Review | Stained (Stained, #1)


Author: Ella James
Series: Stained, #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Barkley’s Books
Publication Date: August 16th, 2012
Format: ebook
Source: Mark My Words Book Publicity
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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After a fire destroys seventeen-year-old Julia’s home and kills her foster parents, she chases the half-demon responsible across the country and back, determined to avenge her family and discover why a host of celestial baddies want her dead. With Julia is enigmatic hottie – Cayne, who has his own score to settle with the half-demon, and who might be just as dangerous as the creature he and Julia hunt.

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** I received a copy of Stained from Mark My Words Book Publicity in exchange for an honest review.**

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First Impression

You can never be too sure of what to expect when you start a new book. Although I read the synopsis, I found it very vague and still didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Was I walking into an Angels vs. Demons version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Or is this the Angel and Demon version of Twilight?

Opening Lines

The monster clawed the dark sky, hissing and spitting and belching ash. Its fat orange talons twisted the little house until it cracked, until the walls caved and the roof collapsed.”

The Good

  • Descriptive & Action – I enjoyed Ella’s descriptions. It was easy for me to visualize what was taking place throughout the whole novel. Just take the quote above as an example! As for the action, the fighting scenes between Samzaya and Cayne and other Nephilims were well written. There was a decent balance between the action scenes and the rest of the story.
  • Romance – Romance? What romance? No I’m kidding there was some. Thank you for not making it an insta-love driven book! At the beginning she points out he’s hot and how nervous she gets around him but Julia gradually deals with her feelings towards Cayne. And while Cayne tries to fight his feeling for Julia he finally gives in…towards the END of the book…hmph.
  • The EndingCLIFFHANGER!!! Yep, she gave us a cliffhanger as an ending, which I think was a great way to tie up a first book in a series. The cliffhanger that was given was perfect, if she chose anything else it wouldn’t have flowed well.
  • References – I know I said it in my first impressions that I wasn’t sure it I would be getting the Angel vs. Demons version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Twilight, but this book ACTUALLY made a reference to both!! I actually giggled over this for probably 2 minutes.

Are you the reason that I haven’t had a breakdown—because you hypnotized me?”
“I can’t do it with you.”
“Oh, and I believe that, Edward.”
Twilight!” He didn’t seem to recognize it. “You’ve never heard of Twilight?”
Amazing. “Well whatever. I still don’t believe you.”


Julia saw a flash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and laughed, half ecstatic, half terrified. “You can’t be serious.”

The Bad

  • The Beginning – The first part of Chapter 1 was solid! I can’t say the same for the second part of Chapter 1, I felt like there was too much information that Ella James just crammed into the first 3 chapters. I was extremely confused with the description of her ‘Sight’ and felt like it could have been explained and portrayed better.

The In-Between

  • POV – Once I got about 10 chapters in I kept hoping it would switch to Cayne’s perspective, but it didn’t. After awhile I was getting tired of Julia’s perspective, not that I found her annoying but Stained had the perfect set up to have a duel POV. Also, some of the details that were given made more sense to come from Cayne. I had to wait until Chapter 27 to finally get his POV and that bothered me. Also, I felt that the chapter that brought in Nathan was random! I sat there thinking, “Who the heck is this guy!” I ended up rereading the chapter prior thinking I missed something.
  • Editing – I know every book has them, but this book had some serious grammatical and formatting errors. Not bad enough to the point that you can’t read the book, but bad enough that you constantly notice them.
  • History Lesson 101 – Similar to the beginning I had no clear understanding of Julia’s ‘Sight’ or the whole Nephilim thing. I felt like I needed a crash course history lesson to bring me up to par since no real background was given.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Stained was an interesting book. It had its flaws but those won’t deter rate me from reading the rest of the series! So if you’re looking for a YA – Fantasy with a little bit of romance I would recommend giving Stained a read!

*All quotes came from Ella James. “Stained.” iBooks.*

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3.5 Stars

Thanks for stopping by!



One thought on “Review | Stained (Stained, #1)

  1. You won me with your ”The Good” even if your ”The Bad” was very constructive. The weaknesses don’t seem that important, even if they’re noticeable, for me to not read this book, so I think I’ll give this a try whenever I’ll stumble upon it! And, ahahahaa, are you a medium/psychic or something, Patty? Haha, that’s so awesome! I love Buffy’s character! 😉
    Fab review and your blog is delightful by the way! 🙂

    Lola @Seeing Night Reviews

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