Saturday, November 29, 2014

Review: Suspicion

SuspicionSuspicion by Alexandra Monir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been seven years since Imogen’s father and mother died in a fire at her family’s English country manor. Her guardians moved her back to New York City and isolated her from anything related to her English noble ancestors. When she learns that her cousin and grandfather are both dead and she is now the Duchess of Rockford, Imogen holds her head high and decides to take on this heavy title. Rockford begins to flourish with her return, but there are dark secrets at every turn and Imogen is unsure who she can trust and must uncover the truth before it is too late.

Suspicion is a mystery with a hint of supernatural folklore thrown in. Readers who enjoyed the Princess Diaries will like the American turned heiress pulled into the twenty-first century. The story moves along quickly and smoothly. I recommend that readers don’t start this book during a busy time of the week, since they will most likely be stuck in their favorite reading spot trying to break away. Monir has created a cast of characters that are easy to love and although this appears to be a stand-alone book, it is easy to see additional stories being created in this newly developed world.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: King Dork Approximately

King Dork ApproximatelyKing Dork Approximately by Frank Portman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tom Henderson has survived tenth grade, act one. It is now time to begin tenth grade, act two, and life is still completely unstable for King Dork. Tom had to give up his army coat since it was saturated in blood; Little Big Tom has been guilted out of the home and his imaginary girlfriends are nowhere around. He has just found out that after the winter break his school will be shut down and he will be separated from his alphabetical-order best friend who will go to a different school. This new school actually expects students to do work and bullying is not done as openly. Will the Catcher Code work in this new environment? Can the female robot’s notes help him in his next relationship?

King Dork Approximately is the second book in the King Dork series. Even for a sequel published eight years after the first book, readers should have no trouble remembering the events of the first book due to the non-stop ramblings of the narrator. This book is a tongue in cheek story told by a goofy teen boy. Readers should not go into this book expecting anything serious and definitely not for any life changing truths. King Dork Approximately is a fun escape read that will keep the reader turning pages until the end.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Review: Captive

Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)Captive by Aimee Carter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kitty Doe has been living a lie for two months. She is pretending to be the Prime Minister’s niece, she doesn’t know if she can trust her fake fiancé, and although the Blackcoats want her help, they allow her to do little more than give canned speeches. As she begins to understand that her role in the Hart family was not a random event, she is accused of treason and sent to Elsewhere. Kitty must relearn who she can trust, if anyone, even those who have appeared to be on her side during these past two months. What is she willing to sacrifice to help the rebellion?

Captive is the second book in The Blackcoat Rebellion series. There is not much lag time between the two books, and the clues that Carter intersperses throughout the first few chapters will jog the reader’s memory. The story is ever changing and many characters are constantly moving into and out of the storyline. There was a lot of world building and character development in the first book that readers who jump into this book will miss. I do not recommend reading Captive without reading Pawn first.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: The Shadow Soul

The Shadow Soul (A Dance of Dragons, #1)The Shadow Soul by Kaitlyn Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a special day for Jinji. She was to become a woman with the braiding of her hair. Yet when the ceremony was finished, her life changed completely after her entire village was massacred. As the only survivor she cut off her hair and left to find vengeance. She met up with Rhen, a prince trying to uncover a plot against his family, and Jinji uses her short hair to travel as a boy. Although the two are traveling together, they still don’t trust each other enough to confide their secrets. Jinji can create illusions and Rhen can control fire. These skills are feared by many and may be their saving grace or their downfall.

The Shadow Soul is the first book in A Dance of Dragons series. The action is fast paced and the story moves along quickly and smoothly. The alternating chapters of Jinji and Rhen are weaved together effortlessly without causing a distraction for the reader. Davis has created a multi-faceted world with the potential to contain stories for many books to come. This book will satisfy male and female readers alike whether they enjoy fantasy or adventure books.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review: The Job

The Job (Fox and O'Hare, #3)The Job by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Special Agent Kate O’Hare is good at her job. What most of the FBI does not know is that she also has a secret assignment. She has been paired up with Nicolas Fox to try and bring down the world’s felons. The fact that Fox is on the world’s top ten list and currently being chased by other agents just adds to the drama. After a series of thefts that the FBI believe Fox was responsible for, Nick and Kate team up to catch a drug lord that has his own addiction … Knipschildt chocolate! Kate is not able to stay on the side of completely legal, but with the help of some creative and not too honest specialists, they will try their best to get their man behind bars.

The Job is the third book in the Fox and O’Hare series. Readers who enjoyed the love hate relationship explored in the first two books will not be disappointed in this volume. Fox continues to try and seduce Kate, and it seems as if Kate is having a rougher time resisting him. Can they keep their relationship purely personal? Would that be in the best interest of their mission? Readers might be able to pick up this book without reading the first two, but the innuendos and fun banter will not hold the same appeal if they do. A fast paced read that can be easily devoured in one or two sittings.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review: Dangerous Deceptions

Dangerous Deceptions (Palace of Spies, #2)Dangerous Deceptions by Sarah Zettel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Peggy Fitzroy is a lady in waiting to Princess Caroline in the 1716 London court. Like many other women of her time, she is betrothed to a man not of her choosing, but she is hoping to break this arrangement so that she can be with the love of her life, Matthew. The lessons she has learned during her training to become a spy are put to good use when her fiancé returns to court with plans to claim her. Peggy must uncover the truth about her family and that of her fiancé in order to have any chance of getting out of this marriage. Does Peggy have the spy skills necessary to break this agreement?

Dangerous Deceptions is the second book in the Palace of Spies series. Whether the reader enjoys a good mystery or is a fan of historical fiction, they will find equal pleasure with this book. Peggy speaks to the reader throughout the book as she is chronicling her escapes in journal entries. The banter recorded is quick witted if not simple, but since all information is coming from the Peggy, the reader is kept in the dark about events outside of her knowledge. A fun read … but will not please all readers.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Creed

CreedCreed by Trisha Leaver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dee has planned the perfect birthday gift … a weekend away at a concert and a hotel suite all to themselves. When their car breaks down on the way, they take shelter from the snow storm in a town call Purity Springs. They can’t find anyone and there are no phones or other communication devices. They next morning they learn that Purity Springs has a dark secret. Dee, Luke and Mike find that they have no way to escape and the town’s leader, Elijah Hawkins, has decided that Dee will become his new wife. Elijah’s son tells her he can help her escape, but can Dee and her friends pay the price needed for freedom?

Creed is a young adult thriller for fans of horror movies. Dee is a fan of scary stories and is constantly remarking about what a character in a horror movie might do. Yet even though she knows what is expected of her, she realizes that real life is not a movie and when faced with life or death choices there is no easy answer. Leaver and Currie’s debut novel is gripping and fast paced. Readers will find the pages turning quickly and the time whittling away without notice. An enjoyable read that should be moved to the top of your TBR pile.

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Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophronia is in her second year of finishing school and she has the steel-bladed fan to prove it. The girls thought they were to have fun at an engagement party, but were soon hiding on a train in order to help Sidheag return to her werewolf pack in Scotland. Although they thought it was weird to find an empty train for the passage, they quickly learned there was a reason it was not occupied. Sophronia, Dimity, Soap, Sidheag and Lord Felix inadvertently discover a plot against London and Sophronia is faced with the hard decision about her personal loyalties. She can no longer stand on the sidelines … she must make a choice.

Waistcoats & Weaponry is the third book in the Finishing School series. Readers of the first two books will quickly remember the vital elements of those books and will be swept into this new tale. The girls are maturing in espionage and in relations with the opposite sex. As the training becomes more intense, the responsibilities brought before them are also escalated. Readers of other steampunk novels will enjoy this series and although the first two books are not needed to appreciate this one, I recommend starting at the beginning and enjoying the developments with the girls.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Charming

CharmingCharming by Krystal Wade
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Haley Tremaine had a great life. She went to a prestigious school and her future contained only green lights. After an accident took her mother’s life her father turned to alcohol and the rest of her life just fell apart. They moved out of their exclusive neighborhood and she is now attending the local public school. She is working in the shop where her mother was once the CEO, and now the new CEO’s son is showing interest in her. He has the reputation of being a bad boy, but as Haley gets to know Chris, she begins to wonder if his image is all a put on. The two are inexplicitly pushed together by an unknown person and the end result may be the murder of people they love.

Charming is a stand-alone thriller that is still quick and fun. Readers will be kept guessing until the end, yet the suspense is not daunting. Wade’s writing style creates a book that readers will quickly fall in love with, but since it is not part of a series … satisfaction does not have to wait. A good escape where the readers will continually wonder what they would have done and if they could survive.

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Review: The Last Changeling

The Last Changeling (Faerie Revolutions, #1)The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Elora is on a quest. She must take the form of a human girl and find the perfect offering. The human must be a boy that is also a “young leader of men.” This offering is a requirement of the Bright Queen for her assistance against the Dark Queen. Elora believes she has found the boy when she meets Taylor, but then she starts to fall in love and doesn’t want to sacrifice him. Can she pull off this charade and get the assistance she most desperately needs? What personal sacrifices must she make and where will she draw the line?

The Last Changeling is the first book in the Faerie Revolutions series. For a first book there is only a minimum of world building, but quite a few characters to keep straight. Pitcher seems to assume some background knowledge about Faerie’s from the reader, which for me is great, but may lead to a less pleasurable read for some. The storyline includes a few twists and turns, but nothing super surprising. Tough choices are made and many questions are left unanswered for future books to explore. This was a good read, but not a great escape.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Review: The Glass Magician

The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been three months since Ceony Twill saved her mentor by returning his heart to his body. Although she was promised romance, it still appears as if her feelings are one sided. Magician Thane and Ceony are becoming ever closer, yet the teacher-student line has not been crossed. After an attack of a paper factory while Ceony was taking a tour, she is pulled into the crossfire of another magical attack against the people she loves. Does Ceony really have what it takes to protect those around her? Who can she trust with the knowledge she learns?

The Glass Magician is the second book in The Paper Magician Trilogy. The writing style is the same as the first book, so readers who enjoyed the first story will not be disappointed. If the reader is picking up this book first, they should not be terribly confused since Holmberg flawlessly weaves information about the first volume into this one, but I suggest the reader start with the first since it explores Ceony’s inner thoughts about paper magic and Emery for the first time. A great fantasy novel that includes good versus evil without all the dark elements found in other books.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: Watched

WatchedWatched by C.J. Lyons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jesse has been a cyber-victim. When he was twelve-years-old a hacker started blackmailing him and required him to participate in sexual photos and videos. Jesse is now sixteen-years-old and doesn’t know how to stop the hacker. King’s threats against Jesse’s family are real, and the photos and videos would ruin the rest of his life if they were leaked into the media. As the stakes continue to rise and the next threat is against his little sister’s life, Jesse receives a mysterious manila envelope with a very simple message … I can help. Will Jesse be able to get out from under King’s threats? What sacrifices must he make in order to earn his freedom?

Watched is a book that takes a little known cyber-issue and brings it to the audience that can benefit the most. The issues presented are real, yet the characters have the strength and knowledge to fight back and do everything in their power to survive. Whether or not the reader is able to perform the computer hacking described within the pages, Lyons is able to present them in a format that the reader can follow and understand. For readers looking for a realistic book that pulls no punches, Watched will be a valued addition to their TBR list.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review: Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2)Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cassie Hobbes has a gift. She can profile a person through observation of them or their actions. She is now part of a special FBI program for teens that are great at solving crimes. She has barely escaped a killer who was fascinated with her mother’s murder and Cassie is looking forward to returning to cold cases. Then a new serial killer is copycatting Dean’s father and the group is pulled into this active case. As the team tries to figure out this new killer they discover that this person knows more about them than a public person should. Can they catch the killer before the next victim is dead?

Killer Instinct is the second book in The Naturals series. This psychological thriller will entrance the reader and keep them guessing along the way. Events of this book take place shortly after the first book and the characters haven’t even had time to recoup and refresh. Barnes has woven twists and turns into the plot and most readers will not foresee the killer’s next move until it is right on top of them. Be prepared, reader, to plant yourself in a comfortable position and devour a great book.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: Resisting Ruby Rose

Resisting Ruby Rose   (Ruby Rose #2)Resisting Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ruby Rose enjoys catching bad guys. It was just another day in great shoes until Grissom Island. Now she has killed a person and her therapist continues to insist that she is not a killer. Detective Martinez is still looking for a chance to take her down and all Ruby wants to do is go back to the way things were. In waltzes Skryker. He is an agent in a secret organization that would like to recruit Ruby’s special skills. She could become a young spy and assassin, but can Ruby resist becoming a killer again? Who can she trust? Who can she protect?

Resisting Ruby Rose is the second book in this YA thriller series. The action is fast paced and although events from the first book (such as the killing at Grissom Island) are referenced throughout the story, Humphries does not spend a great amount of time reviewing the details. Reading the first book may make this second volume more enjoyable, but skipping to the second book should not cause the reader any undue confusion. Although the main character is a teenage girl, the story will appeal to male and female readers alike. A strong second book and I can’t wait for the next installment.

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