Saturday, 30 May 2015
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is the first book of the series of the same name.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin- one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin- and his world- forever.
1. Maas does an amazing job in her new spin on the tale of Beauty and the Beast with this story. She weaves magical story with wonderful characters that had me engaged from page one. I love that she kept me guessing on what many of the characters motives for their actions were through out the story. With the deals made and things discovered in this book, I am excited to see where Maas will take the series.
2. I just love that Maas writes strong female leads. Feyre is more than capable of taking care of herself, even against the immortal fae. She faces impossible odds to save the one she loves, and does not flinch despite an almost guaranteed death sentence.
3. I loved the way that Tamlin cared for his people. It is was obvious that he was not the cold hearted Fae of legends. He faces the wrath of terrible evil to care for those around him. I really enjoyed he awkwardness around Feyre at the beginning, as if he was unsure how to handle himself around a female. As he comes to care for her, he things he does to protect her, even if it means his curse continues on, was truly sweet.
4. Maas not only does wonderful main characters, but her supporting characters are just as good. I loved Lucien's wit and sharp tongue. He made me laugh on numerous occasions, and his and Tamiln's friendship is what everyone wants in their friends. Then there is Rhysand. I cannot decide if I love or hate him yet. He definitely throws an interesting wrench into the mix, and I am excited to see where his character goes because I not quite sure where his loyalties lay. Then there is Her, a character I truly love to hate. She is cruel and powerful, and I could not help the little shiver she gave me in all her scenes.
To Read or Not to Read:
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Julie Kagawa's Rogues is the second book of her Talon Saga.
Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her- Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.
Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.
A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day... or start an all-out war?
1. This book picks up where Talon left off. There is a lot more action in this book than there was in Talon. Between rescuing Garret and running from The Order and Talon, there were several pretty intense action scenes. This book was felt more fast paced than the first book because of that.
2. It is an interesting love triangle that Kagawa has set up in this series. I honestly cannot decide who I like with Ember better. Riley/Cobalt who her dragon is drawn to. Garret who she developed feelings for over the course of her summer with him, and still likes him despite knowing his role in the Order and him being human. There just does not seem to be a clear favorite for Ember, so it will be interesting to see what Kagawa does with their stories.
3. I did love that this book gave Cobalt's backstory, and the reason why he left Talon. It gave a lot more depth to his character.
4. This book had interesting developments, not only in Ember's life, but in what Dante is doing with Talon. There are definitely some bigger secrets going on not only in Riley's rogue network, but with Talon and the Order too. I cannot wait to see how Kagawa develops those stories. Plus, why does Talon what Ember back in the organization so bad instead of just eliminating her like the other rogues. So many questions, that I am dying for the next book already.
To Read or Not to Read:
Sunday, 24 May 2015
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman is the second book of her Prisoner of Night and Fog series.
The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler's inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.
But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen's world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she'd escaped-and return to her homeland.
Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel's name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time- or will Hitler discover them first?
1. Blankman is amazing at writing historical fiction. She seamlessly builds her story around actual historical events and people. Her characters are believable in the situation, and it is not hard to imagine that they were actually there. I love that the story shows the events that allowed Hitler to come to power in Germany, and the events he used to plunge Europe into war.
2. This book hard me on the edge of my seat throughout most of it. She builds an excellent thriller in who killed the woman that Daniel is accused of murdering, and why did they do it. Multiple times, she has me wondering if Gretchen and Daniel will make it out alive.
3. I love that Gretchen and Daniel's relationship is dynamic. The grow and change during the book. While neither ever questions their love for the other, both question if they are the right person to make the other one happy. I like that they are equals in the relationship, and that each does what they can to ensure the safety of the other.
To Read or Not to Read:
Read, especially if you are a fan of historical fiction.
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Debut author Melissa Grey's The Girl at Midnight is the first book of the series of the same name.
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a their has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants... and how to take it.
But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
1. I am in love with this book. The world that Grey creates with the Avicen and their foe the Drakharin is wonderfully creative. The way they are part of our world, but hidden just makes it all the more fascinating and frankly really sparks my imagination. The story is engaging from beginning to end, and the characters are so well developed.
2. Think my favorite thing about this book is the relationships between the characters. Grey not only writes wonderful romantic attractions between characters, but she develops so many other relationship beautifully in this story including both friendships and animosities. The friendship between Echo and Ivy, dislike between Echo and Ruby do so much for the story, and go a long way to really making Echo a well rounded character. Then there is Caius and the tensions in his relationship with his sister, Tanith, and his friendship with Dorian. Plus the relationships between different characters are continually evolving throughout the story making them feel real and alive.
3. So Echo is amazing. She is courageous and smart, both street and book. She lives in the New York Public Library, which may in fact be the coolest thing ever. While she is a thief, and a damn good one at that, she has moral compass that is hard to argue with. She would doing anything for those she cares about.
4. Other random things: The cover of this book is gorgeous, and works so well for the story. Kudos to Grey to LOTR and Robert Frost references, among other things. I love that the title has significance multiple times in the book, and that Echo name really has a deeper meaning, because names have power.
To Read or Not to Read:
Sunday, 17 May 2015
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout is the first full length novel of her Covenant series.
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-- well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons, or become servants in the homes of the Pures.
Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between Pures and Halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem-- staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. It she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turning into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
1. Half-Blood picks up exactly where JLA left off in the novella Daimon. It answers a lot of questions that I had finishing the novella. Including why Alex's mother left the safety of the Covenant, and why Alex is so interesting to the daimons.
2. Anyone who reads my post on a regular bases knows I am huge fan of JLA, but in this book the society reminded me a lot of the society Richelle Mead created in Vampire Academy, with the pures ruling the halfs being security. Even the relationship between Aiden and Alex, trainer and student who attracted to each other, feels like the relationship between Rose and Dmitri. With that said, I still very much enjoyed the story as a whole.
3. I did really like Alex. I love her determination, and her wit. The things she has to deal with and she still comes out so strong make her amazing. I cannot wait to see where her story goes, especially now knowing what makes her extra special.
4. Aiden is my newest fictional crush. While he could have easily let the halfs do all the protecting, he chose to become a Sentinel and become one of the best at it. The things he does to keep Alex safe both melt and break my heart at the same time.
5. I cannot wait to see where this series goes and what happens with the characters and their development. JLA has a very interesting mix of supporting characters who add a lot to the story. There is Caleb, the best friend, that possibly has an ominous prophecy hanging over him. Seth who will definitely be playing a big role in Alex's life. Lucian, Alex's stepfather, that seems like the definition of a slimy politician, and I just don't trust what he wants out of Alex.
To Read or Not to Read:
Friday, 15 May 2015
Prudence by Gail Carriger is the first book of her The Custard Protocol series.
When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances- names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea to offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?
1. I am a big fan of Carriger's Parasol Protectorate, so I was super excited for this series. I am happy to report that book one did not disappoint in the least. Carriger brings the best of what I have come expect from her: intrigue, action, and of course, proper Victorian manners. I love the way she easily combines steampunk, paranormal, and etiquette of the Victorian age into this book. I cannot wait to see how this whole series will play out with the discoveries made in this book.
2. I loved that Carriger has the children from the Parasol Protectorate all grown up and on their own adventures in this book. It is fun to see what kid of characters they have each developed into. Rue is a wonderful combination of Alexia and Lord Maccon with just the right amount of influence of being raised with Lord Akeldama. Primrose and Percy, Ivy's twins, have quite different personalities than their mother, and each other. Then there is Quensel LeFoux is has his mother's affinity for both mechanics and flirting.
3. Carriger, also, has many of my favorite characters from Parasol make appearances, most notably Lord Akledama. I have to admit, I loved the small scene with just Alexia and Lord Maccon, and the hints of their plans and worries for Rue.
4. Their is definitely a budding romance between Rue and Quensel. I am interested to see how it will play out between them. They have some wonderful chemistry already. Plus, each seems to be able to bring out some extreme emotions in the other, from anger to joy.
5. Then there is the amazing friendship between Rue and Prim. They are what best friends and partners in crime should be. They anticipate each others needs and moods so well. They have wonderfully witty banter between them, and god help anyone that opposes them.
To Read or Not to Read:
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Fall With Me is the latest book in Jennifer L. Armentrout's Wait for You series.
Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She's been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She's sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her not once, but twice.
Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She's not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.
But Reece isn't convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn't believe him, he's not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He's already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he's not going to let history repeat itself.
1. This is JLA's new adult series, and it has hot romances and some serious action. I love both elements of this story. It may be my favorite of the series thus far, and Roxy and Reece are an awesome couple. I love that they have a long history together, since they were very young, and that they can read each other so well at times.
2. Reece is definitely my favorite guy of the series, just beating out Jase. I just have a thing for guys in uniform in the first place, plus the way he looks after Roxy is so sweet.
3. Speaking of Roxy, I probably identify with her personality the most. She is a little quirky which I love. Personally, I want her shirt collection. She is so loyal to her best friend, despite the changes the hate-crime caused in him. When she loves, she loves with her whole heart.
4. I do have to admit that Roxy's stalker gave me the creeps. The things he did to her and her apartment definitely has me checking my locks twice before I go to bed.
To Read or Not to Read:
Saturday, 9 May 2015
The final book of Gena Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles is The Queen of Zombie Hearts.
I have a plan.
We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.
Either way, only one of us is walking away.
Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leaser of the zombie slayers... until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters... and the worst has only begun.
As the surviving slayers prepare for way, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies... and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected responsible for killing- and turning- Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima- even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.
1. As I am sure you are aware by now, despite being an adult (most days), I am a big fan of YA fiction. Most have an appeal and are written well enough that the story is good no matter what the readers age is. This book is not one of those. It is as if Showalter is trying so hard to appeal to teens that she does even try for a broader range in her audience. Then the multiple passages of texting between characters, written in text speak. I am not crazy about text speak when I am texting, so I definitely don't want to read numerous times in a book. The characters are just so juvenile that it is hard to really like them.
2. I tried so hard to like Ali in this book, but I just could not. At times I can't decide if she is insure in her relationship with Cole, or is a little bit of a psycho. Multiple times in the book, she thinks about beating girls that Cole has been with in the past. Plus, she seems so one dimensional most of the book that it is hard to find something about her to like.
3. I mainly picked up this book up to finish the series. The first book was decent, the second book was okay, but this one was just bad. Time spent reading it was a waste of my life, and I am really sad that I have the compulsion to finish a book once I start it because this one would have been a prime candidate to put down for good.
To Read or Not to Read:
Don't waste your time, like I did.
Sunday, 3 May 2015
Atoning by Kelley Armstrong is a novella set after both The Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising trilogies.
Chloe and Derek have adjusted to life in Badger Lake. It's not perfect, but it's safe and they're learning the skills they'll need when it comes time to make a decision about their futures. They're comfortable and they're settled... until a weekend camping trip with Maya and Daniel reunites them with someone they thought they'd left in the past. Someone Derek really hoped they'd left in the past, because as much as this former friend might want to atone for past mistakes, she's nothing but trouble.
1. Super excited for this novella. Chloe and Derek are probably in my top five favorite YA couples. Plus, there is the bonus of seeing how their live has been since join with everyone from the Darkness Rising books and their life in Badger Lake. Love seeing how they have all become stronger and learned to use their strengths to their advantage.
2. Chloe and Derek have really become quite strong in their relationship, and know how to compliment each other so well. I love that they understand what the other needs sometimes without even word, and how they do the simplest things for each other.
3. I think my favorite part of this story was when Derek, Chloe, Maya, and Daniel don't trust that Mereno is not the mole, and he is so proud of them for it. I was pretty much laughing out loud at the whole exchange.
Poll for all my readers (which may only be my mother): Who are your favorite Young Adult fiction couples?
My top five:
1. Clary & Jace- The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Claire
2. Katy & Daemon- Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout
3. Chloe & Derek-The Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong
4. Karou & Akiva- Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
5.June & Day- Legend by Marie Lu
To Read or Not to Read:
Saturday, 2 May 2015
I Am Her Revenge is by debut author Meredith Moore.
She can be anyone you want her to be.
Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is veritable weapon of deception.
And she can destroy anyone.
When it's time to strike, she enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother's heart twenty years ago.
Anyone...expect for the woman who created her.
With every secret she uncovers, Vivian comes one step closer to learning who she really is. But the more she learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.
1. Moore does an great job of writing a tale with so many twist and turns. Not everything is what is seems, and so few know the whole truth, including Vivian. While the beginning dragged at times, once the reason's for Mother's need for revenge really start to unfold, it becomes quite the page turner. The things leaned in the end are shocking to say the least.
2. I have to admit, that in the beginning, I was not a fan of Vivian. She is a cold tool molded by Mother, and does not care who gets hurt to carry out the revenge. Once her true self starts to leak through the facade that Mother has created on her, she becomes much more interesting for me. The passion she has for drawing, and as she learns to care for both Claire, her roommate, and Ben, the boy she is suppose to destroy, she becomes more human, more of her own person.
3. From the very beginning Mother was a character that I loved to hate. It was obvious that Vivian was never more than a tool for her, to discarded if she was no longer useful. As the story unfolds and it is reveled just how depraved Mother really is, she honestly starts sending chills down my spine.
4. Moore writes an interesting pair of boys for Vivian. First there is Ben, her target, the seemingly nice and outgoing popular boy at school. He easily falls for the persona that Vivian presents to him. Him caring for her, and his attitude toward their relationship really help to crack Vivian's resolve on the revenge plot. Then there is Arthur, the boy from her past. He knows Vivian better than she knows herself at times, and cares for her anyway. It is him that she runs to when she needs help. It is pretty obvious that there is something deeper between them.
To Read or Not to Read: