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.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars

Magic Slays (#5) by Ilona Andrews
5 stars

Previous Kate Daniels Series Reviews

I've read this book many times so I decided to finish my review of the series while continuing to read the Chronicles of Elantra series. I recently finished Cast in Silence but I need a little bit to process my thoughts on it.

Magic Slays it the fifth book in the Kate Daniels. Kate is no longer working for the Order and Curran has gifted her with her own business as a private investigator. The opening chapter makes me laugh because Kate wakes up to the phone ringing and she literally falls out of bed and this is no normal size bed. It is a huge bed and it has four mattresses on it. That's what I love about Ilona Andrews. It is funny right off the bat.

The headmaster of Julie's school calls and informs Kate that Julie has run away again. They refund Kate the rest of Julie's tuition and kick Julie out of the school. Of course Kate is offended and indignant because Julie is her kid. Julie has a very important part in this book even if it's she doesn't have a lot of dialogue. That goes into major spoilers though.

At the end of Magic Bleeds, Curran gives Kate her own private investigative business since she lost the Order coming to the rescue of the Pack. She ends up naming it Cutting Edge and every day she goes to work and sits on her butt and does nothing. She has no clients whatsoever. Apparently Ted decided to blame Kate for the horrible failure with Erra. Because of this, no one wants to go to her.

Andrea has a more active role in this book. She explains where she disappeared to after the battle with Erra. The Order retired her and she spent a couple of month sulking with Kate's attack poodle. Kate hires Andrea to work at Cutting Edge. Basically as soon as Kate hires her, the Red Guard comes in with a job. A client they were guarding and the device he was building have disappeared. This device is bad news and deadly and it was stolen by a secret society that hates magic and wants all the magic to leave the world. They're crazy. The problem is they are all over the place; in the Pack, the People, the Order, etc. The entire magical community bands together to stop this secret society. This is not something that ever happens so it's interesting to see.

We learn a lot more about Kate's true history in Magic Slays. I couldn't believe what I was reading and I honestly felt so bad for her. Everything she believed about her mother and her step father is actually different than she knew. This is hard for Kate to accept.

I like the relationship between Kate and Curran. It is in no way perfect and not everyone is accepting of her position as Alpha. She's officially named "Consort" much to her displeasure but according to her it's better than "Mate." The wolves are still messing with her because she killed Jennifer's little sister. Kate brilliantly puts her in her place by using Pack law and basically outdoing Jennifer.

I liked this book. I really did. It was an unusual plot that focused on secret societies instead of mythology though there were certain mythological aspects to things. We are introduced to a couple new characters and I really enjoyed them. We have a new bouda male and we meet some secondary characters from other magical societies. I liked that they brought these groups together in the end.

Five stars all the way.

On a side note, Ilona Andrews publish a novel from Kate Daniels' world that focuses completely on Andrea and Raphael. I shall review that later. I'm so excited for July 30th. Magic Rises, Kate 6, is coming out. I actually ordered the ebook copy and a signed copy that will be coming to me at the beginning of October. It's all very exciting.

Review on Goodreads

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cast in Fury by Michelle Sagara - 4.5 stars

Book 4 in The Chronicles of Elantra

Cast in Fury (#4) by Michelle Sagara
4.5 stars

Previous Chronicles of Elantra Series Reviews

You have no idea how much I wish Goodreads had half stars. Thankfully I can do whatever I want on this blog and this book gets 4.5 stars!

As in Cast in Courtlight and Cast in Secret focused on two different races, Cast in Fury focuses on the Leontine race. This is super interesting. The fact that something from a previous book is a major plot point in this book is actually really awesome. J.K. Rowling did these small things all the time in Harry Potter. I love when authors do that. Kaylin helped a Leontine mother give birth to her child. It was a difficult birth which is unusual for the Leontines. Kaylin licked the birthing fluids from the baby's eyelids and he is named after her. This is extremely important because by Leontine and Pridlea law, the baby is also hers.

Kaylin and Severn have a new assignment in this book. When the giant tidal wave threatened to drown the city in Cast in Secret, the Tha'alani went to the docks to try and help Kaylin stop the water. Now the humans believe that the Tha'alani were responsible for the tidal wave and there are riots and unrest. Tha'alani are being attacked. Kaylin and Severn have to help the Imperial Playwright with his play. The Dragon Emperor demanded a play to explain some of the Tha'alani and their actions. Since Kaylin and Severn know the Tha'alani best, they have to help him make the play more realistic. While at the palace, Kaylin hears of attacks at the Tha'alani Quarter. She instantly goes to their aid. Four Tha'alani have been injured and at least two of them are in critical condition. Kaylin heals them right in front of the playwright. Her healing powers have been kept on the down low so it's not too good that it was witnessed by someone who works for the Emperor.

While Kaylin and Severn were in the Quarter, Marcus was arrested by the Leontines for murder. Kaylin can't believe this of course even though it is true. She visits the Pridlea. A pridlea is the home of a male Leontine and his wives. Yes the Leontines have multiple wives. Ever since Kaylin joined the Hawks, Marcus brought her to the Pridlea and she soon became a part of it.

Basically this means Kaylin has two jobs in this book.She must help this playwright get his play correct so he doesn't offend the Tha'alani but also helps calm the public and she also has to find a way to save Marcus from his fate at the hands on the castelord of the Leontines.

We get Timarias back in this book and we also get more information of the fiefs, the history of the Leontines and how they came to be. If a Leontine child is born with amber colored fur they are considered marked and are put to death immediately. This was not true for one of Marcus' wives because she was a female. Her sister was also marked but the two were saved because they were female. As long as they didn't birth a male it would be okay. Her sister did birth a male and by the law, the child should have been killed. These marked children have certain abilities and they are dangerous.

What I really enjoyed was finding out about Marrin's history as a Leontine outside of the city. She gave birth to a marked cub and she was put to death. Marrin left her husband and came to the city of Elantra. She created the foundling hall because even though she couldn't save her baby, she could save the human children who were abandoned by their parents.

I am really happy with this book and it deserved my 4.5 stars. This series is starting to become one of my favorites. I have many favorites of course but I am enjoying this series immensely.

Next up, Cast in Silence.

Review on Goodreads.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara - 4.5 stars

Book 3 in The Chronicles of Elantra

Cast in Secret (#3) by Michelle Sagara
4.5 stars

Previous Chronicles of Elantra Series Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. I read it so quickly. It was suspenseful but also extremely informative. Cast in Courtlight focused on the Barrani. Cast in Secret focused on the Tha'alani. I wasn't ever sure what my feelings were on the race but I definitely didn't have the aversion Kaylin had. It was nice to see her get over her suspicion and embrace them.

The Tha'alani don't really want to interact much with humans and other races. They fear the fears of humans. They share a connection with the Tha'alaan and everyone's memories, thoughts, feelings, everything is given to the Tha'alaan. It takes a special Tha'alani to be able to touch the mind of another race and keep it from the Tha'alaan.

When Kaylin first visits the Tha'alani Quarter, she is stared at by the children that were out. One little boy ran to her and Kaylin wasn't fearful at all. Kaylin has a soft spot for children and that is something I love about her. I love children as well and I like the fierce protectiveness Kaylin feels for any child no matter the race.

The focus of this book is a missing Tha'alani child and a missing human child. This, of course, motivates Kaylin to do something to find them. We are also introduced to the Keeper. He makes sure the garden is kept under control. If the city is wiped out, the garden and his shop would still stand. In the small garden are the four elements. Kaylin is already learning about fire with Sanabalis but when she looks into the pool of water, she sees a child who calls her by name. This is the human child she is looking for. Something was stolen from the Keeper's garden and it is up to Kaylin and Severn to find it. If the box is opened then bad things will happen.  On top of everything else, the Oracles have made a prediction that the city will be drowned in water. Basically this book is one bad thing after another.

I loved this book. I loved learning about the Tha'alani. I was always curious about them and why Kaylin feared them so much. Honestly there is nothing to be afraid of. If anything, they are more afraid of humans. Ybelline is the Caste leader. She can read human minds and keep it from the Tha'alaan. This is something only very skilled Tha'alani can do. It's very difficult to explain the culture and race of the Tha'alani without reading the book. I just find them fascinating.

This book received 4.5 stars from me. The writing was better in this book and I enjoyed the plot. As the series continues, I am learning more about the world of Elantra. I am enjoying it immensely and I can't wait to see what is in store.

Next is Cast in Fury.

Review on Goodreads

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara - 4 stars

Book 2 in The Chronicles of Elantra

Cast in Courtlight (#2) by Michelle Sagara
4 stars

Previous Chronicles of Elantra Series Review

I really am enjoying this series. I'm a little behind on my reviews because I am having a hard time putting them down. I'm currently almost finished with Cast in Fury which is book four in the Chronicles of Elantra series. They're very good and very addicting. 

Cast in Courtlight focuses on the elf/fey-like immortals. Kaylin is suddenly called upon by Teela, a Barrani Hawk who is also Kaylin's friend. When Kaylin arrives, Teela is dressed in court clothing which means a fancy dress. She brings Kaylin to the Barrani High Court to heal the Lord of the West March. He is always called Lord of the West March. Talk about a mouthful. It is very hard to kill an immortal but someone almost manages it. Kaylin is able to heal him but he forced to give her his name. As we learned in Cast in Shadow, the names for the Dragons and Barrani are who they are and they can be controlled through their name. It's not an unknown concept among the faerie world but I like that there is more to the name. Their names are essentially their entire being. This is important later on. When someone knows their name, they can also communicate silently however, they cannot lie when the are speaking like that.

Kaylin is later called to the court because the High Lord's heir is ill. Because she was able to heal the Lord of the West March, they believe she might be able to heal Lord of the West March's elder brother, Lord of the Green. It is crucial that he be healed because the High Lord needs to give his power to Lord of the Green and the Consort needs to pass on her power to the future Consort, her daughter (view spoiler).* The High Court has it's secrets and the High Lord and his Consort play important roles. It's actually very interesting. More magic, more history, more danger.

In this book we see the relationship between Kaylin and Severn grow and eventually she comes to understand why he killed the two children (view spoiler).** Severn has to deal with the guilt everyday even though he did what was necessary. Kaylin could never have done it and in the end the world would have been destroyed. I'm glad that their relationship was repaired because Severn is always there for Kaylin. He watches her back and he cares about her.

Kaylin has some character development in this book which I am happy for. I believe she will grow in each book even though she is extremely stubborn and a horrible student. I like that she now has Sanabalis as her teacher. Her magic still has unknown qualities and it's pretty interesting. I also love Sanabalis. He's awesome and he's a Dragon.

As I continue to read the series I am falling more and more in love with it. I am starting to see more of the world of Elantra and I like that it is unlike any world a lot of authors have created. My next review is of Cast in Secret. Hopefully I'll get to it soon. That will only happen if I manage to put my book down.

Review on Goodreads