Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
Paperback, 379 pages
Published: October 23rd 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he'd dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
Kagawa is more than a writer to me. She is an artist that can vividly depict situations and characters to the point it feels as if I am there with them. The Lost Prince is no exception to this. We dive back into the Iron Fey world, but from the perspective of Meghan's younger brother, Ethan. I was curious to see how he would be woven into the storyline from the previous series. I have to say, I really love the direction the world is taking now. However, this book contains enormous spoilers for Meghan's series, so I would highly recommend reading those before beginning this one. This is one that is going on my "highly recommend" shelf for everyone!

Ethan is an interesting character to get to know. A first glance I thought he was going to be a horribly broody character that would be difficult to read. Well, I was wrong, at least about him being difficult to read. He is broody, but he definitely has his reasons. The world that his sister lives in has haunted and tormented him since he was child and the effects of that are ever present. While he considers this to be an annoyance, it actually works out in his favor when he is thrown into the mix of the Fey world. Along the way we get to meet some old friends, Meghan and Ash, and Ethan's perspective gives them a whole new maturity and meaning to me. It actually helped me understand and know them better, for the good and the bad of them. There is a whole new slew of new friends that we meet, including a particularly interesting Fey, Keirran. I am afraid to reveal too much, but I will say you would find the prequel novella, Iron Prophecy, highly entertaining in relevance to him. Love the character though, his history truly shows in his actions and personality. I can't wait to see more of him. It feels as if we barely got to know Kenzie St. James, even though we see her quite a bit, but I have a feeling we're going to get a lot closer to her as the story progresses. She has the perfect attitude and openness that Ethan needs in his life right now for stability and in a confidant. I believe she will continue to chip away those thick walls Ethan erected to protect his most precious asset, his heart.  

Oh, how I love the storyline in this series. It has a wonderful mixture of mystery, romance, and thrills that kept the pages turning. All of this with the addition of the awesome details Kagawa adds to make it truly her own. An example of this is with the Kali descriptions as Ethan is practicing and performing. Absolutely beautiful. There is also a well balanced amount of time spent on action and down-time. It keeps you heart in a constant push and shove and the pacing steady and exhilarating. The transition from the first series' plot to  this one is smooth and incorporates the previous concepts to the new seamlessly. I am very curious to see how the Forgotten play out and how Ethan, Kenzie, and Kierran determine the end game with them. They are a very intriguing antagonist. I have a feeling there is a whole other side of them that we haven't seen yet and it may not turn out the way it is originally implied. Everyone needs a champion for them, right? ;) 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Hardcover, 525 pages
Published: May 1st 2012 by HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book:  Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

"New York Times" bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian "Divergent" series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
     Of course the anticipation for this book was high with everyone that had read Divergent last year. After that stunning debut, many were hoping the magic could be repeated with its sequel. Thankfully, hopes and dreams do come true occasionally and Roth knocked it out of the park again.
      We get to know the characters a lot more this time around. Tris and Four are really dynamic in this installment and their interactions were sometimes hit or miss with me. Their relationship has to go through several hurdles and they grow in their personalities as a result. Is it for the best? Eh, we will see next time around probably. I loved getting to know the other factions better this time. It was great learning some of their intricacies and downfalls within them. All this builds around a very hurtful betrayal by a character that might have been thought to be steady as a rock. Roth keeps the intrigue going as the character list evolves and digs deeper into turmoil.
     There was no lack of action in Insurgent, very much like Divergent. It is deeply entwined with the characters and the roller coaster of emotions that they go through, and subsequently you as well. Roth is clever with the situations that emerge and confront our heroes. She always provides a few events that make me stop and think, "Wait, what?!" Ugh, the ending though. It's sad that the book had to end, let alone leave you walking off the page like that. It only builds the anticipation for the next book which, by the way this is building, should be astronomical in proportions!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Feature & Follow - Oct. 12, 2012

 
Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a way to connect with fellow bloggers! First, blog about  Feature & Follow and weekly question, then leave your name on the Linky list, and visit as many blogs as you can on the list and tell them "Hi!" in their comments on their FF post. You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!
 
Q: What book do you think would make a great Halloween movie? Please explain in graphic detail of goriness…
 
Ok, I'm not good at writing graphic goriness, because I love just traditional zombie-ness and all its goodness. So, with that considered, I would go with Jonathan Maberry's Rot & Ruin. One, I love the story in it, some of it is cliche, but I love its flow and concepts. Two, I absolutely love the characters and already have my dream list of actors to play the characters. Due to my general boring-ness of an answer, please inform me of what your dream Halloween-book-to-movie selection would be!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Oct. 10, 2012

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme from Jill at Breaking the Spine. To join in, share the book or books that you are currently drooling over as you await their release and report back to Breaking the Spine with the link to your post. The gorgeous badge above is brought to us by Lindsay at The Violet Hour!

I love, love the synopsis on this one. I really hope it lives up to it!
GOWNS, GUYS, and GUNS....How could I pass that up??

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
Hardcover, 440 pages
Expected publication: December 6th 2012 by Dial
From Goodreads:
An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published: October 9th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads

From Goodreads:
Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal... and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.
     I absolutely loved the concept of this book and really wanted to love it in its entirety as well. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The synopsis feels very misleading after reading the book. I was looking for a book about a girl getting revenge on her killer. Instead, I was thrown into a world that revolved around the Departurists and I was confused by this. I do not know if this was merely me missing some steps, but others have commented on this as well when I asked around. I liked the details the book incorporated, but nothing seemed to mesh for me. 
     I couldn't get attached to Velveteen or her attitude especially. She felt likable enough but there were no characteristics that made me feel connected to her or to help understand her. There was no outstanding qualities or abilities. The synopsis made me think she would be a powerful character that would take charge. I never got to see this from her. She and the other characters were just puppets that floated from one scene to the next. The lack of cohesion in this book was too much for me to enjoy it. I may revisit it later, because I usually do not leave books with this result and want to re-confirm this evaluation. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - Oct. 6, 2012


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga, at Tynga's Reviews. It is a weekly meme that allows bloggers to show off their book hauls and wish for fellow bloggers' stashes. It is a great way for bloggers to socialize and network their blogs! To join in, follow Tynga's basic guidelines!

This week's edition is my book haul for the Southern Festival of Books and a few others that I had been waiting for their release. So without further ado.....


On the Left:

Inside The Raven Boys!












On the Right for the Southern Festival of Books:

  • Pure by Julianna Baggott
              by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
              (They join my Beautiful Chaos on the shelf!)


 Can't wait to see what everyone stacked up with!

Review: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
Paperback, 371 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by St. Martin's Press
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.
Here were meet Zoe. Typical, standard daughter until she starts to glitch, or disengage from the source that the community uses to control their members. Now, at first glance this premise is awesome. Love the idea and the continuing concepts that are spread throughout the book. However, it is Zoe herself that drags it down. She's never had to be strong, think on her own, or simply accept things that she cannot control. It takes some very hard lessons for her to learn some of these things. Even then she does not do them well, but I think she has very strong potential from just what I have seen so far.. Especially after she learns of glitchers' special talents and what can be done with them. Adrian was by far my favorite character. I liked him instantly for some reason and it broke my heart when he gained and almost simultaneously lost Zoe in so many ways. Teenage love story short, I'm rooting for him all the way!  
I am hoping that the story will pick up going at the same pace as this one ended. It is because this one started out extremely slow. You have to learn along with Zoe through her experiences. As I said before, this is a vicious cycle to have to deal with. After she starts getting her feet on the ground though the story starts to fly by and you are finished before you know it. This one is definitely a keeper and I can't wait to see where it goes next!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - October 3, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme from Jill at Breaking the Spine. To join in, share the book or books that you are currently drooling over as you await their release and report back to Breaking the Spine with the link to your post. The gorgeous badge above is brought to us by Lindsay at The Violet Hour!

The final book in another amazing series by Kelley Armstrong. Pick up the other two books and you will have to set aside a couple of days. You won't want to put them down!

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 9th 2013 by HarperCollins

Monday, October 1, 2012

Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Harper
Source: Purchased
Buy the book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.

But normal is one thing I'm not.

For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother--who just happens to be a sorcerer--but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf.

Not normal.

My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us--permanently.

Definitely not normal.

And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.

As far away from normal as it gets.
The darkest powers finally comes to a  close in this twisty-curvy finale. Chloe and her gang uncover a plethora of secrets and information that turn their worlds upside down. The first two books should definitely be read before picking this one up. If not, you will be lost for the entire book.
We pick up right where we left Chloe and her gang as they are hiding away from the Edison group. During this time a lot of changes happen and the gang has to grow up quickly. I was happy to see Chloe actually standing up this time around, she can finally hold her own. Unfortunately, she and the others still have issues with their powers and its really problematic for their journey. There is a lot of back story for Derek and Simon included this time around. They end up playing a larger part than what I originally thought. Romance drips off the pages of this book. Relationships begin, grow stronger, and end, but not necessarily the way you think they will. The book has a steady stream of action that keeps you rolling for a majority of the book. Plot twists and turns will have you second guessing everyone's motive for even breathing.
While this is the ending of an entire series, I feel that it should have either been condensed or another couple of books added. There are so many unanswered questions at the end. More needed to be said about the necklace, Chloe's mother, Tori's secret, and what in the world happens with the relationships. It's an excellent book for the series, but I think there is still so much that needs to be said.

 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley, ARC
Buy the book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha—that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me…something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing—and I don't know if I can get it back.

Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me….

 I could not wait to see how Rowen wrapped a story around her take on the angel and demon concepts. It is really a different look compared to many others that are on the market right now. The story and plot fall into place beautifully. They have just enough of action, romance, and intrigue to keep you interested and the story flowing. There were a couple of things that seemed odd or inconsistent at times, but they are too spoilery to put on here. Trust me, you'll recognize what I am talking about when you read it. It would also be nice if locations were shaken up some. It seemed everything happened in one or two spots. Otherwise, the characters follow a somewhat predictable path, but the twists that Rowen puts on the angel/demon lore make it worth while. It is one of those books that blurs the lines significantly and makes you wonder if you have ever been told the truth about them before...I love this way of thinking and writing in a book.

The characters were hit or miss with me. Sam is pretty straight up front: ordinary girl that turns extraordinary. There were times I couldn't completely connect with her, but for the most part she is an enjoyable character. I did get really tired of her being called "special." For the love of all that is holy, calm that down please... Bishop is a great character and love interest, but he and Sam's relationship seems so typical and contrived in an otherwise distinctive story. He needs to be brought up a notch or two in the bravery part as well. If this would happen I think I could fall for him on another level. However, Kraven was definitely my fav character in this book. He's snarky yet serious and has wonderful good and bad sides that make you want to hug him one minute and slap him the next. Rowen, if anything slows down in the story just insert one or two lines from him and it will make the scene! I hope that we can learn more about the characters in the next book. It feels like we just got the basics in this one. I think it would greatly help both with connecting with them and totally immersing the reader into this awesome story.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme from Jill at Breaking the Spine. To join in, share the book or books that you are currently drooling over as you await their release and report back to Breaking the Spine with the link to your post. The gorgeous badge above is brought to us by Lindsay at The Violet Hour!

I can't wait to get started on this series! I will be headed to the Southern Book Festival in October to meet these authors as well. Can't wait to put my books on the "signed by author" shelf!

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Hardcover, 576 pages
Expected publication: October 23rd 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

 From Goodreads:
Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by EgmontUSA
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.
Revisiting McEntire's world with Emerson was as eventful as always. However, this time we get to see it from Kaleb's point of view. Fortunately, there is a lot personality background work done this time around and it illuminates the inner workings of the characters. This is especially true for Kaleb and helped me understand what exactly made him the playboy that he is. It also means that there is more Lily this time around and you are in for a ride with her! I loved having more interactions with her this time. Em and Michael are back with their plights and sarcasm, but with everything coming from Kaleb's view they have whole new dimensions as well.
There is so much additional information in this installment. I believe McEntire must have waived holy water over the plot to keep it from completely bogging down. Whatever she did, it worked pretty well. Rips and secrets are deeply dug into and lays a definite path for the next book. I loved the details and thought-provoking aspects of the rips this time. I do wish that the book could have picked up the pace a little more though. It still carries a great steady pace, but it feels like it was just a notch below that of Hourglass. Regardless, the book is still a solid folllow-up and journey that you won't want to miss.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

 Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz
Paperback, 371 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Netgalley, ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads


From Goodreads:
After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although…it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a seventeen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain—especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close….But something dark and hungry is using Emma's and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in ├╝berspells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

Shultz's writing is absolutely some of my favorite. The quirks and personalities she gives her characters are very easy for me to relate to and follow. I really liked the growth in the main characters this time, especially Angelique. I'm happy that Emma advances and stays true to herself, but Angelique is definitely my favorite character in these books. I loved the fact that she now has bigger role in the grand scheme of things. Brendan, Brendan...He is still his wonderful self in this installment, but we get to learn more about him and why he is the way he is. Unfortunately, some things come up and it makes him even more protective and annoyingly broody. However, I am really glad they progressed in their relationship...get ready for some steamy scenes in this one! I liked the adversary a lot better this time. Instead of the sniveling fool we had before there is someone a little more worthy of battling this time. Overall, there was good character development this time, but there were a few things that were over the top.

The plot is both good and bad this time around. It is the book's greatest savior from over the top personality aspects, but is also its biggest demon for several reasons. The first is its predictability. If you pay any attention at all you will catch the not so subtle hints early on of what is to come and who is going to do it. Another aspect that really irritated me was the languishing love and sacrificing for each other. This is essential to the story I know, but it really went overboard and got old quickly. It is a good thing that these aspects were wrapped in a series of events that kept me turning the page. The action is kicked up a notch and the pitfalls keep coming. While it has its draw backs, Shultz's second installment will leave you satisfied and eager to see what is in store for next time.