Book Review: Lucian Divine – Renée Carlino

synopsis single

“My guardian angel is a drunk.”

Evelyn Casey’s life is at a standstill. She’s in her mid-twenties, struggling with the dating scene in San Francisco. Nothing seems to be working out, and she’s starting to think that she’ll live out her days in her crummy apartment with her overbearing roommate, Brooklyn. It’s absurd, but sometimes Evey longs for a guardian angel to show up and save the day.

And then he does. Seriously. His name is Lucian and he’s a guardian angel, been on the job for two thousand years. His sudden presence in her life is both good—he’s brilliant, witty, and warm—and bad—he’s brilliant, witty, warm, and hot as —-. But as perfect as Lucian seems, he’s got problems of his own. He’s taken up drinking and he’s brazenly inserted himself into Evey’s life, going against the greatest cosmic law ever created.

For Evey, the rules are simple: You are not allowed to hook up with your guardian angel. But sometimes fulfilling your destiny requires a leap of faith, a confrontation with God. 

Yes, God as in God.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

`Lucian Divine` by author Renée Carlino is what I like to call an unsure read.

The beginning is cute and interesting. You get sucked in to the story pretty quick and can´t wait to read more until you reach the point where you´ve read more and start asking yourself questions. Lucian Divine

I´m not a stranger to Renée Carlino´s work so I was familiar with her writing. But this one? I´m not sure I can consider `Lucian Divine` a favorite.

The story concept is great: A young woman falls in love with her guardian angel. Only that angel has luggage. They fall in love and together they create and carry their special brand of luggage.

Not bad when seeing it from that point.

 

And all was well until the speed picked up. 

The main reason that kept me from giving this book all my shiny 5 stars was the pacing of the story. There were parts that felt rushed. Then there were parts that really sped up. I wasn´t confronted with this issue from the previous book I read from the author and it slightly bugged me.

 

With a story idea like that there could have been more. 

This is not to say I was completely unsatisfied with everything. As I´ve said, the concept is great. Even the characters were good, but good is never enough. A reader gets some character info but sadly not enough to actually know a character. Kind of like:

“Here´s a bit. There´s a bit. That should be enough. Now you can work out the rest.” 

If I´m not offered enough character detail then I can´t really form a bond with said figures.

 

Maybe not standalone material.

It would be rude of me to say the author could have turned this standalone in to a trilogy… Meeh, I´ll say it anyways: `Lucian Divine` could have easily been a great trilogy.  Because I felt I was missing big chunks of the story.  Big chunks that would have beautifully stretched the story. Instead I felt like I received a chopped off version of something grand. Granted, this isn´t necessarily a reason to give a book a lesser rating, yet I couldn´t shake the nagging feeling of needing more pages to appreciate this type of read.

 

One of those endings.

The ending wasn´t shocking or surprising. I´d say it was your typical “this is what happens to characters when they make secret deals with “God”. Mind you- A reader isn´t in the know about what goes down, and never will be. This makes the ending feel extra rushed. I´m not really a  fan of these semi happy endings but it worked for the story.


 

Would I recommend this book? Sure. `Lucian Divine` is a quick and light read that offers topics about faith, love and life. A nice romance for in between.

Would I reread this book? I wouldn´t, no.

 


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:    It´s okay.

The Story – 4 Stars:    Great story but too fast paced.

The Characters – 3 Stars:  I thought both were okay. They would have been better if a reader got more insight on them.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Not blown away.

 

3 stars



 

You can purchase `Lucian Divine` on Amazon.comLucian Divine


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Book Review: Angelfall – Susan Ee

synopsis single

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.


My Thoughts 2

Well, this book was certainly a positive surprise. Sheesh. Who would have thought that a simple book could be so mentally exhausting.

I feel like I´ve run a week-long marathon and now need like a month to recover… just because of this book.

I´m so flustered I have no idea how to sort out my thoughts.  `Angelfall`by Susan Ee knocked the wind out of my sails. Angelfall

Maybe we should begin with my first thought: This is huge. Not the book itself because it´s only 288 pages thin, but you can tell by book #1 that this story is going places ( namely, in the trilogy direction ) Because there´s so much to tell. So much that has to continue.

It´s an adventure that needs to spread it´s wings ( see what I did there? *wink* )

Yes. This is an older book. And yes, I don´t care about that because the publication date has nothing to do with the story.

The story, yes ( I got sidetracked for a second there )

In a town infested with Angels we find a young girl fighting for survival and trying to find her sister, who´s been abducted by… ( Yeah, find that out yourself ) and turns to the only being who she thinks can help her-  Raffe… the angel. ( He´s not THE angel. He is for me, though )

And after that it´s all BOOM and BANG and more BOOM. Not a moment of boredom popped up.  There was so much going on and I had little time to catch my breath.

And the best part? The story was so well thought through and cleverly executed. I don´t want to know how long the author needed to set the plot and draw out the specifics. It feels like she needed years because nothing was left out.

The story was so great that I ditched my zombie apocalypse preparations and started mentally preparing myself for an angel apocalypse ( because you always have to be prepared ).

As for the characters:

We meet a young girl who was forced to mature fast due to her family situation. Penryn is tough, brave and bold and so… committed. She´s a great role model for readers of all ages. And the way our young protagonist goes about the world and her situation is fantabulous.

Raffe is… an angel ( no pun intended ). He´s literally an angel. A broken one at that. Aside from his stunning appearance his positive traits stink to high heaven ( I´m on a roll tonight, aren´t I? ) He´s kind, compassionate but also slightly mysterious. Shit… He´s just a great character. And from now on I´m going to compare Raffee´s character to every other book angel.

Now, with all the action and excitement going on in this book ( trust me, there´s plenty ) there´s still a romance. It´s faint but it´s there. And it´s just grand because for once (!!!) an author decided to focus on a story instead of turning a story into a sappy romance ( * giving stinky evil eye * yes, I´m looking at you, A Court Of Thorns And Roses ). Y´all know by now that I do love me some great romance but when there´s a lot at stake you don´t need to focus on love. You need to focus on not getting your ass grilled.

FYI: Brutal cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers, especially this one. It means I have to buy the next book or else I´ll be in a pissy mood.

I´m just happy. Be happy for me that I´ve finally found some happiness with a read. It´s been so long * insert dramatic cry*


Would I recommend this read? Yes. It´s a young adult that doesn´t feel like one. It´s a survival story with a hint of romance that has great characters. And angels. Well, it has Raffe. And I´m his new cheerleader. Just buy the damn book. And buy the others as well.

Would I reread this book? Yes!


 

The Cover – ? :  I´m not really sure what to think of the cover. At first glance it looks pretty. But if you take a closer look the wings look cheap and the wood wall confuses the flippin´ foo foo out of me. That tagline, though. OOOOOOOH, Imma loving that.

The Story – 5 Stars: Because it´s just one of those epic stories.

The Characters – 5 Stars: Yes. The angel got to me. Everyone else was great.

My emotional state after finishing this read: My heart… It´s all over the place.

5 stars

Buy the book! Amazon.com     ◊    Amazon.co.uk


 

Book Review: The Black Witch – Laurie Forest

synopsis single

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.


My Thoughts 2

This will be the hardest review I´ve ever written. Not because I´m not able to find the right words to describe my feelings towards this book – It´s more because I´m not able to form any thoughts without spoiling this story. And I feel that whatever I will say will most definitely spoil a good portion of the story. * sigh *

That´s why I´ll just tell you to read the synopsis very carefully. What´s revealed there is more than enough to either whet your reading appetite or to turn you off. black witch

What I will throw into this review is the fact on how controversial this book is. I see lots of people hating or loving `The Black Witch` ( The Black Witch Chronicles #1 ) by Laurie Forest. I found the story itself great. So great I´m actually looking forward to read more. You won´t get your every day, typical witchy read with this one because the story is dark and carries topics that evoke strong feelings from readers.

The characters are, in my opinion, strong and very diverse. Also good to mention would be the slow character development. Although this is something that usually brings me to the brink of insanity I found myself enjoying the slow growth. It added depth to the story. To a story that´s already interesting and exciting.

Now, as for the controversial issue: I don´t mind books that tackle strong and often unlikable topics. I can oversee these while reading and just appreciate a story for what it is: A story about a witch. ( that´s in a nutshell, y´all. I can´t go into more details, I SWEAR!) It´s a fantasy with magic and all.

With that being said- If you´re a reader who wants their Heroes / Heroines squeaky clean and completely flawless then `The Black Witch` might not be for you. There are no hearts and flowers or rainbows and unicorns here. Also- If you´re the sensitive type then just go ahead and skip this read. There´s no reason to read this book knowing full well you´ll be appalled.

If you´re like me and can set your own personal beliefs aside then go for it. Have fun with the story. Just keep in mind that it´s not for everyone. You´ll either love it, like it or hate it.


 

The Cover – 5 Stars: This is the type of cover I would love to see more often. It´s quality. The whole thing is just harmonious.

The Story – 4 Stars: The story isn´t anything new but I did enjoy the vibe it gave. Plus the writing was great.

The Characters – 4 Stars: Although I did have a few hiccup moments I ended up loving these characters for who they were. Without them- the story wouldn´t have been what it was.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Excited for the next installment.

4 stars

Buy the book! Amazon.com ◊ Amazon.co.uk


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Book Review: A Curse So Dark And Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

synopsis single

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


** Copy kindly provided by Bloomsbury Children´s via Netgalley in exchange for my opinion **

My Thoughts 2

I like fairy tale retellings. So much so that I´d drop whatever I´m reading just to dive head first in a pimped fairy tale. What some might not be aware of is that this book is more than just a retelling. It´s more or less a mash up of two popular stories with a pinch of the authors own signature.

Beauty & The Beast meets A Court Of Thorns And Roses

I´m not mad about the mash up, though. I thought `A Curse So Dark And Lonely` was an interesting read. I´m pretty sure the story will find it´s devoted crowd once it hits the shelves. But for me… I wasn´t entirely impressed. A Curse so dark and lonely

Beauty & The Beast belongs to one of my favorite fairy tales. I´m just a sucker for Stockholm syndrome romances. But this book leaned more towards ACOTAR. Which is fine. I didn´t have the hots for ACOTAR ( or for the series, for that matter ) but I did like what Brigid Kemmerer did with the ideas from ACOTAR that inspired her.

(Note: I´m just assuming the author was inspired by A Court Of Thorns And Roses. I could be wrong. I could be right. It just feels like the author was heavily inspired by Sarah J. Maas´s books )

With that being said:

I did enjoy `A Curse So Dark And Lonely` to a certain degree. It has it´s adventurous moments. It´s cheasy. There was a romance.  Things I appreciate when reading fantasies.

What I truly enjoyed were:

  • The details. The author has a knack for coloring out details. I felt there was no detail overkill what so ever.
  • The strong characters.
  • The plot twist. Although the story was predictable, I still enjoyed out the story panned out.
  • This is an admirable sized story. One I read through with ease due to it´s great pace.

Yet, there were some things about the story / it´s characters I had troubles accepting:

  • The Heroine´s disability. Harper, a bad ass teenager, suffered from cerebral palsy. Although this was mentioned more than once throughout the story I still felt like it was added dead weight. Unnecessary. While I´m not against including characters with certain disabilities… I´m not for including a disability for the sake of drama. Harper´s cerebral palsy did not affect the character nor the story in any way.
  • The Hero wasn´t convincing. I´m all for screw – up Heroes to see the light but for me, Rhen didn´t come across as genuine even when he saw the light.
  • The story, as a whole, felt a little flat and it also felt like it was all over the place. This is a fairy tale retelling. I should be sitting on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I should have suffered with and for the characters and I should have lived through their personal hell. I should have, but I didn´t.

 

This might sound confusing but… I didn´t think `A Curse So Dark And Lonely` was a terrible read. It wasn´t what I´m normally used to and it certainly wasn´t what I had expected. I´m sad to say that this story didn´t touch me the way I hoped it would.

 

Would I recommend this read? For fans of ACOTAR, absolutely. For fans of fairy tale retellings, yes. If you´re picky ( like me ) then, no.

Would I buy this book? Probably not.

 

The Cover – 5 stars: I fell in love with the cover the moment I spotted it on Netgalley.

The Story – 3 stars: A little flat. A tiny bit scattered. I liked it but would have like it more if there was a little more structure and depth.

The Characters – 3 stars: I´m torn. The main characters were strong but they had sides to them that either didn´t fit or didn´t feel genuine. I liked them but I also didn´t feel enough for them.  The sub characters were great, though.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Not impressed.

I´m giving `A Curse So Dark And Lonely` by author Brigid Kemmerer 3 out of 5 stars.

3 stars


Title: A Curse So Dark and LonelyA Curse so dark and lonely
Author:  Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children’s
Expected publication: January 29th 2019
ISBN:  1681195097 (ISBN13: 9781681195094)

 

 

 

 

Book Review- Belle: A Retelling Of Beauty And The Beast by Cameron Dokey

synopsis 2

Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters’ awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one’s true love. 

During a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood — and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Charming. Enchanting. Easy for the mind. 

 

It was the beautiful cover that got me interested in this book. That, and the fact that I was on vacation and didn´t really want to read a book with 350+ pages. Instead, I picked this 204 page novel with the stunning cover.

As for the story….

Belle` by author Cameron Dokey is a simple and uncomplicated retelling of `Beauty And The Beast`. There´s nothing heavy or highly emotional about this retell. Belle

I would guess that adding overly dramatic scenes would have demanded more pages… so it´s no surprise that this book wasn´t the full-blown romance we´ve all come to love.

While the story was good ( as one would expect it to be. It´s Belle and the Beast! ) it still differed from the versions we have branded into our brains.

Belle´s life is different. The whole story has been worked on, giving us readers an altered Belle with 2 living parents and kind siblings.

The added family theme was a nice change of wallpaper. The details were ( to a certain point ) perfect. All was okay about this retelling version except for the subtle / not so subtle issues.

I´m a fan of details. In `Belle` I received a well-balanced flow of character development and details, which I fully appreciated. As I enjoyed the great story-build-up I also felt the amount of pages I had left to read. A little spooky when knowing there´s actually SO MUCH MORE to the story. I was a little over 100 pages in to the book and I was still reading about everything except for the Beast.

But I had faith. The book might be only 204 pages thin but there was still enough room to add the Hero. And that´s where I began to be bothered. The Hero is usually introduced after the first few pages, if not, then surely after the second chapter. From the point where Hero and Heroine meet there´s some sort of connection development from there on. In `Belle`there was nothing of the sort.

And when Belle and Beasts golden moment arrived I was slightly disappointed. Because it wasn´t as drawn out as I had thought it would be. It was actually short-lived and questionable, to say the least.

Even the big end scene wasn´t drawn out, as it should have been. In fact- The moment of moments was cut short. Belle and her family received lots of limelight and the Beast received a few pages. Correct me if I´m wrong- Doesn´t it add to the dramatic scene when drama is included? Thoughts on this, anyone?

The author has one thing going for her: Her writing style. It´s simple but romantic. It´s colorful and soft. Actually fitting for fairy tales. I found myself falling for her words and enjoying the way she wields them in her story.

What´s missing is balance and pace. Those two aspects drove me bonkers while reading `Belle`.

This is a complicated review to write because on the one side I experienced wonderful characters and great details. Character development plays a huge role in books as it gives a story life. Crappy characters = crappy story ( no matter if it´s a retelling or not ).

But on the other hand, the imbalance and slow pace – turned – fast pace were confusing and made my reading experience odd.

Would I recommend this book? I would. But only if readers approach this read without expecting anything major.

Would I reread this book? Probably not. I´ll stick with the other versions I´ve read.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( Stunning )

The Story – 3 stars ( It´s basically Beauty and the Beast fanfic. I appreciated some parts while I didn´t appreciate the technical sides )

The Characters – 4 stars ( I can´t stress this out enough: character development is everything. It´s what a reader gets in this read.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Meeh.

3 stars

This book is available on Amazon.com

 

Morgana´s Book Box Instagram Book Feature for `Belle` by Cameron Dokey