Early Review: In Darkness Transformed by Alexis Morgan

, by Kt Clapsadl

In Darkness Transformed by Alexis Morgan
The Paladin Strike Team #1

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Paladin series returns with this sexy, original title featuring a man discovering the paranormal world of the paladins.

Dying hurts…but not as much as living.

Eli is lucky to survive the helicopter crash that killed the rest of the passengers. But when he notices his wounds healing before his eyes, it seems like his survival may have come from more than luck.

Safara knows what Eli does not—Eli is a paladin, a mortal enemy of someone like Safara, someone from Kalithia.
Still, after Eli saves Safara’s life, and Safara introduces Eli to a whole new world, they just can’t seem to treat each as enemies.

I really enjoyed the Paladin books when they originally released, so when I saw a new series would be started in this same world, I was more than a little excited. While it's been very long time since the last Paladin book released, I had no trouble jumping right back into this spin off series. There's just something special about Alexis's storytelling that let me slip right into the world and the awesome characters. However, I will admit this time around felt just a bit different than the previous books. They just had a different feel about them with less focus on the Paladin "lifestyle" since Eli's an outsider, and he's on Earth, but in a Kalithian town. This isn't a bad thing, as it gave things a fresh new feel.

I really loved Eli and Safara together. They each came with so many secrets and watching them dancing around each other trying to figure how much they can trust and share was a great ride. Despite coming from such very different worlds, they both had the same very protective spirit. Seeing them come together despite all that baggage and fierce natures was incredibly enjoyable.

If you've been missing the yummy Paladins in your life, IN DARKNESS TRANSFORMED will be the perfect fix!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Early Review: Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison
Elder Races #9.8

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the final novella featuring Pia and Dragos…

Pia’s latest pregnancy has become a daily challenge, her relationship with Dragos strained with argument. That hasn’t stopped them from achieving a compromise and traveling to Las Vegas to celebrate their friend Rune’s wedding to his mate Carling.

From the moment they arrive, the trip goes awry. Death walks in Vegas, and Pia is kidnapped as an ancient enemy makes a move to destroy the Great Beast once and for all.

But the Great Beast has other plans. On Planet Dragos everything goes the way he arranges it—unless someone decides to cross him, and God help them then, because he doesn’t know how to back down, and he doesn’t ever, ever let up.

Wow. For PLANET DRAGOS being "just" a novella, an incredible amount of game changing events happen. My head is still spinning from the whirlwind of events. It's always so bittersweet to say goodbye to much loved characters. And as this is the last installment to directly feature Dragos and Pia, I was hoping for a proper send off. PLANET DRAGOS more than delivered. 

From the first page, things take off with a bang and Dragos speaks of Pia's kidnapping. Then we're thrust a few days in the past to a very pregnant Pia and Dragos trying to navigate their relationship. Their squabbling and learning to navigate through their issues felt so real and relatable. Then of course the actual kidnapping occurs and the book is an utter whirlwind from there. It's non-stop action and fury with all the favorite characters from previous books returning leading up to one heck of a climax. I was seriously hooked and on the edge of my seat from all the action. But what I appreciated even more was that after the incredible climax, there was a good bit of page time afterwards bringing things to a close and setting things up for the future. It was really well balanced and I loved every minute of it! 

PLANET DRAGOS felt like an end and a beginning all in one, both bittersweet for this reader and yet hopeful for the future to come. With one door closing and another one opening, Thea Harrison proves that there is so much potential to the amazing Elder Races world. I can't wait to see what's in store next!

(Received a copy from the author)


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     Books in Brogan

Previous Books:
     1. Dragon Bound
     2. Storm's Heart
     3. Serpent's Kiss
     4. Oracle's Moon
     5. Lord's Fall
     6. Kinked
     6.5. Dragos Takes a Holiday
     6.6. Pia Saves the Day
     7. Night's Honor
     8. Midnight's Kiss
     8.6. Pia Does Hollywood
     9. Shadow's End
     9.5. Liam Takes Manhattan
     9.7. The Chosen

Review: Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

, by Kt Clapsadl

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
Fallen Isles Trilogy #1


Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.


Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

I really wanted to love BEFORE SHE IGNITES. The premise of the blurb pulled me in, and the concept of the story was very intriguing. However the execution just left some things to be desired in my opinion. The story was told flip flopping in time back and forth between before and after the major change in Mira's life. I understand the intention was to slowly unfurl the secrets and the story, but in practice, this was more frustrating than not. Even by the end of the book I still didn't fully grasp the world, or what was truly going on, or at stake. I just wish more time had been spent setting things up rather than the continual bouncing back and forth.

Another difficulty I had with this book was my detachment from the heroine, Mira. She spends most of the book in a vapid state for lack of a better word. I hate to be so harsh, but until the very end of the book, she just didn't seem to have any substance to her. I realize she was literally raised to be an object for the counsel's use, but it just was incredibly hard to stay engaged in her plight. The only strength she showed throughout the book were her attempts to hold out against torture to keep the secret of the dragons. BUT unfortunately this didn't show real strength as there never seemed a reason for her to withhold such knowledge. Speaking of what she found is what landed her in the Pit in the first place, but upon imprisonment and torture, the cat suddenly got her tongue? It just range false.

While this first book in this new series started off rocky, by the end I was fully hooked into the world. I will be continuing on with this series to see what happens next in this fascinating world.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     The Moonlight Library
     Gizmo's Reviews
     Du Livre

Review: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

, by Kt Clapsadl

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Three Dark Crowns #2

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

There's something just deliciously dark and yummy about these books. The enthralling darkness and complexity of the world started in the first book, and continued even stronger in ONE DARK THRONE. The horrors of the Ascension Year are in full swing this time around and previously allegiances are in shatters. It made for an enthralling read. I won't spoil things, but there were so many twists and turns leading up to one heck of a cliffhanger ending. I was left in utter shock!

I had absolutely no trouble connecting with the characters this time around. Getting to know the girls in the first book was a bit rocky I have to admit, but all three of the triplets have found their identities and aren't holding their punches anymore. I had my favorites for sure, but each girl and their allies brought something special to the table making it hard to choose sides at times. Everything is so up in the air with this trio, I can't wait to see how it all pans out in the end.

All in all, if you're looking for a dark and enthralling YA fantasy read, look no further than ONE DARK THRONE.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     The Moonlight Library
     Book Series Recaps
     Her Bookish Things

Previous Books:
     1. Three Dark Crowns

Early Review: Peachy Flippin' Keen by Molly Harper

, by Kt Clapsadl

Peachy Flippin' Keen by Molly Harper
Southern Eclectic 1.5

A prank war erupts in Lake Sackett, Georgia and coroner Frankie McCready has to turn to the gorgeous but surly new sheriff for help in Molly Harper’s newest Southern Eclectic novella, perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Amy E. Reichert.

The McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop has crickets running rampant in the store and hot sauce in the Snack Shack’s ketchup bottles. But as the county coroner, Frankie has enough on her plate without worrying about the increasingly mean pranks being played at her family’s business. And the arrival of Sheriff Eric Linden, both devastatingly attractive and painfully taciturn, is enough to push her over the edge.

Linden, who didn’t seem to get the memo about men in uniform and Southern charm, is condescending and cold, revealing absolutely nothing about his past as an Atlanta police officer, while also making Frankie’s job as coroner as difficult as possible. And with the town’s Fourth of July celebration coming up, it’s essential for McCready’s to be cricket-free and in good working order. Strangling the sheriff will make her job even harder. Can Frankie hold off the threats to preserve her own sanity?

PEACH FLIPPIN' KEEN was a fun little prequel novella to set up for the next book in the Southern Eclectic series. This time around Frankie is at the forefront, and while there's no complete story here, it was a fun romp to prep things for her full book. I really love this world and these characters, especially Frankie. So, I really enjoyed this teaser to set up for the "main show" to come.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Always Reviewing
     Midnight Book Girls

Previous Books:
     1. Sweet Tea and Sympathy

Release Day Review: Veiled Enchantments by Deborah Blake

, by Kt Clapsadl

Veiled Enchantments by Deborah Blake
Veiled Magic #3

Still reeling from her unwitting involvement in murder and subsequent break up with a half-Dragon art forger, Witch-cop Donata Santori is grateful for the distraction when her ex-lover requests her help. Not only are Magnus's beloved dead suddenly haunting the Ulfhednar shapechangers in his tiny rural hometown in Maine, their patron god Odin has turned his back on them, and the members of their once tight-knit enclave are at each other's throats. Literally.

Magnus is relying on Donata's experience in dealing with the gods, along with her magical ability to summon the dead, to help him unravel this mystery in time to save his clan. Donata only hopes to survive the ordeal so she can return home to the city and her quiet job at the precinct.

But first, she must discover who or what is behind the terrible attacks on the Ulfhednar. And the clock is ticking, in more ways than one...

This series truly gets better with each book. I feel like I've really settled into the world and the characters this time around. I love Donata's character. She's come an incredibly long way from the witch we first met in book one. She's fierce and determined to do the right thing always, even when it could cost her greatly and I love her for it. She has to step up yet again in this book, and despite some pretty big opposition, she never once wavers. It made for an entertaining read to say the least.

In the previous books in the series, one of my biggest frustrations was with the romance. Over all they just weren't working for me, but I'm happy to say that the romance woes are in the rearview mirror now. Things settled greatly in VEILED ENCHANTMENTS and there wasn't any of that previous wishy washy stuff from before. That's not to say everything is sappy and perfect in Donata's love life, quite the opposite actually. It just felt more settled and building towards something rather than the tennis match back and forth of the previous books. Romance lovers should appreciate this new direction.

All in all, VEILED ENCHANTMENTS was an enjoyable installment in a series that I hope will have many more releases to come. I love Donata and the gang, and can't wait to see where things lead next.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Tome Tender

Previous Books:
     1. Veiled Magic
     2. Veiled Menace

Early Review: Twice Bitten by Lynsay Sands

, by Kt Clapsadl

Twice Bitten by Lynsay Sands
Argeneau #27

For someone who’s been around for over a hundred and forty years, immortal Elspeth Argeneau hasn’t done a whole lot of living. Now that she’s moved away from her controlling mother, she’s tracking down rogue vampires and enjoying some overdue freedom. A fling would be fun. A life mate can wait. Yet to Elspeth’s surprise, her landlady’s hot grandson checks both boxes.

Wyatt fell instantly in love with Elspeth four years ago. He’s stunned to run into her again, especially as she has no memory of him. Then again, there are a lot of things about Elspeth that don’t make sense, like the miraculous speed with which her wounds heal. And the chemistry that transforms every touch into an explosion of desire. But with mysterious “accidents” besieging Elspeth, the ex-Special Forces soldier appoints himself her bodyguard. But time is running out to uncover the truth about her enemies—and rediscover the man determined to love her for eternity.

After twenty-seven books you would wonder if things are going to start gettting stale. But after reading TWICE BITTEN, I can assure you this series is still as strong as ever. Not only were the characters and romance fantastic, it was an absolute hoot too boot. I can't count how many times while reading it that I cracked up laughing out loud. 

I absolutely adored Elspeth's character. She's had to endure so much from her overbearing mother it was utterly insane. I wanted to reach through the pages and strangle that woman so many times, it's not funny. In fact it was impressive how humorous the book was in spite of how awful the mother was. So for Elspeth to have been such a strong character in the face of that opposition was nothing short of incredible, and I loved her all the more for it. And the hero, Wyatt? He was put through an incredible lot himself in a short time, but he took it all in stride. The two of them were very well paired. 

If you are looking for fun read that's full of heat, humor, and high stakes, TWICE BITTEN is the book for you. I love the Argeneau books, and all I can say is keep them coming!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Next Book Around the Corner

Previous Books:
     1. A Quick Bite
     2. Love Bites
     3. Single White Vampire
     4. Tall, Dark, & Hungry
     5. A Bite to Remember
     6. Bite Me If You Can
     7. The Accidental Vampire
     8. Vampires Are Forever
     9. Vampire, Interrupted
    10. The Rouge Hunter
    11. The Immortal Hunter
    12. The Renegade Hunter
    13. Born to Bite
    14. Hungry for You
    15. The Reluctant Vampire
    16. Under a Vampire Moon
    17. The Lady is a Vamp
    18. Immortal Ever After
    19. One Lucky Vampire
    20. Vampire Most Wanted
    21. The Immortal Who Loved Me
    22. About a Vampire
    23. Runaway Vampire
    24. Immortal Nights
    25. Immortal Unchained
    26. Immortally Yours

Review: The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Iskari #1

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

I've always been a fan of dragon stories, but THE LAST NAMSARA may take the cake for uniqueness. At the opening, our heroine, Asha thinks Dragons are evil and has made it her life mission to hunt them all down. She's quite the little bloodthirsty killer, and good at her task. But in typical YA fantasy fashion, nothing is as it seems. I really enjoyed seeing Asha's progression from the role of killer, into something else as her world view slowly changed. Everything she thought she knew was a lie, and it sure made for a shakeup in her life, and the story itself. I was hooked watching her world fall around her, and then her standing strong picking up the pieces and fighting for what she felt was right. It just made for a very enjoyable heroine.

Moving onto the romance, and it's a forbidden one at that. Asha found herself in the unlikely situation of falling for a slave. It was interesting to see her trying to come to grips with her feelings as well as society's pressure around her, all the while her world view had come tumbling down. Oh and don't forget the conflict of her being betrothed to someone else. Torwin is both sweet, yet incredibly strong, refusing to give up despite knowing the risks. I really adored his character and I can't wait to see how thing progress with these two in future books.

All in all if you enjoy a good YA fantasy read about dragons that's full of twists and turns, look no further than THE LAST NAMSARA.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Du Livre
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     Hit or Miss Books

Release Day Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

, by Kt Clapsadl

Lake Silence by Anne Bishop
The Others #6

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–one of the shapeshifting Others–discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous–and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive.

While reading LAKE SILENCE I felt just a bit of deja vu, but in the best possible way. Many elements of the story felt similar to the first set up in the Others world. Everything was different, don't get me wrong, but similar feeling all the same with each setting bringing something different to the table. I had worried a bit that I would miss Meg and Simon and the Courtyard immensely, but these new characters and the Jumble pulled me in right from the start, making it feel like coming home again.

Just like in previous books in the series the main characters are fantastic, but the supporting cast is just as three dimensional and enjoyable. Our caretaker of the Jumble is Vicki. Like Meg, she's rather damaged, but very strong inside, and endears all of the Others two her. It put a huge smile on my face to see just how quickly the Others adopted her as well. Then of course you have all of the various humans and their shops on the good side of things. Plus a gruff but great cop named Wayne, and a seeing Intuit, Julian Farrow thrown in the mix that I really adored. Then getting into the Others, both large and small, they added a rich depth to the book. I particularly enjoyed the Sanquinati, Ilya, and the role he played in this book. He's scary but noble all at the same time, and I loved the juxtaposition. Add in the larger role the mysterious Elders play, and the Lady of the Lake, and LAKE SILENCE had one heck of a cast.

Then you have the plot, and oh boy was it a doozy. Vicki's claim on the Jumble is threatened, and to put it mildly, the Others do not take this well. You would think by now humans in general would know better, but I guess there's no limit to some people's greed. Their idiocy and shenanigans made for an interesting read, just seeing how bad things could get. 

All in all LAKE SILENCE was an incredibly enjoyable read. Fans of the first books in this series will be more than pleased with this new direction. I can't wait to see where things go next. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Between Dreams and Reality
     Gizmo's Reviews
     Slapdash & Sunday

Previous Books:
     1. Written in Red
     2. Murder of Crows
     3. Vision in Silver
     4. Marked in Flesh
     5. Etched in Bone

Early Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

, by Kt Clapsadl

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Alpha & Omega #5

Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other--one that lurks too close to home...

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok's pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf--but can't stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills--his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker--to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn...

I really look forward to every release from Patricia Briggs whether it's a Charles/Anna or a Mercy story. I've said it before, but every book is like coming home to old friends, and BURN BRIGHT was no exception. In fact in preparation for this release, I did an audio re-read of both of the entire Mercy and Alpha & Omega series. I just love these books that much. So after reading this newest installment, I'm happy to report I'm still just as enamored as ever with the series. 

BURN BRIGHT brought a whole lot more depth to the characters of Aspen Creek that really enriched the series. Sure we get plenty of Charles and Anna time, but there's a whole lot of other side characters that came to the forefront, like the Wildlings. Also, Leah in particular surprised me. In the previous books in both series she's portrayed as bitter and vindictive, overall a nasty person. And yet in BURN BRIGHT we got to see a whole lot more of her personality and who she really is. I definitely enjoyed seeing more into her character. 

There is one small twist regarding Bran and Mercy and the reasons why Leah despises Mercy so much. While I won't spoil things, I'm not sure how I feel about the revelations. Some things just didn't sit with me right and had me second guessing a lot of past things from previous books. I won't say that it ruined anything, just made me see things in a different light and I'm just not sure how I feel. I'll get over it, and I do commend Patricia for writing such multi-faceted characters. While the twist may not be my favorite, it made the characters all the more real for it.  

All in all, BURN BRIGHT was a very enjoyable installment in the Alpha & Omega series. Fans of Ms. Brigg's books will be more than pleased!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Bad Bird Reads
     Tome Tender
     My Guilty Obsession

Previous Books:
     1. Cry Wolf
     2. Hunting Ground
     3. Fair Game
     4. Dead Heat

Early Review: Everlife by Gena Showalter

, by Kt Clapsadl

Everlife by Gena Showalter
Everlife #3

At seventeen years old, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood had to make the ultimate choice—where to live after she died. Loyalty to her selected realm has not wavered…until now. She is out of time. Sacrifices must be made, and a terrible price must be paid. But is she too late?

As the Everlife descends into darkness, a single truth becomes clear: Troika and Myriad must unite—or perish. In order to bring sworn enemies together, Ten must enter forbidden territory…and destroy the powerful Prince of Ravens. But there’s only one way inside—bonding with Killian Flynn, a deadly rival who sets her blood aflame.

When nothing goes as planned and betrayal leads to the edge of utter defeat, Ten and Killian will have to rebuild trust from the ashes of their hearts. Victory seems impossible, the odds stacked against them. In the end, how far will they be willing to go for the sake of their realms and the Everlife?

This series has been an interesting one for me. In the first two books I really couldn't stand Ten's character and her constant indecision but I kept holding out hope she would grow. I was granted my wish in EVERLIFE as she's to the other extreme and aside from a choice that has far reaching consequences at the start, she never once wavers in her devotion to Troika. It actually made me admire her a great deal. She finally made her real choice, and no matter how insurmountable the odds nor what was brutally done to her, she never budged. It was, refreshing to be honest. However, this came at a cost as Killian turned into the opposite and while I won't go into details to avoid spoilers, the events surrounding his changes more than frustrated me. It felt more like a plot ploy rather than a well executed twist which is a shame as it lessened the romance for me.

Romance woes aside, I actually enjoyed this whirlwind ending to the trilogy a great deal. The first two books showed potential, but were ultimately rocky. But this series ender definitely took things out on a bang. The world is truly fascinating and the light vs dark aspects old enriched the series more. EVERLIFE truly showed that everything isn't always as it seems and things are not black and white. Light isn't always good, and darkness isn't always evil. There's shades of grey and good and evil on both sides. And that the path to peace is finding balance not truly good/evil or right/wrong. I really enjoyed the way everything was built up, and that ending! Oh, my did I not see that coming! All I can say is very well done Ms. Showalter!

All in all EVERLIFE was a very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. You won't be disappointed.  

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Previous Books:
     1. Firstlife
     2. Lifeblood

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