Monday, December 31, 2012

Review: Cleopatra Ascending

Cleopatra Ascending
Cleopatra Ascending by Maureen Lipinski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rhea Spencer has just turned 16 years old and how does she get to celebrate her birthday? She gets to clean out the garage and do other chores because she was late at curfew. You would think being the reincarnation of Queen Cleopatra would give her bonus points, but you would be wrong. Not only does she receive no special treatment, she also has no special powers like her sisters who are a shaman, a witch and a muse. That is until she starts having visions of Cleopatra's life and an unknown stranger approaches her and warns her that her life is in danger (in ancient Egyptian).

Cleopatra Ascending is a fast paced paranormal mystery that will satisfy most readers. Rhea is destined to either destroy or save the human race. The Octavians want Rhea to read an ancient spell to raise an army of the dead while the Order if Antony want her to read a spell to destroy Cleopatra’s Book of the Dead. Will she be able to do what is right? Will she be able to protect those around her? Although this is the second book in a series, I had no problem jumping into the story. I will most likely go back and read the first book because I like the characters. This is a fun book that was an enjoyable read without a lot of deep thinking needed.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F.

Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F.
Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F. by Christiane F.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Six year hold Christiane F. learned many lessons after moving to Berlin. One – there are rules about everything. Two – kids are punished when rules are broken. Three – if you are going to get punished, you mine as well have fun along the way. This philosophy stayed with her into her pre-teen years as she acted out in school and began to hang around with older people. Although the clique was protective of their “baby,” Christiane F. continued to experiment with drugs. She started with hashish and alcohol, moved on to Valium, Quaaludes and other pills, and was finally addicted to heroin.

Zoo Station is a new translation of Christiane F’s tragic memoir about life and drugs in Berlin during the 1970s. Christiane F. was in constant denial about the extent of her addiction and although she could see the effects of heroin on those around her, she continued to believe she could stop at any time. While I had not read the original translation, did not see the movie made in the 1980s and was not familiar with this story at all before reading this book, I was still able to fully experience the drama and tragedy that was Christiane F’s life. The reader will be pulled into the scene with Christiane F. and mourn the loss of her friends and her innocence. Readers of Go Ask Alice will find a satisfying read in Zoo Station.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Review: Crimson Frost

Crimson Frost
Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gwen and Logan are on their first real date while the Mythos Academy students have the afternoon off because of an announcement planned later in the day. Gwen is nervous, like any girl who wants to take a relationship from friendship to romance, and the result is spilled coffee and tea all over Logan. As she ponders how this date can get any worse, men in official looking robes enter the coffee shop and approach her. She is under arrest! The protectorate has received information that leads them to believe SHE intentionally set Loki free and is actually a Reaper in disguise. She knows she is Nike’s Champion and that it is Vivian who committed all the crimes she is accused of. To make matters worse, the lead protectorate is Logan’s father and he does not like the fact that Logan is dating Gwen.

Crimson Frost pulls the reader back into the story of Gwen Frost and Mythos Academy immediately. After one chapter we are wondering how all this can be happening to Gwen and why the protectorate won’t believe her. Jennifer Estep weaves a fast paced story that keeps the reader eager for the next chapter. Everything that happens in this fourth book takes place during a one week time frame with many life or death consequences at every turn. Once you finish this installment, you will be eagerly waiting for Midnight Frost to arrive.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: The Listeners

The Listeners
The Listeners by Harrison Demchick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Daniel Raymond is alone. His mother left their apartment for toilet paper and never returned. If that is not bad enough, the borough has been quarantined because of a plague with zombie like symptoms. The only information he receives is from the television which reported the doctors and medical personnel being removed by helicopter after the government decided it was too dangerous to assist the local residents.

Danny doesn’t know who to trust. The police offer food and protection in exchange for guns and anything else they want and a group called the Listeners offer protection and a new family. Daniel chooses to leave the apartment and join the Listeners, but he continues to doubt his decision and their motives. The Listeners say the police are corrupt, but some of their own members are testing the limits of their new power.

Harrison Demchick leads the reader to question the power of local government and to realize the difficulties in containing a plague in a modern city. Daniel has lost the only family he has known and must learn to make choices in a world where all the choices are tough. Will the plague be cured, will the quarantine be lifted, and will Daniel live long enough to find out? The Listeners spins many tangent story lines that slowly weave into a cohesive tale that leaves the reader with many aha moments.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: Surrender

Surrender by Rhiannon Paille

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kaliel and Krishani have many things in common. They both were “found” and raised by elders, they both are destined to marry the land and they both were NOT supposed to meet and fall in love. Most of all, neither wants to accept the parable given to them by the Great Oak, but the Great Oak sees more than they do.

Kaliel's parable tells her that her choices may kill many or save many, but doesn't give her enough information to protect those around her. Krishani discovers that he is the Ferryman and Kaliel discovers she is a Flame, a weapon that sparks a war.

Surrender is a coming of age tale that leaves a lot to be desired. Rhiannon Paille bounces between story lines (Kaliel and Krishani), but the transitions don't flow and I found myself looking back to see which story was taking place. The series title (The Ferryman and the Flame #1) tells the reader that this is the first book in a series, but more than 50% of the book was setting up the story and then the rest just rushed on through. I recommend this book for those who want something new to read, but if you already have a large TBR pile, then skip this one for now.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories

The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories
The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What do you get when Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff collaborate on a blog to work on their short story writing skills? The Curiosities – this short story collection covers the supernatural, horror, fantasy and just plain average. Find out about a vampire kept in a box located in a basement, a girl who may be scarier than the killer in her house and many, many more stories.

The second best part of this book is the amazing writing by three young adult novelists. The best part of this book is the commentaries located throughout each story. Not only does the author give insight into the writing processes they used, the other two authors include additional thoughts and critiques about the story. I personally was weary of reading a short story collection because I feel cheated about not getting a complete story. This collection completely shattered my perception of short stories. All of the stories were well written and didn’t leave me longing for more.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: Wilde's Meadow

Wilde's Meadow
Wilde's Meadow by Krystal Wade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Katriona has lost her home (Earth) and her best friend, but she has gained the use of magic and fallen in love. She still has to lead an army to war in order to bring Light back to Encardia and that seems to be the least of her worries. To achieve this goal she must unite the worlds to fight against Darkness and kill the fallen god that has taken over the body of her dead best friend. Will Katriona have the power and strength needed to fulfill all of these tasks? Will love be enough to fuel her magic?

Wilde’s Meadow is the third and final book in the Darkness Falls trilogy. Wade brings back the characters we love as well as the characters we hate to cumulate this story. Readers of the series will not be disappointed in the conclusion of this trilogy. The best aspect of this book is that there are many segments of the book that will make the reader wonder if the story will end with Light or Darkness winning. You will need to read the book yourself to find out. If you have not read the first two books in this series, PLEASE read them first!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: The Lost Prince

The Lost Prince
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ethan Chase has a secret and a very important rule. The secret is that he can see the Fey; the rule is that he shouldn’t let them know. Unfortunately, that is easier than it sounds. He is after all the half-brother of the Iron Queen and trouble seems to follow him everywhere, even to his new school. When the Forgotten (a Fey that is vanishing because no one remembers them) begin killing exiles and half-breeds he is pulled into the conflict after a new friend is taken. Ethan uses a token given to him by his sister, Meghan, and travels with an unexpected companion into the Nevernever to ask for help.

The Lost Prince is the first book in a spin off series that will be enjoyed by those who read the first series as well as the readers newly introduced to these characters. Many of the original characters appear in this novel, but the first series may not be needed for full enjoyment. Readers will be pulled in from the beginning and dragged through adventure after adventure willingly. I can’t wait to read the next volume.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Beta

Beta by Rachel Cohn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Elysia is a sixteen year old girl who has just emerged into the world. She is a teenage clone, one of the first, a Beta. Elysia has been created in order to serve the residents of Demesne, an island paradise created for the very rich. Demesne is also engineered. Everything is perfect even the air and water. The clones are created because the relaxing effect of the air does not affect them and human workers would not be productive. Elysia’s perfect life does not last long. She realizes that she can taste, feel emotions and remember her First’s memories. She is a defect and if the humans discover this truth she will be expired. There are other defects on the island and they have started an underground movement to begin an insurrection for the freedom of all clones.

Beta is a captivating science fiction story like no other. Rachel Cohn creates a world that may be possible in the not so distant future. Elysia’s internal struggles represent issues children, teens and adults all have problems with, yet are unable to articulate to ourselves and others. Many turns in the story were expected and that is fine. Of course this first novel in a series has a twist/cliff hanger in the last paragraph that has you yelling, “What!!!!!!” Actually 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: The FitzOsbornes at War

The FitzOsbornes at War
The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The FitzOsbornes are still living in exile after their island country was attacked by the Nazis, but they are not willing to sit around like spoiled heirs and heiresses. Toby, the King of Montmaray, has joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Princess Sophie has taken classes and been hired to create and edit rationing brochures. London is being bombed, the Allied forces are trying to fight the Nazis into surrendering, and Toby’s plane has been shot down over enemy territory. Even as war continues across Europe, love begins for our journaling princess and these exiled souls from Montmaray continue to long for peace.

The FitzOsbornes at War is the third and final volume in The Montmaray Journals. Although it gives a satisfying conclusion to the saga, it was the least enjoyable of the three. Many entries during the war time portion of the journal dragged with mundane daily activities. I am satisfied with the conclusion of the series, but if the first book was written in this manner, I would not have continued the series. The rating is actually 2.5 stars rounded up.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: Dead Strange: The Bizarre Truths Behind 50 Unexplained Mysteries

Dead Strange: The Bizarre Truths Behind 50 Unexplained Mysteries
Dead Strange: The Bizarre Truths Behind 50 Unexplained Mysteries by Matt Lamy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are a reader who is interested in the supernatural, mysteries and weird facts, then “Dead Strange” may be the next book for you. Matt Lamy explores 50 world-famous stories and brings together current and past information into quick snippets of reading. The items selected run the gambit from superstition, religion, mythology, folklore and science. Lamy consistently plays the devil’s advocate to give the reader a well-rounded understanding of each topic. Side bars are included with most mysteries which give additional information to enhance the reader’s knowledge. Many intriguing photos and art work are also included to give supporting evidence for or against the topic presented. This non-fiction book would be great to keep on hand for quick reading without worrying about completing a story.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2)

By - Mike Mullin / Published - October 14, 2012

Ashen Winter is the second book of Mike Mullin's Ashfall series. Alex and Darla have decided it was time to leave his uncle's house in order to find his parent's who left to look for him. It is now 10 months since Yellowstone's super-volcano has erupted and North America has been sent into a mini ice-age. Readers of the first book will not be disappointed in this second volume. Ashen Winter will keep you on the edge of your seat and wondering what you would do in these situations. Would you be a heroic survivor? Would you be a villainous survivor? Would you be a victim? Goodreads Book Information

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review - The Paladin Prophecy (The Paladin Prophecy #1)


By - Mark Frost / Published - September 25, 2012
Will West hasn't lived in one place longer than 18 months. His family has taught him many rules and insisted that he not draw attention to himself. No athletic or academic achievements are encouraged by his parents. Suddenly, Will's life gets turned upside down. He is chased by a black sedan while running in the morning, a strange car is parked outside of his morning group stop, he is called to the office where he is informed he scored off the charts (a perfect score) on a national exam and he is invited to a private school called The Center. 

Will's mother is not acting like herself and she has an unusual scar on her neck; his father (who was away on a business trip) is sending him text messages, but is also out of contact. After being chased again by additional black sedans Will decides to take The Center up on their full scholarship offer and begins an extraordinary adventure cross country to safety. But is he safe? One of his father's rules is to TRUST NO ONE. He is alone and has to decide what to tell people. He is also discovering powers that were not there a few days before.

"The Paladin Prophecy" is a roller coaster adventure that keeps the reader wondering who should be trusted and who should be avoided. As the first book in a series the author ended this portion of the story in a great spot. There are so many unanswered questions that the reader will want to read the next book, but enough issues were resolved that it stands strong on its own. Goodreads Book Information 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: The Time Keeper


By - Mitch Albom / Published - September 11, 2012

Father Time was once a living man.  His name was Dor and he was the first human to measure time.  He lived 6,000 years ago when life and time were simpler.  After a tragic illness took his wife, Dor wanted to reach the heavens and demand more time.  The result of this action was the fall of the Tower of Babel and him being placed in a cave where he had to listen to any mention of time.  Sarah is a girl in modern day New York.  She wants time to speed up so that she can be with the boy who is showing interest in her.  Sarah believes that if Ethan spends time with her, he will see how wonderful she is.  Victor is a millionaire in Manhattan.  He is dying and wants to cheat death.  Victor wants to freeze his body so that it can be healed of its cancer in the future and be given another lifetime to live.
After 6,000 years, Dor is release from his cave and sent to modern times to save these two people.  He must learn several lifetimes’ worth of information in order to succeed in this task.  He must also determine what he is supposed to do to save them.  The Time Keeper will take the reader on a spiritual journey through time.  Why is time so important?  Do humans spend too much of their precious time thinking about time?  This story is told through the eyes of these three different individuals, but the story still flows smoothly as you move through time and locations.  Readers of Mitch Albom’s other books with not be disappointed in this novel.   Goodreads Book Information 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: Freaks Like Us


By - Susan Vaught / Published - September 4, 2012

Jason, Derrick and Sunshine are Alphabets. This is not an official description; they gave it to themselves and others like them. They all have some sort of a mental disability with shortened descriptions (ADHD, MDD, BPD and GAD). Jason is SCZI (Schizophrenic) and hears multiple voices in his head. Derrick and Sunshine have been his best friends since childhood and they are now in the last year of high school.

Jason and Sunshine also have a secret. Sunshine asked him to do something for her on Saturday and keep it a secret. Since she is his best friend he did not hesitate to honor this request. Unfortunately, his disability is causing him to wonder if he is remembering Saturday correctly. Did she really ask? Did he really do it? This confusion may not be that big of a problem until Monday night when Sunshine goes missing. She never made it home from the corner that Jason, Derrick and her parted ways at after the bus ride home. 

Since Sunshine is a disabled minor, the local authorities decided to call in the FBI for assistance. Everyone is a suspect including Jason. Jason doesn’t think he did anything to Sunshine, but the voices in his head make everything so confusing he is unsure about his own innocence. Freaks Like Us will pull the reader in after just one chapter. Jason’s persona comes alive as one reads about different issues that Alphabets have to deal with including the fact that no one wants to listen to them or take them seriously. The reader will experience characters they love, characters they hate and characters they just can’t decide upon. This is a great coming of age story that will have the reader laughing and crying throughout.  Goodreads Book Information 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1)


By - Sarah Rees Brennan / Published September 11, 2012

Kami Glass has a friend she has never met. They speak to each other through their minds and have done this since they were babies. Kami is unsure if he is imaginary or real. That is until Jared appears in her small town with his family, the Lynburns. The Lynburns have sworn to protect the village residents, but after their return bad things start happening. Kami decides to use her journalistic prowess to find out who is behind these events and no one or nothing can keep her from this investigation. Will Kami discover the secrets of Sorry-In-The-Vale in time to save her friends? Unspoken is a heart racing first book in a series that will leave the reader panting for the next installment.   Goodreads Book Information 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Wilde's Army (Darkness Falls #2)


By - Krystal Wade

Published - July 4, 2012

Katriona has had everything taken away from her. She is in a new world where she is destined to bring Light and vanquish Darkness. This destiny was prophesied before she was born and the ramifications are still unraveling. At the beginning of Wilde’s Army Katriona discovers that all of the residents in the compound have been taken hostage except Perth. Perth and Katriona were betrothed as payment for the building of the compounds. Unfortunately, Katriona is in love with Arland and they believed that Perth did not know she had returned. Katriona must learn to trust Perth and convince him to help her rescue the others. If only things were that simple. Not only does she need to rescue her new friends, comrades and family members, they all must travel to Willow Falls so that she can complete her destiny, unite the three peoples of the world and form an army to fight Darkness.

Wilde’s Army is just as fast paced as the first book, Wilde’s Fire, and keeps the reader anticipating the next chapter. The story introduces new characters and delves deeper into the persona of many existing characters. This novel clearly reads as a second book in a series. It is not advisable to read this book without reading the first. The reader will also wait with anticipation for the next book in the series.  Goodreads Book Information

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: Beautiful Disaster


By - Jamie McGuire

Published - August 14, 2012

Abby Abernathy has walked away from her past. She has moved out of state to Eastern University and the only thing she brought with her is her best friend. She doesn’t drink, she doesn’t swear, she doesn’t party and her wardrobe is very modest. Abby believes she has left her dark past behind in Wichita. 

Then her best friend, America, invites her to an underground fight where her new life is challenged after meeting Travis “Mad Dog” Maddox. He is covered in tattoos, fights for money and is known throughout campus for his one night stands. Travis is attracted to Abby after she continually brushes him off and refuses his advances. This friendship is tested to its limit when they make a friendly wager. If he loses the bet, he will stay abstinent for an entire month. If he wins, Abby will live in his apartment for a month. No matter how this bet turns out, both people will have major challenges ahead.

Beautiful Disaster has everything a reader could want: action, romance, mystery and deception. The characters are believable, yet the reader may find himself questioning the actions of Abby and Travis. Will Abby be able to resist the lifestyle that Travis is living in order to remain a “good girl?” Will her dark past come back out and take over her current life? Goodreads Book Information

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review: The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel)


By - James Dashner

Published - August 14, 2012

Many of us know how the story ends, but do you want to know how the story began? Mark is a survivor. When the sun flares hit Earth and killed people and modern society, he stayed alive with his friend Trina and they met Alec (a retired soldier who knew what it took to survive). A year has passed since the sun flares and Mark is living with others in a settlement high in the Appalachian Mountains. Unexpectedly a berg appears and people in green suits start shooting darts at residents in the settlement. Alec and Mark board and crash the berg discovering that someone was intentionally infecting people with a virus. After returning to the settlement they discover that all but one person hit with a dart has died and the one survivor has gone crazy.

The survivors decide they are not going to be victims and they leave looking for a compound they believe is responsible for this attack. Along the way the reader learns more about the days following the sun flares and intentional release of the virus “The Flare.” Although the reader can truly enjoy this book without reading the first three books (this is a prequel), the remain books will not be as enjoyable because many things are revealed in this book that are surprises in the others. I recommend reading this book AFTER finishing the first three: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. Goodreads Book Information

Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)


By - Sarah J. Maas

Published - August 7, 2012

Celaena Sardothien has survived the last year in a prison where the life expectancy is one month. As the most notorious assassin of her day, she has been beaten and abused, yet she still lives. Then Crown Prince Dorian pulls her out of Endovier and offers her freedom. In order to be granted this freedom, she must train for a competition to determine who will become the king's champion. Should she survive the training and testing to become the king's champion she must perform these duties for four years for her permanent freedom.

Celaena builds her strength as she builds relationships with those around her. Unexpected friendships and possible romances bloom with the Crown Prince and the Captain of the Guard. The other contestants are all men. Thieves, assassins and soldiers from throughout the empire are sponsored by nobles for this honor. As if the contest is not challenging enough, contestants are being found murdered and organs taken from them. Now Celaena must discover who is killing the contestants while also training and trying to stay alive herself. Through twists and turns the reader is taken through training, court intrigue and budding relationships. Action scenes are descriptive and will keep the reader wanting to know next twist in the plot. The book is a strong first book and will have the reader wanting to know what will happen in the next book (should it be written).  Goodreads Book Information

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: House of Night: Legacy


By - P. C. Cast
Published - July 4, 2012

Zoey has been marked as a vampyre and has moved into the House of Night. This school helps train fledgling vampyres and keeps them safe. Unfortunately, Zoey has been marked in a special way and has shown an affinity with all five elements. Because of an issue at a Dark Daughters ritual, the role of leader for this group was given to Zoey. Zoey is then challenged by Nyx to learn five lessons before becoming the leader of the Dark Daughters. House of Night (graphic novel) delves deeper into the story of Zoey Redbird then what was given in Marked. Whether the reader has read the first book in the series or not, they will enjoy the tangent storyline and graphic representation of these characters.  Goodreads Book Information

Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Dark Frost (Mythos Academy #3)


By - Jennifer Estep
Published - May 29, 2012

Dark Frost is a wild ride full of ancient mythology from many cultures and times. Gwen is a gypsy blessed by the goddess Nike. She is Nike's chosen champion and must prevent the Reapers for releasing the god Loki from his underworld prison. Dark Frost is the third novel in the Mthyos Academy series. Readers will struggle along side Gwen as she comes to terms with her gypsy gifts, attempts to understand her relationship (or lack there of) with Logan (a Spartan who has saved her life more than once), and fights the Reapers at every turn of this book. Readers who have followed Gwen through the first two books will not be disappointed in the third volume in the series. The fast paced story and hints/insights into what may come next keeps the reader coming back for the next chapter. Crimson Frost (book 4) can not come fast enough!  Goodreads Book Information

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Touched


By - Cyn Balog
Published - August 14, 2012

Would you like to see your future? What if you couldn’t select what you saw, but you saw the “you wills” all of the time? Nick Cross tried to listen to the You Wills in his head. After three months of staying on script he veered off script to keep a girl from being run over. Unfortunately, another girl drowned because of this action. Changing the future doesn’t work.

Because Nick saved Taryn, his entire future is uncertain. He can longer see his graduation let alone next month. When Taryn touches him, the voice in his head stops and he feels normal. Taryn and her grandmother have the Book of Touch and it is the reason Nick is able to see the future. Why did Taryn coming into his life turn his future inside out? Can Nick change the future and protect the people around him?

Touched takes the reader on an exploration of self-discovery. How do our actions affect the rest of our life or the lives around us? Not just the big actions, but the little day to day decisions we make without thinking. What would you do to help those around you and change the future already set in motion? Goodreads Book Information

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles #2)


By - Kady Cross
Published - May 29, 2012

A great sequel in this steampunk series. Kady Cross brings Finley and the gang across the pond to 1897 New York City to help Jas out of his current predicament. Not only is there great steampunk science fiction, there are interesting characters and incredible situations. Be prepared to laugh out loud and forgo all other activities until this volume is finished. Goodreads Book Information


Friday, July 13, 2012

Review: Wilde's Fire


By - Krystal Wade
Published - May 13, 2012

Kate has a best friend that she trusts completely. Even though he is male, her family trusts them enough to sleep together in the same room and even go on a camping trip with just themselves and Kate’s sister. During the camping trip Kate begins seeing a yellow light and has waking visions. She doesn’t think anything about these actions because for the past six years she has had dreams/nightmares about a boy named Arland. After following the yellow light to the nearby swimming hole and deciding to wait until the morning to investigate the waters, her sister wakes and admits that she also saw the yellow light outside the tent. Kate’s world is shaken when all three of them swim into an underwater cave and land in another world. This world has been thrown into darkness and has many prophecies. One prophecy concerns Kate and calls her The Light and says she will fight the darkness and return the world to light. Wildes Fire brings stories of old and new magic together in a tale that weaves romance, valor and vengeance. Although the gods introduced in these worlds have different names, the reader will welcome the familiar tales of greed and violence that have wrecked many human societies. Goodreads Book Information

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Exiled (The Never Chronicles #1)


By - J. R. Wagner
Published - June 5, 2012

In a world where magic is real, but can only be practiced by the Faithful there is a prophecy. The Anointed One will be born to Unfaithfuls and be a powerful sorcerer. It is believed that James is the Anointed One. His family was converted and trained when he was 3 years old and during this training period he was isolated, moved often and had several tutors (each more skilled than the last). Unfortunately, not everyone believes he is the Anointed One and some are jealous of his power. After a witness’s memory is tampered with, James is sentenced to exile in The Never for murder. Upon arriving in The Never, he discovers that the residents (other exiled sorcerers) have been waiting for the person who can crack the magic of the island and help them return to the lives they left behind. Exiled includes intrigue, corruption and stories which twist in and out of each other. This first book in a series is a captivating read that leaves enough unanswered questions that the reader will long for the next book.  Goodreads Book Information

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: Poison Tree


By - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Publication - July 10, 2012

This world is not our world.  Inside this story the reader will find SingleEarth, vampires, shapeshifters, Tristes and the Bruja Guilds.  Although each group may work with other groups, cooperation is the exception, not the norm.  Sarik is a shapeshifting tiger that left her clan after her human sister was brutally murdered and became a mediator for SingleEarth, an organization that helps supernatural creatures.  Alysia is a human with a checkered past in the Bruja Guilds, groups of assassins that have a mixed up honor system, who has found satisfaction working for SingleEarth.  When an attack occurs at SingleEarth, both women must face the past they left and rediscover who can be really trusted.  Can either woman survive the personal and political issues they thought they left behind?
Most of the main characters are introduced in the prologue and then their stories split before reuniting halfway through the book.  The book is of a moderate length that made for a quick read, but the writing is stunted and the storyline varies from confusing to very simple.  The book would have been a better read if the length was stretched and more detail was applied to the characters and storyline.  Goodreads Book Information

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules


By - Julie Kagawa
Publication - April 24, 2012

Allie has only known life since the Plague. After the Plague starting killing off most of the human population Vampires came out of hiding to govern cities where humans were Registered and required to be blooded twice a month. Allie chose to be Unregistered. This meant she was not required to be blooded, but also wasn't allowed any food rations. Her life was turned upside down when during a scouting raid with other Fringers they were attacked by Rabids and her death was eminent. That was until a Vampire fought off the Rabids and offered her immortality or the death that awaited her. Allie chose to become a Vampire and "live." How can she survive as something she has always hated? What does it mean to see humans as food? She is still struggling with these questions when she is forced out of the city she has know her whole life and must venture alone into the world outside the city walls. Julie Kagawa spins a tale of adventure, self discovery and just a little romance. The Immortal Rules is a captivating first book and I anticipate the continuation of the series. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: God Save the Queen


By - Kate Locke
Published - July 3, 2012

Queen Victoria is preparing to celebrate her 175th year of reign.  Since the aristocracy mutated during the plague to become vampires, werewolves and goblins, Britain hasn’t been the same.  The aristocracy is protected by half-bloods (children of royal blood and humans).  These half-bloods are stronger and quicker than humans, but don’t have the immortal limitations of daylight or shape shifting.  Xandra is part of the Royal Guard and is thrown into the unbelievable world of the insurrectionists when she discovers that someone has staged a fake suicide for her younger sister.  She no longer knows who to believe.  Her friend and long-term mentor, Churchill, has taught her that goblins are monsters and insurrectionists are traitors.  Yet her sister and mother are trying to convince her that the aristocracy are performing experiments on half-bloods and can’t be trusted.

God Save the Queen is a cross between steampunk and a vampire tale all thrown into a modern England.  The reader will be pulled into the story and history inside while attempting to stay one step ahead of Xandra while she is searching for the answers.  Although the sex scenes are not very graphic, the topics and language throughout make this more appropriate for older teens and adults.  This first book in The Immortal Empire series finishes in a great spot.  The reader will want to read the second book to discover what Xandra will do next. Goodreads Book Information

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow

By - Robin Wasseman
Published - April 10, 2012

Nora had the perfect senior year project.  She was a professor’s translation assistant with one of her best friends and his roommate at the nearby local college.  She is to translate personal letters from the 16th century from Latin to English.  At first she is upset because she is given the personal letters because of her age, but then the author, Elizabeth, begins to grow on her and she begins translating the letters in her spare time.  All translations come to a stop when the professor is hospitalized, the manuscripts go missing and her best friend, Chris, is found dead.  She believes these events are all related and convinces her other best friend, Adriane, to skip the senior trip to Paris and go to Prague (the original location of these manuscripts).  Can they determine who is behind Chris’s murder?  Was the device mentioned in the manuscripts real and is it still hidden and waiting to be rediscovered?  The Book of Blood and Shadow is a cross between The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure.  Secret organizations, hidden codes, long lost documents and European history abound in this page turning tome.  Goodreads Book Information