Review of Close Liaisons by Anna Zaires

Review of Close Liaisons by Anna Zaires

Review of Close Liaisons by Anna ZairesClose Liaisons (The Krinar Chronicles: Volume 1) four-stars
by Anna ZairesDima Zales
ISBN: 9780988391307
Series: Krinar Chronicles #1
Published by Mozaika Publications on September 5th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Paranormal, Suspense, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Contemporary, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Pages: 320
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Twist Me comes an addictive, thrilling tale of dark love set on post-invasion Earth…

In the near future, the Krinar rule the Earth. An advanced race from another galaxy, they are still a mystery to us—and we are completely at their mercy.

Shy and innocent, Mia Stalis is a college student in New York City who's led a normal life. Like most people, she’s never had any interactions with the invaders—until one fateful day in the park changes everything. Having caught Korum’s eye, she must now contend with a powerful, dangerously seductive Krinar who wants to possess her and will stop at nothing to make her his own.

How far would you go to regain your freedom? How much would you sacrifice to help your people? What choice will you make when you begin to fall for your enemy?

Note: This is book 1 of a completed trilogy. All three books are now available.

Review of Close Liaisons

 

Close Liaisons is the first novel in the Krinar Chronicles series by New York Times bestselling author Anna Zaires. This turbulent story follows Mia Stalis, a young human woman attending college as a psychology major, and Korum- a charismatic, dangerous, and forbidden extraterrestrial. A charmed childhood with loving parents, an impressive college experience, a close best friend, and a future mapped out- Mia has led a decent and peaceful life- though her love-life has been less than ideal. However, this predictable and simple life crashes around Mia due to an unexpected encounter with a man from a distant planet.

Korum is a brilliant extraterrestrial man from a planet called Krina. With his people living freely, and openly, among humans after announcing their presence, Korum can focus on his work as an engineer, while simultaneously trying to discover rebel Krinars and humans. His work inevitably leads to a chance encounter with Mia in a park- which leads to a whirlwind of obsession, passion, betrayal, and an explosive conclusion.

It was fascinating reading and learning about the authors imaginative world of Krinars. I found myself fascinated by the unique technology created by Korum, as well as their idea of “good” food (blech!). Whenever Korum’s obsessiveness and controlling ways irritated me, I had to remind myself that he comes from an entirely different planet. Mia is a well-educated and sensible young woman, however, some of her decisions in the story left me questioning just how sensible she is. It was one of those situations where I had to remind myself that she is, technically, in a very unique situation (you know, practically being kept hostage by a thousand-year-old extraterrestrial man with control issues) which can make rational thought disappear at times. I have to say I was surprised that Mia was able to keep the secret of her unwitting involvement with the rebels all the way until the end- I was so sure she would spill the beans because of how guilty she was feeling.

The story was fast-paced, imaginative, thrilling, and passionate! My love-hate relationship with both characters kept me emotionally invested until the very last page. I can’t wait to see how this delightful slice of cosmic relationship turmoil plays out in the next two books. Eek!

four-stars
Review of Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Review of Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Review of Unhooked by Lisa MaxwellUnhooked four-stars
by Lisa Maxwell
ISBN: 9781481432061
Published by Simon and Schuster on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Pirates, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Adaptations, Juvenile Nonfiction, Activity Books
Pages: 352
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From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.

But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged into a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all…

Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.

Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?

Review of Unhooked

Unhooked is a standalone novel by author Lisa Maxwell. I will admit to being intrigued by all the unique and fresh re-imaginings of the more popular fairy tales. Peter Pan has always been a favorite of mine; so, when I saw this book sitting on the shelf of Books-a-Million in Portland, Maine, I just had to check it out. There were quite a few things about this novel that piqued my interest- first, the brooding, seafaring Captain Hook. Unhooked’s captain is nothing like the one in Disney’s animated Peter Pan, or is he anything like Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal in the 1991 film Hook. This Captain doesn’t sport a long, curly wig or sport an obnoxious handlebar mustache- the only thing he sports is a wicked hook, a brooding disposition, and looks that tempt a girl to never want to leave Neverland, despite how dark and ominous this version of the land is.

The second thing that caught my interest was Neverland itself. Lisa Maxwell’s description of this whimsical world is imaginative, that you almost feel like you’re there with the characters. The mermaids in this tale were blood-thirsty and frightening, the fairies weren’t glittery and sweet-they were tricksters whose skills were more aligned with manipulation and deceit. The lost boys weren’t young boys who longed for a mother- Nope. They operate solely on mayhem and violence. They are more apt to terrorize someone’s mother than to ask to be read to and tucked in at night. Even the land itself is dangerous. With it constantly shifting and changing, you could end up being the victim of a harrowing survival tale, rather than the heroine of a dashing adventure. Finally, Peter Pan himself is a character worth noting- This Peter isn’t the fun-loving, brave hero that we were introduced to in “Peter Pan” or “Hook”. This guy might be considered handsome and charming- but he’s as bad as the Fae that I described above.

The heroine of the novel, Gwendolyn “Gwen” Allister describes a strained relationship with her mother because she feels her Mom’s ramblings about monsters is ruining their lives. After all, they have just moved to London in the beginning of the story to escape them. Luckily, Gwen gets to bring her best friend Olivia along to help her get settled in to her new home. We begin detecting something “off” in the beginning of the story by the situation with the lantern Gwen is told to keep on in her room, and Gwen’s strange encounter with a beautiful, albeit ominous, woman (Unhooked’s creepy version of Tinker Bell). My suspicion that this story was heading toward a more dark re-telling was confirmed when Gwen and Olivia are snatched from their room in the night by monstrous creatures and swept away to Neverland, where Gwen nearly drowns.

This retelling of Peter Pan is brilliant! The characters are three dimensional, the imagery and descriptions were extraordinary, the romance was tantalizing, and the story developed perfectly. I found myself chuckling at a few parts, fanning myself after a few encounters with Gwen and Hook, and anxiously gripping the book during the more tense, bone-chilling moments. Unhooked is the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, horror, and romance.

If you’re looking to be swept away into another world, pick up (or download) your copy of Unhooked today!

four-stars

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