Monday, January 23, 2012

Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Schultz

Spellcaster is the second book in a series by Cara Lynn Schultz. It is a nice deviation from the typical paranormal YA. It has a touch of a historical romance feel to it but it is set in the present day. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Finding your eternal soulmate - easy.

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil - not so much…

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems.'s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close....

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in ├╝ber-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own

If you thought the first book in the series was action packed then you will love this one. This book kept me on the edge of my seat with all the action that was happening. I loved that the plot kept a quick pace all through the book. There were still sweet moments between Emma and Brendan but the storyline didn’t linger too long on them.

What Emma and Brendan face in this book is so logical and semi-realistic that it made the book that much more enjoyable. While there is a paranormal element to the issue at the heart it is something that anyone could face without the paranormal side. I also loved how much Emma grew in this book. She was NOT the type of heroine to hide behind Brendan anymore. She becomes a fighter. I could liken her to a young Merit from Chloe Neill’s books. She decides that she will fight to keep Brendan and she definitely takes care of things.

The relationship between Emma and Brendan is very well written. I like that they are waiting to tackle the physical aspect of their relationship and Cara doesn’t let it take away from the intimacy that they share. The moments that they share just holding hands are written so well that you feel their intimacy there.

There is also a lot of disclosure in this book. More people get brought into the world that Emma, Brendan and Angelique are in. I think this will make for a great continuation on the series. Overall, this book is definitely a 5/5. I like the unique historical romance side of things with them being reincarnated souls that share a past. It makes for a unique book in a genre that has so many things that are alike. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

I have really come to love the YA greek myth/paranormal novels. It is a slightly smaller genre but I have always loved greek mythology. I was so excited to come across Goddess Interrupted in my Netgalley account. Here’s the description from Goodreads:
Kate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

First of all I want to point out that this is the second book in a series. You really need to read the first one before picking this one up. There is too much that happens in the first novel to start with this one.
As far as plot this book has everything. There is mystery as something begins to stir in the underworld, there is romance in the relationship between Henry and Kate and there is plenty of side stories with the other gods. I love the way Amy writes and I was a little unsure of what was stirring despite having a good knowledge of Greek mythology. I also like the Americanized names of the Gods. In this book they get a little more into who is the god of what. While it is necessarily surprising it was intriguing to see some characters and know who they are in mythology.

What keeps you reading this book is the frustrating relationship between Henry and Kate. The great thing about it is his past haunts Kate. How many of us can honestly say we aren’t haunted in some form by our other halves ex? There is always a little jealousy with an ex. Aimee magnifies this in her book to a much larger scale but it is still very relatable.

For me I kept rooting for Henry the WHOLE book. Even when it looked like he was going to be a complete idiot. There is something about his character that is very compelling. I like Kate but I love Henry. He makes the book for me.

If you aren’t a fan of cliffhangers this is NOT the book for you. I finished this book around 2 AM and panicked because it will be quite a while for me until I see the third book since I got this one early. If you aren’t hooked on the series there is no way you can read this one and not want to read the next one. Not only are you left wanting to see more of Kate and Henry but you also are left wondering what is going to happen next in the plot.

I give this book an enthusiastic 5/5. It was a great read that was VERY hard to put down. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantasky

I have been waiting for the sequel to the first Jessica book for quite awhile. I read the first book and the web story and have been anticipating this book for quite some time. I can't help but feel that this raised my expectations considerably. There are several things that make this series great: Jessica's strong personality and a leading lady, Mindy (enough said) and the relationship between Jessica and Lucius. The sequel feel a bit flat as we really don't get to see much of Jessica and Lucius. The majority of the book they are separated physically but even when they are together there is an emotional block in their relationship. I realize there is strain in the storyline but I find it odd that Jessica finally gets married and turns into the timid mouse she is portrayed as in the book.

Honestly, Mindy was one of the best parts in this book. Her sense of humor and strength carried the book for me. I found myself more interested in the side story between her and Raniero than the main characters. All in all after the enormous wait for this book it just didn't measure up to the other books or my expectations. Key aspects of the book were missing. Although, the plot moves and there is some fun dialogue it is just missing that "it" factor the other two have.

I also recommend that you read the first book in the series and the web book on Beth's website before reading this book. If you haven't read the wedding story you will be missing some small pieces needed for this book.