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BOOK REVIEW – Moon Child (By Blood #2) by Tracy Banghart

BOOK REVIEW –  Moon Child (By Blood #2) by Tracy BanghartMoon Child (By Blood #2)
by Tracy Banghart
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Before Emma's adventures in Oxford, her best friend Diana came face-to-face with a killer...

Diana Calvert is so over high school. Who cares if Olivia hates her? And David needs to forget about his crush on her STAT. Even Emma’s crazy fashion choices can’t keep Diana entertained. All she can hope for is a dance scholarship to a college far away from too-small, too-boring, too-nothing-ever-happens New Freedom, PA.

Then Diana meets Nicholas Woodhaven. He’s pale, angry…yet weirdly charming. The more time they spend together, the more she wonders who – or what – he really is. Because he isn’t anything like the other guys she knows. Not with the whole only-going-out-at-night thing. And living with his creepy aunt. And not going to school.

Just when Diana thinks she’s got Nicholas all figured out, people in her small, nothing-ever-happens town start dying. She has to wonder – can she trust him? And even more alarming – could she be next?

Review:

I thought this would be a normal paranormal book that I’d just enjoy. *smacks forehead*  I read her Rebel Wing Series and thought that it was spellbinding, intricately crafted, and I became completely addicted.  I will admit that I forgot about that when I was a few chapters in, since I started out a little disjointed.  Dianna made some decisions I definitely questioned, there was a lot of characters introduced at first and it took me a while to become completely absorbed.  But then me and this book just clicked. And by 40% there was no way I was putting my Kindle down to sleep, it was too much fun!

Sadness sits in the lines of his face like an old friend. There’s regret there too and a sense of resignation in the set of his mouth. “Diana, there’s a lot about me you don’t understand. I told you when we met that I don’t have friends. I don’t—I can’t—Let’s just say my life isn’t normal. I am different. I have had to do things…differently.”

Before I jump into this story, I have to tell you about a common element across her books.  Her stories capture strong female friendships and she has quite the knack for writing twists that make you question how you never caught something, because the clues are there it’s just that I never see them ack!  And both of these elements, which I loved in her other series, shined brightly in this book too!

He steps even closer and my legs tangle with his. My wobbly, fear-weakened knees give and we tumble to the ground. I feel pain now – the gravel digs into my back, my butt, my thighs – but it doesn’t matter. I wrap my hands in his hair and pull his face even closer. His hips grind into mine and I think I cry out, softly, as a stone presses into the tender flesh at the base of my spine. This moment we share: it feels like anger, or passion…maybe even despair.

We started out the book with Diana attending her church youth group meeting at night.  And let it be known that I usually struggle when religion makes a way into a story, even a little bit.  YET I never once struggled, it flowed perfectly and was actually a great setting.  I don’t think you’ll ever get me to say that in any other book lol.  Anywho, they were going to play a game in the adjoining graveyard.  And while Diana was out there trying not to have the living daylights scared out of her, she tripped and was caught by a stranger.

“If you’re that clumsy,” he adds, “probably shouldn’t be walking around graveyards after dark.” The corner of his lip quirks, his skin crinkling like paper.

Ohhhhh enter Nicholas.  He was mysterious with not wanting to reveal anything about himself.  He was sweet with the gestures he did for Diana…..what he brought her and her friend, when he met her best friend for the first time, oh my gosh it was beyond adorable!  And yet I wasn’t entirely sure of him at first.  Not because I was questioning whether he was a good guy or bad guy, come on now it’s me we’re talking about and I love both haha, but it was the comments that made me pause.  Like in the quote above about skin wrinkling like paper.  Weird right?  But those thoughts disappeared from my mind when we got to spend more time time with Nicholas.

“Come on. I don’t bite,” he whispers. I want to laugh. If he only knew the irony.

So Diana, being from a small town where everything is always the same, got a little obsessed with Nicholas.  He was infuriating at times, sweet at other times and he was this huge mystery while always being hot. Diana slowly started to learn about Nicolas and his odd ways when, BAM, a murder happened in her tiny town.

Eventually my breathing slows. I crumple to my knees and then find myself sitting cross-legged on the grass next to the entrance of school. In the rain. The wind blows my wet hair against my face, but I don’t have the energy to brush it away. Instead, I turn my face to the sky and close my eyes and let the rain fall softly onto my skin. I can’t tell if I’m crying.

So I thought I had the murderer pinned down and a few other things too but *shakes head*, my guessing skills were not good.  Not good at all lol.  Usually I pride myself for figuring things out pretty quickly – like two things that happened in the final book of Divergent, I was so proud of myself.  But yeah.  That so didn’t happen this time.  That’s twice now that Tracy Banghart has gotten me!

Moon Child was a quick, fun read that was filled with an adorable first love, strong friendships and a few great twists.  The story-line and characters completed creeped up on me, and I’m so glad they did because this book was just what I was looking for!  And just so you know, I liked Diana.  And I loved the friendships she had in her life, since they felt so real and true.  My favorite female friend of hers was Emma.  She was so quirky with her ways and thoughts.  I adored their friendship, even during their up and downs.  But my favorite friendship was between Diana and Nicholas.  I loved watching it unfold into something more.  They were at times awkward, adorable and so sweet.  Here’s hoping you enjoy this book just as much as I did!

P.S. I still have a few questions though.  I’m one of those neurotic people that likes almost everything wrapped up in a tiny bow.  I know, I’m weird.  So I’m wondering….HUGE spoiler so don’t click unless you’ve read this book….. View Spoiler »

P.P.S Goodreads says that this is Book #2 YET it’s actually a prequel to book #1 since it happens beforehand AND on the authors website it shows this book first.  Just wanted to mention this in case you are wondering why I read “#2” first. 🙂

BOOK REVIEW – Torn Sky (Rebel Wing #3) by Tracy Banghart

BOOK REVIEW – Torn Sky (Rebel Wing #3) by Tracy BanghartTorn Sky (Rebel Wing #3)
by Tracy Banghart
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The end is near . . .

When Aris Haan brought down Safara’s biggest war criminal, she’d thought it was a turning point in the war. Victory was on the horizon, as was a peaceful future with her Promised, Milek.

But a deadly new threat has emerged: a Safaran bomb that could wipe out all of Atalanta in one catastrophic blast. Aris is tasked with finding the weapon before it is completed, a mission made more difficult when she starts to suspect that there is a Safaran spy in her unit. Friendships are tested, loyalties are strained, and suddenly Aris no longer knows whom she can trust.

In the epic conclusion to the Rebel Wing series, Atalanta’s fate rests on Aris’s shoulders. Can she find the bomb before it destroys everything—and everyone—she loves?

Review:

*Slight spoilers for Rebel Wing #1 & Storm Fall #2*

Torn Sky was a stunning conclusion to The Rebel Wing trilogy.  I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the friends I met in this series, yet at the same time the ending was absolutely perfect.  Looking back over this journey, here are some of the reasons I ended up falling for this series and of course the final book:

✮ Fast-paced action
The battle scenes that Aris and her fellow military members found themselves in would often leave my palms sweaty and my heart racing.  And it felt as though I was with Aris in her military jet evading enemy fire or down on the ground fighting the Safara’s soldiers.  It definitely made for an adventurous time!

✮Love
Whether it was Aris and Milek or Dysis and Calix, I always found myself smiling and sighing at their moments together.  Funny thing is, I usually only get attached to one couple in a book.  Yet I found myself caring for two different sets of people, because there was no way I could ignore how addicting Dysis and Calix’s story was also.

He had seen her at her most vulnerable, unconscious and bleeding. But that was nothing to this, to letting him see into her soul.
“At least we’ll have someone to hold onto at the end. We won’t be alone.” His arms slid around her, and her eyes closed, and the happiness, and the sorrow, and the fear collided as their lips joined once more.

Perilous Situations
While I thought the two previous books were filled with wonderful perilous moments, Torn Sky takes the cake.  I’m still reeling over a few different moments.  Moments were I didn’t know whether I wanted to pause and curl into myself or continue absorbing every single heart wrenching moment.  I love finding myself in that conflict!

His hand reached up and clasped hers, holding it against the less-bruised cheek. “I love you, Aris.”
“Don’t say it like that,” she said, swallowing back tears. “Like you’re afraid you won’t get another chance.”

The twists
All I can say is wow.  One of them cut so deep, that I couldn’t stop my eyes from filling up with tears.  I never saw it coming, or maybe I didn’t want to see it coming.  But when a huge light was shined on it, oh man did it hurt.  This was done perfectly, and I wish I could say more.

World Building
My friends know that my patience level for intricate world building is minimal.  But this series had such a good mix between giving us enough details to easily visualize their world and civilization, while at the same time not being bogged down with countless descriptions.

Strong Women
Aris, Dysis, and Galena each earned my respect as the series progressed.  They each had a fire in them, and at times each was a force to be reckoned with.  I loved when they wouldn’t back down, no matter how dire the situation was.  And I have to say again that I loved Aris and Dysis’ friendship!

She waited for him to answer, willed him to understand. She would do anything to protect this dominion. Even if it meant becoming a monster. – Galena

✮How it all tied in together
This is probably one of my favorite aspects.  The way the characters found themselves connected, or how certain events tied into other events, made for such an exciting time watching how everything was all twisted together.

I could go on and on, but these were definitely my favorites.  Although it was hard to narrow down my list!  But looking back, I am still a little conflicted over the multiple perspectives.  I think it added a more rounded feel, but then again I was stuck feeling as though I wanted to be watching another person’s perspective at the same time.  But regardless, this was such a fun trilogy.  And I will definitely be checking out Tracy Banghart’s other books!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)
Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart
Rebel Wing #1
Review:

Jen
Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart Rebel Wing Series
Storm Fall #2
Review:
Jen
Torn Sky Rebel Wing Tracy Banghart
Torn Sky #3
Review:

Jen

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BOOK REVIEW – Storm Fall (Rebel Wing #2) by Tracy Banghart

BOOK REVIEW – Storm Fall (Rebel Wing #2) by Tracy BanghartStorm Fall (Rebel Wing #2)
by Tracy Banghart
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In the action-packed sequel to Rebel Wing, Aris battles for life and love . . . and not everyone will survive.

Aris Haan gave up everything to join the Atalantan Military: her family, her boyfriend, even her identity. In the end, though, it didn’t matter that she was a war hero. When the all-male Military discovered that she was actually a woman, she was sent home and erased from history.

Now she has a chance to go back to the battlefield—as herself. But as hard as it was to be a soldier in disguise, it’s even more difficult now. The men in her unit undermine her at every turn. The Safaran army has spies everywhere, perhaps even on Aris’s stationpoint. And she’s falling for her mysterious superior officer, Milek. But their relationship is forbidden, just stolen moments between training sessions and missions. There’s no room for love in war.

Then Aris discovers that Safara’s leaders have set their sights on her, Atalanta’s hero. And she must find them before they find her . . .

Review:

*Spoilers for Rebel Wing #1*

Storm Fall was an action packed, fast-paced sequel that had me flying through the story.  Again, we find ourselves in a world that is easy to visualize, with characters that pop off of the pages.  And all of that is surrounded by war, love, fighting, friendships, sacrifice and hope.  This sequel was so much fun, and I can’t wait to see how this series ends.

“I’d rather die fighting for my dominion than sit at home watching it burn.”

With Aris back at her parent’s home, she is trying to work through the courage to fly again.   Flying was once something she loved with her whole heart, yet now it’s shrouded by the horrors she faced while at war.  But after a visit from Major Milek Vadim, that was just the push she needed.  But upon rejoining her unit, military life has become vastly different since she is now herself, as a female.  She is sexually harassed and so many times I wanted to reach my hands into the book and punch the asshole that was tormenting her.  Yet there’s many reasons why I love Aris, and one of them is that she is tough as nails.  She tried her hardest to rise above their sexism and hatred and show them that she deserved to be there just as much, if not more, then they did!  Her first flight into a war scene was epic!

“I keep trying to remind myself you’re my superior officer, that nothing could ever happen between us, and then you look at me like . . . like you care, too. And you talk to me, all gentle understanding, and I . . . I—”
Milek pulled free of her grip, grabbed her face with both hands, and kissed her.

Definitely one of my favorite aspects about this series is the relationships that unfold.  Especially the one between Aris and Milek.  Both are so deserving of something good in their lives, when so many things around them are tragic.  And I am so happy that I can finally talk about how I fell madly in love with Milek in the Rebel Wing!  Especially the cave scene, he’s so sexy, tough and charming without even trying.  And in Storm Fall, he becomes a force to be reckoned with!  I respected how he treated everyone, especially when he put people in their place.  But most importantly, I respected how he treated Aris.  He has such a huge heart and the decisions he made were admirable and warmed my heart.

Specialist Contas’s eyes wandered along her body, his hands clenched at his sides. “The kind of dress you can rip right off.”
Aris stood, drawing herself to her full height, aware of Dysis moving behind her. “You need to walk away. Now, Specialist.”
“Or what? I’m on a transjet out of here tomorrow, thanks to you.” His handsome face twisted. “You can’t touch me, bitch.”
Dysis stepped forward. “You’re right. She’s too polite.” She grinned, adding, “But I’m not” as she punched him in the face.

Another one of my favorite relationships in this book was between Aris and Dysis.  Dysis was Aris’ bunkmate who also disguised herself as a man in Rebel Wing.  So I am beyond ecstatic that we get to see this true friendship again.  This is how female relationships should be written!  Dysis and Aris’ friendship was strong, honest, and they loved and protected each other.  It warmed my heart seeing it flow throughout the pages.

Like Rebel Wing, we find ourselves following many different people throughout the story, where Aris is still the main lead.  And while it makes a well-rounded story, there were some situations where it made me pause.  For example, there were moments that I also wanted to be with Aris and Milek, when instead we were with Dysis.  And here is where I get a little lost because I still wanted that scene with Dysis.  Yet I wanted a little bit more of Aris during those times too.  A few of those situations flitted throughout the story, and while I was happy to be reading what I was, I also wanted to be elsewhere at the same time, which left me a little confused with my feelings.

Against his lips, against her better judgment, she whispered, “Is this allowed?”
“I don’t care.” Milek stroked her cheek with his thumb and kissed her harder.

But thankfully this time around, I never had an issue with names.  Even when old faces made a reappearance.  And I was happily surprised with how much action Aris and her fellow friends found themselves in.  It made for a thrilling ride again and again.  I love when a book finds the perfect harmony of mixing smiles with sweaty palms, and Storm Fall definitely hit it!  So now I’m off to read the final installment, and I can’t wait to see how this group will fare.  Keeping my fingers crossed for enemies defeated and some happily ever afters.  I know it’s war, but a girl can still wish.

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)
Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart
Rebel Wing #1
Review:

Jen
Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart Rebel Wing Series
Storm Fall #2
Review:
Jen
Torn Sky Rebel Wing Tracy Banghart
Torn Sky #3
Review:

Jen

Save

BOOK REVIEW – Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1) by Tracy Banghart

BOOK REVIEW – Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1) by Tracy BanghartRebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
by Tracy Banghart
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare, something she watches on news vids from the safety of her idyllic seaside town. Then her boyfriend, Calix, is drafted into the Military, and the nightmare becomes a dangerous reality.

Left behind, Aris has nothing to fill her days. Even flying her wingjet--the thing she loves most, aside from Calix--feels meaningless without him by her side. So when she's recruited to be a pilot for an elite search-and-rescue unit, she leaps at the chance, hoping she'll be stationed near Calix. But there's a catch: She must disguise herself as a man named Aristos. There are no women in the Atalantan Military, and there never will be.

Aris gives up everything to find Calix: her home. Her family. Even her identity. But as the war rages on, Aris discovers she's fighting for much more than her relationship. With each injured person she rescues and each violent battle she survives, Aris is becoming a true soldier--and the best flyer in the Atalantan Military. She's determined to save her Dominion . . . or die trying.

Review:

Rebel Wing was spellbinding, intricately crafted, and I became completely addicted.  A rich picture of countries at war was painted, and I found myself being pulled in by the moments of hope, betrayal, torture, alliances, and friendships.  While the twists that played out where surprising or hopefully expected, they had me jumping up and down!  And don’t even get me started on the dangerous butterflies that danced around in my stomach.  I can’t wait to see how the rest of this series proceeds!

But she’d never given up, never backed away from a challenge.
Aris straightened her shoulders.
And I won’t this time either.

As the story unfolded, we got to hear the tale in three voices.  While Aris Haan is the main person we follow, the other two are integral for learning the politics and the events surrounding the war.  Usually I’m not a huge fan of multiple perspectives, unless it’s a couple and we hear their alternating voices, but I actually loved the way this story was told.  Being able to see from the town’s people, military, and government views made for such a well-rounded story.  I found myself becoming as invested in the politics and back story as I was in Aris’ life.  The two other people who you’ll follow and won me over are Ward Nekos Pryalus, who is Atalanta’s current leader where Aris resides, and Ward Galena Vadim who is the current leader of the neighboring country Ruslana.

But she wasn’t a hero. She was a romantic. A foolish one, probably, giving up everything for the boy she loved.
But you’re a flyer too, a voice whispered deep inside.

Aris quickly became a favorite heroine of mine.  She takes challenges head on, was tenacious and brave while having a huge heart and I loved that she grows up as the story proceeds.  When we first meet Aris, she laughs off being recruited to fly for war, since women aren’t allowed in the military.  She’s one of the best pilots in her town, yet she truly doesn’t see that as an option until her boyfriend is sent to war.  The boyfriend whom she was supposed to be Promised to.  So she enters the military, disguised as man, in hopes of being able to be closer to her boyfriend.  To be honest, I struggled with Aris giving up everything to be near her boyfriend, Calix Pavlos.  There was so little time of them together that I never felt a connection to their relationship or Aris’ plight.  But have faith, because as the story progressed, things started to click into place.  And the path that was taken was perfection.  I wish I could say more…..

“I don’t care what anyone says. I want to believe things will work out. I’ll be with Calix. You’ll find your brother—”
“We’ll win this war.” Dysis voice was quiet, her face serious.

Another thing that was perfect in my eyes, was the strong female friendship.  Aris meets Dysis down the road, and it was so refreshing to see two women support one another!  They trusted one another, helped each other, and when push came to shove they could count on the other to have their back.  But one aspect I did struggle with was the names.  We got introduced to a lot of characters with unique names in the beginning of Rebel Wing, and it took me to 30% to have a good grasp on the secondary characters.  I am horrible with names at times, so this definitely could be my issue alone.  Also, while the very beginning was a tad slow, it quickly picked up its pace and held for the rest of the book, yay.

Now I am off to start Storm Fall!  I can’t wait to see how all of the pieces fall into place!

*ARC kindly provided by Author via a Facebook Giveaway in exchange for an honest review*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)
Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart
Rebel Wing #1
Review:

Jen
Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart Rebel Wing Series
Storm Fall #2
Review:
Jen
Torn Sky Rebel Wing Tracy Banghart
Torn Sky #3
Review:

Jen

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