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Posted November 14, 2013
So, apparently Sawyer Bennett is even more crazy talented than I knew. Not only can she write hot, sweet and sexy new adult books, but, go figure, she can also write some amazing YA urban fantasy too. Who knew?
In Forever Young, Charlie is a loner with no family and no friends, struggling to make it through high school without getting expelled when she's discovered by those from Semper Terra, an alternate universe. Charlie's unique ability to see daimons underneath their human facade makes her a perfect candidate to enter training in Semper Terra to become an Annihilator, badass fighters charged with ridding both our world and others of these dark daimons. Semper Terra is an amazing opportunity for Charlie. She can have a real home, friends, a boyfriend and an exciting career. If she can stay alive long enough, that is.
I love urban fantasy. The melding together of the real and the unreal, especially when done well, makes for the best of stories. It makes the crazy stuff so much more believable when there's some truth involved. In this case, there are many other alternate universes, but the main one is Semper Terra, a place that exists parallel to our own world. In Semper Terra, the sky is always blue, there is no drinking age, the mermaids spout prophecies and you can fly once you get your tattoo imbibed with magic.
However perfect Semper Terra is, even it is not immune to mean girls and gangsters. The school that Charlie attends to learn to become an Annihilator is very Harry Potterish. The students study subjects like magic theory and demonology. In between theory classes, they have flying lessons and weapon practicums. Sounds like a pretty awesome place to me. I've always loved boarding school stories. I think it's such a cool and noble thing to train young brave kids to go out and fight the evils of the world.
And, Charlie has certainly put in her time in the real world. She saw her parents killed. The state didn't want her. She's smart and gets good grades, but the brawler in her prevented her from keeping a clean record. Semper Terra and the prospect of fighting evil daimons is the answer to Charlie's prayers. She didn't have friends or people she loved in the real world (a.k.a. First Dimension). Within days of landing in Semper Terra, Charlie makes two BFFEs - Justus and Emerson. Both these side characters were amazing. Shy and sweet Emerson and goofy and charismatic Justus were perfect complements to Charlie.
And then there's Caiden. Now, Forever Young is a YA novel. Unlike the other books by Sawyer Bennett that I've read (like, her Off series - amazing, BTW), this book doesn't have any f-bombs or super sexy times. The one thing it DOES have is a super sexy guy. Caiden is the immortal, slightly tortured soul who falls in love with Charlie, and vice versa. I have to say, although I loved Caiden and Charlie as individual characters, I had a hard time believing them as a couple. The chemistry just wasn't there for me, and you don't know how much it pains me to say that.
The final battle was super exciting, and the prophecy that's thrown in toward the end keeps me engaged for future installments in the story line. I can't wait to see how it all plays out. I can't wait to see Charlie come into her own. Look for the next book in The Foreverland Chronicles to come out in early 2014.
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Posted November 16, 2013
I cannot get this book out of my head! We are talking full and total hangover here. It has been days and I have not been able to get my head out of Semper Terra.
Charlie is everything I could want in a female protagonist. She is smart, strong, and confident all while retaining that essential feminine flare. She has had a difficult adolescence, but instead of letting it ruin her it made her stronger. She fights for what she believes is right and faces the consequences as they come. Caiden is major book boyfriend material. He is strong, sensitive, sexy as all get out, and has a sense of humor that actually made me laugh out loud a few times. We don't get to know too much about Caiden in this book, but we do learn is more than enough for me to know I adore this man!
Semper Terra is a beautiful world that I wish I could visit. I honestly wish I was artistically inclined so that I could pull the picture Sawyer Bennett created for me out of my head and share it all with you, but I'm not. So I can't. You'll just have to read it yourself! Forever Yong might just make the short list of books I have re-read very very soon, I'm not sure I can wait for book 2 to come out before I get myself a Caiden fix!
Posted November 14, 2013
attackers. She doesn't tolerate mean girls and can't understand why the new males in her life find her attractive...particularly Caiden Gallagher, the perpetually youthful 400+ year old Annihilator serving as Charlie's mentor.
Of course, Charlie's mean girls aren't only students--her headmistress Sarah is part of the I-Hate-Charlie club also, mainly because Sarah has a history with Caiden, one she'd like to repeat. The story reminds me a bit of Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT without the dystopia and recruit maiming. Charlie must master hand-to-hand combat so she can survive battle. With demons. But only the bad demons, because, for an interesting twist, not all demons are bad. Who knew?
I love Charlie's gay BFF Justas. He's a beefy character, not stereotypically done--think Tiny Cooper--and he's a nice foil to Charlie's occasional pessimism. Plucky Emerson Potts, the tiny black waif recruit, will remind you of Rue (Hunger Games) but we get to know her quite a lot better.
Charlie's doing well in her training, and Caiden is keeping her fantasies filled, but it's Charlie's heart that takes over the story. It's easy to root for a hero, and Charlie defines the archetype. I wasn't surprised by the ambush ending, but I was unsettled by the sudden appearance of Charlie's real father. In all it feels like a good start to a quality series.
Posted November 9, 2013
What would you do if you were given the chance to start over? Would you take it?
Charlie is on her own. Both of her parents tragically taken from her when she was only 13 years old. A time when most girls need their mother more than they would like to admit. From then, Charlie was shuffled around from foster home to foster home until she became a ward of the state.
Dr. Tinsdale the school principal would say, "Trouble always seems to find you, Charlie."
It was not like Charlie was going looking for trouble, but she found herself coming to the defense of those less fortunate more often then not. Protecting others was engrained in her as her parents had protected her.
It seems her most recent altercation might land her in some serious trouble, so, when Dr. Tinsdale offered her an out she did not have much choice but to take it. He introduced her to his friend Sebastian and when Sebastian showed Charlie what her life could be like she was blown away. Semper Terra was the most beautiful place that Charlie had ever seen and then walked in Caiden and her heart fluttered as she was captivated by is gorgeous good looks.
Caiden was a mentor and was smitten with Charlie from the moment he saw her. He does his best to keep his distance and remain professional as he trains with Charlie. As soon as she completes her training he throws caution the wind...
I love the way that Sawyer has me completely enraptured in Semper Terra. I can feel the sun shining and hear the waves crashing on the beach. I feel as if I have been whisked away to neverland. Of course the character development in this story is stupendous. I see myself in Charlie. I was always getting into trouble trying to take down the bullies. I had more suspensions then any other honor student in the history of the school. I felt like Sawyer did and excellent job with Charlie in showing how much she truly cared for others. Caiden is also such a gentleman and a great fit for Charlie. To all the Sawyer Bennett fans out there is book is YA so you will not see the hot and steamy sex scenes like in the Off Series. You do however see passion and two individuals falling in love. However, you never know what will happen in the next book in this series. I truly enjoyed this read and I hope to see Charlie and Caiden's relationship grow even stronger in book two.
If you are a fan of paranormal romance, and want to start a sweet new series, you should pick up Forever Young.
Posted May 17, 2013
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Posted December 12, 2013
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