kenyon_illusionJust when you thought there is nothing Sherrilyn could do to make Nick Gautier suffer more…along comes Illusion. Two words: alternate reality. Uh huh, everything is not as it seems, and how the heck is Nick going to get back to his own type of ‘normal’?

We flick between Nick’s usual reality and the one he’s stuck in. We see his friends trying to get him back to where he’s supposed to be, and his ‘friends’ trying to make his life a living hell. I don’t think Nick will ever see his destiny in the same way again.

I’ve loved this series to date, and Illusion ups the stakes by so much you wonder how the next book will top that. (Didn’t I say something similar in the review for Inferno?)

Kenyon is skilled at making her characters relatable yet vulnerable, without being complete pushovers. Her female characters have no problem saving the day and doing what needs to be done, regardless of the cost. Each person has their own quirks and mannerisms, with voices as individual as a fingerprint. There really is something special about how Sherrilyn has crafted this series.

Her world building is second to none, and considering she now has over 70 books published, you would expect the level of confidence and strength we see in both The Chronicles of Nick and the Dark Hunter series, along with many others.

Defiant, book 6, is due out in 2015 and will absolutely be on my most-anticipated-reads list. 

Paperback, 464 pages

Published April 3rd 2014 by ATOM (first published April 1st 2014)

ISBN 1907411577 (ISBN13: 9781907411571)

Joelene_tnJoelene Pynnonen reviews TV series Revenge and enjoys it with popcorn.



Revenge_Sezon_2The Hamptons might be a place of glitter and sunshine on the surface; but once scratched it reveals a seething mass of secrets that people would kill to protect. When Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) arrives in the sunlit piece of paradise that the affluent Graysons call home, she plans to scratch deeply.

When she was a child her father was framed by the people he had trusted most. Now, grown up and with a different name, Emily plans to break everyone who contributed to her father’s downfall, working her way up to the Graysons.

Everything in Revenge works perfectly together. It’s not frivolous, nor does it get mired down in angst. The assembled cast is amazing with Madeleine Stowe in the role of Victoria Grayson, the self-styled ‘Queen of the Hamptons’; Gabriel Mann as Nolan, Emily’s self-appointed vengeance assistant; and Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter the man that Emily knew as a child and is still in love with. All of the roles in the series are nuanced, and each character has their own secrets.

While this seems like the kind of idea that could germinate an amazing movie, I wasn’t sure that it would work well for a long-running TV series. The first season alone was enough to change my mind on that score. While Emily’s vengeance is the heart of the show, as the other characters develop, a myriad of deeper plots unfold, each of them as compelling as the main one.  Emotionally too, the series grows, the characters gaining depth as their secrets begin to unravel.

Revenge is a sumptuously indulgent series to lose yourself in. Morals and characters aside, it has a wonderful soundtrack featuring Australian folk-duo siblings Angus and Julia Stone. The filming locations are also gorgeous. From sunlit beaches to lavish parties and opulent mansions, the Hamptons of Revenge are a wonderful place to visit for an hour every week.

Everyone loves a good revenge story. There’s something about it that satisfies society’s moral conscience without breaking its rules. Revenge manages to do this in a creative and fun way. It’s the perfect show to curl up and eat popcorn to.

bishop_crowsMeg Corbyn, a Cassandra Sangue (one who sees prophesies with a little bloodletting), has finally found her place among the Others, living in the Lakeside Courtyard. Life is getting back to a semblance of normal.

Beyond Lakeside, two addictive drugs have become a problem for both humans and the Others; it is a problem for the Others because it reacts badly with their physiology, and a problem for humans because, with the threat of humans using the drugs to overpower the Others, they’re all about to be evicted, or ‘dealt with.’ Special meat anyone?

Meg is at her wits’ end trying to balance her need to speak prophesies and keep Simon Wolfguard (lakeside’s leader) off her back. Will she able to defuse the threat of humans being murdered before more of the Others fall victim to these two heinous drugs?

The dynamics between Meg and the other characters in this book is something special. When they’re not in kill-mode, the residents of Lakeside are sweet and generous. There’s humour and a generous helping of suspense to be found in Murder of Crows.

Anne Bishop is a master of making her characters work together, in spite of her males being alphas and her females not being helpless and meek little things. By getting them to work together, I think Anne gains a complexity in her storylines that others may lack.

That being said, I think perhaps this series is better suited for the older age brackets of YA, as there are some truly heinous acts towards the other Cassandra Sangue that was perhaps only hinted at in Written in Red.

Vision in Silver is due in March 2015 and, my goodness, that seems like forever away. I cannot wait to find out what happens next with Meg and Simon. Awrooooooooo!

Paperback, 337 pages

Published March 2014 by HarperCollins

ISBN13 9780732296827

Joelene_tnIt’s almost here! In just under a week Black Milk is releasing its Princesses and Villains line. So if you want all the glamour of a Disney princess without the hazards of getting stuck in doorways, check it out. My personal favourites are the Mermemerald Leggings~Joelene Pynnonen.


LeChatCheshire  Meremerald Legs




Kim and Klavan_WastelandWelcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —- hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

Hardcover, 328 pages

Published March 26th 2013 by HarperTeen


Set in a post-apocalyptic world where resources are scarce, rain is poison, and hermaphrodites are outcasts, Wasteland takes a different look at a future world in which humans do not survive past 19 years of age. They marry young and have children, then spend their days foraging and making contributions to The Source. The Source controls the food and utilities that they all need to survive, making them dependent upon it.

The variants are outcasts who attack the others, especially while they forage for The Source. Esther thinks there are better ways to live her life than working all the time; she has secretly made friends with Skar, a variant, and they spend most of their time shirking duties and exploring.

There are a variety of characters both outside and inside The Source that we get to know. Their society is on the brink of change—most likely for the worse—and everyone is searching for a way to live longer. There is not a whole lot of world building in Wasteland, but just enough to get the feel of this story. As the series continues, I hope to find out more about the events in the time before this book takes place.

When a mysterious stranger shows up, Esther is immediately curious about what he is looking for, and soon they join forces to fight for change. The pace of the story picks up once Caleb arrives, and the secret of what is really going on starts to be revealed.

What I loved about the story is that even though it covers ideas that are similar to those in books that I love, there are some unusual twists that make Wasteland unique. It gave me insight into how things could be different, especially with the hermaphrodite aspect. It doesn’t play a huge role in the first book, but I found it to be a very curious and unique aspect of the story, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

I recommend this book to lovers of survival stories and post-apocalyptic fiction.

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