Sunday, 28 September 2014

Review: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey Synopsis:
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

This is such a hard review to write because for one of my most  anticipated books of the whole year, I’m simply disappointed.

It started out promising with a prologue that blew my fucking mind, followed by some confusion on whose POV it was, but the second it got to Cassie’s I was in. I loved her in the 5th wave and now she is even more badass than ever, she even goes up against Ringer which I loved to see.

The plot was detailed and had so many revelation moments only to crush them down a second later with utter confusion of what was really going on. This whole book was a mass of confusion and twists because one second someone was dead, the next they weren’t. One second the aliens aren’t real, the next they are! One second I wanted to shoot someone in the head, the next I didn’t!

Rick Yancey managed to capture the essence of dystopias well, including all the gritty aspects of desperation and pain.

But it simply wasn’t enough.

Over halfway through this book I was ready to put it down. From the first page I was enraptured but the second I realised the big chunk of writing that takes up half the book at the end is not from Cassie’s POV but Ringer’s I wanted to throw it at the wall. Simple as that. I never liked Ringer, I didn’t think I would, but I read it anyway hoping Rick Yancey would prove me wrong to judge so harshly. He didn’t.

No amount of 5 second plot twists can make up for an infuriating character like Ringer. There was no attachment with her like so many other characters (including Cassie) and I simply didn’t care what happened to her. In a way it made this short book half the length.

What’s worse is that it was something I tried so hard to overlook, only to find that it wasn’t in my eyes worth it anyways. It sounds ridiculous being one dramatic scene after the next but none of it made much of a difference to the end and only brought up more questions to be answered in the next book.

It means only one thing, that The Infinite Sea has Middle Book Disease.

Like with any other filler book it was setting up for the sequel and Yancey did this by making you think. Thinking about all the reasons why things are as they are, all the possible outcomes and everything in between. He does this amazingly well no doubt about it, but I was expecting much more.

For example the romance aspect went down a hole to die, even with a special someone back from the grave… There was plenty of action to go around but I couldn’t help thinking there wasn’t much point to it; especially since there was rarely an outcome other than everyone gets hurt but lives.

I will still read the final instalment which I hope focuses more around the characters I actually like, and otherwise I feel there would have been no point reading this instalment! It brought up questions that I need answered, and I can only hope it’s done better than this.
“You never know when the truth will come home. You can’t choose the time. The time chooses you.”

“It isn’t that the lies are too beautiful to resist. It’s that the truth is too hideous to face.”

“No hope without faith, no faith without hope, no love without trust, no trust without love. Remove one and the entire human house cards collapses.”

“You make your whole existence dependant on another human being you’re asking for a world of trouble. Think of every tragic love story ever written. And I didn’t want to play Juliet to anybody’s Romeo, not if I could help it. Even if the only candidate available was willing to die for me and sitting right beside me holding my hand and looking deeply into my eyes with the not-so-gah-now eyes the colour of melted chocolate. Plus being practically naked under those covers and possession the body of a Hollister dude . . . but I’m not getting into all that.”

“That’s the cost. That’s the price. Get ready, because when you crush the humanity out of humans, you’re left with humans with no humanity.
In other words, you get what you pay for, motherfucker.” 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights the releases we’re eagerly awaiting.

Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly
Release Date: October 7th 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

Even though I have read so many of them, I love YA novels where the main protagonist has a mysterious past that she/he can’t remember and has to unravel to determine their place in the future, and it looks as though this will be another. So long as it has something making it different, I can’t imagine not loving it!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Review: The Night is Found (The Magdeburg Trilogy #1) by Kat Kruger Synopsis:
When they tried to kill a prince, they made a king

In the aftermath of his pack leader’s assassination Connor Lewis is ready to take control. Rodolfus de Aquila’s plan before he died was to unite the European werewolf packs against their common enemies: the Hounds of God who make the laws and enforce them ruthlessly with questionable motives, and the Luparii, an intergovernmental group of werewolf hunters now bent on the extermination of his kind. The uneasy alliance between these two factions has fallen apart, and now a battle wages leaving the pack werewolves scrambling to escape bio-chemical warfare on one side, and total domination on the other.

After hearing rumors of a union between the American packs Connor returns with Amara to his home city of New York to learn how to bring the Old World packs together. Werewolf society in the New World has taken a very different course from that of Europe, but when Connor meets the American leaders he begins to question if their ways are, in fact, the path forward.

A world away from Madison, Arden, and all those that he is trying to protect, Connor must discover the secret to uniting and leading the packs under one final charge, or else risk extinction for their entire species in the epic conclusion to The Magdeburg Trilogy.

Rated T - Teen 13 and up: May contain violence, crude humour, suggestive themes and/or strong language.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

As the third and final book in The Magdeburg Trilogy, The Night is Found is an excellent, fast-paced conclusion that meets all of my expectations.

There were times when the pace slowed and intensity increased, particularly when plans were being made and these gave me the breather I needed in an otherwise action-packed novel. There were fight scenes that never got repetitive as well as surprises, that didn’t fail to surprise.

From the start of this series and Connor’s journey I have always been on his side. He’s had a lot of responsibility dumped on him as it has progressed and I loved the way he accepted this and moved on instead of dwelling on a past he can’t get back no matter how much he wants to or moans about it *cough*unlike Maddison*cough*. While I admit that Maddison played a much bigger part in this book and she took to it well, there was always the threat of a pity party for one. It’s not nearly as constant as before which shows her development but she simply didn’t grow on me.

Arden on the other hand was completely hands-on in the war and even though his part was a little underplayed it was great to see more of him and how he coped with yet more changes. There were a couple occasions where I worried Maddison was taking too much of an interest him (in which case I would have had to throttle her) but Kruger stuck true to the characters.

Everything comes together beautifully in this novel, even if the outcome isn’t perfect for each character I thought the mixture of grief and happiness was a great portrayal of the end of a war. The epilogue was simply perfect, and just a taster of what I think is to come for these characters even if we don’t see it in future books. I’ve always thought that characters live beyond the final page of a book/series, whether it’s in the reader’s heart or author’s imagination and this definitely goes for The Night is Found.
Favourite Quotes:
“Paranoia has become an unwanted side effect from being on so many most-wanted lists.”

 “With great power comes great mistrust.”
“That’s not how that line goes.”

“Sometimes wounds don’t heal. Sometimes they get infected.”

“Everything on this green earth has a price. Some things, the ones that are important, you don’t often pay for, but when you do it could cost you damn near everything.”

Teaser Tuesday (14)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare
“Will seemed about to lunge off toward the whisperers to administer rough justice, but Jem had a firm grip on the back of his parabatai’s coat. Being Jem, Tessa reflected, must be a great deal like being the owner of a thoroughbred dog that liked to bite your guests. You had to have a hand on his collar constantly.” 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Ten Book Challenge

I was tagged to do the Ten Book Challenge by both Jennie over @ A Bookworm Called Jennie and also Nikki @ Love at First Write so thanks to both of them!

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Do not take more than a few minutes, and do not think about it too hard. They do not have to be the "right books", or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Paste these instructions and tag 10 friends, including me, so I can see your list!

Harry Potter was such a huge part of my childhood that it would be insulting to not include this in my list. I read this book before I realised I loved reading.

I fell in love with these characters from the first page of this series, and they have always stayed with me. But not only that, this series led me to discover this amazing thing with lots of other amazing books called the YA genre…

While Cassandra Clare introduced me to the YA genre, Jennifer L. Armentrout introduced me the amazing world of blogging.When I saw that the main protagonist was a book blogger I immediately looked it up to find that there was a world of people out there who loved books and also loved talking about books. Just like me. I don’t know what I wold be doing right now without this book.

I’m pretty sure this book has stayed with a lot of people, because it’s simply one of those books that remains after the last page is turned. I learnt so much from this book about love and life, which I know I will always relate to and never forget. On a side note, it also restored a little of my faith in contemporaries!

This book was my very first ARC and only a few weeks after I got my blog, to say I was excited would be an understatement! I was contacted by the author directly for this book and the previous ones in the series, so it was nice to be noticed and also talk to her about other things unrelated to her books! Authors aren’t just the names in books of people who live on in castles on islands writing books, who you never talk to or see; like I grew up believing.

This book showed me a story from POV of the “villain” and it truly opened my eyes to what’s behind people’s faces, particularly the villains who more often than not have a better back-story than the hero. I got to meet the author Tanya Byrne in London a month or so ago and even though I made a complete fool of myself (I forgot my name/username *slaps forehead*) I loved it all the same, and to talk about the ending that I couldn’t get out of my head for weeks was amazing.

I’m not sure why this book stuck with me, but I loved it so it has.

I read this in school as part of English when I was 11 and after hearing others complain about school books I was so thrilled that I loved mine! I completed the series a long, long time ago now but I’m hoping to re-read at some point.

I remember that I read this series in under a week and if that doesn’t prove how much I loved it and I don’t know what does! I’d read a lot of more serious books previously so the humour in this was a breath of fresh air.

What remained with me throughout this trilogy was always Tris. I idolised her so much, with her selfless/brave personality and this shaped what I value in other people and what I think of myself.

As one of the first YA books I truly remember, I also remember how much I loved it. Peeta was in fact my first book boyfriend so he along with this trilogy will always have a place in my heart.

I Tag: Anne @ Anne Books
The girls @ Fangirling Misses

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black Synopsis:
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

This book was bloody brilliant! It chucks you straight into the action with a giant teenage massacre (no big deal…) and from then on the action/tension/drama/every other type of greatness doesn’t let up. It had me hooked from the start with its incredibly dark atmosphere; add in merciless, vicious, deranged and good old bloodthirsty vampires and I couldn’t put it down. They’re not Twilight’s Cullen family that’s for sure.

Holly Black wrote vampires like you’re supposed to; I’m not criticising other vampire books, but these are the real deal which we learnt about as kids to scare us into behaving properly. Of course you have the occasional odd one, but it all works into the bigger picture. The society created was really interesting and while there was the occasional lull because of background knowledge it was still interesting so I tip my imaginary hat to Holly Black.

She even managed to add a romance that I admit I didn’t expect to play out quite like it did. You never knew exactly what either Tana or Gavriel meant with the way they acted and Gavriel is simply confusing. He’s the dark and misunderstood (but not in a cheesy way, nothing about him or their relationship was cheesy) ancient vampire who’s barely survived this long. Tortured to the point of madness I didn’t expect any compassion from him, so when he protected Tana and showed his human side I couldn’t help but love him. And I don’t want to spoil anything, but that final scene… aargh I can’t even… b-e-a-utiful.

I loved just about everything in this book and I definitely recommend, along with all of Holly Black’s other work. Her talent for storytelling is undeniable and I can’t wait to read more from her.
Favourite Quotes:
“She was torn between the impulse to run and the urge to curl up like a pill bug, close her eyes, tuck her head beneath her arms, and play the game of since-I-can't-see-monsters-monsters-can't-see-me.”

“She wished it was an unfamiliar feeling, that ache, the urge that made her hit the gas when she ought to hit the brake.” 

“Every hero is the villain of his own story.” 

“Tana. In all my long life, though there were many times I prayed for it, no one has ever saved me. No one but you.” 

“You are more dangerous than daybreak.” 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Review: Possession of My Soul (The Three Immortal Blades #1) by Kia Carrington-Russell Synopsis:
The Three Immortal Blades is a captivating story about Karla Grey, an ordinary young woman struggling with a unique ability. Karla is a Shielder; an exceptional fighter born with the rare ability to project a shield for protection. However, Shielders are not the only kind that possesses such a talent. The Shielders battle a war that has been raging for centuries against the Starkorfs, who endeavor to harvest humans and Shielders alike to obtain immortality and power.

Amidst the chaos of war and death that surrounds her, Karla must also confront the charming Elemental Breathers. Powerful and volatile, the mysterious Elemental Breathers are quick to conjure up the element they inherited power over at birth. Unfortunately for the Shielders, the Elemental Breathers also have at their disposal a depth of knowledge unmatched by any living being, making them indispensable to the Shielders in their quest for truth.

Whilst engaged in battle Karla begins to hear a woman’s voice echo in her head and throughout her dreams. Karla faces many new and daunting challenges while simultaneously searching for a reason as to why the unknown woman seeks to possess her body.

Karla must unravel the purpose of her curse. Finding herself embroiled in a bitter war armed with a talent she has yet to gain control over, she fights to find a way to end it all. But first she must learn to never let her shield down. The woman manipulating her thoughts may be dormant for now but she has every intention of possessing Karla. Mind, body, and soul.

Karla must choose between right and wrong: the charming Lucas and the selfless Paul, death and life, lies and truth. Within this new reality the search for the Three Immortal Blades starts.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

I thought I was going into this book not knowing much, and it’s only now that I realise even though there were a lot of twists the synopsis was very revealing. It didn’t ruin the book for me at all though, because like I said I only just realised!

This might be because Possession of my Soul is Kia’s first novel, but I have to say it’s a very impressive kick start into the bookosphere (that’s now officially a thing… because I said so…). Her writing isn’t amateurish like some people expect from debuts and her style was very clear from that start. Filled with action sequences and generally never a calm moment, this was my type of book. Simple as that.

At times it felt rushed, or explanations about the little details were skipped so the plot could move faster and the perfectionist readers out there might not like that so much, but I found it just made it a lighter read (as light as you can get with so much possession and death)!

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book (even though at the start I wanted to punch Karla; however she did grow on me when she got stronger for the people she loved which was an admirable feat) and I look forward to reading more of Kia’s work.
Favourite Quotes:
“Pancakes! I jumped from my bed excitedly and jogged to the kitchen: my quick morning run.”

“Why am I so weird all the time? Then again, having conversations with myself in my head doesn’t help.”

“It’s my blood I carry. My soul I carry. My body. None of it belongs you to you,” I said, striking my hand out and watching her do the same.”

“I will protect him until I know he is safe and then I will have to leave him behind. I cannot be so selfish as to try to drag him into this war because of my own pain and suffering.”

“Some old traits never die, isn’t that right Kurt?”
“And some are easily fixed with death. It was you who always taught me that,” Kurt said ruthlessly.”

Review: The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry Synopsis:
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

I know a lot of people read The Giver as part of school English, but since I didn’t I knew that I was going to before I saw the film. From what I heard it was a classic, and one of the first dystopian books that started the whole craze, yet I found it boring.

That’s what I would have expected from a book you’re forced to read as part of English because teachers hate us like that, but it wasn’t what I was expecting after the major hype from people with similar tastes to my own.

I found the whole thing rather bland (and not because that’s the point of the world Lowry created) but because there was no action, or romance to get behind; or even characters that stood out and made you root for them. It wasn’t a very enjoyable read in general; sure it was quick, but that was because it had such a small page count and not because I was so interested that I flew through.

It was basically a screwed up utopia, which now that I think about it is the premise of most dystopias. However it seemed to me that it could be easily fixed if The Giver simply backed off and stayed huddled away in his little corner, until Jonas would replace him and do the same. It may seem a little shallow of me; I know this is where people comment on the book’s depth and everything, but it seems like the easiest answer. (Also I don’t think I care enough about the people in the society to want change to happen).

This is just one aspect where the movie looks to be very different from the book; after all it’s what Hollywood does best, right? Even from the trailer I can see that there will be more action and maybe even a little romance between Jonas and Fiona that was non-existent in the novel. So I will see it, but I won’t be continuing the series, especially since I have the option which some poor students didn’t.
Favourite Quote:
“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Chocolate Book Tag

I was tagged a while ago to do this and knew what I was going to say but never seemed to get around to actually writing it until now, but I'm glad I did because it was a lot of fun (and I love chocolate so to use it as an excuse to eat more while wrote it was perfect! No complaints here.)
Tagged by the girls over @ Fangirling Misses

I tag: Anne @ Anne Books
Jackie @ Jackie's Book World
Rachel @ The Rest is Unwritten Chocolate - A book that covers a dark topic (domestic violence, abuse, rape, loneliness, death, etc)
Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne
This has almost everything mentioned above: domestic violence, abuse, loneliness and death. So it is definitely a dark read, the ending is no happy-ever-after.

White Chocolate - Your favourite lighthearted/humorous read
Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles #1) by A&E Kirk
Looking through what I've read I realise I don't actually read many lighthearted books, and when they're humorous it's only because of one character etc. However I finally found one and that's Demons at Deadnight (basically the whole series (2 books so far)) because there were a lot of loud out loud moments thanks to my Hexy Knights and overall it had a light feel to it. Chocolate - A book that's gotten a lot of hype and that you're dying to read
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
This is one of those series that I'm ashamed to have not read yet. I bought the book ages ago but simply haven't had time to get to it, it's been bumped up on my TBR list simply because of the amount of people badgering me about it and all the hype surrounding it.
Chocolate with Caramel Center - A book that made you feel all gooey inside while reading it
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Again I don't really read that many books like this, usually because they tend to fall in contemporaries and I don't usually read them. The exception was The Fault in Our Stars. This book melted my heart with it's adorable romance and then smashed it with killer ending I can't forget (no matter how hard I try by the way). KitKat - A book that surprised you lately
The 100 (The Hundred #1) by Kass Morgan
I was surprised by this simply because I started watching the TV show beforehand and it's nothing like it. The differences are huge, characters are different (some aren't even in the book, or alive when they shouldn't be etc).

Snickers - A book you're going nuts about
City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
Do I even have to explain myself? It's City of fricking Heavenly Fire!!! I am a huge fan of the series and waited for the conclusion for forever, and even then I read it a while after the release because I was busy (and I'll admit wary of it being over so I procrastinated (story of my life)). It was emotional, and action packed and b-e-a-utiful.
Hot Chocolate with Cream and Marshmallows - A book you would turn to for comfort
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling
When I'm in a book slump; I go to Harry Potter. When I'm upset after a book; I go to Harry Potter. When I'm lost about to read next; I go to Harry Potter. When I'm having trouble in life outside of the blogging atmosphere; I go to Harry Potter. Harry Potter and Hogwarts is my home. <3 of Chocolates - A series you've read that has a wide variety and a little something for everyone
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
This is usually where I'd recommend what I'd consider "classics" like The Mortal Instruments or Harry Potter, but since I've already mentioned them I'm going to go for another favourite series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It has action, a little romance, mythology and a lot of epicness.

Teaser Tuesday (13)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Possession of My Soul: The Three Immortal Blades by Kia Carrington-Russell
"Ah yes, that look," Raven said smugly as if she had read my mind. "That is the look of betrayal."

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Review: Interview with a Hex Boy (Divinicus Nex Chronicles) by A&E Kirk Synopsis:
Want to get insight into the Hex Boys inner most thoughts and dreams? Here's your chance! Those Hexy Knights from the #1 Best Selling Divinicus Nex Chronicles series are dishing it up with wonderful women of the book blogging world. Character interviews have never been so much fun! 

When Demons at Deadnight went on tour, several awesome ladies of the book blogging world took on the task of interviewing this crazy group of guys, and hilarity ensued. This is a collection of the interviews where all six boys, Ayden, Jayden, Matthias, Blake, Logan, and Tristan make appearances and answer questions. Maybe something you always wanted to ask! You'll enjoy plenty of laughs and get to know the boys better! 

I think I’m in love. With not one, not two but 6 boys: My Hexy Knights. Call me selfish but they are all mine, no argument about it.

I fell in love with this series (and the Hex Boys) when I read the first book, Demons at Deadnight, just over a week ago and I honestly can’t get enough! The plan was to read Interview with a Hex Boy closer to the release date of the third book but a couple days after it was on my kindle and I couldn’t help myself!

I’m so glad I did, because this was a perfect short read full of humour and fun and I’ll say it again; my Hexy Knights! The conversations between them were so great, and the extra insight made them feel all the more real. I could just see them bantering back and forth, even tackling each other when the time came for it!

A great edition to the series, and I can’t wait for more.
Favourite Quotes:
“Matthias, anything that surprises you about yourself?
Blake: You mean other than he hasn’t dumped Aurora’s body in the lake yet?
Matthias: Don’t be stupid. There’d be no body to find.”

“Blake: Why are you always trying to ruin my relationships?
Ayden: What relationships?
Blake: Jen and I have been going steady for at least ten minutes now.
Jen: *Snorts*
Ayden: And we’ve gone from creepy to delusional.
Matthais: *Drags Blake way.*”

“Blake: Logan’s a great dancer. And we all know a guy who can dance, is good in –
Logan: *Puts hands over ears* La, la, la, la, la!
Jayden: I don’t know why you’re embarrassed. Sexual attraction is a key component to –
Tristan: Ugh! Please stop talking.”

“Tristan: Shut up. The one problem with the story is that Aurora gets to tell her side, and sometimes it makes me look like a bad guy. Which I’m not. I know we made things worse, put her in danger, but remember, I tried to keep her out of this whole mess.”

“Matthais: *Sighs* England. I’d take my Valentine to England on a tour of all the places from Jane Austen’s books. Derbyshire, Mr. Darcy’s house. Places like that.
Ayden: You’re really milking that whole dark, brooding thing.”

“Jenny: Which would you rather face: a pissed off demon, a pissed off Guardian, or a pissed off Aurora?
Ayden: Demon. I have a lot more experience with them. And much more chance of survival.”

Friday, 12 September 2014

Review: Strikers by Ann Christy Synopsis:
One hundred and twelve years after the fall, the Republic of Texas is built on two foundations: total freedom and total responsibility. Every citizen is free to do what they like, when they like, but they must take responsibility for each action. With such an ideal to strive for, life should be good and for many, it is. But there are flaws in every system and some people will always fall through the cracks.

Karas Quick has fallen through almost every crack there is. Her mother is an abusive alcoholic. Her father is a long missing Striker with four strikes against him and a date with Justice should he ever be found. At sixteen, she just has to survive two more years until she reaches majority without getting five strikes. But it’s getting harder not to fight back and earn yet another strike tattoo on her neck.

Everything changes one ordinary day watching the latest catch of smugglers and Strikers being returned for justice. Within their ranks is the father Karas can’t even remember. And he has a message.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

It was the synopsis that originally intrigued me to look at this book, because (and I know I’ve said it before) but it didn’t look like anything I’ve read before. I always love finding new books that have totally original plots, so Strikers was a real win for me on that front.

It also started well enough, with very believable characters including Karas and Jovan. Karas was a very strong headed heroine who didn’t necessarily know where life would take her, nor comfortable with where it eventually turned but it was great watching her adapt, finding herself in the process. Among her companions is Jovan who I’ve already mentioned, and for a love interest he was fairly distant so without revealing any spoilers I’ll just say that their relationship isn’t the clearest, even at the very end.

The end is left open for a sequel but it wraps up all the events in this book nicely, so it’s not one of those torturous cliffhangers that leaves you dying as you wait for the next book and it’s likely only people who’ve fallen in the love with the characters will pick it up. Depending on what appeals to individuals, will determine who likes this type of ending anyway.

Also there isn’t much action in this book, at least compared to other books that I’ve read recently, so again this will only appeal to specific people and while I appreciate how Christy still managed to keep it interesting, this didn’t match my mood right now.

Overall, however I did enjoy Strikers and with Christy being a self-publisher I hope that she gets the recognition she deserves for her book. You never know... the parts that didn’t work for me might be the exact thing you look for. I hope they are.
Favourites Quotes:
“Life is entirely too short for fear to be a factor in how we live it.”

“It was easier to pretend I didn’t miss him. Of course, I had lost more than a friend when that happened. He was my first boyfriend, my first bad kiss and then, my first heartbreak.”

“A gunshot is a terrible thing to wake up to.”

“The last of our luck is well and truly behind us. At the moment, I’m questioning whether or no we’ll ever catch up to it again.”

“If this is the end of my life, at least I can have the final moments of it with Jovan, who I have loved since I was too young to understand what love was.”

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

ARC Review: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch Synopsis:
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

***I received the ARC eBook free as a review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***

Snow Like Ashes is a breathtakingly beautiful story of one girl who grows to be something much more, in a magical world where lies and deceit are as common as the sun in Spring, and the snow in Winter. It was so easy to be immersed in the world Sara Raasch created, and for reality to be swept away replaced by the wonders of The Eight Kingdoms that I found it impossible to put down; and I think there’s no greater achievement for a writer.

Everything was developed perfectly, from the characters to the plot and its history. There was a lot of background knowledge that you pick up on throughout the book and it’s vital to the story that you at least understand the basics, but what’s better is that even with the history of eight kingdoms and their alliances, I never found myself lost or confused (more so than Meira at least).

Meira has to be one of the best female protagonists I’ve read about recently, with her fierceness and nature to want to be in the thick of every battle; and my god does she! While brought up to be nothing more than the young king’s sparring partner, she proves everyone wrong with what she’s capable of; succeeding where others have failed and simply kicking-ass where others can’t! She also goes through so much character development that I felt I could relate to her in a way I always love to in the books I read. Another great achievement for a writer.

A little side note is that there is a love triangle, but it wasn’t one of those infuriating ones that’s simply there for the hell of it and this actually worked well for the story. I did find myself worrying sometimes that she was heading towards picking the wrong guy *cough*Mather*cough* and while there’s still time for things to change, let’s just saying I was grinning like a maniac at the end…

The ending, was of course fantastic like everything else in this book. It had so much drama and action that I was on the edge of my seat, praying everything would go well for the main characters and in particular Meira and Theron. While it isn’t a cliff-hanger, there’s still a lot left open that basically guarantees I’ll be coming back to this series the second a sequel is released.

I recommend that you all join me, by reading this brilliant debut from an author who I know has great things in her future (Raasch if you’re by any chance reading this, know that I’ll be the one practically stalking your twitter for any news of more writing… just saying…)

Favourite Quotes:
“So,” I start as we pull to the left in the hall, “you’re the king of Cordell’s son. How’s that?”
Theron chuckles. “Beneficial sometime, horrible others. You’re beautiful – how’s that?”

“I wanted a life of my won, a life where I could feel myself being a part of Winter. And that, to me, came though fighting for it.”

“Sometimes placing our belief in something bigger than ourselves helps us to get to a point where we can be enough on our own, magic or no magic.”

“Holding on to some part of your past even if it means also holding on to the pain of never again having it. That pain is less horrible than the pain of forgetting.”

“Someday we will be more than words in the dark.”

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Review: The Night has Claws (The Magdeburg Trilogy #2) by Kat Kruger Synopsis:
What happens when you’re the thing that goes bump in the night?

Connor Lewis and Arden LaTène are experiencing a reversal of fortunes. Arden, once a prominent werewolf, has been cured against his will. As a result, he’s now considered dead by his former pack and has lost his longtime girlfriend in the mix. Connor, a newly created werewolf whose DNA has inadvertently led to the creation of the cure, now has to make some important decisions about his future and is not sure who to trust. Should he join a pack or try to go it alone?

When Connor is summoned by the Hounds of God to testify against the human scientist who developed the cure, he’s forced to choose sides. Comprised of humans bitten by werewolves, the Hounds have been the lawmakers and enforcers for hundreds of years, ensuring werewolves don’t endanger the lives of humans and exacting justice upon those who do. On the other hand, the pack werewolves have been persecuted for centuries and are seeking to tip the balance of power. Adding to his confusion is Madison Dallaire, the girl Connor has complicated feelings for, who has embarked on a path of corporate espionage.

In the second book of The Magdeburg Trilogy, Connor’s loyalties are pushed to the limits as he faces the challenges of being a modern werewolf caught in the grip of an ancient feud.

RATED T - Teen 13 and up: May contain violence, crude humour, suggestive themes and/or strong language.

Alcohol - Reference to alcohol use 
Blood - Depiction of blood
Violence - Includes scenes of violence

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

The Night has Claws definitely does not fall for the “middle book curse” where the novelty of the writing and/or plot gradually wears off and it’s simply filler until the final book’s conclusion. It was just as original as the first book in The Magdeburg Trilogy and just as interesting.

There was of course the occasional lull, which I expected since a lot of the mystery was revealed in the first book, yet Kat Kruger could have done this on purpose because just as you start relaxing into the story everything turns on its head.

There are still a lot, no, make that tonnes, of secrets that Conor has to weave himself through; already struggling with the drastic turn his life has taken when he was bitten. The role reversal with him and Arden was incredibly dramatic, and they couldn’t have dealt with it in more different ways. This played right into their characters and it also changed the relationship they had which I was already interested by in the first book.

Because of what happened to Arden, I was never going to be on Amara’s side (no matter what rules she had to “legally” abide by) but we didn’t see as much of her as I expected and instead it focused around Madison.

There were even a couple chapters randomly in the book from her POV (which I didn’t realise beforehand). Now, to be honest while I appreciated the way her bad-ass attitude was for the most part a disguise, I didn’t like how weak she seemed when it came away. After everything that happened she had a right to the way she felt, but it started to annoy me when all she did was pity herself and then blame everything on others. When she started complaining about how good Connor got it, I really felt like putting my foot down… On her face…

Back on topic though, The Night has Claws is a great sequel that delves even deeper into the origins of werewolves, shedding light onto the parts some characters have turned a blind eye to, and it’s resulted in a great read that’s part of a series I definitely recommend.
Favourite Quotes:
“So, yes, broken bones may heal but there are other injuries that can leave lasting scars. Ones that no one else sees but yourself.”

“Forever isn’t supposed to have an expiration date.”

“Youth is spent looking ahead,” he starts, “toward the future, toward the life you want to build for yourself and the ones you come to love. Everything is new and you rush through the years, the decades, as though the end will never come. But when you’ve lived long enough, you begin to look back at the things that you did … or didn’t do. Sometimes it fills you with a regret for never having stopped to appreciate everything you had during those halcyon days.”

Teaser Tuesday (12)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch
“Persistence can get you killed.”
“When accompanied by torture, it can also get answers.”

Monday, 8 September 2014

Review: Drop Dead Demons (Divinicus Nex Chronicles #2) by A&E Kirk Synopsis:
Survival. It's an on-going battle.

Aurora Lahey finally knows why supernatural slayers salivate to slaughter her, but how to stop them? Not so much. Sure, she's discovered her own lethal powers, and has six sexy, super-charged, demon hunting Hex Boys watching her back--the hottest one watching every part of her. But when a seductive stranger delivers a deadly ultimatum, Aurora and the Hex Boys plunge into a do-or-die hunt for a legendary Mandatum treasure, which will finally shift power in their favor. Or unleash hell on earth.

Pursued by demons of mythical proportions, Aurora and the Hex Boys race deeper into the shadowy world of a centuries-old mystery and brutal conspiracy, where no one and nothing is what it seems. Where love and betrayal go hand-in-hand, and trusting the wrong person not only breaks your heart, but gets you killed.

Uncovering shocking secrets from the Hex Boys' past, hiding her Divinicus Nex identity, lying to her pretend-wish-he-were-real boyfriend, dodging demons, breaking into ancient tombs, taking the unexpected side trip to the dark depths of the Waiting World, tracking a traitor, and passing Physics...Aurora could do that in her sleep. Or more likely, die trying.


***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! If I could give it more than 5 stars scrap that; if I could give it 100 stars I would! It was simply perfect for me, and if you want a dramatic yet hilarious YA read that will leave you holding your breath before snorting it out in laughter; this is the book for you!

It’s unreal how much I enjoyed this book, and it wasn’t just one aspect either…

The plot was complex and full of twists and turns, so much so that I felt like I was having those “eureka!” moments every couple chapters before I went back to re-read it (it was the only way I could stop myself from finishing the book in one manic sitting, and I needed to savour it, because where is my sequel?)

There was a hot romance between Ayden and Aurora that of course had plenty of disturbances (demons, uncontrollable powers, and Blake may do that (I still love him even when he was playfully messing with them).

Add in heart-pounding action plus dramatic turns for the worst and I was hooked. However I can’t overlook The Hex Boys influence either. They were back as funny and witty as ever; so I lived for the scenes with all of them together.

Aurora was also back and I have to say that I loved her voice (that may sound a bit weird…) She is undeniably witty as she tells the story from her point of view so I prized the moments when her feisty personality came out with the most entertaining comments. Comic aside, I could also appreciate how much she has grown as a character and how much stronger she has become through the pages of these books; so it was great to see.

In the end, I just want to say that you need to read this book because it’s fantastic (if that hasn’t come across already I don’t know what to do!)
Favourite Quotes:
“The guys all quickly averted their eyes and raised their hands to further block any chance of catching a view. Anything to not see Rose in his painted-on leather one-piece that left absolutely nothing to the imagination. 
“Stunning, right?” Rose spread his palms as far as the cuffs would allow.
“Oh, I’m stunned.” Ayden looked ill.
Rose looked down at himself with admiration. “Not many males can pull off this look.”
“No male can pull off that look.”
"Actually, his finely sculptured physique would be considered the perfect complement for this type of anatomically revealing attire which accentuates his—”
“Bloody hell, Jayden, shut it!”
“Dude, this is so not right.”
“I feel like it’s looking at me.”
“Feel like what’s looking at—? Oh. Oh! Ugh, now I feel like it’s looking at me too.”

“Mom, this isn’t what it looks like.”
Mom put her hand on her hip. “It looks like a group of boys wrestling on the floor of your bedroom while you watch. Wearing a towel.”
“Okay,” I admitted, “it is what it looks like, but it’s not—”
“Sexual?” She raised her eyebrows.
Luna stuck her head under Mom’s arm and sucked in a breath. “She’s gone from a love triangle to a kinky sex pentagon.” 

“I know what I’m doing.”
“Nothing good ever comes after that statement.”

“I looked down at my chest, figuring there had to be a bullet hole. Or an arrow sticking out. Something to explain the pain. But then I realized it was just my heart. Breaking.”

“Murder might do wonders to relieve my stress.”

Thursday, 4 September 2014

ARC Review: In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2) by Mindy McGinnis Synopsis:
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to 
Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***

I didn’t read the synopsis before I started this book with the assumption that it would simply follow on from the last book Not a Drop to Drink. That’s why I was so surprised when I realised the story wouldn’t be focused around Lynn, but Lucy her adoptive daughter. I’m not exactly sure how old Lynn must be because she adopted Lucy when she was only seventeen and a lot has changed since then.

Most prominently for me was Lynn’s personality. She’s still the same bad-ass as before, with her shoot-first think later attitude but with Lucy she takes up a very motherly figure and it added depth to her character. I didn’t however like how it made her grow up so fast; from the start of book one she was already independent and saw the world through the cold eyes of someone who’s seen too many hardships too young and this influenced her character but I wanted to see how it developed even more with the events in this book. You see it through Lucy but I would have preferred it in her eyes.

This is also because I simply didn’t connect to Lucy. She had a refreshing influence on her surroundings including the people, but even with Lynn’s protection against a harsh childhood such as her own, a less trusting attitude would have added another layer to her character. For those people who didn’t necessarily like Lynn’s outlook on life in Not a Drop to Drink, Lucy will be well-received providing a very different perspective. I simply wasn’t one of them.

There was very little romance and excitement in this book so it was a much slower read than I’m used to and appreciate. The messages about love and sacrifice, while all there were too subtle; particularly since I felt they were the only things that were supposed to be a strong focus point in the book.
Favourite Quotes:
“It's going to be hard––everything worth doing is.” 

“I’ve been trying to do better about killing people,” Lynn said. “Then fate puts you in my path.”

“My mother gave me life; saving it was your choice. The only gift I give is death.”