Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.


Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page

3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.


In honor of Halloween, here is a teaser that sent a chill down my spine and caused me to squirm! LOL!


"Farrell drew a small folding knife out of his pocket and flipped it open. Leaning loser to the mirror, he pulled the skin beneath his right eye taut. Slowly and carefully, he sliced off his birthmark." p 61














TITLE: The Darkest Magic
AUTHOR: Morgan Rhodes
PUBLISHER: Razorbill
GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: June 28, 2016





Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.



This week's topic is: HALLOWEEN FREEBIE--Top Ten Scary Books I STILL Need to Read from My TBR Pile!


*in no particular order
**literally a list of spooky reads I still NEED to read! All but one of these was in my picture on Instagram!


 The Merciless II by Danielle Vega
The Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage
The House by Christina Lauren
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz 
After the Woods by Kim Savage
The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Hellworld by Tom Leveen




Review--The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes

In the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes's highly acclaimed Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, danger looms and the mystery deepens as two warring evils vie for possession of one elusive, powerful book.

Modern-day Toronto: Sisters Crystal and Becca Hatcher are reunited after reclaiming the Bronze Codex and narrowly escaping death. They have no one to trust but each other, and the only thing keeping them safe is the book that sent Becca's spirit to Ancient Mytica--the same book that their enemies would kill them for.

Ancient Mytica: Maddox grapples to keep his newly discovered powers under control, while the ruthless goddess Valoria hunts him down.

Modern-day Toronto: Farrell embraces his dark side as he unwittingly falls further under the spell of Markus, the mastermind leader of the nefarious Hawkspear Society, who will stop at nothing to find Crys and Becca--and the remarkable book in their possession.

New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes takes readers into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with volume two of the Book of Spirits and Thieves series, an epic contemporary saga perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.


After a much too long wait—but considering the final book is still over a year away, I may have read it TOO soon—I’ve finally read Morgan Rhodes’ The Darkest Magic, the second book in the Spirit and Thieves trilogy, which is the prequel series to our beloved Falling Kingdoms. Once again, I dove into this one with no memory of the first book—yet again I couldn’t find a recap anywhere and just did my best to dive in! And luckily, I feel like I was able to follow along fairly well. Better than most other books it would seem. And let me tell you, this book was pure magic! It was exciting and captivating and OMG I NEED THE NEXT ONE NOW!!!!!!

Life hasn’t exactly turned back to normal for Crys and Becca now that Becca is out of her coma like state and is back in reality. Things are pretty chaotic! Farrell is still under Markus’ thumb, Jackie is determined to kill him and possibly vice versa. The book has some sort of magical effect on Becca that’s positively dangerous and Markus still wants it no matter the cost. Lives will be lost. Destruction will reign. Oh, and there also seems to be a new enemy is town who’s even more unsavory than Markus! We’re talking zero morals at all! And that’s not even mentioning the trouble in Mythica that Maddox and Barnabas are dealing with in regards to Valoria!

Needless to say this book was pretty chaotic, but I loved every single moment of it! Chaos reigns…and it’s definitely a most entertaining time! This time around (or possibly last time, but if so then I totally misread my review!) we have four points of view, which are Maddox, Becca, Crys, and Farrell, I can’t remember if this was the same way as the previous book as I read that way too long ago. And if you’re a reader who fears multiple points of view, never fear! For while it may seem scary—which considering her other series has more, four is a piece of cake—it’s really easy to change points of view back and forth! I mean there are times when I get upset to leave one view and cross into another, but by the end of the chapter, the process repeats itself all over again! And since this time 3/4 view points are in the same world, there’s no extra confusion with crossing dimensions!

For a while in this book, it seems as if we’re just reading about events in two different worlds but a connection is definitely established more firmly in this one (Again, maybe it was still established in the first one but again I sooo can’t remember that! Lol). While nothing is concrete just yet, there are these little hints and things that are happening. The ball is being sent into motion and we’re definitely going to have an explosive and amazing book to come next year. I am only saddened that it will bring this series to a conclusion.

The main goals of this one involves Becca and Crys trying to keep the Codex away from Markus and Farrell while they are trying to get it back. Farrell has been give orders as well to kill Crys and then of course we have the new big bad in town who is someone from Markus’ past who has no shame in killing to get what he wants. He’s definitely one of the scariest bad guys I’ve ever met!

It always amazes me how much information Morgan can weave into her books and never have it feel too overwhelming. There have been many times where other authors attempt to do this and I do feel rather lost and confused. Perhaps the execution wasn’t quite right in those instances, but Morgan is on the ball with this method! We learn quite a bit in the 426 pages that make up this book and I would’ve happily read another 300 more pages and never batted an eye about it! The pacing was so on par! There never really seems to be a dull moment. Everything just escalates from one level of amazing to another! It’s the prefect kind of read!

There wasn’t as much romance in this one either. I feel like last time we had this situation too. There’s of course the unlevelled amount of tension between Farrell and Crys. Not only is Farrell still in some sort of relationship with the girlfriend his family approves of, but obviously Farrell and Crys fall on opposing sides when it comes to the magical book. And since Crys is an enemy by proxy to Markus, he orders Farrell to kill her. You can naturally assume how that resolves. Farrell is a stubborn sort of guy despite how loyal he is to Markus. Then of course we have the star-crossed lovers, Maddox and Becca, but they are once again worlds away from each other. But that doesn’t stop the bizarre dreams and other whatnots that occur!

The ending to this one was pure shocking! Again, I am kicking myself for choosing to read this one NOW when I still have 365+ PLUS days until the final book! I really, really should know better by now since Morgan holds no bounds when it comes to cliffhangers. I can only hope my tears truly do feed her muse! Lol! The ending was pure shocking and it’s definitely setting the ball rolling at a fast clop into next year’s exciting conclusion to the series. I positively cannot wait to read it either! I live for these magical worlds that Morgan creates and reading them is a trip I never quite get over! What I will do with myself once both series come to an end next year I haven’t the faintest idea. No good will come from it, that’s for sure!

If you haven’t read Morgan’s books yet, I would highly recommend that you do for both series are made of magical awesomeness that are meant to be devoured page by page! Better yet, as I said, both series conclude by the end of next year, so a binge reading could be in your future if you make the right choice (Nudge, nudge)! While I do love reading a series book by book, year by year, there is nothing more satisfying than having a series binge available! As a side note as well, you can read either of these series without reading the other—though why you would want to I couldn’t explain, lol—but as always I would HIGHLY recommend reading them both because you will not regret it at all!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars






 

Let's Discuss: Time Travel or Teleportation?

So I stumbled across yet another Rainy Day Ramblings topic post that I thought would be fun to answer! And this one was a no-brainer for me!


Would You Rather Time Travel or Teleport?


Without a doubt my answer is teleport!!! Easy peasy getting from one city to another for author signings? Heck yes!! No more long drives home on work nights where I'm using vacation days so I don't lose out on the necessary hours of sleep! SIGN ME UP NOW!!! I feel like I would pretty much choose the ability to teleport over any other superpower. 

Unless I could give up the ability to require sleep and still be a functioning human being! Between THAT and teleportation then I would have a problem picking!! With the former I would be able to dismantle my TBR pile with ease!! 

Then again I could also manage long drives and be able to get home and get ready for work the next day as well! I'd just have to make sure nothing was SUPER far away that I would miss my start time.

And let's also just step away from the ease of traveling for author signings...I could travel ANYWHERE! I could go back to Rome! I could travel to London!!! It would be soooo awesome! I could even blip back each night and sleep in my own bed! Well...maybe not...I forget what the time differences are with these countries and my own city. Might be better to get a hotel so I don't totally send my body out of whack on times and all that! LOL!





ARC Review--The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.
 


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I dove into Michelle Hodkin’s The Becoming of Noah Shaw partly eager, excited, and afraid. It’s been a few years since I read The Mara Dyer trilogy and my memory is not so great, nor did I have time for a re-read, so I’ll admit, I was confused throughout the book. I was able to recollect some of the things that happened based on what was going on and what was being mentioned. Still, it was a rather fun read, for I tried to make myself think of this as a new series anyway and not worry about what’s already happened.

We open to Noah’s father’s funeral. We are reminded through Noah that his father was no father of the year type and there wasn’t much sadness going about on his death. The funeral is shake up the death of another person out in the cemetery. It was a suicide from the looks of it, yet right before he died, Noah heard a voice pleading for help. Things are definitely far from normal despite his father being out of his life for good now.

He, Mara, and his friend, Goose go back to the States after the funeral. Wanting to return to a normal life just isn’t in the cards for soon, Stella and her new friend, Leo are getting them involved in more matters of the bizarre after yet another suicide happens right before their eyes and Noah was able to hear her thoughts right before she died as well.

We basically have one strange mystery on our hands here! And since I was reading the last half of this with a head cold, it’s possible that made it all the worst for me as I found myself struggling to understand everything that was happening. I wanted to LOVE this book, but sadly, I just liked it. Being sick and having a really bad memory on top of that did not do me any favors when it came to comprehension

It was still a good read though! I was enjoying the mystery and just utter weirdness and questions that kept popping up. The murders of all the Gifted ones and how suspicion was being cast on a certain character! It was bizarre, yet I did love it for it’s bizarre-ness!

Being inside Noah’s head this time was a trip too! Granted, again with the memory issues, I can’t remember why I loved Noah so much from the past books, but I still loved being inside his head! He’s a different sort of guy with his own secrets and darkness to him.

Which let me tell you, this book does have its darkness to it. I’m not saying it was a dark and evil kind of book, but just an overall sense of darkness and bleakness. Murder, secrets, and mayhem can do that to a story! The way it ends too has quite the impact! Again, what with my horrendous memory, I feel like it didn’t pack quite as strong of a punch as it would if I had the memory I deserved being such an avid reader! But I could pretty much tell that things are about to get very interesting indeed for Noah’s next book!

If you haven’t read the Mara Dyer series yet, which was totally awesome and weird in all the best ways, I would definitely recommend picking those up first before reading this one! And if you have read them and have a slightly poor memory like myself, a re-read might in fact be a grand idea if you have the time! Definitely considering that myself before the next book comes out, but we’ll see how things go!

 

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars—a slight take down that is mostly my own doing and having a bad memory for the previous books of this world/series. Had I the time to read them beforehand, I could easily give this 4.5-5 stars!

 

The Becoming of Noah Shaw releases November 7, 2017 





It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh M. O'Brien (3.75 stars)
The Keep of Ages by Caragh M. O'Brien (3.5 stars)


Review That Was Posted:

The Empress by S.J. Kincaid (ARC) (3.5 stars)


Currently Reading:

The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes


What I Hope to Maybe Read this Week:

One Foot in the Grave by C.C. Hunter (ARC)


Other Posts of Interest:


 



Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.


This was yet another mellow week for me in the bookish world! A little stressful work wise and that will likely continue this week as well, but nothing too horrendous. 

Here's what I bought this week:

Three Strikes by Kate Kessler



For review from the publishers I received:

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine (ARC)
The Mortician's Daughter by C.C. Hunter (ARC)


THANK YOU Thomas & Mercer & Book Ends!



Then I bought myself yet another delightful book sleeve, this time from Story Hero!


I really liked the creepy-like atmosphere of this sleeve so I quickly snatched one up when I saw it in the shop!! Hoping to use it fairly soon...though my next few reads might be on my kindle. Sigh...


Then I also got two more of my preorder goodies! Here's what I go this time around:

 
I got the short story Life After Legend by Marie Lu!
An amazing art print from Kristen Ciccarelli plus a signed post card for preordering The Last Namsara


And finally I received my first ever Fairy Loot box! I was pretty happy with this one!! The books I got were amazing and happy to own them! I'll share a picture in a few weeks! Though I'm liking to post one on Instagram sometime soon, but will have it arranged so you can skip it to avoid spoilers!







And that was my haul this week!! What did you all get?




 




Let's Discuss: Why I Can't Stand Twilight

Time for a topic that came to me randomly. Just note that this is just my opinion, I'm not bashing anyone who enjoys this book or anything like that. It's just my opinion and what I observed in my own surroundings at the time.


Why I Can't Stand Twilight


This book played a rather large role in the bookish world. It's a book that is special to people and that is totally fine! Great even! But for me, I found myself more MEH over it. I read the series out of curiosity since everyone was buzzing about it. This was during the wait for the final book to be released, so the series wasn't too old or anything.

Let's also note that while the YA genre hadn't quite taken off just yet, there were still a good handful of Paranormal YA books to be had, if you only spent a good hour or two or three at the store looking through the shelves aka how I spent my time off at Borders! Lol!

So I read these books and really, just felt a kind of meh. They weren't anything special but they were entertaining at the time. Let's also note that this was just before my TBR pile would come into fruition, after all Borders was still open and I was still living in happy bliss as I scanned the aisles of my favorite bookstore! It wasn't until later that I started to feel an animosity to these books.

I guess because suddenly EVERYONE was wanting to read a YA book with vampires or werewolves. They couldn't get enough of it. Then publishers even went so far as to reprint The Vampire Diaries--a series I read and adored years ago (I have the retro 90s covers to prove it!) and it might have just been one person or a murmur within the blogosphere. Some comment that pretty much said that The Vampire Diaries was just trying to be like Twilight or something to that fact. Just because the reprints were coming out AFTER Twilight, some people just assumed that meant they were "new" books. 

And again, I want to say that I know that this doesn't apply to everyone. It was just something I observed around me at the time.

Now having read and ADORED The Vampire Diaries before Twilight and wayyyy before the TV show came to light, I was bit miffed...or you know, totally outraged. Think of it like this: say ten years from now there's something NEW and Harry Potter like---another story of a young kid who learns he/she is a wizard! And then Harry Potter is reprinted again with snazzy new covers and then some uniformed kid says, "Harry Potter?! That is sooo trying to be like Betty Cotton--yeah I'm making up a random name here, lol!--!" 

Us Harry Potter generations would be pretty "miffed" right? Of course we would. Heck, I'm feeling the old rage bubble up again over my pretend scenario.

And honestly, I think the movies didn't really help me much either. I thought the first movie was pretty good, but it was when I was sitting in the theater for the second one that I suddenly wanted to burst out laughing...it was probably during Bella's moping period or something else that was serious and I just thought...I think I'm done with this. 

It also didn't help that I was also watching the MTV Movie Awards during these years because there were tons of movies that I loved that were in the nominees...but then Twilight won EVERYTHING. It drove me nuts! I mean EVERY SINGLE award that it was up for, it won. No matter how awesome and amazing the other movies were. I couldn't stand it. So it was in that year where the second one kept winning everything that I had to give up watching the award show as well, because I knew for the next three years Twilight would continue to win. Then The Hunger Games came out and I knew it would start all over. So I haven't actually watched the award show in a very looooong time now.

The reason why I can't stand Twilight anymore is because it just got soooo hyped up. I could get in a laundry list of other reasons but that's really not the point anymore. I guess because all of sudden people were wanting "vampire" books and I was kind of teased for liking the same thing for years before this book came out, I felt kind of betrayed too.

Though again, I just want to stress this is only my opinion and what I observed around me in my daily life and neck of the woods. If you loved this book--GREAT! If it brought you back to reading--AWESOME! I have no ill feelings towards people who like something I don't. As I was always told, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just found myself in a somewhat ranty but moreso chatty mood today and thought DISCUSSION TOPIC!! Lol!!








Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict
 
 
 
This week's question is: Candy Corn, a chocolate bar, or Popcorn. Which of these snacks are your favorite to eat while reading? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
 
 
 
MY ANSWER: I guess I'd say popcorn since it's the less messier of the snacks to eat. Plus I have eaten popcorn on my lunch break and read my book, so I do it quite frequently! Plus with the "healthier" popcorn that I usually eat, it's not as greasy so there's less likely to be damage to my books.
 
Though on a side note, I do eat popcorn one handed and read one handed. There is never any actually harm done to my book!
 
 
 
 

Review--The Keep of Ages by Caragh M. O'Brien

The Grisly Valley horror-themed amusement park has been deserted since the nearby nuclear meltdown made it a contamination zone. But Rosie Sinclair is headed to Grisly anyway, following an elusive trail to rescue her kidnapped family. As she crosses the country, she dreads that Dean Berg is holding her family hostage and once again manipulating her every move to increase her fear, priming her for a final, lethal dream-mining procedure.

As she struggles to outmaneuver Berg, Rosie can’t ignore the growing restlessness in the back of her own mind. The turmoil she feels is more than worry over Burnham’s unnerving generosity, the camera in Linus’s eye, or Thea’s fragile health. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself.




Caragh M. O’Brien brings an exciting conclusion to The Vault of Dreamers trilogy with The Keep of Ages! Things in this one were pretty intense with danger looming around every corner! It was a pretty fast paced read that I was eager to see through to its end!

Rosie is off to find her family before Berg can get to them, but she’s quick to learn that Ian is also on her trail. Though she soon learns that Berg is, once again, one step ahead of her. Her family has been taken and being hidden somewhere in an abandoned amusement park. Rosie will have to trust the help of a newcomer who is very acquainted with the Forge school and even the park where her family is being kept.

There’s just something about being in an abandoned amusement park that terrifies me and also sends a thrill through me! It’s not quite Scooby Doo standards, but close, as that amusement park was just closed at the time if I do recall! Lol! And there’s even a bit of horror movie style at play here because this is where the enemy lies in wait and where he has a secret laboratory.

What I feel is the most terrifying is that Berg is still Rosie’s legal guardian and he basically wants to kill her in a very twisted sense. I still don’t understand how he became to be her guardian, through the recaps of sorts, I know her parents somehow willingly allowed it to be so, but I think things might be somewhat twisted in that matter. But still, the mad scientist who wants to insert his mind into your body and boot your mind out is your legal guardian! That’s all sorts of nuts! And to think his employees are totally fine with what he does because SCIENCE! Makes no sense at all to me.

There was definitely a lot of tension in this one! Danger lurks around every corner, as I said! And things just get so intense in this! Running from the bag guy, running back to the bad guy, getting caught, escaping, around and around we go! It’s crazy! But a good kind of crazy.

I’ll admit, even after finishing this one, I still don’t quite understand some of the things that were happening. Science was hard enough, but to make it more neurological science and you really have me confused! Mining dreams, using dreams to put into other people’s minds, other personalities taking over said minds…it’s freaking mind boggling! I felt like when I was reading I was able to have a loose grasp of what was trying to be accomplished but turning around and trying to explain that to someone else leaves me flabbergasted! It’s definitely one of those kinds of reads; one you can enjoy for the most part but can’t put into words what’s going on to outsiders.

I was floored when we saw Ian again! He was kind of a creepy villain because he was a little obsessed with Rosie. But other than his initial appearance, he wasn’t in the story that much. I kind of expected for Rosie to be trying to outrun him for the most part, but it was not meant to be. I just thought it would’ve provided good conflict for Rosie, but Caragh had other conflict encounters for Rosie to deal with instead.

In this one we also get to have Burnham and Linus back in action to help Rosie rescue her family. I guess my initial theory that there was no true love triangle was somewhat accurate. While there isn’t a heavy play on romance in this one, you’re given enough clues as to who Rosie is going to be with. There’s no conflicting decision to be made anymore, or if there ever was a time. Oddly enough, I was okay with this. Though I will also admit I wouldn’t have said no to just a little bit more kissing! LOL!

The ending to this one felt a little bit abrupt in some sense. And I’m still not 100% sure I understood how it all happened. The conflict was resolved, but then there was still several pages left that presented a new problem for Rosie and her friends. But in the very end, I was pleased with how things ended. Sure I might wonder what happened in this sense or that sense (vagueness to avoid spoilers of course) but nothing that left me overly upset about the lack of answers. And really, it was more of “What will happen next with Character X?” sort of thing. All in all, a pretty decent read, if it was a little lighter on the science portions I might have enjoyed it just a little more, but still I don’t regret reading it at all! It set forth an exciting and suspenseful pace and I found myself most eager to see what the outcome would be!


Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars




 

Random Thursday

Today in Disney Facts Revealed: Answers to Fans' Curious Questions by Dave Smith we venture into questions related to Disneyland!



(image borrowed from Disneyland.Disney.go.com)
When Autopia first opened in 1955 there was no center rail, it was later added in 1963.


(image borrowed from TripAdvisor.com)
This train station was modeled after several different ones. None that were specific, but apparently Imagineer Harper Goff's memories of Fort Collins, Colorado played a role, as well as Walt Disney's Marceline, Missouri.


(image borrowed from Disney Wiki)
Apparently, Disneyland doesn't have as many hidden tunnels for cast members as Disney World does. The book states that there is one tunnel in the Tomorrowland Terrace.


(image borrowed from Disneyland.Disney.go.com)
Disneyland opened to the press on July 17, 1955; twenty attractions were opened at that time, not including Casey Jr. Circus Train, Dumbo Flying Elephants, and Rocket to the Moon. The park would open to the public the next day.
 
 
(image borrowed from disneyparks.disney.go.com)
Many of the Disney floats get reused in parts or as wholes. Sometimes they might change the colors or other decor, but other times only the drive chassis is saved while a new superstructure is built. This was in regards to a question from a fan when asked what do they do with the floats after their "time" is up.
 
 
(image borrowed from disneyland.disney.go.com)
In The Haunted Mansion there's a small hole in the glass separating the Doom Buggies from the birthday scene below. It's mostly obscured by a spider and web. This apparently came about when someone shot a BB gun through the plate glass windows. In order to repair it completely, maintenance would've had to take off the roof in order to get the right size glass into place. Instead, maintenance painted the spider and web around the hole to disguise it.