Hey Jealousy…NOT By the Gin Blossoms (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1: Phantom.)

The Vampire Diaries: Phantom (The Hunters: Vol. 1)
Author: L. J. Smith
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for the skeletons coming out of the closet getting ignored and frustrating the hell out of you.

 

Dear Diary, I am home!

We did it. We saved everyone.

Everyone except Damon…

The supernatural damage and invasion from evil spirits have been erased from the destruction of the town to the trauma of the townspeople. Even those who died have been back from the dead. Almost everyone. Damon Salvatore who’d died saving everyone in the Dark Dimension.

Elena and her friends have been given a second chance. They’ve graduated high school and are determined to spend their last summer before going to college. Fun gets put on hold however when something strange begins to happen to everyone. Jealousies and tension rise between the friends, straining relationships and bringing about truths they didn’t expect.

As things come to light, Elena struggles with her dreams of Damon. That can’t connected be to anything though, right? Damon’s gone. It’s just her grief, right? Then why is she having this gnawing feeling that it’s more?

 

I can’t believe I’ve finally gotten to the third part of the TVD trilogy of trilogies. It has been SO FREAKING LONG! Like, seriously. I finished Shadow Souls back in high school and then just couldn’t get to The Hunters until now.

This was not my favorite installation. Elena became so whiney and selfish and I was not having it. Not. At. All. NOPE. All of this shed such a harsh light on her and it made me feel so bad for Bonnie. It’s always been my belief that she deserved great things and when she admitted how she felt in regard to Elena and Meredith—small and living in their shadow—it hurt. It’s what I’ve believed since the very beginning and to hear her confirm it broken my friggin heart. She’s such a bubble of delight and so powerful and everybody just uses her and then dismisses her like she’s nothing! GAH! And this was the worst book to showcase this.

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I was so glad Bonnie got it off of her chest. It was also epic to see Elena fall flat on her face a few times too, both literally and metaphorically.

There was a new addition to the TVD-verse and her name is Celia. Alaric returns to the series with her, his research partner. She’s not my favorite and quite stuck up. But, she made for an interesting half-triangle with Alaric and Meredith.

The big bad being a demon is interesting, but I didn’t find it that well developed. It was very underwhelming. I didn’t get a good visual of it either. It was just…pathetic. Ugh. I hate to say that, but it’s true. There could’ve been so much more to make it more interesting. It fell so short.

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Overall

A great start and such an interesting result, but the big reveal was not big at all. Not my favorite book of the series. So, low on the bar. On to the next one!

 

Quotables:

“We’ve all been given another chance. We did it. We saved everyone…Everyone except Damon…And vampires don’t reincarnate. They don’t go to Heaven, or Hell, or any kind of afterlife. They just…disappear.” (Elena, p. 9)

“He was a monster. He was supposed to be a monster, to take blood unflinchingly, to kill without a second thought or care.” (Damon, p. 275)

“They’ve doomed you, just like they doomed the one they really loved.” (Jealousy Demon, p. 352)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

  1. S. Song today? Paralyzer by Finger Eleven.

 

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Silver in the Red (Red Queen – A Book Review)

Red Queen (Red Queen #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

The Hollywood Reporter

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated R for radical rebellion and liberation that’ll possibly make you stop breathing sometimes.

 

Power is a dangerous game.

It’s their blood that separates them. Red and silver. Reds live in the slums and at the whim of Silvers. Silvers, with their godly, supernatural abilities, look down on the Reds with disdain and disgust.

Mare Barrow has lived in the Stilts all her life, stealing what she could to help her family survive. But suddenly and unexpectedly, she’s given a chance to prove she can be more than a thief, but it falls apart when she, along with all silvers, discover supernatural abilities, which she shouldn’t have because her blood is red.

Instantly she’s thrust into the deadly world of the silvers as a lost princess, and set to betroth one of the king’s sons. There are many deadly secrets hiding in the world of silvers and she’s only one. Delving further into the silver world, she’ll have to be careful. One wrong move could mean her life.

 

Sooooo…this is a reread. I read it a couple of years ago, but just having gotten Glass Sword and then King’s Cage, I wanted to relive this beginning. I’m very glad I did.

Mare is such an intense character. She’s very smart and quick on her feet and as a thief, she has to be. Now she has to do it as royalty or else she could end up worse than dead. Just like the first time, I was left holding my breath, and the end still shattered me. Mare’s heart broke and every bit of trust she harbored was obliterated. Everything she knew was ripped away and it messed me up good. Aveyard is great when it comes to the sting. And she stings a lot with the fierceness of a scorpion with dear Mare.

Scarlet Reader

Gifer

And the Princes! Let me faint for a moment here. Both Cal and Maven are stunning and crush-worthy in their own way. I blushed more than once. But, there’s really only one thing for me to say. I love Cal. He’s always thinking and from every angle, even though Mare thinks otherwise. He cares so much and it makes him a cautious person, which is understandable. I love this and how it matches to Mare’s boldness and her willingness to do what others can’t (More to come about this in Glass Sword review. Promise.). I totally ship Mal or Care or Mcare or whichever their ship name is. I like them together. Such an epic team, if not a heartbreaking one too.

Scarlet Reader

Giferr

Coming from the slums to the rich royalty, there was such a strong dynamic. There’s a darkness in both places. Each class struggles. The Reds because they live under the boots of Silvers. Silvers because they’re looking over their shoulder because they don’t trust each other at all and could kill each other for status. It’s really intense!

I also loved how the rebellion of the Scarlet Guard was born! Everything about it is so intricate! Like watching a plant poke up from soil and sprout and grow and spread. The rebellion just grew and grew and I was so enthralled! And this, because the war that has been waged for decades has finally broken the Reds.

Even in the beginning, The Scarlet Guard changed everything! Characters, places, the tone of the story. From this book, from the second Mare joins the rebellion, nothing will be the same. She’ll never be that same sixteen-year-old that just steals stuff. And I can’t get enough. For the guard!

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The world of Reds and Silvers rich and dark. While it glimmers like gems, there’s a dread and depression and fear around every corner. I could almost taste it. So well done both in the Stilts and in the summer palace of the Silvers. Each place also made me feel really uneasy and unsafe, which is pretty impressive. I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in either place, yet Mare and her princes are.

 

Overall

Such an awesome book! I’m hooked! The supernatural abilities aren’t unique, but the way they’re written makes them unique! The writing makes them as fantastical as fairies and gods. It’s beautiful and scary and I’m so enchanted. Such a surprising book that left me on the edge of my seat wondering, who’s not making it out of this? I couldn’t get enough, honestly. A fresh and stunning book. And honestly? What I imagine to be GOT in the far future when the dragons die and Westeros evolves into something so much more.

 

Quotables:

“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars/ And they are no longer kind.” (Mare, p. 11)

“You are pretending to be raised Red, but you’re Silver by blood. You are no Red in the head, Silver in the heart.” (p. 95)

“We will rise. Red as the dawn.” (Will to Mare, p. 164)

“It’s our nature. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.” (p. 227)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? I’d Come For You by Nickelback.

 

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Wet Hot Vampire Summer (The Traveling Vampire Show – A Book Review)

The Traveling Vampire Show
Author: Richard Laymon
Published: 2001

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated: M for mature themes.

 

See.

Watch.

Tremble.

Scream.

A hot summer of 1963, there are flyers tacked up all over Grandville, advertising for the Traveling Vampire Show for one night only. The main event: the alluring and blood-draining Valeria.

After a bet is made, three teenagers: Dwight, Slim, and Rusty, are determined to get in to see the show even though only those who are over eighteen are admitted. The day is long and after a dog attack, deceiving friends, and strange break-ins, they wonder if they should go and what might await if they do.

 

This was a pretty good book. Definitely not your typical summer adventure. I’ve never read Richard Laymon before. I’m glad I got too.

Scarlet Reader

Slipping into the paranormal/horror genre, this book takes place in the small town of Grandville and everybody knows everybody’s business. By the end of this book, hell, not even, a good quarter of the way in, I knew the ins and outs of this town. The description, imagery, and world-building was superb! The entire book took place during the course of an entire day and it was so in depth and extended without a boring drag. It was warm, dry, and breezy during a time when you didn’t have to be afraid that somebody would break into your home. It was safe.

Pretty campy and fun and even humorous at times; yes, these are a few of my favorite things. Such a good Fright Night vibe. I was digging it.

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

I really liked Dwight and Slim, but found Rusty to be a horrifying little troll I wanted to shove off of a bridge. His little sister was a needy little imp too. They both made my jaw drop to the ground with horror. Cruel, liars, and completely spineless, the two of them are vicious and I couldn’t believe that Dwight was friends with them. Slim however, was so kick-ass. Tomboy with the curves, she’s gone through her own hell and is so strong for it! And she’s so smart. It’s is my absolute favorite thing about this book that she takes up the names of literary characters over her own name. I am in complete awe of her.

Scarlet Reader

This book really took me for a ride. There was nothing cut and dry about it. Shockers and sharp turns were around every page and really got me feeling paranoid. Laymon really got my skin creeping with goosebumps on the way to the book’s main event. Fantastic with the build-up and extra side stories that allowed me to get to know the characters so much more. I love it when there’s side stories, and he wrote them so well! I’m mind-blown. So fantastically done without breaking the flow or steering away from the main story i.e. getting to this vampire show.

 

Overall

A pretty good read. I was addicted. It’s not like it was some life-defining read, but it was a good book. Great for a summer time read. Certainly, for mature audiences too.

 

Quotables:

“Most of us tell ourselves we don’t believe in that sort of stuff, but maybe that’s because we’re afraid to they might exist. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens from outer space, black magic, the devil, hell…maybe even God.” (Slim, p. 43)

“And even if you could somehow sort out the whys and find the truth, maybe it’s better if you don’t.” (Dwight, p. 51)

“The blood’ll bring vampires like chum brings sharks.” (p. 352)

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Song today? House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

 

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Fifty Shades of Mutt (Shadow of the Moon – A Book Review)

Shadow of the Moon (Moon #5)
Author: Rebecca York
Published: 2006

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Shadow of the Moon

My Rating:Half bolt

 

His gifts help him uncover the hot stories. But his latest investigation will take him inside a sinister world of power and pleasure, alongside a woman who knows how to bring out the animal in him…

 

Lance Marshall is very good at finding the next major story, but that may be because he’s a werewolf. His abilities allow him to have that extra edge. With stealth, speed, and enhanced senses, he’s currently investigating a private nightclub called The Castle. Dark and mysterious, he already knows what goes on there.

His investigation is nearly destroyed when Savannah Carter is discovered investigating The Castle as well. There in the nick of time to help her, they both get away. Turns out, her sister in a coma and it had something to do with her frequenting The Castle. Whatever the case. Savannah will get answers.

Forming an unlikely pair that toils on edge of passion, Lance and Savannah set out to uncover the truth about this dark place and the monstrous evil that lies within it.

 

This is a series that doesn’t necessarily require you to follow any kind of order. I started with this one and it’s where I’ll end. I tried and tried, but I was not into this book AT ALL. In fact, I was astounded and not pleasantly.

Scarlet Reader

Yup, guys. I’m about to turn into Voldemort and Avada Kadavra this damn book.

I was deeply intrigued about the werewolf part and the sister being in a coma and how two very different people, who actually aren’t all that different, come together with these two plot. This was nothing like that. The passion promised felt very lacking, even for a lush read. It started out mysterious, which is good, but quickly fell apart for me shortly after.

There was an incredible amount of vagueness to everything that didn’t do much for my imagination and I love it when my mind gets to wander. A little over half of this book just made me outright uncomfortable. Not my kind of read.

The characters, Lance and Savannah, were dreadful. Lance came across as domineering, cocky, and immensely chauvinistic and with how he was written, it was really disgusting. He was the kind of guy that thought about himself solely and how he could get Savannah to please him, with no regard of if he was coercing her or even considering forcing her into it. Cue my *shudder*.

Side Note: It is not my usual to be so harsh with reviews, but this book really made my stomach go green. Not my kind of book. I enjoy aggressive and playful and a side of smutty because I can, but when it comes down to the characters getting overly controlling to the point that the character opposite of them comes off as property or just another object, like a lamp or a desk. It riled me up something fierce.

Savannah was brash and lacked common sense LOL. Very common in women that leap with their heart over their head. Thought as bullheaded as she was, she didn’t think twice before sharing everything she was doing with a complete stranger…that lack of common sense bit, remember?

I wasn’t rooting for either of these two. Thus, I decided pretty quickly that they were extremely toxic.

Shattered Memories

Now, I’m not one to complain too much about writing often. It’s usually that I want more detail because I’m greedy and always caving more detail. However, I found myself trying to figure out why there was just random vocabulary that didn’t blend in some parts, as if certain words were just put in to beef of the writing. But, they didn’t do that. They just made it weird. Having to reread some of the sentences, my face got screwy here and there. The vocabulary interrupted the flow and the flow interrupted me trying to get into the story…you know how that goes. That can make you want to chuck the book across the room.

 

Overall

I wish so much that my feelings about this book weren’t so disturbed. I imagine there are quite a few people out there that enjoyed this book and that’s fine because this is their kind of thing. It’s not mine. I’m donating this book so fast that it’ll be like I never owned it. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose when you branch out. I’m not proud of bad reviews that I make, not proud of how they make me appear, but I believe in honesty and that sometimes there isn’t enough sugar to coat something if it’s really really bad. Sorry, but no, not really sorry.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Open by Rhye.

 

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Ghostfacers! of the Victorian Age (Something Strange and Deadly – A Book Review)

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

22/25

 

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt’s life is complicated. Her brother has gone missing. Her mother is breathing down her neck for her to find a rich suitor to repair their fortune and reputation. In a world where necromancy and running from the dead is so common. With technology and science growing, the hope that the dead can be extinguished and defeated is no longer just a dream.

Eleanor seeks out the help of the Spirit-Hunters, who help defend the city from supernatural forces, to find her brother. At first, they turn her away, but as it turns out, her brother may have something to do with all of the dead rising. Working together, they’ll figure out who’s causing the dead to rise and bring an end to the vengeful uprising in the city.

 

This book marks 22 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was a random and also a chance to get outside of my usual box.

 

First things first, the cover of this book is gorgeous! Mystifying with a chrome-like shine and the mysterious Eleanor front and center. The gears surrounding the tree really gave way to the Victorian era and industrial age as it also gave way to darkness. Just stunning.

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The world building was rather interesting, especially since there is a specific time period. The Victorian era is interesting because technology takes a leap, but the class system in which women are still at the bottom of the pit and considered fragile glass statues that are utterly useless is still very much in play. The delightful twist? ZOMBIES and GHOSTS! I thought that was really interesting. The supernatural is an everyday occurrence with procedures on how to handle it.

Scarlett Reader

I hit a snag with the characters. I wanted to be interested in Eleanor and Daniel and Joseph and the others characters, but I couldn’t. The way they interacted and acted was unrealistic and overdramatic. In some cases, it just came off as confusing. I couldn’t get a full read on their relationships between each other. If I had a favorite, it’s Jie. She’s spry and sneaky and takes no crap from people. My least favorite was definitely Eleanor’s mother, but only because of how she’s dependent on her daughter getting married for a better lifestyle. The woman is disgusting in how she doesn’t care for the welfare of her daughter. She only wants the reputation, riches, and materialist things.

On a side note: The Spirit-Hunter gave me Ghostfacers vibes. I was giggling to myself a few times over because all I could hear was their them song while imagining Sam and Dean Winchester rolling their eyes. A Supernatural thing.

 

The snag with the characters I think came from the style the book was written in. I could get a grasp on it. Though it was comical in places, the story was quite vague. I just wasn’t convinced. There was so much focus on the word dead and rot. It became redundant sadly. It felt as if vocabulary relating to the time era was just plopped in there and it diminished the story.

 

Overall

I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I hoped to. Not enough to finish the series. I was too thrown off by the style and redundancy. This book just didn’t reach geek-out territory.

 

Quotables:

“What did the stories say? The Dead hunt endlessly until they’re laid to rest or their bodies are destroyed.” (p. 3)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Love is to Die by Warpaint.

 

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Under the Light of the Moon(Over the Moon – A Book Review)

Over the Moon
Author: Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra, Sunny
Published: 2007

On Goodreads

Over the Moon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Experience the lure of the moon…

A beautiful werewolf in the chains of old and violent traditions falls into the hands of a lone werewolf in hopes that he can save her. With tensions running high under the Burning Moon, they get more than they bargained for.

In mountains, a girl goes on a life-changing trek, looking to find herself and finds so much more when she happens upon a group of strangers, one of which is more gorgeous than she has words for. She gets caught up in a world between mortals and fae.

A vampire and a werewolf collide, yet these two opposites can’t pull away from each other.

In a world where souls are born of the moon, and Queen of an otherworldly nature have control over warlords.

 

 

Fun and wild, these four short stories are like letting your inhibitions go. These ladies created fantastic worlds that lets the imagination out of its cage. Sometimes you desperately need that and they didn’t hold back. Each story was mystical and hot to the touch.

The cover art was also gorgeous. Mysterious an alluring. I also have an obsession with the moon, so the title really worked me in too.

 

The stories:

  • Moon Dance
  • Between the Mountain and the Moon
  • Driftwood
  • Mona Lisa Three

I must say that Between the Mountain and the Moon and Mona Lisa Three were my favorites. They not only held adrenaline rushing romance that had my toes curling, but they had a really good story to them as well. I really like the characters and how independent they were. I get a little deflated when the characters get ruled over by other characters. It wasn’t just romance for them, though it was a big part of their lives.

Between the Mountain was really beautiful and scary. Getting caught up in the fae world is like that. Its enchanting looks hide away that its dangerous. Mona Lisa was similar. A  queen, had a family she cared for and multiple lovers. It was a little wild, but the magic of it was so original. I’d never read anything like this life or death story. The emotions of whether she’d lose people she cared about unless she went through with a heinous act were intensely strong.

 

These were quickie stories honestly. Short and to the point. This is something you could get done at the DMV or while in the waiting room. Flushed with erotic romance to sweep you off your feet. It’s really the kind of fluff you let yourself get caught up in, and there’s no harm in the great fantasy every once in a while that gets you biting your lip.

Over the Moon

I won’t say that these are earth-shattering. They aren’t. The writing isn’t very in depth nor enough to really stick with me. I didn’t find myself lingering all that much. I certainly didn’t get attached to the stories or the characters like I typically would when reading. That’s fine. It makes the stories enjoyably for one reason. Thrills and chills. And of course that steaming hot anticipation.

 

Overall

This was a fun book that really got my blood pumping and my mind racing. Though, I didn’t feel attached in any way. With enchantment, those typical daydreams every person has gets enhanced threefold. Definitely a quick read that’ll leave you breathless.

 

Quotables:

“Take two alpha males, add a female in her burning moon, and you had a prescription for bloodshed.” (Moon Dance, p. 19)

“Her fate is their punishment.” (Between the Mountain and the Moon, p 151)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Wreak Havoc by Skylar Grey.

 

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Even In Your Sleep (Down a Dark Hall – Book Review)

Down a Dark Hall
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1974

On Goodreads

Down a Dark Hall

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

The terror is real only in her dreams.

Kit is dropped off at Blackwood School for Girls along with others. Each of them possess unique traits. Strange things begin happening around the grounds. Kit is having weird dreams and sleep walking. With each passing day, it gets stranger. She knows evil lurks down the dark halls, but she only sees it when she’s asleep. How can she escape? How can she get free if no one will believe her when her fears are only in her dreams? Or are they?

Like Duncan’s other books that I’v read, this was pretty good. She brought the supernatural element again to one of her novels. The dark halls of Blackwood are chilling and creepy. There are many unexplainable instances. Sleepwalking. Dreams of dead people. And becoming oddly talented and skilled at something you typically aren’t.

Kit experiences all of this and she’d love to run away. Her parents dumped her on the doorstep of this private school and didn’t look back as they to go on their honeymoon. Jerkfaces. Lucky for Kit, she made some friends. I really like the story. As you progress, the story intensifies until BAM! Everything breaks loose and Kit is feeling helpless.

With supernatural forces at work, I’m a little unnerved. Losing control is scary. It’s a feeling that can make anybody go over the edge, which is exactly what happens with Kit and her friends.

I found the characters to be quite like-able…except for Headmistress Madame Duret. She can go jump in a ditch because there is a special place for a person that lets ghosts possess teenagers. Kit was a strong-headed girl and has no time for bullshit. She also doesn’t leave her friends behind, which puts her in a high place on my list.

Each of the girls were having different things happening to them that were unexplainable. Kit was hearing music everywhere. Her closest friend, Sandy, was creating poetry, which doesn’t seem all that bad, but it was in foreign languages. The other girls, too. It was alarming and I wanted to figure this book out more. When I did, I was surprised. They weren’t just experiencing supernatural events but were pulled into them, getting possessed by ghosts. And being in the front seat of that was crazy!

This also just came out as a movie. I’m kind of intrigued. Ghosty movies are always chilling to me and I would love to see the differences between it and the book.

Down a Dark Hall

The style Duncan has with her books is one that I love. Incredibly simple and attention grabbing. She knows all the tricks to make a person go investigate the dark and creepy places, though they probably shouldn’t. There’s bread crumbs of curiosity behind with a twist of scary. And the TWIST! There always a twist, and Duncan did NOT disappoint. It gets me going and like it. This was also a quick read. Her novels aren’t usually long.

Overall

While I can’t say this is some epic literary piece, it was pretty epic. Period. She really approached the teen slasher/supernatural genre with great skill. These are instant classics in my opinion. A fun read to indulge in when you want goosebumps, like a story you tell around the campfire.

Quotables:

“Somewhere in the quiet dormitory someone had shrieked, In pain? In terror? Perhaps only from a nightmare, and yet, perhaps for some other reason. For—help?” (p. 42)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Help I’m Alive by Metric

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