Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Eclipsed by Shadow" by John Royce

"Eclipsed By Shadow" is actually Book One in a trilogy, titled "The Legend of the Great Horse." And holy cow, I can definitely see why this needs to be a trilogy. Quite a lot of interesting plot, way too much to be contained in one book.

Disclaimer: I received this book, and this book only, in exchange for a review. The book was posted on the Member Giveaways section, part of's Early Reviewers program.

Type: YA fiction, Time Travel, Fantasy/Magical

From the back of the book: " Eclipsed by Shadow is the first book of an exciting new trilogy, The Legend of the Great Horse, a journey through the ages when horses were everyday companions in work, war, sport and spectacle. The story is told through the eyes of a young woman, a horse-crazy teenager traveling through time with a knowledge of 21st Century horsemanship as her only defense. "

Well, wow, the back of the book really doesn't do this series justice. It makes the whole story sound flippant and childish, even. But really, I found this book to be far more powerful than the blurb. Yes, we do follow a young girl (she's 15 through most of the book), and yes, she does travel through time, but these aren't easy things Meagan is dealing with. And despite the young age of the main character, I'm not sure I would give this book to a fifteen year old.. unless he or she was very mature. There are definitely some harsh moments in "Eclipsed by Shadow." Not to give too much away, but death, rape, slavery, beatings, etc, are all issues Meagan has to see and live in fear of. All this lends to a very powerful and thrilling tale, definitely, but this book should definitely not be taken lightly.

As mentioned, Meagan does travel through time, in this book alone visiting several periods through History, and I'm sure even more in the sequels. As a bit of a History nerd, I was in love with the accurate details during each time period. A lot of research went into the writing of this trilogy, and I think the author should definitely be commended for it. The language was well done - Meagan didn't just understand everyone she met. In fact, her first several stops on the way, no one spoke English, and she had to find some way to get by without knowing the language. The settings seemed perfectly done, and even the people and their actions fit each time period perfectly.

You could also tell this book was written by a horse lover, knowledge of the breeds, rituals, and the connection one feels to horses is obvious throughout. I rode for several years (missing it almost every day), and I was amazed at the details that were mentioned. Even something as simple (or so most people would believe) as grooming is mentioned in perfect detail, with each type of brush, and the order. It may seem a little information-heavy, but I think it helps to show how attached and connected Meagan feels to the great beasts.

I'll be honest, when the "Legend of the Great Horse" was told to Meagan in the beginning, I thought it was a little cheesy. In fact, several of the beginning chapters weren't really all that amazing. The prose and descriptions were well done, but it wasn't horribly interesting... I actually thought I'd get aggravated with Meagan quickly. But once Meagan's real journey began, I was positively enthralled. Meagan definitely showed her true colors, her spirit and her willingness to fight for herself and those she cared about.

I'm going to give "Eclipsed By Shadow" a FIVE out of FIVE. I truly think this book deserves such a good rating - the History was accurately done, even down the smallest detail, the journey is amazing, and Meagan really rose to each occasion she was thrown into. I do hope to find the rest of this series and continue reading them, and I hope everyone checks out "Eclipsed by Shadow" by John Royce.

For more information about The Legend of the Great Horse, visit the series website at

Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Book Blogger Hop!

It's friday, so let's have some fun by participating in a book blogger hop. I know I'm going through the rest of the participants for some great new blogs to follow!

New readers/followers are always welcome to come by and share their thoughts on a recent post or review. Or drop in to just say hi!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How much are YOU willing to forgive?

Almost everyone that reads fiction has a favorite - whether it be genre, type of pairing, type of creature, etc. My point with this post is... how much are you willing to forgive an author to get what you want?

This idea came from my previous review - "Fallen" by Lauren Kate. As I'm sure you're all sick of hearing, I have so many favorites.. but Angels, fallen or otherwise, are definitely at the top of the list. I blame (read: LOVE) Thomas E. Sniegoski for this, his "The Fallen" series changed me so profoundly, not just as a reader, but as a believer, etc. After that, I searched for more books featuring angels, and was left wanting. Then suddenly.. the boom hit. Now we have "hush hush," "Fallen," "Gentlemen Prefer Succubi," "Covet," etc. I'm in heaven (Get it? Punny?)! But it's still not enough..

Finally, to my point. "Fallen," as well as a few other books, fell somewhat short of my hopes and dreams, but I was and still am so grateful that my want.. nay, my NEED is being fulfilled, that I'm willing to forgive authors almost any transgression. Like I mentioned in my "Fallen" review, I had a hard time getting past the idea that all of these immortal characters were spending their time in highschool. A very prison-like highschool for that matter. But while that bothered me, I was still so happy to get some Angellic action, that I was willing to overlook it. For the most part, anyways.

Am I alone in this? I will hazzard to guess that every reader has something they're looking for in a book they pick up, whether it be some quirk of the hero or heroine, or maybe a type of person/being you love. But what about you, dear readers? Are you willing to forgive authors things like plot holes, flat characters, weird ideas, etc, just because they write what you want/need?

Please, feel free to comment and share your thoughts! I welcome anyone and everyone else's opinion on the matter.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review of "Fallen" by Lauren Kate.

I think it's offical. My reading slump is over! Two reviews in two days? It has to be a sign..

Disclaimer: This book is a "Library loot" - I have this checked out from my library, so neither it, nor anything else, was given to me in exchange for a review.

Type: Paranormal romance, YA Fiction, Angels/Fallen Angels

From the back of the book: " There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move.
Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce - her goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret... even if it kills her.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story. "

I hate to say it, but with books like this, I can't help comparing them to the Twilight Saga. Which is usually a good thing for the books, since almost anything can look better when compared to Twilight. This is true in the case of "Fallen" too, I enjoyed this book far more than the Twilight series. Though there were a few similarities - the biggest one being.. why the heck were these immortal beings in high school? A school for delinquents, for that matter. Well.. maybe I shouldn't say delinquent, I'll say "Troubled students." Now, that isn't to say I didn't enjoy the setting - I thought it was an interesting place to throw these characters. But I really don't see why they would want to go through highschool. I mean, most people can't wait to get out of it, why would immortals want to go through it over and over?

So.. on to the characters. I didn't hate Luce. I thought she was interesting enough, and she had real emotions - guilt, trepidation, fear, etc. I also liked the fact that her love for Daniel wasn't just a sudden thing. There was an instant connection, of course, but there was a reason. Another issue I had with the Twilight saga - the love between Bella and Edward didn't feel.. right. It was too deep, too quick. But with Luce and Daniel, they have some other forces playing with them, and it was a good little curve thrown in there. And speaking of Daniel... any one that studies Angel legends, or has read.. any, really, books featuring angels, fallen or otherwise, had to recognize his last name - Grigori. I loved the spunk he showed in the beginning of the book, but he lost some of that spark later on. Admittedly, more and more bad things started happening, so there wasn't really a cause for spunk, but I wouldn't have liked to see more of that side of him. I mean, he had the audacity to smile at Luce, and then flip her off during their first encounter. It would have been a nice twist if he had kept that amusing side to his character, instead of delving into the "almost always serious" territory.

I love books involving angels, especially fallen ones. So because of that, of course I'm more willing to forgive this book any faults I might find. I really want there to be more fallen angel books out there - no no, I NEED there to be more. That said, I didn't feel the whole "I GOTTA HAVE THE SEQUEL NOW!" feeling I usually get - that is.. until the epilogue. A conversation between two important characters that only lasted a page, if that, was enough to make me want to keep reading. And I think that's a great tactic. It wasn't even a teaser for the sequel, just part of the book. And if you can make a person want to read more with less than a page - then you definitely deserve some kudos!

I'm going to give "Fallen" by Lauren Kate a FOUR out of FIVE. I was going to give it a three point five out of five.. but that ending redeemed it a little in my eyes. That.. and the fact I am outrageously bias to anything with angels in it.

Check out "Fallen" by Lauren Kate - and its upcoming sequel, "Torment." Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Next up: I dunno! Maybe "Insatiable" by Meg Cabot. Or any of a number of books in my TBR.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Review of "Shadow Bound" by Erin Kellison

I was actually sent this book months ago, but I put off the review because I knew the release date was some time away, and I wanted to wait until closer to that date. I know it just aggravates me when I see a book reviewed, I get excited about it, and OH WAIT - you can't get the book for another three months. SORRY! And other times, I forget about the book because the hype was started too early, and then filtered off. So this is me, taking a stand and not reviewing the book until now. Take that, world!

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by the publisher, Dorcester Publishing, in exchange for a review.

Type: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense

Release date: This book hits the shelves June 29th, and it's sequel "Shadow Fall" will be released July 27th.

From the back of the book: " DEATH Some people will do anything ot avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existance. WRAITHS Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss. SEGUE Adam Thorne founded the Segue Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O'Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into shadow. TWILIGHT This is the place between life and what comes after - a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door. "

I'm a big fan of mythology. I'm nerdy enough to study it on my own, and I especially love mythology in fiction. Some great examples of this would be my love for the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. There are countless others, as well, and now we have "Shadow Bound" to add to the list. I believe Celtic mythology is the most prevalent in this book, though there are hints of others as well.

I thought this book was fantastic because of the creatures. There's a demon, Death, wraiths.. wonderfully created beings that just make me want more. The Wraiths in "Shadow Bound" can be likened to vampires, immortal beings with super-enhanced abilities, and the urge to feed not on blood, but on human souls. Along with wraiths, we have the demon who heads them. Death, a chained creature that plays a powerful role. All of these together form a hugely dense bit of fiction. At times, I was a little overwhelmed by how much was packed into what felt like such a short novel. "Shadow Bound" is 322 pages, but so power packed, it felt like it went by in a flash. I'm not sure how much I can express my need for the second book, so I can see what happens to these creatures. After the ending of this one, I'm not sure the second can hold a candle.. but we'll see.

As for the characters themselves, I liked them - Adam especially. But Talia just felt off to me, for some reason. I liked her well enough, but she seemed... I don't want to say flighty, but there were several occasions where she seemed resolved to something, and several pages later, she would be just as dead set on doing the very opposite. There were circumstances that made her change her mind, of course, but she had been so passionate about doing one thing, it felt a little weird for her to switch so completely, without even a moments hesitation. These moments occured earlier on in the story, and by the end, her character had redeemed itself to me. I felt better about Talia, and especially loved the choice she made in the end, which lead to the choice Death made, which I loved even more. Seriously, there's has to be something wrong with me that I often love the Death personified character in books. I loved Death in "Shadow Bound," I love Hades in the Dark-Hunter series.. and there are plenty more.

I'm going to give Shadow Bound a FOUR out of FIVE. I enjoyed the plot, the story, and the characters. I'm going to have to go out and pick up the sequel, "Shadow Fall" when it's released July 27th. And please, make sure to go get your copy of "Shadow Bound" by Erin Kellison when it is released, June 29th.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Next Up: "Fallen" by Lauren Kate