Monday, May 26, 2014

Audio Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Book: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
By: Robin LaFevers
Published: April 3, 2012
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Description: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

My Thoughts: Grave Mercy is a Story about Ismae, a girl who has had a rough time in life because she;s seen as the daughter of death since her mother tried to poison her from her belly before she was born, and yet she was still born. Everyone is afraid of her, and men beat her. Then, on her dreaded wedding day, she's taken to a covenant of St. Mortain where she's trained to be an assassin.

She's a great assassin, until her assignment becomes a bit more difficult and interesting. She must deal with lies and deceit and is unable to determine how to handle it. Meanwhile, her horrible feelings toward men are slowly going away.

I enjoyed reading it, though I must say Ismae seems a bit too trusting. Often, it was extra obvious who the villain was in a particular situation, and yet, she didn't seem to see it, or overlooked it. It was ridiculous. Still, it was a pretty great read, once I got past being annoyed at how dense Ismae was at times. For that reason, I give this one 3 stars. it was great, but some of the characters were just a little too unbelievable.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris, and Phillippa Ballintine

Book: Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1) 
By: Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris, and Phillippa Ballintine
Published: April 26, 2011
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers

Description:  Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian.

These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray.

For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot . . . or see England fall to the Phoenix!

My Thoughts: I love steampunk. More than that, I love steampunk that boasts an eccentric female main character who barely follows societal rules for women, choosing instead to crack cases, kick asses, and take names. Phoenix Rising is one such book.

As the description states, we follow Eliza Braun and Wellington Books. Near the beginning of the book, the two are at each other’s throats. Eliza was a field agent, who got too…explosive in the field and was reassigned. Wellington “Welly” (as Eliza so lovingly calls him) happily runs the archives until Eliza comes down and ruins a couple things.

As you would expect, these two eventually overcome their differences (as much as they can) and band together to investigate a series of peculiar occurrences (pun intended) that were set aside as unsolvable. What results is a story full of danger and undercover intrigue, era appropriate sexual innuendo, and plenty high speed carriage chases to suitably meet your steampunk needs.

I really liked this, though I’ll admit, it got off to a pretty slow start. I usually hope to get sucked into a story within the first chapter, and unfortunately, I just wasn’t with this one. That being said, I held out, hoping it would get better, and near the middle of the book, it did.

I give this book 3.5 stars. I really was disappointed in the way it began, and I wished I could have gotten more out of it still, it picked up a bit near the middle and I enjoyed it. I still wish I would have gotten a bit more out of it, which is why I’m not giving it more stars. I’m hoping I’ll feel better about the next one in the series. I’m about to start it shortly.

I would recommend this story to those interested in steampunk books with a hint of romance, and tons of sexual innuendo, with lots of investigation and mystery. I can see this becoming a good series.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Book: Crewel (Crewel #1)
By: Gennifer Albin
Published: October 16, 2012
Published by: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Description: Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

My Thoughts: Is it wrong that I often feel as if I dont really need to give a long review to books I dont absolutely love, or absolutely hate? I hope not, because I'm giving this one a short review.

Crewel was okay. I couldnt quite understand some of it. Like the details of the weave and how Adelice works it I couldnt quite get. Furthermore, I didnt understand the appeal of our MC. She seemed pretty boring, albeit pretty. She seemed to have like zero survival instinct and didnt know how to just shut up sometimes. Furthermore, It seemed she just came to random conclusions without me understanding how on earth she did it. There was a love triangle, and it was as annoying as you can expect. This story felt a little like Wither by Lauren DeStafano. Both had females in roles where they were mainly accessories, and both had MC's I just could never understand.

I refuse to bore you all with more review of this book I dont love. I give it 2.5 stars.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Quickie Audio Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Book: Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)
By: Jamie McGuire
Published: April 2, 2013
Published by: Atria Books

Description: Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. 

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Thoughts: This one won't be too long at all, mainly because it's pretty much the same exact story told through Travis' eyes. You still have to read the first one, because this one skips some parts and only references others in passing. It also adds a couple parts and gives further insight into others. That being said, it's worth reading if you love Travis as much as I do. It's the same story, and yet, it's so much different this way. Still 4.5 stars.