Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Magic

“It is a our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

“It takes much bravery to stand up to our enemies but we need as much bravery to stand up to our friends.”

-Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

“Death’s got an invisibility cloak?” Harry interrupted again. “So he can sneak up on people,” said Ron. “Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking…”

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Jaines Cord helped craft the gun that killed her husband, at his funeral she vowed to kill the man who killed him with it. In Dark Vow by Shona Husk Jaines lives in a world where the magical Arcane society rules most things including the inability of women to be members of a guild and practice any trades. With the death of her husband, Jaines is forced to close down the smithy because the penalty for women practicing trade is the loss of fingers. Jaines sets off on a journey to track down the killer with very little money and only a small idea of how to track him down until she meets up with Obsidian.

Obsidian is a man with secrets. Having been cursed by a mage, he is slowly turning to stone and needs to Jaines help to break the curse. Obsidian is attracted to the strong-willed Jaines but worries that their current plan of action of will get them killed.

Dark Vow  is a fantasy novel with a very set magical society. Several of the Carina Press titles I have read and reviewed have been first person, I find this refreshing and really enjoy the personal experience first person point of view gives to the novel. I have to admit I struggled with the beginning of Dark Vow because it begins with the death of Jaines’ husband Lance but the premise of the novel was intriguing so I kept reading. The world Shona Husk has created is complex with a clearly defined society and roles. Jaines’ character was strong and the more I got to know Obsidian the more I liked him. Dark Vow reads more like a fantasy novel then a traditional romance novel, the magic and complex society with the fantastical elements  made for a great read once I really got into the story.

You can read an excerpt here.

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Content: 

Title: Dark Vow

Author: Shona Husk

Format:  eBook

AISN: B005UPRO4A

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: November 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon, Carina Press

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Allegra Fairweather is back but this time it is her family who needs her special skills. South of Salem by Janni Nell begins with Allegra receiving a phone call from her Senator’s perfect wife mother, something has happened to her step-father and her mother fears that if something isn’t done soon his political career will be ruined forever.  Having always been considered the ‘strange’ daughter Allegra is willing to help out her family but as events escalate, Allegra starts to worry she won’t be able to stop the events until all the members of her step-father are dead.

To make things worse Casper, Allegra’s guardian angel, is involved in the Guardian Angel Awards and has been missing more than usual. Allegra worries that if Casper wins she won’t ever see him again and she worries what will happen when no one is around to save her from the dangerous situations she always seems to find herself in.

South of Salem is a great follow up to Allegra Fairweather, Paranormal Investigator (you can read my review here). Allegra’s unique approach to situations and ability to find herself in the largest amount dangerous is entertaining but it is her willingness to jump in to help the family that has always looked down upon her profession that makes this story so heartwarming (of course hot Casper helps). South of Salem, while being more an urban fantasy (which I don’t usually love, you can read more about the difference here), is a great read and I look forward to the next installment in this series.

You can read an excerpt here.

Allegra Fairweather Mystery:

Allegra Fairweather

South of Salem

Book 3 (date unknown)

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Content: 

Title: South of Salem

Author: Janni Nell

Format:  eBook

ASIN: B004T4LQGK

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: May 30, 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon, Carina Press

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

 

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan is filled with adventure, magic, history, and family. Carter Kane has always wished his life was normal. During his and his father’s yearly visit to his sister, things quickly spiral even more beyond his control! Carter has always traveled with his father (an esteemed Egyptian archeologist) and wishes he could live a normal life, going to high school, making friends, and living in an actual house. His sister, Sadie, lives with their grandparents in England and has always envied Carter. On Christmas Eve (the only day they all get to spend together), their father decides to awaken some ancient Egyptian gods to “set things right”, whatever that means. In doing so, he got himself kidnapped and sent the angry god Set after his children, not to mention the crazy people of the House of Life trying to kill them. Their adventure to rescue their father is dangerous, difficult, and forces them to decide whether or not to accept their unbelievable fates!

Switching back and forth between brother and sister, Rick Riordan has managed to create an understanding for the reader of each sibling. I enjoyed how the narrator switched between Sadie and Carter, but at times it was a little bit confusing to discern which one was telling the story. I really loved how enthralling this story was and can hardly wait for the second and third books in this trilogy to come out! The reading level was pretty easy, but it made for a quick read even given the extensive number of pages.

The Kane Chronicles

The Red Pyramid

Second Book (release May 2011)

Third Book (release Spring 2012)

You can read a sneak peak here.

Rating:

Title: The Red Pyramid

Author: Rick Riordan

Format: Hardbound

Page Nos.: 516

ISBN: 978-1423113386

Publisher: Hyperion Publishing

Release Date: May 2010

Available for Purchase: Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Costco

Reviewer: Jillian

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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