BOO!ks for October: Death, and the Girl He Loves by Darynda JonesDeath, and the Girl He Loves by Darynda Jones
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on October 8, 2013
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
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The fate of the world is not something a girl wants on her shoulders, and that is especially true for Lorelei McAlister. Unfortunately for her, that is exactly where the world’s fate has decided to take up residence. Lorelei has seen firsthand the horrors that lie beneath our everyday world. And those horrors are getting her friends killed. Because of this, she agrees to leave the sanctity of her hometown and is sent to a different world entirely. A boarding school. But even here she is being watched. Someone knows what she is. What she carries inside her soul. And on top of that she’s seeing visions. This is nothing new for Lorelei. But these visions are something more: death, destruction, and the end of the world. Lorelei must face the fact that there are people who want her dead, and no matter where she goes, no matter how far she runs, the lives of her friends and family are in mortal peril. Lucky for her, her friends and family include the handsome Angel of Death, a fiercely protective half-angel, and a ragtag group of loyal supporters who aren’t afraid to get a little dirty in the name of fighting pure evil.

Hell hasn’t frozen over, Lorelie was sent to Maine.

(You can check out my review for books one and two in this trilogy here, and here.)

At the end of book two in the Darklight trilogy, Lorelei was ghosted away to a boarding school in Maine to keep her safe from the restless spirits and forces of evil that were hunting her down back  in Riley’s Switch, New Mexico.  She is the last prophet , after all, and needs to be kept safe so she can save the world from it’s biblical ending. But Lorelei quickly discovers that she isn’t safe anywhere, as long as she has a dormant demon inside of her, and her visions are getting worse. Moving to Maine hasn’t made her stop seeing the END OF THE WORLD, it’s intensified the visions!

While at boarding school, Lorelei meets some shady characters. She’s not sure who to trust, and is going through major withdrawals from her loyal group of friends and guardian angels back home. Someone seems to have it in for her at her new school, and it’s not long before Lorelei returns to Riley’s Switch.

Things are worse than ever when she gets back home, but she’s the only one who seems to have lost hope. Lorelei’s grandparents and followers of the prophet have faith that she will save everyone from death, doom, and destruction, and everyone does what they can to make sure Lorelei embraces the bad-ass prophet that she is.

I was thoroughly sentimental at the beginning of this book, and really, really, really missed the interactions/banter between Lorelei and her posse. Although the time she spent away from home was interesting, I was mad about her lost time with Jared. I was giddy with joy when Darynda brought Lorelei back to New Mexico, and that’s when I feel like the story really began for me.

The action in this book, and Lorelei’s internal dialogue were the best things about it. Once again, Darynda had me LOLing. Lorelei McAlister has become one of my all-time favorite female characters. I absolutely LOVE this trilogy, and am sad that it ended after only three books. That being said, Death and The Girl He Loves was my least favorite Darklight book. I felt like everything was wrapped up rather quickly, and a little anti-climatic for the series. The resolution to the story might be a complete shocker for some, but I saw it coming, and almost wished I had been wrong. You will either think the ending is really bad-ass and clever, or a little lame and feel cheated. I’m stuck somewhere between the two.

At the end of my review for Death, Doom, and Detention I said:

 I’m hoping for some EPIC Prophet/Angel of Death kissing scenes in the third book due out this October. I might go a little Azrael myself if Darynda doesn’t deliver.

Well, we definitely get some epic body-melting kisses, toe-curling touches, and lustful, lingering stares between the Angel of Death (aka Jared) and Lorelei (aka the Prophet), but I was still left unsatisfied. The title: Death and The Girl He Loves made me think we were going to get some serious quality time with them, but alas, I was mistaken. Don’t get me wrong. This trilogy is AWESOME and I think everyone should read it. I just wanted more. This wasn’t my best review, but I just couldn’t seem to piece together my thoughts on it properly. They still feel somewhat muddy since it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Dumb excuse, I know… Anyway, who knows. Maybe Darynda will write a spin-off series focusing more on Jared and Lorelei in the future.

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by Darynda Jones

daryndaFor reasons known only to the Big Guy upstairs, NYTimes and USA Today Best Selling author Darynda Jones won both a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT. But even before that, she couldn’t remember a time she wasn’t putting pen to paper. When she was five, she would pick up a pencil and notepad, scribble utter chaos onto the page and ask her mom to read her masterpiece aloud. Thankfully, her mother would play along.  Later she wrote plays for the neighborhood kids, made up stories for her brother as he played cars, and fell in love with Captain Kirk. Those raging, seven-year-old hormones only fueled her imagination, prompting her to create fantastical stories for Barbie and Ken to enact. Ken was such a bad boy back then.

After years of being repeatedly sent to the principal’s office for daydreaming in class, she managed to make it to high school where she almost finished her first manuscript. Sitting with her BFF in a corner booth at the local Tastee Freeze for hours at a time, she wrote a post-apocalyptic story about a group of teens who bore a remarkable resemblance to the members of Van Halen and were trying to escape the tunnels of a huge government fallout facility decades after World War III had destroyed the surface of the earth. It was a science fiction version of The Warriors and destined to be a classic.

Life was good. Writing was good. Then she graduated and the real world came crashing through. She forced the dream aside in favor of sustenance and shelter, got married to a local rock star, and had at least two kids that she can think of, the oldest of whom was born Deaf, probably to spite her. When he was five, she packed up her boys and moved to Albuquerque to put him in a Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing program. The rock star stayed behind with the business, and they took turns going back and forth on the weekends to see each other for seven really long years.

While in Albuquerque, Darynda decided to see the cup half full and go back to college while she still had enough brain cells to make itdarynda2 worth her while. After graduating Summa cum Laude from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Sign Language Interpreting, she moved back to her hometown and got a real job. Several in fact, mostly teaching at a local college and interpreting pretty much everywhere. Based on personal experience, she does not recommend having more than three jobs at any given time.

But bit by bit, the desire to write needled its way back to the surface. Unable to squelch it any longer, she started writing seriously again in 2002 with one goal in mind: A publishing contract. Unfortunately, she sucked. Thank goodness practice makes almost-perfect and three complete manuscripts later, she won that Golden Heart, landed an amazing agent and sold to St. Martin’s Press in a three-book deal.

She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press, the Charley Davidson series and the Darklight Trilogy. She hopes you enjoy reading them as much as she enjoys writing them.

Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

 

I am really, really, REALLY excited for the third book in the Darklight Trilogy coming out next week, so I thought I would do a lil’ somethin’, somethin’ on Darynda, the fabulous author. If you     haven’t had the privilege of reading the first two books in this series yet, you can check out my reviews for Death and The Girl Next Door (Darklight #1), and Death, Doom, and Detention (Darklight #2) first. You will definitely want to add these to your October MUST READ list.  Death and The Girl He Loves (Darklight #3) will hit the shelves on Tuesday, October 8!

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Death, Doom, and Detention by Darynda JonesDeath, Doom, and Detention by Darynda Jones
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 5, 2013
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
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The normal part of Lorelei MacAlister’s life didn’t just slip away quietly the day Jared Kovach came to town. Nope. The normal part of her life shattered. It exploded. It burst into a gazillion shards of fleeting light.

It went out with a bang.

Goodbye normal.

Hello dark and eerie.

While her best friend, Brooklyn, is focusing all of her energy on helping Lorelei hone her abilities, Lorelei is dealing with the reality that Satan’s second in command has taken up residence inside her body. Oh, and the fact that she has a crush on the Angel of Death. But what a beautiful death it is. If those weren’t bad enough, something sinister has come to town and it wants nothing more than to hear Lorelei’s dying breath as it strangles it out of her. Thank goodness the gang has a supernatural champion. But what happens when the only being who can save them switches sides midstream? How can a group of misfits capture one of the most powerful beings ever created? And will they find out how to bring Jared back to them before it’s too late?

My favorite red-headed pixie chic is back full force in Death, Doom, and Detention. Many revelations (quite similar to the Book of Revelations)  left Lorelei with an identity crisis and warring emotions in Death and the Girl Next Door. She  found out the boy she’s in love with is the Angel of Death, her creepy stalker is her Nephilim body-guard, and there is a dormant demon residing in her. And that’s just a short list. Now, in Death, Doom, and Detention, things have started to boil over and Lorelei and her close crew are fighting for their lives.

A darkness has settled over their small town of Riley’s Switch, New Mexico and there is an impending feeling of doom at Lorelei’s school. One by one, the students are starting to act strange and withdrawn, only coming to life if it’s to fight. It brought to memory the movie Disturbing Behavior with James Marsden and Nick Stahl, but more sinister.  Jared and Cameron are more protective of Lorelei than ever, but things go awry when our handsome Angel of Death goes missing for several days and turns up bloodied and disturbed. There’s something sinister about Jared now, and Lorelei’s grandparents have been telling her he could be dangerous. Their point is proven in this book, to Lorelei’s dismay.

 

I really enjoyed this book as a break from the romance-centric books I had been reading lately. The dynamic between the character’s introduced in book one remains entertaining and clever in book two. The new information revealed about Lorelei’s past is ominous and heartbreaking, giving us insight to Lorelei’s role as the prophet and revealing who has a hit out on her. We are given a few sultry and sweet moments between Jared and Lorelei, but I wish we were given more. Death, Doom, and Detention is heavy on action and humor, especially between Jared and Cameron. Darynda writes paranormal fights that play out like the characters in a Super Street Fighter game. Blurring at each other with supernatural speed, and throwing brick breaking punches. Although written from a chic’s perspective, I think guys would really enjoy this series.

Darynda brought on the dark comedy full force, and I alternated between fits of laughter and the jitters which  made me feel as though I were possessed myself. I’m hoping for some EPIC Prophet/Angel of Death kissing scenes in the third book due out this October. I might go a little Azrael myself if Darynda doesn’t deliver. 😉

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Death And The Girl Next Door (Darklight #1)Death And The Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 2, 2012
Pages: 274
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
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Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace.  Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home.  For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be.  Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it,  standing outside her house in the dark, night after night.  Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school.  Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.  What does Jared know about her parents?  Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei?  And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real?  Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones's first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.

Darynda Jones had me at FIVE FEET TALL…
“I lowered my voice, controlled the tone and inflection of every word, every syllable, striving to make myself sound menacing. I took up a mere five feet of vertical air space, so menacing was not always easy for me to accomplish.”

Welcome to the world of Lorelei McAlister. At five feet tall, red-headed, and alabaster complected, Darynda Jones creates quite the firecracker in our petite heroine. Lorelei’s parents vanished when she was 6 years old and the 10 year anniversary of that fateful day is upon her. Since being orphaned, Lorelei lives with her grandparents who run the town church and a small store.  Lorelei and her two best friends, Brooklyn and “Glitch” spend their time between the cliché town cafe and high-school  in their small home town of Riley’s Switch, New Mexico. Things are taking their normal course until Lorelei brushes against a tall, dark, and handsome stranger. The vision this encounter gives Lorelei is both beautiful and menacing. Something she can’t make any sense of, and that’s when things start to get weird.

The handsome stranger who inspired Lorelei’s haunting vision shows up at her school and knows more about her than he should. His name is Jared Kovach and he seems to be paying special attention to her along with the school loner, Cameron Lusk (our blonde hottie on the cover). Both of these guys are demonstrating supernatural strength and explosive hostility towards one another, and Lorelei is the catalyst. Jared and Cameron both have a secret and these old souls have an agenda with her. Both want to protect Lorelei’s life, but only one of them is supposed to. Riley’s Switch, New Mexico is about to enter the Twilight Zone.

The snarky humor and wit in this book had me laughing out loud on the very first page. I instantly became a fan of Darynda Jones.  My short girl with tall, hot guy fantasies were shown the light of day. This is the first book that I have read where the main character was five feet tall, and being in the same height bracket I instantly connected with Lorelei. Lorelei is a special gal in this book, and I felt like it was about time the awesomeness of short people was represented. A lot of punch is packed into Lorelei’s petite character. She’s clever, charmingly self-deprecating, and brave. The chemistry between ALL of the characters is  edgy and humorous, making this story an entertaining read the whole way through. The events and details that unfold through-out caught me off guard. It was a strange and wonderful juxtaposition of heavy elements mixed in with the light. Sometimes you read the first book in a series and you don’t feel obligated (or motivated) to read the next one. This isn’t one of those books. I can’t wait to dive into book two. After reading book one, I’m definitely Team Jared, but I’m keeping Cameron in my back pocket. That’s how I roll.

 

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