Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shifters #6


I finally got to read ALPHA *deep breath* here's what I thought...


Title: Alpha
Author: Rachel Vincent


Series: SHIFTERS, book 6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 480 Pages
Rating: 5/5


The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we've been busy. But now it's time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother's death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.
It's not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I'm heading for a final showdown that can—that will—change everything forever. A showdown I'm not sure I'm ready for.
But life never waits until you're ready.

~My Review~

Wow, just wow! I can't even express how much I have loved this series. I am beyond sad that Alpha is the end of Faythe's story (at least what we see of it). Rachel Vincent is one of very few authors that I will buy a book just because her name is on it. I fell in love with her writing when I first read SHIFT and I haven't been able to get enough of it since. If you haven't read the SHIFTERS series or her YA series SOUL SCREAMERS you are definitely missing out on some amazing story telling, and some of my favourite fictional characters.

Now to review Alpha...

I find it hard to review this one without spoilers, but I shall try. Alpha was bursting at the seems with everything that I have loved about the previous books in this series: the feisty main character, swoon-worthy boys, non-stop action, unexpected plot twists, and both heart-wrenching and heart-warming moments. I laughed, I cried and I gasped aloud (startling the other people in the room) and never left the edge of my proverbial seat.

Faythe finally gets to face off with Calvin Malone and his allies, but not without the inevitable obstacles, and allies of her own. We follow her fight both politically and literally, riding the roller-coaster of events that lead to the biggest showdown Faythe and her pride has had to face yet.

I have to leave it there. There were so many things that I was thrilled and utterly depressed about in ALPHA and those moments need to be experienced first hand. Great job Rachel and I look forward to reading your new secret novel.

My Rating For Alpha: 5/5My Rating for the SHIFTERS series: 5/5









Other books in this series (click to read review):

#1 Stray, #2 Rogue, #3 Pride, #4 Prey, #5 Shift

~You'll like this series if you liked~

The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent, Riley Jensen Series by Keri Arthur, or Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shifters #5


Continuing with my re-read of the Shifters series before I finally get to read ALPHA - here is book 5...


Title: Shift
Author: Rachel Vincent

Series: SHIFTERS, book 5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 400 Pages
Rating: 5/5


TROUBLE IS IN THE AIR...
Being the first female werecat enforcer isn’t easy. Scars accumulate, but I’m stronger in so many ways.
As for my personal life? It’s complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother’s death and my father’s impeachment, it’s all I can do to prevent more blood
from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.
With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option...

My Review:

Ah she gets me every time! I couldn't put it down, read all night to finish it. I have loved the way that Calvin is a constant annoyance and threat throughout the series but there are always more pressing issues and unavoidable bad guys popping up to keep him in the background.

I loved the thunderbirds, the aspect of the unknown and the mystery behind them and why they are attacking. The giant eagle-like birds formed a new and formidable foe that created real danger for Faythe's pride forcing them to delay the much anticipated war with Calvin. I found myself itching for the fight along with them.

The story unfolded perfectly and the crazy tension between Jace, Marc and Faythe was deliciously complicated. My heart was breaking for the three of them and the impossible position they are stuck in. Jace totally stepped up to bat in SHIFT and it only made me love him more, now if only I could smother my love for Marc too. I sympathize with Faythe and have no idea what I want her to do - my love for both boys makes me want to see them both get a happily ever after. *sigh* One of my favourite things about this series is the emotional roller-coaster from the very start.

Rachel was quite witty as usual, I had to stifle my laughter so I wouldn't wake my husband quite a few times during my all-night-read :) Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

My Rating: 5/5

Other books in this series:

#1 Stray, #2 Rogue, #3 Pride, #4 Prey, #6 Alpha

You'll like this series if you liked:

The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent, Riley Jensen Series by Keri Arthur, or Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.


*SIDEBAR*
I read pretty much straight through yesterday till this morning to finish ALPHA as well so I should be posting that review in the next couple of days. FYI it was fantastic!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shifters #4


Continuing with my re-read of the Shifters series here is book 4...


Title: Prey

Author: Rachel Vincent

Series: SHIFTERS, #4

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Page Count: 400 Pages

Rating: 5/5





Sometimes playing cat and mouse is no game… Play? Right. My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father's authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven't laid eyes on Marc's gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother and an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don't exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again. Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.



My Review:

My thoughts from the first time around pretty much mirror how I felt the second time, so I'm just going to expand on them.

Heartbreaking! I am still sad from reading this one, don't get me wrong I loved every minute of it but, wow that was tear jerker.


I don't think that I've ever been this "team conflicted" either. I can always totally side with one guy over the other but I just can't choose between Jace and Marc, it's rough times. I don't know how Rachel is going make her choose but I can't wait to read Shift!

Faythe (which by the way every time I type comes out "fayther" because my brain thinks I'm typing father...random I know but it happens a lot) is let off the hook for infecting and then killing her ex-boyfriend, but at a cost - Marc is exiled to the free territory. When their brief re-union is abruptly interrupted by a gang of strays it sets off a war Faythe isn't prepared for and a series of losses that may well cripple her pride.

I couldn't put this one down either time I read it and it still had me crying real tears. How can one book be my favourite and least favourite in a series? I don't know but Prey managed to accomplish the task :)


My Rating: 5/5

Other books in this series:

#1 Stray, #2 Rogue, #3 Pride, #5 Shift, #6 Alpha


You'll like this series if you liked:

The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent, Riley Jensen Series by Keri Arthur, or Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.


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Shifters #3


Continuing with my re-read of the Shifters series here is book 3...


Title: Pride

Author: 

Rachel Vincent

Series: SHIFTERS, #3

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Page Count: 400 Pages

Rating: 4/5


I'm on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend—and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride—along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human. I'm two for three. A goner. Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc's help, I think I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council. If I survive my own trial…


My Review:

My thoughts from the first time around: "The trial, the tabby, and the coup...

Again, I loved the book but it wasn't my favourite because I spent most of it totally annoyed at the Alphas and the whole trial fiasco, which I know was the point but I like a book that leaves me happy, or expectant, not annoyed. All that said I still give it 2 thumbs up."

Calvin Malone makes me grate my teeth and shake my fist in the air. We meet him and a couple more Alpha's in this book. In the previous two books the council and their rules are touched on but we get a front row seat for one of their trials as Faythe stands trial for murder and infecting stray.

In the background of the trial there are some trouble-making strays and enough sneakiness to make your toes curl. I was so angry with the unjust council I wanted to throw my book - but then I cuddled it to my chest and promised it I would never do that! I can't be mad that this book is consistant with the first two in keeping me aligned with Faythe's feelings, and she feels enraged and impotent by the trial too.

The story of the strays and missing humans keeps the length of the trial from becoming too much, and we get to meet a Bruin which I quite enjoyed. I hope we see more of him in the future.

Overall not my favourite book in the series but it was most definitely a needed chapter in Faythe's story and still a great and exciting read.

My Rating: 4/5


Other books in this series:

#1 Stray, #2 Rogue, #4 Prey, #5 Shift, #6 Alpha

You'll like this series if you liked:

The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent, Riley Jensen Series by Keri Arthur, or Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.


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Shifters #2


Continuing with my re-read of the Shifters series here is book 2...

Title: Rogue

Author: Rachel Vincent

Series: SHIFTERS, #2

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Page Count: 400 Pages

Rating: 5/5


Okay, so cats don t always land on their feet. I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I ve made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I m working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty. But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We re beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...


My Review:

My thoughts from the first time around: "Strays are dying, strippers are disappearing and Faythe is training...Really great read. Faythe is still too stubborn for me to really relate to her but I enjoyed this story and was glad Marc finally let her have it." Which I still agree with the second time reading it.

Faythe Sanders is now the first female werecat enforcer, working for her father's pride as part of a deal she made for her freedom. She and Marc are investigating the murder of toms in their territory when they stumble upon a chain of missing human strippers as well. Faythe has to use all of her skills to track down the attackers and figure out what is connecting it all.

There was lots of action in this one and I liked seeing Marc and Faythe working together. There isn't much growth in her yet but she's on her way. This book brings in new mysteries as well as tying up some loose ends from SHIFT.

Another exciting book in the series, but I must say I liked this one much better the second time through now that I know where all of Faythe's stumblings are going to lead her. That said I remember loving the not-knowing just as much :)

My Rating: 5/5


Other books in this series:

#1 Stray, #3 Pride, #4 Prey, #5 Shift, #6 Alpha

You'll like this series if you liked:

The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent, Riley Jensen Series by Keri Arthur, or Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.


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Shifters #1


Title: Stray
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: SHIFTERS, book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 624 Pages
Rating: 5/5

There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . . And I'm one of them. I look like an all-American grad student, but I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds. Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself...Until the night a Stray attacked.

I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. ..Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends.  Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them . . .


My Review:
I find it hard to channel my earlier thoughts of this book after having read the next four. I checked my Shelfari from the first time around and all I had in there was "I wasn't expecting such a thrilling read. Couldn't put it down." Which was true enough even the second time through!

Katherine 'Faythe' Sanders is a female werecat who is trying to live a "normal" life, which is next to impossible with a community of male werecats hell-bent on protecting her. Faythe may hate the pressure being put on her by her family as one of the few tabbies in North America to keep the race alive, but she is forced to accept their help when her fellow tabbies start to disappear - along with her freedom.

I loved to hate Faythe, she's stubborn but secretly wants approval, clever but surprisingly blind to her surroundings, and tries to act as if she has it all together when really she's lost and confused. I enjoyed watching her step outside of herself and start her journey toward understanding her place in the world instead of running from it.

The were-cat world was well developed and I loved delving into their messed-up politics and hierarchies. The way the women are treated, with the intention of being cherished and protected - but realistically being controlled and over-lorded - was equal parts understandable and infuriating to me. Rachel did a great job of letting the reader work through the issues with Faythe - I didn't feel like I had it all figured out and was waiting for her to catch up.

The drama of Faythe and Marc's relationship was a bit confusing but I liked it, I think that the reader is kept in the same place that Faythe is, and she is confused too. The element of Jace the third boy in the love triangle was only touched on, but just the few glimpses of him were enough for me to want more.

I don't want to be spoilery but I will say that once the crisis hits it gets pretty graphic. I didn't find any of it to be over-the-top, it was needed to show the seriousness and depravity of the situation.

A great start to one of my favourite series!

*side note: I have seen a lot of reviews nagging on the similarities between Stray and Bitten (by Kelley Armstrong). I personally have read both - and liked them both - and didn't find much overlap besides the obvious (girl shifter). I liked what one reviewer said: "Yes, I see some parallels to Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, no I am not bothered. When you read a book about Vampires, you can't call it a copy of Anne Rice...Similar is not the same." S.P. (click here for her full 5 star review)

My Rating: 5/5







Other books in this series:
#2 Rogue, #3 Pride, #4 Prey, #5 Shift, #6 Alpha

You'll like this series if you liked:
The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent, Riley Jensen Series by Keri Arthur, and ironically: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.


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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Top 5 Sunday

Top 5
Larissa over at Larissa's Bookish Life hosts Top 5 Sundays here
The theme for today is:

Best Fiction Hotties I Want Under My Tree!

Here are my picks (in no particular order):


1. Jace Hammond from Shifters series by Rachel Vincent (As far as I know the only dream cast for Jace was from fans and
Jensen Ackles is the most popular choice).
Jace


2. Eric Northman from Southern Vampire Mysteries (TrueBlood) by Charlaine Harris.
Eric


3. Damon Salvator from The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith.
Damon


4. Edward Cullen from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.
Edward


5. The Brothers from The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward.
Brothers
I couldn't pick just one of them :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Iron Queen - A Quick Review


Title: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: 384 Pages
Release Date: 01/25/2011
Rating: 5/5

*Spoiler Alert*

If you haven't read the first two books in the Iron Fey series this review may contain spoilers.
In less than twenty-four hours I’ll be seventeen.

Although, technically, I won’t actually be turning seventeen. I’ve been in the Nevernever too long. When you’re in Faery, you don’t age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I’m probably only a few days older than when I went in.

In real life, I’ve changed so much I don’t even recognize myself.

MY NAME IS MEGHAN CHASE.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.
THIS TIME,
THERE WILL BE NO TURNING BACK.
*ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

My Review:

I just finished The Iron Queen so I wanted to write my review while the emotions from the book still coursed through my veins. If you have read and enjoyed the first two books (The Iron King and The Iron Daughter) then you will definitely like The Iron Queen. My heart is still racing from the last few chapters, Julie really grabbed me by the heartstrings and pulled me right into Meghan's story. I was blown away again by the beautifully crafted world of the fey and the depth of the characters.

In this chapter of Meghan's story she is exiled but still hunted and left trying to figure out how to go on living a normal life with her winter prince. That is until she is pulled in once again to the war in faery. She has to put everything on the line to save the ones she loves, but can she come out of that alive?

Meghan is not the same nieve and scared girl who first entered faery searching for her brother, her growth throughout the series comes to fruition in the battle against the false king. The plot took a lot of unexpected and exciting turns that had me glued to the page. There were unsung heros and new allies and enemies. A great and thrilling read. I cried real tears and laughed out loud! I am very excited that there is going to be another book (The Iron Knight) as I was left wanting more at the end - which is of course a good thing.

Thank you Julie for another great book!

My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Need by Carrie Jones, Lament by Maggie Stiefvater, Tyger Tyger by Kersten HamiltonPhotobucket

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NaNoWriMo Winner!

I did it! I passed the 50,000 word count today and won NaNoWriMo 2010! It was my very first year and as a NaNo virgin I must say it was a lot more work than I thought it would be - but I figured out a method that worked for me, and I am now hooked. I am going away for an extended weekend (going to a Steelers game @ Buffalo yay!) but when I return it will be back to writing for me, just not so all-consuming and obsessive :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Soul to Steal - 5 Stars!


Title: My Soul to Steal

Author: Rachel Vincent

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Page Count: 352 Pages

Rating: 5/5

*Spoiler Alert*
There are no spoilers for My Soul to Steal but if you haven't read the previous books in the Soul Screamers series this review may contain spoilers, so beware...and go and pick up the first book because this series is fantastic.

*ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*



YOU WANT MY SOUL AND MY BOYFRIEND?
Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can’t just pretend nothing happened. But “complicated” doesn’t even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.
See, Sabine isn’t just an ordinary girl. She’s a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people’s fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.
And Sabine isn’t above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever— and whoever—she wants.
I DON’T THINK SO.

My Review:

I honestly can't get enough of Rachel Vincent's writing. There hasn't been a book of hers yet that I haven't devoured. My Soul to Steal is another I can add to that list, and I can't wait until it sits on my bookshelf next to the others.

My Soul to Steal is the forth Soul Screamers novel (along with a fifth prequel novella) following Kaylee Cavanaugh - a teenage bean sidhe (banshee).

Kaylee's battle in this chapter of her story is not only against the dark powers of the Netherworld, but also with Nash's ex-girlfriend - Sabine. Kaylee hasn't even really had time to decide if she wants him back before she has to fight to keep him, while fighting a Hellion to save her own life.

I found the emotional roller-coaster very compelling. I was just as confused as Kaylee was, but I felt for Sabine also. I love it when I get so caught up in a book that I am arguing along with the characters, and that was certainly the case here.

As always I am a huge fan of literary wrenches being thrown in, and wasn't disappointed. I found the plot twists to be believable but not predictable - my favorite kind.

The mystery of the deaths overlapping with the drama of Kaylee and Nash's love triangle made for a gripping and exciting read. I can't wait to read the last book in the series (If I Die) to see how ends, although the title kind of scares me :)

My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, or The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong.Photobucket

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Quick Review -Tyger Tyger

Title: Tyger Tyger
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Page Count: 320 Pages
Rating: 5/5


*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures-goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty-are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.


My Review:

Once I started this book I couldn't put it down. The characters were fantastic and the storyline had perfect rise and fall, keeping me hooked to the last word.

Tea's character was very likable and I fell in love with her little brother Aiden right away. The goblins were depicted disturbingly well - I loved them in all their creepiness. Finn was just the right amount of Irish heart-throb to steam up the page.

The setting in both worlds was written beautifully. The story had a nice balance of emotion and action. Add to that a few twists to surprise me and it's not hard to tell why I can't wait for the next book in this series.My Rating: 5/5

You'll like this series if you liked:

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, or Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Twenty Boy Summer - Banned Book #2

The second book I chose to read for the banned/challenged book challenge this month (books people are trying to get on the ALA list). Again I don't think there should be a bann on this book but I would only recommend this for young adults and older teens not tweens.

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Page Count: 304 Pages
Rating: 4/5



“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.


My Review:

Two girls dealing with their grief over the loss of a loved one, told in a honest and emotion felt way. I was drawn to Anna from the first lines, and I was crying by the end of the first chapter.

Told from Anna's perspective you work through the emotions and decisions she has to make when faced with moving on after the death of a loved one, but Sarah Ockler also shows the varying shades of denial and diversion that the other characters use to try and survive the grieving process as well.

It was also a fun story of a summer vacation with two best friends. I found it to be a quick but fulfilling read.

My Rating: 4/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks, The Last Summer by Ann Brashares, Keeping the Moon or Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

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Crash Into Me - Banned Book 1

I decided to take part in the banned/challenged book challenge this month. The challenge: read some of the books that are being banned/challenged (books people are trying to get on the ALA list). This is the first book I've read (on purpose) from the list and I'm shocked that it would be on there, but then again I don't think there should be a list to begin with so...

Title: Crash Into Me
Author: Albert Borris
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Page Count: 272 Pages
Rating: 4/5




Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae have one thing in common: they all want to die. When they meet online after each attempts suicide and fails, the four teens make a deadly pact: they will escape together on a summer road trip to visit the sites of celebrity suicides...and at their final destination, they will all end their lives. As they drive cross-country, bonding over their dark impulses, sharing their deepest secrets and desires, living it up, hooking up, and becoming true friends, each must decide whether life is worth living--or if there's no turning back.

My Review:

An interesting look into the minds of four teens battling suicide. They travel across country together on an ever evolving pilgrimage to death valley. They plan to finally die together, they didn't plan to learn how to live. Very honest and compelling story about life, death and the struggle in-between.

I loved all of the "Top 10 Lists" and the bits of humour laced through the book to lighten the mood. One of my favorite quotes is "Suddenly I grasped what was happening- they were all trying to save me. I never thought I was worth saving."

My Rating: 4/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Looking for Alaska by John Green, or Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hunger, by Jackie Morse Kessler - A Quick Review

Title: Hunger
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: 180 Pages
Rating: 5/5



*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she's been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, Hunger is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens.

My Review:

I was captivated by the premis of this story when I read the synopsis, and I have to say that it didn't disappoint. It was a true and honest look into the mind of a girl with an eating disorder set in a fantasy world. A fellow reviewer worded it best saying, "The concept of someone starving herself on purpose being forced to see people starving because they have no choice really pulled me into this story, and I couldn’t wait to see how the author was going to tackle it." TO

Lisa was believable and engaging, a character that I was able to connect with and easily enter into her world. The writing style was fantastic. There were lots of funny moments thrown in with the serious ones, and I found myself feeling hungry many times while reading the book just from the realism in her words.

Quick read and a great start to what will be a great series!

My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

I don't know if I've read anything quite like Hunger, but maybe the same feel as Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Amazon has it paired with books such as: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia, Annexed by Sharon Dogar, and Crazy by Han Nolan
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Amethyst Bound - Quick Review

Title: Amethyst Bound
Author: L. Shannon
Genre: Fiction - Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 432 Pages
Rating: 3.5/5



*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Toni Giovanni is a thief...although she prefers to call it the high-risk recovery business. Her current job feels suspiciously easy-until a mysterious artifact draws her into an ancient prophecy and binds her soul to a spirited dragon named Amethyst.
But Toni isn't quite ready to be taken over by a dragon, even if Amethyst's appetite for sexy archaeologist Dr. Ben Davis mirrors Toni's own. And she's got a big problem on her hands: turns out the prophecy predicts that dragons will end the world...and there are many more dragons out there.
Toni's going to need all the help she can get.

My Review:

I really wanted to like this book. I loved the premis and the characters. The world building was there, but it just needed more meat. Being a novella, it was understandably shorter, but it had to rush through some things that I really wish had been explored, and the relationships progressed way too fast. I found myself wishing that there was another half to the book that filled in the jumps that were made in the story line.

All in all I was left wanting more, which is a good thing. I will probably read the other two books in the trilogy when they are released as I really did like Shannon's take on the dragon lore. I would recommend this book if you are looking for a quick and light Paranormal Romance.

My Rating: 3.5/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Spy Glass - I hope it's not the last!


Title: Spy Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Adventure
Page Count: 432 Pages
Rating: 5/5


*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The 3rd book in the Glass (or Opal Cowan) series. If you haven't read the first two books there will be spoilers in this review.

An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice. After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood - and that finding it might let her regain her powers, or know they are lost forever.


My Review:

The world of Ixia and Sitia that Maria V Snyder has crafted just keeps getting better with every tale. I was again swept off my feet by Opal's adventure. I just couldn't put this one down. I think Spy Glass may just be my favorite of all the books.

I loved getting to explore the other side of the coin from Yelena's struggles in the Study Series. Yelena had too much power and sometimes wished to be rid of it, and now Opal has to struggle with the loss and want for power. Seeing through Opal's eye's made it easier for me to understand why the blood magic spread.

Spy Glass was full of action and had lots of surprises along the way. Many old friends were woven into the story, which solidified it for me. I love that I was kept guessing throughout the book (and series) and I was really pleased with how the ending gave some finality without closing all the doors to future stories.

I hope that Maria continues to write in this world, as I would love to read more about the Sitians and Ixians. Throwing out my hopes here; but I would love a story on Reegan.

Wonderful book and a fantastic series!


My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

Storm Glass/Sea Glass & The Study (Yelena Zaltana) Series by Maria V. Snyder, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy) by Kristin Cashore, or Eragon by Christopher Paolini.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Clockwork Angel - 5 Stars

Title: The Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 496 Pages
Rating: 5/5

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets.
Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.


My Review:

Such a fun read! It was everything I loved about The Mortal Instruments trilogy set in the 1800s London. The new characters were just as engaging, I loved Tessa, Jem and Will just as much as I loved Clary, Simon, and Jace.

Cassandra Clare didn't skimp on the world building, not relying on her previous series, she sculpted a beautiful and dark story that had me hooked from the start.

Being the first in a trilogy there was a lot of open ends but other than that (which is to be expected and totally fine) I was thoroughly pleased with this book. I'm sure I'm going to like The Infernal Devices just as much as The Mortal Instruments series.


My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare, Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatric, or The Demon's Lexicon Series by Sarah Rees Brennan.

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Sea Glass - A Great Sequel

Title: Sea Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Adventure
Page Count: 448 Pages
Rating: 5/5


Book’s Description:

Student glass magician Opal Cowan's newfound ability to steal a magician's powers makes her too powerful. Ordered to house arrest by the Council, Opal dares defy them, traveling to the Moon Clan's lands in search of Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks because she is sure another man now her prisoner has switched souls with Ulrick. In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn't sure whom to trust. She can't forget Kade, the handsome Stormdancer who doesn't want to let her get close. And now everyone is after Opal's special powers for their own deadly gain....


My Review:

I liked this one a lot more than Storm Glass. Maybe it was because the world/characters and the idea of the glassmaking was fully established, or because so much of the story was outside of the keep, but this time around there seemed to be a lot more adventure and excitement.

Opal starts to stand up for herself, in Sea Glass, which I found very refreshing. There was a lot of Janco in this one, and seeing as how he's one of my favourite of Maria's characters I was very pleased. The progress of the story and character development was perfect for me and I was again quite pleased with the ending.

My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

Storm Glass & The Study (Yelena Zaltana) Series by Maria V. Snyder, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy) by Kristin Cashore, or Eragon
by Christopher Paolini.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Study Series = A Fantastic Adventure!

Title: Study Series
Books: Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Adventure
Page Count: 416 - 448 Pages
Rating: 5/5






The Study Series:

I got Storm Glass and Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder (The covers grabbed my eye from the book section at Wal-Mart) but was waiting for Spy Glass to come out to start reading them. Some may think it strange but I do that all the time, I hate cliffhangers! I was so happy when NetGalley gave me the ARC for Spy Glass to review. Imagine my chagrin when I opened Storm Glass and found out it was a sequel series! Now with 60 days before the timeout on the ARC, I had to read all 6 books, not a big deal for full-time reviewers I suppose, or you crazy fast readers out there, but a huge YIKES! for me. I’m now in the middle of Sea Glass and am so happy for this little mistake because I really loved the Study Series and wouldn’t have found them if Opal hadn’t called to me from that bookshelf!

I’m going to split up the review for the 3 books and give quick sum-ups and reviews for each instead of clumping them together. So here we go…

Poison Study:



Book’s Description:

Choose: A quick death . . . or slow poison . . .About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve.She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace -- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting.Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control.Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear . . .

My Review:

Yelena had her reasons for killing Reyed, but in the land of Ixia the penalty for killing is death, regardless. She is about to end her year-long stay in the dungeon with her hanging. That is until she is given the choice between execution and becoming the food taster for the Commander (ruler of Ixia). She takes her chances with this new dangerous job and has to live day to day wondering if the next meal would be her last.

The story was interesting enough with just the concept of Yelena’s battle for how and when she would die, but then interwoven was the aspect of the banned magicians and Yelena’s awakening to that magic. Great characters and world building made for a story that I got totally lost in (in a good way). As always I loved the twists in the story and was quite pleased with how it turned out.

A word of caution; this series has a lot of violence (especially toward women) and the graphic nature may be disturbing for younger teens or people with a sensitivity to reading about sexual and physical abuse. Obviously there is a reason for it and it’s paramount to the story but I know some people who would want to have a heads up.

My Rating: 5/5


Magic Study:



Book’s Description:

If you haven’t read Poison study yet there will be spoilers from here on out…
Yelena is a survivor.Kidnapped as a child, held prisoner as a teen, then released to act as a poison taster, she is now a student of magic.But these magic skills place her in imminent danger, and with an execution order on her head, she has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth.But nothing in Sitia is familiar.Not the family to whom she is a stranger.Not the unsettling new facets of her powers.Not the brother who resents her return.As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her powers, a rogue magician emerges -- and Yelena catches his eye.Suddenly she is embroiled in a situation not of her making.And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her life . . . or be her downfall.

My Review:

Now in the land of her birth, Yelena must learn to accept and learn to use her powers. With girls going missing and people making her out to be a spy, every minute counts. In this second book of the Study Series we get to see many different clans and their villages all over Sitia as Yelena tries to help track down the kidnapper.

This one kept me guessing even more than the first. It had a unique feel to it with more dominance being put on the magic aspect of Yelena’s training over the physical training in the first book. We get introduced to a whole new array of characters but of course the main characters from the first book make appearances along the way. Great read, I ate this one up!

My Rating: 5/5


Fire Study:



Book’s Description:

If you haven’t read Poison/Magic study yet there will be spoilers from here on out…
The apprenticeship is over— now the real test has begun.When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy.Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart.As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.…Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward.Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty.Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

My Review:

Turns out there is something that Yelena is afraid to face...herself

Again, I loved this one. Maria had me hooked 'till the last word. Set mainly in Sitia Yelena tries to discover her own powers while battling a seemingly endless list of people who want her dead. She starts to wonder if the Commander was right to try and destroy magic all along. Now that she had grown to love both Sitia and Ixia, can Yelena choose between them in the war that is brewing? With lots of twists thrown in along the way I couldn't put it down.

This is the final book in the trilogy and it ends well enough that Maria could leave Yelena’s story or come back to it after the Glass Series (I just posted the review to Storm Glass, the 1st book in that series. I know I posted backwards oops!). Fantastic series! I’m so glad that I found it!

My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked:

The Glass Series by Maria V. Snyder, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy) by Kristin Cashore, or Eragon
by Christopher Paolini.
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Storm Glass - Opal's Story - A Quick Review


Title: Storm Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Adventure
Page Count: 448 Pages
Rating: 4/5



The first in the companion series to the Study series by Maria V. Snyder. This story fallows Opal, Tula's younger sister that we met it Magic Study. 

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

My Review:

Enjoyable story, Opal is somewhat the opposite of Yelena when it comes to magic. She doesn't wish for less power but for more. She's a one trick pony and doesn't feel worthy of training at the keep. When she's asked to help with a mission by the Master Magicians it's the start of her journey towards accepting her powers and her role in Sitia.

Maria brought in some familiar characters as well as crafting some great new ones, and you get to discover more of Sitia outside of the Citadel.

Great read, I would have given it a 5 star rating but I didn't like it as much as the Study series books so I had to knock it down a bit. Definitely lots of potential in Opal's story can't wait to start Sea Glass!

You'll like this series if you liked:

The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy) by Kristin Cashore, or Eragon
by Christopher Paolini.




My Rating: 4/5

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