Book Review: Kindred

cover-kindredTitle: Kindred [Kindred 1]

Author: Erica Stevens

Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance

Rating: 1 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

What do you do when the one you love is also you worst enemy?

Trapped in a destiny she does not want, Cassie finds herself lost and adrift, until he walks into her life, turning it upside down and awakening her in ways that she never dreamed possible.

Cassie is stunned and devastated to learn that she belongs to a long line of vampire slayers known as The Hunters. A murderous rampage by a group of elder vampires has left the Hunter line decimated and the remaining Hunters scattered around the world. With her friends Chris and Melissa’s aid, Cassie struggles to rid the world of the monsters that murdered her parents. Though Cassie knows it is her fate, she chafes against her heritage, and is resentful of the shortened lifespan that has been placed upon her by the circumstances of birth. Struggling to get through every day, Cassie finds herself simply going through the motions of living. That is, until Devon arrives. Tall, dark, and mysterious his arrival turns the school, and Cassie’s life, upside down. Fighting against her fierce attraction to him, and the chaos he represents in her carefully ordered days, she is irresistibly drawn to him. Though worried that what she truly is will place Devon in danger, she is unable to fight her feelings for him. He is the one light, and the only source of hope she has in a world that revolves around death and fear. What she does not know is that Devon has some dark secrets of his own, secrets even more frightening and dangerous than hers. Secrets that threaten to tear them apart forever.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

It is rare for me to give up on a book so quickly, but at only 4% in, I set Kindred by Erica Stevens aside. I don’t know where the editor was or what their qualifications were, but their judgment lapsed on this one. In just the first page alone I ran into two instances of bad grammar and another misuse of punctuation. That is absurd for a first page.

The narrative voice was childish, regardless of which character was narrating the current scene, and every single one of them sounded the same – like a 9-year-old. It was aggravating to read through.

More importantly, it was just a terrible start to a story. There were two chapters of back story before we caught up to the present day – neither one of them imperative to the story. We didn’t learn anything from these snippets that couldn’t have been explained elsewhere.

Book Review: Kindred

cover-review-kindredTitle: Kindred [Kindred 1]

Author: Nicola Claire

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Vampires

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Vampires, shape shifters, ghouls and magic users abound in a world where the Norms, (those humans without paranormal abilities) are ignorant of the creatures of the night and the supernatural species that live alongside them.

Lucinda Monk is a bank teller by day and a vampire hunter by night, but she wasn’t always a part of this world. Thrown into a heady mix of powerful people and sensual beings, she’s had to find her way practically blindfolded in amongst the creatures of the night. But she’s a capable and realistic kind of girl. Her motto: never show fear. But, there’s something different about Lucinda, something those creatures she hunts, want. In order to stay one step ahead of the enemy she has to let the enemy in. In all his compelling, seductive and delicious ways. Sleeping with the enemy has never meant so much before. But, can she trust him?

From the urban streets of the city, to the dark alleys and sinful bars that promise a wickedness a girl from the farm has never before been exposed to, Lucinda gets drawn irreversibly into the dark side of life. And if the Master of the City had his way, she would always be his. For eternity.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I thoroughly enjoyed Kindred by Nicola Claire. The book was well-written and well-voiced. The narrative was engaging and flowed easily. The world-building and characters had depth… I really can’t complain.

I enjoyed the often tense and sexually charged relationship between Lucinda and Michel. The author did an excellent job of enticing the reader with tidbits of information behind the actions of the characters without giving away too much. Even having finished the book, I feel as if I have only barely touched upon the iceberg of what is truly going on in the story, and I am looking forward to continuing in the series.

If you like paranormal romances, vampire stories, or urban fantasy, chances are that you will truly enjoy this book as I have, and I encourage you to give it a read.

Book Review: Separation [Like Kindred Spirits 1]

 

cover-separation

Title: Separation [Like Kindred Spirits 1]

Author: Cassandra Lane

Genre: Historical, Romance

Rating: 1 Star

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Not yet available on Goodreads.

Description/Synopsis:

None available! Amazon provides only an excerpt from the beginning of the story.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Did Not Finish. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a partial review, and wow was this one a doozy. Reportedly, Separation is a story about a young mix-race woman who finds love with a white man in the newly post-emancipation from slavery era of New York. I wouldn’t know, because I didn’t get that far.

This book was dry. The narrative read like a text book written for grade-schoolers. I wish I were kidding. I honestly didn’t even make it past the first chapter. The text was one long exposition of backstory in endless paragraphs of completely irrelevant information.

The 100-acre Georges Planation was established in 1801 by the George family to produce tobacco leaves for the local business in Salisbury, North Carolina. The Farm was worked by thirty helpers under the direction of owner Frederick George, who was now in this thirties and had taken over after his dad passed away about a year ago. (His mother had died before then.)

That’s the first paragraph (available in the excerpt) it doesn’t get better from there.

Her serene personality and working ethics exceeded the George family’s expectations. She even considered herself a part of the family, loving Mr. George’s parents deeply and becoming very affected by their deaths, grieving them as if they had been her own parents.

The dialogue was just as dry, sporadic, and incorrectly punctuated. The characters seemed stiff and lifeless.

“Momma, we are free, don’t you get it,” said Missy for the umpteenth time to her stubborn mother. “Yes momma, I want to go to New York City. There are lots of things there. I can work like I do now, sewing.” But Bess refused to consider the notion.

And here’s some more:

“Darn it, Bess. Get those children to be quiet. I can’t stand all of that yelling at the same time,” said Mr. George..

“Don’t you know that I want to see my wife? You all took a long time in there,” he complained in a cranky voice.

“Yes, Master. Right away, Master. Hush, hush,” Bess kept hugging the newborns, one boy and one girl, in each arm. She put them in their cribs.

Yes, that second period at the end of the first bit of dialogue is a typo taken directly from the text, and no, the dialogue didn’t pick up again after that last bit. The story droned on in an endless prattle of information with very little action, and dialogue tags needlessly followed nearly every sentence of dialogue. It consisted almost entirely of facts, wordy backstory, and questionable world-building. I honestly tried to get past it, but when the story continued on like this past the 14% mark on my Kindle, I threw in the towel. There is only so much I can do.

I’d like to consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to writing. I read books – more than 100 a year. I write. I review books and blog about them… so I feel comfortable saying that in my opinion, this book was terrible. What may have been a wonderful, heart-felt story of romance against the odds (something that should have been very intimate and character-driven) was instead, a dry exposition on an unfortunate era.

I would not recommend this book, and I certainly won’t be reading it again. I’m a firm believer that narrative should be fast-paced and effortless to read. A reader shouldn’t have to slog through a book in order to get to the point. It should be an adventure, not a homework assignment.