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A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn't know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine's visions change to those of eerie ...
A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn't know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine's visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she's never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use ... and instructions.
To discover if she's losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions-with the real, rude and reluctant Victor-leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that's only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don't stop her first.
**New Adult PNR/UF novel (73k words)**
Posted January 18, 2014
Gods and Visions
*I received a free copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I went into Destiny Gift not knowing what to expect, but I was immensely surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The concept of Nadine, the main character, meeting the real-life man she's been dreaming about really intrigued me! Once I started reading, I was kind of hooked. This book did not take me at all long to finish! I loved the main character's voice and how she told the story. Her inner dialogue flowed easily, and I found myself pulled along on Nadine's journey to discovering what her visions really mean.
However, the book didn't really pick up for me until the halfway point. Much of the beginning is very basic and mundane, except for Nadine's visions and the Victor in her dreams showing up. Most of her inner dialogue revolved around the fact that the Victor in real life was not the same man she'd fallen in love with during her dreams. It's hard for Nadine to take, so I understand her need to figure him out. But she spent quite a lot of time talking about Victor, and even Micah. It turned into a love triangle quickly, and I'm sure that subplot will still remain in the second book. I'm not so sure Nadine even understands who and what she wants. Her feelings for Victor, especially, were back and forth and quite confusing. I understand her confusion, because she fell in love with a man who didn't exist and the one standing before falls short of that high standard. But sometimes, that heavy focus on the two boys instead of her visions took away from my reading enjoyment.
I thought Nadine was a pretty strong character, though she did tend to get on my nerves. Like I said above, much of her dialogue revolves around the men in her life, especially Victor. It made the romance seem more important than what was really going on with her visions. I didn't think she spent enough time trying to figure out what they meant, or why she has them. Her visions showed the past, the present, and the future, but it took her a long time to even question them. But Nadine was a likable character who felt very realistic in this post-apocalyptic world. Though there is major importance in her visions, Nadine doesn't stop going to school or let it rule her life. I liked that, but then again, the story-line didn't really move until Micah showed up, demanding that they leave because someone wanted them dead. After that, the plot thickens.
I think this book was more mythological than paranormal, but I loved those aspects of it. Destiny Gift, at first, seems your basic paranormal and post-apocalyptic novel. The readers find out what's really going on before the main character does. Much of the mythological aspects were easy to figure out, or at least, guess about. (Cheryl's character was very easy to figure out!). But who would have thought the destruction and desolation of the world was because the real gods and goddesses got greedy and started a war with each other? I loved the mythological story-line and plot! It was my favorite part of the book. It seems really straight-forward when you get sucked into the visions with Nadine, but there is so much more going on than what is shown. I guessed at what it all meant, and I was partially right. But I still don't know everything. So, I'm really looking forward to what's going to happen in the second book, because that was one sucky cliffhanger!
The secondary characters were all very well-written, especially the two swoon-worthy love interests and the villainous gods and goddesses. They all seemed to have a role to play, even if it was to hurt the main character. Victor and Micah were polar opposites, two male characters whose ancestry is a lot more complicated than any of them could have guessed (I was actually pretty close with that guess). I want to know more about them! They're both really intriguing and well-written. And, of course, extremely hot and protective.
Overall, I really enjoyed Destiny Gift. I just felt that the focus of the book was placed more on the romance, or the lack of one, between Nadine and Victor. The confusion of him being different from her dream Victor was heavily focused on in the beginning that I thought it took away from the mythological story-line. But I loved the complex characters, and I can't wait to see where this plot goes!
Posted December 18, 2013
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I very much enjoyed Destiny Gift and can't wait to read the rest of the series. It has been 30 years since the world has fallen into
darkness and decay, with death, disease, murder, and every other kind of evil loosed to throw the world into complete chaos. This is
the story of Nadine, Victor, and Micah who are brought together due to their strong auras. Nadine has visions, beginning with those of
Victor and eventually visions of things that have happened in the past and directions she has to decide whether to follow now. Victor
and Micah both suffer from some strange illness which brings intense pain and which Nadine is able to heal when necessary.
Outside of the last two books I have read (which have been my favorites by far this year), I found Destiny Gift to be much more original
than everything else I have read in a long time. It is a paranormal story with a few steamy, but clean scenes. I would say that Nadine is
a typical heroine, in that she isn't really one, but I liked her. I bought into her character and could feel her confusion and frustration over
her visions as well as the fear that she is hallucinating and going insane. I understood her fear in the beginning of the story when she
wanted to get help from the psychiatrist, but at the same time, didn't want to lose her visions of Victor. I thought Victor and Micah were
both well written, hot characters. I can't wait to read the rest of the series and see how everything unfolds.
The story was well written. It flows very well and at a good pace. There was a time in the middle where I found myself wishing it would
move a little faster and get to the point, but once it did, the story took off, and I couldn't stop reading. I read the entire book in one day
(although I'm off work due to surgery and had nothing else to do but read). The characters are well developed. The setting was very
nicely written so that I could completely close my eyes and submerge myself in the world that Ms. Haygert created.
I will definitely read the rest of the series and highly recommend for anyone who enjoys paranormal fiction.
Posted December 15, 2013
This book made me like urban fantasy genre
Destiny Gift is a story about a world in darkness, sinister and disasters everywhere. Nadine is a NYU student who wants to be a doctor in order help her family. She studies and works, she hasn’t time for dating, at least in the real world, but she usually has visions about a guy she doesn’t know, Victor Gianni a really nice guy and she’s falling in love with him… so far so good.
But everything goes wild when Micah enters in the picture, he’s a mysterious guy, he usually shows up when Nadine least expect him. Suddenly Nadine’s visions turned up in something else: disaster’s premonitions and fights between mystical gods and goddesses.
Do you think mythology is bored? Not in this case. Juliana spiced up it with love triangles, mysteries, actions scenes and more. Every time I thought I knew something Juliana changed it completely. I didn’t want put this book down.
How stars deserve this book? Let’s see
Amazing storyline? Check.
Lovely and well written characters? Check.
Mysterious and bad boy character? Check.
Cute and lovely boy character? Check.
Bad ass female character? Check.
Bottom Line? My rating is 4 amazing stars ‘cause this is a super book..
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for my honest review and opinion.
Posted July 3, 2013
This book offered a variety of components that would make it appealing to a wide audience of readers. For the mythology lovers, you have gods that are similar to the Greek gods. For the romance lovers, you have two lead male love interests that are both equally swoon worthy for totally different reasons. Dystopian fans, will love the dark future New York setting. If all that wasn't enough, add in mysterious visions, giant killer bats, surprising twists and turns, a touch of humor, and you have a literary adventure just begging you to read it. The ARC of Destiny Gift Juliana Haygert was provided to me by the Xpresso Tours for review. The opinions are my own.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 15, 2013
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book. But, since the idea of a girl dreaming about a boy and finding him in reality sounded so interesting, I decided to give it a shot. And, wow, did this book blow my mind! Two hot guys, a fascinating mythology, and a huge secret made Destiny Gift a fantastic read.
The world building in this book was brilliant. The atmosphere of a dark and sinister world was spot on. And the mythology that was introduced and how it was tied to the state of the world was wonderfully done. I'm happy to say that I found not one hole in the world building.
Nadine was a likable heroine. She is very easy to relate to. She was a normal girl who became caught up in a massive conflict between gods. She held her own and refused to back down to anyone. She wasn't the most memorable heroine as I wanted to see a little more fire in her, to see her fighting back. Maybe we'll see that in the next book. But, regardless of that, I still really liked her character.
Victor was kind of confusing. He was so sweet in Nadine's dreams, but when he appears in reality, that goes down the tubes. But, even when he was acting like a jerk, I could still see that he was a good guy. And he did have a reason to act the way he did. By the end, I was starting to fall for him.
There was another guy in the book, Micah. Where Victor was sweet, he was smoldering. Loved him. He was brilliant.
The romance wasn't precisely a love triangle. It was obvious where Nadine heart lay. But, there was a potential for a love triangle. In this book, that factor wasn't very intense. It was the beginning stages and the author took her time in developing the romance. I thought it was very well done and I can't wait to see how it plays out. After the revelation at the end of this book, I don't know how that will work out, but we'll see.
The plot was fast paced. There were many twists and turns. And tons of secrets. At the end, there was a massive revelation that completely blew me away. Oh my goodness, I never saw it coming. When I thought the series was going to go one way, this revelation totally threw it into another. Ugh, I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. I need to find out what happens next!
Destiny Gift was a brilliant NA paranormal romance. Secrets, twists, hot guys, and the promise of romance make this book just fabulous. If you're looking for a great NA paranormal read, you must read this book!
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Posted May 21, 2013
Destiny Gift takes place in a world where God has forsaken the world and left humanity with a whirlwind of natural disasters, corruption, demons, and none-stop crime. In this world, stores like bookshops, clothes shops, etc are locked up and you need to ring a bell to get in to purchase something. Every house and building has a security system. Every newspaper and news channel is filled with terrible things happening every single day. I’m talking about Tornadoes; whole cities being blown up on one go by an unnatural fireball that appeared out of nowhere. This alternative universe is scary.
I took notes all throughout reading the book and in all of them, I'm always remarking on how smart Nadine (the heroine) is (Sarcasm). There are many occasions that seriously made me doubt Nadine's common sense. There are these big bat-like beasts roaming the planet and drunk idiots trying to rape girls and Nadine seems to have no regard for her safety and just chooses to "hang out" with them.
For example, Nadine is about to go out with her friends to a Club and when they're about to leave, the phone rings and Nadine picks up. She has to take the call and asks the girls to go ahead without her and that she'll meet them there. Yeah right! She goes off on her own and on foot too! Talk about a meat beacon for the demons.
As I continue to read, I hope wholeheartedly that she gets better along the way. But no... Nadine just continues to frustrate me! I don't know if she was written to be so irritating by the author or not.
Anyways, the storyline is actually good. It consisted of the books own versions of the Roman and Greek Gods. It even had the Fates. Throughout the book, I did manage to predict some events but most of the time the plot is unpredictable and does wow you here and there. Aside from that, the romance was just too transparent and angsty. I couldn't even connect with the characters at all and that is one thing I really hated.
On the plus side, the book was very entertaining and actually got really good once you ignore Nadine. Even the ending was such a cliffhanger that I literally yelled "What?! That's it?" when I finished it. So, I give the book a big O. K. and 3.5 stars out of 5.
Posted May 4, 2013
I Also Recommend:
Destiny Gift really took me on a fun suspenseful ride. I really enjoyed it too. This book really has a bit of everything, we have some cool fantasy/mythology in it, with her visions, it's also a real life type dystopian feel too, In New York City, it's all darkness (all over in fact) Its more of a new adult category I would say, college age and with the college environment. I really loved the really cool twist at the end, it got me really excited for this story, and for the next book.
As for the characters, I really liked Victor, a lot more than I liked Micah, something about Micah just put me off, but I will say I liked Nadines vision version of Victor better than the real life one. I did start to like Micah better by the end, and in fact was rooting for him too.
I liked Nadine most of the time, she was a bit clueless sometimes, but over all I still liked her. I was confused at times but it all came together at the end, and now that I read this book, I see it was more than likely planned out that way. It was brilliant. It is very well written, and to me is a very different type of paranormal, lots that happened I did not see coming for sure.
The Gods in this book I was confused on who was who some of the time, but it was not that big of a deal, I was able to catch on for the most part, lol.
This book did lack romance, there was some fantasies that Nadine had about Victor, and that's just about all, but I am not big on the romance in books, so it was fine with me. I think there is going to be more in the next book, at least it seems like it to me.
I highly recommend this book, and give it 5 out of 5 stars for sure.
Posted May 3, 2013
'Destiny Gift' is the first book in a New Adult paranormal romance series that follows leading lady Nadine as she struggles to find balance between her job, college classes, and the realistic visions she's been having for about nine months now. In her visions, the world is a different place - beautiful, bright, and alive - instead of the decaying wasteland that makes up her reality. Also present in her visions is the gorgeous man of her dreams, Victor Gianni. Nadine longs for her visions to disappear so she can lead a normal life, but she refuses to give up Victor. Things change in an instant when Nadine accidentally meets Victor in real life - and he is far from the man she has been seeing in her visions. Fearing for her sanity and longing to know what's really happening, Nadine follows vague directions along with rude version of Victor and stumbles upon an ancient creed that explains her visions along with the darkness and evil that is threatening to destroy her and her world.
This was a really interesting and original novel that had me hooked from the first paragraph. Nadine is a great main character. She's smart, devoted to her friends and family, and determined to do what's right for those she loves, even if it means giving up her own dreams. She deals with her visions in a way that most of us would - reveling in the daydreams with Victor but hating how she has no control over when they appear to her. She experiences a lot of character growth and maturing throughout the novel as she discovers the truth behind her visions and accepts her fate. The plot of the story isn't anything completely authentic, but the author does a great job at molding the history of the creed along with the various forms of evil and the characters that are enmeshed in the story. I enjoyed reading about the supernatural aspects of the plot and hope that we are able to learn even more about it in the next installment of the series. The writing was fast paced and exciting, woven in with some mystery and romance, and definitely kept me turning the pages eagerly. Overall, this was a great paranormal romance and a wonderful start to what promises to be an intriguing new series.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Posted April 30, 2013
Destiny Gift is a unique blend of mythology and the paranormal in a post-apocalyptic setting. Bombings, targeted, extreme violence, and natural disasters occur almost every day around the world. From the lack of sun, agriculture suffers, thus so does the global market along with the stability of countries and households. And there are undocumented gigantic bats preying on people in the night.
When Nadine, an NYU student who's trying to secure the future of her family, meets the man of her literal dreams, she begins to realize her dreams are more like visions. Whether they're of the past or the future, no one knows. I certainly didn't, and the mystery only made the discovery of the answer more fun. I did a little giddy jig in my seat when I learned what this story revolved around. Although I figured out most of the twists after that, Juliana Haygert did a wonderful job with the suspense throughout the book. She offered a glimpse at the overall puzzle, but each piece only steadily became clearer with Nadine's visions, actions, and abilities, as well as others'.
Victor is not the sweet, adoring man she has come to know in Nadine's dreams, and there's also much more than meets the eye to the delicious Micah, the stranger who seems to pop up at the most opportune times. I really liked how the characters' actions played off each other's, making events seem like either fate or an intervention of free will. You don't really know, and that was the beauty of it.
While there is a love triangle, it's very subtle. Romance does not drive nor dominate the plot, which I appreciated and is why I would consider this book more of an Urban Fantasy than a PNR. Yet, the connection and attraction definitely burns between the characters. I can say who my choice would be -- can't we all with love triangles, most of the time? -- but for once, I think the obvious choice was the point because of what that would mean. Like it will either be the most painful or emotionally moving. I'm kind of scared! LOL. But also I'm hopeful and excited to see where things lead and how it will get there -- if the characters will make the right choice or be true to form and continue to make mistakes.
This type of anticipation, of wanting to know a person's journey, is what set this book apart from other PNR/UF-book-ones, for me. Even though there's a cliffhanger and not all questions on the world dynamics are answered, I don't care. I don't think all the info matters in the grand scheme of things. No, that's not true. They matter, greatly, but aren't the point and might only deter the characters and bloat the plot, depending upon delivery. Juliana Haygert gave just enough to sate my curiosity while pique it even more. She made me want to invest in the characters, their growth and lives, not just look forward to the end result.
Vivid and compelling, Destiny Gift is a great start to a series. I can't wait to read the next book and would recommend this one to people looking for fantasy that's a bit more contemporary.
** eARC provided by the author via blog tour in exchange for a review. **