Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Title: Finnikin of the Rock
Author: Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles, Book 1
Genre: (Light) Fantasy
Release Date: 6 April 2010

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.

But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.

This was a hard book for me to rate, and I think my expectations had a lot to do with my disappointments. There were some aspects of it that were wonderful, and others that were much less so. I'll definitely read on in the series - no matter how averse I may be to the main character (in the next book), but this didn't Wow me as much as I was expecting. I'm going to try a bullet-point review because I just don't know how else to do this without going completely spoilery, or getting derailed by tangents.

Things Marchetta does Well:

1. Emotions. Good lord, the emotions that she pulled out of me in this book. Especially in regards to Trevanion and Beatriss' romance. Throughout the book she made me feel the despair, the hope, the worry, the anger, and the love. Every moment of it was real and filled with feeling.

2. Characters. Evanjalin, Finnikin, Trevanion, Sir Topher...all of them are fascinatingly real. They make mistakes, they have fears, and hopes, they try and keep pushing. Even when I wanted to shake some of them (okay, nearly all of them at some point or another), I still felt connected to them on a very visceral level. Except...for a particular character - whom I'm not sure can be redeemed in my eyes. I did ask while reading, in a status update, if Finnikin was really that thick....Answer: Yes. Yes, he is.

3. Interactions. Everything that happens between characters feel so utterly real. And this ties into the last point, but it's amazing to me that looking back I still feel so invested in these characters and their relationships with each other.

Things Marchetta does Okay:

4. So, the fantasy aspect of this is lacking for me. The "magic" is of the plot-device variety. It's there to do what it has to do, but never really feels like a vivid part of the world. Or most of it doesn't. The dream-walking was well integrated and interesting. I enjoyed that. But the curse? Meh. It was just there as a catalyst, quickly and (a bit too) easily removed in the end.

Things Marchetta Fumbles:

5. Plot. The entire plot rests on the premise of secrets and lies. One secret after another. And while it kept me turning pages, I was kind of irritated in the end that there were lies peppered in there as well. I was irritated that the truth just wasn't good enough. If a person can't make the right choice with the truth, then should their choice with a lie be trusted?

In the end, I enjoyed the story, but I have a few problems when looking back. But, first and foremost, I'm a character reader, and Marchetta does excel in all aspects of that. They're not cardboard cutouts, they're real, with all the positives and negatives that we, ourselves, hold within us. And that's something I can relate to and love.

I almost want to do a whole section with spoiler thoughts, but I think I'll refrain for now.

Grade: C+

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Whisper of Sin by Nalini Singh

Title: Whisper of Sin
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling, Book 0.6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 25 February 2014

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her phenomenal Psy-Changeling world as a woman in peril finds herself in the arms of a dangerously beautiful shapeshifter…

San Francisco is under threat from a violent gang…a gang that has no idea who they’re challenging. The DarkRiver pack of leopard changelings has already claimed the city as their territory, and they will fight with wild fury to protect its residents. Emmett, a lethally trained leopard soldier, isn’t about to let outsiders muscle in on his home ground—especially when they target a human named Ria.

Emmett has one word for the smart stranger with her curvy body and tough spirit: mine.

Possessive, dominant, unyielding in his demands and desires, Emmett is unlike anyone Ria has ever before met. But while the sexy leopard changeling makes her body ignite, his kisses molten and his touch addicting, she’s no pushover and she has a few demands of her own. This leopard has met his match…

"Please note that Whisper of Sin is a reissue. It was first published in the multi-author anthology, Burning Up. This is the worldwide stand-alone ebook release for those who wanted to buy only this novella from the anthology.

For those of you who have Wild Invitation, this novella wasn't in that collection." - Nalini Singh

I read this originally when it first came out in the Burning Up anthology and, as always, adored any time that we get to spend within the Psy/Changeling world.

This novella takes us back and shows how DarkRiver began to exert it's claim on San Francisco, slowly - and more importantly, subtly - eroding the control of the Psy. When Ria's attacked one night on her way home because her family refused to pay the protection money of a new gang in town, Emmett steps up. After he and Dorian rescue her while on their patrols, it's clear that DarkRiver's right to hold the city is being threatened. If they don't take care of the gang, and soon, they'll lose their right and other predatory changelings can come in, trying to take over.

Ria thinks that's all Emmett wants to be close to her for - to protect her. But he has far more delicious thoughts in mind.

I enjoyed the banter between them, the progression of their relationship, and the fact that Ria stands up to Emmett - not letting him run all over her. Emmett, for his part, is eminently sweet.

I also really love the way Nalini Singh slides in little tidbits on how the relationships work between Humans and Changelings (or Psy and Changelings, Psy/Human, etc) - things like perfume, or how to have private conversations. Small details that make everything seem so much more real.

Nalini Singh is one of the few authors that I have consistently trusted to provide me with a fun, romantic, and sexy novella. This is no exception to that rule.

Grade: B

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: The Caller by Juliet Marillier

Title: The Caller
Author: Juliet Marillier
Series: Shadowfell, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: 9 September 2014

In the final book in this gripping, romantic fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Robin McKinley, Kristin Cashore, and Shannon Hale, Neryn’s band of rebels reach their climactic confrontation with the king. The stunning conclusion to the story that began with Shadowfell and Raven Flight is full of romance, intrigue, magic, and adventure.

Just one year ago, Neryn had nothing but a canny skill she barely understood and a faint dream that the legendary rebel base of Shadowfell might be real. Now she is the rebels’ secret weapon, and their greatest hope for survival, in the fast-approaching ambush of King Keldec at Summerfort.

The fate of Alban itself is in her hands. But to be ready for the bloody battle that lies ahead, Neryn must first seek out two more fey Guardians to receive their tutelage. Meanwhile, her beloved, Flint, has been pushed to his breaking point as a spy in the king’s court—and is arousing suspicion in all the wrong quarters.

At stake lies freedom for the people of Alban, a life free from hiding for the Good Folk—and a chance for Flint and Neryn to finally be together.

I'm finding this, the final book in the Shadowfell series, a bit hard to review. Ever since first picking up Shadowfell and being introduced to Neryn, and the land of Alban that she inhabited, I was invested in this story. I grew to love the characters, the world, the magic the permeated it. My heart was with them as they were crushed under the tyrannical rule of King Keldec. My hopes lifted with the rebellion. Trust came with difficulty - and in fits and starts. I began to see how it could be done.

Raven's Flight lifted me even higher. With a tighter story, the stakes raised, and my heart already connected to the characters and the world, I bit my nails as I raced through the book. I knew the entire time I was reading it that I wouldn't get the climax and resolution that I so wanted, because there was one more book to come. But I couldn't help but needing to know how Neryn, and everyone else I loved was. Were we any closer to the freedom that Alban so deserved?

When I finished Raven's Flight I had no idea how I was going to manage the wait to The Caller. Somehow, with a few re-reads thrown in, I managed it. And it was definitely worth the wait. The Caller was, nearly, everything I could have asked for in a concluding chapter of this story I'd become so intensely invested in. And if this review were to be about the first 95% of the book I would have easily given it ALL the stars, an A+, everything I could have.

There was tension that kept me on the edge of my seat, enough emotion to have me near tears, characters that I ached for - that I wanted to simply have the peace and happiness they so deserved. Everything I could have possibly asked for upon finishing Raven's Flight was in The Caller. I could find no fault with it what-so-ever. Because of spoilery reasons I'm having a hard time talking about everything I loved. There were shocks, and drama, hard choices, and good instincts. Every decision was hard made and thought over. Neryn and company realized the possible ramifications of their choices and made the conscious choice to deal with those consequences, if need be. I loved them for that. Things aren't always easy, there's not always a right answer; sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you have.

Then came the climax - as fraught with tension and hope as it should be. Sorrow and joy. Love and hate. It was all there for the taking. My emotions were in a whirlwind of ups and downs. I was both proud of and terrified for Neryn. She had accomplished so much - could she and her rebels do this last, biggest, thing? When it was over I think I breathed for the first time in 20 minutes.

Five percent of the book left to tie everything up - and this is where I'm left slightly disappointed. How can you possibly tie up everything that these characters, this world, have been through in just a single chapter? With a hint, a hint of what could be, what might be. It wasn't enough for me. There's too much left to be decided, too much left to be done. Yes, I can imagine it for myself, but I would have liked more. More time to catch my breath, relax into new reality, and see where things were going to go now. It's really hard to get into this without spoilers....I felt I only got to see part of the resolution, not the entirety. There's a lot of doubt left in my mind about where things are heading, and after how much I came to care for so many of these characters - I want more surety.

So. How to grade a novel that had me breathless throughout, and then left me feeling let down at the very, very last bit of the end. It's such a minor thing, the denouement of the novel, the place where it all comes to conclusion. Usually, I'm one that will say "less is more" here. Don't show and tell me everything - let me imagine it for myself. But here, I think, there was a little too much left to imagination. And, yet, this book - and especially this series is SO worth reading. I'd highly recommend it to anyone that has a love for fantasy and great characters. After all, Juliet Marillier only left me wanting more.

Grade: A

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

Title: Heart of Obsidian
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling, Book 12
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 4 June 2013

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

From “the alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) comes the most highly anticipated novel of her career—one that blurs the line between madness and genius, between subjugation and liberation, between the living and the dead.

I didn't have words enough to write a proper review of this the first couple of times I read it. And I'm not sure it's going to be much better this time. The problem that I'm having is that I refuse to spoil who the heroes are. No one knew prior to cracking open the book and diving in - did we have our suspicions? Heck yeah, and I was happy that I was right - but I think the joy of each reader discovering that for themselves is something beautiful.

I'll do my best though. With everything fresh in my mind, I think I can manage something other a bit more specific than my previous thoughts.

For eleven books now we've been watching as the battle for the very lives of the Psy in the PsyNet was fought - in shadows and secret, against humans and changelings and even the Psy themselves - this war was touching everyone, every group, on the planet.

It all comes to a head in Heart of Obsidian.

Nalini Singh skillfully brings us to the main resolution of the overriding story-arc that's driven each story in the books (including this one). There's still story to be told - have no fear - but this is the climax. Everything comes to a head, loyalties are tested, results are gathered, moves are made and nothing will ever be the same.

I've always loved Nalini's ability to build such an intricate and real world that I'm invested in it completely. How they're all tangled up together and actions taken by one can affect so many. There's no isolated group that's not affected, but a whole - depending on the careful and fair balance of the world that is their own as well.

The main characters are amazing - probably my favorites of all time. My heart broke for them many times - as expected - but was also filled to bursting as they came closer together, healing each other and themselves of hurts that were previously thought to go too deep.

We get a lot of little glimpses of other characters that we fell in love with in previous books, but even saying much more than that will be a hint as to whose story this is.

If you love the Psy-Changeling world, you're going to read this and you're going to (likely) be as excited as I was for it...and you're going to love it.

If you haven't read the Psy-Changeling series - why not? Give it a try, it's well worth it.

I guess this isn't much better than my previous review. I may as well end it the same: Nalini Singh's best novel yet. My favorite book in the series. Period. No contestation. I loved every minute. Easily in my Top 10 favorite books of all-time.

Grade: A+

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh

Title: Archangel's Shadows
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunters, Book 7
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 28 October 2014
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s sensual and painfully beautiful Guild Hunter world in her new novel of sacrifice, loyalty, and the choices of love that can shatter the heart.

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

Look at that cover? Isn't it GORGEOUS? I love the art for this series - so much that I've bought a print of one of the covers. Tony Mauro does excellent work, capturing the feel of the books along with the little details - enough to make me believe that I'm looking at the characters I'm reading about. I love that. This one has a ton of little details that come directly from the book and it made me giddy after I was done reading to go look at it and see them there. So much fun.

Ever since Angels' Pawn I've been looking forward to reading more about Ashwini and Janvier - even while I loved every single book in between, I still asked each time I met Nalini Singh when we were going to get more of these fantastic characters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Giveaway & Excerpt: The Younger Gods by Michael R. Underwood

Title: The Younger Gods
Author: Michael R. Underwood
Series: Younger Gods, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 13 October 2014

Jacob Greene was a sweet boy raised by a loving, tight-knit family...of cultists. He always obeyed, and was so trusted by them that he was the one they sent out on their monthly supply run (food, medicine, pig fetuses, etc.).

Finding himself betrayed by them, he flees the family's sequestered compound and enters the true unknown: college in New York City. It's a very foreign place, the normal world and St. Mark's University. But Jacob's looking for a purpose in life, a way to understand people, and a future that breaks from his less-than-perfect past. However, when his estranged sister arrives in town to kick off the apocalypse, Jacob realizes that if he doesn't gather allies and stop the family's prophecy of destruction from coming true, nobody else will...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Release and Giveaway: He's So Fine by Jill Shalvis

Happy Release Day!!

Scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway

Title: He's So Fine
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor, Book 11
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 30 September 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Title: Trial by Fire
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Worldwalker Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: 2 September 2014
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

I requested this book because: WITCHES. SALEM WITCHES. It beckons to me like a siren in the sea. I can't resist. I can't fight. So, I didn't even bother. I'd never read Josephine Angelini before and I had no idea what to expect. I hoped the book would be good, but I wasn't about to let my expectations get too high. I've been burned before.

And then I met Lily. Lily of the horrible allergies, unpopular at school yet comfortable (mostly) in her own skin. She's confident and sure of herself. She knows that she deserves respect - and she demands it. The opinions of those that don't matter to her, quite simply don't really concern her. She gives credit where it's due, and blame as well. Even if that's on herself. She takes responsibility for her actions and isn't afraid to do difficult things to uphold her convictions. What a breath of fresh air. I loved Lily immediately. I related to her. She feels so incredibly real. How many times do you meet a heroine - especially in young adult - where she is wronged by a guy and she just writes his behavior off? Too many to count, I know. So when Lily told Tristan off, ended their friendship, and walked away from him - all within the first ten percent of the book - I nearly cheered. Trust me, he deserved it. Jerk. This is all when she's just a sick girl who thinks that soon she'll be living in a plastic bubble, unable to go to school, to keep her safe from the world that's trying to kill her. Still she knows she deserves better than what that mrphprh is trying to do to her.

Then she gets to the other Salem. The one where witches and magic fuel everything instead of using the natural resources as we do. Science there is far behind our world's because witches can do everything scientists do, and they do it intuitively, without the need for extra equipment. Seeing into an atom, into the quarks? No problem. Get a witch. They control everything, from the creation of food parts, the harvesting of vegetables and the distribution of electricity. Alternatively, there's the fact that instead of billions of residents...there's only thirteen cities in this world. Everything else is the Wild, overrun with magically engineered super-beasts, an experiment gone horribly wrong, that are completely out of control and hunt humans that dare to go out of the walled cities. At the very top of this power structure is the head witch, Lillian - Lily's double, her other self and the one who brought her to this world - killing all scientists, hanging and executing at will. No one understands why she's doing this. It all started about a year ago, but she's not to be deterred. She'll kill every last person that disagrees.

I've got to talk about Lillian for a moment. First, let me give you a bit of her introduction:

Yes, fire has teeth, and it chews at you like a living, breathing animal. It even roars like an animal. When you're in its mouth, you have to fight for air. Fire, like a lion, likes to suffocate its prey. [...]

I remember what I must do, even if it makes me the villain of my own story. Most importantly, I remember that the good of the many really does outweigh the good of the few. Even if one of those few is me. [...]

This girl I'm about to steal has no concept of loss. She doesn't understand the difference between infatuation and love. That's a good thing. I don't want her broken like me. I want her wounded, yes, but stronger for it. There comes a day when every girl loses the stars in her eyes. And then she can see clearly.

This is Lily's day.
**emphasis mine**

Holy. Crap. Making herself the villain of her own story. What reasons could she have for this? Why must she be the villain? Why does she need Lily? All of these questions, and more, were coursing through my mind, begging to be answered. And as I got to know Lillian, and her world, I began to see, to understand, a little bit more. Lillian is one of the best villains I've read in a good long time.

Though there are more than a few other characters in the book that I, at turns, loved, hated, despised, or was rooting for, there's only one other one that I'm going to take the time to talk about now. Because, like Lily, instead of being a one-note character that follows every annoying convention out there, Rowan defied my expectations time and time again. When he's helping Lily get feeling back in her legs and she gets embarrassed, jerking away from him, he flat out tells her that she only has to tell him to stop, and he always will. Then he goes and apologizes to her for being a jerk when they first met (and he thought she was Lillian). He APOLOGIZED. Flat out, no excuses or anything. Just "I'm sorry I was so horrible to you when we first met." I need more heroes like Rowan. A little cynical and guarded with his heart, but compassionate, kind, caring, willing to compromise, apologize, help, listen to reason, cautious, willing to give due where it's deserved, and never strong-arm someone into doing it 'his way.' Plus he totally kicks ass and is smart. Yes, I definitely need more.

You may, or may not, know that characters are what I live for. Give me excellent characters and I'll overlook a lot of flaws in the world or plot. Lucky me, I didn't have to overlook anything here. Second to characters only is the world. Create a fantasy world that I can get lost in, that makes sense and I can understand, and I'm all in. One different decision, piled on another different decision perhaps, and another and another, and then there's this world that's so vastly different from ours and yet contains so many of the same people, and is somewhat eerily similar. Who would you be in this different world? Who should you be if you show up there?

And here we hit on the most amazing, to me, thing about my reading of this book. Not only did Josephine Angelini create relatable, fascinating characters that I want to root for; then put them in a world that is so similar and yet so different than ours, a world that makes sense and follows rules, just different from our rules; but she created a story that made me think. Who would I be if I showed up in this world? Would I hold to my convictions? What are the limits of holding to those convictions? Is there a line in the sand? And - even more important - when you have unimaginable power, how do you decide where that line is? What would you do for those you love? If you could stop a horrible event from happening, should you? Would you? What if the cost is someone's life? Multiple someone's? What if stopping this event meant saving hundreds of thousands? What if you're not even sure this event will occur?

I liked how one way wasn't necessarily better than another. That there are pros and cons to each different path. Though there's a definite 'green' leaning in this book, it doesn't paint our world as intrinsically worse for the industrial revolution and discoveries that we've made. Though Lillian's alternate world hasn't polluted the skies and waters, doesn't make hers necessarily better. There's a lot of dichotomies to examine and explore here. I'm really looking forward to more of that. And I think Lily's going to have to find the path that's a bit better than either of the current alternatives - but that's a story for the sequels, I think.

My mind went down a thousand different paths, to a thousand different ends. At times I would pause and simply think about the ramifications of actions. When a book can do that, can absorb me so utterly and yet captivate my mind so completely with ramifications in my life here, it's sure to end up on my 'Best of...' list.

Every once in a while, if a reader is lucky, a book comes along that so completely blows away their expectations, wholly enthralling, enchanting, and - yes, I'll say it - bewitching, that they finish it and want to dive directly back in, that they're not even sure how to manage the wait until the sequel. Trial by Fire was that book for me.

Grade: A

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Freebie Alert: Dangerous Destiny by Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann

Suzanne Brockmann is beloved by so many of my friends, and I've had her Troubleshooters series on my to-read list for a long, long time. When I saw she, and her daughter, had a new series coming out, I requested them immediately! I'm really looking forward to diving into this new world.

Title: Dangerous Destiny
Author: Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann
Series: Night Sky, Book 0.5
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: 26 August 2014

On August 26th, ONLY, Dangerous Destiny - the prequel to Night Sky will be available FREE at the following locations:

Amazon | BN | kobo | Goodreads

See how it all begins...

In this pulse-pounding prequel to the Night Sky series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann and her daughter Melanie Brockmann, Skylar has her first brush with Destiny. She's about to meet a boy who will change her life—and a girl who wants to end it.

I know her.
Know her from inside the dreams. Inside those terrible, murderous, bloody dreams. I've heard her-screaming, her voice mixing in an awful chorus with all those other girls. Little girls.

Please, God.
That's what one of the little girls keeps saying, in the dream that is not just a dream. Please, God.
But I know better. There's no escaping this fate. This is destiny.
I must kill Skylar.

Skylar Reid is the new girl at school. Her mom just moved them to Florida—aka The Land of the Living Dead where the average age of her new neighbors was seventy-five—to start over. Skylar is not a fan of the change or her total lack of friends. Until she meets Calvin, a funny, sarcastic boy who doesn't let being in a wheelchair stop him from verbally shredding their preppy classmates. Skylar's just about to decide her new school's not a total loss when an odd girl wearing an oversized trench coat in the murderous Southern heat declares, "You're one of us." And then tries to kill her.

Dangerous Destiny is the prequel to Night Sky:

Title: Night Sky
Author: Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann
Series: Night Sky, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: 7 October 2014

In Night Sky, sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid is thrown into a strange world when she discovers that she has unique telekinetic and telepathic powers. After Sasha, the child she babysits, is kidnapped and believed to be murdered, Sky and her best friend Calvin are approached by Dana, a mysterious girl who has super-abilities similar to Sky’s. With the help of Dana and her sidekick Milo, the four teens — two from the rich part of town, and two living hand-to-mouth on the streets — embark on a quest to discover who killed Sasha, and to bring the killers to justice.

With Dana as Skylar’s surly and life-toughened mentor, Sky attempts to harness her powers to aid them in their quest. Complicating an already complex relationship with the older girl, Sky starts to fall for the dangerously handsome and enigmatic Milo–and begins to suspect that the attraction is mutual. But then Sky realizes that Sasha might still be alive, and the unlikely foursome’s mission becomes one of search and rescue, pitting the heroic teens against a very deadly enemy.

Night Sky is the first book in a YA trilogy set in the same dark future as Suzanne Brockmann’s Born to Darkness, a New York Times bestselling hardcover, published last year as the first installment in her Fighting Destiny series. Night Sky has the same mix of suspense, romance, humor, and the paranormal, and deals with many of the same themes, including society’s relentless exploitation and devaluation of females, and the empowerment that comes when women and girls recognize their strength and intellect, and stand up, fight back, and save the day.

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