Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's Thursday: Let's Vlog (2): Anti-feminism in YA

So this week I'm responding to this article asserting that YA is anti-feminism.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue! Am I way off the mark and YA does emphasize being desirable as being more important than any other personal characteristics? Or do you agree that much of the YA genre focuses on strong heroines who just happen to fall in love along the way? Leave your comments below!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Midwinterblood


Title: Midwinter Blood
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: February 5, 2013


Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.

An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.

My Thoughts: 

Midwinterblood is a tough book to review, mainly because it is pretty unlike anything I've read before. It's not a linear story, like most books. Instead, it's a series of seven short stories, all tied together and written in reverse chronological order. Because it was such a different writing style, at first I was unsure and wasn't sold on the setup. However, once I got to story five, I was hooked.

It's difficult for me to explain what this story is about, but I think the fairest summary is: love in all it's forms. Love between a husband and wife, love between a mother and child, love between siblings, forbidden love, love for a stranger in a difficult situation; it's all there. I think that's what really made me enjoy this book: it's exploration of love in all it's forms.

Because of the nature of the book, I can't say which characters were my favourite or talk about most of the things I usually talk about in a review. I would say my favourite of the stories was The Unquiet Grave because it was so creepy and terribly sad. But all of the stories play their own part in the overall arc of the book and I appreciated all of them.

One thing I did find odd was that the book was classified as YA. It really didn't feel YA to me at all and I think it should have been marketed as an adult book. Not because of any overtly adult themes, but because it really doesn't have any of the characteristics I'm used to seeing in YA books.

Overall, Midwinterblood really grew on me and turned from a book that felt somewhat disjoined and odd to a beautiful exploration of love that can be enjoyed by teenagers and literary buffs alike.

On the Cover: 

There's a bunch of different covers for this one floating around. The one above is closest to the ARC cover that I have and it's also my least favourite. This book is so much more than a girl with leaves and swirls overlaid on her face! Here's the other covers I could find on Goodreads, which are both better, although the one on the right is my favourite by far!

Rating: 4 Hearts

Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Find the Author: Goodreads | Web | Twitter | Facebook

Don't Just Take My Word for It:

Ashley Loves Books | Nocturnal Book Reviews | Buckling Book Shelves

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cover Compare (2): Good Gone Ugly

Sometimes I fall in love with a cover. Like madly, head-over-heels in love. But since I'm poor, I don't buy the hardcover and decide to wait it out for the paperback. And then they change it. To something ugly and I feel so cheated! This happened to me recently with Born Wicked (as I mentioned in my first cover compare post). Now the new cover isn't awful, but it's nowhere near the original cover. And guess what? I broke down and bought the cover I don't even like because I could buy it at Walmart for 30% off. I'm not sure if I should have, but that's what happened.

I've seen the same things happen in other books, where things go from beautiful to butt-ugly. Why? (Note: Some of these are different editions for different countries, but the same idea holds).

1. Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

I loved this book! I don't own it (borrowed from the library in my early blogging days), but I was so sucked in the by the gorgeous cover, which was a major factor for me reading it. And the new cover is horrible! Just terrible! It looks like some cheap, bad romance novel as opposed to an awesome story of steampunk-y (not)zombies! Why???


Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: Untimed


Title: Untimed
Author: Andy Gavin
Publisher: Mascherato
Publication Date: December 17, 2012


Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.

As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.

Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.

When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.

And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!

My Thoughts:

Untimed is a very fun YA time-travel novel. It features a likeable main character Charlie and fun, flawed secondary characters to back him up.

Untimed gives a fresh take on the mechanics of time travel. While not everything is explained, the gist is that males can travel 'downtime' and females can travel 'uptime'. I found this to be an interesting twist on time-travel. In general, time-travelers don't have a lot of information on time-travel in general, so if you're the kind of reader who liked their time-travel technical and 'quantum-physics-y', then this isn't the book for you. But if you enjoy a fun, exciting time-travel read, definitely give Untimed a go.

I can't quite say that there's no love triangle in this one, but it's certainly not your usual YA kind. The story is written from the point of view of our hero, Charlie, who has to go up against a flashy-talking, boxing, fencing dandy in order to get the girl.

And on to the girl: Yvaine. At first I wasn't sure about her, mainly because she slept around a bit. Which is nothing against her (after all, she was a single woman in the 1700's with no family or prospects just trying to get by), but it made it a bit difficult for me to connect with her. However, once we get past that part, her kick-ass-ness shines through and I became a fan.

I also loved Charlie's Aunt Sophie. She totally strikes me as a rogue-type character you might see in a fantasy novel. Another thing that struck me about Sophie's character was the way Andy Gavin handled her sexuality. Like it was a non-issue. Ok, she's gay, sweet, move on. It doesn't try to overwhelm the story, which I really appreciated. Because when we continue to make an issue about something, it will remain an issue, whereas if we just accept it, it will be easier for the reader to accept it and get back to the action!

Charlie's dad was another thing entirely for me. For being an academic-type, he seemed super closed-minded, but towards the end he improved for me. Also, he should have spent much more time with Charlie!

Despite it's upbeat tone, Untimed is actually pretty dark. Charlie's mom can't remember his name. Ever. His dad and aunt can, but they're only around for 4 weeks of the year. What a crappy hand Charlie was dealt! Beyond that, there's some major domestic abuse (as in, unconscious for the better part of a day). Well, that and a hanging or two.

Overall, I enjoyed Untimed a lot. It was fun and fast-paced. Charlie is a likeable, but reckless, main character (not to mention a hormonal 15-year-old).

On the Cover:

I like this cover. It has a cool, steampunk-y vibe to it. However, I'm not sure how much it draws the reader in.

Rating: 4 Hearts

Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Find the Author: Goodreads | Web | Twitter | Facebook

Don't Just Take My Word for It: Nocturnal Book Reviews | I am, Indeed | Mother/Gamer/Writer

Be sure to stop by the Goodreads page, where there's a giveaway for an autographed copy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Megan Likes (New) Books (21) / Reading Through My Bookshelf (19)

Megan Likes (New) Books

Megan Likes (New) Books is a personalize weekly meme inspired by In My Mailbox, Stacking the Shelves and Book Haul where I show off the new books and bookish items I've received lately.

A Natural History of Dragons - Marie Brennan
Imager's Battalion - L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

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Reading Through My Bookshelf

Last Weeks Status: 98
Incoming Books: 4
Books Completed: 2
Current Status: 100

Yikes, 100!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Inked by an Angel Blog Tour: Character Bios

I'm very excited to have author Shauna Allen on the blog today to share some bios of two characters from her recently released book, Inked by an Angel.

Jed Gentry is doing just fine, thank you very much, running his tattoo studio in Austin, Texas.  So what if people think he’s a bit on the surly side?  He’s been burned by his ex who sticks around to torture him and he lives with a family heartache that he’d rather not talk about.  But he’s got a thriving business, his dream car, and good friends.  Not much to complicate things.  At least, not until she walked in…
Full name: Jedediah David Gentry
Number of tattoos: 3 plus a few surprises…(you'll have to read the book to find out what and where!)
Number of piercings: 5
Dream car: Already owns it. A '67 Shelby Mustang. Sweet ride.
Factoid: He traveled to Japan several years ago to study the ancient form of tattooing known as “Irezumi” and he has a great respect and love for the entire Japanese culture.
Jed's playlist:
Switchfoot – Dark Horses
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench
Led Zeppelin – Rock and Roll
Rolling Stones – You Can't Always Get What You Want
Deftones – Digital Bath

Kyle O’Neill has had it with being the sheltered daddy’s girl at the family accounting firm and is ready to spread her wings and fly on her own for the first time.  Unfortunately, it seems she’s about to fall flat on her face when her first and only client is – gulp — a tattoo artist!  Her country club upbringing certainly hasn’t prepared her for this place or the sizzling attraction her traitorous body feels for the grumpy owner…
Full name: Kyle Elizabeth O'Neill
Dream car: Toyota Prius. No, really. She really cares about the environment.
Skill set includes: She can perfectly set a formal dinner place setting, fold a fitted sheet like nobody's business, froth a meringue spiky enough to give Martha Stewart a run for her money, and though she doesn't currently have one – she knows the exact temperature a wine cellar should be maintained at all times dependent upon humidity and other factors.
Secret crush: She's seen all of Jason Statham's movies at least twice. The Transporter movies three times.
Kyle's iPod playlist: It is ever-changing. (And Jed absolutely hates it, BTW.) But, if you want to know what she's probably listening to today, just check out the current Billboard Pop top forty, and you'll have a pretty good idea!

But there is a Divine conspiracy at work here pushing these two together.  And they are hell bent on bucking the Heavenly plan all the way.  Luckily, their angel is a true believer and pulls every trick he knows from under his halo to make this a match made in Heaven.
Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

Tattoos, cupids, and bad boys: Shauna Allen delivers one heck of a read.  Fresh, sassy, and witty - she brings a new voice to romance that readers are gonna love!

New York Times Bestselling Author, Christie Craig

Inked by an Angel : Book I of the Cupid Chronicles is available now from Soul Mate Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Shauna grew up an only child with two open and loving parents in Central Texas.  She’s married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother to three fantastic (no, that’s not a typo!) teenagers. 
When she’s not writing, editing, or acting as a personal assistant to a NYT Bestselling author, Shauna enjoys reading, movies with Gerard Butler, vacays to the beach, and hangin’ with the kiddos–even if they don’t like hangin’ with her!
Shauna would love for you to visit her at her website and blog at:

It's Thursday: Let's Vlog (1) - Family

Hello and welcome to my first installment of It's Thursday: Let's Vlog. Since it was Family Day here on Monday, that's the topic for this week. I'd love to hear what you think and also any suggestions. The sound is a bit quiet on this one, so make sure to turn your volume up!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interview: Katy Krump

I'm very excited to have author Katy Krump on the blog for an interview today. Katy is the author of Blue Dust: Forbidden, a YA sci-fi novel.

All teenage girls keep secrets and Kerry Johnston is no exception. More than anyone else she knows how to lie, for ‘Kerry’ is an alias and her life is a nightmare of secrecy, violence and fear. In reality this overweight, limping teenage girl is Qea, a Forbidden child from the Qarntaz Octad, sent to Earth to hide from the warlord she has betrayed. Born third into her family in an overpopulated world where surplus offspring are Forbidden and killed or delivered as fodder for the malevolent Inquisitors, Qea has spent her life in hiding.

Qea (Pronounced Kee-ah) is a girl with an unusual history. She comes from a distant galaxy where warlords rule the law and corruption is rife, so she must become hard to survive, but here on Earth a young man will change her heart and risk her life, changing it forever.

And Katy was kind enough to answer all of my questions! 

Hi Katy and welcome to Megan Likes Books!

First, can you tell us a little more about Blue Dust: Forbidden?

Blue Dust : Forbidden is the first in the Blue Dust series. It was born out of my own struggles as an ‘alien’. I emigrated to the UK from South Africa 13 years ago and found it all quite traumatic. I started a blog about living on a new planet as that’s what it felt like to me, and that morphed into Blue Dust. The book is the story of a girl who doesn’t belong anywhere. She comes from a distant galaxy where she is ‘Forbidden’. Born third into a world where, due to overpopulation, the law allows only two children, Qea has had an awful and traumatic life. Her world is ruled by warlords and when she betrays one of them, she’s sent to Earth to hide. There she meets Adam, who challenges everything she’s ever been taught about herself. By allowing him into her life, Qea puts them both in danger. The book deals with alienation and self-discovery…and tells you what to do if you’re abducted by aliens. It’s packed with action and strange alien worlds and touches on the issues that all teenagers face.

What about Blue Dust: Forbidden makes it stand out from other YA sci-fi titles?

Well, for one it’s not about werewolves and vampires and there’s not a witch or wizard in sight. It’s sci fi, but it’s also a thriller and a romance, because life is multi-genre, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s happy, sometimes it’s sad, but it’s also humorous and romantic, and Blue Dust: Forbidden touches on all aspects of life so it crosses genres. While it’s aimed at teenage girls (and boys who aren’t scared of a bit of romance), Blue Dust: Forbidden is being enjoyed by a wide range of age groups, which is wonderful and surprising. From 10 year old boys to 79 year old grannies and everyone in between, it seems to touch something in everyone – not at all what I had in mind when I wrote it.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Determined, focused, creative, dreamy, happy.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer?

Never give up. Believe in yourself and your work and get a good editor.

Can you describe your writing style?

I wrote Blue Dust : Forbidden differently from the other books I’ve written. Every day I continued from where I’d stopped the day before so that I got the story down before the seemingly endless task of rewriting and editing began. I worked as a television writer for a long time, so I write very visually, painting a picture with my words to enable the reader to see the strange world of the Qarntaz Octad clearly in their minds’ eye. I love words, and spend a lot of time finding the ‘perfect’ word for a sentence. I don’t dumb down my writing even though it is for teenagers and I’ve had some interesting comments from young readers who enjoy the words I use. My thought is that if someone doesn’t understand a word they can look it up, which is what I used to do and nowadays ‘Doctor Google’ makes it easy. I really hope to inspire my readers in some way.

I have such clear memories of my childhood and teenage years and the uncontrollable passions that could swamp me in an instant. I was a bit of a loner, but I spent a lot of time observing others, in a non-stalker way of course, and it was through these observations that my writing began. Times have changed so much with all the technology and social media that young adults are involved in, and yet the essence of growing up, discovering your true persona, parental and sibling relationships, negotiating the quagmires of friendship and love, remain constant, and I hope that through my writing I make sense of this and offer some hope for the Young Adults that read my work.

I’ve always had an over-active imagination, something my teachers didn’t always appreciate, so writing for the YA market helps me excise and share some of the weirdness in my head. I loved sci fi television programmes, which back then were filled with dodgy special effects and cardboard rocks, because they made me realise I wasn’t the only one with thoughts about other worlds. But there has to be a story and strong characters who undergo challenges and face terrible dangers. YA writing is a rapidly expanding genre and I’m delighted to finally be able to share my inner stories with a receptive and intelligent audience, an audience that is a whole lot more savvy and mature than I was at that age. Despite the Facebooking and the Tweeting and Tumbl’ng and You-tubing that seems to consume an inordinate amount of time, teenagers today face the same challenges as I did and a whole lot more besides. They’re a fantastic audience who I hope will understand that they do matter and that their opinions are valid and important, no matter what their age.

Who are your biggest literary inspirations?

I have a very eclectic taste in my reading. I love thrillers – Jo Nesbo, Christina Lackberg, Karen Slaughter, John Grisham, Dick Francis but I also love Jane Austen, Dickens, Emily Bronte and writers like Kate Atkinson, Zadie Smith, Alexander McSmith. I think I’ve taken inspiration from everyone I’ve read to date. It’s interesting how while reading I’ll suddenly find a word I love and I’ll then make sure to use it in my own work. It’s a fine balance between writing my own stuff and reading the works of other great writers. John Creasey, a very prolific writer who has now sadly gone out of fashion, was my first introduction to crime fiction and really inspired me to start writing. Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton were my very early inspirations, instilling a love of reading and writing that’s never gone away.

What’s next on your writing agenda?

I’m working on the sequel, Destiny, which is due out later this year. I’m planning book three, Insurrection,  and am also percolating another entirely new series- still in the ‘thoughts in my head’ stage. And of course adapting my novel for film, so it’s all go, go, go’. I’m constantly writing, and often work on more than one project at a time. I try to work on film and television scripts to give myself a bit of variety. Another book of mine will be published next year too, but I need to work on a few issues, so am mulling over these at the same time.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

Never give up! Write as much as you can, get a good editor – never send in the first draft, take advice from said good editors, don’t expect your family and friends to be much use in giving an honest opinion on your writing – unless they’re writers too, learn how to rewrite, rewrite and rewrite, try not to be too ‘precious’ about your work. Sometimes you have to delete a sentence or paragraph or even chapter you love because it doesn’t contribute to the work as a whole. Read a lot, take time to find your own voice and the genre that suits you best. Never surrender!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thanks again to Katy and be sure to check out the links to Blue Dust:Forbidden.

Goodreads | Kindle | Amazon | Waterstones

Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Angelfall


Title: Angelfall
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days
Publisher:Feral Dream
Publication Date: February 11, 2012


It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

My Thoughts:

Wow, what an awesome surprise this book was! I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book, but I was hooked within the first chapter. Angel books are a bit of dangerous territory for me. I've tried a few different types to varying degrees of success. Fallen angels: too creepy and stalker-y. Holy angels: okay, but a bit too religious. Human-type part-angels: excellent. But Angelfire is another category altogether. Wrath of God angels: oh yeah!

Let's start with our heroine, Penryn. Basically, I fell in love with her. She is so flawed, yet so strong. She really embodies what I believe would happen to someone facing an apocalypse. I appreciated that she was willing to do what needed to be done at the same time as she realizes how she has changed since the beginning of the apocalypse. She sees herself becoming cruel in order to provide for her family and keep them safe, but is strong enough to continue on anyway.

I loved seeing how family remained so important to Penryn. In this regard, Angelfall actually reminded me of The Hunger Games, with the strong old sister going to any lengths to protect the younger one, as well as an absent father and a less-than-ideal mother. We actually don't see much of Penryn's little sister Paige, but from what Penryn tells us, she seems like such a little sweetheart! Penryn's mother is a different story. She is a paranoid schizophrenic and the apocalypse means she no longer has access to the medicine she needs, turning her into a bit of a loose cannon throughout the story.

And the angels! I love these "wrath of God" type angel so much more than whiney, fallen-to-earth angels. In this regard, I saw a lot of parallels with the angels in the tv show Supernatural, which is one of my faves.  Dean's description of angels as "dicks with wings" totally fits here too. And I love the use of angel lore, since I would do a little happy dance inside whenever I spied an angel name I recognized (Michael, Gabriel, Uriel etc.). Angels always walk a bit of a fine line for me before they fall into the realm of overly-religious and preachy, but this was definitely not an issue with Angelfall (hooray)!

The angel we get to know the best throughout the story is Raffe, who I thought was very well done. While I may not have a real thing for bad boys, I do have a thing for the anti-hero and Raffe definitely fell into that category for me. I enjoyed watching him and Penryn together as they both came to see a different side of the enemy they'd been fighting. I always enjoy when a story becomes less about good vs evil and more about us vs them (the world is grey after all, not black and white).

Overall, I really enjoyed Angelfall; it's a great combination of angel-lore and apocalyptic mayhem! I seriously recommend this one to anyone who enjoyed post-apocalyptic or apocalyptic fiction and/or would like to see some not-so-cuddly angels kicking our lazy human butts!

On the Cover:

I'm a fan. I like the wings and the striated effect.There's another version floating around where Angelfall is on the bottom and has a reflection effect going on, which I don't like. But my version is very pretty!

Rating: 5 Hearts

Source: Bought from Book Depository

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Find the Author:  Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Don't Just Take My Word for It: Alluring Reads | Xpresso Reads |

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Megan Likes (New) Books (20) / Reading Through My Bookshelf (18)

Megan Likes (New) Books

Megan Likes (New) Books is a personalize weekly meme inspired by In My Mailbox, Stacking the Shelves and Book Haul where I show off the new books and bookish items I've received lately.

No vlog this week, since I only got one ebook Friday afternoon and my spiffy new notebook. But stay tuned for a new feature I'm starting: Monday Vlogs!


 The Last Threshold by R. A. Salvatorre

Thanks to Wizards of the Coast!


Alice in Wonderland notebook - Thanks to A.G. Howard!

I won this for making cookies (and posting them on Pintrest)! Such a fun contest and I love the steampunk=y gears on the front!

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Reading Through My Bookshelf

Last Weeks Status: 99
Incoming Books: 0
Books Completed: 1
Current Status: 98

Yay, I'm starting to focus on my physical books for the next month or so (maybe longer), so I'm hoping to get below 90 sometime soon!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blog Tour: Wings of Arian Review

Wings of Arian (The Solus Trilogy #1) by Devri Walls -- April 24th 2012 
Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.

With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.

However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.

And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.


Wings of Tavea (The Solus Trilogy #2) by Devri Walls  -- November, 2012
Kiora is rapidly learning that evil and lies come in shades of black and white and swirling greys, but nothing could have prepared her for the shock of leaving Meros.

Kiora and her protector Emane step through the pass into a world they never knew existed but were always meant to save, only to find it far worse than they could have ever imagined. Good has been forced into hiding for its own survival, while the rest of the land bows to the Shadow, a force that pushes any remaining thoughts of Dralazar from Kiora’s mind. This land is full of new creatures, each more dangerous than the last. Her visions have taken on a deadly twist, and magic, or what comes of it, was never so real. And then there is Alcander: a Tavean, their guide, and an entirely different kind of trouble.


Author Bio & Links:
Devri Walls lives in Kuna Idaho with her husband and two kids. She has worked as a music teacher and currently, a preschool teacher. She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head. Her first novel, Wings of Arian, is available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Apple. The second book in the Solus trilogy, Wings of Tavea is scheduled for release Nov 2012.

Review of Wings of Arian:

Wings of Arian is an interesting addition to YA fantasy. Our heroine, Kiora, isn't like many other YA fantasy heroines. She can't swing a sword, yet she's not a damsel in distress either, which is nice. That said, Kiora and I did have our issues, which will be discussed below, but I appreciated having a heroine who wasn't cookie cutter.

Let's go ahead and get the less-than-pleasant portion of this review over with: my issues with Kiora. I liked Kiora in the beginning and the end, but things got a bit rocky in the middle. Initially, Kiora's people have been entirely shielded from evil, to the point that at 16, she has never heard a lie. So when she is forced to witness evil for the first time, I feel for her, since I can hardly imagine dealing with that. But let's be realistic. Kiora cries a lot. And runs off in a huff without letting anyone explain. After a while I got annoyed with her constant over-reactions. Plus there is one point where she becomes debilitatingly depressed over the death of her enemies. Maybe it's because I'm extremely competitive, but I couldn't fathom that part of the story. Or maybe I'm just a very violent young woman. Either way, I think this issue stems more from my personality than from any fault of Devri Walls. And by the end of the book, Kiora became tougher and hardened, which probably isn't a good thing, but it made me connect with her more.

Now on to the good stuff! I totally fell in love with Kiora's protector, Emane. He is so awesome! He's really caring and loving, with i love in real life, but tends to fall flat for me in books. But her loving and caring side is nicely balanced with a great sense of humour and a fiery temper. He and Kiora make such a great teams and I'm so proud of him for being so awesome in general!

I also enjoyed the portrayal of the villain Dralazar. He is multidimensional, which is super important to me. I hate cardboard villains! I loved how suave and manipulative he was. Beyond that, I loved how things weren't exactly as they seems on the good side either (oooh, so hard not to spoiler).

I really enjoyed the world Devri Walls created. Magic and dragons and shifters and the Wings and the gate and old magic! All awesome. The enjoyable world helped to get me through the rough patches between Kiora and I. Plus I even teared up at one point (I probably would have cried if I hadn't been reading in public.

Overall, the excellent world building made up for the rocky patches I endured with Kiora and I enjoyed Wings of Arian overall. A great book if you enjoy fantasy with sensitive, but not useless, heroines.


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