Friday, February 24, 2017

Renegade by Erica Stevens

Here's a link to my review of the first book: 

Renegade by Erica Stevens

Second book in the Captive series

3 stars

Aria is free. She’s no longer a blood slave to Braith, the prince of the vampires, but she isn’t safe. She’ll never be safe as the daughter to the leader of the rebellion. Aria is running and trying to forget the love that she felt for Braith who has betrayed her and broken her heart. Braith has become a monster. The man who never owned a blood slave now owns multitudes of them and relishes in torturing and killing anyone who looks at him funny. But he still longs for the woman who betrayed him and plans to go after her. Braith wants to make her pay and suffer and goes into the woods with just that purpose. Obviously, this isn’t a groundbreaking novel. It’s not going to be the type of novel that changes your perspective on life or moves your soul to the core, but I wasn’t looking for that when I picked up this series. The first book, Captured, was so much fun. This series has dark content and I quite enjoy dark themes, so it’s right up my alley. Not everyone is going to enjoy these books and I pointed out in my review of the first book that there are a lot of grammar issues, but it’s an indie author and I’m holding up to par with the level of fanfiction that is fun. There’s two types of fanfiction: the type that is so well-written and moving that you read it over and over and the type that you laugh at, but can’t stop reading because you’re trash and you love it. (Sidenote: I'm excluding the fanfiction that is so bad that you can't read it.) This book is the latter. I didn’t laugh at this book, but I know it’s not a great novel. It’s a fun novel and that’s what I wanted. I got a fun novel with a lot of dark and cheesy themes and I liked it.

The writing in this novel is fast-paced. It’s really hard to put the book down because Stevens does an excellent job of keeping events interesting and there are a lot of interesting scenes in this book. This is definitely a more action driven novel than the previous novel. Captured focused more on the day-to-day interactions between Braith and Aria, but Renegade focuses more on being on the run. There is always something to run from in this novel. It makes for an intense story, but when things start to slow down the grammar inconsistencies become more prevalent. For example, towards the end there’s a scene where Braith and Aria are learning what their connections is and the author called it two different things. I was so confused. Get it together and know what you are introducing to this world so the readers aren’t confused.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 3

The main character is Aria. Aria is hardened by the events that occurred in the previous novel and the devastating loss and betrayal she feels. Wah-ah-wah-ah. I really don’t care. I mean to be honest the reason why these two now hate each other is because of lack of communication and being easily manipulated. I did like Aria because she’s a fun character to read from, but she doesn’t have any distinguishable character traits and nothing about her sticks with me. I finished this book two weeks ago, and I’m struggling to explain her personality because she is more of a cardboard cut-out. She is mended, broken, and shaped to fit the story the way Stevens wants it to go and she doesn’t have any characteristics that make her a good character.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3

The main male character is Braith. Braith is a “stone-cold” monster in this book. I didn’t really feel that. He didn’t make my skin crawl and my heart swoon like the Darkling. He made me frustrated and annoyed. He felt just as melodramatic as the situation of these two star-crossed lovers. I do like Braith and feel that he has more development that Aria, but for me, he fell a little flat in this novel.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 3

The Villain- EVERYONE. No one can be trusted and everyone must be killed to save Aria. LOLZ This is the way that Stevens writes and it isn’t a bad thing, but it makes everyone so annoying and unlikable. It is frustrating because it isn’t done in a GoT type setting, but in a melodramatic vampire uprising with a bonus love story setting.

Villain Scale: 2

There is no character development in this novel. Some new characters are introduced and they are interesting, but I don’t really feel a deep connection to anyone. I did however enjoy the two characters that were introduced towards the end and I enjoyed the backstory that the author provided because I ended up liking the characters quite a bit

Character Scale: 2.25

I really enjoyed the action in this novel and where the novel went and has set the series up to go. There's a lot to look forward to, but. I know the big BUT. Overall, I feel a little disappointed by this book. Not much because this book was so much fun to read and it’s fast-paced, but upon reflecting for my review I see how many problems I had with the story and characters. I do recommend this series for those who enjoyed the first novel or people who love books that feel like trashy fanfiction. I was conflicted on continuing this series, but I’m also trash and know I will spend my money on the next book.

Plotastic Scale: 3.5

Cover Thoughts: MEH. It’s your basic bitch YA cover for a paranormal romance. Bloody roses are a vampire thing.
Have you read any good books where the second one kind of flopped? Are you interested in this series? Let me know down below in the comments, I'd love to hear from you! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Twilight Zone Anthology Book Review (Video)

Here's a quick review of The Twilight Zone. This is a collection of short stories inspired by the famous classic TV show. I'm a HUGE fan of the Twilight Zone and reading these short stories was a lot of fun, but also I'm going to be a little harsher on my thoughts because I feel like each short story should have an atmospheric quality reminiscent of the Twilight Zone. I plan on writing a full review eventually, but I'm trying to find time with winter guard, school, and reading. Hopefully writing and making videos will become apart of my schedule, too! 

Are you a fan of the Twilight Zone? What's your favorite episode(s)? Are you interested in picking up this collection? Let me know down below in the comments!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall

Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall

First in the Kingdom series

3 stars

Alice isn’t a little girl anymore. She’s an adult who has just opened up her bakery, Mad Hatter’s Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe. Alice finds herself in Wonderland and in the presence of the Mad Hatter, a man whose darkness makes her heart race. The Mad Hatter is fading away, but a wily fairy godmother will not let him slip away, so she finds his Alice in hopes that she will be able to save him. I grew up with a deep love for Alice in Wonderland. It’s always been a very odd story that has enchanted me. Sadly, as an adult, my experience reading the famous Alice in Wonderland story was a lacking adventure and the magic has worn off. I found this book on my Kindle and was intrigued because I can’t imagine the Mad Hatter being portrayed as sexy. Johnny Depp is sexy, but he is given a whimsical look in the Disney films, so I thought it would be interesting (as well as amusing) to read about a sexy Mad Hatter.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed this story. I thought this adaptation of Wonderland was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the whimsical setting. The story is light and fluffy; it’s supposed to be dark, but I didn’t think that was a strong aspect for this novel and it definitely fails at being serious, moody, and angsty.

The writing isn’t bad. Hall has a way of writing really witty and funny sentences that make the tone feel light and airy. It makes a really dark story feel like a happy fairy tale (definitely an adult Disney version). There are grammatical errors in the edition that I read from, but it was easy for me to overlook because I was having fun. Just because this novel is fun doesn’t mean it’s great. My two biggest problems are that the pacing is rushed and that the main characters aren’t fleshed out enough. These may not be huge problems for some people, but for me they were something that I couldn’t overlook. The writing has potential, but it lacks in proper editing.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 3

The main female character is Alice, only she’s not really Alice. At least not the original Alice, she’s never been to Wonderland, but her grandmother has and I thought this was a really interesting plot. Usually Alice forgets all about Wonderland and finds herself in a déjà vu like setting, but in this story Alice has no clue what is going on. It’s refreshing and fun. My biggest problem is that Alice is SO wishy-washy. There is a secret/plot twist that concerns Alice, but I felt like it wasn’t explained enough and while it made sense, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3.25

The main male character is the Mad Hatter. I must say this Hatter isn’t swoon worthy, but he definitely is appealing. He has broody and moody, but I guess that’s a side effect of being the Hatter. I don’t know I just couldn’t really LOVE him, but I was definitely rooting for him to get his Alice.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 3.5

The characters in this novel are a lot of fun! I really enjoyed Danika, the fairy godmother, who watches over all the “Bad Five” of Wonderland and her quest to mating all of them is just fun. She’s got some really funny one-liners and her character made the story feel like a fun adventure. I definitely wanted Danika to be my fairy godmother, she was badass!

Character Scale: 3.5

The Villain- Why was the Hatter a villain? I can’t remember any substantial occurrence that made him deplorable. There was probably a slight mention of it, but again not enough characterization for me to remember it.

Villain Scale: 2

Let’s talk about sexy, baby. Let’s talk about how it’s bland. Let’s talk about how it was a filler for pages where there was no plot. Let’s talk about how it was boring. The sex scenes in this novel are not appealing or strong. They were so boring and I skimmed through a couple of them. These characters were cute together and I was rooting for them, but I have more tension with cheese than these two do with each other.

Saucy Scale: 1

Overall, this is a really fun story! If the idea of a fairy godmother being tasked to give fairytale villains soulmates, then this is a series I recommend checking out!

Plotastic Scale: 3.75

Cover Thoughts: This is one of the better covers of the series. I also find it kind of appealing? Maybe it’s the colors

If you want to check this book out it's free on Amazon and the first three books in the Kingdom series are also free in a boxset (I've read them and I recommend them).

What's your favorite Alice in Wonderland retelling? I seem to really enjoy them. Let me know down below in the comments! 

What I've Read in August & September (I'm Not Gone, Just Busy)

Hi, everyone! Wow, I miss blogging. I miss sitting down and writing my posts that don't get much attention, but make me so happy to writ...