Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Meme

Friday, November 22, 2013

Book Review: The Fiery Heart

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.  Quoted from Goodreads


I don't even know where to begin.  I thoroughly enjoy this series---a lot more, even, than the original Vampire Academy. It's kind of amazing, really, because usually it's the other way around. Granted, if you've been paying attention at all, you knew exactly where this book was going and what would happen in the end.  Part of me even debated not reading it until the next one came out because the last one ended so well, but I couldn't resist.

Let's be honest, what everyone loves most is Sydney and Adrien's relationship, especially now that (caution: spoilers from the last book ahead) they're together as a couple and half the book is told from Adrien's POV.  While I found that this was important in this book, I'm guessing it will be more important in the next one.  I love the two of them together.  What makes these books stand out from so many others is how much the characters progress and change. The Sydney and Adrien now are very different people from the two we met in Bloodlines, and that's in not small part thanks to each other.

What really drives the book are the characters and relationships. I love the way they interact with each other and how much they've come to care about their little group.  Sure, Sydney's sister Zoe adds a problematic ingredient into the mix, but it keeps things interesting, upping the tension, especially for Sydney. Zoe also helps us see how far Sydney has really come since the series started.

What's interesting about these books, is while they're set in our world (mostly), the vampire/alchemist elements drive me crazy. They're perfect for conflict and tension, but never is this painted as a world I'd love to live in.  Again, it creates excellent conflict for the characters, but both societies are so stifling, full of injustice and twisted rules that I end up feeling bad for the characters, while at the same time, giving me an almost dystopia feel for the government/laws under which they live.

This book focused more about Sydney finding a way to break free from the Alchemists, while Adrian contributes more to finding an immunity against the Strogoi.  They both support and help each other, but I really enjoyed that each of them had their own problem to focus on.  It's one of the main things that made the alternating POV work.  

All in all, this is a fantastic addition to a wonderful series, and now I'm dying for the next book.  I'm going to give this book a high four stars for me. Now I'm stuck waiting for July 29th along with everyone else so I can find out what happens next to Sydney and Adrien.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Trailer Tuesday: Cruel Beauty

I love the story of Beauty and the Beast . . . well at this point you probably know I love pretty much all fairy tales, but this one has a special place in my heart, so I'm excited to see how this new one plays out.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain
struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.  Quoted from Goodreads

Doesn't that sound fun. Check out the Trailer below and enjoy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Meme

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trailer Tuesday: Evertrue

Now we've gotten past the big fall release dates (and I'm still playing catch-up), we're starting to get some of the trailers for books coming out in Jan and Feb.  Check  out Evertrue by Brodi Ashton. I've actually quite enjoyed this series, and to be honest, I'm not sure if I want the main girl to actually get with who I think she's going to get with, so I'm interested to see how this goes. Enjoy!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Meme Monday

So this isn't always true, but it does happen a lot more than I would like.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Review: Crewel and Altered

I read these books, one after another, so while I could probably do a review of each of them separately, I thought I'd stick them both together.

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 to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. 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 used her hidden talent for a moment. 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 jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because tonight, they’ll come for her.   Quoted from Goodreads


I absolutely adore this series. This is another one of those I knew it would be good, but I was waiting for the second book to come out sort of reads, and I wasn't disappointed. Plus, do these covers remind anyone of Matched?  Maybe it's the color scheme, maybe the girl in glass thing, but that's totally what I think of when I see them.

This is one of those series you can't put down.  It's such a unique world and concept, mashing dystopia and science fiction together in a unique, mind-bending sort of way.  I love the idea of women being able to weave time and matter.  At the same time, it's a horrifying idea.  The amount of control  it gives a group or organization is terrifying, which is what the whole book is about.

It's hard to review both books at the same time.  I love the world building in each.  This may give something away, but while they both take place in very different locations, the tension and plot twists are similar. Adelice is an excellent main character---the perfect blend of powerful and controlled, clueless and smart, so there's plenty of room for growth but we can see her potential and the sort of person she could become. Plus, the different locations really add depth to the world building and flesh out a lot of the history.  It also helps keep the books separate and gives Adelice new, interesting challenges to overcome.

The villains in this are absolutely excellent. They're a mixture of evil people (Cormack honestly makes me shudder, he's so creepy), and even tougher situations.  I really liked how the author balanced the levels of antagonists, from mildly annoying to shudderingly bad, so we get annoyed with some people, angry at others, and horrified by a few.  There are different levels and extents of evil Adelice has to overcome, and each aspect brings out a different strength in her.

As for the romantic sub-plot, I kind of adore it.  It definitely stays a sub-plot for which I'm grateful,  but I really like the direction it's taking.  While it does take on triangle-like aspects from time to time, Adelice never becomes wishy-whashy about what/who she wants.  Each boy is a full fleshed character, and each one offers, and needs from Adelice, different things.

Basically, these books are amazing. The concept is unique, the characters fantastic, and the tension builds sky high.   I absolutely recommend this series, especially if you want a fresh twist on a dystopiaesque tale.  I'm giving this series a bold 4 stars, with a good chance of achieving 5 stars depending on the last book. I'll admit, part of me wishes I had waited, because there's a horrible cliff-hanger at the end, but there's something wonderful about looking forward to the next great book in a series.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Meme Monday

Friday, November 1, 2013

Anticipating November

Well, it's shaping up to be a pretty typical November.  It starts with a bang and ends with a whimper.  I get that most publishers want their book to be out for Black Friday, and sure, with Thanksgiving and Christmas, people get busy, but I find the whole lack of new books kind of depressing.  Sure, there are still tons of books from September and October that I need to read, but there's something about reading a book the first week it comes out that I absolutely love.

On the bright side, there really are some books I've been dying to read that are coming out this month, so I shouldn't complain. Here's my list for books coming out this month that I'm excited for.  So, if you've already conquered Sept and
October's list, check out the books below.

November 2013:

            2nd: Sentinel – Jennifer L. Armentrout

            5thRevelations (Elysium #2) – J.A.Sounders
                   Goddess in Time – Tara Lynn Childs
                   The Naturals – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
                   Champion – Marie Lu
                   Curtsies and Conspiracies – Gail Carriger

            12th: Extracted – Sherry D. Ficklin

            19th: The Fiery Heart – Richelle Mead
                     World After – Susan Ea