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

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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

Friday, October 23, 2015

Book Review: The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

“Creepy Hollow?” He snorts. “Like Sleepy Hollow?”
“No, like Creepy Hollow. It has nothing to do with sleeping.” 
- The Faerie Guardian, Rachel Morgan

So after reading all five books in this series in a little over a week I'm in shock.  Seriously though what the heck just happened.  This series is so different from everything I've read recently and it. Was. Amazing.

Violet is one of the best guardian faeries in training and with graduation coming up shes completely focused and in the zone.  That is until one of her assignments decides to follow her back to the Fae realm.

When Ryn, Violets rival sees her with Nate he immediately tells the Guild.  Facing expulsion, Violet starts on a journey across the Fae realm to return Nate to his human home.  Easy enough for the Guilds top student.  That is until they're ambushed by evil Faeries, encounter a strange metal that can stop magic, and Nate's estranged mother shows up.

With first love in the air and an evil faerie hunting her Violet starts searching for answers.  Special powers, betrayal, and an old friendship gone wrong are only a part of the ride.  Whats happening in Creepy Hollow and can Violet stop it before everything she loves disappears?

As a little girl I had a fascination with all things magical and as a teen that's turned into a love for fantasy.  This book didn't leave my craving for magic unfilled.  Rachel Morgan takes the old idea of Faeries and turns it into a new and unique world full of twists and turns that leave you begging for more.

Rachel Morgan has some of the best characters I've read about. She brings them to life and uses thm to give you the most excruciating feelings.

 Violets a kick butt heroine with a closed off attitude.  Her goal in life is to graduate at the top of her class just like her mom did. Shes had a rough life and it shows in her character. I love how she hates the color purple but everyone gives her purple gifts. The way she opens up to Nate and shows her true self is so sweet.

Nate starts out as one of the most lovable characters out there.  He has no idea that there are fairies and his lack of understanding just makes his character so much more funny. The way he refers to Violet as "Lara Croft" gives you an idea of how he sees her. His wonder at the Fae world is adorable.

Violet's rival Ryn has some issues and he quickly gets under your skin.  His character development throughout the book is amazing.  Hes a jerk and has lot of bad history with Violet, but hes ready to put that aside for family. I love how we get to see what happened between Violet and him as the book progresses.

I highly recommend this book to all the fantasy lovers out there.  I suggest that you get all the books and binge read them with a box of tissues and a cup of tea.

Hope you enjoyed this review.  Thanks for reading!


My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Rachel Morgan
Genre: Fantasy
Published: October 27,2012

Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

"Be wise.
Be brave.
Be tricky."
- Coraline, Neil Gaiman

I read Coraline thinking it would be a funny, light read.  It wasn't.  Actually I'm surprised it was even in the children's section. I'm pretty sure if I had read this when I was ten I would have never been able to open up doors again.

The story starts off with a small girl moving into a dreary, grey house that has been separated into four different flats.  A crazy old man training mice lives above, two old actresses live bellow, and another is empty.

Coraline's parents are usually working and leave her alone for the most part.  Bored and angry with them she begins to explore the woods around the house. A sassy black cat appears a few times but besides that the place is a vast empty grey.

So Coraline begins to explore the house.

She decides that the man upstairs is quite crazy.  Miss. Spink and Miss. Forcible from bellow tell interesting stories but they also seem to be cracked as they insist that she is in danger and give her rock as protection.

Her own house is fairly quiet until she can't get a door open.  When she ask her mom about it they open the door and theres a solid brick wall behind it. Coralines parents tell her that it used to lead into the empty flat and its been bricked for privacy but Coraline feels like something strange is going on.

After her parents are gone Coraline grabs the keys and unlocks the door.  Instead of a solid wall of bricks Coraline finds a long, dark passage.  Something scurries through the blackness and Coraline starts to walk down into the dark.  A light ahead appears and she finds herself back in the kitchen, her mother at the stove.  But when her mom turns her eyes are two large black buttons.

Neil Gaimans books are full of all things dark and sinister. Coraline isn't an exception. The idea that "another" mother with buttons for eyes in the next flat over wants you is probably one of the scariest things ever.

Coraline has a very big heart. That was one of the things I loved about the book. Shes angry at her parents in the beginning but as it progresses she starts to realize just how much she loves them and fights to get them back.

Same with the ghosts of the past children who are in the mirror. Coraline feels so sorry for them and tries to save them from the "other" mother.

And then theres the sarcastic black cat that keeps showing up. My heart was so happy when Coraline made sure that the cat made it home.

I recommend this book to anyone whose a fan of classic horror stories.  The spooky "the monster under the bed" theme is perfect for October.

 Thanks for reading!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
 Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Published: January 2002
Art: Dave McKean