Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3) by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3) by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: February 12th, 2013
Number of pages: 371 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository |

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

In the finale of Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden trilogy, the answers to all the questions that lie around become answered, and this is the end of a fantastic story.

I loved Wither -- the first book in this trilogy, I wasn't very impressed by fever -- the second, but Server, which is the final installment in this story brings back the love I had for the series moreso than ever before.
This is not a romance story. This is about survival, family and freedom. About finding the answers that one seeks.

Lauren has built such a unique and strong story, with great characters who have always been on a life-time limit in regards to how long they live. 
I loved or hated pretty much every single character. From Rhine to Linden, Cecily, Gabriel and even Vaughn.  Good or bad, the fact these characters had an impact at one point or another just goes to show that Lauren has created a story we all can find ourselves in.

In this conclusive finale, Rhine decides to track down her brother, Rowan, who she discovers some things about him and what he is doing that will blow her mind. But getting involved with the things he is involved in, she also finds herself deep in an underground research project to find out the cure to this horrible life-altering disease.
Secrets will get revealed. Truths come to light, and Rhine just may be the very key to solving everything she thought was impossible.

The relationship between Rhine and Linden come to a natural end, but in a way that is not heartbreaking, but satisfying. Linden himself becomes such a stronger character in this book, for which I was proud of him for. He realizes who his father really is, and develops a backbone with his eyes wide open.

We don't see Gabriel very much, and I'm not too sad about that because I never really connected to him in the first place.
I was thankful that he and Rhine didn't really end up together. Their whole relationship was pretty much explained. And it made much more sense then them having some kind of happy ending, which I am not sure if I could have stomached after all that transpired.

This was a much better book than the previous one, with twists and turns. Heartbreak and revelations. We got the answers we longed for. The answers that needed to be said, and we finally understood the reason for the series title.

A great end, yet bittersweet to a great and unique trilogy.

Review:  4/5

Friday, June 28, 2013

Follow Friday #19

It's time once again for the Feature and Follow Blog Hop hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read The Feature and Follow Blog Hop is an excellent chance to connect with other bloggers and answering questions about our favorite books. Here's this week's question:

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

My preferred reading choice would be paperback. They are cheap and easy to store. Hardbacks all the time, take up too much room, plus the covers can come off.
Ebooks are my last choice, but they are very convenient for times when you aren't sure you will like a book enough to buy, or if you want to try it out. They are also handy for times your not at home and want to read on the run or on a trip and you don't want to take many books with you. It's also easy to read through ebooks quicker than normal ones.

But nothing can take away from picking up a paperback, smelling the pages, admiring the cover, being able to match books (this is a thing for me).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Number of Pages: 369
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.

Finally got around to reading the last book in this series. I do wish I did a re read of the first two since I didn't remember a lot of the details. Honestly I was a little disappointed in this book. It made a nice end to the trilogy. Beware there's a lot of death in this book.

They finally made it to the Centauri-Earth. But it's filled with dangers that they are unsure how to protect from. They finally wake up the frozen, and Amy gets to see her family again. With the military deaths from the first book, it makes Amy's father the highest rank and in charge. And it takes no time for him to assume leadership over everyone.

Elder realizes that the military are keeping secrets. And the biggest one? There was a previous Earth settlement that got killed out by an alien race that resides there. Not only that, but they keep attacking them and seems like there's noway to beat them.

We are introduced to a few new characters, including Chris. Chris is about 20, a few years older than Amy. Which she initially thought he was really young to be included on the mission, which he claims he just made the cut off. Chris and Amy seemed to hit it off, and I was hoping he would be a rival for Elder. I never really liked Elder, and thought him and Amy didn't make sense.

Even though I knew all along that Amy would end with Elder, I was hoping that her and Chris would have a fighting chance. I did like how the whole plot is filled with mystery. But the end result? Ehhh... Along the many deaths were a few that will make you go WTF. And the answers to all the questions? I was disappointed. I thought it would be more than that. And what happens to Amy? The poor girl has been through enough. The ending with Elder was so predictable.

Overall, the book and even series isn't bad. I just could never connect with Elder. And I never thought they were truly in love. They barely seemed to know anything about each other. Not to mention there were no other choices for them. The whole premise for the book is interesting and original. I do want to know more about the hybrids and the original settlement. Maybe we will get a spin off book or even a short story.

Rating: 3/5


Review: Taking Back Forever by Karen Amanda Hooper

Taking Back Forever (Kindrily #2) by Karen Amanda Hooper
Publication Date: May 31, 2013
Publisher: Starry Sky Publishing
Number of Pages: 365
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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Forever is worth the fight.

Maryah erased all memory of her past lives, but she couldn’t erase her soul mate Nathan, or his undying love. Now, Maryah and Nathan have a second chance at a future together, but first Maryah must remember the person she used to be and embrace her supernatural gifts—more than one kindrily member’s life depends on it.

Maryah’s power is Harmony’s best hope of finding her kidnapped soul mate, Gregory. But Harmony isn’t big on asking anyone for help, and she’s tired of waiting, so she’s taking matters into her own hands. Heaven help anyone who stands in her way.

Some sequels you can pick it up and read without reading the first since they seem to summarize what happened in the first book. This book is not one of those books. It picks up right where the first book ended. Maryah remembers her love for Nathan but she can't remember most of her memories.

Like the last book this one is divided into two different POVs. Instead of Nathan's POV we get to see Harmony's. Maryah is working on trying to active control her power in order to help the kindrily find Gregory. But Harmony is getting impatient, and refuses to wait for Maryah to get a handle of her power.

The book is filled with Maryah and Nathan romance. And while I enjoyed it and the book, I didn't think the book measured up to the first one. Don't get me wrong, I still loved the book just liked the first book better. We do get an answer from the first book, the secret Nathan has been keeping from Maryah and the rest of the kindrily. Nathan has seen Gregory, and knows who he is with, and not only that he has a big connection to Maryah.

What makes this book interesting is there are two endings to this book. The first is sweet, but at least to me it felt lacking. That there should be more after that. There's a note from the author herself warning about a cliffhanger. And to respect her and her wish for those who kept on reading not to mention what happens so I won't go into details. Although sometimes I hate cliffhangers, but at the same time I love them. Sometimes they are needed. Makes you want the next book even more. And this one is no exception. Makes you go holy shit!

Rating: 4/5


Friday, June 21, 2013

Cover Reveal: Into the Sky Blue by Veronica Rossi


The cover for the final "Under the never sky" trilogy has been release.

The US cover:

And the UK/Aus:

Release date is: January 28th & February 6th respectively.

Which cover do you like better?  I'll be getting the UK one, since that is what comes out here in Aus.

Review: The Keepers by J.L Block

The Keepers  (The Keepers Trilogy, #1) by J.L Block
Publisher: J.L Block
Publication date: March 19th, 2013
Number of pages: 251
Format: E-format
Purchase: Amazon

Ava's ordinary life is shattered when she is attacked and becomes involved in a secret society of magic.

Alongside the Keepers, Ava needs to mediate as the magics collide and are becoming out of control. She must Keep the increasing amount of secrets safe - even from her family. But there's a rising tension within this group as Ava replaces a fallen Keeper, and it becomes an issue of trust. The Rogues, betrayers to this creed, threaten to devastate the Keepers, who think themselves safe.

It will take both Ava’s inner and outer strength to overcome the chaos, or as she now knows, the Visma and, by extension, the mysterious Rogues that surround her.

I'd like to thank the author for giving me this chance to review this book. I was given this free in exchange for an honest review.

This book is set in an New Adult setting, but also reads like YA, so it could be classified as both. The main character, Ava led a perfectly normal life for a while, but everything changes dramatically when she is attacked and finds herself involved in a new type of society.
She'll have to go through some trials and tribulations, but in the end, I found that she became a stronger person because of all she had been through and dealt with.
She goes from being average, to becoming this whole new person, and in a world she had no idea that even existed, but when she finds herself involved with the keepers, it opens up a whole new experience for her.

An action packed story with a touch of romance, this is a great story to get yourself into if you are looking for something a little bit different, and yet so familiar.

This is my first book by J.L Block, and she also happens to be Aussie like myself, so I was intrigued. The world she created, these characters and the world-building fasincated me. It was definitely a great start to this trilogy.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review: Magic Bites by Illona Andrews

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews
Publication Date: April 1, 2007
Publisher: Ace
Number of Pages: 260
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings-and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league-but she wouldn't have it any other way.

Doing re reads before a next release book is always fun. You pick up things you didn't noticed before. Enter Atlanta in a post Shift world. Magic comes in unpredictable waves and knocks out all technology.  Meet Kate Daniels, mercenary who can barely scrape by. When Greg,the Order's knight-diveiner and Kate's guardian and only family she has left is killed in the middle of a job Kate is out for justice and blood.

It's unsure in what time the novel is set in, but it seems to be a time in the near future. Kate is definitely kick ass and doesn't take any shit. You can tell immediately she's hiding a deep secret, with her talk about hiding who she is and burning any of her spilled blood. Not to mention that later in the book there's talk about power and magic running through her blood, and hinting she knows a lot more Roland, the mysterious leader of the People, and who he really is. Even though this is a re read, I'm intrigued by these mysteries and then I remember I know the truths. With knowing the truth's it's a lot easier to pick up on the hints and foreshadow of who Kate is.

And of course investigating a very high profile murder warrants the attention of the Beast Lord, ruler of the shapeshifters in Atlanta area. At first Curran and Kate don't get along, they push each other buttons. Well it's not much better towards the end of the book either. But you can't help but smile at them. He even saves her life.

If you haven't read this series yet, you should. It's one of those that will become an instant favorite in one book. Urban fantasy at it's finest.

Rating: 5/5


Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon
Publication Date: June 1, 1991
Publisher: Delta
Number of Pages: 627
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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Unrivaled storytelling ... unforgettable characters ... rich historical detail ... these are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon's work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured millions of readers.

Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages....

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon — when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach — an "outlander" — in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord ... 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life ... and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire ... and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

I only have one word...AMAZING! This book blew me out of the water. I had a friend that told me about the series a few years ago right after I discovered the Fever and Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning. It's been on my tbr list ever since, even though I have had others tell me how amazing the series is. I just never got around to reading it. Finally I made that my goal this year. And now I'm wondering why the hell did this book sit on my tbr list for three years?! I could smack myself.

Claire Randall and her husband Frank have pretty much been separated for the past six years during the war. Finally reunited they are taking a holiday in Scotland-where they got married. Frank is a historian of a sort and is trying to trace his family back, and learn more about Captain Jack Randall. Clare stumbles upon a mini version of Stonehedge, and walking through it she is suddenly taken back almost 200 years to 1743. The first person she runs into is Jack Randall, who she first mistakes for Frank. Before Jack could attack her, she is saved by some Highland warriors who take her back to their land, the MacKenzies.

The book takes some time getting used to, with it written in a lot of Scottish dialect and even how Claire phrases words since she is from 1945. And at the first it's a little slow, and really didn't pick up until about 100 pages in. But once I got past the hump, I couldn't put it down. Felt so realistic and like I could be reading someone's diary. Claire is determined to get back to the standing rocks and go back to her own time and Frank. But it proves to be a problem time and time over. But when Claire is forced to marry Jamie Fraiser, the nephew of the cheiftan of the clan and outlaw, she wonders if she will ever get back home.

It's not long before Claire actually starts to fall in love with Jamie, and her heart torn into two. And oh Jamie...along with Claire you will fall in love with him. Even has some funny lines. It was easy to forget that he's a good five years younger than Claire; a very unusual twist to the story.

I've heard complaints about abuse and rape in this book. You have to remember what time this book is set in. And the abuse, for the most part isn't really. That was how they discipline. And it's not like they beat the crap out of the women or children. These issues didn't really bother me because I'm aware of how it was back then. And how it is written, somethings it reveals it never officially confirms. You have to read between the lines.

I fell in love with not only this book, but Jamie and Claire. And ever since I finished I've been dying to get back to the bookstore and get the second book.

Rating: 5/5


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Publication date: September 13th 2012
Number of pages: 373 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository | Bookworld Australia

Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met - a boy the rest of the world is convinced is imaginary. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she doesn't complain. She runs the school newspaper and keeps to herself for the most part - until disturbing events begin to happen. There has been screaming in the woods and the dark, abandoned manor on the hill overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. As Kami starts to investigate for the paper, she finds out that the town she has loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets- and a murderer- and the key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy who everyone thought was imaginary may be real...and he may be dangerous.

Brennan brings a dark, romantic and magical story and makes it unique in its own right. I can't believe I had put this book off for as long as I did. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the world the author has created.

Kami Glass is a teenager who has been in love with someone she hasn't met. From the moment she was born, Kami has always been able to hear this voice inside her head. She doesn't know where it came from, all she knows is that it's always been there.
She stopped talking about him when people thought she was crazy, or didn't believe her. I mean.. would you?
The moment that the Lyburns arrive back into town, she realizes that the voice inside her head has always been real, and now stands in front of her.

As Kami and Jared try to navigate the boundaries of their new-real relationship, they can't decide what they now are to one another.  Are they friends , or something more?
The romance between them was something I loved about the book. But we also discover another side to a triangle in the form of his brother, someone she doesn't have the ability to hear his thoughts or be able to talk to in their heads.

The truth of why they have this ability soon comes to light, but not before they both get involved in a deadly battle between good and evil. Right and wrong.
There is a paranormal twist to these characters. To this town, and if Kami wants things to be normal again, she'll have to do things she never would have done before. 

It took me a while to understand that the town was actually called Sorry-in-the-Vale, I mean seriously? What kind of name is that? But it is something I got used to over the course of the book.

And come on, the cliffhanger? It made me want to scream. Want to throw the book across the wall, and smack Jared. It made no sense to me, I hope the next book deals with this and what comes next.

There was many parts of this book that I enjoyed.  It had a great friendship aspect. There was shocking reveals and admissions. 

I definitely will be picking up the next book as soon as it comes out.  

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cover Reveal | Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

I just saw this cover, and I knew I had to share...

The cover for the final book in the Everneath trilogy.. :D

The covers for this series just get more beautiful as it goes along. I am so excited to have this book in my hands.
To see how this story will end. Given the ending of Everbound ----  this needs to come out like STAT.

Who else agrees?

Expected release date: January 24th, 2014

Review: Gravity by Melissa West

Gravity (The Taking, #1) by Melissa West
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: December 18th 2012
Number of pages: 284 pgs
Format: E-format
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Whatever you do... don't ever peek.

Melissa West has created a fascinating world where Aliens known as Ancients have come into our world in the year 2140.
They have made a deal with the current world to heal earth to which it has been damaged war after war in exchange for getting nutrients from humans every night.
At seventeen years old, Ari Alexander has never seen what her Ancient looked like, nor does anyone else since they are required to wear an eye patch to protect their eyes. The Ancients come in form of a bright light, so it's for the safety of the humans to be protected by this patch, but the one night that Ari has misplaced her patch----  she takes a peek.
That one peek will forever change her entire life as she knew it.

When Ari realizes that her Ancient is Jackson, someone she has had a crush on forever, but also knows goes to her school. Ancients aren't meant to be living on earth, and she knows that she should make a report regarding this, but when Jackson tells her that he needs her help... she can't help but be intrigued. The more time they spent together, the more she finds herself for falling for him, and that may be the last thing she'll need, but something that's out of her control.

I loved the world building in the novel. It introduces the world of aliens which we have never known before. A world which was so thrilling and exciting, I could not put this book down.
While we may not have gotten every single bit of information, the author gave us enough for the the story. If smaller information is needed, then I am sure it will be included along the way.
I was interested in learning more about the Ancients, and I believe we got enough to go with this story, but hope we get to see more of them and the history as the story progresses in this series.

There was bits of a love triangle introduced. Ari has grown up knowing that one day she will marry Lawrence, the President's son, but when she and Jackson spend more time together, she begins to see what she should do and feel, to what lies within her heart. It may not be what is best for her, or what others want her life to be, but sometimes you can't help who you fall in love with... even if it is a out of this world Alien.

There is so much more to this book, but it's best not to spoil all the best bits, so  I should you check it out for yourself and form your own opinion
I for sure am looking forward to the next installment in this journey.

Rating: 5/5

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Publisher: Corgi
Publication date: October 11th, 2012
Number of pages: 397 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository | Bookworld Australia

For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself

Aria Rose is the youngest child of one of two rival Mystic City families. After an accident that renders her memories blank, she is told of a secret relationship that she and Thomas Foster, the son of the other rival family they had.
She knows the story. But she can't remember a thing about this so-called relationship that was meant to have taken place. No feelings. No memories. But it must be the truth because why would her family lie?

It isn't until she meets Hunter, who makes her feel the kind of things she should be feeling with Thomas, and she begins a journey to something she never thought would happen.
Secrets will be revealed. Relationships and family will be tested, and most of all, Aria will discover just what the relationship between herself and Thomas is. Is her memories of him returning from memories flashing back to her, or are they completely different?

This book I was impressed. I had been wanting to read it for ages, and when I finally got the chance to do so, I couldn't believe how much I loved it.
I loved the relationship between Aria and Hunter.  There were things I had a bad feeling about since the very beginning, and I looked forward to discovering the truth just like Aria was.
The secrets, betrayal and realizations that come through in this book surprised me. I had a feeling who her true relationship was with going by the prologue.

The world which Theo developed sucked me in. It wasn't just a modern day tale of Romeo and Julet. No, there was so much more to this story than the relationships and romance. There was death, mystery and intrigue. Secrets and lies. New beginnings and shocking endings. 

I look forward to see what is next for this story, and what becomes of these characters. How the relationships progress.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: Requiem (Delirum #3) by Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium, #3) by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: March 5th, 2013
Number of pages: 391 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository | Bookworld Australia

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.(

This will be short and sweet.

I delayed reading this book because I already knew how it was going to end. And that wasn't just my only problem with this.

Requiem is the final novel in this trilogy. You have Hana and Lena with their own POVs as they deal with different things in their lives.
Hana is cured and currently planning her wedding, but the more she discovers about her fiance', the less confidence she feels that marrying him is the right thing to do.
Hana discovers more about him than she might have wanted to know, and it will make her question everything she knew or wanted.

Lena is dealing with the fact her presumed first love is in fact alive, and juggling that information while with her new boyfriend, Julian.
There is the rebellion going on, and she doesn't have time to deal with her feelings for both of the boys. And soon enough, her and Hana's lives start to combine when their stories become connected and they have that very important confrontation.

I will admit, I am very disappointed in this book. Not only by the ending, which felt misplaced and out of nowhere, but also the sudden rush of Alex's feelings suddenly coming back appeared random. Lena's complete lack of respect for her own boyfriend, Julian.. who  felt she led him on, and by the end, there wasn't any indication that she planned to do anything about that.

I could not enjoy any Lena/Alex, because I didn't feel they were the same as they were. Things had changed, and so have they. I hated that she didn't talk to Julian about her feelings.. for him, for Alex How she felt. If she planned on breaking up with him, then I would have preferred her to be honest with him so he could move on to someone that did completely love him. It felt like to me she was holding onto him for whatever reason.
I felt for Julian most of all. He did not deserve how she treated him. He could look after himself, and there were times where I loved their moments, but then I remembered her longing for something she could not have, and the fact she was leading him on just because he was there.

Not only was there no conclusion at the end, but there was also no mention of anything prior to this book, such as Raven's pregnancy which was mentioned in her novella. It's like certain things were not even mentioned. It felt a rushed job, and I was disappointed because I know Lauren could do better. After the last two books which were great... this one was just such a letdown.

Rating: 2/5

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Review: Promised (Birthmarked, #3) by Caragh O'Brien

Promised (Birthmarked, #3) by Caragh O'Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: October 2nd, 2012
Number of pages: 295pgs
Format: Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland and over-throwing the tyranical leader of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her greatest challenge yet - to lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge. With Leon finally by her side, Gaia is hopeful that she can settle her people and finally start the life with him that she's always wanted. But in Gaia's absence, the Enclave has become even more ruthless, picking girls from outside the wall to serve in an experimental baby factory. Babies with the right genes are now a priceless commodity with the potential to reshape life inside the wall and redifine humanity. And when it becomes clear that her genes are exactly what the Enclave needs, Gaia is appalled by the lengths they will go to...

This was a fantastic end to this series. It contained just about everything you could have wanted in a finale. It upped the stakes, gave you twists and surprises. Not everything was chocolates and roses, but it was enough of an ending to keep you satisfied in the conclusion of the story.

This book was more about Gaia becoming the leader she was always meant to be. She is probably the character who has had the most development throughout the trilogy. That's not to say Leon hasn't, but Gaia has gone from this one young midwife, to someone who goes up against the Enclave and to fight for what is right. She is willing to risk her life to change how things should be from how they are.

The relationship between Leon and Gaia continues to amaze me, and in Promised is no exception. They have had their ups and downs. Their good and bad times, but when it comes down to it, they will always have each other's backs and come back to one another. I love how they kept evolving, and this amazing ending shows no other than the best ending they could have.  I do wish something would have been resolved, or that there was hope regarding a certain something, but all in all, they had a fairytale ending pretty much. Well, if you take away the death, the pain and heartbreak.

In this conclusive ending, Gaia and her friends battle the Enclave when they arrive back in town after spending many months away from the place she grew up in.  Upon her return, she discovers that there are so many things that aren't as they used to be.  People have changed and done the unexpected. Circumstances and events have changed people. But the rules have not changed. There is no change in the wall since the last she left, if anything it's even worse than before.
If Gaia and her fellow friends want to change things, they will have to get deep into the Enclave and force change.

This ending proves to be everything needed and more. Everything the last two books have been leading up to. The rise of the rebellion. One thing is for certain... Gaia will do anything to ensure her friends safety.

This is an action-packed adventure of character building, a beautiful plot and relationships to adore. It deals with love, loss, heartbreak and the chance to make a change.

If you haven't picked up this series yet, then go ahead and do so now.  It's one not to be missed.

Rating: 4.5 /5 

Follow Friday #18

It's time once again for the Feature and Follow Blog Hop hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read The Feature and Follow Blog Hop is an excellent chance to connect with other bloggers and answering questions about our favorite books. Here's this week's question:

Q. Have you ever broken up with a series, and if so, which one and why?

Quite a few actually...

First there was Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R Ward, which I felt was becoming worse and I was starting to lose interest as it went along.
House of Night series by P.C & Kristin Cast. From the way they spell vampires and the introduction of certain things, let's not forget the main characters many love interests... I think i got through a couple and then could not do it anymore.
Rachel Morgan series, because she killed off the love interest I didn't feel the need to read any longer. And most recently, Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent. -- it all started with If I Die, I began to hate the main character, and  I hate, hate what the author did to my ship. Yeah, I did not even read the last two books when I knew the direction it was going.

What about you?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian

Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed #10) by Lara Adrian
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Robinson Publishing
Number of Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

The climactic novel in Lara Adrian's "New York Times" bestselling Midnight Breed series--and her hardcover debut--"Darker After Midnight" invites readers to enter a thrillingly sensual world where danger meets desire.
In the dark of night, a blood war escalates within the hidden world of the Breed. After existing in secret for many long centuries, maintaining a fragile peace with the humans who walk beside them unaware, a single act of retaliation has put the entire vampire nation at risk of discovery. It falls to the Order--a cadre of Breed warriors pledged to protect their own and humankind alike--to stop Dragos, the power-mad vampire at the center of the conflict, before his push for domination can explode into catastrophe.
At the center of the Order's quest is Sterling Chase, once a morally rigid enforcer of Breed law, now a warrior fallen from grace, whose biggest battle is the one he wages against his own savage nature. With addiction beckoning him toward eternal darkness, Chase's path to redemption has never seemed more out of reach. But when his eyes meet those of Tavia Fairchild, a beautiful witness who identifies him at the scene of a mission gone terribly wrong, Chase finds himself drawn to the woman--and convinced she is something much more than she seems.
Pulled into a vortex of intrigue and danger she can neither resist nor understand, Tavia is uncertain whom to trust. And while everything sane and logical warns her against getting close to Chase, she cannot deny that the handsome, deeply haunted male stirs something primal and ravenous within her. But even as she surrenders to her cravings, nothing can prepare her for the shattering truth of who--and what--she truly is.
As the Order's enemy mobilizes for the battle of the ages, Dragos and his Minions unleashing a hell on Earth like nothing ever seen before, Chase and Tavia are thrust into the heart of the violence. With time running out and the streets running red with the blood of innocent lives, both Breed and human, together Chase and Tavia must find a way to defeat Dragos once and for all--or die trying.

Finally I get to the book I've been dying to read the most in this series since Sterling Chase has been introduced. Honestly I was afraid that it wouldn't stand up to my expectations, as much long awaited books happen to be somewhat of a disappointed. But this book was amazing. Easily the best one in this series.

Chase has been struggling with bloodlust, and has walked away from the Order. His suicide sacrifice not only saved the Order but has landed him in human custody.  At the police station he attempts to warn the senator and his personal assistant, Tavia that Dragos is a danger to them. But he realized too late that Dragos has already gotten to the senator and has made him a minion. Using his strength, Chase breaks out of his confinement and tracks down where the police are holding Tavia and takes her back to the last place he ever wanted to go, his old Darkhaven. There Chase realizes that Tavia isn't who she says she is, even if she doesn't know it herself. Instead she's something impossible, a female Gen One Breed. Knowing the Order will be able to protect her and to give her help he contacts a friend to hand Tavia over to the Order, fully intending to disappear. Only he can't seem to get her off his mind or stay away from her.

We learn some pretty good stuff in this book. Like Chase hasn't been facing bloodlust recently, no he's been fighting it for the past six years, ever since his brother had died. At least for me that one made my jaw drop. The book also focus on Jenna's dreams or as the Order has discovered actual memories from the Ancient. That kept me almost as intrigued as Chase's story. In the memories, they discovered that at one point the Ancients had been at war with an immortal race. A race that has the very symbol of the breedmates, and are believed to be the fathers of the breedmates. Which this is my only real disappointment with the book. They kind of left that open and never resolved it in this particular book.

The Dragos story arc is finally resolved in this book. But not before he had unleashed horror and terror into the world and let them know of their existence. The ending of the book shows a new world for the Breed. One of them living among humans knowing their existence. I had originally planned to end the series here. The first half of the series was amazing, but the second half didn't seemed as good to me. But this book renewed my love for the series, and have me curious about the somewhat spin off with the next generation of the Breed.

Rating: 4/5


Review: Bound to Shadows by Keri Arthur

Bound to Shadows (Riley Jensen Guardian #8) by Keri Arthur
Publication Date: October 27, 2009
Publisher: Dell
Number of Pages: 346
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads 

Part vampire, part werewolf, Riley Jenson knows what can happen when vamps don’t play well with others. But she’s never seen anything like this: a series of brutal murders surrounding the latest hot spot for vampire-human hookups—and the victims aren’t just killed, they’re beheaded. Now Riley is launching into action, toying with a seductive—and highly suspicious—club owner, and finding herself in the middle of another mystery: women being killed one by one, without a trace of violence.

For Riley, solving multiple cases—in a world going mad with human and vampire passions—would have been tough enough. Instead she has two jealous lovers on her hands: Kye Murphy, the amber-eyed werewolf who makes Riley’s wolf blood howl—and Quinn, the cool, elegant vamp who has over a thousand years’ experience at fulfilling women’s desires. While she’s busy juggling these two sexy beasts, Riley’s detective work takes a stunningly violent turn. Finding a murderer is now a matter of life and death. Especially since the killer has long since found her . . .

As far as Riley is concern she could care less if she sees Kye Murphy ever again, even if he's her soul mate. And Kye feels the same way. Yet while she's investigating her new case Kye shows up again. And not only does he show up, but apparently he has had a small change of heart and can't stay away from Riley.

You start to feel bad for the girl. Seems like she can't catch a break from the gruesome cases. But having issues in her love life, she throws herself into work. Not to mention that Rhoan and his soul mate Liander has decided they want a child and form their own pack, and they want to use one of Riley's eggs so it'll be her child too. I don't know why she hesitated to give them an answer. All along all she says she wants is to find her soul mate and to have children. Yet she chooses to stay with Quinn, who will never be her soul mate and can't even understand the werewolf culture nor does he approve it; which I do have to say he has gotten better over time of trying to be understanding, and not only can he not give Riley children he wouldn't want children. Yes Riley might love him, but sometimes love isn't enough.

And as with previous books the small amount of Quinn in the one was way to much for me. And we barely got to see Kade, Rhoan, and Liander. The series would be so much better off seeing more of them, especially since this series started because Rhoan was missing.

The ending was surprising, I had suspected it along with Riley, but I was hopping it wasn't true. I had really liked Kye. Even though he did have Rhoan shot and threatened to kill everyone Riley cares about, I was really hoping for a turnaround. But he was never given a fighting chance from day one. And that pisses me off. Granted he turned out to be crazy at the end and was even I couldn't forgive him for his sins. There's two surprising deaths at the end. Ok maybe just one surprising death. The other one was kind of given. But the one that shocked me the most made me so mad! There's a part of me that is still extremely pissed off and even considered not even reading the last and final book.  

Rating: 3/5

Review: Into the Dreaming by Karen Marie Moning

Into the Dreaming (Highlander #8) by Karen Marie Moning
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Delacote Press
Number of Pages: 253
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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For the first time in hardcover, here is #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning’s novella Into the Dreaming, a tale of Highland fantasy, star-crossed lovers, and the timeless manipulation of the ancient, immortal Unseelie king. This is Moning at her romantic, funniest finest.

Free him from his ice-borne hell . . .

Stolen from his beloved home in the Highlands of Scotland, imprisoned in the Unseelie king’s dark, frosty kingdom, Aedan MacKinnon endured centuries of torture before becoming the icy, emotionless Vengeance, the dark king’s dispatcher of death and destruction in the mortal realm.

And in his century you both may dwell . . .

Aspiring romance novelist Jane Sillee has always believed that she was born in the wrong century, but she’s managed to make a decent enough life for herself—if only she could stop having those recurring dreams about a man too perfect to exist.

In the Dreaming you have loved him . . .

Haunted every night of her life by a devastatingly sexy Highlander who comes to her while she sleeps, Jane tries to write him out of her head and heart. As a child he protected her, as a woman he loves her.

Now in the Waking you must save him . . .

When an ancient tapestry bearing the likeness of her beloved Highlander arrives on her doorstep, Jane is whisked back in time to fifteenth-century Scotland, to the castle of Dun Haakon on the isle of Skye, where she is given one chance to save her dream lover . . . or lose him forever to the Unseelie king.

Caught in a deadly game between the light and dark courts of the Fae, Jane must find a way through the ice to the heart of her Highander. But will the love of one mortal woman be enough to defeat such ancient and ruthless immortal enemies?

As big of a fan I'm of KMM I can't believe it took me a year to buy this book. Especially since I've been dying to get my hands on it since before it was re published you couldn't even find the story anywhere. Not to mention all of the bonus material in it. The cover is absolutely beautiful. I've tagged the book with both Fever and Highlander tags because of some of the bonus material, it's has a little bit of everything.

The story itself is a very quick read and very cute. Not only did it feel good to read her work again, but to be back in the Highlander world. As long as Jane can remember she has had dreams of this Highlander warrior, which Jane can swear feels so real. But now she is swept back in time, and he doesn't remember who she is or even himself. To break the curse the Unseelie King has put on him, she must make him fall in love with her within the next month. I love the little twist in this short story, different from most PNR books. It's the female that is doing the seducing and chasing instead of the other way around. I knew going into the book that the fae mythology is slight different from her Fever series and even the later Highlander books, because at the time when she wrote it it was being published by a different publisher. None the less it's still a decent read.

On to the bonus material. Which is pretty much the main reason I was excited to get the book. The first one is a proposal for a never written book called Ghost of a Chance. It features the brother of Hawk from her first Highlander book Beyond the Highland Mist. After reading it I'm a sad it never got written. It sounds like it would be an awesome book. The second bonus feature is some deleted scenes from Kiss of the Highlander. As KMM explains originally when she write it, when Gwen goes back in time instead of confronting Drustan she fakes amnesia. Here we get a sense on how that part of the book played out.

The third and last Highlander bonus, and probably the biggest bonus content is the original draft for The Dark Highlander, or as KMM calls it The Dark Highlander Lite. It's a completely different story, and even has a different heroine, Elizabeth who happens to be a friend of Gwen. The draft itself is very good and would of made a good book. But it's lacking that darkness surrounding the real book. It's light and fluffy, but it did leave me interested and wouldn't mind reading the whole thing if it existed.

Now there's two bonus for the Fever world or well not really bonus. Since the book came out a few months before the Fever graphic novel, it contain a sneak peek of that with half of the arts still being in black and white. And then there's also included the first chapter of Darkfever. As a huge Fever fan not much that I hadn't seen before.

I think this book is an awesome introductory to both of her series. If you haven't read either or one or the other, this book is an excellent buy to get a taste. Even for a person who randomly picks it up, it will easily suck you in and make you wanting more of each series.

Rating: 4/5

Review: Prized (Birthmarked #2) by Caragh O'Brien

Prized (Birthmarked, #2) by Caragh O'Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: November 8th, 2011
Number of pages: 365pgs
Format: Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?

In this second installment, the story picks up pretty much right away with Gaia travelling over to the dead forest with her newborn baby sister. Since she is all her sister has in the world now, Gaia tries her best to keep her alive, but thigs seem to look grim.
Whena Gaia encounters a man and he takes her to his village, she thinks they will help her butm it's probably not the sort of help she had encountered on.
In exchange for them keeping her sister alive.. Gaia might have to make a promise and a choice that will affect their lives forever.
In this new town, Sylum there was different rules and laws that everyone must obey against otherwise there will be conseqences.

When people are mysteriously dying upon leaving the town, Gaia and her new group of friends try to figure out the cause of it and try to find some way around it. That's not the only mystery that is surrounding the town.
People keep having babies and only few are girls. Is this just bad luck, or is there something more to it? What Gaia discovers might be truly horrifying and unexplainable.

But Gaia isn't the only newcomer to town. Someone else has turned up, someone from her recent past who has come looking for her.
Ah, aint true love grand? Yes. But while that might seem like an overwhelming joy to have Leon there with her.. when Gaia is forced between a rock and a hard place.. she doesn't know what choice to make.
Either way she will be hurting someone. So what does she do? Try to work her way around the problem and try to get make the best decision possible.

I know some people didn't like this book as much as the first, or felt the characters were vastly different but I don't think that's the case at all.
Gaia was still the same girl she has always been.. but sometimes she has to make choices and decisions that she wish she wouldn't have to.

We see different layers to Leon. Not only is he the boy we met in Birthmarked, but since Gaia left the Enclave.. Leon was punished, and he has been through so much and that itself would change a person. We see him more passionate, dangerous and utterly in love with Gaia. I think I fell more in love with him in this book.

We have new characters such as Peter and Will, brothers who end up liking the same girl.. who likes someone else.
The leader of the town, the Matrarc. Banished girls who Gaia befriends.

I was going to rate this 4 stars, but then I remember on my re-read of this book, I could not put it down. It was addicting, and the angsty /tension between Gaia and Leon made me finish this book within a day.

This book was a thrilling ride, and it sets up for the final book in the series which I cannot wait for especially with what will be happening, and that alone.. is a must read.

Rating: 5/5

Review: Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1) by Caragh O'Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: March 30th, 2010
Number of pages: 361pgs
Format: Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

In the Enclave, your scars set you apart, and the newly born will change the future.
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother's footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be "advanced" into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish

From the moment I opened the very first page, I was hooked.

We're taken right into Gaia's world of being a young midwife, following in her mother's footsteps. At sixteen, Gaia knows just about everything there is to know about delivering a child, but while her mother is at another birth, Gaia is forced to deliver her very first child out into the world.She starts to feel guilty about delivering the child to the Enclave for others to raise, but she serves the Enclave and is taught not to ask questions, and do as she is told.

Upon arriving home, Gaia is told her parents had been taken into the Enclave for questioning, basically arrested for something she can't imagine they would be involved in. She too is questioned regarding information her parents might have kept hidden by a soldier. How could she know anything like this... she has no idea what was going on.
From that moment on, she determined to find her parents and sort out the mess they think they are in. She is sure they must be mistaken. But getting inside the wall was proving harder than she imagined, and that's when things start to take off..

I really fell in love with Gaia's story of not just finding her parents, but also finding out the truth. Along the way, she meets and gets to know the solider who questioned her. Leon.

The romance in this book felt very natural, and realistic. These two characters. Gaia and Leon both have been through complicated messes and come out at the other side.
The journey to discover the truth behind the patterns, and the package that was left to her seems to be more complicated than she thought. She does not have a lot of time other wise, she could end up dead.

 I really liked the mystery behind this story. And the end gives more to work with for a series. I loved this book the first time I read it, and even more the 2nd time.

This story feels different than a lot of the dystopian things out there. And the writing was just great. Caragh has a knack of getting you addicted in the world she has created.

Rating: 5/5