Tag Archives: war

READ TYGER, TYGER FREE THIS WEEK!

30 Oct

Hello friends! If you’ve been following me long enough you’ll probably know that one of my all-time favorite book series is the Goblin Wars by Kersten Hamilton! These books have everything in them that you could ever want. Seriously. Great characters, an awesome love interest, quests, adventure, amazing settings, Irish legends . . .  Gah, I don’t think I can gush about it enough! But do you want to hear what’s even better about it now?!

TYGER, TYGER the first book in the series is free as an ebook this week! It’s the Book of the Week at Apple so you can download it for free here! Or get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Seriously, you should read this anytime at any price because it’s worth it . . . but for free? Snap this one up while you have the chance!

Still not sure? Check out my review of Tyger, Tyger and the next two books in the trilogy: In the Forests of the Night and
When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

11 Jun

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1

author: Laini Taylor

pages [hardcover]: 417

memorable quote:
“It’s not like there’s a law against flying.”
“Yes there is.  The law of gravity.”  

favorite characters: zuzzana & akiva

summary:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

review:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that I’ve been itching to get my hands on for ages. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, saw it at the library, and knew that I needed to check it out. With over 400 pages it was a slightly daunting read, but I got through it in a few days! That’s how addicting Taylor’s writing style is. I loved the beautiful extended metaphors, scattered throughout the book and relating in the most beautiful ways. The characters were divine (even when they were demonic) and the plot was so gripping!

I liked the build-up of everything. Karou has no idea who she is and thus neither do we. We’re left to discover her together through the wonderful landscape of Prague. There are so many gorgeous settings described in this book! I liked how we could read about her normal life steadily going downhill so it wasn’t simply action for the sake of action. And she herself was well-defined before any love interest came along.

The world building was amazing and the concept of the creatures, their true purpose, and everything that was happening was magnificent. There were characters I loved to hate and ones I just plain loved. Humans included. Zuzzana was particularly awesome.

I really recommend this book. To everyone! The writing is just brilliant and poignant and sings to my soul. Different writing styles appeal to different people and this, exactly this, appeals to me. I love it! And I hope you’ll love it, too.

BEAUTIFUL. 5/5 stars

Everfound by Neal Shusterman

23 Oct

 

Everfound

Author: Neal Shusterman

Book 3 in the Skinjackers Trilogy
Book 2: Everwild

pages: 512

favorite characters: Jix & Mikey

memorable quote:
“Because,” said Mikey. “the Dancing Bear wants us to suffer.”

summary:

While Mary lies in a glass coffin aboard a ghost train heading west, her minions are awaiting her re-awakening by bringing lots of new souls into Everlost to serve her. Meanwhile Jackin’ Jill has met Jix, a fur-jacker—a skin jacker who can take over the bodies of animals, most notably jaguars. Jix serves a Mayan god who collects Everlost coins, and has his own agenda. In the concluding volume of The Skinjacker Trilogy, Neal Shusterman reveals new sides of the characters of Everlost, who are pitted against each other in a battle that may destroy all life on Earth.

review:

I’ve been in love with this series ever since I picked up book one, Everlost, a few years ago, and I didn’t even think then that it’d turn out to be a trilogy. Neal Shusterman is an awesome author-I’ve read other books by him like Full Tilt and Unwind, both equally creepy and fantastic. That’s how the Skinjackers Trilogy turned out to be: Horrifying and exciting.

I love the world of Everlost, down to the vapors of Afterlights and the odd items and buildings that have happened to cross over. Yet Mary, main antagonist in the books, is a great character to read about, while being completely controlling and insane. She’s great in her own way, though I wouldn’t hesitate to sink her into the earth, given the chance. I love a book where even the characters I hate can be completely explored and not just left in the flat bad-guy status.

Every moment I thought I’d figured out exactly where the book was going, it took a completely different direction. These plot twists, coming out of nowhere, kept me on the edge of my seat, hooked until the last page. Every part was filled with action, suspense, humor, romance, tears, laughter . . . I especially liked the “High Altitude Musical Interludes”. Those were hilarious!

The ending…I dreaded. I never wanted it to come to a stop, to have to say good-bye to a bunch of wonderful characters and an invisible world that I can’t say I’d want to visit. But I couldn’t have asked for a better way for it all to conclude. Every minute of it was perfect.

BEST IN THE TRILOGY. 5/5 stars

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

5 Oct

 
Goliath

Author: Scott Westerfeld [also wrote So Yesterday, Extras]

Pages [hardcover]: 548

Book 3 of the Leviathan Trilogy
Book 1: Leviathan
Book 2: Behemoth

Memorable Quote:

Favorite Characters: Alek & Deryn

Summary:

Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.

Review:

I’ve been in love with Scott Westerfeld’s books for . . . longer than I can remember. Several years. And when I picked up Leviathan, the first book of this trilogy, a few years ago, I never imagined the extreme anticipation I’d have for this conclusion! It seemed to take forever for the buildup to stop and the finale to actually arrive, but it was well worth the wait. This is an end I both loved and enjoyed.

Alek and Deryn are two fabulous characters. Alek, prince of Hohenburg, is wonderfully awkward and courageous at the same time. He’d do anything for his friends and allies, including risking his own life and reputation, and thinks nothing of it. Deryn doesn’t let the limitations society puts on girls hold her back, and decides to follow her passion even if that means dressing as a boy. And that makes her attraction to a certain prisoner a squick awkward . . .

I don’t think I’ll be able to rave about this book enough! First, the pictures, something that attracted me to the trilogy in the first place. The artistry is perfectly wonderful, making everything pop vividly and letting me picture every aspect-both Clanker and Darwinist-of the story precisely. The entire steampunk genre is still new to me, and while I’m not entirely certain where I’ll go next with it, I’m definitely excited to read more like this. It’s not something I’d like to sample and give up on.

I hate it when I get too excited for a book and it doesn’t meet my expectations. I never had that problem with Goliath. From cover to cover-beginning and ending with more pretty pictures!-the action, suspense, romance . . . All worth it. And though I hate to say goodbye, it ended smartly and didn’t leave me hanging.

I shouldn’t have expected anything less from Scott Westerfeld. :D

I give Goliath 5/5 stars. Go try this trilogy! Now!

Storm Thief by Chris Wooding

10 Jul

Storm Thief

Author: Chris Wooding

Pages [paperback]: 310

Opening Lines: The seabird slid through the black sky beneath the blanket of cloud, its feathers ruffling fitfully as it was buffeted by the changing winds.

Favorite Characters: Rail & Moa

Summary:

The city of Orokos has been lashed by probability storms-violent tempests that change whatever they touch. When a probability storm hits, streets are rearranged, children are turned to glass, rivers break from their banks, and life suddenly becomes death. Nothing is stable. Everyone is vulnerable.

Rail has struggled with the effects of one such storm for years; when he was hit, he lost the ability to breathe freely. Moa has also seen her share of struggle-as the daughter of dead rebels, as an outcast, as a criminal. Now they have uncovered their first taste of fortune: a strange artifact wanted by the most powerful people in the city. As with most fortunes, this one comes with a price.

The mysterious object is a gift to any thief. But could it be more? Rail and Moa will have to run, fight, double-cross, steal, and dodge the storms in order to find out . . . and unlock Orokos’s deepest, most dangerous secrets.

Review:

This was the second book I had to read for my assignment in the YA Best Overlooked Book Battle 2011, hosted by Alyssa over at The Shady Glade. I started the book expecting to like it, just from reading the summary and looking at that awesome book cover. And when it was over, I was happy to see that I was right.

Storm Thief follows two unlikely heroes, who work against the odds to make their lives better and to survive day by day. Barely having enough to eat, having to steal to live, when they find an old artifact with powers greater than they could have imagined, Rail and Moa think that perhaps their luck has finally turned. Little do they know that their real adventure has just begun.

This book was very easy to read, and I flew through it. It never lacked for twists and turns, pulling out new surprises every so often to keep things interesting and keep me hooked. It worked well, and had me clamoring for more.

Because of this, there was only one thing I didn’t like about the book: the ending. It was vague in some parts, detailed in others, but overall is was unsatisfying. Not enough that it detracted from my enjoyment, but it made me want a sequel, which I don’t think is going to happen, as far as I know. Definitely one of the downsides.

I give Storm Thief 5/5 stars. It was a good read that I really liked and might read again sometime.

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

9 Jul

 

Song of the Sparrow

Author: Lisa Ann Sandell

Pages [hardcover]: 416

Memorable Quote: Still, I look down, and the grass is so green, I cannot understand how it does not wither and die with sorrow.

Favorite Characters: Tristan & Elaine

Summary:

The year is 490 AD. Fiery 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat, the daughter of one of King Arthur’s supporters, lives with her father on Arthur’s base camp, the sole girl in a militaristic world of men. Elaine’s only girl companion is the mysterious Morgan, Arthur’s older sister, but Elaine cannot tell Morgan her deepest secret: She is in love with Lancelot, Arthur’s second-in-command. However, when yet another girl — the lovely Gwynivere– joins their world, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. But can her love for Lancelot survive the birth of an empire?

Review:

 I was assigned to read this book as part of the YA Best Overlooked Book Battle 2011, hosted by Alyssa over at The Shady Glade. At first I wasn’t sure what to think; I’m just starting to get into historical fiction, and this didn’t sound like something I’d ache to pick up on my own. But by giving it a chance, I was pleasantly surprised.

Song of the Sparrow follows Elaine, the only girl in an army camp full of men. She’s grown up there, away from the limitations that were enforced upon women at that time, free to roam as she pleased, though still not allowed to fight for her country. As a result, she’s often left behind, alone, as everyone she knows and loves marches off into battle.

I loved that this novel was written in verse. I didn’t know that until I began reading, and verse books are something of a guilty pleasure for me. The smooth way the lines flowed, the way each thing that came up was so beautifully described through Elaine’s perspective, kept me coming back for more, wanting to read on and on. I couldn’t get enough of it.

The characters in this book, though the minor ones dimmed in comparison to Elaine, were great. Each held true to their own purpose, and won me over, whether they were good or evil. I liked reading about how Arthur and the other knights were brotherly toward Elaine, working for her best interests and trying to protect her. And I loved how she in turn wanted to protect them, though sometimes this meant disobeying them and doing dangerous things.

The legend of King Arthur is one that I know well, though never before have I read something like this. It was a refreshing take, told from a female perspective, and actually made the women heroic, for once, instead of having the knights take all of the glory. That little ‘girl power’ addition fit in nicely.

All in all, this book was practically perfect to me. I read through it very quickly, loved every moment of it, and wish there was more. The ending was brilliant, the characters witty and captivating. I highly recommend Song of the Sparrow, even to those that do not normally read historical fiction. I don’t, and this only encourages me to read more. Though I may be disappointed; I don’t know what can live up to the standards this has set. I give it 5/5 stars.

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

26 Jun

Insatiable

Author : Meg Cabot [also wrote Avalon High, Size 12 is Not Fat, and Airhead]

Pages [hardcover]: 451

Favorite Characters:
Mary Lou & Jon

Summary:

Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . .

If she even has one.

Review:

 I love Meg Cabot. I’ve been branching out of her young adult fiction and have started reading her books geared more toward adults. Insatiable had an interesting premise, especially because it seems everyone and their mother is writing about vampires these days. My first thoughts were, “Oh, no, not you too.” But then I saw that the main character was as over the blood sucking craze as I am. That redeemed it for me, and made me want to pick it up. I ended up reading it with mixed results.

I really liked the main character, Meena, for a majority of the book. I thought she was very strong, knew what she wanted out of life, and how exactly to get that. She wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself, but she wasn’t above having petty concerns, either. Somewhere before the climax of the novel, she started to change. I can’t exactly put my figure on what was different. But her actions weren’t fitting with her personality that had been established. That distracted and annoyed me.

There were other, odd little bits that didn’t quite mesh for me. The Dracul were stereotypical bad guys, who seemed like they were trying really hard to be intimidating, while working against Lucien, who seemed nearly invincible, most of the time. Characters that I was led to believe were important were killed without another mention of them.

While it didn’t capture my attention the way I’d hoped, it wasn’t a complete disappointment. I might continue on with this series, I might not. Maybe if it comes into the library, but I won’t be going out of my way to buy the sequel. I give Insatiable 3.5/5 stars.

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

28 May

The Iron Queen

Author: Julie Kagawa

Pages [paperback]: 358

Book 3 in the Iron Fey Series
Book 1: The Iron King 
Book 2: The Iron Princess

Favorite Characters: Grim & Puck

Memorable Quote: “But, as no one listens to the cat anymore, I will have to wait until we are completely lost to say ‘I told you so.”

Summary:

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

Review:

Every book I read in this series makes me love it even more. The characters are awesome, the plot fantastic, and the entire thing is highly addicting. As soon as I started reading The Iron Queen, I couldn’t put it down. It was non-stop action, romance, and humor. Puck would have me laughing one moment, then Meghan would be in a battle, keeping me on the edge of my seat. I never knew what was going to come next, and I loved that.

I’m Team Puck all the way. He’s adorable, and loveable in every way. The Iron Queen did make me like Ash a lot more-not that I didn’t like him as a character beforehand, but it took until this third installment for me to think of him as someone worthy of rivaling Puck.

I don’t mind books that don’t seem to have any filler space in them, no scenes that sound randomly placed and useless. However, a few points of the novel seemed rushed and not thoroughly explained. I would have liked for things to slow down a bit, just to give me a chance to get used to whatever happened or was going to happen. This didn’t annoy me enough to detract from my enjoyment, it’s just something that I noticed about the book.

The Iron Fey series is one of my all time favorites, and I’m so excited for the fourth book. I didn’t even know there would be another until I reached the end of this one, and that killed me. I can’t stand the wait. I’ve never been the most patient person, and this definitely doesn’t help. But I get to see more of my favorite characters, and that makes it worth it!

The Iron Queen is an awesome book that I really recommend. This is a great series, and the best that focuses on fairies that I’ve ever read. I give this third book 5/5 stars. It was amazing!

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

7 May

The Dead-Tossed Waves

Author: Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Book 2
Book 1: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Pages [hardcover]: 407

Favorite Characters: Elias & Cira

Opening Lines: The story goes that even after the Return they tried to keep the roller coasters going. They said it reminded them of the before time. When they didn’t have to worry about people rising from the dead, when they didn’t have to build fences and walls and barriers to protect themselves from the masses of Mudo constantly seeking human flesh.

Memorable Quote: We’re both just human. Nothing more. But also nothing less.

Summary:

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

Review:

Nearly a year after I first read the companion book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I decided to pick up The Dead-Tossed Waves. I’m so grateful to commenters that said the second book was much better than the first, and my friends that literally forced me to sit down and read this. I ended up enjoying it much more than I’d expected. It even kept me reading late into the night at some moments!

Carrie Ryan definitely has a gift with plot twists. She can take a simple situation in the book, make it look like the characters will move along with no problem, and all of a sudden drop an unexpected literary bomb that shatters what you thought was going to happen and adds a whole new set of complications to the mix. I loved that, and it definitely kept me hooked. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that there wasn’t a chance to breath, or a spot to stop for the night! Continuous action can be both awesome and exhausting.

The characters still fell a little flat. I’m not sure if Gabry is supposed to really, really annoy me throughout most of the book, but she did. I ended up looking forward to reading about Elias or Catcher, any of the minor characters, really, just to get out of her head for a bit. Her emotions seemed exaggerated, her reactions odd. One thing I did like characterization-wise was how the adults were portrayed. Usually, a main character’s parents aren’t thought of as having their own fears, wants, worries, and dreams. Gabry’s mother is seen in both vulnerable and strong times, much different from most YA books.

I loved how I found out things that were left up in the air in the first book. It was hard to remember details, after so long, but piecing it together was half of the fun. Seeing how the stories ran together was cool. And now I’ll definitely have to pick up the third book, especially with an ending like this. Must I always be left hanging? The final scene annoyed me to no end.

All in all, I give  The Dead-Tossed Waves 4/5 stars. It was twice as good as the first, really kept me interested, and made me want to read more. Very good read, especially for zombie-lovers. (:

Two Moon Princess Blog Tour-Book Review

9 Apr


Two Moon Princess

Author: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Pages: [paperback] 324

Favorite Characters
: Andrea & Don Julian

Summary:

In this coming-of-age story set in a medieval kingdom, Andrea is a headstrong princess longing to be a knight who finds her way to modern-day California. But her accidental return to her family’s kingdom and a disastrous romance brings war, along with her discovery of some dark family secrets. Readers will love this mix of traditional fantasy elements with unique twists and will identify with Andrea and her difficult choices between duty and desire.

Review:

I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Two Moon Princess. This book really takes the idea of a stubbornly indendent main character and spins it in a unique way that had me addicted, especially during the second half of the book.

Andrea doesn’t want to have anything to do with being a lady, or the girly aspects of her station. I loved reading about her attempts to prove herself to her parents, and her efforts to be true to herself, no matter what others expected of her. She stuck to her convictions even if she risked offending royalty.

Though the book seemed a bit slow in the beginning, it quickly picked up pace until I was flying through the pages at the finish. The contrast between modern day California and the more medieval world that Andrea lives in was nicely portrayed. I liked how the entire concept of crossing between worlds was intrduced, and that the routes of Andrea’s people were tied into this.

Another great aspect of the book is that it is not a love story at its foremost. It seems that every single novel I read is centered around romance, and this was a welcome break. Andrea is a fierce, loyal lead character that definitely struck a chord with me. I can’t wait to read more about her and the rest of the cast of characters.

I give Two Moon Princess 4/5 stars.

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!
On April 14, Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban will visit the blog and there will also be a giveaway!

Monday, April 4: Amber Clark at Page Turners (Guest Post)
Tuesday, April 5: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Character Interview: Andrea)
Wednesday, April 6: Melissa at Mel’s Books and Info (Review)
Thursday, April 7: Britta at I Like These Books (Tens List)
Friday, April 8: Amy at Reading Teen (Author Interview)
Saturday, April 9: Kayla at Caught Between The Pages (Review)

Sunday, April 10: Diana at Books By Their Story (When I’m Not Writing)
Monday, April 11: Michelle at See Michelle Read (Author Interview)
Tuesday, April 12: Page at One Book At A Time (Review)
Wednesday, April 13: Gail at Ticket To Anywhere (This or That List: Carmen)
Thursday, April 14: Kayla at Caught Between The Pages (Tens List)
Friday, April 15: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Review)
Saturday, April 16: Page at One Book At A Time (Cover Interview)

Sunday, April 17: Britta at I Like These Books (Review)
Monday, April 18: Nicole at WORD For Teens (Into the Past)
Tuesday, April 19: Melissa at Mel’s Books and Info (Character Interview: Julian)
Wednesday, April 20: Elizabeth at Swords For Fighting (This or That List: Andrea)
Thursday, April 21: Michelle at See Michelle Read (Review)
Friday, April 22: Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century (Author Interview)
Saturday, April 23: Kathryn at Beastie Books (Tens List)

Sunday, April 24: Nicole at WORD For Teens (Review)
Monday, April 25: Nicole at Books Complete Me (Character Tweets)
Tuesday, April 26: Kate at The Neverending Shelf (Author Interview)
Wednesday, April 27: Diana at Books By Their Story (Review)
Thursday, April 28: Christie at The Fiction Enthusiast (Tens List)
Friday, April 29: Emily at Emily’s Reading Room (This or That List: Julian)
Saturday, April 30: Amy at Reading Teen (Review)

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