Tiffany Truitt’s Back to Reading Giveaway!!

Tiffany Truitt is hosting a giveaway, and she has an excerpt to share from The Creators.  Check out the info below for all the details.


I am so excited to be stopping by today to announce my “Back to Reading,” contest. Like millions of teachers and students, I will be returning back to the classroom, and I thought this needed to be celebrated with a MAJOR book giveaway….and other fun goodies for all my fellow fans of Young Adult Literature.

What Do You Win: One lucky winner will receive copies of the following books (Only US residents need apply)-

You can win all of these!

How Do You Win: Simply stop by my website between Aug 23-26 to enter.

More Goodies: And that’s not all. Entangled Publishing and I are excited to announce that from August 23-26 books 1-2 of The Lost Souls Series (Chosen Ones and The Naturals) will be available for Kindle, Nook, and Apple for only 99 cents. That’s right. For less than a dollar, you can join the world of Tess and James before the final book in the trilogy hits store in April 2014.

Click the covers for the Amazon product pages:

Need more enticement? Below you will find an excerpt from book three, The Creators.


Somewhere, James was just as trapped as I was.

I thought of the morning when we lay with each other, curled against one another, never beginning and never ending. How we’d stayed like that till the sun began to rise.

James had reached down and pulled me off the ground. He wore a satisfied grin on his face. “Someone is mighty proud of himself,” I teased.

He laughed. It bounced through the forest, calling it awake. Readying it for the day. “I’m just insanely happy.”

I stood on the tips of my toes and kissed him gently on his scar. “I’m insanely happy too,” I whispered.

James looked down at me, and I was lost all over again. I would never tire of looking into those mismatched eyes. They didn’t make him different. They made him him. He chuckled as he reached over and pulled a leaf from my tangled hair. “They’ll know just by looking at you that we’ve been up to no good.”

            “No good?” I purred. “I thought it was very, very good.”

James growled and lifted me into the air. I wrapped my legs around his waist as he pressed his lips hungrily against mine. I moved my hands to his hair, curling my fingers into it, attaching myself to him. I never wanted to let go. Every part of me ached to be touched by him, and every part of me ached to touch him right back.

            “Do you know how much I love you?” he breathed into the base of my neck. His lips fluttered against my skin.

I nodded, kissing the top of his head. “As much as I love you.”

James slowly put my feet back on the ground. He cradled my face in his hands. “That will never change. No matter what.”

I looked deep into his eyes. “I know.” Because I did. It was one of life’s few assurances. I would always love James.

I pressed my lips once again to his scar. “I adore this scar,” I whispered, unable to hide the smile that seemed etched on my face all morning.

            “You’re enough to drive a man crazy,” he said The tremble of his voice caused my toes to curl. I wanted him again. And again. And again.

My fingers traced the waist of his pants. “Tonight?” I said, knowing full well it was a promise that I probably wouldn’t be able to keep.

James grabbed my hand and brought it to his lips. “Tonight,” he echoed.

As the sun climb higher into the sky, I knew our moment was coming to an end. James reached down and placed his hand over my heart. “Thank you,” he said.

            “For what?” I asked, my voice choked with emotion.

            “For everything.”

As the memory slipped away, I looked back up at the night sky. Praying and hoping that James knew how much I wanted to thank him too.

For everything.

Review: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins and Giveaway!



Title:  Temptation

Author: Karen Ann Hopkins


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


Your heart misleads you.
That’s what my friends and family say.  
But I love Noah. 
And he loves me.  
We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other’s arms.
It should be  
forever, easy. 
But it won’t be. 
Because he’s Amish. 
And I’m not.


I am a fan of forbidden love stories, especially if the major obstacle is cultural.  When I saw the tour invite for Temptation and Belonging, I quickly signed up.  I wondered how Rose and Noah would find their HEA when so many road blocks stand in their way. Their families are against their relationship, so much so that Noah’s parents are willing to send him away to live with relatives in Pennsylvania.  They want  to split them up and force him to find a more suitable wife among his own kind.  I was wondering if Rose would give up her privileged life to be with Noah.  I know that I would have a hard time letting go of my electronics and gadgets, so I hope the zombie apocalypse is a long time in coming (at least until my Kindle is solar powered).

I am not sure how I feel about Temptation.  It’s a compelling YA romance, but I thought the resolution was over simplified.  Rose and her family have just moved from Cincinnati to a more rural part of Ohio, and after meeting Noah, she is smitten.  So is he.  Neither has met anyone like the other, and neither can stop themselves from thinking about the other.  Noah has never met a girl as wild and outspoken as Rose, and she fascinates him, unlike the Amish girls he’s expected to pick a bride from.  Rose finds Noah gorgeous, and she’s impressed by his maturity. 

Noah is a guy who knows exactly what he wants out of life; a loving wife, a large family, and his own land to work.  He loves his way of life and can’t imagine living any other way.  After he and Rose fall for each other, he’s determined to convince her to convert.  Though I hate to admit it, his reasons for her converting as opposed to him made a whole lot of sense.  His community would help them build a house, his parents would give him some land, and he would continue to work for the family business.  Those opportunities just would not be there if he left the Amish community.

Now, while I understood Noah’s thinking, my upbringing didn’t allow me to agree with it.  Rose would be giving up her dream of becoming a vet in order to marry Noah and start a family, far sooner than she ever imagined she would.  She would be joining a society where she would have little to no freedoms, and she would be giving up everything she owned.  I wouldn’t be able to do it, and I honestly don’t know many people who could.  Noah’s parents caution him, fearing that Rose will grow to resent him for giving up her former life.  I think he would have done himself, and Rose, a favor to have listened to them.

I enjoyed the alternating points of view, especially Noah’s.  The book was impossible to put down after the buggy accident, which was raw and emotional.  The end also left me conflicted. Rose still thinks she can get Noah to change for her, which made me think that her attempts to become Amish weren’t really sincere. Overall, this is an engaging story and I want to read the next book in the series.

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher


a Rafflecopter giveaway


About Karen Ann Hopkins

Blog | Goodreads | Facebook

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Waiting on Wednesday–The Queen’s Choice by Cayla Kluver

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The description for The Queen’s Choice by Cayla Kluver is a little grim.  The cover rocks, though, and the premise is intriguing….

In stores January 2014


A young fae girl sets out on a daunting quest in the human world to find the estranged son and heir to the faerie realm’s dying queen, when she is attacked by human hunters and her wings are cut off, making her return home impossible.

What are you waiting on?

Feed Your Reader–Cheap YA Books!

Need a cheap read? Here are some Kindle deals!


Chain Reaction is $2.99


Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn’t live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he’s never known, and just when he thinks he’s got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?
Continuing all the steamy romance of the first two books, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles gives fans one more satisfying taste of the irresistible Fuentes boys.

Bright Young Things is $1.99

From Amazon:


The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.


Enchanted is $1.99

From Amazon:


It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?


Entwined is $1.99

From Amazon:


Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it’s taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.

The Keeper likes to keep things.

Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Interview with Bryony Pearce, Author of The Weight of Souls and Excerpt

Please welcome Bryony Pearce to the virtual offices this morning!  Bryony is here to chat about her latest release, The Weight of Souls.  The Weight of Souls is published by one of my favorite publishers Strange Chemistry.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Bryony Pearce] Slightly harassed, book-obsessed dieter with two small children seeks moments of sanity by disappearing into worlds of her own making. Likes chocolate and wine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Weight of Souls?

[Bryony Pearce] Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…

She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.

But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.

Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?

And what happens if she starts to fall for him?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Bryony Pearce] When I was a teenager I was fascinated by the mythologies of different cultures. I read books telling the stories (particularly tales from Egyptian, Aztec, Norse, Greek and Roman beliefs), books from the cultures themselves (Beowulf, Homer’s Iliad) and fact-based books (Humphries’ Miracles of Exodus, Accounts of the Tutankhamum expedition and other non-fiction). I also adored historical fiction based on these mythologies.

As a result my writing tends to involve significant ‘mythic’ elements. My first book, Angel’s Fury, is a blend of Hindu mythology and Christianity (reincarnation and fallen angels) and Cassie’s story is told against that backdrop. For the follow up to my debut I also wanted an epic mythic element, but I didn’t want to replicate Angel’s Fury, so I had to look elsewhere.

Recalling my obsession with Egypt and Egyptian mythology in particular I revisited my old reference books, did some more research and came up with a back-story based on the rivalry between Anubis and Horus.

In the history of my novel, Anubis, the original Lord of the Dead Lands and judge of the dead, was trapped by the priests of his rival, Horus, within the tomb of Nefertiti (which, to this day, has not been found). In the 1800s a group of tomb robbers discover the tomb, and within it, the trapped, and much diminished, jackal-headed Egyptian god.

The sole survivor of the slaughter is a Chinese worker named Fa. Anubis allows him to live only if Fa agrees to a deal. He and his descendants will work for Anubis (who still cannot leave the tomb), seeking out murderers and sending them to him for justice via ‘The Darkness’.

And how do they find these murderers? Anubis ‘gifts’ Fa and his descendents with the power to see their victims: the dead.

My story is about a modern teenager named Taylor, who suffers from Anubis’ curse. She sees dead people and is compelled to find their murderers and send them into the Darkness. If she does not, the Darkness will come for her. As with all of my characters, Taylor appeared in my head fully formed one day. I lived with her for a while, got to know her and then populated the rest of the book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Taylor?

[Bryony Pearce] Hardened



[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Justin had a theme song, what would it be?

[Bryony Pearce] Coldplay’s Viva la Vida

I am a fan of the poetry in Coldplay’s lyrics and their belting tunes to which I sing along (tunelessly). The lyrics to Viva la Vida feel truly appropriate for what happens to Justin in the novel.

He starts off as king of the school; the most popular boy, ruler of the clique … then he gets murdered. He can’t be seen by anyone except a girl he made miserable for years, he doesn’t know who killed him and is powerless to affect the living. Finally he is terrified that when his killer is found and he moves on, he won’t be going ‘anywhere good’. He cannot see a light: ‘Saint Peter won’t call my name’.

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

For some reason I can’t explain
I know Saint Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world
I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Taylor is never without.

[Bryony Pearce] Her memory of her mother and her mother’s white glove, which she uses to cover up her hand if a ghost has Marked her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Justin’s pocket?

[Bryony Pearce] A One Direction CD (as if)

Rubbish (chewing gum, sweet wrappers etc.) it always goes in the bin

A make up bag (he’s willing to take a lipstick, but if Tamsin can carry an entire make up bag she can carry a handbag to put it in)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Taylor’s greatest regret?

[Bryony Pearce] That she was not honest with her friends earlier on and did not have the chance to be with Justin before he died.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Bryony Pearce] Anne Macaffrey, David Gemmell, Stephen King, Maggie Steifvater. I like to think that my work is dark, character driven, exciting but also lyrical and descriptive. (at least, that’s what I aim for), and, to me, the aforementioned writers embody those attributes. If I’m feeling a bit stuck, I’ll often go back and read some King or Macaffrey and the ideas will start to flow again.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Bryony Pearce] Peace and quiet

My laptop

A comfortable chair

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Bryony Pearce] City’s Son by Tom Pollock. His writing absolutely embodies what I try to do with my own, but I think he does it much better. He is lyrical, exciting, dark and his characters stayed with me long after the end of the book. I kind of hate him J

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Bryony Pearce] I’ve loved reading since the moment I could read and that was SO long ago that I have no idea what books were the most important to me. I know my mum used to read me the newspaper from cover-to-cover when I was a baby (no television in our house until I was eight), I know that I have a lovely battered copy of The Wind in the Willows and I know Mum once told me that I made her read a book called Aristide over and over solidly for almost three hours. This says a lot about my mum’s awesomeness (my kids would have been told to go and play with their LEGO after three renditions) and also suggests that I loved the book.

I do, however, remember the books that made me want to write: Anne Macaffrey’s Brain and Brawn Ship series. In particular The Ship Who Sang: I read it and adored it when I was quite young and never looked back.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Bryony Pearce] I’m a mum to two small children (a girl and a boy who isn’t at school yet), so most of my time is spent feeding and entertaining the kids, chauffeuring them around and cleaning up their messes!

I read all the time. If I don’t have a child in my arms, I’ll have a book.

When I can, I like to go to the cinema and theatre and I recently began karate lessons with my children. It is a great family activity and I love it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Bryony Pearce] Facebook Page BryonyPearceAuthor

Twitter @BryonyPearce


[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Bryony is hosting a giveaway on her blog.  Please hop over to enter

Purchase links:


About the book:

Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…
She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.
But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.
Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?
And what happens if she starts to fall for him?

About the author:

Bryony Pearce completed an English Literature degree at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1998 and afterwards worked in the research industry. After a while she moved to a village at the edge of the Peak District and went freelance so she could devote more time to writing.

She is now a full time mother to two children, writes as much as possible and enjoys doing school visits and events when she can fit them in.

Her first book, the award-winning Angel’s Fury, was published by Egmont in 2011.


Cover Shot! Pawn by Aimee Carter

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café.  I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share.  More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents.  There is an allure to a beautiful cover.  Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

I think the cover for Pawn by Aimee Carter is visually interesting, and I like the grays and the blue.  What I really like, however, is how complicated and suspenseful the plot sounds.  Wonder if it will live up to my expectations?

In stores November 2013


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.

Previously titled Masked.

Feed Your Kindle with Cheap YA Books!

Here are some nicely priced YA novels to keep you busy reading today.

Paranormalcy – $1.99


Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.


Perfect Chemistry – $2.99


A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created "perfect" life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for-her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.



Spellcaster – $2.99


When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to the place than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia can sense that a spell has been cast over the tiny Rhode Island town—a sickness infecting everyone and everything in it. The magic at work is darker and more powerful than anything she’s come across and has sunk its claws most deeply into Mateo . . . her rescuer, her friend, and the guy she yearns to get closer to even as he pushes her away.

Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, shadowed by small-town gossip and his family’s tormented past. Every generation, the local legends say, one member of the family goes mad, claiming to know the future before descending into insanity. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl from a car accident actually come true, he knows he’s doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his terrible family curse, and to prevent a coming disaster that even now threatens the entire town, including Nadia’s family, her newfound friends, and her own life. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel depicts a dark and unforgettable world of witches, curses, buried secrets, and star-crossed romance.


Starling – $1.99


Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name—the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason’s world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn’s identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason’s family—with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods—is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston’s epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.

Review: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears by Kersten Hamilton


Title: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears

Author: Kersten Hamilton


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


“People will die.”

Locked doors are opening, and uncanny creatures are tumbling through mysterious portals from Mag Mell, the world-between-worlds, into the streets of Chicago. The Dark Man has marked Aiden with a new song that’s scared him badly, and a frightening new group of sídhe is lurking nearby.

Teagan knows this is war, and she must protect her family. She leaves her flesh and bones behind to join Finn in hunting the evil beings across the city. Meanwhile, their relationship is heating up—almost faster than they can control. But he is still bound to fight goblins his entire life . . . and by blood she is one of them now.

Then the gateway to Mag Mell cracks open again, and the Wylltsons find themselves caught in a trap. As her loved ones begin to die, Teagan realizes that she must destroy the Dark Man and his minions once and for all in order to save those who remain . . .

. . . before it is too late.


All good things must come to an end, so it is with some sadness that I type out this review.  I have loved Kersten Hamilton’s Goblin Wars series since the first book, which I remember reading in Lexington KY at a horse show.  I read a lot of books and usually can’t remember the protagonists’ names half of the time, but I distinctly remember reading Tyger, Tyger in the hot, sweltering arena.  I remember some OMG moments, and I remember being impatient to read In the Forests of the Night, which I thought was an even better book.  And so here we are, on the finale, and once again, I thought Kersten Hamilton delivered a powerful, adventurous story, which closed out the series nicely.  While people did die, as promised, she wrapped up most of the story lines to my satisfaction, and I don’t hesitate to urge you to read this if you have been enjoying the series so far.  You won’t be disappointed.

I will make one observation about the author’s narrative style, because I believe that it will drive some people batty.  Occasionally, the character interactions come across as kind of random, but I think that these conversations add a lot of flavor and background to the events.  Topics fly back and forth, and at the time, they don’t always seem to fit with what is going on.  Only as Teagan and Finn are ramping up for their big showdown with the Dark Man, Mab, and all of the scary creatures in Mag Mell do they make sense.  When the conversations are finally placed in the context they belong, all of seams become neat and tidy.  The prose requires some patience, and I didn’t find it as immediate and relevant as other YA books.  It doesn’t plod by any stretch of imagination, but I wonder if this series would have been better suited as straight up fantasy, instead of being shelved in the YA section of the bookstore.  Your mileage may vary here.

I grew to love many of the characters, especially Teagen, Aiden, and Abby.  The Turtles even had their Mafioso charm, which made the scene in Rosehill that much more painful.  New character Seamus was a welcome arrival, and I never knew if he should have been trusted.  One thing that I will say for Teagan is that she gave her trust unconditionally, and she always believed the best in everyone and everything.  Even when it was doubtful that her trust was deserved, she still gave it wholeheartedly, accepting that there were risks involved.  Once crossed, however, it would take a feat of great sacrifice and effort to earn it back.  It was her unfaltering belief in others that made Teagan such an easy character to like.  She knew that she was going to get bit on the backside every now and again, but that didn’t destroy her faith that others would do the right thing.

I enjoyed this series very much, and am sad to see it come to a close.  I knew that I could count on an engaging read with each new installment, and that something would happen to shock and horrify me, but also give me hope that things would, somehow, work out in the end.  I also appreciated Teagan’s growth as a character, because, if I have to be honest, I was a little iffy on her the first 100 pages of Tyger, Tyger.  She more than made up for that by the end of the series, becoming strong, brave, and kind.  I don’t think I would have managed to remain kind, considering all of the life-altering and heartbreaking events that she experienced.  In the end, that’s the take away I’ll have for this series; Teagan’s unwavering faith in others, despite all of the betrayals and treachery, and that’s where she found the strength to keep fighting against the Dark Man and Mab.  Win or lose, she refused to compromise her beliefs.  I loved that about her.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher