Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review: Thief of Lies

Thief of Lies Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gia and her friends are visiting the Boston Athenaeum in order to enjoy its beauty and its old books. It is just another summer day until Gia sees a boy vanish and decides to look at the same book. She doesn’t know why, but she remembers a phrase from her childhood and after speaking it Gia and her friends are suddenly in the Paris library. Upon arrival they learn about Sentinels and the magic that has been protecting humans from demonic creatures. Will Gia be able to catch up on her lessons that have been denied her by the acts of her mother? Can Gia save both the magical world that is her birthright and the human world she was raised to love?

Thief of Lies is the first book in the Library Jumpers series. Readers will explore many of the world’s famous libraries as Gia and her friends transport through the gateway books. Drake has worked her world building into Gia’s education in a way that is seamless and complete. Readers won’t feel as if they are being lectured to or given too many side notes. The action is nonstop and the romance is constantly niggling in the sidelines. This is a good read that will delight those who enjoy fantasy and adventures.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Review: Finding North

Finding North Finding North by Allyson Gottlieb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kat is trying to adjust to life in the Alliance after her boyfriend, Tyler, is killed during a battle. She is doing what is required and nothing more, until the enemy finds them and her best option is military prison … or so she thinks. Reynan Caverly may be the son of the man who started the civil war, yet he can’t stop himself from helping girls down on their luck. Reynan takes Kat to his Las Vegas home and shows her a lifestyle she could not have imagined. As their time together grows, so do their feelings and the question niggling in the back of everyone’s mind is “what next?” Can Kat adjust to life surrounded by people she was raised to hate? Will the people in Las Vegas be able to look at her without thinking she is the enemy?

Finding North is the first book in the Compass series. Gottlieb has created a pair of characters that readers will quickly latch onto and commit to finding out more. The story is told in alternating voices between Kat and Reynan giving a varied perspective of a continuous experience. Readers will get a book with a little bit of intrigue, action and romance without too much of one genre. Although this may be considered a post-apocalyptic storyline, it is hard to put it in one genre. Finding North is an escape read that will be easily started and finished. Unfortunately, readers may finish it too quickly and wish it were longer or that the next book was already out. There is a novella (Last Christmas) available about Kat and Tyler (and a little about Reynan) should readers need a little bit more.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Born of Treasure

Born of Treasure Born of Treasure by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clark and Amethyst may have married in secret, but they really need to find a way to tell her family. As the newlyweds look for Clark’s father’s inventions, Captain Greenwood has other plans. The Army has gone to the Treasure Ranch for an extended visit and they won’t leave until they have captured Clark so that they can control his power over the dead. The Treasure family is now on the run and they must determine who can be trusted in this wild, wild world. Will Clark sacrifice his own freedom to ensure the Treasures are safe? What changes will Amethyst undertake to outwit Captain Greenwood and Senator Horan?

Born of Treasure is the second book in the Treasure Chronicles. Some of the confusion about Clark’s power over the dead was clarified and expanded in this continuation of the story. There isn’t as much action and adventure in this portion of the tale even though the characters were constantly on the move. The larger drama that was initiated in the first book has been wrapped up, yet Mierek has left many avenues open for additional volumes in the Treasure Chronicles. Born of Treasure was a satisfying read, but could have been more enjoyable with additional adventure and romance like the first book.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Review: Passenger

Passenger Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Etta Spencer has focused her entire short life on becoming a great violinist. When after a strange experience playing her beloved instrument she finds herself in a time not her own, she must face people who know about a truth that has been kept hidden from her. The only family she has ever known has been her mother; now she has an inherited legacy thrust on her and she must decide quickly which side of the drama she wants to be on. Can the coded letters left by her mother explain the truth that has been concealed from her? Can her mind and body adjust to constantly traveling to the different time periods required to uncover the answers?

Passenger is the first book of a time traveling historical fiction series by the same name. Bracken has created a storyline and characters that readers will quickly make connections with and as readers spend time with this adventure it will seem as if the pages are turning themselves. Readers will find action, adventure, romance and history so closely intertwined that it is really hard to decide what genre this book should be labeled. The book not only spans many genres, it will appeal to many types of readers and should be added to everyone’s “to read” list.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Review: Treasure, Darkly

Treasure, Darkly Treasure, Darkly by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clark Treasure just wanted a little escape when he stole a bottle from the captain visiting his mother. What he thought was absinthe turned out to be a chemical that lets him bring the dead back to life. Now the Army continues to look for him and he really would like to stop running. He decides to hide in plain sight when he approaches the Treasures and claims to be Garth Treasure’s illegitimate child. This wealthy family doesn’t hesitate to welcome Clark into the fold, and Clark takes the opportunity to pay them back by going after Senator Horan, an evil man who uses inventions to keep the power he has achieved.

Treasure, Darkly is the first book in The Treasure Chronicles. This steampunk adventure has many captivating quality including strong male and female characters, a fast paced adventure set in a world similar to our old west and a romance that must be kept hidden from the people around them. I was given an advance copy that still needs some editing, but the little errors were easy to overlook. Unfortunately, I was hung up on one big issue. Clark’s character can raise the dead and he MUST take another life for it to become permanent, but twice I noticed he brought people back and the story doesn’t explain what other life he took in their stead. This inconsistency was niggling at me as I continued to turn the pages. I will be reading the next book soon, and I am hoping that this was intentional and that it will be explained then.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Review: Game Over

Game Over Game Over by Andrew Klavan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rick has conquered The Realm twice, yet he isn’t finished. He has spent too much time in The Realm, and now he has a permanent connection and moves into and out of this world in his dreams. Kurodar is aware of this connection and is planning to use it in his next big scheme. It looks like the only way Rick will be able to sever this connection is by destroying Kurodar and The Realm. Does he have what it takes to put an end to something that has become part of himself? What will that mean for Mariel?

Game Over is the third book in the Mindwar series. The timeframe for this adventure is short and Klavan has jammed a boatload of action into its pages. Rick is constantly questioning the loyalty of those around him and he isn’t even sure he can trust his own mind. Part of the adventure is reading a scene and trying to determine if Rick is awake or in The Realm. The clues about The Realm are there, but the reader must uncover them along the way. Game Over is a good concluding book that leaves a few openings for another novel or a spin off series.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Review: Krampus: The Three Sisters

Krampus: The Three Sisters Krampus: The Three Sisters by Sonia Halbach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maggie knows that her grandfather is famous for writing the poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, but she has never understood why he refuses to read it … even to his own family. When she meets Henry Livingston on Christmas Eve in 1854, he makes a bold claim. He believes his own grandfather was the actual writer of this poem. Maggie and Henry take an unexpected trip within the fireplace and discover an underground town that has survive under New York City. There they discover the legend of The Three Sisters and together they must try and overcome the sinister actions of the residents of Poppel.

The Three Sisters is the first book in The Krampus Chronicles. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas will never again been seen in the same light after readers explore the twisted truth behind the childhood tale. The characters begin with very little information, yet they must tackle the magic and mystery far older than the city they live in. Halbach’s world building was seamless and complete. Readers will fully fall into this more innocent New York City and discover the rich secrets woven throughout. The Three Sisters was an interesting read and readers will be looking for the next book in the series.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Review: A.D. 33

A.D. 33 A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time has moved on, yet Maviah is still trying to find her way in this world ruled by men. She has overcome being an illegitimate female to become the Queen of the Outcasts. She rules with the truths she has learned through Yeshua (Jesus) and continues to fight for those who trust in her protection. Her group of outcasts has been traveling the desert, but peace is not easily found when the surrounding rulers become fearful of her power. Maviah wants to find Yeshua for his help, but her plans are quickly sidetracked when she discovers he is approaching his own death.

A.D. 33 is the second book in the series and picks up not too long after the ending of the first book. Maviah’s story continues to be told with Yeshua’s teachings woven within. Readers who are looking for more about Jesus will be disappointed in this tale, but if they know it is a story about the time surrounding his crucifixion and the period leading to Pentecost, then readers will be pleased with the storyline. Dekker has written a satisfying historical fiction book with a strong Christian message within.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review: Inherit the Stars

Inherit the Stars Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The house of Fane has three daughters. The oldest is in a coma and may be unplugged to advance the second daughter to heir status. The second daughter is pledged to marry Eagle from the house of Westlet in order to unite the houses and avoid the collapse of their people. Asa is the youngest daughter and she has other plans. She poses as her older sister during the wedding ceremony and now the families must decide if the blood bond should be honored or if this traitorous act was willfully planned by the ruling adults. Asa and Eagle have had a tumultuous start, but will they be given the opportunity to discover if a real bond is possible? Will the needs of the people be too large to overcome in the time they have available?

Inherit the Stars is the first book in the debut series by the same title. Elwood has created a world full of interesting characters and personal drama that will delight readers who don’t mind a little sci-fi with their romance. Although this does take place in a world that has interplanetary systems that includes space travel and other scientific discoveries not of this world, the science fiction aspect is light and can easily be digested by readers who don’t normally pick up that genre. This book is not very long and readers will quickly travel from subplot to subplot until the final revelation that will leave them hanging. All will be looking for the next book to discover what these planets will do to continue their survival.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review: Ashley Bell

Ashley Bell Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bibi Blair has a bright future. At 22 years old she is already a published author and living her dream. That is until her doctors tell her that she has less than a year to live … and then she is cured. She doesn’t know how a cancer can go from being symptomatic to remission in two days, but she isn’t going to spend too much time thinking about it. Through a series of odd circumstances she begins to believe that she has been spared a death by cancer in order to save a girl named Ashley Bell. As Bibi tries to discover who Ashley Bell is and what she can do to save her, she is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark world of criminals and conspiracies. Can she save Ashley Bell before she is killed herself? Was she really cured of cancer to possibly die another horrendous way?

Ashley Bell is the first book in what may be the next series penned by Dean Koontz. The story itself seems to be psychotic until the weaved together storylines begin to show themselves. The adventure is constantly changing, yet predictable and the ending felt forced in order to set up additional books. Although I gave it a 4 star status, it was more a 3.5+ star rating. I considered giving it a lower rating because there just seemed to be something missing from the bigger picture. It will be interesting to see where Koontz will go with these characters in the next novel.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: Find Me If You Dare

Find Me If You Dare Find Me If You Dare by Vicki Leigh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Caelum, Daniel and Kayla have been using the five weeks since the battle to train and prepare for what comes next, yet when a message arrives referencing the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the group understands the time for training has come to an end. Now that the group is aware of Richard’s plan to use the four Magus born on Halloween, they try desperately to stop him before the first Horseman is released. They can’t stop the loss of thousands of lives, but will they be able to protect the people closest to them? Can Kayla fight her father with her own dark magic without losing herself in the process?

Find Me If You Dare is the second book in the Dreamcatcher series. The action is intense and the story moves along quickly, yet I still found my mind meandering and needing to force myself back to the story itself. Since the book is not long, I was able to keep going and when I reached the end I still felt ho-hum. This is an OK book and I will give the third book a try, but if it gives me the same vibes at the end I will need to pass on the rest of the series.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Review: The Revenge Artist

The Revenge Artist The Revenge Artist by Philip Siegel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Becca had a great part time job. Students would pay her $100 via PayPal and she would break-up a couple. She was good at it to, until she went legit. Now, for $100 via PayPal, she will help you get together with your crush. She won’t help just anyone; you must pass her scrutiny and truly be crushing on the other person. Unfortunately, there is a new Break-Up Artist on campus and this person has one goal in mind … REVENGE! Can Becca figure out who this crafty individual is before more relationships go south? Will her relationship be able to survive the Revenge Artist?

The Revenge Artist is the entertaining and delightful sequel to The Break-Up Artist. Readers who enjoyed the high school escapades and witty dialog in the first book will relish diving deeper into the social drama of Ashland High. Siegel has taken his characters into territories that many teens skate around, but don’t really want to venture into. At just over 300 pages readers will be able to whip through this fast paced mystery and try to discover who the Revenge Artist is along with Becca and her friends. A great read that will delight many.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: Escape from Witchwood Hollow

Escape from Witchwood Hollow Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everyone in the small town of Arnn is familiar with the legend of Witchwood Hollow. You don’t want to venture into these woods, unless you don’t want to ever leave them. The witch that inhabits the land is unforgiving and ruthless. Honoria doesn’t believe in witches or ghosts. She lost both of her parents in the attack on the Twin Towers and has entered the hollow and left unscathed. Can the magic within Witchwood Hollow reunite Honoria with her parents? What will happen to the residents of Arnn if the witch becomes active again?

Escape from Witchwood Hollow is a stand-alone novel with some magic, mystery and history all rolled into a seamless storyline. Readers will travel between the 1600s, 1800s and 2001 with characters that have independent stories that slowly contract into one large web. I kept trying to figure out how they were connected and how the story would wrap up, yet Mierek was able to keep me adjusting my predictions until the last couple of chapters. A good quick read to satisfy readers tired of series fiction.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many of us have taken a hike, or what we would call a hike. The Appalachian Trail spans the length of Georgia to Maine and includes wonderful vistas, waterways and forests. If you really want to take a hike, this is the place to do it. When Bill Bryson decided to take this hike he really didn’t know what he was getting into, but it eventually got in his system and he craved the experiences found inside.

A Walk in the Woods could not have been more entertaining or educational. Bryson has used a writing style that will continually bring the reader along his journey with him. When I first started the book I thought I had read it (I was thinking of A Walk Across America), but even though they may be similar they are definitely separate works that can be enjoyed on their own merit. This book was written almost 20 years ago, but the ecological and political issues that affect this landscape should still be at the forefront of America’s mind. The movie adaptation of this book came out this fall and I highly encourage readers to finish the book BEFORE watching the movie.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: Need

Need Need by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is a new social networking site that is only for students at Nottawa High School. It is by invitation only and includes some added benefits. Teens can tell the website a “need” and they will be given a task. When the task is completed, their need is met. The tasks seem trivial … until they are not. As the pranks turn into crimes and people begin to die, will anyone step up and question who is behind this website? Are there any lines these students won’t cross to have their needs met?

Need is a new young adult thriller that will keep readers turning page after page. The alternating voices of the different students give the reader insight into the thoughts of the victims and the perpetrators. The entire story takes place within a very brief time period and I found myself wanting to complete the book quickly too. Readers who pick up this book because they loved Charbonneau’s the Testing trilogy will not be disappointed with this social media gone wrong story.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review: Dark Heart of Magic

Dark Heart of Magic Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lila is finally adjusting to the fact she must keep Devon Sinclair safe, but who would have thought she would need to compete in the Tournament of Blades? Devon knows that she will probably win this competition, even though that means he would have to be beaten also. The matches are getting more and more intense, but when accidents start happening on and off the field, Lila and her friends take it upon themselves to figure out the mystery. Is the Draconi family behind these attacks? Are the murders of monsters in Cloudburst Falls connected to the attacks at the games?

Dark Heart of Magic is the second book in the Black Blade series. Estep doesn’t spend too much time helping readers remember the first story, but since these characters and their backstory are so unique, readers shouldn’t have any problems quickly falling into this account. This fantasy novel has action, romance and mystery to entice readers of many genres into its pages. Readers may be able to start with this book, but it would definitely be less confusing if they begin with the first in the series. My only regret with this book is the next volume isn’t scheduled to be released until April 2016.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Review: Time's Divide

Time's Divide Time's Divide by Rysa Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate’s grandfather and the Cyrists are still moving ahead with the Culling. Kate is continuing to jump into the future and the past in order to work into the weave of time and stop them. Unfortunately, each time she jumps there is chance she will trigger another timeline shift that will have an impact either for their cause or against them. Kate has to trust many people in several time periods, but as time progresses she continues to be concerned about loyalties. Who can she trust? What sacrifices will she be forced to make?

Time’s Divide is the third book in The Chronos Files series. Readers who jump into this book without reading the first two will be thoroughly and utterly lost. Each book is jam packed with information and this book is no exception. Walker has Kate traveling through so many series of time periods and events that it may be needed to pause each time and ensure you know when she is visiting. This book has a definite ending and the author says it is the end of the trilogy … yet she also mentions other stories that may come from this newly minted world. Let the stories roll, because I will read them all.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: A Sky Unbroken

A Sky Unbroken A Sky Unbroken by Megan Crewe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Earth has been destroyed, the rebel group has fallen apart and Skylar has been put in a living museum with the few Earthlings that were spared from the destruction. Win is home and pretending to be loyal to Kemya, yet he can’t believe that everyone just accepts what the Council tells them. Can Win and Skylar get the truth out? Will the Kemyate people work together to let the Earthlings free?

A Sky Unbroken is the third and final book in the Earth & Sky trilogy. Crewe has the story continue shortly after the last book and she portrays the short time frame with the quickly advancing storyline. The survival of two people groups is at stake, yet only a few characters are observant enough to understand the risks they are all facing. Although this is a final book, Crewe took the story all the way to the last pages before the reader is able to discover the outcome. That in itself was fine, but in the end I found myself rechecking the last pages to see if I missed something. I don’t know what was missing, but the ending was not satisfying. A fine story in itself, but probably should have had another 30 pages.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Review: Gathering Deep

Gathering Deep Gathering Deep by Lisa Maxwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chloe has survived being possessed by her mother and is trying to come to grips with the fact that her mother has been alive for over a century with the help of dark magic. She has no memories of the past few days and even though she is trying to stay away from her mother’s magic, she feels an unexpected pull that she can’t seem to control. After ritualistic killings begin again, Chloe must venture back into the dark French Quarter to try and stop her mother from killing once more. Can Chloe control her own powers in time to stop her mother? What risks will she be willing to make and which lines will she be unwilling to cross.

Gathering Deep is the second book in the Sweet Unrest series. Events pick up shortly after the conclusion of the last book and Maxwell has woven reminders about crucial portions to nudge the reader’s mind. Even though this is a fiction novel with a magical component, the storyline itself just didn’t feel real. Most of the scenes read as if they were included because of a requirement given by a person other than the author. The book itself was enjoyable, but not memorable and readers may find that they are wishing the book would end so that they could move onto their next read. I will probably read book three, but if it doesn’t get better I won’t be continuing this series.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: The Edge

The Edge The Edge by Roland Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peak is trying to behave in the big city and not climb any sky scrapers. He really doesn’t want to break any laws, but the urge to climb is in his blood. After being solicited to join a team of young climbers from around world, Peak and his mother travel to Afghanistan with the hopes of creating a peace inspiring documentary. Unfortunately, peace is hard to come by in a country that has known war for too many years and when their camp is attacked, the guards are killed and his mother is kidnapped, Peak must undertake the task of thwarting the rest of the plan.

The Edge is the second book in the Peak series. Although it has been over eight years since the first book was published, this story picks up a little over a year later. Smith mentions events and people from the first book that may nudge a reader’s memory, yet even those readers who never read the first book can thoroughly enjoy this novel. A fast paced read with a quickly changing storyline that will appeal to male and female readers alike. Even though I have never been climbing, I still felt as if I was alongside Peak on his many adventures and my heart raced with anticipation at each twist and turn. This is a great adventure story that can be easily devoured in a few sittings (or one big one).

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review: Spinning Starlight

Spinning Starlight Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Liddi Jantzen is always in the news and not for good reasons. She is the only daughter in a powerful tech family, yet she isn’t very tech savvy herself. After strange men come to her house and she has to run for her life, she discovers that there is an interplanetary plot beyond her own understanding. Her captor embeds a device to monitor her every word, and if she speaks her brothers will be killed. In order to save her brothers, Liddi escapes to another world and enlists Tiav to help her solve the mystery. How do you communicate when you can’t speak and your culture no longer uses the written language? Will Liddi be able to balance the need to survive with the sacrifice needed to save her brothers?

Spinning Starlight is a modern retelling of The Wild Swans story. Liddi’s eight brothers are caught in a technological limbo and she must discover the loop hole to get them out. Since it is more than just her brothers’ life at stake, she must consider all results, even those that affect connected worlds. Lewis’s companion story to Stitching Snow is easily read by itself, yet those who haven’t read that book will be adding it to their TBR list … I know I am. A totally different retelling of a classic tale that is worth the investment of reading time.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lo-Melkhiin has had over 300 wives and all of them have died. He is on his way to the next village and when she sees the dust signaling the approaching group, she devises a plan to ensure that her sister, the loveliest girl in her village, will be spared. Even if it means that she must marry the king and face the death that will follow. She goes into this arrangement with her eyes wide open and she is not the only one surprised when she survives night after night. As she ventures into the palace and begins to form relationships with those around her, she learns truths about this cruel king and they make her question his actions as well as the force of her own stories.

A Thousand Nights is a tale fraught with mysticism and magic. This retelling of a well-loved story will have readers pleasantly surprised with the new twists and turns. I was wondering where the introduction was taking this adventure, but was quickly pulled into the plight of these girls and this troubled world. Johnston has weaved new characters into a timeless tale and reinvigorated a period of time. I wouldn’t be surprised if readers began looking for other stories that take place in this long forgotten nomad time period. Even if you feel you know this story, this book will pull you in and keep you until the end.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review: The Aeronaut's Windlass

The Aeronaut's Windlass The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For thousands of years, humans have lived with an aristocratic hierarchy in place. The ruling class has spent generations making the world a better place with peace and trade at the forefront. Or have they? Most aristocrats are not aware of the inner workings of those below them and the Cinder Spires is no exception. Captain Grimm is in charge of the merchant ship, Predator, and works diligently to ensure that Spire Albion has what it needs and Spire Aurora will only have left overs. Yet when the Predator is attacked he must take up the offer to assist the Spirearch of Albion in order to have his ship repaired. Is the conflict between the Spires the only issue or is it the beginning of the end as they know it?

The Aeronaut’s Windlass is the first book in The Cinder Spires series. Readers who love the worlds created inside The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera books will not be disappointed in this new creation. This is not a short book and I should have been satisfied at the ending, but when I finally got to the end of this story I couldn’t help myself wishing the second book was nearby. The variety of characters are easy to love and hate while the interwoven storylines will keep the reader on their toes. This series has the potential to pull in new readers for Butcher and those who are new to this great author will quickly be looking for the other two series. A great fantasy novel that will have me looking ahead to a new release.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review: Brazen

Brazen Brazen by Christina Farley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jae Hwa Lee had one ultimate goal … defeat the immortals that have been torturing her family for hundreds of years. It definitely was not part of her plan to stay in the Spirit World and be one of their assassins. Her family believes she is dead and her boyfriend is trying to come to terms about her being gone. When the Korean god Kud decides to send Jae after an ancient magical orb, she believes the chance to break free has been given to her. Will she have to work alone or will she be able to convince others in her life that she is on the side of good? As Korea itself hangs in the balance, Jae is learning about the depth of her loyalty to the land.

Brazen is the third book in the Gilded series. The story moves along quickly and readers will easily find themselves turning pages, yet the characters didn’t make me excited about this new adventure. Many sections of the story felt unconnected to the other portions and a clear timeline before the novel was drafted would have been helpful. Overall it was a good book, but usually a third book in a series has more substance and less development. This did not end like a trilogy, so readers will be looking for another novel. This third book came out a year after book two, but Farley’s writing is still at the debut stage. I’m hoping the next book shows some guidance from other writers in her literary team.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Review: Fated

Fated Fated by Sarah Fine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Aislin is having trouble keeping the Ferry family as a functional unit and if she doesn’t get control soon she will lose more than her role as Charon. Moros is having issues with his supernatural sisters and he believes they are behind the threads of fate unraveling. Can the Lord of the Kere and the Charon put their differences aside to prevent the release of Chaos? As the threads of fate continue to pull them along, they will both be faced with choices. Will one of them be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Fated is the third book in the Servants of Fate series. There is a strong conclusion with this book, yet Fine has left the story open for additional books or a spin off series. The storyline is great and it pulled me in immediately, but half way through the book there was a very descriptive sex scene that was too graphic. The second book pushed the series into mature young adult, but this book is even more mature than that. It was only one passage and it could be skipped over, yet the flashbacks and other intimate scenes were more on par to mature young adult. I am not sure why that one passage had to be written with those descriptions. Definitely not for the younger young adult crowd, but worth the read to discover what happened to these characters.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Menagerie

Menagerie Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Delilah has always had a fascination with the creatures in the menagerie, yet when her boyfriend acquires tickets to the traveling carnival … her life changes forever. While seeing a child attraction being mistreated, Delilah morphs into a fierce creature that no one can define, not even Delilah. With all her rights suddenly stripped away, she must face her new reality head on and also try to unravel the truth of who she is. Can she control her inner creature? Why is it manifesting now?

Menagerie is the first book in a new series with the same title. Vincent has created a new world where the reader will easily loose themselves and not want to leave. Not only was I completely pulled into the story, I felt myself rooting for the underdog and truly despising the ruthless humans portrayed. My only issue with this book is that I’m reading an advance copy which means I will have to wait that much longer for the next book in the series. It won’t matter whether or not you are a reader of grown up fairy tales or fantasy novels, this story will appeal to many.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: I Crawl Through It

I Crawl Through It I Crawl Through It by A.S. King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Being a teenager is hard enough, but for these four teenagers … life is crazy. Their lives are full of traumatic events, they are trying to deal with grief, every turn exposes a different standardized test and their parents mine as well not be around. In a plot to escape they build an invisible helicopter and take off with a plan to find a better place. Can you really escape the reality of your life? What is real and what is just in your head?

I Crawl Through It is a circular story that must be read slowly. The teenagers are narrating the story, but the reader must decide what is actually happening and what is only in their imagination. Readers who prefer a straight forward story should avoid this novel, yet those who are up for a literary challenge will enjoy the imagery and interwoven stories. If this is your first A.S. King novel, give it a try, but many of her other novels are much more enjoyable and should be looked for even if this wasn’t up your reading alley.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: The Scorpion Rules

The Scorpion Rules The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

War has ravaged the world and the solution is an exchange of hostages. Every king, queen, president and other rulers must send one of their own children to a school called a Precepture. These Children of Peace stay until they are 18 years old or until their parent commits an act of war. At that time the hostage is sacrificed. Greta is the Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation and is secure in the fact her mother would never jeopardize her life. When Elián is brought to the Precepture in chains, the accepted practices of the school are shaken to the core. Are Greta and Elián’s two countries about to go to war?

The Scorpion Rules is a dystopian novel at its core with a lot of military strategy woven throughout. Most of the military strategy that is included does not add to the primary storyline. I found myself rolling my eyes when another tangent passed across the page. It is currently not listed as part of a series, but the ending gives a definite opening for a sequel or companion. If another book is introduced, I hope it has more about the characters and less about the state the world is in and the actions of world powers from the past. That will make a much more enjoyable read.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: Nightfall

Nightfall Nightfall by Jake Halpern
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sunset is approaching, yet once it comes the sunrise will wait fourteen years. The tide will go out and stay out during this time and the weather will dip into temperatures that make the land uninhabitable. The residents of the island have a plan, though. They leave the island during this time and travel to a desert land to await the sunrise. Line doesn’t want to leave until he retrieves a family heirloom of a friend that he had accidentally lost. Marin and Kana leave their family to look for Line and all three are left behind. Will they be able to find a way off the island? What dark secrets were the adults keeping from them?

Nightfall is a stand-alone novel that leaves many openings for a series to be created. Readers will uncover secrets either with the characters or right before. The action is continuous, but not completely engaging. I did find my mind wandering a few times and had to stop and re-read some sections. I will admit that might have just been me since it was the first two days of the school year.  We can only hope that Halpern decides to continue to write stories in this newly created world.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Review: The Scam

The Scam The Scam by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Evan Trace has a good gig. He helps people launder their money through his casino in Macau. It is a much needed service for the dictators, mobsters and terrorists of the world. Of course Nick and Kate’s specialty is using Nick’s con man skills and Kate’s FBI training to take down these high rolling criminals. Their scam is to pose as gamblers and money launders in order to ensure terrorists don’t have the funds to plan their next attack. Since their tactics are not legal, they don’t have much in the back-up department. Can they pull off this scam without getting caught by the criminals or the FBI? Which lines will Kate be willing to cross in order to stop this operation?

The Scam is the fourth book in the Fox and O’Hare series. This story is able to be enjoyed by itself, but I encourage readers to start at the beginning of the series in order to enjoy the character development and relationship evolution. Nick is still extremely attracted to Kate and her resolve is slowly slipping away. Will this be the adventure that Nick gets his way? The Scam is another quick read with lots of action and intrigue. There are enough little adventures away from the primary storyline to spice up the reader’s imagination. Evanovich continues to give readers what they want with a strong female protagonist and exciting supporting characters.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review: The Suffering

The Suffering The Suffering by Rin Chupeco
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Tark is now free from the spirit that tormented him and he has teamed up with Okiku to hunt down those who have murdered children. He knows he is skating on thin ice, but then Okiku decides to hunt down someone BEFORE they kill and Tark starts questioning if they are really on the side of justice. Okiku and Tark are forced to work through their issues when a friend disappears in a haunted Japanese forest and they set out to find out what happened.

The Suffering is the second book in The Girl from the Well series. I had not read the first book and after finishing this story I don’t think I will go looking for it. Chupeco spends most of the first half reviewing events from the first book and that was too much review. If readers make it to the second half, the story does flow much better. I’m not sure how many readers will wade through all the review, though. This is a supplemental read if you don’t have anything else available.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Hunter

Hunter Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been hundreds of years since creatures from the Otherworld passed through the barrier and began killing entire populations. Humans have survived by living behind walls and sticking to inhospitable lands. Every once in a while a person develops lightning fast reflexes and is able to wield magic; they are recruited to become Hunters and they protect the rest of the population. Joy has been raised in a mountain village that has an abnormal number of Hunters. She is told she must venture to the capital city to become an official Hunter. She soon discovers that everything she knew about Hunters was wrong. Her success is judged according to her standings on reality TV and the population is kept in the dark about how real the threat is. Joy must question the motives of everyone around her and determine her best course of action.

Hunter is the first book in a new series by the same title. This is an action packed adventure, but the time spent discussing fashion and accessories seemed unnecessary. When the reality TV aspect of the story was unveiled I was worried it was another Hunger Games-esque novel, but Lackey was able to develop a world all her own with a storyline that is captivating and challenging. Since this is a series there are a lot of ways this story can continue and although there is no real cliffhanger, readers will be actively looking for the next book to be released.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek Hide and Seek by Jane Casey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jess Tennant is finally coming to terms with moving to Port Sentinel. It isn’t London at any level, yet this small English town really knows how to celebrate Christmas. But not everyone is in the Christmas spirit. One of Jess’s schoolmates goes missing right before Christmas break and Jess may be the only person who can figure out if she went willingly or was taken. Is she alive or dead? Hide and Seek is the third book in the Jess Tennant series. This story is complete in itself, so if readers find themselves picking it up there won’t be a problem. This young adult sleuth is willing to shake the comfort zone of the adults in her way, yet the actions she takes are realistic and believable. In a genre where many readers could never imagine themselves doing what the characters are doing, this adventure may give them the interest to look deeper into a mystery in their life. I really hope Casey takes time to write more books with Jess Tennant in the lead.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: Lair of Dreams

Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Evie has a new role to play. She is a media darling with her Diviner talents the showcase. Although many people are fascinated with her newly outed secret, there are others who would have her use her talents for nefarious purposes. Also in the city, people are being stricken by an unknown illness that is putting individuals into a sleeping state that they cannot be woken from. Will Evie and other Diviners be able to work together to catch this killer? Can they continue to walk in this dreamworld without being affected themselves?

Lair of Dreams is the second book in The Diviners series. It is the roaring twenties with flappers, speakeasies and bootleg liquor everywhere. The story begins shortly after the events of the first book and Bray quickly plunges into the new storyline. Without including a lot of review of those events, the key characters are reintroduced and I was able to remember what was needed to enjoy this new adventure. The book was enjoyable, but long. I can’t image the average reader picking it up just because, but for readers who enjoy this time period the story is worth it. It is a second book and I always suggest reading books in order, but if a reader happens across this book first, it could be enjoyed without The Diviners already being read.

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a WatchmanGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jean Louise is back in Maycomb, Alabama for her yearly two-week trip home. It is always hard to adjust to this quiet life after living in New York City, but this time her world’s foundation is rattled and Jean Louise begins to question her own beliefs. Although “Scout” has grown up, she has held firmly to the beliefs her father had taught her and with the Civil Rights Movement rocking the political landscape, her “color-blindness” is tested without limit. Memories of her childhood creep into her thoughts as she witnesses words and actions she never thought she would experience in Maycomb. What is happening to her beloved town? Why is she the only one who seems to notice?

Go Set a Watchman is an unexpected sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Readers picking up this novel must remember that the events in this book take place 20 years after the events from the first book and I wouldn’t call it a direct sequel. The prose is elegant and the issues presented may have transpired over a half century ago, yet the same concerns are present today and the questions that Jean Louise is stumbling over are rattling around in society’s collective mind in the 21st century. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loved To Kill a Mockingbird and as a person who read it a couple days after its release … I wish I read it with a book club or other readers so that I could have talked about the topics immediately.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: Reawakened

Reawakened (Reawakened, #1)Reawakened by Colleen Houck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lilliana is planning to spend time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before meeting up with some other girls later in the day. She gets permission to spend time in a closed exhibit in order to stay away from the everyday tourists. What should be a chance to quietly reflect turns into a grand adventure when an Egyptian prince returns to life and uses an unexpected connection to Lilliana to power his quest to find his brothers. The brothers are resurrected every thousand years in order to stop a shape-shifting god from reeking destruction in the world. Will Amon and Lily find the brothers and stop Seth in time? What sacrifices will need to be made along the way?

Reawakened is the first book in a new series by Colleen Houck. Readers who enjoyed the supernatural adventures in The Tiger Saga will easily find themselves swept into this mythical quest. These star-crossed teenagers may have been born millennium apart, but the connection and romance is timeless. Houck takes the story into the final pages and readers may begin to wonder if this is a stand-alone story. Don’t worry, series readers, the book ends with a nice teaser to keep us looking for the second book.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: Lifeless

Lifeless (Words Made Flesh, #2)Lifeless by AdriAnne Strickland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Toward the end of Wordless, Tavin had escaped Eden City with the Word of Life. Unfortunately for him, the hunt wouldn’t stop until he was caught and the consequences were unimaginable. He has become the Word of Death and the authorities want to use his new power, the ability to kill with a touch and a word. Tavin’s trainer, Ryse, is a Godspeaker that appears to have no morals and is willing to do whatever it takes to make Tavin like her. His training quickly escalates and his first official mission, to kill the Chinese ambassador, does not go as planned and foundational beliefs of the world are shocked to the core? Can Tavin overcome his training to fight the darkness within?

Lifeless is the second book in the Words Made Flesh series. Strickland has this story pick up shortly following the conclusion of the first book and I don’t remember her including much in the way of information teasers. Either there weren’t many or they were artfully hidden within the new story. The action is fast and the pages turn quickly. The book will appeal to male and female readers alike, but should only be tackled after the first book is completed. A great escape and a quick diversion.

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Review: As Black as Ebony

As Black as EbonyAs Black as Ebony by Salla Simukka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lumikki has returned to Finland and is looking forward to one thing … graduation! When she gets the lead role in the school’s version of “Snow White” she begins having feelings for the boy playing the huntsman, but since her life is anything but simple she questions her true feelings. Now Lumikki has an admirer or is it a stalker? These crazy and creepy love notes have her questioning the motives of everyone around her. If that is not enough, she begins remembering facts about a secret her family has kept hidden from her most of her life. Will she uncover the lies swirling around her? Will the truth set her free or shatter her resolve?

As Black as Ebony is the third (and seemingly final) book in the Lumikki Andersson series. The book is short and can easily be finished in one sitting. With that said, there is no fluff and the action is pure and simple. Simukka has written a story that readers will relate to even though they may have never experienced any of these issues. I can’t say anything about the original work, but Witesman’s translation was fine and the writing style seemed authentic. Readers who have not read the first two books should read them before picking up this novel, though.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: The Secret Side of Empty

The Secret Side of EmptyThe Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

M.T. seems to have it all. She is a straight A student, she has had a best friend since kindergarten and a great looking boy is showing interest in her. But she also has a deep secret … M.T. and her entire family are undocumented immigrants. As her senior year progresses it becomes harder and harder to hide the fact that she has limited choices after high school. Since she doesn’t have a social security number or passport, she does not have a chance to even apply to colleges. M.T.’s life is falling apart and she doesn’t feel like she has anyone she can turn to. What are her options? Will she be able to make the best choice for herself and her family?

The Secret Side of Empty brings the reader into the world of undocumented teen immigrants. Since most undocumented immigrants keep their status hidden, even their closest friends may not know about the issues they are dealing with. Readers who complete this fascinating story will leave with a different view of immigration in the United States and will hopefully realize the plight. A great read that I can’t wait to recommend to students and staff alike.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review: Moon Bayou

Moon BayouMoon Bayou by J.R. Rain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Samantha Moon’s life ended many years ago, yet she still carries on. As a private investigator who happens to be a vampire, she is able to uncover truths no mere mortal can. Her latest case takes her to the city of New Orleans to find a missing girl. New Orleans definitely has more of a night life than Sam is used to and the darker side of the city takes its toll on her missing person case. Samantha discovers that there is an ancient vampire feud with “Mme Samantha Lune de Californie” in the middle. How can a feud that started in the 1860’s be related to her? Will she be able to leave this dark city and return to her family in California?

Moon Bayou is the first book in a spinoff of the Vampire for Hire series. Samantha Moon Case Files #1 gives new readers some back story of the original series so that they will not be completely lost. As a reader of the primary series, I feel the review was adequate and not overwhelming. The story was short and readers will not find the ending satisfying. I finished the book wanting more and will be waiting for the next book … hopefully we won’t have to wait too long. Overall I enjoyed revisiting Samantha Moon and the crazy adventures that follow her like a lost dog.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: The Harvest

Harvest, TheHarvest, The by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cael has been in a Blightborn sleep for a year. During that time the Heartland has undergone many changes. There are no more Obligations, towns are dead or dying and the survivors are being involuntarily transformed into mechanical beings. The Empyrean has one priority … to destroy the Heartland. The Heartlanders are not willing to be rolled over so easily. Cael and his friends set out to overcome the mechanicals, war machines and a group of girls who have embraced their wild nature. Can Cael overcome all these obstacles? What can they use to fight a group of people that have so many advantages?

The Harvest is the third and final book in The Heartland Trilogy. The book would have been much more enjoyable if Wendig did not continually include information about events from the first two novels. It wasn’t until I reached the last half of the book that all of this reviewing finally stopped. Once the true story was in full swing, the story progressed quickly and the ending was very satisfying. I recommend this book as a supplemental reading option, but I definitely encourage readers of the first two books to wrap this series up with the finale.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: Wicked Charms

Wicked Charms (Lizzy & Diesel, #3)Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Glo has a new boyfriend and he is taking Glo and Lizzy on an after-hours tour of Salem’s Pirate Museum. What starts out as something innocent turns into a treasure hunt when Lizzy uncovers the mummified remains of a bootlegger who had found and re-hid a real pirate’s treasure. Lizzy would just like to continue her life and maybe get to know the coroner, Theodore Nergal, who came to the scene. That doesn’t look like a possibility when Diesel interrupts their dinner and tells Lizzy that they have been enlisted to find the hidden treasure and hopefully the Stone of Avarice. Of course Lizzy and Diesel are not the only people who want to find the treasure. Wulf appears to be along for the hunt and a demon or two might also be in the mix. Can Lizzy and her crazy friends outwit the minions of hell? Does Lizzy really believe there are minions of hell?

Wicked Charms is the third book in the Lizzy & Diesel series. Evanovich does a great job including background information discovered in the first two books so that readers who stumble across this book can read it properly, yet for those of us who started at the beginning … the review is not so much to be a turn off. This pirate adventure will keep the reader on their toes and those who wanted Glo and Broom to have a deeper roll to play will be pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have as much eye rolling with this book as the first two, yet I was still turning page after page to discover the next twist. A fun read that was quickly finished and I’m sure readers will be looking for more books to fill the void.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review: Silver in the Blood

Silver in the Blood (Silver in the Blood, #1)Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dacia and Lou have a privileged life in New York City toward the end of the 1800’s. They really have no curiosity about their Romanian family and prefer to dwell on their clothing and talk about the people in their social circle. Now they are seventeen years old and have been told they must return to Romania to meet their relatives and maybe even find a husband for each of them. But their family has more secrets than could have been anticipated and as the girls uncover the truth about The Claw, The Wing and The Smoke they must decide if or how they are willing to use their newly discovered powers.

Silver in the Blood is the first book in a new fantasy series by the same title. The secrets presented in Stoker’s Dracula seem to have only scratched the surface of these supporting beings. The girls are juggling the need for romance in a prim and proper time period, yet they are being thrown into the deep waters of shape-shifters without any advance knowledge of its existence. George has created a dark world with the possibility of many books to come. This is an enjoyable read for those who like this genre, but if this is your first try at an historical fantasy, there are other books to try first.

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Review: Miss Mabel's School for Girls

Miss Mabel's School for Girls (The Network Series, #1)Miss Mabel's School for Girls by Katie Cross
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bianca Monroe is beginning her school career at Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. As a first year student she is expected to learn everything she can about magic and stay out of the way of the second and third year students. But Bianca has other plans. When the time comes for girls to volunteer for the ultimate training test, Bianca steps up and demands to take the challenge. She can’t wait until she has formal training under her belt. Her grandmother was cursed and as the third generation after the curse, she must break free or die on her 17th birthday. As the lessons get darker and darker Bianca continues to face Miss Mabel’s tasks and test the boundaries of her own inner strength. Will she be able to overcome the hurdles placed before her? What is Miss Mabel’s underlying motives in pushing so hard?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first book in The Network Series. This magical tale has everything a reader can wish for except a romance. That would be expected in a story that takes place at a school for girls, yet this is the first book and it is likely a romance may be in Bianca’s future. Readers who enjoy a first book that has a clean ending will not be happy with the final chapters. There is no cliff hanger, yet readers are left with a feeling of despair in not having a satisfying conclusion. If you as a reader that doesn’t want to wait, please don’t read this book until the second book is available. This is a great start to a new series and I will definitely be looking for the rest of the series in the future.

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Khalid is a murderer. Every night he marries a new girl and at sunrise she is executed. This happens every day until Shahrzad volunteers to be Khalid’s next bride. Yet Shazi has a plan. She will beguile the Caliph with a wondrous story that must be continued on another day, but as the days progress and she begins to fall in love with this young man, she must decide if she is going to follow the love in her heart or the hatred. Slowly she learns things about this king that the common people of the realm will never know and after she begins to unravel the secrets behind the murders … she is determined to see this to the end.

The Wrath and the Dawn is the first book in a new historical fiction tale with just a touch of the supernatural. This love story is inspired by A Thousand and One Nights and I hope that readers will be interested enough to seek out the original. Ahdieh’s words flow throughout the story and this languid romance can be easily sipped by readers who don’t want to feel rushed. It is not an action packed adventure for the masses, yet there are enough twists and turns to keep most readers turning the pages. Definitely not a book for all readers, but if you are willing to try your hand at something different … this will be a good choice.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Also Known As

Also Known As (Also Known As, #1)Also Known As by Robin Benway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maggie Silver discovered her talent at a young age. She can pick any lock and crack any safe. Since she has been raised within a special spy organization, she uses her skills for the greater good instead of personal gain. Now it is time for her first solo assignment. Maggie and her parents return to New York City and not only does Maggie have to navigate the waters of her first mission, she also has to learn the nuances of friendship and high school. Her assignment is to become friends with the son of a national security threat and hopefully stop the exposure of the spy organization. Can she complete her mission without becoming emotionally attached to the students around her? Will high school itself be the hurdle she can’t overcome?

Also Known As is the first book in a new series with the same title. The action is fast paced and the story starts quickly and snowballs from there. Readers who enjoyed the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series will find themselves easily falling for a new, fun loving caper solving teenager. Although I can see boys enjoying this novel, the main audience who will be flocking to these pages will be of the female persuasion. This fun read can be read slowly or as I did in one reading session. Benway has created a leading lady I can’t wait to see develop into a strong young woman.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: Strange Skies

Strange Skies (Burn Out, #2)Strange Skies by Kristi Helvig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tora has finally made it to the new Earth. Unfortunately, she isn’t able to enjoy the clean air or the abundant water because she is being kept in the Consulate’s containment center under constant observation. She has no memory of what happened to the weapons her father risked his life for, but when a chance to escape presents itself … she makes a run for it with the help of an unexpected group of individuals. As she questions the loyalties of those around her, she must determine which crisis will need her attention first.

Strange Skies is the second book in the science fiction Burn Out series. This story picks up just months after the conclusion of Burn Out and the story is chuck full of action and romance from the get-go. Helvig intersperses mind jiggling tidbits to remind the reader about pertinent facts from the first book, but there is no refresher outside of the new storyline. The main story of Strange Skies has a definite conclusion, yet readers will be left looking for the third book in the series. This is a good science fiction novel that will be enjoyed by many.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: The Witch Hunter

The Witch HunterThe Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Grey is good at what she does. She is a witch hunter for the king, but that all changes when she is arrested for witchcraft and sentenced to burn. After accepting her fate, she is saved by Nicholas Perevil. He is the most dangerous wizard around and he has a bargain for Elizabeth. He will get her out of the dungeon and save her life. All she needs to do is break the curse that has been slowly killing him. As she learns more about witches and other magical creatures, she discovers hidden truths about herself and those around her. Who should she trust? Can she trust what she was taught during her witch hunting training?

The Witch Hunter is the first book in a new fantasy series with the same title. The story takes place during a time reminiscent of our own dark ages. Magic is a hidden secret and the judges who sentence the men and women of witchcraft are not concerned with guilt or innocence. Their own power struggle is the only factor of importance in deciding who lives and who dies. This magical story will keep readers turning the page and most likely looking for the second book in the series.

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: I Am the Traitor

I Am the Traitor (The Unknown Assassin, #3)I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Boy Nobody is a trained assassin that is great at his job. He has gone rogue and is out to find and rescue his friend Howard. While getting Howard away from The Program he also saves a girl named Tanya who was being held captive with Howard. The three of them uncover information about The Program and Boy Nobody’s father which imparts a disturbing fact that will leave the reader’s head spinning. As Boy Nobody continues to stay one step ahead of his pursuers, can he finally figure out where his loyalties really belong?

I Am the Traitor is the third and final book in The Unknown Assassin series. Even though this book is being promoted as the final book, Zadoff has written a conclusion that will make most readers hope for a spin off series. Readers that enjoyed the fast pace and quick storyline will not be disappointed in this novel. The heart racing scenes and constant twists and turns will keep every reader turning the pages until the very end. A satisfying ending … but I hope it really isn’t the end.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: Nowhere But Here

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1)Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Emily has a good life. Her parents are there for her; she has good friends and attends a safe school. The only weird thing about her life is the secret about her biological father. When he found out that Emily’s mother was pregnant, he chose his motorcycle club over them … or at least that is what she has been told for the past 17 years. After an impromptu visit to her grandmother’s wake turns into an unexpected summer vacation, she learns more about her biological family than she thought was possible.

Oz wants nothing more than to join the Reign of Terror motorcycle club. He has grown up in the wings of the club and knows about all of the good they do for each other and the community. His chance to join is derailed when Emily walks into his life. Now he must re-earn the trust of the club members and hopefully get his chance to earn his patch.

Nowhere But Here is the first book in the Thunder Road series. Readers who have enjoyed McGarry’s good girl/bad boy love stories will not be disappointed in this storyline. I can safely assume that most readers do not know about the inner workings of a motorcycle club, but even if you are the exception to that rule … this book is still great. The story is told in the alternating voices of Emily and Oz. Although it takes some practice to pay attention to the character shift, it isn’t distracting in the least. I will be looking for the next book, Walk the Edge, to add to my TBR list.

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