Wrap up – Rebel Belle Trilogy by Rachel Hawkins

Average adventures with plenty of promise.

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This was a cute little trilogy – reminiscent of Buffy and the Scooby Gang. Prez brings the popular girl turned guardian (Paladin) battling magical foes with witty one-liners and awesome fighting scenes to the forefront.

The premise is certainly compelling and I had high hopes for this series, though it under delivered on my expectations, but is still very entertaining. The mythology of Paladins and Oracles is something I haven’t read a lot about and added a unique twist to the story.

Though this series is very predictable and better suited to the younger end of the YA market – it lacked the punch I was hoping for and doesn’t possess great complexity. It is a fun after-school special type of story.

The middle book was flat, failing to up the anty, and could have been edited down to half its length and paced as a much better book – in fact I’d love to see the series heavily edited, a curve ball or two thrown in and bound into one book. It would go from pretty good to mind-blowingly awesome.

We get a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, though the last book is a darker tone than its predecessors. I’d still recommend it to my friends, they are short, fast reads so you don’t need to invest a lot of time, and the Rebel Belle trilogy is really a pleasant way to spend a lazy afternoon.

You get character growth, a cool mystical system, teen banter and some southern charm. With some of the failings I felt this collections suffered it also has a lot going for it.

Rebel Belle Series Wrap Up Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

For individual reviews click on the links below:

Rebel Belle’ – https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/book-review-rebel-belle/

Miss Mayhem’ – https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/book-review-miss-mayhem-by-rachel-hawkins/

Lady Renegades’https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/book-review-lady-renegades-by-rachel-hawkins/

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Book Review – ‘Lady Renegades’ by Rachel Hawkins

A great girlie teen action adventure with a paranormal twist.

Lady Renegades Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Paranormal, Comedy, Romance

No. of pages: 264

From Goodreads:

Just as Harper Price starts coming to terms with her role as David Stark’s battle-ready Paladin, protector, and girlfriend—her world goes crazy all over again.

Overwhelmed by his Oracle powers, David flees Pine Grove and starts turning teenage girls into Paladins—and these young ladies seem to think that Harper is the enemy David needs protecting from.  Ordinarily, Harper would be able to fight off any Paladin who comes her way, but her powers have been dwindling since David left town…which means her life is on the line yet again.

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I was really excited to finish up this trilogy – it is just so much fun! I’d pre-ordered a copy of ‘Lady Renegades,’ so the moment I had spare time, I pretty much devoured this book in a weekend.

Lady Renegades Book Review Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleWith a darker, more depressing tone for the conclusion, our protagonist, Harper wrestles with her inner demons. Which was a nice break from all the action, and to revel in some character development. Because of this, we never lose Harper in fight scenes, her presence is strong, and you get a real sense of her growth by the conclusion.

Blythe was a nice touch to the story, an antagonist you’re never quite sure is an antagonist. Her presence really added another dimension to ‘Lady Renegades.’

There didn’t seem to be as much comradery between the cast as in the previous books; or the comedic moments, or witty banter for that matter. It’s still there, just lightly sprinkled over the story. And so it didn’t quite have the same feel as I got from ‘Rebel Belle’ and ‘Miss Mayhem.’

It didn’t really feel like much happened in this book. It’s only 264 pages long, and I flew through it. A light-hearted after-school special feel to the narrative and fun dialogue. The pacing pics up towards the end, though I did feel there was a lot of repetition of the situation Harper faced near the finale that was unnecessary. The story felt very predictable, but sweet and I never stopped rooting for what I wanted to happen.

A satisfying end to a fun trilogy. Though lacked the punch of the debut. I felt like I wanted Harper’s journey to be harder and be more complex… maybe because I was left with the impression that the story came to an end way too quickly. But it’s still something I’d recommend to all my friends.

Overall feeling: *smiles sadly*

 

Lady Renegades Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Lady Renegades Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

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© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

Pres is on the warpath yet again…

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Genre: Y/A, Paranormal, Comedy, Romance

No. of pages: 273

From Goodreads:

Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and her best friend, Bee, has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can focus on the important things in life: school, canoodling with David (her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie), and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.

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As fun a read as Miss Mayhem is, it did suffer ‘Sequel Syndrome’ and left me a little disappointed. It certainly did not “up the anty” with the storyline or characters. The witty banter and awkward action sequences we got in Rebel Belle weren’t as prominent in the second book of the series. Given the brevity of Miss Mayhem, I was expecting something action packed and punchy… but it still felt a little drawn out.

Harper and her boyfie were still adorable, and the tension between the two a great addition. Also with the rest of the cast, testing their friendships. But I felt it could have been more – you know really turn up the pressure some more to let them shine. There are brief moments, but all too fleeting.

Miss Mayhem was enjoyable and a quick, easy read; however it did not measure up to its predecessor. Granted it’s the middle book in a trilogy, so it can be a bit of a no-man’s land… but as an author, you should be able to make it great. Maybe Rebel Belle had gotten my expectations up? The story was great, I loved it. But it could have been condensed down to a shorter story that really shines. Maybe this trilogy should really be one book after some heavy editing?

Overall feeling: Is there any more?

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Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Rebel Belle

Rebel Belle Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

Harper Price, peerless Southern Belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favourite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him – and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Rebel Belle – it took me back to the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, however wasn’t as punchy (pun intended). The subject matter is great, as is the mythology, but the characters felt a little underdeveloped and cheesy for me.

Harper as a bad-ass heroine, is at first, a great premise, being a superficial girly-girl. Her character goes through some development in this novel, but it did not ring true for me. There was something missing. It felt like the reader (and Harper) were being led through the story and didn’t let her organically grow and choose her path through the plot. If you have read Anna Dressed on Blood by Kendare Blake, it is similar, but isn’t executed in a better fashion.

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There is some witty dialogue, but wasn’t laugh-out-loud for me, but does keep your interest and drive the story forward. Much of this book is cliché, however it redeems itself on pure unadulterated entertainment. It’s fun, simple and tells an interesting story. The heroine is a little different to the plethora of normal-girl-turned-chosen-one. Harper is a mean girl who lucked into her predicament.

The love interest of David Stark – though annoying at times – he’s such a big nerd – and that worked for me. I lurve geeky, nerdy guys!

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There is a great amount of predictability with Rebel Belle, it very much mirrors an after-school special. Thankfully the pace moves quickly and we don’t get bogged down with insignificant or longwinded narration. I will say the style felt a little abrupt and immature, and I would have liked to have seen some information left out for the reader to discover to create more interest.

I’d recommend Rebel Belle for a great, light quick read – perfect for a girls night in…

Rebel Belle Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

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© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.