Review: Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini

GoddessTitle: Goddess
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: (Starcrossed #3)
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.

My Review:
nother compelling read from Josephine Angelini and a fitting end to the series.

A destructive war is looming large as the Gods start to take vengeance on the world. Helen’s powers are off the charts as she appears to have assimilated some of her blood brothers gifts. Her friends start to fear her and betrayal is never far away.

The biggest threat for the Scions is the identity of the Tyrant and Helen, Hector, Lucas and Cassandra have to fight to protect Orion who is the easiest one to point the finger at.

Helen continues to love Lucas with every part of her being but is confused over her growing feelings for Orion. I found this really hard to swallow and was glad when she finally acknowledged her feelings at about the half-way point.

I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and grab Claire by the scruff of her neck to shake some sense into her. I don’t understand how she could become so distrustful of her best friend. Be afraid at the demonstration of her considerable power? Yes, believable. Betray her so completely? Less believable. And poor Matt. My heart bled for him. So tragic.

I swooned at the part where Lucas and Helen visited EveryLand together but wish the author could have at least allowed them to kiss. Come on, epic love between them and in a make-believe world of her choosing, where she also gets to pick the rules? She could have made it work. My skin was literally itching for more romance.

The battle scenes at the end were fantastic. Love the bit with the Kracken! And finally Lucas and Helen get their happy ever after and nasty Daphne got what she deserved. I just wish it hadn’t been left until the very end to be resolved.

There were parts of this book that dragged in a way the first two books didn’t but I still really enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this series.

Review: Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini

DreamlessTitle: Dreamless
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out. A ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.

My Review:
Helen is forced to grow up really quickly in Dreamless as the consequences of her role become clearer. As one of the rare Descenders, she is tasked with travelling to the Underworld every night to try to locate the Furies and stop the terrible hold they have on the demi-gods.

Her wayward mother is back in her life though she keeps a low profile and I was naturally suspicious of what she was up to. Daphne tells Helen about her true parentage and it almost tears her apart. Forced to keep her distance from her true love Lucas she wanders aimlessly through her days and nights. His loss threatens to claim her sanity and it was heart-breaking to watch this tragedy unfold.

Her errant mother arranges for Orion to find Helen in the Underworld just as she despairs of ever making progress. Together they start to figure out things but then Helen’s health takes a turn for the worst and Lucas is forced into action.

The explosive scenes at the end, when they are confronted by Ares, were brilliant and nail-biting. Helen’s powers are really starting to come into their own now and her lack of physical ability / combat skills are becoming less of an issue.

In the main I really enjoyed this book but there were a couple of issues with the plot that stopped me rating it 5 Stars. Firstly, the whole Ajax situation was totally shady and how Lucas could buy it, as a gifted Falsefinder, was hard to believe. If my true love was taken away from me I would be trying to prove the veracity of the facts to make sure I’d been told the truth. That neither of them even thought to investigate grated on me a little.

Also, Daphne appears out of nowhere after years on the run and despite the fact that everyone distrusts her there is no concern over where she is or what she is up to. She was trusted far too readily by everyone, including Helen.

Then the author throws it out there that Helen’s lack of dreaming = dying, but then it’s resolved and forgotten about. It never felt like there was any real threat to her life, she barely passed any comment on it herself, and my view is that this should have been removed from the story or fleshed out more.

But the biggest issue I had was the introduction of Orion and how quickly Helen fell for him. I’m sorry – she has this EPIC love for Lucas and then Orion shows up and two minutes later she thinks she’s in love with him? No, not buying it. If he had used his gift to make her fall in love with him that would have been believable but he’s too honorable to take advantage of her, or any girl, in that way. And it’s not that Orion isn’t likable or lovable, it’s how both Helen and Lucas reacted to him that wasn’t realistic.

Despite these issues, I still enjoyed the book. It’s well written and a decent sized book which I love. I’m looking forward to the conclusion and I hope that Helen ends up with Lucas because I think I’ll cry if she doesn’t. ( V. mature 42-year-old speaking!)

Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

ScarletTitle:  Scarlet
Author:  Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner

My Review:

Talk about blowing it out of the water! Wow! What an amazing follow up to Cinder.

I enjoyed this book much more than the first one – the writing was vastly superior and it was action-packed and fast-paced from start to finish. I struggled to put it down.

When we rejoin Cinder she is incarcerated and awaiting her extradition to Luna. With the aid of handsome fellow prisoner, Captain (ahem!) Carswell Thorne, she manages to escape and sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. I really felt for Cinder as she grappled to come to terms with her new elevated status as Princess and Most Wanted Fugitive.

Kai has been left shell-shocked and confused by the revelations about Cinder, and he is also struggling to deal with Queen Levana’s demands and juggle the new world of global politics. His feelings for Cinder are pitted against his loyalty to this people and he really is in a difficult predicament.

Levana is a despicable character – nasty to the core. Ugh. Skin crawling.

I loved the addition of Scarlet and Wolf in this installment. Scarlet is in a tailspin over her grandmother’s sudden disappearance and she ends up joining forces with Wolf to try and locate her before it’s too late. I was initially conflicted over Wolf’s true motivations and I kept changing my mind. This part of the plot was expertly crafted and full of suspense and intrigue. I loved it! The burgeoning romance between Scarlet and Wolf was really sweet.

The only teeny tiny thing I didn’t like was the lack of romance. I kept hoping that Kai and Cinder would be reunited, but it never happened. Usually, I don’t like stories without a strong romance thread, but I’m happy to eat my words in relation to this book.

All in all, an amazing read and I look forward to reading more in the series.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Sidenote: I bought a paperback of Cinder in my local bookstore for €8.40, however, I went to Kindle for Scarlet and was SHOCKED at the price. £9.14 which translates to over €12 for an ebook. That makes no sense at all. Ebooks cost very little to produce when compared with a paperback or hardback. I almost didn’t download it, but I was desperate to know where the story was going so I swallowed the bitter lump in my throat and purchased it. This type of corporate greed makes my blood boil, especially when it’s already a massive bestselling series and the publishers are making a fortune. Half the target market are teenagers so it really sickens me that they are being exploited in this way. Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest. I’m seeing it more and more and it disgusts me. BTW, this is in no way a criticism of Marissa because she has no control over pricing. I just hate blatant corporate greed. (Stepping off my soapbox now)

Review: Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini

StarcrossedTitle: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

My Review:
Boy did this book suck me right in from the get-go. I totally loved it and it’s a fantastic start to a great series.

Helen is a shy, naive, inherently good sixteen-year-old girl, brought up by her single Dad on the island of Nantucket. She is really close to her best friend Claire and has been friends with Zach and Matt since they were little kids. Embarrassed by her height and stunning beauty, Helen can often be found slouching around the corridors of her high school, trying her best to disappear into the shadows. Life is fairly mundane until the Delos family arrive on the Island. Cue a lot of chaos and mayhem.

The mysterious newcomers are as drawn to Helen as she is to them; however, good girl Helen can’t understand the murderous rage she feels when she first sets eyes on hottie Lucas.

The newcomers are no ordinary humans either and gradually they introduce Helen to her true ancestry and she becomes part of their family.

There were shades of Twilight about this book in my opinion though it’s a different story and setting. I loved the strength of the familial bonds and how important family and friendship are to all the characters in this book.

As quickly as Helen and Lucas were at odds with one another, they do a full 360, and the deep bond they share is laced with centuries of history. I loved how they were with one another and the developing romance is really sweet.

The author has created her own unique take on the ‘Ancient Gods’ theme and it was fascinating and engaging. I can’t wait to see how it progresses over the course of the series.

There was some great dialog in this book and some very funny moments. I loved everything about it and can’t fault the writing, pace, plot, world-building or characterisation.

A really promising start and a must read for fans of fantasy stories involving Gods.

Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

CressTitle: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Rating: 5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Review:

Cresstastic.

Totally amaze-balls. Seriously freaking loved it. Actually, I think I want to marry this book.

Every book in this series gets better and better and I’m salivating at what Marissa has in store for us with the fourth book. Roll on December.

This book was action packed from the first-minute and it never let up the whole way through. I loved the addition of sweet Cress and her crush on Thorne was adorable. Thorne comes into his own in this book and we start to understand who he really is. Thorne tries to convince everyone of his brilliance and he’s full of bravado and swagger. But it’s all a front.

Cress hero-worships him and it’s through this developing relationship that we see Thornes vulnerabilities and self-esteem issues. Cress only wants to see the good in him and this actually forces Thorne to be honest with himself. He doesn’t believe he has any redeemable qualities but through his protective care of Cress, we come to realize that that isn’t the case at all. He is humbled in her presence.

Character development is really strong in this book and Marissa is very talented at creating likable though flawed characters who progress as the plot moves along. I loved all the different perspectives and I never once felt conflicted over the voice – it was always clear who was narrating. (Unlike, say, Allegiant where I often had to check if it was Four or Tris speaking.)

There was a good twist with the doctor that I didn’t see coming. Me likey.

Poor Cinder – she was really struggling with her heir-apparent responsibilities. What an impossible situation for a sixteen-year-old to find herself in.

The last quarter of the book galloped along and I swooned at the ending with Cinder and Kai finally indulging in some lip-locking. About bleeding time!

I stayed up half the night reading it because I literally could not put it down, despite the head nodding and eye flickering.

Totally epic read and I can’t wait for the next book.

Sidenote: I’ve received a recommendation to read Fairest but for some reason there is no Kindle edition on Amazon.co.uk. I went onto Amazon.com to see if I could download it from there – then I saw the price – $9.99 for an e-Novella. You have got to be kidding me. I’m not going to get on the soapbox again but let’s just say that I will not be reading Fairest now. I’m not that desperate to read about Queen Levana that I’d pay that extortionate price.

Promotion: True Calling and Beyond Reach Discounted

Facebook-cover-discount-2

TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS. ONE SHARED DREAM.

If you loved Matched, The Selection and/or The 100, then you will love my True Calling Series. True Calling, ( True Calling #1) and Beyond Reach, (True Calling #2) are currently discounted to 99c for a limited period only. Grab a copy while they are cheap!

True Calling Blurb:

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities’ apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

True Calling Purchase Links:

Beyond Reach Blurb:

SOME SECRETS ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR

Back on Earth, Ariana is caught in a dangerous crossfire between clandestine rebel organization Clementia and the power-hungry government. Refusing to divulge the location of the secret information entrusted to her by her late father, she desperately tries to bargain for her Mom, Lily, and Cal’s rescue. She’s fighting a losing battle, and the clock is ticking.

Presented with evidence of her fiancé Cal’s apparent betrayal, she loyally defends him despite her concerns. With her emotions in turmoil, matters become even more complicated as she grows closer to her ex-boyfriend Zane.

When the stakes are raised, a succession of shocking revelations rocks her world, setting her on a path that will not only change her destiny but the fate of humanity.

Confronted by a memory so abhorrent comes a truth she would do anything to forget.

But some things just can’t be undone.

Beyond Reach Purchase Links:

True Calling Paperback GIVEAWAY

Afternoon all,

How do you fancy winning a copy of my exciting new YA sci-fi romance series True Calling? In celebration of the forthcoming release of the paperback version of True Calling, I have partnered with Goodreads on a special giveaway. Head over to www.goodreads.com and enter the competition to be in with a chance to win one of ten signed paperback copies that are up for grabs. The giveaway ends on October 31st so don’t miss out.

Best of luck!

Siobhan.