Ignited (Donovan Circus #4) by Liz Long

Ignited“Maybe I had to accept that the Donovan Circus no longer felt like home.” Lucy might’ve beaten Alex the Chameleon, but the cost of his defeat was too much to bear. After losing a beloved member, Sheffield Donovan temporarily disbands the show. Abandoned by the ringmaster and her friends, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of their ruined circus – and defend it against those waiting for the opportunity to strike. During one of these attempts, Lucy learns of Augustus Rivers, the leader of his so-called gifted mafia. When Lucy is offered a chance to infiltrate the Rivers’ household, she jumps at the opportunity to seek vengeance on the mastermind. Augustus instead surprises everyone by proposing that the powerful female Firestarter work for him. It’s everything the Donovan Circus isn’t, an offer Lucy finds more enticing than she ever expected. With the Donovan Circus in shambles and the gifted world on the cusp of war, can Lucy Sullivan figure out who she’s meant to be? Or will her fire destroy everything they’ve built?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ll admit I picked up Ignited with a bit of trepidation. Liz Long proved in Hunted that loosing a beloved character was not outside the realm of possibility. The stakes get higher and the danger comes closer to the character with each book in the Donovan Circus series and no one is totally safe.

This book opens with Lucy questioning everything and finding no easy answers. Her friends are gone, except for a few who stayed behind. Sheffield is more or less hiding from everyone, including Lucy. The people she has grown to trust and think of as family will be back, but she’s not sure anything will ever be the same. Things don’t get much easier when everyone finally returns. Lucy makes some bold decisions in Ignited. She gains support from some unlikely sources and loses it from people she never expected.

There were familiar faces in Ignited and some new ones. There were also quite a few revelations – past and present. Twists and turns were also in full supply and there was more than one occasion that I literally yelled at the author. I shouldn’t have been surprised, I should have seen it coming, but really… REALLY?!? Yikes!

No cliff hanger really, but there’s definitely more to come and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’ll be nice and give the author just a little bit of lead time before I start begging. As a side note, Donovan Circus isn’t a romance, but there is a romantic interest in Lucy’s life… more than one actually and as far as who she should end up with, I definitely have my preference. 😉

DragonFlyRating5

Hunted (Donovan Circus #3) by Liz Long

HUNTEDCoverSmLucy Sullivan finally belongs with the gifted Donovan Circus. Members are finding their rhythm, even the new folks from the Grayson Circus who joined after the last attack. Lucy feels like a trusted leader who can win the gifted battles and prevent humans from discovering their existence.

When tragedy strikes camp, a distraught Sheffield sends Lucy and her gifted team to hunt down the enemy – Alex, a Chameleon with a wicked ability for war. He’s out for blood and won’t stop until Lucy and her friends are dead.

This time, it won’t be Lucy’s gift that is tested – it will be her morality. To save her circus, the price will be greater than she ever expected. This time, she will lose someone she loves. And it will change everything.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I finished Hunted in absolute awe. The world that Liz Long has created in the Donovan Circus series is constantly evolving. New people with new powers are woven into the story and just when you think that you know what to expect from a certain type of ‘Gifted’ a new twist is added to their power. That doesn’t even take into consideration that sometimes from page to page you’re wondering exactly who can and can’t be trusted. Hunted was basically a non-stop roller coaster ride of emotion.

Lucy is tested more than once in Hunted in many different ways. Her loyalty to her friends and ‘family’ is never in question, but the secret she’s keeping is putting a strain on her. Having someone to not only share that secret with but to also help her with her role as leader is a relief. A new balance of friendship is created which caused me see some characters in a whole different light.

There were times during Hunted that I wasn’t sure who would survive and not everyone did. I can’t really say a whole lot more because it would give too much away. I can tell you that Lucy losing someone wasn’t the most heartbreaking moment for me in Hunted. I shed more than one tear in this book and Liz Long rose one step higher on my ‘Evil Author’ list by the time I was finished.

Hunted doesn’t end in an actual cliff hanger but the fate of pretty much everyone is uncertain. No one was left untouched by the events that took place in this book and there are some that will definitely never be the same. The next book in this series can’t come soon enough.

DragonFlyRating5

 

Burned (Donovan Circus #2) by Liz Long – Bout-of-Books 9.0 Review

Burned“Tell Sheffield that Medved is hunting him…the Bear is coming.

Nearly a month after Lucy Sullivan saved the Donovan Circus from certain death, she discovers that Dr. Felix Hardy wasn’t the only bad guy around. When Lucy is attacked on home ground, Sheffield Donovan reveals that there are bigger foes in their world, gifted that use their powers to kill others – including her own family, as she learns from her ringmaster mentor. Medved, a Russian thug and powerful Shapeshifter, is intent on outing the gifted world and will stop at nothing to succeed.

In order to survive, Lucy and her friends must travel to another show, the Grayson Circus, for help. The uneasy alliance with owner Albert Grayson comes with potential new friends and dark secrets about their competition, including a troublemaker named Mel and an old flame of Lucy’s father. Lucy must also contend with her feelings about Keegan and Gabriel, as well as learn how to contain her rampant emotions or risk setting the entire place ablaze.

Will Lucy be able to save the Donovan Circus again? Or will Medved and his men slaughter everyone in their path on the way to gifted domination?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I considered giving myself some recovery time before I started this review. Then I thought maybe I should write it while all the emotion from reading it was still fresh. Just a warning… there’s LOTS of emotion in this book. LOTS!

I’ve learned since starting this series that Liz Long is not an author who holds back. She’s not afraid to leave you gaping, wide mouthed with absolute WTF moments or reduce you to tears – more than once. Unexpected tears, I might add. Tears that are caused by the feelings and statements of characters that you never expected to cause them. Yes, she’s that kind of author. The kind that will make you fall in love with or become totally enamored with a character and then …. well… you get the picture. (There are still things that happened in this book that I CAN’T believe actually happened.)

I suppose you’ve guessed that I’ve fallen in love with Lucy and the rest of the self proclaimed ‘freaks’ that make up the Donovan Circus. They’re hard not to love. Which makes anyone who threatens them hard not to hate. Burned introduces even more characters with new talents – both good and bad. More secrets are revealed and the closer this group gets the deeper they get into the thick of the Gifted world. Yeah, Liz Long definitely has me hooked. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the Donovan Circus next… (this may require some stalking 😉 )

Oh, and one more thing… I don’t pick ‘teams.’ Love triangle or not, the characters end up with whoever they end up with and I’m fine with that…. honest. *crosses fingers behind back*

DragonFlyRating4

Gifted (Donovan Circus #1) by Liz Long

GiftedEven in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.

Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.

When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Every once in a while you need to broaden your horizons as a reader. Not only genre wise, but author wise. I think that’s why I read so many Indie authors. There are a lot of hidden gems out there people – I find them all the time. Liz Long and her Donovan Circus series is my latest.

Gifted is the first book in the series and it does a wonderful job of introducing this unique world to readers. Lucy’s POV is the perfect way to do it because she’s a part of Gifted world, but has been separated from it for several years. She has a lot to learn and come to terms with – about the world she belongs to and herself. It makes the back story a lot more interesting and isn’t forced or awkward.

The characters in Gifted are fun with very distinct personalities and not just filler. They all bring an extra dimension to the story and I loved them all (with the exception of the ones that I was supposed to hate 😉 ) Readers were also left wondering about the loyalties of more than one character that kept things more than interesting. There was plenty of action, twists, turns, magic, a touch of violence and just a little bit of romance… pretty much something for everyone.

Gifted didn’t necessarily end in a cliff hanger, but there is definitely much more to the story. Luckily I have Burned, the next book in the series, ready and waiting. I can’t wait to see what Liz Long has in store for this group of characters. Oh, and just a little warning. If you’re not a fan of love triangles…. yeah, there is one. They don’t bother me as long as they’re not driven by teenage angst (those drive me nuts!) I know that some of my blogging buddies avoid them at all costs – so consider yourselves warned.

DragonFlyRating4