Review: Shadow Sight (Ivy Granger #1) by E. J. Stevens + Giveaway

Product Details:
Reading level: YA or Adult
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press (July 24, 2012)
ISBN: 9780984247585

Want to win your own copy (e-book format) of Shadow Sight? Check out the giveaway link at the end of the post.

Ivy Granger's second sight is finally giving her life purpose. Ivy and her best friend Jinx may not be raking in the dough, but their psychic detective agency pays the bills--most of the time. Their only worry is the boredom of a slow day and the occasional crazy client--until a demon walks through their door.

Demons are never a good sign...

A demon attorney representing the water fae? Stranger things have happened. And things are about to get very, very strange as a bloodthirsty nightmare hunts the city of Harborsmouth.
There's blood in the water...

Kelpies have a reputation for eating humans. Unfortunately, Kelpies are the clients. When an Unseelie faerie this evil stalks the waterways of your city, you have to make hard choices.

The lesser of two evils...

When I accepted an ARC of Shadow Sight, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it would be good because the author’s Spirit Guide series has received such high reviews. I also wasn’t fully certain what an “urban fantasy” would be exactly. My brain has a strange way of classifying genres, and urban fantasy is not currently in my vocabulary. All of that aside though, I can safely say that I had a lot of fun reading this book.

The main character is a little quirky (along with her roommate named Jinx), which made me like her instantly. I love characters that aren’t perfect and seem to be aware of their flaws. Ivy was definitely one of these characters. She has a special gift—she can glean images (emotions) from any object that she touches. Pretty handy skill for finding your lost car keys, but not so great when you suddenly flash on someone’s worst nightmare. But despite the challenges, Ivy’s made a pretty good life for herself. She runs the psychic investigating operation Private Eye.

Her special talents often lead to special clients. Enter Forneus, a demon attorney (I laughed at the irony of that stereotype) representing the Kelpies of the area. No big deal, right? Hardly! Kelpies like to eat humans, but that’s the least of Ivy’s problems. As it turns out, the Kelpies are the victims in a ghastly plot to wipe out the human population of the town. Ivy has to find a way to rescue the kidnapped Kelpie king and stop the each uisge from attacking.  

Not sure what each uisge are? Neither was I before reading this book! So I did a little research with my friend Google. The each uisge are similar to kelpies in that they both take on the horse-like form (or human at times) to lure their victims to the water, where they drown them and eat the remains. Kelpies, however, prefer fresh water and rivers while the each uisge are saltwater dwellers. They also have their origin in Scottish folklore, and are thought to be the most vicious of the water dwelling creatures. I think that is safe to say after reading this book! Holy smokes. If I saw one of these jokers in person I would pee my pants. No lie. Here is one of the descriptions of the diabolical monsters:

“The monster was death incarnate, from the milky orbs of its dead eyes to the dripping fangs, sickle claws, poisoned spines, razor sharp exoskeleton of its legs, and dark mangy fur stretched thin over jutting ribs and hips.”

I promise you, this description is all rainbows and lollipops compared to the first encounter with the beasts. You still get an idea of how terrifying this creature would be. No wonder you don’t hear much about the each uisge in mythology books!  

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the incorporation of so many mythological elements. There were vampires, unicorns, kelpies, each uisge, fae of all types, witches, trolls, mermaids, merrow, and many more. Don’t think that the story is choppy with so many supernatural elements, because it is not. Everything fits in very nicely and sets the stage for future books in the series. I am certain that some of these mythological creatures will be revisited as Ivy’s story progresses.

If you’re a fan of mythology or paranormal books, you would enjoy Shadow Sight. There is an element of romance that begins to develop towards the end (which keeps you wondering what will happen in the next book) to satisfy the paranormal romance fans. But if you’d rather read a mythology-based mystery told from the point of view of a quirky, often sarcastic, main character, then you definitely need to read this book!


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Mini Review: Tempest Unleashed (Tracy Deebs)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 352
Publisher: Walker Childrens (June 5, 2012)
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Read in 1 1/2 days


Tempest Unleashed (Tempest #2)Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

I did not like the ending of this book AT ALL. Two days later and I am still fuming over this one. The only redeeming factor is that I know there will be a third book, which brings the hope that an ending I am satisfied with will occur. With the ending aside, everything else was great. I enjoyed the world building, characters, plot, and beautiful descriptions. There are many things to love about Tempest Unleashed.

The love triangle between Tempest, Kona, and Mark continues. In fact, it gets more complicated in this book since Tempest can’t seem to stay away from the human world. Other characters are brought into the story that complicate things. The major twist is Sabyn, Tempest’s new trainer. He’s a  shady character.

The action is fast-paced in this one. I was highly impressed. The story begins with Tempest spying on her family, despite her better judgement. That leads to a steamy encounter with Mark (hence the continuing love triangle). One her way back to the mercastle, she gets attacked by Tiamet’s shark-men. Suddenly, this crazy new power reveals itself, making Tempest a flippin’ awesome merwarrior type. She rocks. Seriously. I really enjoyed her growth throughout the story, even if I am still miffed about her choices in the end! Boo!
I can’t go into too much detail about this book because it would give too much of the plot away. Just trust me when I say it was a very enjoyable read. I am anxious to see what is in store for the third book because I want to see Tempest kick some more evil sea witch tail.
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On Sale This Week...

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Look what made its way to book stores this week!
Click on the images for more information about the books.


As if I really need more books to tempt me and my wallet!

Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2) Keep Holding On
Grim 


Best Book Ever

Short and Sweet

Coranne (or Amanda C.) from Short and Sweet Reviews hosts a weekly feature called "The Best Book Ever." Each week, different bloggers (some stay the same each week) will be "facing off" Food Network style to tell you why their choice of book is the best one in the genre. Each week a different topic will be featured.

This week's topic... Best Nostalgic Book Who didn't read a R.L. Stine Fear Street book as a kid? If you went through adolescence before the Goosebumps phase, you know exactly how awesome these books were. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My pick for the week:
 The Thrill Club (Fear Street, #24)
 
 

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
I am obsessed with mermaids! I can't help myself. They make me giddy... even the evil ones that want to steal your soul! (Ok, maybe those don't make me giddy, but I do find them captivating.) I'm super excited that the Mer Tales story will continue (even though I think the cover of book 1, Everblue,  is much prettier).

Evergreen (Mer Tales, #2)A kingdom on the brink of war.
A king on the fringes of insanity.
A family running for their lives.

Ash and Fin’s only desire is to be together and dive into their happily ever after, though their conflicting worlds work to pull them apart. Neither is ready to convert to the other’s life: become a human or a mer. Little do they know that somewhere in Natatoria a secret holds the fine fabric of everyone’s lives together. If the truth is discovered, Ash and Fin will no longer have the luxury of waiting. They’ll be forced to choose. But will it be for loyalty or love? Or will someone else make the choice for them if they can’t decide?


Which book are you waiting for?

Mystical Mermaid Tales... My ambitious summer reading list (part 1)


This summer is all about the mermaids! Here are a list of mermaid related books I plan to read. My public library is going to love me.


Available Now

Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Undercurrent by Tricia Rayburn

Tangled Tides by Karen Hooper

Siren’s Storm by Lisa Papademetriou

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Hannah (Daughters of the Sea #1) by Kathryn Lasky

May (Daughters of the Sea #2) by Kathryn Lasky

Lucy (Daughters of the Sea #3) by Kathryn Lasky

The Last Mermaid by Shana Abe

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

Lure (Siren’s Call #1) by Stephanie Jenkins

Submerge (Siren’s Call #2) by Stephanie Jenkins  

May

Wrecked by Anna Davies

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

June

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

July

Waking Storms by Sarah Porter

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

Fury’s Fire (Siren’s Storm #2) by Lisa Papademetriou


August

Wake by Amanda Hocking

Yep, I've got a lot of reading to do this summer and many hours at the beach in my future! Let me know if I'm forgetting any other mermaid tales.

Happy Memorial Day!



Happy Memorial Day everyone!

I hope everyone enjoys spending time with their loved ones today. While you do so, please remember all the brave men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice over the years for our freedom. They do not get enough credit for their daily battles.

As for me, I will be spending the day reading as Hurricane Beryl travels through. (Upgraded from a tropical storm tonight!) Stay safe!

Review: Dark Frost (Mythos Academy #3) (Jennifer Estep)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 336
Publisher: Kensington (May 29, 2012)
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Read it in 5 HOURS!


Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3)I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me?

It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.


I can safely say that the third book in this series is my favorite so far! It has risen above all my expectations.

My minor annoyance with the constant repeating of previous information continues, but I endured. I just scanned those pages quickly-- hence the 5 hour read time on this one. I did a good deal of scanning at times. Sigh.

BUT, the plot was soooo much better in this book. That I wasn't disappointed in. I was guessing up until the last 50 pages! Whoop. Yes, I still figured out who the ultimate bad guy was way before Gwen did, but that's ok. I even figured out Gwen's new power early on, but there were still enough surprises to hold my interest.

For all those Logan Quinn fans out there, hold on to your seats. He ups the steamy factor in this one. Swoon. Logan makes my toes curl. However, my favorite character in this book happens to be Oliver. I love the transformation he has made from the second book. He is one of Gwen's fiercest allies now, and he really pulls through for her in this book. Another interesting aspect of the characters in this book is the subtle change (and not so subtle change) many of the characters undergo. Yes, some of the changes are more obvious-- developing new powers, faces long surpressed fears, etc. But some characters (like Morgan) are really turning out to be full of surprises. I have a feeling she is going to be HUGE in book 4, Crimson Frost.

Speaking of future surprises, what is up with Raven? Anyone else suspect that there might be something deeper and more sinister with this so-called protector? I think there might be something there. As promised, the plot is so much better in this book. The action is non-stop, which you experience from the first chapter. The constant battle with Loki is only beginning and I have a feeling that book 4 is going to be epic.

Dark Frost is my favorite Mythos Academy book so far, hands down. The characters were better written this time around. They had so much more depth than in the previous books. Gwen's conflict over her new powers was heart breaking. You could feel her inner turmoil over her decisions. The plot was also more developed. The door was left wide open for the next book, and I can only imagine what is going to happen. Too bad we have to wait until January 2013 to find out! 

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