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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