Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted […]
Wheels Gone Cats PUBLISHER: PARLIAMENT HOUSE PRESS Synopsis In a future where violence is encouraged and duels are required by law, Dathin Long has the answer: devolution. He proposes a medical procedure that will restore humanity to the state of primal bliss—to pure reptilian instinct, before […]
By law, any child born in Idara is free, even if that child is born in a slave brothel. But as Cinder grows into a beauty that surpasses even that of her mother and grandmother, she realizes that freedom is only a word.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Of Sand And Storm
Series: Fairy Queens #5
Author: Amber Argyle
Publication Date: August 11, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
Page Count: 175
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★★
“She was the wind, and wind could never be caged.”
After reading Cinder, the name Cinder had been killed for me, but the main character in this book totally redeems it.
Of Sand and Storm is a very dark, and oppressive story. Sex trafficking holds a strong undertone throughout and ensnares the reader in the devastating realm it creates. It is not an easy read, because of this reason, as the reader is placed directly into the bowels of the beast.
Cinder, along with her mother and grandmother, are held in a brothel. While Cinder is “freeborn,” her life certainly doesn’t reflect it. Her “Mother” (as she prefers her “proteges” to call her,) Zura, holds her family’s enslavement and situation against Cinder. Zura coerces her into servitude by threatening her mother and grandmother’s livelihood. (Not that Ash and Storm had much, to begin with anyway.)
Cinder’s character is phenomenal. She is challenged at every angle, with HARD decisions. Yet, she remains true to herself and is willing to lay everything down for those whom she loves. This is a major theme throughout this book series, and I’m really appreciative of that. Many books nowadays focus on antiheroes, and their characters have little-to-nothing to offer. They don’t help the reader to think, to internalize, and to grow as a person. It is without a doubt that Of Sand and Storm does this.
Darsam is a wonderful and redemptive hero character. He seems shady and shallow at first, but his role in the plot requires him to be so. I won’t reveal why here–I guess you’ll just have to read it and find out.
The plot line is depressing, but there is so much which comes from that aspect and is turned into good, making this a valuable and engrossing read.
Audiobook Review: Read December 2017
I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
This is my second time reading Of Sand and Storm. I read the entire Fairy Queens series towards the beginning of 2017 and absolutely fell in love with the plot, characters, world-building, and writing style. Listening to the audiobook version of Of Sand and Storm made me rethink my original ratings of this book, as well as the rest in the series. My conclusion is that I don’t think I rated these books high enough. Whether it’s due to being reintroduced to this fantastic story or reliving Cinder’s experience by hearing her tale, Of Sand and Storm yet again, knocked me off my feet.
Of Sand and Storm was narrated by Elizabeth Evans. She did a fantastic job of bringing this story to life. Her voice matched the characters well and did not possess overpowering or distracting qualities to the plot or characters themselves. While there weren’t many tonal differences between characters, her dictation of them was easy to follow as the correct emotional variances were portrayed at the appropriate times.
Overall, I thought this audiobook was very easy to listen to, and the plot even more powerful the second time through.
My Rating: ★★★★★
Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault Publisher: Parliament House Press Some see it… Some don’t… People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among […]
Nine While Nine
Publisher: Parliament House Press
Isabeau Finne’s perfect world utterly unravels when she meets Death’s right-hand man one fateful night, spiraling her life into a world of chaos and the impossible.
Suddenly, she is no longer Isabeau and becomes part of the most secretive inner-workings of Death itself, as well as an otherworldly dominion of ancient magic.
Now beings—which we were taught as children were merely fictional creations of wildly whimsical minds—are edging their way into her world as well.
Buggans and Kobolds and Vargs…oh my!
She yearns for the simplicity of her old life—this one is full of dangers, unanswered questions, and cryptic dreams.
After one particularly anomalous dream in which she learns of the Nine While Nine Legacy, things become truly precarious.
Now, someone sees her as a risk…a threat…and wants to eliminate her.
Fortunately, she falls under the protection of Gideon—unless she leaves his territory—which is the one thing she wants the most…and wants the least.
Stasia Morineaux grew up in Southern California, pursuing faeries in the garden and seeking spirits in the local graveyard with her cat Bartleby; they also spent countless nights hunting down things that went bump!
She resettled recently in Asheville, North Carolina with her hubster and kiddoo, as well as with a bevy of creatures…both real and “imaginary”.
Mysterious dreams, copious hours of awesome music, and obscene amounts of coffee fuel her writing sessions of paranormal, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, the supernatural…and sometimes even a sprinkling of chick lit!
In her spare time she likes to relax on her balcony, feet kicked up, listening to the squirrels arguing with the crows in her woods.
The year is 2030, and climate change is making life on Earth more challenging. Fourteen-year-old Jasmine Guzman is struggling to come to terms with the abduction of her twin sister, Jade, and her mother’s illness. Things go from bad to worse when a series of […]
When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother. Partial synopsis provided […]
Shea MacNamara's life just got complicated. When a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, fifteen-year-old Shea moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he's never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes his life.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: Son of a Mermaid #1
Author: Katie O'Sullivan
Publication Date: July 15, 2015
Publisher: Wicked Whale Publishing
Page Count: 338
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Cover Artist: Cape Cod Scribe, K.R. Conway
My Rating: ★★½
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
It was like things suddenly snapped into place.
He had a mom.
He had mermaid blood.
He had a tail.
Nothing felt impossible. Not even saving the ocean.
Something about this book didn’t click for me. I’m not sure if it was the writing style, the characters, the premise, the insignificant climax, or a little bit of each. While this is undoubtedly a quick and easy read, I felt that I breezed through it without a whole lot sticking with me.
We meet Shea, a fifteen-year-old growing up in Oklahoma. When a tornado hits, he discovers that his father died in the storm. Forced to pick up his life and move to Cape Cod where is only remaining family lives. He instantly feels out of place, clearly seeing that his life on the farm is long ways away from the ocean.
One day, while walking on the beach, he meets a mysterious girl, who slips away before he can find out more about her. Through a series of events, he discovers what, and who he truly is. His new-found identity does not come without consequence. Shea quickly learns that he’s stepping into a political battlefield that has existed long before he has.
I’ll start off with the things that I liked:
#1 In tales likes these, there’s always a sense of whimsy. Being fantasy, I’d say it’s a must! While I felt rather unimpressed by the rest of what was going on, I did get that necessary sense that the fantastical was happening to Shea.
#2 I liked that the protagonist was a boy who turned out to be a merman! I think every merfolk-related book I’ve read had a female protagonist, which minor references to mermen. It was good to see the male gender being represented in this genre and reminds readers that merfolk aren’t just for females. 😉
Things I didn’t like:
#1 I thought the writing style itself, and the voices given to the young adult characters were a bit juvenile. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it seemed this book would fit more appropriately in the middle-grade genre. Many times their deliberations and interactions with one another (including the adult characters) were childlike.
#2 I’m not sure what it is about these mermaid books, but apparently insta-love is a must. I think the targeted audience needs to see examples of infatuation vs. actual love because these lines are being blurred something fierce. Beyond physical attraction (the culprit for the majority of insta-lovers) there’s nothing to ground Shea and Kae’s relationship. If these two characters are going to dive into the sea of love, (HA! quite literally) I need more explanation as to why than, “We both have green eyes and…oh yeah! We are merfolk.”
#3 The climax was completely and utterly underwhelming. I’m not even sure what happened there. There was hardly a plot to be foiled. Anyone could see that the antagonist was aiming for the crown. I simply wanted more to the entire scheme.
#4 To say a little more about the characters, I felt that some were wildly unused! For example, there is a dark sorcerer, Zen, who does next to nothing but Demyan’s bidding. I feel like his reasoning could hang over his head for a little while, but not for years and years. A person with that much power doesn’t normally sit behind someone less powerful than himself. I think he would have made a better and more sensible antagonist than anyone.
I’m not sure if I will continue on with this series or not. I’d like to see the growth and development of the writing style. However, I’m afraid it will remain the same. I guess we will see.
Vulgarity: I don’t recall any.
Sexual content: Kissing only.
Violence: There actually were some rather grotesque scenes in here. There wasn’t over-explanation, but more than I expected.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her […]