Friday, 5 February 2016

The Thirteen Hallows - Book Review

The Thirteen Hallows (Thirteen Hallows #1)
by Michael Scott and Colette Freedman

What is it about:
The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction?

A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret.

For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood.

Now, only a few remain.

With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliver her Hallow—a broken sword with devastating powers—to her American nephew, Owen.

The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.

As Sarah and Owen search for the surviving Keepers, they unravel the deadly secret the Keepers were charged to protect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase through England and Wales, and history itself, as they discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world… and a horror beyond imagining.

What did I think of it:
I found this hiding among the YA books, but the pricing immediately told me it couldn't be YA (And no: the back of the book didn't mention the nubile mistress). Why is it that YA books are usually more expensive than Adult books? Anyway: apparently this book is New Adult, but I can't say I noticed it.

That being said: it's a cool read.

It's very different from what I expected. I expected it to be more grounded in Fantasy, but apart from the Hallows and some supernatural things, this feels more like a mystery/thriller than Fantasy or even Urban Fantasy.

I will confess that fact threw me a bit, but once I got used to it I very much enjoyed the story.

The Hallows and their history are intriguing, and I could sympathize with Sarah, who gets swept up in things she doesn't know anything about. There are some dreams and flashbacks that slow the action down, but not annoyingly so.

The story seems a bit black and white, but this is the first book in a series, so maybe further in the series it will get different.

All in all I thought this was a fast and entertaining read. I might pick up the next book if I come across it.

Why should you read it:
It's a really enjoyable (paranormal) mystery/thriller

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, 4 February 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - Time of Death: Induction

This sounds cool, but it's a bit too expensive for me at the moment.

Time of Death: Induction
by Shana Festa

When no one or nowhere is safe, where do you go to escape the monsters?

In a few short days, 37 year old Emma Rossi’s hard work will finally pay off. She will don her cap and gown and graduate with a degree in nursing, but not before she loses her first patient and is confronted with a new reality. In Cape Coral, Florida, a storm approaches. The dead are coming back to life.

And they’re hungry.

Infection ravages the Eastern Seaboard with alarming speed while attempts to contain the spread of infection fail. Within days, a small pocket of panicked survivors are all that remain of civilization. Fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside her husband Jake and their dog Daphne, Emma comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare.

Relying on snarky wit and sheer determination, she is forced to commit atrocious acts to protect her family and avoid joining the ranks of the undead.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Incarceron - Book Review

Incarceron (Incarceron #1)
by Catherine Fisher

What is it about:

Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here.

In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born ...

What did I think of it:
I missed out on the hype back when this was released, but I got hold of book two for just 50 cents last year, so when I received a gift card from a Dutch online bookstore, I decided to get Incarceron and give it a try.

And it's a nice read.

I'm not blown away, but it is an interesting setting and story. I especially liked the prison and the inmates. The prison is creepy and with a mind of its own. To survive the inmates have to choose between working together or use violence to get what they want. I must say I wanted to know more about the life in the prison. I wouldn't have minded if it had taken longer for Finn to go on his road to discovery/escape.

The parts about Claudia were less interesting, but still nice. I didn't really get the society she lives in, I will confess. And I didn't really like Claudia either, so I was less invested in her story line.

Towards the end of the book there are some interesting developments and reveals that make me curious about book two. Good thing that's already in my TBR pile.

Why should you read it:
It's a really nice Dystopian YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

STARFLIGHT Launch Blitz & Giveaway

Hey there, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of STARFLIGHT, the first in a brand new sci-fi series from Disney-Hyperion. I originally pitched this story to my editor as “Overboard” (one of my favorite romantic comedies) meets “Firefly” (an amazing show that was tragically cancelled after one season). STARFLIGHT follows the misadventures of Solara Brooks, a penniless felon who indentures herself to her high school nemesis, Doran Spaulding, in exchange for passage to a new world. But when Doran’s memory is temporarily erased, Solara convinces him their roles are reversed—that she’s the master and he’s the servant—and leads him onto a renegade spaceship, where intergalactic shenanigans ensue. STARFLIGHT is very different in tone from the Alienated trilogy, but the story is still filled with all the things I love: humor, heart, and adventure.

What do reviewers have to say?

“Get ready for blast-off! Action-packed and utterly addictive, nobody writes like Melissa Landers. A smart, satisfying romance set in a vividly detailed world, Starflight was just plain fun!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman

“Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling action scenes. A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal

“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist

If you like your sci-fi adventure served with a side of romance, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of STARFLIGHT today. It’s now available in stores and online.

Barnes & Noble:
Book Depository (free international shipping):
Indie Bound:

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a STARFLIGHT swag pack, complete with custom nail wraps, bookmarks, and a mini poster! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit

Monday, 1 February 2016

Poison Sleep - Book Review

Poison Sleep (Marla Mason #2)
by T.A. Pratt

What is it about:
The bad girl of the magical underworld is back and badder than ever

Someone wants Marla Mason dead. Usually that’s not news. As chief sorcerer of Felport, someone always wants her dead. But this time she’s the target of a renegade assassin who specializes in killing his victims over days, months, or even years. Not to mention a mysterious knife-wielding killer in black who pops up in the most unexpected places. To make matters worse, an inmate has broken out of the Blackwing Institute for criminally insane sorcerers—a troubled psychic who can literally reweave the fabric of reality to match her own traumatic past.

With her wisecracking partner Rondeau reluctantly in tow, Marla teams up with a “love-talker” whose dangerous erotic spells not even she can resist. Together they’re searching the rapidly transforming streets of Felport for a woman who’s become the Typhoid Mary of nightmares, infecting everything—and everyone—she touches with a chaos worse than death itself.

What did I think of it:
Yup, it's official: I'm in love with this series.

Marla is such a deliciously practical, no nonsense character. She has very flexible morals, and doesn't shy away from taking extreme measures, but at the same time she's not above listening to advice. And the supporting characters are really interesting as well, although it's clear that I'll have to be careful in liking supporting characters. Pratt isn't a G.R.R. Martin yet, but doesn't shy away from killing off characters for the good of the story.

The magic system and the world building is really cool as well. I like how many of the sorcerers have their specialization and can do really intriguing stuff with it.

The story is very suspenseful, and even though I expected Marla to save the day, I was nervous about the outcome from time to time. All in all this is a great story, and you bet I'll be picking up book three in this series soon.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome Urban Fantasy read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Sunday, 31 January 2016

TBR Orphans - End of the Month Update 1

January was a great reading month, but apart from one book, all of my reads weren't orphaned yet.

The one Orphan I read was Poison Sleep.
It was on my shelves for about six months, because it's book two in a series and I didn't have book one until recently.

How did your challenges go?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday, 29 January 2016

Surrender to the Chase - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Surrender to the Chase (Under Realm Assassins #2)
by Amanda J. Greene

What is it about:
A year after the tragic death of his close friend and fellow assassin, Ethan Halstead is ready to take up his sniper rifle once more. But his first assignment is nothing he ever expected. Ethan must hunt and retrieve a beautiful, spirited, alluring werewolf.

Knowing no other way to escape an arranged marriage, Fraya flees from her pack. As she contemplates slipping across the border and heading to South America, she is captured by a dangerously seductive vampire who plans on escorting her back to her family. Even as Fraya vows to make Ethan’s mission as difficult as possible, she can’t resist the riotous desire he sparks within her.

But Ethan isn’t the only predator that peruses Fraya. A powerful rival pack’s alpha wants to make her his mate. Will Ethan be able to keep Fraya safe and return her to her pack? Or will he surrender to temptation and claim Fraya as his own?

~ Novella ~

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I really liked the first book in this series, so jumped at the chance to read and review the second book as well.

And this book is even better than the first, in my opinion.

The tension between Fraya and Ethan was well written and had me longing for the moment they'd give in to temptation. The building attraction and the resulting hot scenes were a delight to read.

The romance is the focus of the story of course, and I never worried about the outcome, but the story around the romance was really good as well. I could really understand why Fraya ran away, and why she resists her attraction to Ethan.

All in all this is a more than enjoyable Paranormal Romance, and I'll keep an eye out for more.

Why should you read it:
It's a hot PNR novella

Buy from Amazon