“Waiting On” Wednesday: Wordless by AdriAnne Strickland

Waiting On Wednesday

“Waiting On” Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Wordless big Wordless
by AdriAnne Strickland
Publication date: August 8, 2014 from Flux

“The Gods made their Words into flesh, giving privileged individuals the powers of creation…”

In Eden City, a member of the illiterate wordless class would never dream of meeting the all-powerful Words … much less of running away with one. So when a gorgeous girl literally falls into his lap during a routine trash run, seventeen-year-old Tavin Barnes isn’t sure if it’s the luckiest or worst day of his life. That girl is Khaya, the Word of Life, who can heal a wound or command an ivy bush to devour a city block with ease. And yet she needs Tavin’s help.

By aiding Khaya’s escape from the seemingly idyllic confines of Eden City, Tavin unwittingly throws himself into the heart of a conflict that is threatening to tear the world apart. Eden City’s elite will stop at nothing to protect the shocking secret Khaya hides, and they enlist the other Words, each with their own frightening powers, to bring her back.

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Review: Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey

Demon Eyes
by Scott Tracey

ISBN-13: 9-780738-726458
Publication: October 2012 from Flux
Series: book 2 in Witch Eyes
Rating: 3.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I liked it
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Braden thought he had destroyed Lucien, a calculating demon trapped for centuries in a human body. But he’s haunted by disturbing visions of the undead demon promising to return and a terrible warning: The feud between Belle Dam’s two witch dynasties–ruled by Catherine Lansing and Braden’s father–is about to get unimaginably worse. As young girls start disappearing from town, Braden knows Lucien’s diabolical scheme has been set in motion. Forced to explore the unknown powers of his witch eyes, Braden becomes the ultimate weapon in a deadly magical war.

SPOILERS FOR WITCH EYES!

Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey, the second book in the Witch Eyes series, thrusts readers right back into Braden’s story with immediate creepy happenings, mystery and intrigue.

While Braden is still recovering from the happenings in Witch Eyes, new developments are arising in Belle Dam that aren’t looking so good for our main characters. Girls are disappearing and there are hints that the demon Lucien may not be as dead as we’d all hoped. Over the course of the book Braden showcases the beginnings of a personality change, but who wouldn’t start to think and act differently when dealing with things that can kill you and a debilitating power – also the uncertainty that is his relationship with Trey (at one point, in amongst them not being together, they end up making out in a closet. I’m sure I found it more hilarious than it was meant to be). And Jason, Braden’s father? I can understand why Braden gets so frustrated and annoyed at him sometimes – he is quite aggravating at times, though I can’t help thinking there’s more to the feud between the Lansings and the Thorpes than Braden is being told. Also, I’m curious how Drew plays into everything. He has to have some more backstory than what has been revealed so far.

I thought I would spend most of this second book still being a bit confused about the witches and the town (do Trey and Jade have powers? People in the town seem to know about the feud, but do they know about witches?), but questions are definitely answered in Demon Eyes that start to clear up some questions for both Braden and the reader! But despite all the answers revealed, more questions just keep coming, things get more mysterious than ever before and honestly, you can’t trust anyone in this town. I’m surprised everyone’s not paranoid about everything and everyone else – I would be. There is a good pace set throughout the book, not too much investigating or too much constant action. The best action is the ending, and there are some great revelations about Grace (the witch who had the Witch Eyes before Braden and large part of the town’s history and founding).

While I found a few plot threads to be a bit hard to follow since there is quite a lot going on and not all the information we need has been presented yet, that’s also a bit of a good thing? There are still lots of loose ends to tie up in the third book, and a cliffhangery ending to lead right into it. Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey is a solid second book in the series. It shows Braden becoming more aggressive in his search for what’s been happening with the feud, in Belle Dam and what’s going on with his Witch Eyes, steps up the plot twists and turns and even has some angsty romance going on. I’m curious to see where the third book takes us.

e-ARC provided thanks to Netgalley and Flux in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

Review: Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

 

Witch Eyes
by Scott Tracey

ISBN-13: 9-780738-725956
Publication: September 2011 from Flux
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it!

Braden’s witch eyes give him an enormous power. A mere look causes a kaleidoscopic explosion of emotions, memories, darkness, and magic. But this rare gift is also his biggest curse.

Compelled to learn about his shadowed past and the family he never knew, Braden is drawn to the city of Belle Dam, where he is soon caught between two feuding witch dynasties. Sworn rivals Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe will use anything – lies, manipulation, illusion, and even murder – to seize control of Braden’s powers. To stop an ancient evil from destroying the town, Braden must master his gift, even through the shocking discovery that Jason is his father. While his feelings for an enigmatic boy named Trey grow deeper, Braden realizes a terrible truth: Trey is Catherine Lansing’s son…and Braden may be destined to kill him.

Scott Tracey’s debut novel is concoction of awesome – mix up some mystery and drama, a dash of romance and a lot of mystical powers and you have Witch Eyes.

Braden is a witch, but he’s even a bit more special than that – he’s afflicted with witch eyes that, when uncovered, allow him to see the world as it was and is. Braden sees strong feelings that have imprinted on physical places. When he suddenly sees a vision of the future, Braden leaves his uncle and takes off for Belle Dam, where he hopes all the answers to his questions concerning the vision, his family and past can be found. But Braden is in for a lot more than he bargained for, including a feud between two witch families – a feud that he is intimately connected to. Throw in the cute son of the rival family and Braden is definitely in over his head.

I really like Braden. There were times I wanted to shake some sense into him, but I really like him. Braden is, at his heart, a good guy. He cares a lot for his uncle, who raised him, and is definitely trying to do the right thing…he just kind of rushes in head first sometimes and doesn’t think things through. But it’s all part of what makes Braden such a realistic character. Trey often annoyed and confused me, but I think it’s because I was seeing him through Braden’s viewpoint, and Trey often seemed to confuse and annoy Braden – especially with all that forbidden love, son of my enemy, but he’s really hot type angst running through Braden’s head whenever he’s around Trey. I loved their interactions, though, as well as Braden’s interactions with both Jason and Catherine and Jade, Trey’s sister. Witch Eyes showcases some great characterization, a definite strong point for the novel.

Scott Tracey also plays fast and fun with the backstory to Jason and Catherine’s feud, and Braden’s witch eyes. The glimpses we get into the history of Belle Dam are intense – a lot of them are seen through Braden’s eyes when he glimpses the past and the scenes are crazy. I’d love to see them in film, the scene would be this crazy montage of memories and colours and feelings (represented by appropriate music) all giving a history lesson. I thought the pacing was great in Witch Eyes – not too fast you got confused but not so slow you were bored, and we were left with just enough cliffhangers to make you wish you had the next book to read right away. I was intrigued and entertained from page one, and am definitely looking forward to the sequel!

Witch Eyes is part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren.

Review: The Pearl Wars by Nick James

 

The Pearl Wars
by Nick James

ISBN-13: 9-780738-723419
Published: September 2011 from Flux
Rating: 5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I loved it!

A devastated Earth’s last hope is found in Pearls: small, mysterious orbs that fall from space and are capable of supplying enough energy to power entire cities. Battling to control the Pearls are the Skyship dwellers — political dissidents who live in massive ships in the Earth’s stratosphere — and the corrupt Surface government.

Jesse Fisher, a Skyship slacker, and Cassius Stevenson, a young Surface operative, cross paths when they both venture into forbidden territory in pursuit of Pearls. Their chance encounter triggers an unexpected reaction, endowing each boy with remarkable — and dangerous — abilities that their respective governments would stop at nothing to possess.

Enemies thrust together with a common goal, Jesse and Cassius make their way to the ruins of Seattle to uncover the truth about their new powers, the past they didn’t know they shared, and a shocking secret about the Pearls.

The Pearl Wars absolutely intrigued me. I’ve always been a sci-fi fan, and this book just solidified my love for the genre. Jesse and Cassius are two teens living in post-war America. Cassius lives on the surface, in a Chosen city working for Madame – a head honcho in the new Unified government – to try and obtain Pearls, an energy source that falls from space. Jesse lives above ground in a Skyship, working – like Cassius – to obtain Pearls for the ships floating high above the largely unstable surface of the planet. A chance encounter unlocks something deep within each boy, and sets them on a path that is intricately linked with the Pearls.

I like nothing more than realistic characters that I can connect with. And The Pearl Wars delivers some realistic characters! Sometimes I just wanted to take Cassius by the shoulders and shake some sense into him. Cassius is singular in is devotion to Madame. You can tell that he’s a smart kid with a lot of potential and ability for caring, but he’s been brought up by Madame and has a little bit of brainwashing he needs to work through. Jesse is a strong characters, even if he’s a bit clumsy in the beginning. He does a bit of growing up throughout the book and really comes into his own. Jesse also has a love interest in mysterious Avery, a girl who can keep secrets with the best of them.

The Pearl Wars is a sprawling sci-fi adventure that looks at not just the implications of a post-war world and what can befall humanity, but the possibility of life on other planets than our own, and what happens when the two worlds collide in a spectacular fashion. Nick James explores what might happen to our planet and society after a war of global proportions. Governments have collapsed and re-formed, and society is in a mess. The population is divided into three. Those who live in the Chosen cities, those in the Skyships and the Fringers – mostly people who can’t afford to live inside a protected city or up in the sky. It’s across this future world that Cassius and Jesse race to discover the truth about who they are, and the Pearls that are so essential to survival. There are fights, chases, some out-of-this-world powers and even a bit of romance. This one is definitely a must read!