Monday, June 26, 2017

Must Have Monday #1 - Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

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Title: Pitch Dark
Author: Courtney Alameda
Release Date: 2/20/2018

This book sounds so amazing! The perfect combination of horror and sci-fi. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Goodreads synopsis:

Tuck Durante is a shipraider, combing space for Earth artifacts from a war that ended 500 years ago. When his parents' ship crashes in the dead zone and the crew goes missing, Tuck hires a ragtag rescue team.

Meanwhile, curator Lana Gray is fighting to keep the US PANAM John Muir—and the remnants of its crew—alive. Their space capsule housing Yosemite National Park was hijacked. The hijacking turned ninety-five percent of her crew into nightmarish creatures called mourners who flay, dismember, or decapitate with nothing more than sharp-pitched shrieks.

Now, despite their differences, Lana, Tuck, and their crews must work together to save the John Muir. In space, nobody can hear you scream...but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you'll hear.

Also by Courtney Alameda: Shutter 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

June Mini Reviews

I try to avoid spoilers, but in the off chance that I say something spoilery in the following mini reviews, consider this your warning!

1. The Summoner Series (#1-3) by Taran Matharu
This series was just...magical! Main character Fletcher and his little demon buddy, Ignatius, were actually friend goals. They were so adorable together I could just not get enough. Fletcher's family was...heartbreaking. In more ways than one. I found myself feeling so terrible for him on more than one occasion, especially in the beginning of book 2! I feel like there was so much more that could have been in the story. Not even necessarily the main plot, but sub plots and little adventures. Also, Sylva and Fletcher had so many possibilities that were unexplored! But other than some of those little missed opportunities, I love this series!

2. Illuminae (Illuminae #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I would be lying if I said this book didn't confuse the hell out of me in the beginning. Some pages read more like a book, others were seemingly random, some seemed like web pages with stuff I didn't know, and it just took me way too many pages to figure out what the heck I was actually supposed to be reading and what I could skip over. By the end, though I finally got the hang of it and I truly enjoyed the book! I would absolutely love to see more interaction between Kady and Ezra, because couple goals.

3. It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson 
There really isn't much to say about this. I could throw it into a 'dark comedy' category, because it gets super real at times. This book really makes you think, which is something I didn't expect from Shane, since he likes to gloss over everything with comedy and jokes, but there was such a blanket of truth, that it really hit me. Watching his videos, it's really easy to forget what a hard life he had and, yes, he obviously has a really low self-esteem, but he really is working on it and I am so proud of him for how far he has come.

4. Outsiders 2: Unfinished Business (Outsiders #2) by Tammy Ferebee 
I absolutely loved the first book, so when I got the opportunity to read book 2, I jumped at the chance. Jaylen and Michael are literally so adorable, but Michael pissed me off in the beginning of the book sooo much! This book was packed so full of intense moments and action that I am surprised it fit in 285 pages. I had so many questions at the end though, so maybe a book 3? I sure hope so, but won't hold my breath, it seemed pretty final. Awesome indie read, though, that I love spreading the word about! Tell your friends!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Caloric by Tricia Barr - Book Blitz + Giveaway

Displaying CaloricBlitzBanner.png


Title: Caloric
Author: Tricia Barr

Displaying Caloric.jpgPhoenyx Blake has a secret. When she wakes in a dungeon with three strangers, she is forced to face it, which isn’t easy seeing as her cellmate, Sebastian, has starred in her dreams. As days pass, they learn they are each one of the four elements bound in human form and they have been abducted by an ancient society that plans to kill them and steal their powers. If they hope to escape, they must master their powers, and Phoenyx must learn to let go of fear and let love in, before it’s too late.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35408684-caloric?ac=1&from_search=true

Purchase:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Caloric-Tricia-Barr/dp/0998977713/
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/caloric-tricia-barr/1122743322?ean=9780998977713
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/caloric-2


LOOK HERE FOR A SUPER AWESOME EXCERPT!!!

   The door clanked unlocked and then swung open. This time when the large bald man stepped inside, he paused, did a double take of the room and dropped the large paper bags at his feet. His face went sallow and he looked clearly distraught.
“Shit,” he muttered. Then he approached the cell to take a closer look and assess his next move.
As soon as he came close enough, Phoenyx grabbed his arm. He jumped in shock and confusion, but then quickly relaxed, soothed by her touch.
“Don’t be afraid,” she said in a sultry voice. “You want to help us. All you have to do is unlock these cells and let us out.”
“I would but I don’t have the key,” he said, his eyes locked on hers, looking like a love-sick puppy.
There was a collective sigh of disappointment behind her.
“Who does?” she asked.
“Dexter has it,” he confessed eagerly.
“Is there any way that you can get the key for us?”
“Uhhh, I don’t know,” he said. “He keeps it hidden in his office and no one is allowed in there. I will gladly try.”
She frowned. Why did we just assume this automaton would have the key? This really put a damper on their plans.
“Ask him what we’re doing in here,” Sebastian whispered.
“Right, why are we locked up in here?” she asked the oaf.
“Because, you four are the Bound Ones, from the legend,” he said as if it was simple and obvious.
“The Bound Ones?” she asked, feeling like she just stepped into The Twilight Zone. “What legend?”
“Yes, the legend we learn when we join the brotherhood. The legend of the Bound Ones says that, thousands of years ago, man was a slave to the elements. Man could not master crops because Earth was fickle. Volcanic eruptions would swallow whole villages and earthquakes would topple any and all of man’s accomplishments. Man could not master the sea because Water was too proud to be tamed. Air constantly tore apart cities with tornados and hurricanes, and Fire ravaged everything in its path. So our forefathers, the wisest of the Celtic sorcerers, forged a powerful spell binding each of the four elements to a volunteer from the rite, so that man would have control over the elements, rather than be controlled by them.”
“So…you’re saying that the four of us each have one of the four elements inside of us?” she asked, unable to keep the tone of doubt from spewing out.
“Yes, you are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water in bound human form,” he said, as if none of this sounded ridiculous.
Phoenyx turned around and looked at the others. Their faces were a mixture of skepticism and pensiveness.
“If this is true, what makes you think we are these Bound Ones? Wouldn’t they be long dead seeing as this legend happened so long ago?” Skylar asked.
“According to the legend,” the bald man began, “the spell was made to keep the elements bound in human form through reincarnation. The elements are eternal and cannot be destroyed, so if the bound human died, the element would once again be free. The spell was made to assure that once the human died, the element would be immediately reborn into another human vessel. Unfortunately for our forefathers, they didn’t take into account how that would make it impossible to keep track of them. After the first volunteers died, we lost hold of them permanently.”
“That still doesn’t explain why you think these Bound Ones are us particular four people,” Skylar argued.
“There was another partition in the spell,” the man continued. “When one of the Bound Ones dies, all die, and when one is born, all are born.”
That struck a chord in all of them.
“That’s why we all have the same birthday,” Lily said.
“That’s why they want to keep us alive,” Sebastian said. “They think if one of us dies, we’ll all die.”
“Yes,” the man said.
“That doesn’t prove anything,” Sebastian said. “So we were all born on the same day. Big deal. There must be thousands of other people all over the world born that same day.”
“You were all born, not just on the same day, but at the exact same time,” the man said. “Your births coincided with the deaths of four people who showed signs of being the previous Bound Ones.”
“We were all born at the same time?” Lily thought out loud. “That would definitely bring the odds down quite a bit. Approximately two-hundred and fifty people are born every minute—at least, that’s what I remember from my nursery rotation.”
This was ridiculous. It had to be. These people clearly had some screws loose…then again, the four of them did have powers. That couldn’t just be coincidence. That same nagging, writhing feeling reared its ugly head once more. She ignored it and went on with the interrogation.
“Okay, so let’s say we are the ‘Bound Ones’,” Phoenyx said, air-quoting with her free hand. “What do you want with us?”
“The Celtic sorcerers who bound the original humans founded a brotherhood to keep an eye on the elements, to keep everything in balance, and called it the Four Corners.” He moved the fingers of his free hand over the pin on his shirt. “Dexter Mauldive, our Grand Master, convinced the High Council that it was time to put the elements back under our control, and that it would be best to put all four elements into only one vessel, making it easier to relocate them after each rebirth. He has volunteered to be the first.”
“Just how do you plan to do this?” Skylar asked.
“We have realized that we can’t just kill you, because then the elements would immediately be reborn somewhere else and we would lose them once more. Our best researchers have said that the elements must be in a sort of limbo state in order to be manipulated and placed inside a new host.”
Phoenyx swallowed hard. “Limbo state? How will you accomplish that?”
“There is currently a massive solar storm happening. In three days a very rare, very large solar flare is forecasted to explode. Our researchers say the radiation and electro-magnetism this will release will both heighten the powers of all four elements and weaken their hold to your bodies. On that day, the four of you will undergo a series of electrocution which will further weaken that hold enough for the spell to work. In order to break down your bodies even more in preparation for the ritual, we were going to starve you. This is the last time you will be fed.”
Phoenyx’s heart pounded wildly and the hand she grasped him with was trembling and dripping cold sweat. Holy shit, this was so much worse than anything she could have imagined in her head. The prospect of being killed was already bad enough but to find out that they were going to be starved an electrocuted? This was a goddamn nightmare!
She sensed Lily was crying. Like hell she was going to let this happen to them!
“What’s your name?” she asked, her steady voice disguising the panic and anger she felt.
“Lucas,” he answered. She noted to herself how creepy it was that, even as he told them about all the horrible things that his cult planned for them, he still gawked at her like a horny gorilla.
“Lucas, you have to bring us that key and get us out of here,” she commanded, pushing her will into him with everything she had. “At all costs but be discreet about it. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” he said, almost like a moan of pleasure.
She released his arm. “Now go, and hurry!”
He nodded eagerly, moved the last brown paper bags closer to the cells, and left the room.
Now that he was gone, the room was dead silent, except for the loud banging of Phoenyx’s heart. No one spoke for a very long moment. Finally a sniffle escaped from Lily. Phoenyx instinctively turned and put her arms around Lily, inviting Lily to stop holding it in and her tears soaked into Phoenyx’s already quite dirty shirt. Phoenyx had no words to comfort her with this time. If Lucas didn’t come back to free them, they would die.

AND AN EXTRA SPECIAL GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday, June 19, 2017

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan - Review

26252859Title: The Hidden Oracle
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Trials of Apollo #1
Format: Hardback
Pages: 376
Rating: 3.5

Chiron galloped over. "Thank the gods!"
"You're welcome," I [Apollo] gasped, mostly out of habit. 

It took me forever to even pick up this book. I loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so much (it has to be in my top 5 series...ever). When Heroes of Olympus came out, I was up the freaking wall, because we were finally going to see more of the gang! Only to be disappointed after the first book was all new characters. Of course, that series progresses and I eventually fell in love with it as well. I thought it was over. Rick was writing his Norse series, I wrote my farewell to Percy Jackson, and I thought the story had ended.

Trails of Apollo. I saw the clips on YouTube about it and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I love Apollo. He's probably one of my favourite Olympian gods, because he's quirky and the way he never sees anything as his fault amuses me to no end. He reminds me of Narcissus, because he's always talking about how everyone surely must love him and his beauty and his wit. For the first hundred pages or so, that is exactly what I got, but in human form! I understand that, as a human, Apollo would feel differently about some things or care about things he normally wouldn't have as a god, but this is his third time as a mortal, surely if the first two times didn't really change who he was, the third time around would be no different...so why does he get so weepy and sad about...everything!?

Meg...when we were introduced to her it left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn't like Meg from the start and I still don't. She gives off the "I'm so tough" vibe/act that authors sometimes give female characters to "appeal" to the female audience and I absolutely hate it. I'm not saying that girls can't be tough or whatever, but you don't need to stress it so much. Just let whatever happens happen.

For some reason, everyone at Camp Half-Blood seems really ready to make fun of Apollo or pick on him, which really doesn't make sense to me. Even though he's in mortal form, he might at some point be a god again and boy wouldn't you look stupid if he came up and wiped that smile off your face. Which I am 100% convinced he would do once he was back in his godly status and ready to beat the ever living crap out of the people that wronged him.

And now, the entire reason I couldn't bring myself to give this book four stars...LEO.

Yeah, that's right, I can't stand him. I find him such an unlikable Jason/Percy wannabe and he simply can't be them because it is not his destiny to be as good as them. So, after I thought he died in HoO, you're telling me I have to sit through 5 more books with him as the main character bringing little to the table and being annoying the entire time!? Awesome. Just freaking spectacular. All the snip-its I was seeing before this even came out was all about Percy and Apollo interacting and now you're telling me that instead of my beautiful, awesome Percy paired up with turned-human Apollo fighting to save the world I get Leo and weepy Apollo with god-turned-human Calypso that probably won't end up doing much? This should get interesting real fast.

*quietly* I just want more Percy....

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Last Magician - PreOrder Offer

Hello all!
I know everyone, myself included, loves preorder offers, so I thought I'd spread the word about The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell and the offer that goes with preordering the book. It comes out on JULY 18  (my birthday = perfect present) and I CANNOT WAIT for this to come out. So, go preorder it from....

1. Order a signed copy of the book from One More Page Books, my favorite indie in Arlington, VA! These preorders come with the swag: a bookplate, bookmark, postcard, and temporary tattoo, but they might include a little something extra as well as a surprise.

2. Order a copy from any retailer and send your mailing address and proof of purchase to TLMPreorders@gmail.com.



Goodreads Synopsis:

Stop the Magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future.

In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she's been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta's training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.


But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.


SOUNDS AMAZING, RIGHT!?
GO!
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
PREORDER!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

May Mini Reviews

It occurred to me that I don't do full reviews of all the books I read over the month and decided that doing a post or two during or at the end of each month to get a few ideas out about the books I read, without going into lengthy detail! Bigger posts will still be made, but for the other books I don't have so many thoughts on, they will go in here!

Each title will have a header and each one MAY contain spoilers. Fair warning!

1. A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas 

I thought this was a beautiful ending to the trilogy. The fact that it was a mirror of the events in book one at the end though kind of unsettled me a bit and I found the deaths (or lack thereof) strangely unlikely, regardless of the strength and power of the Inner Circle. And even though I love Feysand and I will fight for them forever, they lacked a tension that they had in the first two books that I missed (but they were adorable together). Even though the rest of the series isn't supposed to focus on them, I do hope we see lots more of them later on.

2. Throne of Glass (books 1-5) by Sarah J. Maas

As a whole, I loved the series and can't wait for more! After falling in love with Dorian in book 1, he almost got on my nerves in the later books (especially with Sorscha). And even though I loved Chaol in book 2, I absolutely, without a single doubt in my mind, hate him. So much. Rowan. My love. My poor small cinnamon roll. To precious for this world. But, like Feysand, he and Aelin lost that tension that I loved in Empire of Storms. Until the end of the book, that is. Now I need the book after this upcoming book, because this next one will be all about Chaol and that makes me sad. Love my badass Aelin, though! More badass assassin fighting please and thank you.


3. The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu 

Oh this book...after loving book one and being somewhat disappointed with book two, I hoped for a lot more. Almost most important to me is Magiano and Adelina's relationship, of which we got very little. Second, is what happens to Enzo, who was my first love of this series and I miss the book one him very dearly. The ending in general just makes me upset. I had higher hopes and expectations, but in a twisted way the ending makes sense, so I'll let go of my personal opinions.

4. A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

Elias... poor naive Elias. You don't have to do everything alone, let Laia help you. Keenan...holy shit. Helene, please leave me alone. I'm so tired of your 'I'm a girl but I can do it better than you' act even though you turn around and make the wrong choice or lose the fight. The tough act doesn't suit you, so please...don't. More Elias and Laia please, their interactions give me life. Guys, spoilers. Just think, we get to see more of Laia and her brother in book three!!!


5. The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye

Such darkness. What is it with all these books coming out and destroying my favourite characters?! In more ways than one. I'm talking mentally, physically, and spiritually. Nikolai is basically damaged beyond repair the majority of the book and I'm here mentally shoving him away from what's-her-face and trying to push him back toward Vika so she might be able to help him and she does...kind of. Boi, Nikolai's mother...*deep breath* I just cannot think of her without this uncontrollable rage coming over me, so I won't even go there. Book three please?? P.S. my name is in the acknowledgements of this book and that is probably my greatest achievement in life.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes - Series Review/Recap/Overlook

Image result for falling kingdoms series
Bear with me, this review/recap/overlook will include spoilers and my own personal opinions of the events that take place in the books Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring, Gathering Darkness, Frozen Tides, and Crystal Storm. If any of these are spoiled for you in the upcoming post, it is now your own fault, for I have given you this warning. I, in no way, own Falling Kingdoms or the characters in it.



Clearly, this being about the first 5 books in a rather long, tasking series, this will be a super long post. I will try my hardest to keep spoilers at the minimum, despite my prior warning, and I will do my best to keep this in sections. I will talk about the character evolution, the relationship evolution, and the plot evolution. As a reminder, these are my opinions and I don't mean to offend anyone.

Evolution of Characters

Princess Cleiona Aurora (Cleo) Bellos of Auranos: It's safe to say that Cleo is one of my favourite characters. Her transition from book one Cleo to book 5 Cleo is amazing and truly inspiring. She's forced to become this strong, deceitful person so quickly, you can't help but fall in love with her. In the first book, she is so happy-go-lucky and loose, she hates the Limerians by the end of book one, understandable. By the end of book five, though, she's in love with her worst enemy. Strong, proud, and willing to do anything to get her throne back. All the loss she has endured, it's only fair that something should finally go her way.

Prince Magnus Lukas Damora of Limeros: Magnus, like all the main characters, also went through a great transition. It's obvious in the first book how closed off and cold he is toward everyone, which is no surprise given his parents. The only light being Lucia in his life for so long. The end of book five was so incredibly heartbreaking for me, reading what happens to him (shan't spoil). After being with Cleo through so much, he finally opens up and when he does, it just turns on him. I just feel so bad for him. And I love him. So much.

Princess Lucia Eva Damora of Limeros: Being almost the sole hope for so many people must be a struggle in itself, but when everyone is fighting over the same power, it must be so much harder. I'm not saying that Lucia's loss of Alexius is anything to excuse the destruction she caused after the fact, but I feel like she should be cut some slack at the very least. It's possible, I think, for Lucia to redeem herself in the last book, having finally seen through the thick fog that blinded her for so long.

Jonas Agallon: Regardless of what I've read about Jonas, I find he has very few layers to his character. Simple peasant boy turned rebel. In ways it's so predictable, it should be expected. But as a rebel leader, Jonas fails in so many ways, seeing as his plans seem to almost never work and even when they do they result in a great loss of life. I understand his rage against losing his brother, but in his quest for revenge, he basically left his family behind and almost single handedly caused the Auranian battle in book one.

Felix Gaebras: King's assassin turned rebel. Somehow trained by some of the world's hardest people, yet manages to get in the clutches of Princess Amara and imprisoned. I'm not going to say that Felix's actions earned him his current position, but Felix's actions earned him is current position.

Nicolo (Nic) Cassian: I've loved Nic since book one. His banter with Magnus (whom he needs to make friendship with) alone is great, but his friendship with Cleo is the most pure thing ever and they deserve to be friends forever. He's just so sassy despite losing his sister and he's so strong and independent, I just love it! P.S. Nic, please be okay.

Princess (Empress??) Amara Cortas of Kraeshia: Power hungry. To the very core, power hungry. I hope she gets what she deserves in the long run.


Relationships

Magnus/Cleo (Magneo): Nothing in this world or the next could possibly convince me that they don't 100% belong together. They are passion and love and if they ruled together, they could become the most powerful couple, I'm convinced.

Jonas/Cleo: Dead end romance? Seemed like they had something going on that just kinda died off.

Lucia/Magnus: Started out super gross, but ended out being okay. I don't ship it, but I do want them to make up and be close again. It's the least that Magnus deserves.

Magnus/King Gaius: Super intense. Every scene with them is a show-down and I have to slow down to take in every minute. When Magnus finally stood up to him, I practically cried. Yet Gaius continues to intervene with Magnus's life, as if anything he does could fix their relationship.

Nic/Cleo: Worlds strongest/best friendship

Ashur/Nic: I want them to be happy. Let them be happy *looks hopefully at Morgan Rhodes*

Lysandra/Jonas: I'm actually convinced that they would never have worked out. Jonas was so in love with Cleo and then suddenly he's in love with Lys? SPOILER Right after she died?! I just don't believe it.

SERIES AS A WHOLE

To get across just how much I love this series, keep in mind that in order to properly do this post, I reread all five books and book marked pages I thought were important. And after I finished book five like yesterday, I wanted to start all over again. This series is so beautiful and I can't believe I called it a Game of Thrones wannabe the first time I read book one. I am so happy I decided to keep reading, it really shows that you should never judge a series by the first book. I will actually cry very real tears when I finish the last book, but until then I'll just reread the series until my books fall apart.