Tag Archives: contest

Review of Darkness Falls & Darkness Breaks


Way back in June I won an ecopy of Jessica Sorensen’s Darkness Falls from Mostly Reviews. I finally got around to reading it.

Description from Goodreads:
When the disease spread through the world, people had no choice but to go into hiding. The Colony is hidden deep underground, far away from the vampires—humans that were transformed by the disease. The vampires are hideous, starving, and they will kill any human they come across.

Seventeen-year-old Kayla is a Bellator, a warrior that protects The Colony. In order to survive, there are three rules she must follow:

Rule #1—Never go out after dark.
Rule #2—Always carry a weapon.
Rule #3—No matter what, never EVER get bitten.

But what happens when the rules Kayla has always lived by can no longer apply? The Highers run The Colony and accept nothing less than perfection. One slip up can mean death. Kayla has always worked hard to follow the rules and strive for perfection. But during a moment of weakness, she lets her imperfections show. Her punishment is worse than death. She is chosen for The Gathering and is thrown out into a world full of starving vampires.

No one has ever survived The Gathering, at least that’s what Kayla’s been told. But when she runs into a group who insist they were once part of The Gathering, Kayla discovers the Highers have been keeping secrets. Secrets that could lead to a cure


Ok, so that was a long description but there is a lot going on from page one of this book, maybe too much. Honestly, I spent at least the first third of it confused. But when you are reading a first person, present tense account of something from a narrator who is suffering gaps in her memory I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising. She’s confused too. It took me a long time to get used to the narration style. I just generally dislike both first person and present tense. Once I acclimated, however, it was fine. I didn’t hate it too much. I did enjoy Sorensen’s writing style though. The use of frequent short sentences often gave the narration a curt feel that fit the main character, Kayla, really well.

Kayla is thrown into a world where everyone seems to know more than her and everyone seem intent on keeping it that way. She is one tough cookie, though. She keeps right on trucking no matter what fate throws at her, even when it is an unusual number of amorous men. Tristan, Aiden, Sylas…it kind of felt like she must have been the only available woman in the Colony or something. Of the three I have to admit to leaning toward Sylas. I’m a sucker for a broken bad boy. What can I say?

On a completely unrelated note, was anyone else bothered by the fact that she carries a katana on the cover, but doesn’t use a sword in the book? I’m just saying. All-in-all I enjoyed it and quickly grabbed book two (Darkness Breaks) to see what happened next.

Description from Goodreads:
Kayla made her choice and now she has to live with it. She stays with the Day Takers, hiding in the city, staking vampires. But fighting vampires as a human is difficult.

Sylas constantly pressures Kayla to choose the life of a Day Taker. But until Kayla knows what Monarch is planning, she can’t make her choice. Plus there’s Aiden. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t stop thinking about him. 

As Kayla’s memories resurface, the pieces of her history unfold. She learns of Cell 7, a place that Kayla believes holds the answers to the creation of the virus. But getting to Cell 7 is a dangerous mission. And with Kayla’s strength weakening, it’s one mission she might not make it through alive. 


Darkness Breaks picks up just after Darkness Falls ends and is worth reading for Sylas alone. I adored him and am keeping my fingers crossed for his speedy return in book three (Darkness Fades). I found the juxtaposition of him and Aiden interesting. While one openly declares himself evil and the other tries ardently to do the right thing, you are still left wondering which on is really working for the forces of good in the world. Sometimes the ‘right’ thing isn’t always the RIGHT thing to do. It’s all yet to be seen though. I think I had as many questions at the end of the book as I did at the beginning.

I did start to think that maybe Kayla was a little too perfect. I realise, of course, that she was designed to be that way, but surely she needs a weakness somewhere. Her perfection started to strain the confines of credibility a little. I also started to wonder about the rest of the world. Kayla is on about saving it, but  there is no indication beyond assumption that the virus has spread worldwide or that this is the last enclave of humanity. It’s just a niggle, but it is there in the back of my mind.

I eagerly await the next book in the series. I enjoyed the characters and the hint of a romance that is so much more than a rushed lust-based affair. A worthy continuation of the series.

Need a new book to read? Check out these giveaways.

Though it may not feel like it here in the NW of England, Summer is quickly approaching. If your stack of Summer reads is looking a little drawn, why not check out some of these lovely blogs who are all hoping to help you solve the problem. Each has a fabulous giveaway running as we speak…or type…or read. 

RaeBeth McGee over at The Writing World  is giving away 8 ebooks. The event will run from May 6th to May 13th. On the 14th, The Writing World’s birthday… the winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to everyone with the ability to read an eBook.


Well, every day in May Aside from Writing will be featuring a book of the day of May, with synopsis a mini author interview, and  a giveaway. One lucky person will get the chance to win a whole load of YA books by the authors featured in the event.


The Spring Fling blog hop over at Lauries paranormal Thoughts and reviews has 4 separate giveaways for you. Enter any or all.   Three are open internationally. All the digital books will be delivered via email or via a Smashwords coupon code for a free download, unless specifically indicated differently.


Laurie also has a copy of The Weeping Empress up for grabs on her Non-paranormal  Thoughts and Review page. There is also a character interview, and excerpt from the book. It is open until May 30th.


Thebookplex is having their second mega giveaway, and it is MEGA. Their giving away multiple copies of close to 20 different ebooks!


For the next three weeks The Reading Diva is having a giveaway to celebrate her 100 blog post. She is giving away 17 awesome books.  



And of course, how could I not include this one:


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Weeping Empress by Sadie S. Forsythe

The Weeping Empress

by Sadie S. Forsythe

Giveaway ends May 08, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win



New to the TBR list

I have added three books to the TBR list this week. The first I am really excited about. I traded books with another author. You see I adore autographed books. I’m a bit of a fan girl in that respect, and all authors are celebrities to me. It occurred to me one day that I fall in that same category. Yes I am an author, and if others like signed books too, then they might be willing to send me one of theirs in exchange for one of mine. I thought I had come up with a truly brilliant idea. I got really excited about it actually, but only one person took me up on the offer.

I think people are afraid that an offer of equal exchange must be a scam of some sort; that I’ll wait for their book to arrive in the post and never send them one in return. We all still pay for those copies after-all, and when working with a stranger there is no guarantee of honest reciprocation. (I refuse to allow myself to think that its just that no one was interested in The Weeping Empress.) I can understand their hesitancy. I certainly considered the possibility of loosing several copies of my own book with nothing to show for it, but I decided to go ahead with the offer.

I’m disappointed that more people didn’t respond. I was prepared to exchange half a dozen of my own books for 6 (or so) great signed summer reads. But I can’t complain about the one that came through. Y.I. Less has sent me a copy of

The Shadowed Valley, a dark fantasy with close to 4.5 stars on both Goodreads and Amazon. This is just up my alley. Here is the description:

“In The Shadowed Valley, nothing is quite what it seems. What Celia faces here is worse than anything she experienced in the land of Dauthus. The evil residing in the valley messes with your mind.”

I’m really looking forward to this read, and The Weeping Empress is soon to be in the mail to Y.I. just as promised.

The other two books are also awful enticing. They are both Goodreads first-reads wins. This week I offer for consideration More Deaths Than One and Rainwater.

More Deaths Than One looks like a thought provoking middle-eastern adventure.  Here is the description:  “Thomas Thornton has settled down to expatriated family life in Saudi Arabia. Wrongfully caught up in shariah law on drug-dealing charges, he discovers injustice is a bitter–and potentially fatal–pill.” I like thought proving.

Rainwater, by Sandra Brown promises to be a bittersweet love conqures all story. It has a very long description, but here is a taster: “The year is 1934. With the country in the stranglehold of drought and economic depression, Ella Barron runs her Texas boardinghouse with an efficiency that ensures her life will be kept in balance. Between chores of cooking and cleaning for her residents, she cares for her ten-year-old son, Solly, a sweet but challenging child whose misunderstood behavior finds Ella on the receiving end of pity, derision, and suspicion.” It looks really promising.

I came to a revelation this weekend. I couldn’t figure out how I had won five books in such a short amount of time. Then I realized it is a factor of living in the UK. There are far fewer Goodreads giveaways available to us on the island, but those that are have a far smaller pool of applicants. GB isn’t that big after-all, and only a fraction of the population is registered for GR, and even fewer enter the contests. As an example, last week I mentioned winning The Whipping Club. The author was giving away 100 copies of the book, and 107 people entered. It would have been more surprising not to have won.

This is my point. Giveaways open to the US and beyond attract entries in the thousands, those only open to GB and the surrounding areas usually only a hundred or so. I recently ran a giveaway. I offered 5 books, and the contest ran for a whole month, open only in GB. 143 people entered. That’s a 1 in 28 chance of getting a book, not too steep. So, I look forward to reporting lots of first-read books here. I will diligently read and review each one in time, so look forward to it.