Review: Songlines

It’s hard enough being a teenage girl trying to make it through high school. But when you find out that you’re a Guardian of the Garden of Eden…well, things get much harder.

Songlines-Full-Res-Bookcover-whiteLainie Gracewood has lived her whole life in Nalong and has dreamed of leaving the farmland she knows for big adventures in the city. But when she suddenly starts getting visions, things get complicated. Harry, a farmhand, breaks the news to Lainie that she is in fact a Cherubim that has been appointed to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden. However, with the threat of miners looming on the horizon, Lainie doesn’t have the easiest job.

Songlines is a unique tale told from an Australian standpoint, not something you see these days. Carolyn Denman does a fantastic job of blending religion with fantasy in this inspiring novel of family, friendship, and responsibility. With flair for the dramatic, Denman produces a story that you won’t want to stop reading. While I felt that the beginning was a little dull (and we were suddenly thrown into the meat of the story), I couldn’t make myself put this one down. You can bet I’m eagerly awaiting the second installment of this fabulous story!

**I received a copy of this book from BookSirens for an honest review.**

They Called Me Wyatt

When Jordanian student Siwar Salaiha is murdered on her birthday in College Park, Maryland, her consciousness survives, finding refuge in the body of a Seattle baby boy. Stuck in this speech delayed three-year old body, Siwar tries but fails to communicate with Wyatt’s parents, instead she focuses on solving the mystery behind her murder. Eventually, her consciousness goes into a dormant state after Wyatt undergoes a major medical procedure.

Fast-forward twenty-two years. Wyatt is a well-adjusted young man with an affinity towards the Middle East and a fear of heights. While working on his graduate degree in Middle Eastern studies, Wyatt learns about Siwar’s death, which occurred twenty-five years ago. For reasons he can’t explain, he grows obsessed with Siwar and spends months investigating her death, which police at the time erroneously ruled as suicide. His investigation forces him to open a door he has kept shut all his life, a spiritual connection to an unknown entity that he frequently refused to acknowledge. His leads take him to Amman, Jordan where after talking to her friends and family members and through his special connection with the deceased, he discovers a clue that unravels the mystery of her death. Will Siwar get justice after all?

img_0855Let me just say, They Called Me Wyatt is not something I would have picked up on my own. However, reading the synopsis seriously intrigued me and I found myself sucked into this strange and unique story of Siwar and Wyatt. They Called Me Wyatt was an entertaining read for sure and lovers of supernatural mysteries will love it! However, I felt like I was drowning in the details of Siwar’s life. While I enjoyed getting to know her, and she was a well-developed character, I couldn’t get attached to her or to Wyatt for that matter. The chapters interweave between Siwar stuck in Wyatt and her time in Jordan as well as in the US before her death. That is until halfway through the book when the story is picked up by Wyatt solely.

Dying was not the worst part. It was what came after dying.

I’m a stickler for well-edited books and this one definitely needs to be edited as there were many grammatical issues I found that distracted me from the story. Still, Natasha Tynes has created a remarkable and unique mystery that I think many will enjoy! I have never read anything quite like what she has written. The way she manages to fit the pieces of the puzzle together are outstanding and I look forward to reading many more of her works!

**I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.**

And Then There Were Crows

IMG-1675Never look for a roommate on Craigslist!  I repeat, NEVER look for a roommate on Craigslist.

“…the guy waiting on the other side of my door was about to bring the whole thing to another level. A screw up of literal biblical proportions.”

Amanda Grey can tell you just how much of a bad idea it is. Living in NYC with her parents in a small apartment, Amanda is left to take care of things while her parents are traveling. But suddenly she’s run out of funds and decides to find a roommate to help pay for rent until her parents return. But who would’ve expected her roommate to be a demon?

And Then There Were Crows is filled with demons, angels, the usual fight between good and evil, and Mordor nachos. With biting sarcasm and surprisingly relatable characters, Alcy Leyva’s book will have you dying of laughter with every page. Following Amanda’s struggles as she tries to save the world (which yeah, is kinda sucky) with the help of her demon roommate, Leyva walks us through New York at the mercy of ethereal beings.

I could not put this book down. Every bit of it was perfectly executed. Fair warning: your sides will hurt but it’s so worth it. I can’t wait to see what’s next from The Shades of Hell series.