Monday, June 29, 2015

Darksider by Erin Kellison

Series: Reveler #3
124 p.
Publisher: Fire Flower Publishing
Published: 6/9/14
Source: From author for review
She has always been his dream…

Chef Serafina Rochan believes her recurring nightmares of pursuit are a symptom of her anxiety about opening her second restaurant. But when the stalker appears in the waking world, she swallows her pride and calls the one man she trusts to go into her dreams, even if it means risking her heart.

When Marshal Harlen Fawkes receives Sera’s call, nothing else matters. Time has not eroded the power of his feelings for her. After years apart, they go Darkside together and cannot resist the longing and desire their connection evokes. The past and present collide, and Sera abandons all reservations to embrace Harlen again, if even for one night.

In order to protect her, Harlen aligns himself with disavowed friends, and in so doing is drawn deeper into the secrets and perils of the dreamwaters. As the tide of darkness rises, Harlen faces his demons…but not without Sera, who fights just as fiercely for the dream of a life together.

Dream dangerously.
My thoughts:
I really got into the last book and was curious about this one. We meet a new couple, Harlen and Sera. I immediately liked both of them and they are old lovers reconnecting because Sera is being haunted in her dreams. One that has come true and she finds herself being stalked. We get enough background with this couple to connect to them and it helps that they had this past with such a short book. It works. The mystery seems to be growing from the other books and so this is a series that should be read in order. The mystery arc builds from one book to another.

I really was into this book and then *bam* ending. Cliffie! NOOooooOOOO! I hate cliffies especially when I'm enjoying the book. I wish this one was longer but I'm also glad that the next one is out now. I need to read it. I don't think it needed a cliffie to make me want to read the next book but it still worked. :p

I give this book 3 1/2 stars and recommend it to those that love a dark PNR.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Challenges Update!

I almost forgot to post my challenges! It's been 1/2 way through the year (can you believe it?) and here is how I'm doing so far. YaY! Right now I'm meeting my goals.
Hot Listens/2015 Audiobook Challenge
13/15 audiobooks
I'm surpassing what I thought I would do in this category! I will have no problems completing it. I will then see how many I can get done within the year.

Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
13/24 library books
I actually thought I'd have more books in this category, but I keep getting distracted with all the new shinys. :D However, I seem to be on track here. YaY!

Hm... I was thinking on doing a post on how I listen to audios. What do you think?

How are your challenges going?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On My Wishlist: Riders by Veronica Rossi

This week: 
Horses! Wait a minute... :)

by Veronica Rossi
384 p.
Published: 2/2/16
Publisher: Tor Teen
For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does. 
Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence. 
They fail. 
Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.But will anyone believe him?
Okay so it's no Black Beauty but still looks good. :)
What are  you wishing for this week?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Audiobook Review: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Narrator: Carla Mercer-Meyer
10 hrs. 3 min.
Published 8/11/14
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Source: Hoopla/Library
Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten. Now she's out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.  
When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher set her free.  
Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged."
My thoughts:
Looking for something dark ethereal and odd? This book is for you! I loved the lush gothic worldbuilding as we learned much about this community and Clementine in particular. It is also filled with good characters but since it is all told from a first person POV, we get to know Clementine most of all. 

I have to say I really enjoyed this book on audio. While at times it did seem that Carla, the narrator, needed to lower her voice for Clementine it also lent itself to some immediacy in the telling of the story. It helped to make you think something sinister is around the corner. She also does a great job of voicing the other characters and I didn't mind her male voices at all. She did a great job with everyone.

I give this audio 4 stars. It's dark, cryptic, mysterious and very odd. It is perfect as a standalone and the ending was well done. I recommend it to those that want something different, gothic and meandering but building to a purpose. One that shows how love can conquer hate and how everything has consequences.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Clawed by L. A. Kornetsky

Series: Gin and Tonic Mysteries #4
304 p.
Published: 5/26/15
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: From publisher for review
In this fourth mystery in the charming and witty Gin & Tonic series, private investigators Ginny and Teddy—with the help of their faithful pets—must unravel their most intriguing case yet… 
Even though she’s unlicensed as an investigator, the infamously nosy Ginny Mallard and her cohort Teddy Tonica have begun to make a name for themselves in solving cases. But Ginny still has her day job as an event planner, and the promise of a lucrative job draws her to Portland, with her shar-pei puppy, Georgie, in tow. Much to her shock and horror, however, she’s been led there under false pretenses—and discovers a body in the parlor of her client's house! 
Though the cops warn her to keep her nose out of it, Ginny just can't resist the itch to solve this case, and soon gets drawn into Portland's seedy underbelly of identity theft, forgery, and of course, murder…with Teddy and his cat Penny's devoted sleuthing helping her at every turn.
My thoughts:
I've only read the book before this one and I think you could pick this one up with no problems as well. You would know there is back story but nothing of such import that you can't follow along. While this one seemed to have less of Georgie and Penny (the dog and cat respectively) but they were still involved enough to lend some humor to the case.

I have to say that this mystery had a lot of twists and turns and I found myself more invested in the people in the story than solving the murder. I was more interested in why Ginny was called down there and then framed for a murder. She was easily cleared but she had to know why she became involved with people she never met. It was an interesting twist in getting Gin and Tonic involved.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars and did enjoy this cozy. I LOVED Penny (the cat) solving the mystery of the stolen tips when none of the humans were any wiser. It really gave the story a push in the humorous direction. I recommend this book to those that enjoy cozy mysteries with a side of dog and cat commentary. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On My Wishlist: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This week:

Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo
480 p.
Published: 9/29/15
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone... 
A convict with a thirst for revenge. 
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. 
A runaway with a privileged past. 
A spy known as the Wraith. 
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
I think this one has already made its way through several wishlists!
What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, June 15, 2015

World After by Susan Ee

Series: Penryn and the End of Days #2
320 p.
Published: 11/19/13
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: Library
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world. 
When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken. 
Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go. 
Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?
My thoughts:
I was hooked after the first book and I had to know what happened next. The ending of the last book was a killer and I recommend you have this one available after that book. I would have loved to have these together.

This book starts where the last book ends. So, you know you are in for a ride from the beginning. I was curious to where this book would lead us especially with her sister Paige. I won't go into why but let me just say it becomes a pinnacle to the story and a turning point for Penryn. The relationship between Raffe and Penryn is basically put on hold because of the events at the end of book one (you'll have to read that one to find out what *evil laugh*) so there isn't much romance but there is some. The relationship issues aren't even close to being resolved in this book and so we look forward to the next. Not just with this relationship but with the rest of the group as well. I'm most impressed with the change in attitude of Penryn with her mom as she discovers more about what she has done to keep them as safe as possible. I think there is more to that story as well.

The ending is a cliffie but not as harsh of a one as the first book. Luckily the last book is out, but unfortunately I'll have to wait a bit because I live in a reading town and that book is already borrowed. How dare they! LOL I will hopefully be reading it soon.

I give this book 4 stars and I think I did like this one more than the first. I think those that don't enjoy angel books but want to will like this series. I also recommend it to those that enjoy dystopian YA.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Series: Demon Cycle #3
639 p.
Published: 2/12/13
Publisher: Random House Del Ray
Source: Library
On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all. 
Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning. 
The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic. 
Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons--a spear and a crown--that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control. 
But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her. 
Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all--those lurking in the human heart.
My thoughts:

Warning: There will be some small spoilers if you haven't read the first 2 books.

I was hoping that the romance I didn't like would present itself differently in this book. While Leesha's romance or choices rather seemed to work for me, Arlen's romance still didn't feel right nor did it feel like a true love romance. I think if there wasn't a possible romance between Leesha and Arlen I believe I would have had no problems with his romance but because of his former pairing with Leesha it just didn't gel for me. It would have made more sense if he had some sort of relationship with Renna prior to his relationship now, but there really wasn't more than a single meeting when he was a child. I also think that Arlen's failed romance with Leesha got in my way of really connecting to Renna. That is a shame since Renna is a character I would normally LOVE.

My other problem is with how the character of Leesha was written. You know those movies where the woman who is capable and skilled (as much or more than the men surrounding her) but ends up fighting the other lone woman on the "bad" side who has 1/10 of her ability? Then the heroine suddenly forgets her skills and can barely keep up with the other woman only to barely beat her in a fight? Yea, it was like that. Leesha had skills and learned at the foot of 2 great women who knew how to rule but then when it came to really ruling she faltered... badly. It was upsetting but I totally give her props on how she handled learning of Arlen and Renna. Almost made up for the rest of what was done to her character.

You might now think I hated the book. I didn't at all. I loved how the secondary characters got more filling out and more book time. I really loved the way Rojer came into his own and is really becoming a man. I also can see that we are again set up for Leesha to rule and rule well. I also loved Invera. Okay, love is way too strong as she is a manipulative witch but I really loved that her complexity came out in this book. I didn't like her but I did respect her more. I'm very curious as to how she grows in the next book.

I give this book 3 stars. While I did have several problems with the characterization of both Leesha and Arlen, I did enjoy how the others grew and also how the worldbuilding is evolving. Things are getting more dangerous and it looks like the demons realize they are up against more than they previously bargained. With smart demons like that I can see how the next installment will have me on the edge of my seat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On My Wishlist: Nightstruck by Jenna Black

Oh this week has such a good cover!

by Jenna Black
TBP: April 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
It starts with a cry in the night. Becket, a teenage girl walking her dog one winter evening, fears it's the cry of an abandoned baby. But it is something else—something evil—and it tricks Becket into opening a doorway to another realm, letting a darkness into our world, a corruption that begins transforming Philadelphia into a menacing version of itself…but only at night. 
The changes are subtle at first, causing Becket to doubt her senses and her sanity, but soon the nightmarish truth is impossible to deny. By day, the city is just a city, but by night it literally comes alive with malevolent purpose. Brick and steel transform into bone, streetlights become gallows, and hungry alleys wait to snare mortal victims. Terrified citizens huddle indoors after dusk, even as others succumb to the siren song of the night, letting their darker sides run wild.

Once, Becket’s biggest problems were living up to her police commissioner father’s high expectations and a secret crush on her best friend’s boyfriend. But now she must find a way to survive--and to protect her loved ones--before the darkness takes her as well.
2016? Seriously? *sigh*
So what is on your wishlist this week?

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

Series: Demon Cycle #2
579 p.
Published: 4/13/10
Publisher: Del Ray
Source: Library
The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that arise as the sun sets, preying upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind ancient and half-forgotten symbols of power. These wards alone can keep the demons at bay, but legends tell of a Deliverer: a general-some would say prophet-who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. Those times, if they ever existed, are long past. The demons are back, and the return of the Deliverer is just another myth . . . or is it?
My thoughts:

I was not sure if I would enjoy this book. I knew it was mostly about Jardir who in the first book was a total jerk. I wasn't sure if I wanted to soften to this character and that often happens when we get their story. Well, I need not worry. While I did soften a bit and found he wasn't just a jerk he still was responsible for the decisions he made. I did enjoy learning more about this character... I will admit that. :)

I was happy when we got more about the other characters of Leesha, Arlen and Rojer. I think Rojer shines more in this book than the last but I had a few problems with Leesha and Arlen. I didn't have those problems until the last of the book however. I did enjoy their journey which did seem to lead them into learning more about themselves and the world around them. I was happy we got more of that but then they started making romantic decisions that just didn't set right with me and ended with me just saying... "NO!"


This also peaked my interest. If the author sets things back to right or at least convinces me that these decisions hold a greater value or at least make sense in a much less impulsive way than I will sing this author's praises. I do actually think there is a chance of that and I know that there is a purpose here that is leading to something else. You can see the intention so I must know where this leads. Yes, even though I was upset with the ending, I want to know more.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I might have given it just a 3 but the story kept me interested and I'm still curious about how the story will progress despite the problems I had with this book. I recommend it to those that enjoy adult fantasy.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Narrator: Soneela Nankani
12 hrs. 4 min.
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 2/10/15
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program
"The Handmaid’s Tale" meets "Blood Red Road" in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder. 
In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
My thoughts: 
Oh a dystopian in a world where women are used, hunted, and suppressed within a patriarchal society. Usually these things give you a strong female protagonist so I'm usually all for this type of story. Plus, I've been wanting to try a book by this author so when the opportunity arose I was glad I was chosen. 

The beginning of the story really sets us up for the end of the story. We learn a lot about Aya and what kind of person she is and wants to be in this world. Her motivations are her family, both made and given and the enemy is the world she tries to avoid at all costs. As a virgin wild female, she knows that being owned is the worst thing that can happen to her.

Her fears are realized and the worst happens. Much of the beginning is about how she survives and the introduction to a few important characters Kiran and Brax. As soon as Brax was introduced my anxiety rose and I did find out what happens to him by checking out other reviews before I listened on. (HIGHLIGHT for spoiler) Brax is a wolf who she saves and befriends. Yes, he does die (which made it hard to listen to most of the book) but it doesn't happen until the end and it was a decent death. Yea, I almost didn't listen to the rest of the book because of the spoiler but I was glad I listened to the rest of the book. I know some want to know that deet and some don't. It is a huge spoiler for that character. 

While I did love the characters, some of the worldbuilding for me was a bit inconsistent and also a bit unbelievable. Dissecting the world will cause problems within the believability of the story, however, if you can try to ignore some of the discrepancies the characters do move the story along.

I did love Soneela Nankani's narration. There is a part where Kiran pronounces his words differently than what Aya is used to hearing and Soneela does a perfect job with his accent. I think hearing it really brings you into the story.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. Despite the worldbuilding problems and the spoiler... I did enjoy the tale. I am glad this is a standalone and it works well that way. I recommend it to those that enjoy YA dystopians. 
LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fandemic by Jennifer Estep

Series: Bigtime #5
129 p.
Published: 6/2/15
Source: From author for review

Piper Perez has always wanted to be a superhero. Always wanted to wear a cool costume, have amazing abilities, and save the day. There’s just one problem—Piper doesn’t have any superpowers.
So she focuses on other things. Facts, figures, memorabilia. Piper knows and collects it all, about both the superheroes and the ubervillains who roam the streets of Bigtime, N.Y. Piper’s friends jokingly call her a fandemic—someone who is a superfan of all things superhero. The nickname is truer than anyone knows, especially since Piper can’t stop thinking about Swifte, the speedy hero who broke her heart months ago.

But someone has been killing off Bigtime’s heroes and villains. When one of Piper’s friends is murdered, she vows to do whatever she can to help bring the killer to justice, superpowers or not. All the clues and information she gathers lead her to believe that Swifte is the killer’s next target. Piper has always wanted to be a hero, and now she’ll have to use all of her fandemic knowledge to save the man she loves—or die trying…
My thoughts:

Another Bigtime book! I so enjoy these tongue in cheek superhero books! I was also very curious about this couple, Piper and Swifte, and I was so happy to get this one in my hot little hands! :) This is also a great series for those that enjoy Jennifer Estep's other stories since there are tidbits (or easter eggs) from this world that leak into the other worlds. It makes everything just a bit more fun!

While this is a short story, it isn't short on romance. You are introduced to this couple in another book and so I actually recommend reading these in order. One story does tend to build on the others and I also think it is important in the way the characters are introduced in the series. So you are pretty well versed on these characters here and that is why I think this short book works. For example, the romance is fast but it doesn't feel like instalove since we knew of them prior. I also love the action in these stories and not all the heroes in these books have power. It is no different in this particular story.

I give this book 4 stars. It is another fun adventure into the superhero world of Bigtime. I recommend it to fans of Jennifer Estep and those that want something fun.

Available for $2.99
Amazon Kindle / Barnes & Noble / GooglePlay / iBooks /Kobo / Smashwords
Karma Girl (Bigtime #1) is on sale in the same places for $.99!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

Series: Crown & Key #1
320 p.
Publisher: Del Ray
Published: 6/2/15
Source: From publisher and NetGalley for review
"They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver." 
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield. 
After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.
My thoughts:

I enjoyed this team's last steampunk so I was excited to give this one a try. This one started off sort of like a Holmes-ian type of mystery with steampunk magic. Simon and Nick have a relationship not unlike Holmes and Watson in the Robert Downey Jr. version. It was an interesting way to introduce the characters but it also seemed to keep me at a distance from them. I didn't become involved with Simon until he really gets involved with Kate further into the book. There is also a backstory we are not privy to in the book. This also slows things down and frustrates the reader wanting to know more. I do believe that all things will be revealed in good time within the series.

However, the book only seems a bit slow in the beginning but does pick up quite quickly and is almost at break neck speed toward the end. Also, what I thought it lacked in some connection, it made up for in strong women characters. Aside from Imogene (although she proves herself in the end even if it is out of character) we also have a capable Kate, a young but brave werewolf, and even a hard to kill evil who is also female but also capable. I have to say if you are looking for good female characters do check out this book!

I give this book 4 stars. Although it did start out a bit slow for me in the beginning it made up for that lack in the end. I recommend this book to those that enjoy steampunk, mystery and strong women.