Thursday, 28 February 2013

On McPig's Wishlist - Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction

I love anthologies and the theme of this one sounds really cool. And 9 of the authors are new to me, so getting hold of this book would give me the opportunity to try their writing.


Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction

Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate? It's human nature to wonder about life's twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life's unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction's brightest stars.



Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Pure - Book Review


Pure (Pure #1)
by Julianna Baggott


What is it about:
We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .

Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.


What did I think of it:
And again: present tense...

That aside this is a fairly cool read.

The setting and world building are really intriguing. Finally a YA author who doesn't shy away from the icky and creepy stuff. Pressia for example has a doll's head for a hand because of the detonations that fused people with things around them. The way Baggott describes the world and the people who live in it is believable and disturbing.

There's about four different view points from which the story is told and I liked three of those. The fourth felt unnecessary and didn't add much to the story in my opinion.

The story itself is very enjoyable, although a bit too convenient at times. Things fall together a bit too smoothly in my opinion. I also thought that Pressia was cast as a bit too gullible and dense at times. There's one thing that is practically spelled out to her and still she doesn't get it.

Overall I really liked this book and I might give the second book in this series a try when I run into it.

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


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Ashes - Book Review


Ashes
by Ilsa J. Bick


What is it about:
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.


What did I think of it:
I picked this book up on the recommendation of Merrie Destefano. It was one of the five books she read in 2012 that took her breath away. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle and Enclave by Ann Aguirre were two of the other books on her list and I absolutely love those, so I was hoping that would mean Ashes was at least a cool read.

It turns out to be Post-Apocalyptic Awesomeness!

This book is gritty, grim, disturbing and utterly amazing. I was hooked from the start and had to keep reading to find out what would happen to Alex and the people she meets. Bick doesn't pull punches and the things and situations that Alex encounters are really horrifying and disturbing. I was really impressed by how real what happened felt.

I will confess I had my doubts about some developments (they didn't feel logical), but mostly I was so engrossed in the story I didn't mind the small inconsistencies.

When I finished this book it left me dazed and in awe.

Ashes will most probably end up on my Top Pearls of 2013. What's left to do is buy more books by Bick asap and checking out the last two books on Merrie Destefano's list.

Why should you read it:
It's Post-Apocalyptic Awesomeness


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Monday, 25 February 2013

Platinum - Release Day!

Today it's the release day of Platinum by Jeffe Kennedy!
In honor of the release we decided to repost this review that Voodoo Bride posted on January 5th.

Make sure to get your hands on this ebook, because it's a delicious read!


Platinum
by Jeffe Kennedy

ebook

What is it about:
Althea Grant's Charleston gallery might be suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere, but she's doing just fine, thank you. When bad-boy sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual—and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolor landscapes.

Steel, fascinated by Althea's rare albino coloring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr designed for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the cool Southern belle into modeling for him is the second.

As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realize her life isn't just fine at all—it's as pale and washed-out as the watercolor paintings she's failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I'm in love!

You might know by now that I love Jeffe Kennedy's writing and that I really looked forward to reading Platinum. So I was over the moon when I got the chance to read and review Platinum early.

And let me say: Wow!

Platinum is both an intense and sweet read. Althea is tempted by Steel to give in to her more sensual side and to explore her hidden desires. This leads to some seriously hot and delicious BDSM situations. I loved the interaction between Althea and Steel. Next to the steaming scenes there's a really sweet romance between them and I couldn't help sighing dreamily at times.

I love how Jeffe Kennedy once again shows that true strength doesn't equal being hard and unmoving, but instead lies in knowing yourself and being able to give in to your vulnerable side as well.

All in all I fell totally in love with both this story and Steel and you can bet I'll reread Platinum often. I'll be waiting impatiently for the next book in the Facets of Passion series as well.

Why should you read it:
It's an intense and sweet BDSM read.


Expected publication: February 25th 2013 by Carina Press

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Wolf Nip - Book Review by Voodoo Bride (and a giveaway)


Wolf Nip (Granite Lake Wolves #6)
by Vivian Arend

ebook, novella

What is it about:
Tessa Williams is looking to make her mark outside the family business, and the unusual landlocked paddle wheeler she spots in Haines, Alaska, strikes her as the perfect location. Only the owner is being difficult, refusing to sell. Still, she’s sure that replacing her written queries with a little in-person charm is all she’ll need to shortly have her Eco-tour B&B on the road to success.

Local wolf-slash-owner of said vessel, Mark Weaver, isn’t hanging on to the landmark building out of spite. There are more reasons for holding back the sale than are easily explained on paper. A face-to-face meeting to resolve the matter only confounds it—when Mark recognizes Tessa as his mate.

But she’s a cat…and cats don’t do insta-mates.

The sexual attraction between them isn’t in question, just everything else. He wants her. She wants twue wuv. His wolf can’t figure out what the holdup is. Her cat thinks the entire situation, and the pack, are rather amusing.

Somewhere in here is the beginning of a beautiful relationship—if they don’t drive each other mad.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This series is so addicting.

When you pick up a Wolfie book by Vivian Arend you know you are in for a hot, romantic read.

Wolf Nip was everything I expected it to be:
Fun, romantic, and delicious.

I really liked the difference between how Tessa looks at mating and how Mark experiences it. It gave depth to both the romance and the world Arend created. I loved reading how Tessa and Mark grew closer together.

I did have one problem with this story I will confess. At a certain moment Tessa gets some well meaning advice from a friend. I didn't like what the friend was implying to be honest, although it might have been just my interpretation. But luckily that was just one small thing in an otherwise great story.

All in all this is a very satisfying read and I look forward to more shifter stories by Vivian Arend. I really hope she keeps them coming.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and hot Paranormal Read


Buy it here



And now for a giveaway!
Vivian Arend send me some Granite Lake Wolves Dog Tags.
The blue one is a special 2013 limited edition tag and is all mine, but I got a couple of extra black dog tags that are up for grabs.

So if you want a chance to win a dog tag:
- Leave a comment telling me if you read any of Vivian Arend's books
- Leave a way for me to contact you
- Do so before the 3rd of March 2013
I'll pick 4 winners soon after the closing date and contact them.
Open internationally and you don't need to be a follower.


Friday, 22 February 2013

Still Sucks to Be Me - Book Review


Still Sucks to Be Me: More All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton Smith, Teen Vampire (Sucks to Be Me #2)
by Kimberly Pauley


What is it about:
With vampire boyfriend George and best friend Serena by her side, Mina thought she had her whole life—or rather afterlife—ahead of her. But then Mina’s parents drop a bomb. They’re moving. To Louisiana. And not somewhere cool like New Orleans, but some teeny, tiny town where cheerleaders and jocks rule the school. Mina has to fake her death, change her name, and leave everything behind, including George and Serena. Not even the Vampire Council’s shape-shifting classes can cheer her up. Then Serena shows up on Mina’s doorstep with some news that sends Mina reeling. Mina may look a lot better with fangs, but her afterlife isn’t any less complicated!

What did I think of it:
This book certainly tested my patience.

It's in present tense. I do seem to run into present tense a lot lately.

And just as in the first book in this series it has lots of unnecessary Goth bashing. Seriously: what's up with that? You'd think that a book about a teenage vampire would have Goths as a potential audience, but the things said about Goths made me want to scream at the book and throw it across the room.

But because I enjoyed the first book (apart from the Goth bashing) I decided to refrain from throwing things and to keep reading.

And it turns out this book is a lot less enjoyable than the first book. Mina is a lot more annoying for one. The first half of the book is mostly Mina moaning about how much her life sucks. I know this series is about how much it sucks to be Mina, but it was a bit much for me.

After a slow start the action finally kicks in luckily enough and from there on out it gets more interesting. In the end this turned out to be a nice enough read, but I won't be rereading it, that's for sure.

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


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, 21 February 2013

On McPig's Wishlist - Silent Cravings

I love every book by Jess Haines I've read so far, so I'm really curious about this one.


Silent Cravings
by Jess Haines and E. Blix


The Goliath werewolves, a California pack hoping to expand into new territories, made an extreme error in judgment when choosing Christoph to be their representative for negotiations in New York. After two fights in the open with another supernatural, Christoph orders a lower-ranking teenaged Were to take the downfall for his mistakes by serving in his place under vampire Alec Royce’s watchful eye.

When Christoph and another packmate try to save the girl from Royce’s clutches—never mind the inevitable war they’d start in the process—the two are outcast from their pack. The vampire once again demands servitude as recompense, and they soon find themselves magically “neutered” by enchanted leather fetish collars so they can’t hurt themselves or anyone else in the vampire’s entourage. Hey, the collars were all Royce had handy at the time.

Just when Christoph thought it couldn’t get any worse, a mute vampire named Mouse decides to claim him, taking him for her own. She has her own set of problems, what with being mentally damaged by her sire, Max Carlyle, who delighted in enforcing her monstrous nature. She hungers for Christoph, but can’t stand to see someone victimized or—even worse—afraid of her.

Christoph is taught the greater lesson of what it really means to follow the Goliath Code of Honor and Mouse narrowly avoids a nervous breakdown in the process of accepting her own predatory nature. The two must learn how to live together (and deal with his new accessory)—without driving Royce and the rest of his household crazy in the process.


Pre-order from Musa


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Til The World Ends - Book Review


'Til The World Ends
by Julie Kagawa, Aguirre, Karen Duvall

Anthology

What is it about:
Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa:
Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden-as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What's worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she's beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems....

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre:
After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside-in the Red Zone-is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they'll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside...for good.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall:
Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms-in the cosmos and beyond. And she's not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She'll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.


What did I think of it:
Because this books contains three stories, I'll give my thoughts about each separate story.

Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa:
I liked this story.
The world building was done very well and the story was pretty intense. Especially the start of the story was very disturbing and creepy. I liked Kagawa's writing and I was hooked from the start. Near the ending the story lost its momentum and appeal to me, but the action scenes made up for that. Overall this was an enjoyable story and I'm tempted to pick up The Immortal Rules, the first book in the Blood of Eden series for which this story is the prequel.

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre:
I totally bought this book because it had a story by Ann Aguirre and I'm happy to say that Thistle & Thorne it just as cool as I had hoped it would be. Mari Thistle is a character I could relate to and I really liked how she doesn't immediately swoon all over Thorne, who's a definite 'bad boy'. Instead she is on her guard and knows just how dangerous Thorne can be. Thorne was a really cool character as well and I loved reading about how the two of them have to rely on each other and learn to trust each other to get things done. I fell in love with this story and hope Aguirre will write more stories about Thistle and Thorne.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall:
This was a nice enough story, but it wasn't for me.
Duvall went for the Doomsday scenario where all of humankind will perish if the lead characters of the story don't succeed. I'm not a big fan of total doom stories and that's why this story fell short for me. The writing was pleasant though, so I might try another book by Duvall sometime.

In conclusion: This is a really enjoyable book that I can recommend to anyone who loves post-apocalyptic settings.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool collection of post-apocalyptic stories


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Teaser Tuesdays - Omega

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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 teasers!


Randa wasn't buying it. All her training - and, hell, her whole life had been training - told her that if you wanted to kill the snake, you took off its head. She closed the distance remaining between her and Will.
(page 26, Omega by Susannah Sandlin)


Monday, 18 February 2013

Shaedes of Gray - Book Review


Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin #1)
by Amanda Bonilla


What is it about:
Darian has lived alone for almost a century in the shadows of the night. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer, Tyler, at arm's length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers is necessary to protect the innocent—and a welcome distraction. But when Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she has taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished.


What did I think of it:
This is a nice read.

I really liked the world building and creatures Bonilla came up with. They were different and intriguing.

I had some trouble with Darian at times. For someone who's been an assassin for that long she didn't act like it. She was rash and gullible in my opinion. But she grew on me, flaws and all. Of the other characters I really liked Raif, who becomes her instructor. He was mysterious and very intriguing. Darian's love interest Tyler didn't get enough screentime to get a good grip on him I will confess. So far he has't made a big impression on me yet.

The story itself was complex and with lots of intrigue. At times I feared Bonilla was making it too much of an 'end of the world' disaster if Darian would fail, but luckily she managed to keep a balance I could live with.

In the end I very much enjoyed this book and I'm curious where Bonilla will go from here, so I will probably continue reading this series.

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


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Cover Reveal - Ruby

Do we have a special Valentine's Day treat for you!

The cover of Ruby, book 3 in the Facets of Passion series by Jeffe Kennedy. (click on the picture for a better view)

Isn't it gorgeous?!


Ruby By Jeffe Kennedy
What happens when an ambitious young editor encounters a sexy Cajun chef and gives herself over to the wild festivities of Mardis Gras. (Takes place in New Orleans)

Ruby will release on May 28, 2013





Read Voodoo Bride's review of Platinum, the second book in the Facets of Passion series here
Platinum will release Februari 25, 2013


Make sure to put these books on your wishlist, because they are deliciously hot!


On McPig's Wishlist - Wicked as She Wants

I will confess I'm both looking forward to this book and dreading it.

I loved Wicked as They Come, the first book in this series, but very much disliked Casper in that book. He's the lead character in Wicked as She Wants, so I'm hoping I will like him in this book.


Wicked as She Wants (Blud #2)
by Delilah S. Dawson


When Blud princess Ahnastasia wakes up, drained and starving in a suitcase, she’s not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both sensations is a handsome and mysterious man named Casper Sterling. Once the most celebrated musician in London, Sangland, he’s fallen on hard times. Now, much to Ahna’s frustration, the debauched and reckless human is her only ticket back home to the snow-rimmed and magical land of Freesia.

Together with Casper’s prickly charge, a scrappy orphan named Keen, they seek passage to Ahna’s homeland, where a power-hungry sorceress named Ravenna holds the royal family in thrall. Traveling from the back alleys of London to the sparkling minarets of Muscovy, Ahna discovers that Freesia holds new perils and dangerous foes. Back in her country, she is forced to choose between the heart she never knew she had and the land that she was born to rule. But with Casper’s help, Ahna may find a way to have it all...


Expected publication: April 30th 2013 by Pocket Books

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Tiger's Eye - Book Review


Tiger's Eye (A Stacy Justice Mystery #3)
by Barbra Annino


What is it about:
Stacy Justice is looking forward to a lazy summer of hot dogs and beer; swims in the lake with her Great Dane, Thor; and hanging with her rekindled old flame, Chance. But when she gets a creepy anonymous call hinting that her father’s “accidental” death fourteen years ago was actually a murder, she’s too unsettled to relax. Stacy has blamed herself for his death all along—in fact, it’s the reason she’s fought so hard against being a witch. But who’d want to kill an innocent small-time newspaperman?

That’s the question on Stacy’s mind when she casts a spell that goes horribly wrong. And between the white tiger that keeps appearing out of thin air, the body in the lake, the feisty razor-toothed Chihuahua, and the gun-toting maniac, she suddenly has her hands full once again. But solving the mystery of her father’s death is Stacy’s number-one priority…and avenging it, if necessary, is a very close second.


What did I think of it:
This is a fun read.

This book mixes cozy mystery with paranormal elements and does a good job at it.

I really liked Annino's writing style, which was fun, fast paced and funny.

Although this is the third book in the series and there's a warning in the front of the book that you should read the books in order, this book was perfectly readable as a stand alone. Of course there's mention of things that happened in the other books, but in no way did I feel confused or like I was missing vital information.

Stacy is a fun and quirky character and I loved that she has a Great Dane as her sidekick. I also really liked Stacy's grandmother and great aunts. Just those old ladies alone are enough to make me want to read the other books as well to find out more about them. Luckily they aren't the only thing that makes this a fun read, so I know I won't be disappointed if it turns out they aren't in the other books.

All in all this is a fast and enjoyable read with intriguing characters and a solid murder mystery.

Why should you read it:
It's a cozy paranormal murder mystery.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

On Voodoo Bride's Radar - Sky Tinted Water

No Teaser today, but a book that is on Voodoo Bride's radar and that she hopes to read soon.


Sky Tinted Water (Sky Tinted Water, #1)
by Keta Diablo


Familial bonds, malevolent schemes and passion collide in this sweet historical novel. Set in Minnesota during the Civil War and the Sioux uprising, this is the story of Rory Hudson, the exquisite Irish lass with an unbreakable spirit and the enigmatic Dawson Finch, a man bound by honor, duty and loyalty.

When Dawson enlists in the army to bring peace to nation divided, Rory’s world plummets into a tailspin. War, distance and time separate them, but nothing can dispel the haunting memories of their love. Not even death can destroy their fierce passion or a love so strong it beats the odds of the impossible.




This book is labeled as a 'Sweet' Historical Romance.
Voodoo Bride and I read some other books by Keta Diablo and loved those, so Voodoo Bride has high hopes for this book.


Buy from:
Amazon
Barnes and Nobles
Kobo

And you can read an excerpt here



The second book, Sky Dance, is coming to a Kindle and Nook near you in March - 2013


Monday, 11 February 2013

Wolf Line - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Wolf Line (Granite Lake Wolves #5)
by Vivian Arend

ebook, novella

What is it about:
Jared s not sure how his quiet morning coffee near the harbour ended with him on a cruise ship impersonating one of his pack mates. Well, it might have something to do with a woman, but who can blame him? The female of the species was made to love, and he s more than willing to share his considerable skills in that area. Especially since he figures the chances of meeting his own one-and-only are slim.

Keri Smith is positive the last-minute recruit sneaking aboard the Arctic Wolf Cruise Lines tour is her mate. Ix-nay on confirming that, though, at least for the next ten days. She's promised her best friend to be overall troubleshooter for the shifter-only cruise. Getting tangled up in mating lust would reduce her skills to nil. Avoidance of the sexy wolf for the duration of the cruise, followed by jumping his bones, seems the logical solution.

But when libidos are on the line, logic and wolves don t go together. Throw in suspicions of wrongdoing, and these two virtual strangers will need a lot more than luck to find their way through to forever.

Warning: Really? You need to be warned about the hot nookie and sarcasm? Yeah, it s in here. Also colourful cat shifters, lupine royalty, and wild adventures in cabins like you've never seen before.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I absolutely adore Arend's Wolfie books and this one is yet another great addition to the series.

It's a fun story full of misunderstandings, sexual tension and sizzling hot romance.

Usually I don't like romances that are full of misunderstandings (they often make me cringe and want to kick the characters), but Arend manages to pull it off in a way that I enjoyed. It didn't feel forced and it never got to a point that it started to annoy me. Instead it drove the story forward in a natural way.

I really liked Jared and Keri and the sexual tension between them was delicious. By now I expect Arend to be able to deliver a hot and satisfying romance and she certainly lives up to my expectations once again.

All in all this is a delicious read and it even gets bonus points for having a The Princess Bride reference. I'll be rereading it often, just like the other Wolfie books and I will certainly read the next book, Wolf Nip, as soon as possible.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable and hot Paranormal Romance.


Buy from Samhain

Friday, 8 February 2013

Once - Book Review


Once (Eve #2)
by Anna Carey


What is it about:
When you're being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.

But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.


What did I think of it:
There's one thing that occurred to me when reading this book. In most Dystopian YA books there's horrible things happening to the women, but somehow those things never happen to the heroine. Somehow the heroine manages to escape the terrible things that happen to those around her. Not because she is strong or smart or something like that. No: she escapes those horrors because she's 'special'.

What's up with that?

Someone please give me the name of a Dystopian YA where the heroine is just as humiliated, tortured, etc.. as the others around her.

Now I have that off my chest, on to my further thoughts on Once.

I will confess I liked this book more than the first. The first was enjoyable, but full of plot holes and left me wondering about a lot. Most of all I couldn't understand why the king was so determined to get his hands on Eve.

Once did answer that question very nicely I must say.

The world building is still not making sense most of the time though, but overall this book felt more solid than Eve. I really liked some of the new characters Eve encounters in this book and Eve herself is growing up a bit, although she still acts rather unthinkingly at times and she's very gullible as well.

The setting is less interesting than in Eve. The city is just that: a city. I had hoped for it to have a bit more Dystopian feel to it, but alas. The story made up for it though.

So my grumblings on world building and setting aside this is a very enjoyable Dystopian YA read. It does end with quite a cliffhanger though and I will confess I already pre-ordered the last book in this trilogy because I have to know how this series will end.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Dystopian YA read.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, 7 February 2013

On McPig's Wishlist - The Night Itself

I decided to do a wishlist post on Thursday from now on, so I don't have two memes in a row. So from now on, expect reviews on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and teasers and wishlists on Tuesday and Thursday.


The Night Itself (The Name of the Blade #1)
by Zoƫ Marriott


When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana - an ancestral Japanese sword - out of its hiding place in her parent's attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London, or the family secrets that she is going to uncover.

The paralysing paranoia that descends on her before she gets to her friend's party is her first clue. The vivid and terrifying visions that nearly get her killed are a pretty good warning too.

The giant nine-tailed cat demon that comes after the sword and tries to rip her throat out? Overkill.

Seconds away from becoming kitty-food, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a mysterious warrior boy. But it's already too late. Mio has ruptured the veil between the mortal realm and the Underworld, and now the gods and monsters of ancient Japan stalk the streets of London, searching for her and the sword.

With the help of her best friend Jack, a fox spirit named Hikaru - and the devoted protection of the betwitchingly familiar Shinobu - Mio attempts to discover the true nature of the sword and its connection to the Yamato family. Because if she doesn't learn how to control the katana's incredible powers, she's in danger of being overwhelmed by them. And if she can't keep the sword safe from the terrible creatures who want it for their own, she'll lose not only her own life... but the love of a lifetime.


Expected publication: July 4th 2013 by Walker Books


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Level 2 - Book Review


Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles #1)
by Lenore Appelhans


What is it about:
'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.


What did I think of it:
This was a nice enough read, but I couldn't help thinking that it could have been a lot better.

So there's these two sides: the bad guys and the rebellion. Felicia gets recruited by the rebellion and has to decide if she's OK with that.

In a case like that I want to see what the bad guys are like. What they're doing that's so horrible...

Yeah, not so much!

Only near the end of the book to we get a glimpse of the bad guys. For most part of the book it's the rebellion telling Felicia that the other side is wrong and Felicia taking their word for granted even though the rebellion isn't that fantastic with their actions itself either.

To top it all off: the book is written in present tense. I will confess I almost put the book down halfway through, but I was curious if the so called bad guys would finally show themselves, so I kept reading.

Apart from all that I also wondered about Felicia's priorities. In my opinion she isn't doing what I think she should be doing and isn't asking the questions she should be asking. Overall I didn't really like her I must confess. And then I'm not even talking about how much I disliked her bland boyfriend Neil, who she keeps pining over throughout the story.

All in all this is a fairly nice story if you don't look at it too closely and don't mind present tense too much. I don't think I'll be reading the sequel though.

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


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Teaser Tuesdays - Tiger's Eye

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 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 teasers!

I'm really enjoying this book, which I won in a giveaway at The Qwillery.


The reception was scratchy, like an untuned radio dial.
"Dead men tell no tales."
(page 157, Tiger's Eye by Barbra Annino)


Monday, 4 February 2013

Prized - Book Review


Prized (Birthmarked #2)
by Caragh M. O'Brien


What is it about:
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?

What did I think of it:
What I liked about the first book, Birthmarked, is that there was no love triangle. This book however has a love square. And all the beard shaving! At least two beards are the victim of a razor blade.

Those things apart, this is a very cool read. I like the world O'Brien creates and I like how Gaia isn't some wonderteen as is the case with the heroine in many Dystopian YA books. Instead Gaia is insecure and afraid at times and makes some stupid mistakes. I really rooted for her to solve her problems and it was great to see her grow throughout the story.

Of her three admirers I will confess that I didn't like the love interest from the first book the best as is usually the case. I actually liked the minor love interest of the three the best, he's an intriguing character who could have had a lot more screen time in my opinion. I hope we'll see more of him in the next book.

The story itself is full of moral questions and makes you think. It was intense at times and I couldn't put the book down until I finished it.

I am really curious how this trilogy will end and I will be getting my trotters on the last book as soon as I can.

Why should you read it:
It's an intense Dystopian YA read.




Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday, 1 February 2013

Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts - Book Review


Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts
by Heather Massey

(ebook, novella)

What is it about:
The West just got a whole lot wilder.

A woman on a mission... Scientific achievement isn't enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits…until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet's father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.

A man with a secret... Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can't let Violet waltz into the villain's lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she's also the most compelling woman he's ever known.

A perilous quest... Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father's latest invention and the world's most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan's resistance isn't clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion's diabolical devices, and by then, it's far too late.


What did I think of it:
This is a very entertaining Western Steampunk romp.

Although there's a romance it doesn't take front seat. Instead this story is very action driven and it's cool action I can tell you. I loved the setting and the atmosphere of the story. It reminded me of the movie Wild Wild West in a good way.

Both Violet and Logan are fun characters and even though it's clear from the start that Logan isn't who Violet assumes he is I was rooting for them to succeed in their endeavors. I liked how Violet wasn't a helpless damsel in distress, instead she could handle herself and at times she was the one who saved the day.

The romance is subtle, maybe too subtle for those people who are looking for a passionate romance, but for me it worked. There's a definite connection between Violet and Logan, but because of the circumstances they find themselves in they can't act on it.

All in all this is a fun, quick read with lots of cool action and a nice romance to top it off. I hope Massey will write more stories in this setting.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Western Steampunk Adventure Romance.


Expected publication: February 4th 2013 by Lyrical Press




January RAK

I received lots of cool books in January because it was my birthday. Most of them weren't RAK gifts, but I'll show them anyway.


I received Shaedes of Gray from Melliane
Once from Stella
And two Mangas from Beanie


I also received Second Grave on the Left from Melliane
And Left Hand Magic from Stella


And last, but not least:
I received Three Days to Dead from Susi





I send out a RAK myself in January as well and I'm joining RAK for February of course.

===================
RAK:

The RAK movement (=Random Acts of Kindness): it is an initiative organized by the Ladies at the Book Soulmates where everyone posts their whislists and then other people realize one (or more) wishes of a person. Meaning that they send some books to the lucky person they picked! Doesn't it sound fabulous?

Rules:

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.

• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)

• Create a wish list and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}

• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.

• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!

• Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.

Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!