Thursday, 29 September 2016


Blackhearts (Blackhearts, #1)

Blackhearts is by debut author Nicole Castroman and is the first book in a series of the same name.

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England? 

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

The Breakdown:
1. Castroman was another author that I had the pleasure of seeing at the Decatur Book Festival.  I loved hearing how she was inspired by Blackbeard's story and what possibly made him the pirate he was.  She was especially inspired by his ship's flag. See below:
Image result for queen anne's revenge flag

2.  I really loved this characters of this story. Both Anne and Teach were dynamic characters and each trying to make their way in the world.  Anne who feels out of place, especially since the death of her parents, and desperately wants to find a place where she belongs.  Teach who longs to be at sea, but father wants grander things for him. They form an unlikely friendship that eventually lead to deeper feelings.

3.  This book has several interesting twist and turns to it.  Castroman kept me guessing on who could be trusted and who could not. Then there is Teach's father, who mostly seems like a cold hearted man set on advancing his place in society, but then there are moments where he seems not so bad.

To Read or Not to Read:

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, #2)

Imprudence by Gail Carriger is the second book of  The Custard Protocol series.

London is in chaos.

Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.

Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.

When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?

The Breakdown:
1. I find Carriger's writing very entertaining with the steampunk elements and the most ridiculous situations that the characters manage to get into. There is rarely a dull moment, even at tea times, in her books. I especially loved the continuity in this book with the final book of  The Parasol Protectorate.

2.  I find the interactions between Rue and Quesnel most enjoyable.  They have such chemistry together.  Plus, it is humorous to see how clueless Rue can be about Quesnel's feelings for her. Oh, and when you throw her parents into the mix of their relationship, it can get quite interesting.

3.  There was quite a bit of action in this book.  The Spotted Custard seemed to be under attack at every turn.  It made for an interesting mystery as to who it was and what where their motives. It really was an exciting ending, and cannot wait for the next book.

4. Oh, and bonus in this book, find out who Lord Akeldama was in his mortal life, and why he is so good at strategy.

To Read or Not to Read:

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Shadow Hour

The Shadow Hour (The Girl at Midnight, #2)

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey is the second book of her Girl at Midnight series.

A battle has been won. But the war has only just begun.

Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.

The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.

Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome.

She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.

Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature—or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what’s left of her world to the ground?

Welcome to the shadow hour.

The Breakdown:
1.  In the first book, Grey was a little more focused on the world building and the search of the firebird.  I felt this book was more about furthering the development of the characters.  Delves deeper in the the characters, especially those of Echo and Jasper, and interesting enough, Tanith, in this book.

2.  I really liked the development of the firebird, and that the firebird is not a lone entity. I loved the concept that along with the firebirds light, comes a darkness.  It presents an interesting challenge for Echo, and makes sense with the concept that the universe needs balance.

3. Real talk: as much as I loved Echo, Caius and Rowan in the mountain scenes, I think the biggest scene steal belongs to Ivy when she stands up to Tanith. Ivy shows amazing growth and bravery in that scene, and I just wanted to yell "You Go Girl" at her then.

4. I was not a Tanith fan in the first book, but the things she does for power, really makes me love to hate her. Grey not only shows what she did to oust Caius for Dragon Prince, but the lengths Tanith goes to obtain even more power are frightening. She is one scary lady.

To Read or Not to Read:

Sunday, 11 September 2016


Soldier (Talon, #3)

Julie Kagawa's Soldier is the third book in her The Talon Saga.

The price of freedom is everything.

When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.

As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragonslayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon’s new order rises.

The Breakdown:
1.  In this book, I feel like that Kagawa not only took me on an emotional roller coaster ride, but kept shocking me with new information about St. George, Talon, and dragons in general. There was rarely a dull moment in this book.

2. I loved the new character of Jade.  She is an Eastern dragon, and very different from the dragons that Kagawa has introduced before, both those in Talon and the rogues. I really liked her sense of zen and loyalty, and hope to see more of her in future books.

3. I enjoyed getting Garret's back story in this book, and how he came into the Order of St. George. Oh, and what a bomb Kagawa drops on the reader at the end about Garret's  family.  It left me a more than a little stunned.

4.  I kind of liked getting more of Dante's perspective in this book.  It not only sheds some light on the shadiness at Talon, but at times he is not as heartless at he appears to be.  Although, he does seem to struggle with his conscience, he does appear to be a Talon man all around.

To Read or Not to Read:

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

This Savage Song

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab is the first book of Monsters of Verity series.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. 

The Breakdown:
1. First off, I need to fangirl for a moment.  I had the pleasure of hearing Ms. Schwab speak this past weekend at the Decatur Book Festival.  I loved hearing about her writing habits and the reasons why she makes her characters on the darker side. If you are a lover of books and reading, you should definitely check out the Decatur Book Festival next year.

2.  I loved this book. I thought the setting was perfect and the characters where wonderfully complex. I really liked that the story showing that the world is not black and white, and that monsters can be human, and that humanity can be found in monsters.

3. I was enthralled by the characters of Kate and August. Kate, who so desperately wants to impress her father that she is willing to do monstrous things to belong.  August who is a monster, but wants to be human.  They form an unlikely alliance that leads them to friendship. I like that Schwab does not force a romance between them.

4.  One of my favorite things about this book is when Schwab explains how the monsters are made. The different kinds of monsters are made from human crime/violence.  It really speaks to humans being the root of all monsters.

To Read or Not to Read:
Must Read

Friday, 2 September 2016

The Inquisition

The Inquisition (Summoner, #2)

Taran Matharu's The Inquisition is the second book of his Summoner series.

A year has passed since the Tournament.

Fletcher and Ignatius have been locked away in Pelt’s dungeons, but now they must face a trial at the hands of the Inquisition, a powerful institution controlled by those who would delight in Fletcher’s downfall.

The trial is haunted by ghosts from the past with shocking revelations about Fletcher’s origins, but he has little time to dwell on them; the graduating students of Vocans are to be sent deep into the orc jungles to complete a dangerous mission for the king and his council. If they fail, the orcish armies will rise to power beyond anything the Empire has ever seen.

With loyal friends Othello and Sylva by his side, Fletcher must battle his way to the heart of Orcdom and save Hominum from destruction…or die trying

The Breakdown:
1. I think I enjoyed this book more than the first book of the series.  Matharu has matured as a writer, and that brings more development to his characters. I really like where he took the story in this book, and he definitely had some good twist in it.

2.  In the first book, the war with the Orc's is there in the background, but Matharu definitely put it at the forefront with this book.  Sending Fletcher and his friends behind Orc lines on an important mission. I love he gave a view of Orc life, both before the war started, and how it is now.  I liked the heavy Aztec influences in the Orc's ceremonies.

3. I enjoyed finding out about Fletcher's origins in this book.  While not completely surprised by it, it was a good fit for the story.  Plus it does play a big part in the end. Also thought that Matharu did a good job of maturing Fletcher  as a leader and his feelings for his friends.

4. I have to say my biggest complaint about this book is that Matharu sometimes spends too much detailing plants and animals that are encountered in the jungle. Oh, and that the ending has me dying for the next book, talk about a bit of a cliffhanger.

To Read or Not to Read: