Monday, February 24, 2014

Audio Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Book: Bayou Moon (The Edge #2)
By: Ilona Andrews
Published: September 28, 2010
Published by: Ace

Description: The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

My Thoughts: Continuing on with my Ilona Andrews Binge, we have The Edge. A somewhat continuation of On the Edge in that it has taken a character from that one and continued it on in here.

In On the Edge, William was Declan's former friend/changeling in the military. He was a little strange and definitely alone, wishing that Rose would somehow choose him over Declan. Alas, she did not, and William was somewhat heartbroken, and throws himself into his work.

It's then that he meets Cerise Mar. She's the head of her very large, very close family of poor/powerful people in the swamplands, and she's looking for her parents. They begrudgingly team up, and soon an attraction forms between the two that's as intense and passionate as it is awkward. After all, William is a changeling, and in this case, changelings aren't very human. They don't act or feel the same. They're a bit more animalistic than usual, and it shows.William has issues that Cerise helps tame.

I enjoyed reading this one, and can't wait to read the next. I give it 5 stars.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Audio Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Book: On the Edge(The Edge #1) –Audio Book
By: Ilona Andrews
Published: September 29, 2009
Published By: Ace

Description: Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.

My Thoughts: I’m on an Ilona Andrews binge….don’t Judge me!!

I picked this one up after I accidentally got Steel’s Edge from an Audible sale and realized it was the fourth book in the series. On the Edge was a book set in a world somewhat similar to that of the Kate Daniels series, in that there is a Magic world and a Tech one, it’s just different worlds. We follow Rose Drayton, a girl who lives on the Edge, it’s the world in between the Magic one (The Weird) and the Tech one (The Broken), and she’s basically struggling to survive and take care of her brothers. The only problem is, something is killing and eating the people in the Edge, and in order to protect her family, she has to team up with a sexy blueblood from the weird who scares her, and makes her feel things.

This book was great, filled with tension and action. The more of Ilona’s books I read, the more I realize some of her characters are similar. The male love interest always looks similar, and has a haughty demeaner and chisled manly physique. The woman is almost always uncharacteristically powerful, somewhat poor, and untrusting of all men and unwilling to stay away from a fight. The interaction between these two characters is often infuriating, and passionate, and has a hint of danger. That being said, I absolutely love it every time. It works, even though I know what to expect. This one added family that relied on our MC Rose and that mother instinct added another dimension to the character.
The story itself was great. I totally enjoyed it and I give this one 5 stars. In my opinion, everything Ilona touches is golden. Check it out. It can be read as a standalone or you are welcome to continue the series once this one is finished. There’s not necessarily a dying need to read the next ones, but I will…

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 Audiobook Challenge Update - January

I signed up for this challenge after it became clear that not only do I love audios, but I'm obsessed with them. It's hosted by one of my fav bloggers, The Book Nympho. If you want to enter into this challenge you're welcome to do so anytime. Just go here and sign up. Here are the rules (copied from the sign up page):

  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2014 than you did in 2013.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.
You can choose whatever level you want to reach, and then start reading. I signed up for :

  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
This month I got off to a great start. I listened to 7 audiobooks. Pretty much all of them were great. I wrote reviews on most of them, but not all. Feel free to click on the links below to check them out:

Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep (1/2/14-1/3/14)
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews (1/3/14-1/6/14)
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews (1/9/14-1/13/14)
Fates Edge by Ilona Andrews (1/13/14-1/15/14)
Steels Edge by Ilona Andrews (1/15/14-1/20/14)
The Spider by Jennifer Estep (1/23/14-1/27/14)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (1/27/14-1/29/14)

I also started Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas on 1/30/14 but I'm not counting it because I didn't finish it until 2/4/14.

Overall, it's a pretty ridiculous start to the year, and I'm pretty sure I'll meet my goal.

As you can see, I was in a bit of an Ilona Andrews Binge. The narrator is absolutely awesome and narrates all of her books so I love em. The narrators for Jennifer Estep and Sarah J Maas were pretty awesome too. Nothing bad to say about them.

I'm already about 4 books in for February too.....looks like I'm going to make it to my goal. I just love audiobooks so much. They're so fun to read and since I get motion sickness if I read actual books in the car, I get to listen to these in the car, and while I work. It's perfect for me. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Book: Vessel
By: Sarah Beth Durst
Published: September 11, 2012
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Description: Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe's deity, who will inhabit Liyana's body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious--and sure that it is Liyana's fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice--she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate--or a human girl can muster some magic of her own

My Thoughts: Vessel is a story that thoroughly depicts what it means to be human, and why some, no matter how insignificant they may seem, are stronger than you think.

Vessel follows Liyana, of the goat clan, vessel to the god Bayala. As a vessel, her body is not her own, she must strengthen and prepare it until such a time as she will sacrifice herself and the god will inhabit her body. That date is now upon her, but during the ceremony, the god doesn’t come, and her clan, fearing that Liyana is unworthy and  has angered Bayala, tosses her aside and moves on without her. Alone in the desert and having to face environmental danger, Liyana expects to die quickly, but when Korbyn shows up, a god within a vessel, she learns that hey god was kidnapped and trapped in a false vessel, and she must team up with him to save her, despite her ever increasing feeling that she doesn’t want to die for her god.

This was a good story, though the beginning did have a few slow moments. I enjoyed watching the blossoming relationship between Liyana and Korbyn, and seeing the other vessels and how they relate to each individual god. Many of the characters I didn’t like as individuals, they were just mean annoying people, but it was done on purpose, and I could grow to like how annoying some of the characters were. This book was packed with ancient legends and myths that made the story come to life.

I liked Vessel a lot, though I wished the ending would have been a bit different and I wish the beginning weren’t so slow. I give it 3.5 stars. This story would be a good one for those who like stories about gods and humans, but where the gods actually “help” the humans (in their own twisted way), instead of making humans do all their dirty work for them.  It was an enjoyable read.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Audio Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

By: Ilona Andrews
Published: July 31, 2012
Published By: Ace

Description: The New York Times bestselling Kate Daniels novels have been hailed as “top-notch urban fantasy” (Monsters and Critics). Now, Ilona Andrews delves deeper into Kate’s world, and reveals its untold stories…

After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. She tries to put herself back together by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend. When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano—the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, and Andrea’s former lover—die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. Now she must work with Raphael as her search for the killer leads into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta. And dealing with her feelings for him might have to take a back seat to saving the world…

My Thoughts: I pretty much love everything by Ilona Andrews, and especially her Kate Daniels Series, so when I saw she had released this companion novel with MC Andrea, I just had to have it.
Believe it or not, this one sat on my shelf for a bit, collecting dust until I picked up the audiobook during one of Audible’s sales, and I hopped on it right away. BEWARE!!! SPOILERS AHEAD……. 

It’s told from the POV of Andrea, the gun toting ex Agent of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid right after she’s been “retired” and right after the stuff with Raphael went down the tubes. She’s trying to get her life back together, but when she’s called to help with a pack issue that deals with Raphael, they’re forced to cooperate with each other, and what results is explosive.

Though the events in this story directly coincide with events in the other Kate Daniels novels, it’s a completely  different story, and Andrea is working on a completely different case. I enjoyed the fact that it was a completely new story, and that we weren’t merely seeing things from someone else’s perspective. It gave everything a fresh, new feel and I loved it. As for the narration, it was great as the same narrator for the entire Kate Daniels Series also narrated this.

I don’t want to give too much away, so all I’ll say is that this is intense and wonderful and action packed. A bit of it is predictable, but most of it isn’t and the ending is absolutely perfect. We learn a bit more about Andrea and the reason she is the way that she is, and we grow to love her as a character even more.

I would suggest this book to fans of the Kate Daniels Series. It’s not best for those who haven’t already read the regular Kate Daniels series though because the whole world may be a bit confusing. I give it 5 stars.