Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Trailer Tuesday: Chantress Alchemy

So, I'll be honest, I haven't yet read the first book of this series, but this trailer is definitely making me want to reconsider that fact.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Lucy is the last Chantress, the only remaining girl who can sing magic into the world. Since she defeated the evil Lord Scargrave, England has changed—and not for the better. With crops failing and the people rebelling, Lucy is called urgently back to King Henry’s court. His Inner Council is convinced that making gold through alchemy will save England. But a critical element to the alchemical process has been stolen. Lucy is tasked with finding it with her magic… or else. And until she succeeds, the castle is on lockdown.
Court too has changed. Scargrave's brutal Chantress-hunter has become King Henry's closest advisor. Lucy’s beloved Nat has fallen out of favor and is shunned by his colleagues; their romance means trouble for both of them. Worst of all, something goes wrong with Lucy’s magic. The palace is a labyrinth, and there’s a monster at its heart — a monster who may have the power to defeat Lucy once and for all.   Quoted from Goodreads

Monday, April 28, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bargain Books!

So I realize I haven't done this on my blog for a while now, but I kept noticing a these great books for delightfully low prices on Kindle, so I figure I'd let everyone know. A few ground rules, I try and only include books that are not self published and originally came out with around a $9 or  $10 price tag, so they aren't books that you can always find for this price.  Now, I don't know how long they will last, but as of today, this is what they were priced. Check out my list below and hopefully you find something amazing.

$2.99 - Cinder - Marissa Meyer

$1.99 - Sweet Evil - Wendy Higgins

$1.99 - Life After Theft - Apprilynne Pike

$1.99 - Epic Fail - Claire LeZebik

$1.99 - My Fair Godmother - Janette Rallison
$1.99 - My Unfair Godmother - Janette Rallison
$2.99 - My Double Life - Janette Rallison

$1.99 - The Lost Code - Kevin Emerson

$1.99 - The Selection - Kiera Cass

$1.99 - Stung - Bethany Wiggins
$1.99 - Shifting - Bethany Wiggins

$1.99 - Fracture - Megan Miranda

$1.99 - Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale
$1.99 - Enna Burning - Shannon Hale
$1.99 - Forest Born - Shannon Hale

$1.99 - Princess of Glass - Jessica Day George

$1.99 - Secondhand Charm - Julie Berry

$1.99 - Red Rising - Pierce Brown

$1.99 - Green Rider - Kristen Britain

$2.99 - The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

$3.79 - The Two Princesses of Bamarre - Gail Carson Levine

$1.99 - A Question of Magic - E.D. Baker

$1.99 -Haunting Violet - Alyxandra Harvey

$1.99 - Captivate - Carrie Jones

$1.99 - Conjured - Sarah Beth Durst

Well, there you go.  I haven't read all of them, but there are a few here I absolutely adore (anything by Janette Rallison, Shannon Hale, or Marissa Meyer) so if you haven't read them yet, I absolutely recommend getting them.  They all link to their page on amazon, so check them out.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meme Monday


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Shorts: Gilded Ashes

Orphan Maia doesn't see the point of love when it only brings pain: Her dying mother made a bargain with the evil, all-powerful ruler of their world that anyone who hurt her beloved daughter would be punished; her new stepmother went mad with grief when Maia's father died; and her stepsisters are desperate for their mother's approval, yet she always spurns them. And though her family has turned her into a despised servant, Maia must always pretend to be happy, or else they'll all be struck dead by the curse.

Anax, heir to the Duke of Sardis, doesn't believe in love either—not since he discovered that his childhood sweetheart was only using him for his noble title. What's the point of pretending to fall in love with a girl just so she'll pretend to fall in love with him back? But when his father invites all the suitable girls in the kingdom to a masked ball, Anax must finally give in and select a wife.

As fate would have it, the preparations for the masquerade bring him Maia, who was asked by her eldest stepsister to deliver letters to Anax. Despite a prickly first encounter, he is charmed and intrigued by this mysterious girl who doesn't believe in love. Anax can't help wishing to see her again—and when he does, he can't help falling in love with her. Against her will, Maia starts to fall in love with him too. But how can she be with him when every moment his life is in danger from her mother's deadly bargain?  Quoted from Goodreads


I loved Rosamund Hodge's Cruel Beauty, so Gilded Ashes was one of my most anticipated books---well, novella---this month, and it didn't disappoint. 

I think one of the things I loved most was how this world and mythology Rosamund Hodge's developed with Cruel Beauty adapts so well to the Cinderella story. I'll be honest, I don't think anyone could do a better job than Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted, but Gilded Ashes is such a completely different take, you can't even begin to compare the two.  It's darker, but there's still the foundation between Maia and Anax before the pivotal ball and a good, legitimate, noble reason Maia puts up with with her step-mother's cruelty while still being a strong character---both of which I think are essential to any good Cinderella adaption.

As for the writing and world building, it's excellent. It probably makes a little bit more sense if you have read Cruel Beauty, but since the story is completely separate, I think you could get away with reading this book first, especially since it takes place first.  Another thing I absolutely adored about this retelling is that it didn't shy away from the more gruesome aspects of Cinderella's story.  While her step-sister's fate isn't exactly the same (you know with the slicing off off the one girls' heals and toes and being blinded by birds) and their motivation for going along with the step-mother's demands is different, bad things still happen.

If you're looking for an amazing adaption of a classic fairy tale, you need to read this book. Or, if you simply want a good story, this is an excellent one to check out.  Really, my only complaint is that it's only a novella (about 111) pages, and while it doesn't need to be longer, I enjoyed it so much I wish it was.  All in all, this is a strong 4 stars for me and basically sold me on reading anything else the author decides to put out.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Film Friday: If I Stay

Well, we get another YA adaption trailer!  I'll be honest, I haven't actually read this book. It looks a little depressing and not really my cup of tea, but at the same time, I've heard really great things about it. Anyway, check out the trailer below, and if you've read the book, let me know what you think of this adaption.  I've actually heard the second book is better (less depressing), so if you love the movie, that's always an option.

On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.  Quoted from Goodreads

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: The Spooks Revenge or Fury of the Seventh Son

'He's the seventh son of a seventh son. His name is Thomas J. Ward and he's my gift to the County. When he's old enough we'll send you word. Train him well. He'll be the best apprentice you've ever had and he'll also be your last.'

These were the words of Tom's Mam to the county Spook some years ago. As Tom, the Spook and their allies prepare to battle with the Fiend on a huge scale, to finally enact their revenge, it now remains to be seen whether Mam's declaration will come true.  Quoted from Goodreads


Well, five years (for me at least) and thirteen books later, the Wardstone Chronicles has finally come to an end.  I've got mixed feelings about the final book in this series.  Some of it I won't mention here  because spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, which will make this review a bit shorter than normal because I don't want to give too much away, but you have no idea how much I want to rant.   

One of my biggest problems with this book as the conclusion is that it spends a good third of the book
setting up Joseph Delaney's next series!  I realize it's all part of Tom's story, but I felt like this final installment and face off with the Fiend got a bit short changed because there's a new big bad coming to town that will make the Fiend look like child's play. Plus another problem comes along (again, I won't mention it because of spoilers) and Tom spends at least as much time contemplating that problem as he does the final showdown with the Fiend.  I just felt like after thirteen books, what should have been the climax of the series was short changed.

As for the rest, it's just what you expect from Joseph Delaney: great characters, spooky/gruesome situations, frightening battles, strange allies, spooks agains impossible odds . . . if you've come this far, you know the drill.  His writing is simple yet descriptive, his characters well developed, and the situations complex.  While I may have some issues, it's still a fast paced, interesting read.

Basically, my advice to you is don't think of this as the last book of the series.  Another one is clearly coming out (A New Darkenss, book 1 in the Starblade Chroicles, release date Sept 2, 2014) and the story will go on.  Yes, there will be a few changes and a few new characters introduced, but it's still the same basic plot: Tom vs. The Dark. I'm giving this book a tentative 3.5 stars. The series is great and I've thoroughly enjoyed it, but I had some major issues with this book in particular. Still, it's nice to look forward to another dark adventure.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book Review: Going Rogue

Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. 

Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. 
Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. 

Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. 

But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. 
Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.  Quoted from Goodreads


Sadly, both Gallagher Girls and Heist Society ended last year, and we have to wait until next year for Ally Carter's Embassy Road series to begin.  In the meantime, my I suggest Robin Benway's Going Rogue, or really all of her Also Known As series.  This book is is a fun, light, exciting adventure, with just the perfect dash of romance and and more spy work than its predecessor.

Where do I even start?  Well, usually I start with the main character, but this time I'll have to start with Angelo.  If Robin Benway wanted to write a series just about him, I would snatch it up in a second. He's that perfect mix of all knowing and mysterious that I just adore in side characters.  I love his relationship with Maggie and the rest of her friends, how he takes time out of his busy spy life to play  chess with Roux and buys locks for Maggie.  He's just one of those delightful side characters that you can't help but love.  

This book takes place about a year after Also Known As, and while that book didn't exactly need a sequel, I'm really glad the author gave us one.  Here we get to see Maggie dealing with her decision to stay in one place after having moved around all her life.  We also get a lot more spy work this time around, which equals more adventure, tense moments, and even an exotic location or two.  

Don't worry though, Jesse and Roux are still a big part of this series and both help Maggie out despite her best efforts to keep them safe.  

You know what else I love about this series?  Maggie's parents are a real, active part of her life.  Sure, Maggie's a spy, but her parents always try and protect her.  Even when she's working with Angelo to clear her parent's name, they worry about her and try to keep her out of the line of fire.  They also do some awesome things themselves, so it's not one of those books where you keep wondering why teens are having this adventure when there are more experienced adults that really should be solving the problem.

This book is an absolute delight and a must read for anyone who enjoys Ally Carter's series, light, fun, contemporary reads, or spy novels in general.  It's a high 3.5 stars for me, and while the book doesn't need a sequel, I'm rather hoping that author decides to give us one.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Anticipating April

Another amazing month!  I mean, have you seen how many books are coming out?  It's crazy wonderful.  There are so many sequels that I can't wait to read, plus a lot of new books that I need to check out. Granted, summer is looking a little sparse, so I'll have to save up, but this month is awesome. Check out my list below and let me know if I missed anything you are dying to read.

            1st  Salvage – Alexandra Duncan
                  Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor
                  Gilded Ashes (novella) –Rosamund Hodge

                  The Last Forever – Deb Caletti
                   Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Page
                   Stolen Songbird – Danielle L. Jensen
                   The Ring and the Crown – Melissa de la Cruz

            8th: Toxic Heart – Theo Lawrence
                  Sea of Shadows– Kelly Armstrong
                   Rebel Bell – Rachel Hawkins
                   Season of Wonder – Lisa T. Bergren

            15th: A World Without Princes – Soman Chainani
                   The Forever Song – Julia Kagawa
                    Raging Star – Moira Young
                    The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E. Smith
                    Fury of the Seventh Son – Joseph Delaney
                     What I Thought was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick
                     Don’t Look Back – Jennifer L. Armentrout
                    The Forbidden Library – Django Wexler
                     Open Road Summer – Emery Lord

                     The Looking Glass – Jessica Arnold

            22nd: The Last Best Kiss – Claire LeZebnik
                     The Hunt – Stacey Kade
                      The Inventor’s Secret – Andrea Cremer
                      Deception’s Princess – Esther Friesner
                     My Not so Super Sweet Life – Rachel Harris
                     Eighth Day – Dianne K. Selerni

            29th: Sweet Reckoning – Wendy Higgins
                     The Taking – Kimberly Derting
                     Sleep No More – Aprilynne Pike


Trailer Tuesday: Dorothy Must Die

After a couple of big book to movie adaption trailers, we're back to the plain old book trailers.  Still, this one looks interesting, and it comes out April 1st.  I haven't read anything else by the author, but it has pretty good ratings on Goodreads.  I'll admit I'm a bit conflicted because I loved The Wizard of Oz books as a kid and I think the mythology is really fun, but I do appreciate the fun twist on a classic story, so check out the trailer below and tell me what you think. I'd give you the summary, but it's literally word for word what they say in the trailer.  So what do you think?