Book Review: Veiled Rose (Tales of Goldstone Wood: Book 2)

51rvKT3snrL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Rating: 4/5 stars.

I’m sorry to be the odd one out, but I didn’t get into this as much as Heartless. I dragged through most of it. Maybe it was because I had forgotten stuff from the first book, so that I didn’t make the connection until I was reading something random about Heartless. But once I got closer to the end…it was great!

Rose Red has a secret. A secret that has her living in isolation in the mountains with nothing but an old man she calls father and her nanny goat. But then she meets headstrong Leo, who quickly becomes her friend, when no one else would. Together they play and search for a monster rumored to be in the mountains. But their trust in each other is tested when something more real and terrifying than anything they could imagine, comes to their land.

Leo, oh Leo. I must say, he was one of my favorite characters. His humor and his temper were fun to watch. There was times when I disliked him and the decisions or actions he took, but that made him more real. People have faults; they make mistakes. Don’t you at some points dislike real people? So when I disliked him, I still considered him one of my favorites. I’m glad to watch him learn from his choices. And I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of that in the coming books. Rose Red was…interesting. I didn’t connect with her very well, but she was still really great to read about. I loved how far she was willing to go to keep her promises. I enjoyed watching the way she and Leo conversed together. It was so cute and sweet.

I thought about the first half was slow. I just couldn’t get into it, maybe because the characters were so young at the beginning and it kind of put me off. I’m not sure, because there was plenty of mystery to keep a person interested. But it did pick up speed towards the end and there was so much action and danger. I started to worry for a bit! What a conclusion! It was kind of sad. Thank goodness there is more to this series.

The tale switched between Leo and Rose Red’s point of view. Randomly, there were a few other points of view that added intrigue. This book went through a whole decade and more of time, but at no point did it get confusing. I still felt connected to the characters even after skipping over years of their lives. I have to say, that is quite an achievement.

This is a perfect blend of fantasy, fairytale, and allegory. I’m just beginning to realize how allegorical this series is. I don’t think I realized that in the first book. This is for all the people who like this kind of story. You don’t want to miss it.

-G. Paige

BLOG TOUR-Book Review + Author Interview: Samara’s Peril (Ilyon Chronicles: Book 3)

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Hey ya’ll!!! Today I’m posting as part of a blog tour for Jaye L. Knight’s new book Samara’s Peril!!!!! It is the third book in the series, Ilyon Chronicles, and absolutely one of my favorite series ever. You can see my book reviews for Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles: Book 1)The King’s Scrolls (Ilyon Chronicles: Book 2), and Half Blood (Ilyon Chronicles: Prequel Novella). A few of these were some of the first book reviews I ever posted on here.

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Book Description:

When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.

Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

Author Bio:

JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

To see more people posting for the blog tour, click here.

My Review:

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I don’t know if I can convey to you how great this book, this series, is. It is absolutely amazing. I have loved every moment of reading this book, and I can not wait to see how this story progresses.

Finding out that Daican is planning something big against the country Samara, a group from the resistance led by Lady Anne goes on a undercover mission to get more specific information. There they discover something shocking that complicates things. But with the gathered information, they hope to head out to warn the king of Samara. There they will face a bigger battle than they’ve ever known, but maybe even more important, another battle is being fought in Jace’s own heart. One that could lose his life.

One of the best things about these books is the characters. There is such a great amount of amazing characters. Though a few may be similar, none of them are exactly the same. In this particular book there was so so so much character development with Jace. He has to fight so much darkness and heartbreaking fears. Kyrin is so amazing. She has this inner strength and bravery that is beautiful to see. I loved how Jace and Kyrin’s friendship is developing into something more. Anne had more of a part in this book, and it was fantastic. I love how she can give a harsh or scolding remark without sounding mean. She knows how to bring down people too full of themselves. Holden plays such a vital part in this book that I never expected. It has made me come to love him so much more. The brothers, Timothy and Aaron, I need more of them! Rachel, Elanor, and Charles were all great, new characters. I absolutely must know more about Elian and Balen. The Altair family is so fun and just enjoyable to see them all interacting together. Rayad, Warin, Trask, Aric, and Trev are all other characters that I love so much.

Let’s just talk more about Jace for a moment. He’s pretty much the central character in this book which I am absolutely happy with because he is my favorite character. Oh my goodness! In this book Jace stressed me out more than any of the earlier books. He is so broken and torn up inside. He has never been so lost before. His struggles were so real and frightening for him, I got very worried. He is going to be the death of me.

This felt so real. I connected with with the characters as soon as I began to read and I was just swept away into an amazing world where my heart was broken again and again.

The plot was exciting, intense, and totally not what I was expecting. The shocking reveal was very shocking. I literally screamed into pillow for like a minute. The battles were real, exciting, and so stressful. I mean with dragons and firedrakes and your favorite characters’ lives threatened with death, how could it not be?

It was surprising how allegorical this book was from its predecessors. It was something altogether neat and beautiful to see. I loved the parallels to Christianity, but it never really seemed like too much. It was smoothly blended into the story. This is not at all preachy like some books can be. The religion compliments the story and helps the characters answer some questions that many in our own world ask. It strengthens it without sounding unnatural.

I love this world. It’s fantasy, but not too much. The characters are so precious. The writing is amazing. And this series is going to kill me. Just go read it, alright? You shouldn’t need anymore convincing.

Interview:

Where is your favorite place to write? Why?

Outside. That is, if it’s warm, of course. In Wisconsin, that’s no guarantee. But I love the outdoors, so I like to be outside as much as I can. In the summertime, I write out on the porch a lot.

For you, what is the hardest part about everything involved in writing and publishing a book? How do you overcome it?

It’s probably the actual writing part that’s the hardest. I’ve been prone to bad bouts of writer’s block. The best way I’ve found to overcome it is, no matter how much I might hate and cringe at what I write, to just push through and put something down on the page. It can be just awful, but at least it can help me get past whatever part is hanging me up. Problem is, I’m also quite a procrastinator at times, so that makes it difficult as well.

What are you most excited about in Samara’s Peril?

All the many questions and issues that are finally answered and resolved. This book is a real turning point in the series, especially for a certain beloved character. 🙂 This book will answer most of the questions I get all the time.

What is your favorite part of the world of Ilyon?

I love the different societies. I had a lot of fun brainstorming what each of my different races were like. Even though the story has been centered in one country for the most part, the second half of the series explores more of Ilyon, and readers will get to experience more of the different cultures. I’d have to say my favorite of all of them is the crete culture. It’s kind of a mix of Native American, elves, and some of my own ideas. I’d love to be a crete and live in a crete city. They do have dragons, after all.

Giveaway:

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Samara’s Peril, a John 3:16 necklace by FaithWearDesigns, and a green wire dragon bookmark by Wirelings! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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-G. Paige

Book Review: Siren’s Song (The Storm Siren Trilogy: Book 3)

0cf35ac56baf78977dc953a81221bc67Rating: 5/5 stars.

Oh dear. What do I say? What an spectacular ending to an amazing trilogy! This was better than Siren’s Fury, but I still think Storm Siren might be the best one out of the whole trilogy. But they’re all great, let’s just say. I’m glad and sad at the same time. It was so good, but now it is over.

Now that Draewulf’s plan has been revealed, Eogan and Nym must race across the nations to warn them of the danger they’re in and the need for everyone to unite. They prepare to gather together an army to fight Draewulf’s ever increasing army, but it will be of no use unless they can discover the secret to defeating Draewulf for good. And they are running out of time…

It was so great to have the real Eogan back. I missed him badly in the last book. He’s tough. He worries way too much about the safety of others. And he is very protective of Nym which is perfect because she needs someone like that. This book displays her willingness to make sacrificial decisions. She is always getting herself in life threatening situations. Just because she has powers, doesn’t mean that she is invincible. Her past has broken her in a way. She needs someone who cares for her life, and Eogan fulfills that role. Rasha and Myles are growing characters in this book. They hold a lot of intrigue for me. Kel is a great fun addition to this story. He adds some humor to the story. Draewulf is so so so evil. He is quite a complicated character in and of himself.

In this book, Nym and Eogan’s relationship gets much more intense. So there was quite a few kisses shared or at least they say they want to kiss, but don’t. I feel like there is more to their relationship than physical attraction, but it is barely mentioned. Meanwhile the physical attraction is said every time they are together. That got a bit annoying at times.

There was so much action and anxiety. The battles kept you on the edge of your seat. You never knew when something was going to go wrong. It was bloody at times, but I don’t think it was too bad. The plot twists were great and terrible. There was a moment when I thought this trilogy was going to end worse than the ending of Storm Siren, but thankfully there were some more pages. It ended in a perfect way (Even though I’m still a bit confused about how it all worked out.), full with hope and tragedy.

I just love this writing style people. It is georgous! So raw and heart wrenching and beautiful. The breathtaking similes that can literally pull tears from your eyes. It is incredible first person. I need more books by this author.

This is an amazing! I’m recommending this to all fantasy lovers. Go read it! Don’t think twice, just read it!

-G. Paige

Book Review: Dreamlander

Dreamlander-coverRating: 5/5 stars.

What an amazing book! I was expecting something great, but not such a prodigious book (Yeah, go look up that word.).

There is another world that we see glimpses of in our dreams. We lives two separate lives: one in this world and one in the world we only dream about. Chris has dreams of a lady begging him not to come to her right before shooting him in the head. They are only dreams until he wakes up in that world. He has a strong belief that he is going insane. Then Chris makes some very bad mistakes and realizes that this may all be real. But the consequences of his mistakes may destroy both worlds if he doesn’t find a way to fix it.

I started this book and it seemed pretty good, but nothing special. Well it didn’t take long for that to change. The characters were memorable. I loved Chris and Allara! Chris was a average man who was running away from facing his family problems. He makes some major mistakes, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to fix it. He was determined once he set his mind to something and brave to the point of recklessness. Allara was tough and fearless on the outside, but underneath all that armor she was fearful and worried. She wanted peace but didn’t know how to get it. Quinnon was a hardened warrior. It would take awhile to earn his respect. He was willing to follow through hard decisions. Orias was a Cherazim and an heart wrenching character. At times I liked him, other times I didn’t. Worick I didn’t see enough of. But I loved that parts I did see of him. He was such a father figure. A good and trusting friend Mike. Brooke was just crazy. She’s one of those characters who you need to look out for. She’s out for an adventure…and trouble.

Once you get past the first few chapters this was a really fast paced book. There was action left and right and it just never slowed down. Oh, it had me worried so much! The battles were so intense and felt very real. There were a few instances that felt a little rushed and maybe a tiny bit easy, but for the most part it flowed smoothly.

The world building was fantastic. The Rievers and Cherazii were so cool and fit the story like a glove. I loved how there wasn’t just medieval weapons, but canons and different sorts of guns. It made the story stand out more. The skycars were another unique feature to this world. All of it was awesome.

I’m recommending this to older teens because it was bloody in some of the battle scenes, but otherwise anyone could read this. It was such a good mix of modern world and fantasy.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Season of Fire (The Remnants: Book 2)

51sYS+l048LRating: 4/5 stars.

This was pretty good middle book for a trilogy. But there was just something that didn’t grab me as the first one did.

With her power of empathy now seemingly under control, the Remnants continue their mission: to free Kapriel. Andriana and Ronan have shown their love for each other and now must make some hard decisions. But things go array for them when Andriana gets captured by Keallach, Emperor of Pacifica, and his replaced Knight, Sethos. Andriana against all odds believes that Keallach can come back and follow the Maker’s plan. But at some point she might have to choose between escaping from Keallach or falling into Sethos’s trap with him.

The characters were great, again. I wanted more Neiro and it didn’t seem I was going to get that, but the end made up for it. I missed Ronan in this book, badly. Though quiet a few times it switched to Ronan’s point of view and that was awesome. The Remnants kind of faded to the background in this book. It focused mainly on Andriana and Keallach. Oh Keallach. He was one of the most hardest characters to decide on whether I like him or not, though that ending might have made up my mind. I love and hate him at the same time. Then I felt at times he was just a manipulated child.

The plot was intense, but I think it might have been lacking a little bit from something. I’m not sure. It started in the middle of an scene so it took awhile for me to get my bearings. Then it felt rushed at the beginning and at the end. The bad situations felt to easily gotten out of. It was exciting and intense.

Sometimes the romance almost got inappropriate, but it never went farther than intense kissing. It lightly mentioned in conversation a few times some subject matter that isn’t appropriate for younger people. It was a bit violent of course with some fighting scenes.

So I really loved this and I’m recommending it to older teens and up. It is a really good Christian dystopian trilogy and I can’t wait to see how it ends!

-G. Paige 

Book Review: Thunder (Stone Braid Chronicles: Book 1)

7c1167b6e6c057934db12bbc22116706Rating: 3/5 stars.

I’m not sure of my thoughts on this one. I really loved the characters and the premise, but there were some writing inconsistencies with it that bothered me.

Selah Rishon Chavez is almost eighteen and hiding, waiting for a boat to crash ashore with a Lander. These Landers come from across the ocean, no one really knows where. They were sold for a great price, if they kept their markings on their foreheads. Everything falls apart after Selah’s brothers take the Lander she caught. The next morning she find the marking of a Lander on herself. Now she is one of the hunted. She must leave everything she knows behind and go after her brothers who took her Lander. Just maybe the Lander will have the answers to questions about herself.

So the plot was great. It was very intense and exciting. There was plenty of action and fighting scenes. I felt like I flew through this book in no time. It was very fast paced and rushed at a few points. There are still so many secrets to uncover. So much that I still don’t understand.

I liked the characters pretty well. Selah, Bodhi, Glade, Treva, and Cheon were some of my favorites. Selah was a strong character, but she had some very realistic fears that I think I would have if I was in her situation. Kind, protective, and sometimes funny fits Bodhi description. He became caring as time went on. Glade I didn’t see much of, but hopefully the next book will be filled with him. He wasn’t much of an open book. Treva was smart, very smart. I really liked her person. At times she felt like an undercover agent. Cheon seems very nice, I need to read more of him. Dr. Everling I liked at the beginning, but I’m definitely not sure of that now. There were many other characters, but I think these are some of the more prominent ones.

The problems I had with this was there wasn’t enough character development, except for Selah. One decision made by Selah I thought was very dumb and put there just to help the plot. It could have been done another way though. Another reason was a character felt just thrown in and very convenient for a certain predicament, though it ended up working out. The dialogue was at times really choppy. Sometimes I was thinking, “What? That person wasn’t given a very good explanation and now he seems to know all the ends and outs of the situation.” The worst thing was when a group of people were given a ride on a wagon from a kind man. All of the sudden the man is gone and it seems the people own the wagon. What happened? I don’t know.

The religion was interesting. I don’t think I really liked it. It didn’t feel very Christian like I think it was supposed to. God was called “the Presence”. I don’t really understand it now, but it seemed you could somehow lose “the Presence” for wrong deeds. Then there were these humans that were immortal. I’m assuming the later books will explain it more.

All things considered, this was a good book. I hope to read the next one soon and hopefully some of the writing issues will smooth out with the rest of the series.

I’m recommending this to anyone who would love to read an unique dystopian book. It was good and different.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Counted Worthy

image.jpegRating: 5/5 stars.

Well, this was certainly not what I was expecting, but it was very very good. Then it made my eyes watery. Let me tell you, ninety-nine percent of the time, I do not cry.

Police trace a illegal Bible to Heather Stone’s house, and her world begins to crumble. Her father is arrested and it’s only a matter of time before he’s killed. Heather has already lost her mother, can she handle losing him too? She doesn’t want to repeat past mistakes. Though if she tries to save him, it could lead her friends into danger and brings about their deaths. Can she evade the police on the lookout for her and win the public’s sympathy to save her dad?

So I wasn’t expecting it to be this way, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was kind of dystopian. The world building was fantastic. It steadily added tidbits of information about the world and the history behind it without dumping a whole load of information at one point.

The characters were great. Heather was really real and I loved everything about her. Then there’s Bryce. I just wanted to give him a hug. He was so sweet and kind and worried so much for Heather. He was like a brother to her, but I think it is going to grow into something more. There were many more characters and I liked how they were introduced. It didn’t feel rushed and you felt like you’ve always known them even if they were only there for a little bit. I do wish that there had been a bit more character development, but it fitted with the pace of the book.

There was a lot of action and suspense with a amazing, and a bit shocking, conclusion. It had such a great message attached to it. I would have liked it at a bit slower pace, but it didn’t feel forced and went smoothly. That ending was just fantastic, I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was realistic, but I didn’t expect it for a fictional book. It made it more enjoyable, if that is the right word for it. Probably not.

I’m recommending this to everyone out there. It was great! Prefect for people who want an easy and fast paced read with a great message. I hope to read more by this author soon!

-G. Paige

Book Review: Siren’s Fury (The Storm Siren Trilogy: Book 2)

imageRating: 5/5 stars.

Woah… That was intense. With such a glorious and momentous ending. There wasn’t too much of a cliffhanger. Thank goodness. But I still want the next book now!

Nym has risked her life to save a country that held her as a slave and outcast. But in the process, she has loss the few things she held most dear. All because of the shape-shifter Draewulf. Then he takes away her abilities and she realizes that she must stop him, at all costs. She follows him on to a airship headed to Bron searching for a way to kill him, while Draewulf has a more sinister plan than she could ever imagine. When Lord Myles offers her an opportunity to get new powers that could destroy him, she must decide whether it is worth the cost of her very soul.

I feel like I flew through this in a daze. It was crazy and intense…and a tiny bit creepy. There was no stop to the amount of emotion contained in this book. I love how it’s told. The similes are absolutely beautiful and made it so real. There was so much suspense and action and just the tense feelings between the characters kept me on the edge of my seat.

In the second book of this trilogy, there are new secondary characters and more characters overall that  were around and played important parts. So it wasn’t as isolated as the previous book, which was very nice. This was great, but I still miss Colin so badly. He just lightened up the page.

There were so many hard decisions made. Ones that blurred the line between right in wrong. It got so twisted. This also made it more dark than the last one, but I loved it and it worked out pretty well.

It was very fun and interesting to see more of this world besides just Faelen. Bron was very advanced in technology from Faelen. I wish that it had been more descriptive of it, but considering what the characters were doing, it was fine.

Overall, this was an amazing book. I can’t wait to get my hands in the next one. How is it going to end? I’m recommending this to older teens who love fantasy. Such a unique read.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Ashburn (I.C.E. Agency Series: Book 1)

imageRating: 5/5 stars.

I haven’t read anything much like this and I loved it. The agent aspect of it reminded me much of the TV shows I watch, but in book form (which, by the way, is so much better)!

Special agent Bryce Reynolds is given a top-secret mission. One that involves a friend that he hasn’t seen in ten years…Cara Stephenson. Can he keep all these secrets from someone who knew him so well? Cara is just a talented graphic designer at Silver Strand technologies. Then suddenly her childhood best friend shows up into her life. Before much time has passed, they are both on a mission for a missing technology developer who has a priceless prototype that he may have been kidnapped for! Will they find him? Will they even survive their trek through Venice and other places?

Oh, the characters were so great. Bryce was my favorite. He was so cool. I loved all the top notch gadgets he pulled out for special occasions. He was so kind and protective. He knew how to stand his own ground. Also, I loved how he liked to tease Cara. It was hilarious! Cara was smart, creative, and great at improvising in tough situations. The little bit of romance between them was sweet and not at all inappropriate.

The plot was fast paced and filled with action. But it also had some scenes that felt…normal. I don’t get that a lot in books. It was nice. There was gunfights and street fights and a motorcycle chase! It was definitely exciting. I also loved reading about the different places they went to. Venice, Paris, and much more!!! It was really neat. I almost felt like I was there and knew what it was like.

I would recommend this to teens and up. The violence could be a little scary for younger people. Those who love spy and agent novels will really enjoy it.

-G. Paige

Book Review: A Dream Not Imagined

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Rating: 5/5 stars.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a short story, but was full of meaning. It’s a perfect light and fun read, while still having a great message embedded in it.

Ellie Abbington’s life is different from any other. She lives under a wealthy father and stepmother along with two stepsisters, serving them as their maid. Cast out from the regular servants because of her higher upbringing while also ignored by the rest of society because of her position as a maid, she is alone. So she dreams of falling in love with a prince and living happily ever after. Will this dream of hers come true? Or is there one that is even better than what she had ever imagined?

I loved the different characters, especially Ellie and Rowen. Rowen was so sweet and fun and such a gentleman all at the same time. Ellie was sweet and felt pretty realistic throughout the story. Oh, and her realization after that twist was really neat. It is something that we could all do to remember.

So…as I said earlier, I loved this book. It was a really start for a new author. At first, this may seem like an everyday Cinderella story. But about halfway through, everything goes array. It was a great plot twist. Even though I was expecting a twist, I still couldn’t very guess what it was or how it was going to be solved which made it so much more interesting. I do wish that it had been a bit longer between the plot twist and end, but it probably would’ve felt a bit out of place since it kept the same steady pace throughout the whole book.

I would recommend this to people of all ages, though it is more for younger kids. It is really fun and sweet with a great message.

-G. Paige