Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Reviews: Ishel and Stone Guardian by Theresa DaLayne

Ishel, by Theresa DaLayne
2015, 61p, YA Paranormal Romance/Mythology
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the author for an honest review

Trapped between duty and desire, even a goddess is forced to choose.

When Ishel falls madly in love, the Mayan goddess is left with a choice. Fulfill her royal obligation and marry the god of war, or follow her heart and elope wit the deity who has true claim over her heart--Kinich, ruler of the sun.

Determined to have Ishel as his wife, the god of war will stop at nothing to ensure their betrothal. Left with no other choice, she flees the heavens. But there is more at stake than even a goddess can foresee. An unexpected surprise awaits...One destined to challenge her immortality.

Without the goddess to tend to mankind’s plants and flowers, the middle world will surely perish. And how will she live on to protect the single person who needs her most?

This book was short, but I absolutely loved it!! It's a great story of forbidden love. Ishel is a Mayan goddess who is in love with Kinich, ruler of the sun. However, she has been promised to Nacon, the god of war, who she does not love. Nacon is tough and easy to dislike but he shows that he does love Ishel. She makes a choice which changes everything and there are real and lasting consequences.

I read this in one sitting and was mesmerized by this story. I could feel how Ishel was torn between her love for Kinich and her responsibility to her father to marry Nacon. Kinich is tender and easy to love while Nacon is cold and determined to marry Ishel. We learn about Ishel and her father's responsibility to the Stone Guardian. Things change before the end of the story so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out as the series continues. 

Currently FREE on Amazon Kindle and Nook!

Stone Guardian, by Theresa DaLayne
2015, 300p, YA Paranormal Romance/Mythology 
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the author for an honest review

Zanya Coreandero is a seventeen-year-old orphan with only a single friend and no hope for a normal life. Diagnosed with anxiety and night terrors, no one believes her cuts and bruises are a result of an evil entity, and not a brutal case of self-harm.

When Zanya is kidnapped, she meets a group of gifted Maya descendants, each with a unique ability. Gone from a nameless castaway to the only hope of mankind, Zanya is forced to make a grueling decision: bond with an enchanted stone and save mankind from rising underworld forces, or watch helplessly as Earth falls victim to a familiar dark deity from her dreams. This time, he’s playing for keeps.

When a dark-eyed timebender takes interest in Zanya's mission, it's unclear if his intention is to help, or if he's on a hell-bent mission for revenge. Wary of falling for a man with a major secret and a tainted past, Zanya fights to keep her distance. If only her heart gave her a choice.

***Reprint comment*** Main character's name has been changed to Zanya.

I actually reviewed this book a couple of years ago and the author contacted me recently to see if I wanted to read her updated and improved version. I jumped at the chance since this was a series I found interesting but had never finished reading (partly because, to date, it hasn't all been released). As I read the review I previously posted, I didn't notice a lot of differences, other than the main character's name, which was Ashley and is now Zanya. My review is pretty much the same as before with a few slight changes. 

Zanya and Tara start out in an orphanage for the insane and, when a fire alarm goes off one night, they chase after a little girl, get lost in the woods, walk into the fog and wake up in Belize. Zanya and Tara are brought up to speed on Zanya's true identity and her destiny. They meet new people and learn about the gifts they have and what Zanya should have but hasn't ever developed.

Tara meets Peter and Zanya meets Arwan, who she's interested in and then Jayden appears from her past to stir things up. Her cousin Hawa is someone I hope we get to know a little more about. There's also Renato, Zanya's uncle, who they look to for guidance and direction, and Marzena, who looks like a child (the same girl they thought was lost in the woods at the orphanage).

While in the orphanage, Zanya had terrifying dreams where a man always appeared and she learns that his name is Sarian. He's the general of the underworld forces and is trying to get Zanya to join forces with him so he will be all powerful and take over.

They all have to take on Sarian, which is scary but gives Zanya a chance to start figuring out how to use her powers and they turn to someone who they aren't sure they can trust. At the end, something major happens and Zanya and Arwan set off on a dangerous mission.

I like the story and the way the characters interact with each other. I feel like there's still lots to learn about them as they have just met and are getting to know each other better. Arwan definitely has some secrets. We're given major clues as to who he really is so it will be interesting to see what happens. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Content: Swearing, including four uses of the "f" word

Currently $.99 on Amazon Kindle and Nook!

Theresa DaLayne is a north-south-east-western kind of girl with a quirky personality to match her nomad life. Born in California, she migrated to three different cities in Washington State, a tiny island in Alaska, North Carolina, and finally to the suburbs of Ohio where she currently lives with her husband, three kids, vegetarian cat, and her ungrateful fish.

Always on the lookout for a new story, Theresa is a shameless eavesdropper and will take anyone who provides inspiration and mold them into a character without a second thought. She enjoys writing both paranormal and contemporary stories, considering her mind wanders between worlds of fantasy while she’s forced to live in the real world, very much against her will.


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