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Review: Dust by Devon Ashley

Title: Dust
Author: Devon Ashley
Series: Of Dust and Darkness # 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source:  Author
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Coming Soon
I’ve received a copy of this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

Blurb from Goodreads

4. The number of times my delicate wings have been broken and clamped behind my back.
68. The number inked upon my skin, marking me the sixty-eighth pixie to be stolen.
87. The number of days I’ve been wrongfully imprisoned.
88. The first day the faeries will regret stealing me.

Healthy. Cheery. Vivacious. All traits Rosalie has before becoming enslaved by the faeries to make an endless supply of pixie dust. Now that Rosalie has been traumatized by slave labor, extreme desolate conditions and multiple deaths, this hardened pixie is anything but. When this rebellious teenager attempts an escape, she’s isolated in cramped quarters until she learns her place. Just as she begins to let go of all that hope, she finds an unlikely friend in Jack, the faerie assigned to guard her. Interspecies dating is forbidden in the fae world, so their growing attraction is unacceptable. And even if Jack can find a way to free her, they know the prison is the only place they can truly be together

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A good blurb is captivating but sometimes can give a wrong impression. The blurb of Dust pulls the reader in two different directions. The escalating numbers make it seem like the book is ready for a dark showdown of revenge. It makes the book seem dark and gritty and I was sort of expecting the book to maintain that dark tone…but it doesn’t. It doesn’t because the second half of the book is a love story just like the blurb mentions. The blurb is very true to the book. It’s dark and a love story. I was still expecting more dark themes because of the numbers though. It’s the word “Regret” that is drilled into me.

Character-wise, Rosalie was a fantastic main character. She is independent, a nature-loving girl, strong-willed and defiant. She doesn’t accept the circumstance of her kidnapping and attempts to be brave in the face of that.  Rosalie does have moments of weakness but that just make her character more realistic and stronger because she is dealing with harsh situations. Juniper, the eldest of the slaves, roots Rosalie in maintaining her strength and her desire to live.  Jack, her captive guardian, is a strong male lead. He comes off a bit snobbish but he has a decent heart and no stomach for torture. The relationship that builds between them builds over time and seems genuine. He treats her with respect after witnessing the breaking wings incident and shows he is a decent guy. Not just by taking care of her but looking for a legal way out for her. None of the villains are complex but the reason why could be that all the bad guys appear to be henchmen. No one has really claimed responsibility for the slave camp. Looking forward to seeing who is the antagonist of the series.

Being the first book in the series, there are questions that need to be answer such as what is the real reason faeries are kidnapping pixies and making them slaves? Jack says there is a belief about the superiority of fairies over pixies and that could be a factor as to why this is happening. The book focuses more on character development more than the background of the story so that could be a reason why the kidnapping are not explained or why the segregation of pixies and faeries is not either. It looks like there is some politics involve in the kidnappings but we will see just how deep they go. Hopefully the previous questions are answered in the second book and this one as well: Why did Rosalie’s Hollow (village) raised children as a communal effort instead of family effort? The other Hollows don’t raised their children like that.

I keep coming back to “88. The first day the faeries will regret kidnapping me.” I thought this phrase would define the book because it is just filled with anger and determination. It means there is punishment heading towards the faeries and there isn’t. Not in this novel at least. The illusion of a counter-attack is invested in that phrase and the dark themes as well. I’m almost wishing that phrase would disappear from the blurb because it makes the blurb (and the book) appears less menacing. Dust is more about the injustice done to Rosalie which is the 87 days phrase. 87 days and the love story make the book more tragic but hopeful. 88 days is revenge time. Amazing how one phrase can elicit a different tone for the entire book. Try it.

Having heard the playlist first, I found running themes that match the scenes in the book and the lyrics. “Missing” by Evanescence fits it so well, especially the part about Rosalie wondering if anyone is looking her (and in some way knowing that the answer is no). “Part of Me” by Katy Perry is another perfect fit for Rosalie because she is so resilient and so determine to survive. “We Found Love” by Rihanna and “Falls to Pieces” by Avril Lavigne are great songs that describe the blossoming romance between Rosalie and Jack.

Overall, it was a pretty mellow read. It reads like a diary because of the how the chapters are labeled. There is an emphasis on character development instead of world-building but it is a trilogy. There can’t be much world-building when the main character is stuck in prison though.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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67th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, First in a Series, Self-Published

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Dust by Devon Ashley: Playlist + Giveaway

Blurb from Goodreads:

4. The number of times my delicate wings have been broken and clamped behind my back.
68. The number inked upon my skin, marking me the sixty-eighth pixie to be stolen.
87. The number of days I’ve been wrongfully imprisoned.
88. The first day the faeries will regret stealing me.

Healthy. Cheery. Vivacious. All traits Rosalie has before becoming enslaved by the faeries to make an endless supply of pixie dust. Now that Rosalie has been traumatized by slave labor, extreme desolate conditions and multiple deaths, this hardened pixie is anything but. When this rebellious teenager attempts an escape, she’s isolated in cramped quarters until she learns her place. Just as she begins to let go of all that hope, she finds an unlikely friend in Jack, the faerie assigned to guard her. Interspecies dating is forbidden in the fae world, so their growing attraction is unacceptable. And even if Jack can find a way to free her, they know the prison is the only place they can truly be together

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Below is the list of songs that can be listened to while reading the book. Or after you are done reading, think ” This song really goes with the book.”

  1. Unbroken by Demi Lovato
  2. We Found Love by Rihanna
  3. Fixed at Zero by VersaEmerge 
  4. Fall To Pieces by Avril Lavigne
  5. Part of Me by Katy Perry
  6. Fuckin’ Perfect by Pink
  7. I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
  8. Misguided Ghosts by Paramore
  9. Numb by Linkin Park 
  10. Missing by Evanescene 
  11. Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine 

And there you have the songs can best explained the mood and emotions of Dust. My favorite songs are the ones that I posted videos to.

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GIVEAWAY: Follow this link to the Rafflecopter and filled it out. You can win signed bookmarks, e-copies of Dust, and a Grand Prize (that includes body glitter). Fun times with glitter, lol.

Good Luck.

Also, Come Back on the 17th to read my review of DustWith a soundtrack like this one, I’m looking forward to reading it.

 

Review: Kiss Me, I’m Irish by Bella Street

Title: Kiss Me, I’m Irish
Author: Bella Street
Series: Time For Love # 1
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Format: E-book
Source: Giveaway
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amz/ Smashwords/ B&N
I won a copy of this novel in a giveaway hosted by the author

n 1813, Emily Musgrave is heading to a convent for misbehavior. But it was due to loneliness, not rebellion. In modern-day Tennessee, Liam Jackson is playing his Dobro in seedy bars and it’s doing nothing for his music career–and even less for the dark places in his soul.
Pixie mischief can not only change timelines, it can change hearts. Because every girl needs a little magic in her life

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Random: I have no idea that choking on gum was possible.

This was my first time-travel romance novel. It was really sweet. A departure from the dark fantasy readings I usually do.

It was a lighthearted novel with some characters that drove me up a wall. Liam, especially, but he is a brooding musician (they tend to that). The novel throws in fantasy elements like pixies and time traveling but they feel secondary to the romance of the novel. The fantasy elements do change the lives of the character so they definitely contribute to the storyline and they fit really well with the contemporary feel of the novel.

Liam is seriously bipolar; his mood changes very often. Maybe bipolar is a strong word but  he is incapable of showing the right emotion in the right situation. He gets jealous when men flirt with Emily but turns around and accepts a number from a woman who is dressed “skankier” than Emily. He gets angry when Emily dresses up for her manager’s position but secretly thinks she is attractive. He loves her but wants her gone because she can do so much better than him. I have a slight problem with Liam’s treatment of Emily. He doesn’t like the “going out” outfits that Tinker dresses Emily. They are too suggestive. He prefers her in what I consider conservative or innocent clothing meaning not showing cleavage. It looks like he is trying to keep Emily’s outer beauty a secret from the world. Emily needs his critique of her clothing because she likes him so his opinions matter but he does make her feel self-conscious about the clothes she is wearing. That is never good but the good thing is that Emily does have a backbone and wears the clothing she wants to. She is not completely complacent. Of course not, any girl that runs away has to be strong.

Besides the trying to control the clothes, the relationship between Liam and Emily is well-developed. It goes at a realistic pace and there is enough drama and emotional connective scenes that would draw them together. (Plus, Emily does have a weakness for Irish men). This novel is really good at creating relationships at a realistic level. Tinker and Emily connect really well. It is through Tinker that Emily begins to adapt to the 21st Century and begins to feel more self-assured about herself. Tinker and Emily are really great friends who both gain something from their friendship.

I’m giving this novel 4.5 black butterflies due to Liam trying to control’s Emily’s clothes. It was a great novel on building relationships.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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36th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: First in a Series, Self-published,Science Fiction, E-book, Where are you reading?-Tennessee

Guest Post + Giveaway with Bella Street of Kiss Me, I’m Irish

Let’s give a warm welcome Bella Street of Kiss Me, I’m Irish.

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Love and Mischief With Cornish Pixies

by Bella Street

The ideas of sweet, child-like faeries are largely a product of the Victorian age. In ancient lore, faeries  were a mischievous, and sometimes downright murderous, lot.

And Cornish pixies (or piskeys) could be be the most magical and evil of all.

According to Pixie Folklore and Legends by Enys Tregarthen, God once called on Adam and Eve after they’d been driven from Eden. Eve was washing the children (she had a lot by then) but still had some unwashed. She presented the clean children to God, and when He asked if she had other children, Eve said no because she was embarrassed that some were still dirty. God was upset at her deception and so decreed that the children Eve hid must remain hidden. The children went away into the forests, hills, and remote places where they remain invisible from man, ‘not good enough for heaven and not bad enough for hell’.

So maybe they have a reason to be annoyed. But a quick note to the kids—don’t fight bath time!

When they’re in a good mood, pixies might clean your house when you’re not looking (please come to my house—see I left out milk for you!), and have parties complete with tiny horses and chariots when you’re asleep. If you happen to wander into a ring of stones or toadstools, you’ll be pixie-led, destined to wander aimlessly, speaking jibberish (or maybe that was too much whiskey—which oddly enough rhymes with piskey—but I digress).

Truly evil pixies are called spriggans and have been known to steal babies from their cribs, leaving behind one of their own kind called a ‘changeling’. A formerly sweet, perfect child grows into a sullen troublemaker. Who’s with me in saying they’ve met one? I know, right?

Kiss Me, I’m Irish explores a bit of this world against the perhaps not-so-magical backdrop of a jaded musician trying to break into the music business coupled with a young lady with a weakness for Irish gentlemen and romance novels.

Bella has been kind enough to offer a paperback or E-book copy of Kiss Me, I’m Irish so let’s have a giveaway but first the blurb.

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Emily Musgrave is heading a direction she never wanted to go in Regency England–namely a convent to turn her from her waywardness. But it’s more loneliness than rebellion that motivates her to escape her certain fate. 

Liam Jackson is going nowhere fast in modern-day Tennessee. Playing his Dobro in seedy bars and backward dives along with his fiddling sister, Tinker, is doing nothing for his music career–and even less for the dark places in his soul. 

Pixie dust and thieving mischief can not only change time-lines, it can change hearts–because a girl can only get so far without a little magic in her life

Giveaway Time (International): Winner can choose between a paperback copy or an e-book.

Contents end on April 17.

Giveaway is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who participated.

That’s it. It’s a simple entry. Following is not required but it is appreciate it.

Bella Street can be found at webstite, blog
Kiss Me, I’m Irish can be purchase at Amazon, B & N, Smashwords

Review: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Title: Dead Witch Walking
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows # 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Personal Purchase
Format: Mass Paperback
Pub. Year: 2008
Purchase: Amazon/B &N/ TBD

Blurb from Amazon:
The underground population of witches, vampires, werewolves—creatures of dreams and nightmares—has lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But after a genetically engineered virus wipes out a large part of humanity, many of the “Inderlanders” reveal themselves, changing everything.

Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Runner Services, is one of the best at apprehending supernatural lawbreakers throughout Cincinnati, but when it comes to following the rules, she falls desperately short. Determined to buck the system, she quits and takes off on the run with an I.S. contract on her head and is reluctantly forced to team up with Ivy, Inderland’s best runner . . . and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crime lord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death . . . not to mention her own roommate.

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What I love: Red hair, I love red hair.

I really love the world building of the Hollows and its origin story. Bioengineering gone wrong and killing a quarter of the human population. It allowed paranormal creatures aka Inderlands to reveal themselves and take their place in public. It sucks that people became afraid of science and medicine but I do understand where they are coming from.

What I like about the book is that the physical description of the characters, Rachel is mentioned as a redhead and there are repeated mentions of this. The characters have concrete looks that are reinforced by Harrison so the readers have a pretty good image of what the characters look like instead of our minds making up the physical attributes of the characters.  All the characters are really different from each other. Ivy is a vampire, Jinks is a feisty pixy, Nick is a human who knows about demonology and Rachel a witch. They all bring something different to the group. All the characters have professions that helped Rachel avoid the hit on her. She gets injured a few times but she survives nonetheless; Rachel is a real strong character. It takes gut to leave an organization that will probably try to kill you.

Certain parts of the story felt slow like the whole mink incident. Rachel disguises herself as a mink to gather evidence that  Trent, our antagonist,  is running biodrugs (which are illegal) but she gets trapped by him. It’s interesting but feels a bit dragged out. No, going after Trent three times feels sluggish and the last time, where she is successful, is sort of really simple and super easy.  Trent is probably a good antagonist because she only slowed him down. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.

It was a pretty good first book in a series. All the characters contributed to the plot and were unique. The plot was pretty interesting and left plot bunnies for the second book in the series. Even if the mink incident was slow, it was still a pretty interesting section of the book.

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5 BB- Total Keeper

24th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: 1st in a Series, Witches and Witchcraft, Cupcake War, Where are you reading? -Ohio