Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Book Review: The Demon King by Cinda Chima

“History,' Mari muttered, as if she'd overheard his thoughts. 'Why do we need to know what happened before we were born?' 

'So hopefully we get smarter and don't make the same mistakes again.” 

- The Demon King, Cinda Chima

Fantasy is one of my favorite genres but sometimes it can be hard to find a good fantasy book. It's easy to find a book about dragons, and magic and all that but it's hard to find one with a decent plot that is well thought out. The Demon King was one of those well thought out fantasy books. It had all the wizards and royalty and magic you could want with a good plot to go with it.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her...

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

Han is a quirky, funny character who is trying to take care of his family and figure out his place in life. Hes finding it difficult to get away from his past and when he takes the amulet his life just gets harder. . Raisa is fighting her mother, the queen, on everything in her life. She wants to help her kingdom but she struggles gains the expectations of the court.  I love how we get to see Han and Raisa before they meet and see their struggles. Usually the guy character walks in and the focus is on their love growing through the struggles but not with this one. Their was no love. How great is that? They both had sweethearts from childhood but they were minor parts of the book. It just made me feel like crying. 

Cutthroat, subtle, and awesome. That's how I would describe the action in this book. Clans, magical amulets, and a high wizard as adviser to the queen.The book was full of evil plots and betrayal and it was epic. Every time a problem was solved anther one would appear. At some points of the book I got frustrated because the author seemed to be throwing a little to much at the characters. Obviously the author can do whatever she wants but to me it just felt like a little over kill. 

This book is full of side characters that make he book ten times better.  Cinda Chima not only created two amazing, complex main characters but also an entire cast full of little people who really bring the book to life. The friends, the villains, the people standing in the way of our two heroes. I loved them all. It was even hard to not like our villains. And those, of course, are the best kind.

Recommending this book to all the fantasy lovers out there! I'll definitely be continuing the series:)

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Cinda Chima
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Book Review: The Atheist by Alpha Cauwenbergh

"I think therefore I am... I think therefore I am... But I am not, and have never been. I have been thinking for years but still have yet to see evidence for my existence; I guess that is another human saying of theirs that I don't agree with. They are always in my thoughts and in my heart..." 
- The Atheist, Alpha Cauwenbergh.

 When Alpha emailed me and gave me the plot for his book I was intrigued. The idea for this story was unique. The idea of angel like creatures seeing over earth and splitting themselves, and half being punished by being sent to earth was different. Needless to say I accepted his book.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Julian, a mixed race boy from a broken home is 17 and in his last year of sixth form. After losing his mother in sudden and mysterious circumstances, he grew up with hate and resentment in his heart. His loving father, unable to tame him lives a life unfulfilled. Julian has long since lost faith in religious and academic institutions. God, to him, is nothing but a 3 letter word said by the delusional. 

But, he's about to be thrown in the middle of a war between two beings from a realm above the heavens. A war that transcends time and space, whose battle ground has become the very fabric of existence itself. Its warriors, like fallen Angels, live among us -- hidden within a program designed for their rehabilitation. Julian will rediscover beliefs and emotions he had long since discarded, have them brutally tested, witness things no other mortal man has -- and through these trials discover the true meaning of faith.

At the beginning of our book, Julian is a teenage boy with a bad attitude. He's been given a bad lot in life and that's caused him to be a closed off jerk to everyone around him. I loved watching Julian evolve throughout the story. The way he grew to care about the people in his life was really sweet. I loved Julians dad and how he would slip into French. The nun, Aeryn, was as un-nun-ish as you could get. She was fun and sassy and wouldn't let anyone push her around. I enjoyed seeing Aeryn and Julian interact. The way he wanted to protect her from the evil going on around them and the way she treated him as though he wasn't going to break. 

So our villain. When he came into the story I was horrified. He's despicable in every way. And he wasn't one of those evil characters you secretly loved. He was terrifying. Twisted and psychotic. Every time the story went to his point of view it gave me the creeps. 

I said earlier that the idea for this book was unique. It was in many ways not what I was expecting. I felt that the whole "angel" thing was a little confusing. As was the faith thing. In the end there wasn't a god (or is there and we just have to have faith...?) there were just these beings created from one split being living in another dimension above earth. If you just think in your mind that they're angels it makes the whole thing a little less confusing. I feel like the story could have focused a little less on Julians lack of faith in a god and more on his faith in humanity. 

Depending on your book taste I think this book would be enjoyable. If you don't mind the slow start and the slightly confusing angel thing then its definitely enjoyable. The characters are well developed and the world Alpha has created is interesting. Definitely give it a try. You can't go wrong with "sort of" fallen angels and a lone figure being earths only hope. 

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Alpha Cauwenbergh
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

“She cried for the girl who had never belonged. A girl who tried so hard, harder than anyone else, and still never had anything to show for it.” 
- Fairest, Marissa Meyer

When I got this book I was expecting to see tragic things. Because most time, in most stories, that is how the villian is created. Fairest did not disappoint. But it wasn't the tragic I was expecting. I was expecting to feel sorry for Levana and I really tried. But seeing into her mind, what motivated her to do the things she did, killed any sympathy I felt for her. Marissa Meyer really surprised me with this one. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Seeing Lunar was really interesting. It was actually pretty similar to earth. Except for the fact that everyone uses a glamour and some can manipulate the feelings of others. I guess if I were born and raised there I would be like everyone else and that's how Levana is. She portrays herself as different but shes just the same as every, other cruel person. The "good" characters in this book are few and far between and they seem to be buried in the Lunar ways.

The thing with books like this is we've already seen the future Levana, so we know that she turns out to be a terrible person. It was truly interesting to see her as a young girl struggling with her identity though. Insecure and a joke with the other people of court. You can see how she got to the place shes at in the first three books  of the series. But I really don't think she can blame it on her family. Some things you could blame on them but the way Levana thinks and the little dreams, and ideas she has are just awful. And she doesn't even seem to think that. She thinks she has a right to do everything shes doing. For herself and Luna. And that makes it ten times creepier.

So you're reading all this and you're wondering why you should read it. You don't need it to read the last book so why bother with something so dark, right? Wrong. This book is dark, and chilling but it's also beautiful. Marissa Meyer blows me away with the way she weaves a story together. You can feel the anger, and distrust of the lunar court. The hatred of the two sisters is always a constant. And the evolution of Levana is shocking. Every chapter she gets a little darker, a little more twisted. And it's sad and terrible and gripping. You want to see her become better. Make the kinder choices but you know she won't.

If you love the series, then read this one. Don't skip over it because you hate Levana. You'll regret it.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Published: 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

“She was a dangerous, dangerous girl. A plague. A Mountain of Adamant who tore the iron from ships, sinking them to their watery graves without a second thought. With a mere smile and a wrinkle of her nose.” 
- The Wrath and the Dawn, Renee Ahdieh

This book was a bit of a surprise. I read it over the course of three weeks and managed to keep it all together. It's so beautifully put together and the descriptions are so vivid. At times the names were hard to keep up with but that didn't keep me from enjoying the book.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. zad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Shazi is a girl determined to kill. She comes to avenge the death of her best friend and she is determined to go through with it. When we begin the story its a bitter self sacrificing one. Shazi knows she will likely die but she is willingly to sacrifice herself to save future girls and families from the pain of losing a loved one. But of course as most stories go the bad guy wasn't what she was expecting. Khalid is quiet and sorrowful and as the story continues we see that he is just as determined to see the kingdom survive as Shazi is to see him dead. Or is she?

The way this story is worded is probably what I loved most. It is so beautifully pieced together and the descriptions literally make you feel as if you've been there before. The stories Shazi weaves are intriguing and oddly familiar. The tension every sunrise brings is a continual build up that keeps you reading long past your bed time. I loved every minute of this story. Until I got to the end. Then I just cried and looked up how long it would be till the sequel came out.

What threw me sometimes were the names. It was very easy to get the characters mixed up and most times the switch of perspectives was hard to keep up with. It would go to a different character and I would be lost for a few paragraphs (pages...?) before it would become clear who we were dealing with. I also got really lost at the ending. I had to reread it a few times to make sense of it all. All of this didn't keep me from loving the story though. It was just a bit faster paced then I would have liked it to be.

All in all the story was great. Shazi was spunky and Khalid was stubborn. The side characters (namely Jalal and Despina:) were awesome. The world was creative and filled with magic and mystery. If you love a good retelling then I would definitely recommend this.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling
Published: May 12, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Book Review: Unborn by Daniel Gage

"He could see everything in his mind's eye. Every potential path an action could take long before it began, where every flicker of fire could go, and where it would be extinguished. Even color seemed to fade as Zeke's arm traveled through the air, small flames flickering from his fist."
- Unborn, Daniel Gage

When Rachel and Vanquish books offered to send me a copy of this book in exchange for a review I was intrigued. The idea for the book is very unique and I knew immediately I wanted to read it. It didn't disappoint. The world of dealers and unborns is packed full of adventure and just the right amount of suspense.

Goodreads Synopsis:

"It's nothing personal. You're just part of the transaction." 

Cameron Briggs always wondered what the strange birthmark on his shoulder meant. For his entire life, it seemed he was never meant to be anything special, that is, until the day it happened. Something dormant inside of him awoke. 

In the near future, birthright theft is on the rise, a vast network of dealers offering desperate buyers the chance to steal a more desirable next life. Their power and influence is absolute, with little standing in their way. However, unexpected anomalies in the process endow unique abilities to their victims who, once identified, are offered one chance - to save our world or destroy it, one Unborn child at a time. 

With the truth shrouded in conspiracy, Emma Jennings, a troubled but strong-minded young agent with a defiant reputation, is determined to prove these crimes exist. But in order to accomplish her goal, she'll need to find the one victim who can turn the tide of her war. 

Our main female character is the  strong,  independent woman, Emma Jennings.  Shes one of the head agents at an agency researching the second life dealers. I loved how we got to see more of Emma's life as the book moved on. Emma had a tough time growing up ad her focus is on her work. Shes strong and can take a hit. Shes also willing to protect the innocent unborns and take on foes much bigger than herself. Seeing her friendship with Cameron grow throughout the story was really sweet. I loved how Cameron and her were so uncomplicated and knew exactly how to deal with each other.

Now the dealers are just despicable. When I finally figured out how the whole second life thing worked I was disgusted. And I think that's what the author was wanting. Dealer X especially got on my nerves. Hes the all powerful leader and the way he talks and acts just gets under my skin. He was just so untouched by Emma and everything she threw at him. I have a lot of questions about him that need answered please. 

This book was so packed with action. I've read so many books with fight scenes but Daniel Gage takes the cake (is that how that expression goes...?). I found myself holding me breath during fight scenes. They were just so well written and I loved it! And all the unique abilities were fun. It added some really neat surprises to the book. 

The way Daniel Gage wrote the book was really interesting. He mainly wrote from Emma and Cameron's point of view but we also got to see from a lot of other characters. It definitely added a unique feel to the book Most times when an author does this you get confused about who the character is but the changes are all very distinct. It helped with a lot of questions I had but it created a whole new set of them. I really need book two...

I suggest this book to anyone who loves action and/or suspense. This book definitely kept me on my toes with all the crazy twists. 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Daniel Gage
Genre: Action/Thriller
Published: August 15, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

“By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.” 
- The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells

I'm not much of a science fiction reader and I probably wouldn't have ever picked this up if it weren't for my book club. Its one of the first books about alien invasion and it's so interesting. You know that this man wasn't influenced by other books or movies this all just came right out of his head. It's actually a little terrifying to think about it.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Man had not yet learned to fly when H.G. Wells conceived this story of a Martian attack on England. Giant cylinders crash to Earth, disgorging huge, unearthly creatures armed with heat-rays and fighting machines. Amid the boundless destruction they cause, it looks as if the end of the world has come.

The story follows a man who is at the scene of the first martian landing. We see the wonder, the terror, and the utter defeat he feels. The journey as he treks across England looking for safety and finding none. The ending is crazy and mind boggling but I think H. G. Wells went about the whole book brilliantly.

The man we follow is determined to live. And from the very first scene you can tell that hes going to fight before he just rolls over and accepts that life as he knows it is over. As he journeys he starts to see that humanity takes a lot for granted. We are the rulers of the earth and everything bows to our will. But when the martians come he see that we are like ants to the martians.

At the time this was written there were no planes and you have to wonder just how different it would be if aliens invaded earth now. We have a lot more fire power and I'd like to think we wouldn't be thrown into chaos and be picked off so easily.

Towards the end of the book we run into a character who has a whole system worked out to build tunnels under England and only allow the strong in. The whole save humanity by hiding and coming out to fight stronger thing. And I had to think how many dystopian books have I read where there's a community in hiding waiting to come out and fight? Really I think H. G. Wells had a time machine.

It struck me while reading that this book was more about the way humans act than the martians invading earth. When he describes the scenes where people are thrown into chaos it was horrifying. He put it in such a graphic way and when he described how the people were treating each other it was disgusting. But I've heard so many real life stories about how people act when they're scared and their only concern is for themselves it was believable.

But the main characters give you hope for humanity and that's something I loved about the book. You could see that even though there was no way that the one man could defeat a martian he was still going to try. You could count on it.

If you want a book that is going to make you think then I recommend this one. H. G. Wells was way beyond his time period and that fact just gives you more to digest as you read.

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: H. G. Wells
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: 1898

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Top Five Wednesday: Top Five Hunger Games Moments

Oh hey look I'm not dead. So I've been thinking and I've come up with some stuff for my blog and it might be an odd couple weeks but I'm determined to get this blog going.

Starting with a Top Five Wednesday! And it's Hunger Games themed this week which is great since I'm hosting a read-along over at my Instagram. Top Five Wednesday is hosted by Lainey and you can check out the future themes here. Check out my favorite moments from the books and movies bellow!

  • The Meadow Song

One of my favorite parts in The Hunger Games is when Katniss sings the meadow song to Rue. Its very sad and heartbreaking but I feel like we get really personal with Katniss. I cried so much when I saw it in the theater. Jennifer Lawrence played it perfectly. 

Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes
And when again they open the sun will rise.

Her it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daises guard you from every harm
Here you dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you."

  • The Cave Scenes (Do I love Peeta or not)

I loved all the cave scene moments/scenes. It was frustrating though since all of us knew that Peeta was being honest and Katniss didn't know. My favorite moment though was when they talked about the first day of school.

"Peeta, you said at the interview you'd had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?

Oh, lets see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and you hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up.

You father? Why?

He said,'See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.'

What? Your making that up!

No, true story. And I said,'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said,'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen."

Catching Fire is my favorite book form the trilogy. I could pick five moments that I love just from it but I wanted to share moments from all  three.

  • Every Finnick Scene There Ever Was

Finnick. Everybody loves him and I could have killed Suzanne Collins after I read Mockingjay. Seriously. But I loved how Katniss didn't fall for him like every other girl and they were just friends. In Catching Fire she talks/thinks about his costume and how it does't cover much, his obsession with bread and her genuine surprise when she finds out he loves someone like Annie and hes not as shallow as she though. My favorite moment though is when they get the ointment.

"'Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in you life you haven't looked pretty?,' I say

'It must be. The sensations completely new. How have you managed it all these years?' he asks.

'Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it,' I say.

'Not if I keep looking a you,' he says." 

  • When Katniss Realizes She Can't Live Without the Boy With the Bread

The beach scene. When Katniss realizes that if Peeta was gone she wouldn't be able to get through it. He means so much more to her then she thought. And this scene was just full of feels.

"'No one really needs me,' he says, and there no self-pity in his voice. Its true his family doesn't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize that only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me. 

'I do,'I say. 'I need you.' He looks upset, takes a deep breathe as if to begin a long argument, and that's no good, no good at all, because he'll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I'll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss."

  • Katniss Fighting to Get Peeta Back

And then you have Mockingjay. Every time I read this book I cry and it's just so hard to get through. So much happens and it's upsetting but there where still moment that I  loved. Like when Peeta asks Katniss if her favorite color is green and Katniss responds. 

"A few minutes before four, Peeta turns to me again. 'You favorite color... it's green?'

'That's right.' Then I think of something to add. 'And yours is orange.'

'Orange?' He seems unconvinced.  

'Not bright orange. But soft. Like the sunset,' I say. 'At least, that's what you told me once.' 

'Oh.' He closes his eyes briefly, maybe trying to conjure up that sunset, then nods his head.'Thank you.'

But more words tumble out. "You're a painter. You're a baker. You like to sleep with the windows open. You never take sugar in you tea. And you always double-knot your shoelaces.'

Then I dive into my tent before I do something stupid like cry."

And there are my five favorite Hunger Games moments. I don't know how I'm going to make it through part two. I'm going to be a sobbing mess. I honestly can't believe it's been four years since I picked up the first book and decided to read it. #cries

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

"Who do you think keeps this country safe so you can sleep at night?”
“I don’t sleep most nights. And to be honest, Your Grace, I don’t feel all that safe.”  

- The Girl in the Steel Corset, Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset isn't my typical read. I picked it up at the library when a friend suggested it and started reading it when I got bored. I got hooked. This book is a steam punk twist on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Set in the the late eighteen hundreds its a creative, unique read that is worth every line.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one... except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch...
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gas lit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on even if it seems no one believes her.

I was really surprised when I enjoyed this book. It didn't sound that promising but the further I got into the book the more I enjoyed it. With fight scenes, balls, the queen of England, and a man determined to take over the world with robots the story is fast paced and full of dark twists that keep you on your toes.

One the things that really made me love the story was the characters. I loved every single one of them. Finley Jane and her struggle with both sides of her. Griffin the orphan Duke who just wants to help others like him. Emily and her quiet way of helping everyone. Sam and his struggle with the robot parts inside of him. Not to mention Jasper, and Jack Dandy.

Kady Cross creates a world that is both dark and hopeful. Her descriptions are so detailed that you feel like you are a part of the story with Finley Jane and the Machinist. The dresses that Finley wears! One of my favorite things about the Selection series by Kira Cass were the dress descriptions and that's true for this story as well. Silks, satin, lace, corsets, gloves, and little gadgets that went with Finley's everyday outfit made the book seem just a little bit more real.

Steam punk is really not my thing but this book was an exception. The robots were cool but I was mainly excited about the whole "steel corset" thing. Finley's darker self can lift heavy objects and take down a grown man but shes still able to be injured and when Emily created the corset for her I was genuinely excited.

The plot and story line were great. It was really a very different book. I've never read anything like it. The whole automatons thing was a bit strange to me and when the master plan of the machinists was revealed all I could think of was The Great Mouse Detective. Seriously it made me laugh but it was a bit more mature and scary then the cartoon I promise.

This book was amazing and I definitely plan on reading the rest of the series.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Kady Cross
Genre: Science Fiction/Steampunk
Published: May 24, 2011

Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review: The Faerie's Revenge by Rachel Morgan

"I blink at him.  A second later, a manticore drops out of the air and lands on the table. Shrieks and gasps fill the air as the manticore scrambles to its clawed lions feet and opens its mouth to emit an inhuman roar. Darius jerks out of the way and falls from his chair as as the manticor's scorpion stinger flashes forward to strike at him. He throws his hands up to release magic---
And the illusion is gone."
The Faerie's Revenge, Rachel Morgan

{If you have not read the first four books then this review WILL contain spoilers. You can check out my review for the first book here}

I have been wanting to read this series for a very long time. When the chance to receive the first four books and an ARC of the fifth book came up I went for it. Thanks so much  to Rachel Morgan for letting me be a part of the review tour:)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Still reeling from a shocking revelation, guardian trainee Calla Larkenwood finds the threads of her world unraveling further when she’s accused of a horrifying crime she didn’t commit: A deadly magical disease has entered the Guild, threatening to wipe out every guardian—and someone is intent on framing Calla for it. With the Guild Council focusing their investigation on her instead of searching for the real criminal, Calla watches her dream of becoming a guardian rapidly slipping away. Time is running out, and as the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, begin to blur, whom can she turn to for help?

After the shocking ending to book four I immediately grabbed my copy of the fifth book and devoured it. It was everything I hoped it would be and now I'm sadly waiting for the sixth book.

With fight scenes, suspense, romance, a betrayal, and a dangerous disease spreading through the guild this book is fast paced and will keep you on your toes till the very end.  Every page is full of a new twist. And that ending? Yeah can we have the next book now, please?

So in the fourth book Chase turned out to be Nate, the ex-Lord Draven. Was it just me or did nobody else see this coming?  I was so surprised. I loved seeing how his character had developed. He went from goofy, lovable Nate, to the power consumed Lord Draven, to the mature, guilt filled Chase. He is such a deep character and seeing exactly what happened to him after book three was interesting. And sad. Really, really sad.  Seriously chapter sixteen *tears*.

Even though Callas dream is falling apart shes still determined to catch the bad guys and stop them from harming anyone. I love Callas character. Shes so determined to see the world as a good place, and she fights to make it one. Her love for her family and the way she cares about her friends only makes her more kick butt. Seriously I need a t-shirt that says "Team Calla".

I love how Calla even after finding out his big secret, thinks that there is something missing to Chase's story. If he was so evil and still plotting to take over the world what has he been doing for the last ten years? Their relationship is so adorable *shipping them so hard*

This is definitely my favorite book in the series. If you have read the other books then you definitely need to drop everything and pick up this one. 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Rachel Morgan
Genre: Fantasy
Published: October 27, 2015

Book Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

“Miss Howard: I like a good detective story myself. Lots of nonsense written, though. Criminal discovered in last Chapter. Everyone dumbfounded. Real crime - you'd know at once.” 
The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie 

I didn't enjoy this Agatha Christie mystery as much as And Then There Were None and The Murder on the Orient Express, but it was still an incredibly well written and witty book. 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Poirot, a Belgian refugee of the Great War, is settling in England near the home of Emily Inglethorp, who helped him to his new life. His friend Hastings arrives as a guest at her home. When the woman is killed, Poirot uses his detective skills to solve the mystery.

Agatha Christie mysteries always give me an unsettled feeling. They're amazing but some of them are so dark and witty they give me chills. I would make a terrible murderer. I wouldn't think of half the things the bad guys in her books do. I also wouldn't make a good detective. I'm rather day dreamy and never think quite clearly. 

We get to see a little bit of Ms. Inglethorp before her fit and I thought she was a bit of an annoying character. Honestly I wouldn't have blamed a couple of people in the house for trying to murder her. But of course the real reason she was so quickly gotten rid of was her fortune. No one can resist a large sum of money.

Like in most of her books, Agatha Christie keeps us guessing until the last page. There were a few times I thought I had it but then another clue would come up or that particular character would go and do something the exact opposite of what a murderer would do. 

I wasn't too surprised at the ending and that's why I think I didn't enjoy it a much as her other books that I've read. I think the whole thing where Hastings got aggravated at Poirot got to me to. I mean honestly Hastings if you don't get it shut up and listen like the rest of us.

All in all I really enjoyed the book. It's hard not to. If you like Agatha Christie then you'll enjoy it, but if you're new to her I suggest starting with And Then There Were None.

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Agatha Christie 
Genre: Mystery
Published: 1920

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review: A Faeries Secret by Rachel Morgan

“I know the evil that exists. I know the terrible things people do to each other. I’ve lived it. I’ve survived it. But just because I’ve seen the palette of dark colors doesn’t mean I have to paint the rest of my world that way. I can choose the bright colors instead. I can see them, paint them, draw them, surround myself with them like a loud, glorious song drowning out all the darkness in the world.” 
- A Faeries Secret, Rachel Morgan

{If you haven't read the first three books then this review will contain spoilers. Check out my review for the third book here}

The fourth book in the series is one of my favorites. Absolutely loved it. I thought I wasn't going to enjoy it since Violet and Ryn weren't the main characters but I think I might actually enjoy Calla more.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Calla Larkenwood wants nothing more than to be a guardian, but her overprotective mother has never allowed it. When circumstances change and Calla finally gets to join a Guild, she discovers guardian trainee life isn’t all she hoped it would be. Her classmates are distant, her mentor hates her, and keeping her Griffin Ability a secret is harder than she thought. Then an initiation game goes wrong, landing Calla with a magical ability she can’t control. She needs help—and the only way she can get it is by bargaining with the guy who just discovered her biggest secret. 

Join beloved characters and new heroes as the bestselling Creepy Hollow series continues.

Diving back into the Fae world with a different set of main characters was a little confusing at first but after a couple of pages I was hooked. Actually I came to enjoy Calla more then I ever enjoyed Violet. I think maybe that was because Calla wasn't quite so good as Violet. Everything seemed to work out for Violet but Calla seemed to have a bit more trouble with her life and that made her a more interesting character.

With that said I did fangirl when Ryn and Violet showed back up. Seriously if you have read the first three books and liked them (*cough, cough* LOVED THEM) then you must read this book. Ten years later and where are Ryn and Violet at this point in their lives? Just go read it please and then we can fangirl together.

Calla is a fighter. She wants nothing more than to go to the Guild and train to be a guardian. She secretly trains for years, and then once her parents agree she takes four years of training and testing in a few weeks. But of course she gets a nasty trainer and mean students who give her an impossible initiation. And when that goes wrong she meets Chase. 

I loved Ryn in the fist three books (if you read my reviews for the first three then you know this) but Chase came out on top.  Hes secretive but at the same time he genuinely cares for Calla. When she gets into trouble hes there to help her get through it.And that ending?! Just wow okay? Wow.

I loved how Rachel brought in some of the old characters and gave them a twist. Of course Calla was there for the first book, but shes all grown up and doesn't need her overprotective older brother there to tell her what to do thank you very much. 

The story is a fresh look into the Fae world and I loved every second of it. If you enjoyed the first three then you need to go get your copy now. 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Rachel Morgan
Genre: Fantasy
Published: June 16, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Book Review: The Faerie War by Rachel Morgan

"I have every right to make you suffer like you made me suffer. All of this--everything--is your fault. You started it. You saved my life and brought me into this world when you should have just let me die. Instead, the faerie world was revealed to me and all the power hidden within me was unlocked. And I didn't know what to do with it. I was lost and afraid and you rejected me. All I wanted was your forgiveness, Vi, but you couldn't give me that. I apologized for something I tried my best to stop, and you threw it back in my face."
- The Faerie War, Rachel Morgan

{If you haven't read the first and second book in the series then this post will contain spoilers. Check out my review for the first book here and the second book here}

I feel like Rachel Morgan took my heart, ripped it out, did a little evil dance on top of it, and then tried to stitch it back in, but did it wrong. Yep. Now read this review and and then go and grab a copy of the book.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Violet Fairdale is in big trouble. Her home is gone, her beloved forest lies in ruins, the guy she gave her heart to has deserted her—and she doesn’t remember any of it. The powerful Lord Draven is taking over, brainwashing guardians into fighting for him. No one is safe from the evil spreading throughout the fae world.

As alliances are forged between the remaining free fae, Vi struggles to reclaim her identity and figure out where she belongs in this new world. When someone from her past shows up, life gets even more complicated. He brings with him a long-forgotten weapon and an ancient prophecy that places Vi at the center of the fight against Draven. With the future of the fae world at stake, can Vi carry out the prophecy’s instructions before it’s too late?

I could have killed Violet. Why do this to us?! Its infuriating that she has no idea who she is or what exactly happened to her and the world around her. The only good thing about this was seeing her fall in love with Ryn all over again.

I liked how we got to see what Ryn was up to. The reason why he left Creepy Hollow and didn't tell Violet. His worry for Violet when he learns what happened and then his heartbreak when he realizes that she has no idea who he is. I loved when he would tell her about their past. He was honest about everything that had happened between them. He never pushed her to remember and he was always there to help her when she was lost. It was nice seeing a more vulnerable Violet.

I loved all the new characters that came into the story. Em, Tilly, and Jamon being my favorites. Tilly honestly just made me laugh. Like oh you want me to leave my family and fight with you? Okay let me go grab my stuff.

The ending was bittersweet. It all happened really fast. There was a ton of build up and then it was just over. I wish we could have left off on a happier note but I can see why it ended the way it did. 

This book is amazingly written. Seeing everything come together from the last two books was great. Rachel Morgan weaves such a good story and it makes me want to cry. 

Thanks for reading my review!

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Rachel Morgan
Genre: Fantasy
Published: October 2013

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

"Bod shrugged. "So?" he said. "It's only death. I mean, all my best friends are dead."
"Yes." Silas hesitated. "They are. And they are, for the most part, done with the world. You are not. You're alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you're dead, it's gone. Over. You've made what you've made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is gone."
- The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman.

The Graveyard Book is probably one of my favorite books by Neil Gaiman. It's not the usual defeat the creeper and live happily ever after. Its about giving a boy the chance to live. And fighting bad guys and dream walking and all that stuff.

After Nobody Owens entire family is murdered hes granted the freedom of the graveyard. Two ghosts, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, open up their grave to him and treat him as their son. Silas, his not quite living but not quite dead guardian watches over him and provides him with whatever he needs to stay alive.  But besides that Bod is free to do whatever he wishes.  

Meaning he goes through the gateway to the abandoned city of the ghouls, finds the ancient Indigo man, makes friends with a normal human girl, searches for a headstone for the grave of a cranky witch, and tries going to a normal school. 

But then his past reappears. The man called Jack is back in town, and hes not happy that Bod escaped him the first time. 

With the help of Scarlett, Nobody searches to try and find out what happened to his family all those years ago. But Jack is on to him and finding out might just be the last thing Bod does. 

The book starts with a family murdered and the title gives you the idea of death. But I got the feeling while reading it that this book was all about living. 

As Bod gets older he starts to feel out of place. With the freedom of the graveyard hes can do the little things like, dream walk but hes to alive to be a complete part of the dead's world. When he finally gets Silas to let him go to a normal school hes to close to the dead to fully become a part of their world. He feels out of place and its sad to watch him struggle with this more and more as the book goes on.

The world Neil Gaiman creates is stunning. I read through this book slowly and was amazed at the details put into it. We stay in the graveyard for the most part but Gaiman manages to create an entire world for Bod to explore and mess up.

Silas was probably my favorite character. He cared for Bod in a way his ghostly parents couldn't. He made sure that Bod was prepared for whatever might happen inside or outside the graveyard. He was always there for Bod and he made sure that Bod understood the difference between having a heart that beats and one that doesn't.

This book is a must read for any book lover.

Thanks for reading!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Published: June, 24, 2008
Art: Dave McKean

Book Review: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

“Senseless, you say? Death is senseless yet makes way for the living. Life, too, is senseless unless you know who you are, what you want, and which way the wind blows.”  
Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game 

The Westing Game started out really slow for me but as the book went on and continued to build I started to be more intrigued. The way it ended was probably what did it for me. It was honestly one of the sweetest endings to a murder mystery I have ever read.

Sixteen people moving into Sunset Towers. The death of a wealthy gentleman. A will claiming he was murdered. Eight teams with no obvious connection to the man. And a race to win the inheritance. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger - and a possible murderer - to inherit his vast fortune, one thing's for sure: Sam Westing may be dead... but that won't stop him from playing one last game!

I picked up this book right after finishing an Agatha Christie novel. Now this mystery is nothing like an Agatha Christie mystery. Its pieced together more like a puzzle. There aren't fresh coffee stains on the floor, and footprints with a distinct shape to them. Its more of a game of wits. No ones hunting anybody. They know there's a murderer running around but they only have to piece together the puzzle pieces to figure out just what happened to Samuel W. Westing.

One of the best parts of the book was figuring out what all of the characters connections were to Mr. Westing. Everyone was puzzled as to why he wanted complete strangers to inherit his vast fortune. As the book progresses there are some obvious reasons as to why certain people were chosen. 

So the actual murder. Honestly I was clueless the whole time. There were a couple times where I leaned very heavily towards one character or another but they always ended up having some reason why they couldn't be the one. When I finally figured it out in the last couple chapters I just sat there and stared at the wall. Honestly you'll have to read it to understand.

Lets talk about my favorite character. Turtle.

Little thirteen year old Turtle playing the stock market and kicking her way through the book. Her mother really got on my nerves, and I felt like her dad could have used a little more character but I loved her sister. They didn't always get along in the book but they were always looking out for each other. Turtles best friend is, Sandy the doorman. Her worst enemy is Theo Theodorakis. The boy who pulled her braid (he was promptly kicked), and calls her a child. Shes so funny and refreshing from all the other adult characters. 

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves mysterious. Thanks for reading!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Ellen Raskin
Genre: Children's Literature, Mystery
Published: 1978

Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Review: The Faerie Prince by Rachel Morgan

“I love the fact that I've know you all my life. It just feels right when you're beside me. It feels like I've been lost in the desert for years, and ... I've finally come home.”  
- The Faerie Prince, Rachel Morgan

{If you have not read the first book, The Faerie Guardian then this post will contain spoilers. Check out my review for the first book here}

I finished the first book a little sad. I finished the second book with a giant hole where my heart should have been. Rachel Morgan completely destroyed me. But in a good way. 

Burying her broken heart deep inside of her, Violet puts here complete focus on graduation. Her lifelong goal has been to graduate at the top of her class, and bringing Nate into the Fae realm has put her behind. 

When she receives her final assignment shes positive she'll finish with top marks. Until she finds out who her assignment partner is. Her ex-friend turned enemy now ex-enemy sort of friend, Ryn. 

Ryn's a great fighter and all but their "friend" status is still new and awkward. Anything could set off the need to kill each other again. But Violets determined to finish as the head of her class and heads off with Ryn to make her dream come true.

 But with a crazy Unseelie Prince still on the lose, collecting talented faeries, and hunting Violet things quickly take a turn for the worst. Throw in a couple magical storms, a faerie queen, a broken heart on the mend, and a murder within the Guild and Violets set for the biggest fight yet. 

I think its safe to say that this book is crazy.  Rachel Morgan takes us on a crazy ride and makes us question everything we learned in the first book. Everything starts to connect and we begin to see the big picture but with some of the pieces missing its so frustrating! All I wanted was for Violet to realize were her heart belongs and for Nate to go find a little card board box to live in.  But no! We have to save the world first. Stupid heroes. 

Creepy Hollow is definitely one of my favorite fictional worlds. One of my favorite parts was the Unseelie court.  Rachel Morgan puts everything into such detail you feel like you've been there before. Oh and mermaids? Yes please. 

If you enjoyed the first book then you'll probably love this one. I definitely liked it more then the first one. And no it didn't have anything to do with the change in Ryn and Violets relationship:)

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Rachel Morgan
Genre: Fantasy
Published: May 30, 2013