Monday, March 30, 2015

The Loss: The Originals #2 by Julie Plec

Series: The Originals #2
336 p.
Publisher: HQN books
Published: 3/31/15
Source: From publisher for review
Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you're immortal, promises are hard to keep.
After a hurricane destroyed their city, Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson have rebuilt New Orleans to even greater glory. The year is 1766. The witches live on the fringes in the bayou. The werewolves have fled. But still, Klaus isn't satisfied. He wants more. He wants power.
But when Klaus finally finds a witch who will perform a spell to give him what he desires most, she secretly uses Klaus to unleash a curse one that brings back hundreds of her ancestors and begins a war to reclaim New Orleans. As the siblings fight off the attack, only one thing's for certain the result will be a bloodbath.
My thoughts:
This is a continuation of the previous book taking place about 40 years later. Old grudges surface and this becomes the crux of their problems... along with Klaus, of course. In the last book I thought that Klaus was a bit too optimistic for his character. However, in this book, the optimism has turned into something more selfish and narcissistic. Yep, the Klaus we know is in full form.

My only complaint is slight. This time it feels as if Elijah is more like Klaus in this book. He has always been the one to be able to think of others even if his blinders are huge for the family. He seemed a bit more self centered in this one. Not too badly but just not his sweet vampire self who can rip out your throat for looking at his family wrong. Okay, bad example, but fans of the show may know what I'm talking about. It was a minor thing however.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed myself a bit more with this book and found myself easily seeing this as a flashback episode of the Originals. I recommend it to those who are fans of the show.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Challenges Progress: Audiobook and Library

I've entered a couple of challenges this year. I've done pretty good progress on my audio challenge and I'm slightly behind on my library challenge. 

Here is my progress:
Hot Listens/2015 Audiobook Challenge
6/15 audiobooks

Since I have been tracking my progress on Goodreads as well as here, thought I'd give a short screencap to show my progress. Just click on the pic below to see a bigger pic.

I'm doing better than I thought I would! YaY! 
My library books almost look exactly like the one above since I can combine them and I've been doing a lot of audios from Hoopla (which is also technically from my library).

Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
5/24 library books

Just a little more behind than I intended but still on my way to my goal!
How are you doing on you challenges?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Product Review: #XOVoxBox from Influenster

I was picked for another Influenster product box for review. This one was much nicer to me and wasn't heavily perfumed. YES! I was so happy about that. So here is my review of the box that I got for free:

Pic from Adore Me
So before the box came, I got a coupon to try a free bra and panty set from Adore Me for review. I had looked at other reviews and I found a couple that said to go up a cup size when ordering. I did so by ordering up a band size (for those that aren't aware, when you go up a band size but stay the same cup size, you actually go up a cup size). It fit so I do recommend going up that cup size. You would probably be okay with the same band width b/c the brand I use I often go down a size. I also sized up a panty size and it worked for me too. Some designs I will do that because I have an ass and they don't make some women's clothing with that in mind. If you don't then I think you'll be fine with your regular size. ;) 

They do have cute sets and I think that the quality is okay. It doesn't
feel high end, but it doesn't feel cheap either. It pretty much looks like it is worth the price of $39.95 so you do get your money's worth. I also liked the selection and thought the sets were cute and sexy. For those who are bigger than what most places like this offer, they go up to a G cup size for a few of their selections and are still stylish. 

If you would like to try it I have a link to use. You get your first set for $24.95! Just click HERE (my affiliate link) to go to Adore Me. For the VIP membership you do have to decline a month you don't want a product or you will be charged $39.95 to be used on a future purchase. You do get reminders and so far it has been no problem declining. You also get the 6th set free and special sales. There is another program that is pay as you go. You don't have to decline each month but you don't get the sales. Both programs have free unlimited exchanges and shipping.

The box came and I got Tide with Febreeze and the John Frieda collection for Beach Blonde. Well, I cannot use either but if the Tide with Febreeze comes in an unscented version I would use that one easily. I use unscented Tide and wouldn't mind the Febreeze since it tends to take other smells out. Also, with the John Frieda collection brunettes can use this one too! I can't since I am so sensitive to shampoos and other hair care products. If I could use it  I would use the sea salt spray to give my fine hair some texture. However, I know someone who will enjoy this small collection.

What was ironic about the collection is the Colgate products. I was about to buy a new toothbrush. Now I have something that will help me smile brighter. Probably a good thing since I do drink coffee. :) So far it works well and I do like the toothbrush.

The product I really loved was the SkinFix product. Not only is this needed in the cold weather we have been getting but it is scent free and it is gentle to my hands. I wish more companies would follow their example and at least make things scent free! I love that it is designed also for those that have eczema and dermatitis. I'm very sensitive to various products and I was cautious about it. For those that are sensitive or allergic it does contain beeswax, calendula, and chamomile which are a few ingredients you might need to be aware. You can get this product at Target.

I also got a Land's End coupon for $25 off a $100 purchase but sadly it isn't in the budget for now. You can also get this same bonus! All you have to do is put VOXLOVE for the promo code and spend at least $100.

This was an interesting mix for my voxbox. I think my favorite product was the Adore Me products. They do have some cute things there.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden by Karen Newcomb

224 p.
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Published: 2/17/15
Source: Free from Blogging for Books for review
This classic gardening bestseller (over 500,000 copies sold) uses ecologically friendly, intensive biodynamic methods to produce large amounts of vegetables in very tiny spaces. Revised for an all new generation of gardeners, the 40th anniversary edition includes brand new information on the variety of heirloom vegetables available today and how to grow them the postage stamp way.

To accommodate today's lifestyles, a garden needs to fit easily into a very small plot, take as little time as possible to maintain, require a minimum amount of water, and still produce prolifically. That's exactly what a postage stamp garden does. Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables--for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.

When first published 40 years ago, the postage stamp techniques, including closely planted beds rather than rows, vines and trailing plants grown vertically to free up space, and intercropping, were groundbreaking. Now, in an ever busier world, the postage stamp intensive gardening method continues to be invaluable for gardeners who wish to weed, water, and work a whole lot less yet produce so much more.
My thoughts:
 I actually come from a background of farmers. My mother loves to garden and she has started these small gardens on her own. It is with her in mind I got this book for review.

When I looked at the book I loved how the small gardens were set up. I also liked the recommended companion plants to help deter pests. This seemed like a wonderful gardening book to me but it still had to pass the mom test. So, I set it in front of her and she quickly devoured it. Her favorite parts were the plant suggestions listed in the book. She now has her eye on several plants she wants for her garden. She also enjoyed the parts of the book with the companion plants. While I think it would take more time with her not wanting to plant in rows (a farmer thing... LOL) I think this will end up giving her more options. Both of us highly recommend this book for first time gardeners as well as seasoned farmers looking for a personal garden. We give it 4 1/2 stars.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I have 2 winners to announce.
The winner for:

The winner for:

Congraties to the winners! Both have been e-mailed.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Audiobook Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Series: Kate Daniels #5.5
Narrator: Renée Raudman
Length: 13 hrs.
Published: 7/31/12
Publisher: Tantor Media
Source: Hoopla/Library
When several shapeshifters die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea and her former lover, Raphael Medrano, must work together to investigate the crime. 
After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea's whole existence is in shambles. She tries to put herself back together by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend. When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano—the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, and Andrea's former lover—die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. Now she must work with Raphael as her search for the killer leads into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta. And dealing with her feelings for him might have to take a back seat to saving the world . . .
My thoughts:
First, let me say that even though it is listed most places as a novella, this is actually a full novel and is also listed as a novel at the author's website under "Kate Daniels World". Hopefully this means we will get more secondary character books in their POV! :) Wouldn't that be great?!

Like with all the books in this series it had me from the beginning to end. It was a thrill ride with Andrea taking the lead. I'm so glad that this book was made because I wanted to know more about her and I also wanted to see if Raphael could redeem himself. Yes, I loved the romance in this one even when I wanted to kick Raphael in his furry hiney. :) I also loved Andrea in this one. We get to know more about her past and we get to see how she grows in this one. How she starts to accept all the parts of herself. It was a long time coming. 

Only thing that totally bummed me out about this book is that it is the last one they have in this series on audio. I have requested they get the rest but since I think the others are published with a different publisher I'm not sure my library will get them. :'( Still, I can't say that I didn't try! 

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. It is another great addition to the series and this is a full book and not a novella. I highly recommend it to those that enjoy the Kate Daniels series. It is a must. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blog Tour with Giveaway: The Frenchman by Lesley Young

Crime Loyalty Romance #1
276 p.
Source: From Kismet Book Touring for review
Fleur Smithers rarely veers off the straight and (excruciatingly) narrow. So moving to the seaport town of Toulon to live with her newfound biological mother—an inspector with the French National Police—for one year is a pretty major detour. 
Son of France’s crime royalty family and international rugby star, Louis Messette, is devoted to his sport, famille and nothing else. But the saucy American he meets one night changes everything. She sparks a desire in him like no other. Possession takes root. She will do as he commands. 
Bit by bit Fleur slips into the Frenchman’s realm of wanton pleasure agreeing to his one condition: that she keep their affair secret. She serves up her heart without reservation in the hub of the glittering Côte d’Azur, and the along the soulful Seine in Paris, unaware of the danger she is in. For her new lover’s “family business” will pit her against her mother, the police woman sworn to bring down the Messettes. And by then, far more than Fleur’s heart will be on the line.
My thoughts:
I knew I was in for a bad boy story considering the series title. So, it did not surprise me that several times I wanted to throttle the man, Louis. Yes, this set up the tension well especially when Fleur, our innocent young lady meets Louis.

I have to say that several times throughout the book I was yelling at Fleur to "wake up" and see all the red flags waving in her face. All those things that told me this would be an abusive relationship. It bothered me that she ignored them all and continued to pursue this bad man. I mean he actually TOLD her he was bad but she still made excuses for his behavior. I honestly would have put the book down except for one thing... she acknowledged the red flags. Granted she pushed them aside, made excuses for them, but she kept seeing them. That made me think growth and so I continued on with the story.

Even though I convinced myself to continue... I admit I did throw the book down more than once. However my curiosity got the better of me and I continued on and was rewarded in the end. She finally stood up for herself and demanded her right to be given love not just have love taken from her. I cheered! There is a HEA and honestly I could have done without the romantic HEA, but it was acceptable to me and it did make me smile. :)

I give the book 3 stars. I actually had fun being so frustrated with the book. Of course if I was left upset I wouldn't have liked it, but I was rewarded in the end by Fleur.

About Lesley Young:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Lesley Young is an award-winning Canadian journalist by day, and obsessive novelist by night. Her debut novel, Sky’s End (Soulmate Publishing, 2013) hit #9 on Amazon’s sci-fi romance paid best-seller list in its first three months of release.

Not too long after that, she started dreaming up quirky heroines who lose their hearts to extremely powerful, flawed heroes, only to find out what love really is while on a dangerous adventure abroad. She called it the Crime Royalty Romance series, and landed herself a pretty big agent at Spencerhill Associates. Never one to take the obvious path, Lesley ultimately decided to self-publish. She’s never sure who or what will pop up in her imagination next. The Irishman? The Spaniard? The Hawaiian? Anything’s possible, and she loves suggestions (or recommendations of really hot, er, talented, actors to work as a muses).

Stay in touch with her and feel free to forward on decent options at and @LesleyYoungBks (note: Charlie Hunnam’s already taken the lead role of The American—#3 Crime Royalty Romance...coming soon!).

Lesley has provided a fantastic giveaway, including a $25 Amazon gift card and 20 ebook copies of The Frenchman! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M. J. Rose

384 p.
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: 3/17/15
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris. 
Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires. 
Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse. 
This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery. 
Art, mystery, romance.... uh, yes please. I was totally taken in by this book. I loved reading about all of the paintings and even looked up a couple while reading. I was totally captivated by the background in this book and Paris in that time period (1890s).

What was really interesting is how the book progressed for me. It was at first a book about a woman leaving a bad marriage. Then it introduced a bit of magic and it felt like I may be in for a magical realism book. As time goes on it gets darker and darker. It turns into a haunted book and then twists into a horror book. It really made the book compelling.

I did have a few problems with the book. Her husband Benjamin was not a nice guy and in fact sounded abusive, but not in an over the top way we often get in these books. I thought that there would be more to him but there wasn't and I felt that it was a lost opportunity. He really was just background for her being in Paris and when we was reinserted into the story it felt a bit forced. If this was my only problem, the book would have gotten very high marks from me. I loved the mystery, atmosphere and romance. What I hated was the ending.

The ending.

One thing I hate more than cliffies are abrupt endings. In one way I actually can see how it works here. It keeps you thinking about it and wondering about all the unanswered questions. If you are like me, then you will not like the ending at all. Too much left open and the last chapter wasn't to sum up but more like an epilogue that happened a couple days after the big finish. I just need a wee bit more information to be satisfied. Just at least one more question (but an important one) to leave me with a smile.

I've been debating about what I will score this one. I think I'll give it 3 1/2 stars. I loved most of the book. I had a hard time putting it down, but that ending? For me it was a killer. I'm certain that for others they will like the way it ended because it kept in in your mind pondering things and turning things over. I do recommend this book to those that love a story that seems to transform. I know I'll be reading more from this author.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Audiobook Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Series: Kate Daniels #5
13 hrs. 17 min.
Narrator: Reneé Raudman
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: 6/8/11
Source: Hoopla via library
Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job. 
Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate. 
So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.
My thoughts:

Okay, I'm guessing you are reading this because you want to know if I liked the book. Um... seriously?? DUH! I loved the book! My only complaint isn't really a complaint but more a question. How can the beast lord be such an ass and yet still make me root for him? Yes, I still want Kate to occasionally kick said ass (and she does) but I think it is because he eventually sees things Kate's way. That doesn't mean he agrees with everything but at the very least acknowledges her right to be so wrong. LOL

There were several storylines within this book and I was not confused at all. I enjoyed every minute of it. I also love the twist with Julie (even though I was biting my nails about it). I can't wait for the next book and in fact, I have the next one (which is really a full length novella) waiting for me to get to it. YES! Unfortunately this is the last my library has (okay my real complaint) and yes, I begged them to get more of this series in. I want to do it all on audio. Reneé Raudman is my voice for Kate and she is one female narrator who does male voices well.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars and recommend the series to every adult on the planet. This is a must read series and I can't wait to read/listen more!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Series: Seraphina #2
608 p.
Publisher: Random House Children's
Published: 3/10/15
Source: ARC from publisher for review
The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?
My thoughts:
 I enjoyed the first book, Seraphina, but I think I ended up enjoying this one even more. The worldbuilding continues in this book and the worlds, both inner and outer, get even more detailed. I really loved traveling along with Seraphina.

Seraphina also comes much more into her own. The growth continues and she really questions ambitions and wants in a new way. She learns to discard things that were once a crutch to get through life and have now become a hindrance. We also see her reevaluate her idea of a utopia for half dragons. She finds that she never even considered how the others would view her utopia. I loved this growth in her. We also see that while the outer changes occur, they only anticipate the inner changes within everyone. It is a new world for dragon and human kind.

My only complaint is the romance. It doesn't quite live up to everything going on and I really didn't like how the romance was "solved" in the end. However, since it is a minor subject to the adventure at hand, it didn't bother me as much as it may bother some. The scope of the whole tale seemed to outweigh my need for romance in this book.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I enjoyed the first but this one really gave me more of what I craved. Answers take a while to get to but they are there! We not only see our heroine have inner growth but almost everyone she meets. I highly recommend this series to those that want to get into fantasy and those that already love it. It is a great story for the YA and adult crowd.

The publisher has allowed me to give away this book to one lucky person! The giveaway is open to those in the US and CAN only. Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter. Good Luck!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

352 p.
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 2/3/15
Source: From the publisher for review
“You ain’t gonna like what I have to tell you, but I'm gonna tell you anyway. See, my name is Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, and I'm one of the girls what works in the Hôtel Mon Cherie on Amity Street. Hôtel has a little hat over the o like that. It's French, so Beatrice tells me.” 
Set in the late 19th century—when the city we now call Seattle Underground was the whole town (and still on the surface), when airships plied the trade routes, would-be gold miners were heading to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront, Karen is a young woman on her own, is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, begging sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered. 
Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper yarn of the old west with a light touch in Karen’s own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science.
My thoughts:
I didn't quite know what to expect from this book but the book is distinctively a steampunk western! It is like walking into an alternate universe where steampunk slightly changes the landscape we know through books and movies. We also get a good look at it since the author is so descriptive though our heroine, Karen.

Karen is a soiled dove. She is registered as a seamstress but the profession is a bit older that that. That fact makes it more of an adult book but there really is no heat in that area even though there are a few scenes with some romance. It is, however, light on the romance. While I did enjoy the worldbuilding and I could easily cheer for our lucky or unlucky (depending on how you see it) heroine, I loved the diversity in this book. The book is filled with diverse backgrounds and a few of them are based on real people (the note at the end of the book tells you who she chose to inspire various people in the book). I also felt that the history was well woven into the story.

I give this book 4 stars. I loved the blending of diverse characters and the history into this steampunk world. It isn't too heavy with steampunk that those that aren't mechanically inclined can follow easily and enough contraptions for those who are inclined will be entertained. It is a great way to get your feet wet with the steampunk genre.

I accidentally received 2 hardcover books instead of 1 so I decided to give the second one away. If you tried for it last month and didn't win it, here is your second chance! I'm only shipping to the US so if you have a US snail addy you are in luck! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

368 p.
Publisher: Touchstone
Published: 3/3/15
Source: From NetGalley and publisher for review
When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the 1850s, it expects a quick and easy conquest. After all, India is not even a country, but a collection of kingdoms on the subcontinent. But when the British arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, expecting its queen to forfeit her crown, they are met with a surprise. Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male, one female—and rides into battle like Joan of Arc. Although her soldiers are little match against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi fights against an empire determined to take away the land she loves. 
Told from the perspective of Sita, one of the guards in Lakshmi's all-female army and the queen’s most trusted warrior, The Last Queen of India traces the astonishing tale of a fearless ruler making her way in a world dominated by men. In the tradition of her bestselling novel Nefertiti, which Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, called “a heroic story with a very human heart,” Michelle Moran once again brings a time and place rarely explored in historical fiction to rich, vibrant life.
My thoughts:
When you usually get a story during this time period you almost always get it from the perspective of the Brittish. You may get a woman's perspective in this area and she might even be Indian but it is never truly her story. This book not only gives you the woman's perspective but puts you on the side of Sita a guard of a Queen who ended up having legends in her own right.

As you can tell I really enjoyed this perspective. It is really Sita's life but it brings in full color the problems in India at the time. Not just with the Brittish conflict, but how women were treated then. Sita breaks from a horrible life her grandmother had in store for her because she was treated as a worthy daughter by her father. It is her father that sets her new life in motion. You had to love this guy who loved his daughters as much as he would have any son.

Even though Sita is quite young throughout most of the book, I would caution those very young kids about reading this one. I would place it as an adult book but can be read by older YA readers. I recommend it for the older YA set because there is war in the pages and the author does not shy away from that fact.

I give this book 5 stars. I love that it brings to life a culture during a time period when we don't get too much from that perspective. That alone would make me recommend it. However, Sita is a great heroine and one I enjoyed following.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Series: Seraphina #1
512 p.
Publisher: Random House Kids
Published: 7/10/12
Source: From publisher for review
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy." 
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high. 
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
My thoughts:

I have wanted to read this book since it first debuted. When I heard it had music and dragons I was only surprised that I let my large tbr prevent me from reading the book. Still, I waited since I knew it was only the first book and I can devour them one after another when the others come out. I didn't realize that it was a duology. I guess that means I can really catch up! :)

I loved the premise of this book. The worldbuilding was so interesting and different. A few questions still abound but then these are questions that all of our characters still have even after finishing the book. The world hadn't even considered the possibility of interbreeding so my question of how and why will have to wait with the rest of the characters.

Seraphina is a likable character but a bit taciturn and bland in her personality. It makes sense in the book since she holds secrets which could get her and her family killed. This did not put me off of the character and it also allowed the worldbuilding to shine even more. When she started questioning her right to be who she is and was tired of hating who she was the character really took off for me. Her personality started to blossom. I love a book with a lot of personal growth in it.

I give this book 4 stars. It is a great book for those that are a bit reluctant to get into the fantasy genre. I think you will find a engaging story with lots of growth and adventure.

The publisher, Random House Kids, has allowed me to give away one book! It is open to those in the US and Canada. Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter. Good Luck! Oh and those wanting the second book, Shadow Scale, don't forget to come back next Wed for a review and giveaway of that book!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Seraphina: The Audition by Rachel Hartman

Series: Seraphina #0.5
17 p.
Published: 6/19/12
Source: TBR Pile


The Audition is a free prequel to Seraphina available online. It takes place a few weeks prior to Seraphina, covering Seraphina Dombegh's audition to become Viridius's assistant and thus Glisselda's music tutor.

My thoughts:
 I'm about to start the first book but thought I'd read the little novella I've had in my possession for a while now. It was an incredibly quick read (very few pages) but it does establish some important characters. It does what it should and make you want to know more. So, I give this short novella 4 stars.

Don't believe me? Then try the book below! :D (You can increase the size of the pic with the icons right below the book). Don't forget to come back Wed for a review and giveaway of the first book!