Review: Sacrifice by Jessica Fortunato

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Book Review

Sin collector Trilogy: Book 2 Sacrifice by Jessica Fortunato

Finally the christmas holidays gave me some extra time to read and review novels again. I was looking forward to reading the sequel to Sin Collector by Jessica Fortunato three months ago, stored but not forgotten in my Aldiko reader shelf, but was always off due to other businesses. One great way to end this year is with a book review to this story.

The best moments in reading are, when you come across something.. a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things..that you’d thought special – particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met. And it’s as if a hand has come out and taken yours to a world of magic. – the history boys

As book 1, I was evenly mesmerized by the second book where you get to know more about other sin collector friends of Olexander former mentor and now in a deep relationship with Liliana. A common enemy the castus and one woman Ariadne who always seems to be one step ahead of all others. Lilianas now growing family, her mortality phase, new telekinetic powers, secrets about a family history, marriage party and an unforeseeable prophecy to come true, would this mean the end of the world as we know of?? Such questions might revolve within your mind, while the story unfolds its mystery and packed action in front of you during Lilianas fight for her beloved family that is worth fighting for. In my point of view this was a five star book written by a five star novelist. I am eager for the third book and patiently await its arrival.

Rating

Review : The Weeping Empress by Sadie Forsythe

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Being a Fan of Japanese fighting movies and recently also into action video games like call of duty made it for me easy to follow the action filled novel. I am rather got used to this form and I might as well see that this novel will make an excellent playstation or xbox game which I would want to play rather than read. This way it is more graphical. I imagine to play in the novels heroine character Chiyo who is taken by a supernatural force out of her modern natural environment and placed into another world, that has no particular background information until you read several chapters and even then I wasn’t fully satisfied. Though the idea to implement the idea of Chiyo the heroine and empress to be of the vast land of Dashkalil. But for a game it might be alright. The description of the fighting scenes is immense, I didn’t had any knowledge of samurai fighting at all, here you will get a glimpse of what it is like with some of its rules. This might as well be integrated very well into the game with different levels of expertise and ascension in degree and levels.
But this novel is not for everyone, even those that are into adventure fantasy with supernatural context. Accordingly for myself, one time reading is enough.

I like the fantasy stories more descriptive making the background information detailed, but am glad that I tried out something totally unfamiliar to my reading style.

As I said earlier I find this novel to be an excellent adventure action game in progress, that I would want to play eagerly but don’t need to read.

Overall rating 2.5 / 5.

Review: Crystal Shade – Angeni Vol. 1 by Istvan Szabo

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I would like to thank Istvan Szabo for giving the novel up for review.
The first novel introducing us to a fantasy trilogy upon we get to learn about the crystal shade and the main heroine of the story. How do I know it’s a she? Let’s take a look. From the cover there are some hints that might give some mental notes to some connections that I keep in mind for later on.
From the title I derive one of the keywords Angeni , it is an abbreviated girl name for angel. So the figure in the center is a girl with angel wings. Also we see the number 11 showing 3 times. Not only does this number shows the publishing date it is also versed inside the beginning of the story. We might also consider some symbolism or spiritual meaning behind the number and what I found out in some resources, which tell that one understanding of the number 1 is a new beginning and purity , in case the number occurs doubled then the power of the attributes are increased, no guarantees provided.

In the first chapter there is an old man indulging in his old memories, playful children come along and want to hear a story, so he tells the story of the person most dear to his heart, the one who he met long time ago and became one of the legendary guardian of the crystal shade. Displayed to us is a small glimpse into the childhood of Grace Sessa Aredia from the outskirts of Odessiana in the valley of Seradelphia. Her ultimate dream is to become an aresian guardian with white wings. Every person has a guardian angel for a lifetime, it guides the holder in giving hint of notions to which way to follow but in the end the holder must decide for him -/herself. The story continues where Grace actually becomes chosen by a higher mother to become a guardian, at first it is very hard for her to leave her family behind at such a young age, which symbolizes her pure soul and a start to a new beginning as Angeni. She has to learn about suffering, good and evil to be able to protect the people in Sachylia, and foremost will learn something on the crystal shade. Follow Grace in her search for the truth.

I liked the idea of the storytelling as well as the graphic style in the cover image that gave hints to the story. But the story line was kept on a slow pace, too slow for me to keep up with the mystery.

Overall rating 3 / 5.

Review: The Sin Collector by Jessica Fortunato

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What am I reading? How did this book get my attention. These and other questions are often asked to readers so here I am to answer it with this review.

First of all I want to thank Jessica Fortunato for giving this book up for review.

Have a look at the cover, though the graphic is very simple it just turns on your own imagination towards this novel, first I thought about a historical fiction story due to the old lettering style of the title.
Once I read the introduction on the book I thought I wasn’t very wrong about my intuition afterall. One of my favorite genre in fiction was historical fiction and this combined with some fantasy just made me interested so much more to read what is going on.

As you might have realized it is all about the sin collector, the first book in the trilogy. All is based on Liliana Masson the main character in the story, she is one of the Sin Collectors. What makes it interesting is she is immortal, remained at the age of 20 and didn’t grow old for 120 years, don’t we girls all look for remaining young physically. I am still young, though.
Back to Liliana Masson only looking into her eyes may uncover her true age, but no one up to 2009 did see, she never stayed long in one place so her cover remained unharmed. She was born human and grew up to her 20th birthday, the day when she collected her first sin by absorbing the bad thoughts of dying people is when she stopped ageing and became immortal, she became the sin collector. That doesn’t mean she cannot be harmed lethally.
Let’s go on, we are on to follow Liliana on some adventure on her way she meets with her old friend William from childhood and her Mentor Olexander who taught her everything about their kind. But there are some things she didn’t know, something that hasn’t been told to her.Enemies are not far away and the time is running out, will she be able to save her kind and find the answers she is looking for. Did I catch up your attention, read the book and you will know all.

For me it was everything that I could dream of. First I couldn’t understand the beginning but reading through, it fell all in place. The story was rich in imagination and colorful with descriptions. A new form of fantasy where anything is possible on an adventurous journey around the world. I am definitely interested in following up with the sequels.

Overall rating 5/5.

Guest Post by Melissa Douthit on romance

In life we are going through many paths and while there we are not alone. We are surrounded by friends and the people we love.
This is a story of love still in its beginning and it is nurtured so it can grow stronger with time. Here is my review.

Many thanks given to Melissa Douthit who is sharing with us her thoughts on the emotions shared between two young people.

Excerpt from The Vanishing, pages 49-51:

She lowered the cowl of her cloak and held out her hand to help him up. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you that it isn’t wise to sneak up on a Cantonese?” she asked.

Grabbing her hand, he said: “A Cantonese?” She pulled him smoothly to his feet with very little effort. He marveled at her strength, still goggling at her in amazement. She was so strong for someone so petite. Then he furrowed his brows in puzzlement. “You don’t look Cantonese,” he added. It was true. She didn’t. The Cantonese were dark of hair and skin. Their eyes were usually dark as well, although some did have lighter shades of brown, hazel, and even green, but they were never this bright, nor this blue, like the sky on a cloudless, summer day, and they were never accompanied with the fair skin and the blond hair like the young woman before him. Stop gawking at her! he told himself silently. You look like an idiot! Yet, who was she? And why did she seem so familiar?

“Yeah, I hear that all the time but I was born and raised there,” she replied. “It’s the truth. I grew up with my Grandfather, Sebastian, and my Grandmother, Naelli. I don’t remember my mother and know virtually nothing of the rest of my family …” As she spoke, a memory of when he was eleven years old flashed in his mind. They were in the wine cellar of the Pandretti Inn and Winery, playing a game. Of course, she had been cheating at the time, as she always did. She had just jumped out of an empty wine barrel and tagged him the ghost when he said …

“Chalice?” She cocked her head in surprise at hearing her name. “Your family owns the old Inn and Winery on Canton Run, right?” She nodded and he continued: “I thought you were one of the Lost Ones. I couldn’t tell with your hood up. Wow, you have really gotten a lot bigger since the last time I saw you …” He paused, wincing as he moved his shoulder and felt a sharp pang. “… and a lot stronger too,” he added, rubbing the sore spot, hunching over slightly, with a pained expression. Apparently, the knock she had given him bruised a little more than just his pride.

Her face softened. “I’m sorry for that,” she said, gesturing toward his shoulder. “I don’t know my own strength sometimes.”

He shrugged it off as if to tell her not to worry about it. “Well, I learned my lesson, didn’t I?” he said. “I’m never going to try that again.” It did hurt but he wasn’t going to let her know. He had to act tough, he told himself, on principle.

She eyed him curiously. “You say you’ve seen me. Have we met before?”

“You don’t remember?” he asked with raised eyebrows. He was puzzled that she didn’t remember something that was so clear to him. Nine years earlier, when they were children, he had spent three years in Canton with her and her grandparents. His parents had had to leave on a search mission and his brothers had gone to stay with the Corbins. There had been no room for Jeremiah there and as Sebastian Pandretti had been in town visiting at the time, it was, according to his father, the best solution for him. He suddenly remembered Canton and the games she and he played when they were young. It seemed as if it were almost yesterday. “Ghost-in-the-Graveyard,” he continued, “in the wine cellar of the Inn? You cheated all the time.” He laughed. “You really don’t remember?” Sighing, he finally said: “Ah well, you were pretty young then.”

She studied him for a moment and then, suddenly, her face lit up in recognition. “Oh my gosh, no, I do remember!” she exclaimed. “Jeremiah?!” she asked and he nodded. “Jeremiah Maehbeck! How could I have forgotten?!”

He smiled as she said the words and caught a twinkle of joy in her eye at seeing him again. Then he suddenly realized what had been missing in his life this whole time. After all these years, he finally understood the emptiness inside of him and realized what could fill it – the only thing that could fill it. It was her.

As stated in the excerpt, the two main characters, Chalice and Jeremiah, knew each other as children.  When they meet again, they remember the friendship they shared as kids.  It begins to grow and blossom into something stronger throughout the first book, coming to fruition at the end.  In so many other YA stories I’ve read, a meet-cute is usually between two strangers who fall in love, but I wanted this one to be different.  The Vanishing is particularly romantic because Jeremiah feels something deep down, something missing from his life that he describes as a hole in his chest, and then finally learns what it is when he sees her again.  That is, his heart remembers.

After asking so many people their opinions on romantic relationships in YA stories, I decided I wanted Chalice and Jeremiah’s relationship to progress and mature in the second book.  I wanted it to be real.  I wanted the reader to see how close they are, not just emotionally but also physically, while at the same time maintaining the sweetness of their relationship, keeping it very mild and tasteful.  I’ve read so many YA series where the two main protagonists seem to be stuck in this kiss-and-talk-only mode.  For me, this seems a bit unrealistic for an 18-year-old and 21-year-old who want to be married.  But there is also another reason for the maturation of their relationship and it has to do with something that happens at the very end of the trilogy.  That’s all I can say on that because I don’t want to spoil it, but I believe readers will love it and find it very sweet … at least I hope they will.  I do.

Contest – Free Kindle

Enter a drawing and win a free Kindle by answering the following question:

Why is The Vanishing romantic?

To answer the question go to this link and fill in the information (place answer in Message field):

Contest ends March 10, 2012.  Winner will be announced March 11th on Melissa Douthit’s Blog.

The Firelight of Maalda on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Review: The Firelight of Maalda by Melissa Douthit

image Reading YA stories is very new to me, I got caught up while reading the stories of Sara Shepard. Many people think that top reviews are only given because the author has his friends, and but that is not the case with me. Personally I don’t know the author Melissa Douthit and we are separated by continents. Our connection came with her seeking for book reviewers and I read her post looking up book clubs on goodreads.
Naturally I wrote to her and she has given to me a free copy to read. The review that I give are plainly just on the story and it is my personal opinion where everyone has the right to acknowledge or not. To go through life means to open your eyes and heart and not to judge negatively.

I liked the first book very much so I read this, too. The story continues where Chalice and her friends are on their way to the underground city Portalis in tow with the townspeople who have been imprisoned before and are freed to flee alongside the friends of Chalice. Many are in shock and they believe to be healed in Portalis.
Of course romance is also a part of the Raie’Chaelia Series where we become witnesses to a growing relationship between Chalice and Jeremiah Maehbeck. It is a great responsibility that is shared and their love grows on with the experiences that they are going through together. Apart from the fact that their relationship won’t be accepted in their society they go on to hold to each other.

In all I would give it a 4/5 overall rating.

Review: The Raie’Chaelia by Melissa Douthit

I came across the Book of AWESOME.

My own awesome list entry would be:

Waking up in the early morning on a cool autumn day covered under warm blankets and reading the fun, mystery, suspense, romantic all in one book The Raie’Chaelia…AWESOME.

It is definitely for me a story to get lost in and caught up in a fantasy world, that you don’t want to leave. Its title alone lets you fantasize about its story. The story is filled with lots of mystery and secrets that gets going deeper into every chapter with precise description that you think you are part of the story living inside the adventure.

An incredible adventure story that reminds me on other fantasy novels I read before like The Hobbit and the Chronicles of Narnia.

It has anything that makes up for a great fantasy book: magic and kingdoms, different civilizations with their unique ways of living, culture and traditions, battle between good and evil beautifully presented and described.

The book was up to its end a well brought up story to be recommended to all who like to read YA fantasy, or those who want to try out reading other genres.