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.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Title: Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1)
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Format/Source: ARC- Publisher via Giveaway
Rating: ★★★★★

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.
My Review:

I couldn't do it. I wouldn't want the ability that Addie has. Even knowing what will happen, how can you choose? Mother or father? Best friend or true love? Life? Death? Happiness? Suffering? The choices seem easy but they are not.

I actually like Addie. It seems that more often than not these days I just can't stomach the MC. Addie works for me. In one timeline Addie is going through a rebel stage brought on by her parents divorce. She's never been a bad girl though so her rebel phase is very tame. My doing this she is actually trying to be normal. It's kind of cute. In another timeline Addie is adjusting to life fairly well after the divorce. I admit that I like her more in this timeline but at least she makes me dislike her. She's a smart girl with a good head on her shoulders but she is not without flaws.

There are two guys but it can't really be considered a love triangle. In one timeline Addie is being pursued by Duke. I didn't like Duke from the second we meet him. He is not a good person. Thankfully Addie doesn't completely lose her head when it comes to him. She still loses her head but it could have been a lot worse. Trevor though, Trevor is one of those YA guys that is actually worthy of swooning over. I love their romance and the slow(ish) build towards it. Their romance is refreshing.

The ending is a little anti-climatic but we already knew what was going to happen anyway because of Addie's search and we definitely get to see the action through the Search. The ending gives me hope. I am eagerly awaiting the next book.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: 'Til the World Ends Anthology

Title: 'Til the World Ends
Author: Multiple
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Format/Source: Paperback- Author via Giveaway
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden-as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What's worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she's beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems....

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre
After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside-in the Red Zone-is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they'll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside...for good.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall
Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms-in the cosmos and beyond. And she's not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She'll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.

My Review:

Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa
1.5/5 stars

I have to admit, Julie Kagawa is lucky that I'm not basing my interest in reading the rest of the series on this prequel. It would have actually been a great story but the romance killed it for me. I never did feel that connection between Kylie and Ben. Hell, I felt more of a connection between Ben and Nathan.

And it's not that I mind sex during the apocalypse or anything, it's that they just met. So Ben brings in his dying friend, who I swear I thought was more than just a friend, and then everyone dies and Ben and Kylie run away. And have sex. And then run away some more. To his family.

I just can't. Which is sad because I'm all about vampires that are evil. I still miss them.

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre
3.5/5 stars

Best story in the anthology. The romance was way better in this story too. There was a nice slow burn that left me rooting for the two of them.

I love the world that Ann Aguirre created here and I love the characters as well. I hope to see more of this in the future. I would absolutely read novels set in this universe and featuring Mari and Thorne.

For a short story I certainly felt the impact of the segregation. The people who can afford it get to stay inside a walled city while everyone else struggles. Nothing grows anymore. People kill and rob just to survive. So Mari becomes a thief, with training from her father, to make ends meet. In Thorne she finds an unlikely companion.

The characters are likeable, the world is well-written. Ann Aguirre doesn't disappoint.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall
3/5 stars

I've never read anything by Karen Duvall but I might pick up something by her now. I love the world that Karen Duvall created here and I would definitely enjoy reading more of it. The ending bothered me though. It was a bit ridiculous for my tastes.

Still, the overall story was interesting and I think the story is well worth the read.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (1): The Elite by Kiera Cass

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

My first WoW is:

Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 23, 2013

From Goodreads:
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Why it's my WoW:

I had a lot of fun with the first book, The Selection. I wasn't expecting that book to be a big thinker or anything. It was just a lot of fun and I'm hoping that this one will be too, though I'm thinking there is also going to be more angst in this one. I'm also really excited to see how America and Maxon's relationship continue throughout this book. I have to admit, I love the idea of America and Maxon together.