Let me just start by saying that I love the cover of the book. Miss Barr does an excellent job of creating covers for her stories and this cover definitely gets the attention of a would-be reader.
Almost Alive is a supernatural tale of epic proportions. Its theme of good vs. evil reminds me a little bit of the CW’s Supernatural and Buffy, but instead of vampires there are demons attached to the souls of humans, and witches. The novel’s protagonist Michelle is a person who survived a suicide attempt and has returned to the land of the living with no actual purpose in life.
Her parents are living a double life and she’s lost her friends and boyfriend. Michelle is truly alone, until she meets a young man named Julian at her new school. In meeting him, Michelle discovers that she has a demon attached to her soul and the rest of the book is about her struggling to deliver her soul from evil and finding a reason to live.
The Christian themes of good and evil, sin and temptation, demons, and prayer are heavily featured throughout the story and are at times delivered right on the nose. Some readers may find the exposition of them to be somewhat preachy. There’s also a bit of slut-shaming-in my opinion-in the early part of the story.
However the pacing of the story is well balanced and doesn’t stray from beginning to end. Readers will enjoy the character’s growth and development as they’ll sympathize and understand each of the characters’ motivations. The ending of the book is only the beginning of Michelle’s and Julian’s journey. I could see this book being a TV show and I think readers will definitely enjoy it.
Over all Almost Alive delivers and is a great addition to the paranormal, urban, horror, and supernatural genres.
Kyoko M.’s The Black Parade series concludes with the final novel The Holy Dark. At the end of She Who Fights Monsters, our heroine Jordan Amador had almost brought on the apocalypse, was a fugitive on the run (which was brought to an end by the president’s pardon), she had lost her best friend’s trust, and she’s estranged from husband, the archangel and commander of the Lord’s army Michael O’Brien.
When The Holy Dark begins, Jordan is continuing her mission of finding the remainder of the Judas coins while trying to keep one step ahead of the archdemons Moloch and Belial who want her dead. Can Jordan salvage her relationships? Can she stop the archdemons’ plan for world domination? As you read, you’re gonna go on one hell of a ride to find out.
At the beginning, the pacing is a little slow but after a few chapters, the story picks up and never slows down until you reach the end. Just when you thought you’ve learned all you could about the characters there’s more that has yet to be revealed. The characters themselves continue their personal journeys and learn that they can’t go through life carrying their burdens alone, that they work better as a team.
Reading the book one theme is constantly present throughout. The word ‘ohana’ comes to mind to describe it-you know the word from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch. In Hawaiian, ‘ohana’ means family and family means no one gets left behind. That theme is prominent in the story.
Overall I loved this book.
I’ve enjoyed watching these characters grow and come into their own from start to finish. I’ve enjoyed the pop references, humor, romance, sex, sadness, and anger that is depicted in each book. With the lack of creativity and diversity being discussed in the publishing, TV and Film industries, Kyoko M.’s The Black Parade series brings something new to the table. I hope to see the series brought to life on the big screen.
I want to thank Kyoko for sharing her talents with us and bringing readers this series. I look forward to reading more of her work.
Kyoko M. has done it again with her marvellous writing and storytelling.
I was sent a free digital copy (PDF format) of the book by the author, but I’ll also purchase a print copy of the book as soon as possible as I found The Deadly Seven to be a fantastic book! Before I continue, I must say that the cover for this collection is beautiful! It masterfully captures readers’ intrigue and they will want to pick the book up. And when they begin to read, they won’t want to put it down.
These stories take place between the two month period between The Black Parade’s chapters 15 and 16. There are twenty-one stories dealing with the seven deadly sins in three parts: Wrath, Pride, Greed, Sloth, Lust, Gluttony, and Envy. While I enjoyed reading from Jordan’s point of view in the The Black Parade, I had become curious about the other characters’ viewpoints as well, particularly Michael’s. It was with great joy and excitement that I discovered each story was from his perspective.
Each story has a humor and wit about them as the reader will discover more details surrounding Michael and Jordan’s relationship. In addition, there are even more subtle moments between the two. Whether he’s kicking demons asses, playing a videogame, or walking through the park eating icecream with Jordan, readers will definitely get to know more about Michael’s personality, thoughts and feelings. Basically, you don’t want to mess with him and threaten the person he cares deeply about. You do that and that’s your ass. Like Jordan, Michael is a well fleshed out character and I could definitely see him, Jordan, and the other characters being brought to life on screen.
There’s also lots of action and the stories are well paced. They have their own beat and rhythm which flows smoothly from the first story to the last. Every story was great (you can read the first story Wrath here) but Greed III, Sloth II, and Pride III were amongst my favorites. The bonus story and the sneak peak were also enjoyable as well. I can not wait for the next installment in the She Who Fights Monsters.
If you can’t wait either, The Deadly Seven is definitely something to help satisfy your excitement!