Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Shorts: Infinite Repeat

Seventeen-year-old Micah Foster is looking forward to the return of his girlfriend, Amber, who's been away in Los Angeles recording an EP with her band. But when Amber returns home on the anniversary of Micah's dad's death, something feels different and Micah pushes her away. 
Over the next week, as Micah tries to repair his relationship with Amber, he relives the events of the past few years and recognizes a pattern. His friends and family are right--he self-destructs every April, right around the time his dad died, hurting people he cares about in the process. Will Amber be this year's casualty? Or can Micah escape his past in time to fix his present?  Quoted from Goodreads


I thoroughly enjoyed The Art of Lainey, so of course I had to read this when I found out Paula Stokes had written a novella from Micah's point of view.  

It's a great look at Micah's life, pre-Lainey.  We get to see what happened with his ex girlfriend Amber and especially exactly what happened the night his dad died.  It's not a lot of new material, though there is some.  We get a lot of general background about Micah in The Art of Lainey, but here we get to see the nitty-gritty details of some of the biggest moments in his life that actually makes him who he is, and it's a lot of fun.  

I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing Lainey from Micah's POV before they started fake dating.  There aren't a lot of interactions---that's not what the story is about---but there are a few fun moments that you appreciate.  That's not to say you can't read this book first. You absolutely can.  In fact, this is one of the few novellas that was published after the book it goes to that I don't think would spoil reading the book at all.  Too often you have to read them second despite the fact that they're prequels because they give main plot points away.  This one really doesn't. It just fleshes out the Micah Lainey gets to know later.  

So, should you read this book?  If you've read The Art of Lainey, absolutely.  It's a delightful prequel that gives you more if that's what you want.  If you haven't and might be interested, check this out. It's a great introduction to a lot of the characters without being as much a commitment. I'm giving it a positive 3.5 stars. It's a great addition to the Lainey universe, and an excellent way to get to know Micah better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Review: Dissonance

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.
But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.  Quoted from Goodreads


This book was so much fun.  I love the whole idea: the different worlds, the variations on echoes, how much one choice can make a difference.  I'll be honest, when I read the description it reminded me a little bit of this really cheesy TV show from the nineties called Sliders, but this is so much better. First, because she's not just exploring possible worlds, but she's fixing them.  I also love the inclusion of music in the role the Walkers play.

As for Del, herself, she is a delightfully flawed character.  She's impulsive, plucky, and disobedient, with little respect for rules and an extraordinary talent she loves: sort of the perfect protagonist mixture, if you ask me. She makes mistakes.  Big ones.  There are a few times she makes me cringe with her choices, but they're always consistent with her character and keep her human.  It's these flaws and talents mixed together that helps move the story along and makes her relatable. I couldn't help but root for her throughout the story. 

As for the world building, it's excellent.  It's one of those tricky sci-fi situations, where you have to pay attention to the world building or it would be easy to get lost. She's crafted so much detail into this world and the science of Walking.  As I mention before, everything relates to music, which I adore, but it's more that that.  I loved the different worlds Del visited and the different versions of the same characters that we get to see over and over again.  I'll admit, she could have taken that farther, but for a first book, I liked the different worlds she chose to visit. I loved the science of cleaving and tuning, inversions and Baroque events.  It was cleaver in intriguing, and I really appreciated the time she spent crafting this world.

As for the rest of the characters, they were fully fleshed out, even some of the smaller ones.  I especially adored her grandfather. He's quirky and supportive, full of secrets and insanity, which made for a delightful contrast against her overly annoying, straight-laced sister.  Then, of course, there's Elliot, the boy that could morph into one corner of a love triangle but never quite makes it out of the friendzone, and Simon.  If you're in the mood for a nice little dose of romance, Merry Christmas.  This book has just the right amount, especially with the mystery surrounding him and all his echoes.

So should you read this book?  Absolutely.  It's fun, with an exciting concept, great world building, and delightful characters.  I realize I'm just finished reading this, so am sort of suffering from a book hangover, but I'm going to give this book a solid 4.5 with the possibility of being upgraded to a 5 star review later.  It was fun, intriguing, and  different, with shadow societies, conspiracies, and much more to look forward to in the next two books.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Trailer Tuesday: The Jewel

I love reading books by new authors.  You never know what you're going to get. They have unlimited potential, so of course this trailer made me excited for the book. Plus and an author that I really like gave it 5 stars, so it does have that going for it.  My only problem is the cover makes it look like it's book 4 in The Selection series, which isn't doing it any favors.  Still, check it out. and let me know if it makes it on to your too read list.

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.  Quoted from Goodreads

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Trailer Tuesday: Exquisite Captive

This book doesn't come out for a few months (Oct. 7), but already I'm sort of excited.  Granted, I've never read anything by this author, but I like the idea.  I've read a few geinie/jinn books, and I love seeing what authors do with the idea. Check out the trailer and summary below, and let me know what you think.

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself. 

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.   Quoted from Goodreads

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meme Monday

Monday, August 4, 2014

Anticipating August

Okay, so I know I was a slacker the whole last part of July.  What can I say?  It's summer, and between vacations, staycations, and pure summer laziness, I have been remiss in blogging, which is really sort of a tragedy.  This July was probably the best July for books I've wanted to read in years.  And I read them!  That's the sad part.  I read them, and I didn't even tell you all about their awesomeness.  Now, there area  few that I will undoubtedly review this month because they were so good, but it's still sort of sad.  The thing is, August is looking just as awesome, so these new books might make me forget the old ones. Anyway, we'll see what happens, but this month is looking awesome!  Check out my personal
picks below, and let me know which books you're excited for.

                   Mortal Danger – Ann Aguire
                    Magnolia – Kristi Cook
                    Gates of Thread and Stone – Lori M. Lee
                    Infinite Repeat (novella) – Paula Stokes

            14th: The Sister’s Fate – Jessica Spotswood
                    Isla and the Happily Ever After –Stephanie 
                    Between the Spark and the Burn – April 
                          Genevieve Tucholke
                    Fiendish – Brenna Yovanoff

            19th: Storm Siren – Mary Webster

            26th: Summerfell (novella) – Claire Legrand
                    The Rule of Thoughts – James Dashner
                    A Wonderlandiful World – Shannon Hale
                    Deliverance – C. J. Redwine

Well, that's it.  I hope there's something on there that you've been waiting for. I'm thrilled about all the books coming out this month.  Happy reading!