Blog Tour: From the Sky & Equinox


This week I’m part of another blog tour, featuring two books from the Beyond Moondust trilogy! The first two books are currently available through Kindle Unlimited, so pick them up today! There is also currently a giveaway for a copy of the first book! You can enter hereGiveaway closes October 14th at 11:59 PM PDT.

I have only reviewed the first book in the interest of keeping this post spoiler-free, however I did read the second one, and let me tell you, it was an amazing follow-up. Definitely one you do not want to miss!


From the Sky by J. E. Nicassio
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, dystopia, romance
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 259
Publish date: June 23rd, 2015
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository – Barnes & Noble

FromTheSkyRedo_Nicassio_coverWhen Samantha Hunter and her father move to New Mexico, it’s a chance to get away from the bittersweet memories of her past and start over. However, the arrival of a dark-haired stranger into her life changes everything. The stranger, a boy, named Lucien introduces Sam to the hidden world of real-life aliens.
Redemption and romance follow Sam in her new life as she works to decipher her complicated alien-human relationship and discovers what connects her to this strange alien boy.

I think I’ve decided I need more aliens in my life. Well, in fictional form that is. As soon as I got into this book, I definitely felt some major Roswell vibes, if anyone’s ever seen that series. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic book in it’s own right. I have zero time to do anything right now, but I still enjoyed reading this immensely.

The feeling of loss and the move that opens up the book is described in such a raw way. The idea of a new life in New Mexico away from painful memories is promising, but Sam will never fully be separated from the tragedy that has befallen her. She’s content to blend in at first, and then she meets a boy she swears she’s met before. Of course, this strange coincidence is only the first step in a large collection of even stranger things.

The emotion and character depth in this book is wonderful, I was engaged with the characters from page one. There is just enough action, suspense, romance, and even a little conspiracy theory, because you can’t have a novel with aliens without a little crazy conspiracy. Not to mention the relationship between Lucien and Sam, which I absolutely adored. What can I say? I’m a sucker for romance.

As with most books the include specific jargon, there was a fair amount of new terms. It wasn’t too hard to follow along, but I did forget what some meant and had to go back a few times.

I was provided with this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


Excerpt:
The morning dew kissed the steep slope and ridge boughs of the winding road. I loved how the shade of the sugar maple trees blanketed the dense, mossy hollow of Hidden Valley.

 I heard the thud before the antlers crashed through the windshield. Without thinking, my hands covered my eyes as the car flipped over the guardrail and down the embankment. The seatbelt pulled tight across my chest, squeezing the air from my lungs. The car rolled and rolled until it stopped on its side. I hit my head on the window, and everything went black.

I’m unsure of how long I had been unconscious, but I woke up to the flash of a bright light and realized I was trapped. It was the seatbelt. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t undo my seatbelt. I felt something wet and warm. A sweet, metallic, pungent smell entered my nose. Blood.

“Finn….” I struggled to speak.

He didn’t answer. There was only the rattling of metal and the sound of whizzing air, like when a can of Coke is opened after it’s been shaken.

“Finn, talk to me, please. Are you hurt?”

A second bright light flashed beyond the trees. In the distance, the rustling of movement and low voices were coming closer.

“We’re here,” I struggled to get the words out. “Help!” I tried shouting, but the belt made it hard to raise my voice. There was no way they would find us. Just when I thought all hope was lost, I felt someone at my side.

“Don’t be afraid. I got you,” the stranger said. It was a man’s voice, and he spoke gently to me, instantly soothing my worries.

The seatbelt snapped open, and I could breathe again.

“She’s free,” the stranger said. His words rolled off his lips like liquid gold.

Am I dead? Is he an angel?

My fingers trailed loosely at my side as he dragged me across the dry soil. He laid me down on the forest ground away from the wreckage.

The blurred figure above me pulled his shirt off and tucked it underneath my head. For a moment, I was enveloped in his scent, and he lifted my head just enough for me to see my brand-new iPhone crushed on the ground beside me.

“My brother?” I whispered. My voice still not as strong as it should’ve been.

“Shhh. Don’t try to speak,” the stranger said, pushing my hair away from my face. When he did, a calmness swept over me.

“What do you think you’re doing? Just leave her,” another voice said. I hadn’t known anyone else was there.

“Help my brother,” I said, more clearly now.

“I’m so sorry—” the first man started, but he didn’t have to finish. I already knew Finn was dead.

The shadowy figure placed his hands on me.

“Don’t do it,” said the second voice. “We have to leave now.”

“No! We caused this!” the first voice begged.

“Stop! You must not. Let’s just go.”

“I’ve got to do something. She’ll die…”

“It’s not for you to decide! It’s not allowed.

There’ll be consequences, brother.”

“I can’t let her die.”

“You can’t, or you won’t?”

“I won’t!”

“No…” I tried to tell them both. I could taste the blood as it filled my mouth and gurgled from my lips. “Let me die.”

“Not today,” The stranger that had rescued me said. I felt his hands brush over my head.

A jolt of electricity shot through my body. I wasn’t scared anymore.


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Review Rendezvous: 7/22/17


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, fantasy, paranormal, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 332
Publish date: January 2nd, 2007
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

 

VALissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

I picked up this particular book while I was in Orlando as a WDW intern. Originally, I had picked it up because I wanted something to read on the bus rides to work and it seemed interesting enough. Boy was I underselling it. Normally, I’m not the type to go for vampire novels, and while I wasn’t particularly hooked after the first one, I continued on with the series and by the end, it had become one of my favorites.

The thing that I love reading the most in this series is the growth of the main protagonist, Rose. When you meet her in the beginning, she’s rash, stupid, selfish, and rebellious, mostly without justification. She does care very much for her best friend and does things with good intentions, but they usually blow up in her face.

Without spoiling information about the series, I can’t explain much about how Rose grows up in the later novels. There’s a big theme of duty and sacrifice as well, which is an interesting sub-plot. I accidentally spoiled myself to the ending of one of the side issues, although I’m not too worried about spoilers so it’s fine.

There is a movie adaptation of this first book, and while it is interesting and well-produced, it’s not entirely true to the source material. Of course, that goes for most book to movie adaptations nowadays, so I suppose slight inaccuracy can be overlooked in some instances.

All in all, yet another amazing series that I have stumbled across. Makes me lad that I picked up the first book to begin with. There is also a second series, the Bloodlines series, that I just recently finished. I’ll post a separate review of it on a different day, but that one was almost as good as this series, so it’s well worth the read!

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 6/15/14


And here is the other post that I did say I’d be giving you guys. Sorry again for the mishap, totally slipped my mind.

Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 352
Publish date: July 3, 2012

Ashes to AshesWhen Callie’s life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love – and break.

On the whole, paranormals don’t really interest me, certainly not as much as dystopians. But for some reason this one was begging to be read, so I gave it a chance. And you know what? It was actually pretty good.

We first meet our lovely protagonist Callie after she has just died. Talk about tragic. She thinks she’s going to the afterlife, but not quite. She has some other work to do before.

On the whole, Callie is an okay character. I’ll give her the fact that maybe she’s depressed and anguished over the fact that she’s dead and gone now, but that doesn’t mean that she has to blatantly disregard her guardian’s warnings. She definitely carried over that streak of teenage rebellion. Definitely don’t like it.

As for the plot, I haven’t read many paranormals so I don’t know if the idea is original, but either way it works out well and also lends itself to a sequel. I haven’t quite gotten around to that yet but I will.

One of my favorite parts is near the end where Walker throws in a twist that pieces together so many of the parts of the story that didn’t really make sense before. I’m definitely a fan of that, the authors who plan everything out and foreshadow and hint at exactly what they’re going to reveal. What is this secret you may ask? Well, you’ll have to read to find out 🙂

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 5/10/14


Hey there! Hope you all have been having quite a wonderful day, I’ve got a bit of a sunburn but other than that I’m quite content. Here we go with my current number 2 book…

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 404
Publish date: March 5, 2013

Let the Sky FallVane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past – except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she’s real.

Audra is real, but she isn’t human. She’s a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She’s also a guardian – Vane’s guardian – and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

One of my favorite parts of this book is that it’s a bit more creative than the usual paranormal. There’s no vampires, werewolves, other common supernatural beings. Another is the story between the two main character. Vane and Audra’s is one of those ones that makes you all frustrated and makes you want to yell at them “Just stop it already! You both know how the other feels, stop being all ‘dutiful’ and just go for it!” But, alas, this is a series, and we all know how those work.

Messenger does a really good job with Vane’s backstory. A lot of times authors shy away from making it that super important and detailed, as most readers don’t want to read what happened in the past. I’m one of the ones that doesn’t actually mind taking a look back. Man, did she do well with Vane’s parents. I could practically feel his own emotions jumping off that page at me.

That reminds me of something else that I loved: it’s got a guy’s point of view. I’ve said before that I like books like that, mostly because I can’t actually write a guy’s perspective well at all. Messenger manages to make it sound quite realistic, and hopefully one day I could get good enough to do the same.

There is a sequel to this book out, Let the Storm Break, that I have not been able to acquire yet. Once I do I will be back with a review for sure 🙂

Update (3/11/16)Boy it has been a while. but, I just got through reading the sequel to this, so keep a lookout for my review 🙂

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 4/19/14


Hello there everyone!
I do hope that you all have had a wonderful day so far. I’ve been relaxing since I have the day off and nothing planned until tonight. On with the review! 🙂

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 327
Publish date: March 16, 2010

The Body FinderViolet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.

I don’t often stray into the realm of paranormal simply because it’s not my cup of tea. But boy, am I glad I picked up this one. The Body Finder is built on such an interesting idea, being able to connect a body to the person that killed them. Major detective possibilities there. Although, it would be very creepy to sense echoes everywhere you went. Anyways, the way that Violet’s powers are described flowed well into the story, which I am glad for because I have read quite a few stories with superpowers that take a big chunk of time to explain. I also do appreciate the fact that Violet has known about these powers her entire life. The whole ‘what the heck is happening to me/what am I?’ cliché is a bit old, no?

Another plus to add to the book would be Jay and Violet’s relationship. You’ve all seen it, the guy and girl who’ve been friends forever and suddenly decide to tempt something more. It’s just so cute, their history, Jay’s protectiveness, everything.

Derting is definitely a very good writer, I admire her style quite a bit. The Body Finder was stretched into three more books, Desires of the DeadThe Last EchoDead Silence. All of them are also very good reads, and as with the other series on this list, I encourage you to continue on to those as well. 🙂

Rating:

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