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Sunday, January 29, 2017

January Book Haul

 
January's book haul is a collection of book's which I have meaning to buy for ages. So with my Christmas money I went through my stupidly long to-buy list and picked out these books, some of which have been on the list for years and some for just a few months.
 
 Have you read any of these books, what were your thoughts on them?
 

The Sharpest Blade (Shadow Reader #3) by Sandy Williams
 
Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs
 
This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
 
A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1) by Jessica Cluess
 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#1) by Laini Taylor

Friday, January 27, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Burning Glass (#1) by Kathryn Purdie


Synopsis From Goodreads
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.



Published March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN13: 9780062412362

Series: Burning Glass
Source: Bought


My Review

4.5 Stars 

I had heard mixed reviews on this book, so didn't grab it at the first opportunity. Burning Glass has remained on my TBR though since it's release and I have finally delved into pages. I found the actually plot to not that unique, for my what drove this story was exploring (and slowly understanding) Sonya's powers, as well as the interesting set of characters.
 
 
I enjoyed following Sonya as she tried to understand and find her feet a new environment so different from the one in which she grew up. As well as trying to shoulder all of her new responsibilities  that have been thrust upon her. She was a wonderfully complicated character.
 
Anton, is one of favourite type of characters, he begins by being cold and hostile, but warms up as time passes. The happens quite early on in the book as Anton and Sonya travel to the palace. However, once Anton task of delivering her to palace is done, me comes an increasingly mysterious character carrying many secrets.   The Emperor is a bit of confusing character, during the book he treats Sonya as a confidant and friend but is quick to reprehend her harshly when she steps slightly out of line.
 
For those who are worried for the whole love triangle thing, it wasn't a major thing in this book. Although Sonya feels for both boys I think it’s clear who Sonya prefers, but her power to feel other’s emotions does impact her and make her question her own feelings.
 
I enjoyed the interactions between these characters, as well as the friendship which Grows between Sonya and her handmaden. Overall, I enjoyed this story, full of characters full of secrets, and slightly morbid/ dark magic which help to make our main character such a great complex character to follow.




Thursday, January 26, 2017

February Releases I Can't Wait For!

 Some amazing sounding book's are coming out this month, both some high anticipated sequels as well as some amazing series starters. I am particularly looking forward to reading The Valiant (see me Waiting on Wednesday post here) as well as Long May She Reign (WoW post here).  
 

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton
Release Date: 2nd February 2017
  

Synopsis from Goodreads 
 
The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the bestselling Rebel of the Sands!

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she's fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan's palace—she's determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan's secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she's a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she's been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

Kings Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard 
Release Date: 7th February 2017


Synopsis from Goodreads
 
In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.
  
Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James 
Release Date: 14th February 2017

 
Synopsis from Goodreads   

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?
 
 
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Release Date: 14th February 2017 

 
Synopsis from Goodreads 
 
 The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha's legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father's royal war band. But she never gets the chance. Instead, Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon's worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena—and claim her place in history among the Valiant.

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas 
Release Date: 21st February 2017

 
Synopsis From Goodreads 

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.
 

Daughter of the Pirate King (#1) by Tricia Levenseller
Release Date: 28th February 2017

 
Synopsis From Goodreads

A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.
 
***

What new releases are you looking forward to this month?


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Burying Water (#1) by K.A Tucker

Synopsis from Goodreads  
Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.  
 
Published October 7th 2014 by Atria
ISBN13: 9781476774183
Series: Burying Water Book One
Source: Christmas Present!


Review

(5 Stars)

Amazing dramatic start which really captures your attention. This book alternates between two time periods which are hugely contrasting. One following the self named 'Water' as she settles into the quite country life; while the other follows Jesse in his city life as a mechanic as he finds himself in the wrong circles and falling for the 'wrong' girl. It took me a little while to confirm my suspected link between these two time periods, but once I did make the connection it make the story all the intriguing. As each chapter ends you can see the two time periods drawing into a more complete story one step at a time.

I don't want to talk too much about the specific's of this book, as I think the mystery and the unknown is one of the major drivers of this book. However, I enjoyed the two different ways in which the variety of characters meet, and the romances develop in the two time periods. I specifically loved how Water fits into the families lives and it was a joy to watch her chip away at Ginny's walls, and see those walls come down and her heart open (to something not called Felix anyway!), after so many years of hiding away from the world.

There were a few things which I wasn't so enthused by: firstly there was a particular death which I felt was a bit to convenient. Secondly I wanted more than the epilogue, I can't fault the author for moving onto different character for the rest of this series ( I mean I want to know more about some of these characters). But I have fallen in love with these main characters, and their story, and I would love to follow them for more time, more books.

This book was just an amazing read, what enjoyed the most was the mystery of Water's history, and trying to guess the events which lead up to her memory loss, slowly discovering clues, while also waiting for her to grasp hold of those memories she had shut out.

 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Frostblood by Elly Blake

Synopsis From Goodreads
 
In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is set in world where flame and ice are mortal enemies - but together create a power that could change everything.
  
 
Published January 12th 2017 by Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN13: 9781473635173
Series: Frostblood Saga Book One
Source: Received an ARC copy in Fairyloot box.
 

Review

(5 Stars)
 
I was lucky enough to get a ARC copy of this book in a Fairyloot box a while ago, although I loved the sound of this book I put off reading it. From the synopsis I though it sounded a bit too much like the Snow Like Ashes, but the story and world are completely different.
 
The first chapter did very well in portraying the strong mother/daughter relationship. With Rudy's mother worrying about her daughter, fearing the consequences of her powers. Alongside Rudy wanting to be able to grow this power to enable her to protect them both. It really shows the love they have for each other in this chapter as they strive to protect each other in their separate ways.
 
I enjoyed the growing relationship between Arcus and Ruby. It was fun to watch them rub each other up the wrong way. There were also certain scenes which really highlighted how the hate of a race can be drilled into a population by fear. Blake does a great job of creating clean romantic scenes which are also descriptive and intense. I really enjoyed the pacing of the first part of the book, it was a nice mix of dramatic, life threatening action, characters development and relationship building.
 
The second half of the book slightly took me by surprise, as the 'feel' of the story totally changes. It changes from following a girl on the run, to more political manoeuvring, with gladiators/ Roman style arena battles, and "Once Upon a Time" (the TV series - Season 4/5) style darkness.
 
The pace quickens in this second part with much more constant action. Like all good fantasy books there is a big show down with some major twists along the way. However there wasn't an evil cliff hanger - something I have come to expect with current YA fantasy - although not a completely rounded ending it was the perfect place to end the book.
 
 
 
 

Friday, January 20, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Dark Touch by Debbie Johnson

 
Synopsis From Goodreads

A modern tale of magic, love and destiny.
It's not easy finding out you're a Goddess.

For Lily McCain, the move from local music journalist to being the incarnation of Mabe, Mother of Mortals was a surprise to say the least.

Thrust into a game of gods and monsters, the rules of which she barely knows, one thing is clear: if you have power, someone will try to take it from you.



Published March 1st 2015 by Random House UK
Second Book in Duology (I think)
Source: Local Library
 

Review

3.5 Stars

I am often not a fan of reincarnation stories, but this one I enjoyed. Open think this was mainly because I didn't realize this wasn't the first book in the series, so I didn't see Lilly before she realized what she was.

The plot line of these book wasn't hugely amazing but there were several things about this book which made it so enjoyable:

1) The romance, the love/ hate (well less hate and more i-know-how-to-get-on-you-nerves-so-will-do-at-every-opportunity), along with a vampire staring wish fully at Lilly and causing havoc.

2)Although quite a lot of this book is set in America, you can really feel the "northern-ness" of the main character, it just oozes from her every thought, is was amazing!

3) As well as being a fun story this book also profoundly highlight/showcase some of societies social culture norms and flaws.

An enjoyable book a 3.5 star read for me and despite the fact that I came into the series part way through. I didn't feel as though I enjoyed the story any less (maybe I would have caught onto things slightly faster, and obviously have more details on some do the characters history's but it was easy to pick up the basis), as the author has done a great job of weaving the basic plot of the last book into the first chapter of this book.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Take the Key and Lock Her Up (Embassy Row #3) by Ally Carter

Synopsis from Goodreads

Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed . . . or so everyone thought.

Now Grace Blakely knows the truth:

There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution — which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.

There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.

If she wins, she will inherit a throne.And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.


Hardback Published December 27th 2016 by Scholastic Press
Series: Embassy Row Book 3
Source: e-book provided vis netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
 

Review

4.5 Stars
 
I loved opening (or more accurately clicking on) a new Ally Carter. I was nice to sink back into Ally's smooth writing style, a style which I have been reading for a number of years now. I just love her story style as well, with a relatable (in some ways at least) teenage girl who are also extraordinary in their individual way. Ally also has this great skill of blending action and suspense, with developing friendships and tantalizing hints of romance. Take the Key and Lock Her Up was another great Ally Carter book, following this signature story style, that I love.
 
This book picks up on Grace's story a short-time after the dramatic ending of book two with Grace, Jamie and Alexei now on the run for their lives. Within the first quarter of the book I could really feel the love and fear that the three of the of them had for each other, as they try their best to protect one another. 
 
It took a while for Megan, Rosie and Noah to get dragged into the action, but one the 'gang' was back together it felt like a more life threating version of their adventures from the first few books. Although as I think about books one and two of the Embassy Row series, it is not hard to see how these characters have changed and grown-up.  
 
There we moments when I began to question how Grace was going to survive the dangers coming her way from multiple directions. As I got nearer the end of the book I enjoyed the tense and heart racing moments as Grace digs ever deeper into her own family history, and uncovering some of Adria's best kept secrets.
 
Although I very much enjoyed this book, and love this series, there were a few things which I couldn't work out, and so I had to take away that 0.5 star. Firstly, Grace and Jamie's dad! I know that he was supposed to be a busy man but you would think with both of his children in life threatening danger he might have lent a hand? Maybe he was kept in the dark, if so why? Secondly, when Grace disappears to try and solve their issues peacefully, why does Jamie stay away? With his determined personality and love which he clearly holds for his sister why does he suddenly step back?
 
Despite these few things, I really enjoyed this series and look forward to Ally Carter's next project. She has definitely become an auto-buy author for me.    

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday #15

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 
 
 
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

 Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser. 
 
Title: Finding My Pack
Author: Lane Whitt
 
Today's Teaser
 
" While it is funny, I can't help but love Ash for doing this. My insides melt watching him. All the guys seem to be great with kids in their own ways."
- Page 271
 
 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Book Blogger Hop #6

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Book and is now hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
 


THIS WEEKS PROMPT 
 
 Is everyday a reading day for you?
 
MY RESPONSE
 
I can't remember the last day that wasn't a 'reading day'! Reading is a part of my everyday, I don't have a set time of day that I sit down and read but I always get a few chapters in somewhere in the day.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Rhodi's Light by Megan Linski

Synopsis from Goodreads
 
Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance. These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope.

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic …as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists. Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness?

The first installment in an epic fantasy series by young adult author Megan Linski, Rhodi’s Light is an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers begging for more.  
 
Buy From: Amazon (UK) || Amazon (US) 
Published by Gryfyn Publishing; 4 Sept. 2016
Series: Rhodi Saga
Source: E-book Provided via Netgalley in Exchange for a Honest Review  
 
 
Review 2.75 Stars
 
I obviously liked the sound of this book when I first requested it from netgalley, however I put off reading it for quite a while. I finally decided to pick it up and - as you can see from the number of stars I have given it - it wasn't my kind of book.
 
Even from the first chapter I stared to notice things that weren't to my taste. Although this first chapter was great for introducing the mystery of the characters family history - something that I think will have some greater impact in the sequels??. It also repeatedly laboured that Dylan was pretty, Dylan was beautiful, which really got on my nerves in the first chapter, thankfully this suddenly stopped at the end of the first chapter.
 
As the story progresses the is a small group of more secondary characters which are introduced. These characters to me however felt flat. The only character which I felt any kind of tie to was out main character Dylan, and think that connection was only due to her character having to open up more. My favourite part of the book was  reading the friendship and bond grow between Dylan and her master.
 
Despite this book being (I think) marketed as a Young Adult book, the storyline felt more middle grade level, slightly too simplistic at this stage in the series -with little world building - for a YA in my opinion. Although the YA genre does seem to be increasingly encompassing a wide range of literature levels.
 
I think the thing which brought my rating down the most was the way in which the author -in my eyes- as the story continues tries to make the Rhodi increasingly "cooler". Firstly, they were a group of assassin/ninja/heroes, then they had magic, which then not only did one thing but allowed them to do an range of impossible things (keeping it vague, so I don't ruin any surprises). In some ways it almost felt like the author stared with a contemporary/ urban fantasy setting which they tried to change into a fantasy world, by adding things that were increasing unrealistic.
 
I never enjoy writing such a negative review, however some books just aren't to everyone's taste. Rhodi's Light was one of those that just wasn't to my taste.  
 
 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #14 - Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To (But TOTALLY plan to)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme
created at
The Broke and the Bookish
 

There are so many book which fit into todays top ten subject, but I am going to keep it to only ten. Five are going to be books which I own but haven't read yet, and the other five are book which from last year which I haven't even bought yet!

(Warning - there are some spoilers in the synopsis's for sequels)

 

My Unread Bought 2016 Releases

 
Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
 
Synopsis
A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.
 
Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes #3) by Sara Raasch
 
Synopsis
Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.
 
Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives #2) by Kate Elliot  
 
Synopsis
In this thrilling sequel to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's captivating young adult debut, a girl immersed in high-stakes competition holds the fate of a kingdom in her hands.

Now a Challenger, Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives--the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons alike. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes's only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on her traveling party puts Jes at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos--the prince she still loves--is fighting against their country's enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal's life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion.... She must become a warrior.
 
Take The Key and Lock Her Up (Embassy Row #3) by Ally Carter
 
Synopsis
THE PRINCESS IS DEAD.
LONG LIVE THE PRINCESS.

Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed . . . or so everyone thought.
Now Grace Blakely knows the truth:

There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution — which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.

There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.

If she wins, she will inherit a throne.

And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.
 
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab  
 
Synopsis
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
 
 

My Unread Unbought 2016 Releases

 
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs 
 
Synopsis 
 Mercy Thompson is back, and she'll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it's the children who suffer . . . 
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans and the fae, Mercy, Adam and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?
 
Nemesis (#1) Anna Banks
 
Synopsis  
Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?
 
Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge 
 
Synopsis  

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . .
 
The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer
 
Synopsis
She can score a goal, do sixty box jumps in a row, bench press a hundred and fifty pounds…but can she learn to curtsey?

Megan McKnight is a soccer star with Olympic dreams, but she’s not a girly girl. So when her Southern belle mother secretly enters her in the 2016 Dallas debutante season, she’s furious—and has no idea what she’s in for. When Megan’s attitude gets her on probation with the mother hen of the debs, she’s got a month to prove she can ballroom dance, display impeccable manners, and curtsey like a proper Texas lady or she’ll get the boot and disgrace her family. The perk of being a debutante, of course, is going to parties, and it’s at one of these lavish affairs where Megan gets swept off her feet by the debonair and down-to-earth Hank Waterhouse. If only she didn’t have to contend with a backstabbing blonde and her handsome but surly billionaire boyfriend, Megan thinks, being a deb might not be so bad after all. But that’s before she humiliates herself in front of a room full of ten-year-olds, becomes embroiled in a media-frenzy scandal, and gets punched in the face by another girl.

The season has officially begun…but the drama is just getting started.
 
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
 
Synopsis
I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?
 
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I would love to know your thoughts (or links to your reviews) on any of these books.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

December Reading Wrap-Up

A late December wrap-up - sorry about that - completely forgot that I hadn't done one until I sat down earlier to do my review of the books I had read in 2016, and I realized that my Goodreads wasn't show all the book books in 2016.  Thankful I quickly realized that this was due to fact I hadn't updated at the end of December! Anyway, here is a quick look at what I read at the end of 2016:

 

Contemporary Romance

 
Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt
5 Stars (Reviewed)
 
Broken Prince (The Royals #2) by Erin Watt
5 Stars
 
Twisted Palace (The Royals #3) by Erin Watt
5 Stars
 
Mafiosa (Blood for Blood #3) by Catherine Doyle
5 Stars (Reviewed
 

Science Fiction

 
The Star Thief  (Star Thief Chronicles #1) by Jamie Grey
3.5 Stars  
 

Urban Fantasy

 
The Shattered Dark (A Shadow Reader Novel #2) by Sandy Williams
3.75 Stars
 
The Change (Unbound #1) by Teyla Branton
3.25 Stars   
 

Fantasy


Burning Glass (#1) by Kathryn Purdie
4.5 Stars (Review Coming Soon)
 
Shattered Glass by Maria V.Snyder (Novella)
3.5 Stars (Reviewed )
 

Western Romance

 
Runaway Heart by Amity Lassiter
3.5 Stars
 

I think this must the first month ever that I have read more contemporary romance than fantasy or urban fantasy, not quite sure how that happened! So four 5 star reads, December was a good month! 

Friday, January 06, 2017

Beat The Backlist - A Reading Challenge


2017 has started and I have decide that this year to join my first ever reading challenge! I desperately need to get thought my physical unread books which are sat in my room. These book have their own bookcase and after my December book haul I was hugely aware that I only have space for 3-5 new books! I am always temped into buying and reading new releases first, meaning that some of these books were bought literally years ago, and I am hoping that the Beat The Backlist reading challenge is going to help me battle though these books!  
 
The books here are what I am going to start with ,as my TBR list for this challenge (I will update with ratings when I read them), but I may add books along the way if I storming though these ones - one can always hope. If there is anyone who is also looking to reading these books this year and wanted to buddy read (not something I have ever done but am all up for trying it) then comment below or give me a message on twitter. Without further ado here are the books I hope to 'beat' this year, it's not a huge amount of books but the majority are ones which -for some unknown reason - I am struggling to motivate myself to read:

2016 Purchases

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
 
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
4 Stars (My Review)
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Bullet Catcher by Joaquin Lowe - DNF'd at 25%

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch 

Inherited by Freedom Matthews

My Life Next Door by  Huntley Fitzpatrick

Books Purchased before 2016!
 
Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
 
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Tempest by Julie Cross

Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Poison Heart by S.B. Hayes

Dangerous Girls by Abigail

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Mafiosa (Blood for Blood #3) by Catherine Doyle

Find my Review for the first two books of the Blood for Blood series here.
 
 
This review is a purely a reaction review! I have - moments ago - turned the last page of Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle, and I don't know what to do with myself. My emotions are still strung out, am I happy or sad I honest not sure. So much happens in this book, after such an dramatic (maybe I should say explosive) and heart-breaking end to the second book I had high hopes for this book. I wasn't disappointed, I don't know how to write a review for such a book as this. At the moment I just want to scream 'WHY... how could you Catherine Doyle' about so many of the plot twists and spoilers - that I can't talk about here. On the other hand I understand why Catherine did what she did in this book, Sophie could never have done what she did - or end up where, and who, she was- with out those heart breaking moments and surprise twists.
 
I look back at my views of the first two books and not once have I mentioned the awesome character of Millie. Of course the star-crossed romance has been the main relationship that I have focused on - the literal Romeo and Juliette romance (I leave it up to you to decided which brother is the Romeo, but I know which it is to me).  However, when Millie whispers "We're the real love story here. You know that, don't you?" I realised just how much support Millie has been throughout this series, even in this third book, Millie is Sophie's rock even when she doesn't want her around. She is such an inspiration character and such an amazing friend.
 
I am going to leave it there for my thoughts on this book, before I give in to my desire to spill spoilers. For those who are diving into this book, be prepared for the literally heart stopping scenes, the tension, bloodshed and heartbreak, for the romance and even a cheesy line or two. Go into this book ready for a rollercoaster that you won't want to get off, and enjoy every emotion this book throws at you, it is what makes this series so memorable and captivating.
 
Happy Reading x
 
 

Sunday, January 01, 2017

January Releases I am Adding to my TBR

There is an insane amount of releases which I will be adding to my TBR (to-be-read) pile in January. Quite a few of these are sequels which I need to catch-up on the series first but I am still excited for them. Let get straight into it then, lots of books to look at today:

New Series and New Authors

 
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
Release Date: 10th January 2017
 
Shortened Synopsis
In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.
 
Frostblood (#1) by Emma Blake
Release Date: 10th January 2017
 
Shortened Synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby's powers are unpredictable, and she's not sure she's willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.
 
Poison's Kiss (#1) by Breeana Shields
Release Date: 10th January 2017
 
Synopsis from Goodreads
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya a poison maiden is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

 
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Release Date: 17th January 2017
 
Shortened Synopsis
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?
 
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Release Date: 31st January 2017
 
Shortened Synopsis
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

 
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
Release Date: 31st January 2017
 
Shortened Synopsis
 It's been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who's still reeling from her father's shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors' mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods--only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X. X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe's evil attacker and others like him.
 
 


Sequels to Series I Have Begun to Read

 

Mafiosa (Blood for Blood #3) by Catherine Doyle
Release Date: 5th January 2017   
 
This is one of the series which I am actually up-to-date with and I am so excited to read this one. I already received my pre-order of this book, just need to finds a few hours to sit down and lose myself in this amazing story again. Would highly recommend the Blood for Blood series, find my review of the first two books here.
 
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs
Paperback Release Date: 31st January 2017  
 
The Mercy Thompson series is one what I fell in love with many years ago and the last 9 ish months have been a test of will. The hardback edition of this book came out in March, but I own the paper back editions of the rest of the series, so I have been waiting patiently for the paperback to come out, not long to wait now!! 
 
Snared (Elemental Assassin #16) by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: 31st January 2017
 
This is a series which I need to catch up with I have read the first 13 books but I have been pacing myself with this series. I would recommend this series to the lovers of the action packed assassin novels but with strong family bonds and the strains for romance.
 
Windwitch (Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard
Release Date: 10th January 2017
 
This is sequel which I am going to wait to read. I wasn't wowed by Truthwitch, with the amount of hype I was expecting more than I got (see my review here). So with this one I am going to wait and read the positive and negative review first before deciding if I should pick this sequel up.
 
Dawn Study (Souldfinder #3) by Maria V. Snyder
Release Date: 31st January 2016
 
This is a series which I am conflicted about. I love Maria V. Snyder's work and up until recently she has been an auto-buy author for me. I was so excited when I heard that we were getting more from the Ixia world, but I have always preferred Opals (glass) story to Yelena's - I must be one of a minority. I read Shadow Study when it came out and was disappointed, an haven't picked up Night Study yet. Still confused on my feelings on this series.
 
Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton
Kindle Release Date: 31st January 2017
 
Love Hamilton's debut Rebel of the Sands (see my review here) and I can't wait to see what she is has done with these beloved characters now.

 

Sequels to Series I Haven't Begun to Read

 
The Cursed Queen (The Impostor Queen #2) by Sarah Fine
Release Date: 3rd January 2017 
 
I have had The Imposter Queen on my to-buy list for months, but never bought it and at this point I might just wait until it comes out in paperback. Anyway, I love the sound of the first book, but this sequel seems to be following different characters (something that authors do all too often, which I hate) so I might not read this sequel but will defiantly check out the first book.  
 
Wayfarer (Passenger #2) by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: 3rd January 2017
 
I bought Passenger back in April 2016 and I have yet to read it! I did a review collection for this book and saw a wide range of thoughts on this book, so I am intrigued to see my own thoughts on it. Just need to find time to get around to reading it!

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Which of the books above are you adding to your TBR? Any other January releases that you are excited for, that you are adding to you TBR?