The Tomb

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I am so frustrated with WordPress right now because I just wrote a whole review and it erased everything. EVERYTHING I TELL YOU. Sigh, I suppose this is my life. I will try to replicate my first post as accurately as possible. SIGH.

The Tomb by Dave Ferraro is a prequel to the “Hunters of the Dark” series, however I read it before I read the series. I came across this book though a series of odd events. Just kidding. Basically what happened was that on Goodreads I joined a group called We ♥ YA Books and they offer ARRs (no idea what that acronym stands for btw) so when I was given the opportunity to read and review this book I took it. I was not paid to review this, I was just given a copy electronically in exchange for an honest review. Honest review commencing in 3…2…1… So this book was definitely far from my favorite books, like WAY FAR. I can’t say it was horrible read or that it was poorly written, but it just wasn’t a book for me.

The novel follows Rachel, and 18 year old fresh out of high school, and her adventures on an architectural dig on an island off the coast of Australia. She is a bit insecure about her position on the dig because she has much less experience and is younger (by a few years) than the others on the dig. It also doesn’t help that she acquired the position on the dig through her father’s pull with the head of the expedition. The  island is (according to locals) cursed because many architectural teams had gone in that past and a had supposedly gone missing. The crew decides to ignore this (obviously) and go to the island anyways. However, when strange things begin happening, the team starts believing that the locals may have been on to something.

The characters in this book really didn’t do it for me. I didn’t connect to them on any level and most of them really annoyed me. Rachel felt very one-dimensional and I did not connect with her at any point during the novel. Her nativity and indecision really irritated me at points and she felt very bland. If I had to chose the character that I liked the most, it would be Cyrena. I felt that out of all the depth-less characters, she was most likable because she was carefree, independent, smart, and fun. However, saying that she was my favorite character really doesn’t mean much because she is FAR from my favorite characters of all time (i.e.: Cammie, Bex, Tris, Kat, Hazel, ect). I really don’t feel like any other characters are worth wasting time on.

One aspect of the book that I really didn’t like was the romance aspect. I thought nothing could be more irritating than a love triangle, however, Mr. Ferraro proved me wrong. The one thing that irritates me more than a love triangle is a…LOVE SQUARE! We all know how I get about love triangles and how they annoy me, blah blah blah, but that really isn’t why I don’t like this book. I have read books that had love triangles that I really liked, so I know that I wasn’t biased in this aspect. I just felt like the romance was like a last minute thing tacked on to appeal to the female teenage demographic – it almost felt like just an afterthought. And that’s OKAY, but my problem was that the book wasn’t meant to be a romance, so how can you have three love interests and a romantic subplot going if the book isn’t really a romance book. You CAN have a book without romance (I know I know, it’s practically unheard of) but you CANNOT have a book with a shoddy love triangle that it doesn’t fully explore. If the author had wanted to put in a small romance between Rachel and someone, that would’ve been okay! My problem is that he tried to do a romance with three guys at once and it wasn’t fully explored/explained/necessary.

While the plot of the book wasn’t exactly new, it didn’t feel like it was something that has been overdone in YA, so I was fine with it. It did seem to drag on at parts and I got kind of bored while reading it, which I’m guessing is not supposed to happen in a Mystery/Adventure novel. By the middle of the book I was ready for it to be over. It’s not that the book was badly written (I’ll delve more in to this in a sec) but there was just something about it that I just didn’t like. I felt like it had too small a scope of both space and time – by that I mean that it took place on an island (with barely any different settings) with the same (boring) characters over a short amount of time. I didn’t like that the characters were so isolated from the world (I know the fact that it took place on an island should’ve been a red flag but still). On a higher note, the mystery aspect of the book intrigued me. While it wasn’t that hard to figure out what was going on, I liked that the author kept me guessing who could be trusted and what was going to happen.

All in all, this definitely was not my favorite book by FAR. However, I did not know if it was because I didn’t like the concept of the novel or the writing of the novel or both, so I decided to read the book that The Tomb was a prequel to – Her Dark Destiny. I read that book and I liked it LOADS better than The Tomb and I am actually planning to read the second and third books in the series. So while I do recommend the Hunters of the Dark series, I don’t really thing it is imperative to read The Tomb although they are relatively cheap if you are into the island-mystery kind of thing. I will also mention that the book did have a couple of editing errors, but that is to be expected as it is an indie read published through Smashwords.

 

The less than appealing (gasp I’m b*tchy) cover of The Tomb.

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The Last Echo (The Body Finder Series #3)***

*If you have not read the first two books I suggest reading them before this review

Let’s just say that the third book in this series was nothing short of disappointing. I know I should review the first two books first, but I cannot bring myself to hold this review back any longer. I guess reading the first two and liking them so much, I was expecting a lot more from Mrs. Kimberly Derting, and unfortunately this book did fall short of my expectations.

The story introduces our protagonist, Violet Ambrose, when she is still in high school. She is still happily with her boyfriend of a few months Jay Heaton. Now can I stop for a minute and say SAH-WOON! Jay is such a good male lead for this novel and I enjoyed him immensely in the first two books. Now back to the summary, Violet has now become part of an organization that has use for her shall we say…special skills. You see, Violet can find the dead. That’s right, our protagonist basically finds the bodies of people who have been murdered; now what makes this even more interesting is that every dead body leaves what she calls an “imprint” on her. These imprints can be anything from tasting something sweet to hearing bells chime when she is near a body. After that, she cannot get the imprint out of her head until the body is laid to rest. However, she can always remember the imprints. But the bodies aren’t the only things that have imprints…their killers carry the same imprints as well. This makes her very useful for an organization lead by the mysterious Sara Priest. But Sara isn’t all that comes with this, she also makes some friends that have interesting abilities as well, especially Rafe who is nothing if not mysterious, guarded, and a teeny bit scary. While they are trying to catch a killer, the killer ends up getting infatuated with Violet. Will she be his next victim, or will she catch him before he can make her one? That is basically the premise of this book.

Now I had many problems with this book starting with the fact that Jay was barely in it. That’s right, the protagonist’s hot boyfriend was barely in the book for more than a few pages at a time. I am not saying that  I expect Jay to be everywhere with Violet because that would be creepy and obsessive, but I do wish that the author had written him in more, and given him a more significant part. Jay and Violet’s relationship was so cute and interesting in the first two books, and so the fact he that he wasn’t in this one as much really broke my heart and made the book less enjoyable. If you read the first two and loved Jay, be prepared for some disappointment.

Problem number two was the slight love triangle that was introduced. I am completely FED UP with love triangles in Young Adult fiction and just in general. Love triangles are overrated and overused and they really don’t add that much to the plot other than making me get frustrated with the protagonist for being promiscuous with two boys/girls. If you haven’t guessed it already, the love triangle occurs between Rafe, Violet, and Jay. I think the reason that this frustrated me the most was that in books one and two of the series, Violet could not get over how much she loved Jay and blah blah blah. But then she starts thinking about another boy, right after all her and Jay have been through. Really? REALLY? This book had enough going on without putting a love triangle into the equation. Why oh why couldn’t Mrs. Derting break the trend of love triangles in YA fiction? I swear in every book that I read, there is some sort of love triangle now a days. Most frequently they do it in the second book, so when Mrs. Derting didn’t I had some hope. But now? I’m crushed. Love triangle was NOT NECESSARY.

Okay now that that was established, lets move onto the plot. The plot was good in theory, however it was very repetitive of what happened in the first two books. I feel like the author just keeps putting Violet with different killers and recreating the climax in a different setting. It does get old after a while. Although there was the added element of Sara Priest and all her new friends, the plot was pretty similar to the first two. I had hoped for something different than just Violet being threatened. Maybe one of her friends? Maybe Jay? Just not Violet in the same old story.

Now onto the last most annoying thing about this novel: Violet herself. In the first two books I really loved Violet. She was smart, pretty, capable, and a strong person in general. She never felt sorry for herself or complained about her situation. Overall, she was just a sweetheart in general. Was she painfully oblivious at times? Yes, but in an endearing way. In this book she basically lost all innocence. She was feisty and sometimes even verged on rude, and let me tell you that does not work for her. At all. I felt like she was being stupid and attention seeking the whole novel, and she was also painfully indecisive! This might just be me, but that’s how I felt she acted a lot of the time. The fact that the author was able to take a character I adored and make me hate her by the end of this book, is a bit sad. But it’s the truth.

The redeeming quality of this book: the ending. We were left on a massive cliff hanger, which was a bit surprising as I thought this would be the last book in the series. However, I would be an idiot to think that after reading the ending. I liked how the author ended it like that as opposed to giving it another generic ending to go with it’s generic plot line.

This is strictly my opinion of the book. I believe that it was well written and all, but it was just a disappointment. I didn’t feel that “I never want it to end” feeling that I got with the first two books. In fact I was looking foreword to the ending a lot. If you liked this book, than good for you! I don’t mean to offend anyone with this review and I hope that that is understood. If you have a book you’ve been eyeing and you want me to review it, COMMENT THIS!