Book Review · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-fi · series · YA

Dysfunctional: Origins ~ McKenzie Rae

 

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Title: Dysfunctional: Origins (Dysfunctional Series, Book 1)
Author: McKenzie Rae
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Inkitt
Date of Release: November 27, 2017
Pages: 260 (approximately. The series is 790 pages)
Format: Kindle (Inkitt)

This is a story for everyone who wishes or imagines they have a superpower! If you could have any superpower, what would it be? That’s a tough question… and it’s one Theo, Sally, and Rueben won’t have to answer! Each one of these characters has a flaw and received a superpower to “fix” their flaws. Let’s meet them!

Theo has been adopted by a wonderful family and a very tragic event he wishes he could forget. Sally is fighting a losing battle against a rare disease that prevents her from sleeping. Rueben, well, he has an emotional disconnect. Together, the three of them, with their newfound abilities, must band together and save the school and possibly the world.

The synopsis is what drew me in, but what kept me was how relatable and realistic the three main characters are. Theo suffers from depression and severe guilt even though he did nothing wrong. Sally is tired of being under the watchful eye of her parents, who just want to make sure she’s alright. She’s slowly dying and there’s nothing anyone can do to save her. Rueben has a terrible home life. He uses humor to avoid and deflect any sort of emotional communication. Their abilities are very reflective of who they are. This book put me in the mind of one of my favorite shows, “Misfits”. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it does leave some questions unanswered. As this is book one of what looks to be a trilogy, I’m excited to see where this goes!

Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Sci-fi · series · YA

Shadow Fall ~ Audrey Grey

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Title: Shadow Fall
Author: Audrey Grey
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Blaze Publishing, LLC
Date of Release: November 22, 2016
Pages: 368
Format: Kindle (Culican Reviews)

What I loved… it was very reminiscent to The Hunger Games, but with plot twists and turns. There was a lovely romance element that didn’t distract from the story. There was a good amount of greek mythology aspect to the book. I love that and it kept me drawn to the story. The world building was spectacular. Riser is quite possibly my favorite character. He’s a bit rough around the edges, but who doesn’t love a bad boy?

What I didn’t love… there were scenes that were too descriptive, which ordinarily isn’t a bad thing. It made the book feel like it was dragging. There were also times I felt like some scenes weren’t as descriptive as I would have liked. It took a bit of time to get into.

This was a great start to a series and I’m interested to see where it goes from here.

Book Review · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Sci-fi · series · YA

Second Sight ~ JA Culican

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Title: Second Sight (Hollow Grounds, Book #1)
Author: JA Culican
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Dragon Realm Press
Date of Release: August 22, 2017
Pages: 284
Format: Kindle (Author)

What if you could see peoples death before it happened? What kind of person would you be? Would you try to stop them or would you walk away?  That was a decision Ela had to make when she was a child. She saw her best friend’s death and there was nothing she can do save her. So, she ran away… that’s what most people do when they’re scared. Fast forward and Ela is an adult with very limited contact with the outside world.  She sees the death of a child and decides she’s going to risk her sanity and save him… only it was too late.

As if things wasn’t interesting enough, we meet Luca, who is just as special as Ela, but different. He’s an empath trying to help save the world… but is he fighting for the right side? He believes he’s doing the right thing, fighting along side the Shades against the Wraithes. Can you tell who is on the side of truth and who is lying? That is the question Ela has to answer when she meets Talon, a Wraith… with a twist!

This book was amazing! You can easily read 17 chapters in one night before you realize what time it is! I was fascinated from chapter 1. You watch as Ela navigated her way through am unfamiliar world as she figures out who she can trust. The last couple of pages were devastating and I loved it. I found myself wanting revenge and I can’t wait to read the next installment!

Book Review · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-fi · series · YA

(Book Review) Slumbering ~ C.S. Johnson

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Title: Slumbering (Book One of the Starlight Chronicles)
Author: C.S. Johnson
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, YA
Publisher: WestBow Press
Date of Release:  March 28, 2015
Pages: 290
Format: Kindle (Purchased via Amazon)

Hamilton Dinger is your average 16 year old boy. Quite intelligent, athletic, popular, self-absorbed, “My parents are ruining my life!”“I don’t understand why Gwen doesn’t want me?! I mean, I’m quite the catch!” As I said, your average teenager. Until a meteorite hits his town. Turns out Dinger, not so average!

The meteorite released the deadly seven sinister and they have broken out of their prisons. To sustain themselves, they need human souls. With Dinger’s abilities no longer dormant, can he overcome his narrowmindedness and willful ignorance to help save his city?

It’s entertaining, even though Hamilton drove me bloody bonkers. He was so into himself that he couldn’t see the bigger picture. You wanted to root for him, to end his willful ignorance once he realized the world needed to be saved, but we’re also talking about a 16 year old boy who has his life mapped out.

I thought this was entertaining, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Book Review · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-fi · series · YA

(Book Review) Blue Bloods ~ Melissa de la Cruz


Title: Blue Bloods (A Blue Bloods novel , Book #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Publisher: Hyperion
Date of Release: March 27, 2007
Pages: 302
Format: Paperback (Gifted by a Friend)

Earlier this year, a few friends of mine and I were having a spirited (yet hilarious) discussion about a particular author and her books. I will admit I was extremely critical of the author, the series, and anyone who thought the series was great, awesome, was in love with it… blah, blah, blah. Needless to say, when the biggest defender of said series recommended Blue Bloods, I was skeptical; praying not to be led astray. Well, I can say with full confidence… my dear friend, she was on the money!

What if vampires were among you? Could you tell? Would you be able to point them out? Would you believe your eyes if you saw something you knew to be impossible actually happen? In New York City, there’s a hip club that everyone who is anyone goes to. There we meet Schuyler, Oliver, and Dylan, three friends who go to THE prestigious private school in the city. By the night’s end, we got ourselves a murder mystery! When a popular girl is found dead outside the club, some cages get rattled. Who’s next? Is a specific group being targeted? Is anyone safe?

Jack knows something’s happening with the bodies popping up over town, but his memory is getting in the way. His twin sister, Mimi, is all about herself and her popularity. Bliss is the new girl from Texas. When she’s not with Mimi, she’s quite likable… and she really likes Dylan; which Mimi does not approve. And everyone is being secretive and cryptic. Just when you think you solved the mystery, you find out you’re not even close! Melissa de la Cruz does describe some things in great detail, which I’m sure can annoy some people, but I like it.

I do look forward to reading more in this series… especially since this book ends with a nice change of scenery. Italy, anyone?

Book Review · Books · Fiction · Romance · series · YA

Starr Gone ~ Kim Briggs


Title: Starr Gone  (Starr Fall, Book #3)
Author: Kim Briggs
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Romance
Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Contemporary/Action & Adventure
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Date of Release: June 3, 2017
Pages: 258
Format: ePub (YA Insider)

Please give me a second to compose myself! I was not prepared for this… I’m still trying to process! Holy crap! Sigh… Deep breath

*** SPOILERS ALERT ***

Okay, so we pick up where we left off and I find that Di is my spirit animal. Any girl who carries a taser and pepper spray is a girl after my own heart! We find out Sam and Jody aren’t dead, they’re working for the Organization, Jude is the turncoat I thought he would be, and I’m worried about Christian. After finding misleading information, Starr has gone missing. Unfortunately, she was taken by the Organization and they want to return her to her “loving” grandparents in exchange for money… naturally. How will Christian and the team rescue Starr? Can they rescue her?

This book is quite the page turner! It kept me on the edge of my seat, had me feeling a range of emotions, needing to know what happens next. The character development was outstanding! Starr and Di came into their own. They’ve become strong young women and I was especially proud of the development of Di. She didn’t feel like a secondary character in this story, which gave me a higher appreciation of her. I won’t lie, there were times Frank annoyed me, but I understood his thought process and his reasoning. The development of the team independent of Starr was astounding. They were organized and ready for anything! With the way the story ended, they will have to be ready and down for anything!

Can we discuss the ending for a second? I wasn’t ready for this story to end! And definitely not the way it did! The anticipation is KILLING me! What I love about this series is each book is stronger than the previous and it continues to get stronger. Each character serves a purpose; the purpose may not be clear in the beginning, but when you find out… you are shocked and can’t wait to find out what will happen next. And just when you think you know what will happen, there’s a twist. I don’t know if I can wait this long for the fourth installment, but I do wait with excitement of where this story will go and I look forward to it!

Book Review · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · HEA · Romance · Sci-fi · YA

Daughter of Lions ~ Catherine Banks

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Title: Daughter of Lions
Author: Catherine Banks
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Paranormal, YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date of Release: June 26, 2015
Pages: 276
Format: Kindle (Kristin D. Van Risseghem)

Shifters, lions, love triangle, oh my! Victoria just cannot catch a break! Being a teenager has always been tough, but try being a teenager of an alpha lion… and you’re a hybrid. Sigh… Add a mom who just can’t deal with what you are and you don’t fit in with any crowd. Throw in Brandon, the hottest werelion you have ever seen and Victoria’s world is all topsy turvy! Victoria is spending Spring Break with her dad and her life gets a little more interesting. There’s a bat-shit crazy wolf, Bob, who truly believes she belongs with him as his mate. Brandon becomes her protector. Throw in Michael, a childhood friend and Victoria has a huge decision to make. Who is to be her mate?

There is so much going on, but the part that slightly annoyed me about Victoria was the constant “No one will want me because I’m a hybrid.” I completely understand her gripe, but it felt like it was on every page. I didn’t mind the love triangle, I was fine with Victoria’s choice either way since they were both great guys. The writing wasn’t bad, but there were a few typos… nothing major. While I was satisfied with the ended, I wasn’t thrilled with how we got there. Some things could have been explained that weren’t, but it would have made the story feel like it was dragging. Overall, I enjoyed the story.