Wednesday, 17 September 2014

(ARC) Book Review (383): Dark Blood (Dark #26) - Christine Feehan


Dark Blood (Dark #26)

Publication: 2nd September 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 432
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Order from Amazon.com
                Order from BarnesAndNoble.com 
The fates of a warrior reborn and a seductive Dragonseeker are irrevocably entwined in the new Carpathian novel by #1New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, “the queen of paranormal romance” (J. R. Ward).

At long last you are truly back with us…

Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to rogue Lycans who preyed on mankind. He was a loner, never given to personal attachments, and damned fierce at his job. But Zev begins to question his past and his purpose when he awakens in the darkness of the sacred cave of warriors—and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of one woman, the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries. She was Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan…

Mother Earth called the ancients to witness your rebirth…

For this half-mage, half-Carpathian temptress, the ritual of awakening Zev to the council of warriors was the only way to save him. Locked away for his own protection, the time has now come for his rebirth, for his blood to stir with that of the ancient warriors before him. He has been assured by Branislava that their fates are entwined, that their spirits are woven together for eternity and that his new purpose in life is beyond imagining.

Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear…
My Thoughts.
This is one series that I eagerly await with bated breath with each and every new release, as well as the excitement of discovering just which couple we'll be reading about next.

Unfortunately the last six books have been hit and miss for me, I've gone from giving every book five stars to a rating of three, a couple have gotten five but for the most part I've been left disappointed.

I was looking forward to this book, the introduction of Bronnie and Zev in a previous book had me quite excited, the chemistry was definitely there and I had high hopes, so you can imagine my disappointment when Zev turned out to be not what I expected, the main reason I had a problem with him was in the way that Christine wrote the love scenes between him and Bronnie, I realise that he was a dominant personality but forcing someone to their knees to give you a blowjob, not just once either to punish them does not to me constitute a healthy relationship, but the ultimate shocker was having him have sex with her when she's basically unconscious and unable to move regardless of whether he had her consent or not, I was quite shocked that this was a Christine Feehan book, regardless of whether Zev is an Alpha or not, this is not the kind of thing I expect to read about in one of Christine's books, I'm no prude but if I had of wanted to read something like this I can just pick up 50 Shades Of Grey, both Fen and Dimitri are Alphas but we don't see them treating their life-mates this way!

I'm also getting quite bored with the spells that have been prevalent throughout the past few books, I find myself skipping over them, there seems to be too many, I understand that they are a part of the storyline but I could seriously do without them.

There were some things that I liked in this story which helped up my rating and gave it an extra star it otherwise wouldn't have gotten, the camaraderie between Zev, Fen and Dimitri was hilarious, I found myself laughing out loud and rereading some parts that were very amusing.

But the highlight of the book for me was the impromptu dancing out front of Mikhail's house with some of our most beloved characters of the series making an appearance, some who I wish we got to see more of, Julian in particular, I loved his story and character, his sense of humor and the scenes he shares with Gregori are always entertaining, I just wish he had more time in the books.

One mistake that I caught in this book was that in Dark Lycan book twenty-four (page 109) Darius and Tempest had twins, a boy and girl, yet in Dark Blood (page 236) they just have a son, I wouldn't have thought that, that would be something that Christine would forget.

Either way with some new evil characters set to wreak havoc for the foreseeable future I will still continue on buying and reading each future release, I'm invested now after twenty-six books and I have no plans on stopping, I just wish that the series could go back to being as enjoyable as the earlier books were.

I hope that the next book Dark Ghost featuring Andre will be like the books of old and enjoyable enough that I never have to write another review like this again for this series, it kills me to write this because I adore this series.

I give this 3.5/5 stars.


I write every day and have done so since I was old enough to pick up a pen. (I spent a lot of time getting in trouble at school for writing instead of doing the things I was supposed to do.) Once I create my characters, I try very hard to have them react to situations as they really would. Sometimes I have preconceived ideas of what I would like them to do, but they don't mind me, because it would be out of character for them. They take on a life of their own. Sometimes when I throw difficult situations at them in the hopes I'll get a certain reaction and they don't do what I want, I complain bitterly to my husband and he laughs at me. Still, it is important to me to have them be real, not perfect people, so they make mistakes we lesser mortals might make.




Wednesday, 10 September 2014

(ARC) Book Review (382): Heir Of Fire (Throne Of Glass #3) - Sarah J. Maas


Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

Publication: 2nd September 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Pages: 565
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
My Thoughts.
Heir Of Fire is the epic third instalment  in the utterly amazing Throne Of Glass series, featuring everyone's favorite assassin Celaena Sardothien, as she arrives in Wendlyn, a shell of the girl we first met, broken down by her losses of the people she loves and also the betrayal of the ones she trusted most.

This book gave me all the feels I could ever want in a series, as we suffer along with Celaena as she learns to finally let go of all that's holding her back and to finally become and feel worthy of the person that she was destined to be, all this is thanks to Rowan, a fae Prince who is given the task of training her, until she can be deemed worthy enough to cross over into Doranelle to get the answers from the fae Queen Maeve about the Wyrdmarks among other things.

Throughout this book we are also given Pov's of Chaol, Dorian and Manon a Blackbeak witch, I liked that with Celaena away we still got to keep up with what was going on in Adarlan and the rebel forces (led by an unlikely leader) as they plan to take down the King and his evil plans.

I really don't know how I'm going to hold out until next year to read the next book, with so much going on and so many things occurring at the end of the book, I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy, I'm so enthralled with  this world and characters that Sarah has created, this could arguably be the best Fantasy series ever written!

I went through a whole array of feelings reading this that had me at times in tears, joyful, sad and morose as we travel through the amazing writing and world building that makes this series as fantastic as it is, coming in at a good 565 pages this book is huge, but there is no filler here, this book I feel needed to be this long to get us through the build up to what is sure to be one action packed fourth book.

I feel there's nothing that Sarah can do wrong with this series, although I'm still unsure whom I'm hoping to see Celaena end up with, Chaol who I adore or Rowan who took me some time to warm up to but I can see the potential, decisions, decisions.

I can't recommend this book or series enough, the hype is real people, if you haven't read any of these books then you're definitely missing out!

I give this 5/5 stars.


Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Heir of Fire, Book 3, will be out in September 2014). Starting in Spring 2015, her New Adult Fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, will be published by Bloomsbury as well. 

Sarah lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the California coastline with her husband.



Wednesday, 3 September 2014

(ARC) Book Review (381): Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1) - Anna Carey


Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1)

by 
Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  IndieBound
Blackbird is the first book in an all new duology, an action packed, thrilling mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you make your way through this exciting story and discover the memories and reasons for the heroine's amnesia along with her and the meaning of the blackbird tattoo on her wrist.

Waking up on the train tracks with no memory of how she got there or who she is, she soon finds herself on the run, being tracked and hunted by not only the police but total strangers as well, with the help of a boy Ben that she meets, at the beginning of the book she begins a journey to discover who she was and why total strangers are so intent on killing her.

We're left with a shock twist at the end that left me totally gobsmacked, and has me desperately wanting the next book.

A fast paced and quick read, that while told in second person perspective took some time to get used to, but was thoroughly enjoyable.

I give this 4/5 stars.


Anna Carey is the author of The Eve Trilogy (EveOnceRise) and the forthcoming Blackbird series, which hits shelves September 16th, 2014. She studied creative writing at NYU and has an MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College. She likes miniatures, subway generated wind, flea markets, chalkboard silhouettes, dance-offs, arnold palmers, Chinese finger traps, and top-of-your-lungs car singing. She dislikes pennies, paper receipts, and tunafish. For delayed response times, please contact her through this site. For instant gratification, please find her on twitter. @AnnaCareyBooks



Monday, 1 September 2014

(ARC) Book Review (380): Messenger Of Fear (Messenger Of Fear #1) - Michael Grant


Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1)

My Thoughts.
Messenger Of Fear is the first book in an all new series, an unputdownable, nail-biting read, full of darkness, set in a world where people who do wrong are visited by the Messenger Of Fear, forced to chose between playing a game where if you survive you go free, if you don't well you will be forced to endure your biggest fear, it's the same if you refuse to play the game.

Mara who woke up in a field and has no idea of who or where she is, is horrified to learn that she is the Messenger's apprentice,  forced to watch as people are punished for their crimes but at the same time sickened by these people's actions and the people they have hurt, she will be shown three different cases once they are over she will learn how she came to be where she is and why.

While the punishments may seem graphic it goes with the story, these are also meant to be lessons that Mara is to learn, justice needs to be served to those who take it upon themselves to hurt and harm others, once Mara learns her real story she'll understand.

This book was a one sitting read for me, as soon as I picked it up I was absorbed in this book and desperate to get to the end and discover why there was such a big cover up with Mara's memories, and boy was there a twist that was quite a big shock, and that I never would have anticipated, but so well done.

This was my very first Michael Grant book and I loved it, I must move his Gone series up on my TBR list, if that series is anywhere near as good as this book was I'm sure I'll be hooked in no time, I'm extremely anxious to get my hands on the next book, I need to know what happens next with Mara and Messenger.

A fantastic story, great concept and intriguing characters.

I give this 5/5 stars.


wasn't me, that was someones else. 

I had a hard childhood. Hard for my parents. Not that bad for me. I was an Army brat, moved around a lot. Then I didn't settle down. I just kept moving. Why? What inner turmoil drove me? Mmmm, I gotta say none. I just have a short attention span. Easily bored. 

I'm living in Tiburon, CA right now. How much longer? Don't know.

I've written 150 books. That's right, I said 150. In your face, Stephen King. Granted, mine are shorter than his. And less popular. And less likely to be made into a major motion picture. And I guess i don't play in a band with Dave Barry, either, do I? 

Sorry: Salieri complex acting up.

Most of those books -- and by "most" I mean 149 out of 150 -- I wrote with my wife, the lovely, the talented, the eternally hot, Katherine (K.A.) Applegate. We've been together for 29 years. Which is a long time. Looooong time. Sweet lord what a long . . . No babe, I'm not implying anything.

Damn internets: you never know who's reading things.

Anyway, GONE. My goal in writing GONE? To creep you out. To make you stay up all night reading, then roll into school tired the next day so that you totally blow the big test and end up dropping out of school. 



Saturday, 30 August 2014

(ARC) Book Review (379): A New Darkness (The Starblade Chronicles #1) - Joseph Delaney


A New Darkness (The Starblade Chronicles #1)

Publication: 2nd September 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 416
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
A chilling new trilogy from the author of the internationally bestselling The Last Apprentice series! Tom Ward is an apprentice no longer—now he is a fully fledged spook battling boggarts, witches, and other creatures of the dark. This three-book arc will introduce brand-new readers to Joseph Delaney’s haunting world, and delight longtime fans.

Tom Ward is the spook, the one person who can defend the county from ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, witches, and other bloodthirsty creatures of the dark. But he’s only seventeen, and his apprenticeship was cut short when his master died in battle. No one trusts Tom’s skill, not till he’s proven himself. And a fifteen-year-old girl named Jenny knows more about the three mysterious deaths in the county than Tom does. She is a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and she wants to be Tom’s first apprentice—even though a female spook is unheard of. Together, Tom and Jenny will uncover the grave danger heading straight toward the county, and they’ll team up with a witch assassin to confront it.

A New Darkness begins a three-book series that will introduce new readers to Joseph Delaney’s deliciously scary imagination and delight his longtime fans. A New Darkness is perfect for every reader who loves thrills, chills, action, and adventure-no prior knowledge of the Last Apprentice series necessary! 

The Last Apprentice series, the first internationally bestselling series about Tom Ward, is soon to be a major motion picture, Seventh Son, starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, Antje Traue, Djimon Hounsou, and Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin.
My Thoughts.
A New Darkness is the first book in an all new trilogy, which is a spin-off of The Last Apprentice series, focusing on Tom Ward the apprentice of the original series.

Tom is now the official spook of Chipenden, tasked with eliminating any boggarts, witches and other creatures that are here to harm humans, he has reluctantly taken on an apprentice of his own, one of the first spooks to have a female apprentice, a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter Jenny who has her own set of gifts.

There is a new creature in Chipenden having killed three girls so far, Tom and Jenny go to investigate and discover that it is a Kobales a species who's plans areto kill all males and to enslave all females, Grimalkin who has been tracking them and finding out all the information she can agrees to help Tom with this problem and convinces him to journey to the Kobales homeland to investigate further, but this is where we are left with a huge cliffhanger, and I was left shocked and gobsmacked at the ending.

While this was described as a trilogy that you don't need to have read the main series of, I felt that there was a whole lot of storyline and knowledge I missed out on by my not having read it, I feel like I've missed something everytime something is mentioned that happened in those books, and while I definitely do plan on carrying on with this series I may need to pick up The Last Apprentice series to understand a lot of the references that were made that made no sense to me.

All in all I did enjoy this new start to a trilogy, full of action and adventure it was a look into a world I'd like to read more of.

Definitely recommended for fans of The Last Apprentice series and readers who like a bit of fantasy/paranormal and creatures that go bump in the night.

I give this 4/5 stars.


Joseph Delaney is a full time writer living in Lancashire, in the heart of Boggart territory. He first got the idea for the Wardstone Chronicles series when he moved to the village where he lives now and discovered there was a local boggart - ‘a man like me needs boggarts around’. He made a note in his notebook ‘a story about a man who hunts boggarts’ and years later when he had to come up with an idea at short notice developed this into ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’, the first book in the series.
He continues to draw upon the folklore of Lancashire and has acquired much local knowledge over the years which he tweaks and modifies to create his fictional world. Another source of inspiration has been Lancashire’s varied and atmospheric landscape. Many of the locations in the County are based on actual places in Lancashire. 
In the early days of his writing career Joseph worked as a teacher at a Sixth Form College: his subjects were English, Film and Media Studies. He used to get up early and write every morning before work. That way he could write a book a year – which promptly got rejected! When the Americans bought the series he decided to give up teaching and write full time. 
Prior to teaching he worked as an engineer in his twenties, completing an apprenticeship just like Tom Ward in the spook’s books.
Joseph describes his method of writing as a process of discovery. He doesn’t plot too far ahead and often doesn’t know what is going to happen until he writes it down. In other words he makes it up as he goes along. He prefers writing dialogue to description, in which he says he is a minimalist and leaves much to the reader’s imagination. 
Joseph has three children and nine grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events.
The Spook's ApprenticeThe Spook's Curse and The Spook's Secret have all been shortlisted for the Lancashire children's Book for the Year Award. The Spook's Apprentice is the winner of both the Sefton Book Award and the Hampshire Book Award.



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

(ARC) Book Review (378): My Highland Spy (Highland Spies #1) - Victoria Roberts


My Highland Spy (Highland Spies #1)

Publication: 2nd September 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble
This Highland Laird won't bow to the Crown

Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.

But this lady spy might make him...

Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.

If she doesn't betray him first

Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?
My Thoughts.
My Highland Spy is an intriguing debut novel in an all new historical romance series, an exciting start to what is sure to be an amazing series.

Lady Ravenna is a spy for the Crown, sent undercover as a governess to Scotland and to the home of Laird Ruairi Sutherland to teach his young son English, she soon discovers that Highlanders are not barbarians as she was lead to believe and instead finds herself falling for this rugged and handsome Scotsman.

Between Ravenna gathering information for the Crown, and the troubles that Ruairi is having with his deceased wife's Father who is trying to persuade him to rise up against the King, there is never a dull moment, add in a budding romance, some sizzling chemistry and men in kilts and you have yourself one scintillating story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I look forward to the rest of the series, Victoria Roberts is an author to watch, her writing will keep you captivated and enthralled the whole way through.

A great historical romance, that is a quick and easy read.

I give this 4/5 stars.


Award-winning author Victoria Roberts writes Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as "one of the most promising debut authors across the genres" and was also a 2013 RT Reviewers’ Choice award winner for X Marks the Scot.
Represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America® and several local chapters, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine Celtic Guide.

Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of twenty one years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish adventure, she’s dragging her clan to every Scottish festival under the sun.


Monday, 25 August 2014

(ARC) Book Review (377): Feral - Holly Schindler


Feral

Claire and her Father have just arrived in Peculiar Missouri, after a story that Claire wrote for her previous school's newspaper left her brutally beaten and near death in Chicago, she's glad for a change of scenery and to escape from the pitying looks that she got from everyone afterwards who knew what had happened to her.

No sooner has she arrived when she discovers the dead body of Serena, a high school girl who went missing the day Claire and her Father arrived, with her death explained as accidental with no foul play, Claire soon comes to the suspicion that someone was responsible for her murder, when Claire decides as a tribute to Serena to finish off the last story she was working on, what she uncovers may just be what got her killed and may send Claire on the same path

This story didn't go where I thought it would, while the reasons for all the weird goings on were explained, it was definitely unexpected and did make sense in the end, I did guess the murderer very early on I just wasn't sure of the reason why but once revealed it was something I never would have guessed.

Holly has a writing style that draws you into the story and keeps you invested all the way through, I will definitely pick up Holly's future releases her way of turning a story into something you're not expecting is intriguing and a joy to read.

For a mystery that will keep you on your toes, I recommend this.

I give this 3.5/5 stars.

I can’t remember the last time I left the house without a spiral notebook or some pages folded up in a back pocket. And I don’t think I’ve ever returned without fresh ideas, titles, opening lines, or poetry fragments climbing every one of those pages, racing up the margins, crisscrossing in as many different directions as the highways and interstates on a road map of Missouri (my home state).
I’ve spent my life making those notes in the margins—even as a little girl, my favorite activity was to write books bound by strips of red ribbon…and to scrawl comments next to my paragraphs like the most critical of editors. Lessons learned from this childhood pastime served me well, especially in college—I received a BA and MA in English, and while I was a student, I wrote piles of poetry, literary critique, short fiction, and even attempted my first novel.
After college, I dove headfirst into writing. To pay a few bills, I taught piano and guitar lessons in the afternoons. This time, the margin notes on my back-pocket pages were character sketches, mannerisms, phrases all inspired by my students. It soon became clear to me that in addition to writing for adults, I also wanted to write for the children and teens who filled my home with music. My first two published works, A Blue So Dark and Playing Hurt, were both YA novels. My debut MG, The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky, released with Dial / Penguin on February 6, 2014, and my next YA, Feral, is forthcoming from HarperCollins.