Monday, September 30, 2013

Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore

Book Description

One halo brought sight to Brielle. Another offers sweet relief from what she sees.
Brielle can’t help but see the Celestial. Even without the halo, the invisible realm is everywhere she looks. It’s impossibly beautiful—and terrifying, especially now. Because a battle rages above Stratus, Oregon.
The Terrestrial Veil is ripping, and demons walk the streets past unseeing mortals. Dark, sticky fear drips from every face, and nightmares haunt Brielle’s sleep.
Worst of all, Jake is gone. The only boy she’s ever loved has been taken by the demon, Damien. When she receives instructions from the Throne Room leading her to Jake, she unknowingly walks into a diabolical and heartbreaking trap.
Now she’s stranded in a sulfurous desert with the Prince of Darkness himself, and he’s offering her another halo—a mirrored ring that will destroy her Celestial vision. All she has to do is wear it and she’ll see no more of the invisible world. No more fear. No more nightmares. No more demons. It’s a gift. And best of all: it comes with the promise of a future with Jake, something the Throne Room seems to be taking from her.
Will Brielle trade the beauty of the Celestial and the truth of the world around her just to feel ordinary again?

My Thoughts:
Greatly anticipated this book.  This is book three in the series and you will want to read the other two first.  We pick up where book two left off.  Jake has been taken.  Brielle is plagued with nightmares.  Damien, the demon, is to bring both she and Jake to Satan and is halfway there having Jake.  Both Brielle and Jake have difficult decisions to make, Brielle's being an offering from Satan himself.  If she accepts his 'gift' she will no longer have nightmares or see the Celestial world around.
Since this is the third book, I will try not to give away much, though I do believe you should absolutely read the other two first.  The author does a great job with her characters.  Jake and Brielle are both just written well and the book just pulls you in from the start.  She also does a great job with the other characters and the imagery.  I love the mix of suspense, romance, and Celestial throughout the book, also a splash of humor.  Overall, this series is a keeper for my shelf.
I rate this one 5/5.  It is a wonderful conclusion to this series.

Thank you to Booksneeze for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Second Shadow by Elizabeth Arroyo

The Second Shadow (The Second Sign, #2)Book Description:
Jake thought being demon meant a shredded humanity, stripped of all human emotion. Chaos and self-preservation dominates a demon’s instincts. But Jake feels every ounce of pain and despair around him.

And it’s driving him deeper into Hell.

Gabby’s choice to save him last summer left a fissure in Hell’s gate that released a malevolent evil. When Jake’s given a mission by the demons to shadow a human girl who may know the whereabouts of an ethereal weapon, he doesn’t expect to see Gabby. But Fate has her own agenda.

When Jake and Gabby are thrown together on a camping trip with a group of delinquent teens, Jake begins to grapple with the haunting choices he made in the past. When the evil finds them, the group begins to battle for their lives, alliances are made, and truths revealed.

As the evil begins to influence Jake, he questions his link to the demons, his purpose, and his love for Gabby.

But the answers to those questions are only found in Hell. And it may cost him his soul.

My Thoughts:
I really liked this book.  The Second Shadow picks up where Arroyo's first book, The Second Sign leaves off.  Jake is part demon and is trying to come to terms with everything that has happened.  Gabby is doing her own bit of coping and trying to figure all of it out. The two of them come back together on a camping trip for troubled teens.  Both are stubborn and determined but when trouble comes looking in a big way, how they deal with it is the bigger question.
I really liked Gabby.  Her personality and attitude are just great.  Stubborn and determined, she is going figure out her role in everything that is going on.  Jake has had so much happen to him but still he and Gabby should be together.  The author does a great job of making you 'see' what she is describing (even some of the ickier stuff!).  Also the supporting characters are really well written and compliment Jake, Gabby and the plot perfectly. 
I rate this a 4/5.  It is not a stand alone book.  You need to read The Second Sign to understand a lot of what is going on but they are good books!
Thank you to Reading Addiction Blog Tours for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Surprise for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Surprise for Lily (The Adventures of Lily Lapp #4)Book Description:
Change is brewing for Lily Lapp. Her favorite cousin, Hannah, moves away and Harvey Hershberger, a boy with a talent for trouble, moves right in. Harvey's antics stir up the entire schoolhouse, and his fondness for Lily gets under Aaron Yoder's skin. Add in a mischievous dog rescued by Lily's brother, an old Shawnee Indian and a mother bear, and a secret Lily's mother is keeping, and you've got a recipe for laughter, love, and big surprises.
Girls ages 8 to 12 will love navigating the changes in Lily's world with her in this final book in the sweetly simple Adventures of Lily Lapp series.

My Thoughts:
This was a good book.  Lilly is back!  She and a new friend are up to all sorts of mischief.  There are rescues, a puppy, and many more adventures.  Some friends leave, new friends arrive, and Lily is center stage for all of it!
I loved the roller coaster of the story, just one thing right after the other.  Seeing all the characters interacting and the old characters mixed with the new was amazing.  The author did a wonderful job again with Lily.  I know it is written for young girls but it is a story that I enjoyed as well.
I rate this a 4/5.  It can be a stand alone but reading the others in the series is better.

Thank you to Revell for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

*Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stranded by Alex Kava

Stranded (Maggie O’Dell, #11)Book Description:
Tired travelers and weary truckers have stopped at rest areas on the nation's highways for decades to refuel, grab a bite, and maybe get some shut-eye, but one man's rest stop is another's hunting ground. For decades the defenseless, the weary, and the stranded have disappeared along the highways and byways, vanishing without a trace, but these seemingly unconnected incidents are no coincidence, and a madman stalks the freeways.

When FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, the one clue left behind is a map that will send Maggie and Tully on a frantic hunt crisscrossing the country to stop a madman before he kills again.

As the body count rises and Maggie races against the clock to unmask the monster who's terrorizing the nation's highways, she turns to a former foe for help since he seems to know just what the killer's next move will be. As she gets closer to finding the killer, it becomes eerily clear that Maggie is the ultimate target.

My Thoughts:
This was good!  FBI agent Maggie O'Dell is back!  She and Tully are searching for a serial killer's 'dumping grounds'.  The fact this man left a map in Maggie's house after it had burned doesn't go unnoticed by Tully or the rest of the team.  They have to rely on Tully's girlfriend/Maggie's good friend to interrogate a prisoner and trust that the prisoner doesn't have an agenda all his own.  As they follow the leads and look for clues, Maggie and Tully get closer to the killer's identity and closer to danger.  
I was so happy to read another Maggie O'Dell book!  She was as feisty, smart and spunky as always.  The personal issues and the close calls are starting to get to her so that was an added dimension to her character.  Tully was as strong and supportive as ever.  I can't imagine her having to work with a different partner at this point because those two just get each other.  The secondary characters were good additions and each had their own role to play.  The mystery was good.  I wasn't certain who the killer was but there are several options to choose from.
I rate this a 5/5.  It was a suspenseful and sometimes gruesome read but good!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

**This book contains adult content.**