Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Rise of the Dawnstar (The Avalonia Chronicles #2) by Farah Oomerbhoy (Review)

   The second installment in the Avalonia Chronicles, The Rise of the Dawnstar continues the adventures of Aurora Firedrake as she tries to save the seven kingdoms of Avalonia from the evil tyrant Queen Morgana. To learn how to use her fae-mage magic, Aurora must travel to her fae grandmothers kingdom of Elfi. Along the way she runs into pirates, mages and deadly monsters. Full of danger, intrigue and betrayal; this story is quite magical and engaging. 
       I enjoyed The Rise of the Dawnstar. The whole series is pretty interesting with it's magical fantasy theme. It has pegasus, mages, fae, monsters, dragons, demons and other fantastically magical creatures. Aurora was a strong and competent heroine that was interesting to read about, with her cool powers and determined personality, she is a well developed and exciting character. Plot wise, although not as good as the first book in the series, the plot of The Rise of the Dawnstar was fairly good. I'm always surprised by how many gems I find amongst the indie books I have randomly stumbled upon on the internet. The Avalonia Chronicles are some of those indie gems. I really enjoyed reading this and am very interested to see where the series is going to go. The plot was riddled with exciting moments and engaging character interactions. All in all, I recommend the Avalonia Chronicles and I give The Rise of the Dawnstar FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1) by Mary Weber (Review)

     After the end of the world and the proceeding restoration of that very same world, a new world order has taken over. A order based on companies, companies that provide basic services like food, medicine and cures for everything including ageing. They seemingly have all of the power, but truly they have deals with an alien race for more advanced tech and medicine that gives these creatures more power then was ever expected. Throwing games annually to entertained the masses and the aliens that they deal with, they pit kids against each other in a dangerous and bloody competition to win fame, fortune and a way out of crippling poverty. Sofi is a part of a team in those very games, and her brother is the one in the arena. When something goes terribly wrong and her brother goes missing, she will do anything to get him back. Anything.
       This book was incredibly boring. The universe it was in seemed flimsy and undefined, and well as the characters, who were mostly highly underdeveloped. Most of the characters were nothing interesting, or really someone that the readers could get a deep connection to. That left the story feeling hollow and without substance. Sofi was the most developed character, and it was still pretty hard to muster up emotional reactions for the things that were happening in the novel. Spoiler alert: this book ends on a cliff hanger, but for the first time ever I would have to say the cliff hanger did not leave me wanting more. Ultimately, I did not enjoy The Evaporation of Sofi Snow and I give it the honest rating of THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Friday, 19 May 2017

One S'more Summer (The Campfire Series #1) by Beth Merlin (Review)

    Hiding from the troubles of her life... mainly how she is in love with her best friends soon to be husband... and how she cheated with him... Gigi goes to her childhood camp to be a cabin leader. While there she runs into the sexy, sassy and moody male cabin leader, Perry. As the tension flares between them, she learns how to move one and how to love someone who is not her best friends man.
     I did not like this novel. I had a weak, underdeveloped plot and I has major plot holes it overlooks. Lets starts with my biggest moral issue with the novel and the least plot related problem... Gigi not only cheats with her best friends fiancé, but she does not fess up to it or even acknowledge it to the readers. She strait up makes out with him WHILE he is in a engagement relationship with her best friend. They approach having sex and only stop when HER BEST FRIEND calls and interrupts! But after that moment, it is not mentioned again or even acknowledged again. The main character lies by saying nothing happened after her best friend and him got engaged, multiple times! And it's clear that the main character is constantly justifying cheating between her and him and her own father and other women. This made me strongly dislike the main character and the book alongside it. It was very disturbing to read. All of that aside, the plot was just plain weak and had very minimal real development. Nothing happens. There is nothing of true conscience or interest throughout the "story". If you boiled the story down to its actual plot elements, it would be ridiculously short... just nothing really happens. In the end, I DO NOT recommend this story and I only give One S'More Summer the rating of TWO OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Cashmere (Velvet Trilogy #2) by Temple West (Review)

     The second installment in the Velvet Trilogy, Cashmere continues off from where Velvet ended. Caitlin and Adrian are secretly in love, and if anybody else in the vampire community finds out, they could both be put to death. While going to high school and to an internship at a major fashion company, Caitlin is trying to figure out what she is, why she is being hunted and how to save herself, Adrian and Adrian's brother.
      There is a surprisingly large concentration on fashion and fashion design in this story, a story about teenage drama and deeply brooding and handsome vampires. It felt like that there was more plot development on the Caitlin's fashion abilities then there was on Caitlin's or Aiden's characters themselves. That left this novel being boring and hard to really get engaged with. It was also quite hard to empathize with a fashion virtuoso. That is not something most people have anything at all to do with, so that doesn't lead to any moments that have the reader going "Oooooh I feel that." making the characters realer to them by giving them something they can empathize with. This novel almost leaves all of the interesting and action packed aspects of the first book out and makes this a mildly vampiric fashion school drama story with minimal action at the end. In conclusion, I don't really recommend Cashmere and give it the rating of THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Fate's Keep (Fate's Journey #2) by T. Rae Mitchell (Review)

    The second installment in the Fate's Journey series, Fate's Keep seems to go from the deeply fantasy world to an almost sci-fi like world. After escaping the book of fables, all Fate desperately wants to go is get back to Finn, who is still trapped within the book. In an attempt to find her way back, she agrees to be the guardian of the Keep. The Keep is a magical space station across the universe from Earth, containing dangerous mythical and magical creatures and artifacts. Trapped between her oaths to protect the Keep, her love of Finn and her need to protect her friends and family, Fate has a lot on her hands.
      Not as intriguing as the first one, Fate's Keep was still a pretty good read. It goes into a different realm from the previous novel. Fate's Keep actually has a major sci-fi leaning with spaceships, super technically advanced aliens, jetpacks and laser guns. It's plot was okay, it contained a lot of action, drama and mystery to keep the readers attention, but the new world just did not seem as rich as the one contained in the book of Fables. The Keep was undefined and the motivations of the whole cast in this new book was not always clear or consistent, so it grew hard to care for them or really even get to know them. All and all, Fate's Keep was pretty okay and I give it the rating of FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Fate's Fables (Fate's Journey #1) by T. Rae Mitchell (Review)

       Magical and creative, Fate's Fables starts slow then beings to pick up momentum as a young author from our normal world is thrown into a world of fairytales and fables. Sucked into a cursed magical book, Fate and a strange man sucked in with her is confronted with 8 fables that they must give happily ever afters to, as to escape the book and return home. They seem tame enough at first, but as they goes through, things get darker and harder to make into happily ever afters. As the stakes raise, they grow closer together and secrets that could tear them apart come into the light. There very survival is put at risk by magical witches, trolls, dragons, children killers, dark evil fae and angry villagers out for blood.
       I actually quite enjoyed Fate's Fables. I started off skeptical, mainly because the beginning of the novel was slow and pretty normal, but then the characters got launched off into a crazy rollercoaster ride of magic with consequences and actual dangers and I was hooked in. I often find that magic and magical stories are fluffed up in stories and movies, but not in Fate's Fables. In this novel magic has consequences, decisions have consequences and that really gives a realistic feel to the novel. I liked Fate herself, but I loved her companions throughout the novel, they are what make Fate's story and interesting one. Fate was a dynamic character that had interesting and unique traits, for example, she fears worms, but not snakes. For most people, that would be the exact opposite. Story execution wise, this novel did a wonderful job. Each fable was well written, so much so that I felt like they could be real fables. I was quite impressed. All in all, I enjoyed Fate's Fables and I give it the rating of FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!

*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Redux (Tricksters, #2) by A.L. Davroe (Review)

     The world has fallen apart, androids have killed most of the rich and conceited population of Evanescence, and out of the survivors, the rebels kill most of them. All that seems to be left are Ella's small band of people, and she desperately wants to protect them and keep them alive, along with the boy she learned to love in Nexis, the one that helped her accidentally release the virus that caused the whole massacre in the first place. Tasked with saving what's left, Ella has quite a road ahead of her, and quite a fight for survival as well. She must venture out into the wastelands if her and her group are ever going to even have a shot at survival. Throughout all of this, she must deal with her love for the boy in the game, and whether or not he can also love her outside of the game, or if she will have to loose his heart forever.  
       I found Redux to be dark and sad. It was by far not what I would describe as a "fun" read, but it had some of its own merits. It continues off from where the previous novel in the series finished off at. Different from the first novel, Redux is a dark and gritty apocalypse novel, where as the first novel in the series was like a futuristic Cinderella story. A girl being abused by her horrible step mother and sister, with tragic parental death, pretty dresses and balls with handsome men and princes. Redux lost that friendly-ish feel that the first novel had, it also lost most of its virtual reality aspects, which seemed to be the main part of the first book. So in the end Redux was meh and was missing a lot of parts I enjoyed most about the first novel, so I give it the rating of THREE AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Shadow (Wendy Darling #3) by Colleen Oakes (Review)

      The final installment of the Wendy Darling series, Shadow takes on a an action packed tone, riddled with danger, magic and obsession. The Wendy Darling series takes the children's story of Peter Pan to its logical and dark conclusion. Peter is a murderous sociopath that kidnaps children and is utterly obsessed with Wendy. In this final installment, Wendy, trying to save her brothers, the kidnapped/brainwashed Lost boys, the man she loves and the people of Neverland; Wendy goes straight into the lions den. This choice risks her life... her very soul. She goes into the arms of the evil Peter.
        Similar to the previous novels in the series, Wendy is a strong and determined character in the face of overwhelming odds and certain death. This story is the conclusion to the series and is just as dark as the last two novels in the series, with a strong villain and an even more determined heroine. Wendy's capacity for love, even through and after immense trauma is astounding. She truly has a pure heart. She is the spark of light in this novel of incredible darkness. I will warn you, this series is incredibly graphic and violent, many die in brutal ways throughout the story. But I will give this novel this, it made me cry for it's villain, which is a first. It made me cry for a character that I was brought to loath for their monstrous murderous behavior. That is quite an incredible literary feat, so I applaud Colleen for writing such a strong story, one that I will be sharing with others for many years to come. Ultimately, extreme darkness aside, I loved Shadow and the full Wendy Darling series and give Shadow the rating of FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Scorched (Struck #4) by Joss Stirling (Review)

      The next novel in the Struck series, Scorched is the story of the forth and final team member and his love connection with Ember Lord, a young woman accused of the first degree murder of her crime lord father. They meet when he is given the job of befriending her so that they can get critical information out of her, and to find out if she was guilty. Being raised by a crime lord made Ember a hardened and cautious person, but not a murderer... she thinks. While in the jail, Joe uses a performance of the classic play A Midsummers Night Dream to get closer to Ember, but time is running out, and if they don't learn to trust each other, it will be the end of both of them... and maybe the world.
      Like every other novel by Joss Stirling that I have ever read, Scorched was wonderfully written and would be a perfect sit down summer read. Don't get me wrong, the stories are not masterpieces, but they are satisfying and fluidly written. The romance in the novel was sincere and very well developed. The readers grow to sympathize with Ember and to love Joe with his sweet quirkiness. The undertones of espionage and danger are prevalent throughout the novel and they only enhance the storytelling and plot. The plot was simple but elegant, which makes it a good read to use to relax. I really enjoyed the novel, heck I enjoyed the whole series, and that is why I give Scorched the rating of the rating of FOUR STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Rose Petal Graves (The Lost Clan #1) by Olivia Wildenstein (Review)

      Rose Petal Graves contains a mixture a native culture, magic and fantasy elements. It's unique approach to the combination of native magic and the fae myths make for a weird universe that made its own rules. Catori is a seemingly regular girl when
her life is thrown upside down by the tragic and unexpected death of her mother. When she goes back to her home town to mourn, she find a surprisingly suspicious situation. She is seeing things no body else seems to be able to see, and she believes her mother didn't die of natural causes, but that someone had their hand in her death. On a mission to unravel the mystery of her death, Catori meets both powerful friends and foes.
      Rose Petal Graves was okay, it had some very interesting mythology and mystery, but it's plot seemed to drag on every once and a while, allowing the reader to get more easily board. There were definitely some interesting character choices in this novel. The fae in the book use powder as the source of most of their magic, their powers of deception primarily, but they can actually run out or loose their powder (therefore loosing their powers), which was strange to read and made the fae less powerful in the mind of the readers. I wasn't really the biggest fan of these renditions of fae, but they were not bad altogether. Catori was a meh character, not terrible, just tolerable. Writing wise the narrative voice of the novel was pretty clean and smooth, which was nice. And although the romance in the novel was wish washy, the romantic leads were interesting on their own rights. All in all, Rose Petal Graves was meh, but could potentially be really enjoyed by a different type of reader, therefore I give it the rating of THREE AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Monday, 8 May 2017

Blog Tour: The Game Of Lives by James Dashner!

The Game Of Lives
by James Dashner
Pub. Date: May 2, 2017
Find it: AmazonBarnes & Noble, TBD, Goodreads
     From James Dashner, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, comes the final book in the Mortality Doctrine series, an edge-of-your-seat cyber-adventure trilogy that includes The Eye of Minds and The Rule of Thoughts.
       Includes a sneak peek of The Fever Code, the highly anticipated conclusion to the Maze Runner series--the novel that finally reveals how the Maze was built!
       Michael used to live to game, but now, the games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and cyber terrorist Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine--Kaine's master plan--has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box--if Michael can figure out who his friends really are.
      The author who brought you the #1 New York Times bestselling MAZE RUNNER series and two #1 movies--The Maze Runner and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials--now brings you an electrifying adventure trilogy that takes you into a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyber terrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

     Helga stood up. “I think the best way to do this is to
show you.”
     Michael looked at Bryson and Sarah and her parents. Everyone appeared as stunned as he felt.
     “Yes,” Helga said. “I think that’s what we’ll do. Let’s Sink.”
     There were fifteen Coffins total lined up against the long wall of the old barracks building, glowing blue, like phosphorescent sea creatures. A few showed they were occupied, but most were empty, awaiting their next guest.
      “I’m sure I haven’t fully gained your trust yet,” Helga said, standing next to the line of machines. “I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you’d like to Sink with me. Everyone can come, if they’d like, or just you, Michael. Whatever you feel most comfortable doing. I guarantee your safety.” Helga gestured to the strangers busily working around the room.
      “Everyone you see here has sworn to protect you. To protect all of you. We’re all on the same team.”
       “You three go,” Sarah’s dad said. “Nancy and I will stay behind and . . . keep an eye on things.” The message was clear. Gerard didn’t trust these people. Not yet. He’d stay and guard his daughter’s physical body—probably well aware he’d be no match for the forces that could attack her mind in the Sleep.
       Michael looked at his friends, and he could see reflected in their eyes what he himself was feeling: curiosity. Though Michael wasn’t so sure how he’d feel about what they learned at this place. This . . . Hive.

Praise for the Mortality Doctrine Series: 
-Dashner takes full advantage of the Matrix-esque potential for asking 'what is real.'-
-Set in a world taken over by virtual reality gaming, the series perfectly capture[s] Dashner's hallmarks for inventiveness, teen dialogue and an ability to add twists and turns like no other author.-
-A brilliant, visceral, gamified mash-up of The Matrix and Inception, guaranteed to thrill even the non-gaming crowd.- --Christian Science Monitor

About James: 

      James Dashner was born and raised in Georgia but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order. His newest series is The Mortality Doctrine: The Eye of Minds, The Rule of Thoughts, and The Game of Lives.

     5 winners will receive paperback sets of the whole series (EYE OF MINDS/RULE OF THOUGHTS/GAME OF LIVES), US Only.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
5/1/2017- jrsbookreviewsReview
5/2/2017- She Dreams in FictionSpotlight
5/3/2017- Margie's Must ReadsExcerpt
5/4/2017- YA and WineReview
5/5/2017- The Pages In-Between Review

Week Two:
5/8/2017- The Not So Public LibraryExcerpt
5/9/2017- Book Stacks Amber- Review
5/10/2017- Books,Dreams,LifeExcerpt
5/11/2017- Literary musingsSpotlight
5/12/2017- YA Book MadnessReview