
Genre(s): Dystopian Fiction, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Utopian Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 512
Published by Speak on 2012-11-13
ISBN: 978-0142425992
ASIN: B007FEFDFQ
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...

Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.

My Review

Reached is the last book in the Matched trilogy and I am sad to see the series end.  I loved the world that Ally Condie created and the story line was interesting and engrossing.

Xander was back and I am all kinds of happy about that!  I loved him and missed him in the second book.  The dynamic of the overall story seemed incomplete without him and I was happy to see that restored, even if, for much of the book, the three weren’t together in interacting.  I loved his story in this book as we learn more about what he has been doing during The Rising.  To me, he is the hero of the story, the one truly working for the people.

As much as I love Cassia, it almost seemed as if she floundered a bit.  She was so adamant about The Rising, about following the path she felt her grandfather wanted her to follow.  Yet it seemed as if she forgot about that for awhile and basically worked for herself.  I think maybe her character got a little lost and overwhelmed in her isolation.  It was kind of a nice character arc to see her get beyond that.

Ky, Ky, Ky.  I don’t know quite what to think about him.  There were some interesting twists with his story, but it honestly felt like he was competely lost.  And, unlike Cassia, he never seemed to find his way back.

There were a whole lot of love triangles in this last book and no one ended up with who I thought they would.  I am not upset about this, though, because I liked the anticipation.

The only thing I wished it had was a bit of a clue as to how the world would be resolved in the future, along with an answer to a big question… no spoilers!

My Recommendation

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the second, but the first is still my favorite.  Overall, this is an excellent series that really makes you think.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.8

About Ally Condie

Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, CROSSED and REACHED, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages. Disney has optioned the film rights for the series.
A former English teacher, she lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.

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