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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