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Saturday, August 26, 2017

August's Featured Book Review - MOON BURNED by H. D. Gordon

So it's the last weekend of August, (already!!)  and I have just finished a very under loved book. It is a new-ish release as it was only released at the end of July, but since then it has only collected 6 reviews on Goodreads. So to share the unloved amazingness of this book I am making it my featured book for this month. I also shared a teaser from this book on Tuesday in this week Teaser Tuesday post.

Synopsis from Goodreads
Shift, Fight, Survive.

Those are the rules of The Ring. Two wolves enter, one wolf leaves.

Rukiya Moonborn is a slave, a werewolf whose master forces her and many others to fight to the death for the entertainment of the wealthy. Named 'Dogs' after the lesser beasts, wolves like Rook live short, violent lives. The masters dangle the illusion of hope in front of the Dogs by insisting any wolf who survives 100 fights in The Ring can win his or her freedom.

Rook is on her eighteenth fight against the West Coast Champion—the biggest she-wolf anyone has ever seen. As if this weren't enough, Rook finds a wolf pup who is destined for slavery as a Dog, and helps the child escape the master's clutches—a crime easily punishable by death.

When Ryker—the master's handsome right-hand—catches her in the act, Rook embarks on a journey that will be the ultimate test of her courage and strength.

Review (4 Stars)

I took a risk on this book, it wasn't a author I had ever heard of, I hadn't seen it anywhere and it didn't have that many reviews. However, the synopsis caught me enough to read the first few chapters and then I couldn't put it down.
There are several things which drew me and created such a great book. Firstly, the brutal setting, the only way I can think of describing the world created in this book is, a supernatural Roman world, complete with slaves, gladiator tournaments and political plays - so vividly sculpted. Secondly, Rook is such a badass. She has grown up a slave in this brutally  society made to kill for entertainment  yet she compassionate, kind and courageous. Thirdly, has to be suddenness of changes in Rook's life, each time it happens it changes the Rooks goals and priories and  although she fights tooth and nail to ensure this persons safe or that person is shown their place, it demonstrates how little control - as a slave - she has over the bigger thing in her life. Another aspect I like in this book was the love/hate, I shouldn't/ I want to, budding romance, which I enjoyed watching develop and change.
Over all, this book was a bit of a surprise to me, I am fascinated by female gladiator characters and this mixed that with the supernatural theme which I have been hooked into at the moment. Not your typical werewolf book and worth the time and money. There is still lots of questions that need to be answered at the end of this book so I look forward to the second book, where I hope there will be some reunions, revolutions and romance!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Teaser Tuesday #16 - Moon Burned

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: Book Burned (The Wolf Wars #1)
Author: H.D. Gordon
Buy from Amazon (UK)
It has been ages since I last joined in with this meme, but I am currently read this book which made me think; 'if Roman's were werewolf then I imagine it would be a bit like this', so thought I share it with you.
Today's Teaser
"Inside The Ring, I stood face-to-face with the Bear. She was even bigger than I remember, as if she had somehow grown wider and taller and darker in the last handful of hours.
The last handful of hours, when I'd been running myself ragged helping a slave child escape Dogs head. "

Saturday, August 19, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Synopsis from Goodreads

Over ten years since the Nazis won the war, 18 yr old Yael has one mission: to kill Hitler - a captivating second novel from Walled City author, Ryan Graudin.

Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them-made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same.Her story begins on a train.

Germania, 1956. Over ten years since the Nazis won the war. 18-year-old Yael is part of the resistance, and she has just one mission: to kill Hitler.

But first she's got to get close enough to him to do it.

Experimented on during her time at Auschwitz, Yael has the unique ability to change her appearance at will. The only part of her which always remains are the five tattooed wolves on her arm; one for each of the people she's lost. Using her abilities, she must transform into Adele Wolfe, Germany's most famous female rider and winner of the legendary Axis Tour; an epic long distance motorcycle race from Berlin to Tokyo, where only the strongest (and wiliest) riders survive. If she can win this, she will be able to get close enough to kill the Fuhrer and change history forever.

But with other riders sabotaging her chances at every turn, Yael's mission won't be easy. . .

First published October 20th 2015
Series: Wolf by Wolf Duology Book 1
Source: Bought
My Review
(4 Stars)
This book was one of those book which I wasn't entirely sure if it was going to be my cup of tea, but I gave it a shot. I haven't found that many YA history book which have intrigued me, and I can't remember the last alternative history novel I read - if I have ever read one at all - so this was a bit of a new venture for me.

There were three main thing which drew me to buy this book: firstly back when the sequel came out last year this duology was everywhere in the book community and all the booktubers I follow were talking about it; secondly, I was fascinated to see how Ryan created this alternative world created by the victorious Hitler; and lastly Yael intrigued me, not only her unique ability but also as a person who would enter a deadly motorcycle race in the hope of becoming the person to assassinate Hitler. Anyway this book has sat on my bookcase for quite a few months now but I was in the mood for something a bit different, so I finally opened this book.
I was immediately drawn into this alternative world. The book follows two different time periods, we started with the 'Then' where we glimpse Yael in a Jewish concentration camp, followed by a 'Now' where Yael is a resistance fighter with a mission. I was hooked wanting to know who the 6 year old experiment became the 'free' citizen fighting for the resistance.
      I loved watching Yael take on Adele's identity and try to present herself as Adele, despite the histories that Adele had with other riders and the relationships which Yael struggles to fake. It was interesting to see how accepting of the changes in 'Adele's' character the other riders where as Yael try's her best to stay true to Adele's personally. I think one of the thing I loved about Yael, was that although she was hell bend set on killing Hitler she still has a humanity about her. She never damaged or took a life without thinking it through or regretting it. I loved the situations Yael gets herself into with the relationships she continues as she impersonates Adele both the family and romantic relationships.

I also liked the multiple references to the book title, I  loved the meaning of it. The book had a surprise ending and I can't wait to see where Ryan is going to take this story in Blood for Blood.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #29 - August Releases 2017 (16th -31st )

We are half way thought August already! Although I can't quite believe how fast it has gone I am also excited as there are so awesome sounding books coming out in the next couple of weeks. Here are the book I am excited for:

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes

Synopsis from Goodreads
Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen.

Pepper Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school.

And Ava Dreyman—the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall—is unlike anyone you’ve met before.

When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life—and death—than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers.
Pre-order from Amazon (UK)
Release Date: 22nd August 2017
Why Am I Waiting?
To be totally honest, it is the cover of this book which has made me fall in love with it. The synopsis is slightly intriguing, but I adore this cover; the use of overlaying pictures the colours and the contrast of it against the pure white background! So not sure I will ever get around to reading this one, but I am excited for it be release even if all I ever do is search it out at the bookstore so I can look at the cover 'in-the-flesh'.

Fallen Heir (The  Royals #4) by Erin Watt

Synopsis from Goodreads
These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.
Pre-order from Amazon (UK)
Release Date: 28th August
Why Am I Waiting?
The Royal series was one of those contemporary romance which took me by surprise. As someone who rarely reads a book which is purely contemporary and a firm fantasy reader, finding a contemporary series that I fall in love with is rare, but these Royals managed it (see review here). Although I am sad that the main character will change for this fourth one I am still looking forward to diving back into this families lives, and I hope we get to see lots of Ella.

Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis from Goodreads
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
Pre-order from Amazon (UK)
Release Date: 29th August 2017
Why Am I Waiting?
So I have to admit this one isn't high on my to-buy list, not because it doesn't sound amazing (because it sounds great - all kick ass girl power) but mainly because I need to read my other Bardugo books first. I wasn't a great fan of her first Grisha trilogy, but I decided to buy Six of Crows to give her another chance, and I have yet to read them but (assuming that I enjoy them) then I will be giving this hyped book a try.

Heart of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles #1) by Helen Scheuerer

Synopsis from Goodreads
In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.
Release Date: 31st August 2017 
Why Am I Waiting?
I have to admit it was the cover of this book which tempted me to look at this book. I adore the royal blue and the simple and delicate gold pattern. I have read a fellow bloggers positive thoughts on this book, and I am always up to trying a YA fantasy with forbidden magic, kings and a society of warriors.  


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #28 - August Releases (1st- 15th)

Since I haven't yet got around to sharing which of August's releases have caught my attention, I thought I would this months share them in two Waiting on Wednesday posts. So this post looks at the books I am excited about in the first two weeks of August from the 1st to the 15th, so lets get started:

The Mafia and His Angel (Tainted Hearts #1) by Lylah James

Synopsis From Goodreads

Cold. Ruthless. Killer. I am respected and feared by all.

I wasn’t put on this earth to love or be loved. I was put here to wipe out every last member of the damn Abandonato mafia, to pay them back for my mother’s death. When I find a strange girl hiding, beaten, under my bed, I don’t let her live out of compassion. She’s a trinket, my plaything.


I thought Alessio was only one more man who wanted to use me, hurt me, and throw me away. I don’t know what it is to trust anymore. I can’t find my heart under the pain. Alessio found it. He touched it, and brought it alive again. But if he discovers just how dangerous I am to him…I’ll lose my life.
Release Date: 1st August 2017
Why Am I Waiting?
Okay so I am not really waiting for this one any more, my copy is due to arrive at any time and I can't wait to hold it in my hands. I originally read this book when it was on Wattpad and I think I have probably talked about it in a Wattpad recommendation post earlier this year. I am so happy that this book has been published and I look forward to others discovering Alessio and Ayla's story, as well as getting to re-read it myself with a physical copy.

Omega (Mackenzie Grey #4) by Karina Espinosa

Synopsis From Goodreads
Bodies drained of blood are scattered around New York City. With a serial killer on the loose, Mackenzie Grey is obsessed with solving the murders. She dives into her work at the Supernatural Investigative Unit to forget about the events that dismantled her Pack a year ago. When the killer makes Kenz the target, she falls down the rabbit hole and discovers she has a lot more to do with these murders than she realized.

As her past creeps up behind her, she must swallow her pride and seek aid from old and new friends. Nothing stays hidden as Kenz learns a valuable lesson: rats swim.

In the epic finale of the Mackenzie Grey: Origins series, she will finally become the wolf she is destined to be…
Pre-order from Amazon (UK)
Release Date: 11th August 2017
Why Am I Waiting?
So this the fourth and final book in a series which I stumbled across the other week. I got hooked into following Mackenzie Grey as she learns of her wolf heritage, but refusing to conform to every rule which govern the shifter world while also dodging the attentions of two best friends. I can't wait to see how this series comes to a conclusion and what life Mackenzie carves out for herself.

Crystal Blade (Burning Glass #2) by Kathryn Purdie 

Synopsis from Goodreads
The peace is unsustainable.

Sonya and Anton may have brought about a revolution, but can they protect their homeland—and their love—with so many forces threatening to tear them apart?

The empire has fallen, Valko faces trial, and Sonya is finally free from her fate as Sovereign Auraseer. But Sonya's expanding abilities are just as unstable as the new government of Riaznin—and her relationship with Anton. Not only can she feel the emotions of others but, unlike other Auraseers, she's learned to make others feel her emotions as well. And Sonya isn't immune to dark temptations.

Now, as Sonya fights to contain her own darkness, she senses a new evil lurking in the shadows of the palace. Someone from Sonya's past has returned. And that someone won't be satisfied until Sonya pays for the mistakes she's made.
Pre-order from Amazon (UK)
Release Date: 15th August 2017
Why Am I Waiting?
I loved the first book in this trilogy (see my review for Burning Glass here) and I can't wait to see the effects of the revolution on both the country, as well as the relationship between the main characters.
What book are you looking forward to being released this month?
Look out for another Waiting on Wednesday post on the 15th where I will share the rest of the book I am excited to be released in the second half of August.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Unique Blogger Award

It has been ages since I was last nominated for a blogger award, but the other week Shoshi from Shoshi Reads kindly nominated me for this Unique Blogger Award.
So here is what I've got to do: The first step is to share the link of the blogger that tagged you. Next, you answer their questions. Then, you nominate 8-13 bloggers. Finally, you give them 3 questions to answer. So the questions which Shoshi have asked are as follows:
1. What is your absolute favorite book and why? The book that you've loved since the first word. The book that you couldn't live without. The book that you are so grateful to have been able to read.
Could you get a more evil question? There are so many book though out the years which I would have classed as my favourite, but to narrow it down to just one book I have to go with The Gift (The Pellinor series) by Alison Croggon. I have chosen this book (or more accurately the series) because this was the series which sparked my love for fantasy books, and also gave me the confidence to try bigger books and longer series, at a time which I was just finding my feet in what book I liked.

2. What is the book that you have read or re-read the most times?
So I love re-reading books and I often go back to the same ones when I get into a reading slump or feeling a bit off colour. A few years ago I did a post on my Top 5 reread fantasy books, and other than adding Sarah J Maas's work to the list it has remained the same, and these are the books I go back to again and again.

3. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what book would it be?
Nightmare situation! Okay so as a Christian I say the Bible, but if we are talking fiction book I just couldn't choose. I think I would want something which was funny but had lot of twists and depth, so that I saw something new every time I re-read it.

Here are my questions to everyone that I tag:
1. One day you receive a email from your favourite author saying that they have seen your blog. They'd  love to meet-up and talk about their next book as they are having writers block and think you might be able to help! What do you do and how do you help them?
2. What is it about a book which entices you to read it?
3. Have you ever given a book a chance even when you don't think you won't like, just because you like the authors other books? If so why and was it worth it?
 The people I am Tagging are:
(I know there is only 5 here but quite a few of the blogs I have been following have stopped posting)

Friday, August 04, 2017

July Book Haul

So another month and yet more books (although not that many!).


A nice spread of release dates with these three books; Nowhere But Here (2015), Who's Afraid Too? (July 2017) and Godsgrave (September 2017). I have to admit to have already devouring Who's Afraid Too?, I love this series and I can't wait to see what's going to happen in Godsgrave.   

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1) by Jessica Cluess

Synopsis from Goodreads
I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?
Buy from Amazon (UK) || Book Depository
Published September 20th 2016 by Random House BFYR
Series: Kingdom on Fire Book 1
Source: Bought

My Review

(4 Stars) 
I have to admit it was the cover that drew me to this book – it’s just beautiful! I then of course read the blurb and I loved the idea of this play on the ‘chosen one’ prophesy, so I went off and bought it. Since then the hype of this book faded from social media and it has sat on my bookcase for many months until this week.
A Shadow Bright and Burning started off reminding me a bit of the beginning of (what I remember of) Jane Eyre with the rural Victorian boarding school, forgotten by the world  ruled with an iron grip. With Henrietta the outcast student who became the teacher who learnt and dreamed far beyond her station.  After a visit from Master Agrippa Henrietta is thrust into a Victorian London at war, which reminded me a bit of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but as well as swords and guns this war is fought with magic and instead of Zombies they battle the Ancients.
I initially thought this book was a case of too much information in the blurb, because I got to about page 100 and there was no hint as to why “Henrietta is not the chosen one’. But this book managed to surprised m, as Hargrove puts it “You’re a cuckoo in the nest. If they learn the truth, they’ll push you out and break your neck,” (page 220). And suddenly it not just about the pressure of the prophesy she is meant to live up to, but also about hiding her true nature. 
Henrietta is a great character and reminded me a lot of the outspoken classical characters like Lizzy Bennet and Jane Eyre. She stands up for those who are looked down upon, and befriends the lowest of the lows, even in the face of the aristocrats who have taken her in.  
I personally loved Blackwood, her fellow student and head of his household with a legacy darker than I could have guessed. He is a mysterious character which has so much depth. Blackwood plays the snobby rich boy act perfectly but under it he seems to have a compassionate heart.
Overall, this was a gripping Victorian fantasy, full of secrets, magic and danger from both the Ancients as well as the sorcerers. A inventive story which leaves me with many questions and hopes for the sequel.