Fantasy Posts

Vala: Heritage

13691753by: J.F. Jenkins

Published: May 15th, 2012 by Astraea Press

ASIN: B0083E4UNI

From Goodreads: Jewl Dite has always struggled with her heritage. Being the daughter of the goddess of love, she questions everything about the emotion. Which is a bummer because she’s head over heels for Anj Willam, and thinks the feelings are mutual. It’s hard to be sure though when she has magic that has been known to bewitch men into devoting themselves to her. Somehow they’re able to strike a balance in their dysfunctional on-again, off-again relationship however.

This balance is disrupted however when a strange boy named Teague enters her life and brings along with him a group of demons. Demons who want to make a deal with her in exchange for the safety of everyone she loves.

Now to protect those she holds most dear, Jewl must rely on the magic she’s been trying so desperately to avoid. But at what cost? Will the boy she loves accept this dark secret, or will she lose him forever?

 

I enjoyed this novel, even though I was really hesitant going into it. I didn’t like the character of Jewl at all in the last novel. I thought she was incredibly annoying. I knew this novel would change my mind about her a little bit though and it did to an extent. I did still have some issues with her. I thought she seemed to get very angry and act out when it seemed like a few seconds before she’d only been mildly upset. Beyond that though, I did find her character a lot more relatable. I thought this was a nice continuation of the story and it gave us a better insight into things that were happening in the first one that we might not have completely understood. I didn’t fully understand Jewl’s hesitation to tell Anj about being diving. I know that he claimed to not like them, but he never had any issues with Cheyenne and Jewl should’ve know that Anj loved her completely, regardless of her background. I liked all of the backstory we got for Jewl. It really was an interesting storyline and it made her character a lot deeper for me. I think if you read the first one, this was is worth picking up as well, even if you found Jewl as annoying as I did. 😛 🙂

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Vala: Agendas

13011839by: J.F. Jenkins

Published: October 17th, 2011 by Astraea Press

ASIN: B005WNXJRG

From Goodreads: Cheyenne Loveless was just a boring sixteen-year-old girl. Then Denver Collins bit her and everything changed. Her plants start talking to her, she finds out she’s a Nymph, and a witch and the angel of death show up at her doorstep to take her away to the prestigious Vala School and Seminary. Oh, and she has no choice in the matter.
All she wants to do is blend in and return to being invisible, but the more time that passes, the harder that becomes. Plus she’s a daughter of the Divine, an exclusive secret society which rules the world of myth, and discovers she is a key ingredient to an ancient covenant created before she was born. A covenant that will reshape the order of the world.
Adjusting to a new school is difficult enough, but adding on everyone else’s hidden agendas is the icing on the cake. Cheyenne must learn to see through the lies in order to find her place — and possibly even love — in this new world.

 

I was drawn into this novel from the very beginning. I’ve always liked stories where the main character finds out they never really belonged in the place they have been all their life. I like the idea that they are destined for bigger and better things. I did have some trouble with this novel though. I thought that the fact that she could talk to plants should have been more relevant to the overall plot. I found myself kind of forgetting that was even something she could do. I wanted to know more about what it meant for her to be divine. I also found it kind of annoying that she was so attracted to almost every guy she ran into. I did like Cheyenne as a character though, I liked reading about a sixteen year old that was responsible and while she WAS attracted to all of these guys, she never wanted it to go anywhere inappropriate. I felt like the resolution came and went very quickly. I wanted a little more. I think that this author has created really interesting worlds, but we don’t always get as much information as we would like. I could tell from reading that there definitely was a lot more going on. I’d say if you’re looking for an interesting young adult fantasy novel you should pick this up though, it isn’t at all like any of the mainstream ones I’ve read, which was very refreshing. Also, every single novel that I’ve read from this author has had an absolutely stunning cover, and this is definitely no exception!

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Vala: Agendas

Legend of the Touched

14718453by: J.F. Jenkins

Pages: 355

Published:  May 28th 2012 by Astraea Press

From Goodreads: Darien and Tai Oceina have not been married for long, but already they have one of the most complicated relationships and it hasn’t even been a year yet. He is the leader of a nation and a dragon. She is carrying their first child who is supposed to be “the answer”. As Darien dives further into the politics of his people, a wedge is driven deeper between him and his wife.

Twin brothers Jason and Matthias Inero were always inseparable. For the first time in their lives they are apart from each other. Matt continues to do the will of their father, the corrupted Dragon Lord of the Inero, while Jason has fled with his bride to an island where he can forget about everything. Or try to. Being possessed by a demon makes that hard to achieve, and as the creature fights to control his body, Jason discovers a lot of shocking truths about his lineage and destiny.

The two worlds of fire and water collide as both dragon tribes prepare for war with the other. Matthias is determined to crush Darien’s people. Only an ancient spell will give Darien enough power to fight back and have any hope at winning. The spell is complicated however and requires all four dragon tribes to work together in harmony. Something that is a lot easier said than done.

 

I really liked that this story was the continuation of the other two novels, so we can see both sides of the story and how the two different types of dragon societies interact with each other. I thought it was a really interesting read and I had trouble knowing which side I should be rooting for. I could see the author’s growth as a writer in this novel. I could tell she had really fallen in love with her characters and knew where she wanted them to go. This book is longer than the previous two, but it is a very quick read. I did feel like everything was resolved too quickly and I would have liked a little more considering the investment I’d made as a reader into this series. Overall though, I think this series is great for young adult fantasy fans. Everything was tied up in this novel very nicely and I thought it was a fun and enjoyable read. Can I also just say again how beautiful I think these covers are?  🙂

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Buy this from Amazon here: Legend of the Touched (The Dragons Saga)

Legend of the Inero Dragon

13418142by: J.F. Jenkins

Pages: 180

Published: January 16th 2012 by Astraea Press

ASIN: B006YTWBRQ

From Goodreads: Twin brothers Jason and Matthias Inero are the favorite sons of the great dragon lord of fire. More often than not they get whatever they want. Matt wants to do great things for his people while Jason wants to go off and explore the world. Both can have what they desire, but not until they take a bride and enter into adulthood.

Enter Kat and Gwen, two girls from very different backgrounds. Kat is happy to leave her home when the royal guard comes to bring her to loving arms of her childhood sweetheart, Matt. Gwen on the other hand is livid to be taken from her farm only to be thrust into Jason’s life, and he’s not to thrilled with the idea either. They have one year to find happiness with each other, or else they will be placed at the mercy of the ruthless dragon lord Lynx. Favorite or not, dragon law must be obeyed.

As their nation begins to prepare for war against a neighboring tribe, the brothers find themselves as key components in the battle plans. A dark prophet has had a vision of Inero victory, but at what cost? Both must decide where their loyalties lie and what they’re willing to sacrifice – including each other – to achieve their goals.

 

This is the second in the Dragons Saga. This novel focuses on the Inero dragons, who were the enemies in the previous novel. So naturally, I went into this story wanting to hate them. Of course, as the story progressed I started to understand where they were coming from and why they did the things they did. I love stories that make me see both sides and the line between “good” and “bad” gets blurred. I also really enjoyed that this novel takes place at the same time as the other one. It really is a different view of the same period of time. I have to say, I enjoyed the way this society worked a lot better than the Oceina one. I think that the way they choose their wives is a lot better, even if the majority of those relationships don’t last. I liked that Kat and Matt were sweethearts before all of the drama occurs. I’m always a sucker for young love that’s meant to be. I also liked the way Gwen and Jason’s relationship develops. They learn to love each other even though everything is against them in the beginning.  Overall, I enjoyed this novel even more than the previous one. I think this is a great setup for what’s to come in this series and I’d say that anyone that picks the previous novel and this one up is going to want to keep going. You can’t just stop with this one! Like I said in my previous review, these are dragons like you’ve never seen before! If you’re a fantasy/young adult fan, pick these up and get absorbed into a new kind of fantasy world. 🙂

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Buy this from Amazon here: Legend of the Inero Dragon (The Dragons Saga)

Legend of the Oceina Dragon

by: J. F. Jenkins

Pages: 168

Published: February 21st, 2011 by Astraea Press

ASIN: B004OYT9AK

From Goodreads: Darien Oceina is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord of the Water. For years he’s loved and cherished Tai Dawson from afar. Tai is a simple, ordinary girl who doesn’t even know Darien exists. On his eighteenth birthday, he chooses her as his wife. But there’s one problem: She thinks his choice means she’s going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon Lord, but instead, she’s forced to move to his home, far away, to give up her life and be his bride.

When she first sees Darien after the ceremony, she doesn’t expect to feel anything but hatred toward him. The two are struggling with the complications of a new marriage when their nation is attacked by a rival dragon species. Together they learn to love one another while they struggle to stay one step ahead in a game where the prize is their survival.

 

Oh man, can I just say how much I LOVE dragons. I couldn’t wait to pick up this series. But let me also say that if you’re looking for the kind of dragons you normally read about, this is NOT the book for you. These dragons are a very different kind and I love it. These dragons spend most of their lives in human form and they have different powers, as well as being able to change into their dragon forms. They also have elemental powers. The dragons this novel focuses on are the ocean ones, which I thought was really cool. I found the relationship between Darien and Tai to be a little strange when I first started reading. Darien felt like a little bit of a stalker, but their relationship grew on me and I found myself really caring about these characters by the end. I did also have a few moments where I felt like Darien and Tai were making decisions and having to deal with things that seemed like it would be way too much for how old their characters felt to me. They felt like they were very young to me. That might have just been because I never had to deal with anything that was even close to this level of difficult when I was that age. But beyond that, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read and I found myself excited to pick up the next one. I would recommend this to young adult fantasy fans. There’s a lot of things happening in this novel and you can tell there’s a lot more to come. I think this is a great introduction to this universe and it gives the reader a great start to get them used to this type of dragon and how everything work. (Also, that cover is gorgeous!) 🙂

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Stealing Breath

by: Joanne Brothwell

Pages: 258

Published: March 8th 2012 by Crescent Moon Press

ISBN: 1937254313

From Goodreads: Deep in the backwoods of North Dakota, twenty-one year old Sarah Ross is searching for a missing child when she is attacked by a glowing-eyed, transparent… creature. Sarah survives, destroying the monster by using mysterious abilities she didn’t even know she had. Bloody and bruised, Sarah flees the scene and runs directly into Evan Valente, a handsome, charismatic stranger who helps her back to safety. But what is Evan doing out in the forest at five in the morning?

Turning to a healer, Sarah is shocked to learn her eyes bear the mark of the Indigo Child-an evolved human with the ability to feel the emotions of others. But her indigo aura also makes her an easy target for those who wish to consume her powerful essence.

Soon, Sarah is falling deeply in love with Evan and wants nothing more than to follow her heart and trust that he is the man he says he is. But she can’t ignore the lingering feeling that Evan is hiding a terrible secret. The deeper she digs, the more danger she faces, leading her on a course that will force her to face the darkest, innermost parts of her soul.

 

This book was fascinating. I loved the descriptions! Most of the time I find myself skimming when there’s a couple paragraphs of description, but these were so beautifully written that I found myself absorbed into the eeriness of the world in this book. There were a few things about this world that I wish I knew more about. I wish I had a better understanding of what it means for Sarah to be an Indigo Child and I wish I had more background on some of the other characters in the book. But overall, this was a wonderful and interesting story. I read it in about 2 days and I found myself thinking about the characters and their world when I wasn’t reading. It’s very rare that a world will stick with me like that, but this one definitely did that. I really enjoyed the love story and thought that it was a unique way for two characters to get together. It isn’t a normal kind of relationship and I found that to be very refreshing. I hope that the next novel will bring even more information about the creatures and powers that exist in this world. I can’t wait to read it. I have a hard time believing this is a debut novel for this author. It is extremely well-written. I would recommend this novel to any fantasy lover out there. 🙂 (Can I also just say that I LOVE this cover!)

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BaSatai: Outside In

by: Suzan Battah

Published: April 14th, 2012 by Smashwords

ISBN: 9781476247076

From Goodreads: Seventeen year old, Armani Radnelaq a full blooded BaSatai is plagued by a curse in her blood. A curse created from hate and designed to break the divide between two parallel worlds of Earth and H-trae when Armani’s blood is spilled in attack and she dies.

S’teuqoubs have been travelling back and forth across the divide for centuries without trouble. The BaSatai and Guardians monitoring activity and enforcing rules to ensure peace and harmony but if the divide splits and opens, a much greater number of supernatural S’teuqoubs will filter into earth destroying equilibrium which the BaSatai and Guardians will be unable to control. Humanity and the BaSatai will suffer and perish. The parallel divide must remain secure at all costs.

Armani has remained hidden on earth with her adopted father Elijah since her birth. She has been raised in the human way and fights her natural instinct to evolve into a BaSatai. The BaSatai in her requires her to evolve and shift, use her powers and strength. Yet Armani is freaked out by the need to shift. She smokes, has a bad attitude, must deal with aggressive bullies and control her natural BaSatai instinct. Her Guardian with BaSatai Warriors are coming for her. She refuses to accept her fate and doesn’t believe any BaSatai should die to protect her.

The blood curse maturing in her veins makes her a target for her enemies. Her Guardian Karhl and an elite BasSatai Warrior Rafael are the first to arrive and prepare her for her crossing over. Her attraction to Rafael complicates her purpose to stay on earth even more. They both insist she fall into line and follow their lead but she is not ready to leave earth just yet…

 

Okay, so I had a little trouble with this novel. It’s not that I didn’t find the world fascinating, because I did. The problem I had was that I didn’t know enough about it. I felt like there were things I was missing all the time. The story itself is very good and very interesting. The characters themselves are also very complex and I loved the emotions that ran so deeply through this novel. I just found myself very confused about a lot of things, and maybe that’s just something for me personally. I had trouble understanding why Armani seemed so unwilling to learn and do the things she knew would help, especially when she feels so guilty about all of these people pledging their lives to her. I also wish I had a better understand of what exactly this blood curse is and why it was necessary for her to be on Earth. Maybe these are things I missed myself. (I will admit I read this during the chaos of my graduation from college.) There was just so much about this book that I wish had been explained more. I didn’t understand why she knew so little about her people and didn’t know any others until Rafael and Kharl showed up because it seems like they had hangouts all over Earth and that their presence was quite prominent. I don’t know. I did find the world very fascinating and I definitely would want to read the next one because I am interested and want to know more about what’s happening and see if maybe some of my confusion can be cleared up. That being said the writing is very good and I did enjoy this story. I would recommend it to young adult and fantasy lovers, especially because I think some of the confusion was just me. After reading other reviews of this book it seems like I’m really the only one that had these problems so I’m hoping I get to read more and fix this. 🙂

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Buy from Amazon here: BaSatai: Outside In: Book 1 (Volume 1)

Sower of Dreams

by: Debra Holland

Published: July 29th, 2011

ASIN: B005FA30V6

From Goodreads: A Fantasy Romance endorsed by Andre Norton, The Grand Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy

“Desert and sea both provide vivid backgrounds for action and real emotion in Sower of Dreams–outstanding and well-presented fantasy, which will keep the book in one’s hands, eyes on the page–a GOOD READ.”

On present Earth, Khan Laenser is on the run from a death threat and stumbles across a secret shrine in the desert. Inside the shrine, the goddess Withea sends him to the ancient world of Kimtair to reclaim the wasted land that was once a flourishing civilization.

When Princess Daria of Seagem spurns the marriage proposal of Thadis, the king of a neighboring country, he invades. Daria flees into the desert, only to fall pray to a marauding beast. when Khan rescues her, they join forces to defeat their enemies. But will his vow to the goddess and her royal responsibilities tear them apart.

 

 

I really, REALLY enjoyed this novel. This story is very similar to a story I had running around in my head for years and this was like getting to watch it finally come to life! I really enjoyed it. Obviously, I hadn’t thought of the whole story, but the idea of being able to travel to different planets through portals and talk to other people in your dreams is an idea that I had and loved reading about. Debra did this type of story way better than I ever could have. It’s a very engaging read. The emotions feel incredibly real, and so do the different settings. Everything is so vividly described that I could really lose myself in the world and the events. Both the hero and heroine are unique, even by science fiction and fantasy standards. Daria is strong and fully devoted to her people and doing what’s right. She’s a great heroine and while she goes through so many emotional trials, she manages to stay strong and be someone that I found myself really liking. Khan is a fantastic hero. He is willing to help Daria and fight for her to the death. He’s also incredibly sweet and caring. He’s the kind of guy anyone would be lucky to find themselves with. This story is one for science fiction and fantasy lovers as well as romance lovers. The world is rich and the characters are deep and lovable. It’s a very refreshing read that’s different from most of the stuff out there today. I would definitely suggest picking this up if you’re looking for something new to read. Oh, and I hope I get to read book two! 🙂

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Dragons Among Us

by C. L. Kraemer

Published August 2nd 2010 by Rogue Phoenix Press

ASIN: B003Z0D2SY

From Goodreads: In a world full of anomalies such as the platypus and self reproducing Komodo dragon, is the human race willing to accept that dragons may be real? Sapien Draconi-human-dragon shape shifters-all over the world face this dilemma every day. The question has become life and death as their species is plagued with unexpected and unwanted shifting in the most unlikely of places. The Ancient Ones-full-blooded dragons-can offer advice, but few seem to put forward workable solutions to the problem. The fate of the shape shifters hangs in the balance, and an answer must be found before the Homo Sapiens find, dissect, and hunt Sapien Draconi to extinction.

This novel is very well written. It’s funny and the words flow and are very easy and fun to read. The whole concept of the novel, the shape-shifting dragons, is a unique twist on classic fantasy. I really enjoyed reading about the challenges these kind of creatures would go through, especially ones that didn’t know they had the ability to shift. There were lots of characters in this story that I really found myself caring about. The only problem I found was that there were so many different stories going on that I had trouble keeping track sometimes. All of them were very entertaining and fun to read, it just became hard to keep up with the number of characters and story lines that were happening simultaneously. At the end of the novel, they did all seem to tie together, but not everything seemed resolved to me. I can say I enjoyed all of the stories though, and would definitely read the next one. I would recommend this to any fantasy lover. It is also set in modern day, so these dragons have the availability of the internet to keep in communication with each other. I thought this added a fun aspect to a fantasy novel, especially one involving dragons, that you don’t normally see. I would definitely recommend this book, with only the warning that it can become confusing with all of the different story lines. 🙂

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Odessa (The Seraphym Wars Series)

by: Rebecca Ryals Russell

Kindle Edition

ASIN: B004UCDNEE

**This review contains spoilers**

I really wanted to be able to get into this book. The descriptions of places and events were wonderful and made me feel like I was actually there, but I still wasn’t able to immerse myself in the story. I think this was because a lot of things occurred without any explanation as to why or how that was happening. I felt like I was missing something a lot of the time. Of course this could be attributed to the fact that Myrna herself is confused through most of the story, but I just wanted more things clarified and more explanation. For example, we never see the event that allows her to remember her training. I also was disappointed with the way things ended. Almost nothing was resolved, but I can only assume that means that the next book in the series does more explaining. Still though, I felt as if some of my questions should have been answered in the first book. While I enjoyed the writing style of the book, some of the dialogue felt choppy to me. But otherwise I enjoyed the characters and felt myself caring about them. Dracwald is definitely an interesting and vivid world. I wouldn’t mind revisiting this world if I knew some of my questions were going to be answered and more things were going to be explained. If you are a young adult or fantasy fan I think you would most likely enjoy this story if you were willing to fill in some of the gaps with your own guesses and ideas. This is also a very Christian story, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding whether or not to read this book. Personally, I enjoyed the Christian elements. I feel like it was really well written otherwise and this author knows how to make her prose flow very well. I would definitely be interested in reading another one of her books to see if maybe I could more easily immerse myself in those. 🙂

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Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , , ,