The Gathering Darkness Blog Tour Review

 

 

 

Review Tour

 

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They say “third time’s the charm”, and for sixteen-year-old Brooke Day, they had better be right. She’s been here before, twice in fact, and an evil demon-witch wants her dead a third time.
When Brooke is forced to leave Boston for the small town of Deadwich, she thinks her life is over. Before long, her new friends start acting strange—downright evil. But worse than that, nightmares she’s had her whole life become reality.
Enter Marcus Knight; popular, hot, and the only person Brooke can trust. Not to mention, they’ve shared the same nightmares.
With the discovery of an ancient Celtic amulet, Brooke and Marcus unravel the secrets of her past, which reveals the key to her future.
As the equinox approaches:
Darkness and light merge for the first time in a century.
Soul-mates reunite.
Magic awakens.

The Gathering Darkness by Lisa Collicutt, and published through Curiosity Quills Press, is a young adult paranormal set in a small town in Massachusetts called Deadwich. This fictional town is set somewhere near Boston and Salem (great places to visit, full of history and mystery). With that in mind, what is New England famous for? Well, it’s not the vampires (though they are known for being there too), it is the witches.

Due to one too main infractions at home, Brooke is forced to live with her Aunt, Uncle, and cousin in Deadwich, Mass. It’s a tiny town with its own dark history filled with witchcraft and mysterious murders. Needless to say, Brooke isn’t too happy. Collicutt weaves an interesting story filled with magic and love. The epicenter of Brooke’s fears is a dark looming hotel that seems out of place, but no one notices it.

The darkness in the book isn’t as disturbing as some of the books I’ve read, but there is darkness and it can be creepy. The hotel was well described and definitely had a feel that it was living. Along with the hotel are Brooke’s dreams. They are just as disturbing and get worse as the book goes on. I would not have wanted to experience those dreams.

Brooke is a typical teenager in my opinion. I found her to be easy to relate to. She may had a little issue with setting certain relationship issues straight, but once that was taken care of, she showed to not be a damsel in distress character. No, she wasn’t a Buffy, but she held her ground and only faltered in her convictions slightly. Then again, given her situation, I probably would have done the same thing.

Marcus is the dark and mysterious kind of character. Though the reader and Brooke don’t learn a lot about his life and likes, we do learn his character. He can be jealous, but he’s extremely loyal. Whenever I read the two of them together, I smiled. Their relationship and pur love for each other was hard not to smile at. Pure love like that doesn’t happen all the time and is even difficult to see in books, but Collicutt was able to do it.

Though I did foresee some aspects of the book, Collicutt did throw some curve balls. I didn’t see the Celtic connection coming and I thought it was interesting. I did love how they got their information and even that wasn’t completely accurate. The reader ends up learning the next curve ball near the ending of the book.

The story was an easy read. The story pulls you in during a sort of safety net and throws you to the witches den by the end of it. You will find yourself wondering just how Brooke and Marcus was going to make it alive and together.

The Author: Lisa Collicutt

The Author: Lisa Collicutt

 

About Lisa Collicutt:

Lisa likes to write dark and twisted tales of magic and romance. She has a passion for Young Adult and New Adult Paranormal Romance. When she’s not conjuring tales about witches, demons, and other magical beings, she can be found leathered and bound to the back of her husband’s Harley, touring her homeland of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Enter Lisa’s imagination where realism ends and fantasy begins. But heed these warnings … it’s dark, it’s magical, you may experience tingles.

Book Seventy-Eight of 2014: Elude by C. Miller

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Escaping is hard. Surviving is harder.

Aster has lived a life of servitude for ten years, but now she is determined to be free. Countless Reapers stand between her and the gate to New Bethel, and more await just past the walls. She’s spent her life being invisible, but in a world full of assassins, becoming close to any of them only makes you a target for the rest. Every step she takes puts her in more danger, closer to Reapers with unknown intentions. Unexpected friendships develop, but can she really trust any Reaper when they’ve all been trained to deceive? Aster and Chase know what awaits them outside the city, but can they get past it?

In Aster’s journey for freedom, she learns there are some things in life you can’t ever truly escape from, and that some steps can’t ever be taken back.

Elude is the fantasy sequel to Reave written by C. Miller. We start off where we left off in the first book and embark on a journey. Though Aster is finally free from the House in New Bethel, she isn’t free by any means.

Like in Reave, Miller sets the reader up with the hard questions. As a reader, I found myself confused with much of Aster’s actions until she decided to delve the information to a new character and love interest, Jastin. Her actions, though may seem petty in some way, show exactly what she intends to be. She wants to make it hard for her father and everyone else. She wants to be seen as strong, not the weakling they preceive her to be. Her frustration makes sense and the actions she took aren’t much different than what I would in her place.

The new characters are dynamic and show a parallel to Aster’s own life. There’s also more about the Reaper lifestyle that her father developed as well as information about Aster’s mother. The new characters: Anders, an ex-lover and friend to Aster’s deceased mother, and Jastin, the partner and best friend of Ahren.

Anders is an awesome older man who treats Aster the way a father should treat his daughter. He is the one we get more information about her mother from. Jastin is the type of character you either hate or love. I love love/hate dynamics and his relationship with Aster does begin that way. Obviously, he’s a new favorite of mine.

But, none of that matters, because in the world Miller created, trust is just a word. Aster and the readers are forced to decide who to trust and for how much. You find yourself disliking the very people you trusted in the first book. In the end, though I loved certain characters, I was forced to be like Aster: deciding not to trust anyone just yet.

There are a bunch of theories I have in my head, my favorite is that mother dearest is actually alive. After all, with a world that forces you to not even trust the people you trust, anything is possible. For now though, I am forced to wait for the next installment.

Book Seventy-Seven of 2014: Owlet by Emma Michaels

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Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.

Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.

Owlet by Emma Michaels is a quick young adult paranormal. By quick, I mean it’s only about fifteen chapters long (prologue and epilogue included). I consider that a quick read. A one day read if I’m lucky. And, I was lucky.

Emma Michaels is a beautiful writer. She instantly pulls you into her world through a dream sequence that leaves both the main character, Iris, and reader scratching their heads and asking for answers.

Iris is a girl with no memory of her mother or the past eight years. She’s also asthmatic, bad asthmatic. Not many characters have one, let alone two, issues going on, but Iris has amnesia and asthma. I loved it. Because of her asthma, Iris tries not to be her strong self. I feel that the constant attention to her health by her father and her caretaker, Diana, gives her the impression that she can’t do much. It kind of reminds me of Collin Craven in The Secret Garden, it isn’t until he meets his cousin that he sees his own strength.

The same goes for Iris, she is given one chance to see the world differently and it changes her both for the good and bad.

The world is another thing I absolutely loved about this book. Emma Michaels developed her own mythology, stories, and history to her world that goes in tandem with our own. The lyrics to their songs are haunting, beautiful, and I want to hear them to music. Once the reader realizes the truth about Iris’ world, they will notice the little nuances in the character movements or the music. I had a head smack moment once I saw how expertly Michaels showed her world without showing her world until later on.

Yes, this is a quick and beautiful read, but watch out, you will want more.

Book Seventy-Six of 2014: Forever and Always by E.L. Todd

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Now that Sean and Scarlet are together, Scarlet couldn’t be happier. They were meant for each other and would make any sacrifice to be together. With her greatest friend as her new lover, their relationship was perfect. But when Sean asks her to move back to New York, she hesitates. She doesn’t want to leave her brother after finally reconnecting with him so they agree to make the coast-to-coast trip every weekend. Scarlet wants Sean to move to Seattle but she knows he can’t leave his job for her. Scarlet fears that Sean still loves Penelope even though she never questions him about it. When Penelope shows up at Sean’s apartment pregnant and penniless, Sean has to decide what he really wants. Will a baby interfere with the happiness that Scarlet has recently found?

Talk about drama. Forever and Always by E.L. Todd is the sequel to Only for You. Honestly, I didn’t care for this book as much as I was hoping. The reader can figure out real quick what is about to happen.

So, before this book, Sean, our hero, has made it to Seattle and has professed his love and apology to Scarlet. Enter a really fast and quick relationship followed by prego ex-girlfriend and a bunch of mess. I wanted to smack the hell out of the main characters. Sean didn’t learn anything from the first book. He was still a complete doofus.

Scarlet was even worse. Instead of swallowing her pride, she nearly cost the destruction of her business. Not to mention, when she did swallow her pride, it was for the wrong reason. Sorry, hate to say this, but I didn’t care for where it ended. Sure, time passed, but I felt that another book of them growing together versus a little tidbit about six months later, would have been the better choice.

As always with E.L. Todd, the writing isn’t bad. It is quick and easy to pull through. Despite my dislike for these characters, I did like her writing enough to finish the book. I also like that Janice made an appearance and that Scarlet did grow a pair for her friend. I still feel Scar could have done something before this book, but I’m glad she did the right thing.

Really, the book wasn’t bad, I just didn’t care for where it was going where Sean and Scarlet are concerned.

Book Seventy-Five of 2014: Almost Lovers by Karisha Prescott

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Prussia’s boyfriend, Robert, is all up in their neighbor Lydia’s Koolaid. Despite living with Robert, Prussia can’t keep him away from Lydia. She never even sees Robert anymore—most of their communications are notes left on the kitchen table as they miss each other like missiles in space.

Furious that Robert stood her up on their date night, Prussia goes running in the park. Too angry, she doesn’t realize that running in the park is not a bright idea—especially after a series of murders has rocked the city—until it’s too late. She’s attacked by someone intent on choking the life out of her.

Just when she believes she’s one breath from death, she’s saved by the elegant Sebastian who then delivers her to her apartment and smoothly secures a dinner date for the next night. Not sure what’s happened, Prussia only knows that life for her has changed forever.

Prussia is shocked to discover that her handsome savior is some sort of royalty and his grandmother is royalty personified. Knowing that she has to be honest with Sebastian, Prussia tells Sebastian that she has a boyfriend and they’re having a few problems, but they’re going to work everything out.

Sebastian isn’t buying her spin, but she could care less. Just because he’s handsome, wealthy aristocrat doesn’t mean he can have her. But, little does Prussia know that oh-so-smooth Sebastian has secrets that could get them both killed…and in knowing Sebastian, she’s going to discover hidden facets of herself that will rock her world, shaking it to its very core! If you want to read a riveting book with exciting, unforgettable characters ever, pick up Almost Lovers —you’ll never put it down!

Almost Lovers is a vampire romance written by Karisha Prescott. The book is written in mulitiple point of views which are labeled in the chapters. I don’t usually care for the multiple character thing unless there’s something going on in a separate country/city/etc. (like Game of Thrones) or if it’s the point of view of the hero and the heroine (which is almost every romance). However, Almost Lovers distinctly do that. Instead, the reader is given a view of the opposition to the Queen and what the Queen is hiding from her own people. It’s for the purpose for readers to understand the world Prescott has made without having to introduce Prussia to it early on.

Prussia is a girl with no real history. From what I gathered, she doesn’t have parents and I assume she’s lived in the system. Despite that, she seems to not let that sway her from thinking that her boyfriend loves her. The reader is introduced very early on that the guy isn’t worth her time and yet, Prussia keeps doing it. I wanted to smack her on numerous occasions. I understand letting your first love blind you, but dang she was blinded. And continues to be so for most of the book until something big happens and she has to rethink her choices.

The change in her character isn’t a big one, but I wasn’t expecting it to be. Karisha Prescott has written many books involving Prussia’s tale and the only way for that to work is if the character changes just enough for you to want more. Luckily, for me, Prussia has.

Sebastian is the one who changes the most, but I’m not entirely sure if he’s as loving as he’s leading the readers to believe. It seemed rather quick (not quick as in early in the book, but quick as in once he decided, it was done) for him to change his opinion of her. I don’t know if it has to do with that something big or the other something, but either one would make a little sense. I do expect more issues to fall on their relationship though.

Even the vampires have a small twist. Prescott did very well to just give the reader a bit of the vampire mythology without telling us everything. Though the vampire origin story is very strange, I do want to know more.

Book Seventy-Four of 2014: The Bargain by Deb Stover

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A man out of time. A woman out of options. Natchez detective Mike Faricy will do anything to undo his brother-in-law’s murder. A man named Slick offers him a deal he can’t refuse-go back to June 19th, the day before the killing. Mike strikes the Bargain and wakes up on June 19th gazing down the barrel of an antique gun held by Abigail Kingsley, who confirms it is June 19th, but the year is 1865. Now Mike must prevent the murder from over a century in the past, while being taunted by a shape-shifting Slick. The devil may own his soul, but it’s Abigail who stakes a powerful claim on his aching heart. Will her darkest secrets be his ultimate undoing…? “Dirty Harry” meets “Scarlett O’Hara” and there’s Hell to pay…

The Bargain by Deb Stover is a time travel romance. I’m a big time travel fan and that with romance makes it very fun. The time travel doesn’t happen with a time machine or a knock to the head. It happens with the deal made between a demon and a good hearted man.

The character Mike Faricy is an alpha male character, but I felt that for a detective, he wasn’t too bright. I pretty much figured out who he was after well before the middle of the book. He seemed to have a healthy dose of shell shock: one for demon dealing and the other for time traveling. But, when it came to issues beyond that, he seemed to be a few fries short of a happy meal. The only solid explanation of this is his obvious attraction to Abigail Kinsley, but it felt too quick of an attraction.

Abigail Kingsley had a bit more to her than her male counterpart. She was strong, but had a terrible secret that went along with her own vulnerability. However, she never really let this vulnerability take over her. She would do anything for her little boy and being a mom myself, I found this very believable. I do wish she had a bit more gumption, but given her upbringing it made sense.

And now, the best character in the whole book, our demon friend Slick. Slick is a pretty awesome dude for an evil guy. He tricks Mike into a deal, but not really because Mike pretty much decided he would do anything anyways. Slick made Satan an enemy. One must wonder what Slick did to piss the big bad guy off. With various disguises from an old man to a cow to a snake and whatnot, Slick is disturbing in that. I found him the most comical. Though he didn’t inspire fear, he did give me the feels for Mike’s predicament.

Though I did predict some of what happened, I wasn’t expecting the ending as it was. I thought the ending was a bit blah. I don’t know, I was kind of hoping for another time travel moment. I am glad that the two end up together (not really giving anything away with that).

Another thing that got a bit boring was all of the inner issues. There was a ton of inner dialogue with both the herione and hero and not enough action. The balance between the two wasn’t there. It made it difficult to read every word. I didn’t skip any of it, but I can see a person wanting to skim through stuff that they already inferred themselves or the characters said to another character. There needed to be more action, that’s all.

The Bargain wasn’t as good as Maid Marian and the Lawman, but it was a nice quick read and a great break between young adult and apocalyptic books. If you’re looking for a quick romance without too much thought, this is a good book to read.

Book Seventy-Three of 2014: The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris

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One horrifying day will change the life of sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker and every other kid in the world.
In a span of mere hours, the entire adult population is decimated, leaving their children behind to fend for themselves and deal with the horrific aftermath of the freak occurrence. As one of the newly made elders in his small town, Shane finds himself taking on the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors. One who just happens to be Kelly Douglas—an out-of-his-league classmate—who, on any other day, would have never given Shane a second glance.
Together, they begin their quest to find out why all of the adults were slaughtered. What they find is even more horrifying than anything they could have expected—the annihilation of the adults was only the beginning. Shane and his friends are not the unlucky survivors left to inherit this new, messed-up planet. No, they are its next victims. There is an unknown power out there, and it won’t stop until every person in the world is dead.
A spine-tingling adventure that will have you gasping for breath all the way until the last page, The Last Orphans is the first book in an all-new apocalyptic series.

It seems that I’ve been reading quite a few young adult apocalyptic books, but not many spurred dreams (or possibly nightmares) like The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris. The Last Orphans doesn’t cut around the disturbing. Within the first few chapters you are either struggling with the characters or devouring every disturbing moment. I flipped flopped between the two.

This book starts strong and keeps going until the end. Everything you can imagine, or maybe not, happens in this book. The way the adults are taking out of the picture is disturbing, but seemed plausible once you learn what caused it. It was pretty easy for me to figure out bits and pieces to the story, but Harris did surprise me as to why the terrible events happened. I was even more surprised near the end. I was literally at the edge of my seat, biting my fingernails, praying that what I was worried was going to happen didn’t happen. I can’t tell you what goes on, but it’s action packed.

What I love is that you can’t really be too close to the characters. Though this isn’t Game of Thrones, people do have terrible things happen to them. Like the blurb states, all the adults are slaughtered. And can I just say that Harris made an absolutely crazy way to do it. Think Alfred Hitchcock birds, but with every animal. You’re an adult with pets? Well, you better hope that the world doesn’t end up like Harris’ book.

There are younger people who die and younger people who become adults way too soon. This book deals with the what ifs. What if all the adults are gone? What if the animals all went crazy? What if the teen gangs are taking over? What if Juvie kids are free? What do you do? Do you sit around with your thumbs up your butt? Or do you fight?

Shane was an interesting character. At first I couldn’t understand why everyone was looking to him for guidance, but it made sense after some reflection. He had just gone through a funeral and seen the death of a loved one. Those things so close together helped numb him and give him a clearer mind than the other teens who might never experienced death or at least hadn’t seen someone die a horrible death. Shane had a good head on his shoulders, he listened and worked with the advice of others despite his personal beliefs. I don’t think I could have been like him. Shane wasn’t only just a leader, he had an innocence to him, but forced himself to push it aside. The sad thing is, he doesn’t allow himself the time to grieve when he allowed others that time. I fear in later books it will burn him out.

And yes, there will be more books. Harris gives a hint as to what caused it, but there’s obviously more to it. On top of that, a complete 180 happens. You won’t even know what hit you. I personally didn’t understand how in the world that was possible, but when I looked at the clothing the visitors had and then remembered the technology involved in the book, I instantly got excited. Sorry, can’t get into it too much without giving too much away.

If you love survival or apocalyptic stories, look into this book. Seriously, the young adult label is more geared at the characters’ ages than anything else. I can definitely see this book as a good read for both adult and teens.