Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: Abithica by Susan Goldsmith

Title: Abithica
Author: Susan Goldsmith
Series: Abithica #1
 Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Pub. Date: April 2011
Genre: Supernatural/Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal/Paranormal Romance/YA
Pages: ebook (287)
Rating: 4 Kisses
Buy: Amazon
From: received an arc copy from the author

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): What if you knew you were about to be torn from your body and replaced by an imposter in a seamless switch forever separating you and the one you love? Would you do whatever it took to stay? Even if YOU happened to be the imposter? Abithica must borrow all that she is from others: names, lives, even bodies. When she switches into the troubled life of Sydney Turner, she breaks the rule that has sustained her, the one thing in her control—never get attached. Lane Riley has no idea he’s fallen for Abithica, wearing Sydney Turner’s body and that a future with her is impossible. Desperate to stay with him, Abithica uncovers the mystery of what she is, only to learn she’s a pawn in a battle over souls, and that she’s probably one of the “bad guys.” What will happen if she refuses to leave Sydney’s body?

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Abithica is the story of a spirit/being/whatever you want to call her for right now(not giving anything away) who is thrust into people’s bodies taking over their lives.  She stays with her host until she has completed whatever needed to be done.  She sees her predicament as a punishment from God.  She sees herself as a parasite or demon. 
       The book opens in Arizona with Sydney collapsing into her food at a restaurant because the spirit being mentioned (in the previous paragraph) has just entered her body.  As Sydney, the spirit starts trying to improve her life starting with Sydney’s damaged relationship with her mother, Faith.  At first “new” Sydney is having a hard time because the real Sydney is being resistant.  During a trip to Faith’s work (at the mall), Sydney meets Lane and his much younger sister, Shae.  It’s love at first sight for “new” Sydney and Lane.  However, “new” Sydney is very resistant because she doesn’t want to hurt him when she leaves Sydney’s body.  Also, she is scared of falling too hard because she knows it will all be ripped from her.  Besides the romance, there is also an element of danger from the gang that Sydney belongs to, the Legnas.  They are a dangerous gang that brands their members and like to kill, a lot. 
       Abithica takes the reader on a journey with the protagonist as she discovers who and what she is.  She discovers her real name at the end.  Poor girl.  Every time she forced into a new body she forgets most of what happened before.  However, the one thing she does know is that she wants to fall in love and stay that way.  That is her greatest wish/dream.  This is impossible, though.  To prevent herself from getting hurt she decided that she would never get attached.  Of course Lane changed that. 
       Lane is just * gush * amazing!  He knows there’s something different about Sydney as soon as he meets her (I’m talking about “new” Sydney).  No matter how many times she pushes him away he comes back even stronger and more cling-y (in a good way).    He loves her so much.  The most beautiful aspect of their love is the fact that he loves who the “new” Sydney is-meaning he loves the spirit inhabiting Sydney.  (Yes, I know, it sounds confusing on paper, but it really isn’t). 
       The novel contains many other great characters.  Among them are Shae, Lane’s adorable little sister; Faith, Sydney’s shoe obsessed mother; the ever helpful Father Gabe; and Marge, a saint-like doctor.
       When I started Abithica, I was enjoying it.  But about half-way through, OMG! I was hooked.  There were moments where I was screaming at my computer screen (ebook), yelling at the characters.  Then there were moments where I was on the verge of tears.  The protagonist’s voice easy to read.  I felt a connection with her-there were moments where I could completely relate to her.  Mrs. Goldsmith did an awesome job with the writing.  Even when she wrote through Shae’s POV, it was readable at the same time as sounding like a little girl.
       Now, even though I really really liked this book, there were a few things that just didn’t click with me.  I didn’t like reading the Legnas parts of the book-but I think this is just a matter of personal taste.  I never like reading the antagonist’s POV in any book.  Also, Lane annoyed me in the beginning.  He was talking about marriage very VERY early on in their relationship- they had only gone out a few times together.  But, of course, I was able to come to terms with it, and even accept it later on in the book.  
       Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to all who love a good romance.  Yes, it is Christian Lit., but it’s not overwhelming (which is good).  Also, I seriously read the last 50 pages four times-it was just too fantastic to not reread! I can’t wait until the sequel.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Review: To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker

Title:  To Catch A Pirate
Author: Jade Parker
ISBN: 978-0439026949
Publisher: Point
Pub. Date: May 2007
Genre: YA/Romance/Adventure/Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
Pages: P-320
Rating: 4 Kisses

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  Once caught, it’s harder still to let a pirate go.  When Annalisa Townsend’s ship is set upon by pirates in search of her father’s treasure, one of the crew, James Sterling, discovers her in the hold.  When he moves to take her necklace, she begs him not to, as it is all she has left of her mother.  He accepts a kiss in exchange for the necklace.  “A fair trade, m’lady,” he tells her afterward, before disappearing.  A year later, with a forged letter of marque, Annalisa is intent on hunting down the wretched James Sterling and reclaiming her father’s treasure from him.  But now she’s in danger of him stealing something far more vulnerable this time: her heart.

My Ramblings and Reveries:  After the death of her mother, Annalisa Townsend and her father sail to the Caribbean, with a treasure chest filled with some of the King’s gold, to build a new port.  When their ship gets attacked by pirates, the gold is stolen and many lives are lost.  The survivors, including Annalisa and her father, report the attack.  Because they survived, Annalisa’s father is accused of either being a pirate or associating with pirates and is thrown in jail.  Annalisa goes out with her friend, Nathaniel to find the pirate, James Sterling.  He was the very attractive pirate who held her at knifepoint, stole her ring, and kissed her while the pirates were searching the ship.  In fact, he saved her life, by keeping her whereabouts a secret.  Since her father is incarcerated, she wants nothing more than to kill the pirates that forced her into ruin.  Using her dowry, Annalisa finds a ship and crew and begins hunting for the pirate that stole her treasure.
       Annalisa was such a strong character.  For a woman in the 1700s to chase pirates and captain a ship-that’s pretty darn incredible.  James Sterling couldn’t believe she (a woman) was commanding a ship.  Of course, she had Nathaniel’s help; but still.  Grrr....Nathaniel.  I did not like him.  Since this book reminded me so much of the Pirates of the Caribbean (without the supernatural aspect), Nathaniel reminded me of Norington.  James Sterling was just Ahhhh *swoon*.  He was like a combination between Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.  After stealing Annalisa’s kiss and ring he is marooned on an island along with his friend Ferret for betraying his captain.  When he gets off the island he ends up running for his life from a pirate hunter.  When Annalisa finally catches him, she treats him well, or tries to at least.  Nathaniel can see the growing attraction and does not like it.  He does terrible things to James, like beating him.  James is the better man, even though he is a pirate.  Now partnered with James, Annalisa goes out to find the buried treasure. 
       This book was so great.   It had romance, sword fighting, pirates, adventure, and suspense.  I would definitely recommend reading this awesome book.  
Side note: The author is actually Rachel Hawthorne.  She wrote To Catch a Pirate under "Jade Parker."

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review: Dhampir by Barb and J.C. Hendee

Title: Dhampir
Author: Barb and J.C. Hendee
Series: Noble Dead #1
ISBN:  0-451-45906-7
Publisher:  Roc
Pub. Date:  January 2003
Pages: P-384
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Paranormal
Rating: 3 Kisses
Extras:  Website  |  Excerpt

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): SHE HUNTS THE REALMS MOST DANGEROUS GAME.
Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain, grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere has always known she's dealing with simple folk who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and she's never seen anything wrong with exploiting them for profit.
Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their new found peace will not last. For Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who recognize her true identity — even if she does not — and who fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Dhampir is about the travels of a half-elf (Leesil), a dog (Chap), and a half-vampire (Magiere).  The story begins during their last job.  Magiere and Leesil con villages into giving them money in exchange for her hunting services.  This involed Leesil disguising himself as a vampire and Magiere pretending to kill him in front of the villagers.  Before performing her services, Magiere would convince the town to give her almost every penny they had as payment.  After this last job Magiere and Leesil move to Miiska and open a tavern (really just a bar with a faro table).  Before arriving, Magiere and Chap fought and killed a vampire, although they mistook him for a crazy villager.  When they arrive, the vampires residing in town are out to kill Magiere before she can kill them.  However, Magiere is done with “killing” vampires.  All she wants is to live a quiet life, running her tavern.  But all those rumors she and Leesil spent so much time and effort spreading about her hunting skills have finally cought up with her, and no one will let her live quietly.  She is a vampire hunter after all. 
       Magiere was raised in a small village by her aunt.  She was hated by the other villagers because her father was thought of as evil even though Magiere never knew him.  Magiere is very quiet and keeps her thoughts to herself.  On the outside, she is very hard and cold, but deep down, she is very caring.  Whenever a vampire threatens her, the half-vampire in her comes out.  When this happens she can’t speak or think coherently-its all instinct.
       Leesil is Magiere’s half-elf companion.  He was born a servant warrior.  His past is so sad. The lord that owned his family made sure he was trained to kill-which he did.  When he finally escaped, he made his living stealing.  After meeting Magiere, they devised a plan to make money together.  Even though they’ve worked and lived on the road together for a few years, they barely know anything about the other.  They have a mutual agreement to keep their pasts in the past.  Leesil’s dog, Chap, is very protective of both Leesil and Magiere.  He was given to Leesil as a gift from his mother.  Chap has similar fighting and healing abilities as Magiere which baffles Leesil.  Chap is so adorable.  He is the perfect guard dog.  He is also the perfect lapdog. 
       The three main vampires are Rashed, Ratboy, and Teesha.  Teesha’s story was heartbreaking.  She had a great and happy life until she was forced to leave her home.  I was very conflicted in terms of which side I was rooting for:  vampires or Leesil and Magiere.  The vampires were the “bad guys” but I liked them.  Their pasts were so complicated and full of sorrow that I could not hate them no matter what they did.  However, I did not like what they did.  Most of the killing that took place in the story was VERY unnecessary.  The vampires think Magiere is out to get them when she doesn’t even know they exist.  Instead of hiding, leaving, or waiting to see what happens, they attack her before she can attack them.  In doing this, they reveal themselves to her and anger her.  Now she wants them dead because they threaten the peaceful life she wants.  So both sides resort to their natures instead of doing what they want.  It’s a whole he-said-she-said type situation. 
       I liked this book.  It wasn’t great.  I so badly wanted there to be at least a little bit of romance between Leesil and Magiere.  But alas, there was not.  The dialogue was very well written and natural.  The whole book was pieced together nicely.  The characters had in-depth histories and personalities.  The final battle scene was very suspenseful.  Throughout the first half, I wasn’t exactly turning the pages quickly.  Eventually it started to pick up-I was eagerly flipping to find out what happened next.  This book is very bloody and violent.  But there are funny moments.  This husband-wife writing team are not afraid to kill their characters.  I enjoyed it and will be reading the next book in the series.  

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good Luck!

Hello All!  Well, finals week is approaching (2 weeks!).  Since next week is the last official week of classes I have been SWAMPED last week and this week-and I will be in the next two weeks too.  Due to all the papers, projects, and exams, I haven't had any time to read.   I will try to continue posting reviews.  Although, I will be posting ones I have prewritten.  I only have a few though, so I will be spreading them out over the next couple weeks if I have time.

GOOD LUCK to anyone studying or in school-and for those who just need it.  Have a great next couple of weeks :)
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