Review by Lindsay Sparkes
SERIES rating: 4 stars
I was browsing on my Kindle the other day, trying to find something to mix up the contemporary cycle I have been in for a while, and came across my copy of The Mayfair Moon. It has been on my Kindle for quite some time now. It is about werewolves. Why have I not read this? Then I notice it was written by J.A. Redmerski. Hey, that's The Edge of Never chick. Why have I not read this? I have The Edge of Never, but haven't read it yet. Why have I not read that? Oh, if I had a penny for every unread book on my Kindle. So, I checked it out on Amazon and realized that the trilogy was complete. PERFECT!! I am going to read it. And so, I did.
Book rating: 3 stars
Amazon synopsis: After a nightmarish encounter with a werewolf, seventeen-year-old Adria Dawson loses her sister, but gains the love of a mysterious young man and his legendary family. Strange and tragic things begin to happen in the small town of Hallowell, Maine: residents come down with an unexplainable 'illness' and some disappear. In the midst of everything, Isaac Mayfair is adamant about keeping Adria safe, even from her sister whom he has warned her to stay away from. As unspeakable secrets unfold all around Adria, impossible choices become hers to bear. Ultimately, no matter what path she takes, her life and the lives of those she loves will be in peril. As she learns about the werewolf world she also learns why her place in it will change the destinies of many.
So, wow, beautiful cover, though I am not going to lie, it freaks me out a bit. The writing style and imagery is excellent and shows promise for future books. However, I would be honest and say that if this was the only book out at the time I read it, by the time the 2nd came along, I wouldn't have continued the series. I have a tendency to do this when a first book does not stand out enough for me to remember what happened without reading it again. There isn't any real connection between Adria and Isaac until about 60% in and then the insta-love feels fake, because I feel cheated out of the courting part of their relationship. You aren't able to connect emotionally to them as a couple. However, I do LOVE that the werewolves in this book are not the romanticized wolves that are so popular in this type of book. They are snarling, nasty beasts! Ewwww!!! Fun for a change.
Book rating: 4 stars
Amazon synopsis: Isaac Mayfair is hiding a dark secret. And just when Adria Dawson thinks the worst of her life among the werewolf world is over, she learns the secret that can rip her and Isaac's love apart. Adria must come to terms with what the truth means for her. What it means for her life and how much time she has left to live it. She must choose between two different fates, neither of which can offer life as a certainty.
As if Isaac's betrayal isn't enough, Adria learns that there are things out there older and more powerful than werewolves could ever be. An archaic entity known only to few as the Praverian, unlike anything Adria has ever known or heard of.
As Adria struggles with her own fateful dilemmas, she must also try to find out why the Praverian is so interested in her and do everything in her power to stay out of its way.
Hello! I am in love with Isaac Mayfair. I wasn't into him the first book, but I take it all back. That insta-love is real! ;) The bone-aching love story and emotional side of the story comes on full force. It is action packed and creative, pulls you in and gets those gears in your brain turning! Where did this book come from? The last 15% of the book rips at your emotional heartstrings, leaves your head spinning and your jaw on the floor. I was DYING at the end. Not a good book to finish before you try to go to sleep. Maybe I will just go ahead and start book 3 instead. Yeah, sounds like a good idea.
The Ballad of Aramei
Book rating: 5 stars
Amazon synopsis: Everything about Adria Dawson’s life has changed in unimaginable ways: the shattering betrayal of her mother, the fight for her life and sanity…the loss of her humanity. But now Adria must face the ultimate challenge and risk not only her life, but the lives of everyone she loves at the wrathful hands of Isaac Mayfair’s father. Determined to help unravel a mysterious message deeply rooted in an unhinged mind, Adria becomes obsessed with traveling into Aramei’s turbulent past to see the truth of how the relationships and betrayals between the Mayfair and Vargas bloodlines were formed. Meanwhile, Adria and the Mayfairs are doing everything they can to smoke out and trap the Praverian traitor. A trip to Providence uncovers not only an old family line who are enemies of the Praverians, but also raises questions about the Praverian’s true agenda. But the traitor will be caught. People will die. And Adria’s destiny to be the cause of a war will come to pass. But what could a kind and simple girl like Adria Dawson ever do that could be considered an act of war? The landscape of the werewolf world will be forever changed in the climactic conclusion to The Darkwoods Trilogy.
Favorite quote: “I believe that no matter what happens, or where we go, or if there’s an afterlife, that we’ll always be connected. Not even death can make me forget you, or forget that I love you.”
Aptly named, The Ballad of Aramei is just that, a ballad. It is just the most beautiful and perfect ending to this series. Anybody that put down the series after the first book needs to pick it back up, totally worth it. You know those books where you know the author is building to something epic and then you get there and are totally let down by the lame ending? Well, this one DELIVERS! I was squealing with anxiety and excitement by the end of the book. It was...awesome. She told the ending through several different characters and picked just the right person to tell the story through for the scene she was writing. It was brilliant. She had so many irons in the fire by the end of the book, I wasn't sure she was going to pull it off, but she did and I can't wait for The DarkSouls Trilogy, where the questions she didn't answer are most likely to be answered!!
Overall, this series is a like watching the metamorphosis of a butterfly in J.A. Redmerski's writing skills.