What Creeps In The Night

what creeps in the nightWhat Creeps In The Night: A Halloween Anthology
by W.J. May , Chrissy Peebles, Kristen Middleton

This anthology contains three novels which are the first in their respective series. The novels fit well together and form a nice cohesive whole. This was a nice way to be introduced to authors I had not read before and series I might have missed otherwise. The rating is based on an average of the stars I gave each book individually.
‘Seventh Mark’ by W.J. May, 4 stars
I got sucked right into this story from the very beginning and could not stop until I had reached the end. The characters were great and made me believe in their existence as individuals. The story was logical and made perfect sense. The language used by the characters and the descriptive language are what you would expect from the parties.
Rouge Riding is a foster kid who is about to turn 18 years old and be thrust into a world where she must depend on herself. She has never really cared about her past, but there may things which could make her better able to cope. First she meets Michael in passing while she is walking through the cemetery before school starts. On her first day in school she meets Grace, who turns out to be Michael’s sister. These siblings have a secret that could be deadly to an outsider, but is Rouge really an outsider or does she have a role to play in their lives?
‘The Zombie Chronicles’ by Chrissy Peebles, 3.5 stars
This pulled me in for the beginning but started to drag a bit toward the middle. The characters were well written and well fleshed making them real enough to feel for them and what they were going through for the most part. The story was interesting and flowed well.
The zombie apocalypse came out of nowhere and caught everyone by surprise in a big way. Dean and his family were lucky enough to escape to an island where his grandmother already had a home, which was isolated and easily defended. But even with that there have been secrets kept that he finds out about. He has a sister, Val, and after she makes the trip across country to find them she is infected and on the island that is an automatic death sentence. Dean plans on saving her both from execution and from becoming one of the living dead. There is a possible cure and he steals it and gets his sister out of the city with the unwitting help of his brother.
‘Enchanted Secrets’ by Kristen Middleton, 4.5 stars
This was my favorite of the three stories because it seemed to have everything to make me take notice. The writing was excellent and drew me in right away with action from the moment it started. The characters elicit an emotional response because of where they find themselves. The situations though fantastic in many ways are things that could happen to anyone.
Twin sister witches who are just coming into their power are witness to something horrible on the night they were to be inducted into the coven. After that night Vivian and Adrianne take very different paths in their lives. They were very different as girls and as women the chasm has grown even wider. One sister has had twin daughters of her own but has left them ignorant to their heritage and the power that they will need to learn how to control. But before anything else they must face a threat that wants to take away not only there power but their very lives.
The one thing that bugged me about each of these books was that they ended on a cliffhanger which means if I want to know what happens next I have to buy the next installment. I really hate cliffhangers but have to admit they work. I plan to read the rest of each series because otherwise I will feel kind of cheated. I would recommend this anthology or the novels separately. These are all YA with some light violence and harsh language.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars on average

“They’re certainly cute,” I said. Then something clicked and the blood rushed to my ears. “Yes?” he asked, prodding me. I looked at him in shock. “It’s my mother!” Tyler smiled. “Bingo.” I shook my head. “But she’s not a twin. My mom told me that she was an only child.” He shrugged. “I would too if my twin sister was a ruthless and evil witch.” “Excuse me?” “Your aunt Vivian and your mother are very powerful witches.”

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Renegade

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Renegade (The Captive #2)

This was a roller coaster ride for me because my emotions were riding along with the characters from the opening lines. Have you ever felt so much a part of the lives of the characters that you sometimes had to set the book aside to calm yourself down? I had to do that multiple times because I would get so upset when something happened that I needed to step away. I love these characters and want things to go a certain way and when things bad happen I need to stop and breathe. That is a testament to the reality of those characters and the world they live in.

Aria and Max have escaped from the Palace with the help of Jack, Braith’s little brother. Jack informed Aria that Braith is to be married and therefore there is no reason for her to stay for him, in the process breaking her heart. Max has been so traumatized and believes that Aria was treated just as badly as he had been. Though she has told everyone she was not mistreated they do not believe her. But Max also wants more from her than she wants to give.

Braith feels just as betrayed as Aria when he discovers that she has left the Palace without saying anything to him. He feels she lied about her feelings and was only biding her time until she could escape. This makes the normally kind Prince a vampire who starts to indulge in all the vices he had hated in the past, and all to forget a human he had come to care for.

This was a really great sequel to that first book and just makes me that much more anxious to continue the series. There is more explanation and a little less action but it balances out well. I would really like everyone to give this series a read. There is enough heat and sweet for everyone.

 

 

 

My rating: 5of 5 stars

 

“He’s not going to leave here without her,” Jack’s gaze was steady, yet sad as he stared at the two of them. “He won’t be separated from her again, and he’ll kill you if you try to stop him”
Erica Stevens, Renegade

 

Wide Awake

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Wide Awake (Academy of the Fallen #1)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I flew through this book within the span of several hours and was surprised at how much I liked it. I like YA but it is not my usual read and so finding something that pulled me in so completely is a testament to how good it is. The characters are so well-defined that I couldn’t help but be drawn to them, even the side characters had a definite feel that gave you insight into them and what could be expected from them. Based on the ages of the characters the dialogue was spot on for they talk to each other and the adults they interact with giving them even more life.

Kayla is your typical 16-year-old, she has good friends, nice parents, and a so-so boyfriend. The one thing that seems to set Kayla apart is that she was adopted when she was 3 years old and no one has told her about her biological parents. Her days have been spent with shopping and hanging out with her friends until they go on a field trip to the museum and everything changes for her. First she sees a little girl named Carolyn in a back room at the museum and then she shows up again at her home, not totally strange and she takes her home, but then she starts seeing her in other places.

Hunter Chambers was once a friend but now is anti-social and keeps to himself. When Hunter approaches Kayla and says that he knows how to help her and she refuses. He tries a few times and then leaves the ball in her court so she can decide. As things get worse she has to call for help as her normal world starts to spin out of control. Things she never thought existed are now after her and Hunter is the only person standing between her and something worse than death.

Kayla is a kid and as teenagers go not so bad, though we would have issues with her attitude. I found Hunter to be the best part of this since Kayla is still a little to soft for my tastes, hoping for her to get a little tougher as things progress. But overall a very enjoyable and entertaining story leading to an even better story I see on the horizon. I will definitely be continuing this series!

The Judge

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The Judge (The Elite #3)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have loved this trilogy from the first sentence of the first book and would be just as happy if I got to spend little more time with the characters. I feel like I know each and every one of them personally and that they are friends who are about to move away for good. This is a plea for maybe a chance to find out how things went after for them. 🙂 The characters have from the beginning been very well fleshed out and real, whether they were good guys, bad guys, or somewhere in between. They react and interact in a way that feels genuine to who they are supposed to be. They are a part of this world and you have no doubt about that for a minute. This story begins directly as the second book ends, with the Island playing host to many Elite families and preparing for war.

Connor Moore passed the ancient tests which would declare him as the Judge and been accepted by the five Elite families as their leader in this fight. The most important thing for Connor at this moment however is the fact that Laren has been taken and how quickly they can get to her rescue. Lu wants to run off without a plan but Connor and his father understand they need to be sure of what they do.

When Laren is found it is discovered that Vercin has found a way to turn off the Elite gene, which means he could destroy them without much effort if it is used as a weapon. Connor does not wish to kill but he may find that Vercin is not going to give him any choice, it is a matter of kill or be killed. The final battle for the future of both mankind and Elites is drawing near and everyone will have to sacrifice to keep from being overrun by a tyrant who would be king.

This had one of the best battle scenes I have ever read! It was seen from multiple points of view which give you a glimpse of how things were going in varying locations around the area of battle and allowed you to check in with characters who you may have been worried about. This was visual and visceral for me as I held my breath fearing that someone I cared about would be killed or injured badly. I think that everyone needs to read these books and enjoy the growth of a boy to a man.

Screaming Spires

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Screaming Spires (The Cavaliers #2)

Lets start with the fact that I give this 4.5 stars.

This book picks up pretty much where the first book, Oxford Blood, leaves off. The story is flawless in its continuation of the plot line making for a great reintroduction before moving forward. All the elements that made the first book so enjoyable are here again with the added pleasure of getting to know a bit more about some of the secondary characters as well as some mains who were not fully fleshed out. This is keeping me so engaged partially because of the triangle which developed early on and does seem to be resolved, even though you expect it to be, things have just gotten that much more tense. The introduction of new characters only deepens the mystery of what is going on and adds another layer to what/who is involved. I can only guess at the language, which can be a bit confusing sometimes, thank goodness for BBC America, I can at least understand most of the terms without a translator. 🙂 There are multiple factions and multiple plots playing out so knowing the players makes it easy to keep track.

Harriet is back at Oxford for her second year after a summer break that left her in a broken condition. She and Tom are still dating but George is never far from her thoughts which makes her feel disloyal. When George does something for her, which he claims was out of love, she cannot think straight about what she should do. Two vampires, both Cavaliers, and both claiming they have feelings for her. After all the revelations she has had to deal with, this does not make her life any easier. The one bright spot for her is the return of her best friend Caroline.

There are also darker forces gathering who do not have Harriet nor the Cavaliers best interests at heart. They are bent on revenge and anyone who gets in their way is fair game. Someone close to her also has an agenda and it may or may not be to her benefit. Harriet is going to learn the hard way that while she may be considered vampire royalty for her lineage, she must decide how to live with what she continues to find out about those around her.

I was drawn back into this world swiftly and thoroughly with the first few sentences. I had really liked Harriet when I read the first book but feel a bit more ambivalent about her now, because she seems just a bit more wishy-washy than she did before. Even though she was young she seemed to have more of a backbone and did not allow herself to be pushed or swayed one way or the other. I’m partial to Tom even though he may not be the strongest, he does seem to have more integrity than any of the others. I am enjoying this series because it has everything I like in a vampire novel, blood, sexy vampires, romance, sexual tension, rivalries, revenge, and well-defined friendships. This cliff-hanger killed me because I had no idea how long I would have to wait to find out the conclusion. I know what I want and can’t wait to find out what happens. I would recommend this series highly.

Shattered Promises

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Shattered Promises (Shattered Promises #1)

 

This is 4.5 stars for entertaining even though I was not sure what was going on for the longest time. I loved the characters and the way that they were introduced even though I would have liked to have gotten more information on some. The story was confusing for me but it still managed to maintain a flow that allowed me to follow where it was going and enlighten me along the way. The story is rather complicated and twisty so you really have to pay attention to who you are with and what they are doing.

We meet Gemma Lucas as she finds that emotions are no longer a thing only other people feel. Gemma is a student in her final year of college and has no idea what she is going to do when it ends. But sometimes you shouldn’t temp fate by wondering about such things because you may find out that she has plans you might not agree with. She meets Aisling and Alex Avery in one of her classes and feels an electrical charge when she is around Alex, but does not know what it means, and he seems to be unaware of it however.

When she starts to have strange dreams and waking nightmares Gemma believes that she is going insane, but that is far from the truth. Gemma finds herself being pulled into a world and situations that she would have never believed existed. She also finds herself with emotions that she has never had to contend with, and controlling them proves to be difficult. Does she love Alex or hate him? Can she trust Alex? Should she trust Alex? Lots of questions and few answers but finding out is going to be a heck of a ride.

As I said, I did not always know what was going on but half the fun is trying to figure out who to trust and who not to trust. I am just as baffled as Gemma but can’t wait to see if I have chosen wisely. There are thrills, chills, and paranormals galore.

 

Ghost Betweens

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Ghost Betweens

My rating 4 of 5 stars
I usually like my horror a bit more bloody and dark but for this I will make an exception. While not bloody it did have a dark edge to it. It was an easy read that allowed you to get to know the characters in increments as the book progressed. Some were better represented than others but you still had an idea of who they were in relation to each other. The reasons behind the haunting was never made completely clear but the story was still good even without knowing every detail. It was able to keep my interest and keep me turning pages wanting to find out what would happen next. The term Ghost Betweens was a new one on me and I think I like it, it seems very apt for the teens here.

Citrus Valley is located somewhere between Los Angeles and Orange County in California. There is a farmhouse just outside the town which is said to be haunted and no one can say how long it has been empty. The local kids don’t party there and no one has even stayed for a night in the abandoned house, but it has a feeling that keeps people away. There is a sign out front which changes year to year or month to month and sometimes day by day, yet no one has ever been seen doing it.

Josh and Zach are high school boys who decide to go out and take pictures around the old farm and maybe capture some ghosts on film. They definitely get there wish and when the pictures are shown to one of their teachers he enlists them to continue their search for ghosts. They in turn bring into it Kendra, the girlfriend of Zach, and a new girl in school, Whisper who at first thinks she is joining a photography club. They wake up an evil that wishes to use them and they must race to master skills which will keep them alive and save more than their town from what could be released.

While light on scares it gives a nice story of young love blossoming in the face of horror. Finding the person who completes you before you are even complete yourself and learning to work together for the greater good. There was only one thing that bugged me and that was we never really got any answers about the teacher, like how he knew so much about ghosts, and spells, and evil entities, he was a history teacher after all. But that was a small thing and did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the story. This book is YA and so has no major heavy content.