Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den: Guest Post

Simon Thorn Blog Tour Banner

Welcome to the next stop on the Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den tour! I really enjoyed the book and the world building, so I was thrilled to have Aimée drop by to talk about the inspiration behind the book.

 

guestpost.png

 

I’ve loved animals all my life, and ever since I started writing, I wanted to write a book about someone who could either talk to or turn into an animal. The idea took many forms over the years, and I even wound up writing a full manuscript about a fifteen-year-old boy who was the heir to a pack of wolves. It never saw the light of day, but it did get the “talking to animals” bug out of my head for at least a few years.

However, that idea came back full force in 2012, when the character of Simon appeared. I didn’t know much about him at the time, but I did know he was a bullied twelve-year-old boy who had a big secret: he could talk to animals. I also knew he had a guardian, though whether that was his mother, grandfather, or his uncle, I wasn’t sure. In fact, in some of the earliest drafts, all three made an appearance with Simon in a cabin on the edge of a tiny town (and not the bustling New York City, where the story takes place now). None of those early chapters made it into the final product, but all three characters – his scarred and intimidating Uncle Darryl, his fearless and adventurous mother, and his mysterious and aloof grandfather – play important roles in the series.

From there on out, once I knew the basics about Simon, I had to come up with his story. Usually it’s the other way around for me – I have a premise and a plot, and I write characters into it. But I already had Simon, so it was a matter of figuring out what kind of world he lived in and what threats he faced from the animal kingdom. Eventually I came up with the idea of Animalgams (ani-MAL-gams), or people who are born with the ability to shift into a specific animal. Animalgams, I decided, were separated into five kingdoms: mammals, birds, reptiles, underwater creatures, and insects (including arthropods), and they were all at war with one another. Simon’s family, naturally, is caught in the middle of everything, and from there I did a lot of brainstorming with friends, my agent, and her very smart assistant, and everything fell into place. Now, four years after Simon popped into my head, Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den is hitting shelves, and I couldn’t be happier.

 


About Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den

Simon.jpgA thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.

Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

This action-packed page-turner is perfect for fans of the Spirit Animals and The School of Good and Evil series.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | The Book Depository


About Aimée Carter

Aimee Carter.jpgAimée Carter was born and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. She is the author of several series, including The Goddess Test series, The Blackcoat Rebellion series, and the Simon Thorn series.

QUEEN (#3 of The Blackcoat Rebellion) will be released on November 24th, 2015.

SIMON THORN AND THE WOLF’S DEN (#1 of the Simon Thorn series, Bloomsbury) will be released February 2, 2016.

 

Website | Twitter | Instagram


Giveaway

3 Finished Copies of SIMON THORN!

(US Only)

Enter the Giveaway!

 

 

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
2/1: The Book Cellar – Guest Post
2/2: Mundie Kids – Review
2/3: Bookwyrming Thoughts – Top 10
2/4: Writing My Own Fairytales – Review
2/5: Reading with ABC – Q&A

Week 2:
2/8: Reads All the Books – Review
2/9: Live Love Read – Guest Post
2/10: Night Owl Book Cafe – Review
2/11: Fangirl Confessions – Playlist
2/12: Avid Reader – Review

 

A huge thank you to Hannah @ The Irish Banana & Courtney for organizing the tour! Thank you Aimée for sharing your story about how Simon and Animalgams came to be!

So now that you know more about Animalgams, what kind of animal would you like to shift into? Let me know in the comments below!

 

MelissaSig

Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine Freebie

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is Valentine’s Day theme freebie! We decided to celebrate Galentine’s Day with our Favorite Female Friendships. We’ve combined our lists and came up with 20!  As always Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

 

  1. Astrid & Magnolia in Titans by Victoria Scott
  2. Piper & Annabeth in Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  3. Alina & Genya in Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Sammy & Andy in Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
  5. Lara Jean & Stormy in To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
  6. Cath & Reagan in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  7. Rho & Nishi in Zodiac by Romina Russell
  8. Cinder & Iko in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  9. Safiya & Iseult in Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  10. Celaena & Nehemia in Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  11. Ella & Meg in The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
  12. America & Marlee in The Selection by Kiera Cass
  13. Zuzana & Karou in Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  14. Zoe & Stevie in The House of Night series by P.C.Cast & Kristin Cast
  15. Gemma, Felicity, and Ann in A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  16. Zu & Ruby in The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  17. Silena & Clarissa in Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
  18. Ginny & Hermione in Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  19. Emily & Sloan in Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  20. Harper & Bee in Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

 

 

Who are your favorite female friendships? Are there any we should know about and check out? Tell us in the comments below!!

 

signature

Musings of Ava Jae

eternaldreamers

On Getting an Agent
By Ava Jae

I decided pretty early on in my very long path to publication that I wanted to work with an agent, both because I knew I wanted to be traditionally published (which is not so easy to do without an agent) and because I really liked the idea of having someone to help guide and build my career. And while it took me a really long time to get an agent (something I’ll get to in a minute), it’s a decision I’m really happy I made.

As I just mentioned, however, getting an agent was not an easy process for me.

I sent my first query for my first book—a YA Fantasy with just about every fantasy cliché in existence—in May 2007. Needless to say, that didn’t pan out, and neither did querying for my next book, or the next after that. In fact, I queried five different times with four different manuscripts (one I queried twice, several years apart) before I queried the tenth book I wrote, Beyond the Red.

Ultimately, it was chance that got my manuscript in front of my now-agent. I participated in Miss Snark’s First Victim Secret Agent blog contest, in which you submit the first 250 words of your manuscript and entries are randomly chosen to appear on the blog, where the Secret Agent will look at and give feedback on the openings, then pick their favorite to request a submission from.

Due to a glitch in the system, I wasn’t actually notified that my entry had been randomly selected—so I had no idea that I’d even made it into the contest. When the winners were announced a little while later, for reasons I still can’t explain, I decided to see who the winners were, which is not something I normally did when I wasn’t a participant of a contest. But it’s a good thing I did, because I recognized the title of one of the runner ups—it was my manuscript.

After sending two partials, and then the full manuscript upon request, I finally got The Call from my agent in December 2013, and I officially signed with her in February 2014, just a few days before my birthday. It was a truly excellent early birthday present. 🙂

Now—as of this week, in fact—I’ve been with my agent for two years. I would not be a soon-to-be published author without her valuable insight and skills. Getting an agent isn’t for everyone, but it was definitely the right decision for me.


Ava Jae

About Ava

Ava Jae is a writer, an Assistant Editor at Entangled Publishing, and is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. Her YA Sci-Fi debut, BEYOND THE RED, is releasing March 1, 2016 from Sky Pony Press. When she’s not writing about kissing, superpowers, explosions, and aliens, you can find her with her nose buried in a book, nerding out over the latest X-Men news, or hanging out on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, or YouTube channel.


Beyond the Red

Beyond the Red

Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.

When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | BAM!


 

A huge thank you to Ava for being a wonderful sport and writing this post, as well as an interview, for this blog! Don’t worry, you will all get to read the interview closer to Beyond The Red‘s release date! =)

As always, thank you to all authors, editors, agents, publishers, who have participated, are participating, or will participate in this feature. The advice and stories you share are invaluable for all writers who read it.

signature

STARFLIGHT Launch Blitz & Giveaway

ReleaseDay

 

Hey there, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of STARFLIGHT, the first in a brand new sci-fi series from Disney-Hyperion. I originally pitched this story to my editor as “Overboard” (one of my favorite romantic comedies) meets “Firefly” (an amazing show that was tragically cancelled after one season). STARFLIGHT follows the misadventures of Solara Brooks, a penniless felon who indentures herself to her high school nemesis, Doran Spaulding, in exchange for passage to a new world. But when Doran’s memory is temporarily erased, Solara convinces him their roles are reversed—that she’s the master and he’s the servant—and leads him onto a renegade spaceship, where intergalactic shenanigans ensue. STARFLIGHT is very different in tone from the Alienated trilogy, but the story is still filled with all the things I love: humor, heart, and adventure.

 

What do reviewers have to say?

“Get ready for blast-off! Action-packed and utterly addictive, nobody writes like Melissa Landers. A smart, satisfying romance set in a vividly detailed world, Starflight was just plain fun!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman

“Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling action scenes. A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal

“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist

 

If you like your sci-fi adventure served with a side of romance, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of STARFLIGHT today. It’s now available in stores and online.

 

newsfcover

Amazon | Barnes & NobleIndie Bound | Book Depository (free Int’l shipping)

 

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a STARFLIGHT swag pack, complete with custom nail wraps, bookmarks, and a mini poster!

  • The giveaway is open internationally.
  • Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

 


About Melissa Landers

IMG_6532-1-smallMelissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit http://www.melissa-landers.com.

 

 


 

Thank you so much Melissa for giving us the opportunity to promote Starflight! We can’t wait to read it!

Have you added Starflight to your TBR list yet? What drew you to the book/ what about the book are you looking forward to? Leave comments down below!

 

signature

Top Ten Historical/Futuristic Books

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday asked us to think about YA books with historical or futuristic settings. Since we have a varying degree of taste in books we decided to opt for three individual lists with different related topics.

Melissa’s Favorite Historical & Futuristic settings

1. Scarlet series by A C Gaughen
(12th century England)

2. Something Strange & Deadly series by Susan Dennard
(1876 Philadelphia)

3. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
(1849 Missouri)

4. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
(1877 Arizona)

5. This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
(1818 Geneva)


6. Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

7. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

8. Zodiac series by Romina Russell

9. The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken

10. Dove Chronicles by Karen Bao

Lauren’s Top Ten Upcoming 2016 Historical & Dystopians



1. The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller
(1861 England & China)


2. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
(16th century – 18th century Tsarist Russia)


3. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
(1882 England)


4. Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
(1906 San Francisco)


5. Love, Lies, & Spiesby Cindy Anstey
(19th Century)


6. Starflight by Melissa Landers


7. On the Edge of Gone by Corrine Duyvis


8. Consider by Kristy Acevedo


9. Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse


10. Facsimile by Vicki L. Weavil

Kelly’s Wishlist of Historical & Dystopian YA Novels

1. Fantasy set during the Renaissance during King Henry VII’s rule with dragon riders part of the royal court and assassins for hire [Eragon meets Grave Mercy and Throne of Glass]

2. Lost City of Atlantis + The Little Mermaid + Ever After in Venice

3. Game of Thrones + Lord of the Rings + Troy for YA

4. Ancient Egyptian mythological novel with a Cleopatra type heroine

5. A heroine story set in Ancient China with friendship being the main premise with fantastical elements [think Mulan meets Truthwitch]

6. If World of Warcraft races ruled the world for YA set in The Bronze Age

7. Mythological dystopian YA novel with gods ruling as a totalitarian government and Earth a complete wasteland (think 5th Wave & The Darkest Minds)

8.A YA novel about different witch clans with abilities such as shapeshifting, set in late 17th century during Salem witch trials with a Manon type heroin.

9. Ancient Roman YA novel with a sprinkling of Throne of Glass heroism and a dash of An Ember in the Ashes tone plus dragon riders

10. Aboriginal tribal fantasy mixed with outcast heroines like Pocahontas, retold with magical creatures, and doused in tribal customs and family.

Tales From The Front #10

I can’t believe I get to share this bit of news but guys, I HAVE ANOTHER PART OF THE PUZZLE!!!! *flails*

Being part of this project is beyond amazing and I am excited to share with everyone the newest part of the the puzzle. I will get to that in just a moment but first…

For those who may have stumbled onto this post and have no idea what Tales From The Front is here is an quick explanations:

“Tales from the Front is a series of notes, alternate POV chapters, and other teasers that take place from just before the end of Fire Falling (Air Awakens, #2) to the beginning of Earth’s End (Air Awakens, #3). They are being sent out at random with the idea that bloggers and readers can ban together to put the puzzle pieces together to find out a different side to the story and uncover truths about the characters.”

This is an idea created by the wonderful author Elise Kova! All to help us have fun as we await the release of Earth’s End.

If you haven’t read the first book Air Awakens you can check out my review for it here

And you can check out my review for Book 2 Fire Falling here

This may contain spoilers so if you have not read the first 2 books please do not read past this point! If you have read both books, PLEASE CONTINUE TO THE GOODNESS BELOW! 

 

Tales-from-the-Front1.jpg

Exclusive POV:

Aldrik pulled his chainmail over his head with a soft hiss. His shoulder rejected the movement, protesting angrily. He pulled at the collar of his shirt, looking at the deep purple bruise that was already threatening to consume the skin between his neck and arm. It was going to make riding painful and now was not the time to be anything less than his best. Aldrik turned his attention to the mail with a sigh. It was dented, and fixing the links was an utterly loathsome process. It was a process he’d deal with later. For now, he was more determined to close his eyes for a blessed few minutes.

He never expected to actually sleep. Sleeping would mean he’d be able to ease the tension in his muscles and trust the buffoons under his command enough to do their jobs on lookout. The hollowed underground, framed by a skeleton of tree roots, was a safe enough place to hole up in – his favorite on the march, if he was choosing between things he hated and things he loathed – but Aldrik was keenly aware that the one entrance made it both easy to defend and be trapped within.

Footfalls, muffled by soft earth, pried his tired eyes open. He’d pinned a square of canvas to the ground on his right and earthen wall at his left for a modicum of privacy – the benefits of being a prince. So, he didn’t see her until she was crouched down at the opening opposite the corner he was leaned against. She stared at him uncertainly from underneath her dark hood and Aldrik peered back through narrowed slits.

He could still intimidate the girl, that was good. She should be intimidated. She should need to gather her confidence before initiating conversation with him. She should want to be kept at arm’s length. Things were better that way, and they always had been. The only times he’d slipped up had been Inad and Vhalla; and, given how his relationship had ended with the former and was shaping up with the later, it was not exactly a great track record.

“My prince,” she whispered, mindful to keep her words low enough that they fell underneath the talking of soldiers enjoying their small reprieve around a tiny fire not far off.

Aldrik imagined he were dissecting her piece by piece. He imagined starting with her heart and carving out her chest. He watched her squirm as if she could read his mind. It was a game he played, to see how far he could get mentally breaking down people bit by bit until they gave in and ran. Those who were foolish enough not to run were usually met with his ire and that was a fate that would send the bravest of men scrambling, much to Aldrik’s satisfaction.

At least, it had been his satisfaction, until her. Until Vhalla Yarl, the library apprentice whose naïve trust sparked a dangerous flame of hope in his chest. Until she had stood up to him. Until she had made it his mission to regain that trust. The woman had ruined him well and truly, that much was more evident by the day.

The woman had saved him.

“I brought you something, for bruising.”

Aldrik studied her eyes, rather than imagining gouging them out. He had no idea how this creature, so beautifully soft and textbook feminine, had passed for the unorthodox variety of stunning that his Vhalla was. The girl’s eyes were so wrong.

She produced a vial, placing it between them like a peace offering. Aldrik focused on it for a moment before returning his attention to her. Passing swift and harsh judgment on her meager token.

“Why did you save me?”

Well, he certainly hadn’t expected that. “Why, indeed?” he drawled, resting the back of his head against the wall of dirt behind him. “I could be sleeping now were it not for your intrusion on my privacy.”

“It was stupid.” She frowned.

There was a time where he would’ve lashed out at her with such ferocity that she would’ve wished he’d taken a physical whip to her. But, for as annoying as the girl was. For all the ways she was wrong and not his Vhalla. She did have one similarity with the woman she was masquerading as. She’d somehow wormed her way under his skin and into a place that wasn’t easily removed. Likely only as a result of the illusion they’d been keeping for weeks. After all, he was the Fire Lord, the dark prince, and he didn’t make friends.

“I shall overlook that comment.” He needed her to be aware that while she’d managed some special status it wasn’t to be tried or tested. It stilled her and she finally lowered her eyes, humbled. Aldrik hadn’t realized until he’d been interacting with the girl how much he’d enjoyed his Vhalla and how she was finally keeping her eyes upward when speaking to him.

“Thank you, my prince.” She mumbled.

Aldrik watched as she withdrew pulling herself away mentally before she began to move physically. In the back of his mind he heard Vhalla’s voice encouraging him, more like demanding of him.

“Timanthia.” The girl cringed at her name. Aldrik couldn’t indulge her on everything and saying her full name was one way that he’d show he would not concede to her wishes. He was still her prince. “Thank you, for the potion.”

Timanthia stilled and had the audacity to give him a small smile. Aldrik returned it with a scowl.

“You’re welcome, my lord. I hope you have the pleasant variety of dreams today.”

Aldrik watched her as she finally retreated. It had been a mistake, telling her anything of his dreams. It had been a dangerous calculation on his part, taking her into his tent on the march. He loathed it still, bringing another woman into the sanctity that had become something he’d viewed only for him and Vhalla. But his love’s life depended on everyone else’s belief that she still was at his side and Aldrik would do what he must for that illusion to remain. Even if it meant showing false favor to the girl.

False favor, however, quickly stirred the murky waters of his heart – a heart he’d kept so carefully closed that it had been running away since he had decided to open it again. The girl paled against his Vhalla, mentally simple and boringly beautiful. But she was kind in the face of his ferocity and that reminded him just enough of the woman he loved that he could not hate her for it. It had encouraged his lips to speak yes, instead of no, when she offered to drink alongside him on the march.

But the dreams, those were things he should’ve never uttered. Timanthia borderline knew too much and that was not a feeling he was ever fond of.

________________________________________________

Getting a glimpse at the false Vhalla was interesting enough, but Aldrik’s view of her was even better!!!

What did you think?

What could Timanthia know already? Do you have any theories??

_____________________________________________

To go along with this amazing POV of Aldrik we also have a Giveaway!!! Here is the link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for reading!!

_____________________________________________

View More: http://radred.pass.us/joseph-wedding-2015-jpeg

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

You can also follow Elise on Goodreads and Amazon!

laurensig

Review: Elementals by Michelle Madow

Elementals_TourBadge

I’m so excited to be part of the Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows Blog Tour! I was given the wonderful opportunity by the lovely people at  Barclay Publicity to do a review for the book!

Before I give my review here is a little info for you:

11992012

Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals Book One)

Author: Michelle Madow

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: January 26th, 2016

Summary:

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

****If you would like to know more about BOOK 2 click this link here to go to my cover reveal post!****

_____________________________________________

About the Author:

5028484

Michelle Madow has always loved writing stories, but the possibility of being an author used to feel more like a dream than a reality. She didn’t share her stories with anyone until her junior year of college, when she signed up for an Intro to Creative Writing course. Her teacher and classmates read the first chapter of a book idea she had, and they loved it so much that they told her she had to finish the book so they could find out what happened next. By the end of the school year, Michelle finished that book, which would later be published as her first novel, Remembrance.

Michelle grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

_______________________________________

My Review:

If you spend time talking to me there is something you will learn, I love Mythology! Especially Greek Mythology. So when I heard about Michelle’s new book coming out containing Greek Mythology in it I was excited to read it. When I read that fans of the Percy Jackson series (which is one of my favorite series next to Harry Potter) would enjoy it I was overjoyed!

I hate to say, while my expectations were extremely high with the good I had heard from a few people, this book fell slightly short of where I expected it to be at with all the praise. It was enjoyable, but maybe not as much as I was hoping for.

Here are a few things I did enjoy in the story:

  • A Fun Story! I started reading this story, and before I knew it I was already almost halfway through it. The story was entertaining enough to keep me reading to see what Nicole was going to do and what would come next in her new life. This is one of those stories that is a nice read when you need something not as heavy to read in between books.
  • Elemental Magic! I love magic, but when it has to do with elements it is a major plus in my opinion. I really like that we have a chance to see the characters use magic with all the elements not just one or two.
  • Mythology! I already mentioned this once, but I loved that there is Mythology woven into the story. A little prophecy, the magic, characters, and even demons all of it can come from mythology. I love seeing it. I look forward to seeing what Michelle will do with this in the future books.

With the good comes the bad. Sadly there are a few things I didn’t like as much in this book:

  • Not as much Character Development! We meet 5 interesting characters, and although we see them change slightly as the book goes on I didn’t feel as if there was much character growth with them. I would love to see a little more growth in the next books, especially with the main character Nicole.
  • The Romance! The romance was not one of my favorite parts of the story. I am all for a swoon worthy story. I love for two characters to fall in love, but the insta-love between the characters in this story was just one of those situations I don’t really like. It felt a little to forced on the readers, and too quick. The romance was almost overpowering the plot. I, personally, would have enjoyed the story a lot more if the romance would not have been the main focus as much as it was. Plus, I’m not a fan of the way cheating was written into the plot for this story.
  • Not a lot of explantation! There are times when things would happen, but not very well explained. The characters would just have a feeling, or it was something that maybe the other students understood but Nicole and the readers being new did not. I just think it would have been nice if some situations and certain points were explained just a bit more, or at least said in a way that would have been a better reason to why we don’t have all the answers.

Overall, the story had a bit of a bumpy start for me. I was not a huge fan of the sudden romance between the two MC and not as much emphasis on mythology and magic. But as the story went on I was able to find myself enjoying the book a bit more. By the end, I have found myself wanting to read book 2 a little more. I think my main issue was having this book compared to one of my favorites which meant I had extremely high expectations for it. Halfway though saved the book for me. I really enjoyed the adventure they went on toward the end, and seeing more of the magic was nice. I still wouldn’t call this one of my favorites books I have read, but I know I at least enjoyed it.

I would give this book a 3 1/2 out of 5 hearts.

funky-pink-heartfunky-pink-heartfunky-pink-heartfunky-pink-heart

laurensig