Author: Caroline Peckham (Page 1 of 2)

BOOK REVIEW: The Awakening: As Told by the Boys by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti

BOOK REVIEW: The Awakening: As Told by the Boys by Caroline Peckham & Susanne ValentiThe Awakening: As Told by the Boys (Zodiac Academy #1.5)
by Caroline Peckham, Susanne Valenti
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


**This is a retelling of book 1 of Zodiac Academy from the perspective of Orion, Darius, Caleb, Seth and Max**

The Vega twins are alive.

Those five words circle in my mind like an oncoming storm. They change everything about the future we thought had been set in stone. They challenge everything we were raised to be and the stability of the entire kingdom.

They’re coming to our academy looking for the life that was stolen from them, but we can’t let them take it back.

So much hangs in the balance and we can’t risk the arrival of two naïve princesses destroying everything we worked so hard for.

I have trained in dark magic, overcome all challenges and stood in the shadow of Lionel Acrux for far too long already. I won’t let them come between me and his downfall.

Which means they have to go before they discover how powerful they truly are.

This is a retelling of the first book in the Zodiac Academy series from the point of view of Orion and the Heirs and should be read after you have finished the original story. It includes scenes from alternative points of view as well over 50k words of additional content and scenes which have never before been revealed. So prepare to step into the dark minds of the Zodiac boys and watch out for the heartbreak and carnage that will ensue

I looked right back, drinking her in, taking in the fire that burned in her soul and the heat which seemed to simmer between us. This girl was going to be trouble. I could tell already. The best kind of trouble there was.

Not many series impress me enough that their male POV counterparts amount to much or grab my attention enough to read them. And perhaps to many this one didn’t either. But, we’re talking groundbreaking measures here, people-I HATE long series because, honestly, most authors just can’t make them interesting or well-written enough that they keep my interest. But, for some reason, this series stole my heart and it never really let it go-from the first hot mess of an awakening where the celestial heirs met the lost Vega twins who tipped their world on it’s axis, through the tremulous fights, bullying, and romantic endeavors-both good and tortuous (Which is to say, EXCELLENT), all the way to the absolutely breath-taking and soul-crushing Heartless Sky where all our most coveted desires came to fruition, but with a cost almost too high to bear. The tears, people…the absolute wrecked soul-wrenching tears.

Green eyes peering into my soul and the brush of lips against mine so hot and powerful that I could taste that kiss right down to my core. A name in the dark which sounded like a plea or a promise and words which hung in my mind like they’d been spoken from the stars themselves.
Choose wisely, Dragon born. The greatest treasure is the hardest won.

*Don’t mind me and my bb Dragon*

So, when I finished book seven and knew there was a book from their POV, one where we can get some iNsIgHt into these assholes’ minds during their reign of terror over the girls, I was all for it. But, like many things, I wanted to savor it and keep it for a rainy day when I would need my Dragon feels and, honestly, I didn’t want to rush into it and not have it to look forward to. Though we had six books with all the boys’ perspectives, it left far too much Darius out and it was literally never enough-it will NEVER be enough when it comes to this absolute book HUSBAND.

How much easier my life would be if this really was just the end of me.

Shh. I don’t care that he’s a walking, talking red flag-he. Is. EVERYTHING. And to say that is such a monumental thing. I know-I KNOW-I get obsessed with my fictional men.

I KNOW THIS. But it is far and few between they get under my skin so desperately that it feels like I would have to surgically peel my skin back to remove them from my veins-my bones-my very marrow….and I can’t really say why other than perhaps morally gray men with super toxic but totally purely devoted and in love [but in denial] men MAY be my own special wheel-house and anything less than ‘red flag’ may bore me, nowadays. What it do, baby.

I slid a hand up her spine, moving it towards the back of her neck as I watched her mouth and prepared to claim it. Claim her. Claim everything that went with that choice, because it didn’t even feel like a choice at all, more like an urgent need which demanded to be answered.

I only say this because Jacks from OUABH is also my current obsession and he’s nothing less than a red flag and absolute trollop, as well, so I think I may have a top tier *type*. That also being said, lest we forget Cardan is my top book boyfriend? The salt? The nixies? The sneers and *light* bullying? Literally the entirety of the company he keeps? Though, I must say, he is so mild and tame, comparatively lol. Poor little sugar bb prince.

“Maybe you should have picked an easier House to join,” I warned in a low tone, pushing her a little more. “I don’t get the feeling you’re cut out for the trials of this one.”
“Well you made it in,” she said with a shrug, her gaze flicking over me dismissively and making my blood heat. “So it can’t be that hard.”

I digress. This is supposed to be about the boys’ POV, and it is…kind of. But keep in mind I have all these emotions I haven’t truly been able to express because I read all these so quickly in a violent haze of obsession that I didn’t and couldn’t make time to write a review for all seven books. So, honestly, this is the review to end ALL reviews for books 2-7 of Zodiac Academy, and I can’t help but gush because, really, I have to wait until December for the end and that is just BULLSHIT.

There was a question hanging between me and her. A want which we both felt and ached to satisfy. But there was a whole chasm full of reasons for us to deny that need too. Not that I gave a shit. Because every fibre of my being was screaming for me to claim her and make her mine with an urgency that made my head spin.

Basically what we have here is the heart of all the books: the boys. Don’t get me wrong, but the Vega girls are truly good souls-one fiery and stubborn AS FUCK, and one sweet and kind, but fierce in a way the boys absolutely and severely underestimated. No, truly, these guys may have been the cause of so much pain and heartache and turmoil, but their arc from book one to seven really is a showcase of how being put in a position to defend all you know, the people who are in danger around you, how being under a dark coercion and put in a position that has other lives at stake if you don’t follow those dark commands, how it changes a person and brings out the worst of what they can be.

I swear I could practically hear the universe holding its breath like there was so much hanging on the choice we made now.

I will admit that you have to have that darkness inside you and be inclined to do it for such ‘support’ of friends to work (I stand by the dark coercion not being a fair shake to my dragon but, again, I’d die for him, so) and to commit such heinous acts (here’s looking at you, Seth and Max), but I loved seeing what they were willing to do for their friend. And, more than that, even though it hurts now, you get to see how they really did like the Vegas,

One of the seniors used his earth magic to seal the way closed behind her and I had to grit my teeth against the desire to tell him to stop so I could keep watching her walk away. Damn this girl. Damn this fucking girl. She was clawing her way under my skin and I was almost certain she wasn’t even trying to do it.

we get to experience these moments knowing full well what is to come, how they bond, become best friends, how they all work together for the greater good….and, I’m going to betray every woman out there when I say this, all of this enhances the good moments that are earned in the future. What?!!! iT aDdS fLaVoR !

“You made a mistake picking my House. You won’t be able to escape me now.”

YOU DO NOT GET TO JUDGE ME. NONE OF YOU. There would not be a whole ass support group for each book and each series these evil women create if there were not a bajillion other people who agreed with me. All this being said, though, it’s very hard to see when we are first reading the series. Why do they do what they do? Why do they HAVE to? Who even cares? Well, even though I find it to be a cop out and an after the fact excuse, it doesn’t make it any less canon and they wove it so seamlessly that no one can call that out because, frankly, it just makes sense. This series and it’s plot holes are always filled (sometimes books later!!!) so well that you can’t help but shrug and say, whatever. It works. This is just what is is.

She had been a pretty dream for a foolish moment, but now I was waking up to my reality and the bruises staining my flesh were a stark reminder of what that was.
The Vegas had to go.
And I had to make that happen.

Another of my favorite things ever-moments or actions or sayings or things being hinted at AND NOT FORGOTTEN-being expanded on so well in later books that the breath gets knocked from your lungs and you physically can’t breathe. If you’re into that sort of thing, that is. (Ya know, just epic LOVE declarations in various forms, and the like.) Frankly, I judge you if your heart didn’t palpitate at ‘there is only her, there is only him’, Darius’s Phoenix and Dragon tattoo, Star-Crossed love, and so. Many. Other. Things. I judge you. Openly. How even dare you if this shit doesn’t light your fire.

I raised my eyes to look at Roxy Vega, finding her wary attention still very much fixed on me and liking that a little too much. What was going on beyond those big green eyes? What thoughts filled that pretty head of hers when she set her gaze on me?

Sure, there were some repetitive moments-we ARE in the minds of simple men, really, but I couldn’t help but love that we got to see how quickly Darius and Orion were attracted and-honestly-truly interested in a relationship with Tory and Darcy from the beginning. It’s pretty clear in the original story from the girls’ perspective that they have *starry eyes* for them, despite all the pomp and posturing, but to see their inner struggles and absolute obsession with them…it made things so much grander. Brighter. So much more fun to look at through those lenses.

That girl was my downfall in the making. I just had to make sure she never reached that potential.

Also, another reason everyone needs to save this story for after they read book seven-they are honestly hilarious. I don’t know that I’d have smiled so much or laughed as loud or as often had I not truly known the heirs as I do in later books. There is something truly special in watching their weird brother bond and the way they interact with one another behind the scenes. How they bicker and fight and what they truly think of their lives and what they are expected to do. I loved it-even if I had to read from freaking Max and Seth’s perspectives back when they were total douche canoes.

And for some strange reason, her calling me an asshole was the highlight of my damn week.

And, here, I wondered if seeing it from their POV might change my mind about them earlier than, say, book five for Seth and book six for Max. But…no. Alas, they are still assholes and I still do not forgive them for being book 1-5’s most obnoxious heirs. Though, many may be shocked to see my current ranking as far as the heirs go, if we’re talking book five on:

*~*DARIUS*~*(C’mon now)
Seth (wHaAaAaAt)
Caleb (dude got boring once Tory moved on)
Max (Still not my favorite, but I do like him)
And, if Orion was an heir, he’d be seated right below Darius. Have no fear, friends.

My head snapped up and I glared at my reflection again, drinking in the similarities between the man in the mirror and the one who had haunted my nightmares for too fucking long. He’d wanted me to become a monster? Fine. I’d be his monster.

So, I don’t know-is it obvious I was going to love this when 90% of it was from Darius and Orion’s POV? Yes. But the fact is that it’s well written, too, much like the other books and it fills in so many fun holes (ugh. You know what I mean) that you can’t help but cherish those early feels you were developing when you see how things were on the other side in some of your favorite moments (the mail scene, the dance scene, the woods scene where they are plotting to ambush Tory)

I didn’t want to fall into the trap of arguing with her again while I was holding her like this. I just wanted to steal this moment from the universe and forget about all the shit that was hanging between us outside of right now.

so many small moments amplified into something amazing…and I just loved seeing it. I loved seeing Darius soften when he looked at Tory (or get all lusty, but that was more predictable, to be fair). I loved Orion’s grumpy ass trying to theorize why Darcy was a siren (both of them, utter morons ‘aLmOsT lIkE a PuLl)

“Any ideas on their Orders?” he asked.
“I think Darcy might be a Siren,” I said and his brows arched.
“Oh yeah? Why do you think that?” he asked.
“It’s just a vibe. Like she’s trying to manipulate my feelings or something,” I muttered and he nodded slowly.
“Yeah now you say it, Roxy could be one too,” he said thoughtfully.
“Really? You felt it from her as well?” I asked hopefully, latching onto this explanation with both hands.
“Yeah, like a sort of pull…”
“Exactly,” I agreed and relief fell between us.

and it was just a balm to my shattered soul. I literally could not be happier that I found this series and I got to experience it with my best friend. Even though she took forever-shame. Shame on you.

Fran Scale:

Doesn’t matter if I think you’ll like it or not-I’m guna book push it on you anyway and smile about it

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BOOK REVIEW: Heartless Sky (Zodiac Academy #7) by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti

BOOK REVIEW: Heartless Sky (Zodiac Academy #7) by Caroline Peckham & Susanne ValentiHeartless Sky (Zodiac Academy #7)
by Caroline Peckham, Susanne Valenti
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


The winds of fate are shifting, and it finally seems like they’ve been twisted in our favour.

On the run and cast out from society, we’ve been forced to hide from the mad man who stole our throne. But as more secrets come to light and my sister and I work harder than ever before to reach our potential and claim our birth right, the end is finally drawing closer.

There is no turning from this path now. The curse chases on our heels as time rushes by and the blood drenched destiny of the man I love looms ever closer just like the monster who stole our throne.

We must prepare for the final battle, but three things are clear now.

The cards have already been dealt.

Blood will spill for a new future to rise.

And the stars themselves can’t help us.

The fight for the throne is upon us. All hail the heartless sky.

She was intoxicating, this creature of mine, soul destroying, heart breaking, endlessly everything.


End of.

Y’all know. EVERYONE knows. When I say that I love emotional peril. Destruction. Heartache. Pain. Chaos. Mayhem. [fake or will be fixed and also okay sometimes permanent] Character deaths. All around evil. Torture. YOU NAME IT. I MEAN IT. I . FUCKING. LOVE . IT.

This book is the most destructive. eViL. MEAN. Aggressive little shit of a book I’ve ever come across and I may or may not want to curl up and die after finishing because nothing has EVER hurt this much. Okay, maybe back in the day things such as Primrose and Tris and [insert duology from last year that’s too new to say so offhandedly] are good examples of utter and emotional detriment to the soul. But this is NOW. And now HURTS.

yOu’Ll Be FiNe

Well no, sir/ma’am, I will NOT be okay.

*I lied*
*yes I hissed*

No amount of guessing/anticipating/waiting could have prepared me for this. And while I will eventually bask in it, today and last night as I lay awake staring at the ceiling in a sea of feels, today is not that day. Today I mourn my sanity and I thank you for all your condolences at this time.

…regrets weren’t worth the memories they lingered in.

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BOOK REVIEW: Fated Throne (Zodiac Academy #6) by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti

BOOK REVIEW: Fated Throne (Zodiac Academy #6) by Caroline Peckham & Susanne ValentiFated Throne (Zodiac Academy #6)
by Caroline Peckham, Susanne Valenti
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


Fate has torn us apart and sometimes I believe the stars have given up on us altogether.

Without my sister, the world seems darker than ever before and the shadows loom thicker, rising up to answer the call of the Shadow Princess and changing the face of Solaria for good.

Now Lionel Acrux has the strength to make a move for the throne, I’m not sure how much time we have left to stop him.

Our only hope is to find the Imperial Star before he does. We made the sacrifice the stars called for and we’re paying the price for that decision so it can’t be for nothing. But with the stars turning against us at every move, and the last light in the world seeming to fade, I’m afraid we’re almost out of time. Hope is a dangerous thing. It’s the key to us fighting on. But it could be what destroys us in the end.

One thing is for certain, I won’t stop until I have been reunited with my other half and together we will fight to take our crowns.

A war is coming.

The throne is calling for a new monarch. And someone must answer its call.

Look, this one is a soft five but it is STILL a five, nonetheless. Nothing else could touch how this makes me feel. That being said-while not enough changes from book to book to write a full review pertaining to each installment as I read them so close together, this one was hard to put feels into GIF form…so this one is messy but I will stay steady in my pursuit of posting some form of a review for each installment. This is my attempt.

By far the darkest installment yet…started out the bleakest

So it was hard for me during this time of my life…so it was just okayish as I pushed past it because I know it’s worth it *smirk* It always is.

And then…we start getting sooo close….



Nailed it.

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BOOK REVIEW: Cursed Fates (Zodiac Academy #5) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

BOOK REVIEW: Cursed Fates (Zodiac Academy #5)  by Caroline Peckham and Susanne ValentiCursed Fates (Zodiac Academy #5)
by Caroline Peckham, Susanne Valenti
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


After the devastating events at Zodiac Academy, we have to deal with this darker world we're faced with.
Lionel seeks to hurt us, the Nymphs seek to hurt the entire Fae race, and between all of it, we just have to try and survive each day as it comes.
I'm afraid of everything falling apart, but it looks like it already has.

Okay but why do these make it impossible to breathe?!

(view spoiler)

That about sums it up.

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BOOK REVIEW: Shadow Princess (Zodiac Academy #4) by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti

BOOK REVIEW: Shadow Princess (Zodiac Academy #4) by Caroline Peckham & Susanne ValentiShadow Princess (Zodiac Academy #4)
by Caroline Peckham, Susanne Valenti
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


After the events of the Lunar Eclipse, Tory and Darcy must learn to deal with the darkness which shadows their lives.

With a secret binding them to Darius and Orion, they must find a way to all work together for the greater good. But some things are easier said than done...

A review of feels.

Annddd *SCENE*

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