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Enter the Very Dark

The Dark Lands Book Cover The Dark Lands
AngelBound #5
Christina Bauer
Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Monster House books
(30 Oct. 2018)

Nineteen-year-old Myla Lewis is loving life–she’s now a wife, mother, and Queen of the Thrax. Oh yeah, and being a super-powerful demigoddess who moves souls into Heaven or Hell doesn’t suck, either. In fact, everything is pretty much awesome. Until something craptastic happens.

Her honorary older brother Walker enters the Dark Lands, home to the rule-loving ghouls, and vanishes without a trace..

Now it’s up to Myla to solve the mystery of Walker’s disappearance. Of course, Myla likes interacting with ghouls about as much as elective dental surgery. To make matters harder, everyone thinks that Walker is simply taking a well-deserved vacation. But Myla and her Angelbound love, Lincoln, both suspect that the ghoul Oligarchy took Walker in order to somehow release Lucifer, the ex-King of the Angels and an all around nut job who really needs to stay locked up..

Long story short, Myla and Lincoln have just two days to rescue their good friend and stop Lucifer from taking over the after-realms. Even for them, this may be a too-tall order, especially when Myla’s own father allows his past friendship with Lucifer to threaten Walker’s future.

Perfect for readers who love angels, devils, and demons but want a fresh take on their related fairy tales, myths, and legends. This series combines fierce females, paranormal romance and urban/contemporary fantasy.

Well who would want to live on anywhere but Earth after reading the descriptions of Purgatory, Antrum and the Dark Lands in these novels? Light in short supply, lots of grey clouds and rain, and no flowers to speak of? And worm farms? Actually, the latter is not so bad as we have a worm farm in our charity garden – but it is very small and the worms live in a hut like a hive with lots of trays, making compost and fertiliser from our kitchen waste.

So some imaginative worlds here with the 4 realms – and even earth is not so good, as you know that migraine you’ve had for years? Seems it might just be a demon living on your neck.

I went back to the beginning here and read the current 5 novels in order, as starting from novel 5 it is often difficult to pick up the story – and loved them.

I’m always a sucker for stories with some angels, demons, and kick-ass heroines, and this Myla beats all of them hands-down as she has a semi-independent tail with an arrow on its end that can think for itself and helps her fight! I want one… It waves and high fives and all sorts of stuff, all on its own without Myla controlling it. So cool…

I enjoyed the writing style and found the books easy to read. With a fun style  and sense of humour, and mostly grammatically correct – a few small errors that an editor should have picked up. Well suited to the age range, but still good for older adults – if you like this type of writing – which I do as a fan of Eve Langlais and Robyn Peterman who also write about Hell, Demons, Angels and feisty heroines.

I’m now waiting for books 6 and 7 to come out – and intend to read the spin-off series about the children. Maxon sounds like a fun baby to have and he should join in nursery classes with Astrid’s son (Fashionably Dead Down Under series by Robyn Peterman) as they would be a match for each other in precociousness and trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Bio:

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes..

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press. .

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby..

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!.

http://monsterhousebooks.com/authors/cbauer   https://www.facebook.com/authorBauer/

https://twitter.com/CB_Bauer http://monsterhousebooks.com/blog/category/christina

https://www.instagram.com/christina_cb_bauer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-bauer-481b12139/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35286348-the-dark-lands

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0725HXWBW

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dark-lands-christina-bauer/1126591106?type=eBook

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-dark-lands/id1236425205?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-dark-lands-1

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Crazy Prison Perhaps?

Crazy House Book Cover Crazy House
James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Jimmy Patterson; Reprint edition
(15 May 2018)

There were no charges. There was no trial. There will be no escape. 
Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her small hometown. She was thrown into a maximum-security prison and put on Death Row with other kids her age. Until her execution, Becca's told to fit in and shut her mouth... but Becca's never been very good at either. Her sister Cassie was always the good twin.
Becca's only hope is that her twin sister will find her. That perfect little priss Cassie will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it's too late. Because her jailers made a mistake that could get them both killed:
They took the wrong twin.

I found this too derivative of other teen literature and media in concept. 
Usually I am a great fan of James Patterson, but his co-authors often change the ‘flavour’ of his writing too much, and I don’t think Gabrielle Charbonnet has brought him many adult fans. 
However, I can’t speak for a teen audience.

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Alive or Dead?

DeadGirl Book Cover DeadGirl
BC Johnson
psychological, mystery, thriller, YA
Curiosity Quills Press
(6 Nov. 2014)

Dead is such a strong word... Lucy Day, 15 years old, is murdered on her very first date. Not one to take that kind of thing lying down, she awakens a day later with a seemingly human body and more than a little confusion. Lucy tries to return to her normal life, but the afterlife keeps getting in the way. Zack, her crush-maybe-boyfriend, isn't exactly excited that she ditched him on their first date. Oh, and Abraham, Lucy's personal Grim Reaper, begins hunting her, dead-set on righting the error that dropped her back into the spongy flesh of a living girl. Lucy must put her mangled life back together, escape re-death, and learn to control her burgeoning powers while staying one step ahead of Abraham. But when she learns the devastating price of coming back from the dead, Lucy is forced to make the hardest decision of her re-life - can she really sacrifice her loved ones to stay out of the grave?

This book left me a little confused and of course it is not a new story-line. and as a result i could not quite decide on the star ranking. But as I am not the target audience I went for 4 as I rather think some younger readers will appreciate the book.

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When you are confused about your identity

Xoe Meyers Trilogy Book Cover Xoe Meyers Trilogy
Xoe Meyers
Sara C. Roethle
urban, science fiction, fantasy, coming of age
Kindle

A demon’s life is never easy. Join Xoe as she’s thrown to the wolves, the werewolves that is. As if witches, human sacrifices, and other demons weren’t enough to deal with, Xoe must struggle to rein in her powers before she sets something more important than a washing machine on fire. If she can’t, her whole life might go up in flames.

The initial 3 books form a solid story about Xoe the 16 year old who suddenly finds she is not who she thought she was. For a start her father was a demon. And then she finds that her temper is rather uncontrollable and she just sets fire to things.

Each book ends on a cliff hanger and each book starts exactly where the previous book ends. This is effectively therefore one very long long book divided up into 3 parts.

The trilogy gets a 4 for a YA audience, but I found the final 3 books in the series rather short and less stimulating and original. I was going to give them a 3 but the final story – Ghosts – wraps up Xoe nicely and thus I’m going to stay with the 4.

Overall a good YA read with demons, ghosts, witches, vampires, and werewolves.

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A War for the Female Gender?

Silver Stars Book Cover Silver Stars
Front Lines
Michael Grant
YA, military, fantasy, action and adventure
Electric Monkey
February 9, 2017
496

Sequel to Front Lines, the epic new young adult series by the author of GONE set in an alternate World War II. Summer 1943. The enemy has been bloodied, but Nazi Germany is very far from beaten. Now the American army is moving on to their next target: the Italian island of Sicily. With heavy memories of combat, the three young soldier girls - Rio, Frangie and Rainy - now know what they are willing to do to save themselves, and understand the consequences of those actions. On the front lines, they will again come face to face with the brutality of war until they win or die, while simultaneously fighting their own personal battles. No one will emerge unscathed.

 

A book that immediately engages your mind and emotions.

As this book begins we read a letter from someone who is in hospital recovering from being shot in the chest.

It is WW2 in an alternate Earth where there are women soldiers fighting on the front line. The letter’s author tells us about the experiences of 3 of the women who each have different roles. There is a white girl from small ‘c’ conservative USA heartlands, who is in the infantry; there is a New York Jewish girl who works for Army intelligence; and there is a coloured girl from Oklahoma working as a medic. They had met before 1943 – which is where this story is set, but this fact only comes to light late in the book, unless you have read the first book in this series. The series has a short novella that follows and a further book not yet published which tells of the war from where this book finishes.

The war, as it is told in this story, is very similar to the one we know from our Earth, with just a few changes, but not enough to notice unless you happen to be an expert.

In this world’s army – if the men did it, then the women did also. From digging trenches and latrines, to shooting to kill, even sharing their accommodation with the men in their unit. Your gender is relevant here – only your army role counts – unless you are coloured in which case you will be I  a special unit and have your own tents and so on. Just as we did in our version of WW2.

So we hear about each girl and how their war unfolds.

The white girl goes through the infantry hell of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. The Jewish girl becomes a spy ina complicated sub-plot which involves the Mafia and the Gestapo. And the coloured girl demonstrates her heroism in the trenches and how she treats those under her charge.

The book is frank about sexism, racism and the brutalities of war and how it hardens the mentions of those who go through it. It tells how human comfort is offered and accepted at unlikely times and how friendships are formed under conditions of duress. Torture is not missed but not in every bloody d3tail but much is told often in remembrances which make it a little less stark which must help the audience at which this series is targeted – the older YA including 6th forms. There is plenty of swearing but whilst there is no bowdlerisation the sear words are change to make them acceptable to libraries etc.

As a reflection for the YA audience on how fighting a war is less than heroism but more about dirt; disease; the randomness of death and injury and sheer bloodiness; trench foot; cold; wet; and awful food,  it gets its message across.

 

 

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