Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

Title: Wicked as They Come
Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk
Series: Blud #1

Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Pocke

ISBN: 1451657889 (ISBN13: 9781451657883)
Purchase here Amazon, and here Book Depository.  
Where did I get this book?: Book provided by publisher for review. (Blog tour)

Summary (via Goodreads):  
 When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?
Review: Wicked as They Come is the first book in the Blud series by Delilah S. Dawson. The story follows Tish Everett, a nurse who recently got out of a caged and controlling relationship. One day while browsing at one of her former patient’s estate sale, she stumbles upon an enchanted locket that transports her to the world of Sang, an alternate England. It is there in Sang that she meets Criminy Stain, a magician, leader of the caravan of cohorts and a bludman (a person that drinks blood, “vampire”).  By wearing the locket, every time Tish closes her eyes to sleep in Sang; she wakes back up in her world, and vice versa.  Times flies every time Tish is in Sang but she doesn’t lose any time in her own world.  As Tish begins to develop feelings for Criminy and the world of Sang she is left with a decision on whether to stay or go. Things get more complicated when the locket is stolen by the magistrate (The leader who makes the rules, bludman hater).Tish and Criminy races across Sang, not letting bludbunnies, ghosts, or anything get in their way till they get back the locket back. 

When I first heard about Wicked as They Come, I knew I had to read it! Enchanted locket, a mysterious bludman, and an alternate steampunk Victorian London? Sign me up! The world building was very interesting and well developed, I can totally picture Sang and the little clockwork monkey that guards the caravan. There are two types of people that inhabit Sang, Pinkies (humans) and Bludmans (vampires). The book overall was executed well in terms of world-building and writing but I had a problem with connecting with Tish and Criminy. It was love at first sight for Criminy Stain but not for Tish. She of course didn’t relay the same feelings right away because of the recent break-up. Even as we got close to the middle/ending of the story where things seem to get better with Tish and Criminy…I still didn’t feel anything for the characters.There wasn’t any spark or chemistry between the two characters that I’ve seen in other book couples.

 I wanted to love this book, but in the end it was just a good/okay read. It needed a more believable romantic connection between the heroine and hero and a little more steampunk.  I’m sure paranormal romance readers will still enjoy this book more than I did. As I mentioned before this is a start to a new series and at the end of Wicked as They Come we get a small preview of the next book, Wicked as she Wants.  The second book will be centered on a different couple (same world, different main characters) and the male protagonist is a character that we first met in Wicked as They Come, Casper Sterling.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopian
Series: The Hunger Games #1

Hardcover, 374 pages
Published October 31st 2008 by Scholastic Inc. 
ISBN 0439023483 (ISBN13: 9780439023481)
Where did I get this book?: I purchase this book for my own reading. 

Summary (Via Goodreads): In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

 I’ve heard about this book for years now, but was never really interested in reading it. At the time, I was reading only urban fantasy or paranormal romance novels and didn’t know what to make of the dystopian genre. After seeing the movie trailer for The Hunger Games, I was intrigued. I went out and bought the entire series. I am so glad that I read this book, it was way better than I anticipated. The characters and the world-building were exceptionally believable.  Katniss, and all the other characters in the novel were well developed, and as a reader I felt connected to the characters. Whatever was happening to them in the book, as a reader I also felt their joy, sadness, and pain.

The pacing of the book was great; it had me constantly turning the pages eager to find out what will happen next.  I finished the book in 2 days, would have been sooner if I didn’t have school LOL. The book is told from Katniss’s point of view; and the majority of the book is full description rather than the usual dialogue that I read. The ending of the book had a lot of surprises that I wasn’t expecting (example: what happened to the dead tributes). Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone whose looking for an action-pack novel. This is my first dystopian book, and surely it will not be my last. I look forward to reading more of Katniss’s adventure in the next two books in trilogy. Like everyone this weekend, I will be watching The Hunger Games movie as well! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

WoW: Waiting on Wednesday [29]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post started by Breaking the Spine, to show books that we are patiently waiting for. 
Summary(via Amazon):
Winterhaven #2
Violet McKenna is back for her senior year at Winterhaven and thrilled to be with Aidan after a long summer apart. But while their love for each other is as strong as ever, their troubles are far from over.
     News of a rogue vampire on a killing spree sets everyone on edge. While Aidan is determined to stop the killer, Violet is chilled by a horrifying vision she simply must prevent...for if she can’t, two people she loves will meet a violent end.
     In the midst of Violet’s fear, a mysterious newcomer enters her life—and he has some vital information not just about her past, but about her future as well. Now everything Violet held as truth is upended, and she is left not knowing whom to trust, if she is in danger, and—worst of all—whether she and Aidan are really meant to be together.

JUNE 5, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: Blood Divided by Kevin James Breaux

Title: Blood Divided
Author: Kevin James Breaux
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Soul Born Saga #2

Trade paperback, 320 pages
Published December 30th 2011 by Dark Quest, LLC

ISBN: 1937051242 (ISBN13: 9781937051242)

Where did I get this book?: I won the book through a giveaway by the author.

There exists an ancient elven proverb, dating before the time of man. Life and death, like day and night, meet at a point where they blend into one. It is that brief moment when anything is possible.

There was a time when four sparks of life burned brighter than the sun itself. Megan was born with power, Lucien born with station. Autumn was born full of life, while Nathan was entwined with death.

Peace has come and gone... The conflicts of old have returned-rejuvenated and driven. This is the beginning of the end. The children of Karn have come of age, and now they will take part in shaping the fate of Illyia.

Will they join forces, or with blood will they be divided?

I first heard about this book while browsing Goodreads, and saw that there was a giveaway listed for it. I immediately entered, and to my surprise I won! The cover is gorgeous and it is what initially caught my attention. Blood Divided is the second book in the Soul Born Saga, set 20 years after the first book. I haven’t read the first book, Soul Born but the author provided enough background/history of the characters throughout the book that readers don’t need to start in order.

The book follows the children of Karn, Illyia’s beloved hero, two sets of siblings from the same father but different mother. Megan (depicted on the cover) and Nathan are the children of Karn and Opal the sorceress. Autumn and Lucien are the children of Karn and Tala (the elf). All four will come together in the kingdom of Illyia, as some form alliance and other seek retribution. 

I read a couple of fantasy novels, but this is by far the best fantasy novel I’ve read in a long time. As I mentioned before I haven’t read the first novel, but it feels as if I’ve already known the characters. The characters are well-written and feel so real that they leap off the pages. There was never a real good versus evil, black or white with the characters ….many of the characters walk in the gray area. Even though the book is central around four main characters, all the secondary characters still played a big part in the book and help shaped the central characters and the world itself. 

The world that Breaux created is full of political intrigue, betrayal, love and loss. If you’re looking for a well established world and a cast of amazing characters, then I highly recommend the Soul Born Saga.  The pacing of the book was great; there was never a dull moment. This book will have you glued to the pages from beginning to end, with a conclusion that will have you begging for the next book, Flesh Ended. I definitely plan on reading the next book, in the mean time I’ll probably go back and read the first book in the series, Soul Born.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

WoW: Waiting on Wednesday [28]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post started by Breaking the Spine, to show books that we are patiently waiting for. 

Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met—a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 


For werewolf Natalya Stravinsky, the supernatural is nothing extraordinary. What does seem strange is that she’s stuck in her hometown of South Toms River, New Jersey, the outcast of her pack, selling antiques to finicky magical creatures. Restless and recovering from her split with gorgeous ex-boyfriend, Thorn, Nat finds comfort in an unusual place: her obsessively collected stash of holiday trinkets. But complications pile up faster than her ornaments when Thorn returns home—and the two discover that the spark between them remains intense.

Before Nat can sort out their relationship, she must face a more immediate and dangerous problem. Her pack is under attack from the savage Long Island werewolves—and Nat is their first target in a turf war. Toss in a handsome wizard vying for her affection, a therapy group for the anxious and enchanted, and the South Toms River pack leader ready to throw her to the wolves, and it’s enough to give anybody a panic attack. With the stakes as high as the full moon, Nat must summon all of her strength to save her pack and, ultimately, herself.

APRIL 24, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Short & Sweet Reviews: Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon

Title: Kevin's Point of View
Author: Del Shannon
Genre: Middle grade
Series/stand-alone: Stand-alone

Trade-paperback, 400 pages
Published on October 26, 2010 by Flatiron View Books

Where did I get this book: Book provided by author for review 

Kevin Tobin is a relatively ordinary 12-year-old dealing with the aftermath of his father's death in a mountain biking accident near their home in Boulder, Colorado. To escape from his emotional turmoil, Kevin has developed his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes his sister through his superhero antics on an average Wednesday morning, his ability to escape inside a character's head become critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father's death. A mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted down by a ruthless villain set upon world domination, and after enlisting Kevin's teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the secret of Kevin's whole existence is revealed to him by a source we never expected.
Review: Kevin’s point of view is the first full length novel from author Del Shannon. Kevin is a 12-year-old boy who escapes into his imagination after the death of his father. Kevin’s role-playing is his coping mechanism but his family and his friend don’t understand it and find it to be a constant annoyance. One morning Kevin receives a mysterious package by mistake, within the package lays the influxitron. The original owner of the influxitron, Devin, will stop at nothing to get it back. Kevin will need the help of his friend, family and his imagination to be one step ahead of Devin and his goons. 

Kevin’s Point of View is a book that would appeal to people of all ages, but I think the young/middle school audience would enjoy it more. The story picked up quickly within the first 3-4 chapters and had me breezing through its 400 pages. When I first started the book, it reminded me of Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson with the character’s wild imagination. Kevin transports himself to another world and imagines himself as someone else. These scenes are usually sprinkled here and there throughout the book. I truly enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, I was sucked in to the story as Kevin and Tony outwit Devin and his goon buddies.  The book took a lot of different turns of event that surprised me, and left me wondering what will happen next. The ending of the book totally caught me off guard, and I definitely didn’t expect “that” to happen (Would have to read the book to know what I’m talking aboutJ). Although there are 400 pages, the chapters are really short and easy to read. There are also cute little pictures depicting little scenes throughout the book. Overall a great read, if you’re looking for a fun-whacky adventure and a light read order Kevin’s Point of View today!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

WoW: Waiting on Wednesday [27]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post started by Breaking the Spine, to show books that we are patiently waiting for.  

 Vampires live only for lust and pleasure in the eternal twilight of Vamp City. But the city’s magic is dying. The only person who can restore it? A beautiful woman from the mortal who knows nothing of the power she wields.
Quinn Lennox is searching for a missing friend when she stumbles into a dark otherworld that only she can see—and finds herself at the mercy of Arturo Mazza, a dangerously handsome vampire whose wicked kiss will save her, enslave her, bewitch her, and betray her.
What Arturo can’t do is forget about her—any more than Quinn can control her own feelings for him. Neither one can let desire get in the way of their mission—his to save his people, hers to save herself.
But there is no escape from desire in a city built for seduction, where passion flows hot and blood-red. Welcome to Vamp City...
[MAY 29, 2012]

Things get turned upside down for sophomore Lorelei MacAlister when the Angel of Death starts high school in her small town. What she doesn’t know is that she has been slated to die. It’s simply her time. And Death has been sent to do the deed. But when he touches her, when he peers into her eyes and reaches into her heart, he realizes she is more than what he was led to believe, and he disobeys his orders. He brings her back from the brink of death when he was supposed to push her into it. Because of this, he gets trapped on this plane. And that’s when all hell breaks loose. Literally.
[OCTOBER 2, 2012]

Monday, March 05, 2012

Short & Sweet Reviews: Fated by Sarah Alderson

Title: Fated
Author: Sarah Alderson
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Series: Stand-alone

Where did I get it? Purchase on Bookdepository, because the book is not available yet in the US.

Trade-paperback, 320 pages
Published on January 5, 2012

 Summary (via Author's site):
What happens when you discover you aren’t who you thought you were? And that the person you love is the person who will betray you? If your fate is already determined, can you fight it?

When Evie Tremain discovers that she’s the last in a long line of Demon slayers and that she’s being hunted by an elite band of assassins –Shapeshifters, Vampires and Mixen demons amongst them – she knows she can’t run. They’ll find her wherever she goes. Instead she must learn to stand and fight.
But when the half-human, half-Shadow Warrior Lucas Gray – is sent to spy on Evie and then ordered to kill her before she can fulfill a dangerous prophecy, their fates become inextricably linked. The war that has raged for one thousand years between humans and demons is about to reach a devastating and inevitable conclusion. Either one or both of them will die before this war ends.
If your life becomes bound to another’s, what will it take to sever it? 
When I first heard of ‘Fated’ I was absolutely intrigued by the cover and summary. This book used many of the typical elements that are found in today’s paranormal young-adult genre for example:
-          - Girl meets a strange and mysterious boy
-          - Vague prophesy
-          - Girl and boy are sworn enemies’ but fall in love
-          - Vampires, shifters, or demons but with different/sillier names (ex: vampires are called thirsters) 

Regardless of all of the typical elements, I thought that it was still going to have a fun and original storyline. Not so much. The first half of the book was very slow in my opinion, even when there was an action scene. The action scene was so dull and Evie (MC) barely did anything to defend herself. The book didn’t pick up till maybe the last 70 pages, but by then I already lost interest and wanted to finish the book.  The storyline was pretty predictable as well. Lucas, a member of the brotherhood (unhumans/demons), mission is to take out Evie, one of the last purebred hunters (demon slayer). However, every chance he gets he saves her and encourage her to fight. I’m sure we all know how the story would end halfway through the book. The world building, one of the most important aspect in a book  felt very weak. This came as a  surprise because this is Ms. Alderson’s second published book. 

Overall an okay read, the story was too slow and I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. I think one of the reasons I wasn’t able to connect with the characters is because the two main characters’ interaction didn’t feel sincere. They automatically fell for one another without time to get to know one another. Even when they expressed their undying love to one another it seems like it was said to be said. The book ends on a cliff hanger, leaving an opening for a possible series. There were many people who loved this book, but in the end it isn’t for me. If a sequel was ever written, I would probably not rush out to pre-order it like I did with Fated.  

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Cover Spotlight [12]

To view more discovered covers, check out my facebook page!!


 Katerina #2
October 9, 2012

Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She's about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia's arch nemesis--who she thought she'd destroyed--is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She'll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina's horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in

Fire and Thorns #2
publication 2012

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds.
 A Beautiful Dark #2
September 25, 2012

When she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, Skye knows something terrible has happened to her. But it’s not until she hears Asher, the dark, rebellious angel she fell in love with, that the memories of Devin and his shocking betrayal come flooding back.

Skye returns home, but with the knowledge of who she really is, nothing can ever be the same. As she tests the limits of her newfound powers, Skye discovers that she’s capable of far more than anyone could have imagined. Both the Order and the Rebellion want her for their side as war between the factions looms. She can’t forgive the Order for nearly killing her, but something holds her back from embracing the Rebellion.

 August 7, 2012

Before Calla Tor, there was Ember Morrow

Sixteen-year-old Lady Ember Morrow fulfills a family obligation by joining her friend Alistair in the Conatus Guard and begins training to help with the order’s true mission, to seek out and stop evildoers and their unnatural creations.

August 15, 2012
"Love is just the beginning... of the end."

Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?

Friday, March 02, 2012