Thursday, August 30, 2012

Feature and Follow



Check out Alison Can Read's post on how to participate!

This weeks question is:

Q: Best cover? What is the best cover of a book that you've read and didn't like?



Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce was a DNF for me. I was really intrigued by the premise and think that the cover is FANTASTIC, but how stuff was turning out towards the end really really rankled me. I'm an oldest sister and related too much with Scarlett (oh snap, same name, just realized that) and her sister Rosie get's off WAY too easy. Not sure how it ends, not sure if I'll ever pick it back up.

How about you? 
 If you follow, please let me know how,
I'd love to return it ^__^



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest Post over at Alison Can Read: 3 books about Fighting Fair Maidens


Alison Can Read

Hey guys, while Alison of Alison Can Read is over in Europe I was given the great opportunity of doing a guest post on her blog. The theme was:


you should check it out and let me know what you think ^__^

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Shadowfell (Shadowfell #1) by Juliet Marillier


Overall Impression: 1/2

Source: Netgalley

Publication Date: September 11, 2012

Shorty Synopsis (Goodreads)Its name is spoken only in whispers, if the people of Alban dare to speak it at all: Shadowfell. The training ground for rebels seeking to free their land from the grip of the tyrannical king is so shrouded in mystery that most believe it to be a myth.

But for Neryn, Shadowfell's existence is her only hope. She is penniless, orphaned, and utterly alone - and concealing a treacherous magical power that will warrant her immediate enslavement should it be revealed. She finds hope of allies in the Good Folk, fey beings whom she must pretend she cannot see and who taunt her with chatter of prophecies and tests, and in a striking, mysterious stranger, who saves her from certain death but whose motives remain unclear. She knows she should not trust anyone with her plans, but something within her longs to confide in him.

Will Neryn be forced to make the dangerous journey alone? She must reach Shadowfell, not only to avenge her family and salvage her own life, but to rescue Alban itself.

This first novel in a new trilogy from enchanting fantasy author Juliet Marillier is a captivating tale of peril, courage, romance, and survival

My Review: I am a huge fan of Juliet Marillier. When I saw that she was coming out with a new series, I immediately knew that I wanted to read it. When I saw it was available on Netgalley I jumped for joy. When I actually got approved to read it... I literally gasped! I was so excited.

Then I started reading. While I could feel a certain immersion in the world and story that I normally get from Ms. Marillier's lush and descriptive writing, I wasn't able to feel for the characters as much. Yes, Neryn hasn't had a perfect life, pretty hard actually, and she has her faults, but usually there are some endearing qualities that help me like the characters despite their flaws. Not so much in this case. I felt that Neryn was really, really weak and though she protested that she could take care of herself, everything proved to the contrary and she was CONSTANTLY having to be taken care or saved, whether by the Good Folk or by humans. Yes, she had a special gift that would be of great use, and people told her she could do great things, but she didn't believe them. But when she did believe them it felt kind of prideful to me. Random, but that's the feeling I got.

And while I hope for love interests in all of my books, this one felt forced. Yes, she has a special gift, but she's a colossal weakling but you find her attractive and will spend so much time on helping her? And even though they were spending all of this time together, they couldn't really get to know one another because they both had so many secrets to keep and so things weren't progressing at all! It was kind of frustrating.

But I pushed through because despite my not liking Neryn and being annoyed by her weakness, the story was not the worst I had read lately and I wanted to finish it. At about 3/4ths of the way through the book, things start to pick up. Other characters are introduced and I could sense more complexities being introduced that will breath new depth into what was just surface stuff for the first part of the book.

While I did end up liking this book more than I would have at first supposed after starting, and I will definitely be picking up the next because I think it has the potential to be much much better than the first, and while I do really like Juliet Marillier, this seems to be another case of where her YA doesn't live up to the lushness of her other novels like the Seven Waters series. This one felt very much like a first book and was a bit difficult to get through, but towards the end (and it doesn't leave you hanging in any horrible way, which was really nice) as it starts to pick up and get other characters, I can see that it has a lot more potential.

Definitely worth the read, but you'll have to push through to the end. Lots of promise for what the series will hold though! This is Juliet Marillier after all.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Feature and Follow



Check out Alison Can Read's post on how to participate!

This weeks question is:

Q: Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you've read and loved?



Craptastic, yes? This cover doesn't even begin to express how interesting and awesome this book is. It has such an interesting premise and the tension between the two has a lot of potential. This is the first in a series and I'm excited to continue it.


How about you? 

Please let me know how you followed and I'll return the favor! 
Thanks for stopping by ^__^

Be sure to check out the GIVEAWAY I'm hosting


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a meme hosted weekly on Breaking the Spine. This is where, we the avid reader and blogger, share with others what it is that we are most looking forward to/ can't live without.

Title: The Mad Scientist's Daughter

Release: February 2013

Other: Be sure to check out the giveaway I am hosting for this book! (The cover was only just revealed yesterday!)

Brief Summary: There’s never been anyone - or anything - quite like Finn.

He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is to tutor Cat.

When the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.


My Reasoning: I LOVED The Assassin's Curse by Ms. Clarke and vowed to put anything else she wrote on my TBR. The title of her next book caught my eye, and now this cover is just gorgeous. The book kind of sounds like iRobot, but with a love story. So excited!

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke




Guys, I am so pleased to be a part of the cover release for Cassandra Rose Clarke's new book, The Mad Scientist's Daughter. 
The title alone is enough to catch my interest, but look at that cover! I LOVE the partial moon and the scratchy feel that contrasts with the curves of the title writing. This will be released in February 2013 by Angry Robot.
If the cover hasn't already caught your attention, here's the blurb:

There’s never been anyone - or anything - quite like Finn.

He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is to tutor Cat.

When the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

It has a bit of an iRobot feel to it, but with a love story. Sign me up!

And, because Angry Robot is so awesome, they're allowing me to host a giveaway for a limited print ARC copy. This is only open to US/Canada residents, ages 13 and up. Fill in the Rafflecopter below! Contest ends Saturday, August 25th 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: Dark Life (Dark Life #1) by Kat Falls


Overall Impression:

Source: Library

Publication Date: May 2012

Short Synopsis (Goodreads)A thrilling futuristic adventure set deep undersea, Dark Life follows the settlers of the world's first subsea settlement as they defend their homesteads against a brazen band of outlaws.

Set in an apocalyptic future where rising oceans have swallowed up entire regions and people live packed like sardines on the dry land left, DARK LIFE is the harrowing tale of underwater pioneers who have carved out a life for themselves in the harsh deep-sea environment, farming the seafloor in exchange for the land deed.

The story follows Ty, who has lived his whole life on his family's homestead and has dreams of claiming his own stake when he turns eighteen. But when outlaws' attacks on government supply ships and settlements...
My Review: I only recently discovered this book from another blogger, and am very glad I did. This book was so creative! First off, that cover pulls you right in, fantastic. And the title is very gripping too.

Right off the bat though, I was immersed in this world. It felt so real, so realistic and logical that I sometimes had to remind myself that, no, we don't have any underwater colonies (that I know of, if we did though, sign me up!). Honestly, that was the best part about this book and what I'm excited for as I continue the series, just how real it all is: houses shaped like jellyfish to help with the pressure, family sized subs, manta ray boards, people that glow when they blush because they eat bioluminescent fish....it just made so much sense!

And not that books have to be 100% fact based for me to enjoy them, but I do want to be immersed in the world to the point that I believe it's real and wonder why I never knew about it before. This book does that, in spades.

That being said, the story line was adequate. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Not many books that I read have leading male characters and it was fun getting to know things from Ty's perspective, but it didn't feel as solid as the world did to me. I was just kind of along for the ride, reading more from enjoyment than from a gripping need to know what happens next. Which is ok. Not every book I enjoy is going to consume me (probably a good thing) but this one did entertain.

Overall, a great world, an adequate story line, and something I am looking forward to returning to as the story continues. Recommended!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Netgalley update: The Archived by Victoria Schwab Sneek Peek available as READ NOW

HEY YOU GUYS!
Disney-Hyperion has made a sneek peek of
The Archived by Victoria Schwab



available on Netgalley as a READ NOW. 
Not sure if it's the full thing, it lists at 108 pages and is 9 chapters long, but maybe that's just the galley being weird, and maybe it really is just half of the book. Oh well, it's something.

ENJOY!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday



Check out Alison Can Read's post on how to participate!

This weeks question is:

Q: What would you do over if you were to start your blog again from scratch?


hmm, good question. Probably not postpone it for so long. I was really nervous and did a lot of research into what to do for reviews and how to put things together. I wish I just would have gone for it quicker and learned more along the way.

At the same time, I wish I had known more about blogging in general, or html, etc. There are SO many beautiful blogs out there, it's kind of intimidating, and yet inspiring at the same time. 

At the end of the day, all I can do it read books for the fun of it and try and help others do the same!

Thanks for stopping by! 
Let me know how you followed, I'd love to return the favor :)

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab


Overall Impression:

Source: Library

Publication Date: August 2011

Short Synopsis (Goodreads)The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen.
The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy

My Review: There was quite a bit of hype concerning this book. I had some pretty high expect ions for it but ended up being a bit disappointed. It was good, just not as complex as I was expecting.

The writing was well done and it was easy to read. I was eager to follow along in the story and find out how things turn out and if everyone is alright. While there was some suspense and atmosphere, it wasn't quite what I had wanted from it. It's hard to articulate exactly what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. 

This was a good book, well written with an interesting premise. I think the hype built it up a bit too much for me to be completely blown away by it. It was diverting, but not much further. 

I am, however, really looking forward to Ms. Schwab's upcoming release, the Archived. That looks amazing!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cover Love: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #7)



I'm not sure exactly when this cover was revealed, but it's AWESOME! I LOVE this series and am so excited for the continuation of the story. The last book, River Marked, wasn't exactly my favorite, in cover (kind of looked like Kristen Stewart too much...not a fan!) or plot (Adam and Mercy are great, but I missed the secondary characters, it just wasn't the same without them), but was still pretty good. I have high hopes for this one! Release date is March 5th 2013 
(if anyone knows of any ARCs for this, or giveaways, I'm willing to sell my kidney for it!) 
(and thanks to addicted2heroines for putting this cover on my radar!)
oh, and if you haven't started this series yet, you are missing out on some seriously AMAZING paranormal. There's romance, but nothing explicit, but boy are you on tender hooks! Lots of swoon-worthy males, I'm telling you!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clark


Overall Impression

Be sure to check out the interview I did with Cassandra

Source: Netgalley

Publication Date: October 2nd, 2012

Short Synopsis (Goodreads)Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her. 

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.



My Review: Where to start with this book? Feisty pirate princesses, brooding assassin's, impossible curses, this book has it all! And the cover is gorgeous. It's simple and yet will look so good on my shelf (for this is definitely worth permanent collection).

Going into this I had pretty high expectations (did you read the synopsis? you would too with that). It starts off with a bit of writing in a dialect, and that threw me for about a paragraph, but then I was too busy laughing at Ananna's inner dialogue to care about how she said it. This girl is hilarious! And so believably authentic. Honestly, she's one of the easiest narrators to follow and I really, really enjoyed hearing the story from her point of view. There were details, but nothing too major, and her reactions are real. She's tough, but has a lot thrown at her and so I can understand her spazzing out sometimes. Not gonna lie, but I was picturing Korra from The Legend of Korra and it fits really really well.

Continuing on with the Avatar theme (and in a very good way, big fan of the show, even though this is set with a Middle Eastern flare to it) Naji totally glows blue! While he has the potential to be extremely swoon worthy, I didn't feel like I got to know him as well as I would have liked. He was certainly a brooding assassin, which is to be expected, but I'm looking forward to him thawing a bit more (and explaining things more!).

I was immediately immersed into the storyline and the world. There are some aspects that I wish could have been explained in a bit more detail (the Mists, etc) but what we get in this first installment is pretty darn awesome. There is character growth, frustration, terror, heartache....tons of really awesome stuff.

My only disappointment was that this isn't all it! I was hoping for this to be a single amazingly long stand alone but alas that was not the case. The next one, The Pirates Wish, is due out sometime next year. You can believe I will be getting my hands on that as soon as possible. I want both of these books on my shelves. I think it's an awesome story, but those titles just go so well together too (The Assassin's Curse & The Pirate's Wish...love it!).

Ms. Clarke is a stand-out debut author (anything else from her goes straight to my TBR) and I highly recommend reading this.....or no riding camels for you!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday


Check out Alison Can Read's post on how to participate!

Q: Do your reading habits change based on your mood? Do you read a certain genre if you are feeling depressed or happy?


Boy, do they ever! I'm a huge mood reader, which means I'm pretty finicky when it comes to reading what types of books when. I actually usually don't even know what type of book mood I'm in until I'm reading a book and it just isn't clicking, or it immediately clicks and I fly through it. Thus I'm usually 'reading' several books at a time, each a slightly different genre or story type, and pick them up depending on what I want to do.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Author Interview: Cassandra Rose Clarke

 

Authors Website
Strange Chemistry

Guys, I fell in love with the Assassin's Curse (I'll be posting the review later this week, so come back!) and was so enamored of it I just had to follow up with the author, see what made her tick, and then pass it on to you! So, without further ado, I introduce to you Cassandra Rose Clarke!


Thank you Cassandra for stopping by! To start off, was becoming an author always a dream of yours (you do have an English and creative writing degree) or did it just kind of evolve into that?

I used to daydream about becoming a novelist when I was a kid, but I actually went to college intending to major in studio art (painting and drawing and so forth). The problem was that I burned out on visual art during my senior year of high school, when I crammed too many art-related electives into my schedule. Fortunately, I found that I loved college-level English classes, and since I’d always enjoyed writing, I signed up for a poetry workshop. That workshop was the starting point for me: I wound up taking a creative writing minor, and my advisor encouraged me to apply to graduate writing programs and submit my work to magazines. I haven’t looked back since!

What are some of the things that helped inspire you to write The Assassin's Curse? (practicing piracy comes to mind, but I don't want to limit you to that)

Well, I’ve never practiced piracy per se, but I did go through a phase a few years ago (largely brought on by Pirates of the Caribbean, honestly) where I read quite a bit about the history of piracy. Some of those details stuck in my brain and later worked their way into the story. Another inspiration was the BBC series Planet Earth, with all its beautiful cinematography of the earth’s various landscapes.  Everytime I watched an episode, I wanted to sit down and write afterwards!

If any of your secondary characters could have their own story told, whose would you want to explore and flesh out more?

Definitely Marjani.  She has an interesting backstory (which you’ll learn more about in the second book), and I would love to write that story properly some day.  Her story actually emerged as I was writing, so I feel like I’ve only touched the surface of it, given as how she’s not a main character.

What is the writing process like for you? Do you outline or just go with the flow? 

I tend to write a story treatment before I begin.  It’s not a true outline, but rather a page or two where I summarize the story the way I’d relate the plot of a movie to a friend. I touch on the characters, their interactions with each other, and the major plot points.  I usually forget about this once I’ve written about 10,000 words or so, but it helps me organize my thoughts when the story hasn’t quite blossomed yet.  Then, when I’m actually writing, I’ll summarize the upcoming action in more detail. I do this every thirty or forty pages. I find writing comes a lot easier when I know what I’m going to say, but I also find the process of writing a full outline incredibly dull. This is my compromise.

Obviously, those who have not read The Assassin's Curse need to immediately, but for those of us who have and are now waiting for the sequel to come out....what to you recommend reading in the interim? (i.e.- what are some of your favorite books or authors?)

One of my favorite YA writers of all time is Francesca Lia Block. I like her old stuff a little better (probably because I first read it in high school),  especially the Weetzie Bat books and her collection of fairy tale retellings called The Rose and the Beast. Margaret Atwood is another favorite, and I love her book The Blind Assassin — and not just because it also has assassin in the title! 


And finally, the most telling question of all: if you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

To be able to breathe (and see!) underwater. I love swimming and it’d be nice not to have to come up for air.

Thanks so much for letting me pick your brain a bit Cassandra...but most of all, thank you for writing such an awesome book! You are definitely one to keep a watch on for future favorites!

Aw, thanks so much! And thanks for having me on your blog!

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