Rabbit Bones (Redemption #2) by A.L. Tyler


24494561Blurb: 
The time for closure has finally come.

Gina Gillespie is dead. That’s what the invitation to the funeral said, tucked into an envelope next to a prepaid ticket home.

It’s been two years since the summer that screwed up Ember’s life, and the time for closure has finally come. But when she returns to the island of Tulukaruk, she finds that things aren’t exactly as she remembers them. People are acting strange, and her sister claims she didn’t send a death announcement or an invitation to the funeral. Their mother has been dead for several months, having drowned earlier that year.

What’s worse, though she won’t say how or why, her sister believes that it was murder. She’s pegged it on the person Ember would have thought the least capable of such an act: the local bartender and fashion icon that took her in when her mother threw her out–Zinnia Knox.

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Favorite Quote

“Let me put it this way…”  Delia said, sitting down next to Ember and pushing her brunette hair out of her eyes.  “You’re a…distraction, let’s say, to Acton.  So you’re like a thorn in his butt.  Your sister Thalia doesn’t like Acton, and he’s like a thorn in her butt, so she gets to being a thorn in Zinny’s butt.  All of this is fine with me.  But the thing is that when Zinny has a thorn in her butt, she gets to being a thorn in everyone’s butt.  It’s one long chain of thorns and butts while you’re here.”

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4 stars

Damn this series is weird. Nothing really happened except that she got her memory back. I am still unsure where this story is going. But I can’t look away!!!

Okay, so I was trying to put a dent in my series reading challenge but when I checked to see how many books are in this series my eyes just about popped right outta my head. There’s like seven fricking books in this series!

So one of the things I liked about this book was the fact that she went back to the island. She belongs there no matter how many people tell her she isn’t welcome.  The paranormal-ness of this book was incredibly subtle and didn’t really show itself till like half-way through. A fact that upset me because its the second book in the series so….its not a secret.  Let’s see more of it please.  I mean, hello? I love demons and angels, so give me more please.  Another thing I loved is how dark it is.  These people are evil and have no redeeming qualities and they don’t try to be good.  They embrace their evilness.  And I like that.

Honestly, this series makes NO sense whatsoever, there isn’t a true plot, no true climax, and no tangible antagonist.  It just kinda flows with no real rhyme or reason.  The characters are hard to follow because Ember’s mind is so fucked up we have no way of knowing what’s real and what’s fake.

And I think that’s what appeals to me.  Trying to figure out the plot and her mind is like reading one of those choose our own adventure stories but reading it straight through. WTF right?

Curly Carla_small

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The Lilith Scroll by B.L. Marsh

lilith scrollBlurb: What if you discovered there was “time” before time began? What if everything you thought was true, was not? What if there was a beginning before “In the beginning”; another story unfolding within our time, steeped in loss, love, betrayal, and secrets.

Welcome to Eden where magic was born, trees are gateways to other realms and angels aren’t what you think they are. Meet Lilith. A young girl with an incredible story. One she isn’t supposed to know much less tell. Meet Sagan. A man without past and powers who rival Lilith’s. Will he be able to help her find out her past and discover his own in the process?

Go back in time. Back to the garden. Experience the magic of the creation, the wonder of nature and the betrayal that destroyed it all.

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DNF

I had to DNF this book.
It just had too much info and not enough action.
Too much backstory as if this wasn’t the first book. I felt kinda lost from the very beginning. Maybe I’m just not smart enough to read it.
The book had to have a page with a list of characters for me to memorize in the beginning of the book.
Why?
Shouldn’t I be able to figure out which characters are which on my own as I’m reading? And if the author assumed that we as readers couldn’t figure it out and needed the cheat sheet, this is a red flag to me that it has so many characters that a person can get easily confused.
After a third of the book I expected more to be happening. Not just some chic fainting at a starbucks. Maybe I was just not in the mood, even though I tried three different times to get into it. ::shakes head::

Indebted by Amy A. Bartol

Synopsis:
13502963I hang my head in sorrow for just a moment when I know I am truly alone. I feel like I’m going to my execution, just as he had said. Then I move forward again. I hop a fence of fieldstone and cross a field dotted with Queen Anne’s lace. Goose bumps rise on my arms as I pass the cluster of windmills that I have seen in a dream. The scent is sweet in the field though, not the scent of heat, like it had been when it was forced upon me in visions. I gaze down the hill, beyond the small, whitewashed house that I knew would be there. The church looms dark and grim with its rough-hewn, timber façade, capped by tall, oblong spires reaching to the sky. Black, ominous clouds have collected above the roofline, as if Heaven is showing me the way.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — Oh look, yet again I’ve finished another book and I sit here completely conflicted and truly unable to decide how I feel about it.  I found that the reading of this book was a lot slower than I was expecting.  I’m not sure if the mood I’m in is impacting the books I’m reading, but I’m just having a hard time remaining focused.

I think part of the problem is that certain aspects of this book became drawn out and occasionally repetitive.  After awhile I just stopped being surprised or impressed when every person/creature that encounters Evie is immediately enthralled with her and wants her for themselves.  Maybe if we’d started to get more of a hint as to why they all feel that way I would appreciate it more?  I mean, I get it — she’s stunningly gorgeous.  It’s kind of hard to relate to that as a character trait.  And apparently her lethal-ness is very attractive.  Part of me could get on board with this aspect, b/c you could see that while there is an immediate draw to her, as soon as she opens up her smart mouth they go crazy.  And I will admit, Evie can be frickin hilarious when she starts getting all sassy up in there.  So *part* of me gets it.  I guess it would have been just nice to get some variety — to have SOMEONE not be enchanted by her, kwim?

And while I never had a problem with Evie’s overblown sense of self-sacrificing (it’s not a character trait that tends to bother me in heroines like I know it does for many other readers), even I must admit that it became a bit old hat in this book.  Maybe it’s that it would be nice to see some growth in her character?  Some trust shown to her friends and family?  Then again, at the beginning Reed was still treating her with kid gloves and not letting her get involved, but at least by the end of the book you could see he FINALLY learned that lesson.

And then there’s the Brennus situation.  (SIDE NOTE while I think of it — I am *personally* not a fan (AT ALL) of the written out accents that are represented by both the Gancanagh and Russell…it kind of irks me and in general doesn’t work for me.  But that’s a personal preference thing).  OK, so yes, the Brennus situation.  The great majority of this book is spent with Brennus and the Gancanagh, and I’m not entirely sure what Ms. Bartol’s aim was for them, and what she was hoping her readers would feel.  Because I have a few theories, and in each instance she falls just short of reaching that mark.  I don’t quite hate them…she effectively gives them enough personality, and likability despite their inherent evilness that you kind of feel things for them along with Evie.  But then are they redeemable?  Well, not quite that either, are they?  It’s like, if they were *actually* redeemable, then I could get on board with Evie’s feelings for them…but Ms. Bartol writes them (mostly Brennus) just that little bit creepy and…you know what?  Maybe it’s like Stockholm Syndrome.  It’s like I would have felt better if Evie was fully magically influenced into seeing them as family, but Ms. Bartol makes sure that that isn’t quite the case.  Or maybe if they were redeemable, I would feel better, but that’s not the case either.  So it makes it hard to sympathize with Evie and hard to sort out your own feelings about the whole situation.  And I don’t like feeling icky, you know?  Like, I’m kind of a bleeding heart, so I mourned when Evie mourned over the one death.  But…but…they’re killing humans.  I guess I just don’t like feeling so confused…  I suppose some people enjoy that, but this reader does not.  To some minor degree, fine, but this is a whole book where I end it feeling out of my depth.  Not my favourite feeling. (and we’re not even going to get into Molly — don’t like that situation whatsoever)

So out of that rabbit hole, whoops…sorry.  So you’re probably reading all that and thinking “how the hell did she get to 3.5 stars?” (and I still haven’t decided whether to round up or down).  Well frankly, I still enjoyed myself.  There’s sassiness and snarkiness galore.  There are elements of Evie’s personality that just tickle me to death.  The action sequences and paranormal elements are fantastic.  I’m still somehow entrenched and want to know what’s going to happen.

In the end I’m going to round down, b/c part of what I truly loved about this series are the secondary characters (Zephyr, Buns, Brownie, Russell, Phaedrus, Preben, and of course Reed).  And we do not get nearly enough of these characters in this book…  I so thoroughly enjoyed the parts where they were there, and in a strange way that made me miss them more.  Also — I’m still not a fan of multiple beaus for our heroine.  And GOOD GOD, if I have to hear them all say “she’s mine” much more, I’m going to have a coronary…turns out I don’t find possessiveness sexy, who knew?  (it’s starting to make my love of Reed fade just a little bit…like it’s tarnished)

Ooooo, ps – am I the only one who was intrigued by Reed’s theories about the immediately preceeding Russell/Evie past life??  It was such a short little snippet, I sincerely hope it’s not lost and gets explored in the next 2 books.

So yeah.  Still really enjoying this series, but with some reservations.

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Intuition by Amy A. Bartol

Synopsis:
13381357I don’t open my eyes so I can’t see him, but I can smell him. He thickens the air I breathe, choking me with his scent…his aroma. I shiver. I have to resist. If I’m not strong, then I will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects me even now. But now, I crave him and he knows that; he has been counting on my need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor my surrender. I’m alive, but how much longer will it take until I beg him not to be?

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My Review:
Original review: 5 stars — Yup, loved it again.  In reality, there are quite a few things that bug me, but I love the books as a whole so much that the little things just slide on by and I still give it a 5.  In general though, I am not a big fan of love triangles, and this one is painful to watch.  But it was kind of fun to see Russell’s POV for a while.  Lovin all the characters, even some of the evil ones….loving all the new little side characters (Phaedrus intrigues me)….basically can’t wait for more please!!

ON REREAD: 4 stars — OK, so I don’t think I’m in the best mood for reading in general right now, so that definitely affected my enjoyment of this book the 2nd time around.  There were times where I felt like I was forcing myself to read, but then there were other times when I was so sucked in and enthralled that time just passed me by (and I truly notice that stuff when I’m biking while reading).

For me, where this book shines is Evie’s sass and spunkiness.  I even enjoy her self-sacrificing, but I can see why that might bug others.  I enjoy the personalities of all the characters (particularly my favourite angel squad), even the bad guys, though Brennus confuses me.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about him.  I’ve seen people be team Brennus online, but he’s such a truly evil guy that I don’t quite understand that.  I did enjoy the super tiny roles of Finn and later Pleben (that was his name right?).  And I’m still intrigued by Phaedrus…I enjoyed Evie’s conversation with him in the airplane.  My problem now is that I have even less tolerance for love triangles…or quadrangles?  In the end I’m all Team Reed, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate what Evie ends up putting Russell through as a consequence…I guess I just don’t like to see genuinely good characters tortured like that for reasons that are yet to be apparent.  I guess we’ll see how this is going to play out in the rest of the series, eh?

I think one other thing that drove my tired brain crazy is that a LOT happens in this book.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think the pacing threw me off in places.

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Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol

Synopsis:
12925064My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me–my freshman year of college. I’d been hoping that once I’d arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t.
I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. I look for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he’s near, I feel an attraction to him–a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would be…if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that has ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life.
What is the secret that he’s keeping from me? I’m hoping that it’s anything but what I suspect: that he’s not exactly normal…and neither am I. So, maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I’ve been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.

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My Review:
This was a reread for me, so I’ll include my original review first, and then my reread impressions.

5 stars — So so so good… The wide range of characters were delightful….from the boys, to Evie, to the brief glimpses of Uncle Jim, to the girls… Essentially it is Evie’s relationship with each one of them that is absolutely priceless… So much witty dialogue, and just hilarious situations. So much endearment. Evie was emminently likeable…I would love to be her friend. I had glimmers of the bad guy…didn’t completely see it coming, but felt something was off. Wow, the Russell and Reed thing is gonna kill me, but really? I want it to be Reed… Such a strange take on a love triangle that isn’t *really* a normal love triangle. Yup, thoroughly enjoyed it and will now go devour number 2.

ON REREAD: 4.5 stars. Finally getting back to this now that the series is complete! I still absolutely adored this book and was sucked right in. I’d actually forgotten a lot of what went on. Reading some of the more negative reviews for this book, I can see why some people might not enjoy certain aspects, but none of them were button pushers for me. The only thing that aggravated me this second time around was Russell’s accent….yup, could have done without that, it just made him sound like a stereotype.

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Phoenixed (Guardians of the Angels book 3) by Anyta Sunday

PhoenixedGold.
Such a beautiful color.
Such deadly consequences.

As one of the three keys to Eirene, Sylva must protect it at all cost to stop the Derinyes from storming the heavenly realm and taking it for their own.
Sylva must keep its whereabouts secret.
But it’s a secret that tears her apart. Saving a realm of souls comes at the price of destroying the few she cares about.

In the final chapter of the Guardian of the Angels trilogy, Sylva, Attic, Marcus, and Alyse are locked in the battle between good and evil, right and wrong. And none of them are sure which side they’ll come out on in the end.
And whether their hearts will remain intact.

 

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5 Stars

Ahh, the year of the finale.  It has begun.  That’s two series down, 210 to go.  The ending was wonderful.  It wasn’t rushed and it didn’t leave any loose ends, two things that I usually find when finishing a series.  It just felt right to me.  I was sad to see it end but happy that it didn’t disappoint.

Let’s talk about the POV’s in this book. There was a big difference this time around.  It was like she went willy-nilly with them, I felt I was reading first person and third person multiple or third person omniscient.  It got a little confusing but once I realized what she was doing I rolled with it and the story was enhanced because of it.  Now, I wish I could have read the whole series like this one.  I feel like I missed out on their voices in the other books.

The bad guys were bad and the world building of the underworld was detailed and vibrant. And can I say that I didn’t figure out the betrayer till the last minute, and even then wasn’t sure until it was confirmed!  Good job on that Mrs. Sunday.

On a side note, it was so much fun to watch Oli and Dylan’s relationship progress.  They were so cute to watch!

Noob status

Oh and I noticed the art reference from book one, kudos for throwing that in there!

Favorite Quotes:

But he wasn’t sure that right and wrong existed anymore.  If they did, they were thin lines separated by a wide sea of gray.  Richard Lark had spoken wisely about that.  Life was only decisions. Some better than others, but none perfect.

My room looked like it had been thrown into a food processor and set on high.  Covered in feathers, peppered with glass, and dripping with trails of smeared blood as if a corpse had been dragged into the corner.

“Before we ride, Lark.” he said seriously, holding my gaze, “you need to understand something.” I grinned.  “Let me guess. Don’t act unless I’m willing to pay the price?”  “Yes.”  Attic dipped his head and our lips brushed.  “And I will always act for you, because you will always be worth the price.”

 

Curly Carla_small