Friday, December 20, 2013

Teardrop by Lauren Kate - 2.5 stars

Teardrop by Lauren Kate
2.5 stars

First off, the cover for this book is absolutely gorgeous. I mean seriously, look at that cover. That's what drew my attention. Because of this I picked it up and read the description. It sounded interesting so I bought it. I did like it but I wish I had just borrowed it from the library. Oh well. It will make my bookshelf look pretty.

The first half of this book confused me. Almost nothing happened. It was interesting but I was just waiting for something to happen. Honestly, I was sitting there reading and for the life of me I could not explain what this book was about. It finally starts moving along after Eureka gets her inheritance from Diana's will. Diana is her mother and she ended up dying in the "freak" accident that took out the bridge they were driving on. From the beginning we know that the Seedbearers took the bridge out. Of course we don't know what Seedbearers are and why Eureka had to die.

We have a mysterious boy, Ander. We have Eureka's depression over her mother's death. We have two best friends, Cat and Brooks. Cat is that stereotypical girl who likes a bunch of guys and seems a little shallow. At some points I was thinking, what is the point of her character other than filling in the place of the girl friend.

It wasn't emphasized until later on that Eureka never cried. Her mother told her to never cry after she sobbed when she overheard her parents fighting. After her mother told her that, she never did. And of course there is obvious foreshadowing there (spoiler)*.

Once you start getting about 2/3 of the way through, things start to happen. Brooks acts weird. The fortune teller starts translating the book Eureka got from her mother. We learn who Ander is and what Seedbearers are. We find out why Eureka can't cry (spoiler)**. Then there is the obvious climatic ending.

The mythology for this book is the lost city of Atlantis. I like the idea of Atlantis. I like the mythology. However there are very few books that capture my attention long enough to even finish the book. I was able to finish Teardrop but I almost didn't because it was so empty in the beginning.

I don't seem to be a big Lauren Kate fan. I really liked Fallen. I barely finished Torment. I couldn't even get through Passion. I didn't even bother with Rapture. Maybe the second book in the Teardrop series will be better. I hope that it gets better. I like the idea but the execution wasn't very good.

Last Day of Love: A Teardrop Story

This was a little short story from Ander's point of view. This was prior to the wave that the Seedbearers brought down on Eureka and Diana. Apparently Seedbearers give up love when they turn 18 but it's obvious that he isn't going to. I think the saddest part for me was the expectation to kill his dog. Thankfully that was solved without bloodshed.

I bought this right after I bought Teardrop and before I actually read the book. I'm a little annoyed that I spent money on it. It was interesting to learn more about what the Seedbearers are and what they do but that was about it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur - 3.5 stars

Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur
3.5 stars

I was a little hesitant to pick this book up at first even though it sounded interesting. I'm glad I did. It was a good book and I enjoyed it. Despite my enjoyment, I had a hard time rating this. I went back and forth between 3.5 and 4 stars. The concept is great but some of the things in the story bothered me enough to knock it down to 3.5. I would still recommend it though. Overall it's a good story with a good plot line despite some of the things I did not particularly like.

It's quite obvious from the first time Jon and Maddie meet that there is going to be a love story between them. Jon appears in an astral form in Maddie's bedroom. Maddie has been living alone ever since her husband died in a fire. She is afraid of hurting anyone with her power because she has no control. Jon is dying and something is forcing him to appear before her. Maddie thinks she's going crazy until Jon warns her about missing teenagers from the area her sister and her nephew, Ethan, visited two weeks prior. Jon begs her to find him and save him. When Ethan disappears like the other teenagers who visited AREA, Maddie decides to set out to save Jon and then find Ethan.

Along with Maddie's pyrokinesis, she is also clairvoyant. Ethan has inherited that power as well. Maddie's power helps her with trying to locate Ethan but since she doesn't have much control, the visions are confusing and unclear. Jon can't help her focus her powers because he is a shapeshifter, a hawk to be exact, and he doesn't know the finer arts of the craft. He does help her calm down when she sets the inn on fire by accident.

Maddie stays at an inn where there is a creepy owner named Hank. This guy is so well written that when you are reading it, you get that creepy vibe. He's nasty and you know that he is evil. He has a fascination with Maddie and it scares her. I would be scared too. We find out pretty early who is behind the kidnappings and murders. It was quite obvious from the beginning so I was a little annoyed by that. There really wasn't a sense of mystery. I'm not sure is this is what Arthur was aiming for but it was extremely predictable.

I was also a little annoyed by the hot and cold vibes Jon sent towards Maddie. I understand the reasoning behind it but it was a constant thing so I found it tiring.

I was a little surprised by the ending. I wasn't expecting the time difference, something you will understand when you read the last chapter. It did have a HEA which I am grateful for. Overall it was a good book. The next book in the Damask Circle series focuses on two different characters. It's one of those series that have different main characters for each book. I will be reading the next book in the series.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Othersphere by Nina Berry - 4.5 stars

Othersphere (#3) by Nina Berry
4.5 stars
Previous Otherkin Series Reviews
Otherkin (#1) | Othermoon (#2)

Othersphere is the final book in the Otherkin trilogy and I really enjoyed it. It wrapped up the loose ends from Othermoon and filled in any missing information. We finally learn everything about Dez and her connection to the Othersphere, who her biological parents are, and who she ends up with. 

At the end of Othermoon, Caleb left because he couldn't trust Dez after she met up with Lazar twice without telling anyone. She was doing it for the right reasons because everyone wanted to kill Lazar but in the end, Caleb broke up with her and then left. In Othersphere, Dez and Lazar are together despite Dez still having feelings for Caleb. I found it a bit weird honestly. I still don't know who I was rooting for in the end (spoiler)*. 

At the beginning of the book, Amaris sneaks off to meet up with Caleb. Dez follows her, knowing that she is going to meet her brother and Dez just wants to see Caleb. Things go to hell from there. Suddenly they are surrounded by the Tribunal and Ximon throws Amaris into the Othersphere, using Dez to open the veil. Caleb and Dez escape and return to the school. Everyone agrees that they have to go rescue Amaris from the Othersphere (spoiler)**. When they get a call from Ximon claiming that he has been possessed by a "demon", the group decides to check out if what he claims is true. Caleb believes Ximon is telling the truth but Dez doesn't. As she is the unofficial leader, the group backs her up. They find Ximon's location and break into his house. It turns out he was telling the truth. Ximon is being possessed by the same creature that possessed Caleb in Otherkin. At first Ximon is himself but then Orgoli, the creature from the Othersphere, takes control of Ximon again and basically destroys the house. November almost dies and Dez freezes up for the first time. We also find out some pretty interesting information (spoiler)***.

This book has more action and more tension between the friends. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that a group of teenagers are the ones who go into these extremely dangerous situations with the approval of their teacher Morfael. It just seems a little too unbelievable at times. I did like finding out about Dez and her origins. It's an interesting world. The Othersphere is dangerous but also really cool. I liked learning more about it and the Amba. Berry created a very interesting world and I enjoyed the series. It ended well and I felt no need for the story to go on. She managed to wrap everything up without leaving any plot holes. 

This is another 4.5 star book. I would like to thank NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this title prior to it's release. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Othermoon by Nina Berry - 4.5 stars

Othermoon (#2)  by Nina Berry
4.5 stars
Previous Otherkin Series Review
Otherkin (#1)

Othermoon begins not long after the events of Otherkin. Dez is listening to music in the middle of the night when she hears something. It turns out Lazar has broken into her house but nothing seems to be disturbed. She chases him out into the rain and to the lightning tree. Lazar manages to escape and Dez's mom and Richard catch up with her at the tree. Something strange begins to happen to her mother and she suddenly becomes possessed by another being from the Othersphere. She tells Dez that she is her daughter but is unable to last very long in her mother's body. She calls Dez an Amba, the same name Ximon called her when he saw her. 

It turns out Lazar stole a hairbrush from Dez. She gets in touch with all of her friends except Arnaldo and discover that things with their DNA have been stolen as well. Lazar left a note apologizing and asking for forgiveness. This is odd but Dez has to worry about other things, not Lazar's peculiar behavior. 

The gang meets up in Las Vegas where they are eventually found by the Tribunal. While they are escaping, Dez runs into Lazar again. He gets attacked by Caleb who hates him for killing his mother. Lazar tells Dez that he hasn't told anyone about where they are and warns them about the exits. Dez's compassion at the end of Otherkin planted a seed and Lazar wants out from under his father's abuse. 

The group heads to Arnaldo's to bring him to the school. They find out that his house wasn't attacked because his father gave the Tribunal some of his DNA. When Arnaldo leaves to go to school, his father disowns him. He is a drunk and hits his children which makes Dez eventually call child services. 

Once they make it to the school, Caleb and Dez stay behind and things start to get hot and heavy before they are interrupted by Amaris and Lazar climbing into the van. Lazar has information. The Tribunal is building a particle accelerator and for some reason they needed the DNA from each of the remaining tribes of shifters. Lazar agrees to get the plans and layout of the Tribunal's compound in exchange for help to escape the Tribunal. 

No one trusts Lazar except Dez and Amaris. Dez sneaks around Caleb and the others to get information from Lazar, eventually leading to the break up of Caleb and Dez. Caleb says he can't trust her and he sees the way Lazar looks at her and holds her. 

The group eventually attacks the Tribunal compound using Lazar's information but it's a trap. They escape and Dez does some awesome things with her power. Their escape comes with a cost. One of their number dies at the hands of Ximon (spoiler)*. Lots of things go down during that attack and escape and most of it is pretty interesting and helps develop the world of the shifters.

In the end, Caleb leaves while everyone else, including Lazar returns to the school. There is a budding relationship between Lazar and Dez, one that Caleb can't ignore.

I liked this book more than Otherkin. We learn more about the world of the otherkin and the shifters. We learn about the power of the othersphere and a little bit more about Dez's origins. It's very interesting. It deserves a solid 4.5 stars. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Otherkin by Nina Berry - 4.5 stars

4 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The only reason I didn't give it five is because I have some issues with certain scenes. It took me a couple tries to get into this book but once I did I found myself enjoying it and finished it quickly. 

In this book we have Desdemona, aka Dez, who is an otherkin. She's a shifter and can shift into a tiger. This is quite obvious once you look at the cover. We get thrown into the world almost immediately. At the end of chapter 1 Dez transforms into her tiger. In chapter 2 she wakes up in a cage somewhere in the desert. In a cage next to her we meet Caleb. Caleb is otherkin also but he is not a shifter. He is a caller of shadow. Basically there is another world called the Othersphere and it "casts its shadow into our world. Not a shadow of darkness, but a power shadow, a vibration" (33). Callers can actually call forth the shadow of the shifters or send them away, forcing them into or out of their animal form. This makes the shifters hate the callers because they can control their transformations. 

The enemy of the otherkin is the Tribunal. They think all otherkin are demons and are extremely religious. They can use shadow too but they use it to get rid of shadow. The callers that are part of the Tribunal are titled objurers. Basically they're a bunch of hypocrites. The Tribunal has killed thousands of shifters and callers. Now there are only five shifter tribes left. Bears, cats, birds, wolves, and rats. Before there were shifters of all different animals but they were killed off by the Tribunal. Of course, all the shifters hate each other and are neophobic. They formed a council with a representative for each tribe but that only does so much. There is little they can do when all they want to fight.

After Dez returns home and is attacked again by the Tribunal, she shifts back to her tiger-self and that's when her adoptive mother and Richard, her mother's husband, find out about Dez being a shifter. Her parents go into hiding while Dez heads off with Caleb to a super secret school somewhere hidden. Once there, they have to go through a test to prove that they are worthy to be taught at the school.

The school is for shifters, not callers, so Caleb is a little on the outside. The teacher, Morfael, is also a caller and teaches the shifters the everything the shifters need to know. Dez is an outsider at first and Caleb is unwelcome. The prejudice between the callers and the other shifters is extremely obvious. It's sad really.

There is something special about Dez and even at the end of the book we don't really know what's going on with her or what she truly is. But because she was never raised around other shifters, she does not have the prejudice that they all have. She is able to bring everyone together and become friends. This is something that never happens.

What I liked about this book is the completely different take on shapeshifters and the idea of another world that casts its shadows into ours. The idea is clever and one that I haven't heard of before. I enjoyed Dez's character and her strength in trying to get everyone to work together and not hate each other. She doesn't give up and she has a fierce need to protect the people she loves.

What I didn't like was some of the writing and reactions. Dez finds out about this other world and she's not as freaked out as I think she should be. If I had changed into a tiger and then kidnapped and shoved into a cage, I think I'd be freaking out more than she actually was. Sometimes the writing seemed rushed. Despite these issues I really enjoyed this book.

I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys shapeshifter books and want a different take on a fantasy world. The topic of shapeshifters has been used many times and I like that this book used it and changed it into something completely different than anything I was expecting.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway - DNF

A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
Did not finish.

I received this book from NetGalley for review.

I tried to finish this book but I just found my mind wandering while I was trying to read it. It's a good idea but I couldn't get myself interested in it. I don't like how the chapters jump back and forth in time. By jumping through time with different characters, I found myself getting extremely confused. I had a hard time understanding what was going on half the time.

I can't rate this book because I did not finish. I don't like not finishing books but I had to stop. It's almost torture to read books that I'm no longer interested in.

I will be moving on to something else that I can hopefully enjoy better than this one.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Archangel's Legion by Nalini Singh - 5 stars

Archangel's Legion (#6) by Nalini Singh
5 stars

Previous Guild Hunter Series Reviews

I went through this book so quickly and now I'm sad it's over. This book was the best in the entire Guild Hunter series. There has been such character development for everyone that it's just great. Elena and Raphael's relationship is deeper and stronger than ever before. So many different problems begin to happen all at once. Birds and angels fall from the skies. Vampires die from disease. The sky rains blood and the Hudson turns red. All of this is being caused by the Cascade and Raphael knows war is coming but it all depends on who (spoiler)*. The cover is absolutely amazing and fits the plot of the book very well.

The falling of the angels left Raphael low on numbers. Five died from the fall, not something that can easily be done. Something is happening and the loss of his angels infuriates him. Then when his vampires begin to die, he is determined to get to the root of the problem. It turns out that someone is infecting humans and when the vampires drink their blood or drink the blood from a donor bank that is infected, they die. The humans don't last very long with the infection in their system. Vampires are supposed to be immune to disease but this disease is a death sentence until Keir, a healer, can figure out a cure.

Caliane is awake during this book and she is no longer the crazy angel she was when she went to Sleep. Her main focus is on her beloved city and getting it thriving again. Before the angels' fall from the sky, Caliane sends out invitations for a ball. Of course Elena is apprehensive about going to another ball after the catastrophe from the last one. Caliane also doesn't like Elena as Raphael's Consort and goes out of her way to make that point very obvious. Not long after Elena and Raphael arrive in Caliane's city do they find a human who had been infected by the disease. Thankfully she died before donating any blood to a vampire and she was the only casualty. Caliane is devestated. Raphael tells her that he will get to the bottom of the poisoning.

Eve, Elena's half sister who is also hunter-born, has a bigger role in this book. Jeffrey is majorly against anything that has to do with being a Guild Hunter and we find out his reasoning (spoiler).** However, Elena will make sure that Eve has everything she needs and will protect her from Jeffrey if she must.

I like that we have a new angel in this book. Aodhan is one of Raphael's Seven. We haven't seen much of him. We only got a glimpse in Archangel's Kiss. Something happened in Aodhan's past that has hurt him to the point of not being able to stand the touch of another. Illium was Aodhan's best friend but whatever happened scarred him, leaving him unable to be the friend that he used to be. Fortunately, after a game of catch over the Hudson to help the media not go into a panic, Aodhan becomes more alive and Illium is able to touch him, though no one else is. In fact, when Aodhan is injured to the point of being unable to fight anymore, Raphael is forced to heal him, despite Aodhan's immense fear of touch.

A major plot point in this book is each archangel's powers are growing. Raphael can heal much better than before and he has the fire that can be used to hurt Lijuan. However, Raphael's power isn't offensive like the others and that is bothersome. However, each time something strange happens in the city, Raphael gets a dark power that runs through him. Each time Elena helps him reject that power so he doesn't become the angel he is during the Quiet.

This book has so many twists and turns that I didn't know where it was going to lead next. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The title of the book is genius but I won't spoil that ending for anyone. We get more history about the last Cascade and delve deeper into the world. It was such a shocking ending and I loved it. This book deserves it's five stars.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Releases!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth and Archangel's Legion by Nalini Singh are officially out. I'm very excited.

I'm probably going to read Archangel's Region first because it's one of my favorite series. It's going to be great because Elena and Raphael are the main focus again for this book. I've missed them. While I enjoyed Dimitri and Honor's story as well as Jason and Mahiya's, I didn't connect to those books as much. Now that Lijuan has revealed herself and Caliane has woken, it's going to be interesting.

I am debating on rereading Insurgent. I remember a lot of the book and especially the cliffhanger ending but I tend to reread before I start the new release. Insurgent basically ended on an explosion of information and Allegiant will definitely wrap things up. Yet another end to another great series.

I've not even come close to finished A Study in Silks. I haven't really been reading much. Instead I've been painting my mom's Christmas village or cross stitching the stocking I am working on for her. I also think it's because A Study in Silks hasn't really grabbed my attention yet. I'm not that far into the book but I am determined to finish it so I can review it for NetGalley. I've only managed to review The Waking Dreamer.

I really want it to be July 2014 or close to that time so I can get my hands on Magic Breaks. All these little snippets that Ilona Andrews keeps handing out are killing me. Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost will also be coming out next year. I need to catch up on her series as well. I haven't read her latest two books.

So many things on my to-read list and not enough time to get through them all. My Goodreads list is getting longer and longer. It's getting a bit ridiculous.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Currently reading, Netgalley, and other ramblings

So I'm currently listening to Harry Potter again on my iPod. Don't ask me why. I have no idea but I really wanted to listen to the series again. I know I'm weird but oh well. I enjoy it and it helps get me through the day sometimes. Thank God I can listen to my iPod at work.

I'm also currently reading A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway, book one in The Baskerville Affair. This is a book I've received from Netgalley for review. I recently finished The Waking Dreamer that I also received from Netgalley and it was good so I'm really excited that I've been getting more approvals from Netgalley.

Netgalley is a website that allows book review blogs to get advanced copies of certain books to review prior to the release date. When I first joined I wasn't getting any approvals. My blog was new and apparently my profile wasn't good enough. Once I started publishing more reviews I started getting most of my requests approved which is very exciting. A lot of the books are from new authors who aren't really known to the world. The Waking Dreamer is a good example. I have a pretty big list that I have to get through and I'm hoping that I will like them all.

I publish my reviews on this blog, Goodreads, and now Amazon. The author of The Waking Dreamer requested that I post the review on Amazon so I obliged. It makes me feel all kinds of special when I get to read these books in advance even though there are a lot of people who get the same opportunity. My blog is not as big as others out there. Mine actually is extremely tiny but I'm okay with that. I love reading and this blog is a great way for me to talk about what I've read and hopefully to help others read too.

A Study in Silks is an interesting book so far. I'm not that far into it but I'm working on it. It's set in Victorian London but it has the steampunk setting and the main character is the niece of the famous consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. Of course there is magic involved which makes it all the more interesting and obviously you can't have a story about someone related to Sherlock Holmes without a murder. I've read other reviews for this book that have been good and bad. I will withhold judgement until I finish the book and move on to the next two books in the series.  After A Study in Silks I will be moving on to A Study in Darkness, book two in The Baskerville Affair. Or not. It depends on if I like the story. I hate not finishing a book but sometimes that has to happen.

Of course I will be taking a break from the Netgalley books when any author releases their next book in the series. Allegiant by Veronica Roth, the third book in the Divergent series, is coming out October 22nd. Insurgent, the second book, ended with a huge cliffhanger so it's going to be great. Then Archangel's Legion by Nalini Singh is coming out October 29th. I've been waiting for this book for a long time as well. I've missed Elena and Raphael so I'm excited to have them as the main focus again.

I've been keeping up with Ilona Andrews and Jeaniene Frost via Twitter and their blogs. I've been waiting for so long for the next book in the Night Huntress series. I'll have to reread and review. Up From The Grave comes out January 28, 2014. It seems like forever away. Ilona Andrews just finished Magic Breaks and it's going through edits and it doesn't even have a set date yet. The snippets are killing me. Then we have City of Heavenly Fire coming out in 2014 as well. The book cover hasn't been revealed yet and after the cliffhanger ending of City of Lost Souls, it's going to be great. The wait for these upcoming books is killing me. I need it to be 2014 already.

In other exciting news that is probably old news now, there is going to be another Harry Potter movie!!! Jo Rowling herself will be writing the script and it's going to be awesome. This is something us Potterheads have never read before so it's going to be completely new to us. That is something I haven't experienced since Deathly Hallows came out. I'm so excited and I can't wait until Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them hits theaters. This is a movie I am willing to pay for. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - 5 stars

It's a small story really, about, among other things:
A girl
Some words
An accordionist
Some fanatical Germans
A Jewish fist fighter
And quite a lot of thievery

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
5 stars

It's taken me awhile to review this book. I've reviewed books after I finished this one and I have to stop and then come back to it. I'm not sure why. I enjoyed this book but this seems to be a hard review.

It feels good, doesn't it?
To steal something back.
I loved this book. This was such a good book. I don't often like non-fantasy books but this was excellent. The Book Thief was set in 1939 during World War II in Germany. The narrator is Death. In the beginning I was confused. I wasn't sure what was going on but then I realized it was Death doing the narrating. He talks about colors a lot. That's the only part I find weird even though it comes across beautifully. Death becomes a secondary narrator as he reads through Liesel's story.

The main character of this story is Liesel. We follow her throughout the years of the world. When we first meet her she's on a train heading for her new foster family with her brother and her mother. Since her mother can no longer take care of them, she has given them up to go to a foster home. While on the train, Liesel's brother dies and they end up burying him. This is the first time Death meets Liesel aka The Book Thief. This is the nickname Death has given her. She picks up a gravedigger's guide on how to properly dig graves. This is the first book she stole. At this point, Liesel doesn't know how to read.

She ends up in Molching, Germany where she is taken in by Hans and Rosa Hubermann. She eventually grows to love these two people who have taken her in like she is their daughter. She calls them Mama and Papa and though she already has a mother, she thinks of them as her parents as well.

Her best friend is Rudy. At first they aren't friends as she is easily annoyed by him. He's always asking for a kiss from her and she is always replying with something close to "hell no!" Rudy is a happy boy who ends up being a great and supportive friend for Liesel, even when she's going through hard times. Rudy takes care of her and watches her back.

Forget the scythe, Goddamn it, I needed
a broom or a mop. And I needed
a vacation
This is Nazi Germany and there are many people in town who are part of the Nazi party and believe in the Fuhrer and his goals. However, there are also people in town who don't but they keep their secret well hidden. Liesel's family is one of those who does not support Hitler but they do not openly oppose him. At one point, to pay back a debt that he owed, Hans takes a Jew named Max into the house. Honestly, how they got him into their house was quite brilliant. Liesel and Max become close friends during the time he spent there.

There is a tie for my favorite character. Rudy is an amazing boy and was extremely well written. But I also loved Hans. He and Liesel learned to read together. Working together she was able to get out of the younger kids' class and joined the class with kids her own age. They spent time learning words from the books Liesel stole and that Hans gotten for her by trading them in for tobacco.

 Words and books have a big impact on Liesel's life. This part of the story resonates with me. I  have always loved reading. The English language is crazy and messed up and often times doesn't make sense but I love it. I've known how to read since Pre-K and I haven't stopped reading. Books can be an escape by they are also an adventure.

There is so much heartache in this book but there is also joy. It's a wonderful roller coaster of emotions. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried at the end of this book even though I knew what was going to happen. We are given spoilers by Death throughout the story but it's only in the end that we find out the details. Talk about dreading the ending. I loved this book and has been placed on my favorites shelf. It fully deserves the 5 stars.


"I am haunted by humans."

"A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship."

"Often I wish this would all be over, Liesel, but then you somehow do something like walk down the basement steps with a snowman in your hands."

"Of course, I'm being rude. I'm spoiling the ending, not only of the entire book, but of this particular piece of it. I have given you two events in advance, because I don't have much interest in building mystery. Mystery bores me. It chores me. I know what happens and so do you. It's the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest, and astound me. There are many things to think of. There is much story."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr - 5 stars

Book 1 in the Wicked Lovely series

Wicked Lovely (#1) by Melissa Marr
5 stars

This is one of the books that is on my favorites list. I often go back and reread it. Melissa Marr has done a wonderful job at creating her world while also including many of the lore that involve faeries. The fey can't lie, they are invisible to humans unless using their glamour, they're cruel, they're allergic to iron, etc. There are two courts that involved in this book; the Summer court and Winter court.

Keenan is the king of the Summer court. He is the son of the current Winter Queen and the former Summer
King. Beira, the Winter Queen, killed Keenan's father and then worked with the Dark Court to bind Keenan's powers. He does not have the full power of the Summer Court and cannot be a good king to his people. Keenan has to find mortal women, hoping they are the lost Summer Queen. They have the choice of picking up the Winter Staff and risk getting the cold stuck inside them or turn into Summer Girls. Summer Girls are forever attached to Keenan basically remind me of clueless girls. Donia is the current Winter Girl because she picked up the staff, hoping that she was Keenan's lost Queen. Unforuntately she wasn't and she took in Beira's ice. Unlike Beira, Donia is in constant pain because she was mortal and turned fey. The ice hurts because it's not her power and she doesn't have much control over it. It's a curse that can only be lifted until the next girl Keenan woos risks the staff. If the Queen is found, Donia is free. If not then the girl who picked up the staff will become the next Winter Girl and Donia becomes fey and is free of the ice as well.

Aislinn, the protagonist, is a mortal who can See the faeries. She's seen them all her life, just like her mother and her grandmother. She follows the rules that her grandmother laid down since she was a child. Don't look, don't get their attention, don't run, don't let them know that you can see them. Sighted mortals are often killed or blinded. Aislinn has lived her entire life seeing the fey and pretending she can't.

One day Aislinn notices that faeries are following her. These aren't just ordinary fey either. She knows that Keenan is a monarch and she does everything she can to stay away from him. Unfortunately, once Keenan chooses a girl, there is no going back. Aislinn begins to change.This scares her and once she confronts Keenan, she realizes that she has no choice any longer. She either takes the Winter Staff or become a Summer Girl.

Usually when Keenan tries to find his queen, he gets the girls to fall in love with him. Donia still loves him even though she knows she won't ever be with him. Aislinn does not fall in love with him though she does have some pull towards him. There is a reason for this. But Aislinn is in love with Seth. Seth is her friend and she's been too scared to lose him if she tried to take the relationship further. Seth has waited patiently. Aislinn confides everything to Seth and tells him how scared she is. Donia gives Seth the recipe for Seeing the faeries as a way of protecting him. Seth lives in train cars that he has converted into his home. This keeps her safe from faeries though royal fey can withstand steel and iron with no difficulty.

I like the relationship between Seth and Aislinn. They take is slow and Seth is a very good guy. Keenan tries to get him out of the way but that doesn't work. Keenan still loves Donia despite her not being the Summer Queen. He wished that he was and we see the heartache in both Keenan and Donia. Keenan is an asshole but he is doing what he must. He has to play the game to get his power back.

I really enjoy this book and it's why I reread it often. The characters are well developed as is the world building. I like that we see different types of fey within the two courts. I like that Aislinn is strong despite being scared. She doesn't want to become Queen and she doesn't want to lose Seth even though she is drawn to Keenan. There really isn't much of a love triangle in this one. Seth and Aislinn love each other and Keenan's true heart belongs to Donia. Keenan wants to be with Aislinn because that is best for the Summer Court.

I highly recommend this book. It's great writing and it's highly enjoyable.

Monday, August 26, 2013


A couple years ago I discovered audiobooks. I was hired, and still currently work for, an engineering company as a File Clerk. Basically I was in charge of ordering supplies for the office and in charge of the filing for several different departments. I noticed that many people wore headphones so I decided to give it a shot. No one said anything so I listened to my music.

Then I remembered that the Harry Potter audiobooks were recommended to me. I borrowed the discs from the library and loaded them into my iTunes. I now thoroughly enjoy the audiobook experience...depending on the narrator. Jim Dale narrates the Harry Potter series and he does a wonderful job. My only complaint is some of his interpretations of Hermione. Once I discovered Harry Potter, I moved on to search for other audiobooks that were on my to-read list. This is how I discovered the Kate Daniels series. Renee Raudman is one of the best narrators I've ever listened to.

The thing is, some narrators are awful. I listened to Fallen by Lauren Kate and I forced myself to listen to the end but I promised myself never again. I also tried listening to the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost but had to stop because the voice that I pictures for Bones was completely wrong. So I moved that series to a reading only list. This has happened several times. If the narrator is not good, I cannot listen to the book because it puts off my desire to even know what's going on with the book.

One of my other favorites is when a full cast is reading the book. The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce has a full cast for all of the characters. Pierce herself is narrating the book and the dialogue is spoken by different people. It's wonderful. I would never want this for the Kate Daniels series because Raudman does a wonderful job and I can't imagine their voices any other way.

I used to drive long distances when I went home to visit my family on weekends and the audiobooks made the journey less boring. Trust me, driving 100 miles with nothing interesting to see it is extremely boring and actually makes you want to fall asleep. Audiobooks are a great way of keeping you awake.

Currently I'm listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks. I tend to fall back to Harry Potter and Kate Daniels when I need a comfort read, well comfort listen. I know some people have trouble listening to audiobooks but I find them enjoyable. If you don't like the narrator then you definitely should not continue to listen. That will put you off audiobooks. By all means give them a try but if you find yourself getting annoyed with the narrator, stop and add that to the read only list.

Unfortunately audiobooks are a little bit expensive. They cost more to produce so it makes sense that they will cost more. I got around this problem by using the library. If your library has Overdrive, you can download the audiobook straight to your computer and iPod or any mp3 device. I wanted to own the Kate Daniels series so I found a website,, that has cheaper prices. I happened to get the series while it was on sale. They always have things on sale and their prices are cheaper than Audible's. The only problem with Ambling Books is they don't always have everything. They don't have the latest Kate Daniels audiobook but I was able to get a free Magic Rises
audiobook by a free trial with Audible. I also own the Harry Potter audiobooks that I downloaded from the library. I actually have to borrow the disc set because they didn't have the books on Overdrive but they are now saved on my computer so I can listen whenever I want.

Audiobooks allow you to read when you cannot actually read a book. I can listen to my headphones while I'm working so I can read and work at the same time. I highly recommend trying audiobooks. If you don't like them, at least you tried. They work for me and I have been able to get through more books this way.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Magic of Reading

Books are very important to me. This is obvious from my blog. I actually find reviews difficult sometimes because there are usually so many emotions behind the books that I read. I often go to the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews for comfort reading. Or sometimes Harry Potter. It all depends. Harry Potter was a big part of my life for a very long time. It's had a big impact on me and I love it.

Anxiety is something I battle a lot and books often help me escape the anxiety and escape into a completely different world. When I do have anxiety, I will usually reread something I have already read since I already know what's going to happen and there isn't that need to rush to find out the ending. I can slow down and absorb all the little details I missed the first time. Rereading is always important because you do miss things. I've read Harry Potter so many times and I think I've finally picked up on all the little clues Jo Rowling put in throughout the series.

I really only enjoy fantasy books though there are some books that are non-fantasy that I like. I like some distopian books like Divergent or an occasional book like The Fault in Our Stars. I've read murder mystery books as well and I have enjoyed some of those. But I will always pick a fantasy book over any realistic book out there. Magic and alternate universes and creatures that don't exist fascinate me. When authors build worlds that have details and history and are well thought out, I can fall into the story. Some authors are talented at this. Ilona Andrews, Tamora Pierce, Michelle Sagara, just to name a few.

I started reading in Pre-K. It started with the sentences and then world's easiest books. I remember one of my favorite books from my school library was Little Love Angel. That book just sticks out in my mind. As my reading level started to surpass my grade level, I moved onto more challenging books. Many of them were alternate worlds or fantasy. Of course I did read some regular books. Where the Red Fern Grows is a great book. I grew up reading and once I started I could never stop. As I delved deeper and deeper into
fantasy, my love for it grew. The idea of a different world or different creatures existing within our world fascinated me. My backpack always had a book in it and there were many times that I was caught reading class. I rarely lent my books to others because I did not want them to be ruined and I took great care of them when reading. When another person read the same book as me, I was excited because I had someone to talk to about it. Even now I love getting another person into a great series. My cousin and I have a great connection over our love of books. I love that.

Now there is an explosion of YA fantasy and Adult fantasy books. Many authors are now broadening the definition of vampires and werewolves and magic. Most of the stories are completely different from others. More and more people are experiencing these worlds. It's not something that is something unknown. While I have strong feelings about movies, these movies tend to grab more people's attention.

Books are important. Reading is important. I wish more people would read. Some people just don't enjoy reading and I can understand that but it also breaks my heart a little bit. Even if they wouldn't read the same genre as me, I still feel they are missing out on a wonderful experience. I have such passion for books and for reading. My bookshelf continues to grow and I know it is an addiction. I keep running out of room but that doesn't bother me. The more books I own the better.

I love reading and I hope one day I can have children who love it just as much as me. I want them to go through the roller coaster of emotions that I experience when reading. I want them to explore different worlds and different characters. I want them to know the feeling of a book hangover. I want that for them and I want that for everyone else in the world.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars

Magic Rises (#6) by Ilona Andrews
5 stars

Previous Kate Daniels Series Reviews

This is my reaction after I finished. 
Basically I was shocked. Stunned into silence simply thinking omg what the heck did I just read. My head is going to explode. These events seriously did not just happen. There is no way that any of this happened! But it all happened. This will be a spoiler free review unless you click the links the go to my spoilers page. Seriously I'm spoiling a lot so really don't read the spoilers unless you want to

This was the best book out of all of them. Even better than Magic Bleeds and that is my favorite one. The characters and the world and everything is progressing beautifully. There will be ten Kate Daniels books and if they're all as wonderful and emotional as Magic Rises, I don't think I'm going to be able to handle it. 
For those of you who don't religiously follow Ilona on twitter and don't stalk their blog everyday, you wouldn't know that Hugh d'Ambrey was going to be in this book. It's no spoiler. How he arrived in this book is the shocker. I definitely did not see that one coming (view spoiler).* 

The book starts out with Kate sparring with Julie with the spear. Julie isn't paying attention so Kate decides to let her go to her friend Maddie. It turns out that Maddie and her twin sister Margo have started to go loup. This isn't spoilers because the first two chapters were posted on their blog. Anways, Curran walks in with panacea. This herbal medicine helps reduce loupism in children and it's from the European packs. They don't give it to the Pack in Atlanta but they used to have someone who could smuggle some out for them. Well he turned up dead and they were SOL. That is, until Curran got an offer that he couldn't refuse even though he knew it was a trap. He was to go to Atlanta to mediate between three packs and they were to also guard Desandra. Desandra is a pregnant girl but she is pregnant with twins who have two different fathers. Whoever's child is born first inherits the Carpathian mountain territory. 

Curran and Kate head out to sea with Derek, Andrea, Raphael, Mahon, George, Barabbas, Aunt B, Doolittle, Kiera, and Eduardo. Saiman provided a ship and a crew. He obviously didn't want to do this but he owed Kate for saving his life when he was kidnapped. This little scene was deleted from the book but was put at the end for the readers anyways. Crossing the Atlantic and then the Black Sea is extremely dangerous. Magical creatures like sea serpents attack ships often and raging storms threaten to sink ships. There are pirates and all sorts of other dangers so the weeks they spend on the ocean is treacherous. As they near their destination, they get attacked by pirates. These pirates are special (view spoiler).** They kill all but one pirate. This pirate says he has information so he has Saiman translate. Curran doesn't tell Kate what the pirate said but she isn't too bothered by it. She knows he will tell her when he is ready. 

This book also has a mystery component to it. Creatures are attacking and killing guards and also attack the Pack (view spoiler).*** Kate gets asked for help in solving this little mystery and she does. I like that even though she's there to body guard Desandra with the rest of the pack, she is still doing some detective work. Something is always going on and Kate tends to figure it out; usually when they start trying to kill her. 

Kate and Curran's relationship in this book is very difficult (view spoiler).**** This is where the emotional roller coaster comes into play. I wanted to punch Curran and my heart hurt for Kate. She loves Curran so much and her emotions were getting the better of her. 

Obviously Hugh is the main focus of this book. He is up to something. He is trying to get Kate to "come over to the dark side." We discover how Voron died and how powerful Hugh really is because of Roland's magic. Hugh is just a bastard. There is no doubt about it. He is his master's creature and there is no changing him. 
The huge end fight, the life and death fights at the climax of the book, was awesome. Just plain awesome. So much is happening and your brain is trying to keep up with the action. So many different things are happening all at once. This fight also has one of the saddest consequences (view spoiler).***** However, the story does have a happy ending. It's also a bit of a cliffhanger but not a bad one. One where you know what's going to happen next but it also makes you want to scream, "Give me more dammit! I want to know what's happening next!" Magic Breaks will be out sometime next year. It is currently being written and we have gotten a few snippets. 

Many people have had questions so Ilona posted on her blog explaining some things here. We've even been promised a Curran POV novella for Magic Rises. 

Five stars. Definitely five stars. 5.5 stars even.

Magic Rises hit #1 on the NYT Bestselling List. That's never happened before and I'm so happy for them and happy that I could be one of the many who helped them get there. 

Copyright Ilona Andrews

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara - 4.5 stars

Book 6 in The Chronicles of Elantra

4.5 stars

Previous Chronicles of Elantra Series Reviews

I have a difficult time giving these books 5 stars and I think it's because sometimes I get confused and I have to go back and reread in order to understand it. 
This was a really good book. This book doesn't focus on one particular race but I was hoping it would. I would really like to learn more about the Aerians. Cast in Ruin focuses on Dragons and Cast in Peril is another Barrani book. When do we get the Aerians? I want to know!!

Anyways, something weird is happening on Elani street. This street is popular for it's love spells and fortune telling and basically all the fake magic that you can think of. None of the magic actually works...until one day it does. This, of course, starts a whole new kind of craziness for the Hawks. Later, Kaylin and Severn head to Evanton's shop. Kaylin stops to talk to Evanton's apprentice while Severn and Evanton proceed to go into the garden. When Kaylin goes to follow, she winds up in a garden that is not really the garden. When she attempts to leave, the shop door gets farther and farther away and she ends up in a gray place. She is rescued by Nightshade but not before she is almost killed by the creature known as the Devourer. They later discover that this being destroys worlds and right now it's headed towards Elantra. The portal that is opening will allow the Devourer through and it threatens to destroy the world. 

There are many things that start to happen all at once. The Oracles are seeing visions and Everly, the boy who paints prophecies, has started painting again and on a very large canvas. This does not bode well for Elantra. They also discover that there are people, of what race they do not know, that are walking through the inbetween space, and the Devourer is on their tails. They will come through the portal and bring the creature with them. 

In the end, we learn what the Devourer actually is and it's Kaylin who saves Elantra (view spoiler).*

The characters are really interesting in this book. We get a new development between Severn and Kaylin. Severn is the one who helps Kaylin in the end so she doesn't get lost in what she is doing to save the world (view spoiler).** It's a little bit of a blow for those who are Team Nightshade which is the team I belong to. It's exciting to see Arkon leave his library and the climax of the book is really good. I couldn't put it down. Ybelline makes another appearance and I love her. I also love that the fief Tiamaris is starting to be rebuilt. Tara is so interesting and I like that we are starting to know her more. Morse makes appearances too and while I didn't like her when we were first introduced to her character, she has grown on me. 

Overall it was a good book and I enjoyed it. I liked it better than Cast in Silence. In each book we learn more and more about the world of Elantra and it's fascinating. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Magic Rises is out today!

I am very excited. This is one of those days where I wish I could just stay home from work and read all day long to finish it. And I also wish I could stay up late but unfortunately I can't. I have to go to the dentist in the morning so that means an early bed time.

The authors are going on tour to three different cities and unfortunately none of those cities includes Orlando. I am sad about that but I'm super excited to receive my paperback copy of Magic Rises that is signed by Ilona and Gordon! So I have the benefit of having an instant download on my Nook and a signed hard copy.

Last week Ilona and Gordon did a live interview. It's actually really cool and really funny. Ilona has a Russian accent but you wouldn't know that from the way she writes and "talks" through Twitter and her blog. But she talks in the exact same way as she writes and it's very funny. Apparently all of the fan's questions about the Kate Daniels books will be answered in Magic Breaks, book 7. We also learned a little more about the Avon series they are working on. It sounds really good and it will definitely be on my to-read list.

Below is the live interview. It is about an hour long but I really enjoyed it an if you are a fan of Kate Daniels then you will as well.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book covers and coming soon

July 30th is coming up which means Magic Rises is coming out. I've already pre-ordered my ebook and I actually ordered myself a signed copy as well. I have all of the books already so I can't just have the ebook and not have the hard copy. My OCD could not possibly handle that. Unfortunately the signed copy does not come until October. I refused to wait so that's why I ordered the ebook.

I've had some serious Kate Daniels withdrawals. I reread everything but of course that's never enough. Then we (and by we I mean the Ilona Andrews fandom) were given the first two chapters of the book for free. Of course this means I wanted to continue reading. It felt an awful lot like the serial fiction she wrote and posted on her blog. Clean Sweep is a great story and it's actually going to be published. We even got to look at some art that will be published along with the book. The only problem I had with it is that it was broken down into parts and I hated that I couldn't continue. Now that the first book has been completed, there is no need to stop. It's lucky for those you get to read it all at once but when she starts book two then they shall feel my pain.

There have been and always will be many complaints regarding the Kate Daniels covers. Honestly, some of
them are not that great. I liked the Magic Strikes cover. Magic Rises cover is completely different than all the other. We have a completely different model. The main complaint is that Kate looks too young and a little too perfect. I don't care. I love the fire and it is definitely eye catching. You have this fierce looking lion in the background which, of course, screams Curran. Then there is the legendary Slayer, Kate's sword. If you see this on the bookshelves at Barnes and Noble, it will grab your attention. That is the point of the cover. Compared to a lot of other books, this cover is bright and screaming.

Magic Bites, the first book, does not have an eye catching cover. Personally I prefer the U.K. cover of Magic Bites. You can see the U.K. cover here or here and compare them to the U.S. version and form your own opinions.

Archangel's Legion is coming out at the end of October. I've reviewed every book in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series. I love the world of angels and humans mixed together. What I'm really excited about is that the main focus will be on Elena again. The cover is wonderful but not bright. It could be eye catching if they have it facing out when it first comes out. The color is darker and there are a lot of dark colored books. Elena is beautifully drawn though she definitely does not have such large breasts in the books. But would an angel with tiny boobs be as appealing than one with regular or even large. I love that this cover depicts Elena perfectly. We have her beautiful wings and her white hair. She is still a Guild Hunter and her preferred weapon is the crossbow when hunter vampires who try to escape their contract. She looks fierce and ready for a fight. This book is going to be awesome and dark. Vampires dying of disease? Unheard of! Angels falling from the sky? Never! Until now. Dun dun dunnnn.

I still need to get back into the Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost. I loved the Night Huntress books but didn't enjoy the Night Huntress World books as much. I haven't read Once Burned or Twice Tempted. Technically you don't have to but you kind of do. I didn't realize this when I was reading the Night Huntress books and Cat started talking about events that I couldn't remember. That's when I realized what happened. Once Burned and Twice Tempted focuses on Vlad Tepesh, the famous Dracula and a girl named Leila. It's gotten rave reviews and I know I will read it eventually. Up From the Grave is book 7 in the Night Huntress series and is coming out at the end of January. This gives me some time to finish reading the Chronicles of Elantra series (though I will be taking a break to inhale Magic Rises) and reread the Night Huntress books over again to refresh my memories. I like this cover as well. The yellow text looks great against the background. The background happens to be a bluish color and I love blue. Cat has flaming red hair and this looks a lot like her or how I imagined her. This cover also features a different model as the model from the previous covers stopped modelling for book covers. Oh well.

In other exciting news, City of Bones is coming out in a month. I've already expressed my feelings on turning books into movies. Despite these feelings, I still want to see it. Then I can say how I feel about each particular movie. I still haven't seen the Beautiful Creatures movie. I would like to but going to movies is
expensive and honestly I would rather wait. I did receive a Fandango gift card for Admin Day this year so I will be using some of it to watch City of Bones with a co-worker of mine. I got her into The Mortal Instruments series and of course she loved it. Who wouldn't? Cassandra Clare is a brilliant writer and I love her work. When you finish one of her books you have this book hangover. Then all you want to do is move onto the next one but unfortunately I have read all the ones she has published. City of Heavenly Fire doesn't come out until next year. It's going to be wonderfully amazing, of that I am sure.

Look at this movie picture.  Honestly it depicts the book so well. I have hope but that hope is very small and fragile.

There are so many more books that I am looking forward to in the near and not so near future but I feel I should end my rant now. I could go on and on about how much I am looking forward to things and just wanting time to speed up. Maybe I'll get lucky and win an ARC of some of these books. That would be fantastic.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara - 4 stars

Cast in Silence (#5) by Michelle Sagara
4 stars

Previous Chronicles of Elantra Series Reviews

I am really enjoying this series. It's just so interesting because it's a whole different world with different species and  I love it.

This book focuses on Kaylin's past. We know from previous books that after she ran from Severn in Nightshade, she disappeared for six months before she showed up to become a Hawk. Kaylin always dismissed those thoughts and focused on other things, leaving the readers wondering. Cast in Silence finally explores those six months.

While on patrol with Severn, Kaylin runs into an old acquaintance, Morse, from the fief of Barren, the fief she had run too after she fled Nightshade. Barren, the fieflord, has a message for Kaylin and Morse is there to deliver it. Of course this freaks Kaylin out because she had worked for seven years to forget about the six months she had been in Barren. She has been keeping a secret from everyone except the Hawklord why she left Barren and became a Hawk. I won't spoil it but it's pretty good.

There is trouble in Barren. Shadows are spreading and Barren cannot hold the borders. Something odd is going on and if these shadows breach the border of Nightshade, they will eventually make their way into Elantra, destroying everything. Tiamaris becomes a Hawk again and Kaylin's partner as she investigates what is wrong with Barren. The shadows are releasing creatures and killing humans or infecting humans. There are also shadowstorms. These storms can change Barrani and dragons because of their names.

I like Morse as a character. She's tough and she doesn't care about anything. When Morse found Kaylin, Kaylin told her that she wanted to learn how to kill a man. Morse didn't ask any questions. Morse took Kaylin under her wing and began to train her. Kaylin lived under Morse's roof for those six months, learning from Morse and eventually doing Barren's bidding. Morse told Kaylin that she too wanted to kill a man but she had to wait until the right moment.

There are some subtle hints that Barren sexually abused Kaylin but this is not elaborated upon. Barren occupies white towers but for the past ten years he has not truly held the fief. It has been in name only. A fieflord has to be connected to the fief in some magical way. We learn why at the end.

I enjoyed this book because I learned about Kaylin's past that had only been hinted upon in the previous books. I did really like the ending and it made me very happy. Tiamaris is one of my favorite characters and his  what happened in this book just made me so happy. I think I gave this book four stars because I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous two books. It is written well and the character arcs are progressing. There isn't really a romance element in these books so far and I am wondering there ever will be. The detail the Sagara puts into this world makes it almost seem real. I love it though I would not want to be part of it.

Obviously I will continue on with this series and still recommend it to readers.

Review on Goodreads.