May 31, 2013

Review--Tricked by Kevin Hearne

Druid Atticus O’Sullivan hasn’t stayed alive for more than two millennia without a fair bit of Celtic cunning. So when vengeful thunder gods come Norse by Southwest looking for payback, Atticus, with a little help from the Navajo trickster god Coyote, lets them think that they’ve chopped up his body in the Arizona desert. 

But the mischievous Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and Atticus soon finds that he’s been duped into battling bloodthirsty desert shapeshifters called skinwalkers. Just when the Druid thinks he’s got a handle on all the duplicity, betrayal comes from an unlikely source. If Atticus survives this time, he vows he won’t be fooled again. Famous last words.        

I am almost caught up in Kevin Hearne's The Iron Druid Chronicles! 1 book to go and then I am set for the June release of Hunted! Tricked, once again, picks up where we left off in Hammered. Thor is dead, defeated by Leif who is still recovering. Atticus and Granualie are getting themselves prepped for running away and in fact are in Tuba City, Arizona.  

We begin the story by seeing Atticus die. Or a version of Atticus. The clever druid makes a deal with Coyote to take his place when the gods from Asgard come to exact some revenge. Coyote is a clever trickster and doesn't truly die, so he can play dead in the meantime and give Atticus a chance at normal life for a Druid, hopefully.  

Before Granualie can start her official training as a Druid, Atticus has yet another task he must perform. He must repay Coyote for the task he did for him. In exchange, Coyote has asked Atticus to basically move some gold to be in a particular mine. By now you would think Atticus would know not to fully trust the trickster to say exactly what he means, for he is soon overcome by a group of skinwalkers. 

Another issue that pops up during all this fiasco is that the widow returns and we learn exactly who is possessing her. Hel, another death deity and she wants Atticus to join her in her evil quest. Naturally, Atticus refuses and this will definitely become a problem for him further down the road. But first, he has to take care of some shapeshifters.  

Also, Leif is having issues trying to gain control back of Arizona. His master vampire is in town to "help" out but he's getting a little too cozy and more vampires continue to pop up. Leif wants Atticus to drop everything and help him take care of his issue and when Atticus declines...well, you know how it is, more problems for Atticus pop up. Leif betrays Atticus in the worst way and someone doesn't walk away unscathed!  

Yet again, Kevin Hearne writes a totally enjoyable novel! Atticus is definitely a favorite hero of mine! I especially love Oberon! That dog brings so much humor and light to the dark surroundings Atticus tends to find himself in. Life will always be grand as long as there are sausages...and poodles!  

There's still a strong layer of tension between Granualie and Atticus. Atticus is definitely crushing on her, but keeps trying to tame it since she's his apprentice. There were a few blunders in talks of romance--not between them--and it didn't end well for Atticus! Granualie is definitely her own woman and I love that about her character. She's strong and fierce in her own right and while not doing the major ass-kicking, still contributes when she can.  

Kevin still manages to amaze me with all the culture he weaves into his books! I feel like I walk away a tad smarter. He explores different kinds of cultures in each book, even expanding further on one we already dealt with before. True, there's still the wonder how much is fact rather than fiction, but I just get the sense that quite a bit of it is based on fact! There's also some knowledge shared on medicines and poisons. All very educational stuff here immersed into a tale complete with action, adventure and humor!  

The Iron Druid series definitely rocks!    

Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Follow Friday

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This week's question is: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.

MY ANSWER: OOh tough one! I have met a few bloggers from my going to RT a few times. I would love to be able to meet everyone truly! But I guess I would like to meet JC from JC's Book Haven the most! We visit one another's blog quite a bit and I would just enjoy meeting her in real life one day!

Another blogger or two I would love to meet is Nereyda from Mostly YA Book Obsessed! And Kimba from The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

May 30, 2013

Random Thursday

Here's a thought I had from awhile back and wrote it down for a random post: What is up with the new--not so new now--shape of Trix cereal?

As one little post said as I was looking for the pictures, they look nothing more like tye-dyed cocoa puffs. They are pretty boring looking. I mean they are just colorful puffs! What happened to the detailed fruit shapes?

Obviously it's a money answer. I mean why would you want a bowl of the first one, when you could have this one? Look how much cooler it looks! 

It had to be a money issue and the shapes were getting too costly. But you'd think after sooo many years of the cereal being in that shape that it would be fine.

Another picture I saw that made me laugh said: What if Trix really are for kids? And I can't see the fruit shapes anymore cause I'm an adult?

Truly makes you wonder! ;)

May 29, 2013

ARC Review--Elegy by Tara Hudson

This stunning conclusion to the Hereafter trilogy is perfect for fans of Hush, Hush and Beautiful Creatures.
A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths--Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now her greatest hope is to spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does.

Amelia fears she might really be doomed, until the forces of Light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can never see Joshua again.

Faced with the impossible choices, Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands--and fight back.

I received this ARC at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention 2013. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tara Hudson's Elegy was an astounding end to the Hereafter trilogy. Ghost books can be hard to write, especially when they involve romantic interests and you know, romance. But somehow Tara manages to do it in a remarkable way! I was truly moved by the ending to this one, while I could see this ending coming, I still didn't expect it.

Amelia is now Risen, giving her a few extra perks to being a ghost, but also taking away her ability to touch, aka kiss Joshua. And other humans, but that's not as important as Joshua. While living as a ghost isn't all that it's cracked up to be, Amelia is managing it. She loves Joshua and has even created some pretty good friendships with other living humans, but the demons that live near High Bridge and make their hellish home beneath it, will not be satisfied until Amelia is theirs. And they're willing to kill anyone and everyone to get her. Starting with those she loves first.

It's amazing how much death there was in this series, despite the whole Amelia is a ghost thing. There were quite a few deaths to occur in this trilogy, including this one. It was mindblowing! And yes, tragically sad. Yet all the deaths did serve a purpose. There was meaning behind them. It didn't make them any easier to swallow, but stepping back later, you can see how they fit into the plot arc overall.

Amelia knows that this battle to end all battles will not end well. In some way or another, she knows she will have to die...permanently. If she wants to protect Joshua and her new friends, she's going to have to keep some secrets and make her own plans, while still agreeing to their main plan. Yeah, vague details, but it's the best I can tell you.

There was quite a bit of action to this one. Amelia and her friends make a few attempts at bringing down High Bridge, but they all prove fruitless. The end results are going to require a bigger sacrifice.

The best way to describe this novel is that it was intense! Lots of emotions were going around. But I think the love between Amelia and Joshua was one of the strongest. They knew that their days together were dwindling, yet they were too afraid to admit it. I enjoyed how Tara built up their moments and took it a new level. Again, I want to say more but I don't want to give out too much info.

While the ending was final and resolved, I still felt like there were some unanswered questions. Sort of along the lines of what just happened? What next? You know, the basic kind of questions that pop up when a series ends. Of course there are no real answers. I guess we readers just have to use our own imaginations to give ourselves the answers. I can't even touch on how I felt after the ending, because I feel that it will spoil things for you. It was definitely emotional, that's all I'll say!

This has been a great trilogy that explored more of the ghost--a classic in all things paranormal, because they're real (at least I believe so)--and yet they are so untouched in paranormal reads, except for when Scooby and the gang are being chased by one! Or something like that, because yeah those ghosts weren't real...expect for Scooby-Doo and the Boo Brothers...I'm getting off track obviously! But yes, having a ghost as the main character in novels can be hard, yet when one does come up, I usually enjoy them! And Tara Hudson's Hereafter trilogy was definitely one of them!

So if you're looking for a "ghost" book to read and don't want the scary type, but more light-hearted one, this series is definitely one I recommend!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Elegy releases June 4, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

I hate waiting...
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

As her wedding day approaches, Abby Cooper has a disturbing premonition of her fiancĂ©’s murder. Her husband-to-be, FBI agent Dutch Rivers, has been assigned to a suicide bombing case, and Abby’s spirit guides warn her of imminent danger. Abby vows to do everything in her power to keep Dutch safe and get him to the altar. But on the morning of the ceremony, she finds herself in a dire situation with time running out...

I loooove this series! Victoria is by far one of my fave mystery authors! Both her series are incredible! This is her first series and the heroine should, hopefully, be getting married this time around! Looking forward to reading it!

TITLE: Deadly Forecast
AUTHOR: Victoria Laurie

GENRE: Paranormal Mystery
RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2013

As the owner of a popular vintage clothing store, Lily Ivory can enjoy a day of antique jewelry shopping and still call it work. But as one of San Francisco’s resident witches, searching for hidden treasures can sometimes lead to dangerous discoveries…
When Lily arrives at an antique jewelry fair, her bargain sensors go off left and right—but she also picks up a faint vibration of magic. Could the hard-bargaining merchant Griselda be a fellow practitioner? It certainly seems that way when a sudden fire sends panic through the crowd, and Lily discovers Griselda murdered in a way that nods to an old-fashioned witch hunt…

A crime that hits close to home turns into an unwelcome flash from the past when the police bring in their lead suspect—Lily’s estranged father. Though he may not deserve her help, Lily is determined to clear her father’s name and solve a murder that’s anything but crystal clear.

Yet another mystery series I love! Juliet Blackwell is yet another fave mystery author! She too blends strong paranormal elements into the mystery and the results are just stunning! I am still one book behind in this series, but luckily that's not too bad compared to other series I am behind in!

TITLE: Torn and Tarnished
AUTHOR: Juliet Blackwell

GENRE: Paranormal Mystery
RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2013

May 28, 2013

Review--Hammered by Kevin Hearne

Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.

Moving right along in the Iron Druid Chronicles, Kevin Hearne takes Atticus and Leif, in Hammered, to finally take down Thor, the God of Thunder. And this Thor is nothing like Chris Hemsworth's character. This Thor is pretty much a D-head!

The novel actually opens up with a pre-kill-Thor trip to Asgard, where Atticus must fulfill his debt to Laksha and get one of the golden apples that will help her retain her body and immortality. That little trip basically sends the whole place into chaos, and Atticus still has to make the trip back with Leif to help him kill Thor. In the meantime, Atticus is already making plans for when, or if, he returns from this mission to leave Arizona with Granualie and Oberon. The gods will be after him for sure, so Tempe no longer remains a safe place to live.

Aided by some new friends, all who have been wronged by Thor in some way, Atticus and his group head off to Asgard. I much enjoyed, about midway, the parts where these new characters share their story a la Canterbury style about why they want revenge on Thor and what he did to them personally. It was a nice hat tip to the classic literary tale that I remember reading in high school, although that may have been one where our teacher broke us into groups to read a story and then teach it back to the class. No matter!

It felt like the bulk of this novel focused on the trip to Asgard. True, there was some mentioning of the vampire turf war that Leif finds himself in, amidst trying to get ready to kill Thor. There's also the return of the Hammers of God led by Rabbi Yosef and their wanting to kill Atticus because they believe he is apart of everything they stand against, ie vampires, demons and all creatures evil. Luckily for Atticus his pal Jesus is there to help tame some of the hostilities! Yep, Jesus himself makes an appearance! 

I always find the mix of cultures, religions and mythologies in this series to be refreshing. It's quite the educational experience in some ways, although I can't be sure how much gets embellished, but I feel secure in the knowledge that most of it is based on the actual fact of whatever piece it's discussing. Being Catholic myself, I wasn't at all offended of Jesus appearing to Atticus like any regular Joe. It was entertaining and kind of shows in a modern way the love Jesus has for everyone, even those not of his religion.

Once again, we have an action packed read filled with humor at the most opportune moments! Gotta love Oberon and his witty quips and doggy knowledge! That wolfhound is truly the spark behind all the humor in this series! Granualie is there as well, but her role is still pretty minor despite Atticus always trying to control himself when in her presence! I am wondering if it will be Trapped, where I believe she's on the cover that things change. I guess I will have to read and find out! 

There were quite the surprises and gasps of shock towards the end of this one, plus a laugh or two before those gasps and shocks! The ending really takes you by surprise and I look forward to seeing how Atticus and crew are going to get out of their current jam!

Once again, Kevin Hearne delights readers with another edition in the Iron Druid Chronicles! A highly recommend read for any Urban Fantasy author wanting to take a walk on the "wild side" and read about a male protagonist written by a male author in what is usually called a "woman's genre." I continue to look forward to more reads from him in this world where there's only one Druid and a Druid in-training!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

ARC Review--Tempest Revealed by Tracey Deebs

Half-mermaid Tempest Maguire is trying to have it all: fulfilling her duties as second-in-line to the merQueen Hailana while periodically returning home to the California coastline to be with her family and longtime boyfriend, Mark. Living under the sea and rebuilding Coral Straits is grueling work, while being back home reminds her of everyone she loves and misses. But when her old flame Kona arrives bearing news that Hailana has died and Tempest is now officially merQueen, she returns permanently to Coral Straits--even though it devastates her family and rips her apart from Mark. Once there, she discovers that an old enemy has resurfaced, hell-bent on taking over her throne...with or without her. As Tempest prepares for her final showdown against Tiamat and anyone who stands with her, she must decide what--and who--is really important to her. Because there will be few survivors in the ultimate sea battle that is brewing--and Tempest isn't sure she will be one of them.

I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I was totally psyched to get the approval from the publishers for Tracey Deebs' Tempest Revealed! This trilogy has been a fun one that definitely takes a fun twist to mermaids! Tempest definitely makes for one intriguing mermaid as she was born one but it's not until she turned seventeen that her mermaid powers and abilities come into existence and when they do it's just like bam! Her whole life has changed and not necessarily for the better. Since she's become a mermaid, her life has gotten more dangerous and lot more complicated. Trying to balance her mermaid life and her human life isn't easy, and she cannot always make it work.

Tempest is home for break after battling Tiamat yet again. The merQueen, Hailana, is back in the kingdom on her death bed. It's been decided that once she dies, Tempest will come back and take over. But in the mean time she's spending time with her family and Mark, her boyfriend.

But before she knows it she's Kona is there to tell her it's time for her to go back, the merQueen is dead and her kingdom needs her. Tempest doesn't really want to leave Mark and her family, but she knows she must go, and tearing herself away from Mark is harder than she thought it would be. And the swim back with Kona is more challenging than she expected because he still holds a grudge of sorts for their breakup.

When Tempest returns to her kingdom, it's to find that it's already underule by the new merKing, Sabyn, who had been working with Tiamat last time around and betrayed them all. He wants her to be his queen and Tempest wants nothing to do with him.

The battle begins after Tempest makes her escape with Mahina where they meet up with Kona and the remaining survivors of the ocean. Tiamat had been very busy in Tempest's absence in taking over the entire Pacific Ocean. Now Tempest and her friends will have to work together in order to defeat her.

This was a wild ride of a read! It's hard to say exactly all that happens without spoilers, as you know! I've been noticing my reviews have been longer lately and I am trying to hem that in with shorter reviews, but I struggle with it! I just get excited and don't want to leave anything out! But I think I did pretty good here, even though I know I am leaving lots out!

The first part of the book was a tad slow for me, this was when Tempest was still on land and trying to live a normal life for a short time, but once she gets under the ocean is when the pace starts to move a little faster. Tempest hits one problem after another and she never seems to catch a break. The girl goes through hell in this one and yet she manages to survive through it in order to get to the final battle to end Tiamat and all her enemies, which are many and are accumulating.

There was quite a bit of tension in this one in regards to Kona. He didn't handle the breakup well since he loves Tempest, and of course losing his family and more played havoc with his emotions. But the time under the ocean that Tempest spends with him is seriously ripe with tension! It's clear that while Kona acts like a jerk at times, that he's not over Tempest. Throw Mark into the picture and things get a little crazy!

It's weird, in the first book, I was sure I liked Kona. I guess because that was what Tracey wanted the reader to do, but by the second book I was totally for Mark, even before it ended. He makes my heart melt with the love and devotion he has towards Tempest. So it kind of rattled my nerves a bit when Kona tries to start things up with Tempest again, as well as rattling her nerves.

The ending was what I was expecting in the long run! The story moved pretty fast with a few moments of downtime in between, but were really more battle strategy moments. One thing that I kind of wished was touched on more was what happened with Tempest's family. Sure, Tempest says this and that, but I wanted to see for myself, you know? Just a kind of closure. Then there's another thing, that I cannot mention that just kind of popped up out of nowhere and it took me by surprise. There was one tiny hint at the end prior to this conclusion, but I guess I overlooked that hint. It's conclusion, however, I felt was just kind of random in some sense, just to push forward towards that HEA ending. And like with any series ending, you know that there will be a HEA ending for the heroine but it wasn't without its own heartache,

Tempest Revealed was everything I hoped it to be! It was fast, exciting and filled with plenty of action, romance and tension! I am sad to see this series end, but I feel that Tracey did a helluva job of ending it!!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Tempest Revealed releases June 4, 2013

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesday

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.

I couldn't decide between these two teasers, so I went with both! The first made me lol just because it's so random and funny, and pretty guy like! The second of course is awesome because it involves meeting authors! Who wouldn't react that way! Minus a particular something!

"That's right, there's free beer in Irish paradise. Everyone's jealous." p 46

"I went to San Diego Comic-Con a few years back and met one of my favorite authors, and he made me squee involuntarily. I also did a tiny dance and I might have peed a little bit when he shook my hand." p 87

TITLE: Hammered
AUTHOR: Kevin Hearne

PUBLISHER: Random House Publishing Group
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: a Freebie, my choice: BOOKS IN MY TBR MOUNTAIN THAT I AM DYING TO READ!!

*in no particular order 

1. Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

2. Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

3. Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell

4. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

6. Black City by Christina Henry

7. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

8. Dead Girls are Easy by Terri Garey

9. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

10. A Taste of the Nightlife by Sarah Zettel


May 27, 2013

ARC Review--Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Edelweiss for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Richelle Mead is heading into new territory with her new adult series Age of X! Gameboard of the Gods is far, far different from her Dark Swan and Georgina Kincaid series. Here is a world set in the future where people don't really believe in gods or the supernatural. Religion is a sketchy thing at best, there are religions in the society, but it's not totally kosher. Told through multiple third person points of view, it wasn't hard to make the switches throughout chapters and it was pretty easy to tell who was speaking.

I was excited to dive into this new world of Richelle's, yet I struggled throughout trying to figure the world out. The plot and characters, romance, action--all that other good stuff--was good, very good. It's just the world was a little complicated for me to grasp. Mostly this stuff about religion and gods. That and a few bits of the new technology, took me an extra long pause to realize ego is a cell phone, particularly a smart phone, but futuristic like!

I guess after finishing it, I can say that the society chooses not to believe in gods or religion, yet it's real. Very real, as our heroine and hero will learn.

In the beginning of the story, Mae, is a part of an elite force that protects the city and it's citizens. But after an early scuffle, she is forced to work with Justin, who looks into things regarding religions and debunking them and breaking them up. I can't remember the terms used here, a glossary at the end will be most helpful, but I have no idea if that will happen! What it comes down to is that Justin--after having been in exile for four years, is brought back to the States in order to solve a set of ritualistic murders that appear to be slightly out of the ordinary. And that is precisely, Justin's speciality, in some sense.

Mae is to act as his protector, because his line of work can be very dangerous and it is imperative that Justin solves this case in four weeks, before the next full moon.

A few other things to know, is that when Mae first travels to Panama to bring Justin in, she meets him without realizing who he is, and he doesn't tell her either. There's a romantic interlude and when she later realizes who Justin is, this creates great friction between the two while they work on the case.

Justin is also "possessed" by two ravens in his head. Yeah, it sounds weird, but it has to do with the whole gods part of the series. The crows work for a particular god who is trying to get Justin's loyalty and fealty, he's close but Justin must do a few things before it's official and he is trying his hardest not to do them. And there's mystery surrounding who this god is. Justine doesn't know and the ravens won't tell him either until he is fully committed to being under their god's thumb, so to speak.

There's also a lot of secrecy going on in this story. For both Mae and Justin. Justin has his secrets he keeps from Mae, and yet there's a lot of mystery surrounding Mae still. She's definitely going to be a part in all things wack-a-doodle!

This was definitely an interesting read, despite my inability to totally grasp this new world I found myself in. The characters were fun, I liked Mae a lot. And Justin was a good guy too, underneath it all. He puts on a facade most of the time, but he has his reasons for it. It's just nerve-wracking, because sometimes Mae believes his acts.

The ending was good as well! The mystery was solved, but of course new mysteries were added on top of that! New suspicions were developed and most shocking of all, Justin figures out which god he made his deal with.

Being a devoted Mead fan, I have to say that Gameboard of the Gods was a gripping and stunning novel set in a new world that I could definitely get used to! This was an exciting read and I look forward to seeing where Richelle takes this series!

Overall rating 4.5/5 stars

Gameboard of the Gods releases June 4, 2013

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 Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
Vengeance Moon by Lee Roland (4 stars)
Vicious Moon by Lee Roland (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
Hexed by Kevin Hearne (5 stars)

Reviews That Were Posted:

 The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross (ARC) (5 stars)
Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards (ARC) (4.5 stars)
Forsaken by the Others by Jess Haines (ARC) (4.5 stars)

Currently Reading:

Hammered by Kevin Hearne

What I Plan to Read this Week:

Awaken by Meg Cabot (ARC)
Tricked by Kevin Hearne

Other Posts of Interest:

May 26, 2013

ARC Review--Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Engaged to be married, Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of the turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie's life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose's Law--a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

Ash can't bring himself to trade Natalie's life for those of millions of Darkling. The only way to save everyone is to escape Black City and find the Ora, a powerful weapon that could take down Purian Rose for good. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon, if it even exists, is easier said than done, and becomes a harrowing journey that could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

Fast-paced and absorbing, Phoenix is a delicious, steamy, can't-put-down read.

I borrowed this ARC from Angela at Reading Angels, who was kind enough to lend it to me. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I was most happy when Angela at Reading Angels loaned me her ARC of Phoenix! Elizabeth Richards captivated me with her world and characters in Black City. Although my memory of that one is shaky, again, it's hard to read soooo many books and try to keep up with the storyline 100%, so naturally I couldn't remember precisely everything, but enough details were rehashed so it helped.

Not much time has passed since Black City, time is moving forward though and Ash has become a huge public figure for Darkling rights and has become known as Phoenix since he was reborn from ashes after his execution. He intends to take Purian Rose down, with Natalie at his side, and their followers--the end to the segregation and mistreatment of Darklings will finally be at an end.

But before the vote even takes place, things get dicey. Like when Rose threatens Natalie's life if Ash doesn't vote in favor of Rose's Law. And the voting isn't a secret thing either. The citizens of the cities, all publicly vote by placing their ballot in a yes or no box. So Rose will know if Ash obeys or not. I first thought the voting was a private thing and was like, how is Rose going to know what Ash votes for? Problem answered.

It's after the voting is done in all the cities when the real danger starts. Chaos reigns over the United Sentry States. People--supporters of Ash and Darkling rights--are being killed by Rose's soldiers. Natalie, Ash and their friends are all Public Enemy #1, and since there's a lot of them, there's a lot of #1's! Rose is calling for their heads and offering rewards for turning them in. Dead or alive, but preferable alive so Rose can take pleasure in tormenting them.

Soon, Natalie and Ash agree to help Elijah find the Ora, along with finding his mother, so that they can try to put a stop to Rose's reign. The supposed love triangle that is Elijah-Natalie-Ash, is one I couldn't really see. True, there is some sort of chemistry between Elijah and Natalie, perhaps because she freed him from his prison cell last go around, but I just didn't really feel like there was anything between them. There were those almost maybe moments, but nothing that made me be Team Elijah.

Unfortunately, there is a secret Natalie begins to harbor, and in keeping that secret things begin to spiral out of her control and a wedge is thrust between her and Ash. It becomes one of those misunderstandings that really gets out of hand and everyone is upset with one another for the wrong reasons. It gets chaotic!! Kind of drove me insane because I kept wanting Natalie to straighten things out and tell Ash her secret, that way the drama wouldn't be necessary. But alas, that's not how things work out. Plus it would remove a hell of a lot of conflict from the story.

The romance in this one, before Natalie and Ash get into their little love spat, was pretty good. There's definitely passion between Natalie and Ash that was enjoyable to read. And it was tasteful too. Nothing overly drawn out or just thrown in there for the purpose of having something intimate. It was nice.

There were quite a few surprises in this one! I did see one coming and there's that kind of joy you get when you know you're right! But at the same time it is still shocking! It's like OMG...I knew it!! There were quite a few casualties too that totally blew me away. Elizabeth is not afraid to add a bit of gore to her story, which I found kind of shocking since it's YA. But again, YA has definitely changed since my teen days, but I love having the abundance of it all now despite my age!

I have to say that the pacing was just fabulous! It was all intense. And the action scenes were plentiful! There was rarely a dull moment. So much was happening, and the trio was constantly on the run and trying to stay out of Sebastian and his group's reach as they raced across the country.

There are some cliffhangers in this one. We still get chapters from Ash and Natalie and each ended on a cliffhanger. So it's going to be an agonizing wait until the third book comes out and I think it's the last one. Trilogies are popular in YA and I am pretty sure this is going to be one as well.

The next and possible last book is definitely going to be good! I am really hoping to see a lot more action, get some questions answered, resolutions and all that good jazz with the happy ending, but I also want to see a few of these enemies get theirs! Yeah, reading too much has definitely drawn out a dark side in me! There are just those characters that you love to hate and want to see die or at the very least suffer incredibly!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Phoenix releases June 4, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

This weekly meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!

Not too bad of a week! Got two books without adding too many to the TBR mountain!

For review from the publisher via Netgalley I got:

Awaken by Meg Cabot

Thanks Point & Netgalley!!

Then I bought myself this when I saw it out on the shelf early:
Goddess by Josephine Angelini

And then, while not a book but still totally awesome I bought this little gargoyle statue that I found in a shop some ways away from my house. For the longest time I've been looking for a little gargoyle statue and I finally found one! It's been over a year since I have been looking! Yay!

And then I also ordered this necklace last week online at an Etsy shop, Space Pearls, and it arrived in the mail this week! I thought it was just too pretty and it's a moonstone too! I see a story within it, so I decided to buy it for myself!

And as you can see, somewhat, it is on sale right now in the shop! I bought it just before the sale started, but I did get a lovely bonus ring! This is one of my fave shops, she has quite the collection of some fairy tale inspired jewelry, plus Harry Potter and The Hunger Games items as well! Check it out!

And that was my fabulous haul this week, both bookish and somewhat bookish!