Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blog Tour Book Review: Arise by Amber Garr

On tour with Bookshelf Confessions

Author: Amber Garr
Series: The Syrenka #3
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: July 4th 2012
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

With power comes the responsibility to accept its consequences.

After the betrayal of those closest to her, Eviana Dumahl struggles to cope with her new reality. Kidnapped, broken, and confused, she is forced to engage in a war that will alter merfolk politics forever. With her estranged father leading the charge, Eviana has no choice but to stand by his side. Her continued existence hinges on the acceptance of the power growing inside her, even when that means embracing the family’s dark lineage.

Kain Matthew will sacrifice the world for Eviana. And he is not alone. As time runs out, her friends fight to save her life and theirs. An unlikely alliance gives them the edge they need to take a stand, although it keeps Eviana’s heart trapped in the past. A new discovery explains some of her previous mistakes, but it may not be enough to stop her father’s plans. Merfolk, selkies, and water sprites work together to save their kind, only in this final battle, not everyone will survive.

In the striking series conclusion, Eviana will learn the true meaning of power, sacrifice, and love.

Arise was a book full of surprises. I honestly wasn't expecting half of the things that happened in this book. I liked that. A lot.

Eviana and her friends go through a lot of things into this last part of the trilogy. It seems as though their struggle to end Lucian's scheming and plans aren't going to end too soon. The best part of Arise is that we get to actually understand why Eviana was chosen as leader. She's much more mature than in Promises, much more focused on what she has to do for her clan and for all the creatures in the sea and humans as well. When given the chance, she chooses to face the danger, rather than flee from it. I liked that she was that strong. I also loved Kain.

Arise has everything I had hoped for: great action, suspense, thriller, some heart-breaking scenes, happy endings and tragedy. I was completely sucked in by the book. I was actually half afraid to take a break from reading, not wanting to waste time or lose focus. For me, this was one of those books that keep you so focused on the things that happen, you just can't stop reading.

Trust me when I tell you that this is a trilogy you don't want to miss. The only thing I regret is that the series ended. I truly loved Eviana, Brendan, Kain and all the other characters, as well as the world in this trilogy.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

August in Retrospect

Hey everyone! I know I've been a "little" absent with my posts this month. August was a pretty difficult month, what with the heat wave and all that. Plus I had some relatives visiting, so I couldn't spend as much time on my blog as I wanted. But I did manage to read a lot, which was awesome. I finally read the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I won the first book and then after I finished reading it I knew I couldn't wait for the paperbacks to get delivered and so I bought them all in e-books and read the entire series in 3 days. I'm glad I finally read it. I loooooved Rose and I loved Dimitri (how can someone in their right mind not love him though?). And now I'm waiting for the third Bloodlines book to come out in February 2013. It's actually cruel that readers get to read books so fast, but have to wait so damn long for a new book in a series to be released, you know?

Anyway, here are the books I read in August:

  1. Broken - Kelley Armstrong
  2. No Humans Involved - Kelley Armstrong
  3. His Heart For The Trusting - Lisa Mondello
  4. The More I See - Lisa Mondello
  5. Breaking The Rules - Cat Lavoie
  6. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
  7. Frostbite - Richelle Mead
  8. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
  9. Blood Promise - Richelle Mead
  10. Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
  11. Last Sacrifice - Richelle Mead
  12. Bloodlines - Richelle Mead
  13. The Golden Lilly - Richelle Mead
  14. Differential Equations - Julian Iragorri & Lou Aronica
  15. Betrayal - Amber Garr
  16. Arise - Amber Garr
  17. Soul Weaver - Hailey Edwards
Talk about a reading spree, huh? Anyway, I think I'm not wrong if I say this was the most productive month so far. I'm curious to see if I can beat that, but somehow I doubt it. 

I was missing this month, but I managed to write some reviews:
  1. Her Heart For The Asking - Lisa Mondello 
  2. His Heart For The Trusting - Lisa Mondello
  3. The More I See - Lisa Mondello
  4. Breaking the Rules - Cat Lavoie
  5. Betrayal - Amber Garr
  6. Soul Weaver - Hailey Edwards
  7. Differential Equations - Julian Iragorri & Lou Aronica
  8. Broken - Kelley Armstrong
I also managed to get a little closer to meeting my reading goals this month, more so than last year:

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge 14/20
New Author Challenge 2012 32/25 - FINISHED - the books I read over 25 don't count towards any goal, because I don't want to make it my goal to read more than 25 new authors this year. I might do it next year, but so far I'm happy I managed to finish one goal and I'll leave it at that. If I manage to read more new authors, then that's fine. If not, it's no big deal :P
100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012 62/100

I'm pretty proud of myself, let me tell you! Maybe there should be more heat waves in the future, so I can read more? *shakes head* That would be a bad idea though, as this year was awful, let me tell you! The A/C didn't manage to make even a little cold in the house, it was that hot. Some days, it was like it wasn't even on.

Anyway, so this was my month. How did you do last month with your reading?

Cover Love (25)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

My picks this week:

As with the first cover in this series, I love the frosty loon of it. And there's this air of mystery that the colors have, one that I love. I also love the way her hair is lifted up by the wind.

A Feast of Souls by Hailey Edwards

Photobucket Not as pretty as the first cover in the series, but it's still cool :D I'm also waiting to see how the story progresses.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

What are your picks this week for Cover Love?

Book Review: Blade Song by J. C. Daniels

Author: J. C. Daniels
Series: Colbana Files #1
Publisher: Shiloh Walker, Inc.
Release Date: August 1st 2012
My Rating: 4 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Kit Colbana—half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades—has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.

So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters—especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.

Or maybe it’s all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it’s because if she fails—she’s dead.

If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she’ll even live long to collect her fee…

No matter how many books from different genres I love, urban fantasy is still my favorite. Blade Song was an amazing read and I had a blast reading it.

J.C Daniels, also known as Shiloh Walker, managed to build an amazing world with this book. The first thing that stuck with me after I finished reading Blade Song was the fact that for once, vampires (or a certain vampire) weren't among the good guys. That was fresh and new for me. Even though a twisted part of me still thought that the vamp was incredibly hot (what can I say, I have a soft spot for the creatures), I liked the break from the usual image of the good blood-sucking guy. I also liked the fresh take on vampires and how they feed and their powers and the bond between them and their victims.

I enjoyed the fact that there were many creatures (some of them new to me) and the fact that we get to learn about their society and how they interact and the hierarchy and all that. It wasn't too much information, like it sometimes happens with a first book in a new series, but it was enough for me to understand the world in which the plots evolve. There aren't too many descriptions, but I loved that because I could let my imagination run wild and make the world of Blade Song unique for me.

I really liked Kit. She was one of those tough heroines that know when to be soft and compassionate as well. She's impulsive, reckless and has a thing for weapons, which I understood completely and I loved her for it. I also liked to see her interact with Damon (sexy name, by the way). Their relationship started off really wrong, but they managed to get past that.

There were things that I didn't completely understand in Kit's behavior at times, such as the fact that even though she's amazing with her sword, we never actually see her using it in battle. I would've wanted to see that. Also I felt that at times Kit felt the need to repeat herself more times than necessary. I understood her need to always lash out at people when they got too close, though. With her background, it's a wonder she doesn't kick everybody's ass before asking what they want from her and why.

If you love paranormal, urban fantasy and strong heroines, do check this book out. You won't be sorry. No to wait for the second book in the series, Night Blade.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: Broken by Kelley Armstrong

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #6
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: April 25th 2006
My Rating: 4 cups
Burb: (from Goodreads)

In this thrilling new novel from the author of Industrial Magic, a pregnant werewolf may have unwittingly unleashed Jack the Ripper on the twenty-first century — and become his next target…

Ever since she discovered she’s pregnant, Elena Michaels has been on edge. After all, she’s never heard of another living female werewolf, let alone one who’s given birth. But thankfully, her expertise is needed to retrieve a stolen letter allegedly written by Jack the Ripper. As a distraction, the job seems simple enough — only the letter contains a portal to Victorian London’s underworld, which Elena inadvertently triggers — unleashing a vicious killer and a pair of zombie thugs.

Now Elena must find a way to seal the portal before the unwelcome visitors get what they’re looking for — which, for some unknown reason, is Elena…

It was really nice to go back to the original narrator of this series. I kind of missed her sarcasm and her strength.

I felt like this book shows a completely different Elena. She's pregnant and, because she isn't allowed do to almost anything (by any of her pack mates), she's bored. She's also a little afraid I think. Being the only female werewolf, her pregnancy is a mystery for everyone and it's a reason for everyone to worry about her and her babies. For me it was a little strange seeing this side of her, because I'm used to a powerful, confident Elena, one that isn't afraid of anything and one that can do almost anything. Oh, and let's not forget about powerful, nothing-can-hurt-him Clay. But I think it was a good thing to see the vulnerable side of both of them. Makes them that much stronger and makes me love these characters more.

I also liked that we get to see Jamie. I really do love her!

The book was fast-paced, full of action, mystery, zombies and the occasionally funny dialogue, along with sarcasm. It isn't my favorite book of the series so far, but it is good. Now off to read about Jamie :D

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #2

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Each week, they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join, just link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Bookish Confessions
Everyone has at least one bookish confession (Anything! You dog ear, you hated a book but said you loved it, you have $500 library fines...anything goes!). Join us in spilling our deepest held secrets around one of our most beloved pastimes. Everyone has a bookish confession. What's yours?

  1. I hate hardbacks. I just cannot stand them. They're too big, to heavy and they have a jacket that will most likely get ruined no matter how much I try to handle them with care. Also, I can't be sneaky during classes and pretend to pay attention while I'm actually reading the book that's on my lap, hidden by my backpack :P
  2. If a book is boring, I stop reading it. This is something that happens no matter where I am with my reading: the beginning of the book, the middle or 30 pages before the ending. If it doesn't make me want to turn the page, I won't. I figure I spent 12 years reading books I hated just because I wanted to avoid getting a bad grade, I will NOT do that with the book I read in my free time. Call me shallow, but I'd rather re-read a book I loved than finish a book I hate.
  3. Guest posts are fun, but finding the topic kills me. I'd rather do an interview with an author than find a topic for a guest post. I lack imagination with this kind of things. Plus, what if I choose a topic that has already been used for a certain author? I know, the chances are slim, but they still exist. 
  4. I usually shy away from books that get too popular, too fast. It happened with Harry Potter, it happened with Lord of the Rings and with a lot of other books. Some of those I've read and discovered the popularity and the almost hysteria is more than understandable and I in fact loved the books. Some I hated. I don't know why, maybe because hearing about them so much sets a higher level of expectations and it's easier for the book(s) to let me down. 
  5. I have no problem rereading a book more than 3 times. There are books (mostly series) that I love beyond what's "natural". You could call it obsession. For example the Dark Hunters series. I have lost count of how many times I've reread them. Same with Harry Potter and many other books and series.  I know the ending, I know the middle and I know what happens. But I still reread them with the same joy and whatever you want to call it, either pleasure or anxiousness or whatever, as the first time I read the book. (The same thing goes for a certain song that I get obsessed with and I'll listen to just that song for an entire day without getting bored *shrug* I'm a weird person, I know)
  6. I read the last few sentences of the book before deciding if I want to buy it. This happens if I don't know the author and, therefore, I'm not familiar with his/her works. Funny thing though, if I decide to buy the book and I finish reading it, I almost always forget the fact that I have an idea of how the story's going to end. It's like my brain hits a "delete" button or something.
  7. I have a mini-soundtrack list for each and every book I read. It happens with every book. Because I can't function without background noise (another testament to my craziness), I always read with music. So it happens that sometimes a certain song is perfect for a certain scene in a book, so I write it down or save it in a different playlist. By the end of that book I'll have at least 6 songs that I know will always remind me of that book. I might share those soundtracks soon ;) 
  8. I hate to see a mark/price tags or anything on my books. I hate it when bookshops stick the price directly on the cover. It looks ugly. That's why I tend to buy books from bookshops that don't do that. Shallow, I know, but I'd rather have a book wrapped in plastic with no way to check if it might be something I'd enjoy reading and therefore taking a risk in buying it, than have papers with prices stuck on the cover. 
  9. I'm obsessed with bookmarks. It's true, I collect them. And I have doubles, because I hate ruining the ones that I collect. And so I use and reuse the doubles until they're ruined and I have to go hunt for new ones. The ones that are intact or the ones I have only one copy of I keep them in a folder, wrapped in plastic. Will share photos sometimes this week.
  10. If I don't like one book of an author, chances are I won't be checking a different book by the same author. Again, it might sound shallow. But I can't imagine liking something by that author if I don't like the writing style in a book I didn't finish/disliked by him/her. It never happened before, to have a surprise like that. On the other hand, if I do like a book I randomly picked by an author, chances are I'll be checking most if not all of his/her works. 
I can think of many more "vices", pet peeves and such when it comes to books, but I'll stop at 10. I think I already sound like a crazy woman, there's no need proving it beyond a shadow of a doubt, right? *grin* Anyway, these 10 are the most important ones. 

What are your bookish confessions? 
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