A Note:


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

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 :)


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Alice's Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Released: 8th November 2012
Paperback: 528 pages
Price: AU$19.99
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, paranormal romance/urban fantasy
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy
Series Order:
1. Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Tori's review; Amanda's review)
2. Days of Blood & Starlight
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.
My Rating:
My Opinion: I personally loved Daughter of Smoke & Bone so I was very eager to read the sequel, especially since the UK cover is so gorgeous! This novel starts off hilariously with Zuzanna asking her adorable boyfriend Mik to pee on Kaz, Karou's ex who is milking his new-found fame for all it's worth. Will Mik do it or not...? Read the book to find out! ;)

We find Karou in Morocco, having taken over Brimstone's job as the resurrectionist. The chimaera are rebuilding their army since the seraphim brutally attacked the caged city where the chimaera live and killed off a lot of them. The seraphim are now scouting the forests of Eretz, their home world, for any more chimaera that they can kill or enslave, with Akiva leading one of those parties. Flashing back to Karou, she is working to create new bodies for the chimaera army, who are being led by... Thiago. Oh yes, guys, the tension is high!

This book took me almost a week to finish, which says something because once I'm stuck in a book, I find it very hard to put down. I didn't feel that draw I felt when I read Daughter of Smoke & Bone, probably because I thought there needed to be more Akive & Karou moments! This book wasn't about them getting together - because Akiva was responsible for Karou's family's death - which made me both sad and happy, considering that I love that Karou had a backbone. But I still miss their cute romance from the first book. I also felt that this book dragged on a bit during the scenes in Eretz where Akiva & the angels are trying to flush out the chimaera. The best bits of the book come in the last third, I reckon, leaving off with quite a big cliffhanger at the end.

So, speaking more about my love of Karou: Karou is definitely one of those strong heroines who can kick butt and doesn't rely on anyone for protection. Karou finds solutions to her problems and carries on despite some pretty terrible losses and traumatic events that occur in the book. She's interesting in the way she handles things and I liked reading her inner monologue as she's funny and smart; a real pleasure to read, honestly.

Another dynamic that I loved was Zuze and Mik's adventures in Morocco. This couple definitely picked up the slack in the romance department and they make one cool team. These two are smart and resourceful and charmed the pants off every chimaera they met. Though maybe not Thiago...

I can't say much more about the plot without spoiling it all, but I'll say this: it's a great continuation of the first book and I loved the writing. There's something about it that made me love it, a kind of flow to it. Laini's writing is something that I don't come by often and I found it very refreshing because it was so... different and rich and good. Much better than some of the recent YA books that I've read.

My verdict: This book is a must-read due to several factors: the characters, the strong heroine, the plot and the writing that will sweep you off your feet. I loved it and hate that I have to wait so long for the final book in the trilogy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Alice's Review: Undeadly by Michele Vail

Released: 20th November 2012
Paperback: 267 pages
Price: AU$14
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Source: Kmart (hehe)
Genre: Young adult, paranormal romance
Series: The Reaper Diaries
Series Order:
1. Undeadly
2. Unchosen (2013) 
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath.

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble...
My Rating:
My Opinion: Michele Vail has brought something new to the paranormal fiction table (at least to me it's new): Egyptian mythology! I think the Egyptian mythology and the experience of reading about something totally new and unexpected is what made me like the book a lot more than I would have if it was something I'd read before. I'm rating this a 3 because of a few reasons, which I'll explain later. But now, let me gush about the coolness of the Egyptian stuff.

So this is a world where zombies exist (but it's not grisly or scary, yay!) and people who have the powers to raise, command, see or talk to the undead (called reapers) are pretty common. Molly is one of these and she turns out to be extra special. All of the reaper powers are gifted to humans by the Egyptian God of the Underworld, Anubis, in his efforts to fight his uncle Set, God of Chaos, for the position of top dog in the underworld because Set didn't want to give up his throne to Anubis, who is the rightful ruler of the place. There were some pretty grisly battles between Anubis and Set's followers/reapers but Set was locked away and is only now threatening to break his bonds...

So there's lot of cool Egyptian mythology, we get to meet the awesome Anubis (he seems like a pretty decent guy) and this was what made the book so interesting. What wasn't so interesting was Molly and her drama. Now, I was 16 pretty recently but I don't remember making such a huge deal out of everything. Molly is quite immature and a pretty bad narrator. She always adds in stuff that isn't necessary (like those little trivia bits added into some episodes of TV shows for fun) and it got annoying for me to constantly read her OMGs, LOLs, BTWs, etc. I also felt that this book was all over the place. Like there was an instance where a gun was being pointed at Molly and I had a hard time finding when it got pointed because it was surrounded by all the rubbish Molly kept thinking in her head/narrating. I just felt very disconnected and quite confused at times!

Another thing I didn't like was Molly's overall attitude to what was going on around her. She's a very 'watch the world go by from way back here' kind of girl, I felt, and didn't take initiative. She's just not fit to be the hero and champion of the future battles/events ahead of her. She let people just tell her what to do and didn't ask questions and ended up being confused by her abilities because she didn't bother to go up to someone and talk about her problems/questions. So I as a reader was also very confused because no one ever really even tells Molly what she is (she's not a normal reaper) but they all just imply that she's different.Molly doesn't even demand an explanation, just stands there in a confused daze! Asdfgjhdjkl. Another thing: Molly is so head over heels for this one guy Rick she is too dumb to notice that he is clearly NOT OKAY. She's all like "Nah, Rick wouldn't lie, he's perfect, Oh Rick, you put hearts in my eyes!"

My verdict: The richness of Egyptian mythology in this book makes it far more interesting to read than your run-of-the-mill vampire angst novel, but the main character fails to inspire my belief in her. A positive is that there are some good characters in it that I DID end up absolutely loving.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Blog Tour: Darkness Falls series by Krystal Wade & Giveaway

Let's see . . . what's next. Well, I'm not planning any more books in the Darkness Falls series, but I have considered spin offs . . . considered being the keyword. I love the world of Encardia, and I love the other, connected worlds. But for now, I'm ready to move on.

And move on, I have (channeling Yoda!)

I'm writing a book called Shattered Secrets (working title). This story is about a girl who believes her biggest problems involve boys and college applications, but she's wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Her problems involve boys, college applications, and kidnappers.

And these aren't ordinary kidnappers! They reveal more about her than anyone close to her ever has, sending her on a mission of self-discovery, one full of secrets waiting to be shattered.

But will the world survive if she does?

I posted the prologue for this novel on my blog (http://krystal-wade.com/im-the-next-big-thing/)

About Krystal Wade - website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers–who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas–sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?

Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.

Add Wilde's Meadow to your Goodreads shelf

Happy endings are hard to find, and even though Katriona is in the middle of a war with someone who’s already stolen more than she can replace, she aches for a positive future with her Draíochtans.

Armed with hope, confidence in her abilities, and a strange new gift from her mother, Kate ventures into the Darkness to defeat a fallen god.

Losses add up, and new obstacles rise to stand in the way. Is the one determined to bring Encardia light strong enough to keep fighting, or will all the sacrifices to stop those who seek domination be for nothing?

Open to US/Canada only.
Entries into the daily give-away count towards the grand prize give-away of a Google Nexus 7 and a set of all three books signed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wilde's Fire week:
Monday, November 5th - Book and a Latte
Tuesday, November 6th - Paranormal Reads
Wednesday, November 7th - Once Upon A Time
Thursday, November 8th - Urban Fantasy Investigations
Friday, November 9th - A Soul Unsung

Wilde's Army week:

Monday, November 12th - Good Choice Reading
Tuesday, November 13th - Simply Infatuated
Wednesday, November 14th - Chocolate Coated Reviews
Thursday, November 15th - The Non-Reluctant Reader
Friday, November 16th - A Buckeye Girl Reads

Wilde's Meadow week:

Monday, November 19th - Book Spark
Tuesday, November 20th - Alexia's Books and Such
Wednesday, November 21st - Reader Girls
Thursday, November 22nd - The Book Hookup
Friday, November 23rd - Book Faery

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Alice's Review: The Violet Eden Chapters

Released: 2010 
Genre: Paranormal romance, young adult
Series: Violet Eden Chapters
Series Order:
1. Embrace
2. Enticed
3. Emblaze
4. Endless
My Rating:
My Opinion: The Violet Eden Chapters (by Aussie author Jessica Shirvington) are about angels and kicking butt. Featuring Violet, who didn't know she was half-angel, or grigori as they're called in the book, until her 17th birthday. Her workout partner/mentor/best guy friend/crush Lincoln (I personally picture Lincoln Lewis, which is totally fine by me) is her grigori partner - they're a kickass team - and that means that they can never be together romantically. Violet & Lincoln's job is to control all the exiled angels (those who were kicked out of heaven or wanted to be human and feel, since angels have no form). The books have been recently published in America but have been out in Australia for two years.

I'm totally proud of Jessica because these books are proving to be a hit in America (the US covers are so much nicer than ours!) and I found out that the rights have been bought by CW & Amblin TV to make a TV show adaptation! I'm not sure where it will be set but I'm really hoping they have some Aussie actors in it because whilst the books are set in a not-named-city-in-a-not-named-place, I like to think Violet lives somewhere in Sydney. :) That's actually something that annoys me - does everything have to be set in America or if not in the US, then a not-specified place? Australia can have some pretty cool angel heroes, too! I really wish Jessica had named where the Chapters are set because it would have made it more real for me and I reckon Australia needs to have more books set in it because we're always being left out of everything and forgotten. Must be the 14 hour-long flight it takes to get in or out of this place...

Anyways, the series (I finished the 3rd book and need to get the 4th book ASAP) is about Violet and Lincoln working together with the city's very own angel kickass squad to get rid of the bad guys - there are always bad guys - and it turns into Violet meeting a guy called Phoenix who turns out to be very-evil-and-not-trustworthy (aka an exiled angel) and basically turns Vi's world upside down by introducing a whole big mess for Violet & co to solve. This mess may or may not include there being a list of all the future grigori to ever be born that the bad guys may or may not have gotten to before the good guys have. Uh oh... There is also a love triangle between Violet, Lincoln & Phoenix, which I really dislike! I think some of the things Violet did were stupid and silly and she ends up regretting them, as she should.

The plot is thick and I got sucked right it. It will take too much time to explain all the intricacies so I will just say that the plot and angel concept are my favourite parts of this series. It's full of action, intrigue, mystery and the characters all have great depth and actually feel real and not like cardboard cut-outs of clichés. Despite me disliking some of Violet's actions & the love triangle, Jessica has done an excellent job with this series. I especially like Lincoln. I think he's one of the greatest heroes I've read about and he's very down to earth, loyal, protective and beyond brave. He also cares about Violet so, so much and she hurts him very deeply. Out of the YA I've read, Lincoln has to be my favourite hero.

My verdict: Of course I don't have enough room to tell you guys about all the great things in this series but I will say that it is a must-read and I am sure all of you will get obsessed! With such a great plot, a unique angel concept and some amazing characters, these books are something I will keep recommending to everyone I know!

Okay, I have a question for you: do you guys like these series reviews? I just don't want to spend heaps of time reviewing separate books out of a series that I've finished or read almost entirely (it takes time to re-read!) and doing an overview of the entire series allows me to point out all the good & bad points. Please leave a comment with your opinion so I have a better idea of what you guys want in the future! :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tori's Review: The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams

October 30, 2012
Paperback: 304 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Penguin 
Source: Bought 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: McKenzie Lewis 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war between the fae.

With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I didn't think THE SHATTERED DARK (TSD) was going to blow me away. For starters, I absolutely fell in love with the first book in this series, THE SHADOW READER, and I did not think that any book following could top it. The love triangle was artfully done, the characters were so unique and lovable, and the world was well developed. For those reasons, my expectations were incredibly high.

TSD was good, but unlike the first book in the series, I found many scenes to drag. It seemed like instead of confronting issues, everything was shoved aside for a later date. The beginning was slow for me. It took me a while to get back into the world and to remember everyone's personalities. Once I did adjust, however, I was hooked--even with the slow middle half--because I was reunited with the characters I fell in love with.

One thing is that I wish there was more romance. There were a few teasers, but said teasers were more reflections of the past as opposed to any progress in the present. I took issue with this because the first book in the series set a certain tone, and TSD didn't exactly follow through in the way that I expected. It isn't until the final pages in TSD that we really see any relationship progression, and oh lordy it is heart wrenching. Worth the wait, but now I have to wait until the third book in this series comes out next year in order to find out what happens next.

I'd say that the ending is a reflection of what I fell in love with in THE SHADOW READER. Everything else was a buildup, and while it wasn't my favorite, it certainly got me prepped (without me even realizing it) for what happened.

A good sequel, but THE SHADOW READER is still the best in the series thus far. Regardless of my complaints, this is one series you will want to read because of how well developed and entertaining it is.

Series Order:
1. The Shadow Reader (Tori's Review)
2. The Shattered Dark

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tori's Review: Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione

November 20, 2012
Paperback: 432 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Netgalley 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Lords of Deliverance 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Jillian Cardiff came to this remote mountain town to forget the demon attack that almost killed her. Instead, she rescues-and falls for-a gorgeous stranger who has no memory of anything other than his name. Handsome, charming, and protective, Reseph seems like the kind of man whom Jillian can trust. But with hints of a troubling history of his own, he's also the kind of man who can be very dangerous . . .

Reseph may not know why he mysteriously appeared in Jillian's life, but he knows he wants to stay. Yet when Jillian's neighbors are killed, and demon hunters arrive on the scene, Reseph fears that he's putting Jillian in danger. And once it's revealed that Reseph is also Pestilence, the Horseman responsible for ravaging the world, he and Jillian must face the greatest challenge of all: Can they forget the horrors of a chilling past to save the future they both desire?

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Larissa Ione has done it yet again. She has blown me away with her superb writing skills, lovable characters, and a world that is so lush it's hard to remember that it's not real.

I think Reseph's story was the one I anticipated the most. I loved his playboy character, his carefree attitude, and I was so curious to see how she would redeem him after his ugly transformation into the wicked Pestilence. I was also worried that the heroine in this novel wouldn't live up to my expectations. I have a tendency to expect the heroine to be badass enough to be with the heroes I adore, and more often than not, a lot of the heroines end up being whiny and lack a backbone.

Not the case with Jilly (am I going to get hit with a frying pan??). Despite her traumatizing past, she essentially shoves her fears aside and defends those she cares for. Her character isn't suffocating with motherly instincts. She isn't a pushover. She knows what she wants, and she won't cave in--even to Reseph. And Reseph in turn doesn't turn into some whipped boytoy by the end of the story. He was humbled without being emasculated. Hoorah!!

I thought that this would be the end to the Horsemen series, but I was thrilled to see that there would be another book. No saying goodbye yet. There were so many twists this time around, and I came to care for characters I initially felt deserved whatever horrible fate they had coming their way. It's amazing how a few scenes can completely change my perspective, and I think this just affirms that Larissa is an excellent storyteller.

Worldbuilding is of course amazing. The plot doesn't have any lulls in it. The sex, like always, was hot. Not too many mushy scenes that would make you feel like you'd get a bunch of cavities; in fact, those lovey scenes didn't turn me off like they sometimes do in other books. It worked, and I think it worked because I knew that those scenes held so much more meaning because of the characters and their pasts.

Another amazing read. Start this series from the beginning. Like I've said in other reviews, if you really want to appreciate this world, start from the very beginning in the Daemonica series. Lots of books to read, but its worth it in the end.

Series Order:
1. Eternal Rider (Tori's Review)
2. Immortal Rider (Tori's Review)
3. Lethal Rider (Tori's Review)
4. Rogue Rider

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas Donations for Kids

Hi everyone! I wanted to spread the word about something that Jess Haines is coordinating for Christmas this year. If you'd like to read her blog post, here is the link; otherwise, you can continue reading the post below :)

Please take the time to look through your TBR piles or your already-read piles and see if there are any YA or MG books that you would be willing to part with. Any book that you decide to donate will definitely make someone's Christmas all the better. I've already looked through my own piles and have a box set aside.

Since a lot of us are bloggers and get books for free, I think the least we could all do is to share the bookish love with those who would otherwise not have the opportunity to read such wonderful books by equally wonderful authors.



Once again, my church is sponsoring a program to help kids have a Christmas to remember. These are children who would not otherwise get gifts or really have a way to celebrate the holiday.
I’d like to ask for your help. A few kids from the neighborhoods around my church who come from very poor families will be donated a Christmas dinner, toys, given games to play and other activities to do for the day, spend time with Santa, and meet a participating celebrity or two. This year, we are expecting between 200 and 400 children, so you can imagine the amount of stuff needed to make sure they all get a little holiday cheer.
Here’s what you can do — what I’m asking for are donations of NEW:
  • clothing
  • books (preferrably middle grade / young adult – any books donated should be appropriate for children and teens)
  • toiletries
  • makeup
  • gift cards (preferably to Target and Walmart)
While we can accept toys and such for younger kids, I’ve been asked for special concentration on things for teenagers. There should be about 20 to 40 teens attending. Please bear in mind that these kids wouldn’t get gifts for Christmas or any kind of special way to celebrate the holiday if we weren’t providing for them. We do want to make this special but also give them something they can come away with that they can use, will make their lives easier, etc. Most of these kids don’t have iPods or computers or even TVs and DVD players, so please bear that in mind regarding any any kind of electronics, media, or gift cards you’re thinking of sending.
If you’re willing to help, please send your donations to my address by no later than December 2nd, and I will make sure everything gets delivered, wrapped, etc. We’re holding the actual event on December 15th. I can’t post pictures due to the nature of this program, but your contributions do have an impact the lives of these kids. (Thanks again to last year’s supporters, particularly Jennifer Estep. It really does help!)
Here’s where to send any care packages:
Jess Haines
RE: Christmas Donos
249 N. Brand Blvd. #587
Glendale, CA  91203
Please do not wrap any gifts you send. You can include wrapping and ribbon in the package if you want, but we need to know what we receive so we can ensure it goes to a child of the right age range and gender (we don’t want a 16 year old boy walking out with a Barbie or an 8 year old getting a copy of THE HUNGER GAMES, that sort of thing).
I’d very much appreciate it if you would help spread the word by forwarding or re-posting this information on your own blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Thank you very much.
Jess Haines

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alice's Review: House of Night Series

Released: 2007
Publisher: St. Martin's
Genre: Young adult, paranormal romance
Series: House of Night
Series Order:
1. Marked
2. Betrayed
3. Chosen
4. Untamed
5. Hunted
6. Tempted
7. Burned
8. Awakened
9. Destined
10. Hidden
My Rating:
My Opinion: Let me start off by saying that a few years ago, when I was younger and more naive, I actually thought these books were good. And then I re-read them. The sheer amount of slut-shaming, girl jealousy, pop culture references and stupidity that is present in these books makes me really want to ask the authors how they could come up with it. I guess two minds are better than one...? I really don't want to write a review completely trashing these books, but I just have to talk about all the bad things in this series so you guys will know what you're getting into if you pick these up.

HoN is a series about a teenage girl named Zoey who gets marked to be a vampyre (notice the New Age-y spelling) and then goes to vampyre finishing school (aka the House of Night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, aka Why Not Somewhere Cooler Like Chicago or New York?) in the hopes of not dying before she transitions to be a full vampyre. Vampyres and fledglings are identified by the marks they sport of their foreheads: a sapphire outline of a crescent moon for fledglings, a filled in crescent moon and markings around the top half of the face for vampyres. Their goddess Nyx must be trolling them because it's cool in theory but when you actually imagine someone with markings (all different, some vamps have swirls, others have squiggles, etc, some of them form shapes like horses) like that, it's not that cool.

So the slut-shaming and girl-jealousy I mentioned. There are so many instances where Zoey either thinks girls who have any sort of sexual experience are sluts or calls another girl names because she actually possesses redeemable qualities (unlike Zoey) that it got to the point where I wondered how anyone could stand this girl. She is such a hypocrite! Zoey goes on and on about how terrible girls who like ro want sex are and then goes on with her three boyfriends and barely acknowledges the fact that she is, in fact, one of those girls she kept on insulting. Why do guys even like this girl? So far, I've gotten up to the 8th book and I still barely see why Zoey has practically her whole town beating down her door in order to hook up with her. The only semi-interesting thing about her is that she's some sort of super fledgling and is supposed to save the world from the evil vamps. Couldn't Nyx have given that mantle so some girl who isn't a hypocritical brat??

Each book has an abnormal number of pop culture references. The trendiest celebrities, popular TV shows, 'nerdy' references of comics and Star Wars (HA!), that sort of stuff. A reason I really don't like authors sticking heaps of pop culture references in their books is because five years down the track, most people won't even get the references and it will leave the scratching their heads. I DON'T NEED TO KNOW HOW SASSY PROJECT RUNWAY IS. (that is all.)

The books can't ALL be bad, can they? Well, no. In Awakened, two of the most annoying characters die and I swear to God I had like a mini party. Also, Aphrodite. Aphrodite starts off being this bitch and then turns into my favourite character. God, I love this girl. She and her super adorable relationship with Darius is what gets me through these books. Aphrodite is the one character who has actual depth and has evolved as the series goes on. She's also really hilarious and snarky. What's not to love? But apart from these two things, HoN is really not worth the read. All of the characters are one dimensional and clichéd and these books consist of Zoey being a bitch and all this drama being usually caused by her or something to DO with her.

My verdict: I realise I just spent thirty minutes writing a terrible review of this series, but in all honesty, there's not much more to write about than all the reasons I didn't like these books. I've listed the only redeemable factors that have kept me reading, so that's something, right?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Alice's Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Released: 26th June 2012
Paperback: 346 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Avon
Source: Book Depository
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Night Prince
Series Order:
1. Once Burned
2. Twice Tempted (26th March 2013)
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.
My Rating:
My Opinion: So I really like Jeaniene Frost's books. I fell in love with her Night Huntress series (which is fantastic, you need to check it out!) a few years ago and the books have been re-read so many times. Vlad has been featured in these books quite a bit and each time I read about him, I liked him more and more! He's a great character and he's made me laugh with his quips to Bones, who he really doesn't like. I still giggle over his Anne Rice comeback. (It's the first one.) I knew I'd love this book and it's no wonder I gave it five stars!

This starts off with introducing the heroine, Frankie (whose real name we find out in the next few chapters), who can channel electricity through her right hand and can see someone's past or future when she touches a person or their belongings. She's working in a circus and practising her moves one night when she gets kidnapped. Asked to find Vlad through touching his weapons, she finds out that she can communicate with him through the connection she forms when she touched his weapons and so she bargains for his help and he agrees. This is what I like about Frankie: she's strong, quick and smart. She's not scared easily and fights for what she believes is right. Her quickness in making a deal with Vlad is only the first of the many awesome feats she pulls off.

So, uhh, Vlad. Gosh, he is just so sexy. Like, I like him even more than I like Bones and I thought Bones was one of the hottest heroes I'd read about so far. As we read more about Vlad as he and Frankie interact, we see more of his awesome qualities, such as his loyalty, bravery, strength and... sassiness. On a scale of one to Crowley (any Supernatural fans out here?), Vlad is pretty much on par with Crowley. He's hilarious and I love that side of him. But don't forget, he's also a vampire who's survived for so long for a reason: he's bloodthirsty and cruel. We see some of his cruelty and yeah, it kinda scared me but it also showed that he's not a wimpy little vamp.

You know how Vlad Tepesh was nicknamed Vlad the Impaler? We see some of this impaling done in the book. Only from what I've read about Vlad in history books, he didn't impale people through their chests, as he does in this book. Of course, I may be wrong or this is different in the book due to the fact that the other method is just far too disgusting for me to think about. I really didn't like reading about Vlad's cruelty and I thought that some of it was overkill.

Frost does a wonderful job in creating two really great characters and making their adventures really bloody awesome. Frost also writes about Marty, a dwarf vampire who is like a father to Frankie. Marty is willing to sacrifice his life for Frankie and he's just a really great guy who I hope isn't killed off later in this series.

My verdict: I could go on and on about all the awesomeness in this book but who wants to read a short novel? All I can say is that this is my favourite book of Jeaniene's so far and I'm looking forward to more romance between Frankie and Vlad in their next book. Hurry up, March!

Hey guys, I wanted to apologise for being away for so long. This year was my final year at school and it was full of exams and just really stressful so I had to give up reviewing and most of my reading to focus on school and my future. Now that my exams are over, I'll be reviewing a lot more! :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Giveaway: Rebel Heart by Moira Young

The wonderful folks at Simon and Schuster are offering you wonderful readers an awesome prize pack!

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

Open to US residents only.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blog Status Update

Yeesh, I seem to be doing quite a few of these this year, haven't I? Well, once again, I've gotten overwhelmed by the science workload. To top it off, I also started doing volunteer work at a doctor's office in September. Between that, getting my grad school applications done (statement of purpose is just not happening anytime soon, at this rate...), and dealing with a minor case of bursitis in the knee, reading books and keeping Book Faery updated has been the last thing on my to do list.

I'm not abandoning the blog, and I'm not going on a hiatus, either.

Instead, I will not be accepting any requests for author interviews/guest posts, nor will I be accepting any giveaway posts at this current time. I will still be posting book reviews when I get a chance to finish a book, and Alice will begin posting reviews again soon, too.

I know I owe a few of you giveaway winners some books. I apologize for not getting them shipped to you sooner, but I literally have had no time to get out to go to the post office. I have not forgotten about you all. You will get your books soon.

So what exactly does this mean for Book Faery's future? It won't be as active as other review blogs out there. I don't think I have the time anymore like I did when I first started blogging. I also think it's high time that I post what I want to post and not turn this into a chore or a job. Reviews won't be consistent, but they will still be shared on my twitter and via email/Google reader if you're subscribed. Like always, I post reviews onto my Goodreads account too.

Thanks for all the continued support from those of you who continue to stop by and read my thoughts on books. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Giveaway: Trucker Ghost Stories edited by Annie Wilder


Add to your Goodreads shelf

In a uniquely entertaining book by a rising star, here are uncanny true tales of haunted highways, weird encounters, and legends of the road.

It may have happened to you; it’s happened to almost everyone who’s ever driven down a highway at night, or in the fog, or snow. Something suddenly appears: a flash of movement, a shadow...what was it? It could be, as the true stories in this book attest, a ghost.

These are true stories from the highways and byways of America. These firsthand accounts are as varied as the storytellers themselves—some are detailed and filled with the terror and suspense that made people feel they had to share what happened to them with others; others are brief and straightforward retellings of truly chilling events.

Here is a chupacabra attack on the desert highway between L.A. and Las Vegas; ghost trains and soldiers; UFOs; the prom girl ghost of Alabama; a demon in Texas, and other accounts of the creepy, scary things that truckers and other drivers and passengers told to editor Annie Wilder.

With so many different stories, Trucker Ghost Stories moves beyond the usual haunted house to offer stories to entice any ghost story reader...and anyone who’s ever wondered...

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Preview: Iced by Karen Marie Moning

I think that about 90% of the reading community is highly anticipating KMM's upcoming novel, ICED. So, to increase our fangirly excitement, I am happy to share with you all an excerpt. You'll definitely want to read this folks, I'm practically buzzing after I did, and I don't think I can wait much longer.

Don't forget that ICED comes out on October 30th. 

Iced: A Dani O'Malley Novel (Fever Series) by Karen Marie Moning

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tori's Review: Death's Rival by Faith Hunter

October 2, 2012
Paperback: 336 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Penguin 
Source: Publisher 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Series: Jane Yellowrock 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker you don’t want to cross—especially if you’re one of the undead…

For a vampire killer like Jane, having Leo Pellisier as a boss took some getting used to. But now, someone is out to take his place as Master Vampire of the city of New Orleans, and is not afraid to go through Jane to do it. After an attack that’s tantamount to a war declaration, Leo knows his rival is both powerful and vicious, but Leo’s not about to run scared. After all, he has Jane. But then, a plague strikes, one that takes down vampires and makes their masters easy prey.

Now, to uncover the identity of the vamp who wants Leo’s territory, and to find the cause of the vamp-plague, Jane will have to go to extremes…and maybe even to war.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Holy sweet baby Jesus, this book was good.

It took me longer than expected to finish DEATH'S RIVAL (DR); I was planning on finishing the day after I started, and wanted to have my review posted before the October release date. Alas, GREs thwarted my plans--but I managed to survive them! ...unfortunately, I don't think I will survive the wait for the next book.

It's no secret that I am a fangirl of the JY series, and these books hold a special place in my heart. SKINWALKER was the first novel I ever wrote a review for on Book Faery. Jane, Beast, Leo, Rick, and Bruiser are a unique bunch, and they never fail to keep me amused. Much like Kresley Cole's IAD series, whenever I read about Jane and her world, I feel like I'm coming back home and reuniting with some good friends.

The start, much like RAVEN CURSED (RC), was somewhat slow for my tastes. It took me a brief period of time to become fully immersed in Faith's writing. Like I said in my review of RC, those who may not be as invested in the series (or those of you sillies who read this series out of order) have a higher chance of not feeling invested enough to continue reading the book. I hope not, but based off my own reading experiences from new-to-me authors/novels, if I'm not pulled in right away, I probably won't continue reading. What I've come to notice in the more recent books in the JY series is that the beginnings are a slow buildup. By the time you finally get to the last few scenes, it's like an avalanche effect; Faith hits you over the head with one thing after another and I absolutely love it.

Religion and Jane's faith came up again, but I did not find it to be as obnoxious as it was in MERCY BLADE (MB). Jane has, for the most part, come to terms with her beliefs, and she has come to understand and accept what is morally acceptable for her person. I never thought I would say this, but I felt like her religion humanizes her when compared to the vampires that she interacts with on a daily basis. This is especially true by the final showdown...which was amazing.

There are quite a few plot twists in DR; one in particular made my jaw drop and had me squealing in displeasure about halfway through. I was so pissed on Jane's behalf, and I really wished I could have punched Leo for her. I eventually forgave him, but then the ending of the book had me about to start squealing again. By this point, I didn't know who I wanted to punch, though Rick may be the most likely candidate, surprisingly enough.

Speaking of the ending of the book: wow. It wasn't a cliffhanger by any means, but it was open-ended regarding a fairly important issue affecting both Jane and Beast. For that reason, it kind of feels like a cliffhanger for me--hence my angsting as I await the next book release.

One thing I think readers with similar tastes to my own will take issue with is the romance in this series. There is no set love interest (well I guess there kind of was before, but I'm not so sure that he is now after the way he reacted to Jane's reaction *sad panda*), but there are quite a few men that Jane and Beast either want to mate with or flirt with. I have no problem with this, because I think Faith handles everything both tastefully and realistically, but some readers who are jaded when it comes to YAs and the notorious love triangles may reflexively cringe at the number of men in Jane's life. I view it as: there aren't a lot of women in this line of work. Jane is a strong, beautiful, and independent woman with a mysterious air about her--of course all these single men are going to start panting over her if they interact with her on an almost daily basis. Hell, one of her nicknames is Legs. She's getting a lot of positive attention. What girl wouldn't react in a similar fashion?

Like I've been saying, if you haven't given the Jane Yellowrock series a shot, you really need to. The character development throughout the entire series is astounding, the worldbuilding is well thought out and unique, and the characters themselves will squirm their way into your heart and never let you go. The best piece of advice I can give is to start with SKINWALKER, and work your way through the series in order. If you start with a later book, you will be missing valuable information and character development. Definitely a must read.

Series Order:
1. Skinwalker (Tori's Review)
2. Blood Cross (Tori's Review)
3. Mercy Blade (Tori's Review)
4. Raven Cursed (Tori's Review)
5. Death's Rival

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tori's Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

July 10, 2012
Hardcover: 480 pages
Price: $17.99
Publisher: Random House 
Source: Amazon Vine 
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Series: Seraphina 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I am so depressed that I finished this book.

I wasn't expecting to have such a strong reaction to SERAPHINA; in fact, ask any of my friends the first day I started reading it and they could tell you that I was not impressed with this novel. The writing at the beginning reminds me of DoSaB By Laini Taylor, or anything by Maggie Stiefvater--not in how poetic it is, because I did not find SERAPHINA to be very poetic--but in how...different it is from the typical YA novel. I believe that, because this is a fantasy, the foreign names contributed to this "eccentric" writing style, if you will.

It was not until Seraphina met Lucien that I really took an interest in the book, if I'll be completely honest. I've been craving a good old romance, and once I realized that there was the potential for one between these two, I was hooked. I am still hooked now, and am desperately awaiting the second book in this series. Yes, there is the potential for a romance. Does one ever blossom? Maybe. Either way, I'm satisfied...for now.

I will say that Lucien is certainly not the typical romantic interest that I would squeal over. He's not dark and not an ass (well, not without good reason, anyway)--not that I support either of those qualities. He's very bubbly and cheerful, and I think he is like that in order to draw Seraphina out of her shell. I didn't see myself swooning over him like I would some other YA or adult heroes, but I liked him. He needs to grow on me more.

Seraphina was peculiar. I liked her as a character, but she kind of fell flat for me. I felt engrossed in her trials, felt myself tearing up at one particular scene, was cheering her on as she developed and grew a pair, and at the same time, I was apathetic about her. I can't describe it. I suppose I felt some sort of disconnect when it came to all the characters. They didn't pop, but I would not go so far as to say they're 2D.

There was another factor that kept me reading, even before I caught on to the potential for a romance: the dragons. I found this entire world, and how the dragons play a role in it, to be incredibly fascinating. Even when I felt myself growing tired of Lucien at some points, the dragons and my curiosity of them made me continue on. Then that curiosity shifted to the half dragons, and all the illusions inside Seraphina's head. When those creatures were first introduced, I had no interest... But leave it to Rachel to suddenly make them so important--and in turn, so mysterious--that I'm dying to learn more about them! Especially the girl who was sealed away (won't say anything more, you'll just have to read the book to know what I'm talking about).

Does this novel end with a cliffhanger? Yes and no. No, you will not be screaming and threatening the air because the story was suddenly cut off at an important scene. Yes, there are plenty of loose ends that have not been acknowledged because there is a second book in this series. I am content with how the story ended and will be able to survive the wait for book two, though I would be pissed if the series was suddenly discontinued.

Do I recommend? Well, you're either going to love it right away, you'll love it eventually (like me), or you'll probably feel apathetic. I don't think many people will hate it, but I do see people DNFing it because of the slow start. Honestly, this is one book that I'm wary of recommending because I had such an unexpected response to it.

Series Order:
0.5. The Audition (Tori's Review)
1. Seraphina
2. Dracomachia (2013 release)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tori's Review: The Audition by Rachel Hartman

June 19, 2012
Paperback: 19 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: N/A 
Source: Scribd
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Series: Seraphina 
Read: Scribd 

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf 

My Rating: 

My Opinion:
This was such a cute little piece! It contained everything I fell in love with while reading SERAPHINA, and it was such an unexpected teaser that it made me want to reread SERAPHINA as soon as possible.

For those who loved the first book in this series, you will love THE AUDITION. Seraphina and Orma's interactions held more meaning to me after learning about the two in the novel. I found it humorous, to boot.

For those who were not too crazy about SERAPHINA, I am unsure if this short story will appeal to you, either. I've found that people either love Hartman's writing style, or they don't. It can't hurt to give THE AUDITION a shot, since it's free, though.

For those of you who have not yet read this series, I would suggest you save it to savor once you have finished SERAPHINA. I think that THE AUDITION gives readers a good taste of Hartman's writing style, but, unless you are familiar with the characters to begin with, I do not think many will appreciate them.

Either way, THE AUDITION is free, and I suggest you take the time to read this piece. I'm so happy I spent ten minutes to!

Series Order:
0.5. The Audition
1. Seraphina (Tori's Review)
2. Dracomachia (2013 release)

Seraphina Prequel WEB

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tori's Review: Crave the Night Anthology

October 5, 2011
E-book: 372 pages
Price: $3.99
Publisher: Swell Cat Press
Source: Author
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: N/A
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

This collection of never-before-published novellas features paranormal pairings romance readers will pine for. Vampires, demons, werewolves, faeries and even a mermaid will satisfy the darkest of cravings.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Hidden by Sharon Ashwood -- 3/5
Lila and Rafe are a cute couple, but they don't hold a candle to Sharon's characters in her full length novels. This was not my favorite Ashwood piece of writing, which I am sad to say, since I've loved every book I've read in her series thus far. If this anthology is your first foray into her writing, I highly suggest you give her a second chance if you found HIDDEN to be anything less than amazing.

Having not read any of her books in a while, I felt like I was reentering the universe as a brand new reader. I recognized Darrak's name, but aside from him, I couldn't connect what I read in HIDDEN to anything in the PNR series. So, feeling like I was reading about a brand new world, I was left wanting more romance and worldbuilding. Lila and Rafe have an almost instant attraction, but Lila is the "bad" guy--albeit, a pitiful one. I was disappointed in the romance because it felt slightly rushed, but I understand how difficult it can be to flesh out characters, the romance, and a world in such a short word count.

Final verdict: a good piece, but nothing mindblowing like Sharon's PNR series is.

One Soul To Share by Lori Devoti -- 4/5
OSTS kept me interested the entire time while reading. The world was unique, and I found that, while I may have been weirded out about a mermaid having sex with a vampire (even if she had a human form, I just kept thinking about the tail and fin), I was able to ignore this knee jerk reaction and focus on the characters instead once the story picked up.

My only complaint: I was disappointed when it ended as abruptly as it did, and found myself wishing that Lori had a larger word count to include a final showdown with the Hag. As it currently is...well, I'm disappointed, and a bit agitated. The ending felt anticlimactic at best..

The romance between Nolan and Sarina was convincing, and I found the conflict to flow naturally--two qualities I notice most novellas lack in general. OSTS did not blow me away, but Lori's execution was impressive and I am interested in checking out other titles under her name. Novellas do not usually have that effect on me, so I think that is pretty spectacular.

Cruel Enchantment by Michele Hauf -- 3.5/5
I think this story had the most engaging intro out of the three so far. The big thing in CE was the idea of an Intended, but thankfully, there was no love at first sight. The romance felt a bit rushed, and I wasn't fully convinced that Bree and Rev fell in love as quickly as they did. Part of that was because Rev was an addict, and I felt that he spent a lot of time battling his addiction, and less focused on loving Bree.

This story didn't blow me away, but it was entertaining, albeit, a bit cliche.

Enemy Embrace by Patti O'Shea -- DNF
For whatever reason, I couldn't get into this one. I'm still not entirely sure why.

Overall this is a good anthology. I may not generally be the hugest fan of novellas, but I found at least one new author to check out. My primary reason for checking out CRAVE THE NIGHT was to read Sharon Ashwood's piece. It was not my absolute favorite, it did help make the wait for her next book release to become a bit more bearable.

I would say to definitely check CTN out if you're into anthologies. If, however, you're not a fan and prefer full-length books, you may be better off passing up this title if you're familiar with these authors already. And if you aren't? Well, it can't hurt to check it out, anyway.

Series Order:
1. Crave the Night

Friday, October 5, 2012

Author Interview with Claire Ashgrove

I suppose author interview isn't entirely accurate, my friends. Today, instead of having Claire answer a few questions about herself, we will be visited by Farran de Clare, our hunky hero from Claire Ashgrove's most recent release, IMMORTAL SURRENDER (Curse of the Templars #2).

So without further ado, Farran here is going to grace us with his delicious six pack wonderful personality.

Hi Farran! How old are you, exactly?
I am over nine hundred years old.

Is that so? And what, exactly, do you do? 
I serve the archangel Mikhail, under the steady sword of Merrick du Loire, in the Holy Order of the Knights Templar.

What is your favorite saying? 
(Farren chuckles.) At present, I find myself oft beginning my sentences with damsel.  As in, Damsel, mind your tongue.  'Tis hard not to when I'm bound to one so willful.

Who is your worst enemy, and what did he/she do? 
My worst enemy is the dark lord, Azazel.  I am sworn to fight against his vile creations, to protect the mortal realm you know.  He covets the highest throne, and 'tis mine and my brothers' duty to stop his ascent.

What is one thing you wouldn't be caught dead doing? 
Once I would have said watching television, but I find myself in greater luxury of late, and cannot claim such now.  'Twould have to be dancing at one of these so-called clubs Noelle has spoken of. 
Any love interests? 
(A wicked smirk drifts across his mouth.)  Aye.  
Well... are you going to tell us who? 
'Twould be the lady de Clare, Dr. Noelle Keane.  Though 'twas not an easy journey to reach this contentment of my heart. I wanted naught to do with her.  She, however, possesses a... way... about her, shall we say, that made it impossible to do anything but adore her.  
When did you know you were falling for her? 
(He laughs again.)  When the urge to feel her lips on mine became as fierce as the urge to throttle her.  (Farran pauses for a moment, then his expression sobers.)  In truth, 'twas a moment we shared in the belly of the temple, when I glimpsed the woman she was, not the seraph forced upon me.  
What is one favorite childhood memory? 
Saints' toes -- a millenia has passed since I have been asked about childhood.  I do not oft think about those I have left behind.  Though I recall a special fondness for riding through the de Clare lands as a young boy beside my sire, grateful for the time he shared with me.  He was truly a lord to be admired, and I deeply respected him.  
When this war is over, if the Templar are the victors, where would you like to go to get away? 
I have seen much sand in my life.  Fought in the dispicable dunes against Saladin.  But I have never set foot on tropical sands.  I should take Noelle to an island, I do believe.  One that is not marked with a gate to Azazel's realm.  (His grin returns, devilish as ever.)  And there, I shall focus on naught but my duty to Noelle.

Award-Winning Author Claire Ashgrove has been writing since her early teens and maintained the hobby for twenty years before deciding to leap into the professional world. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction's Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write steamy, sexy stories for the Champagne and Black Rose lines. Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire’s paranormal romance series, The Curse of the Templars debuted with Tor in January 2012. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also writes for Berkley Heat as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire.

To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at www.claireashgrove.com, or www.toristclaire.com. You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.


What you can win:
  • One digital copy of any of Claire's backlist books, excepting those in the Templar series
  • Commenters’ names will be added into the tour-end drawing of a 25.00 Amazon gift card.

What you need to do:
  • Leave a comment on this interview; be sure to include your email address in the comments section, otherwise you will not be entered to win either prize.
  • Follow the tour – the more you comment on participating blogs, the better your chances of winning. Complete tour dates can be found at Claire's website, here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Graphic Novel Imprint at Penguin

This post is just a heads up for those of you who haven't heard about the great news, yet.

On October 2nd, Penguin's Berkley/NAL division will be introducing its new graphic novel line, InkLit. Some of your favorite urban fantasy authors, including Patricia Briggs and Charlaine Harris will be included.

InkLit will launch on October 2nd with the release of Alpha and Omega: Volume 1 by #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs with artwork by Todd Herman.  This graphic novel is an adaptation of Cry Wolf (Ace 2008), the first book in the Alpha and Omega series, a spin-off from Briggs's signature Mercy Thompson series.  Alpha and Omega was originally released as an eight-issue comic book series from Dynamite Entertainment.  The new InkLit hardcover will contain the first four comic books, with the remaining four published in Volume 2 in 2013.   

In 2013, InkLit will publish two graphic novels from Charlaine Harris, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series.  An adaptation of Grave Sight, the first book in the Harper Connelly Mystery Series, will debut in January.   Cemetery Girl will mark both Harris's and InkLit's first original graphic novel publication when it is released later in the year.  It is the start of a planned trilogy co-authored with award-winning writer Christopher Golden and illustrated by Don Kramer.

Laurell K. Hamilton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, will also join the InkLit list with two titles.  The Lunatic Café, book four of the Anita Blake series, will be adapted into graphic novel format.    And Hamilton will publish an-as-yet untitled original graphic novel set in the world of Anita Blake and featuring the character of Edward, a longtime fan favorite.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm pretty excited about the Patricia Briggs release! And if they draw a sexy Eric Northman, well... *evil cackle*

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tori's Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

October 2, 2012
Hardcover: 384 pages
Price: $18.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: BEA (and Karen, specifically!)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: The Arcana Chronicles 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…

My Rating:

My Opinion:

Worldbuilding is one of the strongest features in Kresley's books. She has these complex and captivating environments in her series that pull me in and keep me coming back for more--and POISON PRINCESS (PP) is no different. Instead of following before the Flash and after in a chronological order of events, we bounce back and forth between the two. Even better? Instead of a jarring experience, I felt that the shifts enhanced the story. By the end of the novel, all loose ends were tied and I felt like i had an "Aha!" moment. I understood this book in ways I did not before.

The concept of the Arcana is a unique approach to a new series that many YA readers have not yet seen, and I feel that this new and shiny allure will beckon many new readers. I have no doubt that Kresley will earn an even larger following of rabid fans. I'm convinced she can't write a bad book.

My only complaint, and why I rated this 4 stars, is about the characters. I'm used to Kresley's adult romances, which feature one couple per book in an overarching series. I've almost come to expect character flaws to be resolved and for the couple to live HEA and that's it. Instead, I'm now exploring a new series which is solely based on Evie's experiences, and for that reason, we obviously can't have everything perfect between her and Jack by the end of PP. I wish the other Arcana characters didn't annoy me as much as they did at times, but something tells me that they were purposefully written that way because the group just met and don't know each other. Regardless of logic explaining the why's, it was difficult to like many of the characters.

I want Evie and Jack together, and I appreciated the glimpses of the strengths these two shared as a couple. The problem was that both are very...difficult to like due to their pigheadedness. I have no doubt this will change in future installments, since Kresley doesn't ever leave her characters that lacking, but I think those new to her writing will write the duo off as hopeless. I hope new readers will hold out until at least book two.

Evie is a spoiled brat, which did not bother me since she does have a few redeeming qualities (which I think are related with her abilities), but I know many will not like her initially. My problem with her had more to do with her lack of development as a character until literally the last ten pages. She has a bad case of denial, and tried to run away from her problems and avoid confrontations. It took me until the end of the book to fully understand why she was so reluctant to tell Jack any of her secrets, and by that time, I was honestly glad that she didn't. The girl needed to have her own badass moment.

Jack...not many are going to like him, I think. He's a sexy Cajun, but he also drinks booze way too much. To top it off, he is a loose cannon ready to go off on anyone around him that doesn't deserve the treatment (but perhaps my conclusion has been tainted since I was reading this from Evie's POV). I couldn't understand his temper tantrums half the time, and yet, despite that, part of me connected with this character and his frustrations. I think Evie's annoying denials would have made anyone explode, and for that reason, he didn't come off as a completely unlikable hero. Just one that is a bit too rough around the edges at this point in time.

Aside from that complaint, this book was flawless, and I think this series is going to be another big hit amongst the reading community. Definitely recommend reading this!

Series Order:
1. Poison Princess

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tori's Review: Alchemystic by Anton Strout

September 25, 2012
Paperback: 304 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Spellmason Chronicles 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who knows the Belarus name…

Lexi’s great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason—an artisan who could work magic on stone. But in his day, dark forces conspired against him and his, so he left a spell of protection on his family. Now that Lexi is in danger, the spell has awoken her ancestor’s most trusted and fearsome creation: a gargoyle named Stanis.

Lexi and Stanis are equally surprised to find themselves bound to each other. But as they learn to work together, they realize that only united can they save the city they both love…

My Rating: DNF

My Opinion:
Alchemystic has an incredibly interesting premise, but I was not a fan of the writing style--which is ultimately why I could not continue reading this piece. I had no issue with the plot, but I also did not read enough of the book to be a good judge of said plot.

The heroine and her gargoyle sounded like the same exact character. In fact, I had a slight problem adjusting to the transitions between characters/chapters because of that. Their voices were also dull for me, which I hate to admit since I really wanted to like this book.

Another problem I had with the writing was that it felt somewhat chunky; the paragraphs were long and somewhat tedious to read, which I think contributed with my lack of enjoyment regarding the character voices.

I'm sure many others will enjoy this writing style, and they will enjoy the characters. Unfortunately, it simply did not work for me this time around. I would suggest reading a sample of ALCHEMYSTIC before purchasing it to see if the writing is your cup of tea, first.

Series Order:
1. Alchemystic

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tori's Review: Blooded by Amanda Carlson

April 11, 2012
E-book: 60 pages
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Hachette 
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Jessica McClain
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she's no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring. 

When she's brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . .

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Chapter one has an interesting start, and one that instantly pulled me into the action and kept me reading despite some questions that kept bouncing around in my head; the first and most important question being: how on earth is a human surviving a brawl against a werewolf who is willing to risk his life in order to fight said human? I'm wondering if the threat of the Alpha is ever-present in the werewolf's mind, and in turn, making him hesitant to go all out?

Loved the witty dialogue in the first few chapters. Jessica is definitely feisty and made me laugh two pages in. I like her already. Also enjoyed how we are thrown into the bigger conflict right away, and very smoothly. I think I have a good general sense of Jessica thus far, which is a feat for a new character--in a novella, no less.

Some pieces of the dialogue following chapter one's strong start were a bit long-winded. Realistic in real life, maybe, but I felt it was a bit too long for one person to be talking in a book. I also found descriptions regarding Jessica's father to have a bit too much telling, and not enough showing for my tastes. Necessary, perhaps, considering this is a novella, though.

Both of these, however, were balanced out by my intrigue of the supernatural community that keeps getting mentioned. So far we know that werewolves are prevalent, but what other magical nasties are lurking to munch on our heroine for lunch?

Final verdict: loved the beginning, but after the confrontation, the novella began to drag a little bit with all the exposition. Since this is a prequel to FULL BLOODED, it would make sense to read this first; however, I do not think BLOODED gave the series and characters justice, though from what I've seen, many people absolutely loved the novella. I think the long-winded dialogue will improve as Amanda writes more novels. Hell, maybe this is just a fluke. We'll see when I read FULL BLOODED.

I think that BLOODED would be better to read after checking out the novel. I need a better sense of all the characters, and I currently feel like I do not appreciate them enough yet. I will address this further in my review of FULL BLOODED.

Series Order:
0.5. Blooded
1. Full Blooded (Tori's Review)