Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves

                Welcome to Stacking the Shelves was created by Tynga and the full details can be found on her page here.  Basically you showcase the books you bought or received each week.  Little, or not so little, weekly book hauls.  These are all the books I have gotten this week!

Physical Books:
Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard
United (Alienated #3) by Melissa Landers
The IronTrial (Magisterium #1) & The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium #2) by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
History IsAll You Left Me by Adam Silvera

A Crown ofWishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2)by Roshani Chokshi

Abandoned by Elisa Dane

Rebel ofthe Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alwyn Hamilton
Reign ofShadows (Reign of Shaows #1) by Sophie Jordan
A Court ofThorns & Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J. Maas

               That's it for this week.  Share a link below with what goodies you got.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

                So I’ve had these books for a while, 2014 actually but like a good portion of my library I had not yet read them.  I got them back before YALLfest when I was determined to read all of them and more, seriously my amazon bill around then was insane!  I didn’t make my goal and they have been waiting to be picked up for some time.  So now as I am attending ApollyCon2017 in March and the third book in the spin off Titan series is going to be released I figure I should catch up so I don’t get spoiled.  Side note, anyone attending ApollyCon let me know I’d love to make sure we met up!  So here are my thoughts on book one in the Covenant series, Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Rating: 5 Stars

                Basically this is a world of Pures’ who have a type of elemental magic thanks to their originating from Gods and mortals making babies; and Half-Bloods, the product of a Pure and a mortal, who have no elemental control but they have the added benefit of being able to see through daimon covers.  This along with their strength to fight make them valuable, but not equal.  Oh yeah daimons are evil ones who search out Pure and Half-Blood to suck out and feed on their either in a very painful way.  Pure’s rule things and Half’s either train to be guards or sentinels or becoming doped up servants.  Our MC Alexandria, Alex, wants to fight daimons not waste away as a servant but that is always a possibility if you break the rules.  Several rule their lives but the most important rule of all is to know your place below all Pures’ no relationships between the groups what so ever among other things.  So that makes things difficult when Alex has to train with her long time crush, super-hot Pure Aiden.  She has to catch up and stay alive while avoiding breaking too many rules.   

                So I’ll go ahead and say first thing I did see a lot of similarities in some parts with another book/series I LOVE, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.  And you know what?  I didn’t mind.  I loved Vampire Academy and while some things seemed somewhat similar they were different and unique to this story.  Plus come on it’s very rare to find a book/series that doesn’t in some way remind you of something else if you read the same genre a lot.  It’s about making your book/series stand out and Half-Blood did that for me.

                Alex is a strong force of nature whom we meet in a pickle.  We learn about the world rather quickly and it develops overtime and I love how we were taught about the world in a way of others reminding Alex the way of things.  The world isn’t fair.  Half’s are royally screwed.  Become a fighter to risk your life daily or become a slave.  What are those options?  That is something that really drew me in.  Then adding in another, Seth the Apollyon, a Half with power over all elements making him more powerful than a Pure.  Still because he is a Half he is treated like one.  This whole Half/Pure dynamic is really intriguing to me.  I don't agree with it and some of the "rules" really hit some buttons for me but that is what brought it world to life and differentiated it. 

                I love Alex's strong willed and stubborn nature even when at times I feel she is a bit to stubborn about the wrong things.  She  is wild and over the course of the story and working with Aiden who is much more by the book.  He has his own dark past and his own issues but it's fun getting to know him as Alex does, as more than the obscenely hot Pure training her.  He has depth.  I like the combination of them together.

                 Another character I just adored is Caleb.  OMG he is so much fun.  He is the best friend who is strong and solid and down for anything and will stand by you.  But best of all is that is all there was.  Friendship.  No undertones of romance between them on either side.  I liked that they were straight up friends only, brother and sister vibes going on.  And then we have Seth.  He is not my favorite.  Maybe because he just knows how to push Alex's buttons and as we see from her perspective if feels like our buttons as well.  Maybe I was just on edge the whole time because of the rules, I would be royally screwed let me just tell you.

                The overall story, I feel like we covered so much.  There are some developments and things that happened I did not see coming.  And some things I saw I didn't see happening in that way which shocked my socks off.  I loved the action and pacing of the book.  There is always something keeping you going and unable to stop from the character conflicts, romance, tension, action, and intrigue you stay keyed up.  Just when you think you get a moment of rest it knocks you with something else to keep you going in a different way.  I loved it.  I literally dove into book two as soon as this ended.  I only took long enough to make a note where it ended and my final thoughts so I would know where I ended and where to begin my next review which I should have up before long.   Highly recommend.

                Until next time…

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

~Waiting on Wednesday~ A Crown of Wishes (Star-Touched Queen #2)

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

A Crown of Wishes (Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi
Out: 3/28

From Goodreads:
                The new novel follows Gauri, the younger sister of the titular Star-Touched Queen, on her harrowing quest for freedom.

                When Gauri, the princess of Bharata, is captured by her kingdom’s rivals she can only find help in Vikram, the cunning prince of an enemy kingdom.  Unsatisfied with royal life, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess.  They set aside their difference and team up to compete in the Tournament of Wishes, wherein the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.  Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength.  But what Gauri and Vikram soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
Why I’m Waiting:
                This is a companion book to The Star-Touched Queen (review) and something I heard about when the first book came out following the life of a character we only got a small piece of which interested me because she seemed so interesting and had clearly had a lot of stories so seeing she gets her own story is even better!   

                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books

                Hello everyone!  Top Ten Tuesday is just how it sounds, a topic is picked and we put our Top Ten for that in a post and share and check out everyone’s answers.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

The top ten today is:  Underrated books I’ve found in the last year

Rebel’s Honor (Crown of Blood #1) by Gwynn White
Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea #1) by Jennifer Ellision
Hemlock series by Kathleen Peacock
Blackhearts (Blackhearts #1) by Nicole Castroman
Defiance series by C.J. Redwine
Worldwalker trilogy by Josephine Angelini
These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) by Tarun Shanker
Supremacy (Supremacy #1) by Christin Lee
All the Feels by Danika Stone
The Carver by Jacob Devlin

                 What books have I been missing out on?  Tell me what you think of my list in the comments below.  Also please link back to your Top Ten as well so I can check out your list and see what I missed!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bones #3)

                Hello happy readers!  Another series I finished at the end of 2016 and also something that really got me into audiobook as more than just in the car type of things is Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  Now I enjoyed reading the first book but when I went to the audiobook for the sequel having trips and lots of hours in a car planned I think I enjoyed it a bit more.  So when it came time to finish out the series with Dreams of Gods and Monsters, you know I had to audiobook it.  So I’m happy to share my thoughts and feels on the last book I finished in 2016.  I previously reviewed Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Days of Blood & Starlight

Rating:  5 Bruxis

                So when we left off in Days of Blood & Starlight Karou had just ended the evil and horrid Thiago and worked the best out of it placing sweet Ziri inside the body to help steer the course into something that will not destroy everyone.  The deception is hard, maintaining expectations while trying to be different is a delicate line.  Enemies must work together to fight a larger threat with Jael with his Razgut helper and his army have made it into the human world causing a large amount of trouble.  So much is happening you need to buckle up.

                Like the first two books there is just something beautiful about the writing.  It's lyrical almost.  I love it.  High props to that and the audiobook was on point I loved the different accents and voices used for the characters and given that characters are from different worlds and places I thought it was well done.  My favorite voice was Zuzana though!  OMG I loved when she came on, not just because she might be my favorite character but the voice used for her just made me want to keep hearing more.  Seriously as Zuzana and Mik were the resident humans I connected with them, well that and they were just so darn cute.  Even when things got super bad and intense they stood by Karou!  That is serious friendship.  They also offer great comedic relief, they know they aren't warriors like everyone surrounding them but they are not easily dissuaded and speak their mind.  Plus the tasks Mik is set to complete, awe! 

                We also get to meet a new character in this, Eliza.  She has a secretive back story from the start and you want to know more and see how she will play in and interact with the story as a whole.  We also see more of others we only heard about, the Stelians.  With them comes so much more information about the world as a whole things are not just Eretz and human world but much much larger.  Added more depth to the story and for the most part I enjoyed them, though I did have some lingering questions. 

               Ziri was a huge favorite as well last book and in this, finally having lost his original form, to give it up the last of his kind to become someone so evil and hateful.  It was so bittersweet to see Ziri as Thiago.  His personality is just so much different from his and to be stuck without wings when you long to fly would be hardest of all.  Ziri is doing the best he can for his people no matter the cost.  Liraz also grew on me.  I enjoyed her well enough in the last book but she was still a bit too standoffish to really get to know and while she is still her, we see so much more of her.  Losing Hazael in the last book really hit her hard.  Seeing more from her perspective and her interactions with some of the characters really made me ache for her as well.  Towards the end though….just wow.

                This all started and I fell in love with the quote.  So of course Karou and Akiva are front and center.  Both are leaders of their own people.  Karou, secretly anyways, leading the chimaera and Akiva with the Misbegotten.  Things between them are so difficult.  So much in the way but yet you see the yearning on both sides.  Seeing from both POVs and seeing what the other wants and thinks and how actions are perceived you just want to reach into the book and push them together to talk!  Their moments are so heartbreakingly sweet.  I love their story and how no matter the challenges and hardships they still have hope. 

                This series was amazing.  I had a few unanswered questions at the end which I would like to have more clarification on.  Especially some of the newer information we were given into the world as a whole I wish we had more time to learn more but I'm not unhappy.  Just questions I would like to know like what ever happened to the ill fated Kaz from book one did her get his?  What about Eliza's so called family, we learned about them and their desires but what happened to them.  Plus the ending left in a way that there could have been so many more stories told.  Still while it gave us something to imagine in the future it also gave us a sense of closure. 

                I am so glad to have finally read this series last year.  I had been meaning to for so long but the size intimidated me.  Now having read them I wish I could re-read/listen to them again for the first time all over.  I'm sure when I re-read in the future I'll pick up even more of the tiny details that I didn't quite notice the first time, and I can't wait.  I enjoyed the characters, the world, the story.  No matter what is going on it always seemed that hope was a resounding point of the story and that is beautiful.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and feels below. 

                Until next time…

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Stacking the Shelves

                Welcome to Stacking the Shelves was created by Tynga and the full details can be found on her page here.  Basically you showcase the books you bought or received each week.  Little, or not so little, weekly book hauls.  These are all the books I have gotten this week! 

Physical Books:
SuccubusRevealed (Georgina Kincaid #6) by Richelle Mead- I owned all the books accept the last so now that I've started the series I need it.
The Return (Titan #1) & The Power (Titan #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout- Getting ready for ApollyCon
More HappyThan Not by Adam Silvera- Hoping to attend a signing next week!

                That's if for this week.  Share a link below with what goodies you got this week.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)

                Hello happy readers!  My first review of 2017 was Blue Lily, Lily Blue where I admit I had almost skipped over it and went right for the finale, The Raven King but had to back track a bit.  Now a little while later I am happy to finally get to post that review of the fourth and final book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King.  Spoilers ahead for the series thus far, duh. 

Rating:  5 Ravens

                So I dove into this audiobook ready and nervous.  I wanted to see where all these books and stories and events would lead my friends.  Because they had become my friends through it all.  I cared for each of them deeply and I worried if what I knew from book one was to truly come to pass or if there was a way around it.  I had hope but I also had this leery sense not everyone would make it out happy and unscathed.  So I listened carefully and dreamed this world as Stiefvater painted it before my eyes.

                I loved this book.  This series.  Basically everything I said last week about Blue Lily, Lily Blue here is still true.  The characters are a real strong point.  You are so deeply invested in your core you feel everything with them.  I loved getting to know more of Henry Cheng, he was just entertaining and the way he talked and thought.  So very much like one of our group.  Artemus, Blue's daddy, is interesting to say the least.  He's a bit off.  I am glad though that Maura didn't go searching for him to be with him, I much prefer her assassin boyfriend but still it was nice for Blue to get to meet him and for her mother to have a sense of closure.  Plus Orphan Girl whom we’ve seen bits and pieces of since book two   We also got to see more of the world of Ronan's father and in part more of Declan. 

                Relationships.  That is how I would describe this book.  Magical.  Unique. Amazing.  Beautiful.  So many things encompass this series but I feel it was the relationships.  Between friends.  Between lovers.  Between family.  Between you and your past.  Between you and a place, it all comes down to relationships.  I could talk about the group: Blue, Gansey, Ronan, and Adam for hours and never fully grasp the depth of it.  It just is.  Now I was sad to see less of Noah with him fading away but he was still there in their hearts.  Still no matter the romantic relationships of our core they were best friends and all loved one another.  That was beautiful.  Blue and Gansey just meat your heart even they were nearly outshined.

                The world of this book is so well balanced between reality and magical that you feel like they are real.  That 300 Fox Way really exists full of astounding women with abilities and sharp wits.  That you could swing by Monmouth Manufacturing and see Gansey’s model of the town and the mess that is their rooms.  The Barns full of sleeping dream objects in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and purposes.  And most of all Cabeswater, where time is lost and thoughts can be made real.  It was both beautiful and scary at times but I'd still give anything to visit.

                These books were really something different.  They don’t try to be something they aren’t.  They just are.  I can honestly say I can't think of another story similar to these.  Things are dark in points.  Death and possession on the rise.  It just breaks your heart each time though to see these character suffering.  To see the turmoil in those being possessed, forced to do things against their core self to hurt those they love and those attacked forced to defend themselves and risk hurting someone they care about.  The feels!  And the demon trying to unmake Cabeswater, to unmake our dreamer Ronan Lynch.  So many feels were happening in this book I'm thankful for the audiobook that I could listen through the shock and tears. 

                The Raven King was a conclusion. The journey started back when Blue first saw Gansey on the corpse road then met her raven boys searching for their sleeping king.  The story is wrapped up.  It was fitting.  The journeys end fit.  I loved how it wrapped up.  At first it took  me a moment and I rewound some to make sure I had heard it properly but once I was sure I was correct and took a second to think on it, it did fit.  The story is not what I expected but still all that I hoped for.  It was beautiful and I'm happy to have been on the journey. 

                Overall I have to say I loved this book and this series as a whole.  I'd love to hear what everyone thought about it especially the end.  So many feels.  I cried at several points throughout.  Just so many things happening and concluding.  I love this world and I'm sorry to see it end no matter how wonderfully and faithful it was to the journey. 

                Until next time..