Monday, May 25, 2015

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
288 p.
Published: 8/28/15
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: NetGalley for review
It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back...

My thoughts:
I've heard about this one for quite a while. People raved about it and so my curiosity grew. I decided to wait until more of the series came out but I couldn't wait any longer when this one came up on NetGalley. Yea, okay, I want to read this one!

I have to admit that it took me a bit to really get into the story. We are thrown into the dystopian landscape without much fanfare. Questions abound but as you follow Penryn and she finds her mission, it is easy to slip within these pages and find yourself worried about her and even her angel friend... even if we don't know for sure if he is a friend.

While it still felt as if I wanted a bit more explanation of what was going on, a bit more exploration into this world, I was still engaged and had trouble putting the book down. It's only more than a couple of hundred pages and those pages go fast. I would have loved a much longer book by the end of this one. While it wasn't exactly a cliffie, it left much uncertainty for the next book. 600 pg book (or more)? Please... if it is good, no problems here! :D Most of you reading this would feel the same way. Oh well, I guess I have to locate the next book.

I give this book 4 stars. It was engaging and just enough possible romance to satisfy those that crave it. It didn't concentrate on it because there was so much action, so I would consider this one more YA UF than PNR. I also recommend it to those that enjoy dystopian books.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Rachel's Deception by Karen Ann Hopkins

Series: Temptation #4
324 p.
Publisher: Indie
Cover Art: Seedlings Design
Published: 5/8/15
Source: From Kismet Touring for review
Growing up Amish is difficult…but leaving it behind is even harder.

Noah was Amish...Rose wasn't. Being together should have been impossible. But somehow they found a way to make it work. They are finally a family, but their happily-ever-after is still a long off. Will Rose and her friends be able to force real change in the community? 
Karen Ann Hopkins returns with a gripping new book in the YA Temptation series. The powerful family saga continues with Rachel's Deception, as events spiral out of control in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview. And Rachel Miller has her own secrets to hide. Noah’s younger sister has been living a double life. That is, until Justin Cameron, Rose's little brother, catches her in the act. Rachel is not the obedient Amish girl that her sister was, and her rebelliousness takes her to a very dangerous world. A world that only her true friends can help her escape from. 
As Rachel questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment, Rose discovers what it really means to be shunned. And an evil shadow looms on the horizon, threatening not only Rose, but everyone she holds dear.

My thoughts:
Although I've always been curious about the Amish culture, I haven't gravitated toward the fiction. Mostly because I don't know much about it so I may not know what is fact or fiction. However this story, while it felt fictional, also seemed to bring in some relevant topic concerning Amish women. It felt genuine and after reading the author's blog post (check out Wed's post HERE) I have to say that I also believe it was genuine. It makes sense that the women in a patriarchal and closed society would have it pretty tough. Especially when having several children as babies and toddlers without help. It astounds me that any one would be sane by the time a few of your kids would be old enough to help.

I enjoyed the story and found the pages slipping by even though there were several POV changes. It didn't get confusing and I liked following many characters. I have to say though it also didn't quite feel like Rachel's book but more of Rose's book. Not sure if that is intentional but I think it was a good thing here especially since there is a sort of love triangle going on within the story. I honestly didn't care for the romance here and I also didn't like how Rachel left things. However, I feel as if I may get more of a better ending in Rachel's romance down the series. I could feel a lot of potential in that area. I really think I'll love it in other coming books. Strange, I know. :)

I also have to admit I haven't read all the books prior to reading this book. I thought I would be fine since this is a "offshoot" series beginner as well as #4 in the series. I wasn't lost but I did feel as if I missed some important information especially about Rose. This makes total sense to me and I feel like I may have to go back to book 1 to remedy my lack of knowledge.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I may have enjoyed it more if I had read the other books but I still found it very entertaining. I recommend this one to those that are curious about a culture we don't often get to see as well as those that enjoy contemporary YA.

Bloggy PS
In case you didn't see it, there is a great post and international giveaway with the author. Just go to the post HERE to enter.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blog Tour: Rachel's Deception by Karen Ann Hopkins

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So glad to have Karen on the blog today. I asked a question about culture since I'm always interested in learning more. Very few of us really know about the Amish culture so this post should be interesting. :)

• Thanks for coming on the blog today! What is it that you find fascinating about Amish life that you don't think most people know or understand?

Thank you for having me today! There are so many misconceptions about the Amish way of life.  Practically everyone knows that the Amish don’t use electricity or drive cars.  But fewer people are aware that Amish children are finished with formal schooling after eighth grade or that the Amish do in fact pay state and federal income tax, the same as everyone else.  

One of the more interesting things that my readers are usually surprised about is that Amish young people get to pick out the person they court (date) and ultimately marry.  In Rachel’s Deception, this actuality is a very important to the central plot.  Once Rachel is sixteen years old, AND officially joins the Amish Church, she can pick her romantic interest.  As long as he’s Amish, that is.  Rose and Noah discovered this hard truth in Temptation, and they continued to struggle with the consequences of their choices in Belonging and Forever. 

But for Rachel, even picking an Amish boyfriend, isn’t an easy answer.  The boy she’s interested in, is part of a family that’s been feuding with her own family for a while now.  There’s no rule against her courting this particular boy, but both families would rather avoid it.  Because in the Amish world, courting is serious business.  Young people usually marry the first and only person they court.  Breaking up inside of a tight knit community where everyone is connected in some way or another to everyone else is a potentially destructive situation, and one that’s avoided at all costs.  Occasionally, it does happen that a girl or boy “quits” the relationship (our term: breaking up).  But those two people are now considered damaged goods in a way.  Again, there’s no punishment to endure, except the gossip of their peers and the possibility that a new love interest’s family might be opposed to the new match.  

Regardless of the twists and turns of Amish courting protocol, they usually end up happily married in the end.  So whatever they’re doing, is working.  

Thank you so much for your interest in Rachel’s Deception, the Temptation series, and my other books: Embers (YA paranormal), Lamb to the Slaughter and Whispers from the Dead (adult Amish mysteries)!  I love to connect with readers and I’d be happy to answer questions about the Amish way of life.  Please contact me at my website: www.karenannhopkins.com or you can message me on FB, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Happy Reading,
Karen Ann Hopkins

Series: Temptation #4
Published: May 8, 15
Growing up Amish is difficult…but leaving it behind is even harder. 
Noah was Amish...Rose wasn't. Being together should have been impossible. But somehow they found a way to make it work. They are finally a family, but their happily-ever-after is still a long off. Will Rose and her friends be able to force real change?
Karen Ann Hopkins returns with a gripping new book in the YA Temptation series. The powerful family saga continues with Rachel's Deception, as events spiral out of control in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview. And Rachel Miller has her own secrets to hide. Noah’s younger sister has been living a double life. That is, until Justin Cameron, Rose's little brother, catches her in the act. Rachel is not the obedient Amish girl that her sister was, and her rebelliousness takes her to a very dangerous world. A world that only her true friends can help her escape from.

As Rachel questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment, Rose discovers what it really means to be shunned. And an evil shadow looms on the horizon, threatening not only Rose, but everyone she holds dear.
About Rachel’s Deception:


Temptation (Book 1) on Goodreads |Get a Copy Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
Belonging (Book 2) on Goodreads | Get a Copy Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
Forever (Book 3) on Goodreads | Get a Copy Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

The Temptation Series is now on Audible!

Here is some exciting news for all those audiobook lovers out there: The Temptation Series is now available, so get your copy right now! Listen to a sample on audible.

About Karen Ann Hopkins:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Tour Schedule:

Monday, May 18th - pageturnersblog - Guest Post
Tuesday, May 19th - A Bookish Escape - Review
Wednesday, May 20th - Books and Things - Guest Post
Thursday, May 21st - Sassy Book Lovers - Review together with Guest Post
Friday, May 22nd - Lose Time Reading - Review

Monday, May 25th - Literary Meanderings - Author Interview
Tuesday, May 26th - Reading Lark - Review
Wednesday, May 27th - Sassy & Dangerous - Interview
Thursday, May 28th - Actin' Up with Books - Review
Friday, May 29th - Her Book Thoughts - Review together with Guest Post

Monday, June 1st - Bittersweet Enchantment - Guest Post
Tuesday, June 2nd - Supernatural Snark - Interview
Wednesday, June 3rd - Curling Up With A Good Book - Interview
Thursday, June 4th - Manga Maniac Cafe - Guest Post
Friday, June 5th - Bewitched Bookworms - Guest Post

Go to the Tour Page for more info.

Giveaway!
Giveaway Info:
Karen is offering up a fantastic prize pack, with one lucky winner receiving the following:
$50 gift card (Amazon, B&N or iTunes)
A complete set of her books (Temptation, Belonging, Forever, Rachel’s Deception, Lamb to the Slaughter, Whispers from the Dead and Embers!)
Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. Please enter via the Rafflecopter form.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Audiobook Review: Rogue by Julie Kagawa


Series: The Talon Saga #2
12 hrs. 29 min.
Unabridged
Narrators: Caitlin Davies, MacLeod Davies, Chris Patton, and Tristan Morris
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 4/28/15
Source: Audiobook Jukebox for review
Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?
My thoughts:
This audiobook is narrated by several people. While that may put some of you off, I have to say it was quite successful in this book. Each person took the chapter of their POV and it really separated the characters out in a clear manner. While I don't feel that it would have been confusing while reading it, the separation of each character in each voice really brought the book to life. Each narrator also embodied the characters easily and so it was easy to slip into this world while listening.

I was a bit disappointed in this telling as far as the romance goes. I admit I don't care for love triangles and although I expected one from the first book I was curious as to what direction she would take it. While on an emotional level I have to say the author still has me intrigued, I'm just not happy with the direction it is going. To me there is a logical winner and there isn't enough worldbuilding to let me see any other choice. In her other books there was a clear winner, in this one there still is not despite what I just said. While that is good for some people, I would rather see this triangle resolved rather than stretched out. However, that is only my opinion and others may see this same development as exciting.

I did enjoy the adventure itself and the harrowing aspects to the story. I expect a twist and I also expect it is one that Garrett is now investigating. I wonder if we are on the same page or if it takes a different turn than the one I'm expecting. Either way, I'll be waiting for the next installment of this series impatiently.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I recommend it to those that enjoy PNR YA and those that enjoy Kagawa's stories. I do seem to always enjoy her worldbuilding. I do recommend it on audio and don't let the multiple narrators discourage you from trying it.