Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Midnight Moonrising by K. S. Haigwood

A smooth continuation of the prequel, Midnight Moonrising is her best work yet. Mena finds she must negotiate for control of her own body with the wolf that lives within her. She also learns someone within her pack has betrayed her. The question though, is whether at least one of the betrayers has stayed behind to work against her from within.

Her wolf has taken an almost immediate interest in the police detective investigating the death of her husband. Mena doesn't share her interest. In fact, she'd much rather be making the with Phoenix, master of the local vampire clan. Mena wants to change the rules that werewolves and vampires have lived by since they were created. Not everyone is on board with this.

Haigwood has brought a new twist to the werewolf genre. A new shifter must name their wolf within of being bitten or their wolf inside would begin to take over. Mena just knows her wolf is hiding something, but what is the one thing she won't share. There's more, but that would just spoil the fun if I gave it away here. Needless to say, from the moment Mena learns this, the tension just ramps up and time is running out.

Haigwood has once again delivered a beautifully executed story. Her characters continue to develop both in the history each has and their dreams going forward. Once again, there's everything you've come to expect in any story with her name on the cover.

I received the book late Monday evening and read it until I left work. Got home, read until I couldn't see straight (about 1:30am). Got up yesterday morning and finished the book. Yeah, it was that good. I had to sit back and absorb what I'd read for a bit before I could comment on it.

So what do I think? Impeccably written. Beautiful editing. Great characters (my favorites are Mena and Phoenix) and a few things I've not seen in shapeshifter stories. There is no "down time" in this book; something is always going on. She grabs you and there is no letting go. If you've read her work before, you are going to just love this series! If Haigwood is a new author for you, get the prequel, Accepting the Moon. Although only 70 pages, it's definitely worth taking the time to read.

There were a couple of places where the wording was a bit awkward, but not enough to create any major hiccup in the reading. I found one error missed by her betas and editor. Not a big deal, but it does mean I can't give her five stars. Ohh, but I really want to. As it is, 4 stars isn't a bad thing. Can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available from Amazon (US, CA, UK, AU) and Barnes & Noble.

Accepting the Moon: Prequel Moonrising (Book 0) by K. S. Haigwood

In this introduction to a new series, Haigwood has introduced an aspect of werewolves that I've not previously seen. That's pretty hard to do since stories set around shapeshifters are pretty much my favorite reads. It's pretty typical that shapeshifters in any story are long-lived. Haigwood has made that optional. Huh? Yeah. The new shifter must accept the "gift of the moon" on their first shift to receive a more impressive gift than long life. Nooo, I'm not telling you, that would be a spoiler. I don't do those.

All the elements that signify a great story from her are present: great characters, conflict, a touch of romance, and a few surprises. Mena, married for twelve years finds out not only that her husband has been cheating on her, but that he was also keeping an even bigger secret from her. You could call it a life changing secret. There's an entire world out there that she never knew existed, and it gets exposed in a pretty spectacular way.

I've been reading Haigwood's books for two years now and for me, this has the promise of being her best series to date. Impeccable story-crafting paired with beautiful editing leave me anxious to get my hands on the next book in this series. I think you should do yourself a favor and grab this one. It's definitely worth it. 5 stars

This book is available from Amazon (US, UK, CA, AU) and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Academy: Introductions (Book 1, Ghost Bird Series) by C.L. Stone

Every once in a while, I come across a book I truly cannot put down, Introductions was just such a book. There was not one dull moment from the first page to the last. A simple desire to prove her mother's warnings that the world is out to kidnap, rape, and/or murder her drives Sang Sorenson out of her house late one night and into the pouring rain. Her goal, spending the night in an unoccupied house on her street, is derailed when an unknown neighbor's dog runs her down. So begins her introduction to a very special group of boys and her own confused awakening and introduction to the wider world.

Stone is absolutely an excellent storyteller. Rarely have I come across a book that captivated me so quickly and thoroughly. As she says in her "cheat sheets," this is a very slow moving story. The first book takes place during the last week of summer prior to the start of school. If you're wondering whether anyone can find much to write that only covers a week's time, yes. She can and she does. While the timeline of the story may move slow, that by no means indicates the story itself is slow.

As much as I love the story, the same cannot be said of the book. Yes, there is a difference. The story is the creation of the writer's imagination. The book, however, is the finished product, more on that in a moment. Her characters have a depth to them I've seldom seen in Young Adult stories. The trials she places in Sang's path show how fully she understands her audience. She takes a fifteen year-old girl raised in an emotional vacuum and thrusts her into the midst of seven boys with an exceptionally tight friendship. There are secrets that they can't share, but which she brushes aside having secrets of her own.

As for the book itself, the quality of Stone's writing far surpasses the quality of the editing. Several errors made it past all of her beta readers and editor. Interestingly, there are no spelling errors. This leaves me thinking that either the author has excellent typing skills, or someone used spellcheck. Having said that, some of those non-misspelled errors are words that are incorrect, others are wrong word choices for the place in which they are used.

Had this book received the editing that matched the quality of the author's writing, I would have gladly given her five stars. However, because of the errors, I can only give this book three stars.

This book is available at Amazon (US, UK, CAAU), Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.