Tag: Paranormal (page 1 of 48)

BOOK REVIEW: Magic Bound (Ravencrest Academy #1) by Theresa Kay

BOOK REVIEW: Magic Bound (Ravencrest Academy #1) by Theresa KayMagic Bound (Ravencrest Academy #1)
by Theresa Kay
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Starting a new school is never easy and this time not fitting in could cost lives.

Despite being raised by shifters, my life was fairly ordinary . . . until I tried to break up a fight and got zapped with magic.

Then, all hell broke loose.

Power I didn’t know I had came surging out of me, revealing me as a witch and drawing unfavorable attention to my adoptive parents.

Now, as the witches attempt to use my concealment as an excuse to push an anti-shifter agenda, the only way to keep my parents—and myself—safe is to enroll in the elite Ravencrest Academy and prove I can control my newfound abilities.

Unfortunately, raw power doesn’t translate into competency and everything is way more difficult than I imagined.

Even with all the things working against me (like my complete ignorance of magic and witch society), I manage to make a few new friends and there's a spark of something more with the last person I expect.

But I can’t let that distract me from the ugly truth that many who walk the halls of Ravencrest are eager to see me fail. To keep the peace between shifters and witches I must succeed . . . no matter the cost.

Magic Bound is the first book in an exciting new YA paranormal academy series with a slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance. Perfect for fans of Supernatural Academy, Shadowspell Academy, and Evermore Academy.

Review:

Magic Bound was heartwarming, addictive and completely mesmerized me.  With characters that were easy to relate to and a story line that made this book impossible to put down, I devoured this book so fast!  It was just so much fun.  With enemies to lovers, magic and friendship swirling through the pages, Magic Bound easily landed on my favorites list!

The fragile hold I have on my emotions shatters, and the tears come down full force, followed by a hiccuping sob.
I can’t do this. I don’t want to be here. I want to go home.

Selene had been raised by her adoptive parents, who were shifters. She thought she was a blank, a child that had no magic and was from two witches. But a moment at a party went awry, and she discovered she had magic.  To help protect her adoptive family, since shifters should not have raised a child with magic, she was shipped off to Ravencrest Academy.  But life wasn’t easy there for Selene, and what unfolded had me turning the pages faster and faster.

The level of arrogance dripping off this guy is ridiculous. And I’ve dealt with moody alpha level shifters. It makes me want to punch him. Hard.

Selene is definitely one of my favorite heroines.  She was brave, kind, held her own, and acted from her heart. So she was someone I easily looked up to and respected. But oh my gosh did she struggle. She had problems with something as simple as opening a door, with her magic.   And because of how she was raised, and her lack of knowledge, others weren’t kind to her.  She was different.  She was an outsider.  But even though Selene struggled with magic, she was still completely kick ass. She had so much fire in her and I loved that she had a backbone and stood up for herself.  Especially when it came to her interactions with Tristan.

From the very first moment I met Tristan, he irritated me. The fact that he’s a St. James just makes it all the worse.

Ohhh the illustrious Tristan St. James.  I. Loved. Him!  He landed on my favorite book boyfriend list, but it wasn’t an easy path.  You see, Tristan was a total douche bag.  He wasn’t nice to Selene and he hurt her at times.  But I always looked for the tiniest of clues that Tristan was so much more than what he showed the world. And what I saw underneath it all, made me fall for him so hard.  As more of his past came to light, and we saw how he was raised, it all started to click together.

“You are a St. James after all. I don’t know why I ever expected better. You’re just as bad as everything I ever thought about your parents. Maybe worse. Perfect, pretty Tristan who always gets what he wants.”
“I always get what I want?” he asks, the question carried on a huff of incredulity. “If only that were true . . .”

Selene and Tristan had the most addictive slow burn enemies to lovers romance.  Especially since there was a forbidden feel to it, because of who they each were.  So I loved watching their interactions.  They butted heads, each had their preconceived notions and it was rough at times.  But I fell so hard watching them interact.  Moments made me smile and sigh, and others had me wondering how they could even be in the same room together lol.  So hold on because it was a bumpy ride.  On top of Selene and Tristan, there was friendships, family, school and even politics in the pages.

Tristan grabs my arm. “You didn’t have to do that. There’ll be . . . repercussions for you, won’t there? With your pack or whatever.”
“Did you think I was going to stand there and let you get hurt? That’s really not my style.” I tug my arm out of his hold.

The side characters rounded out this story so perfectly.  There was Basil, the eccentric “Grandpa” who helped guide Selene at the academy.  And whose quirks made me smile.  To Isobel, who was Selene’s roommate and was the sweetest girl ever.  To even her cousin Reid, who felt more like a brother and was someone I cared deeply for.  But my favorite side character was Adrian.  He was a fellow student who made me laugh and smile so much.  He seemed to have a lot of secrets, so I can’t wait to learn all about him in this series!

My entire world narrows down to nothing but the feel of his mouth on mine, his breath against my face, his fingers around my waist. And I am lost in it.

So, yup, this book had it all!  And that ending had me beyond excited to see what will happen next.  It was such an easy book to devour and understand their world.  Plus I loved so many of the characters.  So if you’re a fan of enemies to lovers, academy books or paranormal stories, then definitely add this one to your list!   I can’t recommend it enough!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: Charmed Souls (Black Souls #1) by Abbi Glines

BOOK REVIEW: Charmed Souls (Black Souls #1) by Abbi GlinesCharmed Souls (Black Souls #1)
by Abbi Glines
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

They say blood is thicker than water, but I was never proud of mine. A female born into the Kamlock bloodline was destined to possess three things they couldn’t change—a crazy as hell mother, an unfair amount of beauty, and a Charmed soul that was as black as night.
All a Kamlock woman ever desired in life was to use her beauty to destroy wealthy men and take their riches. A century had passed since a generation of Kamlock sisters had been anything other than gold diggers.
All I ever wanted was to be free of them. I knew I couldn’t change my cursed birth, but I could change its legacy. I had a job, I had friends, and I was slowly gaining my independence.
Until Rathe Scott crashed into my life and tore it apart.
He made me feel what I had spent my entire life never wanting to feel. He brought out a darkness I’d not known was inside me. And just when I thought I was becoming everything I had sworn I would never become…
He was gone.

Review:

I was the evil they all should fear.

Charmed Souls was the type of book that was easily devoured. The characters were effortless to connect with, the story line was beyond addicting and I loved how magic floated through the pages.  With friendship, a romance that had a forbidden feel to it and humor, Charmed Souls completely bewitched me and left me begging for more.  If you love paranormal romance or new adult stories then definitely add this one to your tbr!

The darkness had always calmed me. Even as a child, nighttime was my favorite. The quiet, the beauty of the stars, the comfort of being alone.

I liked Catalina, aka Cat, right away.  She stood up for herself, took care of her friends and worked her hardest to be good, since she was born into a toxic bloodline.  Cat was a witch, who not only cast spells and enchantments, but could also control some of the elements and see ghosts.  Her mother and sisters, oh my gosh you guys, they were trashy and mean.  They used their siren abilities to control and use men.  And take all of of their money.  Cat’s tumultuous relationship with them hurt my heart, but it was addicting to watch since she stood up to them.  So Cat didn’t let men get close to her, she would not be like her family.  Until Rathe walked into her world.

His dark expression was exciting. “You are going to fucking destroy me, and I will relish every moment.”

Rathe moved in with Cat’s best friends, Heath and Margo.  And Cat tried her best to keep her distance.  To act indifferent towards him.  Yet Rathe enraptured us in his spell and I wanted to know all there was about him.  He was kind, thoughtful and caring. Yet something simmered below the surface of him. It made his charm even more alluring. And while he was a player, I was intrigued that he seemed to only act as a friend towards Cat.  Especially when he seamlessly embed himself into her life.

“Maybe I’m crazy!”I called out to him, as I walked, trying to break the tension that had unintentionally built.
“Or maybe you’re darker than you want to accept,” was his response.

Charmed Souls felt like an addicting reality tv show, with paranormal aspects splashed across the pages.  This story was set during the college years and I loved watching the parties unfold. And while Cat lived at home with her family, I loved how she could escape to her friends apartments.  Unfortunately I can’t say much more about this story, because it’s best discovering it for yourself, but I loved Cat’s cousin, Duely.  Be prepared for some TMI, but his heart was always in the right place.  Duely, Margo and Heath loved Cat inside and out.  It made my heart oh so happy since her home life didn’t even have an inkling of that.

Things started clicking into place. Things I didn’t want to connect. Things that I wanted to be a lie.

I thought I knew exactly where this story was going.  I even screamed outloud, I knew it!  Twice.  But there were some things that were twisted in a way that I didn’t see coming.  It was beyond exciting and now I’m desperately waiting for that next book!  So yes, I definitely recommend Charmed Souls!  If you love magic, drama, a strong heroine and an addictive book boyfriend then definitely put this one on your list!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

BOOK REVIEW: Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh BardugoNinth House (Alex Stern #1)
by Leigh Bardugo
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

If you were going to hell together, murder seemed like a good place to start.

When I say this book took my breath away, I truly mean it. It was thrilling and shocking and eerie and just a total surprise. As dark as the book was, I truly loved it and cannot wait for the next installment.

I had read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t absolutely love it. But I know how talented Leigh is, so when I saw she was writing an adult fantasy book based on secret societies and ghosts in New Haven, I was SO in. Talk about checking off a lot of boxes for me.

The book follows two main characters: Galaxy “Alex” Stern and Daniel “Darlington” Arlington. Both are students at Yale, but come from very different backgrounds. I don’t really want to spoil a lot of it, but Alex grew up in a not so great family and had some troubled teenage years that led to the death of some people, as well as the reason for her admittance to Yale and Lethe. Darlington, meanwhile, while not having a perfect childhood, did have some family and a more privileged upbringing. The two have far more in common than they think they do.

Alex gave a sharp shake of her head. “I mean tell me what I’m in for here…with you.”
That was the hard question to answer. Nothing. Everything. Lethe was meant to be a gift, but could it be to her? There was too much to tell.


Darlington is tasked with teaching Alex the ways of Lethe and its role to the other secret societies of Yale. However, something very dark and powerful is at play and it ultimately causes some dire consequences for both Darlington and Alex. On top of what they are dealing with in the present, there is a lot of trauma from their pasts, especial Alex’s, that comes into play.

Daniel Arlington prided himself on being prepared for anything, but if he’d had to choose a way to describe Alex Stern, it would have been “an unwelcome surprise.”

This book certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be very vivid in its descriptions at times, and there’s a ton of talk of death, dying and murder. There’s also a decent amount of mentions of drug and alcohol use, self-harm, unhealthy relationships and the big one, a very descriptive account of a sexual assault of a minor. It’s not overly long (I believe just a few pages) and could be easily skipped (it takes place in a bathroom on a school trip if that helps). It plays a large part into this character’s story, but I understand for some readers this kind of material is an absolute no-go. This has been discussed by a lot of other reviewers in the lead up to this book, but just want to make it very clear of the content in this book.

I’m in danger, she wanted to say. Someone hurt me and I don’t think they’re finished. Help me. But what good had that ever done?

I loved the mystery in this book. It was very layered and multi-faceted and loved how it blended the magical and real worlds. I didn’t guess the ending and am cautiously optimistic a *certain important character* will be making a return. I truly did not see that character exit coming or the circumstances surrounding it. It honestly broke my heart a little bit and hope there is a positive resolution to it.

I let you die. To save myself, I let you die.
That is the danger in keeping company with survivors.


Overall this was truly a five-star read for me. I certainly understand this book will not be for everyone: it’s very dark and has a lot of heavy topics and themes. However, I just loved the setting, the world-building and the characters. I can’t wait for what’s next and hope Bardugo continues to bounce back and forth between young adult and adult novels.

BOOK REVIEW: Demon Bound by Chris Cannon

BOOK REVIEW: Demon Bound by Chris CannonDemon Bound by Chris Cannon
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When a summoning goes awry, suddenly booknerd Meena’s summer job becomes something drastically different. Instead of cleaning eccentric Carol’s house, she’s bound to a demon as his soul-collector. Soon Meena discovers that the boring, pageant-obsessed, bonfire-loving town that she’s never fit in to is a hotbed for soul-sucking demons, demon-hunting witches, and vampires who just wanna have fun… And then she comes into her own powers.

Could things get any stranger? Good thing she meets new guy Jake—who gets her and still hangs around.

When Jake’s mom sends him off to his Aunt Zelda’s for the summer, he thought he’d be bored. But nothing is what it seems in this town. His aunt isn’t just odd, she’s a witch who fights demons and tries to maintain the magical balance of the town. Jake should get the hell out of there and, he would leave, except for bad-ass newbie witch Meena, who looks at him like he matters.

He never counted on sticking around, but Meena’s bound to a demon who wants to destroy her soul—and Jake’s finally found someone worth fighting for.

Review:

Demon Bound was a paranormal story that was cute and unique.  Witches, demons, vampires and even spirits were in this story and it all felt like a fresh take on them.  I was fascinated learning the rules for the magic and the creatures were oh so interesting!  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect to Meena or Jake.  But if you adore paranormal stories, definitely check this one out!

I’d love to say that I’m a sparkly unicorn, but I’m more like my cats Marshmallow and Pumpkin… I’d rather eat, take naps, and ignore the world.

This story alternated between Jake and Meena, and I liked both of them right away.  Meena’s thoughts made me laugh and Jake seemed like he had all the potential to be a book boyfriend.  But right from the start, they were lost, just like me.  We met Carol, Meena’s new boss, and Carol’s friend Zelda, who was kind of like a distant Aunt to Jake.  Carol and Zelda’s comments and words were so over the top and matter of fact that it was hard not to laugh.  And with a séance gone wrong, we quickly dived into the magical world around them.  It was definitely a magical ride.

I had a vague memory of when my life had been normal. When no one threw knives at me and people answered questions without strange fetishy requests.
I missed that time.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t ever to connect to Jake and Meena.  No matter how much I liked them.  But I enjoyed watching them learn about each other and how fast their friendship was formed.  It had an insta-love feel to it, but being introduced to the paranormal world can definitely do that to some!  And I liked how protective Jake was of Meena.  Especially when it came to Bane.  Bane was a powerful demon who wreaked havoc on the town they lived in.  But I saw him as a weirdo who was beyond creepy.  Bane had a hair fetish that made me want to teach him about boundaries.  So I kept hoping that someone in this story would take him down!  For good.

“This town might be infested with demons.” I leaned down and brushed my lips across hers. “But it has its perks.” And then I kissed her for real.

Demon Bound was a fluffy paranormal book that made me smile and laugh.  I enjoyed that this story never made me nervous, that I just got to sit back and enjoy the story.  Even if it hit some more serious topics throughout this story.  The ending stopped at the perfect spot to give us a happily for now.  Yet there’s still so many different paths this story could take in the future.  I hope you have a lot of fun discovering this book too!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: Slippers And Thieves (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #4) by Christina Bauer

BOOK REVIEW: Slippers And Thieves (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #4) by Christina BauerSlippers And Thieves (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #4)
by Christina Bauer
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Years ago, Elle ― never call her Cinderella ― escaped her evil step family in order to build a new life for herself in Manhattan. Today, Elle’s awful past is a distant memory. In fact, Elle even attends West Lake Prep, an exclusive high school where regular humans mix with members of the Magicorum, such as fairies, shifters and witches. Although she still must live in hiding from her evil step family, Elle always has found ways to get whatever her heart desires.

That is, until Alec Le Charme. Sure, Alec is the heir to the Le Charme dynasty of high-end jewelers, but he's also kind, charismatic, and has a knee-melting smile.

Long story short, Elle has fallen for Alec, hard. Unfortunately, thanks to Elle’s evil step family, the Le Charme heir is absolutely off limits. In fact, if Elle and Alec so much as kiss, it could start a magical chain reaction that would end in powerful factions of witches and wizards going to war. As a result, Elle and Alec vow to stay friends, no matter what. Then West Lake Prep holds a masquerade ball. Identities get mixed up and forbidden kisses are finally shared.

Time for the Magicorum to go to war, and for Elle to confront her hidden past in ways she never thought possible.

Review:

Slippers and Thieves unfortunately didn’t work for me.  This makes me so sad because I loved this series.  The previous books were intricate and made me smile and laugh.  They were impossible to put down and I was always glued to the pages.  But Slippers and Thieves didn’t even feel like the others books. It felt choppy and there were inconsistencies with the previous books.  I’m not sure what happened, but the further I got into this story, the more it didn’t work for me.  I’m so sad because I loved these characters, ugh.  So here were some of my problems with this story…

 

✮ Elle’s Backstory Differs✮

In Shifters and Glyphs, Elle didn’t know she was a Warden.  Until the Colonel told her what she truly was, and she was shocked.  But in this book, she knew she was a Warden even before she met Briar Rose or the Colonel.  Her parents told her when she was little.

Another inconsistency was that in this book, Elle said her parents took her wings.  In the previous book, Colonel said he took her wings.  It was so she could change the way she looked and escape the captors who imprisoned her since they knew she was the warden of fae magic.  But that doesn’t line up with the history we’re given about her in this story – She was always with her parents, they took her wings in this book and she was never imprisoned when she was a child.

Also in the previous books, Elle said that she couldn’t use her magic or her family would find her.  But in this book, she couldn’t use her magic because the fae would kill her if they found out she was their Warden.

 

✮ Missing Houses✮

In the first book, Wolves and Roses, Elle said she had other safe houses. Besides the cabin. Yet in this book, when they have to find a place to stay, she only says she has her place in the village. Where are the other safe houses? Why weren’t they mentioned? And even though her cabin burnt down, she was supposed to have it rebuilt with the insurance money. The cabin wasn’t even mentioned once in this story.

 

✮ Where’s The Money✮

I don’t get how Elle had two houses in the first book. Yes she returns stolen jewels to their rightful owner, but in this book she gets paid a few hundred dollars here and a few hundred dollars there.  How did she afford two houses, especially one in the village?  She couldn’t access the money she saved, so I don’t get it.

 

✮ Gustav✮

In the movie Cinderella, she was kind and friends with the mice.  She had saved and fed them, in exchange they did favors for her.  But in this book, Elle continually asked Gustav for help and why he kept coming back was beyond me.  It always left a bitter taste in my mouth that she expected him to help and she never did anything back in return. Except that one time.  But even that one time, she threatened him with something he hates.  Not nice.

 

✮ Things That Made Me Say Why✮

I don’t get why her dad said they needed the future step sisters help in their shop.  Especially when he said they couldn’t survive without them.  Not only did he cover one of their shifts in the shop that left him frazzled, but they never did any work from what we saw.  They just hid in the back.  What was the point of that conversation between Elle and her dad?

 

✮ More Questions✮

In the previous books, Alex says his parents will pay a scholarship and give the girls an apartment in their building. But in this book, his mom was shocked they went to the same school and it wasn’t even mentioned that they helped give the girls their apartment.  The mom didn’t even realize they were living there.

Also, in the first book, Elle was in Alec’s office. People saw them together and it was such a huge deal they had to escape. But in this story we learn how his moves were being watched. Nothing was said to his mom, how did she not know?

 

There were so many more issues than this, but these were the ones that bothered me the most.  If you can’t tell, I struggle when there are inconsistencies in a story.  Especially when it feels like I’m reading a beta version in a finished copy.  So I’m sad to be walking away from this series.  But when I constantly get pulled out of a story for hiccups, it doesn’t matter how fabulous the characters are, I just can’t go on.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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