Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: LemonPress Publishiing
Date of Publication: August 20, 2014
Number of pages: 388
Word Count: 96K
Cover Artist: Tamara Sands
“Her world, her mission…is about to change. What do you choose when your blood is on the line?”
A world where your life is a mission and to succeed you must have resolute devotion to duty.
Seventeen-year-old Anna Hasdiel is a noviate at Hope Academy, a secret school for young angels where she and her sister, Amalie, train to become Warrior Legites with the duty of protecting humans from Demons for the Legion United.
Anna's devoted to the angelic cause.
She's always known she would be a Warrior for the Legion. Her world is about to change.
Noviates have been disappearing from Angel Academies around the world. No one knows why. They just hope they won’t be next.
The Powers send in Legite Nathaniel Deror for protection. Legite Deror is strong, fierce and mysterious. He seems to have it in for Anna one second and the next he’s rescuing her. He makes her feel things she shouldn’t.
They must travel to the home of the fallen Archangel Lucifer, where they will fight past a host of deadly enemies. Where do loyalties lay?
She never planned for this. She never planned for him.
About the Author:
Gemini Emery is a horse trainer living in Colorado with two yappy dogs and a few quirky horses.
She graduated from Regis University with a BS in Business Administration and a minor in philosophy.
A life-long reader, Emery has always had a special affection for the urban fantasy and paranormal romance realms.
When not riding horses or writing, she likes archery, hiking and shooting. She reads until her vision blurs, spends time with family and drinks an excessive amount of chai and coffee.
Devoted is her first novel.
I enjoyed this fantasy book about Angels in training. they are called noviates then when they graduate they can be Legite. It kept my interest well.
I did feel that at times there was alot of useless "filler"info that we could do without. One part stands out is a part where Ann is looking in her closet and kindof goes on about the different clothes, and what kind of material, and picking lint off, just a full few paragraphs on selecting clothes. Just saying getting dressed would been enough. Just too much detail info on something that doesn't matter.
Ann is at this Angel Academy, along with her sister Amalie. There is a mystery going on with the noviates going missing. Its pretty interesting and suspenseful and like the characters and the twists that we get.
I really like Nathaniel Deror, who is a Legite and is brought to the academy to help protect them, and also help with training the noviates. He seems to have an interest in Ann, its runs hot and cold though,
I will say I actually didn't care for Ann's sister, Amalie, or her boyfriend Alyosha. At least in the first part of the book. I really disliked Taylor she is useless.
I was a bit surprised that they all put themselves in danger to search for Alyosha when he goes missing, and really didn't understand why Ann's enemy, Taylor ends up going on the trip with them, she has nothing really to offer, and is a sissy, diva kind of girl, who will slow them down. I really didn't like Taylor and wish she could be deleted from the story. She's a classic "Mean Girl" and she isn't needed in my opinion. (it's like high school girls who fight over stupid stuff),
I do not want to spoil the good stuff, and there is plenty of good stuff, once you get past some of the less desirable things. So will wrap up this review.
I gave this 4 stars, as I did like it, but not loved it. There were some errors and stuff, not too much, but there were some. But I read a review copy that wasn't a finished copy, so I did not factor that into my rating.
I do recommend this to any0ne who enjoys fantasy books with angels, with some twist and turns, and suspense.
The Cover: It's done well, but to me didn't fit the book. In no way does it let us know this is about angels or that it is even paranormal at all.
I was provided a copy of this book for my honest review.
This review is also at Goodreads and Amazon
This review is also at Goodreads and Amazon
Excerpt 1- Anna meets Nathan
I power-walked toward her without paying too much attention to the world around me. The stench of garbage made me gag and distracted me. In a world of bleach and ammonia, garbage stuck out like a sore thumb. I bumped into something… no, someone. Hard.
He was built like a rock and I rebounded off him like a rubber ball nearly falling on my ass in front of everyone that would have been spectacular. Not. I would have done just that if he hadn’t snatched me up by my arm. His grip on my bicep was tight. His touch exhilarating, causing the tips of my fingers to tingle. When we connected, I felt heat radiate through my body and my blood began pulsating as a tickly sensation raced down my spine. Adrenalin, maybe?
I looked from his large hand to his chiseled face taking a deep breath; I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. The fluorescent lighting above blinded me and made his face indiscernible; only his strong jawline was clearly visible. And, man, was it chiseled by God himself.
“Sorry” was all I could muster and couldn’t help but think about how pathetic I sounded. It was unusual for me to squeak the words. Geez-loo-eez, what was going on here?
He pulled me to my feet like I was nothing more than sack of potatoes. I literally came a foot off the ground before my shoes safely met the comfort of the white floor. Even with my feet firmly planted my equilibrium felt slightly unequal. My stomach was swishing irritably.
“No need, you might want to be more cautious in the future.”
His voice was majestic and polished like a seasoned general. It demanded my absolute attention. It carried just the right amount of huskiness. It was nothing like the boys at school and everything like a rugged guy raised in the mountains by prim tutors.
I went to say something, but it never made it off my tongue. He vanished like fog into thin air.
I continued walking through the lines of tables, weaving in and out of the groups of people still shaky. I tried to focus on anything other than the weird sensations the guy caused me. Maybe, I focused too intently.
The noviates’ laughter swam around me. I continued walking through the lines of tables, weaving in and out of groups of people. Almost nobody smiled at me. I was mostly unknown and unnoticed. The kids that knew of me were the geeks and misfits. They were the old-fashioned ones that still cared about honor, dignity, and sportsmanship. Virtues had become unpopular, and so had the people you still held to them. It was expected, but not cultivated. It had never been modeled, so it couldn't be emulated. Not even here.
Winning, even at nearly any cost, had become the highest virtue. Winning was instinctual. Primal. Something more base. Spiritual and carnal. Everybody gets winning I'd heard it was worse here than even at the worst human schools. This was for the best. We needed to be focused, determined, to win. It only made sense that each loss brought humiliation and combat classes that were known to make students harbor suicidal thoughts. And that each win brought us closer to a near death match. Victory meant graduation. And freedom to choose. It wasn't free will, but it was as close as angels got.
I stood in line behind people I didn’t recognize and grabbed a disturbingly disgusting tray with mounds of unrecognizable, completely balanced slop. Right then.
Someone nudged me. I tensed, anticipating attack. My arms tightened by my sides protecting my rib cage, my left toe dug into the nose of my shoe as I placed my body weight onto my left side, reflectively gearing up for spinning hook kick that was entirely unnecessary. I turned around to see Amalie holding an edible arrangement of fruit in one hand and some of the slop in the other. “Hey,” she hedged probably noticing my tenseness. “How were your morning classes? I got you a fruit bowl,” she smiled, but it was forced. If I’d been paying better attention I would’ve noticed the scent of lilies in the air that was so Amalie. She usually arrived earlier than me and sometimes she would get my food to expedite the standing-in-line process.
I tried to relax, but it was like unwinding a rusty coil. “Thanks, they were good; I have Dr. Cloves for Healing Rituals.”
“Ew. Tough Break.” She didn’t have my affection for Dr. Cloves. No one did. Plus, she wasn’t even mildly interested in my morning classes. Correction: she wasn’t interested in any classes. This was Amalie. She didn’t care about classes. Hers, mine, or anybody's.
Her eyes squinted as she scrutinized my face. I leaned away with an arm outstretched for the bowl that she, then pulled away from me recoiling like a snake.
A little smirk built on her face.
“What’s got you smiling like an idiot?” she asked suddenly. I hadn’t realized that my cheeks were indeed hurting.
In response I pinched my features together, in what I’m sure was a most ugly scowl.
“Please,” Amalie placed the weight of her body on one side leaning into her knee-high boot. “You’re not fooling anyone.”
Damn her. How did she always know? Even when I was about to knock her head off? What was I supposed to say? Anxiety caused my face to heat up and her smile only deepened. My mouth suddenly felt dry. I glanced around me feeling as if the weight of everyone’s stares had landed on me. They hadn’t.
“I just ran into someone. It was embarrassing.” It had been. That wasn’t a lie, not really.
“Who?” she pried like a detective.
“No one,” I snapped reaching for the bowl like it was my lifeline.
I turned away fast and scanned the room for an empty table.
She stayed on my heels as I walked. I was trying to avert my eyes and keep them focused on the circles of white dotting the area. Rivers of light streamed in through the larger than life windows stretching from the floor to the tip-top of the vaulted ceiling.
“Who?” she asked again. She was enthusiastically skipping to the table I had chosen, unfortunately, in the middle of the chaos, but it was the only empty table left. Two boys, each holding a bottle of water and wearing smiles were shoving each other good-naturedly. I avoided them, but they noticed Amalie immediately and stopped their shoving as they stared at her like she was a Goddess incarnate.
The noviates and Warriors were like machines, but even a Goddess couldn’t be ignored. I noticed the skip in her step didn’t change one bit. She didn’t even notice they were looking at her. I mentally shook my head. Obliviousness must be a nice place to live… as opposed to the state of paranoia I resided in.
“Someone I’ve never seen before,” I told her with an air of indifference, my voice sounded a little too casual.
“Would this someone happen to be a male?” Her lips pinched together.
I glared at her, my facial muscles tensing.
Excerpt 2- Anna and Deror fight
Amalie stood off to the side in a royal blue long-sleeved blouse and faded skinny jeans tucked into a pair of dark grey rider boots. She stuck out big time. Two boys were standing by her sides. I rolled my eyes. My sweet, little sister doubled as a serious guy magnet.
She smiled when our eyes connected. I smiled back before taking a deep breath and mentally gearing up for the fight to come. Everyone may as well have disappeared. They didn’t matter. Not right now.
“Miss. Hasdiel, did you study the blocking moves?” Deror asked, knowing I had.
“Yes, Legite,” I was sullen. Everyone had gotten into the rhythm of me being chosen. Erick gave me a reassuring nudge as I stepped out of line and joined Deror on the mat.
“Good. Are you ready?” He knew I was.
He took the ready stance and I took the self-defense stance.
Another Warrior, I didn’t bother looking at said, “Begin.”
He threw the first punch. I almost fell, but I stopped his fist from connecting with my face. I became his personal punching bag in these exercises.
“Very good.” He was starting off easy. My teeth ground together.
Everyone knew it. I even think I heard Taylor feign a yawn. God, she could be so irritating.
He came at me with a downward sweeping elbow strike. I listened to the whistle as his arm cut through the air like a knife. I pulled back, surprised, nearly tripping over my feet in the process. The elbow strike was a more advanced move than we’d been working on. He was showing off for his legites. There was a snarky glimmer in his eye. The gold hues melted against the green in his eyes. I squinted, angry. He looked more amused. Or was it something else? I wasn't sure.
The last week had been a total mind-fuck, my body quaked with anger and bits of red fingered my vision. Yep, it was happening again. Red.
I executed a perfect, I mean, perfect, high block and came back with an upper body counter attack that would’ve made a ninja jealous.
I knew I should only be blocking, but I was done! A fire burned in my belly, my blood boiled. I'd had enough. He knew it. He made me look weak on a daily basis. He told me how green I was; how I had no control. I was inexperienced.
Was he right? Probably.
But I was going to prove him wrong even if it killed me.
He turned and executed a perfect stepping back kick. I countered with an inside block. His body pounded against mine.
I changed tactics. Jab punch. He blocked it easily. He looked smug. Cocky jackass. I wasn’t going to let him get off that easy. Sweat drenched my hairline. Front roundhouse kick to his chest. He wasn’t prepared for a kick. I could see it in his eyes. We'd been restricted to upper-body maneuvers in class, but I was capable of so much more.
I attacked with a mid-elbow strike to the stomach. I could see the pain in his perfect almond shaped eyes. We danced a while longer. We fought like a thunderstorm raged inside us. Each one blocking, dodging, and throwing punches. The strikes traveled from his legs, arms, head, and hands. Some happened singularly, others with seconds between them. The lightening was accompanied by sweat raining off us. My legs and lungs burned white-hot with the effort. My arms were starting to feel like boiled pasta. He executed a high downward hammer fist to my nose. I blocked him, but not effectively. The guy had eight inches on me. My jaw hurt. My lip bled. I ignored it. He'd drawn first blood. That galled. Blood was the goal. I had combat lust. He suddenly stopped, concerned. He came at me slowly, incautiously.