The Lost Saint by Bree Despain is a Must Read in YA Paranormal Romance

The Lost Saint (Dark Divine #2)

Author: Bree Despain, released 12/28/2010

Book Review by Holly Simmers, Immortal Fiction

The Lost Saint (Dark Divine #2) by Bree Despain is hands down, the best book I’ve read in a long time.  A must read for anyone who enjoys this genre, I was intrigued and captivated by book 1, but then book 2 had me so engrossed from beginning to end that I had to take time to review it (at 4 in the morning!)

The Lost Saint is a riveting, compelling and engrossing Paranormal Romance Thriller unlike anything I’ve read in the young adult realm, though most comparable in appeal to The Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver, Linger) by Maggie Stiefvater.  With character and plot development that rivals Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson and Rachel Vincent’s Werecats/The Shifter novels (all favorites of mine) I anxiously await the next novel in this series with thin restraint.

Unlike many YA-PR books, The Lost Saint remains clean enough for young teens so the “hotter romance” description above is a bit misleading compared to The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Vampire Academy, Twilight and The House of Night novels (other YA favorites of mine). The yearning and sensuality are comparable to Eclipse (my fave of The Twilight Saga) as well as the inspirational perspectives on love, honor and social responsibility woven in, but its best features are the captivating, memorable and well-paced storyline packed with well-developed relate-able characters, delivering a complex plot that’s not hard to follow but keeps you guessing from the edge of your seat.  The Lost Saint is a highly recommended must read!  Buy the Hardcover edition

Equally compelling is the spectacular job of narration (acting!) that Eileen Stevens delivers, bringing these characters to life with movie-quality substance especially throughout the climactic scenes.  A rare performance of a Best YA-PR Book of the Year contender.  Listen to a Sample of the MP3 Audiobook

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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is Best New Young Adult Wolf novel

WOW! I am happily stunned and moved by this one. This new book/series is highly understated in my opinion. I’ve had it on my GOODREADS shelf for a while but I don’t know when I might have read it if someone hadn’t actually put it in my hands. I knew I would enjoy it but I never expected to be glued to the audio book until completion.  Narrators David LeDoux & Jenna Lamia are perfect fits for Sam & Grace too!  This is a beautiful story of young love, community and friends with all the mystery, tragedy and discovery that its paranormal and seasonal elements bring.  The author’s charming writing style is the most comparable to Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Saga) I’ve seen so far and sure enough Warner Brothers recently bought MOVIE rights to this one.  (movie articles: bottom of this post)

Shiver, both story and characters, completely captivated me and I cannot wait for more from The Wolves of Mercy Falls! Maggie Stiefvater writes with such experiential flow that readers can taste, smell, feel, visualize, hear, and completely wallow in the amazing yet supposedly normal world that Grace and her friends live in. I had an immediate and complete connection with almost every character she introduced. I never felt overwhelmed or anxious for something to move along. Her pacing is perfect — for me anyway. I hope you will give this book a chance. That’s all it will need. I was drawn into the story from the first words and I never put it down til done.

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Author J. R. Ward Unmatched in Writing and Fan Interaction

Dead After DarkI just bought the DEAD AFTER DARK ebook strictly for The Story of Son novella by J. R. Ward, though I look forward to being introduced to the works of Kenyon and the others too.   I’ll update this post with my ratings of each story once I finish but I had to just stop and say Author J.R. WARD is Stunningly Unmatched IMO

Not that other authors don’t come close. I have a few other favorites and Richelle Mead (particularly Vampire Academy) runs a close second, topping that list.  But I am completely enthralled with every character, world and scenerio that author J. R. Ward has ever dreamed up and published so far.  I haven’t read this one (inside Dead After Dark) yet but the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels rank overall above of every other book series I’ve read (over 150 vampire and paranormal romance books over the past nine months!)

Covet: A Novel of Fallen Angels

Covet: A Novel of the Fallen Angels

BDB novels are definitely adult though so don’t buy them for teens and don’t read them lightly.  They are not like simple erotica by any means (way too developed for that), nor are they too complex to grasp without intense concentration and mapping like some paranormal sci-fi books.  They are just very well developed and intricately, captivatingly written.  And J. R. Ward is as obsessed with her characters as we are… thankfully. 

I also can’t wait for her new series COVET releasing this September!  This new series builds on the world and characters introduced in BDB including Marie-Therese,  last seen working at club Zero-Sum, who will become Covet’s main heroine.  We will also enjoy drop-in appearances by the brothers and their shellans, Lassiter and other BDB characters.  Indeed, “Angels on Harleys” may well be the only concept that could ever complete with BDB! Keep up with all this great info on the BDB Forum and Yahoo Group!

Evernight’s Baltazar gets his own book after the series by Claudia Gray

Claudia GrayBaltazarThat’s right!!  The agelessly scrumptous and galant vampire from Evernight Academy may not get the girl (Bianca will always love Lucas, right?) but he WILL get his own book once the four book Evernight series reaches its close!
Claudia also announces a new series SPELLCASTER!  read more

Razorbill signs Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy) for seven more YA books!

mead_shadowkiss1Vampire Academy Mastermind, Richelle Mead, has signed with Razorbill (VA’s publisher) for seven more young adult books. One of those books will be a continuation of Rose’s story. The other six will be a brand new series, possibly with characters from the VA world–but that has yet to be determined.  This means the current VA series about Rose will now have six books instead of five.

Richelle states, “I’ve always had her story planned out in advance, and having it one book longer isn’t going to change what happens to her. It just means I can go into more detail on certain things, which should be a lot of fun. I hope everyone likes it! It’s pretty exciting.”

  Click Here for Details on Her Blog

This was particularly excellent news for me because Vampire Academy has become my all time favorite Vampire Romance series this year, knocking out the Twilight Saga (now #2) and The House of Night Series (#3) which were competing for top slot in my Top 5 most anticipated series book releases this year. The other two on my meticulously narrowed list are Vampire Kisses (#4) and Evernight (#5).   Interestingly all of these fall in the Young Adult fantasy fiction realm so perhaps I will add another list for Top 5 anticipated Adult Vamp Romance novels without feeling too guilty! If so and in case I don’t I should mention Lynsay Sands would top that list with all the phenominal Argeneau novels!

Edward Cullen’s Twilight Eyes: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

midnight-sunRecommended for: Twilighters and those who think Twilight is too girly or that Edward always has things under control.

My hope: That MS might be included in the Official Guide that keeps getting pushed farther and farther back.

Download Midnight Sun partial draft 12 chapters

[This really should be a letter to Stephenie but with no way for average humans to reach her, I share my thoughts about Midnight Sun (as integral to the whole Twilight saga) with all who have interest in this book!]

First, thank you Stephenie for making the MS partial draft available to those of us who already LOVE your work, even though it was a painful thing and time to do so.  Most if not all of us desire its completion EVEN you totally rewrite what you’ve done so far. We love your characters, YOUR writing, your methods of unraveling stories; we are not so bonded to what you first wrote so far with this story that we can’t bend.  The perspectives and experiences you write into Edward’s life allow us to bond with him better from the start. And we learn so much more of the Cullen family atmosphere and relationships. I already adored Bella from weakness and insecurity to strength determination and valor she gains along the way.  So MS helped me see Edward’s struggles, his true devotion, charm and integrity.  Continue reading

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