Tag Archives: paranormal

Blog Tour: Freeks by Amanda Hocking

freeksFreeks by Amanda Hocking

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.

My Blurb

I’ve probably said it enough times that thanks for Enid Blyton’s Mr. Galliano’s Circus series, I have this deep abiding love for circus in fiction. Needless to say, I was drawn to this novel by the fact that this is set within a circus sort of scene. The difference is that this is actually a travelling sideshow so you know… lots of those strange and wonderful and not-so-wonderful things! You go there to be entertained, to be horrified, and to have lots of stupid fun.

I didn’t realise that this book is a spin-off of some sort of the Trylle Trilogy and I’ve not actually read them yet so I can’t tell you (if you’re a fan) if this compares well to the original trilogy or if any of previous characters is in this book though from what I can see on Goodreads, they seem to have different sets of characters. After reading this book though, I am rather curious of this world as it’s paranormal with a gothic vibe (especially with all the ‘freeks’ or to be PC, specially talented people).

For some reason, it rather shocked me that the whole book is set in late ’80s. I mean why would you set a book in the ’80s? Especially a YA? However, there are a lot of historical/paranormal YA books set in 19th century & other periods so why not the ’80s?! It really is an historical period despite the fact that I was already alive then :p Of course, quite a few things resonate with me (ie. cassettes, music, etc) and that brings back other memories.

Freeks is a very easy read though rather long. The main characters were easily likeable. The mystery was acceptable. The ending was rather abrupt but totally as I expected. Overall, it was a rather average read; entertaining enough but missing that particular sparkle. I think there was too much in the middle and the build-up for the final confrontation didn’t quite deliver. It’s a cute read for the romance and of course, the ‘circus’ feel.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Amanda Hocking is a lifelong Minnesotan obsessed with Batman and Jim Henson. In between watching cooking shows, taking care of her menagerie of pets, and drinking too much Red Bull Zero, she writes young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Several of her books have made the New York Times Bestsellers list, including the Trylle trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her zombie series, The Hollows, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Dynamite. She has published over fifteen novels, including the Watersong quartet and My Blood Approves series. Frostfire, Ice Kissed, and Crystal Kingdom – all three books in her bestselling trilogy, The Kanin Chronicles – are out now.

Her latest book is Freeks – a standalone YA paranormal romance novel set in the 1980s that follows a travelling sideshow, and it is a available now. Her next books will be a duology about Valkyries – due out in 2018.

Find her on: goodreads  |  website  | pinterest  |  tumblr  | facebook  | youtube  | instagram

Review: The Blood in the Beginning

the blood in the beginning
The Blood in the Beginning by Kim Falconer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: Uncorrected proof courtesy of publisher

The Blood in the Beginning sounds so appealing and could fit right in my comfort reading zone. A paranormal/urban fantasy/dystopian novel with a “kickass nightclub bouncer” female main character, this is a potential for a pick-me-up feisty fabulous read but whilst I enjoyed the read, it fell short of my expectation.

Ava Sykes is not actually ‘Ava Sykes’ and she has a blood disorder so rare, she has to fly under the radar. Unfortunately, there are people (& others!) sniffing around her and will not leave her alone. On the other hand, this could be an opportunity she cannot miss in finding out the truth about herself and who she really is. But will the truth set her free?

Her secret reminds me so much of a certain movie trilogy (view spoiler) though of course, there are differences. I’ve really enjoyed the world-building and without giving too much spoilers, I wish to see a lot more of the ‘under world’. Unfortunately, I didn’t really feel any sparks between Ava and her male counterpart(s). She’s one confused little lady and this, I think, also affects any ‘sparks’ she may/may not have for anyone. I wanted more from this part of the book.

As I read an Uncorrected Proof, I did find that it needs some tidying up so I do hope the final copy will proof to be a better read. The book ended, however, with a promising note of more exciting things to come so I will definitely give book 2 a chance.

Many thanks to Harlequin Australia; I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Review: Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club

lady helenLady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Uncorrected proof courtesy of publisher

I very much adored The Eon Duology! I still remembered vividly staying up late whilst heavily pregnant with my first because I just could not put down The Two Pearls of Wisdom; absolutely captivating and one of my favourite books ever! Therefore, I’ve kept my eye on Alison Goodman and have heard about this Regency project some years ago… I’ve waited a lifetime for Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club!

This story is told from Lady Helen’s perspective and readers are privileged, as well, to know her private thoughts. The novel opens with Lady Helen’s preparation for her presentation to the Queen. Immediately, we are deliciously teased with a taint on Lady Helen’s reputation or rather her mother’s and therefore, hers. A few pages later, her aunt entered with a scandal involving one of her good friends and the second chapter brought a disappearance of one of the maid. The mysteries continued to be piled on top of one another until there is a knot that demands untangling.

Lady Helen herself turns out to be a very admirable character. Right from the beginning, she evinced her independence of thoughts and ingenuity in problem solving. Nevertheless, even as she finds herself becoming different, her upbringing constrained her and she struggled with this new knowledge of herself and the world. I found this struggle to be very realistic and actually made me like her a lot more than I thought I would. Honestly, I wasn’t sure which outcome I’d like for her though of course, the other one will mean that there will be no series ;p

I think I looked too hard for Eon in these pages… I loved Eon very easily but Helen took some time to understand. The world building was just as incredible and hence, probably the reason it felt quite slow… It’s a whole big old but new world! I expect the next instalment to be at a faster pace and even more amazing; I can’t wait!

Thanks to Harper Collins Australia for copy of Uncorrected proof in exchange of honest review

View all my reviews

Review: Sorceress

sorceressSorceress by Claudia Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of publisher

Please note this is a review of the third and final book of the Spellcaster trilogy and there may be spoilers in respect to earlier books, Spellcaster (my blurb) & Steadfast (my blurb).

At the end of Steadfast, Nadia made a decision which everyone knew just isn’t going to turn out well. And yet, no one has a better answer. In Sorceress, Nadia continues to feel the terrible conflict of that decision. She senses the darkness is creeping in and taking over her despite her best effort at fighting it. It’s a losing battle but she’s not going down alone and she will save her loved ones. Meanwhile… the world is coming to an end.

No one knew exactly how Elizabeth planned to bring forth the One Beneath but as Captive is being inundated with disaster after disaster, the townspeople rally to keep their town and each other alive. As solidarity prevails in times of peril, so does suspicions in times of stress & grief. The townspeople have now noticed all the strange incidents in the past and are looking for someone to blame. Of course, the obvious choice would be Verlaine with her lack of ‘being loved’ ability. She’s a courageous girl but she needed to be even braver now. Her salvation, though, came from an unlikely quarter. Verlaine, I think, trumps Nadia in this final instalment of the trilogy.

The many perspectives in Sorceress is what made the story flow in an ever changing current. This factor also gave the story the many facets enabling it to sparkle like crystals. It was such a fast read that just builds and builds to a crescendo in the final battle between light and dark.

I’ve really enjoyed the book and this trilogy. In comparison to the first 2 books, I seem to be missing the wham factor of the beginning and ending –they’re just not as memorable / engaging as the first 2 books. I’m quite happy with the ending except for 1 thing but I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Thank you, HarperCollinsPublishers for providing copy of book in exchange of honest review

View all my reviews

Review: Scorched: A Leila Marx World Novella

scorchedScorched: A Leila Marx World Novella by Amber Garr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of author

Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into here. When the eARC was offered, my thought was that I could do with an Amber Garr’s short story. So, I’ve put my hand up for a copy.

When you read a prequel to a series, you would usually already have a vested interest in the character. However, as I haven’t read the Leila Marx novel, Touching Evil, I feel a lot of it is missing and my rating, therefore, is lacking the ‘squeee’ factor.

I enjoyed this sneak peek into the world of Leila Marx by reading about Conner’s background and how he came to be what he is now. It is a novella so there really wasn’t much of a plot especially since it had a lot of time jumps and the characters weren’t that well developed though I wonder if these characters are in the novel and so, again, am I just missing out on certain essential info?

Overall, it’s an interesting teaser and I have added Touching Evil onto my TBR. Conner, however, seems to be quite a different character in there though he sounds a lot yummier! -definitely better groomed than I imagined him to be in this novella. I am looking forward to get to know him better 😉

Thanks, Amber for preview of the eARC

View all my reviews

Review: The Curse Keepers

curse keepersThe Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of 47North via NetGalley

Denial. I’m sure everybody has gone through some sort of denial over one thing or another. I know I certainly have and results, as always, are disastrous. I really should have learnt my lesson by now to face it first up or suffer the consequences but I never do… So when it comes to reading a book where a character is in some sort of denial, I’d know where she’s at but at the same time got totally frustrated that she just won’t accept / face the situation as it is.

Ellie Lancaster, understandingly, did not believe in her father’s stories about the legend of the Roanoke’s Lost Colony. However when supernatural things were starting to happen around her and to her, it took her quite a long time to face up on what’s real. And when she did, she’d insist on doing things her way even though she doesn’t know exactly what she’s doing. There was a lot of up and down and I supposed she was confused which therefore means I got confused then frustrated.

The backdrop of this book certainly sounds promising. Whilst I only vaguely know about this mystery, I thought it somewhat unique. I haven’t come across many Native American’s legend in this type of genre (paranormal) so it was a pleasure to read something different even though I got totally confused about who’s good or evil or if there was actually good and evil involved! This seems to be something to be explored later on.

This was a pretty average read for me, whilst I didn’t particularly like Ellie, I did like the tension between her and Collin. I like their humorous clashes and the sparks between them; this is exactly what kept me reading. I wanted to see where they got to and how. Just like everyone else though, I got so taken in by the ending. I knew something was up but still, it was a heartbreaking head-banging hair-tearing type of moment. I’d really like to know where Denise Grover Swank will be taking Ellie.

Thanks to 47Noth for copy of eARC via NetGalley

View all my reviews