Opal Book Review

Opal: A Lux Novel BOOK 3

by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opal Covet

Overview

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing alien hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

My Review

I started to read the series, because a reviewer claimed my book The Zeuorian Awakening was a ripoff of Obsidian and I was curious to see if in fact the author plagiarized my book, which they didn’t. Then I decided to read the next book and continued to read the third book despite not liking the second book as much as the first one.

Yeah, I know, I’m a sucker for serials with cliffhangers.

Anyway Opal was a little better than book 2. The story is focused on getting Bethany, Dawson’s girlfriend out of DOD hands with Blake’s help. He is no longer with the DOD and wants to free his alien friend too. He is blackmailing Katy and Daemon into working with him. They agree only if he helps to get Bethany out too. Of course the plan doesn’t go smooth and Blake turns on Katy again.

Katy wasn’t as stupid in this book and she actually thought of something smart to handle Dawson. However I thought it was a little ridiculous Katy took complete responsibility for Adam, Dee’s boyfriend, death when she tried to stop Blake, but she couldn’t.

Even though the book was better than Onyx, I found myself getting bored halfway through the book. I ended up skipping to the end so I could find out what happened instead of reading the second half of the book.

I also had a hard time believing the DOD would kidnap and torture previously human now alien-hybrids. I have my conspiracy theories about them like many people do, but I also don’t think they’re stupid and force people to join their cause. Something like that will leak out. And they would talk to the new hybrid’s first. Win their trust. It’s easier to work together when they cooperate than force them. It’s also easier to keep the whole alien thing under wraps too. No fear of a previous captive spilling to the news.

Review Rating: 2 Stars out of 5


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Onyx Book Review

Onyx: A Lux Novel Book 2 Review

by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Onyx Covet

Overview

Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizzaro alien connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems. I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them–me.

My Review

I started to read this series, because a reviewer claimed my book The Zeuorian Awakening was a ripoff of Obsidian and I was curious to see if in fact the author plagiarized my book, which they didn’t. Then I decided to read the next book since I liked the first one and I’m a sucker for serials with cliffhangers. I also wanted to research how other YA authors wrote scenes where a character is learning to control their powers for my novelette, Control.

Even though the second book was more original and didn’t follow Twilight like Obsidian, it wasn’t as good. I found myself skimming and wanting to slap Katy for being stupid.

And the first half of the book Katy kept refusing to accept Daemon really liked her and that it was a product of their alien connection. It didn’t matter how many times he tried to prove otherwise and apologize for being mean to her, she refused to believe he liked her–being bullheaded and stubborn as usual. At first I had no issue with Katy pushing him away, but it got old really quickly.

***spoiler alert***

Next enter Blake a new possible love interest. He immediately goes after Katy, making Daemon jealous and suspicious. Katy jumps to date him since he’s normal unlike Daemon.

The DOD appear questioning about the fight in the woods when Katy killed the Arum. Daemon is claiming he did it. They are hiding their connection from the other aliens.

Katy gets sick and develops powers from her connection to Daemon and causes a few incidents. She discovers Blake has powers too and is like her–an alien hybrid. Daemon made her one when he healed her. Blake warns she must hide what she is since the DOD want her kind. They want to use them. Daemon doesn’t want her to tell Dee and Katy agrees. The beginning of end of their relationship.

Blake offers to train Katy. Daemon warns her not to train with Blake since something is off with him. But as always she ignores his warnings even when Blake threw a knife at her and set her up to fight an Arum by making a phone call to someone. She also blows off Dee, her blog and other friends in the process.

Then Katy spot Bethany, Daemon’s missing twin brother’s girlfriend who was supposed to be dead. She tells Daemon. He doesn’t want her to tell Dee about it. Another lie. They follow the DOD trying to find her and his brother, Dawson.
Low and behold Daemon was right about Blake. He is working with the DOD under duress and throws Katy under the bus. He kills Dee’s boyfriend in the process. Everything goes downhill from there.

Review Rating: 1 Star out of 5


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Obsidian

Obsidian Comparison to Awakening and Review

Obsidian (A Lux Novel Book 1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
published May 2012 by Entangled Publushing, LLC.

Obsidian

I purchased Obsidian after I received a review on Goodreads for The Zeuorian Awakening. The reviewer wrote “This book is a ripoff of Obsidian, but not a good one. *sigh*” I never read the book and Awakening was first published under Untamed Powers May 2012, but I was pushing it to agents starting 2009. So of course I was curious if it was actually a rip off of mine.
I had many work stolen in my lifetime and wouldn’t be surprised if it had happened. After I read the overview on Amazon, I decided to buy it since there were similarities between my book and Obsidian.

However after reading the book, I can safely say there is only a small similarity between our books.

Zeuorian Awakening is a fantasy mystery / thriller with a romantic subplot. The story is fast pace, thriller style writing about a teenage girl, Lexi. She was born with the abilities to read minds and sense premonitions. When she was 14 a man tried to kill her after he discovered she could read their mind. (see short story Monster). Her parents died in a car accident on her fifteenth birthday, she forgot the day they died and the summer prior to it.

She moved in with her single aunt, an emergency doctor. On her seventh birthday she glows and physically transforms into a major hottie. Boys are chasing her, because of her change. She starts developing powers (telekinesis and atomkinesis) that she’s unable to control and causes incidents. A mysterious boy is following her. He knows all about her powers and why others are after her. He could be one of the boys who likes her. She believes the reason why she’s changing and the identity of the mysterious boy is hidden in her forgotten memories the summer her parents had died.

Obsidian on the other hand is a romantic fantasy about Katy and Daemon. She moved to West Virginia with her mom three years after her dad died from brain cancer. Her mom works all the time as a nurse while Katy blogs and reads. She’s a loner and doesn’t have any friends from Florida where she grew up. So no emails or phone calls to friends. Her mom encourages Katy to make friends with her neighbors who are same age as her. She meets Daemon. He’s rude and they hate each other instantly, but of course, he’s really hot with black hair and green eyes. Katy lusts after him despite he’s a dick.

Then Dee, Daemon’s sister, befriends Katy. Daemon is overprotective of Dee and doesn’t want Katy to be friends with her. He thinks Katy isn’t good enough to be friends with his sister or the right kind of person. Dee doesn’t think the same as her brother. So Dee takes Daemon’s car keys and forces him to get to know Katy as a way to earn his keys back. From there Katy’s and Daemon’s attraction buds toward each other. Even though he continues to be a jerk to her, running hot and cold, he saves her life several times. None of which would’ve happened if she didn’t stupidly put herself in danger in the first place and listened to others warnings.

Spoiler Alert

Katy discovers Daemon and Dee are aliens from Lux. They are made of light and have powers to alter light, start fires, morph, move fast, super strength and heal. (I never caught whether or not they also control the weather, but it would change around them at times.) They came to earth with others like them after their planet was destroyed. Another group of aliens are now hunting them throughout the galaxy, because they are mortal enemies and want to steal their powers. Any time the Luxen use their powers around a human it leaves a trace making them glow, which Arum are able to see. They use it to track the Luxen. However special crystals in the mountains obscure the Luxen. So the Arum must torture their location out of the human. Since Katy is in constant need of Daemon’s help being the cliché pathetic helpless girl, she becomes a target of the Arum. She is attacked about three times in the book, because of it.

I wouldn’t category this book as thrilling. 80% of the book was the love story with two action sequences in act 2 and one final fight at the end. Even though this is a romance, Katy and Daemon don’t end up together. She won’t settle for a jerk. (finally one smart move on her part). Honestly, I never liked Daemon’s character that much either. The banter between them kept me reading, but there was no shedding of his hot and cold attitude like Twilight after Bella discovered Edward was a vampire. He remained a jerk until the end.

The only similarities I saw between both books is that:

Both Katy and Lexi are a little naive. However Lexi relies on her telepathy and premonitions too much for determining if others are being honest, which gets her in trouble. Katy lets her stubbornness allow her to make bad decisions on impulse and she questions if she’s crazy when she sees Dee or Daemon do not normal things since her dad’s brain cancer made him hallucinate.

Both Daemon and Lexi were aliens being hunted. But Lexi is being hunted by The Community, a group of half-breeds (half human and half-Zeuorian). The half-breeds were run off their planet Valos by an evil Zeuorian queen, supposedly the last of her kind until Lexi was brought to earth. Another mystery. The half-breeds believe she’ll turn evil like her ancestors, in particular the queen.

Both Lexi and Daemon are aliens and gorgeous with green eyes. That’s where the differences from them stop. Daemon uses a nasty personality to push humans away and he looks down on them. Lexi is nice. She tries to keep to herself and avoid hurting others with her powers. She struggles with the idea maybe she is turning into a monster and wants to hide. But the boys chasing Lexi over her new appearance and the mysterious boy (Watcher) following her stops her from finding a hole and hiding out. And she also wants to figure out who could be he Watcher, which requires her talking to the boys.

Both Lexi and Katy live in a small town with mountains and lakes where they can hike. They both live with a single parent who works in the medical industry for long hours. Except Lexi’s aunt is being intentionally pulled away to keep Lexi alone, while Katy’s mom chooses to work instead of spend time with her. Lexi and Katy use some of the same dialogue (freaking alien, ET, NASCAR, etc.)

Both Lexi and Daemon can change the weather when they are upset, but I didn’t catch why Daemon changes the weather. He has the power of light not atomkinesis.

The lead love interests Daemon and Tyler had black hair, beautiful eyes, muscular, hot, arrogant and overly confident. But Tyler was popular, well liked, put up a good front as a way to hide his true self. He is a good liar and does things that make Lexi question if he is her Watcher and knows the truth about her, which he claims he does. Another mystery that will be explained further in book 2.

That’s all the similarities.

Despite the reason I decided to read Osidian, it was still a good read. I would recommend others to read it. But I only gave it 3 stars since the story was a little slow and cliché to me. The female lead meets the hot moody boy who they instantly rub each other raw. Only to discover he is attracted to her, but he is trying to push her away to hide his secret. She is the first girl he really cares about. And since this was a romance, I expected the love interest to swoon me like Edward did in Twilight, but he never did. He remained a jerk. Maybe that will change in the next book, hopefully.

RATE 3 stars


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Teardrop Book Review

Title: Teardrop
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Young Adult, Teen, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Supernatural
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Pages: 441
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Never, ever cry…

Seventeen-year-old Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean.

And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense.

Can everything you love be washed away?

My Review:
I really enjoyed Laruen Kate’s Fallen series. So I bought Teardrop expecting it to be as good if not better. However, I was sadly disappointed.

Overall the book had a good premise, but it was extremely slow and packed with a lot of description and backstory (Eureka thinking about past events and describing it.) More than half the book was inside Eureka’s head with limited dialogue and interaction. After the first six chapters of non-stop description, I found myself skimming the rest of the book and I didn’t miss a single plot point. Hmm.

Although, I spotted several typos. As an indie author, I constantly hear stereotypical remarks about how Indie books are poorly written and filled with grammatical errors. Maybe that’s so for some indie books, but I’m finding published books editing are lacking as well.

The characters in the book were so-so. I liked Cat’s character the best. She had a likeable personality compared to Eureka. Eureka was self-absorbed and clueless to the obvious like Brooks acting differently. Brooks, I would’ve liked to have known the character more and through interactions than Eureka describing him. Ander was lukewarm for a love interest.

The love story was too quick and lacked emotion. It felt forced to me.

Despite the slow storyline, I’m probably going to buy the next book since the story did intrigue me and I like to know what happens next. Hopefully, Lauren will read her reviews and spend a little more time chopping unnecessary description from her next book.

Rating System
5 Stars: Positively loved and adored. A new favorite.
4 Stars: Excellent. Kept me hooked until the last page.
3 Stars: Good. Pleasant and enjoyable. Not great but not bad.
2 Stars: Mediocre. This book needed something more. Very uninspiring.
1 Star: Poor. I didn’t enjoy this book. It was a struggle to finish.
DNF: Did not manage to finish this book.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Blood Forever Book Report

Book Report
Book Report

Blood Forever

By Mari Mancusi

Blood Forever by Mari Mancusi

Overview

Blood Forever is the last book part of the Blood Coven Vampire series. Sunny (Sunshine) and Rayne McDonald managed to go back in time before Sunny was bitten by Magnus with the help of Hades. They are both able to remember everything that had happened in their previous future. However, no one else can. Not even their vampire boyfriends Magnus and Jareth.

Given a second chance, both girls swear off vampires forever avoiding going down the same path that led to losing their father, grandmother, even Sunny and ousting the entire blood coven from the consortium.

One problem.

Neither girl can forget their true loves or settle living their previous boring lives.

Grade

I give the book a B+, since I reserve A’s for best. Not even Twilight, Hunger Games or some of Stephen King books made A’s in my opinion.

Opinion

The book was an easy read that I completed in one sitting. The light hearted, tongue-and-cheek writing style kept my interest to the point I didn’t skim any paragraphs, which I have a nasty habit of doing while reading YA books. For some odd reason, majority of YA books go into too much detail.

Recommendation

Overall, I would recommend reading the book. It was a great ending to the series. If you haven’t read the series, you should, especially adults who grew up watching movies like Lost Boys or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There are great parodies to those movies.

My favorite book in the series was Stake That!. I couldn’t stop laughing reading the part when Rayne and her friend was playing the online game and kept getting  killed off by an ex-boyfriend still ticked over the break up.

Note about the author

I met Mari a couple of years back while attending a Writer’s League Convention in Austin, TX. She was very helpful and willing to talk to newbie writer’s like myself. I found her to be every bit witty and light-hearted like her character’s Sunny and Rayne.

Other books in the series

Boys that Bite by Mari MancusiStake That by Mari MancusiBad Blood by Mari Mancusi

Nigh School by Mari MancusiBlood Ties by Mari MancusiSoul Bound by Mari MancusiBlood Forever by Mari Mancusi


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.