#BookReview Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

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This scientific dystopia is an excellent read for those who like apocalyptic stories!

The world is getting ready for the apocalypse, and Atom is at the center of it all. Him and the other teenage Genetic Systems must survive and help “restart” the earth when everyone is wiped out. Along the way, drama, romance and war ensues – all creating havoc upon the teens.

This book reminded me of a Young Adult novel – the drama and fighting definitely sat around a young adult audience level, in my opinion. I could easily see youth and adults enjoying this book. The plot itself was very reminiscent of many YA novels I’ve read – apocalypse, teenagers being the only ones who can save the world, and the YA romance tropes.

I did find the writing and conversations to be very simplistic. That doesn’t make the novel bad, but I’m a reader who likes complex words, not using “said” or the same words all the time, and lots of excitement. The writing style just didn’t match with my reading style! I feel like there is a lot of potential in this book, and maybe in a sequel (?? pretty please??) it could be enhanced to a much higher level.

I did like the plot itself – I think Aaron Denius Garcia put a unique and fun spin on it that made me want to continue reading this book. I was desperate to follow these characters (specifically Atom and Ev) to see where their adventure would go. Throwing in actual history was also a really cool part of this story, since it was looking at history from a different point of view. I also found the nuclear aspect to be extremely scary (due to the realism) in this fictional world. It did take me about half the book to get really into the story, but once I got there I was hooked and addicted. I absolutely HAD to finish this book!

I felt the book left off in a way that it could continue in some form, so I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book! I hope Aaron continues with this story because it has so much potential, it’s really fun and it has one epic story! Maybe one day a publisher will pick this book up and pimp it out to readers everywhere!

I’d highly recommend this book if you like sci-fi, apocalypse stories, young adult or just fun fiction! It’s a great book, even if it wasn’t the best book for me! I loved it and would definitely want to read more!

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

On a side note, I LOVE that Aaron signed my copy of the book AND spelled my name right! Authors (and anyone really… coworkers, family, etc) rarely spell my actual name right, and it made me so giddy!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Gene. Sys.

Amazon.com – Gene. Sys.

Amazon.ca – Gene. Sys.

 

Find out more about Aaron Denius Garcia on:

Goodreads – Aaron Denius Garcia

http://www.genesysbook.com/

Twitter – @AaronDenius

 

If you read this review, comment below with your favourite YA dystopian novel!
And… give me a shout out on Twitter! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReviews Girls That Growl by Mari Mancusi

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Girls that Growl by Mari Mancusi is a great addition to the Blood Coven Vampires series.

This book continues this series in an excellent manner all the while expanding the universe even farther. Our lead, Rayne, grows as a character which is a nice change compared to many YA novels where our leads stay the same throughout the entire series.

Mari explores lycan within this book alongside Rayne’s character development. While this isn’t my favourite book out of the entire series (this is actually my least favourite, when I look back at all the books – including the new one), I feel like this book does it’s job – it moves the story forward so we can get to the next novels. Don’t be turned away by this book – yes, it’s not as great as the last two books but the following books get much, much better than this one. There always seems to be one book in a series that isn’t as great as the rest (there has to be, not all books can be perfect) and this book is it in this series. The previous and following books are definitely worth reading this book so you can get to all the adventure and romance we love.

There is more Sunny in this book, but the main focus is Rayne. It’s nice to see both girls have a bigger presence in this book!! There is also a bit more exploration of Jareth, for those who love him…

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Re-reading it was an excellent choice for me and I definitely suggest picking this book up!!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or visit her site: Mari Mancusi’s Website

Tell Mari you read her book on twitter:  @MariMancusi

Did you enjoy the Blood Coven series? Well, it has it’s own website!! Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

Find me on Goodreads, where you can get up to date posts as soon as available: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or swing by Twitter and give me a shout out!! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

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Now is time for a #ThrowbackThursday review – AKA I’ve gone back to reading a book on my shelf from years ago and reviewing it. Enjoy!!

 

 

Poison Princess is one of those books that takes you by surprise, pulls you in and won’t let you go until you finish it.

I actually found this book (originally) via Gena Showalter. She was always talking about her author friend Kresley Cole on Twitter, so I decided to pick this book up. They seemed to get along so well, so why not pick up her book? I doubt author friends who hated each other’s works would talk so great about each other. And to no one’s surprise, Gena’s suggestion was on point. (Keep in mind I love Gena Showalter. I’m quite sad I haven’t been able to read any of her books recently, due to my busy schedule).

This is a dystopian, apocalypse novel is for sure a YA novel – but that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it. It’s not R rated, if anything it’s more of a PG/PG-13-esque novel. It’s an easy read, and it’s totally addicting. There are some cringy YA moments (silly romances, ironic comments, and all the joys that come with being a teenager) but it’s still an enjoyable book. If you keep in mind it’s a YA novel made for a YA audience, it’s not to heart breaking when silly teenage plot lines go on. It’s like a soap opera – if you understand that some extraordinary things happen that are out of the line of reality, then you can thoroughly enjoy it.

Keeping in mind that I have read the next novel – the character development in this book works. You begin to fall in love with these sassy characters and they do grow! Their story is continually built on into the next book, and to me it’s a worthy read worth a recommendation. It’s probably one of the better YA novels I’ve read – and one that I’ve been able to come back to and enjoy.

Overall, Kresley Cole is an amazing story teller. She’s great at her adult series and her YA series, and it’s a worthy read for those looking for some YA or dystopian drama in their lives.

Five out of five stars.

#BookReview Her Dragon to Slay by Julia Mills

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Her Dragon To Slay was a fantastical, romance novel all about dragons.

Warning: Spoilers ahead! Be warned.

I found this book free on Amazon, so I figured – why not? I loved Katie MacAlister’s dragon series, and I wanted to fill my shelf with a few more books about dragons, so this seemed like the perfect fit! And, indeed it was! This book was fun, delightful and full of ooey, gooey romance.

It’s definitely your “typical” fantasy romance – they fall in love fast, there’s some really hot sex scenes and there’s some fantasy and action mixed in as well.

Julia Mills does a great job weaving the dragon half of the story with the romance side. I loved the mythology Julia created for this world, and I would like to see more of it in the future. It can seem a little cheesey if you’re expecting an Oscar worthy styled novel, but to me it was fun and entertaining. It kept me interested to the point I devoured it in one sitting.

There are also many funny and comedic moments mixed in. This is not a serious fantasy novel, it’s lighthearted and fun.

So, you may be asking at this point – what’s the cons?
1. Character development is low (but it’s a book that’s less than 200 pages and involves a lot more romance involved)
2. Repetitive. Yeah, this book is a little repetitive. If you’re just reading it for a fun ride, it’s cool. It didn’t bug me because I wanted an escape from reality, but to some people this might be a major no-no.
3. Potential rape?… Rayne gets a little to sexual with a sleeping Kyndel, and we’re not to sure if she actually “wanted” it despite her body behaving… But later she’s madly in love with him in about two seconds, so it could be warranted? I don’t even know. That part left me feeling really icky reading it. It just didn’t seem right.
4. Male oriented story. This one kind of bugged me, and looking at other reviewers it bugged them too. The woman exists for the man in this story, and it definitely fills some fantasies for some people but in today’s culture it doesn’t sit perfectly. This can be a con or a pro, depending on how you want to look at the story.

Overall, this book was delightful. It had me whisked away to another world and not worrying about reality. It’d be a great book to read if you love romance, dragons or a sexy read.

Three out of five stars.

 

What is your favourite fantasy book? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Saving Me by Sadie Allen

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #HerDragonToSlay to chat about this book on twitter with me! @ReviewAlholic

Check out Julia Mills on her website http://www.juliamillsauthor.com/ or twitter @JuliaMills623

#BookReview Stake That by Mari Mancusi

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Mari Mancusi’s 2nd novel in the Blood Coven Vampire series is an excellent read.

I fell in love with this series when I was much, much younger than I am now (aka high school era), but rereading this series has made me fall in love with Mari all over again. And with the introduction of Once Upon a Vampire into this series (kind of…it’s in the same universe, so it’s the same series, I geuss?) I had to go back and reread to get a feel of these books again (and just because I love them. I can’t help it!).

This book is full of sassy, snarky teenage angst with a splash of vampires, blood and comedy. It may be labelled YA, but it’s a great read for anyone who doesn’t want something that is going to make your brain explode. It’s an easy read with a fast yet simple plot and it’s absolutely delightful. I was hooked when I first read them, and I’m hooked reading them yet again. Mari has a great style and tone in her writing that makes it really easy to read her books, fall in love with the characters and stay interested.

I find these stories have an easy to follow plot and it’s well thought out. It doesn’t get boring since it keeps moving as a fast yet leisurely pace. They are thoroughly enjoyable at any age, and don’t require any advanced theorizing. This book follows Rayne’s story, and it’s a wonderful read and continuation of this series. It’s a definite recommendation from me!!

Keep in mind – this series is narrated by sassy, silly teenagers who over exaggerate life’s problems (like any other teenager, let’s be honest guys. I thought the world was going to end in high school too when everything didn’t go perfect!). So, you’ve been warned!! It’s not a serious adult novel, it’s a fun YA novel that adults can read and enjoy as well.

Overall, this series is fun! I really hope Mari continues on writing more books within this universe because it’s nice reading something light-hearted and sweet!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or her website! Mari Mancusi’s Website

She can also be found on Twitter! @MariMancusi

Blood Covens also has it’s own website for your viewing pleasure!! Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or follow me on Twitter! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

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#ThrowbackThursday time! I read this books years ago, when it came out  and now it’s time to pick it up off my shelf and dust it off for a new review!!

 

 

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey is one of my favourite books in a series that ended FAR TOO SOON!!

When I initially picked up this series I became furious – there was only two books in the series and then POOF it was gone, just like that! I was addicted, I needed more and Beth hadn’t provided the literature to fill that need. With a book and sweet and cute as this one, it was highly upsetting.

The Romanian vampire universe that Beth built within these two books was thrilling. We follow Jessica and her vampire husband (who has been accused of murder, by the way) in a magical adventure. There’s romance, drama, danger, thrills and everything you want in a YA, vampire novel.

This book does let you down though – it’s the final in a two book series that could have been so much more. It could have been the next Vampire Academy, in my eyes. Why go so far and waste the effort to create such a beautiful universe to end it after two? Our characters still had room to grow, since their character development was quite small, and there were so many loose ends that weren’t tied up in the end. When there’s so many mysteries entwined in this series, it was incredibly frustrating to know the books just stopped here.

Jessica is related to the audience – she doesn’t fit in, she’s strong willed and headstrong and is willing to save her friends. She’s not overly dramatic in my eyes, especially in a YA adult novel, but she’s still an excellent lead. Mixed in with a fast paced story, and an excellent story line makes for a truly great recommended read from me!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Beth’s website: Beth Fantaskey

Or give Beth a shoutout on Twitter! @BethFantaskey

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Quick Book Review: Mania (The Night Walkers #3) by JR Johansson

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Photo via Goodreads.

Mania is a great fantasy, young adult novel for any reader.

To start out with, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read the previous books before starting this one. I did not, since I got this as a review novel, and boy was I confused for 75% of this book. That’s not to say this book isn’t highly addicting and incredibly interesting as a “standalone”, but having the background information from the other novels would have made this book so much better!

As a standalone, (or as I call it, Bri-anna the reviewer couldn’t find the other novels and couldn’t afford to buy them), the book was great! The author does back track and explain some of the content of the previous novels to aid the readers. So, I had a basic understanding of what was going on throughout the book.

In short, this book follows some teenagers and young adults through a sort of post apocalyptic / dystopian world. There is a virus that is going around, that makes people similar to zombies – some of them can’t sleep and don’t read, which leads them to not living long. Our main characters, half brothers Jack and Parker, are trying to find the cure which their Father left behind (but is no longer with them). Together with their friends, they must face a rivaling group bent on evil and cure this disease to aid the world.

I wish I would have read the previous books so I would have more feelings towards the characters. These characters are beautifully written, but since I didn’t know their previous relationships and personalities, I felt like I was at a loss. JR Johansson did so great building these characters in just this book, that I can’t help but wonder what happened in the two previous!

Overall, this book was great! The plot was summed up, the characters were built well, and it was an original story and plot I hadn’t heard often – it was a great spin on what could have been a very typical plot.

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

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Photo via Goodreads.

This novel was a big let down for me.

I picked up this book at a clearance event for books. I had wanted to read the novel for years, but I could never remember the name. The book was the cheapest of the pile and on sale on top of the clearance, which should have been a warning.

I heard rave reviews from my friends that I should read this book, so I picked it up willing and ready to be wooed. Sadly, this book was one where I had to force myself to continue, and I did not see the point in the ending.

The ending to the book, without spoiling, made me question if it was randomly made up on the spot because a better ending couldn’t be found. The ending didn’t fit with the pace of the novel or make sense. While I did not read up on the Faust story itself, I felt that the ending could have been more dramatic and exciting instead of a lame ‘The End’ feeling. The conflict did not seem to be resolved and I felt more confused than ever as to what really happened.

The novel was very slow to start, and slowed down even more when I got into it. When I was about 4/5ths of the way through, I began to become really into the book and I couldn’t put it down, but the ending didn’t fit in with the pace that was built throughout the novel.

I had high hopes for this novel, and I will read Another Pan to see if it is any better, but it was a let down.

I wish the ending would have been better, because if it went out with a bang I would have found the book much more interesting. A slow build in pace would have been nice with a spectacular ending that made up for the slow build to the climax.

This book would be good for preteens or younger, since it isn’t as climactic as most Young Adult novels.

Overall, not impressed but I will keep it on my shelf

Cover Reveal: The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter #LOTU

Gena Showalter is proud to share the cover for the 13th novel in her bestselling Lords of the Underworld series, THE DARKEST PROMISE! #LOTU

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Order THE DARKEST PROMISE here!

The Darkest Promise on Amazon

The Darkest Promise on Barnes and Nobles

The Darkest Promise on Books a Million

The Darkest Promise on Powell’s

The Darkest Promise on IndieBound

THE DARKEST PROMISE Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Lords of the Underworld story about an iron-willed sovereign and the somber beauty who melts him with a glance…

Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn’t allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairy tale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption.

Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with a single unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him—until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile…and seduce her into his bed.

As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they’ve forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever…

The Darkest Promise on Goodreads

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

gena-showalter-author-photo

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld series, two young-adult series—Everlife and The White Rabbit Chronicles—and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs and all her upcoming books at GenaShowalter.com or Facebook.com/GenaShowalterFans.

Gena Showalter’s Website

Gena Showalter’s Twitter – @genashowalter

Gena Showalter’s Facebook

Gena Showalter on Goodreads

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Quick Book Review: The Darby Shaw Chronicles (Books 1-3) by Liberty Speidel

The Darby Shaw Chronicles was a great mystery read with just a pinch of fantasy/supernatural!

At first I wasn’t super hooked into this book – I didn’t really know what I was getting into. It was a detective/crime story, but then suddenly the main character had supernatural powers. In the beginning it seems like some cheesey plot line just to get more people to the book, but once you actually get into the novel (about half way through the first book) you realize how genius the idea actually is.

As cheesey as it seems when the supernatural reveal happens in the beginning, Liberty Speidel then does an excellent job expanding the story and eventually series.

I did love these books. Each book got better, and they left me wanting a fourth one! Liberty builds her characters so you feel for them, but are also very cautious. With all the politics involved in both crime and supernatural possibilities, I felt very informed and not confused at any time during the books.

I would definitely suggest this book to anyone looking for a crime or supernatural novel. It’s the perfect mix of both, with the tiniest splash of romance in there.

If there is anything Liberty Speidel could have worked on, it would be the supernatural reveal. I did find it cheesey compared to the rest of the book, which seems to be siding on serious half the time and light hearted the other. But, this wasn’t a major issue, it just seemed like a change in tone compared to the rest of the books.

Four out of five stars. I can’t wait for the next book!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check them out on:
Goodreads – Darby Shaw
Amazon.ca – Darby Shaw #1-3
Amazon.com – Darby Shaw #1-3