Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Rapture by Lauren Kate

Rapture by Lauren Kate
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: NetGalley, ARC
Buy the book:  Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
RAPTURE, the fourth & final FALLEN novel, is the Lauren Kate book the world has been waiting for.

The sky is dark with wings. . . .

Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.

Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.

And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters. In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.
The series had really been hit or miss with me. The first book was ok, the following two were simply "eh, I've come this far, might as well continue on..." Now, I am glad I did. After all that these characters have been through, they realize there is always hope in humanity.
The story picks up where it left off in Passion. It takes a little bit for it to pick up, but their traveling to find the place where the angels fell does help speed things up. Here lies the obstacles that they have to deal with and forces that they have to eradicate. The journey with this was heartbreaking but yet invigorating. The plot line with Daniel, Luce, and Heaven becomes really interesting in this book. Kate had always before just alluded to certain aspects, but this time we get to learn more about how our heroes ended up the way they did. Kate's take on Heaven and the inner workings for it is not really conventional to what I know, but I do like it. For this story it fit well.
The sacrifices with Luce and Daniel are extreme. We lose friends and foes in this book, no one is safe. However, this helps everyone grow in many ways. They take it in stride and strive on to meet their goal..and sometimes their doom. The ending. Ah, the ending. The price for happiness can be extreme in reality, let alone in their fictional world. Here it is no different. These characters literally have faced Heaven and Hell to fix things...and those left standing have a few surprises and decisions to make. Overall, I enjoyed the book and the solid ending it was for this series. It will probably not be on my top favorite series of all time, but it is definitely one that you should consider if you are given the chance to.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Paperback, 296 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley, ARC
Buy the book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:


Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry's first wife, Persephone.
 Yep, Kate did it! She's won immortality and is set to be the Queen of the Underworld. Or so she thought. 

Kate and Henry are now married, but that's where the pleasantries end. Henry had redeemed himself a little at the end of Goddess Test, but now he completely goes off the deep end. His issues cause a great deal of problems and situations as the plot develops. He just can't let go of the past. Trust and communication are simply not the virtues in their relationship and it begins their downfall. Kate is left fighting to salvage their lives and futures. Aside from the obvious "out of reality" aspects, their relationship is actually quite believable and could happen in real life. 

The book provides a fast-paced journey through the characters trials and tribulations. I loved the banter between the different sets of characters. The quips kept the relationships between everyone from failing at times. The romance is a very small part of the equation. It keeps kindling the fiery plot the Carter methodically weaves. Everything explodes when Kate realizes she needs the one person that causes her so much pain with Henry, Persephone. I admire Kate's guts and determination, she holds her head high and pushes through. This ride keeps you guessing...and then lets you drop off a cliff at the end. Literally. Be warned, friends. This is a page turner and then drops the "cliffhanger bomb" directly on your head!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Ebook, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Purchased
Buy the book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:


It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.

 I loved the premise of this book. A friend had told me about it because they knew I loved mythology and usually appreciate creative revamps of them. This was definitely the case with The Goddess Test.
The leading lady, Kate, has to be one of the strongest and selfless protagonist I have ever encountered. The life she has led has not been easy and it appears to not be getting any better. I wept when I read scenes about her mother or the interactions between them. It was so dear and so like how my own mother and I were during her final days. If you had a strong relationship with your mother, be prepared for your heartstrings to be pulled in every way possible. 
Then she meets Ava and Henry and her life changes forever. The "tests" she endures are very fitting, even those she did not realize she was being tested with. I will admit I am not very fond of Henry at this point. He's a good character, but at this point he over does the "broody" part. I really liked the fact that this was not a typical love at first sight story. The path that their relationship and plot line aren't immediately stated. It gives the reader time to get to know the characters and grow with them. It is not a slow growth though. The book carries at a steady speed and you will be at the end before you know it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - July 18, 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!

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: October 23rd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
From Goodreads:
Fates unfurl in the gripping conclusion to the "New York Times" bestselling Hush, Hush saga.Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen Angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean that they will always be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. And yet their biggest challenge lies ahead. Can their love survive a seemingly insurmountable divide? The lines are drawn, but it's unclear which sides have been taken. And in the end, will there be enough trust left to rebuild what has been broken?
Finally, the long-awaited ending to this series. PLEASE, please be the redeemer for me and be an amazing book like Hush, Hush was!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Purchased
Buy the book:  Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.
 *Sigh* I had such hopes for this book. Cresendo was...well horrid in my opinion and I had hoped this would be the redeemer for it. Sadly, I was mistaken. 
The book suffers from major lack of plot. Nora doesn't have her memories and Patch is being...well, Patch I guess and just floating along. It is definitely written better in some minor aspects, but it still just doesn't have that little thing that jumps out and grabs you. I found myself just flipping through the pages saying to myself "Get on with it and get it over with." You can see what's going to happen five chapters back and there's just filler in between. And yes, I can probably write and outline of Finale at this point as well.
What saved this book for me, a little, was Patch, Jev, and Vee. Patch and Jev show a little of their true selves. I especially like Jev. Why? I don't know, there's just something about him. Vee. I really just wanted to smack her at times. I kept waiting to see what would happen next with her and her shenanigans though. She may be annoying but at least what was happening around her was usually interesting.
This one was definitely an improvement over the second book. However, it is still very lackluster compared to the first. I will probably read the final book, but it will be because I am already so invested in this series. I hope that the final book will be as good as Hush, Hush, but I simply want this series to be done already.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - July 11, 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!

Foretold by Jana Oliver
Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: August 2nd 2012 by Macmillan Children's Books
 From Goodreads:
Stand by as Riley prepares to kick some serious demon butt for the last time in this thrilling, dramatic and sexy conclusion to The Demon Trappers series.

Riley’s always known that Beck had a chequered history, but she’s not prepared for what it actually means to be in love with a guy with this many dark secrets. Now that he’s finally admitted to himself that he’s in love with her too, there’s no more hiding the truth about his past. And as it turns out, fending off a demon apocalypse is nothing compared to what’s to come...
 I have to hold off on this one till I read the third book! Hopefully I will be able to make time for it in August. I love the world and characters Oliver created. It is a never-ending ride in this series!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Soul Thief by Jana Oliver

Soul Thief by Jana Oliver
Paperback, US, 339 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Giveaway Win
Buy the book:  Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…

Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there's Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad.  With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.
But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever… 
 Yep, I dove right into this one immediately after finished book one. Oliver's world really opens up in the latest escapades of Riley and the Guild.

We enter in right at the point that Demon Trapper's Daughter ended and the Guild's world is turning upside down quickly. Everything they've known is slowly disappearing right before their eyes and their insecurities begin to show. All the characters struggle with this in some form or fashion in the book. Oliver does an amazing job writing and organizing the sequence of events. We get to see and learn about more the world and processes that rule Riley's life. The necromancers addition to this book is definitely a welcomed plus. And if you think the ending to DTD was enough to make you want the next book, this ending will show you levels of that you've not reached yet.

 Riley shows us that even a tough chick can have moments of weakness. However, it is usually the ways in which you deal with these issues is what defines you. This is definitely the case for Riley. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that she is a teenager, until something breaks her and she wants hot chocolate!
A slew of characters take action in the book. Some we have met before, but only in passing. Peter gets to stand up and put his "big boy" britches on this time. I liked getting to see him grow up in these situations. Ori. Oh dear, Ori. There is trouble and temptation in its greatest form, but he sucks you right in and you will love his scenes. Especially those between him and Beck. Beck was again my favorite part of the book. The story could be told solely form his POV and I would be happy. I had hoped to see more interactions between Beck and Riley in this book. Unfortunately, I understand Oliver's path for them at this time and they just need to deal with their issues before anything can grow. I did come to like a couple of other characters that I had not expected to. Mortimer, the necromancer, reminds me of Alfred from Batman. The man just has class.
Oliver holds true to form with the second book of the Demon Trappers Series. I can't wait till I have time to read the third and then anxiously await the release of the fourth!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
Paperback, US Edition, 340 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin 
Source: Giveaway Win
Buy the book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
Demon Trapper Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself—and that’s exactly what Lucifer is counting on…

It’s the year 2018, and with human society seriously disrupted by the economic upheavals of the previous decade, Lucifer has increased the number of demons in all major cities. Atlanta is no exception. Fortunately, humans are protected by Demon Trappers, who work to keep homes and streets safe from the things that go bump in the night. Seventeen-year-old Riley, only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing attraction to fellow Trapper apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving citizens from Grade One Hellspawn. Business as usual, really, for a demon-trapping teen. When a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood, she realizes that she’s caught in the middle of a battle between Heaven and Hell.
 I won this book as a set with the second book in a giveaway. I am glad I won this version with the original cover. I am not overly fond of the new prints, even though I will have to get the third and fourth books in them. I was curious about the premise and had honestly doubted I would not care too much for the book itself. The awesomeness that I discovered in this book cannot be explained in words. Buy or borrow it, you won't be disappointed!
You walk right into the meat of the story on page one. I immediately got an understanding of Riley and the unfortunate luck that she has. I believe this is why I connected with her so well, we have similar luck and I could almost predict what would happen to her next. It was hilarious and horrible for her at the same time. Her relationship with her father will warm and hurt you heart at the same time. He is such a source of strength for Riley in so many ways. This girl knows how to take a beating and keep on kicking!
Beck. Oh wow, Beck. He is my favorite character in the book, especially his drawl. You will love him in one minute and then physically shake him in the next. I really love the fact that we get to see things from his POV as well. Really adds a quality to the story, his personality and their relationship that we wouldn't otherwise have. He has to deal with a lot of issues within himself. 
Simon. Meh. I could do with or without him I think. He is just there for me a lot of the time and really needs to slapped with good dose of "anti-naive" medicine. 
While there are few small speedbumps along the way that slow it down, the world Oliver created will hold you till the very end. It is really surreal to read about zombies in this perspective. Could our society actually go that direction? Hmm.... I'll leave it at that. I'll admit that sometimes the demon appearances are very predictable. And yes, you will probably know the results of the incidents with the demons. BUT. You will love every minute of it and keep turning the page to see what happens. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - July 4, 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!

Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver
Expected publication:  October 23, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
The much anticipated conclusion to the Legacy trilogy by Cayla Kluver! The first book only gets you into the story and the second latches onto you for dear life.
See my reviews of Legacy and Allegiance.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Allegiance by Cayla Kluver

Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
Paperback, 490 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley, ARC
Buy the book:  Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn't help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive.

An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return...

Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.

Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....
Ok, I didn't have as much love for Legacy as I thought I would. So, when I was about to start Allegiance I was really afraid it would suffer "Second Book Syndrome" and be worse. Good thing I did take a chance on this one. It turned out to be one of the rare cases that the second book greatly surpassed the first!

The book picks up shortly after the end of Legacy. If you haven't read it, don't read this one until you do. The amount of details you will not know will be monumental.
The plot and minor story lines really pick up in this book. Real drama, intrigue, and mystery made this installment a treat to read compared to the first. The story slows down in several parts, but I can understand why to a point. It is necessary to see a peek of such young queens thoughts and actions, but some routine things should be cut. Secrets become prevalent, but it greatly adds that little something that the plot needed. Now there is more wonder, excitement, and tough decisions for the characters. The results of their choices were probably not what they had hoped, but it does set up for a wonderful third book. 
This book does a great job at really letting us see the characters from a different perspective and more in-depth within their personalities. An excellent example of this is Steldor. I really disliked him in the first book, but I get to see a new him in this book. Be prepared, I actually liked the man by the end of the book and I never thought I would say that. Narian only makes slight appearances here and there, but those instances really make a difference. The one that really intrigues me in this book is London. He's holding a lot of information back I believe. I think I know where a lot of these secrets and "lost" information is heading. Unfortunately, I will have to wait for third book to find out. I see an amazing conclusion to this series in the works if Kluver's writing continues to grow and improve like this. :)