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Review for EMPATH (The Empath Trilogy #1) by HK Savage
I recently began a series of author interviews on my blog, and now I am excited to introduce my first book review. I recently finished reading EMPATH by HK Savage. The first in a YA trilogy, I am thrilled that I selected this book to review. I don’t often read a lot of other books while I am in the middle of writing my own, but now that I’ve read the first, I can guarantee that I will be reading the next two in the trilogy. If you like the book TWILIGHT, by Stephenie Meyer, then you will absolutely love this story!
With that said, I need to give you a warning of the book first. There are a few similarities to TWILIGHT. There’s the main girl, Claire, who is friends with a vampire and a werecat. Yep, that’s right, not werewolf, but werecat. Sounds funny perhaps, but it’s cool in the story! Other similarities? You’ve got vampires who are super-fast, they like fast cars, and are quite beautiful. Oh, and for all of my True Blood fans out there like myself, they use “glamour” 🙂 So, understandably, I was slightly hesitant when I began to read the book, wondering if this was going to be a knock-off of TWILIGHT. It didn’t take long, however, to get over my comparison of the two books. I was soon completely drawn into the story, and the similarities between the two books couldn’t have been any different.
The differences? While I’m still on the subject of comparing the books (I feel I need to for those readers out there who undoubtedly will), there were some definite differences that made me completely enjoy EMPATH more. Don’t get me wrong, I love TWILIGHT, but I personally find Bella Swan’s character to be a bit annoying at times and I felt that I could relate a lot more to Claire. Another point that I enjoyed a lot more was that the vampire and werecat are actually capable of being friends with both Claire and each other, a novel concept, everyone can be friends.
And so now, here’s where the story totally branches out and becomes unique. The title of the story, EMPATH, stems from the fact that Claire is supernaturally gifted with EMPATH abilities. For those who aren’t familiar with that term, it means she can completely “feel” how another person is feeling. Not just sympathize or empathize but truly, 100% feel the other person’s emotions. This was the original reason why I was drawn to read the story, because Claire reminds me of a character who could be in my own book, INDIGO INCITE. The two stories are VERY different from each other, but Claire is definitely someone who would have been friends with the main characters from my book if they were introduced 🙂 If you liked INDIGO INCITE, you’ll definitely want to put EMPATH on your “to-read” list.
Claire isn’t perfect, she has flaws, which makes her likeable and relatable. Her boyfriend, James, on the other hand, really is perfect. So, for those who are looking for a great book boyfriend to escape to in a good book, he’s your guy. He has an awesome job, is totally gorgeous, is VERY old-fashioned and believes in treating a woman the way she deserves to be treated, with respect. Really, there is nothing not to like about him! However, be warned or be excited, however you want to view it, there are a few entertaining bedroom scenes. There is definitely nothing inappropriate or scandalous, it’s as basic as possible to still be considered a bedroom scene. So, for those who might be concerned, it’s definitely a YA book, but I would say toward the older age range of YA.
The book was written in first-person POV from Claire’s perspective and it made the story a fast, easy read. I really enjoyed how her character developed throughout the story. By the end, she definitely has discovered who she is and has found herself. As the story develops, Claire discovers the true extent of her abilities as she risks everything to help her new vampire and werecat friends. The story kept me in suspense up until the end, and I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I love the characters and I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy!
Since EMPATH was published in 2010, HK Savage has written and published several more books. Once you’ve read EMPATH, and of course you’ll have to follow up with the remaining two books in the trilogy, BONDED, book #2 and SECRETS, book #3, you’ll want to discover her other books. I will attach a link to her Goodreads page so that you can see everything this amazing author has to offer.
Claire is an empath living a life of self-imposed exile. Off to college, all she wants is to disappear. But a chance encounter with Stephen, a boy with his own secrets, leads Claire to understand that her curse is a gift. And when Claire meets James, a vampire, their gifts connect and form a bond the vampire world has not seen for three hundred years. No one can guess where it will take them or how it will change them both.
Like Author HK Savage on Facebook, add EMPATH to your Goodreads list. Oh and best of all! EMPATH is FREE right now for your Kindle on Amazon!! Just follow the links below 🙂
I recently had the opportunity to do a virtual interview with my friend and fellow author, Suzanne Carroll. Check out my entertaining interview on her blog and find out more about my inspiration to write INDIGO INCITE and some other fun questions that Suzanne had for me:-) Just follow the link here:
I am thrilled to present the first interview on my blog, from my very good friend and fellow author, J.L. Berg. Her debut novel, When You’re Ready, was released only a week ago, and already it is climbing the charts at an amazing rate on Amazon and has received rave reviews.
J.L.’s witty sense of humor shines through, not only in her interview, but in her writing as well. If you love a good romance novel that pulls at the heart strings, makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you wish the hunky heartthrob could step out of the pages into real life then this is the novel you have been waiting for. Please, enjoy her interview and then check out a short synopsis of the book followed by links where you can download a sample of her book and/or buy it.
Me: It sounds like you’ve had a few jobs since high school. What made you finally decide to become an author?
J.L.: I’ve honestly always loved writing but I lacked the confidence to pursue it so I shelved it as a pipe dream for most of my life. I finally got to the point where I couldn’t hold the ideas in my head anymore. I had to get them out and so I started writing. It then took a huge leap of faith to allow myself to open up and let others read what I had created. I’m so glad I did because it has been one of the greatest journeys of my life.
Me: WHEN YOU’RE READY has very authentic characters who make the reader truly care about them. Where did your inspiration for the story and/or characters come from?
J.L.: I take my inspiration from those around me, as well as where I see a character in terms of emotional growth. Many of my characters have personality traits of those I love, and yet their overall character is vastly different. Logan reminds me of my husband in many ways. His quick sense of humor, his fierce protective instinct. But yet Logan is his own character and not at all my husband. I think creating characters is about taking what you know and what you imagine and combining them together to create something entirely new and unique.
Me: I understand that you’re currently working on the second book in the READY series. How do you plan your stories? Is the next book all in your head or is it a surprise as you write it?
J.L: I usually plan out a rough outline, but that is about it. I like to know where certain scenes are placed so I can make sure I’m pacing correctly, but when I sit down to write, I usually let my imagination take over. Sometimes my fingers just start typing, and the scene takes on a life of its own, going in a completely different direction than I had intended. Those are usually my best scenes, the ones created out of spontaneous chaos.
Me: In one sentence, sum up WHEN YOU’RE READY.
J.L.: A grieving widow finds love after the loss of her husband with a man who finally realizes he’s worthy enough to love her back.
Me: I have to ask questions about three of my favorite things. Children, Food, and Animals. So, first off, I understand that you have children. What do they think about their momma being an author. Is there an age limit before they will be allowed to read your book?
J.L.: My daughters (ages 6 and 9) think it’s REALLY cool that their Mommy is an author. They tell everyone. My youngest wants me to tell everyone because she really thinks I’m that famous. We were out to dinner the other day, and she told me to tell our waitress I was THE J.L. Berg, like I was Madonna or something. I politely declined and kept my superstar status to myself. :-)As far as age limit. I’ve decided they can read it when I die. Yep, that sounds good.
Me: I’ve gotta ask about food. What’s your favorite writing snack? How about a favorite writing beverage?
J.L.: Chocolate – the darker the better, and decaf coffee. Or wine.
Me: I’ve adopted two animals from animal rescues this year and they are already a huge part of my family. It sounds like you have a pet or two yourself. Tell me about your furry (or slimy) creatures. Feel free to share their quirky personalities.
J.L.: We adopted two rescues dogs as well. We have a dachshund mix named Bella (yes, I named her after THAT Bella), and a black lab named Charlotte. Bella is our crazy one, and Charlotte is our calm mellow dog.
Me: What is your dream vacation?
J.L.: It’s kind of a cheat because I’ve already been there, but my dream vacay is Ireland. My husband i went there for our ten year anniversary, and I am dying to go back. It was magical.
Me: What is your favorite book and/or author? Or if you’re like me and can’t pick just one, feel free to share 2 or 3 🙂
J.L.: It’s really, really hard for me to pick one favorite book. I usually say Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, but there are about 5 to 10 others that come in a close second. I love anything by Colleen Hoover and Abbi Glines. I love the Blackdagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward, and the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. I could go on and on….I’m a total book nerd.
Me: Be a salesperson. If there was a commercial to sell WHEN YOU’RE READY, what would it say?
J.L.: I love my tag line, so we’ll go with that…“Can his love mend the pieces of her grieving heart?”
Now that you’re intrigued by this amazing author, here’s the summary from WHEN YOU’RE READY:
Can his love mend the pieces of her grieving heart?
Years after suffering the tragic loss of her husband, Ethan, which left her alone to raise their young daughter, Clare Murray still holds the last letter he wrote with the words “When You’re Ready” written in his familiar messy handwriting, unable to break its weathered seal. Ready for what? He was her entire world, and Clare had accepted a life without him, without love. Until years later, fate brings her to an emergency room, and face to face with a stormy-eyed doctor intent on changing her mind.
Logan Matthews is the son of a billionaire who has spent his entire life trying to make his absent father proud. Years of living up to a man who was more ghost than father, and a publicly failed marriage has left Logan cold and emotionless until he walks into an exam room and discovers a woman who can stop his heart, make his body burn with desire and leave his entire world altered.
But how far are Clare and Logan willing to go for love? When their love is tested, is Clare ready to put her whole heart on the line again? Can Logan learn the true meaning of love, even if it means sacrificing his own happiness? When a second chance at love is given, Clare and Logan learn you never know if you are truly ready until you’re ready to risk it all.
Last Monday I asked everyone to come up with name’s for the blue heeler in my next book, INDIGO INSTINCT. I was thrilled to see the amount of Facebook, Twitter, and blog fans who seem to love dogs as much as I do:-) There was an incredible response of suggestions, and it was difficult to narrow it down to just five, but in the end, here are the final results. Please help out and vote for your favorite name to decide what this little guy will be called in the second installment of the Indigo Trilogy 🙂 The poll will stay open until Monday, 5:00 PM PST.