Friday, 29 June 2012

Wicked Game - Jeri Smith-Ready

Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, #1)
Wicked Game (WVMP #1) - Jeri Smith-Ready
Grade: Adult - UF
Rating: 5/5 stars

LATE NIGHT RADIO YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, '60s psychedelia, '80s goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers just how the DJs maintain their cred: they're vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned.


Ciara's first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WVMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station — and the link it provides to their original Life Times — the vampires would "fade," becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover is a matter of life and undeath.

To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara rebrands the station as "WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll." In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs' vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around — next to Ciara's complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the "gimmick" enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren't so eager to be brought into the light. Soon the stakes are higher — and the perils graver — than any con game Ciara's ever played...(Description from Goodreads)



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I love Jeri Smith-Ready. Just thought I’d put it out there. There are some authors that can just do no wrong and, for me, Jeri is one of those authors. I know vampires and con artists aren’t exactly new these days, but I never considered putting the two in the same story. The mix of the supernatural and deception circulating throughout ‘Wicked Game’ made it a more engaging story that I could ever have hoped for.

My favourite part of ‘Wicked Game’ had to be the main character: Ciara Griffin. Like all good Urban Fantasy characters, she has a troubled past that we’re introduced to throughout the story. There are so many layers to Ciara and she hides herself so well – probably because she grew up pretending to be different people in order to con them, because that’s who she is: the daughter of two con artists; bending the truth comes naturally to her. We get to see Ciara grow and change throughout the book. Her skills are used in many tricky ways and her idea of the world gets modified drastically – who wouldn’t have their mind changed slightly when they discover vampires exist? But I really enjoyed seeing how strong Ciara is. She’s sceptical and doesn’t instantly believe in the idea of vampires; more often than not she thinks before acting (which is more than some UF characters can claim) and she doesn’t let herself get pulled into things she doesn’t believe in such as religion and, like I mentioned earlier, the existence of vampires themself. I found these all added up to make an extremely strong leading lady. I love her.

I also love vampires. Not in an I-want-to-be-one way, but if I had to pick a favourite supernatural being it would definitely be vampires. I’m always a little surprised – and insanely happy – when I came across a new vampire story that puts a unique spin on the vampire myth. That’s not to say the traditional cape wearing “I want to suck your blood” vamps aren’t interesting, but I love when there’s a bit of a creative spark that makes the author’s vampires stand out in the crowd. ‘Wicked Game’ has that spark for me. Jeri Smith-Ready’s vampires – upon undeath – become frozen in the era they were turned in. While the world changes around them, they’re unable to adapt and learn the new ways of the new age...at least not without some serious help and a lot of struggle. That’s not their only quirk, but it’s the one that hooked me onto their crazy awesomeness. I really liked the idea of these vampires from all over the last century being stuck in their different times, bringing their personal histories and experiences to the present while fighting to not “fade” – another vampire quirk where the vampire’s mental stability starts to lessen as they move further away from their own era.

Speaking of history, a lot is displayed in the book through the music mentioned. Jeri is my go-to author when it comes to music. If anyone could bring such a strong focus on musical influences and turn it into an essential part of an amazing story, it’s Jeri Smith-Ready. Music is obviously an important part of the story, with the main 6 vampires running a radio station, each hosting separate shows based on the era they grew up in. Jeri gives the vampires an outlet to fight the possibility of fading through their DJ-ing and through music. What better way to allow the vampires to connect to their past and unique eras than through the music they would have listened to while alive? It works so well and gives them something to hold onto. I loved it and it also gave me a chance to expand my own music knowledge. I don’t actively seek new music, but I’m really tempted to look up every song mentioned in ‘Wicked Game’ because I know they’d be awesome tracks to add to my ipod. Entertainment and musical education, only part of what ‘Wicked Game’ brings to its audience.

An important and major part of the story revolves around the vampire DJs and hiding their true existence from the world, while also marketing on it. This is where Ciara’s past comes into play. She’s perfect at creating a new image for the DJs and finds many ways of selling that image to the public without actually revealing who or what they really are. I love the excitement and sense of danger that comes with this risk – and it is a risk, as they could be discovered at any moment. It makes you sit on the edge of your seat hoping nothing will go wrong, but knowing something’s going to pop up to put a spanner in the works.

I loved every moment of ‘Wicked Game’ and can’t wait to see what trouble Ciara gets up to next.

5/5 stars


Kim
(Originally posted on Goodreads)

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Winter's Shadow - M.J. Hearle

Winter's Shadow (Winter Saga #1) - M.J. Hearle
Grade: YA
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Blake Duchamp...

He's all that Winter Adams can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim's Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.

But Blake isn't all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the gathering darkness.

The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger. Himself. (Description from Goodreads)



~ * ~ * ~

I know everyone says "never judge a book by its cover" but I have to admit I'm always drawn to pretty covers, and Winter's Shadow most definitely has a pretty cover. The striking red hair just drew my attention from the moment I saw it and I was excited to read this novel.

It's love at first sight when Winter spies Blake outside a crumbling church. Unfortunately, Blake isn't what he seems and Winter finds herself in the middle of a thousand year old war. But that's not the only thing Winter has to worry about. When Blake saves her life on that fateful first day, it starts a chain of events and now there are "things" after Winter and they won't stop hunting her until they get her soul.

This book was mostly about building Winter's world. Strange things happen and it isn't until 3/4 of the way through that you start to get some answers. This is helped by having chapters set in the past, as they give a glimpse into "what" Blake is, and how things came to be.

I'll admit I did find myself getting a little freaked out at times. The start reminded me of a scene from the movie Final Destination (a movie which scared me as a kid), and then there are these "things" that reminded me of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode (and of course it was the one episode that gave me nightmares).

Winter's Shadow is a tale of love and loss. There's enough action and fright to keep me completely engaged and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.



Kerrie


A big thank you to Pan Macmillan for the review copy.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Golden Lily - Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) - Richelle Mead
Grade: YA
Rating: 4/5 stars

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she's been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don't die. But it's her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney's loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?(Description from Goodreads)

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I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to dive back into my favourite Richelle Mead world. ‘The Golden Lily’ takes us on another crazy ride discovering parts of the world we never got to see in the first series (Vampire Academy) and for me, that just makes the series more exciting – finding something new.

We learn a lot more about the Alchemists and not all of it is good. I always knew they had a strict and hard lifestyle, but we never really saw what it is that actually happens behind the scenes in the Alchemist life. We get a chance to see more in ‘The Golden Lily’ and I can safely say it’s not a lifestyle I’d pick for myself. I really liked this new glimpse of the Alchemists, they’re no longer just a random secret group.

It was bad enough that Sydney and the gang were looking out for rogue Moroi groups and random Strigoi attacked, but when they discover evidence of Vampire Hunters, everything jumps to a whole new level. I had a feeling the vampire hunters were going to make an appearance in the series. After so much talk about their secret existence it was only a matter of time before Sydney was faced with them and the trouble they’d bring. There’s also more to the hunters than meets the eye – but that’s all I can say without giving too much away.

I loved being around the characters I know so well again. There are some people you just can’t get out of your head and Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy characters do that for me, especially when it comes to her male characters. There is nothing better than seeing Dimitri Belikov on the page again and he brings out his super awesome Guardian skills just to prove he hasn’t lost his badass touch just yet. But he’s not the only guy to rock the page. Adrian grew so much in this book. I was so touched by his strength and loyalty and, as always, he never fails to make me smile. The Vampire Academy men stole the show.

And finally, Sydney. I love her awkwardness in the book. She’s faced with something completely new in her life, something more difficult than looking after moroi and dhampirs in the human world. Sydney gets asked on a date. Her social skills are still lacking a bit, so it’s fun to see her work through this new situation. She also explores her magic side a bit more – despite her aversion to magical performances. It’s here that I had my biggest issue with the book. Sydney seems to have a few problems with the subject of magic and vampires. She makes so much progress throughout the book to overcome the Alchemist prejudices against the unnatural vampires and shudder-worthy use of magic, but there are moments when she falls back into old ways of calling moroi and dhampirs “evil monsters” and freaks out when magic is being used – even though she using her new magical talents quite a bit. I kept hoping she’d move forward, take charge, and stand up for what was in front of her – that vampires aren’t all evil. It didn’t have to be giant leaps, it just had to happen. But she seemed to take more steps back than forward.

All-in-all, another interesting and smile-producing addition to the Bloodlines and Vampire Academy world. Looking forward to seeing what happens to Sydney, Adrian and the rest of the gang next.

4/5 stars


Kim
(Originally posted on Goodreads)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Showcase Sunday #3


Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits & Tea where bloggers show off what goodies they received throughout the week.



I haven't shared my goodies for a while, mostly because there hasn't been much to show off. But I finally have a stack I want to show off. So check them out below. 


A Witch in Love - Ruth Warburton 

I read A Witch in Winter earlier this year and loved it. It helped to fuel my witch obsession for this year. Managed to snag a copy of A Witch in Love from Hachette and I can't wait to see what trouble Anna will get caught up in this time.





The Golden Lily - Richelle Mead 

A book I've been waiting so long for, ever since that epic cliff-hanger ending for Bloodlines. Ok, probably not the biggest cliff-hanger ever, but it made me pretty anxious to get my hands on The Golden Lily. So glad to own this one, I'm a big Richelle Mead fan. 





Shadow Bound - Rachel Vincent

I've had this one for a couple of weeks now and I'm so angry at myself for not finding the time to read it yet. I hope to get around to it soon. Another sequel that I've been dying to read for quite some time. Can't wait for the danger, the power and the chance to explore Rachel Vincent's latest novel. 






Bad to the Bone & Bring on the Night - Jeri Smith-Ready 

Jeri has become one of my favourite authors in the last year. She rocks. I wanted to read her adult vampire series for so long and I've had book #1 (Wicked Game) on my shelf for months. Some of my lovely Twitter friends convinced me that it was necessary to have all 3 books nearby when I dive in. I plan to start them very soon. 





Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris 

The latest Sookie Stackhouse book. I've heard mixed things about this book, but I do want to see what happens. 








And that's my Showcase Sunday for this week. 

Kim

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Bared to You - Sylvia Day

Bared to You (Crossfire #1) - Sylvia Day
Grade: Adult
Rating: 5/5 stars

Our journey began in fire...

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily...

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private wounds... and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart... (Description from Goodreads)

~ * ~ * ~

If you’re a fan of Fifty Shades then you'll like Bared to You.
If like me, you didn't mind the first Fifty book, adored the second but was then left disappointed by the third, then you'll LOVE Bared to you!

You will notice a lot of similarities between the two series, but it's the differences that make me love Bared to You.

By just comparing the first Fifty book to Bared to You, both have an intense "lust at first sight” scene, where you can see, not fire-works but flame throwers, being let off when they stare at each other.

Both male characters are extremely good looking, multi billionaire's with haunting childhoods. This means they both don't "do relationships". Both have women in their past that try to cause drama. They are controlling, dominating, possessive, alpha males but where Christian had a coldness to him (especially in the first book); Gideon has a warmth that had me melting at the words that left his mouth.

Then there are the female character's who couldn't be more different. Eva is not Anna. She's had a traumatic childhood herself, which means she is not naive or innocent like Anna. But Eva is also so strong. She knows what she wants and doesn't want and isn't afraid to voice, or apologise for what she wants (in fact Gideon was the one doing most of the apologising). Eva also had a vulnerable side that made me love her even more. There is nothing better than having a strong female character in a novel.

There are other similarities, story wise, as well, but I was able to ignore them and just enjoy this story for what it is. And it is an amazing romance that at times, had me swooning.

Bared to You largely focussed on Gideon and Eva's relationship. There were plenty of ups and downs that made the story interesting and had me flipping the pages in desperation to find out what happened next. Many of the story threads are left open at the end (for example, we learn about Eva's past but not about Gideon), which means you are left feeling anxious for the next book.


Kerrie

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Heist Society - Ally Carter

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)Heist Society (Heist Society #1) - Ally Carter
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5 stars


When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way. (Description from Goodreads)



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It is no secret that I have a slight Ally Carter obsession. After finishing the Gallagher Girls series I could not wait to get my hands on ‘Heist Society’ and fuel my Carter fire. I had extremely high expectations – not just because it was an Ally book, but because I’d heard fantastic things about the leading male (Hale). My expectations were definitely met.

Katerina ‘Kat’ Bishop is in trouble. Despite trying her hardest to escape the family business, she finds herself pulled back in when he father’s life is in danger. What is this family business? Why, thieving of course. Professionally! Kat grew up in a world where you plan around your latest job: bank robbery, picking pockets, jewellery theft, museum break-ins...the list goes on. But thieving is a dangerous job and it’s a tough game when your life is on the line. I really enjoyed Kat. I loved her torn lifestyle. She doesn’t believe she’s completely cut-out for the life of a thief, but can’t seem to escape it for long. We get to see her question her position within her family and the community she belongs to and it’s interesting to see her work through her issues. Kat also has a pretty tough personality. She faces many dangerous turns and still manages to push her way through them – and comes out relatively unharmed too.

The book is all about family – what you would do to protect them and who you can trust to get a job done right. I loved this part of ‘Heist Society’. Despite their questionable occupations, Kat’s family sticks together through almost anything. It’s nice to see a YA book that has family members so involved with each other; it’s not done very often.

‘Heist Society’ is a sneaky book. There’s a lot of lies and surveillance undertaken in order to pull off the biggest con – the biggest Heist – Kat and her crew have ever had to face. I really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes portion of the heist. This was made easier to experience because the book was told in third person. So many different POVs were explored – particularly towards the end of the novel – that you felt like you were really involved in the action. It worked so well for the story. There’s something crazy-fun about seeing all their plans fall into place and the epic action that followed kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last line.

And finally, Hale. He needs his own paragraph. I fell in love with him from the very first smile and the tension that formed between Kat and Hale was enough to make me crazy. I adored his concern, loyalty and superman boxer-shorts. He’s definitely a character to keep an eye on.

Amazing start to what I’m sure will be another amazing series. Can’t wait to see what sneaky trouble Kat and Hale get up to next.

5/5 stars


Kim
(Originally posted on Goodreads)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

ReVamped - Ada Adams

ReVamped (Angel Creek, #1)ReVamped (Angel Creek #1) - Ada Adams
Grade: YA
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same. (Description from Goodreads)


~ * ~ * ~

When I was asked to join the ReVamped Relay I was instantly intrigued, and not just because I’ve been craving more vampire stories lately. Ada Adams’s ‘ReVamped’ looked like the perfect story for me. A tough, but cool female lead, protecting humans, solving mysteries and falling in love? Who wouldn’t want to read this one! I couldn’t wait to dive right in.

I love a good mystery and ‘ReVamped’ did not disappoint. Trouble arrives when Dawn, our main character, moves to Angel Creek to train a new group of vampires to guard the town. Dawn expected everything to go smoothly; what she didn’t expect was to be attacked by rogue vampires who want to kidnap her. The struggle to discover why Dawn is wanted and the action and shocking revelations that follow make for an exciting story that moves so quickly towards the end of the novel. There were quite a few twists that left me with my mouth hanging wide open, which is always a plus in my books. I like when novels throw curve balls into the plot that you never saw coming, it definitely raises the action to a new level.

There were two parts of this novel that stood out for me above everything else – the main character, Dawn; and the vampire world. It might be a little strange to say the main character was something that was exceptional for a story – you’d hope that the main character has spark – but I really liked her position in the story. Dawn is a 19 year old vampire. I don’t mean she’s been a vamp for 19 years, but that her age is 19. This shocked me. How often do you find a main character in a YA story that is 19? It’s an age range that is often skipped. Characters miss the 19-22 years – it’s just not done. I really liked that from the start Dawn’s character pushed the boundaries. Combine that with the fact that she’s a fighter, a vampire, comes from an important family and cares deeply for the people she works with and you have yourself a really neat leading lady.

Then we have the vampires – they’re not the type that hides...not anymore. Vampires are out in the open and most of them are trying to protect the humans. But what grabbed my attention was the fact that there are two ways to become vampires: be turned by another vampire’s blood or be born a vamp (in a complicated and rare way that’s best explained in the store by Ada) I really liked that there was more than one type of vampire in Ada’s world. It gave the story more of an edge.

And of course – what would a book be without a little romance. Dawn has a tough choice with two hot guys thrown in her path: Ethan, the human bartender who stumbles into the vampire world in an unexpected way; and Sebastian, the unknown vampire with a mysterious past who seems to know more than he lets on. The choice might be difficult for Dawn – but I couldn’t help falling for Sebastian immediately. He’s one cool vampire.

I did have a few issues with the language. At times it was very simple and seemed young. It matched the teen feel very well and made it easy to get through, but I found it harder to connect to the characters when their personalities were so overly Hollywood-teen like. But it wasn’t enough to put me off the book; I was able to move past it. The characters go through quite a few changes during the story, you see them evolve a bit; I noticed the teen-feel less by the end.

I’ll be interested to see what Dawn gets up to next.

3.5/5 stars


Kim
(Originally posted on Goodreads)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Bookish News #2



We've been pretty excited this week with news about two of our favourite series.

First our favourite red- haired author- extraordinaire Richelle Mead has posted The Golden Lily book news on her blog, and the 2nd chapter is NOW LIVE!! With only 3 days to go, we are literally jumping up and down with excitement. (I personally can not wait to read about the Russian god again- it's been too long).

~ * ~ * ~

Second, Becca Fitzpatrick's fourth and final book of the Hush Hush series has a cover and blurb (the blurb has been taken from Goodreads and may or may not be correct at this time). The Hush Hush saga has (in my opinion) some of the best looking book covers around and from the looks of Finale, the gorgeous covers have continued.


Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)

Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean that they will always be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. But now they face their biggest challenge. Can their love survive a seemingly insurmountable divide. And in the end, will there be enough trust left to rebuild what has been broken? The lines are drawn - but which sides are they on?


Did you notice Patch is WINGLESS!! I wonder what this means? Well, we'll find out October 23rd when Finale hits bookstores. In the mean time, we'd love to know what you think of this cover.


~ * ~ * ~

And the Winner of Vampire Bookclub's 2012 Alpha Showdown is...... CURRAN!

Now I'll admit, I'm surprised. Not because Curran doesn't deserve the title, he is after all a Beast Lord, but because I assumed Bones (from Night Huntress series) had a larger following.

If you haven't had the chance to meet the Alpha Curran, what are you waiting for? The Kate Daniels series is an amazing UF read. The world building by Ilona Andrews is phenomenal and the books are action packed, with some smexy scenes and plenty of laugh out loud moments.


There was some exciting news for Jeaniene Frost Fans. Bones may have not have won the title this year BUT what we got instead was the first quote from Once Burned (Vlad's spin off from Night Huntress). We will be getting one a week to the lead up of the release, and the first one can be viewed here. I can't wait to get into Vlad's head. It should be VERY entertaining.


~ * ~ * ~

We hope you've enjoyed this weeks Bookish News. Stay tuned for more Bookish News soon.


Kerrie

Banner image found here

Friday, 8 June 2012

Sacrificial Magic - Stacia Kane

Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4)Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts # 4)- Stacia Kane
Grade: Adult UF
Rating: 5/5 Stars

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice (Description from Goodreads)


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

I cannot begin to explain just how excited I was when I had this book in my hands (yes, there may have been some jumping). The Downside Ghosts series has become one of my favourites and I’m always eager for more.

Another book, another case for our favourite Debunker. Being one of the best Debunkers the Church has (I always wonder just how more amazing she’d be without those drugs in her system), Chess has been given the task to investigate a school- a school in Slobag’s territory- that had made the previous Debunker on the case go crazy. That right there are just two things that make this case dangerous.

But that’s not the only thing Chess has to worry about. Someone is killing Bump’s men using dark magic and Chess has to find out who it is before a war breaks out between Slobag and Bump, putting her beloved Terrible in danger.

I know in my past reviews I tend to go on about Terrible, and this book increased my Terrible Fever, but what really impressed me in this book was Chess.

Now, some might think Chess is weak, taking all those drugs to erase her past. But I don’t. Chess is such a strong character. She has the will to live despite her horrific past. I adore Chess. This book had a larger emphasis on her relationships, and what I admire about Chess is that even though she’s terrified- has every reason to be that way- she still takes the chance in relationships. Chess grew as a character, and it was an amazing thing to see. The one thing that worries me is what would happen if the Church ever finds out about her addiction. So much has gone wrong in her life that I hope that the one thing she’s proud of- her job and her ability- never gets taken away from her.

Sacrificial Magic is dark, gritty and absolutely un-put-downable. Stacia Kane, you have done it again. Another epic read!



Kerrie

Originally posted on Goodreads

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Dreamless- Josephine Angelini

Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2)Dreamless (Starcrossed #2)- Josephine Angelini
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Can true love be forgotten?

As the only Scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out—a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling STARCROSSED delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds expectation (Description from Goodreads)


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

How would I describe Dreamless, the sequel to last year's Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini? Utterly fascinating; emotional read.

If it’s been a while since you’ve read Starcrossed then I recommend a quick re read or skim through, just to familiarise yourself with all the different characters again.

Dreamless begins right where Starcrossed left off. Helen and Lucas are trying to come to terms with the fact that they are cousins (a lie that still has me seething at Helen’s mother) and trying to deny their feelings for one another, and the rest of the Delos clan is struggling with the fact that Hector is now an Outcast.

In Dreamless Helen has been given a quest; a dangerous quest that only she can do. She must go down into the Underworld and stop the Furies. If she succeeds it would mean the end of the bloodbath, that is the Houses fighting one another to the death. And it would also mean that Hector would no longer be an Outcast and can return home to his family where he belongs.

Physically travelling to the Underworld, and emotionally the fact that she is struggling with her feelings for Lucas, is affecting Helen, and her quest to find the Furies is in jeopardy. Enter Orion, another Scion, who has been asked to help Helen on her dangerous quest.

Now everyone knows that I hate love triangles (although I know it brings a new element into a story). I’m always left feeling sorry for the original guy, who has just gotten his heart broken. Well, after this book I need to rephrase that statement. I now hate love triangles where the second guy is just as sweet and caring as the first. How can I (and Helen) choose between two amazing guys?

And if all that relationship drama wasn’t enough, someone or something, is also after Helen on Earth. A war is coming and Helen and the Delos family have to be ready when it comes.

Dreamless is an action packed, emotional rollercoaster read, and I loved it. By the end you are left with a pretty clear indication of what’s to come in the next book, which I’m excited to read.



Kerrie
Originally posted on Goodreads

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Out of Sight, Out of Time - Ally Carter

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls #5)
                                                       - Ally Carter
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5 stars

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails.

All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

It's a race against time (Description from Goodreads)



~ * ~ * ~

Wow, words can’t possibly describe how epic and dark this book is. The change in tone sent the Gallagher Girls series soaring to new heights, to a place I wish hadn’t ended so soon. I am officially obsessed with Cammie and her adventures.

Imagine waking up in a foreign bed; bruised, battered and believing you left home for the summer 3 days ago, only to find out 4 months have gone past and you have no memory of it. Well, this is what happens to Cammie Morgan. For a spy-in-training, loss of memory is like losing a limb. Without it, Cammie could put herself and the people she loves in danger – but danger isn’t something new for her. I always feel incredibly sorry for characters that lose their memories. With the amount of trouble they face on a day-to-day basis, it seems unfair to throw an internal obstacle in their way too. But it does make for an interesting storyline. The twists and turns that evolve from Cammie’s memory issues leaves you desperate to flick through the pages as fast as possible.

‘Out of Sight, Out of Time’ was the most emotional Gallagher Girls book so far. Cammie struggles to find herself and rekindle relationships because of her memory loss. The way Ally Carter puts her in so many vulnerable situations – and shows the growth and development Cammie achieves – had me tearing up at times. I love the change and progress the series – and Cammie – has made. The easy going, fun and carefree story we got in book #1 is long gone. Sure there is still the occasional joke and Cammie’s voice is still incredibly natural and addictive – but there is a deeper and more dangerous and lifeless tone that gives me shivers. I love when a dark book is written so well – there’s no denying the power of words.

There’s not as much fighting-action in ‘Out of Sight, Out of Time’, but the amount of mystery more than makes up for it. The unknown nature of the book practically sends Cammie and her friends all over the world – finally the spies get to go on active missions outside of America. It definitely highlights the fact that Cammie has aged throughout the series; that her horizons have expanded.

I’ve said it before, that I love Cammie’s friends, but I should probably mention just how awesome her mother and the teachers at Gallagher Academy are. Despite coming from all different worldly organisations – the teachers seem to form their own band of operatives and the loyalty between them is fantastic. I love seeing supporting characters who do more than just fill space on a page. Everyone has a role and is an important and enjoyable addition to the story.

The worst part about finished this book is that fact that I’ve caught up in the series, and the wait for the final book is going to be torture...but I’m sure it’ll be well worth the wait.

5/5 stars



Kim
(Originally posted on Goodreads)

Friday, 1 June 2012

Bookish News #1



Bookish News is something we have been wanting to do for a while. It'll be our new post discussing a few of the bits of book news released during the week that we were super excited to hear about - teasers, covers reveals, release dates etc.

This time last year, Kim and I were busy voting for our favourite Alphas in Vampire Bookclub's Alpha Showdown. We were extremely excited when our man Barrons (from Karen M Moning's Fever series) took the title last year, and couldn't wait for this years comp to begin. The first round saw Kim and I become frienemies as my beloved Terrible (Stacis Kane's Downside Ghosts) was up against Kim's favourite heroine Kate (Ilona Andrews's Kate Daniels series). After a extremely tight clash, Kate ended up on top and advanced to the next round. Although I was disappointed, I couldn't be too upset as Ilona Andrews posted a snippet from Kate Daniels #6
(To see all the clashes, winners, and to vote, head over to Vampire Bookclub)

So who will win this year? Well, we find out on Monday (Australia's Tuesday), and there's still plenty of time to vote, its Curran (from Kate Daniels) vs Bones (Night Huntress series) but our money is on Bones for the win. (Although I won't be too disappointed if Curran wins: Kim)


Sarah Alderson - author of the amazing Hunting Lila - is posting a new teaser quote from Hunting Lila's sequel (Losing Lila) EVERY SECOND DAY UNTIL RELEASE! I know, I'm still smiling about it! Losing Lila is out in August, that means plenty of teasers to come.
You can catch-up on Sarah's Facebook page  and keep watching for more teasers.



Nalini Singh, one of my absolute favourite Paranormal Romance authors released the first chapter of the next Guild Hunter book - Archangel's Storm. This news wasn't released this week but I couldn't help adding it. Check it out here and don't forget Archangel's Storm hits stores in September.


Eye spy with my little eye, the cover and blurb for House Rules (Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires #7) on goodreads. This excites me considering Biting Cold (CV #6) isn't out yet.
http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1337695344l/12958034.jpg

Blurb:

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal —tested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined



Now whether this blurb and or cover will change, we don't know. But we'll let you know if it does.



Hope you enjoyed this little snippet of book news. We'll be keeping our eyes out for more bookish news, but let us know if you see anything as well.


Kerrie

Banner image found here