The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)

The Immortal RulesBy Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Netgalley

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

Goodreads Summary

I’m sorry to say, I didn’t hate this but I also didn’t like it as much as I expected to. A good part of the reason was the way the plot was divided – I’m not a fan of books which aren’t sweeping epics being divided into Parts with a capital P and are nearly disconnected from each other. I don’t generally like stories where the characters just wander around on foot for chapter after chapter either, my love of The Wizard of Oz excepted. And, well – it was predictable. From the characters to the plot, I had a vague feeling that I’d read or watched a lot of this before.

Allie is an Unregistered living in the Fringe, shorthand for an unmarked human blood donor to the vampires living in the untamed free-for-all space between the vampire city and the place the rabids claim. Unregistereds are forced to forage and steal to eat, books are prohibited and the punishment for getting caught doing anything the vampires don’t like is hanging which is slightly preferable to getting ripped apart by the rabids.

When her usual places to look for scraps of food to steal or scavenge are empty, Allie ventures into the rabids’ territory, and finds enough to get the other three members of her loose little gang to come with her to grab as much as they can. On the way back, they’re attacked by rabids and Allie is mortally injured. A vampire offers her the chance at immortal life and despite her hatred of vampires, Allie takes it.

Part II fires up with Allie’s maker Kanin immediately telling her she needs to forget everything about her human life. When she balks, he tells her he’ll toss her out – that’s his favorite threat, as it turns out. He offers to train her in all things bloodsucker while he spends a lot of time reading papers which probably means he’s Up To No Good. Kanin has some issues with people and they come back to try and bite (heh) him in the rear as he hustles Allie along into Part III.

This is the longest section and most frustrating part of the story for me. Allie is cast out of the vampire city, can’t stay in the Fringe and obviously can’t sit around with the rabids, so she sets out to see what’s past their territory. So she walks. And walks. Eventually she comes across a small group led by a messiah-type named Jeddediah, in search of Eden. The quiet, steadfast Zeke and little Caleb are the only two who seem to want Allie with them – the rest are either reticent or openly hostile. Fortunately for Allie and her new tendency to go up in smoke in sunlight, they travel at night to avoid the rabids. The group expresses hatred for vampires, so obviously, she hides what she is and just as obviously it eventually comes out with the predictable results because I think I’ve either seen this before or I saw it coming from a mile away. And that in a nutshell was the crux of my problem with the book.

Allie was most definitely a kick-ass girl who could take care of herself. This is a blend of post-apocalyptic, dystopian paranormal something-or-other and in this world, it’s every man for himself, a philosophy Allie embraces. She’s nearly feral in the beginning, all snarly and pitiless. By the time she got to Part II, she was more confident with her new vampire strength and for the most part, I liked that she got less snarly and more snarky. Her internal monologue was pure emo though and it lasted forever. It was one of my least favorite things about Meghan from Kagawa’s Iron Fey series as well – the characters both have a tendency to whine forever in their heads about what they are/have become and how horrible it is, that they’re monsters who don’t deserve to be happy, etc., etc. Allie’s need for blood was inconsistent which made me sigh really loudly.

Her situation with Zeke gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, I know what I was supposed to feel for the possibility of the two of them together. Zeke is a nice guy, selfless, kind, loyal and devoted which also sounds like a cocker spaniel. But no, he likes Allie a lot and supports her when he can. I can see Allie being drawn to his caretaker persona, liking how safe he made her feel. When he finds out what she was hiding, he feels betrayed but learns to separate the propaganda from the person. On the other hand, that’s sort of all there is to him. He’s a cardboard cutout of Prince Charming until he finds out what she is and the clichés kick in.

The action eventually picks up quite a bit and the story sort of got a little twisty (but with a lot more traveling, sigh), but it was a little to late for me by then.  I liked the way it ended, not on a real cliffhanger but more what felt like an entry to a Part IV.

My Summary: This is much darker and more violent than Kagawa’s Iron Fey series but I’m sure it’s going to be successful, mostly because of Allie. She seemed like a great sort of superhero character and if she’s anything like the Iron Fey’s Meghan, she’ll only get better as the series goes on. I would hope that the storyline would too, that it would develop into something unique with unexpected twists and deeper emotional relationships since I know the author is definitely capable of it. For me, this wasn’t a strong opening book to a series and I don’t know if I’ll continue. Check out some other reviews though before deciding on this one.

My Rating: C

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The Springsweet (The Vespertine #2)

The VespertineBy Saundra Mitchell

Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Publication Date: April 17, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Publisher

Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiancé, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leaves
Baltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowed
aunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishing
ability to sense water under the parched earth.

When her aunt hires her out as a “springsweet” to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land. Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water.

Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living.

Goodreads Summary

It’s been a year since her beloved Thomas was shot and killed, but 17-year-old Zora hasn’t been able to pull herself out of her mourning depression. Her mother and friends have plans to push her back into society to find a husband but Zora has no interest in being unfaithful to Thomas’ memory – any marriage in her future will be intentionally loveless.

With the push west well underway, there’s a demand for mail order brides for homesteaders and miners and Zora sees it as a perfect solution, one that will keep her heart protected. She takes the decision out of her mother’s hands by deliberately damaging her reputation by kissing Theo de la Croix, a slick stranger who seems to have his eye on her. Zora’s mother gives her what she wants, in a way – she gets her ticket west, but not to be married. Instead, she’s sent to Oklahoma to live with her Aunt Birdie.

When she arrives in dry, dusty Oklahoma, Zora discovers she has a mystical connection to the water running underground. To her Aunt Birdie, who’s struggling just to keep herself, her daughter and Zora fed, she’s a potential moneymaking dowser. To Emerson Birch, a young man who rescued her from robbers, she’s a springsweet, someone with gifts that complement his own with growing things. Theo de la Croix has followed Zora from Baltimore to Oklahoma and he doesn’t care about her talent with water at all, he just plainly intends to court her. Go ahead, cue the creepy music, you know you want to.

While it sounds like there might be a little love triangle, Mitchell never seems to focus there. This is obviously Zora’s story, but it’s also sort of Zora and Birdie’s story. Of all the relationships Zora has, it’s her aunt that understands her best and honestly tries to do her best for her. Birdie is a wonderful, strong woman – just 22, she has a young child and a home of her own to try and sustain with almost no income. She’s tough but not bitter, realistic but not without hope and pragmatic enough to know she can use Zora’s talent at finding water to buy some security for her family.

Zora begins the book as a character that’s obviously lost and doing some wallowing in her grief. She didn’t just lose Thomas – there were events at the end of the last book that resulted in the deaths of three other people that were close to her. There were other people who were close to those who died as well and they’d all gathered themselves and decided to move on – only Zora was still outwardly mourning too. Her discovery of her talent as a springsweet were like a switch – thankfully – and she found her backbone and sense of purpose again. I loved her sisterly relationship with Birdie and her motherly relationship with her little cousin Louella. It was always through the dynamic between the three of them that I could figure out where Zora was in her healing process. Although they were few and far between, when she was with Emerson, I thought it was adorable how funny she was – it was a nice reminder that in the first book, she was sort of a silly chatterbox.

I think the guys got a little shortchanged again (same issue I had with the first book). I’ll go ahead and repeat myself for my own sake and say this was Zora’s story, not theirs, but at least Emerson’s was entwined with hers a bit and I’d have liked to have known more about him than what he told me in a single scene. There just flat out wasn’t enough of him. Despite his apparent obsession with her, Theo was less than impressive in his pursuit of Zora. I stalk my morning coffee more aggressively. He was in more scenes – which I’d rather have had Emerson in – but he was a kind of wishy-washy presence.

The plot for The Springsweet is straightforward and if you strip the settings and character specifics off, this book and The Vespertine are pretty similar stories. The beauty of Mitchell’s writing style made me forget most of that while I was reading and I’m sure the minute I pick it up again, I won’t care then either. I love the way she sets a scene and is able to use such a small amount of dialogue yet have her characters express so much. Her descriptions of the Oklahoma landscape are beautiful – if maybe too idyllic – and she captures the level of poverty well.

My Summary: I’d been anticipating this book for a while and it didn’t disappoint me, even if there were bits here and there that I’ve complained about. I’m a romanceaholic but I can live with the fact that it’s light because the relationships between Zora and Birdie and Zora and her friends were wonderful and they all actually enhanced the ending for me. I liked the story and characters a lot – I loved Mitchell’s beautiful writing which has put it on my reread shelf. I can’t wait until next year and the last book in the trilogy, Aetherborne.

My Rating: B+

Scorched Skies (Fire Spirits #2)

Samantha Young

Purchase: Amazon or B&N
Publication Date: Mar 16, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Purchased

FEAR THE HEAT…

The White King has crossed the line, sounded the horn, sent out the wolves.

When blood is shed and life is lost the reality of Ari’s position as both hunter and prey finally sets in. It seems her father will stop at nothing to force her will to his own and distracted by Charlie’s latest mistake and her seemingly misguided attraction to Jai, Ari never thought to fear anyone else but the Jinn King.

Blindsided and attacked, Ari learns a new wolf has joined the hunt. A dark sorcerer believes he knows a way to bleed the power of the Seal and wield it as his own, and he is even less patient than The White King.

The War for the Seal has only just begun… and it’s time for Ari to turn it on its head.

It’s time for Ari to stop acting like the hunted.

It’s time for Ari to become the hunter.

Goodreads Summary

Five Reasons Why You Should Read Scorched Skies:

1. Jai – You sexy, sexy man

Because life is all about hot guys, right? Right. Jai is definitely at the top of my favorites list of hunky heroes. He’s Jinn, powerful and all about protecting Ari. You can’t help but fall in love with his wounded side, which stems from a tragic childhood spent with his messed up family. In Smokeless Fire, Jai was a bit of a mystery and while I fell in lust with him there, it wasn’t until Scorched Skies that I truly understood how amazing Jai really is. When Ari’s enemies get a little bit too close for comfort and she needs to flee, Jai takes her to his family’s home in California to hide out for a while and regroup. We are able to get a glimpse into Jai’s past and his horrible family, and it’s awful and I cried and I wanted to take kid-Jai away and protect him from everyone who treated him so terribly. Only a truly strong person can overcome what he did and come out okay on the other side. Oh Jai, you sexy, sexy man.

2. The ballsy heroine

Ari spent a lot of time in Smokeless Fire waiting around for things to happen to her. Mostly because she’d been hit with a bomb shell and her whole life is turned upside down. Ari now has to learn how to use these powers she never knew she had, all while fighting those pesky bad guys who won’t leave her alone. Ari flipped the switch in this book, and instead of waiting for things to happen, she went out and MADE them happen. She didn’t let Jai and Charlie coddle her, and she worked her butt off to learn everything she could so that she could defend herself against whatever came her way. I loved her development in this book, and how she took everything that happened to her (the beginning broke my heart! SOB), and owned it. Ari used her loneliness and heartache to become a girl I’m proud of. A girl I can cheer for. A girl I would desperately want as my best friend if she were real.

3. Love triangle shenanigans

What a tough choice for Ari. There’s sexy Jai who sets her blood on fire by his mere presence, but wants nothing more than a client/guardian relationship. Or Charlie, the guy she’s loved for years, but who turned to drugs and sex instead of her when his brother died. Charlie, who went behind her back and chose to become a sorcerer even though he knew Ari would hate it. Each guy wants something else, whether it’s to maintain his professional reputation or to have revenge on the Jinn who killed his little brother. Ari wants someone to want her first, before anything or anyone else. All of this relationship turmoil helped Ari to focus on learning how to use her powers so that she could take care of herself.  She does make a choice, but my lips are sealed on who it is and how everything works out. Y’all have to do some work yourself. 😀

4. Gott love the Jinn, baby

One of the things I love most about this series is that it’s completely different from anything else out there. While I love books based on vampire or werewolf lore, sometimes I need a break. I love being able to escape into the world of the Jinn and all their genie glory. Seriously, every time Ari’s creepy father pops into the story I envision Mr. Clean. Or Yul Brynner in The King and I. The old version, not the one with Jodi Foster (which is called Anna and the King). Did I just age myself?

Anyway.

The magic and fantasy in this series is unique, and Samantha Young has an amazing ability of sucking me into the world of her characters. I can’t wait to read Borrowed Ember, which comes out May/June-ish. Speaking of which, have you seen the gorgeous cover for Borrowed Ember? The model she picked for Jai is freakin’ hot! If his gorgeous body face isn’t enough to make you read the series, I don’t know what is.

5. Because I said so

Ha. Just kiddin’ on that last one.

Maybe.

Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans #1)

Royal StreetBy Suzanne Johnson

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Netgalley

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ’s boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

Goodreads Summary

I don’t think there could be a better setting for a book that includes supernatural creatures and spirits coming back from Beyond than New Orleans – can you imagine all of the historical characters available to pick from? What sold me was when I saw the author was using Hurricane Katrina as an integral part of the plot and that it was a source of healing her own experience with Katrina. I haven’t read anything set during that period and couldn’t imagine why not considering all of the storyline possibilities.

Drusilla Jane “DJ” Jaco has been chafing under the restraints her mentor Gerry St. Simon has placed on her duties as junior sentinel. She’s tired of tracking the odd fae here, undoing a spell gone wrong there, so when he’s busy elsewhere and gives her an assignment to meet with pirate Jean Lafitte so she can push him back through a portal into the Beyond where he belongs, she jumps at it. She just happens to be a pretty blonde, he’s the kind of guy that likes women a lot and anticipated more than a business meeting (waggles eyebrows). He’s really not happy when he gets sent packing and vows revenge.

When DJ checks in with Gerry, there’s news that Katrina is headed towards the Gulf. He stays alone to keep an eye on things, never expecting a direct hit on New Orleans. By the time DJ reaches him again, the levees have begun to give way – then suddenly all contact with him is gone. Her next directive comes straight from the wizard Elders: get back to New Orleans immediately and take over for Gerry because he’s completely disappeared.

Back in a devastated New Orleans, DJ doesn’t even have time to unpack before she’s met in short order by a very angry, armed Jean Lafitte and a new “partner” she didn’t ask for, the very macho, even better-armed FBI agent Alex Warin, who saves her bacon then annoys the hell out of her just by standing around smirking in his tight black t-shirt. Alex isn’t there just to drive DJ up a wall – he’s investigating what look like some ritual murders in New Orleans and he was sent by the Elders to assist DJ as needed in her new job as sentinel. His aid could, maybe, sort of, possibly include helping her search for Gerry, who the Elders think might be up to no good since he’s butted heads with them over their rules for years.

This was such an exciting story, I flew through it. It was packed with so many elements that I love reading, from witches and wizards with potions, shifters, undead showing up but in real form again, voodoo murders, the Big Easy and a big strapping Alpha male in black with a lot of weaponry. DJ got overshadowed sometimes by the story – it sort of told her where to go and what to do and she spent a lot of time exhausted – but I’m hoping because of some events near the end, in the next book she’ll be a little more kick-ass.

There were little flashes of a potential love triangle with a relative of Alex’ – maybe even one that could continue in the next book, but my money’s on Alex. He’s like an immovable brick wall – in a black t-shirt – but once he loosened up he was funny, loyal and yowza, sexy.

Most of DJ and Alex’s investigation takes them through the ruins of New Orleans, first by muddied roads and boats, then later over dried mud, dodging abandoned appliances and debris. They’re in homes contaminated by mold wearing breathing masks and in a makeshift morgue, looking for a body. There’s a sense of sadness but not hopelessness although sometimes DJ gets pretty ticked off when one of her antique doors gets a hole blown in it by a stray bullet.

While I loved all of the sections of the story that explored the city, they slowed the story down a bit. There was a lot of running around with not much happening in the middle of the book except a beautiful documentation of New Orleans, some pieces of what had withstood the storm and things that were lost. I think they made the story powerful to me emotionally but I don’t know that they contributed to the plot particularly.

My Summary: If you’ve read this far, you deserve a medal. I tried to condense my thoughts as much as I could and well, this was as close as I got. I haven’t really read any urban fantasy in a while because there hasn’t been anything new that’s interested me in taking the plunge for a long ride. I really, really like the setup for this one – both the location and the characters have a ton of potential just for plot ideas and I haven’t even gotten to how terrific the author’s writing is. This is one of those first books that may not be perfect because it has to set up the world and establish relationships but the promise of it has me absolutely hooked.

My Rating: B+

Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls #3)

Taken at DuskBy C.C. Hunter

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Netgalley/Publisher

Kylie Galen wants the truth so badly she can taste it. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she’s meant to be with—and the truth about what her emerging powers mean. But she’s about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.

Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together. Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it’s not just romance troubling Kylie. An amnesia-stricken ghost is haunting her, delivering the frightful warning, someone lives and someone dies. As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different—and more astonishing—than she ever imagined.

Goodreads Summary

Life at Shadow Falls is continuing mostly the way it has since the end of the first book. Kylie’s relationships with the other students continue to grow, her feelings for Lucas and Derek are confusing and she still has no idea what her paranormal gifts make her. She had some shocking powers manifest in the last book, and in search of answers she meets with the couple who adopted her late father. During the visit, Kylie sees a ghost who cryptically tells her that one will live, one will die.

The meeting ends up being more of a setback than a help and the ghost continues to visit Kylie with the same warning. She’s unable to remember who she is and doesn’t know how she needs to be helped over. I thought Kylie’s dad Daniel was a terribly sad ghost to be haunting her but this poor woman is worse. Some of the things she’s gone through that Kylie has to live through in her visions are horrible. In my review of the last book, I had complained a little because I thought the ghost/warning aspect of the story was the weakest and thought there needed to be some branching out beyond ghosts directly related to Kylie. She did interact with more ghosts this time, some within the main storyline, some not, and it was a nice addition along with Kylie using more of her other paranormal gifts.

Derek left at the end of Awake at Dawn and Lucas used his absence to get closer to Kylie. I don’t think I ever actually chose sides on this potential love triangle but Derek didn’t do much for me in the last book. He doesn’t exactly redeem himself for a good part of this one as he and Kylie struggle to remain just friends. I’m not really sure what to think of Lucas either. He has all the sexy, swoon-y moves down and I love the little reminders that he has this history with Kylie from when they were little kids. Then Derek went and did some nice things and got sort of romantic again and in spite of some of what happened, I liked him again. I give up and am just going to go wherever Hunter leads because I don’t think there’s a good or bad between the two of them.

The thing I love the most about the series is the whole dynamic between all of the members of Shadow Falls. Kylie and her roommates Della and Miranda are so funny and sweet and it’s been just as crazy to watch Miranda and Perry’s romance go up and down as it’s been to watch Kylie, Lucas and Derek go around. Camp leader and counselor Holiday is everyone’s dream big sister and I wish she and Burnett would just get over it and do the deed for cripe’s sake – it’s like watching Moonlighting with those two (that’s a reference probably only the old people will get).  They’re so adorably angsty, if there is such a thing.  Even the nasty members of the camp are growing on me.

Finally – yes – there’s resolution about what Kylie is. I really was shocked by how it all got tied together, but it was right. It almost felt like a big exhale – there are answers, it’s time to turn the page and start resolving some other things Kylie has going on.

My Summary: I’ve been dropping some of my series’ lately because they’ve either stalled or I just can’t work up enough excitement to remember when the next book is coming out. My anticipation for the next Shadow Falls books has been growing each time I finish one. I bought Born at Midnight. I found Awake at Dawn on Netgalley. I stalked the publisher for Taken at Dusk and I might camp out on St. Martin’s doorstep for Whispers at Moonrise.

My Rating: A

Oldsoul

Dan Haring

Publisher: Pendrell Publishing
Publication Date: Apr 24, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Publisher

Jason Gouvas doesn’t want to believe he has special abilities or that he’s an Oldsoul– a vessel for the souls of people who have passed away, but the dead girl in his mind can be very persuasive.

Her name is Erin, and through her Jason is able to access the knowledge and skills of the souls within him. And with a group of power-hungry immortals bent on destroying the Oldsouls and overthrowing humanity, he’s going to need them all.

Goodreads Summary

I have a confession to make… I have no idea goes on in a man’s mind. Shocking, I know. It’s for this very reason that I’m hesitant to read a book written from a guy’s POV in first person. I’m always afraid I won’t be able to connect with the character, or that I won’t understand his thought processes behind his decisions because he’s a dude and I’m not. But, I spend all day with an 18mo and I crave a little adventure in my life, so when we were approached about participating in the blog tour I said “heck, why not? I’ll give it a try!” And so I did.

Jason is in the middle of getting his lunch handed to him when he hears the strangest thing: a woman’s voice calling out, sounding suspiciously like it’s coming from inside his own head. Days later, Jason wakes up completely healed in a monastery in the middle of nowhere. If it wasn’t for the lovely face he wakes up to, he would have bolted the instant he woke up. Instead, he waits until the monks tell him a crazy story about how he’s a vessel for old souls reaching back thousands of years, and then bolts. It’s then that the woman who saved him before speaks up, and tells him everything the monks told him was true. The voice in his mind introduces herself as Erin, and tells him that his physical body does indeed house thousands of souls. Jason isn’t your typical oldsoul either, he’s the Ancient of Days, the one prophesied to bring an end to the war between the oldsouls and their bitter enemy, the Athanatos.

Jason immediately begins training to fight, and is soon sent out on his first mission. He is tasked with killing a powerful Athanatos, but the plan goes awry when Jason and his crew are ambushed. They do kill the intended target, but Mela (the lovely face from above) is kidnapped, and Jason ends up in the clutches of someone from his past. It seems the monks weren’t entirely up front with the status of the war, and the lines blur as enemies become friends, and friends become enemies.

I had a few issues with the book, but thankfully none of them were gender related. I enjoyed Jason’s character for the most part. He was a likeable guy, but he didn’t invoke strong feelings of passion or anything. He had a sarcastic sense of humor that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t, and he was a lot like that awkward guy in class that is really nice, but will never go beyond the “strictly a lab partner” line. The world and premise of the story was unique and interesting, and I enjoyed the action scenes and the twists.

However.

I struggled with the writing style. It was choppy, and what could have been said in one or two sentences was said in five. Can sentences be too short? If so, then that was definitely the problem here. Ex: They walked to the car. They got in the car. They drove to the warehouse. They each received duffel bags full of weapons… and so on and so forth. When I’m reading a book, I don’t want to be bothered with the writing style, grammatical errors or other editing issues. I want to be taken away from my mundane life into that of the fantastical and make-believe. Unfortunately, Oldsoul didn’t achieve that for me.

And the romance. Dear heavens. I use that term loosely, by the way, since I wouldn’t use that word to describe the relationship between Jason and Mela. First of all, she hardly gets any page time, which means she hardly ever gets face-to-face time with Jason. By the end of the story all I know about her (and what I know is based on what Jason knows) is that her favorite color is dark gray, and she’s good with a bow and arrow. That’s it.  As an avid romance reader, it’s difficult to believe in the love story when I don’t know the characters or feel the chemistry. I would have much preferred the story if they had been friends instead of a couple, or if the romance part had been taken out all together. Although, since Jason’s motto was “save the world, get the girl” I’m not quite sure how not having a girl would have worked out.

My Summary: I wanted Oldsoul to be a success, I really did. The author has created such a unique and interesting world, and it has such potential. I just couldn’t ignore the fluidity issues in style, and the romance needed to have a bit more back bone. I probably could have moved past the lack of romance, if not for the fact that most of Jason’s decisions were based on Mela’s status and safety. It just wasn’t believable. While Oldsoul didn’t work for me, I would definitely recommend giving it a shot and forming your own opinion. Who knows, maybe this author’s particular writing style is what you’ve been looking for.

My Rating: C