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on 3 February 2011
In a fortnight, Samhain and the approaching full moon will turn the world upside down for young Yuki and her adventurous group of friends. Knowing the deadline has been set for the world, Yuki has to strengthen her shields to battle the hordes of spirits that will wreak havoc. She's all set, and her intrepid pals are ready to back her, when one of the members is found horribly murdered. There's more than a few spirits to deal with, especially when they begin hunting down the members of Yuki's elite group, and Yuki is the target.
Their investigation leads the group to an ancient amulet that, quite probably, will aide them in their venture. The only problem is... the amulet is in the possession of a witch.
Ok, I'll leave it at that, but I hope I've gotten your attention.
I haven't read a truly great YA paranormal in more years than I can remember, and Ms. Stevens delivers the most well written tale imaginable! There's just enough adventure, humor, intrigue, drama, suspense, supernatural, and a good healthy dose of the paranormal to send shivers down the readers' spine. I couldn't put the book down and I found myself rooting for the delightful young characters, who are so precisely written that they are entirely believable!, and easily envisioning every aspect of their thrilling quest.
Absolutely beautiful, well written, adventurous, and delightful!
On a side note, I hope there is a novel written about quick-witted Emma.
Look for my review soon for the first book in this series, She Smells the Dead.
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on 22 July 2011
Spirit Storm is the second instalment in the Spirit Guide book series by E. J. Stevens. This Young Adult Paranormal series follows the adventures of protagonist Yuki and friends as they attempt to cope with a lot of supernatural happenings.

Spirit Storm, alike to it's predecessor She Smells the Dead, is told from the first person perspective of Yuki. Yuki is a strong protagonist whom is both entertaining and believable. She has a gift and it's not necessarily one she loves; she can smell the dead. She experiences 'smell impressions' of souls who have passed on but need closure in order to go into the light. That's where Yuki comes in; she has to help them find their closure. The 'smell impressions' distract her from everyday life and sometimes even make her feel uncomfortable.

So it's understandable that she feels apprehensive and afraid that Samhain is fast approaching. Samhain is the night when the veil between the worlds is at it's thinnest and thus spirits can cross over to the world and it's Yuki who these souls will come to.

Time is running out for Yuki and her friends to find a solution to help her survive Samhain and it's not only Yuki who has problems to deal with. First of all there's Cal. Cal is the love of Yuki's life and also werewolf. He and fellow werewolf friend Simon have a barbaric werewolf killer to find before the killer finds them. Secondly, there's Yuki's BFF Emma. She's got boy troubles to deal with.

The aspect of this series I love the most is the characters. Stevens has created an interesting, unique bunch of characters. I can imagine these characters to become even stronger as the series progresses. Yuki and Cal's relationship is compelling to read about. In some respects, I feel as though I'm going through their relationship with them. I've said it before but I'll say it again: these two have the potential to be a power couple in literature. This instalment also peeked my interest in Emma and Simon as a couple. It hasn't happened but the chemistry is there and I can only hope!

The plot is fast-paced and full of plenty of action which allows it to be a page-turner. I read Spirit Storm in one sitting as I couldn't bare to put it down. I definitely recommend this book and the series as a whole for fans of the paranormal genre. After completion, I developed the feeling of loss I get when I want to read the next instalment right away. It comes out in Fall 2011 - I can't wait! A thoroughly enjoyable read from my new favourite Author, E. J. Stevens.
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on 29 September 2011
4½ Out of 5 Stars
Yuki is special: she can smell the dead. She is also running out of time. Samhain is fast approaching - as is the storm of spirits it will bring with it. Yuki needs to find a way to get through the night. Preferably with her sanity. To make everything worse, a murderer is out there - a murderer who seems to be targeting werewolves. And then, just when Yuki is starting to think that her life cannot get any better, a disaster strikes. And still, time is running out. On the bright side, she's found something to deal with her ghosty problems. The downside? It involves stealing. From witches. Wonderful, just wonderful...
Oh, how I missed Yuki! Which proves how addictive this series is, seeing as I read Spirit Storm straight after I finished She Smells the Dead, but there you go. And what a wonderful sequel! It was just as quirky, cute, fun and such a pageturner! I found myself sitting in bed, my kindle on my lap, reading way into the wee hours. I love this series!
Vanessa Stennings, more commonly known as Yuki, was just as wonderful as she was in the first book! She had the craziest ideas (wearing a shirt full of safety pins to keep the spirits away. Who else?), as well as being insanely excitable and energetic. Her dress sense: amazingly wacky, featuring gourd spiders and shoulder-bag pumpkin ghosts. And they were called Legs and Boo. Don't you just love her already? She's so cute, hilarious, and her wonderful madness was just contagious!
Calvin Miller was amazing. And also an alpha wolf. Basically, he says "jump", the other wolves say "how high". He, too, was wonderfully mad. And adorable. He was so brave and strong: just what Yuki needed. And, I can tell you now, that Cal and Yuki were the cutest. Ever. They're soulmates, but it actually works. Cal's soul is special: he has a spirit wolf. And Yuki's just plain special: hence, she smells the dead. So, really, it's more spirit mates. Either way, they're adorable. So, so, so, so, so cute! It also felt wonderfully real, all the way through the book. It was the light in the spirity dark.
Emma was officially the best friend ever! She was totally sweet and the "normal" thing grounding Yuki. Plus she was completely addicted to research - how completely weird? And she Training to be a vet, Emma named her cats Van Gogh and Chairman Meow! Plus, I love her diabolical plans...!
Simon was kind of a jerk. He was also sarcastic and very funny. And a wolf. An old one! Seriously, he was born with the wolf spirit. Which meant he was kind of, in Yuki's own words, "off". He was, uh, "ancient". Y'know. Thirty!
Man. In the first five pages: a murder! That is just how I like my thrillers! And a deranged, symbolic, werewolf-hating murder? Does it get any better? Yes. When you throw in ghosts, eminent danger and a brilliantly wacky heroine. I adore E.J.'s writing and plot, even if some parts felt a little skipped-over, a little anti-climatic. But the ending? Wow. Let's just say, if I didn't already have the third book, there'd be a pretty impressive chance that I'd lose my sanity!
Plus, on a completely unrelated topic, isn't this cover just the most beautiful thing ever?
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on 22 September 2011
I'm loving this series!
Spirit Storm is an exciting mixture of the threat of a werewolf murderer on the loose (which the gang need to track down before he can harm anyone else), and the approaching danger of Samhain- where the veil between the spirit world is at it's thinnest and therefore Yuki is most in danger of being completely overwhelmed. Her endurance is tested at the funeral of the murdered werewolf boy, where just being in a graveyard Yuki is bombarded with smell impressions, images, and the resulting migraine nearly drives her over the edge. Aware that Samhain will be ten times worse and Yuki would be lucky to survive with her mind intact the gang need to find some way to protect her mind from the approaching spirit storm. This protection takes the form of an old necklace guarded by witches, but as the friends devise a plan to steal it, Calvin is injured and all of Yuki's attention and energy focus back to him. There is a constant sense of the clock ticking down and the tension building throughout the book.

I just love these characters and the style that the book is written in, with the constant interjection of Yuki's thoughts. This is such a fun story to read because Yuki is so amazingly quirky and has such a unique voice. The relationships between the friends is so touching, and I love the mixture of supernatural elements in the book- the spirits, the werewolves, and Yuki's powers. As soon as I finish a book I immediately want the next one!
These books are brilliant- such a wonderful mix of mystery and magic with really quirky and lovable characters.
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on 10 April 2011
In the second of the Spirit Guide series Yuki is preparing for Halloween.
Meanwhile one werewolf is dead and another is missing. as pack alpha Calvin needs to find out whats going on for everyone's safety.

Whilst Yuki is doing research she stumbles across information on an amulet that had been used during the Salem witch trials, an amulet to warn off evil spirits. That would really come in handy.
Yuki is sure she has seen it before but will she get it in time.

I think I prefer this book to the first one I liked the pace a lot more, there seemed to always be something happening.
I'm glad we found out a little bit more about Simon's past too , just to give his character a bit more meaning.
I love the imagery of Yuki, her dark rimmed eyes, her doc martin boots. Everything I wish I still had!
I absolutely adored the idea of the gourds and 'legs' bouncing around on her shoulder.
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