Slay Me

Author: Louise Cypress

Narrators: Reba Buhr, Alexander Cendese

Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

Series: The Puritan Coven Series, Book 3

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Release date: Feb. 19, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance; Young Adult

He’s a vampire bad boy. She’s a slayer’s daughter who’s never been kissed.

Kyle Logan has been a 16-year-old bad boy for three years, ever since he became a vampire. After a stint at the rehab center run by the Brothers of Temperance, Kyle has finally kicked his blood addiction. Now, he’s back in high school with one goal in mind: stay clean so he can grow up and become an animal-rights activist.

Cassandra Xander wants two things in 10th grade: a car and the chance to attend a traditional high school. She loved being homeschooled growing up, especially since her family moved every six months for Helsing Incorporated, but now that her mother is founding a slayer training academy in La Jolla, California, Cassandra is excited by the opportunity to attend La Jolla Cove High.

When Kyle witnesses Cassandra give a verbal reckoning to a dog owner who leaves her beagle locked in a sweltering car, Kyle makes his move. He loves that Cassandra is smart, intense, and willing to break rules. But Cassandra has zero experience dating and isn’t sure a relationship with a hot-tempered vampire is a good place to start – especially when she discovers Kyle’s secret ability.

Kyle works hard to master his emotions and make all of Cassandra’s high school dreams come true. Just when their romance brightens both of their lives, Kyle’s past draws him back into darkness. The only way forward for these high school sweethearts is to slay or pay.

Louise Cypress believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. She has never met a vampire or a mermaid, but she has been to a Love Sucks concert on Valentine’s Day. She can often be found curled up with a romance novel on Saturday night, diet soda in hand, secretly wishing bustles were back in fashion. Louise is from San Diego, California, where the beach is crowded and summer is immortal.

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Narrator Bio

Reba Buhr grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Los Angeles, working in theater, film, and television. She has degrees from Occidental College in theater and classical voice. Reba began recording audiobooks in 2012 and has turned her love for performance into a passion for narrating characters that jump off the page. Reba is an accomplished voice actor and has lent her voice to many commercials, video games, and animated projects, including Popples and Knights of Sidonia for Netflix, Toonami’s Hunter x Hunter, and Zagtoon’s Zak Storm.

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Narrator Bio

Alexander Cendese is a New York–based actor/narrator whose credits include roles on and Off-Broadway, in films, and on popular television shows, including Law & Order: SVU and All My Children. He holds a BFA from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Louise Cypress. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

I really enjoyed this installment. Cypress keeps you hooked into the story from the very beginning. Once again, the narrators did a phenomenal job bringing this story to life. I really appreciate how Cendese voiced Lex, I could not stop laughing at the “orange faced” vamp whenever he spoke. I wont give away any spoilers or synopsis since one has already been provided.

I was happy to get Cassandra’s POV. I liked how her and Kyle were perfect together and how they made each other grow. It was great to see Cassandra’s character grow, especially after her childishness of Bite Me and Hunt Me. At first, it was a little much, but, the accuracy of a homeschooler attending high school for the first time was astonishing. I had a friend that was homeschooled and sometimes the naivety was overwhelming, but it was because certain experiences were lacked and they could only base concepts from tv shows. Which Cassandra also does in her expectations of what her first day of high school would be like.

I think, of the three books in this series, Slay Me is my favorite. I have really enjoyed listening to this series, and I hope you do to!

Top 10 List

Top Ten Reasons to be an Audiobook Listener
  1. Voice actors make scenes come to life in new ways.
  2. You love hearing accents spoken aloud.
  3. Audiobooks are cheaper than Broadway tickets.
  4. Road-trips are always more fun with a good book to listen to.
  5. Audiobooks make great workout buddies.
  6. Washing the dishes in silence is boring.
  7. That basket of laundry won’t fold itself.
  8. You’ve run out of space on your bookshelf for more hardbacks.
  9. You love bossing Alexa around. “Alexa, read my book to me!”
  10. Up to one in five people have a language-based learning challenge like dyslexia and ear-reading is just as valid as eye-reading.

Guest Post

The Inspiration Behind SLAY ME’s Hilarious Taxidermy-Battle Scene

By Louise Cypress

Did you ever go to summer camp? I’m a lifelong Girl Scout, and when I was in college, I worked at Camp Joe Sherman in Southern California as the nature director. This meant that I was in charge of Camp Sherman’s nature museum and extensive taxidermy collection.

“Eeeww! Gross!” you might be thinking. “Those poor, defenseless creatures!”

Yup. I 100% agree with you.

Girl Scouts aren’t normally known for taxidermy—I’d like to make that clear, but Camp Sherman was an exception. The original property was owned by a guy named Joe Sherman who traveled the world hunting animals, some of which are now endangered. Meanwhile, his wife would collect rocks. All of the animals are stuffed and displayed in the living room of their old house, and the rocks are built into the fireplace.

I understand why the Girl Scouts kept the taxidermy collection on display. They weren’t the ones who killed the animals, and the animals were already dead. But still…. [shudder.]

When you spend an impressionable summer in your 20s as curator to a taxidermy collection, it does weird things to your psyche. That’s why when I wrote SLAY. ME I made Kyle, my vampire bad-boy, a vegan. I’m not vegan myself, but I definitely oppose animal cruelty.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the end of SLAY ME features an epic taxidermy battle that had me laughing so hard that I could hardly write it. All of those summers at Girl Scout camp got processed into fiction. I took the icky and I made it funny.

I’ll just add it to the list of all the ways Girl Scouts has made a difference in life.

Giveaway

Giveaway: $30 Amazon Gift Card

The Puritan Coven Series Giveaway: $30 Amazon Gift Card
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Author: Louise Cypress

Narrators: Reba Buhr, Alexander Cendese

Length: 5 hours 24 minutes

Series: The Puritan Coven Series, Book 2

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Release date: Jan. 29, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance; Young Adult

An all-girls vampire camping trip turns deadly when a Sasquatch hunter is accidentally killed.

All Esma Siban wants this summer is to stay out of her stepmother’s way. When her stepsister, Morgan, suggests a road trip to Oregon to visit a friend from high school, Esma jumps on the idea. A camping trip sounds like the perfect way to help Esma recover from breaking up with her boyfriend. But when Esma and Morgan encounter a stalker, Esma’s fangs come out.

The death of a Sasquatch hunter wasn’t on their itinerary. A terrified Esma is unsure what to do next, so she texts her ex-boyfriend for help.

Chase Wheeler feels like the biggest fool on the football team. The entire time he was dating Esma, he had no idea she was a vampire. In high school, Chase did exactly what Esma told him to. He let Esma plan their dates, pick his wardrobe, and even pack his lunches. Now, Chase has a month left before he starts college to forget the girl who froze his heart.

When Chase lands an internship on the popular radio talk show Fred Head, he finds his voice and charts a future that doesn’t involve domineering girlfriends. But all it takes is one text from Esma and Chase runs back to her waiting arms. Chase finds the courage to tell Esma that he’s through with being bossed around right when Esma realizes she desperately needs Chase’s input.

The only way home from this camping trip is to be bitten or smitten.

Louise Cypress believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. She has never met a vampire or a mermaid, but she has been to a Love Sucks concert on Valentine’s Day. She can often be found curled up with a romance novel on Saturday night, diet soda in hand, secretly wishing bustles were back in fashion. Louise is from San Diego, California, where the beach is crowded and summer is immortal.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram

Narrator Bio

Reba Buhr grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Los Angeles, working in theater, film, and television. She has degrees from Occidental College in theater and classical voice. Reba began recording audiobooks in 2012 and has turned her love for performance into a passion for narrating characters that jump off the page. Reba is an accomplished voice actor and has lent her voice to many commercials, video games, and animated projects, including Popples and Knights of Sidonia for Netflix, Toonami’s Hunter x Hunter, and Zagtoon’s Zak Storm.

WebsiteTwitter

Narrator Bio

Alexander Cendese is a New York–based actor/narrator whose credits include roles on and Off-Broadway, in films, and on popular television shows, including Law & Order: SVU and All My Children. He holds a BFA from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Louise Cypress. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

As you may remember, I enjoyed reading Bite Me, so of course when I saw an opportunity to join in and listen to Hunt Me, I took it! This book was an easy listen, at just over 5 hours. I listened to it in one day.

I really liked the Esma/Chase side of the story. The flow is very steady and the excitement slowly increases so by the end, I was so ready to know what happened! Had I been reading the book instead of listening, I would have sped read or flipped to the end to know what happened immediately. Because I like to spoil things for myself! I loved Barney, and I hope he makes an appearance in Slay Me. I liked that Gwen made an appearance and we could find out how she is doing.

The narrators, as usual, were amazing. I really like what they bring to the story. They really suck the listener in. Cypress really sucks the reader/listener in from the very beginning. I am going to be sad when I finish the series and have nothing else to listen to.

Q&A with Louse Cypress, author of HUNT ME
  • Question One: HUNT ME is about an all-girls vampire camping trip that goes wrong when a Sasquatch hunter is accidentally killed. What made you want to write about a camping trip?
    • Louise: I was a Girl Scout growing up and some of my best memories are of being outdoors. Now that I’m grown up, I’m a Girl Scout leader. I still love camping, especially in my pop-up camper. When I first started writing HUNT ME it was winter, and a camping trip in Southern California—even a fictional one—sounded like a lot of fun.
  • Question Two: HUNT ME is a second-chance romance. What’s different about writing a second-chance romance versus a normal girl-meets-boy plotline?
    • Louise: In a second-chance romance you’re dealing with two characters who used to be in love but who have messed things up. In Esma and Chase’s case, Esma kept the fact that she was a vampire from Chase for two whole years. Chase can’t handle dating a liar, and he’s not so sure about dating a vampire either. The fun thing about writing a second-chance romance is that letting the characters come to terms with their past mistakes, and also recognize their deep love for one another.
  • Question Three: One of the funniest characters in HUNT ME is Barney the Sasquatch. How did you create the character of Barney?
    • Louise: I wanted Barney to be sentient, but not human, so I thought about him as if he were a really smart Labradoodle. Barney’s big, furry, and smelly, but he’s also adorable. When the girls are in danger, Barney will do whatever it takes to protect them.
  • Question Four: Are there more books in The Puritan Coven?
    • Louise: HUNT ME is the sequel to BITE ME, which is about a nerdy high school senior who transforms into a vampire vixen with a bloodlust for prom. SLAY ME follows HUNT ME and is about a bad-boy vampire who falls in love with a slayer’s daughter. All three books are stand-alone novels with no cliffhangers, but they incorporate the same cast of characters. Tantor Media is producing the audiobooks for the entire series.
  • Question Five: Is Louise Cypress your real name?
    • Louise: My real name is Jennifer Bardsley and a lot of people know me online as The YA Gal. I own of the largest Facebook pages devoted to young adult books that’s not associated with a publisher. Every Tuesday on The YA Gal readers have an instant book club called #TakeALookTuesday where they share pictures abou what they are reading and chat about books.

Guest Post

Would Vampires Camp or Glamp?

By Louise Cypress

I am obsessed with tent trailers. There, I said it. Unlike the rest of my family, I hate sleeping on the ground, even in a super expensive tent from REI. That’s why when I wrote HUNT ME, the second book in The Puritan Coven series, I gave Morgan, Esma, and Cassandra a tricked-out tent trailer.
HUNT ME is about an all-girls vampire camping trip that goes hilariously wrong when a Sasquatch hunter is accidentally killed.

The cool think about pop up trailers is they are like magical houses that only appear at certain times. Most of their lives are spent collapsed into an 8 x 8 foot box at the side of your house. But then, when the weather is just right, you hitch the trailer to your truck or SUV and head off for adventure.

It took me years to convince my husband that we should buy a tent trailer. Now that we own one, we have camped all over Washington State, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alberta. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any vampires or Sasquatches…yet.

Giveaway

Giveaway: $30 Amazon Gift Card

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Scythe

Scythe by Neal Shusterman, Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Rating: 5 stars

I started listening to this book in 2018, however, it took me a while to get into. But! I have finished it, and it was well worth it.

This story is post apocalyptic where people, called Scythes, similar to grim reapers, “glean” individuals randomly to help with population control, disease, and crime. Two teens are selected by a Scythe to become his apprentices. When the conclave found out he took on two, without permission, they decided at the final test for the scythedom, only one would be chosen and their first task would be to glean the other. This made their apprenticeship even more difficult knowing that at the end one would have to end the other’s life. During the course of their apprenticeship, their mentor committed suicide and they were split up to continue their apprenticeship with other scythes, separately.  Further, it was indicated, that the edict of one gleaning the other would still stand.

For the sake of spoiling, I won’t go any further in the synopsis. The rest of the story followed them individually with their new mentors. I really appreciated how the book ended and I was not expecting it. It makes me very excited to listen to the next book because I need to know what happens next.

I enjoyed Greg Tremblay as the narrator. I thought he did well for the voices and giving the story life. I am happy he is the narrator for Thunderhead (book 2 in the series). In fact, now that I am finished, I went ahead and got Thunderhead from Audible so I can give it a start soon!

If you read this book and get stuck, please keep going, because it is worth it! Normally a book that is slow for me and takes me a while to get into, gets a lower rating, even if the ending is great, but this book is different. I really enjoy Shusterman’s books, and when I started this book, I had a lot going on and I take that into account of why it took me a while to connect with the story.

Bite Me

Bite Me by Louise Cypress. Narrated by Reba Buhr and Alexander Cendese

Rating: 5 Stars

 

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Bite Me is about a high school senior named Morgan. Her mother is dating a classmate’s father and one night while she was at their home for a family dinner together, she was bitten by a young child who was being tended to by a nun. Turns out, this young child was a vampire and passed on vampiritis to Morgan. The classmate, whose name is Esma, and her father, Lucas, are called Puritans, meaning they do not feast on human blood and therefore age like a normal human and do not have the same kind of powers as vampires.

Van Xander is a descendant of Van Helsing. His family works for a council that slays vampires. His family was sent to the community where Morgan lived, but to monitor the local puritan coven when he discovers that Morgan is a vampire and she does not know it. As time goes on, he really begins to care for Morgan.

I really enjoyed listening to this book. I had been eyeballing reading it for a while, but with last year being so hectic for me, I just never picked it up to do so. When the opportunity to listen to it came about, I was very excited and jumped on it very quickly. I listened to this book in one day. That is right. I finished all 8 hours of it. I listened all day in every activity….working on the computer, doing chores around the house, feeding my son…I could not stop. The narrators really brought this story to life. I always feel narrators can make or break a story, and these narrators were fantastic.

I like the interesting twist to vampire lore that is out there. Cypress introduces that vampirism is like an illness and if you get treatment, you can live a normal life. In this case, if the infected person feasted on human blood, the disease took over and the person stopped aging and began having other vampiric superpowers. If a person did not feast on human blood, and stuck to a more paleo diet, then they lived a pretty normal, healthy, and happy life (they are known as Puritans). Having said that, they would still have the urge to feast on human blood. Morgan had a jump start to this though. Her stop mom, who is also one of these Puritan vampires, learned that something may happen to Morgan one day and began putting drops of medicine sort of like methadone, only it tones down the vampiric desires to feast on humans.

Overall, the story line was enjoyable. I am looking forward to the next book and am patiently waiting for its release on Audible. I have high hopes for the continuation of the series. If you want to listen to something with a fresh take on the same old vampire/human love story, this is a good one to go with!

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to review this audiobook for her! It was my pleasure and I greatly enjoyed listening!

Fighting Fate

 

Fighting Fate by Shaila Patel, Book 2 in the Soulmated Series

Rating: 5 stars

 

I received a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review. I have not been paid for my opinions, these opinions are my own. This review may contain minor spoilers

 

Every now and then, a series pops into my life and leaves me wrecked. Soulmated is such a fantastic series. The first book, Soulmated (you can check out my review here) left me in need for book 2 immediately. Alas, I had to wait AN ENTIRE YEAR before Fighting Fate arrived in my email. Just like in Soulmated, I am left with this high from the unique and original story line, and now I am dropping, and the crash is going to hurt knowing I have to wait another year to read book 3.

In Fighting Fate, we pick up where Soulmated left off. The joining that did not quite happen because of Liam’s fear of injuring Lucky, which resulted in Liam breaking up with her while he tried to figure out how to join without killing her, and left them both catastrophically wrecked for weeks. Their waves of emotions were so savage they barely slept, they could not breathe while away from each other, Lucky lost weight because she could not eat. As a reader, you feel their pain. You have been there, you have experienced that loss at some point in your life that leaves a hole in your soul that you cannot figure out how to fill back in. In some cases, we get better, use some duct tape to close the wound, and move forward with our lives. In other cases, the hole gets bigger, and consumes us more until we can no longer breathe. We have to decide if we will drown, or find that strength to keep fighting the waves before they take you under. This is what Liam and Lucky had to decide. They decided to keep fighting, to fill that hole together. They were faced with many adversaries, and many challenges are faced that will either make them stronger, or break them apart.

This book had so many twists. At one point, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. My chest began hurting, I felt physically ill. Shaila Patel has a way to keep you hooked from the first page, all the way until the end, and then leaves you full and empty all at the same time. It has been a long time since I have been so hooked into what I was reading that I could barely breathe. I caught myself several times holding my breath, trying to get through. Trying to ride this ride with Liam and Lucky.

This is such a wonderful series, that I highly recommend. If you would listen to at least ONE book recommendation from me, this series would be the one you should pick up next. This series is so original and a breath of fresh air to the YA genre. You will not be disappointed. I can promise you that.

The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Rating: 5 stars

 

First let me say, I love Holly Black. She is absolutely, a wonderful writer. I can never get enough Holly Black. She is one of the few authors that I do not have to read the description of the book, I will just read it and know I will like it. No matter what. The Cruel Prince is no different.

I received the OwlCrate special edition, which is why my book looks different than the originals that came out.

The Cruel Prince is about Jude, a human, whose mother and father were  murdered and she was drug back to Faeire by her half-sister’s Fae father, General Madoc. There he raised Jude, her twin sister Taryn, and her half-Sister Vivienne.

Because General Madoc was Gentry, Jude was taught in school with other Gentry Fae kids. They did not like Jude and Taryn. Jude would not take it, though Taryn would be submissive because she wanted to be a wife. Jude wanted to be a knight, and trained heavily with General Madoc, who would not permit her to try out for knighthood. Prince Cardan, who is the cruel prince, is very mean to Jude. He torments her, and she fights and pushes back. His torment pushes Jude to began scheming, and making her own plans for her future, not caring if she dies, as she lost her fear along time ago. This makes her almost reckless, but as she goes with the flow, she grows.

There is so much intrigue, betrayal, and attitude in this book. I sucked it down whole and could not get enough. I found myself unable to breathe at times because of what was happening. This book captivated me around chapter 4 or 5 and sucked me in that I read into the wee hours of the night, devouring over half of the book. It was bittersweet to let go of at the end, I do not want to wait a year for the sequel to come out.

Do read this book. It is high fantasy at its finest. Black’s writing style is so fluid and easy to follow. My chest was pounding throughout the story. Go read it!

Submerging

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Submerging by C.S. Johnson, narrated by Nicholas Sanister

Rating: 4 stars

Narrator Rating: 2 stars

 

I received a copy of Submerging in exchange for my honest review.

 Submerging is the third book in the Starlight Chronicles by C.S. Johnson. This is the story where Dinger a lot of his memories back and is able to see who he was before he fell, and find out why he fell. There is still a lot of mystery around Starry Knight. I still try to sort out who it might be, though I have some suspicions.

I did enjoy this story, and I am growing more fond of Dinger in all of his assholiness, however, I still have some concerns about him. In general, the series has been good, and Dinger’s personality (though annoying) is essential. As the reader continues through the story, the reasons for his personality start making more sense. If I can be honest, I wish his parents knew he was. It also sucks that he has to literally drop everything (leave a date, leave class, not show up for practice) whenever anything happens and calls him to battle.

This story has many underlying religious elements. Normally I wouldn’t complain so much, but I felt it was too overdone. I am hoping it is not so much in the other stories in my continuation through the series. I am not religious, however, I have read many Christian Fiction books and they are okay and do not overdo certain concepts. Here, it felt like everything was thrown at the reader, and it felt constant, and it was exhausting. (For the record, I respect other people’s beliefs). The first two books, the religious elements were hidden between the lines, which made it more enjoyable.

As with Calling, the narrator is meh. The audio editing is bad. When he makes mistakes, there are silent pauses and you can here him say “oh” and he rereads the section again like he lost where he was. He again did this several times. I usually do not condone the changing of narrators in series, but, I would stand behind a change in this narrator 10000000000%.

I look forward to the ultimate finale of the series. I have a hard time not knowing what is going to happen. With the rate things are going, it is hard as the reader to believe it will end, and the town will have a reprieve. It feels like the town may have to have Wingdinger and Starry Knight to protect them for the rest of eternity at this point. There is a lot of action and there are hardly any points in which the story feels slow.

Calling

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Calling by C.S. Johnson, Narrated by Nicholas Santasier

Rating: 5 stars

Narrator Rating: 2 stars

 

I was given a copy of Calling in audio format in exchange for my honest review.

Calling is the second installment in the Starlight Chronicles. It continues to follow Dinger as he decides to “quit” being a starlight defender.  Being a defender became too much for him. He struggles with balancing a new girlfriend, school, swimming, his friends, and even his mom trying to sue Starry Night and Wingdinger on behalf of the city. As events unfold, Dinger slowly starts regretting his decision. Some of his cockiness starts to dissipate, even though he is still highly arrogant. I look forward to his continued growth in becoming an actual likable character. Even though I do not currently like him, his character traits are vital to the story so it works out and continues to be enjoyable. I really liked that this story took to the theme of what happens when people become jealous and the monsters they become. I am curious if Dinger has always been so narcissistic or at what point did it happen in his life where he felt so entitled.

I reviewed book one from an ebook format. This is the first book in the series I have reviewed as the audio version. I do not like the narrator. His voices all sound the same so sometimes it is hard to know who is talking. Also, the editing on this audio was not the greatest. There were several parts where the narrator stopped reading and picked up again, like he had lost his place. He also stumbled on a couple of sentences/words. I would listen to the story in parts, because it takes a little while to get used to the narration style. I will continue to review the books in this series for the audio format, but I can’t guarantee I will continue to listen to the narrator in future books. I feel I am being over generous for the narrator’s rating. I hope as he gets more comfortable in the story line, it becomes better. But also, in his defense, the editing is the fault of whomever is in charge for cutting out those bits and pieces where there are pauses or mistakes that are supposed to help the story flow smoothly. That is why I gave the generous 2. I can’t fault someone for making a mistake in the narration, when whomever edits is supposed to cut those parts out.

Even though I enjoyed the books, I think the narrator may be a miss for some people. That is why I give a narrator rating as well. The story was great, fast paced, never dull, and action packed. It is uniquely original in a sea full of the same styles of stories.

I look forward to watching the chemistry between Starry Night and Wingdinger unfold. I have my guesses of who Starry Night is, and am anxiously waiting until her identity is revealed. I have a sneaky suspicion that Dinger is not going to be too thrilled. I wont give away who I think it is, because I think readers and listeners should make their guesses themselves, because it is highly entertaining!! I also hope that there is more development in the Seven Deadly Sinisters and Orpheus. They are very intriguing and I look forward to learning more of their back story (hopefully) throughout the series.

 

 

Slumbering

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Slumbering by C.S. Johnson

Rating 5 stars

I received a copy of Slumbering in exchange for an honest review.

Slumbering is an uniquely, original, YA epic fantasy about a teenage boy that learns he was once a warrior for a Star Prince and at some point was sent to earth where he became human until his powers unlocked. As such, this story is about his “acceptance ” of responsibility for his role to fight off evil demons and protect his friends and community (the latter more so out of obligation than desire).

Even though I have given the book 5 stars, I absolutely cannot stand Hamilton Dinger. He makes the story hard to get into because he is so narcissistic it makes the story as a whole almost unbearable. Dinger thinks he is God’s gift to humanity (even though he would not agree that he was God’s gift…just a gift to everyone through nature ). So why the 5 stars? Because I couldn’t put it down and I found myself secretly hoping he gets it together and stops being such an asshat.

The book is a fairly quick read and flows well. It is also a completely original epic fantasy YA, which is hard to come by these days. It offers a unique story that is intriguing and will spark curiosity for the rest of the series and intrigue as to how this war will ultimately go down.

As much as I can’t stand Dinger, I am hoping he has a lot of character development that makes him a more likable super hero. It is entirely unfortunate that a jerk like him gets something so awesome and he continues to be arrogant. We all know what happens to arrogant superheroes.

The bulk of this story is to set up the characters in the story line, introduce some of the demons and what their end game is, as well as, portray Dinger as a jerk. Honestly, I don’t feel sorry for anything that happens to Dinger.

If you are curious about this book and would be interested in reading it for yourself (which I recommend) you can check it out: Amazon

Keep posted as I am currently listening to the next installment of the story!

Geekerella

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Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Geekerella is a modern-day Cinderella fairytale featuring Danielle, or Ella, who resides with her “stepmonster” and evil twin step-sisters. This book has everything from teen heart throbs, bloggers, CONS, witchy evil characters who are mean, and moments that touch the reader’s heart.

The great thing about this book is the total geekiness/fandom the story provides. First, it is a retelling of Cinderella. Ella does everything in the house, while trying to retain memories of her deceased parents. Ella tries to actively keep their memory alive, while the Stepmonster tries desperately to squash it out of Ella like some fly buzzing around a summer cake. Second, it has a mysterious budding friendship between Ella and THE Darien Freeman, who in this story, is kind of a big deal. Ella cannot stand that Mr. Heartthrob with insured abs is cast as the lead character in Starfield, Carmindor. She rants and raves about it on her blog…needless to say…Darien actually texts Ella thinking she is her father and the two have a budding friendship, with developing feelings. And the kicker… he has no clue she is THE Reblegunner blogger squashing his name in this role, and she has no clue he is Darien Freeman.

Of course, there are twists, and turns, and Ella goes to the ball, and then is grounded until death. But the adventures are fun and it turns into being a cute story that leaves the reader with feelings of joy and delight.

This story is an easy read, the whole book flew by pretty quickly. I like when books are just easy. Having said that, I wish there were a bit more challenges for Ella to overcome. Sure, glass slippers, and hopelessly devoted Carmindors are searching the States for Ella to confess their young love to, but I wish some of the interactions between “Stepmonster”, Catherine, and Ella were more indicative of the crap relationship enslaving Ella. Sure, Catherine is a witch with a capital B, but Ella was a spitfire and sometimes talked back. So I wanted MORE to go down between the two of them. Also, the last chapter or two, just breezed by eight months later…and I wish that was also a bit more dramatic than what it is lead to believe. The book follows the POV of Darien and Ella, and sometimes it focused too much on the little things, so when the drama did happen, it fizzled pretty quickly and didn’t pack quite the punch it could have. BUT. It was still a cute story, and I am still giving a decent rating. It was still entertaining, and one part in particular really had me teary. And when a book makes me cry, it gets a higher rating. We all need an ugly cry from time to time.

Finally, I loved what the book means for nerd girls. Ella was this nerdy girl who really thought she was a nobody throughout the ENTIRE story. It took all of her challenges she did go through like befriending a moody coworker, helping create a cosplay costume, dealing with stepmonster and the evil twins, introducing others to the glory of Starfield, and making unconventional friends from the stars. In Darien’s case, he sometimes came off whiney and I am not sure why it took him so long to take a stand. I felt that the drama between him and Brian could have been better written because it read weird. But I liked Darien. Closet geek. Those are the best.

And remember, look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.