Sunday, January 30, 2011

Inside Out - Quick Review

Title: Inside Out
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Insider, book #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Page Count: 320 Pages
Rating: 5/5

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it's all that dangerous - the only neck I risk is my own. Until I accidently start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. I should have just said no...

~ My Review ~

I have been itching to read this book since I heard about it. Maria Snyder is one of my favourite authors and she definitely delivered with Inside Out! Trella is a very likable character and I was drawn into her world of pipes and hidden spaces until the last page.

In the future that is Trella's present, she lives as a "scrub" and has the job of cleaning the air, heating, and water pipes that run throughout the world she knows as Inside. She is a "lower" part of the labour class of people born into service for the "uppers" - those who control Inside.

Her best and only friend Cog is always hoping for an escape, something beyond Inside. Trella knows that hoping only leads to pain, so she takes on a dangerous task to prove to him, and to herself, that there is nothing out there.

The character and plot development were well paced and the ending was satisfying while still leaving room for more (book 2 will be released Feb. 22 2011).

If you haven't read this yet you are missing out on a fantastic dystopian novel.

My Rating: 5/5

~ Other books in this series ~

#1 Inside Out, #2 Outside In

~ You'll like this book if you liked ~

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Unwind by Neal Shusterman, or the Opal Cowen Series by Maria V. Snyder.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Vespertine - ARC Review

Title: The Vespertine
Author: Saundra Mitchell
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Page Count: 304 Pages
Pub. Date: 03/07/2011
Rating: 5/5

*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

~Book’s Description From NetGalley~
It's the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

~My Review~

A tale of a girl who can see the future and how it brings her world down around her.

The cover art sold me on this one before I even read the first page, the writing is what kept me gripped until the end. I love it when the prologue gives away just enough to make you think you know what's going to happen without really giving you anything at all.

The book starts with Amelia locked in an attic with nothing but pen and paper to keep her company. She sees herself the monster - deserving of this fate - and then we start the story anew at the beginning of her first season in Baltimore.

Amelia's brother has sent her to her cousin in Baltimore to secure a profitable marriage, instead what she finds is a latent ability to see into the future through the sunset. She spends her summer telling fortunes, making friends, and falling for the wrong man - who is perfect for her.

Nathaniel has secrets of his own, and being a struggling artist should put him out of the running for Amelia's hand, but they are drawn to each other by forces neither can explain.

When her visions turn from frivolous to foreboding Amelia starts to question whether she is the seer of the future, or the cause of it.

The paranormal element is subtle with the forbidden romance and the suspense of Amelia's inevitable downfall driving the story. A wonderful and original book that adds a voice of its own to the YA genre.

My Rating: 5/5

~You'll like this series if you liked~

I would put this one in-between The Luxe by Anna Godbersen and A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray but with a much more satisfying ending than either series.

~Links 4 More~
Add to your Shelfari: here
Add to your Goodreads: here
Buy it at BookDepository (free shipping): here

Monday, January 10, 2011

Review of Entice by Carrie Jones

Title: Entice
Author: Carrie Jones
Series: Need, #3
Genre: YA, Fantasy (Faeries)
Page Count: 272 Pages
Rating: 5/5

(If you haven't read the first 2 books this review contains some spoilers)

Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that’s not quite how things have worked out. For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he’s been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it’s taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla? And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there’s that other small problem: Zara’s been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn’t just turned… She’s Astley’s queen.

My Review:

I always love it when the damsel in distress becomes the hero. Zara - who has shown her inner strength, but has ultimately needed to be protected in the past - is now one of the protectors. She can now fight along with her allies and go out in search of her lost wolf.

Zara and Astley's relationship gets explored more in this book. I was solidly team Nick for the first two books, but I grew to love Astley in Entice. The humble but strong pixie king was patient and kind. We find out more about his past and his family and the heartbreaks that he has survived to get where he is. I kept wanting to know more about him until I found myself totally conflicted over who Zara should end up with.

The war brewing in the shadows of Bedford is intensified and Entice sets up what is sure to be an epic battle in the next book. There were tragic losses and intense victories keeping me on the edge of my seat.

I was thrilled with this chapter in Zara's story and I can't wait to read the forth and final book! I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes:

"My name is Zara White and I'm almost seventeen years old. I'm a pixie, and my boyfriend was killed by a pixie king with the ludicrous name of Frank."

My Rating: 5/5

Other books in this series:

#1 Need
#2 Captivate

You'll like this book if you liked:

Need by Carrie Jones, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Tithe by Holly Black, or The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Falke's Peak - Review

Title: Falke's Peak
Author: Anna Leigh Keaton and Madison Layle

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Adult Fiction, m/f/m
Page Count: 143 Pages
Pub. Date: 12/20/2010
Rating: 4/5

*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

~Book’s Description From NetGalley~

She couldn't believe her eyes.
Stressed out ad-exec Dakota wandered into Catamount Outfitters in search of a guide for a wilderness excursion. She didn't expect to be greeted by not one, but five of the most ruggedly delicious-looking men she'd ever seen. Not to mention a live cougar guarding the shop.

The Falke brothers have more than just good looks in their genes.
Eldest brother Axel agrees to guide Dakota on her mountain trek. In cougar form, Axel's twin, Gunnar, was there as a protection from predators-but he had his eye on the sexy client instead.

Into the wild...
While the rule with clients was "paws-off," both Axel and Gunnar couldn't resist Dakota's seductive Native American beauty and determination. As cold days led to hot nights in the cabin, Axel and Gunnar wondered if they'd finally found a woman strong enough to tame them...

~My Review~

A woman trying to escape her third wheel status while on vacation with her friend and friend's fiance hires a local guide to take her on a trek up the mountain at the ski resort they are staying at. Dakota will have five days alone with Axel as they snowshoe up the mountain with his pet cougar, and then lodge in a cabin on the slopes. Her biggest challenge isn't the strenuous hike, or the wildlife, it's keeping her hands off Axel.

Axel and his brothers keep their secret lives as shape-shifters a secret from the world to preserve themselves, and the precious lives they have built for their large family in Washington. When they meet Dakota they will have to use every ounce of determination they have to keep her at arms length, even is she is proving to be perfect for them in every way.

This was a fast read and an entertaining story. I liked the multiple points of view, it provided me with enough insight into the characters that their relationship arc didn't seem too rushed, as other books in this genre can tend to be. I was drawn in by the setting; the mountains, the snow, the small town, and especially the lake. They've created a winter wonderland where it's easy to picture that these incredible, impossible creatures could exist.

My Rating: 4/5

~You'll like this series if you liked~

Wicked Sexy by R.G. Alexander, Riley Jensen Series by Keri Arthur, Bitten by Tracey H. Kitts, or Monére; Children of the Moon (Mona Lisa) Series by Sunny.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

True Believers by Maria Zannini

Title: True Believers
Author: Maria Zannini
Genre: Sci-Fi/Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 295 Pages
Pub. Date: 10/18/2010
Rating: 5/5

*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

~Book’s Description From NetGalley~

Something is killing off immortals, one by one.
Taelen Jessit is an alien emissary on a mission sanctioned by the U.S. government to search for ancient gods. His hunt leads him to a dig headed by archaeologist Rachel Cruz. When his military entourage forces Rachel's team out of the cave they were exploring, a flash flood hits the riverbed and threatens to tear them through the ravine.
In the aftermath of the flood, Taelen witnesses the incredible healing of Rachel's broken ankle and believes his gods have blessed her. He is inexplicably drawn to her, and she to him.
What Taelen doesn't know is that Rachel is Nephilim-a descendant of the gods his people worship-masquerading as a human to find the god-killer and destroy it. Rachel needs help to bring down the tech that is manipulating the Earth's magnetosphere and frying her people alive. She's given Taelen her heart, but can she trust him with her secret?

~My Review~

True Believers blew my expectations out of the water! It is a thrilling sci-fi romance that is story driven and intense until the very end. Masterfully crafted characters and settings keep you immersed and connected to the story.

Rachel is Nephilim - a powerful race that had been hiding in plain sight on our world for centuries. They are close to being found by another alien race that sees them as Gods and has traced them across the universe in search of divinity.

The humans want them dead, the Altruians want to worship them, and Rachel...well she's not sure what she wants, but she is drawn to commander Taelen like no other.

I love it when a romance is so gripping and full of adventure that you forget you're reading in the genre. This is definitely one of the best sci-fi romanaces I have ever read, and it makes me want to read more of them.

My Rating: 5/5

~You'll like this series if you liked~

Alien Tango by Gini Koc or The Host by Stephenie Meyer