Saturday, January 31, 2015

*Early Review* The Empty Throne by Cayla Kluver

Series: Heirs of Chrior # 2
Format: E-Book, 464 pages
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Anya has failed in her mission to bring Prince Zabriel back to the Faerie realm of Chrior so that he can ascend his rightful throne. Instead, Zabriel, her prince, cousin and dear friend, is standing trial for crimes committed under the false name William Wolfram Pyrite. Worst of all, the last possible heir to the Faerie throne is Illumina—the cousin Anya suspects of the foulest betrayal possible. 
In a desperate last attempt to put things right, Anya must partner with the unlikeliest of allies and venture into ever more dangerous situations if there is to be any hope of peace for her people.

*My Thoughts*

The Empty Throne is the sequel to The Queen's Choice and middle book in the Heirs of Chrior trilogy. Lead protagonist Princess Anya once again finds trouble where ever she goes. She is trying to get used to the idea that she no longer has wings, was most likely betrayed by her own kin Illumina, can never return to her home in Chrior, has lost all abilities as a water born fae, and is also responsible for losing the Fae Queen's dagger Anlace.

Anya faces a life without her cousin Prince Zabriel, the true heir to the crown, and the pirate known as William Wolfram Pyrite, thanks to being betrayed and facing death for crimes of piracy. Anya's desperation leads her to an even more dangerous drug that while leaving those who use it feeling euphoric, comes with a major cost. On top of all this, Anya is being sought out by Luka Ivanova, Lieutenant Governor of the Warchum Territory who knows her true identity, Queen Ubiqua and her fathers arrival in Warchum is just a matter of time, and Anya still has't uncovered who is responsible for the Fae being kidnapped and experimented on, or if any Fae are involved in the conspiracy to bring yet another Fae/Human war to bear.

I have to speak about Anya's growth, or lack thereof. I realize that she's a 16 year old girl folks, so let's not go there. I also realize that Anya needs time to heal from her experiences, and if she were a soldier in today's military, she would be an idea candidate for PTSD assistance. But, Anya is dangerous to ones health as anyone could possibly be. She does things that make you shake your head and hope that nobody ends up dead because of her ill timed mistakes, including using an illicit drug. I will say that right up until the end, I lost a bit of faith that Anya could do anything right, then she suddenly shows the strength that I was waiting for.

Anya finds allies in not only Zabriel who plays a major role in this story, but Spex (Fae spotter), and a 9 year old boy named Frat (Faerie Brat). Her relationship with Officer Tom Matlock steps up a notch, and they grow even closer which is what I had hoped for. Her relationship with Shea More may be back on after she joins the hunt for answers about what's really happening on Evernook Island, and Gwyneth Dementya has her own part to play. At this point, however, I wouldn't fully trust anyone in this story, except for Zabriel and Anya. Everyone has secrets. Everyone, including Luka, can't be fully trusted not to betray Anya or Zabriel. 

The Empty Throne perhaps is a bit spoilerish as a name for the title of this book. It is both apparent that something bad is going to happen, while also hinting at the mysteries that are coming your way. Throne leaves an ending that all but says, you must follow me to the end to get all your unanswered questions. So, yes I will follow the next story because there are so many mysteries that I truly want to see if any of my questions are correct, and here's hoping that Illumina gets exactly what she gave out.

**I received this book for free from (Harlequin HQN) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Stacking the Shelves* Featuring, Surprise! Lots of Books!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course eBooks!

*~*Stacking the Shelves for the week of January 25-31, 2015*~*

Thank you for visiting Gizmos Book Reviews! 
I hope you find something you like!

Received from Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Received from Tor/Forge

Borrowed Library

Received via NetGalley
<--Ace Hardcover
--->St. Martin's Griffin


<--Penguin Group/Ace

<--Harlequin Teen--->

Patchwork Press

Received via Edelweiss (Harper)


Friday, January 30, 2015

*Early Book Review* Greta and the Glass Kingdom (Mylena Chronicles #2) by Chloe Jacobs

Series: Mylena Chronicles # 2
Format: E-book, 317 pages
Release Date: February 9, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Once upon a dark time…

Greta the human bounty hunter never quite fit into the shadowed, icy world of Mylena. Yet she's managed to defeat the demon Agramon and win the love of the darkly intense Goblin King, Isaac. Now Isaac wants her to rule by his side—a human queen. And the very announcement is enough to incite rebellion…

To make matters worse, defeating Agramon left Greta tainted with a dark magick. Its unclean power threatens to destroy her and everything she loves. With the Goblin King's life and the very peace of Mylena at stake, Greta must find a cure and fast.

Her only hope lies with the strange, elusive faeries in the Glass Kingdom…if she can get there before the evil within her destroys everything.

*My Thoughts*

When Greta was 13, she tried to save her brother from a witch’s fire and ended up falling through a portal to the land of Mylena where humans are the scum of the earth. Everyone believes that humans are to blame for the constant winter conditions. For 4 years, Greta hid her identity and trained to be a bounty hunter, hunting down the Lost for money. Mylena is a world that is filled with not only goblins, but sprites, dwarves, ogres, gnomes, the elusive fairie, and other bizarre creatures.

Then, her cover was blown and she ended up meeting Mylena’s young goblin king Isaac, who invades her dreams and bonds with her like no one else before. But, let's not forget that there were other humans on Mylena as well. I shall call them Wyatt and the Lost boys to save time. As with Greta, these humans were dragged to Mylena against their will, and have been trying to find a way home ever since. They were also used as pawns in a darker scheme by the dark sith lord Agramon.

Greta and the Glass Kingdom (Mylena Chronicles #2) takes us back to Mylena, and this time we find that Greta has survived her battle with the big bad villain, Agramon, but in doing so, his dark magick has caught the Greta train and latched on for the ride and flares up whenever she is stressed or threatened. Except for the dark magick, and the fact that she's not supposed to hunt anymore, things are just fantastic for Greta! ::dripping with sarcasm:: Even though she is with Isaac now, she is truly hated, and there are those aching to kill her for bewitching their King. With Isaac wanting her to be his queen, things quickly spiral out of control, and in return, we get our first real look at the Fairie and the secretive Glass Kingdom.

Shall we speak of the twisted triangle of doom? Shall we make it known that Isaac has Greta's heart, while Wyatt is just spitting into the wind? Shall I say that I don't understand Wyatt's intentions other than he's human, and so is Greta, and he is definitely prejudiced towards non-humans? Perhaps Wyatt would be better served by focusing his energy on a certain goblin hunter instead. 

Greta and the Glass Kingdom is a story that travels the gambit from being a paranormal romance novel, to a suspense filled story that hangs on Greta's choices, and others betrayals. Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water, Jaws aka Agramon returns with a vengeance leaving me shaking my head, and hoping that Great and Isaac can finally find a way to bury this bunghole in a vat of boiling lava.

So, in conclusion, I waited 2 years for the sequel to Greta and the Goblin King only to be left with a twisted, gut wrenching cliffhanger thanks mostly to the actions of others? I think I'm going to scream, and then cry, and then be sick. No really. If you hear screaming coming all the way from Florida, that would be me! Don't send the paddy wagon after me, I'll be fine! I just pray, yes I said pray, that we don't have to wait until 2017 for the SEQUEL!!!! Ya feel me Chloe Jacobs?  

**I received this book for free from (Entangled Teen) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Cover Reveal & Giveaway* Rachel Vincent's Lion Share

Hey, Cats! Welcome to Xpresso Book Tours Cover Reveal of Rachel
Vincent's new series Wildcats and the first novel, Lion's Share! 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!


Lion’s Share by Rachel Vincent
(Wildcats #1)
Publication date: February 23rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal


Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.
Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she’s been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn’t hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.
A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient—more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.
As they hunt the killer, Abby’s secret becomes a threat to Jace’s authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.

Rachel Vincent is the author of the Shifters series and the Unbound series for adults, as well as the Soul Screamers series for teens.

Rachel's next young adult book is THE STARS NEVER RISE, coming from Delacorte in June of 2015, and her new series for adults will debut with MENAGERIE, coming from Mira books in the fall of 2015

Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who's been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy--but social media is a close second.

Author Links:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

*Early Book Review* Bet Your Life by Jane Casey

Series: Jess Tennant # 2
Format: E-Book, 336 pages
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: NetGalley Invite
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

*Book Blurb*

Jess Tennant has now been living in a tiny town on the English seaside for three months, and is just beginning to relax and think of it as home after the traumatic events of last summer. But in the small hours of Halloween night, a teenage boy is left for dead by the side of the road. Seb Dawson has a serious head injury and may not survive. Jess might not have liked Seb much, but surely he didn’t deserve this. The police don’t seem to be taking the attack very seriously, but Jess can’t just let it go, and she takes matters into her own hands.
As she investigates, Jess discovers that Seb was involved in some very dangerous games. A secret predator around girls, he would do whatever it took to abuse them, from lying and blackmail to spiking drinks. Could a group of vengeful victims be behind his attack? Or is there someone else with a grudge against Seb, who will stop at nothing to silence him? Jane Casey returns with another edge-of-your-seat mystery in Bet Your Life. 

*My Thoughts*

Since we last left Jessica "Jess" Tennant at the end of How To Fall, she's been living quietly in the small English town called Port Sentinel. Jess still doesn't quite fit in, has no friends, no boyfriend, and feels like a polar bear set loose in the Florida Everglades. Her mother Molly, on the other hand, has found a job at a gallery, but is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend and the father of Jess's ex-boyfriend Will.

If you haven't read How To Fall, then you wouldn't know that once Jess has a bone in her mouth, she refuses to let go of it until the mystery is solved. It is how she ended up solving her cousins murder, and it's why she now has a reputation around town. But, will it be good enough to solve the case of Sebastian Dawson who was left to die in the middle of the road?

Sebastian is about the most unlikable "victim" you can find. With witnesses showing absolutely no regret or emotion for what happened to him, can Jess look Seb's sister Beth in the eye and tell her the truth about what really happened to her brother and why? Can Jess survive long enough to see an innocent man freed? Will local police inspector Dan Henderson once again squash her investigation because he feels honor bound to protect because of his love for her mother?

While the mystery was stretched out until the last possible moment, the triangle of doom, I am now calling it, once again takes up a large portion of the story. In reality, I can say that I don't blame Jess for her emotional flip flop. I mean, just take a look at her mothers past, and then try to say that Jess shouldn't try to discover her own happiness even if it means testing out the merchandise before buying it. Jess really can't go wrong with either Will Henderson, or Ryan Denton. I just hope it doesn't drag along like some zombie chasing after its next meal.

I have to say that Jess's mother is an absolute train wreck with an ex-boyfriend, ex-husband, and new employer all making plays for her. She continues to brush off Jess's concerns, but that just shows lack of character. I think I've said this before, but If Molly ends up with Dan, I sincerely hope Jessica moves out, and finds a way back to her friends in London. I don't that think ignoring your daughters feelings on the issue of what is going on, is anyway to raise a child. I also don't think that being "friends" with the father of the boy your daughter might feel a connection to, shows good taste.

Apparently, this series is being released ahead of the US, and to say I am not shocked, is pretty adult of me to say. I do believe that ALL publishers should release their books simultaneously around the globe. That way, you cut down on the possibility of spoilers, and we don't have to wait a full year for the next book to come out!

There is a third book called Hide and Seek (Jess Tennant #3) which supposedly releases in the US by St. Martins August, 25, 2015. Will Jess and Will be together? Will Jess once again charge the rhino (death) with only her sarcasm and whit for weapons? Stay tuned!

**I received this book for free from (St. Martin's Griffin) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

*Early Book Review* Crash & Burn (Tessa Leoni #3) by Lisa Gardner

Series: Tessa Leoni # 3
Published by: Dutton Adult
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Book, 400 pages
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

*Book Blurb*

Nicole Frank shouldn’t have been able to survive the car accident, much less crawl up the steep ravine. Not in the dark, not in the rain, not with her injuries. But one thought allows her to defy the odds and flag down help: Vero.

I’m looking for a little girl. I have to save her. Except, most likely, she doesn’t exist.

Sergeant Wyatt Foster is frustrated when even the search dogs can’t find any trace of the mysterious missing child. Until Nicky’s husband, Thomas, arrives with a host of shattering revelations: Nicole Frank suffers from a rare brain injury and the police shouldn’t trust anything she says.

My husband claims he’ll do anything to save me. Except, most likely, he can’t.

Who is Nicky Frank, and what happened the night her car sailed off the road? Was it a random accident or something more sinister given the woman’s lack of family and no close friends? The deeper Wyatt digs, the more concerned he becomes. Because it turns out, in the past few months, Nicky has suffered from more than one close accident. . . . In fact, it would appear someone very much wants her dead.

This is my life. Except, most likely, it’s not. Now watch me crash and burn.

*My Thoughts*

"My name is Nicky Frank. Except, most likely, it isn't."

Crash & Burn is the third novel in the Tessa Leoni series, and apparently I missed that fact when requesting this title from the publisher. I do know that Tessa is a former State Police officer who was later separated from the force and became an Investigator for Northledge Investigations. She was first introduced to readers in Gardner's Love You More (D.D. Warren # 5).

But, I digress. The story isn't really about Tessa, although she does appear, and has her own crosses to bear along with her 9-year old daughter Sophie. There is even a crossover scene or two with Tessa and D.D. Warren who suffered a pretty devastating and possible career ending injury in Fear Nothing.

Gardner has once again taken the chance and told her story from the victim's angle, and not the supposed leading character. In fact, the victim's POV has become first person narrative, while D.D, Wyatt's, and Tessa's are from the third person. Here we are again in Crash & Burn, and the story really does focus more on Nicky Frank, and whether or not her story is actually fact or fiction.

Nicky is a narrator that you really have to wrap your brain around and wonder if this is all an act. She's been in 3 separate "accidents" and therefore suffers some post concussive symptoms, which includes headaches, light sensitivity, and mood swings. Yet, apparently she can't forget Vero, or what happened to her. When the third "accident" happens, she claims that a girl named Vero is missing which leads to a mad search to find her.

Enter Sergeant Wyatt Foster of the New Hampshire North Country Sheriff's Department. Wyatt and his partner Detective Kevin Santos, run the gambit of emotions. Wyatt isn't sure if he is dealing with a criminal mastermind or a victim of circumstances not her own. Why did Nicky drive her car off the road? Where is the girl named Vero? Is Nicky being targeted by her own husband? Is Nicky making up this shit up to focus the blame on her husband? Do we, as readers, buy into Thomas's claim that Nicky can't separate reality from fiction?

As you will have noticed by my updates, this book is a twisted story from beginning to end. As with all good mysteries, Gardner doesn't give you all the facts. She hints and feints and offers possible solutions to Nicky's actions. I will say that this is the perfect psychological mind-fuck. The story itself left me spinning in my chair, and refusing to do anything, including eating, until I figured out if this story was an illusion or reality.

As stated before, Crash & Burn is part of the Tessa Leoni's series, but she's more of a secondary character who just happens to date Sergeant Wyatt Foster who along with Nicole Frank, drives the story. For me, it was nice to see a guest appearance by my favorite Boston Detective D.D. Warren. Again, it's a bit part, but fills in some gaps of what she's been up to since she was hurt on the job. Makes you wonder how many books D.D. has left before Gardner "retires" her.

I have to say that I really do respect Gardner as a writer. She doesn't just write shit up and put it on paper. She has a plethora of source material, and her police procedural methods are nearly perfect in the way they are described and handled. I like that part of the story opened my eyes to the number of children who go missing each year. If you want to learn more, please research the National Center for Mission & Exploited Children. We, as a society, must do more to protect our most valuable resource...our children!

**I received this book for free from (Dutton Adult) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

*Release Day Book Blast!* A COLD LEGACY by Megan Shepherd* Includes Giveaway!

I am so excited that A COLD LEGACY by Megan Shepherd releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an excerpt from the book!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Megan Shepherd, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and swag courtesy of Megan and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Also, please check out Megan's Twitter chat party tonight from 8-9pm est (Details below)

Author: Megan Shepherd
Pub. Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Pages: 400

After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity. 


Montgomery stopped the horses outside a tavern. He came to the carriage door, opening it just a crack to keep the rain from drenching us. “I’m going to ask directions. We can’t be far now.”

We watched him saunter over the muddy street as though he didn’t even feel the bite of freezing rain. A face appeared in the tavern window. The door opened and he spoke to a woman in a wool dress for a few moments, then stomped back through the mud. “This village is called Quick,” he told us. “The manor’s only five miles from here.”

“Did you hear that?” Lucy murmured to Edward, still stroking his hair. “We’re almost there. Just hold on. Everything will be all right once we arrive.”

Montgomery’s eyes shifted to me. Neither of us wanted to remind Lucy that the prospect of Edward’s fever breaking—and the Beast’s reappearance—was almost more frightening than the fever itself. Delirious, he was less of a threat.

“Let’s go then,” I whispered to Montgomery. “And quickly.”

He closed the door and in another moment we were moving again, passing through the rest of Quick. Then all too soon the village was nothing but fading lights. The storm grew and the road became rougher, and all the while Edward’s eyes rolled back and forth beneath shuttered lids.

Thunder struck close by, and Lucy shrieked. Montgomery whipped the horses harder, pulling us along the uneven road impossibly fast, trying to outrun the storm. I twisted in the seat to look out the back window at the pelting rain. A stone fence ran alongside us.

“We must be getting close,” I said.

“Not soon enough,” Lucy breathed. “We’re going to crash if he keeps driving like this!”

The road widened, straightening, letting us travel even faster. Lightning struck close by, blinding me. The horses bolted. Lucy screamed and covered her eyes, but I couldn’t tear mine away. The lightning had struck an enormous oak tree, twisted from centuries of wind. The oak took flame, blazing despite the rain. A smoking gash ran down the trunk—the lightning’s death mark. I watched until the rain put out most of the flames, but it still smoldered, billowing hot ash into the night.

The horses pawed the earth, and I grabbed the window to steady myself. At this wild speed, just hitting a single rock at the wrong angle would send the carriage shattering to the ground. It was madness to go so fast. Couldn’t Montgomery calm the horses?

Just when I feared the carriage would careen out of control, it stopped short, throwing me against the opposite wall. I tangled in Lucy’s limbs as the chains around Edward’s body clinked. Balthazar grunted, jerking awake at last. We scrambled in the bottom of the carriage until the door flew open.
Montgomery stood in the pelting rain. I feared he’d say we’d broken another strut or the horses had gone lame or we’d have to spend the night in the harsh storm.

But then I saw the lights behind him, and the night took shape into a turreted stone manor with bright lamps blazing and gargoyles on the roof vomiting rain into a stone courtyard.

Montgomery’s eyes met mine beneath the low brim of his hat.

“We’ve arrived,” he said.

About Megan:


I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer.

I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious, here are the dirty details

It wasn't until a chance aquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing.

When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line!

I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.
Author Photo by Kristi Hedberg Photography

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a signed copy of A COLD LEGACY and swag! US Only.
Ends on February 6th at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 26, 2015

*Early Book Review* Edged Blade by J.C. Daniels

Series: Colbana Files # 4
Published by: Shiloh Walker, Inc
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Book, 327 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy

*Book Blurb*

In the year since her life was torn apart, Kit Colbana has slowly rebuilt herself. There’s a promise of hope in the relationship with the alpha of the local shapeshifters and she no longer comes screaming into wakefulness. Life’s not perfect but then again, when was it ever?

When her best friend Justin comes to her for help, there’s little question as to what her answer will be. Witches are disappearing and Justin won’t rest until he has answers. Soon, they learn that it’s not just witches who’ve gone missing, but vampires and shifters, too.

Unlikely alliances are forged as Kit and Justin found themselves drawn into a twisted web of lies and betrayal. As the clock counts down and the culprit behind recent disappearances is revealed, those Kit loves the most become the target of somebody who will kill to protect an ugly secret

*My Thoughts*

J.C Daniels, in case you haven't had a chance to read this series yet, is the pen name for Shiloh Walker. Daniels series features Aneira warrior, assassin, thief, and investigator Kit Colbana as the main protagonist. Kit lives in East Orlando, Florida where vampires, witches, and shifters all call home. Kit has had her fair share of trouble over the past year, and is just now getting back to where she once was. She still has some issues with PTSD, but anyone who has been kidnapped, tortured, and held prisoner would feel the same way.

Edge Blade finds Kit and her best friend, warrior witch Justin Greaves, investigating the disappearances of (NH) Non Humans (see above). Kit and Jason find themselves up against an unknown entity, betrayal at the highest levels, and their lives may be at risk just by trying to do the right thing by finding and bringing back the NH's. Kit, who has an affinity for weapons, and keeps some dangerous one under a powerful spell, is also a very good tracker, and her skills do come into play.

Readers will notice that there is a definite change in Kit, including her relationship with Damon. While she still loathes vampires with an absolute passion, she finds herself working closely with them, attending a party with them, and perhaps feeling a bit of a kindred bond with vampire Abraham Allerton. I like the way Kit continues to think of ways of making a certain vampire pay with his life for what he did to her. I hope that comes her way soon.

I will say this, if you haven't read this series, please don't expect that Daniels will coddle you with a summary of what happened in the previous 3 novels. Each novel continues the previous books storyline, but adds other elements to the series as well. Although I am a bit miffed by the cliffhanger ending, that just means that there will be a next installment in this series unless we have a zombie apocalypse, or something even more bizarre.

Daniels does introduce some rather interesting new characters who I will not spoil even if you threaten to rip out my finger nails, while leaving out some of Kit's friends that helped save her sanity. I am hoping this means that we will be getting closer to finding out about the Hospital, who is really involved, and whether or not Kit will finally come face to face with her grandmother who treated her like pond scum when she was growing up.

I like that Kit and Damon have found a good place to be with their relationship. While I still have some issues with Damon's possessiveness, and hissy fits, I can appreciate that he does honestly care for her, and doesn't want to see her hurt. He's come a very long way in accepting that there was nothing he could have done to save Kit from her kidnapper.

I still like Justin, and always will, no matter if that puts me in the minority with readers of this series or not. I like that Justin is such a powerful and sardonic character, who yes, has some personal space issues, and loves to push Damon's buttons. His relationship with Kit goes back more years than Kit's and Damon's, and he still refuses to give up.

I'm still hoping to guess what Chang is, and hope that JCD doesn't string us along for much longer. Chang is such an interesting character, and his passion for helping kids appeals to me on another level. I love the dynamics between Kit and Chang, and was impressed with a certain present that he gives to her. I do plan on continuing this series, and hope that we don't have to wait around long to find out what happens next.

**I received this book for free from (Shiloh Walker, Inc.) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Sunday, January 25, 2015

*Early Book Review* Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Published by Feiwel & Friends
Releases: February 3, 2015
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Genre* Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

*Book Blurb*

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

"I have a duty to do, a duty to others, a duty to you, a duty to the dead, and by God, I shall do it."

16-year old Micheline Helsing is one the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage that stretches back to Abraham Van Helsing. Micheline is a tetrachromat, or a girl who can identify different types of undead by the color of their auras they give off. Micheline has trained her entire life to destroy both corporeal and spiritual monsters. Using her Camera as a weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film.

Along with her crew Oliver Stoker, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude Drake, who can predict death with a touch; and Australian Ryder McCoy, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever, they are at the forefront of Helsing's fight against the paranormal. I love that Alameda doesn't gloss over Stoker's original story Dracula, but built upon it and expanded upon it and brought a 21st century flavor to the mix.

Shutter starts out with a bang and plenty of suspense when Micheline and crew face off against a very powerful entity leaving them cursed and marked by a soulchain. They only have 7 days to figure out a way to exorcise the entity responsible, or face an eternity completely under the control of someone who wants to see an end to the Helsing empire. Micheline is forced to go on the run in order to save herself and her friends while avoiding her egotistical father, and his reapers.

I really can't complain all that much about the story. I loved Micheline. I love that she's far from perfect and is getting over a devastating loss, and suffering bouts of PTSD. I like that she uses a camera to capture ghosts, and isn't too bad with a knife or gun either. I didn't much care for her emotionally void father Leonard, and really didn't like the way he treated her. I liked that she truly is a leader, and is just as skilled as any of the boys.

Shutter is such a nice change of pace, an original story, and one that definitely holds no punches in creating creepy monsters, and wicked technology that one would find as part of a Ghost Hunter's inventory. Shutter is a full throttle action packed story that really has no limits to what it can do.

The romance angle is pretty slick. Here are two characters, Micheline and Ryder, who have been told that they can't be together by her father because he wants to keep the Helsing legacy within his control. But, thankfully neither allows a little thing like that to get in the way of their right to find a way to be together, or their jobs hunting ghosts. The romance is an addition to the story, instead of the highlight. It doesn't weigh the story down with unnecessary angst or emotions.

I am only sad that apparently this is a standalone novel and not part of a series. If the author reads this review, I truly do hope that she is in the process of writing a sequel, because Micheline deserves more adventures. I will be more than happy to come back to this review and remove this entire paragraph if another book is in the works!

Overall, Shutter is a very interesting, entertaining, and fast paced novel. I didn't care that the ending was a bit on the predictable side, or left room for further exploration. I think the mystery behind the entity was well revealed, as well as heart breaking. I'm happy to join in the group saying that if you like Supernatural (TV), then you will enjoy Shutter.

**I received this book for free from (Feiwel & Friends) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**