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Blood Tree Part 1 – Scarlett Dawn

BLOOD TREE PART ONE

Synopsis1

Where there is dark, there is light.
The two halves make a whole…
Or do they constantly battle for dominance?

Kenna Julius is your average teenage girl. She has a bossy mom, a new boyfriend in school, and she never dreams of enchanted lands or fairytale castles.

She lives in the real world.

Or so she thought.

One fender bender sends Kenna traipsing through the woods and following her mom’s crazy directions. But when she falls into another realm where men play flutes under the full moon and magical powers crackle the air, her perception of fantasy becomes her reality. The hot guy she meets doesn’t help matters either when he claims she’s his.

Or does Kenna actually belong to another?
Someone much more…dark?

*This is a 20,000 word novella*

Review1

Blood Tree is a short novella that introduces us to an amazing new world in the mind of Scarlett Dawn and is one I’m glad I didn’t miss! The novella follows Kenna from the age of thirteen when her whole world changes to her introduction into adulthood at the age of twenty. Scarlett Dawn, as always, shows off superhuman-esque storytelling skills. I mean, seriously, the woman knows how to weave a world and pull you into it!
I will say this was aggravatingly short for me. I know it’s a novella and thus short by its very nature, however, I didn’t feel like we got enough meat to this story. While I loved Kenna and thought her mom was a fun character as well, they were the only characters I felt that I had time to grow attached too, every other character I remained feeling rather ambiguous about, so I just wish there had been more time (and pages) to develop the relationships because I always love Scarlett Dawn’s secondary characters and simply wish to have known these better.
All in all, I’d recommend this novella to anyone looking for a fast-paced fun read and maybe an escape from reality for a couple hours.
Even better?!?! The follow up to this novella, Blood Tree – Part Two, comes out September 15 and can be preordered now! If there’s there’s one thing that I love about novella’s it’s that they’re released so close together!!

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Darken The Stars – Amy A Bartol

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Synopsis

Kyon Ensin finally has what he’s always wanted: possession of Kricket Hollowell, the priestess who foresees the future. Together, their combined power will be unrivaled. Kricket, however, doesn’t crave the crown of Ethar—she has an unbreakable desire to live life on her own terms, a life that she desperately wants to share with her love, Trey Allairis.

As conspiracies rage in the war for Ethar, Kricket’s so-called allies want to use her as a spy. Even those held closest cannot be trusted—including Astrid, her sister, and Giffen, a member of a mysterious order with a hidden agenda. But Kricket’s resolve will not allow her to be used as anyone’s pawn, even as the Brotherhood sharpens its plans to cut out her heart.

As the destiny prophesied by her mother approaches, Kricket will backtrack through her fiery future to reshape it. For she knows one thing above all else: the only person she can truly count on is herself.

Review
(I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review)

I simultaneously loved and hated this book. It made soul soar while also causing it to weep. Seriously there were some serious waterworks at least twice while reading. Basically, it was an Amy Bartol novel and to me, gosh darn close to perfect! Darken The Stars was not at all what I expected – though I didn’t really go into it with any idea of what to expect. I knew where we left off without a clue as to where Amy would take us as we continued the journey in this installment of Kricket’s story. Our lead girl really comes into her own in this novel without Trey, Wayra, and Jax as a safety net to catch her every time she missteps. Kricket is determined to take her future into her own hands in this novel and the change and growth in her is palpable throughout Darken The Stars.
Now, my favorites of the series have been Jax and Wayra all the way. (Seriously, I love those two. Amy always writes such amazing secondary characters in a way that they don’t eclipse the main characters but make me want more and more and more of them). Unfortunately, as expected in the manner which the second installment ended, we don’t get to see much of our three favorite Cavars. I think this was the only thing I found a little disappointing in the novel.
I think what I enjoyed most about this installment was getting to see a new depth and new side to characters I had before labeled as monsters who shouldn’t make it out of the series alive. Yes, I said it, this novel may possibly (when I say that I mean it definitely will) leave you with mixed emotions about one we considered a villain — Kyon.
I wouldn’t say Kyon has changed, but I will say it’s impossible for me (a firm Kyon hater before this novel) to end the story with the same harsh opinion.
I was nervous about how it would close. Worried I’d be let down or disappointed. I was not. I actually really enjoyed the way it came to a close. Amy Bartol left the book open to a possible future of more Kricket, but if she chooses not to continue, this was a wonderful way to end it as well. I thought the ending was very true to Kricket and who she is and could not have imagined a closure more true to the character.

Darken The Stars releases September 8 for everyone to read! Go pre-order your copy now! 

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