Sunday, 9 November 2014

Review: Love's Legacy by Joan Avery

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Title: Love's Legacy

Author: Joan Avery

Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous

Publication date: November 10th 2014

Format: ebook | 297 pages

Genre: Adult | Historical Romance

Goodreads



Grenada, British West Indies, 1875

English plantation owner Geoffrey Worth has misgivings about hiring an American widow as a governess. But while Geoffrey longs to forget the past—and the daughter who reminds him of it daily—there is still duty to consider. And Bellefleur, his plantation. This is his life now. Warmth, family, love; these things only bring pain. And scars he'll carry forever...

Elizabeth Malfonte is certainly not the aged widow he had anticipated. She's young and beautiful, with a determination that wakes something deep within Geoffrey. Yet Elizabeth hides her own secret―the babe within her womb. And despite Geoffrey's handsome―yet scarred face―her new employer has a cold and unforgiving nature that unsettles her, even as Elizabeth's wariness slowly heats to desire. 

But the bright beauty of this land is no match for the dark, ominous clouds of the past..
.



My thoughts:


This review is going to be pretty short because I generally didn't like this read.


If you have no connection to the characters whatsoever, how can you care about anything that happens in the book? You can't.


Seriously, everything that happened in this read did not affect me whatsoever. It was all…meh. And I hated that. I was so emotionally disconnected that there was pretty much no point in reading this.


The only saving grace this book had was the whole deal with Geoffrey's past. I couldn't guess what happened before and what was going to happen towards the end which drove me to finish the book. It was anticlimactic but at least there was that.


What can I say? I didn't like the characters. I thought there was no chemistry between any of them. Not father and daughter, between friends or husband and wife. Geoffrey and Elizabeth were no exception.


All in all this read wasn't for me. Of course, it's just my opinion and you may think differently.


My rating: 2/10


Joan Avery:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook



Review: A Spy Unmasked by Tina Gabrielle

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Title: A Spy Unmasked

Author: Tina Bagrielle

Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous

Publication date: November 10th 2014

Format: ebook | 285 pages

Genre: Adult | Historical Romance

Goodreads



London, 1820.


 The mission did not go quite as Robert Ware--known in society as the new Earl of Kirkland--planned. A spy in the service of His Majesty, Robert is a "guest" at a masquerade party as he retrieves vital information for a murder investigation. Until he's quite unexpectedly interrupted by an exquisite, masked woman with glittering green eyes. And a pistol she has cocked and aimed right at him... 


Lady Sophia Merrill has defiantly taken up justice's shining sword, determined to expose the brigand who murdered her eccentric but brilliant father, and stole his latest invention. Now she must masquerade as Robert's betrothed in order to infiltrate the Inventor's Society and find the killer. But the undeniable potent attraction between them not only imperils the investigation, but Sophia's reputation... and both of their lives.


My thoughts:


I've been reading a lot of books lately where the story gets split because of some event or another and I end up liking one part of the book a lot more than the other. This one was no exception. The Earl of Kirkland is a spy investigating the goings on in a secret society until Lady Sophia almost blows the whole operation. There is a point in the story where Sophia gets involved in the whole spying business a lot more than before. It's at that point where the read started to go a little off the rails in my opinion.


I liked most of the read. The espionage aspect of the story was very enjoyable. I'm not usually one for crime solving and spy novels, so to enjoy that side of it was refreshing. It gave the book the suspense and sense of adventure it needed. The spying involved was pretty simple and repetitive, but I still found myself liking it. Most of all though, I liked how the author stuck with it throughout the book. The main focus was definitely the plot and not the romance which was great.


My big problem was the ending of the book. Not so much right at the end, but several of the later chapters. Things moved way too fast. There was a really nice pace going between Sophia and Robert's relationship and then it just went full speed ahead in the worst of ways. It made sense at the start, but to have it go from 0 to 60 in just a few chapters was just terrible considering both characters refused to work together in the start. It wasn't believable in the end which was disappointing.


Overall I was pretty much on and off with this read. I liked the characters, until I didn't anymore and I liked the plot, until it became a little dry. It was okay.


My rating: 6/10



Tina Gabrielle:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter



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

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

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Title: Mercy 

Author: Rebecca Lim

Series: Mercy #1

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication date: 28th October 2010

Format: Paperback | 288 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal 

Goodreads



Mercy wakes on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business…or thinks they do. But Mercy has a secret life. She is an angel, doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new human form each time she does, in an effort to resolve a cataclysmic rift between heavenly beings.


In Paradise, Mercy meets Ryan, and eighteen-year-old whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is presumed dead. When another girl is also taken, Mercy knows she has to act quickly and use extraordinary powers to rescue her, even if it means exposing her true identity.



My thoughts:


Mercy is the first book of a series focusing on a girl who doesn't know who she is past the name she's given herself - Mercy. Every once in a while she wakes up in a new body with a new name and in a new location. Things change when Mercy finds herself taking control of Carmen, a small, musically talented girl that dreams of making it as big a opera star. She finds herself fighting to find Ryan's sister where she wouldn't usually go out of her way for someone she'd only just met. But it might just end up pointing her in the right direction to find out who she really is once and for all.


Throughout this read Mercy is controlling Carmen's body but occasionally snippets of Carmen's thoughts would come through and it becomes plain to see the differences in the two characters' personalities. I really enjoyed that. It didn't happen very often but when it did, I found it really intriguing. Mercy wasn't exactly the friendliest person ever, but it was what Carmen needed to move on from her so called 'best friends' who were holding her back big time. I actually found Mercy to be a huge bitch, but Carmen balanced it out a little and stopped me from outright hating the main character which would have been disastrous.


However, I thought a lot of the characters weren't written so well. Seeing as though this read had a crime solving element to it, there was a whole list of characters thrown into the story to be seen as suspects which I didn't think worked so well. Mercy trying to figure out who took Ryan's sister is one thing, but when the characters Mercy suspects have no depth or personality traits a reader can relate to, it makes them fall short as even the most basic of criminals. Aside from that, I also found the mystery side to the story extremely predictable - I had no problem guessing who was the kidnapper far from the end of the book.

 

Overall I liked this read and I think I'll be carrying on to the second book for now. I have to say though, while I enjoyed Mercy, I think if the next book isn't any better than this one, I won't be going any further with the series.

 

My rating: 6/10

 

 Rebecca Lim:

Goodreads | Facebook 

 

Mercy:

  1. Mercy
  2. Exile
  3. Muse
  4. Fury

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Review: The General by Robert Muchamore

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Title: The General

Author: Robert Muchamore

Series: Cherub #10

Publisher: Hodder

Publication date: 4th September 2008

Format: Paperback | 352 pages

Genre: YA

Goodreads



The world's largest urban warfare training compound stands in the desert near Las Vegas. Forty British commandos are being hunted by an entire American battalion.


But their commander has an ace up his sleeve: he plans to smuggle in ten Cherub agents, and fight the best war game ever.



My thoughts:


For those of you that haven't heard of this series before, it follows a secret organisation that uses child spies to get criminals locked away for a good long while. Of course, since children are involved, the characters get up to some crazy, hilarious stunts both during missions and at the Cherub campus. The General, mostly focuses on James and his sister Lauren as they test soldiers to the limits in a training compound in the middle of an American desert. 


I'm already a big fan of this series but this book just took the biscuit for me. I couldn't stop laughing for the life of me. The beginning of the book was great for more serious action with James' first mission, but after that went wrong, things just got a turn for the hilarious. I loved what went down in the training compound - it was a perfect mix of chaos, childish pranks and combat training. Muchamore's ability to keep reminding readers that these agents are still kids is brilliant.


I also enjoyed the great mix of characters that played a part in this story. James and Lauren are favourites of mine just because of their great relationship as siblings but the rest of the gang played their parts too and it led to some brilliant moments. The instructor Kazakov has definitely become a new favourite of mine because of his genius antics in this book. 


Nothing really comes to mind when I think about what I didn't like about this book. I suppose I would have liked to have seen a bit more of a fight between Dana and James when all that drama went down. It was over a little too quickly and James seemed to get over Dana awfully fast for someone who claimed to love her. I guess his heart's elsewhere.


Overall I loved this book and I thought it was a fantastic addition to the Cherub books. I'm looking forward to starting the next one.

 

My rating: 10/10

 

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

Monday, 7 July 2014

Review: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

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Title: A Game of Thrones

Author: George R.R Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1

Publisher: HarperVoyager

Publication date: January 6th 2003

Format: Paperback | 807 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Goodreads



Summers span decades.

Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.


As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must…and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.


The old gods have no power in the south, Stark's family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.



My thoughts:


I'm pretty sure most of you will know a little about this series or at the least heard of it. For those who haven't, A Game of Thrones follows quite a few characters as they battle it out for the Iron Throne. There's a whole lot of stabbing in the back, war talk and heads on pikes. As for the rest, it's a pretty complicated book to narrow it down to one paragraph, you'll just have to find out for yourself.


What I love the most about this book is the characters. I was bowled over by how easy it was to hate some and really love the rest. The characters were incredibly clear cut in the way the contributed to the plot which I haven't really experienced before in any read. Since the chapters alternated between different characters' points of view, it made it really easy to get excited when I saw whose point of view was coming up next. I can't even properly express how well written these characters were - they were so detailed and had so much depth to them, a book could be written about each one.


The plot itself certainly got me racing through the book - as much as you can race through a book 800 pages long. It was original and I didn't see anything coming at all which I found incredibly refreshing. It wasn't especially thrilling for quite a lot of the book, sometimes there wasn't much going on at all, but there was no part of the story that bored me or made me lose interest.


It was only the length of the book that put me off a little. I'm used to finishing a book within a day or two at most, so this one took forever in comparison. To be honest, it's not something even worth complaining about, but for people who have more of a hectic life than I do, it'll most likely take a good long while to finish this one, never mind the rest of the series. 

 

Overall this was a fantastic read that I can recommend to anybody, especially readers who want to try a book of this genre, it's a good place to start. 

 

My rating: 9/10


George R.R. Martin:

Goodreads | Website 

 

A Song of Ice and Fire:

  1. A Game of Thrones
  2. A Clash of Kings
  3. A Storm of Swords
  4. A Feast for Crows
  5. A Dance with Dragons
  6. The Winds of Winter
  7. A Dream of Spring

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

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Title: Inside Out

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Series: Insiders #1

Publisher: Mira Ink

Publication date: January 2011

Format: Paperback | 315 pages

Genre: YA | Dystopian

Goodreads



I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody.

One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I just to my job and try to avoid the Population Control Police, who dream of recycling scrubs into fertiliser. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? It's not like it's dangerous…


Well, turns out it is. Because I know ever corridor, pipe and shortcut I've become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. I know if we find a gateway to Outside it'll be suicide plain and simple. But guess who likes a challenge?



My thoughts:


Inside Out follows the story of Trella, one scrub among thousands whose job it is to clean out the pipes that make up the 'Inside'. While some scrubs take pride in their work, Trella can't help but feel like she doesn't belong when she sneaks around the pipes and catches glimpses of the Uppers. Because of Trella's knowledge of all the shortcuts and ways around the pipes, she soon becomes the figurehead needed to lead a revolution and change the scrubs lives for the better.


Trella was a great character. She had such a fiery personality and I really enjoyed reading her interactions with the other scrubs. Trella did kind of push people away in order to protect herself and while it was annoying at times, it was also endearing once I realised why exactly she does it. 


However, a lot of the characters, in my opinion, were lacking a lot of depth. I didn't find Cog and Riley to be relatable at all - they always came into the story where they were needed and never provided any additional support to the plot. I didn't connect to them at all and I feel that it was purely because they weren't around enough, especially Cog. Cog appeared frequently in the beginning of the book but afterwards he wasn't heard from at all. Both Riley and Cog were characters I didn't end up caring about so in the end, I wan't anxious about what might happen to them.


I have to admit as well, I lost interest in the plot very quickly. There was no issue with finding it predictable or unoriginal just because I couldn't bring myself to care enough to think about it. I think there wasn't enough suspense for me. I recognised where the author really tried, for example, countdowns to somebody's execution. But if I don't like the character in the first place, it's not going to affect me greatly if he was executed so it didn't really work. 


Overall I wouldn't really recommend this read. There have been a lot of good reviews for it though, and this is only my opinion, so check it out if it looks interesting.


My rating: 4/10


Maria V. Snyder:

Goodreads | Blog | Facebook 


Insiders:

  1. Inside Out
  2. Outside In

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

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Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Author: Laini Taylor

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 17th Apr 2014

Format: Hardback | 528 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal

Goodreads

 

 

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
 



My thoughts:


Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the third and final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It starts off essentially where the second book, Days of Blood and Starlight, left off, with Karou and Akiva trying their best to unite the seraphim army, known as the misbegotten, and the surviving chimaera.

 

Every since I finished the second book of the trilogy, I've been simultaneously dreading and anticipating the release of the last book. The second book ended with such a surprising turn of events that I really didn't know what to expect to happen with this one. I just had the feeling that everything was going to get so much worse for the characters and there's no way they could get out of the situation they were left in. Especially for Karou and Akiva, I couldn't bear the thought of them not being together in the end and so I was so nervous to see what would happen between the two.

 

Honestly though, just like the last two books, this book was an absolute joy to read. Not because everything was all puppies and roses, it wasn't, it's just that Laini Taylor has this beautiful, mystical way of writing that sucks me into her world and lets me see what she sees. As of writing this review, I'm emigrating and you can imagine that takes a lot of work and a half! This book proved to be the most perfect distraction when things got a little too stressful and gave me the most amazing place to escape to so that I could forget about reality for a little while and go into a world filled with flying, blue-haired girls and angels with golden eyes.

 

The characters in this book are amazing. The story is amazing. The writing is beyond amazing.

 

There's absolutely nothing more I can say that will do this whole trilogy justice. If you haven't already, please, please give it a go. 

 

My rating: 10/10

 

 

Laini Taylor:

Goodreads | Website 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Blog Tour: Lamb to the Slaughter by Karen Ann Hopkins (with giveaway)

LtS BannerH

                 
 
 
 
LtS CoverFNL L Some Amish communities aren't so cosy.

Lamb to the Slaughter is a story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest.

Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the country town of Blood Rock and besides dealing with the threatening behaviour of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate. At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidentally shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community and even the girl's parents react with uncaring subdued behaviour, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl's shooting.

Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman, who left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up. Serenity's persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.

*Lamb to the Slaughter is book one of Serenity's Plain Secrets.

 
 
 
 
 
LTOffer
 
For a limited time, Lamb to the Slaughter is available for $2.99 from Amazon and Barnes & Noble so get your copy now! 
 
 
 



Guest Post:


Researching Lamb to the Slaughter


Six years ago I moved from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to a northern Kentucky Amish community.  I brought twenty-four horses with me and set up my established horse-back riding business at the new farm.  Within a few weeks of arriving in Kentucky a stream of Amish teens were coming to the arena to participate in riding activities with the English kids (the Amish refer to anyone who isn’t Amish as English).  Watching the interactions between the two groups, and observing some obvious flirting going on, I began to wonder how a relationship between the two vastly different cultures could possibly work out.  It seemed impossible and incredibly intriguing at the same time, and from there, the seed for Rose and Noah’s story and my first book, Temptation, sprouted in my mind.


 

I dedicated two years to learning as much about the Amish way of life as I could.  Besides my observations at the arena, my life was inundated with the Amish culture as Amish girls babysat my younger children, Amish teens hung out with my own teen sons, as I drove the Amish women to town to shop and even took a Tennessee vacation with an Amish family.  I attended five Amish weddings and numerous schoolhouse benefits and private dinners with neighbors.  When I was confident that I’d gained enough experiential knowledge, I began writing and a year later, I had an agent and Harlequin Teen had purchased the forbidden love story.

 

 

For me, the more I became immersed in the Amish community around me, the thirstier I was for knowledge about them.  Some things about their culture leave me scratching my head, while other times I’m humbled by their ways. Their vast differences from us and their secretive ways make them a delightful group to write about.

 


The Amish are stuck in a strange time-warp, where they’re surrounded by the modern world and yet they reject it all.  Why do the women put up with the anti-feminist structure of their culture?  Why don’t they refuse to do laundry by hand or secretly sneak birth control so that they don’t have to give birth in the double digits?  The questions can go on and on and usually infuriate the curious, but at the same time that we’re exasperated by the life choices of the Amish, we’re also fascinated at the stubborn strength of these people.  We respect them and want to understand why they live the way they do and what really makes them tick.  

 


I began writing Lamb to the Slaughter over a year ago after my agent asked me if I could create an Amish murder mystery.  I was instantly on board with the idea, especially since I had personally witnessed some strange and almost creepy goings-on in my own Amish community.  I really wanted to delve deeper into the darker side of being Amish, especially in relation to my personal passion, the lives of the teenagers and some of the harsh realities they’re faced with.  


 

Interestingly enough, all of my neighbors know about my books and many of the teenage girls and women and even a grumpy old man have read them.  One girl who had already left the Amish to be with her English boyfriend contacted me to let me know that she cried through the entire Temptation series.  She related very strongly to what Noah was going through and reading my books actually helped her to deal with her own shunning from her family and community.  For the most part, the reactions from my neighbors has been positive, although it’s taboo for them to discuss their children having romances with outsiders and the possibility of anyone leaving the community, so there are those who have shied away from the series. 


 

Lamb is a representation of the Amish Church’s worst fears and it illustrates a tragic scenario of when a young person doesn’t fit into the strict structure of its society and is forced to run away.  This is obviously a work of fiction, but much of it is derived from actual occurrences that I’ve personally witnessed and discussions that I’ve had with my neighbors and several people who grew up Amish but chose to leave their Church and became English.  


 

It still amazes me that hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and Canada, with the largest population centers found in the Midwest, live their lives like those born in the distant past.  They turn away from modern conveniences and technology, oftentimes enduring many hardships to live a quieter and highly religious existence.  You would think that the population would be dwindling away, but instead, it’s growing by leaps and bounds. The Amish have large families, sometimes as many as ten or more children and many of those kids are remaining in the culture, even after they step out and see the world for a bit.  The young people have discovered that the lifestyle that we all take for granted and can’t live without is not all it’s cracked up to be in their eyes.  In the end it’s all about the freedom of choice to live in a way that makes a person happy and as long as it doesn’t interfere with others, so be it.

 

 

I hope that Lamb to the Slaughter and my Temptation series opens up the fascinating and secretive world of the Amish to mainstream readers everywhere.  The culture’s anti-feminist ways and primitive lifestyle are sure to ruffle some feathers, but there’s no denying that many of us are captivated by the Amish and want to learn more about them.     


 

I’ve enjoyed spending time at Glorious Books today!  I love to hear from readers and answer any of their questions (especially the Amish related ones) too!  Please contact me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or you can visit me on my website at www.karenannhopkins.com.  I also have a special giveaway going on right now that I’d like to share with you.  If you purchase Lamb to the Slaughter on either Kindle or Nook for the promo price of only $2.99, you can be entered in a giveaway for a three book autographed set of the Temptation series.  It includes copies of Temptation, Belonging and Forever!  All you have to do is personally contact me on FB, Twitter, Goodreads or my website and let me know that you’ve purchased Lamb and I’ll get you entered.  The drawing will be held on May 30th in conjunction with the blog tour ending.  This is a separate giveaway from the Rafflecopter below.  Happy reading!  


Karen Ann Hopkins

 



Hopkins Karen Ann 11 colII 224x300
 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.









Giveaway:


Contest Info:
We have a really exciting prize package for this tour, so make sure to follow along for more chances to win every day! What’s up for grabs:

• A $100 Amazon Gift Card
• An autographed set of Karen’s YA Temptation series
• A traditional Amish style hand stitched wall hanging/lap quilt with the lone star pattern in country colors

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Tour Schedule: