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Book Review – The Archived

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Title: The Archived [The Archived 1]

Author: Victoria Schwab

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Length: 321

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2, 2.5, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

The dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead, called ‘Histories’, rest in the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper is dangerous and a constant reminder of those she lost, Da and her little brother. Mac wonders about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. Yet someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I really really liked this book but it did have a downfall for me that prevent the complete five star review. It took me a very long time to get into it. It was nearly half the book. I don’t really know why, the writing style was beautiful once I got into it and the story was really engaging once I got into it. Perhaps I wasn’t over the books I read before hand? Or perhaps it just took me that long to get into the style. It just felt like such a slow and long start into such a big finish.

In this story we are introduced to a world where when someone dies their life memories and history get recreated into bodies that looked like them called Histories. The Histories are kept in a place called the Archived, thousands of them kept in stacks like books and they are watched over by people called Librarians who are the only people who have the keys able to read those stories. But sometimes a History wakes up and woken History can become very dangerous. As a safeguard there are Keepers like our main character who go into the Narrows, the world between the Outer, the everyday world, and the Archived, the histories home and send them to ‘returns’ so the Librarians can put them back in the stacks.

Can we please take a moment to appreciate just how awesome the idea of human histories being stacked like books is? The Archived sounds amazing. I imagine I would really enjoy being a Librarian in this universe.

Just like the general story it took my awhile to like our main character too. Actually, I started liking everything about this story at the same, anything before was just meh. Anyway, I found the introduction to her and her family, though sad, just not that interesting. It was not till passed that strange first part of the book that I finally saw what a strong character Mackenzie really was. Despite the fact that she made some really dumb choices.

One part of the writing that really made me like Mac was the snippets of Mac kind of reminiscing to her dead Da about how he brought and taught her how to be in this world of Keepers and Histories. I found this back and forth between her and the memory of her grandfather, even though I thought we were talking about her father for a very long time, gave me great insight into why all of this means so much to her.

I also really enjoyed the other character we were given. Roland would probably be my favourite out of the bunch and I really look forward to seeing where his part of the story is going. I found the parents to be a little bit hollow, but I will chalk that up to trauma.

I think that is enough babbling on about this story. If I talk much more I will probably ruin the fun of the second half of the book for you, so I will just leave it here. I recommend this book to anyone who like fantasy. If you can just push through the first part of the story I think you will really enjoy this read. Even though there are more books to the series, this book could easily be a stand alone with its satisfying conclusion.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Ever Near

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Title: Ever Near [Secret Affinity 1]

Author: Melissa MacVicar

]Genre: Young Adult. Romance, Paranormal

Length: 209

Rating: 4.5 Star rounded up to 5

Series Review: 1, 2

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Description/Synopsis:

Love is ever near. But trouble is never far.

Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall.

When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed.

Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received this book from Red Adept Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t know why as they hold all the things I like in a book, but I do not normally go for a paranormal books. Perhaps its because the person seeing ghosts always have to interact with people who can’t and those interactions never live up to par for me. As a whole though this book didn’t really hold the automatic distaste for me. I found it hard to keep a straight face and to stay quiet while reading this book in public because I was so involved.

I really liked our main character Jade to be really likeable and relatable when you take away the fact that she sees dead people. I don’t even want to think about the drama and emotional stuff if my mother decided to marry the father of the boy I had a crush on all through school and so I am suddenly supposed to call him brother and live across the hall from him. And when you keep having, as Jade puts it, nocturnal dramatics (I love that line) and Charlie (said boy) is the one to always wake you and hold you in his arms, it would be just about enough to drive you crazy. I know I would be going crazy. I mean, how swoon worth is that? Its the stuff of good dreams.

Then he goes an confesses his love for you as well, which only makes things more complicated. One section that sums the whole thing up pretty nicely would be:

“We can’t…” I mumble in a breathy whisper.

“Why not?” His blue eyes are dark with lust, his breath hot on my cheek.

“Because… we’re going to be-”

“Related? I don’t care who gets married. That doesn’t make us related.”

He cradles my face in his hands and stares into my eyes, but I’m too stunned to answer. What he said is how I feel, but the concept also seems oddly offensive.

Charlie is a total babe but I did think that they got over being step siblings pretty quickly. Also felt that way about him believing she can see ghosts.

Structure wise I felt things were a bit rushed. The book is short so the timeline felt a bit off at times. You would randomly meet someone or do something for apparently no reason but then they randomly pop back up for reasons. Like the grandparents. You get a random skype call from them and then the gram turns out to be the solutions to all questions. I don’t think the call needed to happen but meh.

For the ending I was both freaking out and sighing with annoyance at the same time. This will be a spoiler so I would end this review now if you don’t want to know about the ending. For someone who was trying to hard to hide that she can see ghosts she told everyone pretty quickly about them. She should have let them continue to think it was medical before she told and got herself trapped in a loony bin. I know it was a segway to find out about her gram but still. When she was strapped to the bed in the mental hospital I was totally freaking the hell out. One of my nightmares come to life. Also, what the hell happened to Charlie’s brother Brandon? He totally thinks she is insane but he wasn’t there at the end to find out she isn’t and he never pops up again in the story and gets no conclusion! Does he think everyone is insane now? I need answers damn it.

So yes if you are a lover of paranormal fictions I would give this one ago. If you are not normally a lover of paranormal like me I would still give it ago. It might widen your net of reading. Very enjoyable and I shall be picking up the next book for sure.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The First, The Sparrow, The Choice

Title: The First, The Sparrow, The Choice

Author: Jason Mott

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Length: 27 Av.

Rating: 2, 4, 3 Star

The Returned Review

TV Series Review

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Description/Synopsis:

The First

It’s been just over a year since Edmund Blithe died, and just over a month since his fiancée, Emily, stopped wearing her engagement ring. Emily has finally begun to move on… Until Edmund mysteriously and inexplicably returns, sending the world—and Emily—into a tailspin.

The Sparrow

When Heather and Matt Campbell find ten-year-old Tatiana Rusesa on the side of the highway, she is thousands of miles away from her village in Sierra Leone. She hasn’t seen her family in almost two decades, not since she and her mother were killed by rebel soldiers. Now Tatiana has inexplicably returned, a lost orphan with no place to call home.

The Choice

Peter Galvin was just seventeen when Tracy Whitmore—the love of his life—vanished without a trace. In the years after her death, he had finally moved on, gotten married, started a family. He is content with his life now—happy, even…. Until Tracy suddenly and inexplicably returns.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

The First

I was really disappointed in this short story. After coming off the solace I discovered in The Returned I was expecting to find the same kind of thing in this one but I found none of that. All of this one just seemed really unhealthy to me. No solace. It talks about never letting go and when sometimes that is a good thing in a situation when someone dies, it just seems like a really unhealthy thing.

Whether they lived happily together for the next fifty years or tragedy separated them once again – she would not let him go.

The Sparrow

Yay, now this is what I was expecting from the first one. It was just filled with the finding of solace I was expecting (I think I am saying solace just a bit too much, but I can’t really avoid it). I was so glad with how this book ended, Matt is a shining example of everything I think is wrong in the world. I also think that this story is just a better one in general too, much more interesting.

The Choice

Follows all the themes it was suppose to, but really it just raised alot more interesting question for me that never got answered. I mean, this girl just vanishes one day and no one knew why or how, then she comes back and no one asks her what the hell happened back then. I wanted to know damn it! Also, if the Returned are people coming back so that everyone can find solace, how does this whole thing affect the Returned? This doesn’t sound like Tracey was finding any, it just seemed like she was being put through more suffering.

 

This seems like a pretty sparse review, but the books are super short but they were only like 27 pages long. The last two are very much worth the read and if you have read The Returned it gives you a glimpse of what other people in the world are going through.

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Returned

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Title: The Returned

Author: Jason Mott

Genre: Fantasy,Paranormal

Length: 338

Rating: 4 Star

Prequels Review

TV Series Review

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Description/Synopsis:

Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.

Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time … Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

Trailer for the TV series based on the novel can be found here.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I saw the trailer for the series late last year/early this year and instantly looked up the book because the story was so interesting! Since the first episodes started being aired I thought I best get on a read it. And just so you all know, this review may be a bit spoliery and I am not going to comment on that fact later on in this review. I will try to leave out as much as possible, but this is one of those things where it gets hard to talk about things without giving away anything.

Other than what I saw in the trailer for the series I had no idea what I was in for when I entered the book. I didn’t read the description or anything. What I got was a story about being brought solace or closure.

This story is about our world but with one giant difference. The dead are returning from the grave and are popping up all over the world in the thousands. This is what happened to our main characters Harold and Lucille’s son Jacob who drowned in a river at his birthday party 1966, only to show up on their doorstep decades later when Lucille and Harold are now old but Jacob remains the same as they last saw him. This also happened to another family of the same town, who were all murdered one night and the murderer was never found.

As you would imagine the world doesn’t really react well to people everyone thought was dead popping up with no explanation, especially in our small town Arcadia where the murdered family that was the darkest point in their towns history come back and the issue was never solved. Government agents form a faction to help return what they are calling The Returned to their homes and try and keep the order and find answers, but that order soon falls apart. In Arcadia and then in other parts of the world the government forms detention centres and starts capturing The Returned and some True Living people who wouldn’t let them be taken without them are sent in the thousands. All the while, some people are holding riots and killing The Returned because they are scared out of their minds about them being back. People on all sides die.

I view reading this story much like holding my breath. The longer you old it the more pressure you feel but when you finally let your breathe out you are relieved that the pressure is gone but the whole process was kind of anticlimactic. The story starts off slow, and continues to be slow. At the end when riots happen is picks up its pace a little but it doesn’t really give you the rush you would expect from so much build up. Even at the end when most of the ‘destruction’ happens, there wasn’t really anywhere else the story could have gone so its still not a ‘big ending.’

But this story isn’t about the drama or action. Its about the struggle that people went through after their loved ones lives ended, and the continuous and sometimes more difficult struggle they go through then they come back into their lives. For our murdered family to me they came back to make sense as to why what happened to them happened. For Harold and Lucille its about loving and letting go, and it is their end in this book that had my eyes welling up threatening to spill over.

I don’t know how this child, this second Jacob, came to be. But honestly, I don’t care. He’s given us something we never thought we could have again: a chance to remember what love is. A chance to forgive ourselves…

…Love him. Then let him go.

It was a really touching ending that I hadn’t seen coming. From the looks of the trailer for the series they are taking it in a bit of a different direction so I will go just as blindly into that and see how they take things and get back to you all with a review. I have no idea how I will review a tv series, but I suppose we will see? Perhaps the entire season at once.

I don’t think this is a book many people will enjoy, the lack of much happening will be a turn off. But if you want just a nice story with a different twist on coming to terms with things then I think this would be something for you.

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Fallen

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Title: Fallen [Fallen 1]

Author: Lauren Kate

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Length: 332

Rating: 4 Star

Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

The first thing that grabbed me about this story is that they are not vampires! Yay! These days I don’t read a lot of books just because they are about vampires because there are so many it can get hard to weed out the good from the bad. So fallen angels was a nice change of pace.

The fact that Luce and Daniel have loved each other over and over again is played up and repeated a bit too much for me. I get that its a major point in the story but it got a bit boring to me. This may be because this is my third time reading the book though… I don’t think I cared the first time.

Daniel slipped up about this fact a bit too much for me as well. He has been  doing this for a really long time, I find it a bit hard to believe that he was that stupid that he hadn’t learnt to keep it hidden by now… The fact that it is brought up that he can’t tell her things for her own safety only makes this fact made it more annoying to me. I think Daniel is kind of dumb though. He still acts like a teenager but he never really was one so I don’t get why he is so dumb.

If I was Luce I totally would have gone for Cam in this book far more than Daniel, he was so nice for the most part and hot. She could have left him when he turned out evil and then gone for Daniel. Luce I also think is a bit stupid and a little full of herself, but she isn’t aware of this at all. That being said though I didn’t mind being in her head. She is nice enough.

I also loved some of the other characters that we meet and they keep the story interesting. That and the fact that this is all taking place in a reform school were kids wear things like ankle bracelets. Nice touch I must say.

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Book Review – Sexton and the Reaper

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Title: Sexton and the Reaper

Author: Corey Feldman

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Length: 41

Rating: 1 Star

Description/Synopsis:

The Sexton and the Reaper is a novelette labeled as Paranormal Romance but it is not scary and it is not erotic by any stretch of the imagination. It’s really a good old fashion love story with Ghosts, Soul Collectors, Angels, Jewish & Christian Mysticism, and of course fantasy. I don’t love the category especially in the wake of 50 Shades of Grey. If I could name my own category, I would call it a Mystical Love Story. By the way, it will tie in to my Alex Kagan novel whenever I finish that! Reading this will in no way be necessary to follow my first Alex Kagan book, but their should be some fun Easter Eggs in there for you.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I grabbed this book thinking that it was going to be a really cute story about ghost love or something along those lines. That wasn’t really got. Sure the wife coming to visit her husband everyday for their little beyond the dead dates was kinda cute, specially when he gives her little air kisses on her cheek. The friendship between the Angle and the main guy could almost be cute. The writing its was kinda good too. That is until anyone started talking.

The dialogue in this book was just so, so painful. I was about 11% through and I wanted to put the book down and never pick it up ever again as long as I shall live. I always find it just mind blowing when I coming across dialogue like this. Its like the authors haven’t ever spoken to another human being, which of course is just hog wash. Do any of them actually talk like this? The dialogue seemed forced the entire way through and asks pointless questions and its quite often put in giant paragraphs.

Some of the names also seemed a tad silly. My recommendation would be to avoid this book unless you just must have something to fill a 40 minute time slot. But of course, this is just my opinion. It received two 3+ stars before I read it on Goodreads and on amazon is got 11 that were 4 and up.

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Book Review – The Host

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Title: The Host

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: Post-Apoctalipctic Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction

Length: 617

Rating: 5 Star

Movie Review

Description/Synopsis:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I have read this book at least 20 times and I still cannot willingly put it down to sleep, I have to pass out while reading. From start to finish you love every word and putting it down feels like having your air cut off until you are absorbing the tale before you once more. Now I know this isn’t exactly a new book, and I should probably be reading other ebooks that I have been sent by authors (if my eyes would allow me), but I thought it was pretty damn important to review the book before the movie comes out. There is really only one point I would like to get across to everyone~

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, READ THE BOOK BEFORE YOU GO SEE THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!

This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. I know a few of you will be thinking, “Thats the woman who came up with twilight though! I hated that rubbish! Why on earth would I put myself through that again?” Trust me when I tell you, as someone who has read the twilight books as well, they are completely different! She has grown as an author in The Host. The story is much more mature and realistic surprisingly to that of twilight. The story and all its details have been thought through, the characters are full of depth and are well developed, and the story moves at a perfect pace with both slower and calmer moments, and speeding up with the more stressful moments. You don’t find yourself being swept along all the time like you are stuck in the raging flow of a river struggling to keep up and breathe because the flow of the story is just stuck in fast mode.

Stephanie Meyer herself had a pretty good way of describing it on her website, ‘Science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction.’ I find myself thinking this is a pretty damn good way of describing it. Though its from the view point of an alien from a different planet, the whole story is very human because said alien is inside a human body, just like all the other aliens, so the only real difference between the two is the aliens are more gentle and hate violence unlike the actual humans. We do hear about other alien life forms from our main character Wanderer, but we aren’t really thrown into a completely difference life form or reality because the encounters described are just memories. We don’t experience them. You however seriously feel and experience the humans, and Wanderers, struggle with the issue of having to be in hiding, having Melanie stuck as just thoughts inside Wanderers head, and the complex love triangle that happens with 3 bodies and 4 minds. I know everywhere says that is a love triangle with 3 minds and 2 bodies, but that’s really not very accurate. It gets more complicated than just that.

The love that happens actually develops over a rather long time instead of just suddenly happens. Here I’m going to warn of a SPOILER right here, though its not very big. The love that Melanie and Jared share was developed long before Wana/Wanderer was there so it makes sense that it was there when we start reading, but we get glimpses at how it developed. We also get a really good development between the kinda but kinda not one sided love that Wanda also shares for Jared. The best one I feel though is the slow love development between Ian and Wanda, a relationship that started out in pure hatred.

I do have a couple of things that might put people off though. In the beginning you are kind of thrown into the story line and for first chapter or two it can be very confusing. Lots of questions get raised here in situations that we have yet to understand just what exactly is going on, but all answered are revealed slowly over the entire course of the book, and personally I loved this fact, I don’t like it when things are answered straight away. Just a heads up thought that you may be very confused in the beginning. The only thing I didn’t like was and heres the big SPOILER, was the ending. The end of this book kind of has two endings, the one we think is the end, and the one our main character thinks is the end also, the heart shattering and sad sad ending, but it doesn’t actually end there and instead we get a rather ridiculously happy ending. This was bit of a step back in writing and reminded me a tad more twilight. Its seems as though author just had to add on the seemingly forced happy ending. There is a couple of times in the happier ending where the story could have ended also and it still probably would have been fine, not as good as the sad, but not as bad as the overly happy. I wont say more cause I really don’t want to wreck it for anyone, but you should all go read it and see for yourself.

Thoughts on the Movie Trailor

Though I am very glad that they at least seem to be trying to do a far better job with The Host than what they did to the twilight books, I am still filled with doubt. I know that books can’t always be transformed into movies well, and this books wasn’t exactly action packed, so I understand the need to change a few things here and there. I really do. Like casting a tall blonde and strong and confident looking woman for The Seeker, totally get that. The short Seeker in the book wouldn’t exactly be a menacing foe on the big screen. I also get how they have shown more emphasis on the paranormal side, making it look more science fiction in the movie than it ever really seemed in the book. All gotten and accepted and looked forward to. What they have done to the image of the rest of the characters though really disappoints me though… Melanie is nothing like I thought she would be. The actress they chose, Saoirse Ronan, works for Wanda, but not at all for Melanie. Im hoping the fact that the actress is good at what she does makes up for this and proves me wrong. Jared is a so so, I don’t like him, but he is acceptable. But Ian and Kyle? Holly hell, how, just how did they manage to do that horrible set up. They are supposed to look alike, and be big strong men. Neither of those things happened in this casting. They dont look alike AT ALL. The only one I really like is Jeb. Then there is what they are going to be putting in and leaving out that worries me. There is a lot that happens that might not seem important but really is that I’m worried is going to be left out, and I worry they are going to focus too much on Jared and Melanie, and forget about Ian being important. I also don’t know how I feel about them seeming to ignore the rather vast age differences between the lovers… Its kinda important but can they work it so it doesnt matter? Im worried they are trying to hard to aim for the teen fans of twilight…  But I look forward to seeing how they do the Wanda and Melanie connection though seeings as most the conversations that happens is all in Wanda’s head. I also like the soundtrack they chose, it works well. But oh the worries… Will it all be enough? Or will it be another failure that makes me add (the books not the movie) onto my sentence every time I mention it?

Also there is word of two more books coming out to continue on with the story… Don’t really know how that’s going to work…