Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

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I’m doing book tags now? Yes, yes I am. Why? Cause they seem like buckets of fun. Obviously. I’m not going to lie. I changed the rules for this book tag just a little. I’ll explain why in a second.

I found this particular book tag at Dreamland and Books Blog. The instructions she gave and followed were:

  1. Pick 5 books.
  2. Turn to a random page in each book.
  3. The first name you see gets to be on your zombie survival team.
  4. Apply the names to the 10 situations in the order you picked them.
  5. Fret over how doomed you are.

I assumed you would just end up picking two names from each book to fill out the 10 situations. After reading her blog and laughing at some of her picks I was ready to do this. Only one problem. I know myself too well. I knew that because I knew what order the situations were in I would try to pick books to fit the situations. (Like a high ratio of characters I don’t like or don’t care about for certain situations.) So here’s how I changed this tag to keep myself on my toes:

  1. I picked 10 books that I had either read recently or multiple times so that the characters were ones I knew well or remembered still.
  2. Then I folded up and cut a piece of paper into 10 sections (…only I messed up and made 12 sections…we’ll get to this in a second.)
  3. I  wrote the numbers and situations on each slip of paper. (This is when I discovered I had two extra slips of paper.) I folded them in half, put them in a bag and then mixed them up. It bothered me that I had two slips of paper left so I made two more situations that run rampant in zombie movies and books, folded them up and mixed them in with the rest.
  4. I opened a book to a random page, found the first name and then picked a situation to go with the name and filled it out on the slip. I took a picture of the slip and the book just in case I lost them at some point I would still be able to do this blog.
  5. After the first 10 slips were filled out I took out the last two, put the rest back in the bag, chose one situation and used the book that I had used for one of the last two situations.

Now….Lets get into my team.

1. The First Person to Die is….. Marlene from I Hunt Killers

 

My Reaction:

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This is the king of all mehs. This is not a main character. It’s not even a secondary character. I’m pretty sure this is the only instance she’s even mentioned in this book. I have to say that if I watch her die, it might be traumatic, but if she just disappears (as the first to die are so likely to do…so the rest of the group is unsure of what’s going on) I’m probably just going to keep on keeping on and be secretly glad there’s one less person to share food with. Does this make me a horrible person? Probably. (Just kidding. I’d probably cry. Cause I’m a softie.)

2. The Person I Trip to Get Away From Zombies is …. Reagan from Fangirl

 

 

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No! I love Reagan! It had to have been an accident…or pure mind-numbing panic. I would never consciously decide to trip you. You’re like the best kind of sarcastic and bitchy mother hen. You would have kept the group in line and told it like it is.  Poor Reagan. You’re death or near death will give me nightmares.

 

3.The First Person to Turn is…. Aeudan from Truthwitch

 

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Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Damn. He may not have been the best team mate in the world, being a jerky bloodwitch assassin and all. But that is much preferable to a bloodwitch zombie with the body memory of an assassin. This is just no bueno. I say we decapitate him (and the zombie that bit him because it is obviously some kind of ninja zombie), suture his mouth shut, and then burn his body and the zombie who killed him.

4. The Person Who Trips Me to Get Away from Zombies is… Zero from The Passage.

 

 

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In case you haven’t read The Passage I’m not going  to reveal much about this character. It would take away from the story and even the zombie apocalypse can’t make me. So all I can say about this is that the only thing surprising about this is that Zero is going to let the Zombies kill me instead of doing it himself.

5. The Idiot of the Team is… Arya Stark from The Game of Thrones

 

 

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I guess…I mean if she’s our idiot then we can’t be too bad off right? One, she’s super young so she’ll hopefully live long enough to learn. Two, out of the whole Stark gang — Jon Snow excluded from consideration– she’s the one I’d pick to have on my team. Some people might say I should pick Rob, but he’s basically a non-character.

6. The Brains of the Team is… Theo Jackson from The Passage.

 

 

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Okay then. He’s not a pick from the bottom of the barrel, he’s upper-middle barrel. He’s smart and not a complete coward, but he’s not going to go out of his way to come up with any brillant ideas unless he has to. He’s the type of guy who might be the smartest but would gladly let the second smartest take charge of any given task.

7.The Team’s Medic is…Norman Smith/Vincent Graves from Grave Beginnings.

 

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K…so.. I guess it depends on if one of Vincent’s past reincarnations was a doctor. I mean he definitely has a firm handle on all things paranormal and supernatural, so that’s a point in his favor. But generally he hunts and kills thing. Good for his health, but not so sure about ours.

8. The Weapon’s Expert is… Haymitch from The Hunger Games

 

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I love Haymitch. Sure we’ll be killing zombies with liquor bottles but it’ll be fun.

9. The Brawler of our Group is … Tobias/Four from Allegiant.

 

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Note to Self: Do not piss off Four. I mean…talk about deadly. But when we run into other groups of humans unexpectedly he’ll be nice to have around. Plus his movie version was very nice to look at.

10. The Team Captain is… Gale from The Hunger Games

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I mean…he’s Gale, good looking and a hell of a strategist. Enough said. He’d be worthy of the Rick Grimes position.

11. The Unlucky One Who Always Seems to be in the Wrong Place, but still manages to survive long enough to get saved is…. Lady Lavinia from Emerald Green

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Really…Stop saving this bitch.

12. The Lucky One who has no helpful skill but still manages to survive is…Flicker from Zeroes.

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Seriously? I guess being a blind girl who can see through the eyes of others is only really useful if they have eyes that work. I’m not sure she’d be able to see through dead zombie eyes. I guess it’s a good thing she got this one. I call it the Always the right time and place situation.

Well, we have a decent team. I’m sad that I trip Reagan. Even this fictional tripping makes me sad.

Let me know what you think of my team!

This was really fun guys. Some made me laugh. Some made me cringe. I hope you guys will find your own team! Consider yourself tagged. Also, if you complete this book tag let me know in a comment so I can check it out!

Don’t forget to check out my last review here or Liza’s last review here.
What book tags should we do in the future?

Splintered by A.G. Howard

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Many years ago Alice Liddell found herself falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Years later her adventures continue affecting her family lineage. The female descendants of Alice find themselves being able to hear and talk to bugs and flowers around them, with the reality of Wonderland lurking in their dreams. Alyssa Gardner finds herself trying to maintain her sanity while finishing high school, while coping with her mother being institutionalized because of the same things Alyssa is experiencing.

Soon Alyssa finds herself face to face with a childhood friend from her dreams beckoning her to come to Wonderland. It doesn’t take long before she is tumbling down the rabbit hole to the reality of what Wonderland really is. Lewis Carrol’s rendition of Alice’s adventures have done little to prepare Alyssa for what awaits. When Jeb, Alyssa’s life-long crush tumbles in after her, he is faced with a rivalry from Alyssa’s childhood dream friend, Morpheus. As the two fight for her affection, a piece of Alyssa begins to awaken that only Morpheus can help her embrace. Though Alyssa soon finds that Morpheus has his own agenda that leads her into the heart of Wonderland.

Overall I enjoyed this book, I felt that the author made wonderful parallels to the original story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The author added to Wonderland in a way that was both dark and beautiful, and had me wanting to explore more of her new creation.

I soon found myself being completely team Morpheus as the love triangle broke out. I found Jeb to be rather annoying as he was overly protective and treated Alyssa as though she was incapable of making any decisions on her own. Morpheus, on the other hand, pushes her to embrace her true self. I felt Jeb was unnecessary other than the love triangle, and I lacked understanding in how most of his actions could be “endearing”, when I felt they were just controlling.

I LOVED the new characters that were introduced in wonderland and want so much more of their back stories. Also the version of the Mad Hatter that A. G. Howard fabricated was borderline genius, and the vision she created was well done. The ending of the book had me wanting to read the next book I am excited to learn more about my favorite character Morpheus.

Rating: 4 out of 5 quills.

An Announcement and Some Introduction

I have some big news! To help me keep on schedule I recruited someone special. My best friend and soul mate (but not in a romantic way), Liza! We’re going to start alternating weeks, and then at the end of the month we’re going to review/talk about one book together. (This month we’re reading Choke by Chuck Palahniuk together.) I’m also trying to talk her into doing a few book tags, TBRs, most anticipated lists, and more with me on Fridays.

QUICK! Go and look at her bio on the About page before it gets changed!

A few things you need to know about Liza…from my perspective:

+She is one of the most awesome people I have ever met, if not the most awesome. She works, goes to school, makes time for her family and friends, and volunteers for charity when she can.
+She has awesome taste in music, movies, books, and best friends (I’m not just tooting my own horn, her other best friends are amazing)
+We were born 6 months apart to the day.
+She is great about telling it like it is and breaking the news gently…unless you need a hard kick in the ass.
+She may or may not approve of this message.
+I’m plotting to steal her cat, Bathory.

I can’t wait for you guys to get to know her. I know you’ll love her as much as I do. It’s kind of impossible not to.

 

 

 

Spring Break and a Quick Promo

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So this week is spring break and since in my other life I am a nanny, I am watching 4 kids for 5 days this week and another little one this weekend. This leaves very little time to write a new review, but I am determined to skip no more weeks. I was a little baffled at what I was going to post today, but then a friend posted that they had pre-ordered R.R. Virdi’s new novel that’s  coming out next month. I thought I would point you towards my review of his debut novel, Grave Beginnings. (Just click on the title right there to see the review.)

And let me say again, if you like urban fantasy and/or mysteries I highly recommend this book. The ebook is $2.99 and the pre-order for book 2 is $3.99. If you order either come back so we can talk about it!

And no, I’m not getting paid to do this blog. I’m just super excited about Grave Measures coming out.

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The Sword of Summer

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15724396Magnus Chase is homeless at 16. He’s been that way ever since the death of his mother 2 years ago. He has family, but his mother made him promise to stay away from his uncles before her especially untimely death and so he has for the last 2 years.
So it surprises him to learn one day that his uncle is looking for him. It isn’t long after that he dies, but that is just the beginning of his story.

So, I love this story. I haven’t read his two series between Percy Jackson and this one and I was afraid that I would feel as though I’d missed out on somethings, but instead it was just the opposite. The only thing that even alluded to the other series was Annabeth’s presence and even then you didn’t need to read the other series to make the her storyline make sense. It just makes it seem like a secret that you’ll learn about later in the series.
I love that the Gods are just extensions of people. These gods and goddesses were much more approachable than the pantheon in the Greek inspired Percy Jackson series. You meet at least 5 gods/goddesses in this first book. Most I had heard of but one I had not. So of course I had to google her. It’s always nice when a book inspires you to learn.
And I know I’m gushing, but the absolute best part of the series are the characters. The biggest part of this is that the main boy/girl duo don’t seem to be falling in love. That’s huge for me. I think that boy/girl friendships should be more common. JK Rowling almost did it in her Harry Potter series, but it’s splitting hairs when Hermione ends up with Ron in the end. That series may have been primarily about Harry, but I tend to think of it as being about the whole trio of friends. In Riordan’s book, the relationship between Magnus and Sam never seems to be romantic. Nor is it really a brother-sister relationship. They are genuinely just friends and it’s beautiful.

Rating:4.5 out of 5 No book is perfect and I remember that there were a couple of things I didn’t like, but when it was all over and done with I was wholly satisfied and impatient for the next book.

Snakewood

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25543925This book was provided to me by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Snakewood is about a band of mercenaries known as Kailen’s Twenty. They never failed. They never betrayed a purse. They were the top of their game until they disbanded. Now, two decades later, there’s a bounty out on their heads and they’re being killed off one by one.

The premise of the book was fascinating and every few chapters I would get into the story. Then the next section of the book would be written like a court document or from an illiterate narrator’s point of view.

I struggled to finish this book and I can’t say that it was worth it. This could simply be my personal tastes, but I don’t think so. If this author were to rewrite the story from a 3rd person point of view I wouldn’t hesitate to re-read it. The world was colorful and the characters were diverse, but some parts read like research and other parts were just… intolerable.

I spent weeks forcing myself to read this one book when usually I’m through a book in a day or two at most.

Rating: 1 out of 5 quills

Uprooted

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61GTgHMU28L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Blurb:“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Review: I am sad that this is a stand alone book. I loved the world that Novik created. I love that she had the rules for magic as it was in that time, but she also explains that it evolved from something more ancient. Not necessarily more powerful, just different.
From what I can see from other reviews we have some really mixed opinions of the characters. Some say that Agnieszka is clumsy for no reason and her magic comes out of no where. I disagree. The character is clumsy to provide tension and her magic is different. It’s understandable that it wasn’t easily recognizable. The author explains/shows both these things as the story goes. Then there’s the Dragon, who I personally love. He’s 150 or so years old and he knows exactly who he is. I love that he doesn’t change much and it’s an extremely slow change. If you had over a century to get to know yourself you would be slow to change too. As for Kasia, she was too perfect at first, but she grew on me. Especially towards the end of the book. I actually have to say that she was probably my favorite character.
The only real problem I had was that I wish that the story had been a duology so the events could have been more spread out. The author just shoved so much into this novel and it all takes place in a relatively short time considering that I expected it to take 10+ years. There could have been so much depth to the story if it hadn’t been a standalone novel.
I also that it was cool that I found out much later that this was a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast. Looking back I can definitely see the similarities, but I love that it wasn’t a glaring rewrite. It was it’s own story inspired by the other. I’m so tired of rewrites that are still so much like the original that I haven’t even started on Marissa Meyer’s series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 quills.

What did you guys think? What did you like? What did you hate? I really want to know what you guys think.

2015 and 2016 Challenges

I read 40 books in 2015 that totaled 15,111 pages. I didn’t complete nearly as much of the challenges as I would have liked. I’ll try harder this year. Here’s the 2015 challenges I did complete..

PopSugar’s 2015 Challenge

-A book with more than 500 pages

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Game by Barry Lyga

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller

The Awakened Mage by Karen Miller

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

-A classic

-A book that became a movie

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

-A book published this year

Keep the Ends Loose by Molly D. Campbell

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

Phoenix by Vaun Murphrey

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Shadow, Shadow by V.B. Marlowe

Alive by Scott Sigler

Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

The Decaying Empire by Laura Thalassa

Uprooted by Naomi

-A book with a number in the title

-A book with nonhuman characters

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

Chimera by Vaun Murphrey

Changeling by Vaun Murphrey

Vector by Vaun Murphrey

Phoenix by Vaun Murphrey

-A funny book

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

-A book by a female author

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

The Weaver Series, book 1-4 by Vaun Murphrey

The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series by Karen Miller

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Keep the Ends Loose by Molly D. Campbell

The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

Jason by Laurell K. Hamilton

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

-A mystery or thriller

Game by Barry Lyga

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

-A book with a one-word title

Alive by Scott Sigler

Game by Barry Lyga

Chimera by Vaun Murphrey

Changeling by Vaun Murphrey

Vector by Vaun Murphrey

Phoenix by Vaun Murphrey

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

-A book of short stories

Carniepunk by Various Authors

-A book set in a different country

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

-A nonfiction book

-A popular author’s first book

-A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

-A book a friend recommended

Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi

-A Pulitzer Prize-winning book

-A book based on a true story

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

-A book your mom loves

-A book that scares you

-A book more than 100 years old

-A book based entirely on its cover

The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

The Rising by Terra Harmony

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker

-A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t

-A memoir

-A book you can finish in a day

Laszlo by Regina Bethory

-A book with antonyms in the title

-A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

-A book that came out the year you were born

-A book with bad reviews

My review was bad on: Keep the Ends Loose by Molly D. Campbell

Had bad reviews on Goodreads: Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne

-A trilogy

The Painted Maidens Trilogy by Terra Harmony

-A book from your childhood

-A book with a love triangle

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

-A book set in the future

-A book set in high school

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

-A book with a color in the title

-A book that made you cry

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

-A book with no magic

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

Alive by Scott Sigler

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

In the Shadow of the Banyan

Charlie, Presumed Dead

The Third Twin

Keep the Ends Loose

-A graphic novel

-A book by an author you’ve never read before

Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

The Rising by Terra Harmony

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

Laszlo by Regina Bethory

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker

Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum

Alive by Scott Sigler

Shadow, Shadow by V.B. Marlowe

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Chimera by Vaun Murphrey

-A book you own but have never read

-A book that takes place in your hometown

-A book that was originally written in a different language

-A book set during Christmas

-A book written by an author with your same initials

-A play

-A banned book

2016 Challenges I Plan to Take Part In

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MMD-2016-Reading-Challenge

The Painted Maidens Trilogy

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{638E9DD0-DAAB-4658-8F0D-5D5ECE9E3EDA}Img400Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.
Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

Review: I think the thing that says the most about this series is that I almost always hate stories written in the present tense. I still finished all three books. In fact, the writing got better in each book.
Another thing I loved about this series was that there was no love triangle. Love triangles are extremely over done. In a book that isn’t about romance I appreciate that there isn’t a lot of focus wasted on “will she pick this boy or that boy?” I feel like authors and the world in general underestimate a girl’s ability to prioritize.
I love Serena from the beginning of the book until the end. Outcast by both circumstance and choice, she takes it in stride. Her best friend is in love with one of her many bullies and she supports him anyway. She handles her many relationships in a way that I would have envied at 17.
The problem with reviewing a whole series at once is that I can’t reveal many of my favorite things with out spoiling earlier plot twists. If you’re looking to read some urban fantasy outside of anything you’ve probably read before, I’d suggest giving this trilogy a try. Just remember that it (the present tense writing) gets better as you read from one book to the next. The story is there the entire time.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 for originality and wonderful story telling.

The Decaying Empire

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20897649Spoiler Alert! This is the sequel to The Vanishing Girl which I did a review of yesterday.

 

Blurb: When eighteen-year-old teleporter Ember Pierce wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, she remembers only the basics: she’s been trained by the government as a spy, she’s sent on dangerous missions, and her last assignment—the one that landed her in the hospital—was a setup.
Caden Hawthorne has spent the past ten months of his life grieving Ember’s death. So when she shows up in his room like an apparition, he can’t believe his eyes. But this Ember is different. Her hair is longer, her skin is paler, her gaze is haunted. She tells him what he’s already begun to suspect: someone he trusted betrayed her.
Now, uncertain who is friend and who is foe, Ember and Caden face the toughest mission of their lives—to stay together and survive, as they run from danger toward an unknown future.
Review: This book was much better than the first. The infuriating attraction to Caden became more understandable as his personality shone through in this one. His willingness to follow Ember to the ends of the world and put his trust in her is endearing. Even more endearing is that they aren’t a perfect couple by any means. Caden struggles with trusting Ember’s judgement in Aiden and with jealousy that Ember teleports to him frequently. Ember struggles with Caden’s attachment to Dane Richards and Desiree.
The storyline also had more purpose. The only thing I could have done without is all of the sex. I get that the book is New Adult but the sex scenes were numerous and unnecessary. Once I got over that the story captivated me far more than the first. I couldn’t put it down (until my kindle went and died on me).
My only real complaint is that although we got to know Caden and Ember much better we didn’t really get to know anyone else better. You could maybe say we get to know Aidrian better but that’s not true until the very end.
Rating: 4 out of 5 quills