Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld #8) by Gena Showalter
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (September 27, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor's edge of surrender.Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can't afford because he has an agenda of his own-steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter-the love neither had thought possible...
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As expected this book was is an excellent addition to the Lords of the Underworld series that I love. Book number 8 and still going strong. I'm sure it can be a difficult task for an author to keep a series fresh and exciting for so long but Gena Showalter has not disappointed.

This is Strider's story, and his union with Kaia feels long in the making. When the Skyhawk harpy sisters were introduced to this series I was instantly enthralled. They are spitfires and fun to read about. Kaia has been the most interesting to me so I was glad to finally read her story. Strider wasn't one of the Lords I was absolutely dying to read right away until I got a taste of what was to come in the last book, The Darkest Lie. His story is now one of my favorites.

Kaia has had a thing for Strider for awhile but he has been pushing her away because right before they met she had slept with Paris and he didn't want to be compared to him in bed. Strider's demon is Defeat, so if he can't pleasure Kaia more than Paris did then he will feel excruciating pain for not "winning." Obviously this sets up a major roadblock for any kind of relationship for them. Not to mention trust doesn't really come easily for either of them. However, when the Harpy Games are resurrected and Kaia is in danger Strider is there for her. They face a lot of conflict, but it is those types of situations that seem to bring the Lords and their women together. The brutally violent Harpy Games makes for a thrilling setting. Harpies are fierce and value that ferocity and strength greatly which was something I already knew but was reinforced by reading about the games. I hope to read about more of the harpies in future installments of the series.

5/5

I received a copy of this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

The next book in the series, The Darkest Seduction is the very much anticipated story about Paris, the Keeper of Promiscuity. This is my favorite book cover in the series so far:



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Book Review: Alterant by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (September 27, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love comes the second book in the Belador series—featuring a league of international warriors with extraordinary abilities who rise up to save mankind from supernatural terrorists.

On the heels of saving mankind from destruction at the hands of the Medb coven, Evalle attempts to convince the Tribunal that she is an Alterant who can be trusted around humans. But the gods and goddess ruling over this Tribunal twist words she’d uttered in the heat of combat and hold her responsible for three dangerous Alterants that escaped their prisons. She is given a choice to either recapture those three who will lose their freedom forever or face the same sentence. Unsure that she can condemn another Alterant to a life she’d die before accepting, Evalle takes on an impossible task only to learn that the entire future of the Beladors rides on her success—and the only person who can help her is the one who wants to gut her.

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For those of you who read the first book in the Belador series, Blood Trinity, you will not be disappointed. The story picks up where the last one left off so just to be sure I didn't miss out on anything I reread Blood Trinity right before I started Alterant...a wise decision in my opinion as so much that happens in this story is related to what happened prior. I probably would've been a little lost had I not refreshed my memory.

I really enjoyed the direction the story took with Evalle basically trying to defend her race and prove that they aren't just a bunch of animals. The gods have charged her with the task of bringing in Alterants. She is in a race against time to save herself and others like her. The identity of the person who Evalle has to seek help from shouldn't have surprised me but it did. I'm glad that I was able to see another side to this person who I really didn't like in the first book.

While Evalle is handling her business, Quinn and Tzader have to deal with their own problems...many of them involving the opposite sex. I felt like I missed them in this story.They definitely had their roles to play but it felt more like they were in the background. In the end I am worried for them both as their issues are not really resolved yet. Hopefully everything will work out for them in the next book.

Storm is present in the story which made me very happy. He is so mysterious and not much is really known about him. Thankfully, some of his past is revealed so we can get a better understanding of him and his motives. Although this isn't a romance novel (which I am totally fine with), I still can't help but want a little bit of romance thrown into the mix. Watching what unfolds between him and Evalle reveals even more about Storm's character. He is caring, gentle, and very aware yet at the same time he strong, hard, and dangerous.

5/5

I received a copy of this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Contest Craze Mini-Challenge #4

Scariest Word

This challenge is hosted at The Non Reluctant Reader

How it works:
  • Grab a book you're currently reading)
  • Go to the 13th Chapter
  • Scan the chapter for the scariest word
  • Using Google/Yahoo images randomly pick on picture that comes up when you search the word
  • Write a blog post that has the book's cover, title, your word and your image
Here is mine:
The Pearl Wars by Nick James

My word: WAR

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Contest Craze Mini-Challenge #3

One True Pairing

This challenge is being hosted at My Cute Bookshelf

The objective of this challenge is to create a blog post with your One True Pairing (your favorite couple from young adult books) and explain why they’re your favorite YA couple.

My pick:


I picked this couple because their relationship grew out of respect and not instant attraction based on looks. There was a realness to it. They are smart, strong, and brave as individuals and even more so together. This couple is absolutely one of my favorites.

As for my "casting" choices I think that Saoirse Ronan is almost exactly how I pictured Tris in my mind. Logan Lerman doesn't have quite enough of a tough edge but I think that could be taken care of with hitting the gym to muscle up a little. Other than that I think he would be great.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Contest Craze Mini-Challenge #2



This challenge is hosted at The Elliott Review.

For this challenge you have to open a book you are reading to the 7th page, find the 7th word on that page, type the word into a Google Image Search and find a picture, then make a blog post with the book, the word, and the picture.



7th page, 7th word:
LOST



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Contest Craze Mini-Challenge #1

It's Contest Craze Time at Princess Bookie!

Top 5 books I am looking forward to that release in 2012:
(I am just doing top 5 YA)


The Ivy: Rivals by Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur
Expected publication: March 6th 2012 by Greenwillow Books

Havoc (Deviants #2) by Jeff Sampson
Expected publication: January 24th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Expected publication: May 8th 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Expected publication: May 2012 by HarperCollins

NOT PICTURED:

Embers & Echoes (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight
Expected publication: 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing


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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Winner Announcement

The winner of All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin is...

Jasmyn

Congrats! I have sent the winner an email and they have 48 hours to respond.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Sexiest Vampire Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

Sexiest Vampire Alive (Love at Stake #11) by Kerrelyn Sparks
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (September 27, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

He was both a playboy and a vampire…and impossible to resist. At the end of Vampire Mine, a terrible thing happened—a video was released that proved the existence of vampires. Now Vamps fear the worst, the Vampire Apocalypse! Will mortals start hunting vampires down and staking them in their death-sleep? At an emergency meeting, Coven Masters from around the world decide how to proceed. They need an emissary to open negotiations with the President of the United States. They want their emissary to be modern, safe, and harmless. A Vamp who has never bitten a mortal. A Vamp who has been entirely bottle-fed. Their choice—Gregori! Now Gregori has the fate of the entire Vamp population on his shoulders. Can he keep them safe? Or will he succumb to his playboy ways and doom them all?
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Finally it is Gregori's turn for love! He has been in just about every book in the Love at Stake series and I have been eagerly awaiting his story for what seems like forever now. What I find intriguing about Gregori is that he isn't a warrior like most of the other men, he has this playboy image but you can tell there is more to him than that, and he has never bitten someone before. Actually, the fact that he has always been "bottle fed" and never bitten someone is one of the reasons he is chosen to negotiate with the President of the United States. After Corky released the video of Casimir being beheaded, the vampires are scrambling to cover it up and have it declared a hoax by the government. To do this they have to let the President in on the secret that there are actual vampires out there and convince him to side with them.

As part of the negotiations, Gregori is given an assignment by the President. If he completes it then the vampire video will be declared a hoax. Of course there is a woman involved and let me just say it is pretty surprising. I really enjoyed the development of the relationship and the hurdles they have to overcome keep things interesting. As far as action goes I would say it is lacking just a bit. It definitely has a different feel than the other books in the series where it felt like there was a constant threat, but there IS an enemy to face so that element of danger wasn't totally lacking.

This book shows a new side to Gregori. We get an in depth look at how he feels about his life and how people perceive him. As for his love match I think she is perfect for him. They have a lot in common and the connection between them is believable.
I can't get enough of this series! I've yet to be disappointed and I can't imagine I ever will. Kerrelyn Sparks really knows how to write a juicy vamp love story.

5/5

I received an e-copy for review from the publisher. Any opinions expressed are my own.

CymLowell
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Giveaway: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin


About "All These Things I've Done":

"In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty.think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family."

Gabrielle Zevin introduces readers to an unforgettable teenage heroine in a groundbreaking new series, starting with "All These Things I've Done".



Links:

Macmillan page for the book & author:
http://us.macmillan.com/allthesethingsivedone

Become a fan and see Gabrielle on tour this Fall:
http://www.facebook.com/gabriellezevinfanpage

Website:
http://www.memoirsofa.com/

*****GIVEAWAY*****
US/Canada only
Ends 9/16/11 @ 11:59 pm EST

Easy entry, just fill out the form!

I am not responsible for any items lost or damaged in the mail.
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Review: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

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In my honest opinion this book is one of the best YA releases of 2011. I was absolutely shocked at how much I ended up loving this story. I tend to be a bit of a wuss and this sounded pretty spooky to me (and trust me, it is) but I was so captivated that I couldn't have stopped reading it even if I wanted to. I was hooked and loved every minute of it.

Each character stood out and brought something special to the table. Cas is a ghost hunter who travels around with his mom to places with homicidal ghosts that he dispatches to...wherever. He is an interesting and unusual boy with a lot of weight on his shoulders. What really sucked me in was that I felt like I was in the story and that I was Cas. I was personally invested in what happened and for me that is what makes a book truly great. If I can forget that I am reading a book and think that the story is mine then the author has accomplished something wonderful.

Anna was even more than what I thought. I didn't realize she would be much of a real character. I assumed she would be this mindless ghost that kills and that would be that. Could I have been more wrong? She is a character that evolves ans has more sides to her than expected. Don't get me wrong though, she is one super scary ghost and pretty gruesome too.

The entire time I was reading this book I kept thinking "please let this be the start of a series," over and over. I checked that author's blog and apparently my wish was granted (YAY!). It will be called Girl of Nightmares.

5/5
I received a copy of this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.
CymLowell
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review: The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (August 30, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

To save her sister, she must stop a silent killer. . . .

Protecting Atlanta from the off-world criminals of Underground is tough enough, but now Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner, Hank, learn that the addicts of the offworld drug ash have begun taking their own lives. Ash makes humans the perfect vessels for possession, and something or someone is leading them to their deaths. Charlie is desperate to save her addicted sister, Bryn, from a similar fate. As New Year’s Eve approaches and time runs out, Charlie makes a deadly bargain with an ancient race of beings and embarks on a dangerous journey into hellish Charbydon with Hank and the Revenant Rex to save Bryn and make it back before it’s too late. Only, for one of them, coming home means facing a fate worse than death. . . .

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The Charlie Madigan series is urban fantasy at its best. The Hour of Dust and Ashes is book three in this series and is as action packed as the first two. Detective Charlie Madigan is in a race to save her sister's life and put a stop to an evil force. In order to do this Charlie has to face death in many ways.

At the detective's side is her siren partner, Hank. The chemistry between the two is off the charts, but what is really special between them is their loyalty to each other. They have each others backs, not just as part of their jobs as detectives but as friends. I like the pace that things are developing between them. The story isn't all about the romance (since this isn't a paranormal romance, it is an urban fantasy) and that sort of makes the romance that IS in it all the better. It isn't some insta-love, insta-fix, insta-perfect type of thing. It is developing more realistically...well, as realistically as things could be in Charlie's world. Hank's past is a bit of a mystery but the author delves into some of his background to set up the storyline for the next book. I love where the story is going and I can already tell there will be tons of action.

My favorite things about this book is the butt-kicking action, the sparks flying between Hank and Charlie, and Rex. Rex has become my favorite character now that he knows his past life as a jinn warrior. One moment he is fierce and the next he is acting like a goof. Definitely an entertaining guy. I really hope that he plays an even bigger part in the next book. It would be really cool as well to learn more about his life when he was a jinn.

This was an excellent read and the series continues to be one of my favorites. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will be many more Charlie Madigan books to come. Not only are the characters amazing but the world and the changes to it are fascinating. If you love urban fantasy I highly recommend this series if you haven't started it yet.

5/5

I received a copy of this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.
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