Friday, May 27, 2016

Audiobook Review with Crafts: Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Covenant #5
Narrator: Justine Eyre
10 hrs. 9 min.
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: 5/21/14
Source: Library/Hoopla
It's a beautiful day for a war. As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all. And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time. Alex faces a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear...or the end of herself.
My thoughts:
Finally! The last book. Good and bad thing to have in a series you enjoy. :) Ending books aren't usually my favorite so I didn't go into this one expecting fireworks, but I did find myself enjoying the last book in this series.

I do NOW get why everyone is all about Seth. He did grow on me in the last 2 books but he really made me like him in this one. So, I will definitely have to go onto his offshoot books next. And while I did love the romance (Aiden!!!) and the action, it did feel predicatable. Even the twist at the end wasn't a surprise. Still, I didn't mind it and while this one didn't quite wow me, I did enjoy my time here and I did like the ending. It felt solid and I'm happy with that.

The narration was the same for me. Had a bit of a problem with the inner dialog's monotone, but still kept this one at 1.25 speed which corrected this for me. Otherwise I loved her voices for all the characters.

I give this book 4 stars and I highly recommend this series for those that enjoy YA PNR with a good dose of Greek mythology.

The Crafts!
Made this one for mother's day! She picked out all the fabric and the pattern. The pattern is Maisie from Swoon Patterns (affiliate link). The main panel fabric is an antique silk obi (go to ebay for those, you can find them at such great prices), the faux leather is microsuede and the inner fabric is a faux duponi silk (polyester). All three fabrics were very hard to deal with as they all shifted, were light and wanted to slide all over the place. To this, I say... interfacing is a must. :) This one was challenging (especially the piping which I made) but satisfying when done. Yes, I can pick out all the things I don't like, but my mom liked it and that is all that mattered. The card was made by a cutting machine. I have an old one the company doesn't want to acknowledge they even made. LOL Eh... it still works and this was made by the freebie they had for mom's day.
front, back inside, zipper pull and card
Front of purse.

Because the blog wants to convert to https (which doesn't allow the link to work) and you want to join us in crafting just go to the Crafts! page to link up there. If you can't see it, make sure the addy doesn't read https (just delete the s) but just http and it should work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On My Wishlist: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire
by Rosamund Hodge
448 p.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: 9/27/16
When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched. 
The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die. 
Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.
Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara. 
Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting...
Oh looks creepy and interesting... plus I enjoy retellings.

What are you wishing for this week? 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Battlestorm by Susan Krinard

Series: Midgard #3
480 p.
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 3/29/16
Source: From publisher for review
The third installment in New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard’s first urban fantasy series... 
Centuries ago, the Norse gods and goddesses fought their Last Battle with the trickster god Loki and his frost giants. All were believed lost, except for a few survivors…including the Valkyrie Mist, forgotten daughter of the goddess Freya. 
But the battle isn’t over, and Mist—living a mortal life in San Francisco—is at the center of a new war, with the fate of earth hanging in the balance. As old enemies and allies reappear around the city, Mist must determine who to trust, all while learning to control her own growing power. 
It will take all of Mist’s courage, determination, and newfound magical abilities to stop Loki before history repeats itself.
My thoughts:

I've enjoyed the other two installments and I knew this one would have tons of actions in it. This is the last book in the trilogy and so a lot of things needed to be wrapped up. Oh but what to say so I don't spoil it for anyone else who has not read the first two...

I will say this... There is a huge twist I didn't see coming. I knew there was going to be one because of the raven in the previous book but that one played out sort of what I thought. The relationships in Mists life (all of them... friend, foe and lover) all have their own conclusions. I have to say this... I hated Loki until the end. I still didn't trust him, but he wasn't hated like before. It was a journey to get to that point. There is lots of action and predicaments I wasn't sure how Mist would solve and get her friends out alive. Not everyone makes it, but it is solved with an HEA in the end.

So much happened and so what I've said just doesn't seem like much. I just don't want to spoil anything for people just starting the trilogy. The ending is open enough for more adventure so I could see this one going into a series if the author and publisher decide to go for it. I would love this and while I don't see immediate global destruction ahead (I mean just because I don't see it, doesn't mean it won't happen) I see so many problems happening that Mist would have to fix.

I give this book 4 stars. It is a solid, twisty, and action packed ending to a great fantasy read. I highly recommend it to those that enjoy UF and fantasy.

Friday, May 20, 2016

In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan

Series: Memoir of Lady Trent #4
352 p.
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 4/5/16
Source: From publisher for review
The thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, as the glamorous Lady Trent takes her adventurous explorations to the deserts of Akhia. 
Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent's expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries. 
As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.
My thoughts:

I have loved these alternate historical books about dragons from the first book. While these books are in audio format, this is one series I would suggest you do NOT go audio. Well, you can, but do make sure you have the illustrations to look at. It is the illustrations that have brought every book to life for me. This one was no exception.

I got involved with this one a bit quicker than the rest. Often it takes me a minute to really get into a memoir format. In the books she is recounting her life as a dragon naturalist (if you aren't familiar with the books) but this one is quite personal as well. I think it became more personal much quicker than the others so it was also easier for me to slip into the world.

We actually get a touch of romance in this one and I was thrilled. I have wanted this pairing for a while now but I don't want to reveal too much. If you have read the other books I am suspecting you have guessed at the couple I speak, if not, read them... you'll see. ;)

I give this book 4 stars. Check out the illustrator Todd Lockwood (you can see the reviews and artwork of his in earlier posts HERE) which I have no doubt will draw people in to this alternate universe where we share our world with dragons.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On My Wishlist: Mata Hari's Last Dance by Michelle Moran

Mata Hari's Last Dance
by Michelle Moran
288 p.
Publisher: Touchstone
Published: 7/19/16
From the international bestselling author of Rebel Queen and Nefertiti comes a captivating novel about the infamous Mata Hari, exotic dancer, adored courtesan, and, possibly, relentless spy. 
Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom…or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers. 
As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer. 
From exotic Indian temples and glamorous Parisian theatres to stark German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who “expertly balances fact and fiction” (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy.
Oh this is curious. I loved Rebel Queen so I think I want this one too. Shocker... I know. ;)

What are you wishing for this week?