Tag Archives: Young Adult

Instinct (Chronicles of Nick #6) By Sherrilyn Kenyon : Review

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Zombies, demons, vampires, shapeshifters— another day in the life of Nick Gautier– and those are just his friends. But now that he’s accepted the demon that lives inside him, he must learn to control it and temper the very emotions that threaten the lives of everyone he cares for. Something that’s hard to do while trying to stay off the menus of those who want his head on a platter. And no one wants him more than the dark gods who created his race. Now that they know where he is, they will stop at nothing to reclaim him. And without knowing it, Nick has just embraced the one person he should never have trusted. The one person who will hand him over to his enemies to get back the life they lost.

Nick has finally accepted his fate, now he must learn to defy his destiny, and the dark, deadly forces that will stop at nothing to destroy everyone he loves so that they can again return to the world of man and own it.

Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon was one of my prize discoveries last year, and while every consecutive book in the series has been better than the last, Kenyon has really stepped up her game with Instinct. It turned out to be one of the best YA books I have read in a long time, placing itself up there with the likes of Riordan’s Percy Jackson, or Sanderson’s Reckoners series.

In the last year Nick Gautier has had to go through more than anyone has had to deal with. He’s fought of zombified high school football players, learned out to look deep into his future, and had to fight off hordes of ghosts and undead. That’s not to mention the demons and dark gods he has had to fight off or make deals with in the hopes of at least making it through high school. The only reason Nick Gautier has survived this long is because of the help his friends and allies have provided, and the protection of his Dark Hunter boss Kyrian. In Instinct Nick must stand on his own to save save the life of not only himself, but those of his friends and everyone else he holds dear.

Instinct was definitely the best book in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick so far. It has everything in it that I love about urban fantasy and YA in general. First and foremost it has a great story, the events of the last five books in the series have been building up to something big and I think Instinct is the beginning of the next major story arc. There is a great cast of characters and they make me love them enough I want to go out and start reading the Dark Hunter series just to read about them in their adult life.

The only complaint I have about the book–or any other book in the series really, is that it is way too short and ends on a huge cliff hanger. Just when I am really getting into the book or I am coming to some huge revelation about Nick or his world the book ends. Every damn time. Then I find myself waiting a full year just to find out what happens next, only to find myself left hanging at the end of another book.

The anticipation and the waiting is well worth it though, Kenyon hasn’t disappointed me with a book yet.

Instinct (Chronicles of Nick #6) By Sherrilyn Kenyon is scheduled to be published March 31st, 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin.

I received a copy of this publication in return for an honest review.


Kiss of Death by Debbie Viguié : Review

In the wake of a failed attempt to defeat the vampire Richelieu, Susan and her friends are weakened and divided. Raphael must set aside his animosity and join with his enigmatic sire Gabriel to discover a powerful weapon before Richelieu claims it. Meanwhile, Susan and her cousin Wendy translate a 12th century diary belonging to their ancestor, Carissa, to learn the origin of their family’s connection with the vampires. As Carissa’s story of love and betrayal unfolds, they discover the secrets of the present will only be revealed by solving the mysteries of the past – Description from Goodreads

Kiss of Death is the second book in the Kiss Trilogy by Debbie Viguié. Set shortly after the events in the first book; Susan and her friends are recovering from their encounter with Richelieu — an evil vampire. Now, after uncovering his plans, Gabriel and Raphael must do what they can to stop Richelieu before it’s too late. Meanwhile, Susan, Wendy learn more of the past through an ancient diary, telling the story of their ancestor, and their friend Gabriel.

Debbie Viguié’s Kiss of Death takes place alternately between modern-day and the twelfth century in a compelling tale as the girls learn of their history and how it’s interwoven with vampires. Telling of betrayal, friendship, love and hate, Kiss of Death is a great read with fascinating characters.

I don’t typically read young adult stories involving vampires, in the past few years they’ve mostly become formulaic and not at all resembling how they used to be portrayed as — monsters. However, having read many of Viguié’s books in the past and enjoying her style, I decided to give this one a try, and was pleasantly surprised. The vampires in this novel are ones that burn and turn to ash in sunlight, are harmed by holy water and crosses and definitely hate the scent of garlic. Merging the classic vampires with the modern-day version — the handsome, human loving kind gave these a bit more of a unique twist, and it was enjoyable to read about them.

Kiss of Death and the rest of the Kiss Trilogy is an attempt to make Christian themes accessible for non-Christians, as well as for Christians who enjoy reading fantasy; telling a tale of redemption, and the struggle between good and evil. From a non-religious standpoint, I did find it to be interesting, and the religious aspects were not overpowering in the story, while still playing a central theme.

Overall, Viguié’s Kiss of Death was a great action-packed, and compelling read, with enough back story provided that it easily stands alone and can be read without having read the first in the trilogy. Though, I am sure that the first one was a great read as well.

The third book in the Kiss Trilogy — Kiss of Revenge will be released in 2013.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Oath of Servitude by C.E. Wilson : Review and Interview!

ISBN: 978-0-9883055-0-2

This is the story of Teague and Cailin, two teenagers who have been brought together by fate. Teague, a human, struggles to come to terms with the consequences of a recent accident that has destroyed the happy life that he had once enjoyed. Cailin, a pixi, is trying to stay true to herself while fighting against forces beyond her control that have exiled her from her home into this strange world of humans. She fears the darkness. He cannot escape it. But when the two of them are thrown together, they begin to discover the light inside of themselves.

Every family has their secrets – some, more than others.

Cailin; a young pixi must serve her punishment in the home of two humans after failing to conform to the ways of her kind and for asking too many questions. Sent to help Teague, the son of Owen – as their friendship grows, her loyalties will be tried, and all she holds dear will be held to question.

Teague – crippled from a recent accident while playing baseball has slipped into the life of an alcoholic, filled with anger and helplessness, he must come to accept the help and company of Cailin to be lost to the darkness of his own mind.

Secrets lurk in every shadow, and hide behind every smile. Prices must be paid, and the Darkness awaits for those who fail to please the Portune.

C.E. Wilson’s début novel, Oath of Servitude forays into the mostly untraversed land of Pixie (or, Pixi). Following the tale of Cailin, as she is punished and sent into the house of Owen and Teague – two humans, as she learns the price of asking questions. Oath of Servitude shows families in the midst of emotional trials, the bonds and strength of friendship and family.

Wilson does a wonderful job, delving into the intrigue and rigidity of Pixi society. Her writing style and descriptions draw the reader into the story and keeps them flipping pages. While the friendship between Teague and Cailin felt rushed, and a bit forced at the beginning, that’s quickly resolved and flows into something that reads more naturally. Hinting at secrets and stories untold, Oath of Servitude is an enjoyable read which fans of young adult fiction will enjoy.

Read below for my interview with the author of Oath of Servitude, C.E. Wilson! 

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Interview with C.E. Wilson!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure!  My name is C.E. Wilson, I am 29 years old and I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with my husband, my two dogs and my two cats.  I love reading, but one of my favorite things to do is post short stories on DeviantArt that fall into a genre known as GT, which refers to the fact that there is ‘giant’ character and/or a ‘tiny’ character.  I also love to watch shows like Gossip Girl and 90210 during my free time.  It is a guilty pleasure to say the least.
What would you like your readers to know about this book or you in general?

Oath of Servitude is the first book that I have published and I had a lot of fun writing it.  I like to write about characters that I think readers can relate to and enjoy.  I write stories like this because I’ve always been a huge fan of size differences between characters like in The Borrowers by Mary Norton and The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, and I wanted to see if this type of genre could be enjoyed by modern Young Adult readers.  I am always experimenting with new ways to write and Oath of Servitude was the first story that I really believed could be enjoyed by the mainstream YA audience.  It was a lot of fun to write and I cannot wait to publish the sequel Permanent Shadows so that I can talk more about the pixi world and how it relates to humans.
Why Pixis? In YA we tend to see a lot of fairies, angels and such like that, but from what I’ve noticed Pixis are a largely unexplored race. What inspired you to write about them?

Well, you kind of answered it.  Like you said, there are a lot of books that talk about fairies, fae, angels and what have you, but pixies are often left out of the mix.  There are some great books out there that talk about pixies, but they seem to be few and far between.  I admit to changing the spelling from the common pixie to ‘pixi’ to create even more of a separation.  I can’t speak for everyone, but the less familiar I am with something, the more likely it is that I will be able to let my imagination roam free, an important consideration when reading a fantasy book.
The Darkness — it’s referred to all throughout the book, is that something you’re going to explore more in future books? 

Yes, there is definitely going to be more about The Darkness in Permanent Shadows, the sequel to Oath of Servitude.  The Darkness is a place that many pixis know they do not want to go, but few of them know (or care to know) what it actually is.  Nolkrin and Owen have more knowledge of it than most, and that is something that they will discuss in the next book.
How many books can we look forward to seeing in The Punishment Sequence?

I have to say that I am currently planning on four.  I have the second book just about ready for editing and the first draft of the third book is about halfway written.  I think that I can get through everything that I want in four books but I don’t want to commit to that right now.
Which of your characters would you like to meet in person? Or, are there any you would never want to meet?

I would love to meet Owen in person because I think that he has the most secrets.  In Oath of Servitude there are a lot of hints that Owen has a great understanding of not only the human world, but also of the pixi world and how the two coincide.  This becomes more obvious to Cailin and Teague in Permanent Shadows, and I think it would be great to sit down with him and try to learn how these two very different worlds are able to exist in isolation and how he straddles the line between the two of them.
Which do you prefer, ebooks or printed? 

When the Kindle first came out, I was skeptical.  I didn’t that I could ever get used to not holding a book.  But now…heh…let’s just say that I find regular books to be the awkward thing now.  That’s not to say that I don’t love my printed books, I could never get rid of them.  Plus I can only read manga as a printed book.  I’ve tried reading manga on my Kindle, it just didn’t work.  Other than that, the convenience of ebooks has completely won me over.
What inspired you to start writing? Are there any authors that you get inspiration from?

Books themselves were always my greatest inspiration to write.  Some people love to listen to music and others love to watch TV, but I have always been a huge fan of reading.  I loved that authors could sit down and create these interesting worlds using only their imagination and their words to paint the pictures.  Since I was little I have been doing this, writing stories and reading them to whoever would listen to me.
Lynne Reid Banks, RJ Anderson, Charles de Lint and Mary Norton are all authors who have inspired me to keep writing.  They create wonderful worlds populated with races that are much smaller than humans, which is the type of writing that I enjoy most.  I don’t want people to think that this size difference is some type of gimmick though.  I think that if people take the time they will realize that size is nothing more than another obstacle that characters may face in a paranormal story.  These authors inspire me to keep writing and keep bringing these types of friendships/relationships to the Young Adult world.
Are you working on anything new? Can you give us a bit of a preview? ;) 

Yes!  I am working on a standalone book right now called The Promise.  The main character is a bi-racial girl named Lily and the story begins with her sitting in a doctor’s office as her boyfriend proposes to her.  It would be such a strange and beautiful scene but Lily is worried about what is happening to her.  She is shrinking and her doctor cannot begin to explain why.  No one knows how long she will continue to shrink or how small she will get.  The Promise is a book that will talk about the hardships that Lily and her husband Erik face as her height continues to dwindle and the complications that they must deal with to keep her a secret from the rest of the world.  

Thank you! I look forward to your responses… I appreciate it! 
 
Thank you as well!  I’m happy to answer them!  

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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