Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Going Rogue

Going Rogue by Robin Benway

This is the second book in the series. I reviewed the first book, Also Known As HERE.

If you want the first book to remain unspoiled, read no further.

...this might be a very well done follow up to the first book. It continued to be well balanced, have hilarious moments peppered in very serious situations, and seems to capture teenage life for the most part.


An amazon summary to clarify, "Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies." AMAZON LINK OF ESPIONAGE JUSTICE

The amazon summary did a pretty awesome job....even if it did go too far into the story's plot.


So Maggie is still in New York, she's madly in love with Jesse, still rocking it with Roux (which, being the terrible person that I am, whenever I read Roux my mental voice screams ROCKS at me), and lying low.

Maggie's parents are kind of a mystery during this time as it's been about a year since everything went down in Also Known As, and Maggie catches us up on her life of high school drudgery, she mentions nothing of her parents. Are they still working with the Collective and doing missions remotely for them? Something I would like to know....


The Collective has accused Maggie's parents of thieving 10 gold coins from a mission before they even had Maggie and now the scramble is on for Maggie and Angelo to clear their names!

However, Maggie has to work solo.

The humor is on par with the last book, and there were many elements to this book that just made me smile.


Roux (ROCKS!) is Maggie's best friend, has a back story that just makes the heart hurt a bit; when she arrives in Paris and meets a young gentleman, she's like BAM, IN LOVE.

I can't stress how much I hate when that happens. After an hour, you can't just love someone. I'm sorry, but love will always be more of a noun than verb to me in that it's the pinnacle of struggle in humanity. I know I'm getting quite philosophical, but I found it very hard to believe that someone as defensive and kind of ruthless as Roux (ROCKS!) could fall in love that easily. I know there was a line or two of understanding words from Maggie to try to smooth it over, but SERIOUSLY. NO. BAD ROUX (ROCKS!). BE A STELLAR CHARACTER WHO CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE IN HERSELF RATHER THAN DESPERATION FOR LOVE. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.


...fin rant.

All in all, I adored the book so much that it makes me want to use italics everywhere.

But I do worry that this is in the vein of the 'guilty pleasure' books I read, so it might not be everyone's espionage story.

Whatever the case is [PUN SO INTENDED].

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Constable & Toop

Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones

Disclaimer: This book was published on October 8, 2013, but with typical fashion at this point I have managed to read the advanced readers copy. There will probably be some minor changes between the version I read and the published version.

I think I've started to mention it more how often I fall for the ploy of choosing to read a book when they mention other authors I love. Whether said author writes a favorable review of the book or if the book is being likened to said author's work; I immediately get more curious in the book but still a little wary since I seem to always fall for this trap. 

...the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

LUCKILY, this book turned out to be wonderful and I was delighted by this book almost as much as I would be by something written by Eva Ibbotson or Neil Gaiman.

So, with all of that in mind.

An amazon summary, "Something mysterious and terrible is happening throughout Victorian London: Ghosts are disap­pearing. When this reaches the attention of the Ghost Bureau, the diligent but clueless Mr. Lapsewood, a paranormal paper-pusher, is sent to investigate, and what he discovers is grave. The Black Rot has arrived—a voracious spiritual infestation whereby empty haunted houses suck in unsuspecting ghosts and imprison them. Lapsewood’s investigation weaves through the plotlines of several other memorable characters—both living and dead—including an undertaker’s son who can see ghosts, a serial throat-slasher reminiscent of Jack the Ripper, an evangelical exorcist, and many more. The living and dead must work together if they hope to destroy the Black Rot—before it destroys both the ghost and human worlds.

This highly atmospheric and bitingly funny ghost story by successful British author Gareth P. Jones will delight fans of Eva Ibbotson and Neil Gaiman." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE


I loved the different characters, how the world was built, the mechanics of the world were a bit wonky in a seems like something that would legit happen sort of way, and there were explanations of 'no one really knows' that made sense because no one does really know what happens after death/ghost spirit moves on to wherever on is.

I feel like I've been reading an abnormal amount of mystery themed books as of late so I was kind of reluctant to keep reading in that vein, but I had no problems loving every page of this book!

...I'm going to try really hard to word right now in a more coherent fashion than just LOVE.




I'm going to talk about the other side of the ghost story; the living.

So Constable & Toop is a funeral service where Sam works with his father; Sam is what the ghosts call a 'Talker' he can hear and see ghosts as if there were normal people. Sam tries to help out the ghosts of London so they can move on through the unseen door. When a ghost is ready to move on, they hear a knocking sound and go through the unseen door before they're gone forever to the next destination in the spirit stop. Working at a funeral home, he comes across a lot of ghosts.

Now Sam's Uncle comes to visit and requests a place to lie low. His father hides him in a coffin and disguises him as a corpse. The police look around, check out the corpse, go so far as to dump pepper on it before they're convinced and leave. As soon as they're gone, Jack (Sam's Uncle) sneezes. Sam isn't too impressed with his Uncle as he comes across as a very unsavory character.

Clara lives in an old house in London which is haunted by Lady Aysgarth; the previous owner of the house. She slowly gets wrapped up in the mystery of the ghosts as well; it started out as an article for Clara, but then it became more of a passion to find the truth. (I really feel like Clara introduced a 'Watson' element to the story in just the recording of events sense.)


I loved getting the different viewpoints of narrators that were followed around. Normally, I'm super concerned that the narrators are going to die except for one because why else switch your narrators around? BUT it's a ghost story so I kind of expected it; it wasn't too throwing of a notion to not enjoy the book.

I loved seeing the different haunts of the ghosts and seeing the ghost society in of itself. It was well thought out and made eerily good observational points on humanity.

The humor was also brilliant.


Happy reading!

Monday, April 28, 2014


Enders by Lissa Price

I read the first book, Starters,and reviewed it HERE. Fair warning, that blog is old, when I was still getting my blog footing, and while I'm not ashamed of it by any means, it is not my best work.

Disclaimer: For some reason, I remember being in love with Starters. I have a lot of rosy memories of it, but I'm not sure if that's accurate. I recall a lot of the plot, what characters I liked/disliked, what points I started having conniptions about what was happening, but I remember an overwhelming fondness for the book. So I'm wondering if my remembered love of Starters ruined my expectations for Enders by setting the bar too high. ...DUN DUN DUNNNN.

Before the plot thickens, an amazon summary, "The riveting conclusion to the sci-fi thriller STARTERS!
Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael—teens with chips in their brains. They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations—Starters who can be controlled and manipulated. With the body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save her life—but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too . . . and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?

No one is ever who they appear to be, not even the Old Man. Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for herself and her younger brother, Callie is ready to fight for the truth. Even if it kills her." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

HOLD UP. If this book is the conclusion, like the finale, as in there will be NO MORE books after this one, then WHAT THE HECK WAS UP WITH THAT 'ENDING'? WHAT.


....okay, uh. Um. I'm going to do a better summary since that one veered into vague crazy land.


So at the end of Starters, Prime Destinations is destroyed, they effectively put a halt to enders trying to forever inhabit starter bodies, Callie is having a love conniption as she thought she was in love with Blake but it turns out it was the Old Man (the dude who ran Prime Destinations) the whole time, and the world is still a bleak, miserable place due to the spore war.


Enders begins with Callie living in Helena's place, kind of trying to find her lost granddaughter who technically inherited half of Helena's stuff (Callie has the other half - spoilers: Helena died in Starters). Callie is also bound and determined not to hear the creepy voice inside her head anymore.

She wants total control of her body now, and forever more. Callie is trying to take care of Tyler and Michael (Tyler is her brother, Michael is a friend) while she figures her love life out and how to solve all her other problems.

Like someone accessing the chips and controlling the starters with the implants aka Metals.

Things really kick off in the book while Callie is out shopping with Tyler and Michael when she sees an old metal she knew who kind of walked like a robot before being blown up remotely.


The Old Man is back and is rounding up metals for suspicious reasons. Callie rounds up Tyler and Michael, where they both go through questioning and as they leave, Callie is directed by the Old Man's voice in her head to drive to a location...but once she gets there, she meets Hyden; the Old Man's son.


So Hyden kind of kidnaps her to keep her safe and she convinces him to protect Tyler and Michael. Then Callie convinces Hyden to start helping the other metals out by bringing them back to his secure base and housing/feeding them. Good plan right? Protect all the innocent from the bad guys? YEAH!

During this time, Hyden hijacks the body of one of the metals (Hyden is complicated and you should read the book to know his life story - for now, think of him as a super genius who doesn't understand people) and tries to be romantically involved with Callie whose super reluctant since it's not physically Hyden that she would be with.


So I'm going to stop there because the book seems to spiral out of control. In Starters, I think I liked the mystery of the book and the leading up to the reveal of what was happening.

In Enders, I think they missed the mark completely. I want to say they were going for more action/suspense/science fiction, but they forwent a lot of important aspects like gradual character development, developing interpersonal relationships, showing back stories on different people, and continuing to build the setting.

I felt a lot of the writing was very sparse and toned way down while also remaining dry. There was a lot to Callie I didn't like this time since she was such a memorable character from Starters, it was rather disheartening to see her become an ADHD plot mobile.

If there is another book, I'd be disinclined to read it based on the writing of the second book.

HOWEVER, the ending was SO CRAZY I kind of want to see the explanation behind it. I would hope it would be covered in a third book, but I've been proven horribly wrong before.

So, we'll see what my reading load is like when the third one comes out.

Happy reading!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Poached by Stuart Gibbs

Disclaimer one: This book was released on April 8, 2014...but I read the advanced readers copy because reasons. Undoubtedly, there will be some minor changes between the copy I read and the published version but I doubt they would be enough to change the important bits of the story.

Disclaimer two: I didn't process that this was a second book in a series. There weren't an overwhelming amount of references to the previous book to the point where I felt the need to read it, and everything was explained well enough that I had no trouble understanding any of the relationships amongst characters or the back story of anyone. In summary, you can probably get away with just reading the second book without having to commit to the first book, but it might be a good idea to read the books in order.

So with all that in mind, an amazon summary, "Teddy Fitzroy’s back for another zoo mystery—this time it’s a koala caper—in this action-packed follow-up to Belly Up, which Kirkus Reviews called “great fun.”

School troublemaker Vance Jessup thinks Teddy Fitzroy’s home at FunJungle, a state-of-the-art zoo and theme park, is the perfect place for a cruel prank. Vance bullies Teddy into his scheme, but the plan goes terribly awry.

Teddy sneaks into the koala exhibit to hide out until the chaos dies down. But when the koala goes missing, Teddy is the only person caught on camera entering and exiting the exhibit.

Teddy didn’t commit the crime—but if he can’t find the real culprit, he’ll be sent to juvie as a convicted koala-napper." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

...keep in mind, that the book I read did not provide a summary stating it was a sequel. MY DEFENSE IS SOUND. SHUSH.

Anways, so Teddy is the main character who seems to be a catalyst for trouble in his school or at the zoo. It begins with Teddy being convinced to do a prank for Vance to put a mannequin arm and foot in the shark tank at the zoo. Teddy does so, but he is almost caught, has a daring escape from security through the park, only to hide in the koala enclosure that due to the haste in which it was constructed, has some faulty aspects to it (like shady security and anti-theft features that don't quite work). Teddy waits out the security in the koala enclosure, winds up going home, telling his parents the story, goes to bed.

The next day, Teddy is accused of kidnapping the koala from the zoo (the koala is on loan from Australia so an international incident could be in the brewing) and Teddy is once again on the run from the zoo security (he lives at the zoo in a trailer park of sorts with his folks who both work for the zoo).

Teddy is the one who needs to clear his name as the security guard is determined to the point of stupidity to prove that Teddy is the one who kidnapped the koala.

Teddy isn't alone in his quest to clear his name; his folks, the zoo owner's daughter, a few folks who work for the zoo, and his best friend all help as much as they can to clear his name.

But who really has the koala? The koala needs special food to eat and time is running out before it starves.


I like a lot of the humor that was throughout this book but there were some realistic situations that made me dislike it a little bit because it rang too true to the real world almost. They were important bits for character building and plot development (in particular Vance's character with all of his bullying), but they were handful of parts that just rankled my spirit. 'Urgh' moments if you will. Still well written and appropriate but just URGH.

But all in all, it was a good read. The ending wrapped it a little too nicely to me (a lot of potential suspects of the koala kidnapping had their actions explained away into other crimes) but that's okay sometimes. It seemed to work for this book as it might be a continuing series. Who knows? I hope there's more. It was fun.

Happy reading!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Hero by Alethea Kontis

Disclaimer: On the copy I read it's stated that this book is a companion book to Enchanted;I was not under the impression that it was a sequel to Enchanted, but I didn't read Enchanted and as a companion I thought I would be fine. Turns out I really should have read the first book.

An amazon summary, "Rough-and-tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

First, the amazon summary gave away up until where I left off in the book (halfway). I think they really need to reign it in a bit better.

Second, I maintain that as a companion book, I should have been able to read this without too much trouble deciphering what was happening, who was important, and the whys of most of it. However, much throughout the story it seemed to be about all of Saturday's sisters rather than herself. But the book is supposed to be about Saturday, I think, so I'm not entirely sure if I was supposed to care about Saturday. All of her magical sisters (the other six days of the week) seemed to have much more interesting lives, yet that could have been satirical.

Clear as mud.

I think it was a combination of the writing style, the lack of focus on one character, and the sketchy world building that gave me a giant question mark about the book that I didn't really care to clarify. There was just something about it that rankled me to a point where I couldn't push through it.

I will say that I know a few folks who have muddled through the mess and where pleasantly surprised by the book when they reach about twenty pages after I stopped reading. They seemed to like it in the end.

Perhaps if I had read the first book, I would have already been accustomed to the writing style and better able to carry on.

Either way, happy reading!

Friday, April 25, 2014

ALA Conference 2014

This is my badge thing from ALA Chicago.
Such magical memories.
I'm officially going to be at the ALA conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA this summer.

The conference is from June 26 - July 1, 2014. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND HERE

If you bump into me, that's cool! We could do not creepy things! Like talk about books! YAY!!!

To celebrate this awesome, most awesome event, I will be doing five book reviews over the next five days.


Disclaimer: You do not have to be a member of the ALA to attend the conference, you can sign up to do whatever you'd like on their website. Yep. It's open for anyone that has a ticket!


Happy reading!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tin Star

Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

I've read a few books by Cecil Castellucci before. Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, and The Queen of Cool being notable favorites.

I was a bit delighted and thrown that Castellucci wrote a science fiction novel.

If I'm not mistaken, it is their first one.

They did pretty damn well, I have only minor issues with some of the author's choices, but I think I will understand them if/when the second book is released.

Anyways, onto the amazon summary, "On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.

When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

Ehhhhhhhh, I think I could do better than the summary.

The book begins with Tula, accompanied by her sister and mother, on a colony ship from Earth heading into the stars to begin on a new planet.

Tula has picked up some of the universal language of the stars, the leader of the colony expedition (Brother Blue) knows this, and requests her help to deal with some of the aliens. Tula helps out as she has a great and deep respect for Brother Blue (as do all the colonists).

Their colony ship, the Prairie Rose, makes a stop at the Yertina Feray station. The colonists are allowed to get off the ship temporarily, but they need to stay close to where the ship is docked. Tula doesn't wander far, but she stumbles across the precious grains from their cargo now on the space station. Tula brings it to Brother Blue's attention; he regards her for a moment before he speaks to her privately.

He beats the snot out of her.

He leaves her for dead.

He tells the colonists that he has some stuff to take care of and he'll be along to the colony planet later. He tells Tula's family that Tula would go with Brother Blue.

But he leaves her dead.

Tula fades in and out of consciousness until some aliens find her and take her to sick bay. She's nursed back to health, sees the supervisor of the ship (who she steals a plant from), and retreats to the bowels of the station (essentially).

There she meets Hecklock and begins an interesting friendship that teaches her how to survive in an alien station, and tries to caution her away from the revenge she holds in her heart towards Brother Blue.

Tula's journey is a survival journey in space, and I pretty much loved it.

Now a questionable choice the author made (to me) was the abstract descriptions of the aliens presented. There were a handful of details given out about each species encountered, but there was never enough to paint a concrete picture. I would have really liked to see the entire alien rather than know it had antennas, an abdomen, or bartered/spoke with swift hand motions. I mean, those details were cool, but I wanted more.

However, I wonder if the author will reveal that in later books as we're given a (hopefully) more complete picture of the universe, all the politics at play, and if Tula will ever meet up with Brother Blue.

Happy reading!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery of Museum Mile

Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery of Museum Mile by Marcia Wells 

This was an odd read for me as it was narration with periodic sketches of characters throughout the book.

Usually, I'm not a big fan of that style as I believe much of a story is how the reader interprets the author's description of a world (much like if I said, "blue" different people would instinctual imagine baby blue or dark blue or the blues in a lake - it's usually person dependent). With more descriptions, the author can get across more of how the world looks, characters, etc.

So when books remove that essence to the story (I don't mean graphic novels/comic books as that is the intention going into it), I get a little at odds with it as if they don't start with the art or only illustrate some of it, it tends to ruin what my mind will naturally imagine and I personally struggle with what I want to imagine versus what the art is telling me to imagine.

With this book, because the artwork on the cover was so well depicted and based on the description of the main character, it was much less shocking for me to come across a character sketch in the story.

SO, after that GIANT speech which I find EXTREMELY important, an amazon summary, "Art, mystery, fun and friendship, combine in this illustrated middle grade series debut. Sixth grader Edmund Xavier Lonnrot, codename "Eddie Red," has a photographic memory and talent for drawing anything he sees. When the NYPD is stumped by a mastermind art thief, Eddie becomes their secret weapon to solve the case, drawing Eddie deeper into New York's famous Museum Mile and closer to a dangerous criminal group known as The Picasso Gang.

With page-turning adventure and fun characters, this first installment in the Eddie Red series is a must-read for any fan of puzzles and mystery.A Spring 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices selection." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

The book begins with Edmund (who will be referred to as Eddie from now on for the sake of my typing) having ice cream with his Dad as his Dad is breaking the news that Eddie might have to give up going to his private school and switching to public schools as his folks can't afford it anymore. There moment is interrupted by a crime happening in an alley; his Dad tells Eddie to call the police as he chases into the alley to help...but Eddie winds up hiding under a bench and seeing the criminal run by as they escaped.

The police came, took Eddie to the station to get a statement from him and his Father as well as a description of the criminal. Eddie describes the criminal to the sketch artist who keeps....getting it not exactly right. Eddie takes over drawing the sketch and depicts a great picture due to the combination of his art skills and photographic memory, and after a bit, is recruited by the cops to help with the case.

Now what I like about this story is that even though the character is young, he makes good choices and the situations and circumstances in which things happen seem realistic in how they come to be. There aren't a whole lot of ways that explanations are given in a sentence or two in need to be accepted, everything is decently explained.

It was pretty refreshing for a mystery series.

...yeah, it seems like it's going to be a series. I'm excited.

I thought Eddie's family was great, the characters throughout the story were all unique yet still realistic.

The only part I find slightly unrealistic is Eddie's best friend and how it portrays ADHD. I don't have any extensive experience with ADHD so I don't know how accurate the portrayal there is. I'm sure different folks with ADHD handle it in different ways and exhibit symptoms in different fashions, but Eddie's best friend came across as a bit manic to me.

It was odd, but not odd enough to be off-putting; just quirked eyebrow levels.

I did like the puzzle aspect that came up later in the book. NO SPOILERS, IT WAS JUST COOL. :D


Happy reading!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

...I have not interacted with Game of Thrones anything (TV or books, etc) as I'm waiting until it's completed before beginning that saga of WHOA.

With that in mind, I've heard a bit about the Game of Thrones series, and I really felt like this book was trying to be Game of Thrones - the young adult edition.

...I wasn't impressed.

Based on what I just read on the amazon summary, it appears I'm not alone in my assumptions. The amazon summary, "The gripping New York Times bestseller that is Game of Thrones for teens

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

I'm going to argue with the amazon summary for a hot minute.

When the amazon summary says, 'In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries' it's full of crap. In the very beginning of the book, we, the readers, are shown how terrible Paelsia is and how the people have the seeds of unrest in their dreary lives.

When the amazon summary says, 'Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process', I'll clarify that two kingdoms want what the third kingdom has got. I REALLY wouldn't consider it a power struggle between all three - to go into more detail would be giving spoilers.

...I have an excessive amount of apathy for this book. There was a lot boredom sleeping on it on my part. There was a lot of time spent on character building very flat characters that seemed so stereotyped I had trouble reading their dialogue.

YET. I struggled through the book mostly because it's gotten some starred reviews out there, so I was expecting something that would redeem it to pop up.

Yeah, no. If I had held my breath for that, I would be in a state of severely lacking oxygen.

Towards the end of the book where the action started to pick, where people were called to arms to pick up their swords and fight for the things they wanted to fight for (BY THE POWERS OF VAGUE I WON'T SPOIL THINGS), I was even MORE bored than I was during the character building.

How do you make BATTLE boring??? HOW?!

I would pass on this book, it didn't accomplish much, I couldn't tell the characters apart until their was a name drop in the narration, and it just seemed like a poor showing of literature.

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Death Sworn

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

Disclaimer: Even though this book was released on March 4, 2014 I read the advanced reader's copy. There are probably some minor differences between the advanced reader's copy and the published version.

...I'm going to leap into the amazon summary to get this started, "When a young sorceress is exiled to teach magic to a clan of assassins, she will find that secrets can be even deadlier than swords. From the critically acclaimed Leah Cypess comes a dangerous and eerie fantasy about murder, shocking discoveries, and fiery star-crossed romance that readers of Cinda Williams Chima and Robin LaFevers won't be able to put down.

Ileni is losing her magic. And that means she's losing everything: her position as the rising star of her people, her purpose in life, and even the young man she loves. Sent to the assassins' cave, hidden deep within the mountains, she expects no one will ever hear from her again. The last two sorcerers sent died within weeks of each other. Accidents? Or something more sinister? As Ileni navigates the dangers—both natural and human—of the caves, she'll discover secrets that have been kept for decades. And she'll find an ally in Sorin, the deadly young man who could be the assassins' next leader. With Sorin determined to protect her, sparks—magical and romantic—will fly. But will even he understand the choice she must make in the end?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

So the way this book reads, I frequently wondered if I was reading the second book in the series just based off of everything that was already happening in the world.

BUT it turns out it is the first book, and the reading quickly clues you in to the state of the world. Kind of.


The book begins with Ileni entering the cave of the assassins where she is supposed to train those who have magical abilities to use them to better their fighting skills.

The last two magic masters who were sent there have died too quickly for their time there, and as Ileni is losing her magic, the impression is that there will be no big loss if she's killed trying to discover who killed the prior two magic masters.

So it's kind of like a suicide mission but more like Ileni trying to make the most of the rest of her life? It's complicated.

Ileni and Sorin have very interesting interactions as Ileni has lost the purpose in her life as she was raised to be a magic user first and foremost and now that she's losing her magic, she doesn't know her purpose in life.

Sorin on the other hand knows he lives to serve the master and do what is necessary to remove the empire.

The clash of their wills was pretty awesome to watch.

Then the world building and tone of the book was well set as most of it took place in the caves of the assassins and the constant fear that Ileni had as well as the action (they're assassins, people are going to fight) were vivid and seemed realistic.

This was definitely a story that I had great difficulty putting down at any time.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Creature of Moonlight

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

Disclaimer: I read the Advanced Readers Copy of this book; this book will be published/released on May 6, 2014. ....I'm so sorry you have to wait that long.

...I admit, I fell for the trap of seeing a review by Kristin Cashore on the front. I had a moment of great suspicion as I've fallen for this trap before because the authors I adore seem to get chosen to review a lot of books and I'm always tempted to read them because they usually write good things.

...but it's usually a trap.


Luckily, this one was not a trap.

It was freakishly superb in fact. So without further ado, an amazon summary, "As the only heir to the throne, Marni should have been surrounded by wealth and privilege, not living in exile—but now the time has come when she must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and life with the father she has never known: a wild dragon who is sending his magical woods to capture her.

Fans of Bitterblue and Seraphina will be captured by a Creature of Moonlight, with its richly layered storytelling and the powerful choices its strong heroine must make." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE


So. Ignoring that.

Marni is a young girl who is almost old enough to be betrothed and married; she lives with her grandpa on the outskirts of the village where they grow flowers for a living.

It seems to be a simple life, but Marni has grown up next to the woods that never dare to breach their squat stone fence that surrounds the gardens.

That was not a typo, the woods have been known to encroach ten feet over night, only to retreat the next night. The woods almost seem to function like a very slow ocean; the woods come in one night much like the ride rises, and retreat the next night much like the tide returns.

There are also creatures that live in these woods; wild things that will whisk the weak willed away into a world unknown.

Young girls have been known to escape into the woods; usually they escape from arranged marriages or a life they do not want to lead. Some escape for the sheer adventure of it.

Marni's mother was claimed by the to speak.

One summer the woods continue to grow in without retreating.

As the flower sellers, Marni's grandpa and herself meet a wide variety of people, but there are a lot of nobles that visit their house.... Possibly because Marni's grandpa was once the king of the land, but most likely because Marni is the granddaughter of the king and heir to the throne as the king's son did not produce any heirs.

They're also curious about the woods and how the current king seems to believe Marni to be the key to the woods retreating once more.

That's all I'll say without delving into spoiler land.

What you should know about this book besides that it is AMAZING.

Marni is a great character to be a narrator, the world building is astounding, and I'm just SOOO delighted with this book that I cannot WAIT to get the hardcover come May.

That is all.

Happy reading!