Friday, 31 October 2014

Review: Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks


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Title: Shadow's Edge

Author: Brent Weeks

Series: Night Angel #2

Publisher: Orbit

Publication date: 04 Aug 2011

Format: Paperback | 672 pages

Genre: Adult | Epic Fantasy

Goodreads



Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin's life. In the wake of the Godking's violent coup, both his master and his closest friend are dead. His friend was Logan Gyre, heir to Cenaria's throne, but few of the ruling class survive to mourn his loss. So Kylar is starting over: new city, new companions, and new profession.


But when he learns that Logan might be alive, trapped and in hiding, Kylar faces an impossible choice: he could give up the way of the shadows forever, and find peace with his young family. Or he could succumb to his flair for destruction, the years of training, to save his friend and his country - and lose all he holds precious.


My thoughts:


Shadow's Edge begins where the first book in the trilogy, The Way of the Shadows left off. Kylar leaves his birthplace and the city he used to call home to make a better life for himself and Elene. In order to get away from the chaos of war, Kylar has to leave behind his wetboy ways and stop killing to keep Elene happy. He soon finds however, that trouble has its way of following him and Kylar finds it more of a challenge to stop killing than he anticipated.


I have to say I don't even know where to begin with this review. I adored this book even more than the first one. Kylar grew into even more of an amazing character with all of the troubles he faced in this read and he really ended up coming into his own. I loved all of his flaws along with his cool as heck, newfound abilities. But most of all, I loved how unsure he was of what he was doing. This book was a huge journey for Kylar that hasn't even ended yet - he still doesn't know his purpose in life and he doesn't know how to deal with all of his losses. 


The ending to this book is still driving me crazy a day later. I can't wrap my head around it - honestly it was a brilliant ending, but it came out of nowhere. I feel sorry for people who read this book before the last book in the series had been published. Thank God I already have the last book on my shelves. If I had to wait I don't know what I would have done.


Overall I love this read and the series so far. I can't wait to get stuck into the last book.


My rating: 10/10


Brent Weeks:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


Night Angel:

  1. The Way of Shadows
  2. Shadow's Edge
  3. Beyond the Shadows

Monday, 27 October 2014

Review: Love Me to Death by Marissa Clarke

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Title: Love Me to Death

Author: Marissa Clarke

Series: Underveil #1

Publisher: Entangled: Select

Publication date: October 28 2014

Format: Ebook | 359 pages

Genre: Fantasy  | Paranormal

Goodreads



Medical research scientist Elena Arcos has always lived her life under the radar, which is not easy to do when you live with the craziest woman in the world. But eccentric Aunt Uza is a picnic compared to the other people who enter her orderly life after she is shot in a convenience store robbery.

Elena finds herself rocketed from comfortable predictability to supernatural insanity courtesy of her own private angel of death who happens to have the sexiest accent on earth and a body to match. Her death angel is convinced she’s some kind of freaky half vampire thing and that her deceased dad was the real deal: a blood sucking monster. 

Yeah, right. She’ll play along, but then she doesn’t have much choice seeing how as the guy claims to be some immortal law enforcer and has taken her prisoner.

* * *

Nikolai Itzov had expected to fight the urge to torture the progeny of his father’s murderer, but he’d never anticipated battling the urge to kiss her her.

As a Slayer, an elite law enforcer descended from Azrael himself, his charge from the Underveil General is clear: Kill her or die. He has been told she is one of them--an Undead. Nothing but a parasite to be destroyed. But he has been told wrong. 

Nikolai and Elena find themselves in a life and death battle to stop a plot designed to lift the Underveil and enslave humans. 

With her analytical mind and his centuries of training and experience, they might be able to foil the plot with their lives and maybe their hearts intact. But in order to succeed, he must help her become the very thing he hates the most: an Undead.

 

 

My thoughts:


After being sent to exact revenge on a vampire he has good reason to hate, Nikolai finds more than he expected when he sees Elena for the first time - starting with the fact that she's not actually a vampire and has no idea about the Underveil. The two soon set out trying to find out why people want Elena killed and prevent the end of human freedom.


This was another read that I was pretty much split down the middle with. More literally than most though - the first half of the book was a lot different to the last half and that really threw me for a loop. The first half seemed to have more of a focus on the relationship between Nikolai and Elena where they're getting used to being together and Elena is starting to learn about all the new creatures in the Underveil. The second half, however takes a political turn and the focus is entirely on overthrowing the king and getting the rightful heir into power. There was far too much of a distinction which made it feel like two completely different books.

 

I think I enjoyed the first half of the story far more than the second. I thought that the characters were more themselves at the start and as the plot progressed they lost certain characteristics that made me like them in the first place. As soon as the plot moved into getting the throne back and saving humankind, it felt so rushed that there was no time for the characters whatsoever.

 

I liked Elena at first. I loved how clueless and naive she was about pretty much everything - it made for some funny happenings with Nikolai. Nik took me a while to get used to but he changed a little after a while and I grew to really like him, more than Elena actually. I thought he grew into a better character as the read went on - Elena's introduction into his life and finding out his uncle wasn't being totally truthful kind of shocked him into changing. He was a lot more believable than Elena even into the second half of the book where I thought Elena took a turn for the worst.

 

Overall I thought the read was okay. I really liked the first half but the rest went downhill really fast in my opinion. 

 

My rating: 5/10

 

Marissa Clarke:

Goodreads | Website 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Review: Dead Over Heels by Alison Kemper

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Title: Dead Over Heels

Author: Alison Kemper

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication date: September 29th 2014

Format: ebook | 269 pages

Genre: YA 

Goodreads



The end of the world just might be their perfect beginning…

Glenview, North Carolina. Also known―at least to sixteen-year-old Ava Pegg―as the Land of Incredibly Boring Vacations. What exactly were her parents thinking when they bought a summer home here? Then the cute-but-really-annoying boy next door shows up at her place in a panic…hollering something about flesh-eating zombies attacking the town.

At first, Ava’s certain that Cole spent a little too much time with his head in the moonshine barrel. But when someone―or something―rotted and terrifying emerges from behind the woodpile, Ava realizes this is no hooch hallucination. The undead are walking in Glenview, and they are hungry. Panicked, Ava and Cole flee into the national forest. No supplies, no weapons. Just two teenagers who don’t even like each other fighting for their lives. But that’s the funny thing about the Zombpocalypse. You never know when you’ll meet your undead end. Or when you’ll fall dead over heels for a boy…

 

 

My thoughts:


After a deadly rabie-like virus spreads all across the world, Ava finds herself following neighbour, Cole, into the woods to escape mindless, rotting cannibals that could once call themselves people. In order to find both Ava and Cole's parents and get to a place of safety, Ava has to place her life entirely in Cole's hands as they trek for days through the woods. Cole is the one with the survival skills, so Ava has to try her best to be a help and not a hindrance to a boy she's slowly coming to like very much.


This read, for me at least, was split pretty much right down the middle. I liked it, but there was a lot I didn't like as well. The most annoying of which was the sound the 'zombies' made. It may have been meant to be funny and cute, but I don't necessarily want funny and cute in a zombie novel. The romance would have been enough to satisfy any need for my 'awww' moments. The zombies said 'rawr'. Also, a bear played a minor part in the book and it said 'grr'. Every time I saw it, I wanted to bash my head against the wall. I'm sorry but that's just so stupid. If you want a book to have a comedic feel, then give it that element, but don't throw in death defying situations and expect me to take them seriously when a shambling zombie catches up and says 'rawr' before it eats someone's face off...


Weirdness aside, that was the only thing that had me wanting to scream. The only other point that frustrated me was how fast and furious Ava and Cole got. It's not a spoiler when I say they have feelings for each other, it's pretty obvious just reading the synopsis that it's going to happen. I didn't feel that they moved into a relationship too fast per se, considering what they went through, I just don't understand why they got to the point of furiously making out so quickly. It wasn't done right in my opinion. It just didn't seem like a priority, obviously, at the time - maybe a nice kiss but a furious make out session? It seemed a little too much.


Anyway, the rest of the read was good. It had a lot of action and suspense and I did like the characters. I loved how Cole doubted himself and how Ava really stepped up towards the end of the book. They both really came into their own by the end.


All in all it was a good read but what I didn't like about it seemed to be a the forefront of my mind constantly which ruined it a little. Sadly, I actually think my reading so much, including books featuring zombies, made me a little too critical. To each their own though. 


My rating: 6/10


Alison Kemper:

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website



Monday, 15 September 2014

Review: Priya in Heels by Ayesha Patel

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Title: Priya in Heels

Author: Ayesha Patel

Publisher: Entangled Embrace

Publication date: September 15th 2014

Format: Ebook

Genre: Contemporary | New Adult

Goodreads



Love doesn’t conquer all…does it?

Priyanka Patel is the epitome of an obedient daughter. She’s finishing up her medical residency at one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments, and has agreed—albeit reluctantly—to marry the man her family has chosen for her. The only thing that can derail the “perfect” life laid out before her is the sexy musician down the hall who wants into her life…and into her bed.

Tyler O’Connor has been infatuated with Priya since she treated his sprained ankle in the ER, and after saving her from a brutal attack, he can't get her out of his head. When Priya puts her family's wishes before their relationship, agreeing to an arranged marriage with another man, Tyler is devastated. 

But love is fierce and unreasonable and clashes with the carefully sculpted life her parents want for her. Is going after her heart such a big deal, or will it truly unravel Priya’s world?

 

 

My thoughts:


Priya in Heels is a contemporary romance following Priyanka, an Indian doctor barely out of med school and her struggle between following her heart and sticking like glue to the cultural norms her family lives their life by. Should she accept the marriage proposal of a successful Indian man who would make her parents happy for her, or does she have a relationship with the sexy musician across the hall who would bring shame to her family - her head or her heart?

 

I want to begin this review by saying I started this book expecting a light, fluffy romance full of clich├ęs and maybe even insta-love. I mean, it's so dominant in this genre nowadays that I might as well go into a read expecting it so I don't get so mind numbingly frustrated and start ranting about how annoying it is and whatnot - everybody's seen enough of it. It's a more than popular topic that readers and bloggers are shaking their fists at in a fit of rage. Never a good thing.

 

So Priya, in my opinion, did rush into a relationship and she did develop overwhelming feelings of love in no time at all. But it's okay, I expected it. What I didn't like was that she was such a cool character in the beginning of the novel. She was great! Priya was feisty, she was completely and utterly independent in every way, she knew where she was, what she was about, where she wanted to go in the future and she was comfortable with herself. I had just got comfy with the idea that Priya is going to carry this book on her shoulders and make me like it. She had the potential to carry the whole story. But of course, she had to go and change. As soon as the guys fully came into the picture, everything that made Priya an individual disappeared. There was no mention of her usual habits, hardly any mention of work and loads of talk about the guys and not much else. 

 

I thought Tyler was cute. He was a good character that fit well with Priya - I especially loved the whole nerdy thing they had going. Together they were great. I would have loved more of a backstory with Tyler though - not just for him to be there just to be with Priya.

 

That's another thing, if there's going to be a love triangle going on then it should be believable. I hated Manuk. I thought he was a major jerk. I also think that regardless of his character, Priya didn't give him enough of a chance in the first place before she decided anything. It was either get married to him or not but with Tyler it was be with him or not without marriage necessarily being an option. I would have liked to not know who was going to be chosen in the end.

 

I think everything I liked about this read came from the first third of the book. Like I said, I loved Priya's character, couldn't fault her. Tyler was amazingly adorable with the way he kept trying to go after her and how he dealt with rejection. I loved the supporting characters - both groups of friends (Tyler's and Priya's) made me laugh and they interacted great. Priya's family was adorable and the drama that went on within it was interesting.

 

By the way, if you're not familiar with Indian culture I think you'll find that side of the read intriguing. I have plenty of Indian friends so nothing in this book was new to me. 

 

My rating: 4/10

 

Ayesha Patel:

Goodreads | Blog | Twitter

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Embers by Karen Ann Hopkins

Embers FC FNL

Goodreads


There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evil rises.

Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about an eighteen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two young men who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war—one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil—and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.

Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War.



Excerpt:


Ivan spoke with an excited voice. “Do you hear it, Ember?”


I tilted my head and listened.  It was faint, but there was a low rumble in the distance.  As we walked forward the sound grew.


“Yes.  Is that the falls?” I asked.


He nodded his head.  “We’re almost there.”  


Soon the noise was a deafening roar, vibrating in my ears.  When we stepped out of the cover of the trees, I was astonished.  Raven Branch Falls was much larger than I expected.  The water dropped from nearly seventy feet into a dark pool.  Giant boulders jutted out below the pool to create smaller falls, which led into a rapidly flowing rocky creek bed.


My gaze was drawn to a tree leaning out from the side of the falls where a large grey owl was partially hidden in the foliage.  There was something familiar about its eyes, and the way it was looking at me gave me the distinct feeling that I knew the bird. Could it be the same owl I saw racing through the air the day of my arrival?    


Ivan grasped my arm and tugged me closer to the falls.  He held my arm tightly as we stepped onto the boulders beside the deep water hole.  Spots on the enormous rocks were wet and slippery from the spray of the falls and I was grateful for his help.  He led me out to the farthest point we could go, where a carpet of soft moss blanketed the surface of a particularly large boulder.  Ivan gestured for me to sit, which I did, and then he bounded off, climbing along the boulders until he was a little ways downstream.


I watched him go, thinking what a nice boy—or wolf, he was.  


Without looking, I knew Sawyer was behind me.  The movements of my stomach and heart gave him away.   He sat down very close.   


Where did you come from?” he coaxed softly.      


For a second I saw the boy from my dream.


The breath caught in my throat.  I gazed at him.    


He doesn’t seem evil to me.




Giveaway:

 

Karen is generously offering up a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form.


 

Hopkins Karen Ann 11 colII 224x300 1

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel. 

 

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Brigands M.C. by Robert Muchamore

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Title: Brigands M.C.

Author: Robert Muchamore

Series: Cherub #11

Publisher: Hodder

Publication date: September 3rd 2009

Format: Hardback | 406 pages

Genre: YA

Goodreads



Every Cherub agent comes from somewhere. Dante Scott still has nightmares about the death of his family, brutally killed by a biker gang.


Dante is given the chance to become a member of Cherub, a trained professional with one essential advantage: adults never suspect that children are spying on them.


But when Dante joins James and Lauren Adams on a mission to infiltrate Brigands Motorcycle Club, he's ready to use everything he's learned to get revenge on the people who killed his family…



My thoughts:


While still including siblings James and Lauren Adams, Brigands M.C. focuses mainly on new character Dante Scott. Before Cherub, Dante was the son of a Brigands M.C member who was brutally murdered in from of him along with the rest of his family. Cherub finally gives Dante the opportunity to get revenge on the man who ruined his life by going undercover and infiltrating the biker gang along with James and Lauren acting as his siblings. 


I was a little apprehensive when I picked up the book and saw that a completely new character was being introduced, especially considering it's almost the end of the series. I have to say though, I loved Dante. I adored his backstory at the beginning of the book and his introduction to Cherub. Dante was a character with an incredible amount of depth and aside from all the action that goes on in this book, the story is more about Dante's journey to acceptance of what happened to his family early on in his life. It made the book stand out from the rest of the Cherub series which was amazing.


In some ways though, this book isn't as action packed as some of the others in the series. A lot of the book isn't involving the mission at all, but Dante's life before Cherub instead. It added a lot of depth and meaning to the mission later on, but it's not as exciting in terms of fighting and actual spying.

 

Overall I loved this read. It had all of my favourite characters and then some, loads of action and a new incredibly detailed character was added which made me one happy reader.

 

My rating: 8/10

 

Robert Muchamore:

 

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Cherub:

 

  1. The Recruit
  2. Class A
  3. Maximum Security
  4. The Killing
  5. Divine Madness
  6. Man vs. Beast
  7. The Fall
  8. Mad Dogs
  9. The Sleepwalker
  10. Dark Sun
  11. The General
  12. Brigands M.C
  13. Shadow Wave

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

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Title: The Way of Shadows

Author: Brent Weeks

Series: Night Angel #1

Publisher: Orbit

Publication date: 04 Aug 2011

Format: Paperback | 672 pages

Genre: Adult | Epic Fantasy

Goodreads



For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city's most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.


For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.


But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kyler Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassin's world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death.



My thoughts:


Azoth has had more than enough of living in fear so when Durzo Blint comes along, the most feared wetboy in the city, Azoth takes a risk and becomes an apprentice to an assassin. As time passes, Azoth becomes Kyler, a skilled fighter with dreams of becoming all that Blint wants him to be. Things soon change though when a kingdom to the north plots an invasion that threatens everything Kyler knows and loves.


I. Loved. This. Book.


I could probably just leave it at that but it doesn't really say much about why you should read it. Just a bit of a fair warning though, I most likely won't make much sense in this review.


The characters in this book are so well written that I had a hard time figuring a lot of them out. I've rarely been in the position where I can't draw the line between good and evil - there were characters that I loathed until the very end where something's revealed that makes all of that character's actions seem like acts of love where they didn't before. I never saw it coming. Lately the books I've been reading have been so predictable that it became tiring to carry on reading them, it just made The Way of Shadows that much better in comparison. Even the characters that are clearly labelled as the 'villains' have elements to their makeup that make them seem pitiful instead of just the character you're supposed to hate. I found myself feeling sorry for some which made the read very interesting indeed.


I also thought this read was incredibly intense. I dreaded having to put this book down because it was so chocked full of suspense. There was no end to the action throughout the read as well as an amazingly detailed plot. There were a few subplots within the read which were just as intriguing as the plot mainly focusing on Kyler. I couldn't race through this one fast enough and then, as usual with a great book, I didn't want it to end.


Honestly, if you like this genre anyway, please pick up this book. I for one, am really looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy. 


My rating: 10/10


Brent Weeks:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


Night Angel:

  1. The Way of Shadows
  2. Shadow's Edge
  3. Beyond the Shadows