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, 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)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Giveaway: Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson

This giveaway is open to US residents only
(sorry everyone else, I am a jobless college student and can't afford shipping). 

When I met Amanda Carlson at AAD12, I was thrilled to attain a signed copy of her now released title, FULL BLOODED. She is such a sweetheart, and I am happy to announce that I have FIVE signed copies to share with all of you.

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

It's not easy being a girl. It's even harder when you're the only girl in a family of werewolves. But it's next to impossible when your very existence spells out the doom of your race... Meet Jessica McClain -- she just became part of the pack.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Preview & GIVEAWAY: The Vacant Casualty, a parody, by Patty O'Furniture

A brilliantly funny parody of the world's most hotly anticipated new book, from the author of several Sunday Times bestselling humour titles.

The Vacant Casualty is not prepared, authorized, licensed, approved, or endorsed by the author or the publishers of The Casual Vacancy.

Nothing ever seems to happen in the sleepy English town of Mumford – unless you count the man with the axe in his back, staggering down the street getting blood everywhere and leaving a vacancy on the Parish Council . . .

Into the fray steps Detective Inspector Bradley of the C.I.D. Although he appears to be a plodding buffoon, incapable of detecting his own backside, that is exactly what he is. But when he teams up with an alcoholic, drug-addled writer researching a detective novel, together they will blunder towards the identity of the ‘vacant casualty’. They just hope to get there before everyone in the town is murdered.

In this potty-mouthed, depraved, disrespectful parody, strewn with casual violence and sexual deviancy, you will discover aliens, farting tea-ladies, car chases, serial killers and lashings and lashings of tortoise milk. But no immigrants. This is the countryside, after all.

If you would like to read the sample, here is a link to it:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tori's Review: Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

July 3, 2012
Paperback: 384 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Alex Craft 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

When the dead need to talk, Alex Craft is always ready to listen…

As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.

But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a mysterious suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade she raises has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I don't think I have ever closed a book and immediately had to satisfy the need to rage on twitter as badly as I had to after finishing GRAVE MEMORY. As I attempt to type this review, I am trembling because I am so pissed off (and happy, I'm very happy too) and I can't stand it. For that reason, I will start the review off with negatives, and end it with positives so I can go to bed thinking about my book husband.

Falin. I want to snarl whenever I think of him now. If anyone has read my reviews of the other two books in this series, then they know I am definitely rooting for Death/Alex. Hell, my placeholder review on Goodreads was "GIVE ME DEATH! I love that sexy beast! Rawr." So for that reason, I was not thrilled reading about Alex still straddling the fence regarding these two men. What is even worse is the fact that, while I actually DO like Falin's character, I do not like how he is being flung around as this object by the Winter Queen (understandable, but I don't have to like it), and I don't like how everyone's feelings in this triangle are getting trampled on.

I suppose this means I am invested in the story, huh?

What is even worse is the ending--literally the last couple of paragraphs--that totally trampled on the happy bubble I was temporarily living in. I think I was even on the verge of squeeing because I was so thrilled with how things were going. This ending is the sole reason for my rage. It literally jumped out of the bushes, stole my candy, and flipped me off before scampering away. It is somewhat like a cliffhanger, but not in the traditional sense. I won't say anything more, and I feel only those invested in the universe will truly feel elation or rage over the conclusion. You know which side I'm on.

The last thing that was a bit of a bummer was the first half of the book. There was a lot of detective work in this novel, and frankly, it was not my thing. I dont like books based soley on mystery; I want my fantasy, and I want my worldbuilding, and I certainly want my romance and kick ass scenes where the supernatural villain dies a supernaturally violent death that he/she deserved. That is why I read urban fantasy. Regarding the first half of the novel, well, I wanted more action, and I wanted all the characters I love in this series to have appeared sooner and stayed longer. I thought there was something wrong with me initially, since this series always sucked me in from page one, but once more of the fantasy elements resurfaced, I was engaged again.

Now for the good: Death.

No seriously, he made this book for me. I've never claimed a book boyfriend out loud before (though I may have thought of a few throughout the years as one. It's like polyandry, minus the marriage and the boyfriends knowing about each other...because I've claimed so many), and Death, after the scenes in this book, has been upgraded from boyfriend to fiancé, and now I am claiming him as my book husband. I know I sound like a total lunatic, but I am okay with that.

In all seriousness though, readers finally get to catch a glimpse of this mysterious, yet sexy, character, and he did not disappoint. I wouldn't go so far as to say he's an alpha male, but he certainly has some qualities of one. He also has so beta qualities, but is not entirely beta, either. I only wish he had more screen time, because I just cannot get enough of him. He made such an impression that it truly kills me to know that there was ever a love triangle to begin with.

I'm only tacking off a star because of the mystery-novel-who-dun-it that pervaded throughout most of the first half of the novel. Aside from that, I really do not have any other complaints, and I think the "bad" that I mentioned is bad because this series has sunken its claws into me and made me care. How often do we truly feel passionate about a book enough that we feel not only mad, but sad, and happy as well by the end? Especially as reviewers? Not often enough for me, that's for sure.

I'll take it, love triangle and all. If anything, I'll just claim Death for myself and Alex can have Falin.

Verdict: Must read. Go buy it now.

Series Order:
1. Grave Witch (Tori's Review)
2. Grace Dance (Tori's Review)
3. Grave Memory

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tori's Review: Black Heart Loa by Adrian Phoenix

Released: June 28, 2011
Paperback: 432 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Marq @ Love to Read for Fun
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Series: Hoodoo
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

“An eye for an eye is never enough.” Kallie Rivière, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm—the deadliest in a century—is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart—literally.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Have you ever read a book that failed to keep you interested for about 80% of the time, but you still were determined to finish? That's exactly how I feel about this series...and for that reason, I do not know how to rate this book.

The start did not pull me in like the first book in this series, but I still wanted to continue because I was hoping more of a romance would be developed...too bad it never does, but there is a new love interest. The middle dragged, much like it did for me in BLACK DUST MAMBO. I began skimming certain character scenes because I did not want to listen to the same thing repeated for a new character--which brings me to my biggest complaint: the POV swaps hurt the book more than they helped.

I could understand three POVs tops (like the hero, heroine, and a villain), but I find that anything more detracts from the story and starts to become repetitive--like this series seems to be. It makes me wonder if Phoenix is having commitment issues with her characters, because they all sound the same in all the POV swaps. Instead of developing Kallie and Belladonna further, they are two dimensional, though when together they do add comical relief. I'm not sure if she wants Kallie with Layne, and if she does, she is making it incredibly hard to support the two when McKenna is lurking in the shadows and Layne is feeling guilty.

Instead of maintaining a plot full of action that would keep the reader glued to the pages, BLACK HEART LOA beats its readers over the head with the same few scenes over and over: the memory of Kallie's mother's betrayal, everyone being pissed at Divinity, and everyone wanting to sleep with everyone else. These are the horniest characters I've ever read about, and they all feel like they're the same person talking at times.

Deflections also annoyed me this time around. I think it is high time that Divinity stops pushing off the inevitable explanation and finally fesses up (which she has done...kind of). Either have her fess up, or have the characters accept her actions. At this point, I don't care anymore about her motives...just spit it out already and focus on something new, please, instead of having every character mull over her thoughtless actions.

Saying that is awful... I understand the indignation, but showing three different characters being pissed over the SAME exact thing is distracting me from the story and simply exasperates me because I'm reading the same scene over and over.

I probably sound harsh, and I bet many of you are wondering why I even finished the book if I had this much to complain about. There WERE good points in this story: Baron Samedi was amusing, Belladonna made me laugh my ass off, and our demonic wolf and his sneaky actions has me intrigued. I hope he makes more of an appearance in the next few books. January's announcement about the scratch on Kallie is what made me intrigued with the potential of this series...all over again. Will it get more attention in book three? I really hope so...

Am I hopeful that the third book will feature fewer character POVs, focus more on a plot that keeps me interested for more that 15% of the book, and perhaps delve into more character development...and even a romance? I'm not holding my breath, but I still want to read the next release to see what happens next.

Series Order:
1. Black Dust Mambo (Tori's Review)
2. Black Heart Loa

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tori's Review: Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix

June 29, 2010
Paperback: 384 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Authors After Dark 2012
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Series: Hoodoo
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

"There will be times, girl, when all your magic ain't going to be enough, times when it will seem to dry up like mud under the noonday sun, or even make matters worse . . ."

Kallie Riviere, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance's annual carnival: her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed. And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching -- the darkest of dark juju, soul-eating juju -- a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.

Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer -- even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends. But Kallie's search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated -- back home to Bayou Cypres Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie's aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor . . . who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Well, Black Dust Mambo was certainly an interesting book to end my reading break. I began this title at the pool while in New Orleans during AAD12 and have been reading it on and off since then. I was hooked and absolutely loved the lingo and characterization. I also loved the dramatic start.

The only two weaknesses I found were the multiple POVs and the middle of the book. The POVs made this book strong and weak. In the beginning, we jumped from character to character and never got a chance to take a breather--something that I enjoyed since I was constantly on my toes; however, these POV swaps overwhelmed the middle of the book and slowed the story down dramatically as this urban fantasy turned into a "who dun it" kind of story with angst thrown in for good measure. If I had read this book even a month ago, the middle would have made me DNF this series, sadly.

Nitpicks: I wish there were more explanations. What exactly is the loa? Some of the phrases were unfamiliar to me since I'm neither French, nor from the south. I would have liked less lusting (though I suppose after being in NOLA for a week, it's understandable) and more delving into the mysterious aspects of this story's universe, like the Nomads, the HA, maybe even the magic and some backstory on voodoo. I suppose less superficial and more background would have been appreciated, though the wet boxer contest definitely made my imagination go wild.

Strengths included characters that were spunky and easy to relate with. The beginning and ending were jampacked with action that left me wanting more. In fact, I'm ready to read book two due to the cliffhanger and the ending in general. I was craving a romance, and there is a hint to one, and now I want to continue reading this series to see if it will actually happen. What I also loved--especially after leaving NOLA and (oddly enough after too many sleepless nights) missing it--was how Adrian captured the atmosphere of this city in scenes of this book.

There are certainly other UF novels out there that I would recommend over Black Dust Mambo, however, this is the start to a new series with a lot of potential. If you are looking for a refreshing approach to the genre, this book may be of interest to you due to the atmosphere alone. If setting is not big for you, or if you are a bit more critical about slow middles or too many POVs, I would suggest borrowing this book from someone if you're still willing to give it a chance.

Series Order:
1. Black Dust Mambo
2. Black Heart Loa (Tori's Review)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tori's Review: Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Released: September 4, 2012
Hardcover: 336 pages
Price: $17.99
Publisher: MacMillan
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Razorland
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.

My Rating:
This book has received the Faerie of Honor Rating (what is this?)

My Opinion: 
My mind has been blown. How do you review a book that completely blew you away, without sounding like some rabid fangirl?

Deuce and Fade are breaking my heart in so many different ways. Together, I've found them to be one of the strongest YA couples I've encountered thus far. Alone, they are equally as strong--and perhaps even stronger at certain points (like when Deuce goes on her search later in the book)--but you can feel the void where the other is supposed to be. I love this as a reader, and cannot get enough of it.

I cried over the two more times than I can count, and what happens to Fade by the end shredded me emotionally. I literally sat, slumped in my chair, for a good hour or so after I finished OUTPOST, unable to do anything. I wasn't kidding when I called Ann evil on Twitter while I read this. OUTPOST messes with your mind, but all in a good, yet evil, sort of way.

Stalker grew on me as a character, too. He isn't some heartless teen trying to simply survive--even at the expense of others. He's evolved while in a "civilized" village, despite his reluctance to do so. The conflict between his (and Deuce's) desire to maintain his skills and the village's beliefs was one that added another dimension to both Stalker's character, and the story overall. I connected with him on an emotional level, and I think I can see why some readers cheered for him as Deuce's love interest this time around. I hope that he eventually finds someone to be with, and maybe even by the end of this series. Maybe, if we're lucky, there will be a spinoff series with him?

The Freaks have become even freakier, too. Think about the scariest zombie movie you've ever watched, and that really got under your skin and scared you half to death as you watched it. Now imagine being thrown into that world, but the zombies are slowly evolving into an even bigger threat than you initially thought, in ways that you never imagined possible. That's how the Freaks are in OUTPOST. My heart raced with every scene that they appeared in, and I never fully relaxed after they left, because Ann always kept them creeping in the background.

One scene by the end makes me bawl like a little baby, and I never expected myself to have such an emotional reaction over this character, either. I think that this only reinforces the fact that Ann is such a skilled writer, because without even realizing it, readers will grow fond of the secondary characters.

I think my only problem with this story (and a minimal one at that), is the fact that Fade was a little bit emo in the beginning of this novel. Emo enough that he didn't come off as badass as I remembered him to be in ENCLAVE. I suppose it is understandable, since he did not grow up the way Deuce and Stalker did--and we are shown that multiple times through Deuce and Stalker's conversations as Stalker tries to win her affections. I also wished, though I understand why she was unable to do so, that Deuce expressed her emotions a bit better. She came off a bit stiff at times, but like I said, I understand because she grew up as a Huntress, so it's difficult to turn that side of her off.

OUTPOST is a strong sequel, and did not leave me disappointed. It did not have the same feel as ENCLAVE, which I thought was going to disappoint me since ENCLAVE was a masterpiece, but Ann handled the story and characters so well that I honestly did not care. I almost feel like OUTPOST is in its own world (which it kind of is), and should be regarded on an entirely different level.

Should you read it? You should buy five copies: two for yourself (one that you can reread, and the other to immortalize in an Ann Aguirre Razorland shrine), one to lend to friends, and two more as (un)birthday presents for your two closest friends. Hell, maybe you should buy a few more copies to give away to strangers.

Series Order:
1. Enclave (Tori's Review)
2. Outpost
3. Horde (coming soon)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Romance Blog Hop Giveaway

Are you a romance reader? Do you want to win some free books and an egift card to buy even more books? Do you happen to live in the US?

Well, if you've answered yes to any of the above, then you're in luck. Romance at Random is offering romance readers a unique opportunity to win lots of books! The prizes range from 10 romance books to a $25 ebook gift card.

You can learn more about this event, along with checking out participating blogs, here. Or, you can check under the Rafflecopter Giveaway widget for a list of all participating blogs :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway