Author: Shea Ernshaw
Published: March 6, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo or save herself.
Another gorgeous cover . . . that shines!! It drew me in and then after reading the description, I wanted to read it! I ended up taking it to Italy and read it there. I did enjoy this book. There was a little bit of teenage idiocy that kept me from giving it 5 stars, but thankfully not enough to ruin the story.
I liked the historical factor. Certain areas of the northwest coast of the US just lend themselves to mystery and superstition and I find that fascinating! The setting was awesome! Lumiere Island sounds like a place that I’d love to hold up on for the entire summer with a full kitchen and several piles of books.
The Swan sisters are definitely not my favorite characters to ever be written. In fact, I like that they are considered the villains so I could hate them. They’re slutty and nasty! Overall, it’s a simple story, but original, and I liked who I was supposed to like, disliked who I was supposed to dislike . . . a good story with good characters in a good setting. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy with a touch of history. I would save this for older teens due to some language.
Today Kim reviews The Merciless Series by Danielle Vega. The series is currently composed of three novels with a fourth coming out later this year! The information on it will be provided below and came from Goodreads. The Merciless Series by Danielle Vega
Books in the Series:
The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores
The Merciless III: Origins of Evil
Descriptions from Amazon:
Published: June 12, 2014
Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream. Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls…unless she wants to be next. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?
The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores
Published: July 5, 2016
Sofia is still processing the horrific truth of what happened when she and three friends performed an exorcism that spiraled horribly out of control. Ever since that night, Sofia has been haunted by bloody and demonic visions. Her therapist says they’re all in her head, but to Sofia they feel chillingly real. She just wants to get out of town, start fresh someplace else . . . until her mother dies suddenly, and Sofia gets her wish. Sofia is sent to St. Mary’s, a creepy Catholic boarding school in Mississippi.
There, seemingly everyone is doing penance for something, most of all the mysterious Jude, for whom Sofia can’t help feeling an unshakeable attraction. But when Sofia and Jude confide in each other about their pasts, something flips in him. He becomes convinced that Sofia is possessed by the devil. . . . Is an exorcism the only way to save her eternal soul? Readers won’t be able to look away from this terrifying read full of twists and turns that will leave them wondering, Is there evil in all of us?
The Merciless III: Origins of Evil
Published: July 11, 2017
Brooklyn knows that there’s no good without evil, no right without wrong. And when a helpless girl calls her teen helpline, whispering that someone is hurting her, Brooklyn knows that she needs to save her anonymous caller, even if it means doing something bad. Her parents and friends assure her the call was probably a prank—but Brooklyn has always had a tendency to take over, whether someone has asked for help or not. She discovers the call came from Christ First Church and finds herself plunged into the cultish community of its youth group. She’s especially drawn to Gavin, the angelic yet tortured pastor’s son. Torn between an unstoppable attraction to Gavin and her obsession with the truth, Brooklyn is forced to make a devastating choice to rid Christ Church of evil once and for all. . . . But the devil has plans for Brooklyn’s soul.
Series reviewed by: Kim
Kim’s rating of the series: 4 stars
I really enjoyed this series! It satisfied my horror craving, without being overly predictable. The characters were interesting and relatively relatable. I hated the people I was supposed to hate and sympathized with the characters I was supposed to sympathize with. I liked how Vega captured the duality of humanity. Yes, there is black and white in this life, but mostly, there’s a whole lot of gray! The reason I’m giving this series 4 stars is because 1. The suspension of disbelief wore a little thin by the time I got to the third book, and 2. I just hate teenagers. To be fair, the teenagers in this series fit the story very well, but I can’t help reverting back to my feelings of annoyance because teenagers are obnoxious and stupid. 😊 As for the suspension of disbelief, apparently exorcisms happen quite often in Mississippi! How many exorcisms happen in one group of people?? That was the only predictable part of this series.
Vega did add several twists that surprised the heck out of me! At first, Vega’s view of Christianity bothered me, as a Christian, but then I thought about most of the Christians I know personally, and while her descriptions are by no means the norm, she has the number of some of us! I liked that the books aren’t huge, so I was able to read the series in less than a week. I like this series a lot and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a creepy read. I would save this for older teens, there is language and some adult themes, but I think most older teens would enjoy this series.
There will be a fourth book in the Merciless series! All information on this upcoming novel comes from Goodreads:
The Merciless IV: Last Rites
Expected Publication: June 12th 2018
The fourth book of the scream-worthy cult series The Merciless combines Stephen King level terror with true crime stories like the Amanda Knox case.
The ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard’s wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She’s trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley’s captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her–drive the devil away and cleanse her soul–but will she make it out alive?
When Berkley arrived in Italy a week ago, the last thing she expected was that she’d end up fighting for her life. After spending six months at the Institute, confined to a room with the dangerous-yet-alluring Sofia Flores, Berkley was certain that a vacation in Italy with her two best friends would be the perfect getaway. But Berkley is hiding a terrible secret, one that threatens to undo everything. As she’s forced to face her wicked past, she learns that the devil is always watching, and no one is coming to save her.[Top]
This week Kim reviews the Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray. She liked it and recommends this series to anyone who enjoys Fantasy and Historical Fiction. This is also YA, and teens will be teens and sometimes we know what Kim thinks of teens in these books by now! 😉
Author: Libba Bray
Books in the Series:
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Sweet Far Thing
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s rating of the series: 4 Stars
Description from Amazon:
A Great and Terrible Beauty: It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?
Rebel Angels: Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy—spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify—visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain. The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes them to. To the girls’ great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship. But all is not well in the realms—or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother’s greatest friend, now Gemma’s foe—Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . .
The Sweet Far Thing: It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds. The Order—the mysterious group her mother was once part of—is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence’s burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.
I read the whole series! And the third book is like 800 pages! I did enjoy these books. The story was unique, and I like some of the characters. The sad thing about this series is that I hate all the main characters. Gemma is like grass in the wind. No matter what her gut or her brain tells her, even when she knows that something is wrong, even when she knows the right way is the complete other direction, she lets everyone else dictate what she does. Her friends can easily manipulate her. The people that she should respect and listen to are ignored completely and often scorned, but whenever her friends start whining, she lets them have and do whatever they want.
Felicity and Pippa are nothing but spoiled brats who see Gemma as someone to use and manipulate and that never changes. Ann is nothing but a whining doormat. Whoever decided to gift these girls with magic and the fate of the realms needs to have his/her/its head examined. Thankfully there are other characters that I like much better, who saved the story for me. Kartik is my favorite! He stays steady and consistent throughout the whole series. Although his loyalties do shift, he never waivers. Mother Elena and Brigid are sweet women who genuinely care about the people around them. Even Circe is a consistent character that I ended up respecting by the end! The story itself is very intriguing.
Unfortunately, it went far too long because just when Gemma figures out what needs to be done, the other girls convince her to wait and do something completely unnecessary for another 30 pages. I think there is a lot that could be shaved down. I do like the subplot of true feminism. That girls shouldn’t be viewed as pretty breeding stock, but as people who are capable of thinking and providing for themselves. There is real sexism in these books and Bray does a great job of using the characters to fight against it. Overall, this is an interesting series that I would recommend to anyone who likes Fantasy and to some who like Historical Fiction.[Top]