Monthly Archives: April 2014

Review of Just A Touch by Brittany DeLys

Just a Touch coverRating: 3/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“To the one that receives this letter. Protect it with all you have. In the hands of the Reformers it would mean even greater trouble for us. The Triad must be found and the Chosen brought together. The fate of our people rests on this.”

All Arianna Shae wants is to get out of Bakers Ridge and away from everyone who knows everything about her. Beginning her senior year, she sees her moment of escape getting closer and her spirits begin to rise, that is until he arrives and her life takes an unexpected turn.

As a Guardian, Chase Melina has always known what he was meant to do: protect the Chosen. Sent out on his first assignment, he’s struck with the feeling that all is not what it seems. As strange things begin to happen, he becomes even more determined to keep his protégée safe, especially after seeing what she can do.

When their worlds collide Chase and Arianna must fight for their lives. Through torture, escape, new relationships, legends, and even death they are determined to find out the answers to the questions revolving around their destiny and ultimately fulfill a prophecy that could save them all.

Series status: 1st in a trilogy

Review:

  • Characters: 3/5 – fairly well developed but none of them really stood out.
  • Premise: 4/5 – straightforward teenage magic and prophecy. Fairly well developed and everything made sense in the world created.
  • Plot: 4/5 – well done, well organized and developed in a sensible matter.
  • Pacing: 5/5 – very good, kept my interest throughout. Was never boring or too fast. Well balanced, made for a fun light read.
  • Dialogue: 3/5 – ok, no clunkers of awkward phrasing, but nothing really stood out. Some instances of not being sufficiently vernacular.
  • Imagery: 3/5 – descriptions of people were well done, I didn’t really notice one way or the other about imagery in general. Overall I was able to picture the scenes but didn’t get completely drawn into them.
  • World building: 3/5 – high rating for coherency. The backstory and magic elements were well crafted in terms of making sense and not having major gaps. Lower rating for originality – this is a very standard book for the genre.
  • Voice: 2/5 – the book was in the first person, switching between the points of view of the two main characters. I could tell who was who through their actions but they didn’t have a very developed voice, everything sounded the same.
  • Romance:
    • Amount: medium
    • Explicit scenes: kissing only, low intensity
    • Love triangle: none
    • Notes: the romance is very young adult, but the relationship is a fairly healthy one.
  • Overall comments: This book received 3/5 stars because while it is well crafted, it doesn’t really stand out. The only thing I would say is great in this book is the pacing. The next book in the series improves on several of the elements that aren’t great in Just A Touch, especially in character development. I would recommend reading Just A Touch as the first book in a steadily improving YA series, but don’t read it if you are looking for a literary book or something more than an entertaining light read.

Other books I’ve read like Just A Touch:

i am number four coverI Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

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Review of Dark Child Episode 1 by Adina West

coverRating: 2.5/5 stars

Series status: First of five episodes forming a stand-alone novel

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Kat can run a marathon without breaking a sweat. Catch anything you throw at her. Differentiate blood types by smell alone. And she’s spent years hiding the fact. But secrets from the past have a way of slipping out when least expected … and a simple blood test is enough to turn her quiet life in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains upside down forever … 

Pathology technician Kat Chanter isn’t looking for trouble. On a good day, the most exciting thing in her life is the iridescent violet nail varnish on her housemate Tiffany’s manicured fingers. But lately, Kat’s been craving raw meat, and her dreams – always weird – are getting so realistic it’s scary. When she visits a psychic she’s told her life is about to change forever. Kat isn’t so sure change is a part of her plan, but a blood test at work raises more questions about her unique heritage she has no idea how to answer, so when a fabulous job offer comes her way – one that will give her the chance to research others just like her – she’s tempted to say yes and make the move to New York.

Will her dream job bring answers to all her questions or will it lead her into more trouble than she could ever imagine?

Review:

  • Characters: 3/5 – the characters were average; none fell completely flat but likewise none really stood out as unique or interesting. Mediocre but not bad.
  • Premise: 3/5 – an interesting take on vampires. Not extremely original but neither overly cliché, standard for a paranormal work dealing with mythological creatures. Kept a sufficient amount of original mythology with a few creative new ideas.
  • Plot: 3/5 – as it’s an episode forming part of a novel (46 pages in my .pdf file copy) the plot does not undergo huge development. This episode consists mainly of introduction, introducing characters with foreshadowing regarding mystical danger in later episodes.
  • Pacing: 3/5 – again, as the beginning section of a larger work it is mainly introduction, but it holds interest well.
  • Dialogue: 3/5 – nothing glaringly unrealistic but it never caught at my interest; it was there to support not shine and did an adequate job.
  • Imagery: 2/5 – again, average, some imagery, enough to place scenery and scenes but no standout descriptions or other imagery.
  • World building: 3/5 – In this first episode there is mainly foreshadowing of the paranormal world introduced in later episodes. The real-world setting is fairly detailed and believable.
  • Voice: 4/5 – written from the third person point of view in past tense. Mainly from the perspective of Kat, the main protagonist, with some scenes showing other characters to lend foreshadowing. Kat’s voice is believable, the other character, Amarok, has very well portrayed emotions. Not overtly noticeable voice, more action based descriptions.
  • Romance:
    • Amount: none
    • Explicit scenes: none
    • Love triangle: none
    • Notes: In the first episode there is no romance but from what I’ve read there promises to be romance in later episodes.
  • Other: This book is overall not bad. It is decently written and well paced and I had no trouble with reading it in one sitting. However there is something lacking, a certain intensity that would make it great rather than merely okay and as a result I wouldn’t really recommend it.

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