Sky Without Stars Review

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope.

Comic-Con 2018

NY Comic-Con



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beta Review

304 pages

Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist. Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to. At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing Elysia's mind? If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi-ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.

Cloning has always been a controversial topic and we get to experience that in this novel. Elysia is a clone of dead teenage female like every other servant on Demesne. Clones have no rights, and aren't considered to be human, they are basically slaves. Elysia is apparently the perfectly made Beta clone. I like that she is intelligent and has a sense of self-preservation despite what she has been programmed to feel. Its interesting to watch Elysia awaken to her feelings and realize that she wants more than to be thought of as an unfeeling clone. There is a bit of a love triangle which is complicated by many outside factors and only becomes more complicated as the story continues. You can't help but feel sorry for the plight of the clones in this novel. Most of the people on Demense take advantage of the clones physically and emotionally and some parts are a little disturbing. This isn't a novel filled with much action but the last part of the book is exciting with some absolutely insane and unexpected revelations. This novel ended on a cliffhanger which absolutely shocked me and has me anticipating the next novel in this series. I definitely recommend this if you like dystopian fiction.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Mark of Athena Review

608 pages

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace. And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close— the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her? Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side. Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .

The Heroes of Olympus series just keeps improving with each new addition and this novel is no exception. Finally the Roman and Greek camps get to meet although their peaceful meeting doesn't go as planned. This novel is narrated by four of the demigod's perspectives and we definitely get to see new sides to each character. The Percy and Annabeth reunion is awesome and they haven't lost that spark that makes them such an awesome couple. There are few love triangles with the other characters that seem to be forming which only makes this novel more interesting. I've grown to expect a certain level of action with the books in this series and this doesn't disappoint. Plenty of monsters, missions, and humor keep this story fresh and exciting. The ending leaves you on a huge cliffhanger and I can't wait for the next book to come out to see what happens next. I definitely recommend this if you are a fan of the Percy Jackson novels but make sure you read the other books in The Heroes of Olympus Series first. If you have time check out the original Percy Jackson series as well.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bitterblue Review

563 pages

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

This book can be summed up in one word: confusion. I had no idea what was going on or exactly what was being hidden from Bitterblue for most of the novel. There are so many secrets and lies left over from Bitterblue's father's reign that it affects her reign as well. Bitterblue herself has no idea why things in her kingdom seem so weird so she decides to find out what's really going on. Bitterblue is an interesting character who doesn't seem to be particularly assertive yet there's something about her that makes you root for her anyway. Bitterblue is intelligent and does have inner strength but it takes a lot of events for her to discover this about herself. The one thing I did not like about this novel is that it is complicated to the point that it is overly so. There isn't a lot of action, its more of a mystery filled with political intrigue type of book. The ending is exciting when you see exactly what is really going on in Bitterblue's kingdom and all the truths that are uncovered. I would recommend reading this if you want to conclude the Graceling series but make sure you read the first two beforehand.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Releases This Week

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rebel Heart Review

432 pages
Release date: October 30th, 2012

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants?

Review (ARC):
This time around the author's strange writing style was barely noticeable to me. It's a testament to her ability to create an amazing story. However, I have to say I was pretty disappointed with Saba for most of this book. Saba seems to have lost the strength that she had while searching for Lugh and is perfectly content to let him take the lead on everything including her own life. Lugh annoyed me a lot because he seems to think that his opinion matters more than Saba's despite all that she did to find and rescue him. Saba also had a lot to deal with in the love department since she has not one or two, but three men in love with her. This definitely creates a lot of complications in Saba's life and journey to find Jack. We get to know a lot of the other characters on another level and see different sides to them. Even though I wasn't happy with Saba in this book, there are still some amazing plot twists and exciting moments. The ending completely throws me for a loop and I can't wait to see what happens next in Saba's life. I definitely recommend this if you like dystopian fiction and have read Blood Red Road.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crewel Review

368 pages

Incapable. Awkward. Artless. That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail. Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested. Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape. Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back

This was definitely an interesting new view of a kind of utopian society. In this society men run everything and women have their place in society although not very important ones unless you are a Spinster. Adelice doesn't necessarily want to fail at becoming a Spinster. She just knows that her parents have trained her to although she doesn't know the real reasons behind it. The Spinster world is more than just power and privilege, there's a whole lot more going on behind the scenes than Adelice would have thought possible. Adelice is pretty strong although she herself doesn't know how strong until she's pushed when thrown into Spinster politics. Of course there is some romance, a love triangle, that helps Adelice to open her eyes to whats really going on with the Guild and the Spinsters. Although this isn't a novel packed with action, it is filled with mystery and intrigue that makes this an exciting read. I loved the creativity of the development of this world and I'm excited to read the continuation of this story in the next novel. I definitely recommend this if you like a good sci-fi, utopian type of novel.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vessel Review

424 pages

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her. Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale. The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

I really enjoyed this story. Liyana is an interesting character. She knows what she has been raised for but has a wild and rebellious streak to her that doesn't make her the perfect vessel. Korbyn is fun as the trickster god but you also get to see the serious side to him that betrays his trickster nature. I love seeing the way the relationship between Korbyn and Liyana develops and the twists that are thrown their way.  The whole desert setting of this novel certainly makes things more difficult while they try to save the other vessels but it also adds to the excitement. The vessels are all different and I enjoyed the way they were portrayed based on which tribe they grew up in. There are also a few other surprising characters thrown in that completely change the direction of this book and make thing more interesting. Most books I read have sequels so it was refreshing to read one that ends in one book and still feels satisfying. I absolutely recommend this novel if you like books steeped in mysticism and a different kind of mythology.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Release This Week

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Outpost Review

336 pages
Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight. To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out. Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.

Wow. The relationship dynamics in this novel have certainly gotten interesting. Deuce is stuck in a love triangle between Stalker and Fade and it definitely makes things interesting. I still appreciate Deuce as a character because she is strong and not even slightly helpless. I love that Deuce shows the townspeople that women can be strong and shouldn't have to fall into traditional roles based on superstitious beliefs. This book is packed with action and danger from the Freaks outside the town although at a slower pace than the previous novel. The Freaks definitely get creepier in this book and its interesting to see the way Deuce and her friends deal with them as they continue trying to protect the town. This novel ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I can't wait to see what happens with Deuce and her friends in the next book. I definitely recommend that you read this novel especially if you love dystopian fiction. Make sure you read Enclave first.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NY Comic-Con 2012

Usually when people think of Comic-Con they may think of comics, costumes, and nerds uniting together. However Comic-Con is so much more than that. Authors and artists from all over get together to showcase and promote their work as well. I attended Comic-Con for the first three days (Thursday-Saturday) and had an absolutely amazing time. Here are a few book-related highlights of my time at Comic-Con......

Morgan Rhodes signing an Advanced Copy of her book Falling Kingdoms!

Beth Revis signing an advanced copy of her book Shades of Earth!

Goth Princess (and amazing author) Alethea Kontis in Artist's Alley!

The crowds were insane!!!

So many free books from Comic-Con!!!!

You can see the rest of my Comic-Con pictures here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Enchanted Blog Tour: Review

Release Date: October 18th, 2012

Plagued by doubts about her future, Darcy Pennington must begin to unravel the mysteries of her oracle if she is to save Alitheia and reconcile her relationship with Tellius, the king she is intended to marry.

Review (ARC):
The Gateway Chronicles continues to get better with every new installment! I can easily say this is the best one I have read thus far. My favorite thing about this series is the way you can actually see the characters grow in each new book. This is book 4 and you see a much more mature side of Darcy and the other characters as they move from teenage to a grown state of mind. Tellius has grown quite a lot yet at times we see that he might not be as mature when it comes to his feelings about Darcy as he should be. I really can't wait to see where Tellius and Darcy end up as a couple and how everything between them will connect with the prophecy. The other characters have all changed in some way and it interesting to see new relationships begin to form. More sense is made of the prophecy in this novel although more questions about it are also raised. There is quite a bit of unexpected tragedy in this novel but also some new discoveries as well. The ending stops on a shocking revelation which will definitely have you excited to get your hands on the next novel in this series. If you haven't read any of these books then I recommend that you start with The Six and continue from there. I definitely recommend The Gateway Chronicles to those who love fantasy novels filled with adventure, magic, and excitement.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New Releases This Week

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Defiance Review

403 pages

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her. At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared. As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

This is a fast-paced and exciting dystopian novel that grabs your attention right away. This novel is narrated by Rachel and Logan switching between their point of views. Rachel is a strong and fearless heroine who wants nothing more than to find her father when he doesn't come home. Logan is an amazing character who you just can't help but love as the novel goes on. I love that Rachel isn't the typical female like the rest of the girls in the book. Rachel actually knows how to fight and take care of herself which makes her a kick-ass main character. Logan is a great balance to Rachel's wild side since he actually takes time to think and plan things out. I also liked that the romance between Rachel and Logan progressed nicely and didn't frustrate me. I couldn't stand the Commander at all. He's one of those villains that you will thoroughly feel no sympathy for. The world is terrifying and interesting at the same time. The creatures that live outside the gate can attack at a moments notice and its scary to see what they can do in this book. There is a lot of action and revelations that keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to know more. I can't wait for the next installment in this series. I definitely recommend this to those who love dystopian novels.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Treachery of Beautiful Things Review

384 pages

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.

Honestly when it comes to most fairy novels I don't connect to the stories well for some reason. Something about the way most of them are written just doesn't appeal to me. With that being said, this was an ok novel. I liked the way that the title of the book actually made sense as you read through this story. Jenny isn't the most impressive character to me and I feel like I kept waiting for her to do something to make her a memorable heroine. I was interested in Jack but at the same time he was a little bit too mysterious. I would have liked the characters to have more memorable qualities about them that would make them stand out for me. I did enjoy some of the action but maybe based on my own bias, this novel just wasn't for me. However, this book wasn't badly written so I think if you're a fan of fairy novels then you might enjoy it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Release This Week

Friday, October 5, 2012

Covet Review

488 pages

Dangerous to be together. Painful to be apart. Savannah Colbert knows she broke up with Tristan Coleman for the right reasons. Most of all, to keep from killing him with her new vampire abilities. But try telling her heart. Now, lost in a sea of hostile Clann faces, Sav tries to come to terms with what she's becoming and what that means for her future. And that someone is doing their best to bully her into making a terrible mistake. Tristan can't believe Sav won't even talk to him. If being apart is her decision, fine. Just don't expect him to honor it. But even as he prepares to fight for the girl he loves, forces beyond their control take them both in directions neither could have foreseen or prepared for. A reckoning is coming… and not everyone will survive.

Review (ARC):
From the start of this book we're thrown into where the last novel left off with Savannah and Tristan on the plane heading home. The drama between Savannah and Tristan takes up the majority of this book. There is a lot of miscommunication that really isn't their fault but sometimes I wanted to shake some sense into Savannah for not seeing the obvious. Savannah is also going through a lot of changes in this novel as she becomes more vampire-like and there are some changes and discoveries on her Clann side as well. Some new introductions are made to new sides to the supernatural world and quite a few new revelations are made as well. Tristan annoyed me at some parts in this book with the hard time he gave Savannah but it definitely made their story more intriguing. By the end of the novel there's a huge change that left me ready for more. The ending is definitely amazing and action packed so I can't wait to see what happens next  for this couple. I definitely recommend this if you have read the first novel Crave or like paranormal romance books.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Kill Order Review

336 pages

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease. Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next. Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees. Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.

This novel is the prequel to the amazing Maze Runner series. I was a bit unsatisfied with it although that's not to say it wasn't a good book. First while this may be the prequel to the series, we see little of the original series in here. We're introduced to a new set of characters in the world right before all of the events of the Maze Runner series occurs. Mark is a brave character who is just trying to survive the world after the sun flares. Trina is just as strong as Mark in certain aspects but she also relies on him a lot to help her survive. This story centers around these two characters and their experience as the world goes from tragedy to madness. It's interesting to see how the virus comes to be although there are still quite a few unanswered questions. There is a lot of action and the story is very fast-paced so there is no lack of excitement. However, it really isn't what was expected for a prequel and really doesn't come to a satisfying conclusion. I would recommend you give this book a shot if you've read the Maze Runner series just to get the complete story. If you haven't read the Maze Runner Series you can read this book first then pick up the rest.

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Releases This Week