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Wardbreaker by J.A. Cipriano

Welcome to Saturday Shorts, in which we review shorter works such as short stories, novellas, middle-grade books, and graphic novels. All Lillim wants to do is get away for a bit – escape her world where monsters and mayhem reign at every hour. She ends up in sunny Orange County for a little relaxing time and, instead, finds herself facing a group of powerful vampires that the Dioscuri organization she works for has blatantly ignored.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

AuthorJ.A. Cipriano
SeriesLillim Callina, Book 0.5
Publish Date: October 15, 2015
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionA city full of vampires. A dark ritual. A runaway determined to stay hidden.

Lillim Callina was still trying to figure out how to live like a normal girl when the vampires attacked. Now, this former demon hunter must decide if staying hidden is more important than saving her new home from the largest vampire infestation she has ever seen.

The only problem is, if she stops the vampires, the people hunting her just may find her, and they aren’t too fond of deserters.

Wardbreaker is the first prequel in The Lillim Callina Chronicles, an urban fantasy series and takes place approximately one year before the first book, Kill it with Magic.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Kat Mandu says…

As much as I enjoyed this, it’s an awfully long “novella.” It took me almost as much time to read this as it does many YA books. I almost wouldn’t call it a novella, as only novellas vs. novels are determined by the word count. But hey, it was a good story.

Lillim’s a couple years younger in Wardbreaker than when you meet her in Kill It With Magic, the first official Callina novel. It’s her first time in California, but not her first venture to the human world. Things are still a little disorienting for her.

But then Luc shows up, looking for her help with a group of bad guy vampires and Lillim’s suddenly right back at home, facing down a myriad of monsters while wondering why the Dioscuri isn’t doing anything to help the humans who are being preyed upon.

One of the coolest things I like about Lillim’s stories are that the creatures she fights against are always very unique and many – sure, there are vamps and werewolves, but there are also ents (tree men), dragons, and pixies. If you like a variety of supernatural baddies, you’d enjoy this.

It’s a nice lead-up to the series and introduction to both Lillim and Luc. I found it just got lengthy in certain points, even when there’s a lot of action going on. Lillim is a commentator on everything and her internal dialogue only adds to the battle scenes—making them funny, yes, but also like I said, lengthy.

Other recommendations…

Mark E. Cooper, Donna Joy Usher, Inge-Lise Goss

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Alone in the Dark by J.A. Cipriano

Welcome to Saturday Shorts, where we review shorter works like short stories, novellas, middle-grade books, and graphic novels. In this very short story, we’re introduced to a young Lillim Callina, who has to find her way out of a vampire’s den less than an hour before they wake.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

alone-in-the-darkTitleAlone in the Dark
AuthorJ.A. Cipriano
SeriesLillim Callina 0.1
Publish Date: January 1, 2015
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Source: From where you got the book

Publisher’s Description: How do you teach your thirteen-year-old to stop misbehaving? Lock her in a house filled with vampires half an hour before sundown.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

This is a story in the magic-using, bad-guy hunting Lillim Callina Chronicles, but set way before the events of the series at a time when Lillim is younger and not as skilled. She manages to find her way out of a vampire den even as they start to wake up and attack her. Though she’s not unscathed, it’s a miracle she escapes at all, which is, I’m sure, not exactly what her mother had in mind.

The whole thing starts when Lillim and her crazy mother have an argument about what Lillim should wear. Readers then are led to believe that when Lillim wakes up in the vampire den, her mom has either drugged her or put some kind of spell on her to get her there – before leaving her to her fate. Her mother also thinks it’s some kind of game, a dangerous game she uses as punishment whenever Lillim does something wrong.

badge4v5But alas, she gets away. Not without a fight, but still away. I’m eager to read more in the book series. This is a short story that you don’t need to read the rest of the series to understand, though you might do it in case you want a full understanding of how screwed up Lillim’s life is like.

Other recommendations…

Check out all of J.A. Cipriano‘s series. There are plenty to choose from. 😉

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.