Thursday, February 28, 2013

Audiobook Review - The Queen is Dead (Immortal Empire, Book 2) by Kate Locke (5/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Steampunk
Size: 352 pages
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: February 5, 2013
ISBN: 978-0316196130
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Immortal Empire series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is the second book in The Immortal Empire series. I know the third book in the series will be titled, Long Live the Queen, and release in October 2013. I am unsure of whether there will additional books in this series after that one. I really enjoyed this book, it was just pure fun.

I listened to this on audiobook. The narrator does a stellar job of capturing Xandra’s personality perfectly. I read the first book in this series in paperback and listened to this second book. This was one of those series where I actually enjoyed listening to it more than reading it!

Xandra is struggling to find her place in the world. She is unsure whether or not she should accept the crown of the Goblin Queen. Then her sister shows up, upset that their brother has gone missing. Xandra is forced to use her Goblin connections to try and figure out where he has gone. Vex, of course, is at her side to bring some werewolf sensibility to the mission.

Xandra is trying to get her life back together after finding out she is the Goblin Queen. When her brother goes missing she is dead set on investigating his disappearance. Xandra grows a lot in this story. She learns to set aside some vendettas and take up her responsibilities. It was fun to watch her grow and change into a better person.

Xandra is plucky, tough, fun, and loyal. I really enjoy her as a heroine. Vex is the perfect counterbalance; he loves her and respects her...but he also doesn't let Xandra get away with being irresponsible or shying from decisions that need making.

I love the world this story is set in. Modern day London but with goblins, vamps, weres, and halfies. You have vampires and weres as the Royals. Goblins as the race that everyone is terrified of and halfies dealing with the fallout. The world is an absolute blast and you never know what you will find around the next corner.

The story is action packed and full of mystery. The book clips along at a good pace and is very engaging. The book is well written and fun. Mostly this is a mystery, but there is some relationship stuff going on between Xandra and Vex. The plot definitely isn’t romance driven though. This is more of a high octane urban fantasy read.

Overall this was a delightful and absolutely enjoyable book. This book was incredibly fun to read and very well put together. Xandra and Vex have a lot of tough problems thrown their way, but they react like mature adults and still have fun on the ride. Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy with a Victorian flare.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Get Steampunk’d Reading Challenge
- Audio Book Challenge
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- Goblins: Paranormal Reading Challenge

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Follower Love Giveaway Hop Winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Follower Love Giveaway Hope! I apologize that it has taken so long for me to post the winner of this giveaway...

The winner of this hop was:

Tami

Thanks again to all my followers and all who participated.  There were 268 entries into this hop and winners were chosen using Random.org.
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Graphic Novel Review - The God Machine by Chandra Free (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Graphic Novel/Fantasy
Size: 160 pages
Publisher: Archaia
Release Date: November 23, 2010
ISBN: 978-1932386875
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the God Machine series
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars

I stumbled upon this graphic novel while browsing the graphic novel section in Half Price Books. The absolutely stunning artwork on the cover grabbed my attention. When I pulled it down and paged through it I was hooked on the unique and fabulous art.

Guy Salvatore’s girlfriend has gone missing and is presumed dead. He is dwelling in a state of self pity and grief and manages to catch the attention of the Gods. Good God, Evil God, and Limbo God run things from a parallel realm and this boy is messes everything up when he sees them (humans aren’t supposed to be able to see the Gods). In the midst of much mayhem they try to figure out what the heck is going on here.

I cannot emphasise how stunning and beautiful the artwork is throughout this book. It is just wonderful. It’s done in a beautiful full array of colors and is just absolutely eye-catching...and at times a bit disturbing.

The story is decently done, but a bit ambiguous and scattered at times. It’s a very creative story but you have to really concentrate on what is happening to not get lost. The story bounces between Guy, the three Gods, and a number of Guy’s rather disturbing dreams.

It’s a fun and interesting read....and I just love, love love the artwork.

Overall this was a very good and interesting graphic novel. I enjoyed the artwork throughout a ton and though the story was very creative. The story is a bit ambiguous though and kind of jumps between different POVs, so you really need to concentrate on what’s going on. I enjoyed it alot and hope that Free writes future installments to the God Machine.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Graphic Novel Reading Challenge
- 150+ Reading Challenge

Waiting on Wednesday - 2/27/13

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.


This week my Waiting on Wednesday book is
Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin, Book 9) Jennifer Estep
Release Date: August 27th,  2013
Publisher: Pocket Books
Length: 384 pages
ISBN: 978-14151689006

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review - The Faerie Ring (The Faerie Ring, Book 1) by Kiki Hamilton (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Size: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: September 27, 2011
ISBN: 978-0765327222
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Faerie Ring series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the first book in the Faerie Ring series, four book are planned for this series. The second book, The Torn Wing, is already released. The third book, The Seven Year King, is scheduled for a May 2013 release. The fourth and final book, The Faerie Queen, is scheduled for an October 2013 release. I really enjoyed this historical fantasy...it was a fun and easy read about thieves and faeries.

This is a well done historical fantasy about Tiki who is a pickpocket. While robbing a very well stocked kitchen of some bread she happens to find herself in the position to steal an elaborate ring. Little does she know that she was in the Queen’s kitchen and that the ring isn’t just a pretty piece of jewelry...it protects humanity from the vicious fey.

This was a fun and easy read. It was a sweet story about Tiki who is just trying to scrape by and protect some children she has taken under her wing. Tiki is incredibly loyal and determined to take care of the orphan children who have come under her care. Sometimes Tiki can be a bit reckless as well. She is haunted by a past that she doesn’t remember all that well.

Tiki’s fate gets entangled with Rieker, a renowned thief who seems to know a lot more about the fey than anyone else Tiki knows. Her story is also entwined with that of Prince Leopold. Prince Leopold is desperately searching for the ring and thinks that Tiki knows more about it than she lets on. Both of the male leads are well done characters that are complex and intriguing.

There is definitely a large dose of romance in this story. Tiki feels safe with Rieker and is drawn to him, they have a long history together. However, Tiki is also drawn to Leopold and the glitter and splendor of his life.

The writing is beautiful done. The way Tiki cares for her friends is touching and sweet. The romance throughout is also of the sweet and touching variety. This is very much a Cinderella, rag to riches, type of story with some faerie complications. This isn’t all that special or creative of a book but it was a nice and sweet read; I ended up enjoying the simplicity of it and the sweetness of it.

Overall a solid YA historical fantasy. The book is beautifully written, with some fun twists and turns. The characters are easy to engage with and the story is sweet and simple. There isn’t all that much creativity here; but those who enjoy historical fantasies set in London will still find a lot to love. I enjoyed it and will definitely be picking up The Torn Wing.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- YA/MG Fantasy Reading Challenge
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- Young Adult Reading Challenge

Monday, February 25, 2013

Review - Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) by Marissa Meyer (5/5 stars)

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Paranormal
Size: 464 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 5, 2013
ISBN: 978-0312642969
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Lunar Chronicles series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles. There are four books planned in this series with the third book, Cress, releasing in 2014 and the fourth book, Winter, releasing in 2015. This was an excellent continuation of this series. This book focuses on Scarlet and adds some wonderful new characters to the story.

Cinder’s story does continue in this book, as she tries to escape from prison. The majority of the book though follows Scarlet. Scarlet lives in one of the few operating farms in the French countryside. When her grandmother goes missing she travels into the city to try and get help. She gets help in the unlikely form of a street fighter named Wolf. But could Scarlet’s grandmother’s disappearance be tied in with the Lunar’s Queen’s politics?

The book switches between Cinder, Scarlet, and Prince Kai’s POV. The way the different POVs are done for this book works very well.

I absolutely adore the world this book is set in and the wonderful characters in this story. I love how fairy tale elements of Cinderella and Red Riding Hood continue to be woven throughout the plot. They are not the main plot elements but they are definitely there and influence the story.

The pace of the book is wonderful, the plot and characters are delightful. Cinder continues to be a very spunky character who is struggling with what she is and her responsibilities. Scarlet is less aggressive than Cinder but more caring and determined. Wolf is also an interesting character...he is torn between many loyalties but steadfast in his own way.

The story is definitely sci-fi...but it also has steampunk elements, cyborgs, aliens, and action galore. It was a wonderful read and I breezed through the book...it was so hard to put down. This is a really long book that feels really short when you read it.

I also love how Meyer has the very personal stories of Cinder and Scarlet tied in with the bigger story of war coming between the Lunars and the humans. The smaller story and the more epic story are balanced very nicely.

Overall just an absolutely wonderful and creative YA read. This has got to be one of the most creative YA series out there. The book is easy to read, with a very engaging storyline and characters that are easy to relate to. The story is growing to epic proportions but it is still easy to follow. I really look forward to reading future books in this series. Recommended to those who like young adult science fiction with a big dose of mystery and adventure.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- ALIENS: Paranormal Reading Challenge
- Young Adult Reading Challenge

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Showcase Sunday and Mailbox Monday - 2/25/13


Hello and welcome to Showcase Sunday. Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.
Mailbox Monday can be found at: The Printed Page

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Not a whole lot going on in my mailbox this week!  I got three books for review...all of them are e-books.  You can see them below.  No video this week because there's not a lot to show :-)

Hope you all got a lot of great books and have a great week of reading ahead of you!


For Review:
  
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Saturday, February 23, 2013