Thursday, November 29, 2012

Feedback Review

356 pages

Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy’s deadly rules and brutal gangs. Or so he thought. But now Benson is trapped in a different kind of prison: a town filled with hauntingly familiar faces. People from Maxfield he saw die. Friends he was afraid he had killed. They are all pawns in the school’s twisted experiment, held captive and controlled by an unseen force. As he searches for answers, Benson discovers that Maxfield Academy’s plans are more sinister than anything he imagined—and they may be impossible to stop.

Review:
There is so much more to Maxfield Academy than thought possible. Benson thought that things would be over after he left Maxfield but really things are just beginning. Benson is still the amazingly brave character that he was in the first novel although he has quite a few moments of self-doubt in this one. There are all kinds of new horrors in the town Benson finds himself in. Although there isn't a lot of major action in this novel, we do get to understand Maxfield's existence more. The relationship between the robots and the humans starts to make sense although things definitely get more complicated as well. There is more violence in this novel which says a lot about the town's resemblance in some ways to Maxfield. The ending of this novel leaves things on a major cliffhanger and I can't wait to see what happens in the next novel. I definitely recommend reading this but make sure you read Variant first.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hidden Review

272 pages

Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory. The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning....

Review:
Well this definitely wasn't the most impressive novel from this series. I feel like Will doesn't understand Jacinda's world well enough and Cassian would have been a better fit for her honestly. I think Jacinda needed to be more of a heroine and stop waiting on others to help her or tell her what to do. Tamra and Miram have both gone through changes from their situations developing. There were a lot of new questions that were brought up and left unanswered which was a bit disappointing. Other than that there was a lot of action and a few new characters and developments that made this a bearable read. It's a bit hard for me to believe this is the last novel in the series but I'm interested to see if a spin-off can salvage this disappointing end. I would only recommend reading this if you have read Firelight and Vanish and want to see how the characters end up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keeper of the Lost Cities Review

496 pages

Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain. Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known. Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

Review:
This is one of those novels that you start reading and discover is impossible to put down. Literally when I finished this novel I had no idea what to read next because I wanted more! I love the fact that this was a fresh and unique look at a fantasy species that are usually portrayed in only one significant way. I won't give away which species, but its definitely one of my favorites. Sophie is a spunky and kind individual who doesn't feel like she fits in with humans. Although smart beyond her human years, Sophie still has the qualities of a twelve-year-old girl and that side of her really hits a sensitive spot with you. You can't help but to empathize with Sophie as she goes though her journey of self-discovery and a completely new life. There are quite a few characters, all with different characteristics that cause you to love them. The story built here is quite mysterious because we don't know Sophie's true background, just the identity she grew up with. There are so many things to unravel about Sophie's past that you can't help but lock in until you find out more. There really isn't a lot of action in this book but that doesn't distract from the incredible plot and the exciting conclusion to this novel. The world built here is very descriptive and different and the only thing I can ask for in the next novel is please be longer and even more amazing! I definitely recommend reading this especially if you love fantasy novels!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Earth Girl Review

358 pages

2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in. Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going. A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.

Review:
The concept of this novel was certainly different from others. I couldn't imagine having access to other worlds and being forced to stay on Earth because you're "allergic" to these other places. That's basically what life is like for Jarra. Jarra is a strong individual who doesn't just accept things because people tell her that's the way it is and instead finds a way to try and prove them wrong. I liked that Jarra makes it a point to be good at the things she does so that no one can ever blame her being an "ape" for the reason she failed. The other characters from different worlds all have something interesting about them that sets them apart from each other and its fun to see how their interactions with each other develop and change as they become closer. The different prejudices about people like Jarra definitely seem cruel because its a condition that really isn't their fault. Jarra really worried me for a bit in this book but I have to admit her behavior was an interesting twist to the story. Everything about this book is really well written, the descriptions are extremely detailed and help to make you understand the world that is built here. I definitely recommend reading this book if you're a fan of original science fiction novels.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Release This Week


Friday, November 23, 2012

Bitter Blood Review

404 pages

For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within… Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires. To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse.

Review:
I wondered what new horrors could befall the town of Morganville and it turned out to be a lot more. It turns out that the Morganville vampires are a lot scarier when they don't have any real rules to live behind. As usual its up to Claire to figure everything out and help save the people and vampires in the town from crossing the point of no return. Claire is her usual smart and spunky self although she does let her emotions get the better of her at times. I wasn't the biggest fan of Shane by the end of this book because as usual he screws things up by being a complete idiot. I'm glad that Claire finally is able to stand up for herself in her relationship and I'm impressed with her decision at the end of the book.. There is a lot of drama about the marriage between Michael and Eve which definitely helps to amp up the action in this story as well. I really enjoyed this novel and I'm impressed with how the author keeps coming up with fresh material despite this being the 13th one in the series. I actually can't wait to see what can possibly happen in the next novel. I definitely recommend reading this but make sure you get through the other 12 books in the series before you start this one.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Readers!

Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you pick up a good book this weekend!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nevermore Review

368 pages

One last chance...
For Max, Fang, Angel, Iggy, Nudge, and Gazzy.
Before it all ends.
Are you ready for the final chapter? Are you ready for the ultimate flight? Because THIS IS IT. One last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.

Review:
This conclusion to the series was interesting. Definitely not the best book of the bunch, but entertaining enough. These books have moved towards a message about the environment, and I do appreciate it, but it has taken over a lot from the original action from the first book. The ending felt a bit rushed and didn't leave me with that satisfaction from a good series coming to a close. Other than that I still liked Max as a character. Max is strong and brave yet seriously confused when it comes to her love triangle. I wish I had been able to see more of Iggy, Nudge and Gazzy in this book, I feel like their characters got pushed back. There are quite a few surprises at the end especially when it comes to Angel and she has definitely developed as a slightly manipulative and strange character in this series. I wasn't very happy with Fang in this novel, I actually was starting to like Dylan and I had high hopes for him but of course things got screwed up completely somehow. This novel has a lot of action and is extremely fast paced which makes it a good read. I recommend reading this only if you've read the other 7 books in the Maximum Ride series.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Releases This Week



Friday, November 16, 2012

Princess of the Silver Woods Review

336 pages
Release date: December 11th, 2012
When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse.

Review (ARC):
I didn't enjoy this as much as the first two books but it was a good conclusion to the series. Petunia is lively and has her awesome moments yet as the same time is quite gullible. Her love interest, Oliver, is a mix of bad boy charm with the willingness to do anything for Petunia. I like the way that Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood was twisted in this tale. The 12 dancing princesses is still the focus in this novel and even though they thought the curse was over they still have quite a few surprises in store for them. The princesses have learned skills to help them to take care of themselves but at times they seemed to be a little too helpless. Other than that this was a fairly interesting and funny at times story. Everything finally gets resolved in the end even though there are a few casualties along the way. I would recommend reading this novel only if you've read the first two, Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Renegade Review

352 pages

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law. But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster. Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Review (ARC):
I really thought this book would be completely different from what I actually read. I expected more of a utopian society, and that's what was on the surface, but what lay underneath was instead a horrific world of imperfections. From the first few pages we are thrown into al of the lies and deceit in Elysium. Evelyn thinks everything is perfect in her world yet on another level feels that everything may not be right. I loved seeing the way Evelyn awakened and developed especially after meeting Gavin. Gavin is rough when compared to the people of Elysium but you see his soft side when he's around Evelyn. Mother is just a piece of work. She puts on a perfect front for the people of Elysium but does so many underhanded and evil things its terrifying. I really loved the world built here and the action and adventure just increased as you went towards the end. I absolutely recommend this novel if you love dystopian fiction and I can't wait to read the next novel in this series.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Releases This Week




Friday, November 9, 2012

Deity Blog Tour: Review



360 pages

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden. If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome. But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed. Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...

Review:
This is definitely the best novel yet in this series! The one thing that always impresses me about this Covenant series is that you can feel the passion in the author's words and that creates an amazing connection with the characters. Alex is an awesome character. She's the type of kick-ass heroine you can't help but love despite all the craziness in her love life. I like both Seth and Aiden so it was hard for me to see one of them completely betray Alex in this novel. You get to see new sides to both guys that really show who has Alex's best interest in mind. A lot of questions I've had since the first novel were answered in Deity which helped bring clarity. There was quite a bit of action and it was interesting to finally get a glimpse of the gods that everyone was so fearful of for good reason. The ending completely shocked and amazed me leaving it at a huge cliffhanger that I can't wait to see continued in the next novel. I definitely recommend you read this book if you love paranormal novels that include mythology, but make sure you read Half-Blood and Pure first.
 

Spencer Hill Press is hosting a giveaway with prize packages that include a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of Deity, a shirt, and of course plenty of swag! You can enter below.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Black City Review

384 pages
Release date: November 13th, 2012

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Review (ARC):
This book is absolutely amazing and I can definitely understand why its been optioned to become a movie before it's release! This is a fresh story which offers a mix of the supernatural and dystopian genres of writing. The world created in this novel is pretty bleak and a hard life to live no matter whether you are a human or a Darkling. Ash is half Darkling and strong yet vulnerable at the same time because of his confusion over who he is and who he belongs to. Natalie is an amazing character who although biased, still tries to do what is right for those she believes is treated unfairly. I love the bond between Ash and Natalie and how it opens both their eyes to the other side of things. I think the story itself is exciting and full of action, mystery and of course romance. There are so many underhanded things happening in Black City that Ash and Natalie begin to unravel. This is the first novel in this series and I am definitely looking forward to reading the next one when it comes out. I absolutely recommend this novel especially to those who like dystopian and supernatural novels. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The World Above Review

175 page

Gen and her twin brother, Jack, were raised with their mother's tales of life in the World Above. Gen is skeptical, but adventureous Jack believes the stories--and trades the family cow for magical beans. Their mother rejoices, knowing they can finally return to their royal home.When Jack plants the beans and climbs the enchanted stalk, he is captured by the tyrant who now rules the land. Gen sets off to rescue her brother, but danger awaits her in the World Above. For finding Jack may mean losing her heart...

Review:
This was a pretty good retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. Although shorter than most of the books I read, it was extremely satisfying and enjoyable. I like that this story was told from Jack's sister's point of view and that she offers the "real" perspective of what happened. Gen is very practical and doesn't believe in magic but she soon discovers that there's more to the world than practicality. Jack was actually pretty likable in this story as well despite the fact that he wasn't as sensible as Gen. There was a fair bit of action in this novel and of course a lot of adventure that all came together to be an awesome read. I definitely recommend this novel if you love fairy-tale retellings. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mystic City Review

416 pages

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

Review:
This is a dystopian novel with an alternate reality type twist. Aria lives in a Manhattan that has slowly been overtaken by water and other disasters creating a huge divide in the rich, the poor, and the mystics. I liked Aria as a character because she was determined to figure out things for herself despite all of the odd occurrences around her. Hunter is an absolutely amazing love interest who you can tell wants nothing more than the best for Aria. There are quite a few villains in this novel who shocked me with their callous behavior. There were also some great twists and some of them were so unexpected it threw me for a loop. I love the incorporation of magic in this dystopian novel, I was just a little surprised that the mystics didn't overcome the human population with their powers yet. However, this novel was full of danger, secret meetings and adventure which all culminated into an explosive ending. I can't wait to get my hands on the next novel in this series. I definitely recommend you read this if you love dystopian novels that include magic.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sweet Shadows Review

328 pages

Three teenage descendants of Medusa, now united, must claim their heritage to fight the monsters escaped from the abyss. Gretchen may have known she was a descendant of Medusa long before her sisters--after all, she's spent her life fighting the monsters that escape the abyss--but that doesn't mean it will be easy to teach the other girls the ropes. Greer has pressing social commitments on her plate and precious little time to train in her newfound powers. But that wretched second sight won't leave her alone, and her fabled heritage seems to be creeping into her fashionable life. Grace has worries closer to home--like why her brother, Thane, has disappeared. He's hiding something. Could it possibly be related to the secret heritage the triplets share?

Review:
So far this series is a great new entry into greek mythology based fiction. Gretchen, Greer, and Grace may be triplets but they all have major differences that mark them as individuals. Despite these differences you see them grow closer in this novel as they bond and go through problems together. I like Gretchen the most because she is tough since she's been training for longer than the other girls. All of them have different lives that they have to meld with their duty to fight the escaping monsters. Not everything is at it seems with the monsters and the girls learn that they may need to look for help from unexpected places. There is a lot of action in this book, more so than the first, and it makes this quite an exciting read. I can't wait to read the next novel in this series and see more of what the girls will accomplish as they move towards their destiny. I definitely recommend you read this if you love books based off mythology but make sure to read Sweet Venom first.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Releases This Week




Friday, November 2, 2012

Gravity Blog Tour: Review

304 pages
Release date (paperback): November 20th, 2012

In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die. Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Review (ARC):
Gravity is the kind of story that will cause you to lose track of time because you are so caught up in the world built here. This is a mix of dystopian and sci-fi and (I hope) a little mythology. I love Ari! She's smart, strong and the kind of heroine who takes action. Jackson is completely sweet and strong and you can't help but to love him. The world created in this novel is one where humans continuously do things to destroy themselves and they are heading in that direction again here. Aliens exist and while humans know of them they have been made out as something to be feared rather than appreciated for helping to heal the world countless times. Ari is conflicted with what her side on this should be especially after learning the truth about Jackson. Of course, there is a lot Ari doesn't know, despite being the Commander's daughter. There is quite a bit of action and danger, especially in the last part of this book, that bring things to one heck of a cliffhanger! I'm definitely excited to see what happens next to Ari and can't wait to see where her journey with Jackson takes her next. I absolutely recommend this novel especially to fans of aliens and science fiction novels. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gravity Blog Tour: Interview With Melissa West


As part of her blog tour for Gravity, we interviewed the author Melissa West!



What made you think of such a unique idea for the story in Gravity?:

I’ve always been fascinated by aliens. Of all the paranormal creatures out there, aliens are the only one that many scientists truly believe exists. I think that adds a lot to the story. As for the plot, I think my story is a pretty true depiction of how we, as humans, would handle an alien race trying to come to Earth. We are not necessarily known for our open-mindedness.

Are the characters influenced by anyone you know in real life?

Yes, though they may kill me if I told. :) Oddly enough, Jackson is a lot like my husband was in college. He also has blond hair, blue eyes, and golden skin. He has a very easy style and never gets rattled. Those elements of Jackson were all pulled from my husband.

What was the most difficult challenge in writing this novel?

Getting the alien theory down so it felt logical was tricky. We, as readers, are willing to dive into fiction and accept the unknown, but when you throw in something like aliens, there has to be enough foundation there to support the story. What made it even harder was that book 2 focuses a lot on the Ancients, so I didn’t want to ruin that story by giving it all away in GRAVITY. I had to walk a fine line.

What book have you read lately that you absolutely loved?

That’s a hard question because as a writer I like lots of books, but love very few. But I am reading THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray right now and so far I love it. Then again, I’m a huge Libba Bray fan. :)

Are there any hints you can give us about what may be coming for Ari and Jackson in the next novel?

It’s tricky to give hints without giving away the end of GRAVITY, but I will tell you book 2 is intense, both in what they face and how they handle their relationship. Ari is too smart to go openly into the unknown. She wants Jackson to work for her trust, so it’s been fun watching the relationship unfold and change in book 2. I will say they are older in book 2, and consequently, there is a lot of…chemistry. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. :)

If Gravity was made into a movie who would you want to play Ari and Jackson?

I like Megan Fox for Ari, if you give her a gun and tone down the sex appeal. Ari is too tough to care about being sexy. And Taylor Kitsch for Jackson. 



Thanks for joining us today Melissa! You can learn more about Melissa West and her books on her website http://www.melissawestauthor.com/Home_Page.php. Her book is currently for sale in Nook and Kindle format on Barnes and Noble and Amazon! Check out the site tomorrow for a review of her debut novel Gravity!