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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Deity (Covenant, #3)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Source: Purchased
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. "
Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden.
If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.
But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed.
Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...

Deity is easily the best Covenant book so far. What's not to love? Greek mythology, a sexy love interest, and some serious kickbutt action. I absolutely adored this book and found it completely unputdownable. We're over halfway through the series now, and it always seems to go in precisely the right direction.

Alex is still the same girl we all know and love. She's torn between her feelings and a bit lost. Sometimes she lashes out to hide her pain, or her fear, displaying her weaknesses in a way that matches her personality. She can be sweet when she feels like it, but a lot of the time she has an attitude that fits her. And I love her for it. She isn't afraid to stand up for herself, but she'll do anything to protect those she loves.

Aiden is gorgeous and perfect, and there's no way I could read this series and not be hopelessly in love with him. He's the one Alex always comes back to, steady and secure and strong. Though he's always fought his feelings, tried to do the right thing, he struggles with that now. And I just love and protective he is without being smothering, and how he always, always tries to make the right choice.
Seth is hiding more things than anyone ever realized. He's ruthlessly ambitious, and I believe that although maybe he once cared about Alex, something blinded him along the way. Though I've never really liked him, it was still tragic to watch him go through his transformation. I didn't want things to be this way for him, but maybe he still has some sort of shot at redemption.

Things have always been complicated in Alex's world, but nothing like this has ever happened before.

I love that as Alex figures things out, so do we. There's a certain level of suspense that I love. And, best of all, there aren't stupid things she misses, and though some things are a bit coincidental I never felt that it got to be too much. I also liked the slow unearth of information, and how difficult it was for Alex. Nothing is ever easy.

The Greek mythology worked into the story is gorgeous as always and hasn't suddenly become ignored which I have seen happen in books before. It's a major part of the story still and factors into every important event.

The pacing is also awesome. It doesn't rush, it doesn't lag. It's fast-paced without feeling too fast, and it doesn't drag things out like some books do. I always felt like something interesting was going on and that the plot was really developing.

And, in this third book, things really took a turn I did not expect. But I loved it.

One of the things I love about Jennifer's romance in both her Covenant and Lux series is that she doesn't drag things out for a ridiculous length of time. The love triangle felt essentially resolved to me in this one, a fact I was very pleased with. Aiden stands by Alex through everything, wanting to let her be herself, while Seth attempts to lure her to his side and bend her to his will. Both boys want her, but only one will win her heart.

Jennifer has gorgeous writing, and it's gotten better with each book she writes. I don't know how she pumps these things out so quickly, but she does, and they're amazing. Deity is set in such a harsh world of demigods, fully fleshed out but still with some mystery behind everything. Alex's voice has only become more mature as she learns her lessons and works her way through this complicated and power-hungry place.

Major cliffhangers always get me, but even when I know they're coming I can never help myself. Deity left me dying to know what happens next. Alex is stuck in a very unusual position, with everyone scrambling to save her. But Alex doesn't believe she needs saving. It's a bit tragic, but mostly just suspenseful.

Uhhh, yeah, of course I'm continuing this series. I admit that it has its faults, but I simply find it so much fun that I'm not willing to stop reading it. I definitely need to know what happens next and  do love Jennifer and her books. I'd recommend this to most people who love paranormal romance, particularly those of you who love Greek mythology the way I do.

*****FINAL RATING: 4.70 RED ROSES*****
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Hey there, lovely roses. It's time for that weekly meme by Jill at Breaking the Spine again. It's a pretty awesome excuse to admire gorgeous covers and find yet more books to add to my TBR that really doesn't need any help.

Stormbringers (The Order of Darkness, #2)
Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 4, 2013
The second book in a YA quartet filled with intrigue, mystery, and romance, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory.
Italy, 1453. Luca and Isolde grow more and more attracted to each other as they continue their journey to unravel the mysteries throughout Christendom. But their travels are delayed by the uprising of an intense religious crusade that threatens the balance of the civilized world. Death lingers in the air as war ravages on, but this religious conflict is nothing compared to the arrival of an intense and deadly storm.
Caught in the midst of unimaginable chaos, Luca and Isolde must rely on one another in order to survive.
The second in Philippa Gregory’s four-book series delves further into a forbidden romance and an epic quest. And the tension builds as secrets about The Order of Darkness are finally revealed...

First things first. I'm not thrilled with the cover change at all. I really liked the original cover of Changeling. It was sexy, dramatic, and beautiful. These new ones could have an appeal, but they really don't. They're boring and unimpressive and look cheap. So, really upset about that.

However, I still really want to read this one. I love all of the characters and can't wait to read about the next part of their journey. I'm super thrilled to read about more romance blossoming, and I hope it isn't too clichéd.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Link me up! :)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Well hello everyone. It's the last week of the Venom Readalong and I honestly am shocked at how it just flew by. Wow. The last of the questions have been sent out, so after this week there's not much more to go. I'm seriously going to miss this.

All right, so for the last week, as promised, I'll answer a few of the questions myself.

re you right about the murderer? If not were you surprised?
I was right! :)

Now that you've met both, what Team are you?
I'm Team Luca. I think he's sweet and I love the way he makes Cass laugh. Plus, he's a bit more dangerous in some ways, and I think he's more mysterious.

Did you trust Falco the whole time?
No. I actually kind of wanted to doubt him because I actually wasn't a huge fan to be honest. I love him, but I don't love him.

Did you find the character of Siena and her habits or fancies cliché overall?
Personally I found the character of Siena very cliché in who she loves. It's just not original at all and I swear to whoever you worship that I am so sick of maids falling in love with that cliché person. Every freaking historical fiction ever I swear. Someone make it stop.

How did you feel about the Michel de Montaigne quote on the top of page 352: "Each man calls barbarism what is not his own practice, for indeed it seems we have no other test of truth and reason than the example and pattern of the opinions and customs of the country in which we live." What does that mean to you?
I love this quote. It's actually one of my favorites. (MdM is brill.) This one always reminds me of how each society considers itself the center of the world.

How did you feel about Cass essentially skipping her best friend's wedding to go look for Falco? Understandable? Unforgivable? How did you feel about her obligating Siena to cover for her?
Honestly, if my best friend skipped my wedding, our friendship would probably be over. I know why she does it, but I don't think that makes it right. Also, making Siena cover for her is wrong. If you're going to do something then you should deal with all of the ramifications.

How did you feel about Luca's reveal of his secret? Would you have been angry at him if you were Cass? Why do you think he felt he couldn't confide in her?
I don't think Luca's motives are entirely excusable but his intentions were good. I lessen the blame on him that I gave Cass in the last question simply because Luca comes across as more mature to me.

I initially wanted a different ending regarding "the boys," but came to realize that Cass's decision is kind of the ultimate girl-power choice. How did you feel about her decision?
I liked it, but at the same time it kind of drags the love triangle out, which I'm not necessarily a fan of. Even so, I do like that Cass takes control.

That was fun! And now it's your turn.

Monday, January 28, 2013
Hi there.

It's Monday again. For me, it's the start of a new semester. So, yay. I have a chance to actually pass calculus this time around. Not, strictly speaking, that you needed to know that.

I'm going to cut to the chase today.

The Uprising (The Forsaken, #2)
Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 6, 2013
For a moment, I forgot how much he loves danger. And how much he hates sitting still and not taking action.

Hmm. Okay. It took me a long time to settle on this. I really loved this book, so I'm excited to be giving it away.

So, please read my Giveaways page before entering. That's all I ask.

Here's your , loves.

Good luck, everyone, and have a lovely, sparkling week! xx



Sunday, January 27, 2013
The Distance Between Us
Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
The Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)
Stacey Kade
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: April 23, 2013
1. Never trust anyone.
2. Remember they are always searching.
3. Don’t get involved.
4. Keep your head down.
5. Don’t fall in love.
Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”
But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…
With All My Soul (Soul Screamers, #7)
Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: March 19, 2013
What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America?
It's time to kick some hellion butt...
After not really surviving her junior year (after all, she did die), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to the find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity and the rest on each other. And so she–and her gang–make plans to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.
But then she meets Wrath. And Kaylee realizes that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. Especially when one more person she loves is taken...
Saturday, January 26, 2013
In light of recent plagiarism in addition to the plagiarism that affected me, I just don't feel like posting tonight guys. I was going to review THE KILL ORDER, but I just can't do it tonight. So, instead I'll link you to the post of the affected blogger, Giselle. Expect regular scheduling to return tomorrow.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Friday, January 25, 2013
Hi there, everyone! Today I'm unveiling the cover for Prophecy of Solstice's End, the third book in the popular Oracle of Delphi series. It's an absolutely gorgeous cover, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it.

Prophecy of Solstice's End (Oracle of Delphi, #3)
Diantha Jones
Release Date: July 2013
Summer Solstice is here. Let the games begin.
Nothing but lies (some of them her own) and deceit have brought Chloe to Olympus for the Solstice Olympic Games. As the Oracle and the special guest of the King of Myth, Chloe becomes immersed in a life of unfathomable luxury, taunting history, and overwhelming excitement. Though scheming and untrustworthy, the gods remain on their best behavior as the tension and anticipation builds around the outcome of the Quest of the Twelve Labors, the deadliest competition of the Games. All seems well on the celestial front...until athletes start turning up dead and a philosopher missing for months returns with a most terrifying story...
But that’s not all.
As Strafford confronts his troubled past and more is learned about the Great Unknown Prophecy, Chloe grows close to another, setting off a chain of events that will bring her face-to-face with a truth that will rock both of her worlds to their core.
And it’ll all happen before Solstice’s end...
(Click above for Amazon links to purchase books 1 & 2)

So, there. You've seen the gorgeous cover. You have easy access to buy these books. I think I'm going to be picking this series up for sure. It sounds so deliciously entertaining and I adore mythology!


Thursday, January 24, 2013
Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)
Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

I have always, always loved the whole Sliding Doors concept, the idea that the two paths of a choice can give you entirely different lives. Wouldn't you want to see where each path would take you? For Addison Coleman, that's her reality. Pivot Point was a gorgeous work of hypotheticals that I fell in love with. With strong characters and an absolutely beautiful and original concept, Pivot Point is certainly a work that is going to stay with me for some time.

Addie is our heroine who is constantly torn between her different futures. She tries not to search her choices too much, but it is her ability and sometimes she can't resist. The problem is that sometimes the lines between her choices blur and she has a difficult time remembering which choice was the searched one and which one she actually lived. She's sensible and smart but she's also prone to listening to her heart, just like any girl. She finds herself torn between two boys and two futures, and sometimes her choices aren't all easy, but she still does what she needs to.

Though I love both boys, I have to admit I think I love Duke just a little bit more. He has some serious issues and he doesn't always do the right thing, but I think in the end his heart is in the right place. He's messed up, but that's a lot of his attraction. I think he really does care about Addie, and he's sweet in his own way. So I do love him, I really do. I think he maybe just needs to grow up a bit.
Trevor is seriously swoonworthy. Though at the beginning Addie isn't sure if he's going to be just a friend or not, it's clear that there's chemistry between them. He's open about his intentions and doesn't have any darker purposes. Though he was hurt in an accident, he's still in many ways a very ordinary (although super hot) guy. I absolutely love that he always seems to be in a very good-natured mood, and he's willing to let almost anything go. Yet he still stands up for himself, and Addie.

Originality is quite possibly the number one thing I look for in a book. I like knowing that an author is developing a new concept. While the Sliding Doors concept isn't exactly brand-new, it's also not something I can recall seeing in YA. I also love paranormal contemporary, which is what this was. So even after just the first glance, I fell in love.

I wasn't disappointed when I read it, either. Addie is a smart heroine who told her story with a reliable voice and is an entertaining but factual account. It's not a sugarcoated story. We get every stunning high and every devastating low, making it a very emotionally charged story, much more of one than I ever expected it to be. Because of this I formed a deep connection to this novel and its characters, all of whom I loved.

My main problem with this story is the world-building. It doesn't suck, but it's also not spectacular. I didn't get to know Addie's world without the compound as much as I wanted to, and I felt a deep disappointment in that. Hopefully we'll get more of that in the next book, but even so, I felt like there should have been more to it in this one. There was a bit too much mystery behind it, and I didn't like that.

Even so, despite this, I still found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable novel. We can't always be sure what is going on. Though some things were predictable, I was still kept guessing enough that I didn't feel cheated. I also liked the way Addie isn't content to just let things sit the way they are. She wants to try and figure things out, even if she can't always see the danger behind the choices she makes.

It wasn't a perfect book, but it was fabulous and nothing could keep me from loving it. The plot was executed wonderfully and it was a memorable, fun, and deep read. I really enjoyed it, and it's definitely worth the time and easily among my favorite reads of ever.

There isn't exactly a traditional love triangle in this book. Addie is torn between Duke and Trevor, but in two entirely different lives. Both boys are hot, and both care about her, but she can only choose one of them. Though it isn't entirely about love, that is a major part of it. Trevor is sweet and ordinary, while Duke is popular, a major hotshot. Both are very different, and so are their romances. With Duke, it's heated from the beginning and he doesn't hide his interest in her. Trevor starts off as a friend, but that only makes the romance all the more smoldering.

Kasie's writing is gorgeous. Truly, purely gorgeous. I love the uniqueness and vulnerability in Addie's voice. She's young, but her ability has lent her a type of wisdom that comes through the pages. I love the way the chapters are titled, too. It's clever without being overly precious. Also, I adore the sharpness of the description and the imagery it evokes. It's like I'm actually there. I think sometimes the vocabulary gets a bit simple, but it's not that big of a deal.

The ending was definitely not what I expected, but I mean that in the best way. Neither of Addie's choices are ideal, something I didn't expect but loved. In the end, there's only one future that she can accept choosing. I loved that it wasn't simply a happy-ever-after. There's still a huge mess to clean up and a lot that needs fixing but I think that Addie made the right choice, no matter what kind of bad things happened.

So yeah, I absolutely adored Pivot Point. It was a touching story of choice and sacrifice, and (this is gonna sound so cliché) an ordinary girl with extraordinary powers and the ability to see her future. I would definitely recommend it to fans of sweet romances and a love of the paranormal but also to pretty much everyone else. I will certainly be going Kasie's fan club and reading her future works in the sequel to this book.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013
All right, darlings! It's Wednesday, and here at Sparkles and Lightning we participate in the meme Waiting on Wednesdays hosted by the fantastic Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I don't know what we'd do without her sometimes. This meme is one of the best ways to discover (and gush over) newly discovered and highly anticipated for forever books both, and it's pretty fantastic. So, enough with my rambling and on to my choice!

Of Beast and Beauty
Stacey Jay
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 23, 2013
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

I've only read two books by Stacey, those being Juliet Immortal and Romeo Redeemed. I hated the latter. Liked the former well enough. So it was really a toss-up as to whether or not I was going to read this one.

But you guys, I can't resist. Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite fairytales, and I have to read this latest retelling. Plus, um, that cover? Gorgeous. So I think it's worth the risk.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Link me up! :)
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Hello, sweet things! It's week three of the Venom Readalong. Can you believe so much time has passed by already? Because I really can't. This has been such an incredible and enjoyable experience for me so far and I hope that all of you agree.

It's been a smashing success so far as I'm concerned. Reading all of your lovely answers has been the highlight of my weeks this month. Seriously. Jeez, I'm sorry. I have random mushy tendency moments on occasion. That was one of them.

Last week when I said I would answer the questions given I truly intended to. But, because of some plagiarism stuff that went on I've lost my motivation to do that and I hope you understand.

So, link up! Spread the word!  and we'll all get together and discuss like one big happy family!

Venom is starting to draw to a climax of epic proportions now, and if you haven't finished I don't doubt that you're absolutely dying to know what's going to happen next. I know I was.

Once again, comments will be closed on this post. I can be reached through email or twitter.

Monday, January 21, 2013
Okay, cupcakes. It's the beginning of yet another week. It also happens to be my finals week, since my district is majorly screwed up. So that sucks. At least today I happen to have off :)

So anyway, if I have to have finals (wish me luck!) at least I can do some happy-making with this week's Magic Monday. I love doing these fun giveaways and teasers every week. They are so much wonderful in my life.

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)
Kiersten White
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 19, 2013
But the decision is made and I know I have to cross the street and finish what I've begun. Now. I can't plan it. Planning isn't safe–it begs for Seers to spy on you. I have to just go.

I like the sound of this one. Don't you? Yeah, I like to cut lines from the middle of action. It makes things for exciting for you and more fun for me :)

So, I'd love it if you'd read my Giveaways page before entering. Pretty, pretty please, okay, snowflakes? You guys are seriously the best. Okay, so here's a little  for this week.

Good luck, roses! You guys are seriously the best. Mwah! xx

Sunday, January 20, 2013
Of Triton (Of Poseidon, #2)
Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: May 28, 2013
In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.
As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?
Dear Cassie
Lisa Burstein
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: March 5, 2013
What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?
You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
You’d be wrong.
There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.
What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?
But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.
And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?
Antigoddess (Antigoddess, #1)
Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Old Gods never die…
Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.
The Goddess War is about to begin.
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