Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Book: Graceling
By: Kristin Cashore
Published: October 1, 2008
Published By: Harcourt

Description: His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn't shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn't seem human....
Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.

Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.

In a world where people born with an extreme skill - called a Grace - are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone

My Thoughts: So you can probably tell I've been getting more into fantasy books. That's probably because my real life sucks right now and it's fun to escape into a book. (Okay my real life doesnt really suck, it's just not very exciting). With the monotony of " Wake up, walk dog, feed dog, shower, get dressed, feed self, ride bus to work, work, eat, work, get off, ride bus home, walk dog, feed dog, feed self, watch tv, play with dog,  read/do homework, talk/text with friends, sleep, repeat" that is my weekly life, Graceling definitely helped me escape.

Katsa is great and I love her so much!!! she's snarky and doesnt take crap from anyone. I can't tell you how much I love this book. I can't even give you a full description of the book because I don't want to ruin it for you. Just know that I love this book. Just know that you should read it. Just know that you'll love it. Just know that if it's sitting on your shelf waiting to be read, you should go ahead and pick it up.

Oh, and since I had it as an audiobook, I probably should mention that this was a full cast audiobook. It sounded like a play with music and different characters and everything. I want to listen to another audiobook like this if I can find one.
5 Stars.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review: The Silver Kiss By Annette Curtis Klause

Book: The Silver Kiss
By: Annette Curtis Klause
Published: October 1992
Published By: Laurel Leaf Books

Description: Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful yet frightening Simon comes to her house. Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe's brooding thoughts of her dying mother.

Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before. Does Simon dare ask Zoe to help free him from this lifeless chase and its insufferable loneliness?

My Thoughts: Picture sad whiny teen who "no one understands" and you've got the makings of this book. It's like the extreme of some of the key things I like in books to the extent that I no longer like it. There's too much teen angst, too much self pity, too much selfishness, too much insta love, and too much of just everything teen.

First we have Simon, a vampire who gives Edward a run for his money in the self loathing category. He's just got all sorts of internal battles and it bleeds all over the page.  He goes around drinking women and then leaving them alive enough, and just being there with no real purpose. He doesn't believe he is capable of love until he begins to love a cat who later dies. His brother (who's a baby vamp because he was turned when he was a little kid and now ant control his urges) is killing women all over the place, but since he's older (in vampire years) than Simon, Simon has a hard time trying to stop him. Simon meets a woman and starts to like her. For him to be 300 years old, he doesn't seem to have grown up at all and still behaves as if he's the same age she is.

Zoe is selfish and seems to beg for your pity. Her mother's dying of cancer and every other page seems to say "Look at me, my mother is dying and my father is beginning to feel sad. I'm all alone and no one cares. Feel sorry for me. No one understands me. Wahhh Wahhh Wahhh." Furthermore, she feels that her turmoil is so much worse than everyone else and that no one else is allowed to be upset for their own issues because obviously her issue beats theirs. I wanted to just smack her multiple times during the book. It's okay to feel sad, and it's okay to want support from those around you, but what I get from her that she wanted everyone to pity her and feel sorry for her and coddle her and  say "Oh you poor poor baby" while she soaks it up.

Even the love between Zoe and Simon sucks. First of all, besides agreeing that they are both dealing with death in different ways, what do they know about each other. Zoe knows Simon's story, but who is he really. What does he like to do for fun? What about Zoe? Simon knows that her mother's dying and her fathers never there, he knows that she likes writing poetry. That's it. They don't know each others mannerisms, or fantasy's. They know almost nothing about each other and all of a sudden there's this all consuming love thing between them. Really? REALLY??

If it wasn't already obvious, I hated this book. I will be deleting the audiobook format from my iPod and never ever look at it again. Thank goodness I only borrowed it from the library. Even the conversation and way the book was written wasn't great. It didn't flow and much of it seemed too proper. Honestly, I have a whole lot more to say on the subject of this book, but I feel it would be too mean so I'll just give my rating. 1 Star (only because I don't have a pic for 0 stars.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

Book: Leviathan
By: Scott Westerfield
Published: October 6, 2009
Published By: Simon Pulse

Description: Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My Thoughts: You know that book that sits and sits on your shelf collecting dust? The one that you have already bought the sequel to because you have heard that the story was amazing and that you'll just have to read the next book in the series. The one that, try as you might, you can never bring yourself to actually pick up and read. For some reason you never actually think you'll like it and so it just sits there collecting dust. Well, Leviathan was that book for me. It sat on my shelf since 2010, and I constantly looked at it wondering if I should read it. I would pick it up, read the synopsis, think about it for a second, and then put it back down. Sometimes I would even skim through and see the fact that it had pictures and figure it was obviously too young for me to read. Then, when I saw that there was an audiobook in the library, I decided to pick it up, thinking I may feel differently about it if I were to just listen to it. The audiobook sat loaded in my iPod for over a month. Finally, when I exhausted all of the other audiobooks loaded onto my iPod and didn't have a chance to connect to my computer to load some more on, I begrudgingly started listening to Leviathan, and I'm happy I did.

I'll start off saying first that I think the best way to digest this book is to read the actual book. The pictures ARE VERY NECESSARY!!!! I couldn't get into the book in the beginning at all because I just couldn't seem to picture some of the steampunk machines they were talking about. I was ready to throw in the towel until I remembered the pictures and did a quick skim through of the book. Once I got what everything looked like in my head, I was finally able to get into the book.

We start off this book alternating between two characters, Prince Alek and Deryn/Dylan/Mr Stark. Prince Alek's parents have been poisoned and he's on the run. He belongs to the "clanker" side of the line in this story. Due to his parent's death he has to hide because the Germans are looking to kill him next so he can't take his parent's place and rule the empire. Deryn is a girl who would very much like to be a soldier/airman. She pretends to be a boy and joins the leviathan (The "darwinist" side of the line) sometime later. Due to quite a few occurrances, Alek (clanker) and Deryn(darwinist) find themselves toe to toe facing the same enemy threat. It seems they're not quite enemies, but not quite friends. They must work together if either of them will survive.

Once I was able to get into the book and really understand what was going on, I loved it. It was quite interesting. It seemed to be a big buildup of whatever is to come in the next book. I'm excited to continue this series. I also liked all the alternate curse words they had here like "get stuffed" or "barking spiders." It made me wonder whether or not I should clean up my mouth a bit....but I probably wont. Using these terms in casual conversation will probably make people think I'm psycho (as if they already don't.)

Due to the original difficulty, I cant seem to give this book the rating I want to give it at the end, so I'll give it 3.5 stars

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review; Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Book: Immortal Beloved
By: Cate Tiernan
Published: September 7, 2010
Published by: Little, Brown books for young readers

Description: Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.
Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.
Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.

My Thoughts: I love me some Nastayasa (Nas or Nasty for short...I suppose it fits) She's a sarcastic, snarky girl who's a bit emo. She says whats on her mind and is so freaking hilarious I nearly cracked up laughing while listening to the audiobook on the bus home from work (By the way, I loved the audiobook reader. She was perfect!) Because she's lived so long, she and her friends have lost hold of their humanity and I feel as if every day she's struggling to kill herself somehow, to release herself from this ridiculously long and agonizing life.

We begin while Nas is with her friends. They're riding in a cab and the cabbie kicks them out. In anger, one of her friends Incy (he's a guy) uses the magic all immortals posses to torture and break the back of te cabbie, leaving him for dead on the street. This one occurrence of brutality snaps Nas out of her drugged out party life and makes her begin to question her existence and want something more, something better in her life. She leaves her friends the following day in secret and hides at a rehab center for immortals. There, in the span of a few months, she learns more about life than she was able t learn in the entire 400+ years of her existence.

Honestly there wasn't much going on here. We went along, following Nas as she began to discover parts of herself, got a job, and began to truly discover who she was. Nonetheless, this was an amazing book. It touched on so many important things like self discovery, acceptance, forgiveness, growth, dark versus light, and the difference between being alive and living. More than anything though, it discusses the power of love and how it can destroy, uplift, wound, and heal anyone whether you have it or you don't. (just like they discussed in Delirium)

I absolutely loved Immortal beloved and I'll definitely read the next book. I may even read this one again. I loved it, and you all should read it. Oh yea, and to all you vampire book avoiders, this isn't a vampire book so you can just calm down and stop protesting. 5 stars!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quickie Review: The Dex-Files by Karina Halle

Book: The Dex-Files (Experiment in Terror 5.7)
By: Karina Halle
Published: August 13, 2012
Published By: Self Published

Description: The truth is out there...

The Dex-Files is a compilation novel that accompanies the Experiment in Terror Series and is not to be-read as a stand-alone. In the Dex-Files we find a variety of scenes and chapters from the enigmatic Dex Foray's POV from books #1-6 in the series. Some of these scenes have been previously published, albeit from Perry's POV, while other scenes are completely new.

In addition to it not being a stand-alone, the novel also contains some major spoilers and should be read only by those who have read all the published books in the series.

My Thoughts: You all know how much I love Karina Halle. Her books are spooky and scary and I love them, and I love me some Dex. This book, is basically some of the wonderful most loved scenes told from Dex's point of view, and I must saay. Dex has a totally screwed up POV (which is partially why I love him so much).

Its not much to review,  being only 101 pages and because its basically everything I've already reviewed, only from dex's point of view. I liked seeing thins from his perspective and getting an idea of what actually goes on in his mind. I cant wait for the next book, Into The Hollow coming out later this year. 5 Stars.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review and Giveaway: The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson

Book: The Athena Effect
By: Derrolyn Anderson
Published: August 30, 2012
Published by: Self Published

Description: Country girl Cal has been kept a secret her entire life, raised in isolation by two very troubled people. Despite her parent’s disturbing fits, Cal is perfectly content, living at one with the nature that surrounds her, and finding adventure inside the pages of her beloved books. When an awful tragedy tears her away from her remote cabin in the woods, nothing she’s ever read has prepared her for a world that she knows very little about.

Girls and motorcycles are what bad-boy Cal’s life is all about. Brought up in a raucous party house by his biker brother, he’s free to do as he pleases, going through the motions on his final days of high school. Aimless, Cal stopped thinking about his future a long time ago.

Attacked by a gang of thugs while running an errand for his brother, Cal is in serious trouble until a fierce girl appears out of nowhere to intervene. She chases off three grown men, sparing Cal a brutal beating before disappearing into the night like a spirit. He can’t stop thinking about his mysterious rescuer, and when she turns out to be the weird new girl at school who goes out of her way to avoid him, he can’t contain his curiosity.

He’s never met anyone like her before, and the more he learns about the unusual girl who shares his nickname, the more he wants to know. Cal can’t help falling for Cal, but can he keep her from falling victim to a dangerous enemy from her parent’s tragic past?

My Thoughts: When I got an email from Derrolyn Anderson requesting for me to review her book I was ecstatic. I mean, I was TOTALLY in love with the Marina's Tales Series and any book from Derrolyn has me sold. Luckily The Athena Effect did not disappoint.

We start off this book with Cal (the girl Cal, not the boy. It's easier to call her Cali as the book discusses since it'll be hard to discern between Cal and Cal, the boy) as she's wandering the woods, and when she returns to her home, she finds that her parents have died. Her parent's have kept her hidden in the middle of the woods for 17 years and now that they have died, she has to go to the next of kin, her aunt Angie.

Her aunt is nice, and so Cali is okay living there, until she notices the intense predatory aura around her aunts boyfriend while her aunt's away from work. Yep, you heard that right, Cali can see auras. Beyond that, she can project feelings onto other people and animals when she looks into their eyes. Not quite grasping the extent of her powers, Cali takes to the streets, preferring to live among nature while her Aunt is away to keep the boyfriend from harming her. Prowling the streets is how she comes to save a ridiculous and infuriating boy from a gang.

Cal (the boy) is all about women and alcohol and money. That's it. He's a bad boy who rides motorcycles and lives with his brother who goes to jail every other second. Cal pretty much has nothing going for himself, except perhaps the fact that he's insanely attractive. After he is saved by the weird girl in school, Cal finds himself wanting to know more about her, and feeling things he never knew he would.

Unfortunately, Cali's past comes back to haunt her, and we are left wondering if Cal can even protect her, or whether she's going to receive the very same fate her parents hid her away from.

I loved this story. As most of Derrolyn's books are, they're all warm with intense love between teenagers that seems way too intense to actually be real. I love it though. I like the soul shattering, intense, nothing can touch me, love Derrolyn creates and i love when it hits people who never thought they'd feel it. Because Cali has grown up separate from everything, she's like a child when she enters the world. Kind of like a wild animal pulled into captivity. She has to learn everything (and I do mean everything...she's never experienced electricity, indoor plumbing, computers, restaurants, nothing! she has read about them though.). It's because of her differences that Cal is drawn to Cali and wants to protect her.

The book was sweet and nice with some intense moments. Cali is a fighter despite what her calm demeanor shows and I love it. I would have liked to see Cali get a bit drunk off her power and begin to misuse it at some point. Sometimes I think she was a little to nice and sweet and perfect. There's always the next book though.

I give The Athena Effect 4 stars.

To go along with this new book, Derrolyn had the idea of a  giveaway of both the ebook and a necklace that represents Cali's ability to see auras. The picture of the necklace is below.

Unfortunately, the necklace is only available for those who live in the USA. Therefore, the necklace and 1 eBook will go to a US resident. DON'T FRET MY INTERNATIONAL READERS!!! Derrolyn loves you too and one eBook will be given to an International reader as well.

The giveaway ends starts now and ends Saturday September 15 at 12:01 EST. Please enter using the rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Book: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1)
By: Ilona Andrews
Published: March 27, 2008
Published By: Ace

Description: When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league—but she wouldn't have it any other way…
My Thoughts: I'll admit, when Lan (The Write Obsession) recommended this book as one of her favorites and I decided to check it out, I wasn't convinced. It just doesn't have all the stuff I like in most books. I like a bit of love (but definitely not insta-love) and I really don't like monster books which is what I thought this was. When I picked the book up from the library, there was not 1 copy without excessive creases and folds, which told me it was a much read book. That helped ease my issues. But then, when I got a comment from Lani Wendt Young putting the success of our friendship on my acceptance or rejection of this book, I was thoroughly frightened. Now all I have to say is, I am SO GLAD I decided to actually read this book. It was freaking amazing!!!

I LOVED it!!!! Magic Bites follows Kate Daniels, a snarky smart mouthed heroine who makes money cleaning up magical mishaps. She is pretty much a "lone wolf" preferring to do her own thing. In the beginning, we find out that her guardian has been killed and we spend the book seeking the murderer.

At times, I was a bit lost. There were people introduced, and the second time I saw them I couldn't remember their significance, and there were so many supernaturals that I sometimes couldn't keep up. That's definitely my fault though and not the book's. My brain was still on YA pace because of the read-a-thon (I finished one book and went right to picking up another book without a stop in between.) and I couldn't catch up initially. Once I did though, it was smooth sailing. I have no idea how to appropriately review this book so I wont do too much. I loved Kate because she didn't take crap from anyone and always did what she thought was best (even if it got her into trouble.) Kate seemed to internalize her issues, but that made her who she was.

It sucked that she messed things up with one of the guys in the book, but I think it was for the best. He really would never have been able to keep up with her lifestyle. As for Curran......I see something forming...and I love it. I love him already. I feel about him the way I do about Eric from True Blood. He's so bad sometimes, but he's in charge so he has to be, and he's so sweet at the same time. I love him!

I will DEFINITELY be continuing this series!!! 5 Stars.