Monday, 17 July 2017

REVIEW - THE HUNTED - KNIGHT'S ACADEMY BY EMERALD BARNES



THE REVIEW
Title: The Hunted
Series: Knight's Academy
Author: Emerald Barnes
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Vampire, Werewolves
Publisher: Clean Teen
Release Date: 4th July 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Myka Williams has been forced out of Knight's Academy and is on the run, constantly moving to keep the vampires off her trail until Preston's venom is no longer coursing through her veins. But she isn’t alone. 

Brent Jacobson is her protector, training her and teaching her how to be the werewolf she’s destined to be. He's annoying, stubborn—and hot. But there’s something he isn't telling her.

Myka has to come face-to-face with the truth of who she really is. Will she find safety, or will she always be hunted?


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
After reading and loving Marked, book one, in the Knight's Academy Series I absolutely had to read this one! I am really looking forward to reading this book as I want to learn more about the plan Marcus has, as well as discovering what Myka's birthmark is and what her place in the pack will be. I am also looking forward to catching up with Olivia, Luka, Milo & the rest of the Knight's Academy. Yep even the bad guy Preston!


I still love the different blue hues used both within the series covers so far and on this cover. I'd definitely conclude that the female on the cover running is Myka, the main female character in this book. The male holding her hand and featured heavily in this book is Brent, the shifter given the task of protecting her and delivering her safely to the pack. 
Once again there's a full moon in the background as well as two werewolves lurking about in the background, which I'd say are Myka's wolf as she is silver like her mother and grandmother before her. I guess some would count the full moon and werewolves as spoilers but really they just confirm that this book series has werewolves featured in the book along with other paranormal beings. I love a great byline, it can be a great opportunity to give a clue towards what will be happening in a book. The byline on this book says,"Everything she knew, was a lie, and now she's the hunted" which certainly fits Myka's situation. She has gone from a human art student sought out for a scholarship to a rare werewolf whom Headmaster Marcus Knight would kill to have, to include in his race/species experiments.

This book more or less picks up a few days after book one Marked ended. So we know that Myka has escaped the Knight's Academy with Milo's help and is on the run with fellow werewolf Brent. Myka has been told Brent is taking her to the pack for both protection and to be taught the ways of the wolf and pack. They are camping in various fields as far away from civilisation as possible. Myka has learnt her wolf loves the open spaces and feelings of freedom. Brent's attitude varies from seeming to be irritated by Myka to quite openly flirting with her. The two wolves occasionally stay in a cheap off the beaten track motel so they can have a night in a comfy bed and a shower.
Preston is under orders to find Myka and bring her back as soon as possible. After a bungled kidnapping attack when during a lapse of judgement Myka revisits her old home, Preston is in disgrace and ignored in favour of Milo searching for her. Marcus wants to get on Milo's good side and keep up the pretense of wanting Milo with himself and Milo's mother living under the same roof. Much to Milo's disgust his mother is not only Marcus' donor but confesses to Milo that she still loves Marcus.
Myka has a lot to learn about her pack background and has a few surprises sprung on her about her wolf mother and her human father. Finally she meets her grandmother and realises how important to the pack she is and why. 
Milo contacts Brent and explains what Marcus thinks he is doing and they inform the Shewolf, who eventually decides they should first attempt to talk to Marcus and if that doesn't work, then there will be a fight. Milo gathers vampires who want to take down Marcus but will they be enough? And are the lies Milo is telling keeping Marcus placated and unsuspecting?
Myka has some difficult choices to make from, who she truly loves, to putting duty before love and then choosing to try and bargain with the unscrupulous Marcus for the lives of those she loves. Then there is a super cliffhanger with favourite characters being in eminent danger. Sadly Myka has lost some of those she loves but she is unsure who and it may be some time for that to be revealed.

My favourite characters in this book were Brent (definitely #BookBoyfriend material!) the gorgeous guy who is protecting Myka and helping her become used to her feelings as a wolf.
I suppose some would say its a good problem to have, but for Myka, it is a muddle of mixed feelings and emotions with three possible partners, Milo the vampire hybrid, Brent the protector & werewolf and finally the one she is expected to marry for the best outcome for the pack, Colin. I had mixed feelings about the She-wolf head of the pack. . . as she professed to love Myka, and even demonstrates she knows what it is like to be expected to marry someone who you don't love for the sake of duty to the pack, yet she expects Myka to do exactly that. We also learn much more about Luka's pack and what hold Marcus has had over him. Luka is determined to care for and protect Olivia. Olivia is eventually re-united with Myka and remains to be the anchor of "normal". Myka and Olivia have both been in danger and still are because of Marcus Knight. Just when you think there is the possibility of a solution, and a way to prevent Marcus Knight continuing with his crazy breeding and taking over the world, something else happens!

My thoughts when I first finished the book was. . . Oh No! How could it end right there!?! Who survived/was killed in the attack? And Olivia! I did not see that one coming!! 
To say I am (im)patiently waiting for the next book is an understatement. If I had it I'd be reading it right now!


EXCERPT
Preston had been hot on their trail for two months now. The werewolves hoped the venom would be out of her system soon. Apparently, Preston had been filling her full of it since she’d first been assigned to him. It bothered her that she hadn’t known what he was doing, and even now, the memories weren’t accessible. The only memory she had left of one of his bites was when he’d kidnapped her and tried to make werewolf/vampire babies with her. For all she knew, they still planned on capturing her and using her for exactly that, and that’s why she had to go on the run with Brent. There was something he wasn’t telling her, though. She had gathered that much, but Brent wouldn’t let on to the real reason he had run away with her. It had something to do with her birthmark, though he never opened up about it.
The worst part about being on the run was not knowing when—if ever—she’d be able to see the people she cared about most. She had to leave everyone behind: Jilly, Barry, and Olivia. Milo. What was worse, she had to leave a stupid letter about running away because she was adopted. She couldn’t care less about that. Barry and Jilly were her parents.
And then there was Milo. He knew the truth, but it didn’t matter. Myka knew they couldn’t be together. He was a hybrid; she was a werewolf. It wouldn’t work no matter how much she wanted it to. She exhaled slowly and closed her eyes.
Brent’s phone rang, distracting her from her pity-party. She stood from the bed and wondered if she should pick it up or not. Brent would be angry if she did. She walked to it, knowing that she should let it go to voicemail, but when she saw who was calling, there was no way she could ignore it.
“Hello,” she said, her voice shaking and her heartbeat pounding in her ears.
“Myka?” Milo whispered her name, and tears stung her eyes. “How are you?”
“I’m fine.” Ugh, that was lame, she thought. She was far from fine.
He hesitated before asking, “Where’s Brent?”
“In the shower. You want me to get him?”
“No. I’ll call back.”
She nodded, fully aware that he wouldn’t be able to see her, but she couldn’t speak. All the emotions she’d been holding back wanted to burst out right then, and she wanted to say so much. I miss you was on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t say the words. It made everything seem too final.
“Myks, you still there?” he asked.
“Yeah.” She wiped away a tear rolling down her cheek. She refused to cry. “How’s Liv?”
“She’s good. Fighting mad that you left.” Milo laughed, and she had forgotten how much she’d missed hearing it. She could almost see the rare smile of his, the one he had around her and no one else.
“Will you tell her that I’m sorry?” Myka asked.
“I will.”
“Who did you call?!” Brent’s angry voice made her jump. She turned around to see Brent, soaking wet and in nothing but a towel.
“No one. Milo called. I just answered.”
Myka put her hand on her hip, frustrated at the way Brent was acting. He held out his hand, and she placed the phone in it.
“What do you want, bloodsucker?” Brent asked, annoyance heavy in his tone.
Myka stared at Brent, her frustration faded as she watched his chest move up and down with each breath he took and how the water dripped off his body. The man was ripped. He was probably around six-foot-three and around 220 pounds of pure muscle. His abs were well defined, extremely well defined. She turned her head away as a hot blush burned her cheeks.
Brent swore, and Myka turned back to face him, curiosity and fear coursing through her. His body was the last thing on her mind at that moment. His eyes narrowed as he watched her, and she hoped that anger wasn’t directed at her.
“Thanks for calling,” Brent said before hanging up the phone and tossing it on the bed.
“Why did you answer?” he asked, his anger rising.
“I wanted to talk to him.”
Myka wasn’t backing down from Brent. She didn’t regret her decision. Well, not much, at least.
“I told you that life is over. Stay away from him.”
Brent stormed back into the bathroom, and Myka jumped as he slammed the door. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks, and she buried her face in her hands. Something was going on at the academy, and Brent hadn’t told her what. Was Olivia okay?
When Brent came back out, he had put on his jeans and t-shirt, but his hair was still a wild mess. He looked sexy, but she pushed that thought aside, focusing on her anger at him.
 “You should never answer my phone again. What if that hadn’t been Milo? What if it had been Preston instead?” Brent ran his hands through his wet hair, making it stand on end.
“But—”
Myka was about to go off on him about how he wouldn’t let her talk to Milo and that’s all she wanted, but he interrupted her.
“Stop thinking about how much you miss that bloodsucker and get over him. He’s not good for you, Myka. I don’t know why you can’t see that!” He paused and paced the tiny space between her bed and the bathroom. “I’m just trying to protect you.” His last words were barely a whisper.
“I know. Thank you,” she whispered, matching his tone. She knew everything he had risked for her, but she didn’t like being told who she could and couldn’t talk to.

“Just be careful, kid. We can’t lose you to them.” Brent walked to Myka and leaned close to her face. Her breath caught when he wiped away the tears on her cheeks. “You’re too important.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EMERALD BARNES
Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a youth leader, a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor. She’s addicted to tv and binge-watching shows, and she has a thing for superheroes.

CONNECT WITH EMERALD BARNES
Website 
www.emeraldbarnes.us
Blog 
ebarnes23.wordpress.com
Pinterest 
www.pinterest.com/emeraldbarnes
Facebook 
Twitter 
Street Team 
www.facebook.com/groups/emeraldbarnesstreetteam
Fan Team 
www.facebook.com/groups/emeraldbarnesfans
Instagram 
Goodreads 
http://www.goodreads.com/emerald_barnes
LinkedIn 
www.linkedin.com/in/emeraldbarnes
Amazon Author Page
https://www.amazon.com/Emerald-Barnes/e/B004PL38QS


REST OF THE TOUR
July 17
Book Stalking PR

Jeanz Book Read N Review


July 18
Unicorn Quester

July 19
Community Bookstop

July 20
Belinda Witzenhausen

YA Book Divas

Ashlee McNicol Books

July 21
Professor Owl's Book Corner

Tabitha Caplinger

www.tabithacaplinger.com

REVIEW OF THE MARKED
Title: The Marked
Series: Knight's Academy
Author: Emerald Barnes
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Vampires
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Cover Art: Cora Graphics
Release Date: 10th January 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Myka Williams has never fit in with her peers, and although her adoptive parents are loving and supportive, she feels most at home alone in the woods.

When she's offered a full scholarship to Knight's Academy in the Smoky Mountains of Tennes-see, she takes the opportunity for a fresh start. She soon learns that Knight’s Academy is more than just a school. Within the stone walls of the institution, humans and vampires are mixing, and their offspring are going unnoticed.

As Myka falls prey to the evil plan of the school, she makes a chilling discovery about her own heritage and realizes that she’s at the Academy for more than just an education. Myka must yield to her birthright at the risk of losing everyone she loves or succumb to the fate that Knight’s Academy has in store for her—a fate worse than death.


PURCHASE LINKS


REVIEW
As I have reviewed other titles by this author and really enjoyed them I was quick to jump at the chance to read and review this book. After reading the blurb I was interested to know more about both it's characters and the direction the plot would go in too.

The pace of this book is a medium pace, which I liked a lot and became almost immediately captured my attention and held it throughout the book. I really enjoyed the direction of the plot. I found characters that I became quite quickly attached to, had empathy with, and I found I really cared about what would happen to them. Of course for every great character that you love you also have one you dislike, but I'll go into that further on in my review.

I love the different blue hue's used on the cover. I'd definitely conclude that the female on the cover holding her books, and wearing the Knight's Academy Uniform, is Myka, the main female character in this book. There's a full moon in the background as well as a werewolf lurking about in the background, which hint at the paranormal's featured inside. I guess some would count the full moon and werewolf as spoilers but personally they just confirmed I had chosen a book I would enjoy. The building at the very back of the background on the cover is a school/college, Knight's Academy. I adore a great byline, it can be the difference between choosing which book to read first or even be the final thing that pushes me to purchase a book too. The byline on this book say's, "She'd been marked; can she escape a fate worse than death?". So to sum up the cover on this book would certainly make me pick it up from a bookstore shelf, and the combination of cover, byline and blurb would make me put the book in my basket to buy!

The genre's that this book is listed as being, on Goodreads are, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires and I agree the book falls into those. I think both YA, NA, and Adults can read and enjoy this book. As I was reading the book, the Knight's Academy reminded me just a little of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead which is a series that I read and loved.  

This book has a prologue which give's us, the reader some background, and lays the foundations to help us to come to the correct conclusion about one of the male characters. It also gives insight into what looks like a great offer for Myka actually has a hidden ulterior motive. 

The actual book begins on a normal, usual day at school for Myka, she is struggling through her math's lesson, she really doesn't like algebra. Myka would much rather be outside in the fresh air and open spaces, with her sketchbook. So Myka is sat in the hot, humid stuffy classroom dreaming about sitting in the woods with her sketchbook. Then Rachel the freshman who helps out in front office knocks on her classroom door, the very beginning of Myka's life changing beyond recognition! Rachel brings a message that Myka's presence has been requested by Principal Adams. Myka immediately worries about why she is summoned to the Principal's office and Mrs Childress the secretary indicates for her to go straight into the office. Once in the Principal's office Myka notices the two strangers also in the room. Both men are wearing suits, though in totally different ways, creating totally different impressions. The older man, roughly forty has jet black hair, not a hair out of place. His suit is pristine and finished off with a hunter green tie. The man looks eager to be here unlike the younger of the strangers who looks like he doesn't care and he certainly doesn't want to be right there in the room they are in! The younger male looks about 17, so a similar age to Myka. He has dirty blonde hair, rolled up shirt sleeves and a loose hanging hunter green tie. He has bright green eyes that seem to look right into Myka's soul. Myka is so intent on checking out the younger male stranger she imagines kissing his lips and running her fingers through his hair. . . . Myka is brought abruptly back to the present as Principal Adams introduces the men. The older male with the pristine hair and suit is Headmaster Marcus Knight, he looks eager to begin speaking, but the Principal is introducing the younger dirty blonde haired guy now, his name is Milo. . . .Milo Farrar he is one of the students at Headmaster Marcus Knight's school, which is called Knight's Academy. Headmaster MArcus Knight, begins to explain that her Prinicipal has told him about Myka's love of art. then Marcus Knight asks Myka what she would say if he offered her a full scholarship at the Knight's Academy. Myka doesn't immediately say yes, she has the sense to question the offer, noticing that Milo has the faintest smirk on his lips as she does so. Headmaster Knight explains that they make a point to search out students with excellent grade and amazing skills. By the way Marcus Knight stresses the word skills, Myka is in no doubt that her grades alone have not secured this generous offer. Myka has never heard of Knight's Academy before today, but knows private schools are normally very good. Myka enquires about the Knight's Academy art program, Headmaster Marcus Knight assures her it is a marvelous program and equally marvelous offer, but he goes on to say she should come on a tour of the school with her parents. Hmm, her parents are another great reason to accept the scholarship offer, it would mean much less expense for her adoptive parents Jill and Barry Williams.
The next Chapter begins two months after the Knight's Academy tour. Myka is being dropped off at her new school, she had thought she was ready and it was not a big deal until the car stopped in front of the dorm building.  Jill and Barry help Myka move her things into her dorm room, and meet dorm mother Ms Carolyn Peters, who reassures Jill and Barry that she is always available to all the girls at anytime of the day or night. Myka soon settles in with room mate Olivia. They meet some older girls who are in their second year at the Knights Academy, they befriend them, telling them what happens next, the welcome assembley, being assigned a guide etc etc.
Myka soon settles in, she has Preston as her guide who seems to be glued to her side and becoming increasingly possessive over her and her time. Initially it seems a nice, friendly thing but soon becomes more irritating and Preston becomes possessive both during classes they have together like Archery to his insistence he walks Myka to classes, or be with her during her free time. It begins to make an already claustrophobic Myka feel as if she is trapped. Preston seems to think he is boyfriend material for Myka. The first efforts by Myka to remove herself from being glued to his side. Myka honestly much prefers the mysterious and moody Milo. Things look like they are going well when he purchases her a gift of something he has seen her admiring, but then he just falls off the radar for a while. Then there's a parents/family weekend and it turns out that Myka's quiet mild mannered adoptive father Barry takes an immediate and quite strong dislike for Preston! In fact at one point Barry tells Myka to use him, and the fact he doesn't like Preston as an excuse to get rid/avoid him! Sadly even that doesn't deter the possessive suitor.
I don't want to go into more detail as I prefer not to reveal spoilers as much as possible. I will say if you loved the Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead I think you'll truly enjoy reading this one too!

Naturally one of my favourite characters is Myka Williams, she is a bit of an outcast, so I guess that's one of the reasons I empathise with her. When given the chance of a free scholarship she has no qualms about acceptiing as she doesn't really have very many friends to leave behind. Myka isn't a fashion enthusiast, preferring to feel comfortable and covered up. Myka especially prefers to hide the strange birthmark she has, that becomes more relevant as the book goes on. In fact Myka doesn't know anything about her life or parents before Jill and Barry adopted her.
I also really liked Olivia, the girl that Myka shared dorm room 4C with. Olivia is the louder, more outwardly confident "Miss Socialiser" friend that Myka needs to help her make friends and settle into the Knight Academy.

My thoughts upon finishing this book were, I want more! When can I read more? Could Milo and Myka ever have an "out in the open" official relationship? What about Luka and Olivia? If it comes down to a war between the human's and vampire's, whose side will the hybrids be on and what about the Knight's Academy staff? Who will dorm mom Ms Carolyn Peters and Teacher at Knights Academy, Mother to Milo,Girlfriend to the headmaster, Ms Farrar, side with in such a war. I am also looking forward to Myka's biological parents being revealed or discussed in the next book too.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for the reviews and being part of The Hunted Blog Tour!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for asking me to take part. Both yourself and your books are always welcome on my blog. Thank you for the fantastic books you write!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're too kind! <3 Sending love and hugs your way!

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