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Friday, May 26, 2017

WEE REVIEW: The Prophecy (Saga of the Chosen #1) by Petra Landon

Synopsis from Goodreads

A powerful wizard threatens the Chosen from beyond the grave. Can they unravel The Prophecy in time to save their world!

Chosen have walked the earth for time immemorial. Tasia is a very special Chosen. Warned to keep her distance from her brethren, she makes a fateful decision one night to assist an injured Shape-shifter. Suddenly, Tasia finds herself in the cross-hairs of Shifter mercenaries encroaching on San Francisco. Forced out of the shadows, Tasia has little choice but to ally herself with the local Shifter Pack led by a formidable and dangerous Alpha Protector. In the cut-throat world of a Shifter Pack, Tasia must fight to protect her secrets while struggling to negotiate with the enigmatic Alpha who holds his violent Pack together with a ruthless hand on its reins.

Grave danger threatens their world as a powerful wizard exploits an old prophecy to divide the Chosen. When the Pack is asked to investigate the twenty-five year old mystery, Tasia is drawn deeper into a past that risks raising the suspicions of the very Chosen she hides from. As danger closes in on her, Tasia must decide who to trust with the deadly secrets she guards.

Published January 27th 2017
Source: Bought
 
Wee Review (4 Stars)
 
This was a bit of surprise of a book. Although I had read good reviews of this book, I didn't have that high of an expectations for it, with the generic urban fantasy cover and the unoriginal title I couldn't keep my hopes that high for it. However, I did give this book a try based on the review and recommendation of Bite Into Books, and I am glad I listened and gave this book a chance, because it has pleasantly surprised me. 
 
Pros:
 
  • Complex and mysterious main character with a hidden past. Although some of her secrets are revealed in this book, I think even at the end of this book there is some secrets she is still holding onto tightly - can't wait to find out what they are in future books.
  • Through-out this book we get a ever growing cast of secondary character which are developed in such a great way. All of them have their own personalities and characteristics, such a great group which are deep and complex as individual characters but to read about their interactions just highlights their complexities and I feels as though I got to know them just as much as the main character.
  • Complex super natural communities, which all have their own governing structures with power plays happening all over the place both inside these communities and between them.
  • I really enjoyed the 'investigative' aspect of the plot. As this unlikely group of allies work together to piece together the complex plan put together by Lady Bethesda many years ago and trying to made the connection between her action then to some more current events.
  • My favourite kind of romance -  hate to attraction,  for a hostile but sometimes caring guy. 
 
Cons
 
  • The only negative for me is the sudden time and character perspective jumps. I found these a bit disorientating although it did keep you on your toes, and I can understand why the author would want to create that effect.
 
Final Thoughts
 
Over all I enjoyed this book, I look forward to the release of the sequels, where I hope that answers will be discovered, secrets revealed, and friendships and alliances strengthen and evolve.


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Who's Afraid? (Tommi Grayson #1) by Maria Lewis

 

Synopsis from Goodreads

This is the story of Tommi, a young Scottish woman living an ordinary life, who stumbles violently into her birthright as the world's most powerful werewolf. The sudden appearance of a dark, mysterious (and very attractive) guardian further confuses her as her powers begin to develop and she begins to understand that her life can never be the same again. The reader will be swept up in Tommi's journey as she's thrown into the middle of a centuries-old battle and a world peopled with expert warriors and vicious enemies - this is the start of a series - and a world - you will fall in love with.
 
 
Published July 14th 2016 by Piatk(first published January 12th 2016)
 
ISBN13: 9780349408972
Series: Tommi Grayson #1
Source: Bought
 
 
 Review (4.75 Stars)
 
This was a great book, surprisingly so! It wasn't that I wasn't expecting to enjoy it,
I was excited to read a story with Scottish werewolves (I can't think of any book
where they are the main characters - any recommendations welcome), however
 this didn't turn out to be the direction that the story was heading, but I am getting
ahead of myself.
 
Let start for the beginning, this book begins by introducing 
us to Tommi (in a hilarious internal monologue introduction!) and her normal life
as a recent gradate working in a Dundee gallery. She has just lost her mother and 
is about to go on adventure to find her absentee dad down in New Zealand. She 
has a great group of friends who are supportive and they are full of Scottish
 banter (which I loved),  I think this book did a great job of representing the
Scottish culture and attitude. However, finding her family down under doesn't
 work out anything like she'd planned and nothing like she could have ever
imagined and she rapidly returns to Scotland. As she is now aware of her
 'more than human' state I was fully expecting her to panic and
hunt down a group of supernatural to teach her to control. However,
this is where my preconceived ideas of this story were dashed, she is a strong
independent woman who although isn't all that comfortable with the changes
 she is enduring she deals with it cool head and remains in control.
 
I don't want to go into too much detail of this book, because I loved going into
this book with limited knowledge. All I will say it that I loved it and highly
recommend, it has a authentic 'modern Scottish ' feel with a few (understandable
don't worry) phrases and a snarky, down to earth, kick-ass, independent
woman who has some great friends who have her back. There is also a
 side thread of romance and hint of bigger supernatural power plays
 and a author who isn't afraid to put her characters through the worst.
(don't want to spoil this book for anyone but Maria how could you?!?)
 
 
 
 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

Synopsis from Goodreads

Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.
 
Published March 29th 2016 by CreateSpace (first published March 29th 2013)
Series: Standalone
Source: Received a copy via Netgalley
 
Review (4.75 Stars)
 
This book started a bit like a crime show episode with : a glimpse of someone's life, then their death followed by small scene of a investigation before finally zooming to a other persons seemingly unconnected (although we all know there has to be some connection) life.
 
Once passed the crime show like prologue, we follow a girl called Blue in her last year of high school. I enjoyed the way that from the start we get to see the mask Blue has created for herself and it was interesting though the school year to see the two different sides of Blue. Her 'slutty' shameless and outgoing mask when she is in school, and her more quite and lost personality when she is at home. This first half of the book while Blue is still in school, shows how much teacher's can impact their students lives. It highlighted the power of other people believing in you, and the impact that can have on the views you have of yourself as well as the ways in which you view the world and your place in it.
 
The second part of the book we follow Blue as she tries to find out more about her past and her birth family. However, I felt as though the theme of this half of the book was more about realizing that your blood family isn't the only family you can have, but rather you can create you own family from those who have your back, care and love you. 
 
This is such a powerful story of a broken, forgotten girl (who's very good at playing the role she created to hide this), who is on a quest to find herself and a teacher determined to see her for who she is and help her discover her true self, and find her place in the world. We also get a great side theme of romance, it is messy at some points and beautiful at other points.
 
I am not often a fan of teenage contemporary romance's but this one is fluffy and fake, this is deep, heart-breaking, full of loss and self doubt, searching and finding, of discovering and falling.   
 
 
My Favourite Quotes from A Different Blue  
 
"There's a whole lot more to most people than meets the eye, Wilson. Unfortunately, a lot of times it isn't good stuff. It's scary stuff, painful stuff. By now, you know so much scary, painful stuff about me, it's a wonder you're still around."
 
“Someone told me once that to create true art you must be willing to bleed and let others watch.”  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Valiant (#1) by Lesley Livingston

Synopsis from Goodreads

Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.
 
Published February 14th 2017 by Razorbill
ISBN13: 9780448493787
Series: The Valiant
Source: Bought

Review (5 Stars)

I knew I was going to enjoy this book the moment I read the synopsis, I have been looking for a book with a female gladiator lead for ages (I have only ever found some Wattpad stories) so was so excited when I found this one. Thankfully this book was everything I had been hoping for.
 
The first chapter throws us straight into Fallon's life in her tribe. In this first chapter we get to see Fallon's brave, recklessness and fearlessness nature as well as her determination to prove to everyone that she is worthy - not just because she is the daughter of the king but because of her skills. As we move into the second chapter we get to know more about Fallon's past and her backstory, which really highlights her love for her deceased sister, giving us some insight into her motivation behind her desire to join the tribe war band and proving herself. 
 
It was nice to get to see Fallon in her 'normal' life in the tribe and to watch the tribes internal politics even without the help of the invading Romans. This book is just a whirlwind of action, I loved it all,  from the events leading up to Fallon's enslavement; to the dramatic and unusual start to her friendship with fellow slave Elka's; from the slave block, to her training and the arenas, and the more complex working of Rome, from the power plays and conspiracies, to dark mysteries passages and even a few familiar faces from home.
 
I loved watching Fallon grow from a unseasoned warrior into a Gladiatrix learning to play in the political power games of Rome. Overall, this book ticked almost all the boxes for me with a strong female lead, some mysterious happens, a great sisterhood, political manoeuvring and even a bit of romance. Highly recommend read if you're into either fantasy or historical fiction. I can't wait for the sequel!