Thursday, October 30, 2014

Giveaway: The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich and Heart of Stone by Debra Mullins

How would you like to win a couple of books? Tor has allowed me to giveaway 2 books to one lucky winner. I have both of these on my review pile and should be able to get to them by next month.

The Time Roads
by Beth Bernobich
Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk
304 p.
Publisher: Tor Books
The Anglian Dependencies are a dusty backwater filled with resentful colonial subjects, Europe is a disjointed mess, and many look to Éire for stability and peace. In a series of braided stories, Beth Bernobich has created a tale about the brilliant Éireann scientists who have already bent the laws of nature for Man’s benefit. And who now are striving to conquer the nature of time.

The Golden Octopus: Áine Lasairíona Devereaux, the young Queen of Éire, balances Court politics while pursing the Crown's goals of furthering scientific discovery. When those discoveries lead to the death and madness of those she loves, Áine must choose between her heart and her duty to her kingdom.

A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange: Síomón Madóc is desperately trying to discover who is killing the brightest of Éire's mathematicians. The key to saving lives lies in the future...and Síomón must figure out a way to get there.

Ars Memoriae: Éireann spymaster Aidrean Ó Deághaidh goes to the kingdom of Montenegro to investigate rumors of great unrest. But Ó Deághaidh is tormented by visions of a different timeline and suspects that someone in his own government is playing a double game...

Heart of Stone
By Debra Mullins
Series: Truth Seers #2
Genre: Fantasy, PNR
320 p.
Publisher: Tor Books
Darius Montana is a Seer. With his gift of empathy, he can see into the hearts of others, both human and Atlantean. When his family comes into possession of one of the legendary power stones of Atlantis, Darius is sent to find the Stone Singer.
Faith Karaluros is the last Stone Singer. Manipulated all her life for her rare ability, she is widowed after her husband tried to steal her power for the Mendukati, an extremist group that hunts Seers. Faith wants nothing more than to stay out of this war when Darius comes to find her—just in time to rescue her from being kidnapped.

Faith goes with Darius, determined to do the job and be on her way with the money that can set her up where no one can find her again. She didn't count on the Mendukati sending a hit man after her. Darius swears he can protect her, but when she discovers he is one of the rare Atlanteans whose powers work on their own kind, can she trust him to keep his word, or is she being used again?
 To enter just fill out the rafflecopter form below. US/CAN snail mail addys only.
Good Luck!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

416 p.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: 9/30/14
Source: ARC from publisher for review
When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, "The Art of Racing in the Rain". 
In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after. 
But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.
My thoughts:
I admit it took me a few pages to really get into this story but when the ghosts started interacting with Trevor and he fully became engaged within his family's own mystery I was caught. Trevor is an ususal kid who is smart and brave. He is only 14 but reads much older in some aspects of the book. It makes sense since he is a near genius and has had to parent his dad through much of the book. He also finds his vulnerability and you see him as only a kid at times. This created a character I wanted to know.

The ghosts in this story aren't too scary and are either helpful or mysterious. All help him to unravel history that had been going on for a few generations. The characters are lovable except for the aunt, but then again she was very manipulative. I don't want to say too much since following Trevor while solved the mystery was the most interesting part of the book. I also loved the character of the grandfather who is a mystery to himself.

I give this book 4 stars. It had a rocky start for me but finished strong. It is a book that isn't so young that adults wouldn't like it. I recommend this to those that love a good family mystery.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
422 p.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: 10/14/14
Source: From Edelweiss and publisher for review
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making. 
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since. 
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again. 
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
My thoughts:
This is one of those books that I would give to a reluctant fantasy reader. I know that a lot of high fantasy can be bogged down with details making it hard to read for those that aren't used to that sort of writing. This, however, is not bogged down with details, but gives just the right amount to keep the story moving and still put you fully in that world. I was enthralled with the story but once I hit the half way mark, I had a hard time putting it down. Who needs sleep?

My favorite thing about this book is Meira. I loved her transformation from a typical teen wanting to prove herself into a true leader. I also loved the world building in the book. And I will caution you about one thing... there is a love triangle brewing. Not sure how it will play out but it was done in such a way it didn't bother me in the least. I did feel on edge about it, but my worries never manifested. I suspect it is because romance is not a major player in this story but promises to readdress itself in later editions of this series.

I give this book 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book and my only complaint is that I don't have the second book in my hot little hands! As I said above I would recommend it to those that are reluctant to get into the fantasy genre.

PS... anyone kept picturing Xena when seeing this cover? One reason I loved it! LOL

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Something Wicked Winner!

The winner for the
here at the blog
for the book:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 24, 2014

Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst

368 p.
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: 10/14/14
Source: From NetGalley and author for review
Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla's life. 
Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents. 
But her summer plans change when she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.

My thoughts:
The book starts off with a girl that has a telekinetic power and her best friend hanging out and abusing her power by stealing. Her secret is not just her power but the fact that her father wants to kill her. So when she meets Daniel she sets out on an adventure she didn't expect, finds out what she really wants in life and meets the challenge of whatever is thrown at her.

Sara Beth Durst usually gives us some great standalones in the YA genre. Usually you have series and a standalone is rare so I think that is one reason her books stand out for me. The other is the fact that I really end up enthralled with her stories. I enjoy her writing so I was excited to get this book. I was not let down.

I did enjoy the characters of Kayla and Daniel but who really shined was Kayla's best friend, Selena. She is the girl you want to befriend. She is loyal, snarky, smart, and witty. She stole the show and I think that is my biggest complaint... not enough Selena. Kayla and Daniel did have their moments as well. Kayla has incredible growth into maturity within this story and Daniel learns to finally listen. There is romance, but no insta-love.

I give this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed the adventure as well as these characters. One other complaint is that while I do like the cover in it's simplicity, it does not fit at all with the book. So, don't look for clues there. :) I recommend this book to those that love a good YA adventure filled with magic.