Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Published By: Dell

Date of Publication: October 31, 2006

Categories: Adult, Fairy, Series, Urban Paranormal, Vampire 

Pages: 342

Summary (from goodreads.com): MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death-a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone-Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed-a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae…

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane-an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women-closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book-because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands…

Review: I just finished reading Darkfever and to be honest, it was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. A friend of mine lent it to me. She’s really into fantasy. I’m not so much. I like at least a little reality in my books. So I was thinking I’d read Darkfever and tell her that the rest of the books in the series weren’t for me. Boy was I wrong.

I think once I had read the first chapter I knew I was going to l like it. Mac is a very likable character. She’s spunky and does what she wants. I like that. She kind of reminded me of Sookie Stackhouse at first, another character that I really enjoy.

I’m still not sure what to think of Barrons though. I’m not sure if I like him or if he’s out to use Mac for her abilites. It’s unusual that I can’t make up my mind about a character – usually I either love them or hate them right off the bat.

The novel is set in Ireland, a place that I’d love to go to, but haven’t traveled to yet. Reading Darkfever I almost felt like I was there. I love books like that. It draws you into the story and you can picture yourself in the middle of the action. The setting added a lot to my enjoyment.

I think this series if off to a great start and I’m excited to read the next one in the Fever series, Bloodfever.

Image: goodreads.com

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Wake by Lisa McMann

Published By: Simon Pulse

Date of Publication: March 4 2008

Categories:Fiction, Series, Urban Paranormal, YA

Pages: 210

Summary (from goodreads.com): For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant.

Review: I read this book in an afternoon – the first time I’ve ever done that with a book. I just couldn’t put it down.

Janie is a very likable main character. She knows what she wants and is willing to put the hard work in to get it, whether it’s taking control of her “problem”, working hard at school to get good grades, or working a job at a nursing home to save up the money to go to university.

Cabel is definitely the kind of guy that I would have liked in high school. In fact, I might have had a crush on a guy that sounds pretty similar to what Cabel is like – right down to the long hair (what can I say, it was high school). I love guys who you have to work to get to know, that are holding something back, that have a deep dark secret. They’re so much interesting than happy go lucky guys. I really enjoyed reading about him.

As much as I liked both Janie and Cabel, I felt like their relationship progressed a little too fast for me. It seems like they went from not talking to each other to kissing and holding hands almost over night. It felt like they skipped a couple steps. But once I figured out where their relationship was, I really liked them together. I’m hoping that I’ll get to read more about the two of them together in the next book in this series, Fade.

I thought the story was really original too. I’ve read a couple other books about dreams, but this one was totally different, and had a great spin on the powers that Janie had. I’m interested to see how Janie uses those powers later on in the series.

I recently read Cryer’s Cross, also by Lisa McMann, and found the writing styles between this one and Cryer’s Cross really different. Surprisingly though, I really liked both of them. So if you didn’t like one try reading the other one, you just might like it.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

Published By: Simon Pulse

Date of Publication:  February 8 2011

Categories:Fiction, Urban Paranormal, YA

Pages: 233

Summary (from goodreads.com): The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on… until Kendall’s boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it’s crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear…and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating…and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico’s mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

Review: I’ve now read three of Lisa McMann’s books, and I have to say that Cryer’s Cross is my favorite. I loved everything about it.

I really enjoy reading books about mental illness. It’s something that you can’t see on the outside, but probably affects people just as much as a physical illness. I wasn’t disappointed in Kendall’s portrayal of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I thought it was very real, while at the same time being something that I could understand.

One thing that I really liked was the friendship that evolved between Kendall and Jacian. It didn’t happen overnight, like I feel happens sometimes. It had a rocky beginning, until things started to fall into place.

I liked that Kendall’s romance (I won’t say who it is, cause I don’t want to give anything away), didn’t happen immediately. It happened slowly and very naturally. It took work to get there. I loved being able to take every step with the both of them. It was a lot more fun as a reader to read it that way than it is if it happens all of a sudden.

I found it hard to put this book down. It was tough to pull myself away from it. I haven’t felt like that about a book in awhile, so it was great to have that with Cryer’s Cross.

If you’re looking for a very creepy book to read, I would definitely recommend Cryer’s Cross.

Connect with the Author:

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Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Published By: Harper Collins

Date of Publication: February 15, 2011

Categories:Fiction, Mystery, Series, Urban Paranormal, YA

Pages: 368

Summary (from goodreads.com):

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Review: I was really looking forward to reading this sequel after reading The Body Finder. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Violet and Jay’s relationship was still just as cute as ever, without being over flowery. I really liked that when they’re together they’re so perfect for each other, but they still manage to be able to get along without each other too. The characters aren’t based on each other, so they’re still interesting when they’re apart. I have to admit that Jay is one of my favorite YA boyfriends.

One thing that I really like about Violet’s character is that she’s a strong, independent female main character. I’ve read book after book where the main character is nothing like Vioelet (sometimes it works, but often it doesn’t), so it was a lot of fun to have Violet back again. She doesn’t sit around and wait for someone else bigger and stronger to save the day when she’s in trouble. She does something about it herself.

One part of the story that I really enjoyed and thought kept it fresh was the FBI storyline. I thought it was interesting to see how Violet reacted to that. I’m excited to see where that goes in the next book.

In terms of the mystery part of this book, I have to admit that for me it fell a little short of The Body Finder, although it wasn’t bad at all – it just wasn’t as creepy as the first one.

If you’re looking for a book with great characters, a really sweet relationship, a paranormal component, and a mystery, this is definitely the book for you.

Click here to check out my review of the first book in this series, The Body Finder.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Published By: Hyperion

Date of Publication: March 2 2010

Categories:Boarding School, Fairy, Fiction, Ghost, Series, Urban Paranormal, Vampire, Werewolf, Witch, YA

Pages: 323

Summary (from goodreads.com): Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Review: I have to start off by saying that I love the way Rachel Hawkins incorporates humor into this novel. There were a few times that I went back and read certain parts cause they were really funny. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book like that.

Archer was a great character to be Sophie’s love interest. I love guys like Archer – a little bit mystery, a little broody, there’s just something that you can’t pin down with him. It’s very mysterious, and it makes me want to read more to learn what it is.

The cast of supporting characters is great too. There’s a lot of them, because the story takes place at a boarding school. But they each have their own identity and voice, so they don’t all blend into each other. It’s kind of cool too, to have so many supernatural beings all in one book – everything from witches to werewolves, and everything in between.

I found it hard to put this book down because there was always something happening – there weren’t any slow or boring parts. The pacing was great.

While it would be easy to group this book with the other boarding school paranormal books just by reading the summary, it’s definitely more than that. It’s fresh and original and deal with more than just the paranormal. There are lots of teen stuff in there too, like friendship, betrayal, relationships, and even prom.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, Demonglass. I HAVE to find out what happens to everyone, not to mention the cliffhanger!

Connect with the Author:

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Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Published By: Simon & Schuster

Year of Publication: October 19, 2010

Categories:Angels, Urban Paranormal, YA, Series

Pages: 427

Summary (from goodreads.com): Nora Grey’s life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn’t pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He’s more elusive than ever and even worse, he’s started spending time with Nora’s arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Path hadn’t been acting so distant. Even with Scott’s totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him – despite her lingering feeling that he’s hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she trusts.

Review: I have to start off by saying that I know that some people didn’t enjoy this book – and I totally understand why – they found Nora annoying. But at the same time, these people have to remember that Nora is a teenager! Okay, her decisions don’t always make sense, but she’s a teen! I didn’t make my best decisions when I was her age either.

Now that I have that out of the way, I have to say that I really enjoyed reading Crescendo. It’s great to read a YA book that still has urban paranormal elements, though without the usual vampires, werewolves, or zombies (not that I don’t enjoy those books, I totally do – but it’s nice to have a break once in awhile). I haven’t read many books with angels in them, but I have a feeling I’ll be reading more after being impressed with Becca Fitzpatrick’s books.

One thing that I really enjoyed about Crescendo is that it gives a lot of background information about Nora’s history, and even how the world of angels works. I was able to make connections and feel like I was fully immersed in the world that Becca had created. I love feeling like that when I read.

I thought the ending was done really well – there was a lot of action, and I could hardly put Crescendo down, cause I had to know what was going to happen next.

All in all I would definitely recommend this book. It was a great read. Now I just have to be patient enough to wait for the next book in the series, Silence, to come out in October.

Check out my review of the first book in this series, Hush Hush.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Published By: HarperCollins

Year of Publication: 2010

Categories:YA, Fiction, Urban Paranormal

Pages: 336

Summary (from goodreads.com):

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Review: This was an absolutely fantastic YA book! I haven’t read one this good in awhile.

First off, I thought Violet was a great main character – I liked her a lot. The decisions she made made sense, even though they once in awhile they made me a little crazy. I also liked Jay – who is absolutely perfect for Violet. I thought Jay was the typical buy next door without being typical or boring. The other character that stood out for me was Violet’s uncle, the police chief.

Two thirds of the way through the book I thought I had everything figured out, but there was still a substantial number of pages left. I couldn’t figure out what was going to fill up the rest of the book. Then the twist happened, and it filled out the rest of the pages. I never saw it coming, and I thought it was a great way to end it. If the twist hadn’t have happened I think the book would have wrapped things up a little too perfectly, but luckily Kimberly knows what she’s doing.

Violet and Jay are one of my favorite couples. Unlike a lot of YA books, they don’t instantly fall for each other. Instead, they’ve been best friends forever – literally since they were little – and slowly start to see each other as more than friends. The whole time Violet was trying to figure out her feelings for Jay and actually let him know how she felt about him, I was hoping that she’d have the guts to do it, and finally be a couple.

I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on the next book in the series, Desires of the Dead, which was released on February 15.

Connect with Kimberly Derting:

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Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.