Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole

Book: Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole
Series: The Bloodstone Saga #1
Pages: 250
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult / Historical
Buy A Copy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Available Formats: Paperback / Ebook
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2011
How Did I Get This Book:  From Author, For Review
What would you do if you held Fate in your hands? 17-year old Macy Lockhart has the weight of the world on her shoulders. For thousands of years, she has been a Keeper in the ancient organization, the Order of the Moirae… and she literally holds fate in her hands. But this is something that she forgets because her memories are wiped clean in every life until it is time for her cycle to start again. For the last two thousand years, this has never been a problem. Until now. And now…Fate, the very thing that Macy was born to keep, is being challenged and she has only one choice: To return to a previous life to fix it; a life where she was Cleopatra’s handmaiden, Charmian. And that’s not all. Unless she interferes with the fabric of time, the very thing she has returned to repair, her soul mate will die leading Marc Antony’s forces against Rome. Can she really stand aside and allow the love of her life to die all over again?

Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole is incredibly imaginative.  The story takes place in Ancient Egypt – a place that has captivated us for centuries. So much about this time period is still unknown and Cole does an incredible job crafting a compelling and exciting version of Alexandria.  The rich imagery she depicts within her writing is nothing short of breathtaking.  The lush, lavish descriptions of Alexandria will leave you mesmerized and desperately wanting more. 

The strength the characters possess is defiantly a highlight of the book. all of the main protagonists (Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Charmian and Hasani) have such will and determination – there are certainly no weaklings here. It is refreshing to see a complete cast of characters that have such perseverance.  They did what they had to do, no matter how much they hurt themselves in the process. That is true strength of character. Charmian may not be a kick butt Urban Fantasy heroine, but she certainly tough in her own way.

I did however, have  a hard time figuring out exactly how Macy and Charmian fit together. The concept just was a little lost on me. She was both Charmian and Macy, jet they were still separate. She possessed all of Charmian’s feelings and memories (as well as Macy’s), but she was suppose to be Macy’s spirit in Charmian’s body Am I confusing you yet? I am certainly confusing myself. I really cannot even hope to explain it to you, because I am still a bit lost myself. At times she seemed very much Macy – she would make a comment about modern girls or get embarrassed by a sketchy situation, but then at other times she was an Ancient Egyptian woman in every way. I think a lot of my character confusion had to do with the huge age gap between the two versions of Macy. Charmian was thirty-nine, while Macy was only seventeen.  This age gap is obviously going to make it difficult to blend the characters and hopefully when Macy takes on a new persona in the next book, they will be closer in age. 

Every Last Kiss certainly did a number on my emotional composure. If this book doesn’t get you to feel something, I am not really sure what will. I mean, the whole concept of the book is rather heart wrenching isn’t it? A girl who goes back in time to relive her own death as well as the deaths of those she loves the most.  I found myself constantly questioning what exactly I wanted out of the ending – I had no idea how I expected things to work out.  I mean, we are all aware of how the story of Cleopatra and Antony is supposed to end and it certainly isn’t pretty. Then, with the added addition of the ill-fated romance between Charmian and Hasani, Every Last Kiss defiantly had a desperate, dark and romantic vibe going on. Which, I, for one am always game for. Bring on the tears, I say. 

I don’t want to really get into detail about the ending, because I really would rather not spoil it for you. Let me just say that it isn’t all peaches and roses, but it isn’t all death and destruction either. Just as you trying to reign in your desperate (and slightly embarrassing) sobs, Cole throws you a lifeline. 

I just want to say one more thing. The beginning of the story (When Macy is still just Macy) has a completely different vibe than the rest of the book. if you aren’t exactly loving it from the get-go, please read on, at least until you get to the Ancient Egypt part. The book really takes off then and turns into something else entirely.

Every Last Kiss was in a word, beautiful. The setting and descriptions are incredible – honestly, you will feel like you’ve actually stepped into Ancient Egypt. The story itself was wonderfully enticing; you teeter  back and forth will speculation on the ending. The whole thing is very consuming and exhausting.  This is one of those books that you get wrapped up in and emotionally invested in.  Sure, there were issues with Every Last Kiss, but in the end, it is a captivating, enchanting, emotionally charged story with quality characters that will not only touch your heart, but run away with it as well.

 Favorite Quotes
"Staring at the pitiful piles of bad memories, I realized that I desperately wanted to set fire to it. But, obviously, that would be crazy. And probably against some sort of city ordinance. Plus it would also burn my house down. So I settled for pulling on a pair of boots and stomping on it instead... like an inane Italian woman making wine."
"He had broken my heart by impaling it with one of Tara Wilson's tacky stiletto heels."
"I had a much bigger problem than Derek hidden in my underwear drawer."
"Do you really think there is no plan to life? That things are meant to simply fall where they may? I think not. That would be utter chaos."
"His utter helplessness at the sight of my tears leaked through his confident voice. It was almost funny that such a great warrior as Hasani was reduced to panic at the sight of a stupid tear or two."
"He grinned lightly at me and I smiled back. Lord, I loved this man. His smile was as bright as the sun."
"You saved your own life, Charmian. You're quite the feisty hell-cat!"
"I nodded dejectedly. She was right. There wasn't a thing that we could do. But perhaps burn a few bunches of incense to Sekhmet. I would utter some frantic prayers to God, too, even though Christianity hadn't even been thought of yet. It wouldn't hurt to cover all of my bases."
"I grinned triumphantly at him. Who knew I could be such a bad-ass?"
"Like a wall made from cellulite, he blocked my escape - and from his devious bloody smile, I could tell that he knew it."
"God, I loved that man. Love flooded every cell in my body and I felt physically ill at the thought of never seeing him again."
"I breathed deeply, trying not to hyperventilate and look crazy."



Unknown said...

This book looks interesting! It reminds me of Mercy a little bit, though Every Last Kiss sounds more historical.

4 strong main characters? That sounds like a handful - but I am glad the author pulls it off!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I think this sounds pretty interesting. I've always been intrigued by ancient Egypt and this sounds really different. Thanks for the introduction. Great review.

Amy @ Turn the Page said...

Thanks for the review this sounds really good - and even better its available for kindle download for 70p! Bargain! :D Doesn't look like available here yet in book form :)

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