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[Book Review] Untamed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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Title: Untamed (House of Night series #4)
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: September 23rd, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780312379834
Category: Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Vampire/Fantasy
Website: http://houseofnightseries.com/
Format: Ebook

 

bookblurb

Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, the only two Zoey has left are undead and unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her? Zoey’s adventures at vampyre finishing school take a wild and dangerous turn as loyalties are tested, shocking true intentions come to light, and an ancient evil is awakened in PC and Kristin Cast’s spellbinding fourth House of Night novel. (Recommended for readers age 13 and older)

 

thoughts

Kiss and makeup after the breakups. Yes, our Zoey lost all of her boyfriends, but she got the Nerd Herd back plus Aphrodite. I’m happy about Stevie Rae who’s back on humanity track and help her fledlings turned to crazy vampires on the tunnel.

Aphrodite had a vision about apocalypse which involves war between vampires and humans. The ancient dark spirit was about to return, chanting songs about the return of the beast with Aphrodite as a medium. It’s got something to do with ancient Cherokee’s fallen angels, as told by Zoey’s grandmother. The Raven Mockers appeared to Zoey & her grandmother, even chanting a lost song that prophesied their father’s return.

One question that still lingers in my head: why the hell did the high priestess can’t recognize that Aphrodite’s mark has disappeared?

Some new characters were introduced. I feel bad for the transfer-fledgling, Stark, who had a fling with Zoey. Bad thing happened to him. Erik’s back, and Aphrodite’s love life blossomed again since Darius stepped in the House of Night.

There’s a major turn of event in this book that changed the fate of House of Night’s fledglings.

The fourth installment of House of Night is more action driven. The romance and the ooey-gooey were put aside. I like Untamed better than the previous installments. The explanation about ancient Cherokee mythology is an eye-opener.

 

Quotes copy

Good. You’re supposed to read it, and I hope you understand what the hell it means. I never can figure out poetry. It’s all boring bull shit.”

“Free will sometimes sucks.”

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[Book Review] Chosen by P.C Cast & Kristin Cast

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Title: Chosen (House of Night series #3)
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: ATOM
Published: March 7th, 2009
ISBN: 1905654332
Category: Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Vampire/Fantasy
Website: http://houseofnightseries.com/
Format: Ebook

Book description from bookdepository:

“I guess it had gone okay with Stevie Rae. I mean, she had agreed to meet me tomorrow. And she hadn’t tried to bite me, which was a plus. Of course, the whole trying-to-eat-the-street-person thing was highly disturbing …” Zoey’s best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead – in an eww! zombie! kind-of-way, not in a cool vampire kind-of-way. She’s struggling to retain her humanity and Zoey doesn’t have a clue how to help. But she does know that anything they discover must be kept secret. Trust has become a rare commodity. Sinister forces are at work at the House of Night, where the line between friend and enemy is becoming dangerously blurred. – Not suitable for younger readers –

Thoughts:

Zoey is doing her best to save Stevie Rae, her best friend. Stevie Rae lives in a tunnel with a bunch of other vampirish zombies (or zombieish vampires), ex-fledglings who couldn’t make it to vampirism.

I’m kinda disappointed with Zoey, who slurs ‘H’ word to Aphrodite, but she’s doing a series of slutty things. Aphrodite was caught doing a dirty stuff to Erik in Marked, but at least she did it with Erik only. Zoey who addresses Aphrodite a ‘ho’ is dating Heath and Erik, also has a huge lust on Loren, her teacher. Well, I guess the title should be given to Zoey instead of Aphrodite. And Zoey realized that she’s turning into a ho, which made me laugh.

Aphrodite is replacing Stevie Rae to represents earth, as Erik failed during the rehearsal. Nyx wanted Aphrodite to be. So, she’s the odd among Damien, Shaunee and Erin.
Things turn the other way around. While Zoey lost the person she trusted (Neferet), she gains a new friend (Aphrodite), someone who she can talk to about Stevie Rae.
Together, they try to fix Stevie Rae.

One thing reminds me of the Vampire Diaries: Stevie Rae said she couldn’t enter a house unless invited. I guess the authors should change the method.

The story’s a bit boring and dragging in the first chapters. Things got more tensed in chapter 11. And then the pow-wow bang-bang-boom surprised knocks in chapter 14. Sorry, no spoiler, but my jaw almost dropped. I think that’s the best part of all the three books. I start to take this book seriously.

I was disappointed with Zoey. She’s a mighty goodie-goodie, but she impulsively gives up her virginity without thinking. I thought she would keep it, but I guess it’s true that she’s becoming a ho. But she paid the price. Something fishy about Blake and I was right.

One ridiculous scene is when Zoey’s friends are doing the ritual to fix Stevie Rae. She’s healed (thank goodness) and she got a new tattoo swirling on her face. Then Erin pulls a mirror in her purse. During the critical moment, she brought makeup kit?! I don’t understand. Doesn’t make sense to me.

Overall, the plot is intense and I want to read more.

Quotes from the book:

“So how was Europe?” Calm and collected, Erik draped an arm nonchalantly around my shoulders.
Loren’s smile got wider and he looked from Erik to me. “Not as friendly as it is here.”
Erik, who seemed to be having fun, laughed softly. “Well, it’s not where you go, it’s who you know.”

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[Book Review] Betrayed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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Title: Betrayed (House of Night #2)
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: October 2nd 2007
ISBN: 1429915994
Format: Ebook
Category: Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Vampire/YA
Official Website: http://houseofnightseries.com

Book blurb:

Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs–like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

Thoughts:

A lot of things going on in the House of Night. The problems were getting intensed. Zoey found a dark secret about Neferet. It had something to do with the death of two boys from Zoey’s former school.
Aphrodite showed her soft side, that she’s not that bad. I think Aphrodite is Zoey’s permanent frenemy. Aphrodite helped Zoey to figure out the dark force which haunted the House of Night.

Zoey also showed her slutty side. She was involved with three guys. How ironic, that she called her sister a ho because she’s a serial dater. Now she becomes one.

Zoey’s friends were blessed with affinity with the four elememts which makes the stronger bond of those fledglings. Neferet said Zoey was lucky to have a strong circle that will help her form a better ‘Dark Daughters’.

I like this one better than the first installment. Some said the book was badly written and it’s oh so shallow. I don’t care. I like this series and I enjoy every part of it.

Can’t wait to read ‘Chosen’.

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[Blog Tour] Descension (Mystic, #1) by B.C. Burgess Review + Giveaway

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Welcome to the blog tour for Descension organized by B.C. Burgess hosted by AToMR Tours! Descension is the first book in Mystic series.

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Descension (Mystic, #1) by B.C. Burgess
Release date: April 4, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: YA

Book links:
Amazon | B&N

Summary:

Finding out you’re the most powerful witch in the world should make things easy, right? Wrong! Join Layla as she abandons her lonely existence in Oklahoma and embraces a life full of magic, love, heartbreak and danger…

The Angel
After three years caring for her dying mother, Layla Callaway learns she was adopted under unusual circumstances. Following a cryptic message to seek her birth family in Oregon, Layla uproots her lonely life, quickly finding she descends from witches and wizards. Magic is in her blood, and a handsome family friend is eager to prove it. Through a ring imprinted with her birth parents’ memories, Layla’s enigmatic past comes to light, presenting possibilities and trials more chimerical than her wildest dreams.

The Guardian
Quin’s natural charisma yields plenty of witches, but he longs for the lost witch–-the mysterious Layla. He’s dreamed about her his entire life, envisioning the day he would lay eyes on her face and aura. When that day arrives, not only is he breathless, he’s confronted with the challenge of a lifetime–-an innate need to keep her safe and forever by his side.

The Hunter
Employing fiendish manipulation and manpower, Agro uses the arcane force of others to elevate his supremacy and wealth. Nothing pleases him more than latching on to a mystical vein, and never has there been a more enticing source. The divine witch will be his.

Stretching from coast to coast and teeming with loathed villains and beloved heroes, Descension is rich with emotion, magic and intrigue. Whether the reader is laughing, crying or falling in love, they’ll find themselves invested in Layla’s fate through the rich dialogue and emotionally driven characters that weave the web of this fiery tale.

Giveaway: 8 ebook copies of Descension (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review:

The cover is great, so witchy. You can feel what it portrays on the cover.

The book started off slow, but I understand the author wanted to show Layla’s background and the heartache that she felt. Layla had no idea she was adopted. Slowly but sure, she found her soul mate. It’s magical how Layla and Quin found love, and their path leads to the new magical world where witches and wizards live together in harmony.
Layla is likeable. She has the qualities of a heroine in a story.

I also love Aedan and Rose’s story. I think the author should write a book about them. I was blown away.

Agro is the lovely villain. In my imagination, he must be dark, mysteriously handsome with piercing eyes.

It’s an emotional journey and I want to visit Oregon someday.

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About the Author

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I’m a small town girl with big dreams and a wild imagination. I’m addicted to coffee and writing. The combination is my idea of heaven. I read every day, if only to my young son, whom I hope to someday inspire with my passion for writing.
I love hearing from my readers, so feel free to contact me through any of the links below.

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[Blog Tour] Focus by Alyssa Rose Ivy + Flight Review

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Welcome to the blog tour for Focus by Alyssa Rose Ivy organized by AToMR Tours! Focus is the second book in The Crescent Chronicles series. I’m reviewing the first book, Flight.

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Focus (Crescent Chronicles, #2) by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Release date: January 23, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Mature YA/ New Adult

Book links:
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

SummaryFreshman year of college is hard even when you’re not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.

Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she’s in far too deep to turn back.

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Flight (Crescent Chronicles, #1) 
Summary:  Sometimes you just have to take flight.
 
A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.
 
Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

Review

I love the cover. It’s dark, mysterious and sexy in a way. I’ve never been to New Orleans, but in my mind, New Orleans is dark and kinda gothic. Reminds me of Anne Rice’s novels. I pronounce New Orleans as the capital of supernatural setting.

Allie and Levi are meant to be together. I’m not a huge fan of Levi, but then I start to understand and try to cope with his attitudes. His mysterious side is appealing, and I want to know more about him.
Allie is insecure, but I love her guts. She’s mature, willing to take a risk. Allie is likeable, whereas Jess is someone who can raise eyebrows.

Overall, I like the story. It’s unlike any other paranormal romance books. Once you read it, you’d be hunger for more. Can’t wait to read Focus and Found. Oh, one more thing, Flight is not about vampires or werewolves. Not gonna tell you what :))

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About the Author

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Alyssa Rose Ivy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write.
Find the Author:

[Book Review] Marked: House of Night 1

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Title: Marked (The House of Night Book 1)
Authors: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Published: April 1st, 2007
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA/Paranormal/Vampire/Urban Fantasy/Supernatural
Format: Ebook

Enter the dark, magical world of the House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed. Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampyre. That is, if she makes it through the Change – and not all those who are Marked do.

It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend.

To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Zoey adalah remaja keturunan suku Cherokee, salah satu suku terbesar dari 5 Indian tribes di Amerika. Suku Cherokee terkenal sangat spiritual. Buku pertama dari seri House of Night ini mengambil latar tempat di Tulsa, Oklahoma. menurut situs ini, memang banyak keturunan suku Cherokee yang bertempat tinggal di Tulsa.

Balik lagi ke Zoey, tokoh sentral dalam cerita ini. Zoey digambarkan sebagai anak pemberontak yang tidak bahagia sejak ibunya menikah lagi dengan John Heifer, ayah tirinya, seorang control freak yang juga salah satu tetua People of Faith, aliran agama radikal. Suatu hari, Zoey diikuti oleh seorang tracker, lalu muncul tanda bintang sabit didahinya, sebagai tanda bahwa Zoey adalah calon vampir yang harus pindah ke sekolah khusus calon vampir, House of Night. Perlahan, kekuatan supernatural Zoey semakin kuat, hingga ia didatangi langsung oleh dewi Nyx dan di”baptis” oleh Nyx. Zoey dijadikan mata dan telinga dewi Nyx.

Zoey bertemu dengan teman-teman baru, juga musuhnya, Aphrodite, ketua perkumpulan eksklusif, yaitu Daughters of Night. Aphrodite berambisi ingin menjadi high priestess. Masalah muncul ketika Zoey yang memiliki kekuatan istimewa menjadi murid Neferet, high priestess yang juga mengajar di House of Night.
Ditambah lagi Erik, mantan kekasih Aphrodite, suka dengan Zoey. Heath, mantan Zoey di sekolah lama, tidak putus asa, malah semakin semangat mengejar Zoey hingga ke House of Night.

Ciri-ciri vampir di buku ini agak berbeda dengan penjabaran vampir di buku Bram Stoker, Stephenie Meyer, atau Anne Rice.
Vampirism terjadi karena seseorang diberi tanda, dididik sebagai murid di House of Night, dan kuat hingga lulus sekolah. Hanya murid terpilih yang bisa menjadi vampir. Yang tidak lulus akan mati.

Bloodlust tetap ada, tapi biasanya semakin tinggi tingkatan seeorang, kevampirannya akan muncul.

Di buku ini, Zoey mengalami masa transisi dari remaja biasa hingga menjadi murid di House of Night, pre-vampire.

Yang seru adalah saat Zoey dan teman-temannya melakukan ritual purifikasi menggunakan elemen: udara, api, air, bumi, dan roh. Lebih mirip ritual witch daripada vampir.

Penggunaan herbs dalam ritual juga menarik. Menurut buku ini, sage digunakan untuk mengusir energi negatif. Ritual ini pada awalnya memang dilakukan oleh Native Americans, tetapi di jaman modern ini, ahli Fengshui juga melakukan hal yang sama, terutama jika baru pindah rumah atau kantor.

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Menurut situs ini, weengush atau sweet grass digunakan untuk membersihkan tubuh, pikiran dan jiwa. Disakralkan oleh suku Indian karena sweet grass merupakan simbol penyucian. Agak membingungkan karena menurut situs tersebut, asap sweet grass tidak disukai roh jahat. Tetapi, menurut buku Marked, asap sweet grass bisa mengundang roh-roh lain yang jahat.

Zoey menyebutkan pohon oak dianggap sakral untuk bangsa Cherokee. Menurut situs ini, pohon oak dihubungkan dengan misteri api suci, salah satu elemen penting dalam ritual Cherokee.

Satu sisi, buku ini agak childish, tapi isinya sangat tidak childish. Apa gue bakal lanjut baca seri House of Night? Absolutely! This book is addicting.

Nggak sabar kelanjutan kisah Zoey dengan Erik dan Heath juga Aphrodite.

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Promotional Event: Altered Souls (Witch Avenue, #2) by Karice Bolton

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Title: Altered Souls (Witch Avenue #2)
Author: Karice Bolton
Release date: Oct.31st, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Young Adult

Links to find the book:
Goodreads
Amazon
Nook

Book Description:

The realm of Altered Souls brings nothing but unrest, deceit, and pain forcing Triss to come face to face with heartbreak from her past.
Facing a betrayal like never before, Triss questions everything she thought she knew about her family, coven, and abilities.
With the help of Logan, she embarks on a journey enabling her to confront the dark side of magic and the person who controls it. Realizing Triss’s ancestors have been seduced for centuries by the dark side, Triss and Logan must ensure no more in their world fall victim to the realm of Altered Souls, even if that means ending the ones they love.

Giveaway per blog: (1) eBook copy of Lonely Souls (Witch Avenue, #1) or Altered Souls (Witch Avenue, #2). Book will be gifted from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Mobi and epub formats only. Open International. Participants may handle the giveaway however they would like. All winners must be submitted to this form by Jan. 2.
If a winner does not have an e-reader they can download the Kindle app for free to their computers on Amazon.

Excerpt from the book

As our lips met, the search for our security began. Neither of us wanted to believe that we could lose this. Running my fingers through his hair, I gripped his neck with my other hand. I didn’t want this closeness to end. The firmness of his body stretched along mine as he lifted me into his arms. I wrapped my legs around his waist, not wanting to detach from his kisses as they led away from my mouth down my neck. Feeling his breath dance across my skin as he kissed my collarbone brought a shivery delight to my senses. The softness of his lips was such a contrast to the firmness of his grasp as he guided his hands down my back.
He spun around, pinning me up against the tree with his weight, as I let my mind wander to what might be waiting for me next. My breathing got faster with each second of anticipation. He slowly brought my chin up and his lips began exploring mine once more. With every kiss, his mouth pressed harder along mine, and my heart exploded with curiosity. I let my hands find their way back to his neck up to his hair, twisting and pulling him closer to me with all of my strength.
He pulled away slightly, and I opened my eyes to see him searching my expression for something. For what, I wasn’t sure.
“I don’t ever want to lose you, Triss.” Logan shook his head. “I couldn’t—”
“Shh.” I placed my index finger to his lips. “You won’t.”
My hand trailed down his chest to the first button that I attempted to unfasten.

About the author:

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Karice married the love of her life who she met in high school, and she still can’t get over how cute and funny he is. They have two English Bulldogs that are the cutest bullies in the world, and they use their cuteness to get what they want. Karice loves the snow and gravitates towards the stuff as often as possible! She enjoys skiing and tries really hard to snowboard, but often makes a nice little area to sit while everyone zips by on their board. She enjoys writing, and she also loves to read just about anything with print.

Karice Bolton
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Thanks to AtomR Book Blog for hosting this tour.