Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne

About the book:

Mermaids. Murder. Mayhem.

A red tide is rising.

As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she’d ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean’s fragile peace.

Can the city’s divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?

_____________________________________________________________________

My review:

I have to admit that I resisted reading this story for a long time. Many of my friends recommended it, but I’m not a fan of mermaid stories. I get frustrated with the rehashing of The Little Mermaid (mermaid sees human man, falls in love, wants to be a human, yada, yada), so I put it off as long as I could. I finally gave in the other day and was more than pleasantly surprised.

Breakwater is not your typical mermaid story. Yay! Instead of sappy romantic wishes, this story starts out with murder — much more to my taste (that wasn’t meant in a creepy way 😉 ). It’s a story about how greed and power corrupt and about the strength it takes to stand up to immorality in the face of losing everything you love.

And actually, Payne’s decision to have the story take place “under the sea” added depth (wink, wink) to the plot that I’ve never really enjoyed in a mermaid tale before. The details she chose to focus on regarding the mer-people and the naiads were rather fascinating.

In other words, this was a great read. I definitely recommend you read Breakwater, the first book in the Broken Tides trilogy, even if, like me, you’re not a big fan of mermaid stories. I enjoyed it so much that I’ll be reading book two, Crosscurrent, soon.

Happy reading! 🙂

Advertisements

Spice Bringer by H.L. Burke

 

spice bringer

About the book:

A deadly disease. A vanishing remedy. A breathless journey.

All her life, Niya’s known she will die young from the fatal rasp. She survives only with the aid of vitrisar spice and a magical, curmudgeonly fire salamander named Alk. Then an ambitious princess burns down the vitrisar grove in an effort to steal Alk so she can claim her rightful throne. Joined by Jayesh, a disgraced monk, Niya and Alk must flee to the faraway Hidden Temple with the last vitrisar plant, or all who suffer from the rasp will perish.

But even as Niya’s frustration and banter with Jayesh deepen to affection, the rasp is stealing away her breath and life.

For a girl with limited time and a crippling quest, love may be more painful than death.


My review:

What a wonderful read! Burke has created a beautiful world, filled it with fascinating and touching characters, and wrapped them all up in a plot that keeps you reading well past your bed time.

But, oh the feels! I had to work very hard not to ugly cry during one part (especially because I was in public, waiting in the doctor’s office lobby). But to me, that means that I fell in love with the characters enough that I truly cared what happened to them – a hallmark of great storytelling! And H.L. Burke definitely knows how to tell a great story.

I’d highly recommend you grab your own copy of Spice Bringer (and a box of Kleenex). It’s a lovely read that will stay with you long after the last page!

Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset by Sarah Ashwood

 

21928224

About the book:

The mystery of other worlds is not one Hannah Winters ever thought she’d solve. However, the day she spots a brown-robed stranger with a magical staff in a neighbor’s field is the day she also discovers Aerisia, a magical land beyond Earth’s sunset. Here in Aerisia, Hannah is believed to be the Artan, a legendary heroine prophesied to deliver Aerisia from the Dark Powers. Plenty of people, including the Simathe, a race of immortal warriors, and the Moonkind, people of the Moon, are willing to help her discover her true identity, but Hannah’s just an ordinary girl from Earth. She doesn’t have any latent magical abilities and she’s not the Artan. However, her allies aren’t seeing it that way. Neither are her enemies. In fact, Hannah’s life is in jeopardy nearly from the moment she arrives in Aerisia. And becoming the Artan may be the only way to survive…


My review:

I grabbed this book a while back, because I was intrigued by the idea and thought the cover was kind of cool. Due to my crazy schedule, it took me a while to get to it, but once I did I flew through it! It was a very enjoyable read.

At times, I’ll admit, Hannah frustrated me. But that’s because she was real – she behaved pretty much as I would expect a normal young woman to behave when she’s been basically kidnapped. Yet, even more importantly, she does try to grow and change, even though she tends to forget the progress and opt for trouble once in a while.

The world-building is wonderful, and the magic system is very interesting and well-crafted. I enjoyed hearing the backgrounds of the different peoples in Aerisia and how Ashwood developed each with a purpose. Wonderfully done!

If you like fantasy, you’ll enjoy Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset. But make sure you also get at least the second book in the series, because (*minor spoiler alert*) there is so much more to this story that we don’t know yet! I would certainly recommend this book to my friends.

Happy reading 🙂

Iridescent by Kait Spangler

iridescent

About the book:

Things are more than they appear…

Aly Roberts wasn’t expecting much out of small town Airyville, North Carolina. She certainly wasn’t expecting to get caught up in a conspiracy involving the town’s gated community, Lagniappe. The people of Lagniappe are private, and Aly’s new friend, Riley Monroe, is certain that they’re hiding something. Lagniappe’s secrets are dangerous, and uncovering them may just change their lives forever.


My review:

I so wanted to like this book: strange happenings, weird family members, conspiracy theories, superhumans…

But unfortunately, it left too much to be desired for me to recommend you read it. The writing was fairly amateurish, which I could probably have overlooked if the dialogue and plotting would have been stronger.

The main characters are teenagers, but you’d still hope they’d have some common sense locked away somewhere! The young girl is just moving to a new area, and the first person she meets is a boy in her class who is completely obsessed with a nearby housing development. And she still wants to talk to him after she learns this? Aly’s cousin, the one Aly of course thinks is weird, just happens to live in that particular gated community. Why wouldn’t Aly just ask her cousin what’s going on and save everyone in the story a whole lot of trouble? No common sense…

The story got weirder as the writing regressed, and it took all I had to finish reading it. Do I care what happens in the next book in the series? Not really. But I’m guessing the characters will do stupid things which land them in difficult situations that they are miraculously saved from for bizarre reasons.

Sorry, I hate to say this about any book, but I don’t recommend you read this one. It ended up being a bit of a waste of time for me and that breaks my heart. Bummer!

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

20180423_095628.jpg

About the book:

SELLING STORIES IS A DEADLY BUSINESS

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down…and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers…and they’re after her too.


My review:

The first time I heard about this book last year, I knew I had to read it. What a captivating idea: a storyteller who weaves tales into crystallized sculptures! And once I got my little hands on this book, it outpaced my expectations so greatly. 🙂

I was drawn into Tanwen’s world immediately and didn’t want to ever come out! Tir is well-built and easy to imagine and filled with a charming cast of characters you can’t help but fall in love with.

But the story itself is the best part of all. It is a tale of finding strength in weakness, of love conquering even death, and of the power of art to bring beauty and truth and hope. The Story Peddler is a delightful tale with a compelling message and you don’t want to miss it!

How do I put into words how wonderful this book is?? It’s pretty impossible, but I will say that Lindsay A. Franklin has brought a fascinating premise to extraordinary life, weaving her own story strands into a lovely piece of art for all to enjoy. And I can’t recommend it highly enough 🙂 Buy it! Buy it now! Preorder it and then wait by the mailbox for it to arrive, make a cup of tea to relax after all the anxiety of waiting, then snuggle in for a fabulous read!!

Many, many thanks to Lindsay and Gilead Publishing/Enclave for the advanced copy of this wonderful book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

Scarlet Moon by S.D. Grimm

scarlet moon

About the book:

The hunted Feravolk are counting on Jayden, a seventeen-year-old, dagger-wielding, storm-detecting orphan, to save their race. Maybe they should have thought of that before they killed her family.

The land of Soleden is dying because the sorceress queen hunts and kills the people who cared for all nature, the Feravolk. Through their special bond with animals, the Feravolk have become more than men. Faster, stronger, masters of camouflage and stealth. Only a Deliverer born the night of the Blood Moon can save them from extinction.

According to prophecy, Jayden is a Deliverer, but it’s not a destiny she wants. She has no sympathy for either side. The Feravolk killed her family, so they can die for all she cares. And fighting the queen with nothing but daggers and her special abilities—storm predicting—is a suicide mission. Destiny can pick someone else.

Except hiding from destiny proves difficult; Deliverers attract powerful Protectors. Jayden’s is one of the Feravolk, so he can’t be trusted. But he makes her feel safe. Makes her want to save his race. If she chooses to keep hiding, he’ll remain one of the hunted, but he’ll protect her even if it means his death if she faces the queen. Making the right choice has never been so excruciating, especially since the prophecy says nothing about the Deliverer’s success, or survival.


My review:

This book had a lot to live up to for me: more than a year before I read the book, I saw a video on how the cover was created, and it so intrigued me, that I had to read it! And the read was just as good as the cover design 🙂

The writing flows so well, it’s very easy to get caught up in Jayden’s world, but the author has plenty of twists to throw in to keep you wanting to know more. It’s a traditional good vs evil tale, yet the author keeps you guessing as to who is actually good and who may have other motives. The characters are diverse and well-drawn, and the author gave them all just enough highlights and shading to deepen them beyond the basic young adult ingénues.

Good to know there is a sequel, since she left me hanging at the end! Definitely looking forward to picking up Amber Eyes (Children of the Blood Moon, Book 2), but until then, I suggest you grab your own copy of Scarlet Moon and dive into the adventure! 🙂

 

Small disclaimer: if this doesn’t make much sense, please forgive me. I’ve finally given in and gotten sick after staying healthy all fall and winter! Blast my allergies that weakened my immune system!!!! But at least it gives me an excuse to stay in bed and read 🙂

The Toch Island Chronicles by Kat Heckenbach

Angel cover
Angel doesn’t remember her magical heritage…

…but it remembers her.

Angel lives with a loving foster family, but dreams of a land that exists only in the pages of a fantasy novel. Until she meets Gregor, whose magic Talent saves her life and revives lost memories.

She follows Gregor to her homeland…a world unlike any she has imagined, where she travels a path of self-discovery that leads directly to her role in an ancient Prophecy…and to the madman who set her fate in motion.

 

 Seeking Unseen

It may be Angel’s wish…..

IT’S BEEN two years since Angel learned the magic chip of wood inside her locket would grant any wish. What is taking her so long to choose?
An alarming discovery about her beloved foster brother Zack makes the decision easy…but everything else gets complicated after she runs into her old friend Melinda, who demands to go along for the return to Toch Island.
…but it’s Melinda’s journey.
MELINDA doesn’t fit in with the magical freaks any more than she did with the losers back in Florida, but she never wanted to belong before. A secret world surrounds her where even the bugs have magic…
She’s more of an outsider than ever.
So when ex-con Doran Ashe slinks out of the shadows and offers her an easy road to powers of her own, Melinda follows him despite—or maybe because of—everyone’s warnings.
 legacy-rewound

Magic and mystery entwine – hidden in the web of time.

Melinda knew Kalek’s music created powerful visions, but it wasn’t supposed to actually send her into the past!

It definitely wasn’t supposed to bring someone back to the present with her. Especially not someone tied so tightly to Melinda’s own past, someone to prove, once again, that her family ancestry was made up of psychopaths who should never have existed.

Now it’s her chance to change her lineage–and history–forever.


When I began my journey to Toch Island in Protection’s Prison back in February, I knew this series would be good, but I had no idea just how wonderful the stories would be. Kat Heckenbach has created a realm that I long to actually visit. Her descriptions are vivid, her characters are full and complex, her plots are engrossing. I giggled, I cried (which I hate doing…thanks, Kat!), I didn’t want the stories to end.

I, very honestly, read all three of these novels in one day…I could not stop! I was sucked in instantly and did not want to leave. And to keep from dropping some spoilers, I’ll leave it at that. Great for everyone from tweens in age to teens at heart, the Toch Island Chronicles are books that I would highly recommend to all fantasy lovers. 🙂

¨‘°º0º°’¨