[Dual Novella] Review: Huntress & Stunner (Alexa O’Brien, Huntress, #0.5 & #0.75) by Trina M. Lee

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huntressTitle: Huntress
Series: Alexa O’Brien, Huntress
Author:
Trina M. Lee
Genre:
Urban Fantasy
Source:
Kindle Freebie

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A brief look at Alexa O’Brien before meeting the one man who would change her life forever. A werewolf with the power of a vampire, Alexa discovers that love may just be her greatest enemy yet. 

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So this was my first foray into the world of Alexa O’Brien AND into the writing of Edmonton, Alberta author, Trina M. Lee. I have to say, not only do I not think that I read enough Canadian authors, but there are so many authors in my own backyard, just minutes away from me who I should be reading. When I started reading this series, I knew that this would be a series I would love — and that Trina would be an author on my radar!

Lately, I’ve been into more of the contemporary, non-paranormal books, but this book (or at least, the first two prequels to the Alexa O’Brien series) really got me back into that world. These books are about werewolves and vampires, namely a town that is under the control of the werewolves.

With this very short novella, we get an introduction to Alexa’s character and the one werewolf who seems to control her — the Alpha. It’s super short, but still very steamy, and it was definitely enough to nudge me on to the next novella in the series. My one main complaint with this novella is that it was just way too short! I wanted more information about Alexa, more interactions with her pack, and just … well … more!

Still, like I said, this was a decent intro to the series — a series I look forward to reading more of in the future!

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stunnerTitle: Stunner
Series: Alexa O’Brien, Huntress, #0.75
Author: 
Trina M. Lee
Date(s) read: 
August 16, 2013
Genre: 
Urban Fantasy
Source: 
Kindle Freebie

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A prequel short story from the urban fantasy Alexa O’Brien Huntress series. A brief look at Arys and Alexa’s first meeting.

Reckless and young, Alexa O’Brien has finally met her match. A werewolf with unusual power, Alexa has a talent for finding trouble. This time trouble is a vampire who will change her life forever.

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Since the first novella prequel to the Alexa O’Brien series was so short, I just had to start reading the second one as well to get a better taste of the world the series takes place in and a better understanding of the characters. I was very happy to keep on going because this book was full of werewolves, vampires, and more glimpses into Alexa and her past.

We get more of Raoul, too, who plays that almost skeevy, creepy vampire character. He’s creepy, but very much drawn to Alexa (who seems to know better than to fall for his come ons). I’m quite eager to see how his role will play out in the series. Also, I really enjoy the glimpses of friendship I’ve seen between Alexa and Shaz!

But the biggest mystery to this story is the character of Arys, a vampire who seems to be drawn to Alexa. Arys seems like an incredibly sexy character and all I wanted when the story ended was MORE! I need to know what is up with him and Alexa — where is their story going to go? Also, Alexa’s character is still in the beginning of unravelling her layers. There were times where she felt quite timid, almost weak, but other times where she was very strong and fierce.

This may have just been a taster to the series, but I really, really enjoyed it. I’m happy to see that there are so many books in the series so far AND Trina has a few standalone books as well. If you’re looking to get a taste of this series, these two prequels and the first book in the series are FREE on Amazon! Be sure to pick them up — if you love urban fantasy books, you won’t be disappointed!

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Review: Hollow City (The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs

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hollow cityTitle: Holly City
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2
Author:
Ransom Riggs
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)

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The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.

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When I finished reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the first book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, I hadn’t wanted to read the sequel. In fact, I didn’t feel that the book really required a sequel. In my opinion, the first book could have been structured to be a standalone, but it wasn’t. OH WELL.

Anyway, I still hadn’t intended to buy this second book, but then saw it at Costco. Where I still didn’t buy it. I figured I’d get it from the library just to get it read. Then I flipped through it a bit, put it back, went home. THEN I saw that Jenni (previously of Alluring Reads, now of Xpresso Reads) had gotten a copy and was talking about how she was looking forward to reading it. AGAIN I hummed and hawed and before I knew it I was purchasing a copy online and when it arrived at my door, I tore open the package and started reading it immediately.

Peer pressure, folks. It’s how it’s done.

While this book doesn’t hold as much mystery as the first book, it was still a really great read. When I say “mystery” I mean that the first book was just so, well … peculiar. We didn’t know about the island, we didn’t know about the mysterious kids there. All we knew was Jacob, who was so human. So when these creepy pictures started popping up, as a reader I wondered what was going on. Who were these mysterious children? But now in this book we already know about them and their peculiarities. So there’s that certain air of mystery that’s lacking. We do meet some new peculiars, but since we already know that they exist it’s not as big of an event.

However.

This story isn’t the first story. In this story, the kids are heading to London to try and fix their beloved Miss Peregrine. There are plenty of weird things that pop up in the story, and more than enough weird characters. I thought I might not know who each character from the first book was in this book, but was happy to see a bit of a photo album in the front of the book, with a little blurb about each character that we had met in the previous story. I referred to it here and there, but found that it was easy enough to slip back into this intriguing world that Ransom Riggs had created. It’s a dark world, mysterious, and downright creepy at times.

And the photography! The entire time I was reading this story I kept wondering how Ransom created such a story. Did he find all these pictures and line them up in a story timeframe and then start writing? Or did he write and then scour for photographs? For me, that was the true mystery that remains for this series. The books are definitely intriguing and they’ve pulled me in and kept me hooked and I still wonder how they were made! It’s one thing to have someone illustrate stories, but these books are created AROUND photographs that the author had curated. It’s just fascinating to me.

I’ve heard there will be a third book in the series and I do think it will be interesting. We are left at the end of this book with a bit of a cliffhanger, not enough of a resolution as I had hoped, but enough to get me to put the next book on my wishlist. And I’ve even heard that Ransom won’t wait three years to release it, which will be great. And I can already say that I’ll be purchasing a copy. These books are true gems on my shelf. They don’t look like all the other books and have a certain special quality about them that makes them stand out.

If you read and enjoyed the first book in this series, I’m betting you’ll love this one. Full of mystery and intrigue — the perfect read for a dark and stormy evening.

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Review: The First Star to Fall (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1.5) by Diana Peterfreund

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the first star to fallTitle: The First Star to Fall
Author:
Diana Peterfreund
Series:
For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1.5
Date(s) read
: August 21, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopia
Source: Purchased (eBook)

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Discover how it all began…

New Pacifica was designed to be a tropical paradise, a refuge for humanity filled with natural wonders and technological marvels. A place of perfect peace, where “war” was only a war out of ancient history–or so the privileged teenage aristocrat Persis Blake had always been taught.
But then comes the revolution and the death of a queen, and suddenly it’s no longer enough for Persis to trust the words of her parents, the lessons of her teachers, and the decrees of the men in power.

One terrible night, Persis witnesses the truth: there are those who will stop at nothing to destroy her world… but is there anyone who could save it?

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Being a huge fan of Diana Peterfreund’s book For Darkness Shows the Stars, I’ve been very intrigued to try more of her writing. Seeing as this story is part of that particular series, I thought I’d give it a try.

This story is very different from FDStS. This is one of those “before” stories and I think it’s to coincide more with the second book in the series, Across a Star-Swept Sea. It was a little difficult getting into it, after I had invested myself in the characters from the first book, but it was still a good read. In this story we meet Persis, who is a teenage aristo, on the cusp of a revolution.

One thing that holds me back from saying it was completely excellent is that it was slightly confusing. It took me a few pages to get into it – until the revolution part – and even then I wondered what was going on. It might be because this book contains none of the familiar characters I had met in previous books of the series, but I do have hopes that Persis’s full-length story pulls me in a little more.

I am very interested to continue on with her story in Across a Star-Swept Sea.

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