Category Archives: Sanctuary

Enigma ~ Tonya Kuper

EnigmaTour

First things, First … I am giving this review in my HONEST opinion of the book. I received this book from NetGalley & was asked to give my HONEST opinion. (Which we ALL know I will do … right?)

Enigma Cover

Now I left off the Anomaly without tell you much of anything. Because if I had I would have spoiled so much of the story. But since this is book 2, I would HOPE you have read Anomaly … so none of this will be spoilers for you. So here goes A LOT Winking smile of info.

 

Reid & Josie are now off on their own. They handed off the serum Josie mom, Meg created that would help expand the length of how long any Oculi could have their powers. After a time, the powers deplete leaving the Oculi with nothing … no ability they once were able to use. They could not create no living items (like trees, cars, chairs, pizza, juice, guns & so on … these are the Pushers). They could not retract or remove items (like trees, cars, chairs, pizza, juice, guns & so on … these are the Rectracters). Or the Anomalies who could do both.
These abilities allowed the Oculi to be able to create or remove items that did not have a soul. Because of this, you have two opposing forces … pretty much like you would in any world that would have any type of powers … The Schrodinger’s Consortium and the Resistance.
Meg & her husband use to work for the Consortium believing this group was out to help for the Oculi. Meg had created a serum that increased the ability of the Anomalies. This was how, during their involvement, they discovered the Consortium was trying to destroy all Anomalies … which they both were. During their attempt to leave, they were discovered, each took 1/2 of the serum & injected it into themselves. This was to prevent the Consortium from using it to reverse the effect to destroy the Anomalies.
They, Meg & her husband, created the Resistance with friends who wanted to ensure that all Oculi were treated equally & not wiped out. But Meg & her husband had to go into hiding because the Consortium wanted them back. Plus when they learned they had 3 children …. they wanted them even more.
When their oldest turned 17, his powers were beyond what most Anomalies had. He began hiding things, disappearing … it seamed that he lost his mind. But he was recruited by the Consortium. This caused Meg’s husbands, Josie’s father to go undercover … he went back into the Consortium. But his face was not the same face that they were use to seeing.
While you cannot create a human or an animal, you can change a persons appearance. Which Josie found out with Reid. He was Cal, her brother’s best friend & her long time crush. But when she met him he had a completely different face because to keep the Consortium off the trail of her family, he was the bait the Resistance used.
Now that you are bit up to date, and have an idea of what the hades is going on let’s get moving on with Emigma!!! FYI, part of that above is from Emigma … guess you will figure that out when you get to reading it.

Josie is torn to hades and back in the beginning. She killed Santos, who just happened to be a Consortium spy … doesn’t that just bit the big one? … she had no choice in the matter. It was either him or her & Reid. In that little part you will find that Josie is not exactly the Anomily that every thinks she is. That and the fact she pulled in a freaking tropical storm (in my opinion I think that is a bit beyond the Anomily ability).
Reid is suppose to take Josie to a safe house. But he has received a message from her mother stating that there is a mole in the Hub that they are to find. Plus that is where she & Josie’s younger brother, Eli are headed. Reid leaves the decision up to Josie … Safe house or Hub. Of course, we know Josie will decided on the Hub. That is the type of character she is, strong & there is no way she will let her family walk into a place without her to help them out.
The Hub … This is where most of the Resistance live. They train, get their education, live & basically have their own little society going on. It is suppose to be hidden from the Consortium, but when you have a mole there … it’s not so hidden. But from my understanding they have other such areas too.

Upon arriving at the Hub, hidden in a mine cave, Reid gets the shock of his life … he is greeted by his father, after Reid requests a E3 meeting. But the shock does not stop he from questioning his father to make sure that he is who he claims to be.
The E3 meeting does not go as planned. The group of adults do NOT believe that there could possibly be a mole inside the Hub. They are a bit shock that Santos was a Consortium spy. Plus that he gave Josie an choice come willingly or die. Also, that he tried to steal the serum that Meg, Josie’s Mom, created to extend the length Oculi could have their abilities. Reid get’s a bit hot tempered and demands that they do something but is blown off. They council tells him that he is willing to do the search himself but he will NOT find the spy himself because their security is above & beyond … there is NO way a spy could be in the Hub.
They then move on to the location of Josie’s mother & brother. Troops are sent out to locate them. There is a bit of concern because other founding members have been disappearing. They are not sure if they are dead or being held hostage … or have simply left.
The council is, also, concerned that Josie might be “loosing it” like her oldest brother, Nick, did. But Reid informs them that that is not happening. She has kept her grip on reality & her powers are far beyond what ever they imagine. The council then beings setting up test for the following morning to see this, as well as test her sanity plus to see what type of “weapon” she could be used as. (Aren’t they such a sweet little bunch?)

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When Meg & Eli arrive. This is when the mind tricks begin. Eli is outside the training room, looking for the bathroom when Reid & Josie appear. He runs and hugs Josie … which she really should have thought twice about that because he complained last time she did that … but she is just excited to see her brother. She convinces  him to allow Reid to take him to the bathroom after he takes her to the training room.
When she walks in … She about flips out! There is her mother & Eli. Plus Reid’s Dad, Cohen, Kat & Zac. They do not understand why she is upset, until she explains that she just saw Eli in the hallway. Reid comes rushing in saying Eli is missing, he didn’t come out of the bathroom … they all realize just how close that the mole got to Josie. 
When Council members enter during this time believing this is a sign that she is sign of her slipping sanity. But Reid stands up & says he also saw Eli. He explains how he took him to the bathroom & how he just simply disappeared. This is pretty much a slap in the face the the Council who swore there was no way over the time they have been there.
Even though there was a mole running around the Hub the Council decided it was time, right that second, to begin testing Josie. Despite the objections of Meg, Josie’s mother. Josie, on the other hand, fully of her typical attitude & agitation agreed. They were going to start with hand-to-hand combat only using her shield as a last resort … if you read Anomaly, you know her shield kicks arse!!!
Cohen was the one chosen to fight Josie. He was much more experienced, even though Josie practiced daily, he actually trained constantly. During the beginning of the fight, Josie did good. Blocking the punches & kicks coming her way. But sadly, on one block Cohen leaned in & pushed her causing her to fall back. That was her down fall, and sadly for Cohen it would be his too. After  his attacks pushed Josie into the wall, her shield came up. Throwing Cohen back, as well as the standing Reid. All parties where then told to go the the infirmary.
As for the Council, they were a hyped up little bunch a this point. They found an Oculi that was “unique” and “unexpected.” They believed she was more than an Anomaly, they believed she was “an Enigma.” Can you imagine the type of weapon they were going to try to use that 17 yr. old for?

Later in the book the mole decides to play a sick little game. He makes Josie think she is loosing her mind by looking like Reid, when she is standing with Reid. Then when Reid is blowing off steam because he knows something is wrong with Josie after that instant, the mole looks in the window looking like Santos. Reid rushes out after but misses the mole. But he rushes asking her if she saw Santos either that day. That is when she spills the beans & tells him everything … even her plan on killing the mole & disappearing because she thought she was going nuts.

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But guess what folks that is all you are getting out of me … pretty interesting story so far huh?
What I like about reading YA books is there is not sex scene after sex scene … don’t get me wrong. I love adult paranormal or sci-fi books but even I need a break from them. Going back to read something fresh where you have young love is sweet & reminds you of when you 1st fell for your sweetheart (if you have one … hey I do & he’s perfect for me).

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In this story, Ms. Kuper keeps the scenes light & does not push it. Yes there is a little bit of tension, because they have to hid the fact of their attraction or love due to the rules of the Hub/Resistance while Josie is in training.

Tonya Kuper

Does Ms. Kuper provide you with a story that you want to read? Yes. Should you add it you your list? Yes, I would add it to your top 5 because she provides you a world that gives you twists & turns that will surprise you in ways that you would not believe. Does you age actually matter when you are reading this book? I would hope not. For the YA it gives you hopes & dreams. Plus it should provide you with confidence to step up to do your own thing. For those older, it gives us a chance to fall back to when we were that age and remember having those hopes & dreams … and giving us a kick in the arse to have them again. Plus it gets us a way from sex scene after sex scene in a lot of adult books Confused smile 

 

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Filed under 2017 Reading Challange, Ability, adventure, Alliance, Anomalies, assassin, body guard, Book Review, Book Reviews, Bookaholics, Chapter by Chater Blog Tours, HUB, Net Galley, Oculi, paranormal, Pushers, Resistance, Retracters, Sanctuary, Schrodinger's Consortium, science fiction, scifi, series, supernatural, YA

The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld #1) ~ Skylar Dorset

                                                   the girl who never was

I read this book, and have spent plenty of time look at it. Sorting though it. Then I went back to my GoodReads account to get copy of cover … and I still have no idea as to where to begin.
So, I looked to see what my other GoodRead friends were reading this book or had read it. I cam across this:
”Where to start? I’ve been staring at a blinking cursor for a few minutes now, trying to figure out how to put THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS into some sort of coherent thought …” (From another blogger, All Things Urban Fantasy, who I enjoy checking out what they have read.)
I could have laughed when I read this … here I am having the damnest time trying to figure out what to say & they got part of how I felt right there! I would give them huge hugs … but I will simply go with a thank you on this. (To read the rest of their blog on this book simply click the quote above.) It’s worth the time to see how they felt as well. Before picking up that book … sometimes Bookaholics are worth listening to.

I won’t bother quoting any more of All Things Urban Fantasy, because while I agree with parts of it … for me there is something that has been holding me back from doing this review. I began it, but I could never find the words I needed to finish it until now, when I read another book given from the view point of a teen. Not even close to the same type of story, but it finally click what was  holding me back so much.

Ms. Dorset is definitely a talented writer BUT how she decided to put this one is writing pretty much killed the story. When you write 1st person you need to keep it in that area … to me it felt like she went back to edit it into a 1st person novel. Like parts of it were written to sound like they came from a teen but others were written to sound like they came from another individual. Then at the last minute, Ms. Dorset decided to make it 1st person … which if that is the case, it needs some drastic edits to fix it & make it sound like it is coming from ONE person of the same age. This is like it could be same person of different ages, with a LOT of missing parts too.

                                                              missing parts

You begin a tale about a girl being raised by “nutcase” Aunts, only to learn they may not be as crazy as thought. Let’s not forget the father who is in the insane asylum, but how he actually arrived leaves you searching for “prequels.” Then you bounce from a “friendship” to 1st love in the blink of a eye. Let’s not for the fact that one minute you are dealing with a confused teen to a powerful “whatever” she is. Plus there is the best friend who can manage to jump where humans are suppose to, but does & she doesn’t seem all too phased about it … just because that’s how “best friends” are suppose to act. (So much missing!!!!)
                                                               portrait-of-wide-eyed-girl

When you add all this up, the novel should have been FAR thicker/longer. There is no question that so much was left out of this novel, and the missing parts is what (IMO) causes harm to the story. The idea & characters (for the most part) are well rounded. They keep you wanting to read, hoping to get those missing parts … but when you finish, you are STILL missing them. Those are needed to make this tale an amazing one. They need to be added back in, or found …which ever it is in this cause. (Please!)

When I read the other story, 1st person by a teen, that is where I learned what was bothering me. IF that main character skipped over something, you would find it later in the story. When you finished that book, you all ALL the parts (even if they were a bit out of order in some cases) and that MADE the tale.
That is what I feel has been my main problem with this … I could not place exactly what I was missing, part of the bloody story, is what. It makes you feel that you were NOT given what you thought you were reading.

Will I read book 2 … probably because I want to see if she learned & corrected her errors in the 1st novel. You can tell Ms. Dorset has the skills to do this … but I think she lost something & hope she finds it in the following book.

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Bittersweet Magic (The Order #2) ~ Nina Croft

bittersweet magic

To avoid being burned at the stake (about 500 yrs. ago) Rosamund Fairfax (Roz) prayed to God but when he didn’t answer, she prayed to a demon (and she got Asmodai) … and made a deal that is almost paid off. Until a psychotic Vamp takes off with the Key. (Lucky for us, there are no individuals who turn this “key” into a human child!) Then he leaves the only Nun marked  but with a message for Piers Lamont.
That simple mission to end the tie to a demon just got quite complicated. Piers is currently the Vamp in charge of the Order … one that Asmodai (Ash in the human world) has told her would destroy her & other “abominations.” After all, why would a DEMON lie?

Piers finds out that the demon queen (and the psychotic vamp) that he imprisoned over 2000 yrs. ago is  free. She wants the key & him back into her life. Only problem is that Piers would prefer to have NOTHING to do with the creature to stole away his chance of being reincarnated.

Ms. Croft has created one hades of a world. Where there are different dimensions for demons, fae & even one for angels. She creates an Order that keeps peace on the Earth, putting a stop to Demon & Fae wars … this Order is run by Vampires. (And from the description of them, SMOKING Vamps out to save the world.)

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Welcome Home, Cowboy (Hero’s Welcome #2) ~ Annie Rains

 

Welcome Home, Cowboy_cover

There are good & negative parts to this book. I believe that Ms. Rains could have give the “extra” characters a little but more depth. Plus give more history on Julie & Lawson … But those are just minor issues.
I enjoyed discovering who Julie & Lawson were. By the end of the story, I enjoyed the discovers these characters had made about themselves & each other.

PTSD is something that a lot of military members face. Some are worried about it like Lawson is. Others “suck it up” and get treatment because their families are there supporting them & pushing them to do so. There are many different ways for them to “handle” what happened to them, and it is great to see an author who creates a book based on finding something small that just might help.

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Julie has her own issues to deal with. An Ex from hades, and those you find in any community, that ripped her heart & confidence to pieces. She has to overcome what he did to her & figure out where is she is going in her own life.

In life you will find that healing together can bring you closer. IF you allow it. And in this story, that is appears what Ms. Rains is trying to express.

Annie Rains bio picture
She created two individuals, that were drawn to each other. Before the deployment, but still drawn to each other after. The maturity they gained between 1st meeting each other & now, shows by their actions. Plus who they talk with their friends.

I hope Ms. Rains continues to write about military communities with more details & depth.
Now, I have to go find book one in this series!

 

 

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WELCOME HOME, COWBOY
A Hero’s Welcome Book Two
Annie Rains
Releasing April 26th, 2016
Loveswept
 
 
With its thriving military base, Seaside, North Carolina, is teeming with heroes of all stripes. But, as the Hero’s Welcome series from Annie Rains continues, it takes a cowboy to rescue the town’s newest resident from heartache.
 
After a bad breakup leaves Julie Chandler completely devastated, she comes to Seaside seeking a fresh start. A talented, compassionate yoga teacher, she has developed a program to help alleviate the effects of PTSD, but getting a bunch of bullheaded Marines into downward facing dog might be impossible. So Julie’s shocked when one of her first students dives in headfirst—and almost tempts her to take down her walls with his easy smile and electrifying touch.
Ever since Texas cowboy turned Marine pilot Lawson Phillips lost a crew member in a helicopter accident, he hasn’t been able to fly. When a psychologist orders him to attend, of all things, a yoga class, Lawson’s outraged—until he finds out Julie is the instructor. She’s beautiful, graceful, and completely guarded when it comes to his advances, but he’s determined to find out what makes her tick. Because underneath Julie’s hard shell is a woman Lawson knows he could fall for—and he’s not ready for the ride to end.

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Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors. Represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA).
 


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Dark Ascension (A Generation V #4) ~ M.L. Brennan

Dark ascension

Ok, I should have started with Generation (book #1 from this series) before jumping into this book. BUT I did finish it. I am one of those people who loves jumping into a series but I don’t always start with the 1st book.

This story begins with Fort interviewing a group individuals who want to move to the Scott Territory, claiming sanctuary. He must then discuss what he learns with his siblings & mother, to decide if they will be allowed to live in the territory or not. During the meeting, his mother decides that the 3 siblings must decide the fate of this new group.
From here you end up following Fort through other issues that just keep occurring. Changelings wanting to kill a witch, brownies attacking the homeless, were-bear ceremony, Madeline Scott’s death, Fort being a full vampire … all of this happing one thing after another. Forcing Fort to step up and accept the responsibly of being an adult, instead of being the laid back slacker he appears to be. He must find a way to work with this siblings to secure the future.

Ms. Brennan has amazing writing skills. You are completely informed about what she is trying to express. She has created a world that involves supernatural & humans. The characters that she creates are extremely interesting. The characters make you want to keep reading to find out how they grow, handle the situations they are in & change.

My main issue with this story is that I feel you have to read the prior books to fully be able to understand all the characters & the world they live in. Instead of providing more background from past stories, she provided tiny info from past stories. I think that if she provided a bit more back story it would have give them story & characters that little extra that was missing.
This is one of the series that you should begin with the 1st book. Then keep reading in order. I believe that doing this, you will get the back stories for the world & characters that are in the book.

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The Awakening (Hasea Chronicles #1) ~ Stuart Meczes

awakening

When you begin this book, it takes a bit to get use to the idea that the writer is trying to express. It is almost like a jumble of ideas floating around but you have yet to figure out who they are all connected.
This is not your typical paranormal type of book. In this world, or worlds, you will find a new idea of where the different paranormal types come from. But to get to that point you have to go though the jumble of ideas in the beginning.
I almost stopped reading the book altogether. I did stop, and read a few others in between finishing the book. Mainly because it was starting to frustrate me. But after I got past the jumble of ideas, I discovered it to be a great read. You just have to find the patience to keep reading, because you will then discover the mystery behind what is going on in the book.

A boy, Alexander Eden,  who is bullied by kids at school & even his own stepfather (which you find out why later in the book) discovers that he is not exactly like the others he goes to school with. He shares part of this with this (half-)brother, Mikey, because he needs to be able to discuss it with someone he can truly trust.
Then enters the Gabriella De Luca, who has all the answers he needs but is there to watch him. To ensure that he makes it though the transition he is going though. But there is more to Ella than what appears in the beginning, and she must decide if she can trust Alex enough to tell him.

You will read about a large variety of types of individuals (Sage Faru, Midnight, Delagio, Sylvia, Scarlett, Dakin, Tyler, Rachel, Sophia, Selene, Lafelei, Mikey, Sage Etorre, Sage Asmund …). Each of them has a tale that improves upon the story. Each of them is just as valuable to the story as Alex & Ella, because without them … the story would crash and be nothing.

In the end, you find the jumble of ideas in the beginning to make more sense. The mystery becomes crystal clear, and you are glad you took the time to read the story.
I am looking forward to reading book two in this series. Mr. Meczes has an interesting way of putting a jumble of ideas together creating a world & story that pull you in. It is rare to find a writer that can frustrate you but keep you reading, slowly pulling you into a story.

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