Saturday, March 29, 2014

Haven Series Collection Books 1 & 2 Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


Today I have 2 book reviews to share with you. and D.C. Akers provided me with an e-book compilation of the first 2 books in the Haven series. Here's a little bit of background information about this series:

Known as a place of refuge, Haven is a sanctuary for those with supernatural abilities. Decades of peace between the Witches, Vampires, Goblins, Elves, and Orcs is coming to an end. Now the once tranquil world is shrouded in deception and corruption. Dark secrets tear at the very fabric of their alliance, giving way to an evil that stirs in the shadows. Exhilarating and utterly gripping, the HAVEN series is an action-packed journey full of suspense, magic, mystery, and intrigue.

I've been reading a lot of vampire themed series lately (namely Twilight and all of Cassandra Clare's novels) so I thought this sounded like it might be interesting. These books weren't quite what I expected, but let me start with Book 1: A Stranger Magic:

Sam Dalcome thinks he is so completely average that no one ever notices him. Until he discovers a mysterious stranger outside his home. Bewildered, he tries to uncover the stranger’s intentions. But Sam is sidetracked when he and his friend Travis discover a secret passageway deep in the town’s quarry that leads to a hidden cavern. What they uncover next will not only change their lives forever, but will uncover the first clue to a deadly Dalcome family secret. Sam finds himself drawn into a world of mystery and magic he never knew existed, which brings him closer to a destiny he never knew was possible.

A Stranger Magic was quite short, easy to read, but quite frankly I found it a little boring. It wasn't until the very end that things started getting interesting, but even then I wasn't too excited. I found the characters to be annoying, and some what unrealistic. This story contained a lot of pop culture references, which I suppose helps some people make the characters more realistic in their minds, but which I just find to be irritating. I probably would not have read the entire story if I had just been reading this for my own pleasure. Personally, I feel this story would have been better if it and book 2 were not broken up into 2 individual books. Here's a look at Book 2: Revenge of the Viper:

The Great War of Haven ended thirteen years ago but Alisa Dalcome is about to discover that the war did not end for her. Placed on Earth as a sleeper agent for the Majesty of Haven, Alisa had one objective—protect the portal keys at all costs. In the wrong hands the magical keys could jeopardize the safety of everyone on Haven. But Alisa’s relocation was more than just Majesty business; it was also a chance for her to escape her enemies, enemies that still wanted her dead. Alisa wasn’t thinking about herself when she left Haven, she was thinking about her children Sam and Sarah. The Great War had already taken her husband Rylan; she would be damned if she would let it take her children too. But what Alisa didn’t count on was her inquisitive son Sam and his friend Travis. Sam’s world has turned upside down after discovering magic is real. After barely escaping the caves Sam begins to piece together the past day’s events when he stumbles onto his mother’s secret past. With the clues mounting, Sam must dig deeper to uncover the truth that could change his life forever.
But Sam doesn’t realize that his mother’s past has already caught up with them. Hidden within the shadows nearby is Haven’s most malevolent predator—the Viper. A hunter forged from the blackest of magic, it watches, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Can Sam uncover the truth in time or will his mother’s past collide with the present placing them all in grave danger?

After reading A Stranger Magic, I was a bit hesitant about Revenge of the Viper, but I found I did enjoy it more than what I thought I would. By the end of the story, I found myself saying "that's it?" and wanting to read more. It became obvious the author is a Harry Potter fan, as I could read a lot of J.K. Rowling's influence in this book. The story was interesting, and the characters did become less annoying in my mind. However, I found a lot of the elements of the characters to be quite typical, with little or no creativity. For example, the idea of witches having familiars is nothing new, and some might argue this is a traditional idea but it's one I feel has been done to death.

I do believe these books are for a younger audience than myself, so putting my pickiness aside, I do think I would have enjoyed these when I was about 13 years old or so. There are elements of the story which remind me of being a kid, when fantasy movies such as Legend and Labyrinth were popular. So even though I wasn't crazy about A Stranger Magic, I think I would be interested in reading Elixir of Life, which is the 3rd book in the series, estimated to be released sometime next year.

You can read A Stranger Magic for free by getting it as an e-book on Amazon.

Find out more information about D.C. Akers on his Web site:
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1 lucky person will have the chance to win the collection e-book in a giveaway! Winner will be chosen on April 21, 2014 and the item will be sent on April 22, 2014. Good luck! :)

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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