Booky Thoughts and Me

Book reviews and pondering thoughts of a down to earth person

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Book Review: Kiss of Fury

Kiss of Fury by Deborah Cooke

Published: August 5, 2008

Publisher: Signet

Source: Library

Summary (Goodreads) : Alexandra Madison has discovered an invention that could change the world. When her partner is murdered and their lab destroyed, Alex knows she has to rebuild her prototype in time…

Donovan Shea knows the Madison project is of dire importance to the ongoing Pyr/Slayer war. So when he sees Alex being followed by a Slayer, he reacts and defends her, never imagining that she’s his destined mate…

As Slayers close in on their prey, Donovan knows he’ll surrender his life to protect Alex—and lose his heart to possess her…

Personal Thoughts:  This book was action filled from the first page right to the last page. Although the characters did not start to grow on me until half way through the book. It felt very choppy in the beginning  and I couldn’t really grasp the characters. It seemed as though the author wanted to input as many details as possible into the first part of the book before we finally got into the story. That being said, the character development was lacking in some of the characters. You could tell that Alex, Donovan, Sara and Quinn were really well-developed and likable. The other characters were more or less fillers to have in the book.

I loved the interaction between Alex and Donovan and how they struggled against the firestorm. Their attempts to cheat out the firestorm were amusing and highly entertaining. The power of wills was definitely at play between these two characters and it was just a waiting game to  see who would give up first and who would accept the inevitable.

I wish the author took more time for the secondary characters and gave them somewhat of the back story and a purpose aside from saving the Pyr and the world. The plot itself was interesting and fast paced. There wasn’t any particular time where it was going slow and where we would lose interest. Although I enjoyed reading it, it has a lot of things lacking and it is shallow in some parts.

Rating: 3/5 Stars


Book Review: Kiss of Fire

Kiss of Fire by Deborah Cooke

Published: February 5, 20008

Publisher: Signet Eclipse

Source: Library

Summary (Goodreads) : For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth’s treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr, who count humans among the earth’s treasures, and the Slayers, who would eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them, is about to begin… When Sara Keegan decides to settle down and run her quirky aunt’s New Age bookstore, she’s not looking for adventure. She doesn’t believe in fate or the magic of the tarot-but when she’s saved from a vicious attack by a man who has the ability to turn into a fire-breathing dragon, she questions whether she’s losing her mind-or about to lose her heart..

Quinn Tyrrell has long been distrustful of his fellow Pyr and a self-reliant loner. So when he feels the firestorm that signals his destined mate, he’s determined to protect and possess Sara, regardless of the cost to himself. Then Sara’s true destiny is revealed-and Quinn realizes he must risk everything- even Sara’s love-to fulfill their entwined fates…

 Personal Thoughts: I have read the newer books by Deborah Cooke in the YA category. I enjoyed them thoroughly and wanted to see what kind of books were in her backlist. My expectations were a bit high because of the books that I read before.The initial storyline was intriguing enough to get me starting on reading, however, there wasn’t that much to the storyline as I anticipated.

I think that one of the downfalls was that there was too much history being revealed too quickly and not enough interaction between the characters in between. There was some interaction between Sara and Quinn in the beginning and when I expected their relationship to delve deeper, it didn’t. They were involved too quickly and there was not enough interaction throughout the book between them. I think there was too much focus on the firestorm and getting it accomplished. I felt as though I knew more about the Pyr and their history, rather than the main characters. I kept waiting to see something more happen between Sara and Quinn but nothing did and it was lacking.

Aside from that, there was a lot of action packed into the novel that kept me reading until the end. I will be checking out the next book in the series, however, my expectations will be set a lot lower than before.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


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Book Review: Blazing the Trail

Blazing the Trail by Deborah Cooke

Published: June 5, 2012

Publisher:NAL Trade

Source: Library

The conclusion of the series brings more action, more spell singers, and even more Mages than even, giving Zoe a tough time and doubting herself and those around her about whether  they can actually defeat the bad guys.

Zoe and her dragon gang, along with the rest of the shape shifters join forces and work together. Her dreams become even more vivid and she starts to question her own sanity. What is real, what has happened and what is still yet to happen? Can she change the future and prevent a bloodbath that she keeps seeing in her dreams? Time is running out and she must act fast or everyone will be eliminated forever and the Mages will take over!

Personal Thoughts:

Wow what a fabulous conclusion to the dragon diaries series! This book had a lot of the action from the other two books, but better. There were a lot of plot twists and turns where I was sitting on the edge of my seat just waiting to see what was going to happen. The Mages and the Shadow Eaters were back and fiercer than ever. I loved how the author found another way to bring back the group of shape shifters in a finale battle that would ultimately eliminate the Mages and return things back to normal.

One thing that didn’t really sit well was the way that Jared just entered the scene in his typical fashion and Derek was just dropped for a while. One minute he is in and the next thing we hear from him only at the end when the battle begins. Also, the story didn’t focus so much on the parents this time around and they were missing in action.

The writing was fluid, fast paced and included just enough description to keep reading. I loved the beautiful cover with the dragon graphics and the dragon smoke implemented within.  I loved the descriptions of the dragons and the Mages and it made me see them crystal clear in my mind.  The conclusion of the series was brought to a great close. The characters were all fully developed by the end and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them all work together to accomplish their goals. The love triangle between Derek, Zoe and Jared made me squirm because I liked both of the guys and I was rooting for Zoe to follow her heart. I loved how no matter what happened Zoe still managed to find a solution and kick dragon ass! She is a great character, strong, smart and a great leader. Great conclusion!

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Book Review: Winging It

Winging It by Deborah Cooke

Published: December 6, 2011

Publisher: New American Library (NAL)

Zoe Sorrenson wants to come into her own powers as a dragon shapeshifter. However, balancing her personal life and dragon life is proving to be a lot more complicated than she first thought it would be.

All she wants for her sixteenth birthday is one normal day, to get a tattoo and another chance to see hot rocker Jared. But things start to get complicated and it starts to look like she won’t be getting any of those things.

Things become even more complicated when she is invited to a house party, which is an obvious trap from the Mages,but her friend Meghan, is not. It also doesn’t help her friendship when Meghan is banned from her Pyr birthday party. You can’t really invite a human to a dragon party, after all that would be breaking the Covenant.

With so many things happening at once, Zoe must act fast before it is too late, especially with her friend Meghan getting a last-minute invite to the Mages party.

Personal Thoughts:

This was a great sequel in the Dragon Diaries trilogy. Zoe is tested time and time again of her powers, by abiding by the rules that she must follow, and the relationships that are in her life.

I loved the introduction of Derek, he’s a new addition to the people that she gets to know. He’s very mysterious and only shows who he really is when she needs help. Also, Jessica was another great introduction. No matter where Zoe turned, Jessica was there with her best friend, Meghan. It was interesting to see that Zoe was fighting internally to see whether she was jealous of Jessica or whether she was more than meets the eye.

There was a lot of action right from the start and the tension between Zoe’s personal and school life made it even more interesting. I kept flipping the pages as fast as I could read to find out what would happen next. The details were well written and I could picture exactly where Zoe was and what she was experiencing. It was as though I was watching a movie. Good job on the details! I find that sometimes with a lot of details a story can get bogged down and boring, but there was just enough details in this book.

The series is definitely keeping me intrigued. Can’t wait to read the conclusion!

Side note: It’s interesting that I am reading two book series right now (different authors) , and in both of them, the second book has exactly the same themes/issues. I just find that weird.

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Book Review- Flying Blind

Flying Blind (The Dragon Diaries #1) by Deborah Cooke

Published: June 2011

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)

Shapeshifters. Dragons. Salamanders. Snakes. Bootcamp. What do all of these have in common? The solution to Zoe’s problem.

Zoe  Sorensson is more than just a normal teenager who is a late bloomer. She is the Wyvern of Pyr, a shape shifter dragon, and there can only be one female for the whole species.

After a mishap at school, she is sent away to boot camp. However, it is not a regular boot camp; it’s a boot camp for dragons. It’s too bad that she is the only one of the whole group who has yet to fully come into power with her abilities. She attempts to hide the fact for as long as possible until she is forced to save her species.

The Pyr boot camp turns out to be a trap and she must trust her instinct and use her shape shifting  powers to save everyone from the Mages. The Mages want to eliminate all the shape shifters everywhere and they are not afraid of anyone who gets in their way. Zoe has only one option; work together with her friends to fight the bad guys and save the Pyr or else they are history.

Personal Thoughts: 

This book was packed with action and it wasn’t dull for a moment. From the first page to the last, I was wondering what would happen to Zoe when she would be faced with finally shape shifting into her natural form. I sympathized with her when she couldn’t change shapes, when she was heartbroken about not being able to be with Nick, and I felt joy when she was able to change shapes and do her duty. It kept me thinking about what would happen next and what the challenge would be.

The only thing that I would have liked to see is  something going beyond the boot camp.

Overall a good YA read that’s an entertaining read. I haven’t heard of the author until now so for a first read, it’s a good start. I will definitely be looking into other books that she has written.