Review: Wolfhardt by M. Leighton

Publication Date:  July 12th, 2011
M Leighton
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl-for a mermaid princess, that is.

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in Slumber when the unthinkable happens-there’s a prison break in Atlas, Madly’s home beneath the sea. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants.

The first spirit to arrive is that of Ulrich Wolfhardt, a man that was once obsessed with wolves and a young maiden he would follow through the woods. After a bite from a wolf, Wolfhardt’s obsession with the girl became an unnatural hunger and the young maiden’s grandmother cursed him with a fate worse than death. And now he’s back…with a vengeance and a bite that can infect others as well.

Madly must learn the identity of Wolfhardt’s descendant and stop him before he kills again and spreads his curse across the earth. But the only person strong enough to help Madly is Jackson, the Sentinel who vowed to protect her and the one person capable of breaking her heart. Can Madly resist forbidden love long enough to save the world from Wolfhardt? Or will she have to sacrifice her heart and her destiny to save the ones she loves?

A bit of a background: Ages ago, Lucifer and Proserpine created evil creatures called Lores. Lucifer, being the dark angel that he was, perhaps saw opportunity to rule the entire universe (I’m just guessing – the author didn’t really explain why or maybe there was a myth involved? ), cast Proserpine out of the Underworld. Proserpine turned to Neptune for help, in which he agreed on the condition that she’d disclosed everything she knew about the creatures. Neptune then, created a prison for these creatures with a set of four keys able to hold these spirits. The story actually begins when one of those spirits escaped, locking down Atlas with Princess Madly’s parents and sister, Truly inside. Since Madly holds one of the keys, she’s the only one with the capability to trap Ulrich Wolfhardt’s spirit and free Madly’s people in Atlas. Who is Ulrich Wolfhardt? Well, long story short – he’s a wolfman ( not to be confused with a werewolf) obsessed with the Straus Maiden. So when his spirit escaped he continued to hunt the Straus bloodline by possessing his immediate descendant. Once they saved the descendant of the Straus Maiden, then and only then can they capture Wolfhardt and send him back to where he belongs. Confused yet? Don’t be. The story is easy to follow once you get into the groove.


I’m really interested to find out how the author will incorporate the other folklore into this mer series. I think it’s highly innovative for her to use these fabled sea dwellers as a vessel, while putting a spin on some of the fairy tales we’ve come to know of so fondly. The chemistry between Jackson and Madly was explosive and brownie points for the forbidden romance element. I’m dying to read the next book to find out how their relationship is going to work considering Jackson is a pauper to his Princess. Their bloodlines mixing is a no-no to the kingdom so I’m really anxious for their sakes.


This is a series with a whole lot of promise. But there were some plot elements that I really felt were unfinished. For instance: there was an incident in the prequel which hinted that Madly could hear what Jackson was thinking. I was looking forward to reading more about this in the second book, but I was disappointed to discover that it was something the author didn’t really delve into. Another one was the geeky boy who’d watched Kellina from afar. Considering the time and focus spent on this boy, his role didn’t really go anywhere – a decoy, if you will. While I swooned over Jackson and gushed over the romance, I sometimes found myself frustrated with Jackson’s constant pulling and pushing. Also, about 70% of Madly’s thoughts were of Jackson instead of worrying about her family in Atlas. I can sympathize pining for a guy to a point, but all the longing and wanting and lusting was a bit overdone in my opinion.


Regardless of my grievances stated above, I’m still dying to read the next book. This ended in a cliffie and we haven’t really seen the actual world of the mers. I’m also dying to read more about how the royals are going to react to Madly’s mating tie. All in all, I think this will be an amazing series rich in adventures and romance. The prequel is a good place to start.

Review: Devil’s Kiss By Sarwat Chadda

Publication Date: September 1st, 2009
Hyperion Books
Format: Paperback, 327 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she would have to make sacrifices to be in the Knights Templar.  Sacrifices like losing her mother to the Templar’s ongoing battle against the Unholy; sacrifices like trading her childhood in for relentless training; sacrifices that keep her completely  isolated from the world of a normal teen girl.
Billi’s lone wolf status is challenged when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from his psychic training in Jerusalem.  Kay manages to stir things up quickly — he’s gorgeous, arrogant, and wants to slide right back into his old place in Billi’s life.  Billi is skeptical, but interested, until she meets Michael — an ethereally handsome guy who seems to understand her like no one before him, and effortlessly stakes a claim in her heart.
Just as Billi’s starting to enjoy this pleasant new twist to her life, Kay ruins everything.  In a moment of bravado, Kay uses the last of the Templar’s treasures, King Solomon’s cursed mirror, drawing the attention of one of the most dangerous of the Templars’ enemies — The Angel of Death.
Only with the mirror can the dark angel unleash his full powers, and now that he’s heard the call of the mirror, he’ll stop at nothing to get it.  To save London from catastrophe, Billi will have to make sacrifices greater than she’d ever imagined.

I’ve struggled with this. I can’t say for sure which of the elements of this story bothered me the most; or where it failed to keep my interest. But it was one of those reads that I just wanted to get it over and done with.

Billi SanGreal is a stereo-typical, kick ass heroine. You know the type – the one with a whole slew of personality problems who uses her ass kicking skills to ward off people. I can’t say I blame the girl; her father is a cold fish who sees her as a means to an end…or in this case, to a prophecy. She’s surrounded by a group of men who are one step closer to being religious fanatics. Her mother was killed when she was but a child and the only questionable feminine influence in her life seems to hate her guts for some odd reason. It was never really explained why.

The author certainly made a big production of highlighting a possible love triangle in the synopsis. But after reading the bits of romantic scenes in this book, I was feeling a whole lot cheated. I know right? Me? whose bane of bookworm existence are LOVE TRIANGLES. Why the heck am I complaining about the lack of this aforementioned possible geometrical romance? Well, the thing is, if you’re expecting any semblance of relationships at all in this book, expect a HUGE disappointment. The majority of the book focuses on the Templar’s continuing fight against the forces of evil which didn’t leave much room for character development. Everyone seems one-dimensional. Billi, our MC pretty much spent the entire time resenting the life that she did not chose, while the rest didn’t have any life outside of the Order.

The plot moved at a break-neck pace which should’ve been a plus for a reader whose got the attention span of a gnat (like me!). Sadly, this wasn’t enough to overcome the over-all detachment I felt while reading this book. Heck, even the supposed romances did not have any kind of build up.

If you’re looking for a darker YA Paranormal with little to zero romance, this is your book. If you’re looking for a unique read out of the endless streams of ho-hum YA fare, this is your book. If you’re not at all timid to read about religions and the many ways they could be misinterpreted, this is your book.

Over all. This book is not for me.

Morsels {2}: Quick Reviews

Goodreads Summary
Madly #1 by M. Leighton
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Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Step into the world of mermaids – and as far as I can tell, a werewolf may also be in attendance in a not so distant future (although, how their worlds are going to intersect remains to be seen). This is a short story; a preamble to the second book, Wolfhardt. It certainly is an exciting start to what proves to be a series enriched in folklores. Me? I’m dying to read more about Jackson. He’s big, burly, surly and snarky. His personality just seems to dwarf everybody else in the story. I’ve always been smitten with egotistical boys who are clueless about handling their true emotions and my boy Jackson is no different. I’m a little cautious when it comes to books about mermaids but this one has my full attention. I can’t wait to read the next book. Shout out: Thanks to Alexa for the recommendation!

Summer’s Crossing (Iron Fey #3.5) by Julie Kagawa
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Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
My feelings about Puck hasn’t really been discernable while I was reading the first two books of this series. I don’t know…there’s just something about him that I found hard to trust. In this little novella, I’ve had a brief look as to what it was like to get into his head and surprise, surprise, Puck is and will always be…well, Puck. He’s got this swagger and facetiousness – sort of like a cope mechanism. He adds a humorous element to this series, which I really liked. He’s like a little brother that’s sometimes annoying and most of the times adorable. I absolutely loved him here. He balances Ash’s constantly serious disposition. This short story didn’t lack for adventure – signature Kagawa, if you ask me.  As always, the author’s creativity astounds me.

Goodreads Summary
Tomorrow is Today by Julie Cross
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RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

This is a bonus story to Julie Cross’ time-traveling series, Tempest. Jackson and Holly’s love story hasn’t started yet, hence, his thoughts were mostly spent pining for her. I love how sweet he is! I’m not going to lie, I pretty much by passed every dialogues with any essence of time traveling. I’m just more interested about the romance more than the jumping and Julie Cross has done such an incredible job of making me swoon every time Jackson sees Holly doing anything as mundane as, say, losing her s*it. Lol. 

Review: Say Not What If by Andrew Friedman

Publication Date:  July 11th, 2011
Create a Space
Format: Paperback, 52 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
“Say Not What If” is a nearly 10,000-word story written as a long rhyming poem. I have never seen a story written in this format. It has characters and dialogue just like a regular story, and is extremely easy to read and understand, regardless of whether you have a GED or a PHD. You can read it in about an hour, so it doesn’t require a lot of time.
“Say Not What If” is about a man on death row, and has, as its theme the concept that time is our most valuable commodity. As someone once said, “waste anything but time, because we really are promised no tomorrows.” This theme is explored through the life of a man who sacrifices his marriage and everything else for his career. He realizes much too late the terrible consequences of this decision, and then desperately tries to regain those lost years by making a much worse choice. The resolution of this latter choice involves an additional examination of the concepts of accountability and responsibility, redemption, and the morality of the death penalty.

I’ve always been fascinated with verse books; the idea that an author can create a story in short phrases and sentences seemed far too difficult. I’m not saying writing a full novel is a cake walk either. But trying to convey what the story is about in so little words can be challenging. Andrew Friedman’s Say Not What If is even more difficult – it’s a story told in one long, rhyming poem. Clocking at 52 pages, you’d think that I’d been able to finish this in one sitting. I tried, but the subject matters were the kind that required a handful of intermittent pauses – a child’s murder, several prison raping and beating, death penalty – all difficult subjects that I normally make a conscious effort of avoiding.

The story begins when we meet a married man whose dedication lay more to his job than  fixing his already fragile marriage.  It wasn’t long until his wife realized that she’d had to make some changes instead of waiting on her more or less absentee husband. His life spirals into an abyss, as he loses his wife and his job at the same time.  He then finds out that he was terminally ill. The story unfolds with the character’s stint in death row and all the abuse he’d had to endure in the hands of the other inmates. A child killer is the most hated criminal in prison, so just imagine his harrowing punishment. The story wasn’t graphic by any means; the style of writing certainly helped to keep the character’s garrish reality a bit more palatable.  But it’s all there –  more than implied. The ugly truth, the hopelessness, the big regrets.

Say Not What If is a beautifully written piece of literature with a dark heart at its core. The stark contrast between the lovely poetry and all the things that made this ugly was severe but it was also what made the story…beautiful in an uncanny way.  The simple poetry was decipherable that I did not have a hard time following the story. This tiny book will make you think about the righteousness and moral grounds of enforcing death penalty. Does taking a life for another make it right? Will a criminal’s good deeds and remorse balance out the life that was wasted to begin with? It also shows how human beings are naturally selfish and cowardice. We’d make a bargain with the devil himself just to avoid paying for the consequences of our actions. It’s a story about wrong choices, lives wasted, and lost opportunities. And at the end of it all, everyone gets what they deserve.

I’ve always been afraid to stretch my reading wings but I’m awfully glad that the author contacted me to review his work.

**This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.**

Review: Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Publication Date: November 29th, 2011
K TEEN – Kensington Publishing Company
Format: Paperback, 354 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
Logan Quinn was try­ing to kill me. My Spar­tan class­mate relent­lessly pur­sued me, swing­ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin­ing sil­ver blade inch­ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac­ti­cally glowed with the thrill of battle…
I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword…

Reason number one why I was chomping at the bits to get started on this book right away, was because of how Gwen and Logan’s relationship kind of didn’t happen in the first book. Lucky for me, I was able to read both books back to back. I’m glad this book didn’t fall for the second in the series syndrome wherein authors were unable to sustain the same intensity as the first book. I’d say that this was actually better.

At the end of Touch of Frost, Logan became Gwen’s trainer of some sort. I was a bit disappointed that the author didn’t really dwell on having some awkward albeit, sexually charged tension between these two. The possibilities were endless. After all, Gwen couldn’t touch Logan because she’d be able to know his deep dark secrets and at the same time, Logan made her known that the two of them couldn’t, shouldn’t happen. I was filled with sick anticipation to find out how they will be able to resist the temptation to touch each other. Sadly, Logan decided to take the boneheaded road, ignoring Gwen for the most part and shoving his tongue down some other girl’s throat on another. *sigh* Boys!

Gwen’s enemies started making their presence known through several attempts on her life. First, someone tried to run her over; next, someone tried to skewer her with an arrow. And at the Winter Carnival, a Ferni wolf started tracking her. The worst of it all was the deliberate way an avalanche was set off for the sole purpose of burying her alive. It wasn’t long before she figured out that her assassin was closer to her than she thinks.

In this book, Gwen’s powers have started to manifest and along that, her abilities to fight have started to improve. Under the tutelage and training of the three Spartans, she was able to realize another segment of her power – that she’s able to fight using another person’s abilities. I thought this was another way the author made Gwen ultimately better. She’s still scared but at least she’s a bit more confident.

I also loved the other characters that were introduced here – particularly Oliver and Kenzie. There were some  predictability as to the real identity of another character but other than that, I liked this book better. I’m crossing my fingers that on the next book, there will be more of Logan Quinn. I think we’ve barely uncovered an inch of this hot Spartan.

The best thing about Ms. Estep’s writing is that she takes you where you needed to go right away. The revelations, the actions…everything was paced in such a way that you’re neither bored nor breathless from the sheer G-force of how the book’s plot unraveled. I think that’s the primo reason why I ate this book up faster than its predecessor. The next book will not be out until next Summer…oh man. Blessed are those who will receive an ARC of Dark Frost!

Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Publication Date: July 26th, 2011
K TEEN BOOKS – Kensington Publishing Company
Format: Paperback, 350 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.
But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .

Why the heck did I wait so long to read this? Actually, if I’m to admit the reason why I wasn’t so gung-ho on starting this right way, I’d say it’s primarily because of the setting.  Boarding schools don’t really appeal to me. These type of stories has a tendency to come dangerously close to stereotypes but I am quite impressed that this book did not fall victim to all that. However, the author used some of the repetitive high school elements; mean girls, cliques, hot boy who ended up liking the blah girl (though, I don’t understand how you could consider a girl with violet eyes to be blah). At this point, I think I should stop complaining. It’s going to happen over and over again. You know why? Well…it’s high school. Unless I go and broaden my reading horizon by switching genres, I’m going to have to shut up and put up. Anyway…

Mythos Academy is a school for kids whose bloodlines can be traced  from warriors of  ancient Mythologies – Spartans, Vikings, Valkyries, Amazons – all powerful and gifted in their own rights. Here, they learn to hone their magic, powers, and combat skills to fight the Reapers bent on freeing the Norse god Loki, who also happens to be the god of Chaos. Gwen Frost finds herself sticking out like a sore thumb. As far as she’s concern, her psychometry power is lame in comparison to everybody else’s gifts and magic. She’s poor and her secret obsession with comic books will not win her the popularity contest anytime soon. When she finds the murdered proclaimed school queen bee in the library, she’s more than shocked with how fast the people around her moved on – like it was some every day occurrence. Everyone seems blasé about her death. But she can’t stop thinking about Jasmine’s blodgeoned body and how weird it was that she didn’t feel her essence when she touched her. Even weirder? She can’t seem to shake off Logan Quinn, Spartan extra-ordinaire, every girl’s dream and every boy’s nightmare. As she goes on to solve the mystery of Jasmine’s death, she also garners some pretty dangerous enemies.

It was so easy to get lost in this book. On the one hand, you’ll find yourself engrossed in the Mythologies involved;  and on the other, you’ll be highly entertained by the mish-mash of characters and their personalities.

Though this book wasn’t that suspenseful, it will still trip your nerves up a bit. There was an encounter with a Nemean prowler – some undomesticated ginormous cat; a human sacrifice administered by an un-dead; then Gwen and Logan fighting off said undead. So really, there isn’t any shortage of action.

Our heroine is the type that doesn’t go balls-out; she doesn’t pretend to be a bad-ass character and truthfully, her reluctant courage made her much more realistic. She kinda reminds me of Claire from The Morganville Vampires. When push comes to shove, she’ll fight – but rest assured, she’ll be whimpering along the way.

SPARTANS. I have this image in my head of hot, dark boys running around half naked with their washboard abs exposed. Well, color me disappointed or…perverted – whichever. Anyway, I’m not convinced that Spartans are the greatest warriors in this book. I thought that it was easy to ignore who they are – descendants of the fiercest group of soldiers in the ancient Greece.  The reason being, is that the author didn’t really spend a lot of time highlighting their prowess. As it was, I thought that their skills were interchangeable and not at all that impressive.  I’m hoping that things will change in the next few books.

The gist: Less expectations come great gratifications. I went into this book not having any preconceived notions that I was going to enjoy it. Well, I did. So much so that it took me a little less than six hours to finish. This book has an interesting premise – rich in Mythology that was easy to follow.

Cover Reveal: Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hey guys! I rarely participate in any Cover Reveal events but I’ve been lucky enough to host Ms. Armentrout’s books here. Today, we have the second book to her Lux series, ONYX. I’m salivating for this book! So without further ado…

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Ack! And that’s all we’re going to get, ladies and gents. But while we’re waiting for this book, please check out its predecessor, Obsidian. This book is a roller coaster ride on top of a sky scraper! 
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.

BUY YOUR COPY HERE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD

Morsels {1} – Quick Reviews

Publication Date: June 20th, 2011
Acacia Publishing
Format: Paperback, 117 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
While other high school seniors are dreaming about their futures, Sophie and Carter are just trying to make it through each day. Carter is overwhelmed by issues at home as he struggles to support his mother. Meanwhile, next door neighbour Sophie is left to care for her three younger siblings in place of their absent and troubled mother. All that holds these two best friends together is each other, and knowing that each night they’ll sit together on Sophie’s front porch swing and escape from reality, if just for awhile. But as their relationship reaches a turning point and high school graduation nears, will their friendship become something more?

This little book was a short read. It’s a story about Sophie and Carter – best friends since they were kids. They’re also next door neighbours but at school, they pretend they don’t know each other. Which is okay if you’d never even acknowledge each other’s existence. But that’s not the case with these two. At home, they’d had to bear witness to each other’s daily heartbreak; they’re each other’s pillars of support; the lights at the ends of their tunnels. Their situations at home were far from ideal but no one outside of their little world knew about the realities of their lives. With graduation upon them, they’re becoming more and more restless about their relationship. They both wanted more but were too afraid to ruin what they have.

The lead into this book deceived me – the cover, even more so. My first impression of this book was that it was going to be a fast and light read. Be forewarned, this is a heart grinder. When I got past all the throat-clogging scenes, I was smiling tearfully. Because at the end of it all, I was glad they still have each other.

Publication Date: December 1st, 2011
Sourcebook Fire
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while. I thought this was something I’d enjoy, and for the better part of the book, I did enjoy it. I love football – almost just as much as reading. So how could I not be salivating about a story of a girl who happened to be a quarterback good enough to be on Crimson Tide’s radar? Anyway, all the football lingo was something I’m used to hearing because I’m a HUGE nutso about this sport. I thought it was also interesting to read about how Colleges and Universities recruit players. Although I was a little put off with Jordan’s naiveté and the way Alabama used her. I guess I can’t blame her for having blinkers on.

This book was just an okay read for me. The relationships between Jordan and the two guys vying for her attention was a bit rushed, especially with the person she ended up with. There was no slow realization for this girl. It just HAPPENED. I spent the entire time swooning over the other guy only to be disappointed that it was all a waste. Don’t get me wrong, the person she ended up with was so much better for her but the author spent about just a quarter of the book building it up. My heart didn’t flutter with the happy ending.


Stereotypes Galore. Dumb jocks and equally dumb cheerleaders. Truth or Dare. I don’t miss high school. Nope.
Sexist Neanderthals. Her father used the ol’ I just don’t want anything to happen to you excuse to be a jerk when it comes to Jordan’s desire to keep playing football.  The coaches. The players. Ugh. I supposed it was to be expected. But it was still annoying to read the opinions of these oafs.

Yes, I know. This is a work of fiction and the possibility that a SEC team would recruit a girl as a quarterback is just as realistic as Auburn and Alabama players having a sit down dinner without killing each other. Like I said, the football element of this book was entirely believable. It was the relationships that got to me.

IMM #17

In My Mailbox is a weekly event over at The Story Siren, which showcases the books we’ve purchased, borrowed and received in the mail this week. This is the seventeenth episode of HOARDERS, Books Edition.

Hello, all!

I kind of went on an Indie spree this week and somehow ended up with some of Shelly Crane’s books. I have no idea how.  But anyway, I can’t seem to control myself these days…most days. I keep telling myself that signing up for the 2012 Self-Pub is definitely not an excuse to buy more Indie books but it’s like talking to a wall. Lol. 

Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett
Significance by Shelly Crane
Accordance by Shelly Crane
Collide by Shelly Crane
Uprising by Shelly Crane
Devour by Shelly Crane
Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl
A Marked Past by Leslie Deaton
Legend by Marie Lu
Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine
Naked by Kevin Brooks
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Say Not What If by Andrew Friedman

Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Madly and Wolfhardt by M. Leighton
What’s in your mailbox?

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Publication Date: November 29th, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 305 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Dystopian books are not created equal. A major element of the story hinges on having a believable, drastically changed world and a conflict depicting the what if scenarios of the present into a futuristic nightmare. Legend’s setting was thoroughly convincing. It’s a world set in a future with a military government hell bent on ruling with an iron fist. The segregation of societies was also prominent. This book could’ve been easily a five star rating; after all, I’m a big fan of dystopian books. The thing is, at 305 pages, I had a hard time enjoying this book fully. Perhaps it’s because this is the initial offering to the series but being plagued with questions deter me from having the full dystopian experience. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder if I’m just too impatient for a resolution. I say it’s a combination of both. But I’m distracted by the fact that I felt sort of cheated.

Regardless, this book is an amazing start to a great series. Day and June proved to be a pair of strong characters whose source of prowess was their intelligence more than anything. Don’t get me wrong, they showed great physical and combat talents as well. But I was more in awe of their smarts than June’s ability to scale a fourteen-story building in six minutes or Day’s relentless and natural gift of overcoming an entire platoon without killing a single soldier.

The most amazing thing about this book is the disparity about the characters’ political opinions. There are always two opposing sides and Ms. Lu was very successful in showing light to both. Day’s reasons for rebelling were told through one incident of military oppression to the next and June’s were mostly through a second-hand account via her principled brother. I have to say that pinning them against the other was the major draw of this book for me and the fact that Day was sort of a futuristic version of a Robin Hood.

Don’t be fooled by the full of romance blurb. I had a difficult time focusing on anything but the exhausting suspense and harsh violence in this book. In my opinion, their romance barely started and so the anticipation for the instalment exponentially doubled. I really hope that some if not most of the questions will be answered in the next book – questions that I can’t really voice out because some of them will possibly spoil the book. Let me just say that Legend has the makings of a fantastic dystopian read with remarkable characters that in my opinion, will be as legendary as Peeta and Katniss.