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Reviews Written by
Emma Meade "Emma Meade" (Ireland)

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The Forgotten Ones: Book 1 (The Danaan Trilogy)
The Forgotten Ones: Book 1 (The Danaan Trilogy)
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Summertime Reading, 21 July 2013
The title initially attracted me to this book. It sounded eerie and slightly sinister. First off, the writing is beautiful. I read it over a couple of days in my back garden enjoying the sun and ice cold water. Lovely summertime reading.

I preferred the first half, which read like a contemporary romance, not a supernatural tale: young college girl falls in love with a guy who doesn't seem right for her, but they share a sizzling attraction for each other. I felt drawn to both Allison and Ethan, and liked Allison's family immediately. I actually forgot that I was reading a paranormal book until I reached the half way point. Then BAM. Second half of book takes us on a fairy, Celtic mythology journey and it's outright fantasy until the last page. The change of genre was abrupt, and while I enjoyed the rest of the book, my heart remained with the first half, and I missed the characters from Allison's life at home.

Lovely writing, would recommend this book.

Death is a Gift
Death is a Gift
Price: £3.70

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 9 July 2013
This review is from: Death is a Gift (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the banshee element and the local Irish lingo. Paul and Cliona drove me mental, though, constantly going round and round in circles. There was a lovely, lonely yet magical atmosphere to this tale. I could see the opening credits of a TV adaptation with a crow flying through the woods to land on the roof of the eerie house only to turn into a girl who looks out over the village waiting for a sign of death.

Forever Road (Peri Jean Mace Ghost Thrillers Book 1)
Forever Road (Peri Jean Mace Ghost Thrillers Book 1)
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars So good, 6 July 2013
So good. Excellent writing, straight talking, no bull protagonist and an intriguing murder mystery.
I hadn't read a book like Forever Road before. The depiction of small town life in East Texas reeled me in. Peri is a cool, no nonsense woman. She doesn't suffer fools gladly; she's tough and strong.
The ghost stuff isn't front and centre - it's kept to the background for the most part. Anyone who may be wary of picking up a paranormal book needn't worry.

Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter
Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Mature YA Novel, 2 July 2013
Kill first vampire. Get drunk. Kiss a Boy. Lose Virginity

Eighteen year old Aurora Sky manages to tick all these boxes with grim determination.This was a pleasant change of pace from the usual teen vampire novel. After almost dying in a car crash, Aurora's former shadow-like personality dies too. Gone is the mind-my-own-business school girl whose only goal in life is to get out of Alaska. She's replaced with someone tougher, a girl who had to grow up all of a sudden and deal with the fact that the future she had in mind has been ripped away, and not only that, there are vampires in the world, and she's been tasked with hunting them. Shady government types replaced Aurora's organs and saved her from certain death. She gets to live, so as long as she works for them. Her rare blood type paralyses vampires temporarily. Aurora must let a vampire feed on her, and then kill them. Good times.

Aurora realises she almost died a virgin and can't think of anything worse than that. So she makes out a short list and sets about ticking each item off. There's something heart-wrenching about how she achieves each one. In this book, first time sex is depicted pretty realistically and honestly. It's painful, unromantic and unpleasant for Aurora.

The way people become vampires was another interesting aspect. If you've got AB Negative blood - watch out! You may be in danger of becoming undead. Vamps in this universe turn when they catch a disease. Rabies, the plague and so on. If you've got that rare blood type, become infected and survive, you're a vampire. Aurora is in danger of becoming one herself if she doesn't keep up her injections containing the antidote, a nice way for the government meanies to keep her in check. And a great method of keeping the reader on edge.

I liked Aurora - she's cool. A bit of an outcast at school, even more so after the accident. Her dad is a creep. I'm not sure what his story is, but maybe we'll find out in part 2. I found her love interest, Fane, sexy, but not exactly likeable, at least for some of the book. He goes from one girl to another very casually. This is a mature YA book. It doesn't shy away from sex and language - nothing too graphic, but I appreciated the honesty.

The descriptions of the Alaskan landscape were rich. I was right there in the beautiful cold with Aurora. Snow, glaciers, frosty whiteness everywhere. Freezing but gorgeous. I have to get there some day.

Another enjoyable read by Nikki Jefford.I'm looking forward to the next part in this book series.

What I've Done
What I've Done
Price: £1.36

4.0 out of 5 stars Team Gabe, 27 April 2013
This review is from: What I've Done (Kindle Edition)
My heart went out to Lily. She never got to be a kid.
Her dad died young and her mother failed to cope with the loss, leaving her daughters to fend for themselves.
I didn't know this was a paranormal story when I started reading it. But I caught on early enough. A beach scene tipped me off and I knew where it was headed.
This was an easy read. I found myself wanting to work in a surf shop and live in California. The sunny, easy-going setting was vibrantly described.

A lovely story. I'm team Gabe though!

A Different Blue
A Different Blue
Price: £3.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 27 April 2013
This review is from: A Different Blue (Kindle Edition)
When I read the blurb for this I picked it up immediately, but then I wasn't sold by the first couple of chapters. I pushed on and soon realised what a beautiful, painful, tragic and hopeful story this was.

The writing was excellent, drawing me in to the unusual and turbulent life that was Blue. Blue's character was powerfully evoked. She is a survivor. She doesn't complain about her past. Her strength and compassion for others is evident, but she doesn't see it herself. She dresses quite trampy, sleeps around and her self-esteem is pretty low. It shouldn't be. She's more intelligent and talented than most people, but her hard upbringing has left its scars.

The descriptions of her wood carvings allowed me to clearly picture every piece of art she worked on. The desert setting became a character in itself, tough, resilient but beautiful - just like Blue.
I would have liked to see her relationship with Wilson move along somewhat faster, and at times I wanted to slap Wilson and tell him he was being a prat. Wilson's sister, Tiffa was another vibrant character. I found myself wanting to hang out with her and Blue.

I couldn't put this book down and when the pieces of Blue's puzzle all came together in the end, I teared up. I'll say it once more: Stunning.

Thirst (Ava Delaney Book 1)
Thirst (Ava Delaney Book 1)
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Vampire Tale Set in Ireland, 25 April 2013
Thirst is a nice change of pace from the typical vampire universe - the vamps in this book are not the usual heartthrobs of modern YA stories. In fact, they're quite unattractive and smell of rot. Lovely! Their bodies begin to decompose if they don't have fresh blood, and they're not exactly great in the bedroom department. No fresh blood means no particular body parts getting what they need to perform...

Ava isn't your usual kick-ass heroine either. She gets pinned down a lot, is as physically strong as about the average woman, until she learns to embrace who she is.

Ava is a twenty-five year old hybrid (human-vampire) living in an unnamed city in Ireland. She keeps to herself, too afraid to get close to humans in case she attacks them. Her mother was bitten while she was in the womb, and as a result, Ava ingested poison. She's a daywalker and thirsts for human blood, but she lacks vampire strength, or so she believes.

When she saves a human from becoming a vampire's meal, she unintentionally binds that human, Carl, to her. He becomes her slave, and Ava sets about trying to undo this accident. She meets a vampire hunter, Peter, and some kind of magical being, Eddie. Suddenly, Ava is the hunted one. In a world where vampires haven't been able to turn humans in over a century, Ava represents hope to their dying race.

This is a quick, enjoyable read, just right if you want to spend a few lazy hours curled up on the couch. There's no real romance here, unless you count Carl's minion-like adoration for Ava, or the tentative attraction between Ava and Peter. It's actually refreshing for a vampire novel not to have any love triangles or angsty romantic undertones.

Peter was probably the most interesting character for me. We know his family was killed by supernaturals, but how? He's not your typical six foot plus hunk of a hero either. Peter's an average attractive guy who can handle himself. I liked Peter and hope he plays a bigger role in the second novella in this series, Taunt.

One thing I felt the story lacked was setting. There wasn't much description in this book, so I found I had to simply imagine my own landscape. Also, there was a lot of dialogue. That being said, it piqued my interest enough to go and buy the second in the series.

Enchantment (Spellbound Trilogy #3) (Spellbound series)
Enchantment (Spellbound Trilogy #3) (Spellbound series)
Price: £2.72

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun filled conclusion to the Spellbound trilogy., 18 April 2013
The plot veered off in a totally different direction to what I'd predicted. That was a nice surprise. The descriptions of Barcelona were spot on. I was brought right back to the gorgeous city.
These books have become more New Adult than YA as the series progressed, something I appreciated as the characters are growing up. I'm sad to say goodbye to Gray and the rest of the gang.
An entertaining, magic infused trilogy.

Duplicity (Spellbound Trilogy #2) (Spellbound series)
Duplicity (Spellbound Trilogy #2) (Spellbound series)
Price: £2.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witchy Delight, 4 April 2013
Shame on me for not getting to this book sooner. I read and was highly entertained by the first in the trilogy, Entangled, last year. Why the follow up slipped through my net, I don't know. I woke in the middle of the night recently with back pain and knew there was no getting back to sleep, so I grabbed my Kindle and got reading. I read this in a few hours, finishing about 4am. Totally distracted me from the pain - nice one!

If you haven't read the first book, beware of SPOILERS and stuff that may not make much sense.

Since the last book, Graylee is getting along fine in Stacey's body. She goes by Lee now. Lee's mom is dating Stacey's dad, so Lee gets to spend a lot of time with her mother. Her relationship with Raj is stronger than ever. All in all, life is pretty good these days. That is until her twin sister, Charlene, walks through the door claiming to be Gray. But Lee (in Stacey's body) is Gray; she's just in a different body. How can there be two of the same people? Are you still with me? I think I lost myself there, actually. Anyway, something magical and potentially dangerous is going on, and they figure it's down to the dirty rotten scoundrel of a sorcerer, Adrian.

I felt for Gray. She comes back from oblivion only to find Raj happily going out with Lee. Where does she fit in? Her mother already has a version of Gray in Lee. It seems like the only one really happy to have Gray around is Adrian. The separation of Gray and Lee was very well done. Despite these two starting out as the same person, it's made clear they're different "entities" now. In the past year, Lee's personality has changed a little. She's in the body of someone else, living with Stacey's father as Stacey, so of course she's going to grow up and develop. Gray, however, is the same. She doesn't have the recent life experience of Lee. She's raw Gray - if that makes any sort of sense.

I'd love to know more about oblivion. The concept of souls isn't explored in these books. How can there be one soul in two different bodies, and where was Gray before she suddenly puffed into existence in her sister's body, and what are they going to do about Charlene's soul just hovering around in France without a body? These are questions I'd like to see come into focus in the final book in the trilogy. From the sneak peek at the back of the book, we get to follow Gray in her new life in Barcelona. I visited that beautiful city last summer, so I'm looking forward to immersing myself in all things Catalan in Enchantment.

Entertaining and fast-paced, I sped through Duplicity just as I did Entangled. I liked all the characters in this book, something that rarely happens. Nikki Jefford is a talented author. Bring on book 3.

Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars It's A Cruel World Out There, 25 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Butterface (Kindle Edition)
Reading the blurb for Butterface made me both smile and cringe. Dogfight is one of my favourite films owing to the relationship between the main characters and the 60s music and themes. I will always remember the scene in the bathroom when Lili Taylor realises why River Phoenix brought her to the party, and I was waiting anxiously for that horrible moment to happen to Beth.

I felt for Beth even before I started reading. In such a short space of time, I fell very much in like with both Beth and Lucky. They're just kids, trying to make their way in a world that can often be cruel.
I liked the message at the heart of this story. Accept yourself, believe in yourself and your worth, work on your self-confidence and live.

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