Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (34)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.

This week, I am waiting on Deception by C.J. Redwine (8/27/13):

Description on Goodreads:
Baalboden has been ravaged. The brutal Commander's whereabouts are unknown. And Rachel, grief stricken over her father's death, needs Logan more than ever. With their ragged group of survivors struggling to forge a future, it's up to Logan to become the leader they need—with Rachel by his side. Under constant threat from rival Carrington's army, who is after the device that controls the Cursed One, the group decides to abandon the ruins of their home and take their chances in the Wasteland.

But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone—possibly inside their ranks—is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn't long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great—and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.

In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.
I am so ready for the book to be out already! I loved the first one in the series! I have recommended it to so many fantasy/dystopia fans! I love that the cover matches up well with the cover of book 1. I think it works really well. I also love the description for the story. I can’t wait for more Rachel and Logan!
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

I ended up loving this book so much more than I thought I would! I picked this one up at a conference last year (autographed!) and I am so glad my middle grade book club voted on it, and gave me an excuse to read it sooner that I would have otherwise. And, it made for a wonderful book club book too, with so much to discuss!
It doesn’t hurt that I am slightly obsessed with fairy tales, and the show, Glee (and the show, Once Upon a Time). I love when famous people are actually capable of doing other things besides acting! What a treat! Chris Colfer plays my favorite character, too.
Any way it’s about twins, Alex and Connor. Their father recently died, and nothing really seems to be going well for them until their grandmother leaves them with their favorite book of fairytales. After a few magical moments, and pencil tests experiments where the book physically sucked up the pencils Alex dropped in, it really was only a matter of time before the twins themselves would attempt going into the book.
Once in the land of stories, Connor immediately tries to figure a way home to their most likely frantic, widowed mother. And the kids kind of reverse their rolls. Alex, the good student who always does what she is told and who never really falls asleep in class, becomes the more irresponsible twin. She wants to sight see and go find her favorite fairytale characters! And Connor is the one worried about their mother.
The duo soon learns that the land of stories is not an easy land to live in. There are dangerous wolf packs, kidnapping dwarves, angry trolls, escaped evil witches, and a lot of politics. And the only way they find to get home is by collecting a list of ingredients for a wishing spell that sends them all over the many kingdoms collecting and often stealing important artifacts. Before long, they discover that they are not the only ones collecting these artifacts, and the spell can only be cast one more time…so there’s a bit of a race for time.
They meet so many great characters, like Froggy, and Goldilocks, and Jack. And they also meet annoying characters like Little Red Riding Hood. They get kidnapped. They steal glass slippers, set a castle to fire, collect tears from a fairy, and cooler than any of their interesting tasks is: they get to find out what happens to all their favorite characters after their stories are over. Did Goldilocks really break into those bears’ homes? Does Little Red Riding Hood really deserve her own kingdom or does it belong to her grandmother? How does Cinderella’s kingdom react to being ruled by a former lower class citizen?
There are fairies, mermaids, wolves, enchantresses, spells, jewels, castles, gingerbread houses, forests, beanstalks, and so many wonderful fairy tale elements all combined in this one book! There’s also a lot of drama! There’s a fairy tale love triangle. There’s an interesting history for the evil witch. There’s a giant mystery about the twins’ father that gets more and more interesting the longer they are in the land of stories. There’s a scavenger hunt to end all scavenger hunts!
And there even was a believable ending! This could easily be a stand-alone novel, but I know it’s not. It had a great ending! Though, I’m glad there are more books coming.
The only thing that sort of bothered me was just how accepting everyone was of the twins’ stories/explanations for why their parents weren’t around. Seriously, no one thought it was weird that two kids were by themselves all the time! I guess that is normal in fairy tales?
Also, it was a little too predictable for me. Granted it is for the younger spectrum of Young Adult readers, and I do read a lot of fairy tale retellings, so I know what to look out for, but still. I wish it took me a little bit longer to guess all the resolutions.
Overall though, this was an amazing adventure! I read it in one sitting. I loved the characters. I loved getting a little history for well-loved fairy tale characters. I loved the family drama for the twins! I loved Goldilocks the most! She was such a kick-butt character! Seriously, I’d want her to be on my side, always…I give this one a 9/10. And I look forward to anything more Mr. Colfer has to say!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (33)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.

This week, I am waiting on Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock (9/9/13):

Description on Goodreads:
Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.
I absolutely loved the first book, Hemlock, and I am so excited for this sequel! It sounds like it will be another great politically intense werewolf book! They get stuck in a rehabilitation camp! I’m so excited to read this. I’m not the biggest fan of the cover. There’s just something kind of cheesy/cartoonish about the girl. Though, I do like that the font is the same as it was on book 1. Regardless of the cheesy cover, I so plan on getting this one as soon as it comes out!
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

This was another one that I had to pick up immediately. I have been waiting for this book for forever (aka: a year). And it’s been so hard seeing all my favorite bloggers getting ARC’s for this one because I have been super jealous. But now, finally, I got to read it!
It takes place directly following the ending of book 1. {Book 1 spoiler warning!!} After the whole leaving her foot on the steps of the ball thing, and being televised all over the world as a threat to society, Cinder is of course arrested. But, can a newfound cyborg, Lunar princess stay still in prison? The book pretty much begins with her epic prison escape (after we are all introduced to Scarlet), so that answers that question, I guess.
And at first I was a little annoyed that Cinder was sharing so much screen time with Scarlet (aka: futuristic Little Red Riding Hood) because I wasn’t immediately in love with the country farm girl in France. However, after defending Cinder (someone she doesn’t know at all) to a group of rowdy, gross men at a bar, I kind of started respecting her. And then just when I though a Cinderella story with aliens, super powers, and cyborgs couldn’t get any cooler, Meyer throws in werewolves (or at least genetically modified Lunars with wolf DNA)!
Scarlet’s grandmother has been missing for over two weeks and just when the police have given up on the case completely because of so many sources saying the old lady was crazy and probably ran away, Scarlet is not in a happy place. Her father is a drunk and her grandmother is the only family she has. So, when she gets her first clue as to who might have kidnapped her beloved granny, she jumps on the opportunity to try to figure it all out (even though the opportunity is dangerous and involves street fighters, wolves, tortured victims, Lunars, and a high mortality risk). She befriends a street fighter/wolf gang member who promises to lead her toward her grandmother in Paris.
Meanwhile, Cinder escapes prison with a new flirty friend. Between breaking out of jail, learning she’s a princess, escaping an evil queen at every turn, and trying to find allies (like Scarlet’s grandmother), Cinder has a lot of quick thinking to do. There’s space travel and international travel involved with her new life on the run. And just when the two characters’ adventures start making more sense and intertwining in ways I wasn’t expecting, all hell breaks loose on earth for Kai. Since Cinder escaped, he “broke” a treaty with the queen of the moon and she gives him three days to track Cinder down.
When it looks like Kai won’t be finding her (after a few close calls), the queen decides to show Kai and earth just exactly what a full-out war with her would entail. There’s tons of violence, death, and political agendas here! Kai has to decide how far he will go to protect his people. Scarlet has to decide how far she will go to find her grandmother and do what her grandmother wants of her. Cinder has to decide what to do with the knowledge she has learned about her past. And with all the entertaining press conferences, media frenzies, and new characters, everyone has a lot to work on in this sequel!
I loved watching Cinder decide what to do with herself! She so doesn’t want to rule, and I love this about her. I also love that she can’t leave people behind. And I particularly love how willing she becomes to learn her new powers in order to protect people. Her new-power complaining meter is very low, and I love her so much more for that!
I grew to love Scarlet and her story as well! I loved the romance between her and Wolf. I loved how strong and resourceful she was, even once abducted. She never stopped fighting for her grandmother or for herself. And she didn’t take as long as other annoying characters would have to forgive certain characters. That made me love her that much more!
The new characters in here were awesome! The old characters had it cut out for them in more ways than one. I loved learning more things about the moon. I found the whole soldier/wolf/fighter concept to be amazing! And I’m just dying for a Cinder versus Moon showdown!
I wasn’t expecting to love the points of view shifts as much as I did. At first I was annoyed with Scarlet and kept anticipating Cinder’s storyline. But soon, I wasn’t sure who had the best story! And this is such a rarity for me lately in YA books with all of these shifts. I also loved that the characters didn’t all immediately love each other when they all connected. Scarlet actually gave Cinder a talking-to! Cinder’s new friend from jail gave everything a humorous light.
I wish I could have seen more Kai, but I have a good feeling he will be playing a very large role in the upcoming books. He sort of ended this book with a bang. I loved the ship Cinder was traveling on and how she could use her old friend’s personality chip to make the ship that much cooler! And I definitely loved seeing other parts of this amazingly thought out futuristic world (hello, France!).
I have to give this one a 10/10. I think I liked it even more than the first one. So, if you have any qualms about reading book two because it’s not all about Cinder, don’t. You will love this one. It is so good!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

So I was at the bookstore when it opened, the morning this lovely came out. I seriously adore this author. She writes the hands-down best vampire books out there. I read this book (like most books I love) in one sitting.
{Please stop reading if you have not read book 2. I am about to spoil some things!}
It takes place right after book 2: The Golden Lily ended. Book two ended with a lot of things up in the air, particularly the relationship status of Sydney and Adrian. We were introduced to new groups, new supernaturals like witches, and new alchemist dilemmas. And I went into this book thinking there was no way it could compete with the action packed fight scenes and drama-filled romance scenes of books 2. I was wrong. It definitely competed.
Despite the major kiss at the end of book 2, Sydney is in denial about her feelings for Adrian. A lot of this book is about Sydney letting go of old prejudices and learning to think for herself. She already is best friends with a group of vampires, learning magic from her favorite school teacher, and going above and beyond the typical protocol required of alchemists in the field.
Sonya gets married in this one! And Sydney actually gets to fly out to attend the wedding as part of a bringing together of alchemists and vampires peace concept. There’s more kisses and declarations of love from Adrian! And of course the tension between those two is just so good! And then there are the two major problems. 1) Sydney’s favorite witch teacher has an evil sister whose been draining young women of their powers. She drains them completely, killing them and leaving their bodies to look decades older than they are. All so she can stay younger longer. Oh, and she most certainly will want to find Sydney now that she’s closer to her school and can tell how powerful she is. 2) There’s the whole Marcus Finch mystery.
Marcus Finch used to be an alchemist! And for someone who is veering further and further from alchemist prejudices, Marcus Finch is very interesting. Between fending off Adrian, helping out her vampire friends, doing her job, maintaining a high grade point average, and working as a study aid for her favorite teacher, Sydney already has a lot cut out for her. Add some long car rides to find girls being targeted by evil witches, learning to do some powerful protection spells of her own, searching for Marcus Finch, and then proving to Marcus Finch and his band of rebel followers how serious she is, Sydney doesn’t ever seem to really be able to sleep.
There’s politics, romance, lots of magic, plot twists, mysteries, action, rebellion, and so much more! There’s a bit of shared dreams in here again! There’s dancing and meeting up with old friends (briefly). There’s a hilarious scene with a certain self-defense teacher. And there are terrifying scenes where Sydney almost blows her vampire friendly cover. Oh, and then there’s the archives, which is like the largest magical/alchemist library there is! I loved the scenes that took place there.
I was super impressed by how Sydney’s and Adrian’s relationship evolved and grew. I was super impressed by how Sydney herself evolved and grew as a leader. Watching her do so many things that she would normally be against was just so much fun! I found the whole Marcus Finch storyline fascinating! I kind of hope that it is not over. I like the idea of more people realizing that the alchemists are not all good. There’s actually some sort of dystopia type moments when Sydney realizes just how messed up her world and the people in charge of it are. I’m really hoping for an all out alchemist rebellion, even though I know Sydney has to put on her poker face to continue to protect her friends.
I like that while there is a lot supernatural stuff going on, and that a huge element of everything is the vampires, this book clearly stands out as an alchemist book. It is about alchemists, and everything else is bonus. And I like that the alchemists have become just as, if not more so interesting than the damphirs, vampires, and now witches. Mead just continues to create more and more ideas that venture off the normal path.
I wish there were more cameos of past characters, but I also get they are not the focus here. The focus is all about Sydney overcoming such tough odds. And frankly that was pure awesome. She has grown from a sort of mediocre character to one super amazing YA main character. And I love how Mead can write such growth for her characters. I give this one a 10/10. I have a lot more waiting to do for the next one.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Good Week in Books (44)

So, I am a big fan of used book stores…I sell back a lot of books (that I don’t donate to libraries or put up for giveaways). And because of books I sold back, I only spent 2 dollars to get two pretties today! Also, I bought some brand new ones at Barnes and Noble. And I’m still missing one other one that came out this week! I will have to go back to a bookstore soon…I have a bookstore addiction.

by Jana Oliver
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (ARC!)
Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead (!!!!!!!!!)
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
How was your week in books?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

You know that feeling when you take your first sip of ice-cold water after a particularly hard workout? Well, this book was my much-needed water. I have been a fan of this series since book one. It shocked me in so many ways. And then book two happened, and I was even more shocked. And frankly, I was a little hesitant with the whole ship-actually-landing-idea thing, but seriously I have been shocked a third time! Why the water metaphor? Well, frankly, I kind of feel like I’ve been drinking some really great, lukewarm water lately, and I’ve just been craving something a little different.
This was definitely different. Think LOST mixed with Jurassic Park, mixed with a really terrifying alien movie, and a classic kind of YA dystopia and you might have an idea of what this book was like. Seriously, though, I already knew that Revis was big on the plot twists and the drama, but well…dinosaurs! There are dinosaurs on this new planet!
It all starts with a dramatic crash-landing. Elder and Amy barely have time to breathe before all the frozen people are awoken (Hello, Amy’s parents!) There are sorts of political and racial divides between the people born on the ship (all of one ethnicity) and the people woken up. The frozen military pretty much take over, ignoring Elder and his people as much as they can. And there’s never really a safe, dull moment for these characters.
Important people (both ship-born and not) are being singled out and murdered. Latches on the ship close immediately, not giving anyone adequate time to take all there things before they run out (instead of being trapped forever). There are ptero’s, creatures that appear almost identical to pterodactyls that really seem to enjoy eating people. There’s so much death, fighting, and fear.
And the scariest thing is the unknown threat. There is some other possible alien race out there that killed off the humans that came first. Since Godspeed was created, technology advanced enough for the people of earth to send people to this planet much more quickly. However, all that seems to be left of these people are the ruins of their past houses. And this unknown element gives this book a whole new level of creepy.
Amy is a little caught between what she has become accustomed to with Elder and his people and what her parents expect of her. There’s a lot of animosity between Amy’s military leader father and Elder. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the past colony of humans. There’s new, technologically advanced weapons. There’s a lot of focus on phydus, the drug mentioned in the first two books that controlled the people on Godspeed. There’s a lot of new characters and the more the book goes on, the less the people (old and new) seem trustworthy.
There’s slave labor, aliens, dinosaurs, communication with people on Earth(!), underground tunnels, secret communication centers, all kinds of science (particularly the kind that deals with clones and genetically modified DNA), and even a new love triangle! The romance between Elder and Amy finally picks up, and I was so happy to see that happen that I literally put the book down, and said out loud, “Finally…”
The book isn’t so much about learning to live on a new planet as it is about a) finding out who’s murdering everyone, b) learning how to connect with Earth, c) deep-rooted political battles between various different groups of people, and d) fighting to survive even though at every turn, it becomes more and more that death is right around the corner.
I was blown away by this book! I read it in one sitting. Seriously, my eyes are like burning from staying open this long. On top of all of the crazy plot twists, shocks, deaths (the numbers were in the hundreds), romance, ethical battles, and action, was just one really well thought out ending to a remarkable series.  All of the questions I have been gathering since book one have been answered, and it’s so hard not to talk about them now, but I’m working really hard not to spoil anything.
Questions were answered. Lessons were learned. The weaker characters (aka: Amy) became much stronger. I was so happy to see Amy stick up to her father as much as she did. And really this book just dealt with so many things, I don’t even know how to begin to give light to all that it talked about. Themes of diversity, rebellion, slavery, injustice, science, and technology gave this scary, alien dystopia so much more depth than I’m accustomed to seeing in similar books. It’s both a book that made me afraid to turn the lights off, and a book that has me thinking way after I have finished it.
So, I can go on about this awesome series for days, but I just want to throw in that it is one of my favorite YA dystopia series I have yet to read. Most people would probably consider it to be more science fiction, but so many of the elements here are ones that just make up one classic dystopia. I give it a 10/10. I recommend it to fans of: Suzanne Collins, Ally Condie, James Dashner, and Moira Young.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (32)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.

This week, I am waiting on The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White (9/10/13):

Description on Goodreads:
Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.
How cool does this sound? Seriously, can Kiersten White not write something with a great premise? I’m a big fan of this author. I am a big fan of this cover. I’m definitely feeling the stars.  I am so ready for this one to come out!
What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

So, I absolutely loved The Name of the Star, and when I got my hands on this ARC, I literally jumped up and down with glee. (Read my review of book 1: here). Seriously, if you have not read the first book, and you like YA books that deal with ghosts, ghost hunting, mysteries, and or London, you absolutely need to read it. This series, while supernatural, still maintains all of the charm, embarrassment, and humor of the great contemporaries that Maureen Johnson writes too.
(I am about to spoil pieces of book 1, so stop reading if you haven’t read the first one yet). The first book ended with Rory being attacked by the Jack the Ripper copycat serial killer (that only a select few could see). Getting almost murdered by a serial killer, dead or alive, has its consequences. For Rory, it means being pulled out of her competitive school in London and taken to live with her parents in Bristol, where she can attend plenty of therapy sessions.
Rory had moved to London in the first book to attend school while her parents worked their new jobs. She stood out as being not just American, but from the south. Unfortunately for her, after an embarrassing choking incident, she realized she was able to see dead people. Apparently, when you survive a near death experience, you become gifted with the ability to “see.” And school can be really hard when you are the only one seeing a certain deadly serial killer.
After some serious therapy, Rory’s psychologist tells her parents that she thinks it would be best for Rory to go back to school. With a little convincing Rory is placed back in the setting of her attack, where finals are in full swing, and where she realizes just how desperately behind she is in her education. Not much has changed besides the routine Ripper tours that now take place, the drastically improved and modernized security system installed in the school, and the relationship status of Rory and Jerome, which now would be: dating.
It doesn’t take Rory long to realize that her abilities have changed since her attack too. She now works as a human terminus. She can kill ghosts permanently just by touching them, and with a ghost-hunting secret police force lacking ghost-killing weapons partly due to her, of course there needs to be a reunion! On top of being able to kill ghosts now by simply touching them, Rory has become more aware of other supernatural instances. She finds different clues that link current murders happening in her neighborhood to the Ripper copycat murders earlier.
Between trying not to fail out of high school, proving to her parents and therapists that she’s okay, maintaining a relationship with Jerome, and helping her secret friends rid London of unwanted ghosts, Rory also finds the time to investigate her school’s history, put some scary clues together, learn who really killed the bartender at the bar down the street, and fall in love with someone else.
There’s more death, more ghosts, more romance, and more mystery in this sequel, and I loved it! There were tons of hilarious, sarcastic therapy sessions! There’s also a kidnapping, a creepy supernatural cult, drugged baked goods, visits to mental institutions, and lots of growing up for Rory in this book.
At first, after finishing this book, I would have said I hated it…I’m just a little distraught from a rather shocking ending. I won’t say what happens, but just be prepared to be shocked, and well…distraught. Seriously, distraught. But, I’m glad I have this blog and the chance to seriously think about and review the book as a whole because I didn’t hate it at all. I loved it. I really did. I can’t let that ending spoil my overall love for the genius that is Maureen Johnson. I won’t let it ruin anything.
I don’t know how I will be able to wait for a book three. I seriously do not know how I will be waiting for this. What an ending! I give this one a 9/10 only because of how distraught I was, and because I was hoping for a little more strength from Rory. I get that bad things happened to her in book 1, but I really kept needing her to take back her life better and not keep making stupid decisions. This takes the whole book…but at least I know I will love her in book 3 (hopefully)!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr and read by James Marsters

So, it actually took me a long time to read this one. I am a huge Melissa Marr fan, and I pretty much bought this book the day it came out. It also helped that James Marsters was reading it…I am also a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I think it took me a while though because of its format. I’m definitely more of a visual learner and sometimes have problems getting through audio books.
It also became my gym book.  And I got into the habit of listening to Florence and the Machine every time I worked out, and poor Carnival of Souls sadly kept getting out-shadowed by music. However, by the time I was through about half of it, the story picked up so much, I couldn’t stop listening to it.
Marr has created a whole new world, parallel to our own, filled with daimons and witches. Daimons are governed by a caste system that seems rather impossible to elevate oneself in. However, once in a generation there is a competition that allows daimons to fight to the death for the chance to be a part of the uppermost caste. And what are daimons? They are very dangerous creatures that can look completely human (when they don’t have their claws out). They can be remarkably fast, strong, and powerful. 
Mallory, a teen girl in our world, has been training her whole life to be able to stand her own against them. She knows self-defense, martial arts, and weaponry. Her father, a witch from the other world, has been protecting Mallory from daimons since before she can remember. They live on the run, moving to new towns whenever her father feels that their safety is threatened. All Mallory knows for certain about why her father is so scared is that he has stolen something very important from the daimons that he will never give back.
In the other world, the competition is in full force. On one side of the fight is Kaleb, the lowest of the low, who would do anything to jump in society (particularly now that he has been spending so much time in the human world spying on Mallory). And then there’s also Aya (my favorite character), a girl who already is of the uppermost class fighting her last potential suitor to the death. She has given up on love, on family, and on everything she always thought she needed all in order to win the competition and be able to rule without being anyone’s wife or mother.
Aya, Kaleb, Mallory, Mallory’s father, the ruler of the Carnival of Souls, and the head of the witches’ council are all guarding their own secrets. They have lived their lives keeping their secrets from everyone, and when all of their lives (in both worlds) become intertwined, and secrets are set loose, all hell breaks loose.
There’s secret marriages, fights to the death, magical spells, love, major secrets revealed, and plenty of action in this new book by Marr! Mallory and Kaleb play the star-crossed lovers. And Aya plays the ultimate heroine. The book ends with a major discovery, a kidnapped father, and a joining of all the main characters. It really was an epic end to this book!
I was not the biggest Mallory fan. Granted, Marsters read her voice how you might picture a grown man trying to sound like a spoiled, whiny four year old girl. But more than that she was just too dumb for my liking. Seriously, I figured out her whole secret in the beginning. Why did it take her 17 years to figure something out I guessed in the beginning? And I get that magic was involved to make her forget things; but still, that just seemed too much. Also, I guess it’s hard for me to like a girl who everyone in the world seems willing to give up their lives for. Can I meet a male character not willing to die for her? What is so special about her?
I also figured out Aya’s secret early on as well. However, I loved her. I loved how she was willing to sacrifice everything for her dream. I loved how she viewed everything (including Kaleb and his pack). She was one tough character and I would not want to be fighting against her in competition or out. All of the scenes where she stood up to her mom were amazing too!
What stood out the most for me was the world building. I’ve never read a setting like this before. I loved the whole class system for the daimons. I loved reading about the carnival and I loved the long time feud between witches and daimons. There were some seriously thought out elements to this setting. I can see games, other stories/books, and movies coming out of this setting. I, personally, would never go there, but it is just so cool.
This wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be. Besides Marsters’ voice for Mallory, he did a fantastic job with reading the story and pacing out all of the action sequences. I was very impressed with him (even though I wished he sounded less American and more like Spike). I just wasn’t that impressed with the Mallory character or story line. I’m used to better from Marr. I will definitely still read the sequel (if/when there is one) and just hope that plot line improves because I need to know what happens! I give this an 8/10.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Good Week in Books (43)

So, this is an extremely light book week for me. I’ve been a super busy bee lately. I’ve read books for my adult book club, for my kids (at the school I work at) book club, and I’ve read books for the magazine I review for! I’ve read a couple YA titles for fun too; I will be reviewing them right after this post. I don’t know how I’ve gotten so busy that I’m a couple reviews behind! But this will be rectified soon. I did receive one new title (ARC) from the author this week. And next week, one of my most anticipated books of the year comes out, along with a few more…So I will be buying more new books again soon.
For Review:

The Emerald Tablet
by Joshua Silverman
How was your week in books?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Good Week in Books (42)

So, I might have gone a little overboard again at Barnes and Noble, but there were just so many books to buy…I did have a couple of coupons, and I do have a discount there, but still. I have a problem. And I know there are books coming out in February that I will need to get too. I purchased five books this week (one that isn’t out till next week!). And I received one new one in the mail to review for Romantic Times.

Undeadly by Michele Vail (one of my Wow’s)
Asunder by Jodi Meadows (!!!)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (a little early!!!)
Prodigy by Marie Lu (!!!)
Everbound by Brodi Ahston (!!!)
The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian (ARC for review, comes out 2/25/13)
How was your week in books?