Review + Author Interview: Cassie Scot: (Para)Normal Detective by Christine Amsden


https://i1.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1360012911l/15813209.jpgCassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Rating:

https://i2.wp.com/nukezilla.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/5star.png

Review:

Alright, so here’s a fact about me: I rarely give 5 stars to a book. A book should have to thoroughly impress, entertain and delight me in order for me to give it 5 stars. So, you might wonder what is so great about this book that I rated it so highly. Let me tell you what.

First of all, this book is freaking fantastic. I enjoyed the world building so much that after finishing the book, it took me some to realize it was all fantasy and not real. Second of all, the protagonist Cassie Scot? She kicks butt. She is strong and independent and fierce and not at all, obsessing over the guy every few pages. I loved that about her. Also, she cares a lot about her family and her family plays a huge part in this book, which is not something you see in many paranormal books.

For some reason, before I started this book, I was of the impression that Cassie Scot was a YA book. Well, it’s not. I was initially a bit disappointed because pulling off a fantasy plot in an adult or let’s say, New Adult world is kinda difficult. But Christine Amsden did pull it off. The words flowed smoothly without any glitches and the plot is smooth as well. There are no unnecessary scenes in the middle that distract the reader from the very interesting mystery happening in the story.

Now, romance is a major part of the book, but so is the male lead Evan. He plays an important role in the plot and I loved the ending. I LOVED Evan. He was smoking! And that kiss at the end of the book! I had to surreptitiously check that no one was watching me because I didn’t want anyone to see me drooling all over my e-reader.

One thing I didn’t expect from this book was the gore and the scares. It isn’t “horror movie” gory, but there were some scenes that sort of gave me the chills. I had expected it to be a fun, fluffy read, but it was so much more than that. Another thing I loved about Cassie Scot was the fact that there are hardly any cliches involved. This are no hero-pining heroines. The hero doesn’t pop up every time the heroine is in trouble. The hero doesn’t stalk the heroine, meaning he has a life. It was refreshing to read a book that didn’t follow any of the regular paranormal tropes.

Now, if there is one thing that bothers me about this book, it is the fact that I really, really, REALLY want to get my hands on the sequel to the book which is called Secrets & Lies! Like I would kill to read the next book in the series. If the author is reading this, I just want to congratulate her for being such an awesome story teller and to keep up the amazing work in Book 2.

Ooh, and one more thing. This book has got a fabulous murder mystery going. If that doesn’t want to make you pick up the book, I don’t know what will. 😛 🙂 Also, I think the cover looks super-cute. Don’t you?

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What was the most difficult part for you when writing CASSIE SCOT?

This rough draft of this book came very easily to me. More easily than any other, I think. But then I had to let parts of it go. That was the tough part. For example, there was a chapter between the current chapters one and two in which Cassie stops by the diner to chat with her friends. The only reason it was there in the first place was that I was exploring the world as I went along, but once it was in place it was tough to let it go, even knowing how boring it would be for readers to wade through an entire chapter of girl talk before getting to the dead body! There were a few other moments like that.

What was the easiest part?

Cassie’s character. She came to me all in a rush one day and I could barely contain her. In fact, I had to write all four books back to back because I couldn’t get her out of my head!

What is your favorite scene or was your favorite to write? Don’t forget to tell us why. J

My favorite scene comes near the end, after Cassie kisses Evan for the first time. There’s a lot going on in this book and in the series, but the romance was my special favorite part and that scene really kicks it off. Plus, Evan is a really good kisser.

The sequel is SECRETS & LIES. Can you tell us a little about what’s to come?

Secrets and Lies picks up where Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective leaves off. Without spoiling the end of the first book for you, I can tell you that Cassie is struggling at the beginning of the Secrets and Lies. She’s trying to live on her own for the first time and not having an easy time of it. Her family is falling apart around her, her two best friends are having issues of their own, and then there’s Evan. Cassie owes Evan a debt in Secrets and Lies, making it difficult for her to refuse him anything she knows he wants. And he wants her.

Is there anything in CASSIE SCOT you hope readers take away after reading, or something you want to point out you don’t want readers to miss?

I hope the book speaks for itself! More than anything else, though, I hope readers love Cassie. Her character arc is the point of the series, so if you’re not into her in the first book, you’re not going to be into the series. If you like her, though… I’ve got a lot in store for her. It’s going to be a bumpy road for her and for the people in her life. But trust me. I’ve not only got a plan, but I’ve got the whole series written. (I’m actually super eager for the whole thing to be out so I don’t have to keep biting my tongue about what’s coming!)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a “serious” writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards. Expect many more titles by this up-and-coming author.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Amsden-Author-Page/127673027288664

Twitter – @ChristineAmsden ; https://twitter.com/ChristineAmsden

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1030664.Christine_Amsden

If you want to visit the rest of the tour stops, here’s the link:

http://atomrbookblogtours.com/2013/07/04/tour-cassie-scot-paranormal-detective-by-christine-amsden/

Book Review: Florid Eyes by Nicky English


“Get ready to be sucked into this suspenseful treasure hunt with a drop of love.”

No one has ever questioned Violet Lancaster’s ability to change the world. As a brainy and self-righteous PhD student at the prestigious Georgetown University, Violet is determined to make a name for herself in Washington, D.C., by working hard to pay her dues, but her moral system is turned upside down when she runs into a man in distress on a lonesome night.

Josh Levinson was born into an elite Philadelphia family in the year 1776, when the thirteen colonies declared independence from Britain. Together they break every human and supernatural law to hunt down a mystical Native American bow and arrow in hopes to liberate an entire species and to keep it from the evil tyrants from the Far East.

Florid Eyes takes you on an intricate adventure intertwined with an epic romance.

Rating:

3stars

Thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

Review:

Okay, I’ve been thinking about how to describe this for some time now, but I’m just going to say what’s on my mind. I couldn’t find much that’s wrong with this book. That said, I wouldn’t say this is one of my favorites. Let me explain. I tried to like this book. I really did. While reading it, I understood that the author had tried to create a “different”, non-cliche vampire story. Yes, people, that is what this is. A different kind of vampire story – with adults instead of teenagers as leads. And I have to commend the author, Nicky English for her admirable attempt. Now, why exactly am I not gaga about this book?

Let me start with the POV. The POV is in third person present tense and it took me a while to warm up to it. Even so, in the middle of the story, I would sometimes wonder if maybe the story might have been more interesting with a traditional third person past tense perhaps. Like it says on the cover of the book, Florid Eyes is more of an adventure novel than a romance novel. But even the small amount of romance in the book was not all that passionate. Sure, there is a scene on the bridge and one in the library which are really hot, but after that, the romance kind of fizzles out. Which brings me to one of the major issues I had with this book. The love story between Josh and Violet? Moves too fast. And when I say ‘too fast’, I mean ‘way too fast’. Like, one second they’re kissing, then Violet finds out that Josh is a vampire, she freaks out a bit, then she decides to “help” him, then they have hot vampire sex, then they start proclaiming their love for each other. As if saying “I love you” once to someone who is practically a stranger isn’t enough, they throw those 3 little words around a lot. While reading it, I’m sitting on my couch and I’m like “God, guys! How long has it been since you met? And you already love each other and know that you’ve found your soul mate? That is so stupid” Also, if I could, I would give Violet a sharp smack on the head and say “You’re really stupid. You don’t deserve a PhD”. Because seriously, what would be your natural reaction when you meet someone who drinks people’s blood to survive? Stay clear of them, right? And if you’re stuck with them, I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely not have hot vampire sex with them. And I’d most definitely not empathize with them or their sob story until I know that I’m safe in their company. And what does Violet do when stuck with a good looking vampire who yearns to be human again? She totally laps up his story and sleeps with him. Oh, and she also happens to love him. Every time either Josh or Violet said the word ‘love’ I wanted to throw my e-reader against the wall.

Alright, that was a bit of a rant there. So, moving on, I liked the fact that this was an adventure novel and not a typical romance. But the downside is that the adventure is not adventurous enough. I constantly found myself wishing that the speed would pick up or that more engrossing stuff in general would happen. I think the story needs better roadblocks put in Josh and Violet’s way as they search for the “cure”. It just seemed to me that whatever was thrown their way, Josh and Violet would get past it without much effort on their part. It was too easy. It would have been more interesting to see them struggle more. The ending would be that much more satisfying if the characters had to work their asses off to get there. A more interesting back story might have helped. The one with the Indians, Dream Bear and the lot just didn’t pique my curiosity. When someone thinks ‘vampire’, they either want a heart pounding forbidden romance or a gory, bloody horror. Incorporating a bit of both might have helped this book a lot. Also, I would have liked to learn more about Josh’s life before he met Violet. Like, what he did during different decades.

Cons:

  • POV
  • Romance is too fast
  • Little character development
  • A bit on the longer side (600+ pages)
  • Slow paced

Pros:

  • Unique story
  • Writing is good
  • Violet doesn’t suffer from Bella syndrome i.e. her life doesn’t revolve around Josh
  • Violet is a hardworking girl that us, normal girls, can relate to

Verdict:

This might not be a perfect story, but it definitely deserves a read if only for the unique take on vampires.