Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review: Last Breath by Rachel Caine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5/5

Review: Bite Club by Rachel Caine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5/5


Review: Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5/5


Review: Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

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

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

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

Will they survive?

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5/5

Review: Fade Out by Rachel Caine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5/5

Review: Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine

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

Morganville. Texas. Just south of normal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5/5

Review: Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5/5

Review: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, #3) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date: September 5th, 2008
Number of pages: 384 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Morganville's such a nice place to live ... And die. If you don't mind that sort of thing.
When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but the garlic may come in handy.
Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire's past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

In the third installment of Rachel Caine's best selling series, comes a new adventure for Claire and her friends that they are not likely to forget.
They will have to deal with more than they think they can handle, romance, vampires and murders.
With the deal that Claire made with Amelie, she might soon regret that when she finds herself at Amelie's beck and call.
What Amelie asks of Claire, she'll start to wonder if she can come through, because if she doesn't.. then it might mean the end of not just her life, but of the lives of her friends also.

When girls start to go missing, and then turn up dead -- the first thing they think is a vampire attack, but when that gets ruled out, a mystery person from Eve's past turns up and the answer seems pretty obvious.

Shane is still having a hard time dealing with the fact that his best friend is now a vampire, but by each passing day it's something he slowly comes to accept.

Claire gets stronger after every book. She may be young, but she learns from her experiences and mistakes. Her romance with Shane also keeps her grounded, and soon she'll be a force nobody can go against.
The group of these friends are unlike anyone else. if the residents of Morganville start to underestimate them, they'll soon be sorry.

This was another great installment in this thrilling series.  Props to Rachel.

Rating: 4.5/5


Review: The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine

The Dead Girls' Dance (Morganville Vampires, #2) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date:  April 7th, 2008
Number of pages: 380 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Good news, girls: your dates are here!

Claire Danvers has had her share of challenges - like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains, dealing with the homicidal girls in her dorm and, above all, finding out that her college town is overrun with blood-sucking fiends. On the plus side, so far Claire and her friends have managed to survive getting on the wrong side of some Morganville VIPs . . . Vampire Important Persons. But their temporary peace is in danger of collapsing, thanks to the arrival of her new boyfriend's scary father and his vampire-fighting supporters.

Bad news, girls: they're dead.

The story to Rachel Caine's second installment to the Morganville Vampires series picks right up where Glass Houses left off.
Shane father has arrived back in town determined to get rid of all the vampires that he can for revenge of the death of his wife and daughter. But things don't go according to plan.
When a death of a vampire occurs, Shane's father's friends get accused and then Shane gets involved in the mess forcing Amelie to make a harsh decision concerning his fate.
The question is, is he innocent or guilty. Claire believes he has done nothing wrong so she goes to extreme lengths to protect him and her friends and to set him free of the charges he has been accused of.

Claire also receives an offer of protection, not just for herself, but also for her friends.
Michael also finds himself in a situation when he makes a drastic choice that will change his whole life, and one that will have consequences on his relationships with his friends, especially Shane.

The relationships between Shane and Claire, also Michael and Eve begin to evolve and progress. You even start to understand Eve a little more as you get information on her family.

This was a great book and looking forward to see how things progress for the rest of the series. 

Rating: 5/5

Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, #1) by Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Austtalia
Publication date: May 26th, 2008
Number of pages: 348 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town's terror or will she drown like everyone else?

In the first novel of Rachel Caine's YA series comes, Glass Houses it begin sixteen year old, college freshman, Claire Davers. After having graduated early from high school and because her parents wouldn't let her move too far away from home at such a young age, Claire starts at the university in Morganville, Texas.
But this town, and this college is much different than everywhere else in the country. This town is populated and run by vampires.
Yes. Believe or not. It's true.
Claire hasn't had the best experience in Morganville.She gets beat up by the Queen B. The bitchy girl of the school and fears for her life if she comes back.
Everything starts to change when she moves into an off campus house with two guys and a girl who begin to help her see the town differently than she ever felt possible.

This was a really great start to the series. There was lots of action, a potential romance, or two and a mystery which you want to know more of.

The characters: Claire. While she might just think she was some small, innocent and naive young teenager who is over her head, and while in the beginning you might be right. But as the book gears toward the end, Claire becomes such a strong young woman who will go deep into trouble if it means doing what is right.
She adores her friends and will do anything to them, and won't back down to her enemies even if it means it could end up costing her life.

Shane, Michael and Eve: Who doesn't love these three? I loved Shane right away, and his growing friendship/relationship with Claire. I love the progress these two had. While we might have thought his concern over her was just to do with his sister and being protective of her like that, but the more they got to know each other.. things changed, into something else.
Michael and Eve. Such great characters, and while we don't see them as much as we might have liked, it's enough to come to adore them. Michael has a secret that he is keeping from them all, and Eve.. for a goth chic who is an outsider in the town, she is not afraid of anything.. or almost anything.

The villians.. end up not being who you might think. I love the mystery and intrigue in the book and really looking forward to book 2, especially on the cliffhanger at the end.

Rating: 5/5


Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Witch Finder  (Witch Finder, #1) by Ruth Warburton
Publisher: Hoddler
Publication date: January 2nd, 2014
Number of pages: 374 pgs
Format: Kindle E-Galley via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

I've always loved stories that involved witches and magic. I had been looking forward to Ruth's new series for a while as I adored her previous witch series.
The setting of this story was set in the past, the 1800's to be exact, which I think I must have forgotten at first, but it was easily remembered while reading.

The fact it was also set in London in such a historical time was too good to pass up. I was curious to see how witches and magic would be dealt with during this time period, as if it were in the US it wouldn't have been treated well --  lets remember the Salem Witch trials, shall we?

While this book didn't blow me away, I did enjoy the story for what it was. The two characters were interesting, different but in other ways, the same.
Luke's journey was interesting. He was tasked to finding and killing one witch as part of his trials to be accepted into the brotherhood.  Rosa is a young witch who has no idea what she is about to get herself into.
They may have different POVS and journeys, but soon those gaps begin to close when their paths cross and their lives become entertwined.
I really liked these two. They don't have things easy.. as they both go through things that are difficult, but the closer they find themselves, the less they find to hate each other.

There was some interesting mythology involved in this story. If there was one thing I wish.. it would be that the ending would have packed more of a punch.  But while I have some complaints, it was still a fun and enjoyable story that I feel is only just the beginning.

Thanks to Netgalley and Hoddler for the chance to review this in an exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: NYLA
Number of Pages: 175
Format: Ebook
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

First I would like to thank Ilona Andrews in providing me with a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Everything I pick up from them I instantly fall in love with, and with this is no exception. The world building is just amazing. I love that with all of their books the world isn't explained up front. It makes the book more mysterious, and the reader sitting there coming up with different theories. 

Dina is pretty kickass herself. And you have to feel bad for her, struggling to get by. Not to mention her parents just disappeared one day and no one has any clue what happened. What's a good book without a love interest or two? Although myself I preferred Sean. I wished there were a little more romance in it and that it was a little bit longer. But you take what you can get.

The book was exactly what I come to expect from a Ilona Andrews book. I think one of my favorite things about the book was the humor. There were parts that had me laughing so hard I was crying. If you haven't read this yet, you should. And the illustrations included was pure amazing.

Looks like this will be made into a series. That news made me beyond excited and already want more of this series. I'll be looking forward for the next installment impatiently.

Rating: 4/5



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review: Empower by Jessica Shirvington

Empower (Violet Eden Chapters #5) by Jessica Shirvington
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Hachette
Number of Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
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It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and - most importantly - her soulmate, Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.

Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.

But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.

Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.

Violet is going back to New York ... and she knows exactly who is going to be there.

With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made.

The final book in this amazing series picks up two years after the end of Endless. Violet realizing that the ones she loves will always be in danger, she takes off on her own. For the last year she has joined a gang of rogues and living in London. We see a recurring character that we briefly met in Emblaze, Gray. I do have to admit I didn't remember him, but I grew to love him. But when an old friend disappears, Violet knows she has to go back to New York and help find him. For backup Gray is coming a long for the ride.

Violet's initial plan to get in there and out without Lincoln realizing she's there fails the moment she walked in the first meeting. We see a new Lincoln, a colder harsher Lincoln, and honestly I don't blame him at all. Going in the book I knew I wanted some angst, but this...it was heartbreaking. It tore my heart into two pieces. All I wanted to do was locked them in a room together. In all the heartbreaking scenes, there were a few swoonworthy scenes, that gives you hope.

All love issues aside, Violet has a bigger problem. There's someone out to get her angel maker, and they are going to use Violet to do it. And this time she's not sure if she can make it out a live.

This book was perfect. We finally see Violet accepts who she really is. Not to mention we finally learn who her angel maker is. I knew a second before it was revealed who it was, and thinking back it didn't really surprise me.

The best part of this book was Violet and Lincoln. After they get through their angst, they were beautiful. It really showed they were really soul mates, and made for each other. Usually in books we see how much the girl loves the guy, but in this we see exactly what Lincoln feels for Violet without it being cheesy.

I couldn't stop thinking about this book for days after reading it. I kept re reading certain scenes over and over again. It was a perfect ending for the series. And I can't think Jen enough for sending me the books when they are first released in Australia. I like to think I'm the only one in the US who has finished the series (which it could possibly be true since the last book isn't released here until next spring).

Rating: 5/5

Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin

Becoming Alpha (Alpha Girl, #1) by Aileen Erin
Publisher: Ink Monster,
Publication date: December 17th, 2013
Number of pages: 267 pgs
Format: E-Galley
Purchase: Amazon Kindle

Tessa McCaide has a unique talent for getting into trouble. Then again, it isn’t easy for a girl with visions to ignore what she sees. Luckily Tessa and her family are leaving California and moving halfway across the country, giving her the perfect opportunity to leave her reputation as “Freaky Tessa” behind.

But Tessa doesn’t realize that kissing the wrong guy in her new Texas town could land her in far more trouble than she ever imagined. Like being forced to attend St. Ailbe’s Academy, a secret boarding school for werewolves.

Even if the wrong guy did accidentally turn her into one of “them” and doom her to attending the weirdest high school ever, Tessa can’t help her growing attraction to the mysterious Dastien Laurent.

When vampires attack St. Alibe’s and her visions pinpoint an enemy in their midst, Tessa realizes that boy drama and her newfound canine tendencies might just be the least of her problems

Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for allowing me access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

It's not often you can find originality in a YA paranormal series. I knew by the synopsis that this book sounded interesting, and I couldn't wait to see how it separated itself from everything else out there.
I was pleasantly surprised. While it could be a little predictable, but I liked that it had it's own original story. I really liked the characters, Tessa in particular and the things they went through.

After Tessa was 'attacked' after meeting a sexy new guy, she doesn't think very much about the scratches she pertained, not until later when her body starts to go through some changes. Ones that are very painful. She has no idea what is happening to her, but her parents do, and there is only one answer.
After her dad's boss/friend recognizes the signs and knows he did this, he takes Tessa in to his school to be able to amongst her own kind. It's the only thing possible to do before she can be around others without hurting them. Yes --- Tessa is being changed into a werewolf. It's not something she wanted, but it is done and she can only accept it and make the best out of the situation.

I didn't like Dastien at first, but the more we saw of him, and the consequences of one moment, I think you can understand him a bit.  I ended up adoring his relationship with Tessa. It's not an easy one, but the wait for them to get to the right space was glorious to read about. They really were perfect for one another. Sure, things didn't start as well, and they didn't start off on the right foot, but I felt he made up for his past descretions. Sometimes you just can't fight fate. Things happen for a reason, and there is a reason his heart chose her.

The other characters were fun and interesting. I look forward to see where the author goes with this series. I will be looking forward to the next book, and see how Tessa is handling her wolf, friends and her relationship.

A real fun, interesting take on the were genre. If you are a fan, then this book is definitely for you. It's not to be missed.

4.5 Stars

Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: August 29th, 2013
Number of pages: 336 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository

Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?’

Well now, if the ending to Unspoken wasn't heartbreaking enough, be warned, this book may do just as much heartbreaking as the previous.
I still can't get over the name of the town. It's not your typical name and I still have trouble understanding it sometimes, but it's just one of those things that feel odd to me, but I suppose it makes since because the town, all of it, are all very odd in some matter.

I really adore these characters. I forgot how much I did like then town, the character and the crazy stuff that goes on there. I was thrilled to finally read the sequel. It was everything, maybe better than the first book. It had mysterious stuff going on, character and relationship progression. You discovered why Jared said the things he said in the last chapter of the previous book. You find out more about him, his family and his feelings for Kami (I wasn't even sure he had any until this book).

Kami and her group of friends are fantastic. Kami is definitely a journalist in the making. She is already deep in the midst of everything, always wanting to solve things, kind of like our very own Nancy Drew. The emotions she brings out especially of her relationship with Jared just melted my heart.  The love these two have, gah. It was so heartbreaking, romantic, realistic and very telling. I now understood why Jared did the things he did.  Why Kami did the things SHE did, and so much more.

We have our villians. We have our heroes, and we have some twists and turns. This book is definitely a journey a worthy sequel should be.
All in all, it's a very addicting and action filled installment.  The end will make you want to seek out Sarah Rees Brennan and make her show you the 3rd book manuscript STAT.

I look foward to the next book in the series. Jared and Kami need to be together, okay?

4 Stars

Review: Angelbound by Christina Bauer

Angelbound (Angelbound, #1) by Christina Bauer
Publisher: Ink Monster
Publication date: December 17th, 2013
Number of pages: 532 Pgs
Format: E-galley
Purchase: Amazon Kindle

Eighteen year old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your every day quasi-demon, half-demon and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she hasn’t lost a battle yet.

But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights aren’t enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it’s not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and doesn’t like the answers she finds. What happened seventeen years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is? Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what’s a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla’s not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla’s going to shake up Purgatory

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was interesting. Different from what I thought,but enjoyable definitely.
We're introduced to Myla, who is half demon and half human, and she fights demons in Purgatory arena certain souls have chosen this form of combat in attempting to gain entry into Heaven or Hell. When the demons start acting more strange than usual, Myla starts to suspect there is something very bad about to happen.

Myla was an interesting character. She is definitely strong and badass, as you would have to be to fighting demons. But since she has a human side she has very realistic emotions as well. There was some witty lines where you won't be able to stop smiling or laughing. She has a charm that is very likeable.
The world building is great. I feel there is so much more we haven't seen yet, which might be revealed in the following books. This story doesn't just deal with demons or angels, but other species which was fun to see. I feel there is so much potential with this that anything is possible.

There are some great characters, from Myla's friends, to a new love interest.  The romance wasn't overdone or one that takes over the plot, but more like on the side, which was nice that it doesn't overpower the main things going on. But it's also a work in progress.

Over all, this is a great action-packed, strong debut. I look forward to see where Bauer takes the story next.

3.75 Stars

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: Empower by Jessica Shirvington

Empower (Violet Eden Chapters, #5) by Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Hachette
Publication date: November 12th, 2013
Number of pages: 464 pgs
Format: paperback
Purchase: Bookworld

It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and - most importantly - her soulmate, Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.

Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.

But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.

Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.

Violet is going back to New York ... and she knows exactly who is going to be there.

With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made.

It's been two years since Violet left. She disappeared from her town, her friends... Lincoln. Her soulmate and it has killed her every day since. The moment she gets word someone she cares about has gone missing, she is determined to do everything she can to find him again, even if it means going back to the one place she didn't think she would be again.

Violet hasn't had the easiest time over the past few years. She is almost twenty years old, she moves from one place to another when she feels Lincoln closing in on her. Going back to New York probably was the hardest thing she had to do. She was a bit naive thinking that she could avoid.. certain people, well, more like a certain someone.
The moment she arrives, that is when the story really begins..
She has to figure out where her friend is, how she would go about locating him, and what she may have to sacrifice. She doesn't find things easy when she returns, as you can imagine. Steph has been getting the cold shoulder from Lincoln, Phoenix has been haunting her telling her that she can't run away forever, and discovers there is a new crowd in town, some none too pleased to see her.

I loved the plot of this story. I wasn't sure how the time jump would affect the series, but now I couldn't imagine it any other way. Not only does it enhance Violet, who has become a rogue Grigori over the past few years, but Lincoln also, who has become a leader who he is meant to be, with a few added qualities that were put there by hurt and betrayal.
Violet has become quite the leader herself. She has learnt a lot throughout the last two years. Things about herself, about what she can do. She discovers there is so much more to her abilities than she first realized.

The relationship between Violet and Lincoln just.. explodes in this book. If you thought you loved them in the previous four books, then think again, because the things they feel, go through... boy, it is just so emotional and heartbreaking you won't want to put this book down.
The first half of the book is full of angst that will literally kill you if you're not careful.  Things like..

I cut him off. ‘It changes nothing, Lincoln.’
‘It changes everything!’ he thundered. ‘I let you go because I thought you’d moved on! That I was ruined because I couldn’t do the same but if you could, then I really had no right to stand in your way!’ He was still yelling. ‘But you’re not fixed at all, are you? We’re still us in all the terrible ways and none of the good!’
‘What did you expect me to do? Bring you back and then just stand aside so I could watch you die for me all over again? I’d rather live on the other side of the world, cold and in constant agony, and at least know that somewhere you still exist, because I know for certain that if you’re with me – you’re as good as gone.’

There were times I couldn't hold it together when it came to these two. The angst. The tension. The longing and the heartbreak. It hard to handle at times for my emotional wellbeing. But I would not take one moment back for a second.  Everything these two have been through, whether it was in the first, fourth or this book all means something. I wouldn't have it any other way.
They are absolutely perfect. The journey we have been on with these two just has been beautiful, yes it was also heartbreaking, but everything goes a certain way for a reason, and everything has been building to this..
I loved everything about them. Their beginning, middle and end. You will not be disappointed, trust me on that.

Phoenix also makes a return and can understand more to him than you did before. Without Lilith. Without the angels or anyone, it is all about what he wants, and by the end of this book, he finally finds the place that he is meant to be. It made perfect sense, and a great way to end his own personal journey.
I admit I have not been the biggest fan of Phoenix during the series. There are times where I hated him, but in Endless and Empower especially, he has come a long way from who he used to be. The love he has for Violet has made him into a better person, and I felt that should be the main point of the other person left of a triangle.

Speaking of the triangle, it really never was a proper one to begin with because it was never a choice between Linc or Phoenix, it was more about the person she wanted to be, and the choice that came with that. She was always in love with one person. She just was drawn to Phoenix for different reasons.
I do feel the tagline on this book was a bit misleading. The final choice was never regarding the boys, it was more about the choice she would have to make regarding herself and giving in.. to things she refused to do before.

There was some heartbreaking moments in this conclusion. There was also some pleasant surprises as well. I could not have asked for a better ending. I applaud Jessica for giving us such a special and beautiful story.  For the journey of Violet Eden as she discovers who and what she is, and the choices she makes along the day.

I am definitely a fan of Jessica for life.  She is on my must-buy list, and has been for ages now. I will follow you wherever you go.

It is sad to say goodbye to this series, but I feel satisfied enough these characters will be happy and can lead their lives.

5 MLLLION stars

Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publication date: November 19th, 2013
Number of pages: 420 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository

Sydney always believed that alchemists were born to protect vampire secrets and human lives - until she met Marcus and turned her back on everything she once knew.

But she's not free yet. When her sister Zoe arrives, Sydney can only tell her half-truths about her past. And with every word she risks exposure - and the fatal consequences.

Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney must choose her path once and for all. Even if that means harnessing her magical powers to destroy the way of life she was raised to defend..

In the newest Bloodlines installment, things are a little different when we not only have Sydney's POV, but also Adrian's. I thought this was gonna be great. I was excited for it, but that excitement soon died down a lot as soon as I started it.
I felt like I was reading a romance novel, it was as if the plot didn't exist.  The thing I loved about the VA series was that it had a bit of everything. Plot. Friendship and romance, and it doesn't overtake the series or plot, but with this book, Ugh.. it really did.

Sydney did not act like Sydney. And don't even get me started on Adrian. Yes, it was interesting to get inside his head and to find out more about his past and how he is dealing with the magic that comes with dealing with spirit, but it just was not what I was expecting. There are certain things in the book that I felt disgusted at and I felt my love for this couple dying down.

The things I did love were, interesting enough were the side characters. The Trey and Angeline and Eddie and Jill stuff.  It was subtle and gradual, unlike another couple in this book.
I adored both of those relationships and the progress they made in this book. I went from.. "Come on," to  "finally."  Angeline has grown up a ton over the last few books and that is saying something for the girl who went to fight Rose so she could marry Angeline's brother in Last Sacrifice, LOL.
Then we have Jill and Eddie, who never got to the point where they could get it right between them. Whether they never realized their feelings, or when they did, one of them was too stubborn to make a move. I was happy that things started happening, although I don't like the fact that Eddie has become a side character when I assumed he was meant to be a lead character.

The magic stuff was alright, but what I loved most of all was some surprise appearances by some of my favourite characters. This book was very predictable, I knew how it was gonna end way before now. There was just no excitement in it when you know what's gonna happen a few books back.
This series cannot hold a handle to VA in my opinion. I have now decided that while I do enjoy it (some books more than others) it just is lesser than how I feel toward the original series.  Can we like we back to Rose's POV in another spinoff? Thanks so much.

Anyway. I guess we'll see how Silver Shadows goes, but at this point, I am hoping this series is over sooner rather than later.

                                                                     3.5 Stars

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crash into You by Katie McGarry

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3) by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Publication date: December 1st, 2013
Number of pages: 464 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

There is nothing that Katie McGarry cannot do. I don't say this about many YA contemporary authors, mainly because I am very hesitant when it comes to this genre. Not every author can pull off an amazing story that sucks me in every time. Katie can do that. Every time.
She is definitely on my Must-read list. I have all the faith in the world when it comes to her and to this series. When I got the opportunity to review this title from Harlequin Australia, I could not pass up the chance to score an early copy and discover Isaiah's story. I badly wanted him to have happiness after the stuff he had been through with Beth, which did not end very nice at all.

 When things pick up, Isaiah is determined to find a way to gather some money for the place he and Noah live in, otherwise things are about to go to hell. He'll have to go back to Beth's aunt's and Noah will live in the dorms on campus. He'll do anything not to go back there, not since Beth...
He only sees one option. To race again, but when he makes a deal he can't get out of, he is determined to make the best of it, until a girl turns up at the race and he makes a deal to protect her.
Isaiah has six weeks to come up with what is needed, otherwise, there will be hell to pay.. and he'll refuse to let anything come to this girl.

Rachel goes to the best school, comes from a wealthy family and has to put up appearances for her family. She tries to be the best daughter she can be, but there is only so much she can fake. This is why she loves speed and racing her car. It takes her away from life, to a place where she can be who she wants to be.
But the moment she agrees to race in a street race, everything changes. Not only does she owes a debt to the owner of the race, but a rough around the edges guy named Isaiah has taken the debt on for himself, and together they will have to try raise the money before the deadline.  But what happens in six weeks can change their lives forever...

I have to say ---  I loved Noah's book.  I really liked Beth and Ryan's, but.. MY GOD.  This book? My favourite, no doubt about it.  I have always adored Isaiah. I wanted him to find love and happiness. I wanted him to take control over his life and find some resolution. He find the things he wants most in life.  THIS BOOK ...  has it all.  Not only is his relationship with Rachel just beautiful. But he is so flawed, so vulnerable and takes things on himself. He has so much inside of him that just makes you want to go and hug him.
He and Rachel are just made for one another.  They have so much in common, minus the part about their backgrounds and pasts. But they are both troubled, damaged in some way or another. They both love cars and racing. And other things.
They are like two peices of a puzzle slowly connecting into place. Two halves of a whole finally coming together where they belong.

We meet some newcomers who, some I adored, like Rachel's twin, Ethan and West. Then she has other brothers who are a bit older, but were understandable and I liked by the end.
Her brothers have this protectiveness over her that was kind of adorable. Nothing I wouldn't expect from older brothers for their younger sister, especially when boys are involved. Along with some friends of Isaiah's, this was a page-turner from the very first page.
Bring on the next installment. I will be so there.

5 Stars

Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5) by Darynda Jones
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication date: July 9th, 2013
Number of pages: 339 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository

Charley Davidson may not look like your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper, but she has vowed to reap grimness wherever she goes despite this unfortunate fact. Sadly, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. As he is the main suspect in her arson case, she has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth.

However, when dead women start appearing in her apartment—lost, confused and terrified beyond reason—Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes' help, especially when it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma, is the serial killer's next target. With his ability to observe incorporeally, surely he can find out who's responsible. And even if he can't, he is the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return: Charley. All of her—body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she might be willing to pay...

There are times when I can't believe I hadn't read this series sooner. This is far becoming one of my favourites in Urban Fantasy. Darynda can do it all. From hot and sexy. To humorous fun and interesting cases. This is definitely one that needs to be read by everyone interested in this genre.

With book five under the belt, I can honestly say this has been my favourite thus far, and that goes to saying something as the last few books have been amazing. The stakes have been raised, the cases have been intriging, but most of all, the relationship between Charley and Reyes have progressed to a point of no return.
Reyes is full of flaws, is a complicated man, but loved with his whole heart. Charley is the one who has made him heart and soul ever since the beginning. Reyes is the only man for Charley, no matter what she might have told herself from time to time. They will come to a stand-still, a never-ending point where they cannot go back, only forward.  That time is now...

It's about time things have started to happen with our favourite couple. It has been a slow burn over the past four books, but that all has changed with this newest installment. Things have always been hot, heated and steamy  where it concerns these two, but there was never a real push in the right direction. Things have changed --   ever since Reyes became Charley's new neighbour, he has made his intentions clear to her.  He wants her, body and soul, and there isn't anything he isn't willing to do to claim her as his.  The thing is though, she has always been his, and he hers. It just has taken them a while to admit certain things, because they sure have not been easy.

Charley and Reyes as individuals have grown from strength to strength. They have had their own personal journeys they have been on, but those journeys have lead them to one another. It's where they are supposed to be, if they can make things work, that will be the end of it. The start of a new life.. together.
Charley is at first a little hesitant, but of course, nobody can ever rest Reyes for very long.  Minus that, her newest case keeps her busy especially when her sister becomes the possible next victim, and she'll need Reyes help in locating the person responsible. But by him helping her, he'll need only one thing...

If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy and have not yet been introduced to these books, then what are you waiting for?  This is a series you should not be missing out for a second.
I look forward to the sixth installment. BRING IT ON.

5 Stars