Monday, September 29, 2014

Invisible by Dawn Metcalf

Series: The Twixt #2
380 p.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: Sept. 30, 14
Source: From NetGalley and Publisher for review
Some things lie beneath the surface.


With the power to change everything.

Joy Malone wants it all—power, freedom and the boyfriend who loves her. Yet when an unstoppable assassin is hired to kill her, Joy learns that being the girl with the Sight comes with a price that might be too high to pay. Love will be tested, lives will be threatened, and everyone Joy knows and cares about will be affected by her decision to stand by Ink or to leave the Twixt forever.

Her choice is balanced on a scalpel's edge and the consequences will be more life-altering than anyone can guess.
My thoughts:
This is the second book in the Twixt series and this series should be read in order. I think it is important here not just for character development but for world building as well.

I enjoyed most of the book and liked that Joy grows and finds her own inner strength and saves herself rather than relying on others constantly. Her behavior before that frustrated me but at the same time I also can see that it was purposeful to highlight her growth. Still, some of the things she did left me shaking my head in wonder.

I liked the addition of Stef, her bother, who was more involved this time. I would like to see more of that as well as more involvement with her father. I liked the growth of Ink even as small as it was. It was interesting seeing him become more of a human. I was more convinced here of the romance than I was in the previous book. There is still more to be done to really see them as a couple, but I do like the advancement toward the relationship.

I give this book 3 stars. I recommend it to those that enjoy YA and a strange and different world.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Firebug by Lish McBride

Series: Firebug #1
368 p.
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Published 9/23/14
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse? 
Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren't caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She's one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn't like it one bit. Not least because her mother's death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss. 
When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can't say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.
My thoughts:

I've enjoyed Lish McBride's writing and sense of humor, so naturally when I had a chance to read this book I jumped at it. I was not disappointed. She writes her characters well and there was no exception to that rule in this book. I loved all the characters except Venus. However, I'd have to be some nut to like her. :)

I have to admit I wasn't sure I would like the plot. Ava has been "hired" (more like conscripted) into a mafia like magical fairy hierarchy in which she plays the assassin. I wasn't sure of this plot until Ava rebels when put on the spot to assassinate a family friend. She is extremely protective of her made family. This really tightened up the relationships and my worry about how they would get out of their predicament. I still ended up with a couple of questions about the plot, but nothing at all to douse my enjoyment of the book.

I give this book 4 stars. Those that love a good romance within the pages might be disappointed but be aware that there is so much potential. I recommend this book to those who love snark, humor and YA UF.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Gifted Dead by Jenna Black

Series: Gifted #1
410 p.
Publisher: Aardwolf Press
Published: 9/23/14
Source: From Kismet BT and author for review
Politics and magic make dangerous bedfellows. 
Deep within the Order, the seeds of corruption have taken root. While younger generations of the Gifted have embraced modern democratic values, a secret society of old-guard zealots seek a return to the past, when only European men of distinguished bloodlines held power. 
Now, three venerable European families and a maverick American each plot to seize control of the Order and shape it to their will. A cutthroat game of political intrigue will decide the winner; and the stakes couldn't be higher, for ruling the Order carries with it the power to grant—or deny—an afterlife.
What begins as a battle of wills could turn into an all-out war. And magic could prove deadlier than any missile.
My thoughts:

 I admit that one of the reasons I wanted to read this book is the cover. Jenny of Seedlings (and Supernatural Snark) first brought this to my attention because she designed the cover. I was intrigued by the cover and the blurb. The cover really is connected well to the story and you will see why once you read it. The second reason is the author Jenna Black. I have enjoyed her past books and so I was looking forward to this book.

I admit that sometimes fantasy is quite slow to me. These books often deal with political strife which takes me a bit longer to really get enveloped into the story. However once the players are finally set and we know who is ambitious, ruthless, kind and sincere the story usually takes off for me. It was the same in this book as well. It took me a while to become totally invested, but once I was I didn't want the story to end.

My biggest complaint for the book was the multi-POVs within the storyline. It took me a minute to figure out who was who and keep it straight in my head. However, all the information is necessary and I found later that I enjoyed having more than one POV. All the players are important and I liked getting inside each head. I also had a time figuring out the world in this one.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I recommend this book to those that like political fantasy set in an interesting world of magic.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Invisible by Dawn Metcalf

The inspiration for the character, Ink?

In the beginning, there was a rant. And it was good.

No, really, I was getting a little fed up with all these stories about immortal guys falling for sixteen year old human girls and swooping down to “show her the way to love.” I thought, “Seriously?!” That’s how it started.

The truth is I’ve always had a little crush on the wide-eyed guy who completely and utterly falls for someone like a hammer to the heart and then hasn’t a clue what to do about it. He is vulnerable, open, honest, a little afraid, maybe too truthful and absolutely adorable, alluring as all hell in his innocence. Hence, Ink.

Sometimes, people don’t get this, so I like to fall back on my love for analogies, which is a close second to my love of baking. Combine the two and you get:


Take one part classic Peter Pan.
Add a heavy dose of Johnny Depp as Benny in Benny & Joon and Edward from Edward Scissorhands
Shake vigorously.
Spoon some sappy heart-on-the-sleeve boy vibe from any movie Michael Cera’s ever done.
Fold in gently.
Mix together a youthful Joe Black from Meet Joe Black and a dash of laissez-faire from Tim Burton’s Jack Skellington ala The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Sprinkle to coat.
Whip up something aspiring to the mythic otherworldliness of Neil Gaiman’s Endless in Sandman and a heaping spoon of Roiben from Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales.
Finally, add a twist of wry, boyish smirk. Reeve Carney’s will do.
Simmer slowly. Serve immediately.
Stand back, ladies, it’s hot!

Series: Twixt #2

Some things lie beneath the surface.
With the power to change everything.
Joy Malone wants it all—power, freedom and the boyfriend who loves her. Yet when an unstoppable assassin is hired to kill her, Joy learns that being the girl with the Sight comes with a price that might be too high to pay. Love will be tested, lives will be threatened, and everyone Joy knows and cares about will be affected by her decision to stand by Ink or to leave the Twixt forever.
Her choice is balanced on a scalpel's edge and the consequences will be more life-altering than anyone can guess.

About Invisible:
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository

Series: Twixt #1

Some things are permanent. 
And they cannot be changed back. 
Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye.
Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same. 
Now Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his somethingfor the foreseeable future and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes there are no mistakes.
About Indelible:
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books-A-Million

About Dawn Metcalf:

The role of Dawn Metcalf will be played by the tall brunette in the off-the-shoulder, floor-length leather straitjacket. Makeup by Clinique, buckles by Jada Pinkett Smith, hair by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
I have no good excuse for the way I write. I lived in a normal, loving suburban home, studied hard, went to college, went to graduate school, got married, had babies and settled down in northern Connecticut. Despite this wholesome lifestyle, I’ve been clearly corrupted by fairy tales, puppet visionaries, British humor and graphic novels. As a result, I write dark, quirky and sometimes humorous speculative fiction.

Win a copy of either INDELIBLE or INVISIBLE, and one lucky grand prize winner will receive a grand prize package including the following HarlequinTEEN titles: INDELIBLE, INVISIBLE, GHOST HOUSE, THE AFTERMATH, and WITCHRISE. Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.

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Kismet Book Touring
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Mini Audiobook Review: Breathe by Abbi Glines and Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Series: Sea Breeze #1
8 hrs. 6 min.
Narrators: Kirby Heyborne and Shayna Thibodeaux
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: 6/4/13
Source: Won/ tbr pile
Sadie White's summer job is at the beach, but she won't be working as a lifeguard. Since her mom is pregnant and refuses to work, Sadie will be taking over as a domestic servant for a wealthy family on a nearby island. 
When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie were normal--if she hadn't spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house--maybe she'd be excited about working for a rock star. But she's not. 
Even though Sadie isn't impressed by Jax's fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax, but he fights his attraction: Relationships never work in his world, and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. Yet as the summer stretches on, Jax's passion leaves him breathless--and Sadie feels like the only source of oxygen. 
Can their love overcome the disparity in their lifestyles? One breath at a time, they're going to find out...
My thoughts:
I rarely do NA contemporary romance books but I thought I'd give this one a try since I won a audiobook narrated by Kirby Heyborne. While Kirby's narrations were very good and flowed well, I'd have to say I didn't like Shayna's as much. Her characters were good, but the stuff inbetween was a bit flat.

I just couldn't get into the story. While I could get behind a innocent character, I just couldn't believe that Sadie was naive. Her mother's actions and neglect alone wouldn't allow her to stay naive. In the end I had to dnf the audiobook because I just couldn't get past all the clichés of innocent girl and bad boy boyfriend. However I would recommend it to those that enjoy NA contemporary romance. It just wasn't for me.

Series: Kate Daniels #1
9 hrs. 6 min.
Narrator: Renée Raudman
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: 1/12/09
Source: Library/Hoopla

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake. 
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings - and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league - but she wouldn't have it any other way.
My thoughts:
I'm trying to catch up to the numerous UF books I have wanted to try. I decided to finally start the Kate Daniels series. I enjoyed Renée Raudman's narration and now have her firmly in my head for Kate. I will also do the next one on audio because of her narration.

I did have some problems sorting out all the world building. In this way it might have been better to read than have it on audio. Still, I wasn't too lost to not be able to enjoy the book and I think that my understanding of this world will come as the series progresses. I enjoyed the characters and really liked Kate. I'm also intrigued by Curran. I know he will become more important as the series progresses. It is the characters that will have me reading more in this series. I give this one 3 stars and recommend it to those that enjoy UF.