Cassandra Reads

Most (likely all) of my blog posts are going to be for reviews.  I read a lot of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, historical romance and I'm one of those people that read nonfiction for fun.  My favorite kinds of nonfiction include science, psychology, history, evolution and religion.


Review: Night Veil by Yasmine Galenorn

Night Veil - Yasmine Galenorn

As a change of pace from the other second chance books I've read so far this year (Fire Me Up & Finding Absolution), I read the first book in this series last year. I gave it three stars and really regretted reading one of the reviews I read while reading the book (note that my review for that book includes the information that nearly ruined it for me!)


I'm not going to continue this series. I like the story, but the characters just keep pissing me off! Cicely made a deal with the vampires in the first book (related to what I learned in a review of that book that ruined it for me). Now that guy is an ally (by the end of the book). He's also a complete creep. I get that he's a vampire, but some things are unforgivable. I don't want to read the other books at least partly because he's now and ally and I just really want Cicely to STAKE him already, damn it! I get that they need allies against Myst, but really.


Leo also becomes a complete jerk in this one. I don't remember how he was in the first one, but he couldn't have been this bad if I didn't hate him after that one.


I had to force myself to finish this one, since I had did-not-finishing books and I told myself I'd read at least the next book in each second chance series this year (meaning I do have to finish it, even if it pisses me off!).  

Review: Fire Me Up by Katie MacAlister

Fire Me Up - Katie MacAlister

I read the first book in this series, You Slay Me, back in March of 2013. I was unaware that they are part of a larger series (Dragon Septs) and didn't care enough about either Drake or Aisling to read the other three books in the series. The first book didn't have a HEA but I didn't like Drake (I like him even less after reading this one!) so I didn't care about him and Aisling ending up together. I'm assuming they will at some point anyway (they are mates after all) and that's almost enough to make me NOT want to read the other two books in this series.

I was more interested in Jacob, the incubus that doesn't want to have sex but raise horses, then Drake. I don't want Aisling to end up with him over Drake I just REALLY don't like Drake.

I spent about half of this book wondering why I do this to myself (giving this series I second chance, what was I thinking?) but then the action really picked up and I couldn't leave it alone. I will be reading the next book, but I'm really hoping Drake has good reasons and a lot of groveling, otherwise I'm going to lose all respect for Aisling.

A note about the first book: I did like it, but was completely willing to consider it a stand alone novel since it wasn't a cliffhanger and I really disliked Drake.


Review: Finding Absolution by Carol Lynne

Finding Absolution - Carol Lynne

Guy not remembering is such a cop out. Attempted rape is attempted rape, but he brushes it off - Jon does to, to be fair. He's sorry so it's all good, right? I didn't expect Guy to get arrested, but I really expected something other then him not remembering. Alcohol seems to be the go to excuse - really alcohol doesn't change your personality, it just lowers your inhibitions making you do things you wouldn't normally do. This doesn't mean that the things you do while drunk aren't things you wouldn't think about doing, just that you wouldn't do them if you were sober. Out of this whole book, that's what I'm going to remember about it.

I liked both Van and Jon but neither really sticks out as a favorite. I'd forgotten how short these books are compared to a full length novel. It only took me an hour or so to read this one. The last one of these I read was back in January of 2013, so it's been a while since I've read any of them. I had a real issue with Alone in a Crowd (the book before the last one I read) - there was a corn thing that really grossed me out. (I'm not going to explain, because no one needs that image in their head).

I gave the series a second chance by reading Second Chances (funnily enough), but didn't care all that much. After this book their are three more books in the series before it spins off into a different one. I think I'll finish those and maybe give the new series a chance as well.


There are too many people in this series (much like Robyn Carr's Virgin River series) and while it is nice to see some of them, there were so many names in this one that it seemed a little forced at times. I know Cattle Valley is a small town and they did all have reasons for showing up in this book, but there were at least six different names dropped and this book isn't that long!


Review The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

The Dirt on Ninth Grave - Darynda Jones

It took me a lot longer to read this book then it really should have.  I was (technically) reading this book from Feb 26 to March 7.  It didn't really take me eleven days to read this book - I read a few chapters, didn't get into it and didn't read it anymore until two days ago - the 5th.  I know this has nothing to do with the book, but I also know why I couldn't get into it: I HATE amnesia books!  I can handle it for a few chapters, but Charley doesn't remember for most of the book (spoiler, but I doubt that's a surprise).  

It wouldn't have been as bad if Reyes, Cookie and the rest weren't also there, near her the whole time and not saying anything. I'm not sure what the plan was, but it does work, I'm assuming, since Charley does remember.  

Also, Charley basically has the same personality - with her odd assumptions (I know 8 languages - I must be a genius!) and strange sense of humor.  She's the same person she normally is just without the memories.  That doesn't make any sense.  Personality isn't genetic or isn't only genetic.  There is no way that Charley would be the same person without her memories and past experiences. Maybe it can be explained by her not really being human, but a reaper.  I'm willing to accept that, but it still really annoyed me at times.  It would have been really odd to have Charley not making some of her crazy jokes, but it felt a little off to me. 

Review: A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter

A Mad Zombie Party - Gena Showalter

It was very odd to see Ali and Cole's relationship from an outsiders' POV. We get both Frosty and Milla's POV in this one and Ali and Cole aren't a huge part (they've got zombies to slay, after all), it is still really odd to see them from eyes other then each others.


I spent about have of this one unsure as to what was going on. Yeah it's a romance but Frosty with anyone but Kat just seemed wrong. It's hard to dislike Milla, even though I really wanted to. She is the one that betrayed Ali and their group to Anima, which got Kat killed.


The ending seemed a little too perfect. Everything works out and they even get an epoliuge about how perfect their lives are ten years after the start of the first book. It was nice to see Ali and Cole, and Frosty and Milla get happy endings but it was also a little too perfect.

Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

This one is a little confusing, since the first book was focused on Cinder (with some of Kai’s POV).  This one is Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf with some others (like Kai).  Thorne is both amusing and annoying.  I really expected Cinder to punch him at some point.


It was a little odd to have Kai’s POV, with him questioning everything he thought he knew about Cinder.  He’s wondering if she’d glamoured him, which she couldn’t have done until really close to the end of Cinder. I can’t really blame him for wondering, but it was a bit hard to read since we (the reader) know better.


I was a little iffy on the idea of this one: I wasn’t sure if it was just going to be Scarlet or both Scarlet and Cinder.  I really liked Scarlet but I was really worried that I was going to end up hating this book because I didn’t care about Scarlet at all.

I guess Scarlet is Red Riding Hood, like Cinder is Cinderella.

Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Cinder - Marissa Meyer

This book has just enough world building that you don’t feel lost, but not so much that 95% of the book is world building. Cinder is a cyborg and that gives her a lot of problems throughout this book: she’s considered property, so she has no rights and all the money she makes as a mechanic goes to her owner.  This is one thing that isn’t really explained.  Yeah, she’s a cyborg but who thought it was a good idea to make any and all cyborgs property?  They aren’t machines!  It seems that most of them had an accident of some sort and had to have mechanical limbs since they lost theirs or that’s what I got from it.  I’m not sure if this is the same everywhere, since Cinder lives in New Beijing and doesn’t really go any farther than that in this book.


I spent most of this book assuming she was somehow going to end up with the prince.  She still might (and likely will given what we learn about her - it was meant to be a shock but I expected it), but it doesn’t happen in this book.  Each book of this series seems to focus on another girl.  I think the main focus is going to be Cinder overall, but I’m a little iffy on each book being about a different girl (I’m not sure if I’m really going to care about them or just as they relate to Cinder’s story).

This series is meant to be YA but I don’t really get that feel from Cinder.  I don’t really read that many YA books (and I say that every time I review one).  Cinder’s voice isn’t that of a teenager.  I’m not sure the book really says how old she is, but she was eleven when she was in the accident that caused her to become a cyborg.  She might be as old as 20, but I’m not completely sure where I get that idea from.

Review: Now You See Her... (Psychic Visions #8) by Dale Mayer

Now You See Her... (Psychic Visions) (Volume 8) - Dale Mayer

Tia's abilities are a little odd, even for this series. Her main one is pretty much spelled out in the title: she can make herself invisiable - or at least manitulate the energy around her to make people not see her. Most of her childhood was spent in an instution - one that many assumed was meant to make her (and the others) "normal", but was really expermenting on them. Everything that happens in this book seems to tie back to the lab she spent most of her life in (her parents sent her there when she was ten, but I'm not sure how old she is during this book.)


Tia and Dean seemed strangely perfect for each other, although they did seem a little rushed to me, but that seems common when someone is after one or both of the people in the couple. I can't say I was really rooting for them, but like I said it seemed a little fast.


I enjoyed this one but it isn't my favorite in this series.

Review: The Hotter You Burn (The Original Heartbreakers, #2) by Gena Showalter

The Hotter You Burn (Original Heartbreakers) - Gena Showalter

Beck also acts hot and cold towards Harlow at first.  He has serious commitment issues, but wants her enough that it’s hard to stay away from her.  They’ve both had a hard time of it, although Harlow has had the hardest time most recently.  I wasn’t too sure about a former bully as the heroine, but it’s done very well here. She proves she’s changed - with both actions and words. I liked this one better than the first.

Review: The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers, #1) by Gena Showalter

The Closer You Come (Original Heartbreakers) - Gena Showalter

I’ve already read the next book in this series, The Hotter You Burn, so I don’t have a lot to say about this one. Jase goes very hot and cold in this one.  I understand not wanting to tell Brook Lynn everything, but he should have told her the truth long before she did.  I spent at least part of this book focusing more on West and Jessie getting a book than on Jase and Brook Lynn.


Review: Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10) by Maya Banks

Darkest Before Dawn (KGI series) - Maya Banks

I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while but it took me about half the book before I really got into it.  I’m not sure if it’s just book burn-out, the time between me reading this one after reading the others almost back to back or just that this book was kind of slow to start with.

I did end up rooting for Hancock and Honor to end up together, but they fell in love too fast and I’m wondering if Honor didn’t have some Stockholm going on - she doesn’t realize she loves him until after learning that he’s not taking her home.  The timing was a little fucked up and make it less believable.  I did like that all of Hancock’s team thought the mission sucked, without that conversation I’m not sure I would have rooted for them at the end.

Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter

I’m not thrilled with this series so far.  I really liked the idea, but not sure about the actual book. I would have been happier if this book hadn’t tried to make so many connections to Alice in Wonderland.  Yeah her name is Alice and there is a white rabbit but that’s it really.  The chapter titles are all related to Alice in Wonderland but it just comes across as trying too hard.  


Cole’s a bit of jerk at first.  I was really worried at first that he was going to be like Edward in Twilight (if he’s a jerk that can’t stay away - tell him to fuck off!  At least Cole doesn’t stalk Alice) Cole was also very hot and cold at first, which really annoyed me.  I get that he has secrets to keep, but Alice already knew about the zombies so I didn’t really understand why he was being such a jerk to her.  


There was also (almost) a love triangle.  Justin is very interested in Alice at first, but we quickly learn that she isn’t interested in him. (Jacob anyone?)  I hate love triangles in general and really hate them in YA fiction.  


Sorry for all the connections to Twilight, a book I didn’t even like, but they seemed a little too obvious at times. Thankfully Alice is less boring than Bella (who I didn’t hate, unlike most Twi-haters).  At least Alice can kick ass too in this series.

I don’t really have much to really say about the plot, since the main thing is killing zombies and things at the end of the book I don’t want to give away.  Zombies are spirits in this world, which is a twist I didn’t expect.

Review: Knock, Knock… by Dale Mayer

Knock, Knock… - Dale Mayer

The knock, knock thing got really old really fast.  The villain/killer used it most of the time when they had page time. I get that that’s where the name of the book came from but it was extremely annoying.


I liked both Shay and Roman but didn’t really care about them getting together one way or the other.  They spend most of the book dancing around each other, so they are only officially together for the last few chapters. Once again Stefan’s in this one.  Is the poor guy ever going to catch a break?  I get that he knows the most, but why does he always have to be the one helping the newest psychic (newest as in their book and not the one who has just figured it out)? Maddy does show up in this one, so that’s a point in this one’s favor.


It’s probably a good thing that the next book, Rare Find, is the newest one I have for this series at the moment (the next one after that is on hold on my library's overdrive).  I like this series but it’s not one that I should be reading back to back like I have been.

I didn’t figure out who the killer/villain was until a page or so before Shay did and they were already fighting that person.  I’m really wondering how a literal exploded heart is going to be explained. That’s a nasty image.

Review: Maddy's Floor by Dale Mayer

Maddy's Floor - Dale Mayer

Like the second book, this one focuses a little less on the romance than the first book in this series. This one involves a police detective and a medical intuitive doctor.  I really liked that Maddy already knew she was psychic.  She also already knows Stefan, who keeps popping up in these books - why don’t the others (like Sam and Kali) pop up? (Note: I don’t think they ever will, they are mentioned sometimes, but we never see them).

Review: Garden of Sorrow by Dale Mayer

Garden of Sorrow - Dale Mayer

Alexis doesn’t know anything about being psychic until the start of this book. In hindsight, she realizes that her ‘green thumb’ is more than that. She’s a transmitter, a term that makes me think of tech rather than emotions or thoughts.  Stefan shows up again and Maddy is mentioned, but we don’t see her.  

Review: Hide’n Go Seek by Dale Mayer

Hide'n Go Seek - Dale Mayer

This one didn’t focus as much on the romance as the first one in the series.  I think it works better without the romance focus.  I did like Kali and Grant as a couple a lot more than I liked Sam and Brandt.


The murder plot had several surprises, including two suspects that were a little too obvious.  The killer is the last person I expected it to be.  We spend quite a bit of time in the killer's’ head and it’s a scary place to be.  He’s decided that everyone that’s survived a natural disaster is going against God’s plan and it’s his job to fix it.  The big creep factor for this one is that he know;s Kali and has focused on her, stalking her throughout the book, although she isn’t really in danger until the end of the book,  

Kali is precog and during this book she draws several different scenes that haven’t happened yet.  When she draws she’s in a trance and doesn’t seem to have any idea what she’s drawing.  This confuses her at first, since she’s never considered herself to be a good artist and is really surprised by what she painted the first time - especially after seeing the same scene out in the real world.