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.

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.

 

 

RoseBlood

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RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

 

RoseBlood came to me via one of my OwlCrate boxes. I immediately started to read it because I had enjoyed Howard’s Splintered so much, I just knew RoseBlood had to be just as good. Well, this was sort of a miss for me. I have never read or even watched The Phantom of the Opera so I know some things may be lost on me. I was intrigued by the story and had been looking forward to reading it when I first received it.

I want to end on a positive note with my book review, so I will start with what I didn’t like. The pace was not great. It was so slow starting out that it wasn’t until about halfway through the book, things got exciting. Also, completely pace related, but the climax of the story was kind of anti-climatic for me. The entire culmination of events happened in a few short pages, and then the last 10ish or so pages was how Rune dealt with the aftermath. Also, at the end, all is forgiven…and I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Finally, the ink is red. This may seem like such a small minute detail, but it often hurt my eyes and I would constantly have to focus harder on the words. I get that it was supposed to enhance the eeriness and nostalgia to the story, but it got to be uncomfortable.

So things that I liked. I really enjoyed the budding relationship between Etalon and Rune. I wish I could have had more Etalon than was given. I am glad for how it ended, and would have been distraught had the ending been different. I would love to read a story about Etalon, but more exciting than RoseBlood. I liked Rune, even though I wished her history was a bit more beefed up. I really liked Aunt Catherine and wished she had a larger role during the story…she had a larger role at the end, but would have been nice to have her around more. I mean, I understand why, without giving any spoilers, but I still would have liked it. I feel she could have added some comic relief when needed :).  As a reader, it is important to feel the connection between Etalon and Rune, because, as the story infers, it is electric and intense. I felt that way reading their interactions. This is the biggest reason I rated up instead of down.