A Note:

6/2/13

I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles.

https://twitter.com/Book_Faery

And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3322973-tori-book-faery

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)

xoxo
Tori

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tori's Review: Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire


Paperback
- 400 pages
Price: $7.99
ISBN 13: 978-0756406660
Released: March 1, 2011

Seanan's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: Author 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Series: October Daye 
1. Rosemary and Rue (book review)
2. A Local Habitation (book review)
3. An Artificial Night (book review)
4. Late Eclipses





With Blind Michael and his Hunt safely behind her, October "Toby" Daye is doing her best to settle back into a normal routine—or as normal of a routine as she can manage, with her personal Fetch now paying half the rent. Still, things seem to be mostly under control...until the events of a single night send everything reeling. Now, with the Queen of the Mists watching her back and the Lady of the Tea Gardens deathly ill, Toby has no choice but to get involved, no matter how much she wants to avoid it.
 
The trials ahead will be some of the worst faced by Toby and her strange band of allies, and not even Tybalt will be able to escape totally unscathed. What's worse, the Luidaeg is unavailable to help them. This time, they're on their own. And people keep making Toby wear dresses, which is just adding insult to dangerous injury...

My Rating:

My Opinion:
LATE ECLIPSES, book four in the October Daye series, delivers a tightly woven plot which manages to skewer our perception of what Toby is in the process. If one is interested in learning more about Toby's world, this novel is the novel to read. If, however, the reader is searching for more of a romance, he or she will be severely disappointed with this installment.

I always felt the world-building was Seanan's strong point when it came to the Fae world. She has something refreshing to incorporate into each additional book, and like I said before, LATE ECLIPSES tops all its predecessors. Not only are new races and characters introduced, but we also learn more about some of the current characters and their lifestyles.

Unlike past books, LATE ECLIPSES has the perfect balance of action and investigating, and thus, was a book I was unable to put down. A word of warning: it might take a few chapters to finally get invested within this story, but once Toby reaches the Queen's court, the story picked up and continued on strong.

I still don't entirely understand May's purpose in this series, but that doesn't bother me as much this time around because the plot line followed Toby and Amandine's past. I had a few questions from past books answered, and now I have a whole new set to ponder over as I wait for the fifth book in this series.

The beginning was actually one of my two complaints. For some reason, and this might be because I'm weird, I felt the characters were off. Tybalt wasn't the cranky King of Cats I grew to love, May annoyed me because of how chipper she was, and Toby seemed off because she was so... normal. I'm not entirely sure what that says about me if I get freaked out about the heroine acting normal and happy. Either way, I'd love to hear if others agree or disagree with my feelings on the start.

The romance--or lack thereof--was my second complaint. I appreciated every moment Toby and Tybalt shared, and wished there were more for me to squeal over. Instead, when Tybalt stepped aside, I was left feeling frustrated because of Connor's presence.

While Tybalt is typically in control, Connor is like the needy, clingy boy (which is the reason why I do not like him as a love interest for Toby--she needs someone in control and who can keep her levelheaded, like in that one scene...). Every time he went to hold Toby's hand, I wanted to shake Toby and remind her of Tybalt, and then at one point, I literally groaned out loud because of what happened. I won't say what, but I am not happy about those chain of events and how that may affect later books in the series.

I wish, instead of focusing on making Tybalt and Connor rivals for Toby's attention/affections--which seems to be what Toby would comment and focus on--we could see more focus on Toby and Tybalt's relationship. At the very least, I wish we were granted more of a reaction on Toby's part. She would register what what would happen, but that was the extent of her thoughts on the matter.

Perhaps this is another instance of me being weird, because the whole idea of the married seal hitting on our heroine freaks me out. Besides, why do I want to read about Connor and Toby getting all cuddly when we've got the sexy King of Cats vying for Toby's affections? Again, that's my personal opinion, and I'm sure there are some readers out there who will feel the complete opposite.

LATE ECLIPSES wasn't my favorite book out of the series character-wise, but I did enjoy it more so than earlier books when it came to learning about Toby's past and the plot. Despite my complaints about the romance aspect--which really was a minor one when it comes to this story, because the plot line is so engaging--I still suggest readers pick up the latest installment to the October Daye series as soon as they possibly can.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tori's Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes


Paperback
- 336 pages
Price: $9.99
ISBN 13: 978-0451232687 
Released: March 1, 2011 

Gwen's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: ARC Tour 
Genre: Young Adult 










Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I must say that, aside from a few issues, I actually did enjoy FALLING UNDER. It is unfortunate to say that while this book was enjoyable overall, I do not think its heroine will leave any last impressions on me. But before I critique the not-so-good, let me list what I enjoyed about the story.

First of all, FALLING UNDER is wonderfully devoid of any love triangles. Yes, I'm sure a lot of people can probably imagine my relief reading a story that doesn't have me wanting to strangle a girl for leading two guys on. This point alone earns one star in my book, since that means FU is unique in comparison to its fellow YA debuts. VERY unique at the moment.

Second, I absolutely LOVED the secondary characters in this book! It took me a while to warm up to them, probably due to a slow start, but once I did, I was enamored. I thought that the interactions were cute and somewhat realistic. Well, up until a certain part in the story, at least. I think what I loved most about the characters was the bond between all three girls. It was touching and something one does not necessarily witness in novels as often as I would like. I wish every single person had a support group like Theia had.

Finally, I thought that Gwen did a wonderful job at making the chemistry between Theia and Haden believable. There were some moments where I was tempted to fan myself because there was so much sexual tension. I think I blushed at one point in particular. And the nice part about it? FALLING UNDER wasn't overwhelmed by all the sexy-ness like some of Penguin's other debuts have been. I thought this one was tastefully done.

However, despite the tension, I wasn't sold so much on the love between the two characters. I definitely think they were in lust with each other initially, but when Theia announces that she thinks she's in love with Haden? I thought it was rushed and announced way too soon. It took some of the magic away for me. And of course, like most heroines, she becomes a hormonal doofus after such a proclamation who is easily reduced to tears. That I could have done without.

Theia in general is the "untouchable" heroine placed upon a high pedestal no thanks to her control freak of a Father (Father is always capitalized in this book like he's some sort of god-like figure). Time and time again readers are told that she is level-headed and rational in comparison to her friends. Yet despite how much more "mature" she is, the second a guy walks into the picture, all rationality is abandoned as she falls into lust with the unlikely, douche-y hero who's really just a puppy deep down.

Her voice was another issue. It was so hard for me to relate with her character. She states that all she does, due to her father's influence, is go to school and play the violin. She tries to come off as boring amongst her peers, and because of that, she was boring for me too. I thought that, while all of Theia's friends were developed, Theia and her father were more two-dimensional.

My primary problem with Theia's character is actually an issue I have with a lot of books: the heroine drops everything due to an obsession with the "forbidden" boy. I know girls at any age can get obsessive, but I don't think it's something that should be reinforced in books too. Maybe that's just me, though. I felt the only way Theia came alive in the story was because of Haden. I'm not particularly a fan of a pointless life that suddenly finds meaning because one's "soulmate" saunters into the picture. What happens when they're gone? Go read this book and you'll see exactly what happens. Or go read the second book in the Twilight series.

This cool, collected individual is willing to sacrifice her soul in the name of love. It's a romantic concept, the idea of sacrificing something--not necessarily a person's soul, though--and one that I do love to read in paranormal romances assuming the hero sacrifices something in return. It's not realistic, though. Oh wait, it's a paranormal book. I don't care. I don't think any teenager would willingly obey their father to the extent Theia did in this story unless they were physically/mentally/emotionally abused and/or brainwashed, and I don't think any teenager is going to sacrifice their soul in order to attain their HEA (which, by the way, Theia does not receive in this book). Not in this day and age. Well maybe some might, but I think they'll learn right away a HEA is not something one attains via soul sacrificing procedures.

While I'm discussing Theia's relationship with her father... all I have to say is HOLY CRAP at that one scene where they finally discuss her mother's death. I think I would have preferred if her dad was like any other negligent YA parent. One comment in particular made me actually pity Theia's character and truly made me despise her father. Not sure if that was the author's intention or not.

I digress though. I suppose Gwen wanted to appeal to the hopeless romantic in her readers, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. And I must, despite my commentary, give the author props for empowering our heroine by the end of the book. I think books that empower the female protagonists are few and far in between. I only wish Theia grew more of a backbone earlier on...

I believe that fans of NEVERMORE will enjoy FALLING UNDER. The trippy scenes in NEVERMORE and some of the Under scenes in FALLING UNDER were very similar in nature, though I think FU was more subdued in a way. The secondary characters are fun once the story picks up, and the writing is accessible, both bonuses, but Theia left me disappointed. I believe many will enjoy this book overall, and I recommend that everyone checks this book out--especially if you enjoyed HUSH, HUSH or NEVERMORE.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Binah the Bold review: Unicorn Vengeance (No, Really) by Claire Delacroix


Softcover - 297 pages
Price: $34.80 (NO, REALLY) new, $.01 used
ISBN-10: 037328893X
ISBN-13:
978-0373288939
Released:


Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: By holding a knife to bribing Book Dragon and demanding she loan it to me NOW.
Genre: Olde-Timey Romance Adventure With Added Awful Grammar
Series: The Unicorn Series (NOTE: There are NO UNICORNS in this book.)
1. Unicorn Bride
2. Pearl Beyond Price
3. Unicorn Vengeance
(4. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME)


Drawn Together By Destiny

Genevieve de Pereille's music echoed in the hollows of Wolfram's heart, pulling him into an unfamiliar world where his knightly vows faded to a distant murmur. The secret heir to an ancient legacy, she held him fast with the timeless power of love.

With silver hair and fierce pale eyes, Wolfram stirred something raw yet beautiful deep inside Genevieve's very being. Yet the handsome warrior was responsible for her brother's death, and she swore he would never escape her righteous vengeance!
My Rating: 7 aspirins and a shot of tequila. And maybe a Dove bar because chocolate makes the hurting stop.

My (Loudly-Voiced and Obnoxious) Opinion: Excuse me while I put on my rantypants. This book took me literally weeks to finish (and I hummed Ride of the Valkyries when I got to the end), so I am going to go on a bit. Before I go into my spasms of OH GOD WHY, let me explain the plot. (Thinking.) No, is too long. I sum up.

Wolfram Unimportant-Last-Name (who is extremely German and I actually don't think he even HAS a last name) is an assassin-monk for the Templars. Genevieve De Pereille (whose last name I pronounce either Perry-Ayy or Prell, depending on my mood) is The Virginal Hotness and an orphan and btw also the protector of The Holy Grail - it's a family thing. (Think Da Vinci Code-type Holy Grail, not Pretty Cup-type Holy Grail. Insert obligatory "lol Dan Brown" joke here.) Apparently the other Unicorn books are about the De Prell family as well, which reinforces my determination to never ever ever read another book with Unicorns in the title and nowhere else.

Anyattentionspanway, Wolfy kills Genny's brother because Alzeu (her brother, whose name is pronounced like a sneeze) has been running around claiming that he is the One True King due to aforementioned Holy-Grailness. Genny swears revenge on Wolfy even though he is Liek So Handsome because otherwise there would be no plot. She follows him to Paris, arrives penniless because who needs well-thought-out plans when you're a Mary Sue, realizes she's essentially a hobo and decides to busk.

Wolfy hears Sue playing the lute and immediately swoons (in a totally masculine way) for her. Blah blah blah, turmoil, "oh no, I like him but he's evil!" "Oh no, I like her but I'm a monk!" "I must kill him but I just can't!" "My Master ordered me to kill her, too!" You get the idea. Of course, since this IS a romance novel and not a crime drama, her hoo-ha and his wing-wong do eventually make friends.

There's more plot that gets in the way of their twoo luv, including King Philip dismantling the Templars, a Master of the Temple that could only be more evil by twirling his mustache and cackling incessantly and a band of minstrels who start out by essentially robbing and threatening to rape Sue but end up being the good guys. (It should be noted that most of the Drama!Plot is created by Genny-Sue being exceedingly dumb.)

So they (Wolfy, Sue and the Minstrels) escape Paris after about a hundred pages and travel around for a while. After a hilariously failed attempt to have The Sex (more on that later), Wolfy and Sue get it ON. Which is the only scene in the book I enjoyed, really. Then, because DRAMA = PLOT, Wolfy is like OMG I CAN'T LOVE YOU BECAUSE I HAVE MOMMY ISSUES, which is what every girl wants to hear in the morning-after pillowtalk, let me tell you. He distances himself from her, guards her but won't have The Sex again (even though she is fully Hot For His Bod) and is basically a total cock.

Then, The Master (of Evil) shows up while Sue is Helpless and Alone and kidnaps her because a) there are only like 20 pages left in the book so we are running out of time for closure and b) he is a Bad Guy. There are other reasons that make sense in The Plot but really, that's not why you're reading this review. (And if you started reading this, thinking I'd be helpful, BOY are you in the wrong place.) Wolfy tracks her down and on the way there, he finds his long-lost mother, who explains why she abandoned him many years ago and that she loves him so now he feels okay to love someone again. Yeah. I KNOW. Go ahead and reread that nice Deus Ex Machina and marvel at it. Really take it in. I'll wait.

Got the spasmodic twitching out of your system now? (Me neither, but let's press on.)

He finds her just as The Master is about to murdify her (in the Nick Of Time TM) and Saves The Day. And they go to her tiny castle and he proposes and everyone lives Happily Ever After, except for the readers, who hurl the book across the room.

Highlights Reel

Back to what I was saying about the failed attempt to have The Sex. Of course they are both virgins (she's a noble in the 1500s and he's a monk), so they're making out in a hayloft and he's like WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MY PANTS and she's like THE SAME THING THAT'S HAPPENING IN MINE, I THINK and it's pretty hot. And then this happens:

...Wolfram's already snug chausses tightened yet further. He gasped himself at the restriction.

"Curse the knot!" she muttered with a vehemence that might have been amusing at another time.

To Wolfram's shock and dismay, she bent over and took her teeth to the uncooperative lace.

"Nay!" he choked out the one word, but too soon he could feel the gentle nibbling of her lips, even through the heavy wool of his chausses.

(Descriptive bit omitted for time.)

But then his chausses were open and her tiny fingers were upon his very flesh.

The shock of her gentle touch undid him. Never had anyone touched him there, and Genevieve's unexpected caress sent a rush through him that abruptly culminated his passion.

Yes, he totally just jizzed in his pants. He's like OMG AWESOME, then OMG EMBARRASSED, then OMG I WILL TOTALLY MAKE GENNY COME B/C FAIR TRADE and then he falls asleep. In like, two paragraphs. *headdesk*

So of course Sue has an Epic Snit and decides that if this is what sex is like, she doesn't want any part in it. HUMPH. (Sulk.)

On that note, you remember how I said that Genny-Sue is perhaps the most idiotic heroine I have ever read in the entirety of my existence? I'll show you what I mean. At the beginning of the book, her brother is murdered for going around telling people that he's the One True King, Keeper of the Grail, etc. Genevieve is well aware of this. And yet, in a spectacular display of HERP DERP, which takes place in the court of the KING OF FRANCE, she bitches out a minstrel for singing the history of her family.

The king's fist hit the board, and his voice rose in a roar that demanded attention. "What family would you say he jeopardizes?" he demanded regally. The lutenist spun, her anger not abandoning her at this interruption.

"My family!" she declared hotly. "The family of Pereille! I am Genevieve de Pereille!"

I had a lot of trouble rooting for her to win when she insisted on sabotaging herself continuously.

To make matters worse, the writing is like Yoda attended a Ren Faire and decided to write some historical fanfic about it. ("Rated M for l8r chappies! Plz R&R u guys")

"A caress 'twas, and Genevieve marveled at her own boldness even as she guided her fingertip to rest against his lip."


" 'Nay! No argument have you that will stay my hand!' the keeper declared with impatience in his tone."



The word " 'Twas" is used at every opportunity. (37 times in the first 20 pages.) "Naught" is used to mean any or all of the following words: No, None, Not, Nothing. Maybe something else, I don't know. "Afore" is substituted for "Before." This book is a drinking game waiting to happen. (Suggestions for this game are welcomed.)

To be totally fair, though, there is one scene that actually made me go, "Awwwwww." When Genny and Wolfy FINALLY get together and have The Sex, I will fully admit, they are totes adorbz. (Now that I've used those two words I have to go commit hara-kiri. I'll see you next week.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Beverly (comment) the winner of the BY THESE TEN BONES giveaway!  I've sent you an email, so please respond to me within 48 hours with your mailing address, otherwise you forfeit your prize to another participant. Thanks!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tori's Review: Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning


Paperback
- 512 pages
Price: $7.99
ISBN 13: 978-0440244400
Released: October 26, 2010

Karen's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: Bought 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Series: Fever Series 
1. Darkfever (book review)
2. Bloodfever (book review)
3. Faefever (book review)
4. Dreamfever 
5. Shadowfever (book review)





He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister's murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac's every thought-and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust. 
 
As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V"lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister's diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac's greatest enemy delivers a final challenge...
 
It's an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth-about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons...and about the world she thought she knew.


My Rating:

My Opinion:
It took me a while to sit down and focus on writing my review of DREAMFEVER, but I think I've had an adequate amount of time to reflect on my thoughts.

The beginning to this novel definitely starts off with a bang, and it was one I could fully appreciate in its masculine glory. There was one particular line that make me tear up and almost cry, and of course, it came from Barrons. Due to my fear of spoiling anything, I won't mention it, but anyone who is familiar with the words "Rainbow Girl" will know exactly what I'm referring to.

People told me DREAMFEVER would have a lot more action, and they weren't lying. There's a lot less of Mac thinking and ruminating, and a lot more getting things done--which meant I enjoyed this book a hellova lot more than FAEFEVER.

The cliffhanger at the end of this book is so incredibly brutal that I stayed up until about 5AM EST to read the first few chapters of SHADOWFEVER. For those who managed to last any amount of time waiting for the final book in this series... well, they should apply for sainthood. I don't know how else they could have managed such a horrible wait.

DREAMFEVER more than makes up for my so-so experience while reading FAEFEVER. It rekindled my desire to read this series and books in general. I definitely suggest reading all four books thus far (and having the final book close by) when you have a long weekend to cozy up to them. Then again, perhaps two long weekends would be better; if you're anything like me, by the third book, you're going to have to take a mental break because of the mindfuck.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly Goals #4

Last week's goals:
[X] Write reviews for Dreamfever, Shadowfever, By These Ten Bones, Late Eclipses. Newly added: Drought, The Reapers are the Angels, Falling Under.
[1/2] Finish figuring out the new plot elements.
[_] Read another review book and revise at least a chapter in this PNR.
[X] Get my damn homework done lol.

Not bad last week.



This week I want to....
[_] finish re-plotting the ending to my book.
[_] read 3 review books and review them.
[_] get as much homework done (for Thurs) that I can today.

What about the rest of you?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tori's Review: By These Ten Bones by Clare B Dunkle


 


Paperback
- 256 pages 
Price: $9.99
ISBN 13: 978-0399246777
Released: February 15, 2011
Publisher: Macmillan
Author's Website: Clare B Dunkle
Buy it: Amazon
Obtained: Publisher / Blue Slip Media
Genre: YA
Series: N/A
Book Order:
1. By These Ten Bones








There's hidden places all over this land-old, old places. Places with a chain for them to chain up the wolf when it's time.

A bone-chilling tale of werewolves and love, set in medieval Scotland

A mysterious young man has come to a small Highland town. His talent for wood carving soon wins the admiration of the weaver's daughter, Maddie. Fascinated by the silent carver, she sets out to gain his trust, only to find herself drawn into a terrifying secret that threatens everything she loves.

There is an evil presence in the carver's life that cannot be controlled, and Maddie watches her town fall under a shadow. One by one, people begin to die. Caught in the middle, Maddie must decide what matters most to her-and what price she is willing to pay to keep it.


My Rating:  

My Opinion:
BY THESE TEN BONES (BTTB) was an enjoyable read, though I admit that I had a few issues with the novel. If anything, it has more to do with the manuscript's age and what was accepted by agents and publishers back then. But first, let's focus on the good, shall we?

Clare knows how to make generally likable, strong heroines. She also knows how to weave an interesting plot and write vividly beautiful descriptions. I think that these two elements alone encouraged me to continue reading this novel.

This is a historical paranormal book. It is based in Scotland, and is about a werewolf curse. I thought that, while most authors focus on present day, this was an excellent way to incorporate two interesting features and making it unique.

There were two issues I had with the book: the POV, and all the descriptions. The POV, third person omni, did not specifically follow Maddie; instead, I felt more like a ghost following each character around. On one hand, this kept the story flowing constantly, but on the other, I did not connect fully with Maddie and Paul until much later in the story.

As for the descriptions, I've gotten used to reading lots of debuts which avoid full descriptions. It has been encouraged for writers to provide the bare minimum so readers can use their imaginations to fill in the blank. When I read page after page which describes this and that, I tend to skim because I don't care about all that information now. That happened to me when I was younger too, while reading the Harry Potter books.

While those two complaints are somewhat hefty ones, regarding a reader's experience, I do not believe they will ultimately ruin the book for most. If a person reads BTTB first, and finds he/she does not enjoy it, I hope he/she will not automatically dismiss Clare as an author. Her more recent works were extremely enjoyable for me, and I think they will be for most readers too