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Review: “Untouched (Denazen #1.5)” by Jus Accardo

Untouched (Denazen, #1.5)Untouched by Jus Accardo

ebook
Published March 28th, 2012 by Entangled Publishing
Review Copy: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble
Description from Goodreads:
Until he met Dez, Kale’s days were filled with violence and death. He was used as a weapon of destruction by the power hungry men of Denazen. He’s a Six. A person with an abnormal ability. Some people call them gifts, but not Kale. Kale’s touch means instant death.

But now there’s Dez, the girl he can touch, and they’re hunting down Sixes and warning them about Denazen. Kale is learning about the world outside captivity and trying to put his dark past behind him. But they underestimated how badly Denazen wanted him back.

When Dez sacrifices herself to save the new Six they’d rescued from falling into the corp’s hands, Kale is lost. Denazen has brought out its best to get the job done. Samsen, a nightmare from Kale’s past—the only person he’s ever truly feared—has come for them, and it soon becomes obvious he has his own twisted agenda.

Kale will need all his training to get Dez back and ensure they make it out, free—and alive. But will it be enough?

My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 3.5 Stars
I enjoyed “Untouched”, I did. But I wanted more. I know, I know, this is only a novella to hold the readers over until “Toxic” is released, but I needed more.

Let’s discuss the great things about “Untouched”, shall we?
Kiernan, a character that I hope will play a larger part in “Toxic”, is introduced in “Untouched”. She is a lot like Dez, so she’s easy to like. In fact, I may actually like her better than Dez. She’s witty, her power is awesome, and she’s seriously kick-ass. The scene with the broom? Can I high-five my computer screen, or would that be strange? ‘Cause she is pretty awesome in that scene.

The relationship between Dez and Kale: I loved the development of their relationship throughout “Touch”. What’s even better is that in this novella, you get to see just how much Dez means to Kale, as the story is told through his point of view. He would do anything for her, and he manages to prove that near the end.

What I didn’t like:
Honestly, my only problem with “Untouched” is that I needed more. I would’ve liked to learn a bit more about Kiernan. I would’ve even liked to see the Kale and Samsen battle play out a bit more.

One of my favorite quotes:

“Sometimes I wonder at your complete disregard for safety…” Her lips tilted upward and a grin lit her entire face. Leaning close, warm breath caressed my neck as she whispered, “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

Accardo, Jus (2012-03-27). Untouched (Kindle Locations 782-784). Entangled Publishing. Kindle Edition.

If you haven’t already, may I suggest you pick up a copy of “Touch”? Seriously, if you haven’t checked out this series yet, you’re missing out.

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Review: Borrowing Abby Grace (The Shadow, #1) by Kelly Green

Borrowing Abby Grace (The Shadow, #1)Borrowing Abby Grace by Kelly Green

ebook, 47 pages

Published October 17th 2011 by Backlit

Review Copy: Gifted From Backlit

Purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble

Description:

Smart and sassy Abby Grace is a seventeen-year-old with a talent for getting out of trouble. Sent to repair the lives and loves of teenagers on the edge of disaster, Abby is the perfect girl for the job. She has everything going for her… except one thing: a body.

This fast-paced and exciting episode is the first installment in an ongoing mystery series with a supernatural twist.

Episode 1: The Shadow

When Abby Grace wakes up in the back of a van, she has no idea who she is, how she got there, or why anyone would want to kidnap her. After escaping her masked captors, she hurries home, only to discover that she unknowingly left her younger brother behind in the van. Unable to answer the police’s questions with her memories gone, she retreats to the safety of her bedroom where she tries to reconstruct her life. Just as she is settling into the belief that things will one day return to normal, she looks in the mirror—and sees a stranger’s face.
As Abby learns next, she has become a Shadow, sent to inhabit the lives of strangers in trouble. With nothing to go on except the vague hints of her cute but maddening Guardian, a 19th century ghostly teenager named Will, Abby sets out to rescue the missing brother. But she will need all of her intelligence, fearlessness, and wit, because if she fails to find him in time, she will remain trapped in this unfamiliar body forever.

My Review:
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I started “Borrowing Abby Grace”. Given the description of the story and the short length, I couldn’t help but wonder if the author would be able to successfully tell the story [within 47 pages] without rushing it too much. I was happy to see that the story flowed quite smoothly, even at the fast pace in which the events take place.

The story begins with Brooke – well, Abby as Brooke – escaping from a van. She isn’t sure what happened or where she is. She can’t remember where she lives, or who she is. All she remembers is waking up in the back of a van.

When she finds herself at Brooke’s house, she meets Will, who explains that she’s a Shadow – someone who borrows other peoples bodies to complete a task. Her real name is Abby Grace. Her reflection is hers, but her outer appearance is Brooke’s. She was sent to fix something in Brooke’s life, which she assumes is locating her brother, Paul. She has less than two days to fix things for Brooke, or else she’ll be stuck in her body.

There were moments where I did wish certain scenes were more fleshed out, especially the ending with Paul, but overall I did enjoy the story. I think the idea, Abby borrowing Brooke’s body to help her fix something in her life, is interesting. It’s something I haven’t really read before.

If I had to sum up “Borrowing Abby Grace”, I’d say that it is a short and exciting story that leaves you wondering what comes next (enter: “Girl Steals Guy”).

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I’d like to say thank you to Backlit for gifting this e-book to me, along with The Dig (review this weekend). I will be checking out the next two episodes to see where Abby’s story goes!

Like Borrowing Abby Grace on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BorrowingAbby

Review: Summer’s Crossing (Iron Fey #3.5) by Julie Kagawa

Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5)Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa

ebook, 72 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Review Copy: Purchased (Kindle)
Purchase: Amazon (Free) — Barnes & Noble (Free)
Description From Goodreads:
A Midsummer’s Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon’s right hand, bane of many a faery queen’s existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl’s death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts.

Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone’s come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck’s help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist.

An ebook exclusive novella from Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series.

My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Summer’s Crossing” picks up where “The Iron Queen” leaves off, with Puck and Ash watching as Meghan leaves her home (back in the mortal world), to return to the (well, her) Iron Realm.

Puck and Ash are in search of Grim, although they aren’t entirely sure where to find him. While discussing where to start their search, Leanansidhe, Queen of the Exiles, comes to collect on a debt from the Winter Prince. She needs Ash, and Puck, to enter the Summer Court and retrieve a ‘violin’ that was stolen from her by Queen Titania. In return for her ‘violin’, Leanansidhe suggests she may be able to point them in the direction of Grim.

With a debt to repay, Ash, along with Puck, set out to retrieve Leanansidhe’s ‘violin’ from the Summer court. But when Puck runs into Oberon, who is out hunting, he proposes that if he somehow got rid of Ash, he’d have Oberon’s approval to be with Meghan. Puck battles between helping Ash or letting Queen Titania, so that he can be with Meghan. Ultimately, in a way…Puck chooses both outcomes. Using glamour, he exposes the “Winter Prince”, while the real Prince goes to rescue the ‘violin’.

I really enjoyed this novella, mainly because it was nice seeing things from Puck’s perspective. Sure, he’s a jokester, and we still see plenty of that in “Summer’s Crossing”, as well as throughout the series, but you get to see how he truly feels about Meghan, and how he wants her to be happy. Even if she is in love with his sworn enemy.

And I’ll leave you with a quote from “Summer’s Crossing”:

“But he’d done it anyway, because of her. Because of the girl we were both crazy for, who was now far away, beyond our reach. Meghan.”

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Mini Review: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles 0.5) by Kady Cross

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles, #0.5)The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

Kindle Edition, 78 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Purchase: Amazon (free) — Barnes & Noble ($2.99)
Review Copy: Downloaded for Kindle
Description from Goodreads:

Finley Jayne knows she’s not ‘normal’. Normal girls don’t lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she’s offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…

An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.

My Review:

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve been eager to read “The Girl in the Steel Corset” since its release. There’s been a decent amount of positive feedback, which helped increase my interest. While browsing the Kindle store, I came upon “The Strange Case of Finley Jayne”, which is a free prequel novella for “The Girl in the Steel Corset”. Typically, I’m all for novellas – if they increase your interest in the story/characters, then they are doing their job. This one, however, I can’t really say I loved. Was the writing bad? No. Were the characters poorly written? No, in fact, Finley is a well written character. But the fact that it takes you until you hit around 60% into the story for anything really interesting to happen? Eh. It’s a novella, so it’s short. I wasn’t expecting a lot to happen, especially given that it’s a prequel (I figured it’d be a nice introduction to the characters and the world), but quite frankly, I found myself bored until a little over halfway through. Will I go on to read “The Girl in the Steel Corset”? Yes. I think Finley is an interesting character and I’d like to see what the ‘thing’ inside of her is, I’d also like to see where her next job brings her. I didn’t hate “The Strange Case of Finley Jayne”, I don’t want it to seem as such, but I didn’t love it either. It’s worth reading if you’re interested in the story.

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Mini Review: “Winter’s Passage (Iron Fey #1.5)” by Julie Kagawa

Winter's PassageWinter’s Passage by Julie Kagawa

Kindle Edition
Published May 20th 2010 by Harlequin Teen
Purchase: Amazon ($2.39) – Barnes & Noble ($2.39)

Description from Goodreads:

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl…until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck–Meghan’s best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon–who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash’s detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter–a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat….

An eBook exclusive story from Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series.

My Mini Review:

My actual rating: 4 1/2 Stars

I’m a bit late to this series. I just finished “The Iron King” a few weeks ago and fell in love with the story and the characters. As soon as I finished “The Iron King” I was ready for more, but my to be read pile is kind of halting that at the moment. “Winter’s Passage” takes place between “The Iron King” and “The Iron Daughter” (which I need to start as soon as possible). Since it is a novella and it is incredibly short, I’m going to avoid spoilers. What I will say is that “Winter’s Passage” takes you on a whole new journey. There’s action, there’s romance, there’s Grim – it’s the beginning to an entirely new chapter in Meghan’s life waiting to be revealed. Julie Kagawa’s descriptions help bring the story to life. The characters are wonderfully written. The world is beautifully crafted. It’s easy to get lost in the land of the Nevernever.

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My review for “The Iron King” can be found here.

Review: “Haunting the Night” by Mara Purnhagen

Haunting the NightHaunting the Night by Mara Purnhagen

ebook, 80 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Harlequin
Download: Amazon($2.99)-B&N (Free)
You can download the PDF for free from Harlequin Teen’s facebook page! Information can be found here!
Description from Goodreads:
Charlotte Silver has been through hell.Her mom’ s in a coma. She may have caused the death of a young man. And now her friend Avery wants her to tackle going to Prom? Not going to happen, even if she is dying to spend some alone time with her boyfriend, Noah. Instead, Charlotte needs to find some answers to a few nagging questions—why was her family attacked? Will her mother survive? And is there a creature from the Other Side coming for her? Soon enough, Charlotte’s search for the truth becomes a race against time. But she may just find the sign she’s been looking for all along….An ebook exclusive Past Midnight series novella.
My Review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When “Haunting the Night” was announced, and offered as a free e-book, I was excited. I’ve honestly fallen in love with the “Past Midnight” series and Mara Purnhagen’s writing. I’m going to be a bit sad going into “Beyond the Grave” knowing that it’s the final “Past Midnight” book.

“Haunting the Night” takes places a few weeks after the events from “One Hundred Candles”. After Marcus’ death and her mother falling into a coma, Charlotte is struggling with her guilt. She believes its all her fault, that she could’ve done something to prevent it all. She’s trying to go on with her life, but it’s impossible to go on until she’s ready to let go of her guilt.

While “Haunting the Night” doesn’t give readers answers to what’s next, it does give them plenty of questions…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With Noah’s bruise, the shadow creature, Charlotte’s mother still being in a coma, and Zelden’s quest to avoid her…you get a feel of what to expect in “Beyond the Grave” (which I’ll be reading this weekend).

If you’re a fan of the series, the novellas are a must.

I love where the story is headed, but I’m going to be sad to see it end.

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Review: “Raising the Dead” (Past Midnight #1.5) by Mara Purnhagen

Raising the Dead (Past Midnight, #1.5)Raising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen

ebook, 84 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Purchased from Amazon.com ($2.51)!
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Charlotte Silver’s world is like no one else’s…

As the daughter of the famous Silver Spirits paranormal investigators, Charlotte Silver is used to all things weird. But when coffins start floating down her street during a flood, life turns extra strange. And wonderful, when her friend and crush Noah signs on to help Charlotte and her folks in the aftermath. Cemetery cleanup might not sound exciting, but as shocking discoveries and a lurking stranger come to light, Charlotte learns that sometimes, raising the dead can bring unexpected rewards.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading “Past Midnight”, I was dying to read this novella.

Given that “Raising the Dead” is only a novella, I feel as though it was rather good. It served its purpose in making me want to read the next book, “One Hundred Candles”.

Coming off of “Past Midnight”, this novella begins with Charlotte at a book signing with her father. It’s now several weeks from where the first book left off and Charlotte is still debating on whether what happened in Charleston was real or not.

For the most part, things have returned to normal, but that changes when a major rain storm causes flooding and sends coffins floating through the streets. Charlotte and her family work to bring the caskets back to their burial location, where they met William.

As to avoid spoilers, I’ll just state that while the novella isn’t as interesting as the first book, it is an intriguing novella. Charlotte is starting to wonder if Noah feels the same way about her as she does him. Now, romance didn’t play a huge part in the first book. Charlotte had a crush on Noah, but it wasn’t the core. As the series goes on, however, it looks as though Charlotte is going to be struggling with her feelings towards Noah. I’m curious as to where it’ll go.

All in all, if you’re looking to read the “Past Midnight” series – don’t skip this novella!

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