Freeks

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Magic abilities, a traveling performance troupe and a monstrous secret that could kill everyone sounds like the perfect recipe for a great story. That’s exactly what Amanda Hocking’s Freeks delivers!

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Mara is a no-nonsense type of girl; someone who gets the job done and makes sure everything is running smoothly. Which, when it comes to their magical band of performers, doesn’t always happen. Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow is often the source of ridicule for their strange and often freakish acts, but they always manage to draw a crowd.

Caudry is a small town in Louisiana and when Gideon’s troupe arrives, things seem to start bad and get worse. When members of the troupe start to get attacked by a mysterious creature, it takes everything within Mara and her family to not turn tail and run. Mara struggles with staying to settle down for a normal life with town hottie Gabe and sticking to her family and helping to uncover who–or what–is killing them.

A slow start that goes from 0 to 100 in 3.5 seconds when the first attack happens to one of Mara’s childhood friends, Freeks will consume you and your entire afternoon. Once I got to the meaty bits of the plot, I didn’t want to put the book down at all. Mara’s internal struggle and desire for a normal life was enough to carry me through the first few chapters, because I cared about Mara.

Hocking does a fantastic job about painting these characters and showing you their best and worst parts all at once. I wanted Mara to find her gift and a place within the troupe other than roadie. I wanted her to fall in love and lead a normal life (though, I mainly wanted her to fall in love with Gabe’s sister Selena, and not Gabe himself, but that’s just me).

Freeks had a great voice; Mara’s unique perspective and choice of snappy comebacks left me giggling and really enjoying the story even more. If you’re already a fan of Amanda Hocking’s work, this is a great addition to your library. If you love paranormal oddities and thrilling mysteries with a sprinkle of romance, Freeks ought to find its way onto your TBR list.

Between the Blade and the Heart ★★☆☆☆

35425584I was really excited for this one. I’d read Amanda Hocking’s Freeks and enjoyed it, but Between the Blade and the Heart just sort of… didn’t work for me.

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

Like, look at that description. That sounds awesome! A girl who can kill immortals? How cool is that? I’m choosing to ignore that tropey gorgeous new guy competing with the main character’s ex romance sub-plot. That had nothing to do with the fact that I had to DNF this one.

I liked Hocking’s writing in Freeks. It was punctual and flowed well. But something about Between the Blade and the Heart‘s writing just felt so damn boring that I couldn’t get back the 15% mark.

I’m not sure what it was. It was an interesting premise and a cool world, a little sci-fi, a little urban fantasy, and I liked the idea of it.

But liking the idea of something isn’t the same as liking the actual thing itself.

I was bored and annoyed with Malin, I didn’t care what happened to her and I just wasn’t connecting to the story. Not to mention how often I found myself rolling my eyes at every single page.

I couldn’t connect to the story; it happens. This one wasn’t for me.

Between the Blade and the Heart releases January 2nd, 2018.

Freeks ★★★★☆

28220899Magic abilities, a traveling performance troupe and a monstrous secret that could kill everyone sounds like the perfect recipe for a great story. That’s exactly what Amanda Hocking’s Freeks delivers!

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Mara is a no-nonsense type of girl; someone who gets the job done and makes sure everything is running smoothly. Which, when it comes to their magical band of performers, doesn’t always happen. Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow is often the source of ridicule for their strange and often freakish acts, but they always manage to draw a crowd.

Caudry is a small town in Louisiana and when Gideon’s troupe arrives, things seem to start bad and get worse. When members of the troupe start to get attacked by a mysterious creature, it takes everything within Mara and her family to not turn tail and run. Mara struggles with staying to settle down for a normal life with town hottie Gabe and sticking to her family and helping to uncover who–or what–is killing them.

A slow start that goes from 0 to 100 in 3.5 seconds when the first attack happens to one of Mara’s childhood friends, Freeks will consume you and your entire afternoon. Once I got to the meaty bits of the plot, I didn’t want to put the book down at all. Mara’s internal struggle and desire for a normal life was enough to carry me through the first few chapters, because I cared about Mara.

Hocking does a fantastic job about painting these characters and showing you their best and worst parts all at once. I wanted Mara to find her gift and a place within the troupe other than roadie. I wanted her to fall in love and lead a normal life (though, I mainly wanted her to fall in love with Gabe’s sister Selena, and not Gabe himself, but that’s just me).

Freeks had a great voice; Mara’s unique perspective and choice of snappy comebacks left me giggling and really enjoying the story even more. If you’re already a fan of Amanda Hocking’s work, this is a great addition to your library. If you love paranormal oddities and thrilling mysteries with a sprinkle of romance, Freeks ought to find its way onto your TBR list.

 

Freeks publishes January 3rd, 2017.

Amanda Hocking is doing a blog tour with us starting January 2, 2017! Check out the first chapter here and the fifth chapter here, the giveaway here, and her Q&A interview here!

Author’s Website
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Crystal Kingdom ★★★☆☆

cover61946-mediumA bit difficult to review since I didn’t read the first two in the series but I think I’ve read enough summaries and book reviews to get me up to speed.

Crystal Kingdom is the third book in the Kanin Chronicles, following Frostfire and Ice Kissed.

Bryn Aven, having been charged with murder and treason, is on the run. Konstantin Black is the only one who can help her, but he’s also her greatest enemy (since he tried to kill her father).

Bryn discovers the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets as she tries to clear her name. Now the entire troll kingdom is on the precipice of war and it might tear her away from Ridley Dresden, the only man she’s ever loved.

Picking up where Ice Kissed leaves off, we find Brynn running from Doldastam and the bounty on her head, only to watch her get caught by Konstantin. She and Konstantin wind up working together to rally support for her in the other kingdoms, but it proves to be incredibly difficult.

From other reviews, I’ve gathered that the previous books had very sudden and fulfilling endings. Not the case here: this was built up cleanly to a colorful explosion of action.

Bryn doesn’t stand out as a female character for me. Probably the only real problem I had with the book. She is strong and thoughtful, just what I’d expect in a YA female lead, but I just don’t find her unique.

I was never really bored with this book–confused at times, but not bored. And my confusion was remedied by a quick internet search of the previous books–so no harm done.

I was very, VERY pleased with the LACK of triangular romance. Konstantin is never a romantic lead, which leaves Bryn and Ridley to their feelings.

If fantasy is your genre-drug of choice, I’d recommend the whole series to you. The first two books sound wonderful and I assure you that last book is worth it.

Crystal Kingdom ★★★☆☆

cover61946-mediumA bit difficult to review since I didn’t read the first two in the series but I think I’ve read enough summaries and book reviews to get me up to speed.

Crystal Kingdom is the third book in the Kanin Chronicles, following Frostfire and Ice Kissed.

Bryn Aven, having been charged with murder and treason, is on the run. Konstantin Black is the only one who can help her, but he’s also her greatest enemy (since he tried to kill her father).

Bryn discovers the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets as she tries to clear her name. Now the entire troll kingdom is on the precipice of war and it might tear her away from Ridley Dresden, the only man she’s ever loved.

Picking up where Ice Kissed leaves off, we find Brynn running from Doldastam and the bounty on her head, only to watch her get caught by Konstantin. She and Konstantin wind up working together to rally support for her in the other kingdoms, but it proves to be incredibly difficult.

From other reviews, I’ve gathered that the previous books had very sudden and unfulfilling endings. Not the case here: this was built up cleanly to a colorful explosion of action.

Bryn doesn’t stand out as a female character for me. Probably the only real problem I had with the book. She is strong and thoughtful, just what I’d expect in a YA female lead, but I just don’t find her unique.

I was never really bored with this book–confused at times, but not bored. And my confusion was remedied by a quick internet search of the previous books–so no harm done.

I was very, VERY pleased with the LACK of triangular romance. Konstantin is never a romantic lead, which leaves Bryn and Ridley to their feelings.

If fantasy is your genre-drug of choice, I’d recommend the whole series to you. The first two books sound wonderful and I assure you that last book is worth it.