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Review: Resurrection by Amy Carol Reeves

April 17th, 2014 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

ResurrectionTitle: Resurrection

Author: Amy Carol Reeves

GenreYA Historical Fiction/Paranormal

Series: Ripper (Book #3)

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Format: Paperback, 360 Pages

ISBN-10: 0738738778 (Flux)

ISBN-13: 978-0738738772 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

When she catches Edmund Wyatt following her through the streets of London, Abbie Sharp learns that every British monarch for hundreds of years has known about—and financially supported—the Conclave. Furious that the monarchy would cooperate with such a nefarious group, Abbie refuses Wyatt’s request for help in catching the person who is blackmailing Queen Victoria with this secret information. But a far greater threat emerges when the Ripper, Max, returns and brings a string of new murders with him. Abbie must choose whether to help the Queen she now despises or stop Max from succeeding at his most diabolical plan yet—the creation of a whole new Conclave aimed at usurping the British throne.

Quick & Dirty: Fantastic ending to a stunning series. This was a wonderfully woven story filled with adventure, passion, and intrigue. I would highly recommend this series to fans of historical fiction or paranormal books!

Opening Sentence: By the time he stepped outdoors to escape the stifling billiard game conversation, young Lionel Millbrough the Third’s head swam from the three brandies he had unwisely consumed.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Abbie Sharp has survived the Conclave, a twisted group of immortal men that wanted to make her join them. Next was the Lamias, a dangerous creature that the Conclave created through their experiments that tried to kill Abbie. But she is about to face her most dangerous foe of all, the Ripper has returned to London and he has an undead army at his command. With a string of new brutal murders raging across the city it is up to Abbie to try and stop Max before he is able to overthrow the throne. She will have to put her dreams of going to medical school and eventually marrying her true love on hold because defeating Max once and for all is the most important thing right now. Abbie will stop at nothing to finally finish this, even if it means sacrificing her life or the lives of those she loves.

Abbie is a strong no nonsense type of heroine. Not only is she beautiful, she is also very smart and resourceful. She wants more than anything to become a doctor which isn’t the easiest thing to do in the time period she lives in. I really admired her strength and determination to fulfill her goals even though they are difficult. Throughout the books she has always stayed a constant character that was so easy to love and relate too. She is fiercely independent and at times I did feel that this was slightly overdone in her character. But I still loved her even though she wasn’t perfect. I loved being inside her head and I am sad to see her story end.

William is such a stubborn man. He spends a great portion of the book trying to recover from his injuries that he sustained during his imprisonment with the Lamia. Because of this he feels pretty useless and that makes him even moodier than normal. He doesn’t always think things through before he acts, which can be very dangerous at times. But when it comes to Abbie he will do anything for her and his devotion to her is remarkable. They don’t really seem like a likely couple since they are both so head strong but they have undeniable chemistry and their love is timeless. I really love William even though he can be frustrating at times, I think that he always means well.

Simon is such an all around great person. He is one of those people that you are better off for just knowing them. He is always there when you need him and someone that is constantly helping others. He cares deeply for Abbie and he respects her decisions even if he doesn’t agree with them. In so many ways he is the better choice for Abbie with his level head and mild demeanor, but they are lacking that burning chemistry Abbie has with William. Even still, I loved Simon and thought that he was just a great guy and his character was a very vital addition to the overall story.

Resurrection was a fantastic ending to an extraordinary series. It is infused with non-stop action, engaging characters, and epic romance. If you have read many of my reviews you know how much I adore books set in London in the 1800’s, so of course I loved that about this book. But Reeves’ adds her own personal twist to the setting that made the Ripper series unique. I love that she implemented parts of history into a work of fiction, it made the story feel much more realistic. The pacing of the book is spot on and pretty much from page one you are hooked. I also have to commend Reeves’ on delivering a wonderful ending. I have read so many books that are action packed like this one and it ends up leading to a very anti-climatic final showdown, luckily that is not the case in this story. I am sad to see this series end but I have become a huge fan of Reeves’ work and am looking forward seeing what she comes up with next. I would highly recommend this series to anyone that enjoys historical fiction with a paranormal twist.

Notable Scene:

I had fallen asleep in the chair in front of my desk, my anatomy book still open on my lap, an ink stain in the lap of my nightgown. The candle upon my desk had long since burned down. I squinted as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. According to the clock above my bedroom fire place, it was two o’clock in the morning.

I wondered if perhaps I had been dreaming. The house was now silent.

Rubbing my eyes, I returned the book to the desk, walked heavily to my bed.

Just as I slipped under my bedcovers a loud thump, as if someone had thrown a large sack of flour against my bedroom door, jolted me.

I leaped from the bed, laid my hand on the doorknob.

Silence.

I held my breath, swung the door open.

I screamed.

Ellen’s body tumbled into my room, her throat ripped out, as the back of her head hit my bedroom floor her lifeless eyes staring up at me.

Ripper Series:

1. Ripper

2. Renegade

3. Resurrection

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

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Review: Falling Light by Thea Harrison

April 16th, 2014 Steph Posted in Review No Comments »

Falling LightTitle: Falling Light

Author: Thea Harrison

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Series: Game of Shadows (Book 2)

Publication Date: February 4, 2014

Format: Paperback, 289 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425255107 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425255100 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Having finally reunited, and fought off The Deceiver for now, Mary and Michael race up the Michigan peninsula to meet Astra before police forces catch up with them. But the closer they get, the less Mary is willing to trust a woman who by her own admission will do anything to finish The Deceiver – even if it means killing Michael and Mary to try again in another life. As they face their final battle unsure if they can trust either side, Michael’s loyalties are tested, making him vulnerable just when Mary needs him most.

Quick & Dirty: In this conclusion to the Game of Shadows duology, Michael and Mary are in a race against time, trying to reach Astra before the Deceiver catches up to them. Will they be able to make it in time?

Opening Sentence: When Michael killed the two unconscious men that lay sprawled in the overgrown grass, he did so with quick, efficient slashes across their carotid arteries.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

This book was probably more like 2.5 stars rather than 3, but I rounded up. As much as I love Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series, this Game of Shadows duology just does not do it for me, which is very disappointing. While the story moved at a good pace, I just could not bring myself to care about what was going on, which made it a very difficult read.

The book starts immediately where the first one left off, so it would definitely be helpful to read that book first. Michael and Mary are on the run, trying to find their way to Astra before the Deceiver catches up to them. This becomes tricky, as the Deceiver has framed them for a massacre he committed, and every cop and federal agent in the area is on their trail. As they continue to make their way towards Astra, they also continue reacquainting themselves with each other and trying to figure out exactly how you navigate a soulmate relationship when your base personalities (warrior vs. healer) are so different. Meanwhile, as he attempts to chase down Michael and Mary, the Deceiver is also doing his best to track down Astra, so he can take care of her once and for all and continue with his plans to take over the Presidency. Who will reach Astra first? Will Michael and Mary be able to win their fight against the Deceiver?

As is often the case with books that I have a hard time liking, one of my biggest problems has to do with the characters. I just could not form a connection with any of the three main “good guys.” I think, in the end, everyone came off feeling more like caricatures of a particular character type (e.g., strong hero who has a hard time expressing himself, wise old woman who tends to butt in where she’s not wanted) rather than characters with distinct personalities of their own. Mary seemed to move quickly from the woman who refused to believe what was going on in book one to all of a sudden having complete control over her alien healing abilities. A little bit of a learning curve would have been nice to see and would have made everything a bit more believable to me. On the positive character side, I really liked Nicholas, but he is by no means a main character and is only in a small number of scenes. If Harrison ever decides to write a story from his point of view, I would definitely be interested in reading it.

As I said before, the pace of the story is good. There’s never really a slow moment. While there are plenty of fight scenes, this book didn’t seem quite as dark as book one. It’s still not a light read, but there wasn’t as much blood and gore as was present in certain book one scenes. Overall though, the book didn’t quite work for me, which is very unfortunate. It won’t keep me from reading any of Harrison’s future stories though!

Notable Scene:

“There are things I can teach you, and things you need to help me do. We must not let the Deceiver keep the three of us from reuniting.”

“That’s what Michael says,” Mary said. She lifted her gaze. “We won’t stop again.”

“Good,” said Astra, sensing truth.

“I must go,” Mary said suddenly. “I meant to take only a little nap after I healed my shoulder. Michael’s still injured. He needs me.”

“Of course,” Astra stood. “It is so good to see you again, Mary. It has been far too long. I have missed you. Please come quickly.”

Mary stood as well. “We will. We are.”

Astra nodded and thrust gently out of the other woman’s dream, traveling back to the cool quiet well of her own mind.

I am not in control of her, Astra thought. And Mary does not show the absolute dedication to our cause that we all need, especially now when the Deceiver is so close at hand.

The realization was jarring. Astra had been confident of Michael for so many centuries. For lifetimes. His rage at the disappearance of his mate ran so deep. But now that he had found Mary, she was beginning to skew his motives.

They were starting to fight for survival, not for the Deceiver’s destruction.

Astra must be prepared to kill them both when they arrived.

Game of Shadows:

1. Rising Darkness

2. Falling Light

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

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Review: A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz

April 16th, 2014 Candy Posted in Review No Comments »

A Clockwork HeartTitle: A Clockwork Heart

AuthorLiesel Schwarz

Genre: Steampunk

Series: The Chronicles of Light and Shadow (Book 2)

Publication Date: August 13, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0345545087 (Del Rey)

ISBN-13: 978-0345545084 (Del Rey)

Reviewed by: Candy

Synopsis:

FOR BETTER OR CURSE. That might as well have been the wedding vow of Elle Chance and her new husband, the ex-Warlock Hugh Marsh in the second book of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into storytelling magic.

As Elle devotes herself to her duties as the Oracle—who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay—Marsh finds himself missing the excitement of his former life as a Warlock. So when Commissioner Willoughby of the London Metropolitan police seeks his help in solving a magical mystery, Marsh is only too happy to oblige. But in doing so, Marsh loses his heart . . . literally.

In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device—a device that makes Marsh a kind of zombie. Nor is he the only one. A plague of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Now Elle must join forces with her husband’s old friend, the Nightwalker Loisa Beladodia, to track down Marsh’s heart and restore it to his chest before time runs out.

Quick & Dirty: While investigating some disappearances Marsh runs into some bad people who turn him over to an insane woman who removes his heart and replaces it with a clockwork heart. Now it is up to Elle and her friends and family to rescue Marsh and restore his heart to him before it is too late.

Opening Sentence: Not all fairy tales end with Happy Ever After.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Elle and Marsh are newly married and there are many new changes in their lives. Elle wants things to be like they were before she was married and Marsh wants her to stay home and tend him like a dutiful wife. This leads to them butting heads and Elle leaving on her airship without him. While she is gone Marsh gets bored and decided to take on a case involving people just disappearing. Unfortunately, Marsh is captured by those who are responsible and is in turn turned into a zombie like creature. They remove his heart and add a clockwork heart. When Elle returns she stops at nothing to find her husband and when she does she turns to those closest to her to return her husband into the man he was rather than the zombie she finds.

I did not enjoy this story in the beginning. This could partially be because this is the second book in the series and I didn’t read the first book, because of this I missed some important information and so I couldn’t relate to the characters at first. I also thought it was too slow and boring. Also, as a modern woman I couldn’t help but feel for Elle when her husband wanted her to give up her whole life, including her love of flying and stay at home and just make him happy. One of the hardest parts of this book for me was some of the vocabulary. I have not read many steampunk novels and the ones I have only touch on the actual terminology, such as blunderbuss which is actually a really old style of gun. This is only one example of something I needed to look up. That is not the case in this book. In this story they use many words that I had to look up to understand them. But I admit the story finally picked up and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen. Now I am hooked and I have to find out what happens with Elle and Marsh.

I did enjoy Elle. She is not like most women in her time period. While most women stay at home and keep house, Elle has her own airship company and flies her own ships. Also, you could tell that she was a good person. She is the Oracle, which is the keeper of the shadow lands. Many would use this power to their own advantage but Elle does not abuse her powers. Also, when her husband goes missing she will stop at nothing to get him back and whole again. She is kind and generous, even to complete strangers she has just met.  On the other hand I had a hard time liking Marsh. During the part when he is human I get the sense that he does love Elle deeply but that at the same time he wants to control her and wants to take her from her passions because they sometimes leave him out. I do have to say that in the end I liked the sacrifice he makes for her.

I recommend reading the first book before reading this one. I honestly think it would have helped me enjoy this book more if I had read the first one. That being said this book is good for those who truly enjoy a good steampunk story.

Notable Scene:

His body went limp; all that made this man was extinguished.

Gently she rolled him onto his back. His handsome face was pale but relaxed, as if he were asleep. The only detectable sign of life was the gentle rise and fall of his chest.

“Hush now, my dearest. It will all soon be over,” she murmured against his cheek.

“Emilian!” She called.

He was in the room within moments, as if he had been waiting just outside the door.

“Help me get him onto the table,” she said.

The Chronicles of Light and Shadow:

1. A Conspiracy of Alchemists

2. A Clockwork Heart

3. Sky Pirates

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FTC Advisory: Del Rey/Random House provided me with a copy of A Clockwork Heart. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Early Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera

April 15th, 2014 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

Rebel Amy TinteraTitle: Rebel

Author: Amy Tintera

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: Reboot (Book #2)

Publication DateMay 13, 2014

FormatHardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062217100 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062217103 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

The sequel to the action-packed Reboot is a can’t-miss thrill ride, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu.

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn’t what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren’s instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he’s underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

Quick & Dirty: Brimming with suspense, action, and romance this series is a must read for all young adult dystopian fans. Tintera delivered a wonderful ending to this dazzling series that has quickly become one of my favorite reads of the year.

Opening Sentence: Wren was silent.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

There was a virus that spread and killed thousands of people, but some of those people Rebooted or in other words, came back to life. The longer you were dead the stronger you were, but you also had fewer emotions. All the Reboots were taken and forced to work for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Wren and Callum are both Reboots that lived in the Rosa Reboot facility, but they recently escaped. There were rumors that there is a Reboot Reservation that is safe for all  Reboots looking for freedom, but what they find is very different than what they expected.

The Reservation is run by a ruthless leader that is set on getting revenge. He feels that Reboots are the superior race and the only way for them to prosper is to completely eliminate their enemies, which is the entire human race. Wren wants nothing more than to run away with Callum, but Callum refuses to just stand by and watch his family get slaughtered. Is there a way to save everyone they care about — human and reboot? Wren and Callum are about to find out!

Wren is a wonderful heroine and she grows so much in this story. She is more open and honest about how she feels, which made her way easier to relate too. She’s not use to dealing with feelings because it’s a Reboot’s nature to suppress them and the HARC trained them to do that as well. I loved seeing this softer side of Wren, it in no way made her seem weak, just stronger all around. It brought out her human side and made her a more admirable character.

Callum also grew by leaps and bounds in this book, which made him sexier. When it came to expressing how you feel and being smart, he was an expert, but when it came to fighting or taking control of a situation, he really struggled with it. But luckily he has found something worth fighting for and he ends up really standing out as a leader. He is still that great adorable guy that can easily make you smile, but he shows a tougher side to him that made him a better rounded character. His relationship with Wren is so sweet, they really balance each other out perfectly, and they also had really great chemistry. They were both wonderful characters and I am sad to see their story come to a close.

Rebel starts off with a bang and is a fast paced adventure the whole way through. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and luckily this one was just as good. Just like in Reboot, this was told from both Wren and Callum’s POV, which I really liked. I liked being able to see what each of them was thinking, but there were a few times I did get a little confused on whose head I was in. Both characters were so easy to like, as were all the wonderful secondary characters. The plot was intriguing and intense, it easily kept me interested. The romance is adorable and I loved how it developed slowly and realistically. I really enjoy Tintera’s writing, it is captivating and she really knows how to tell a great story. This was the ending to the series, which made me sad because I loved it so much. But the ending was very satisfying and I am really looking forward to whatever Tintera comes out with next. I would highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a fast paced dystopian novel with loveable characters, swoony romance, and heart pounding adventure.

Notable Scene:

Beth and Addie exchanged a horrified expression and a sick feeling started to build in my stomach.

“On the hunt?” Addie said, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Technically she went to find the Reboots who didn’t come back, but I think they were going to hunt if they could.” I swallowed. “Why? What’s wrong?”

“Did they tell her what the hunt was?” Addie’s eyes were big, worry mixing with fear.

“I . . . I don’t know.” I glanced from her to Beth.

“What’s the hunt?”

Reboot Series:

1. Reboot

2. Rebel (May 13, 2014)

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

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Review: This Strange and Familiar Place by Rachel Carter

April 14th, 2014 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

This Strange and Familiar PlaceTitle: This Strange and Familiar Place

Author: Rachel Carter

GenreYA Sci-Fi

Series: So Close to You (Book #2)

Publication Date: July 2, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 006208108X (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062081087 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

These are the things of which Lydia is now certain:

The Montauk Project has been experimenting with time travel for years.

The Project’s subjects are “recruits” from across time, recruits like Wes, Lydia’s ally, friend, and love.

The Project is now responsible for the disappearance of two members of her family…

The conspiracy theorists were right about the Montauk Project all along. In this sequel to So Close to You, they’re coming for Lydia next…

Quick & Dirty: Wonderful sequel filled with mystery, suspense and romance. I love this series and would highly recommend it to all young adult sci-fi fans.

Opening Sentence: My eyes open.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I wanted to start off by saying that even though I tried to keep this as spoiler free as possible there are a few spoilers from the first book in this review. So I would suggest that you read the first book before reading this review.

Lydia Bentley has returned to a life that’s not her own. When she traveled back into the year 1944 she changed something in time that has had a very negative rippling effect to her life. Her grandfather disappeared years ago, her relationship with her friends and family is totally different, and she is a stranger to the girl she is in this life. There is only one person that knows the real her and she hasn’t seen Wes since she returned to her own time.

When Wes suddenly appears in her bedroom one night to say goodbye for good, Lydia makes the choice to not let that happen. She decides to convince him to let her follow him back to the year 1989 and help him with his mission. She also wants to try and figure out a way to get Wes out of the Montauk Project for good so they can finally be together. That is the year her grandfather disappeared and if fate is on her side, maybe she can fix her future as well as save Wes. But the Projects have their own plans and Lydia is a big part of them.

I completely adore Lydia she is such a sweet girl that loves fiercely and will go to great lengths to save everyone she cares about. The life she returned to was so foreign to her and it was awkward to watch her try to stagger through her everyday life. Once she reconnects with Wes she gets back to being the same Lydia that I connected with in the first story.  I admire her determination and strength to always try to do what she thought was right. She doesn’t always make the best decisions but her flaws make her easier to relate too. I think she is a great character and I can’t wait to see her grow even more in the next book.

Wes is just totally dreamy. He has put up walls around his emotions because that is what he has been trained to do, but with Lydia he starts to let some of those walls crumble. I loved learning more about his background and where he came from, it made him feel more realistic. He is very protective of Lydia and I loved watching their relationship develop. He is a great love interest with the perfect amount of mystery and sexiness.

This Strange and Familiar Place was a great sequel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure. It started off a little slow for me but once things picked up, I found that I couldn’t wait to finish it. There were some big plot twists that took me completely by surprise in a very good way. I adore the characters and felt that my connection with them just intensified more in this book. Carter’s writing is so captivating and full of suspense that it is easy to get lost in her stories. Also, I wanted to mention how perfect the title of this book fits the story perfectly, and I just really like it! This is the first time travel series I have read and I loved it so far. The ending is complete torture, but fortunately for me the last book comes out in a few months. I would highly recommend this series to anyone that is a time travel or sci-fi fan.

Notable Scene:

“We can’t let them win.” I push my hands forward, as though the idea is a physical thing I’m holding out to him.”You know that better than anyone, especially after what you saw tonight. I refuse to let this be our fate—apart no matter what we do. I don’t know how we’re going to find a way out of this, but we can do something right now. We can choose each other.”

He shuts his eyes as if in pain. When he opens them, there’s a look I never seen in his gaze before—something bright and wild.

He moves closer. “You might be giving up everything. Are you sure this is what you want?”

“Yes.” No hesitation.

I hold my breath, waiting for him to send me away again. But then he slips his hand into mine. “I want to be where you are, too.”

So Close to You Series:

1. So Close to You

2. This Strange and Familiar Place

3. Find Me Where the Water Ends (July 1, 2014)

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of This Strange and Familiar Place. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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