28. tra 2015.

(ARC Review) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Buy the book:
Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository
Author's:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Expected publication date: May 5th 2015, Balzer + Bray

My rating: 3 stars

Book summary:

"When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)"

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21570318-crimson-bound


      Rosamund Hodge and her debut novel, Cruel Beauty, was one of the best gems of 2014 - at least for me. Gothic and dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast, main female character who is almost anti-heroine and a bad guy with a closet full of skeletons. And, of course, pretty cover. I was looking forward to reading her second novel, Crimson Bound. 

     But something went wrong. First of all, if my memory serves me right, originally this was supposed to be story set into the same fictional world as Cruel Beauty. Or I just overlooked that note in the book description stating that Crimson Bound is not part of the same fictional world. I got into the book expecting similar setting and then - puff, I was all how?, who?, where?... Devaurer, what? I can only blame myself for this. I wish that I can say that it was the only thing that bothered me. Sadly, there was more. 

      Rachelle. I am not the fan of main female character. She should be strong and kick ass, and she is sometimes, but most of the times she was insecure and naive. 

      Love triangle. Actually I wasn't the fan of romance in general when it comes to this book. They go quickly from "I do not trust you" phase to "I love you and let's be together". There was this one part that completely surprised me - in a good way, because you won't see that kind of twist very often in young adult novels. I just wish that author didn't rushed it so much. 

      Mythology. So confusing, but original. I had to read some explanations again to understand what is going on - it's not outright description or even completely clear. You got a lot of vague clues and hints about paranormal side, but in the end, everything comes to the right place. Rosamund Hodge did a great job with describing Forest considering that it is more like metaphysical than actual place.   

      Final judgement? Crimson Bound  would be a perfect choice for fans of fantasy novels who crave for a little bit different story and everyone who prefer more mature young adult genre.



 Happy reading,
 
*ARC was provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.*
 If you found this review helpful, please, consider liking it on Godreads.


27. tra 2015.

Series Review - Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 stars

Series summary:

"The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.

It’s a volatile, screwed-up world. Magic feeds on technology, gnawing down on skyscrapers until most of them topple and fall, leaving only skeletal husks behind. Monsters prowl the ruined streets, werebears and werehyenas stalk their prey; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst for knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But sometimes even trained killers make friends and fall in love, and when the universe tries to kick them in the face, they kick back."

https://www.goodreads.com/series/40691-kate-daniels

      It's been ages since I read urban fantasy or binge-read long series, and I've had my eye on Kate Daniels ever since Tanja (and several of our friends) raved about how amazing it is. So, I finally picked it up. Did I like it? YES!

Five kick-ass, awesome things about Kate Daniels series

  • Main female character. What I like the most in books I read is strong women and there are a lot of those here. Kate has come close to dethroning my ultimate girl crush, MacKayla Lane from Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. 
  • Mystery. Every sequel is focused on different set of the events, but at the same time everything is connected and there is the bigger story behind everything.
  • Romance. Curran and Kate are the power couple of bookish world. Their chemistry is perfect, authors managed to make romance believable and present just enough to make everything interesting, and still give both characters something more than just "the couple" epithet.
  • Secondary characters. They are not just fellow sidekicks, but you'll find actual character development. Everyone has their own reasons for doing things, you understand why they act certain way and you even wish to read their own stories. My favorite? Derek. 
  • World building. It started slow and I have to admit that in the first book I had few issues. That is why I am happy that I've waited this long to read Kate Daniels. With every new book, authors give us new pieces of puzzle and you just have to be patient.

      Magic Shifts, eight book, should be publisher in August and I cannot wait to have it in my hands. Along with Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning, it's one of my most anticipated urban fantasy novels.


Happy reading,




26. tra 2015.

The Sunday Post (#49)

Hello all. Well, as some of you know Sundays are always reserved for Sunday Post which is a meme created by lovely Kim @Caffeinated Book Reviews!

 Hello, our lovelies!

Yes, we've been missing for a while now, but that doesn't mean that we haven't been reading or checking out your posts. We miss blogging and talking with you, that's why we will try our best to be more active from now on. Please, don't be mad at us - real life can be demanding sometimes, as you know. I've been really busy at work, my students are getting ready for finals, so my days are filled with lesson plans, grading papers and brain-storming new ideas. Tanja is in her nerd-mode, studying  and writing essays. It will be over soon for both of us - June is almost here.
We hope that you are enjoying spring and lovely, sunny days.

  • Series Review - Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
  • ARC Review - Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Cover Lust
  • Bookish Problems 


Thank you Galley Boos and Blazer + Bray.

Until the next time,

6. tra 2015.

Promo: The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer by Laxmi Hariharan

Buy the book at  FLIPKART (Paperback) / AMAZON (e-book)

Book blurb:
An angry young girl, desperate to rescue her best friend.A sexy cop willing to do anything to save the city he serves.A delusional doctor bent on annihilation.
The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer is a fast paced, gritty, thriller, with strong dystopian undertones and a kickass protagonist, taking you on a white-knuckle-ride through a disintegrating Bombay City.
When Ruby Iyer's best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Kamini Braganza, she will do anything to rescue him. Anything, including taking the help of the mysterious Vikram Roy, a cop-turned-rogue on a mission to save Bombay. The city needs all the help it can get, and these two are the only thing standing between its total destruction by Dr Braganza's teen army. As Bombay falls apart around them, will Ruby be able to save her friend and the city? Will she finally discover her place in a city where she has never managed to fit in? And what about her growing feelings for Vikram?

Excerpt:
Normally, you trust people who come from backgrounds similar to you. In my case, it’s just the opposite. The nearer the blood, the bloodier—another of Dad’s famous sayings is stuck in my head. I left home, but they haven’t left me. I mean, how much of our parents do we carry around inside us? Do we even know?Then the car is flying up, shooting through the air like a jet at take-off, only to crash nose-down. Like a soccer ball, we bounce once on the front tyres, then the car overturns, turning cartwheels before landing on its side—Vikram’s side—in a sickening crunch.There’s a second screech as another car rams us again from behind, sending us into a tailspin. I look across to Vikram, seeing the world swirl around him. His eyes are still open with shock, staring straight ahead, his hands glued to the steering wheel, still trying to make a difference. The sword I tossed on the floor boomerangs through the air before hitting me on the back of my head. Grabbing it, I hold on.The car swirls once more, like milk lazily being stirred into chai, before jarring to a standstill. The shock jams me against the seat, the car belt still holding me back. Then, it's quiet. Except for a steady drip-drip-drip of liquid … It’s the petrol from the fuel tank.This vehicle is going to catch fire soon.Vikram is hunched over the wheel, his face towards me, eyes closed, and a cut over his forehead that is already bleeding a trail of red over his cheek.The creepy-crawlies inside me hit a new high, like a falsetto in a concerto. It’s really way too hot now, the flames consuming me. Then, cold violet liquid runs under my skin, making me shiver.The remainder of my car window explodes, the bang so loud I think we are being shot at. Shards of glass tinkle over me, feather-light flakes in a snow globe. They fall over my face, bouncing against my forearms, the whitened knuckles of my palms still clutched around the sword. My heart rams against my rib cage, beating so fast I think it's going to jump out of my chest. With trembling hands, I unsheathe the blade. Plunging it through the window, I scrape against the side all the way around the frame, shaking out the remaining glass pieces. The sharp edge of the steel cuts through the seat belt and I am free the next moment, folding over to hit my forehead against the dashboard. The jolt lunges through the haze in my head.
The overpowering smell of petrol draws me to the opening in the window. My sword goes first. Then, swivelling my back to the door, I push my hands onto the roof outside, pulling through so my head and shoulders pop out through the opening. As I slide through the frame, my back scrapes against some of the sharp edges. I can see the tips of the glass draw against my skin, carving through the soft flesh so drops of blood bead the shattered geometry. All the other parts of my body pale in comparison. There is just me now, and that straight line of red I see in my mind’s eye. And just like that, there are no longer that many thoughts running around my head.
I can breathe again.Think again.Concentrate.I jump onto the tarred surface, the broken glass slivers crunching under my sneakers. Picking up the machete, I hold it out in front of me with both my hands, and running around the other side—wham!—I slam it at the windshield, denting it a little. Raising it once more, this time over my head, I close my eyes for a second, concentrating on the trickle of blood creeping down my back. It cleanses all remaining thoughts. Everything else drops away but for that straight silver line of pain tearing down my back, slashing across the lightning tree.
I don’t have too long, for this high I am coasting on will crash. But before that, I bring down the broad side of the blade with so much force that it goes through the glass cleanly. I don’t feel the vibration spiralling out from the force of the blow. All I can think is get him out of this damn car!
Pulling out the blade, I bring it down once more—thwack!—in the exact same space as the previous blow.
This time, the glass shatters. Bringing the machete all the way up, I drag it with all the traction I can muster in my muscles all the way to the top of the windshield, and then around the edges, down to the bottom and centre. The right side of the windshield comes off.
A cloud of petrol fumes leap at me through the gap, almost gagging me. This car is going to blow. Soon!
 Dropping the sword, along with its scabbard, I take one end of the windshield and pull at it till it gives away some more. Leaning through the space, I push Vikram against the seat and undo his seat belt. He groans, and his eyes flutter open.Thankfully.There is no way I can pull him out singlehanded from of the car.

NEWS! 

For now, you can download The Ruby Iyer Diaries, a free prequel to The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer right here


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A near life incident told Laxmi Hariharan to write. She never stopped. Laxmi  is the author of The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer, which debuted #1 Hot New Release Amazon Asian Lit. You can also download the prequel, The Ruby Iyer Diaries, FREE on Amazon US. She has been a journalist, and a global marketer. Now, she is the creator of Ruby Iyer. 

AUTHOR LINKS: TWITTER | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER

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 Thank you so much for stopping by!

Until the next time, 

2. tra 2015.

Fariest by Marissa Meyer

Buy the book at 
Author's 

Book summary:
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.
       You probably know about that saying that if you want to reveal someone's true character just give him power. Well, this book should be put somewhere together with that quote as it portrays it to the smallest detail.

       During the course of the previous three books in the Lunar Chronicles we got to meet Levana, our evil queen which we all want to destroy. But now with Fariest we get to hear her side of story, a quite different one. This is a story about little girl, who grew as not really royal character, which is how we all know her. It's a story about little girl who was always second, from the start, second child and then later second in everything love, respect and what not. So it's not a surprise that her only wish was to be on top, but as no one did that to her, she took all in her hands.

      First thing I want to mention as pro here is the writing. I have no idea what Marissa eats but you give me some of that. It's as always captivating and you're unable to stop once you start. What's more the story itself reveals in such manner that you get involved easily and you cannot wait to turn the page just so you could see what happens next. It's not only portrayal of Levana's character, but it tells you a lot about Luna.

     Only thing that stopped me from giving this book 5 stars is the fact that I couldn't connect with Levana. I do understand her and feel compassion, but I couldn't support her decisions. That gets us back to that saying from the start of my review, as I can hardly find excuses for cruelty. We all carry our burdens, but they are not reason for mass destruction. Or at least they will never be for me. That is until someone gives me some power and then we shall see.

       But I want to recommend you all to read this one before reading Winter, as this is also where her story starts.

Rating: 4 stars.

Until the next time,

1. tra 2015.

Waiting on Wednesday (#140)


You know the story. This is a meme created by Breaking the Spine and every week we pick books we're waiting for. Here are our picks for this week.

Glass' pick

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.
  


Expected publication: May 5th, 2015

Tanja's pick


When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.



Expected publication: May 5th, 2015

We'd love to see your picks so feel free to link them up.

Until the next time,

30. ožu 2015.

Claimed (Servants of Fate, #2) by Sarah Fine

Buy the book at 
Author's 

Rating: 5 stars.

Book summary:
Galena Margolis, a brilliant scientist with a tragic past, is determined to fulfill her destiny and develop the vaccine that could save millions. Yet when Galena’s test subjects meet with foul play, it’s clear that someone is still determined to stop her, and that Galena herself is a target. As the Ferry empire forges a plan to keep her safe, Declan Ferry, the politics-hating black sheep of the family, steps forward to protect her—but the emotional cost may be more than either of them is willing to pay.
As unknown enemies close in, it becomes terrifyingly clear that they threaten to destroy not only Galena’s lifesaving work but also the very fabric of fate. As Galena and Declan race to uncover the traitor, they also forge a special bond that could save both Galena and those she’s sworn to help. Torn apart by the past and hunted by those she trusted, can Galena find room amidst her fears for a passion that could make her stronger than ever? And even if she and Declan can find their way together, will it be enough to keep the future from coming apart at the seams?


           Now I see what's this fuss all about. After reading Marked I must admit I was slightly disappointed as I expected more from Sarah. Luckily for me Claimed explained things to me and now I see why our friends love her so much. It had all elements I want in a UF book.

          Well, the thing is that often in books it happens that we get another narrator in the sequel and her/his story told while still connected with the main idea. It happened here in this one and it was a great move. After Marked and some issues I had with Cacy, Galena is all I could ask for. She is that typical girl which is still tormented by the past but standing on her feet and kicking. That's the girl I like to see in books, who yes had to endure some tragic moments in their lives, but at the end found a way to cop with it. Then you just have to add Declan in the mix and you got it.

          It's where I wanted to go with this book. It still kept that great idea and world-building which I liked int he first book, but now with great characters and even more realistic background story which was so easy to connect with. With all that the plot was nicely planned, and it kept me on edge all the time. It was really a page turner where you just had to read and see what happens next.

         My only wish for the next one is to keep in the same pace, as Aislynn really has potential to be a great leading character. But we shall wait till Fated.

Until the next time,

*NOTE: Copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you! All opinions are personal.

29. ožu 2015.

The Sunday Post (#48)

Hello all. Well, as some of you know Sundays are always reserved for Sunday Post which is a meme created by lovely Kim @Caffeinated Book Reviews!

Hiya! Yeah we're really good at this catching up thing. Seriously. But really we're on kind of hiatus here it seems, not willingly though. It's just Glass is busy with her job and preparing her students for finals, while Tanja's midterms are getting closer and there is a lot to do. So we might be MIA for a week or two more. We shall see. Still we're trying to read as much as we can, which is basically like a couple minutes before bed where we do fall asleep quickly. 
In the meantime we hope that you're enjoying spring weather, which we don't have yet. If you do have it, send some our way. We'll be grateful! :)
  • Claimed by Sarah Fine (ARC Review) 
  • Waiting on Wednesday (#140)
  • Fariest by Marissa Meyer 
Thank you: Herlequin Teen

Until the next time, 

27. ožu 2015.

Blog Tour: Guardians of Terath: Seeking Sorrow by Zen DiPietro

Buy the book at Amazon 

Book summary:
An earth-like world of high-tech humans faces the reality that their world is not as safe as they thought it was. Five people are thrown together to quietly get to the bottom of an unfathomable mana event that must stay quiet. If the population of Terath becomes aware of the truth, it will spark a civil war. That war would pit the majority of the population against the powerful minority with the ability to harness and manipulate mana. The resulting cataclysm would decimate the population and tear apart the foundation of society.
The five people chosen for this must reconsider everything they thought they knew about mana, even as they learn to trust one another’s abilities. They must embrace everything they never wanted in order to prevent the devastation of their world. One of them will be forever changed. Love will be denied, badassery will be unleashed, and Terath will never be the same.
Even success comes at a price.
        Books with futuristic settings tend to be my favorite. Especially those with technology in them, as they seem the most realistic ones. So whenever I get to read a book set in future where technology is so advanced I tend to imagine it as if it was really. It felt the same with Seeking Sorrow.

       Seeking Sorrow starts of as really unusual book as it took me some time to get into it and feel it properly and also to get used to the narrators. It's a story about five people who set of to resolve mystery about mana event. In this world there are people who have ability to control and use mana, which is not that common. When due to mana cities start to disappear, they know that they must do everything to stop it as if the word spreads it could lead to the war, which could be fatal for all. Even though not that familiar with each other, their journey will take them to remote places of their world where they will meet not only themselves but also each other.

        Besides the setting, which was really interesting to me I really liked how we got to meet characters slowly, at first I had troubles with distinguishing them but later it was easy to follow them. It was also interesting to see how their relationships grow. Another interesting thing to me was how they had to meet themselves first in order to resolve this mystery. It was really nicely build-up.

        But I cannot say that this book was without issues. My biggest one, which is why my rating is not higher is that at times it seemed that this story was dragging. It was too detailed at the start that I really couldn't read for long. I had to make breaks every now and then. It picks up later on, which leaves hope that in the next one there won't be issues of that kind.
     
Rating: 3.5 stars.


About the Author

Zen DiPietro is a lifelong bookworm, a fantasy/sci-fi writer, a dancer, and a mom of two. Also red-haired, left-handed, and a vegetarian geek. Absolutely terrible at conforming. Particular loves include badass heroines, Star Trek, British accents, baba ganoush, and the smell of Band-Aids. Writing reviews, author interviews, and fun stuff at www.womenofbadassery.com. Very active on Facebook, Twitter (@ZenDiPietro), and Pinterest.  


Until the next time,

25. ožu 2015.

Waiting on Wednesday (#139)


You know the story. This is a meme created by Breaking the Spine and every week we pick books we're waiting for. Here are our picks for this week.

Glass' pick


Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life.


Expected publication: April 7th, 2015

Tanja's pick

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

Expected publication: May 5th, 2015

We'd love to see your picks so feel free to link them up.

Until the next time,

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