Book Review: Twice Dead

Twice Dead

 

Title: Twice Dead

(The Necromancer’s Song)

Author: Caitlin Seal

Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal

Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen

Published: September 18th, 2018

Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She’s struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.

But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she’s become an abomination–a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She’s been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue.

She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder. Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray.

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Twice Dead is a captivating novel full of necromancy, young love and lies, lies and more lies. I absolutely adored this novel. It has everything that high fantasy readers will love with kings and different ‘countries’ at peace with a treaty…but peace can’t last forever. It also has the likes of the paranormal genre as everything revolves around necromancy by the means of runes, which is taken to a civilized level.

The story follows Naya who is loyal to her home and the views that they hold dear. She’s sent to another part of the world to help her father’s cause. What she didn’t know was the extent of her loyalties was determined by her death. And all at once she becomes something she’s grown up to fear and hate. She’s at battle with herself to figure out who she is, if she’s still who she was before she was resurrected into a wraith.

She becomes the embassy’s weapon by becoming a spy that can change her face, see hidden protective runes and sense people through ather. She did as they told her and thought the people that live in this necromantic town were the bad people.

She was placed as a servant named Blue for the necromancer that resurrected her, Lucia. But Lucia didn’t trust Naya just as much as Naya didn’t trust her. And when it came to learning things Lucia couldn’t help entirely. That’s when Corten comes into view. Lucia’s previous apprentice. His apprenticeship ended when he died and become a wraith. “The dead can’t sing the souls back.”

Lucia demands that Naya doesn’t go back to Corten and that she should read the books to learn how to live as a wraith. But Naya doesn’t listen and keeps going back to him under the guise as Blue.

Things all crash down around her when Naya finds out the true intentions of the man that was supposed to be on her side. A war was coming, and all of the walking dead and necromancers are in trouble. She has to pick a side. Is she Naya or Blue?

The plot line of Twice Dead is very intriguing and kept my attention the whole way through. From hidden intentions of wanting war to the development of young love. The main message that revolves around Naya is being alive when you’re dead. It also is a battle to find out who you are and learning trust. More than one character’s story is all about growth and that learning to live while your dead theory.

The characters are both relatable and have very realistic emotions as well as actions. There’s isn’t a lot of romance in the novel, but there is definitely a tinge of it, so if you need romance in a novel this may not be your cup of tea, but if you love a slow burn than you should give this book a try.

The adventure continues for Naya as she tries to save the ones she cares about and stop a war from occurring.

4 stars

 

*I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher and author through Netgalley.

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Book Spotlight: Blood Crescent

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Blood Crescent
by S.M. McCoy
Genre: YA Fantasy Paranormal
Release Date: September 21st 2018

Summary:

While investigating her mother’s disappearance Crystal’s bloodline leads a supernatural council to hunt her down for her latent magic. Love, lies, and long buried secrets change her life forever.

Sixteen-year-old Crystal Dylan has been marked by the waning crescent due to her latent diviner heritage. The magic from her is a beacon to any nearby supernatural beings, especially energy serpents, vampires sent by the Divine Council to capture her. She never believed in the strange, the superstitious, or magical until she started looking for her long-thought-dead mother. Too many attacks on her aura have left her drained, dying, and vulnerable leaving Victor no choice but to try anything to help her, even the serpent’s kiss.

The Divine Council was looking for the lost heir, and Damien, a drawn class serpent, was their retrieval system with an agenda of his own. Crystal’s memories are being manipulated, and she struggles to find the truth about who she loves, what happened to her mother, who she is, and how to stay alive long enough to figure it all out.

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EXCERPT:

The below I think is a fun moment between Crystal and her best friend Victor while she struggles between wanting to have more than friendship and keeping things the same. All this is happening in the middle of her losing her memories, and being delved into the supernatural world of energy vampires, shadows, and witches.

Special sneak peek of the book only available for the blog tour:

“Victor…” He was talking nonsense about names and not remembering things, and all the intensity in his voice made me stop before I could say something stupid about how none of what he was saying made any sense…nonsense. And yet…my heart ached. It pulled at something inside me, like I was reaching for something lost myself. Like I had forgotten something important. 

“I wanted to give you a gift worthy of such a gift as you’ve given me.” He turned back toward me and his eyes seemed to flicker like a sunset of colors reflected off them for merely a millisecond. I could see the universe swirl. I touched my neck and the pulse shook me from my daze. 

“No,” I mouthed. I’d gone and done it…couldn’t help myself, but to stick my foot straight up and in. It felt so strong that I knew what he was going to say already and I couldn’t bear for us to change. Not yet. And I knew he was going to tell me something life shattering. 

He looked mischievous and full of a confidence that I didn’t feel myself. If I were standing I wouldn’t be for long, as it was my legs were tingling in the process of being numb dead weight. Victor slid closer, lemon icing still lingering on his breath from taste testing his baking. My own mouth watered. I had to gulp to keep my lips from parting in anticipation of tasting him, hungry. He leaned back and handed me the lemon cupcake.  

I absently accepted the offering. It sat heavy in my hands. 

“Enjoy your cupcake.” The words rolled off like from a silver-tongued monster with gorgeous lips. 

My eyes widened, and I couldn’t help but wonder what his game was? Enjoy MY CUPCAKE?! My lips ached, and the pit of my stomach sank into my toes, flaming acid burning through my whole body, ready to scream. 

I shouldn’t have said no, maybe I shouldn’t have said no? No…I needed to say no—this was better this way. I didn’t need to know what he was going to tell me, did I? 

About the Author
yeBQ0rGQStevie Marie is the author of young adult paranormal fantasy and the Divine Series. Born within the apex of another universe, where magic flows like leaky faucets, and forged from the fires of the Underrealm she dug her way to Earth and reluctantly participates in human society, secretly returning to her home world to relay the stories of her monsters, and the troubled love of her people. When she isn’t writing she’s crafting clothing in her sewing room, cuddling her significant-other creature, or pretending to adult by managing a portfolio of properties for an accounting business in the rainy city of Seattle, Washington.

GIVEAWAY:

Enter to win a free signed print copy of the book as well as some swag! HERE

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Book Spotlight: Three Mages and a Margarita

Three Mages and a Margarita
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1)
Publication date: September 14th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s aguild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.

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EXCERPT:

When I gazed vacantly at her, Clara visibly paled. “Tori, what’s your class?” “My class?”
She pressed her hands to the bar top, eyes wide. “Your class, what is it?” “You mean at the community college? I’m taking—”

“No, your mythic class!” She shoved my card under my nose, even more frantic. “Why doesn’t your license have a mythic identification number? You’re registered, aren’t you?”

“Registered for what? Clara, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”

“Oh my god.” Panic flashed in her eyes. “I don’t believe it. You’re human.”

I blinked again. Squinted. Rubbed one ear like I might have misheard. “Beg your pardon?”

Clara dropped my ID on the bar and hid her face behind her hands. “Darius is going to kill me. Why didn’t I check your ID last night? I’m an idiot.”

“Clara,” I said, alarmed and confused in equal measure. “I swear it’s a real ID. I’m twenty-one, old enough to bartend, and—”

“That’s not the problem,” she moaned. “How did you even find out about this place? I never should have—but you were perfect. You weren’t scared of anyone—not even Aaron! I thought you were some badass mythic who wanted to bartend, but you—”

“Get over yourself, Aaron.” Kai’s angry voice rose over Clara’s. “We’re not doing this your way—not again. Your plans always end in fireballs and explosions.”

Fireballs? Explosions? I glanced at them as Aaron snapped, “What’s wrong with that?”
“Tori.” Clara’s panicked tone drew my attention back to her as Kai and Aaron continued to argue. “Last

night, did you see anything?”

“Huh?”

“Did you see anything … unusual?”

“Did I see anything unusual?” I repeated blankly. “Like what?”

“Say that again,” Aaron shouted furiously, “and I’ll toast your pale ass to a healthy crisp!”

His hand shot into the air—and fire burst from his fingers. The red flames danced across his skin, sparks raining down on the table. Curling his hand into a fist, he cocked his arm back, aiming for Kai.

“Aaron!” Clara shrieked. “Put your fire away!”
He froze in mid-motion, his fist still blazing. “Clara? What’s wrong?”

“Put it out!” she yelled, her voice high with panic. “Now!”

He flicked his fingers open and the flames vanished. “Jeez, don’t get your panties in a twist. I wasn’t actually going to roast him.”

“Just—just shut up for once in your life, Aaron!” Clara pressed her hands to her head like she was trying to squeeze her brain. “This is already bad enough.”

“What’s bad?” He pushed back from the table and strode over, Kai and Ezra on his heels. “What’s going on?”

I didn’t move, my eyes fixed on his hand—his hand that had been engulfed in flames. Did that count as unusual?

“I screwed up,” Clara groaned, covering her face again like she couldn’t stand to see me. “I didn’t check her ID yesterday.”

Aaron slid my driver’s license off the bar top and read it. “Victoria Dawson? Your name is Victoria?” I shook off my shock to scowl at his sniggering tone.
Kai plucked the card out of Aaron’s hand. “There’s no MID number.”
“Is it a fake ID?” Aaron asked with amusement. “Did you hire a rogue, Clara?”

“Worse,” Clara whispered. “She’s human.”

The three guys stared at me, and I stared back without the slightest idea what the hell anyone was talking about. But more important than the incomprehensible conversation was the fact Aaron’s hand had been on fire, and I couldn’t figure out how it could possibly have been a trick.

“No way,” Aaron finally said. “What’s your class, Tori?” I pointed at his hand. “Was that real fire?”
“Oh, shit,” Kai muttered.


Author Bio:

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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Book Spotlight: Angeles Vampire

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Book Spolight: The Sage’s Reign

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Book Review & Blog Tour Stop: Seventh Born

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Seventh Born

Seventh Born
by Monica Sanz
Genre: YA Paranormal/Mystery & Suspense
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Entangled Teen

Summary:

Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she’s the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.

Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.

The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he’ll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she’ll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn’t the only thing that makes a witch burn.

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Pre-Order links can be found HERE

 

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Seventh Born is a mysteriously murderous mystery that weaves a bit of romance, social status as well as race within the pages. The story revolves around a young girl by the name of Seraphina who is a seventh born. Seventh borns are cursed and hated. They kill their mothers at birth and take their magic. Most of of them are killed without a thought and/or used  and abused.

But Sera’s past is a mystery. She doesn’t remember anything about her family. Where they are, who they are, or where she’s been let alone anything about her magic. And she becomes like all the other seventh borns, abused and unloved, getting tangled in the web of a predator.

It’s when she finally escapes she lands herself in at the academy. A place that teaches adolescence magic. Strict rules are upon her. No talking to other seventh borns and everything is pretty much your fault. And getting in trouble is something Sera is very good at.

It isn’t until she gets an unexpected proposal that will solve all of her problems. She needs a teacher to give her a referral to get her dreams of becoming an inspector to come true. Becoming an inspector is everything to her, the only means of finding her family. All she has to do is become the assistant to one of the moodiest professors at the academy and the referral is hers. She never expected all the things after  and in between to happen.

Professor Barrington gradually helps Sera come to terms with her magic and helps her grow as a witch, but he also wants her to help him solve unsolved murders. Murders involving the deaths of seventh borns and necromancy.

No spoilers.

The story as a whole was great. Plot was well thought out and had many twists and turns along with suspenseful and heart stopping moments, either heart wrenching or shocking admissions. Murders, danger, love, and secrets all are intermixed. There were parts that I didn’t see coming, but there were other parts that I did. The mystery aspect of it at first was great because you didn’t know who was behind the murders, then the killers were labeled and named, but the face to face meeting with said antagonist was at the very end.

Characters show growth and their lives in general make then relatable. Sera was well rounded even though she was a bit rebellious and quick on the trigger with anger issues…but anyone in her situation would be the same. Professor Barrington kept to himself but as the story progressed shown that he was trying to help and protect her at the same time, be it making her a stronger witch or catching a monster. Other characters that had major roles, but not entirely main stage presence within the novel were her friend Mary and Timothy. These two completely represent what people would do for themselves and what people would do for love.

The ending was a bit open ended and there is definitely more in store for Sera.

3.5 stars

About the Author

monica_sanzMonica Sanz has been writing from the moment she could string together a sentence. Her stories have come a long way from mysterious portals opening in the school cafeteria, transporting classmates to distant worlds. A classic by the name Wuthering Heights is responsible for that. She’s been lost to dark romances and brooding fictional men ever sense. Now she writes about grumpy professors, cursed ringmaster, tortured soul collectors, and the girls they fall in love with. Monica’s books have received many accolades on the social writing website Wattpad. She’s accumulated over six million reads, eighty thousand votes, and fifteen thousand comments since posting her books on the website. She is also a member of the Wattpad4, a group of writers who host weekly Twitter chats on the subjects of writing and publishing.

Author Links:

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Blog Tour Organized by:

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Blog Tour Stop: Renegade

RENEGADE

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About the Book:

Title: RENEGADE (Black Dawn 0.5)

Author: Mallory McCartney

Pub. Date: July 3, 2018

Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing

Formats: eBook

Pages: 250

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

“The time for Kiero’s reign in prosperity is over.”

Six years before the Black Dawn Rebellion, Adair Stratton and Emory Fae are following in their parent’s footsteps and living at The Academy, a home for those who are gifted.  The pressure to uphold the future of their parent’s dream falls on them. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. Even if Emory tries to make him see differently. An unexpected group of friends keep him there, but as whispers of unexplained disappearances start reaching from the capital, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath- for the first time in years, they demand the Fae’s listen to their proposition for a new treaty, holding the news of Nei’s father’s abrupt death over them. Caught in the middle of politics- Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis search for the one thing that matters most- finding out the truth.

In this gripping prequel to Black Dawn, their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made. War ravages through Kiero and is torn apart by acclaimed Kings. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision- to fight or to bow to the darkness within him.

Prologue

Twenty years earlier, Sarthaven (The Ruined City)

The note shook so hard in her grasp, Nei couldn’t focus on the words splayed before her. With a racing pulse and sharp ringing coursing through her ears, she crumpled the paper beneath her white knuckles. Breathe. The words were branded like hot iron to her flesh, her entire being flowing with them. Her hope consumed by them.

She sat at her desk like any other day. The afternoon light poured through the window catching the various objects scattered throughout, from the copious number of books to the overwhelming stack of lists and notes. A hard glint reflected off her favorite weapons that lay around the room. The office was one place of solace in a world of unrest.

Golden hair spilled forward as she dropped her face into her hands, covering her eyes, and her senses were diluted and muffled, if only for a second. Her father’s voice filled Nei’s mind as clear as day in her reprieve, “You will not marry for love, my sweet girl, but

you will sacrifice yourself wholeheartedly so this world may see a day where peace ensues and this war eases itself into the pages of our history.”

Her eyebrows furrowed. It had been one year since their arranged marriage. Their world had quaked and shook with the defiance of it. A wild woman from the Shattered Isles, betrothed to the prince. Reactions had been worse than expected. When Nei Runnard had been scuffling around with her sisters and sailing the coast, following her heart wherever adventure was, Roque Fae was being groomed in the politics of his court and in this country. Nei had almost laughed when her father sat her down and told her he had sealed her fate.

 

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Title: BLACK DAWN (Black Dawn #1)

Author: Mallory McCartney

Release Date: February 14, 2017

Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing

Pages: 352

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and bringing Emory back she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

 

About Mallory:

MalloryMallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

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Giveaway Details:

One lucky winner will receive an $10 Amazon GC, International.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

9/10/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

9/11/2018- K.L. Knovitzke – Author– Excerpt

9/12/2018- Writer of Wrongs– Excerpt

9/13/2018- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review

9/14/2018- Patriotic Bookaholic– Review

 

Week Two:

9/17/2018- Rainy Day Reviews– Interview

9/18/2018- A Bookish Dream– Review

9/19/2018- Girlplusbook– Review

9/20/2018- feedmeinbooks– Review

9/21/2018- Ace Reads– Review

 

Week Three:

9/24/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

9/25/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

9/26/2018- Book Sniffers Anonymous– Excerpt

9/27/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

9/28/2018- Jaime’s World– Excerpt

 

Week Four:

10/1/2018- The Reading Corner for All– Review

10/2/2018- Introvert Booklover– Review

10/3/2018- Wishful Endings Interview

10/4/2018- Don’t Judge, Read– Review

10/4/2018- Paulette’s Papers– Excerpt

10/5/2018- Parajunkee– Excerpt

 

Week Five:

10/10/2018- Eatingbetweenthelines– Review

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