#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

#BooktagsBlogHop No. 1: Raven by Stacey Rourke @Rourkewrites #paranormal #amreading

Booktagbloghop

The purpose of this blog hop is for readers and writers to share what they are reading, have read, are writing, or have written with others. This is not about promoting free or discounted books, though some of those may be featured. This is about book lovers sharing what they love about books. This blog hop is about the Joy of Reading and the Joy of Writing with tags of your choosing and is hosted by me, Toi Thomas, the third Monday of the month. Learn more here.

This month’s optional theme is: dark, night, or spooky.

Excerpt from Chapter 2

     “Edgar!” his mother called. “It’s time for lunch, my darling.”

     The toddler didn’t respond, but scooted one foot forward. In hopes of rousing the sleeping bird, he poked it gently with the toe of his shoe.

     “Edgar? Where have you hidden, my silly boy? I have berries and cream inside for you.” Mother’s tone was sweeter than the afore mentioned berries, her words slathered in love and adoration.

     Edgar turned towards her voice, even started to straighten and go to her, before temptation’s curling, coiling finger encircled his chin and lured his attention back to those bright blue feathers. With each blink, his impossibly long lashes brushed the tops of his cheeks. The birds high overhead sang such a lovely tune. More than anything he wanted this fallen vocalist to rejoin their choir.

     Extending one finger, stained with dandelion butter and grass, Edgar tenderly stroked the velvety breast of the still creature. To his surprise, the bird gave an involuntary jerk beneath his touch. Through the pad of his finger, Edgar could feel a soft thump begin to beat a steady rhythm within his winged friend. Warmth chased away the cold’s harsh hold. A succession of crackles and pops righted the bird’s twisted neck. Black eyes blinked, focused. Feathers ruffled, the once limp form giving a quick hop, and the bird was on its feet. Its head cocked with an avian twitch, considering the boy crouched over it.

     “Edgar, what have you done?”

     With a hot rush of blood rushing to his cheeks, Edgar whipped around. Mother had never spoken a cross word at him, never looked at him with anything except absolute adoration. Yet, in that moment, she stared at him like a lowly stranger.

286 words from: Raven (Legends Saga Book 2) © 2014 Stacey Rourke

My Thoughts

If you can’t tell what’s happening in this scene, there’s no way I can better describe it for you. I love the way Rourke sets this scene up, so cavalier and natural. This is just another day in this little boy’s life- that is until it isn’t. Even this little tike knows something has shifted, never to be the same again. “Mother had never spoken a cross word at him,” before that day.

This is the second book in the Legends Saga and as soon as I finish it, I’ll be posting my review, along with the long overdue review of Crane, and then start the third book Steam. Even though this scene is perfectly spooky and intricately enticing, I love the fact that the Legends Saga is filled with humor. Just when you’re set on closing the book and seeking out every light source you can find, a hint of comic relief lightens the mood, which is a staple in the works of this author.

Rourke’s YA Fantasy, Gryphon Series, was much the same offering action packed magic battles with a hint of comic relief. I’m really enjoying the more adult nature, of this New Adult, Legends Saga, and think others will like it to. It’s New Adult that doesn’t cross the line into Adult Only- very sophisticated and clever.

Find this title at Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Goodreads

What are you currently reading? I’d love to know.
Next blog hop post date will be November 16, 2015.

Be sure to hop around and see what others are reading so you may continue to pile onto you TBR list. 😉


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

Steam by Stacey Rourke @Rourkewrites Cover Reveal by #thetoiboxofwords via @XpressoTours #paranormal

SteamEbookAmazon
Steam (The Legends Saga, #3) by Stacey Rourke
Publication date: September 14th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
Add to you Goodreads bookshelf here.

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A journey through time.
A scarlet letter.
A soul crushing betrayal.

The thrilling Legends Saga concludes in a mash-up of literary all-stars. The works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, HG Wells, and Nathaniel Hawthorne come to life in an intricately weaved backstory of love, lies, and deception. The driving force of all involved? Passion. But when that passion is cloaked in darkness, madness reigns.

StaceyAbout the Author
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 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. Mark your calendars! Her latest literary adventure, Crane, will release May 26, 2014. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this thrilling Legends Saga, as well as other literary projects.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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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

Crane Goodreads Book Giveaway! via @Rourkewrites #YAfiction

I’m so excited I just can’t hide it! 😀

Lame, I know, but I don’t care.

Stacey Rourke has kept me on the edge of my seat with suspense and laughter all through her Gryphon Series (hint hint 😉 wink wink) and now, Crane, is one week away from release. I’ve added a digital copy to my library over at Smashwords.com as I await the release, but that didn’t keep me from entering the Goodreads.com giveaway for a chance to win a print copy.

Oh, ooo ooo ooo! I almost forget to tell you about the Facebook party.

This is going to be epic…you should totally tag along?

Check out Rourke’s, Diary of a Semi-Crazy Author, blog to read an excerpt and enter for a chance to win your copy of Crane!

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