Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On my Wishlist: Soundless by Richelle Mead

by Richelle Mead
272 p.
Published: 11/10/15
Publisher: Razorbill
For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation. 
But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon. 
Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...
This looks different and so I naturally want to read it. :) 
What are you wishing for this week? 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Series: Menagerie #1
432 p.
Published: 9/29/15
Publisher: MIRA
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.
My thoughts:

I did think that this book was a YA book but since the main character is about 25, I would say this is adult. However, a older YA person would easily get into it. It does have a few adult themes to it (for example, rape but nothing graphic). I was actually glad this one was adult and slipped into the world easily.

There was a big event in which many children are slaughtered in their sleep and replaced by "others". The criptid world (fae world) is blamed and stripped of any form of dignity and autonomy. They aren't sentient beings anymore to the human population at large in the US. While we get snippets of what happened, we are no closer to the answers in this book. However, that didn't bother me since this is primarily Delilah's book and how she came to be a part of this underworld and what it means for everyone. I really liked and connected with Delilah and loved how she cared for others who were so unlike her.

I devoured this book. It was just one of those books I wanted at the right time and I had fun with this one. I actually purposefully put it down so I could sleep knowing that if I read on, I would have thoughts swirling in my head and sleep would elude me. While we don't get to know all the criptids in the menagerie, I do think that will be forthcoming in future books. We get to know enough that it fills our world with creative and interesting creatures and what it would be like to get to know them all.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. While I guessed a lot before it was revealed and the ending was expected, it still made me want to devour this book whole. I had fun with this one and I'm looking forward to the next book. Not all the questions are answered and there is a potential danger lurking in our group's future.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Delirium by Erin Kellison

Series: Reveler #6
100 p.
Published: 1/6/15
Publisher: Fire Flower Publishing
Source: Author for review
As the new Darkside Division head, Marshal Harlen Fawkes has a target on his back, and the Oneiros are taking their best shot. To complicate matters, a mercenary has been hired to infiltrate Maze City, jeopardizing the one safe place left in the dreamwaters. Harlen’s allies are divided while covering different fronts, but that means their collective strength is divided, too.

If I die before I wake…

Summoning her courage, Sera must face the harsh Scrape winds to add her strength to Harlen’s fight. But nothing can combat the forces rising in the deep as they finally make their move. Danger comes from all sides at once, leaving Harlen no choice but to use the woman he loves as a proxy to penetrate the Black Market. And yet doing so leaves them utterly vulnerable, adrift in the sands, as nightmares descend.

Delirium is the sixth installment in the Reveler serial, a hot paranormal romance set in a world where shared dreaming is a new pop culture phenomenon that allows people to indulge their wildest fantasies. But there are also unknown dangers Darkside; nightmares are slowly infiltrating not only dreams, but the waking world as well.
My thoughts:
Another short book in this series and the action never seems to stop! We get to know a bit more about Harlen and Sera and what they are capable of in this book. We also get to know a bit more about Harlen's background. What I really loved is that Sera was a capable asset to the group and really had a brain and foresight.

I do have to say that Erin Kellison is evil in the way she ended this book. We just finished another episode getting us to the final showdown and then we get a glimpse of what was next. Okay, ending! What? No! Good thing the next book is out. :)

I give this story 4 stars. It really is remarkable in how much she can pack within so few pages. I cannot wait for the next story!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On My Wishlist: The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

The Masked Truth
by Kelley Armstrong
320 p.
Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Random House)
Published: 10/13/15

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.
Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal. 
The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage. 
The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree. 
Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.
I really enjoy her writing so this one is a no brainer for me. :)

What is on your wishlist this week?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Slightly Early Review: The Aeronauts Windlass by Jim Butcher

Series: The Cinder Spires #1
640 p.
Published: 9/29/15
Publisher: Roc
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace. 
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory. 
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…
My thoughts:

I actually haven't read a Jim Butcher book before but he was on my must try author list. I'm glad I gave this one a shot. I was in the mood for fantasy and this one really delivered. It is labeled steampunk but very little steam makes the objects work. Crystalpunk? Well, in any case, the world did feel like a steampunk kind of world.

What really enthralled me with this book was the characters. The females are capable or either learning to be capable. The girl who wins the swoony guy isn't the prettiest but has the best heart. The pretty girl is more than her looks. She has sass and mechanical skills. There were even oddball characters that you really got to know and enjoy. The guys who are leaders aren't just the ones giving orders, they know how to listen to others as well. This was played out smart and so the twists felt smart. My favorite character was Rowl. Rowl was a cat. Yes, a cat. He had his own personality and language to go in this fantasy world. He was also the most arrogant character of them all. I guess it is a good thing Rowl is also cute and fuzzy. LOL

My biggest complaint would be the action scenes. I felt that a few could have been more efficient in the telling and didn't need quite as much detail at times.  There was also a part where the captain was explaining in great detail what his plans or non-plans were and it was a bit much but it only really lasted a short while so it wasn't a huge detriment in the whole story. I just couldn't buy that he had to waste that much time explaining rather than engaging.

I give this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed my time here and had a lot of fun with the different aspects to this world. My favorite parts were the unexpected like Rowl and the etherialists. Very odd characters but rounded out the rest of the crew nicely. I am curious to see where we go next in this series.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Occasionally this happens to me. In this case I do think it was a question of timing...

432 p.
Published: 9/15/15
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of three teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy - only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace...
...until a diary is found hidden in the ruins. 
But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn't exist Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly? 
The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.
The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.
My thoughts:

I don't dnf too often, but I did in this case. I also feel that it was a me not you kind of situation. The format was unusual but that also made it interesting. The diary format always takes me a while to get into the story and this was no exception. It was actually written as a case file with diary entries and that is what gave me problems.

I was fully getting into the story but the "notes" given by the investigator kept pulling me out of the story every time. Finally when another POV was introduced between the notes I just gave up. I actually think this would make an excellent movie and would really get into the telling of it easily in that form. As it was, I just couldn't keep myself in the creepiness of the story.

I do plan on trying it another time. I am a bit burned out and that probably played into this for me. I think when I'm ready to tackle something different, this may be on the top of the list.

Do not take my word for it, Maja at the Nocturnal Library has an excellent positive review of this book.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Undying Legion by Clay and Susan Griffith

Hm... seems like I forgot something when I posted the 3rd book but not the 2nd's book review... Yea, I'm organized like that. So here is the review of the second book. The first book is The Shadow Revolution and the third book in the trilogy is The Conquering Dark (both reviews linked in the title).

Series: Crown & Key #2
384 p.
Published: June 30, 15
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Library
With a flood of dark magic about to engulf Victorian London, can a handful of heroes vanquish a legion of the undead? 
When monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane comes across the gruesome aftermath of a ritual murder in a London church, he enlists the help of magician-scribe Simon Archer and alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther. Studying the macabre scene, they struggle to understand obscure clues in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the victim’s heart—as well as bizarre mystical allusions to the romantic poetry of William Blake. One thing is clear: Some very potent black magic is at work. 
But this human sacrifice is only the first in a series of ritualized slayings. Desperate to save lives while there is still time, Simon, Kate, and Malcolm—along with gadget geek Penny Carter and Charlotte, an adolescent werewolf—track down a necromancer who is reanimating the deceased. As the team battles an unrelenting army of undead, a powerful Egyptian mummy, and serpentine demons, the necromancer proves an elusive quarry. And when the true purpose of the ritual is revealed, the gifted allies must confront a destructive force that is positively apocalyptic.
My thoughts:
This is a trilogy so I recommend reading these books in order. This book builds on the last and I think you won't be as involved with the characters if you didn't read the first book. Plus, I do think that although I really enjoyed the adventure and mystery, I enjoyed the characters even more.

This one is just your typical day for the group when they have to save the world AGAIN. However, the mystery of the first book bleeds into this one hen we are up against an impossible enemy. As in the first book, twists abound and we are left with something I didn't expect. There is a small cliffie for the ending, but nothing one can't handle especially knowing the next book is the last. I so can't wait to see how they fix something they didn't know could be broken.

I give this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to those that enjoy mystery, intrigue and a bit of steampunk.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

Series: The Girl From the Well #2
272 p.
Published: 9/8/15
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: NetGalley and Publisher for review
Over the last year I've gone against faceless women, disfigured spirits, and grotesque revenants. Some people keep dangerous hobbies; skydiving and driving at monster truck rallies and glacier surfing. Me? I cast my soul into the churning waters of potential damnation and wait for a bite.

It’s been two years since Tark Halloway’s nightmare ended. Free from the evil spirit that haunted him all his life, he now aids the ghostly Okiku and avenges the souls of innocent children by hunting down their murderers. But when Okiku becomes responsible for a death at his high school, Tark begins to wonder if they’re no better than the killers they seek out. 
When an old friend disappears in Aokigahara, Japan’s infamous ‘suicide forest’, both must resolve their differences and return to that country of secrets to find her.

Because there is a strange village inside Aokigahara, a village people claim does not exist. A village where strange things lie waiting.
A village with old ghosts and an ancient evil – one that may be stronger than even Okiku…
My thoughts:

Well, I've said I was a wimp. I always shied away from horror. However, I've been reading more zombie novels and more paranormal with a horror flair and not even had a wimper. I do remember the first book and I remember saying that yea... this is horror. It was one of the few that could scare me. This one is no exception and I would suggest that lights on or at least daylight be your friend when reading this book. I also recommend reading it in order because the characters are established in the first book.

Now those that are saying, "No way!" because it is horror... I want to give you a pause. While this did creep me out and make me dive under the covers, it also captivated me. The story was so good and the twists in this book made you want to know more and what happens next. The characters are outstanding and you fall for Okiku the unusual ghost. There is also the Japanese flair to mythology in this book and that is a bonus for those who want to read different mythologies than what we usually get. The only flaw I can say is that there is a time toward the end that Tark struggles and we don't get to see much of that. Granted the volume would be huge, but I'm fine with that when it is a good book. The other flaw is that it made me cry. Okay, not a flaw for most but I hate to cry. :)

I will give this book 4 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed it and it does have a sort of a HEA. It is one that you both want and don't want at the same time. One that will make you happy and sad but still call it an HEA. Curious? ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

On My Wishlist: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Dark Heart of Magic
by Jennifer Estep
368 p.
Publisher: Kensington
To be Published: 10/27/15
Something Wicked This Way Comes... 
As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there's no escaping the spotlight—or the danger. 
Even though he's my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what's supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious "accidents," it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt. 
As if I didn't have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone's going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing's for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else...
This is a series that has already become one of my fave UF/YA series! Can't wait to read it!

What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sideswiped and The Drafter by Kim Harrison with Giveaway!

Happy Labor Day for those in the states. Happy Monday to everyone else. How about a review and giveaway? :D

Series: The Peri Reed Chronicles #0.5
80 p.
Publisher: Pocket Star
Source: TBR pile (currently .99¢ at your fave ebook retailer)
Every hero, even the accidental ones, have a beginning. 
Silas’s radical theory that drafters are not replaying time as much as they are temporarily sliding into an alternate universe has never been well-received, but frankly, the darling of Opti’s research has enough clout not to care, until a professor with a grudge tries to put a permanent end to it. Love can’t alter time, and sometimes, even being able to rub out a single mistake isn’t enough…

My thoughts:

A lot of people kept telling me I need to read this one before I read The Drafter. I was going to but just wanted to dive into the other story. When I was reading the main book, I got a sudden urge to know more about what had gone on before so I picked up this book.

It didn't give me everything that I wanted in information, but it did round out the story a bit more for me. This is not a necessary book to read The Drafter, but it is a good compliment.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars and recommend it to those that plan on reading The Drafter.

The Drafter
Series: The Peri Reed Chronicles #1
432 p.
Published: 9/1/15
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Publisher for review
Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. 
Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. 
When Peri discovers her name on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. She joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her final task, unable to trust even herself.
My thoughts:

This is a book where time travel is a central theme. It is an interesting take and reminds me of the work they are doing in quantum physics where they can transfer data from one place to another without a machine. In a way there is a time aspect to it as it goes sideways to this process. Similar qualities happen here during a "draft". Um... not sure I explained that correctly but how time is manipulated frequently brought me back to physics (of which I'm admittedly not proficient). It seems like the author did a good job of researching this idea. While not perfect, time travel was done in a believable way. And no, you don't need to know these concepts to "get it" either. :) I only mention it because it made the drafting feel more real to me.

What I really loved about the book is the characters. The secondary characters were fabulous and I wished we had more time with a couple of them. I really enjoyed Peri and how she struggled with what was going on and demanding answers that were locked insider her brain. The big mystery has many twists and turns and a few I really didn't expect. I honestly think I would become insane with what Peri has gone through but she perseveres and so I think her character is strong. While a lot of questions were answered, a few weren't and that is to be expected in a series book. I was actually left with some trepidations on characters I was certain of and now don't know if I would trust them. Oh yea, this is the beginning of a good series.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I recommend it to those that love mystery, thriller and sci-fi books. There is a hint of romance from time to time, but don't expect it here... yet. :)

The publisher is allowing me to giveaway one copy of The Drafter to those with a US snail mail addy! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Conquering Dark by Clay and Susan Griffith

Series: Crown and Key #3
338 p.
Publisher: Del Rey
Published: 7/28/15
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
The Crown and Key Society face their most terrifying villain yet: Gaios, a deranged demigod with the power to destroy Britain. 
To avenge a centuries-old betrayal, Gaios is hell-bent on summoning the elemental forces of the earth to level London and bury Britain. The Crown and Key Society, a secret league consisting of a magician, an alchemist, and a monster-hunter, is the realm’s only hope—and to stop Gaios, they must gather their full strength and come together as a team, or the world will fall apart. 
But Simon Archer, the Crown and Key’s leader and the last living magician-scribe, has lost his powers. As Gaios searches for the Stone of Scone, which will give him destructive dominion over the land, monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther, gadget geek Penny Carter, and Charlotte the werewolf scramble to reconnect Simon to his magic before the world as they know it is left forever in ruins.
My thoughts:
The last book? Say it isn't so. I'm hoping we have more since their other series, The Vampire Empire was also complete, but is coming up with a new book shortly. Even if there are no more in this series, this trilogy went out with a bang. I don't always love series ender books, but this one was good.

I've enjoyed this trilogy from the beginning and was so happy when I got the okay to review the ending book. We knew what was coming for our intrepid group but we just didn't know how it would play out. We have action from the beginning but we are not left out of how this group really becomes a family. While they were family long before this book starts, it is here where all our characters agree that they are family and will do anything for each other. I think that is why it is so hard to let this bunch go. We just got to know them as a family and want to see more of this type of dynamic in the group.

I will say that the ending is harrowing and a tear or two may be shed. Although some of it is heartbreaking, it is complete. There is a way for the group to come back if the authors intend to write more adventures for this series and I can only hope this is something they have considered.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. It is a great conclusion to a fabulous trilogy. I recommend this book but I do say to read them in order. Now that they are all out, this shouldn't be a problem!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

320 p.
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published: 9/1/15
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. 
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. 
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
My thoughts:
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. On the good side I loved the main character. I also loved that she is mixed race. I also loved the format in which the story is told. We get a lot of Maddy's drawings and doodlings which really brings her inner life to the forefront. This is unusually told and I really loved that about this book.

However, the unusual parts stop there.

I figured out what was going on really early on. First, confusing "allergic to the world" with extreme immunodeficiency was the key. To put it plainly, one process is the lack of a properly working immune system (or underreaction) and the other is an overreaction of the immune system. This was my first red flag and at this point I was more worried that it wasn't well researched. I also understand that not everyone would catch this, but for Maddy who has a rare disorder or disease I'm sure she would know all the ins and outs of her disorder. Maddy didn't seem to know much about it and she was smart and precocious. Too many blanks and mysteries when it came to her disease. My guess is that she would have learned everything about it to solve that puzzle. Why didn't she know of alternative treatments even if her mother disapproved? There were other red flags but that was the first and the most blatant. So, therefore, I knew what I was getting and that part seemed to follow the formula (I'm trying not to spoil so I say "formula" here). I wasn't surprised with the rest of the book. I should also mentioned that because of the formula, the research I worried about need not apply.

I did love the ending but I did wish for something more. I was hoping this one would be different. While the execution was different and inspired, the content followed expectations. I would read another book by this author however and I do recommend this book. I do love her imagination. I give this book 3 stars.