Book Review of Ritual by J.S. Hope

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Title: Ritual: Lord of Misrule Book 1 (The Paranormal World)

Author: J.S. Hope

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

Book one in New York Times bestseller J.S. Hope’s steamy five part paranormal romance serial, The Lord of Misrule!

Reporter Alessandra “Alex” Donati is in Venice chasing the story of her career. While the city prepares for the Christmas festivities, Alex is hot on the trail of a group that celebrates a much older – and much darker – festival, one that offers sex and sacrifice in exchange for power and wealth.

Alex is smart. She’s going into this with open eyes. She thinks she can handle anything the city and its ancient rites throw at her, including gorgeous cult leader Sebastian Assante, but she’s wrong. As the lines between fantasy and reality blur she finds herself caught up in the passion and excess of the Saturnalia Festival, and she loves it. The attention is thrilling. The heat and lust of the rites dizzying, and the hunger of the revelers intoxicating…but when the masks come off what lies beneath is terrifying.

*This novella is rated Mature*

Wow! This is a great start to a series! It gives enough background of the main character Alex, the world in which she lives, and is filled with action and sexiness. I love Alex as she is a relatable female character that wants to change the world one news story at a time. Never could she imagine the world she would stumble upon while in Venice.

The story ends on a cliffhanger, but don’t worry, the next book will be out in  a couple of weeks. It seems the entire series is up for preorder, so there is no wondering when the next one is out.

All in all, if you love paranormal romance, this series is definitely for you!

~Dani

Book Review of Elemental by Tam Chronin

 

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Title: Elemental

Series: The Godslayers

Author: Tam Chronin

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Buy on Amazon

Back cover:

I was just a child.

A wizard came to my town. He came to find me. In a fiery blast I lost my home, my friends, my family. The entire town was obliterated.

I grew up a fugitive, surviving on the charity of others. As I hid, my powers grew. The nightmares grew as well. Something was welling up from within me. Something that could not be contained.

As an adult I took my place among the wizards. I ruled my country as a figurehead, a puppet of those with greater power or experience. I wasn’t to be trusted, or even talked to, for five long years.

The other wizards decided my fate. I was to be imprisoned, watched, guarded by the very wizard responsible for the death of my parents.

I had to lose everything, even my sense of self, before I found out who I was, and who my real enemies are.

Tam does a great job bringing her character to life. Agrad is given a lot of depth as he has his family taken away from him and he has to make it on his own. He felt really real in the way he had to cope with everything that had happened in his life, giving the story a more realistic aspect versus being pure fantasy.

Secondly, I found how the villain in this series very multidimensional as well. There is more this story, and we see throughout the book that maybe he isn’t really a villain but someone who had to live by his own circumstances. I really liked him a lot and wanted to learn more.

The world building in this book is great and I definitely recommend to anyone who loves dark fantasy!

~Dani

Book Review of The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

 

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Title: The Last Wish

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Read the Series

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Back cover:

Geralt the Witcher — revered and hated — holds the line against the monsters plaguing humanity in this collection of adventures in the NYT bestselling series that inspired the blockbuster video games and Netflix adaptation.

Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good…and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

Included in this collection are the short stories which inspired episodes 1-5 of The Witcher.

I haven’t had a chance to watch the Witcher on Netflix all the way through for a few reasons I won’t get into, but I really liked the idea and wanted to read the books before preparing myself to watch the show. I decided to read them in the order given by Orbit instead of the publishing order.

The first book in the series is definitely top notch and I can see why it has been given so much attention. I love how the Witcher is portrayed, how well the description is given without going into big drawn out info-dumps (but if that is your thing, good for you, but I don’t enjoy that). I loved the battles he faces in this and wished that one of them, with the vampire of course, was drawn out more. I wanted to know her story but alas, it wasn’t the point of the story.

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This book really captured my attention and I read it a lot quicker than I thought it would take me. I’m excited to read the other books in the series as well and make some time to watch the show. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves the fantasy genre, whether they have seen the show or not.

Also, Dandelion is annoying and I can see why people mash him with John-Ralphio…

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~Dani

Book Review of Her Majesty’s Fury by Stephanie Mirro

 

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Title: Her Majesty’s Fury (Immortal Relics: Book 2)

Author: Stephanie Mirro

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

Buy the Series Here

Back cover:

When you’re working with the Roman god of chaos, things can always get worse.

Bacchae, the supernatural creatures that spawned vampire lore, are real. For the last several thousand years, they’ve kept to the shadows. Until now…

This is the second book of the series and I found that it definitely pushed the story forward. I really like how Mirro weaved together a lot of different mythologies. As someone who got a degree in anthropology, I really love with different folklores are intertwined like this. And I love vampires, so it was a win-win.

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The only problem I really felt with this story was that Theo was keeping too much from Sera. I hate when characters aren’t straightforward when they are going against the big bad, though I know I do it in my own writing as well. I also felt that there needed to be more with deal with the death of another character in the first book (I won’t spoil that) but everyone handles that different, and she had to stand up to face the big bad. I also wished we got a little more information with the gods that they did come across, as I felt it was a little too light.

All in all, I definitely recommend this series for anyone who loves folklore and vampires!

~Dani

Book Review of Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

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Wicked Fox

Author: Kat Cho

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

 

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Back cover:

An addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to men. He’s drawn to her anyway. When he finds her fox bead, he does not realize he holds her life in his hands.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous and reignite a generations-old feud . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

This book caught my eye at the book store, as I do love foxes and folklore. At first I thought it was the Japanese Kitsune, but I found out it was the Korean gumiho! I haven’t done much research in Korean folklore and looked forward to learning more and reading a fantasy book about it!

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The characters in the this book are well rounded, made sense, and evolved throughout the story. There are a lot of Korean terms, which I think is awesome for bringing you into a culture as language is essential. Luckily there is a glossary in the back to help you figure out the terms, but most made sense by context, and a lot of dishes are now on my to-cook list.

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I also loved the story of the gumiho that was weaved in, and how you were slowly given the folklore of this creature. I also loved learning about the different powers, magic, and religion in the area and how it was never info dumped, but gradually introduced.

A definite recommendation from me! Check it out!

~Dani

Book Review of Captivated by J.R. Thorn

 

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Captivated

Author: J.R. Thorn

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 3/5

Amazon

Back cover:

Four sexy vampires. One mortal-born witch. An ancient secret that will test them all.

I’m not a very good witch. It’s not my fault. Being born a mortal sucks and my black cat familiar follows me around like a security blanket. All the other coven brats make fun of me.

My vampires don’t seem to mind. They pose as my mentors and get Aunt Sandra off my back. My initiation into the Royal Covens is only three days away. They’re supposed to teach me how to hide what I really am: a reincarnation of some ancient and powerful witch. I think they’re just telling me that to get in my pants.

What my vampires don’t hide is their hunger for me, both for my blood and my body. That dangerous kind of thrill is going to get me into serious trouble.

Captivated: Royal Covens Book 1 is a medium-burn reverse harem romance and part of a 3-book series.

This book has a great idea but I feel it wasn’t executed very well. There were a lot of characters who weren’t consistent and a lot of stuff wasn’t well research. Although magic in fiction can be whatever you want, there wasn’t enough put in to catch my interest. There were only three or four flowers/herbs mentioned when plants were supposed to be big in getting energy, and the blood magic was inconsistent in that everyone used blood but then someone was considered a rare blood witch. Then she used runes, which is cool, but never named a rune, and never described a rune, and didn’t explain what the runes were. This made me lose interest as there didn’t seem to be much research or world-building. Also slicing large sections is getting old in fiction in general, even if you can heal fast. It is unnecessary for blood magic and would be very, very messy.

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I did like the vampires and the idea that they are her guardians was pretty cool. I just wished I could find out more about them, and wished they weren’t quite as resistant in helping her when they are supposed to be her guardians. The grammar and writing was done well and it was easy to read. Recommend for people wanting a different take on the vampire x witch genre.

(Also, this is not for young adults as there were many sex scenes)

~Dani

Book Review of Birth of the Bacchae by Stephanie Mirro

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Title: Birth of the Bacchae

Author: Stephanie Mirro

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Back cover:

When the Roman god of wine and frenzies claims you as his own, things get chaotic. Fast.

Ever since archaeology student Serafina Finch found an ancient Roman amulet on a dig in Italy, she’s been having dreams. Strange dreams that leave her with an eerie sense of foreboding. But between a busy college schedule and a boyfriend she’s hoping to marry, she doesn’t have time for strange.

When a mysterious cult takes an obsessive interest in the artifact, Serafina finds her life in chaos. She’s thrown into a supernatural world, where Immortals and witches alike claim ownership of the amulet. Her amulet.

As her connection to the amulet grows, she discovers a dark secret about her past. Serafina realizes she must protect the powerful relic at all costs–even if it means losing one of the people she loves most.

If you didn’t know, I am trash for a good vampire story. I read the description of this story and found the idea of vampires being connected to the god Bacchus to be a cool take on it. I dowloaded the book and was not disappointed.

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I liked the connection of the vampire element with different mythologies. In this story, it was mainly based on the Roman mythology, with Bacchus being the main focus. Our main character, Sera, his an anthropologist, which I loved since I have a degree in anthropology. Man, I would have loved stumbling on some cool vampire artifact, but I digress. Her and her friend are pretty badass, but I didn’t like how much was kept from the main character. A lot could have been avoided if people just told her the truth.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and am in the middle of the second. I will be sure to review the second book as well.

~Dani

Review of Olympian Challenger by Astrid Arditi

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Title: Olympian Challenger

Series: Olympian Challenger

Author: Astrid Arditi

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads/IndieBound

Back cover:

A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?

Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer.

Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers—the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay…

As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer—the granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach… but only if Hope can ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.

Review:

*I received this book from Netgalley. My review is completely my own opinions and thoughts.*

I loved this book! I’m a big fan of Greek Mythology and love stories that incorporate and of the gods or myths in their stories. The way the gods and Olympus is incorporated in this series is very unique and creative and I enjoyed it very much. This story felt like a mix of Hunger Games and Percy Jackson, so if you are a fan of either, I would definitely recommend this series.

The main character, Hope, is a very interesting character and although some of her reactions kinda made me roll my eyes, I felt she stayed true to herself and had very good growth. I also loved Kieron, although he sort of seemed the dark brooding type that is typical, but his powers and backstory was interesting enough to make me fall in love with him.

The action and description in this series was done very well. There was always something gin on which made the book hard to put down. I read it in only two days and almost couldn’t go to sleep until I learned what happened next. The only problem I had with the book is how Hades was portrayed. That is a personal opinion and not something I would ever base my rating on, but I just wanted to point out that darkness and death doesn’t mean evil… A lot of people believe that and it gets old very quick. The author made the gods her own, and I really enjoyed that and hope that my followers check out the book and read it too!

 

Endangered (Daughter of Hades #1)

Endangered (Daughter of Hades, #1)

I’m proud to announce my upcoming series Daughter of Hades is coming to you at full throttle! The cover will be revealed March 23rd, at the end of the Goodreads giveaway. If you have a blog and are interested in participating in the cover reveal, please check my Facebook for the sign-up sheet through YA Bound Blog Tours next week.

Endangered will be published May 13th, 2016, and there will be plenty of ways to participate! I will be having an online book release party through Facebook, which you can already join by clicking here. At that event I will be having a bunch of giveaways, swag, and author takeover events all day on May 13th so please join us!

Along with this, I will also be having a Blog Tour through YA Bound Blog Tours, so if you have a blog and review books, be sure to check out my Facebook page and join my release party to stay updated!

Be sure to add Endangered to your “want to read” list on Goodreads by clicking here!

Description of Endangered (Daughter of Hades, #1):

Chrys has been in the Underworld for thousands of years, hidden away by her father, Hades, from all of the other gods. He’s afraid that if someone finds out about her, they will destroy her because of the dichotomous power that she holds, the power of life and death. So she has remained in the Palace of Hades all her life, making very few friends and always bored out of her mind.

Huntley would have never guessed that after he died he would wake up with a beautiful girl standing over him. And that she would be the Dark Lord of the Underworld’s daughter. Yet, for some reason, she keeps him around as her tutor, as if he knows anything about the world. But Huntley knows that all she really wants is a friend; being trapped in the Underworld can get pretty lonely.

That is, until Chrys decides she wants to run away to the human world after a big fight with her mother Persephone. Chrys claims her father is just over reacting and that nothing bad will come of it. There’s no way that the gods will notice she’s there for only a couple of days…right?