Review: Rebel Heart (Dust Lands Trilogy #2) by Moira Young

Rebel HeartTitle: Rebel Heart
Author: Moira Young
Series: Dust Lands Trilogy #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Dystopia
Links:

Blurb:
Saba thought her world would return to normal after they defeated the Tonton and rescued her kidnapped brother Lugh. The family head west for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But a formidable enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants?

My Review:
Another great read from Moira Young. I felt it was a little slow-paced at the start but then the action kicked in and it kept me fully engaged till the end. I’ve gotten so used to the authors prose style that it barely even registered as different while reading it. I think I missed Jack more than Saba did! Would have loved more scenes involving the two of them as a couple but I understand why it wouldn’t fit within the plot. I’m still intrigued to find out what’s going on with Lugh, and to learn exactly what happened to him when he was under Pince’s control. And I’m wondering what the ultimate impact of that is going to be – his obsessiveness over Saba is a tad bit disturbing and I think it will drive whatever he’s going to do in Book 3. And while I knew from Book 1 that there was some connection with DeMalo, I’m perplexed as to how they seem to share a bond, and why. I’ve already downloaded Book 3 and can’t wait to get stuck in. If you haven’t checked out this series then you need to!

Review: Blood Red Road (Dust Lands Trilogy #1) by Moira Young

Blood Red RoadTitle: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Series: Dust Lands Trilogy #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Dystopia
Links:

Blurb:
Saba lives in Silverlake, a wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms where her family scavenge from landfills left by the long-gone Wrecker civilization. After four cloaked horsemen kidnap her beloved twin brother Lugh, she teams up with daredevil Jack and the Free Hawks, a girl gang of Revolutionaries.

Saba learns that she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Saba and her new friends stage a showdown that change the course of her civilization.

My Review:
This book is a very unique read – in terms of the prose/writing style, and the setting. It may not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ though. I was gripped from the very beginning and read the whole book in less than 24 hours. I loved Saba, she’s prickly and fiesty and can come across as not-altogher-that-nice but I actually really, really liked her character. I was a little put out with her at the start for her lack of regard for Emmi but she redeemed herself later on. And I loved the whole cage-fighting theme, very kick-ass. A must read for anyone that loves a fast-paced, action packed adventure with a strong female protagonist and a good dollop of romance. A few hints/teasers dropped subtly into the plot which I assume will be addressed in the rest of the series. Off to download Books 2 and 3 now. Exceptional Book in my opinion.

Review: Queen of Blood by Jill Myles

Queen of bloodTitle: Queen of Blood
Author: Jill Myles
Series: standalone
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
For one hundred years, Seri’s people have lived under the thumb of the Blood, the cruel and mysterious rulers of Athon. Seri wants nothing more than to put food on the table and marry the hotheaded but handsome Rilen come spring. But when a noblewoman asks Seri to be her handmaiden, Rilen insists she move to the enemy’s castle . . . and spy on the newly arrived prince.

Prince Graeme has grown weary of his family’s curse. The Blood are powerful and immortal, but doomed to live in the shadows, flitting from lover to lover, always in search of the mythic Eterna—the one woman who will sate their hunger. Now his father has sent him to the outskirts of the empire to stamp out a rebellious Vidari faction. But when a wild and alluring Vidari girl shows up at court, he finds himself torn between following his father’s orders and following his heart . . .

A war is brewing between Athonite and Vidari, between Blood and man. As uprisings sweep through the land, Seri and Graeme find themselves at the center of a storm with only one choice: betray each other, or betray their people.

My Review:
This was a really great book and I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours.

Seri is a Vidari girl struggling to look after her blind sister and ill father. Rilen is a local boy she has grown up with, and her future husband to be. Rilen is chomping at the bit for rebellion against the ruling Athonites and he gets actively involved when the Athonite Prince Graeme arrives on Vidari lands to occupy the newly renovated Castle. Rilen was poisoned by hatred and it blinds him to everything else, including love.

Graeme is one of the Blood and he has lived a long life. Essentially he’s a vampire, though it’s never mentioned as such. However, he doesn’t eat, drinks blood, can’t go out in the sun etc. I don’t read vampire books much anymore as they have been done to death in my opinion, but this book is clever. I never actually felt like it was a vampire book because of the way it was written.

Seri and the Prince’s paths cross and intertwine when she is revealed to be his Eterna. Both resist the Goddesses’ will at first but as the story progresses they being to fall in love with each other.

Rilen manipulates Seri into helping the rebel cause and in the end he would betray her rather than give up the fight. I was so glad with the choices Seri made towards the end, and it shows good character development and maturity. I know it can’t have been easy.

I totally love Prince Graeme. While he appeared sullen at the start, as he opened up to Seri and the reader, we discover what a great guy he is. Refusing to be bound by legacy and history, he forges his own path and goes out of his way to be fair, to do the right thing.

It’s obvious that Jill Myles is an experienced author as the writing is accomplished. While I felt the pace was a little slow in the early chapters, it flowed smoothly after that. There aren’t any huge plot surprises in the story, nothing I was like ‘ah, I wasn’t expecting that’ but nevertheless it was a fantastic read all the same.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars.

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and MonstersTitle: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal/ Fantasy/ Demons
Links:

Blurb:
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

My Review:
desperate for him and Karou to have their happy-ever-after that I speed-read through the entire book in less than 24 hours. I literally could not put it down. I had to stop for two hours to make the dinner and seriously, I kept running back upstairs to sneak a few pages in between cooking, because I could not stop thinking about what was going to happen next. I’ve already recommended this to a few people I know will love it, and now I am going to read the entire series again as I still haven’t had my fix. Wow, only word for it.

Review: Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini

GoddessTitle: Goddess
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: (Starcrossed #3)
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.

My Review:
nother compelling read from Josephine Angelini and a fitting end to the series.

A destructive war is looming large as the Gods start to take vengeance on the world. Helen’s powers are off the charts as she appears to have assimilated some of her blood brothers gifts. Her friends start to fear her and betrayal is never far away.

The biggest threat for the Scions is the identity of the Tyrant and Helen, Hector, Lucas and Cassandra have to fight to protect Orion who is the easiest one to point the finger at.

Helen continues to love Lucas with every part of her being but is confused over her growing feelings for Orion. I found this really hard to swallow and was glad when she finally acknowledged her feelings at about the half-way point.

I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and grab Claire by the scruff of her neck to shake some sense into her. I don’t understand how she could become so distrustful of her best friend. Be afraid at the demonstration of her considerable power? Yes, believable. Betray her so completely? Less believable. And poor Matt. My heart bled for him. So tragic.

I swooned at the part where Lucas and Helen visited EveryLand together but wish the author could have at least allowed them to kiss. Come on, epic love between them and in a make-believe world of her choosing, where she also gets to pick the rules? She could have made it work. My skin was literally itching for more romance.

The battle scenes at the end were fantastic. Love the bit with the Kracken! And finally Lucas and Helen get their happy ever after and nasty Daphne got what she deserved. I just wish it hadn’t been left until the very end to be resolved.

There were parts of this book that dragged in a way the first two books didn’t but I still really enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this series.

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and BoneTitle: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal/ Fantasy/ Demons
Links:

Blurb:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Review:
This is an incredible fantasy book and I bow to Laini Taylor’s impressive imagination. I loved the writing, descriptive without bogging the reader down in too many unnecessary details. The dialogue between Karou and Zuzana was very witty and thoroughly engaging and I got really invested in all the characters (except Kaz and Svetla, uughh, those two so belong together). I did struggle to get into it at the start and I felt it was a little bit slow-paced, to be honest I wasn’t sure if I was really going to like it. But boy did it more than make up for it and I got totally hooked, so much so that I didn’t put it down until I finished it. I loved loved the romance storyline, but then I’m a total sucker for compelling, gushing, swoony romance and I particularly loved how this part of the book was written. I have just downloaded the second book and can’t wait to get stuck in. Highly recommended.

Review: Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini

DreamlessTitle: Dreamless
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out. A ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.

My Review:
Helen is forced to grow up really quickly in Dreamless as the consequences of her role become clearer. As one of the rare Descenders, she is tasked with travelling to the Underworld every night to try to locate the Furies and stop the terrible hold they have on the demi-gods.

Her wayward mother is back in her life though she keeps a low profile and I was naturally suspicious of what she was up to. Daphne tells Helen about her true parentage and it almost tears her apart. Forced to keep her distance from her true love Lucas she wanders aimlessly through her days and nights. His loss threatens to claim her sanity and it was heart-breaking to watch this tragedy unfold.

Her errant mother arranges for Orion to find Helen in the Underworld just as she despairs of ever making progress. Together they start to figure out things but then Helen’s health takes a turn for the worst and Lucas is forced into action.

The explosive scenes at the end, when they are confronted by Ares, were brilliant and nail-biting. Helen’s powers are really starting to come into their own now and her lack of physical ability / combat skills are becoming less of an issue.

In the main I really enjoyed this book but there were a couple of issues with the plot that stopped me rating it 5 Stars. Firstly, the whole Ajax situation was totally shady and how Lucas could buy it, as a gifted Falsefinder, was hard to believe. If my true love was taken away from me I would be trying to prove the veracity of the facts to make sure I’d been told the truth. That neither of them even thought to investigate grated on me a little.

Also, Daphne appears out of nowhere after years on the run and despite the fact that everyone distrusts her there is no concern over where she is or what she is up to. She was trusted far too readily by everyone, including Helen.

Then the author throws it out there that Helen’s lack of dreaming = dying, but then it’s resolved and forgotten about. It never felt like there was any real threat to her life, she barely passed any comment on it herself, and my view is that this should have been removed from the story or fleshed out more.

But the biggest issue I had was the introduction of Orion and how quickly Helen fell for him. I’m sorry – she has this EPIC love for Lucas and then Orion shows up and two minutes later she thinks she’s in love with him? No, not buying it. If he had used his gift to make her fall in love with him that would have been believable but he’s too honorable to take advantage of her, or any girl, in that way. And it’s not that Orion isn’t likable or lovable, it’s how both Helen and Lucas reacted to him that wasn’t realistic.

Despite these issues, I still enjoyed the book. It’s well written and a decent sized book which I love. I’m looking forward to the conclusion and I hope that Helen ends up with Lucas because I think I’ll cry if she doesn’t. ( V. mature 42-year-old speaking!)

Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

ScarletTitle:  Scarlet
Author:  Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner

My Review:

Talk about blowing it out of the water! Wow! What an amazing follow up to Cinder.

I enjoyed this book much more than the first one – the writing was vastly superior and it was action-packed and fast-paced from start to finish. I struggled to put it down.

When we rejoin Cinder she is incarcerated and awaiting her extradition to Luna. With the aid of handsome fellow prisoner, Captain (ahem!) Carswell Thorne, she manages to escape and sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. I really felt for Cinder as she grappled to come to terms with her new elevated status as Princess and Most Wanted Fugitive.

Kai has been left shell-shocked and confused by the revelations about Cinder, and he is also struggling to deal with Queen Levana’s demands and juggle the new world of global politics. His feelings for Cinder are pitted against his loyalty to this people and he really is in a difficult predicament.

Levana is a despicable character – nasty to the core. Ugh. Skin crawling.

I loved the addition of Scarlet and Wolf in this installment. Scarlet is in a tailspin over her grandmother’s sudden disappearance and she ends up joining forces with Wolf to try and locate her before it’s too late. I was initially conflicted over Wolf’s true motivations and I kept changing my mind. This part of the plot was expertly crafted and full of suspense and intrigue. I loved it! The burgeoning romance between Scarlet and Wolf was really sweet.

The only teeny tiny thing I didn’t like was the lack of romance. I kept hoping that Kai and Cinder would be reunited, but it never happened. Usually, I don’t like stories without a strong romance thread, but I’m happy to eat my words in relation to this book.

All in all, an amazing read and I look forward to reading more in the series.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Sidenote: I bought a paperback of Cinder in my local bookstore for €8.40, however, I went to Kindle for Scarlet and was SHOCKED at the price. £9.14 which translates to over €12 for an ebook. That makes no sense at all. Ebooks cost very little to produce when compared with a paperback or hardback. I almost didn’t download it, but I was desperate to know where the story was going so I swallowed the bitter lump in my throat and purchased it. This type of corporate greed makes my blood boil, especially when it’s already a massive bestselling series and the publishers are making a fortune. Half the target market are teenagers so it really sickens me that they are being exploited in this way. Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest. I’m seeing it more and more and it disgusts me. BTW, this is in no way a criticism of Marissa because she has no control over pricing. I just hate blatant corporate greed. (Stepping off my soapbox now)

Review: Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini

StarcrossedTitle: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

My Review:
Boy did this book suck me right in from the get-go. I totally loved it and it’s a fantastic start to a great series.

Helen is a shy, naive, inherently good sixteen-year-old girl, brought up by her single Dad on the island of Nantucket. She is really close to her best friend Claire and has been friends with Zach and Matt since they were little kids. Embarrassed by her height and stunning beauty, Helen can often be found slouching around the corridors of her high school, trying her best to disappear into the shadows. Life is fairly mundane until the Delos family arrive on the Island. Cue a lot of chaos and mayhem.

The mysterious newcomers are as drawn to Helen as she is to them; however, good girl Helen can’t understand the murderous rage she feels when she first sets eyes on hottie Lucas.

The newcomers are no ordinary humans either and gradually they introduce Helen to her true ancestry and she becomes part of their family.

There were shades of Twilight about this book in my opinion though it’s a different story and setting. I loved the strength of the familial bonds and how important family and friendship are to all the characters in this book.

As quickly as Helen and Lucas were at odds with one another, they do a full 360, and the deep bond they share is laced with centuries of history. I loved how they were with one another and the developing romance is really sweet.

The author has created her own unique take on the ‘Ancient Gods’ theme and it was fascinating and engaging. I can’t wait to see how it progresses over the course of the series.

There was some great dialog in this book and some very funny moments. I loved everything about it and can’t fault the writing, pace, plot, world-building or characterisation.

A really promising start and a must read for fans of fantasy stories involving Gods.

Cover Reveal: The Duality Bridge (Singularity #2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Today is the cover reveal for The Duality Bridge by Susan Kaye Quinn. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

TheDualityBridge_Cover
The Duality Bridge (Singularity #2)
By Susan Kaye Quinn
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: late summer 2015

You can find The Duality Bridge on Goodreads

First book in the series:
The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)
By Susan Kaye Quinn
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: March 2, 2015

Blurb:
What would you give to live forever?

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

When immortality is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.

The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

You can find The Legacy Human on Goodreads

You can buy The Legacy Human here:
Amazon

Susan Kaye QuinnAbout the Author:
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.

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– 5 paperbacks – The Legacy Human or any other Susan Kaye Quinn book

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