ARC Review – From Breath and Ruin by Carrie Ann Ryan

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aboutbook

Published: March 19th 2019

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy

Format: Kindle Edition 351 Pages

synopsis

In her YA debut, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan dives into a world with magic and sacrifice with the Elements of Five.

Five hundred years ago, the Maison Realm was shattered, divided into warring kingdoms of elemental Wielders with fate and truth shadowed and uncertain. Now, factions of both the light and dark venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to Wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together.
Lyric has no idea that there’s a realm outside the human one she lives in. When fate and circumstances are pulled from her hands after an accident, and she finds out that nothing is at it seems.
There is a war surrounding her and when Lyric realizes that they are searching for her, she must rely on those she once trusted: a boy who isn’t who she thought, and a new realm of warriors who have come to protect her as she trains.
For the darkness is coming, and the Queen of Obscurité wants to ensure that the King of Lumière can’t get his hands on Lyric. And the only way to ensure that is if Lyric herself is no more…no matter the cost to prophecy.

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✦Amazon Paperback https://amzn.to/2q4vcBL

Audio (Read by Bailey Carr):

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seriessynopsis

One thousand years ago, there was one realm of magic. The Maison Realm. It held five kingdoms with five kings or queens, who worked together to keep the Maison people safe and ensure the balance of magic. Over the last five hundred years following the Fall, the great war that began the fracture, many of the kingdoms’ inhabitants intermated, and the magics soon became tied to one another in pairs. Except for the Spirit Wielders. The two remaining kingdoms are now converging, and the veil between the two is fading. Only the human realm lies between the two, and no one there knows there is a war surrounding them.

Over time, certain children of the Fall began to leave their respective kingdoms to venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together. For the realms are dying without their sister magics. And soon, there will be no more power left to rule the kingdoms, for there will be no more kingdoms left to rule.

frombreathandruin

 

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mythoughts

A fun fantasy story about magic, friendship, love and destiny

3hearts

From Breath and Ruin by Carrie Ann Ryan was a fun adventure story about magic, mystery, friendship, destiny, and romance.

I enjoyed the beginning chapters and was expecting plenty of action, drama, suspense, and romance. However, I found myself having a difficult time getting sucked into the story. After that intriguing start, I just felt like the chapters that should have been thrilling were dragged out and some dialogues were just kind of awkward. I thought it took to long to find what the characters were looking for and there wasn’t enough build-up for me. It just felt kind of flat. That being said, there were some good action and a little mystery so that was kind of fun. I also really enjoyed the last few chapters and the final battle scene. I think that’s part of why I bumped up my rating to 3. Cause those moments were so intense, exciting, and had me holding my breath. I really wish the story was like that the entire time.

Another issue I had was with the heroine. I just could not connect with Lyric and was for the most part annoyed with her personality. She had so many inner monologues and repeated so much of her nightmares, fears, and insecurities that it became too distracting for me. I did think she had potential and I liked that she was brave, cared deeply and was incredibly determined. BUT, her character development was a big letdown for me. I really hope she does a lot of growing up in the next installment cause she could be really great.

As for the other characters, well I guess you could say I liked them enough. Rhodes was the kind of hero who will do anything to protect the person he loves. Braelynn was the ultimate best friend and I loved that she was kind, courageous, and supported Lyric. Emory was spiteful and downright cruel sometimes, but she played her part so well. Easton was a nice surprise. There’s something about him that was so intriguing and charming. I have my own predictions about him and I really hope I’m right.

What made me really enjoy this book was the world-building and the magical system. Even though there were quite a few hiccups, I still thought it was incredibly creative. The concept about the five elements, the different kingdoms, the power, the ongoing war, the lost hero, and the soulmate bond were really fun and interesting to read about. I’m definitely curious to learn more about this world and hopefully get a better picture of how everything works.

Overall, I thought this book was a decent start for a fantasy series. Even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected, I still had some fun. I laughed a few times and I really did think that magical system was fascinating. Will I continue with the series? Maybe…maybe not. It’s not on my priority or anything, but there are some things I would like to know.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest

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Book Blitz – Torn by Mia Kerick

Torn
Mia Kerick
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: LGBTQ+, Romance, Young Adult

Vinny Bucci and Tommy Stecker are almost cousins—their mothers call themselves “sisters of the heart,” so that sort of makes them cousins, doesn’t it? Since childhood, they’ve shared holidays and Sunday services and their passion for soccer. But now they’re eighteen, high school seniors, and what has always been devoted friendship—the next best thing to family—has started to feel like something else. Something more….

Unfortunately, the Steckers can’t accept their son’s same-sex romance, and upon recognizing the teens’ mutual attraction, they push Tommy into dating a girl from church, then compel him to attend a Christian College far away from Vinny’s school. The Buccis and the Steckers—once a family of choice—clash over what’s right and go their separate ways.

Forced into separation, Vinny and Tommy are both devastated, but while Vinny hardens his heart to love, halfway across the country Tommy becomes emotionally and physically ill. Their passion for each other hasn’t diminished, let alone died, but they lose contact, and for the first time in their lives learn what it is to live with a broken heart.

Will Tommy and Vinny find their way back to each other, or will they accept the rules dictated by family and try to live severed lives, their love forever unfulfilled?

A Mature Young Adult Romance

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GUEST POST by MIA KERICK

Hello. I’m Mia Kerick, and I’m here with my first in a series of YA/NA “story ballads.” This one is called TORN.

According to Wikipedia…

New adult (NA) fiction, also rendered as new-adult fiction, is a developing genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18–30 age bracket.[1] St. Martin’s Press first coined the term in 2009, when they held a special call for “…fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult’”.[2] New adult fiction tends to focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices…

In its short life, NA fiction has had its ups and downs. Some writers/publishers don’t see it as a valid genre. Others find it to be a much-needed category. Lauren Sarner, in her article The Problem with New Adult books, states “New Adult is a label that is condescending to readers and authors alike. It implies that the books act as training wheels between Young Adult and Adult. For the New Adult books that are particularly childish, the label implies that they are a step above Young Adult—which is insulting to the Young Adult books that are far superior. For the New Adult books that are particularly sophisticated, the label implies that they are not worthy of being considered ‘adult.’ It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”

I think NA is an important developing, and hopefully not disappearing, genre, as there are topics, which when dealt with in full detail, are not entirely appropriate for a YA audience. There is also a difference in attitude. Teens who have are sharing their first kiss, experiencing a parental divorce, or experimenting with alcohol for the first time, have a different voice than those who are going off to live on their own to discover who they are when high school ends. In particular, there is a lot more sex in NA books, and the details are more descriptive. But this is where the genre seems to have hit a wall, in my opinion. According to my study of the Amazon Hot New Releases and Best Sellers lists, New Adult has largely turned into a genre that is centered around stories of sexual escapades. (Check out the lists and you’ll see what I mean.)

So when I wrote a novel that truly deals with more mature YA subjects and the transition from high school to college—living as “adults” for the first time—deciding upon a category is challenging. If I go with YA, I run the risk of offering more descriptive fact and detail than 13-18-year-olds need. If I choose New Adult, reader expectations have largely shifted away from “older YA” as it was originally intended, to be stories of a primarily sexual nature.

I’ve put a great deal of consideration into the choice between YA and NA, when it comes to my novella, Torn. As the story begins, Vinny and Tommy are high school seniors. The plot takes them through their final year of high school and into college. And certainly, in the novel they confirm their sexualities and experience passionate moments with each other, but that is not the only thrust of the book. The primary theme is of separating from family—not just physically, but emotionally. The young men go out into the world and develop their adult identities. They deal with being truly alone for the first time, religious conflict, and parental expectations. They make choices that adults make—ones that cause huge disruption and long-term change in their lives.

In the end, I chose to categorize the book as a Mature YA Romance. I placed this in the blurb so those who are selecting a book will realize that it isn’t about a first kiss or fitting in at their high school. The topics are a somewhat more mature, though not out of the scope of YA lit. But my main reason for choosing YA is because of the voice. The two main characters, who are the narrators, possess a YA voice for a great portion of the book.

I hope you check out my Mature YA Story Ballad, Torn, meet Vinny and Tommy, and explore the challenges they face as they journey toward love.

authorbio2

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son off to Syracuse. (Yes, there is Atlantic Coast Conference rivalry within the family.) She publishes LGBTQ romances when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. Now she publishes her work—it’s an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a First Place Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for YA Fiction, among others.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at http://www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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