Today I am sharing books in a series. Torn by Melanie Karsak and Finding Amy by Julieann Dove are the final books in their series and were full of surprises. Cries in the Wind by Judy Bruce is the third novel in the Wind series set in rural Nebraska. Grab a cup of coffee and check out my thoughts on Torn, Finding Amy and Cries in the Wind.
by Melanie Karsak
Series: Harvesting #3
Genres: Horror, Fantasy
Our world is dead.
With the undead walking, vampires hunting, and kitsune closing in, everything seems lost. Layla and the others will need help if there is any hope of survival. But how can you endure in the dying world?
Join Layla, Cricket, Amelia, and the other survivors for the final chapter of The Harvesting Series in The Torn World.
And it’s over! The Torn World by Melanie Karsak is the final chapter in the Harvesting series. I was sadden to see this genre bending tale come to an end, but Karsak delivered answers, allowed us to say our goodbyes and left me feeling satisfied.
This series began with The Harvesting a zombie infested apocalyptic world that will satisfy your “Walking Dead” obsession before it twisted into a paranormal fantasy series that gave it an urban fantasy vibe as we followed different human groups and watched them merge into a tightly knit group of survivors. Magic, zombies, shifters, FAE and more terrorized and enchanted the pages of this series.
There are three full-length novels in this series; The Harvesting, The Shadow Aspect and Torn World, but I urge you to read the two novellas; Midway and Witch Wood. With the genre jumping and twists in this tale, these novellas are essential. My recommendation is to read them in order. I promise it is quite the ride! Layla, Cricket and Amelia are all kick-ass heroines whom you will root for.
This tale picks up shortly after the events of Witch Wood as the groups merge. Karsak gave us intense moments, allowed us to say good-bye and provided plenty of non-stop action before concluding this series. We sort of come full circle in this tale and I loved how the author answered questions and allowed each of the characters to reach their potential. I am still amazed at how our journey began in a zombie infested world and swooped into fantasy with magic, other worlds and more. Karsak delivered a tale and characters that became real to me giving me one heck of a book high. I was deeply satisfied with the way things ended despite the fact that I will miss these kick-ass heroines and their friends.
Grab the Entire SeriesThe Torn World by Melanie Karsak -A satisfying conclusion to the Harvesting series #zombies #magic Click To Tweet
Finding Amy is the third and final book in Julieann Dove’s Amy series. A chick-lit romance that shares Amy Whitfield’s journey from sheltered and naïve homemaker to happiness. Oh lord, Amy’s journey was bumpy and at times, I did not like her, but Dove delivered in Finding Amy and I devoured this in a single sitting.
If you are a regular at Caffeinated, you have borne witness to my struggles with Amy and the Amy series. While Dove kept me reading, the triangles and Amy’s painful growth made me slightly crazy. To say I was nervous beginning this book is an understatement but in the end, it was worth it. Dove delivered a sweet, small-town romance as Amy came into her own, found family, and grabbed her own slice of happy.
One of things I admire about Dove is that she writes about messy, complicated and flawed characters. When we meet Amy she was sheltered, naïve and confused. We witness her life crumble and see her struggle for footing. Along the way she meets men who for better or worse help her transformation. She was real, vulnerable, and put herself out there. As we read, we also witness a strengthening in Dove’s writing and Finding Amy delivered all the elements I love in a story.
I totally feel in love with the people and little Island of Classique in Finding Amy. After the events at the end of Leaving Amy, our heroine flees and travels cross-country to her Aunt’s home. Amy believes she will be house sitting for her Aunt for the next 3 months. She plans to lick her wounds as she puts space between herself and the mess she left. Things change when she finds she won’t be staying there alone and I was hooked.
From the beginning, the interaction between the houseguest and Amy was fantastic. Sparks, loathing, snark and more had me completely addicted. This guest pushed Amy, allowing her to heal, to discover her strengths, and find happiness from within.
The island came to life in Finding Amy as we met islanders, learned about Amy’s family and watched her become a part of this community. I adored the small-town feel and actually hope Dove does a spinoff series set here.
Finding Amy delivered making me laugh, snicker, sign, swoon, and even shed a tear. If you love messy journeys of self-discovery on the road to happiness come, meet Amy. She will frustrate you but in the end, you will adore her. While I think Finding Amy will work as a standalone, the first two books should be read in order.
Amy SeriesFinding Amy by Julieann Dove kept me reading past my bedtime Click To Tweet
Cries in the Wind, is the third book in the Wind series by Judy Bruce. A local author I have had the pleasure to meet writes this series set in the rugged High Plains of western Nebraska. Strong, complex characters and a compelling murder mystery may cause our protagonist Megan to lose everything.
- This is the third novel and each case shares a mystery, but also shares the personal struggles and joys of our protagonist Megan. Megan is a lawyer, who returned home to take over her father’s law firm. Throughout the series, we share her triumphs, jubilation and downfalls. We experience her bravery and see her struggle with her own actions.
- Megan is intelligent, strong, and opinionated. She will defend those who cannot defend themselves even at great costs to herself. She is unable to let things go, can be downright snarky and a force to be reckoned with. I struggle with Megan. I admire her sleuthing and ability to draw confessions and secrets from others. She is relentless in her pursuit of justice. Local tribes refer to Megan as “the woman who feels” Megan sometimes her spirits and senses danger. This intuition/gift affects her physically and when those close to her pass or face danger, she feels it. (See Decaffeinated for my struggles with Megan)
- Cries in the Wind provided a large cast of secondary characters from family to locals and gives us a glimpse into the joys and trials of small town living. We spend time in Megan’s busy home with her husband, mother, uncle and merry misfit of friends and neighbors. Bruce shares all sides of their relationships while they help Megan in solving the murder-mystery.
- The case was interesting and involved the unsolved murders of two women from decades ago. I thought it was clever how the case reopened, and liked how it tied into Nebraska. There were several threads that made this interesting and I loved discovering all the players, interviewing those who were still among us, and watching Megan and her friends piece together the past. Of course, all of this stirred up trouble, some for personal reasons and others were to clear or vindicate others. The mystery unfolded brilliantly and felt entirely plausible. Bruce had me flipping the pages.
- Above I shared all the things I admired about Megan she is someone you want on your team but she is also someone who you never want to cross. While I get the driving force behind Megan’s desire to solve cases, from the physical aspect of her gift to her need for justice, I often struggled with things she did to accomplish it. Megan is a difficult person. Sometimes she was downright nasty and it made me shiver. She is quick to judge and carries a grudge…but at the same time does for the community and helps others without being asked. Complex does not begin to describe her. My biggest issue throughout the series has been her need to take the law into her own hands, to push and risk others. I get it, but as someone who chose upholding the law as a profession, I struggled with her scales of justice.
- Megan’s personal relationship was a sore spot for me. The blame does not lay solely at her feet, but she was not blameless either.
- Something happen that felt like it was “an eye for an eye” that hurt Megan deeply and while it was the catalysts for change, it broke me.
Despite my struggles with Megan or perhaps because of them, I thoroughly enjoyed Cries in the Wind and Bruce’s well-crafted mystery.
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