Book Review: Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2) by Ripley Patton

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Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2) by Ripley Patton

A Speculative Fiction/Paranormal Novel published by Ripley Patton (09/27/13)

Summary:

“Marcus was staking his claim to a new life, a real life. We all were. That’s what we were fighting for, armed with the weapons of sheer will, hope, and even guns, if that’s what it came to.” (Kindle Locations 516-519).

Olivia has joined Marcus and his group of PSS guys. They have all escaped the CAMFers at one time or another and now they want to help other kids with PSS get away from the clutches of the CAMFers. Marcus has his list of names and the next one that needs to be saved is Samantha James. But this isn’t a clear cut rescue since Samantha’s a part of a cult known as The Hold. They are a group of PSS advocates that have been keeping those with PSS safe. So if Samantha is safe from the CAMFers, how will Marcus and Olivia get her away from the Hold?

Keywords:

Rare, Ghost Hand, Power, Hunted, Freak, Not Normal Teenagers, Hiding, Escape, PSS, Research, Friendship, Leader, Strategy, Romance, Love, Relatives, Plan

My Review:

I love Olivia even more in this book. I love how she takes charge. I love how she gets upset but keeps trekking along. I love how she is resilient and opinionated and doesn’t stop to consider how she looks to others. She is her own person.

I love Marcus and how thoughtful he is and then I despise him for how he lies to Olivia and how he is the most manipulative person. I still haven’t totally figured him out, but I’m sucked into his character and his relationship with Olivia. I want to know more. I want to see them interact more. I want more.

The pacing is great, story points happen when they should. There are reveals and twists, and there is tension held up nicely throughout. Secrets and lies and new information will keep you turning pages. Things are coming together, those little clues you weren’t sure were real clues are turning into bigger revelations.

There are rules to the PSS, and slowly throughout the series we’re getting more and more information on how PSS works and where it came from! I can’t wait to learn more and have already started reading book 3 in the PSS Chronicles

This novel was published by Ripley Patton on September 27th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Ripley Patton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1) by Ripley Patton

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Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1) by Ripley Patton

A Speculative Fiction/Paranormal Novel published by Ripley Patton (11/28/12)

Summary:

“Don’t think about it. Solve the problem. Get yourself out.” (Page 86).
Olivia was born with a ghost hand. It’s rare to have PSS (a ghost body part), but Liv isn’t the only one. The ghost hand wasn’t that bad, if you didn’t mind being a freak in the middle of a small town, but after new kid Marcus shows up, the hand starts acting up. Olivia just wants to live her life, hide her hand as much as possible, but now she can’t. There are people after her who want to forcefully extract her PSS and if she wants to live she’ll have to team up with the new boy and his band of PSSers.

Keywords:

Rare, Ghost Hand, Power, Hunted, Freak, Not Normal Teenagers, Hiding, Escape, PSS, Research, Small Town, Gossip, Rumor, Distant Mother, Friendship, Leader, Strategy

My Review:

I loved the main character, Olivia. She might freak out, as any normal teen under these circumstances should and would, but she doesn’t let that stop her from trying to find a solution. She’s a girl of action. She’s a real superhero and a model main female character. She’s funny, snarky, and thinks fast on her feet. She never lets the situation get the better of her in the end. She may get bad things thrown at her left and right, but she’s always trying to think of a solution and doesn’t wallow in self-pity. She is the strong underdog you’ll love to root for.

I laughed out loud more than once! The dialogue between the teenagers is so realistic and the things they say are hilarious! I especially loved and laughed at the scene where Olivia eats some salted almonds.

I very much appreciate books where the genders of the main characters could have been flipped and the book would hold true the same way. Olivia isn’t overly feminized or put into a gender corner. There was a romantic element, yes, but Olivia could have been Marcus as easily as Marcus could have been Olivia. I like the way Patton wrote this book the way it is written because I loved Olivia as a strong female lead. Marcus was also a strong character and a strong person, but his role was not as large as Olivia’s. She was the protagonist of the story.

Thank you, Ripley Patton for giving us more than just the usual paranormal fare. I was intrigued and fascinated throughout the entire story with Olivia’s ghost hand and the whole concept of “PSS” and I didn’t even mind not getting a thorough explanation for how PSS came about. Sometimes things are just unknown. I loved how this PSS concept is fully developed in this book and the characters discover more about it at the same time as the reader, so we gain a full understanding (but not right away). I believe there’s more to PSS than we know about from the first book and I wholeheartedly await reading more about PSS and hopefully Olivia, Marcus and the gang of PSSers in book two and beyond.

The PSS Chronicles are currently available for FREE in epub and mobi when you sign up for Ripley’s Booklist, the author’s discount YA/NA ebook newsletter (similar to Bookbub but smaller and friendlier). You can sign up here now to get your FREE books: http://eepurl.com/bfMiy9

This novel was published by Ripley Patton on November 28th, 2012 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Ripley Patton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Emerge: the Awakening by Melissa A. Craven

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Emerge: the Awakening by Melissa A. Craven

A Paranormal Novel published by Midnight Hour Studio (03/31/2015)

 

Summary:

“Immortality doesn’t come cheap.” (Page 149).

Allie is different. Her family is different. She won’t know how unique she really is until she finds that even amongst the other immortals she is in a class all her own. After moving again and again as a child with her adopted family, they finally move back to their home town and Allie, who had never fit in before, immediately is welcomed by a group of teenagers who are not as normal as they let on.

 

Keywords:

Paranormal, Power, Immortals, Mortals, Connection, Loyalty, Friendship, Ignorance, Pain, Fighting, Violence, Torture, Coalition, Control, Love

 

My Review:

It wasn’t the paranormal part of this book that bothered me so much. It was the inability of the writing to let me know who was talking and the jumpiness of all the scenes. This book made me work to figure out who was talking and what was going on when what was really happening wasn’t complicated at all!

There was something missing from the sentences, from the characters, and from the story. The end felt rushed and forced to come to a climax while grinding to a halt to keep the storyline open to a sequel.

The addition of myth/backstory/memory was unnecessary and I skipped over it. Either the book is historical fiction or it’s not and this book was not, so no need for this type of in-depth addition.

I didn’t feel like I knew any of the characters other than Allie, Aiden and towards the end, Liam. There were too many people to keep track of and I started to get a serious Twilight vibe with the way the family kept together and was set against a Coalition.

What was the point of Vince? He added absolutely nothing to the story and he had basically no personality and the reader knew nothing about him. He was basically soothing arm-candy for Allie and annoyingly bereft of usefulness. I wish Aiden was the main character and not Allie. She was annoying and flawed. She didn’t step up her game when it mattered the most, which would have been great for her backstory but not for her (lack of) moment of triumph during the climax.

This novel was published by Midnight Hour Studio 03/31/2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 2.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Melissa A. Craven’s Website

Twitter

Book Review: Siren by Jennifer Melzer

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Siren by Jennifer Melzer

A Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal Novel published by Dragon’s Gold (01/05/2015)

 

Summary:

Siren Talbot is in love with Carver and thinks he’s about to propose after more than two years of being in a relationship. When the night is over, she is left with a haphazard memory and a box that she thinks contains the ring, but no Carver. He disappeared. Siren falls apart at his abrupt absence and is only able to get through it when she meets Patrick. This new man charms his way into her life and lends her support when she needs it and they grow quite fond of each other. When he proposes, she accepts and they are married, but she can never quite let go of Carver… For three years she hasn’t opened the ring box, but when she’s finally ready to let the past go, the box has mysteriously vanished. There is only one culprit this time: Patrick.

 

Keywords:

 Relationships, bad boyfriends, secrets, magic, depression, moving on, romance, love, future, locked away, disappear, second chances, bad magic, evil

My Review:

I didn’t realize this was a romance story. Most of the story was taken up by the romance and Siren pining for Carver and loving Patrick etc. etc. This book was mostly romance with a bit of fantasy thrown in, so if that’s your thing, then go for it. I wasn’t as pleased with the mix. I thought there could have been a lot edited out as the story dragged in many places and the emotions Siren was feeling were repeated over and over again.

The story begins with a high tension scene that makes the slow pace afterward seem even slower. It takes about half the book for the second (and real) inciting action to take place. The opening scene was like a faux inciting incident and seemed unbalanced in the context of the story’s pacing and plot. Quite a bit of editing could have taken place after this first scene, as we are shown Siren pining and grieving and then recovering painfully slow. The author takes too much time with the aftermath of Carver’s disappearance. We get the point already, move on to the real meat of the story please.

I thought the story focused on Siren, but it seemed that she was just a vehicle through which Carver’s and Patrick’s stories could take place. I didn’t like Siren. She was whiny and easily manipulated. She was constantly doubting her own emotions and just going along with whatever was presented to her. She didn’t have much of her own personality until the middle of the book, where the real story begins. The fact that Siren wouldn’t open the ring box for so very, very long makes me dislike her even more. Siren and the other characters would have been more relatable had there been no magic involved, but because there is a paranormal side to the novel, nothing seemed remotely likely and you will have to suspend your belief if you want to really get into this story.

This novel was published by Dragon’s Gold 01/05/2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.25

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Jennifer Melzer’s Website

Twitter

Book Review: Hunter’s Choice by A.J. Downey

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Hunter’s Choice by A.J. Downey

A Paranormal Romance Novel published by A.J. Downey (03/14/14)

Summary:

‘“Hi! You’ve reached Moonchild’s Owl Haven. The owner, Jessamine Connors is non-verbal so if you hear a high tone it means yes, a low tone it means no.’ (Kindle Locations 414-415).

Jessamine cares for her fly babies – her rescued owls – in and around her regular job working at an animal hospital. Her true love is for the owls at Moon child’s Owl Haven and for her friends and family that made the place possible. Charlie, her best friend, is 70 and Aaron is a teenager given a second chance and volunteering at the Haven. Jessamine has all she needs, except that she doesn’t think she is enough for someone to love because of her stutter. Along comes Hunter, a Barred Owl, and Jessamine is truly happy saving him and caring for him, but Hunter is not just an Owl and not content to sit by and watch Jess get hurt.

Keywords:

Owls, Hunter, Help, Vet, Stutter, Love, Myths, Shifter, Hospital, Friends, Family, Tough Chick, Second Chances, Disrespect, Sex Scenes, Violence

 

My Review:

Hunter’s Choice is one of AJ Downey’s first books and you can see that it is less sophisticated with grammar and writing style than her later works. But from the very beginning, you can also see how great Downey is at writing a compelling story and layering the plot and giving life to her characters. Everything that makes a good book a good book is here in Hunter’s Choice. You just have to get used to the grammar errors and they won’t bother you too much, because the story has great flow and the sentence structure is not difficult to read.

I love how Jessamine is a person before she’s a romantic character aka love interest. Jessamine has her own story and her own background and interests and passions even before the main man shows up. She doesn’t assume someone will save her when she’s in dire straits, she doesn’t just give up. She is a fighter and stubborn even though she has low self-esteem. That is where she has room to grow and she does. She is a broken character that can be healed by the power of love and it’s so gratifying to watch her bloom.

I didn’t need Hunter’s background in so much detail, but it was valuable to have an explanation for the paranormal aspect of this book.

This novel was published by A.J. Downey on March 14th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

A.J. Downey’s Blog

Goodreads

AJ Downey’s Facebook

Book Review: I Am the Alpha by AJ Downey and Ryan Kells

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I Am the Alpha by AJ Downey and Ryan Kells

A Paranormal/Action/Romance Novel published by Second Circle Press (08/04/15)

Summary:

Chloe never knew that her father, a stern accountant who is continuously disappointed in his daughter and her life choices, is none other than the Hangman, the deadliest Wolf-Kind hunter of his generation. Chloe just wants to make her own choices in life, but all control is taken from her when William kidnaps her. She puts up a fight at every turn, but eventually finds out why she was chosen. When she learns that her father killed William’s father and Alpha of the Pack, her feelings towards William as a kidnapper soften. When he is gentle and cares for her well-being, Chloe begins to see things from his perspective and to see him for the strong protector type he really is.

Keywords:

Wolf-Kind, Kidnapped, Hunters, Alphas, Twins, Murder, Harsh Laws, Violence, Fleeing, Fighting, Change, Seattle, Healing, Pack, Bitten, Mate, Stubborn

 

My Review:

I couldn’t put this book down. AJ Downey’s books are so tense and exciting that it is hard to stop reading them. I’m eagerly awaiting the second and third books in this series.

There were parts, granted, that delved into the annoying tropes of paranormal/romance books, but I almost didn’t care because I was so enthralled with what was going on and how the characters were interacting. I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

AJ Downey and Ryan Kells delve upon the surface of something fascinating: discrimination and pure hatred of wolf-kind/hybrid. This is a concept that makes the easy-read paranormal/romance into a deeper book.

“As reviled as he was, I was my father’s daughter in some of the more important ways. The ones that really counted. Having a backbone was one of those ways. I was also my mother’s daughter. Even though she’d died when I was young, she’d taught me understanding. To look beyond the surface. Past the color of people’s skin, past their clothes or where they lived or how they were raised.” (Kindle locations 3777-3781).

Downey and Kells also go just deep enough into Pack politics and the biological particulars to build a world that I’m interested in. I’m not usually interested in paranormal, though Downey has shown me the better side of romance novels, but I Am the Alpha has more going on than most novels.

Chloe has the right amount of stubbornness and she continuously, at first, fights back even against an insurmountable foe as William. She has spit and fire within her and doesn’t give up until she has completely exhausted all possibilities for escape. Toward the end of the novel, though, she gets even stronger and more stubborn in her convictions. William is a good balance between gentle, sympathetic man to jerk captor wolf-kind. He is the character I most liked.

This novel was published by Second Circle Press on August 4th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

A.J. Downey’s Blog

Goodreads

Facebook

Book Review: Burn (Salem’s Revenge) (Volume 3) by David Estes

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Brew (Salem’s Revenge) (Volume 1) by David Estes

A YA Fantasy/Paranormal Novel published by Amazon Digital Services (01/26/2015)

 

Summary:

Now knowing the secret of Martin Carter, Laney decides to try to see if she can do something about his curse because she loves Rhett Carter. She and Bil Nez are captured though and it will take all of their combined efforts to find a way out of their predicament. On the other side is Rhett, who is desperately trying to keep the peace between the magic born and humans before the all-out battle he knows will happen in three days’ time.

Keywords:

Witches, Warlocks, Wizards, Paranormal, World Domination, Power Struggle, End of Humanity, Death, Violence, Evil, Hero, Challengers, Revenge, Hunting, Killing, Grudges

 

My Review:

I didn’t think the chapters from the POV of Hex or Grogg were necessary. Grogg reminded me of Lord of the Rings’ Gollum in many ways. Grogg also reminded me of Perry in the Dweller Saga, whose function in the story I also did not get.

This third and final book in the trilogy was super exciting and full of action in the all-out final battle while still leaving the story open as a world to play in for further books.

What I loved the most about David Estes’ writing is the characters. He sums them up and their relationships with each other himself in this book, “Laney Harris, the Master of Witty Comebacks and Love of my Life, Tillman Huckle, the Surprisingly Brave Gamer and Weapons Seller, Hex, the Wonderdog (and so much more!), Grogg, the Master-less Mud Troll, Floss, the Pierced Non-Witch-Hunter, Trish, The Breaker of Curses and Bringer of Hope, Rain Carter, The Prodigal Daughter, Martin Carter, My Dad, and yes, even Bil-freaking-Nez, who hasn’t had a blackout in months, and the Reaper, who’s not such a bad guy after all.”
Estes is able to build an entire world and an entire cast of characters without losing any understanding of who is who and what is what. He layered the story and the characters perfectly throughout the books so that I knew each and every one.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services 01/26/2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

David Estes’s Website

Twitter

Book Review: Boil (Salem’s Revenge) (Volume 2) by David Estes

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Brew (Salem’s Revenge) (Volume 1) by David Estes

A YA Fantasy/Paranormal Novel published by Amazon Digital Services (10/01/2014)

Summary:

“You can’t make yourself a hero,” I say. “You have to be born one. And sometimes the least likely heroes are the ones this world needs the most.” (Kindle Locations 4972-4973).

Rhett, after joining the side of the witch hunters, is bent on revenge. He thinks he now knows who is who and what is what in this battle between human born and magic born. There are three warring factions and Rhett is seeking out the New American Government to fight on their side for the humans. Laney is supportive until Rhett wants to use Trish, Laney’s sister, to help them. When they go their separate ways, it will take magic and their feelings for one another to bring them back together. Rhett’s anger has pushed him this far, but will it be too much? Will it cloud his judgement in the moment when he needs clarity, or will it prompt him forward past the point of bravery?

Keywords:

Witches, Warlocks, Wizards, Paranormal, World Domination, Power Struggle, End of Humanity, Death, Violence, Evil, Hero, Challengers, Revenge, Hunting, Killing, Grudges

 

My Review:

Second books in series with romance always seem to see the potential partners separated for one reason or another and Boil is no exception. Laney and Rhett have their differences, but so far it hadn’t kept them apart, but when Rhett wants to use Trish in his plan, that’s the last straw for Laney.

I like how Laney sticks by her convictions. So does Rhett, but in a world where it’s difficult to tell who’s on what side and where allegiances lie, convictions can only get you so far.

The brooding/boiling romance that was hinted at in book one is on fire in book two! David Estes writes such great budding/building romances in books. They aren’t just one and done or love at first sight. They are built on the stuff all great relationships are built on and Estes builds them up slow and steady to get a real heartbreaking relationship.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services 10/01/2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

David Estes’s Website

Twitter

Book Review: Brew (Salem’s Revenge) (Volume 1) by David Estes

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Brew (Salem’s Revenge) (Volume 1) by David Estes

A YA Fantasy/Paranormal Novel published by Amazon Digital Services (10/01/2014)

 

Summary:

“Let me teach you how to fight witches,” (Kindle Location 655).
What if the Salem Witch Trials actually did capture and kill witches? What if, many many years later more witches were discovered and hunted and killed? What if the witches banded together to wipe out all of humanity? Cue Salem’s Revenge and David Estes’ series about witches. Brew begins with Rhett Carter, your slightly off average black football playing book lover with a soft spot for others and a penchant to avoid violence. Add in his best friend who’s gay, Xavier and Beth the girl Rhett loves. When their world falls apart at the beginning of the Revenge, Rhett will do anything to find his two best friends, even learn to hunt and kill witches from his neighbor.

 

Keywords:

Witches, Warlocks, Wizards, Paranormal, World Domination, Power Struggle, End of Humanity, Death, Violence, Evil, Hero, Challengers, Revenge, Hunting, Killing, Grudges

 

My Review:

I don’t read books about witches. I stopped reading books about wizards when I was in high school but I had confidence in David Estes that he could write a book that I would love. I was right. Estes has a knack for building a story that anyone would love, even if the parts aren’t normally what you want to read. Witches. Sure. Wizards. Certainly. The main part of the story is the main character’s journey, how Rhett Carter exists and survives in this world of chaos and paranormal. His story is written well and his relationships with his friends, so briefly shown in the beginning, and the developing relationships between Rhett and Laney and Rhett and his new dog Hex are what brings the reader into the story and makes the story alive.

The first book in the Salem’s Revenge series sets up the main characters and the goal: to save themselves and humanity in the fight between witch gangs to end humans. Brew, the first in the series has an awesome end of the book battle that answers and raises questions to be answered with the continuation and conclusion of the series.

This book is told from Rhett’s point of view, but the reader gets a real good feel for Laney and many of the other characters. I loved all of the characters and felt that their strengths and their weakness brought them to life.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services 10/01/2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Goodreads

David Estes’s Website

Twitter

Book Review: The Reluctant Sacrifice by Kerr-Ann Dempster

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The Reluctant Sacrifice by Kerr-Ann Dempster

A Fantasy/Paranormal Novel published by Kerr-Ann Dempster (08/07/2014)

 

Summary:

“Just because something doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.” (Kindle Locations 2038-2039).

Aubrey Shaw will fulfill the prophecy. She will be sacrificed on the 12th day of the 12th month and all the Aramithian souls will be forgiven. There is just one problem. Aubrey doesn’t want to die. They thought she would be an easy target as a Dud with no special skills, but as it turns out she’s been gifted as a Jumper and by switching bodies she’s managed to evade capture for a while. However, her predictability is guessed by her previous crush and best friend Joshua, who is now tasked with finding and turning her in to her heartless sister Morgan and the other hunters.

 

Keywords:

Paranormal, Myth, Sacrifice, Souls, Switching Bodies, Living, Friendship, Trust, Loyalty, Love, Lust, Scars, Revenge, Death, Violence, Murder, Fire, Invisibility, Fog Manipulation

 

My Review:

This book was fast paced with quite a bit of action. It will keep you engaged and interested and hold your attention throughout.

Let’s talk paranormal. I am not one to seek out a book marketed as “paranormal” as I’m tired of the paranormal tropes and I prefer more realistic fiction. The Reluctant Sacrifice, though paranormal, was not a run of the mill story. It was a paranormal world full of different abilities, not your usual vampires or werewolves or witches. Dempster gives us something not completely unusual, but not wholly stereotypical of the genre. She gives us enough uniqueness to keep the reader guessing and enough commonality to give the reader something to relate to. Aubrey is an almost normal girl in an almost normal world.

My favorite part about Dempster’s writing is her dialogue and the witty banter she writes, as well as the relationships between the main characters. The back and forth dialogue between Tessa and Aubrey was so much fun to read.

This novel was published by Kerr-Ann Dempster 08/07/2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Kerr-Ann Dempster’s Website

Twitter