Book Review: The Salarian Desert Game by: J.A. McLachlan

The Salarian Desert Games
By: J. A. McLachlan
Genre: YA Fiction, Sci-fi, Adventure
Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

Goodreads| Amazon

Synopsis:

What if someone you love gambled on her life?

Games are serious business on Salaria, and the stakes are high. When Kia’s older sister, in a desperate bid to erase their family debt, loses the game and forfeits her freedom, Kia is determined to rescue her. Disguised as a Salarian, Kia becomes Idaro in order to move freely in this dangerous new culture. When she arrives on Salaria, she learns it’s a world where a few key players control the board, and the pawns are ready to revolt. Kia joins the conflict, risking everything to save her sister. As if she doesn’t already have enough to handle, Agatha, the maddeningly calm and unpredictable Select who lives life both by-the-book and off-the-cuff shows up to help, along with handsome Norio, a strong-willed desert girl with her own agenda, and a group of Salarian teens earning their rite of passage in the treacherous desert game.

What can an interpreter and former thief possibly do in the midst of all this to keep the people she loves alive?

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Book Review: Half-Breed Queen (Skatia Narratives #1) by L.A. Hendricks

Half-Breed Queen (Skatia Narratives #1)
By: L.A. Hendricks
Genre: YA Fiction, Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
Rating: 4 stars
Release: March 2015

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

Devastating tragedy puts 14-year-old high school freshman Marla Owens, on a fast-paced journey of survival, revival and coming of age. Driven by a force she can’t begin to understand and a burning need to find out the truth, she heads toward her mother’s home in North Dakota. She soon learns more about herself and her family than she could have ever imagined — her mother was royal heir to the powerful Skatian throne! And now the Skatian people need her to protect their world from those who wish to conquer it.

In a classic tale of good versus evil, set on Earth and beyond, a young girl fights to survive to become a young woman—and the reluctant queen of Skatia. Who can she trust? Will she be able to control her own immense abilities and justified anger to do what’s right? One thing’s for sure: Marla’s not in Texas anymore!

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The Stone Legacy Series By Theresa DaLayne Review For Books 1-3

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.

 

MAYAN BLOOD by Theresa DaLayne
The Stone Legacy Series #1
|| SYNOPSIS ||
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.
 
|| PURCHASE TODAY! ||

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1ldFdrY        AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1IHMPYH

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.

INTERLUDE by Theresa DaLayne
The Stone Legacy Series #2
|| SYNOPSIS ||
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…

|| PURCHASE TODAY! ||
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1JxP9Y6       AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1T8tzwO

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.

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The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses Book Review + Giveaway

UB_Tour_Banner

Happy, Saturday, guys! It’s finally here: The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses Book Tour hosted by MMSAI. So, be sure to follow the full Book Tour Schedule 🙂

 

TUB Cover_new 

THE URBAN BOYS
Author: K.N. Smith
Pages: 292
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing

Genre: Middle School, Paranormal, Diverse, Action, Friendship

Rating: 4 Stars

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads | Apple

Synopsis:

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world. The story chronicles their effortless interrelations and later exposes the testing of their deep bonds. It introduces the reader to an array of supporting characters who alter the boys’ lives forever. The Urban Boys offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. The story twists, turns, and grinds through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in a diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narrative!

Overview: The story’s small town of Danville Heights, a carefully crafted universe, contrasts with the dark, gloomy town of Sandry Lake, where evil abounds. Upon the boys’ mysterious incident with the energy source, they’re instinctively called to Sandry Lake to root out evil. Their senses guide them each time. However, secrecy about their mission, furious battles with evil thugs, extreme fatigue, and stress and pressure soon overwhelm the boys, but they must find a way to embrace their fate. A lurking, Dark Stranger seems to know their plight, and a strikingly beautiful, fearless girl lends way to heightened confusion. Shocking details about these two characters, and the evil antagonist, the dreaded Druth, twist and grind the story even further.

Despite tension and fierce battles, will the boys hold it together long enough to fulfill their destiny?

Intriguing, intelligent, and full of action, The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses offers a memorable, emotion-packed, thrilling ride for young and mature readers alike!

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Book Review: Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)

By Kristin Cashore

Genre: YA, Action, Adventure, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

Graceling Review:

From start to finish, I loved everything about this book. It was given to me by my younger brother and it had been sitting on my shelf for some time, but it only took the first two pages for me to get into it.

I found this story to be so compelling and I loved the way the book had so many different levels: female independence, gender equilibrium relationships amongst Kasta and most of her male counter parts, Love, friendship, combat, adventure, comedy and even a layer of evil so unspeakable with King Lec. It made my heart stop, my stomach turn and my skin crawl.

I do not think that I can praise this book enough for giving me Kasta. A character so uniquely independent and self-driven with a powerful perspective and aspirations aimed toward helping those in the 7 kingdoms. Kasta knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want in her life and she does not let anyone, not even Po take that away from her by trying to change her mind. And what was even more rewarding, was Po’s acceptance of Katsa as she was and his unwavering love for her and contentment of being by her side without trying to change her.

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