Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Masquerade by Cambria Hebert

Title: Masquerade
Author: Cambria Hebert
Series: Heaven & Hell #1
Pages: 360
Publisher: Otherworld Publications
Date Published: December 16, 2011
Format: eBook
Genre: Paranormal (YA)
Source: Bought from Amazon!

Everything was so much better Before. I wasn’t haunted by nightmares, my place at school was secure and my face was flawless. Now, I’m a freak and everything has changed. The worst part is that I can’t remember the night I was sentenced to the shadows. The memory has been stolen from me and I just can’t shake the feeling that someone, something is out there -watching. Just when I think I have my life handled, Sam, with his intimidating golden stare and shiver inducing voice, makes me realize that I don’t know anything. He makes me see that my scars don’t matter. That they never mattered. I can’t help but fall for him, completely unknowing that he knows exactly how I got this way. Not knowing he was involved.

My Review:
I originally started this book to be part of the Read-Along hosted by a bunch of fab book bloggers that I know and love :) Read-Alongs are some of my favorite things to do with the blog. Not only do you get to read a book much more in depth than sometimes you normally would (especially me...I read basically a book a day on good weeks so it's nice to sometimes stop and smell the roses so to speak ) but I love getting to know fellow bloggers on a much more personal level, and the authors sometimes participate too...which makes them seem like actual people...who'da thunk it? But yeah...Unfortunately, I tend to cheat on read-alongs because I get so wrapped up in the story that I can't bear to leave it for another week and that is exactly what happened with this book. There is a ton of creativity and originality here and I couldn't stop myself from reading right until the end.

I don't want to give away a HUGE chunk of the plot, but Sam is definitely not human....and he's not a paranormal beastie that I've ever encountered before. *GASP* How is this possible? You are all probably thinking to yourselves...Am I not on Unabridged Andra's....the place where every other book is a Paranormal book of some sort? What kind of creature has Andra not possibly read before??'ll have to read Masquerade to find out :) I will say that I was really caught off guard by what Sam was and I thought it was so freaking awesome after the shock wore off.

I have to say that I was kind of upset by how long it took to figure out what kind of beastie Sam was, let alone The Hate and The Hope which took another 25% of the book to finally reveal what they were. One thing I absolutely can't STAND is when the author leaves you in the dark about something for too long. I mean, I was more than halfway through the book and I still didn't know what kind of paranormal creature I was dealing with. Was it Angels? Demons? Werewolves? Some freaky combination of the three? It seriously bugs me when you are left struggling to understand what's going on, and you kind of feel almost betrayed by the narrator once they finally decide to let you in and tell you what the heck you've been reading about the whole time. You wonder if you can trust the narrator if they've "lied" to you for the last 100 pages...I felt this kind of betrayal from Sam and I questioned his motives for a long time before I could trust him again.

O.EM.GEE...Heaven's Mom was terrible! She doesn't have much depth to her other than being a devout Christian because her husband was shot and killed, yet she plays a huge part in antagonizing Heven. She certainly doesn't act very Christianly...especially to her own daughter. I was appalled when Heven's mom blamed Heven's scars on her "being marked by evil." What the hell kind of crap is that? No mother, let alone a CHRISTIAN mother, (unless we're in the deep DEEP South) would claim that an innocent teenager who got attacked when walking home from the library was evil BECAUSE THEY WERE ATTACKED...I say again WHAT the EFF?  Poor Heven having to deal with a mom like that is a trial enough...forget the murderous hell hounds on her trail...she should get an award for dealing with mommy dearest for 17 years. It's a good thing she has such a great grandmother to watch out for her...I would hate to think of being forced to live with a mom who thinks I'm much therapy will Heven NEED when she's
I give Masquerade 3.5 out of 5 Keys! It was definitely a good read, but it wasn't as good as some others in the genre. I loved that Cambria stepped outside the norms for paranormal creatures, delving into Gryffins, Changelings, Hellhounds, Angels, Demons, spirits, etc. There was a cool interplay between characters and monsters that I found really cool. However, I felt that the characterization of both Heven and Sam was a little weak. Dialogue was a tad too cliche and choppy for my tastes. You know...the " You can't LEAVE *moody pout* I LURVE you!" No! *gasp* You've never loved me! Why would you have lied about what you are??? *runs away*"....I kind of ended up rolling my eyes and being like...Seriously??...way too much to rate the book higher. I also frequently found myself feeling like I was in a cheesy soap opera with clipped and insincere dialogue that left a lot to be desired. I would say that you should definitely give this book a chance, but don't dump the top books in your TBR pile just to get to it. It's one of those books that you are justified in waiting until it's on sale or you can get it from a friend or the library.


  1. I am really interested in this book. I will read it eventually. Great review!

  2. People love this series, for the most part. I have been told several times that I need to read it already. I think I will do that soon, but it is nice to read a review that talks about some of the not so great things so I don't go in with quite as high expectations. Thank you!