Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1) Richelle Mead

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Sci-Fi/dystopian/paranormal
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Release date: June 4, 2013

Series: Age of X #1

Source: Edelweiss

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

Dr. March used to be the best Servitor the RUNA (Republic of United North America) had, until he filled and turned in an highly controversial rapport of his latest investigation. He was thanked (to be polite) and shipped off to exile, wherever he wanted to, as long as it’s far away. After 4 years away from glorious Vancouver, Justin is thrilled to come back to investigate a series of weird murders, RUNA needing his particular field of expertise. Mae got herself in trouble after fighting at a funeral, surprisingly (..not) super soldiers’ fights are frond upon, and this lack of control nearly got her suspended. Instead, she finds herself bodyguard to good looking but annoying Dr. March. Nothing to improve her mood…

I’m a huge Richelle Mead fan, and I was anxiously waiting this new adult series. I loved her Succubus series and its highly likeable characters and truly miss this series. I’m afraid to say though, that even though I liked Age of X #1, I still prefer Georgina.

Let’s get the negative aspect out of the way before I tell you why I liked Gameboard of the Gods, shall we? My biggest issue was the lack of a glossary. I read an eARC from Edelweiss, and I hope.. no pray, that there is a lexicon included in the print version. See, Mead created a very Sci-fi oriented world with very unique terminology and 30% into the book, I was STILL confused with it all. At that point, she posted a glossary on her blog, which made my reading experience much more enjoyable. It was that much more complicated to follow at first because there is a proper and a slang version of the terminology, for example:

Patriarchy, Patrician, Patricians – Those who clung to their ethnic heritage and were exempted from genetic mandates after the Decline because of financial contributions to the early government. Patricians identify with a particular culture (Irish, Egyptian, etc.) and select for features associated with that culture. Many patricians still live off of that early wealth and have established aristocratic mini-societies on special regions allocated to them, called land grants. "Caste" and "castal" are slang terms for patricians used by the rest of the country.

(source)

It’s not that easy to understand with an actual definition, imagine how confused I was without one.

The second aspect I wasn’t crazy about is actually a character. Richelle Mead wrote her story from three different point of views: Mae’s (a supernatural soldier), Justin (an investigator of religious groups) and Tessa (a teen from the Provinces), all in third person narration. I think I would’ve prefer if it was narrated in first person, seeing as she bothered to have multiple POV, but my concern is Tessa. I thought she was simply useless to the story. The novel would’ve been much better without her, and unless Richelle has got big plan’s for her in future books, I don’t even know why she existed. I guess Mead wanted her to give us an outsider’s perceptive of the RUNAs world, but it fell flat. Sure she provided an important clue to the investigation near the end of the book, but that proof could’ve been brought directly to Mae and it would’ve been just fine.

Now that it’s off my chest… the good parts! After I overcame the lexicon, I truly enjoyed the very original world Richelle Mead created. The world survived what they call The Decline. Humanity faced a terrible virus called Mephistopheles and half the population died. After much research they discovered that mixed genetic background provided resistance to the virus, and its hereditary disease, Cain. The RUNA was then created, controlling birthing to increase diversity and crashing any religious beliefs at same time. It’s a very engrossing setup and I liked how Mead highlighted the different living conditions between RUNA, Land Grants (where people who bought the right to stick to their ethnicity) and the Provinces (uncontrolled lands).

The technology also provided a very strong sci-fi aspect to this mix of dystopian/paranormal set-up. Everyone has identity chips, egos (super advanced smart-phones) and they have driverless cars, etc. Some of the technology is also more invasive. Mae, the lead female, is a Praetorian, a super soldier with an implant that increases their body’s response, improving their natural abilities.

Mae and Justin really sealed the deal for me. I truly loved them both for different reasons. Justin is this super good looking guy who had a different woman in bed every night and is very self-centered. Despite it all, he is very likeable and I loved how he cared for Mae while trying to stay away. Mae was also amazing. She has a hard past and is wary of relationships in general. She is strong and fierce and has a fun side underneath her stern facade. A couple of secondary characters also spoke to me, particularly Dag and Val, I hope we see more of them in the next novels.

I was really engrossed in the plot once I understood the world. Multiple aspects interspersed throughout the whole novel and I enjoyed its complexity. There’s the investigation of a series a murder, and both religious and paranormal aspects seems involved, there’s the complicated relationship between Mae and Justin and their respective private issue. All in all, a lot of food for thought and an original lore to tie it all.

The conclusion proved satisfying even though I’m still craving some answers. I find myself particularly curious of Dominic and I hope we get to know more about his past in the next novel!

If you pick up Gameboard of the Gods, and I encourage you to, do yourself a favor and read Richelle’s glossary (if its not in the book) before you read the novel. It’ll save you a lot of trouble and won’t shadow your reading experience. Contrary to the summary’s suggestion, I didn’t get any Vampire Academy vibes from this novel, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Read an excerpt

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Pros and Cons by Jenna Black

Pros and Cons by Jenna Black Pros and Cons by Jenna Black

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
E-book: 82 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release date: February 25, 2013

Series: Nikki Glass #2.5

Source: Review copy from publisher

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon

An original eNovella in the acclaimed Nikki Glass urban fantasy series, taking place between the events of the novels Deadly Descendant and Rogue Descendant.

As a living descendant of Artemis the Huntress, private investigator Nikki Glass knows how to track someone down—but this time, her latest case leads to unexpected revelations of lies and betrayal…

Coming in at 82 pages, PROS AND CONS is a nice, quick story to tide you over until the release of ROGUE DESCENDANT, the third book in the Nikki Glass series. It doesn’t have much to do with the overall series story but it does reference events from DARK DESCENDANT so you may not want to read PROS AND CONS if you’re not caught up.

In this e-novella, Nikki gets back to her pre-Liberi roots, working a case as a private eye. She decides to take a case no other P.I. will touch when she tackles Heather Fellowes’ problem: tracking down a man she met in a bar with only his first name to go by. Being a Nikki Glass story, it’s not a straightforward situation but Nikki does a great job of realizing there’s more going on and this leads us on a short but satisfying adventure. I really enjoyed being back in Nikki’s world and this case proved to be a welcome diversion from the bigger problems on Nikki’s plate, for both me and Nikki.

With such a short story it’s hard to find a lot to say but I’m confident fans of the series will enjoy this snippet into Nikki’s life. We get to see her in her former glory, though parts of her new life do seep in. It may be possible to read this without being familiar with the series but I wouldn’t encourage it since there are allusions to the two preceding novels and to series mythology that isn’t explained in great detail. You’d be much better off starting with DARK DESCENDANT and working your way forward from there if you’re interested in sampling the Nikki Glass series.

PROS AND CONS has done an excellent job of whetting my appetite for the next novel-length instalment in Nikki’s story. You’ll find me at the bookstore on April 30, getting my copy of ROGUE DESCENDANT!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimée Carter

carter - goddess inheritance

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimée Carter

Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Trade Paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: February 26, 2013

Series: The Goddess Test #3

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: NetGalley

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Love or life.

Henry or their child.

The end of her family or the end of the world.

Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can’t stop her—until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he’ll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

Even thought I’m not in love with this series, I can truly say that I’m satisfied with this last book of The Goddess Test series. As a true fan of Greek mythology I think, overall, I was a little bit disappointed with the writing of the trilogy. However, I have to admit that Aimée Carter knows how to tell a good story. She got me hooked with the goddess test the main character Kate had to go through to become a replacement for the goddess Persephone in book one, but after that, it felt like the rest of the series coasted on neutral.

We saw the main character, Kate, mature throughout the series, just like we saw Aimée’s writing mature from book to book. Personally, I wonder if this series would have been better if it hadn’t been the author’s debut. I think she shows a lot of promise and hopefully her future characters and scenes will be more realistic. There are multiple scenes where characters spit out these long(ish) monologues and heart felt speeches but rarely do we come across these types of conversations in real life. When I read a book, I want to be able to relate to the characters and I want them to be as realistic as possible, but when the characters say odd things that would make me laugh in real life, I think it shows a lack of authenticity. Maybe that makes me a little cynical, but that’s how I feel when I read a scene with sappy monologues.

But enough about the actual writing. THE GODDESS INHERITANCE will definitively surprise you! Characters actually die (gasp!), and not all of them are bad guys (double gasp!!!). I won’t spoil the story for you but I think it’s fitting that the deaths aren’t limited to the “bad guys.” The fighting scenes between Kate and her enemies were a little hard to follow and lacked a little action and excitement but the end result was exactly as I anticipated. There was a bit a of a lull in the middle of the book that had me anticipated some more interesting bits, so once the climax was near, I couldn’t put the book down.

My favorite part of the book was the relationship between Kate and her new husband, Henry, God of the Underworld. You wouldn’t expect the God of the Underworld to be able to love anyone, but I’m envious of the relationship between him and Kate. Despite his difficulty in showing emotion, in THE GODDESS INHERITANCE, we finally get to see the Henry we’ve been expecting right from the start. And I think it helped a lot to see Henry and Kate bond over their newborn baby, despite all the issue they had during Kate’s pregnancy and after she gave birth.

Overall, I think the series has been entertaining enough to follow, but it won’t be at top of my recommendation lists. Fans of Greek Mythology will without a doubt be attracted to the books and will most probably enjoy the modern day view of the Gods, but they must be warned that the trilogy isn’t an actual myth retelling. It’s more of an expansion or an elaboration of the original myths. I’m probably one of the few that hasn’t completely fallen in love with this series, so if any of you out there have read The Goddess Test series, let me know what you think. Did you love it? Enjoy it? Or was it just “ok” for you too?

Read an excerpt (scroll down)

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Daring You To Read…White Tiger by Kylie Chan

Daring you to read

Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!

You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^

This week, I’m daring you to read a book I just discovered: WHITE TIGER by Kylie Chan. I’ve seen her books in the store before but it took me a while to pick her first book up. Now that I have, I’m so excited that there are six more instalments available right now!

Set primarily in Hong Kong, WHITE TIGER is steeped in Chinese mythology and martial arts. It’s the first book in the Dark Heavens trilogy, a series of books that follows Emma Donahoe, an Aussie working in Hong Kong as a nanny for John Chen, a very rich businessman. Her days are filled taking care of John’s daughter Simone but it doesn’t take long for Emma to realize there’s more to John, Simone, and their household than at first glance. There may also be more to Emma than any of them realized (including Emma herself) and we get to accompany Emma as she learns all about the hidden world of Chinese shen (gods/spirits) and begins to practice wudang.

I would consider this book to be urban fantasy but it’s not as fast-paced as what you typically see in the genre these days. Instead, things are slowly revealed, letting the reader learn about this world in a very digestible manner. As much as I love an edge-of-your-seat-thrill-ride, I really appreciated the more moderate pace of WHITE TIGER since there’s a lot of mythology that I wasn’t familiar with. The author delivers it in very manageable bits, and always just enough that you have to know more! Even now, having finished the book, I feel like there is so much more to learn about this incredible world.

If that’s not enough, Emma is also an atypical UF heroine. She’s an Aussie in Hong Kong, working as a teacher and tutor, who eventually becomes a full-time nanny, not the usual career path we see in the genre. She’s also slightly overweight, has average looks, and doesn’t have any powers, just a keen mind and a good heart. Watching her fall in love with Simone and her father was lovely. Watching her figure out what exactly goes on in John’s life was awesome because Emma’s just so on the ball. She may be a newbie in the world of magic and demons but she’s quick to understand the implications, and brave enough to stand by John and Simone when it would be much easier to run.

And then there’s John. He is a very cool character. Because WHITE TIGER is told through Emma’s eyes, we get to know John as she does and he is excellent. He’s got so much depth and tragedy. I loved it but I don’t want to say too much so that you can have the same sense of discovery I did!

WHITE TIGER is full of wonderful characters, amazing world building, and the promise of even greater things to come. I really do hope I’ve convinced you to give WHITE TIGER a try. I’ve put the rest of the trilogy on my Christmas wish list so here’s hoping they’re under the tree later this month. If not, you’ll find me at the bookstore in the “C” section on Boxing Day!

Want more? I bet you do! Here’s the cover copy for WHITE TIGER:

White Tiger by Kylie ChanACTION, INTRIGUE, DEMONS AND DRAGONS

Kylie Chan creates a fast and furious story balanced between the celestial and the mortal, the powerful and the innocent …

Emma Donahue has just started her new job as nanny to Simone, the daughter of John Chen, a very rich Hong Kong businessman. She understands that Simone may be a target for kidnappers but she does not expect to be drawn into a world of martial arts, magic and extreme danger, where both gods and demons can exist in the mortal domain.

When John and his American bodyguard, Leo, teach Emma their particular style of martial arts, they begin to realise that Emma herself is more than she seems …

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

And here’s the rest of the trilogy:

Red Phoenix by Kylie ChanBlue Dragon by Kylie Chan

If that’s not enough, there’s also a subsequent trilogy, Journey to Wudang:

Earth to Hell by Kylie ChanHell to Heaven by Kylie ChanHeaven to Wudang by Kylie Chan

And a prequel novella featuring Gold:

Small Shen by Kylie Chan

What do you think? Have you read this series? Are you willing to accept my dare?

Jenn

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter, #0)Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release date: January 31st 2002

Series: Dark Hunter #0

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Dear Reader,
Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn’t. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior’s day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander’s sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace–the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon

Grace’s love – and sex – life leaves a lot to be desired since Paul abused her in college. Even though she’s a sex therapist. Her friend Selena is so worried about her friend’s four years of chastity that she decides to take matters in hands. Gypsy and believer, she forces Grace to summon a Greek love-slave named Julian de Macedone from a very ancient book. Took by surprise when the spell actually worked, Grace is stuck with a sex god who wants nothing but to jump her bones, for a whole month, until the spell fades.

Fantasy Lover is pure Paranormal Romance and even if you’ll find some humor here and there, don’t pick it up hoping for action or suspense of any kind, because you’ll be disappointed. That being said, I really enjoyed this quick and simmering read.

Grace and Julian are really great characters with troubled past, his worst than hers considering he has two thousands years of past. Getting to discover them and their motivations was a delight and their struggles sometimes heart-breaking. I even found myself teary eyed at a certain moment.

The Greek mythology was really interesting. I couldn’t tell you how accurate it is ‘cause I’m no expert but it was a refreshing lore. The plot line was also consistent and enjoyable, if not very surprising. Finally, the end put a balm on the characters wounds and the epilogue was enchanting.

It’s a good beginning to the series and I can’t wait to see where Sherrilyn will take us for the second round.

Read an excerpt

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Silver by Talia Vance

talia vance - silverSilver by Talia Vance

Books Stats:
Reading level: New Adult
Genre: Paranormal/Celtic Mythology
Trade paperback: 374 pages
Publisher: Flux
Release date: September 8, 2012

Series: Bandia #1

Source: Publisher

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

"As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away."

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can’t resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna’s charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she’s been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.

Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.

Love that’s destined to cause feuds and wars. There’s something about that type of love that has readers coming back for more. Personally, I think Talia Vance created a wonderful romance between her two main characters, Brianna and Blake. However, SILVER isn’t just a simple love story. Brianna is a teenage girl who, until recently, was ignored by everyone. Not ignored in the sense that no one liked her, but in the sense that no one was actually aware of her. Because of something paranormal. Her high school years were spent in the shadows of her friends as she saw them fall in and out of love. But for Brianna, going out with a boy wasn’t possible because boys literally had no clue she was there. I think this theme of being invisible in high school is very interesting, even though Talia Vance isn’t the first one to elaborate on it. I mean, probably everyone ends up feeling invisible, once in their lifetime, so it’s a great way to have the readers form a link with the main character.

As a huge fan of Greek Mythology, it was no surprised that the Irish Mythology from this book enthralled me. The mythology and the world Talia Vance has created is refreshing and very interesting. However, it does feel like the author was in a rush to write out her story and I truly think more time could have been dedicated to details of the paranormal aspects. As a descendent of Danu, an Irish goddess, Brianna is considered a Bandia and must learn how to manage her new and destructive powers, all on her own. Especially controlling her attractiveness and appeal from anyone surrounding her because being recognized and noticed might not be in her best interest. Since the book left me wanting more information on the Bandias, I found myself searching the Internet for more details. My search didn’t reveal much so I’m assuming the author elaborated quite a bit on the myth surrounding Danu and truly made it her own.That being said, I hope we learn more about the Bandias in the future books.

I think a lot of the book’s appeal comes from the fast pace and the easy flow. Never a dull moment, the story is very youth oriented because of the gossip and teenage quarrels, but it adds so many interesting bits. Conflicts between Brianna and the group of men set out to destroy all the Bandias also creates interesting action that’s sure to please any type of readers.

One last thing I want to mention is Brianna’s love of horses. Obviously horses are a symbol of Irish culture and her dedication to horses was a great way to foreshadow her Irish roots. I think small details like this make novels so much more complete and enjoyable. For a debut, I think SILVER was well written but I really hope to get more information about the world of the Bandias in the future release. SILVER will surely be stacked on many shelves this fall because it’s a debut YA novel you don’t want to miss. Let yourself be enthralled by the Bandias and I’m sure you won’t regret it!

Read an excerpt

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Giveaway and Tour Stop: The Goddess Legacy by Aimée Carter

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I’m happy to be one of the tour stops for Aimée Carter’s The Goddess Legacy tour today. It’s a nice teaser book for the fans of the series who are waiting impatiently for the next book of series. The Goddess Legacy features novellas from many different characters that Aimée Carter has introduced us to. Here’s more information about the book, which ends up being book 2.5 of the series.

Goddess-Legacy_cover-637x1024

For millennia we’ve caught only glimpses, of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.

Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….

Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal….

Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….

James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others-but never knew true loss before….

Henry/Hades’s solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope….

Five original novellas of love, loss and longing and the will to survive throughout the ages.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Click on the covers below to read my thoughts on book 1 and 2.

carter the-goddess-test2 9780373210459_TS_SMP.indd

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Underworld

My love for Greek mythology started when I was in 7th grade when we were asked to present to the class an independent study. We could present anything we wanted and for a reason I don’t remember, I chose to present Greek Mythology. My “love affair” with these myths began at a young age but the “love” story of Persephone and Hades will always remain my favorite myth.

As part of the blog tour, I was asked to review and feature one of the novella from the book and you can imagine how happy I was when I was given the novella that features Persephone.

My obsession with the myth is quite obvious since, when I first discovered the art print called Persephone Destroys (images below) from Schin’s Etsy shop, I knew I had to purchase a print or something. Because, let’s all agree, it looks pretty amazing. When I noticed that I could actually buy a bookmark, it was as if it was made for me! I even added my purchase to one of my Stacking the Shelves posts!

Persephone Destroys book mark

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So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on one of the novellas from The Goddess Legacy,

The Goddess of The Underworld

To be truthful, I was quite disappointed with this novella. I expected Aimée Carter to deviate from the real myth but not to this extent. She didn’t really stay true to the original myth and I at least expected to see the symbol of the pomegranate to make an appearance. But the forbidden fruit was nowhere to be found in that story even if it was mentioned later on in another novella. Although I was disappointed with the the story, I think it explained quite a lot about Aimée’s Persephone character. Described as selfish and unfaithful, it’s exactly how I pictured her in the first two books of the series. I could not find any pity for her and her arrange marriage to Hades. You would think with the new title of Queen of the Underworld she would have at least tried to make her marriage work, but for some reason, she could not find within herself the ability to love or at least recognize her partnership.

However, I must admit the novella provided the much needed background information the previous books lacked. We now understand why Hades/Henry was in need of a new queen and why he’s so gloomy and moody all the time. Despite her selfishness, Persephone was able to redeem herself at the end (even if she somewhat did it for herself). You can’t help but feel bad for Hades/Henry, and after reading this novella, I’m truly hoping it ends well between him and Kate. Fans of the series will enjoy this novella because it answers so many questions about the mystery surrounding Persephone’s past.

You can read my full review of the book here.

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Each tour host is offering the chance to win a copy of The Goddess Legacy to one (1) lucky winner and a grand prize full of “Goddess Goodies” to be chosen from among all the entries from all of the tour stops!

To enter the giveaway, obey the rafflecopter!

Giveaway ends October 1st, 2012.

Open to US and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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aimee carterAbout Aimée Carter

Aimée Carter was born and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. She started writing at age eleven and later attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a degree in screen arts and cultures. Currently she spends her time continuing with The Goddess Test series and working on new projects. You can tweet her at @aimee_carter or catch updates on her website.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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The Goddess Legacy by Aimée Carter

Goddess-Legacy_cover-637x1024

The Goddess Legacy by Aimée Carter

Books Stats:
Reading level: New Adult
Genre: Paranormal/Greek Mythology
Trade paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: July 31, 2012

Series: Goddess Test #2.5

Source: Netgalley

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

For millennia we’ve caught only glimpses, of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.

Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….

Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal….

Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….

James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others-but never knew true loss before….

Henry/Hades’ solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope….

Five original novellas of love, loss and longing and the will to survive throughout the ages.

I rarely read anthologies. I tend to stay away from them because most of the time, I only know one of the authors that have written the stories and I’m not interested in reading short stories or novellas from series I’ve never read before. However, reading an anthology like THE GODDESS LEGACY really appeals to me because it’s only written by one author, and all the novellas in the book are from the same series (of which I’ve read all the books).

THE GODDESS LEGACY was a good addition to THE GODDESS TEST and GODDESS INTURRUPTED. If it’s even possible, I think I enjoyed some of these novellas more than the previous books. The novellas add so much more background information about many of the characters. First, we meet Hera and we more or less begin to understand why she did those things in the previous books. Then we see Hephaestus and Ares fight for Aphrodite’s love. Persephone makes an appearance in her own novella and we truly learn why she left Hades. Hermes also has his own story in which he learns more about the mortals and explains to the other gods why they should take on new, modern names. And of course, the anthology wouldn’t be complete without Hades’ story where we learn how hard it was for him to find his new queen.

Personally, I don’t find the novellas are meant to be read individually. Combined, the five novellas tell one big story, with five different point of views. The flow from story to story is perfect and allows the reader to enter a new story without any problems.

One theme that is dominant in each story is love. Whether it’s a tragic love story or a heart warming love story, the main character of each novella face difficult issues as they deal with love and unfaithfulness. Not only was Aimée Carter able to give us more information about the individual gods and goddesses, she also found similarities in each of them by drawing out the human emotion out of each character. Fans of The Goddess Test series will enjoy this anthology because it answers so many questions about the mystery surrounding Persephone’s past and all the other gods that are so important in Aimée’s series. Also, it’s a good teaser as we wait for book 3 to be published!

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Boyfriend From Hell by Jamie Quaid

Boyfriend from Hell (Saturn's Daughter, #1)Boyfriend From Hell by Jamie Quaid

Book Stats:
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release date: September 25, 2012

Series: Saturn’s Daughter #1

Source: Edelweiss

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

They say justice is blind. But Justine isn’t.

Justine (Tina) Clancy is just an ordinary law student with a faulty arrest record, a part-time job in Baltimore’s radioactive Zone, and a family secret so bizarre even she doesn’t believe it. That is, until in a fit of fury she damns her boyfriend to hell—and it’s exactly where he ends up.

Much to her surprise, Tina is apparently one of Saturn’s daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But poor Max didn’t deserve to go up in flames, even if he did almost run her over with her own car. Tina’s convinced someone cut the brakes—and now a relentless nemesis is stalking her through the Zone’s back alleys, where buildings glow, statues move, and chemical waste exposure comes with interesting consequences. Tina’s usually a loner, but now she needs a posse like no other: a shape-shifting kitten, an invisible thief, a biker gang, a snake-charming private detective, a well-meaning cop, and her sleazy, sexy boss. But in between freeing Max from hell, saving her own neck, and solving a mystery that threatens the Zone and her newfound friends, how is she ever going to study for finals?

Life has been hard on Justine Clancy. Her mom moved her around all the time then ditched her to move to Europe, she’s been physically crippled by a police officer and spent months in the hospital afterward and kept a limp as a reminder and has to work in The Zone to survive while finishing law school. Let’s say she had enough on her plate, but everything got worst when her boyfriend tried to kill her then died, right after she witnessed a couple of students being run over and her cash deposit had been stolen. To say it was a bad day doesn’t cover it.

I would lie if I said I was sold to this book right away, but after a few chapters I was really into it! The Zone is a post chemical spill area good –and smart- people usual avoid. Glowing in the dark buildings might have its charms, but if the building glows, you can’t help but wonder what it will do to your DNA. Quaid introduce an original Lore where people living in the area for a while changes, on top of mystical Gods involvement. I have to say, even after finishing the novel the God part is still pretty hazy to me, so hopefully Jamie will reveal more about it – and Justine’s powers- in the following novels.

The characters were most definitely my favourite part of this urban fantasy novel. Clancy is a loveable and capable woman with good intentions but questionable methods. Her rather unusual technics makes for a highly entertaining read and I really liked her “hands off the annoying but oh so sexy boss” policy. Said boss is quite a mystery and I really can’t wait to learn more about him because I thougth he was awesome and his exasperation toward Justine is simply priceless. Tina is surrounded by an amazing selection of characters and I don’t what to mention every one of them, but her cat is worth a howler!

I truly enjoyed the plot and The Zone citizens’ twisted sense of justice. The novel is action-packed from beginning to end, sparkled with a great dose of humour and just a touch of romance. I really think Boyfriend From Hell has everything to please urban fantasy lovers and I would definitely recommend it. Jamie is offering us an highly original tale, because quite frankly, I can’t think of any other novel I could compare it to. I’m anxious for the second instalment!

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The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld, #2)The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books
Release date: November 1st 2007

Series: Lords of the Underworld #2

Source: Personal Shelf

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

She has tempted many men…but never found her equal. Until now.

Though she has lived for centuries, Anya, goddess of anarchy, has never known pleasure. Until Lucien, the incarnation of death–a warrior eternally doomed to take souls to the hereafter. He draws her like no other. And Anya will risk anything to have him.

But when the merciless Lord of the Underworld is ordered by the gods to claim Anya herself, their uncontrollable attraction becomes an anguished pursuit. Now they must defeat the unconquerable forces that control them, before their thirst for one another demands a sacrifice of love beyond imagining…

Lucien, the Keeper of Death, is known amongst his brothers for his legendary calm. Carting souls to both Heaven and Hell all day requires some detachment if you hope to retain some semblance of sanity. His carefully woven calm will shatter though when the Goddess of Anarchy enters his life, hoping to sway him. Little Anya is rather successful, but Chronus, the God of Gods, has other plans and orders Lucien to kill her, or else…

The Darkest Kiss is the second installment in the Lords of the Underworld series and it was another good one. I liked the first book because it introduced us to the amazing Lore Showalter created, but the romance lacked sincerity. The Darkest Kiss though put the Lore a bit on the back burner and offered a full blown romance to enjoy! Don’t get me wrong, our demon-possessed heroes are still on a quest to freedom, fighting Hunters and battling their inner demons, but the romance between Lucien and Anya take the front row and I enjoyed it.

Lucien and Anya’s relationship is doomed from the start, what with Chronus asking him to kill her from the get go. Lucien has been attracted to her since she helped his brother Maddox at the end of the first book and she’s been stalking him since Chronus threatened her to send him after her, Lucien’s scars and demeanor growing on her. Their first meeting in the flesh was electric, but Lucien can’t believe she’d be attracted to his damaged body and is convinced she’s playing him. Both of them have serious self-confidence and trusting issues which makes for some seriously entertaining courting. They spend their time pushing each other away, trying to kill each other, yet kissing with fiery passion. Both of them extremely attracted to the other, yet unwilling to give in, keeping actual sex scenes to a minimum level but passion levels sky high.

As I mentioned before, the series plot arc took a background role in this installment and this book’s focus revolved around Lucien & Anya. Will they end up killing each other? Will they succumb to the passion? Will Anya cave in and offer Chronus what he wants to save her life? How would they trick the god to get out of this mess unscathed? The whole story is about this huge dilemma and I have to say I was really surprised with the outcome.

On a side note, I really like that the model on the cover as mismatched eyes like Lucien, but where are his scars? He is suppose to scare women away, yet he is all pretty on the cover.

I truly like this series, but I have to say, I don’t enjoy it as much as the Black Dagger Brotherhood or the Immortals After Dark series. It’s definitely worth getting your hands on though if you like romance and some Greek mythology. The Lore is really what set this series apart from others of the same genre and I really like it!

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