Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - January 30, 2013

 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!

Love, LOVE this series and author! I really wish Harlequin Teen hadn't started changing the covers, but I can understand their reasons. Check Julie's and Harlequin's Twitter feeds for some more exciting news about the author!

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: April 23rd 2013 by Harlequin Teen

From Goodreads:
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Own
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
Enter the world of the internationally bestselling Iron Fey series. Dangerous faeries. Heartbreaking romance. Thrilling action and limitless adventure. The world of the fey has never been so powerful. This collection includes three novellas set in the world of the Iron Fey plus the Guide to the Iron Fey with exclusive information about Julie Kagawa's unforgettable world of Faery.

Winter's Passage

Never make a promise to a faery. They always come to collect. Now Meghan Chase must fulfill her promise to Prince Ash of the Winter Court and embark upon a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory—while being pursued by a relentless new foe and guarding her own foolish heart.

Summer's Crossing

What can turn enemies into reluctant allies? A call from the Exile Queen, Leanansidhe, ties legendary prankster Puck to his archenemy, Prince Ash, on a journey that may end in betrayal and will set them both on an irreversible path.

Iron's Prophecy

Before she ever knew what she might become, Iron Queen Meghan Chase was warned by the oracle that her firstborn child would bring nothing but grief. And even as Meghan and Ash celebrate their long-awaited union, the prophecy stirs.…

Three Iron Fey novellas for the first time in print!
Oh, how do I love this series! The book includes two previously released, free novellas from Kagawa that connected Meghan's series and also the new novella that connects Meghan's to Ethan's new series, The Lost Prince: The Call of the Forgotten. As a true Iron Fey fan, I just had to have them all in print and settled on the bookshelf with its family. Not to mention that Iron's Prophecy is another continuation on Meghan and Ash's story. I'll read anything with Ash in it and it is no secret that this novella is where the couple learns to live life as a true couple and, um, expand upon things. I love "connecting" books like this that allow me to see how the characters grow even further and how their story affected their lives. It's been such a long time since I have read Winter's Passage and Summer's Crossing that I will not review them here. Winter's Passage is Ash's novella story that connects the first two books and Summer's Crossing is Puck's Story that connects the third and fourth books. My pick is Ash's story, but Puck's is hilarious due to his POV and sense of humor. I'll let you decide between the two, just be sure to read them! :)

As previously mentioned, Iron's Prophecy connects The Iron King series to the Call of the Forgotten series, falling in right after The Iron Knight. Here we learn of what life is like post "Ash's Crusade"/marriage to Meghan and find out about a new web that is weaving in the Iron Fey world. The synopsis basically gives away all of it to be honest. However, what you don't see is the maturity and regal persona that Meghan excretes as an experienced Iron Queen. In response to this new level of enlightenment, you also receive a deep relationship between Ash and Meghan as they solidify their life and family together. It truly is a great way to leave their story behind and allows readers to make the transition to Meghan's child and brother Ethan's story...with Puck tucked in for the ride!

The book also includes a Guide to the Iron Fey. I thought it was an awesome addition and would actually highly recommend this concept to other authors. It can help understand the story better and in this case provide some hilarious aspects of the world that you may have not realized otherwise.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
Ebook, 292 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Own
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. 
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?
So sad to reach the end of this series, but it has to stop somewhere like all the good ones. Lucky for us, this one ends after a whirlwind set of events and a new, impressive main character. Much like the second book, The Dead-Tossed Waves, it has a "companion" feel rather a sequel. At least this one has a concurrent time frame with its predecessor instead of being a generation after The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Annah impressed me from page one. She has lived a tough life and it just got worse after Elias left. Scarred from a childhood incident, she shields herself from human interaction and runs on survival mode. These characteristics make her shine, but do cause issues as she is met with a set of circumstances that she cannot control.They also made the story so great to read from her perspective, especially seeing Gabry in her eyes and recognizing their differences. It is amazing how their different childhoods affected each one of them. One child that is headstrong and the other is more of a "go with the flow" and adjust personality. Additionally, Annah's attitude vastly changes the lives of Tristan, Elias, and Gabry by pushing them over limits they couldn't even fathom and even breaking the mold on some of Tristan's misconceptions. 

Due to only hearing about Annah from the other characters' POV, we basically have to spend the first part of the book learning about her and her shaded past. It can be slow at times, but I promise it is interesting and really helps you understand her personality. The groundwork was laid better than with Gabry and I found that this helped me form a connection to Annah that I couldn't with her. After this period, however, the plot explodes and snowballs downhill in a gut-wrenching ride. The architectural descriptions and events in the Dark City were some of my favorites; they actually made me stop and think about "what if" and how our society would react in those situations. I also think that readers may be surprised how the so-called "love triangle/quadrangle" turns out. Yes, it was a little predictable, but it sure wasn't an easy resolution! The only thing I have to squabble about a little is the ending. It almost felt like an afterthought or a conclusion to a "middle of the series" book rather than a finale to a series. I read the last page and thought "That's it?" I think it needed an epilogue or another chapter to solidify it more. Otherwise, this was my favorite book and lead character of the series and definitely worth waiting for!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - January 23, 2013

  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!

 This is going to be one of my top "waiting for" books of the year. I'm reading Beautiful Darkness right now and can't wait to see what Stohl has come up with now! They also stated a few months ago that we will probably be able to see the different writing styles once their individual books come out. It's going to be interesting....
Icons by Margaret Stohl
Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
From Goodreads: 
Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Ebook, 321 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Own
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads

From Goodreads:

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
     The "Forest" Series exists in a world that I wonder if we may end up in one day. I believe that is why I have such a connection to it. Unfortunately, this book suffers from a horrible case of "second book syndrome" even though it is more of a companion novel instead of a sequel. 

     One of the best aspects of TDTW is that it comes from Gabry's point of view. She is Mary's daughter, but definitely doesn't take things like Mary does. Gabry, while it does cause her to be a little dull at times, has a contentment about her and is happy with the life that she has been living. This is completely different than her determined mother who came off with a "I'm going to conquer the world or burn it" attitude. Fortunately, it does suit the plot, but does cause it to drag sometimes as it coincides with her complacency. 
     However, this book does the "love triangle" better than most. In the beginning, we meet Catcher as Gabry sets out on a journey to find herself. Along the way we pick up Elias, who brings a whole new persona into the situation. Each guy has redeeming qualities and of course cons, but I can honestly say I don't think either choice would be bad. Alas, it would not be that easy for Gabry. In what is probably the most exciting part of the book, this whole situation changes in one second and the choice is taken from her...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Covet by Melissa Darnell

Covet by Melissa Darnell
Ebook, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads

From Goodreads:
Dangerous to be together. Painful to be apart.
Savannah Colbert knows she broke up with Tristan Coleman for the right reasons. Most of all, to keep from killing him with her new vampire abilities. But try telling her heart. Now, lost in a sea of hostile Clann faces, Sav tries to come to terms with what she's becoming and what that means for her future. And that someone is doing their best to bully her into making a terrible mistake.
Tristan can't believe Sav won't even talk to him. If being apart is her decision, fine. Just don't expect him to honor it. But even as he prepares to fight for the girl he loves, forces beyond their control take them both in directions neither could have foreseen or prepared for.
A reckoning is coming...and not everyone will survive. 
 The Clann series keeps getting better and better! Crave was a great introduction to Savannah's world, but Covet gives it that "oomph" that the plot desperately needed. 

We pick up exactly where Crave left off and the book begins the first of many star-crossed lover's scenarios between Sav and Tristan. This would be one of the few complaints I have about the book. I know there needs to be some angst in it, but it could be dropped down a notch or so. It becomes very predictable and at times incredibly annoying. The characters are what made me get attached to the series, but this grinds on that to a degree. 

On the positive side of the spectrum, the plot got the guts it needed from the beginning. Once it starts to roll, it doesn't really slow down until the end of the book. This is definite improvement over the first book. It felt more in-depth and connected with the characters and really sucked me into what they were feeling and experiencing. The culminating events really threw me for a loop because of this and it was amazing. I laughed, and cried especially, along with Sav and the gang. I still feel that Sav needs to be able to catch a break a little more often, but her luck makes for a great ride for the reader. I loved that I got to learn a lot more history and background information on the organizations and Sav's family. Although, sometimes it hurt to know the back story and then experience the events Sav goes through. It is one of the many great aspects of the book. I can't wait to see where Darnell runs with this after Covet's ending... :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - January 9, 2013

 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 Rachel Hawkins' wit and humor! I can't wait to dig back into the Hex Hall world with Izzy and see where Hawkins takes her story!

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: May 14th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
Pre-order:  Amazon : B&N

From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter
Ebook275 pages
Published July 31, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Buy the Book:  Amazon : B&N : Goodreads
From Goodreads:
For millennia we've caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.

Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness....

Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal....

Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another....

James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others-but never knew true loss before....

Henry/Hades's solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope...

     The Goddess series has been one of my favorites from the get-go. I love the author's perspective on the mythology and this installment took it a whole new level. It is a wonderful experience to see how the characters are developed in the series, let alone this opportunity to peer into the back story.

     The reader gets to know the ENTIRE set of events that eventually lead up to the first book in the series. There is so much information in each story that it is both a blessing and hindrance. It is an amazing ride learning all the little details in the gods and goddesses lives that have made them as they are to us today. The reader gets to experience the highs and lows, especially the betrayals, and gain a full perspective on the characters. A couple I could even say it changed my views on them because I understood why they have the personality that they do. However, it can be an overload of info at times and I did end up flipping through a few pages to get to the next section or story. Other than that, this is an excellent addition the series and should definitely be on your shelves!