Thursday, July 12, 2018

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder



Title: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer
#1
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 390 Pages (Paperback)
Published: December 27 2011
by Mira Books
Rating: 5/5



My Review:


It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder's writing. Whenever I'm asked for book recommendations her books are on the top of my list.

I read this series a while back and didn't have the time to review it, but I had it on my list and am finally taking the time because everyone should know how great Touch of Power is.

If you liked the Poison Study series you will undoubtedly like this one also. It's not set in the same world, but the blend of magic, medieval and adventure is the same.

Avry is a healer who is forced to hide her gift or face death. She gets wrapped up in a war not of her choosing and makes friends and enemies as she is brought on a dangerous journey to heal a dying prince. She is a great heroine that I was rooting for the whole time.

There are other powers that come into play, and magical elements that are unique to the world Maria created in this series. The love story that is started in Touch of Power is woven through delicately so that it doesn't overpower the plot but sucks you right in with all of the feels.

A great adventure story and the start of an amazing series. If you haven't already added this one to your to-read pile, you definitely should!


Fav. Quotes (minus the spoilery ones):

“Kerrick gave him a tight smile.
'You mean I'm not omnipotent?'
'You're not even semi-potent.'
'Is that even a word?' Kerrick asked.
'He probably means you're impotent,' I offered.”  


"I can't decide what's worse. Losing family members or not having a family member to lose."

My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, or Queen in Exile by Donna Hatch.

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website




https://www.amazon.ca/Immortal-Rules-Julie-Kagawa/dp/0373210809/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1531440731&sr=8-1&keywords=immortal+rules&dpID=51Ka%252BQSMhQL&preST=_SY264_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch&linkCode=ll1&tag=didaniin-20&linkId=bbb97dc955826d88c8b74d68861fc30b

*As a side note: I was given an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, but since I missed the publication date I purchased the whole series on amazon. 
Best. Decision. Ever!
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The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa



Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden
#1
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Page Count: 485 Pages (Hardcover)
Published: April
24th 2012 by Harlequin
Rating: 5/5

MY VAMPIRE CREATOR TOLD ME THIS:

"Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?"

I didn't then, not really.

I DO NOW.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.


My Review:


Well, I can’t believe I waited this long to start such an amazing series. I am in love with The Immortal Rules.

In my defence I have been burned a couple of times by other authors and decided to wait until all three books in the trilogy were released before starting, and I guess the silver lining is now I don’t have to wait for the next one I can just dive right in.

The immortal rules is a story about an orphaned 17-year-old girl who is living her life in the outskirts of a walled-in city that is run by vampires. She scavenges, steals, and begs to keep herself alive with the other “unregistered” because she refuses to sell her blood to the monsters that run the city in exchange for food and shelter. Outside the walls the world is in ruins and swarming with “rabids” - infected people and animals that are zombie-like with a vampire flare. I don’t know how much more to say without major spoilers. It’s a vampire book with a Walking Dead feel.

Although it’s YA it’s not angsty or juvenile. Allie is a strong female lead that is bad-ass and like-able. The supporting characters are both lovable and loathable (yes I’m making up terms) making for a well-rounded cast to traverse the story with.

One thing I will say is that it took me a few chapters to realize that Kannin isn’t meant to be a love interest, but more of a mentor role. That may be obvious to others but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I loved the story and world-building. Julie Kagawa has been one of my favourite authors since her Iron Fey series and she didn’t disappoint with her take on vampires.


Fav. Quotes (minus the spoilery ones):

“You will always be a monster, there is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you.”  

"The closer you got to someone, the more it would destroy you when they were inevitably gone."

My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer or The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website




https://www.amazon.ca/Immortal-Rules-Julie-Kagawa/dp/0373210809/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1531440731&sr=8-1&keywords=immortal+rules&dpID=51Ka%252BQSMhQL&preST=_SY264_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch&linkCode=ll1&tag=didaniin-20&linkId=bbb97dc955826d88c8b74d68861fc30b

*As a side note: I was given an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, but since I missed the publication date I purchased a hardcover and man am I glad that I did!Photobucket

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Spectacle by Rachel Vincent




Title: Spectacle
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie #2
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 392 Pages
Published:  May 30th 2017 by Harlequin MIRA
Rating: 5/5

In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind…

When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.

My Review:


I couldn't put this book down.

Delilah and the group of cryptids from Menagerie aren't free for long and this time their captor is wealthier and more intelligent than Metzger was. In a high-tech facility catering to the whims of the rich and powerful, they face a harsher reality and escape seems impossible.

I have read some reviews harping on how much this book resembled the first but personally, I found it much like the Hunger Games trilogy, where the similarities shone a light on a new set of issues and gave answers to some of my what if questions from the first book.

Spectacle was darker than Menagerie, but Rachel found a way to have a lot of the more trigger-sensitive scenes happen "off-camera." Although our characters suffer through many heart-wrenching ordeals before the final page.

Menagerie for me dealt with a society willing to overlook captivity so that they could satiate their curiosity and it explored the rights and wrongs of the treatment of captive creatures. Spectacle sunk deeper into those issues by exposing some of human nature's darker side. The average person would want innocent entertainment and parlor tricks, but when money strips away a person's consequences, the vile and those of broken conscience seek darker, crueler ways to get their thrills.

There was a definite arc to this one, the second half kept picking up speed until I could barely turn the pages fast enough. October is too far away for Fury!


My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked

Shifter series by Rachel Vincent, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, or Room by Emma Donoghue (If you also like fantasy as well).

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website









Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Caraval by Stephanie Garber



Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series:
Caraval #1
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Page Count: 407 Pages
Published:
January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books
Rating: 5/5

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.



My Review:


Goodreads awards brought this gem to my attention and my birthday put it in my hands. I might just make my wish list the top picks every year if this is what I'll get.

This book for me was a mixture of Alice and Wonderland, a murder mystery, and Pirates of the Carribean -- while at the same time nothing like any of them because it was totally unique.

From the very start of the book, I was trying to figure out if there was really magic Scarlett's world or if it was all illusion and that question wove through the whole story. You never know what is real, or if anything is real and it is fantastic!

Even the love interest side of the story is twisted and turned into something I wasn't expecting. I love being surprised and Stephanie Garber got me over and over again while staying true to the story and the characters.

In a nutshell, the story is about a girl who finds herself stuck on a mysterious island trying to win a bizarre game in order to save her sister, all the while living out her biggest dream of being a contestant. The competition is fierce and she's not the only one who will lose if she doesn't claim the victory.

The ending was totally satisfying, but I can't wait for the sequel to see where the story will go.

Fav. Quotes (minus the spoilery ones):

“Do you always focus on what you're giving up, rather than what you'll be gaining? Some things are worth pursuit regardless of the cost.” 

“Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people won't wake up.”

My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked

Queen in Exile by Donna Hatch, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers or The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website

Add to your Goodreads

Find the best price at socialbookco


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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Babies, and the Time They Consume



Good News! I'm back, and I hope to be posting reviews more frequently. I'm going to give it my best shot.

Goodreads has tracked my regression in reading as I added kiddos to my litter. No kids I read 80+ books a year, then after my first that dropped to 63, and then number two came along and the number plummeted to 27! I've now added our third to the mix but with the older two more independent and attending school my free time has freed up a bit.

Let's see if I can get my reading gears moving and get some of the books on my shelves read!



Friday, September 30, 2016

Me Before You Book Review

Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 409 Pages
Published:  April 26th 2016 by Penguin Books (first published January 5th 2012)
Rating: 4/5

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?


My Review:


I missed the original train with Me Before You. I didn't hear about it until I saw the trailer for the film and immediately looked it up on Goodreads. Thank you to Socialbookco.com for the opportunity to review this amazing novel.

One of the things that I loved most about this book was the switch up of the normal character profile for the love interest. Will is a disaster when you "meet" him. He's rude, unkempt, unlikeable and remote. Jojo did such a wonderful job of taking you on the journey with Lou as we peel back his layers and fall for the man under all of that pain.

Lou was another wonderful treat for me. There are so many vanilla protagonists in contemporary romance, that I was pleasantly surprised with her colourful, unique voice. Her quirks and sarcastic sense of humour brought lightness to a heavy plotline and I found her flaws endearing rather than annoying.

The supporting cast was surprisingly unlikeable. Her family and boyfriend treated her horribly and there didn't seem to be any redeeming qualities about them, and his family was a bloody mess--though I at least felt a shred of sympathy for his mother. I did enjoy Will's nurse Nathan. That said, the terrible families helped shape their world so it didn't take away from the story.

Me Before You is heart-wrenching, and challenging, and had me in tears multiple times. I felt Lou's desperation, and Will's helplessness and rode the rollercoaster with them. Contrary to some opinions I have read, I found that Jojo did a good job of balancing the scales for the controversial choices that Will and Lou face.

Will was a vibrant, adventurous man who doesn't want to live the sheltered, crippled life forced on him by his accident; while Lou is able-bodied and free to do or be anything, but chooses to live a sheltered and limited life. They infuriate each other, they challenge each other, and their struggle to change each other brings them both pain and healing.

I won't spoil the ending, so that's all I can say about it. If you want to know which way it goes, you'll have to read it...or read a spoiler ;)

Fav. Quotes (minus the spoilery ones):

"You can only actually help someone who wants to be helped."  

"...you don't have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you." 

"'Hey, Clark,’ he said. ‘Tell me something good.’"

"Push yourself. Don't settle. Wear those stripy legs with pride."


My Rating: 4/5



You'll like this series if you liked

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, or My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website

Add to your Goodreads

Find the best price at socialbookco

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent - 5 Stars



Title: Menagerie
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie #1
Genre: Fantasy/Commercial fiction
Page Count: 432 Pages
Published: September 29th, 2015 by MIRA
Rating: 5/5

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.



My Review:


I actually hugged this book when it came in mail. Why? Because I knew I was about to fall in love with it, as I do with every other Rachel Vincent book I have ever read. She did it again.

Menagerie is very different from Rachel Vincent's other books, but that in no way detracts from it. Even though I knew going into it that Menagerie wasn't an urban fantasy or paranormal romance, I was still surprised by the lack of a MC love story, as I absolutely adore Rachel's romance plotlines in all of her other books, but again I found it didn't take anything away, if anything I found it amped up the importance of all of the other themes and plot points that needed their time in the spotlight.

The story follows Delilah Marlow as she finds out she's a monster, gets sold to a traveling circus and caged for being a monster, and discovers who the monsters really are. Her struggle to maintain her inner-self while being treated like a worthless animal is heart-wrenching and inspiring.

It is dark and twisty and kept me ravenous for more up until the last page. I was rooting for Delilah to overcome her captors while also fully experiencing the helplessness of her situation through Vincent's captivating voice.

I can't wait for Spectacle (Menagerie #2) to be released so I can dive back into this world.

Fav. Quotes (minus the spoilery ones):

"We have psychos, too. People kill their coworkers. Kids kill their classmates. Parents kill their own children. Those people are every bit as monstrous as the worst cryptid predator you can point to, yet they’re human, just like we are.” Atherton and Pennington stared at me, and unease churned in my stomach. “There is no we,” the deputy said...  

"I deal in morality, not in law." 

"I said I don't enjoy seeing you suffer."


My Rating: 5/5


You'll like this series if you liked

Shifter series by Rachel Vincent, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, or Room by Emma Donoghue (If you also like fantasy as well).

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website

Add to your Goodreads

Find the best price at socialbookco

*Side-note: I received an ebook copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I got my hardcover in the mail before I could get started but was happy to have the ebook as well so I could take it with me everywhere. Thanks Netgalley!*