Title: Guardian of Fate
Author: L.J Kentowski
Series: Guardian of Fate # 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Bewitching Book Tours
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ B&N/ Smashwords
I receive this novel free of charge from BBT in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
Fear of death is all too common. Visions of it chill the bones and skip heartbeats. Seeing it coming and knowing only you can rescue the soul of the victim from the fiery bowels of hell…that’s downright life-altering.
Cassandra Cosgrove’s life was altered at the age of sixteen when she found out that it was her responsibility to save the lives, and ultimately the souls, of innocent victims targeted by Hell’s demons. As impossible as it seemed at first, she was able to live a fairly normal life, while secretly fulfilling her obligation as a Guardian of Fate.
But years later Fate has its own plan when her visions begin drastically changing at the same time two mysterious men appear in her life. Cassandra suddenly finds herself caught in a battle between good and evil, with her own soul on the line. When it seems everyone in her life has a secret they’ve been hiding from her, who can she trust to be the Guardian of her Fate?
A Heaven and Hell battling each other novel that doesn’t use the word “fallen angels” to describe Hell’s demons. This novel is a good novel, it has a good story that just needed a half-decent male lead with a stronger female lead.
Let’s talk about Cassie. She is a Guardian who saves people from dying prematurely and I imagine she does a pretty good job except not when the novel takes place. She has about four visions yet she only manages to act one vision but her life is changing dramatically so I will cut her a break. She masquerades herself as being strong and half of the time, she is. The other half, she is failing but trying to hold her ground against an aggressive male lead. She is not a bad female lead; she just needs a little more of a backbone which she begins to obtain towards the end of the story. Looking forward to that.
Hunter is the main love interest for Cassie and I can’t stress enough how much I dislike him. He has no respect for personal boundaries; he is constantly invading Cassie’s mouth without her permission. He is this dominant sexual person who needs to have Cassie bend his way. Hunter corners Cassie and forces himself on her because he believes that she secretly wants him (and half off the time she does). The thing is that Cassie is saying “No” and he takes it as “Yes” which for me is problematic because it is feeding the myth that “No means yes” when it comes to sex. Kentowski makes Cassie appear to be a sexually repressed person that needs to be force to admit that she wants sex because she won’t willingly admit she wants sex. That’s why Hunter plays the role that he does and why he invades Cassie’s personal bubble. For me, this couple is not one I root for because I dislike how Hunter treats Cassie but if you like dominant males then this relationship shouldn’t be a problem. It probably makes the book more exciting, I don’t know.
Besides Hunter, the book was well-written and it had a good story. It is a war between heaven and hell with hell playing a more dominant role in moving the story forward. Heaven only intervenes when it suits them which means at the end of the book lol. This novel dropped the world-building on the reader right at the start. It start off explaining the world we are entering and settles down for the entry of Cassie. Don’t be alarmed by how fast everything is explained, everything is not given away. There are still a few surprises left.
The world of Cassie is interesting. She is Guardian who protects people, Seekers are demons who want to kill Guardians, two powerful angels that have a love-betrayal story, and a secret council of Elder Guardians. The war between Heaven and Hell is different in this book than it is in other books. It is not about angels, fallen angels that are actually good or bad, or even nephlism. It is much more about new types of individuals fighting a war. Seekers were created in response to address a decrease in the souls in Hell. It is a new form of warfare that is still marred with angel blood and issues. The novel doesn’t have a philosophy or theology aspect to it so religion doesn’t appear in the book.
In the end, it is a good book. The world building is stronger than the characters. Cassie and Hunter have no sense of defining what personal boundaries are. I’m somewhat looking forward to the second book because this novel implies that Cassie will be taking a trip to Hell and I love knowing how authors describe Hell. It just happens that the Hunter might be a deterrent. Who knows? I’ll wait and see.
59th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-Published, First in a Series
Blurb from Amazon:
Angels may not reveal themselves to mortals…
…but when the mortal Rachael’s watching over is hurting, how can she stay hidden in the shadows?
Guardian angel Rachael becomes trapped with the mortal she’s been assigned to watch over. Unable to watch him suffer, she decides the only way to free him of his inner demons is to break the rules about becoming involved, revealing her true identity, and applying divine intervention. But what choice does she have? Without her help, his soul will be trapped forever. Then a stranger appears, giving Rachael reason to wonder if his is the only soul in need of saving…
Title: Wandering Stars
Author: Marlon Pierre-Antoine
Series: Wandering Stars # 1
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy, Angel
Pub. Year Sep. 11, 2o11
Purchase: Only in Amazon
I received this book from The Experience Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
Alice Valdez is a normal seventeen year old girl living a mundane post high school life that consists of work, sleep, hanging out, and more work – but it all changes when a chance encounter on the beach one night leads to a series of haunting dreams that bring her face to face with the most ancient evil the Universe has ever known. What do you do when the man you care for is none other than the Devil himself? Wandering Stars follows one girl’s journey into the arms of darkness and into Hell itself – all in the name of love.
Thoughts to ponder on: Lucifer is interesting but he needs help choosing a soul mate.
Anything that has to do with the fall of Lucifer or Lucifer himself, I find intriguing. I suppose it has to do with seeing The Prophecy and having a crush on Viggo Mortensen and Eric Stolz. I really couldn’t pass this book up since it is a story about someone falling in love with Lucifer. I strongly wanted to read a story where Lucifer was a compelling character.
Let’s talk characters. I hated Alice who happens to be the protagonist. She is a very weak female in her world but is very brave to cross Hell to reach Lucas (Lucifer). Lucas is Lucifer and very beautiful; a sympathetic character truly. Evelyn is the Goth girl who happens to be Alice’s best friend. Leo is a linguist nerd who could have been developed more but I’m pretty certain that he is going to have a major role in the second book. Leo is definitely a character that I want to learn more about and see in action. Astaroth is a demon and I thought she was pretty awesome. There is nothing wrong with a demon with an attitude, after all, she is a demon. Overall, I really like most of the characters.
(This paragraph is the only negative thing, the rest of the book was positive)
As I said, I absolutely hated Alice as the main character. This is going to sound cruel but she reminded of Bella of Twilight. I happen to be a strong anti-Twilight individual so for me to use a Twilight reference, it’s low. Sure, I didn’t like her because I couldn’t picture her but one particular scene cemented by view of her. In the car scene, Pierre-Antoine has Alice compares herself to the car. She was ordinary and plain just like the beat up car she owns before meeting Lucas. After meeting Lucas, she views herself as special. Alice has done what I absolutely hate in any protagonist; she has define herself by her significant other. Alice firmly believes that she has no value unless she in a relationship with a man, not just any man but it has to be Lucas. No one else. To make matters worse, Alice’s self-reflection reveals that she has always wanted something more than her ordinary life but she never went after it. Now, she doesn’t have to since being with Lucas provides that special feeling she so desire before. Urgh, Alice kill me now. (End of negativity)
If we forget Alice is a part of the book (and I will in order to rate the book), it’s actually a pretty good book worthy of four stars. Pierre-Antoine’s description are right on the mark. We can visualize the world he has created. I love his description of Hell (Being Persephone, I have a fondness for it). He goes through the nine levels of Hell quite dramatically and added Greek elements to Hell. Charon, Cerberus (lovely puppy) and two of the four rivers of Hades, Acheron and Styx, are mentioned there. Another great scene was second ocean incident with Lucas and Alice. It was well-detailed and well-captured in terms of the emotions that Alice felt; fear and love.
The Hell aspect of Wandering Stars is amazing and one of the best parts of this book. Not only do we see the complexity of Hell with each level being assigned a particular sin (Thank you Dante) but there is a forest of forgetfulness where Alice is actually challenged. Alice going through Hell is what made her a strong character. It is hard to cross Hell. I still felt she was doing the journey for the wrong reasons but I’m not going to diminished this amazing feat she accomplished by successfully reaching Lucas at the heart of Hell.
The point of view where Lucas narrated the story are the chapters I enjoyed reading the most. There was a coldness in Lucas that was not apparent through Alice’s eyes. His tale has always been tragic but adding the three failed love stories just make Lucas a more sympathetic character. Not because the romance fizzled but because Lucas willingly let one go of one his conquests. That particular romance was bittersweet. If Lucas is being honest, it adds more dimension to his character because he isn’t just about taking God down by conquering the world, there is some compassion in him that didn’t allow him to use her. Lucas is a complex Lucifer.
It earns 4 butterflies because it is a good story. Pierre-Antoine hardly ever hits a snag when it comes to the imagery he is creating. The journey through Hell is quite magnificent. Lucas as Lucifer has more dimensions and complexity than his love interest, Alice. If Alice had just attempted to try to move on with her life, I would have given this book a 5. I’m not saying she had to succeed in moving on, she just had to try. Keyword: try.
This doesn’t subtract from the rating but there are some issues with the Kindle format. Some paragraphs are broken off right in the middle of a sentence so it was awkward but it only happen three times.
4th book in the 150+ Challenge
Also qualifies for: 1st in a series, E-book, Cupcake War, Where are you reading?-Daytona Beach, Florida
Once again, I received this book free of charge from The Experience Tours in exchange for an honest review.