Wednesday 31 October 2018

The Caged Queen - Book Review

The Caged Queen (Iskari #2)
by Kristen Ciccarelli

What is it about:
Roa and her sister Essie were born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. It was a magic they cherished - until the terrible day Essie died and her soul was trapped in this world.

Dax, the heir to the throne of Firgaard, was responsible. Roa swore she would never forgive him - yet when he came begging for her help to dethrone his cruel father, Roa made him a deal. She'd give him the army he needed if he made her queen.

Now, even after everything she has sacrificed, Dax's promises go unfulfilled. Roa's people still suffer.

Then a chance to right every wrong arises - an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa can reclaim her sister for good.

All she has to do is kill the king...

What did I think of it:
I loved The Last Namsara, so had to get my trotters on this companion novel.

And this is yet another great read.

I love Ciccarelli's writing and her worldbuilding. The people of the scrublands and their customs sounded very intriguing and interesting. And I fell in love with Roa immediately. She is fierce, passionate, and willing to do anything for those she loves. If she has flaws, it's that she is stubborn and unable to communicate when needed. If only she would sit down and talk with the people close to her, it would have made life a lot easier for her.

Dax however is being a total shit. If I had been Roa, I'd have killed him or done worse to him long before the Relinquishing. If not for the glimpses of their shared past at the start of chapters, and his actions in The Last Namsara I'd have wanted him dead. But Ciccarelli manages to create a balance where I was eager to find out what was going on with him, and if he'd shape up before Roa set her plans in motion. And if he did: what would Roa do? Still go through with her plan or find another way to save her sister?

I will confess there were events I saw coming, others were a surprise. I rooted for Roa, wanted to shake sense in her, was angry with and at her, and couldn't put the book down. I still love The Last Namsara best, but this book is a great addition to this series. You bet I'll get my trotters on the third book once available.

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

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - Once Bitten, Twice Shy

This is a reread, but I can tell you I remember nothing of the story. That might be a bad thing... We will see.

"No, stay. There is a, there was a..." He stopped, pulled himself together. "I found a snake in my luggage."

(page 81, Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin)

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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!

Friday 26 October 2018

The Cruel Prince - Book Rant

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
by Holly Black

What is it about:
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

What did I think of it:

I should have known this book would push my pet peeve buttons. With a title like The Cruel Prince, and with a gazillion people sighing dreamily over Prince Cardan, I should have known!

But I loved other books by Black, and if Cardan was a love interest: how bad could he be?


This book mixes two of my biggest pet peeves:
1 - Poor bully only bullies because he is bullied himself.
2 - He only bullies her because he likes her!

If you are bullied and decide that bullying others who have nothing to do with you being bullied is your way to cope, you're not a "poor bully", you are a jerk!
If you bully a girl because you like her, you don't deserve her, and she should realize she deserves much much better than you!

So yes: I hated Cardan, and could kick Jude for feeling sorry for him and feeling attraction. And don't get me started on the other participants in this messy drama. There's Locke who tries to win Jude's heart, but his intentions were so clear, that I wondered why it was in there except for it being an easy way to give Jude information about a certain plot point, and to add some extra love drama.

That I did actually read the whole book, was because I liked the worldbuilding, some of the other characters, and some of the storylines. And - I confess - I was curious if things were indeed as obvious as I thought they were. All in all I don't think I'll read more books in this series. Cardan and Jude can go bully each other for all I care, but I'm not staying to watch this train wreck.

Why should you read it:
If you like bullies enemies to lovers, and can stick it out for a few more books, maybe you'll like this.

Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 24 October 2018

The Bridge Kingdom - Audio Book Review

The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1)
by Danielle L. Jensen

What is it about:
What if you fell in love with the one person you'd sworn to destroy?

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil - and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara's homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home - a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas - and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore.

Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

What did I think of it:
Apart from the occasional short story, I'm not really an audio book listener/reader. I will confess I get easily bored, and on top of that the narrators take so much longer reading it to me, than I can read it myself. Also: i'm totally not a multi-tasker: there's only so much I can do while listening to a story. Therefor I was all set to wait for this book to be released in print, but I couldn't resist joining a giveaway for the Audible version. And I won! So I decided to give the audio book a chance, because it sounded like my kind of story.

And this story is so good I actually finished the audio book! I will confess that during the first few chapters I wondered if I would stick it out. The narrators at times really annoyed me with how they did the voices. I mean: why would an excellent spy master sound like a velvety snake ready to poison you. Really: he sounded like you should count all your digits after just talking with him.

But narration aside I was soon caught up in the story. I wanted to know what would happen to Lara and Aren. I did crank up the speed of the narration (almost 12 hours normal speed) slowly to first x1.5, to finally x2 because I just couldn't wait the whole 12 hours to find out how this story would end, it was that good.

There were some things that were predictable, but much more that took me totally by surprise. Lara is a cool heroine, she is capable, smart, and can think on her feet, but it's also clear her education left out some important things, and what she has in learned wisdom, she lacks in actual street smarts. As she slowly gets to know her new husband and his country she starts to question everything she learned, and she starts to fall for his charm and apparent kindness. The attraction between them is clear, but Lara's secrets, and Aren's protectiveness toward his country make the romance between them slow burning, but good.

As Lara uncovers both truths and lies, and her feelings for Aren grow, she will have to decide if she will do what her father asked her, or if she will switch alliances. Here I could see certain things coming, and I wanted to kick Lara at times. Still I rooted for her, and hoped things would turn out right.

And the ending!

Man, I need the second book in this duology! So you bet I'll get the print version of this book once it releases, to read at my own speed and to hug. I'll probably also totally cave and get the audio version of the sequel once it releases, because I need to know what will happen next.

If you're a fan of audio books I can totally recommend this to you!

Why should you read it:
It's a suspenseful and awesome Fantasy read/listen.

Buy from Amazon

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - The Cruel Prince

I'm enjoying this book so far, but I've heard too many people mention the name of the big bully in this book with a swoony sigh, so I'm a bit apprehensive.


I allow myself to sink into a chair. It feels a little bit like expecting a proposal of marriage, only to get offered the role of mistress.

(page 86, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black)

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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!

Monday 22 October 2018

Duke of Sin - Book Review by Olivia

Today's review is by Olivia, as Voodoo Bride is on a short review break.

Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane #10)
by Elizabeth Hoyt

What is it about:

Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.


Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery's household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.


Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can't resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets—and neither may be as nefarious—or as innocent—as they appear...

What did Olivia think of it:
This book was recommended by Jeffe Kennedy, who thought we might like the hero, as he is more of a villain than a hero.

I will confess I was hooked after reading the dedication:
"This is for everyone who ever fell hopelessly in love with...
the Villain."

Yup, that's totally me! I can clearly remember the time when we were watching a movie, and I leaned over to Sullivan, and said: I think I know who the villain is. His reply: Yeah, because you like him.

And Val is indeed a delicious villain. He's vain, doesn't care about most others, is unapologetic, and a schemer. I loved him from the start. Bridget on the other hand is on the side of Good, and follows the rules of society. Spying on Val to get back the papers Val is using to blackmail her birth mother is as far as she'll go. But then he notices her, she gets under his spell, and a satisfying romance begins.

I love that Val is intrigued by Bridget's spying and instead of just firing her starts playing games with her to see if he can get under her skin. I loved their interactions, the clear attraction, and Bridget's attempts to 'save' the man she is falling in love with.

As the story progresses you discover some about Val's past, and you learn more about what makes him tick. It was so good to see that Hoyt didn't make this a story of redemption, but instead let's Val stay the person he is: he just learns to work around the rules Bridget thinks he should follow if he wants her to stay in his life. There is character growth, but it's in both of them.

There is a more dramatic storyline, but overall this book is fun, sexy, and delightful. I had a great time with this romance and you can be sure I'll be reading more of Hoyt's books. I've already investigated which ones sounded the most fun.

Why should you read it:
It's has the most delicious villain and he doesn't die!

Buy from bookdepository

Friday 19 October 2018

Valiant - Early Book Review

by Merrie Destefano

What is it about:
The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world.

Earth is in shambles. Everyone, even the poorest among us, invested in the Valiant’s space mining mission in the hopes we’d be saved from ourselves. But the second the ship leaves Earth’s atmosphere, our fate is sealed. The alien invasion begins. They pour into cities around the world through time portals, possessing humans, forcing us to kill one another.

And for whatever reason, my brother is their number one target.

Now the fate of the world lies in the hands of me, a seventeen-year-old girl, but with the help of my best friend, Justin―who’s suddenly starting to feel like more―maybe if we save my brother, we can save us all...

What did I think of it:
You can bet I pre-ordered this book after seeing the cover and reading the blurb. Then I was offered an Advance Reader Copy, and I just couldn't say no to the chance to read it early.

The book begins with a prologue to explain the situation and what is at stake: After the launch of the Valiant aliens attack earth and for some reason they're particularly interested in Sara's brother Gabe. Only minutes into the invasion he is killed. Then Sara meets an alien who sends her back in time and tells her it is important to keep Gabe alive if humanity is to survive.

And that's where the story really kicks off: Launch of the Valiant is near, Sara knows what's coming, and knows she has to keep her brother alive.

I was immediately drawn into the story which is a thrill ride of dangerous situations for Sara and her friends. As they barely escape one attack, the next danger is already waiting for them. This book is about 400 pages long, but with all the action it felt much shorter. I couldn't put it down, I had to know what would happen next, and if Sara and her friends manage to keep Gabe alive and out of the hands of the aliens.

In between the fighting, fleeing, and planning their next move Sara starts to realize she might be feeling more than friendship for her best friend Justin. This storyline takes second place (as it should in such a dangerous situation), but is very sweet. I also liked Sara's relationship with her friend Natalie which is one of mutual support. During their adventures they also meet other people, but when the aliens can take over a human body, who can you really trust?

All in all this is a really awesome, action-packed read, with twists and turns I didn't see coming and that kept me on the edge of my seat.

The book ends in a way that makes it work as a standalone, but it also made me more than eager for more. You bet this book ends up on my keeper shelves once my print copy arrives.

Why should you read it:
It's a thrilling and suspenseful YA SciFi read.

buy from bookdepository

Expected publication: December 4th 2018

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Year One - Slightly Ranty Book Review

Year One (Chronicles of The One #1)
by Nora Roberts

What is it about:
It began on New Year's Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed--and more than half of the world's population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river--or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

What did I think of it:

I had never read anything by Nora Roberts before, but the post apocalyptic nature of this book made me want to give it a try.

And I can tell you that the world building is terrific. The plague spreading, the chaos, the desperate attempts of people trying to get out of the big cities. I was totally hooked. Slowly the major players are introduced, and I like some, didn't care much for some others.

And that's where the story fell short for me. Soon it was clear that the couple I didn't much care for was the most important. Lana turns out to have a Virgin Mary kind of role in this story and the hints given before she finds out were not subtle. I grumbled a bit, but there was the other group of survivors who I liked, so I kept reading, wanting to know how they would cope.

Then the two groups meet up, there are of course Bad Guys after Mary Lana, and as she flees the story kept following her, never returning to the others, even though the story left them in quite a nasty situation.

I made it to the end of the book because I expected the story would switch back to my favorite characters, if I'd known the rest of the book would only be about Wonder Witch Lana I'd have stopped reading. What started out as a cool story with a mixed bag of characters, turned into a big disappointment. I won't be continuing with this series, I can tell you.

Why should you read it:
It has some cool characters and cool worldbuilding.

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - Duke of Sin

The Duke of Montgomery was a wicked, vain blackmailer. Evil and duplicitous. Not a man who should merit a second thought from her beyond her duties. And yet she had thought about him quite a lot since this morning.

(page 40, Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt)

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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!

Monday 15 October 2018

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - Book Review

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
by Kiersten White

What is it about:
Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

What did I think of it:
This is a re-imagining of Frankenstein, but told from the viewpoint of Elizabeth, Victor's childhood friend who eventually marries him.

And this is a wonderfully dark and atmospheric story. It starts with Elizabeth going in search of Victor while he is way to university, and switches back and forth between that timeline and events from the past. Slowly revealing how Elizabeth and Victor became friends, how they grew up together, and what's happening in both their lives in the 'now'.

As the story progresses you get a clear view inside the mind of Elizabeth, and it is not a nice place to be. Elizabeth is driven by the desire to stay alive and safe, and she is willing to do a lot to build a secure future for herself. But along the way she discovers dark and dangerous secrets, and she might actually be working towards disaster instead.

I could understand Elizabeth and rooted for her to succeed in her plans, even as I wanted to kick her for getting herself into trouble. I loved seeing this familiar story from Elizabeth's point of view, and I loved the changes White made to the story. It is a dark and delicious read.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderfully dark re-imagining of Frankenstein

buy from bookdepository

Saturday 13 October 2018

On McPig's Radar - It was a Small Affair

This is so tempting, as it's a time travel story. I might have to pick it up after I reduced my TBR pile a bit.

It was a Small Affair
by Ken Hart

On February 23, 1836, Mexican troops under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna took control of San Antonio de Bexar. Just before Santa Anna's arrival, the Texians retreated to the relative safety of the San Antonio de Valero Catholic Mission and the siege of the Alamo began. For twelve days, Santa Anna fired a continual cannon bombardment, and attacked with a flurry of cavalry and light infantry charges, all designed to keep the Alamo defenders stressfully awake. Late on March 5, the bombardment stopped, and the fatigued Alamo defenders fell into a deep sleep. The siege ended in the early hours of March 6 when Santa Anna committed over 2400 infantry and cavalry to attack the walls of the Alamo. By sunrise, all 188 of the Alamo defenders had been brutally slaughtered to the last man.

This is how history recorded the battle, but is this how it happened?

On February 23, 2010, an Army infantry squad, carrying ammunition to a training exercise is caught in a time rift that takes them to the Alamo, thirteen days before it fell.

Read an excerpt

Buy from Amazon

Friday 12 October 2018

Fringe Runner - Book Review (repost)

Fringe Runner (Fringe Series, #1)
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
The first in a new space opera series!

After the colonization of Mars and Europa, it took us fewer than five generations to reach beyond our solar system and discover new planets capable of supporting human life. Too far away to be governed under Earth law, the Collective was formed. Several hundred years later, the Collective has expanded to a thriving system of six inhabited worlds, but power struggles are common, and a seemingly inevitable interplanetary war looms on the horizon. It’s nearly impossible for the working class to make ends meet.

Aramis Reyne is one of the working class. An old space captain hounded by arthritis and war memories, he struggles to make enough credits to feed his crew and keep his ship flying by running mail and supplies to the farthest, most dangerous reaches of the Collective known as the fringe. When he’s offered a no-questions-asked contract to pick up a package, he jumps at the opportunity. But, he quickly learns that he should’ve asked questions…and that there are far worse things in the Collective than being broke.

What did I think of it:
If you haven't noticed I love Rachel Aukes' Deadland Saga, I haven't been singing its praises loud enough. So when I was asked to read and review her new book Fringe Runner, I jumped at the chance.

And Fringe Runner is a great read!

Obviously the Deadland Saga is better in my opinion (Zombies!), but Fringe Runner is a seriously cool SF adventure.

Reyne is a cool lead character. He's not a virile cocky alpha dude, but instead an older seasoned captain, struggling with age and his past. His crew is very interesting as well. My favorite was Throttle, the pilot and Reyne's adopted daughter. All of them get caught up in events that might destroy the life they have, and even kill them if they can't figure out what's going on.

I was hooked from the start. Aukes knows how to write a compelling story. There is lots of action, conspiracies, and dangerous situations. I liked getting to know Reyne and his past, and was rooting for him and his crew to come out of their predicament alive.

The world building is well done without unnecessary info dumps and while some things stay vague, there's enough explanation to be able to picture the planets and people Reyne and his crew encounter.

Some of the major story lines got their solution in this book, making sure you aren't left totally frustrated when finishing the book, but there's enough still unresolved to make you eager for the next book.

All in all I very much enjoyed this book and will be keeping an eye out for the next.

Why should you read it:
It's an action-packed SF adventure.

Find buy links here

Thursday 11 October 2018

Seasons of Sorcery - Cover Reveal

Seasons of Sorcery

An anthology of fantasy novellas for all seasons from the hottest authors of fantasy romance and urban fantasy.
Amanda Bouchet
Grace Draven
Jeffe Kennedy
Jennifer Estep

Coming November 13, 2018

Pre-order links:
Kobo - B&N - Amazon

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Collision - Book Review (repost)

Collision (Colliding Worlds Trilogy #1)
by Berinn Rae/Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
Sienna Wolfe knows it’s going to be an interesting day when a man with golden skin and strange tattoos crashes in her backyard… and ends up tied to her bedposts. She likes her life just the way it is – simple, easy, relaxed. But when the gorgeous new alien in her life asks for her help in an inter-galactic war on a collision course with earth, she can’t say no… but she’ll soon wish she had.

Sienna struggles with her new, unpredictable world, which includes trying to protect earth from alien domination and dodging attempts on her life. And to make matters worse, her greatest enemy – who just so happens to have annoyingly good looks – offers her a double-edged proposal to end the war. All she has to do is give up her freedom and turn her back on the love of her life. Now it’s up to Sienna to pull off the impossible: save the world and – hopefully – live a little happily ever after.

What did I think of it:
I absolutely love the Deadland Saga by Rachel Aukes. She also writes under the penname Berinn Rae*, so while waiting for the last book in the Deadland Saga, I decided to try Collision, the first book in a SciFi trilogy.

And this is a nice read.

I had expected more of a build up in the romance between Sienna and Legian, but that was not to be. They meet, they kiss, and Bam! They're a couple. I had liked to see a bit more development in that relationship to be honest. Because it was all so quick I didn't really feel invested in their relationship.

But that aside I enjoyed the story. The aliens are interesting, the whole set up intriguing and there's some cool action. I might have been disappointed in the romance, the overall action storyline made up for that.

The lead characters of the next two books are introduced, and I must say I'm very curious about book two in this trilogy.

So although this book isn't as cool as the Deadland Saga, it's still fun enough that I'll put it on my keeper shelves and will pick up the next book sometime.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable SciFi romance

*this series is now listed as written by Rachel Aukes*

Find buy links here

Tuesday 9 October 2018

The Arrows of the Heart - Release Day Book Review

The Arrows of the Heart (The Uncharted Realms #4)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:

As the Twelve Kingdoms and their allies are drawn toward war, a princess cast aside must discover a purpose she never dreamed of…

Karyn af Hardie behaved like a proper Dasnarian wife. She acquiesced, she accepted, she submitted. Until her husband gave her a choice: their loveless, unconsummated royal marriage—or her freedom. Karyn chose freedom. But with nowhere to run except into the arms of Dasnaria’s enemies, she wonders if she’s made a mistake. She wants love, security, a family. She can’t imagine finding any of it among the mercurial Tala.

Worst of all is Zyr. The uninhibited shapeshifter is everywhere she looks. He’s magnetic, relentless, teasing and tempting as if she’s free to take her pleasure where she wishes. As if there isn’t a war rising before them, against a vile and demanding force far stronger than they. But with Karyn’s loyalty far from certain, Zyr offers her only chance to aid the defense—a dangerous gambit to seek out a land not seen in centuries, using clues no one can decipher. Together, they’ll have every opportunity to fail—and one chance to steal something truly precious…

What did I (and Voodoo Bride) think of it:
If you've paid attention you know by now that Jeffe is one of my favorite authors, and I love her books. So it can't be a surprise that I got my greedy trotters on this book early and already read it (twice). Still I'm eager to get hold of a print copy to add to my keeper shelves.

This book is awesome!

Karyn and Zyr are great together. Karyn is on her own for the first time in her life, unused to making decisions for herself, and unused to handsome men flirting with her. For Zyr flirting with pretty girls seems to be as natural as breathing, but let me tell you: there is so much more to him than what he shows on the outside. I loved their banter, and the growing attraction between them. Voodoo Bride wants me to add that Zyr is the yummiest of all the yummy men in this series, and he is totally her favorite.

Next to the delicious romance there is a very cool action storyline. Karyn and Zyr are looking for a lost land, but others are seeking it as well. There is danger, and the things the two of them encounter and endure are creepy and disturbing. I was rooting for them to stay alive. I could wax poetic about all the cool and creepy stuff in this book, but it would be too spoilery though.

This being a Fantasy Romance there is a very satisfying end to this book, but the problems for the Twelve Kingdoms aren't over yet, so I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in this series, both hoping that everyone gets a happily-ever-after, and hoping that the happily-ever-after will take many books to reach.

Why should you read it:
It's a delicious Fantasy Romance

Find buy links here

Monday 8 October 2018

100 Days in Deadland - Book Review (repost)

100 Days in Deadland (Deadland, #1)
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
The world ended on a Thursday.

In one day, the world succumbed to a pestilence that decimated the living. In its place rose a new species: vicious, gruesome, wandering monsters with an insatiable hunger for the living. There is no government, no shelter.

Still in her twenties, Cash has watched her friends die, only to walk again. An office worker with few survival skills, she joins up with Clutch, a grizzled Army veteran with PTSD. Together, they flee the city and struggle through the nine circles of hell, with nothing but Clutch’s military experience and Cash’s determination to live. As they fight to survive in the zombie inferno, they quickly discover that nowhere is safe from the undead… or the living.

This is the beginning after the end.

(100 Days in Deadland is a modern remake of Dante's Inferno, the classic tale on the horrors of hell... zombie apocalypse style!)

What did I think of it:
I love zombie retellings of classics, so this modern zombie remake of Dante's Inferno was right up my alley.

And it's so good!

There's lots of cool zombie action, an intense story and characters you can really love.

Even though this book is filled with (subtle) references to Dante's Inferno I will confess that I didn't really take note of them, because the story is so good I was totally engrossed in it. Cash and Clutch are both awesome characters and I rooted for them to survive the ruthless zombie attacks and the even more vile attempts of other people to take away what little they have.

The story follows the descend into hell and with each new circle a new emotion gets introduced to the story. It makes for really intense reading as the sins and emotions that get thrown into the mix are getting gradually worse. There are some really gruesome scenes in this book and they fit the intensity of the story in my opinion. I kept cheering Cash and Clutch on, even as things seemed to go from bad to worse. At times Aukes gave Cash and Clutch some much needed reprieve from their trials and I rejoiced with them whenever things went well for them.

I can't give away too much about the ending without being too spoilery, but I can tell you I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series, because I need more!!

All in all this is a totally awesome post apocalyptic read that I can advice to anyone who loves a good zombie story. That it's a remake of Dante's Inferno is a bonus, but believe me: you don't need to have read it to enjoy and love this book.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome Post Apocalyptic read with lots of zombies.

Find buy links here

Friday 5 October 2018

Deadland Saga Now Available as Audiobook

by Rachel Aukes is now available as a single audiobook!

This is one of my favorite zombie series. There is lots of cool action, great characters, suspense, zombie mayhem, and difficult decisions.

THis audiobook contains all 3 novels in the Deadland Saga, which comes out to over 28 hours of listening. If you're an Audible customer, that's over a full day's worth of audio for a single credit. See it on Audible.

If you would rather read than listen: get the complete series here.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

A Blade So Black - Book Review

A Blade So Black
by L.L. McKinney

What is it about:
The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she's trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn't always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice's handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she'll need to use everything she's learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

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

I love Alice in Wonderland, so that's why I decided to pick up this book (the gorgeous cover was the icing on the cake).

Alice is a great heroine and I rooted for her from the start. I also loved her mentor Hatta. The book starts when they meet, and then soon jumps to the point where she's fully trained, kicking monster-butt, and the trouble starts.

I loved how Alice not only has to deal with Wonderland, but with mundane stuff as well. Her mother is making it difficult for her to go off monster hunting whenever she wants. Too often in books like this the teens get away with murder without their parents ever making an appearance. Alice's mom keeps a close eye on her and isn't afraid to ground her if she doesn't keep to her promises.

I liked seeing how the familiar characters from the original story were used in this book, and how McKinney gave her own spin to them. I also really enjoyed the scenes set in Wonderland. As the story unfolded and I got further into the book I was starting to worry how everything would turn out.

The ending was satisfying enough, although I had some minor grumbles. It does end in a way that I do want and need a sequel though, so I'll keep an eye out for news.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland

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Tuesday 2 October 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - Stalking Jack the Ripper

Honestly, I couldn't wait for them to be ready. Just because I studied cadavers didn't mean I couldn't appreciate beautiful garments.

(page 53, Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco)

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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!

Monday 1 October 2018

Give the Dark My Love - Book Review

Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1)
by Beth Revis

What is it about:
When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island's wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori "Grey" Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that's for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it's making its way toward the cities. With her family's life--and the lives of all of Lunar Island's citizens--on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy's most dangerous corners--and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

What did I think of it:
I will confess I thought this book would be creepier, but even though it's not I very much enjoyed it.

I liked Nedra and could understand her drive to find a cure for the plague that's taking the lives of the poor. The contrast between her and the rich students was stark and believable. I was invested in her well-being and her progress in finding the much needed cure. Grey was likeable enough, but a bit unthinking and shallow at times. The viewpoint switches between the two of them with the main focus on Nedra.

The progress of the story is slow, but not in a bad way. I liked how the pace mirrored the slow building frustration of Nedra. Only late in the book things speed up, when an important event drives the characters to act instead of trying to carefully plan their next steps.

If there was one thing that didn't work for me, it was the bond between Nedra and Grey. Grey works as a viewpoint character to show how the rich think and what is going on politically, but I couldn't really believe in the feelings he and Nedra had for each other. Mostly this is because he seemed too carefree and Nedra too focused on her work. There were not enough scenes for me to show how they fit together.

That aside I loved the story and the atmosphere. Even though it's not a creepy story, it is a dark one. The ending was very satisfying and makes this book work great as a standalone, but also leaving enough open to make you eager for more. I will certainly keep an eye out for a sequel.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and dark YA Fantasy read.

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