A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

Blurb:

30376044Sora’s life was full of magic–until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I’m a day late, but I started reading this book to fulfill the January theme for one of my Diversity challenges, which was “Stories based on/ inspired by diverse folktales/culture/mythology.”  This book fit that theme PERFECTLY and I’m so glad I picked it up with this challenge in mind, b/c I was thoroughly entertained by Sora’s story!  This is not a book that typically piques my interest, as I tend to go for either contemporary or more modern paranormal/sci-fi.  But after reading a review from Lillian @Mom With a Reading Problem, it sort of just stuck with me.  So when I saw it go on sale, and noticed it matched the diversity theme, I snatched it up.

So after that long-winded explanation…ahem.  I really loved that this one introduced me to some mythology from Japan.  It was all so enchanting, and I loved the blending of the world of the Kami with the modern world in Japan.  I’m not really a huge fantasy reader b/c I enjoy the linking back to the real world, so I loved that this was both…I guess kind of urban fantasy then, eh?  If you couldn’t tell, I’m really not that familiar with the genre.

I loved the uniqueness of Sora’s journey.  So often we read about a seemingly ordinary girl who actually has extraordinary powers and saves everyone.  In some ways Sora’s story was kind of opposite.  She grew up thinking she was a being of extraordinary powers, but in the end she was a normal human.  But it was her normal humanness that helped save everyone (sort of).  I really LOVED that.  I loved seeing her struggle with the lies she had been told, and how she would deal with her new reality, eventually coming to embrace what it meant.  I enjoyed Sora as a narrator, I thought her struggles were relatable and she grew in a reasonable way.

And the plot kept me hooked!!  I enjoyed the journey the whole group went on to fulfill the prophecy and defeat the bad guys.  There was exciting fight scenes and intriguing plot twists.  I was up til 3am reading this bad boy, before I had to finally put it down.

I’m not a fan of love triangles, but this one only bugged me a little since it was pretty shallow, though I will admit that I fell for the first boy and didn’t give the second boy nearly enough of a chance, so I didn’t really get totally on board with the romance.  It’s funny, b/c I tend to require romance in the books I read, but I wasn’t super invested in this one.  It had some great butterfly moments, but I wasn’t always convinced of the feelings involved.  Perhaps I didn’t get what was drawing them together outside of attraction.

As for the side characters, I really enjoyed them and loved that they all had some depth, with both admirable qualities and flaws.  I thought Chiyo would annoy me, but I actually came to enjoy her and root for her (and I loved her romance with Haru).  I felt similarly about Haru, but he really surprised me, and I kind of loved that.  I almost wished I knew more about Takeo, b/c I really enjoyed him, and I felt like there could be more there.  And then there’s Keiji.  I had a harder time forgiving his flaws, but I also enjoyed his redeeming moments (and they made me bawl).  I also really liked that he was a bit of a nerd and beta boy.  I even kind of enjoyed the bad guy and the story surrounding him.

One of the things that has me rounding down instead of up is that I found I guessed a few major plot twists, and how to defeat the bad guy, quite early on, and so it was frustrating to wait around while Sora (or the others) figured it out.  Sometimes I get giddy when I figure things out, but this was just quite obvious so it wasn’t quite as fun.

Regardless of all that, I was fully invested in this story, and I LOVED that this was a standalone novel, and I felt like the story got everything it deserved in just one book.  And Sora is definitely one of my favourite YA characters, she deals with so much and I admire how she navigated her journey.

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Marked (Servants of Fate #1) by Sarah Fine

markedBlurb: In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.

Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?

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Favorite Quotes

She folded her arms over her chest. “I have trouble thinking when I’m not wearing pants.” Eli laughed, a deep, husky sound, and took a few steps back. “I guess we have that in common. I also have trouble thinking when you’re not wearing pants.”

 
But this morning, when she’d seen him standing in the pew, looking so out of place and yet so perfect, it was like warm honey had been poured over her soul.
The delicate burden of her head on his shoulder made him feel weak and strong at the same time, like he would do anything for her, like he could be anything she needed, even if it meant just being her friend. But it also made him feel vulnerable, because she could hurt him now—really hurt him—and she didn’t even know it.

5 stars

First off, the cover is gorgeous no? And this book was free to me because I have an app called Kindle for Samsung that allows me to get a free book every month! This was my September choice.

Second off, this book had a depth I was not expecting!  I expected the sexy times but the journey there was oh so suspenseful and the plot was a great one.  The story could have stood on its own merits with no romance and I would have loved it.  I love when all aspects of a book come together in a perfect storm.  The whole contradiction of saving lives but then ferrying the death was so intriguing to me.  I love a good contrast.

This author wrote Cacy with a great combination of grit and insecurity.  She was confident in her role as a paramedic, but struggled with her role in her family business.  She closeness with her father was endearing and as a previous daddy’s girl, I could relate to that very well.  Her relationship with Eli becomes both steamy and deep fairly quickly, the suspense of their attraction combined with a constant give and take was a wonderful bit of anticipation for me.  You could see where it was going but then it would stall a bit, making me want to throw the book when they didn’t quite get there as fast as I would have liked.

But the wait was well worth it.  I think many people would like this story.  I’d say give it a try.

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98: The Witch’s Prophecy (Rise of the Battle-Bred #2) by V.L. Holt

98Blurb: In this clean YA paranormal romance, William and Jane learn the steps to their new friendship while forces around them are converging on Deer Fjord to create a battleground of historic proportions. William and his father are under suspicion of murder and Jane is recovering from a Lochspawn attack.

Woven throughout this urban adventure is Agnes’ life story, written in her own words. Agnes is one of the First Mothers, a child of the Middle Ages and a devoted Christian. Details about the creation of the Warrior race finally come to light in her heartrending history.

 

 

 

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4 stars

This book definitely raised questions that need to be answered in the third book. It’s been so long since I read the first one that I was a bit confused reading it. But I caught up pretty quickly.

Not a lot of action in this book, actually, almost no action.  This book gives us loads of flashbacks and backstory.  I gotta say the backstory was exceptionally interesting to me.  I loved the way it was told through Agnes journal.  She had a third eye when it came to people and could see right into their hearts.  She was guarded but not afraid, headstrong but not foolish.  By far my favorite character to date in this series.

Jane and Williams relationship seems to stagnate a bit in this book since they don’t really see much of each other, so the romance suffered in my eyes.

We do get to see more of the Z guys as I like to call them.  Whether or not they are the big bad isn’t really made clear to us, at least to me it wasn’t.  It was clear they had an alterior agenda but we didn’t really see them being straight up evil.  It’s all implied at this point.

I am anticipating the third installment in this series. I do need to say I think this book ended rather abruptly and with no real closure for me, but from what I remember, the first book was like that as well.

Curly Carla_small

 

 

Blood Solstice (Tale of Lunarmorte #3) by Samantha Young


10775474Blurb:
 In the final installment of The Tale of Lunarmorte, Caia is caught between the most powerful beings in her world, and they are all desperate to use her for their own means. While Caia struggles to find her purpose, tragedy strikes close to home, and time runs out.
Now she must decide if she will join the extremists she was trying to destroy… or bring them all down on her own terms…

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3 stars

I don’t like this cover either.  I don’t really get what it has to do with the story itself.  And honestly this story took a wild turn for me.    The ending was underwhelming to say the least.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around how easy it was for her to beat the big bad.  And we never find out what her ‘special’ power is.  That was a huge loose end that needed to be tied up IMO.

So let’s see, you would think after ALL the trials and tribulations Caia and Lucien go through, they would have a strong relationship.  But nooooo, surprise surprise, he still doesn’t trust her to be able to take care of herself and respect her decisions.  Not that Lucien is the only one who suffers from stupidity, Caia is an idiot about the whole situation.  Sorry to be mean about it but this series started out so good and just went downhill for me making me really angry and maybe a bit bitter as well.

Although I will say that once again, Jaeden and Ryder’s story saved this book from being a total loss for me.  I felt her pain, I felt his anger and hopelessness.  They had such a traumatic experience that I cried. I cried a lot at that one part.  You know which I mean Lenore, right?  Anyway,  if it wasn’t for the side characters in this story I may have DNF’d this book, which is sad because it’s the last book in the series.

I don’t really have much else to say about this story, as a whole it was good,  this last one just was a bit irritating for me.

Curly Carla_small

River Cast (The Tale of Lunarmorte #2) by Samantha Young


22012723Blurb: 
Enter a world of fierce wolves, stunning magic and romance…

Swept into the world of the Daylight Coven, Caia is caught between her loyalty to the Daylights and her new insight into the hearts of the Midnights. As more obstacles are thrown in her and Lucien’s way, Caia is pushed further adrift from him and Pack Errante. With no one to turn to, Caia has to make the most difficult choice of all…

Who does she truly belong with? The Daylights or the Midnights?

 

 

 

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4 stars

The first one was a lot of background information but once you got all that down it got a whole lot more interesting.  Except for the whole, “We refuse to be mates just because” thing.  That actually really fucking annoyed me, I don’t understand it.  I would have nipped that shit in the bud but thats just me. I personally would have never got with Lucien in the first place because I’m not a pushover like Caia is.

This book had a lot more stuff going on.  There was a lot more political intrigue and espianoge and I really enjoyed that in the book.  One of the things that kind of was like a burr under my skin was the fact that Caia was playing a political game when I felt that she should have been playing a straight forward game. She was trying too hard in my opinion.  And allowing for way more respect to Marita than I ever would have given her. I feel like that is what got her in trouble.  She doesn’t have to answer to Marita, she is the head of the Midnight Coven.  They are equals.  Marita was very overbearing about it and treating her as if she was her subject, when in fact Caia should have made it very clear from the beginning, “Bitch, lets not get this twisted”  I think thats where her downfall was with regards to the political aspect.

I don’t even understand the whole Lucien/Cair relationship thing.  The only way their relationship made any kind of sense was because he was a shifter alpha.  And they are known to be very agressive, possessive and domineering.  But she is an alpha too, so it didn’t make sense.  With her being as independent and strong magically and politically, I don’t know why he felt the need to hover.  She could very clearly take care of herself and yet he still acted like she was this fragile thing.

But I will say this, one of my favorite things about this book was Jaeden and Ryder’s story. Oh lordy, it was good.  Their story was just like the frosting on the cake.Jaedans character was really well written.  Ryders levity helped to even out her rough edges which I quite enjoyed.

And the way they kind of threw Rueben in there. At first it was hard to figure his role out, even by the end of the book I was still scratching my head.  But it came together very nicely, there was no loose ends, everything was tied up.

This book was great.

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Moon Spell (The Tale of Lunarmorte #1) by Samantha Young


10439599Blurb:
 Enter a world of fierce wolves, stunning magic and romance…

It’s bad enough feeling different among the human crowd, but feeling different among wolves?

No one said returning to her pack would be easy, especially after ten years without them, but seventeen year old Caia Ribeiro is unprepared for the realities of the transition. Raised in a world where kids aren’t scared by bedtime tales of the bogeyman but by the real life threat of enemy supernaturals who might come creeping into their community to kill them in their sleep, Caia is used to the darkness; she’s used to the mystery and the intrigue of the ancient underworld war she’s bound to by chance of birth. What she’s having trouble with are pack members treating her with wary suspicion, the Elders tucking secrets behind their backs out of her sightline, and her young Alpha, Lucien, distracting her, with a dangerous attraction, from her decision to uncover the truth.

But as the saying goes ‘the truth will out’ and when it does, Caia will only have so long to prepare herself before the war comes pounding on their door threatening to destroy the safe, secret lives of the wolves… and the girl they protect.

YA Paranormal Romance recommended for ages 16 and up.

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4 stars

I don’t like any of the covers.  I think they don’t really have any relevance to the story.  And I disagree with the age rating but that is just me.

Soooooo, this book really took me for a ride!  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  The only thing I had a hard time with was ALL the back story.  My goodness another book could have been written for all the information I had to learn. Why do authors do that? ::shrugs::

Lucien was a typical alpha male.  I admit to having a weakness for the shifter variety.  He came off as very solid and approachable to me.  Not necessarily the traits I’ve come to associate with alpha’s.  I really like how their romance blossomed naturally and slowly.  But, bad Lucien for keeping secrets, and not just like minor ones, but MAJOR ones.  If it was me, I would have dumped your ass with no looking back.  But I’m a cold hearted SOB.

Caia was a bit harder to read.  Having only known isolation her whole life I could really feel her apprehension with being thrust into this new world.  She handled it very well I think. Not really giving into what people thought of her.  She never caved or backed down from a challenge.   And although she had a hard time fitting in initially, she didn’t let that stop her from doing what she knew to be right. She risked others wrath to make sure people knew where she stood.  I liked that about her character

There was heaps of political intrigue and espionage.  I actually really love that in my fantasy books, it gives it a deeper layer to sink into.  More meat for the story ya know? At any rate, I’m really looking forward to the second one.

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Wind Warrior by Jon Messenger

Wind warriorBlurb: THE EARTH GIVES WAY TO THE SEA,

THE SEA BOWS BEFORE THE WIND,

THE WIND FEEDS THE FLAME,

THE FLAME BURNS THE WORLD OF MAN DOWN TO THE EARTH.

The sleepy town of White Halls harbors a dangerous secret. On a picturesque street, two houses down from a lovely little park, in a quaint little home with a wraparound porch, lives a family that seems rather normal. Sure, their twenty-year-old son, Xander, still lives at home, but he’s going to college and dating the leader of the schools top sorority. It’s all very… normal.

However, when a man is miraculously saved from being hit by a bus, Xander’s life turns in to the living embodiment of the tornadoes he can suddenly create with a flick of his wrist. Whether he wants this gift or not, Xander must learn to use his new ‘super power’ quickly if he wants to survive. For his kind is a dying race, and when this sleepy town has a sudden influx of new, blonde, fire wielders, no one is safe, especially Xander. It doesn’t help that one of these blondes happens to be the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Xander can’t deny the instant connection he feels to her so, when she tries to kill him, it certainly makes things complicated.

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4 Stars

THIS BOOK IS FREE!

This book was a bit short for my tastes.  But it was a very engaging story that I read with ease.  I kinda feel a bit like there was no closure.  Nothing was really answered enough for my tastes.  This is my second book by Mr Messenger and it was a nice change in between reading my other books.

Xander is pretty cool.  He has a good head on his shoulders and we get taken into the action almost right away.  The emotion in this book is lacking, hence the minus one star.  I didn’t really feel the attraction between him and… well, anyone in the book.  The only thing that really stood out emotionally for me was the head butting he had with his father.  Hello kindred spirit!  I feel so hard on that one Xander!

The fire caste were some great bad guys.  Very violent and angry, but we still never find out why.  We didn’t really learn much about why they wanted to kill all the wind caste and take over.   And that left me wanting.

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Vengeance by AE Watson

vengeanceBlurb: A man once told me there are infinite places love will take you, but revenge is the business of hate and there is only one place hate will take you, the end. The end of you and the end of everything you once stood for. His words still echo in my mind, next to the images of the millions of places I might have gone.

Vengeance

Amillia Morgenstein wants nothing but freedom. Freedom to choose the man she marries and the life she lives. She wants nothing but the boy she can never have, Maddox.

Her world is turned upside down when her brother betrays their whole family, in a deal to trade Amillia to a Duke name Herrick and overthrow their father.
Broken hearted and fleeing her burning village, she rides away on the back of her closest friend, Artan.

In a neighboring city, rumors of a red-cloaked assassin flood the streets. An assassin who targets only the rich and the wicked. The trail of blood left behind leads back to the burned out doors of a once flourishing kingdom, now ruled by a tyrant.

Broken hearted and bound by vengeance, Amillia finds herself falling for something, she never thought she would have again. Grayson’s blue eyes and sarcastic smile have her fighting the feelings she has, just as someone from her past reappears. She fights for her heart and the hope no one discovers her biggest secret.

How far would you go for the ones you love, the ones you lost?

Mature Content!!

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4 Stars

Okay, I’m a HUGE fan of Tara Brown a/k/a AE Watson a/k/a TL Brown a/k/a Erin Leigh a/k/a Sophie Starr.  Whew! I thinks that it.  Yeah, she has loads of pen names, I know.  But I love them all. The Reborn Series is an top ten ultimate favorite.

This one didn’t disappoint either.  Although I must say that Millia’s mindset of ‘all or nothing’ got a bit old throughout the story.  She wanted it all and if she couldn’t have it then it was like she couldn’t have anything.  I have a hard time dealing in absolutes so it was very difficult not to want to slap her.  Also, I found her a bit self centered.  But that is to be expected considering she has always been allowed to do whatever she wanted growing up and the fact that she’s only 18.

This story was great.  It was packed with lots of violence, and magic was at play around every corner.  Everyone had some kind of magic that affected their role, and it kept surprising me what those roles were.  AE has a tendency to alter the way my mind thinks about what is expected of a protagonist in a story.  Usually leaving me meloncholy at the end of the story.  This one was no exception.

This story made me so angry.  I was upset at Grayson’s behavior towards the end.  I was angry at Maddox for leading her on then pushing her away.  I was upset that her love life was dictated by her role and not by personal preference.  Why does love have to be so complicated?

As per usual, this wasn’t just some average love story, it had a slew of twists and turns throughout along with a dash on intrigue as well.  Millia is a proficient killer and never hesitates to extract vengeance when needed.  Thats one of the things I loved most about her was her unwavering confidence that what she was doing was just.  She left a trail of broken hearts in her wake.  Although her blind acceptance of help from stangers was, at times, irritating, she was able to get out of most scrapes with little to no help, making her strong in substance but weak when it came to matters of the heart.  It was an interesting contrast.

Go forth and read ALL her books.

Curly Carla_small

Star Dust by Ali Winters

Synopsis:
28515382A case of mistaken identity triggers a reign of terror.

A Star Princess of Soleis, bound by tradition, is forced to fulfill an arrangement made prior to her birth. During the Tauri masque, Oriana meets a handsome stranger, but soon finds out he is not who she thought.

Prince Lucian, unfamiliar with the treaties of the Universe, must restore the reputation of his world and prove his kingdom is not behind the attacks.

No one knew an innocent mistake could lead to the destruction of the solar system. Worlds are conquered, lives torn apart, and destruction reigns, while Oriana, unknowingly, holds the key to salvation.

Now, a Princess who needs saving must save herself, the man she loves, as well as the rest of the Universe, before it is destroyed beyond repair.

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My Review:
3 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This one just wasn’t quite my cup of tea.  I enjoyed the uniqueness of the setting and the world that Ms. Winters developed, but my bread and butter for stories is always characters, and I just wasn’t enthralled with either Oriana or Lucian.  I think I just tend to be more drawn to sassier heroines, and as such Oriana came across a bit drier to me…  It was like I was missing the sparkle from her personality…I wanted something more there.  Occasionally I did get glimpses of it, but just not enough to satisfy me (and mostly not til the end of the book).  I think I was stuck on the stupid detail of her age as well.  It wasn’t until the end of the book where the delightful solar system map is (LOVE those details btw, and the chapter titles?? GORGEOUS) that I discovered that Soleis is the closest planet to the sun (closer than Mercury), and so 100 Soleis years is significantly less days than I was expecting (b/c I was still thinking Earth years — and so I was wondering what she was doing with herself for 100 Earth years of time and not having learned anything about ruling and whatnot, or so it seemed). I mean, I knew it was her coming of age, so 18 year equivalent, but I guess I just thought they lived a lot longer, and…well, you know, I got confused and started wondering things that are kind of irrelevant now.  But it still does seem kind of crazy to me that she was that sheltered from all political life…but wait Lenore, does it?  Hmmm…brain won’t shut off.

And Lucian was hard for me to read…I don’t know if it was the mood I was in while reading, but occasionally he just came across somewhat jerk-ish, and so I just didn’t find myself falling in love with him.  Truthfully, of all the secondary characters, I was most intrigued by Erik.

I found the pacing to be a bit off for me as well.  I can’t tell if it’s a me thing or not, but it just didn’t feel like it was building to one big climax for a while there, and I was missing some tension or something.  It just felt like they were doing one thing, then the next, then the next, and I guess I wanted something…it sucks when you don’t know what makes books work for you, you just know when they’re not working for you, you know?  I’m so articulate today, you’re all welcome.

I also found that the hints given to the readers were too big sometimes (about her pendant for example), and so after a few hints I just kind of got frustrated…maybe it’d be different if the characters were noticing the hints too, but they were still oblivious.  I don’t know.  You know what, I don’t know what I’m saying anymore.

So yeah, TL;DR, most of this book just didn’t work for me.  I found the beginning with the ball to be a bit long, I reached the first bit of action and was actually REALLY drawn in (almost cried and everything, there was a lot of emotion in that part and it was really effective), then I lost my verve for the story for quite a while, and then it ramped up again at the end with the climax.  Sorry for all the rambling.  I tend to do that when I don’t enjoy something that I was expecting to, like I’m justifying my thoughts to myself.  *rolls eyes*  Do I have a complex much?  😛

EDITED TO ADD: after talking to my husband, I want to emphasize that this is NOT a sci-fi novel.  I think my brain had a hard time wrapping around that since it’s set on other planets and stuff, but then I had a hard time suspending my disbelief b/c there were so many things that couldn’t happen b/c of science, you know? (like you just can’t live on half the planets, some because they are made of GAS, and some b/c of being too close to the sun, etc).  So just think of this as a FANTASY novel and NOT sci-fi, and it might work better for you.

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Ride the Wind by Starla Huchton

Synopsis:
25417530Once upon a time, I made a promise to a stranger. Though I’d never seen her face, I cared for her above all others.

Once upon a time, I broke my vow. In trying to save the one I loved, I condemned her to a cursed life and stripped her of all freedom in a single, misguided step.

Once upon a time, I set out on a journey. Though it might never earn me forgiveness, I would set her free or die trying.

Find it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25417530-ride-the-wind
Order it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1kAsf6A

My Review:
4.5 stars — Well that was utterly enchanting. Oh, and before I go on, I received an ARC from the author for me to review!

I have to admit some truths before I begin:

Truth #1 — while the concept of the Flipped Fairy Tales that Ms. Huchton writes have had me completely intrigued since I met her at UtopYa this year, this is in fact my first book by this author. And it won’t be my last.

Truth #2 — I know NOTHING about the original fairy tale this book is based off of. About halfway through the book I became curious, and started to look it up, but I didn’t want to ruin the story for myself, so I held off.

Truth #3 — this book is so totally out of my wheelhouse, that I’m actually surprised by my thorough enjoyment. What do I mean? I’m a modern setting/writing kind of girl. I tend to steer clear of historical books and high fantasy, and I prefer…I don’t know how to describe it…. I just can get a bit lost and lose interest when the manner of speech and voice is more formal? maybe? I just end up sticking with contemporary settings, or if they’re futuristic settings, then more casual or “normal”. I’m probably bumbling this up, but please tell me you know what I’m talking about? So this book was a little bit outside of the norm for me. I think it’s that usually I find it really hard to relate to the characters if I can’t imagine myself in the story. So I’m desperately trying to figure out what made this story stand apart for me. B/C I couldn’t really see myself in the story, but I was epically immersed all the same.

I think my enchantment starts with the unique and captivating plot. I was telling my husband about the story and mentioned that it was a bit more fantasy like. But one thing that stands apart is that the hero doesn’t have magical powers and this destiny to be a great hero. He’s just a boy who holds strong convictions, has a beautiful heart, and suffers for the mistakes he makes. So he’s kind of an everyman in some ways. He’s so easy to empathize with, and you’re given ample opportunity to get to know him in the first half of the book. And in that way you’re invested in him as a character and so you root for him through the second half of the book. And I just realized I started this paragraph talking about plot and have somehow devolved into talking about my favourite part of a book — characters. (Oops.) It’s not that Lukas is without flaws. But he’s endearing all the same. And the same goes for the Elk and Erata — flawed characters, but with enough heart to make us love them. And it’s not just the main characters that stand out. Lukas meets so many people along his journey, and they all had their own unique voice.

The world building in this story was also strong — we traveled to so many different places, and I could imagine each one. I even feel like I spotted the setting (and a character) for the next Flipped Fairy Tale, so I’m anxious to learn if I’m right about that.

I have but one complaint — and it’s really more about my personal taste than anything. I could have used a smidge more in the romance department. What can I say, I’m a diehard romantic — and I just felt more in the friendship chemistry department than in the romance one….either that or I just wanted MORE. But maybe it wouldn’t have fit in with the story, what do I know?

This was a solid YA adventure. If you’re a fan of fairy tales AT ALL, I definitely recommend this read….you won’t be disappointed, and if you’re like me, you’ll be looking to read the rest in the series to devour a bit more magical awesomeness.

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