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Haven by D.C. Akers Book Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I just finished reading the first two books in the Haven series, for free recently. The synopsis for both books sounded appealing to me, so I really wanted to read them:

Haven Series Collection (Books 1 & 2)

 Known as a place of refuge, Haven is a sanctuary for those with supernatural abilities. Decades of peace between the Witches, Vampires, Goblins, Elves, and Orcs is coming to an end. Now the once tranquil world is shrouded in deception and corruption. Dark secrets tear at the very fabric of their alliance, giving way to an evil that stirs in the shadows. Exhilarating and utterly gripping, the HAVEN series is an action-packed journey full of suspense, magic, mystery, and intrigue
A Stranger Magic (Book One Synopsis)-
Sam Dalcome thinks he is so completely average that no one ever notices him. Until he discovers a mysterious stranger outside his home. Bewildered, he tries to uncover the stranger’s intentions. But Sam is sidetracked when he and his friend Travis discover a secret passageway deep in the town’s quarry that leads to a hidden cavern. What they uncover next will not only change their lives forever, but will uncover the first clue to a deadly Dalcome family secret. Sam finds himself drawn into a world of mystery and magic he never knew existed, which brings him closer to a destiny he never knew was possible.
Revenge of The Viper (Book Two Synopsis)-
The Great War of Haven ended thirteen years ago but Alisa Dalcome is about to discover that the war did not end for her. Placed on Earth as a sleeper agent for the Majesty of Haven, Alisa had one objective—protect the portal keys at all costs. In the wrong hands the magical keys could jeopardize the safety of everyone on Haven. But Alisa’s relocation was more than just Majesty business; it was also a chance for her to escape her enemies, enemies that still wanted her dead. Alisa wasn’t thinking about herself when she left Haven, she was thinking about her children Sam and Sarah. The Great War had already taken her husband Rylan; she would be damned if she would let it take her children too. But what Alisa didn’t count on was her inquisitive son Sam and his friend Travis. Sam’s world has turned upside down after discovering magic is real. After barely escaping the caves Sam begins to piece together the past day’s events when he stumbles onto his mother’s secret past. With the clues mounting, Sam must dig deeper to uncover the truth that could change his life forever.
But Sam doesn’t realize that his mother’s past has already caught up with them. Hidden within the shadows nearby is Haven’s most malevolent predator—the Viper. A hunter forged from the blackest of magic, it watches, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Can Sam uncover the truth in time or will his mother’s past collide with the present placing them all in grave danger?
The first book was shorter than the second, and to me, at first, it reminded me a bit of several teen books that I’ve read before. A not so popular boy, his popular sister, and their hard working mom are all going on with their normal lives (or at least what appears to be perfectly normal at first), until some pretty strange stuff starts happening. Once the weird stuff started happening I got really into the book. I love books with twists, with magic, strange occurrences, etc. This normal little family ends up being a lot more unique than you would have expected from the beginning of the book.

The writing in both books flows well, good story line, a lot of little surprises. There is a nice mix of horror, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy elements in the book. There were a few creepy visuals (I always love that since I’m such a horror fanatic), some Lord of The Rings type characters, and more. There is quite a bit of drama and sadness toward the end, but it will keep you wanting more. And honestly, if you have no idea what’s going on in the first book, please do read the second book, which is not only better than the first, but it also explains things that are going in more detail.
Nerdy Sam and popular Sarah are nothing like what they first appear to be...
I enjoyed both books and would love to read the next. I got really into the story and would love to know where the characters are going, and what they're going to do next. Will Sam be the hero?

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