Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (3): The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that showcased upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

My WoW this week is:

Title: The Oathbreaker's Shadow (The Knots Sequence #1)
Author: Amy McCulloch
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers
Release Date: June 4, 2013

From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Raim lives in a world where you tie a knot for every promise that you make. Break that promise and you are scarred for life, and cast out into the desert.

Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one knows where it came from, and which promise of his it symbolises, but he barely thinks about it at all—not since becoming the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the most important day of his life, when he binds his life to his best friend (and future king) Khareh, the string bursts into flames and sears a dark mark into his skin.

Scarred now as an oath-breaker, Raim has two options: run, or be killed.

Why it's my WoW:

Honestly? I have no idea. I read the summary months ago and made grabby hands. That's all I got.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Title: Black City (Black City #1)
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Format/Source: Hardcover- Publisher via Giveaway
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
My Review:

The book itself really wasn't that bad. It was the romance that killed this book for me. The romance was beyond annoying. Anything that was interesting in this book was overshadowed by the horrible romance between Ash and Natalie. It's unfortunate because what the romance is hiding is some really good stuff.

Following Purian Rose is like being in a cult, only on a much larger scale. It's supposed to be religion but it doesn't really come off that way. We see someone Natalie knows fall under Purian Rose's thrall and it definitely gives off a cult vibe to me. Humans and Darklings are executed on crosses, crucifixion if you will, in the name of "religion" I suppose. Though again I don't really see it as religion here.

Segregation and cleansing themes are always ones that I love in books. We have a history of it and we have yet to learn from our mistakes. It's a very realistic theme and it's easy to see how something like this could happen, if Darklings happened to be real of course.

Natalie's mother is a piece of work, is she not? Beetle and Day are okay. Sebastian is an ass. When Natalie wasn't completely lost in Ash she is actually a decent MC. I don't understand the Ash love. I think he's horrible. He has some nice moments, yes, but that doesn't make up for the fact that he's just horrible.

There are some things that we find out in the second half of the book, buried beneath all that ridiculous romance, that are actually really interesting. I won't talk about them here though because I'd like to keep this spoiler free. They don't necessarily make the book worth reading, because the romance really is that awful, but they at least kept me reading.

Not a book I would recommend but I will be reading the next book anyway. I'm curios to see where this goes. I just hope the romance isn't as awful.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (2): The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that showcased upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

My WoW this week is:

Title: The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1)
Author: Page Morgan
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 14, 2013

From Goodreads:
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

Why it's my WoW:

Gargoyles. And it sounds like it could be dark and beautiful which is something I absolutely love in my books. I'm crossing my fingers that this one doesn't disappoint.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon

Title: The Last Grand Master (Champion of the Gods #1)
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Format/Source: eBook- Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★☆☆

In a war that shook the earth, the Six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For the three thousand years since, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity. But then a new wizard unleashes the power of Neldin. Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, uses dark magic to create an army of creatures to carry out his master's will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall. Soon the only wizard who can stop Meglar is Grand Master Farrell, the Prince of Haven, the hidden home of refugees. An untried wizard, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world. While helping Nerti, queen of the unicorns, Farrell saves Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen to be Farrell's mate. But Farrell approaches love with caution, and before he can decide how to proceed, Meglar invades a neighboring kingdom. Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Farrell pushes himself to the limit as he and Miceral fight not only to stop Meglar but for their very survival.
My Review:

I admit it. I requested this book because of the unicorns. And despite only giving it three stars, I have no regrets.

The book started really well with lots of action and with Farrell meeting Miceral, his mate, and Nerti, the queen of unicorns who he winds up being destined to bond with. Very promising start that kept me reading, eagerly awaiting what was to happen next. Then it slowed down a lot from there. And dragged. And I had a hard time keeping myself interested enough to continue reading. Eventually it did pick back up though and the ending was very easy and fun to get through but also leaves you wanting the next book now.

Farrell. I feel like there isn't anything Farrell can't do but he's certainly not without his faults. He wants to help everyone and never thinks about what it might cost him to do so. Despite being an extraordinary wizard Farrell feels he is not worthy of being Miceral's mate since Miceral's strength lies elsewhere. When speaking about his past I felt no real pain, though I think that has more to do with the way he expressed himself.

Farrell is such a wonderful person though. He is kind, he is sweet, he is loyal, and he is intelligent. He's good at what it does and he does work to improve on what he doesn't. He knows that he has to be the one to stop Meglar and he knows he might die in the process but he takes it all in stride. He must do what he must do.

The romance between Farrell and Miceral was really adorable. At first. I have to admit that the constant declarations of love got to be a bit much. At times it was just overly sweet. Still, they are a really adorable couple. And I love how Miceral helps Farrell with his fighting skills.

Overall I think this book is worth the read. And there are unicorns. And the unicorns are awesome. As they should be. Do you think it's possible to be a queen of the unicorns without being a unicorn? If so, where do I sign up for that job?

Enjoyable read! I looked forward to the next book. I need to continue this adventure.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: Shards & Ashes Anthology

Title: Shards & Ashes
Author: Multiple
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Format/Source: ARC- Publisher via Giveaway
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Gripping original stories of dystopian worlds from nine New York Times bestselling authors, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.

The world is gone, destroyed by human, ecological, or supernatural causes. Survivors dodge chemical warfare and cruel gods; they travel the reaches of space and inhabit underground caverns. Their enemies are disease, corrupt corporations, and one another; their resources are few, and their courage is tested.

Powerful original dystopian tales from nine bestselling authors offer bleak insight, prophetic visions, and precious glimmers of light among the shards and ashes of a ruined world.

My Review:

Hearken by Veronica Roth
2/5 stars

I think this suffered from being too short. I find the world fascinating and I would love to see a book set in this world. Still interesting though. I think I would pick being able to hear people's death songs rather than their life songs.

Branded by Kelley Armstrong
3/5 stars

I enjoyed this story. It was interesting. This world is ruthless. Humans survive in a fortress and anyone supernatural is branded and tossed outside. Life inside the fortress isn't easy though. I would read a trilogy set in this world. I also think it did well as a short story on its own.

Necklace of Raindrops by Margaret Stohl
1/5 stars

Um... WTF?

Dogsbody by Rachel Caine
2/5 stars

I like the idea of this but it didn't really do it for me. I think this is another story in this book that suffers from being too short. Nothing like a story about a government willing to kill a train full of kids.

Pale Rider by Nancy Holder
1/5 stars

I don't even know what happened in this story. Something about a war and magic? I don't know. It did not hold my interest.

Corpse Eaters by Melissa Marr
3/5 stars

This is another world I would like to see more of. It was probably one of the better stories in the book. Wonderfully creepy. I did not like the ending though.

Burn 3 by Kami Garcia
3/5 stars

Yet another world I would love to see explored more fully. I feel like it's just a snippet from a book. I want more.

Love is a Choice by Beth Revis
3/5 stars

Here is where I admit that I still haven't read Across the Universe. Here is where I also admit that after reading this short story, that book has moved closer to the top of my TBR list and that I'm very excited about it.

Miasma by Carrie Ryan
2/5 stars

Definitely not the worst story in the bunch but it didn't really interest me much at all.