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Book Review – See How She Awakens (The Izzy Chronicles) by Michelle Graves

ARC received in return for an honest review

The Seer has fallen, yet the prophecy remains.
The World will burn, unless the Seer is Awakened.

Izzy is lost to the void, doing everything within her power to forget the past two years of her life, when a voice calls out to her from the fog. Aberto begs for her to return while Kennan’s voice implores her to remember. Everything within her is telling her to stay in the void, but then Aberto tells her the one thing powerful enough to pull her from oblivion, Molly is dying.

What awaits Izzy on the mortal plane is more terrifying than she could’ve imagined. The darkness is on the rise and no one seems to see it, or they don’t want to admit to the truth. With the darkness more powerful than ever, Izzy must find a way to push the past behind her and protect her loved ones, even if it means losing herself forever.

Will Izzy fall to the darkness or will she finally discover who she was always destined to be? Find out what happens when the Seer finally Awakens.  

There was a lot that needed to be resolved in Izzy’s world going into this book and I have to say I was more than a little bit nervous to see what was going to happen! Really this story could’ve gone a few different ways. Reaching the conclusion of a series is big, especially a series which you have been obsessed with. Every reader going into a final book definitely has a picture in their mind of what they are hoping the conclusion will look like, myself included…

Izzy thought once she fell the prophecy would be fulfilled and the world would be safe from the darkness… But this is not the case… Not even close. While Izzy is languishing in the void, people she loves are dying, she knows she has to stop the darkness, she just doesn’t know if she’s strong enough to after being so utterly and completely broken.

What I loved about this book is that now we’ve come full circle the pace was slowed down a bit so we could focus on the characters and details. There is still a ton of action, don’t get me wrong! But the feel of this book is very much a goodbye, so we take the time to work through Izzy’s final battle, which is just as much with herself as it is with the darkness. There was no way that Izzy was going to be her usual bouncy back chatting-self going into this book, she was far too broken. The overall tone was definitely darker and heavy with despair and that was important for the story being told. But happiness is a state of mind and can be accomplished many ways. I loved that Michelle Graves managed to not only continue with Izzy’s character development and work through the despair and challenges she was facing, but also managed to by the end give us glimpses of the old Izzy. In this aspect of the story I was completely satisfied!

The romance part of this book was a tricky one. Obviously with previous events it wasn’t going to be simple no matter what way it was approached. After having a few days to digest I do feel like the end was fitting. Now, this doesn’t mean that I wasn’t hoping for ‘more’ because the hopeless lover of romance in me did hope for sunshine and rainbows and over the top gestures of romance. But I know what this story entailed and I understand why the ending was what is was. I guess it’s just one of those things where I understand it and it works perfectly for the story, but there’s still a part of me that’s protesting. Which I actually think is a really clever way to end a series, that I feel so passionate about it really shows that it’s hit the mark.

I’m sad to say goodbye to Izzy and the rest of the crew but at the same time I’m glad her story has finished on a high note. This series was the perfect length and had an amazingly balanced mix of everything that you love to see in this genre. I know if Michelle Graves writes anything in the future I will be one very excited reader!

 photo credit: vanz via photopin <a href=" credit: Eddi van W. via photopin cc

Book Review – The Forged by Magic Trilogy by S. L. Gavyn

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I recently found myself taken by an Urban Fantasy mood. I had nothing lined up so I turned to Amazon for inspiration. After aaaages browsing through book after book, I found Brimstone. Admittedly, the cover did not grab me but hey, it’s not the first time (or even the 500th time) that I was leery over an urban fantasy book cover. However, the blurb COMPLETELY suckered me in. In fact, it had me at the word ‘Fey’. My most beloved of all ‘other-world’ creatures. There’s just something so romantic and whimsical about the Fey.

I ended up devouring all three book in the Forged by Magic Trilogy in just three days. I loved it THAT much. It had all the elements that make up a great urban fantasy for me; magic, intrigue, fascinating non-humans, hot hero and kick-ass heroine! 

A manipulative boss. 
Demon attacking at every turn. 
A Fey Prince she’s tried desperately to avoid. 
A deception of massive proportion. 
It’s tough being a single woman these days. 

Genivieve Belaveau was a simple girl with simple needs. For example, all she wanted to do was sit in her favorite pub and have a drink with her friends. After centuries of being imprisoned she vowed she would never be forced to do anything again. Unfortunately, her boss has a different agenda. He manipulates Vieve into stealing from the one man on the planet she has tried to deny herself for centuries. Primarily because her own emotions for this man will lead to her destruction. 
Raynon Dubhshaine the Scottish prince of the Fey, a dying race of the strongest warriors on the planet. Their women are unable to bring a child to term without one or both dying. He has tried to give his people hope but how can he tell them it will all be alright when his own mate won’t even acknowledge him? 
Vieve isn’t interested in getting locked up (or knocked up) at castle Fey. She just wants to do her job, save her friend, and get her tail back to America. But when she’s deceived by one she trusts there will be only one place to go. After all, sometimes a girl has to say no. And sometimes there’s no taking no for an answer.

The background story we got on this book was minimal, to be fair. At times I felt like I was missing a book that explained to me whats actually going on. The background story that we did get though made for an amazing introduction to this world and this story. It drew me into the story and connected me with the heroine in the best way.  

The romance was hot and swoony but I didn’t find that the story lacked because of it, which is a big thing for me in a urban fantasy series. I LOVE the romance and it needs to be there but I also love experiencing the world and getting lost in the adventures of our characters. This story had the perfect balance of both adventure and romance. 

There were a couple of plot holes that I either missed (god I hope not) or that remained unanswered. Perhaps this was done purposefully but I’m unsure of that at this point. There is another series written by this author called the Avery Tywella series that is a continuing series but based in the same world. Many of the characters bridge across both series so I’m absolutely dying to get my hands on this series and read more from this world! I’m officially adding S. L. Gavyn to my ‘favorite UF authors’ list!