Saturday, 20 September 2014

{Review} The Taking (Taking #1) by Kimberley Derting

18599792Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 29th, 2014
Finished Date: September 1st, 2014
Publishers: HarperTeen   
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing. 

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day. 

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. 

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

The Review: Sixteen-year-old Kyra wakes up behind the Gas ‘n’ Sip gas station with no memory of what has happened to her. All she can remember is the argument with her father, the flash of light and then nothing. Thinking she passed out and it’s now the following day, Kyra makes her way home, however she suddenly finds that things are how she left them last night. Five years have passed, her family has changed and aged, her boyfriend has a life in College with a new girlfriend but Kyra, Kyra is still the same….she hasn’t aged. What happened to Kyra during them five years is a mystery, but Kyra wants answers but will she like what she finds?

The Taking started off with such an engaging and strong start that I instantly assumed this would be a fantastic read. It’s intriguing and exciting. It reminded me of one of my favourite films that was released in the late 80’s called Fight of the Navigator and even though I knew it wouldn’t have the same final outcome, I was still so impressed with the start of the story, I was dying to rate it 5 stars straight away. But then, I have no idea what happened because once I hit about a quarter of the book, I suddenly lost interest. 

I liked Krya and I felt for her situation but I almost felt as though I was more concerned for her than she was herself. She has no idea what has happened, her parents have no idea and I felt as though there wasn’t much concern of that. No concern from doctors, or the police. Everyone seemed to accept Kyra’s story and just try to get on with their lives. I kept reading and thinking that surely there should be more hype over the fact she’s returned without aging, but there wasn’t any. Kyra was obsessed with keeping time, but we never find out the reason why. She also spent a lot of time being upset over her ex-boyfriend and her new love interest, but for a girl who has lost five years of her life and she has no reason why, surely she would be more upset? For me the lack of emotions didn’t make her story believable. 

The plot of the story was quite entertaining, however it’s not until a third of the book that you start to get a hint of what is going on. The romance was good, a little fast but good. I didn’t mind that Kyra fell for her ex-boyfriends brother. I think the way the author did their story was quite good and especially with ending – that was totally unexpected. 

In all, The Taking was an okay read. I just felt it was a little poorly executed and needed to be a little more believable. Would I read the sequel? Maybe,  I’m not sure if the ending grabbed me enough to but I could change my mind.  

Thank you to HarperTeen for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

{Blog Tour + Giveaway} Storm Mistress (Others of Seattle #2) by Brandy L. Rivers

22668215Posted by Melanie
Release Date: September 15th, 2014
Finished Date: September 16th, 2014
Publishers: Self Published
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 331
Nothing is as it seems…

Everything Isadora Starling wants is right there in front of her, but Toryn is off limits. He’s her best friend. She’s been denying her heart all these years, afraid to lose him.

Toryn Flame has a long past full of secrets. None of which he can share with Isadora, the only person who truly matters to him. She’s the one woman who has never shown a hint of lust toward him, but even if she did, pursuing her is forbidden.

That all changes when the family Isa doesn’t know decides it’s time to reveal who and what she is. After Isa’s recent attack, their motives are unclear.

His only goal is protecting Isa. Toryn will do everything in his power to keep her safe, including going against orders from his king.

Toryn’s only fear is losing Isa’s trust. Once the truth is revealed, can she forgive him for years of misdirection and omissions? Can she come to terms with a world she doesn’t want or know?

The Review: YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!
With each book by Brandy L Rivers, I always say it was the best so far because she always comes up with something different – even in the same series – and this is no exception! Way to open up the world they live in! This was brilliant!
We met Isa & Toryn in book one – Night’s Embrace – and Isa made an impact for me because she was seeing a character from that book but was clearly feeling something more for Toryn… but Toryn was seeing someone and that led Isa to believe he was only into men. So here we are with their story as things come to a head between them because it’s quite clear that something has to give in their friend zone relationship and that is just the beginning….I have to say, I wondered how they were going to be together because of Toryn’s relationship with Leon but that worked out perfectly and is part of Toryn’s secrets. In the beginning they are both mooning after each other, both loving the other but neither bold enough to make the first move. It is so hot when they do eventually get together, this couple will literally burn those sheets with passion and it’s clear that they are meant for each other, they feel right together and the relationship feels more real because of the bonds of friendship they shared beforehand. I loved how they came together and I love Isa’s need for independence and her acceptance of the changes in her life, this woman takes everything in her stride and the only thing that can scare her is losing Toryn. Toryn was so admirable because even though he is her protector, he still understood her need to look after herself and even though it goes against his feelings, he let her act on that.
 Toryn is hiding a few secrets from Isa, one being that he is her protector and another being that Isa has no idea who she really is and is about to find out. The storyline in this was epic, I LOVED everything about it and I really enjoyed finding out about Isa’s true heritage. There are a lot of surprises in store for her starting with what Toryn has been hiding but then that becomes small in comparison to what else she learns. For one, she has a family she never knew existed, two – she is super powerful, three –she is a very special person, four – people are hunting her and want to use her, five – her world is about to be turned upside down but six – Toryn loves & wants her making her able to handle anything else.
As I mentioned, the world of ‘The Others of Seattle’ is about to opened up in a major way and some new species are introduced that we haven’t seen before including satyrs & dragons!! (I’m excited about the dragons) Some of the book even had a fantasy feel to it and that’s something new also and there wasn’t a werewolf in sight.  The threat was very sinister & seedy with a very creepy enemy (who also links the book to ‘The Others of Edenton’) and this is where we get to Isa at her best and strongest as she faces down more than one enemy. There is tons of action, threats, power plays, huge secrets and lots of sexytime making this a must read for fans of paranormal romance. I would gladly read another book about this couple and couldn’t recommend it enough…… oh and did I mention it has Dragons??? I need their books too! 

Thank you to Brandy L. Rivers for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

SOUNDTRACK

If Your Book Were Made Into A Movie – What Songs Would Best Fit The Story On The Big Screen?

Sexy As Hell – Sarah Conor
Secrets - OneRepublic
Too Close – Alex Clare
Untouched – The Veronicas
Time After Time – Quiet Drive
Just For – Nickelback
Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
Beneath Your Beautiful – Labrinth, Emil Sande
Come Undone – My Darkest Days
Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran
Possession – Sarah McLachlan
Wherever You Will Go – Charlene Soraia
AUTHOR BIO: Brandy L Rivers is the author of the Others of Edenton Series. There are more Others of Edenton in the works. She is also working on the first couple books in the Others of Seattle series. As an avid reader, Brandy has always loved writing. She became serious about it as a stay-at-home-mother. She has a file full of manuscripts she plans to edit and put out there eventually. She lives in Western Washington with her husband and three kids, where she is already working on the future stories in the series. AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE / WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOOGLE+ / PINTEREST / TUMBLR / GOODREADS
Tour Organized By:
myfamilyheartbutton

Thursday, 18 September 2014

{Review} The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

20947360Posted by Melanie
Release Date: July 3rd, 2014
Finished Date: September 4th, 2014
Publishers: Bloomsbury
Genre: YA Fantasty
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

The Review: I’m probably in the minority of people who didn’t love this book because it has a lot of high ratings but for me – it didn’t blow me away. I liked it for the most part but the first 60% or so was not fun for me, it dragged and it was boring – yeah, I get the whole world building part and the setting up of the relationships etc but it moved so slowly and like an historical book instead of a fantasy and the last 40% is the only reason I’m giving this 3.5*s and not 2.5.
I liked the premise of the book, I like the idea that a whole nation of people were conquered and forced into slavery because you know that you are going to get an uprising and that is what kept me reading. I found that for all Kestrel was seen to have a privileged life, she too was sort of oppressed with her choices of who or what she could be – military career or marriage aren’t very good choices. She came across as very aloof and spoiled but we could also see that she had a sympathetic side too. I liked the way she and Arin connected, it wasn’t a love at first sight thing but she felt some sort of pull to him which spurred her on to buy him and as the story progresses they draw ever closer but neither will admit what they feel because they are enemies. When Arin’s secret is revealed I would have thought that Kestrel could have seen his intentions for what they were and what he tries to do for her but again, she is indoctrinated to think and behave in a certain way.
As I said, I liked the premise and that it was screaming that an uprising was on the cards but it was a long time coming. Saying that, I didn’t mind the getting there, I just wish it had been more exciting and less of a slow build. The way they lived was very militant and was all about how they had conquered and enslaved these people, it was sad to read about the people enslaved in their own former homes and made to obey the people who took everything from them – of course you are going to get rebellion, I’m surprised they waited so long. Once that rebellion kicks off then the story became a lot more interesting to me, I liked how it came about, I liked the battles, the strategy that was used and ultimately what conclusion it came to. I loved that Kestrel finally came through for the greater good and I could feel that change in her and I’m curious as to what will happen next. I only wished the pacing and action had been more consistent throughout the book to keep me interested from the start, I understand the build up but it has to grip me and at times this felt like a chore to read but hopefully now all that ‘getting to know you and your world’ is out of the way we will get more of the good stuff in the sequel.

3.5 flowers! 

Thank you to Bloomsbury UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#88)

 
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
Jess's WoW
8709528
The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6)
by Richelle Mead
Release Date: February 10th, 2015

The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead's New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series is finally here...

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.


After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

Jess's thoughts: "More Adrian, but also the final chapter of Adrian. Of course I'm excited for this! This cover is gorgeous too" 

Donna's WoW
17804916

Breaker (Ondine Quartet #4)
by Emma Raveling
Release Date: TBC 

War. Prophecy. Freedom.
She fought for herself.
She fought for friendship and love.
Now, Kendra Irisavie fights for the survival of her world.

War rages on, leaving no one untouched. Destruction rips through elemental communities and terror flourishes in its wake. Suspicion soars, order fractures, and loyalties crumble despite Kendra’s desperate attempts to protect everyone she holds dear.

When an organized Aquidae army launches a series of merciless assaults, Kendra and her friends set out to end the bloodshed once and for all. With the fate of elementals hanging in balance, the Shadow and sondaleur hunt each other down in a brutal match of cunning and will.

Kendra has trained for this her entire life. But in a ravaged world where trust is scarce and no life is sacred, she soon realizes her battle may be against an invincible enemy and that her darkest days lie ahead.

Twists and turns shape her harrowing odyssey, leading to a stunning climax that challenges everything she believes in.
Torn between destiny and autonomy, Kendra must finally decide whether the cost of freedom is too high.

Heartbreaking decisions, turbulent alliances, and shattering revelations collide in Breaker, the explosive conclusion to the Ondine Quartet.
Donna's thoughts: The end is near and it's going to be an exciting but I'm guessing emotional too. I simply can't wait to see how this series ends. Self published author Emma Raveling has done an amazing job with it so far so I know she won't disappoint! 

<What's your "waiting on" pick this week?
Want to participate? 
Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. 
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

{Review} Fading Light (Shadow Born #2) by Angela Dennis

22224750Posted by Donna
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
Finished Date: August 9th, 2014
Publishers: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 279
"Everyone has a breaking point."

"Shadow Born, Book 2"

Her hundred-year penance lifted, Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin returns to the Earthly plane with her partner, Gray Warlow, to keep the peace between humans and supernatural creatures and to prevent another apocalyptic war from happening.

The attraction between them is nearing a critical point, but their checkered history has left Brenna unable to trust either her heart or her instincts.

It s chaotic business as usual until humans begin turning to statues of dust. There is no explanation, no sign of magical foul play or a biological toxin. The humans are convinced it s the work of a deviant supernatural faction, twisting the knife in the already tense relationship between their species. Brenna and Gray agree the deaths have a former comrade-turned-rogue stamped all over them.

In a race against time, they enlist the help of both friend and foe to save the human race and stop the impending civil war. Along the way, they are forced to come to terms with their past and decide, once and for all, whether they will come together or fall apart.

Warning: Contains a heroine who knows her weapons but not her own heart, an outbreak of supernatural proportions, copious bloodletting, and a race to save an endangered species humans. All tied up in a tight bow of sexual tension. "

The Review: Fading Light is the brilliant sequel to Shadows of Fate and second in the Shadow Born series.
After the conclusion of book one we find that some time has passed, Brenna’s punishment has been lifted meaning she and Gray could return to their homeland anytime but because of what has been unleashed on Earth and that the Humans have no chance of fighting the supernatural – they chose to stay and help prevent another war. Brenna is still coming to terms with the revelations that were thrust upon her in the latter part of the last book and it does nothing for her trust issues. When humans start turning into statues of ash at an alarming rate, it’s up to Brenna & Gray to find out what is going on and prevent it from becoming more widespread but they will be blindsided by what they discover and the race is on to protect Earth from a formidable foe hellbent on domination. As they scramble to build a defence, Brenna & Gray will not only put their lives on the line but their hearts.
As I said, this was a brilliant sequel with great progression in both the plot and relationship status.
Relationship wise - Brenna had a lot to take in about who some people really are and that has made her lose her trust in those who deceived her - which included Gray and her boss Seraph – and for someone who is very familiar with betrayal, it’s a trust that she didn’t give freely. I liked the fact that she held back from Gray and didn’t just jump into the relationship because that was how things were, she wanted to see that he meant the things he said, that she could trust him, that he wanted her for the right reasons and not out of obligation. For her it was like starting from scratch, building a newer relationship, developing her feelings and making sure they were right which is admirable of a character in this type of book. Gray frustrated me somewhat with his pressure on her, he needed to be more understanding of who she was now and what had happened in her history that moulded her into that, she had every right to be cautious.
Storyline wise – We are aware of who the bad guy is from book one, he was not beat and he is back stronger than ever with some new friends in tow along with his demon allies. The world is still at risk because he has found a way to hurt the humans again and a possible pandemic is on their hands. He is well aware of Brenna & Gray and what they’re capable of so is a very calculating, playing the game to perfection and seems to have all of the cards in his hand. Our Hero & heroine are in for some major reveals that they will not see coming leading them all to suffer betrayals, loss and many life threatening situations. There is no let up in the action and battles making this another thrilling read that I can’t get enough off, I love the Urban Fantasy genre, especially when it’s as well done and easy to read as this – it’s all action, all of the time, no filler just a great story with a great Hero & heroine at the centre whose romance gives you just enough sweetness to offset the violent world they live in and I’m definitely looking out for more from this author. 

Thank you to Angela Dennis & Samhain Publishing for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

{Review} Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

20651947Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Finished Date: July 7th, 2014
Publishers: Simon & Schuster  
Genre: YA Thriller 
Source: For Review
Format: ARC
Pages: 400
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…

The Review: Upon hearing Becca Fitzpatrick’s was releasing a new book titled Black Ice I was absolutely ecstatic. I adore her Hush, Hush series so getting more of her work was fantastic and I simply couldn’t wait. Now I read Black Ice a good month ago and I have to say while I enjoyed it at the time, I’m disappointed that it’s not a story that really left an impression on me, and here’s why.

Britt Pfeiffer has been training to do one final backpack to Trenton Range with her best friend Korbie before she heads off to college. What Britt doesn’t expect is for her ex-boyfriend who is her best-friends brother, to want to join the adventure too. But no sooner than Britt sets out for the journey, a blizzard forces her and her friend to seek shelter in the only cabin they can find in the freak weather. However, the cabin is occupied by two guys, but something’s not right and Britt suddenly finds herself being taken hostage and being forced to help the guys off the mountain in exchange for her life. As she helps, Britt finds evidence of a murder which suddenly puts her life in even more danger. Can Britt save herself but more importantly, can she stop her sudden feelings for one of her captors when he could possibly be the killer himself?

Black Ice was and I’ll put it simply, an okay read. It didn’t think it had the same appeal as the Hush, Hush series nor did it have the same spark, but it was worth a read if you’re a fan of the author. I enjoyed the idea of the story, I enjoyed how the story develops and I appreciate the effort the author has put into the story but for me, everything was so long winded and slow that it stop me from enjoying the story to its fullest potential. As a YA Thriller, and admittedly I haven’t read many this was definitely the weaker story I’ve read. As mentioned the story seems to plod along with the main character thinking of many different ways to get away or trying to outsmart the bad guys. In all though, there wasn’t a whole lot of action. 

Britt was an okay character. She definitely had her moments where she went from lovable to likable within a few seconds. I definitely felt as though she spoke before she thought and some of things she said were yes a little childish, but then she’s quickly redeem herself only to repeat the whole process over again. I enjoyed the relationship between Britt and Mason, although it was a little unrealistic but for some reason I found myself rooting for them. I honestly didn’t believe anything good could come out of the experience that Britt has, but I was wrong and I thought in the end Becca did an awesome job tying up Britt’s ending with Mason. 

In all, I know there seems to be quite a few negative points to the story but I’m glad I read Black Ice. I definitely think it’s worth a read even though it might not turn out to be a favourite story. Would I read it again? Probably not, but as I said, if you’re a fan of Becca’s then yes, read it. 

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.