Showing posts from September, 2013

The Chosen One

The Chosen One (Teravinea #1) by D. María Trimble (Self-Published, 2012, 210pp.)

Twenty years ago, in the Kingdom of Teravinea, dragons and their human riders once filled the skies and served the royal House of Drekinn. After a violent coup, the ruthless usurper Galtero seized power and exterminated the royal family and the dragons, causing the dragon riders to flee into hiding. Now, school children are taught that dragons were nothing more than mythical creatures—but  15-year-old Amàne soon finds out otherwise when an odd-shaped rock she finds on the beach hatches into one of these noble reptilian steads, and “links” with her. Shortly after she confides in a trusted family friend about her discovery, former dragon riders start making themselves known and start training Amàne and her dragon, Eshshah, for a battle that will unseat the wicked usurper and restore power to the House of Drekinn. Amàne, the narrator of the tale, is a strong heroine, with enough flaws to make her human, but e…

A Sensitive Fable About Grief and Loss

One Stone Left Unturned by Marianna Heusler (Wild Child Publishing, 2013, 230pp.)

Augusta Ashford’s life has become considerably more difficult since her grandmother, Elvira, developed Alzheimer’s. Augusta is already picked on on a regular basis, and now she has to defend her grandmother’s peculiar antics to her bullying mother. Elvira has a habit of taking things that aren’t hers, the most recent of which is a precious tourmaline she found in the basement of a ruined Catholic church—but it isn’t any ordinary stone. Augusta soon discovers that the stone has miraculous healing properties. Meanwhile, almost 100 years earlier, we learn that the young princess Tatiana Romanov also owned the stone, and used it to ease the symptoms of her younger brother’s hemophilia while in her family was held in captivity. Interweaving the two stories of the doomed czar’s family in Russia, and the American teenager, Augusta Ashford, One Stone Left Unturned is both a fresh, suspenseful take on the Romanov …

Interesting Start to a Series, But Still Needs Work

Shadow (The Rex Deus Dynasty #1) by Olivia Cooper (Self-Published, 2013, 113pp.)

Orphaned when her adoptive parents both die within months of each other, 18-year-old Angelina Hathaway is a high-school dropout who works a satisfying, if low-paying, job at a restaurant. Enter Guillermo, a mysterious young man who contacts her with information about her birth parents: unbeknownst to her, her parents were high-ranking members of the Rex Deus Dynasty, an organization dedicated to protecting the lineage of Christ—of which Angelina is the last direct descendant. After she’s almost killed in her apartment by a mysterious assailant, the Rex Deus Dynasty whisks her away to a remote compound in Mendocino, California, where they provide her with a lavish lifestyle and opportunities to complete her education. She is allowed to come and go as she pleases; the only non-negotiable factor in the deal is that she must marry another of the blood and produce as many children as possible. Certainly not the…

Interesting High School Drama

Paraestrals, Volume 1: A Vampire’s Awakening by Sara Stenner (Self-Published, 2012, 106pp.)
The first part in a serial novel, Paraestrals: A Vampire’s Awakening takes place in a large city in England, and focuses on Samantha LeFay, a vampire gumshoe. Just fresh out of high school, she co-owns the Paraestrals Private Investigation Service with her best friend. As the story begins, she’s wrapping up a case involving child abduction, when she thinks back on her awakening as a vampire. Like most vampires of pop culture, Samantha enjoys super strength and hearing, but that’s about it in terms of advantages. When Samantha turns 16, she suddenly finds sunlight unbearable. She starts sunburning more easily than the average person, and has to wear long-sleeves and sunglasses in the summertime. No glamor or sparkly advantages here. To be honest? I kept expecting a secret vampire society to swoop down any second and say, “You’ve been accepted to the House of Night/Hogwarts/whatever,” but the trut…

A Good Second Installment For the Series

Incubus (Daughters of Lilith #2) by Jennifer Quintenz (Secret Tree Press, 2013, 255pp.)

A year after the events that wrapped up Book 1 of the Daughters of Lilith series, evil Lilitu Ais has been defeated in her efforts to open the gateway between worlds and destroy humanity. But now there’s another threat: a rare male Lilitu, an incubus, has been spotted, and the Guard fears that he will make an attempt to finish what Ais started. Having been promised by the angel Sansenoy that there’s still a chance for her to become human, good-girl Lilitu Braedyn Murphy is torn between her duties to the guard, and her desire to carry out a normal life (i.e. being able to have sex with her boyfriend without accidentally killing him). Then, Braedyn hears of a spell that will seal the gate forever, eliminating the Guard’s need for her Lilitu powers. As challenges mount both at home and at school, though, Braedyn finds herself tempted to use her powers in ways both good and bad—and the further she cross…