Tuesday, 31 January 2012

To Urn Her Love- Review by Andrea

Author: Elaina Lee

Published by Astraea Press

To Urn Her love is a story about finding love in strange places.  When Caylie Abrams' little brother decides to help her out by stealing a weird looking vase to sell, he places his sister in a predicament she never could have dreamed of. 

Rick Marshall was her fantasy, the ultimate one that got away.  Her humiliation over his rejection so many years ago has lessened, but never fully healed.  Now that they have been thrown together by circumstances that nobody could have predicted, can they make their past wrong right?

I'm not usually a fan of shorter works.  I find that the shorter length usually either doesn't allow enough detail for me to be interested, or is a frustratingly brief start to a story that could have been better told in a full length novel. 

Not so for To Urn Her Love.  From page one, I was captivated by the characters that Elaina Lee has woven with so much detail they could leap off the page.  The story unfolds with the right amount of back story to keep it interesting and let us know the characters, yet still gains momentum towards the major plot in a satisfying manner.

There are dashes of wry humour throughout, which made me laugh and enjoy the story more than if it had been a more serious tale - which; given the object around which the story centres, it could have easily been.

The central character, Caylie is at some points heartbreakingly real.  Saddled with far too many responsibilities, she took me on a journey that, although brief was satisfying and left a smile on my face.  I'd recommend it for anyone wanting a lighthearted, fun read, and hope to see more from Elaina Lee in the future.

Captivated (An Affliction Novel) – D. Apodaca

Dean tilted his chin up and smiled. “I have no fangs.”

He said through his teeth.

I examined the glistening white canines. They were normal, just like mine. “You retract them when you don’t need them.” I said.

            Dean moved across the table and put his face up to mine. His mouth was a torturous breath away from my own. “Then why haven’t I sucked your blood Lina?” He whispered right before pressing his soft pale lips against mine. Then he inched towards my neck and lingered his lips on my pulse. His soft breathing tickled my skin and triggered a chill that shot up my spine. My blood jumped to a rush and began to throb for him. If he were a vampire, i swear I’d let him suck me. “why aren’t I biting you right now?” He whispered. It took everything i had in me not to melt into the sea and land as a puddle on the ground.

I give praise to Apodca for Captivated. For me it lived up to its title. It really was a captivating story.  

There were several different relationships  evolving around Mindy and the one that stood out most to me was the relationship Mindy had with Markus. There was no hint at any kind of romance ever existing between them. I loved the way Markus looked out for Mindy and he treated her with respect. He came across as her older brother. The one who loved her and did everything in his power to protect her.

Dean was a really interesting character. Throughout the entire story Mindy was led to believe he was a vampire. Markus was the one who led her to believe this and he told her to keep away from him. Mindy fell in love with Dean and they started dating, only for a short period of time as Dean was trying to protect her by distancing himself from her.

By the end of the story Dean was revealed in a new light, one that I never expected. The ending had so many unexpected things occur without me realising them earlier.

Not knowing all of Dean’s background, apart from the beginning that explains the death of his parents, made the story that much more interesting. It really made Dean stand out because we knew so little about him, but what we did know was enough.

I can’t wait to see where Apodaca takes the story in the next instalment of the Affliction series.


The Adventures of the Magnificent Seven – David Roth

Their names are Lisanne, Josël, Kristof, Anton, Sabas, Dak, and Alyse, but they’re far better known by their travelling name, 'The Magnificent Seven.' Best friends for life, if you find one of them, odds are you’ll find the other six. Children of far reaching and vivid imaginations, their creative fantasies have taken them to such places as the circus, the Orient Express, white water rafting, and outer space. What always starts as an adventure in the real world quickly becomes an adventure of the imagination for them, with a mystery to solve.

This book is aimed at tweens. It was full of adventure, imagination and very creative fantasies. It reminded me of when I was a kid, playing games and pretending to be anywhere in the world on my very own adventure.

It was something I struggled to read mainly because it wasn’t aimed for someone my age to read. If I were back in my late primary school/early high school years I would defiantly have loved this book.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

In The Land of Winter – Margaret Sarah Bechtel

Kate wants to forget her past.

Lex wants to begin his future.

The strangers meet on an ill fated flight to Scotland, their lives and secrets collide when the plane crashes into the North Sea.

Only known survivors; Kate and Lex are stranded on an island with an old lighthouse they are forced to use for shelter.

Lex is desperate to get them both rescued.

Kate is desperate to stop him. After witnessing her fiancée murder her best friend two days before her wedding, Aimee decides to immediately flee from the life she only knows. Lost in a foreign city, Aimee comes in contact with a mysteriously handsome Italian stranger, who seems to know more about Aimee, than Aimee knows about herself. Quickly discovering that the last six years of her life have been a ...moreKate Kkdmmdo

I absolutely loved “In The Land of Winter”. It was beautiful and a heart touching story, on that I found to be a  mesmerising story of love and survival. The story only took me two days to read as I could not put it down.

Kate was a really interesting character and she was a big influence for me to keep reading. Her past drew me in. The nightmares only revealed so much but enough to keep me hanging and wanting more. Another thing I liked about Kate was the way she reacted to certain things that happened to her with Lex while they were isolated on the island.

Watching Kate opening up to Lex was touching as I could feel her hurt and confusion. After Lex’s accident she had to change her way of thinking for Lex’s sake. She was a hard person, one whom I would struggle to get along with, and I honestly wonder how Lex put up with her for as long as he did.

The setting after the plane crash had a sombre feel which really made the relationship between Kate and Lex stand out. They may have been the only people on the island, but their relationship was one that contained life, which was a huge contrast to that of the island.

Both Lex and Kate had a struggle to live on the island. Through their time together they had to trust each other and in time they fell in love. It was a bond that really took time to grow but a bond that can never be broken after all they went through together just to survive on the island but also to survive each other.

It really struck me once they were rescued at how the roles Kate and Lex always reversed while stuck on the island. It started with Lex looking after Kate after the crash then Kate looking after Lex once the old bulling collapsed on him. They took in turns looking after each other and by gathering water and caching them food to eat.

A must read for anyone who loves a good story of survival and the healing of old hurts.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Aetherwood Chronicles: Volume 1 Episodes 1-5 – Vaughn Shepherd and Bunni Darling

An anthology of the first five episodes in the Aetherwood Chronicles, a lush, intriguing world filled with sensuality and the supernatural.

This anthology combines Episodes 1 through 5, including:
Davian and Starr - Episode One: "A Charm", Pheo and Silky - Episode One: "Aos Si", Blair and Dresdin: "New Friend, Old Friend", Davian and Starr - Episode Two: "Twisted", and Pheo and Silky - Episode Two: "Raising the Stakes".

This anthology includes scenes of graphic sex, and the episode Blair and Dresdin: "New Friend, Old Friend" includes descriptions of violence and torture.

 I didn’t go for the violence and torture, the graphic sex was ok, but it was the violence and torture in Blair and Dresdin: “New Friend, Old Friend” that really turned me off. I knew vampires weren’t all like those found in “The Vampire Diaries” or those in “The Twilight Saga” but these vampires were something I found disgusting and terrifying. The torture was cruel and inhumane. How any mortal could go through what they go through is well beyond me.

Davian and Starr’s story I could handle but I did find certain things that Davian did was a major turn off. Starr was an interesting character. It was only in the episode “Twisted” that we learn she is only a mortal who is a slave to a vampire named Ben. There is also a ghost in the story who Starr says basically raised her. That is something I found to be of interest as during the previous episode “A Charm” there was another conscious she was wary of.

 As I read through the episodes I found a love for Pheo and Silky. I really fell for their story at the beginning. It was one that stuck out to me because they are not vampires and Silky isn’t exactly a normal human. She is a Selkie, which I gathered is she is a type of fairy.

Pheo and Silky’s story continued on in “Raising the Stakes” and I was very disappointed.  I was hoping to learn more about the fae and selkie, but all Pheo and Silky did was have sex. It really lost my interest once it became apparent this whole episode was all about them exploring each other sexually.

All in all the sex really became too much for me.