Author: Ciara Knight
Series: The Neumarian Chronicles #1
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Dystopian, Royalty,
Pub Date: February 26th, 2013
My Copy: Bought at Authors After Dark, Author Signed it.
Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen’s reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother’s empire. When my own erratic powers surface, I’m captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death.
An incredible adventure that really was different and unlike anything that I’ve read this year. I really found myself liking Princess Semara, Ryder, and Raeth a lot as these characters are so vastly different from one another, yet find themselves in a situation that totally is beyond any of their control since they find themselves in the frying pan literally.
Right from the start you see that this world is ruled by a very evil dictator, Semara’s mother. Semara’s mother rules with an iron fist and tolerates no rebellion and does some very cruel and malicious things to extend her rule. Semara knows what her mother is doing wrong, but doesn’t want to do the things her mother has been asking. Yet she does them because she is afraid of her mother’s wrath. Her mother’s wrath is legendary and her mother, the Queen, doesn’t tolerate any disobedience. Semara is starting to question what is right and wrong. Decisions really are things that Semara gets to make. She is a tool for her mother to use in what ever way she wants. Yet Semara finds that when forced to do certain things, she is uncomfortable.
Then something happens that changes when she does something unexpected. Semara finds out that she has powers and that her mother is trying to control her through the use of an implant that can control her. Also her mother has put together an arranged marriage but Semara can’t stand the General. The General gives Semara the creeps and she really doesn’t want to marry him, so her use of powers makes her mother scared and her mother wants Semara to obey her, but then with her powers, she finds herself no more than a slave, but thanks to Ryder trying to help his sister Raeth, all of sudden, they decide to help Semara out and what Semara does with her abilities is really an awesome ability even if she don’t know how to control it.
This book was like a rollercoaster of action. I felt like at times I was reading a rollercoaster as Semara, Ryder, Raeth all are on the run and having to run from one place to another to try to get to the rebellion who can help her possibly defeat her mother. A lot of the slaves want freedom and escape to the wasteland, but things are getting bad and that people want freedom and are willing to risk their lives to get rid of the evil queen.
Also Semara and Ryder really start to fall for one another. I thought that this was one of the more interesting romances. Since these two really don’t come from the same world, but find that they both want freedom and forge a path that’s all their own. I really like how they both don’t trust each other, but learn how to trust each other through their many adventures through out the book. Plus there’s a prophecy that may or may not come true. Prophecies are weird things sometimes because they make our heroes strive for something bigger than themselves. I think Semara and Ryder help each other grow as characters. Plus they find themselves together in the end.
I felt that this was a really good book and I’m glad that I took a chance on this book. Plus I want to read more of this world that Ciara Knight has created.
A really terrific romance that I felt was very strongly grounded in the real world and dealt with some really heavy issues. Tess (Angel) and Axel (Arion) seem to connect in a way that keeps you entranced and curious as to what will happen to these two individuals who have major trust issues. I think “Trust” is the thing that both Arion and Tess have a problem with given what they both have experienced in life, but from very different perspectives.
One of the most interesting things is that even though they met through a role playing game, their conversations always ran much deeper than they thought they would. Plus neither thought that they would ever really meet in person, but something happens to Tess, aka Angel that makes her seek out refuge with Axel aka Arion. Tess is running from her past and hoping that she can start over and rebuild her life. She goes to Axel because he’s the person she feels the most comfortable around.
When Tess and Axel meet for the first time, it’s a very intense meeting. One that Axel never expected. Yet he embraces her and helps Tess rebuild her life slowly. I mean Axel is everything that Tess needs at a time when she is wrestling with the abuse she suffered from her ex-boyfriend who lets say it, is one scary individual. She feels like her life was stolen from her and in some ways it was because her ex, Nick took away the things that were precious to her. It’s not always easy to get those things back once they have been taken. Trust is something that abuse victims have a hard time learning how to trust someone. Tess exemplifies this and the writer does a good job showing just how much work Axel is going to have to do to win her trust.
Through out this whole book I felt like Axel aka Arion was wonderful to Tess and Tess starts to feel like with Axel she can be herself and doesn’t want to be afraid to commit to someone else. Also love how he trusts her and shows her through small gestures, but they are never the less huge for Tess. Tess slowly starts to let go of the past with Axel. Axel starts to want things for himself as well, but has never gotten over his own abandonment issues. When a parent abandons you, you never get over it. For Axel, he worries that Tess will leave him like his mother did. Yet, for some weird reason they start to open up to each other in a way that I didn’t expect. It really was very nice to read this kind of conversation.
There are some really scary moments towards the end when Tess has to confront the demons of her past quite literally along with Axel as well. I really liked how both Tess and Axel really found the strength to move past their pasts and embrace what the present has to offer and maybe even the future. An enjoyable contemporary.
Title: Endless Knight
Author: Kresley Cole
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal, Dystopian, Apocalyptic
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #2
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pub Date: October 1st, 2013
My Copy: E-book via Author’s Publicist, Brooke-Thanks so much….
In the second book of the Arcana Chronicles, Evie has now fully come into her powers as the tarot, Empress. And Jackson was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, the tarot Alchemist, Evie realizes that a war is brewing between the other teens that, following the apocalypse, have been given powers and its kill or be killed.
Things get even more complicated when Evie meets Death, the mysterious, sexy Endless Knight. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history-one that Evie can’t remember, but Death can’t forget. She is drawn to the Endless Knight, but is in love with Jack. Determined to discover why she’s been granted these powers. Evie struggles to accept her place in a prophecy that will either save the world or completely destroy it.
I found myself totally addicted to this book from start to finish. Dark, engrossing, lots of action and twists that just kept me wanting more and more. Some new characters that shake things up for our characters. Everything about this world that Kresley Cole has built in the Arcana chronicles becomes even more intense and relationships are really changing faster than you could even imagine.
Now I really loved everything about this dark world. We start off with a lot of action since Evie killed the Alchemist. What happens next is something that none of our teenagers are really equipped to deal with but have to deal with a horde of Bagmen coming their way. So they do what they do best, try to run but can’t because some of them have drained their powers. This shows to me that our characters are vulnerable and not always going to be able to rely on their powers to get them out of jams, but sometimes have to use their brains They do manage to avoid them, but a whole lot of other things happen in this book that just are mind boggling.
The fact that Death can communicate with Evie telepathically really was interesting as he wants her for himself. We don’t really understand Death’s obsession with Evie until much later, but he was so annoying when we get our first glimpses of him. there is a very racy scene with Jackson and Evie, but it was actually a very necessary progression of their relationship as things happened. Jackson and Evie talk and it’s one of those talks where surprise the guy actually admits that he’s a pig headed jerk actually and his feelings for Evie run deeper than he can admit it. Evie admits that she was hurt and I think this shows a growth of maturity on both of their characters. Things are not always easy in a relationship and sometimes things get in the way. Plus in the world that they live in anything can happen.
There is a scene with the cannibals that will never have me look at lasagna again in the same way. When our group of Arcana’s are captured by the cannibals, they find themselves to say the least in grave peril, but the leader of the cannibals is an Arcana himself, but very insane. This part of the book made me a little uncomfortable as the scenes and descriptions of what the cannibals do to living human beings was very graphic and disturbing. Yet Evie turns the table on the leader and things go crazy.
Introducing Lark and Death was interesting as these are two characters who have their own agendas and seem to at first only care about themselves. Lark and Death are huge characters who shake things up in a lot of different ways. I really found myself to like Lark, because she comes across as someone who tries to help, only to be helping Death get his hands on Evie. Lark’s abilities to use animals is a huge asset to the group at times. Also Lark tells Evie things that she doesn’t want to hear, but needs to hear.
Death. Oh man. I really found myself to surprisingly like his character. One of the things that Kresley Cole does well is flashbacks and past lives scenes. I mean her descriptions and vividness are on full display as when Evie remembers her past life with Death, aka Aric, that you get a sense of this man and why she is like his kryptonite. We find that Death has pined for his Empress more so than anyone else. I thought that the scenes between Evie and Death were impressively well written. You feel that Death is someone that has loved this woman so much that nothing is ever certain for him. He has also in past lives been wounded. Death is a man who wants what he can’t have, love.
Yet as this book moved on, lots of unexpected things happened. I never expected Death and Evie’s relationship to shift to one of attraction or maybe even love for Evie. Plus Evie says she is wrestling with her feelings for both men and I feel like she handled it well. Death didn’t handle it that well.
Plus the cliffhanger ending. ARGGHHHHH… I hate cliffhanger endings so much. I want to read more of this series. Such a dark, but delicious treat of a YA Paranormal.