Review: Lailah (Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly

18324459Source: Amazon UK
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish date: 7th October 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Price: £7.59
Date Read: 7th/8th October 2014 & 1st September 2015

Amazon UK – Hardcover / Paperback / Kindle / Audio Book

Goodreads Summary:

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

It’s been almost a year since I originally read Lailah and I honestly have no good reason for not reviewing this book before. I read Lailah while I was on holiday in the wilds of the Welsh/English border. There was no phone reception or internet, unless you went into the pub and connected to their wifi. Before going away I had pre-ordered via Amazon and hoped for the best that I would be able to get the book on my Kindle on release day. Fortunately for me (and not so fortunately for those I was on holiday with!) I did download Lailah and spent the next two days with my head firmly stuck in Nikki Kelly’s amazing world.

I had heard a heck of a lot about Lailah even before it was published publicly for all to read. British author Nikki Kelly originally published the story online on Wattpad and it was picked up by an American publisher; the American YA audience loved it and (quite rightly) got behind Nikki and made Lailah and the Styclar Saga a sensation. ARC copies of Lailah were pored over, rejoiced over and the praises sung of the story and author for many weeks before and after the publishing of Lailah. Reading it for myself I can certainly see why. I am certainly a massive fan of this amazingly talented Brit myself!

Lailah is a paranormal sensational story written in the first person; I did this and I went to that… Not a format I would normally read but being front and centre of a YA Paranormal-y Romance-y Action-y story really appealed. The book is filled with vampires, angels, demons and angels… A chaotic mix which works perfectly and yet totally confuzzles the reader in a rather please ‘Give me more’ way!

The writing is open and appealing and extremely easy to read and lose yourself in. The story, although some may at first say mirrors others of the same genre, surprises the reader with twists, turns and mysteries which leave you wanting and eager to turn the page. For me it was definitely an ‘Oh God it’s 4am and I have to be up in 3 hours, why the hell can’t I put this book down and go to sleep’ book. High praise indeed! it’s also a re-readable book. I’ve read it I-don’t-know-how-many times so far but I still love it and keep going back to it. I spot things or make connections that I haven’t before. That’s the kind of book I really love; one which will sit well-worn on my bookcase, not gathering dust because it doesn’t have the chance to sit still long enough.

My love for it is something I’ve certainly tried to share and I hope I’ve been doing my bit here in the UK – I managed to persuade my library to buy a copy and it’s not been too long on the shelves so far to my knowledge!

So, have I persuaded you to give it a try? Let me know if you’re Team Gabriel or Team Jonah! Me? I’m Team Lailah; she’s strong and able and should be a team all of her own!

Read Lailah and now you want more? 

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Amazon UK – Hardcover & Kindle

The second book in the Styclar Saga series ‘Gabriel’ is available for pre-order and will be released on the 27th October 2015; not long to go!

From Goodreads:

Gabriel is an Angel Descendant. He’s also an ally to a generation of vampires who want to break away from the demon who controls them. His faith in the power of good over evil wavers, however, when he discovers that Lailah, the woman he considers his only true love, may be both angel and demon. Is their love enough to overcome the dark forces who are ready to go to war with Gabriel, the vampire Jonah, and the angel and vampire forces? And can Gabriel compete with Jonah, who is also in love with Lailah?

About the AuthoNikki-Kelly-BWr:

NIKKI KELLY was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah was first launched to wattpad, an online readers and writers community. Within six months, the novel had over one million reads. Lailah is Nikki’s debut novel, and the first book in The Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a Chihuahua).

Book Review: Vivid by Andrea Murray

Welcome to my spot on the Vivid blog tour! I’m honoured to be a part of this and so happy to be back blogging. It’s been too long!

23703248Source: Paranormal Cravings Reviews
Format: EBook (Read on Kindle)
Publish Date: 13th November 2014 by Booktrope (Originally published in 2011)
Price: N/A
Date Read: 18th December 2014
Genre: Paranormal / Sci-Fi
Links: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received this review copy of Vivid for free in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Goodreads Summary:

When Vivian Cartwright was five years old, she witnessed her mother’s death.

Now, sixteen-year-old Vivian only wants a normal life—hard to accomplish when you possess the power to control energy. Her entire life she has feared her power and its connection to her mother’s murder. She has kept her ability a secret from everyone except her guardian, Charlotte, who has hidden Vivian from the man responsible for her mother’s murder.

Her secret is safe until Vivian subconsciously defends herself at school using her power. After this first use of her gift in many years, Vivian’s power seems to take on a mind of its own, increasing in strength and demanding to be used. This increase in power also brings dreams of her mother’s death and the mysterious man connected with it. When she is assigned to tutor the would-be boyfriend of Trista Parmer (a.k.a. the biggest diva in school), Vivian cannot deny the electrifying connection that she feels for the boy, Easton Garrett. In her desire to get Easton away from Vivian, Trista doubles her efforts to humiliate Vivian, forcing Vivian to use her supernatural gift over and over. With each use, Vivian fears she is losing control and discovers her powers are growing—maybe too much—bringing her unknowingly closer to the man who murdered her mother.

Vivid is the first book in the Vivid Trilogy. It is followed by #2 Vicious and #3 Vengeance. Telling the story of Vivian Cartwright, Vivid is written in the first person. This along with the writing engage the reader and draw them into the story through the eyes of the teenage Vivian. Going into it, I did wonder if this would be a conventional and average teen/young adult read; the kind you know the method of the story to before even reading it. Fortunately I was happily surprised and I enjoyed reading to the very end and wanted more. Unfortunately, I am no longer a teen and most definitely not an American teen so a bit probably went way over my head. I certainly screamed “Oh grow up and get over yourselves!” to many of the not-so-nice and bullying people in the story.

The majority of the first book seemed to me to be an introduction of the characters and gave insight into a few of them. Character-wise, I went between love and hate for many – Abby most of all – though with the amount of bullying that starts off the story I was ready to scream at someone. Oh teen life, I don’t miss it at all! As a teen though I would have loved to have Vivian’s powers. That would most definitely have been majorly fabulous and I would have kicked arse. I look forward to seeing how these develop at the trilogy continues and the difficulties and further trials Vivian will face.

At around 142 pages, Vivid is a relatively short but good read which I would definitely recommend to those who love teen / young adult / paranormal / sci-fi fiction.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

About the author:

andrea murray

Andrea Murray

Andrea Murray has been teaching English for longer than most of her students have been alive. She has taught everything from junior high language arts to concurrent credit freshman composition. She lives in a very small town in Arkansas with her precocious daughter, energetic son, and race car-driving husband. When she isn’t writing or reading novels for her students, she’s probably watching reality television or cheesy science fiction movies. In addition to the Vivid Trilogy, she has also written Omni, her new YA dystopian romance.

Twitter // Goodreads

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This blog tour was organised by Paranormal Cravings Reviews

Event: Reading Cram 2.0 – Chills and Thrills – Challenge #1: TBR

Welcome to my first challenge of Reading Cram 2.0 – Chills and Thrills Readathon. Not spotted my intro post? Read it here!

#1: The TBR Challenge 

Book 1: The Angel Inside (The Luminosi Brotherhood Series #1) by Rea Ford

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This is a book I was approached to review and has been waiting on my TBR pile for far too long. It looks like a great short-ish book to start with!

Spooky theme: Paranormal / Angels

Book 2: The Vampire Next Door by Angela Snyder

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I had been eyeing this book on Amazon UK for quite a while but when I heard that it was on sale, I quickly snapped up this intriguing read.

Spooky theme: Vampires

Book 3: Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter

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I bought this book in it’s physical form as a treat to myself a few weeks ago. I love the writing of Gena Showalter and the Alice in Wonderland stories so I’m excited to see what an amalgamation of the two with added zombies will be like.

Spooky theme: Zombies

Book 4: The Wolf’s Mate Book 6: Logan & Jenna by R.E. Butler

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I found this book as an Amazon Kindle freebie and I’m not going to lie, I just got it for the cover. Phwoar!

Spooky theme: Werewolves

Book 5: The Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

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I have been trying to get around to reading this book for far too long and it really needs to go back to the library soon. Really hope I get round to it this time!

Spooky theme: Vampires, Witches & Demons

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Well, that’s my list! I may get through it, I may not. I will certainly give it my best shot though. I look forward to seeing what everyone else decides to read!

Review: Bite Mark by Lily Harlem

6496140_origSource: Lily Harlem via Brit Babes
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish date: 12th September 2014 by Ellora’s Cave Twilight
Price: N/A
Date Read: 8th September 2014

Note: I received this review copy of Bite Mark for free from the author in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Please also note that this book is an erotic threesome (containing MFM & MF) romance book and is not (in my opinion) suitable for under 18’s. Adults, please use your discretion to make your own decision.

 

 

 

 

Wondering where this review is? It will be re-posted to tie in with the release of book 2; Claw Mark, which I will also be reading and reviewing.

Watch out for it around Halloween!!

Review: Claimed by the Alpha Dolphins (Bound to the Sea Part 1) by Lyra Fawn

claimed-by-the-alpha-dolphinsSource: NetGalley
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish date: 15th July 2014 by Victory Editing
Price: N/A
Date Read: 12th August 2014

Note: I received this review copy of Claimed by the Alpha Dolphins (Bound to the Sea Part 1) by Lyra Fawn for free through NetGalley in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

 

Claimed by the Alpha Dolphins is a short 60-odd page introduction / first instalment to the full story. I hadn’t quite realised it was so short and left at a cliffhanger when I first got it so the end came far too quickly.

Mona is a librarian who, on her days off goes to the beach to soak up some rays and admire the speedo-wearing surfers. One day she notices two extremely handsome surfers who really stand out. While watching from behind her book a shark attack leaves the beach in chaos. Mona, still watching her two surfers sees them transform into dolphins and fend off the shark. This transformation goes unnoticed by anyone else on the beach. Following the two afterwards, Mona lies her way into their motel room, leaving her bag behind in the hopes that one of the two will return it to her.

I both really enjoyed this book and found much of it to be unbelievable, even for a paranormal romance/erotica. I loved the wording, descriptions and exciting storyline; The two men are royal princes bound to find the woman who will unite two clans and save their world. I even loved the sizzling sex and hot romance. I did however find that some elements of the story were silly; a lone woman following two strange shape-shifting men who-knows-where, unprotected sex with a man who had been rude and only got interested when he noticed the colour of her eyes. Oh and then going out into the sea with that man for a trial in which many before had drowned.

It was an enjoyable quick read which, if I didn’t put too much thought into it, was very good. My only real hang-up was the length; it was far too short! I will try further instalments of this series when they come out to see how this author further tells the story of Mona, Lucan and Dario.

 

Rating: ♥♥♥ – I liked it

Review: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

Own the book: NoA-Discovery-of-Witches-US
Source: Library
Format: Hardback
Publish date: 2011
Price: N/A
Date Read: 29th July 2014

 

Over the past few months I have had A Discovery of Witches out on loan from the library a number of times. Each time though, I found other things to read or do and for whatever reason never picked the book up.

I was a complete and utter idiot.

At 592 pages (the last 2 of the 594 are acknowledgements) the hardback version is a bit of a behemoth and certainly put a touch of fear in my heart. Overcoming this – even thanks to the third in the trilogy landing neatly on my doormat from the wonderful people at BookBridgr – was difficult, especially when I didn’t find my mind caught after the first few pages. I persevered however and soon found myself caught hook, line and sinker. I was addicted – in a good way.

The story centres around the main character; a witch called Diana Bishop. In a world filled with humans, witches, daemons and vampires, Diana is trying her hardest to keep away from a life of magic. Turning away from something you are though is impossible as Diana finds, with little bits of magic creeping out where she least expects. An alchemical history professor researching at Oxford, Diana comes into contact with many old and unusual texts; none more so than Ashmole 782. As shocked as Diana is when she realises there is a spell on the book, it is nothing to her feelings when she finds out that others are after this long-lost and very important text. However, Matthew (swoon) – a vampire and Diana’s love interest – is soon along to aid her. Travelling from the UK to France to America, Matthew and Diana are on the run from the witches and vampires who are after Diana. Meeting with allies old and new, Matthew and Diana soon have a plan; Diana must learn how to control her magic.

Although I was very late to the party for this book, I am so glad I read it. It was an absolute joy. I was transported away into another world – one I didn’t want to leave. The story of Matthew and Diana is a fantastic one and I can’t wait to read part 2; Shadow of Night and part 3; The Book of Life. With loveable and dislikeable characters galore, lines that have you in stitches and situations that have you reaching for the tissues, A Discovery of Witches is a delight and a wonder.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – I loved it.

Review: Elysian Fields (Sentinels of New Orleans #3) by Suzanne Johnson

Own the book: Yes9780755397709
Source: BookBridgr
Format: Paperback
Published: (Originally) 15th August 2013 by Headline
Price: N/A
Date Read: 15th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson for free through BookBridgr. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Elysian Fields is the third book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, preceded by Royal Street (#1) and River Road (#2). It is classed by Headline as a Fiction/Urban Fantasy mix. I couldn’t quite work out if this was aimed at a teen or adult audience however, but I think it could easily be enjoyed by both.

Before reading this book I will fully admit that I had not read either of the other books in the series but I was intrigued too much by the storyline and the gorgeous cover to let my chance to read it pass. And I’m so pleased I took it.

The Sentinels of New Orleans series focuses around the main character of DJ – Drusilla Jaco. DJ is an odd mix of wizard and elf, with the powers of both. The books are set around New Orleans in the times around Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane opened a passageway from the Beyond to present day New Orleans, giving characters still remembered by the world of today the opportunity to came back for periods. These characters can be good, bad or a charming pirate named Jean who is a mix of both. The world DJ lives in contains elves, werewolves, witches and wizards along with shapeshifters, elves and who knows what else.

Book three was an absolute joy to read. The characters imagined by Suzanne Johnson fully came to life in my mind and her descriptions were wonderful. I laughed, I hid in fear and I couldn’t put it down. I even had a 3am incident when I just didn’t want to stop reading, despite having to work the following day! I found that though I had missed the first two books in the series, I could still really enjoy the book as everything was explained succinctly enough to get the gist of what had previously happened without it ruining the flow.

I loved too the hints of romance in the story – the will they/won’t they play which still wasn’t sorted at the end. Can I hear a book 4 in the distance? Please? If bribery will work I’ll send cupcakes…!

It was a clever book and one I would certainly recommend. So please, give it a try!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥