Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: The Immortal Crown








Title: The Immortal Crown
Author: Richelle Mead 
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 29, 2014
Publisher: Dutton
Rating: 4 Cows







Goodreads Description:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodline series returns with the second installment in her acclaimed Age of X series.

Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.



I am huge fan of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series. I love, love, love them. I hadn’t read any of Mead’s adult novels she had published previously but when I got a chapter sampler of the first book in the Age of X series I knew I had to give it a shot. It took me a while to get to it but when I finally read GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS I enjoyed it. The second book in the series, THE IMMORTAL CROWN, is just as action packed and suspenseful as it’s predecessor.

THE IMMORTAL CROWN picks up shortly after GAMEBOARD OF THE GODSleft off. I have always liked Mead’s ability to recap and give readers a refresher without dumping a huge summary on you. There’s a fine line between recap dumping and not giving any recap information at all. Few writers do it really well but I feel Mead is one of those. She typically gives a little mini introduction to each character as they appear. It serves as a great way to remind readers of who each character is. This is something I am always grateful for because I have a terrible memory.

I love all the characters in THE IMMORTAL CROWN but I must admit that I have a special fondness for Tessa. I like seeing things from her perspective and feel that she adds a lot to the story. Mae and Justin are, of course, interesting characters and I do enjoy their back and forth, up and down, love affair. Mae is a very strong woman and I love that about her. She does remind me somewhat of Rose from VA being as they are both strong women that take down almost anyone that gets on their bad side.

One of the most amazing things about THE IMMORTAL CROWN is the world building. There is so much world building that at times I have to stop and think about things. I think a map would be helpful and I would love for one to be in the back of the next book. I’m a visual person so I think being able to see a map of where all these different places are would be helpful. If you are someone that loves world building, you will love this series!

The plot has a lot of action and suspense. Mae and Justin can’t seem to stay out of trouble. In THE IMMORTAL CROWN, things are even more dangerous since the pair head to Arcadia ,which is the most dangerous area. And of course, THE IMMORTAL CROWN wouldn’t be a Richelle Mead book if it didn’t have a WOW ending!

THE IMMORTAL CROWN is an excellent installment in The Age of X series. Mead continues to show her astonishing world building abilities. THE IMMORTAL CROWN’s action and suspense will have you hanging on every word until the final page!





Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (49)



Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.










Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: October 7, 2014









Goodreads Description:

Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late. 

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. 

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. 

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally? 

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Why I'm Waiting:
I enjoyed Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush saga and am excited to see a different side of her writing. 




Monday, June 23, 2014

Shrouded in Blackness Blog Tour: This or That plus Giveaway







ShroudedinBlankness Small
Only loyalty can truly win his heart…
Gangs, organized crime and underground bare-knuckle fighting make up the world that Kieran Delaney thrives within. His reputation is built on the talent of his fists, as much as his ability to get information about any and everything. Never one to be caught by surprise or bested, Kieran knows what you’re going to do before you do it…until Darcy Quinlan enters his life. She introduces herself with a knife to his throat and a promise of unbridled pain. Darcy’s life has been destroyed by betrayal and false promises of safety. Living on the streets for the last eight years, she’s has been a ghost. Never in one place long enough to be seen because you can’t catch what isn’t there. Now Kieran sees her and can’t erase her image from his mind.
Kieran and Darcy must now battle to keep her alive and by his side. As her past enters her life from every angle, Kieran makes certain her safety is no longer a concern, annihilating her demons at every corner. He’ll fight, he’ll maim, he’ll torture and he’ll murder to keep Darcy protected. If Kieran can win, her life will no longer be shrouded in blackness…loyalty will lift the veil.
You can purchase Shrouded in Blackness at the following Retailers:

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Blackness Takes Over was Norma Jeanne's debut novel. What began as an homage to the home town of a homesick Midwestern girl, unfolded a story of love, danger, humor, and trust. Blackness Awaits was the highly anticipated continuation of Blackness Takes Over, leading readers through the twists and turns of the unconventional world in The Blackness Series. Her third novel, Shrouded in Blackness, ventures into a criminal world where violence and vengeance reign supreme. She's currently working on her untitled fourth novel.

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Norma Jeanne recently found herself relocating to the United Kingdom. Now living in Belfast, she took hold of the opportunity to kick the 9-5 job for a chance to become an author. The best part: working from her home office, she gets to spend more time with her cast of crazy characters (written and real).

In her free time Norma Jeanne is a voracious reader and consumes books as readily as meals. She is a people watcher by nature and uses her experiences in life, observed or otherwise, to build the worlds and characters that thrive in her books. A believer in the strength of the human spirit, Norma Jeanne writes the stories of people that persevere when all appears to be lost.
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” –Dylan Thomas

This or That with Norma Jeanne:

Coke or Pepsi—Coke
Chocolate or Vanilla—Vanilla
Early Bird or Night Owl—Night Owl
Harry Potter or Twilight—Harry Potter
Answer to Previous or The Hunger Games—Hunger Games
Vampires or Werewolves—Werewolves
Zombies or Unicorns—Unicorns
Indoor or Outdoors—Indoor 
Airplanes or Boats—Boats
Hot or Cold—Cold
Rain or Sunshine—Sunshine
Twitter or Facebook—Twitter
MAC or PC—PC
Ebook or printEbook
Hardcover or Paperback—Paperback
First page or Last page—Last page


Giveaway Banner
1 Winner will receive a Swag Pack (Postcards, 4GB Flash Drives, Sticky Notes and Pens,
Tote Bags, Signed Copy of Shrouded in Blackness) by Norma Jeanne Karlsson
6 Winners will receive a Postcard by Norma Jeanne Karlsson.
2 Winners will receive a 4GB Flash Drive by Norma Jeanne Karlsson.
3 Winners will receive Sticky Notes and Pens by Norma Jeanne Karlsson.
1 Winner will receive a Tote Bag by Norma Jeanne Karlsson.
1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of Shrouded in Blackness by Norma Jeanne Karlsson.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Audio Review: City of Heavenly Fire

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)




Title: City of Heavenly Fire
Author: Cassandra Clare
Pages: 725
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Rating: 4 Cows
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Goodreads Description:

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!


 
I have some mixed feelings about City of Heavenly Fire. The book was interesting and held my interest. I was constantly wondering how everything would turn. But I did feel that there was a lot squeezed into this book that wasn't exactly necessary. Clare managed to tie all three of her series together in City of Heavenly Fire and while I did enjoy seeing some characters from The Infernal Devices and learning about the characters in the upcoming series, I feel that it was just too much.
 
 
The main problem I have is that I feel that a lot of the scenes with Emma and Julian were forced. They could have been any Shadowhunters and been mentioned in few details, only when directly necessary to the plot but instead Clare forces Emma and Julian into the book. It seems to me she was simply doing it to get readers anxious about her new series which is in fact a good business decision but I think it does take something away from the story instead of adding to it. Tessa and Jem I didn't mind quite as much but they weren't in there as much to me.
 
 
I liked the narrators for this audiobook. Both managed to bring the story to life and add to the listening experience. The only compliant I have was that I thought there should have been more of a pattern of who was reading what and when. Maybe there was one and I just didn't pick up on it but I don't know.
 
 
I loved all the character relationships and seeing how they developed and changed in the final installment. All of our main characters's relationships are tested in some way and it was interesting to see how they all handled the challenges before them.
 
 
I can't remember how many notable deaths I had heard there were going to be in City of Heavenly Fire but I do remember thinking there was a lot. However, after finishing the book I think that was played up just a little. I didn't think there were that truly, notable deaths.
 
 
City of Heavenly Fire didn't break my heart like I was expecting it to. I actually didn't even cry, though there is one part that almost got me. I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of Clockwork Princess that completely shattered my heart (and I still haven't recovered from that one). I guess it would have been difficult to top that one.
 
 
City of Heavenly Fire was a great conclusion to the series. While there were somethings that I would have liked to have been done differently, I still enjoyed the book and was pleased with the ending. I will be reading the next series because I really do love the Shadowhunter world!





Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (56)




Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the  Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List

1. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo- I will be finishing this one ASAP. I have the audiobook preordered!! 

2. Played by Liz Fichera- I read Hooked and really enjoyed it so I grabbed this one off Netgalley. I think this will be a great summer read.

3. The Jewel by Amy Ewing- I got this one at RT and have been excited about it since I picked it up!

4. Virgin by Radhika Sanghani- I got this one off Netgalley today. It's actually an adult novel but it sounds really funny and it was compared to Bridget Jone's Diary (which I just started) so I can't wait to read it!

5. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead- I am seriously dying to read this one! 

6. Made for You by Melissa Marr- Another I got at RT and am super excited about!

7. Get Even by Gretchen McNeil- I got this one for the blog tour. It sounds really good and I have heard some great things about Gretchen McNeil's books.

8. Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill- I have been meaning to read Being Sloane Jacobs for a while now so I am hoping to get to it soon.

9. To All the Boys I Have Loved Before by Jenny Han- Loved the Summer I Turned Pretty series and this one sounds so good! 

10. Time after Time by Tamara Ireland Stone- I really enjoyed Time Between Us so I hope to get to Time after Time some time this summer!

And that's it. That's the 10 books at the top of the pile! What's on the top of yours??
Monday, June 16, 2014

Reveiw: On the Fence





Title: On the Fence
Author: Kasie West
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen 
Rating: 4 Cows





Goodreads Description:

She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

If you have read my blog even the slightest bit you know that I adore Kasie West and have loved every single one of her books. You quickly became of my favorite authors after blowing me away with both Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us. After reading both of those I knew I had to read anything and everything Kasie West wrote. So of course when On the Fence found it's way to my mailbox, I was thrilled! I picked it up that night and began reading it. I finished it a couple days and happy to say that West has written another great book. 

One of the things that I love about Kasie West's writing is her ability to create a story that completely engulfs you. It's so easy to get lost into the story and I love that. On the Fence is the same way. From page one I was commited to the story. On the Fence isn't a difficult read. It's a fun read. Sure there are some not so fun moments (it wouldn't really be a story without some bad moments) but overall it's a fun, happy story that is a perfect summer read. 

While I did love the story and the writing, I must say that On the Fence is actually my least favorite book by Kasie West. It's not that I didn't like the story because I so obviously did but I just didn't connect to it as much as I had previous books. I think the main thing that I didn't like so much was Charlie. I just didn't love her like I have other characters. She did grow on me as the story progressed but it took a little more time. 

I did like Charlie and Braden's relationship but I did get a little frustrated with them at times. There was a lot of miscommunication and confusion that I could have done without. I just wished they would have put their feelings out there in the open a little sooner. 

Another thing I LOVED was Charlie's brothers. I liked seeing how growing up in an all male household effected her. It was definitely interesting seeing how much it did actually influence how she acted and who she was. 

On the Fence is a fun read! Anyone looking for a good book to take to the beach or just a summer read in general should check out this book. I can't wait for more books by Kasie West!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Audiobook Month Giveaway: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

                                                             

June is Audiobook Month and as someone that has come to love audiobooks, I am happy to be part of APA's Audiobook Month Giveaway! Today, I am featuring the winner of the Solo Narration- Male category, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

Be sure to enter the giveaway below! One lucky (U.S.) winner will win a copy of The Goldfinch!!



Goodreads Description:

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.


Be sure to follow Audiobook Community for more Audiobook Month Giveaways!


One winner will receive a copy of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
Giveaway is open to US entrants only!
Since the entire month of June is Audiobook Month you have until the end of June to enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tomorrow, be sure to check on Jenn's Bookshelves where she will be featuring the winner of the Mystery category, Unleased by David Rosenfelt. 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Starlight Saga Character Quiz & Amazon Gift Card Giveaway


“Which Starlight Saga Character Would YOU Most Likely Be?”



Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new upper YA / Sci-Fi romance series: the “Starlight Saga” with scorching-hot character chemistry, exciting suspense, and epic romance on June 26, 2014.
To help promote this interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT” Sherry is doing this promo to share the news with fellow booklovers.
This giveaway is open internationally! So let’s tell the blogging world!
Take this quiz to see which character in the Starlight Saga you’d most likely be similar to, and score a $10 Amazon gift card!
Answer this quiz, and then post your results in the comments. Be sure to check the bottom of the post for the details regarding this random giveaway.




  1. We detest using labels, but what would others call you?

  1. Amateur Fashionista
  2. Jock/ Cheerleader
  3. Goth or Emo inspired
  4. Preppy/ Student Counsel

  1. Which of the following best describes your personality?
  1. Lighthearted, Diverse, Honest
  2. Stuck-up, Conceited, Cocky
  3. Independent, Witty, Strange
  4. Quiet, Temperamental, Clever

  1. Which genre do you read most often?

  1. Paranormal Romance
  2. Urban Fantasy
  3. Horror / Darker YA
  4. Science Fiction

  1. You are at school and witness a student bullying someone. What do you do?

  1. Run in the opposite direction before they pick on you
  2. Laugh and join in on the fun
  3. Go tell a teacher what’s going on
  4. Stop and tell the bully to knock it off or else!

  1. What type of pet would you like to have or do you own?
  1. Snake
  2. Dog
  3. Cat
  4. Hamster

  1. How often do you shop or hit the mall?
  1. Once or twice a month
  2. Only on sale days
  3. Every week—duh
  4. Hardly ever

  1. Where would you hang out on a free afternoon?
  1. The library or bookstore
  2. Hit the clothing stores with friends
  3. Go to the movies
  4. Play video games

If you answered...

Mostly a's: You and Viola are a lot alike! You both love to read, prefer to avoid confrontations, and you’re energetic and sassy.
Mostly b's: Popular girls, Emma and Kaitlyn could be your new besties! You each enjoy sports, hanging at the mall, and dogs.
Mostly c's: You are a lot like the heroine, Sloane. You both love to shop, hang at the movies, adore cats, and like the darker side of books and films.
Mostly d's: Sounds like you and Hayden have a lot in common. You each love to play video games, can’t stand bullies, and are into science fiction books, comics, or movies.

Random winner will be picked on June 27th 2014. Please check back on that day to find out if you’re the lucky winner. Your gift card will be delivered via email. All prizes will be electronically delivered. Please review all terms & conditions before entering.  

Mandatory giveaway details:



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That's it! Good luck!



Please mark your calendars to buy your copy of LOST IN STARLIGHT on June 26th 2014!
Read the first five chapters for free on wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/14214838-lost-in-starlight-syfy-romance
VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga
High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.
Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.
They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.
Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....
Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:

Twitter @SherrySoule: http://twitter.com/SherrySoule
Please add LOST IN STARLIGHT to your TBR on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20707942-lost-to-starlight
The awesome book cover was designed by the talented, Kristen Thompson-Oh of KCT Designs at www.kctdesigns.com
Eager to read the first five chapters on your Kindle? FREE every Friday from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1hdo6Oh


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