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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Alice's Review: A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

Released: 14th December 2012
Paperback: 147 pages
Price: $6.50
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Review copy
Genre: Young adult, paranormal romance
Series: No series title
Series Order:
1. A Shade of Vampire
2. TBA
Summary:
On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.
A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.
Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.
Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.
Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?
My Rating:
My Opinion: I have an embarrassing secret to admit! I'm kind of really into the whole damsel-in-distress thing where the girl gets captured and needs a hero to save her. I'm a sucker for those and was obviously keen to read this book when I read the blurb. What I first noticed was that the PDF is only 90 pages long and the paperback 147 pages. This means that there's not much room for character development.

Sofia is 17 years old, has been abandoned by both her parents and has been diagnosed with a whole host of mental disorders. She's basically super-aware of her surroundings and this is later explained as something called latent inhibition (LI) and that Sofia is special because to handle being so aware of the world all the time, a person needs to have a high IQ and is usually a creative genius. I'm at war about my feelings on this: obviously the heroine needs to be someone who stands out and Sofia's LI is a creative way to establish that, but I don't like how Sofia's LI has been given so much attention, as this screams 'special snowflake' to me. I do commend Bella Forrest for writing about LI though, I've never heard of it before.

Because the book (novella?) is so short, there isn't much time for romance, character or plot development. Basically, what's established is that Sofia is given to Derek and they fall for each other; Derek has some sort of big prophecy to fulfil; Derek's brother Lucas is evil.

The one thing that I felt had been given enough time to develop is the mystery of Derek's prophecy. Lucas was the textbook evil brother/villain: jealousy-fuelled and wanting Sofia for himself. The love between Derek and Sofia seemed to spring up out of nowhere. I did like how it's described that around Derek, Sofia feels most at home. I personally think that Sofia and Derek don't have much more than friendship going on between them. Sofia herself was nothing special either and I felt very 'meh' about her.

I did like the plot (I am a sucker for DIDs) but I do feel that it needs more fleshing out and more words. Everything happens too quickly and because of this, I felt no real connection to the story or characters, the latter of which I wasn't given enough time to get to know. The ending included making Sofia and Derek's relationship official and Derek's sister Vivienne talking more about the mysterious events ahead. After reading this book and giving it some thought, I was under-whelmed by it. I didn't think there was anything that made this book stand out from the hundreds of other vampire books on the shelf.

My verdict: The blurb promised a good plot and a strong heroine but it fell flat for me as the book was greatly disadvantaged by its short length and lack of any sort of real development of characters and plot.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tori's Review: Between by Kerry Schafer


Released:
January 29, 2013  
Paperback: 304 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Between
Buy: Amazon


Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.

All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.

And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…

My Rating:  

My Opinion:
Ever read a book that's left you scratching your head, wondering what you just read? BETWEEN is all that, and so much more. I feel like my review is going to sound confused at best. If it does, that is because this book left me so bewildered I still don't understand half of what I read one week later.

It started off well enough. There was an interesting heroine, an interesting back story, and the pacing was nice and even. Then we meet the hero(?) of the book, and things started to get a little trippy. Instant attraction, whispers of a past together, even though the two never met in that reality. Why wouldn't they have met in the same reality? Well, apparently, there are three different realms in this world: dreaming, waking, and the between. Interesting concept, right?

I remember thinking to myself: wow, this is so unique, what an awesome book! But then we shift. When Vivian comes to understand that she is some sort of Dreamshifter (I think that's what she was called), instead of becoming a badass heroine who takes her powers and destiny into her own hands, she seems to just drift. Vivian is wishy-washy at best. There is nothing about her personality that stood out, and I found myself growing more and more frustrated as things grew more and more confusing.

My biggest issue, however, despite the poor explanations of the different realms and where Vivian was traveling next, was the rape. I'm not sure which realm Vivian was raped in. It wasn't even that descriptive (I would have DNFed if it was), but it did not further the plot in any way. It sort of just happened, and she enters another realm 3/4 of the way into it, feels sore, and that's the end of it. No emotional reaction, no evolution of her as a character.

I am not okay with this, and I cannot figure out why authors think it is okay incorporating such a delicate subject in such tasteless ways that do not further the plot.

To make things worse, when Vivian meets the man who raped her in one world in the Between, he is dominating and arrogant, and you pretty much get the vibe that he will try to rape her again in this world. And how does Vivian react? Well... she doesn't. She just continues drifting, lets him manhandle her, and that's it.

Adding to the confusion of what realm Vivian is in is the addition of the same character, but as different characters. You have the real world versions, then in the Between, you have the "dreaming" versions of these characters. Vivian is confused, and that confusion was amplified for me as I struggled to understand just what was happening.

It's not often that I rate a book with 1 star. Even less that I have such an intense dislike for something I've read. If the rape was not included in this story, it would not have been memorable for me; since it was, I can't help but feel a little angry every time I recall this story.

Final verdict? Avoid this one unless you want to torture yourself trying to figure everything out. And watch out for the rapey scenes.


Series Order:
1. Between

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This blog isn't dead...

...it was just on an unofficial hiatus.

The more intense school and life gets, the more and more I seem to pull away from this community. I HATE that! But there is hope, and I'm sincerely hoping now that I have attended to all pressing matters, I will have time, and, more importantly, the energy to bring this blog back to life. I can't guarantee that this will work, but I'll try my damned hardest to make it so. I miss you all too much.

Be forewarned: I'm taking baby steps. No rushing this for me.

So here are my (temporary) start-it-back-up plans for Book Faery:
  1. I will try to update this blog at least once a week.
    I used to post all my book reviews within the first week I felt motivated to come back, and then I would just... stop. I want to get at least one book review up per week. This is my goal for the time being until I get back into some sort of routine.
     
  2. No more guest posts, author interviews, or giveaways.
    For now. One of the biggest turn offs for me was having to format all these posts, contact winners, contact authors, contact publicists, gather background information not included in emails, etc. For someone trying to ease him/herself back into blogging, I think it's too much all at once. And I've been quite guilty of agreeing to participate in a blog tour, only to become so overwhelmed with work that I wouldn't have the time to check my inbox for weeks on end. So if you're an author or publicist looking for free promo, I'm sorry, but you'll have to look elsewhere. If you want me to review your book, however, feel free to check out my review policy and contact me.
     
  3. Less quantity, more quality.
    Guilty as charged. This is connected to #2. When I couldn't get books read, I would add a lot more filler content like press releases and author promo. Sometimes, that author promo did not interest me in the slightest, but I hoped against hope (despite better judgment) that maybe it would appeal to you readers. It wasn't right, and I'm done with that. If you want more industry-related news, there are plenty of other blogs who do it way better than I ever could.
So there you have it, my goals for Book Faery in 2013. Once I get back into the swing of things, hopefully updates will come more often. Thank you to all of you who have continued to support both me and my blog throughout the years, even through all these hiatuses. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tori's Review: Playing with Fire by Tamara Morgan


Released:
August 7, 2012
E-book: 81 pages
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: N/A 
Buy: Amazon


Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket—even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhuman abilities. Fiona's powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won't be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant...and she's hurt enough people already.

Including herself.

But when the man behind her conversion returns to blackmail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona's M.O.

Ian is convinced Fiona's dangerous, convinced she's Fireball, and convinced he'll damn himself if he doesn't resist a heat that's always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame—but Ian has his own secrets.

And he'll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I like novellas, I really do. What I don't always like about them is the fact that the romance sometimes does not work very well. For me, such was the case in PLAYING WITH FIRE.

I did not understand the attraction between Fiona and Ian. They supposedly have a rough high school past, but Fiona just finds him so delicious that, despite those harsh memories, she practically turns into a puddle of goo internally when they run into each other at the start of the story. "Okay," I thought to myself, "It can't be so bad, right? She just re-met some hottie with a body in the park!" My problem was that her memories of Ian turned me off from him almost instantaneously. If she felt she was so mistreated back then, why would she even give him a second thought so many years later? Is her self confidence that shoddy that she would settle for a jerk? Right from the start I was against this pairing, which did not bode well for the rest of the story.

Ian's character (and this is going from memory because it's been about a month since reading) was really not all that memorable, aside from the fact that he was like a stick in the mud and very broody. Fiona was a bit more likeable, but overall, these characters did not really stick with me.

What initially drew me in was the superpower approach the author took. I suppose I'm a sucker for humans with abilities such as controlling fire and the like. It was interesting, and I enjoyed the method of administering such abilities to the humans in this world. I think PLAYING WITH FIRE would have been more successful as an urban fantasy with a side of romance, as opposed to primarily being a romance. I felt like the interesting aspects of the novella were overwhelmed by lackluster characters. Too bad, too.


Series Order:
1. Playing With Fire

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tori's Review: Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole


Released:
November 27, 2012
Paperback: 496 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Source: Bought 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: The Dacians 
Buy: Amazon


Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Shadow's Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament—to the death.

He won't be denied...

Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people, striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore's most fearsome villains.

She's bound to another...

Desperate to earn her guardians' approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she's lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.

A battle for her body and soul...

Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina's heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium's worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina's own desires to a fever-pitch..
.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Bzzt, bzzt. Brain has short-circuited from the awesomeness of this book.

Okay, on a serious note, I don't want to write a fangirl review. BUT since I am a KC fangirl, I find it impossible to avoid. For that reason, I think it is safe to say that once again, Kresley Cole has written an amazing title that you would be silly not to read. These books just keep getting better, the characters are always unique, and there's always humor. Who doesn't enjoy a good old dollop of humor in their cup of romance?

I am intrigued to learn about the other Dacians now that we've gotten a taste of who each of these sexy vamps are through Trehan's story. I was particularly happy to see Lothaire make an appearance. I laughed my ass off in a lot of those scenes.

Another must read. I think you should read the IAD series first (just to attain a further understanding of this world), however, it is not entirely necessary to do so. You simply run the risk of not appreciating some of the characters as much as us IAD fans do.


Series Order:
1. Shadow's Claim