Thursday, December 26, 2013

Angelbound by Christina Bauer

                First off, Merry Christmas everyone!  I have been swamped the last few days with cookie orders and finishing up Christmas.  Though the wrapping I was behind on I was doing for my mother, so I am not to blame completely.  Anyways, have finally got a few minutes free that I haven't passed out right away, to put my thoughts on a new book to paper.  Angelbound by Christina Bauer is an ARC from NetGalley and Ink Monster LLC and came out on December 17th.  The following is a brief summary and my thoughts to hopefully spark your interest.                 
                 Angelbound is the first in a series that centers around the world of Purgatory.  A place where quasis (part demon/ part human) live and are ruled like slaves.  Myla is one quasi who is called to fight in the arena, battling souls who want trial by combat for the right to enter heaven or hell, and she has yet to lose a battle.  She unlike many other quasis loves it, has for the 5 years she's been at it.  A good fight has always been enough to lift her spirits when her mom is acting strange or anything else gets to her inner wrath demon, but in her senior year or Purgatory High it's not enough.  Demons are starting to act weird, so much so that the King of Hell shows up at her school, she can't ignore that things are changing.  As she starts to question everything around her, life, the way things are, the past, her father, she meets the obnoxious demon hating Thrax High Princ Lincoln, a sexy half human/half angel demon hunter.  But what’s a  quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? Her pension for breaking the rules and moving to her own beat Myla is ready to shake things up in Purgatory.


                First I have to say the cover caught my eye.  Simple yet intriguing.  A girl with a wicked looking tail standing in front of a dark Spartacus like arena.  A book promising action, and a description that also spoke of love.  I was in.  The idea of ghouls, quasis, thrax, demons, and angels, all thrown together in a melting pot seemed interested.  We get to stay inside Mylas head as she goes through the self discovery and crazy Earth, or well Purgatory, shattering stuff.  It's two different people who are from completely opposite worlds, literally, who despite logic and reason have an attraction that could cause unrest on top of the already unstable and unraveling world around them. 


                I feel confident giving this book 5 Stars easily for mixing so many components into a great story that was fun and quick to read through.  I couldn’t put it down.  I hope you all will give it a try and delve into this new world.  Already read it, tell me what you think in the comments below.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin


                Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin is a different side to the werewolf genre.  It's a story about love and finding a place you can belong.  When you already consider yourself a freak what's being turned into a werewolf really going to do for your status?  And who knew one kiss could change your lift, literally.  This book is an ARC from NetGalley and Ink Monster LLC and came out on December 17th.    
                Tessa is a not so normal high school girl with this uncanny ability to get visions from touching people or stuff.  She can get the story behind things, so vintage shopping is a horrible idea.  Gloves will only get you so far.  Then when her father accepts a new position at a school, St. Ailbe's Academy, and they move their life from California to Texas she has the chance to start over.  When Tessa meets Dastien, a hot teachers aid who used to attend the school everyone in town seems to know something about but won't share, she starts to have feelings like she never did before.  The universe pulls them together and you'd think the worst that could happen from a kiss would be a vision, wrong.  One kiss and she ends up a new student at St. Ailbe's Academy, a school for werewolves.  Now she must sort out her new life, knowledge, and feelings for the guy she liked who also is sending mixed messages.  Her life went to a whole new level of complicated.  Throw in attacks on the school and you have a whole slew of problems. 
                For me, Becoming Alpha was a quick read.  There were different things going on all at once.  This wasn't just a werewolf book, it had a good range of characters and subplots that all worked together to meld into an intriguing story that fulfills that fantasy inside you and leave you wanting more.  I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  How would she handle what was thrown at her.  I liked being inside her head and seeing how Tessa dealt with everything that popped up.   You also get to learn about other wolves at the school and the hierarchy system there.  Throwing a new girl in who only just found out, verses who was raised on the information.   You also have family, both natural and pack, what it means.  And again, if I didn't mention it, boy trouble.  Because come on that is already a lot to process. 

                I wouldn’t want to give too much away, so I will leave you there.  I hope my readers will check out this book, it came out yesterday, December 17th, when it comes out.  Please, share your comments below!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mind Bond by Julie Haydon


                Mind Bond by Julie Haydon is an ARC I received from NetGalley and Feather In Cap Publishing Pty Ltd.  This is a story about an adaptation in the future that allows some people to 'mind bond' with a wild animal (IST's Interspecies Telepaths).  But don't be fooled there is so much more to this book than one girl bonding with a wolf, but the whole world of things between the pages.
                We follow Christa who lost her brother when she was little, he disappeared, and after such her family moved from the country to the city.  She left behind all that made her so happy and connected to mother nature, and slowly stopped visiting as much as she grew and life happened.  Until one day she is browsing and sees something that makes her yearn to go back and spend some time camping.  So with her pure city boyfriend, and much more open minded friends, Christa heads back to the protected park where something awakens within her.  As Christa embarks on her journey to spend more time being where she feels most comfortable her connections shift.  Her life evolves yet again as she tries to rediscover what it is that makes her happy. 
                In the park she finds herself happiest.  Then of course she has her little wolf pup, Magnus.  This story is not solely around the mind bond that Christa has with Magnus, however, cute that is.  I won't like I've never been a huge outdoor type of girl but I do love the look of wolfs and their intelligence, so the idea of being connected to one is amazing.  With the mind bond you see the journey that Christa goes on in adapting her life, juggling musts with wants, and the other drama that pops up along the way like a mysterious stranger that shows up in her life or the poacher on the reserve.
My version of Magnus, so cute right!
                As I said this isn't a book with only Christa and Magnus, I was also pleased to see how well flushed out the other characters were.  Other IST's, her family, friends, everyone seemed to be given something to make them memorable and unique.  Not as if they were there solely to move the plot along but to build the world and show a different side to our main character.  
                Mind Bond leaves the book with an end, but also so much prospect for more though I have yet to find any information if there is going to be a follow up or series (but if you know something I don't please share).  Also as the characters are all in their early 20's I don’t know if I would classify this as a YA book per say.  I would include this in the new category I recently heard people discussing as 'New Adult', which is a cross between everything we love about YA and slightly older characters and slightly older themes.  No matter the classification, I gave Mind Bond 4 Stars.  

                Mind Bond came out October 1st and is ready for you to check it out.  Would you want to be an IST?  If so what animal would you want as your partner?  If not, why?  Already read Mind Bond?  Share your thoughts below, I'd love to discuss this with everyone.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


                So I have been super excited for this movie to come out.  My manager at work knows this as I have been putting in my request for the 21st off since March, though every time she turns it back saying it was too soon.  Well end of October I not only had my day approved off and plans with my Midnight Showing peoples, though now they have the showings at 8pm so it messes with our name, and my tickets.  For those of you who live under a rock, Catching Fire, is the sequel to The Hunger Games (my past review) and the 2nd book in the trilogy by Suzanne Collins (my review of the books). 
                For me Catching Fire was simply AMAZING!  Yes I am biased, due to the love I have for the series but still.  Yes there were differences from the book, some of the main ones behind in continuity with how they ended/changed book/movie 1.  For instance Peeta doesn't have his leg amputated at the end of book 1, so clearly he doesn't have that.  But over all everything flowed and it picked up after the first one just before the victors tour.  As a book nerd I would have loved some more details on the whole her and Peeta thing but they gave you enough but didn't bog it down and kept everything moving along. 

                We pick up just before the Victors Tour, before the next Games.  Though thanks to her defiance, now Snow has it in for her and they create a new game.  This is after all the 75th Games, the Quarter Quill and that demands a special game.  Their solution to make them special and eradicate the problem of Katniss and her species, the other victors per Snow, is to reap the contestants from the pool of victors.  Yep that guarantees Katniss is back again being the only female victor of district 12.  Now you are matched not just with competitors but people who have already won, already killed. 
                We still have out favorite characters, Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, Snow (come on you love to hate him), and some new ones as well.  Katniss is a tough girl who has spent her whole life trying to survive and now she is dealing with the aftermath of what the games did to her and this whole boy thing.  How is she supposed to have those feelings when her life and the lives of her family are in constant threat of loss, very rational.  Still she does care for both Peeta and Gail for different reasons and neither of which she completely understands which I liked.  It was a different take on the whole triangle romance.  She has her own junk to deal with so to speak.  Peeta, oh my Peeta, such a sweetie, so in love but hurt because he thought it was 100% real and unsure where to go.  He grows some more, it's hard not to when put through something like the games, and in that respect he can understand what haunts Katniss.  Haymitch, our drunken mentor from District 12, yes well he is a dear.  There is a clear understanding of why he is the way that he is now, they can see why he numbs the pain.  He also is torn trying to help both of them, both of his little birds even when their needs conflict.  Okay so with District 7 we have Finnick and Mags.  Mags is a sweet elderly woman who volunteers in the place of a younger woman and used to be FInnicks mentor.  She doesn't speak but she steals the scenes she's in.  FInnick sees to be a cool calculated contestant but his devotion to Mags shows a softer side (and I won't say more for fear of giving away something good).  I'm not going to do everyone I just realized how long this would be, but I will quickly do Snow.  He is the enemy, the President of the Capitol, who is in a war with the districts and himself.  He has lost his so well crafted control and let loose a spark of Hope.  In the books you don't get to see too much of him, just Katniss's reactions, but the movie does a good job of making this man so evil and sinister even while having midmorning tea.
            
    The story is fast moving, there is still plenty of action, suspense, and drama to go around.  I adored this movie for obvious reasons and I can't stop talking about it.  I will say take some tissues with you, I won't lie I balled like a girl at some parts, and had planned accordingly.  There a lot of good themes in this series, standing up, fighting the system.  Katniss, in an attempt to save herself and the life of someone she cares about she starts something she never could have imagined.  I give this movie 5 Flaming Arrows.  Have you seen it already?   Tell me what you thought below.  Did your own review, please share a link so I can check that out as well!  I know my least favorite part…waiting 12 months for Mockingjay Part 1

Rating:  5 Flaming Arrows 

                

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Endless by Amanda Gray

               Endless was an ARC from NetGalley and Month9Books that has made it way from my TBR list to my Read list.  Endless is a book about love and time, what you will do for love through time even if it means breaking all the rules.  This books came out on October 8th, so you don't have to wait to check it out. 
   
             Jenny always knows she's…different.  She can see the past lives of people she touches, after all.  She has a semi-normal life going for her with her father, school, part time job, and her passion to paint.  Then she meets the new guy in town working with her father on a project.  He is standoffish but the two inadvertently find an old music box with instructions for 'memerization' which they both laugh at but decide to try.  Using the box they both fall into a dream, one of a past life they share in Romanov Russia.  But they are not alone, this is the same life Jenny has seen of herself before, with a boy named Nikolai, the mysterious boy she has been dreaming of and painting for a while.  When they wake they delve into the mystery of the music box, just as the mysterious Nikolai appears in the flesh, her love who has come through time to be with her.  Jenny must choose to believe and accept in time travel and in the love she felt in the dreams or she may lose him forever.  He is after all out of time, literally, and that is something the Order, cannot allow.  They are determined to send him back, to stay together they must fight.

                This book was a pretty quick read.  I was worried with the description that it may be a bit simple, which don't get me wrong I love that sometimes, but I was very happy to see that there was also a mystery involved.  More than one actually.  This isn't just a love story, sure it has a love story as a major aspect, one that transcends time, and come on you can't tell me that doesn't make your romantic heart flutter just a bit.  A boy fighting everything even the laws of time to be with the woman he loves.  But that is not all this book offers.  There is also a mystery and intrigue from both Ben and his mysterious past, this Order group, and the growing suspicion that her mother was more than she was lead to believe. 
 
                Jenny is a more well adjusted 'abnormal teen', she has a gift/curse that makes her different like many YA books but she has grown to accept and work around it over the years.  She has much more going on with her.   Ben, the prickly son of her dads new client, also has his secrets.  He and his mom keep to themselves for a reason.  He struggles with his desire to know more and his more immediate and much more real needs than this 'feeling'.  Then we have Nikolai, the other lead, who I knew could be the make or break part.  He is from the past, out of his time.  While he has adjusted, and it is described in a way I can grasp and believe, he still has aspects to his personality that make me think of the past.  Things and actions we today sometimes never see, like chivalry (also side note a word I love but have never been able to pronounce for some odd reason it also comes out wrong).  People also don't talk with the articulate nature as they did then, we are much more straight forward and to the point.  Either way the three of them make for a good read and that doesn't even count the great supporting cast.


                Now I am out of time.  I can't wait to read more and see what happens next.  The sequel does not have a release date that I can find to share but Endless came our October 8th so you can check it out now.  I am giving it a solid: 4 Stars

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Freak of Nature by Julia Crane

                This is another ARC thanks to NetGalley and Indie Inked.  Freak of Nature came out back in January but I just found it and got approved so here are my thoughts.   This book one in the IFICS series about Kaitlyn, a girl who checked a box to donate her body to science, though she never expected things to turn out quite the way they did. 


               Freak of Nature, follows the story of Kaitlyn, a girl who was once human.  Now she isn’t sure what she is.  She is part machine, but she is still there, secretly still alive in a sense that she has feelings and her own thoughts.  She has human emotions.  She is forced to hide this, sure if the scientists who made her found out they would erase what remained of her life.  Though she finds and unlikely ally in Lucas, one of the main geniuses of the project, who still has guilt over knowing what a vibrant and beautiful woman she had been and taking that away.  Though he never suspected in a million years that the spark of life he saw in her through research was still hidden within.  Together they work to figure out the best course of action. 

                The story was good and easy to follow.  I found myself liking Kaitlyn.  She wasn’t entirely human anymore, she had no memories of anything accept what she was programmed with and things she had learned during her training.  She took everything very literal.  She had a wealth of knowledge of everything, but at the same time nothing they gave her seemed to explain the feelings she was having, especially for Lucas. Let’s face it they don’t make an app that can explain how we feel half the time, especially not if we start to fall in love.  It’s an exciting and unnerving thing for the regular girl, so it was even more so for Kaitlyn who can only assume something is wrong with her. 

                She isn’t the only one though.  You also get to see things from Lucas’ point of view which I enjoyed.  I think it could have been lacking in the chemistry department or even a bit weird if it hadn’t been.  His back story was brief but it was quick and stayed in the moment.  I look forward to learning more about him and his rich employer at IFICS as the series continues.  He starts out thinking he will be working on a science project, but one has never affected him like this.  Then again Kaitlyn is unique.  A strong and capable weapon, but also a confused girl who is just trying to figure out her place in the world. 
               
                As I was reading, the book did make me think of an older movie, one I couldn’t remember the name of and after a couple hours of not being able and it driving me crazy I looked it up.  The movie is you are wondering was, Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams as the robot with a soul and feelings.  Obviously not the same, but I realized how long it had been since I saw it and I have yet to find it at my local stores or on Netflix to re-watch it.


                I give this book 4 stars, I really liked it.  I became invested in the characters and I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  Could they find a way to make this work, for Kaitlyn to be who she is and not fear being erased completely.  Again this book came out back in January so check it out!  Already read it, want to read it, thoughts on human/robot with feelings, souls, etc, share below.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sia by Josh Grayson


                This is another ARC I received from NetGalley and Josh Grayson .  Sia by Josh Grayson is set to come out November 20, 2013.  Yep I am back to being ahead of this.  This is going to be short because I don’t want to ramble and give too much away.  The following is my review of this book.

                Sia is an uplifting and sweet story.  It’s about a girl, Sia, who wakes up on a park bench with no recollection of who she is or how she ended up there.  Her name is on the MP3 player strapped to her arm and not much else.  After a week of being homeless she is reunited with her family.  She starts to realize the person she was, popular, rich, and a totally shallow and cruel witch.  Everything seems perfect from the outside but looks can be deceiving she finds out. 

                Embarrassed by her past, with who she is and how she feels now, she starts on a quest to be a better person, one that she is proud of.  The journey of redemption isn’t easy when those who surround you, want the old cruel version back.  Can you start fresh and preserver, or cave into the pressure.  What happens if your memories do return, will they turn you back into the person you were?  Then on the flip side if someone who was always cruel to you seemed to have changed completely and care for you, could you accept them.  Wipe away the slate and start over?
                This was a quick read for me.  It was simple and heartwarming, as promised.  It did make me realize that I need to spend more time living my life and making it one I am proud of, not that I’m unhappy with my life just that I wish and know I can do more.  It made me think of one of my favorite quotes I hear used in movies, shows, movies, books, but have never really looked up to see who first said it, until now.  “Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything,” by Alexander Hamilton. 

                The story of Sia is as it promised a sweet and uplifting story.  It was worth it and I recommend it.  I’m giving it 4 stars, and I hope you will give it a chance to raise your spirits and make you question your own life.  If you lost your memory and had to learn who you are from those around you, how would you feel?  Tell me how you feel below I really believe this topic deserves some discussion.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Charming by Elliott James


Charming is the first book in the Pax Arcana series by author Elliott James.  I got this ARC from NetGalley and Orbit Books/Hachette Book Group.  Charming comes out next week, September 24th. 


John Charming isn't your average Prince… the tag line brings me in instantly because let's be honest who doesn't love a good fairy tale story with a Prince Charming.  So a book called Charming with an attractive man on the cover wearing a leather jacket and carrying a sword, I have to check it out.  The style of the book is different, it's from John's POV and he is critical of everything as he is telling us what is going on. 

He comes from a line of Charmings, not really a Prince, but a family of knights dating back centuries.  Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to Kevlar and shot guns, he is one of the best.  That is also why he is an abomination and his own brotherhood of Knights what him dead.  On the run from his own people yet sworn and compelled to keep to his mission to protect the Pax he lives a life on the move, trying to find a quiet and peaceful life.  That is until a vampire and a blonde walk into his bar.

Yes it has jokes and cheesy lines but that is the appeal.  It is through John's perspective and he has been around a long time, long enough to know that sometimes you just have to make a joke out of things to keep from cracking.  He has been on his own for so long and feels if he does get close to anyone they die, which is good incentive to stay alone, if you ask me.  That doesn't matter though when he ends up pulled into a misfit band of monster hunters to bring down a particularly devious vampire coven who are disrupting the Pax.  It also doesn't help that he is drawn to the attractive and powerful blonde that walked in, trouble is she's taken but someone who could bring the Knights down on his head.  However, what makes him an abomination, also makes him very useful for their purpose. 

I liked this story.  It was a quick read and I finished it in a couple of days reading on lunch breaks (I am no longer able to read at work sigh) and a little at night.  It does not get bogged down in anything and does speed along.  The action scenes are very well thought out and choreographed.  I also got the distinct feel of being in a mans head, I think the author being a male is able to portray the thoughts and feelings of one in a way that women writing from a mans prospective are unable to do with such ease.  Though they say right what you know right. 

I enjoyed Charming and his jokes and sarcasm.  His paranoia, though really is it paranoia if people are out to kill you, and his hidden fears and feelings.    The rest of the gang are very interesting as well, each with their own story as well.  Sig, and her secrets and dilemma, Dvornik, and his psychic abilities and his anger issues.  Parth, Cahill, Choo, and Molly all with their unique stories and attributes.  I have to say Molly and her fascination with Christmas as a de-stress/calming effect in the middle of the year made me laugh and send a caption to my friend who despite the 100+ temperature is always chilly and wanting to sing Christmas music. 

Then you have the world.  It's just like the world we all know, only that’s because of the Pax.  It is like a mental barrier, us normal folks just don't see what is really happening in the world and if we catch a glimpse of something not right, we rationalize it away or blame the lighting, lack of sleep, etc.  It was an interesting concept and I have to admit I enjoyed it.  I also like how the Knights came to be, not the typical brotherhood of demon hunters, but I won't give it away. 


Overall I enjoyed this book and am interested to see how the story continues in the next book.  Again Charming comes out next week on September 24th.  If you like witty banter, inner struggle, and demon fighting, drama, and action I say check it out.  I give it 3.5 Kantanas.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones


               
I saw this movie last Friday (opening weekend) with a great group of ladies.  I was so beyond excited for this, hours of time lost to youtube watching clips, trailers, interviews, anything to get my fill while trying to read the books for the first time.   I was on overload.  Then this week orders, work, vehicle complications, finishing book 5 (had finished the first 4 before movie).  In all the madness I never got to put my thoughts down about this movie to share with my readers.

My thoughts about this movie:  Simply put…IT WAS AMAZING AND I LOVED IT!!!

                The book was fresh in my mind having just finished 1-4 in the 2 weeks before the movie and was excited to see how they would work it.  How much they would change.  Most important…Jace & Clary.  Some of my group had some reservations about the people cast for the main roles, as they were not what they expected/pictured.  I, on the other hand, say the trailer prior to reading the books so as I was reading I had their faces plugged in.  I will say when we left the theatre they had all come around and felt the actors they were leery of had wont them over for the roll. 
 
                I personally really liked Lilly Collins as Clary, she is able to work the balance of strong and vulnerable that is vital.  Clary is a brave character who rushes forward into things she doesn't understand, sometimes this could be seen as stupid, but she is rushing forward to save or protect those she cares for.  She is also weak in the sense that her whole world has turned upside down and she has moments of breaking down and trying to process it.  Jamie Campbell Bower was what I pictured as Jace because I saw him before reading but I as I read I can't think of a single person who could play this character.  Jace is cocky, witty, confident, and lets face it hot (and he knows it), but when it comes to Clary you see a bit of vulnerability there as well.  Plus he is tall and lean and he has beautiful eyes and a soothing voice.  I would be here all day and this would be a very long post if I went through every character so I will only add one more for pure fun.  Magnus.  He wasn't a huge role in this first one, but he was great with those eyes and glitter, and clothes, or lack there of, were great.  I giggled when he first came in.  His brief time you got to see the fun crazy party host and the deeper compassion.

                As with any movie based on a book there are some changes.  As much as us book nerds wish they would just make a 4 hour movie and put it just like the book, Hollywood doesn't seem to be in agreement.  Not everyone would sit through that, sadly.  Thy change things in some parts and speed the time line along (again time is an issue to consider), but a lot of the stuff they changed was more so that they brought things from other books into this movie.  Things we don't learn until book 2 or 3 was in movie 1.  Again I think this was to spare time and give more action.  Trust me there is lots of action and cool fight scenes.  One in particular is The Hotel scene.  It does change with the reason for being there, all of them show up, and for me a sad point, there was no conversation with Raphael.   We get no insight into the Vampires and they are not just Downworlders living with the Accords but they are more pure evil.  I hope we see more on them later.  Another thing that changed was the back story.  There is no mention of the Uprising or the Accords so I am curious how they are going to work it out as the other movies go.  It was close in a sense that they can still make it work.

  
              The romance is a big part of the series but like in the books there is more going on and sometimes even when you want to have the romantic conversation to explain things you can't because well there is the whole save the world from demons thing to contend with.  They live a life of fighting and early death but as Shadowhunters they know to squeeze in their time when they can.  Jace even takes her to celebrate her birthday, something no one else does.  The banter between them is beautiful and the spark is there.  The greenhouse is beautiful and so romantic (also warning I have the Heart by Heart song stuck in my head since seeing this movie).  There is also the connection between Clary and Simon, her best friend for as long as she can remember.  Always there for her and knows her so well, it is clear to everyone but her that he has feelings for her beyond friendship (which fyi I get because there is an event I plan to write and post about in my own life in which I realize how blind we can be about people in our lives). 

                So I mentioned the greenhouse was beautiful but that doesn't do it any justice.  The whole Institute is amazing, from the door locks (not going to lie I would sit there and lock and unlock my door just to play with it), to the simple yet ornate rooms, to my favorite the library.  The Library was just like I pictures it, multiple levels around the walls but high ceilings and spiral metal stairs (I totally did these, not for practicality but because they look awesome), to the designs on the floor.  The Hotel was also super creepy in the grand turned to ruin kind of way.

                That is about it without giving too much away.  I loved this movie and am saddened to see it is only at #3 this week.  I am happy that they have already scheduled to start filming number 2, and I plan to see this one at least one more time before December when it's expected to arrive on DVD.  In the mean time I have my books and the soundtrack to hold me over.  I highly recommend this movie. 


Rating:  5 Steles

Saturday, August 24, 2013

2 Delayed Reviews


                                                       The Reaper’s Novice- Cecilia Robert

                Another book thanks to NetGalley.  The Reaper’s Novice, is the first book in a series and came out on January 8thReaper’s Novice takes place in Vienna (Austria), I always wanted to visit and the place sounds amazing.  The culture and the life, sound beautiful and diverse.  However, there were some phrases and such I needed to look up to help my understanding.  I had a slight hiccup with the names and what I assume is the way people are properly address at first (Herr, Fraulein, Frau,etc) until I got into the flow of it.  That was my only really problem with the book and I think if you are not familiar with that to just prepare and make sure you pay attention, once I understood it I was fin.

                Now the story itself.  Ana and her family have issues and she wants to fix them, but before the bonding family trip, her family dies before her eyes.  Enter Grim, though he prefers Ernest, who offers to save her family in exchange for her eternal service, she is to be his novice.  She agrees without hesitation to save her family.  Next thing she knows things are better than before with the family, but she slowly realizes she is part of something much bigger.  Now she must try to balance her normal teenage life with a boyfriend who is acting strangely and oh yeah her new novice responsibilities. 

                To help her with those is Zig, suave ladies man who is full of himself.  Zig does grow on you as you get to know him.  He is more than he appears at first.  It is always fun to explore new worlds through the eyes of main characters who is also seeing things, like you, for the first time.  I liked the characters and how they were flushed out, some way out there but others down to Earth.  I think there is a balance there.  Though with our heroin I have her a bit of slack in some area where she seemed to change from strong and determined to…well something completely different but a boy and love was involved so I let it slide on the acceptance that estrogen is a hardcore thing that makes the best of us crazy at one time or another. 

                The pacing of the story does jump around, some moments its very slow then right after an event it just ahead.  The book covers a full year as his Novice and she has to pass the final test in order to pass and secure her families souls which Grim is holding onto.  She learns that this may not have been random and she may have been destined to be part of something much larger.  She has questions but the answers seem to be held just out of reach for her.  Can she save souls?  An entire race?  Her family and friends?

                The Reaper’s Novice, lets you take a hard look at sacrifice.  A new look on souls and what happens after.  I’m excited for book 2 to see where it goes and what happens with the characters I got to know. 

Now as I am behind…here is another book review for you to sink your teeth into. 

                                                       A Night to Forget- Jessica Wood


                This is a book from NetGalley of course and the wonderful publisher All Night Reads.  This is book of Emma’s Story.  I don’t have too much to say about this book without giving the story away.  It was an adult style book geared towards a slightly older/mature audience.  A Night to Forget came out June 20th.
               
                The story is of a woman who is finishing up college and goes on spring break with her girlfriends after breaking up with her boyfriend the day before where she literally meets the man of her dreams, steamy ones at that.  She lives out her dream and never hears from him again until she goes to start her new career and finds he is her new boss, and worse yet he doesn’t seem to even remember her or their night together. 

             I enjoyed the book and read though it in an afternoon and I’m looking forward to the other half of the story to see what happens.  It was just what one would expect, slightly predictable but I was okay with that and seeing not the final destination but how they got there.  The characters were pretty believable and not outlandishly out there which I appreciate in any non sci-fi/fantasy/alternate universe stories.  I think Wood did a good job at keeping the story moving along and not dragging in any spot for any long period, as I said I read through it quickly in one afternoon.  I would even call this a good beach read, though as I am rocking the Casper look it’s clearly good for any afternoon or evening.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Forbidden to Love - Debbie Davies


                Forbidden to Love was an ARC I received after it came out, I was still excited to get it and check it out.  Debbie Davies' mythical love story came out on March 14th, and is ready to be picked up.


                This is book one in the series that centers around Acacia, the 3rd of the Erosions Zeus created to appease Eros and keep him from causing more trouble.  The first two attempts, Allana and Amora did not do the trick either.  Eros is still upset and the three women created for him, he wants nothing to do with them, accept take pleasure in commanding they shall never love another.  He's an ass, pure and simple.  Sure heartbroken but spiteful.  The story intrigued me and I love mythology based story lines and seeing a new spin on something so old.  The cover was simple, a bit cheesy but so boldly bright it does make you look.

                Acacia is set in her life of helping others find what she is not allowed.  As the youngest looking she is to work to help high schoolers find their sweethearts.  She is reserved and unsure what will happen when the deadline is reached.  Eros also made threats.  Everything is pretty normal as far as she's concerned until she gets this feeling of not being able to breath, everything aches and something is wrong and it all centers around a fellow student she'd never seen before, Josh.  Clearly he must be an agent from hell sent to torture her, or a pawn in a cruel game by her 'sister'.  She can't possibly be in love.  The fates can't be that cruel could they?  Acacia must figure out her head and her heart while the whole world, everything she's knows is questioned.  Can one made to create love handle it for herself or the possibility of losing it?

                I liked the story, I read through it pretty quickly.  My one main thing would be the last part of the book.  I won't give it away, but it feels like the last say…20% of the book was a different story.  I am hoping it was the beginning of the next story in the series, to let you know where the story is going but it also felt slight out of place and rushed for me.  I still liked the book overall and give it 3 stars, and I am curious to see the next story and find out more about the Luca situation and what that means for Acacia and the war.


                Forbidden to Love is ready for you to pick up.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Siren's Secret by Heather Ostler

               The Siren's Secret is book 3 in The Shapeshifter's Secret series.  NetGalley and Cedar Fort let me review both, here is my link to my first review.  Book 2 picks up pretty much where book 1 left off so if you haven't read it then beware spoilers.

                Julia is happy with her life, strange as it is.  She isn't so fond of the hiding and threats from her evil and deranged mother Alexis and The Guild but looking on the positive side she loves her werecat form (a white tiger if you didn’t remember is my favorite), her friends, and of course the Terrance.  Overall she's feeling pretty good.  Then she learns a truth about herself, one no one dreamed of, one that threatens everything.  She's part Siren!

 
                Yep, if the title wasn't clear.  Not a big deal right?  Oh well there is a curse on Sirens and the whole political aspect where everyone thinks sirens are evil, untrustworthy creatures.  Feel free to insert your own joke about most politics being sirens then.  Julia struggles to understand her place in Ossai if she is a siren or a werecat.  Is she truly cursed or is she destined for something else entirely and what does that mean for her relationships.

Book 1
                The Siren's Secret is a wonderful sequel and quick read.  As a reader you learn more about Julia and all of her relationships, with family, friends, enemies, and unknowns, as well as Ossai itself.  It also gives more bread crumbs into things to come in the series.  The new world of Ossai is ever expanding and we explore deeper into it, as it changes.  I enjoyed the way Ostler showed the characters changing to what was happening around and to them.  Even if you want to scream and strangle them at times you know they are reacting to the information or situation they have or are in. 

                This book came out June 11th, I know I'm behind again.  I give it 4 solid mystical orbs.  Check it out and always please tell me what you think!


Up next:  Forbidden to Love by Debbie Davies

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Outcast by Adrienne Kress

              Another ARC from NetGalley and Diversion Books.  Now I know there are a few different books on angels, I have read some, others are on my infinite TBR list.  Though Outcast was handled in a way that felt completely unique which I think is key in writing a book in a 'hot' area.


                First I have to say I love the cover.  It's simple but beautiful.  A dark stary night sky with wings picked out of the stars all framed with trees and Spanish moss or willow switches, I can't be sure, and 2 people on a motorcycle.  It made me want to go look at the stars and the beauty they hold when you just take a moment to look.  Yep I saw cover love.  Now what can I say about the book? 

                It has a very self conscious, awkward, and kick butt female lead in Riley and a sexy, confident, bad boy with a lot of 50's charm with Gabe.  From the very start we see who they are, Riley always unsure but fed up and pushed too far.  She snaps and shoots the 'angel' taunting her right in the face.  Then when she goes to get rid of the body, this is a religious town in the south, and shooting an 'angel' probably wouldn't go over well.  Only to her surprised instead of the huge and creepy looking creature she shot she finds an unconscious, very sexy, and oh yeah very naked boy.  What to do now?  Tie him up in the shed to get answers of course. 

                Come on admit it, that is pretty funny and intriguing right?  I thought so.  Things take an even crazier turn when they realize he doesn't remember being an 'angel' or being shot in the face, hell he still thinks it's 1956.  Yep, now what?  They must work together to figure things out.  Even if Gabe is more focused on the second chance at life he has been given than looking for answers as to how he stumbled upon this.  Riley on the other hand is confused, part of her likes that Gabe is around and has a connection to him, but the other part of her misses her best friend and first kiss, Chris, who had been taken by angels the year before.  All of this while trying to deal with normal teenage stuff.

                I really enjoyed this book and I read through it pretty quickly.  I did find that it had some parts that did seem a bit drawn out at one point but it was easily overlooked and it fit the story so much better.  The status of the relationship that starts out as captive and captor turns into a friendship beyond anything you would think is possible.  Then again when you stay in a town that willingly accepts that angels come down once a year and take people, well all bets are off.  Watching them unravel the mystery and grow as people was well worth it.  I had a bittersweet moment towards the end and I just couldn’t decide if I liked it or not but once my emotions settled down I knew I did really like it.


                Outcast came out yesterday, June 11th.  So it's available to check it out!  I give it 4 solid handcuffs.  The book was left in a way that I could be a stand alone book but there was also more to draw on should it be a series and if that is the case I look forward to reading the next installment.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

                My latest ARC from NetGalley and Strange Chemistry.  Here is a link to my review of the first book in the series The Assassin's Curse.  So yes this is a sequel, that means there are spoilers ahead from book 1.  You have been warned and should proceed at your own risk oh and if you haven't read book 1 check it out you scally wags!
 
That would be the manticore I assume!
                We left Ananna and Naji on the mysterious Island of the Skyes with no way off other than a promise from a good woman Marjani to return for them.  Recap, they went to this place to find a cure for the curse.  You see Ananna and Naji have to stay together, she sort of saved his life when he was trying to kill her (yep strange huh), and activated a curse put on him.  Now they have to find a way off of the island and a way to complete the 3 impossible tasks.  Naji feels the task is truly impossible, given one of the tasks, however, Ananna knows they aren't she already knows one is practically completed, 'experience true loves kiss'.  Some say cheesy, I say classic, especially with characters with such insecurities as these. 

                If you read my previous review you already know my thoughts on the main characters.  I like Ananna and Naji, the last book really set the stage but this book, in The Pirate's Wish we really get to see them grow and develop and gave you lots to devour.  We also get a more in depth look at Marjani who I really was sad we didn't get to know as well in the previous book.  We also get more action from pirates, and even new magical creatures like the manticore, a lion like creature with wings, a tale that shoots out poisonous spines, and a taste for human men.  I really enjoyed the balance, Naji and Ananna go back and forth many times, but with Marjani and Ananna it is always a strong bond of understanding and feminine strength that keeps them on the same page. 

             
Book 1 because it was also pretty!
   The world in this one is the same, we do get much more of life at sea and being a pirate, much to Naji's displeasure.  They are on a mission to break the curse and they make other discoveries along the way and fight battles on the sea and within themselves.  The book flew off the pages and I couldn't stop reading and then when it was over I was left both happy and sad.  Clarke does a wonderful job of building and expanding on what she already had created.  Sure I loved the plot, even when I was a bit leery of one small part, but it did lend a very interesting turn and interpretation which I am hoping will be used and expanded on more in the next book. 


                I am giving this book 5 Manticore Spines, because I liked it and the manticore.  The Pirate's Wish comes out tomorrow.  I suggest you check it out and get your dose of magic.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

MOVIE TIME!!!

                Hello again everyone!  So I realized the other day looking over my blog and thinking of ways to make it better and post more frequently when I realized that I haven’t done a movie review in a while.  I couldn’t believe it.  The last movie I reviewed was The Host, which is not the last movie I saw by any means.  So this weekend I have seen Fast & the Furious 6 and Star Trek: Into Darkness and I wanted to share that with everyone.


                With Fast & the Furious 6, some are thinking, ‘when is enough, enough’, others, ‘keep them coming’.  Me, I range somewhere in the middle.  I’m all about watching the movies and their sequels as long as they are good.  If you go downhill and are only making a sequel for the sake of making a sequel don’t do it.  I’m also not a huge fan of any sequels that only keep the name but none of the cast, basically a remake with a few plot changes and new characters (Bring it On’s, Step Up’s, Cinderella Story’s, etc I like them but really they are not what I would pay to see each time).  The Fast & the Furious movies have all been with the same cast, if you don’t count #3 Tokyo Drift as it is so out of order with the other movies.  Anyways they all focus on the 1st original movie and all that followed.

                I really liked this movie; it might even be my favorite one thus far.  All of my favorite characters were in it, Brian, Dom, Letty, Mia, Roman, Tej, Hann, Gisele, and even our latest member, Hobbs.  Plus there was a story to follow.  At first I was concerned, Letty alive.  How are they going to make this happen and be believable?  Well they found a way. 

                It had all the best things of the others, friendly banter and jokes, fast cars, racing, crashing, things going boom, and oh yeah crazy vehicle stunts.  I can’t really say much about it.  If you liked the others then clearly you must go see this one.  If you are concerned it won’t be any good, my recommendation is to take a chance and go.  It was a good time and I can’t wait to see it again.

Rated:  5 Tanks

                Switching gears to another action sequel, only this one is more Sci-Fi, Star Trek Into Darkness.  I was never a Star Trek fan, I only ended up watching the first one because at my old job where me and my co-worker were kept in a small room for 12 hr shifts , she decided she was going to put it on in there and well I didn’t have any other options so thought ‘oh well’.  To my surprise I did like it.  Not enough to want to watch the old series but enough to be excited for the 2nd movie. 

                So that being said I have no idea if the movie was true to the show.  I had it pointed out to me by a true fan of the show that the first one apparently blew away the space time continuum by blowing up a planet.  So to that I cannot help with.  As for the movie, it followed up nicely to the first one and I liked how they kept the same characters.  Sure I didn’t get little inside jabs that my Trekie counterparts did but hey I still liked the movie.  The story was easy to follow and I was invested in the outcome because I did like the characters.  I did also like Khan, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.  I knew he’d looked familiar from the trailer but I couldn’t place him until the movie started.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, he is Sherlock on the BBC show Sherlock.  He has that same attitude that he is clearly smarter than everyone and no just because he’s cocky but well because it’s kinda true.  He has a way of pulling it off that I just adore and it transferred over to this as well.  Is he good or evil.  The story line was also intriguing that it was filled with moral decisions and what is really right or wrong type of things and that has always interested me.  Plus you have chases, action, and drama.  All and all it was a good ride.

Rating: 4 Starships

               
                So there you have it!  New movie reviews!  Yeah and coming soon I have just finished my ARC of The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke and will be reviewing that soon (Friday or Saturday I hope) so stay tuned.  As always comments always welcome, tell me what you think!  What would you like to see more of on here? 


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gameboard of the Gods by RIchelle Mead


                My honest review of the ARC Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton.  Thank you!  I have been eagerly awaiting this book since I found out about it, being a huge fan of Mead's already as well as the different takes of Gods and Goddesses, it seemed like heaven.  So when I saw this book on NetGalley I hit request so fast it would make your head spin.  I wasn’t sure I'd be approved but I hoped….then when I got the e-mail saying as much…well let's just say my scream of delight and the jumping up and down I did made my cat run and hide in another room.  I logged on and downloaded right away, happy I had it but sad that I was going to work.  Yep silly day job getting in the way of my reading, how annoying.


                So I got this book and I read it, work or no.  First let us discuss the cover, simple and clean white with a beautiful bit of blue (I'm a sucker for blues), a beautiful face and some type of black birds in the back (not such a fan of feathered demon creatures, ie. anything with feathers, talons, and/or beak).  It didn't give you a lot which can be good or bad, but in this case the title was intriguing and I didn’t need a bunch of other pretty things to distract from that.  Now here is the summary I read on this book from as I'm too worried if I give my own I'll give way too much away:

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims.  But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA).  Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military's most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger.  As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead's Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

               
                I have to agree with that last part.  You know me and my views on characters by now, I have to like them to like the book.  Well I loved Justin and Mae.  Sure I wanted to strangle them through the book too but that just means I cared.  The book is told primarily through their points of view, with the occasional view from Tessa's.  I liked this idea because it let me see the world through different eyes.  From Mae we have someone who is always amped up and has lived in a caste as well as in the expanse of RUNA serving her country.  With Justin we have a man who was exiled, forced out of the RUNA he loved and left to live in the dredges of Panama (a province) which is the opposite of everything home was, only making him crave to go back.  With the few parts we got from Tessa, we got not only a look at out two leads through the observant eyes of another but at the world of RUNA from an outsiders prospective.

                Justin and Mae have some serious things to work out, they both had baggage.  They both have secrets and most importantly, they both are very proud.  They have a lot in common even if they don't want to admit it, or even refuse to see it.  Mead again creates complex characters that seem perfect at first but then after the smiling surface you can see that they are anything but perfect, the way no one is really perfect.  They are also very prideful characters who react like everyone else to things and build up walls and act out, much to my displeasure sometimes but I just kept reading hoping things work come to light.  I was invested in them and wanted to know how things turned out.

                If their complicated relationship wasn’t enough for you there was also a marvelous plot unraveling.  Someone or something is killing people in a very ritualistic way.  The only evidence left throws out all scientific explanation.   Yes they are tracking a killer and following leads that put them in more danger the closer they get while uncovering more than they bargained for?

                This book has all the best things I love in other Mead books and more.  I love the mythology aspect of Gods being involved, about mystical forces, it all worked out well.  So I look forward to seeing where this story goes next!  What is next for Justin and Mae?  I have so much more to say but in fear of giving it away. Check out Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead it comes out June 4th!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Runes by Ednah Walters



                Hello everyone!  I have another book review for you, an ARC from NetGalley, of course, and Firetrail Publishing, Runes by Ednah Walters.  This books comes out May 20th, so read on for an early look at this book.

                This is going to be Book 1 in a series so as usual once I got to the end I was upset that I have to wait but what can you say.  The cover for this book is simple, but intriguing with the lines of light on the handsome guys face, who also seems to have a disdain for a shirt, all on a pretty blue backdrop. 

                Rain Cooper is your average 17 year old girl with 2 best friends, a loving yet eccentric mother, star of the swim team, and a huge crush on her best guy friend, Eirik.  She has it all even a missing and presumed dead father, to everyone but her mother that is, and a new neighbor moving in.  Pretty much your typical normal life.  Until she meets her new neighbor and the new exchange students and sexy neighbor Torin saves her life with magical runes on his skin.  Oh yeah not so normal now.

                Even from her first meeting with Torin, Raine is drawn to him, in a way she can't fully explain even when he does nothing but annoy the crap out of her.  She knows he's different right away, but after the whole saving her life thing she dedicates her time to finding out just what he is and what he and his friends interest in the swim team is all about.  Oh and her connection to him, while trying to make the most of finally getting the guy she's been liked for so long.  Who is Torin, and what is he?  hat he is goes back to ancient mythology that she is part of, but can she stop what is coming and save those she loves?

                I really enjoyed this book and will give it 5 Runes right now.  I liked the plot, a mix of paranormal romance, Norse mythology and a good learning to find oneself story.  It made for a fun combination to read.  Once I got started and became invested I couldn’t put it down until the last click of my kindle page where I was left saying "WTF that's it, now what am I supposed to do?"  Yep it will keep you reading and leaving you wanting more, it did for me.

                Now I've never read anything from Ednah Walters before but now that I have I'm intrigued and will have to check out their other books.  Walters made good characters, I liked how Raine was confused and undecided, she is constantly adapting and changing to new information being thrown at her and doing her best to deal.  And her relationship with Cora reminded me of my best girlfriends and our crazy behind  conversations.  Torin is dark and mysterious but also seems tormented, which yes is done many times but clearly it's a winner if done right and I wanted to make him feel better and take away his pain.   Basically I liked the characters and if you have read any of my previous reviews you know how important that is for me.  Good character or its blah and this one had good ones.

                The book moved along quickly and I finished it at work.  I liked being along for the confusion.  When you have wanted someone for so long, then finally get what you have wanted for years only to find yourself thinking of someone else despite your head telling you no.  Maybe its timing or fate, either way I had a great time reading. 

                Runes has many twists and turns and yes even got me a with one or two.  It comes out May 20th so give it a click and check it out.  Share your thoughts below please I love feedback and I want to know what you think!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon



                Zenn Scarlett is another ARC I received from NetGalley and the publishers Angry Robot.  This book came out Tuesday, May 7th, I'm a bit behind because of my lack of ability to sit down for more than 30 minutes to type.  But here goes, my thoughts on this sci-fi book.


                The story is about Zenn Scarlett, a 17 year old working to make it through her novice year to become an exovet.  What is this you ask?  Well as they live on Mars (way in the future, terra-forming sections and all way cool), she is learning to be a vet…for alien creatures.  Neat and interesting concept right there, can't think of anything else like it which is always a surprise.  Well things aren't that easy for Zenn with her absent father, helping out at the clinic where she lives with her Uncle Ortha, studying while trying to pass her 3 end of year tests that determine if she will move on to her next year in training to do this one thing she's dreamed about. 

                As if all that isn't enough she also has to combat with a series of inexplicable mishaps on the Cloister grounds that threaten their place uncertain.  Towner, Liam, starts to take an interest in the animals and acting extra friendly towards her, despite everyone else in the Cloister thinking they are all disease carrying, man eating monsters.  Then there is the little part where she might be sharing thoughts with the patients.  Talk about stress!  She must figure out if she is going crazy, pass her tests, and figure out what is happening around the Cloister with the help of Liam and Hamish, the Clinic sexton and huge insectoid who is also in training.

                I really enjoyed this book, I liked getting to know Zenn and all the different creatures, especially Katie.   She hasn't had many friends growing up and has spent her life with the animals and cares for each of them and as an animal lover (all be it more the cute fluffy types) I completely understood her.  Her uncertainty at new situations, her concern she is losing her mind, her fears for her future and everything else.  I also enjoyed Hamish and the way he was written, from a planet a society, where he must ask permission to do anything. 

                The book does start just a tad bit slowly but I enjoyed getting a feel for the new world and understanding Zenn so for me the pace worked for this tale.  It has plenty going on to keep you entertained while you zoon right through it, and if like me get your imagination wandering.  I can't wait to pick up the 2nd book and see where Schoon take it from there.  Again Zenn Scarlett came out Tuesday May 7th, I give it 4 Cute Rikkasets, check it out.