30 June, 2012
Format: E-Galley (received from publisher via NetGalley)
To be published July 10, 2012 by Random House Children's Books
More about the author: Website
Goodreads // Amazon UK
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.I was so glad to receive a review copy from NetGalley for this book. Dragons and traditional fantasy was just what I wanted! How wrong I was in thinking it would just be a typical fantasy book with dragons. This book is so much more! The world of dragons created by Rachel Hartman is pure magic. It's the brilliant world that caught me off guard. Dragons are forced into their human forms to comply with a treaty created between humans and dragons with a few interesting side effects. Dragons are cool, calculated, and virtually emotionless beings whom humans are extremely wary of. It's because of this high tension relationship between dragons and humans that makes Seraphina's secret dangerous. She has dragon blood that gives her near magic abilities of music and visions.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.
At first, Seraphina's visions did confuse me. She often visited her 'garden' in her head to tend to her visions and check on their subjects. This was probably the only confusing part of this book that wasn't solved for me until halfway through the book. Seraphina herself had me rooting for her from the first page. She's snarky and independent and had me behind her the whole way. Throughout the book the reader has the happy opportunity to discover more things about Seraphina and the effects of her dragon heritage, as she is no cookie-cutter heroine we know everything about in the first ten pages. I love how the characters were written. Along with Seraphina, even the supporting characters, especially Orma and Prince Lucien, are much more complicated than they first appear. There is a touch of romance, but the book nowhere near centres on it, but rather the relationships Seraphina build with the key players in the plot.
Rachel Hartman has a serious knack for world building. I really enjoyed her descriptive writing and the medieval setting, but what really gripped me was the unique world of dragons. I have read another book where dragons take human form, but they did not have such a rich history or relationship with humans as Rachel Hartman's dragons. I fear that this book may be passed by by many readers, but if you enjoy fantastic world building, dragons, and gorgeous writing then look no further!
29 June, 2012
Feature & Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and AlisonCanRead. It's set up so bloggers to discover new blogs and gain new followers. So cool. Every week two different blogs are featured. This week's featured blogs are Novel Sounds and Friday Dreamer!
28 June, 2012
Guillaume: For five hundred years I've existed as a gargoyle. Perched atop an old Montreal church, I've watched idly as humanity wanders by. With the witch Marguerite gone, there is no one left to protect, nothing to care about. I never planned to feel again. But then a girl released me from my stone restraints, allowing me to return as a seventeen-year-old human boy. I must find out all I can about this girl's power . . .
Aude: Getting attacked twice in as many days is strange in itself, but even stranger is the intriguing guy I keep running into. There's something so familiar about him, like a primal drum rhythm from my dreams. But spending time together only raises more questions--about my heritage, a native Mohawk prophecy . . . and an unearthly magic threatening our city..
27 June, 2012
(UK) To be released September 6, 2012 by Atom
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses 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 one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a 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.I'm so excited for this book, mainly because of the heroine that the summary promises. She sounds like such a strong character in such a dark dystopian world and it's only magnified by that glorious cover.
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. - From Goodreads
26 June, 2012
Published April 5, 2012 by Puffin
More about the author: Website // Twitter
Goodreads // Amazon UK
Trapped on board the spaceship Godspeed, Amy trusts no-one.This second instalment of the Across the Universe series takes everything great about the first book and hugely amplifies it in A Million Suns. Picking up from where the first book left off, the ship is tiptoeing the edge of a cliff that is anarchy. There are so many more secrets to be discovered about Godspeed and her progress to Centari Earth, thrusting at readers a greatly suspenseful and mysterious plot shuffling back and forth between searching for clues and trying to quell rebellion through Amy and Elder's eyes (respectively). There is nothing more that says fantastic than mystery, spaceship, and romance and this book gives you all of those things!
The ship's ruler is dead and a rebellion threatens. Amy wants to help Elder as he tries to take charge, but she's torn between her feelings for him and the chaos that's pulling everything apart. As more harrowing discoveries are made about Godspeed, Amy is caught in a desperate race to unravel its secrets. Only one thing is certain.
They have to get off this ship.
The heart-stopping sequel to Across the Universe: a story of love, murder and madness - set in space. - Summary from Goodreads
Both Amy and Elder have matured from the events in the first book. They are amazing characters to read. Amy uses her intuition and intelligence trying to put together clues left specifically for her while Elder puts his authority to the test and tries to gain the ship's citizens' trust. Amidst all the goings-on, their relationship is set on the back burner while they try to discover themselves, though I promise you won't be left without some steamy scenes! I just found them to be incredibly mature and believable. So very refreshing to read I might add.
Beth Revis has some pretty magical words to keep me barrelling through the pages, wanting more. The short chapters and alternating views will suck you in and not let you go. If you're new to the genre of Science Fiction, this might be a great series to start out in if you already enjoy some suspense and YA romance. You won't be disappointed by this fantastic series! Can't wait for the next one because, yes you guessed it, there's a seriously nail biting ending!
25 June, 2012
Chronicles of Nick #1
Released May 25, 2010 by Macmillan Audio
Originally released by St Martin's Griffin
More about the author: Website // Goodreads Author Page
Goodreads // Amazon UK
At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.I didn't know much about this book series before I checked out the audiobook from my library. I'd heard that it was a popular series, but I didn't even know what kind of paranormal characters are in it! From the very beginning, it was clear that Kenyon has written a unique urban paranormal world where different types of paranormal collide. As the story went on, the reader is introduced to more and more paranormal beings and twisting plotlines and there is never a moment without action.
But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he's next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that? Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead. - Summary from Goodreads.
I felt that at about halfway through the book, there was just too much going on. Not that it was difficult to keep up on, I just thought that Greek gods, demons, vampires, zombies, werewolves and more in a single book was just really overwhelming. It felt really clunky and unnatural to introduce one thing after another. Fewer paranormal things in this book would have made it much more sleek.
This story's real saving grace was that the characters are hilarious. I thought that Nick was hilariously and realistically snarky for a young teen boy and I would read more books just for this fabulous protagonist. The supporting characters all added action and hilarious jibes, especially Bubba and Mark, the town weirdos who seem to be crazy paranormal experts and backwoods zombie hunters.
Overall, this book series is one that I would recommend to young teens. This series would be a good transition from Middle Grade to Young Adult. It is very well written, I just would prefer to not have as many things going on as there were. Hopefully as the series goes on, things will make sense and blend into a seamless action-packed paranormal series!
*Audio Review*: Listening to this book on audio was just fantastic. The pacing and narrator were simply spot on. Listening to the narrator do the voice of Nick's tiny Louisianan mama was hilarious! Each character had a clear personality and voice and were really entertaining. I'd definitely say that the experience of the book is enhanced by the audiobook. Recommended!
23 June, 2012
22 June, 2012
Q: If you could "unread" a book, which one would it be? Is it because you want to start over and experience it again for the first time? Or because it was THAT bad?
20 June, 2012
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which bloggers post books they are eagerly anticipating to be released. I can't wait to read what everyone else is waiting on. I know my book wish-list appreciates it! This week, I'm waiting on:
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
19 June, 2012
16 June, 2012
15 June, 2012
Feature & Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and AlisonCanRead. It's set up so bloggers to discover new blogs and gain new followers. Every week two different blogs are featured. This week's featured blogs are Patch of Sky and Candace's Book Blog!
Q: Happy Father’s Day! Who is your favorite dad character in a book and why?
A: If I had to pick one from all time, it would have to be Arthur Weasley (from the Harry Potter series). Not only is he the father-figure in the quasi-adoptive family Harry gets to have, but he's hilarious to boot! His charming ignorance of 'muggles' is so endearing and funny.
Which dad character would you pick?
14 June, 2012
Published April 24, 2012 by HarlequinTeen
More about the author: Website // Bio // Twitter
Find it on: Goodreads // Amazon UK
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
The protagonist of this book could be hit or miss with readers. She's a survivor. She's had to make choices in her life to survive that perhaps she wouldn't have made otherwise and reacts to situations in the book because of this. I absolutely loved Allie because of her survival skills. Allie isn't a damsel in distress! I really enjoyed reading this book through the point of view of someone much more complex than the average paranormal protagonist, trying to discover what it means to be human. With the help of some new human acquaintances, whom I love, the reader sees the the stark contrast between the vampires and the human conditions. The side characters just add such a great element. Not all of them are very likeable, but if they were, it would go against the feel of this book! And it's the feel of this book I love.
The setting is what gives The Immortal Rules its edge. The dank post-apocalyptic world run by vampires is not a pretty one. Kagawa's landscape is full of rusty edges and rabid vampire-zombies out to kill you if you aren't killed by regular vampires first. But through it all survives the knight in shining armour, Zeke. He's such a sweet, yet rugged character. A natural-born leader. It's hard for Allie to not get feelings for him, despite her trying not to, and I think readers will feel the same way! (Although you can try to have feelings for him. I won't tell!).
Do you think you can survive this book? Then don't miss out and pick up this book today! If you're a vampire or zombie fan, this one is for you! If you like paranormal romance, this one's for you. If you like dystopians, this one's for you. Oh, you get the idea.
13 June, 2012
A Witch in Love (Winter Trilogy #2)
by Ruth Warburton
To be released July 5, 2012 by Hodder Children's Books
Goodreads // Amazon UK
Anna still finds it hard to believe that Seth loves her and has vowed to suppress her powers, no matter what. But magic - like love - is uncontrollable and soon, Anna is being hunted. Abe wants Anna to embrace her power, while Seth is pushing Anna to accept that his feelings are real. She finally does ... a moment too late. Suddenly, it's like the Salem witch trials all over again: burnings, torture and faceless judgements. In the face of the ultimate betrayal, who will save her?I just loved the first book in the series! Ruth Warburton is a great addition to the paranormal romance genre and I can't wait to read her second book this summer.
The second novel in the Winter trilogy, this follows the critically acclaimed debut A WITCH IN WINTER. - from Amazon
11 June, 2012
Published May 1, 2012 by HarperCollins Children's Books
More about the author: Blog // Twitter // Goodreads
Goodreads // Amazon UK
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
I've been putting off writing this review for too long! I needed plenty of time to digest my thoughts, but it's been long enough. Insurgent is a fabulously fast-paced and action-packed addition to the Divergent trilogy. It begins just seconds after the first book, Divergent, has ended. The blood-pumping action and vivid world building will not disappoint a single reader. There were, however, other things beyond the action and glimpses into the other factions that led me to not enjoy this book as much as the first one.
Tris is a completely different person. While I understand that the horrific and gruesome events at the end of Divergent would affect anyone, Tris has changed by the beginning of the second book. In Insurgent, she's much more impulsive and rash, and more often than not, she's lost the ability to be cool and calculated. It's her extreme death wish that causes turbulence in her relationship with Tobias (Four). He wants her to calm down and think things through and believes her insane selflessness is actually selfish. And I agree. If she had been killed, nearly all hope would be lost! But Tris doesn't think like that when she thinks everything has gone to the dogs. I am by no means implying that this character change isn't believable or written well, I just found it annoying.
The writing in this book is absolutely superb! Veronica Roth manages to weave in so much more world building than in Divergent, while upping the pace dramatically. The pacing was so quick and intense, it felt like there was a gun pointed to the reader's head. Perhaps that's also why you feel like you can't stop reading! I adored discovering new things about the other factions that we hadn't seen much of before. In Insurgent, Tris visits all of the faction compounds and the reader gets a better sense of what each one is about. Well done, there.
Overall, this book is extremely action-packed. Bullets will fly when you read this book. However, I got distracted at times by Tris not thinking like she used to and acting too impulsively. With that being said, I truly cannot wait to get my hands on the third book (whatever it may be called!). Insurgent ends with a huge bang and will leave everyone gasping for answers straight away. I recommend this book to any action junkie, especially if you like unique dystopias.