Saturday, 23 March 2013

Hybrid (Nevermore #2) by K.A. Poe Review

Hybrid (Nevermore #2)
By K.A. Poe

Rating: 4.4

And the plot thickens...

If you're expecting a soppy tale of an insipid heroine who is silly enough to fall for a vampire who could snack on her for his dinner, and their epic love story that involves candlelight sonatas and fervent confessions of everlasting love...you will be disappointed.

I suggest you look elsewhere for a stereotypical tale of vamps and their girlfriends. :)

This is a tale with so many layers; that doesn't ignore the dangers of the relationship between the girl and the vampire, and that puts emphasis on how each and every 











person has a choice. A choice whether to be the best version of themselves, or theworst. That prejudices can be deadly, family can mean the world and yet it can also be your undoing, your weakness, your blind-spot.

Love makes you blind, but it also gives you strength through its beautiful fragility...a lesson well learnt in the second book in theNevermore series.

Assets will be used...

Alexis has the gift of turning into a raven - an 'asset' of her vampire hunter lineage. But this book explores how differences, especially ones that could harm or change one person in the relationship, can put strain on it. Alexis is originally ashamed of her gift; a gift that is meant to be used to kill vampires. Salem is a vampire. And Alexis can't help but worry that he'll view her as the monster, that becoming more of a hunter will destroy whatever it is they have between them.


(My fanart above ~ Salem and Alexis :))
Mortality - a strength, or a weakness...?

Alexis has common sense. She isn't an airhead, like some YA girls who are so in love that reality hits them harder than a truck coming full speed down a highway. She realises that sooner or later the matter of her mortality, and Salem's immortality, will have to be addressed. They can't live in their 'happy cocoon' forever.

But there are pros and cons to both, and Alexis finds herself wondering what choice she would make, if she was forced to decide. If circumstances, if Fate, made it so she had to choose...between dying, or living as a vampire, forever, with Salem.

Girls that are suspicious as hell...

Okay. I found one teeny, tiny flaw in this novel.

It was kinda obvious...the thing to do with Clare. Salem is concentrating extra hard on finding Hannah, they find the locket, Clare reacts to his name, plagues her dreams - you get the picture. I guess I found it hard to know what was going on - and yet Salem and Alexis didn't. It made the reveal a little anti-climatic. Which was a shame, because it was an awesome thing toreveal! Perhaps making it subtler would have added to the reveal a little more :)

Parental problems. Need I say more?!

If you think Paul was a tough cookie to crack, let me just say...you ain't seen nothin' yet!

I won't give it away...but it was kinda neat...

No. No. I won't.

I can't!

But it's so good!

No!

I won't reveal the best reveal of the entire novel. But I will say this: I will never think of teddy bears the same way again.

Ever.

Again.

Everytime I see a teddy bear, I will picture deserted rooms, blood, hostages, psycho parents and hot vampire boyfriends. The last part will ease the blow a little, I guess!

And as Alexis embraces her destiny and her powers, we turn to the future...

I'll now be heading off to read Book 3; discovering what Salem and Alexis will be up to next!!

Novella Review ~ Captivated by Sophie Davis

Captivated (Talented #3.5)
By Sophie Davis

Rating: 5

I thought I couldn't possibly fall any more in love with the dynamic duo that is Erik and Talia.

I was wrong.

I thought that my heart couldn't possibly be shattered into more pieces than it was by the ending of Hunted.

I was wrong.

I thought that there was no way that Erik could become hotter than he already was.

I was so, so wrong!

Captivated is more than just a novella. 

It is a glimpse into the minds, hearts and special moments of our favourite couple of the Talented series' - completing the reading experience and fulfilling every fangirl's dreams.

A big thanks to Sophie for being given the opportunity to read Captivated. I am super excited to see what Created will have in store for Erik and Talia!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Clockwork Princess ~ Review

Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3)
By Cassandra Clare

Rating: 5



For this I would be damned forever. For this I would have given up everything.


The world is a wheel...when we rise or fall, we do it together.”


"My heart is my own. It is beyond you to control it. It has been beyond me to control it."


"Faith has brought us this far; it will bring us a little farther. The Angel watches over us, and we shall win out."





The final battle begins...

Like a clock without cogs, Mortmain's master plan is missing its key component: Tessa. Without her, he cannot use his army of automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He cannot exact his revenge.

Secrets will unravel...

As Tessa's nuptials quickly approach, she clings to the moments of happiness she finds with Jem - refusing to dwell on his inevitable death, Will's broken heart and her own. But their are bigger things at stake than hearts. The secrets behind Tessa's creation may hold all their lives in the balance. What is she and how did she come to be? 

Only Mortmain holds the answers.

The Infernal Devices will rise...but who will stop them? 


'THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT PITY.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT REGRET.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT NUMBER.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING.' 


My thoughts on the book:

By the Angel!

I. Just. Died.

I have overwhelmed with a sea of emotions. I have nothing left - I have laughed, gasped, screeched, cried, sobbed, sobbed some more and then 'aww'd a little more after that. 

This is all too much.

Cassie is a genius.


If you're in need of a good cry, then Clockwork Princess is the book for you - just stock up on Kleenex tissues before reading!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Embrace Your Destiny ~ Twin Souls by K.A. Poe Review

Twin Souls (Nevermore #1)
By K.A. Poe

Rating: 4

"Everything you have ever read about vampires - most of it is inaccurate or downright false. We are not beautiful, we don't turn into bats, we don't shrivel up in the sunlight and we are most definitely not afraid of something as fickle as garlic."



Turning eighteen for Alexis, means taking part in the family business. Which just so happens to be vampire hunting.

All she wanted was a new laptop - maybe even the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. But discovering that her parents aren't her real parents, that her Uncle Paul is actually her father and that vampires exist, was not on her birthday list. 

Dealing with the news remarkably well, Alexis finds an ally - and a friend - in the new boy at school, Salem Young.

Who just happens to be a vampire.

On first dates, some guys get the talk from the girl's dad. Salem gets the crossbow.

Her father, a vampire hunter himself, is less than pleased with his daughter befriending a vampire - let alone falling for one, which Alexis seems to be in danger of doing. Alexis tries hard to balance spending time with Salem with her hunter training; reluctant to actually do any of the killing, despite her father's enthusiasm for the 'hunt'. 

But Paul isn't easily placated. No daughter of his will date a vampire while he's got breath in his body.

Myths are just myths...or are they?

Alexis believes it's a co-incidence that her last name, Waldron, translates into the word 'wall-raven'. But when Salem tells her of the myth that speaks of how some hunters can transform into ravens, Alexis begins to have doubts. Does she have abilities she doesn't know of? And will they aid her in dealing with those vampires out there that wish to harm her?

Or will they make her a target?

Like a beautifully composed piano composition, Twin Souls connects with readers - presenting a vampire novel that makes them question who thereal monsters are.



Thursday, 14 March 2013

A Conspiracy of Alchemists (The Chronicles of Light and Shadow #1) by Liesel Schwarz ~ ARC Review

A Conspiracy of Alchemists (The Chronicles of Light and Shadow #1)
By Liesel Schwarz

Rating: 4.9

'When I was young and living among my people, the Dryad, I once had a different name. But that was many years ago, at a time when anise and wormwood were nothing more than plants that made up my world. A time before sacred dreams could be bought for a few sugar cubes.

I knew from the moment I saw her she would offer salvation. But salvation often comes at a price.'
 

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Meet Eleanor “Elle” Chance - airship pilot and and daughter of the famous spark-reactor scientist.

Flying airships is a risky business. But Elle is to be dragged into an adventure that is riskier than any mid-air manoeuvre she has ever undertaken. 

Creatures of Light and Shadow walk the streets. Wars rage behind cultured smiles and top hats. 

The Alchemists and Warlocks stare one another off, eyes conveying silent threats that their powers can easily follow up. Nightwalkers and fae occupy opium dens, train carriages and the bottom of absinthe bottles. 

Elle's eyes are opened to worlds she never dared believe existed; and to a fate she never knew she had. 

A box. A simple box twists Elle's fate forever, throwing her into the path of the handsome enigma Mr Marsh. Unlikely allies, they must retrieve the box in order to prevent the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse upon the world. 

Tempers are tested, wits employed and hearts stirred. But Elle must remain clear-headed - this is not her fight. She wants nothing to do with the supernatural world, with the occult doings of Warlocks and Alchemists. But she may have to do just that, in order to save those she loves from a terrible fate.

Dare to believe. Dare to fight. Dare to take flight on an adventure unlike any other.

Steampunk soars to new heights in a novel that is bound to have you laughing over its refreshing wit and its cast of characters - brave, loveable, twisted and broken...all of them have a part to play in Liesel Schwarz's exciting tale of a heroine who isn't afraid to take what Fate dishes out to her.

________
*Original image here

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Girl With the Iron Touch by Kady Cross ~ ARC Review

The Girl With the Iron Touch (Steampunk Chronicles #3)
By Kady Cross

Rating: 5

'It seemed humans, the scientifically minded ones at least, were either tempting death or trying to prolong life. Surely that was an indication of madness.' 




Whilst the occupants of 1897 London slumber, a sinister force awakens below...

Apparently it takes a lot more than a roof to 'off' your enemies these days - as Finley Jayne and her motley group of friends are about to discover.

The Machinist, Leonardo Garibaldi, is not at all dead. He's out for vengeance; to see out his plan for domination, using his unnatural mechanical creations to find a way to bring him back to life.

But automatons can only do so much.

Emily is kidnapped by Garibaldi's machines, snatched away so she can utilise her mechanical genius to resurrect the evil fiend and 'transplant' him into a new body. Conflicted, Emily must somehow find a way to stop The Machinist from coming back to life and torturing those she loves...before the time runs out.

A clock can't function with a missing cog.

With Emily gone and The Machinist's power inching its way into the mortal coil, Griffin is clutching at straws, locking himself away in his study for long periods of time...and emerging drawn and weary. Finley worries that he's keeping some kind of secret - a secret that is slowly tormenting him, taking its toll on his sanity - but her concerns are rebuffed by the man in question, who insists he's just 'under the weather'.

It is imperative that they work as a team, if they are to save Emily, themselves and all of London. But with Griffin - the leader of their group misfits - struggling to remain focused, the burden falls on Finley to keep the group from falling apart...plunging Griffin and her new-found love into speculation and doubt.

Allies come from the most unlikely of places.

Whilst Finley and Co. turn to the notorious Jack Dandy for assistance, Emily discovers The Machinist's newest creation...a creation more human than automaton, a girl by the name of '312'. 312 is to be the host for The Machinist's consciousness - and if Emily succeeds in her task, 312 will be no more.

And The Machinist will be able to roam the gritty streets of London once more.

Love is a powerful and complicated thing...

Sam refuses to stop searching for Emily; trying every way possible to find her location, from mechanical creations and old maps, to Jack Dandy's theories and taking directions from a ghost. He has to find her - to tell her how deeply he loves her and what she means to him. He'd sacrifice the world for her.

He won't let her die...even if it means having to go through hell to do so.

...But is it strong enough to endure the biggest test of faith yet?

Finley Jayne and her friends must face The Machinist - both in the Aether and on the mortal plain - if they are to rid the world of his evil schemes and be free from his torment.

And kind-hearted Emily must steel herself, bar her conscience and harden her heart, if she is to discover what she is truly capable of and save them all from the twisted dreams of a man who wanted to play god.

So strap on your goggles and tighten your corset - the battle for London is about to begin!



My thoughts on the book:

Dear Kady Cross:

You are a literary goddess.

True, your book distracted me from my pile of homework (privately nicknamed 'Everest'), but I would rather immerse myself in a tale full of steampunk magic, romance and adventure over typing up English analysis' any day!!

Please send me a Griffin. And a Jack.

Hugs,
Booknut.


I loved this book. My only critique?

Sam needs a timing devices added to his inner mechanisms. Because interrupting Griffin/Finley time is not okay by any means!! After the first time it happens...dude. It's no longer a coincidence....or maybe he just has really karma :)

At the end of this book - especially after the last scene (Hint: very, very swoon-worthy) - I was in a catatonic state of fangirl bliss:
undefined

A big thanks to Kady for yet another brilliant book in the series - and to Netgalley and Harlequin Publishing for the opportunity to review this ARC.



A sneak peek of the book!


I can't promise that I'll never be an ass, or that I'll never make you cry. I can't promise that I won't make you so angry you want to cosh me over the head with a brick. I can't promise you forever...I'd love to, but I can give you right now. I can give you me in all my defective glory.

Wonder who says this to who?

Get the book today HERE on Amazon, and find out!

Monday, 11 March 2013

BlOG-O-VERSARY and 700 BOOKWORMS GIVEAWAY!

My other blog - Not-So Austen Bookclub - is celebrating its 1st birthday/blog-o-versary this week, as well as reaching 700 members

To celebrate, I am giving away 19 amazing YA titles!

Enter the giveaway HERE :)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Dominion by Melody Manful ~ Review

Dominion (Guardian Angels #1)
By Melody Manful

Rating: 3.9/4

"I have a question. How does it feel to fall in love?" a little girl asked. Two of her front teeth were missing.
How the hell would I know?
Everyone was quiet, so knew I had to answer.
"Well," I cleared my throat and tried to remember all the cheesy sayings I had heard about falling in love. "It's unexplainable."

I looked at Abigail, which turned out to be a stupid decision because when my eyes met hers, I felt a stir of emotions in my chest. "And unexpected," I whispered to myself. 


Gideon’s a Grandinian angel; Tristan, a Guardian. Whilst the Guardian angels have the job of guiding and protecting the humans they’re assigned to, Grandinian’s try and harm as many as they can, keeping the balance of life…well, balanced.

Gideon and Tristan have avoided crossing paths…until now.

Gideon is given the biggest test of his destructive powers thus far: to harm Tristan'sènas (human he's assigned to). Tristan is notorious for his guarding abilities, just as much as Gideon is for his harming ones. Fuelled by his hatred of 'goody goody' Tristan, Gideon takes on the task gladly - feeling smug. This task is going to be piece of cake.

Until he meets Tristan's ènas, Abigail. 

A human, the daughter of a CIA agent and one of the most beautiful woman alive, charity helper and highschool student, Abigail has more facets than she lets other see - ignorant of the two angels that tail her, disguised as teenagers. To Abigail, Tristan's the kind, sweet friend who's always there to lend a hand... Gideon's the new student with a sharp tongue, devilish good looks and can be described in a single word.

Jerk.

Angels don't fall in love.

Gideon's meant to be harming Abigail. He's meant to be shooting fire at her, causing accidents, making her fall off balconies - not spending time with her at the library, laughing at her jokes and thinking about her 24/7. He's not going soft, is he? No! He's a Grandinian angel, for crying out loud - no way would he fall for a mere human, not even one as pretty as Abigail..

'And without as much as a breath, I did it - I allowed myself to fall.'

A tale of angels - good and bad - and how humans possess the strength to change the fate of the world...for better or for worse.


***************************

This book was very entertaining.

My only criticism? The 2-D nature of the characters at the beginning of the story.

It made this book hard to get into. I felt as if the characters had little depth, Gideon's pyromaniac nature over-exaggerated to the point of it being ridiculous. None of the characters for me really began to shine until we got to the climax of the book...when Gideon starts to have conflicting feelings for Abigail.

Then we see the emotions bubbling underneath the surface of these characters - Abigail is brought to life in a whirl of colour, her childhood exposed as a sad and lonely. She forced to grow up too fast. The speech that she gives to her father when she's recovering from her ordeal is haunting. Every little girl wants her dad. Every girl wants a stage in her life where she can just be and not have to worry about fights, evil, being strong and how to shoot a gun. Unfortunately for Abigail, this was never an option for her. She had to protect her mother and be strong for her.

Tristan seems like your typical blonde and nice, puppy-lovin' dude until you receive the revelation that he feels the pain and death caused by Gideon, as well as the good in others. He is affected almost physically by it, which explains why he tries so hard to stop all of Gideon's attempts to destroy everything.

And as for Gideon...yeah. He's hot. I won't lie. But he's also the least deep of the characters. He blows stuff up, kills and is volatile. I understand that this is how he's meant to be. But it's annoying that he lets his hot and cold act affect Abigail. The scene where she's like 'If you leave now (a.k.a to go kill people) we're done!" I was just like:



Let him go. A girl should NEVER enter a relationship with a guy wanting to change him. It never ends well, because men are frankly like leopards and those kitties never change their spots. 

Overall it was a good read - but light. The cover was beautiful - the cliffhanger pure torment.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Celtic Myth & Magic ~ By Blood Review

By Blood
By Tracy E. Banghart

Rating: 4.2

'Most of the other passengers were turned away now, sleeping while the baby was quiet. The cabin lights were dimmed and the flight attendants had disappeared. I wondered if Vermin and I were the only ones who’d never flown across an ocean before. I wondered if anyone else was wishing they were heading in the opposite direction.'

Diapers, accents and blooming powers - the things that summer vacations are made of.

At least, they are for 17-year-old Emma Wong. Emma's mother wants them to 'bond' over in England, where she, 'Dr Mike' (a.k.a The Stepdad), Emma and baby Fermin Vermin will get in some family time. 

Travel?
Emma likes.
Cute British guys?
She likes even more.
Shopping opportunities?
No girl could refuse.

Puking infants, awkward 'family dinners, babysitting and your friends on the other side of the world?
No thanks.

But Emma takes the new challenge with a grain of salt, finding an ally in Dr Mike's cute research assistant Josh and a friend in the elfish wisp of a girl Ash Gardner - between them providing enough sight-seeing, laughs and good times to counteract her family's dysfunctional antics. 

Do you believe in magic?

A group of New Age Druids - teenagers with a penchant for late night rituals, giddy dancing and downing mystical drink - crosses Emma's path. Drawn to the sense of freedom they seem to bring with them, Emma beings her descent into the 'rabbit hole' of Druid doings, Celtic lunacy and beautiful boys named Simon whose very presence is bewitching. 

But it's all for fun...isn't it? 

Get ready to be in way over your head.

A summer vacation with a sinister twist, with undertones of paranormal energy, By Blood is a story of how the irresistible nature of power and freedom can intoxicate even the most strong-willed of human heads - and how magic is never truly dormant...

...And awakening it could be a messier ordeal than a family dinner!

Emma's sarcastic, biting narrative and the lure of Celtic myth and magic constructs a brilliant book to cosy up with...if you dare!


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