Over at Bookalicious: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Hello, readers! I am over at Bookalicious today reviewing a phenomenal MG novel, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.


I listened to the audiobook and it was all types of amazing, Gaiman is thus far my favorite narrator EVER. Head on over and let me know what you think of my review!

Coming Soon! Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers

darktriumphSybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Dark Triumph is probably my most anticipated read of 2013, the cover is amazing (how awesome does Sybella look!?) and I can’t wait to find out who this “mysterious knight” is! Sooo it is no question that I wanted to get my hands on this book immediately after finishing Grave Mercy (I had an ARC, do you know how long I have been waiting?!) Robin LaFevers announced that the book trailer premiered today, along with a pretty awesome playlist, and anyone who shares it gets entered to win an ARC of Dark Triumph!!! 

To watch the trailer go here and if you share and win a copy, share the love my friends!! 

Review: Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay

Title: Romeo Redeemed

Author: Stacey Jay

Publishing Information: October 9, 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings

Series information: Book 2 in the Juliet Immortal Series

Format: Hardcover, 384 pages

Source: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Recommended For: Fans of Shakespeare, romance, and tragic heroes


Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart (Via Goodreads).

Warning! There will almost definitely be spoilers for Juliet Immortal in this review, be wary as you read! Also, if you haven’t read Juliet Immortal, go ahead and read it because it’s quite lovely. 

Romeo is dying. Actually, dying is an understatement because in actuality he is beginning to decay from the inside and it really isn’t pretty. As his body decays, his mind still holds the guilt for every bit of turmoil he realizes he forced Juliet into. You see, back when Romeo and Juliet lived in Verona, back when he tricked her into killing herself, he really thought he was saving her. He trusted The Friar and believed he was helping Juliet escape from a life of shame and exile. The Friar lied to Romeo and told him that Juliet was going to be living free from sin in Heaven. Unfortunately we know this is not what happened and it was through Romeo’s actions that Juliet suffered.

Finally, after Juliet’s (second) demise, Romeo is given a chance at redemption. He must save Ariel, yes the same Ariel whose body Juliet inhabited in Juliet Immortal, and turn her from the darkness she is slowly falling into. The irony and complication in this task is that Romeo is inhabiting Dylan’s body and in order to save her from the darkness, he must make her fall in love with him. Those of you who remember Dylan from book one can grasp the severity of this cause as Dylan is a jerk (to say the least) and Ariel has an extremely hard time trusting him. The worst part? Romeo has three days. Three days to turn Ariel into a trusting individual, Three days to make Ariel love him, and three days to save them both.

I’m going to be honest here, I really love tortured male leads. I love the whole “I am not worthy” and the angsty, long-haired, “I have a serious edge but really I will snuggle your cat when you’re not looking” kind of guy. It’s just my thing. So Romeo? He’s my kind of dude. He is apparently Ariel’s kind of dude as well because it doesn’t take long for her to fall for him too, and let me tell you Ariel was quite the character herself. In fact, one of my favorite things about this novel was the characterization of Ariel. She had some major STUFF going on in her head yet she was still written like a teenage girl filled with “normal” teenage insecurities. There were moments in the story where there was no doubt in my mind that she and Romeo were destined to be together and it was not because of their mutual goodness. Instead, Ariel stood out at times as a perfect match to Romeo’s dark nature, she was quite kick-ass, and at times, a tiny bit scary. I really fell into their romance, they were even more passionate and “meant to be” than Juliet and Ben from book one and I adored the way that one played out.

“Set me as a seal on your heart,” I whisper against her lips. “For love is as stong as death.”

Juliet Immortal was full of some plot twists, most of which I saw coming. The glorious difference in Romeo Redeemed was that I really didn’t see the twists in plot, and character, coming. I was happily surprised at how things progressed and I really loved the way the novel concluded. The ending in this novel was in no way a rushed epilogue but things progressed a little slower and unfolded in a really wonderful way.

It is often that I enjoy sequels more than book one in a series. In the case of Romeo Redeemed I can’t say that I enjoyed the sequel more simply because for me the novel worked as a wonderful compliment to Juliet Immortal, not so much a continuation of story but more of a necessary companion. The duality between book one and two was apparent and in retrospect I really can’t see reading one without the other. Romeo Redeemed was a delicious read, it was equal parts of romance and intrigue and I highly recommend you give it a chance.

Review: Amber House by Kelly Moore


Title: Amber House

Author: Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed & Larkin Reed

Publishing Information: October 1, 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Genre: Young Adult, Gothic, Paranormal

Series information: Book 1 in a planned trilogy

Format:  Hardcover, 368 pages

Source: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Recommended For: Readers interested in a vibrant, gothic horror story

“Behind me, the sound of chain sliding over wood.

I felt so cold, so squeezed, I could hardly draw in breath. A tear oozed like blood from the corner of my eye.

I made myself turn. Made myself look.

A woman stood in the shaft of moonlight. She was all darkness to me, backlit by the window. I could see thick curls of black hair, the curves of muscled arms, a shapeless drape of translucent gown. All motionless. A spider ran down a lock of her hair, and air escaped me in the smallest gasp. I wanted to shove my fist in my mouth to stop the scream rising in my throat.”

Sarah Parsons returns to her family’s estate after her grandmother’s death in order to assist her mother in selling the old mansion. After spending some time in the house, Sarah begins to find clues regarding her family history and she becomes connected to the house in a very serious way. Sarah begins experiencing echoes left by former “residents” and in time, comes to unravel the mysteries surrounding her mother and grandmother and the very intense legacy of Amber House.

I really enjoyed Sarah as a character because she was easy to relate to as she was a typical teenage girl thrown into an atypical situation. She reacts to certain incidents and characters in a way that shows her shyness, anger or understanding in a wonderful way. Sammy, Sarah’s little brother, plays a very significant role in this novel and as a reader I was very invested in his storyline as his innocence heightened nearly all aspects of the plot. I felt the same frustration and anger over Sarah’s mother as she did and I really appreciated learning more of her story as the novel progressed.

The romance in this novel is an interesting one. There are times when it screamed love triangle but don’t fear, it is so much more complicate than that! Jackson and Richard are polar opposites, both of whom were interesting characters in their own way. I really enjoyed how “real” Richard seemed to me, he was perfectly created to represent that guy in high school. You know, the one all the girls want to date and all the guys want to be even though he is rather douchey? That’s Richard. Jackson, on the other hand, was the best friend who really seemed to understand Sarah and her needs. However, he had a slightly mysterious edge to him that made him more lovable, in my opinion. The best part was that both guys seemed to have their own agenda and as the story progressed, their motives are revealed and emotions become conflicted. I won’t say that it was a slow burn romance between any of the characters, because it is a lot more intricate than that. However, I will tell you that as the story progresses, the romance unfolds slowly and sneakily, and when it finally comes full circle I was left with my emotions spilling over a tiny bit. The best part about Amber House is that though the romance plays a great part in the story, it isn’t the central storyline. Family takes precedence and things play out how they must as important decisions are made.

My main gripe with this novel was that upon finishing it I was enraged and confused because it ended on a note that left so many questions unanswered. I was seriously underprepared for the epilogue and I felt led astray. However, I resorted to Google and after serious searching, I found that Amber House is in fact, part of a trilogy. I breathed a sigh of relief. Bad feelings gone, all is well, and so on. Now my only issue is my impatience in waiting for its sequel! 

I found this novel while I was spending time browsing through Netgalley and after reading the blurb (and how gorgeous is this cover?!) I decided to give it a try. Admittedly, I wish I had waited a month or so to read it because it is a perfect read for autumn weather but nonetheless it is a book that has stuck with me months after reading the last page. Amber House is a gothic tale stirring up feelings reminiscent of Bronte’s windy moors and King’s room 237. It is a novel that kept me up way past my bedtime and had me falling asleep with the lights on. For those of you looking for a good “autumn read,” I highly suggest you pick up Amber House. It contains all of the amazing horror elements to keep you looking over your shoulder while also molding in intricate relationships and a deliciously vibrant plot.


Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Title: Carnival of Souls

Author: Melissa Marr

Publishing Information: September 4, 2012 by HarperCollins

Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Series information: Book 1 in a planned series

Format: Paperback,

Source: ARC from the publisher (BEA 2012)

Recommended For: Lovers of dark and paranormal fantasy


In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures–if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live. (Via Goodreads)

I am always up for a dark tale, and thus far, Melissa Marr has excelled at delivering them. Carnival of Souls was my second book by Melissa Marr and the epic world building, intricate characters and weaving storylines that I loved in Graveminder, were also evident in Carnival of Souls.

Carnival of Souls is unique in the way it is told in three different points of view, from Mallory, Kaleb and Ava…

Mallory is anything but normal; her life isn’t too stable as she is constantly moving from town to town with her adoptive father, Adam. Adam is a witch and is on the run from the daimons because he stole something from them long ago, and their leader would do almost anything to obtain what has been lost to him. It is the constant vigilance of Adam and Mallory that has kept them alive and safe for so many years. Mallory obeys her father’s wishes and doesn’t get too close to anyone, knowing that she won’t be able to spend much time around them anyway. However, things change quickly for Mallory when she meets Kaleb. She is instantly drawn to him and finds him intriguing in a way that she has never felt before. However, she does her best to resist getting to know him because she believes him to be human and knows she can’t risk him by drawing him into her chaotic life.

The Carnival of Souls takes place in The City and occurs once in every generation. It consists of fights to the death between daimons, and the prize is a raise in the caste, and a chance to join the ruling class.

Kaleb is not at all what he seems to Mallory, he is a lower caste daimon and is one who wears a black mask. The black mask sets him apart and showcases his skills as a fighter and a killer. It are these skills that lead him to be hired to find Mallory for an upper caste daimon. It comes as a surprise to Kaleb when he is drawn to Mallory in a way that he had never imagined, she immediately becomes “pack” to him, and you die to protect those in your pack.

Ava is also a daimon in The City. Though unlike Kaleb, she is part of the upper class. Ava chooses to compete in The Carnival of Souls for a different reason than to raise her status. Instead, she fights to win her freedom – the freedom to choose her own future. Female daimons in the upper caste are forced to marry and breed, and Ava would rather die.

At first the relationship between Mallory and Kaleb seemed to lean toward the insta-love we find in many paranormal romances. However, Marr made me believe in it in a way I have been unable to in the past. The moment Kaleb described Mallory as pack was the moment I believed fully in their relationship and began to become invested in their reliance on one another as a couple. I also became very interested in Mallory’s growth through the novel, Adam keeps many secrets from her and though she is physically stronger than most females her age, she begins as a very naïve character. She grew fabulously throughout the novel, and by the last paragraph I was metaphorically giving her a high five. I enjoyed the vastly different emotions I felt toward both Mallory and Ava, where Mallory had to grow on me, I loved the strength behind Ava and her utter devotion to fight for herself. I felt angst and sorrow over her decisions because she had no choice but to fight for herself.

“They were pack. She was meant to be in his life, and now that he knew it, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for her.”

Melissa Marr again delivered a world that I cannot stop thinking about; I loved the darkness and the blurred lines between good and evil. The caste system, the masks, and their representation throughout The City provided amazing imagery that I had no trouble picturing in my mind.

Carnival of Souls was fantastic and delightfully dark. I felt a deep connection to each of the characters and thought the relationships to be intricate and overly exciting. The plot of this novel is fast paced and I devoured it, desperately needing to find out what was going to happen next. I am eagerly anticipating book two in this series, I can’t wait to see who will excel in fighting for what they believe in.

Extra: I was lucky enough to meet Melissa Marr at BEA – and not to brag, but she totally hugged me – and she was so incredibly nice and just..well…awesome! She also signed my book (with what I think is the best signature ever):

Thank you so much for the ARC, Melissa (and HarperCollins), I doubt I was able to express my gratitude and love for this novel in this short post. In a nutshell: you rock!


Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Title: The Book of Lost Things

Author: John Connolly

Publishing Information: November 7, 2006 by Atria Books

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Fairy-Tales

Series information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 339 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Those in the mood for a fairy tale with some dark twists


High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things. (Via Goodreads)


The story begins with David, obsessing over his “routine” (see: OCD) that he believes will save his mother from her life threatening illness. Unfortunately, David is unable to save her and his mother succumbs to the illness and dies. Some time after (side note: a little TOO soon after the death of David’s mother, if you ask me) David’s father remarries a woman named Rose and nine months later she gives birth to a son. It is around this time that David begins having “episodes,” moments where he blacks out and wakes up with no recollection of what happened while he was asleep. Poor David feels as if he is all alone in the world, as his father is working for the government and therefore is never home. So David is stuck in Rose’s giant house with just Rose, (who he loathes) and his new brother Georgie for company. David does his best to avoid these two and instead buries his nose in his books, as they remind him of his mother.

Rose tries her best to make David feel comfortable, and even gives him the room of her late uncle, Jonathan Tulvey. The room is filled with Jonathan’s books and trinkets and David takes comfort in seeing that someone is as connected to stories as he is. David becomes curious and asks Rose about Jonathan and she explains that when he was younger he and his little sister vanished into thin air one day. David becomes intrigued by this and as time passes he begins to hear the books in his room talk to him, and he begins to dream of a very sinister man, whom he names “The Crooked Man.” These dreams become twisted with reality and as time passes, David travels to another world in which the fairy tale characters he has grown up reading about exist. However, these characters are not the same kind and caring versions that he has grown up to love. They are sinister and grim versions, each twisted into a new form.

These characters were one of the absolute best parts of the story. I don’t want to spoil the fun for you so I will just touch upon some awesomeness. First, Snow White is a fat, disgusting and mean person. Second, Ever wonder where werewolves came from? Little Red Riding Hood had some issues with bestiality (I promise the story does NOT go into detail at this point, thank goodness, because, EW.) and the Crooked Man is quite possibly one of the creepiest villains I have yet to encounter (Rumple who?) There was also a rather kind woodsman, a loyal knight and an extremely creepy Sleeping “Beauty” thrown into the mix. All of these characters David met on his journey to see the King, the ruler of the land, who was having a very hard time ruling. David learns something from each encounter and it is through these extremely trying situations that the reader is able to see him grow from a spoiled, selfish child into a mature and kind young man.

When pondering the setting to this story I realized how unique John Connolly writes. Ultimately, he was just writing about a vast forest, a small town, and a few huge castles. Yet, in my mind I saw a darkness creeping from the corners of my imagination toward David. I saw lights extinguishing behind him as he walked down the long corridor, I saw the trees sway when there was no wind. These are things Connolly simply hinted at yet I was able to pick up on these subtle images and make them into something that made me afraid as if I was the one walking through this land.

The Book of Lost Things is harrowing and phenomenal. I haven’t been so enthralled by a novel of this genre since reading The Child Thief by Brom. It was deeply imaginative and sinister enough to have even the bravest adult looking over their shoulder while reading.

“These stories were very old, as old as people, and they had survived because they were very powerful indeed. These were the tales that echoed in the head long after the books that contained them were cast aside” (Page 10).


Review: On The Day I Died by Candace Fleming

Title: One the Day I Died

Author: Candace Fleming

Publishing Information: July 10th 2012 by Schwartz & Wade

Genre: Middle Grade, Short Stories, Parnormal, Ghost Stories

Series information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 208 pages

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher

Recommended For: Any lover of not so scary ghost stories

The phenomenally versatile, award-winning author, Candace Fleming, gives teen and older tween readers ten ghost stories sure to send chills up their spines. Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860’s to the present, and ends with the narrator’s death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic posession, all against the backdrop of Chicago’s rich history—the Great Depression, the World’s Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters.
I am not a huge fan of short stories but I am definitely a huge fan of GHOST STORIES! I was so excited to receive this advance copy from Netgalley because it looked and sounded extremely creepy and I was not disappointed!

The story opens with a boy named Mike who is racing to get home by curfew. As he is coming to the bridge he sees a mysterious looking girl standing in the middle of the road (sound familiar, anyone?) he becomes intrigued and decides to give her a ride home. Suddenly, she disappears, leaving nothing behind but her shoes. Being that she has just told him exactly where she lives he decides to drive her shoes home to make sure she got in okay. An old woman opens the girl’s front door and explains to Mike that her daughter has been dead for almost fifty years and every year on the anniversary of her death she obtains a ride from someone driving over the bridge and requests that her shoes be placed on her grave in White Cemetary, a cemetery dedicated solely to teens who have died before their time. Mike ventures to the cemetery and finds the girl, along with many others who wish to tell their tale. Each story is intriguing and many are oozing with supernatural elements that really raise the hair on the back of your neck.

At the end of the book, the author provides some background evidence for each story and the real life inspirations for the characters and their untimely deaths. Though this book was showcased as a middle grade novel and I can’t say that I was ever actually scared while reading it, I was definitely freaked out in the best possible way. The author caters to different needs for the reader. For example, some readers will appreciate the “back from the dead” stereotype where I ADORED Scott’s story. His story was set in a mental hospital and I am slightly obsessed with anything supernatural relating to mental asylums. For some reason it just creeps me out in this magnificent way that has me craving more. Another fun story was based on the legendary “Monkey’s Paw.” There are few people who haven’t heard one version of this fable (or who haven’t seen The Simpsons Halloween Special) and Candace Fleming provided a really interesting new twist. When explaining where she obtained her inspiration she stated that she always wondered what happened to the monkey’s paw at the end of the story and she always imagined it ended up in a garage sale somewhere, which is exactly where her story picks up.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book, the stories were just the right amount of creepy to keep me wanting more and I think that any lover of ghost stories will appreciate the different worlds that Candace Fleming creates.

Review: Blackwatch by Jenna Burtenshaw

Title: Blackwatch

Author: Jenna Burtenshaw

Publishing Information: April 1st 2011 by Headline

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal

Series information: Book 2 in the Wintercraft series

Format: Hardcover, 288 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Fans of layered characters and who appreciate a good friendship

Kate has escaped the clutches of the High Council and Silas has left Albion for the continent. But their lives are forever linked and as the veil weakens, causing Albion’s skilled to fear for everyone’s safety, Silas and Kate find themselves drawn together by the mysterious and corrupt Dalliah Grey.

Blackwatch begins with Kate on trial because she has been falsely accused of murdering one of the leaders of the Skilled. Kate learns who she truly can and cannot trust while on trial and she is disheartened to find that those she believed loyal to her, those she risked her life for, are really not as loyal to her as she believed. Kate and Edgar escape from the Skilled into the underground caverns only to be caught by the Blackwatch, the Continent’s most elite warriors. Across the sea, Silas is also being hunted by Blackwatch and it is through Silas and Kate’s blood tie that they are both captured and forced to try both Silas’s patience and Kate’s power.

This story delves deeper into the tie between Silas and Kate and the powers that Kate has inherited as one of the Skilled. One of the reasons I adored Shadowcry was because of how dark it was as a young adult novel, and Blackwatch was no different. Jenna Burtenshaw delves deeper into what the veil represents and how it affects both Kate and Silas as well as how Edgar’s role as Kate’s only confidant will affect her power over the veil. The novel also provides the reader with glimpses into past which assists the reader in understanding both how Wintercraft came to be and how easily one can be consumed by darkness.
A new character, Dalliah Grey was introduced in this novel and she was a nice addition after the absence of Da’ru, though it is still a little unclear if her motives are going to be detrimental to Kate or not. It is no question that she does not have Kate’s best interests at heart and only wants to use her to accomplish her own (less than godly) goals. The shift in POV between Kate and Silas also offers a nice addition so the reader is able to glimpse some of Silas’s inner turmoil as he starts to gain a conscience. That being said, the last few pages of the novel were probably my favorite as they really gave the reader a more solid view on the man that Silas is growing into, no word yet on the romance but one can only hope (okay, pine for.)

Like in Shadowcry, Jenna Burtenshaw uses impeccable descriptions to describe the world Silas and Kate travel through. As I was reading about the caverns underground and the city housed in them I was amazed at how vivid they were in my mind. The climax of the novel was also brilliant in my mind and I found myself feeling a range of emotions as Kate struggled with the situation she was thrown into. I am thrilled to say that my copy of the conclusion to this trilogy, Wintercraft: Legacy, just arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to find out the extent of Kate’s power and Silas’s strength.

This series comes highly recommended!

Review: Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw

Title: Wintercraft

Author: Jenna Burtenshaw

Publishing Information: May 13th 2010 by Headline Book Publishing

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal

Series information: Book 1 in The Wintercraft Trilogy

Format: Hardcover, 278 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For:  For lovers of fantasy and darker young adult fiction.

Ten years ago the High Council’s wardens took Kate Winters’ parents to help with the country’s war effort. Now the wardens are back…and prisoners, including Kate’s uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. A far more dangerous enemy hunts Kate and her friend Edgar. Silas Dane — the High Council’s most feared man — recognizes Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council’s experiments into the veil, and he’s convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft — a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honor her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death.

In Wintercraft, we meet Kate Winter’s, a young girl living with her uncle tending to a small bookstore not realizing that she is one of the Skilled and that she is wanted by many. One day, Kate and her uncle notice hundreds of birds flying over their small town; suddenly, the birds all plummet to their death and Artemis warns Kate to hide because he knows that the birds are a sign that the wardens have come. Kate has been given little to no information on the wardens, save that they took her parents for the war so she doesn’t immediately heed his warning. Instead, the picks up one of the poor birds and finds that the bird is brought back to life with her touch. Thus begins a whirlwind adventure for Kate and her friend Edgar in which Silas Dane, the most feared man in Albion, hunts them. Silas works for the High Council but he has an agenda of his own. Silas has been given a half-life, his soul has been separated from his body and he is forever trapped in the land of the living while still keeping half of himself in the veil between the living and dead. Silas is convinced that Kate has the power to find him the peace he has been longing for and therefore does what is in his power to keep her safe while still acting as if he is loyal to the council.

I found this book while perusing on Goodreads one day and fell in love with the cover. It seemed like such a different type of story from the blurb and I am always intrigued by the “dark” young adult novels so I decided to pick it up from my local library and I am so happy that I did! I flew threw this book in an afternoon and immediately started book two.

The characters in this book are fascinating to me. Kate Winters is a strong female character but she isn’t without fault. Jenna Burtenshaw gives all of her characters many layers (okay, maybe not Da’ru) and the reader is able to appreciate the conflict Kate faces as she comes into her “power” and determines the morally “right” decision in the face of danger. Though she seems stubborn, it is in an educated way so that she doesn’t look like a child. Though the reader can still understand that Kate really is just growing into a young woman and is facing dangers that she has never fathomed. Edgar is Kate’s best friend and though he provides some comedic relief he is far from a silly character. Edgar is faithful and caring yet there are many things about him that Burtenshaw has only alluded to. Many other characters make allusions that there is more to Edgar than meets the eye and I am really intrigued to see who his character turns into. Finally, it is no surprise that Silas Dane is by far my favorite character in the novel. Though he is a foreboding and one can argue, evil, character he is still a loyal soldier who doesn’t make promises he doesn’t intend to keep and he always fulfills his debts. Like Kate and Edgar he is also extremely layered and grows into someone the reader can empathize with come the end of the book. I should probably add that he is extremely swoonworthy. He is intelligent and brooding (my favorite!) and he has a pet crow! Who wouldn’t love that in a guy? I have to add that as of right now there is no romantic plot in the story and though I may have yearned a little I really loved and appreciated the story in a different way. I hadn’t noticed how much more depth a story can have when the “I do everything for love” plotline is taken out of a novel.

The world Jenna Burtenshaw creates is richly imaginative and in a word, magical. It completely drew me in as a reader and I found myself savoring every part of the novel in a wonderful way. I recommend this book to lovers of fantasy and darker young adult fiction.

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Title: Everneath

Author: Brodi Ashton

Publishing Information: Janurary 24, 2012 by HarperCollins

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Series information: Book one in the Everneath trilogy

Format: Hardcover, 370 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Fans  Greek Mythology and smoldery male leads

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s Queen


Nikki Beckett has returned after she has been presumably missing for six months. She hasn’t been in rehab or away on some drug binge, but in the Everneath where her six months away has been equal to one hundred years. Nikki went to the Everneath with Cole when she believed she had no other options left to her. Unlike every other person who has gone to the Feed, Nikki didn’t fade away. She remembers her life from above, but most importantly, she remembers Jack. She decides to go back to Jack, to try to make amends with her family and say goodbye properly before the Tunnels come for her. That is her destiny, to become a battery to the Everneath or to become an Everliving next to Cole as his queen. Unfortunately, as Cole’s queen, Nikki would have to feed off of people as he does and she refuses to do so. As time progresses she decides that these options don’t suit her and therefore she takes her fate into her own hands.

I really enjoyed Everneath, the Hades and Persephone myth has been done a few times and though it is one of my favorite myths I was getting a little sick of it. This book was a different kind of retelling where I didn’t find myself figuring out exactly what was going to happen next.

The characters were a good mix of personalities and though I had a hard time accepting some of the behaviors of certain characters I thought they worked well together. I honestly had a very hard time understanding why Nikki was so in love with Jack. They did go a bit into their back-story but it didn’t completely “click” with me, there seemed to be constant doubt on Nikki’s part and considering he was the sole reason she was able to hang on during the feed it seemed a little confusing. It may be that I am outgrowing the YA romances (gasp!) but I still wanted more from their relationship.

Overall I really liked Everneath, I believe I will continue with the series since the ending of this book was very interesting to me and I recommend it to those who enjoy Greek Mythology and retellings. Originally I was going to recommend it to fans of Goddess Interrupted and Fury but there seems to be a great divide between these fans, as they either love Fury or Everneath. Ironically, I was not particularly a Fury fan, and I enjoyed Everneath very much.