Friday, 25 May 2018

Death, Doom and Detention - Book Review

Death, Doom and Detention (Darklight #2)
by Darynda Jones

What is it about:
The normal part of Lorelei MacAlister’s life didn’t just slip away quietly the day Jared Kovach came to town. Nope. The normal part of her life shattered. It exploded. It burst into a gazillion shards of fleeting light.

It went out with a bang.

Goodbye normal.

Hello dark and eerie.

While her best friend, Brooklyn, is focusing all of her energy on helping Lorelei hone her abilities, Lorelei is dealing with the reality that Satan’s second in command has taken up residence inside her body. Oh, and the fact that she has a crush on the Angel of Death. But what a beautiful death it is. If those weren’t bad enough, something sinister has come to town and it wants nothing more than to hear Lorelei’s dying breath as it strangles it out of her. Thank goodness the gang has a supernatural champion. But what happens when the only being who can save them switches sides midstream? How can a group of misfits capture one of the most powerful beings ever created? And will they find out how to bring Jared back to them before it’s too late?

What did I think of it:
It has been a while since I read the first book. Luckily there is enough explanation without it being an info dump at the start of this book to get up to speed again.

And this is just as the first book an enjoyable read.

Jared and Cameron are still like two alpha gorillas beating their chest at each other at times, but luckily it's about other things than who gets the girl. Lorelei is being totally oblivious to the danger she is in, and goes to parties of people she hates, so typical book teen behavior (at least I hope it's only book teens who do these things, or else it's yet another sign I wasn't a normal teen).

The slightly annoying behavior of all teens involved aside, the story was entertaining and suspenseful. Why are people acting strange? What secrets are being kept from Lorelei? Why would an ancient celestial being fall for Lorelei?

All joking aside: if you're looking for an enjoyable Paranormal YA read, this is the series for you. I think I'll try to get hold of the last book to see how this trilogy ends.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining Paranormal YA read.

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

On Voodoo Bride's Radar - Dangerous

You bet Voodoo Bride pre-ordered this book and is impatiently waiting for it to release.

Dangerous (The Outcasts #1)
by Minerva Spencer

What sort of lady doesn’t make her debut until the age of thirty-two? A timeless beauty with a mysterious past—and a future she intends to take into her own hands...

Lady Euphemia Marlington hasn’t been free in seventeen years—since she was captured by Corsairs and sold into a harem. Now the sultan is dead and Mia is back in London facing relentless newspapermen, an insatiably curious public, and her first Season. Worst of all is her ashamed father’s ultimatum: marry a man of his choosing or live out her life in seclusion. No doubt her potential groom is a demented octogenarian. Fortunately, Mia is no longer a girl, but a clever woman with a secret—and a plan of her own.

Adam de Courtney’s first two wives died under mysterious circumstances. Now there isn’t a peer in England willing to let his daughter marry the dangerously handsome man the ton calls The Murderous Marquess. Nobody except Mia’s father, the desperate Duke of Carlisle. Clearly Mia must resemble an aging matron, or worse. However, in need of an heir, Adam will use the arrangement to his advantage.

But when the two outcasts finally meet, assumptions will be replaced by surprises, deceit by desire—and a meeting of minds between two schemers may lead to a meeting of hearts—if the secrets of their pasts don’t tear them apart.

Expected publication: June 26th 2018 by Zebra
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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Ink Exchange - Book Review (repost)

Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely #2)
by Melissa Marr

What is it about:
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils...

What did I think of it:
This is the second book in a series, but I think this book can perfectly be read as a standalone as well.

I really liked the world building and the mood of this story. It's dark and mysterious, and hints at the magic that's hidden from mundane people.

I really liked Leslie. She's been broken, but managed to put herself together again, although the cracks are still showing. It made her both vulnerable and strong. I rooted for her to find the freedom, the change, she is longing for.

There are two men who are interested in Leslie, although I wouldn't call it a love triangle. Both Niall and Irial are complex and intriguing characters, and I had a hard time to decide which of them I was rooting for to succeed in his plans. (To be honest, the only characters I didn't care for turned out to be the lead characters of the first book in this series.)

The story is compelling and I had to keep reading to see where things would lead to. I love how this story makes you think. It's not black and white, but made up out of many shades of grey.

The ending was satisfying, although not what I expected.

I'm not sure if I will read other books in this series, because I didn't like the characters who will have the lead roles in the other books in this series. I will investigate what other books Marr has written though.

Why should you read it:
It's a compelling YA Faery read.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - Death, Doom, and Detention

Cameron appraised the crowd before parking his gaze on Jared. Jared returned the sentiment and the glower-fest began anew.

(page 138, Death, Doom, and Detention by Darynda Jones)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 21 May 2018

Under My Skin - Book Review

Under My Skin (Immortality Strain #1)
by Shawntelle Madison

What is it about:
Everyone wants to either be a member of the Guild or work for them. Little does the populace know that the Guild hides sinister secrets...

For Tate Sullivan, life in her small, coastal town is far from glamorous. The affluent lives of the Guild members and their servants isn't something she has ever wanted. But all sixteen year-olds must take a simple test, and Tate's result thrusts her into the Guild's world, one where they hide horrible plans for those they select. Tate must fight the relentless General Dagon for control of her mind, body, and soul to keep the one precious thing she has always taken for granted: herself.

Her only ally is the same handsome boy she is pitted against in General Dagon’s deadly game. Quinn desires nothing more than to end the life of General Dagon who has taken over Tate's mind. While romance blooms between Tate and Quinn, General Dagon plots to eventually take over Tate's body, and love might end before it even begins.

What did I think of it:
I loved the Coveted series by Madison, so was curious if this book would be just as fun.

Although it turned out this book isn't fun in the way Coveted was, it did turn out to be a cool read.

The future world that Madison created wasn't expanded on much, it even felt a bit old fashioned, but that didn't lessen my enjoyment. I liked Tate and was soon engrossed in the story. There were some story-hooks that I think weren't used to their full potential, but the story I did get was intriguing and suspenseful enough to keep me from grumbling.

Tate's struggle with General Dagon could have been taken a bit further as well in my opinion. At times things felt a bit too easy. Those things aside I had a great time with this book though, and near the end things do get a bit more dire.

The ending is satisfactory while also hinting at much more to come. I fear that there won't be a second book though, seeing how this one was released in 2014, but I can hope.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable YA red.

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Friday, 18 May 2018

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy - Book Review

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

What is it about:
Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.

What did I think of it:
This is probably a great book for most people who love the Shadowhunters books, but it didn't work for me.

I went into this read with two wrong assumptions: That this would be stories focused on students in a boarding school, and that I could handle a book full of Simon.

Yes, the Shadowhunter students live at the academy, but that's about where the boarding school experience ends. The academy is a mess and stays a mess. I was wondering why the students would stand for this instead of starting a rebellion. I also wondered how any of the students living in the cellars even survived for more than a week as it was a serious hazard to their health.

Then there was Simon. I didn't much care for him in the Mortal Instruments series and I can't say these stories changed my mind. There was one returning character in these stories I really liked, but we all know what happens to secondary characters who I like, so the less said about that the better.

The stories themselves were nice, but nothing special. I wanted training and boarding school stuff, but most stories used the school as a starting point for teachers and whoever else to tell stories about Shadowhunters and their past successes and failures.

This book won't be a keeper. I will try to read Lady Midnight though, to see if that one gets me back into the world of the Shadowhunters.

Why should you read it:
If you like the Shadowhunter world and Simon this book is for you.

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

On McPig's Wishlist - Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress #2)
by Julie C. Dao

This fairy tale retelling lives in a mystical world inspired by the Far East, where the Dragon Lord and the Serpent God battle for control of the earthly realm; it is here that the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match. An epic fantasy finale to the Rise of the Empress novels.

Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn't want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won't soon forget.

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