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Survival (The Guardians of Vesturon, #1) by…
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Survival (The Guardians of Vesturon, #1)

by A. M. Hargrove

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deleting reviews if you want to take a look at them you can do so on my blog, link on my profile ( )
  karlaihdez | Sep 20, 2013 |
Survival, a YA Paranormal Romance (The Guardians of Vesturon Series, Book #1)

By A.M. Hargrove

Survival like the title says is a YA paranormal romance novel, A.M.Hargrove has excellent writing skills this book is well written, the descriptions were good and not overly done, the character development was well thought out and it helped us know a bit about each person we encounter in the story. I was quite surprised on how much I was enjoying this book; it held my interest so much that I couldn’t stop reading and I ending up reading the whole book in one sitting. I really liked the fact that this book was a bit different from the other paranormal books I’ve read lately, instead of vampires or werewolf’s we were reading about beings from another world. Even though these beings are from another planet and more advance then us humans they are still very human like so it wasn’t as far fetch as you would think. There are some sad parts where I had to find my Kleenex and wipe my tears and then there were parts that I laughed out loud, I like when an author can make you feel actual emotions.

A brief overview of this story without giving too much away, I would say this is a story of a young woman who has had to deal with an enormous amount of loss in her life. She is a strong, independent and a heroic character, I love reading about strong independent women. She works through some of her losses and survives and heads to college. She ends up making a few good friends and her life seems to be going well. On a hiking trip during the holidays she ends up getting captured by a very evil man who likes to hunt and kill the women he has taken. Being the survivor she is she plans her escape. Barely surviving this horrific experience she is rescued by a tall handsome mysterious man who helps her recover from her injuries and they both end up feeling a strong connection to each other. Knowing that this cannot happen as they are both from different worlds he walks away. Soon he realizes his mistake and he goes back to find her, she is in the same situation as him she hasn’t been able to forgot him either. But is it possible for the two of them to be together, can she leave the only man she has ever felt safe with? Will the mad man find her again? Will she survive this time? These are all questions you have to go find out by reading this book.

I would recommend this book to any of my friends who enjoy the paranormal romance books; I also have to say that I cannot wait for book 2 to be released. In saying that I will admit when I finished the book I emailed the author right away hoping to find out how much longer I had to wait before I could read book 2. She did mention that it won’t be too long. Right now this book is on sale at Amazon for .99 cents and worth every cent and more. Please go pick up your copy.
( )
  TanaT | Aug 7, 2013 |
*Received e-book through Read It and Reap program from the Shut Up and Read! Goodreads group from author;
**Also posted on Amazon.com under Leanne

Survival is the story of Maddie, a 19-year old attending college after losing both parents at a young age, who becomes the victim of a serial killer and is rescued by an alien race called the Vesturions. The novel is divided into four books, 1) mostly Maddie’s point-of-view up to when she is recuperating from her ordeal, 2) mostly Rayn’s point-of-view, the Guardian who rescues her, 3) mostly 3rd person narrative of the romance that continues after Maddie is healed, and 4) mostly 3rd person narrative of the events that occur during their separation when Rayn must answer to the Vesturion Council for daring to mate with a human.

I liked how Hargrove divided the book in four parts, but felt that the first book (~40% of the novel) was a bit disjointed. This was due to the switch from Maddie’s POV to 3rd person narrative to the serial killer’s (Darryl) POV. The storyline did not seem to flow well and the dialogue was a bit off; for example, when Maddie talks about her past to new friends at college, the words she used appeared to be more mature than her years, even flat at times. This appeared to be Hargrove’s method to tell the reader Maddie’s past experiences, but unfortunately did not provoke a strong emotional response, which I believed was a lost opportunity to relate/bond to the protagonist. This was also apparent with Darryl’s section – again I think Hargrove could have evoked more horror and revulsion of his personal history better by “showing” rather than “telling”. The switching POVs also augmented the lack of connection with the characters.

On the other hand, I did like the remaining books of Survival. I was delighted in learning more of the Venturion race as I appreciated Hargrove’s detailed descriptions. In addition, I took delight in reading about Rayn’s family, especially his brother, Rykerian, and his sister, Sharra, who had an amusing tendency to mix up human slang and figures of speech. The integration of Maddie into Rayn’s home was hilarious at times and positively charming. Hargrove was able to create a Maddie that was more endearing to the reader and I found myself becoming more emotionally involved in the story. The last three books were a refreshing and welcome contrast to the first book.

Overall, Survival was an interesting read with an unusual twist – aliens versus the numerous vampire and werewolf books currently flooding the stores. I enjoyed the interplay with most of the characters. With the tense cliffhanger at the end, I plan to read the next book in the series, Resurrection. I would recommend this to young adult readers, who are fans of Twilight and similar series, but not necessarily older adults. ( )
  LeanneSF | Mar 2, 2012 |
Madeline “Maddy” Mariah Pearce has had a difficult life. Beginning with the loss of her mother at the age of 11 followed by the loss of her father her senior year of high school. Now, leading right up to the present, when an unknown man has her in his sights and is simply waiting for the perfect moment to strike. What Maddie doesn’t know, is that horrible tragedies can lead to wonderful, life altering experiences…If only you have the faith to take that chance, believe and perhaps learn to love again.

Survival, written by A.M. Hargrove, is a paranormal romance. At least, that’s how she has it classified. Truthfully, it probably belongs straddling the fine line between paranormal romance and suspense thriller, if such a line exists.

When I began reading Survival, it was unclear how it was classified as a paranormal romance. Eleven chapters in and I was nothing short of incredibly confused. There wasn’t a shred of paranormal anything to be found. There was, however, plenty of back story, flashbacks, point-of-view changing and suspense thriller action to leave me scratching my head and wondering if I had somehow chosen the wrong book from my bookshelf.

Back stories and flash backs can be wonderful tools. Especially flashbacks, they are a creative sort of way to tell…oh wait, they tell more back story. And therein lies one of my biggest issues, the back stories and the flash backs were repetitive. We already had the back story to explain Maddie’s past, why did we need to hear about her telling her roommates and having flash backs her first day of college? (Side note: Who does that anyway?)

The point-of-view changes were also more of the same. First, we experienced a situation through Maddie’s ‘eyes’. Then it was retold in third person through another character’s ‘eyes’. It was more of the same. It left me feeling like A.M. Hargrove knew she needed to write something there but she wasn’t sure what; so she went with what she (and the reader) already knew. Never mind the fact, that the POV changes were disconcerting until you got used to them.

Chapter Twelve, everything changed.

I’m going to be brutally honest here. When I reached Chapter Twelve and finally found out how it was a paranormal romance; I was shocked. Then I laughed. Of all the theories I had formulated in my head, I didn’t see this one coming. Looking back now, at the synopsis, I can see it. But when I initially read it, I didn’t get this vibe.

I have one final minor issue. Please stop using the phrase, “Shut up!” I know that people often have ‘catch phrases’, which we use far more than we probably should, however; for me, it’s one thing to hear it from a person on a regular basis and something else entirely to read it, a lot.

In the end, I gave Survival, by A.M. Hargrove, 2.5 stars (rounded up to 3). I would have liked to give it more but there were just too many issues, however; it did capture my attention. I am now invested in the story. I need to know what happens to Maddie, no matter how I feel about Survival, which is the sign of a good author. That nagged at me for a while though.

Why if I didn’t care for the main story line, was I so invested? Why do I feel that A.M. Hargrove has a talent for this? Then it hit me. A.M. Hargrove is trying to fit into a mold, which is popular right now. Paranormal romances are all the rage since Twilight hit the scene. I think she has missed the mark and may very well miss her ‘calling’. The parts of Survival I enjoyed the most were the suspense thriller portions. She wrote those exceptionally well. She captured the emotions of everyone involved. She described things in perfect detail without repeating or back-tracking. It was engaging and everything a suspense thriller novel should be which left the paranormal romance portions of Survival lacking. I think if A.M. Hargrove were to try a different genre like the thriller suspense half of her book, she would be dead on and the novel would likely be a huge success.
(I was given this book to read and review.) ( )
  fibromamaby3 | Feb 28, 2012 |
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Book description
"Maybe I was caught between the two worlds. I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality."
While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places only to find that perhaps it was all for nothing.
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Book 1 of the series The Guardians of Vesturon... SURVIVAL "Maybe I was caught between the two worlds. I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality." While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places only to find that perhaps it was all for nothing. Excerpt from book... Then, unexpectedly, three brightly glowing melon-sized balls of light came soaring across the dark sky. When they were a few feet away, from me, they elongated into long thin slivers. Moments later, the slivers expanded and then took form into three indistinct shapes. I kept blinking my eyes, not trusting what I was seeing. I was positive I was hallucinating. This must be what happens right before you die. Then, the indistinct shapes morphed into three men -- three very tall, powerfully built men. They were identical in that they were all dressed alike -- wearing black hooded cloaks that fell to their ankles. The hoods hid their faces, but I had the strangest feeling they were there to help me.… (more)

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