Ignite by Danielle Rogland


Ignite

Title: Ignite

Author: Danielle Rogland

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: April 8th, 2017

Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Number of pages: 329

POV: Alternating 1st person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In the ruins of dystopian London, the Empire rules through fear and fire.

“Everyone knew about ‘The Flames’ and how much trouble they had caused the Empire. They were the only rebel group anyone knew of that had lasted longer than a few months without getting caught, leaving candles behind whenever they snatched somebody out of the Empire’s grasp. To get involved with people like them is stupid. So stupid.”

Ever since her parents were murdered by the empire’s agents, Jacks has been living on the street as a pickpocket trying to keep away from trouble. When she accidentally witnesses the rebel group ‘The Flames’ in the middle of an operation she is unwillingly swept up into their world and has to decide if she’s going to go back to looking after herself or join the rebellion and help them fight for the people of London Ruins.

She knows that getting involved was stupid, but does she really have a choice?

My review:

I am a fan of dystopia. I just love reading about what civilization could be like in the future. So when I was approached by Inkitt to review Ignite and I read the blurb that came with the email, I immediately responded with a yes to my contact person. I wasn’t disappointed by Ignite. Honestly, I was blown away by it.

Usually, when I read 1st person and the views keep switching from person to person, it does something to the story. Makes me disconnect from the story and I usually end up not liking it because of that. I have read books, though, where the switching back and forth between different people has worked and it worked well. Ignite is one of those books. The switching between the characters did not take away from the story. The author actually labeled the chapters with the main characters name (Jacks, Corry, Zira, and Jeremy). That way you could always tell who was speaking.

The Emporer and the Burners were pretty bad people. The author only touched on what happened to dismantle the government that used to rule London and replaced it with an Emporer who liked to burn things. I am going to take a wild guess and say that it was pretty bad. I mean, there is a part of London called London Ruins. Kinda answers my question right there. The Burners I perceived as reverse firefighters. They lit contained fires that forced people out of their houses. Then they killed them for being rebels. Hence reverse firefighters. I never figured out if they put out the fires or if the fires went out themselves.

My favorite character was Zira. At first, I didn’t like her and I did have my suspicions that she definitely had her secrets. When they were revealed, I was just as shocked as the rest of the Flames. But, during her chapters, you could see her anguish over the past and her past deeds. It was after that confrontation with Jacks, that I started to like her. By the end of the book, she was my favorite character.

Jacks had to be my second favorite character. She was a tough cookie and she had overcome a lot in her life. It was that strongness that showed in the last part of the book.

The ending was pretty much what I expected but the author did throw in a few curves which made the story a lot better and added depth to it.

How many stars will I give Ignite: 4

Why: I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read with characters that you couldn’t help but like.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older teen

Why: Violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Moonstroke by Blaine C. Readler


Moonstroke

Title: Moonstroke

Author: Blaine C. Reader

Publisher: Full Arc Press

Date of Publication: December 1st, 2016

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Number of pages: 252

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

It’s been twelve years since a massive solar flare destroyed communications with the American base on the far side of the Moon, killing the platinum mining workers and leaving just three adults to raise thirty-seven orphans. Isolated, the base has carried on, and the orphans now teenagers have taken up the mining. It’s all they’ve ever known. But now enigmatic lights on the horizon and in the sky mark the arrival of someone or something that heralds an end to a patterned life of restraint and enforced duty. Katlin, the daughter of the base leader, has enjoyed the full education afforded by the base library and finds her loyalties torn between her father and Van, the capable teenage leader who is ready to break the yoke of servitude and face the wonders available in the wide universe.

My review:

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I am a huge fan of science fiction, fantasy, young adult, romance and any combination of those. When Moonstroke showed up on my Titles in My Categories section on NetGalley, I clicked on it to see what it was about. What I read caught my attention and made me click on the read now button. I think that I can’t remember if I have ever read a book that took place solely on the moon. I know I have read books where the moon was a stopping point but never the sole area where the story takes place. Also, factoring into my decision was that the entire book took place on the dark side of the moon. Which fascinated me and I couldn’t wait to see how it was the storyline went.

Speaking of the storyline, I liked that the author chose to have almost all the base’s adults die in a solar flare and leave their toddler children in the hands of 3 men. I do wish, though, that there was some sort of preface about the solar flare that happened. It would have given a lot more insight into why the toddlers, now teenagers, are called nextgen and why they continued mining.

I do think that the storyline started really slow in the beginning. Like super-duper slow to the point where I honestly thought nothing would happen, even though it said on the blurb that it would. What also bothered me was that the nextgens were being kept in the dark about Earth and their heritage. Almost everything that they know about Earth came from movies that they were allowed to watch. The only one exempt from this was Katlin, the daughter of the base leader. And even she was exempt from some things. But the book did pick up towards the middle of the book and I was able to enjoy it.

The main characters were teenagers and I thought that the author did a great job portraying how they would act if they lived in a community with no access to Earth. I do think that they acted pretty normal for kids who had no contact with anyone but the people on their base. I mean, they acted like typical teenagers and rebelled like typical teenagers. I loved reading the parts with Van in them because he was very forward thinking for being in seclusion for his whole life.

The last half of the book was very surprising to me and I didn’t expect certain events to happen or certain truths to be revealed. It kinda blew my mind when those truths were revealed and made my heart hurt for those involved.

How many stars will I give Moonstroke: 3.5

Why: I did like this book but I do think that it could have used a bit more backstory than what was given (just my opinion). The beginning of the book was very slow and to be honest, I almost DNF’d it. But, it did pick up speed towards the end of the book and I did enjoy the read from that point on.

Will I reread: Maybe

Will I recommend to family and friends: Maybe

Age range: Young Teen

Why: mild violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Inspector Hobbes and the Bones (Unhuman: Book 4) by Wilkie Martin


Inspector Hobbes and the Bones (Unhuman #4)

Title: Inspector Hobbes and the Bones

Author: Wilkie Martin

Publisher: The Witcherley Book Company

Date of publication: December 16th, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Number of pages: 319

POV: 1st person

Series: Unhuman

Inspector Hobbes and the Blood – Book 1

Inspector Hobbes and the Curse – Book 2

Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers – Book 3

Inspector Hobbes and the Bones – Book 4

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

There’s going to be trouble. Andy Caplet’s wife goes away, someone is out to get him, and he loses nearly everything in a storm. Amazing both himself and his unhuman friend Inspector Hobbes, he heroically rescues flood victims and uncovers something shocking.
Is Andy being set up for blackmail by the apparently charming young woman who attempts to seduce him, or is something even more sinister afoot? Hobbes certainly believes so, and he’s getting worried.
This is the fourth in Wilkie Martin’s unhuman series of cosy comedy crime fantasies.

My review:

As most of my regular readers know, I absolutely hate getting a book to review and finding out that it is 2nd, 3rd, or 4th book in a series. 9 out of 10 times, I get so lost that I just want to put the book down and DNF it. But, I usually push through the book and I usually am totally confused about what is going on. Luckily, with the last few books that I got and were part of a series, they were pretty easy to follow and gave information about the earlier books in a way that didn’t underwhelm or overwhelm the current book. Happily, I can group Inspector Hobbes and the Bones in with them.

Now, this is a book that is set completely in England and there is a ton of dry English humor (which I love) and a lot of English vocabulary. Luckily, my Kindle’s English (not American English, English English…lol) dictionary was downloaded because I had to use it a few time. Not that it took away from the story but it did add some time to my reading. Not complaining, though, because I did learn some new words.

This book is a paranormal mystery. Now, if I hadn’t of read the blurb, I wouldn’t have believed the paranormal part of the book. Trust me, it’s in there but the author chose to focus more on the mystery part of the book with the paranormal part really not coming into play until the last half of the book. There are paranormal elements in the book (the vampire and Hobbes’s habit of eating bones are two) but the focus is on the many mysteries that Andy and Hobbes happen upon.

Now speaking of the mystery part of the book, I loved that the author was able to handle a few mysteries at once and then was able to merge them with the main storyline. I have read other mysteries that attempted to do that and then they just lose track of the sub-storylines and those are never resolved or merged with the main storyline. Again, something else I really liked about this book.

Andy came across as an idiot. I mean, how can someone get into that many predicaments and how can someone be that unaware of their surroundings? Plus, he also had a huge knack for ticking people off and just plain doing/saying the wrong thing. I mean, who would pack chocolate in their wife’s luggage when she was going to a dessert and then wonder why she was so upset because ants bit her and her clothes were ruined. His bumbling antics really didn’t do it for me in the story and I was truly waiting to see if he was going to get knocked off.

Hobbes, however, I was fascinated with and I really wish that more was revealed about him other than he policed the supernatural. I mean, he ate bones and according to Andy, he had a ferocious temper, unlike anything that he (Andy) had ever seen before. Also, he never seemed to age. So what is he? Now, this is where I wish I had read the first 3 books. I am sure that more insights to who/what he is in there.

The secondary characters were written awesomely too. From the little person who moonlighted as a ninja (OMG, did I die laughing during that scene) to the bar owner who had a temper and liked to fight to the vampire banker to Hobbes housekeeper and dog to the literal man killer and her cousins…..I absolutely loved them. Honestly, a good book has excellent secondary characters and this book definitely did.

I will say that the end of the book did surprise me and the mysteries were solved. There were really no twists, which for once was refreshing. I also liked that while those storylines ended, the book was left open for potentially a 5th book.

How many stars will I give Inspector Hobbes and the Bones: 4

Why: This was a great mystery with paranormal elements. I was genuinely kept guessing about who killed the bodies that Andy and Hobbes found. I was also guessing that the other sub-storylines.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older teen

Why: Mild violence and some adult themes/jokes

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Dream Magic (Shadow Magic: Book 2) by Joshua Khan


Dream Magic (Shadow Magic, #2)

Title: Dream Magic

Author: Joshua Khan

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Young Adult

Grade level: 3-7

Number of pages: 352

Series: Shadow Magic

Shadow Magic – Book 1

Dream Magic – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A fabulously exciting sequel to the fantasy adventure SHADOW MAGIC.

People throughout Gehenna are disappearing, even the feared executioner Tyburn. Many of the nobles believe the kidnappings to be the work of the northern trolls, raiding south for the winter, and when Baron Sable and others head off to fight them, Castle Gloom is left guarded by only the squires.

Lily is struggling with her growing necromantic powers. The castle fills with ghosts, drawn like moths to a flame by the brightness of her magic. Zombies roam the country, some left over from those raised in SHADOW MAGIC, others awakened by Lily. Families are troubled by the returning dead, so Lily tries to incorporate them into day-to-day life, much to the resentment of the living.

Then Lily is attacked in her own castle by a mysterious sorcerer known as Dreamweaver, a young man determined to conquer Gehenna using jewel-spiders, strange crystalline creatures whose bite doesn’t kill but sends victims to sleep. Lily soon discovers that Dreamweaver is harvesting dreams to fuel his magic.

Lily enters the realm of sleep known as the Dream Time, in an attempt to awaken all the captive dreamers. Instead, she finds herself trapped within a dream, one where her family is still alive. With the help of Thorn and the ever loyal Hades, she must somehow overcome the evil Dreamweaver by using his own magic against him – and reclaim her kingdom.

My review:

I really, really, really wish that I had read book one of this series. Not that I didn’t like the book (I did) but I felt kinda lost during the first couple of chapters. But, besides feeling lost, which really only lasted a couple of chapters, I loved the rest of the book. Like I had mentioned in another blog, I have reviewed a fair amount of middle-grade books lately. Like I also mentioned in that blog, my two oldest children are in 3rd and 5th grade. I am always scouting out new books for them to read and again, with this book, I have found a book that I think that they would like. Scratch that, I know my son, the 3rd grader, would love it. This book is right up his alley. My daughter, the 5th grader, is difficult to find books that she would read.

While this book has some darker elements in it, they weren’t completely dark….if you know what I mean. Zombies are featured predominately in the book. While they are scary and they do want to eat brains, they aren’t typical zombies. They can communicate, they can work. Their other urges are nulled by being in Lily’s general area of power. Which I thought was very cool and it toned down on the creepiness factor.

I liked Lily a lot. She was dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ and brother’s murders by her uncle, trying to run a country at 13 and trying to keep her magic (necromancy) under wraps because of superstitions of her people about a woman doing magic. On top of it all, she has to deal with an arranged marriage to a boy who is the total opposite of her, she is trying to find out who is behind the abduction of her people and the trolls have amassed an army and is marching on Castle Gloom. She also found out that using her magic, a lot, can cause some unforeseen issues with her body. Poor kid was dealing with a lot and she was dealing with it the best that she could.

Thorn, I loved. He was exactly what Lily needed. He was trustworthy, loyal to her and he was willing to do whatever he could to protect her and to protect Castle Gloom. Plus, he had a pretty cool bat mount named Hades. He was the one who found out where the crystal spiders were coming from and he was part of the group that stayed at Castle Gloom when the rest of the army went to fight the trolls.

Now, I will say that the storyline surrounding Weaver, the bad guy, was very dark and I actually felt bad for him….which is rare for me. It was a tragic story and I did like the small plot twist that took place when his story was revealed. I was shocked, along with Lily, when it was revealed who Weaver was. But my feeling bad for him lasted exactly two chapters and then I didn’t like him again….lol. The crystal spiders were an interesting aspect of the book too.

All of the storylines were merged beautifully and there was no lull in the chapter between the author doing that and the ending chapters. I will say that the couple of plot twists in the book (one that was mentioned) got me. The one at the end absolutely had me fooled and I was surprised when it ended up not being what I thought (and feared) it was. I also liked how the author left the book open for a book 3.

How many stars will I give Dream Magic: 4

Why: I think that this will be a great book for kids in 3rd grade through 7th grade (as mentioned above). The characters were fleshed out and likable (or unlikable…depending on who you were reading), the potential scary characters were made not so scary by humanizing them and I really liked that the book had a strong female main character. I would be very comfortable letting my 3rd and 5th graders read this books

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Child

Why: Mild violence. Potentially scary characters for younger readers (trolls and zombies)

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Strange Lands (Heros of Distant Planets: Book 1) by Anderson Atlas


Strange Lands (Heroes of Distant Planets #1)

Title: Strange Lands

Author: Anderson Atlas

Publisher: Synesthesia Books

Date of publication: August 1st, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Number of pages: 236

POV: 3rd person

Series: Heroes of Distant Planets

Strange Land – Book 1

Return to Lan Darr – Book 2

Immortal Shadows – Book 3

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Ripped from his wheelchair by a massive flash flood, Allan drags himself through the dense forest only to find himself surrounded by strange and ruthless creatures who are not from Earth. Allan can’t run away and has no means to defend himself. Instinct overcomes his terror and his cleverness blossoms, which is all he needs to survive the dark jungles, poisonous plants, Shadic hunters and the vile slave trader Killian Crow.

Follow Allan’s path of self-discovery, and watch him take back what he’s lost. Surviving the Improbable Quest is a spine-tingling adventure, with exciting twists & turns. A perfect and inspiring read for 10 and up.

My review:

I have found myself reviewing a lot of middle-grade books lately. Which is a good thing because I have two children that are within the age range and I am always on the lookout for books that they would like. After reading Strange Lands, I think this would be a book that my 10-year-old son would like.

The plot itself is pretty straightforward. Allan, a boy in 8th grade, was in a horrific car accident that not only paralyzed him but took the lives of his parents. What made the accident even more tragic, well at least to me, was that Allan had been disqualified from a swim meet, after winning it, because of failing a math test and his parents come to find out that he is missing work in other areas of school as well. So, when the crash occurred, his mother and father were lecturing him. I could see why he was rendered mute as well. Poor thing was living with the guilt that he caused the car accident.

I don’t know if I would class Allan as likable at first. He had a lot of issues due to the accident and was definitely taking it out on his uncle. I was glad when Rubic forced Allan to go on the fishing trip. It took Allan out of his comfort zone and got Allan somewhat out of his funk. Of course, something goes wrong and that is where the book took off.

Rubic and Allan were caught in a surprise flash flood when fishing in the creek. Rubic snatches Allan out of his wheelchair and runs for it and almost makes it. But a boulder knocks Rubic out and leaves Allan helpless in the mud beside him. After damming up the water, so Rubic doesn’t drown, Allan starts crawling to get help. Along the way, he crawls through a field of flowers and ends up somewhere else and that is the start of his adventure.

What I liked is that the author didn’t downplay Allan’s disability at all. Allan wasn’t miraculously cured of being paralyzed (but he did get mechanical legs to help him out with part of his quest). Allan learned to work with his disability when he was in Lan Darr. What I also liked is that his mental issues were addressed too. The speech given by Mizzi about the accident touched me and brought me to tears.

The storyline with Rubic was interesting too. I saw him grow, even in that day, from the uncle who was forced to take care of his nephew to a parent searching for his child. He was willing to do anything to get Allan back…even if that meant getting even more hurt.

I will say that both storylines were brought together beautifully. While Asantia’s identity was kept under wraps, it still surprised me about who her mother was. How it was revealed was a huge surprise too. While not a cliffhanger, the ending did leave it open for another book.

How many stars will I give Strange Lands: 4

Why: This is a book that I could see both of my kids reading. The overall message was fantastic, as was Allan and Rubic transformations. I enjoyed reading it and I am an adult.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Child

Why: A middle-grade book for kids over the age of 10. There are some mild violence and some creepy characters but nothing that wouldn’t give a kid nightmares.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Door to Forever (The Land of Magic: Book 2) by Shirley Martin


The Door to Forever (The Land of Magic #2)

Title: The Door To Forever

Author: Shirley Martin

Publisher: Books We Love Ltd

Date of publication: November 9th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Number of pages: 218

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Land of Magic

The Door To Forever – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

As a teenager, Kaylee suffered an attempted sexual assault. Now a woman, she remains fearful of men. She vows she’ll avoid the opposite sex.

When her dreams take her to an alternate world, a land of peace and harmony, she wishes she could stay in this world. There, a psychic with a crystal ball tells her she will find love, for he sees a man reaching out to her. He tells her she must learn to trust men.

Kaylee has no idea who this man is, and she knows she can never put her faith in a man. The memory from her teenage years is too painful.

Then she meets Logan. Will he be the man to change her mind? World-weary and cynical, Logan declares a respite from women. When he meets Kaylee, he knows she is a woman like no other. His head tells him to stay away from her, but his heart refuses to listen.

My review:

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started reading The Door To Forever. I honestly, don’t think that the blurb does this book justice at all. There is more meat to the story than what is described. This is one instance that I would say, don’t go by what the synopsis says….read the book.

Kaylee did have some major issues at the beginning of the book. She was deeply scarred from an attempted rape at 13 and then another attempted sexual assault when she was in college. After those experiences, she didn’t trust men. Which I don’t blame her. But then she starts dreaming of a land that she can only get through by opening a door in a dark, dismal forest. The land is called Vestoria and it is the home of elves. On her first journey there, she meets an elf called Nemek. After a few visits, she tells Nemek about her tragic past and he is appalled that men are allowed to treat women that way in her society and not be punished. It was at this point that I put the book down and applauded the author for putting this in because it is the truth. Sexual assault and attempted sexual assault are not like other crimes and only a small handful go to trial.

Vestoria is a land of peace and tranquility. Just reading about it made me wish that Vestoria was real. Violence towards women (or anyone really) was not tolerated and was swiftly dealt with. But it was a backward society. Women were expected to stay at home until they found their lifemate (ie got married). But it called to Kaylee (like me). After a few visits, she was granted a visitation with the king and he told her that she needs to heal. To learn to trust men again and to find love.

I think Logan was the right person for her. He was the 1/2 owner of the restaurant she worked at and he taught English at the local university. He also came from money but he didn’t rely on his parents to pay his way in life. He was attracted to Kaylee but he didn’t want to go too fast because he sensed that she had been hurt in the past. He was the one to find out who was behind all of Kaylee’s mishaps at work and he was the one who stuck up for her when his friend wanted to fire her. Which he should have. I mean she didn’t come into work for a few days.

The romance between Kaylee and Logan was very sweet. To be honest, I was surprised when certain events happened because, honestly, I didn’t think it was going to happen. I really thought that Kaylee was going to end up with Nemek or someone from Vestoria.

The bad guys in the book, Gitta and Drummond, kinda annoyed me. Drummond seemed like he was a tool and Gitta, well she was power-hungry and didn’t double-check to see if the people she killed were really dead. Because she was surprised when she met up with her arch nemesis, Zurina, a witch from the first book. I was also a tad disappointed at how easily Gitta was defeated. But, Drummond escaped and I know he will make an appearance in the next book.

I liked the ending and loved how everyone was so happy. Normally I am a poop and I don’t like super happy endings but I loved this one!!

How many stars will I give The Door to Forever: 4

Why: I really liked this book. This is one of those books that you could read at the pool or a beach. The plot wasn’t too involved and the characters likable. While rape and attempted rape are mentioned, it wasn’t thrown in your face the entire book. It was part of who Kaylee was and the author didn’t dwell on it.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older Teen

Why: Some violence and both of Kaylee’s attempted sexual assaults were kinda graphic. There is one sex scene, at the end of the book, but it isn’t very detailed.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

 

Beyond the Sapphire Gate (The Flow of Power: Book 1) by R.V. Johnson


Beyond the Sapphire Gate (The Flow of Power, #1)

Title: Beyond The Sapphire Gate

Author: R.V. Johnson

Publisher: Lost in New World Publishing

Date of publication: March 8th, 2015

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Number of pages: 438

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Flow of Power

Beyond the Sapphire Gate – Book 1

Beyond Terra – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Raw power. Dark betrayal. A family shattered.

On a world where a frothing river of magic underlies the land, Crystalyn may become Astura’s greatest power if she can master her ability of using symbols though she seeks no glory. She wants only to find the dear sister she raised; the sibling she lost on another planet by her own doing. Dark Users of magic, political Light Users, and a horde of deadly creatures stand in her way. But when had it ever been easy for one afflicted with an unbalanced, broken mind?

The epic first book in the thrilling Flow Of Power fantasy saga!

My review:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a welcome change from the books that I have read. A change that was definitely needed.

The world-building in this book was beyond fantastic. This was not a one-dimensional word. It was a three-dimensional world.  It was like an onion. When one layer was peeled back, another aspect of the world was revealed. Which is what made is such a good read. You never knew what was going to be revealed and that, along with other things, kept me glued to the book. I did like small twist towards the end of the book about what Astura was. The way the author explained it was fantastic!!

Crystalyn had to be my favorite character in the book. From the beginning, when she was studying the book with symbols to her journey to Surbo, where the Circle of Light is, she was spunky and wanted to do things her way. When it was decided that she would go to Surbo with Lore Mother, Lore Rayne, Cudgel, Hastel and Atoi, she started to find out that she could use her symbols in new ways….from healing to defense to attacking. But using them came with a price. I also loved her fascination with Darwin Darkwind. He was a bad boy (I think). Also, I loved Broth. Just saying to have a bond mate who could talk to you in your head is pretty sweet.

Jade was my other favorite character. She was unfortunate enough to end up in the Dark Citidal. Actually in an armory, of all places. She meets Cameo shortly afterward and he decides that he would help her escape after she told him what images she could see in his aura. I think Jade might have had it a bit rougher than Crystalyn about how bad her journey was. Jade had to crawl through a sewer to escape…..yucky. Cameo wasn’t a joy to travel with either. He was so distrusting of her and Burl it wasn’t even funny. It was only when Burl saved both of their hides, that he was coming around.

I wish Garn was featured more in the book and that he was reunited with his daughters at some point. But, I can see why the author chose not to do it and I do hope that he is reunited with his girls in the next book.

The fantasy/sci-fi element was very well written. The magic usage in the book was either very subtle or in your face, depending on who was using symbols. Crystalyn’s magic was in your face while Jade’s was more subtle. It was those differences that kept me glued to the book. I also liked that while there were deadly magical creatures, they weren’t all over the book. The wraiths and spiderbees were really the only one’s that were detailed. To be honest, the spiderbees scared me.

The end of the book was a bit of a shocker. I was not expecting certain things and when they were revealed it did throw me for a loop. I do have some questions and I hope that they will be answered in the next book!!

How many stars will I give Beyond the Sapphire Gate: 4

Why: This is a very well written fantasy that I got really into reading. While I did put the book down, I really didn’t want to. I needed to know what would happen with Crystalyn, Jade and everyone else.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Young Teen

Why: Violence. Otherwise, it is a very clean book. There is one kissing scene and a couple of scenes where Crystalyn is very aware of Darwin but nothing that would hold me back from allowing a 13-year-old to read.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**