Happy Monday, folks. So, today I have my first ever book series review to share for The Stone Legacy Series by Theresa DaLayne. Hosted by HEA Book Tours, PR & More.
Overall, The Stone Legacy Series is an easy story and concept to follow with a steady pace that allows the reader to become immersed in the cultural and paranormal universe built into the narrative.
I found the characters layered, powerful and even some darkly intimidating. I think most readers will enjoy these books because of their even balance of action, danger, and bidding love triangles in this Paranormal, YA Fiction series. I’ve never done a book series before, so I thought it would be best to section my review by book and give individual ratings as well.
NOTE: since this is a series review post, it was kind of difficult not to include a few spoilers on a few plot points. Okay enough chit-chat. Strap in for a long review post :-D.
Their empires have fallen, but their mythology lives on…Zanya Coreandero is a seventeen-year-old orphan with only a single friend and no hope for a normal life. Diagnosed with anxiety and night terrors, no one believes her cuts and bruises are a result of an evil entity, and not a brutal case of self-harm.With the only home she’s ever known being the isolated institution—where breakfast is a handful of medications, the psychiatry sessions are mandatory, and her every move is watched—the only relief is her red-haired roommate named Tara, who’s more like a little sister than her best friend.Free will is strong, but destiny is stronger…When Zanya is kidnapped, she meets a group of gifted Mayan descendants, each with a unique ability. Gone from a nameless castaway to the only hope of mankind, Zanya is forced to make a grueling decision: bond with an enchanted stone and save humanity from rising underworld forces, or watch helplessly as Earth falls victim to a familiar dark deity from her dreams. This time, he’s playing for keeps.A wicked secret hides behind a handsome face…When Arwan, a dark-eyed timebender, takes interest in Zanya’s mission, it’s unclear if his intention is to help, or if he’s on a hell-bent mission for revenge. Wary of falling for another guy with major secrets and a tainted past, Zanya fights to keep her distance. If only her heart gave her a choice.
Mayan Blood Book Review (Rating: 4 stars)
From beginning to end, (so far) this book remained my favorite. The character and story introduction and walk through Zanya’s life pre-guardian and post following the unexpected revelation of her Mayan/Riyata heritage. I found Zanya’s reactions and resistance relatable and naturally unique to her situation and I loved her connection and devotion to her best friend, Tara. I feel other readers will effectively feel the pain and fear Zanya struggles with when she’s faced with having to actually face the tormentor from her dreams, Sarian.
I found the Mayan warriors (aka Peter, Hawa, Arwan, Renato and Marzena) dedication, and support for Zanya and her mission endearing. While Jayden’s character (technically a Mayan warrior, but considered an outsider to the rest of the group) annoyed me 2/3rds of the book, I found his character really started to come around or become less annoying toward the end.
I may not be on the same page with everyone else, but I didn’t care much for the Zanya, Arwan and Jayden triangle that manifested at the half way mark because locating the stone and fighting Sarian seemed to take a back seat to the trio drama. I also felt like it stole precious time away from Zanya immersing herself in her mission and her role as guardian.
Spoiler–> I mean traveling back in time to meet her mother was a big deal, yet I felt like not enough time was spent on this pivotal focal point. Zanya has been an orphan her entire life and she knew nothing of her life, her family or her destiny. The time with her mother was over too quickly.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the fact that Arwan and Zanya were growing closer, but it is no secret that I am a fan of the slow burn and subtly when it comes to budding romances. (hint for my notes on the other two books) Plus, I just found it odd and irrational that on the brink of war, a supreme under-lord ruler with a heart of darkness (Sarian) Jayden and Arwan are consumed with bickering over Zanya……
As odd as it sounds, I liked the difficult place where the characters end up in at the end of book one because of the interesting physical and emotional directions Interlude and Aurora of Lights takes them in.
Tara may have spent years in an asylum, but that doesn’t make her crazy–just fearless.Dropped in Moscow with a the group of enchanted Mayan descendants, seventeen-year-old Tara Weeble is forced to wait on the sideline while her best friend—the Stone Guardian— battles to reclaim a friend’s soul trapped in the underworld.It sucks being ordinary when everyone else is superhuman…A mortal girl with a tainted past, Tara is left to deal with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. Her boyfriend, Peter, is a healer. Her best friend is The Guardian, and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. Meanwhile, she struggles to leave her childhood of abuse in the past, and while Peter picks her up every time she falls, it becomes clear he deserves better.When they opened Pandora’s Box, hell came pouring out…When she’s given a chance to aid in the group’s mission, Tara is eager to pull her own weight, even if it means uncovering buried memories of being held prisoner by the underworld general. Now haunted with flashbacks of torture, Tara wanders from the safety of Peter’s arms into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground ring of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…
Interlude Book Review (Rating: 3.7 stars)
This book left me in a different mind set than the first book. I loved that with Interlude, the reader gets to see things from Tara’s perspective and learn more about her troubled past and the affects Sarian’s torture had on her. I think it was important for the second book to only focus on Tara’s voice and the development of her character, but I have to admit it took me a while to really get into the narrative.
Mostly, because I had a hard time believing in Peter and Tara’s love for each other-I know it sounds odd, but it’s not a total surprise here. I think what holds me back is the whole time jump from book one. In book two, there is a mention of a six-month time gap, but with the time jump and the slight reset as a result when Zanya came back from ‘bonding’ with the stone, how was it a total of six months?
Tara’s character was zapped back (as if nothing had ever happened, except it did and Peter—since he time jumped was technically unaffected as Tara was who experienced time and then lost it again when they returned from the past 0____o).
I watch a lot of Doctor Who, regardless, the pair’s affections for each other did seemed genuinely like a step down from actual love, in my opinion. However, Peter’s protectiveness and care for Tara and how she was coping was nice to see. Peter is a sincere and honest character and definitely one of my favorites of the Mayan warriors.
What I really liked about this book was the fact that Tara broke off from the Mayan world (slightly) and was working on her own. In the third book, the reader actually enters the underworld but with Tara in Moscow, we actually get a glimpse at a completely different level of evil/darkness separate from that of the paranormal world and it was chilling to go through that with her.
I found the therapeutic act of Tara infiltrating the kidnapping and smuggling operation to be fantastic and I loved the fact that she was doing it to try and save the missing girls and do what little she could to give Zanya a much time as she needed to stop Sarian—even if she agreed to help a total stranger without an backup in a foreign country 🙂 (insert “no,no,no” chanting here 😄 )
After living her entire life in an orphan asylum, Zanya fears she may actually be losing her mind…Following the discovery of her ancient Maya bloodlines, eighteen-year-old Zanya Coreandero is faced with a daunting responsibility. She must protect the relic stone while Sarian, the underworld general, ceaselessly drives her to the brink of insanity.With the approach of an ancient bonding ceremony, Zanya struggles to control her abilities—and her desires…As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. While Zanya struggles to seize control over her supercharged powers, she must also face an overwhelming suspicion that her boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both. And with her powers finally taking root, the struggle to pace their relationship takes on a life of its own.Just when she thought life couldn’t get more complicated…With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Zanya’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And when that woman has no soul and a taste for revenge, they will need the powers of every surviving ancestor simply to stay alive.
Lights of Aurora Book Review (Rating: 3.89 stars)
I think this book had the best concept of darkness in terms of the underworld and Arwan’s connection to it and how it affects his role/connection to the team. There is a hint to this in the first book about the darkness within him, but I was not expecting him to be a hybrid with this insanely wicked alternative form.
Like Interlude, it seemed like Lights of Aurora focused most of the narrative on Arwan’s perspective and how the truth about his lineage affected him (as he seemed to be coming to terms with it) and those around him dealt with it.
Although I started to like Jayden’s character even more in book 3, I thought the author’s approach of Arwan’s struggle with his identity; the fear of himself and his fear of alienation were accomplished really well. Most of the empathy I feel toward Arwan and Zanya’s relationship is really based off what happens in this book and I am interested in the direction the author goes next in book four with them.
I loved the fact that Zanya’s mother returned, but I must admit I was really surprised and shocked by Eleuia’s reaction and attitude towards Arwan. Based off of their brief encounter in book one in the past, it seemed as though Eleuia was aware of his true lineage and even a tab bit accepting. I’d also like to mention how much I enjoyed Contessa as the new antagonist in the series. There is something more mysterious and exciting about her character than Sarian was and she seems to have more tricks up her sleeve than he did and I have a feeling she’ll end up causing even more trouble in the fourth book.
For a series structured on the premise of a Mayan civilization and decedents of Mayan race, the character descriptions and physical characterizes depict that of the A-typical, romanticized, fair-skined individuals who do not accurately render images of the Mayan people, which was a bit disappointing. I am, however, really interested in what Contessa has planned in the rest of the series and how Jayden handles Zanya’s choice in the four book.
Speaking of the next book: here is a Sneak Peak at Book #4 in the series: Anarchy which is now available 🙂
A single mistake has torn Jayden’s life down the middle, leaving him at a crossroads…After an ancient Mayan ceremony goes horribly wrong, Jayden is left to face reality—the girl he once loved is pledged to another. At his breaking point, he steals a cab to leave behind the group of enchanted descendants, this time for good.When Hawa—a beautiful but lethal acquaintance—decides to call shotgun, his only choice is to take her along for the ride.He’d be glad to have the company…if it were anyone but her. He only knows her by occasionally sharing a hallway in Renato’s huge estate in Belize. It’s clear she has a perma-chip in her shoulder, and they have absolutely nothing in common. So he thinks…With no cash and nowhere to stay, Hawa leads him into the heart of Guatemala City to an abandoned hotel of orphaned kids. As more of her tainted past is revealed, an unwelcome memory reappears in flesh and blood, threatening to break her wild spirit.A mysterious orphan is the only one standing between him and the new queen of hell…Modem, a spunky twelve-year-old girl with a knack for computers, seems to be keeping her eye on Jay. When his abilities go rogue and pull him back to the underworld, Modem shows she’s more than meets the eye.When everything spirals out of control, Jayden struggles to protect Modem and Hawa from very different enemies. But he won’t be able to save them both…
Thanks so much for reading, guys.
Until next time,