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I Belong

Early Review: The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher

September 1st, 2014 Kaitlin Posted in Review No Comments »

The Last ChangelingTitleThe Last Changeling

Author: Chelsea Pitcher

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Faerie Revolutions (Book #1)

Publication Date: November 8th, 2014

Format: Paperback, 360 Pages

ISBN-10: 0738740843 (Flux)

ISBN-13: 978-0738740843 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

Elora needs a sacrifice. What she gets is love.

Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”

Enter seventeen-year-old Taylor, an exile in his own home. Unable to forgive himself for the accident that took his little brother’s life, he has spent the past year living in the carriage house above his parents’ garage to distance himself from his deteriorating family. When Taylor meets Elora, who he believes to be a runaway, he senses a kindred spirit and lets her crash in his room. Elora is overjoyed that she may have found her sacrifice so quickly . . . until she finds herself falling in love with Taylor.

Quick & Dirty: There were many things I enjoyed, though the romance was too insta-love for my favor.

Opening Sentence: I was seventeen when death first crossed my path.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Taylor is a boy with a dead brother, abandoning family, and hard life. Elora is on a quest for the chance to save the land of the fae from an oppresive reign. But when Elora enrolls in high school to find what she needs, she finds that high school is much like the fae land. Popular jocks rule over those who don’t fit in with an iron fist. Soon, she is leading not one, but two revolutions, and falling in love.

I had high expectations for this book. For one, that mind-blowing cover. Look at it! The colors and shapes and brightness! And the synopsis got my excitement growing even faster. Did The Last Changeling deliver? It was not everything I had hoped and dreamed, but there were parts of it that I enjoyed. It didn’t unfold at all the way I had thought at first it would. There is more emphasis on the main character’s relationship than the plotline, most of the time: while it made their romance more powerful, it also swallowed lots of pages that could have otherwise have been filled with richer details about the plotline that were more relevant.

The duel point of views were Elora and Taylor. One thing I really appreciated about Changeling was that the chapters from the two different characters were written differently enough that I could tell who was who, which is pretty rare. I never got confused from who I was reading from. They each have pressing problems, Elora’s being the safety of the faerie race, and Taylor’s being his family and the recent death of his brother. Like I said before, it was very centered on their relationship, which by the way was insta-love. I am not a huge fan of insta-love, preferring instead a gradual buildup like Tris and Four (Divergent). The fact that humans are told to be despicable creatures in faerie lore isn’t helping Taylor in his quest for Elora. Let me tell you, also — they pine for each other 80% of this book and in the last 20% their kisses begin.

The information you receive about the character’s backstories are extremely staggered. You really don’t know fully what had been happening until towards the end. But, another thing I liked was the fae. The way their world was built was unique, and lots of fun to read about. Though it took a while to really understand the faerie world, since as I said the world building was staggered, I was happy when I did.

Was I happy with The Last Changeling? It was a good beginning to a series, for sure. It dealt with sensitive subjects: bullying, death, war, abandonment, betrayal. Something that it did have and I was pleased that it did was bi-sexual and gay characters. As gay pride becomes more celebrated, it seems natural that gay characters should be cropping up more in books. I liked how Taylor’s strained relationship with his family changes as the book goes on, thanks to Elora and the new strength she gives him. I like how Elora fights the bullies at the school with the same fire that she does the evil fae in the final battle — it made me smile. The misfits team up to fight the jocks and the populars. A character that I love, love, loved was Kylie’s girlfriend, who was such a tremendous surprise when she was revealed thanks to reasons you will discover if you read the book. Altogether I enjoyed The Last Changeling, though certain problems made it less appealing. Namely the insta-love romance.

Notable Scene:

“In the created social order of high school, we are required to project very specific identities in order to be accepted. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of trying to fit in.”

I paused, letting the gravity of my words sink in. Half the crowd had risen to their feet and those enthusiasts were nodding.

“I’m sick of trying to mold myself into someone else’s definition of acceptable, beautiful, valuable. I know I’m valuable. Why must I spend every day of my life proving it to other people? And at night, as I lie in bed, I think about the efforts I made that day to fit into an impossibly narrow standard, and I feel like I’m living a lie.”

Faerie Revolutions:

1. The Last Changeling

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FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of The Last Changeling.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Guild of Assassins by Anna Kashina

August 27th, 2014 Kelly Posted in Review No Comments »

The Guild of AssassinsTitleThe Guild of Assassins

AuthorAnna Kashina

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Majat Code (Book #2)

Publication Date: August 5, 2014

Format: Paperback, 464 Pages

ISBN-100857665278 (Angry Robot)

ISBN-13978-0857665270 (Angry Robot)

Reviewed by: Kelly

Synopsis:

Kara has achieved something that no Majat has ever managed – freedom from the Guild!

But the Black Diamond assassin Mai has been called back to face his punishment for sparing her life. Determined to join his fight or share his punishment, Kara finds herself falling for Mai.

But is their relationship – and the force that makes their union all-powerful – a tool to defeat the overpowering forces of the Kaddim armies, or a distraction sure to cause the downfall of the Majat?

Quick & Dirty: Kashina does an excellent job working backstory into this installment, giving those who haven’t read the first book a strong understanding of the unfolding events. Strong female characters, imaginative world building and a unique approach to the usual love triangle combine to make The Guild of Assassins a highly entertaining and sexy read. I truly enjoyed this unique story and look forward to reading more of her work.

Opening Sentence: Prince Kythar Dorn narrowed his eyes watching the lonely rider approach the castle at a slow walk.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

The Guild of Assassins wastes no time diving into the action. Oden Lan is still reeling from his order to have Kara assassinated for defending Prince Kythar Dorn from an earlier attack by the mind-controlling Kaddim Brotherhood. His conviction that Kara’s actions stemmed from her lovey feelings towards the Prince is intolerable because 1) Majat warriors are not allowed to have warm gushy feelings for anyone, and 2) despite rule #1, Oden Lan suddenly started having funny (read lustful) feelings toward Kara. If he – a man more powerful than any King – couldn’t have her then no one would! Oden Lan’s only comfort was knowing that Mai, the Majat’s most highly respected and deadly Diamond, killed her quickly with a signature move called the “Viper’s Sting.” Or so Oden Lan believed until a mysterious stranger brings him unwelcomed news. The stranger, whose knowledge of the internal operations of the Majat is eerily accurate, shocks Oden Lan by claiming that Kara is still alive. He states this is possible because Mai used the “Viper’s Kiss” – a move which mimics the effects of the Sting by instantly incapacitating its victim. It does not, however, result in immediate death.

Incensed beyond reason at Mai’s deceptive betrayal, Oden Lan issues an ultimatum – either Mai turn himself in for a creatively detailed tortuous death that only begins with impalement; OR be hunted for the rest of his days by other Diamond-level warriors (and then be tortured to death). Either way Mai chooses to play it, Oden Lan is intent on sending another assassin to finish Kara (for reals this time).

Kara’s fear that Oden Lan will punish Mai for his decision to spare her life is realized when another Diamond arrives at Castle Dorn. Mai, who’d been assigned to lead Dorn’s Royal Guard, has been relieved of duty and recalled to the Majat headquarters. Knowing that she will be killed once they’ve reached their home, Kara nonetheless vows to accompany Mai in the hopes of lessening his punishment. Guilt may have been a factor in her decision to accompany Mai, but this decision is the first glimpse at Kara’s strength. She’s not content to let others suffer for her mistakes nor will she shy away from her responsibilities. She acknowledges her feelings for Kyth (Prince Kythar’s nickname) played a role in her decision to defy Oden Lan’s orders, but realizes those feelings may not mean she’s in love with Kyth.  His attention flattered her, as he was the first guy to treat her like a desirable woman and not simply a trained killer. It was exhilarating, the first true emotions Kara allowed herself to feel, but Kyth’s adoration cannot change the fact that she’s a Majat Diamond. Her banishment from the Guild (if that’s what you can call being on the receiving end of an assassination attempt) has shaken her to the core, yet she refuses to let Kyth become her whole world. Returning with Mai – even if it’s to face death – is acknowledging who and what she is even if the Guildmaster doesn’t.

Which is a serious pain in Mai’s toned buttocks. Majat warriors – Diamonds in particular – are obedient to their leader’s orders. It wasn’t an easy decision for Mai to question Oden Lan’s erratic behavior and willingly choose to defy his direct orders to assassinate Kara. It’s clear he knew his defiance would bring severe punishment, but he also believed Kara made the right decision to save Kyth’s life. He accepted whatever consequences his actions would bring, even if a paranoid psychopath would mete out those consequences, the moment he chose to use the Viper’s Kiss. But he cannot bare the thought of Kara following him to her death. Even though he is one of the most disciplined and honorable Diamonds in Majat history, Mai has broken the first rule by falling in love with her. Mai does everything possibly to dissuade Kara from turning herself in. He tries to fight her, purposefully downplays the descriptive missive outlining Oden Lan’s plans of torture and even sneaks out while she is still preparing her supplies. Yet she finds a way to be by his side when he faces the wrath of their Guildmaster and uncover the hidden threat to the Empire.

Something that definitely did not make Kyth happy. Granted, I did feel pretty bad for the guy. He’s hopelessly in love with a woman who has broken up with him in order to follow another (extremely good-looking and powerful) man to certain death. I think Kashina did a fantastic job translating the insecurities of first love – and a first broken heart – as Kyth begrudgingly realized his own mistakes. However, I was a little disappointed with his secondary position in this book. Learning how to control his resistance to the Kaddim Brotherhood’s mind control, noticing Lady Celana’s blush, killing Mai with his eyes and pining after Kara sums up his entire role in this story.

Yet I highly enjoyed the approach Kashina took for her love triangle between Kyth, Kara and Mai. Kyth was obviously a very sweet guy who would do anything for Kara. Sadly, his immaturity and feelings of a “claim” on her was a stark contrast to Mai’s approach. That said, the number of times Mai looked at Kara with longing in his eyes came close to crossing from sexy to restraining-order-needy. Of course neither could resist getting into a pissing contest whenever the opportunity presented itself, but they eventually came to an understanding that kept their angst to a minimum. I was happy Kara had an active sex life minus the slut shaming. She was honest with both men about her feelings and actually took the time to reflect on what she wanted in life for herself before thinking about what either of the guys wanted – a refreshing character trait in a world of Bellas.

The Guild of Assassins is an all-around entertaining read for fans of most any genre. It has the drama and heat to keep Romance fans happy, the mystical action Fantasy readers enjoy and enough mystery to keep a reader’s interest to the satisfying conclusion.

Notable Scene:

“Like I said,” Mai continued,” none of your business. No offense, Aghat Kara.”

Kara nodded with the grim expression of one whose worst fears had been confirmed. “I’m coming with you.”

“No, you’re not.”

She lifted her chin. “Is there anything you can do to stop me?”

Mai’s eyes flared. His hand darted to this back, flicking his double-bladed staff out of its sheath. Almost simultaneously, Kara drew her two narrow swords with a long silken sound.

Before anyone else could react, Raishan darted forward, throwing himself between Mai and Kara. In the ensuing silence, the three Diamonds glared at each other.

“Stand down, both of you,” Raishan said. “You’re not planning to fight each other, are you? Not in the presence of the King and royal heir I hope?”

Mai held still for a moment. Then he slowly sheathed his weapon. His eyes slid over Kara, who stepped back and withdrew her swords. For a brief moment Mai’s gaze softened before resuming its tranquil, impenetrable expression.

“You’ll have to kill me to stop me, Aghat Mai,” Kara said.

The Majat Code Series:

1. Blades of the Old Empire

2. The Guild of Assassins

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FTC Advisory: Angry Robot provided me with a copy of The Guild of Assassins. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Breath of Iron by Kate Cross

August 25th, 2014 Steph Posted in Review No Comments »

Breath of IRonTitle: Breath of Iron

Author: Kate Cross

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Series: Clockwork Agents (Book #3)

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

Format: Paperback, 315 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451240065 (Signet/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0451240064 (Signet/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Sworn to protect England from all enemies, the Wardens of the Realm are ever vigilant. But not all battles are fought on a battlefield; sometimes they are fought in the heart.

As chief surgeon for the Wardens, Evelyn Stone fears her own life is on the line when she is kidnapped by a band of pirates—only to discover that the airship captain is Gavin “Mac” MacRae—her former lover. The man whose life she once saved. The man she abandoned.

Since Evelyn left, Mac made his mark as both a pirate and a pilot. But his true allegiance isn’t known. Upon asking Evie for help with a wounded woman on board, he tells Evie that the woman is his wife—even though his feelings for Evie have never waned.

As the days pass, however, the unease between Evie and Mac gives way to the old comfort they once had. Yet, their newly ignited romance is complicated by conflicting loyalties and desires, and a betrayal that may cost both of them their love and their lives.

Quick & Dirty: Evie has spent three years trying to get over Mac. Now he’s back in her life whether she wants him to be or not. Will she be able to resist the temptation to pick up where they left off?

Opening Sentence: Evelyn Stone literally held a man’s heart in her hands before tossing it into a bucket at her feet.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I went back and forth on whether to give this two or three stars. I ended up going with the former just because I spent much of the book feeling completely uninterested in what was going on. Neither of the main characters interested me, and the mystery/action side of the plot seemed more like a second thought and wasn’t all that intriguing to me.

It’s been three years since Evie left Mac after performing lifesaving surgery on him. She’s spent those three years trying to forget him, losing herself in affairs with men who remind her of him while also trying to focus on her work as a surgeon with the Wardens of the Realm. One night on her way home from a tryst, Evie runs into Mac’s sister Nell. They strike up a conversation, and the next thing Evie knows, she’s being knocked out with chloroform. She awakes on Mac’s ship, the Queen V. Far from wanting a reunion, Mac instead needs Evie to heal his wife, who’s been shot. The longer she is on the Queen V, the more Evie begins to realize that all is not what it seems. Who is this woman Mac needs to keep alive, and who keeps trying to kill her? Will Mac and Evie be able to resist the force that keeps pulling them together, or will they finally be able to figure out how to make a relationship work?

On the good side of things, this is probably the most easily understood steampunk novel I’ve read. Often, steampunk novels get bogged down in world building, often leaving the reader confused as to how things work. That’s definitely not the case here. I had no  problems at all understanding this world and how it operates. I found myself very intrigued at the prospect of reanimating the dead for interrogation purposes, which gets brought up in a couple scenes. I really wish the book would have delved into this a bit more.

Then there’s the bad. I had absolutely no interest in Evie and Mac as characters at all. Even after reading the book, I probably couldn’t give an accurate description of either of their personalities, as they both just came off very flat to me. A little more in depth information given up front regarding why Evie left him may have helped me understand one or both of them better, but without that background information, it made it very hard to side with either one of them.

Regarding the plot, while there were action scenes, for the most part, everything seemed very stagnant. I didn’t feel any tension or eagerness to find out what was going to happen next. It very much seemed like the action part of the plot was more of a second thought to the romance.

Overall, I just had a very hard time liking this book. While there were parts of the universe that I found interesting, there wasn’t enough of that to keep my interest throughout the entire book. As much as I hate to say it, this is not a series I plan on continuing.

Notable Scene:

She sat down on a nearby trunk to pull on her boots. “I’m sorry, did I mislead you into thinking I wanted something else? Did you hope that tonight would be the beginning of a long and loving relationship? Do you want to marry me?”

“No, of course not.” Too late he realized his mistake, and his distaste quickly turned to panic. “I mean, I had hoped that we could enjoy each other’s company for a little while longer and see how things develop.”

She had two choices – roll her eyes or smile sympathetically. She chose the smile. “That’s very sweet, and please don’t think I don’t appreciate the sentiment, but I really do have to go.” With that, she grabbed her coat and rose to her feet.

Franz chuckled humorlessly. “I’d heard you were a cold bitch, and now I believe it.”

Evie didn’t pause. She shoved her arm into one coat sleeve. “What’s the matter? Angry I’m leaving before you have the chance to kick me out? I’m assuming you wouldn’t want to risk your mother seeing me when she gets up in the morning.”

A dull flush suffused his cheeks beneath the golden stubble of his beard. “My landlady is a woman of discretion.”

She fastened a button. “Your landlady is your mother. Did you think I wouldn’t see the photographs and portraits of you as a child when we came in? Did you think I was so enamored of you I wouldn’t notice the note left on your dresser reminding you to give her your soiled laundry? She signed it ‘Love, Mother,’ for heaven’s sake.”

He stared at her with a mixture of horror and humiliation. “Get out.”

“It’s about damned time,” she retorted, and yanked open the bedroom door. “And take that condom off. You look ridiculous.”

Clockwork Agents Series:

1. Heart of Brass

2. Touch of Steel

3. Breath of Iron

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FTC Advisory: Signet/Penguin provided me with a copy of Breath of Iron. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Early Review: Tabulsa Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin

August 22nd, 2014 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

Tabula RasaTitle: Tabula Rasa

Author: Kristen Lippert-Martin

Genre: YA Thriller

Series: N/A

Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1606845187 (EgmontUSA)

ISBN-13: 978-1606845189 (EgmontUSA)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this heart-pounding debut.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory her troubled past is being taken away.

But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end.

Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who’s trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.

A high-stakes thriller featuring a non-stop race for survival and a smart heroine who will risk everything, Tabula Rasa is, in short, unforgettable.

Quick & Dirty: Intense story full of action and an intriguing plot. The writing felt a little choppy at times which made me feel a slight disconnect with the story, but overall it was a good read.

Opening Sentence: She points to the chair.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Sarah is getting a new shot at life. She has been a part of an experimental procedure where all of her memories are wiped clean. Once the procedure is complete she will no longer remember anything from her troubled past. Sarah has already been through multiple surgeries and there is just one left for her to be deemed a tabula rasa, or a blank slate. But right before her final procedure a group of elite soldiers invade the hospital, and they are looking for her. Instead of starting over like she planned, she is running for her life in a deserted hospital that is in the middle of nowhere.

Sarah quickly realizes that there was a reason her memories were being erased and if she doesn’t gain back what she lost she may not survive for much longer. With the help of a very cute but infuriating computer hacker, Sarah fights to stay alive and figure out what was so important that she had to forget everything about her past life!

Sarah was a great heroine, but I had a hard time making a good initial connection with her. The way the story was written, Sarah has very few memories of her past. As the story progressed you got to see glimpses into who she use to be. While I really liked this style of writing it made it difficult to connect with Sarah at times. By the end of the story, I actually loved her, but for the first half of the book I didn’t really understand her which made it hard for me to establish a great connection with Sarah. She is a strong character that had many wonderful qualities that I really liked. She is smart, resourceful, witty, and has a great sense of humor. While I didn’t love everything about her, I did end up really liking her.

Thinking about Thomas just makes me smile. He is a super smart good looking guy, but he was also really awkward at times which just made me love him more. When I first met him, I wasn’t quite sure what to think about him but as his story unfolds you start to see how amazing he is. He hasn’t always made the best decisions in his life, but overall he is a good person. The romance between him and Sarah was adorable and I thought they made a very cute couple.

Tabula Rasa is a very interesting story filled with adventure, suspense, and romance. At times I did get a little confused, especially at the beginning of the story, but everything made sense by the end. Also, the pacing wasn’t perfect, there were times it really dragged and other times it seemed rushed. I also felt like the writing was a little choppy. I don’t know if this is just due to lack of poor editing or if it was meant to feel more like that. Personally, I wasn’t a big fan of it because it distracted me from the story at times. With that all being said, this was still a very good read. I really liked the characters and the plot was very intriguing. I just think it could have been revised more and it would have been a lot better. While I didn’t love everything about this book, I would still recommend this to anyone that is looking for an action-packed story with lots of suspense!

Notable Scene:

And look at that! A sleek black helicopter is landing outside. The rotors come to a quick stop and fold up like some kind of mechanical insect. The windows shake once again as the helicopter that was hovering over the roof descends. It moves slowly, following the contour of the building like it’s prowling for something, looking into all the windows.

The next image that comes up on the monitor is startling and eerie: a small group of people rushing somewhere, frantically falling over each other as they run. That’s when I notice the familiar pattern of marble titles on the floor: It’s a mosaic of the rising sun. That’s the main lobby.

I go to the window and look through the blinds. The helicopter is now twenty yards away, a couple floors up. It begins to move off, and I think it’s leaving, but then the nose turns toward the building. Seconds later, there are three quick blasts of fire, followed by a whistling sound.

I’m able to think the word rockets just as they hit. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.

FTC Advisory: EgmontUSA provided me with a copy of Tabula Rasa.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Early Review: Firebug by Lish McBride

August 21st, 2014 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

FirebugTitle: Firebug

Author: Lish McBride

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Firebug (Book #1)

Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0805098623 (MacTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0805098624 (MacTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse?

Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her mother’s death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.

Quick & Dirty: Hilarious story full of action, adventure and a splash of romance. McBride once again delivers a purely fun book that I’m sure all young adult paranormal fans will enjoys

Opening Sentence: RYAN SLAMMED the book shut and tipped his head back, sprawling on the bench and claiming it as his own.

ExcerptYes

The Review:

Seventeen year old Ava has a very special ability, she can start fires with her mind. People with her talents are known as firebugs and they are very rare. Because they are so hard to come by there are certain groups of people that will go to great lengths to gain their services. Unfortunately, at a young age Ava’s mother was murdered and she was forced to sign a blood contract with the Coterie, the group that had her mother killed. If she refused to work for them they would have killed everyone she cares about.

Now years later, Ava works as a magical hit man for the Coterie. She doesn’t like her job, but if she refuses to do anything they tell her to there are dire consequences for her and those she cares about. But when she is ordered to kill a family friend Ava says no. She knows that there is no walking away from the Coterie so her and a small group of friends take off. But soon Ava realizes that running away isn’t going to solve anything and if she wants to finally live a somewhat normal life she is going to have to face her problems head on. And right now her problem is the Coterie!

I loved Ava, she was a snarky girl with lots of attitude which is my favorite kind of character. She also has a really big heart which made it even easier to like her. Her life obviously hasn’t been the easiest, but overall she has a pretty positive outlook. She has great friends, a loving guardian, and a place she can finally call home. Growing up she was constantly on the run with her mother so to finally have a place to call home is a really big deal to Ava. Just like all teenagers she makes some dumb decisions, but she owns up to her mistakes and I liked that. She doesn’t run from her problems, she faces them which I found very admirable. Overall, I thought she was a fun character and I can’t wait to read more of her story.

My favorite character in the entire book was Lock. He is part dryad and has the ability to talk to trees. He volunteered to work for the Corterie in exchange for them to leave his family alone. He has been part of Ava’s team from the moment she joined the Coterie. Even though he’s not the most powerful one of the group he has always been the leader. He takes care of Ava and Erza, which I thought was really cute. I loved that he doesn’t sugarcoat things he tells you how it is even if you don’t want to hear it. He obviously has a thing for Ava, but she is totally oblivious to it. I am totally rooting for him and if Ava doesn’t end up with him eventually, I am going to be very disappointed.

The other member of their group is Ezra. He is a werefox which basically means he can transform into a fox whenever he wants to. He is sneaky just like a fox and quite good at stealing anything he wants. He also is crazy good looking but his relationship with Ava is totally platonic. Ezra is hilarious and always helps to lighten the mood which was refreshing. He is also a very loyal friend and just an all around nice guy.

Firebug was an action-packed story full of humor, adventure, and a splash of romance. Just like other works by McBride, this was just pure fun. She does such a great job filling the pages with playful banter and intriguing characters. I was instantly drawn into the world that she created and enjoyed the entire story. While there wasn’t a lot of romance in the story there is a good setup for the next book in the series. The best thing about this story was all the amazing characters.  Each one of them was engaging and because I loved all of them so much, it really helped me to connect with the story as a whole. The ending was done perfectly, it wrapped up everything nicely but left me still wanting more. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Overall, this was a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun young adult book!

Notable Scene:

Between the back and forth, the staring from the table, and all the affection, I was officially beet red all the way to my roots. I should have pretended to barf when I had the chance. In fact, I actually did feel like barfing. I smacked Lock’s arm as it moved to snake back around me, but that didn’t take the smug look off his face as he stared at Ryan.

“By the way, if you’re looking for your black jeans, they’re at my place,” Lock stage-whispered at me. “I put them with your spares and your toothbrush.”

I glowered at my best friend. The bastard. On the occasions when I had to work close to the city and I was too tired or too weak after a job, I crashed at Lock’s apartment, rather than take a room in one of the Coterie-owned hotels. Can you imagine their mini bar? Candy bars, vials of blood, raw meat, brains, maybe some bottled water … ew. I had a bag full of spare clothes and supplies at Lock’s place, and he had just used that information to take Ryan’s jealousy to code red. It looked like he was ready to shoot flames out of his ears. Which I did once, by the way, just to see if I could. It took months for my hair to grow back properly.

Firebug Series:

1. Firebug (September 23, 2014)

FTC Advisory:  Macmillan provided me with a copy of Firebug.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

 

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