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Friday, June 23, 2017

June's Featured Book - The King Trilogy


I know I am bit early with my featured book post this month - I am finally getting on top of my posts yey!! - but I have a 'undiscovered' (or at least less well known) gem of a trilogy to share with you today.
 
 
Synopsis of King Hall from Goodreads
 
A fresh, meaty, sink-your-teeth-in-and-hold-on-tight new adult fantasy series kicks off with King Hall…

King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies.

Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing:  survival.  Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings.  Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Prodigies: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life.

Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realises the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the revolution.
 
 
Review (4.5 Stars)
 
This series wasn't all what I was expecting what I first pressed the sample of King Hall, but wow it hooked me quickly. I then speeded off and bought the boxset (it was the same price as the first book on kindle at the time so I thought 'why not') and I am so glad I bought the whole trilogy. I was surprised how early on I got attached to the characters and how likeable they were. I loved the connection and interactions between Dominic and Lily they are such a great couple (as I saw in someone else review on Goodreads, it would be great to get a prequel about these two). It did take me a wee while to clock the different supernatural groups, and I was a bit confused to begin with about which king was which, but as they featured more and more it became easier to differentiate. I adored the open and deep friendship that the four protégées form and also the way that the two generations of rulers interacted (especially in the first book).

The first book was amazing - 5 star read -, just loved the school/training setting, as these four teenagers deal with their emotional, psychological and physical trials that comes with being the next ruler of a supernatural species. This first book ends with dramatic disaster which leads into book two which is full of one issue after another, yet is also full of romance and personal turbulence as the threat of all our war looms.

The final book in this trilogy -King Tomb- was the disappointment for me. After such a dramatic turn of events at the end of the second book I dived straight into this one. I did enjoy the third book for about half of it, I loved seeing how the characters had changed after the event in book two, (and there is always that anticipation as the reader of the 'big reveal', when you know something that the characters don't). Unfortunately, however, the final part of book just felt rushed and it left me so many unanswered questions and missing scenes I had been anticipating reading -it was such a shame.

Yet despite the ending, this new adult series was still a great trilogy following the next group of supernatural rulers as they come into there individual powers and strengths while under the threat of war. There friendship and the lengths they'd go for each other is such a inspiration, as they fight not only their enemies but also prejudices and their own fears and doubts.
 
 
 
Favourite Quotes
 
“Sometimes, the best results come from the worst ideas. - Ezra”
Scarlett Dawn, King Hall    

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #17 - Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't

 
It has been a while since I joined in the TTT meme, but I saw this topic and I have so many book which fit this theme, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share part of my ever growing TBR pile. So lets start with 10 series starters (in no particular order) which I already own and just need to get around to reading:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These extra 5 are book which are older series (which have sequels already released) which are still on my to-buy list:
 
 
 
 
 
 
***
So there is a small flavour of my unruly TBR, have you read any of these series/books? I would love to know what you thought of them.

Monday, June 19, 2017

ARC BOOK REVIEW: Enigma (Schrodinger's Consortium #2) by Tonya Kuper

Synopsis from Goodreads

The highly anticipated sequel to Anomaly will be released the summer of 2017!

Worst. Road Trip. Ever.

Escaping with Reid Wentworth should have been fun, but how can I enjoy it when I just (accidentally) killed someone, my mom and brother are in danger, and the Consortium is trying to enslave humanity? (Yeah, they aren’t fooling around.) So feeling something for Reid Wentworth was not part of the plan. Trying to help unite the Resistance against the Consortium means I can’t be distracted by hot boys.

The Resistance secret hideout isn’t exactly the rebel base of my dreams. A traitor there wants me dead, but we have no idea who it is. And with both the Resistance and the Consortium trying to control me, the only one I can trust is Reid. If we’re going to have any chance of protecting my family, controlling my unstable powers, and surviving the clash between the Oculi factions, I’m going to have to catch this traitor. By using myself as bait.
  


Expected publication: July 3rd 2017 by Entangled: Teen
Series: Schrodinger's Consortium #2
Source: e-ARC via Netgalley

Review
(3 Stars)

I really wanted to love this book, I loved the first book when I first read it a couple of years ago, and have been waiting patiently since for this sequel. I re-read the first book just  before reading Enigma, and I have to admit it wasn’t as great as I remembered it, but I held out hope that with a few extra years the author would have developed and grown as a writer and as such the sequel would be better than the first. Sadly that wasn’t the case for me.
Enigma picks up Josie and Reid’s story just a few days after we leave them in a hotel at the end of Anomaly. As the blurb explains the two of them decide to join Josie’s mum and brother at the Hub, and hope to root out the traitor they believe is feeding information back to the Consortium. With the Oculi’s ability to cSohange their ability to change their appearance the traitor could look like anyone! Mean that Josie has to constantly suspect everyone and it also leads to the consistent need to check that someone was in fact that person, it reminded a bit of Marvels Jessica Jones and also Vampire Diaries (season 4). I like this aspect of the plot as it keep you on the lookout for hints of the traitor in everyone’s actions.  Another thing I loved about this book was the pop culture references, it reminds you of Josie’s ‘roots’ and inherent geekiness.
However, the second part of this book just felt a bit rushed and lack any kind of world building, maybe this was because of the decision to make this a duology instead of a trilogy. If felt as though one moment Josie and Reid were searching for the mole, the next it was over. I couldn’t connect with any of the newly introduced secondary characters they didn’t really have strong personalities, and I felt as though the short lived attempt at a love triangle was a bit unnecessary.  
So a bit of a mixed opinion of this book, although there were some good aspects which I enjoyed, however I couldn’t connect with other parts and the second part of the book just felt too rushed for me.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

ARC BOOK REVIEW: Fallen Flame by J.M. Miller

Synopsis from Goodreads
 
Nineteen years ago, on the island kingdom of Garlin, a girl was born. With charred skin as rough as rock, Vala was instantly feared. For how could one be scorched by magic when it had perished ages before?

Recognizing an asset, the royal family welcomed her on their Guard. Her detail: the prince.
To watch. To protect. She has grown with him, lives her life for him.

When the high kingdom’s princess comes to assess the prince, assassins of rival courtiers come to claim his life. One nearly succeeds in his mission. But with shadowy movements and charred skin like her own, Vala knows he is not like the rest.
As threats to the prince continue and questions about Vala’s life begin to rise, she faces a fear worse than fire or water, worse even than losing him.

She fears finding out who she truly is.
 
Expected publication: June 19th 2017
Source: Received a e-ARC from Publishers via Netgalley

Review (3.5 Stars)

I was lucky enough to get a ARC of this book in the last week and as you can read in my Waiting on Wednesday post I did recently I had high hopes for this book. I however have come away from reading it a bit disappointed.

So this story follows Vala as she protects the Prince of Garlin. Yet a series of events at the start of the novel result in her searching for who or what she is. This is coupled with a bit of political mystery as a neighbouring Princess and her mother arrive in hope of marrying the prince and joining there lands, but the Queen is looking for something more. So Vala as well as searching for her own answers she also must figure out what the foreign queen is after.

This is a very plot driven book, it is all about Vala searching for answers. I enjoyed the story there was a hint of romance and maybe even a love triangle to begin with but nothing much developed with these (although I think it is likely that the romance side of the plot might feature more in the sequels). I think the main things which let this book down for me has to be the lack of world building and the limited 3D-ness (technical term there!) of the characters. I also felt as though there was a lack of information on Vala's skin 'condition'  at the start of the novel, it did become clearer as we got seem more of Vala but to begin with I found it confusing.

Regarding the world building, well in my opinion there just wasn't any, other than some at the Sacred Lake, I couldn't tell you where the royalty live (apart from it has a conservatory, bedrooms, dining hall, kitchen and prison cells) but I can't picture it. The fog aspect of this world came as a complete surprise to me about a quarter of the way through the book, I would have through that the fog would have featured more in the earlier scenes, as much as it did from that point on ward, it almost felt as thought it was a detail added by the author part way though the writing process! I also didn't feel the personalities of the different characters, as the reader you could glean some personality traits from peoples actions but I didn't 'get to know' them that well, I didn't feel as though I could predict how they would reaction or ally themselves in situations.

Although this sounds like a negative review, I did enjoy the book, it kept me reading. My favourite aspect has to be the way that withholding just one piece of information, grew into this web of secrets and lies for Vala. This book was overall an okay start to a trilogy but there is a lot of development I would hope to see in the sequel in both world building as well as character development.

 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #26

Synopsis from Goodreads
 
Nineteen years ago, on the island kingdom of Garlin, a girl was born. With charred skin as rough as rock, Vala was instantly feared. For how could one be scorched by magic when it had perished ages before?

Recognizing an asset, the royal family welcomed her on their Guard. Her detail: the prince.

To watch. To protect. She has grown with him, lives her life for him.

When the high kingdom’s princess comes to assess the prince, assassins of rival courtiers come to claim his life. One nearly succeeds in his mission. But with shadowy movements and charred skin like her own, Vala knows he is not like the rest.
 
As threats to the prince continue and questions about Vala’s life begin to rise, she faces a fear worse than fire or water, worse even than losing him. She fears finding out who she truly is.
 
 
 
Expected publication: June 19th 2017
 
 
Why I Am Waiting
 
I was -of course- firstly drawn to the cover, it does make me think a bit of a typical urban fantasy (witches) cover. However, I love the colouring and that cute crown. Regarding what we are told about the story, there are several things which has drawn me. Firstly the implied guard/prince(/ess) trope, love this trope a great version of the star-crossed lovers situation. Secondly, there is obviously some kind of magic in the 'island kingdom of Garlin' this isn't explain much (at all really) in the synopsis so I look forward to exploring that aspect. The synopsis also suggests that we have a kick-ass main character (?) trained as a guard from a young age and trusted to protect the prince, she gotta be a bit kick-ass right? Lastly I think the blurb raises some questions; who where her parents that she would come onto the radar of royalty? Who is she truly?       

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garci

Synopsis from Goodreads
 
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?
  
 
Published October 4th 2016 by Imprint
ISBN13: 9781250079190
Source: Bought
 
Review (5 Stars)

This book completely surprised me, I am not a regular YA contemporary romance reader, I generally find them a bit unengaging and un-relatable. I was drawn to this book because of the PTSD aspect of the plot, especially in  a 'normal' life (all the other PTSD suffering characters I have read about have been in either fantasy worlds and/or war veterans i.e ACOMAF), and I was even more intrigued when I realized she was from a upper class family.

From the first chapter I was hooked and if I had had the time I would have read this book in one sitting. Immediately you get the sense of the main character directionless-ness and her 'I don't care what happens to me' attitude. It was fascinating watching Frankie, deal with her tangle of emotions as she deals with her memory loss, the change in her surroundings, dealing with new situations and a different 'class' of people.

As well as a great main character we also get a great core group of minor characters. Firstly her very intense parents, a mother who is the 'typical' (or at least the media's typical) rich mother who is too busy living her own life for 99% of the time and then suddenly has to take control of her daughters life; and her undercover cop father who is a over the top protective.
 
Secondly, Chief, he is such a great character and although he doesn't get much 'screen time' and there aren't many scenes which him in, he is such a fully fleshed out character. He has a deep personality and a well thought out backstory which add to the development of the community that Kami Garci has created in this book.

I can't believe how attached I became to these characters and how emotionally invested I became in the relationships, not only the romantic ones but also the ones of friendship. The friendships in this book - in my opinion - felt real, in that as Frankie has changed as a person she has made new friends yet, she feels loyal to her old ones who of course are jealous of her new friendships. Her new friend Cruz is such a awesome hard-ass teen street racer and I jut loved her.

I think one of the main aspects of the book is the idea of -what I would call -grey characters, so people who do things which would be deemed 'good' and 'bad'. This is a theme that (recently?) has been featured quite a bit in the YA fantasy genre, but it was good to see this in a 'real life' situations (particularly with Frankie's dad  being a cop).  

"Sometimes you have to do the wrong thing for the right reason. The trick is knowing when the reason is right. It's a lot like the bite point. You know it when you feel it." (Page 359)    
 
I can't express how much this book surprised me in the way that it hooked me, and kept me turning the pages as fast I could manage. It is  fast paced novel full of romance, drama and suspense, it has some great friendships but it is also set in a gritty and realistic world which throws these damaged characters into situations where they have to make hard decisions - making this a emotional, thought-provoking YA suspense romance. Alyson Noel's and Carrie Ryan's thoughts of this book (blurbed on the back cover) sum up my experience of this book: "An insanely addictive, sexy, rush of a read." "The Fast and The Furious meets Romeo and Juliet".



 

Friday, June 09, 2017

April's Featured Book - King Duology


NOTE: 
This book is NOT a young adult book, this a dark NEW ADULT contemporary romance.  

Back in April (and in fact for quite a few months now) my reading material has ventured into the sub-category know as new adult. Which basically means that it has scenes and language 'not suitable for young readers' and this months featured book falls into that category and has sexual scenes and strong language. 

Now that I have warned you all let me get into more about the King duology.

King (#1) by T.M. Frazier

Synopsis from Goodreads

Homeless. Hungry. Desperate.
Doe has no memories of who she is or where she comes from.

A notorious career criminal just released from prison, King is someone you don’t want to cross unless you’re prepared to pay him back in blood, sweat, pu$$y or a combination of all three.

King’s future hangs in the balance. Doe’s is written in her past. When they come crashing together, they will have to learn that sometimes in order to hold on, you have to first let go.

 


Mini- Review
(4.5 Stars)

This book blew me away, I have a strange fascination with Jane Doe situation, where the main character doesn't know anything about their past, so when I stumbled across this book on Amazon I down loaded the sample and got hooked. This book is dark and gritty, sexy and romantic. Doe is a desperate but strong main character trying to make the best of the situations she find herself in while also being considerate and caring. While King is an amazing 'gray' character an fascinating mix of good and bad, which makes you question how you should feel about him. I loved watching her make friends in this dark underbelly she has found herself in. I loved the secondary characters introduced in this book, they are so well created and developed - Preppy is the best!! This book was an adventure from the first chapter and I would recommend to all who want a new adult dark romance.
 
 
***
 
Tyrant (#2) by T.M. Frazier
 
 
 
Shortened Synopsis from Goodreads
 
I. Remember. Everything.

Only now I wish I didn't.
 
Because with the truth comes dark secrets I was never meant to know.

Mini-Review
(4.9 Stars)

As you can tell from my above review I loved the first book, and oh my goodness this sequel was just as dark and twisted but was even better. I can't go into it too much without spoilers, but in this book Doe has got her memories back, and we follow her as she tries to work out how the woman she has become fit into life of the girl she once was. Gosh, this book was twist after turns, full of romance, heartbreak, friendship, family and loyalty and Kings all consuming desire to get his girl.
 
 
Add on Goodreads
Buy from Amazon

 

Thursday, June 08, 2017

April Reflections


Second wrap-up of the week, and this time I would like to share with you the books I read back in April. April was a slightly better reading month than March, I read a total of 16 books half of which i gave 4 stars or above, but again in regards to posting April was another pretty dismal month. Anyway, here are the books I read in April:


3 - 3.9 Stars 


4 - 4.9 Stars 


5 Stars 








***

I have written reviews for Flame in the Mist and The Valiant  at the beginning of May which aren't listed in the blog posts above. 

I would also love to hear your thoughts on reading wrap-ups ( I did a twitter poll the other week asking if I should continue to do them, and I got a resounding yes) what makes a book reading wrap-up? Let me know in the comments below. 

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

March's Featured Book - The Sunbolt Chronicles

















Hello Again Everyone, new post two days in a row!!! 

For the first two months of the year I had put my months featured book in with my monthly reflections, but I felt as though the books weren't getting the 'space' and attention that they deserved. The idea of having a featured book was to highlight my favourite less known about book(s) I had read that month, in the hope that people will read it and give the book a chance. So from now my featured book of the month will be in a post separate from my reflection post. This week I have been (and will be) catching up on some of the posts I missed in the last few months so here is my featured book from back in March:

Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles #2) by Intisar Khanani 


Synopsis from Goodreads

In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.

If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.



Mini-Review 

So this months featured book is a sequel,  the first book Sunbolt was an okay book I gave it 3.5 stars (and you can find my thoughts on that book on Goodreads if you follow this link). However, this book was so much better and I had to give it 5 Stars the author has grown so much between these two books, there is so much more depth in the world and the characters. 

So for anyone who has read my review of Sunbolt they will know that, although I enjoyed it I wanted more of the political side of this world and this book does that as it explores the political world of the mages. My other issue was I wanted Sunbolt to be longer and this book also did that. 

Anyway, I obviously loved this book, it was great to see a new side to our main character as well as getting to know her new mentor and exploring more of this world. I specifically enjoyed waiting our ex-thief using her stills to navigate the mage school. It was also interesting to see our main character battle with memory loss and it was great to see one old faces. I can't wait to see what comes next for this series.

Monday, June 05, 2017

March Reflections



Few months late!! But I am of the theory better late than never so I am going to quickly share with you have I read way back in March. It was a pretty average reading month both in that I only read 12 books and quite a few of them were a bit ... forgettable! Anyway for this wrap-up I have split the books I read into the rating I gave them:

2.5/2.75 Stars 


3-4 Stars 


5 Stars 





So for any of my much appreciated loyal follows you will know that in terms of blog posts March was embarrassingly bad, I had so little time and honestly began to wonder if I was going to keep up with my blog. However, I am glad i didn't give up, but it does mean that in March I only posted 4 times!



***

So I am currently playing with the way that I do the Reading Wrap-up section of my monthly reflection posts, and I would love to know what you like about wrap-up posts (generally not just mine) let me know in the comments below.


Sunday, June 04, 2017

May Book Haul

So, I didn't invest in too many books this month, mainly because I had run out of space on my TRB book shelves (yes multiple shelves) and I really need to crack on a get my unread book back into some resemblance of control. Although, of course, having said that I did buy three books in May. 

Of course I just had to buy the final book in the ACOTAR trilogy by Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Wings and Ruin. And to be totally real with you, I need to spend a bit more on my Amazon order to get free postage, so I also finally bought some of the Jennifer Lynn Barnes books I had put on my wish list for years ago after reading her Raised by Wolves and The Squad Trilogies. 



What book have you added to your TBR pile in May?

Friday, June 02, 2017

WEE REVIEW: The Naturals (#1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Synopsis from Goodreads

Cassie Hobbes is not like most teenagers. Most teenagers don’t lose their mother in a bloody, unsolved kidnapping. Most teenagers can’t tell who you are, where you’re from and how you’re likely to behave within moments of meeting you. And most teenagers don’t get chosen to join The Naturals.

Identified by the FBI as uniquely gifted, Cassie is recruited to an elite school where a small number of teens are trained to hone their exceptional abilites.

For Cassie, trying to make friends with the girls, and to figure out the two very different, very hot boys, is challenging enough. But when a serial killer begins recreating the details of her mother’s horrific crime scene, she
realises just how dangerous life in The Naturals could be...


Published November 7th 2013 by Quercus (first published November 5th 2013)
Source: Bought

Wee Review (4 Stars )

I loved this book, I was surprised at how much it managed to grip me.
 I have been a big fan of Ally Carter (who has blurbed this book) ever since I first
read her I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I's Have To Kill You, and I have to
recommend this series to all Ally fans. I have always considered Ally's books
to be for the younger age group of YA, and I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy
 this book (I think aimed at a similar age group) as my reading
 tastes have matured. However, I got hooked on the plot line and the whole teen
crime drama feel. 


So this book follows Cassie as she joins a small FBI programme of 'naturals' who have different abilities. Cassie's 'gifts' reminded me a bit if Sherlock Homes(especially in the BBC series edition) to solve the crimes by noticing random things about a person and the way he is portrayed or scene and drawing some amazing conclusions. I loved reading about Cassie and her profiling abilities and it was fascinating to watch her profile people from the most simple items and actions.

Although there is a limited number of secondary characters in this book, the majority of them were well fleshed out with some much individual personalities. I enjoyed the dynamics of the teens within this programme, although I will say I felt as thought the romance side of this wasn't completely necessary. It took we a good while to fully understand the 'you' chapters but once I grasped who's point of view it was, these chapters were just fascinating!

I really enjoyed this book, another great series starter for Jennifer Lynn Barnes, it was great to another side of her as author (I didn't realize she had degrees in psychology). I love that she uses her own passions to fuel her plots.