Monday, October 31, 2011

Cat O' Nine Tails by Patricia Leever

Cat O' Nine Tails

Author: Patricia Leever 
Pages: 206 pgs
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 30th 2011
Review Source: Omnific and Author

First of all, I just have to point out that this cover is absolutely phenomenal. It's beautiful and mysterious and made me want to read this debut novel even more. Add to the fact that it was historical fiction with pirates and I was sold.

Orrin Walsh and his brother Kale became pirate hunters after losing their family to an attack. And when they are hired by Queen Winifred to track down an infamous she pirate, Aeron Lynch, nothing will stop them from catching.

There's only one problem, Orrin never expected to fall in love with Aeron, or the band of followers she's accumulated. He'd do anything to protect her, especially when he learns about her horrid past with the Queen. Because Queen Winifred doesn't let go of what she believes is hers.

I loved that Aeron was not only a female pirate, but one that used her feminine wiles and strength to her advantage. She was beautiful and seductive, but strong and wiley. She had been through so much and I really enjoyed learning more of her story.

Even though this is a "pirate story" it isn't all about pirates and battles, it's first and foremost a romance with some difficult life struggles. The characters have to learn to trust one another and themselves in order to make it through the tough roads ahead. I don't want to give too much away, but just know that there are some rather uncomfortable situations that at least Aeron has to face.

And, with that in mind, this is not a book for kids or teens. Cat O' Nine Tails deals with difficult subject matter and adult situations, so should be handled with caution. But in spite of that, I really enjoyed Patricia's debut novel. She created strong likeable characters and really pulled me into their story. I wanted to learn more and had a difficult time putting it down.

To learn more about the author you can check out her website or you can follow her on Twitter

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Firelight 2
Author: Sophie Jordan 
Pages: 294 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantsay
Release Date: September 6th 2011
Review Source: Purchased

I fell in love with this series after reading Firelight and am even more in love with it now after finishing Vanish. Sophie has created such an amazing world with the draki. Also, isn't this cover just phenomenal!

After revealing herself to a hunter, Jacinda and her family must return to their pride. That means leaving behind Will, the boy she loves, even though won't remember her after being shaded.

But the return to their home won't be like it was before. The special treatment Jacinda once received disappears in the face of her betrayal and she struggles to return to pride life. Forgetting Will is the right thing to do, but Jacinda can't turn her back on him.

Not only was I beyond excited to read this next installment in the Firelight trilogy, but I also got to go to the kick off for Sophie's book tour. She was such a sweetheart and I enjoyed hearing how she came up with these characters.

In Firelight we got to watch Jacinda's struggle to hold on to her draki in the desert, but in Vanish we finally get to see the pride life. New types of draki are introduced and an even more difficult situation for Jacinda to deal with.

Characters we met from Firelight are also given more of a spotlight in Vanish. Jacinda's twin sister, Tamra, and Cassian, the pride's future leader. Even more about Jacinda's mother is explained, making me truly feel for her this time around.

There's even more left to her and the draki's story, I hated for this particular one to end. Hidden, the final book in the Firelight trilogy, will hopefully give us the ending we've been longing for, including some more Will.

I don't want to see this series come to an, but I can't wait to find out the conclusion for these characters. Sophie, thanks for giving us such a fresh and exciting new world to read about and get lost in!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Give Thanks for Good Books

One of the books I'm thankful for (because there are quite few more than just one) would be White Cat by Holly Black. It was one of the first books I reviewed on this blog.

White Cat had such a unique story line and a great main character. I loved Cassle. But, the best part was how the story unfolded. The entire time you thought you knew basically what was going on, but once you finally figure it out you realize that you had no clue what was happening.

Holly Black delivered brilliantly strong characters, plot, and intrigue.

What's one book that you're thankful for?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood
Anna 1
Author: Kendare Blake
Pages: 316 pgs
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: August 30th 2011
Review Source: Tor Teen

I absolutely love how haunting this cover is, and is part of the reason why I couldn't wait to read this. The other was that the summary reminded me a bit of Supernatural and I couldn't pass that up.

Cas Lowood has been hunting and killing the dead ever since his father was killed by a ghost when he was a kid. Now, armed with his father's athame, Cas travels across the country with his witch mother, following legends and local lore to stop the deadly ghosts.

But he's going to need all of the help he get on his latest case, Anna Dressed in Blood. She's unlike any of the other dead he's encountered and there's so much more going on than he realized. With the help of his mother and a couple of friend's he's made along the way, Cas decides to get to the bottom of it. Will he be able to stop what's coming before it's too late?

When I got this in the mail from the publisher, I was so freaking excited. Ghost stories haven't always been my thing, but I'd heard so many good things about this book and couldn't wait to delve in. And let me just say: I was not at all disappointed.

Cas was a fun, snarky character that really loved his job. Unlike most of the other characters I've read lately, Cas preferred to be on his own, but found that having friends wasn't all bad. I loved reading this story through his eyes and his take on the cases he'd done through the years.

The ghost story of Anna was brilliantly put together and creepy in some places. I found it difficult to put the book down, wanting to know more about what was coming. The cover gives you a good idea about how Anna is viewed, but you get so much more from the story.

Kendare gave away just enough to keep her readers interested, and left it in a place to ensure that they'll come back for more. Anna Dressed in Blood is a wonderful ghost story that will surely keep you up at night (and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for book 2, Girl of Nightmares).

For more about the author you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter

Friday Finds and New Reads

Friday Finds and New Reads

This is where I talk about new books that really stand out to me or sound unique, and what new books I have to read or will be getting soon.

 So this week I have a couple of interesting finds for you guys. First up we have Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin:

Summary: Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Not only is the cover for this one haunting and beautiful, but the summary is also mysterious and intriguing. It has everything that, for me as a reader, has me excited and ready to get my hands on a copy!

And then there's also Crewel by Gennifer Albin:

Summary: Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

There is so much about this description. It sounds absolutely amazing and fresh. I wish there was a cover to go along with it right now because I know it will just add to how awesome this story sounds. I have a feeling you guys will hear me mention this story again more than a few times. 

And now for some of the new reads that I've gotten in:


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend 1
Author: Marie Lu
Pages: 336 pgs
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Release Date: November 29th 2011
Review Source: Penguin

In Marie Lu's debut novel, we are introduced to a new and fascinating dystopian world that is sure to pull you in. And thankfully, this is just the first in what promises to be a great new series. (And Day's POV is printed in gold ink! How cool is that?)

There is a war between the Republic and the Colonies and June knows where her loyalties lie, with the republic. She's a fifteen year old prodigy that's prepared to rise up in the military ranks. When her brother, Metias, is found murdered June knows who did it will stop at nothing to bring him to justice.

Day is a fifteen year old boy from the slums who has taken to pulling pranks on the Republic. He prides himself on staying out of the Republic's radar, but when he's taken in for Metias's murder, it'll take more than a few pranks and charming looks to get out of it. June and Day both think they know what their future holds, but with a little digging they'll soon discover there's so much more going on than either of them realized.

I enjoyed this from the moment I started it, Marie's writing was fun and realistic. June and Day were such fun characters and definitely seemed older than fifteen. The world they were born into and grew up in was definitely not like anything we've ever experienced.

The modern day battle between the Republic and the Colonies was very nicely done. Even though we only get a small idea of what's going on in this book, there's plenty that's hinted at and left open to be explained later.

I loved that this wasn't like some of the other dystopian books I've read recently and I definitely want to know more. The world Marie created was filled with great characters, some you want to love and others you want to hate, and a mystery you want to unfold. I will definitely be first in line for the next book in this series!

And if you want to know about the author you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 401 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: October 18th 2011
Review Source:Scholastic

I began reading Maggie Stiefvater's stuff when Shiver first came out and haven't been able to stop since. Her writing is beautiful and lyrical, and when I found out she was working on a stand-alone novel I knew that I would have to read it.

In The Scorpio Races we are taken on a wild and amazing journey filled with danger. Every year in November the capall uisce, deadly water horses, come from the water and are put in a race along the shore.

Sean Kendrick is the remaining champion and Puck Connolly somehow got pulled into competing- as the only girl ever to do so. They both have their reasons for needing to win, and both are taken to the brink to do so.

I wasn't really sure at first what to expect from this book, but it was definitely so much more than I could have imagined. Maggie has this ability to take something that could never actually happen and make it seem so real and possible, that you half expect to look out your window and see a capall uisce coming down the street. Her writing is raw and real and incredibly rich.

The mythology of the capall usice was masterfully done and uncomfortable at times. They came across as the terrifying creatures they were supposed to be, but beautifully and majestic as well.

Of the two main characters I found that Sean spoke to me more. The love and devotion he felt for the horses, especially the capall uisce was so clear. He loved what he did and made no excuses for it. It was almost as though he'd been born in a stable with reigns in his hands.

Maggie has a devoted fan in me. From The Wolves of Mercy Falls series to this new novel, she has captivated me with the worlds she creates and the words she uses. I can't wait for more from her!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset
Steampunk Chronicles 1
Author: Kady Cross
Pages: 473 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Steampunk
Release Date: May 24th 2011
Review Source: NetGalley

First of all, I fell in love with this cover, and when I read the title of this story I just had to know more. I haven't ever really been a fan of steampunk before, but I'm starting to come around. Especially after this first book in Kady's new series.

Finley Jayne isn't your typical Victorian girl. She has a darker nature that makes her powerful and takes over when she least expects it. And when a lord tries to attack Finley, she begins to realize just how powerful her other side is.

She literally crashes into Griffin King, a duke, and his friends in the night and Griffin takes her in. Finley soon learns that they each hold a secret like hers, abilities and they can help her control the darkness of hers. And with a criminal, the Machinist, wreaking havoc, it's up to them to figure out who it is and stop him.

I could not put this down. From the moment I started reading this, I had to know what happened next. Not only are the characters  well described and interesting, but the plot was well developed and intricate. Kady did such an amazing job with putting this world together and really defining each of her core characters.

Historical type stories are becoming a new favorite of mine and steampunk is a fun little twist on them. They are basically set in a Victorian type world with slightly more advanced technology (robots, engines, etc). It's still a world full of beautiful dresses, lords and ladies, queens, but they have a fun twist.

The Girl in the Steel Corset was a wonderful start to what promises to be a fun new series and I am already chomping at the bit for the sequel, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar. There's so much more for these characters and I can't wait to find out what happens next.

For updates on the author and this series you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Mark and The Vision by Jen Nadol

The Mark
The Mark 1
Author: Jen Nadol
Pages: 228 pgs
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: January 19th 2010
Review Source: Purchased

After seeing this cool cover and reading the summary, I couldn't wait to read Jen Nadol's debut novel. And I can definitely say that it wasn't what I was expecting at all.

Cassie Renfield has always been able to see the mark, a glowing light around certain people, but never really knew what it mean. That is until she sees a man with the mark die before her eyes, and the awful meaning is all too ingrained in her mind.

But then Cassie suffers an even more devastating loss by the mark, the loss of her grandmother. In an attempt to better understand what it all means, Cassie spends the summer she has with the only family she's got left searching for answers. And she eventually learns that there's more to the mark than she had ever imagined.

Most of Cassie's journey is her own introspection, working out in her head what's right and wrong in regards to the mark. Her struggle with losing her grandmother directly affected how she approached the mark as well. She feared how they would respond and if it would actually do any good to tell them what she saw.

I liked that the story was about so much more than just the glowing light of the mark, but also Cassie as a person. She wanted so much to do that right thing, but wasn't sure what that was.

And I really liked how Jen was able to weave a little bit of Greek Mythology into the story, leaving her readers with a pretty fascinating twist at the end. I don't want to give it away, but that alone ensured that I wanted to continue this series.

The Vision
The Mark2
Author: Jen Nadol
Pages: 240 pgs
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Review Source: Bloomsbury USA

In this second installment of The Mark series we get a closer look into Cassie's world.

A few months after the end of The Mark, Cassie still wants to better understand just what the mark means and what her part is in it. So she goes on a search to find others like her in hopes of getting some answers.

Cassie thinks she's found one in the hurting Demetria, but doesn't even know where to begin. And when she begins a relationship with the dark and mysterious Zander, her search goes in a direction she never thought possible.

In this sequel, Cassie has definitely grown up a bit. Her journey in the mark changed her and I think you can really tell that in this book. She's really searching to not only understand the ramifications of what she can do, but what it means to others like her, as well.

She also struggles with who to trust with her secret. Especially when her relationship with her friend Jack changes before she leaves town. The only person she'd been able to trust up to this point had been her grandmother, and now she's having to figure it all out on her own.

Jen Nadol's writing is very real and questioning. She likes to ask those difficult questions and have her character's search for the truths that sit right with them.

I'm definitely enjoying this series and am quite interested in what she has in store for the final book.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ember by Carol Oates

Ember 1
Author: Carol Oates
Pages: 237 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: July 19th 2011
Review Source: Omnific Publishing

Carol Oates has done another amazing job with this first book in her new series. I absolutely loved her debut novel Shades of Atlantis and was thrilled with the chance to read  her next book.

In Ember we are introduced to Candra who, after a strange and intense encounter with a fearsome woman, wakes up in the hospital with a whole new reality. Everything she thought she'd known about herself and her father are completely turned upside down.

And if that's not enough, her affections and loyalties are being pulled in two different directions. With Sebastian, a Watcher angel, stalking her every move and Draven, Sebastian's enemy, insisting on Candra becoming his. But will Candra be able to betray her heart in order to prevent disaster? Or will it all be for nothing?

I was a part of the blog tour for this book and was so happy to be able to participate! Carol has such an amazing way of weaving a tale and leaving her readers longing for more, so when the opportunity to be able to read this new book of hers, I jumped at the chance.

Candra was such an interesting character. She was strong and feisty, loving and selfless. I loved that she was a complex character without being whiny or irritating. She was who she was and made no apologies for that. And the same went for Sebastian and Draven. Although, Sebastian was brooding, but that isn't always a bad thing.

The relationship between Candra and Sebastian was one that I really enjoyed. There wasn't any love at first sight here. Nope, for a good while Candra and Sebastian annoyed each other and fought most of the time, it took a while for them to fall in love. And the build up for more between them only added to the heartbreak of what was to come and made the story even better. I found my heart leaping into my throat quite a number of times.

One of the best things about this story is that it seems like you know exactly where it's headed, but in the end Carol throws you for a big loop. Everything appeared clearly laid out at one point, but there was so much more going on than we as readers new, and even more of the story left to tell.

I absolutely love Carol Oates' writing and can't wait for the sequel for not only this story, but for Shades of Atlantis (which I believe is going to be called Shades of Avalon). She is a wonderful story teller.

To keep up to date with new from the author you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Finds and New Reads

Friday Finds and New Reads

This is where I talk about new books that really stand out to me or sound unique, and what new books I have to read or will be getting soon.

First up we have A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont:

Summary: Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…

Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…
I can't wait to read this one. The summary completely captivated me and I'm eager to find out how Eve Mont tells this story. And this cover... beautiful! 

Next up we have Black City by Elizabeth Richards:

Summary: Deep in the heartland of the United Sentry States are the burning ruins of the Black City, a melting pot simmering with hostility as humans and Darklings struggle to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a brutal and bloody war. A wall now divides the city separating the two races. Trapped on the wrong side of the wall is sixteen-year-old hustler Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling who’ll do whatever it takes to survive, including selling his addictive venom ‘Haze’ to help support his dying mother.

Then there’s Natalie Buchanan, the daughter of the Sentry Emissary, who feels imprisoned by her life of privilege and fame. When their paths cross, they instantly detest each other but Ash is shocked when his once still heart starts to beat. Bonded by a mysterious connection, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed. Then Haze users start dying all over the city and Ash discovers the terrible truth behind his and Natalie’s mystical connection. Suddenly, city walls and the threat of execution become the least of their problems.

In the tradition of Suzanne Collins and James Dashner, Black City is a riveting young adult novel set in a post-apocalyptic world with a tender love story at its heart. Interwoven with thought-provoking themes, Black City is filled with plot twists that ratchet up the tension and will keep readers turning the pages.

This one doesn't have a cover yet. I found this randomly on Goodreads one day and was so glad that I did. The description is unique and dark and fresh. I'm excited for this debut book.

And now for some new reads that I've gotten.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Eve Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Eve giveaway is:

Lori S!

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who participated. Hopefully there will be more giveaways on here in the future, so if you haven't won one yet, never fear. There will be more chances!

Dark Souls by Paula Morris

Dark Souls

Author: Paula Morris
Pages: 304 pgs
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: August 1st 2011
Review Source: Scholastic Inc.

I got an early copy of this and was very intrigued by what this was going to be about it. The summary alone really caught my eye and I couldn't wait to dig in.

After a tragic accident, Miranda Tennant and her family take a trip to York to help put it behind them. For Miranda that's easier said then done, since within the haunted city she can actually see the ghosts roaming around.

While the rest of her family goes about their own ways on the trip, Miranda meets Nick, a mysterious and brooding boy who helps her to better understand York's history and the ghosts that follow. But there's more going on with Nick and York than Miranda ever could have guessed. Especially when she discovers the boy in the house across from hers. Will she have enough time to make things right.

Like I said at the beginning, I was really intrigued by this book and couldn't wait to read it. Miranda's trip through York was interesting, learning about the history of the haunted little town. I enjoyed being able to picture it through her eyes.

And the use of the ghost stories incorporated was very well done. Miranda not only saw the ghosts that others wanted to, but she also tried to learn as much about them in books and from those that she'd met on their trip. The fact that they appeared so real she had a difficult time telling them a part from actual people gave it an eerie air.

This was an interesting and fun read, with plenty of ghost stories to satisfy even the biggest fanatics. To learn more about the author, Paula Morris, and her other works you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter


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