Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: The Fog of Forgetting by G.A. Morgan

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Fog of Forgetting
   *Series: Five Stones Trilogy #1
Author: G.A. Morgan
Publisher: Islandport Press
Pages: Hardcover; 303
Release Date: July 17, 2014
Source: Publisher
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy Fantasy reads with brave, young protagonists.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
In The Fog of Forgetting, the beginning of a new adventure-fantasy trilogy, five children wash up on the shores of an foreign land, unwitting agents of destiny in a realm struggling to withstand a force that could change their world -- and ours -- forever.
Move over, Narnia. The journey to Ayda has begun.

Sneaking out for a quick boat ride on a summer day, five children find themselves engulfed in a curtain of dense, powerful fog that transports them from the rocky Maine coast to the mysterious island of Ayda. Rescued by Seaborne, a machete-toting wayfarer of few words, the children suddenly find themselves at the center of a centuries-old battle between Dankar, the ruler of Exor, and three siblings that rule the other realms of Ayda. At stake are the four stones of power and the elusive Fifth Stone that binds them all.

When 9-year-old Frankie is kidnapped by Dankar, her older sister Evelyn and the three Thompson brothers must learn to harness the powers of the daylights, ancient forces of earth, fire, water, and air, to navigate their way through the realms of Ayda, rescue her, and find a way home.

G.A. Morgan is a powerful new voice in the young adult adventure-fantasy genre, telling a story full of myth and mystery, action and peril. In Ayda, she has created a land rich with history and steeped in lore, one that exists not just in imagination but unnervingly, realistically, parallel to ours.

A note to authors out there: If you ever want me to read your Fantasy book, compare it to The Chronicles of Narnia. Seriously. When I saw that G.A. Morgan's new book was billed as "the next Narnia", I had to read it! Those books fueled my childhood imagination, and I've re-read them many times since then. I was excited to see where The Fog of Forgetting would fall for me in comparison, and anxious to be introduced to a new world.

That being said, there were plenty of things about this debut novel that I really did like. Starting with the setting. I can think of no better place to hide a new Fantasy world than off the banks of a summer lakehouse. I loved the fact that the characters had such an attachment to this seasonal destination. That there were memories, both good and bad, wrapped up in this place made it feel that much more real. It was a place of magic, and I completely believed that a new world could be hiding just beyond the horizon.

I also liked the characters, although they took me a while to warm up to. Chase, Knox and Teddy were a little much to handle at first. Well, in all fairness, they are three young boys. I suppose they'd be a lot to handle in real life! However it took me a while to see past their childishness. It wasn't until they actually arrived in the land of Ayda that I started to enjoy following them. Each boy soon came into his own, and they did grow a lot during their adventures. I have to admit that I still never really felt connected to them entirely though. I just never felt like I knew them well enough to be invested in their journey.

In terms of the world-building, Ayda wasn't quite what I expected. I loved the idea of a world surrounded by fog. Of a place where magic is commonplace. I was never able to actually place myself there, unfortunately. The concept of calling the magic that flowed through people "daylights" bothered me, especially since it was never explained. The other main problem was that most of the actual world descriptions are done through info-dumps. Even though they were masked as stories told by characters to our protagonists, they lost their magic. I never felt like I was in Ayda. Only that I was reading about it.

Still, I did enjoy the good majority of this read. The ending left me wanting a bit, but I'd be willing to continue on to see what happens next. This bookworm gives The Fog of Forgetting three stars. It wasn't quite Narnia, but I see potential in G.A. Morgan's new world.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou!

Hello there fellow bookworms! You've made it through half the week! Go ahead, pat yourself on the back. You deserve it. If it makes your day any better, I also have an awesome spotlight and giveaway for you today as well. Do you love James Patterson's YA books? If you do, read on my friends. Read on.

In James Patterson's first highly illustrated "diary fiction" story for teens, the mega-bestselling author's most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.

Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her "Happiness Project". She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters.

Cuckoo's also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves "the Freakshow") decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and "bring the Nations together". Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling...until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.
Find this at:

Today's spotlight is on James Patterson's newest book, with co-author Lisa Papademetriou, Homeroom Diaries. I love the message of this book, and I know that I can't wait to read it! If you're in the same boat as I am, it's your lucky day. Are you ready for a giveaway? There's a prize pack up for grabs!

Being offered up as a prize, is a copy of Homeroom Diaries along with three of James Patterson's other titles. The winner will also receive Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, Confessions of a Murder Suspect and First Love.

Enter on the Rafflecopter below! This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and will close on August 3, 2014 at 12:00pm PST.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Alloy Entertainment Launches New Digital-First Imprint with Amazon Publishing

Some interesting news for the book publishing community was brought to my attention today, and I thought I'd share it with all of you! We all know that Amazon has become a powerhouse in the online marketplace. They dabble in a little bit of everything and, for the most part, I'd say that they do it well. 

Today's news is that Alloy Entertainment, the company that brings you shows like Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries, is breaking into the publishing world through Amazon Publishing. The first three titles in their new imprint launch today! 

I don't want to post the whole press release here, but I did want to pull a bit of the official wording for you to take a look at.

[From the Official Press Release]

Alloy Entertainment acquired the books based on the unique voices of the authors and originality of the stories. The company worked closely with each of the writers throughout the publishing process in an effort to gain the widest possible readership. The books will be published under the Alloy Entertainment publishing banner, which currently includes more than 75 New York Times bestsellers.

“One of our strengths is working with talented authors to create and develop properties that have mass entertainment appeal,” said Leslie Morgenstein, President of Alloy Entertainment. “This program is an exciting extension of our business and will allow us to leverage Amazon’s ability to distribute to an incredibly diverse and broad readership.”

"Rebel Wing is the book of my heart. It’s a story I felt compelled to tell, both from the perspective of an Army wife and as someone who believes you can never have enough strong female characters in the world," said author Tracy Banghart. "Being given the opportunity to work with the incredibly talented folks at Alloy to make it the best version of itself was an exciting and affirming process, and knowing that its distribution will be handled by Amazon—a company that has already made so much possible for me as an indie author—is pretty much the definition of win-win as far as I’m concerned."

“Alloy has a tremendous track record developing stories, like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries, that our customers love,” said Jeff Belle, Vice President of Amazon Publishing. “We’re thrilled to promote these books from Alloy Entertainment with our Powered by Amazon program. It’s a great fit.”  

Authors who publish with Alloy Entertainment’s new digital-first imprint receive an advance and royalties paid on a monthly basis. Alloy Entertainment will also look for opportunities to develop acquired titles as television series, feature films, and digital entertainment.



I'm actually pretty excited to see where this goes! I'm all for digital first titles, as I think it gives new authors a much better chance to gain ground when they launch their debut novels. I, for one, know that I'll be keeping an eye on these titles and any others to come.

Thank you to Wunderkind PR for providing me this information!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Graphic Novel Review: Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer

Title: Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer (Complete Edition)
Author(s): Dustin Higgins, Van Jensen
Illustrators: Dustin Higgins, Van Jensen
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Pages: Paperback; 528 
Recommended Age Group: 16+
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Source: NetGalley / Publisher
This puppet may not be a real boy... but he just might be a real hero! When bloodthirsty monsters invade Pinocchio's hometown and kill his father, Geppetto, Pinocchio discovers a new benefit to his magical nose: telling lies produces a never-ending supply of wooden stakes to combat the vampire hordes! Will Pinocchio be able to defeat these horrors, avenge his father, and save his friends? Now, for the first time, the complete trilogy is collected together in a single deluxe softcover edition. Jensen (Green Lantern Corps) and Higgins (Knights of the Living Dead) present a captivating blend of comedy, horror, romance, and adventure, rooted in the original Italian novel, but brought - as if by magic - to new life.
**Note: This book was billed as the complete series, but NetGalley only uploaded the first half. The review below is for Volume 1, since it was the only part I read in its entirety**

I dare you to look me in the eye and tell me you wouldn't pick this up if you stumbled upon it. Come on, Pinocchio as a vampire slayer? You know you'd be intrigued! Well, whether you agree with me or not, the fact remains that I was definitely drawn in by the idea. I'm a sucker for a good retelling, especially in graphic novel format. Did it deliver? In some ways yes, in others no. Read on my friends, I'll lay it all out for you.

As with any good graphic novel review, I'll start with the illustrations. In this first volume, Pinocchio's story is told in very exaggerated and stylized panels. The characters border on cartoonish, which I honestly didn't like at first. However, as I read on, they slowly grew on me. I came to love Pinocchio's jaunty little hair style paired with his dark facial expressions. As witty one-liners came flying out of his wooden mouth, I fell more and more in love with the way he was drawn. It actually fits the character quite well. Which brings me to where I'm on the fence regarding this graphic novel, and that's the story line. While there's a lot to love between these pages, I still feel like something was missing.

Starting with the good, this is definitely an original story. It takes Pinocchio's story and blends it into something decidedly dark and funny at the same time. I can't deny I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that Pinocchio's stakes came from his ever-growing nose. One lie, and you have a stake! How cool is that? Of course, this allows for a ton of hilarious dialogue between characters too. I couldn't help but crack up laughing when Pinocchio stabbed a vampire in the heart with his stake while wise-cracking "Looks like you have a bloody nose!" at the same time. Be still, my wit loving heart!

So what was it that didn't click with me? First off, the story itself is a little sparse. The witty dialogue could only save this so much. I wanted more substance, and more understanding of how Pinocchio actually came to be. It's possible that there's more in the next volumes, but I honestly felt a little lost. I saw some of the characters from the original story, but everything was buried under vampire hunting. My other issue was that, because there isn't a lot of substance, I didn't really feel invested in these characters. There were moments while reading where I felt like I should be sad, or angry, but I just wasn't feeling it. Other than laughing, I didn't feel much else.

I think this series has definite potential. I've heard from other readers that it progresses rather well through the next volumes, and that the illustrations actually change too. That makes me curious to check out more. So, while this wasn't my favorite read this month, I think I'll stick with it and give the next volume a shot! After all, I can't deny I want to see where things go. Pick this up if you're looking for a funny and interesting graphic novel. Pinocchio and his vampire killing ways just might steal your heart.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: The Fog of Forgetting by G.A. Morgan

Happy Friday wonderful readers! You've made it through another week, and I think that definitely deserves a treat, don't you? Today I have the spotlight on a new book that sailed to the top of my reading list as soon as I read the synopsis! G.A. Morgan's The Fog of Forgetting sounds like a magical journey that I can't wait to take! I hope you'll consider adding this book to your TBR pile, and don't forget to scroll on down to the bottom for a gorgeous giveaway!

Happy reading!

Move over, Narnia. The journey to Ayda has begun.

The journey to Ayda begins when five children sneak out for a quick boat ride on a summer day. Engulfed in a curtain of dense, powerful fog, they are transported from the rocky Maine coast to the mysterious island of Ayda.

Rescued by Seaborne, a machete-toting wayfarer of few words, the children suddenly find themselves at the center of a centuries-old battle between Dankar, the ruler of Exor, and three siblings that rule the other realms of Ayda.

At stake are the four stones of power and the elusive Fifth Stone that connects them all.

When 9-year-old Frankie is kidnapped by Dankar, her older sister Evelyn and the three Thompson brothers must learn to harness the powers of the daylights, ancient forces of earth, fire, water, and air, in order to navigate their way through the realms of Ayda, save her, and find a way home. 

Asked why she thinks THE FOG OF FORGETTING has been getting such great advance buzz, Melissa Kim, Children’s Book Editor at Islandport Press, says:

The Fog of Forgetting stands apart from other YA adventure fantasy because it has —as well as a page-turning plot, reluctant hero, and quest for justice—an inner adventure not often seen in this genre. Morgan has drawn on past civilizations, global cultures, and forces from within, to dig deep into the very core of what makes us human and what connects people to each other across time and space. Even readers who don't normally turn to fantasy will find much here. It's a story you will remember years after you have read it.”

THE FOG OF FORGETTING will appeal to a wide audience from middle grade to YA readers who love action, adventure, and intrigue. And although you’ll forget time while reading this novel, the story reminds us that family is one thing that can never be forgotten.

G. A. Morgan spent all of her childhood summers on an island in Maine, where she discovered that many secrets lie deep in the fog. She was formerly the managing editor of Chronicle Books before moving to Portland, Maine, where she has written for a variety of editorial and commercial clients, including LL Bean, Thos. Moser, Hay House Publishers, and Bon Appetit and Maine magazines. She has written several illustrated nonfiction works under her full name, Genevieve Morgan, and is the author of a recent non-fiction book for teens called Undecided: A Guide to Navigating Life after High School (Zest Books/2014). She is currently working on Chantarelle, Book 2 of The Five Stones Trilogy, which will be available Summer 2015.

Up for giveaway, the Melor Necklace!

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. U.S. addresses only please!
Giveaway will end August 2nd at 12:00 pm PST.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Graphic Novel Review: This One Summer

Title: This One Summer
Author: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrator: Jillian Tamaki
Publisher: First Second
Pages: Hardcover; 320
Recommended Age Group: 16+
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Source: NetGalley

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age—a story of renewal and revelation.

This One Summer is a gorgeous story about growing up. It's about the special places that hold our best memories, and how they change as we get older. About learning to deal with emotions that feel foreign and scary. It's even about facing the stereotypes that young girls are bombarded with the minute that they're old enough to understand them. This graphic novel is full of heart, and I happily lost myself in it from beginning to end.

First off, let me gush about the illustrations. I thought they were just perfect for the story they represented. Rose and her friend Windy start out depicted as beautifully carefree. The reader follows them as they race across the sand, spend hours floating in the ocean, and visit the corner store for ice cream on a hot day. The epitome of a childhood dream vacation. Slowly, as Rose's story takes us into her new reality as a budding teenager, things in the panels start to look a little bit more gritty. A little messier. It's a slight change, but it makes all the difference when you're immersed in the story.

I think that's what I was most impressed about reading this graphic novel. It isn't afraid to touch on the things that are a little darker in life. Rose's childhood memories of her favorite summer home are still there, lurking in the periphery. It's just that they aren't quite the same as they were before. She sees the things hiding underneath now. That her mom is just a little too quiet. That her dad had to mysteriously go into town for a few days. That her summer best friend isn't quite the same as she used to be.

There is so much hiding in This One Summer. I wish I could better express to you the layers that this story holds, but it'd be too easy to accidentally spoil the journey for you. Suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this graphic novel, and I'd happily have read more. I'm a fan of stories about the journey of growing up and finding yourself. This one was a marvelous ride.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7/21/14)
Click above to join in the fun!
Well, it's Monday. That means a new week of many things, but I choose to focus on the fact that it means a new week of reading! After all, I like to look for the positive parts of life.

Last week was a busy week. On top of the books pictured above, I also finished two other novellas, a graphic novel, and sent two books to the DNF shelf. I've been working to catch up on my backlog of reading material :).

Tim Curran's Blackout garnered 5 stars from me, for being really original and creepy. The Bridesmaid was one of our book club picks, and it was adorable! I gave it 3 stars for being cute and fun. Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews got a 4 star rating from me, because I love Dina. Am I the only one who thinks Ilona Andrews writes the best female characters? Finally, Meeting His Match by Katee Robert got a 4 star rating from me. Such a deep, character driven romance. Plus Caine is to die for, ladies. Go get him!

I'll be starting William Meikle's The Exiled after work today. I'm becoming an addict of DarkFuse fiction! They have some of the most amazing horror writers, and it's a ton of fun to read. I'm also currently listening to Reboot by Amy Tintera. It's been on my wishlist for a while, because one of my favorite narrators reads it. So far? It's great! I have high hopes.

Since I anticipate finishing my novella above pretty quickly, I already have another Entangled: Lovestruck book lined up! I love these. I'm a very character driven reader, and these romances have that in spades! I can't wait for another one :).
That's it for me! What are YOU reading this week? Don't forget to leave a link so I can go and visit you too!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

ARC Review: Meeting His Match by Katee Robert

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Meeting His Match
Author: Katee Robert
Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck
Pages: Ebook; 157
Release Date: July 21, 2014
Source: Publisher
Genre: Romance

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy character driven romance with remarkably well built characters!

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
When New York matchmaker Addison St. Claire is tasked with matching her best friend's new brother-in-law, she almost refuses. But the sexy southern CEO turns out to be a challenge she can't resist, because if anyone needs to meet his soul mate, it's this man. And if matching him with someone else removes the temptation of being near him? Even better.

The last thing Caine McNeill needs is a matchmaker—especially a gorgeous redhead who spouts nonsense about soul mates, critiques what he drives and how he dresses, buys him a dog, and pesters him about a million little things he couldn't care less about. It's a crying shame he has to keep his hands off because chemistry like what's flaring between them ought to be explored. Thoroughly.

And so the battle begins. Addison is determined to stick to her plan of setting him up on dates with other women, and Caine is equally determined to ignore these women and seduce her.

Let me take you back. Back to a time when I truly believed that all romance novels were too full of fluff and rainbows to be worth a read. A time when just staring at the cover of one of those novels would make me cringe. I don't miss that period of time. At all. Now that I've fallen in love with reading about love? I could never go back. Which is why Meeting His Match by Katee Robert promptly ended up in my reading list. A story featuring a stubborn CEO, complete with Southern drawl? Yes, please. I'll take ten.

I'll start with Addison. While she wasn't my favorite character ever, she eventually grew on me. I loved her obvious passion for her job and her sweet demeanor that could turn to steel in an instant if the occasion called for it. Mostly, I loved the fact that Addison wasn't perfect. She was flawed, and that made her feel real to me. The one thing that irked me, and I'll be honest about it, was Addison's view on "soul mates". More than once I wanted to shake her silly. I may or may not have yelled "Would you just quit being so mopey and GET YOUR MAN ALREADY?" at the pages. Hey, it just proves I was invested.

As for Caine? Oh, mother of all things bookish, he was an addictive character. There was nothing I didn't love about him! A bit grumpy, a bit set in his ways, but with that smoldering smile that makes you feel like you might honestly burst into flames. I adored his witty sarcasm, his unfailingly honesty, and the fact that all he really wanted in life was to be happy. Caine wasn't a character who took what he wanted by force. He wasn't that guy who plays an asshole, just to impress women. He was just himself, and that was just fine by me. He has my heart and, well, anything else he wants really.

This is an extremely character driven story. There were a lot of sweet moments between these two, but also a fair amount of drama. It was very much a story about letting go of the past, and allowing yourself to be happy. Meeting His Match is the first book I've read in Entangled's new "Lovestruck" line, but I know it won't be my last! The characters were so richly detailed, there was the perfect mix of both Addison and Caine's POV, and these two had to fight for their happy ending. In my mind, these things equal out to a very entertaining story. So, yes. I'll be back for more.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ARC Review: Blackout by Tim Curran

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Blackout
Author: Tim Curran
Publisher: DarkFuse
Pages: Ebook; 234
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Source: NetGalley / Publisher
Genre: Science Fiction / Horror

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love a dark, atmospheric novella that flies by.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
In the midst of a beautiful summer, in a perfectly American suburban middle-class neighborhood, a faraway evil is lurking, waiting to strike the unsuspecting residents.

First come the flashing lights, then the heavy rains, high winds, and finally a total blackout. But that's only the beginning...

When the whipping black tentacles fall from the sky and begin snatching people at random, the denizens of Piccamore Way must discover the terrifying truth of what these beings have planned for the human race.

Can I please get a slow clap started? I seriously believe that Blackout deserves one, because I loved this story. So very, very much. I adore when perfectly normal citizens are suddenly thrown into tense survival situations. No special training. No understanding of what's going. These people are running off pure instinct which, more often than not, leads to one emotional story. I felt for these characters. I understood their terror and their hopelessness. Tim Curran places a simple question in front of the reader. When there is nothing but desolation and destruction on the horizon, do you give in or do you fight back?

Massive points go to Curran for making me feel so connected to these characters, even though this was only a novella length story. I cringed. I cheered. I felt the pit of my stomach drop to my knees as the full understanding of what was going on came crashing down around me. Each time I read a story like this, I'm reminded that it doesn't matter how long a story is. It only matters how hard the writer works to get you involved. I felt like I was a part of Blackout, and it was one harrowing experience.

Five, black as night stars to this story. I want more.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7/14/14)
Click above to join in the fun!

It's a new week, and  that means it's time to share what I'm reading! I love this meme, because it's a ton of fun to discover new books from other's book shelves :). Let's do this!

Last week I finished up three reads that were across the board! First off, Unwept wasn't quite what I was expecting it to be. It was... odd. Death's Academy was funny, and a great book for middle grade readers! As for The Naturals, it was my favorite of the week. So good! I love books about serial killers, and this one didn't disappoint.

Right now I'm diving into an ARC of Meeting his Match by Katee Robert. This is from Entangled's new LOVESTRUCK line, and I'm so excited! I've been told it's fantastic :). I'm also listening to the audio version of Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews. Amazing. It's amazing. She's amazing. Renee Raudman is an amazing narrator. That is all.

Next up is Oblivion by Sasha Dawn. I actually started this before I decided to swap to the romance novel I'm reading and it's interesting but odd. I'll let you know how it goes!
That's it for me! What are YOU reading this week? Don't forget to leave a link so I can go and visit you too!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Book Review: Unwept (The Nightbirds #1) by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Unwept
   *Series: The Nightbirds #1
Authors: Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: Hardcover; 272
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: NetGalley / Publisher
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 2 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy books set in alternate worlds and are okay with open endings.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
Gamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself—but she doesn’t remember any of them.

Unknown events have robbed Ellis of her memory. Concerned individuals, who purport to be her friends and loved ones, insist that she simply needs to recuperate, that her memories may return in time, but refuse to divulge what has brought her to this state. For her own sake, so they say.

Ellis finds herself adrift in a town of ominous mysteries, cryptic hints, and disturbingly familiar strangers. The Nightbirds, a clique of fashionable young men and women, claim her as one of their own, but who among them can she truly trust? And what of the phantom suitor who visits her in her dreams? Is he a memory, a figment of her imagination, or a living nightmare beyond rational explanation?

Only her lost past hold the answers she seeks—if she can uncover its secrets before she fall prey to an unearthly killer.

There are two reasons I picked up this book, and I'll lay them out for you. First off, Tracy Hickman is one of the authors. After feeding my imagination with Dragonlance books, and stealing me away into countless Fantasy adventures, I'm a fan of his. I'd give anything he writes a chance. So, when a new series comes out with his name on it? I'm sold. Second reason? The cover. It has a mysterious and gorgeous way about it that just called to me. I had a bad case of cover love, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Sadly, this wasn't the adventure that I was looking for. I'm honestly not sure what it was. Falling into Ellis' story was like waking up from a long coma. She has no idea where she is, who she is, or what's happened to her. I was initially okay with this. Characters who have to be built from the ground up can be interesting. I love discovering who they are, right along with them. The problem was, that just never happened. I finished the story. I made it to the ending. Yet I still have not one inkling of an idea who Ellis is.

Herein lies the problem with Unwept. It's so completely confusing, that there's nothing to grasp onto as a reader. I couldn't connect with Ellis, because I didn't know who she was. I wasn't able to wonder about her story, because nothing happened. Then the ending, that wasn't really an ending, left so many things unexplained. In the opinion of this reader, if I had purchased this book I would have felt upset at the end. It feels like this entire story is nothing but a big lead up to prompt you to buy the next one. I'm okay with open endings, but if the ending leaves everything as a big pile of knotted up yarn? I'm annoyed. 

I wish I could give you more insight into this book, but I really can't. Most of this read just felt so empty that, by the time I reached the ending of Unwept, I had no strong feelings about it at all. Despite the two star rating, I'm still debating on whether I'd pick up the second book to see where things go. We shall see.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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