An Aurora YA Review: Evolution by Lissa Kasey

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 Rating: 5 out of 5  ★★★★★

Evolution coverGene Sage has only ever wanted to sing, but his band, Evolution, is pushing him toward the big time. He finds it hard to focus on making musical history when he’s dreaming of graveyards and seeing ghosts. And while all he can think of is hiding who he is from a world unforgiving of anyone different, he discovers he’s also the ultimate snack for vampires and demons. When Gene literally runs into—over—his idol, Kerstrande Petterson, rock god, vampire in hiding, and music cynic, his life falls over the edge into chaos.Jaded by the world and nearly a decade in the music business, Kerstrande thinks Gene wants to use him to make Evolution immortal in more than one way, but he can’t seem to brush aside the young singer’s enthusiasm.Getting involved with Kerstrande drags Gene into otherworldly power struggles. Between the ghosts stalking them, the media painting supernaturals as villains, and a vampire out of control in the city, the only way for Gene and Kerstrande to survive is for Gene to embrace his powers—and his destiny.I really, really enjoyed this book. One of my favorite things about the book was the descriptions. Straight away I had a very clear picture in my head of everything that was going on and that’s one of my favorite things about reading. It can, however, be hard to toe the line between using enough description that a reader can clearly picture the scene and using too much and having your story get bogged down in it which I don’t believe happened in this book at all.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the book was the two point of views for the two different main characters every chapter. It really made them both, especially Kerstrande, more likable and relatable to be able to see what was going on in both of their heads in their own unique voices rather than seeing the entire book through one’s eyes over the other’s.
If I had to nitpick, there was some exposition toward the beginning that slowed the first one or two chapters down, but it wasn’t something I really had a problem with since as soon as the plot got under way the book got right back to a good pace and I was certainly never bored by it, even in the first chapter or two when there was a lot of information.
Overall, it was a fun read, and one that I think was very well written. I would recommend it to people who like supernatural themes and modern fantasies.
The cover art was done by Paul Richmond and I really like it. It’s a pretty simplistic cover, but it has a lot of color and personality. It’s very eye-catching which is something that can always be helpful to a book. All in all, very well done.
Sales Links:  DSP Publications |  Amazon | Buy It Here
Book Details:
DSP Publications (a non romance imprint of Dreamspinner)
2nd Edition, first edition Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Words: 71336
Pages: 250
ISBN-13: 978-1-63476-061-4
File Formats: epub, mobi, pdf
Coming Soon: “Evolution: Genesis”

YA Saturday ~ YA Reviewer Aurora on Her First Novel, Beneath The Scales (YA LGBT Fantasy)

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Beneath The Scales Cover

Beneath The Scales by Aurora Peppermint
Released July 9, 2015
Published by Harmony Ink Press
Cover art by Anne Cain

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More from Aurora on her first novel, the YA fantasy Beneath the Scales, released by Harmony Ink Press.  And if you missed her blog yesterday, you can find it here along with the giveaway!  Enjoy.

Hi everyone!

So as many of you know I’ve been working for a really long time to finish, submit, edit and make into being my young adult novel, Beneath the Scales. It has been a labor of love every step of the way and I am so proud and so excited to be sharing it with everybody now.

The cover art was done by the lovely Anne Cain, who I’ve always been a huge fan of and was extremely lucky to get as my cover artist. And the book is now on the coming soon page at my publisher, Harmony Ink! What that means is that you can pre-order it, you can go and check out the blurb, see what it’s about and whether you’re interested, and see the cover art on the official site.

Thank you all so much and I’m so, so excited for this! Check out the book below and that great cover!

          – Aurora

STRW Author BookSynopsis

A desperate quest forces a young man to question all he knows about truth and loyalty.

Fifteen-year-old orphan Martus is struggling to provide for his magically gifted sister, Elsaben. Stealing and working shady jobs might feed them, but it doesn’t bring in enough for the arcane books and training she sorely needs, and he knows he can’t keep it up forever. His reputation as a troublemaker is starting to put him in danger.

When Elsaben is carried off by a dragon who attacks their village and burns it to the ground, Martus swears revenge, expecting to either die or return a hero. He isn’t prepared for what he discovers in a cave in the mountains.

If he can put aside his prejudices, he might find a chance for a better life, a faithful new friend, and the opportunity to help someone more like himself than he realizes. His adventure could change everything—even the beliefs he’s always taken for granted.

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Martus ran a hand lazily through his hair, then trailed his palm down to rub at his eyes, and finally let his arm flop down onto the bed beside him. It was light out already and he had to get up, much as he didn’t want to, but he was going to postpone waking fully as long as possible, just as he did every morning.

As a boy who had been punched in the stomach many times before, it was easy to recognize the feeling, but, through the crack of his eye—rather than the angry ex-lover of someone he’d pulled into his bed the night before, as he would usually see—his curly-haired little sister was visible.

“Mar! Up, up, up! You promised you’d take me with you today! ‘Member?” Bright eyes peered down into his, and Martus easily threw an arm around the small girl and pulled her off his stomach, mindful of her head when he plopped her down on the wood floor beside him.

“Yes, Elsaben. Sh.” Pulling a pillow over his face for a moment, Martus heaved a loud sigh, then tossed the pillow to the side and sat up. “Wh—” A yawn cut his question off, and his eyes wrinkled shut for a moment. “Where d’you want to go, darling?”

“I want to go wherever you go, Mar! “ Elsaben grinned, flopping on her stomach to grope under his bed before standing triumphantly with a bent up stick in her small hand, “You have my sa-word!” Martus couldn’t help laughing at that, ruffling his little sister’s hair and standing up.

“All right, then, little warrior, get dressed.” As he spoke, Martus tugged on his shirt and went looking for his day pants. The siblings didn’t have much since their parents died, but Martus always made sure his little sister had the basic necessities—clothes, food, water, something that could at least pass for a house—and a little more when he could manage it.

“Bet I’ll be ready quicker than you!” With that, Elsaben was out the door and hurrying down the stairs, hair flying out behind her.

Sales Links:   Harmony Ink Press |  All Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Beneath The Scales Cover

An Aurora YA Review: Dreams (Dreams of Fire and Gods #1) by James Erich

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dreams Dreams of Fire and GodsA thousand years ago, two factions of gods, the Stronni and the Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak by warring for the land and the frightened humans who lived there. Then suddenly the Taaweh vanished and the Stronni declared victory.

Now, as tensions escalate between the emperor and his regent, Vek Worlen, the vek’s son, apprentice mage Sael dönz Menaük, finds himself allied with a homeless vagabond named Koreh. Together they flee the capital city and make their way across a hostile wilderness to the vek’s keep, mere steps ahead of the emperor’s assassins.

But Koreh has dreams—dreams of the ancient Taaweh—and he knows the looming war between the emperor and the vek will be nothing compared to the war that is about to begin. The Taaweh are returning, and the war between the gods may destroy the kingdom once and for all.

Admittedly, in this book, there were a few times when I got a little bit lost. This is a problem, rather than with the book, more with how I’m used to reading things. In fact, I loved the challenge of going back and rereading at times and knowing as I read that I should store things away and remember them to enrich the experience. It isn’t, admittedly, something that I’m used to doing, but it certainly didn’t take anything away from the book. In fact, I really enjoyed it.

As with the third book in the series that I’ve already read, the characters and problems were able to be real and easy to relate to while still managing to keep the epic scale of the book and not taking away from the enormity of the characters and plot. I really enjoyed this book, again, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy novels and even those who don’t to at least give it a chance.

It’s just a really fun book to read, and very exciting. It kept me hooked the whole time I was reading it and I never wanted to stop reading a chapter when I had to take a break from reading it.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  The cover art for this series is really beautiful. It’s simplistic and yet it draws the eye and I would absolutely pick this book up off of a shelf. Because this cover doesn’t have a lot of places or people on it, the photo editing works even better than a drawn cover would have and it’s very nicely done.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback  All Romance (ARe)  Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 252 pages
Published December 15th 2012 by Harmony Ink Press
Harmony Ink is a YA Press
ISBN 1623801060 (ISBN13: 9781623801069)
edition languageEnglish
seriesDreams of Fire and Gods #1

Dreams of Fire and Gods series: