Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: The Thing About Weres by Leigh Evans

The Thing About Weres (Mystwalker, #2) by Leigh Evans
Publisher: St. Martins.
Publication date: July 30th, 2013
Number of pages: 422 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Love is like a wild animal. It can't be tamed…

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

In the never-ending saga that is my love-hate relationship with Robson Trowbridge, I, half-Were Hedi Peacock, have had a change of heart. Ever since I shoved Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn, I’ve been the leader of the pack—hard to believe, right? The thing is: I’m half-Fae. So even though my Were side is ready to heed the call of the wild, the other part of me is desperate to take flight. And much as it pains me to admit it, life without Trowbridge is really starting to were me down…

I Am Were, Hear Me Roar.

To make matters worse, the wolves of Creemore want my blood—and the North American Council of Weres wants me dead. So I’m just counting the days until Trowbridge returns from the other realm…and comes to my brave rescue…and becomes my alpha mate. Wishful thinking? Of course it is. But given all the mess I’ve been through already, what’s the harm in doing a little bit of daisy-plucking? Besides, Trowbridge owes me bigtime. A girl can dream.

The follow-up sequel to The Trouble with Fate, comes an exciting, emotional and action-packed story which only adds so much more than the previous book did.
Hedi has been trying to lead Trowbridge's pack ever since she pushed him through the gates of Merenwyn in an attempt so he could heal from his injuries. She didn't know when she might see him again, if she would.

It's been six months and Hedi hasn't had the easiest time with her mate's pack, especially given they have no proof that she is even his mate. She is half fae. She does not hold his scent, so they probably don't think they should follow her just because she claims such things.
When the North American Council begins to investigate the pack, Hedi begins to realize she needs to step up and take charge as the Alpha otherwise she could lose it all. She was not going to let that happen. She couldn't let Trowbridge down in his absence, no matter how long that might be.

This book goes from strength to strength. Hedi becomes more confident, stronger and more self aware. She starts to become the person they need her to be, but it doesn't come without some hiccups. She gets put through many tests, though she does not pass them all, but I felt she learns from each one differently. She grew much in this book. She had to, since she only had herself to rely on. She had no family. No mate. If there was something that had to get done, she had to do it herself because there would be nobody there to save her.

When Trowbridge does return --- yes, indeed he does, it's not under the best circumstances, and soon Hedi realized that some things has changed. Not only is he older -- you see, time works differently over there. While it might have only been six, hard months without him for her, for him through, it's been years... man. years without his mate.. that cannot have been easy, but he has loved her through it all. He doesn't return alone though --- he brings her back a surprise..

I was so happy when he returned, because I couldn't wait to see how they interacted with one another, since the last time they saw each other, they did the mating ritual and she pushed him over to the gates, which was not the best goodbye she could have given him, but things she did for love.
Trowbridge might have changed a bit here and there, the things he went through over the other realm, as that's understandable, but he is just as alpha-like, stubborn, protective and sexy as hell as he was before.

Hedi and Trowbridge don't exactly pick up where they left off romantic-wise, they have many things to work through, but slowly, they find a place that's comfortable and just right for them to start from again, to finally be a couple which they have yearned for so long. Things aren't going to be easy for them, but least they are together and will battle things as they come. That's all you can really do.
Leigh Evans has written their relationship beautifully and natural that I can't wait to see what happens with them next. They are the real deal, I knew that from the moment they met again in the first book in this series. There was always something between them that just couldn't be ignored. Not then, and certainly not even now. It's now and forever.

5 Stars.

Review: Darkness Splintered by Keri Arthur

Darkness Splintered (Dark Angels, #6) by Keri Arthur
Publisher: Signet
Publication date: November 5th, 2013
Number of pages: 382 Pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

When Risa loses the second key to hell, she angers several powerful people, and she’s starting to feel the pressure from all sides. She gets a visit from her father, who gives her an ultimatum: Get back the key or he will kill her friends.

Risa also finds herself under the scrutiny of the vampire council, some of whom consider her a monster who should be destroyed. But they offer her a bloody bargain: Take on the lethal head of the council, Madeline Hunter, and others will support her.

As the search for the keys to hell heats up, Risa realizes that she has no choice. For the sake of the people she loves, she must find the keys — and get rid of Hunter — before the second gate is opened and brings the world closer to all hell breaking loose..

I was lucky to have scored an early copy of this book last month (I know, late review, but I'm so behind as it is, lol) and I couldn't wait to dig back into Risa's world.
She does not have very good luck, this girl. If something goes wrong, everything does. This book is no exception. After the second key goes missing, Risa puts everything to rest to find it as soon as possible, especially when her father makes a threat of his own as incentive, nothing will make her find this bloody thing than threatening someone does loves. That's not all she has to deal with -- she also has her Boss, Madeline Hunter on her back wanting the keys for herself for god knows what to do with, but I have a feeling it won't be anything good, that's for sure.

Risa and Azriel. Oh, what could I say about them? Their relationship has to be my favourite part of the series, as with any series really that I love the romance between the characters, this one in particular.  Things between them have not been easy at any cost and the end of the previous book basically killed me and I wasn't sure what was going to happen next, especially with Risa pregnant and sending him away because she was hurt that he did something she couldn't understand.
You can sense where the story is going and will end up with these two. There is hope and some sort of happiness, but the angst is sure not over, by a long shot.  Keri does not do her relationships easily and most of her characters don't end up blissfully happy until the very end, so thankfully there is one book left. 
I feel that sometimes Risa puts Azriel on a petastool and expects him to go by standards she goes by, but given the fact he is not like her, the way he acts and does things need to be judged on a different kind of merit.
I absolutely love though how much progress these two have had since the beginning of the series. At first I wasn't sure if Keri was going to put romance between them, or whether Risa would be with someone else, but I am glad she decided this route because they match each other perfectly.

This series has always been action-packed. Risa is not your typical heroine. She has her flaws and is not perfect. But she has gone through so much throughout the series, I just want her to be happy and loved. For her to have some peace for a while. She deserves that.
It doesn't feel like it has been six books. It feels like it was yesterday that I picked up Darkness Unbound and started this series.  I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it since I had just come off Riley's series, but as the series has moved on, I have absolutely loved everything Risa has gone through. Good and bad.  It's definitely more Urban Fantasy while the original one, I felt was more PNR.
I look forward to the final book in this series, to see how everything is all wrapped up. I also wouldn't mind some final appearances from the old characters since they are closely connected to Risa. It will be sad to say goodbye to this series, characters and this universe, as I'm not sure if Keri would be another spinoff.  I don't like goodbyes...

Keri is a definite must read where I am concerned. I do need to read her prior books though.

5 Stars.

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication date: August 1st, 2013
Number of pages: 362 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.

Cristin Terrill's debut novel is nothing if not outstanding. It bridges the lines of dystopia, sci fi and time travel. It begins with a girl and a list.
The list is something not to think unimportant because it is very significant, more than you may know.

There are many themes that this novel consists of. From romance to friendship to assassination attempts and war. From love to hate. To many timelines. To making things right.

It all begins with Em and Finn, who are are in joined cells together. In the past, Marina lives next door to her best friend, James, who is as smart as a scientist. James, who she loves. A time machine named Cassandra is what connects Em and Marina. The present and the past. What has done and what needs to be done.
After Em discovers a list in a drain in her cell, with things crossed off the list minus one remaining sentence. In her own handwriting.  Em understands it's the only thing that can work and she needs to obey.
If not, then Em and Finn will most likely end up dead sooner or later. There is no time to waste.

This story is narrated by both Em and Marina explaining their stories, and how they connect to one another. How one comes to be the other.
This is a complicated story of time travel, what one may do to save your future and the lines blurred to how someone was, to who they may or may not become.
Cristin does a great job at showing how both Marina and Em came to be in the positions they find themselves in. How the relationships between Em and Finn, Marina, Finn and James, and Em and the doctor are. What exactly is it between these characters and what does it mean for the overall plot.

You could say this story is definitely driven by plot, but with the narratives, you can understand Marina and Em, their reasons for the things they do, and how each of them end up the way they do by the end of the story.  Marina in particular got on my nerves from time to time, but as I went through the story, I began to understand what she had to go through to become the person she had to be.

I absolutely loved the romance portrayed in this book.  I admit though, I at first was a tad hesitant to read this book because after reading the blurb, I was a little confused and wasn't sure if I would like it. After hearing a friend of mine that she loved it, I took the chance and bought the book for myself.  I'm glad I did because I would never had the pleasure of discovering such a unique and fascinating story, with compelling characters who I adored.  It was an addicting story and I can't wait to see what comes next.
I thought there was going to be some sort of triangle between Em, Finn and James, but how it turns out,  once I understood the scope of what was going on, I could not have been more wrong, and I was thankful.  The love story is something that spans lifetimes. It was beautifully written, so natural and honest. 

5 Stars.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: November 2, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Number of Pages: 297
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

It's a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

All I have to say is thank god the series is over. The books in the middle I loved, but the first book and these last two books? Not so much. I only read this since it was the end of the series, and I was curious about Seth. This will probably be a short review since I don't want to spoil anything.

I ended up skimming through a lot of the book. I just couldn't bring myself to actually read a lot of the scenes, especially the Alex and Aiden ones. They are just so boring. From the moment I started reading I just wanted to bang my head against something hard. There was a situation in the beginning of the book that almost made me put down the put and not continue. It was really unnecessary, especially in an YA book. Also, there's way too much pop culture references in this series. Don't get me wrong, I love references but there's a right and wrong way to do them. This series is filled with them, and in 10 years if someone picked up this series and read it, they would be like wtf is this. I prefer books/series that make references without actually naming them. Not to mention the term cray-cray was actually used. Come on, really? Yes that term is hot right now, but it's a fad.

I wasn't even impressed when Seth first came into the book. I get it, to redeem him he had to act a little ooc. But I was so glad when Seth went back to the one we grew to love. But what really saved the book, or at least made it bearable was when Apollo showed up.  He's by far, my favorite character in the book.

The book itself, wasn't all that bad. It was decent. The ending was a bit of a surprised though. And it actually made me want to cry. But the twist of events, well I knew it was coming how it all ended.

I still believe this series, especially the first book is a rip off of Vampire Academy. I'm sorry but I don't believe it's a coincidence, and she's never read VA, there's too much similarities.  I want to like this author, but this series made it so hard. Although I have a few of her other books on my tbr list, I'm not sure if I want to read them.

Rating: 2/5


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: September 5th, 2013
Number of pages: 450 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

If you had read The Raven Boys, then you are sure to adore this one. The Raven Boys saga is unlike anything I have read before. It is definitely more of a slow build because there is so much mythology and it's complicated plots and character developments. It was one of the most interesting books I had read in a long time.

Skip a year and we have the sequel -- The Dream Thieves. It is very easily known it is focused on a Raven Boy in particular, Ronan. In the first book he was always this person who you never knew very much about, but that there was something more to him than meets the eye.
In The Dream Thieves, you begin to understand who he is, how he came to be this way, and his family life. His relationship with his two brothers, and his history with his parents. It's not the easy family life that's for sure, but there is something about him that sets him apart from any of his friends.
There are also some surprising bits of information about Ronan that you may or may not have known before, and maybe after reading this it may make sense.

I felt this book was more about personal character development than it was about the mystery of Glendower. That was probably my only disappointment.. that there was not more progress in that area, but  I've no doubt book three will dig back into that whole plot, especially with the end of this one. It leaves you on a cliffhanger that will make you ache  for the next book in the series right this moment. 2014 can't come soon enough for me.

We did get some progress when it comes to Blue and Gansey, which is another favourite part of mine. You begin to see how they end up in love in the future. There is one scene in particular toward the end of the book that will break your heart... that will make you want these to to have some happiness even though you know it's gonna end sadly. The two of them suddenly realize what may be burning between them just won't go away no matter how much they wish it to.

I can't not mention the other two players in this book. Adam and Noah. You don't see a lot of Noah, but it makes me wish for him to have some kind of peace, and I don't think that will happen until the boys find what they are looking for, and until then, he is gonna have to go along for the ride until he can be happy enough to settle into his afterlife.  Hasn't the boy been through enough? It makes me sad that these boys and Blue are the only things keeping him on this plane, his existence really.
Adam is a complicated one. He is also a proud boy who wants to earn things on his own terms, which is understandable really. From someone who comes from nothing he wants to be able to make his mark in the world. And while things may not work out with the girl he likes, I hope he does find some sort of happiness and success before the end of the series. I don't think he is a bad guy, just an unfortunate one who sometimes makes bad mistakes.

This was a great sequel to such a unique series with a complicated mythology and mystery attached to it.  If you have yet to check this out, go and do it.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore

The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies, #4) by Pittacus Lore
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: August 27th, 2013
Number of pages: 342 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase:  Amazon | The Book Depository

The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?

John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.

But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.

The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.

And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.

The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.

Lorien will rise again.

The Lorien Legacies saga keeps getting better and better with each passing book. Just when you think you have seen it all, something then happens and you're blown to pieces.
I had been excitedly anticipating the release of this book to the point I could not wait until I got my grabby hands on it. I absolutely adored The Rise of Nine. The stakes are raised, with twists and turns, you just have no idea what will happen next with this group of people.

When this book begins the group are searching for number Five, but when they do get word from him and locate the boy, it may not be the reunion they thought it would be. With Five joining their ranks, the group seem to get the idea they are becoming stronger by the moment. Five is not your average member of the Garde, and when the others seem to not know whether they can trust him or not, a big betrayal happens in the core of the Garde that puts everyone they care about in danger.

I loved the relationship between John and Sarah. I think they are my two favourite characters. Whether or not you like her, or them, I think it's fairly obvious from the first book these two are just it for one another. There is only one person for those Loric's, and Sarah happen to be John's.. now it's just a matter of  exploring each other and how to make this work while they are under siege. It's not the most ideal situation to start up a relationship, but they do what they can.

I also came to adore Six and Sam's relationship.  I felt there was much potential with them from the very first book also, and so you can see the progress they make into forming something in this installment.
After Sam is kidnapped, he knows that while he is only human, he has to make an impact and do something.
I love the fact that with Sam and Sarah. They may be the human love interests, but they aren't weak or useless. They know they have to learn to be able to fight, even if they don't have special powers like the others do, they will just have to rely on human abilities, such as strength, will power and a kickass attitude.

This book was full of sacrifices, betrayal, romance and revelations. It was action packed, and might be my favourite out of the series as yet.
The end opens up for some interesting new developments, yet sadness because not everyone will make it.

I liked the introduction to Sam's dad and the information he has provided the group. That is something they can't find any place else.  It was nice to have someone that knows a bit more than they do, and something that can help them through their battle with their enemy.
Also.. Adam. Ah, I loved him. It just goes to show that a new species built from the moradorian can either be good or bad, especially when they have insight to human emotions.

It was nice getting to know other characters. I adore how Pittacus has gone about with the multiple POV, although I do think it would be easier if he would put their name just above before entering each person. It can sometimes get  a little confusing.

I absolutely can't wait to see what happens next to my favourite characters, for then to defeat the Mogadorian, and maybe go home to Lorien.. Or stay on earth. Just as long as they have everyone with them. Human and not.

Rating: 5/5

Review: Briar Rose by Jana Oliver

Briar Rose by Jana Oliver
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication date: September 12th, 2013
Number of pages: 470 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She's stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won't let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who's spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She's tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she's actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes . . . And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can't do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up

I admit I have never read any of Jana Oliver's work, so this was my first time with her writing. Briar Rose is basically an enchanting modernized fairytale.
Briar has been having dreams of fairytales for years and always wished for a prince to come and save her, take her out of her town to someplace else. Someplace that does not suck.
This is a very clever idea Jana has portrayed and I absolutely loved the world she created, her characters and the taste of forbidden love.

A magical world full of monsters,romance, trickery, heroes and mayhem. It's not your average fairytale, but it is one that is unforgettable and a definite page-turner.

It starts off with Briar, whose family has a troubled history with another, who, the son of she is forbidden to talk to, less alone, look at.
Joshua I adored from off the bat. He doesn't understand why he is forced to stay away from Briar, but that does not mean he can't look at her from afar, which is basically the only thing he can do. It doesn't help matters that their best friend happens to be the same girl, so how does one stay away from someone when they are close to the very same person?

When Briar gets told of her curse that has been throughout their family for generations, she believes it. And it's not until it does take place the fun really starts.
In her dream-state, Briar gets involved in a world, not like her imagination always wanted, but real all the same.
Briar changes a lot throughout the story, she has to do lots of things she normally wouldn't, but that comes with not having a chance in her curse. She has to find a way out, and for that to happen she has to conquer certain things.

I loved seeing the relationship between Briar and Joshua develop. It is one I was rooting from the very beginning and it was obvious these two were meant to be, it was just a matter of them finding that out. I feel their relationship really begins to blossom during her dream-state after he goes in after her. Whether that's to save her, or just to protect her from whatever may be out there. But it's because of this that enhances the story so much more.  The romance between the two of them was done so beautifully. It was almost like a romeo and juliet thing --  except for a different outcome ;)

While Briar might have wanted a prince to come and rescue her in real life, she may discover that what she wanted has been standing in front of her the entire time, she was just too obsessed with a fairytale to notice --- until now.

We get introduced to other characters. Ruric, who was an actual prince, to Aurora herself, who is not what you imagined, but all important just the same. Every character has a role to place if they want to survive the things that happen. Sacrifices need to be made, and hope they can make things a better place.

I loved every bit of this story, and could not recommend it enough.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead

Gameboard of the Gods  (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Dutton
Publication date: June 4th
Number of pages: 464
Format: E-format via Netgalley
Preorder: Amazon | The Book Depository (Free Shipping)

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 originally reviewed this when I receieved an arc for it, but a few months ago, I decided to buy the book and give it another shot thinking that maybe I was a little hasty with when I first read it.
I'm glad I did because I ended up liking it a lot more than I first did. Funny how those things can happen, right?

We're quickly introduced to Mae, who after the death of a friend (and maybe more than that?), one of the members of the miltary's most elite, gets sent to pick up someone who has been exiled because they need the experience and his talents for a case that only he can solve.  Mae doesn't know who he is or what it's concerning, doesn't know what he looks like either, so when she meets Justin at a party who saves her from a group of thugs, the two of them hit it off instantly...

Justin... I loved him. He isn't your normal hero, but then again, Richelle never does things the easy way, and so he has a complicated past, invisible friends and a prophecy if it ever comes to pass, it would spell no good things for him, and he would do anything he can to stop that from coming true.
But sometimes... not everything will go the way you wish or want it to... Justin knows this first hand.

Mae, I came to like her. She was strong with also a complicated past with a complicated family life she doesn't like to speak of. I felt she and Justin connected because of their common interests, their lonliness and their sad souls. I bet they never expected to meet again after their first encounter, but sometimes things are meant to be whether or not you want them to be.  I really adored the relationship between them.  It's not an easy one, and I have a feeling it's gonna be one that is a work-in-progress for the series.  They may have had some moments, but I wouldn't say they have a romance in this book. It's more like a beginning, but it can only envolve and progress from here on out.

The world-building was fascinating. The first time Richelle has done dystopia/sci fi, and I think I like it. It's certainly different, but I can't wait to see how the series folds and pans out in the next book, because the end certain sets things up nicely, especially where it comes Justin+Mae, plus Justin's little prophecy  he needs to be concerned with.

If you haven't given this a shot, then go ahead, you may end up being surprised.

Rating: 4/5

Review: The Uprising by Lisa M.Strasse

The Uprising (The Forsaken, #2) by Lisa M.Strasse
Publisher: Orchard
Publication date: November 7th, 2013
Number of pages: 429 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository

Alenna escaped. It was expected that she would die on the wheel, the island where would-be criminals are sent as directed by the UNA—the totalitarian supercountry that was once the United States, Mexico, and Canada. But Alenna and her boyfriend, Liam, made it to safety. Except safety, they will soon learn, is relative.

In order to bring down the UNA, they must first gain control of the wheel. If the mission succeeds, the wheel will become a base of revolution. But between betrayals, a new Monk leading a more organized army of Drones, and the discovery of a previously unknown contingent, Alenna, Liam, and their allies might be in over their heads. One thing Alenna knows for sure: There will be a reckoning. And not everyone she loves will make it out alive

Sometimes you find sequels to books that don't live up to the former installment, so it's always a little hesitant feeling and hoping for the best. For this one in particular, there was no need to worry because it was just as great, if not better than the first book.
It was full of interesting plots, twists and turns. Not to mention character and relationship development, which may or may not have been felt in the prior.

The Forsaken left on quite the ending with them landing in a 'safe' base in Australia -- I always love when books are set or get mentioned where I live, gives me a warm feeling inside because I think.. Oh, this could be me... kind of thing.
We also discovered that Alena's mother was alive and there was so much that she didn't even know about this whole conspiracy mission they embarked upon.

During the course of this book, Alena and Liam find not knowing who they can trust, only one another if they want to fight, because while they are told they are safe and that there is something that will happen, it doesn't happen soon enough for the two of them.  They left behind people who shouldn't be there and all they want to do is safe the people they care about and defeating the UNA, bu what they don't know is that when that does happen, they are in the surprise of their life.

There are reappearances from people they knew from The Forsaken, from the Wheel. And not all of them good.
I think the one person that surprised me was David. In the Forsaken, nobody knew whether he was good or bad, whether he can be trusted, but when he makes a surprise comeback, all the answers to these questions are finally revealed and you'll see what his motives are once and for all. Was he telling the truth all along, or was he fooling them, and still is, now?

The relationship between Alena and Liam I felt became more in depth. I understand that many people didn't like how they fell in love and how it felt very Insta-love, but during this book, I felt you could understand them a bit more so than we might not have before.
While they are together, they also have different missions of their own personal growth they go on. Liam has his own journey that takes him back to the Wheel where he sees someone from his past he never thought he would see again.

The ending I felt really set up the last book in this trilogy, and I can't wait to see how everything all pans out, how everything wraps up and the UNA gets taken down.

This was a great sequel, and I'm glad it didn't have second book syndrome that sometimes you can get with sequels.

Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 526
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

I've been in a reading slump lately. For the last few months it has taken me at least two weeks to finish anything. But this-I finished in two days. Not sure if it's because it's the first YA I've read in months, since YA usually are quick reads. I will admit I was nervous about reading this. I heard a lot of people hated the ending, and it even made people who heard about it before hand refuse to read it, and I even know of someone who doesn't even want to see the movie. Although I had decided I didn't want to know how the book ended, I ended up reading reviews a few days before I started the book and then ended up spoiling myself. Not that I had already somewhat guessed the ending.

Sitting here hours after I finished the book, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I wouldn't go as far as I thought it was amazing, but it was almost there. I didn't like the multiple POVs. Both Tris and Four's pov were too similiar. I couldn't really tell them apart. During Four's chapters I had to keep reminding myself whose chapter it was. I've never really been a big fan of the guy's POV in YA books. They are tricky and most authors can't nail them down. And the truth behind the factions and even what exactly Divergent is was disappointing. I was hoping, no expecting for more.

Another thing is Tris and Four was constantly in a bad place with each other. It tore my heart apart. I wasn't a big fan of Four's characterization in the novel either. He was this amazing, strong guy in the first two. But because of certain revelations he became this broken person, unsure of himself. I loved Tris' growth though, and the growth of hers and Four's relationship.

I don't want to go too much into detail and spoil the book for anyone. But the ending was so tragic and heartbreaking, even knowing it ahead of time. I wanted to scream and cry. Even wanting to cry my eyes out.

I know most people hated the ending. Said it was pointless, and ruined the series. But it made sense to me. The book is about self-sacrifice, love, betrayal, and family. Thinking back on the last two books there was foreshadowing. And everyone should remember this is dystopian fiction. This genre isn't about romance and happy endings. Veronica Roth made a bold move, and I respect her for that. She knew that it would upset people. Maybe it wouldn't of hit so hard if the romance didn't seem to be the core of the series.

Rating: 4/5


Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
Publication Date: July 1, 1992
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 743
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland's majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones...about a love that transcends the boundaries of time...and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his ....

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire's spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising...and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves....

The second Outlander book picks up not only right after the first one ends, but also twenty years in the future. That doesn't sound possible now does it? The beginning picks up twenty years later. Claire has returned to the land that she had once fell in love with, Scotland with her grown daughter. At some point Claire had returned to her time, back to Frank pregnant. Frank made Claire promise that as long as he lives she won't tell their daughter, Brianna, who her real father is. Now it wasn't made clear to me if Frank ever believed her story or not. Just that he's not the biological father of the baby. But with the passing of Frank, Claire knows it's time to tell Brianna the truth.

Claire seeks out Roger, the adopted nephew of the Reverend, the close friend of Frank's in the first book. She wants him to find out what happened to a list of Scottish warriors. In their search, Claire makes a devastating discovery that could change everything. She then reveals the truth to her daughter, and tells her and Roger her journey through time. This is where the book picks up from the last one. Jamie and Claire are in Paris pretending to be Jacobites to prevent the Highlanders from going to war. 

Although I did love this book, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one. I've heard many complaints about how long the book is, and how a lot of it could be cut out. But that's one of the things I love about these books. We get to see their everyday lives, and it seems more realistic. Like you are right there with them. I do have to admit the beginning with them being in Paris kind of moved slow. Maybe it's just my bias towards Scotland, but the scenes placed there were my favorite.

I didn't think my love for Jamie could grow after the first book. But once again I was wrong. We saw Jamie and Claire grow as a couple. They weren't perfect, they had their ups and downs, arguments, and then there was even a few situations you weren't sure they could work through. Their love is realistic. You don't just fall in love and then happy ever after, you have to work for it.

Trying to change history isn't an easy task. And with a few surprising discoveries, they aren't sure if they can. But  with a twist of turns of events we discovered why Claire went back to her own time. I thought that at some point the story would go back to the present time and Claire and Brianna would venture back to Jamie's time, and was kind of disappointed that they didn't.

Like the first book, I thought this was just amazing. The same conflicts show up in this one as well, violence and rape. If you can't handle those subjects this isn't the series for you. Also the Scottish dialect is used and sometimes took me a few times to read a sentence to understand.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Unbreakable (Unravelling, #2) by Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: Harper collins
Publication date: June 6th, 2013
Number of pages: 416 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository

24 meets the X Files in the amazing follow up to Unravelling.

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but civilisation is slowly rebuilding, and life is finally starting to resume some kind of normality. Until Interverse agent Taylor Barclay shows up. He’s got a problem, and he needs Janelle’s help. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring – kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths. And Ben, with his unique abilities, is the prime suspect. To make things worse, Janelle learns that someone she cares about – someone from her own world – has become one of the missing.

Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

In this heart-pounding sequel to Unravelling, author Elizabeth Norris explores the sacrifices we make to save the people we love and the worlds we’ll travel to find them.

I absolutely loved Unravelling. I thought it had amazing mythology. Romance and mystery. Fantastic lead characters and sub characters. It was one of the better YA sci fi books I have read.
In Unbreakable, it has been four months since Ben left to go back to his own world. He said he would return but Janelle has yet to hear from him.
When Barclay suddenly turns out and tells her he needs her help in a mystery of disappearances, and that Ben is the prime suspect, she will do anything to help and clear his name.

Janelle couldn't understand when she discovers that Ben is back in her world but has yet to contact her. She also knows that there is no way he could do something like he is now accused of doing. The only thing she can do is believe in him and track him down.
But what will she find when she does locate him? Will he be the same Ben she knows and loves, or will he be someone differently that she hardly recognizes? So many questions and not enough time, as there is a race to the clock with only days to sort everything out.

This was a great book. I love how this series is so thrilling and exciting. As the time ticks down, you can't wait to see how these characters will solve the crime as the clockdown starts to tick down to the last second.
I admit, it's not what I thought this book would go down as, I probably liked it a little less than Unravelling, but it was still good enough. There just was not enough Ben, though I guess I can understand why, it just sucks.
I was glad I read Ben's novella not too long before this, so I know little bits of what transpired to get to this point and what happened to Ben while he was gone.

I really came to adore Barclay. I hated him in the first book, though I suppose he was not meant to be liked back then, but in Unbreakable, he became much of a prominent character and we came to understand him so much more than we ever did before.
The direction of his character was interesting, yet sad and heartbreaking. I liked the teamup with Jannelle. They were pretty good friends in this book, and that's where it ended for me. I could not see anything romantic between the two of them, her heart belonged to Ben, no matter what might or might not happen. There was parts of this book that I screamed at, or cried or wanted to shake some characters.

Ben and Janelle didn't have the perfect relationship. They had issues, as evident in this book. The way it ended for them, I was definitely happy with, but it wasn't how I thought it would have ended originally, but hey, who am I to complain?

In the end, I was sad this is to be the last book in the duology, because I felt there could be so much story to tell, but maybe one day....
I loved this series from start to finish, and definitely a recommend read for those like Sci fi + time travelling + mystery.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: The Trouble With Fate by Leigh Evans

The Trouble With Fate (Mystwalker, #1) by Leigh Evans
Publisher: St.Martins.
Publication date: December 24th, 2012
Number of pages: 344 pgs
Format: Mass-market Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | KindleThe Book Depository

Meet Hedi Peacock. She's half Fae. Half Were. And all trouble…

I Have Two Words For Werewolves:

My name is Hedi Peacock and I have a secret. I’m not human, and I have the pointy Fae ears and Were inner-bitch to prove it. As fairy tales go, my childhood was damn near perfect, all fur and magic until a werewolf killed my father and the Fae executed my mother. I’ve never forgiven either side. Especially Robson Trowbridge. He was a part-time werewolf, a full-time bastard, and the first and only boy I ever loved. That is, until he became the prime suspect in my father’s death…

Bite Me.

Today I’m a half-breed barista working at a fancy coffee house, living with my loopy Aunt Lou and a temperamental amulet named Merry, and wondering where in the world I’m going in life. A pretty normal existence, considering. But when a pack of Weres decides to kidnap my aunt and force me to steal another amulet, the only one who can help me is the last person I ever thought I’d turn to: Robson Trowbridge. And he’s as annoyingly beautiful as I remember. That’s the trouble with fate: Sometimes it barks. Other times it bites. And the rest of the time it just breaks your heart. Again…

Meet Hedi Peacock. Half were. Half fae. Definitely all trouble.

This book was recommended to me by a friend who thought I'd like it. I could kick myself for not getting around to reading it sooner than I did. I definitely loved it.
I loved Hedi. She is a strong, passionate, head-strong woman who has been through way too much in her life. She lost her parents and her brother in one night, and has one person to blame for it -- her old crush, Robson Trowbridge, who comes crashing back into her life whether she likes it or not.

When her aunt gets kidnapped by a pack of weres and forces her to steal something, the only person that can help her is the last person she would ever go to.
Going by Bridge now, he never expected to see Hedi again, and he doesn't quite remember her, since it has been over 10 years since that very night that not only changed her life forever, but also his own as well.
When the pair of them are forced to work together, something begins to transpire between them, something that has been lingering between them for way too long, especially for her, who has been in love with him since high school, and it will be something they can't ignore.

The chemistry between them is sizzling, but they have many issues between them that will determine whether a future is in the cards for these two love birds, mainly is whether he is still pining over his dead wife. Yeah... that's always a cockblocker, right?
The other thing? Hedi remembering that his family being the cause of the murder of her family and the kidnapping of her twin brother, who she has not seen since.

This was a very strong debut, and as soon as I finished it, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel, because that cliffhanger? Yeah.. you just needed to know what was going to happen next for these two.

A debut as strong as anything, Leigh Evans does an amazing job with the kickass characters, mythology and world-building to boot.

A definite recommend read.

Rating: 4.5/5


Review: Hover by Melissa West

Hover (The Taking, #2) by Melissa West
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: August 13th, 2013
Number of pages: 352 pgs
Format: Kindle
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut. Because Zeus will do anything to save the Ancients from their dying planet, and he has a plan.

Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth's atmosphere, nearly killing them. They sought refuge in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to wage war against their home planet. That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them. But on Loge, nothing is as it seems...and no one can be trusted

Earlier this year I discovered Gravity and fell in love with it instantly. With Aliens. Dystopia/Sci/fi, it had everything I could have wanted including a sexy love interest named Jackson.
I couldn't wait to read the sequel, so of course when it was released, I couldn't get my hands on it fast enough. I couldn't wait to find myself back in Ari's world to see what has happened and changed, and what happens next to my two favourite characters.

Ari finds herself at Loge, a place so unfamilar to her. She feels like a little mouse around all these different people in a new territory. Understandable since she is new to the place and to the people, the only person she know is Jackson, but sometimes people need to get used to new surroundings before they can adjust and be who they are used to being.
This novel is a little bit different to Gravity because it doesn't take place on earth, but once you get around the initial adjustments, and get settled into this new world, it's fascinating.

Ari and Jackson have their own fair share of troubles. Secrets are kept. Ari doesn't know who she can trust especially when learning who Jackson really is and his connection to Zeus, but he is there for her no matter what. Their love just gets stronger by the end of the book.
Jackson has many responsibilities and it's never easy for him. It's never easy for either of them really, but he does all he can do to protect her.

I really adore these two characters. They are special and strong in their own right. They are both leaders and take charge when they need to. Ari's journey into a leader is a slow process that started up in Gravity, and everything she goes through, only makes her stronger by every moment.

I look forward to how everything comes together in Collide, and what Jackson and Ari will have to go through.
There is a villian among their mists and they'll have to find a way to defeat him once and for all, no matter who he may be or what he might do to either of them.  If they just stick together. they can get through anything that the world throws at them.

A great sequel to Gravity.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday 27

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Want to play along?
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author
I know, I know, it's been months since I've done one of these. I always remember the day after. To make up for lost time I will post a few teasers.

The first one comes from Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, the second novel in her Outlander series. I just finished this one today, and I absolutely love me some Jamie Frasier.

“I will find you," he whispered in my ear. "I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you - then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest."

This next one comes from On the Edge by Ilona Andrews. I've only read the first book, but I can't wait to read more of the series.

"Go brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on dry clothes, and get the guns. We're going to Wal-Mart.”


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10) by Gena Showalter
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Number of Pages: 466
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

Having endured weeks of torture in the bowels of hell, Kane wants nothing to do with his beautiful rescuer, Josephina Aisling. The half-Fae female threatens to awaken the demon of Disaster inside him—a beast he’s determined to kill, no matter the price.

Josephina is hunted by a brutal enemy—her royal family—and Kane is her only source of protection. He’s also the only male to ever set her aflame, and even he succumbs to the heat. But as they navigate the treacherous world of the Fae, they are forced to make a choice: live apart…or die together.

I've been putting this off for almost a month. Honestly, I'm sorry for being MIA lately. But also this is going to be a very short and brief review.

First off, I absolutely love the cover model. He looks like Paul Wesley. *drools* I had a mix of emotions going into this book. On the one had, the memory of the disappointment with Paris' book, and the failure of the second angel book had me hesitant. But I had friends say this book was a lot better, that it seems like Gena is getting her groove back.

While this book was a great improvement, I still found it lacking. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book. But once they go back to the land of the Fae, I found it a little slow and almost boring. Even after they leave, I still couldn't invest myself fully in. I really liked Kane and Josephina. Or at least at first I did. Don't get me wrong I still liked the book and both the hero and heroine, but I could tell the difference. Josephina was strong, but she had a vulnerable side too.  And towards the end I felt like she was too vulnerable. Also with Kane we saw his vulnerable side, a soft side that we haven't seen in any of the Lords. One that I felt was too soft. Yes it's nice to see a soft side and not just the "caveman" affect on these men, but it was just too much for me. I like to see these as the alpha man, and when they fall in love they take charge and protect their woman; not saying Kane didn't do that, I just don't want to see them weak in love.

Also something different in this book, the Fae  knew all about the Lords. And to them the Lords were celebrities and watched their every move. Even had fan clubs, and the girls even fan girl over them. There was no retelling of the Lords backstory, which was kind of nice. After so many books you get the picture. We got to see Torin's story being set up, which I was more interested in. I didn't like how the story ended, where ended up living.

This wasn't her best book, but he wasn't her worst. Although I still love this series and remains one of my favorites, I'm looking forward to the series wrapping up.

Rating: 3/5


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: Fractured by Teri Terry

Fractured (Slated, #2) by Teri Terry
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication date: April 4th, 2013
Number of pages: 432 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

How do you know where to go when you don't remember where you came from?

Kyla's memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

Or so she thought.

Kyla shouldn't be able to remember anything. But she can - and she's beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she's on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes...

In the sequel to Slated, Fractured is just as thrilling, if not more so than its predecessor. Kyla's memories begin to come back bit by bit and she will have to find a common ground from who she was to who she is now, given everything she knows and what she has been through to get to this point.
I've always felt a lot of first books are an intro to a series, and so it's understandable why there wasn't a ton of action that happened in Slated, but that changes come to this book. Kyla knows so much more than what she did, is not as blind to information than she once was, and it helps her as she journeys through this next arc of a story.

Not only is this about Kyla discovering more about who she is and the things she did, the role she played throughout the last few years, but she is determined to find her love, Ben who was taken and slated before she has had the chance to get to him. She'll need to find and help him remember who he is, and who she is.. That is a not an easy task to be achieved and she'll need the help of others if she wants to pull this off.

Teri has a way of world building that makes you want to read and read to discover every little bit of information she has to offer. Her characters in this series are compelling, full of depth and understanding. The world she brings us into this crazy world and it makes you feel like in another universe, it could be our world instead. It's close to home with realistic concepts. I am always fascinated by the things that go on, the things we discover and characters we meet.

This was another great installment. I look forward to the final conclusion coming 2014.

Rating: 4.5/5