Saturday, September 14, 2013

Book Review : The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Author: Samantha Shannon
Release Date: August 20th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
4.5 Stars - Really loved this book

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.
Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

First of all, I went into this with the wrong expectations.  I honestly thought that a book with this much hype from anything mainstream, would have no paranormal aspect at all.  I did not realize it was sci-fi/paranormal crossover.  Needless to stay I had to adjust my thinking when reading and open my mind to a more diverse unexpected world.  
I was completely drawn in with this authors writing style.  She really pulls you in and makes you understand the main character Paige, and where she comes from.  She weaves an intricate imaginative plot that will leave you turning every page for more.  It is a truly original story with everything you could want in this kind of cross over.  From subtle romance, to heart pounding action.  I am eagerly awaiting another installment of this world, and anything else this new author will put to page! 

Synopsis and photo courtesy of Goodreads          


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eon and Eona The Last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman

Series Review
Author : Alison Goodman
Release Dates: August 31st, 2008 and April 19th, 2011
Publisher:  Puffin Canada and VIKING by Penguin
4.5 Stars - Really loved this duo

Synopsis: (Eon)
Also Known As: Two Pearls of Wisdom, Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye, and Eon (All the same book just published with different publishers)
Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragon-eye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon's affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court, where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. As tension builds and Eon's desperate lie comes to light, readers won't be able to stop turning the pages.

I am not going to include the synopsis for Eona, because...well SPOILERS! I am very glad that I finally picked up this duo after sitting my shelf for so long.  Eona was nominated for as ALA  Teen's Top Ten Nominee in 2012, and I can see why.  How about some cover love too? The first is not the original cover, and I like this one much better then the original.  I loved this duo, there was heart, compassion, wisdom and even a small love story.  The plot was not about the love story, I think that is why I loved these so much.  There were great fight scenes, magic and the best part -----DRAGONS.  How can you not like a story with dragons? If you get past the political posturing in the first part of book one, you will not be disappointing.  You have to read that to understand this world, and where Eon stands in it.  
I recommend these books to anyone, I truly believe this story expands genres and anyone would love them.

photo's courtesy of Goodreads

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

ARC Review - Gameboard Of The Gods by Richelle Mead

Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Adult
3.5 Stars - I liked it (and yet still on the fence about it)

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

I am a huge fan of Mead's Vampire Academy and Succubus series.  When I saw that she was putting out a brand new trilogy I instantly jumped on the chance to read it.  To me, the cover says YA genre but I would like to almost categorize this is the "New Adult" genre that is becoming more popular.  Whether you are for or against this new genre, this definitely can not be categorized as Young Adult.  I was a little set off balance when I started this book, thinking that it Young Adult and consequently had to change my approach to this read. 
I was very disappointed by the lack of character development in this book.  I do tend to compare an author to their previous works.  These characters fell flat compared to the brave vivacious Rose Hathaway, or the snarky headstrong Georgina Kincaid.  I did like Mae, she was sexy and mysterious, but still lacked the heart to any of her previous female characters.  I did not really like Justin, but I don't think Mead wrote him as a character to be liked. 
I did like the world that she created.  It was imaginative and compelling.  It is definitely a possible future of our current society.  The premise to eliminate all religion because it only causes war and strife within people is something not out of the imagination.      
Ultimately this is a well written novel, even if I did not relate to the characters. It is an ambitious project, and I applaud her for taking this next step. 
Thank you NetGalley for this ARC, and this is my honest review. 

photo and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Friday, May 3, 2013

ARC Book Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: May 14th, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
4 Stars - I liked it

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? 

This is my first time reading anything by this author.  I have heard good things about her Hex Hall series, but alas the mountian TBR pile still awaits.  I might have to move Hex Hall up in my TBR series because I really did enjoy School Spirits.  
Being a mother of a teenager, I love the bond between Isolde and her mother.  So many YA novels leave out any parental figure.  Not that their relationship is a perfect, but at least she seems to have a role in her life!  The premise kind of reminded me of Grimm, just in a YA novel with female protagonist.  The supporting cast of characters compliment Isolde with the normal BFF, to the hot BF prospect.  Hawkins delivers funny, smart, snarky one liners at appropriate times.  She even takes the female leads seemingly solemnly name of Isolde and gives her a cute nickname of Izzy. The overall plot of this book, fighting this horrible ghost, pales in comparison to the plot that is just starting in the search of her Isolde's missing sister.  This was a quick, fun, light read I definitely recommend, and I will pick up the next book!  Thanks NetGalley for the opportunity to review this early!

****** I am saddened to hear from Andye from ReadingTeen that Hawkins tweeted to her that there will not be anymore Izzy and Dex for now.  I hope that at some point she can continue this series, I think it is a perfect cute quick read, and would like to read more.****** Here is a link to Andye's review

Synopsis and photo courtesy of Goodreads 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: Clockwork Princess


Author: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: March 19th, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books


Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

I know I am a little bit behind the times, like everyone else finished this book a month ago! I just really wanted breath this book in and enjoy every moment, especially since City of Heavenly Fire is still almost a year away! I guess we do get a movie in four months, which is nice! 
First of all, what an amazing cover.  I fell in love with it the very first time I saw it.  I love that Tessa is holding a book, so perfect of a way to represent her.  
I feel like I have said these words over and over again, Cassandra Clare is an exquisite story teller!  From her characters, to her plot the entire reading journey is fantastic.  She balances her novels with funny anecdotes about ducks and demon pox, to serious issues as the love of family and friends.  I like the tie ins to The Mortal Instruments, where in your own head as you read, a light bulb clicks on, and your like....oohhh!!! I get it now! Those parts where things clicked and meshed together. I also really enjoyed learning the lineage of some of my all time favorite characters, such as Jace and Isabelle. 
Clare is known for her wicked cliff hanger endings, but in this book she ties up all loose ends.  It is an amazing ending to a wonderful series.  You will laugh, and sob uncontrollable.  You will also sit there with your mouth hanging open letting in flies in utter shock!  I was blown away!       
I am sad that this series had to come to an end.  All good stories must, and this one ended so beautifully that I am ok with it.  
If you have not read The Mortal Instruments, or The Infernal Devices, I wholeheartedly recommend that you!

Photo and Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads 


Monday, April 8, 2013

AudioBook Review: Fragments by Dan Wells (Partials #2)

Author: Dan Wells

Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Publisher: Balzar + Bray / Harper Audio
Narrator: Julia Whelan
4 Stars - I really liked it

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence--it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity's time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means--and even more important, a reason--for our survival.

I honestly had a hard time getting through the first half of this book.  It was slow, and seemed drawn out.  I felt the despair of the characters and it honestly depressed me!  Once I got about two thirds through I was hooked back in.  Dan Wells militaristic style of writing is not lacking in any department.  The character development continues in this second book, while also incorporating more details into previous characters from the first book.  The plot gets deeper and more intricate.  You can almost see the web of the plot weaving people and events together.   

This is a frightening realistic look into a possible future of the human race.  This book turns into a gripping, heart wrencher if you can get through the first part of the book, well worth it!

photo and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 3/27/13

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

My Pic:

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Love, love, love, loved book one.  Dark, intriguing and unique, can not wait for book two!