Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves: Book 1) by Kristina Perez

Sweet Black Waves

4.5 Stars (rounded up to 5 stars for those sites that use star ratings)

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Group, Imprint

Date of publication: June 5th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Sweet Black Waves

Sweet Black Waves – Book 1

Where you can find Sweet Black Waves: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them. 

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved. 

Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.

My review:

I can’t even begin to explain what I felt about this book. My emotions were all over the place. I can only remember one book that affected me that way and it ended up being my all-time favorite book. Sweet Black Waves is a close second to that book.

I requested and got this book because it was inspired by the tale of Tristan and Eseult. But, as I got to reading it, I realized that the author used a lot of Celtic influence in the book. I was thrilled. I am a huge Celtic mythology buff and to see those influences used in the book made me like it even more.

Branwen was the star of Sweet Black Water. She had suffered so much loss in her life. I was surprised when she decided to rescue the man in the water. I was even more surprised when it was a man from the kingdom that hers were warring with. She hated them with a passion. What also caught me by surprise was when she started to fall in love with Tristan. While I saw it coming, I wasn’t expecting it.

I liked Tristan. I still feel that he is Branwen’s true love. I do think that he should have been more truthful with her at the beginning when he was in the cave. But in hindsight, would that have changed anything? I don’t think so. I do think that he pushed Branwen too hard to acknowledge their relationship. I do like that he saw the person underneath every shield that she put up. Even when she started coming into her power, he loved her unconditionally.

I didn’t like Eseult. She rubbed me the wrong way right from the get-go. She came across as spoiled and impulsive. She was willing to ruin a peace treaty between the two countries to be with the man that she “loved“. She did everything in her power to make the journey to Kernyvak as uncomfortable as possible. I wanted to slap her into next Tuesday the whole book but the end, I wanted to pummel her. She didn’t deserve Branwen at that point.

I thought that the romance between Branwen and Tristan was sweet. From the get-go, their feelings for each other couldn’t be hidden. Even the Queen noticed when Tristan formally introduced himself to Branwen. I do wish that it wasn’t a secret romance. But, it would have been dangerous for both Branwen and Tristan to be with each other. They would have been killed. Of course, what happened on the ship puts a huge damper on their romance.

While I understood why the Queen and Branwen did what they did, I didn’t understand why Branwen had to wear it around her neck. That was asking for trouble. I would have thought that she would have packed it with her belongings. Makes sense. But it also makes sense for her to wear it around her neck.

The end of the book killed me. While I figured what was going to happen, I wasn’t expecting it to hurt me as much as it hurt the characters. I actually cried from the point Branwen stumbled upon it to the end of the book. My shock took a while to get over too.  I loved the choice words she had for those involved. But I also loved the promise that Tristan made to her. Makes me feel that there is hope.

What I liked about Sweet Black Waves:

A) The Celtic influence throughout the book

B) The phenomenal world building

C) The 3D characters

What I disliked about Sweet Black Waves:

A) Eseult. Couldn’t stand her.

B) The end of the book. It killed me to read

C) What Branwen wore around her neck. It was trouble.

I would give Sweet Black Waves an Older Teen rating. There are sexual situations and violence. But no language. I would recommend no one under the age of 16 read this book.

There are trigger warnings. They would be attempted rape, attempted suicide and assault. If you are triggered by any of those, please do not read the book.

I would recommend Sweet Black Waves to friends and family. I would include a warning about the trigger warnings. This is a book that I will reread.

I would like to thank Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Imprint, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Sweet Black Waves.

All opinions stated in this review of Sweet Black Waves are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers: Book 1) by Erin McCarthy

The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers, #1)

3.5 Stars (rounded down to 3 stars for all outlets that need a star rating)

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of Publication: May 8th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Series: The Jordan Brothers

The Hookup – Book 1

The Breakup – Book 2 (expected publication date: August 14th, 2018)

Where you can find The Hookup: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Is there an equation for the perfect hookup? Turns out it’s a lot more complicated than one plus one. . . .

Sophie: Numbers are my comfort zone, which explains why my sex life is a big fat zero. Then again, if I’m smart enough to earn a PhD, why can’t I calculate a way to get a guy into bed, just to see what all the fuss is about? With my prima donna sister, Bella, getting married in Maine, I figure her wedding is the perfect opportunity for my little experiment. And Cain Jordan seems hot enough—he’s certainly drunk enough—to show me what I’ve been missing. Judging by the body of evidence, it’s a lot. . . .

Cain: Being stuck in the same town as my lying SOB twin brother, Christian—who may or may not be the father of the son I’m not allowed to see—is a hell of a reason to drink myself silly after the lobster boat docks each day. Any port in a storm. . . . But Sophie’s different. She doesn’t play around. And she’s becoming a habit I don’t want to break. Because the smartest woman I’ve ever met is also the sexiest—and the only one who makes me want to change.

Don’t miss Bella and Christian’s story in The Breakup!

Continue reading

The Hidden Face (Fifth Unmasking: Book 1) by S.C. Flynn

The Hidden Face (Fifth Unmasking #1)

5 Stars

Publisher: The Hive

Date of publication: November 25th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Fifth Unmasking

The Hidden Face – Book 1

Blood Riddle – Book 2 (expected publication date: June 30th, 2018)

Sands of Karna – Book 3 (expected publication date: February 23rd, 2019)

Where you can find The Hidden Face: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A face without a face – an unmasking that leaves the mask.

Once every few hundred years the sun god, the Akhen, takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another; the last one created the Faustian Empire. Where and when will the Face next appear, and who will he – or she – be?

Dayraven, son of a great hero, returns to Faustia after years as a hostage of their rivals, the Magians. Those years have changed him, but Faustia has changed as well; the emperor Calvo now seems eccentric and is controlled by one of Dayraven’s old enemies. Following the brutal murder of his old teacher, Dayraven is drawn, together with a female warrior named Sunniva, into the search for an ancient secret that would change the fate of empires.

The Hidden Face is an epic fantasy novel drenched in the atmosphere of the early Middle Ages and in Kabbalistic riddles and is the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series.

My Review:

I don’t even know where to begin with this review of The Hidden Face. The book is that good. What caught my attention when I was approached to review the book was the blurb. I didn’t even have to think about it. I wanted to read The Hidden Face. I need to read it. I am so glad I made the decision to accept the review request. This has to be one of the best fantasy books that I have read in a while.

The plotlines were great. A god that takes human form every 500 years and no one knows who it is until he/she is Unmasked? Yes!! That Unmasking starts ends the current era and starts a new one? Double yes. A hero who is trying to piece together clues left by his former mentor? Love it. A woman pretending to be a man so she can search for her father? Love it. An insane hunchback who might or might not be the bad guy (definitely a gray area there)? Yup. A priest, a beautiful woman and the king of a rival kingdom coming together to make sure that the prophecy goes in their favor? Definitely yes.

The characters, main and secondary, were all well written. They all had layers. For a secondary character to have layers is rare. In my experience, they are usually fillers between the scenes that feature the main characters. For the author to build up the secondary characters like that, I loved it. It made the book have more depth and be more realistic in my eyes.

The main characters were also all well-rounded and layered. Take, for instance, Perin the hunchback. At the beginning of the book, he is portrayed as nothing more than a killer working for Astolf, the High Priest. As the book went on, it is revealed that he is being used by Astolf. He became a tortured man who was firmly in a gray area. He killed, yes but he also protected. Once something about him was revealed, another layer appeared. It was that attention to detail that made this book so enjoyable for me to read.

I liked how the author kept the identity of who the Face was until the end of the book. Not only was who it was but where this person was living. Of course, the Face’s parentage was revealed. I wasn’t surprised at who the parents were. I do wonder how those people are going to figure into everything in the next book.

I liked Dayraven. I did think that he was the Face for 90% of the book. All the riddles that he solved seemed to point to it. When the real identity of the Face was revealed, I couldn’t help but wonder how he was going to factor into that person’s Unmasking.

I wonder the same thing about Sunniva. She was on her own personal quest to find out what happened to her father. When she found out, I wonder what will happen to her in book 2. I also wonder how she is going to factor into the Unmasking.

Astolf left me feeling unclean. I wanted to take a shower after reading his scenes. He was such an evil person. What he did to Emperor Calvo, Perin and countless others were awful. So I didn’t feel bad when what happened to him happened. I felt vindicated.

Dagon and Malombra were a couple made in Hell. Malombra was reportedly a beautiful woman who killed anyone who saw her face. She was also very talented with herbs and poisons. Dagon was the head of the Clovian Dynasty. He was a nasty man who wanted to destroy Emperor Calvo in the worse way. So when those two hooked up, I was disgusted. The things that they did to Sunniva and Dayraven were disgusting. But, I am curious to see what happens to them in book 2.

The end of The Hidden Face was fantastic. The author did a great job at ending some storylines. Other’s were left open to be pursued in book 2. The slight cliffhanger was perfect for the book. It was enough for me to want to read book 2.

What I liked about The Hidden Face:

A) Excellent world building

B) Excellent storylines

C) Excellent world building

What I disliked about The Hidden Face:

A) Astolf. He made me feel dirty

B) Dagon and Malombra. The power couple from Hell.

C) Perin. I disliked how he was treated throughout the book.

I would give The Hidden Face a rating of Older Teen. There is sex but it is not graphic. It is vague but you know what is going on. There is violence. Not so much graphic but the author got creative with how he killed off characters. The whole beehive scene made me shudder. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in The Hidden Face.

I would recommend The Hidden Face to family and friends. This is a book that I will be rereading. I will also be reading the other books in the series when they come out.

I would like to thank S.C. Flynn for allowing me to read and review The Hidden Face.

All opinions stated in this review of The Hidden Face are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

 

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles: Book 1) by L. Penelope

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1)

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: May 1st, 2018

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Series: Earthsinger Chronicles

Song of Blood & Stone – Book 1

Whispers of Shadow & Flame – Book 2

Cry of Metal & Bone – Book 3

Where you can find Song of Blood & Stone: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers. 

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart. 

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps. 

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation. 

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

My Review:

I like fantasy. I like New Adult/Young Adult fantasy. I like romance. Why is it so hard to find a book that can focus on all three of those genres equally? I have had issues with books that combine the three genres together. I can’t find a book that competently blends all 3 of those genres. Don’t get me wrong, Song of Blood & Stone does a great job at attempting to combine them. But it didn’t click for me.

I thought that Song of Blood & Stone got off to a fantastic start. The author set the tone for the entire book perfectly. But, by the middle of the book, when Jasminda was in Elsira’s capital, the book started to falter. By the end of the book, I wasn’t engaged with the characters anymore and the storyline annoyed me. I am hoping that the second book will draw me back in because this book had so much potential.

I thought that Jasminda got the raw end of the deal. She was hated by the village because of her Earthsong.  Her maternal grandfather wanted her to disown her family if she wanted help. To top it off, she ends up getting put in the middle of a looming war. A war that Jack tried to stop but didn’t succeed. Hatred of her other heritage, the Lagamiri ran deep in Elsira. Even in the castle, Jasminda wasn’t exempt from the hatred of the Elsiran people. I felt awful for her. It was a wonder that she didn’t crack sooner.

Jack got under my skin. I did think he was going to be a temporary character, at first. So when the twist in his storyline came, I was not ready for it. The author did a great job of portraying him as a tortured man. He was torn between the love of his country and the love for a woman that was half of the enemy. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the stress he was under. But, saying that, I found his actions later in the book awful. He did not stand up for Jasminda. He wanted to hide what they had. He did what he thought was right at the time (even though I thought it was wrong, wrong, wrong). Not going to say what it was but if I was Jasminda, I would have told him to take a hike or punched him in the face. Probably both.

The storyline of the Earthbenders of old was fascinating. This is one part of the book that I correctly guessed at what was going to happen who those people ended up being. It was still a surprise when it came out at the end of the book.

The storyline of the refugees touched my heart. I did liken it in ways to the waves of people coming out of Syria. People displaced because of who they are. They can’t go back because they will be put in harm’s way or killed. And they can’t stay where they are because people don’t understand and fear them.

There was chemistry between Jack and Jasminda. From the minute they met each other, sparks flew. The author kept those sparks keep fanning until they did the deed. Then I felt that the relationship went flat. But, considering what was going on at the time, I now wonder if that was the author’s plan. If it was, it was ingenious of her to do that.

What I didn’t like was that there were a couple of dropped storylines. The one that sticks out in my mind was the man who gave Jack the cornerstone that he thought was a map. It was speculated who he was. Then the storyline was dropped. Also, the mystery woman who the guard was talking to in Jasminda’s cottage. She was mentioned once in the book and then that was it.

The end of Song of Blood & Stone felt a bit anticlimactic. I kept waiting to see if there was anything more to Jack and Jasminda’s storyline once the Queen said what she said. I did like the small twist at the end considering how the True Father and The Queen Who Sleeps looked like. I laughed at that because those bigoted, ignorant people were fools. It was the end of the book that made me want to read the second book. I need to see where this story is going. And I am hoping that it will be better than this book.

What I liked about Song of Blood & Stone:

A) Great world building

B) Interesting storyline in the beginning

C) 3D characters

What I disliked about Song of Blood & Stone:

A) Storyline faltered towards the middle of the book

B) Jack’s treatment of Jasminda towards the end of the book

C) Dropped storylines

I would give Song of Blood & Stone a rating of Older Teen. There is violence. There are sexual situations and sex. The sex is not graphic and actually seemed rushed through. No language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in Song of Blood & Stone. They are: extreme racial prejudice and talk of rape.

I am on the fence about recommending Song of Blood & Stone to family and friends. If I did, I would include a warning of the triggers. While I would not reread this book, I am open to reading other books by the author.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Song of Blood & Stone.

All opinions stated in this review of Song of Blood & Stone are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Be Careful What You Joust For (Pentavia: Book 1) by Ryan Hauge and Ivy Smoak

Be Careful What You Joust For (Pentavia, #1)

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: April 17th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy,  Young Adult

Series: Pentavia

Be Careful What You Joust For – Book 1

Where you can find Be Careful What You Joust For: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The fiercest knights in the realm are coming together to compete in the Joust for Arwin’s Lance, a tournament that will divide even the closest alliances. The winner alone will have the power to start or prevent a war from unfolding across the peaceful lands of Pentavia.

House Hornbolt, a prominent family that desires peace above all else, is hosting the tournament. The Hornbolt’s have always been strict followers of tradition. The first born son wears the armor of a knight. The second takes the priestly Oath of Arwin. And the daughters get married off to the most eligible suitors.

The eldest son is the favorite to win the tournament. But the rest of the Hornbolts aren’t as eager to follow the paths laid out for them. What if the second born wants to be a knight too? And what if the eldest daughter just gave her heart to a common thief?

Customs are meant to be broken. But that’s not all that threatens to shatter House Hornbolt, not when a secret deeper than the late king’s grave is unearthed right before the joust.

The fate of Pentavia hangs in the balance as war becomes imminent. And the scales are about to tip.

One wrong move and everything could fall to pieces.

My review:

I can’t even begin to describe how I felt when reading Be Careful What You Joust For. It was an emotional rollercoaster for me reading this book. One page I would be laughing at Terric’s horn dog lusting for Bella. Then the next page, I would be on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen to Bastian. I came to care for Selina, Oriana, Marcus, Garrion, Nesta, and Isolda.

I loved the medieval feel of this book. But what I liked also is that the author had shades of steampunk thrown in there. From the talk of airships to how Isolda dressed when going to manage her brothels, I ate it up. What I also liked about this book is that while it was set in a medieval type land, the kids did not talk like it. They talked like regular modern-day tween/teenagers. Awesome was used quite a bit. Again, it was refreshing because I hadn’t been expecting that.

Except for Selina and Nesta, each member of the Hornbolt family had their own individual plotlines. Isolda is trying to figure out who assassinated her father years ago. Marcus’s was about the tournament coming up and his preparation for it. Garrion was also about the tournament and keeping Isolda’s brother, Reavus, from ruining it. Oriana’s focuses on a love triangle that she finds herself in the middle of. Terric’s is his unhappiness with becoming a priest and his planning to run away to become a knight. All these storylines merge at the end of the book in a way that left me shocked.

The world building that Be Careful What You Joust For was insanely good. Each layer that was peeled back revealed another, more complex layer was revealed.

I am not going to lie and say that I loved every single character. I didn’t. But that is what I enjoyed the most about this book. The characters were all flawed in some way. I could relate to them and their struggles. I could also relate to the faults that they had that made me not like them.

The end of the book shocked me. I was blindsided by it. Actually, I got a little angry because what I had in my head wasn’t what I was reading. But having slept on it, I can say that I thought it was brilliant of the authors to end it the way they did. Not only did they not resolve any of the plotlines but new ones were started right before the book ended. It is safe to say that there will be a book 2 and I can’t wait to read it.

What I liked about Be Careful What You Joust For:

A) The medieval/steampunk feel of the book

B) The world building

C) The end of the book

What I disliked about Be Careful What You Joust For:

A) The end of the book

B) Terric (going with not liking every character).

C) Rixin (again going with not liking every character)

I would give Be Careful What You Joust For a rating of Young Teen. There is no sex or sexual situations. There is a couple of kissing scenes but nothing racy. There is no language. There is violence but it is not graphic. I would suggest that no one under the age of 13 read this book.

There are no triggers in Be Careful What You Joust For.

I would recommend Be Careful What You Joust For to family and friends. I would also reread this book and plan on reading book 2.

I would like to thank the publishers for allowing me to read and review Be Careful What You Joust For.

All opinions stated in this review of Be Careful What You Joust For are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Blood Type (Blood Type: Book 1) by K.A. Linde

Blood Type (Blood Type, #1)

5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 24th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Series: Blood Type

Blood Type – Book 1

Blood Match – Book 2

Blood Cure – Book 3

Where you can find Blood Type: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A startling new vision of paranormal romance: When a human ventures into the world of vampires—a decadent milieu of blood-bonds and betrayal—she discovers that not all is what it seems.

For Reyna Carpenter, giving up her body isn’t a choice. It’s survival.

In a civilization laid waste by poverty and desperation, Reyna accepts a high-paying position with the wealthy and hungry vampire elite. Her new job is as the live-in blood escort for the intimidating, demanding, and devilishly handsome Beckham Anderson. He’s everything she expected from a vampire, except for one thing—he won’t feed off her.

Reyna soon discovers that behind Beckham’s brooding, wicked façade lies a unique and complex man. And that, in a dark and divided world, she is more valuable than she ever would have believed.

For with each passing night, Reyna can’t shake the sensation that it’s Beckham who’s afraid of her.

Note: Reyna and Beckham’s story continues in Blood Match.

My review:

When I saw that this book was up for review on NetGalley, I almost passed it by. But something about the blurb caught my attention and made me look twice. I thought it was going to be your typical Twilight knockoff. Not only am I glad that I requested (and got) the book, I am glad that my assumption was so wrong. This book is nothing like the Twilight knockoff. NOTHING like it. So don’t expect a book like that. Expect something that is much darker and grittier. These vampires don’t glitter.

Blood Type takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Vampires came out to the humans years before, sending the world into a tailspin. After the dust settled, the vampires had taken over the world. People were left fighting for food, shelter, and jobs. Reyna grew up during that time and is struggling to survive in the new world the vampires created. Her way out is to become a blood escort. Someone who lets the vampires feed off of her in exchange for money. But, she gets chosen to test out a new role. A role as a live-in escort. Her sponsor is the VP of the escort company, Beckham Anderson. As heat and lust sparks between Beckham and Reyna, she can’t feel that there is something off. Something that she doesn’t know about. Something that could make or break her world if she finds out.

Like I mentioned above, this book was gritty. It was not written to make you think that vampires where nice people who happened to want to drink your blood. Nope, these vampires were evil. Even if they had good intentions, like Beckham. I loved it!!! It was a refreshing read and different from other vampire books. I was not bored reading it.

I felt bad for Reyna. She tried everything in her power to get out of where she was staying. The escort service was her last resort. She didn’t want to be known as a blood whore. She was ashamed of it. I did get a laugh out of her wardrobe and her reaction to it. What was running through my head was Julia Roberts wardrobe before Richard Greer picked her up in Pretty Woman. Except Reyna had the opposite reaction.

I couldn’t get a feel on Beckham until almost the end of the book. Normally, that bothers me but in this case, it only added to how much I like the book. He is a vampire. I shouldn’t be able to read him like a book. I should have to work, like Reyna did, to see what he was like underneath. It wasn’t until the bombing that I even began to understand him. I loved it!!!

The sexual tension in Blood Type was through the roof. Reyna and Beckham do not actually have sex until towards the end of the book. I thought that the author did a great job keeping the sexual tension up until then. When they finally had sex, it was explosive. I swear my Kindle’s screen fogged up a few times.

The end of the book was insane. Not going to get into it, but I was not expecting what happened. There is a cliffhanger. I don’t like cliffhangers but this one made me eager to read book 2.

What I liked about Blood Type:

A) Vampires were what I thought they should be. Not glittery freaks.

B) Reyna and Beckham’s sexual tension

C) The plotline

What I dislike about Blood Type:

A) Reyna being forced into being a blood escort

B) The other live in blood escorts. They annoyed me

C) The judgey peeps that Reyna met

I would give Blood Type a rating of Adult. There is explicit sex, explicit violence, and language. This is a book that no one under the age of 21 should be reading.

I wouldn’t give this book any trigger warnings.

I would recommend Blood Type to family and friends. I would give a warning about the sex, violence, and language. This is a book that I would reread. This is also a series that I am going to enjoy reading.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group and Loveswept for allowing me to read and review Blood Type.

All opinions stated in this review of Blood Type are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Colossus (Run Rabbit Run: Book 1) by Jette Harris

COLOSSUS (Run Rabbit Run Book 1)

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: November 19th, 2015

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Horror

Series: Run Rabbit Run

Colossus – Book 1

Two Guns – Book 2

Where you can find Colossus: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Lured away from safety by their own goodwill, four high-school seniors from the affluent suburbs of Atlanta are kidnapped, tortured, and forced to entertain the malicious appetites of an unpredictable predator. He calls himself Rhodes. They call him COLOSSUS—looming, omnipresent, and threatening to collapse into insanity.

Heather Stokes, clever, resourceful, and no stranger to tragedy, is willing to risk her life and sanity to protect her friends. They are focused on survival. But as the month hurtles the four toward their likely deaths, their worst nightmares become increasingly real—even for Rhodes: All of their efforts could be in vain, and it is likely none of them will survive.

COLOSSUS is an uncompromising, white-knuckled serial killer thriller, featuring unforgettable characters and an unsettling, nightmare-inducing antagonist. A must-read for fans of Karin Slaughter and Thomas Harris.

My Review:

I haven’t had a book that has affected me the way that Colossus affected me in a long while. I wanted to put the book down and stop reading it but at the same time, I had to finish reading the chapter. I needed to find out what happened to Heather and her friends. I wanted to know the mystery behind Rhodes. I do not like it when books end with no resolution to the storylines. But in this book, it fit. It also left the book wide open for book 2.

This book is brutal. Not going to lie and tell you all that this book has a couple of scenes that will make you wince. It doesn’t have a couple. The whole book from the time Heather is kidnapped to the end is scene after scene of brutality. I like to think that I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to books with graphic violence. But I reached my limit with Colossus. I praise the author for that. I was kept breathless from chapter to chapter. Rhodes was such a wild card that I couldn’t predict what he was going to do next.

What was interesting to me was how the author was able to make all 4 kids have different reactions to their situation. Witt thought that if he could get on Rhodes good side, and stay there than he wouldn’t be tortured. He was also very submissive. Monica, while submissive, became withdrawn and quiet. She would curl up into a ball to make herself smaller. Like she wanted to disappear. Z did try to fight Rhodes but he was always overpowered. He learned to do what Rhodes wanted without making a sound. Heather fought Rhodes tooth and nail. She got the worse of the beatings. But there was something about her that Rhodes liked and that was the only reason she was alive.

There were times in the book where I wanted to tell Heather to stop fighting Rhodes and do what he wanted. Especially when he told her that they all had a time limit hanging over their heads. If anything, that made her fight harder.

What also got under my skin was the rape scenes. They were pretty graphic. What affected me was that it wasn’t just the girls getting raped. The boys did too. Then Rhodes videod them raping each other. It did get pretty intense during that part of the book.

Rhodes was a complete mystery. There was more to him than being a psychopathic serial killer. There were hints about someone who he had in his life that wasn’t there. Hints about his childhood and the abuse he endured. Hints about Spain and a job that waited for him there. Just the barest of facts and I wanted more. So I was a little disappointed when the book ended and there was no mention of it. I am hoping that book 2 gets more into his background.

The end of Colossus was a not what I thought it was going to be. It played with my mind. I stayed up after I was done with the book and thought about the ending. It affected me that bad. Let’s say that what I thought was going to happen didn’t happen. There was a twist that made me go “W.T.H.“.

What I liked about Colossus:

A) Kept me on the edge of my seat

B) Fleshed out characters

C) Excellent storyline

What I disliked about Colossus:

A) The violence

B) The rape scenes

C) Rhodes being a complete mystery. Drove me nuts.

I would give Colossus an Adult rating. I would not let anyone under the age of 21 read this book. There is explicit violence. There are explicit rape scenes. There is explicit language.

This book definitely has trigger warnings. They would be: rape, kidnapping, and assault. If you are triggered by any of these, I would suggest that you not read the book.

I would recommend this book to family and friends. But I would make sure that they knew how intense and graphic the book can get. I would also let them know about the triggers. This is a book that I could see myself rereading.

I would like to thank Jette Harris for allowing me to read and review Colossus.

All opinions stated in this review of Colossus are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**