Saturday, 29 August 2015



Spelled is by debut author Betsy Schow.

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #2: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks.  Dorthea is completely princes out.  Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks- like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Loutboutin heels.  But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily every after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Not it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse... before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

The Breakdown:
1. Schow uses elements of many fairytales, and pulls heavily from the Wizard of Oz, to create Spelled. The story has quite the magical adventure.  To keep it interesting, Schow does not always make it clear who are friends and who are foes.  I love that the cover and shoes that Dorthea wears pay respect both to the book and movie Wizard of Oz, because int the book they are silver and the movie, of course, they are the iconic ruby slippers.

2. I have to admit as was not a fan of Dorthea at first.  She is epitome of a spoiled princess who does not realize how good she has it. Even after her wish curses all of Story, she does accept any responsibility for her actions.  But she does start to question her role in the story, even wondering if she is not the heroine but rather the villain. She does prove to have courage and a kind heart in the end.

3. I would not say that Kato is your typical prince.  He is not looking to save Dorthea, but rather thinks she has a purpose to serve.  He and Dorthea understandable, dislike each other quiet a bit at first.  I like that they are not love at first site couple.  It takes them getting to know each other for them to develop feelings for each other.

4.  Schow adds quiet the cast of supporting characters.  From Rexi the kleptomaniac kitchen girl that becomes Dorthea and Kato's companion on the adventure to the Wizard of Is, who is in love with Dorthea and is more than he seems. The different characters definitely keep the story interesting. And of course, there is Griz, the wicked witch, that gives Dorthea the cursed star.

5. The story has a pretty great adventure, some pretty funny parts,  and quite the ending. Schow has definitely left a big hint that this book will be a series.

To Read or Not to Read:

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Midnight Thief

Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1)

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne is the first book of a series of the same name.

Growing up on Forge's streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin.  And when that's not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her to take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates.  She knows how to get by on her own, and she's not sure she wants to play by his rules.  But he's persistent- and darkly attractive- and Kyra can't quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission.  After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthristy wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down.  But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival- and vengeance- might be to join forces.  And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra's past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

The Breakdown:
1. Blackburne's story was fantastic.  It was engaging from beginning to end.  She paints an interesting picture of the city of Forge, where there is quite the divide between the haves and the have nots.  I also love that the story comes from the perspective of a person on each end of the spectrum.

2. Kyra is an interesting character.  While she has no problem with being a thief, she definitely has issues with killing.  She cares deeply for those close to her.  She can be very impulsive at times, but is quite street smart, and talented.

3. Compared to Kyra, Tristam appears to be more even keeled. He knows his path, and is determined to do his duty.  It is Kyra that has him questioning things around him, and even bringing out a little rebellion in his nature.

4.  I like that while there is a subtle attraction between Kyra and Tristam, especially toward the end, the story does not revolve around their romance.  It focus mostly on Kyra, her secrets and her past. I like the interesting twist that Blackburne has, and I am interested to see what happens in the next book.

To Read or Not to Read:

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The New Order

The New Order (The Young World, #2)

Chris Weitz The New Order is the second book of The Young World trilogy.

Jefferson and Donna were sure the arrival of the military meant an end to this nightmare- a hellish two years full of enemy gangs, gunfire, and lost loved ones.  But the cruel plans the government has for the remaining teens are beyond anything they could've imagined.

All Jefferson and Dona want is to have a future with each other, but fate has different plans, and they soon find themselves pulled apart.  Jefferson returns to New York City with a cure for the Sickness, and a hope to unite all the tribes.  And Donna finds herself in England, facing an unimaginable world.

With the help of new and familiar faces, their survival and the hope for a new world hang in a delicate balance.  Can the two reunite and prevent an even greater disaster than the Sickness?

The Breakdown:
1. It took me a little longer to really get into this book than the first book, but once Weitz gets into the meat of the story, it gets hard to put down.  I loved learning about the world outside of New York and how they handled the Sickness.

2. Love how Weitz gives Donna and Jefferson such distinct voices in their own chapters.  In this book, other characters start getting their own chapters, and they are just as unique as the original characters.  Although, it was a little rough reading Brainbox's chapters.

3.  I loved that there were deeper agenda's going with both Donna's group in England and Jefferson's in New York.  This gave the story some real depth, and really threw some surprise punches in there.  Again, with the ending, Weitz has me dying for the next book.

To Read or Not to Read:

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Heart of Betrayal

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson is the second book of her Remnant Chronicles.

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's estwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rage, who lied to Lia, but has sacrifices his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life;, and the Vendas, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians.  Not that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth.  Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

The Breakdown:
1. Pearson has out done herself with the second book of the Remnant Chronicles. The books picks up pretty much where The Kiss of Deception left off.  She does an amazing job of building Venda and the people of it. At the same time, she continues to bring to new dimensions to her already existing characters.

2. I love that Lia continues to explore her gift and grow in it in this book. She is also learning to play the political game so well in this book.  Plus, I love the way she grows to care for the people of Venda.

3. I really enjoyed learning more about Kaden in this book.  Pearson revealed his past, and why he is so loyal to the Komizar.  Plus, I love the way he starts to question the motives of the Komizar and growing more into his own person.

4. I did feel like I did not love Rafe as much in this book.  Not that he wasn't great, because, he was, but I felt like he was not fleshed out as much as Lia and Kaden in this book.  Although, Pearson did explore how good he is at playing the role need to accomplish his goal, and what an excellent soldier he is.

5. Wow, the things that are learned about Venda, it's origins and the prophecies, and the secrets between Venda and Morrighan were quite shocking.  Oh, and that ending, Pearson has me dying to know what will happen in the next book.

To Read or Not to Read:
Must Read