4 of 5 stars to ‘Frostfire’ by Amanda Hocking


Great expectations

Half Kanin, half Skojare, Bryn Aven is pretty much an outcast in a class conscious society. Yet nothing will keep her from working toward her dream of joining the prestigious King’s guard. Then she runs into Konstantin, the man who tried to kill her father. Bryn becomes embroiled in a dangerous mystery as Konstantin begins kidnapping the Kanin changelings. Part of her wants revenge against Konstantin, but other part can’t help wondering if there isn’t a bigger game at play.

I’m a huge fan of the troll fantasy world that Hocking has created. Every aspect of their society, politics and physics intrigues me. This novel is no exception as Hocking delves deeper into the stark differences between the Kanin and Skojare tribes. Hocking gets five stars for her believable, magical fantasy world creation. I had great expectations following the Trylle trilogy, but have to admit that this one didn’t quite live up to those expectations.

The characters were interesting, but not riveting. They lacked the passion of the Trylle characters, and seemed a little too reserved in many respects. Character development was not clear cut. There was one particular scene where Hocking switched from past tense to present tense, and I found this quite jarring. The ending too, was not fulfilling. While I personally enjoy cliff-hangers, I felt that there needed to be some kind of resolution, either personal or plot-related to round off the novel.

I was entertained and am still an Amanda Hocking fan, but I’m on the fence about continuing this series…

3 of 5 stars to ‘Flight’ by Alyssa Rose Ivy



Allie has just graduated and is about to start college. When her father invites her to spend the Summer working at his hotel in New Orleans, she jumps at the chance, partly to have some fun before college, and partly to get away from her ex-boyfriend. Allie drags her best friend off to New Orleans, determined to keep boys out of the picture. Then she meets Levi…Can she resist his charm and is she strong enough to handle the secret world he is involved in?

I honestly struggled with this novel and there were many times I seriously considered giving up. The characters just seemed very two dimensional, and many of the scenes came across as contrived and under-developed. The story was slow to start too. I found it difficult to connect with Allie because she came across as disjointed – strong sometimes and insipidly weak at others. Levi was not a likable character either. He was arrogant and rude at best.

Yet the setting of the novel kept me reading. The author’s descriptions of New Orleans with it’s non-stop night-life were intriguing. Near the end of the novel, the plot picked up and there was a little more action, but here again, I felt that the character’s actions were just not believable.

So, while I was entertained, I sadly will not be continuing with this series.

5 of 5 stars to ‘The indigo spell’ by Richelle Mead

The indigo spell

Multiple storylines

Alchemist Sydney Sage has her hands full.

She has to keep the whereabouts of the Moroi princess Jill a secret, and ensure that the humans don’t suspect there are vampires in their school. This little group that Sydney is responsible for, has become a tight knit family, but they tend to have their mishaps and politics, and Sydney is the one who has to clean up the fallout each time. Then there’s the radical warrior group who wants to destroy the Moroi, and the liberal off-shoot Tempest group that wants Sydney to forsake her Alchemist roots. To add to the mix, Sydney’s teacher is a witch who insists on teaching her to harness her innate magical ability, regardless of Sydney’s abhorrence of magic. There’s also a crazy witch on the loose, which Sydney has to stop before she sucks the life out of more innocent girls.

To top it all off, there’s Adrian, the Moroi spirit user who has scandalously declared his love for Sydney, who makes her question everything she’s been taught by the Alchemists and whom she can’t quite get off her mind…

Sydney Sage is unlike any character I’ve ever met. Fiercely independent, logical, intelligent and beautiful, she captures your heart in a way the typical damsel in distress just can’t. Adrian truly understands the importance of her independence, and while protective and romantic, doesn’t crowd her. He respects and admires her autonomy, but he’s always there for her. I love the witty banter and sexy interaction between Sydney and Adrian.

The magic in this novel has been taken up to another level. I particularly enjoyed the fantasy elements and spells as Sydney hones her magical talent. There’s a whole lot of storylines unravelling in this novel, but Sydney juggles them expertly. Can’t wait to unfold the next chapter!

5 of 5 stars to ‘Darken the stars’ by Amy Bartol (And a spot on my best series list!)

Darken the stars

What an epic epilogue!

Kricket Hollowell is a pawn. She’s the piece that catapulted the planet Ethar into war and she’s the piece that will end it. The very people she has trusted with her life have handed her over to the enemy. Now, she belongs to Kyon Ensin, the power hungry Alameedan who is determined to make Kricket his in every way. But Kricket refuses to be owned, nor will be allow her destiny to be determined by those who claim to be her family, friends or enemies.

This book had me quite torn by its ending. The story itself was powerful, with twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I absolutely loved the shifting dynamics between Kyon and Kricket and found myself falling in love with the abrasive, arrogant, and yet decidedly passionate enemy. When the book ended, I was unsatisfied. I felt there was no resolution.

And then came the epilogue…

In those last few words, Bartol changed my entire perspective on this series. She opened up new storylines and raised questions I hadn’t even considered. What was once a cute, sci-fi love story became so much more. This novel is about the indomitable human (or not so human!) spirit. It’s about the ability to love, more than once, the goodness in every once of us and the darkness too. It breaks down the fictional rule that ‘true love is worth any sacrifice’ and promotes the importance of being true to oneself instead. It tackles the sad truth that in a world of self-serving, power-hungry individuals, it’s each man for himself, sometimes even when it comes to those we love and trust most. But it also leaves us with the hope that love can change even the darkest heart.

This epilogue is amongst the most ‘epic’ I’ve read. Wow! What a series. This one makes my top series list.

Sea of stars

Action-packed fantasy!

Kricket Hollowell is not just in the middle of an Etharian war, she is the reason for it. As the most sought after commodity, she is hunted by all sides who believe that she will be the ultimate winning tool. But Kricket is determined that she will never belong to anyone – except the man she has given her heart to, who will do whatever it takes to keep her safe. Kyon, however, has other ideas.

As time frames go, this second installment covers a very short time span following on from the first novel. But what an action packed nail-biting time that is! I absolutely loved this book! The fantasy world created by Bartol in the first book follows through beautifully from the weapons and surveillance equipment to the transport and wild-life that populate this planet amongst a sea of stars. The action is non-stop from the first sentence to the very end. It’s an emotional roller-coaster.

Character wise, there’s a lot to fall in love with. Trey and his team are loyal, funny and bad ass. The interaction between Kricket and Trey, and the development of their relationship is romantic, hot and tender at once.

But there’s one character who surprised me quite a bit in this installment. At the end of book one, I was completely convinced that Kyon was evil incarnate. Now, I’m not so sure. There’s something very wrong about the way he obsesses over owning Kricket, but his complete dedication and tenderness toward her is kind of sexy too!

I’m completely in love with this series!