Trope University: A Review of Eerie by C.M. McCoy

28252234Title: Eerie
Author: C.M. McCoy
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Publication Date:  December 19th, 2015
Paperback: 434 Pages
Source: Author

Hailey Hartley has just enrolled in the world’s premier supernatural university. It’s a school she’s never heard of, located in a town called The Middle of Nowhere, and run by a creature that’s not supposed to exist. But at least she got a scholarship…

Hailey’s dreams have always been, well…vivid. As in monsters from her nightmares follow her into her waking life vivid. When her big sister goes missing, eighteen-year-old Hailey finds only one place offers her answers–a paranormal university in Alaska. There, she studies the science of the supernatural and must learn to live with a roommate from Hell, survive her otherworldly classes, and hope the only creature who can save her from the evil immortal who took her sister doesn’t decide to kill her himself.  

“Those who look for a reason to fear will find one, and those without reason will follow.”

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

Eerie’s premise promises a paranormal thriller-cum-romance, complete with a murdered sibling, a cursed heroine, and an enigmatic love interest. Recent high school graduate Hailey Hartley finds herself contending with the murder of her sister Holly, the knowledge that one of her best friends is practically immortal, and that the literal man of her dreams is all too real, all while attending a university in Alaska that focus on ParaScience. While doing so, she discovers that she has an affinity for ghosts, and befriends a banshee from Hell- who happens to be her roommate

Eerie could be perhaps said to deliver on its promises, if one were a thirteen-fifteen year old girl intent on devouring every Twilight-esque paranormal clone on the shelves. Unfortunately, I found it to fall more than a little short on several counts. While not a thirteen-fifteen year old, I do have a certain fondness for paranormal romance fluff. I didn’t have particularly high hopes for Eerie to be a paragon of the genre; however, I expected, after seeing the reviews and press, to at least find it a decent bit of brain candy. Instead, I found myself so angry at the travesty that unfolds within its pages, that I couldn’t even call it a mindless read.

The book starts off on poor footing. Hailey, and her plot device sister Holly, have the exact same voice. During the few pages in which we see them interacting, I had to keep stopping to remind myself of which sister was which. While I understand that Holly existed only as a plot device, when she dies (quite horribly, I must add), we have no reason to be invested in her death. Hailey is, certainly distraught… except, she isn’t. Instead she has the inner strength and fortitude to soldier through and personally try to poke about Holly’s murder. The author gives us no reason to care about Holly’s death other than Hailey’s pain, and that pain is neither believable, nor compelling.

Also not believable is how nonchalantly Hailey takes the continual reveals of the supernatural within her life. The general world of Eerie does not seem to be one where monsters, ghosts, and magics are commonplace- yet Hailey never bats an eye at an offer of a scholarship to a “ParaScience” university in Alaska. Or that her “uncles” from Ireland made it across the ocean in less than a night. Or that Fin, who worked at her family’s bar, was actually an immortal in service to an Envoy. I could go on, but there are so many of these incongruities that I could fill up a book with them. Oh wait….

Bear Town University, where Hailey goes off to college, attempts to be the Hogwarts of the paranormal. It would more aptly be named the University of Ghostbuster Tropes. The only positive to getting to the university is that here, we meet the one character I found at all interesting. Unfortunately, what could have been a rather different and engaging concept, becomes yet another wooden prop for the main character. Giselle, Hailey’s roommate, is a banshee- from Hell. She cries cobwebs, is rude and hates everyone, and is slowly being redeemed by the Magic of Hailey’s Friendship.

At Bear Town, we also properly meet Asher, the Envoy of Hailey’s dreams- who, by the way, exemplifies every warning sign of an abuser. Asher takes a very possessive and demeaning approach to Hailey; if she does not do what he wants, he hurts her. He manipulates Fin into hurting her, so that she will stop caring about Fin. He threatens to kill people who so much as speak to her crossly. But of course, Asher only does all of this because the Envoys don’t understand emotions. In fact, emotions are anathema to their kind; any Envoy caught displaying them is to be put to death. But he loves her so much, Asher will risk death for her, of course.

Eerie presents us trope within trope within trope, none of it in any sort of compelling manner. The main character is unsympathetic and wooden. The love interests represent the extreme examples of the worse sorts of partners. The setting and side characters are nothing but props for Hailey to bounce off. The villain of the story- because yes, we do have a villain- is so absolutely forgettable flat that I don’t even remember his name. It was, from start to finish, a disappointment of epic proportions. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

 

cynsig

Mistaken for Fantasy: An Advance Review of The Graces by Laure Eve

28818369 (1)Title: The Graces (The Graces #1)
Author: Laure Eve
Genre: Contemporary / Paranormal
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date:  September 6th, 2016
Kindle Edition: 352 Pages
Source: Netgalley

In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.

Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. And what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.

This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The CraftThe Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.

“We love just one, but we love them all as well,” he said. “The Graces. We want to be them, and love them, and for them to love us. It’s a curse. Don’t you see? The Grace’s curse.” 

Continue reading “Mistaken for Fantasy: An Advance Review of The Graces by Laure Eve”

Destiny and Development: A Review of The Reluctant Sacrifice by Kerr-Ann Dempster

sacrificeTitle: The Reluctant Sacrifice
Author: Kerr-Ann Dempster
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: August 17th, 2015
Kindle Edition: 263 Pages
Source: Author
Centuries ago, sibling rivalry tore Aramith apart. As punishment, the losers were stripped of their immortal birthright and banished to Earth. There, they wasted away from old age and diseases. However, there is hope…

If a Shaw child, born on the 12th day of the 12th month offers her soul in a public sacrifice, then the exiles will be forgiven and welcomed home to Aramith.

Aubrey Shaw is that child, but dying for the exiles is not on her to-do list. Using her gift as a Jumper, Aubrey leaps between bodies to escape relentless shape-shifting hunters. Only, shedding her skin is not enough. Not when Joshua, her best-friend-turned-hunter, is hell-bent on dragging her to the altar.

Will Aubrey’s love for Joshua change his mind?

Or, will she have to trust the scarred stranger who shows up out of the blue cloaked in lies and secrets? Doing so means giving up on Joshua. But betting on Joshua’s love could do more than break her heart.

It could kill her.

“I want to pour myself into you and watch you fill up with pleasure, until the need for air and food forces us apart. But that is not all I want. When I look at you, I see sunsets and laughter. I see a freaking lifetime of flesh memories that’ll make me forget the days before we met.”

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

I only meant to read a chapter or two before I fell asleep. It was 4:30 in the morning, after all, I should’ve been asleep. After every chapter, I told myself “Just one more”. Then 8:30 rolled around and there were no more chapters. I had consumed the entire novel in four hours. There was no avoiding it. The Reluctant Sacrifice sucked me and refused to let go.

Continue reading “Destiny and Development: A Review of The Reluctant Sacrifice by Kerr-Ann Dempster”