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on 2 May 2012
The Conduit - Stacey Rourke

All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is to head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for. And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met. Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.

While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon. She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shape shifting demon on the rooftop. Life isn't always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn't have to do it alone. With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each other's' nerves. Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever--their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

The Conduit - excerpt.
Okay, little side note here. If a psychopathic killer asks if you want to see a trick, say no. That's the smart thing to do. I, on the other hand, responded, "Bring it."

I never expected to be brought fully into the world in which The Conduit features. I loved the cover art, the small hints I'd seen already of comments made me laugh and antsy to start reading it...and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. I was immediately thrown into the story as the main character, Celeste, who moves with her brother Gabe and sister Kendall to live with their Grandmother - a gutsy, slightly eccentric woman who loves her grandchildren.

I feel that the writing in The Conduit is very strong, bringing to life all the emotions that are felt when your entire life changes within an instant. Starting with finding a wooden gryphon in her grandmothers garage (her brothers fault for not parking her car properly) and pricking her things open - things start to speed up. A flat tire means she meets Alec, an intern cameraman who is obsessed with the stories of a panther seen around lately.

Rourke really builds up the suspense when the three siblings find themselves being taught by a winged woman/glowing eagle in how to use their powers - but Celeste gets bored with just watching the events, as she isn't given the powers that her brother and sister hold. A chance to save her sister from the panther-shifter who is the main villain means that Celeste gets enough power to seriously kick some psychopath butt.

When things get really personal, Celeste, Gabe and Kendall really go to town, ending up facing a fire-breathing dragon, intent on killing them all so he can complete his nefarious plot - like all good villains should!

Rourke makes sure that the coming sequel, Embrace, is eagerly anticipated by leaving you with a brilliant cliff-hanger that makes you want to just curl up somewhere warm, preferably quiet, and call back into the world that started in The Conduit.

I'd definitely rate this book a 4.5/5!!
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on 17 March 2012
Eighteen year old Celeste Garrett just wants to be like other teenagers - go to college, have fun and make bad choices - but thanks to a pact made by one of her ancestors in the 17th century to a mystical creature, she has to save the world.

I loved this book! It is a refreshing change to read about other mythical beings, rather than just the usual suspects - vampires, werewolves etc. I'm not disrespecting the authors of said books, but I've always been intrigued with the other beings which are not in the mainstream psyche. Mainly Banshees, Sphinxes, Pixies, Trolls and Gryphon's to name a few. Ever since I was a small child and my mother began reading fairy tales to me, I have always wondered "What if?". This is what started me on my love of the paranormal world.
The Conduit is a fantastic tale. I love the characters. Celeste is the middle child (like me) and seems to have a level head on her shoulders. However, she has a tendency to have a smart mouth, which gets her in to trouble. Her older brother, Gabriel (Gabe for short) has made a few mistakes, but he's trying to sort himself out. Kendall, her younger sister, is still in high school. Their Grandmother is an eccentric character! I wish I had a Grandmother like her, even though it would embarrass me like you wouldn't believe! She does, however, give sage advice. However, I would have liked a bit more interaction between Celeste and the Gryphon. Hopefully, there will be as this series continues.
Stacey Rourke has written a fantastic novel that is full of action, danger and wit. I highly recommend you read this book. I hope to read more of Stacey's work in the future.
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on 28 March 2016
I like YA fantasy. I read quite a lot of it. This is quite good for the genre. It has an enjoyable plot and an interesting main protagonist. Some of the other characters could do with being either better drawn or being more consistent. The younger sister seemed to veer between utter wimp and strong woman. The spirit guide didn't feel like she started life as an Irish country lass a few centuries ago. Now I am all for characters growing and developing, but some of her dialogue just felt anachronistic.

There were some errors of spelling and grammar in the book, but not as many as other reviews have mentioned, so I'm assuming the author has dealt with some of these. Anyway, I know first hand how hard it is to self-edit, so I can ignore a few of these.

It's the first in a series, which I would normally love, but I shant be reading more and that's because of the author's repeated use of the derogatory terms 'spaz' and 'spastic'. Now I know this is an American author and I am a British reader, but in the UK this is really not a nice term to use. I'm not overly PC or prudish, but it felt like a bit a punch to the stomach. I class it alongside overt racism and because of this my choice will be not to spend money of the rest of the series. What a shame.
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on 5 April 2012
Conduit by Stacey Rourke

4.5*

When Celeste, her brother Gabe and sister Kendall move in with their Grandma, little do they realise they are about to embark on the biggest adventure of their lives. Many, Many moons ago one of their ancestors had made a pact with a mythical creature (a Gryphon) and promised that no matter what and no matter when, their family would be willing to help when the time comes..........well the time is now and the three have no-choice but to accept their inflicted destiny whether they are ready for it or not!

Witty one liners and dry humour instantly grabbed my attention and built my interest in this story. Celeste and her siblings natural banter and sarcastic comments were realistic and made it easy for me to like them all. The superhero story was written in a more comic strip style and reminded me of the old batman TV series with the `bang' & `crash' written in star bubbles on screen! There was a light feel to it rather than a dark depressing seriousness making the whole read more fun and enjoyable.

It was definitely a book that I could have (if I wasn't so busy!) read in one sitting, I didn't want to put it down but sleep prevailed half way through forcing me to take two nights to complete! When I look at all the areas I consider when reviewing, this one ticks almost all the boxes. The plot is unique (to me) easy to read flowing prose, well edited, fully developed characters and natural sounding dialogue. Its fun it's exciting and the pace is right for the story. I wasn't quite living the book but it was for sure a page turner and I would highly recommend it to fans of the YA fantasy/paranormal genre.

I was a bit disappointed that the relationship between Celeste an Alec wasn't concentrated on more, I would have enjoyed seeing more of them together but hopefully from the horrible cliff-hanger (which would have frustrated me more had I not been lucky enough to have an ARC copy of the sequel sat waiting on my kindle for me to begin reading tonight!) we will see it develop in book two, `Embrace' which is due out this summer.

Copy Supplied for an `honest' review. Thank you
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on 8 August 2013
I received this free in exchange for an unbiased review.
I don't usually read a lot of YA fiction but recently maybe because I am such a huge fan of urban and paranormal fiction I seem to be reading more and more of it.
This is definitely YA as the violence and sexual content is on the back burner. This allows the author to concentrate on delivering the story and boy does she do that. In this book we meet three siblings who are all meant to full fill destinies that us ordinary folks can only dream about. Three teenagers who are not only battling with hormones and petty jealousies but coming to terms with reality and mystical problems! This author gives so much more than just an exciting beginning she gives us a story that can run.
Not wanting to give spoilers all I can say is this is written in a way that surely has to lead to more books in this series and you would be crazy not to read and discover just what else is in store .
Yes I will read the follow up and I happily would rate this a 5
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on 11 July 2013
The Conduit is a refreshing take on Young Adult fiction. I think it's fair to say that YA books can often be angst-filled, with troubled teens making tricky decisions. Celeste Garrett, her brother Gabe and sister Kendall have their fair share of tough decisions to contend with, but they deal with everything in the book with a big pinch of attitude and snarky humour.

The plot itself is unique, with the three siblings finding out they have roles to play as superheroes, thanks to a pact their ancestors made way back in the 17th century with the Gryphon. I love books that are set in the "real world" but have elements of fantasy, and this certainly didn't disappoint.

What I love most about The Conduit is that it's a funny book, and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. It's not surprising that the author won an award in 2012 for writing humorous fiction--it's definitely well deserved!

I also really like Celeste as a character--she's so real and relatable because she's a normal teenage girl, personality-wise at least. I also love the way she interacts with her brother and sister. It feels like a real, sibling relationship, complete with bickering at one end of the scale and supporting each other through epic battles at the other. Grams completes the family unit while the kids' mother is out of town, and she's also a colourful character! She takes no nonsense and doesn't act the traditional way a grandmother might be expected to act, which I love!

The novel ends with a cliffhanger that made me seriously happy I already had the second book--I wanted to get stuck in straight away, and that's exactly what I've done. Anyone who wants to read YA with a difference--this is your book!

(Free ebook copy received in exchange for an honest review)
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on 6 July 2012
I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and impartial review.
I loved The Conduit, it is a fast, fun read. If I spend twee hours on this book from start to finish I might be exaggerating. But I loved the dynamic between the siblings, no malfunctioning familial bonds. This family is fairly normal, well apart from the pact and saving the world and fighting demons etc.
The one liners and some situations has me in stitches, the dialogue is real and witty and I really liked Celeste and her oh so normal insecurities especially in the beginning of the book.
I give this book a sailing 8 entertainment * review. It rocks. It really does. The best thing about it is the fact that I am already 3 % into the second book in the series. Who might not like the book? I seriously don't know. I loved it.
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on 2 October 2012
Stacey Rourke
The Conduit
Book One of the Gryphon Series

This book had me completely hooked from the first chapter, I had to force myself to put it down to get some sleep (several chapters after my usual bedtime).

Completely entertaining, full of action, well written with amazing character development and descriptions, your imagination will just whisk you away and you'll be completely immersed in their lives.

After getting to the end I couldn't just leave the story there, and jumped straight into Book Two, Embrace (not sure what I would have done if it hadn't been released yet, luckily I didn't have to find out).

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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on 14 July 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story itself was unique but still following the supernatural feel. The characters you really got to get a feel for them and develop a relationship with them. The writing style was superb, it flowed, it made since and it wasn't too basic. For me it was a couldn't put down book and Stacey really gets to grips with the characters. There is enough information and narrative to introduce the characters and enough information once things get going in the story.

Absolutely loved this book and I really cannot wait to get the next 2 in the series. Fantastic read, story and characters and I would recommend this as a must read!!
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on 17 July 2013
I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of the best books I have read. The plot is well though out. The characters are entertaining and had me laughing throughout the book.

Celeste is a normal teen until she finds a Gryphon sculpture in her grandmothers garage. The lives of Celeste and her siblings change after. The three of them are pulled into a world where magical creature's exist.

The journey throughout the book had me turning the pages and I read the book in one sitting. I gave it 5 stars even though it deserves more.
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