Review: Dancing With The Devil by Keri Arthur

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Series: Nikki and Michael #1
Publisher: Dell
Release Date: July 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.





Up until this point the only books by Keri Arthur I've read were her Riley Jenson and Dark Angels series. I'm so glad that I found out about her other characters.

Nikki is a private investigator with psychic capabilities. She's been hired by a local mogul to find his troubled daughter. Michael is someone who kind of just pops into Nikki's life. He has his own psychic abilities. And he has his own agenda. He comes in offering to help Nikki with her case because he's on the hunt for the man who is with the daughter Nikki is looking for. Things aren't really what they seem. Nikki is taking on more than she can chew with this case. And Michael has secrets that could be deadly.

Both of these characters have a lot of personal issues that they need to overcome. However there is an undeniable spark between the two of them. Nikki has a lot of trust issues she needs to overcome. But with her powers and leading a hard, troubled life after her mother died, no one can really blame her. No too mention, Michael just comes out of the blue and wants her to trust him inexplicably. Which is obviously just not going to work out for either of them. Most people don't trust blindly, Nikki even less so. And Michael is hiding things from her which makes it even harder for Nikki to trust him.

I think that this book really set up the rest of the books in this series. It really gives a true beginning to Nikki and Michael's relationship. Things are bumpy and very uncertain between these two. Sometimes that spark just isn't enough. And it seems like in this case, it definitely isn't. We have a good ending that gives a lot of possibility for the next book and it leaves us with a major cliffhanger. You'll definitely want to check this book out.


Review: Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep

Monday, July 29, 2013
Series: Mythos Academy #5
Publisher: K-Teen
Release Date: July 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.





Midnight Frost is the latest installment in the Mythos Academy series. Gwen is dealing with the aftermath of the Reaper attack and Logan, her "estranged" boyfriend killing her. Of course it wasn't Logan's fault and other than some rather realistic nightmares Gwen is fine. But after the attack, Logan took off with his dad and hasn't spoken to Gwen since. Although Logan leaving and the whole situation that happened with the Reapers is still on Gwen's mind, she has a lot of other stuff to deal with. She's still Nike's champion, Nicodemus was poisoned by a Reaper trying to hurt Gwen and the only antidote is in the Rocky Mountains.

So Coach Ajax, Oliver, Daphne, Carson, and Gwen take off on a mission to get the antidote to save Nicodemus' life. They actually stay at another branch of Mythos while making plans to find the antidote. While in route to Mythos, they're attacked by a group of Reapers and they get unexpected help from a girl who attends the school.  Even though Rory helps, there is something about her that Gwen just can't place. Rory has heard of Gwen and is pretty cold to her even though Gwen can't figure out why. They begin their hike up the mountain with some help from some of the locals and the trip isn't anything like what they expected. Not only do they come across some deadly creatures, Gwen is certain that someone is following them.

The progression in this book so good. I like where the story is heading. Gwen did get another meeting with Nike and she's getting some more idea to what she really needs to do in order to defeat Loki. We also get a bit of Gwen's family history, which is pretty interesting because we haven't really had a lot of information up until this point. I just finished this book and I'm already looking forward to finding what happens next. 

Review: Haunted by Kelley Armstrong

Friday, July 26, 2013
Series: Women of the Otherworld #5
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Release Date: May 2005
Reviewed by: Amber R.






This story in the Women of the Otherworld series focused completely on Eve. Which I know sounds weird but apparently there is a whole bunch of stuff going on in this ghostly world that I didn't realize existed.

As we all know, Eve died and Paige became the guardian of Eve's daughter Savannah. We've had a good mix of story this far. And delving into Eve's story in the afterlife is definitely interesting. There are different levels of the afterlife. Some people become ghosts and life in this almost parallel ghostly universe to the real world. They do specific jobs that the Fates hand out and take care of other tasks. However, they get to hang out with each other too. And there are some angels, some people get punished and are sent to different levels of hell. Basically there is a whole lot going on.

Eve is part of our ghostly parallel afterlife. She's working on certain things for the Fates. Kristoff is actually there as well. And Eve and him are pretty friendly in the afterlife. Although Eve has become a ghost she's dead set (pun intended) on getting in contact with Savannah, trying to protect Savannah, and just trying to keep tabs on her to make sure she's alright. Her main goal is to somehow cross back over and be able to speak with Savannah directly. To say that she has been unsuccessful is putting it mildly. And although she's on the hunt for a new way to contact her, the Fates have other things in store.

The Fates recruit Eve to hunt down a Nix, a part demon entity who inhabits certain peoples minds in order to get them to cause havoc. Basically she pushes and coerces them to go on these crazy mass murder killing sprees. The Fates have been trying to capture this Nix since they accidentally let her escape many years before but have not found the right ghost/demon/angel whoever, to capture her. For some reason they think Eve is right for the job and put her on the hunt with some angelic help from Trisiel. While Eve thinks this case is open and close, she's met her match in the clever Nix who is not willing to give up so easily.

I really enjoyed this book although I do want to say I didn't enjoy Eve's story as much as I've enjoyed Paige and Savannah's in the past. I think that her pov while interesting didn't really grab me in like the other books in this series have done in the past. However, I'm really interested in reading the next installment in this set. I like how the books focus on specific women in the paranormal world and we get glimpses of several different stories all together in one series.



Recap of: Kiss of Venom by Jennifer Estep

Thursday, July 25, 2013
Series: Elemental Assassin #8.5
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: July 22, 2013
Source: Gifted by Amber I. :)
Reviewed by: Amber R.




As we all know, Jennifer Estep came sliding into our hearts from the beginning with her Elemental Assassin series. EA has been a smash hit from the beginning and if you've been reading this series or following our reviews then we all know about Gin Blanco and her relationship with Owen. It took a turn for the worst when Owen's psychopathic ex showed up in town intent on destroying everyone.

In this novella that gives us that Jennifer style we all know and love, we get to see why Owen really acted the way he did about the entire situation. Which ended up more from guilt than anything else. However, I can't leave anything alone and I'm naturally suspicious. So it just makes me wonder if this was done just so that, we as the reader, don't hate him because of the way he acted? I don't know but it's definitely something to think about. It just seems like it gives him an out. However, Owen was always a good guy so who knows? Maybe this is just him showing us that he really is that guy.

Either way if you're into the EA series (which you should be) you should read this to get some insight. And we definitely get into Owen's psyche. If you're looking for an explanation as to why Owen was such a PIA in the last couple books, this gives you that answer.



Review: The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Series: The Hollows #6
Publisher: Eos
Release Date: February 2008
Source: Library
Reviewed by: Amber R.
 


I can't believe Rachel Mariana Morgan. I can't  believe her and I love her. And she's a little scary too. But mainly awesome. Rachel finds out a lot of things about herself in this book that she didn't necessarily want to know. I really feel that this book was the book that switched things for Rachel. Things have gone from this crazy high level of what things were to something that was never even on the radar before.

Trent is making himself even deeper ingrained in Rachel's life, much to her dismay. She really hates that guy. And I hate to say it but I really kind of want them to end up together. Even though they basically hate each other right now. After what happened in the last book though, Rachel is taking things slowly and trying to heal from the heartbreak. Also her and Ivy are working hard to solve the murder of someone very near to both of them. We get to see their relationship come into this new age of love and cohesiveness, which I think is really cool. We get a lot of Rachel's familial background in this book and we find out more about what Trent's father did to her. And we get to see Rachel's mom a lot too. I really love that lady, she's kooky and crazy and a complete bad ass.

Rachel is off into the ever after in this book on the hunt for the demon Al's blood sample and Trent tags along to search for an elven sample he needs as well. Trent comes along without Rachel's blessing. He basically forces the issue. And she has no choice. So not only does she have to try to sneak into the ever after so that no demons try to take her but she also has to cover Trent's ass. And if we think that's going to go smoothly well we're just wrong. Oh and they have to get in and out within a specific time frame.

I know I keep saying it but this series is absolutely one of my top favorite series ever. I have no idea why I haven't read it before. If you haven't picked this up yet, it's a must read. I'm continuing on in this series because I really need to know what happens. Such an amazing book, definitely one of my favorite books that I've read this year.

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Friday, July 19, 2013
Series: Divergent #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: February 2012
Source: Amazon
Reviewed by: Amber R.





I read this book in less than a day. If you know anything about me by now it should be that the better a book is, the more it drags me into the story, the faster I read it. Divergent is the story of Tris, a girl who leaves her family, everything she's ever known, to become one of the most brave people in this world.

This is almost a dystopian novel, but it seems definitely post apocalyptic in a lot of ways. The place where Tris is from is divided into 5 factions. Each of those factions provide a different service or run off of specific ideals that are all part of the greater whole. When you're about 16 you have to take an aptitude test to determine which faction you would be best suited to live in. And then you get to make a choice of where you want to live. Once you make your decision you go and initiate into that particular faction. If for some reason you don't make it you're considered factionless and basically live at the bottom of the barrel.

Tris is originally from the Abnegation faction who are taught to be selfless and always think of others first. Caleb is her brother who is less than a year older than her. Her mother and father both work for the government. She has a hard time being as selfless as she should be. When it comes time for her aptitude test something goes wrong and the test is considered inconclusive because she could actually choose to be in multiple factions. This doesn't usually happen. When the time for her decision comes she should choose to stay Abnegation but she decides to become part of The Dauntless who are known for their courage and bravery. Caleb chooses to go to The Erudite who value intelligence above all else. 

When Tris makes it to the Dauntless headquarters things definitely escalate quickly. They have 3 stages of initiate and each one is harder and harder. Tris is told during her aptitude test to never ever speak about her being divergent because basically it could get her killed. But she's never really told why. During stage one of initiation all of the transfer candidates from other factions are introduced to their trainers, Eric and Four. Eric is ruthless and cold and while Four seems hard as well there is something underneath that doesn't seem quite as cold. As training progresses Tris really connects with a few of the other candidates and starts to come into her own. But as she comes into her own, her divergence shows itself. Not only that but it seems like there is something changing, something that could change everything. 

I have no idea how it took me this long to read this book. I honestly loved it so much that I'm immediately reading the next one. I love Tris and I love seeing her come into her own and completely owning who and what she is. There was so much going on in this book and so many amazing things to talk about I can't get them all out in one review. I can't explain to you how all of this ties together. And while you're reading you can literally see the strings connecting everyone and everything. As more and more of the story unfolded I was just enthralled with this book and I couldn't put it down. Don't let anyone tell you that this book wasn't good because it was better than that it was amazing.  



 

Review: Flesh and Blood by Kristen Painter

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Series: House of Comarre #2
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: October 2011
Reviewed by: Amber I.






There was so many story lines going on in this book that its going to be hard to get a somewhat sane review down. We where in the heads of Chrysabelle, Doc, Mal, Tatiana, Creek and there may be more that I am not remembering. But the story was still complex and we are introduced to more characters. Plus with all the supernaturals that cram into this book there is always something crazy going on. I am loving this series but yes there is a but I am going to go on a slight rant in a minute....

A love triangle? Really? I was so mad. And when I get upset its hard for me to see all the good the story has to offer. I mean I was really mad. I had to go look up other people's review for the next few books to see how things would go. I never do that and it irritates me that I had to. I just think Mal and Chrysabelle have enough going on that this was an unnecessary obstacle. Then to have Chrysabelle only knowing Creek for a few days saying things like she wants them both and they are both like okay I will be whatever you need to be just really drove me bananas. I can't deal with love triangles anymore. I can't do it. I like to be surprised when I read a book so its my fault for not doing the research but I just did not see that coming. Seeing her with Creek and knowing it was hurting Mal just didn't go over well with me. Okay I will end my rant.


Besides that the rest of the book was still awesome. Doc is trying to do whatever he can to get Fi back. He doesn't care who has to double cross or alley with to get there. We are introduced to some witches and we see how Doc got his curse in the first place. Dominic and some of the people from his club have major rolls in here too. Tatiana and her crew are still trying to hunt down Chrysabelle and get the ring. And Chrysabelle is still trying to find a way to break Mal's curse. And she does find it but its not going to be easy or maybe even possible. Mal starts to show more of his feelings and I love the development that him and Chrysabelle made but of coarse I couldn't totally enjoy that because of this love triangle thing.

The ending leaves you hanging. There is a huge scene that will change Chrysabelles entire life, then to save her they had to do something extreme. And we don't get to see how she handles it at all. I need to know if she is going to be super upset and blame a certain someone or not. Then the witches come in for a blow. I am definitely excited for the next book, but I need to love triangle to end. And while I am fine with multiple POV's I really do enjoy being with Chrysabelle and Mal the most, I hope in the 3rd book we get more of that. I am excited I finally started this series and can't wait to see how everything goes.


Review: For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Series: The Hollows #5
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: March 2007
Source: Library
Reviewed by: Amber R.






This series is always fast paced. No one can say that there is a dull moment in these books. The fifth book in The Hollows series is no different. From the first page of this book Rachel is in over her head. Apparently a demon crossed over the ever after and attempted to possess her body. Luckily she was able to get out of it. The demon who tried to possess her is literally insane, off her rocker. Ceri helped Rachel call the demons familiar over in order to get her under control but even that came with some backlash. There are an odd string of murders happening that the FIB pull her in on. Not too surprisingly the IS is trying to pin the murders on Rachel, simply because her old boss is a complete asshole.

From there the story just continues on, Skimmer is still trying to weasel her way between Rachel and Ivy and she's no longer playing nice. Not only that but Trent is around and he's trying to convince Rachel to be in his wedding as a bridesmaid but also security. Rachel still wants to work out some kind of blood balance with Ivy but it's not working. Kisten and Rachel's relationship gets amped up when a little blood is exchanged. And she's still trying to get rid of the focus. Which all leads up to the last few chapters of this book being completely shocking and an emotional roller coaster.

Rachel is such a tormented heroine. She wants the best for all of her friends but somehow can't see clearly enough to figure out what's best for herself. She's a bad ass witch, a great friend, and almost completely selfless. She blindly protects her friends, no matter the cost to her own life and limb. I really admire that about her. Plus she's just so majorly "screwed up". I use that loosely because I don't really see anything wrong with the way she acts but she's hurting herself in the process and there is a definite problem with that.

I love this series. For some reason the first book didn't do it for me but not continuing on in this series would have been a grave mistake. There is just such a good story in each book that keeps getting bigger and bigger with each new installment. I really can't wait to see what happens to Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks next. Easily coming out to be one of my favorite series ever.


The Amber Feature: The Sookie Stackhouse Novels

Monday, July 15, 2013







First of all let me say that I don't HATE this series, author or show. However, the last 3 books in this series were so disappointing to me. Like, disappointing enough to ruin the rest of the series for me.

Before I say anything negative I want to point out the covers of these books:

Look


How 


Cute


So cute, right? I just recently became really involved in the covers of books. But I distinctly remembering loving these covers when I first started reading this series.

Let me also say that up until Dead in the Family which is book 10 in this series, I really really enjoyed it. So for 9 books, other than a few things, I loved reading these books and I couldn't wait for the next book to come out. As soon as book 10 came out, I bought it and although it wasn't a hit for me. I figured that it was something that would pick back up in book 11. And then Dead Reckoning came out. To say that my disappoint continued would be an understatement. Book 12 and 13 were just the icing on my disappointment cake. The last portion of this series didn't have the same rhythm, love, panache, spark as the first 8 or so books. There was just something missing. I still haven't figured it out. But this is the first series, that as it continued on disappointed me more. 

The more and more I thought about this series and what could have caused the demise for me.. the more and more the culprit became clear.. (at least in my crazy fogged mind)



I couldn't help but notice right around the same time the books started to decline for me, HBO had a brand new show out called True Blood. And True Blood just happened to be based off of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Now I'm not saying that this is necessarily the cause of the downfall but I feel like it could possibly play a huge part in it. Especially because of the time frame.

I could be wrong and I've spoken to no one who would actually know what happened. Possibly Charlaine had this in her head the entire time and this is exactly where this series was always going to lead. Possibly there are other factors. And I'm sure their are thousands of other people who have read this series and loved it until the last page. But like I said, there was just something missing and this will always be the "one that got away" for me.







Review: Darkness Unmasked by Keri Arthur

Friday, July 12, 2013


Series: Dark Angels #5
Publisher: Signet Select
Release Date: June 2013
Source: Amazon
Reviewed by: Amber R.






Holy halibut! Keri Arthur has been one of my favorite, all time authors since I read her Riley Jenson series. And as soon as I started reading this series I absolutely loved it as well. A lot of build up has been coming in the last 4 books. In this 5th book we get a lot of answers. However, for as many answers we get it seems like we get at least that many questions back.

Risa is still on the hunt for the last 2 keys to make sure that the gates between the worlds don't open. Azriel is still at her side and she's still working for Hunter. Hunter has always had her own agenda but her wants have semi lined up with what Risa was doing. However, Hunter goes off the deep end when her lover is killed by some creepy, other spider type being. Risa is on the hunt for his killer even though she should really be searching for the keys. Not only does she have Hunter to deal with, Tao is battling the fire elemental that's inside him and quickly losing the battle. And to only make things a little bit easier her other best friend and roommate comes up missing. Risa's plate isn't full, she has like a whole kitchen full of things to do.

I just finished reading this book and I have to say that I'm still shocked by some of the things that happened in it. By the end of the book I was literally just slack jawed in shock. Because this is such a new book I obviously don't want to give anything away. But I really wanted to punch Risa in the end of the book. She made a choice that I completely disagree with. The logical part of me can see why she might have made that decision but the rest of me, which is like 90%, is screaming why. Honestly at this point I'm just in denial. I'm convinced that when the next book out within the first chapter she'll have changed her mind.

This is probably going on my list of best released books in 2013. There are so many things that we find out that I can't believe, I never even saw coming. And there has to be so much more coming. I absolutely loved this book.


Review: The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Series: Darkness Rising #3
Publisher:Harper
Release Date: April 2013
Source: Library
Reviewed by: Amber I.




When I finished this book I just wanted to hug it! I was so in love with the ending I almost cried. I just couldn't believe it, a love triangle where I got my way in it. Its unheard of!! How it was all done though was just so perfect and SHE PICKED THE GUY I WANTED HER TO! Ba-Bam!!!

When I started The Rising, I was planning on reading a few chapters then calling it a night. I was tired and I had to work the next morning. But like with almost every Kelley Armstrong books I have ever read once I started I couldn't stop. This last book in the series is just epic. Its beyond anything I can describe. I am in total fan girl mode over it. And you know what was the coolest part (besides my guy winning) was that some of her characters from her adult series are in here or mentioned and the characters from Darkest Powers books play a big part. It made this book even more amazing! I loved both those series and I love the fact that her adult series and her YA series kinda mashed up a bit. So so awesome!

If you haven't read her other YA series Darkest Powers I really think you should start with that. I guess you don't have to but I think its how it should be done. I really hope she writes more in this world even if we have to switch characters. If you have only loved her Adult series then you should really give this a try. It has so many different paranormals and the story lines are all so well developed and just plain awesome!

I can't talk too much about this book without giving a lot away. If you have already started this series then you need to hurry and read this. Its the best one out of the trilogy and it will leave you with a smile on your face. Of coarse everything isn't 100% in the end but it'll still leave you with good feelings. I am kinda sad I read this so fast because I could've enjoyed it longer if I took my time. One day I will re-read this YA series again just to enjoy it more.








Author Spotlight: Jennifer Estep

Wednesday, July 10, 2013



We here at AwesomeSauce decided that we needed to show a bit of extra love to Jennifer Estep today. Both of us have read and loved Jennifer's UF Elemental Assassin series. That series is a crazy, emotional roller coaster ride. But it's so amazing and definitely one of those series that stick with you. You want to read it over and over again. It's one of those ones that you want to forget all about so you can read it again without knowing what's going to happen.


 



Not only does Jennifer have the amazing UF series but she also has a kick ass YA series. Mythos Academy is a YA series but it definitely has more grit than most others. I'd have to say that this series is just as good as her UF series. I don't really feel like you're missing anything because it's YA. The story is gripping and something that everyone would need to at least try.









If you want to get in contact with Jennifer and follow her on social networking sites, the links are below. Not only does she write amazing books but she's super funny and gracious. Definitely check her out!



My name is Jennifer Estep, and I’m the New York Times bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series, and the Bigtime paranormal romance series. - See more at: http://www.jenniferestep.com/#sthash.6qXbPnG8.dpuf

My name is Jennifer Estep, and I’m the New York Times bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series, and the Bigtime paranormal romance series. - See more at: http://www.jenniferestep.com/#sthash.6qXbPnG8.dpuf
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