Unleash (Spellhounds: Book 1) by Lauren Harris

Unleash (Spellhounds, #1)

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Date of publication: May 5th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic, Paranormal, Shapeshifters

Series: Spellhounds

Unjust—Book 0.5

Unleash—Book 1

Unmake—Book 2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Better World Books

Format Read: eBook

Got Book From: Amazon

Trigger Warning: Violence, Death of a parent, child abuse (talked about)

Goodreads synopsis:

Craving a gritty, kickass heroine? If you like guns, magic, & heartbreaking drama, you NEED this book!

Helena Martin doesn’t know who she hates more, the sorcerers who fired the magic-laced bullet or the gang-lord master who used her mother as a shield. It’s not the price she expected for escaping magical slavery, nor is the unstable power now pulsing in her veins.

Caught between her former master’s hunters and the Guild Sorcerers determined to kill them, she finds a safe haven at a dog rescue willing to take in a different kind of stray. But Helena’s newly-unleashed power is a beacon for her enemies. And they’re threatening the first place she’s ever thought of as home.

Before I start the Unleash review, I want to let everyone know that I will change up how I do my reviews. The whole beginning/middle/end of the book wasn’t working for me. So, enjoy the new format!!

Unleash is the story of Helena. Helena and her family were magical slaves for a gang lord, Gwydain. When the book starts, Helena, her cousin, and her mother were waiting to be rescued by Guild Sorcerers and Enforcers. As part of a deal, they would help take down the Gwydain and get their freedom back. But it didn’t quite go down as planned. Helena’s mother was killed by the Guild that was supposed to help them.

Those first few chapters were tough to read. The desperation and then terror that Helena felt was palpable. She was forced to watch as Gwydian murders a girl and uses her blood to prime spells. She is forced to act against her will when Gwydian is being attacked. She is forced to watch as her mother is shot by the people who were supposed to her. It was overall sad and a little overwhelming to read. I usually don’t get overwhelmed by events in the book (I have a pretty thick skin), but in this case, I had to take a break from reading. I had to gather myself because I identified with Helena.

Helena’s flight to Minnesota broke my heart. She was forced to leave her mother behind and run. Then, she decided to part ways with Morgan. While it was a smart move, it still broke my heart even more for her. She was 17, alone and scared to death of what would happen next. Meeting Krista and Jaesung was the best thing that could have happened to her.

The pacing of Unleash slowed down considerably after Helena met Krista and Jaesung. After the frantic, almost manic pacing of the first few chapters, it was a relief to see the book go to a much slower pace.

I liked that Helena shielded Krista and Jaesung from what was going on with her. They knew something was up, but they weren’t sure what it was.
I also liked that Jaesung and Krista’s reactions were natural when Helena told them a very watered-down version of what happened to her. What I mean by watered down was that she left out all the magic and shapeshifting. She stuck to the bare bones of what happened.

I did think it was a little ironic that Helena found sanctuary, and then employment, at a dog rescue. Why ironic? Well, Helena was forced into being a shapeshifter by Gwydian (her flashback to that was sad). Her shapeshifter form is an Irish Wolfhound. I also thought it was smart that she kept with Krista and Jaesung. The Guild wouldn’t attack her while she was with “mundanes.

The different types of magic were explained in Unleash. There was a cultural mishmash of the magics used. There were Hindu, Asian, and Celtic featured. I also liked that the author gradually explained the magical part of the book. It gave me time to process what was told.

The secondary characters were well written and fleshed out the story. Krista was one of the main secondary characters that I loved. She was loud and brash. But she was also one of the kindest people in the book. She had a softer side, and when it was revealed what was going on with her, my heart broke.

Let’s talk about Jaesung. He was Korean, having emigrated to the US when he was nine years old. He did Martial Arts (that scene at the wedding was AMAZING). He never gave up on Helena, even when he knew there was more to her story than what she was telling. I think I fell a little bit in love with him during the book. He was gentle and, most importantly, he listened. I wish I could pull him out of the book and clone him….lol.

Helena and Jaesung’s romance was a gradual thing. The author snuck bits and pieces of how Helena noticed Jaesung and how she felt safe with him. There were several near kissing scenes until that hot scene in the bathroom. What I liked is that their relationship didn’t feel forced. It felt natural and realistic (well as real as a YA Paranormal book will feel).

After a calming middle of the book, it picked up its pace again. It didn’t get a frantic as it did at the beginning of the book, but it was pretty fast paced. Helena learned much more about why Gwydain had made her family slaves. I will say that I was surprised by everything that was revealed by the Guild. All I could feel was astonished by what was revealed. A lightbulb went over my head because it made sense why Gwydain was doing what he did.

The real MVP of the last half of the book was Jaesung. He learned about Helena’s past and was cool with it. That did surprise me because I know if I found out that magic was real, I would be flipping out. He also tried, stress tried, to protect Helena several times. I felt he dealt with what happened to him at the end of the book pretty well, to be honest. I would have been flipping out about that too.

The end of the book was pretty good. I was a tiny bit disappointed by what happened to Gwydain. But he got what he deserved. The author did wrap up all storylines, except a couple, and I figure they will feature in the next book. There was enough left open at the ending for me to want to read book 2.

Overall, Unleash was an excellent paranormal YA book. It was fast-paced with a lot of different representation in the book. I am eager to read book 2. I would also recommend this book to anyone over the age of 16. There are graphic violence and talk of child abuse (Helena remembers sleeping with her father at 9 to stop a gang member from raping her). There is some kissing, and Jaesung and Helena have sex. But it is not graphic.

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy: Book 1) by Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy, #1)

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Date of Publication: April 24th 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy

Ash Princess-Book 1

Lady Smoke-Book 2

Ember Queen-Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBoooks | Alibris | Powells | IndieBound | Indigo | Audible

Format read: eBook

Got Book From: Library (via OverDrive)

Trigger Warning: Violence, child abuse (one very graphic scene towards the end of the book)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

First Line:

The last person who called me by my true name was my mother, with her dying breath.

Ash Princess by laura sebastian

My Initial First Impressions of Ash Princess

Ash Princess has been on my radar for a while. I had requested it from NetGalley before it was published and got declined. I was pretty irritated by that since I had been reading posts from other bloggers about how good it was. Then, a couple of months ago, a lightbulb went off in my head. Why don’t I use the LIBRARY and see if they have it through Overdrive? So, that’s what I did, and after a month’s hold, I was able to get my digital fingers on Ash Princess.

I started Ash Princess by crying. Yes, crying. I sobbed my way through the prologue and the first few chapters. What Theodosia was forced to go through broke my heart. It also made me want to jump into the book and beat the living out of the Theryn and the Kaiser. When Theodosia was forced to kill her father while he was singing her a freaking lullaby, I lost it. I had to put my Kindle down and let myself cry it out.

I was suspect at Cress and Theo’s friendship from the beginning. Yes, I was that cynical person who couldn’t quite believe that the Kaiser’s executioner allowed his daughter to be besties with the deposed Queen of the land they had just taken over. My suspicions were somewhat confirmed when Cress became jealous when the Prinz started paying attention to Theodosia.

Speaking of the Prinz (or Soren), I couldn’t help but be cynical over his and Theo’s relationship evolved. He watched her being abused (whipped and beaten). He must have known of his father’s plans for Theodosia. Heck, I knew about them from the beginning. The Kaiser wasn’t subtle. Even the Kaiserina knew….smh. To have a romance, all of a sudden blossom between Soren and Theodosia, didn’t feel right to me. I mean, I knew it had to happen, just like I knew that there was going to be a triangle (Blaise, Theodosia, and Soren). It doesn’t mean that I had to like it.

Blaise, Heron, and Art showing up towards the end of the first half of the book was interesting. I say interesting because they were all escaped slaves they were all marked by the mines in some way. They were also dedicated to overthrowing the Kaiser and restoring Theo to her rightful place as Queen. I wouldn’t say I liked Art’s attitude towards Theo during this part of the book. She seemed to think that Theo lived this pampered life while her countrymen toiled. It annoyed me that Art would talk to her Queen that way.

The first half of Ash Princess flew by for me. The author did a great job of keeping my attention to the plot. There was no needless subplots or secondary characters cluttering things up, which I enjoyed.

Mid-book Impressions

As much as I loved the first half of Ash Princess, I thought the middle of the book was a little boring. I understand that the groundwork had to be laid for Theo and her group’s plan to work. It still bored me. I stopped reading the book for a couple of days because I got bored. But, once I got over that small bump, the book did pick up speed.

Theo and her group had a well thought out plan that Theo kept waffling on. Kill the Theryn, Cress, and Soren. Theo was OK with killing the Theryn. I mean, he was the one who slit her mother’s throat while her six-year-old self watched. But killing Cress, who was innocent, and Soren, who she was falling for, seemed like overkill.

Cress and Theo’s friendship did falter in the middle of the book. I was expecting it, primarily since Theo was tasked with killing the Theryn and Cress. But it still hurt to read. Cress was an innocent, and in Theo’s mind, shouldn’t be touched. I will say, though, I liked the 180 that Cress did towards the end of the book’s middle. But even then, Cress was looking out for Theo.

I was a little iffy on Soren and Theo’s romance. It was too sudden (like I said above). To go from him being apathetic to loving her within a couple of weeks made me go “meh.” It screamed of Instalove. Honestly, I thought that Theo was too emotionally damaged (from the abuse) even to form those kinds of attachments. But she did. That night on Soren’s boat was sweet, and it did show a different side of Soren then what I expected.

Blaise, Heron, and Art’s characters became a little more fleshed out. I loved Heron. He was a gentle giant who was a badass. I did feel bad when he explained his backstory. To lose his love to mine madness made my heart hurt. Art was still a raving bitch, but even that was explained. I felt that there was more to her character than what the author was letting on.

End of Book Impressions:

The end of Ash Princess was not what I thought it was going to be. A couple of twists in the plotline made me go “Huh” and “No way.” The author did an excellent job of wrapping up plotlines and setting new ones in motion.

I will warn you all that there is a very graphic scene where the Theryn whips Theo in front of the Kaiser and his court. It was a brutal scene to read. I was crying by the end of it. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Theo was ready to do whatever she could to free her people.

Cress and Theo’s friendship took a sudden and drastic turn at the end of the book. I did not blame Cress or Theo for how they felt. I mean, Theo did try to kill Cress, and instead, something else happened. I do think that if Theo acted differently instead of rubbing what happened in Cress’s face, maybe things would have been different? Who knows. All I know is that Theo’s actions created Cress, and Theo will have to do something about her.

I will say that Soren did come through for Theo after she was imprisoned. I figured that Blaise, Heron, and Art would be the ones to rescue her. So when Soren appeared, I was surprised. I wasn’t surprised at who Theo let loose in the dungeons, nor was I surprised at what was said to her. And I wasn’t surprised when Theo did what she did after the escape.

There was one twist in the plot that was left for last. I was taken by surprise, as was Theo. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it was like for her to have that surprise sprung on her. Poor Art did try to tell her but was always cut off.

Like I said above, individual storylines were wrapped up, and new ones were started at the end of the book. There was enough not written for me to want to read book 2. I need to see what will happen to Theo, Soren, and everyone else in the book.

My Overall Thoughts on Ash Princess

I enjoyed reading Ash Princess. It was a fast read with complex characters. Theo was incredibly strong, and she was lucky to have people who were willing to help her. Some scenes made me uncomfortable (the implied rape of Art and the death of her younger brother was one of them). I didn’t get Theo and Soren’s sudden romantic relationship, but I got why the author had it happen so suddenly.

I would recommend Ash Princess to anyone over the age of 21. There is violence, implied rape, slavery, and child abuse (implied and otherwise).

Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Stolen Gypsy by [Horton-Newton, Elizabeth]

4 Stars


Date of publication: April 15th, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense

Where you can find Stolen Gypsy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

“Her parents are dead. The government has failed her. Now she doesn’t even know who she is. Terza Blackstone is rescued by handsome Irishman Tristan Devlin and that begins the search for her true identity. When everything you thought was yours has been stolen from you, there’s only one thing to do. Steal it all back. What do gypsies, the Witness Protection Program, a drug cartel, and a young girl running for her life have in common?” 

My Review:

I made the mistake of judging this book but not only the cover but the blurb. I thought that this was going to be your typical young adult/mystery/suspense. I was expecting the usual drama that goes along with a Young Adult novel. So, when I started reading Stolen Gypsy, I was shocked to be proven wrong. This book was nothing like what I thought.

The plot of Stolen Gypsy was simple and then got hard to follow as the book went on. Terza was orphaned when her parents were killed in a car accident. After another car accident, which takes the life of her temporary guardian/lawyer, Terza is rescued by Tristan. She realizes that everything she has been told is a lie. She also realizes that some powerful, dangerous forces want her. One group wants to reclaim her, another group wants to hide her, and the last group wants to kill her. Terza needs to figure out who she can trust and who she can’t. What will happen to Terza? Will she be able to live a normal life? Or will she be on the run for the rest of her life?

I couldn’t help but feel bad for Terza. Her life had been unsettled, and she never formed a real relationship with her parents. Because of that, I could understand why she didn’t feel grief when they were killed. I thought that she dealt with everything that leads up to Tristan, helping her well. But, then again, she didn’t have time to process what was happening to her. Even after that, she barely got time to process the information that was piled on her. I was in awe that she didn’t have a full-fledged breakdown. Because I know I would have. By the end of the book, she wanted everything to end. I didn’t blame her. I would have been tired of dodging cartels and gypsies at every turn. 

Tristan was a huge part of the book. I did think that he was going to have some secret identity as a spy or something. It was the way he acted at the beginning of the book. It was a let down when he was revealed to be an average guy. But that let down didn’t last long. I developed a massive crush on him by the end of the book. If only he were real…sigh.

Peter was also a considerable part of the book. I didn’t know what to make of him for most of it. I thought that he was working either for the gypsies or the cartel at one point in the book. I didn’t care for his backstory with Nora and Tristan, but it gave their relationship an edge that was needed.

I wasn’t a massive fan of a Terza/Tristan romance. She was in high school, and he was older. I know its a double standard for me, but I kept cringing whenever they would almost kiss or exchange significant looks. That’s where the author kept it. Except for one kiss, it was innocent.

The plotline had a few twists in it. A couple, I saw coming. But there were some that I didn’t see coming. Most of those happened at the end of the book, so that I won’t get into it. I will say that I was shocked.

The end of the book was satisfying. Not only because of what was implied but also because there were two alternate endings. I loved both of them!!

I would give Stolen Gypsy an Older Teen rating. There is no sex (there are two steamy kissing scenes). There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Stolen Gypsy. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Have you read Stolen Gypsy?

What are your thoughts on it?

Let me know!!

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy: Book 2) by Emily A. Duncan

Ruthless Gods: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy Book 2) by [Duncan, Emily A.]

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Date of publication: April 7th, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: Something Dark and Holy

Wicked Saints—Book 1

Ruthless Gods—Book 2

Untitled—Book 3 (expected publication date: 2021)

Where to find Ruthless Gods: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The stunning sequel to instant New York Times bestseller, Wicked Saints!

Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

First Line:

There was a darkness.

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

My Review:

I was pretty excited when I saw that SMP/Wednesday Books had granted my wish for this book on NetGalley. I hadn’t expected it, though. My wishes never get granted on that site. After my excitement died down, I realized that it was the 2nd book. I was still optimistic about the book, though. Lately, I have been reading books that are 2nd or 3rd in a series, and that was stand-alone. I figured that Ruthless Gods would be the same. Oh boy, was I wrong.

Ruthless Gods had a fast-moving plotline. The author was able to keep the pace up even with the book being split into numerous POVs. That I did like, she marked who’s chapter it was. I had zero issues following along with the book that way. It also worked well with the pacing. Some storylines were left open, and characters that were mentioned but never brought up again. But, considering that this is the 2nd book in the series, I have a feeling everything will be tied together in the 3rd book.

As I mentioned above, Ruthless Gods is NOT a stand-alone book. You do need to read Wicked Saints before reading Ruthless Gods. That way, the backstories/explanation of the different countries/explanation of the religions (which is essential!!) are fully disclosed. I was lost when reading Ruthless Gods because I didn’t read Wicked Saints first.

Another source of irritation for me was the lack of understanding of the different relationships between the character. Nadya and Malachiasz, I got right away. Serefin and Kacper’s was a little muddier. Ostiya, Parijahan, and Rashid’s relationships with each other, and the central 3 was even more mysterious. That is where reading Wicked Saints would have come in handy — now saying that I was impressed with the character growth that Serefin, Nadya, and Malachiasz had throughout the book.

Ruthless Gods had to have been one of the more darker, bloodier young adult books that I have read in a while. The amount of violence was terrific. The author doesn’t even bother to build-up to the first violent scene. It was bam, there you go. Now, that didn’t bother me. I figured by reading the synopsis that it was going to be bloody and violent. But it might bother other people.

I was fascinated by a couple of things in Ruthless Gods. I was fascinated that this book was based loosely in Russia. I do wish that there was some glossary that explained the different terms used in the book. I was also fascinated by the various religions portrayed. I do wish that there was a glossary dedicated to the different saints/terms that Nadya and her fellow monks used. Again, it would have gone a long way to helping me understand everything.

The storylines were well written also. There was almost too much going on in the book at one point, but the author did a fantastic job keeping everything separate. The Nadya/Malachiasz storyline broke my heart. Serefin’s broke my heart too. I couldn’t imagine living like he did and being forced to do the things he did.

The best part of the book was the last part of the book from when Katya was introduced onwards. Everything just snowballed once the group got into that forest. I expected what Serefin and Nadya did. The whole book was leading up to those two crucial things. But, I wasn’t expecting what happened to Malachiasz. That took me completely by surprise. The epilogue was fantastic. I cannot wait to read book three because of what was promised in that epilogue.

I would give Ruthless Gods an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Ruthless Gods. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Losing Kyler (The Kennedy Boys: Book 2) by Siobhan Davis

Losing Kyler: A High School Bully Romance (The Kennedy Boys Book 2) by [Davis, Siobhan]

4 Stars


Date of publication: March 27th, 2017

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, New Adult

Series: The Kennedy Boys

Finding Kyler—Book 1 (Review Here)

Losing Kyler—Book 2

Keeping Kyler—Book 3

The Irish Getaway—Book 3.5

Loving Kalvin—Book 4

Saving Brad—Book 5

Seducing Kaden—Book 6

Forgiving Keven—Book 7 (Review Here)

Summer in Nantucket—Book 7.5

Releasing Keanu—Book 8 (Review Here)

Adoring Keaton—Book 9 (expected publication date: September 2020)

Reforming Kent—Book 10 (expected publication date: ?? )

Where you can find Losing Kyler: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

Condemned to repeat the sins of the past…

Faye thought losing her parents was the most devastating thing to happen to her, but she was wrong. Her uncle’s scandalous revelation has sent her into a tailspin, leaving her questioning her entire existence.

Everything she believed is built on a lie.

And the one person she shares a passionate, soul-deep connection with can’t be there for her.

Faye and Ky can’t be together. It’s forbidden. Though they are determined to avoid replicating their parents’ mistakes, caving to their feelings is as tempting as the apple in the Garden of Eden.

Ky had sworn off girls until Faye bulldozed her way into his life. Now, she’s his whole world, and their forced separation is crushing him. Once his manipulative ex resurfaces—hell-bent on ruining the Kennedys—he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones including turning his back on the one person he can’t live without.

Then tragedy strikes and all bets are off.

But is it too late?

When Faye needs him and he isn’t there for her, guilt and hurt threaten to obliterate their love. As they start to rebuild their fractured hearts, another sordid family secret is uncovered, and Faye worries Ky may be lost to her forever.

But can you truly lose someone if they don’t want to be found?

Please note this series is only recommended to readers age 17+ due to mature content and themes.

First Line:

The room spins.

Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis

My Review:

Losing Kyler is the 2nd book in The Kennedy Boys series. This book is not for teenagers. Again, loud so people in the back can hear, THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR TEENAGERS. There are mature themes in this book that I wouldn’t be comfortable letting anyone under the age of 21 read. I wasn’t comfortably reading some of the things that went on in this book, and I am 42. Also, this cannot be read as a stand alone book.

The plotline for Losing Kyler is fast-paced and well written. There were a few times where I got overwhelmed with what was going on (there was a lot), but that was just me. The flow of the book was terrific too. There were no dropped characters or storylines.

The plotline with Faye, James, Alex, and Kyler was wonderfully written. I can’t say what I would have done if that bombshell was dropped on me. I want to think that I would have acted like Faye did when she found out. But the truth is, I would have had a nervous breakdown.

I thought Alex and James were incredibly selfish during that plotline. There were more than a few scenes where I wanted to smack one or both of them upside the head. They were the main reason why their kids were rebelling out. I wanted to reach through my Kindle, shake them, and tell them to start acting like parents and the teenagers they aren’t.

The plotline with Kyler, Faye, Brad, and Addison was full of drama. The drama between the 4 of them was almost too much. But it was a ton of fun to read. I loved reading Faye and Addison’s interactions. I kept thinking “Meow” every time they were together.

I did wonder what dirt Addison had on Kyler. I mean, he was adamant that he wanted nothing to do with her towards the end of Finding Kyler. Then to hook back up with her? I wasn’t surprised at what it was. I also wasn’t amazed at her role in everything that happened in the book. I am so waiting for her to get hers!!

The storyline with Kal and the rape trial broke my heart and, later on in the book, enraged me. I didn’t understand why Lana accused him of rape. But when specific details came to light, I understood. All I have to say is what goes around comes around.

The sexual attraction and tension between Kyler and Faye were terrific. Even though they had to keep their hands off each other, there was a lot of sexual tension. I had to put down my Kindle and fan myself. When they finally did have sexual contact, holy moly was it intense.

The end of Losing Kyler is a cliffhanger. I am not a big fan of cliffhangers. But in this case, it worked. I want to know what happens next. I want to know if Kyler and Faye will have their happily ever after.

I would give Losing Kyler an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Losing Kyler. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Odriel’s Heirs (Odriel’s Heirs: Book 1) by Hayley Reese Chow

Odriel's Heirs by [Chow, Hayley Reese]

4 Stars

Publisher: Amazon KDP

Date of publication: March 1st, 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Where you can find Odriel’s Heirs: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

First Line:

Kaia Dashul wove a ball of fire between her fingertips, feeling the rage simmering beneath a tangle of excited nerves as she watched the festival from the shadowed woods.

Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow

My Review:

Fantasy is one of my favorite subjects to read. It is one genre that I will always read. So, when the author contacted me to read/review Odriel’s Heirs, I accepted. I am glad that I did. Odriel’s Heirs was a great read!!

The plotline for Odriel’s Heirs was fast-moving and well written. There were no dropped storylines or characters. There was a little lag right before the last battle, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book.

I loved the lore in Odriel’s Heirs. Zombies, necromancers, mages, and gods (good and bad) were featured. I did want to know more about the different Heirs and that first battle. But that is a minor thing. I liked that the author took the past events and used them as vital learning tools for Kaia. She also left teasers about the past. I am hoping that she expands more on that in the oncoming books.

I wasn’t a massive fan of Kaia for most of the book. I thought she was impulsive, self-centered, and full of rage. I couldn’t connect with her. But after a specific scene on a mountain, I started to see her character morph and I began to like her. By the end of the book, I was in awe of her. I can’t wait to see where her character goes.

I liked that Kaia was portrayed as a real person. She had real issues (bullying and self-esteem were the main ones featured). Kaia had to work to get to where she was. In one battle scene, she exhausted herself and almost collapsed. Even her changing feelings for Klaus were realistic.

I will say that I wasn’t a fan of how a specific relationship did a 180. I get that romance sells, but in this case, eh. There was too much bad history between those two that made a romantic relationship yucky in my eyes.

I wish that the author had explained what the Shadow Heirs abilities were earlier in the book. I figured it was something to do with shadows and assassins, but it wasn’t fully revealed until Klaus went to rescue Kaia after she was kidnapped.

The secondary characters in this book (villains and heroes) were wonderfully written. None of them seemed out of place in this world, and they all added an extra depth to the storyline.

The end of Odriel’s Heirs was great. I had figured out what happened to the Time Heir about halfway through the book. I knew that Kaia would come into her own during that last battle. But it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of reading those scenes. The last chapter, though, seemed too good to be true. And then came the epilogue. That made me super excited to read book 2!!

I would give Odriel’s Heirs an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Odriel’s Heirs. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Jane Anonymous: A Novel by [Stolarz, Laurie Faria]

5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Date of publication: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Young Adult

Where you can find Jane Anonymous: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

First Line:

Dear Reader(s),

Before ten months ago, I didn’t know that the coil spring from a mattress could be used as a makeshift weapon, or that the rod inside a toilet tank worked just as well as the claw of a hammer.

Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

My Review:

I was intrigued when I read the blurb for Jane Anonymous. I have read plenty of books about kidnapping and the effects on the victims, so I thought I was ready for the book. Well, I was wrong. Jane Anonymous was one of the rawest, more emotional books that I have read to date.

The plotlines for Jane Anonymous are split into two sections. There is “Then” and “Now.” The pacing for each plotline is fast and well written. There is no lag, which was great and complimented the fast pace of the plotline. There were also no dropped characters.

I wanted to reach through my Kindle, grab Jane, and hug her. The author did a fantastic job of showing the difference in her. She was an outgoing girl with a fantastic view of life before her kidnapping. After her abduction, though, she was the opposite. The author didn’t make her magically healed and had her forget what happened to her. Instead, she had Jane struggle with being home. She also showed how Jane was affected by PTSD and anxiety. Again, there were tears on my end.

The “Then” part of the storyline was amazingly written. I liked reading how Jane kept her sanity during her captivity. The author did a fantastic job of showing how Jane was broken down by her kidnapper and then built back up. It was a perfect example of Stockholm Syndrome. But, my favorite part of this book was when she escaped. It was amazing!!

The “Now” part of the storyline broke my heart. Jane was so broken. She tries to recreate her room from when she was kidnapped. Jane kept to the award system that her kidnapper used. She refused to talk to someone because of how they treated her. She had to deal with people alternately praising her and talking about her behind her back. But, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

The end of Jane Anonymous was terrific. I can’t get into it, but I was a blubbery, sobbing mess. It made me have hope for her too. I am for sure going to be looking out for more books by this author!!

I would give Jane Anonymous an Older Teen rating. There are no sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Jane Anonymous. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Angel of Evil (The Great Devil War: Book 4) by Kenneth B. Andersen

The Angel of Evil: The Great Devil War IV by [Andersen, Kenneth B., Andersen, Kenneth Bøgh]

4 Stars


Date of publication: October 20th, 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: The Great Devil War

The Devil’s Apprentice—Book 1 (Review here)

The Die of Death—Book 2 (Review here)

The Wrongful Death—Book 3 (Review here)

The Angel of Evil—Book 4

The Fallen Angel—Book 5 (expected publication date: May 2020)

The Fallen Devil—Book 6 (expected publication date: 2020)

Where you can find The Angel of Evil: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

SPOILER-ALERT! Stop reading if you haven’t read book I-III yet!

Nothing will ever be the same. Satina is gone, kidnapped by the enemy. Disobeying Lucifer, Philip heads out to find her, journeying into the deep darkness of Outer Reach. But nothing can prepare Philip for the horror that awaits—or the demons he will face.

Meanwhile, Lucifer’s kingdom is threatened as the Great Devil War draws closer. All Hell is about to break loose.

The Angel of Evil is volume 4 of The Great Devil War series.

First Line:

There was a knock at his door and he heard his mother’s voice in the hallway.

The Angel of Evil by Kenneth B. Andersen

My Review:

I was super excited when I started reading The Angel of Evil. I needed to know what was going to happen to Philip, Lucifer, Satina, Aziel (yes, him!!), and the other residents of Hell that have been introduced throughout this series. I was not disappointed. The Angel of Evil more than delivered in this book.

It is hard to write a review for a book that has such a complex storyline. I am going to try. There is so much that I want to say but can’t because I fear revealing something I shouldn’t. I am going to be annoyingly vague in this review (sorry, not sorry). Hopefully, my vagueness will make someone want to read the series.

The plotline of The Angel of Evil was fast-paced. Right from the beginning, it took off, and it didn’t slow down until the end. I loved it. I also liked that, for once, I couldn’t tell what was going to happen to Philip.

I am going to warn people (as I did in previous reviews and this blurb does) that The Angel of Evil is NOT a stand-alone book. You NEED to read the first three books first before reading this one. That isn’t a suggestion. There is so much going on that you will get lost reading this first. Trust me on this.

I loved Philip in this book. He was on a mission to save his friends, and nothing would stop him. Not even Lucifer saying, “No.” He showed leadership skills at points during the book. And let’s not forget about his bravery. Or the actual depth of his feelings for Satina.

Again, the author did a fantastic job of taking Biblical stories and myths from various cultures and meshing them together. I loved seeing Norse mythology being featured right along with Biblical stories.

The storyline about The Great Devil War and Aziel were wonderfully written. There was a point where I was wondering what that little devil was up to. His plans were meticulously laid out, but Philip was the one who threw a wrench in them.

I felt awful for Satina in The Angel of Evil. Her time with Aziel changed her. She was not the sweet tempter anymore. She had been through a traumatic experience. I am expecting her to be back to her old self for the next book. I missed her in this one.one.

The end of The Angel of Evil was terrific. I cannot wait to see what book five is going to bring. If the teaser chapter is any inclination, then I can’t wait to read the book!!

I would give The Angel of Evil an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Angel of Evil I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Wrongful Death (The Great Devil War: Book 3) by Kenneth B. Andersen

The Wrongful Death: The Great Devil War III by [Andersen, Kenneth B., Andersen, Kenneth Bøgh]

4 Stars


Date of publication: April 5th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: The Great Devil War

The Devil’s Apprentice—Book 1 (review here)

The Die of Death—Book 2 (review here)

The Wrongful Death—Book 3

The Angel of Evil—Book 4

The Fallen Angel-–Book 5

The Fallen Devil—Book 6

Where to find The Wrongful Death: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

The Wrong Death is volume 3 of The Great Devil War series.

First Line:

“I’m going to bed, Mom.”

The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen

My Review:

This review is going to be challenging to write because I can’t give too much away without spoiling this book. That frustrates me because there is so much that I want to write, but I can’t!! But I will try.

The Wrongful Death is the 3rd book in The Great Devil War series. The Wrongful Death is not a book that can be read alone. To understand what is going on in The Wrongful Death, you need to read the first two books. I can’t stress this enough for this series. You will get lost!!

The plotline for The Wrongful Death was slow to start. Usually, I wouldn’t like it. I would want the author to start the book off with Philip going back to Hell. But, in this case, it is needed. Philip’s state of mind and his friendships (mainly with Sam) needed to be explained. Plus, it was interesting to see Satina’s jealousy manifesting. After those couple of chapters, the book did pick up speed, and it flew to the end.

The author did a fantastic job of creating a Hell that wasn’t as evil as I thought it would be. He also did a tremendous job of showing a fractured Hell. A Hell where the demons were starting to split between Aziel and Lucifer. I loved it!!

I loved that the author also chose to write in Biblical stories, along with Greek myths. Which meant I loved it when Philip and Satina journeyed to Hades to rescue Sam. The condemned that they met, along with Hades and Persephone (who was scarier than Hades, in my opinion), was wonderfully written.

I enjoyed getting to know more about Sam in this book. As evil as he was on Earth, he was innocent in Hell (and Hades). He was shocked by what he witnessed. Even more so, he was shocked by Philip’s infamy down there.

Philip and Satina’s relationship was cute. I did raise my eyebrows at the whole sleeping in bed together but, and I stress but, nothing happened. There were a few innocent kisses, and that’s it.

I am still getting over the ending of The Wrongful Death. I was not expecting either things to happen. I was shocked and saddened. But, at the same time, I cannot wait to read book four because I have a feeling that everything is going to hit the fan in that book.

I would give The Wrongful Death an Older Teen rating. There is no sex (some kissing scenes). There is mild language. There is violence. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Wrongful Death. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Die of Death (The Great Devil War: Book 2) by Kenneth B. Andersen

The Die of Death: The Great Devil War II by [Andersen, Kenneth B., Andersen, Kenneth Bøgh]

4 Stars


Date of publication: October 5th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: The Great Devil War

The Devil’s Apprentice—Book 1 (Review Here)

The Die of Death—Book 2

The Wrongful Death—Book 3

The Angel of Evil—Book 4

The Fallen Angel—Book 5

The Fallen Devil—Book 6

Where you can find The Die of Death: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life. But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe. Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series.

First Line:


The Die of Death by Kenneth B. Andersen

My Review:

The cover of The Die of Death was the first thing that I noticed about the book. It is one of the more arresting covers that I have seen, ever. It caught my eye and made me wonder what the book was going to be like.

The Die of Death is the 2nd book in The Great Devil War series. You cannot read this as a stand-alone. It will help if you read the previous books to understand what was going on in this book. I can’t stress this enough. You will be lost if you decide to read The Die of Death first.

The Die of Death is billed as a young adult fantasy. Because of the subjects discussed and portrayed, I would suggest that an older teen (16+) read the book.

The Die of Death’s plotline was fast-paced. But, it wasn’t so fast that I had issues following the plotline. The author knew when to slow down enough for critical scenes to be absorbed. Also, there were no dropped storylines or characters. I loved it!!

Philip was different in The Die of Death. His time in Hell had changed him. He stood in a more morally gray area. He was still a “good” boy, but there was an edge to him. I wasn’t surprised when he died again. But I was surprised when he was tasked with finding Mortimer’s dice. With Satina’s help (and I loved how teed off she was with him at the beginning), he started to dig into who had the dice. I did not doubt that he would find the dice. But I was surprised at the twists and turns that the story took to get there. Philip visited Purgatory (which was nothing like I imagined) and spent time at Mortimer’s house. I can’t go much after that because of massive spoilers. All I will say is that I wasn’t expecting Philip’s storyline to turn out the way it did.

I loved that the author took evil historical figures and peppered them throughout the book. I had a deep sense of satisfaction when I saw that Jack the Ripper was being chased by the women he murdered.

Philip and Satina’s developing romantic relationship was cute. There were a few “aww” moments with them during the book. I hope that they stay strong in the next book!!

Lucifer was a considerable presence in the book. I am still trying to wrap my head around him being fatherly to Philip. Not something I would even think to say when I think of the devil. I will say that I didn’t agree with his decision, and yes, it did hasten things up quite a bit.

The storyline involving the dice was interesting. I wasn’t expecting who took it. I did think it was another person, so, yes, I was surprised. But, I was also saddened by why the person took it. The hourglasses also saddened me along with the bargain Philip made with Mortimer.

The end of The Die of Death was bittersweet. I wasn’t surprised at who was in Mortimer’s basement. I also wasn’t surprised at what that person did and attempted to do. He got what was coming to him. There was also a perfect lead in to the next book, which I can’t wait to read!!!

I would give The Die of Death an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Die of Death. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**