#Review: The Legends Saga #paranormal #ya

Sorry for the late post. Life happens its own way no matter how much you plan.

Goodreads

Title:  Crane

Series: The Legends Saga #1

Author: Stacey Rourke

Genre: Paranormal, Retelling

Pages: 298

Reading Level: Adult

Content: PG-13 (violence, adult situations and content, some gore)

This is two stories in one with a dark comical twist… Well, actually two twists.

Ireland Crane just moved to Sleepy Hollow because she couldn’t pass on the opportunity to be associated with the legend of Ichabod… No, not really. I just thought that was a silly coincidence that was going to ruin this book, but it didn’t. Actually, Ireland just broke up with her boyfriend and needed a change so when a job in Sleepy Hollow opened up, it was a chance to escape. Of course, once she gets there, people start dying and old men start waking up in her basement. Enter, Rip Van Winkle.

One thing I’ll say about this story is that it is refreshingly dark and funny. I fell in love with the humor of Stacey Rourke in her Gryphon Series, but this was an entirely different experience. This story is more New Adult than YA, but not filled with a lot of steam. That may be a deterrent for some who feel that New Adult exists only to add more steam to stories.

While I didn’t fall as hard for the first installment of the Legends Saga as I did the Gryphon Series, the story still won my heart. The paranormal elements of this story are right up my alley, and the comedy is just a bonus. The strong female lead, Ireland, is not what I expected which is always a plus for me. She doesn’t start off as a kick-butt character but develops a duality that lets her be the quintessential girly-girl and feme fatal all at once. Kudos to Rourke on the character.

Ireland isn’t the only likable character in this book, but I don’t want to give too much away. A sleepy Rip does steal the show a few times, and have I mentioned the dreamy Noah. Of course, there’s a love interest, but I like that the romance is not the major focus of this story. In fact, as twists go, romance and damsels get mashed up pretty good and I like it. The way the whole curse comes together was original and exciting. The rest of this series is a must read for me.

Recommended to fans of paranormal, myth and fairytale retellings, and dark humor.

I give this book a 4.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link: Amazon

Goodreads

Title:  Raven

Series: The Legends Saga #2

Author: Stacey Rourke

Genre: Paranormal, Retelling

Pages: 211

Reading Level: Adult

Content: PG-13 (violence, adult situations and content, gore, mature and dark themes)

I don’t think it’s fair to compare the tale of Ichabod to the fictionalized story of Edgar Allan Poe, but that’s what we’re faced with comparing books 1 and 2 of The Legends Saga. Considering I am rating both books the same, it seems silly to say that I liked the second book more, but I did. However, I think that is mostly the fault of my enthusiasm for Poe. In any case, Rourke has thoroughly entertained me again with Raven, to which I will doubt her nevermore.

I honestly didn’t know where else this story could possibly go, and knowing who’s showing up for the third book, it’s all I can do not to speculate. I can’t wait to be surprised. To say that matters turned darker in this second book is an understatement, but there’s no denying that Ireland is still Ireland. She’s silly, and sweet, and a bit slow at times, but that’s just part of her charm.

As the Hessian, unfortunately, she gets put in her place when the scorned love of Poe turns out to be much more powerful. Let’s face it; while revenge and rage are powerful forces, love is the ruler of all. As if being the Hessian wasn’t enough to put a strain on Ireland and Noah’s relationship, the handsome Ridley shows up just having to be the missing key to resolving Poe’s century-old relationship issues.  Just as in the first book, life and death are a delicate balance held together or torn apart by love.

This story is much darker than the first, but it didn’t turn me away. Even through all the darkness and death in this book, there was room for quite a few laughs. An addition to the second book, not experience in the first, at least for me, was also a sense of sorrow. Rourke really dug deep and offered a gambit of emotions and experiences for her readers.

Recommended to teen and adult readers; fans of paranormal, Poe, and other twisted retellings.

I give this book a 4.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link: Amazon

Goodreads

 Title: Steam

Series: The Legends Saga #3

Author: Stacey Rourke

Genre: Paranormal, Retelling

Pages: 228

Reading Level: Adult

Content: PG-13 (violence, adult situations and content, gore, mature and dark themes)

I’ll go ahead and admit that I enjoyed this story, but I didn’t like the way this series ended. I probably would have given this final installment of the Legends Saga a 5 rating, had the ending been more resolute. For me, having so many questions at the end leaves me wondering if these characters will pop up again down the road, just as other Rourke characters have. The uncertainty is agonizing… but still; you gotta read this for yourself. It’s totally worth it.

Aside from my issues with the ending, Rourke has managed to awe and amaze me yet again, adding extended depth to her characters and twisting ageless tales in unexpected ways. Steam takes everything to another level. If you snickered in the first two books, you’ll LOL in this one. If you whimpered a bit with the first two books, your heart will ache with this one. There is one scene in particular that actually made me feel a bit of terror, bordering this tale on the edge of horror, but it’s so much more than that.

Book one seemed to focus on conquering demons and finding purpose. Book two seemed to focus on the power and, even danger, of love. Book three is all about the choice to live with hope and the sacrifices one makes to keep hope, and perhaps even love, alive.

In this installment, Ireland and Ripley are joined with a new character who has ties to witchcraft and the story of “The Scarlet Letter”.  This oddball assortment of humans and their supernatural gifts have been gathered together by HG Wells to defeat the greatest evil any of them have ever seen. Even with Well’s ability to travel through time, he knows that even if they win, there will be a price to pay, he just doesn’t know what it is.

If you read the first two, you should definitely read the third and decide for yourself if the ending is or isn’t totally satisfying.

Recommended to teen and adult readers; fans of paranormal, and other twisted retellings.

I give this book a 4.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like a Kindle copy of this book, try this link: Amazon.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Yay! The Gryphon Series #ColoringBook is here! We can all #relax now and color.

Title: The Gryphon Series Coloring Book
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Cover Designer: Broken Arrow Designs
Illustrators: Crystal Ord and Robert Immings
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: 
Journey into the fantastical world of The Gryphon Series, written by Stacey Rourke, with original artwork that brings to life pivotal moments from the beloved Young Adult series!
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
 –
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
 –
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
 –
Buy Links to the Series:
#Free with #KindleUnlimited
Conduit (FREE): http://amzn.to/2acPikz
Descent (Novella): http://amzn.to/2eYdx6V
The Gryphon Series Coloring Book: http://amzn.to/2kimDPX

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

In case you missed it; #fun #video & #books

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Gryphon Series #ColoringBook, Cover Reveal! :D Yay! #fantasy

Title: The Gryphon Series Coloring Book
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Cover Designer: Broken Arrow Designs
Illustrators: Crystal Ord and Robert Immings
Expected Release Date: Feb. 2nd, 2017
Blurb:
Journey into the fantastical world of The Gryphon Series, written by Stacey Rourke, with original artwork that brings to life pivotal moments from the beloved Young Adult series!

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
 –
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award-winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
 –
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
 –
Buy Links to the Series: #Free with #KindleUnlimited
Conduit (FREE): http://amzn.to/2acPikz
Descent (Novella): http://amzn.to/2eYdx6V
The Gryphon Series Coloring Book: Coming Soon

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Conduit by @Rourkewrites Tour by @Storytime4Ever #Review #thetoiboxofwords

The Conduit Tour BannerTitle: The Conduit
Author: Stacey Rourke
Pages: 212 on Amazon Kindle
Price: Perma Free
Genre: YA / Paranormal

Available Now

Amazon | Nook ibooks Kobo | Smash

BLURB: Gryphon Series Book 1

All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is The Conduit Coverto head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for. And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met. Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.

While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon. She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shapeshifting demon on the rooftop. Life isn’t always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each others’ nerves. Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever—their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

“Okay, little side note here. If a psychopathic killer asks if you want to see a trick, say no. That’s the smart thing to do. I, on the other hand, responded, ‘Bring it’.”

EXCERPT

The gas station door chimed and Gabe came out. His arms overflowed with chips, beef jerky, and a two liter of pop.
I gaped at him in slack-jawed astonishment. “What are you doing?”
“What?” he asked. “It’s a long drive, so I got snacks.”
“We’re not going on a road trip to an amusement park! We’re facing the forces of darkness, remember?”
“Yeah, so? I’m hungry,” he shrugged. “It’s like before my games, there’s no point in getting my game face on until I get there. In the meantime—road trip!”
“I bet Robin never made Batman stop for chips,” I muttered under my breath as I returned the nozzle to its resting place on the pump. I turned back toward the truck and saw a spiky blonde head bop around the side of the building. “Kendall! You’re supposed to be halfway to Memphis by now!”
She threw her hands up. “I’m going; I’m going! I just had to stop to pee. It’s a long flight.”
I squeezed the bridge of my nose between my fingers and shook my head. We had to be the lousiest warriors ever.
Gabe rolled down my driver’s side window and leaned out. “What are you waiting on? We goin’ or what?”
Batman had it easy. He was an only child.

My rating:5 of 5 stars

The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)As dysfunctional families go, the Garrets are actually doing pretty well considering the Garret kids, now teenagers and young adults, have been displaced from their home and are now living with their retro grandmother, as their mother stays behind to pick up the pieces after the death of her husband and their father. Even with that consideration, Celeste is a pretty good big sister, Kendal is almost the perfect little sister who just happens to be beautiful, and Gabe could be a lot worse, seeing as he’s the middle child and the only boy. But then one day the evil Barnabus decides to exact a century’s old revenge and the Garret kids receive an inheritance they’d rather leave to the dogs. With superpowers, shape shifting, and young adult hormonal disillusionment, The Conduit is a fascinating, thrilling, and at times, hilarious read.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started this book, but I’d heard good things about it. I knew it was a YA fantasy series, but that was about it. I also knew I loved the artwork of the Gryphon on the cover of the book, but sadly, that cover has been discontinued…at least I like the new cover and the series’ covers match now.

From beginning to end, The Conduit was an exciting read. Even when the author had to slow down to explain something, the characters are so neurotic that the explanations come off as action packed. The only time the action slowed down was when the sarcastic humor of the author spilled out through her characters offering abundant laughter. There were a few touching moments in the story, but they were so perfectly paced that the flow of the story was a constant wave moving forward towards the end. Not that this book was terribly long, but it also wasn’t that short. I enjoyed reading this book so much, I finished it much quicker that I had expected.

When I purchased the Conduit, I thought I was just testing out this new author and had no intention of reading further, but halfway through this one, I bought the sequel and can’t wait the get the next one after that. I’m not an avid reader of YA fantasy and tend to toe the line when it comes to liking it, but this book is great.

Younger children may not get some of the references, but if this were a movie I’d give it a PG-13 rating; it’s good for the whole family, dad may not be interested…at first.

View all my reviews

AUTHOR BIO

Stacey Rourke Author PhotoRONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012 Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

Find Stacey: Website Fan Club Facebook 

Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords