Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 ½ stars

Being an undercover princess on the run from your family can be difficult – but being all those things PLUS being beautiful and having a major secret practically makes you a target for bad things happening.  Sepora is the last known Forger – her body creates and expels spectorium, a priceless liquid that can be made into materials for building, used in creating power, as well as a number of other things that make life run more smoothly.  But she’s tired of Forging for her father, the King of Serubel, who keeps her locked away from everyone so they don’t know she is the source of the precious substance.  And when she threatens to stop Forging for him, he locks her away in the dungeon – but her mother takes pity on her and assists her in escaping, while faking her death.  She doesn’t care where she’s able to run to, as long as it away from her power hungry father.  So she runs…

Being a prince not ready for his time to rule, but forced to be prepared upon his father’s untimely death from a mystery disease that kills with utter swiftness and is making its way through the kingdom of Theoria – hitting both old and young, male and female alike.  For Tarik, the now King of Theoria, his main concern is finding a cure for what is now called the Quiet Plague, and when Sepora ends up captured, sold into his harem, and demands to speak with him – from the moment he meets her realizes she is special in some way.  While he doesn’t realize her to be the presumed dead Princess of Serbel, he also knows that there is something about her – from the way she speaks to him, to the way she treats others.  That is partly due to the fact that Tarik is a Lingot, meaning her can distinguish a truth from a lie, and while Sepora learns how to speak with the intent of truth-telling, Tarik knows that while she is very special, she’s had a hard yet pampered path.  Throughout their trials together, the two begin to feel things for each other – but the fact that Tarik must marry a royal, but will love her is not something Sepora is willing to live with.  And while it’s found out that spectorium is at least a temporary fix for those with the Quiet Plague, never fully trusting Tarik and his intent leads Sepora on an emotional journey – one that could end up leading her right back into danger.  But it’s not a clear matter of right or wrong for Sepora, but rather of what is right for HER – meaning she makes a promise that no one will use her for her Forging powers, unless she deems them worth of such a gift (as she’s been used for it by her father for so long who does not use it for good most of the time).

While I’m not usually into more “historical” pieces (the whole story had a pharaoh mixed with the Middle Ages type feel), I loved everything about who Sepora was and the courage she had to find and make a new life for herself.  She was tough, intelligent, but still full of grace and clever words – enough so to make her way from runaway young lady, to captive, to the King’s harem, to the King’s Advisor’s attendant.  And Tarik, while smart, strong, and handsome, he still knows nothing when it comes to matters of the heart – but he wants to do right by his kingdom and its people, even if that means marrying a women he does not love – when the one he eventually does is in front of his face.  I thought the story was brilliantly written in a split POV between Sepora and Tarik, and their perspectives were important to the entire book.  I know Ms. Banks must have some amazing words up her sleeve to try to outdo the first part of Sepora and Tarik’s story, but I will try to keep my hopes low so she can blow me away once again!

Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra (Book 2) by Michelle Madow

Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra (Book 2) by Michelle Madow

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**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review**

4 ½ stars

The team of Elementals is back and ready for some answers.  With their teacher Darius leading the way, Nicole, Blake, Kate, Chris, and Danielle begin practicing and honing their Elemental skills – and keeping their town safe from monsters that have escaped from Kerberos, the prison the Olympians locked them into after the Second Rebellion.  As tension rise among the team, as do feelings between Nicole and Blake – but they have to keep those feelings hidden so they don’t upset the balance of the team, more specifically, Danielle.  But when they come up with a plan to find out just how the monsters are escaping, catching and questioning one of them, tensions run even higher.

Now that they’ve figured out a temporary fix using the Books of Shadows, the adventure really begins – in Greece and the Aegean Sea.  They must retrieve three things: the seed of the lotus fruit, the milk from the sacred immortal cattle of Helios, and the blood of a slain hydra.  The only problem is that they ALL come with some kind of obstacle – the lotus fruit turns you into a glorified hippie, the immortal cattle don’t produce milk, and the hydra, well, it’s a hydra – with 5 different heads, poisonous breath and bite – not to mention that if you try killing it by beheading it, two more heads grown back in the one’s place.  With nothing more than their magic and the weapons Blake (the fire elemental) created, they set off to create the only thing that could help them get and keep a hold on the escaping monsters until they can figure out how to permanently close the portal to Kerberos forever.  With a few new friends they meet along the way, does the Elemental team have what it takes to complete this frightening mission?

 One thing I love about the first two books so far is that they start with action and it doesn’t seem to stop throughout the entire story.  Nicole and Blake’s crush on each other grows, Kate proves that just because she can “only” control plates, she is a complete bad ass, and we already knew that Danielle and Chris has amazing power and confidence.  This story is very imaginative, while still giving the reader a glimpse into the actual Greek mythology.  I also think that it’s great that the story is super interesting, has a lot of action, but keeps it clean as far as the relationships are concerned.  This series would be perfect for anyone from 6th grade and up – and while an imagination is also necessary, Ms. Madow does a great job of painting a great portrait of her characters and the settings.

Elementals: The Head of Medusa Michelle Madow Cover & Blurb Reveal

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Elementals: The Head of Medusa by Michelle Madow Cover & Blurb Reveal

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do be able to find the strength to continue?

Title: Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Publisher:Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #3
Format: eBook and paperback

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Synopsis:

THE EPIC JOURNEY CONTINUES IN THE THIRD BOOK OF THE ELEMENTALS SERIES.

Moving to a new town wasn’t supposed to be easy. But for Nicole Cassidy, it meant discovering she was a witch with never before seen elemental powers. Mysteriously given a mission that could help save the world, Nicole and four other gifted classmates journeyed to Greece, where they battled ancient monsters and barely escaped with their lives.

Now Nicole and the Elementals have returned home, and while her relationship with Blake—the fire Elemental—is finally heating up, she can’t rid herself of the guilt that she’s responsible for the death of one of their own in Greece. But she must remain focused, because the portal to the prison world of Kerberos is weakening, and Typhon, one of Earth’s deadliest creatures, has escaped. Now the Elementals must retrieve the only object in the world that can destroy this dangerous monster—the head of Medusa herself.

Follow the Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do beable to find the strength to continue?

Find out in the riveting third book in the Elementals series, The Head of Medusa.

Pre-order: Amazon

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The adventure began in the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows!To learn more about the first book, and to read the first four chapters for free, click here!

The Elementals series is available on Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free!

Rafflecopter for Cover & Blurb Giveaway:
Michelle is offering five (5) lucky winners an eCopy of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

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About the Author:

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Want all three parts of the Transcend Time Saga—Michelle’s first YA romance series—for FREE?  Click here to learn about the series and claim your books

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True North (Undertow Book 3) by K.R. Conway

True North (Undertow Book 3) by K.R. Conway

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 stars

Eila and her crew of Mortis/ own personal superheros is back and kicking more butt than ever.  With Raef, Kian, MJ, and Ana back by her side, with a few other loyalist added into the mix, they are ready to take their fight to where it could all end or begin – given the weapons that could be created and used against her and her misfit friends.  I really enjoyed leaning more about Eila’s heritage and being shown the risks and rewards that she feels are necessary to restore her once great race to it’s former glory.  With some bumps along her long road to self-discovery, Eila has her ever-present love Raef to help her navigate the twists and turns that are thrown her way.  If you are looking for just another sci-fi story, this might not be for you – this story has so much more!  It has intrigue, betrayal, romance, strange alien races (with strange powers to shock and awe), friendship, and loyalty.  I will be eagerly awaiting the next and final chapter in Eila’s journey!!

Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

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Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

5 stars

Born in Faerie as the girl with no name, she is an enigma and an orphan; made to feel like she was little more than servant, when in reality she’s the illegitimate child of a powerful fae leader who died when she was a child.  Left to be raised by fae who despise her very being, when she decides that she’s finally had enough and she runs away, the first person she runs into is Andy “Taylor” – a professional thief by trade.  When asked her name, she thinks of the one thing she wants to have – despite being a fae – and names herself Integrity.  Fast forward 16 years, and Integrity is part of Taylor’s crew – stealing from those more fortunate, quite often the Fae, for their own survival.  Along with three others in Taylor’s crew – all Clan-less Fae – they have run a successful theft ring, until one day when the item they are in search of isn’t where it’s supposed to be.  Of course that doesn’t stop Integrity from taking a “pretty looking” letter opener from one of the desks within the building they break into.  She thinks nothing of it – it’s just a pretty memento from her final job with her beloved team.  But when they arrive back at Taylor’s and inform him the item they were there to steel – a gem called the Lia Saifir – was missing, Taylor confesses that he needed the money from his share of the sale of the gem to pay off a bookie.  But not just any bookie – his debt was sold to a mysterious financier.  With Taylor’s existence hanging in the balance, it’s a bad time to tell him about the letter opener that turns out to be an enchanted “dagger” with a genie named Bob residing inside – one that Integrity can’t get rid of, even though she tries, until she makes her three wishes (which she vows to never do as she knows the repercussions of genie wishes).

While Integrity wants out of the business, her love and devotion to Taylor and the team drives her to settle his debt – once again – as her constant repayment for the life he helped her have since leaving Faerie.  But it proves a bit more difficult than she’d dealt with in the past – seeing as the creditor turns out to be a Fae from Integrity’s past – the son of one of the power families in Faerie, Byron Moncrieff.  All he wants is for Integrity to come back to Faerie with him to complete a ritual to repair the magic in Faerie.  Along with her trusty “letter opener” genie Bob at her side, she reluctantly agrees and heads back to the place she tried so hard to escape and forget.   But Byron isn’t the indignant prick of a Fae that she remembers from her youth…he’s an attractive, successful, and surprisingly kind gentleman that wants to help her along her path back during her brief time in Faerie.  So when someone wants her dead – and will use any means necessary to complete the task, Integrity turns once again to her team, and reluctantly Byron and his clan to figure out who it is that wants her out of the way and why.  But sometimes, as Integrity finds out, it might be better to not know – lives will be lost and futures forever changed by the Gifted Thief name Integrity.

I simply loved this story!  I thought Integrity was funny, witty, and had amazing self preservation skills – that are a must when dealing with the snooty Fae.  Her relationships are a source of strength for her – she knows that even though her bio-Fae family may have discarded her, but they never would – and she is better for it.  With the arrival of Byron and is betrayal and eventual protection of her, I loved the interaction between the two.  Kissing one minute, bickering the next – all the makings of a great relationship, if only they could see past each other and their pasts to make their futures worth it.  I was a bit let down with the seemingly sudden ending, but I cannot WAIT to see what else is in store for Integrity – Faerie is definitely not done with her yet, and her past is still so up in the air.  So in Integrity style “What’d the beaver say to the tree?”… “It’s been nice gnawing you!”So corny and endearing, how could you not fall completely for this series???

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 stars

When high school junior Nicole Cassidy moves from her small town in Georgia with her family to Boston, Massachusetts, she is anything but happy.  Moving schools, leaving friends, and all she’d ever known was not what she had foreseen for herself.  And when she’s thrown into all of the honors classes at her new school, she is confused and further frustrated by the move. However, what she experiences from the moment she steps foot into her first class of the day is anything but normal or boring…especially when the teacher makes things appear out of thin air onto the chalkboard without so much as a wave of his hand.  Nicole discovers that she is anything but ordinary – in fact she is a witch, no wand needed.  With as much disbelief as she initially feels, the pieces start to fit into place that she is “different”.  And when she sees Blake Carter, she immediately feels a connection with him – accept for the fact that he has a gorgeous girlfriend, Danielle – and not to mention that anyone caught even thinking about looking at Blake always ends up with something unfortunate happening to them.

As Nicole learns the basics of being a witch, she also befriends Kate and Chris, who insist on helping her along with her training.  When it turns out that Nicole is a pretty fast learner, there are whispers that she is more powerful than she may know.  During a field trip to view Olympian Comet, Nicole is put into a group including herself, Kate, Chris, Blake, and Danielle – they are all supposed to connect hands and “meditate” on the comet as it passes.  But that happens next will change Nicole’s life even more radically – the five of them develop more advanced powers – the powers of the elements.  The powers are far from normal, and they take the 5 witches on an adventure of epic proportions – and they do things they never thought possible, especially seeing as they are now tasked with saving the world from the tear in the veil that holds the prison of Kerberous and they are responsible for its lock cracking and allowing the Titans to slowly escape.  With Nicole and Blake’s destinies truly tied together now, it’s getting harder and harder for them to deny the connection they feel – but with Danielle, Kate, and Chris’s destines also tied in, Nicole’s simple high school existence when from bad to worse as the group must fight to save not only themselves, but those they love – and quite possibly the world!

Nicole’s journey really blows off the pages from the very first page.  She is thrown into such an unknown world so quickly, she scarcely has time to rebound from her head reeling in the new information about her bloodlines.  And the fact that she finds love and a BFF…it’s like a dream come true for this newly minted witch.  The only problem was, HOW did she form those relationships so quickly – was it specifically because of the comet’s effects…or what it destine to happen…?  I’m truly hoping that we get some more answers in the next book – especially since I’m hopeful that Danielle will be able to find someone new so Nicole and Blake can explore their feelings further.  The story had a good flow and great characters – great development of both!  Looking forward to seeing what else is in store for the Elementals (as Chris so cleverly named them) in the next book.

Revenge by Sonya Weiss

Revenge by Sonya Weiss

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

3 ½ stars!

For almost 18 year Juliet, every day is a struggle to keep a powerful secret hidden – one that her father paid for with his life, and one that keeps her little sister Maisy hidden away for her safety.  But when you got to school with the boy whose father killed your own and just so happens to of course be the King of the Supernatural race, and the secret you are keeping is so big it could chance not just your life, but all those of your “alien” Supernatural race, you tend to keep a low profile.

However, when one day said boy (and future King himself) and Probation officer Riley West saves Juliet’s life – in front of their whole class no less – against a vile enemy of the Supernatural’s know as the Tazavorn species, Juliet knows that things are about to change and fast.  Especially as the Tazavorns aren’t supposed to be on earth as one bite infects a person turning them into a crazy lizard like creature that’s only goal is to kill.  With the Supernatural’s very existence hinging on her secrets, and her recent “draft” into their army with Riley as her teacher, Juliet knows that her troubles are far from gone.  She also knows that the only way to keep Maisy and the other half-breeds safe from the King’s edict to have them all killed to just keeps things status quo is to go along and learn all she can about the enemies within the Supernatural’s own army.  But when things start going wrong and even more Tazaavorns start publicly attacking humans and Supernaturnals alike, that means that it’s up to her and Riley to get to the bottom of the attacks, as well as finding out who is ordering them.  With Juliet falling for Riley, will her heart withstand the answers they are trying to figure out, or will her secret destroy them all?

While with was another “Romeo and Juliet” spin-off type story, I really thought that the alien take was a new and very creative spin on a traditional story.  Some of the “selflessness” on Juliet’s part didn’t flow as well as it could have – while she did have the DNA to fix the Supernatural’s problems, it felt like she had a superhero complex, not just a serious bone to pick with the leaders.  Riley maintained is broody sullenness throughout the story – which was appropriate for his character, even if he did end up with a soft spot for Juliet.  I am certainly looking forward to the next book and seeing what is in store for both Juliet and her Romeo…errr, I mean Riley 🙂

Nexis (A Tricksters Novel) by A.L. Davroe

Nexis (A Tricksters Novel) by A.L. Davroe

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 stars

For Ellani Drexel, one of the last remaining Naturals, or natural born people who has not had genetic modifications, living in the lustrous city of Evanescense just got more difficult – through her father, a brilliant mind and creator of the virtual-reality game called Nexis, she is now an Aristocracy.  Being a natural Aristocracy has its fair share of difficulty, but when her and her father are in an accident that leaves her father dead and her disfigured, Ella figures she has nothing left to live for.  Especially when she ends up basically trapped in her own home, with everyone thing she perished in the accident as well.  Ella’s only “escape” is when she begins to play the game her father created, Nexis, where she can be anyone or anything she wants to be – which includes being whole again, if even for the duration of the “game”.

When Ella befriends a young man, Guster, within Nexis – she begins to hope for a “normal” life, even if it is within a game.  Guster introduces her to several others that have the “Trickster” marks – a spider, fox, coyote, crow, and rabbit.  Together they will be able to accomplish the unthinkable – entering the Anansi Chamber…no one knows the significance, only that the Oracle has deemed them as worthy to enter and crack the code to the Nexis world.  But it comes with a price, one that may be too much for Ella to pay – even if it is only a virtual game, the consequences of the Tricksters actions may be more then they can pay in their real lives.  Can Ella’s coding skills really get them past, or make them suffer?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  While it was broken into several “mini-chapters” while Ella goes between the game of Nexis and real-time, in Evanescense, it was great how Ms. Devroe was able to make the reader connect with both sides of Ella’s life.  Ella becomes so engrossed in the game, that it almost becomes real to her – first loves, good friends, and a rebel with a good cause.  But it really spoke to me on an acceptance level – Ella’s life in the real world is not her own…being disfigured makes her ability to open up while in Nexis a true gift for not only her, but her fellow Tricksters.  While she is sad, lonely, and moping around while in her real life, she always has something to look forward to when she enters Nexis – her friends and Guster, who show her what acceptance really looks like…something she has yearned for her whole life.  I think she makes tremendous progress throughout the story, but will rise and be someone the world can look up to in the next book.

Trailer Reveal for OBLIVION (A Lux Novel) by Jennifer L. Armentrout!

We are beyond thrilled to bring you all the Trailer Reveal for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s OBLIVION! OBLIVION is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance being published by Entangled Teen, and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’sNew York Times and USA Today bestselling LUX Series. It is being released on December 1st, 2015!! Watch the trailer then pre-order your copy today!

 

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OBLIVION Pre-Order

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OBLIVION Synopsis:

Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won’t just place her in danger.It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

 

And don’t miss the first books in the LUX Series!

LUX Series Collage

 

LUX: Beginnings

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LUX: Consequences

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OPPOSITION

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Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads

 

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Deviation (The Imitation Series, Book 2) by Heather Hildenbrand

Deviation (The Imitation Series, Book 2) by Heather Hildenbrand

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

3 ½ stars!

Being two people in one body is difficult – which is the case for Ven, or Raven Rogen as she is known in the real world. But she isn’t Raven; she is Ven, a genetically created clone of the real Raven. And she is living with the enemy, Titus Rogen, her “father” and the brilliant mind behind RogenCorp. They create the clones for anyone who is willing to pay the exorbitant price tag. But he has too many secrets and too many people in high places in his pocket – or if they’ve overstayed their usefulness, a clone of them that is willing to blindly obey Titus’s every order. So when Ven, along with her bodyguard and secret love Linc vow to free all the clones and expose Titus for the fraud and liar that he is, Ven could lose or gain everything she’s been trying to save is she doesn’t stay a step ahead of Titus.

I absolutely love the concept that there is a clone “war of sorts occurring – not that I’d want to live through that – it’s just a great base for a scandalous story. The idea that one person could end up in control of everyone and everything is frightening and vaccinating at the same time. With such a cliff hanger ending, I’m definitely anxious to see what becomes of Ven and the clones!