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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

All Wounds by Dina James

All Wounds by Dina James
Publisher: Mundania Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (216 Pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Jasmine

It's said that when opportunity knocks on your door, you have only one chance to take it.

No one said what you're supposed to do when it kicks it.

All Rebecca MacDonnell wants to do is get through high school with grades good enough to win a prestigious scholarship so that she can finally leave her miserable life behind. One evening, after a particularly bad day, she finds out that people other than her aging grandmother need her help, and desperately so.

Well, not "people," exactly. Vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, goblins, and other things thought only imaginary all need help sometime, and Rebecca was born with the unique ability to heal ethereal beings. She is about to turn seventeen, the age at which her talent will manifest in its entirety, and become a true Healer…if she lives through the event. A war between various ethereal factions is brewing, and Healers are a valuable commodity to any side. Those who wish to harness Rebecca’s manifesting healing powers for their own purposes must get to her before her seventeenth birthday.

Only two vampires and a rogue werewolf stand between Rebecca and those determined to make her serve them, and the fact that Rebecca has no clue what she's doing doesn't exactly help matters.

Neither does being seriously attracted to more than one of those just trying to protect her.

For a soon-to-be seventeen-year-old Healer-in-training, that's a lot to handle.

Especially on top of her homework.

Doesn't every teenager want to think they're special? To think that something big and amazing is in written in the stars for them? And if they are fanciful, maybe even something supernatural? Rebecca, who is the outcast of her school...that one girl that almost nobody likes, finds out just how special she is. Literally overnight, after an exceedingly lousy day, she learns that the world is, in fact, populated with vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts and any manner of other supernatural beings that you can think of. And the kicker is that she is some super powerful healer of all of these beings.

I started this book during a brief break from my work, during a week of insanely chaotic early deadlines, where time is short and days are long. My intention was only to read a few pages and get back to work. Then I started this book and had a difficult time putting it down. Luckily, I work from home with no boss looking over my shoulder, so the remainder of the evening was spent with my eReader propped in front of my keyboard. The book snagged me from page one and kept me hooked right up to the last page.

The beginning puts us in the principal's office where, completely out of character, Rebecca and her one friend, are getting in trouble and being assigned detention. We also get to see the “bad boy” of the school, Ryan, start taking an interest in her – much to Rebecca's shock. Later that night Ryan shows up at her door, unconscious, and in the arms of a drop dead gorgeous vampire. From that point on, we get to meet demons, werewolves (or Anubi), hellhounds and garden faeries, among other things. The description that Ms. James gives of some of these creatures is unique and interesting. From the vampire's eyes to the hellhounds, the author brought a new and fun twist to the genre – something not easily done in the over-saturated paranormal market.

If I had to choose a favorite character from the book, it would probably be Billy, Rebecca's resident bodyguard, and an Anubi. Billy is absolutely hilarious throughout the book, bringing some fun to the story and many laugh out loud moments. He is fond of Rebecca, and treats her like a kid sister, when he's not eating or going on about his mustang. When Billy first makes an appearance, Rebecca compares him to a football player (with lots of brawn), and from that moment on the stereotypes kept rolling through my head with Billy. All of the main characters, though, stole my heart. Especially the hot, mysterious vampire, Sydney. His aloof, yet caring and compassionate reserve made me want to know more about him and once I did, he made me melt.

The character development of this book, with so many different characters as well as different races, is very well done. Throughout the book, the author shows us how the different races interact with each other, what makes them different from each other and gives them each their own personalities. Even a couple of the secondary, little seen characters are very memorable.

Well written, with compelling characters and non-stop action, this is one book that's not to be missed. I can't wait for the second book in this series and it's definitely going on my watch list. If you enjoy this genre, I would definitely check this one out.