October Releases

Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway with Katie Salidas

Hello everyone! I am so happy to have author Katie Salidas with me today. Since it is Halloween, Salidas has written an amazing post on what makes a monster a monster. She has also been nice enough to give away one of her amazing books and it is up to you to choose which one you want. So please give a huge welcome to Katie!

What is a Monster?
A guest post by Katie Salidas

October is a month for monsters. That pretty much goes without saying. But what exactly is a monster?

                Well, if you want to get all technical, a monster is a creature (often fictional ) that is hideous and produces a fear reaction by its appearance or actions.

                But, nowhere in that definition does it say the monster is bad. In fact, some of the best known monsters are good. Think of Beauty and the Beast, the Incredible Hulk, Shrek, the list goes on.  Just because a creature is physically different, doesn’t mean they are bad.  For me, Hollywood monsters never really had the scare factor to them that real bad guys could. Frankenstein’s monster was really no monster. It was his creator Dr. Frankenstein that was the real monster. Neither of which hold a candle to the psycho killers like Michael Meyers (Halloween), or Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th). Yes. Those are fictional characters too but they are based on demented people. And there are a lot of those kinds of people out there in the real world. There was a joke made a long time ago about Halloween costumes. One person said they were dressed as a psycho killer “they look just like everyone else.” That’s the point I’m making here. Monsters are easy to spot, it’s the truly demented that are hard to pick out,  but I digress.

                Okay, so monsters are unnatural or grotesque. Why then do we love them so much? Because, for the most part, they are fictional creatures. They are safe to play with because they are not real. When all is said and done, we can shut the book or turn off the TV and the monster goes away.  Real monsters: psycho killers, demented people, etc… don’t go away so easy.

We like being scared of something. We like the adrenaline rush. The heart pounding, “what will happen next feeling.”  If we didn’t horror wouldn’t be such a popular genre in books and film. So, we take those fictional creatures, ones that don’t exist in the real world, and place them in situations to get our hearts pumping.
                Dracula enters a sleeping woman’s bedroom, ready to bite her neck and steal her essence. Ah but there is the heroic Van Helsing to thrust a stake through his heart and save the day.  The scary werewolf that hunts under the light of the full moon can be taken down by a silver bullet. The mummy, Zombies, Big Foot, Swamp thing, all of these monsters have a weakness that can be exploited and at the end of the story, all is well.

                That’s why we like our monsters so much. They are creatures we can fear and defeat in a small space of time, knowing full well they weren’t real to begin with. 

Check out my review of book one of the Immortalis series

About the Author
Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write. 

 And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale…

Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.

Stalk Katie Salidas here:


One lucky winner will have the choice to choose one ebook from Salidas' amazing vampire series, Immortalis
Click here for info: Immortalis Carpe Noctem | Hunters & PreyPandora's Box 

*To enter, just leave a comment with your email address*
Extra entries
GFC Follower = +1
Twitter Follower (@harleyquinn0887) = +1
Twitter Follower ( @QuixoticKatie ) =+1
Spread the word (leave a link please) = +1
*One winner will be chosen by
*Contest ends November 7th
*Contest open Internationally

Book Review: Nomansland by Lesley Hauge

Author: Lesley Hauge
Format: Audiobook
Time: 5 hrs. and 27 mins.
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Release Date: June 22, 2010 (audiobook: July 13, 2010)
Publisher: Listen Library
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian/Science Fiction

Buy here:

Synopsis from Goodreads

Sometime in the future, a lonely, windswept island is populated solely by women. Among these women is a group of teenaged Trackers—expert equestrians and archers—whose job is to protect their shores from the enemy. The enemy, they’ve been told, is men. When these girls come upon a partially buried home from the distant past, they are fascinated by the strange objects—high-heeled shoes, teen magazines, make-up—found there. What are they to make of these mysterious things? And what does it mean for their strict society where friendship is forbidden and rules must be obeyed—at all costs?

     Nomansland is a book set in post-apocalyptic world where men are the enemy. They have been diseased and many have died out. On an island known as Foundland, there are only women who run the island. They protect their island from the men. The trackers, teenage girls who protect the shores of the island, end up in a hidden house that is full of things they were told are forbidden. They must pretend as though they don’t know there is more out there and must continue to hide their emotions before they are all punished.

     Another perfect example of a deceitful book cover. When I first saw this book, I immediately thought it was some modern take on Amazon women or even cooler, Xena Warrior Princess (HELLS YEAH!). But sadly, that was not the case. In fact, I am not entirely sure what the case was. This book was a little contradicting to me and sort of left me unsatisfied.

     We have lots of characters, but given their society, they don’t have personalities. Women aren’t supposed to have friendships. They can’t have names that end in an “A” or a “Y”. They are not supposed to show emotions. All these things and more are pitfalls. Women are supposed to be self-sufficient, not worrying with silly things like friendship. Why? I am still not sure. And that is the real story of this book. The one characters, Ling (who started it all), found all those magazines, shoes and clothes; things forbidden in their world. Through this, she is becoming her own person and she is trying to help Keller (the main character) open her eyes and see there is more out there. Keller goes throughout this book questioning everything because she as well as the other girls is left in the dark.

     The biggest problem with this book is the plot. It starts off okay and just keeps staying at okay. There is no real climax until close to the end which I can’t spoil. But then it was over so quickly. I didn’t appreciate it at all. I honestly thought it was incomplete. Nothing is really explained, they just are. I understand they are creating a world where no one is allowed to think for themselves, but how did it get that bad? You don’t really know how or why things got to where they are. You don’t know why they are fighting the men so much. As a matter of fact, I don’t understand how the girls don’t catch on at all. They get impregnated when the population is going low. Ummm, hello? That means they might be freezing sperm (don’t know how since there doesn’t seem to be electricity) or there are men around somewhere. But I guess I can’t complain too much because most of the girls seem brainwashed and can’t really think outside of the box.

     Overall, with the setting of this dystopian world, this almost totalitarian society, I expected there to be an uprising of some sort. Some rebelling, some fight, some change. There wasn’t any of that. This book pretty much ends where it started with a couple of exceptions; lies being revealed, death and Keller escaping. What was the point? Where is the fight, the conflict? It just fell short for me. As much as I enjoyed the worldbuilding, not much was done in this world. I pray Hauge makes a sequel to this because there is so much more to explain. We have an interesting world, now we need more story and character.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giveaway & Trailer: Destined (House of Night #9) by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Zeitghost Media is at it again. This time they are giving away a copy of Destined, book 9 in the very popular House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast. This book just came out Tuesday and again, I haven't started this one. Man, why am I always behind? Nonetheless, Zeitghost Media has given us an awesome trailer (full of some very sexy guys I must say) and one lucky commenter will be given a copy of this book. So check out the trailer and see what you can do to win.


Stalk P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast:


Destined blurb from HoN Official Site

In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa’s House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side – and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx’s gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father’s shadow.
But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness?

*To enter, just leave a comment with your email address*
Extra entries
GFC Follower = +1
Twitter Follower (@harleyquinn0887) = +1
Spread the word (leave a link please) = +1

*One winner will be chosen by
*Contest ends November 2nd
*Contest open to US/Canada only

Movie Review: Dream House (2011)

Synopsis from IMDB

Some say that all houses have memories. For one man, his home is the place he would kill to forget. A family unknowingly moves into a home where several grisly murders were committed...only to find themselves the killer's next target. Successful publisher Will Atenton (Craig) quit a job in New York City to relocate his wife, Libby (Weisz), and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived. When Will investigates the tragedy, his only lead comes from Ann Paterson (Watts), a neighbor who was close to the family that died. As Will and Ann piece together the disturbing puzzle, they discover that the story of the last man to leave Will's dream house will be just as horrifying to the one who came next.

     Dream House is about an editor, Will Atenton (Daniel Craig), who is retiring to stay home with his wife and kids. They just moved into their dream home, but find out soon that there is something wrong with the house. They find out that another family has been murdered in that same house a while back and that the person that did it is after them.

     Is it a Horror? A drama? A psychological thriller? A mystery? No, it is all of those things and none of those wrapped up into one (strange, but you will know soon enough). And that is the biggest problem in this movie. Dream House has absolutely no idea what it wants to be and doesn’t aim high enough to be one or the other. The trailer (one of the worst movie trailers in my opinion), not only misleads you, but they even reveal part of the mystery in the trailer. I for one knew what would happen because this story has been done, but seriously, there are those that wouldn’t have a clue. It was obvious that the production company didn’t give a crap about this movie and I didn’t really either.

     Atenton is scared for his family; they are all being terrorized by someone. Oddly enough, the biggest problem is that not even the cops will help him. The majority of the movie is about him finding out who was really behind his family’s death and why he can’t remember anything. So he does a little digging on his own and finds out (as revealed in the stupid trailer), he is the supposed killer. He knows he didn’t do it and there is no real evidence he did. They reveal this halfway in the movie, it obviously isn’t a big reveal.

     This movie was full of little things that didn’t make sense or they needed to fill the time. One weird thing was that Atenton’s psychologist says he needs help because of his hallucinations. But she lets him out still anyway and without any medication. What? Let a mental patient accused of slaughtering his family who is now seeing them everywhere; leave the institution with nothing to help him cope? Right. Another issue was that there was a scene in the first 20 minutes where they obviously let you know who the real bad guy is. But they took until the end to reveal him and his secret. Problem was, they give us a lame ass excuse as to the how and why. In terms of mystery and suspense, this was just sad. It really was just blah.

    That leads me to the ending as a whole. That was one of the most bullshit endings I have seen in my life. Have you ever seen a show or movie where you know they don’t know how to end, so they just throw things in just because? Well if you haven’t, you will get that here. The ending made no sense at all. As a matter of fact, the end does the impossible and makes mental projection a reality. It is hard not to spoil this (well even more than the production company already has), but trust me when I say, you will be screaming, “What the frak?!”

     Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this. This is a story that has been done before and has been done a lot better. It is a mixture of Shutter Island and The Shining…but done wrong. The only good thing about Dream House was the acting. You have Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts (who doesn’t have a lot of scenes, again, stupid), Daniel Craig and those adorable little girls who I thought were very impressive. This movie has that to back it up; it just didn’t use them correctly. Again, this isn’t much of a horror movie or a thriller as the trailer would lead you to believe. The only thing scary about it was Naomi Watts obvious Botox job. Seriously, I almost didn’t recognize her the first time they showed her. Come on Watts, you are a beautiful and talented actress, you don’t need Botox. It didn’t make you look more attractive, it made you look like you had the crap scared out of you.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden
Number in Series: 1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 358
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Genre:Young Adult/Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance

Buy here:

Synopsis from Goodreads

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings. Editor's recommendation.

         Wither is about a dystopian world where advances in science have ruined the future. Due to the children born with the help of science to create the perfect child in order to stop cancer and other various diseases; those children can’t live past their 20s. Girls live up to the age of 20, boys live up to the age of 25. So, of course, there are scientists trying to figure out the problem. But there are those that believe this is the way how things should be. And there are those that are taking advantage of the situation. They are called Gatherers. Since most children now are orphans, they kidnap little girls to sell to their potential husbands to stop the world from dying out or they just kill them. This is where we meet our main character, Rhine. She and three other girls have been kidnapped and taken to a luxurious home in an unfamiliar area. She is on a mission to escape so she can go back to her twin brother, Rowan. Their husband may not be the monster she thought he was, but his father may be a bigger monster than they all thought.

          That synopsis was a lot longer than I thought it would be, but that just shows how complex this book was. I loved this book. It was amazing from beginning to end. I love dystopian stories and this was amazing. I loved that we got a sense of all the characters in the book and it made me care for them all (well most anyway). Rhine was a smart girl; she knew she had to be careful in order to escape. She didn’t do the act first-think later thing. If she did, this book would have been cut very short. I wish we got more of Gabriel. He is the first person she meets in the mansion and tries to help her even though he would get punished for it. They both go out of their way to help each other. Jenna was the oldest of the girls; she is eighteen which means she doesn’t have long. Cecily annoyed me. She is easily manipulated and has caught the eye of the real enemy, Linden’s dad, Vaughn. He has her believing she is safe at the house and there is nowhere else should would rather be. And she refuses to think otherwise because she is in love with the luxury.
I liked Linden because he wasn’t as bad as I thought. In fact, it seems that due to his dad, he is as big a prisoner as the girls. We see how he acts after his First Wife, Rose, dies. He is crushed; he doesn’t act like she is easily replaceable. It is here something grows between him and Rhine and it actually had me cheering him on a bit. I really can’t wait to see more of him.

            But as I said, the real villain is Daddy Dearest Vaughn.  After Rose (the original First wife and Rhine’s only friend in the house besides Gabriel) dies, Rhine goes snooping when she shouldn’t and discovers what Vaughn is really up to in his creepy basement. And Vaughn is a very smart man, he knows Rhine is up to something and knows Gabriel, the simple busboy, is helping her somehow. He takes matters into his own hands. And as the book goes on, you can see this is all an experiment to him, everyone is his lab rat of sorts.

            I loved the plot of this book. The suspense had me losing my mind. Rhine could be caught doing a whole bunch of things she shouldn’t and you wonder what we happen to her. I desperately wanted more romance between her and Gabriel, there was chemistry from the start. But given their situations, I understand why DeStafano  There were some things that happened in the house that were unexplainable that I have no doubt Vaughn had a hand in, but we aren’t given a complete picture. Thank God, because the sequel is coming out in February and intend on getting my copy first thing.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. I am not sure how this review is looking because it is hard not to spoil with this one. It is even harder to write a review about a book worth raving about. I swear to you, this is not even half of the amazing stuff I wanted to talk about in this book. This is amazing debut by DeStefano. Suspenseful, well written and thrilling, this book will not bore you for sure. This is also an amazing YA book. Although please take note that some will need an open mind with this one. Remember, 20-25 years is the end, so there are instances of sex at a young age. But it is only hinted at, we aren’t shown anything. I just have to make sure I put that in there since this book focuses on the end of the human population and end of old age, that this is the way it is handled. Okay, I am stopping now. Read this!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Indie Book Review: First Chosen (Volume I: Tears of Rage) by M. Todd Gallowglas

Author: M. Todd Gallowglas
Format: ePub
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 10, 2011
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Epic Fantasy

Buy here:

Synopsis from Goodreads

FIRST CHOSEN is the story of Julianna, a noble from the conquered kingdom of Koma. In her moment of greatest need, she frees an ancient god, Grandfather Shadow, from his thousand-year prison. He names her his high priest and to lead his people to greatness once again. Her greatest obstacle: it is a capital crime for any of her people to worship one of the five ancient gods. While evading Inquisitors of All Father Sun and the followers of the god of death, Julianna must learn to use the vast power that Grandfather Shadow has given her in order to survive long enough to unite Grandfather Shadow's fractured people.

And so begins, TEARS OF RAGE a dark, epic fantasy about the power of faith and belief, where even though the gods can inspire these qualities in mortals, it is those same mortals that truly control the religions that form from any god’s divine inspiration. It is also a swashbuckling tale of political intrigue where men scheme against each other and the gods, and how friendship, loyalty, and faith can help people persevere through the darkest times.

                I have been lucky enough to be asked to review First Chosen by the author himself. M. Todd Gallowglas. This is a part of the Blog Tour de Force. First Chosen is set in a beautiful dark and epic fantasy world. It is about a girl (a duchess) named Julianna, who has been chosen as the Lord Morigahn (high priest) to protect and lead the Morigahnti (followers of Grandfather Shadow), physically and spiritually. But she can only do this when she speaks the words that will release Grandfather Shadow, a god who has been held prisoner for 1000 years. When she is put in a frightening and traumatizing situation that causes her to use the words, everyone wants a piece of her. So Julianna is in quite a predicament. Not only does she have lots to learn about those after her and who to trust, she also has to figure out her new found powers and who she is.

                I really enjoyed this book. The storytelling was truly out of this world. Gallowglas has created something gorgeous and complex. I love a plot that has so many layers that you can pick a part. Not only is the story deep and compelling, but the characters are as well. Gallowglas wrote it in a way where no one is left out. I love that I get a sense of everyone in the story.  There is so much mythology in this book and no matter the species, everyone was playing a game. This book is full of betrayals, secrets and lies. If you want a great story on the battle of good vs. evil, First Chosen is a great choice.

                I loved the characters. I loved Julianna. After her initial shock of knowing everything rests on her shoulders, you see her growing into it. It was a nice journey with her and Faelin. Faelin was chosen by Grandfather Shadow to help guide and direct Julianna since he is a true believer in Grandfather Shadow. We also have characters that we meet that have their own agendas about Julianna. For instance, the Goddess of Lies, Yrgaeshkil, she has power over Daemyns. But she wants more power, more dominions to control. Her husband is Old Uncle Night. Old Uncle Night is a rival to Grandfather Shadow and he has followers of his own trying to kill off the Morigahnti.  But she isn’t the only villain in this story. Some are villains that might be closer to Julianna than she thinks.

                Now for a few complaints I have for this book. As I said, we have a lot of characters which was both good and bad. The good: we have many characters to love and/or hate. We get lots of diversity and different sides of the same story. The bad: we have a lot of characters and at times, it is hard to keep up with them. Some get more “screen” time than others, so when another gets mentioned, it is hard to remember who they are in the story. I have seen that was an issue with some people, which leads me to another issue. When starting the book, it is a bit of information overload. Gallowglas wastes no time getting you into the heat of it all. As I said, this book is complex, but it does start off a bit overwhelming.  We meet a lot of people in a short amount of time. Last issue, editing. This book had quite a few grammar issues. Not enough to be distracting, mind you. But you do notice them.

                Overall, I highly recommend this book for fans of dark and epic fantasy books. This book has a very clever and rich story that made it difficult for me to put it down.  There is definitely has a Game of Thrones feel to this book that made me love it even more. Political intrigue, lies, secrets, wars, and supernatural creatures; this book has a little something for everyone.  The plot is very deep and makes me very happy that there will be a sequel because there is still more to know. Even with a few kinks, First Chosen isn’t hard to read; well besides some of the characters names. I definitely want to know how to pronounce some of those. Nonetheless, read this book. You won’t regret it.


*Next stops*

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Movie Review: Sucker Punch (2011)

 Synopsis from IMDB

A young girl (Baby Doll) is locked away in a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather where she will undergo a lobotomy in five days' time. Faced with unimaginable odds, she retreats to a fantastical world in her imagination where she and four other female inmates at the asylum, plot to escape the facility. The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Baby Doll and her four companions, as well as a mysterious guide, fight to retrieve the five items they need that will allow them to break free from their captors before it's too late... 

                Sucker Punch is about a young girl who has lost everyone and everything. After going through a very tragic experience, Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is sent to a mental institution where she is set to have a lobotomy.  So before she gets it, she puts together a plan to leave the institution along with the new friends she has made so they all can be free. But in order to leave, she needs five things to help her and the other girls escape.

                Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you, my most disappointing movie of the year. I didn’t get the chance to see this in theaters which I am sure would have made the special effects more exciting. But I ordered it through VOD and as nice as the special effects were on my TV, the story was sort of flat. My younger brother went to see this and we have the same taste in films. So we were both excited about this. He saw it before me in the theaters and told me how much it sucked and how it didn’t make any sense. I have been looking forward to this movie for a year, so I just didn’t want to believe him. Boy I wished I listened.

 I knew what the movie was about from the trailers, but I didn’t know that the back and forth between fantasy and reality would be as clunky and off as it was. I have no problem with over the top, but when you come back down from it all, let is make sense and let it at least be consistent.  While Baby Doll is at the mental institution, she takes dance classes (yeah, that is what mental patients need) and while dancing, she goes into her own world. In this world, she fights Nazis, robots, samurais and etc. Why? Who the hell knows? Problem is when she does this; it takes away from everyone else. When dancing she distracts people in the real world, so the other girls trying to escape can get the items. But we never really see how they got the items in the real world; we are still stuck in Baby Doll’s over the top world. I understand this world is about her escaping reality and facing her demons, but her demons aren’t the ones that put her in the predicament she is in right now. 

I listened to the review for this movie from the great guys at Spill. And they said it best, this movie felt like a long cut scene from a bad video game. Just simple, very uncomplicated plot, and insane and unnecessary visual effects. As nice as they were, it almost felt like I was watching two different movies. One was overdone and one was sort of dull and simple. And actually, the move has three layers and I am still not sure how they mesh. I honestly don’t know what the middle ground is.  If Zack Snyder focused on just one, I believe this movie would have been better. But no, he needed pretty chicks in miniskirts fighting samurais with machine guns and swords. This sounds great on paper, sure, but seeing the way it is done in this film will pain you.

The characters weren’t awful. I think they all worked as best they could with the story they were given. Some characters didn’t make much sense when you get down to it. Wise Man (Scott Glen) who was in Baby Doll’s fantasy helped her out throughout the movie in her head. Then near the end, he shows up in real life and the other girls can see him too even though he was never shown at the institution. What?! How is that possible? Then you have the dance instructor (Carla Gugino) with her bad Russian/Polish accent. I actually liked Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac). He acted well in this And I believe the smartest actor in this movie was Jon Hamm. He only shows up at the very end and has a few lines. I love Hamm and I hate that he was connected to this, but he did a good in-and-out job, so you won’t remember seeing him in this movie, which is a good thing.

The ending had me reeling and not in a fun way. It actually managed to make me more confused because it made the POV of the movie utterly pointless. I am actually a fan of Snyder and I have been looking forward to this movie for a year. A YEAR! So it hurts even more to see that Snyder has pulled a Michael Bay with this movie. I know people have issues with Snyder’s films, but I enjoy them because I like the visuals and they actually make sense and, I am a nerd. But this movie was all flash and no real substance. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend seeing Sucker Punch. But if you want to, go with low or no expectations.


Winner of the My Life Undecided Giveaway!

And the winner is...


Congratulations hon, you are the winner of My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody. You have been sent an email, so please respond within three days with you mailing address. I will be sure to send the guys at Zeitghost Media your information ASAP. Thank you so much for participating hon and congratulations again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review: Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate

Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen
Number in Series: 2
Format: Audiobook
Time: 9 hrs. and 47 mins.
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Publisher: Listen Library
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Young Adult/Urban Fantasy/Horror

Buy here:

Synopsis from Goodreads

Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.
It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.
What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

          Torment picks up immediately where Fallen left off. Daniel and Cam decide on a truce for 18 days because they are battling against Outcasts.  They are angels who have been cast out of Heaven and Hell and they kill both angels and demons. So while trying to get rid of angels and demons, they are also out to get Luce. So to protect her, Daniel has Luce transferred to a school called Shoreline. The school is for both humans and the Nephilim. The Nephilim are students who are both angels and humans. And they along with others are all out to help Luce with her future and her past.

          AHHHHHHH!!! Once again, the beautiful cover has deceived me. Now I can’t say I hated this book because to be honest the story was actually better. One of my biggest complaints from Fallen was how stretched and slow the story was. This had a better story, but it just wasn’t executed completely. We know that Luce has a very long history with Daniel. Luce wants to know more about that history. Luckily, she finds out that the Shadows that have been following her all her life are the key to looking into the past. Through her new friend Shelby, Luce looks into her past life and finds people alive that were related to the old her. So they travel away from Shoreline, against Daniel’s wishes, to find more about her past lives.

           Luce is one of the most confusing characters ever. She is very whiny and selfish. Hey Bella Swan, meet your competition for top dog in the TSTL department! Although, she does stand on her own a bit more in this book, so that means something. Anyway, Daniel says that they will have to be separated for a few weeks, but the way she acts makes it seem like she will never see him again. Then when he warns her he is trying to protect her and watches over her, she complains that she wants independence. What? And she does this back and forth throughout the book. She is also a bit ungrateful. Daniel is trying to protect her life and Cam has saved her life, but she still complains and takes it all for granted.

           But thank God for the other characters in this book. I liked the new girl Shelby. She comes off a little mean at first, but you warm up to her. And through Luce finds out a lot of things about herself and Daniel. I absolutely loved Miles. The new guy and Luce really hit it off and I would have liked the book better if he was the main guy instead of Daniel. He actually got her and didn’t boss her around. Not to mention he has a personality.

           I also had an issue with understanding the story. Why is it that Shoreline is full of Nephilim, people who are part angel and part human, who aren’t cursed. But Luce is being hunted for being with an angel? Is it because Daniel was a high-level angel or what? I don’t know, this book never clarifies that. As a matter of fact, this book doesn’t clarify anything. We get a lot more questions than answers. We do find out the Shadows have a purpose and that Luce has a talent with working with them. But we find out a lot of little things that I can’t spoil, but don’t have any answers for. Like the ending with the Outcasts; I know I am not the only one who thought that was strange and not in a good way. The main villain I saw a mile away after we were given a description of them earlier in the book.

            Overall, this was slightly better than book 1. So I am happy to say it didn’t get worse. There is more going on and there were more enjoyable characters, well side characters. But they aren’t as developed as I want them to be especially Miles. He was amazing and without him, the ending of the book would have ended a lot differently for Luce. But like I said, there are way too many questions. Why are the Outcasts after Luce? Why out of all the humans who were with angels, is Luce the one being hunted down? What exactly is Daniel’s past that has led them to their current predicament?  We don’t find out and I pray we get some answers in the next book. Oh God, I hope so.


*This book belongs to the following challenge*
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Movie Review: Contagion (2011)

 Synopsis from IMDB

Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies a few days later. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Center for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic.

                Finally back to writing movie reviews, YAY! Contagion is about a woman named Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) who goes overseas on a business trip. She takes a little “detour” before returning home. But while returning home, she catches a bug. It looks and starts off as a fever, but after a couple of days, the fever takes over and people die. And it seems that everyone Beth has come into contact with (directly and indirectly) has also caught this deadly virus including her son. This movie follows various people who all are fighting against the virus and are trying to figure out how to stop it or maybe exploit it.

                I liked this movie. I like how it followed everyone’s point of view with this pandemic. You have the scientists who are working hard trying to come up with a vaccine, Beth’s remaining family, Mitch (Matt Damon) and Jory (Anna Jacoby-Heron) and how they are struggling. There is also the journalist, Alan (Jude Law), who is taking the pandemic and using it against the government and trying to make it look like a conspiracy of some sort.

                What made this movie worth the money were the actors. This movie was full of Oscar winners and Oscar contenders. My favorite was Kate Winslet’s character, Dr. Erin Mears. She is an expert on how viruses spread and her acting was just spot on. She had me in tears at one point in this movie. Also loved Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) who is the man in charge, the face to trying to stop the spread of the virus, he is also breaking some rules to help others in need.

                As much as I liked this though, Contagion doesn’t go as far as I wanted it to. We have Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) who was kidnapped by one of her coworkers. But then also found out the people on her side did something awful that would make things a million times worse. But we don’t see what happened after that. We are left to wonder. Also the journalist Alan, he was telling people he found and had the cure even though it was said it wouldn’t work. We are never told whether he was lying or using the virus for his own gain. I do believe he was because he was making millions off it, but still fooling people into thinking the government is lying to them when he was the real liar.

                Nonetheless, this movie was not bad by any means. But as plots go, it didn’t go as far as it should have. Contagion just follows people and how they would act during a crisis like this, it doesn’t add anything you wouldn’t expect. It truly did freak me out because you could definitely see something like this happening. It is a realistic take on a world crisis. It is definitely thrilling and I wasn’t bored. It also answered two questions for me. 1) What will save me besides God? Purell. 2) How many Americans does it take to ruin the world? One. Ok, that second one is unfair because technically she didn’t start it, but just shows you can’t trust everyone to have common sense. So it is worth checking out at least for the acting.