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MelHay has commented on (138) products.

The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak
The Harvesting

MelHay, July 3, 2015

When Layla returns home, at her Grandmothers strong request, she finds the house boarded up and all sorts of supplies stocked up. Layla is concerned her grandmother is losing her mind, but she knows the woman has a strong connection with the spirits. Layla sees on the news of an outbreak of sickness that has a mortality rate of 100%, with signs of brain activity afterward... Layla drinks a special tea from her grandmother, and when she wakes the world is not as she remembers it. Layla's knowledge of swords, knives, and hunting that she's learned through her life will come in handy in the new world she's to live and survive in.

I had the great opportunity to listen to the audio book version. Kristin's work is outstanding. The emotion she shows through her voice is easy to grasp at and understand. She brings the intricately written Layla to life. She hits the rushed, horror filled moments making them pop with the suspense they are to feel and with shaking that fit's with Layla. It's like listening to a movie with the height of all emotions bubbling to the surface in her voice. She even does a Russian accent for Grandmother. I really enjoyed Kristin's work in this story! She really brought the story to life.

Between Melanie's writing and Kristin's reading, I even teared up at the thought of why Grandmother did all she did. And even a few other times through the book I felt caught up in the world with the characters, hurting for what they had to do.

Starting the book I knew from the description and others that there is a battle coming. Listening to the stocking Grandma is doing, the weapons she's collecting, and getting to know Layla and her Grandma has caught my attention right off. I want to know all! Grandma is scaring Layla, and making anxious as well. Then the moment comes. It's rough seeing the place Layla grew up go through all they have to bare. The people of this town have to come to grips with killing those they loved in life when they die. It's heart wrenching listening to how these people remember everyone and have to put them to their final resting place.

This book is full of all emotions. Love of loss, love blooming, and scary and rushed adrenaline moments. All blends together with action and emotions wonderfully in this world. Well done Melanie!

I love the subtle blends that Melanie has brought to the story. There feels to have nature and American Indian influences in the spirits around the Hamletville. The wood spirits around the area, and everywhere, is a helping hand for Layla. The world has changed, and they are able to suggest things in small ways.

Just when I thought I was settling in, the story has a turn that brings us to something new! Oh this was wonderful! This story has so much more than I was ever expecting to read. We struggle through in Hamletville with Layla and those that survive, but then to come upon another obstacle in their lives and choices they made. Oh a new foe appears and is exciting to see!

There is a bit of love in the book as well. Layla returns home, where her ex-boyfriend and the love of her youth still lives. But there is a potential other interest. It's not a three way that we all see all the time. Actually, Layla has her mind made up early on, it's that one of them has to get it through their skull that there's not a chance with her. And, I'm thrilled with the one she picks. He's TOTALLY the right choice.

Layla is a wonderful lead character. She's the strong woman that I would love to be in this situation. She is knowledgeable from her history studying and profession. She's also kick arse with a sword and guns, yet she's not one with a large head that takes charge. She's respected by all that know her and knew her grandmother, and she's looked to for help and advice. She's amazing.

If you haven't read or listened to this one, you SHOULD! I listened to that audio and man... this is an AMAZING combo of writing by Melanie and voice by Kristin. If you are a UF fan, you'll will enjoy this.
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From Gods by Mary Ting

MelHay, July 3, 2015

Skylar is staying at her Aunt's house for three weeks in the summer as she does each year. The cop that pulled her over, suspiciously off feeling event, and shows up at the Diner she's working with her cousin. Mason has a different name and seems surprised she remembers him. And he did not pull her over. But when their hands brush, or they touch, Skylar feels the shock that warms her. Then when Skylar and her cousin, Kayla, go to a beach bonfire, Skylar has a strange experience. Mason is now curious about Skylar too. He doesn't have time to fall for Skylar or a hurt heart, but when he saves her life he figures he may not have a choice. His heart is already calling to her.

Skylar notices there are other guys that stare at her, at the mall and at the beach party. This sticks out in her mind. And worries Skylar when she sees them again. Even the stares of the older brother of Mason and Nick bothers Skylar. The intensity of it is far to much for her liking.

I listened to this story. Emma, the narrator, has a young sounding voice to go with the young girls and YA feel of the story. Emma doesn't do extra voices for the characters but she reads Skylar and the characters well. She had one section where she repeated 4-6 words, which were missed in editing to remove I'm sure, but that was all.

I was drawn into the story. Mary's story has captivated my attention and I WANT to know what happens, what is the story with Skylar and all the others. Oh, there was a turn of events that I was NOT expecting, and really liked it. Something that happens between Skylar and one of Mason's brothers. Wow, this took the story in a whole new line of thinking for me and my speculations.

We get Skylar's POV. But Mason's too from time to time.

Skylar seems to be relatable. She's the realistic one to see the signs of the "bad boys" or potential unsafe events and trusts her feelings. I like this about her. But she's a great friend above all else. She watches out for her cousin and best friend, Kayla. She talks to Kayla about why they should not do something. Yet Kayla is an adventurous 18 year old. She wants to have fun. I was there once too. I understand Kayla as well. Kayla takes her cousins thoughts and concerns and keeps them in mind but still wants to do things. Skylar goes with her all the same, to help Kayla if she needs it.

Skylar is attracted to Mason, from the first moment she meets him. Mason is, from the mixed signals he sends, attracted to Skylar as well but he's fighting it. He feels he's broken and doesn't want to get close to any girl. But they both are falling. And so are we. *sigh* The flirting of Mason and Skylar... I do think Mason is one of my new favorite book boys. ;) Lots of girls are going to swoon over him.

I would suggest this book for an older teen. Skylar is 18 years old. She feels the heat of desire and faces a potential intimate moment, good and bad.

Oh heavens did I enjoy this story. The tension and attraction between the characters, the suspense to who or what she is, and the action moments. I WANT the next book!
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Ghost Light by E. J. Stevens
Ghost Light

MelHay, June 27, 2015

On top of Ivy being stressed over her boyfriends crazy wife haunting her, she's got fey parents lined up at her door waiting for her help in finding their children. And there are rumors of ghost sightings by the humans as well (not good). While she's out investigating the missing children, Ivy has to be careful not to let her wisp side show by glowing in front of humans. She could find herself in serious trouble with the fey world if she does. What would help is if she could find her father and ask him to help her.

I listened to the audio version of the book. The narrator is easy to understand and clear speaking. She does slight voice changes for Jinx, Ceff, and others in the story to give the feel of difference in people. She's done well here. She's not over the top excited when reading Ivy.

We start with the familiar introduction to the city of Harborsmouth. A slight ad for the city and Ivy Granger's business. Yet there are warnings that the city is full of supernaturals.

The beginning touches on a few new pieces of information that we learned in the novella Blood and Mistletoe, so you don't have to read it to know what pieces to the world were shared with us. You don't get the feel that you completely missed something. But it's a nice read/listen to see what happened and how.

I like Ivy better in this book. I don't know if it's the narrator's reading of Ivy and didn't make Ivy sound all sugar sweet or if Ivy feels not as innocent as in the first book. Things are not all candy here, and in this story too.

Ivy starts off feeling as a stronger character in this book, even though there are still few things with Ivy's personality that I rolled my eyes at and by the end even more (I think Ivy is one I can listen to one book at a time and take a break from). She has pushed herself to her limits, and still does, which is good in a main character. We see Ceff, the selkie king, through most of this book with Ivy as he's joined her on her jaunt through Harborsmouth to find the fey children. However, he doesn't seem to have much of an importance on the case other than company for Ivy to drool over. He does then have a reason to stay on the mission later, once we find out who's involved though. The plus side, Ivy and Ceff have become closer emotionally in this book.

We get to see many different fey and beings in this world as Ivy visits her friends and clients. This is one world with no end to the fey and beings present. With that, there is great potential of troubles to follow up on.

We even get glimpse of Ivy's parentage. Ivy's blocked memories flutter to the surface and we start to see and learn about her father. We learn that the wisps, Ivy's fey side, have been left without a ruler. Interesting. Ivy even digs further to learn about her father by allying with the Cat Sidhe. Oh the Cat Sidhe... these are a neat addition to the world here, and their leader Lord Torn. I do enjoy them. We also learn about why the fey are drawn to Harborsmouth.

I enjoyed the beginning and the story of the fey children. Then, when the fey children case was solved, I started to feel the story was over. The book starts with and ends with Ivy hunting for her father and I had felt like the last 15 chapters were a whole epilogue or a short story of their own. It felt like the main story, through the book, was the case of the missing children. But I guess, with this ending, Ivy's main point of the book was to find her father, the saving the fey children was a side case that takes up her time and she needs to do, it's her job.

It's a great concept and interesting world. I enjoy what's created here. But, there's always the buts. There are a few holes in the story and inconsistencies that caught my attention. The whole first chapter told me what's to happen, not showing me to bring me close to Ivy and the world. Then the next chapter takes me into backing that with an appearance of Melusine. There are small sections of repeating events started to wear on me by the end of the book.

It sounds like I didn't enjoy the story. That's not true. It just feels the story is on one focus at a time. Which, I guess fits as Ivy does have a job she does and her personal agenda is second seat when she's needed to work.
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Master of Myth by Starla Huchton

MelHay, June 21, 2015

Rachel possesses a ring of a strong sense of magic and she is determined to not keep it on her ship a moment longer. She bolts to the old woman she got it from in town, to find her being interrogated and roughed up by a few men looking for the very thing Rachel now had with her. The ring. The ring was something that belonged to her mother, and was to be given to Rachel to keep safe. The solid band she now possesses sends her on a journey into dangerous lands and brings her new allies while racing from the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood. A secret group who are looking for the magic-ed ring Rachel now carries on her ship. There is an inventor they wish to... employ to help create a particular machine for them. Silas doesn't want to create anything for the Brotherhood. Now he's stuck. He tried getting out of doing the job, to no avail. Now he must travel to find someone who can read the manual in the foreign language it's written.

Luckily, Rachel's ship is heading in the same direction Silas and his apprentice are heading.

The first chapter had me reading and wanting to know who the Brotherhood was and about the ring her mother once kept in her possession, and now Rachel has. I wanted to know more and more about this mysterious world that blends steam powered and clockworks with magics.

There is a divide present among the people in the book. Some work hard at the technology and science. Others believe in and investigate the magic side. The magic items are forbidden in areas, and are traded in a black market fashion as they are illegal.

I found I really enjoyed the relationships of the characters. I'll start with Rachel and Silas. They have sparks, and flames, when they first meet. Rachel tries to avoid what they could have as she's got other things she should be tending to, and doesn't need to worry about a relationship (of any sort). But they do compliment each other so well. I love them together. They both have a head for creating and gears. Then we have Rachel's first mate, Iris, and the Master-At-Arms, Danton. Iris is all about the magic. She even has a touch of dealings in the illegal trade. Danton is a swavy kind of guy that all the girls will love. Eddie is Silas's inquisitive apprentice and I suspect we'll see some big things from him in the future.

Rachel has to break some laws and cross into lands that are in the midst of war to get the answers she's looking for. Silas tries to keep from the grasp of the Brotherhood. But, you know just as well as I, that things don't always work out the best for everyone...

We live through high speed chases in air ships and on land. There are relationships that start and are avoided. Magic used and attempted to be avoided. Mystery behind pasts and creations. This story has a bit of everything that I enjoy.

I'll have my eye out, waiting, for the next in this series to come our way.
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7th Son: Descent by J C Hutchins
7th Son: Descent

MelHay, May 27, 2015

Seven men are approached and not given a choose about going with the abrupt men who are sent to retrieve them. These men will learn they were put on this Earth with a reason in mind. An experiment. They are part of a secret project, 7th Son. When they are told the pieces they need to know of their creation they will have to come to terms with the fact that half of their lives are not their own. And the memories they share, which belong to another called John Alpha, is what will help them bond together and use their individual expert fields of professions to find the man that the facility feels is responsible for the presidents death. The knowledge John Alpha contains, of them and of the project, will be a challenge for them as they work together to find and collect him, before more die.

Wow. The start! The visual holds you on every word. To start with such an event as the President's death... and how it was done along with WHO! I was hooked to learn what was going on.

We get the story through the seven clones. It was rather easy to keep up with who was who as I went. When we meet each man we saw they each have a distinct personality, and each are completely different from the others in life, job, personality, and even in their abduction. Even as early as chapter 2, I knew each man as he was talking. I was amazed (early on and through out the book) with how easily I caught on to the clones so early. If I happened to start to blend the men J.C. Hutchins seemed to know that. The author would drop a distinct characteristic that told me who was talking or being talked to. J.C. has done an amazing job of making each character their own and memorable as he's moved the story on, and the plot deepened.

We spend time with the seven men as they came to grips with what they learn of themselves, the parents they remember, and the aunt and uncle that raised them. Then there was this whole facility and the psychotic John Alpha. In this form we learn of the men and the science project they are. But, we all know not all the details are shared... and the clones come to grips with who they are in order to solve the riddles John Alpha has left them, and try to stop his crazy rampage.

Oh, this story could soooo be a tv series. To watch and never knowing where Alpha was, or who he would be... Yes, could be a show to catch our attention and keep us guessing. I even thought Dollhouse fans might enjoy this book.

This story has a few action moments, but what has caught me is the mental intrigue. It was like a psychological battlefield for these men! What they learn and have to twist to keep people safe by finding John Alpha. The mystery and history behind the 7th Son project. The conspiracy grows, widening, and the feel that we've not even come to the point of knowing all that happens here or why. There are bread crumbs dropped and I'm working at putting the puzzle together. I like this. It's a story to think as I'm listening, digest, and think as it goes.

I have already downloaded book 2: Deceit and will be listening to it as soon as tomorrow. I have to know how deep this and the conspiracy goes!
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