Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review - The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

The Merchant's DaughterTitle: The Merchant's Daughter
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Stand Along
Pages:  284
Published: November 29th 2011 by Zondervan
ISBN: 9780310727613
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart. 

I Give This ...

I've seen this author a couple times and have her other book on my kindle.  I liked the sounds of this one as well and figured why not?   While not as good as I had hoped, it was a pleasant read.

Annabel's family is no longer wealthy and they are either required to work in the fields or pay a type of tax.  They have been doing neither and bribing those who come to collect for the past 3 years.  The new Lord isn't having any of that and the family is put on trial.  They are ordered to pay the back taxes or a family members needs to enter into indentured servitude for 3 years.  

I really loved Annabel's attitude.  She knows she has a family who is unwilling to lift a finger for anything.  They're full of excuses.  They think Annabel is the answer to all their problems and not in the way one might think.  They want to marry her off in exchange for having their past taxes paid.  I have no idea what they planned to do with the future ones.   Annabel refuses to be married off this way, especially to the despicable baliff who makes her skin crawl.  She enters into to the Lord's house in servitude.  She tries hard to do all the duties asked of her.  But, she has been brought up this way and lacks certain things the other's have.  Instead of hard labor, she ends up mostly working in the kitchens or around the manor house.

The Lord finds himself intrigued be Annabel despite himself.  He's been cut deep by females in the past and he is beyond wary to let himself feel anything for Annabel.  But, she doesn't behave in the usual manners.   She may carry herself like the nobility, but she's also humble and has a deep understanding of what she wants out of life.   Plus, she's fiercely loyal.  When an unfortunate incident occurs that buts her and a friend in jeopardy, she has a hard time confessing to the truth.  She's afraid her friend will be blames and then she deserved it.  In the end, she confides in Lord Ranulf and he helps protect her and her friend.

It's interesting to get both view points to this story because you see them both falling for each other.  But, there both convinced the other doesn't feel the same and for reasons not even remotely accurate.  It really is a sweet love story. 

So why the 3 rating?  It was really slow moving with very little driving the story foward.  It think it holds really little adult cross over appeal.  I think younger teens might really enjoy this story though! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Early Review - Fury's Fire (Siren's Storm #2) by Lisa Papademetriou

Fury's Fire (Siren's Storm, #2)Title: Fury's Fire
Author: Lisa Papdemterio
Series: 2nd (Siren's Storm)
Pages: 243
Published: July 10th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780375868627
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: At the end of Siren's Storm, the Sirens were defeated, and now the town of Walfang is once again a peaceful beach community.  Or is it? Gretchen and Will are still haunted by the memories of the night the Sirens were destroyed—Gretchen because she can't remember what happened and Will because he doesn't know how to tell Gretchen what he saw. He doesn't even understand what he saw, but he does know now that Gretchen is more than what she seems, more than a human girl. And at the same time, he is more in love with her than ever.  Gretchen knows there's something wrong, too. She feels like an alien in her own body, but she doesn't know why. And she feels a presence stalking her at every turn. Have the Sirens returned to Walfang? Or has some other force come to claim her? 

I Give This ...

I wasn't sure I was going to read this.  I've been trying to make it a goal to not seek out every sequel to books I've read.  Especially those that I felt were just average.  But, this one I just had a hard time saying no too.

I think the biggest thing the drew me back to the story was that I don't think Getchen fully knew who she was.  And if she doesn't know who she is, how can she possibly understand what she is capable of.   She had too many holes in what happened towards the end of book one.  Will may have witnessed it all, but he seems to hesitant to believe what he really saw.  And how can he tell Gretchen what he think really happened?  

I understand when characters go through some changed when major events happen.  But, for some reason Will and Gretchen feel off in this book.   Gretchen seems to blame Will for every little thing that happens.  Will tiptoes around her afraid of what she might do or say.  Plus, he hides things from her.  It's never better to let someone learn the truth in some other fashion.

I did like the story behind who Gretchen really is.  There's a lot of mythology woven into it.  Sadly, the last battle seems week and the story took to long to get there.  


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review - Bloodfever (Fever #2) by Karen Marie Moning

Bloodfever (Fever, #2)Title: Bloodfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Series: 2nd (Darkfever)
Pages: 303
Published: October 16th 2007 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780385339162
Source: Library

Description: I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets. . . .In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.  For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.

I Give This ...

Why oh why did I wait so long to read this?   I enjoyed the first one so one would think that the next in the series would be read as soon as possible.  Such was not the case.  I'm glad to finally get to it.

With so long between books, I once again was afraid of missing information.  But, I never once felt lost with the story lineThe author does a fantastic job feeling in the gaps when bridging the two books.   The events build off what has already occurred.  Jericho covets Mac's special ability to locate objects of power.  Things that shouldn't be in human hands (and maybe not in the hand of the Fae either).  I find it interesting how these objects give off vibes that Mac can sense.  And the Sinsar Dubh give off a vibe so powerful that it knocks Mac unconscious just to be near it.  How can they every locate it if she can't get near it?  And who has it?  Those are two questions that I'm dieing to know.

Mac has changed a lot since we meet her in book one.  Gone is the carefree spoiled little girl.  She's harded a lot by the events that she has been forced to witness.  I think it's evident by the way she handles the detective (who is bound a determined to pin something on her) and the brother of a man she killed (who is determined to extract revenge on whoever was responsible for his brother's death).  Ever a surprise visit for her father doesn't crumble her determination to punish the one who caused her sisters death.  

There's less V'lane in this story.  Something I wasn't quite sure about.  He seems to be struggling with his own feelings towards Mac.  He has a hard time understanding why is advances to work on Mac the way they normally do.  And then he does something that totally surprises me.  He's definitely not your typical Seelie prince.  There is lots of Jericho in this story.  The tension between Mac and Jericho you can cut with a knife.   I'm begging to understand a little bit about him and can't wait to find out more.

A bit slower than the first book, but still an great read.  I'll have to make sure that the next one doesn't take so long to get to!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
  • Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore 

Currently Reading:
  • The Queen's Vow by C.W. Gortner

 Up This Week:
  • Diva by Jillian Larkin
  • Never Enough by Denise Jaden

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

For Review:  

15 Seconds

15 Seconds by Andrew Gross (TLC Book Tours and Harper Collins)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review - Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane #4) by Jaye Wells

Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane, #4)Title: Silver-Tongued Devil
Author: Jaye Wells
Pages: 405
Published: January 1st 2012 by Orbit 
ISBN: 9780316178433
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Now that the threat of war has passed, Sabina Kane is ready to focus on the future. Her relationship with Adam Lazarus is getting stronger and she's helping her sister, Maisie, overcome the trauma of her captivity in New Orleans. Even Giguhl is managing to stay out of trouble thanks to the arrival of Pussy Willow and his new roller derby team. But as much as Sabina wants to feel hopeful about the future, part of her doesn't believe that peace is possible. Her suspicions are confirmed when a string of sadistic murders threatens to stall treaty negotiations between the mages and the vampires. Sabina pitches in to find the killer, but her investigation soon leads her down dark paths that have her questioning everyone she thought she could trust. And the closer she gets to the killer, the more Sabina begins to suspect this is one foe she may not be able to kill.

I Give This ...

It's been awhile since I read the last in the series, so I was hoping I hadn't really forgotten any of the events.   This book dives right in basically.  It's briefly mentions some of the major points and I was able to remember the details that seemed a little fuzzy.

I kind of felt like Sabina got the short end of the stick in this book.   I think she's trying to fit into too many people's idea of who she should be instead of just being who she wants to be.  She's both Mage and Vampire and I think she can fully embrace both without deny either side of herself.  She also has a really hard time with authority, and with good reason.  Those around her need to realize the more you tell her what she HAS to do, the less likely she will do it.  But, all of that forces Sabina to acknowledge who she is.   

I liked how much the actions forces certain events out into the open.  Sabina has to admit to the fact that she has a relationship with Slade.   Everyone has to realize that Maisie is far more troubled that she wants people to think about the events that happened at the end of book 3.  Adam has to acknowledge the Sabina has past darker than he would like to admit.  

I love how this book has it all.   Humor...Demon Roller Derby anybody?  Romance, because Sabina and Adam are awesome when they want to be!  And of course there is plenty of violence, mystery and paranormal activity.  I originally started this series simply because of the title of the first book.  You cab bet that I will be finishing it though!  And not just because there's only one book left in the series.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review - Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn, #1) by J. A. London

Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn, #1)Title: Darkness Before Dawn
Author: J.A. London
Series: 1st
Pages: 342
Published: May 29th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers 
ISBN: 9780062020659
Source: Sent by publisher for honest review 


Description:  Only sunlight can save us. We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what's left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.  After the death of my parents, it's up to me--as the newest delegate for humanity--to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it's safe to let one in.  Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.

 I Give This ...

I have to be honest and say this wasn't really on my to-read list.  But, it showed up on my doorstep unsolicited and I wanted to give it my best shot.  I think I would have liked it more had I not read another book with a similar storyline first.

I enjoy the idea of a future society ruled by vampires.  In a world were every ancient society has some legend of vampires, whose to say that in the future the human race can't depend on them?  In return for protection  from rogue vampires, humans donate a quota to the existing ruling vampires.   It was intriguing that the ruling Vampire, Lord Valentine, insisted on a human delegate.  From what I saw, the delegate really does nothing.  I think Lord Valentine enjoys watching the delegate squirm under his demands and not be able to do a damn thing about it.

I liked Dawn.  She been raised around Vampire politics.  She knows what's at stake.   But, she also has a fresh outlook and the characteristics that only belong to teenagers.  She makes a few rash decisions and I think she wants to believe that there is something good in everyone.  She really wants to show those around her what's at stake if they mistakenly believe that the human race doesn't need the vampires.  But, she also wants to show the vampires that they also can't survive without the humans.  It's definitely a delicate line to walk.  Especially when no one understands why she was picked for the job when it obviously should have gone to someone else.

I liked Dawn's interactions with other characters.  As reckless as her best friend can be, she also brings a lighter side to Dawn.  Something she desperately needs in light of everything.  I loved her building relationship with Victor.  He's an interesting character and their involvement goes against everything each of them know.  Neither one of them can afford a weakness, especially when it's the other person.  

Despite all the things I did like about this book, it seemed slow and incredibly drawn out.  And the thing that bothered me the most was at the beginning it's hinted that there is something questionable about Dawn's heritage.  That there's something special about her.  I be damned if I know what it is.  Is it that she was specifically chosen as the delegate by Lord Valentine?  Is it that she might bring about a new vampire rule?  If there was an answer in the wasn't clear to me what it was.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review - Tempest Unleashed (Tempest #2) by Tracy Deebs

Tempest UnleashedTitle: Tempest Unleashed
Author: Tracy Deebs
Series: 2nd (Tempest Rising)
Pages: 352
Published: June 5th 2012 by Walker Childrens 
ISBN:  9780802728302
Souce: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

I Give This ...

I enjoyed the first in the series, so I was hoping that life as a mermaid would be a good choice for Tempest.  I was also curious to see were this story might go.   It's an interesting world the author has created.  

I was curious how this story would work when we know that at the end of book one, Tempest chose the life in the sea.  I wanted to see how this underwater world that was created could function.  Oddly, a lot of the time I wasn't sure if the story was under water or not. It didn't help that sometimes Tempest would prefer her legs, but it seemed like they were far below the water's surface.  The Selkie kingdom seemed to work in the same peculiar way.  

Tempest seemed kind of indecisive at time.   She wants to finish this battle with Tiamat, but seems content to have Hailana order her around.  I figured her to be more of a take charge kind of mermaid.  I did find it interesting that she seemed so connected to her human past.  Everyone expects her to just be able to let go of it.  But, I think the vision of her human family prove that they will always be a part of her no matter how long she's a mermaid.

I think the intensity of the end of this book are what make it.  Tiamat seems desperate in her attacks, but she's trying to draw Tempest to her.  A sunken ship in a great place for a battle!  I liked how many pieces there were to this battle.  It's not just Tiamat that Tempest has to face, and she has a few of her own friends to think about as well.  It was interesting to see how it all played out, and how the story might continue.

I also put the book down when the love triangle was brought in.  The first story hinted at one, but I was so sure that Tempest has made a choice.   I didn't like how her human and mermaid sides each seemed to chose someone different.  In my mind there was a more obvious choice.  I'm glad I stuck it out...even if I disagree with the one choosen.

I'm sure I will continue with the story.  It's not over yet, and there are still some missing pieces.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  If your curious about this meme, visit Top Ten Tuesday where they have previous topics and upcoming topics listed as well.
My summer reading is going to consist of staying caught up on reviews.  I also hope to read a bunch of books from the library and my own giant pile.  Here's what I'm looking forward to in no particular order
Faefever (Fever, #3)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)
  • Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
  •  Inheritance by Christopher Paolini 
  • Faefever by Karen Moning 
  • Dreamfever by Karen Moning 
  • Shadowfever by Karen Moning
  •  City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  •  Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead 
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass 
  • Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer 
  • Endlessly by Kiersten White

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
  • Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning
  • Fury's Fire by Lisa Papademetriou
  • The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson 

Currently Reading:
  • Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

 Up This Week:
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

For Review: 

Amber House
  • Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, & Larkin Reed  (Scholastic and Netgalley)


Shadow Hills

  • Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsmen Review

Snow White and the Huntsman 

 I don't review movies that often.  Mostly because I don't go that often.  I'm a movie buff, but my husband HATES the theater.  I haven't quite become comfortable going by myself, so I either miss the movies or find someone else to go with.   Oddly enough my mom and grandma wanted to see this one.  

Charlize Therone...what I can I say.  I really wanted to see this movie just for her.   And she did not disappoint in her role as the Evil Queen.  I loved her costumes and the way she played her character.  I loved Christ Helmsworth asthe Huntsmen.  He had just the right attitude for the part.  I loved his accent and really, he's just sexy (I like him as Thor too.)   Kristen Stewart however, I'm really just not sure on.  I think she's the right look for Snow White.  But what was weird for me is she didn't talk, behave, or look in different than anything else I've ever seen her in.  And her speech were she's trying to get everyone to stand against the Queen wasn't really that moving.  Disappointing when I felt it was her pivotal moment in the film. 

I really enjoyed the twist on the storyline.  I liked how the Queen came into power.  I liked how the land and the people suffered beneath her rule, but that there were those who would defy her.  I think they were all looking for that sign or ray of hope that there might be something better out there.  They needed a reason to take a stand.  I did feel like the Queen wasn't explained very well.  We see how she got her powers, but didn't understand why her mother did it.  And did she get more powerful over passing years?  

Overall, I would recommend it only if you don't mind retelling of fairy tales, darker fantasy, and magic.   These are all elements that I love, so I was pleased.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review - Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham

Her Highness, the TraitorTitle: Her Highness, The Traitor
Author: Susan Higginbotham
Pages: 323
Series: Stand Alone
Published: June 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks 
ISBN: 9781402259562
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: As Henry VIII draws his last breath, two very different women, Jane Dudley, Viscountess Lisle, and Frances Grey, Marchioness of Dorset, face the prospect of a boy king, Edward VI.  For Jane Dudley, basking in the affection of her large family, the coming of a new king means another step upward for her ambitious, able husband, John. For Frances Grey, increasingly alienated from her husband and her brilliant but arrogant daughter Lady Jane, it means that she—and the Lady Jane—are one step closer to the throne of England.  Then the young king falls deathly ill. Determined to keep England under Protestant rule, he concocts an audacious scheme that subverts his own father’s will. Suddenly, Jane Dudley and Frances Grey are reluctantly bound together in a common cause—one that will test their loyalties, their strength, and their faith, and that will change their lives beyond measure. 

 I Give This ... 

Despite this time period being one of my favorites, I'm seriously lacking in my knowledge (and reading) about Edward VI and especially Lady Jane.  This sounded interesting and I hoped that it would provide me with some information I was lacking.

I think if I want to get a clearer picture of Edward VI, I will need to read something else.  I didn't feel like we got to know him very well.  Maybe that's because most of this book takes places when he is a child.  The kingdom is ruled in his name through the Protector.  There's a lot of confusing details about the King's favorite uncle trying to oust the Protector, thus loosing his head.  Then the people surrounding the King feel the Protector is abusing his power.  He lost his head too.   I know this was all important, but I was bored.   All it did was show me how little power the king had (because he was a child) and how much of laid in the hands of the nobility.  And, it didn't take much for those to turn on you.

I found it intriguing that Henry VIII's will gave such a clear line of succession, and that he bypassed his niece in favor of her children (I'm sure he was hoping for a male somewhere in there).  I also found it hard to believe that a king who seemed to have so little sway and knew his father's demands was so determined for Lady Jane to take over the thrown.  He had to know this was a bad idea right?  Did he think his sister Mary was just going to sit by when her father was so clear in her right to rule?  And did her really think Lady Jane would make a good Queen?   She had never been raised as such.   I think there's a whole lot to this story the book isn't telling us.

Which bring us to Lady Jane herself.   I half wish the book would have be at least partially told from her point of view.   The view points we do get do absolutely nothing for her.  I didn't like her.  She's that person who now days we would call "book smart" but she lacks any common sense.  Plus, she seemed to have very little human compassion.  A person like that shouldn't rule, and I think King Edward could have figured that out very easily.   I also disliked that the minute they named her Queen, she got this sense of entitlement.  I was sad to see that she was finally beheaded after so long of time.   I don't think she deserved to die, although I do understand why Queen Mary felt like she had to do it.

For all of that, you would think I disliked the book.  That's not entirely the case.  It filled in the gaps that I have between Monarchs.  I think it shows the state of the country and how it might have been effected when Mary came in the crown.   It also reminded me how easily people lost their heads in this day.  Plus, it's historical fiction and I'm not disappointed that I read it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review - Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2) by Josephine Angelini

Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2)Title: Deamless
Author: Josephine Angelini
Pages: 487
Series: 2nd (Starcrossed)
Published: May 29th 2012 by HarperTeen 
ISBN:  9780062012012
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description: Can true love be forgotten?  As the only Scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.  Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out—a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.  As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

I Give This ...

It seems the first book was either a love it or hate it kind of thing.  Since, I liked it a lot I was eagerly awaiting the next installment.  I kept my hopes in check because that second novel can be brutal.   While it had it's downfall moments, for the most part I really enjoyed this book.

Helen is a really unique lead character for this book.  And it's no wonder because she travels literally into Hell every night.  Would you be a bundle of joy the next day?  Add to it that she no longer has Lucas by her side.  I sometimes wondered if the story was going to follow this pit of despair storyline for the entire book, and if I could take it.  But, Helen is resilient and determined.  She may wander Hell every night, but she's also got some help to get her on the right path.

Lucas...he's trying so hard to do what everyone is telling him and fight his feelings for Helen.  It's obviously not working.  His actions are in hopes that Helen will hate him and that it's turning him into something else.  Even when he caves and finds a way to help Helen in Hell, it's too late to reverse the damage done to him.  I do admire him for going to any length to help Helene despite what others are telling him.  I have a hard time with the idea that they can't be together.  I get that they're cousins, and from different houses.  But, it's Helen and Paris and that's got to count for something.

I liked the introduction of Orion.  At first, I really wasn't sure if we could trust him.  He just pops in out of nowhere.  No one knows anything about him.  I couldn't help but think that he might get Helen in a situation she didn't want to be in.  I was happy to be proven wrong on all accounts.  He helps her figure out what she needs to do and pushed her to get it done.

I think my favorite part of of this book is the story development.  I loved how Hell is laid out for us.  By Helen wandering so much, we get a great view of how it works.  I liked how the Fates needed to drink from one of the rivers.  I loved how Persephone was persuaded to help.  I liked the brief meeting we get with Hades.  I liked the dream god (I can't remember his name).  I really loved how the minor gods get a little bit of action in this story.  I was wondering why everyone was acting so crazy, turns out gods have a major play in that.  Especially when Chaos and Terror show up.

It's long, and it does drag on in a few parts.  But, I really enjoyed this installment in the series.  I'll eagerly await the next one. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
  • Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
  • Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells 
  • Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan

Currently Reading:
  • Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Up This Week: 
  • Fury's Fire by Lisa Papademetriou
  • The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

For Review: 

The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's CourtDefiance (Defiance, #1) Glamorous Illusions

  • The Second Empress by Michelle Moran (Crown and Netgalley)
  • Defiance by C.J. Redwine (Balzer & Bray and Edelweiss)
  • Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Tawn Bergren (David C Cook and Netgalley


Crown of Crystal Flame (Tairen Soul, #5)

Crown of Crystal Flame by C.L. Wilson 


Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review - Body & Soul (The Ghost and the Goth #3) by Stacey Kade

Body & Soul (A Ghost and the Goth Novel)Title: Body & Soul
Author: Stacey Kade
Pages: 316
Published: May 1st 2012 by Hyperion 
ISBN: 9781423134664
Source: Arranged Tour

Description: Alona Dare has been living as Lily "Ally" Turner for over a month...and it's not been easy. Besides being trapped in a body so not as good as her original one, she's failing miserably at playing the sister and daughter of people she barely knows. Plus, she can't help but think that Will Killian - the boy she hates to care about - somehow wishes the real Lily were back.  She and Will have been trying to find a solution, looking for a two-for-one miracle that would free Alona and keep Lily alive. Visits to local psychics have proven useless, but then they stumble across Malachi the Magnificent, who seems to be different. His office is full of ghosts, for one thing. But Malachi doesn't seem to hear or see them, which is odd. Plus, he bolts the moment he sees Will. To make things even weirder, Misty Evans, Alona's former best friend, is waiting in Malachi's lobby and claiming that she's being haunted. By Alona.  Will's convinced that Malachi has answers, while Alona is all kinds of pissed that someone's impersonating her. But their efforts to uncover the truth will bring them much unwanted attention and put them directly in the path of a ghost who will stop at nothing for another stab at life. Even if it means destroying Alona. 

I Give This ...

I was hoping that being the last in the series, that this installment would tie up all the story threads nicely.  Not an easy task I'm sure.  I've come to care about these characters and I want a happy ending for them. 

I am impressed with the amount of character growth Alona has had throughout this series.  It's really a shame that her death is what caused this.  I actually felt sorry for her this book.  She's not very good at articulating how she really feels.  And Will is very bad at interpreting what she really means.   So, they spend quite a bit of this book arguing and misunderstanding each other.  Which is unfortunate because since the story is told from both points of views, we know how they really feel.  

Alona is trying hard to be someone she's not.  I can't imagine how difficult it would be to impersonate someone whose characteristics are so far from your own.  For once, Alona has no confidence in who she is.  She's uncomfortable in her own skin.  And she's not ungrateful for the chance she's been given.  She knows exactly how lucky she is to be alive.  She just doesn't know how to by the Lily everybody wants her to be.  And she especially hates the fact that she feels like Will wishes it was the real Lily.

Will kind of drove me a little crazy.  He seemed to always take what Alona was saying and twist it around to something else.  He never gave her the chance to just be herself.  He was constantly tell her that it wasn't how Lily would do it.  Well of course it's not, Alona isn't Lilly.  He didn't give her half the chance.  I was happy to see him finally come to that understanding in the end.

The ghost in question in this story was the only downfall.  I think she was toned down a lot.  She's just didn't strike the fear in mean that she should have.  She will stop and nothing to have another chance at life, but yet she doesn't really come across that way.  I actually found the story her life much more interesting.  How it related to Malachi the Magnificent was one of the better parts to her story.

I was happy with the ending.  It was what I was hoping for given the circumstances.  I think it will work out in the long run.  Although, I do admit that I'm curious about the long term ramifications of it. 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review - Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3) by Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3)Title: Dark Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: 3rd (Touch of Frost, Kiss of Frost)
Pages: 336
Published: May 29th 2012 by Kensington 
ISBN:  9780758266965
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.  Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.

 I Give This ...

I've early awaited the newest book every time one comes out in this series.  I've grown kind of attached this band of teenagers and the odd school they inhabit.  But then, I've always had a particular love for mythology and this definitely fits the bill.

I think what I find most endearing about Gwen is that she doesn't think she's the bad ass that she really is.   She has all these powers and she's hesitant to use them anymore than she has to.  In fact, she has powers that she doesn't even really know about.  Since she's never managed to really make friends, she loyal to the one's she's made at Mythos.  Even when those friends are treating her like crap because of her own abilities that she can't really control.  But, she's not a pushover.  She stands up for what she believes in and those she loves.  

Sometimes series feel like they drag on and never really get to the point.  While there is element that kind of does this (are Logan and Gwen together or not), the story has wasted no time getting to the point.  The Reapers will get what they desire no matter what the cost is.  I knew we were ultimately headed to a showdown between Loki, his champion, and his followers.  I didn't expect to meet them all so soon.  I also was not expecting Loki's champion to be hiding right under our noses.

Gwen goes through a lot in this book.  Despite some setbacks, she really grows into her character.  She has to witness Daphne alienate her and Logan shun her.  Still she's willing to sacrifice it all to stop Loki from becoming unbound.  I kept waiting for someone to step in and help her save the world.  Sadly it's the wolf who comes and she's injured in the process (man I love that wolf..whole other story).   

Gwen seems really downcast at the end of this book.  I think she really expected to save the day and when it didn't happen that way it really hurt her.  I'm curious as to were this story will go next and if Gwen can fully pick up the pieces and become the champion she needs to be.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Treachery of Beautiful ThingsTitle: The Treachery of Beautiful Things
Author: Ruth Frances Long
Publication Date:  August 16th 2012 by Dial Books

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.

I love fairytale type books and this one just sounds fantastic! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review - Enshadowed (Nevermore, #2) by Kelly Creagh

 Enshadowed (Nevermore, #2)Title: Enshadowed
Author: Kelly Creagh
Series: 2nd (Nevermore)
Pages: 429
Published: August 28th 2012 by Atheneum 
ISBN:  9781442402072
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: Varen Nethers is trapped in a perilous dream world -- a treacherous and desolate realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel Lanley, plagued by strange visions and haunted by the nightmares of Varen's creation, is the only one who can save him.  Isobel knows that her only hope lies within a Baltimore cemetery. There, in the early morning hours of Edgar Allan Poe's birthday, a mysterious stranger known as the "Poe Toaster" will make his annual homage at the legendary poet's grave. Only the Poe Toaster holds the key to the way between worlds. But even greater dangers lie ahead for Isobel. An ancient evil, draped in veils of white, is watching, challenging her for Varen's affections. When Isobel finally finds Varen, he is no longer the quiet and brooding boy who once captivated her, but a dark force, powerful and malevolent. 

I Give This ...

I've been eagerly awaiting this installment in the Nevermore series.  I'm not a die hard Poe fan, but I've always enjoyed his works.  The first book impressed way more than I though possible, so this one was a no brainer for me. 

    Isobel really is a shadow of herself in this book.  I don't mean that in bad way, but she's not the same person.  Varen completely changed her as did her experiences in the dream world that he's now trapped in.  She spends her days trying to convince her friends that she's still the popular cheerleader she was before.  She's trying to convince the adults that she really had nothing to with Varen.  And she's trying to convince her parents that they can trust her again.  But, most of all I think she's trying to convince herself that she isn't going crazy and that she is capable of rescuing Varen.  The probable is that she doesn't know what she's dealing with.  A demon that's as old as time and known for giving lost souls exactly what they crave.  Someone who had her hand on Varen long before Isobel came into the picture.  

I loved the inclusion of the "Poe Toaster" in this story.  I've always found the person to be fascinating. I hope some day the full story comes out to the identity, but I'm content with it being one of life mysteries.  The fact that Isobel could so easily explain who he was just a great addition to the story.  Those little details that the author is really paying attention to are what make the story complete.  The flashbacks of the interactions between the Toaster and Poe fill in the story, but I still think there's more to this person that we don't know yet.

While I enjoyed the story, I felt like there was lot of down time.  Isobel spends a lot of time trying to figure out what to do.  We also get very little Varen and what we do get is so not what I was expecting.  The dream world has not been good to him.   I debated on what to give this story, but felt it deserved a 4 overall just what the story bring to the table.  It's downfalls weren't enough to knock it down in my opinion.  I await the next one! 



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