Book Review: Act of Redemption by C.C. Cole

Title: Act of Redemption: First Book of the Gastar Series (The Gastar #1)

Author: C.C. Cole

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 194 paperback

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

The once-great city of Gastar now stands underpopulated and in ruins following centuries of war against an evil priesthood. Now a demon lord arrives with plans for annihilation of the people and plans to create a half-demon, half-human son to stay and rule after Gastar becomes an extension of hell. A trio of former soldiers arrive to help the people regain their battle skills and hope for victory. An unexpected ally arrives, the teen assassin Shevata, who participated in a rescue mission in hell to rescue living hostages. Upon her return to the human world, she was cursed by having her soul removed after killing an evil priest without a death order. Her presence gets the attention of the demon lord, as he knows her from the experience in the underworld as a powerful adversary. Shevata, the humans, a human traitor, the demon lord, his son, and Shevata’s dragon mentor ignite the spark that drives this fast paced action story to its dramatic end with more to come.

Holy wow! When C.C. Cole first contacted me asking to review the first two novellas of her series, I had no idea it would be this awesome! This magical world that C.C. creates for us is full of dragons, demons, and children assassins. Seriously, you can’t get much more kick-butt than that! The characters are all very unique and well rounded, the fight scenes are amazing, and the whole story in general, is in a class all its own!

The cast of characters in Act of Redemption were all so great. First we have Shevata. Centuries ago she was created as an assassin to help fight in a brutal war. After disobeying her creator and a series of unfortunate events she was imprisoned for nearly two centuries. She is then released to help the humans fight a great war against the powerful demon lord, Zermon. Shevata’s personality is tough, brutal, and honest. She is a strong, independent girl who never backs down. I loved how tough this girl was! She could seriously kick some MAJOR butt. Zermon is your typical bad guy. As leader of the demons and a master of a plan to take over the world, he is as evil as evil could be. The relationship between Shevata and Zermon was surprisingly quite humorous. I loved the constant bickering and fighting between the two! Other characters such as William, Dalton, Griscom, and Harathgus all posses the qualities of great heroes. They are brave, strong, skillful characters all determined to protect the people of Gastar. The book is lined with many other fantastic characters, some evil some good, that add great depth to the story. Even though it was a little difficult to keep track of all these characters, I thoroughly enjoyed “meeting” every single one of them!

It is books like this that truly bring out the tom-boyness in me! The fight scenes in Act of Redemption blew me away! Shevata has the power to move objects with her mind. In seconds this girl could completely wipe out a roomful of armed men! I also loved this girl’s choice of weapons! She could seriously use anything to kick some demon booty; anything from a kitchen skillet to an ancient sword! Zermon’s demons also make for a good fight scene. With so many ranges of demon-type they all held special fighting abilities to make each fight scene unique!

The world that C.C. Cole creates in her series is magical, dark, and unique! I loved that some parts seemed like realistic moments right out of the renaissance era and then other parts were lined with magic and fantasy qualities. At some points I will admit to being confused over certain aspects of this book but there is no doubt that the next book, Children of Discord, will clear that all up! This is a great, fast-paced series for fans of dragons, demons, and hard-core fighting scenes!

Book Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Title: Angelfire (Angelfire #1)

Author: Courtney Allison Moulton

Publisher: HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 453 hardcover

My Rating: 4/5 stars 

This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers – monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell – she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie’s powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her – an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie’s soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian’s most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives – including truths that may be too frightening to remember. 

After attending Courtney’s awesome launch party and hearing so many wonderful things about this book, I was quite excited to find out that this was our next book club read. I am excited to report that I can now be included in the group of people who loved this book! It is absolutely wonderful. I found the characters were amazing; so realistic & they truly acted like teenagers today regardless of how upside down their world has turned. The fact that this book is full of scary demons and some hardcore fight scenes is seriously kick-butt! I loved how Courtney made a female character that can take care of business all on her own. And let’s not forget about romance. This book is chop-full of sizzling, super hot romance between the two characters!

Courtney seemed to create wonderful characters with ease. The main character, Ellie, is your average teenage girl with average teenage issues. A distant, grumpy father, a cute guy friend who wants to take their relationship to the next level, an over-the-top super funny best friend, a recently murdered teacher, and oh, there’s that whole reincarnation, demon-slayer thing. So maybe Ellie isn’t just your average teen with all this extra crap going on but I loved that Courtney kept her personality real and down to earth even when she was slaying demons or wielding her swords. I did get a little irritated that she was so resistant to accepting the truth about her past, but I quickly got over it. She is sarcastic, honest, and completely funny. I wish I could have been friends with her! As for the people in the book who actually get to be friends with her, they are awesome! They played very minor roles but the whole group dynamic between them all seemed so realistic and fun. Even thought the main character and her friends where quite fantastic, they can’t hold a candle to Will. Holy hotness! You would have to be insane to not want a hunk like Will watching over you to make sure your safe. The green eyes, tattoos, and fighting skills just have me swooning! I will admit, he seemed a little whipped by this Ellie, doing whatever she may ask, but I still adore him. And the chemistry between the two is to die for! After being side by side in combat for centuries, these two are as close as they come. The very fine line between Will’s role as a guardian and as a lover was quite fine indeed, providing us with one deep & wonderful romance!

Demons, angels, and epic fight scenes, oh my! While at times I may have been a little confused over the world that Courtney created for us, I found myself loving the parts that I did understand! The demon & angel aspect of this story was created with originality. I can foresee demons becoming huge in the near future of Y.A. literature, and Anglefire will no doubt be the first major book of that fad! Who would have guessed that I would love a book with so much creepy, crawly creatures in it? As for the fighting scenes, you could not get more detailed or kick-butt than the ones that Courtney wrote in this book! I could have been right there with Ellie & Will watching the angelfire ignite from her swords or watching them kick some major demon booty!

This suspenseful, deeply romantic, and unique debut novel is a book that you will not forget! I will impatiently awaiting the arrival of the second book of this series!

Tune-In Tuesday (5)/Teaser Tuesday (4)

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music, all types of music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune In Tuesday post! The band I am featuring today, is one of my favorites. There For Tomorrow is a band that I first discovered at Warped Tour. At that time they were a small band playing one of the smallest stages of the concert. BUT their show was amazing. Their sound is definitely on the edgier side but I love it. I remember them all being so full of energy that just watching them play made my whole day. Now you can find their music as the soundtrack to a Cartoon Network movie, Ben 10 Alien Swarm! Take a listen & enjoy!

*The guys of There For Tomorrow, Kati, Me, Kari*

There For Tomorrow: Pages

Now for the Teaser Tuesday part of this post! This awesome meme is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Teaser Tuesday asks you to take the book you are reading, flip it to a random page, and share two sentences (no spoilers though!). Sounds easy enough, right? Well it is, plus it is a great way to see what others are reading!

This week I am reading Act of Redemption by C.C. Cole. It is a quick, captivating book, with a kick-butt main character!

Shevata shook her head. “No. I’ve already met my ultimate doom, and for you, there’s no escape. Your creation is an abomination, as was my own.”

~ Act of Redemption by C.C. Cole, pg. 41~

Katelyn Is MIA: Part 2

Hello fellow bloggers! I hope you are all enjoying spring time. The next couple weeks are going to be busy for me. With Easter coming up and my final two weeks of the school year, I am not going to have a lot of left over time for blogging. I will try very hard to keep up on my blog but I am not making any promises. I will still be reading during my time off blogging so expect some reviews over great books when I return! Happy Easter to everyone! See you soon (if the final exams don’t kill me first)

-Katelyn

Interview Update

Hello blog readers!

I just wanted to stop by today and let you all know that the lovely Chloe of YA Booklover Blog interviewed me for her blog. She has an amazing feature called Ya Booklover Discovers that helps promote the not-so-famous book blogs around the internet today! Be sure to stop by and check out the super fun interview!

*Check out interview here*

Book Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Title: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Author: Morgan Matson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 343 hardcover

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy’s senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she’s surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road—diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards—this is the story of one girl’s journey to find herself. 

Every once in  a while, book lovers are lucky enough to stumble upon a book that they just fall instantly in love with. It is a book they can connect to, recommend to countless amounts of people, or in my case talk about for days on end to anyone within listening range. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is that book for me. Every single detail about this book was magical for me. The story was deep and uplifting at the same time. The characters were loveable, realistic, complicated people. The relationships between characters were drawn out perfectly. And don’t even get me started on all the little detailed pages included throughout the whole book; you will have me talking for hours about that aspect alone!

I picked this book up for a number of reasons. The cover is adorable, the synopsis sounds enjoyable, and I was about to embark on a road trip, so what better book to read than one about two teens taking the biggest road trip of their lives? I thought it would be a fun, light, easy read. Little did I know that this book would have me completely entranced in little time at all.

Amy, the main character, is going through some unimaginable tough times. Her father was killed in a car accident. Her estranged twin brother is in rehab across the country. Her mother, in an effort to get a “fresh start” moved from California all the way to Connecticut leaving Amy to finish her year of school off alone. Once school finishes, Amy hitches a ride with Roger, a son of a family friend, to move in with her mom. The two start the trip off following the itinerary but decide to take a detour before they even leave the state of California. The detour takes them through several different small town that all hold a special meaning for the two. For Amy it is all about places she visited or wish she would have gone to with her dad. For Roger it is all about getting back the girl he loved but lost. Along the ride the quiet, grieving Amy learns to open up. She holds so much of what she is feeling inside but along every stop they make on their adventure, she opens up a little more. At first Roger is so hung up on his ex-girlfriend that he fails to see the bigger picture. The closer they get to reaching her, the more Roger realizes she probably wasn’t the girl for him. The changes that these two went through were amazing. In the end of the book they were almost like two different people. What Morgan did so well was that she let these two grow and change but managed to stay very true the their personality.

The bulk of the story is Amy and Roger together but with every stop they meet some wonderful new characters. While these characters may be small and we often learned little about them, they were HUGE stepping stones for the changes within Amy and Roger. They meet some great friends and learned quite a bit from these small characters. I loved that about this book.

Amy and Roger’s relationship starts off rather awkward. They barely remember each other from childhood, not to mention they are both dealing with many internal struggles, so conversation in the beginning is strained. However, they soon come to know each other so well. After being trapped in a car with someone for days on end, I can imagine learning all their little quirks would be easy. Before the two even realize it, they have become great friends. They become each other’s support system. Not long after they become great friends, they soon recognize that there are more than friendship feelings there. I loved the connection between these two characters. It was real, honest, believable, sweet, etc.

As if the plot, characters, and awesome chemistry weren’t enough to make me love this book, they just had to throw in extra details. Between every chapter are musical playlists (with real bands that I actually listen to!), receipts from restaurants and gas stations they visited, little tid-bits of the state they were just in, there are even some pictures. These details make this so much more amazing than it already is.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour proved to be an amazing book. There is an easy plot with complicated, amazing characters. You also have believable, real relationships and the awesome extra details scattering the pages of this book. Reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is so much more than reading a book, it is like taking a mini adventure. I highly recommend this book to anyone especially if you are fans of Sarah Dessen and Sarah Ockler!

Tune-In Tuesday (4)

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music, all types of music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. This week I am featuring one of my favorite bands, Hey Monday. It’s rare these days to find a rock/alternative band with a female lead vocalists. Hey Monday’s lead singer, Cassadee, has a super powerful voice (& great hair!) and their lyrics are always super fun. Plus the band is super awesome to watch in concert, even if it’s acoustic! Enjoy!