Review: Bloodcraft by Amalie Howard

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Bloodcraft by Amalie HowardBloodcraft by Amalie Howard
Series: The Cruentus Curse series #2
Published by RAH Media LLC on December 15, 2015
Pages: 380
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

All magic has its price, and no one knows that better than Victoria Warrick. Gifted with a centuries-old blood curse, Tori has finally learned to master her blood’s demands and has emerged triumphant with Christian Devereux, a vampire overlord, at her side.

But the worst is yet to come …

In the infamous City of Lights, home to both the Witch Clans and the Vampire Council, Tori enrolls at the exclusive Belles Fontaines school in Paris, where she is faced with a devastating choice: choose Christian and be an outcast, or choose the coven and secure her place with the witches.

When the fate of the supernatural world is targeted by a sinister new threat, Christian and Victoria must unite their two warring species to defeat it. Their bond will be tested, twisted, and sorely weakened, and Tori will find herself in uncharted territory—a dangerous place to be when her blood’s magic has its own dark agenda.

But to save them all, she may have no choice but to invoke its deadly power.

*NOTE: Bloodcraft is Upper YA / New Adult (for mature content–violence, sensuality & language)


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Hi guys! Welcome to my stop on the Bloodcraft blog tour! Today, I was supposed to share with you my review. However, an unexpected and devastating death in the family caused me to fall behind in my reading and I haven’t finished Bloodcraft yet. The wonderful and understanding tour host has given me permission to share a review of what I’ve read so far, so that’s what you’ll find below! Once I’ve finished the book, I’ll update my review to a full review! Enjoy!

Also, be sure to click here to view the Release Week Blitz post, which has an excerpt, an epic giveaway and links to Bloodspell’s (The Cruentus Curse series, book one), $0.99 sale!



Review Updated On December 21, 2015!



Bloodcraft blew me away! Amalie’s gorgeous writing + an epic world + an intriguing plot + epic characters = another incredible book by Amalie Howard!

First of all, Amalie is a gorgeous writer. She creates these amazing worlds that just pull you in and refuse to let you go. I especially love the Bloodspell/Bloodcraft world. The magic, the rules, the history, it’s just all completely fascinating! And it makes sense, since I LOVE vampires and witches and always have! Amalie is also incredible at creating characters you love and characters you love to hate.

Tori had SO MUCH character growth from the beginning of book one to the end of book two. She really came into herself and her powers. I wasn’t sold on her and Christian’s relationship in Bloodspell, but I totally shipped them in Bloodcraft. And I really liked Christian a lot more in this book (as opposed to Bloodspell)! He, like Tori, had a lot of character growth and really came into his own and his powers. I liked the revelations with him a lot!

Lucian was totally evil in Bloodspell, yet I couldn’t help but feel for him. And in Bloodcraft, he became… Well, he wasn’t nicer or less evil, but something changed in him. I think, of all the characters that experienced character growth in Bloodcraft, he experienced the most! I was incredibly heartbroken by the way his story ended though :(

I never trusted Lena, not in either book. She kind of reminded me of Victoria from Twilight. Cunning, calculating and – when it really comes down to it – looking out for herself and no one else, even despite her feelings for Lucian. Yet, she was really growing on me in this book! And, like with Lucian, I was shocked and saddened by the way her story ended.

I really liked Leto and Aliya, but I was really weary of them and I really didn’t trust either of them. I had a feeling they were hiding things… And, by the end of the book, I was partially right about one of them and wrong about the other! I also really loved Pan and I’m so disappointed with the way his story ended! It made me so sad panda!!!

The plot for Bloodcraft really was incredibly intriguing! Don’t get me wrong, Bloodspell had an interesting plot, too. But Bloodcraft really had me turning pages as fast as I could! The plot twists and revelations (which I briefly mentioned above) were intense and epic. The ending of the book was non-stop action, one thing after another! It was emotionally draining and exhausting, but in a good way! I was so invested in these characters and the things that happened to them at the end… It was just !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall, I really loved this book. I didn’t enjoy Bloodspell as much as I’d hoped to, but Bloodcraft really made up for that with epic characters who experienced a ton of character growth, an intriguing plot, non-stop action, plus tons of revelations and plot twists! I HIGHLY recommend this book if you’re an Amalie fan, especially if you were meh on Bloodspell, because Bloodcraft was EPIC and will blow your mind!


And now for the giveaway! Here’s what’s up for grabs:

-Kindle Fire giveaway is open to US residents due to shipping restrictions.
-Paperback copies of BLOODSPELL & BLOODCRAFT are open to US and INT readers.
-This giveaway is sponsored by Amalie Howard.
-Leading up to the release of BLOODCRAFT, more entries/options will be added to the rafflecopter to double your chances!

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

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Amalie HeadshotAbout Amalie:
AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island (Trinidad & Tobago) where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.

An aspiring writer from a young age, Amalie’s poem “The Candle,” written at age twelve, was published in a University of Warwick journal. At fifteen, she was a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Award (a global youth writing competition). A Colby College graduate, she completed simultaneous Honors Theses in both French and International Studies, and graduated Summa Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa. At Colby, she was cited for research and criticism in Raffael Scheck’s article, “German Conservatism and Female Political Activism in the Early Weimar Republic,” and his subsequent book, Mothers of the Nation. She also received a distinction in English Literature from the University of Cambridge (A-levels) as well as a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive.

agold-authorShe is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency and is a member of SCBWI.

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Tour Schedule

December 7th
Readers Live A Thousand Lives | Review
Ohana Reads | Promo
Live To Read ~Krystal | Promo

December 8th
Addicted Readers | Promo
SolaFide Book Club | Promo
Bookwyrming Thoughts | Promo

December 9th
Book Lovers Life | Promo
The Cover Contessa | Promo

December 10th
Curling Up With A Good Book | Promo
Reader Girls | Promo

December 11th
Whatever You Can Still Betray | Promo
Literary Meanderings | Promo

December 14th
Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions | Promo
Two Brains of Book Reviewers | Review

December 15th
A Dream Within A Dream | Review
A Cupcake and a Latte | Review

December 16th
Pandora’s Books | Review

December 17th
TSK TSK What to Read | Review
Good Choice Reading | Promo

December 18th
Pixie Vixen Book Reviews | Review
Books are Love | Review


Review: Bloodspell by Amalie Howard

Review: Bloodspell by Amalie HowardBloodspell by Amalie Howard
Series: The Cruentus Curse series #1
Published by Langdon Street Press on June 1, 2011
Pages: 394
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon

The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

It literally hurts my heart to have to write this review. Amalie is one of my favorite authors and favorite people. I’ve read all her currently published books ((Waterfell [The Aquarathi #1], Oceanborn [The Aquarathi #2], The Almost Girl, Alpha Goddess)) and I loved them all so much! Sadly, Bloodspell (Amalie’s first book and the one I was most excited for, given my love of vampires and witches) left me wanting more. And that made me Sad Panda :(

First, let me discuss some of the things I liked! I loved the world that Amalie created. The magic and the rules and the way everything worked was truly fascinating. The plot itself was something I haven’t really read before – yes, I’ve read a LOT of vampire and witch books over the years – they’e two of my favorite supernatural creates to read about! – but the idea of Le Sang Noir and the Cruentus Curse were pretty original (to me, anyway) and I loved the whole vampires versus witches theme (I’ve always loved stories where they are enemies, I don’t know why..)

Now.. Unfortunately, it was very obvious that this was Amalie’s first book. And it’s very much a book of its time. Meaning, from roughly 2005/7-2011, Young Adult books had a very different tone to them. They had a certain structure and certain things happened. This was especially true with supernatural/paranormal books of this time period. At the time, these structures and plot devices were new, so they were awesome and fascinating. Now, they’re considered cliche. On the one hand, these plot devices/tropes brought me back to that time in my life, when reading was simple and fun, before blogging and critically analyzing everything I read took over. On the other hand, I’ve outgrown many of these plot devices/tropes and I couldn’t help but cringe at some of the things that went down.

There was a lot of telling (as opposed to showing) and it made me feel a bit disconnected from the story and the characters, especially in the beginning. Some of the characters were a bit cliche, as were some of their actions. It was a little hard to grasp how quickly Tori came into her magic and how she knew all these spells and things without even trying. I know she practiced with Leto, but it still felt like it happened super quick. Christian was very cliche vampire. I found myself comparing him and Lucian to Stefan and Damon. Charla was way too perky for my liking (I don’t know why perky female characters always end up being untrustworthy in YA, but they just are for some reason…) and I didn’t trust Gabe from the moment we met him. I really liked Holly and Angie, though. And Enhard.. Ugh, the way his story ended? Crushed me!

I constantly felt like I had missed something with this book. Something would happen and I’d be like, “Wait, when did ____ do _____?” And the pacing was all over the place. Sometimes I sped through several chapters, finding myself (finally) pulled in to the story. Other times, I had to push incredibly hard just to read one chapter. Now, I will say that I had some things going on in my personal life while reading this. My family suffered a terrible, unexpected loss. And it was very difficult for me to even find the energy to read. So that might be part of the reason this book was so meh for me.

To be brutally honest, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s Amalie, I would have DNF’d. But I adore Amalie and I know from reading her other books that she’s an AMAZING writer. I always love her books/plots, her characters and the worlds she creates. She always has a unique take on things and I love that! So I pushed through. The last 80 pages actually really picked up and, though the ending was a bit cliche, it was also really intriguing and I’m very excited to read the sequel, Bloodcraft. My thinking is, Amalie has grown SO MUCH as a writer over the years and Bloodspell had so much potential, it’s the perfect equation for an epic, wonderful, brilliant sequel!

If you haven’t read any of Amalie’s books, I suggest starting with a different one. Amalie’s amazing and her books are amazing. Bloodspell started off weak and she had some growing pains, but her other books are wonderful! If you’ve read Amalie’s other books and you’re uncertain about this one, I urge you to read it with an open mind and remember how fabulous her other books are!


Review: Oceanborn by Amalie Howard

Review: Oceanborn by Amalie HowardOceanborn by Amalie Howard
Series: The Aquarathi #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on July 29, 2014
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
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The coronation is over.

But the battle has just begun.

Nerissa Marin has won her crown. But can she keep it? Already, her ties to the human realm are driving a wedge between Nerissa and her people. When word arrives that her part-human prince consort, Lo, has been poisoned, she makes the difficult choice to leave Waterfell and return landside. As the royal courts debate her decision, even more disturbing rumors surface: a plot is rising against her, led by someone she least expects.

On land, Nerissa learns another shocking truth: Lo does not remember who she is. As her choice to try to save him threatens her hold on her crown, changing loyalties and uncertainty test her courage in ways she could never have imagined. Nerissa will have one last chance to prove herself as a queen …and save the undersea kingdom she loves.

I think by now it’s obvious that I adore Amalie Howard, her writing style and her unique plots. I absolutely loved Waterfell and I remember being desperate to get my hands on its (untitled, at the time) sequel. And Oceanborn did NOT disappoint!

The amount of character growth that I saw in Nerissa from Watefell to Oceanborn was incredible. She’s really come a long way from the bratty, snotty, “I’m better than you” character she was in Waterfell. She really embraces her heritage and destiny in Oceanborn – at least in the beginning (though I won’t elaborate, for fear of spoilers). She’s still very stubborn and single-minded in Oceanborn, though, especially when it comes to… certain things.. and she refuses to listen to reason on… certain things… At times, this got her in trouble. But it also lead her to exactly where she needed to be in the end. She also reaches a level of maturity in Oceanborn that allows her to look at things more objectively, to make choices that are for the greater good. She followers her heart, even when it means letting go of certain things.

And then there’s Lo. He’s still just as swoony as ever, that I can promise. But Lo not remembering who Nerissa is, what he is (which, not a spoiler if you read the synopsis!), it just broke my heart. He wasn’t the Lo we all came to know and love in Waterfell and it was pretty tough to read. The reasons behind his memory loss were horrifying, but they really played into the overall plot of Oceanborn and led to some startling revelations and shocking plot twists.

Jenna was amazing, as always. She truly personifies the role of best friend. She’s the voice of reason and Nerissa’s confidant. I loved that she could stand up to Cara and her group of mean girls, where Nerissa couldn’t and wouldn’t. She was fiercely loyal and willing to stand up for herself, for what was right and for her best friend. But she also knew how to push back when she felt excluded, refusing to be seen as weak just because she isn’t Aquarathi.

Speio is a tough character to talk about… He confused me and annoyed me at times. But he was always so fierce and loyal. One second, he was fighting with Riss like they truly were brother and sister. The next, he was angry and distant for seemingly silly reasons. But what happens in the end… Oh boy. I can’t even. It was shocking, unexpected, crazy, insane… I’m still trying to process it!!

Cara, like Speio, was both confusing and annoying at times. I really wanted to punch her for the majority of the book. But I’m really happy with the direction her character went in and, if there’s a third book (FINGERS CROSSED!!!!!!!), I’d be really interested in seeing where her character goes next, what kind of character development she goes through.

We meet a LOT of new faces in Oceanborn. It’s impossible to talk about ANY of them without spoilers. So I’m just going to say that one revelation didn’t shock me at all, but the other one completely caught me off guard and (as I mentioned above), I’m STILL trying to process it…

The ending was explosive! I mean, I had my suspicions for a good portion of the book, but still. I knew something was up, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I had one theory that was proven wrong, but I was close! All I know is if there isn’t a third book after that ending, I’ll throw a temper tantrum!

Overall, if you couldn’t tell from my gushing review, I absolutely adored Oceanborn. It was amazing, incredible and well worth the wait! I’m desperately hoping for a third book – fingers crossed! And, as always, my parting words to you are this: If you haven’t read any of Amalie’s books… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?! She’s definitely an auto-buy author for me, I highly recommend her books and I suggest you go check them all out RIGHT NOW! I don’t think I even need to say it, but I DEFINITELY recommend this book!


Review: Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Alpha Goddess by Amalie HowardAlpha Goddess by Amalie Howard
Published by Sky Pony Press on March 18, 2014
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

In Serjana Caelum’s world, gods exist. So do goddesses. Sera knows this because she is one of them. A secret long concealed by her parents, Sera is Lakshmi reborn, the human avatar of an immortal Indian goddess rumored to control all the planes of existence. Marked by the sigils of both heaven and hell, Sera’s avatar is meant to bring balance to the mortal world, but all she creates is chaos. A chaos that Azrath, the Asura Lord of Death, hopes to use to unleash hell on earth.

Torn between reconciling her past and present, Sera must figure out how to stop Azrath before the Mortal Realm is destroyed. But trust doesn’t come easy in a world fissured by lies and betrayal. Her best friend Kyle is hiding his own dark secrets, and her mysterious new neighbor, Devendra, seems to know a lot more than he’s telling. Struggling between her opposing halves and her attraction to the boys tied to each of them, Sera must become the goddess she was meant to be, or risk failing, which means sacrificing the world she was born to protect.

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on The Alpha Goddess blog tour! I’m very excited to be a part of this blog tour! Amalie is amazing and I absolutely loved Alpha Goddess!! I hope you enjoy my review!

Amalie Howard has done it again! With Alpha Goddess, she brings us an amazing, gorgeous story with vivid, detailed mythology, amzing characters and wonderful prose.

Sera was an interesting character. She starts off disbelieving, craving to be normal. As is typical with Howard’s books, Sera was reluctant to accept her destiny. But over time, she grows and matures and accepts her destiny for what it is. She embraces who she is and who she is meant to be. I always love Howard’s MC’s because of these things – Because even when they start off reluctant, whiny and (sometimes) bratty, they always go through this incredible growth and transition and, in the end, do what they need to do.

Kyle is amazing. I loved him from the very first time we were introduced to him. I loved his physical description and his personality. At times, his jealousy and uncontrolled anger got the best of him. At those times, he becomes slightly unlikeable but he, too goes through a lot and, in the end, we find out why he behaves that way. I think he learns the most about his life and his destiny and he almost goes through a bigger transition than even Sera. He has to fight who he is to be who he wants to be – and it’s an uphill battle and never easy.

Dev was another amazing character. Howard always manages to write amazing and intriguing love triangles – ones where you find yourself loving both guys and wanting the main character to somehow end up with both guys. When Dev’s identity was revealed, it was no surprise. I had a feeling, very early on, about who he was. I was really pleased, though, when this was confirmed. But the other half of who he is – what he is – came as a shock. There was one moment where I truly feared for him, when I wasn’t sure what was going to happen… And, well, I don’t want to spoil it.. So.. I’ll leave it at that.

Some other characters that I loved and who deserve a quick shout-outs include Micah, Nate and Beth.

The end was an epic battle of epic proportions. As always, every time we thought something had happened, Howard pulled the rug out from under us and something else happened. There were several revelations, as well – one revelation after another. I don’t know how Howard does it, but you can never trust what you read until the very last page of the book. Just because something happened, it doesn’t mean it’s set in stone – I’m not sure if that was cryptic or gibberish, but I promise it’ll make sense when you read the book!

Overall, Alpha Goddess was absolutely incredible. Though all of Howard’s books are amazing, Alpha Goddess was my absolute favorite. I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology and, lately, I’ve really enjoyed reading books with other mytholgies in them – such as Egyptian and, of course, Indian. Howard is an amazing storyteller and I look froward to reading many more books from her in the future!


Amalie HowardABout the Author

A rising star among young adult writers, Amalie Howard developed a loyal following after releasing her debut book, “Bloodspell,” in 2011. Now, she is returning with five new books that are sure to excite her devoted fans and catch the attention of new readers.

A bookworm from the beginning, Howard grew up on a small island in the Caribbean with her nose buried in books. When she was just 13 years old, her poem “The Candle” was published in a University of Warwick journal, marking a sign of great things to come. Howard immersed herself into other cultures, globetrotting through 22 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. After moving to the United States, she earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and French from Colby College in Maine. She also holds a certificate in French literature from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France. Traveling around the world, Howard has lent talents as a research assistant, marketing representative, freelance writer, teen speaker, blogger and global sales executive.

Howard is a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society award, an international youth writing competition. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Howard’s first book, “Bloodspell” (June 2011, Langdon Street Press) earned rave reviews and was named a Seventeen Magazine Summer Beach Read. Readers will hear more from Howard as she releases a pair of two-book series, “Waterfell” (November 2013, Harlequin TEEN) and “The Almost Girl” (January 2014, Strange Chemistry), as well as “Alpha Goddess” (March 2014, Skyhorse/Sky Pony Press) over the next two years.

Howard lives in New York with her husband, three children and one willful feline that she is convinced may have been a witch’s cat in a past life.

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Review: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Almost Girl by Amalie HowardThe Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
Published by Strange Chemistry on January 7, 2014
Pages: 416
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.

Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

The Almost Girl was such an amazing read, I couldn’t put it down. I basically read the entire book in one day. Right away, the prologue pulled me into the story and refused to let go. Amalie Howard does an amazing job of jumping right into the plot, keeping a fast-pace from start to finish. The second half, especially, has revelation after revelation! Some I saw coming and some caught me completely by surprise!

I absolutely adored Riven. She is a tough-as-nails character with a spunky attitude. She is very determined and strong – definitely NOT a damsel in distress. She can take care of herself and protect herself. We need more characters like this in young adult fiction! Riven definitely goes through a LOT in this book. She grew up in Neospes, a place that is the polar opposite of Earth. She had a rough childhood – and childhood is very different in Neospes to begin with!

The revelations Riven deals with in the second half of the book are pretty insane, but Riven holds herself together well, considering. Two revelations, in particular, really threw me for a loop. I definitely had my suspicions, but it’s still nice to get that confirmation.

Caden was an interesting character. I was a bit indifferent towards him in the beginning. He was sarcastic and playful, if not a bit cheesy. But about halfway through, he really began to come into his own. I loved that he was a fencer (I’m not sure why, but I find that to be a fascinating sport and I love when authors have it in their books) and I loved how that helped him later in the story. He took everything he learned in stride.

I can’t stress enough that the revelations in the second half of the book were insane! And the revelations Caden faced were no exception! I thought I had everything figured out – and then Howard pulled the rug out from under us and I was completely mind-blown by what we found out.

I loved the banter between Riven and Caden. I enjoyed the slow-build up with their relationship. There was definitely insta-attraction, but it took awhile for Riven to come to terms with her feelings for Caden.

Another character I loved was Shae. She was hilarious, strong and always prepared. I loved her relationship/banter with Caden and I loved seeing her and Riven interact. I don’t want to give too much away, so I can’t say much more than that. I also loved June and Mrs. Taylor – the revelations with them were pretty crazy, though I definitely had my suspicions about them. I hated Sadie, but that was to be expected, since she was the “mean girl.” Also, Riven’s father? Insane. Riven describes him as a “madman,” and that’s definitely accurate.

I know I keep using the word “revelation” and it’s probably a little repetitive at this point, but there were just so many revelations, especially from the 50% mark until the end. It was literally one after another! It definitely keeps you on your feet! They made the ending pretty crazy. Some of them ripped my heart out, though, and I CANNOT wait for the second book (which will be out later this year, I believe) because I need to see what happens next! I definitely, definitely recommend this book!


Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Waterfell by Amalie HowardWaterfell by Amalie Howard
Series: The Aquarathi #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on October 29, 2013
Pages: 360
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon


Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?

I knew, almost immediately, that I was going to enjoy this book. The premise and plot, at least to me, were very original because I have not read anything like it before. I haven’t really read many mermaid books, honestly. When I was little, I loved to swim and I desperately wanted to become Ariel (*Clears throat* Sometimes I still do… *Coughs*). Yet, I never got into “mermaid” or “siren” books. But someone told me early on, before I even had my hands on an eARC, that this was NOT a mermaid story. At least, not in the traditional sense. That it was so much more than that. So going into it, I didn’t see it as a mermaid story and I was able to keep an open mind about it. And Waterfell didn’t disappoint. There was depth to it – pun intended. Howard’s writing style was enjoyable and I loved the plot and tone of the story.

Nerissa is an interesting character. In the beginning, she has an attitude of being better than everyone else. She can be mean and spiteful and she even talks down to her best friend, Jenna. She doesn’t want to be a princess. She doesn’t want to be a queen. She pushes fiercely against her royal heritage, against her home and her people. She both hates and is instantly attracted to Lo, which is confusing. As the story goes on, Nerissa grows and matures a lot. It takes her awhile, almost to the very end, but she grows up and comes to terms with her heritage, with who she is and who she is meant to be. The guilt of her attitude eats at her, and she attempts to make amends. Normally, I would be exasperated with a character like Nerissa – at least, the character she was in the beginning. But there’s so much growth and character development that honestly, I feel like she’s one of the most realistic YA characters I’ve seen in a long time.

Lo was… Hm. I don’t know how to explain this without giving away spoilers. But he caught my attention right from the beginning. He was arrogant and cocky and I didn’t trust him from just about the second he was introduced into the story. At 66% of the way through (I had a Kindle eARC via NetGalley, so it measured my progress in percentage, not pages), I made an assumption. I wrote it down in my notes. I had a feeling… And, from 88% – 90%, my suspicions were confirmed! If you follow me on Goodreads, you can check out my updates and my flailing over this. I won’t say more. I’ll spoil it. But let me just say… I KNEW IT!!!!!

I absolutely adored Jenna. She was the voice of reason and the awesome best friend. She didn’t let Nerissa talk down to her. She snapped back, fought back and did a good job of “snubbing” Nerissa when they fought. The friendship felt really real. Also, something happens and I was so happy it did! I just think the path her character goes down is perfect, makes sense and is very, very enjoyable.

I don’t know how to feel about Cara. She was supposed to be the “mean girl,” I guess, but we didn’t see her too often, usually just from a distance, scowling or snarling at Nerissa. I actually kind of felt bad for Cara, until she revealed something to Nerissa near the middle/end, and then I just wanted to slap her. We get a little bit of resolution near the end, which is great, but I found Cara more annoying than anything.

The end was awesome. I mean, like I said, by 66% I sort of knew where things were going so that took some of the shock value away. But getting confirmation that I was right? Priceless! And like.. I was dead-on. I wasn’t half-right or sort of right. I was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY right. It was great! But there were still things that shocked me, that I did not expect. I was really happy with the ending and where things left off. It wasn’t a a forced, cliche YA Happy Ending. I liked that most of all! I can’t wait to read book two, but sadly, it doesn’t come out until sometime in 2014.. *Sniffles* But trust me, I’ll be reading it!

I would definitely recommend Waterfell. I can understand the issues some people had with it, but I didn’t see them as issues and they didn’t take away from the story, in my opinion. If anything, they added to the story and made it better.