Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review: The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Morarity

Time slides around the world so strangely ...

It's not easy being Princess Ko.

Her family is missing, taken to the World through cracks in the Kingdom, which were then sealed tightly behind them.

Now Princess Ko is running the Kingdom, and war is looming.

To help her find her family, she gathers a special group of teens, including Elliot Baranski of the Farms. He's been writing secret letters to a Girl-in-the World named Madeleine Tully - and now the Kingdom needs her help.

Madeleine and Elliot must locate the missing royals, convince them of their true identities, and figure out how to unlock the dangerous cracks between the Kingdom and the World.

All before their enemies can stop them

Have you ever imagined if there could be another world parallel to own? Whether there could be just a crack in the distance that would split each of the worlds. This is the case for Madeline and Elliot, who live in different worlds; but yet only a crack away from touching.

The way Jaclyn has created this story is just so unlike anything I've ever heard it. It brings something new and special to the table.  A world so enticing, and adventurous that all you want to do is know more about it.
This is the second book to this thrilling saga and Jaclyn does not pull any punches in terms of surprises and unexpected twists.  Elliot and Madeline find themselves teaming up to stretch their little crack a bit further in an attempt to basically break it open.  Elliot has been given the task in helping to find the missing royal family, who is in the normal world but yet have no idea who they are and whether they are from someplace else.

That's not the only thing Elliot has on his hands, because on top of finding the Royal Family, he is also working on finding his father, who has also disappeared. The two mysteries become even more interesting as the story unfolds. He is a young boy with so much to deal with... is there a point where it could all become too much?  It certainly would be understandable if he decides he can't do both things without unravelling himself.

Madeline's life hasn't become any easier either. Between her friends, who discover the secret she and Elliot share, to her relationship with her mother, whom has basically come back from the brink of death.  The letters she and Elliot continue to pass between one another seems to be the only thing keeping them together.  Although, even that simple thing gets a bit too much for them both when the situation with the Royal Family arises to be a bit too much to handle... can their friendship survive, or were they always meant to part ways when they no longer needed one another?

This was a thrilling installment, which might be even better than the first. It brings in friendship, secrets, drama, action and heartbreak.
The friendship between our two characters seem to be changing every time, and it's a matter of how much they are willing to go on until everything is changed to the point of no return.

I absolutely love this story and cannot wait until the third, next year!  Oh why do we have to wait so long? I don't do well with waiting.

A BIG thank you to Pan Macmillian Australia for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.  I must apologise for the delay... it seems I had to take a break in regards to blogging for a while.. but hopefully I am back now.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Number of Pages: 369
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

I will have to say after the last book, Prodigy, I was a little bit worried about how this one would end. Especially considering the majority of books in the genre doesn't always have the best endings.  But Marie Lu nailed it.

The book picks up sometimes after the end of Prodigy. June has accepted one of the Princeps-Elect positions and is working for Anden, while Day is on the other side of the country with his brother, also working for the government, but still getting treated for his illness, which June nor the country knows about. But the country is on a brink of a war, and could face a terrible fate. Which is why June has asked Day to come to the capitol.

Revelations and secrets unfold in this fast paced book. Day and June will just break your heart. They've fought so hard to be with each other. There were scenes that brought me close to tears. The love triangles...well more of square was resolved in a very believable way. I was more than pleased with the way Tess was handled. June and Anden...well I wished we got to see more of that. Don't get me wrong, I like Day and June, but I felt a huge spark between June and Anden.

It's interesting seeing the different countries in the book. The US not being a powerhouse country, and Antarctica actually having inhabits, and even Africa being one of the most powerful countries. I did wished we learned more about what exactly happened to the US or even see it become whole again.

The ending...well it was one of the better ones for this genre. Even more of a happy ending. I really enjoyed this series.

Rating: 4/5


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review: Last Breath by Rachel Caine

Last Breath (Morganville Vampires, #11) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date: October 28th, 2011
Number of pages: 447 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

The brand-new novel in the “intriguing world” (Darque Reviews) of Rachel Caine’s New York Times bestselling Morganville Vampires series!

With her boss preoccupied researching the Founder Houses in Morganville, student Claire Danvers is left to her own devices when she learns that three vampires have vanished without a trace. She soon discovers that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is someone new to town—a mysterious individual named Magnus. After an uneasy encounter with Morganville’s latest resident, Claire is certain Magnus isn’t merely human. But is he a vampire—or something else entirely?

Oh boy. Just when you begin to think you can't be surprised by anything from this series, Rachel Caine just ups the anty.
Did it ever occur to you as to why Amelie chose Morganville? And especially way out in Texas? Do vampires have any weaknesses or if there are anyone or anything they are afraid of.
The answer to those questions come to light in this book, as we begin to dig deeper into their history and you do understand certain aspects and actions involving Amelie.

When a messenger comes to the entrance of Morganville with a note for Amelie, and with Myrnin scared as well.. that is the number one sign of trouble.
When vampires are freaked out by something.. you know it has to be something big.
From that point onwards we get introduced to a new series that roams on earth. They are bigger, badder and more deadly than our vampires ever have been.

I liked the alternate POVs, especially Amelie's because it's not often that we get to see what she is thinking. And I am loving more and more the relationship between her and Oliver, as there is a moment in the book that will make you swoon. It did me, and I was like.. It's about time.

There is more focus than ever on Eve and Michael as they try to figure out a way to get married.
Marriage between humans and vampires are practically forbidden after an incident that happened many years ago, in which it did not end well for either of them, and for the town as well.
And while, I can understand why they don't wish for another repeat of it, the vampires do have to understand that it is their choice, and while Michael may be under Amelie's control, but he is still his own person. He has his own opinions and should be able to do as he pleases, and be with and marry whom he wants. It should be nobody else's business but he and Eve.
But when is anything easy in this town? Never.

Shane and Claire go through a bit of a turmoil, but the love they have for one another is stronger than anything they have ever faced before. And it will be the one thing that gets them through it all.
I really hope that by the time everything is all over, I want Claire to go to MIT (I was very heartbroken when she told the guy in the last book that she couldn't go) and they can be somewhere that isn't run by vampires, and try to live a happy and normal-like life for once.

Rating: 5/5

Review: Bite Club by Rachel Caine

Bite Club (Morganville Vampires, #10) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date: May 2nd, 2011
Number of pages: 422 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...

This book starts out with an excited Shane when he finds out there is going to be a new gym opening up in Morganville. A fighting one, which is just what he has always wanted.
But things aren't as they seem, and why one would think it would be normal when it is run by vampires.. and vampires always seem to have a motive to everything they do no matter how nice they might be to you.

When Shane starts to train at this new gym he starts to gain a new attitude and that gets him into a difficult situation when he gets the attention of one of the vampires.
He really gets the hard stick in this book, but I did like how we for the first time, got to hear his POV which was nice to hear. It was interesting to see hos thoughts about the events during the course of this book.

There is a surprise visitor back in town, which is not good news for anyone. And this person's return has an impact on everything that is happening.
Michael and Claire go through some interesting changes in their relationship, and so do Claire and Shane.
When Claire gets a surprising offer for something she has always wanted, she knows she has to decide what she wants to do. And it's not an easy choice to make.

Meanwhile, Claire and Myrnin are still the only two who still know of Frank Collins new existance a secret. But you know what they say about secrets? They are bound to come out sooner or later.

I look forward to reading Last Breath, and then I will finally be up to date on this series. It's so amazing, more than most get credit for.

Rating: 4.5/5


Review: Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

Ghost Town (Morganville Vampires, #9) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date: October 26th, 2010
Number of pages: 336 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

While developing a new system to maintain Morganville's defenses, student Claire Danvers discovers a way to amplify vampire mental powers. Through this, she's able to re-establish the field around this vampire-infested Texas college town that protects it from outsiders.

But the new upgrades have an unexpected consequence: people inside the town begin to slowly forget who they are-even the vampires. Soon, the town's little memory problem has turned into a full-on epidemic. Now Claire needs to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment- before she forgets how to save Morganville...

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In the ninth installment, Claire tries to discover a way to fix the machine that builds a barrier between the town and the outsiders.
But in doing so, it's not the people outside Morganville whom are forgetting, but rather the people inside. Michael, Shane and others start to forget certain things and they seem to think it's back 3 years ago, long before Claire even came to town.
It's also the vampires who seem to be losing track of time as well.
Given this new deveopment, Claire knows it's up to her, since she is the only one not from Morganville to try fix this problem.

Things start to become out of control between Oliver and Amelie as they battle for power of the town, and interesting things and confessions start to be revealed about their relationship.
Oliver is also not affected since he was not around 3 years ago, so the brain control is not affecting him, just like Claire.. but that doesn't mean she can rely on him to help her through this.

Things were a little different in this book, especially when those closest to Claire don't seem to remember who she is, and so she has to therefore get them to remember a different way, or show them something that is real.
She no longer has her parents to rely on, now they are out of town so that her father could get well again.. so she only has herself to depend on and to be the strong one when her friends can't help her on this journey.

A lot of books tend to get worse as they go on, but somehow, Rachel Caine brings something fresh to these characters in every book and so they just keep getting better.

I kinda.. am hoping something happens between Amelie and Oliver.. I am starting to ship those two, especially after one scene between them in this book. It sure brings up some interesting questions that's for sure.

Rating: 5/5


Review: Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires, #8) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
publication date: May 3rd, 2010
Number of pages: 348 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Claire Danvers has a few things on her mind. First of all there is the laundry, which is now an unfortunate shade of pink. Then there is her boyfriend, Shane, who is never too far from her thoughts. Finally there is her best friend Eve’s relationship problems. As if life as a student wasn’t complicated enough, Claire just happens to be studying in Morganville. A town run by vampires.

Trouble seems to follow Claire and her friends like a shadow and tonight is no exception to the rule. They must find the most difficult documents for a vampire to acquire; people passes that will allow “bad ass” Morley and his friends to leave Morganville. But it’s proving incredibly difficult, and with the odds seemingly stacked against them, the biggest question of all is...

Will they survive?

When Claire and her friends get permission to leave Morganville for a period to travel over to Dallas they couldn't be more happier.
It might not have been the passes they were after, considering Claire had made a deal with Morley to get him and his friends passes to leave the town, but instead she has been given some but just for Michael, Claire, Shane and herself for Michael's recording opportunity.

There is one catch though. Oliver happens to be their chapperone much to their dismay.
Things don't go as planned, especialy when they end up stranded in a small town where things aren't as they seem.

What begins out as what was meant to be a fun trip turns into something so terrifying they'll start to wonder where things went wrong.

It was definitely a nice and different thing to see them out of Morganville for a few days, even though what happens.. is just as bad as the things that happen in Morganville, lol
But I was glad in the end, they did eventually make it to Dallas and even amongst all the danger and horrific events that happened they were able to salvage at least a small part of the trip to do something nice for themselves. Even if it didn't last long. Better late than never, right?

Rating: 5/5

Review: Fade Out by Rachel Caine

Fade Out (Morganville Vampires, #7) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date: January 11th, 2010
Number of pages: 345 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedom, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again...

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve’s castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realise that this film project, featuring the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger—and way more dangerous—than anyone suspected..

With Bishop gone from the scene, Claire and her friends can finally relax as the town and it's people come to grips with the losses and the wreckage that was done when Bishop reigned.
When Eve starts screaming, first instinct would be is that something is wrong. But not in this case. It was more of an excited scream.

When Eve gets a lead role in Morganville's upcoming play, which she has been wanting to do for years she couldn't be happier. Well, except for the fact that Oliver is playing opposite her. Talk about worst nightmare ever.

When Kim, an old friend/acquaintance of Eve's and Claire starts to feel like she is being replace in Eve's life and then adding to the misery is the discovery that not only does she know Shane, her boyfriend, but also they hooked up once.
But when she suddenly goes missing, the gang have to find what's going on and get to the bottom of it.
What they discover about Kim and about what she is really doing will make you wonder how she isn't dead already.
But that's not the only thing they have to worry about. Adam, Myrnin's machine is out to get Claire who seems to think she is trying to steal him from her, and so she has to eliminate Claire from the equation.

I like it when they all work together to solve the problems this town seem to have in each book LOL.
I also really like seeing Amelie and Oliver working together, even though they are both leaders in their own right, so it doesn't always pan out. I think they are more similar than they think, they just go about things differently.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires, #6) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
publication date: December 10th, 2009
number of pages: 356 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace—until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He’s kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths.

He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants—the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?

This book opens up with everything gone to smack. Like basically everything.
Claire well has been working for the enemy, and she basically has to choice. None of them do at this point.
Amelie has gone missing. And everyone seems to blame Claire because she is the one good person who is meant to be on the good side, not the bad one.

Shane is locked up with his father, again. I know, this seems to be becoming a habit, doesn't it?
Everything seems to have changed for just about everyone in Morganville, and until they can find a way to get rid of Bishop that seems to be the way it will stay.

When Amelie does turn up, Claire gets a surprise of her life to learn something startling that things just might be more interesting than she originally thought. Just maybe... there is a way to get Bishop out of the way.

I really enjoyed this book. It was full of action and suspense. I like that Claire had interactions with many people. From Amelie, to Oliver to her friends and new people included.

There was finally a conclusion to the Bishop situation, finally and I was so glad. He is one character I really hated, but I guess that was the purpose. I do live villians, and just just people pretending to be a villian. 

Rating: 5/5

Review: Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine

Lord of Misrule (Morganville Vampires, #5) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date: June 10th, 2009
Number of pages: 352 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Morganville. Texas. Just south of normal.

In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, a master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat.

Violent black clouds promise a storm of devastating proportions. As student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against the elements—both natural and unnatural—the unexpected happens: Morganville’s vampires begin to vanish one by one. Discovering why leads Claire to one last choice: swear allegiance to Bishop... or die.

After the horrible outcome the feat brought in, Feast of Fools, Claire and her friends, and everyone else NOT on Bishop's side tries to find some way out of this mess. But that seems unlikely when Bishop seems to gain more followers than originally thought.
But things turn from bad to worse, and Claire might find herself that she doesn't have choice but do something drastic.

I felt this was an awesome book. Action packed to the max, and there was always something going on. The villians were still the villians, but in this book you just want them, especially Bishop and his followers to die a timely death like STAT.
Claire finds herself having to step up to the plate, and after a mass deception, she starts to wonder who in this town, apart from her friends can she really trust. She probably should have known even the vampires on the good sides shouldn't be trusted, but sometimes you do have to choose a lesser evil.

The ending was a dozy, and I couldn't believe myself what was happening. There will always be consequences for such actions, even if you do make such decisions for the right reasons. Sometimes, there is no good way to something like this.

Just when you thought you knew how things were going --- think again.

Rating: 5/5

Review: Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires, #4) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date: February 23rd, 2009
Number of pages: 367 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

The wait is over. dig into the feast...

In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans live in relative peace. Student Claire Danvers has never been convinced, though, especially with the arrival of Mr. Bishop, an ancient, old-school vampire who cares nothing about harmony. What he wants from the town's living and its dead is unthinkably sinister. It's only at a formal ball, attended by vampires and their human dates, that Claire realizes the elaborately evil trap he's set for Morganville.

Just when Claire thought things were getting back to normal in comes in Mr. Bishop, Amelie's father. Who makes oliver and Amelie put together like kittens. It seems he might want revenge of some kind from something Amelie had done to him in the past, and now he wants to take over the town.
Everyone seem to be scared of him, and for good reason. Bishop is gaining followers more and more, and Claire and her friends hope that the good side will win, but things aren't looking well.

There is a big ball for Bishop's homecoming and everyone, well mostly everyone is invited. It will be the event of the year, but things don't go as planned.
Bishop seems to always be one step ahead, and what happens will surprise you.

I loved this book. Things keep getting better and better as the series goes on, and the story is fresh. I loved the developing relationship between Shane and Claire, and then the friendship between Claire and Eve and Shane and Michael. We don't always get to see a lot of Michael and Eve, it's probably because since these books are in Claire's POV, so if they aren't in scenes with her, we won't see it. Ah, the downside to having 1st POV. But what we do get to see is that they do love each other, and would do anything to protect one another.

Rating: 5/5